How Bitcoins Are Used to Conceal Assets and Launder Money

My sister thinks she's getting married to a pro wrestler...

I apologize but this may be a bit long. Mind you, this started around November of last year.
My sister is severely mentally ill. She lives with my dad (who's a single parent) and doesn't really get out much. They're a HUGE fan of WWE and looks forward to the events. Her all time favorite is TJ Perkins. She used to spend most of her time on the internet and that's when she started looking up dating sites and looking up ways to contact TJ Perkins. Eventually, after a while, she found someone who claimed to be TJ Perkins. He began to talk to her and convince her the usual song and dance about sending them money or a gift card to help with their family or some other BS. She started buying gift cards with the money she was getting and sending him the codes. She even went to Walmart to wire cash to him until she got flagged for money laundering and my dad was contacted by the cellphone company saying she racked up a bill of a wopping $700 in international calls. He was LIVID. (Luckily, the phone company was able to help him out.)
They went to the police, (where the cop was HELLA fuckin rude and asked her directly if she was mentally ill in the worst kind of way.) and they basically told her she needed to stop because what she was doing was illegal. After the cellphone bill, my dad cut off her data and took her computer away so she wasn't able to contact them. My dad then had to take over her funds because she was literally draining her check to give to send to the scammer. He told her that if she needed anything to ask him and he would gladly get it for her. My dad tried to explain to her several times that she was getting scammed and that the person on the other end was not TJ Perkins and that he would never be asking for gift cards or money and that she was being used but it never stuck apparently...
Today I saw she was charging her phone in the bathroom and got a few text from a contact named, "my darling husband!!!" It said, "baby, send me the codes." And "baby, go get bitcoin atm" (I have no idea what the heck that is so if anyone knows, please tell me.) and "Baby, I need Amazon gift card. Now!" All of her replies are basically long messages of her saying she can't wait to get married and that she loves him and she's sorry she can't send stuff and doesn't want him to get mad at her and yell at her. (I guess he's calling her too and yelling at her when she doesn't do what he says.)
I was pissed scrolling through those messages of my sister just spilling her guts to this guy and only getting responses asking for codes. I didn't really know what to do but block the number since I had her phone in hand but I'm sure he's just going to contact her another way...
My question is, is there anyway we can ask the cellphone company to block any numbers that aren't on a certain list or maybe restrict her data usage? I guess maybe like a kids mode or something? I just have no idea what to do to help her understand...
UPDATE: The phone company can't really do anything about it. Blocking doesn't stop outgoing texts from the person that blocked the sender so honestly, I'm sure this guy has multiple phones and will text her with a different one. Changing her number won't help either since she would just send him messages through the new number.
Update 2: Me and my dad are going to try to talk to her again...I just need this to stop. It's stressing me out because I know she's one step away from sending him too much information and the whole family will be in danger. I just hope she'll listen.
Update 3: The actuall TJ Perkins reached out to help me talk to my sister! He was amazing and understanding and I feel like the message got through. Me and my dad will be getting her a replacement phone (the one she has is garbage) and changing her number tomorrow. She felt really bad and was afraid she was going to jail. I told her everything would be fine if she stopped what she was doing now and ignore any other calls or texts that come through. Thank you so much for all your help!!! You have no idea what this means to me and my family! ❤
TL:DR - My sister is getting scammed into sending gift cards to someone posing at TJ Perkins. I blocked the number but I know they will be contacting her through a different one. Can we do something to stop this?
submitted by shampoobeer to Scams [link] [comments]

The next XVG? Microcap 100x potential actually supported by fundamentals!

What’s up team? I have a hot one for you. XVG returned 12 million percent in 2017 and this one reminds me a lot of it. Here’s why:
Mimblewimble is like Blu-Ray compared to CD-ROM in terms of its ability to compress data on a blockchain. The current BTC chain is 277gb and its capacity is limited because every time you spend a coin, each node needs to validate its history back to when it was mined (this is how double spending is prevented). Mimblewimble is different - all transactions in a block are aggregated and netted out in one giant CoinJoin, and only the current spending needs to be verified. This means that dramatically more transactions can fit into a smaller space, increasing throughput and lowering fees while still retaining the full proof of work game theory of Bitcoin. These blockchains are small enough to run a full node on a cheap smartphone, which enhances the decentralization and censorship resistance of the network.
The biggest benefit, though, is that all transactions are private - the blockchain doesn’t reveal amounts or addresses except to the actual wallet owner. Unlike earlier decoy-based approaches that bloat the chain and can still be data mined (XMR), Mimblewimble leaves no trace in the blockchain, instead storing only the present state of coin ownership.
The first two Mimblewimble coins, Grin and Beam, launched to great fanfare in 2019, quickly reaching over $100m in market cap (since settled down to $22m and $26m respectively). They are good projects but grin has infinite supply and huge never-decreasing emission, and Beam is a corporate moneygrab whose founding investors are counting on you buying for their ROI.
ZEC is valued at $568m today, despite the facts that only 1% of transactions are actually shielded, it has a trusted setup, and generating a confidential transaction takes ~60 seconds on a powerful PC. XMR is a great project but it’s valued at $1.2b (so no 100x) and it uses CryptoNote, which is 2014 tech that relies on a decoy-based approach that could be vulnerable to more powerful computers in the future. Mimblewimble is just a better way to approach privacy because there is simply no data recorded in the blockchain for companies to surveil.
Privacy is not just for darknet markets, porn, money launderers and terrorists. In many countries it’s dangerous to be wealthy, and there are all kinds of problems with having your spending data be out there publicly and permanently for all to see. Namely, companies like Amazon are patenting approaches to identify people with their crypto addresses, “for law enforcement” but also so that, just like credit cards, your spending data can be used to target ads. (A) Coinbase is selling user data to the DEA, IRS, FBI, Secret Service, and who knows who else? (B) What about insurance companies raising your premiums or canceling your policy because they see you buying (legal) cannabis? If your business operates using transparent cryptocurrency, competitors can data mine your customer and supply chain data, and employees can see how much everyone else gets paid. I could go on, but the idea of “I have nothing to hide, so what do I care about privacy?” will increasingly ring hollow as people realize that this money printing will have to be paid by massive tax increases AND that those taxes will be directly debited from their “Central Bank Digital Currency” wallets.
100% privacy for all transactions also eliminates one HUGE problem that people aren’t aware of yet, but they will be: fungibility. Fungibility means that each coin is indistinguishable from any other, just like paper cash. Why is this important? Because of the ever-expanding reach of AML/KYC/KYT (Anti-Money Laundering / Know Your Customer / Know Your Transaction) as regulators cramp down on crypto and banks take over, increasingly coins become “tainted” in various ways. For example, if you withdraw coins to a mixing service like Wasabi or Samourai, you may find your account blocked. (C) The next obvious step is that if you receive coins that these chainalysis services don’t like for whatever reason, you will be completely innocent yet forced to prove that you didn’t know that the coins you bought were up to no good in a past life. 3 days ago, $100k of USDC was frozen. (D) Even smaller coins like LTC now have this problem, because “Chinese Drug Kingpins” used them. (E) I believe that censorable money that can be blocked/frozen isn’t really “your money”.
Epic Cash is a 100% volunteer community project (like XVG and XMR) that had a fair launch in September last year with no ICO and no premine. There are very few projects like this, and it’s a key ingredient in Verge’s success (still at $110m market cap today despite being down 97% since the bubble peak) and why it’s still around. It has a small but super passionate community of “Freemen” who are united by a belief in the sound money economics of Bitcoin Standard emission (21m supply limit and ever-decreasing inflation) and the importance of privacy.
I am super bullish on this coin for the following reasons:
Because it doesn’t have a huge marketing budget in a sea of VC-funded shitcoins, it is as-yet undiscovered, which is why it’s so cheap. There are only 4 Mimblewimble-based currencies on the market: MWC at $162m, BEAM at $26m, GRIN at $22m, and EPIC at $0.4m. This is not financial advice and as always, do your own research, but I’ve been buying this gem for months and will continue to.
This one ticks all the boxes for me, the only real problem is that it’s hard to buy much without causing a huge green candle. Alt season is coming, and coins like this are how your neighbor Chad got his Lambo back in 2017. For 2021, McLaren is a better choice and be sure to pay cash so that it doesn’t get repossessed like Chad!
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
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  9. I
submitted by pinchegringo to CryptoMoonShots [link] [comments]

Blockchain in Insurance: Use Cases and Implementations

Blockchain in Insurance: Use Cases and Implementations
This article was first posted on Medium:
Almost all major insurers are planning to integrate blockchain by 2021, according to PwC. At first glance, such a high level of commitment to new tech may seem surprising in an old and traditional industry such as insurance. However, enterprise blockchain adoption is poised to help insurers significantly cut costs, become more responsive to customers, and write more business.
Two recurring themes throughout this post are that:
  1. Blockchain can lower costs for insurers and lower insurance premiums for customers.
  2. Blockchain can help insurers understand & price risks better by allowing customer, risk and policy information to be shared more quickly and securely across parties the insurance ecosystem. This will increase revenue and growth prospects by allowing insurers to price insurance products more accurately.
Costs are becoming an issue for insurers. Life insurers in Asia and the US have seen cost ratios climb above 30% and 20% respectively over the past few years. This figure should ideally be below 20%. Part of this is due to increased compliance costs such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws. A bigger reason is that selling and servicing insurance policies is still a complex and labor intensive process.
Insurance Growth Rates (CAGR) 2012–17. Source: EY
A recent EY insurance market report showed low growth rates for Life insurance and Non-Life insurance outside Asia Pacific. Digging deeper, Life insurance premiums in the US declined by 0.4% from 2012–17.
Insurers find themselves needing to reduce operating costs and write business more effectively. While blockchain is not a magic elixir, proper adoption will help address these needs.

What is Blockchain?

In their book “Blockchain Revolution,” authors Don and Alex Tapscott describe blockchain as “an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Organizations need secure ways to record transactions and manage information flows, making blockchain’s appeal easy to see. Blockchains ensures that:
  • All participants have a copy of the digital ledger and that each copy is updated in real-time when transactions occur;
  • There is no centralized server, making hacking next to impossible;
  • A recorded transaction theoretically cannot be reversed, which makes the ledger an immutable source of truth no matter how many participants hold copies;
  • Transaction data, records, and participant identities can be authenticated while remaining private.
Enterprise blockchains used by companies are different from public blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Public blockchains are too clunky and slow for enterprise purposes. Enterprises require scale and speed — the ability to process hundreds of thousands of transactions very quickly. Public blockchains suffer from very low transaction speeds. Their verification process is cumbersome because participants are unknown and untrusted. Private enterprise blockchains don’t suffer from this limitation since all participants are known and trusted.
Enterprise blockchains have the following characteristics:
  • Participation requires invitation: all participants in the blockchain network are trusted
  • Data is private and secure: you don’t have access to transactions that you are not a party to, even though you’re on the same blockchain network
  • Enterprise blockchains are fast and light: the network can handle thousands of transactions per second and numerous participants working in tandem
  • ‘Smart contracts’ automate processes: transaction rules and process flows can be programmed to execute automatically, allowing payments and transfers to execute without human intervention, for example
The insurance industry will benefit from blockchain because most underwriting and claims activity requires cooperation among multiple parties. Some of these parties are from outside the firm, making data security important. Reconciling data from multiple sources during claims investigation, for example, is time and resource intensive and prone to manual error. Putting this data on a blockchain would streamline operations.

Blockchain Use Cases in Insurance

Industries have always adopted technology that has made it easier, faster and cheaper to conduct business. Blockchain tech promises to deliver on all three fronts, especially in the insurance industry, which is seen as slow and complex.
Let’s face it, insurance customers don’t enjoy interacting with insurance companies. Customers often deal with time-consuming paper forms when applying for a policy or submitting a claim. They may have to speak with people at insurance companies and hospitals, for example, to get medical insurance claims reimbursed.
On the flip side, insurance companies have to deal with the high costs of managing and servicing policies. Many of these costs are administrative — claims administration, verification and reconciliation of information, and paperwork. Insurance also requires coordination among many parties — consumers, brokers, insurers and reinsurers. This introduces overhead costs that translate to higher premiums paid by customers.
Blockchain can help make selling and servicing insurance better, faster and cheaper by improving fraud prevention, claims management, health insurance, and reinsurance. The end result could be lower prices and better experiences for customers.

Fraud Prevention

According to the FBI, non-health insurance fraud in the US is estimated to be over $40 billion per year, which can cost families between $400–700 per year in extra premiums.
Common types of insurance fraud can be eliminated by moving insurance claims onto a blockchain-based ledger that is shared among insurance companies and cannot be modified. It can prevent criminals from collecting money from different insurers for the same claim, for example.
Blockchain will make coordination easier among insurers. If all insurers access a shared blockchain ledger, they would know if a claim has already been paid. Since all insurers use the same historical claims information, it would also be easier to identify suspicious behavior.
Insurers currently try to detect fraud by using publicly available data as well as data acquired from private companies. The problem is that these data sets are incomplete due to legal constraints around sharing personally identifiable information of individuals. Blockchain, by cryptographically securing data, would allow claims information to be shared across insurers without divulging personally identifiable information.

Claims Management

Putting insurance policies on a blockchain as smart contracts can radically improve the efficiency of Property & Casualty (P&C) insurance, saving insurers more than $200B a year in operating costs according to BCG.
Let’s use car insurance to illustrate this. If you get into a car accident and it was the other driver’s fault, you must submit a claim to your insurance company to recover your loss. Your insurance company investigates your claim and tries to recover money from the other driver’s insurance company. The other insurance company has its own claims processes, which leads to duplicated work, delays, and possible human error. The end result is that you get paid much later than you’d like, and insurers spend time and money on unprofitable activities.
Putting insurance policies and claims data on a blockchain that different insurers, reinsurers, brokers, and other parties can access reduces duplicate manual work by different parties.
Insurance policies as smart contracts on a blockchain automatically execute programmed claims processing actions, automating information transfers between insurers and other parties, and releasing payments to policyholders. Additional info such as claims forms and supporting evidence supplied by policyholders can later be added to the blockchain so that all parties have the same information, making disputes unlikely.

Health Insurance

Blockchain enables fast, accurate, and secure sharing of medical data among healthcare providers and insurers. This will translate into faster health insurance claims processing and lower health insurance costs for customers.
Privacy laws around sharing patient data among hospitals and health insurance providers makes it time-consuming and expensive to process health insurance claims. Lack of data can even lead to insurance claim denials.
Patients deal with numerous doctors, hospitals and insurers over time and across borders. A patient’s medical history exists in fragments across healthcare providers and insurers. Worse, the way in which insurers and healthcare providers cooperate, share patient data, and process claims involves complex manual work & reconciliation. Even the technical infrastructure for medical records is outdated.
Putting encrypted patient records on a blockchain allows healthcare providers and insurers to access a patient’s medical data without sacrificing patient confidentiality. An industry-wide synchronized database of patient data can save the industry billions annually. Patient privacy is ensured because the blockchain stores cryptographic signatures for each medical record, which verifies the authenticity of the record without having to actually store any sensitive info on the blockchain. Changes to a patient’s medical records are also stored on the blockchain, which creates an audit trail.


Data sharing among insurers and reinsurance companies is complex, time consuming, and requires inefficient manual work. Blockchain can streamline information flows between insurers and reinsurers.
Reinsurers provide insurance to insurance companies. That way, insurance companies won’t get wiped out when many claims occur at once, such as during a hurricane or earthquake.
The problem is that reinsurance processes are lengthy, inefficient, manual and are based on one-off contracts. Insurance companies generally engage multiple reinsurers for the same risk, which means that data has to be shared among many companies to settle claims.
When reinsurers and insurers share a blockchain ledger, data related to policies, premiums and losses can exist on insurers’ and reinsurers’ systems simultaneously. This takes away the need for reconciliation, which saves everyone time and money. Reinsurers can also automate claims processing and settlement.
PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that blockchain can save the reinsurance industry up to $10 billion, which can then lead to lower insurance premiums for customers.

Blockchain Implementation in Insurance

Saving the best for last, here are just some examples of how the insurance industry is using blockchain. Keep in mind that at this point, there are more prototypes and POCs than full-scale implementations.


R3 is an enterprise blockchain company. It maintains an ecosystem of over 300 firms across industries that build blockchain software apps on top of its Corda platform. These apps can be used across industries from insurance to banking to healthcare. R3 maintains 2 versions of Corda; an open source platform and an enterprise-specific version called Corda Enterprise. Both versions of Corda are compatible with each other.
Insurance-specific applications on Corda are designed to help insurers automate back office activities, streamline operational flows, and generally spend less time on things like claims admin and data processing. There are also apps being development to speed up underwriting and enable faster data sharing among insurers and reinsurers.
Basically, Corda wants to host a common set of insurance apps that the entire industry can use to cut costs and boost revenue. Corda currently boasts over 15 insurance-specific apps, with a few of these deployed into production such as:
  • Blocksure OS: solves problems related to legacy systems, slow manual processes and high rates of error by automating policy admin and claims activities. Policyholders can access all policy and claims info in one app.
  • MIDAS: is a motor insurance authentication platform designed to serve 80 motor insurance companies in Hong Kong. It provides real-time authentication of motor insurance policies, verification, and audit trails. This can help with fraud detection and reduce time required for certain verification activities when it comes to policy and claims management.


B3i was a blockchain consortium, now an independent software company, supported by leading insurers and reinsurers including Swiss Re, AXA, Zurich, Munich Re, and Allianz. They develop blockchain-based applications for insurers and reinsurers and aim to create industry-wide standards. B3i aims to use blockchain tech to streamline back office processes and claims management — basically lower costs and do things faster. In 2018, B3i switched from IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric to R3’s Corda platform.
In July 2019, they launched a Catastrophe Excess of Loss product on Corda. The product is designed for brokers, insurers and reinsurers to negotiate and place risks more efficiently by reducing manual activities related to placing, renewing and managing treaties.


In 2017, AXA launched Fizzy, a blockchain platform for flight delay insurance. Customers purchase flight delay insurance, which is recorded in a smart contract. The platform is connected to global air traffic databases and receives flight statuses. If a customer’s flight is delayed for more than two hours, the smart contract automatically triggers payment to the customer.
Customers don’t have to fill out claims forms or speak to service reps. The claim is deposited directly to their bank account. Customer satisfaction: maximized.
AXA does not have to spend time processing claims, verifying flight data, or enduring paperwork for payment authorizations. They save on time & cost and can deploy these resources to more profitable activities.
Update: Fizzy has since been discontinued after 2 years, possibly due to lack of appetite from the travel/airline industry. Regardless, Fizzy was a pioneer of sorts and has laid the groundwork for future blockchain insurance platforms.

Blue Cross

Hong Kong insurer Blue Cross is using blockchain since April 2019 to speed up medical insurance claims processing and prevent fraud.
Blue Cross’ blockchain platform validates claims data in real-time, which greatly reduces fraud potential from duplicate claims filing, for example. Claims are also processed faster for their 200,000+ customers. The platform also removes the need to reconcile claims data across parties such as insurers and medical service providers. Medical practitioners such as doctors and chiropractors who don’t employ many admin support staff could save time and money by partnering with Blue Cross.
Blue Cross’ blockchain platform is built on Hyperledger. Blue Cross is owned by Bank of East Asia.


Insurwave is a blockchain-based marine hull insurance platform launched in 2018. The platform was a collaboration among Ernst & Young, Guardtime, Maersk, Microsoft, and ACORD. It was built on R3’s Corda platform.
Insurwave provides real-time information on ships’ location, condition, and safety factors that both insurers and customers can access. If ships enter high-risk areas, Insurwave automatically factors this into underwriting and pricing calculations.
Premium calculations for this type of insurance are very complex. Having an immutable audit trail for ship-specific information substantially eases this calculation, enables accurate pricing, and speeds up underwriting. Insurers are also able to better account for ship-specific risks.

The Future of Blockchain in Insurance

These are still early days. Most of the work around blockchain in insurance is in the Proof of Concept stage and regulation is slowly catching up. However, we have already seen some applications that have gone live.
The ‘quickest win’ for blockchain in insurance is in the area of cost control. Rising costs are hitting insurers across most markets. Blockchain platforms and Dapps that allow firms to free up resources by automating claims management, fraud detection and data reconciliation, for example, will be heartily endorsed by executives.
The real win will be when blockchain platforms enable insurers to create better products and onboard customers faster — things that bring in revenue. For this to happen, we need a more robust ecosystem of insurers, reinsurers, tech companies and service providers working together on industry-standard blockchain platforms.
This has already started with software companies like R3 launching enterprise-grade blockchain platforms such as Corda Enterprise. We also have leading insurers involved in B3i that share common goals related to blockchain development. It remains to be seen if these natural competitors share enough long-term interests to sustain the initiative. If not, industry-wide blockchain adoption may take longer and become more fragmented.
However, the benefits are too obvious to ignore. We will probably see a few committed companies invest early in blockchain and enjoy a short period of above-normal performance, with early adoption coming from mature markets burdened with high costs as well as some parts of Southeast Asia (e.g. China, which proactively adopts tech). The rest of the industry will follow.
submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]

KYC is absolutely not acceptable for MakerDAO!

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

First Political Donation from former Trump voter now #YangGang - A guide to convert more like me

First Political Donation from former Trump voter now #YangGang - A guide to convert more like me
Hello Yang Gang! You might be wondering:
  1. How did a Trump voter turn Yang Gang?
  2. How did someone who would NEVER donate to ANY political campaign end up donating to Yang?
  3. How to replicate this transformation in other voters in my demographic using social proof and the spirit of our times.
From Trump Train to Next Stop: #YangGang
My vote for Trump in 2016 was more of a vote against Hillary. I won't get into my reasonings, as this is outside the scope of this post. But I'm sure a sizeable percentage of Trump voters voted for him not because they worshipped "The God Emperor", but because they thought a political outsider would actually come in and "drain the swamp" to end corruption and pay-to-play politics in Washington.
Has that happened in Trump's first term? Some would argue yes, others would argue no, but the important point to note here is that still most folks don't really care, because like what Whoopi was arguing is how is any of it going to positively effect my living situation and my community?
The Hook: Some Asian Guy Running For President Is Literally Going To Give You $1,000 a Month
In terms of marketing, this has everything. It's what got Yang on my radar in the first place. This message is a great hook to grab the attention of new potential voters.
Some Asian Guy Running For President...
This has tremendous novelty and speaks to the multicultural nature of America these days, and especially those feel strongly about "identity politics". There hasn't been a viable Asian candidate for president before, so this in itself is compelling.
...Is Literally Going To Give You $1,000 a Month
Here's where the hook sinks in deep, because if this turns out to be true and not a scam (and people do their research when money and potential windfall is involved) people will passionately fight to make this a reality. Why?
Because there is literally no other candidate running who could more directly impact the lives of Americans than one who will actually put $1,000 a month directly into your bank account.
That's a powerful hook, and the YangGang is right to use it as the flagship policy.
The Turning Point: "It's not immigrants, it's the robots."
Andrew Yang talks about the lightbulb moment when he drops this line on folks in person and on stage. Once someone says it to you, and you understand it, it becomes so blatantly, obviously true that you cannot go back to your previous method of thinking. You then realise how stupid building a wall with Mexico is. You then realise that Amazon is the model for future entrepreneurs. You then realise that the income base that the country depends on comes from jobs that will be automated away. You then start wondering what that will do to your community, and the economy as a whole.
Then the Freedom Dividend really starts to look even more appealing!
Truck drivers are not going to #LearnToCode.
Pregnant mothers are not going to work while pregnant (nor should they be compelled to).
But the bills still have to be paid. How is that going to happen if there are fewer and fewer jobs left for humans?
Seriously now, what are the alternatives?
You've seen Trump. You know what you are going to get for the next 4 years if he wins in 2020. The rest of the Democratic field is so weak, so weak it is really really sad. Who would go see Joe Biden speak in public? Who would carry water for Buttigieg? Who would not cringe a single time while enduring a speech by Cory "Phony Douche" Booker? Who would not wonder what presidential power would do to a person like Kamala Harris, who knowingly withheld information that would have set an innocent man free on death row?
Sealing the Deal: Now 100% #YangGang
What sealed the deal for me was Trump's now infamous and awfully misinformed anti-Bitcoin and anti-Cryptocurrency tweet, where he says:

I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity...
This statement is so dumb, but so freaking dumb, that it is mind-boggling to ANYONE who understands the value proposition of cryptocurrency and blockchain based products and services. Fiat currencies (USD, EUR, RMB) are based on thin air. They are literally printed on huge machines out of thin air. USD is the #1 currency BY FAR that facilitates illicit activities worldwide, from money laundering to terrorism financing, to trafficking and other horrible things. Because cash is not easily traceable.
By contrast, blockchain based cryptos have this thing called a "blockchain" (lol really?) in which EACH transaction in HISTORY is tracked publicly FOREVER. Not so good for illegal activity, is it?
Bitcoin and Ethereum are backed by real monetary and computational networks as open, public and distributed systems. They represent a global public good, and so far only Andrew Yang has spoken intelligently about their potential in blockchain based voting.
So, when Trump came out with this tweet, I personally saw droves of Trump supporters ditching him like a bad habit on Sunday. It was shocking. To see diehard Trumpers just get off the Trump Train like that, over one anti-crypto Tweet, was amazing to see. Thinking about it, many of Trump supporters are anarcho-capitalist-libertarians, who believe wholeheartedly in the promise of blockchain. When faced with the decision of crypto or Trump, the decision was easy.
Crypto has a chance of directly positively impacting the lives of these voters. Trump, not so much. So that brings me to my point:
#YangGang should reach out to the cryptocurrency community to gain traction and voters. (More on this further down)
OK, I Want My Grand A Month Now. (How a die-hard non-campaign contributor just threw 10 bucks to Yang, because the investment is ROI positive. It's the MATH!)
If you are an entrepreneur like me, you pay a lot of attention to incentives and game theory. People lie, numbers don't. The reason I say that is because you can gain truer insight into someone's motivations (and future action) by looking at: How they spend their money; How they act in order to gain money; and what they do in order to avoid losing money.
Most people don't donate to a politician's campaign because they cannot see a clear Return on Investment (ROI) from doing so. Even if that politician does get elected, if you aren't one of these mega-doners that got face-time with the candidate to push your pet project pay-to-play scheme, you won't see ROI. That changes with Yang's Freedom Dividend (and Democracy Dollars). If Yang wins, I get my $1,000 a month. My $10 investment gets 100X return in just the first month of the dividend. That's what motivated me to donate to Yang's campaign.

How to convert Trump Train Riders - who are sick of the view and the smell - To Join #YangGang

  1. Hit 'em with the Hook. It's what got me. Tell them about the Freedom Dividend. Pure self-interest and novelty will drive them to do more research. This is the flagship issue, I would say even Yang's "Brand" and it is working so far, so keep at it.
  2. Try to reach Trump voters directly with the hook, and talk about Trump's position on crypto vs. Yang's. An estimated 10-15% of Americans have invested in crypto. This group is very passionate, and they will for sure vote for a candidate that is knowledgeable about blockchain and has a positive attitude about it.
  3. Add more clarity to Yang's policy on crypto assets. Namely: How will Crypto be taxed in the USA? Do you support the Token Taxonomy Act? Will Crypto-Crypto trades be taxed? Is there going to be a de minimus exception? How will Crypto-Fiat trades be taxed? How will purchasing goods and services with crypto be taxed? What about Initial Coin Offerings? Security Token Offerings? Blockchain Based National IDs? Blockchain Voter Registration and Voting? Tokenization of bonds, commodities, and other assets? Crypto Derivatives? I guarantee if Yang clarifies these points he will gain huge traction with the crypto communities, and might just get that diehard 10-15% to vote for him - which would tip the election in his favor.
  4. Start a Telegram Channel
  5. Social Proof Social Proof Social Proof : Elon's Tweet was amazing. If Yang can collect more influencers he can collect more voters
  6. Keep up the ground game: Phonebanking and in-person promotion of Yang's candidacy in key swing states is obviously needed, and it's being done by you fine folks from his campaign. Thanks!
  7. Always be the Adult in the room. Use reason, logic, and facts to defeat opponent's empty attacks. Point out how much of a farce politics are, the that the only candidate who isn't just spouting useless talking points is Yang.
Thanks for reading!
submitted by gfunksound to YangForPresidentHQ [link] [comments]

r/Bitcoin recap - May 2019

Hi Bitcoiners!
I’m back with the 29th monthly Bitcoin news recap. (sorry a bit late this month)
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.
You can see recaps of the previous months on
A recap of Bitcoin in May 2019
Regulation & Politics
Archeology (Financial Incumbents)
Price & Trading
Fun & Other
submitted by SamWouters to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Why I am Not Investing in Bitcoin

What is Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain?
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a type of digital currency that is “mined” using computers. These computers use time and energy to decipher algorithms which lead to coins circulating into the currency. Some types of coins, like Bitcoin have a fixed number of coins that can ever be mined while others are limitless. As more coins are mined, the next coin becomes harder to mine, and it will take more computer power to find.
Blockchain is a new technology that has come from Bitcoin and it is essentially a record of transactions of every bitcoin. This list of transactions is an evolving record and is added to simultaneously with any transaction. This means that anyone can see any transaction. The value of this technology is that it is decentralized, and no one really controls it. There is nobody to profit on the movement of value and it should create a more efficient market. However, central banks and financial institutions around the globe are beginning to develop their own technology. It will help these institutions become more efficient, and they hope to better serve their clients.
Why I am not investing
Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrencies are a bubble. Because of this, I will not invest in them. The long-term outlook of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies does not seem great to me, and I will explain why.
The Anatomy of a Bubble
According to James Montier, in his article Behavioral Investing: A Practioner’s Guide to Applying Behavioral Finance, there are five stages of a bubble, and I believe we are currently in the third stage. The five stages are: displacement, credit creation, euphoria, financial distress, and revulsion.
Displacement is a market reaction that creates profitability in one area, while shutting down profitability in other areas. Now, this does not have to actually occur to begin a bubble. The perceived idea that it will occur in the future is what starts the bubble. The Dot Com bubble started because the internet was going to revolutionize the way that people do business. The same can be said for Bitcoin. It may one day revolutionize the way people exchange money, but how? Like the Dot Com bubble, investors are throwing money into cryptocurrencies without really knowing the magnitude of change it will create.
Along the lines of not knowing the magnitude of change is the fact that these currencies are unregulated. At any time one government or another can setup laws that either hurt the viability of the currency, or outright ban it. A popular conception of cryptocurrencies is that they are used to exchange money without any government intervention or insight. They are used to launder money or exchange illegal goods on a black market behind the backs of regulators and law enforcement. All it will take is enough bad press of the currency for law makers to act on it. When ransomware thieves around the globe are asking to be paid in Bitcoin, politicians will eventually denounce the currency to win more votes.
Credit Creation
This stage of the bubble is formed when there is monetary expansion and/or credit creation. This fuels the fire, and causes the bubble to inflate. As more money is thrown into the asset, prices go up. As prices go up, it fuels even more expansion because people are seeing great returns and want to get in on the action. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Currently, United States investment assets are inflated, especially in the bond market (read “Unintended Consequences of Easy Monetary Policy“). Highly liquid markets fuel asset bubbles, and in this case, they are also fueling Bitcoin. As investors have more money to invest, they need to figure out where to put it. If they cannot find an asset that looks great because valuations are so high, they turn and look at Bitcoin and think “Wow it has returned 2, 3, 400%, I want in!” This in turn raises Bitcoin prices and makes another investor put their money in too. This is the self-fulfilling prophecy. Investors perceive the asset as being a good investment when really it just the demand for the asset pushing prices up, not value.
Euphoria is the third stage of the bubble, and I believe Bitcoin is in this stage. This stage is when the returns of the asset are so great that people invest because of the fear of missing out. Their friends tell them that they made all of this money in Bitcoin, they see charts popping up on their newsfeeds that say “If you invested $10k 7 years ago, you would have over $700 million…” This inflates the bubble. People see these images and get upset that they have not already invested. $10k into $700 Million? Who doesn’t want a piece of that action?
Another euphoric characteristic of cryptocurrencies is that every company seems to want their own. Companies are having ICOs, or initial coin offerings, where they start their own cryptocurrency and raise money through the offerings. Burger King released a version of cryptocurrency called the WhopperCoin. This is just like the Dot Com bubble. “Companies” opened a website and went public. Investors threw cash at them simply because they had a website. The same is happening with these ICOs. Investors are throwing cash everywhere with the hope that one of them will be the next Bitcoin and turn their $10k into $700 million.
Financial Distress and Revulsion
These are the last two stages of a bubble. Financial Distress is characterized as insiders see the end is near, and they start to get out. They sell their shares because they know they are not sustainable, and that share prices are going to fall. I am not aware of insiders of Bitcoin, but eventually people are going to cash out, and it is going to cause enough damage to scare everyone out of it. This will cause a spillover into the other types of cryptocurrency, and only the very strong will be able to survive.
Revulsion is when people are hurt by the bubble popping. They are hurt so badly that they refuse to go back into the investment, even if it becomes a good value. This is the final stage of a bubble.
Some readers may be thinking that the I am wrong and that this will change the future. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will change the way people pay for groceries, pay for movie tickets, and pay for their Amazon orders. They may not see or they simply ignore the similarities of Bitcoin to the Dot Com bubble. Well here is my rationale on why a global currency, without the rule of government, will not occur.
Future Global Currency?
If you were to ask me while I was taking my college economics classes “What is the quickest way to make markets more efficient?” I would have told you a global currency. A global currency would get rid of exchange rates, it would make transactions a lot easier, and it would make investing easier as well. It makes markets more efficient because there is no reason to worry about exchange rates. You would be able to go to any country and spend the same currency as your home country. It is like having a Euro in the Euro Zone, but for the entire world. The problem with the Euro however, is that some countries want a strong Euro while others want a weak Euro at the same time. If the Euro was not competing against other currencies, none of that would matter though. You would also be able to order anything online from anywhere, and not have to worry about exchange rates. Have you tried to order something you had to pay for in a different currency? It is intimidating and it will usually cost you extra money in fees.
It would make investing easier as well. A global currency means that you do no need to worry about exchange rates and revenue return. Suppose a company is in a US Dollar strengthening environment. As the dollar strengthens their goods become more expensive. The exchange rate works negatively in their favor, and it reduces their returns. the company either leaves prices the same, and sell less, or they lower their prices and their margins take a hit. Either way, the company loses revenue and their balance sheets weaken. The current monetary structure requires analysts to determine the future strength or weakness of the currency, and how that will affect revenue streams. A global currency can eliminate this. So with all the good a global currency can achieve, why won’t we have one in the near future?
If there is anything the recent Brexit vote and election of President Trump have taught us is that people do not trust immigrants, foreigners, and globalization. Books can be written, and many have been, on why these are all important and good factors to a capitalist economy. However, not enough people understand, or want to understand how these help. Because of this, a global currency cannot be achieved.
A global currency would have to be run by someone. It would require a panel of people from around the world to make monetary and policy decisions. There is enough people that feel the United Nations, NATO, and International Monetary Fund do more harm to their country then good. They have elected a president that threatens to restructure, leave, or pull funding from these organizations. They see globalization as a bad thing, so how could they ever go for a global currency? Simply put, there will be foreign people making decisions, and because of this they will never trust it.
The Future of Bitcoin
Left unregulated Bitcoin may stay around, but only to fill a niche market of money laundering and black market deals. Once it is regulated, it is hard to see what it becomes. It may become an internet currency, where users can only purchase these coins to do a transaction, but most of their funds remain in a normal currency.
Blockchain, on the other hand, will stick around. The technology is already being invested in by most big banks, and even the Federal Reserve. This tool will make financial institutions much more efficient. If it can be properly implemented, bank processes will be cut down. This will save time, and hopefully keep extra dollars in their consumers accounts.
Thanks for reading and happy trading!
Go to to read more articles like this one!
submitted by BR-Technicals to StockMarket [link] [comments]

Sixty free lectures from Princeton on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Total time 13hr 20min. Links in post.

This video series is available with a community and some assignments on Coursera. For extra creddit the professors wrote a book to go with the course. Free pre-release pdf, Amazon hardcover and digital, as well as Chinese, and Japanese translations.
Enjoy :)
Intro to Crypto and Cryptocurrencies
1.0 Welcome - 2 mins 1.1 Cryptographic Hash Functions - 18 mins 1.2 Hash Pointers and Data Structures - 8 mins 1.3 Digital Signatures - 9 mins 1.4 Public Keys as Identities - 5 mins 1.5 A Simple Cryptocurrency - 14 mins
How Bitcoin Achieves Decentralization
2.1 Centralization vs. Decentralization - 4 mins 2.2 Distributed Conesensus - 13 mins 2.3 Consensus Without Identity: the Blockchain - 17 mins 2.4 Incentives and Proof of Work - 19 mins 2.5 Putting It All Together - 18 mins
Mechanics of Bitcoin
3.1 Bitcoin Transactions - 11 mins 3.2 Bitcoin Scripts - 15 mins 3.3 Applications of Bitcoin Scripts - 14 mins 3.4 Bitcoin Blocks - 5 mins 3.5 The Bitcoin Network - 18 mins 3.6 Limitations & Improvements - 11 mins
How to Store and Use Bitcoin
4.1 How to Store and Use Bitcoins - 6 mins 4.2 Hot and Cold Storage - 13 mins 4.3 Splitting and Sharing Keys - 11 mins 4.4 Online Wallets and Exchanges - 19 mins 4.5 Payment Services - 8 mins 4.6 Transaction Fees - 5 mins 4.7 Currency Exchange Markets - 16 mins
Bitcoin Mining
5.1 The Task of Bitcoin Miners - 10 mins 5.2 Mining Hardware - 23 mins 5.3 Energy Consumption & Ecology - 14 mins 5.4 Mining Pools - 14 mins 5.5 Mining Incentives and Strategies - 23 mins
Bitcoin and Anonymity
6.1 Anonymity Basics - 26 mins 6.2 How to De-anonymize Bitcoin - 18 mins 6.3 Mixing - 21 mins 6.4 Decentralized Mixing - 14 mins 6.5 Zerocoin and Zerocash - 19 mins 6.6 Tor and the Silk Road - 11 mins
Community, Politics, and Regulation
7.1 Consensus in Bitcoin - 6 mins 7.2 Bitcoin Core Software - 10 mins 7.3 Stakeholders: Who's in Charge - 9 mins 7.4 Roots of Bitcoin - 9 mins 7.5 Governments Notice Bitcoin - 9 mins 7.6 Anti Money-Laundering - 5 mins 7.7 Regulation - 11 mins 7.8 New York's BitLicense Proposal - 10 mins
Alternative Mining Puzzles
8.1 Essential Puzzle Requirements - 5 mins 8.2 ASIC Resistant Puzzles - 13 mins 8.3 Proof-of-useful-work - 9 mins 8.4 Nonoutsourceable Puzzles - 7 8.5 Proof-of-Stake "Virtual Mining" - 8 mins
Bitcoin as a Platform
9.1 Bitcoin as an Append-Only Log - 16 mins 9.2 Bitcoin as Smart Property - 16 mins 9.3 Secure Multi-Party Lotteries in Bitcoin - 10 mins 9.4 Bitcoin as Randomness Source - 18 mins 9.5 Prediction Markets & Real-World Data Feeds - 23 mins
Altcoins and the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
10.1 Short History of Altcoins - 21 mins 10.2 Interaction Between Bitcoin and Altcoins - 15 mins 10.3 Lifecycle of an Altcoin - 15 mins 10.4 Bitcoin-Backed Altcoins, "Side Chains" - 11 mins
The Fututre of Bitcoin?
11.1 The Blockchain as a Vehicle for Decentralization - 14 mins 11.2 Routes to Blockchain Integration - 28 mins 11.3 What Can We Decentralize? - 24 mins 11.4 When is Decentralization a Good Idea? - 16 mins
submitted by ccjunkiemonkey to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Don't panic, just learn. Sixty free lectures from Princeton on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Total time 13hr 20min. Links in post.

This video series is available with a community and some assignments on Coursera. For extra creddit the professors wrote a book to go with the course. Free pre-release pdf, Amazon hardcover and digital, as well as Chinese, and Japanese translations.
Enjoy :)
Intro to Crypto and Cryptocurrencies
1.0 Welcome - 2 mins 1.1 Cryptographic Hash Functions - 18 mins 1.2 Hash Pointers and Data Structures - 8 mins 1.3 Digital Signatures - 9 mins 1.4 Public Keys as Identities - 5 mins 1.5 A Simple Cryptocurrency - 14 mins
How Bitcoin Achieves Decentralization
2.1 Centralization vs. Decentralization - 4 mins 2.2 Distributed Conesensus - 13 mins 2.3 Consensus Without Identity: the Blockchain - 17 mins 2.4 Incentives and Proof of Work - 19 mins 2.5 Putting It All Together - 18 mins
Mechanics of Bitcoin
3.1 Bitcoin Transactions - 11 mins 3.2 Bitcoin Scripts - 15 mins 3.3 Applications of Bitcoin Scripts - 14 mins 3.4 Bitcoin Blocks - 5 mins 3.5 The Bitcoin Network - 18 mins 3.6 Limitations & Improvements - 11 mins
How to Store and Use Bitcoin
4.1 How to Store and Use Bitcoins - 6 mins 4.2 Hot and Cold Storage - 13 mins 4.3 Splitting and Sharing Keys - 11 mins 4.4 Online Wallets and Exchanges - 19 mins 4.5 Payment Services - 8 mins 4.6 Transaction Fees - 5 mins 4.7 Currency Exchange Markets - 16 mins
Bitcoin Mining
5.1 The Task of Bitcoin Miners - 10 mins 5.2 Mining Hardware - 23 mins 5.3 Energy Consumption & Ecology - 14 mins 5.4 Mining Pools - 14 mins 5.5 Mining Incentives and Strategies - 23 mins
Bitcoin and Anonymity
6.1 Anonymity Basics - 26 mins 6.2 How to De-anonymize Bitcoin - 18 mins 6.3 Mixing - 21 mins 6.4 Decentralized Mixing - 14 mins 6.5 Zerocoin and Zerocash - 19 mins 6.6 Tor and the Silk Road - 11 mins
Community, Politics, and Regulation
7.1 Consensus in Bitcoin - 6 mins 7.2 Bitcoin Core Software - 10 mins 7.3 Stakeholders: Who's in Charge - 9 mins 7.4 Roots of Bitcoin - 9 mins 7.5 Governments Notice Bitcoin - 9 mins 7.6 Anti Money-Laundering - 5 mins 7.7 Regulation - 11 mins 7.8 New York's BitLicense Proposal - 10 mins
Alternative Mining Puzzles
8.1 Essential Puzzle Requirements - 5 mins 8.2 ASIC Resistant Puzzles - 13 mins 8.3 Proof-of-useful-work - 9 mins 8.4 Nonoutsourceable Puzzles - 7 8.5 Proof-of-Stake "Virtual Mining" - 8 mins
Bitcoin as a Platform
9.1 Bitcoin as an Append-Only Log - 16 mins 9.2 Bitcoin as Smart Property - 16 mins 9.3 Secure Multi-Party Lotteries in Bitcoin - 10 mins 9.4 Bitcoin as Randomness Source - 18 mins 9.5 Prediction Markets & Real-World Data Feeds - 23 mins
Altcoins and the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
10.1 Short History of Altcoins - 21 mins 10.2 Interaction Between Bitcoin and Altcoins - 15 mins 10.3 Lifecycle of an Altcoin - 15 mins 10.4 Bitcoin-Backed Altcoins, "Side Chains" - 11 mins
The Fututre of Bitcoin?
11.1 The Blockchain as a Vehicle for Decentralization - 14 mins 11.2 Routes to Blockchain Integration - 28 mins 11.3 What Can We Decentralize? - 24 mins 11.4 When is Decentralization a Good Idea? - 16 mins
submitted by ccjunkiemonkey to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Here is your 30 second digest on A M A Z O N. The top posts from this sub over the past year. Food for thought.

This is a compilation of the top posts about Amazon this year. Some things are easily verifiable, some are works in progress, some are probably proven false. Please decide for your self and look into things on your own!
Amazon Made $5.6 Billion in Profits Last Year and Reportedly Paid Zero American Dollars in Federal Taxes 7862 pts
No surprise, Zuckerberg lied to congress. Facebook shared personal info with about 60 companies including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung. 5187
Bernie Sanders wants Amazon and Walmart to pay their workers a living wage or be taxed for the welfare, this is the headline we got from CBS 4501
Amazon Gets Tax Breaks While Its Employees Rely on Food Stamps, New Data Shows 2845
Exposed: Undercover Reporter at Amazon Warehouse Found Abusive Conditions & No Bathroom Breaks 2510
This is America: AT AMAZON, workers must pack an item every 30 seconds for gruelling 10-hour shifts, toilet breaks are timed — and ambulances are regularly called. Pee into bottles, Some Homeless, and on Welfare because of Low Pay 2047
Amazon paid no US income taxes for 2017 772
Amazon confirms that Echo device secretly shared user’s private audio 609
"You're Worth $1 Trillion. Why Do You Need Our $3 Billion?" Angry New Yorkers Confront Amazon Execs at City Council Meeting 587
Yes, Amazon (and Facebook and Google) are listening to your private conversations (and probably using the camera and other sensors, too) 420
Working in an Amazon warehouse is like prison, according to an author who went undercover at a fulfilment centre and found staff were peeing in bottles because they had no time to go to the toilet. 400
The Washington Post is a CIA operation… 384
[Discussion] With his fingers in so many aspects of American Society now, why doesn't Amazon's Jeff Bezos get more negative attention for monopolistic and troubling practices? 365
$3,000 per second for Bezos, poverty wages for Amazon workers — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's $150 billion fortune was squeezed out of hundreds of thousands of warehouse, service and delivery workers. 308
With the recent recordings from amazon devices qualifying as official evidence… 266
'Unions Are Lying, Cheating Rats': Leaked Video Reveals Amazon's Belligerent Anti-Worker Tactics — "Jeff Bezos is a villain, plain and simple. His insane fortune is the grotesque manifestation of workplace oppression." 240
Corporate welfare: Amazon headquarters to cost NY taxpayers $48,000 per job 238
Reporter went undercover and exposed Amazon's disgusting labor practices 231
The Microchip inserted during the manufacturing process by Chinese spies that hit over 30 U.S. Companies, including Amazon and Apple according to a shocking report released this morning by Bloomberg. 234
Amazon and Microsoft employees caught up in sex trafficking sting 232
Amazon sets its minimum pay at $15 per hour a week before elections, and the day after elections announces it is hiring at the inverse ratio fewer people for this holiday season compared to last year. 204
The man that was "scammed" by Amazon and was compensated with a $1000 gift card after being sent two boxes of rocks when he bought $12,000 worth of cameras is FAKE. 201
Amazon filed a patent to de-anonymize Bitcoin transactions and sell the data to law enforcement 191
Computer generated, wildly expensive nonsense "books" on Amazon are being used to launder money and Amazon doesn't care (xpost NoCorporations) 181
Facebook calls out Google, Amazon and Twitter for also harvesting user data - Facebook argues that other tech giants also track users' activities on the web 158
Whatever it takes to get Google Home or Amazon Alexa in your home. Hmm wonder why?? 158
Jeff Bezos Booed By Amazon Workers 157
The deal for an obscure $10 billion Pentagon contract: “everybody immediately knew that it was for Amazon” 155
Jeff Bezos scandal: Amazon executives caught up in a sex trafficking ring 131
Amazon Teams Up With Government to Deploy Dangerous New Facial Recognition Technology 127
Goldman Sachs closes deal for $83 million apartment complex same day as Amazon picks location for new HQ 129
'User Manual for Authoritarian Surveillance': ACLU Red Alert as Amazon Peddles Facial Recognition Tool to Police — "Once a dangerous surveillance system like this is turned against the public, the harm can't be undone." 122
Amazon patents Alexa tech to tell if you’re sick, depressed and sell you meds 112
CIA-Connected Amazon Turns Over a Record Amount of Data to U.S. Law Enforcement 104
Amazon's creepy plan to put a camera and microphone in every bedroom with launch of its £120 Echo Spot 'smart alarm' 99
'Always Listening' - Amazon's Alexa Stores Everything You Say To It; Here's How To Delete 100
Judge orders Amazon turn over Echo recordings in double murder case 🤔 100
In Latest Privacy Scandal, Facebook Gave Apple, Amazon And Others Unprecedented Access To User Data 89
U.S networks have allegedly started throttling services to streaming sites including Youtube, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video 82
Explosive Report Details Chinese Infiltration of Apple, Amazon and the CIA: In addition to efforts designed to sway US elections, China' intelligence community orchestrated a pervasive infiltration of servers used to power everything from MRI machines to the drones used by the CIA and army. 78
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took swipe at Google for "turning their back on the Department of Defense" - Hours later Youtube is down worldwide 72
Real time facial recognition, courtest of Amazon, being tested in Orlando 77
Google Home, Amazon Alexa Digital Assistant Patents Reveal Plans for Mass Snooping 71
Friendly reminder that FB and Amazon are always listening… 64
Amazon Alexa Bug Let Hackers Turn Echo Speakers Into Covert Listening Device Report by: Dahboo77 61
Russia has banned Twitch alongside with millions of Amazon Ips 61 Amazon just patented worker tracking wristband. Will it fly? 57
Why The US Military Shouldn’t Give Amazon 10 Billion Dollars 44
Amazon Go stores could watch, listen, and remember your every move 39
Woman says her Amazon device recorded private conversation, sent it out to random contact 37
The Amazon Business Model is A Job Killer: The Shift Towards E-Commerce. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 31 Million Jobs Destroyed 26
Also Fuck AI...for now
submitted by meltingspark to conspiracy [link] [comments]

My experience with

Just wanted to share my experiences with so others might get an idea of what it's like to use. This is all from about 4 months ago and I haven't used it since. Maybe things have changed a bit but I doubt it.
So I heard about using Purse to save up to 50% on Amazon orders from a friend and I was sold immediately. Made an account, transferred some bitcoins and tried to place an order for a CPU cooler (~$30) with a 15% discount (which is the maximum you can get for your first order).
My order was picked up the next day and I was pretty impressed. Saved a couple bucks with almost no hassle. Then I looked at the purchaser's profile and his name consisted of some jumbled letters (think something like "jejuljfn") and he had 0 transactions and no feedback. I wasn't too worried as my funds were held by Purse in escrow and I, too, was a new user with no transactions or feedback. The purchaser provided an order number that looked legitimate and a expected delivery date which was 2-3 days later.
A week later and no package had arrived. I contacted the purchaser via Purse and asked for some kind of tracking information and he responded with something like "Do not worry Amazon on the way, brother". A bit worried, I opened up my Amazon wishlist again and saw that the item was gone completely from it. Not marked as purchased or anything, just removed completely. I later learned that this meant someone had purchased my item initially but then immediately canceled the order afterwards. I contact Amazon customer support and ask about my wishlist and they told me that no item on my wishlist was purchased or being sent to me.
I contact Purse support, and they tell the purchaser to provide proof of purchase, either Amazon receipt or tracking number or something. The purchaser just copy and pastes the order number again and says the expected delivery date is in another two days. Yeah, right. He then sends an obviously fake Amazon receipt where the order number and date don't even match with what he said. Like the order date literally said it was purchased a month ago.
I tell the purse moderator to cancel the order immediately as he is likely a scammer. They cancel the order and relisted it but not before telling me off for accusing this honest person of trying to scam people. I believe the response was something like "Just because the purchaser didn't fulfill your order doesn't mean he's a scammer, he could just have not wanted to do business with you." Yeah, he purchased my item, cancelled it immediately, then gave me the order number anyways with a bullshit delivery date, kept me on the hook for a week, and produced a bullshit receipt because he was an honest guy right?
I decided to give it another try since I had already deposited $200 into my Purse account and I was REALLY hopeful of saving money on future Amazon purchases. Same item, same discount, order was fulfilled in 3 days this time. Again, gibberish username, fresh account, no transactions or feedback. Again, fake order number, except this time they didn't even bother trying to purchase the item and cancelling it. They straight up never purchased it all. Waited 2 days for Amazon to confirm it was never purchased and for Purse to cancel the order.
Third try was the charm I guess since I finally got my order ACTUALLY fulfilled, but I literally had to wait 2 weeks in total because of the scammers and I only saved $3 on my order. Worth it? Hell no, but at least now I unlocked higher discounts on the site. I went on to purchase about $300 worth of computer parts with fewer hitches, but I decided to stop using the site. The risk/reward and hassle just wasn't worth it for me. Saved about $40 in total out of $300 which is pretty good, but orders would sometimes take weeks longer than if I had just bought it with my Amazon Prime and I just didn't want any risk of a fraud related incident being related to me and my account.
Tl;DR: There are definitely scammers and shady people on that website and you will inevitably run into them if you use the service. It's no secret that the site can easily be used for money laundering and fraud. Yes, it's possible to save a few bucks here and there but be prepared to have your time wasted by scammers or waiting several days for your orders to be fulfilled. In the end, if you're only buying small items (<$50) you likely won't be saving that much, around $3-5 after purse takes their cut so is it really worth the extra risk and time? Maybe for you it is, but not in my opinion. You'll save a lot more on larger items like TV's or electronics but they will also take a lot longer to fulfill and are at a much higher risk of fraud. Even if you get off without any hitches, was the $100 you saved on your monitor worth the very likely possibility that you're helping criminals launder money and commit fraud? Just ask yourself why someone would overpay by 30-50% for bitcoins? Even if they had an Amazon Gift Card there is absolutely no reason they couldn't find a better deal somewhere else.
submitted by vardythegod to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018

Developments in Financial Services

Regulatory Environment

General News

submitted by QuantalyticsResearch to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Weekly news review (October 19-25)

Weekly news review (October 19-25)
Hello everyone! Let's dive into last week's news highlights!

First responders and organizations that deliver humanitarian aid realize that urgent action saves lives and for this reason they are always searching for ways to streamline their processes.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had announced the launch of a cryptocurrency-backed fund aimed at supporting the development of open-source technology that benefits young people around the world. According to UNICEF the Cryptocurrency Fund will “hold and make transactions in cryptocurrency,” specifically Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
"We are exploring how blockchain can disrupt and improve systems that deliver programs for children. Blockchain may allow us to make payments in a new way and improve how cash transfers are made. "

Google and Amazon smart speakers can be leveraged to record user conversation or to phish for passwords through malicious voice apps, security researchers warn.
Unless the two companies take measures to improve the review process and the restrictions for apps integrating with their smart devices, malicious developers could exploit the weakness to capture audio from users.
The German researchers recommend that unpronounceable characters be removed and allowing sensitive output that could be used to extract secret information should be considered more carefully.

Banks may be bound to stop working with social media giant Facebook if the firm launches its Libra stablecoin, according to ING CEO Ralph Hamers.
Financial news outlet Financial Times reported on Hamers’ remarks on Oct. 22. Per the report, he explained that institutions like ING have to guard the financial system to prevent criminal activity. Because of this, concerns over Libra’s potential for illegal use may result in a response from the banks.
The money laundering concerns are spurred by the fear that Libra may allow criminals to quickly move funds across national borders without any oversight.

Telegram will have to wait to make its case to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that its “gram” token is not a security.
According to the latest court filing, the hearing on the case has been postponed until Feb. 18–19, 2020, pushed forward from an Oct. 24. slot.
The judge hearing the case, P. Kevin Castel, ruled that Telegram should not distribute its tokens before that date, and not until the court makes its decision on the case. Earlier this week, Telegram committed to delaying the launch of the TON blockchain project and gram issuance to the project’s investors until April 30, 2020, so it had time to deal with the SEC’s concerns.

Facebook is reportedly open to the idea of using national currency-pegged stablecoins for its forthcoming Libra project.
According to Reuters on Oct. 20, David Marcus, the head of the Libra project for Facebook and CEO of Facebook’s wallet service Calibra, said that Libra could use various fiat-based stablecoins, instead of the initially proposed token.
Speaking at a banking seminar on Sunday, Marcus reportedly stated that the main goal of the project was to create a more efficient payment system and that it was not opposed to looking at alternative approaches.

Let us know what you think in the comments section down below!
submitted by rokkex to Rokkex [link] [comments]

Bitcoin used by terrorists to launder money? Drug dealers using bitcoin cashpoints to launder money How To Launder Bitcoin  Silicon Real Making Money with Bitcoin on Paxful. Step By Step - YouTube Money laundering fears for virtual currency Bitcoin - BBC ...

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Bitcoin used by terrorists to launder money?

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