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Here is how to play the altcoin game - for newbies & champs
I have been here for many previous altcoin seasons (2013,2017 etc) and wanted to share knowedle. It's a LOOONG article. The evaluation of altcoins (i.e not Bitcoin) is one of the most difficult and profitable exercises. Here I will outline my methodology and thinking but we have to take some things as a given. The first is that the whole market is going up or down with forces that we can't predict or control. Bitcoin is correlated with economic environments, money supply increases, safe havens such as Gold, hype and country regulations. This is an impossible mix to analyze and almost everyone fails at it. That's why you see people valuing Bitcoin from $100 to $500k frequently. Although I am bullish on the prospects of Bitcoin and decentralization and smart contract platforms, this is not the game I will be describing. I am talking about a game where you try to maximize your BTC holdings by investing in altcoins. We win this game even if we are at a loss in fiat currency value. To put it another way:
If you are not bullish in general on cryptocurrencies you have no place in investing or trading cryptocurrencies since it's always a losing proposition to trade in bubbles, a scientifically proven fact. If on the other hand you are then your goal is to grow your portfolio more than you would if holding BTC/ETH for example.
Bitcoin is the big boy
How the market works is not easily identifiable if you haven't graduated from the 2017 crypto university. When there is a bull market everything seems amazingly profitable and things keep going up outgrowing Bitcoin by orders of magnitude and you are a genius. The problem with this is that it only works while Bitcoin is going up a little bit or trades sideways. When it decides to move big then altcoins lose value both on the way up and on the way down. The second part is obvious and proven since all altcoins from 2017 are at a fraction of their BTC value (usually in the range of 80% or more down). Also, when BTC is making a big move upwards everyone exits altcoins to ride the wave. It is possible that the altcoin market behaves as an inversed leveraged ETF with leakage where in a certain period while Bitcoin starts at 10k and ends at 10k for example, altcoins have lost a lot of value because of the above things happening.
We are doing it anyway champ!
OK so we understand the risks and just wanna gambol with our money right? I get it. Why do that? Because finding the ideal scenario and period can be extremely profitable. In 2017 several altcoins went up 40x more than BTC. But again, if you don't chose wisely many of them have gone back to zero (the author has first hand experience in this!), they have been delisted and nobody remembers them. The actual mentality to have is very important and resembles poker and other speculative games: A certain altcoin can go up in value indefinitely but can only lose it's starting investment. Think about it. You either lose 1 metric or gain many many more. Now that sounds amazing but firstly as we said we have the goal to outperform our benchmark (BTC) and secondly that going up in value a lot means that the probability is quite low. There is this notion of Expected Value (EV) that poker players apply in these kind of situations and it goes like that. If you think that a certain coin has a probability let's say 10% to go up 10X and 90% probability it goes to zero it's an even bet. If you think that probability is 11% then it's a good bet, a profitable bet and you should take it. You get the point right? It's not that it can only go 10X or 0X, there is a whole range of probability outcomes that are too mathematical to explain here and it doesn't help so much because nobody can do such analysis with altcoins. See below on how we can approximate it.
How to evaluate altcoins
A range of different things to take into account outlined below will form our decision making. Not a single one of them should dictate 100% of our strategy.
It's all about market cap. Repeat after me. The price of a coin doesn't mean anything. Say it 10 times until you believe it. I can't remember how many times I had conversations with people that were comparing coins using their coin price instead of their market cap. To make this easy to get.
If I decide because the sky is blue to make my coin supply 100 Trillion FoolCoins with a price of $0.001 and there is another WiseCoin with a supply of 100 Million and price of $1 then FoolCoins are more expensive. - Alex Fin's Cap Law
This is done usually in the stock world and it means that each company has some fundamental value that includes it's assets, customers, growth prospects, sector prospects and leadership competence but mostly centered in financial measures such as P/E ratios etc. Valuation is a proper economic discipline by itself taught in universities. OK, now throw everything out of the window!. This kind of analysis is impossible in vague concepts and innovations that are currently cryptocurrencies. Ethereum was frequently priced at the fictional price of gas when all financial systems on earth run on the platform after decades (a bit of exaggeration here). No project is currently profitable enough to justify a valuation multiple that is usually equal to P/E in the thousands or more. As such we need to take other things into account. What I do is included in the list below:
Check Github. You need to make sure there is active development for the platform and it's a very bad sign if the project is either keeping the code closed source or even worse there is simply no development. No projects are "complete".
Check Website. If the website is written in bad English the Chinese google translate type it means that they are not serious enough to produce an unbreakable decentralized project. If you can't write English you can't change the world, period. That's a deal breaker.
Check Team's Linkedin. Numerous projects have either fake Linkedin accounts or the team is comprised mainly by unexperienced employees that are even shown to be working in other companies currently.
Check backers. Projects that have Binance, Coinbase or Silicon Valley VC funds backing them are way more legit but way more overpriced too!
One of my favorite ways to value altcoins that is based on the same principle in the stock market is to look at peers and decide what is the maximum cap it can grow to. As an example you take a second layer Ethereum solution that has an ICO and you want to decide if you will enter or not. You can take a look at other coins that are in the same business and compare their market caps. Thinking that your coin will outperform by a lot the top coins currently is overly optimistic so I usually take a lower valuation as a target price. If the initial offering is directly implying a valuation that is more than that then there is no room to grow according to my analysis and I skip it. Many times this has proven me wrong because it's a game theory problem where if many people think irrationally in a market it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But since there is opportunity cost involved, in the long run, getting in initial offerings that have a lot of room to grow will pay off as a strategy.
In 2017 the sexiest sector was platforms and then coins including privacy ones. Platforms are obviously still a highly rated sector because everything is being built on them, but privacy is not as hot as it used to be. In 2018 DEXes were all they hype but still people are massively using centralized exchanges. In 2020 Defi is the hottest sector and it includes platforms, oracles and Defi projects. What I am saying is that a project gets extra points if it's a Defi one in 2020 and minus points if it's a payment system that will conquer the world as it was in 2017 because that's old news. This is closely related to the next section.
Needless to say that the crypto market is a worse FOMO type of inexperienced trigger happy yolo investors , much worse than the Robinhood crowd that drove a bankrupt company's stock 1200% after they declared bankruptcy. The result is that there are numerous projects that are basically either vaporware or just so overhyped that their valuation has no connection to reality. Should we avoid those kind of projects? No and I will explain why. There are many very good technically projects that had zero hype potential due to incompetent marketing departments that made them tank. An example (without shilling because I sold out a while back) is Quantum Resistant Ledger. This project has amazing quantum resistant blockchain, the only one running now, has a platform that people can build tokens and messaging systems and other magnificent stuff. Just check how they fared up to now and you will get the point. A project *needs* to have a hype factor because you cannot judge it as normal stocks that you can do value investing like Warren Buffet does where a company will inevitable post sales and profitability numbers and investors will get dividends. Actually the last sentence is the most important: No dividends. Even projects that give you tokens or coins as dividends are not real dividends because if the coin tanks the value of the dividend tanks. This is NOT the case with company stocks where you get dollars even if the company stock tanks. All that being said, I would advice against betting on projects that have a lot of hype but little substance (but that should be obvious!).
How to construct your portfolio
My strategy and philosophy in investing is that risk should be proportional to investment capital. That means that if you are investing 100K in the crypto market your portfolio should be very different than someone investing 1K because 10% annual gains are nothing in the latter while they are very significant in the former. Starting from this principle each individual needs to construct a portfolio according to how much risk he wants to take. I will emphasize two important concepts that play well with what I said. In the first instance of a big portfolio you should concentrate on this mantra: "Diversification is the only free meal in finance". In the case of a small portfolio then this mantra is more important: "Concentrate to create wealth, diversify to maintain wealth". Usually in a big portfolio you would want to hold some big coins such as BTC and ETH to weather the ups and downs explained in previous paragraphs while generating profits and keep progressively smaller parts of your portfolio for riskier investments. Maybe 50% of this portfolio could be big caps and 10% very risky initial offerings. Adapting risk progressively to smaller portfolios makes sense but I think it would be irrational to keep more than 30% of a portfolio no matter what tied to one coin due to the very high risk of bankruptcy.
The altseason is supposedly coming every 3 months. Truth is that nobody can predict it but altcoins can be profitable no matter what. Forget about maximalists who are stuck in their dogmas. Altcoins deliver different value propositions and it makes sense because we are very far from a situation where some project offers everything like Amazon and we wouldn't even want that in the first place since we are talking about decentralization and not a winner takes all and becomes a monster kind of scenario! Some last minute advice:
Stay out of paid telegram/discord pump groups. They are deadly for your wallet.
Avoid jumping on overhyped coins that have pumped massively during the last days without any very important news.
Don't keep coins in obscure exchanges for too long or you will get burned with certainty.
Stop thinking that your coin will 1000x and overtake Bitcoin!
P.S If you find value in reading this and want more weekly consider subscribing to my newsletterhere
https://federationofglobalmerchants.com/2020/08/14/gold-and-silver-where-do-they-go-from-here/ Investors know by now that one of the leading indicators of an unstable and unpredictable stock market is a surge in the price of precious metals like gold and silver. In February, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the markets officially entered a recession, even though just months later several of the major indices have reached all-time highs. It was a brief dip into recessionary territory, but this sort of volatility is what gives investors hesitation in putting their money into the stock market, rather than something that is perceived to be more stable. Gold future contracts are selling well above $2000 per ounce for the rest of 2020 and well into 2021 as well showing that investors are confident that gold will continue to rise in price. Silver is also surging reaching new all-time highs on a daily basis. So investors may be curious as to how to get into this red-hot market, especially as the markets continue to fluctuate. Gold: For centuries now gold has been literally the ‘gold-standard’ of currency and wealth. Dating back all the way to around 40,000 B.C. in Spanish caves, gold is a naturally occurring element that has both fascinated and lured people for as long as barter systems and wealth has been recorded. Currently, gold is enjoying its highest valuations in history as investors flock to the stability of the precious metal through various streams. So what is the allure of gold and why is it so stable? Warren Buffett once said, “Gold is a way of going long on fear.” That is quite a statement from perhaps the greatest investment mind of our generation. But what does this mean for the novice investor? Even the most successful blue-chip stocks can crash. Obviously the more prominent and profitable companies with mega market caps will not crash as easily as smaller companies, but given the volatility of the pandemic, we can see anything happen. But as stock markets fluctuate on a daily basis, the price of gold remains mostly stoic. Not as manipulatable as stock prices, gold is as steady as it gets for investors. What makes gold so stable? It is a combination of factors, first and foremost, it is a physical and tangible element which makes it possible for people to store and stockpile. It does not corrode or wear down over time, making it durable and ensuring that the value remains. There is also a finite supply of it in the world. This reinforces that it will always keep a certain level of valuation as the supply is kept in check. Today, as the Federal Reserve tries desperately to pump money into the American economy to stave off a global recession and keep companies afloat. Printing more American dollars helps in the interim, but it is a temporary band-aid for the bigger problem. As more of the dollar gets created the more it gets devalued as a form of currency. This is another reason why gold is skyrocketing. The two valuations always work inversely to each other, so as the greenback continues to plummet, the price of gold will continue to surge which makes perfect sense if one thinks about it. The value of gold is priced in American dollars per ounce, so if the value of an American dollar retreats, the cost of gold will rise in response. So how can investors take advantage of the current state of gold? In the age of internet investing, there are plenty of ways to invest in gold or anything in that matter. Most American platforms give inventors the ability to buy fractional shares of companies. While this comes in handy for expensive stocks like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), or Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), it also allows investors to diversify their funds across multiple companies to form a basket approach to an industry. There are also plenty of ETFs or Exchange Traded Funds, available for investors to consider. These funds have the diversification of a mutual fund or index fund, but trade like individual stocks. Here’s a few of the better gold ETFs to consider if you are looking to get into the industry:
IAU – iShares Gold Trust: One of the better known gold ETFs out there, iSHARES is a reputable brand with great overall market performance. The fund has returned over 17% to inventors already this year, and with the price of gold projected to continue to rise, this fund should keep delivering for investors into next year.
DGL – Invesco DB Gold Fund: Another well known and reputable ETF, the Invesco Gold Fund has slightly higher fees than iSHARES but has also had a slightly better return so far this year.
IAUF – iShares Gold Strategy ETF: Another iSHARES ETF, this one has parts of IAU, as well as gold futures contracts, to get a long term forecast of the price of gold so the investor gets exposure to a wider range of gold options.
There are dozens of other ETFs available for investors that cover everything from miners to the finished products. Mining company stocks are another great way to get exposure. As the demand for gold increases, these mining companies should see a rise in their revenues and eventually, their profits as well. These changes will be reflected in their stock prices and we have already seen some of this already this year.
ABX – Barrick Gold: One of the largest gold mining companies in the world, this Canadian company has seen healthy gains in their stock price so far in 2020. Over the last 52 weeks, Barrick investors have enjoyed a 131% increase in stock price. With mining projects ongoing in Canada, America, Australia, South America, and Africa, Barrick has already announced that it is on track to achieve guidance this year despite closures from COVID-19.
FNV – Franco-Nevada Gold: This stock price rose almost 15% in July alone. Franco-Nevada operates as a funding company to gold mining companies, rather than actually doing the mining themselves. Sustainalytics, a guidance and analysis company, rated Franco-Nevada number one amongst 104 precious metal companies.
NEM – Newmont Goldcorp: The largest gold stock by market-cap and the only stock to trade on the S&P 500, Newmont is probably the safest company for gold investors to invest in. On top of steady returns and low volatility in the stock price, the company pays a fairly healthy dividend as well.
With gold at all-time highs, we can begin to question how high the precious metal may go. With a second wave of the coronavirus making its way around some parts of the world, and America, still making its way through their initial wave, the uncertainty that exists in today’s markets may continue into 2021. Some Wall Street analysts have forecast gold to rise as high as $10,000 per ounce, but that seems like a little ambitious. Gold has just recently hit all-time highs at $2000 per ounce and to imagine that it can run up another 500% in the next few years seems far-fetched at this point in time. That would require the markets to enter an extended bear-market, which of course is possible after a decade of a bullish run, but it would also require the American dollar to continue to be further devalued. Gold is pegged to continue to rise for the rest of this year though and well into 2021. That means investors and analysts are foreseeing a further devaluation of the American greenback as well as continued volatility in the markets and economy. Is gold a safe haven? Some people believe it is, but if you are an investor that enjoys high returns over long periods of time, investing in precious metals may not be for you. Investors love the stability of gold but the returns are never astronomical, with the last few months being an exception. It helps to have a portion of your portfolio dedicated to precious metals to diversify and protect you from any sudden market corrections, but investors should not be looking at gold as a short-term way to get wealthy. Silver: The other precious metal that has been flying sky-high of recent months is silver, the eternal younger brother to gold. Mined from silver-ore, it is a highly malleable metal that was once valued higher than gold by the Ancient Egyptians. Today, it is relatively low in price per ounce compared to gold, reaching all-time highs recently of just under $30 per ounce. Silver is another stable alternative to gold, and at lower prices, it may be a little more affordable for the novice investor to jump into. Like with gold, silver has an inverse relationship to the American dollar, and to all currencies in general. Again, this is another reason why silver is hitting all-time highs right now, with silver future contracts predicting a steady rise to mirror gold, well into 2021. There is also something that Wall Street calls the gold silver ratio, which is exactly what it sounds like: the ratio of the price of gold per ounce to the price of silver per ounce. This ratio has historically moved together, which makes logical sense if both precious metals are independently moving inverse to paper currencies. Historically, the gold and silver prices do move together though as the general ratio has been in the range of 17:1 to 20:1. Silver also has numerous ways for investors to get involved in, including silver mining and production companies, as well as the ever popular silver ETFs. These Exchange Traded Funds have gained popularity amongst retail investors in recent years as a way of purchasing a diversified product as a single equity with low costs, and no trading fees if your platform allows it. Here are a few of the better performing silver ETFs that investors can look into adding to their portfolios if they are interested in the precious metal:
SLV – iShares Silver Trust: Probably one of the better known silver ETFs, this is fully backed by silver bullion and coins held in a vault. While usually fairly steady, this ETF has enjoyed a 52-week increase of 152% with much of that coming in the last few months.
SIVR – Aberdeen Standard Physical Silver Shares ETF: Very similar to SLV but with lower fees, this is an ideal fund for novice and experienced investors to get into as they start to diversify their portfolios.
DBS – Invesco DB Silver Fund: Again another stable ETF for investors to get into, and another good performing one as well. Just as with their gold ETF, Invsco focuses on silver futures contracts for this fund, so it is a nice long-term play if investors are bullish on silver.
Just as with gold, investors can get a slice of the silver pie by buying shares of silver mining companies as well. Here are a few of the top silver mining company stocks that investors can look into adding to their portfolios.
PAAS – Pan American Silver Corp.: This Canada based miner is focussed on the exploration, development, extraction, refining, processing, and reclamation of silver. They operate mines in Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, and are developing more as well for the future.
WPM – Wheaton Precious Metals: Another Canadian based company that deals with miners of gold, silver, palladium, and cobalt. Wheaton is not a direct miner, rather they purchase these precious metals from other mining companies.
AG – First Majestic Silver Corp.: Canadian companies seem to be dominating the silver industry, and First Majestic is another of those. This company focuses mainly in Mexico for gold and silver.
Silver may never be as popular as gold for investors to keep track of but the two precious metals move in a synchronized fashion, and both are looked upon by investors as safe havens for their money when the market is in flux. The rest of 2020 seems like a wildcard right now, with many analysts expecting a further correction to the markets at any point. There seems to be an inevitability to a market crash of some sort, whether it is as big as the one that happened back in February and March, remains to be seen. Investors are looking at the precious metal industry to hold their funds to wait out any sort of correction or crash. If this does happen, we may expect a pullback in precious metals too as investors selloff to get back into some stocks at their low levels. Such is the ebb and flow of the economy during turbulent times like the current one we are in. At the same time, what if a market correction does not happen? Will the uncertainty continue or will investors feel relatively secure in the way the markets are progressing? This could cause a reduction in the demand for silver and gold, culminating in lower prices in the future. Of course this also depends on the Federal Reserve diminishing their rate of printing paper currency to bailout the economy, which does not seem like a reality in the short-term at least. Another point of contention for investors is the ongoing economical and political tensions between China and America. The two world powers have been feuding for the past couple of months over various things, but it escalated as China social media app Tik Tok gained popularity in North America. It was alleged that TikTok was sending data and information from mobile phones back to China, though nobody is sure of their intended use of this data. Regardless, the markets have stumbled several times lately because of this. Both sides have threatened economic sanctions and the banning of certain product use in each country. The prices of silver and gold have shot up as the tensions have escalated between the two governments, as investors flock to the precious metals. Many of the biggest companies on the major stock indices rely on China for materials or production, so any sort of breakdown in supply chains could cause an enormous change to their stock prices. An example of this is a sudden 5% correction in the price of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), as it was thought that iPhone sales would decline if China’s chat platform WeChat was banned in America. There are other factors that may have an effect on gold and silver prices as well. In this modern economy, many of the retail investors have trended towards younger adults with a sudden influx of income. Popular platforms such as Robinhood combined with increased time at home during the quarantine, have caused retail investor usage to skyrocket during the pandemic. Many of these investors are more lured in by the shiny new objects of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Perhaps we will start thinking of these cryptocurrencies as a modern day version of precious metals one day, as many investors and some analysts, believe that Bitcoin may be a safe haven in the future. Already, the price of Bitcoin has risen above $12,000 in August, mirroring the highs of gold and silver. If the demand for Bitcoin rises higher than the demand for precious metals, we may see an investor migration to cryptocurrencies rather than tangible metals. Conclusion: Gold and silver are staples of our global economy, and will continue to be so as long as the demand for precious metals exists. In times of uncertainty, gold and silver are viewed as safe relative to the volatility of the stock market. Sure, their prices can vary as well, but because they are tied to a less dynamic valuation that is based on an inverse relation to paper currency, their prices will not and can not fluctuate as much as the liquidity of individual stocks. As long as the world remains in flux, there will be a general feeling of instability, especially for global markets. A second wave of COVID-19 in the third or fourth quarter of 2020 could prove to be enough to push the markets over the edge and into another recession. The bull market has been rallying for over a decade now, with astronomical gains over the last few years, especially for sectors like the big tech FAANG stocks. Another factor to consider is what a Biden government could bring to the world if he is elected over President Donald Trump in October. A new government could ease some of the tensions with China, as well as within America itself. These are all big what ifs, and could all have potential impacts on the economy and the world. As long as all of these factors are up in the air, investors will be looking to gold and silver as ways of stabilizing their portfolios and protecting their finances from a potential market crash in the future.
You made it! :) First up, SORRY! This has been a late post, I have my reasons don't question them (if you must know I'll be posting in the discord - one time only haha). Secondly, I am sure you can agree with me when I say "Wow!" What an incredible week it has been. Last week I thought it was going to take a couple more weeks for more moving price action when it had only taken a few days which has seen Bitcoin reach and pass the $10,000 region. We have also seen the total Market cap for cryptocurrencies increase from about 280B to over 300B (308B at time of writing) within just a few days. A huge injection of liquidity, about 40B, into the market and just to name a few of the best rises in the top 20 (on Coinmarketcap.com), the price of ETH BTC ADA have given good performances/positive responses (With this I will start adding screenshots at the end of each week for timestamp purposes). This may be a combination from Binance, Mastercard, Paypal, Grayscale investments, VISA AND the DEFI sector. Let me explain... Last week we read about Binance integrating with the company Swipe (SXP) to issue there own debit card expanding the use and reach of cryptocurrency to 31 countries within Europe. Binance's Q2 scheduled token burn of $60.5 Million, this figure correlates with its exchange, margin and futures trading platforms where approximately 20% of profits get burned to increase the price of BNB token (careful as the price has been steady after the burn). This week we find out Mastercard's expansion into the Cryptosphere as they expand and integrate with the Wirex team to issue a Mastercard-backed Bitcoin debit card, thus further extending the reach of cryptocurrency availability internationally. "The cryptocurrency market continues to mature and Mastercard is driving it forward, creating safe and secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy " "...Our work with Wirex and the wider crypto ecosystem is accelerating innovation and empowering consumers with more choice in the way they pay" Mastercard is also reaching out to other emerging cryptocurrency firms to apply to become principal members [Partners] with Mastercard as they have relaxed their digital assets program and look to expand into the Digital Assets and Blockchain environment. Paypals expression of interest in cryptocurrency facilitiation may bear fruits as it is said Paypal has partnered up with stablecoin operator Paxos (who is already in partnership with Revolut in the US) to facilitate trading through a cryptocurrency brokerage which will enable other firms to integrate cryptocurrency trading functionalities with them. In my opinion this looks much more promising than the Libra association they pulled out from last October as regulations. Grayscale Investments clears regulatory hurdle as they have been given the green light for its Bitcoin Cash Trust (BCHG) and Litecoin Trust (LTCN) to be quoted in over-the-counter (OTC) markets by US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). “The Trusts are open-ended trusts sponsored by Grayscale and are intended to enable exposure to the price movement of the Trusts’ underlying assets through a traditional investment vehicle, avoiding the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping digital Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin directly.” More green lights for Cryptocurrency in the US as regulators allow banks to provide cryptocurrency custody services (which may go further than just custody services). A little bit strange as it seems unnecessary and undermines one of the key factors and uses of cryptocurrency which is to be in complete control of your own finances... On another outlook this may be bullish as it allows US banks to provide banking services directly to lawful cryptocurrency businesses and show support for Bitcoin. Visa shows support stating they have a roadmap for their further expansion into the Crypto sphere. Already working with Crypto platform Coinbase and Fold they have stated they recognise the role of digital assets in the future of money. To be frank, it appears to be focused on stable coins, cost effectiveness and transaction speeds. However they are expanding their support for crypto assets. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, DeFI! Our very own growing section in crypto. Just like the 2017 ICO boom we are seeing exorbitant growth and FOMO into the Decentralised Finance sector (WBTC, Stablecoins, Yield farming, DEXs etc). The amount of active addresses on Ethereum has doubled but with the FOMO on their network have sky rocketed their fees! Large use-cases of stable coins such as USDT ($6B in circulation using ERC-20 standard), DAI, TUSD, and PAX. $114M Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) on their network acts as a fluid side chain for Bitcoin and DEX trade volume has touched $1.6B this month. With all this action happening on Ethereum I saw the 24HR volume surpass BTC briefly on Worldcoinindex.com In other news, Bitcoin has been set as a new precedent in a US federal court in a case against Larry Dean Harmon, the operator of an underground trading platform Helix. Bitcoin has now legally been ruled as a form of money. “After examination of the relevant statutes, case law, and other sources, the Court concludes that bitcoin is money under the MTA and that Helix, as described in the indictment, was an `unlicensed money transmitting business´ under applicable federal law.” Quick news in China/Asia as floods threaten miners and the most dominant ASIC Bitcoin mining rig manufacturer Bitmain loses 10,000 Antminers worth millions alledgedly goes missing or "illegally transfered" with ongoing leadership dispute between cofounders. Last but not least, Cardano (ADA) upgrade Shelley is ready to launch! Hardfork is initiated as final countdown clock is switched on. At time of writing the point of no return has been reached, stress tests done and confirmation Hardfork is coming 29/07 The Shelley Mainnet upgrade is a step toward fast, capable and decentralised crypto that can serve billions of people. With the Shelley Mainnet is ADA staking rewards and pools! Here is a chance for us Gravychainers to set up a small pool of our own. Small percentage of profits going into the development of the community, and you keep the rest! If you read all of my ramblings thanks heaps! I appreciate it! I have added an extra piece of reading called speculation. Most you can speculate on by just reading the headline some others have more depth to them. Another post next week for a weekly round up! Where do you think the market is going? What is in your portfolio? Let us know in the Gravychain Discord Channel See you soon!
🍕 Bring some virtual pizza to share 🍕 Come have a chat, stimulate a discussion, ask a question or share some knowledge. We are all friendly crypto enthusiasts up for a chat, supportive and want to help each other with knowledge and investments! Big thanks to our Telegram and My Crypto HQ for the constant news updates!
P.S. Dr Seuss collectables on the blockchain HECK YEAH! and Bitcoin enters NASCAR, remember when Doge did this? it was like when Doge was trending on TikTok. ... Oh yeah did I also mention Steve Wozniak is suing Youtube, Google over rampant Bitcoin scams. Wait, what? Sydney based law firm JPB Liberty is suing Google, Facebook and Twitter for up to $300B. Just another day in the Cryptosphere.
Why we won't have a long term bear market, and how to systematically pick your future investments in crypto
With so much uncertainty right now it would be a good time to take some time to go over what happened recently and how to invest moving foward. We've seen a peak bubble at around 850 billion total market cap in the first week of January, consolidated down to $750 billion and have now just experienced a 40% correction.
What's happening now and how bad will it get?
First of all you should realize that there is a January Dip that happens every year, when we see a roughly 20-30% decline around mid January. This year its been much more severe though for several additional factors that have compounded on top. Different theories exist on why this happens (its actually the mirror opposite of the "January Effect" that happens in the US stock market), but the two major theories are: 1) Asian markets pull into fiat because of Asian New Year spending needs 2) People in the US sell in January to defer their capital gains tax liability an extra year While this cyclic event has lead to a healthy correction in the last few years, this year we got these new factors making more fear as well:
We had a new breed of speculators come in during the NovembeDecember timeframe after media made cryptocurrency mainstream following the Bitcoin 10K landmark. While cryptocurrency markets have always had too much hype, the latest rise wasn't just over-enthusiasm in fundamentally sound cryptocurrencies like Monero and Ethereum, but mass inflows of fiat into vaporware and complete nonsense without any use case. Many people came in to essentially gamble on symbols on an exchange, and are thus short term oriented and quick to sell on any slight downturn, which such further adds to selling pressure.
So in essence we got a storm of scary news along with the usual cyclic downturn. Currently I don't see this as being a systematic crash like Mt.Gox was that would lead to a long term bear market because the fundamental ecosystem is still intact, and I suspect that after about a month we should consolidate around a new low. All the exchanges are still operational and liquid, and there is no breakdown in trust nor uncertainty whether you'll be able to cash out. What range the market trades in will all depend how Bitcoin does, right now we've already broken below 10K but I'm seeing a lot of support at around $8000, which is roughly where the long term MA curve settles. We don't know how bad it will get or what the future will bring, but as of right now we shouldn't be in a bear market yet. What should you do if you recently entered the market? If you did buy in the last few months at or near ATH, the very worst thing you can do now is sell in panic and lose your principal. You shouldn't have more money in crypto than you can afford to lose, so it shouldn't be a problem to wait. You have to realize that 30% corrections in crypto are relatively common, just last fall we had a 40% flash correction over more China fears. Unless there is a systematic breakdown like we had during Mt.Gox, the market always recovers. The other worst thing you can do is unload into Tether as your safety net. If there is one thing that could actually cause a long term destruction of trust within the cryptocurrency investment ecosystem, its Tether having a run up on their liabilities and not having enough reserve to cover the leverage. It would not only bring down exchanges but lead to years of litigation and endless media headlines that will scare off everybody from putting fiat in. I don't know when the next Mt.Gox meltdown will occur but I can almost guarantee it will involve Tether. So stay away from it. What should long term investors do? For long term holders a good strategy to follow each year is to capture profit each December and swallow the capital gains taxation liability, park a reserve of fiat at Gemini (whose US dollar deposits are FDIC-insured) and simply wait till around late January to early February to re-enter the market at a discount and hold all year until next December. You can keep a small amount in core coins in order to trade around various Q1 opportunities you anticipate. Others may choose to simply do nothing and just keep holding throughout January which is also a perfectly fine strategy. The cyclical correction usually stabilizes toward late January and early February, then we see a rise in March and generally are recovered by end of April. Obviously this decision whether to sell in December to profit on the dip and pay tax liability or to just hold will depend on your individual tax situation. Do your own math sometime in November and follow suit. Essentially revaluate your positions and trim your position sizes if you don't feel comfortable with the losses.
How to construct your portfolio going forward
Rather than seeing the correction as a disaster see it as a time to start fresh. If you have been FOMO-ing into bad cryptos and losing money now is a time to start a systematic long term approach to investing rather than gambling. Follow a methodology for evaluating each cryptocurrency Memes and lambo dreams are fun and all, but I know many of you are investing thousands of dollars into crypto, so its worth it to put some organized thought into it as well. I can't stress enough how important it is to try and logically contruct your investment decisions. If you follow a set methodology, a checklist and template you will be able to do relative comparisons between cryptocurrencies, to force yourself to consider the negatives and alternative scenarios and also sleep comfortably knowing you have a sound basis for your investment decisions (even if they turn out to be wrong). There is no ideal or "correct" methodology but I can outline mine: 1) Initial information gathering and filtering Once I identify something that looks like a good potential investment, I first go to the CoinMarketCap page for that symbol and look at the website and blockchain explorer.
Critically evaluate the website. This is the first pass of the bullshit detector and you can tell from a lot from just the website whether its a scam. If it uses terms like "Web 4.0" or other nonsensical buzzwords, if its unprofessional and has anonymous teams, stay away. Always look for a roadmap, compare to what was actually delivered so far. Always check the team, try to find them on LinkedIn and what they did in the past.
Read the whitepaper or business development plan. You should fully understand how this crypto functions and how its trying to create value. If there is no use case or if the use case does not require or benefit from a blockchain, move on. Look for red flags like massive portions of the float being assigned to the founders of the coin, vague definition of who would use the coin, anonymous teams, promises of large payouts...etc
Check the blockchain explorer. How is the token distribution across accounts? Are the big accounts holding or selling? Which account is likely the foundation account, which is the founders account?
Read the subreddit and blogs for the cryptocurrency and also evaluate the community. Try to figure out exactly what the potential use cases are and look for sceptical takes. Look at the Github repos, does it look empty or is there plenty of activity?
2) Fill out an Investment Checklist I have a checklist of questions that I find important and as I'm researching a crypto I save little snippets in Evernote of things that are relevant to answering those questions:
What is the problem or transactional inefficiency the coin is trying to solve?
What is the Dev Team like? What is their track record? How are they funded, organized?
Who is their competition and how big is the market they're targeting? What is the roadmap they created?
What current product exists?
How does the token/coin actually derive value for the holder? Is there a staking mechanism or is it transactional?
What are the weaknesses or problems with this crypto?
3) Create some sort of consistent valuation model/framework, even if its simple I have a background in finance so I like to do Excel modeling. For those who are interested in that, this article is a great start and also Chris Burniske has a great blog about using Quantity Theory of Money to build an equivalent of a DCF analysis for crypto. Here is an Excel file example of OMG done using his model. You can download this and play around with it yourself, see how the formulas link and understand the logic. Once you have a model set up the way you like in Excel you can simply alter it to account for various float oustanding schedule and market items that are unique to your crypto, and then just start plugging in different assumptions. Think about what is the true derivation of value for the coin, is it a "dividend" coin that you stake within a digital economy and collect fees or is it a currency? Use a realistic monetary velocity (around 5-10 for currency and around 1-2 for staking) and for the discount rate use at least 3x the long term return of a diversified equity fund. The benefit is that this forces you to think about what actually makes this coin valuable to an actual user within the digital economy its participating in and force you to think about the assumptions you are making about the future. Do your assumptions make sense? What would the assumptions have to be to justify its current price? You can create different scenarios in a matrix (optimistic vs. pessimistic) based on different assumptions for risk (discount rate) and implementation (adoption rates). If you don't understand the above thats perfectly fine, you don't need to get into full modeling or have a financial background. Even a simple model that just tries to derive a valuation through relative terms will put you above most crypto investors. Some simple valuation methods that anyone can do
Metcalfe's Law which states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). So you can compare various currencies based on their market cap and square of active users or traffic.
Another easy one is simply looking at the total market for the industry that the coin is supposedly targeting and comparing it to the market cap of the coin. Think of the market cap not only with circulating supply like its shown on CMC but including total supply. For example the total supply for Dentacoin is 1,841,395,638,392, and when multiplied by its price in early January we get a market cap that is actually higher than the entire industry it aims to disrupt: Dentistry.
If its meant to be just used as just a currency: Take a look at the circulating supply and look at the amount that is in cold storage or set to be released/burned. Most cryptos are deflationary so think about how the float schedule will change over time and how this will affect price.
Once you have a model you like set up, you can compare cryptos against each other and most importantly it will require that you build a mental framework within your own mind on why somebody would want to own this coin other than to sell it to another greater fool for a higher price. Modeling out a valuation will lead you to think long term and think about the inherent value, rather than price action. Once you go through this 3-step methodology, you'll have a pretty good confidence level for making your decision and can comfortably sit back and not panic if some temporary short term condition leads to a price decrease. This is how "smart money" does it. Think about your portfolio allocation You should think first in broad terms how you allocate between "safe" and "speculative" cryptos. For new investors its best to keep a substantial portion in what would be considered largecap safe cryptos, primarily BTC, ETH, LTC. I personally consider XMR to be safe as well. A good starting point is to have between 50-70% of your portfolio in these safe cryptocurrencies. As you become more confident and informed you can move your allocation into speculative small caps. You should also think in terms of segments and how much of your total portfolio is in each segment:
You should also think about where we are in the cycle, as now given so much uncertaintly its probably best to stay heavily in core holdings and pick up a few coins within a segment you understand well. If you don't understand how enterprise solutions work or how the value chain is built through corporations, don't invest in the enteprise blockchain solutions segment. If you are a technie who loves the technology behind Cardano or IOTA, invest in that segment. Think of your "circle of competence" This is actually a term Buffet came up with, it refers to your body of knowledge that allows you to evaluate an investment. Think about what you know best and consider investing in those type of coins. If you don't know anything about how supply chains functions, how can you competently judge whether VeChain or WaltonChain will achieve adoption? This where your portfolio allocation also comes into play. You should diversify but really shouldn't be in much more than around 12 cryptos, because you simply don't have enough competency to accurately access the risk across every segment and for every type of crypto you come across. If you had over 20 different cryptos in your portfolio you should probably think about consolidating to a few sectors you understand well. Continually educate yourself about the technology and markets If you aren't already doing it: Read a bit each day about cryptocurrencies. There are decent Youtubers that talk about the market side of crypto, just avoid those that hype specific coins and look for more sceptical ones like CryptoInvestor. If you don't understand how the technology works and what the benefits of a blockchain are or how POS/POW works or what a DAG is or how mining actually works, learn first. If you don't care about the technology or find reading about it tedious, you shouldn't invest in this space at all.
Summing it up
I predicted a few days ago that we would have a major correction in 2018 specifically in the altcoins that saw massive gains in Decemebeearly January, and it seems we've already had a pretty big one. I don't think we'll have a complete meltdown like some are predicting, but some more pain may be incoming. Basically take this time to think about how you can improve your investment style and strategy. Make a commitment to value things rather than chasing FOMO, and take your time to make a decision. Long term investment will grant you much more returns as will a systematic approach. Take care and have fun investing :) Edit March 2018: Lol looking back I'm regretting starting the title with "Why we won't have a long term bear market" now, I was more karma whoring with that catchy title than anything. We recovered up to 11K from this post, but then crashed again hard later in February-March because of a slew of reasons from Tether subpeona to unforseen regulatory issues.
Want to start fresh after the crypto crash? Here is a comprehensive guide on how to invest and prosper over the long term.
Well its happened, the crypto market just experienced the worst crash since 2014, the bubble has burst. The idiocy of newbies FOMO-ing into anything with low nominal value lead to endless twitter timelines like this, and now nobody has any idea where the market settles. What do you do now? In the following weeks it will be a good time to rethink your investment approach and how you arrive at your decisions. Just buying whatever is shilled on Twitter or Reddit and jumping from one crypto to another isn't going to work like it did these last two months. The good news is that we're finally back closer and closer to our long term moving average which is much more healthy for entrants, the bad news is that the fear might continue compounding if outstanding issues are not dealt with. Tether is the big concern for me personally for reasons I've stated many times, but some relief in the short term may come if the SEC and CFTC meeting on February 6th goes well. Nobody really knows where the bottom is but I think we're now past the "irrational exhuberance" stage and we're entering a period of more serious inspection where cryptos will actually have to prove themselves as useful. I suspect hype artists like CryptoNick and John McAfee will fall out of favor. But perhaps most importantly use this as a learning experience, don't try to point fingers now. The type of dumb behavior that people were engaging in that was rewarded in a bull market (chasing pumps, going all in on a shillcoin, following hype..etc) could only ever lead to what we are experiencing now. Just like so many people jumped on the crypto bandwagon during the bull run, they will just as quickly jump on whatever bandwagon is to be used to blame for the deflation of the bubble. Nobody who pumped money into garbage without any use case will accept that they themselves with their own investing behavior were the real reason for the gross overvaluation of most cryptocurrencies, and the inevitable crash. So if you're looking for a fresh start after the massacre (or just want to get in now), here is a guide:
Part A: Making a Investment Strategy
This is your money, put some effort into investing it with an actual strategy. Some simple yet essential advice that should apply to everyone, regardless of individual strategy:
Slow down and research each crypto that you're buying for at least a week.
Don't buy something just because it has risen.
Don't exit a position just because it has declined.
Invest only as much as you can afford to lose.
Prepare enter and exit strategies in advance.
First take some time to think about your ROI target, set your hold periods for each position and how much you are actually ready to risk losing. ROI targets A lot of young investors who are in crypto have unrealistic expectations about returns and risk. A lot of them have never invested in any other type of financial asset, and hence many seem to consider a 5-10% ROI in a month to be unexciting. But its important to temper your hype and realize why we had this exponential growth in the last year and how unlikely it is that we see 10x returns in the next year. What we saw recently was Greater Fool Theory in action. Those unexciting returns of 5-10% a month are much more of the norm, and much more healthy for an alternative investment class. You can think about setting a target in terms of the market ROI over a relevant holding period and then add or decrease based on your own risk profile. Example: Calculating a 2 year ROI target Lets say you want to hold for 2 years now, how could you set a realistic target to strive for? You could look at a historical 2 year return as a base, preferably during a period similar to what we're facing now. Now that we had a major correction, I think we can look at the two year period starting in 2015 after we had the 2014 crash. To calculate a 2 year CAGR starting in 2015:
Total Crypto Market Cap
Jan 1, 2015:
Jan 1, 2017:
Compounded annual growth return (CAGR): [(18/5.5)1/2]-1 = 81% This annual return rate of 81% comes out to about 4.9% compounded monthly. This may not sound exciting to the lambo moon crowd, but it will keep you grounded in reality. You can aim for a higher return (say 2x of that 81% rate) if you choose to take on more risky propositions. I can't tell you what return target you should set for yourself, but just make sure its not depended on you needing to achieve continual near vertical parabolic price action in small cap shillcoins because that isn't sustainable. Once you have a target you can construct your risk profile (low risk vs. high risk category coins) in your portfolio based on your target. Risk Management Everything you buy in crypto is risky, but it still helps to think of these 3 risk categories:
Core holdings - This is the exchange pairing cryptos and those that are well established. These are almost sure to be around in 5 years, and will recover after any bear market. The Coinbase pairs (Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum) are in this class of risk, and I would also argue Monero.
Medium Risk Speculative - These would be cryptos which generally have a working product and niche, but higher risk than Core. Things like ZCash and Ripple, relatively established history but still uncertainty over long term viability.
High Risk Speculative - This is anything created within the last few months, ICOs, low caps, shillcoins...etc. Most cryptos are in this category.
How much risk should you take on? That depends on your own life situation for one, but also it should be proportional to how much expertise you have in both financial analysis and technology. The general starting point I would recommend is:
50-70% for newbies in Low Risk Core, then you can go down to 30% as you gains confidence and experience
Always try to keep at least a 1/3rd in safe core positions
Don't go all in on speculative picks.
Some more core principles on risk management to consider:
Diversify across sectors and rebalance your allocations periodically.
Consider using dollar cost averaging to enter a position. This generally means investing a X amount over several periods, instead of at once. You can also use downward biased dollar cost averaging to mitigate against downward risk. For example instead of investing $1000 at once in a position at market price, you can buy $500 at the market price today then set several limit orders at slightly lower intervals (for example $250 at 5% lower than market price, $250 at 10% lower than market price). This way your average cost of acquisition will be lower if the crypto happens to decline over the short term.
Don't have more than 5-10% of your net worth in crypto.
Have the majority of your holdings in things you feel good holding for at least 2 years. Don't use the majority of your investment for day trading or short term investing.
Remember you didn't actually make any money until you take some profits, so take do some profits when everyone else is at peak FOMO-ing mode.
Have some fiat in reserve at a FDIC-insured exchange (ex. Gemini), and be ready to add to your winning positions on a pullback. This should be part of your entry strategy.
Consider what level of loss you can't accept in a position with a high risk factor, and use stop-limit orders to hedge against sudden crashes. Set you stop price at about 5-10% above your lowest limit. Stop-limit orders aren't perfect but they're better than having no hedging strategy for a risky microcap in case of some meltdown. Only you can determine what bags you are unwilling to hold.
You can think of each crypto having a risk factor that is the summation of the general crypto market risk (Rm), but also its own inherent risk specific to its own goals (Ri). Rt = Rm +Ri The market risk is something you cannot avoid, it is essentially the risk that is carried by the entire market over things like regulations. What you can minimize though the Ri, the specific risks with your crypto. That will depend on the team composition, geographic risks (for example Chinese coins like NEO carry regulatory risks specific to China), competition within the space and likelihood of adoption and other factors, which I'll describe in Part 2: Crypto Picking Methodology. Portfolio Allocation Along with thinking about your portfolio in terms of risk categories described above, I really find it helpful to think about the segments you are in. OnChainFX has some segment categorization but I generally like to bring it down to:
Think about your "Circle of Competence", your body of knowledge that allows you to evaluate an investment. Your ability to properly judge risk and potential is going to largely correlated to your understanding of the subject matter. If you don't know anything about how supply chains functions, how can you competently judge whether VeChain or WaltonChain will achieve adoption? If you don't understand anything about the tech when you read the Cardano paper, are you really able to determine how likely it is to be adopted? Consider the historic correlations between your holdings. Generally when Bitcoin pumps, altcoins dump but at what rate depends on the coin. When Bitcoin goes sideways we tend to see pumping in altcoins, while when Bitcoin goes down, everything goes down. You should diversify but really shouldn't be in much more than around 12 cryptos, because you simply don't have enough competency to accurately access the risk across every segment and for every type of crypto you come across. If you have over 20 different cryptos in your portfolio you should probably think about consolidating to a few sectors you understand well.
Part B: Crypto Picking Methodology (Due Dilligence)
Do you struggle on how to fundamentally analyze cryptocurrencies? Here is a 3-step methodology to follow to perform your due dilligence:
Step 1: Filtering and Research
There is so much out there that you can get overwhelmed. The best way to start is to think back to your own portfolio allocation strategy and what you would like to get more off. For example in my view enterprise-focused blockchain solutions will be important in the next few years, and so I look to create a list of various cryptos that are in that segment. Upfolio has brief descriptions of the top 100 cryptos and is filterable by categories, for example you can click the "Enterprise" category and you have a neat list of VEN, FCT, WTC...etc. Once you have a list of potential candidates, its time to read about them:
Critically evaluate the website. If it's a cocktail of nonsensical buzzwords, if its unprofessional and poorly made, stay away. Always look for a roadmap, compare to what was actually delivered so far. Always check the team, try to find them on LinkedIn and what they did in the past.
Read the whitepaper or business development plan. You should fully understand how this crypto functions and how its trying to create value. If there is no use case or if the use case does not require or benefit from a blockchain, move on.
Check the blockchain explorer. How is the token distribution across accounts? Are the big accounts selling? Try to figure out who the whales are (not always easy!) and what the foundation/founder account is based on the initial allocation.
Look at the Github repos, does it look empty or is there plenty of activity?
Search out the subreddit and look at a few Medium or Steem blogs about the coin. How "shilly" is the community, and how much engagement is there between developer and the community?
I would also go through the BitcoinTalk thread and Twitter mentions, judge both the length and quality of the discussion.
You can actually filter out a lot of scams and bad investments by simply keeping your eye out on the following red flags:
allocations that give way too much to the founder
guaranteed promises of returns (Bitcooonnneeeect!)
vague whitepapers filled with buzzwords
vague timelines and no clear use case
Github with no useful code and sparse activity
a team that is difficult to find information on
Step 2: Passing a potential pick through a checklist
Once you feel fairly confident that a pick is worth analyzing further, run them through a standardized checklist of questions. This is one I use, you can add other questions yourself:
Crypto Analysis Checklist
What is the problem or transactional inefficiency the coin is trying to solve?
What is the Dev Team like? What is their track record? How are they funded, organized?
How big is the market they're targeting?
Who is their competition and what does it do better?
What is the roadmap they created and how well have they kept to it?
What current product exists?
How does the token/coin actually derive value for the holder? Is there a staking mechanism or is it transactional?
Is there any new tech, and is it informational or governance based?
Can it be easily copied?
What are the weaknesses or problems with this crypto?
The last question is the most important. This is where the riskiness of your crypto is evaluated, the Ri I talked about above. Here you should be able to accurate place the crypto into one of the three risk categories. I also like to run through this checklist of blockchain benefits and consider which specific properties of the blockchain are being used by the specific crypto to provide some increased utility over the current transactional method:
Benefits of Cryptocurrency
Decentralization - no need for a third party to agree or validate transactions.
Transparency and trust - As blockchain are shared, everyone can see what transactions occur. Useful for something like an online casino.
Immutability - It is extremely difficult to change a transaction once its been put onto a blockchain
Distributed availability - The system is spread on thousands of nodes on a P2P network, so its difficult to take the system down.
Security - cryptographically secured transactions provide integrity
Simplification and consolidation - a blockchain can serve as a shared ledger in industries where multiple entities previously kept their own data sources
Quicker Settlement - In the financial industry when we're dealing with post-trade settlement, a blockchain can drastically increase the speed of verification
Cost - in some cases avoiding a third party verification would drastically reduce costs.
Step 3: Create a valuation model
You don't need to get into full modeling or have a financial background. Even a simple model that just tries to derive a valuation through relative terms will put you above most crypto investors. Some simple valuation methods that anyone can do: Probablistic Scenario Valuation This is all about thinking of scenarios and probability, a helpful exercise in itself. For example: Bill Miller, a prominent value investor, wrote a probabilistic valuation case for Bitcoin in 2015. He looked at two possible scenarios for probabalistic valuation:
becoming a store-of-value equal to gold (a $6.4 trillion value), with a .25% probability of occurring
replacing payment processors like VISA, MasterCard, etc. (a $350 million dollar value) with a 2.5% probability
Combining those scenarios would give you the total expected market cap: (0.25% x 6.4 trillion) + (2.5% x 350 million). Divide this by the outstanding supply and you have your valuation. Metcalfe's Law Metcalfe's Law which states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). So you can compare various currencies based on their market cap and square of active users or traffic. We can alter this to crypto by thinking about it in terms of both users and transactions: For example, compare the Coinbase pairs:
Daily Transactions (last 24hrs)
Active Addresses (Peak 1Yr)
Metcalfe Ratio (Transactions Based)
Metcalfe Ratio (Address Based)
Generally the higher the ratio, the higher the valuation given for each address/transaction. Market Cap to Industry comparisons Another easy one is simply looking at the total market for the industry that the coin is supposedly targeting and comparing it to the market cap of the coin. Think of the market cap not only with circulating supply like its shown on CMC but including total supply. For example the total supply for Dentacoin is 1,841,395,638,392, and when multiplied by its price in early January we get a market cap that is actually higher than the entire industry it aims to disrupt: Dentistry. More complex valuation models If you would like to get into more fleshed out models with Excel, I highly recommend Chris Burniske's blog about using Quantity Theory of Money to build an equivalent of a DCF analysis for crypto. Here is an Excel file example of OMG done by Nodar Janashia using Chris' model . You should create multiple scenarios with multiple assumptions, both positive and negative. Have a base scenario and then moderately optimistic/pessimistic and highly optimistic/pessimistic scenario. Personally I like to see at least a 50% upward potential before investing from my moderately pessimistic scenario, but you can set your own safety margin. The real beneficial thing about modelling isn't even the price or valuation comparisons it spits out, but that it forces you to think about why the coin has value and what your own assumption about the future are. For example the discount rate you apply to the net present utility formula drastically affects the valuation, and it reflects your own assumptions of how risky the crypto is. What exactly would be a reasonable discount rate? What about the digital economy you are assuming for the coin, what levers affects its size and adoption and how likely are your assumptions to come true? You'll be a drastically more intelligent investor if you think about the fundamental variables that give your coin the market cap you think it should hold.
Summing it up
The time for lambo psychosis is over. But that's no reason to feel down, this is a new day and what many were waiting for. I've put together in one place here how to construct a portfolio allocation (taking into consideration risk and return targets), and how to go through a systematic crypto picking method. I'm won't tell you what to buy, you should always decide that for yourself and DYOR. But as long as you follow a rational and thorough methodology (feel free to modify anything I said above to suit your own needs) you will feel pretty good about your investments, even in times like these. Edit: Also get a crypto prediction ferret. You won't regret it.
Which are your top 5 coins out of the top100? An analysis.
I am putting together my investment portfolio for 2018 and made a complete summary of the current Top 100. Interestingly, I noticed that all coins can be categorized into 12 markets. Which markets do you think will play the biggest role in the coming year? Here is a complete overview of all coins in an excel sheet including name, a full description, market, TPS, risk profile, time since launch (negative numbers mean that they are launching that many months in the future) and market cap. You can also sort by all of these fields of course. Coins written in bold are the strongest contenders within their market either due to having the best technology or having a small market cap and still excellent technology and potential. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1s8PHcNvvjuy848q18py_CGcu8elRGQAUIf86EYh4QZo/edit#gid=0 The 12 markets are
Currency 13 coins
Platform 25 coins
Ecosystem 9 coins
Privacy 9 coins
Currency Exchange Tool 8 coins
Gaming & Gambling 4 coins
Misc 15 coins
Social Network 4 coins
Fee Token 3 coins
Decentralized Data Storage 4 coins
Cloud Computing 2 coins
Stable Coin 3 coins
Before we look at the individual markets, we need to take a look of the overall market and its biggest issue, scalability, first: Cryptocurrencies aim to be a decentralized currency that can be used worldwide. Their goal is to replace dollar, Euro, Yen, all FIAT currencies globally. The coin that will achieve that will be worth several trillion dollars. Bitcoin can only process 7 transactions per second (TPS) currently. In order to replace all FIAT, it would need to perform at least at VISA levels, which usually processes around 3,000 TPS, up to 25,000 TPS during peak times and a maximum of 64,000 TPS. That means that this cryptocurrency would need to be able to perform at least several thousand TPS. However, a ground breaking technology should not look at current technology to set a goal for its use, i.e. estimating the number of emails sent in 1990 based on the number of faxes sent wasn’t a good estimate. For that reason, 10,000 TPS is the absolute baseline for a cryptocurrency that wants to replace FIAT. This brings me to IOTA, which wants to connect all 80 billion IoT devices that are expected to exist by 2025, which constantly communicate with each other, possibly creating 80 billion or more transactions per second. This is the benchmark that cryptocurrencies should be aiming for. Currently, 8 billion devices are connected to the Internet. With its Lightning network recently launched, Bitcoin is realistically looking at 50,000 possible TPS soon. Other notable cryptocurrencies besides IOTA and Bitcoin are Nano with 7,000 TPS already tested, Dash with several billion TPS possible with Masternodes, Neo, LISK and RHOC with 100,000 TPS by 2020, Ripple with 50,000 TPS, Ethereum with 10,000 TPS with Sharding. However, it needs to be said that scalability usually goes at the cost of decentralization and security. So, it needs to be seen, which of these technologies can prove themselves decentralized while maintaining high TPS. Without further ado, here are the coins of the first market. Each market is sorted by market cap.
Market 1 - Currency:
Bitcoin: 1st generation blockchain with currently bad scalability, though the implementation of the Lightning Network looks promising and could alleviate most scalability and high energy use concerns.
Ripple: Centralized currency that might become very successful due to tight involvement with banks and cross-border payments for financial institutions; banks and companies like Western Union and Moneygram (who they are currently working with) as customers customers. However, it seems they are aiming for more decentralization now.https://ripple.com/dev-blog/decentralization-strategy-update/. Has high TPS due to Proof of Correctness algorithm.
Bitcoin Cash: Bitcoin fork with the difference of having an 8 times bigger block size, making it 8 times more scalable than Bitcoin currently. Further block size increases are planned. Only significant difference is bigger block size while big blocks lead to further problems that don't seem to do well beyond a few thousand TPS. Opponents to a block size argue that increasing the block size limit is unimaginative, offers only temporary relief, and damages decentralization by increasing costs of participation. In order to preserve decentralization, system requirements to participate should be kept low. To understand this, consider an extreme example: very big blocks (1GB+) would require data center level resources to validate the blockchain. This would preclude all but the wealthiest individuals from participating.Community seems more open than Bitcoin's though.
Litecoin : Little brother of Bitcoin. Bitcoin fork with different mining algorithm but not much else.Copies everything that Bitcoin does pretty much. Lack of real innovation.
Dash: Dash (Digital Cash) is a fork of Bitcoin and focuses on user ease. It has very fast transactions within seconds, low fees and uses Proof of Service from Masternodes for consensus. They are currently building a system called Evolution which will allow users to send money using usernames and merchants will find it easy to integrate Dash using the API. You could say Dash is trying to be a PayPal of cryptocurrencies. Currently, cryptocurrencies must choose between decentralization, speed, scalability and can pick only 2. With Masternodes, Dash picked speed and scalability at some cost of decentralization, since with Masternodes the voting power is shifted towards Masternodes, which are run by Dash users who own the most Dash.
IOTA: 3rd generation blockchain called Tangle, which has a high scalability, no fees and instant transactions. IOTA aims to be the connective layer between all 80 billion IOT devices that are expected to be connected to the Internet in 2025, possibly creating 80 billion transactions per second or 800 billion TPS, who knows. However, it needs to be seen if the Tangle can keep up with this scalability and iron out its security issues that have not yet been completely resolved.
Nano: 3rd generation blockchain called Block Lattice with high scalability, no fees and instant transactions. Unlike IOTA, Nano only wants to be a payment processor and nothing else, for now at least. With Nano, every user has their own blockchain and has to perform a small amount of computing for each transaction, which makes Nano perform at 300 TPS with no problems and 7,000 TPS have also been tested successfully. Very promising 3rd gen technology and strong focus on only being the fastest currency without trying to be everything.
Decred: As mining operations have grown, Bitcoin’s decision-making process has become more centralized, with the largest mining companies holding large amounts of power over the Bitcoin improvement process. Decred focuses heavily on decentralization with their PoW Pos hybrid governance system to become what Bitcoin was set out to be. They will soon implement the Lightning Network to scale up. While there do not seem to be more differences to Bitcoin besides the novel hybrid consensus algorithm, which Ethereum, Aeternity and Bitcoin Atom are also implementing, the welcoming and positive Decred community and professoinal team add another level of potential to the coin.
Bitcoin Atom: Atomic Swaps and hybrid consenus. This looks like the only Bitcoin clone that actually is looking to innovate next to Bitcoin Cash.
Dogecoin: Litecoin fork, fantastic community, though lagging behind a bit in technology.
Bitcoin Gold: A bit better security than bitcoin through ASIC resistant algorithm, but that's it. Not that interesting.
Digibyte: Digibyte's PoS blockchain is spread over a 100,000+ servers, phones, computers, and nodes across the globe, aiming for the ultimate level of decentralization. DigiByte’s adoption over the past four years has been slow. The DigiByte website offers a lot of great marketing copy and buzzwords. However, there’s not much technical information about what they have planned for the future. You could say Digibyte is like Bitcoin, but with shorter blocktimes and a multi-algorithm. However, that's not really a difference big enough to truly set themselves apart from Bitcoin, since these technologies could be implemented by any blockchain without much difficulty. Their decentralization is probably their strongest asset, however, this also change quickly if the currency takes off and big miners decide to go into Digibyte.
Bitcoin Diamond Asic resistant Bitcoin and Copycat
Market 2 - Platform
Most of the cryptos here have smart contracts and allow dapps (Decentralized apps) to be build on their platform and to use their token as an exchange of value between dapp services.
Ethereum: 2nd generation blockchain that allows the use of smart contracts. Bad scalability currently, though this concern could be alleviated by the soon to be implemented Lightning Network aka the Raiden Network, Plasma and its Sharding concept.
EOS: Promising technology that wants to be able do everything, from smart contracts like Ethereum, scalability similar to Nano with 1000 tx/second + near instant transactions and zero fees, to also wanting to be a platform for dapps. However, EOS doesn't have a product yet and everything is just promises still. There are lots of red flags, e.g. having dumped $500 million Ether over the last 2 months and possibly bought back EOS to increase the size of their ICO, which has been going on for over a year and has raised several billion dollars. All in all, their market cap is way too high for that and not even having a product. However, Mainnet release is in 1 month, which could change everything.
Cardano: Similar to Ethereum/EOS, however, only promises made with no delivery yet, highly overrated right now. Interesting concept though. Market cap way too high for not even having a product. Somewhat promising technology.
VeChain: Singapore-based project that’s building a business enterprise platform and inventory tracking system. Examples are verifying genuine luxury goods and food supply chains. Has one of the strongest communities in the crypto world. Most hyped token of all, with merit though.
Neo: Neo is a platform, similar to Eth, but more extensive, allowing dapps and smart contracts, but with a different smart contract gas system, consensus mechanism (PoS vs. dBfT), governance model, fixed vs unfixed supply, expensive contracts vs nearly free contracts, different ideologies for real world adoption. There are currently only 9 nodes, each of which are being run by a company/entity hand selected by the NEO council (most of which are located in china) and are under contract. This means that although the locations of the nodes may differ, ultimately the neo council can bring them down due to their legal contracts. In fact this has been done in the past when the neo council was moving 50 million neo that had been locked up. Also dbft (or neo's implmentation of it) has failed underload causing network outages during major icos. The first step in decentralization is that the NEO Counsel will select trusted nodes (Universities, business partners, etc.) and slowly become less centralized that way. The final step in decentralization will be allowing NEO holders to vote for new nodes, similar to a DPoS system (ARK/EOS/LISK). NEO has a regulation/government friendly ideology. Finally they are trying to work undewith the Chinese government in regards to regulations. If for some reason they wanted it shut down, they could just shut it down.
Stellar:PoS system, similar goals as Ripple, but more of a platform than only a currency. 80% of Stellar are owned by Stellar.org still, making the currency centralized.
Ethereum classic: Original Ethereum that decided not to fork after a hack. The Ethereum that we know is its fork. Uninteresing, because it has a lot of less resources than Ethereum now and a lot less community support.
Ziliqa: Zilliqa is building a new way of sharding. 2400 tpx already tested, 10,000 tps soon possible by being linearly scalable with the number of nodes. That means, the more nodes, the faster the network gets. They are looking at implementing privacy as well.
QTUM: Enables Smart contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain. Useful.
Icon: Korean ethereum. Decentralized application platform that's building communities in partnership with banks, insurance providers, hospitals, and universities. Focused on ID verification and payments.
LISK: Lisk's difference to other BaaS is that side chains are independent to the main chain and have to have their own nodes. Similar to neo whole allows dapps to deploy their blockchain to. Like most cryptocurrencies, Lisk is currently somewhat centralized with a small group of members owning more than 50% of the delegated positions. Lisk plans to change the consensus algorithm for that reason in the near future.
Rchain: Similar to Ethereum with smart contract, though much more scalable at an expected 40,000 TPS and possible 100,000 TPS. Not launched yet. No product launched yet, though promising technology. Not overvalued, probably at the right price right now.
ARDR: Similar to Lisk. Ardor is a public blockchain platform that will allow people to utilize the blockchain technology of Nxt through the use of child chains. A child chain, which is a ‘light’ blockchain that can be customized to a certain extent, is designed to allow easy self-deploy for your own blockchain. Nxt claims that users will "not need to worry" about security, as that part is now handled by the main chain (Ardor). This is the chief innovation of Ardor. Ardor was evolved from NXT by the same company. NEM started as a NXT clone.
Ontology: Similar to Neo. Interesting coin
Bytom: Bytom is an interactive protocol of multiple byte assets. Heterogeneous byte-assets (indigenous digital currency, digital assets) that operate in different forms on the Bytom Blockchain and atomic assets (warrants, securities, dividends, bonds, intelligence information, forecasting information and other information that exist in the physical world) can be registered, exchanged, gambled and engaged in other more complicated and contract-based interoperations via Bytom.
Nxt: Similar to Lisk
Aeternity: We’ve seen recently, that it’s difficult to scale the execution of smart contracts on the blockchain. Crypto Kitties is a great example. Something as simple as creating and trading unique assets on Ethereum bogged the network down when transaction volume soared. Ethereum and Zilliqa address this problem with Sharding. Aeternity focuses on increasing the scalability of smart contracts and dapps by moving smart contracts off-chain. Instead of running on the blockchain, smart contracts on Aeternity run in private state channels between the parties involved in the contracts. State channels are lines of communication between parties in a smart contract. They don’t touch the blockchain unless they need to for adjudication or transfer of value. Because they’re off-chain, state channel contracts can operate much more efficiently. An important aspect of smart contract and dapp development is access to outside data sources. This could mean checking the weather in London, score of a football game, or price of gold. Oracles provide access to data hosted outside the blockchain. In many blockchain projects, oracles represent a security risk and potential point of failure, since they tend to be singular, centralized data streams. Aeternity proposes decentralizing oracles with their oracle machine. Doing so would make outside data immutable and unchangeable once it reaches Aeternity’s blockchain. Aeternity’s network runs on on a hybrid of proof of work and proof of stake. Founded by a long-time crypto-enthusiast and early colleague of Vitalik Buterin, Yanislav Malahov. Promising concept though not product yet
Stratis: Different to LISK, Stratis will allow businesses and organizations to create their own blockchain according to their own needs, but secured on the parent Stratis chain. Stratis’s simple interface will allow organizations to quickly and easily deploy and/or test blockchain functionality of the Ethereum, BitShares, BitCoin, Lisk and Stratis environements.
Status: Status provides access to all of Ethereum’s decentralized applications (dapps) through an app on your smartphone. It opens the door to mass adoption of Ethereum dapps by targeting the fastest growing computer segment in the world – smartphone users.
Ark: Fork of Lisk that focuses on a smaller feature set. Ark wallets can only vote for one delegate at a time which forces delegates to compete against each other and makes cartel formations incredibly hard, if not impossible.
Neblio: Similar to Neo, but at a 30x smaller market cap.
NEM: Is similar to Neo. However, it has no marketing team, very high market cap for little clarilty what they do.
Bancor: Bancor is a Decentralized Liquidity Network that allows you to hold any Ethereum token and convert it to any other token in the network, with no counter party, at an automatically calculated price, using a simple web wallet.
Dragonchain: The Purpose of DragonChain is to help companies quickly and easily incorporate blockchain into their business applications. Many companies might be interested in making this transition because of the benefits associated with serving clients over a blockchain – increased efficiency and security for transactions, a reduction of costs from eliminating potential fraud and scams, etc.
Skycoin: Transactions with zero fees that take apparently two seconds, unlimited transaction rate, no need for miners and block rewards, low power usage, all of the usual cryptocurrency technical vulnerabilities fixed, a consensus mechanism superior to anything that exists, resistant to all conceivable threats (government censorship, community infighting, cybenucleaconventional warfare, etc). Skycoin has their own consensus algorithm known as Obelisk written and published academically by an early developer of Ethereum. Obelisk is a non-energy intensive consensus algorithm based on a concept called ‘web of trust dynamics’ which is completely different to PoW, PoS, and their derivatives. Skywire, the flagship application of Skycoin, has the ambitious goal of decentralizing the internet at the hardware level and is about to begin the testnet in April. However, this is just one of the many facets of the Skycoin ecosystem. Skywire will not only provide decentralized bandwidth but also storage and computation, completing the holy trinity of commodities essential for the new internet. Skycion a smear campaign launched against it, though they seem legit and reliable. Thus, they are probably undervalued.
Market 3 - Ecosystem
The 3rd market with 11 coins is comprised of ecosystem coins, which aim to strengthen the ease of use within the crypto space through decentralized exchanges, open standards for apps and more
Nebulas: Similar to how Google indexes webpages Nebulas will index blockchain projects, smart contracts & data using the Nebulas rank algorithm that sifts & sorts the data. Developers rewarded NAS to develop & deploy on NAS chain. Nebulas calls this developer incentive protocol – basically rewards are issued based on how often dapp/contract etc. is used, the more the better the rewards and Proof of devotion. Works like DPoS except the best, most economically incentivised developers (Bookkeeppers) get the forging spots. Ensuring brains stay with the project (Cross between PoI & PoS). 2,400 TPS+, DAG used to solve the inter-transaction dependencies in the PEE (Parallel Execution Environment) feature, first crypto Wallet that supports the Lightening Network.
Waves: Decentralized exchange and crowdfunding platform. Let’s companies and projects to issue and manage their own digital coin tokens to raise money.
Salt: Leveraging blockchain assets to secure cash loands. Plans to offer cash loans in traditional currencies, backed by your cryptocurrency assets. Allows lenders worldwide to skip credit checks for easier access to affordable loans.
CHAINLINK: ChainLink is a decentralized oracle service, the first of its kind. Oracles are defined as an ‘agent’ that finds and verifies real-world occurrences and submits this information to a blockchain to be used in smart contracts.With ChainLink, smart contract users can use the network’s oracles to retrieve data from off-chain application program interfaces (APIs), data pools, and other resources and integrate them into the blockchain and smart contracts. Basically, ChainLink takes information that is external to blockchain applications and puts it on-chain. The difference to Aeternity is that Chainlink deploys the smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain while Aeternity has its own chain.
WTC: Combines blockchain with IoT to create a management system for supply chains Interesting
Ethos unifyies all cryptos. Ethos is building a multi-cryptocurrency phone wallet. The team is also building an investment diversification tool and a social network
Komodo: The Komodo blockchain platform uses Komodo’s open-source cryptocurrency for doing transparent, anonymous, private, and fungible transactions. They are then made ultra-secure using Bitcoin’s blockchain via a Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) protocol and decentralized crowdfunding (ICO) platform to remove middlemen from project funding. Offers services for startups to create and manage their own Blockchains.
Aion: Today, there are hundreds of blockchains. In the coming years, with widespread adoption by mainstream business and government, these will be thousands or millions. Blockchains don’t talk to each other at all right now, they are like the PCs of the 1980s. The Aion network is able to support custom blockchain architectures while still allowing for cross-chain interoperability by enabling users to exchange data between any Aion-compliant blockchains by making use of an interchain framework that allows for messages to be relayed between blockchains in a completely trust-free manner.
Tenx: Raised 80 million, offers cryptocurrency-linked credit cards that let you spend virtual money in real life. Developing a series of payment platforms to make spending cryptocurrency easier.
Market 4 - Privacy
The 4th market are privacy coins. As you might know, Bitcoin is not anonymous. If the IRS or any other party asks an exchange who is the identity behind a specific Bitcoin address, they know who you are and can track back almost all of the Bitcoin transactions you have ever made and all your account balances. Privacy coins aim to prevent exactly that through address fungability, which changes addresses constantly, IP obfuscation and more. There are 2 types of privacy coins, one with completely privacy and one with optional privacy. Optional Privacy coins like Dash and Nav have the advantage of more user friendliness over completely privacy coins such as Monero and Enigma.
Monero: Currently most popular privacy coin, though with a very high market cap. Since their privacy is all on chain, all prior transactions would be deanonymized if their protocol is ever cracked. This requires a quantum computing attack though. PIVX is better in that regard.
Zcash: A decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency that hide the sender, recipient, and value of transactions. Offers users the option to make transactions public later for auditing. Decent privacy coin, though no default privacy
Verge: Calls itself privacy coin without providing private transactions, multiple problems over the last weeks has a toxic community, and way too much hype for what they have.
Bytecoin: First privacy-focused cryptocurrency with anonymous transactions. Bytecoin’s code was later adapted to create Monero, the more well-known anonymous cryptocurrency. Has several scam accusations, 80% pre-mine, bad devs, bad tech
Bitcoin Private: A merge fork of Bitcoin and Zclassic with Zclassic being a fork of Zcash with the difference of a lack of a founders fee required to mine a valid block. This promotes a fair distribution, preventing centralized coin ownership and control. Bitcoin private offers the optional ability to keep the sender, receiver, and amount private in a given transaction. However, this is already offered by several good privacy coins (Monero, PIVX) and Bitcoin private doesn't offer much more beyond this.
PIVX: As a fork of Dash, PIVX uses an advanced implementation of the Zerocoin protocol to provide it’s privacy. This is a form of zeroknowledge proofs, which allow users to spend ‘Zerocoins’ that have no link back to them. Unlike Zcash u have denominations in PIVX, so they can’t track users by their payment amount being equal to the amount of ‘minted’ coins, because everyone uses the same denominations. PIVX is also implementing Bulletproofs, just like Monero, and this will take care of arguably the biggest weakness of zeroknowledge protocols: the trusted setup.
Zcoin: PoW cryptocurrency. Private financial transactions, enabled by the Zerocoin Protocol. Zcoin is the first full implementation of the Zerocoin Protocol, which allows users to have complete privacy via Zero-Knowledge cryptographic proofs.
Enigma: Monero is to Bitcoin what enigma is to Ethereum. Enigma is for making the data used in smart contracts private. More of a platform for dapps than a currency like Monero. Very promising.
Navcoin: Like bitcoin but with added privacy and pos and 1,170 tps, but only because of very short 30 second block times. Though, privacy is optional, but aims to be more user friendly than Monero. However, doesn't really decide if it wants to be a privacy coin or not. Same as Zcash.Strong technology, non-shady team.
Market 5 - Currency Exchange Tool
Due to the sheer number of different cryptocurrencies, exchanging one currency for the other it still cumbersome. Further, merchants don’t want to deal with overcluttered options of accepting cryptocurrencies. This is where exchange tool like Req come in, which allow easy and simple exchange of currencies.
Cryptonex: Fiat and currency exchange between various blockchain services, similar to REQ.
QASH: Qash is used to fuel its liquid platform which will be an exchange that will distribute their liquidity pool. Its product, the Worldbook is a multi-exchange order book that matches crypto to crypto, and crypto to fiat and the reverse across all currencies. E.g., someone is selling Bitcoin is USD on exchange1 not owned by Quoine and someone is buying Bitcoin in EURO on exchange 2 not owned by Quoine. They turned it on to test it a few months ago for an hour or so and their exchange was the top exchange in the world by 4x volume for the day because all Worldbook trades ran through it. Binance wants BNB to be used on their one exchange. Qash wants their QASH token embedded in all of their partners.
Kyber: network Exchange between cryptocurrencies, similar to REQ. Features automatic coin conversions for payments. Also offers payment tools for developers and a cryptocurrency wallet.
Achain: Building a boundless blockchain world like Req .
Centrality: Centrality is a decentralized market place for dapps that are all connected together on a blockchain-powered system. Centrality aims to allow businesses to work together using blockchain technology. With Centrality, startups can collaborate through shared acquisition of customers, data, merchants, and content. That shared acquisition occurs across the Centrality blockchain, which hosts a number of decentralized apps called Scenes. Companies can use CENTRA tokens to purchase Scenes for their app, then leverage the power of the Centrality ecosystem to quickly scale. Some of Centrality's top dapps are, Skoot, a travel experience marketplace that consists of a virtual companion designed for free independent travelers and inbound visitors, Belong, a marketplace and an employee engagement platform that seems at helping business provide rewards for employees, Merge, a smart travel app that acts as a time management system, Ushare, a transports application that works across rental cars, public transport, taxi services, electric bikes and more. All of these dapps are able to communicate with each other and exchange data through Centrality.
Bitshares: Exchange between cryptocurrencies. Noteworthy are the 1.5 second average block times and throughput potential of 100,000 transactions per second with currently 2,400 TPS having been proven. However, Bitshares had several Scam accusations in the past.
Loopring: A protocol that will enable higher liquidity between exchanges and personal wallets by pooling all orders sent to its network and fill these orders through the order books of multiple exchanges. When using Loopring, traders never have to deposit funds into an exchange to begin trading. Even with decentralized exchanges like Ether Delta, IDex, or Bitshares, you’d have to deposit your funds onto the platform, usually via an Ethereum smart contract. But with Loopring, funds always remain in user wallets and are never locked by orders. This gives you complete autonomy over your funds while trading, allowing you to cancel, trim, or increase an order before it is executed.
ZRX: Open standard for dapps. Open, permissionless protocol allowing for ERC20 tokens to be traded on the Ethereum blockchain. In 0x protocol, orders are transported off-chain, massively reducing gas costs and eliminating blockchain bloat. Relayers help broadcast orders and collect a fee each time they facilitate a trade. Anyone can build a relayer.
Market 6 - Gaming
With an industry size of $108B worldwide, Gaming is one of the largest markets in the world. For sure, cryptocurrencies will want to have a share of that pie.
Storm: Mobile game currency on a platform with 9 million players.
Fun: A platform for casino operators to host trustless, provably-fair gambling through the use of smart contracts, as well as creating their own implementation of state channels for scalability.
Electroneum: Mobile game currency They have lots of technical problems, such as several 51% attacks
Wax: Marketplace to trade in-game items
Market 7 - Misc
There are various markets being tapped right now. They are all summed up under misc.
OMG: Omise is designed to enable financial services for people without bank accounts. It works worldwide and with both traditional money and cryptocurrencies.
Power ledger: Australian blockchain-based cryptocurrency and energy trading platform that allows for decentralized selling and buying of renewable energy. Unique market and rather untapped market in the crypto space.
Populous: Populous is a platform that connects business owners and invoice buyers without middlemen. Furthermore, it is a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform that uses blockchain to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a more efficient way to participate in invoice financing. Businesses can sell their outstanding invoices at a discount to quickly free up some cash. Invoice sellers get cash flow to fund their business and invoice buyers earn interest.
Monacoin: The first Japanese cryptocurrency. Focused on micro-transactions and based on a popular internet meme of a type-written cat. This makes it similar to Dogecoin. Very niche, tiny market.
Revain: Legitimizing reviews via the blockchain. Interesting concept, though market not as big.
Augur: Platform to forecast and make wagers on the outcome of real-world events (AKA decentralized predictions). Uses predictions for a “wisdom of the crowd” search engine. Not launched yet.
Substratum: Revolutionzing hosting industry via per request billing as a decentralized internet hosting system. Uses a global network of private computers to create the free and open internet of the future. Participants earn cryptocurrency. Interesting concept.
Veritaseum: Is supposed to be a peer to peer gateway, though it looks like very much like a scam.
TRON: Tronix is looking to capitalize on ownership of internet data to content creators. However, they plagiarized their white paper, which is a no go. They apologized, so it needs to be seen how they will conduct themselves in the future. Extremely high market cap for not having a product, nor proof of concept.
Syscoin: A cryptocurrency with a decentralized marketplace that lets people buy and sell products directly without third parties. Trying to remove middlemen like eBay and Amazon.
Hshare: Most likely scam because of no code changes, most likely pump and dump scheme, dead community.
BAT: An Ethereum-based token that can be exchanged between content creators, users, and advertisers. Decentralized ad-network that pays based on engagement and attention.
Dent: Decentralizeed exchange of mobile data, enabling mobile data to be marketed, purchased or distributed, so that users can quickly buy or sell data from any user to another one.
Ncash: End to end encrypted Identification system for retailers to better serve their customers .
Factom Secure record-keeping system that allows companies to store their data directly on the Blockchain. The goal is to make records more transparent and trustworthy .
Market 8 - Social network
Web 2.0 is still going strong and Web 3.0 is not going to ignore it. There are several gaming tokens already out there and a few with decent traction already, such as Steem, which is Reddit with voting through money is a very interesting one.
Mithril: As users create content via social media, they will be rewarded for their contribution, the better the contribution, the more they will earn
Steem: Like Reddit, but voting with money. Already launched product and Alexa rank 1,000 Thumbs up.
Rdd: Reddcoin makes the process of sending and receiving money fun and rewarding for everyone. Reddcoin is dedicated to one thing – tipping on social networks as a way to bring cryptocurrency awareness and experience to the general public.
Kin: Token for the platform Kik. Kik has a massive user base of 400 million people. Replacing paying with FIAT with paying with KIN might get this token to mass adoption very quickly.
Market 9 - Fee token
Popular exchanges realized that they can make a few billion dollars more by launching their own token. Owning these tokens gives you a reduction of trading fees. Very handy and BNB (Binance Coin) has been one of the most resilient tokens, which have withstood most market drops over the last weeks and was among the very few coins that could show growth.
BNB: Fee token for Binance
Gas: Not a Fee token for an exchange, but it is a dividend paid out on Neo and a currency that can be used to purchase services for dapps.
Kucoin: Fee token for Kucoin
Market 10 - Decentralized Data Storage
Currently, data storage happens with large companies or data centers that are prone to failure or losing data. Decentralized data storage makes loss of data almost impossible by distributing your files to numerous clients that hold tiny pieces of your data. Remember Torrents? Torrents use a peer-to-peer network. It is similar to that. Many users maintain copies of the same file, when someone wants a copy of that file, they send a request to the peer-to-peer network., users who have the file, known as seeds, send fragments of the file to the requester. The requester receives many fragments from many different seeds, and the torrent software recompiles these fragments to form the original file.
Gbyte: Byteball data is stored and ordered using directed acyclic graph (DAG) rather than blockchain. This allows all users to secure each other's data by referencing earlier data units created by other users, and also removes scalability limits common for blockchains, such as blocksize issue.
Siacoin: Siacoin is decentralized storage platform. Distributes encrypted files to thousands of private users who get paid for renting out their disk space. Anybody with siacoins can rent storage from hosts on Sia. This is accomplish via "smart" storage contracts stored on the Sia blockchain. The smart contract provides a payment to the host only after the host has kept the file for a given amount of time. If the host loses the file, the host does not get paid.
Maidsafecoin: MaidSafe stands for Massive Array of Internet Disks, Secure Access for Everyone.Instead of working with data centers and servers that are common today and are vulnerable to data theft and monitoring, You can think of SAFE as a crowd-sourced internet. It’s an autonomous network that automatically sets prices and distributes data and rents out hard drive disk space with a Blockchain-based storage solutions.When you upload a file to the network, such as a photo, it will be broken into pieces, hashed, and encrypted. Then, redundant copies of the data are created as well so that if someone storing your file turns off their computer, you will still have access to your data. And don’t worry, even with pieces of your data on other people’s computers, they won’t be able to read them. You can earn MadeSafeCoins by participating in storing data pieces from the network on your computer and thus earning a Proof of Resource.
Storj: Storj aims to become a cloud storage platform that can’t be censored or monitored, or have downtime. Your files are encrypted, shredded into little pieces called 'shards', and stored in a decentralized network of computers around the globe. No one but you has a complete copy of your file, not even in an encrypted form.
Market 11 - Cloud computing
Obviously, renting computing power, one of the biggest emerging markets as of recent years, e.g. AWS and Digital Ocean, is also a service, which can be bought and managed via the blockchain.
Golem: Allows easy use of Supercomputer in exchange for tokens. People worldwide can rent out their computers to the network and get paid for that service with Golem tokens.
Elf: Allows easy use of Cloud computing in exchange for tokens.
Market 12 - Stablecoin
Last but not least, there are 2 stablecoins that have established themselves within the market. A stable coin is a coin that wants to be independent of the volatility of the crypto markets. This has worked out pretty well for Maker and DGD, accomplished through a carefully diversified currency fund and backing each token by 1g or real gold respectively. DO NOT CONFUSE DGD AND MAKER with their STABLE COINS DGX and DAI. DGD and MAKER are volatile, because they are the companies of DGX and DAI. DGX and DAI are the stable coins.
DGD: Platform of the Stablecoin DGX. Every DGX coin is backed by 1g of gold and make use proof of asset consensus.
Maker: Platform of the Stablecoin DAI that doesn't vary much in price through widespread and smart diversification of assets.
USDT: is no cryptocurrency really, but a replacement for dollar for trading After months of asking for proof of dollar backing, still no response from Tether.
EDIT: Added a risk factor from 0 to 10. Significant scandals, mishaps, shady practices, questionable technology, increase the risk factor. Not having a product yet automatically means a risk factor of 6. Strong adoption and thus strong scrutiny or positive community lower the risk factor. EDIT2: Added a subjective potential factor from 0 to 10, where its overall potential and a small or big market cap is factored in. Bitcoin with lots of potential only gets a 9, because of its massive market cap, because if Bitcoin goes 10x, smaller coins go 100x.
Crypto-Currencies Are Poised To Radically Change Finance … And Reshape Nations
Article by Forbes: Kurt Cagle & COGNITIVE WORLD In the 18th Century, a venture begun in England established an outpost in the New World around Hudson Bay. The Hudson Bay Company was given license by the crown to exploit the bounty of the Northernmost parts of North America, and eventually a trading network was built out, trading fur, woods, and mineral resources. This network manifested itself primarily through a series of forts that protected general stores, extending as far south and west as Oregon, along the Pacific Coast, forts that would in time become cities like Portland, Vancouver, Toronto and so forth. https://preview.redd.it/wpegk0kit6f31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=f7a4300bc49b3ade91c544bdf0dc0677001ec863 An example of Hudson Bay Company Scrip WIKIPEDIA The Hudson Bay Company used its own special scrip within its territory, the scrip holding value because it could be traded for British pounds as well as establishing more or less standard prices for goods. When Canada was founded in 1867, it established its territory by buying the land from the HBC, and making HBC’s scrip fully convertible to the new Canadian Dollar. In effect, a privately held scrip became the de facto currency of a nation. Empires, kings and potentates have long coveted the right to put their face on coins, but until comparatively recently, the value of those coins was determined primarily by the assayed weight of the metal that made them up. Indeed, the Dutch, during the 16th century, actually scored their gold coins so that a person could break it apart into octants, from whence was derived the term “Pieces of eight” so beloved in pirate tales. They also created coins from the silver mine of Joachim’s Valley (‘Joachimsthal’ in Dutch) which were in turn heavily used by first the Spanish territories then eventually English North America, the name frequently shorted first to ‘Thaler’, and then via Spanish as ‘Dollar’. https://preview.redd.it/rw38upgkt6f31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=eb4de09c64fb6fa7a70d2cde9a9e3cae4b8f2962 Pieces-of-Eight, so named because the Spanish dollar coin of the 1600s was frequently broken upon into eight bits or reals, which in time became known as pesos (pieces). JAMESTOWN REDISCOVERY Following the death of Louis the Fourteenth of France, the French economy was in tatters given the financial excesses of the Sun King. The Duke of Orleans, the regent of the new five-year-old King Louis the Fifteen, turned to a friend, Scottish financier John Law, for help. Law, for his part, made a proposal that had been tried on a smaller scale, but never really at a national level: the concept of creating a paper currency, backed by the government and in theory redeemable with silver. While the experiment worked for a little while, speculators made the currency unstable, which was then exacerbated by the government producing more Francs than it could support, causing the currency to crash and significantly diminishing the ability of France to compete in the colonization in North America. It also destabilized the French court by reducing the influence of the King over his aristocrats, many of whom had been severely burned in the crash, and not coincidentally laying the groundwork for the French Revolution several decades later. Despite this, as Europe went from Feudal vassalages to nation-states, the ability to control the minting of paper currency based upon its status as a promissory note became one of the key prerogatives of nations. It was one of the reasons, when the first American Confederation, created in the aftermath of the US Revolutionary War, realized they needed a stronger government, the one thing that the Federal government reserved to itself rather than allow to the states was the exclusive right to mint coinage and currency. https://preview.redd.it/bloq70ept6f31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=af104c0e62286fbc3d2102b96c1ec2ba53ef851c Currencies have long been the prerogative of nations, though that may be changing as electronic coinage hearkens back to most currencies’ merchantile roots. GETTY Fast-forward two hundred and fifty years, and you can see that history is in fact repeating itself. A currency system works by having a few essential characteristics: A note of currency must be unique and non-duplicatable. Currency must be readily redeemable — if not enough people will accept the currency as having a certain value, it cannot be used as a medium of exchange. Currency must be relatively stable — it holds roughly the same value over some time interval. These three conditions place some real constraints on currencies, though not always obvious ones. For instance, if you increase the supply of a given currency, you might think that it would dilute the value of that money. Maybe yes, maybe no. If demand is high for money, increasing the money supply may actually accelerate economic growth, though if demand for money is low, increasing the supply may simply cause inflation. If currency is only redeemable in certain places, then it has less utility as a store of value. If a currency has only half the value today that it had yesterday, then people will get rid of that currency quickly in favor of something that is more stable. It turns out, in fact, that most paper currencies don’t completely satisfy the above constraints over a long time period, and what’s worse, the relationship between money and value can be quite non-linear. This is because currency by itself represents buying power. A gallon of gas in 1971 cost twenty nine cents in most places. Today, that same gallon of gas costs $2.90. Ironically, a loaf of bread cost $.29 and $2.90 respectively as well. The average wage in 1971 was $10,000. Today, its $50,000. This is worth highlighting, though more from an economic rather than technical standpoint. Put in stark terms, the typical worker’s wages went up 400%, but the price of most goods went up 1000% percent over roughly the last fifty years (or, the money you earn is worth 60% less today than it was in 1971, relative to the cost of living). The actual utility of a gallon of gas has actually not changed much in that time, which means that what has changed is both buying power for a given amount of money, and the change in wages relative to the cost of goods. Why? That’s a topic for another time. https://preview.redd.it/4dgrmrist6f31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=7b110124483a8b8d7a986c5f226e6ca9c6ff0115 Electronic currencies, such as BitCoin and Ethereum, rank high in their ability to guarantee uniqueness, but are struggling with exchangeability and are still very heavily influenced by speculators, making them less than ideal for stable currencies. GETTY IMAGES So, where do cryptocurrencies play into all of this? At the moment, of the three points highlighted above, cryptocurrencies arguably are really, really good with the first point, are getting better (though still not great) with the second point, but really suck on the last point. Consider this. One of the biggest arguments in favor of cryptocurrencies is that they are hard to forge. It’s possible — throw enough computation power at it and you could in fact do it, but the salient point is that the cost to do so likely outweighs the value of the coin. Now the downside to that is that many of the current mechanisms for determining uniqueness (such as mining prime numbers) are also very expensive, not just in terms of computational cycles but in terms of energy costs. It’s one of the reasons why a few of the primary coins actually are too large by themselves to be used for currency — you have to divide a coin up to say a 1000 different micro-coins to get to the point where you can buy a cup of coffee and a sweet roll at Starbucks, and this in turn still requires effective uniqueness algorithms. However, even with weaker algorithms for division, such micro-coins are still orders of magnitude harder to forge than your average US $20 bill, which is far and away the most popular currency in the world in terms of forgery. However, this point is actually becoming less and less of an issue for the simple reason that paper currency itself is becoming obsolete, except among the very poor (who often have difficulty in being able to set up bank accounts). For much of the latter twentieth century, credit cards made significant inroads in eliminating paper currency, and most recently, the introduction of chipped cards, both credit and debit, have significantly reduced the incidences of fraud. The bigger issue today is online card fraud, though even there, the introduction of electronic wallets (and the growing liability that retailers are facing with each hacking incident via class action suits) are spurring much better encryption of data, as well as better control by consumers. This is not to say that credit card fraud isn’t still a problem, but it is a problem that shows signs of abating. Another, perhaps far more reaching consequence of the rise of credit cards, debit cards, digital rewards cards, gift cards and EBTs has been that it has been destroying the physicality of currency, and with it, one of the last vestiges of control that most nations have over their currency. The reason for this is simple. Today, it is possible to set up foreign exchange transfer accounts in which a given currency is in Yen, or Euros, or Pounds, and draw upon them as readily as you can a US funds account. You can set up a crypto account in much the same way, and can even, with some creative work, set up accounts that let you play currency arbitrage across multiple such accounts. If Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple or Facebook (or their counterparts in other countries) set up their own digital currency, you could do the same thing. Amazon is actually creating a highly synergistic ecosystem that is nearly a full bore economy in its own right. https://preview.redd.it/ybuj1fkut6f31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=ee3c08e08e0f7621fea5d52bd0eff01c17f86ca0 In ten to twenty years time your paycheck could very well be made in private e-currency rather than a country’s native currency, which will send shockwaves in political circles. GETTY Put yourself ten years in the future. Amazon (as an example) puts out a cryptocurrency called the bezo (one bezo, two bezos, ….). You can continue to set up a US dollar account for Amazon prime, but you can also open up a bezos account, based upon a blockchain like construct under the control of Amazon. Prices begin to creep up when measured in US dollars, because the US economy has for the most part had net positive price inflation even during recessions, but prices in bezos stay fixed. Other companies look at this and offer the option of paying their employees in bezos. Some are resistant, but especially younger employees take the plunge, and after a while, older employees see that their net buying power continues to decline while the ones in the Amazon ecosystem are seeing wage power stability, and you see a shift as older employees begin to do the same thing. Other companies do this on their own, but discover that they don’t have quite enough people in their network to maintain stability, and so they reach out and affiliate themselves with the Amazon network. Banks have taken notice, and all of a sudden you see Amazon currency replacing the US Dollar in more and more transactions, many of them for millions or even billions of dollars. And then Amazon moves the Amazon Currency Network to the Cayman Islands. Overnight, the United States sees 35% of its tax base disappear. Too many people are no longer using US Dollars for transactions. The US Debt, which has been a ticking time bomb for decades, goes off as the US can no longer even pretend to service its deficits, let alone the total debt. States, given the conundrum of having a central Federal government that has become increasingly hostile and demanding (while providing less and less value for the tax money that their citizenry have paid) vs. working with a more stable currency and more autonomy, begin to think the unthinkable at a policy level: choosing to join a different political alliance based upon a common protocol for sharing currencies. https://preview.redd.it/au1ssbdwt6f31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=bf6038a44188e96511ec0abc3d4f3ce4f60812a1 One very distinct possibility of the intermixing between private and public e-currencies is the possibility that it could very well exacerbate an already growing divide along geopolitical lines. GETTY Another scenario can be envisioned. Recently, Walmart announced that they had a patent on a new blockchain currency, with the implications that they would be issuing a currency within the relatively near future. Amazon and Walmart are seen as competitors in the general goods sector, and while there is some overlap they tend to service different regions (and their customers often have very divergent political leanings). Over time you end up with two competing currencies, the Bezo and the Walton. Each of which provides a premium within their respective networks and a double penalty within the opposite network — the double being the fact that in order to convert from Bezos to Waltons, you would have to convert one currency to USDs and then to the other currency, with fees at each transaction point (something often happens in existing currency exchanges, where you have to find a common currency to exchange between two different currencies that don’t otherwise have exchange rates). Over time, the economies diverge, with frustrations mounting as the Bezo and the Walton respond to different economic strategies, and changes in political power in Washington DC bring with it a distinct preference for one currency or the other, with all that this implies for policy. Attempting to peg either of the private currencies to the dollar ends up with a situation similar to that which the European Union experience in 2008, when economic policy that was right for the northern countries with strong industrial bases proved ruinous for the southern countries that were primarily agrarian in nature (and is in fact a part of the current problem between red and blue America). What is likely to happen in this scenario is the rise of compacts — agreements between states that standardize upon specific policies regarding economic action, taxation, representation, immigration, public programs, defense, ecological policy, education and so on. Put another way, the currency networks that emerge (and it is likely they will be networked, not just one single currency) will begin looking and acting more and more like autonomous countries. With this comes the reduction of power in Washington, DC and the federal government as states hew more closely to their compact alliances. Now, to be clear, these are both hypothetical scenarios, and I’m using Amazon and Walmart here just to illustrate the point. Nor are these the only scenarios that may play out. It’s also worth noting that what is at issue is not so much cryptocurrency by itself as it is the ability of currency networks to effectively capture the tax base of parts or all of a country. Will this result in civil war? Hard to say. We may very well end up in a situation where the US becomes a Confederation along the lines of Canada, with a weaker central government, a common defense agreement and stronger regional blocs. The US may split peacefully into several distinct regions based upon the degree of economic connectivity. It’s possible that smarter heads prevail and some agreement is worked out to keep the status quo. However, the likelihood of that decreases the more that mechanisms for separation get implemented, and eCurrencies, whether national based or privately based, have the potential to exacerbate an already stressed situation. https://preview.redd.it/y9c01xa1u6f31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=9371cdc22a409b03230590b1b5e13a6e848b78af One of the major issues that most eCoins have is that they are still highly unstable, due to a comparatively small pool of investors, the potential for volatile speculation, and the potential that a government could make such transactions illegal. GETTY The primary mitigating factor from this happening now is the lack of stability of crypto-currencies, which is something of a chicken and egg problem. Stability ultimately comes from the number of participants involved, which in turn determines the degree to which speculation can take place within a currency. Speculation and stability are counter-weighted — most speculators prefer an asset class to be volatile, because such volatility can make for higher returns with less capital, though it can also lead to higher losses. You can speculate with stable currency (as George Soros managed to do successfully against the British pound in the 1970s) but it requires deep pockets and a great deal of leverage, and being unsuccessful can ruin you. Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are still very unstable primarily because they lack both the installed base of users and because they are not yet fully convertible or redeemable. It is arguable whether any of the first generation of ICOs will ever meet that bar alone, though that changes once you begin seeing mergers and adoptions between ICOs and large financial or network concerns. This also moots one of the other major selling points that ICO promoters themselves try to make. No currency is going to survive if transactions in that currency remain anonymous, and keeping such transactions anonymous will become increasingly difficult over time. The reason for this is relatively simple — any transaction has real world implications, those implications can be tracked, and once one thread of a transaction begins to get picked apart, then it becomes possible to determine how these connect to other transactions. Government opacity (which is one form of anonymity) will keep many existing ICOs from ever being recognized as legitimate, and may very well be seen as perfect channels for money laundering and black market transactions, putting these ICOs under deep scrutiny. It is likely that currencies based upon (semi-) transparent block-chains (something you’re increasingly seeing developed by financial institutions) will likely overtake the anonymous block-chains currently being deployed. https://preview.redd.it/79i6dzb4u6f31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=9ef3c872dc868e52e9b8454bf8403b0db7562152 The future of finance (and of bank accounts) may very well be that a typical account is, in fact, an index made up of different e-currencies, both public and private. GETTY In the longer term (fifteen to twenty years), it is likely that the average consumer will likely not interact much at all with ICOs directly. Instead, what I see happening is that banks (and bank-like-entities, such as credit unions) will controls portfolios of currencies and accounts will then consist of baskets of different coins on various networks. Consumers can then determine the mix of their coin holdings, and can designate the default currencies they wish to be paid in (or pay out) when they make a financial transaction. However, at the micro-level, these networks and baskets will be treated in much the same way national currencies do today, with the added wrinkle that these private currencies can push and pull on the national currencies at a level unprecedented until now. What happens when the Bezo replaces the Japanese Yen (or the US Dollar) as the primary instrument for carry trades. What if the Iranian eDinar becomes the preferred currency for pricing oil, or an international incident causes investors to buy up Chinese eYuan and sell the USD, raising the potential for price increases in the United States (or vice versa). What will almost certainly happen is that the distinction between international corporations and nations, already somewhat blurry, will erode even more with time. Businesses will increasingly find themselves having to establish comprehensive foreign policies, fielding security forces and dealing with issues that traditionally have been the domain of countries. At the same time, fundamental questions, including the deceptively difficult one of what constitutes citizenship, will become pressing sooner than we’d like to believe. The upshot of this is that Bitcoins and related electronic currencies are likely here to stay, will become progressively more influential in both political and economic policy as they become more stable, and will almost certainly introduce stresses and potential breaking points in economies globally throughout the twenty-first century.
USD (DXY) up 0.00%, EUR up 0.18%, GBP down 0.11%, JPY up 0.01%, CNY Onshore down 0.41%, CNH Offshore down 0.42%, AUD down 0.40%
VIX down 1.22% to 9.75
Gold up 0.06% to $1,283.60
Silver up 0.08% to $16.84
Copper up 0.43% to $294.20
WTI Crude up 1.15% to $52.74
Brent Crude up 0.90% to $58.42
Natural Gas down 0.07% to $3.06
Corn down 0.35% to $3.53/bu
Wheat down 0.11% to $4.61/bu
Bitcoin up 2.42% to $4,255.00
Treasuries 2yr yields are up ~1.2bps at 1.483%, 10yr yields are up ~3.6bps at 2.346% and 30yr yields are up ~3.3bps at 2.896%
Japan 10yr yields 0.057%, up ~2.8bps on the day
France 10yr yields 0.792%, up ~3.3bps on the day
Italy 10yr yields 2.153%, up ~1.6bps on the day
Spain 10yr yields 1.634%, up ~0.8bps on the day
Germany 10yr yields 0.501%, up ~3.7bps on the day
What’s happening this morning? There wasn’t any major news out overnight (once again). Most of the financial media is discussing themes and trends that have been present for weeks – reflation sustainability, inflation firming, central bank tightening schedules, expansionary fiscal policies (US, Germany, Japan, etc.), US politics (prospect of tax passage, etc.), etc. A lot of the commentary seems to have a skeptical tone with regards to the weeks-long reflation moves and this doubt continues to act as kindling for the recent market shifts (positioning and sentiment are playing a role too, esp. as we head into the final days of the month and quarter – recall many had prepared for the SPX to trade poorly in H2:Aug but the opposite happened and the index is now up ~3.7% from its 8/21 low. This has undoubtedly spurred some chasing along the way). As far as Thurs morning trading, things are relatively subdued this morning. Asia’s major indices saw mixed price action – TPX +0.71%, NKY +0.47%, Hang Seng -0.8%, SHCOMP -0.17%, Taiwan TAIEX -0.29%, Korea KOSPI +0.02%, Australia +0.11%, and India +0.1%. There weren’t many huge themes in Asia although the USD rally is creating some anxiety (the DXY surged Mon-Wed and is flattish so far Thurs). Tech stocks in Taiwan were mixed-to-down small. Europe’s major equity indices are flat-to-up small. Banks remain the big upside standouts (both in Europe and the US) as this group more than any other encapsulates the global reflation sentiments (banks, tech, industrials are outperforming in Europe this morning while basic resources, retail, and utilities lag. H&M is one of the weakest stocks in Europe on back of earnings while the USD strength is hitting basic resources). The Treasury weakness continues as 10yr yields rise a further ~3-4bp so far Thurs morning (10yr yields are higher throughout Europe too). US S&P futures are flat-to-down small.
Calendar of events for Thurs 9/28 – the focus will be on German inflation for Sept (8amET), the BOE “20 Years On” conf. in London (at which Carney will speak), US Q2 data revisions (8:30amET), US advance goods trade balance for Aug (8:30amET), Fed speakers (George, Fischer, Bostic), Gary Cohn’s interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box (during the 8amET hour), Paul Ryan’s interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Brady’s comments on tax reform, analyst meetings (AEE and AFL), and earnings (ACN, BBRY, CAG, MKC, MTN, and RAD pre-open and KBH and SGH after the close).
Calendar of events for Fri 9/29 – the focus will be on the China Caixin manufacturing PMI for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning), the German jobs data for Sept (3:55amET), Eurozone CPI for Sept (5amET), US personal income/spending for Aug (8:30amET), the US PCE for Aug (8:30amET), the Chicago PMI for Sept (9:45amET), the final Michigan Confidence numbers for Sept (10amET), Fed speakers (Harker), and analyst meetings (CMP).
Calendar going forward – there aren’t many major scheduled events on the calendar until CQ3 earnings (the week of 10/16 is the first busy one of the season) aside from a few eco numbers (including the US Aug PCE Fri 9/29 and the US Sept jobs report Fri 10/6). The market largely appreciates that tax will be a CQ1:18 event and thus isn’t looking for anything substantive on that front over the coming months. The next big monetary policy events include the ECB (10/26), BOE (11/2), and anything on the Fed staffing front (i.e. when does Thy God-Emperor Trump make a decision on Yellen?).
Top Headlines for Thursday
US politics – there wasn’t anything incremental overnight but a ton of postmortem articles were published on the events this week (tax unveil, Alabama run-off, Corker retirement, healthcare failure, etc.). The tone of most of these articles is cautious with regards to the outlook for the GOP and the party’s agenda – “Alabama defeat weakens and isolates Thy God-Emperor Trump as his problems grow” (http://wapo.st/2xDxquK), “Bannon focused on repeating Alabama, challenging incumbent Republicans across the country” (http://politi.co/2ybnL1C), “Political disruption helps fuel GOP’s woes” (http://on.wsj.com/2wYIYH4), “Tues was a disastrous day for the whole GOP” (http://on.wsj.com/2fsuf0C), “GOP pitches deep tax cuts, w/few details on paying for them” (http://wapo.st/2yuPgPV), “ Thy God-Emperor Trump/GOP tax plan omits details on who pays” (http://politi.co/2yvcKEH), “ Thy God-Emperor Trump and his congressional allies are about to make the trajectory of debt even worse” (http://on.wsj.com/2fsuTLB), etc.
Sen. Bob Corker says tax reform will make healthcare look like ‘a piece of cake’ – The Hill http://bit.ly/2wlgLus
Healthcare/ACA – insurers decide to stay in the ACA exchanges for ’18 despite fears of broad exits – WSJ http://on.wsj.com/2yIx4D8.
TWTR more effective than FB in disrupting US election - there is evidence that Twitter may have been used even more extensively than Facebook in the Russian influence campaign last year – NYT http://nyti.ms/2yuUTgW
Internet execs (from FB, GOOGL, and TWTR) have been asked to testify before Congress in the coming weeks – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fTffK4
Thy God-Emperor Trump’s pick to head the DOJ’s antitrust division gets approved by the Senate – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2yttKeo
All about reflation and rotation: what happened on Wed. US stocks saw solid gains overall on Wed but the bigger story was ongoing rotation as the SPX’s ~40bp advance was somewhat overshadowed by the ~2% ramp in the R2K, the ~1.6% climb in the BKX, the 75- 130bp decline in both staples and utilities, the 7bp increase in 10yr yields, and the ~50bp DXY advance. The latest phase of the reflation trade kicked off back on 9/11 and is now in its 3rd week, encouraged along the way by firmer global inflation readings (China, India, UK, US, etc.), hawkish central banks actions/rhetoric (FOMC, BOC, BOE, etc.), and pro-growth policies in the US (the GOP tax blueprint). Thus it isn’t that stocks rallied solely in response to the Republican tax unveil but instead that blueprint helped to exacerbate existing reflation tendencies. Most of the big sectoral moves comported w/the reflation playbook as small caps and financials (esp. banks/brokers) did very well while staples, REITs, utilities, and telecoms lagged. Tech was something of an outlier – normally super-cap tech would lag during big reflation trades but that wasn’t necessarily the case on Wed.
Economic data/monetary policy update for Thurs 9/28. It was a pretty slow morning of news on this front. GfK consumer confidence in Germany for Oct softened slightly (it came in at 10.8 vs. the St 11). Some of the regional inflation numbers in Germany for Sept showed firming M/M (the full German inflation number will hit at 8amET). Eurozone confidence numbers for Sept came in relatively solid this morning (http://bit.ly/2fB5gMz). The New Zealand rate decision was largely as expected (http://bit.ly/2fsBZQb). o Fed’s Rosengren called for “regular and gradual” rate hikes as disinflationary pressures appear temporary while labor markets continue to tighten – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2xD4Tpa
North Korea tensions/challenges – North Korean provocations could increase in Oct, Chinese exports of food to NK spike, US to rotate strategic military assets into South Korea. o North Korea is likely to engage in more provocative behavior in Oct to coincide w/the founding of the North Korean community party and China’s Communist Party Congress. South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said he expected Pyongyang to act around Oct. 10 and 18 – Reuters http://reut.rs/2k6dgX1 o US strategic assets to be rotated into South Korea – the will send “strategic” military assets to South Korea on a more regular basis to better deter North Korea – Washington Post http://wapo.st/2yIoLHu o China’s agricultural exports to North Korea spiked in Jul and Aug; the increase in food shipments shows the resilience of ties between the two countries – WSJ http://on.wsj.com/2xHTq9F
Japan election outcome grows cloudier as Party of Hope gathers strength - the biggest opposition Democratic Party on Thurs said it would step aside to let its candidates run under the Party of Hope banner – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fsHYVk
Brexit negotiations – there are signs of a thawing in the EU-UK Brexit negotiation process as the EU makes a small concession – Bloomberg http://bit.ly/2wYsLlj
Company-specific news update for Thurs morning 9/28 – there are a few items in focus this morning including Toshiba/Bain, H&M, EFX, HAIN, and more. o Toshiba – a deal is (finally) signed – Toshiba struck a formal deal to sell its memory unit to a Bain-led group for $17.7B. The Bain consortium includes AAPL, Dell, STX, Hoya, and Hynix. The two sides hope to close the transaction by Mar. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2wYGopc o STX announces details on its participation in the Toshiba deal; STX has committed to provide up to $1.25 billion in financing to support the acquisition. Seagate expects to enter into a long-term NAND supply agreement with Toshiba Memory that will provide continuity of raw NAND for Seagate's expanding SSD product portfolio. Seagate expects this transaction to be accretive to its earnings. o AAPL not giving up fully on LCDs – AAPL could wind up buying advanced LCD panels from Japan Display next year, suggesting the co doesn’t plan on shifting its entire product lineup to OLED. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2wm6EWp o HAIN strikes agreement w/activist Engaged Capital – the agreement will overhaul the board and potentially opens the door to a sale of the company (the board will form a group to consider strategic alternatives). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xLOzo1 o EFX – the co’s acting CEO has an editorial in the WSJ this morning – “On behalf of Equifax, I’m sorry” – the article announces a series of steps and actions aimed at rectifying the fallout from the recent hack. http://on.wsj.com/2yvbLUX o H&M – the stock is one of the weakest in all of Europe after reporting disappointing earnings. o HUN, Clariant – White Tale Holdings, the activist group seeking to block the merger, has increased its stake in Clariant slightly – Reuters http://reut.rs/2xCiooZ
Company-specific news update from Wed night 9/27. There wasn’t anything major other than a few SMID-cap earnings (CMTL, JBL, PIR, PRGS, and THO) and none were particularly controversial. JBL beat for its FQ4/Aug period and while FQ1/Nov EPS was guided a bit under the St this stock has already come off a decent amount from its highs on the recent AAPL anxiety (and thus should be fine off the report). PRGS’s FQ3 numbers were inline w/the upside preannouncement and FQ4 was guided inline. PIR’s report was fine but the guidance fell a bit short of expectations. Away from earnings, a group of US senators are calling for an investigation into the recent deal struck between AGN and a Native American tribe (http://nyti.ms/2xGRxtP). According to Bloomberg, Novartis is considering a bid for AAAP (https://bloom.bg/2xHOjGa). What could move the market? Expectations on key topics/events
Taxes – now what? An update on the path forward. With the GOP tax blueprint out in the open Congress will now get down to the hard work of filling in the details and getting a bill to Thy God-Emperor Trump’s desk. However, a budget resolution still needs to pass before anything can get done on the tax front (as this will contain reconciliation instructions permitting the Senate to utilize a simple majority vote on tax). The House should have an easier time moving a tax bill (it probably isn’t shocking to think they could pass something by Thanksgiving) but the Senate is a bigger problem. Sen. Hatch has made several comments on tax that people should be paying more attention to (including that he will essentially ignore the 9/27 blueprint and write his own bill) and Sen. Corker also has expressed skepticism (he said tax reform would make healthcare look like “a piece of cake”). It’s important to remember that the Senate GOP majority is 1) small and 2) divided (as was evidenced by healthcare failing twice) and one of those two descriptions will become more apt after 12/12/17 (the date of the Alabama special Senate election). Once the Senate does move something it still has to be reconciled w/the House and voted on all over again. Taking all this into account, it seems like tax will be a CQ1 event at best. Beyond Mar ’18 the focus will shift towards the Nov mid-terms and that tends to freeze the legislative process. And if there are a lot of aggressive GOP primaries (something which could happen given Moore’s victory in Alabama’s run-off) that could slow the legislative process even more.
Taxes – what do investors expect? The GOP blueprint on 9/27 is being looked at as an opening “best case” bid that will likely differ substantially from the ultimate bill (to the extent there even is one). The final corporate rate will probably wind up being around ~25- 27% while the individual changes will focus more on the lower-end of the income spectrum (doubling the standard deduction, higher child credit, etc.) without meaningfully adjusting deduction rules or consolidating the existing bracket structure. “Repatriation” will happen in some form but the mechanism proposed in the GOP blueprint is quite complex. o Repatriation mechanics – the language in the GOP tax blueprint concerning repatriation and foreign earnings is somewhat confusing. What it sounds like they are proposing is: 1) all int’l earnings accumulated to this point will be hit w/a 1x tax assessment (note – this is different from the int’l cash balances companies report in their filings). The 1x tax rate isn’t specified but most assume it will be somewhere around 10% and companies can pay it over the course of a few years; 2) going forward the aim is to shift to a quasi-territorial system whereby all foreign profits of US companies will be taxed at a reduced rate (it isn’t clear what that reduced rate will be). It sounds like this tax will be imposed regardless of whether the money is actually repatriated. Bottom Line: this system would be an improvement over the current one BUT the proposed changes are very complex and this GOP blueprint today is a lot different from the George W Bush-era 1x repatriation holiday of last decade.
Gov’t funding – the current CR (continuing resolution) will fund the US gov’t until 12/8.
Debt ceiling – the debt ceiling will be suspended until 12/8 but during that time Treasury will refresh its extraordinary measures and buy itself additional months (McConnell recently told the NYT that the debt ceiling won’t become binding again until “well into” 2018). o The debt ceiling – Thy God-Emperor Trump and Schumer have apparently agreed to pursue a deal that would permanently eliminate the debt ceiling (although it’s unclear whether this will actually happen given the enormously busy agenda facing Washington in Dec).
Infrastructure spending – the F18 budget may include nominal funding for an “infrastructure bank” but no one anticipates a major infrastructure spending initiative.
Fed staffing – it may not be until later this year before Thy God-Emperor Trump unveils his intention for the Fed chair. The WSJ on 9/6 said Gary Cohn’s chances of getting the job had declined while Yellen could be asked to stay (CNN echoed that reporting on 9/7) and Bloomberg (on 9/7) says Thy God-Emperor Trump is considering as many as 6 additional people to become chair, including Kevin Warsh, Glenn Hubbard, John Taylor, Lawrence Lindsey, Richard Davis, and John Allison. Recent media reports suggest the frontrunners are Yellen and Warsh. Note that in addition to the chair decision, Thy God-Emperor Trump has several additional positions to fill at the Fed (Fischer’s resignation announcement on 9/6 created the latest opening).
Calendar of events to watch for Mon Oct 2
Calendar for the week of 10/2 – the main focus this week will be on the initial Oct eco numbers (ISMs/PMIs, auto sales, and US jobs) but otherwise it should be pretty quiet as investors await the start of CQ3 earnings (banks kick off the season on Thurs 10/12 but the heavy volume of release doesn’t begin until the week of 10/16).
Calendar for Mon 10/2 – the focus will be on the China NBS manufacturing/nonmanufacturing PMIs for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning 9/30), Eurozone manufacturing PMIs for Sept (4amET), Eurozone unemployment numbers for Aug (5amET), US manufacturing PMI for Sept (9:45amET), US manufacturing ISM for Sept (10amET), US construction spending for Aug (10amET), Thy God-Emperor Trump’s deregulation speech at the White House, and Fed speakers (Kaplan).
Calendar for Tues 10/3 – the focus will be on the Eurozone PPI for Aug (5amET), US auto sales for Sept (JPMorgan is modeling a SAAR of 17.4MM), analyst meetings (F/Ford, INTU, NTAP, and SHW), the WFC CEO testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, the EFX former CEO testimony before the House, and earnings (PAYX and LEN pre-open and IDT after the close).
Calendar for Wed 10/4 – the focus will be on the Eurozone services PMI for Sept (4amET), Eurozone retail sales for Aug (5amET), the RBI rate decision (5amET), the US ADP jobs report for Sept (8:15amET), the US services PMI for Sept (9:45amET), the US services ISM for Sept (10amET), Yellen’s comments (3:15pmET), analyst meetings (BWXT, BXP, MNK, and TTD), the EFX former CEO testimony before the Senate, and earnings (AYI, MON, PEP, RPM, and Tesco PLC pre-open and CAFD and RECN after the close).
Calendar for Thurs 10/5 – the focus will be on the ECB minutes (7:30amET), US factory orders/durable goods for Aug (10amET), Fed speakers (Williams, Harker, George), analyst meetings (BKH, CLX, LUK, and TWOU), and earnings (ISCA and STZ pre-open and COST, HELE, and YUMC after the close).
Calendar for Fri 10/6 – the focus will be on Germany factory orders for Aug (2amET), the US jobs report for Sept (8:30amET), US wholesale inventories/trade sales for Aug (10amET), US consumer credit for Aug (3pmET), and Fed speakers (Bostic, Kaplan, and Bullard). Catalysts – big events to watch over the coming months
Tillerson to travel to China – Sept 28-30.
US inflation – the Aug PCE will hit Fri 9/29.
Catalonia parliament independence vote – Sun 10/1.
China mainland markets closed Mon 10/2-Fri 10/6 for the National Day holiday.
Autos – US Sept auto sales get reported Tues 10/3; Ford/F’s CEO will also be giving a strategic update on that same day (this will be the first major update from the new CEO at Ford).
WFC CEO appearing before Senate Banking Committee on Tues 10/3.
EFX former CEO Richard Smith testifying before House panel on Tues 10/3 and before a Senate panel on Wed 10/4.
Yellen delivers opening remarks at Community Banking conf. Wed 10/4. 3:15pmET.
ECB meeting minutes – Thurs 10/5.
US jobs report for Sept – Fri 10/6.
North Korea - South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said he expected Pyongyang to act around Oct. 10 and 18 (Reuters).
WMT analyst meeting – Tues 10/10 (note that KR has an analyst meeting the next day, Wed 10/11).
PG shareholder meeting – Tues 10/10 (decision to be made on Peltz’s board seat request).
Fed minutes – minutes from the 9/20 meeting will be released Wed 10/11. 2pmET.
HON – the co will announce its portfolio review decision before earnings in Oct.
Bank earnings – the CQ3 earnings season kicks off w/Citigroup and JPM Thurs morning 10/12 while BAC, PNC, and WFC all report Fri 10/13.
US inflation – the Sept CPI will hit Fri 10/13.
CQ3 earnings – the week of Mon 10/16 is the first busy week of the CQ3 reporting season.
Iran – Thy God-Emperor Trump will certify whether Iran is complying w/the nuclear agreement around mid- Oct.
China - the National Congress of the Communist Party of China starts Oct 18.
China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning) – Thurs morning 10/19.
Japan – the country will hold snap elections on Sun 10/22.
Flash PMIs for Oct – Tues 10/24
ECB meeting/press conf. Thurs Oct 26. The ECB is expected to provide guidance on LSAP tapering at this meeting.
US Q3 GDP report – Fri 10/27
Fed meeting – decision Wed 11/1 (no press conf. or supplemental).
BOE decision – Thurs 11/2. The BOE is expected to hike rates at this meeting.
Thy God-Emperor Trump trip to China – he is scheduled to visit China in November.
GE – the co will likely hold an analyst meeting in Nov at which it will provide a refresh of its long-term financial guidance.
OPEC meeting – the next formal OPEC leaders meeting is Nov 30 (a decision on extending the production agreement beyond Mar ’18 could be reached at this gathering).
US gov’t funding/debt ceiling – current legislation funds the gov’t and suspends the debt ceiling until 12/8 (the debt ceiling is unlikely to become binding again until “well into” 2018).
Alabama special Senate election – Tues 12/12.
Fed meeting – decision Wed Dec 13. There will be a press conf. and supplemental. The Fed is expected to hike rates at this meeting.
Dassault Systemes has agreed to buy U.S. peer Exa Corp in a deal valued at about $400 million – Reuters http://reut.rs/2ftGHxm
HAIN strikes agreement w/activist Engaged Capital – the agreement will overhaul the board and potentially opens the door to a sale of the company (the board will form a group to consider strategic alternatives). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xLOzo1
HUN, Clariant – White Tale Holdings, the activist group seeking to block the merger, has increased its stake in Clariant slightly – Reuters http://reut.rs/2xCiooZ
Toshiba – a deal is (finally) signed – Toshiba struck a formal deal to sell its memory unit to a Bain-led group for $17.7B. The Bain consortium includes AAPL, Dell, STX, Hoya, and Hynix. The two sides hope to close the transaction by Mar. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2wYGopc
Thy God-Emperor Trump’s pick to head the DOJ’s antitrust division gets approved by the Senate – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2yttKeo
Westinghouse Electric – Blackstone and Apollo have teamed to make a bid for bankrupt Westinghouse – Reuters http://reut.rs/2wXfAFR
Full catalyst list
Thurs Sept 28 – Eurozone confidence measures for Sept. 5amET.
Thurs Sept 28 – German inflation for Sept. 8amET.
Thurs Sept 28 – US Q2 data revisions (GDP, PCE, etc.). 8:30amET.
Thurs Sept 28 – US advance goods trade balance for Aug. 8:30amET.
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