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Coinbase – Buy & Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more with trust
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mtgox - Why don't people buy at one exchange and sell at
Why don't people buy bitcoins on btc-e and sell them on mtgox for an immediate profit?
I'm a bitcoin noob but when I look at the market rates displayed on http://bitcoinity.org/markets/ there seems to be a huge discrepancy between the rate for bitcoins on mtxgox and btc-e. At the time of writing this, bitcoin is breaking a new high on mtgox @ $174.40 but they are selling for $160.00 on btc-e. So why is it that people do not purchase coins on btc-e @$160.00, send them to their mtgox account and sell them for a ~$14 profit at the time of writing this? Am I missing the obvious answer? I know there are fees involved to transfer, purchase, and sell coins but would that really eat up all of the $14 difference? Thank for the help!
I've been in since May 2017, lessons learned, and some real talk.
I've only been in the crypto game since mid 2017. I remember back then when I was assessing the market, BTC was below $1k a few months earlier, LTC was around $4 that January and by the time I finally got in BTC had more than doubled to around $2,500 and LTC was $30. I thought ETH and XRP (and everything else) were just shitcoins because I didn't know shit and I just listened to the herd (Back then the argument was "Bitcoin is digital gold and LTC is digital silver and everything else is a scam.") Now, I'm pretty invested in several coins, because this market is anything but rational. Screw off if you think otherwise. Try to think logically in this market, and you're going to get smacked in the face. After exchanging my first fiat for crypto, in the next couple of months the market "crashed" and I was fearful. By crashed, I mean BTC went from $2,800 to $1,800. I just decided to let my cryptos ride. I pretended that money was gone, but I'd check prices every day for whatever damn reason. I wasn't even putting that much in. Hell, I would spend more eating out and going to the bars every weekend with friends or work colleagues than I was dropping into BTC. It was pretty common that I'd drop $100 a night on sushi, beers, and Sake Bombs. But, when money you could get back loses value, it makes you feel dumb for putting money in. Logic is out the window when I can't get that $100 back from my sushi and drink purchases, but my crypto dropped 30% that week, so I was dumb for investing in crypto but not for my $500+ per month on eating out and drinking with friends. Several weeks later, I was back to even on my crypto investments. Well shit, that was fast. Then I was suddenly up 25%. "Fuck it, I'm just putting money in. I'm not missing out." By the the winter of 2017, I was up over 10x with my crypto speculation. My initial LTC went from $30 to over $350; my BTC went from $2,500 to $20,000. I also just threw $300-$1,000 here and there on random sub-200 market cap coins only to see them 6x in a few weeks. I remember thinking how stupid I was for not buying during that dip down to $1,800, but how good of an investor I was because my gains. What a fucking dope I was. I was sitting there looking at my account on December 10th, 2017. I was about to sell because I could have paid off my car and 50% of my student loans. I wasn't even using my car because I was in another country traveling. "Nah, I can't sell. This is just the beginning; let's wait until I can pay off all my student loans" my delusional self said. I never cashed out. I remember sitting there with a dude who had his GDAX account open after BTC "crashed" from $20k to $13k two weeks later. We just got back from surfing. He was still sitting at $250,000 in his account and was nervous as shit. "What should I do?" he asked rhetorically. Then immediately answered himself, "It will rebound," he said, "it always does." This guy had been through the MTGOX hack and gave me plenty of advice while we surfed. And I listened as if he was prophetic. What a fucking dope I was. When hopium is in the air, we all get irrational. I still wonder about that guy and his cryptos. He went north back home for the Christmas holiday, while I headed south for more traveling, and I've never seen him again. February 2018 was both euphoric and scary as shit. "Holy shit! BTC is under $10k I never thought it would be down here again. But it could keep dropping. But it was just $20k a month ago." I was skeptical that it wouldn't keep dropping so I waited. Then, I didn't want to miss out. BTC was making a run from $6,500 up to testing $10k. "If it breaks $10k, I'm getting back in." A short time later, it did break $10k, only to be hit a wall at $12k, then again...then, the inevitable crash to $6,200 happened where it fluctuated in August - November of 2018 up until, what, November 10th-ish when BCH shitfork shat out and then BTC-Shit-Vision and BTC-LMNOP started paying miners to mine their forked fork of BTC and everyone shat themselves as the market tanked yet again. That was it for me. That was the day I stopped caring. I remember thinking how stupid I was to invest so much time in this. You can't predict this shit. I didn't regret investing in crypto, I regret all the time spent looking at my portfolio, trying to time the market, pretending I was some guru in my head because I threw $300 at POE when it was less than a penny and weeks later it was selling for $0.21 and could buy another trip to whatever country I wanted. Sure, you can use TA to see what support or resistance is there, but it's still a 50-50 chance whether Fake Satoshi is going to spoof trade or some rando is going to drop three 7,000 BTC market buys to break through resistance. So, what did I learn through this whole experience? Other than what I've already stated (You have no way to predict whether it's breaking through resistance or crashing through support). I just remember the main thing that has persisted this last two years. "I wish I could go back in time to when BTC was around $3,000 and LTC was $30." When BTC dropped below, $4k that was heaven. I never thought it would get back to when I was buying when I first got into the market in 2017. So, I bought, and I bought hard. This time around, I have strong buy strategies and sell strategies. They are set; no question. For me, I'm not selling until two weeks before the LTC halving in August. Even then, I'm only selling my LTC for BTC. Then I'll sell 25% of my BTC for fiat 2 weeks before the BTC halving in 2020. I will never have less than my preferred number of BTC's, ETH's, LTC's and a few others. Don't follow my advice here, I'm just saying I know what I want and what my strategy is. You need to have a strategy to buy and strategy to sell. Be reasonable. I previously had a "strategy." It was once I could pay off my student loans with all of my crypto gains minus taxes, I would sell. Yeah, well, looking back if I would have just sold when could pay off my car and 50% of my student loans, I would have been able to invest even more when BTC was down in $3,xxx range and LTC was $22-$35, etc from December 2018 through March 2019. DCAing is the way to go. No question. You don't need to do TA, you don't need to check your portfolio, you don't need to do shit but either 1) setup an automatic buy order with your exchange or 2) login and buy whatever you want. You have your buy strategy (DCA at x interval) and you have your sell strategy. Figure it out. Don't pretend you're gonna time the market. Don't pretend you're some guru. Those people, like me, learn the hard way. No TA, no waiting for google searches of BTC to increase, no waiting for BAKKT, no waiting for Faktoshi to shut the fuck up. Before November 2018, I would only throw money when BTC was on a run. "Oh, we're finally on the way up. It's time to buy!" Like when it went from $2,800 up to $6,200 in the summer 2017, then from $10k to $20k in late 2017. Or when it went from $6,200 back up to $10,000 then to $11,900 in February of 2018. I would think I could time the market. What a pathetic loser, right? Some people grow up in this market like the cable version of themselves only to transition to the directv version. Listen to us dopes that have been there and done that. Learn from our mistakes, but also don't think that we have all the damn answers. Anyone that comes in here acting like the 2nd coming of Craig Wright's dumpster twin, you can be rest assured they are as delusional as Justin Sun. The problem is, even if they are delusional, this market is anything but rational, so they might just be proven right enough for you to think you should follow their advice. This shit is crazy. Stop acting like you've got it figured out. Nobody does, but it feels good to have confidence in this random speculation, right? I'm here to tell you this. My life has drastically improved since November 2018 when I started viewing Crypto investments like a bill. Every two weeks, I would send money from my paycheck to my exchange. Then, I'd buy a certain amount every single week after it had cleared. That money, is all but "gone." It was a "bill" I paid. When the market is going down, I send more fiat and I buy more crypto. When it is rising, I still buy, but not as much; I pull back. You may say I'm trying to catch a falling knife. I just learned that the way I was investing before was bad practice. I'd rather people think I'm trying to catch a falling knife than to feel that FOMO and only buy when the market is up. Right now for example, I'm not buying this week. Not because I think I know what hell is going to happen, but because it's my strategy to not chase a run, and to spend more when it drops. I'll wait until next weekend and see what the market is doing. What happens in between now and next weekend, I don't give a shit. Could I miss out on another run? Sure, but I don't give a shit. Maybe it's because I'm 2 years in and I've seen this shit before, or maybe it's because I've been buying BTC when it was around $3,000 both in 2017 and just about a month ago, so I feel fortunate to have gotten another chance at BTC at $3,xxx. I also learned my lesson that fakeouts happen. I've been burned enough to not give a shit about being BTC going from $3500 to $5,200 in the last, what, 5 weeks? Been here, done it, don't give a shit. I don't know if this helps anyone, but seeing the last two years of this shit, I don't care about some random 30% pump. I also don't care that BCH is up 86%, or ADA is up whatever it is. I'm not into them, but if you made gains, I'm happy for you. I'm serious too. Maybe you're new to this game, or maybe you've only been in since $20k. If so, you're still here, and there are plenty others like you. I'm not a BTC maximalist, I don't think LTC is the truth, I don't think only ETH is the dApp platform. I don't know shit. I'm just some speculator that is speculating on some of this sit. There are also plenty of people that were like me in 2017 that are waiting in the wings, only to buy when the market is on the rise. There are plenty more that buy when it's rising then set stop losses that whales will fish for only to wreck the market in a day then to see a bounce back even stronger while those people FOMO back in. Also, the turd version of satoshi could start shitting in public this week and the media could write about how Satoshi is literally shitting on a physical Bitcoin as we speak and some shitcoin creator then posts a Twitter video that goes viral about how the hashrate and energy consumption of the satoshi shit-pile is not sustainable and then some whale market sells down to below the new TA shit-support level of $4,400 and then all the dopes with stop losses in that range get shit fucked only to see a spoof limit order set at $4,400 of 10,000 BTC and everyone's dick shrinks into their stomach as they hurry to Tether as BTC drops back down to $3,500 before whale #2 shit fucks your emotions with a $1,500 green dildo in a 15 minute span sees the "sell wall" disappear which starts the next FOMO run on up to $6,200 a few weeks later while TAers say "We broke out on great volume" then other TAers agree and the self-fulling prophecy starts another run only to get hit with more whale fuckers. You can't predict this shit. Give it up. Market goes up, market goes down, can't explain that. With the LTC halving in August, the BTC halving in May 2020, I think we are about to get into the 2017 euphoria again though. We are getting closeTM to the point you could just thrown money at any coin and get 10x your investment. What does "close" mean? I have no idea. Eff anyone that thinks they know. Someone could predict it is this week, next month, or after this current fakeout bull run, or in December, or next Spring, and someone will be right. The only advice I have is to do your best to not get emotional about your money or crypto. It's going to do the exact opposite of what you think it will. Even when you try to do the opposite, crypto will shit-fuck you in your sleep. If you believe that the sentiment is changing, and let's be real, we are in speculation phase and this is all based on hopium and belief, then DCA at certain intervals. This isn't some cult. It's all based on sentiment. If you think people are starting to get interested, then that is a sign speculation is about to be in our favor. If you are putting money in that needs to be rent money, do yourself a favor and just walk into a casino and put it all on red. If you win, then put your winnings in crypto. If you lose, I saved you the anguish of checking your portfolio every hour only wish you would have done the opposite of what you did. You're welcome... Or, do the opposite. Check the market every hour for the next 12 months only to look back and realize that you kept buying on the way up, got scared and sold on the way down, and then FUD yourself in your sleep because of your stop loss sells were triggered while whales were fishing for fear. So, there are all of my shit thoughts. What are yours? What are your strategies? There are plenty of people that have been in longer than me, what are your strategies? Are we heading for a the next bull run? Is the bottom in? Do we still have a massive, short-lived capitulation event coming? Let's chat. TL;DR: You can't predict this shit, just DCA, live your life, get a buy strategy, choose a sell point, make this shit as simple as possible. If you try to complicate things by predicting the next run, the next drop, the next consolidation, then you're probably going to be wrong like 99% of people. And don't be that guy that ends up $250,000 in your account in the next bull run only to see it drop down $67,000 literally a week later.
Hi Bitcoiners! I’m back with the fifteenth monthly Bitcoin news recap. For those unfamiliar, each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in Bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in bitcoin over the past month. And a lot has happened. It's easy to forget with so much focus on the price. Take a moment and scroll through the list below. You'll find an incredibly eventful month. You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com A recap of Bitcoin in March 2018
An extensive guide for cashing out bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into private banks
Hey guys. Merry Xmas ! I am coming back to you with a follow up post, as I have helped many people cash out this year and I have streamlined the process. After my original post, I received many requests to be more specific and provide more details. I thought that after the amazing rally we have been attending over the last few months, and the volatility of the last few days, it would be interesting to revisit more extensively. The attitude of banks around crypto is changing slowly, but it is still a tough stance. For the first partial cash out I operated around a year ago for a client, it took me months to find a bank. They wouldn’t want to even consider the case and we had to knock at each and every door. Despite all my contacts it was very difficult back in the days. This has changed now, and banks have started to open their doors, but there is a process, a set of best practices and codes one has to follow. I often get requests from crypto guys who are very privacy-oriented, and it takes me months to have them understand that I am bound by Swiss law on banking secrecy, and I am their ally in this onboarding process. It’s funny how I have to convince people that banks are legit, while on the other side, banks ask me to show that crypto millionaires are legit. I have a solid background in both banking and in crypto so I manage to make the bridge, but yeah sometimes it is tough to reconcile the two worlds. I am a crypto enthusiast myself and I can say that after years of work in the banking industry I have grown disillusioned towards banks as well, like many of you. Still an account in a Private bank is convenient and powerful. So let’s get started.
A. What is required to open an account in a Private bank when you made your fortune through crypto.
There are two different aspects to your onboarding in a Swiss Private bank, compliance-wise. *The origin of your crypto wealth *Your background (residence, citizenship and probity) These two aspects must be documented in-depth. How to document your crypto wealth. Each new crypto millionaire has a different story. I may detail a few fun stories later in this post, but at the end of the day, most of crypto rich I have met can be categorized within the following profiles: the miner, the early adopter, the trader, the corporate entity, the black market, the libertarian/OTC buyer. The real question is how you prove your wealth is legit. 1. Context around the original amount/investment Generally speaking, your first crypto purchase may not be documented. But the context around this acquisition can be. I have had many cases where the original amount was bought through Mtgox, and no proof of purchase could be provided, nor could be documented any Mtgox claim. That’s perfectly fine. At some point Mtgox amounted 70% of the bitcoin transactions globally, and people who bought there and managed to withdraw and keep hold of their bitcoins do not have any Mtgox claim. This is absolutely fine. However, if you can show me the record of a wire from your bank to Tisbane (Mtgox's parent company) it's a great way to start. Otherwise, what I am trying to document here is the following: I need context. If you made your first purchase by saving from summer jobs, show me a payroll. Even if it was USD 2k. If you acquired your first bitcoins from mining, show me the bills of your mining equipment from 2012 or if it was through a pool mine, give me your slushpool account ref for instance. If you were given bitcoin against a service you charged, show me an invoice. 2. Tracking your wealth until today and making sense of it. What I have been doing over the last few months was basically educating compliance officers. Thanks God, the blockchain is a global digital ledger! I have been telling my auditors and compliance officers they have the best tool at their disposal to lead a proper investigation. Whether you like it or not, your wealth can be tracked, from address to address. You may have thought all along this was a bad feature, but I am telling you, if you want to cash out, in the context of Private Banking onboarding, tracking your wealth through the block explorer is a boon. We can see the inflows, outflows. We can see the age behind an address. An early adopter who bought 1000 BTC in 2010, and let his bitcoin behind one address and held thus far is legit, whether or not he has a proof of purchase to show. That’s just common sense. My job is to explain that to the banks in a language they understand. Let’s have a look at a few examples and how to document the few profiles I mentioned earlier. The trader. I love traders. These are easy cases. I have a ton of respect for them. Being a trader myself in investment banks for a decade earlier in my career has taught me that controlling one’s emotions and having the discipline to impose oneself some proper risk management system is really really hard. Further, being able to avoid the exchange bankruptcy and hacks throughout crypto history is outstanding. It shows real survival instinct, or just plain blissed ignorance. In any cases traders at exchange are easy cases to corroborate since their whole track record is potentially available. Some traders I have met have automated their trading and have shown me more than 500k trades done over the span of 4 years. Obviously in this kind of scenario I don’t show everything to the bank to avoid information overload, and prefer to do some snacking here and there. My strategy is to show the early trades, the most profitable ones, explain the trading strategy and (partially expose) the situation as of now with id pages of the exchanges and current balance. Many traders have become insensitive to the risk of parking their crypto at exchange as they want to be able to trade or to grasp an occasion any minute, so they generally do not secure a substantial portion on the blockchain which tends to make me very nervous. The early adopter. Provided that he has not mixed his coin, the early adopter or “hodler” is not a difficult case either. Who cares how you bought your first 10k btc if you bought them below 3$ ? Even if you do not have a purchase proof, I would generally manage to find ways. We just have to corroborate the original 30’000 USD investment in this case. I mainly focus on three things here: *proof of early adoption I have managed to educate some banks on a few evidences specifically related to crypto markets. For instance with me, an old bitcointalk account can serve as a proof of early adoption. Even an old reddit post from a few years ago where you say how much you despise this Ripple premined scam can prove to be a treasure readily available to show you were early. *story telling Compliance officers like to know when, why and how. They are human being looking for simple answers to simple questions and they don’t want like to be played fool. Telling the truth, even without a proof can do wonders, and even though bluffing might still work because banks don’t fully understand bitcoin yet, it is a risky strategy that is less and less likely to pay off as they are getting more sophisticated by the day. *micro transaction from an old address you control This is the killer feature. Send a $20 worth transaction from an old address to my company wallet and to one of my partner bank’s wallet and you are all set ! This is gold and considered a very solid piece of evidence. You can also do a microtransaction to your own wallet, but banks generally prefer transfer to their own wallet. Patience with them please. they are still learning. *signature message Why do a micro transaction when you can sign a message and avoid potentially tainting your coins ? *ICO millionaire Some clients made their wealth participating in ETH crowdsale or IOTA ICO. They were very easy to deal with obviously and the account opening was very smooth since we could evidence the GENESIS TxHash flow. The miner Not so easy to proof the wealth is legit in that case. Most early miners never took screenshot of the blocks on bitcoin core, nor did they note down the block number of each block they mined. Until the the Slashdot article from August 2010 anyone could mine on his laptop, let his computer run overnight and wake up to a freshly minted block containing 50 bitcoins back in the days. Not many people were structured enough to store and secure these coins, avoid malwares while syncing the blockchain continuously, let alone document the mined blocks in the process. What was 50 BTC worth really for the early miners ? dust of dollars, games and magic cards… Even miners post 2010 are generally difficult to deal with in terms of compliance onboarding. Many pool mining are long dead. Deepbit is down for instance and the founders are MIA. So my strategy to proof mining activity is as follow: *Focusing on IT background whenever possible. An IT background does help a lot to bring some substance to the fact you had the technical ability to operate a mining rig. *Showing mining equipment receipts. If you mined on your own you must have bought the hardware to do so. For instance mining equipment receipts from butterfly lab from 2012-2013 could help document your case. Similarly, high electricity bill from your household on a consistent basis back in the day could help. I have already unlocked a tricky case in the past with such documents when the bank was doubtful. *Wallet.dat files with block mining transactions from 2011 thereafter This obviously is a fantastic piece of evidence for both you and me if you have an old wallet and if you control an address that received original mined blocks, (even if the wallet is now empty). I will make sure compliance officers understand what it means, and as for the early adopter, you can prove your control over these wallet through a microtransaction. With these kind of addresses, I can show on the block explorer the mined block rewards hitting at regular time interval, and I can even spot when difficulty level increased or when halvening process happened. *Poolmining account. Here again I have educated my partner bank to understand that a slush account opened in 2013 or an OnionTip presence was enough to corroborate mining activity. The block explorer then helps me to do the bridge with your current wallet. *Describing your set up and putting it in context In the history of mining we had CPU, GPU, FPG and ASICs mining. I will describe your technical set up and explain why and how your set up was competitive at that time. The corporate entity Remember 2012 when we were all convinced bitcoin would take over the world, and soon everyone would pay his coffee in bitcoin? How naïve we were to think transaction fees would remain low forever. I don’t blame bitcoin cash supporters; I once shared this dream as well. Remember when we thought global adoption was right around the corner and some brick and mortar would soon accept bitcoin transaction as a common mean of payment? Well, some shop actually did accept payment and held. I had a few cases as such of shops holders, who made it to the multi million mark holding and had invoices or receipts to proof the transactions. If you are organized enough to keep a record for these trades and are willing to cooperate for the documentation, you are making your life easy. The digital advertising business is also a big market for the bitcoin industry, and affiliates partner compensated in btc are common. It is good to show an invoice, it is better to show a contract. If you do not have a contract (which is common since all advertising deals are about ticking a check box on the website to accept terms and conditions), there are ways around that. If you are in that case, pm me. The black market Sorry guys, I can’t do much for you officially. Not that I am judging you. I am a libertarian myself. It’s just already very difficult to onboard legit btc adopters, so the black market is a market I cannot afford to consider. My company is regulated so KYC and compliance are key for me if I want to stay in business. Behind each case I push forward I am risking the credibility and reputation I have built over the years. So I am sorry guys I am not risking it to make an extra buck. Your best hope is that crypto will eventually take over the world and you won’t need to cash out anyway. Or go find a Lithuanian bank that is light on compliance and cooperative. The OTC buyer and the libertarian. Generally a very difficult case. If you bought your stack during your journey in Japan 5 years ago to a guy you never met again; or if you accumulated on https://localbitcoins.com/ and kept no record or lost your account, it is going to be difficult. Not impossible but difficult. We will try to build a case with everything else we have, and I may be able to onboard you. However I am risking a lot here so I need to be 100% confident you are legit, before I defend you. Come & see me in Geneva, and we will talk. I will run forensic services like elliptic, chainalysis, or scorechain on an extract of your wallet. If this scan does not raise too many red flags, then maybe we can work together ! If you mixed your coins all along your crypto history, and shredded your seeds because you were paranoid, or if you made your wealth mining professionally monero over the last 3 years but never opened an account at an exchange. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I am not a magician and don’t get me wrong, I love monero, it’s not the point. Cashing out ICOs Private companies or foundations who have ran an ICO generally have a very hard time opening a bank account. The few banks that accept such projects would generally look at 4 criteria: *Seriousness of the project Extensive study of the whitepaper to limit the reputation risk *AML of the onboarding process ICOs 1.0 have no chance basically if a background check of the investors has not been conducted *Structure of the moral entity List of signatories, certificate of incumbency, work contract, premises... *Fiscal conformity Did the company informed the authorities and seek a fiscal ruling.
B. The tax issue I am not a tax specialist, but I can say that this year I have seen it all. Again I am not judging. You made $100m hodling, and still wouldn’t pay your taxes ? Your decision.I personally advise everyone to pay their taxes, but also to be generous, to give to charities. I mean you eventually made it. Good for you. What about you contribute to make the world a better place now? I will stop patronizing you. It’s just my 2cts, and it’s your money.
For the record, I am not into the tax avoidance business, so people come to me with a set up and I see if I can make it work within the legal framework imposed to me. First, stop thinking Switzerland is a “offshore heaven” Swiss banks have made deals with many governments for the exchange of fiscal information. If you are a French citizen, resident in France and want to open an account in a Private Bank in Switzerland to cash out your bitcoins, you will get slaughtered (>60%). There are ways around that, and I could refer you to good tax specialists for fiscal optimization, but I cannot organize it myself. It would be illegal for me. Swiss private banks makes it easy for you to keep a good your relation with your retail bank and continue paying your bills without headaches. They are integrated to SEPA, provide ebanking and credit cards. For information, these are the kind of set up some of my clients came up with. It’s all legal; obviously I do not onboard clients that are not tax compliant. Further disclaimer: I did not contribute myself to these set up. Do not ask me to organize it for you. I won’t. EU tricks Swiss lump sum taxation Foreign nationals resident in Switzerland can be taxed on a lump-sum basis if they are not gainfully employed in our country. Under the lump-sum tax regime, foreign nationals taking residence in Switzerland may choose to pay an expense-based tax instead of ordinary income and wealth tax. Attractive cantons for the lump sum taxation are Zug, Vaud, Valais, Grisons, Lucerne and Berne. To make it short, you will be paying somewhere between 200 and 400k a year and all expenses will be deductible. Switzerland has adopted a very friendly attitude towards crypto currency in general. There is a whole crypto valley in Zug now. 30% of ICOs are operated in Switzerland. The reason is that Switzerland has thrived for centuries on banking secrecy, and today with FATCA and exchange of fiscal info with EU, banking secrecy is dead. Regulators in Switzerland have understood that digital ledger technologies were a way to roll over this competitive advantage for the generations to come. Switzerland does not tax capital gains on crypto profits. The Finma has a very pragmatic approach. They have issued guidance- updated guidelines here. They let the business get organized and operate their analysis on a case per case basis. Only after getting a deep understanding of the market will they issue a global fintech license in 2019. This approach is much more realistic than legislations which try to regulate everything beforehand. Italy new tax exemption. It’s a brand new fiscal exemption. Go to Aoste, get residency and you could be taxed a 100k/year for 10years. Yes, really. Portugal What’s crazy in Europe is the lack of fiscal harmonization. Even if no one in Brussels dares admit it, every other country is doing fiscal dumping. Portugal is such a country and has proved very friendly fiscally speaking. I personally have a hard time trusting Europe. I have witnessed what happened in Greece over the last few years. Some of our ultra high net worth clients got stuck with capital controls. I mean no way you got out of crypto to have your funds confiscated at the next financial crisis! Anyway. FYI Malta Generally speaking, if you get a residence somewhere you have to live there for a certain period of time. Being stuck in Italy is no big deal with Schengen Agreement, but in Malta it is a different story. In Malta, the ordinary residence scheme is more attractive than the HNWI residence scheme. Being an individual, you can hold a residence permit under this scheme and pay zero income tax in Malta in a completely legal way. Monaco Not suitable for French citizens, but for other Ultra High Net worth individual, Monaco is worth considering. You need an account at a local bank as a proof of fortune, and this account generally has to be seeded with at least EUR500k. You also need a proof of residence. I do mean UHNI because if you don’t cash out minimum 30m it’s not interesting. Everything is expensive in Monaco. Real Estate is EUR 50k per square meter. A breakfast at Monte Carlo Bay hotel is 70 EUR. Monaco is sunny but sometimes it feels like a golden jail. Do you really want that for your kids? Dubaï
Set up a company in Dubaï, get your resident card.
Spend one day every 6 month there
Be tax free
US tricks Some Private banks in Geneva do have the license to manage the assets of US persons and U.S citizens. However, do not think it is a way to avoid paying taxes in the US. Opening an account at an authorized Swiss Private banks is literally the same tax-wise as opening an account at Fidelity or at Bank of America in the US. The only difference is that you will avoid all the horror stories. Horror stories are all real by the way. In Switzerland, if you build a decent case and answer all the questions and corroborate your case in depth, you will manage to convince compliance officers beforehand. When the money eventually hits your account, it is actually available and not frozen. The IRS and FATCA require to file FBAR if an offshore account is open. However FBAR is a reporting requirement and does not have taxes related to holding an account outside the US. The taxes would be the same if the account was in the US. However penalties for non compliance with FBAR are very large. The tax liability management is actually performed through the management of the assets ( for exemple by maximizing long term capital gains and minimizing short term gains). The case for Porto Rico. Full disclaimer here. I am not encouraging this. Have not collaborated on such tax avoidance schemes. if you are interested I strongly encourage you to seek a tax advisor and get a legal opinion. I am not responsible for anything written below. I am not going to say much because I am so afraid of uncle Sam that I prefer to humbly pass the hot potato to pwc From here all it takes is a good advisor and some creativity to be tax free on your crypto wealth if you are a US person apparently. Please, please please don’t ask me more. And read the disclaimer again. Trust tricks Generally speaking I do not accept fringe fiscal situation because it puts me in a difficult situation to the banks I work with, and it is already difficult enough to defend a legit crypto case. Trust might be a way to optimize your fiscal situation. Belize. Bahamas. Seychelles. Panama, You name it. At the end of the day, what matters for Swiss Banks are the beneficial owner and the settlor. Get a legal opinion, get it done, and when you eventually knock at a private bank’s door, don’t say it was for fiscal avoidance you stupid ! You will get the door smashed upon you. Be smarter. It will work. My advice is just to have it done by a great tax specialist lawyer, even if it costs you some money, as the entity itself needs to be structured in a professional way. Remember that with trust you are dispossessing yourself off your wealth. Not something to be taken lightly. “Anonymous” cash out. Right. I think I am not going into this topic, neither expose the ways to get it done. Pm me for details. I already feel a bit uncomfortable with all the info I have provided. I am just going to mention many people fear that crypto exchange might become reporting entities soon, and rightly so. This might happen anyday. You have been warned. FYI, this only works for non-US and large cash out. The difference between traders an investors. Danmark, Holland and Germany all make a huge difference if you are a passive investor or if you are a trader. ICO is considered investing for instance and is not taxed, while trading might be considered as income and charged aggressively. I would try my best to protect you and put a focus on your investor profile whenever possible, so you don't have to pay 52% tax if you do not have to :D
C. The cash out itself So you have accumulated patiently a good amount of wealth. For some of us who have been involved in crypto since 2010, it took years. Remember when BTC was stuck at 200$ for months? I personally feel like it was yesterday. There is no way you screw up your wealth by cashing out in a hurry or with low security standards. Here is how the cash out takes should place.
Full cash out or partial cash out? People who have been sitting on crypto for long have grown an emotional and irrational link with their coins. They come to me and say, look, I have 50m in crypto but I would like to cash out 500k only. So first let me tell you that as a wealth manager my advice to you is to take some off the table. Doing a partial cash out is absolutely fine. The market is bullish. We are witnessing a redistribution of wealth at a global scale. Bitcoin is the real #occupywallstreet, and every one will discuss crypto at Xmas eve which will make the market even more supportive beginning 2018, especially with all hedge funds entering the scene. If you want to stay exposed to bitcoin and altcoins, and believe these techs will change the world, it’s just natural you want to keep some coins. In the meantime, if you have lived off pizzas over the last years, and have the means to now buy yourself an nice house and have an account at a private bank, then f***ing do it mate ! Buy physical gold with this account, buy real estate, have some cash at hands. Even though US dollar is worthless to your eyes, it’s good and convenient to have some. Also remember your wife deserves it ! And if you have no wife yet and you are socially awkward like the rest of us, then maybe cashing out partially will help your situation ;) What the Private Banks expect. Joke aside, it is important you understand something. If you come around in Zurich to open a bank account and partially cash out, just don’t expect Private Banks will make an exception for you if you are small. You can’t ask them to facilitate your cash out, buy a 1m apartment with the proceeds of the sale, and not leave anything on your current account. It won’t work. Sadly, under 5m you are considered small in private banking. The bank is ok to let you open an account, provided that your kyc and compliance file are validated, but they will also want you to become a client and leave some money there to invest. This might me despicable, but I am just explaining you their rules. If you want to cash out, you should sell enough to be comfortable and have some left. Also expect the account opening to last at least 3-4 week if everything goes well. You can't just open an account overnight. The cash out logistics. Cashing out 1m USD a day in bitcoin or more is not so hard. Let me just tell you this: Even if you get a Tier 4 account with Kraken and ask Alejandro there to raise your limit over $100k per day, Even if you have a bitfinex account and you are willing to expose your wealth there, Even if you have managed to pass all the crazy due diligence at Bitstamp, The amount should be fractioned to avoid risking your full wealth on exchange and getting slaughtered on the price by trading big quantities. Cashing out involves significant risks at all time. There is a security risk of compromising your keys, a counterparty risk, a fat finger risk. Let it be done by professionals. It is worth every single penny. Most importantly, there is a major difference between trading on an exchange and trading OTC. Even though it’s not publicly disclosed some exchange like Kraken do have OTC desks. Trading on an exchange for a large amount will weight on the prices. Bitcoin is a thin market. In my opinion over 30% of the coins are lost in translation forever. Selling $10m on an exchange in a day can weight on the prices more than you’d think. And if you trade on a exchange, everything is shown on record, and you might wipe out the prices because on exchanges like bitstamp or kraken ultimately your counterparties are retail investors and the market depth is not huge. It is a bit better on Bitfinex. It is way better to trade OTC. Accessing the institutional OTC market is not easy, and that is also the reason why you should ask a regulated financial intermediary if we are talking about huge amounts. Last point, always chose EUR as opposed to USD. EU correspondent banks won’t generally block institutional amounts. However we had the cases of USD funds frozen or delayed by weeks. Most well-known OTC desks are Cumberlandmining (ask for Lucas), Genesis (ask for Martin), Bitcoin Suisse AG (ask for Niklas), circletrade, B2C2, or Altcoinomy (ask for Olivier) Very very large whales can also set up escrow accounts for massive block trades. This world, where blocks over 30k BTC are exchanged between 2 parties would deserve a reddit thread of its own. Crazyness all around. Your options: DIY or going through a regulated financial intermediary. Execution trading is a job in itself. You have to be patient, be careful not to wipe out the order book and place limit orders, monitor the market intraday for spikes or opportunities. At big levels, for a large cash out that may take weeks, these kind of details will save you hundred thousands of dollars. I understand crypto holders are suspicious and may prefer to do it by themselves, but there are regulated entities who now offer the services. Besides, being a crypto millionaire is not a guarantee you will get institutional daily withdrawal limits at exchange. You might, but it will take you another round of KYC with them, and surprisingly this round might be even more aggressive that the ones at Private banks since exchange have gone under intense scrutiny by regulators lately. The fees for cashing out through a regulated financial intermediary to help you with your cash out should be around 1-2% flat on the nominal, not more. And for this price you should get the full package: execution/monitoring of the trades AND onboarding in a private bank. If you are asked more, you are being abused. Of course, you also have the option to do it yourself. It is a way more tedious and risky process. Compliance with the exchange, compliance with the private bank, trading BTC/fiat, monitoring the transfers…You will save some money but it will take you some time and stress. Further, if you approach a private bank directly, it will trigger a series of red flag to the banks. As I said in my previous post, they call a direct approach a “walk-in”. They will be more suspicious than if you were introduced by someone and won’t hesitate to show you high fees and load your portfolio with in-house products that earn more money to the banks than to you. Remember also most banks still do not understand crypto so you will have a lot of explanations to provide and you will have to start form scratch with them! The paradox of crypto millionaires Most of my clients who made their wealth through crypto all took massive amount of risks to end up where they are. However, most of them want their bank account to be managed with a low volatility fixed income capital preservation risk profile. This is a paradox I have a hard time to explain and I think it is mainly due to the fact that most are distrustful towards banks and financial markets in general. Many clients who have sold their crypto also have a cash-out blues in the first few months. This is a classic situation. The emotions involved in hodling for so long, the relief that everything has eventually gone well, the life-changing dynamics, the difficulties to find a new motivation in life…All these elements may trigger a post cash-out depression. It is another paradox of the crypto rich who has every card in his hand to be happy, but often feel a bit sad and lonely. Sometimes, even though it’s not my job, I had to do some psychological support. A lot of clients have also become my friends, because we have the same age and went through the same “ordeal”. First world problem I know… Remember, cashing out is not the end. It’s actually the beginning. Don’t look back, don’t regret. Cash out partially, because it does not make sense to cash out in full, regret it and want back in. relax. The race to cash out crypto billionaire and the concept of late exiter. The Winklevoss brothers are obviously the first of a series. There will be crypto billionaires. Many of them. At a certain level you can have a whole family office working for you to manage your assets and take care of your needs . However, let me tell you it’s is not because you made it so big that you should think you are a genius and know everything better than anyone. You should hire professionals to help you. Managing assets require some education around the investment vehicles and risk management strategies. Sorry guys but with all the respect I have for wallstreebet, AMD and YOLO stock picking, some discipline is necessary. The investors who have made money through crypto are generally early adopters. However I have started to see another profile popping up. They are not early adopters. They are late exiters. It is another way but just as efficient. Last week I met the first crypto millionaire I know who first bough bitcoin over 1000$. 55k invested at the beginning of this year. Late adopter & late exiter is a route that can lead to the million. Last remarks. I know banks, bankers, and FIAT currencies are so last century. I know some of you despise them and would like to have them burn to the ground. With compliance officers taking over the business, I would like to start the fire myself sometimes. I hope this extensive guide has helped some of you. I am around if you need more details. I love my job despite all my frustration towards the banking industry because it makes me meet interesting people on a daily basis. I am a crypto enthusiast myself, and I do think this tech is here to stay and will change the world. Banks will have to adapt big time. Things have started to change already; they understand the threat is real. I can feel the generational gap in Geneva, with all these old bankers who don’t get what’s going on. They glaze at the bitcoin chart on CNBC in disbelief and they start to get it. This bitcoin thing is not a joke. Deep inside, as an early adopter who also intends to be a late exiter, as a libertarian myself, it makes me smile with satisfaction. Cheers. @swisspb on telegram
October, 2011 was when I first heard about Bitcoin. A friend excitedly told me about it, that the price had crashed, that it could be 'mined', and that it could be purchased on exchanges. He didn't own any, but he found it interesting, and so did I. I was instantly interested in acquiring some coins. That the price had 'crashed' meant a buying opportunity, and I further saw it as evidence that the system was somehow free, and had a life of its own. I did not purchase any right away, regretfully, since the coins were about $3 each. I did do some initial research, calculating mining profitability, and looking into the process for buying coins on MtGox. I also read about the thefts and hacks. I found it intuitive these incidents were matters of endpoint-security, and not reflective of a systemic weakness. Yet I would have much to learn if I was to avoid becoming a victim. I continued to casually follow Bitcoin developments, and occasionally checked the price. Eight months later I came across a Timothy B. Lee article in Forbes that detailed the Bitcoin Richlist. It was my catalyst. It was time for a technical deep dive, time to understand what gave people the confidence to entrust millions of dollars of value to the system. Of everything I read that day, it wasn't the proof-of-work that seemed revolutionary, but simply the fact that a lost private key meant the coins would be irrecoverable. That signified Bitcoin put true and total control of money into the hands of users, and for that it was different and worthwhile. I decided to invest. All that was left was working out the mechanics of the transaction. And security. I was determined to not fall victim to a hack. An offline, paper wallet seemed like the easy choice. The price was in the $6 - $7 range. My first purchase went though MoneyGram and Coinapult, with MtGox as my receiving wallet. I put in $150, and got out $130 worth of coins. The price had surged in the few days since I decided to buy, to slightly under $10 per coin. I transferred the coins off of MtGox and onto my paper wallet, and it all felt very real! I wanted to buy more, and settled on CoinFloor to avoid the hefty fees I paid the first time. CoinFloor also allowed for instant fiat funding via a deposit at a bank teller window. Depositing $900 directly into a bank account was not without risk, but CoinFloor came through and the money was credited within 5 minutes. It all went flawlessly, and soon with my 100 coins spread out over a few different paper wallets, I could rest easy, without fear of a hack. Edit - I meant BitFloor, not CoinFloor I occasionally checked the price, tested out Satoshi Dice, and read a little more on the technical underpinnings, but other than that, I mostly forgot about my Bitcoin investment for the next 6 months. Then, in early 2013, I read about a few seed rounds in Bitcoin startups, and I saw pictures of a Bitcoin booth at the CES is Las Vegas. Somehow that booth, with the Bitcoin logo, made it all seem even more legitimate. The price had climbed into the $14 - $15 range, and I wanted more coin. CoinFloor had been hacked and was out of commission. This time I would use the Dwolla to MtGox method of funding. I found myself seriously regretting not having done Gox's verification the previous summer, as the price quickly climbed while I waited. When my verification finally cleared, the price had shot up to $19, and I transferred in several thousand dollars and bought another ~150 coins. Over the next few months I kept buying until the price crossed $100 per coin. In total, I had put in about $10,000 for 340 coins. I worked part-time, with an annual income of about $25,000, so that $10,000 felt substantial. The rise to $266 was exhilarating, as was the following surge to $1242. I mostly held, but sometimes tried to time the market with a small position (always 10% of holdings or less). I sold some coins the first time Bitcoin passed the $400 mark to recoup my initial investment, and I arbitraged when it was profitable. I lost a then-painful amount of fiat on MtGox, but not any coins. I held tight during the long bear market, with absolute confidence that the price would find a non-zero bottom, and it would only be up from there. The ecosystem was growing, the technology was maturing, and investment money was pouring in, and yet the price continued to decline. I would have loved to buy more, but doing so would have been truly irresponsible from a diversification perspective. I have largely stayed away alt-coins, but I did mine-and-dump those I found annoying, and mined and held the one that I found interesting - Ethereum. I reluctantly pushed some BTC into Ethereum early this year, which turned out to be a good move. In total, over the past 5 years, I have returned about 200x on my initial investment, in the current form of about 250 BTC, about 700 ETH and approximately $300k of other liquid assets. The result is almost identical to a pure buy-and-hold from the beginning, but I felt the need to hedge as valuations changed over time. I feel no pressure to sell more coins, though I probably would convert a few in the $20k-$40k range, prices which I have long seen as likely, if not inevitable. I am in my early 30's. Ask Me Anything! Though I might only have time to answer a few…
Re: inquiries about MtGox disbursements and proposed revival
Here’s why we’re in this situation. The trustee forced the user-victims to give, without compensation, a free call option to the Gox shareholders to buy 200k BTC at $2500 at any time prior to the distribution. Thus, a perverse incentive to delay distributions was born. The result:
CoinLab/Vessenes demand a massive settlement. The argument goes: the lawsuit may be frivolous but if you don’t settle, you’re going to lose out even more on the rising price of bitcoin. Straight up legalized extortion, but nothing new – same tactics used by patent trolls.
The shareholders are the other obvious adversary here. For all we know, the shareholders are financing or otherwise incentivizing CoinLab to continue pressing the lawsuit and delaying distributions. Shareholders may be running their own delay tactics that we’re unaware of. Until we see 100% of the shareholders make binding commitments to allocate 100% of their ill-gotten gains to the user-victims, we can’t discount their involvement.
Essentially ANYBODY in the nexus of parties responsible for making distributions could become compromised by massive incentives to delay offered by Gox shareholders.
What can be done?(in theory)
Reject the commingling of user-victim assets and company assets from the outset. If a bank goes in to bankruptcy (in the US), the contents of the safe deposit boxes cannot be auctioned to pay off the bank’s credit card. The asset that the bank holds is the contract to service the safe deposit box, and that could be auctioned to another servicer, but not the contents of the box itself. It can be argued that missing box contents are the responsibility of the bank, but not that missing bank assets are the responsibility of the box renters. How did we get in to this situation with Gox?
Demand that the call option for Gox shareholders be canceled and instead be offered to user-victims.
Demand that a reassessment of the price of bitcoin be done at the time of distribution.
Demand no conversion of any assets and distribute pro rata all assets (USD, EUR, JPY, BTC, etc) as they are, according to the exchange rates established at the start of the bankruptcy proceedings.
Sue the MtGox/sharehoders for unjust enrichment/conversion and get a preemptive lien/garnishment against the distribution that might go to them.
With regard to the proposal to revive MtGox, I just don’t see the ROI for an investor to take this on. It’s a massive and extremely difficult undertaking with a highly improbable outcome. Why shouldn’t the investor just hodl and chill, or buy a fully functioning, profitable exchange without a massive brand problem? Why shouldn’t Kraken just dump $245m in to marketing instead? And, why would it be necessary if the shareholders would just commit to donating their gains to the victims? The trustee has already said that fiat payouts will be optionally payable to Kraken accounts, and that if bitcoin payouts are approved by the court, they will be payable only to Kraken accounts. If any of the Gox shareholders end up with an unexpected windfall that they wish to distribute to the user-victims, Kraken would happily facilitate. Kraken already has most of the accounts as a result of our facilitation of claims collection, the $1m worth of free trading each claimant received, and our providing support to victims and trustee over the last 4 years. People are not sitting on the sidelines waiting for a MtGox revival – they’ve been off trading elsewhere and you’d have a hard sell bringing them back. IMO, it's a pipe dream. I'm glad to see the formation of mtgoxlegal.com and hope that together the creditors can drive some progress toward the only morally acceptable outcome, which is that the user-victims receive 100% of whatever remains after bankruptcy fees.
A word of caution. All major exchanges are not even fiat gateways. The actual fiat in the system is likely grossly overestimated. Crypto is decoupled from USD. Implications.
First of all i should disclose i'm fully out of crypto since last Sunday, i'm just waiting for my EUR wire from Bitstamp as that has been my gateway since 2014. I would like to thank bitcoinmarkets for the good times, i've been around for a long time but not really participating that much, and even when I did i used throwaways. I decided to make this topic as a warning and to explain why I got out and why I think you should be very careful. So we have a situation in which: 1) 80% or more of trading is in USDT (tether) 2) Coinmarket cap is an accomplice to Bitfinex which implies USDT-USD parity. To which degree this is intentional, irresponsibility or just incompetence I would not know. Basically conimarketplace lumps all USDT trades and prices with actual USD trades and prices. If you go there https://coinmarketcap.com/ and try to select PAIR, you get THIS. No USDT, even though most exchanges are USDT. Even if most of liquidity is USDT. Again, this is a major factor in implying parity along with what Bitfinex/Tether try to do. As if this wasn't enough, they also willingly or stupidly inflate USDT price itself. I have to remind you Coinmarketcap is THE point of reference for all cryptosphere. It's oscilating Alexa rank is 100-400. Betfair (real life gambling company) for example uses coinmarket price average for their own system. etc. 3) If/when tethebitfinex crashes, not only does bitfinex crash, it will crash all crypto pairings using USDT on all exchanges using USDT. 4) There are very few fiat gateways. Until recently I assumed the major(top) exchanges have some kind of fiat pairing. I mean.. any respectable exchange would have some way of actually getting money in and out, right? I didn't even think to check. Well, they don't. Literally all the major exchanges are USDT (and/or another stablecoin or proprietary coin) and nothing else. No USD, no EUR, no fiat whatsoever. https://coinmarketcap.com/rankings/exchanges/ . Only the 11th one has actual USD pairing. Didn't check lower but most exchanges don't have fiat. I did a full check on Binance myself as it's the biggest exchange and I had an account there for lulz. There is no fiat. What does this mean? It means that an allegedly 200 BILLION market cap of all crypto has a fiat gateway of only a couple of exchanges. Most exchanges not using any fiat are not only immune to the risk, they offload risk on the much smaller exchanges that are fiat gateways. And on clients, of course. The cash side of the actual exchanges would need to have to siphon even a fraction of this are unimaginable. If any of these exchanges use crypto to evaluate their own fiat balance (it is illegal but crypto is hardly regulated or audited), they're fucked. 5) If the first four points looked bad, this one is by far the worst. The system is running on a presumed liquidity provided by Tether and on presumed USD capital. Even if tether was legit it's just 2b USD rolling 200b USD. And that 200b USD is just presumed quantity of USD that is in. We don't know how much USD is in the system, there could be and there probably is way less, as over the past 8 years or so crypto ran mostly on funny exchanges that could "provide" whatever USD value they wanted. More so, even if they went bust, people would usually get to withdraw crypto and store it on some other exchange. Even when an exchange was slowly withering, people just pulled out crypto and the exchange actual liquidity was hardly tested out. Or btc-e crashing or MtGox crashing. Their cash side crashed but "crypto" side did not crash. It was bailed out so to speak. So we have crypto running around that should've been worth 1/10 or 1/100 of it's price but it's instead running on par value with crypto on legit exchanges. This grossly inflates price. Even if tether (or other stablecoin) is legit, it can be drained in a couple of hours. What happens to the pairings of crypto/USDT? People just trade one bitcoin at the presumable price of 6k for 6k USDT that are 100% backed but have no value because there's no USD in the treasury? Who is stupid enough to deposit USD there to get stuck waiting for another fool to bail him out by getting himself stuck? edit: [Even if tether is 1%, it holds much more assumed/created value, which is the actual issue. Look at it this way. It only adds 1 cent to a real dollar market buy order for example. Each buy order made in a system that implies USDT:USD parity is now worth 1% more than a true USD purchase. Now repeat that buy order millions of times. It's not 1.01+1.01 times 1 million. It's more like 1.01$1.000.000 Each added value comes from USDT injection and USDT has to be liquid on the way down as well. It's added value to the market value is NOT it's market cap. That's a shitfest all "stablecoins" inject into the market, no matter how backed or audited they are.] As I was saying, all the exchanges that are not holding any fiat are immune to any crash or actual liability. If/when cryptos fail, they'll give you back any number of cryptos/stablecoins you had, even if they're worthless. It's just entries in a database. If/when USDT fails, all it's corresponding crypto prices will go to infinity. If you're holding any USDT, you can't get out of the exchange because 1 btc will cost infinity. If you're in any margin position, no matter where your stops are you'll get margin called instead, as stops are just suggestions in high/extreme volatility. You can't get out through fiat cause there's no fiat. Your only hope is you were actually holding crypto and they don't block withdrawals. Best case scenario you move your crypto to a fiat gateway exchange and hope to cash out there as fast as possible because it will have had become evident that cryptos were overvalued because of USDT (and even hypothetical USD in the system). Will most likely be too late as people that were already in fiat gateway exchanges already sold/cashed out. There will be enormous sell pressure. And no buyers. The whole stablecoin issuance is idiotic and I just hope it crashes now and we won't see another bubble built on presumed capital, cause that will hurt way more people. All of this is a mess. Crypto is completely decoupled from real fiat now. The potential money that are in the crypto sphere is exponentially greater than available money to trade out of. Or maybe we should be grateful for stablecoins for finally crashing a system that would've crashed anyway in the long run.
Hi Bitcoiners! I’m back with the sixteenth monthly Bitcoin news recap. It's easy for news and developments to get drowned out by price talk, so each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in Bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in Bitcoin over the past month. Lots of gems this time around! You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com A recap of Bitcoin in April 2018
Which are your recommended places to buy bitcoin in 2017?
I'm interested in buying to hold for a year or two. I know that the price is high and it's recommended to only buy bitcoin in "the dip". However I strongly feel it will go higher. Having read through a couple of forums and wikis, I noticed that most of the recommended places to buy bitcoin are no longer online or have shut down. I saw this with bitmarket, tradehill, and (famous?) mtgox websites all no longer sell btc. It seems there is a big turnover of exchanges over the years. Which sites do initiated users recommend for purchasing bitcoin easily in 2017? I may go on to try trading too, so any advice for this would be great also.
I was holder since 2011. Bought my first coins for few bucks a piece, then watched it climb to $32. Wow, awesome. 600%! Holding. Next bubble will probably be soon. Then I sold half during long period when BTC was around $2 (it lasted many months: long, long stagnation). No bubble in sight, I lost patience. Next bubble came out of nowhere. Re-bought some, but not much. Remember the shock seeing it reaching $100. Then it peaked at $266 and went sharply down. I was holding, and the money started to be serious. MtGox bubble came. I was holding my coins (fortunately not at MtGox) and holding my breath. Wild ride to 4-digits territory. Then MtGox imploded. What I was supposed to do? I was holding. It's temporary I repeated to myself. It will rebound. It will be even more in the future. And it's all my profit melting, my original investment was small, so I'm still good. And I'll be tough! I'll be proud of myself! So I holded, even occasionally tried to buy on the rebounds, countertrend, losing coins and sleep. And it kept going down and down. $800 – "It's just a single exchange bankrupt, don't make it such a big deal!" $700 – "I made lot of money, still!" $600 – "seems like it's reversing, let's go long!" $500 – "but the technology is great I believe it!" $400 – "it's crazy to sell so low!" $300 – "boom or bust, I don't f* care" $200 – "can't go lower, just can't! I don't want to watch the chart, I don't want to think about it, I don't want to calculate how much more I was worth when it was $1150, leave me alone, I'm HOLDING" Then it went down (early 2015) to $160. I said to myself: "OK, that's it. Blood on the street and so on. I don't have guts to buy more, but it's the final act of bear market." And it reversed. Went quite sharply to $315 (100%!). Then, with same pace went down to $200's. I was exhausted but holding. Price was bouncing for long weeks between $200 and $300, then settled in low $200's. "Let's forget it. It's a long term investment. Check back in 5 years!" I was repeating myself. But another voice in my head at the same time was telling me "You could have sold it. Maybe not on the very top. $800 is 4x today price. You fool". In the summer 2015 price started climbing again, reaching $300. Then it begun slow decline. "Correction" I was thinking. "In the worst case we'll be back to $200's". And one day (there was some news I don't even remember what it was) it went down to $160. That was the tipping point. Something broke inside me. I was ashamed of myself. I realized that none of that was true, and there's possibility that it will go down even further. WHY NOT?! I was thinking the same many times before. "It will never go down to $600, $400, $200...". Every single time I was wrong. So it can go to $100. Maybe $50. WHY NOT? And it if goes to $100 from 1000% profit at the peak I would be at the loss. This would be so pathetic. All this because I was holder, I was tough. I had enough reason not to act in the heat of the moment. The drop to $160 was temporary. I was patient, but the decision was made: I was about to sell half of my stash. It would prevent me for losing money on BTC, all what would be left is my profit. So I act as planned. Price was again at $200s, I begun to sell. Price was going back and forth, with slight uptrend, I was selling while it was "high" ("$240! Nice price!") and refraining from selling while it was "low" ("$230. I'll wait"). I was quite proud of myself and my self control. But I couldn't not notice that the price was going upwards. I was selling less and less, slower and slower, because nearly every day the price was bit higher. I sold roughly 40% and I stopped. I think most of you know the rest of the story. Price reached $300 again and this time this level holded. Fast forward, and we're at $1200. Only 60% of my coins survived. Then the downtrend started, and there are clear fundamental reasons for the price to go down: negative ETF decision and block size "debate" (or war). And I don't want to go thru all this again. I don't want to be brave, I don't want to be tough, I don't want to break when price will reach $700, $300 or $100 and sell and regret. If you're holder: please reconsider. Holding will not get you a medal. No one really cares if you're tough. Your health is not worth it. If you consider much lower price a real possibility, sell now and buy later at the lower prices. Or even sell now and but at a slightly higher price, but without the stress. I don't complain I ended with 40% less coins when the price was again above $1000. What I hate is very painful process I went thru. I would gladly trade 10% gain for 50% less pain. And I agree, it's about long term, and maybe one day BTC will be worth $10000. But even if you firmly believe that it will make it, there's one more thing: you have to make it and have some coins at that moment. And be in good shape, to enjoy the profit. Good luck. Update: Some info on my trading strategy in 2016/2017: https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/61eu0t/dont_hold_story_of_a_holdedfe7omd/
A Bitcoin Tale: the currious case of those not meant to be in Ƀ
Adoption: Bitcoin isn't for anyone, and why that's ok
Last year while Ƀ was still in the low 2000s ($), I recommended a relative of mine to invest what he could afford to loose. He bought in after some typical lengthy exchange hassle, in the late 3000s ($). Seeing his stash grow quick, getting greedy, he took out a mortage in his house and eventually bought his last Bitcoins in the late 8K-9Ks. Typical for that bullrun was getting a large deposit stuck on an exchange meant you lost a run up over a few weeks of some 30-40%. I told him to use one of the "instant" exchanges such as Bitcoin Suisse for large amounts, but he overheard it and went on Kraken. Where, as you might know, anything and everything seem to get stuck (worthy of its name of the apocalyptic all-swallowing seamonster). Then come late December. I tell him to sell everything he initially invested, and keep the rest in BTC for fun. He says,
"well.. I don't really care about if it goes down (the long term trend is up). This is long term investment. It will come back up".
Then through the altcoin pumps, I get a mail from him saying he invested in Ripple, because "..it can be used by banks in the future, and there's a big upside". So my sympathy for him, went out as quick as a flush of the toilet. Realising what kind of thinking he prescribes to in reality. I did want to warn him, but as he didn't pick up the phone through numerous calls, I thought better to leave him harvest his own crypto experience. Then come last week and I finally get an email saying he sold ALL with a "little loss". Better for his mental health and family. Me, dumbfounded, how you can throw away a 3-4x of initial investment and end up with a loss. Concluding Bitcoin in that sense isn't for everyone. Meaning, there have been a bunch of "mee too" investors, trying to hitch a ride on to the BTC express. But not really grasping what it is about, they are prone to sell out once BTC seems to shake in it's foundational pump. Oddly, this is also what happened to many people early, that should be well versed in trading. Take Tone Vays. He sold out all his Bitcoins after the MtGox collapse in price. Yet, to great wonder, still advises n00bs on trading strategies. All this begs the fundamental question: Would you still buy Bitcoin even if it's price would be going down (vs fiat) or staying flat. Long or short term? For me, the answer is a YES. How about it? You'd rather go back into fiat and risk having a deposit haircut? The morale of this story is maybe adotion doesn't need to be for all: not everyone deserves to be part of Bitcoin. But: Ofcourse it's for everyone. Just, many will not understand it and just eventually aclimatise just as they did with paypal. We are still in the earliest phase, but it's noticeable that Ƀ throws out people that don't belong like a wild stallion with a redneck trying to hold on. Try to hold on to something that doesn't want you on it's back
The Argument for Diversifying your Portfolio Massively! - For Long Term Investors
In this article I will cover the benefits of massively diversifying your cryptocurrency portfolio by using Bitcoin as the primary example. Then I will discuss some of the best ways to diversify your portfolio and which methods require the least amount of work (purchase and hold several coins versus dividend sharing coins like COSS or token baskets) Let's assume I had purchased 100 USD worth of Bitcoin on Jan 1, 2011. I would own about 333.33 BTC (Details below)
Yes the RollerCOSSter term was a play on the COSS token (COSS hodlers know this term all too well)
On the first day of the year 2013, Bitcoin was worth 13.30 USD (333.33 BTC would be worth 4,433.29 USD)
This year the peak price of Bitcoin was hit on December 4th 2013 and was worth around 1,147.25 USD (333.33 BTC would be worth 382,412.84 USD)
By December 31st, 2013 the price of Bitcoin had regressed back to 757.50 USD (My 333.33 BTC at this point would now be worth 252,497.48 USD)
The Big Reckoning - MtGox and more - 2014
This was the year of MtGox, you all know what it is and what it was and how it hurt Bitcoin
At the end of the suffering from this year the price of bitcoin had fallen to 309.87 USD (My 333.33 BTC would now be worth a mere 103,288.97 USD)
2015 and 2016
These were the slow years of Bitcoin so I lumped them together. I would have to be pretty strong to hold my 333.33 Bitcoin through this 2 year time period.
In December 2015 BTC was trading at 413.51 USD (My 333.33 BTC would be worth 137,835.29 USD which was a mere 36% of Bitcoins previous all time high seen on December 4th 2013)
On December 31, 2016 BTC was trading at 955.14 USD (My 333.33 BTC was worth 318,376.82 USD inching closer to its all time high)
At this point even though Bitcoin had fallen off from its previous ATH my original investment of 100 USD saw an increase of 318,376.82% (Unheard of gains ... Imagine if someone had invested 10,000 USD instead)
The Unparalleled rise and Altcoin mania - 2017
This year was special. The price of Bitcoin surged massively mid-year hitting highs of between 3 to 5000 USD
On December 17 Bitcoin hit a peak of 19,299.20 USD (My 333.33 BTC would be worth 6,433,002.336 USD)
2017 was special because we saw coins like Ethereum go from 8 USD to 700 USD, Litecoin go from 4 USD to 360 USD
Not only did the top altcoins benefit from the rise of Bitcoin but so did the small unknown coins (Sometimes referred to as dust)
Neo formally known as Antshares rose from 0.14 cents to 80 USD (Peaked at 161.55 USD in 2018) Buying 100 USD of NEO would return 115,392.86 USD at its peak in 2018
Nano formally known as Raiblocks rose from 0.009 USD to 12.38 USD (Peaked at 34.43 USD in 2018) Buying 100 USD of Nano would return 382,555 USD at its peak in 2018
The Bubble - 2018
Everyone is now classifying Bitcoin as a bubble because of the fall from 20k to the current price of 6.5k. But the truth is bitcoin is still up 6.5x (or more) since the start of 2017 and who knows maybe this is just the beginning and 333.33 BTC might be worth billions some day!
Had you got into some gem coins like Ethereum, Litecoin, Neo, Nano early on you would stand to make a lot of money and this is why diversifying into coins is extremely important, especially if this is the bottom. It is probably very risky, but as always, the greater the risk the greater the reward!
Conclusion and The Case to Diversify
The main takeaway point from this discussion was that Bitcoin's rise in the past few years has been unparalleled by any other asset class in the world. However the likelihood that you knew or even held through all the ups and downs of bitcoin from 2011 to 2018 would be slim to none (Almost like hitting a lottery)
How can someone take advantage of the cryptocurrency market and catch all star risers like Neo and Nano? Diversify! Had someone diversified in 2017 into various altcoins (10$ each in small coins or so) they would stand to gain a ton of profits at the peak in 2018.
Ways to Massively Diversify - Manual Method (Buy and Hold)
This method is straight forward, just simply buy and hold a mixed bag of big cap and small cap cryptocurrencies for the long term. Once the technology becomes more adopted and accepted, and when more people find it easy to purchase cryptocurrencies (Trust me it's not easy right now, especially in Canada where banks are blocking it everywhere) you will see decent profits.
Only issue with this method is it requires a lot of manual work from creating wallets, storing your money safely and signing up for several exchanges to get the coin you want to hold
Ways to Massively Diversify - Automatic Method (COSS)
Kucoin was an option until they changed the dividend model of their exchange to only pay dividends in more Kucoin shares.
Holding COSS tokens on the COSS exchange or on a linked external Ethereum wallet earns you weekly dividends in the form of Fees the exchange earns
Your weekly dividend contains every coin traded on the COSS exchange, this includes BTC, ETH, LTC, NEO, OMG, ICX and so many more coins
Basically by holding COSS tokens the exchange is building a very diverse portfolio in the form of many dust coins and big coins like BTC and ETH (These coins might be dust now but could potentially breakout like Neo or Nano in the long term)
This method requires minimal work from your part, just hold the COSS tokens and earn weekly dividends in hundreds of other coins.
Note the exchange is facing some known bugs at present (causing some exchange lag), but they have plans for significant improvements in the pipeline with the launch of COSS2.0 (With the market basically having bottomed this might be the best time to buy COSS)
Ways to Massively Diversify - Automatic Method (Basket ETFs)
Not too familiar with this one since it was mentioned in a comment below
But this sounds like a good way to put your money in one place and let someone else deal with the trouble of buying and holding your currencies for you (Similar idea to COSS being responsible for diversifying your portfolio)
Due to the sheer amount of misinformation surrounding myself and current events, I thought it necessary to post something. This is going against all advice that I have received on the matter. The fraud charges are of my greatest concern right now, they are baffling to me and here is why: I sold several people bitcoins for cash, most of which had them sent directly to their own wallets or exchange accounts prior to Neo and Bee becoming open to the public. There were 4 people however that requested for me to hold them until they provided me with an address to send them. Two people that bought on November 20th 2013, One Person that bought from me twice once on the 2nd December 2013 and the 20th December 2013 and one person who bought from me on the 24th December 2013. There was a 5th person I was holding Bitcoin for however following a change in their personal circumstances I bought the bitcoins back from them. Sorry to disappoint those that believe the tales that I simply took them.... The keys are still stored on paper. The total sales to these 4 people amounts to 75.29270138 BTC which were purchased for a combined total of €35213.57 so I have no idea where the values reported in the media have been derived from. I have not received one single request from the individuals who bought the bitcoins from me to send the coins to an address they provided. With one exception a request was made but that was received from the individual that introduced one of the buyers to me, they requested for me to transfer the coins to his Bitstamp account. I didn't send the coins to his address as he was not the person that I had the agreement with. One of these people went directly to the police following rumors that I had fled the country. Here is a message to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Cypriot Police: ANSWER YOUR PHONE or CHECK YOUR EMAILS!!!! I have been trying for days to contact them to resolve this situation. The whole thing could be cleared up in a matter of days, because as of right now their case is based on rumors of me fleeing Cyprus which is complete garbage. I still have a house full of my own belongings, assets, family, friends and most importantly my daughter in Cyprus. I have provided my contact information via email to the police and to third parties such as the reporter from the Cyprus Mail and one of the people who bought bitcoins from me. If they do not contact me to arrange a solution, then I assume my greatest fears are true that they are doing nothing more than trying to set me up on charges to discredit both myself and Bitcoin as a whole, whilst creating more fear about challenging the status-quo. The are three reasons for me not returning to Cyprus immediately following the issuance of a warrant and those are;
I have a family funeral to attend.
The whole situation can be resolved without me doing so.
The manner in which the investigations are being carried out are concerning, the police haven't made an attempt to contact me despite numerous personal requests for them to do so.
The only solution to the problem is for the individuals to provide me with their addresses through the police so I can arrange for the bitcoins to be sent to them. Without those peoples addresses I can do nothing but maintain the original written agreements. I have also instructed a lawyer in Cyprus to make direct contact with the police to try and put a resolution in place so this can be concluded quickly so that I can continue working with the business recovery and sales agents to resolve everything surrounding Neo & Bee. The police have been making a concerted effort to locate my assets in Cyprus, which doesn't seem the most logical way of handling such a case, surely they should be trying to contact me to get the full picture and not issuing warrants based on hearsay. The only question I want to ask the Cypriot police is; If I buy some building supplies and agree to provide a delivery address at a later date, but never do provide an address. Has the seller committed fraud if he still holds the supplies for me? To clear a few things up surrounding Neo & Bee, yes there are creditors to the business and I have not ran with any coins, we had made payments in excess of €1.4m with many of the coins being converted to Euros before the run up in price, the largest amount converted at once was the day Silkroad was busted, I had to take the decision on that given day to convert them or risk them becoming pretty worthless and the business not getting off the ground. The outstanding funds from BitFundeWeExchange are valued at this moment around €500,000. The coins of my own I have on MtGox would have covered all creditors with a claim against the business in full. Had I wanted to run off with coins, it would have been better to do so before spending all of them and the remainder of my own coins on the business. Questions have been raised about my own personal assets too, something I shouldn't have to answer about but yes, I bought a Bentley back in December, before any issues with MtGox and getting bitcoins out. Anyone that understands the price difference in cars between Cyprus and the UK they will understand exactly why I sold my own bitcoins to buy the car. The car is still in Cyprus, it hasn't been shipped anywhere and my original plan was to sell it after the summer and make a nice profit, which would have been reinvested into Bitcoin or the business. When it is possible for me to do so, I still plan on selling the car to put the money towards satisfying creditors. To this end I am concentrating first and foremost on resolving the issues with Cypriot police including my planned return to Cyprus. Only then I will concentrate all of my time on resolving everything surrounding Neo and Bee. Regards, Danny Brewster
Bitcoin gets another day in court- I had to testify for 30 minutes
I invested in Bitcoin in June of 2012 and I've done pretty well since then. Today I was posting bond for a friend of mine who was booked on a drug-related charge and I sold some BTC to cover the bond. I had to produce statements from MtGox in order to show how I obtained the money. I was grilled by the prosecution for about 30 minutes regarding Bitcoin. The prosecution had looked up some stuff in Bitcoin and they were trying to argue that I might have obtained the money by illegitimate means (i.e. laundering money), but their arguments were dismissed pretty quickly by the judge. Mind you that pretty much nobody in the court room, including the defense, had any idea what Bitcoin was when we started. Some of the questions I was asked by the prosecution: 1. Is it true that Bitcoin is not regulated by any state? 2. You are aware that MtGox is not a registered money transmitter? 3. Bitcoin is not a real currency in the sense you can't use it in Wal-Mart, is that correct? 4. Your MtGox account is not an investment account, such as a traditional mutual fund, stock or options, correct? 5. Is it true that Bitcoin is not the official legal tender of any country or jurisdiction? 6. Is it your understanding that Bitcoin is not regulated by FinCEN? 7. Do you realize gains from the rise or fall of the current Bitcoin price? 8. Do you know how Bitcoin mining works? 9. Do you mine Bitcoins? (there are many other questions in the span of 30 minutes, but these were the ones that stood out) My answers: 1. Yes, it's a decentralized currency so there is no country or state that controls it. 2. Objection by defense and sustained. 3. Is that relevant? (the judge said that he's going to determine if it's relevant and I should just answer the question) ... Yes, you can't use it in Wal-Mart. It's not a traditional currency in that sense. 4. It's not a traditional investment account, but it's no different from investing in currency. (the judge and the prosecution went back and forth here about how one can invest in DollaYen, DollaEuro and they agreed that it's an investment) 5. Objection by the defense (asked and answered) and sustained. 6. Yes. Objection by the defense, but it was overruled and I had already answered the question. 7. Yes. It works just like any other investment: you buy in at a certain price and you sell at a different price. If I have profit, then that's a capital gain. 8. Yes. 9. No. Statements by the prosecution (most of them dismissed by the judge): 1. Bitcoin is used for money laundering and other illegal activities. 2. Bitcoin is not a real currency. He went on about how it's not regulated, it's not real currency and it's used for illegal activities such as money laundering, but the judge dismissed it saying that it's irrelevant. They also tried to suggest that money obtained from Bitcoin is not traceable, but the judge agreed with the defense that the statements from MtGox are sufficient to prove where the money came from. The judge also made statements that this seems to be in line with any other investment and it should be accepted as a legal source for the bond. Closing statement from the defense (this was the best part): "Some people like to keep their money in the bank, some keep it under the mattress and some invest it in geeky stuff like Bitcoin. (the whole courtroom, including the judge, erupted in laughter) However, that's not grounds for rejecting the bond. It is entirely reasonable that the witness, who is x-years-old, not married, has no children, has no mortgage and makes x amount of money per year is capable of producing the bond amount." All and all, it was pretty fun to be up there and testify in defense of both my friend and Bitcoin. I'll try to get the court transcripts and post them up here, it was pretty entertaining to see the prosecution struggle with Bitcoin.
Edit: This is purely speculation. I'm willing to believe that MtGox will resume withdrawals once they solve the technical issues. Step 1. Notice that there isn't enough BTC or USD to handle even the pending withdrawals Step 2. Halt BTC withdrawals, causing a massive crash on MtGox Step 3. Buy BTC on MtGox at the reduced price Step 4. Sell this cheap BTC (which they have access to, of course) on other exchanges, making a massive profit Step 5. Blame a well known bug in BTC for the delay. Continue this process for weeks until enough profit has been made. Step 6. MtGox now has: a ton of cheap bitcoin, a ton of profit made from selling the cheap bitcoin, and a ton of profit made from the trading fees during the panic. Re-open withdrawals of both USD and Bitcoin, solvency problem is solved.
Hello! My name is Slava Mikhalkin, I am a Project Owner of Crowdsale platform at Platinum, the company that knows how to start any ICO or STO in 2019. If you want to avoid headaches with launching process, we can help you with ICO and STO advertising and promotion. See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund I am also happy to be a part of the UBAI, the first educational institution providing the most effective online education on blockchain! We can teach you how to do ICO/STO in 2019. Today I want to tell you how to sell and transfer cryptocurrencies. Major Exchanges In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Function and History Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe. The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people. Popular Exchanges Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence. Bitfinex Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT). Binance Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours. Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles. Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet. Regulatory Environment and Evolution Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold. The United States of America A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system. The European Union The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology. Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto. Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions. The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins. Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years. The Influence of Age upon Trading Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.” Geographic Influence upon Trading One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside. 2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely. Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak. What are the Exchange Hacks? The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts. Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified). Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed. Market Manipulation It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase. Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2 No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out. Methods to Avoid falling Victim Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.” Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not? If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper. Is this too good to be true? All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH. Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take: If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees. Selling Cryptocurrencies Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time. Methods of Sale Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons. The influence and value of your Trade There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project. Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market. Market Behavior in Different Time Periods The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order. Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens. Follow the link: UBAI.co If you want to know how do security tokens work, and become a professional in crypto world contact me via Facebook to get all the details: Facebook
Want to relay my recent experience to help other canucks entering the cryptocurrency scene. I wanted to invest 100K in both main coins and some alt coins. Depositing that amount can’t be done using ETF/bank-transfeetc. – the only reasonably quick way is to wire funds. For wires, most exchanges have a percentage based deposit fee – something that makes absolutely no sense to me. Whether you wire 1K or 1MM, the amount of work for the exchange is identical, so it should be a flat fee. Deciding on an exchange is more complicated than that though: each one has their own rules for minimums/maximums, trading fees, supported coins, holding periods, and withdrawal fees. They also can vary greatly on the amount of time verification takes. One thing to note is that pretty much all exchanges don’t charge a fee for inbound crypto transfers. 2 months ago I signed up for 10 exchanges (Coinbase/GDAX, Binance, Coinsquare, Kraken, ezBTC, QuadrigaCX, Bitfinex, Gemeni, Bittrex, Poloniex) and was verified on 7 of them (I’m still in queue for Gemeni, Bittrex, and Poloniex). Verification times gave me what I thought was a decent indicator of the level and quality of support I would receive. Of these exchanges, some have what I believe to be relatively high trading fees (Gemeni .25%, Bittrex, .25%, ezBTC .30%, QuadrigaCX .50%) vs lower maketaker fees (GDAX 0/.3%, Binance .1/.1%, Gitfinex .1/.2%, Coinsquare .1/.2%, Kraken .16/.26%). Still others have high percentage based wire fees. And finally, there’s a big disparity between withdrawal fees: free on some exchanes, vs fixed rate based on the coin for others, vs Coinsquare’s insane fixed 0.0025 BTC regardless of what coin or the amount being withdrawn. So here are some observations on the exchanges. Please note that the below is not a reflection on any of the people who work at the exchanges. I’m sure they are working as hard as they can and are doing their best. It’s just my experience. It’s also not financial advice. Also, I’m only human so feel free to offer corrections or better advice. Coinsquare: amazingly fast verification time, and for very large deposits seems to likely be the best option as they will let you speak to a human being by phone and will waive the deposit fee (I didn’t know this until later though). I excluded them because of their high 0.5% percentage based deposit fee and their crazy high withdrawal fee. They also only have support for 6 coins. QuadrigaCX: I had a terrible initial experience with QuadrigaCX’s support, so I immediately excluded them. They have high trading fees and there are many complaints of support tickets being ignored or having extremely lengthy wait times. They have a crazy high 1% percentage based CAD wire fee, but offer free USD wires. Note that they only support wires for large amounts. GDAX/Coinbase: Loads of good reviews, but only has support for 4 coins. Seems like they also don’t have a fee for crypto withdrawals. You also can’t seem to wire CAD or USD funds directly to GDAX. I think you may have to wire USD funds to Coinbase and then transfer them over to GDAX (for free). Kraken: I created an account but the verification page just appeared blank for me. After a few days, their support team got back to me telling me that they had a bug and that I needed to create a new account using a different email address and try again. That worked. I decided to use them as they seemed like the best all-around alternative. I was impressed with their support response (they gave me an answer that worked and responded in days as opposed to weeks), they offer a no-fee inbound CAD wire, support 16 coins, and have low (though not free) crypto withdrawal fees. They have also been around a while and have a good reputation (They were picked to handle MtGox claims). Wiring funds to them was a hair-raising experience though. You basically need to send your funds to an unknown bank in Tokyo, Japan. Kraken also has two slightly different sets of wire instructions: one that is on their website, and the other that their support folks send out. Only one of them mentions that you should tell your bank not to use an intermediary that will convert your currency. If you do things properly, and are lucky, you end up only paying ~$40 in fees. But chances are, you don’t, and end up paying 4%! (see https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinCA/comments/7rd6k8/fees_when_sending_to_krakencom/). You also have no idea how much the fees will be until the money finally shows up in your account. That’s tremendously unsettling. Luckily my bank branch manager was familiar with crypto currency wires and helped me do things properly. But, the wire took over 2 weeks to show up (Jan 18th), and Kraken support is so overloaded that they didn’t’ respond, despite me escalating my support ticket several times. I eventually had to resort to a reddit post to get a response to my support ticket. I gave support my wire receipt and answered lots of additional questions to help them try to “locate” it. Perhaps the worst part of my entire experience was that while my wire was being located, the entire crypto market tanked by 50%...and no one would respond to my support ticket…I felt helpless. A Kraken support rep a few days ago said that they are handing >50K new user registrations per day and have >20K new support tickets per day. I feel they should turn off new user registrations until they are capable of servicing existing customers. This is what their competitors have done. I found it disheartening to learn that the only way to get a response to my support ticket was to complain via social media --- many others have found the same. While I was waiting for my wire to appear Kraken had a >48h outage. Prior to the outage, the site was almost unusable as you’d receive constant 50x errors (I found this out prior to wiring my funds). After the outage, I find that their site is still barely usable. Pages take 10-15 seconds to load and when they do load many times they display errors so you have to continually retry until things work. At the end of the day though, they did come through for me: my wire arrived safely. So with my funds in Kraken, I tried to use them to purchase crypto. But no matter what I tried, none of the CAD dollar trading pairs would appear. I logged out and back in a few times and 15 minutes later, it suddenly started appearing. With the flakiness in Kraken’s platform, I had no choice but to transfer everything to a more stable and faster exchange: Binance: These guys have their shit in order. Super simple site navigation once you get used to it, fast verification times, blazingly fast website and trading engine, more than 50 coins supported, etc. But, they don’t support fiat – you must use one of the other exchanges to buy crypto with fiat and then transfer in your crypto. Gotta say it again: everything is super fast. Not just the page loads, but also trading, email confirmations, and withdrawals. Trading takes a bit of getting used to as you aren’t really buying or selling crypto…you are instead “trading” one crypto coin for another. Depending on the coin you want to purchase, you might have to trade your coin for BNB (binance’s own coin) and then trade BNB for the coin you desire. Be Your Own Bank: One final word of advice. Binance is awesome, but don’t trust anyone as despite everyone’s best intentions: no matter how secure a platform is, it can and will be hacked. As soon as you have done your shopping, transfer your coins off to your own wallet. This is why withdrawal fees are important. You might be asking: in hindsight, if I had to do it all over again, what would I do differently? To wire CAD funds I would try to use Coinsquare if it’s a big amount (after re-reading other people’s recent reviews). For USD wires, I might try using Gemeni, but I still haven’t been verified by them and have been waiting for almost 2 months. Before using either I would re-test how long it takes for a support ticket to be responded to. If you do wire funds, don't wire an exact round amount like "10,000.00", instead I would wire "10,070.45" so that it's easier to locate if things go wrong. Once the account has been funded I wouldn’t hesitate to transfer everything to another exchange if I wasn’t happy with the platform, the number of coin offerings, or quality of service I was receiving: you can always come back when things improve. Things change so quickly so not sure how helpful this will be…just wished I had known some of the above before starting.
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