Vitalik Buterin @VitalikButerin — also known as the “young genius” of cryptocurrency, as he is way beyond his years sitting in his early 20's. Buterin is the co-founder of decentralized cryptocurrency platform Ethereum. He’s a dual citizen and identifies as both Canadian and Russian. Honoured by Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2017 he is definitely a twitter account you need to be following. In January of 2017, Buterin had about 40,000 Twitter followers. Today, his following is over 520,000.
Charlie Lee@satoshilite — Lee is the creator of Litecoin and was well known as the director of engineering at Coinbase for quite some time. Lee keeps his twitter account active, engaging with followers and staying on top of the hive. He, too, has seen a massive follower growth in 2017 — from under 30K earlier this year to about 558,000 at latest check. He made headlines back in December for announcing he sold and donated his Litecoin stake to avoid conflicts of interest while overseeing the cryptocurrency’s growth.
Roger Ver@rogerkver — an American that resides in Japan, Ver is an early investor in bitcoin projects. He has been a prominent supporter of bitcoin adoption and sees bitcoin as a means to promote economical independence. He now promotes Bitcoin Cash, a hard fork of the cryptocurrency created with the intent to fix issues such as high fees and long transaction confirmation times.
Gavin Andresen@gavinandresen — Andresen was one of the lead developers on Bitcoin Core, the original open source software created by Satoshi Nakamoto, and is said to have directly taken over the code maintenance from Nakamoto. In 2012 he founded the Bitcoin Foundation to support and nurture the development of the bitcoin currency, and by 2014 left his software development role to concentrate on his work with the Foundation.
Spencer Bogart aka @CremeDeLaCrypto —Bogart was one of the first Wall Street analysts to switch attention from the stock market to cryptocurrencies. He is currently a partner for an investment fund called Blockchain Capital.
“Whales,” What are they? Well, they happen to be entities that own very large amounts of cryptocurrency, usually Bitcoin. For most of their title existence, they have been known as a source of anxiety and contemplation. What are the exact impact of these so called “whales?” Let’s take a look.
Chainalaysis conducted a study that took 32 of the biggest whales known to traders and examined them. Of the 32 whales, they encompassed what is estimated to be more than 1 million of the estimated 15 million Bitcoins mined in existence. To give you a better idea on the scale of the study, the smallest whale held 12,000 Bitcoin while the biggest held almost over 90,000 Bitcoin. Do the math on those prices, even with the market, that isn't chump change.
They have went ahead and titled these whales and organised them in four different categories. These four classified categories are the trader whales, the miner/early adopter whales, the lost whales, and the criminal whales. About 32 whales fall into these four categories.
What is interesting about this number game is that 9 out of the “trader whales” mentioned above entered the cryptocurrency realm in its earlier stages of 2017, who are currently actively buying and selling. Contrary to popular belief, the trader whales have typically been buyers not sellers when Bitcoin’s price dips and there is no evidence of them controling the market price.
Traders that gather vast amounts of Bitcoin during a time where it was inexpensive and relatively simple to mine coins are called “miner whales.” These individuals have been around since the start of the game and usually have no intention on selling their Bitcoin until the market see’s a massive spike.
Whales that have gathered their Bitcoins in the pioneer days when Bitcoin was a term used only by a few individuals, but have zero wallet activity which would insinuate they either passed away or lost access to their wallets all together. These whales would be called the “lost whales”. Lost whales form another large with five wallets holding over 212,000 coins, worth approximately $1.3 billion.
Criminal whales are the smallest category of whales, with over 125,000 coins and just short of $790 million in asset value. Two of these whales were identified as being part of the Silk Road operation, and others have been implicated in money laundering cases.
While the aura surrounding these mysterious Bitcoin whales might trigger our imagination, they are not to blamed for the big impact on the market, as many believe.
I’ve considered myself a bitcoin maximalist ever since Vitalik Buterin coined the term in 2014. For quite some time I championed the Bitcoin-only position, but over the last year I’ve spent a fair amount of energy defending myself to other bitcoin maximalists over my involvement with Oleum Capital and its upcoming security token offering (“STO”). Oleum is using tokenized financing to bring funding to junior oil and gas producers in my home province of Alberta, Canada.
This article lays out why I believe that properly structured token offerings, which give real rights to token holders, line up perfectly with the ideals of bitcoin maximalism.
Let’s get to the meat of the issue.
What Bitcoin Maximalism Means to me
I believe that bitcoin is the most significant invention of the 21st century.
It is the single most important and noteworthy implementation of blockchain technology to date.
Bitcoin is the best form of money the world has had to date. Given that money is winner-take-all, we only need one version of global hard-money. Whichever project wins the race to be the world’s hard money, will be the most significant way blockchain will ever be implemented. Because the properties that make it valuable and unique are hard to reproduce, it’s very unlikely that a unit of account other than bitcoin will win.
If the world were perfectly rational, bitcoin would already have won. In the absence of a perfectly rational and efficient world, people invest in currency-altcoins if they believe the narrative has a chance to succeed over bitcoin.
Many token buyers have a hard time separating tokens intended as a currency from token designed to operate on a single platform(utility tokens). They choose to evaluate the merits of these tokens like they would a stock on traditional markets. If they like the elevator pitch and the team makes some impressive sounding news releases, then it must be a good investment. What these investors miss is that utility tokens give the buyers no rights against ownership in the company or claims against future profits. All you are getting is the right to use the platform(which may or may not ever exist) at a later date. Most of these platforms don’t benefit from having their own unit of account as most of the participants will always think in other units of account(dollars or bitcoin).
The majority of utility token altcoins add an unnecessary layer of friction to the platforms they were created for. The real reason these tokens are created is obviously to raise funds for the project or it’s creators. Unless the tokens are backed by some kind of obligations or in some way tied to the success or usefulness of the platform, they have no value and nothing to support their price beyond speculation. This cannot be overstated:
YOU MUST OFFER REAL OBLIGATIONS TO BACK YOUR TOKEN.
Simply issuing a utility token and calling it a security won’t improve its value as an investment.
Security tokens are the next stage in the inevitable financial evolution spurred by the invention of bitcoin. Many bitcoin maximalists are quick to point out that since real world business and assets cannot be trustless, tokenizing companies and their assets does not offer any meaningful innovation.
@brucefenton A security is not a currency, it is denominated in a currency. There will of course be securities, but none of these alts are securities, and a blockchain in inherently useless for a real world security, since it cannot possibly enforce ownership of real world assets.
The main benefit of tokenizing securities rather than listing on traditional markets is the option to disintermediate the mandatory middlemen present in the existing financial system.
When we issue a security as a blockchain token, we are still asking buyers to trust our company(just like any other security offering). We are still asking them to trust the exchanges and custodians that we’ve set up. However, all of these relationships are now optional from the perspective of an issuer. If the terms, fees or requirements of a particular broker, dealer or exchange don’t make sense for a business, they are free to go elsewhere.
Additionally, issuers and tokens buyers are now exposed to a global level of liquidity that doesn’t exist in any single segregated market. The fact that we have a global, trustless method of payment means that buyers have access to a pool of potential investments from all over the world.
From a purely technological standpoint, all of this would be much more efficient if all of the worlds securities were issued and traded on a single centrally controlled database that everyone had access to. Since it’s extremely unlikely that the many disparate stakeholders in the current system will ever agree on something like that, we need to be pragmatic and focus on what we can actually improve. What we lose efficiency is more than made up for by the fact that blockchain tokens will be more broadly interoperable than traditional markets.
One of the biggest benefits of “blockchain technology” and all the hype surrounding it may be as a catalyst to get established businesses to change their tech stacks to a more common, interoperable standard. Even if companies end up implementing blockchains that are less efficient than a properly deployed modern database, if it’s better than what they are using now then it’s a net positive.
Ultimately, I believe that allowing individuals and companies more freedom and flexibility in financial markets aligns well with the ideals of bitcoin maximalism. The next logical steps in this evolution will be tokens on bitcoin/lightning followed by real world investments denominated in bitcoin.
Amazon and Cryptocurrency, two of the most colossal words in print media today. There’s been rumours of Amazon getting ready to launch a currency exchange. At the very least, Amazon has definitely positioned itself for this outcome by purchasing domain names like amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com.
DomainNameWire spread belief that Amazon was getting their ducks in a row regarding an exchange when the above domains were purchased by Amazon in November. With Amazon being known for its innovation, it would be more than likely that these assumptions are correct. Or would it?
Amazon reached over 177 billion USD in sales for 2017, it deals with 50% of North American online purchases and operates on a comprehensive scale. But despite offering a large variety of payment options, Amazon has yet to allow people to pay with bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. As the leader in online retail, it’s in a prime position to do so. Any cryptocurrency Amazon adopted would surely see a huge surge of support.
This might seem like a no-brainer without diving into the details. But in this case, the details make all the difference. The CEO of Amazon made a public statement addressing the future of Amazon and blockchain. Stating that the decision to not pursue that blockchain technology integration was a deliberate one. Amazon has decided, for the time being, to step back, where other organizations have progressed full force into blockchain development. The CEO continued to state that Amazon will continue to move forward in the tech world, just not on the blockchain platform.
I reiterate, the details make all the difference. Why would a multi-billion dollar company that runs entirely on technology be hesitant to embrace blockchain? Well, here are some possible reasons.
Bitcoins transaction speed last year was 7 transactions per second, where-as Amazons transactions per second reached 600 during one of their biggest sales. If even a small amount of their trafficking customers paid with cryptocurrency, customers would be waiting for hours for the sale/transaction to go through. This doesn’t exactly scream good customer service.
Amazon Customers Aren’t Backing Crypto…Yet
Tom Taylor, head of Amazon sales told Re/Code that they have considered integrating, but the demand from Amazon customers just aren’t there. As one of Amazons core principles being ‘Customer Obsession,’ the company rarely makes moves without their following requesting them to do so.
“We have considered it,” said Tom Taylor, “but we’re not hearing from customers that it’s right for them, and don’t have any plans within Amazon to engage Bitcoin.”
This is a pretty big one for large corporations such as Amazon. Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies haven't had the best luck regarding security within the last few years. Any large corporation accepting cryptocurrency would be susceptible to a large amount of risk if the only way a transaction was verified would be by “the community at large.” This might be the exact thing Blockchain stands for, but it doesn’t mean large corporations are ready for it.
Cryptocurrency has yet to be recognized as a legitimate replacement for fiat, which causes uncertainty in its nature. To add to the legitimacy problem, the IRS is claiming tax on capital gains regarding every payment made within the United States border.
Amazon is a company that is tight lipped about how many Kindles they retail, so it’s not a surprise that for now they also seem to be secretive about their plans in the crypto realm. But whatever capacity Amazon chooses to get involved in with Blockchain could become a household name overnight.
Hi, my name is Ruzaan du Plooy, a Calgary crypto enthusiast that happens to be a woman.
Did you know that only 8.3% of all cryptocurrency traders are female? Those stats just came out today, and I wasn’t shocked at all. I’ve began writing to break the stereotype and bridge the gap between what is seemingly a male dominated arena.
A large collective back in the 1840's considered Ada Lovelace the worlds first programer. She theorized the loop process which is a vital part in computer programs today. She was an excellent mathematician and her experience and education gave her a unique perspective on theoretical computing. She recognized a machines capability beyond pure calculation. A woman before her time, with a dream of one day seeing what we would call a computer today.
That was only the beginning.
Women since Ada have led the way in technology, yet are not often recognized. All the way from Hedy Lamarr with her early form of encryption technology in the 1940’s to Marissa Mayer, googles first engineer in the 1990’s, and finally, women like Iliana Oris Valiente in the crypto world, founder of ColliderX, Meltem Demirors, VP at Digital Currency Group. All these women working hard to advance tech developments but also to cultivate a positive environment for the future of women in tech.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency trading has taken the world by storm, and we need to jump in and contribute what no other species can. So, women of the world, are you ready to get involved in crypto? Lets join our tech sisters before us and make them proud.
Among talking with many of my female acquaintances the main reason for not getting involved is that they aren’t really sure how to get started, though most agree that they should.
I’ve broken down how to get started in 3 simple steps.
1. Set up a wallet, there are a few types but to make things simple I’d suggest a Hardware wallet, as they are considered safest. You can purchase them here.
2. Join Meetup groups and get involved in the community. If you see a female crypto enthusiast at an event, don’t hesitate to say hi. We’re all really friendly.
3. Do research on the technology and market. Twitter is a really good collective of like-minded people you can learn a lot from, in real-time.
Easy as that.
Look for my blog next week where I’ll dive into the ins and outs of which currencies I’m trading, and my thoughts on the market.