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All you need to know about Yield Farming - The rocket fuel for Defi
Source It’s effectively July 2017 in the world of decentralized finance (DeFi), and as in the heady days of the initial coin offering (ICO) boom, the numbers are only trending up. According to DeFi Pulse, there is $1.9 billion in crypto assets locked in DeFi right now. According to the CoinDesk ICO Tracker, the ICO market started chugging past $1 billion in July 2017, just a few months before token sales started getting talked about on TV. Debate juxtaposing these numbers if you like, but what no one can question is this: Crypto users are putting more and more value to work in DeFi applications, driven largely by the introduction of a whole new yield-generating pasture, Compound’s COMP governance token. Governance tokens enable users to vote on the future of decentralized protocols, sure, but they also present fresh ways for DeFi founders to entice assets onto their platforms. That said, it’s the crypto liquidity providers who are the stars of the present moment. They even have a meme-worthy name: yield farmers. https://preview.redd.it/lxsvazp1g9l51.png?width=775&format=png&auto=webp&s=a36173ab679c701a5d5e0aac806c00fcc84d78c1
Where it started
Ethereum-based credit market Compound started distributing its governance token, COMP, to the protocol’s users this past June 15. Demand for the token (heightened by the way its automatic distribution was structured) kicked off the present craze and moved Compound into the leading position in DeFi. The hot new term in crypto is “yield farming,” a shorthand for clever strategies where putting crypto temporarily at the disposal of some startup’s application earns its owner more cryptocurrency. Another term floating about is “liquidity mining.” The buzz around these concepts has evolved into a low rumble as more and more people get interested. The casual crypto observer who only pops into the market when activity heats up might be starting to get faint vibes that something is happening right now. Take our word for it: Yield farming is the source of those vibes. But if all these terms (“DeFi,” “liquidity mining,” “yield farming”) are so much Greek to you, fear not. We’re here to catch you up. We’ll get into all of them. We’re going to go from very basic to more advanced, so feel free to skip ahead.
What are tokens?
Most CoinDesk readers probably know this, but just in case: Tokens are like the money video-game players earn while fighting monsters, money they can use to buy gear or weapons in the universe of their favorite game. But with blockchains, tokens aren’t limited to only one massively multiplayer online money game. They can be earned in one and used in lots of others. They usually represent either ownership in something (like a piece of a Uniswap liquidity pool, which we will get into later) or access to some service. For example, in the Brave browser, ads can only be bought using basic attention token (BAT). If tokens are worth money, then you can bank with them or at least do things that look very much like banking. Thus: decentralized finance. Tokens proved to be the big use case for Ethereum, the second-biggest blockchain in the world. The term of art here is “ERC-20 tokens,” which refers to a software standard that allows token creators to write rules for them. Tokens can be used a few ways. Often, they are used as a form of money within a set of applications. So the idea for Kin was to create a token that web users could spend with each other at such tiny amounts that it would almost feel like they weren’t spending anything; that is, money for the internet. Governance tokens are different. They are not like a token at a video-game arcade, as so many tokens were described in the past. They work more like certificates to serve in an ever-changing legislature in that they give holders the right to vote on changes to a protocol. So on the platform that proved DeFi could fly, MakerDAO, holders of its governance token, MKR, vote almost every week on small changes to parameters that govern how much it costs to borrow and how much savers earn, and so on. Read more:Why DeFi’s Billion-Dollar Milestone Matters One thing all crypto tokens have in common, though, is they are tradable and they have a price. So, if tokens are worth money, then you can bank with them or at least do things that look very much like banking. Thus: decentralized finance.
What is DeFi?
Fair question. For folks who tuned out for a bit in 2018, we used to call this “open finance.” That construction seems to have faded, though, and “DeFi” is the new lingo. In case that doesn’t jog your memory, DeFi is all the things that let you play with money, and the only identification you need is a crypto wallet. On the normal web, you can’t buy a blender without giving the site owner enough data to learn your whole life history. In DeFi, you can borrow money without anyone even asking for your name. I can explain this but nothing really brings it home like trying one of these applications. If you have an Ethereum wallet that has even $20 worth of crypto in it, go do something on one of these products. Pop over to Uniswap and buy yourself some FUN (a token for gambling apps) or WBTC (wrapped bitcoin). Go to MakerDAO and create $5 worth of DAI (a stablecoin that tends to be worth $1) out of the digital ether. Go to Compound and borrow $10 in USDC. (Notice the very small amounts I’m suggesting. The old crypto saying “don’t put in more than you can afford to lose” goes double for DeFi. This stuff is uber-complex and a lot can go wrong. These may be “savings” products but they’re not for your retirement savings.) Immature and experimental though it may be, the technology’s implications are staggering. On the normal web, you can’t buy a blender without giving the site owner enough data to learn your whole life history. In DeFi, you can borrow money without anyone even asking for your name. DeFi applications don’t worry about trusting you because they have the collateral you put up to back your debt (on Compound, for instance, a $10 debt will require around $20 in collateral). Read more:There Are More DAI on Compound Now Than There Are DAI in the World If you do take this advice and try something, note that you can swap all these things back as soon as you’ve taken them out. Open the loan and close it 10 minutes later. It’s fine. Fair warning: It might cost you a tiny bit in fees, and the cost of using Ethereum itself right now is much higher than usual, in part due to this fresh new activity. But it’s nothing that should ruin a crypto user. So what’s the point of borrowing for people who already have the money? Most people do it for some kind of trade. The most obvious example, to short a token (the act of profiting if its price falls). It’s also good for someone who wants to hold onto a token but still play the market.
Doesn’t running a bank take a lot of money up front?
It does, and in DeFi that money is largely provided by strangers on the internet. That’s why the startups behind these decentralized banking applications come up with clever ways to attract HODLers with idle assets. Liquidity is the chief concern of all these different products. That is: How much money do they have locked in their smart contracts? “In some types of products, the product experience gets much better if you have liquidity. Instead of borrowing from VCs or debt investors, you borrow from your users,” said Electric Capital managing partner Avichal Garg. Let’s take Uniswap as an example. Uniswap is an “automated market maker,” or AMM (another DeFi term of art). This means Uniswap is a robot on the internet that is always willing to buy and it’s also always willing to sell any cryptocurrency for which it has a market. On Uniswap, there is at least one market pair for almost any token on Ethereum. Behind the scenes, this means Uniswap can make it look like it is making a direct trade for any two tokens, which makes it easy for users, but it’s all built around pools of two tokens. And all these market pairs work better with bigger pools.
Why do I keep hearing about ‘pools’?
To illustrate why more money helps, let’s break down how Uniswap works. Let’s say there was a market for USDC and DAI. These are two tokens (both stablecoins but with different mechanisms for retaining their value) that are meant to be worth $1 each all the time, and that generally tends to be true for both. The price Uniswap shows for each token in any pooled market pair is based on the balance of each in the pool. So, simplifying this a lot for illustration’s sake, if someone were to set up a USDC/DAI pool, they should deposit equal amounts of both. In a pool with only 2 USDC and 2 DAI it would offer a price of 1 USDC for 1 DAI. But then imagine that someone put in 1 DAI and took out 1 USDC. Then the pool would have 1 USDC and 3 DAI. The pool would be very out of whack. A savvy investor could make an easy $0.50 profit by putting in 1 USDC and receiving 1.5 DAI. That’s a 50% arbitrage profit, and that’s the problem with limited liquidity. (Incidentally, this is why Uniswap’s prices tend to be accurate, because traders watch it for small discrepancies from the wider market and trade them away for arbitrage profits very quickly.) Read more:Uniswap V2 Launches With More Token-Swap Pairs, Oracle Service, Flash Loans However, if there were 500,000 USDC and 500,000 DAI in the pool, a trade of 1 DAI for 1 USDC would have a negligible impact on the relative price. That’s why liquidity is helpful. You can stick your assets on Compound and earn a little yield. But that’s not very creative. Users who look for angles to maximize that yield: those are the yield farmers. Similar effects hold across DeFi, so markets want more liquidity. Uniswap solves this by charging a tiny fee on every trade. It does this by shaving off a little bit from each trade and leaving that in the pool (so one DAI would actually trade for 0.997 USDC, after the fee, growing the overall pool by 0.003 USDC). This benefits liquidity providers because when someone puts liquidity in the pool they own a share of the pool. If there has been lots of trading in that pool, it has earned a lot of fees, and the value of each share will grow. And this brings us back to tokens. Liquidity added to Uniswap is represented by a token, not an account. So there’s no ledger saying, “Bob owns 0.000000678% of the DAI/USDC pool.” Bob just has a token in his wallet. And Bob doesn’t have to keep that token. He could sell it. Or use it in another product. We’ll circle back to this, but it helps to explain why people like to talk about DeFi products as “money Legos.”
So how much money do people make by putting money into these products?
It can be a lot more lucrative than putting money in a traditional bank, and that’s before startups started handing out governance tokens. Compound is the current darling of this space, so let’s use it as an illustration. As of this writing, a person can put USDC into Compound and earn 2.72% on it. They can put tether (USDT) into it and earn 2.11%. Most U.S. bank accounts earn less than 0.1% these days, which is close enough to nothing. However, there are some caveats. First, there’s a reason the interest rates are so much juicier: DeFi is a far riskier place to park your money. There’s no Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protecting these funds. If there were a run on Compound, users could find themselves unable to withdraw their funds when they wanted. Plus, the interest is quite variable. You don’t know what you’ll earn over the course of a year. USDC’s rate is high right now. It was low last week. Usually, it hovers somewhere in the 1% range. Similarly, a user might get tempted by assets with more lucrative yields like USDT, which typically has a much higher interest rate than USDC. (Monday morning, the reverse was true, for unclear reasons; this is crypto, remember.) The trade-off here is USDT’s transparency about the real-world dollars it’s supposed to hold in a real-world bank is not nearly up to par with USDC’s. A difference in interest rates is often the market’s way of telling you the one instrument is viewed as dicier than another. Users making big bets on these products turn to companies Opyn and Nexus Mutual to insure their positions because there’s no government protections in this nascent space – more on the ample risks later on. So users can stick their assets in Compound or Uniswap and earn a little yield. But that’s not very creative. Users who look for angles to maximize that yield: those are the yield farmers.
OK, I already knew all of that. What is yield farming?
Broadly, yield farming is any effort to put crypto assets to work and generate the most returns possible on those assets. At the simplest level, a yield farmer might move assets around within Compound, constantly chasing whichever pool is offering the best APY from week to week. This might mean moving into riskier pools from time to time, but a yield farmer can handle risk. “Farming opens up new price arbs [arbitrage] that can spill over to other protocols whose tokens are in the pool,” said Maya Zehavi, a blockchain consultant. Because these positions are tokenized, though, they can go further. This was a brand-new kind of yield on a deposit. In fact, it was a way to earn a yield on a loan. Who has ever heard of a borrower earning a return on a debt from their lender? In a simple example, a yield farmer might put 100,000 USDT into Compound. They will get a token back for that stake, called cUSDT. Let’s say they get 100,000 cUSDT back (the formula on Compound is crazy so it’s not 1:1 like that but it doesn’t matter for our purposes here). They can then take that cUSDT and put it into a liquidity pool that takes cUSDT on Balancer, an AMM that allows users to set up self-rebalancing crypto index funds. In normal times, this could earn a small amount more in transaction fees. This is the basic idea of yield farming. The user looks for edge cases in the system to eke out as much yield as they can across as many products as it will work on. Right now, however, things are not normal, and they probably won’t be for a while.
Why is yield farming so hot right now?
Because of liquidity mining. Liquidity mining supercharges yield farming. Liquidity mining is when a yield farmer gets a new token as well as the usual return (that’s the “mining” part) in exchange for the farmer’s liquidity. “The idea is that stimulating usage of the platform increases the value of the token, thereby creating a positive usage loop to attract users,” said Richard Ma of smart-contract auditor Quantstamp. The yield farming examples above are only farming yield off the normal operations of different platforms. Supply liquidity to Compound or Uniswap and get a little cut of the business that runs over the protocols – very vanilla. But Compound announced earlier this year it wanted to truly decentralize the product and it wanted to give a good amount of ownership to the people who made it popular by using it. That ownership would take the form of the COMP token. Lest this sound too altruistic, keep in mind that the people who created it (the team and the investors) owned more than half of the equity. By giving away a healthy proportion to users, that was very likely to make it a much more popular place for lending. In turn, that would make everyone’s stake worth much more. So, Compound announced this four-year period where the protocol would give out COMP tokens to users, a fixed amount every day until it was gone. These COMP tokens control the protocol, just as shareholders ultimately control publicly traded companies. Every day, the Compound protocol looks at everyone who had lent money to the application and who had borrowed from it and gives them COMP proportional to their share of the day’s total business. The results were very surprising, even to Compound’s biggest promoters. COMP’s value will likely go down, and that’s why some investors are rushing to earn as much of it as they can right now. This was a brand-new kind of yield on a deposit into Compound. In fact, it was a way to earn a yield on a loan, as well, which is very weird: Who has ever heard of a borrower earning a return on a debt from their lender? COMP’s value has consistently been well over $200 since it started distributing on June 15. We did the math elsewhere but long story short: investors with fairly deep pockets can make a strong gain maximizing their daily returns in COMP. It is, in a way, free money. It’s possible to lend to Compound, borrow from it, deposit what you borrowed and so on. This can be done multiple times and DeFi startup Instadapp even built a tool to make it as capital-efficient as possible. “Yield farmers are extremely creative. They find ways to ‘stack’ yields and even earn multiple governance tokens at once,” said Spencer Noon of DTC Capital. COMP’s value spike is a temporary situation. The COMP distribution will only last four years and then there won’t be any more. Further, most people agree that the high price now is driven by the low float (that is, how much COMP is actually free to trade on the market – it will never be this low again). So the value will probably gradually go down, and that’s why savvy investors are trying to earn as much as they can now. Appealing to the speculative instincts of diehard crypto traders has proven to be a great way to increase liquidity on Compound. This fattens some pockets but also improves the user experience for all kinds of Compound users, including those who would use it whether they were going to earn COMP or not. As usual in crypto, when entrepreneurs see something successful, they imitate it. Balancer was the next protocol to start distributing a governance token, BAL, to liquidity providers. Flash loan provider bZx has announced a plan. Ren, Curve and Synthetixalso teamed up to promote a liquidity pool on Curve. It is a fair bet many of the more well-known DeFi projects will announce some kind of coin that can be mined by providing liquidity. The case to watch here is Uniswap versus Balancer. Balancer can do the same thing Uniswap does, but most users who want to do a quick token trade through their wallet use Uniswap. It will be interesting to see if Balancer’s BAL token convinces Uniswap’s liquidity providers to defect. So far, though, more liquidity has gone into Uniswap since the BAL announcement, according to its data site. That said, even more has gone into Balancer.
Did liquidity mining start with COMP?
No, but it was the most-used protocol with the most carefully designed liquidity mining scheme. This point is debated but the origins of liquidity mining probably date back to Fcoin, a Chinese exchange that created a token in 2018 that rewarded people for making trades. You won’t believe what happened next! Just kidding, you will: People just started running bots to do pointless trades with themselves to earn the token. Similarly, EOS is a blockchain where transactions are basically free, but since nothing is really free the absence of friction was an invitation for spam. Some malicious hacker who didn’t like EOS created a token called EIDOS on the network in late 2019. It rewarded people for tons of pointless transactions and somehow got an exchange listing. These initiatives illustrated how quickly crypto users respond to incentives. Read more:Compound Changes COMP Distribution Rules Following ‘Yield Farming’ Frenzy Fcoin aside, liquidity mining as we now know it first showed up on Ethereum when the marketplace for synthetic tokens, Synthetix, announced in July 2019 an award in its SNX token for users who helped add liquidity to the sETH/ETH pool on Uniswap. By October, that was one of Uniswap’s biggest pools. When Compound Labs, the company that launched the Compound protocol, decided to create COMP, the governance token, the firm took months designing just what kind of behavior it wanted and how to incentivize it. Even still, Compound Labs was surprised by the response. It led to unintended consequences such as crowding into a previously unpopular market (lending and borrowing BAT) in order to mine as much COMP as possible. Just last week, 115 different COMP wallet addresses – senators in Compound’s ever-changing legislature – voted to change the distribution mechanism in hopes of spreading liquidity out across the markets again.
Is there DeFi for bitcoin?
Yes, on Ethereum. Nothing has beaten bitcoin over time for returns, but there’s one thing bitcoin can’t do on its own: create more bitcoin. A smart trader can get in and out of bitcoin and dollars in a way that will earn them more bitcoin, but this is tedious and risky. It takes a certain kind of person. DeFi, however, offers ways to grow one’s bitcoin holdings – though somewhat indirectly. A long HODLer is happy to gain fresh BTC off their counterparty’s short-term win. That’s the game. For example, a user can create a simulated bitcoin on Ethereum using BitGo’s WBTC system. They put BTC in and get the same amount back out in freshly minted WBTC. WBTC can be traded back for BTC at any time, so it tends to be worth the same as BTC. Then the user can take that WBTC, stake it on Compound and earn a few percent each year in yield on their BTC. Odds are, the people who borrow that WBTC are probably doing it to short BTC (that is, they will sell it immediately, buy it back when the price goes down, close the loan and keep the difference). A long HODLer is happy to gain fresh BTC off their counterparty’s short-term win. That’s the game.
How risky is it?
Enough. “DeFi, with the combination of an assortment of digital funds, automation of key processes, and more complex incentive structures that work across protocols – each with their own rapidly changing tech and governance practices – make for new types of security risks,” said Liz Steininger of Least Authority, a crypto security auditor. “Yet, despite these risks, the high yields are undeniably attractive to draw more users.” We’ve seen big failures in DeFi products. MakerDAO had one so bad this year it’s called “Black Thursday.” There was also the exploit against flash loan provider bZx. These things do break and when they do money gets taken. As this sector gets more robust, we could see token holders greenlighting more ways for investors to profit from DeFi niches. Right now, the deal is too good for certain funds to resist, so they are moving a lot of money into these protocols to liquidity mine all the new governance tokens they can. But the funds – entities that pool the resources of typically well-to-do crypto investors – are also hedging. Nexus Mutual, a DeFi insurance provider of sorts, told CoinDesk it has maxed out its available coverage on these liquidity applications. Opyn, the trustless derivatives maker, created a way to short COMP, just in case this game comes to naught. And weird things have arisen. For example, there’s currently more DAI on Compound than have been minted in the world. This makes sense once unpacked but it still feels dicey to everyone. That said, distributing governance tokens might make things a lot less risky for startups, at least with regard to the money cops. “Protocols distributing their tokens to the public, meaning that there’s a new secondary listing for SAFT tokens, [gives] plausible deniability from any security accusation,” Zehavi wrote. (The Simple Agreement for Future Tokens was a legal structure favored by many token issuers during the ICO craze.) Whether a cryptocurrency is adequately decentralized has been a key feature of ICO settlements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
What’s next for yield farming? (A prediction)
COMP turned out to be a bit of a surprise to the DeFi world, in technical ways and others. It has inspired a wave of new thinking. “Other projects are working on similar things,” said Nexus Mutual founder Hugh Karp. In fact, informed sources tell CoinDesk brand-new projects will launch with these models. We might soon see more prosaic yield farming applications. For example, forms of profit-sharing that reward certain kinds of behavior. Imagine if COMP holders decided, for example, that the protocol needed more people to put money in and leave it there longer. The community could create a proposal that shaved off a little of each token’s yield and paid that portion out only to the tokens that were older than six months. It probably wouldn’t be much, but an investor with the right time horizon and risk profile might take it into consideration before making a withdrawal. (There are precedents for this in traditional finance: A 10-year Treasury bond normally yields more than a one-month T-bill even though they’re both backed by the full faith and credit of Uncle Sam, a 12-month certificate of deposit pays higher interest than a checking account at the same bank, and so on.) As this sector gets more robust, its architects will come up with ever more robust ways to optimize liquidity incentives in increasingly refined ways. We could see token holders greenlighting more ways for investors to profit from DeFi niches. Questions abound for this nascent industry: What will MakerDAO do to restore its spot as the king of DeFi? Will Uniswap join the liquidity mining trend? Will anyone stick all these governance tokens into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)? Or would that be a yield farmers co-op? Whatever happens, crypto’s yield farmers will keep moving fast. Some fresh fields may open and some may soon bear much less luscious fruit. But that’s the nice thing about farming in DeFi: It is very easy to switch fields.
Weekly Update: ParJar Swap private beta, Fantom Opera Network Special-fee Contract, SelfKey + ThreeFold, Open Staking live on Harmony…– 15 May - 21 May'20
Hey Parachuters! Seems like ages since I last posted a weekly update, right? Unfortunately, got super busy with IRL work and couldn’t keep up. But fret not! I finally scraped some time out today to get upto speed with all the news from the Parachute universe in May and June and organised them into a series of weekly updates like the ones I used to write earlier. But instead of posting them one by one everyday, thought it might be best to release them all at one go. So here's Part I of VI - All that happened at Parachute + partners from 15 May - 21 May'20: The ParJar swap feature beta testing started this week with a call to testers far and wide. Click here for the latest update and stats on ParJar straight from Cap's mouth - "...it took almost two years of betas and growth to reach 1 million tips (March 7th) nd it’s taken 2 months to to add another 400k..". Amazing! The #par4par raffle continues with a 500k $PAR pool. Peace Love hosted a general knowledge trivia in TTR this week for 10k $PAR in prizes. Gamerboy’s random trivia and Victor’s “Big Trivia” in Tiproom were quite fun as well. Naj (who’s also this week’s Parena winner) hosted a six set quiz in TTR. Charlotte’s been hosting quizzes in a new format for quite some time now. This week too she held one in Tiproom. Jason started a #culturalweekend prompt with an invitation to Parachuters to share "about a cultural dance or ceremony" from their area. "Explain in detail about the dance and why it is important" for some cool $PAR. Among many of the cool stories shared by Parachuters included Nico’s Occitan music from Italy and Soleira’s Dancing Devils of Tinaquillo. Congratulations to Clinton’s FLI charity for partnering with Lumenthropy which is Stellar's philanthropic arm. Remember, all profits from the Parachute Shop go to FLI. Another crypto league with a 150k $PAR prize pot started this week. Gian’s Two-For-Tuesday was a free for all. To revisit all the awesome music posted for 2FT, check out the playlist made by Sebastian. Naj came back from near certain defeat in the finale to win this week’s Parena aXpire CEO Matthew Markham penned an article on remote work and billing software for legal firms. An updated e-flyer for Bilr was released as well. To track the latest $AXPR burn, click here. 2gether added customer support capabilities to their Twitter, Facebook and Discord. Plus, an incident tracker status page was added this week. The XIO dApp which is still in private beta has already seen 500k+ $XIO tokens locked into it. Awesome! To get a feel of how the dApp works, check out Dash’s latest video demo where he also shared some updates on tokenomics. Uptrennd founder Jeff Kirdeikis interviewed Dash over an hour long session to talk all things XIO. $XIO got listed on Idex. Click here to watch an update video on the latest developments. For XIO discussions this week, Citizens brainstormed over the base liquidity pair on Uniswap V2. DeFi Nation’s Clayton Roche wrote a detailed commentary on what XIO is doing right. Birdchain’s mid-May update came out this week. Voyager hosted a business update conference call this week. CEO Steve Ehrlich talked about the platform and crypto in general with Charlie Shrem on the Untold Stories podcast this week. Voyager’s Q3 2020 results were released. Still figuring out how to fund your Voyager wallet? Watch this video to find out. An upgrade to Fantom’s Opera Network was pushed which allows staking different amounts over time. For the latest project update, click here. A community AMA also happened this week where the team talked about a new staking proposal called Fluid Staking. Jeff from Uptrennd sat down to interview IOST co-founder Terry Wang this week. Uptrennd broke into the top 20k Alexa global rankings. Woohoo! GET Protocol’s GUTS Tickets app is now available in Italian as well. DoYourTip’s $DYT is now available on Uniswap V2. What a welcome sight for support engineers. Source: https://2gether.statuspage.io/history Switch’s $ESH token was listed on Stex, ProBit, Crex 24, Hotbit, Bilaxy and Bitcoin.com this week. Bitcoin.com also announced support for the $GHOST airdrop along with a deposit and trade competition. Continuing on its acquisition spree from last week, Switch acquired gaming platform Wavesbet and voting dApp ClearPoll. Whitepaper for the GHOST project by John McAfee was released. They will be airdropping their tokens 1:1 to $ESH HODLers on the 25th. The release of $GHOST has been contentious to say the least. Reflecting on some of the plagiarism allegations levelled against the project, the crew shared their side of the story. The team also sat down for an AMA with Coiner Vietnam. District0x’s latest weekly update talked about the upcoming DappDigest and new developments in Meme Factory among other news. The Q4 2019 quarterly report was released as well. Read all about Hydro’s Financial Offers framework here. If you are a graphic designer, don’t forget to check out this gig at Sentivate. US-residents only. OST’s Simona Pop will be attending a panel discussion by Outlier Ventures next week to talk about dev onboarding. P2P internet ecosystem ThreeFold announced a multi-faceted partnership with SelfKey for KYC and new user onboarding services. Following last week's community vote on the most attractive marketplaces, Passports Marketplace was found to be the most popular. This week, the community voted on their most preferred blockchain to be added to the app. Bank of Hodlers joined SelfKey's Loans Marketplace while Tokens.net joined the Exchanges Marketplace. COTI did a study on IoT payments and how it could offer a solution. The project was selected for the next listing vote on Gate.io. COTI community also got an opportunity to interact with the AtomicWallet team through an AMA this week. Hydro has been constantly updating its dev tools to offer a seamless developer experience Click here to read the latest Constellation Hypergraph mainnet stats. New features were added to the Molly wallet. Click here for steps to install the wallet. TheDailyChain expanded on how the $DAG ecosystem was growing. Pynk CEO Seth Ward wrote about the future of fintech in his EM360 article. Congratulations on crossing the 1k follower mark on Medium. In Shuffle Monster news, most of the $SHUF liquidity on Uniswap was moved to the V2 pool this week. New features were added to the Wibson app with the latest release giving more data control powers to the end user. Pre-staking started on the Harmony mainnet with the opening up of bids by validators followed by the election of the first batch of validators thereby marking the start of Open Staking. And just after, Harmony became the first ever blockchain to support sharded PoS. The news of Open Staking going live was covered by Coindesk and Cointelegraph. More details on what next was shared in a Coinspeaker article. How does a delegator fit into the overall scheme of things? Check out this video. Open staking noobs will find these 101 tutorials helpful. CTO Rongjian Lan also did a community call to explain about it. For the latest development updates otherwise known as #pow thread, click here. Harmony’s EPoS is designed to be fair to all stakers. So make sure to optimise your staking rewards. $ONE Binance wallets were taken down briefly for a temporary maintenance activity. They now support the mainnet coin. Hope you had a chance to participate in the guess-effective-median-stake contest to win some cool $ONE prizes. Click here for the latest staking stats. $ONE was added to Binance Savings which offers a fixed rate of return on locked savings. A minor bug in the staking bug was removed. The APR numbers should get calculated more accurately now. The crew appeared for an AMA with StakingHub. Congratulations to the winners of Stake Heist! Binance and BitMax announced support for staking with BItMax crew also appearing for an AMA. IntelliShare crew sat down for an AMA with CoinNess this week. And with that, we have to close for this week in the Parachuteverse! See you again with another update. Ciao!
Not a question, this is a write-up for any trans girls living in Auckland, New Zealand since when I was looking online last year I couldn't find any info
(EDIT: I AM STILL ACTIVE & ABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS. I know a shit-ton more than I did 5 months ago and if I don't know something I can ask on the Gender Bridge or Trans and Intersex NZ FB groups for you. idk if this post is archived but you can DM me and I'll respond & then add it to this post) (Update 25 July 2020: Lena's HRT got through customs - only two people incl. me have ordered so far and both got through today - took 2 months. Payment is via sendmoney24.com) (Update 26 July 2020: I got progesterone, scroll down for details) so this is my experience, with as many details I can remember. i am a binary(ish?) trans woman, so obviously my experience will be different but they're apparently really good with gender diverse & non-binary folks too. I was also over 18 when I realised I was trans so if you're younger it's probably going to be very different.
I told my GP mid-April that I was trans and wanted to start HRT, she asked me for my preferred name (but actually updating my name in their system seems to be a different process that might be harder, I will ask her about it next time), and then sent in a referral to Auckland Sexual Health Services. if you're at uni, GP appointments there cost something like $20-25. something I didn't do at this point was reach out to local LGBT orgs & add myself to FB groups in retrospect I should have done this because throughout the whole process I felt really alone. either that or finding a therapist / counsellor to confide in. also ask your GP for a blood test form for your hormone levels so you have a baseline (ASHS will test them later on but you can't see it)
getting an appointment with ASHS took about 3-4 months. they will send a text to your phone 1-2 months and give you a list of possible appointment dates, then a confirmation text 1 month before the appointment asking whether you still want the appointment. spaces are really, really limited.
my appointment was in Greenlane, & with Dr Jeanie Oliphant. if you can't get a lift there look up multiple bus routes in advance, I very nearly fucked this up & missed my first appo.
in the first appointment - which like everything else is free - they will probably 1. give you a blood test form 2. ask if you want to freeze sperm 3. ask you some general questions about your sexual history, mental health background, how you experience being trans, etc., 4. discuss some possible hrt options 5. give you some forms to complete relating to fertility preservation
then they will schedule an appointment with a counsellor,. mine was in mangere which was a significantly long drive. they will make you do two appointments with the counsellor, the first 1 month after the 1st appo, and then the second a month after that. if your appointment is in the morning they might open 15-20 mins late, but maybe that was just the one time.
honestly i kind of did the 'cis baby talk' thing where i described my experience as a trans woman in the most unambiguous & stereotypical way possible to maximise the chance i'd get hrt, but in retrospect that was probably unnecessary. they're working on an informed consent model so don't worry about it i guess
you shouldn't be worried about how the counselling session will go, the office is kind of cramped & weird but it was very non-judgemental & the guy made it clear to me that the point of the sessions was evaluating mental health & managing expectations around hrt - not "decide whether or not she can have hrt". just be prepared to talk about yourself
the actual date I got the prescription for HRT was late December, so if you haven't processed your thoughts about your gender yet & you can't afford to go private then get a referral from your GP ASAP, do the processing in the meantime, & if you decide against it you can always cancel the appointment. this wait-time is shorter than other countries but it felt like a stupidly long time, especially because I hadn't found an antidepressant regimen that worked for me yet.
T-blockers: they offer you Lucrin injections, Zoladex implants, or cyproterone tablets. I went with the cyproterone (12.5mg a day), but I want to switch to Lucrin since it's apparently the gold standard.
estrogen: they offer you progynova tablets and estradot patches. they will start you on 50ug/day for patches and 2mg/day for tablets. push for higher amounts one month in, prescription guidelines say to start you on the lowest amount. with progynova tablets you can suck the coating off and dissolve it under your tongue which has 6x higher availability, but Dr. Powers' presentation said to start by taking it orally (swallowing it) to mimic the higher estrone (E1) levels (not E2, estradiol which is the pills & the patches) that girls have when they start puberty. I'm trying this
you can see the max amount subsidised here: https://www.pharmac.govt.nz/2020/02/01/Schedule.pdf. for estradot this is 100mcg day, two patches a week. for more of that, all I know is that the Greenlane Hospital pharmacy charges $55.10 for 24 (3 months supply = max they can give you) but other pharmacies charge more or less. You can google "pharmac estradot" for the pharmac cost, all the pharmacies mark up from that. for progynova you can get theoretically as much as you want, but the 2018 Guidelines for trans healthcare only go up to 6mg, but you can argue for 8mg by just saying you want to try it out - if you're young ask about the risks of deep vein thrombosis, that will kind of force your practitioner to do a mental risk/reward calculation that comes out favourably for you.
if they schedule another appointment in 3 months, your prescription probably won't last until then. Dr. Oliphant told me to text Jove the fax details of my local pharmacy or clinic to get a new prescription.
install a pill tracker alarm app to your phone to keep track of when to swap patches/take pills.
a month in ask your GP to give you a blood test. my e levels were super low & I wasn't absorbing anything from my patches (one 50ug/day patch, rotated every 3.5 days) when I placed them on my stomach, so I used micropore surgical tape I'd ordered from Aliexpress to tape down the edges securely (otherwise you get a lining of lint and hair and shit idk) & placed it on my bum instead of my stomach, which lead to less wrinkling. judging by my better mood this seems to have worked but I'm getting another test to see whether this made a difference or whether I'm just a non-responder to transdermal patches (???)
anyway this is where I'm at right now. I'm planning on switching to progynova, taking 4mg divided up through the day to start off with, and switching to a private provider. list here: https://genderminorities.com/database/medical-surgical/transgender-healthcare-providers/ on the off chance someone else living in nz looks up what the process for hrt is like in new zealand i hope this helped & i can answer any other questions edit: 15 june update with info I've collected together Progynova dose: I've been on progynova for like...4 months now. Got my dose increased to 6mg instead of 4 with absolutely no issue, didn't have to pay anything. Since I was also on boron it was more like 9mg? or 10mg? Dr Oliphant wrote a paper on trans healthcare that suggested going above this is unnecessary so I'm imagining I'll get resistance if I try to push the dose higher, but I'm planning on asking since there's no harm. Switching to sublingual: I switched to sublingual 5 days ago (and I should've done it earlier, my boobs were stuck at tanner 3.5 for a while). 1mg at 8am, 12pm, 4pm, 7pm, then oral at 10pm since I cbf. Someone recommended to crush them into powder but I found that unnecessary. Split them in two and it takes five. Pill cutters from Aliexpress are less than $4, they're a life-saver. Once you suck off the coating, they dissolve completely under your tongue in 14 minutes. The first time I did it, I swallowed a lot but it was a learnable skill and the longer you avoid swallowing the easier it becomes, what I do now is: swill water around in my mouth for 30 seconds to stop saliva production, don't put anything in and try to stop swallowing reflexively for 2-3 mins which means you'll get the reflexive swallowing over and done with, and then put the pill in and start doing ocused in-out deep breathing (I'm sure there are more tips, look up "how to stop reflexive swallow"). Since I got diagnosed with ADHD ritalin has made this 100x easier for some reason, could be partly salivation inhibition as a side effect, could be better focus and self-control. Maybe neurotypical people find this whole thing much easier. Overall changes: Okay I'm getting Boron: Obviously this is still experimental blah blah blah etc. etc., I got boron from iHerb like 4 months ago, I compared around 5-6 different sites with different shipping policies and a LOT of different brands and the cheapest per unit was [this](Now Foods, Boron, 3 mg, 250 Capsules) at 7.7c/capsule, realistically 23c a day (9mg was the point at which I got really noticeable breast tenderness w/o changing my e dose at all), currently it's Source Naturals Triple Boron since the other one is out of stock. I considered buying boron from Alibaba (USD$23/kg) which is literally a thousand times cheaper but that requires talking to people and negotiating and shit. Maybe a long-term option. If it goes well I will list the supplier I ordered from. EDIT: so according to this post, boron doesn't do much unless you're taking a lot of e already. check out their chart Progesterone: So I'm on the Genderbridge FB group (really should've joined ages ago) and there are at least two people who have managed to get utrogestan prescriptions from their GPs. A few more with progesterone creams. My GP said go to the specialists and the clinic said no. So I'm going to find someone else and if that's not possible I'll try get progesterone creams since amazon4health says 90% of unauthorised pills get caught. Not sure about vials. UPDATE ON PROGESTERONE: Oneroa Accident and medical ctr gives out progesterone. Make sure to speak to Dr Michael karetai or Dr Isla Karetai or Dr Margaret Karetai. They do phone consultations, $70 if you're not registered and you're over 18, details on their site, much lower if you have a community services card. Further update: Dr Margaret Karetai is the absolute best. If you have done the research, then she will trust you. Be clear about exactly what you want. She is very nice and I got utrogestan 200mg and bicalutamide 50mg!!!!!!!!!! Note: pharmacy costs vary a lot, ask for your utrogestan prescription to be faxed to your nearest Chemist Warehouse (cheapest option) since it's not subsidised. The cost is here: https://www.chemistwarehouse.co.nz/CWH/media/Documents/CWNZPrescriptionPricelistNov2019.pdf right now it's $24.99 for a pack of 30 100mg pills. If you're doing Dr Powers' 200mg regimen this comes out to $600 a year. Kind of steep but this is what I'm doing until I've finished negotiating with Alibaba suppliers and getting the powder tested at a harm reduction place (forgot what it's called.) If I find a good Chinese supplier, I will do a full write-up as another post, with instructions and prices & link it here. DIY options
According to Amazon4Health, 90% of pills don't get through Customs.
You can get estrogen implants now, imported from Adelaide, there's at least one GP who does them. Ask on one of the trans FB groups. Comment for more details.
You can get injections legit if you have a letter from your GP. Comment if you're interested, I can give you the whole procedure.
The two non-prescription EV sources I've interacted with that ship to NZ are Lena and otokonoko. Otokonoko is pricier but their shipping is faster and they do refunds if it doesn't get through customs. However, they seem to only take bitcoin & other crypto at the moment which is tough since NZ's regulations make it difficult to get bitcoin, none of the major markets allow NZ. Might have changed since I last tried 6 months ago, though. DM me your results so I can add them here & expand our pool of collective knowledge
Regarding SRS and other surgeries
Orchiectomy - 100% free, and according to other people the waiting list is around 3-6 months long.
SRS - probably better to get it done privately in Thailand or something, the current 'waiting list' is 15 years long.
Breast augmentation is regarded as "cosmetic"
Regarding electrolysis and laser
If you're nearby I recommend Julie Martin for electrolysis. Electrology is kind of expensive, for her it's $90 for a 1 hour session if you can tolerate up to that much and it doesn't go that much lower. Apparently another option is combined electrolysis+laser, you start with laser, wait 6 wks, go to an electrologist and get whatever's left cleared away. Some laser places are doing a 50% discount right now, and they cheapen it if you pay for all your sessions at the same time upfront. Not sure, this might take longer overall, not sure about permanence.
I'm using a home IPL kit for body hair, brand is Bosidin.
Invite to the Reddit 2019 Directory of VPN service providers. In this directory site, we're taking a look at a few of the absolute best business VPN provider on the Internet like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, IPVanish, Hotspot Shield, Private Internet Access and others. Instead of taking a look at the large range of free suppliers, which often have a lot of limits (and dubious loyalties), we are looking at those suppliers who charge a couple of dollars a month, however put your interests first, instead of those of shadowy marketers and sponsors. We've looked at more than 20 elements including variety of server locations, client software, devoted and vibrant IP, bandwidth caps, security, logging, client support and rate. Let's take a look at each of our suppliers below in a little bit more depth. ExpressVPN Number of IP addresses: 30,000 Number of servers: 3,000+. Number of server locations: 160. Variety of synchronised connections: 5. Country/Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands. 94+ countries. 3 months Free with 1-year strategy. ExpressVPN likewise uses a 30-day money-back guarantee, and has outstanding procedure assistance. While few will utilize PPTP (unless there specify requirements), the extra support of SSTP and L2TP/IPSec might be welcome to some users. We like the quality of their setup guides, and the in-depth details in their Frequently Asked Question. The ExpressVPN got points from us for their support of Bitcoin as a payment technique, and their trustworthy and easy-to-use connection kill switch feature. The company has actually stayed in business because 2009, and has a significant network of fast VPN servers spread throughout 94 nations. Their finest plan is priced at simply $6.67 monthly for an annual plan that includes 3 months complimentary. ExpressVPN's dedication to privacy is a standout feature. SEE ALL EXPRESSVPN PLANS. NordVPN. Number of IP addresses: 5,000. Variety of servers: 5000+ servers. Variety of server locations: 61. Country/Jurisdiction: Panama. 60+ nations. $ 2.99/ month (75% discount rate) for a 3-year plan. NordVPN in-depth review and hands-on screening. NordVPN is among our top-performing VPN companies. They even use a generous simultaneous connection count, with six synchronised connections through their network, where almost everyone else deals five or less. NordVPN's network isn't as big as some of their competitors, so if you're attempting to obfuscate your tracks, you might want a company with more servers. Otherwise, this business is plainly offering a winning offering. Their finest plan is 1-year membership strategy: $6.99 ($ 83.88). While their month-to-month price of $11.95 is at the high-end of the spectrum, their annual price of $83.88 is lower than a lot of our competitors. And yes, they also have a full 30-day refund policy. NordVPN likewise provides a dedicated IP choice, for those looking for a different level of VPN connection. They do provide $2.99/ month (75% discount rate) for a 3-year strategy. SEE ALL NORDVPN PREPARES. cg-22-1. CyberGhost VPN. Number of IP addresses: 2,800. Number of servers: over 3,700 worldwide. Variety of server locations: 115. 24/7 support action. $ 2.75/ month (79% discount) for a 3-year plan. CyberGhost thorough evaluation and hands-on screening. CyberGhost has actually been around because 2011 and has come out strongly as an advocate of "civil rights, a complimentary society, and an uncensored Internet culture." We truly liked how the company specifically showcases, on their Website, how folks usually prevented from accessing such essential services as Facebook and YouTube can bring those services into their lives by means of a VPN. The company has strong Linux assistance, supports VPN through routers, and has a solution for the popular Kodi media player. They mark off all the boxes on procedure support and get congratulations for offering a connection kill switch function, in addition to supporting P2P and BitTorrent in most nations. Still, the few extra dollars deserve it. We liked how the business offers custom-made app security, IPV5 support and DNS, IP, and WebRTC leakage prevention. CyberGhost also picked up points for preserving privacy by not logging connection information. SEE ALL CYBERGHOST VPN PREPARES. ipvanish-300x250usjc. IPVanish VPN. Variety of IP addresses: 40,000+. Variety of servers: 900. Number of server locations: 60. Country/Jurisdiction: United States. $ 4.87/ month (60% discount) for a 1-year strategy. A big win for IPVanish is the reality that the business keeps no logs. Absolutely no. We also like the business's stance towards privacy. They even supply support to EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a not-for-profit at the front lines of securing online personal privacy. An unique feature of IPVanish, and one we're extremely interested by, is the VPN's assistance of Kodi, the open-source media streaming app that was as soon as referred to as XBMC. Any severe media fan has used or constructed Kodi or XBMC into a media player, and the integrated IPVanish Kodi plugin provides access to media worldwide. At $7.50/ month and $58.49 for a year, they're undoubtedly attempting to move you towards their annual program. We awarded the business congratulations for Bitcoin support, and their money-back guarantee. We're a little disappointed that they just allow a 7-day trial, instead of a full 30-days. The company is generous, with five simultaneous connections. We also liked their connection eliminate switch feature, a must for anyone serious about staying confidential while browsing. SEE ALL IPVANISH VPN PREPARES. purelogo. PureVPN. Variety of IP addresses: 300,000. Variety of servers: 2000. Variety of server locations: 180. Country/Jurisdiction: Hong Kong. $ 3.33/ month (70% discount rate) for a 1-year plan. PureVPN does not log connection details. We like that they provide a 30-day refund policy. They got perk points because, essential for a few of our readers, PureVPN supports bitcoin payments and you're going like their fast performance. Also, you can grow with them. If after a long time, you require to scale up to business-level plans, the business has offerings for development. Prices is middle-of-the-road, at $10.95 each month and $35,88 annually. Finally, we like that PureVPN has both Kodi and a Chromebook solution called out right on their Web page. In addition, PureVPN earns the distinction of being the very first VPN service we've seen to totally implement the GDPR. SEE ALL PUREVPN PLANS. strongvpn-logo-1. StrongVPN. Variety of IP addresses: 59,500. Variety of servers: 689. Variety of server places: 70. $ 5.83/ month (42% discount rate) for a 1-year strategy. StrongVPN blasts onto our favorites list with outstanding facilities and good price efficiency. As with our other favorites, StrongVPN has a strong no-logging policy. Since VPN is all about securing your personal privacy, that's a place the savvy VPN service providers can get points. Strong likewise picks up congratulations for its large base of IP addresses, which also helps protect your anonymity. They have a strong collection of servers and around the world locations. For those of you who need a devoted IP, you can get one from the company, however you'll require to contact support to get assist setting it up. Among StrongVPN's greatest strengths is the company's network. They own and operate their entire network infrastructure, which implies they have no externally-dictated limitations on bandwidth or the type of traffic enabled on the network. This gives you the self-confidence that you'll have the ability to power through your work. StrongVPN's monthly price of $10 is in the middle of the pack, however their yearly cost of $69.99 is amongst the most affordable of our contenders. SEE ALL STRONGVPN PLANS. symantec-logo-100268876-large. Norton Secure VPN. Number of countries: 29. Variety of servers: 1500. Variety of server areas: 200. Country/Jurisdiction: US. $ 39.99 for the first 12 months. Symantec, long understood for quality in security items, has a fairly minimal offering in its VPN item. It does not support P2P or BitTorrent, it does not have a kill switch feature, and it does not support Linux, routers or set leading boxes. On the other hand, it's a VPN product from Symantec, a publicly-traded business with a clearly recorded management team. In many software application classifications, this might not be a notable advantage, but in the VPN world, where most companies have shadowy management and impossible-to-track-down ownership structures, it's revitalizing to understand exactly who we're handling and understand through independent sources (the company's annual filing, the SEC, and analyst reports) that the company is reliable and liable. SEE ALL NORTON SECURE VPN PLANS. hotspot. Hotspot Guard. Variety of IP addresses: 50,000. Number of servers: 2500. Number of server places: 26. $ 2.99/ month (77% discount rate) for a 3-year strategy. HotSpot Shield is an item that has actually had some ups and downs in regards to our editorial protection. Back in 2016, they picked up some really favorable protection based upon founder David Gorodyansky remarks about protecting user personal privacy. Then, in 2017, a personal privacy group implicated the company of spying on user traffic, an accusation the company flatly denies. Lastly, just this year, ZDNet uncovered a flaw in the company's software that exposed users. Thankfully, that was repaired right away. So what are we to make from HotSpot Guard? Frankly, the debate caused us to drop them from our directory for a while. However they approached us, made a strong case for their ongoing dedication to privacy, and we chose to give them another chance. Here's the good news. They use one of the very best money-back warranty we have actually seen for VPN services, a complete 45-days. They support Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, along with plugins for Chrome and Firefox. They also support routers and media players (but not Linux). And, as a reward, they have a connection kill switch feature. The business does not support P2P or BitTorrent-- and they also don't support the OpenVPN. Every other supplier does, but HotSpot Shield limits its protocol assistance to L2TP/IPSec and something they call Hydra, an enhancement of the transport protocol. Overall, the company did impress us with their attention to personal privacy. They have actually a released personal privacy canary. They likewise informed us, "We have actually integrated in malware, phishing and spam security. Our dedication to our users is that Hotspot Guard will never ever keep, log, or share your real IP address.". SEE ALL HOTSPOT GUARD PLANS. hidemyass300x250usjc. Conceal My Ass. Number of IP addresses: 3,106. Number of servers: 830. Variety of server locations: 280. Country/Jurisdiction: UK. $ 2.99/ month for 3-year strategy. We have to provide these folks an extra shout-out just for the name of their service. The company has a strong network with an excellent selection of protocols supported. While they have a comprehensive (and really plainly written set of policy documents), the company clearly permits P2P and gushes. We like how HMA provides assistance on a wide variety of devices consisting of video game consoles. We gave them kudos for bitcoin support, and their outstanding money-back guarantee. They did make us frown a bit since they do log connection data. They also use five synchronised connections. While their monthly pricing of $11.52 is at the high end of the spectrum, their yearly rates is competitive at $78.66 for a full year. SEE ALL CONCEAL MY ASS PLANS. gf-logo-300x250-wht-720. VyprVPN Solutions. Variety of IP addresses: 200,000+. Variety of servers: 700+. Variety of server locations: 70+. Country/Jurisdiction: Switzerland. 30-Day Cash Back Guarantee. $ 2.99/ month for 3-year strategy. VyprVPN has the largest bank of IP addresses of any of the services we have actually taken a look at. The business provides a wide range of procedures, including its own high-performance Chameleon connection procedure. We like that the company provides a connection kill switch feature and, for those who require it, there's a choice to get a dedicated IP address. VyprVPN is a standout in their effort to offer privacy, and ward off censorship. When China began its program of deep package VPN assessment, Golden Frog's VyperVPN service added scrambled OpenVPN packets to keep the traffic streaming. At $9.95 for a month's service, and $80.04 for a year, the service is a good deal. SEE ALL VYPRVPN PREPARES. private-internet-access-ad-300x250. Personal Web Access. Variety of IP addresses: N/A. Variety of servers: 3,252. Number of server places: 37. Country/Jurisdiction: United States. Mentioning rate, if you desire a strong VPN service provider and you want the lowest yearly rate anywhere, Private Web Access is the location to go. At $6.95 a month, their regular monthly charge is the second least expensive of our choices, however at $39.95 per year, Private Internet Access beats even the second most affordable annual price by a complete Jackson (a $20 expense). The company does not launch details on the variety of IP addresses offered, but at 3,252, their server count is more than any of our other choices. These folks have been around given that 2010, and do not log anything. They supply a generous five connections, a connection kill switch feature, and some excellent online documentation and security assistance. Our one dissatisfaction is that their refund policy is 7-days rather of 30, however you can definitely get a feel for their exceptional efficiency in the area of a week. SEE ALL PERSONAL INTERNET ACCESS PREPARES. torguard-300x250. TorGuard. Variety of IP addresses: N/A. Number of servers: 1,600. Variety of server places: 50. Country/Jurisdiction: United States. Despite the fact that the business doesn't launch the number of IP addresses it supports, TorGuard didn't disappoint. In addition to standard VPN services, TorGuard uses a wide array of additional services, depending upon your personal privacy requires. Just like our other favorites, TorGuard keeps no logs whatsoever. They have a full suite of protocol support, so no matter how you want to connect, you can have your choice. We likewise like the active blog site the company keeps. It's relevant and intriguing to anybody with Web security concerns. While TorGuard only offers a 7-day return policy, it's enough time for you to be able to decide if you're pleased. The monthly rate of $9.99 is practically at the middle of the range, but the yearly fee of $59.99 is a deal compared to practically all our other competitors. SEE ALL TORGUARD PLANS. buffered-logo-300-250-1-1. Buffered VPN. Variety of IP addresses: 11,000. Number of servers: 800. Variety of server locations: 46. Country/Jurisdiction: Gibraltar. Buffered VPN doesn't disclose much about the size of its network, however the 30-day refund ensure suggests that you can take their service for a test drive and really get a feel for how well it carries out for you. The business distressed us due to the fact that they do keep some connection information. They cheered us up, though, due to their client support, limitless bandwidth, and generous number of simultaneous sessions permitted. The company is reasonably new, established in 2013. It's based in Europe, so those who choose an EU-based business might choose Buffered. We like how Buffered has made a strong dedication to Web liberty, and an equally strong dedication to supplying quality customer support. At $12.99 monthly and $99.00 for a year of service, they do not provide the least costly plan, but we do suggest providing a shot. SEE ALL BUFFERED VPN PLANS. goose. Goose VPN. Variety of IP addresses: 8. Variety of servers: 8. Number of server locations: 39. I needed to know why Goose VPN was so named. My very first order of business was to connect to the company's co-founder and ask. Geese, I was told, make exceptional guard animals. There are records of guard geese providing the alarm in ancient Rome when the Gauls assaulted. Geese have been utilized to secure an US Air Defense Command base in Germany and a brewery in Scotland. It's clear that the goose is an ideal mascot for a service that's suggested to guard your digital communications. And so, we have Goose VPN. Goose VPN has a number of standout features. Initially, you can have a limitless variety of synchronised connections (or gadgets) using the VPN at once. Second, if your bandwidth requirements are 50 GB or less per month, you can register for $2.99/ month, the most inexpensive monthly rate we have actually seen. If you desire unlimited bandwidth, the company definitely is pushing you towards purchasing a year at a time. Their regular monthly cost for unrestricted bandwidth is a middle-of-the-road $12.99/ month, but if you invest $59.88 for a year's service, you'll find it's the second least expensive by-the-year price of the services we have actually examined. Goose supplies all the typical clients, including iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows, and adds assistance for routers, Android TELEVISION, and Linux. They are dealing with a kill switch function, which may even be up and running by the time you read this evaluation. The company also provides 24/7 ticket-based support. Ducks quack, geese honk, and swans whoop (we know, because we looked it up). Overall, particularly provided the limitless connections and low yearly rate, we believe Goose VPN is something to beep about. SEE ALL GOOSEVPN PLANS. surfshark-logo. Surfshark. Variety of servers: 800+. Variety of server locations: 50. Country/Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands. While Surfshark's network is smaller than some, they make it up on functions. Let's start off with the greatest win they provide: endless device assistance. If you want to run your whole home or office on Surfshark's VPN, you don't have to worry about the number of gadgets you have on or linked. They also use anti-malware, advertisement stopping and tracker blocking as part of their software application. The company has a solid variety of app support, running on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireTV, and through routers. We particularly like the feature that permits you to whitelist certain apps and websites to instantly bypass the VPN. For some service usage, this can be seriously crucial. Surfshark also offers three special modes developed for those who wish to get around limitations and more thoroughly hide their online footsteps. Camouflage Mode masks your VPN activity so your ISP does not know you're utilizing a VPN. MultiHop dives your connection through multiple nations to hide your trail. Lastly, NoBorders Mode "allows [you] to successfully use Surfshark in restrictive areas." Just be careful. Doing any of these three things might be illegal in your nation and could lead to really extreme penalties. For a year plan, Surfshark can be found in very close to much of the other full-featured VPN suppliers, at $71.88 for the first year. Take care, because it looks like that will jump to $143.40 after your very first year is up. Month-by-month plans are $11.95. Their finest deal is $1.99 a month, for their 24 month strategy (you pay $47.76 up front). Absolutely benefit from their generous 30-day trial to choose if you like this service (and possibly set a reminder in 23 months to see if you can talk them into a continued discount rate). SEE ALL SURFSHARK PREPARES. WEBROOT LOGO. Webroot WiFi Security. Country/Jurisdiction: United States. Beginning rate: $39.99. As VPN services go, Webroot WiFi Security is relatively bare-bones-- but it's also low-cost. Starting at $39.99 for a year of VPN service, you can get a package with both VPN and Webroot's antivirus software for $69.98 for your very first year. Sadly, both of these costs bump up after the first year. VPN security leaps to $59.99 and the package jumps to $119.98. While we praise the combination of VPN and anti-viruses in one package, Webroot has had a troubled few years. In 2017, it wrongly flagged Windows' system files as malicious. In 2018, a kernel exploit was found in the business's Mac anti-virus client. In 2019, the company was acquired by backup company Carbonite. If you're only safeguarding a couple of gadgets and wish to conserve loan, Webroot's VPN might be for you. That $39.99 rate is for as much as three devices. If you wish to protect 5 devices, you'll require to pay $59.99 for a year and $79.99 after that. Honestly, as soon as you get in that price variety, there are products with more abilities readily available. Webroot's VPN is also light on protocols. While they do link utilizing IKEv2 by default, they likewise provide L2TP and the very old and very insecure PPTP protocol (although they do warn that it's not "as" protect. Another concern for those of you who need deep security is that the business does log both which VPN server location you link to and the nation you connect from. So who is Webroot's VPN for? If all you wish to do is protect your Wi-Fi connection while browsing in your local cafe or at a hotel, you only require to connect a couple of devices, and you wish to save money, this is a convenient alternative. However if you require a major VPN with deep capabilities, you'll want to look elsewhere in this directory. Likewise, we didn't discover any reference to a money back warranty, so check with their pre-sales and support prior to purchasing. SEE ALL WEBROOT WIFI SECURITY PLANS. VPN FAQ Since we're living in a connected world, security and privacy are critical to ensure our personal safety from nefarious hacks. From online banking to communicating with coworkers on a daily basis, we're now frequently transferring data on our computers and smartphones. It's extremely important to find ways of securing our digital life and for this reason, VPNs have become increasingly common. What Is a VPN? A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that allows you to create a secure connection over a less-secure network between your computer and the internet. It protects your privacy by allowing you to anonymously appear to be anywhere you choose. A VPN is beneficial because it guarantees an appropriate level of security and privacy to the connected systems. This is extremely useful when the existing network infrastructure alone cannot support it. For example, when your computer is connected to a VPN, the computer acts as if it's also on the same network as the VPN. All of your online traffic is transferred over a secure connection to the VPN. The computer will then behave as if it's on that network, allowing you to securely gain access to local network resources. Regardless of your location, you'll be given permission to use the internet as if you were present at the VPN's location. This can be extremely beneficial for individuals using a public Wi-Fi. Therefore, when you browse the internet while on a VPN, your computer will contact the website through an encrypted VPN service connection. The VPN will then forward the request for you and forward the response from the website back through a secure connection. VPNs are really easy to use, and they're considered to be highly effective tools. They can be used to do a wide range of things. The most popular types of VPNs are remote-access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs. What is a remote-access VPN? A remote-access VPN uses public infrastructure like the internet to provide remote users secure access to their network. This is particularly important for organizations and their corporate networks. It's crucial when employees connect to a public hotspot and use the internet for sending work-related emails. A VPN client, on the user's computer or mobile device connects to a VPN gateway on the company's network. This gateway will typically require the device to authenticate its identity. It will then create a network link back to the device that allows it to reach internal network resources such as file servers, printers and intranets, as if it were on the same local network. It usually relies on either Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to secure the connection. However, SSL VPNs can also be used to supply secure access to a single application, rather than an entire internal network. Some VPNs also provide Layer 2 access to the target network; these will require a tunneling protocol like PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) or L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) running across the base IPsec connection. What is a site-to-site VPN? This is when the VPN uses a gateway device to connect to the entire network in one location to a network in another location. The majority of site-to-site VPNs that connect over the internet use IPsec. Rather than using the public internet, it is also normal to use career multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) clouds as the main transport for site-to-site VPNs. VPNs are often defined between specific computers, and in most cases, they are servers in separate data centers. However, new hybrid-access situations have now transformed the VPN gateway in the cloud, typically with a secure link from the cloud service provider into the internal network. What is a mobile VPN? A traditional VPN can affect the user experience when applied to wireless devices. It's best to use a mobile VPN to avoid slower speeds and data loss. A mobile VPN offers you a high level of security for the challenges of wireless communication. It can provide mobile devices with secure access to network resources and software applications on their wireless networks. It's good to use when you're facing coverage gaps, inter-network roaming, bandwidth issues, or limited battery life, memory or processing power. Mobile VPNs are designed and optimized to ensure a seamless user experience when devices are switching networks or moving out of coverage. It generally has a smaller memory footprint, and because of that, it also requires less processing power than a traditional VPN. Therefore, it enables your applications to run faster while the battery pack is able to last longer. A Mobile VPN is a worthwhile tool to have since it increases privacy, user satisfaction and productivity, while also reducing unforeseen support issues caused by wireless connectivity problems. The increasing usage of mobile devices and wireless connectivity make it more important to ensure that your data is being transferred through a secure network. It will allow you to access the internet, while staying safe behind a firewall that protects your privileged information. Who needs a VPN? Individuals that access the internet from a computer, tablet or smartphone will benefit from using a VPN. A VPN service will always boost your security by encrypting and anonymizing all of your online activity. Therefore, both private and business users can benefit from using a VPN. Communications that happen between the VPN server and your device are encrypted, so a hacker or website spying on you wouldn't know which web pages you access. They also won't be able to see private information like passwords, usernames and bank or shopping details and so on. Anyone that wants to protect their privacy and security online should use a VPN. How to choose a VPN Service? There's a vast range of VPN servers on the internet. Some are free, but the best ones require a monthly subscription. Before you decide to download a VPN, make sure you consider these factors for understanding a VPN: Cost - VPNs aren't too pricey, but they vary from vendor to vendor. If your main concern is price, then go with something inexpensive, or free - like Spotflux Premium VPN or AnchorFree HotSpot Shield Elite. By all means, try a free server but they do have a few drawbacks since they attract a lot of users. Free servers are often slower, and since most are ad-supported, they place adverts on the online pages you access. Others can even limit the speed of your connection, as well as your online time or amount of data transferred. It's also important to note that leading VPN providers such as NordVPN and Privacy Internet Access offer stronger security features to ensure you're digitally safe. When selecting a paid VPN service, always be sure to check which countries it operates servers in. Reliability - Select a VPN that is reliable and read the reviews to make sure that it's capable of protecting you by providing you with sufficient online privacy. High security - An effective VPN will have the following security features: 128-bit encryption, anonymous DNS servers and an absence of connection logs. Are there any bandwidth limits? This can often be linked to price; paying more will generally provide more bandwidth with faster internet access. Are apps for Android, iOS phones and tablets available? Apps for Android and iOS devices are also vulnerable, so make sure your VPN server can support them. To ensure privacy, you want to make sure you have a VPN that doesn't store online logs. Some servers provide virus and spyware protection, and features like that can significantly increase your online safety. Using a no-logs VPN service will provide you with a higher degree of security. It can protect you from blanket government surveillance and prevent your internet service provider from knowing your online activity. Using a VPN for Netflix and other forbidden treasures Online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have been making it difficult for foreign users to access their content in other countries. Many people can get around region restrictions by using a VPN service to route your traffic through another country. It can be quite simple to watch Netflix and other restricted goodies. You'll have to use a VPN service that allows you to get a unique IP address. This can often be available for an additional fee. Look for VPN services that offer a "dedicated IP address", "dedicated IP", or "static IP." Additional features like these will always allow you to access content from Netflix through a VPN service. This is by far the easiest way to access your forbidden apps since there's no specific way to block VPN traffic. A lot of people started using a VPN to evade geo-restrictions. But despite its forbidden benefits to users outside the US, a VPN is a great tool that can protect you and enhance your online experience over the internet by providing you with sufficient security and privacy. When it comes to selecting the best VPN, you have plenty of choices. There are many cost-effective VPN options, and all of them will vary in monthly offerings. Choosing the best VPN is easier once you narrow down the competition. The best indication of a good VPN service provider is that they have the right security and the right support in place for you.
Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential
/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////
Marketing. It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community. It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers. This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community. This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential. Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome. I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.
Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested. Multisig Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero. Kovri Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy. Mobile Wallets There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon. Hardware Wallets Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here. TAILS Operating System Integration Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users. In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow. Mandatory Hardforks Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information. Dynamic fees Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees! Tail Emission and Inflation There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore. Monero Research Lab Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.
///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///
Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero". Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!. Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself. I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity. A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain. The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes. Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments. There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin. Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin. Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero. Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in. The Bitcoin Flaw A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins. CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero. CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range. Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit. Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin. For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin. Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money. Technical Analysis There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today. Coinbase Rumours Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading. Monero Is Not an ICO Scam It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases. Monero is a Working Currency, Today Monero is a working currency, here today. The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc. Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin. Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money. Monero is private internet money. Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy. Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us. Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.
///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///
Scalability While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit. In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node. For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too! Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.
I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so. Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price. I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors. I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ? Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
Dear Pundians, Thank you for participating in the AMA session with Pundi X co-founder and CEO Zac Cheah. For those of you who may have missed it, the live recording of the AMA session held on July 3 at 10:00 am GMT+8, tackling Q2 progress and addressing questions and concerns by the community members, can be viewed here. A side note that today’s AMA video quality and setting was not ideal. We acknowledge this situation and will make improvement for our next AMA session. You may also find a summary of the Q2 progress presentation as well as all the detail Q&A below. ## Pundi X Q2 2019 Highlights * Pundi X has integrated more public chains into our products. In Q2, we completed integration of Binance Chain. NEM chain is in the work. As of today we’ve launched BNB, the Binance Chain native Coin and XEM, NEM native coin on Pundi X payment platform. We will integrate at least one more public chain in Q3. * The transactions on XPOS for Q2 is 15.5 million in USD, which is close to 300% quarterly growth. The number of transactions is 29,367, which leads to a 11% growth QoQ. * XPOS has successfully received FCC and KC certifications. A new certification for Latin American market is on the way. * To expand XPOS footprint, Pundi X’s integration with a new leading mainstream point-of-sales device is in the work. Stay tuned for the announcement. * Pundi X Open Platform was launched in May, 2019, which now supports ERC20 and BEP2 token listing. Moving forward, we will continue to support tokens from other public chains. * A 3,000 XPASS order from DigiX, a gold-based token, and a 10,000 XPASS order from BitCobie this quarter. * XPOS is spread in use in over 30 countries. We’ve published a map of XPOS location of self-report XPOS merchant directory. You can find a list of selected XPOS merchants at [https://www.pundix.com/products\](https://www.pundix.com/products). * The QoQ growth of XWallet is tremendous at 43%. In the previous quarter, we have less than 20k users, whereas in Q2 we have hit 297k XWallet users. More updates on XWallet: * Supported BNB and NEM tokens; 2FA, face ID, and optimized SMS serviceAvailable on iOS, Android as well as in Samsung Galaxy Store New features coming up in Q3:- DApp integration - Decentralized wallet- In-app crypto payments - Chat service, which will be compatible with a commonly used chat app- f(x) testnet features to be rolled out first in XWallet ## Other notices coming up in Q3 2019 * The Q2 token removal will take place on July 14, 2019, which will involve in total 34 billion of NPXS and NPXSXEM (22 million worth in USD) removal. In the past 365 days, we’ve removed a total of 36.1 million US dollar worth of NPXS and NPXSXEM. Before Q2 removal, the total supply of NPXS ERC20 is 266,962,422,906.53 and NPXSXEM is 95,816,218,929. [See Q1 removal here.](/pundix/recap-of-ama-with-zac-on-july-3-and-q2-report-a23de165dd28) * [NPXSXEM will be ported to Binance Chain from July 20](/pundix/npxsxem-will-be-on-binance-chain-c6485f17726b). * XPhone pre-order will start in late July with a new product name. Stay tuned. Check out the teaser video that we are releasing it across our communication channels. ## Q&A ## On XPOS * **Where are we on official global location of XPOS?** Zac: We have made a map on our official website that merchants can self report and feature their locations. It’s at [https://www.pundix.com/product\](https://www.pundix.com/product). We’ll be increasing and updating the map once we have permission form the merchants to update their locations. * **The marketing from pundi has shifted from 100,000–700,000 xpos units by 2021 to 100,000. I understand the bear market has affected this but please share the strategy moving forward to hit your goal. How do you feel about hitting this goal?** Zac: The 100K XPOS target has always been the initial goal and it’s stated in our whitepaper. And we are still working on achieving the goal by the end of 2021. Part of our growth strategy is to also explore the possibility to port our platform to traditional POS manufacturers to increase the adoption, which is ongoing at the moment. * **1 year ago you sent 5000 XPOS somewhere. When, at least half of them, will be working? 3 year target was 100,000 by 2021. Now we have only 150 units, how do you expect to reach this goal?** Zac: Yes, we have shipped thousands of XPOS to over 30 countries in the world. The 150 you’ve mentioned are the featured merchants which are published on the map. The active XPOS devices are deployed over 33 countries and we are actively talking to B2B partners to have higher wholesale and big deployments. * **How many XPOS are live and used?** Zac: We have gone through a very serious bear market, and some of the initial inbound requests for XPOS are not delivered. However, we are working slowly but surely with our Business Development team to not just roll-out into individual buyers, such as what we did on Pizza Day, but also to B2B partners. With the certifications approved, that will also help us to officially roll out to some of the key markets. Individual merchants can use XWallet collection feature to accept crypto payment with QR code. For the merchants who have physical offline storefronts, they can use XPOS to enable the instant crypto transaction seamlessly. Moreover, as mentioned previously, we are exploring the integration on leading traditional POS terminal so that their distributors have option to enable crypto transaction feature. As for the challenge to adopt XPOS, it is the regulatory compliance in different countries. For this, our legal team think ahead and encourage our merchants to complete KYC. I must be very honest to say the activation takes longer time than we expect but it will be worth at the end. * **What’s the average number of transactions per xpos in use?** Zac: The transaction number has increased very well. The number of each XPOS differs, due to the frequency of using crypto currency to purchase item or crypto assets. There’s no standard answer to this, but overall we see the transaction number and volume are going up. * **How do you plan to reach the target of 100,000 by 2021?** Zac: One of the challenges that we have is regulatory compliances in different countries. There are certain markets that do not allow crypto currencies and some require a clear approval for us to deploy XPOS. We are working on both challenges by talking to governments and applying for certifications. So how we plan to reach 100,000 XPOS user by 2021 is to work with distributors, B2B partners on a government / business level, and with existing POS companies to integrate our software solution into the system. * **We understand as there was bear market and hence Xpos usage demand was low. Are you guys seeing growth of Xpos usage with current market conditions. Can you guys put some statistics comparison like last 30 days Xpos usage vs any month from bear market usage?** Zac: It is very clear that as we moved out from the bear market, the demand for XPOS has been increasing. As we’ve shared just now both the transaction number and volume of Q2 have beaten Q1. We’ll be able to share more transaction numbers once we receive approval from our XPOS merchants. One exciting thing is that, with the listing of different tokens, we also see users using these tokens as a way to transact on XPOS, which means we will be having more ways to transact and this is a growth point for XPOS. * **When will there be more details for XPHONE and XPOS HANDY?** Zac: For XPOS handy, we have finished production and it will be released in Q3 * **When will the iOS version of XWallet and XPOS be fully translated to other languages?** Zac: Right now, the XWallet has Traditional Chinese, Korean, Spanish, German and English. With the latest version update, it now includes Portuguese. XPOS also comes with many languages and we hope to finish with more language, either working with professionals or volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact us. * **When will the Merchant back office have Product Registration and SKU id ability and also integrate with other POS software?** * **When will the top-up feature go away for XPOS to allow liquidity for XPOS** Zac: We constantly update features in XPOS and merchant backend to make it easier for distributors and merchants to use. We understand that one of the ways for mass adoption is to enhance our distributor management system. With that, the distributors can manage manay XPOS at one time with different merchants. Please stay tuned as we announce more and more functions of this feature. ## On Dubai * **When will we see the deployment of the XPOS in Dubai?** * **Can we spend NPXS on the Dubai XPOS?** Zac: As with all big projects there are a lot of moving parts, that includes working very closely with the local government, in Dubai’s case, the Credit Bureau of the Finance Ministry. Things are progressing for the Dubai project but due to confidentiality agreements with the parties involved, we cannot reveal much. All we can say is that we and our Dubai partners are working hard to have XPOS roll-out in the Dubai market and the UAE. We are also discussing aggressively with Dubai partners whether to include crypto assets in the XPOS in Dubai. That clearly will involve local compliance and legal for that to happen. * **Your system upgrades expect merchants to have downtime on their XPOS terminals, can you explain if you plan to run a business why this would be considered feasible (specially at the rate you have been doing your upgrades)?** Zac: Yes, the benefit / strength of the XPOS is that most of the updates can be done on the fly. For example, when we have a token update on our XPOS where developers submit their tokens on Open Platform, the updates of this token are on the fly, which means that once we approve the token on our Open Platform, it will automatically appear on XPOS without any software updates. The great thing that we believe about XPOS is not just the support of crypto assets, but also the ability to update most things on the fly, which means that whenever we have a good feature or a new token, the updates will be done instantaneously. * **Can you guys arrange at least a community voting which is the next blockchain we would like to see next in XPOS? Voting will help to prioritize to chose the projects.** Zac: One of the reasons why BNB is being listed on the XPOS is simply because of its popularity and also our user demand, in a way that we are already answering to our community’s request. Right now, our main focus is getting all the tokens submitted on Open Platform to be listed on the XPOS. The submission process includes legal and compliance valid, so our legal and compliance teams are working hard to make sure that we have more tokens to roll out onto Open Platform, which means that they will be on XPOS, XWallet, and XPASS. As to a specific voting mechanism, we’d like to consider that and hopefully we’ll be able to run a specific voting for the chain which users would like to see. * **While comparing Xpos handy to Square POS devices at least with mobile it’s very cheap like under $30 and easy to use. When can we expect such light weight and cheaper version for XPOS? Is team working on such devices ?** Zac: There are different POS companies around the globe and pour focus is to work with these POS companies with our software, so that a crypto sales feature will be part of the existing POS system. The more support of crypto asset usage using our software on existing POS, the better it is for global adoption. We actually strongly believe that the pricing of our POS system is competitive in the market. And one of the great features of the XPOS is that the merchants will not need not to pay a certain percentage to existing acquirer but to be able to earn certain percentage from each transaction. That is the key differentiator for merchant to want to adopt this. * **From the website with some of the key Countries for XPOS adoption looks great. However, the concern is for Venezuela, there is no reference link like the others have. Can you guys add the link with details to clear the ambiguity?** Zac: Let’s give a little bit more patience so that we can actually release more information about our Venezuelan partnership. The good news is that we expect concrete news from Venezuela in the coming 2 weeks. So stay up-to-date about our Venezuelan roll out on XPOS, the best way is to subscribe to our telegram group for Venezuela. ## On Partnerships * **Are there some major partnership in the works? I’m also interested in how you do immediate transactions? Do you anticipate scaling issues?** Zac: The way XPOS is being designed is that when you use your crypto assets to purchase, it will have instantaneous confirmation because the action is an off-chain process. An on-chain action happens when a user who owns crypto assets in our system transferring the assets out of the Pundi X ecosystem to their own wallets; or to transfer crypto assets in Pundi X from an off-chain to a private wallet, which we will have very soon on XWallet itself. That is why we are able to handle scaling. When a person wants to use crypto currency to buy a coffee, the transaction will happen instantaneously. For specific partnership, especially with B2B partnership, we oblige to the NDA that we have signed. But if you follow us closely, you’ll know that we go to different parts of the world, talking to major companies to try to land more deals so that NPXS usage will increase dramatically. * **Any big partnerships for making xphone or using the software for xBlockchain?** Zac: These partnerships are also subjected to NDA, so please be patient for us to release more news. * **When will XPOS have approval to process Visa and MasterCard payments?** Zac: We have met representatives from these players including some of the key management people. They are obviously looking into crypto currency attentively, and we hope that there’s something we can do with MasterCard and/or Visa. This is something that the community has suggested and we agree fully. Please allow us with some time to work on this. We have also showcased XPOS to the CEO of MasterCard. For what or when will anything happen, please wait for our official announcement. * **What’s the status on Quantum fund and their contribution or involvement with Pundi’s project?** Zac: We announced last year that we are creating a fund to invest in projects beneficial to our ecosystem. We’ve identified some interesting projects, and we have invested in at least 1 project. The reason why we’re investing in that project is because of the services that it will bring onto the Pindi X ecosystem. So the purpose of the investment of the companies is that these companies in turn will benefit on our ecosystem. This is our key consideration. The team has evaluated the projects that will benefit the Pundi X / Function X ecosystem. Vic and his team will be able to reveal more details on the companies we have invested in and how they will contribute to our ecosystem in Q3. * **Recent update on NPXSXEM is highly ambiguous as mentioned that it will be now BEP token and later once FX goes live it will get back to Fx platform. Why you guys had so rush to use Binance chain only for few months? Isn’t you guys switching to much in a short time span?** Zac: Liquidity and utility have been an issue for NPXSXEM. Due to the design philosophy and the limit of token that can be created on NEM’s smart contract, we are only able to create a small number of tokens on NPXSXEM. By moving into the Binance chain for NPXSXEM, the BEP2 token version will be able to support all the NPXSXEM tokens, which means that we’ll migrate and also be able to make sure all the NPXSXEM tokens are under the same contract address. We believe with the strong liquidity, we will be able to give our NPXSXEM token holders a good reason of what the token holders have been waiting for. We hope to bring NPXSXEM to match the level of NPXS. * **When #XRP?** Zac: Our OpenPlatform is a currency agnostic platform, which means that we will work on integrating public chain as well as tokens that are most requested by the users. We’ll also be looking into the listing of different tokens that are being mentioned by the community. As said, we will have at least one more public chain integration in Q3, perhaps even more. * **Are you as a company going to try and connect with libra? If they have said they want to be a payment remittance service, have Square, PayPal, Visa on board I as an investor would prefer you try to join them rather than beat such large competitors** Zac: Of course, we’ll be delighted to work with Facebook and also the Libra coin. Pundi X and XPOS is a currency agnostic / currency neutral platform, if there’s opportunity to list Libra coin or work with Facebook in different ways to promote crypto currency adoption, we’ll certainly look into that and work on reaching out to them. ## On Trading * **Can you confirm during AMA, Pundi team is not involved with any trading with their own token like selling over time to manage the fund to run the company.** Zac: All the wallet addresses of the team holdings are disclosed and transparent. This is one of the first things that we did after ICO. Hence, our token holdings are transparent and everyone can monitor our fund transactions. Also, we have strict internal financial regulation and compliance, shows that we are here to build a long-term project. The best way to make NPXS or the NPXSXEM to rise is real daily life use case. * **When will you stop manipulating NPXS chart?** Zac: Our focus has always been and will be building great products. The more product usage, the demands for NPXS and NPXSXEM will increase. Let’s address again that, Pundi X the company is NOT involved in any manipulation of the NPXS price. There are trading teams, market makers, financial institutions that profit from the drop and rise of token prices in the crypto market. The good thing about NPXS is that we have managed to create a high liquidity by listing on 40+ exchanges and having global trades and demand from all over the world. We hope this and coupled with the fact that we are a solid product and roll out the use cases, the demand of NPXS will only continue to rise and will be able to deter any of the traders or speculators there is for NPXS. These traders gain profit from manipulating tokens whether BTC or other tokens. In fact, the traditional financial markets have similar challenges as well. What I want to stress is that, we at Pundi X, do NOT speculate or manipulate the price. We work very hard to create demands for NPXS and as a company, it is only beneficial for us to see the prices of NPXS and NPXSXEM rise. * **Can we please address the elephant in the room which is the Binance bot with huge sell walls and buy walls causing huge distress and concern among users?** Zac: First, I cannot confirm nor deny that whether Binance has a bot. I think this is something that you need to ask Binance. We need to work with Binance because Binance has one of the biggest liquidities, if not the greatest liquidity, for NPXS. The best way to counter manipulators is to create more use case, more demand and more acceptance of our tokens. * **Why on almost all exchanges do you not offer a USDT trading pair?** Zac: We have USDT trading pairs on Bittrex, Bittrue, and more. In addition, we have fiat pairs in Korean Won, IDR, INR, and Turkish liras. We will continue to work on adding trading pairs for NPXS to make it more liquidate. * **Why don’t you offer a stable coin sell and purchase on the xpos to help with adoption? Places in Africa with volatile currencies would go crazy for this.** Zac: It’s a great observation. This is a request that’s been asked from many users. We’re working on stable coin listing on XPOS and hopefully it’ll come soon. Stable coin requires a greater compliance and legal validate, which we have been working on since months ago and we hope to have the stable coin up in XPOS soon. * **When will you add an active tracker for coin burn, whether its measured in usd, NPXS or whatever you choose. The community has been asking for this on twitter, reddit and telegram for this entire year.** Zac: It will be hard for us to have a daily tracker of the coin burn, but what we might be able to work on is a tracker which have shown all of the tokens that have been removed from the usage. Thank you for giving us this great suggestion and we will work on it in some form. Zac: Our token supply has always been specified in our white paper, and as promised in our white paper, we will continue to remove tokens through usage and use cases, which we’re working on all the time. * **Price movement. When will NPXS go to which price?** Zac: We cannot comment on the change of the price. Our focus is on building products. We hope by doing that the NPXS value will go up. Again, there’s no way that we can comment on the price. **I believe that burning tokens every 14 weeks keeps the price suppressed and will only lead to huge pumps and dumps. Imo, If the burns were more frequent, the price would move organically.** Zac: We continue removing tokens quarterly per advised by our legal and compliance team. **Is it mandatory npxs swap? What happens for token we have in binance?** Zac: No it’s not a mandatory NPXS swap for FX. **How many NPXS or NPXSXEM was converted?** Zac: In Q2, we will remove 29B NPXSXEM and 9B NPXS. ## On XWallet * **Why not put in XWallet like the place where we can buy and sell like restaurants and shops?** Zac: You are correct. In fact, if you look at XWallet, there is a merchant feature, whereby you can register as a merchant. By becoming a merchant, you will be able to print out your QR code and stick it on your restaurant. People are able to make payment through this QR code. This will act like a mini-XPOS. * **In addition to that having multiple different blockchain in XWallet will increase the XWallet adoption. Hence, we would like to see aggressive game plan and execution from the team and would like to hear that** Zac: That’s a great suggestion. Every day we want to increase use cases for XWallet. In fact, our XWallet update is one of the most frequent in the market. Within 5 months, we have over 10 updates on iOS and Google Play. This does not include soft update which happens every several days. In my view, the effort is very tremendous. * **Is there any plan to add Swap option within XWallet so that people can trade the coins within XWallet?** Zac: Yes, there’s such plan and in fact there is an upcoming feature that people will be able to use coins in XWallet to exchange into other things. The exact form and format have not been reviewed. We hope to share more when we have concrete example. But what you suggested is what we are planning for months ago. * **When will XPOS and XWallet have fiat on ramps?** Zac: This is a good question. It’s not only involved with regulatory compliance but also involved the technical part. This is also something we are planning for months. Once approved, hopefully we are able to support fiat currency on ramps and off ramps on XWallet. **On Others*\* * **How is the internal organization doing? Currently how many employees work for Pundi? Currently how many job positions are open?** Zac: Pundi X has grown tremendously. We are now having over seven offices around the globe. I’m sitting in the Singapore office. We have office in Jakarta, Taiwan, Tokyo, Shenzhen, São Paulo and London. These are the places we have physical offices and house approximately 100 full time employees of Pundi X. The positions open from Pundi X are legal associate in Singapore and other offices. We are looking for more R&D people, especially in Taiwan. We are looking at marketing and PR people in different parts of the world. And we are looking for POS distributors. As a POS distributor, you will work with our business development team and also our technical team to roll out many XPOS which you have a network to control in your local market. * **Would you consider removing the KYC to allow u.s. holder to stake and be rewarded?** Zac: We would love to have more users, including US. However, our compliance and legal advisors have not allowed us to accept US holders to stake and be rewarded. I’m sorry to say that but this is after serious consideration to make such a decision. In fact, it is a very hard decision because we have healthy user base in the US. will continue to monitor the situation in the different markets and be compliant. There are also ways to be rewarded when using XWallet service without KYC. We are looking into to explore more on this and launch new features. Hopefully we are able to bring the beta version for you to test this week or next. **On XPhone*\* * **Where are we on pre-sale announcement of Xphone? It was highlights of Q2 goal. If we are getting delay, that’s ok. But at least community will have some clarification why it’s getting late and when approximately it coming?** Zac: Pre-sale order will start this month. It’s likely the end of July. Pre-sale will take place in different channel including the official website and XWallet. Apart of our own channel, the pre-sale will go live on a 3rd party channel. People will be able to pre-order crypto either in crypto or in fiat. * **Can you discuss in AMA, is participants can pay with Crypto or Credit/debit card or in both ways?** Zac: As a crypto company, we prefer payment in crypto, but fiat, Visa, MasterCard, and other traditional payment methods will be accepted on different pre-order channels. Stay tuned for pre-order which will happen in late July. * **Will the Xphone be open to purchase in all regions of the world?** Zac: Yes, pre-orders will be able to be done on-line, and products will be shipped from our offices to users in different parts of the world. * **Will the blockchain mode on the Xphone be operable during the testnet or will this function not work until mainnet?** Zac: XWallet and XPhone are the first channel and avenue for Function X testnet, so once the testnet is operateble, we will start to engage certain services on XWallet and XPhone into Function X testnet, and ultimately into mainnet. Slowly but surely. * **Does Xphone have hard protective cover,extra Sim slot, also is it enhanced with ip68 water rating?** Zac: XPhone will not be waterproof, so please do not submerge XPhone into water. XPhone will definitely be eavesdrop-proof because we’re using a blockchain mode, only you and you control your own conversation. * **Which country accept the Xphone?** * **Will I also be able to use the SIM-card?** * **The blockchain modus will work in every country (what in the absense of nodes)?** * **Will the XPhone I buy now support updates in the future?** Zac: People from any country will be able to buy XPhone on-line. You will be able to use a SIM for we have built a SIM slot. Wherever you are, the XPhone can be turned on to become a node. Will XPhone support future updates? Yes, of course. Just like the XPOS, we support silent update. It will be like how we support XPOS, many updates. The updates will always be supported on XPhone. **On Function X*\* * **When is the detail white paper coming for FunctionX? Why the team is very resistive to have well documented white paper? We need scientific approach and well documentation on FunctionX to have developers to be more involved.** Zac: Yes, developer involvement is a key criterion of the growth of Function X. We have done 2 things, one is that we have set up Function X Foundation which is led by David Ben Kay and will involve third party adviser and board members. Second, we have set up a developer relations team led by one of our own members as well. This team will work on creating developer documents, developer demos and sample, so that excellent developers can tap into working with Function X resources. The first version of developer documentation is ready in English and Chinese. We are still polishing up the documents and hopefully to release them soon. We are also working with third party developers, and are engaging at least 2 third party developer companies, so that we can help create their services on Function X and also XWallet. We are hoping to showcase a smooth and usable service to the audience, we think this is the key criterion of the Function X growth. Thank you for this suggestion. We need to update more often on github developer documentation as well. As for the white paper, we did not have one per se because Function X did not do an ICO. But we will continue to update our white paper and include not only technical details, but also details on the chain and how we can get more developers and users so that the future hardware will be added as a node and you will be rewarded financially, at least through our ecosystem genesis fund. Please stay tuned and there are a lot of things going on in the company. Each and one of us is working hard. * **Why does the FX ecosystem need a decentralized OS?** Zac: The mantra of Function X is decentralization and having private control of your data. A full private control of your data comes with a decentralized system not just in transmission of your data, but with the operating system built fully for decentralization , which includes a transmission protocol replacing http. The apps uploaded into Function X will be decentralized as well as the data that is stored on the app, which means that how BitCoin or crypto assets are verified on different nodes will also be part of the way we store data and content. The decentralized OS is key to fulfilling a decentralized environment for a more private and free usage. * **What about FX are you most excited about?** Zac: We are actually creating a shift of how people view of blockchain and how decentralization is not just about transacting commercial commodity, but also data, including your identity, are all decentralized. That is what we are most excited about. The only way for us to achieve this is to have developer support, for we need the developers to build on the foundation we have to offer those exciting services. * **We understand that developing a new blockchain is time consuming. As a community we are in a dark space to understand where exactly the development of FX right now.** Zac: We are working hard on creating the testnet and eventually the mainnet. For the latest updates of Function X, what I can encourage you to do is to go on and subscribe to the Function X telegram group where discussions are made. We have formed the Function X Foundation and created the developer relations team, so that the Function X progress will go smoother and with more partnership from outside, whether it’s developers, third party companies, teleco, etc. * **When FX goes live on the mainnet, will FX coin be used to stake and earn NPXS? how will staking work on that new mainnet?** Zac: The NPXS/NPXSXEM staking will last till March 9, 2020 as announced. What we are committed is to create more use cases. For FX tokens, the use cases will be focusing on the Function X Chain and the use cases on Function X that include DApp on Function X and different hardware/software services. * **When fx testnet will be available?** Zac: First I would like to thank you for your constant support. In Q3, we plan to open Function X testnet so that we will be migrating and creating certain use cases that can be used on Function X testnet, starting with our own XWallet. Which means, the XWallet will migrate some features into Function X testnet, and slowly followed by our other Pundi X products, including XPhones, XPASS, Open Platform and Function X own developer related products from third parties.
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