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January 18, 2019, 09:01:20 PM *
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1  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Upgrade or hard-fork? Is it time to stop over-misusing the term hard-fork? on: Today at 09:16:09 AM
I think that chain-splits are not the most important things, instead the separation or un-consensus of core team's members or communities are.
Splits should be focused on splits inside the core team or communities. It is likely that we all focus on wrong point, simply focus on the effects, not causes of those effects.

Forget about developers and vague terms like "community" for a moment. The problem here is confusion about what "consensus" means. It refers to network consensus, i.e. unanimous agreement among nodes about what the protocol rules are.

Let's not get bogged down with abstract notions about governance. It's more useful to begin from a point of accurate descriptions about how nodes actually interact with each other.

When it comes to a hard (backwards incompatible) fork, the idea of consensus is impossible to apply to a "community," particularly one as large as Bitcoin's. The idea that every single Bitcoin user is going to unanimously and consensually agree to a backward incompatible fork is completely insane. The only narrow case where every single users' incentives align to fork is where a protocol failure would render Bitcoin valueless. Otherwise, it's insulting to assume that every other user agrees to consensus-breaking changes. Outside of the narrow case mentioned -- or the case of a protocol with only a few users -- there is no such thing as "consensus to fork." That's just a rhetorical idea used to pressure other people into forking their software.

A hard fork or incompatible soft fork always means "chain split." A chain split means forking nodes have broken the consensus and opted out of the previous network. It already means splitting from developers or part of the community, by definition. It doesn't help to introduce notions of Core developers -- that's just an appeal to authority. If decentralization matters at all, we should be focused on what the network does, not what Core developers want.

If you really wanted to use the term upgrade, you might be able to use it only for soft forks. Unless a chain is completely centralized, a hard fork is always going to cause a chain split (read that again, always). That's why we call it a hard fork.

I like that, but at the same time, how do we deal with incompatible soft forks? Like a UASF that splits from the majority hash rate chain. In a technical sense, even a MASF with extremely high threshold for activation could still eventually cause a chain split.

I guess I don't really like "upgrade" being applied to protocol changes at all. It can be too loaded and political. The network is an organism -- it will do what it will. It doesn't bow to these sort of abstract terms.

I implicitly assume that node operators are rationally motivated to maintain consensus and upgrade the protocol. But I don't think it's my place to say what those upgrades should be or whether they're upgrades at all. That's for nodes to decide. Everything else is just talk.
2  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: Americans lost $1.7 billion, more than half donít know they can claim deduction on: Today at 08:11:16 AM
It was strange enough that online gambling losses weren't reported for deductions (now that US seems to want to ban it entirely), maybe people in general just don't realise losses are deductible?

It's different for gambling. Professional (self-employed) gamblers can deduct losses as a business expense, so they only pay taxes on their net gains. Casual gamblers aren't allowed to deduct losses if they take the standard deduction, so those people pay taxes on all of their wins and can't deduct any of the losses.

Professional traders can similarly deduct capital losses as a business expense, limiting taxable income to net gains. Non-professionals have to cap those deducted losses at $3K which is much worse.

One might ask, why doesn't everyone just report as self-employed? The answer is that self-employed people pay an additional 15.3% tax on top of the personal income tax.

The IRS screws you no matter what! Tongue
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Binance freezes stolen Cryptopia funds on: January 17, 2019, 11:24:23 PM
that is a very strange move by the hacker! there are already many ways to exchange coins with each other and there is also mixing techniques that could be used to make it harder and even impossible to trace the coins!

I read that most of the assets were ERC-20 tokens -- probably very hard to mix due to lack of market liquidity. I imagine the hacker was hoping to quickly wash the coins, withdrawing fresh coins from Binance that they could easily sell elsewhere. With everyone bound to be watching Cryptopia's wallets sooner than later, I'm sure they wanted to wash them quickly.
4  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Updating advice? on: January 17, 2019, 11:15:19 PM
I bought bitcoin some time ago as an investment and am wondering if there's anything I need to do in regard to keeping my investment secure and/or up to date and what should I do in regard to the various forks that have happened over the past few years?

Your top priority is storing funds in properly generated cold storage wallets, in unused addresses. Read about some different methods here. It's really important to keep your keys offline in case your online PC or phone gets compromised by malware.

Regarding forks, I wouldn't bother with anything besides the most valuable forks (like Bitcoin Cash/SV) since those wallets are relatively easy to verify as safe. Always sweep your BTC into new addresses (preferably in cold storage) before attempting to recover forked coins. If a fork wallet ends being up coin-stealing malware, you don't want to give it access to your precious bitcoins!
5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: BitMex Reportedly Losing Users due to Regulatory Pressures from North America on: January 17, 2019, 10:58:33 PM
This is showing how stupid the system is and how it is unable to understand the Internet. An Internet business is available to anyone. If a country has a problem with it it should block the website or make their citizens aware that it's against the law to use that service.

We're stuck with it. The US government in particular acts like the world police, shutting down businesses that don't comply. The SEC mandates exchange registration under certain conditions:

Quote
A crypto asset trading platform may be subject to the US exchange registration requirements (unless an exemption is available) if the platform allows US persons or persons located in the US to access the platform and participate in trading digital assets that are viewed as securities by the SEC.

To date, the SEC seems to have gone only after services that specifically allowed access from the US -- no geo-blocking of US IP ranges, no KYC, no attempts to block US residents. They haven't gone after services like BitMex or Bitfinex, where users must go a step further and use a foreign VPN to access from the US, but that may change.
6  Bitcoin / Press / Re: [2019-01-15]Bakkt Acquires Certain Assets Of Rosenthal Collins Group on: January 17, 2019, 08:31:06 PM
What makes you say that? The CFTC approved LedgerX's physically settled markets in 2017. That those markets have been live and running smoothly for 1.5 years now only makes approval of Bakkt more likely.

People are talking about Bakkt like it's an ETF, but I don't see any indication that commodity futures markets are so difficult to launch. The recent delays probably have more to do with the US government shutdown than anything else. The entire process has grinded to a halt.
LedgerX has little mass appeal, while Bakkt has so much more to offer, and at the same time is planning to build further on Bitcoin to expand that what governments don't want to see gain ground.

What are you talking about, specifically? Why do you think Bakkt has so much more appeal?

LedgerX has daily physical settlement, options and swaps, volatility and other derivative contracts and they're coming out with Ethereum derivatives as well. What is so groundbreaking about Bakkt?

I don't think that many of you guys take it serious enough. The US doesn't want to pump your bags, it wants more cash settled products to have big money buy into that instead of the asset itself.

Who's expecting the US to pump anyone's bags? I've actually seen convincing arguments that deep physically-settled futures markets are likely to keep prices down.

I also just think the LedgerX case contradicts what you're saying. When LedgerX launched, people thought it was going to be huge too, the way people view the SolidX ETF today. The truth is, there wasn't much institutional interest. The same could easily happen with Bakkt.
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: BitMex Reportedly Losing Users due to Regulatory Pressures from North America on: January 17, 2019, 08:09:55 PM
Quote
Likewise, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had also issued previous statements explaining that the services offered by BitMEX imply mandatory registration, something that the company owned by Mr. Arthur Hayes clearly evaded.

This is something I haven't heard before. Registration as what, a national securities exchange? I thought BitMEX only offered commodity futures contracts, which seem to fall under CFTC jurisdiction and not SEC jurisdiction.

It may be splitting hairs, but the SEC seems to have sharper teeth. They've been behind harsher and more notable enforcement actions. For instance, the SEC shut down 1Broker last year. By comparison, the CFTC fined Bitfinex $75,000 a few years ago for margin violations.

Quote
BitMEX, the second largest Cryptocurrency Exchange by Reported Trading Volume and the most important exchange of Bitcoin Futures in the world, has had a tough start to the year after constant pressures from the regulatory bodies of the United States and Canada forced its team to close the accounts of a significant number of clients.

Although there are no official figures from the team behind the exchange, the South China Morning Post mentions that anonymous sources close to the company indicated that accounts registered in BitMEX from the United States alone represent approximately one-seventh or near 10% of the total number of registered users.

I wonder how many accounts are being closed over this, and whether users consistently connecting through VPN are facing account closure. Are there any other reports about this?
8  Economy / Exchanges / Re: Binance 1.2k BTC account used for arbitrage still blocked and seeking assistance on: January 17, 2019, 07:58:25 PM
Hello, everyone! Sadly, Iíve returned this week with no update on my account. As many will remember, my account that had a significant amount of money in it on Binance was blocked months ago and still hasnít been reactivated. I tried to get my account unblocked by giving Binance all the information that they requested. Throughout the whole process Iíve been informed of different reasons for why it was blocked in the first place, and the last reason was ďitís an internal investigationĒ and I should contact local authorities (unfortunately Iíve received the same answer from them every time).

I only used the account for arbitrage, in the same way that I do on other big exchanges where I havenít had any problems with my accounts.

Why Iím coming to the public with this is that Iím asking for more assistance from Binance because Iíve already given them all necessary information that proves my identity and proves the credibility of my money. Iím open to any communication and assistance and Iím willing to provide any extra information they need from me to resolve the problem and move forward.

I don't know much about Maltese law, or whatever other jurisdiction Binance might fall under. It sounds like you're under investigation. They likely have some legal obligation to freeze your account if you or the account are under official (government) investigation. If your account wasn't ordered frozen by authorities, chances of recovery are better with some legal pressure.

I would consider the following steps:
  • Consult with a lawyer. You may be in a position to begin civil proceedings against Binance at this point. There are lawyers who specialize in recovering frozen bank accounts for foreign account holders. This seems similar.
  • Contact the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority and the European Commission, file complaints against Binance and ask for advice on how to proceed.
  • You could try filing police reports against Binance, both local and in Malta.
9  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Cryptopia exchange hacked on: January 17, 2019, 07:29:03 PM
Can decentralized exchanges be the solution to prevent such hacks? Since centralized exchanges keep their money into a centralized location, it's lucrative for the hackers. But in decentralized exchanges, handling of money is controlled by the users and not kept in a centralized location. What do you guys think? Should we pay more attention to decentralized exchanges going forward?

Decentralized exchanges have their limitations. For instance, they can't properly interface with fiat money, which always requires a trusted third party within the banking system.

The current crop of DEX can also be more properly described as "non-custodial" -- they don't hold user funds but they use centralized architecture. Etherdelta had its DNS registry updated by attackers, who set up a phishing site on their domain and extracted user private keys. That's one example of how vulnerable this semi-decentralized model is.

Overall, though, I'm guessing decentralized exchanges will eventually play a very important role. When we can trade on a completely decentralized architecture with decentralized stablecoins, it'll be a real game changer as well. We're probably several years away from that point.
10  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Please raise the block size limit on: January 17, 2019, 01:05:52 AM
I think we need to encourage more use of the ledger. What are we doing if we're not utilizing the ledger??? 1 megabyte limit is so tiny! It might've been good in 2001, but we're in 2019 now...

Did I walk into a time warp back to 2015? What a throwback! I thought this was a necro-post at first. Tongue

Get with the times, OP. The 1 MB block size limit is no more. It's now a 4 MB block weight limit, ever since Segwit was activated in 2017:

Quote
Is SegWit a block size increase?
Yes! Segregated witness replaces the block size limit with a new block weight limit, counting each byte of witness data as 1 unit of weight and UTXO transaction data as 4 units; as a result, the maximum size of a block becomes just under 4 MB.

Source: https://segwit.org/is-segwit-a-block-size-increase-705df6a8731d

The limit will probably be increased further some years down the road, but there's really no urgency about it. I recently made a bunch of transactions where I paid only 1 satoshi/byte -- that's less than $0.01 per transaction. Worst comes to worst, people will just need to pay higher fees.
11  Bitcoin / Press / Re: [2019-01-16] Russian Central bank losses amount to 14B dollars on: January 17, 2019, 12:49:29 AM
Given their luck, maybe we don't them investing in Bitcoin. Tongue

What doest it give them, economically wise? People here say that it is to avoid sanctions and how does it help Kremlin to avoid them, if I may ask? Okay, they buy a couple of bitcoins here and there, and what are they going to do next with these coins? Who are they going to trade with?

In theory: The object would be the same as with de-dollarization plans, which are obviously already in motion. USD transactions entail exposure to US correspondent banks, which are more likely to block or confiscate Russian funds. Bitcoin is an obvious way to avoid such banks.

In practice: It doesn't make sense in today's context, where there is not yet a need for central banks to inject Bitcoin liquidity into the markets. If there were significant international trade denominated in BTC, it would be a different story. In that case, the central bank could lend BTC to retail/commercial banks, who could lend it to businesses, who could use it in trade while cutting US correspondent banks out of the loop.
12  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: Americans lost $1.7 billion, more than half donít know they can claim deduction on: January 16, 2019, 06:30:44 PM
Americans lost $1.7 billion trading bitcoin in 2018 ó and more than half donít know they can claim a deduction

Judging by the facts that came out of the Coinbase/IRS case, not many people are paying their cryptocurrency-related taxes anyway. If they're not paying on capital gains, they definitely shouldn't be deducting for capital losses. Tongue

The allowed deduction is pretty minimal, anyway. Even though you can carry forward capital losses from year to year, the yearly limit on capital loss deductions is $3,000. So if you lost $3,000 or more in 2018, that's the most you can deduct from your taxable income for the year.
13  Bitcoin / Press / Re: [2019-01-15] Breaking: Cryptopia hacked! on: January 16, 2019, 06:11:55 PM
$1 million in daily volume gives you some idea -- it wasn't the biggest exchange.

With the altcoin market being so dead, I haven't touched tiny exchanges like that in over a year. I do have an account there and if this were 2017, I might have been affected.

Yet another example why you shouldn't store funds on exchanges. Just deposit, trade, and immediately withdraw.

I have my doubts about decentralized exchanges because of them being so tied to centralized payment systems when it comes to fiat, but when it comes to cryptocurrencies, decentralized exchanges seem to be the future. So, services like Cryptopia will eventually become obsolete, because their main feature is listing of wide variety of altcoins.

I think decentralized exchanges will eventually make small, illiquid altcoin markets like Cryptopia completely obsolete. Binance is incredibly profitable, but they obviously see the writing on the wall considering they are building a DEX.

However, I wonder about the limitations of decentralized order execution -- especially regarding network latency and unreliable orderbooks. It could take many years before DEX technologies can even remotely compete with centralized exchanges, which matters because real-time execution and order book depth are really important considerations for traders. All the current DEX exchanges are also built on centralized server and domain infrastructure, so they can be targeted by governments. Who knows when we'll see a DEX built on a decentralized DNS and mesh networking?

Not to mention, atomic swap capabilities are not built into most altcoins at this stage. It might be many years before we see a DEX emerge than can compete with centralized exchanges -- even altcoin-only exchanges.
14  Bitcoin / Press / Re: [2019-01-15]Binanceís Changpeng Zhao Pledges to Freeze Cryptopia Hack Funds on: January 16, 2019, 05:53:10 PM
Wow, so an exchange can freeze funds with no legal paperwork just based on "tracking" and some see this as a good move.
Opening the Pandora's box, stage 3 (as it happened twice already with binance)

It should only be a temporary freeze. Any blockchain analysis by an exchange that suggests money laundering, etc. could warrant that under their stated terms. The same might apply if coins are sent to Binance directly from darknet markets.

Here's the thing: I recall during the Wex.nz fiasco that Binance said they needed victims to file police reports regarding the stolen funds. (In their home countries? In Wex's registered country, Singapore? In Malta, where Binance is registered? Who knows.)

Absent that, they had no legal right to indefinitely freeze the assets. I have a hunch they froze funds temporarily in the direct aftermath but didn't end up really doing anything, since I never heard any news after that. This was back in October, I believe.

Slowly but surely exchanges are turning into a far worse version of banks, we have kyc, we have freezing accounts based on regions, we have funds frozen based on hunch something is not right, and what is worse if you have a problem with them most of the time you can't do anything since they've chosen to operate in countries with very lax laws.

They're "wild west" banks -- much worse than regular banks. They're centralized, they confiscate/freeze funds..... and they are untrustworthy, opaque and secretive, hiding in jurisdictions where customers can't come after them.
15  Bitcoin / Press / Re: [2019-01-15]Bakkt Acquires Certain Assets Of Rosenthal Collins Group on: January 16, 2019, 05:38:37 PM
I don't think that Bakkt will be approved as it is (hope that I am wrong though). It will require them to ditch their Bitcoin backed futures and have them offer strictly cash settled futures. It stinks in every possible way.

What makes you say that? The CFTC approved LedgerX's physically settled markets in 2017. That those markets have been live and running smoothly for 1.5 years now only makes approval of Bakkt more likely.

People are talking about Bakkt like it's an ETF, but I don't see any indication that commodity futures markets are so difficult to launch. The recent delays probably have more to do with the US government shutdown than anything else. The entire process has grinded to a halt.
16  Bitcoin / Press / Re: [2019-01-15]Binanceís Changpeng Zhao Pledges to Freeze Cryptopia Hack Funds on: January 16, 2019, 05:26:31 PM
That is a shed load of tokens, hopefully most of which are shitcoins which had no value. Good that binance will block them and has so far resisted any hack attacks

Uh, they obviously had value. They referenced $11 million in ERC-20 tokens. This is small potatoes for any exchange hack, but I'm sure the people sitting on millions of dollars in losses aren't thinking about that.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao– perhaps better known as CZ – has responded to calls from Twitter users to block funds identified as coming from the recent Cryptopia hack.

He did the same when customer funds at Wex.nz were sent en masse to Binance a few months back. Does anyone know what happened with that?

There's a big difference between Binance temporarily freezing funds and hacking victims getting their money back. Undecided
17  Economy / Speculation / Re: GAME game *game* "GAME" QUARTER PREDICTIONS on: January 16, 2019, 12:53:56 AM
Here's my guess: $4,200
18  Economy / Speculation / Re: Cryptopia Hacked. Will BTC Crash? on: January 15, 2019, 09:47:17 PM
Cryptopia Hacked. Will BTC Crash?
I think they eat people money and than they say their Exchange hacked.

They're too small to have a drastic effect on prices. If a major exchange like Binance or Bitfinex had a big hack, it would be a different story. I remember the day Bitfinex got hacked in 2016 -- the price fell 20-30% within a day. By comparison, today's price just had a normal 3% fluctuation.
19  Bitcoin / Press / Re: [2019-01-10]Cryptos Face Comprehensive EU Regulation, Regulators Plan to Set New on: January 15, 2019, 09:32:57 PM
under the pretext to protect the money of investors , the said investors will be forced to reveal literally everything about themselves
this is a global tendency, not EU only , basically everywhere in the world, US ,China, now EU

Sadly, many newer investors are asking for it, too. I've seen lots of posters around here praising regulators and hoping for cryptocurrency or token-specific regulations, either because they think it'll root out scams or pump their holdings. It just illustrates what the more mainstream investors and consumers looks like: "We're helpless idiots, please save us!" It plays right into governments' hands.
20  Bitcoin / Press / Re: [2019-01-15] Breaking: Cryptopia hacked! on: January 15, 2019, 09:17:26 PM
Lucky for me I had no funds there, what about you guys? I hope this does not turn out to be a big loss for lot's of users.

$1 million in daily volume gives you some idea -- it wasn't the biggest exchange.

With the altcoin market being so dead, I haven't touched tiny exchanges like that in over a year. I do have an account there and if this were 2017, I might have been affected.

Yet another example why you shouldn't store funds on exchanges. Just deposit, trade, and immediately withdraw.
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