Lykke - Trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, FX and Digital Assets
Lykke is building a global marketplace for the free exchange of financial assets. By leveraging the power of emerging technology, our platform eliminates market inefficiencies, promotes equal access from anywhere in the world, and supports the trade of any object of value. The Lykke Exchange is fast and secure. Users receive direct ownership of assets with immediate settlement from any mobile device.
Vaultoro has been enabling people to trade back and forth between bitcoin and physical allocated and insured bullion since 2015. We are proud to have 63 people investing over 1.12 mil for equity through the equity crowd funding platform bnktothefure. We don't need no stinkin ICO
Lean Fire target based on past 12 months of spending: $550,000 Personal target is closer to $650,000 to $700,000 to allow for some extra spending once I quit work to do fun things. I estimate I'll work another one or two years. Happy to answer questions or have discussions about my experience or what my plans are. Thanks for reading.
Read our case study trades to learn from real bitcoin traders and improve your own trading ability. Our last post got a lot of good feedback. Many of you wanted to also see unprofitable trades, which we have included to help you learn from the mistakes of others. Background There are two main trading opportunities that are covered in this article. Firstly, there was a rally following the announcement of Coinbase’s exchange on the 26th of January. Then later in February, there was another sizable rally on Valentine’s Day. Click here to read our previous post on the January price crash. These trades are not the most profitable recorded, but the trades that others can best learn from. http://i.imgur.com/w90f9BW.png 10. Buying the Rumor This trader opened two simultaneous positions. Position 1: Open: 247.64 USD Direction: Buy Close: 285.16 USD Profit: 4.20 BTC / 109.73% Position 2: Open: 247.88 USD Direction: Buy Close: 285.03 USD Profit: 4.22 BTC / 108.62% http://i.imgur.com/kunLqzh.png This trader entered two long positions on Bitfinex, with 10x leverage, before Coinbase’s exchanged was announced. After the grand reveal, their 7.7 BTC deposit produced a substantial 8.44 BTC profit the next morning. The risk / reward balance of our trader is very impressive. To begin with, they did not instantly sell for a small profit immediately after their position was opened. Instead they held out to see what the market would do. When a major spike did occur, they did not get greedy and closed their position while they were in a profit. 9. The Panic Seller Open: 254.88 USD Direction: Buy Close: 262.46 USD Profit: 1.12 BTC / 12.03% http://i.imgur.com/ARMG7OJ.png Unlike the previous trader, this speculator was not so quick to take their profits. They opened a long with 5x leverage while the rally was gaining momentum. When the trader closed the position, their 9.33 BTC deposit produced a respectable 1.12 BTC profit. The timing of their opening was impeccable, however their returns could have been considerably higher by closing earlier. It was not until the price dropped significantly that they sold in panic. If you need to improve your trade opens, consider watching the MACD to identify significant trends to follow. But remember to take your profits, like our the previous trader, to realize your hard-earned bitcoin. 8. Following Momentum Open: 258.88 USD Direction: Buy Close: 297.15 USD Profit: 0.1 BTC / 107.53% http://i.imgur.com/novlaG8.png Let’s take a look at a trader that was also following momentum, but remained prudent enough to take their profits. This time we have a smaller trader with a 0.096 BTC deposit, but using 10x leverage allowed them to generate a hefty 0.1 BTC profit. Unlike the last trader, this person almost perfectly timed their position close. If you need to work on taking your profits, consider setting price targets that you will close at — this helps prevent trading on emotions. 7. Selling the News Open: 306.03 USD Direction: Sell Close: 232.42 USD Profit: 1.96 BTC / 263.93% http://i.imgur.com/FwmCtvj.png A trend that has been prevalent over the last 9 months with bitcoin trading is for the price to rally on major news, but then return to pre-news levels. This can be seen with PayPal’s bitcoin partnerships, Microsoft accepting bitcoin and now with Coinbase’s exchange. Identifying this trend helped our trader turn a 0.74 BTC deposit into a 1.96 BTC profit. While accurately calling the top may require a bit of luck, they did a great job of managing their open position for several days. As the price was retracing over several days, it made financial sense to keep their position open and incur interest charges on the funds BTC.sx provide for 10x leverage. A general rule of thumb is to consider closing unprofitable positions within 24 hours to avoid paying interest. However, the market was moving in their favor — more than compensating for the interest charge. The end result was making approximately 90% ROI for every day their position was open. 6. Missing the Boat Open: 280.12 USD Direction: Buy Close: 237.00 USD Profit: -0.96 BTC / -75.81% http://i.imgur.com/LrWfZXr.png Unfortunately, unprofitable trades from time to time. But these are actually valuable learning experiences. This is certainly the case for our trader that ‘missed the boat’ when both opening and closing their position. This trader was slightly slower than the earlier momentum traders and went long at 280.12 USD with 5x leverage. Their potential profit would have been higher had they entered a position sooner, but this was initially not too much of a problem when they quickly became profitable. However, they failed to realize their profit while they had the chance to do so. In fact, they only closed after the spike to cut their losses. Quite clearly, if they had entered the position sooner, their loss would have been much smaller. Or even better, if they did not miss the boat to close above ~283 USD, they would have made a profit. Now Let’s Look at the Lessons to be Learnt from the Valentine’s Day Traders 5. “Honey, can you please stop trading bitcoin for 10 minutes?” Open: 234.66 USD Direction: Buy Close: 258.37 USD Profit: 0.18 BTC / 76.47% http://i.imgur.com/rq2xuRM.png With 24/7 markets, bitcoin waits for no one. This trader was not going to let their Valentine’s Day plans get in the way of making a profit. Here we have a trader going long at 234.66 USD, with 10x leverage, then closing the position on Valentines Day evening to lock-in a 76.47% ROI. As covered above, this trade demonstrates the effectiveness of both following momentum and taking profits sooner rather than later. 4. The Sneaky Mid-Date Trade Open: 256.66 USD Direction: Sell Close: 236.50 USD Profit: 0.09 BTC / 71.04% http://i.imgur.com/NXiVQT7.png Being a trader it can be hard to stop price-watching sometimes. Here we have a BTC.sx user taking an opportunity to short bitcoin will the price rallied during Valentine’s Day evening. By entering a 0.13 BTC short position, at 10x leverage, they set themselves up to profit from a price fall. Our simple user interface also allows trades to be made on mobile devices for those moments when you cannot get to a computer. A great lesson to be learnt here is to not set stop losses too small. Initially the market moved against the trader. However, our trader had a large stop loss to allow the price to move higher, before heading down, where a 71.04% ROI was later generated. 3. The Dumper Open: 243.95 USD Direction: Sell Close: 234.24 USD Profit: 0.02 BTC / 34.54% http://i.imgur.com/NsRJTTO.png Following momentum also works when shorting bitcoin. Shown by this trader, a sell was made 10x leverage, helping drive the price lower and generate a profit. At BTC.sx, all positions are executed on exchange order books. Consequently, leveraged trades help move markets in your favor, with greater influence than just an unleveraged buy or sell. Following the dump to 227 USD, our trader failed to take his profits and the market crept back up over several days. On the 17th February, their profit even turned into a small loss. However, as the market fell lower the following day they were able to finally close their position in a profit. 2. The Coin Toss Open: 243.38 USD Direction: Buy Close: 234.19 USD Profit: -0.20 BTC / -32.72% http://i.imgur.com/6CHDwl1.png All trades should be based on research and technical analysis. Simply placing a trade, without a justified reason, reduces your chances of making a profit to the toss of a coin. This trader found out the hard way when the market moved against them with a 10x leveraged buy, resulting in a -32.72% ROI. In this scenario it was more likely that the price was going to head downwards for several reasons. For one, by looking at the above chart it is easy to see that there is price resistance around $244, indicating limited upside potential. Additionally, volume was declining at this point which means that a significant breakthrough is unlikely. Lastly, the MACD showed the upward movement was loosing momentum, indicative of a trend reversal. http://i.imgur.com/rMgIsVr.png 1. The Technician Open: 245.05 USD Direction: Sell Close: 235.53 USD Profit: 0.01 BTC / 33.68% http://i.imgur.com/3bbQxso.png Over at Bitstamp, one of our traders made a similar trade, but went short instead of long. By correctly identifying the price resistance, declining volume and declining momentum, they concluded a price drop was likely. Their analysis produced a well-deserved 33.68% ROI. This shows that, even in a seemingly flat market, there are opportunities to be found by trading one step ahead of the market to profit from when a price swing does come. And in bitcoin, that price swing is inevitable. Conclusion While it may seem obvious, the best traders on our platform always tend to have an objective and a clear reason for trading. This shows the more informed traders will always have that slight advantage over the rest of the market. Another common pitfall is not taking profits sooner. Although hindsight is 20/20, it is generally more profitable to close a position too soon, rather than too late. If you want to use the power of leverage / margin trading to increase your potential returns, check out BTC.sx. We offer up to 10x leverage on Bitfinex, Bitstamp and itBit.
Proof Prices good while spot < $28. Payment by PP F&F, GW, PP G&S (+3%), Zelle, Cash App, Venmo, bitcoin, or money order or open to possible trade. Shipping is $3, free above $100. Insurance available on request. Thanks! Perth Emu / Swan (from mint roll)
2019 Emu - $33 each, $640 / roll
2019 Swan - $37 each, $720 / roll
South Korea / Komsco (from mint tube, in air-tite capsule)
2018 Tiger - $30 each, $525 / roll of 18
2017 Zi:Sin Gallus - $30 each
2019 Zi:Sin Scrofa - $30 each
2019 Zi:Sin Scrofa (Ghost) - $39 each
Perth Kookaburras / Wedge Tailed Eagles (from mint roll)
Proof: https://imgur.com/a/7xQGIbC All prices based on spot price of gold @ $1,970/oz , silver @ $24.25/oz, platinum @ $915/oz (7/31/20). Prices good with gold spot below $1990, silver below $25. I am not a coin grader. The condition of any coin listed is how it was listed when I acquired it. I will be more than happy to provide any detailed, unedited photos for any coin. Unless specifically mentioned, assume coins are in generally good condition. Noticeable defects potentially affecting the value will attempt to be noted. I try to price my items substantially below the lowest price I can find online from a national dealer. If you see a legitimate cheaper price, let me know and I may very well adjust my price. FYI, I am in Eastern time zone if I do not respond, may be sleeping. PLATINUM LISTINGS Proof:https://imgur.com/a/FcUg9BV Physical platinum has been hard to come by and premiums have been high. Lucky to have these to list: 1 oz Argor-Heraeus Platinum Bars in assay x 10 9 8 — $990/ea (spot plus $75) GOLD LISTINGS Proof: https://imgur.com/a/bGofCRx 2009-W Ultra High Relief Proof St. Gauden 24K in OGP. Quite simply, this may be the coolest coin I have ever seen! — $2,250 1 oz slabbed American Gold Eagle 25th Anniversary Early Release, MS70 NGC (2011) — $2,150 (Note: slab has some scratches on it, the coin is fine) 1924 slabbed $20 St. Gaudens gold double eagle, MS63 PCGS — $2,050 1925 Slabbed $20 St. Gaudens gold double eagle, MS64 PCGS -- $2,275 1911-S Slabbed $20 St. Gaudens gold double eagle, MS63 Blanchard — $2,200 1910 Raw $20 St. Gauden gold double eagle — $2,025 $10 Gold Liberty Head x 2 (1894, 1899) — $1,010/ea 2018-W Slabbed First Strike PCGS MS70 American Gold Eagle — $2,175 Cleaned 1899 $5 Liberty head gold coin — $535 2002 slabbed Salt Lake City Olympics $5 gold commemorative, MS69 PCGS (0.2419 oz) — $485 Proof: https://imgur.com/a/bGofCRx 100gm (10x10) Valcambi Combicard in assay. Individually @ $73/ea x 100. I will risky ship up to 3 of these in an envelope for $1 @ buyer’s risk. It will not be tracked and I do not like doing it. Would prefer $4 bubble mailer, but buyer’s choice. 1 oz gold bars in assay [Valcambi x 2 1, Sunshine Mint, PAMP Religious Romanesque (Note: some peeling of clear cover for PAMP — pictures if desired)] — $2,030 1 oz Credit Suisse gold bar, in plastic but not assay — $2,030 Sterngold, 99.95%, used in making dental alloys, 1gm each x 30. This is a unique item not likely to be found in many collector’s stash. I will risky ship up to 3 of these in an envelope for $1 @ buyer’s risk. It will not be tracked and I do not like doing it. Would prefer $4 bubble mailer, but buyer’s choice— $71/ea Proof: https://imgur.com/a/wa1mLWZ 1oz American Gold Eagle, BU (1989, Roman numerals) — $2,060 1oz American Gold Eagle (1986, Roman numerals) — $2060 1 oz gold Pandas (1987, 2011) — 1987 sealed, BU — $2,175 ; 2011, uncirculated — $2,250 1 oz Gold Apartheid era South African Krugerrands x 42 (1975 x 2, 1977, 1978, 1979 x 27, 1980, 1981 x 8, 1982, 1984) — $2,040/ea 1 oz Gold American Buffalos (2016 x 1, 2006 x 2) [NOTE: both 2006 have a slight ding on the rim. Sealed in plastic, not ex-jewelry, but slight ding. Photos if desired)] — $2,070 for 2016, $2,065/ea for 2006’s with ding 1 oz Gold Brittania, BU (2020) — $2,065 1 oz unique Canada Golden Eagle, BU (2018). This is .99999 pure (that is five 9’s). Highest purity I am aware of — $2,070 1 oz Gold Austrian Philharmonics, BU (1994 x 1, 1999 x 1) — $2,040/ea 1 oz Gold Canadian Maple Leafs x 8 (1980 x 2, 1981, 2002 with red on “F” of fine gold on reverse, 2002 x 3 with some small scratches, 2011) — $2050/ea 1/4 oz American Gold Eagles x 6 4 (1988 Roman Numeral, 2013, 2014, 2015 x 2, 2020) — $565/ea 1/10oz American Gold Eagles in display (5 coins), BU (2006, 2012) — $1,200/ea Empty case to display your own set of 5 1/10 oz American Gold Eagles— $10 1/4oz Gold Brittanias, BU (2013 x4) — $600/ea 50 Pesos Mexican Gold x 10 (1947 Restrikes x 8, 1943, 1944) — $2,460/ea for restrikes, $2,470/ea for ’43, ’44 1/2 oz Gold Apartheid era South African Krugerrands x 3 (1980 x 2, 1981) — $1,100/ea 1/10 oz Gold Apartheid era South African Krugerrands x 2524 23 (various dates 1980-1984, 2011 (not apartheid era) x 1) — $240/ea 1/10 oz American Gold Eagles (various dates x 43, Roman numeral x 11 7) x 5450 45 — $240/ea for various dates, $260/ea Roman numeral dates Proof: https://imgur.com/a/KCjdPAy 2006 American Gold Eagle Proof Set (1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz — 1.85 total troy oz) in OGP — $3,875 1997 Jackie Robinson $5 gold commemorative set. Comes with COA, baseball card, pin, patch, presentation box. There are some dings on the box. Pictures if desired. (0.2419 oz) — $700 (A portion of the proceeds will go toward a reputable social justice charity) 1987 & 1988 UK Gold Sovereign Proof Sets in nice case (each set has a Double Sovereign: 28.4mm, Sovereign: 22.05mm, Half Sovereign: 19.3mm) -- $1,850/each set (NOTE: the 1988 set is missing the COA.) Austrian Ducat 4 gold coin x 2 (1915 x 2 ), 0.4438 tory oz gold — $895/ea 20 Francs Gold x 2015 6 (1110 4 — Roosters, 54 2 -- Swiss Francs, 4 1-French Empire), 0.1867 troy oz of gold/ea — $380/ea Netherlands Gold 10 Guilder x 5, contain 0.1947 troy oz/ea (1926 x 2, 1927, 1932, 1933) — $470/ea Gold Libertad 1/20 oz (2016) — $200 OBO Gold Libertad 1/10 oz, BU (2016) — $340 OBO Gold Libertad 1/10 oz proof (2016) — $350 OBO Gold Sovereigns x 5 1, contain 7.315g gold/ea (1902, 1911, 1927 x 2 x 1, 1928) — $475/ea 1/4 oz Gold Canadian Maple (2005) — $565 Proof: https://imgur.com/a/VXzaDUN Late Addition: 5 3 additional 1976 1 oz Krugerrands — $2,040/ea 6 additional Pandas: Don’t ask me why the premiums on Pandas are so high. They just are. I tried to price about $20+ dollars below the cheapest I could find them online at large dealers. If you find a legitimate lower price, let me know and I may very well adjust the price. 1985 — $2,150, 1987 — $2,120, 1988 — $2,095, 1990 — $2,150, 1991 — $2,150, 2002 — $2,200, 2011 — $2,240 26 25 1/10 oz Australian Battle of the Coral Sea Battle in the Pacific, in capsules — $225/ea 14 additional Netherlands gold 10 guilders — $470/ea LOW PREMIUM LISTINGS Proof: https://imgur.com/a/jlE0Xuu All the time I see posts looking for precious metals “at or near spot.” Well here is your chance. If you don’t purchase these, then you are not really looking for gold at or near spot, you are looking for premium items without the premium. Those deals may be out there, but they are few and far between, with lines of buyers looking to snap them up, including myself. Items here will generally be available for spot + <2%. To get a physical form of a precious metal refined, assayed, and produced into an identifiable and verifiable form/weight/purity for a tad above spot is pretty darn good, regardless of the collectability of the item. I see people paying more premium for scrap gold than some of these. 1976 Canadian Montreal Olympic $100 commemorative (one in OGP (signs of wear), one loose with OGP in worn state but coin is fine, 0.25 oz each). You are not purchasing these for the packaging. — $500/ea American Arts Gold Medallion Grant Wood, 1 troy oz — $2,005 2010 US Mint First Spouse Series Gold Uncirculated Mary Todd Lincoln 1/2 troy oz in OGP, NOTE: red spot on obverse (See Photo) — $1,005 Cleaned, ex-jewelry $5 Liberty head gold coin (1900, 1906 ), Note: some rim damage, will send photos if desired — $485/ea JEWELRY LISTINGS Proof: https://imgur.com/a/QEVcW0F CRESCENT sterling silver pocket watch case, twist on bezel. Marked with CRESCENT, Sterling, serial number 4188. Amateur engraving with a marked name and 1919. Weighs over 100 grams!!! Pre-owned, with expected signs of tarnish and wear. A ding on back of case (see photo close up) — $75 1913 $5 Indian Head gold coin in 14K bezel, bezel weighs 1.30g — $575 2014 1/10 oz American Gold Eagle in 14K eagle pendant, bezel weighs 3.487g — $400 SILVER LISTINGS Proof: https://imgur.com/a/MTK1BfP Proof: https://imgur.com/a/54maJxn 25 Slabbed and Graded American Silver Eagles — Whole lot for $1,000 OBO. May make offers on individual rounds. (SOLD '92. '93, '14W) For reference, on 8/15, APMEX wholesale site is asking $100/ea for the ‘94’s. Offering to buy ‘14-S for $50 and the NGC MS70 for $120.
—ALL NGC MS69 — 1992, 1993, 1994 x 3, 2000, 2001 x 2, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 —ALL NGC MS69 — 2007 Early Release x 7 —NGC MS69 — 2014(W) —NGC MS69 — 2013 First Release —PCGS MS69 — 2008 First Strike —PCGS MS69 — 2014(S) First Strike —PCGS MS69 — 2003 —NGC MS70 — 2003
100 oz silver bars (Engelhard x 1, Ohio Precious Metals —don’t believe they will be making either of these anymore) — $2,775 /ea 20 oz Scottsdale kit kat bars (2) — $555/ea (1 left) 10 oz Queen's Beasts Series Falcons x 4 — $400/ea 2 oz Queen's Beasts Series -- tubes of Falcons x 4 ($800/ea), Yales x 4 ($580/ea) 1 oz Sunshine Minting Silver Bars x 237 199 — $28.50/ea 1 roll 2006 90% San Francisco Mint Proof Colorado State Washington Quarters — $210 (NOTE: it looks like there might be some small surface scratches on some of the coins. Therefore, they are being priced as just uncirculated.) Men in Space Series I First Edition, .925 commemorative medals x 2 sets. These are not just sterling silver medals but history depicting the major events in the early years of NASA. https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/danbury-mint-men-space-series-first-411707135 One set in original presentation packaging just like the link. One set loose with a few extra medals (2 additional medals from the 1969 Men in Space series II — 2nd Moon Landing, 1st Space Rescue; one duplicate medal from series I, and one additional First Manned Landing on the Moon Apollo 11 (slightly larger, from unknown series to me)). Sold in lots only. Lot with packaging (21 medals, 0.7 oz each) — $360. Loose lot (25 medals, 0.7 oz each plus 1 slightly larger Appollo 11 as above) — $375 Proof: https://imgur.com/gallery/hRX6XlB Mexican Silver Lot -- Sold in lots of (10) @ $175/lot. YOU MAY MIX/MATCH —1952-53 Mexican 5 Pesos Hidalgo, 72% silver, 0.643 troy oz silvecoin (x10) —1977-79 Mexican 100 Pesos, 72% silver, 0.643 troy oz silvecoin (x10) —1968— Mexican Olympic 25 Pesos, 72% silver, 0.521 troy oz silvecoin (x20) 1973 Mundinero World Trade rounds x 2 tubes — $600/ea 1973 Mundinero World Trade Rounds with 14 of the 20 being High Relief — $640 Generic Rounds (mostly buffalos, I believe ) x 10 tubes — $560/tube Few loose generic rounds x 6 — $28/ea 2 Painted American Silver Eagles — $30/ea ’84-’85 Engelhard Prospector Rounds x 2 tubes — One tube of (20) — $660; One tube of (17) — $560 Canadian Maple Tubes of 25 x 3 (2012 x 2, 2008 x 1, NOTE: 2008 rounds have some milk spots) — $725/tube Proof: https://imgur.com/a/XnRiLPW Lot of 17 premium rounds: Philharmonics x4, Brittanias x 5, 2018 Republic Of Chad African Lion x 2, Krugerrands x 3, Australian Kangaroo x 1, Super Pit Australia x 2 — $488. Sold only as a lot. Lot of fractional silver rounds, 1.35 ASW — 1/4 oz indian head, 1/4 oz walking liberty, 1/4 oz buffalo nickel, 1/10 oz indian head x 3, buffalo x 1, Morgan x 1 — $44. Sold only as a lot. LOW PREMIUM LISTINGS Proof: https://imgur.com/a/R9NuZj8 All the time I see posts looking for precious metals “at or near spot.” Well here is your chance. If you don’t purchase these, then you are not really looking for silver at or near spot, you are looking for premium items without the premium. Those deals may be out there, but they are few and far between, with lines of buyers looking to snap them up, including myself. Items here will generally be available for spot + <2%. To get a physical form of a precious metal refined, assayed, and produced into an identifiable and verifiable form/weight/purity for a tad above spot is pretty darn good, regardless of the collectability of the item. I see people paying more premium for scrap than some of these. Silver war nickels @ $1.36/ea (BELOW SPOT), 8,500+ available, minimum quantity of 100 Large lot of Canadian — further info on request. Prefer to sell this in larger lots grouped together, not piecing it out or small lots. Take the whole lot for $3,000, or:
—$1.75fv, .925 — $33 —$20.25fv, ’67-’68, 50% (mostly all quarters) — $185 —$164.35fv, pre ’67, 80% (includes 65 $1) — $2,400 —1976 Montreal Olympic .925 $10 commemoratives x 9, 1.4454 troy oz/ea — $40/ea —1972 .925 $25 Cayman Island Silver Anniversary x 1, 1.5271 troy oz — $42.50
TERMS: All eligible items are verified with a sigma precious metal verifier or Kee gold tester. Prices are generally based on the underlying spot price. Large fluctuations in spot prices could affect the price of items listed. Shipping will generally be at cost. USPS first class starts @ $4, SFRB @ $8.50, signature @ $2.50. Will insure for 1.1% of purchase price. Shipping is at buyer’s risk. All items will be tracked, but I cannot be responsible for what happens on your porch. Would recommend delivery to a secure box for precious metals. Accept in order of preference: 1st — Zelle or Venmo; 2nd — PPFF (no comments), PPG&S @ +3.0%; Last resort: I have recently acquired the ability to accept Bitcoin, but am still learning. Be patient and fees will be at buyer’s expense, but I will try to work with you if other options do not suffice. Other forms of payment will be considered. Thank you!
Taproot! Everybody wants to have it, somebody wants to make it, nobody knows how to get it! (If you are asking why everybody wants it, see: Technical: Taproot: Why Activate?) (Pedants: I mostly elide over lockin times) Briefly, Taproot is that neat new thing that gets us:
Multisignatures (n-of-n, k-of-n) that are just 1 signature (1-of-1) in length!! (MuSig/Schnorr)
Better privacy!! If all contract participants can agree, just use a multisignature. If there is a dispute, show the contract publicly and have the Bitcoin network resolve it (Taproot/MAST).
Activation lets devs work get back to work on the even newer stuff like!!!
Cross-input signature aggregation!! (transaction with multiple inputs can have a single signature for all inputs) --- needs Schnorr, but some more work needed to ensure that the interactions with SCRIPT are okay.
Block validation - Schnorr signatures for all taproot spends in a block can be validated in a single operation instead of for each transaction!! Speed up validation and maybe we can actually afford to increase block sizes (maybe)!!
SIGHASH_ANYPREVOUT - you know, for Decker-Russell-Osuntokun ("eltoo") magic!!!
OP_CHECKTEMPLATEVERIFY - vaulty vaults without requiring storing signatures, just transaction details!!
So yes, let's activate taproot!
The SegWit Wars
The biggest problem with activating Taproot is PTSD from the previous softfork, SegWit. Pieter Wuille, one of the authors of the current Taproot proposal, has consistently held the position that he will not discuss activation, and will accept whatever activation process is imposed on Taproot. Other developers have expressed similar opinions. So what happened with SegWit activation that was so traumatic? SegWit used the BIP9 activation method. Let's dive into BIP9!
bit - A field in the block header, the nVersion, has a number of bits. By setting a particular bit, the miner making the block indicates that it has upgraded its software to support a particular soft fork. The bit parameter for a BIP9 activation is which bit in this nVersion is used to indicate that the miner has upgraded software for a particular soft fork.
timeout - a time limit, expressed as an end date. If this timeout is reached without sufficient number of miners signaling that they upgraded, then the activation fails and Bitcoin Core goes back to the drawing board.
Now there are other parameters (name, starttime) but they are not anywhere near as important as the above two. A number that is not a parameter, is 95%. Basically, activation of a BIP9 softfork is considered as actually succeeding if at least 95% of blocks in the last 2 weeks had the specified bit in the nVersion set. If less than 95% had this bit set before the timeout, then the upgrade fails and never goes into the network. This is not a parameter: it is a constant defined by BIP9, and developers using BIP9 activation cannot change this. So, first some simple questions and their answers:
Why not just set a day when everyone starts imposing the new rules of the softfork?
This was done classically (in the days when Satoshi was still among us). But this might argued to put too much power to developers, since there would be no way to reject an upgrade without possible bad consequences. For example, developers might package an upgrade that the users do not want, together with vital security bugfixes. Either you live without vital security bugfixes and hire some other developers to fix it for you (which can be difficult, presumably the best developers are already the ones working on the codebase) or you get the vital security bugfixes and implicitly support the upgrade you might not want.
Sure, you could fork the code yourself (the ultimate threat in the FOSS world) and hire another set of developers who aren't assholes to do the dreary maintenance work of fixing security bugs, but Bitcoin needs strong bug-for-bug compatibility so everyone should really congregate around a single codebase.
Basically: even the devs do not want this power, because they fear being coerced into putting "upgrades" that are detrimental to users. Satoshi got a pass because nobody knew who he was and how to coerce him.
Suppose the threshold were lower, like 51%. If so, after activation, somebody can disrupt the Bitcoin network by creating a transaction that is valid under the pre-softfork rules, but are invalid under the post-softfork rules. Upgraded nodes would reject it, but 49% of miners would accept it and include it in a block (which makes the block invalid) And then the same 49% would accept the invalid block and build on top of that, possibly creating a short chain of doomed invalid blocks that confirm an invalid spend. This can confuse SPV wallets, who might see multiple confirmations of a transaction and accept the funds, but later find that in fact it is invalid under the now-activated softfork rules.
Thus, a very high threshold was imposed. 95% is considered safe. 50% is definitely not safe. Due to variance in the mining process, 80% could also be potentially unsafe (i.e. 80% of blocks signaling might have a good chance of coming from only 60% of miners), so a threshold of 95% was considered "safe enough for Bitcoin work".
Why have a timeout that disables the upgrade?
Before BIP9, what was used was either flag day or BIP34. BIP34 had no flag day of activation or a bit, instead, it was just a 95% threshold to signal an nVersion value greater than a specific value. Actually, it was two thresholds: at 75%, blocks with the new nVersion would have the new softfork rules imposed, but at 95% blocks with the old nVersion would be rejected (and only the new blocks, with the new softfork rules, were accepted). For one, between 75% and 95%, there was a situation where the softfork was only "partially imposed", only blocks signaling the new rules would actually have those rules, but blocks with the old rules were still valid. This was fine for BIP34, which only added rules for miners with negligible use for non-miners.
The reasons miners signalled support was because they felt they were being pressured to signal support. So they signalled support, with plans to actually upgrade later, but because of the widespread signalling, the new BIP66 version locked in before upgrade plans were finished. Thus, the timeout that disables the upgrade was added in BIP9 to allow miners an escape hatch.
The Great Battles of the SegWit Wars
SegWit not only fixed transaction malleability, it also created a practical softforkable blocksize increase that also rebalanced weights so that the cost of spending a UTXO is about the same as the cost of creating UTXOs (and spending UTXOs is "better" since it limits the size of the UTXO set that every fullnode has to maintain). So SegWit was written, the activation was decided to be BIP9, and then.... miner signalling stalled at below 75%. Thus were the Great SegWit Wars started.
BIP9 Feature Hostage
If you are a miner with at least 5% global hashpower, you can hold a BIP9-activated softfork hostage. You might even secretly want the softfork to actually push through. But you might want to extract concession from the users and the developers. Like removing the halvening. Or raising or even removing the block size caps (which helps larger miners more than smaller miners, making it easier to become a bigger fish that eats all the smaller fishes). Or whatever. With BIP9, you can hold the softfork hostage. You just hold out and refuse to signal. You tell everyone you will signal, if and only if certain concessions are given to you. This ability by miners to hold a feature hostage was enabled because of the miner-exit allowed by the timeout on BIP9. Prior to that, miners were considered little more than expendable security guards, paid for the risk they take to secure the network, but not special in the grand scheme of Bitcoin.
ASICBoost was a novel way of optimizing SHA256 mining, by taking advantage of the structure of the 80-byte header that is hashed in order to perform proof-of-work. The details of ASICBoost are out-of-scope here but you can read about it elsewhere Here is a short summary of the two types of ASICBoost, relevant to the activation discussion.
Overt ASICBoost - Manipulates the unused bits in nVersion to reduce power consumption in mining.
Covert ASICBoost - Manipulates the order of transactions in the block to reduce power consumption in mining.
Now, "overt" means "obvious", while "covert" means hidden. Overt ASICBoost is obvious because nVersion bits that are not currently in use for BIP9 activations are usually 0 by default, so setting those bits to 1 makes it obvious that you are doing something weird (namely, Overt ASICBoost). Covert ASICBoost is non-obvious because the order of transactions in a block are up to the miner anyway, so the miner rearranging the transactions in order to get lower power consumption is not going to be detected. Unfortunately, while Overt ASICBoost was compatible with SegWit, Covert ASICBoost was not. This is because, pre-SegWit, only the block header Merkle tree committed to the transaction ordering. However, with SegWit, another Merkle tree exists, which commits to transaction ordering as well. Covert ASICBoost would require more computation to manipulate two Merkle trees, obviating the power benefits of Covert ASICBoost anyway. Now, miners want to use ASICBoost (indeed, about 60->70% of current miners probably use the Overt ASICBoost nowadays; if you have a Bitcoin fullnode running you will see the logs with lots of "60 of last 100 blocks had unexpected versions" which is exactly what you would see with the nVersion manipulation that Overt ASICBoost does). But remember: ASICBoost was, at around the time, a novel improvement. Not all miners had ASICBoost hardware. Those who did, did not want it known that they had ASICBoost hardware, and wanted to do Covert ASICBoost! But Covert ASICBoost is incompatible with SegWit, because SegWit actually has two Merkle trees of transaction data, and Covert ASICBoost works by fudging around with transaction ordering in a block, and recomputing two Merkle Trees is more expensive than recomputing just one (and loses the ASICBoost advantage). Of course, those miners that wanted Covert ASICBoost did not want to openly admit that they had ASICBoost hardware, they wanted to keep their advantage secret because miners are strongly competitive in a very tight market. And doing ASICBoost Covertly was just the ticket, but they could not work post-SegWit. Fortunately, due to the BIP9 activation process, they could hold SegWit hostage while covertly taking advantage of Covert ASICBoost!
UASF: BIP148 and BIP8
When the incompatibility between Covert ASICBoost and SegWit was realized, still, activation of SegWit stalled, and miners were still not openly claiming that ASICBoost was related to non-activation of SegWit. Eventually, a new proposal was created: BIP148. With this rule, 3 months before the end of the SegWit timeout, nodes would reject blocks that did not signal SegWit. Thus, 3 months before SegWit timeout, BIP148 would force activation of SegWit. This proposal was not accepted by Bitcoin Core, due to the shortening of the timeout (it effectively times out 3 months before the initial SegWit timeout). Instead, a fork of Bitcoin Core was created which added the patch to comply with BIP148. This was claimed as a User Activated Soft Fork, UASF, since users could freely download the alternate fork rather than sticking with the developers of Bitcoin Core. Now, BIP148 effectively is just a BIP9 activation, except at its (earlier) timeout, the new rules would be activated anyway (instead of the BIP9-mandated behavior that the upgrade is cancelled at the end of the timeout). BIP148 was actually inspired by the BIP8 proposal (the link here is a historical version; BIP8 has been updated recently, precisely in preparation for Taproot activation). BIP8 is basically BIP9, but at the end of timeout, the softfork is activated anyway rather than cancelled. This removed the ability of miners to hold the softfork hostage. At best, they can delay the activation, but not stop it entirely by holding out as in BIP9. Of course, this implies risk that not all miners have upgraded before activation, leading to possible losses for SPV users, as well as again re-pressuring miners to signal activation, possibly without the miners actually upgrading their software to properly impose the new softfork rules.
BIP91, SegWit2X, and The Aftermath
BIP148 inspired countermeasures, possibly from the Covert ASiCBoost miners, possibly from concerned users who wanted to offer concessions to miners. To this day, the common name for BIP148 - UASF - remains an emotionally-charged rallying cry for parts of the Bitcoin community. One of these was SegWit2X. This was brokered in a deal between some Bitcoin personalities at a conference in New York, and thus part of the so-called "New York Agreement" or NYA, another emotionally-charged acronym. The text of the NYA was basically:
Set up a new activation threshold at 80% signalled at bit 4 (vs bit 1 for SegWit).
When this 80% signalling was reached, miners would require that bit 1 for SegWit be signalled to achive the 95% activation needed for SegWit.
If the bit 4 signalling reached 80%, increase the block weight limit from the SegWit 4000000 to the SegWit2X 8000000, 6 months after bit 1 activation.
The first item above was coded in BIP91. Unfortunately, if you read the BIP91, independently of NYA, you might come to the conclusion that BIP91 was only about lowering the threshold to 80%. In particular, BIP91 never mentions anything about the second point above, it never mentions that bit 4 80% threshold would also signal for a later hardfork increase in weight limit. Because of this, even though there are claims that NYA (SegWit2X) reached 80% dominance, a close reading of BIP91 shows that the 80% dominance was only for SegWit activation, without necessarily a later 2x capacity hardfork (SegWit2X). This ambiguity of bit 4 (NYA says it includes a 2x capacity hardfork, BIP91 says it does not) has continued to be a thorn in blocksize debates later. Economically speaking, Bitcoin futures between SegWit and SegWit2X showed strong economic dominance in favor of SegWit (SegWit2X futures were traded at a fraction in value of SegWit futures: I personally made a tidy but small amount of money betting against SegWit2X in the futures market), so suggesting that NYA achieved 80% dominance even in mining is laughable, but the NYA text that ties bit 4 to SegWit2X still exists. Historically, BIP91 triggered which caused SegWit to activate before the BIP148 shorter timeout. BIP148 proponents continue to hold this day that it was the BIP148 shorter timeout and no-compromises-activate-on-August-1 that made miners flock to BIP91 as a face-saving tactic that actually removed the second clause of NYA. NYA supporters keep pointing to the bit 4 text in the NYA and the historical activation of BIP91 as a failed promise by Bitcoin developers.
We have discussed BIP8: roughly, it has bit and timeout, if 95% of miners signal bit it activates, at the end of timeout it activates. (EDIT: BIP8 has had recent updates: at the end of timeout it can now activate or fail. For the most part, in the below text "BIP8", means BIP8-and-activate-at-timeout, and "BIP9" means BIP8-and-fail-at-timeout) So let's take a look at Modern Softfork Activation!
Modern Softfork Activation
This is a more complex activation method, composed of BIP9 and BIP8 as supcomponents.
First have a 12-month BIP9 (fail at timeout).
If the above fails to activate, have a 6-month discussion period during which users and developers and miners discuss whether to continue to step 3.
Have a 24-month BIP8 (activate at timeout).
The total above is 42 months, if you are counting: 3.5 years worst-case activation. The logic here is that if there are no problems, BIP9 will work just fine anyway. And if there are problems, the 6-month period should weed it out. Finally, miners cannot hold the feature hostage since the 24-month BIP8 period will exist anyway.
PSA: Being Resilient to Upgrades
Software is very birttle. Anyone who has been using software for a long time has experienced something like this:
You hear a new version of your favorite software has a nice new feature.
Excited, you install the new version.
You find that the new version has subtle incompatibilities with your current workflow.
You are sad and downgrade to the older version.
You find out that the new version has changed your files in incompatible ways that the old version cannot work with anymore.
You tearfully reinstall the newer version and figure out how to get your lost productivity now that you have to adapt to a new workflow
If you are a technically-competent user, you might codify your workflow into a bunch of programs. And then you upgrade one of the external pieces of software you are using, and find that it has a subtle incompatibility with your current workflow which is based on a bunch of simple programs you wrote yourself. And if those simple programs are used as the basis of some important production system, you hve just screwed up because you upgraded software on an important production system. And well, one of the issues with new softfork activation is that if not enough people (users and miners) upgrade to the newest Bitcoin software, the security of the new softfork rules are at risk. Upgrading software of any kind is always a risk, and the more software you build on top of the software-being-upgraded, the greater you risk your tower of software collapsing while you change its foundations. So if you have some complex Bitcoin-manipulating system with Bitcoin somewhere at the foundations, consider running two Bitcoin nodes:
One is a "stable-version" Bitcoin node. Once it has synced, set it up to connect=x.x.x.x to the second node below (so that your ISP bandwidth is only spent on the second node). Use this node to run all your software: it's a stable version that you don't change for long periods of time. Enable txiindex, disable pruning, whatever your software needs.
The other is an "always-up-to-date" Bitcoin Node. Keep its stoarge down with pruning (initially sync it off the "stable-version" node). You can't use blocksonly if your "stable-version" node needs to send transactions, but otherwise this "always-up-to-date" Bitcoin node can be kept as a low-resource node, so you can run both nodes in the same machine.
When a new Bitcoin version comes up, you just upgrade the "always-up-to-date" Bitcoin node. This protects you if a future softfork activates, you will only receive valid Bitcoin blocks and transactions. Since this node has nothing running on top of it, it is just a special peer of the "stable-version" node, any software incompatibilities with your system software do not exist. Your "stable-version" Bitcoin node remains the same version until you are ready to actually upgrade this node and are prepared to rewrite most of the software you have running on top of it due to version compatibility problems. When upgrading the "always-up-to-date", you can bring it down safely and then start it later. Your "stable-version" wil keep running, disconnected from the network, but otherwise still available for whatever queries. You do need some system to stop the "always-up-to-date" node if for any reason the "stable-version" goes down (otherwisee if the "always-up-to-date" advances its pruning window past what your "stable-version" has, the "stable-version" cannot sync afterwards), but if you are technically competent enough that you need to do this, you are technically competent enough to write such a trivial monitor program (EDIT: gmax notes you can adjust the pruning window by RPC commands to help with this as well). This recommendation is from gmaxwell on IRC, by the way.
CFTC Orders Bitcoin Options Trading Platform Operator and its CEO to Cease Illegally Offering Bitcoin Options and to Cease Operating a Facility for Trading or Processing of Swaps without Registering (September 17, 2015)
Proof Payment by PP F&F, GW, PP G&S (+3%), Zelle, Cash App, Venmo, bitcoin, or money order or open to possible trade. Shipping is $3, free above $100. Insurance available on request. Thanks! Perth Emu / Swan (from mint roll)
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The danger when a majority of users is relying on SPV wallets (by belcher_)
This is a repost of a post by u/belcher_ on the bitcoin-dev mailinglist (source). I think it is a good description of why relying on SPV wallets (or someone else's node) can be dangerous for bitcoin from a "macro perspective. For clarification: SPV means "Simplified Payment Verification". In very simple words, it's a wallet that doesn't verify everything on the network (as opposed to what a full node does), and can be fooled in certain attack scenarios, as described below, f.ex.
For example, consider if bitcoin had 10000 users. 10 of them use a full node wallet while the other 9990 use an SPV wallet. If a miner attacked the system by printing infinite bitcoins and spending coins without a valid signature, then the 9990 SPV wallets would accept those fake coins as payment, and trade the coins amongst themselves. After a time those coins would likely be the ancestors of most active coins in the 9990-SPV-wallet ecosystem. Bitcoin would split into two currencies: full-node-coin and SPV-coin. Now the fraud miners may become well known, perhaps being published on bitcoin news portals, but the 9990-SPV-wallet ecosystem has a strong incentive to be against any rollback. Their recent transactions would disappear and they'd lose money. They would argue that they've already been using the coin for a while, and it works perfectly fine, and anyway a coin that can be spent in 9990 places is more useful than one that can be spent in just 10 places. The SPV-wallet community might even decide to use something like invalidateblock to make sure their SPV-coin doesn't get reorg'd out of existence. There'd also likely be a social attack, with every bitcoin community portal being flooded with bots and shills advocating the merits of SPV-coin. This is not a hypothetical because we already saw the same thing during the scalability conflict 2015-2017. Before you know it, "Bitcoin" would become SPV-coin with inflation and arbitrary seizure. Any normal user could download software called "Bitcoin wallet" which they trust and have used before, but instead of using Bitcoin they'd be using SPV-coin. You may be one of the 10 wallets backed by a full node, but that won't do much good to you when 9990 users happily use another coin as their medium of exchange.
Node operators, please set the minrelaytxfee to zero as suggested in the docs.
The previous default was 5000 sat/vkB and it was lowered to 1000 sat/vkB on Oct 13, 2015. On that day bitcoin was trading for $255 / BTC. So it was deemed that a relay limit of $0.01275/vkB was too high so it was lowered to $0.00255/vkB. In today's ($11870) figures that would translate to a minrelaytxfee of 0.00000022 sat/vkB. Since to 0.14.0 release, the minrelaytxfee still defaults to 1000 sat/vkB, but it is recommend in the relnotes that this limit be completely unset.
Since the changes in 0.12 to automatically limit the size of the mempool and improve the performance of block creation in mining code it has not been important for relay nodes or miners to set -minrelaytxfee. The -minrelaytxfee option continues to exist but is recommended to be left unset.
source: 0.14.0 relnotes Unsetting this option (-minrelaytxfee=0) will allow lower fee TXNs to make it to the miners. Miners will then have a larger selection of TXNs to choose from. For users concerned about mempool bloat, just set maxmempool below it's default of 300 MB (-maxmempool=200). Or you could set minrelaytxfee to 11 sat/vkB (-minrelaytxfee=0.00000011) Ultimately, I would think that changing the default in bitcoin-core from 1000 sat/vkB to 100 sat/vkB might be a good move. The mempool has already run dry 6 days this month. No reason not to let the miners continue to mine some super low-fee TXNs if they want to. They control this with blockmintxfee What I would suggest adding to bitcoin.conf minrelaytxfee=0 blockmintxfee=0 maxmempool=300 For those wanting to be more conservative: minrelaytxfee=0.00000011 blockmintxfee=0.00000011 maxmempool=200 Really anything below 1000 sat/vkB would be better. References:
Translating Goldman Sachs Top Recommended Trades for 2015 into Bitcoin Derivative Macro Trades
Cross posted from http://www.reddit.com/BitcoinDerivatives/ TL;DR Translating Goldman Sachs ECB QE 2015 trade recommendations into UltraCoin trade setups: Receive exposure to the SPDR Eurostoxx 50 long ETF (speculating that the top 50 EZ equities will rise from currency wars & QE) and pay exposure to the ProShares Ultra Euro ETF (ULE) (with minimum of 2x leverage set in UltraCoin client, up to a practical limit of 50x) seeking to provide twice the exposure to the performance of euro versus the U.S. dollar on a daily basis (speculating the euro will fall relative to the US dollar as a result of currency wars & QE). This trade can be made cleaner by shorting the EURUSD pair directly with a healthy dose of leverage. This would be entered into UltraCoin as "pay" EURUSD (with system leverage set at 50x). Since November 28th, this trade would have been unwound by the UltraCoin server with a near 100% (gross of fees) gain using anything over 7x leverage. There are still some legs left on the trade short term, but we are suspicious of the european equity markets being fully able to benefit from this round of QE to the extent anticipated by the media and sell side analysts. According to Forbes: Goldman’s first non-U.S. trade recommendation revolves around an expectation European stock markets rise in 2015 as the impact of ECB money-printing makes its way into the real economy. Goldman recommends investors go long a December 2015 Eurostoxx 50 call spread, buying a Dec. 2015 strike call at 3,150, and selling a Dec. 2015 strike call at 3,450. “The (nearly) at-the-money 3150 call costs 170.6, while selling the 3450 call costs 69.10 (both priced as of the close on November 19), giving this position a maximum potential 2-to-1 payout,” notes Goldman. The firm sees two reasons European stocks will move higher: regional growth simply accelerates, or disappointing inflation readings force the ECB into added action. Both scenarios, Goldman believes, augur well for European asset prices. First, let's put this in a form that can be traded via UltraCoin. To go long the Eurostoxx 50, we'll receive exposure to the SPDR Eurostoxx 50 long ETF (speculating that the top 50 EZ equities will rise from currency wars & QE) and we will pay exposure to the ProShares Ultra Euro ETF (ULE) seeking to provide twice the exposure to the performance of euro versus the U.S. dollar on a daily basis (speculating the euro will fall relative to the US dollar as a result of currency wars & QE). It should also be noted that leveraged ETF products usually seek to match the return of the euro against the dollar over a single day. Due to this and the compounding of daily returns, the returns of the product may deviate from long term return rates, suggesting that investors need to monitor their holdings closely if they are going to be in for a long time period. It should also be noted that this is a materially more advanced trade setup than that recommended by Goldman, for it captures potential euro downside movement relative to the dollar AND potential european equity market upside -which, according to the Goldman hypothesis, are tightly linked. One would think that Goldman should start recommending trading with UltraCoin, no? This is what the trade would have done as of Friday's market close. This trade setup was made before we instituted leverage directly into the system. Now, you can go into the "Advanced" tab and turn the leverage up. We recommend leveraging 2x to 50x, contingent upon your risk tolerance and collateral posting (the more collateral posted, the less chance of getting the contract unwound as your trade goes out of the money. You can also use the direct forex pair EURUSD (levered ETFs suffer from decay issues) and turn the leverage up even more in the UltraCoin client, which gives the same exaggerated price movement, but will track the primary underlying asset more closely. The trade pictured above, would have unwound in your favor by now with anything over 6x leverage with a near 100% return on invested capital. Not bad for 2 and a half months. See the full analysis. This trade was initially posted on November 28tth, 2014. It did very well. For those who are not familiar with my previous calls, reference: - 1. Reggie Middleton via Wikipedia - 1. A list of many (but not all) of my calls and mentions in the media And a simple walk through video of a sample Ultra-Coin trade: A Simple Apple Trade Using A Pure Bitcoin Wallet: The UltraCoin Client New comers to BTC derivative trading are urged to download our:
and of course, the UltraCoin BTC wallet for Windows - or - Mac & Linux, which doubles as the trading client. The wallets have a "Demo Mode" which allows you to trade on testnet if, after using the spreadsheet modeler, you are still not comfortable committing live coins. You can get the demo (testnet) coins here.
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