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DDDD - The Rise of “Buy the Dip” Retail Investors and Why Another Crash Is Imminent

DDDD - The Rise of “Buy the Dip” Retail Investors and Why Another Crash Is Imminent
In this week's edition of DDDD (Data-driven DD), I'll be going over the real reason why we have been seeing a rally for the past few weeks, defying all logic and fundamentals - retail investors. We'll look into several data sets to see how retail interest in stock markets have reached record levels in the past few weeks, how this affected stock prices, and why we've most likely seen the top at this point, unless we see one of the "positive catalysts" that I mentioned in my previous post, which is unlikely (except for more news about Remdesivir).
Disclaimer - This is not financial advice, and a lot of the content below is my personal opinion. In fact, the numbers, facts, or explanations presented below could be wrong and be made up. Don't buy random options because some person on the internet says so; look at what happened to all the SPY 220p 4/17 bag holders. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions on what you should do with your own money, and how levered you want to be based on your personal risk tolerance.
Inspiration
Most people who know me personally know that I spend an unhealthy amount of my free time in finance and trading as a hobby, even competing in paper options trading competitions when I was in high school. A few weeks ago, I had a friend ask if he could call me because he just installed Robinhood and wanted to buy SPY puts after seeing everyone on wallstreetbets post gains posts from all the tendies they’ve made from their SPY puts. The problem was, he actually didn’t understand how options worked at all, and needed a thorough explanation about how options are priced, what strike prices and expiration dates mean, and what the right strategy to buying options are. That’s how I knew we were at the euphoria stage of buying SPY puts - it’s when dumb money starts to pour in, and people start buying securities because they see everyone else making money and they want in, even if they have no idea what they’re buying, and price becomes dislocated from fundementals. Sure enough, less than a week later, we started the bull rally that we are currently in. Bubbles are formed when people buy something not because of logic or even gut feeling, but when people who previously weren’t involved see their dumb neighbors make tons of money from it, and they don’t want to miss out.
A few days ago, I started getting questions from other friends about what stocks they should buy and if I thought something was a good investment. That inspired me to dig a bit deeper to see how many other people are thinking the same thing.
Data
Ever since March, we’ve seen an unprecedented amount of money pour into the stock market from retail investors.
Google Search Trends
\"what stock should I buy\" Google Trends 2004 - 2020
\"what stock should I buy\" Google Trends 12 months
\"stocks\" Google Trends 2004 - 2020
\"stocks\" Google Trends 12 months
Brokerage data
Robinhood SPY holders
\"Robinhood\" Google Trends 12 months
wallstreetbets' favorite broker Google Trends 12 months
Excerpt from E*Trade earnings statement
Excerpt from Schwab earnings statement
TD Ameritrade Excerpt
Media
cnbc.com Alexa rank
CNBC viewership & rankings
wallstreetbets comments / day

investing comments / day
Analysis
What we can see from Reddit numbers, Google Trends, and CNBC stats is that in between the first week of March and first week of April, we see a massive inflow of retail interest in the stock market. Not only that, but this inflow of interest is coming from all age cohorts, from internet-using Zoomers to TV-watching Boomers. Robinhood SPY holdings and earnings reports from E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, and Schwab have also all confirmed record numbers of new clients, number of trades, and assets. There’s something interesting going on if you look closer at the numbers. The numbers growth in brokers for designed for “less sophisticated” investors (i.e. Robinhood and E*Trade) are much larger than for real brokers (i.e. Schwab and Ameritrade). This implies that the record number of new users and trade volume is coming from dumb money. The numbers shown here only really apply to the US and Canada, but there’s also data to suggest that there’s also record numbers of foreign investors pouring money into the US stock market as well.
However, after the third week of March, we see the interest start to slowly decline and plateau, indicating that we probably have seen most of those new investors who wanted to have a long position in the market do so.
SPX daily
Rationale
Pretty much everything past this point is purely speculation, and isn’t really backed up by any solid data so take whatever I say here with a cup of salt. We could see from the graph that new investor interest started with the first bull trap we saw in the initial decline from early March, and peaking right after the end of the crash in March. So it would be fair to guess that we’re seeing a record amount of interest in the stock market from a “buy the dip” mentality, especially from Robinhood-using Millennials. Here’s a few points on my rationalization of this behavior, based on very weak anecdotal evidence
  • They missed out of their chance of getting in the stock market at the start of the bull market that happened at the end of 2009
  • They’ve all seen the stock market make record gains throughout their adult lives, but believing that the market might be overheated, they were waiting for a crash
  • Most of them have gotten towards the stage of their lives where they actually have some savings and can finally put some money aside for investments
  • This stock market crash seems like their once-in-a-decade opportunity that they’ve been waiting for, so everyone jumped in
  • Everyone’s stuck at their homes with vast amounts of unexpected free time on their hands
Most of these new investors got their first taste in the market near the bottom, and probably made some nice returns. Of course, since they didn’t know what they were doing, they probably put a very small amount of money at first, but after seeing a 10% return over one week, validating that maybe they do know something, they decide to slowly pour in more and more of their life savings. That’s what’s been fueling this bull market.
Sentiment & Magic Crayons
As I mentioned previously, this bull rally will keep going until enough bears convert to bulls. Markets go up when the amount of new bullish positions outnumber the amount of new bearish positions, and vice versa. Record amounts of new investors, who previously never held a position in the market before, fueled the bullish side of this equation, despite all the negative data that has come out and dislocating the price from fundamentals. All the smart money that was shorting the markets saw this happening, and flipped to become bulls because you don’t fight the trend, even if the trend doesn’t reflect reality.
From the data shown above, we can see new investor interest growth has started declining since mid March and started stagnating in early April. The declining volume in SPY since mid-March confirms this. That means, once the sentiment of the new retail investors starts to turn bearish, and everyone figures out how much the stocks they’re holding are really worth, another sell-off will begin. I’ve seen something very similar to this a few years ago with Bitcoin. Near the end of 2017, Bitcoin started to become mainstream and saw a flood of retail investors suddenly signing up for Coinbase (i.e. Robinhood) accounts and buying Bitcoin without actually understanding what it is and how it works. Suddenly everyone, from co-workers to grandparents, starts talking about Bitcoin and might have thrown a few thousand dollars into it. This appears to be a very similar parallel to what’s going on right now. Of course there’s differences here in that equities have an intrinsic value, although many of them have gone way above what they should be intrinsically worth, and the vast majority of retail investors don’t understand how to value companies. Then, during December, when people started thinking that the market was getting a bit overheated, some started taking their profits, and that’s when the prices crashed violently. This flip in sentiment now look like it has started with equities.
SPY daily
Technical Analysis, or magic crayons, is a discipline in finance that uses statistical analysis to predict market trends based on market sentiment. Of course, a lot of this is hand-wavy and is very subjective; two people doing TA on the same price history can end up getting opposite results, so TA should always be taken with a grain of salt and ideally be backed with underlying justification and not be blindly followed. In fact, I’ve since corrected the ascending wedge I had on SPY since my last post since this new wedge is a better fit for the new trading data.
There’s a few things going on in this chart. The entire bull rally we’ve had since the lows can be modelled using a rising wedge. This is a pattern where there is a convergence of a rising support and resistance trendline, along with falling volume. This indicates a slow decline in net bullish sentiment with investors, with smaller and smaller upside after each bounce off the support until it hits a resistance. The smaller the bounces, the less bullish investors are. When the bearish sentiment takes over across investors, the price breaks below this wedge - a breakdown, and indicates a start of another downtrend.
This happened when the wedge hit resistance at around 293, which is around the same price as the 200 day moving average, the 62% retracement (considered to be the upper bound of a bull trap), and a price level that acted as a support and resistance throughout 2019. The fact that it gapped down to break this wedge is also a strong signal, indicating a sudden swing in investor sentiment overnight. The volume of the break down also broke the downwards trend of volume we’ve had since the beginning of the bull rally, indicating a sudden surge of people selling their shares. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we will go straight from here, and I personally think that we will see the completion of a heads-and-shoulders pattern complete before SPY goes below 274, which in itself is a strong support level. In other words, SPY might go from 282 -> 274 -> 284 -> 274 before breaking the 274 support level.
VIX Daily
Doing TA is already sketchy, and doing TA on something like VIX is even more sketchy, but I found this interesting so I’ll mention it. Since the start of the bull rally, we’ve had VIX inside a descending channel. With the breakdown we had in SPY yesterday, VIX has also gapped up to have a breakout from this channel, indicating that we may see future volatility in the next week or so.
Putting Everything Together
Finally, we get to my thesis. This entire bull rally has been fueled by new retail investors buying the dip, bringing the stock price to euphoric levels. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been seeing the people waiting at the sidelines for years to get into the stock market slowly FOMO into the rally in smaller and smaller volumes, while the smart money have been locking in their profits at an even slower rate - hence an ascending wedge. As the amount of new retail interest in the stock market started slowed down, the amount of new bulls started to decline. It looks like Friday might have been the start of the bearish sentiment taking over, meaning it’s likely that 293 was the top, unless any significant bullish events happen in the next two weeks like a fourth round of stimulus, in which case we might see 300. This doesn’t mean we’ll instantly go back to circuit breakers on Monday, and we might see 282 -> 274 -> 284 -> 274 happen before panic, this time by the first-time investors, eventually bringing us down towards SPY 180.
tldr; we've reached the top
EDIT - I'll keep a my live thoughts here as we move throughout this week in case anyone's still reading this and interested.
5/4 8PM - /ES was red last night but steadily climbed, which was expected since 1h RSI was borderline oversold, leaving us to a slightly green day. /ES looks like it has momentum going up, but is approaching towards overbought territory now. Expecting it to go towards 284 (possibly where we'll open tomorrow) and bouncing back down from that price level
5/5 Market Open - Well there goes my price target. I guess at this point it might go up to 293 again, but will need a lot of momentum to push back there to 300. Seems like this is being driven by oil prices skyrocketing.
5/5 3:50PM - Volume for the upwards price action had very little volume behind it. Seeing a selloff EOD today, could go either way although I have a bearish bias. Going to hold cash until it goes towards one end of the 274-293 channel (see last week's thesis). Still believe that we will see it drop below 274 next week, but we might be moving sideways in the channel this week and a bit of next week before that happens. Plan for tomorrow is buy short dated puts if open < 285. Otherwise, wait till it goes to 293 before buying those puts
5/5 6PM - What we saw today could be a false breakout above 284. Need tomorrow to open below 285 for that to be confirmed. If so, my original thesis of it going back down to 274 before bouncing back up will still be in play.
5/6 EOD - Wasn't a false breakout. Looks like it's still forming the head-and-shoulders pattern mentioned before, but 288 instead of 284 as the level. Still not sure yet so I'm personally going to be holding cash and waiting this out for the next few days. Will enter into short positions if we either go near 293 again or drop below 270. Might look into VIX calls if VIX goes down near 30.
5/7 Market Open - Still waiting. If we break 289 we're probably heading to 293. I'll make my entry to short positions when we hit that a second time. There's very little bullish momentum left (see MACD 1D), so if we hit 293 and then drop back down, we'll have a MACD crossover event which many traders and algos use as a sell signal. Oil is doing some weird shit.
5/7 Noon - Looks like we're headed to 293. Picked up VIX 32.5c 5/27 since VIX is near 30.
5/7 11PM - /ES is hovering right above 2910, with 4h and 1h charts are bullish from MACD and 1h is almost overbought in RSI. Unless something dramatic happens we'll probably hit near 293 tomorrow, which is where I'll get some SPY puts. We might drop down before ever touching it, or go all the way to 295 (like last time) during the day, but expecting it to close at or below 293. After that I'm expecting a gap down Monday as we start the final leg down next week towards 274. Expecting 1D MACD to crossover in the final leg down, which will be a signal for bears to take over and institutions / day traders will start selling again
5/8 Market Open - Plan is to wait till a good entry today, either when technicals looks good or we hit 293, and then buy some SPY June 285p and July 275p
5/8 Noon - Everything still going according to plan. Most likely going to slowly inch towards 293 by EOD. Will probably pick up SPY puts and more VIX calls at power hour (3 - 4PM). Monday will probably gap down, although there's a small chance of one more green / sideways day before that happens if we have bullish catalysts on the weekend.
5/8 3:55PM - SPY at 292.60. This is probably going to be the closest we get to 293. Bought SPY 290-260 6/19 debit spreads and 292-272 5/15 debit spreads, as well as doubling down on VIX calls from yesterday, decreasing my cost basis. Still looks like there's room for one more green day on Monday, so I left some money on the side to double down if that's the case, although it's more likely than not we won't get there.
5/8 EOD - Looks like we barely touched 293 exactly AH before rebounding down. Too bad you can't buy options AH, but more convinced we'll see a gap down on Monday. Going to work on another post over the weekend and do my updates there. Have a great weekend everyone!
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

What is yield farming in decentralized finance?

This is a pretty long but simple to understand post about the developments in the crypto space. It is meant for beginners to help them join the dots and see the larger picture of what cryptocurrency is about and its ongoing developments
What is Decentralized Finance?
Before we go into yield farming, let me first explain decentralized finance (defi) simply. Defi is considered by many to be a financial revolution that is true to the ethos of Bitcoin, which is to create a monetary system that allows the transfer of value peer to peer yet is not controlled or governed by a country or central bank.
While Bitcoin has been a great store of value as digital gold due to its decentralized nature, there is no team behind Bitcoin therefore there has been no further development in the technology. Hence the creation of Ethereum as a centralized platform that facilitates the growth of blockchain technology and projects that ultimately aims to fulfil the mission of defi.
Yield Farming
Yield farming is basically lending out your cryptocurrency onto defi lending platforms, providing liquidity for loans and being paid interest for it. Most bitcoin holders do this to squeeze extra interest out of their holdings rather than just letting their crypto sit in their wallets. On top of that, most banks today are paying only 0.1% interest for your deposits, whereas Compound is paying 2+% on USDC and USDT. While there are some additional risks introduced with defi lending, some people are comfortable with the added risks and returns.
Compound and Uniswap are the 2 largest defi lending platforms right now with the most Total Value Locked (TVL) contributing to more than 60% of the $2 billion locked in defi. What is interesting is the sudden explosion of TVL in defi contracts. TVL has doubled from $1 billion to $2 billion in less than a month, and this was largely due to Compound's huge growth in TVL from $100 million to over $600 million in a span of 1 week, 15 to 22 June. Within the week, Compound became the leader in the defi lending space.
This phenomenon was largely due to the fact that Compound is giving away its COMP tokens to its users, both depositors and borrowers, proportionally according to the amount that they have deposited or loaned. Which has never been done before, the fact that borrowers are receiving tokens for borrowing. This has led to many people borrowing their own deposits and repeating the cycle a few times to maximize the share of their COMP tokens received every day.
Brilliant and sustainable development or hype?
The key question we need to ask ourselves is if this large spike in TVL is brilliant tokenomics that has unveiled interest in defi and led to actual growth within the space, or is this a fad that will start to die off once the price of COMP tokens start falling?
My personal belief is that it is the former. This is because there has been much progress in terms of innovation within the defi space and the development of Ethereum 2.0. On top of that, new investors are buying into cryptocurrency every day. Institutional investors such as Paul Tudor Jones have about 2% of his assets in Bitcoin. His reasons for buying was that while bitcoin is extremely speculative, and ranks poorly as a store of value, having been around for 11 years only, its market price of $186 billion is a tiny fraction of the $266,917 billion stock and bonds market, which makes it an underpriced asset and a value investment.
Of course, I have a biased point of view that is pro-bitcoin and pro-defi, however, I believe that defi is the next development in the financial market that is in its early stages, and presents a huge step forward and opportunities for investors and people who are looking to grow their wealth.
submitted by applejeece to Switcheo [link] [comments]

Altcoins Are Currently Surging Very Fast: Chainlink, Tezos and VeChain

While all the market attention has been in and around Bitcoin, investors need to look at some better and alternate options. The crypto market is currently buzzing with some once lesser-known altcoins.
Oracle service provider Chainlink (LINK) has been one of the top performing cryptocurrencies for 2020. Chainlink continues its massive rally in the crypto market surging more than 250% since the beginning of 2020.
Chainlink is one blockchain network that helps to solve one of the most pressing issues of the blockchain industry. The Chainlink oracles help to connect Ethereum-based smart contracts with off-chain data thereby establishing a bridge between off chain platforms and the blockchain network.
This has turned out as the most vital application as several businesses running decentralized applications like DeFi can have access to off-chain data and automate the entire process on a blockchain platform. With the recent surge in DeFi, the demand for Chainlink has been on a rise.
Two weeks back, Chainlink also entered a collaboration with China’s Blockchain Services Network (BSN) to help them with easy data transfer. Besides, Chainlink is making some important partnerships with other businesses and helping them with oracles services.
At press time, Chainlink (LINK) is trading at $7.32 with a market cap of $2.56 billion. Chainlink has climbed up the ranks to grab a spot in the fifteen most-valuable cryptocurrencies by market cap. Chainlink is witnessing a major surge in its daily trading volumes which has reached over $800 million.
Another smart contract token Tezos (XTZ) has surged very fast in 2020 and is currently witnessing high daily trading volumes. Since the beginning of 2020, Tezos has surged over 90% and is currently trading at a price of $2.95 with a market cap of $1.95 billion. If Tezos manages to cross its major resistance of $3, it will further continue to surge from these levels.
VeChain (VET) - a blockchain-powered services that focuses on providing institutions with supply chain organization, financial services and smart contracts - is now in limelight. Many analysts call VeChain as one of the most-innovative blockchain networks in the market.
Recent industry reports suggest that VeChain might enter into a partnership with Ripple very soon. While it’s not confirmed yet, VeChain is seeing a good jump in its daily trading volumes.
At press time, VeChain (VET) is trading at a price of $0.017 with a market cap of $997 million and daily trading volumes at $1.36 million.
Source: WorldCoinIndex
https://www.worldcoinindex.com/news/altcoins-are-currently-surging-very-fast-chainlink-tezos-and-vechain
submitted by HappyHelenHappy to altcoin_news [link] [comments]

Price Analysis 7/17: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, ADA, BSV, LINK, LTC, BNB, CRO

Grayscale Investments recent Q2 report shows that the firm took in $905 million into Bitcoin (BTC) and other altcoins. In Q1 of this year, the inflow into various Grayscale products was $503.7 million. The sharp increase in investments indicates that the institutional investors are building positions when the price of the top-ranked asset on CoinMarketCap […]
submitted by FuzzyOneAdmin to fuzzyone [link] [comments]

Altcoins Are Currently Surging Very Fast: Chainlink, Tezos and VeChain

While all the market attention has been in and around Bitcoin, investors need to look at some better and alternate options. The crypto market is currently buzzing with some once lesser-known altcoins.
Oracle service provider Chainlink (LINK) has been one of the top performing cryptocurrencies for 2020. Chainlink continues its massive rally in the crypto market surging more than 250% since the beginning of 2020.
Chainlink is one blockchain network that helps to solve one of the most pressing issues of the blockchain industry. The Chainlink oracles help to connect Ethereum-based smart contracts with off-chain data thereby establishing a bridge between off chain platforms and the blockchain network.
This has turned out as the most vital application as several businesses running decentralized applications like DeFi can have access to off-chain data and automate the entire process on a blockchain platform. With the recent surge in DeFi, the demand for Chainlink has been on a rise.
Two weeks back, Chainlink also entered a collaboration with China’s Blockchain Services Network (BSN) to help them with easy data transfer. Besides, Chainlink is making some important partnerships with other businesses and helping them with oracles services.
At press time, Chainlink (LINK) is trading at $7.32 with a market cap of $2.56 billion. Chainlink has climbed up the ranks to grab a spot in the fifteen most-valuable cryptocurrencies by market cap. Chainlink is witnessing a major surge in its daily trading volumes which has reached over $800 million.
Another smart contract token Tezos (XTZ) has surged very fast in 2020 and is currently witnessing high daily trading volumes. Since the beginning of 2020, Tezos has surged over 90% and is currently trading at a price of $2.95 with a market cap of $1.95 billion. If Tezos manages to cross its major resistance of $3, it will further continue to surge from these levels.
VeChain (VET) - a blockchain-powered services that focuses on providing institutions with supply chain organization, financial services and smart contracts - is now in limelight. Many analysts call VeChain as one of the most-innovative blockchain networks in the market.
Recent industry reports suggest that VeChain might enter into a partnership with Ripple very soon. While it’s not confirmed yet, VeChain is seeing a good jump in its daily trading volumes.
At press time, VeChain (VET) is trading at a price of $0.017 with a market cap of $997 million and daily trading volumes at $1.36 million.

https://www.worldcoinindex.com/news/altcoins-are-currently-surging-very-fast-chainlink-tezos-and-vechain
submitted by Sophiaportera to CryptoCurrencyTrading [link] [comments]

Altcoins Are Currently Surging Very Fast: Chainlink, Tezos and VeChain

While all the market attention has been in and around Bitcoin, investors need to look at some better and alternate options. The crypto market is currently buzzing with some once lesser-known altcoins.
Oracle service provider Chainlink (LINK) has been one of the top performing cryptocurrencies for 2020. Chainlink continues its massive rally in the crypto market surging more than 250% since the beginning of 2020.
Chainlink is one blockchain network that helps to solve one of the most pressing issues of the blockchain industry. The Chainlink oracles help to connect Ethereum-based smart contracts with off-chain data thereby establishing a bridge between off chain platforms and the blockchain network.
This has turned out as the most vital application as several businesses running decentralized applications like DeFi can have access to off-chain data and automate the entire process on a blockchain platform. With the recent surge in DeFi, the demand for Chainlink has been on a rise.
Two weeks back, Chainlink also entered a collaboration with China’s Blockchain Services Network (BSN) to help them with easy data transfer. Besides, Chainlink is making some important partnerships with other businesses and helping them with oracles services.
At press time, Chainlink (LINK) is trading at $7.32 with a market cap of $2.56 billion. Chainlink has climbed up the ranks to grab a spot in the fifteen most-valuable cryptocurrencies by market cap. Chainlink is witnessing a major surge in its daily trading volumes which has reached over $800 million.
Another smart contract token Tezos (XTZ) has surged very fast in 2020 and is currently witnessing high daily trading volumes. Since the beginning of 2020, Tezos has surged over 90% and is currently trading at a price of $2.95 with a market cap of $1.95 billion. If Tezos manages to cross its major resistance of $3, it will further continue to surge from these levels.
VeChain (VET) - a blockchain-powered services that focuses on providing institutions with supply chain organization, financial services and smart contracts - is now in limelight. Many analysts call VeChain as one of the most-innovative blockchain networks in the market.
Recent industry reports suggest that VeChain might enter into a partnership with Ripple very soon. While it’s not confirmed yet, VeChain is seeing a good jump in its daily trading volumes.
At press time, VeChain (VET) is trading at a price of $0.017 with a market cap of $997 million and daily trading volumes at $1.36 million.

https://www.worldcoinindex.com/news/altcoins-are-currently-surging-very-fast-chainlink-tezos-and-vechain
submitted by Sophiaportera to CryptoCurrencies [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Stablecoin — A Crucial Element For Cryptocurrency Market

Stablecoin — A Crucial Element For Cryptocurrency Market
Despite the ups and downs of the cryptocurrency market this year, stablecoin has become the biggest winner in the first quarter of 2020. According to statistics from the media The Block, the transaction volume of stablecoins in the market surged in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 8% compared with the fourth quarter of last year, and exceeded the $90 billion mark for the first time in history. In contrast, the total transaction volume of stablecoins last year was $250 billion.

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What is stablecoin?
One of the problems with cryptocurrencies is their volatility. As a digital asset that has no actual connection with the real world, cryptocurrencies have failed to gain the expected global recognition due to their volatility. The concept of stablecoin came into the picture to solve this issue and promote the mass adoption of cryptocurrency across the world.
Stablecoin refers to a cryptocurrency with a financial value that is “pegged” to another currency, such as the US Dollar. Stablecoins allow users to buy, sell, and trade blockchain assets that mimic the prices of government-issued currencies. Stablecoin is a type of cryptocurrency with a lesser-volatile price when compared to other assets such as gold, fiat currencies, and other commodities.
Stablecoin is currently being used in the crypto market to minimize risks during high stability periods in the market.

Types of Stablecoins

The following are the three types of stablecoins in the market.
  1. Fiat-backed stablecoin
This is the common form of stablecoins. Fiat-backed stablecoin are coins that are fully backed by fiat money. Fiat-backed stablecoins are backed 1:1, meaning $1 of stablecoins is equivalent to $1 of fiat money. The idea is that their stablecoin is ‘backed’ by real fiat in real bank accounts. This category of stablecoins is indeed the most simple but also the most centralized.
2. Commodity-backed stablecoin
This category of stablecoins are backed by commodities. Commodities are fungible assets that are interchangeable for trading in the same market.The most common commodity to be collaterized is gold, which is a form of precious metals.
3. Cryptocurrency-backed stablecoin
Crypto-Backed stablecoins are coins backed by other digital currencies, usually the top-ranked cryptocurrencies with large market capitalization such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH). Typically, crypto-backed coins are backed by a mix of cryptocurrencies rather than being backed by just a single currency. This allows for better risk distribution.

Advantages of Stablecoin

Stablecoin is digital, programmable and blockchain-based, so it has a series of advantages:
  1. Borderless payment
Being globally acceptable and useful is an advantage of cryptocurrency. Just like Bitcoin, stablecoins can also be traded over the Internet, regardless of country, bank or any type of intermediary agency.
  1. Low Fee
Transaction processing fee has been costly for fiat and crypto. The conversion from fiat to crypto or vice versa has even higher charges. Stablecoin can help reduce these costs when the currency is converted to stablecoins to complete the transaction.
  1. Faster Processing Speed
Processing financial and crypto transactions using stablecoins takes less time. Especially when traders need to convert fiat to crypto or vice versa, the time taken for the process is quite long. This can affect their investment as the prices change midway. By converting crypto to stablecoins, the process is simplified and also allows traders to complete the transaction before the price fluctuates again.
  1. Transparency
As stablecoins are traded on the blockchain network, full transparency is possible.

Use Cases for Stablecoin

  • Making Payments: By using stablecoins to make payments, people can save the amount spend on transaction charges, which are usually anything between 2%-3% or even more).
  • Trading Market: Stablecoins, especially the famous Tether, is already being fully utilized on the crypto exchanges to reduce the exposure of crypto before the traders fully cash out.
  • Escrow: Escrow is a financial agreement in which a third-party service provider is enlisted to hold the money/ paperwork for a short time until the transaction is finalized between the actual parties. Stablecoins have automated this process by providing the required stability.
  • Safety: Be it storage or time duration, stablecoins are a safe option for people who want to keep their investments safe over time and cannot save the investments in the bank.
  • Cross-border Remittances: Making cross-border payments has become easier with stablecoins. There is no need to worry about the changes in price after currency conversion and the additional charges one has to pay for international remittances.
  • Lending Advantage: Stablecoins are delivering a whopping 15% interest rate for debt investors in the market. No wonder many institutions are busy hiring the services of Stablecoin Development Company to build their exclusive stablecoins.
  • Employee Payroll: Nippon Yusen Kaisha, a Japanese shipping company, has first started using stablecoins to pay employee salaries in November 2018. This has made it easier for overseas employees to manage their finances.
  • 24*7 Settlements: Settlements take time to be delivered due to the restrictions in the banking hours. Since stablecoins are operated on a blockchain network, they are active 24*7. The amount will immediately be reflected in the account of the receiver.
  • Decentralized: Stablecoins allow for a better-decentralized ecosystem when compared to cryptocurrency. This is due to the stability of the coin.
In sum, stablecoin is a crucial element for a dynamic cryptocurrency landscape. Advancing mainstream cryptocurrency adoption requires stablecoins to be a viable hedging mechanism in this highly volatile market. With national banks and financial institutions developing their stablecoins, we might see this digital asset slowly integrate the general market with the crypto market.
At ByteBulls, we offer customized stablecoin development services to our global clients. Backed by a cross-functional team, we deliver complete solutions — from coin development, smart contract development to marketing — to deliver tangible business outcomes. Whether you want to build a gold-backed stablecoin, crypto-backed stablecoin, or fiat-backed stablecoin, we help you accomplish your business goals with our mission-driven solutions.
Schedule an obligation-free call with our experts to learn how you can capitalize on the upcoming crypto opportunities.
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Introduction to Cryptocurrencies — CET, the King of Public Chain Tokens that Has Gone through Thick and Thin

Introduction to Cryptocurrencies — CET, the King of Public Chain Tokens that Has Gone through Thick and Thin
Written by the CoinEx Institution, this series of jocular and easy to understand articles will show you everything you need to know about major cryptocurrencies, making you fully prepared before jumping into crypto!

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CET (CoinEx Token) is the native token of CoinEx DEX (Decentralized Exchange), the world’s first dedicated public chain to decentralized transactions. Launched in January 2018 by CoinEx, a global well-known digital asset trading service provider under ViaBTC, CET does not only exist as an exchange-based token, but plays the role of the base currency for the entire ecosystem of CoinEx Chain, and obtains richer application scenarios and higher empowerment.
As a token of a decentralized trading public chain, CET has attracted much attention in the industry with promising future.
Post-1990s entrepreneur Yang Haipo joined hands with Copernicus team to create CoinEx
Yang Haipo, the Founder and CEO of ViaBTC Group, is an entrepreneur born in the 1990s. He graduated from Northwestern Polytechnical University in 2012 with a major in mathematics and applied mathematics. He once worked at Tencent TEG / Weibo and Futu Securities. In 2011, when Yang Haipo was still in college, he got to know Bitcoin, and became one of the earliest Bitcoin investors. In 2014, this insightful young man seized the opportunity and bought Bitcoin at the full position. After leaving Tencent, Yang engaged in the mining industry, and served as the technical leader of Zeus Technology (one of the top three SCRYPT mining machine brands in the world) as a start of his entrepreneurship in this field.
In March 2016, Haipo threw himself into the deployment and development of the Bitcoin mining pool, and independently completed the entire code of the ViaBTC (ViaBTC Technology Limited) mining pool, which successfully went online 2 months later. That is also the world ’s first BCH mining pool. ViaBTC is not only the biggest BCH mining pool but also the fifth-largest Bitcoin mining pool. It not only elaborates on the vision of “making the world better through Bitcoin”, but also expresses Haipo’s belief in the industry.
Later Haipo found that the exchange could provide the industry with important functions of asset issuance and value discovery, which is the core of the entire industry. That is why he decided to devote himself to the development of the exchange. In March 2017, ViaBTC, led by Yang Haipo, received a 20-million-yuan Series A funding led by Bitmain to expand the exchange business.
In December of the same year, Haipo established CoinEx. CoinEx has taken on an irresistible momentum soon after its establishment, and attained great achievements within only two years:
In January 2018, CoinEx launched CET, a user value-added service privilege;
In July 2018, it ranked first among the global exchanges by trading volume;
In March 2019, it partnered with the Matrixport team to develop a new generation of high-performance public chain CoinEx Chain;
In September 2019, it became one of the management platforms with the most extensive global product layout;
In November 2019, it rolled out DEX, the world’s first decentralized transaction dedicated public chain;
In December 2019, CoinEx acquired the Estonian digital asset trading license
In March 2020, CoinEx integrated the first fiat onramp with Simplex
In April 2020, it Formed global strategic partnership with Matrixport
In May 2020, ViaBTC Group announced strategic upgrade……
At the same time, CoinEx is also one of the first trading platforms to obtain a compliance license. It provides diversified derivatives trading services such as spot trading, leveraged trading, and perpetual contracts. Moreover, the platform supports 15 languages including Chinese/English/Japanese/ Korean/Russian to provide safe and reliable transaction services for more than 1 million users in more than 100 countries and regions. At present, CoinEx has also attracted countless “CET believers”.
A deep look into CoinEx and CoinEx DEX
Many people may ask: What do CoinEx Chain and CoinEx DEX do, and how do them relate to CET? Before revealing more details about CET, let’s take a look at these questions~
CoinEx Chain is the world’s first public chain specifically designed for decentralized exchanges. Its Mainnet was officially launched in November 2019. CoinEx Chain contains 3 dedicated public chains, namely DEX Chain dedicated to decentralized transactions, Smart Chain dedicated to smart contracts, and Privacy Chain dedicated to user privacy and security protection. The innovative approach of “three chains in one” turns out to be a perfect solution to scalability, decentralization and security, known as the “impossible triangle” of the blockchain. At present, many domestic public chain teams still face the “blockchain trilemma”, but not CoinEx Chain. On CoinEx Chain, all tokens, not just CET, are free to cross the three chains, thus enabling more possibilities for transactions.
CoinEx DEX is the world’s first dedicated public chain for decentralized transactions. The shortcomings of many DEXs in the market lie in the failure to improve users’ trading experience, which is exactly what CoinEx DEX is committed to solving. Under the premise of decentralization, CoinEx DEX offers customers the experience approximately equal to that of a centralized exchange, with faster block speeds, higher TPS and better wallets.
CET is not only a token for the platform but also one for the public chain
After the introduction of concepts of both CoinEx Chain and CoinEx DEX, let’s talk about CET.
As a user value-added service privilege in the CoinEx ecosystem and also the token of CoinEx Chain, CET acts as a tool and currency in the entire CoinEx Chain ecosystem, which can be circulated and used in various scenarios. Since its launch, CET has been distributed by various means such as airdrops, transaction fee refunds, operation promotions and team unlocking. On January 31, 2019, the CoinEx Team burnt all the 4 billion unreleased onesand continued to repurchase CET from the secondary market. This move caused quite a stir in the industry.
CET is not only a token for the platform but also one for the public chain. Therefore, without any doubt, CET outshines other platform tokens in terms of value:
1. The daily CET repurchase
For better transparency of the CET repurchase and burning mechanism, CoinEx officially announced that from April 11, 2020, it would adjust the CET repurchase and burning policy by changing the previous quarterly repurchase policy to daily repurchase. After its activation, CoinEx repurchases CET in the secondary market with 50% of its daily profits from transaction fees everyday and burns them at the end of each quarter. Along with the new plan, an independent page designed to display the relevant information was also launched, including circulating supply, circulating market value, daily repurchase quantity, etc, enabling users to view repurchase and burning details clearly. By doing so, CoinEx achieves 100% transparency.
2. Preferential deduction of platform transaction fees
CoinEx users can use CET to directly deduct equivalent transaction fees and enjoy exclusive discounts when trading.
3. VIP service
Users can be VIPs by holding a certain amount of CET or directly purchase the VIP privilege with CET. VIPs are entitled to such privileges as discounted rates, accelerated withdrawals and exclusive customer service.
4. Privileges for special activities
CET holders can enjoy special privileges in marketing activities of the platform, such as entrance tickets to token airdrops or high-quality project acceleration opportunities.
5. Election for nodes to participate in community governance
CET holders who meet the quantity requirements can campaign for nodes and participate in the launch and voting of CoinEx Chain proposals as part of community governance.
6. Staking returns
CET holders can vote for validators and can participate in the Staking economy of CoinEx Chain for Staking returns.
7. Easier trading on CoinEx DEX
On the DEX public chain, users can send and receive CET tokens, and can also create tokens and related trading pairs based on their needs. Moreover, they can perform operations such as additional issuance, burning, locking, and unlocking of tokens, place orders and query transaction history.
8. More CET privileges
Haipo once said: “As the native token of CoinEx Chain, CET will no longer only be the platform token of the exchange. It will have a higher value as the native token of the public chain ecosystem. Its value no longer depends solely on the income of the exchange, but also comes from the consensus from a growing user base, with CET being a tool or currency. As more people use it, the consensus is generated and higher value is created. In addition, CET was decentralized through the decentralized public chain. The exchange can be gone, but not the public chain. CET will be given more vitality.”
It can thus be clear that CoinEx’s ambition goes beyond a public chain towards a decentralized public chain ecosystem. The public chain usually represents the current development direction and the latest research results of the mainstream blockchain technology. In this regard, efforts to develop public chains are of great guiding significance to explore blockchain technology and apply it to the physical industry.
We have every confidence that CET will become a king of the new generation of public chain tokens. “CET believers” also have a great faith in its future value and ecological promotion. Despite all the twists and turns ahead, CET is bound to blaze a trail and lead the industry.

About CoinEx

As a global and professional cryptocurrency exchange service provider, CoinEx was founded in December 2017 with Bitmain-led investment and has obtained a legal license in Estonia. It is a subsidiary brand of the ViaBTC Group, which owns the fifth largest BTC mining pool, which is also the largest of BCH mining, in the world.
CoinEx supports perpetual contract, spot, margin trading and other derivatives trading, and its service reaches global users in nearly 100 countries/regions with various languages available, such as Chinese, English, Korean and Russian.
Website: https://www.coinex.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/coinexcom
Telegram: https://t.me/CoinExOfficialENG
Click here to register on CoinEx!
submitted by CoinEx_Institution to Coinex [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Price Prediction 2020

Bitcoin Price Prediction 2020
Bitcoin is a digital and fully decentralized currency. Decentralization of the network is the main goal of the Bitcoin. The fundamental achievement of bitcoin is its genuine peer-to-peer payment system; no person or even institution was “in charge” of bitcoin.
by StealthEX
Three main ideas were embedded in the Bitcoin code:
• Bitcoin should not be regulated by anyone.
• Its emission should not be infinite.
• The cost of a coin depends on its demand.
The maximum number of bitcoins – 21 million, and the possibility of their extraction were laid in the bitcoin algorithm.
Bitcoin “halving” occurred on 11 May 2020. This means that its miners’ remuneration was halved.

Bitcoin statistics

Source: CoinMarketCap, Data was taken on 19 May 2020.
Current Price $9,672.54
ROI since launch 7,048.96%
Market Cap $177,790,148,642
Market Rank #1
Circulating Supply 18,380,918 BTC
Total Supply 18,380,918 BTC

Bitcoin achievements and future plans

Bitcoin in 2019:

Bitcoin Core released:
• Improved Partially Signed Bitcoin Transaction (PSBT) support and added support for output script descriptors. This allowed it to be used with the first released version of the Hardware Wallet Interface (HWI).
• Implemented the new CPFP carve-out mempool policy, added initial support for BIP158-style compact block filters (currently RPC only), improved security by disabling protocols such as BIP37 bloom filters and BIP70 payment requests by default. It also switches GUI users to bech32 addresses by default.
LND released:
• Support for Static Channel Backups (SCBs) that help users recover any funds settled in their LN channels even if they’ve lost their recent channel state.
• Improved autopilot to help users open new channels, plus built-in compatibility with Lightning Loop for moving funds onchain without closing a channel or using a custodian.
• Added support for using a watchtower to guard your channels when you’re offline.
• Added support for a more extensible onion format, improved backup safety, and improved the watchtower support.
Other:
• Its price has more than doubled.
• For the first time in history Bitcoin was assigned a rating of “A”.
• British court recognized Bitcoin as property.
• The second largest in Germany and ninth in Europe, the Stuttgart Stock Exchange launched Bitcoin spot trading.
• In Russia, for the first time, Bitcoin was added to the authorized capital of a company.
• Bitcoin Named the Best Asset of the Decade by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Bitcoin in 2020:

• Focus on the Lightning Network. The continuation of work on c-lightning (Blockstream), Eclair (ACINQ), LND (Lightning Labs) and Rust Lightning to develop the protocol.
• Expectation of the SchnorTaproot softfork in 2020 or 2021 that is improvement in fungibility, privacy, scalability and functionality.
Bitcoin “halving” occurred on 11 May 2020.
• Amid the general crisis caused by coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and the depreciation of money, the Bitcoin value is growing.

Bitcoin Technical Analysis

Source: TradingView, Data was taken on 19 May 2020.

Bitcoin Price Prediction 2020

TradingBeasts BTC price prediction

The Bitcoin price is forecasted to reach $8,681 (-10.25%) by the beginning of June 2020. At the end of 2020 BTC price will be $8,345 (-13.72%).

Wallet investor Bitcoin price prediction

Bitcoin price prediction: maximum price by the end of December 2020 $13,559 (+40.19%), a minimum price $7,886 (-18.47%).

DigitalCoinPrice Bitcoin forecast

There will be a positive trend in the future and the BTC might be good for investing. BTC price will be equal to $22,501 at the end of 2020 (+132.63%).

Crypto-Rating BTC price forecast

Based on historical data Bitcoin price will be at $12,272 (+26.87%) in 1 week and $13,338 (+37.90%) in 1 month. Analysis of the cryptocurrency market shows that Bitcoin price may reach $18,679 (+93.11%) by the 1st of January 2021 driven by the potential interest from large institutional investors and more regulation expected in the field of digital currencies.

Buy Bitcoin at StealthEX

Bitcoin (BTC) is available for exchange on StealthEX with a low fee. Follow these easy steps:
✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example ETH to BTC.
✔ Press the “Start exchange” button.
✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred.
✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange.
✔ Receive your coins.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Original article was posted on https://stealthex.io/blog/2020/05/19/bitcoin-price-prediction-2020/
submitted by Stealthex_io to u/Stealthex_io [link] [comments]

Take a Look at the Most Promising Startups of the Year

Forbes released a cool ranking of the most successful startups, noting that they could soon reach values ​​of about $ 1 billion. Let's meet the possible future billionaires:
CHAINALYSIS
The startup created a research software in the field of cryptocurrencies, which can shed light on how people use bitcoins, ethereum, lightcoins and other digital money. Financial institutions use this technology to test customers and comply with regulatory requirements to prevent money laundering. Government agencies, such as the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation can use it to identify illegal transactions and find out about potential perpetrators.
Before joining the team and founding Chainalysis, 49-year-old CEO Michael Gronager co-founded the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, and 47-year-old technical director Jan Moller developed a "virtual wallet" for the "Mycelium" cryptocurrency.
CONTRAST SECURITY
In 2010, 52-year-old Jeff Williams began developing a program to automate software security monitoring. In 2014, together with Arshan Dabirsiagi, he founded the company "Contrast Security" in Los Altos (California). The technology they developed verifies the running code of mobile applications and notifies developers of potential vulnerabilities. In 2016, in order to expand its business, "Contrast Security" hired Alan Naumann, former CEO of the 41st Parameter, who now helps detect Internet fraud, as executive director.
CYBEREASON
Lior Div, Yossi Naar and Jonathan Stream-Amit met in the Israeli army. Being engaged in cyber security in the military, the programmers came up with "Cybereason" - a cloud platform that constantly monitors and responds to threats. The company was founded in Israel in 2012, and a year later moved to Boston.
DAVE
As a student at Loyola Marymount University, Jason Wilk, now 34, was always in short supply with credit cards. An avid Reddit user, he had often seen complaints about the fees banks charge for overdrafts. Thus, in 2016, he launched the startup "DAVE". The application tracks users' expenses and alerts them when the balance on the cards is close to zero. In April 2017, DAVE became the "app of the day" in the AppStore. In just two years, it has been downloaded almost 10 million times.
divvy
Divvy provides businesses with free budgeting, fraud prevention and cost management tools. It offers Mastercard cards and charges commissions from banks when they pay for purchases. Alex Bean and Blake Murray have managed to attract over 3,000 corporate clients, including WordPress, Evernote and Qualtrics.
Duolingo
"Duolingo" is one of the most popular language learning and translation platforms in the world. It is used by over 28 million people a month. Most use the free version of the app. The CEO of Duolingo was a professor of computer science. Before starting a company in Pittsburgh, Louis von Ahn sold two inventions to Google, one of which you surely know of – "reCAPTCHA". Luis von Ahn is an immigrant from Guatemala. He claims that his knowledge of English has fundamentally changed his life and that’s why he now offers free training to all those who want to learn the language.
https://bizonaire.com/en/blog/article/take-a-look-at-the-most-promising-startups-of-the-year---203.html
submitted by Djosd to Bizonaire [link] [comments]

SQ. I compiled information, with sources, so you don't have to.

SQ. I compiled information, with sources, so you don't have to.

Financials

Q1 2019 Shareholder Letter
Q1 2019 Highlights
  • Total net revenue $959 million, +43% YoY.
  • Adjusted revenue $489 million, +59% YoY.
  • Adjusted EBITDA $62 million, +72% YoY.
  • Net income (loss) per share ($0.09), -50% YoY. (Due to investment in Eventbrite, not including Eventbrite net income (loss) per share was ($0.06), 0% YoY)
  • Adjusted net income per share $0.11, +83% improvement YoY.
Q2 2019 Guidance
  • Total net revenue $1.09B to $1.11B
  • Adjusted Revenue $545M to $555M
  • Adjusted EBITDA $90M to $94M
  • Net income (loss) per share $(0.07) to $(0.05)
  • Adjusted EPS (diluted) $0.14 to $0.16
Q4 2018 Shareholder Letter
Q4 2018 Highlights
  • Total net revenue $933 million, +51% YoY.
  • Adjusted revenue $464 million, +64% YoY.
  • Adjusted EBITDA $81 million, +97% YoY.
  • Net loss per share ($0.07), -75% YoY. (Due to investment in Eventbrite, excluding Eventbrite net loss per share was ($0.03), +33% YoY.)
  • Adjusted EPS $0.14, +75% YoY.
Q1 2019 Guidance
  • Total net revenue $918M to $938M
  • Adjusted Revenue $472M to $482M
  • Adjusted EBITDA $47M to $51M
  • Net income (loss) per share $(0.12) to $(0.10)
  • Adjusted EPS (diluted) $0.06 to $0.08

News

Square Quietly Launches Program For CBD Cannabis Company Credit Card Processing | May 22 2019
Companies that sell cannabis products—even those consisting of CBD derived from hemp, which was legalized in the U.S. through the Farm Bill late last year—are continuing to have trouble accessing basic financial services that are available to businesses in other sectors. That includes being able to maintain bank accounts and process their customers' credit cards. “Square is currently conducting an invite-only beta for some CBD products,” a spokesperson for the company said in an email. When asked about the reasons for the launching the new program, which comes after years of refusing to work with CBD companies, the spokesperson said that the company closely watches evolving public policies and strives to create new opportunities for clients.
Square Spends $20 to Acquire Each New Cash App User | May 16, 2019
Square's (NYSE: SQ) Cash App has grown to become a meaningful contributor to the company's top-line growth. The peer-to-peer payments app turned financial multitool is the No. 1 driver of its subscription and services segment, management said at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference. During that conference, CFO Amrita Ahuja noted the company's per-customer acquisition cost for Cash App is about $20. That's actually quite low relative to other financial services, and even compared to other apps.
Square’s AI Platform Could Transform SQ Stock | May 13, 2019
Eloquent Labs is the developer of Elle, which can converse intelligently with a customer through a conventional online-chat platform without any human input from the service provider. While resolving complex customer-service needs remain currently out of reach, Elle can easily handle simpler-but-distracting tasks like returns and product-tracking.
Square teams up with Postmates for delivery partnership | May 9, 2019
Through the arrangement, Square SQ, sellers will be able to use Postmates couriers to get goods to customers who call up to place orders or visit a store. Merchants will be able to integrate Postmates with their existing Square point-of-sale systems.
Square's Bitcoin Platform Remains Surprisingly Profitable | May 7, 2019
Square's bitcoin revenue accounted for 6.8% of its net revenue during the first quarter, compared to 5.1% in the prior year quarter. However, Square's bitcoin profits only accounted for about 0.2% of its gross profit during the quarter, versus less than 0.1% a year earlier. Square's bitcoin business won't move the needle anytime soon, but its top and bottom line growth is impressive, especially since bitcoin shed roughly 40% of its value over the past 12 months. If bitcoin's price rises again and it attracts more buyers, Square's bitcoin revenue and gross profits could surge much higher.
Instead of viewing Square's bitcoin platform as a separate business, investors should see it as part of the company's long-term plan to lock users into its Cash App. Cash is one of the top peer-to-peer payment apps in the U.S. alongside PayPal's (NASDAQ: PYPL) Venmo and the bank-based Zelle, and it's still growing rapidly. Last quarter Square stated that its Cash App payment volume rose nearly 2.5 times annually. For comparison, PayPal stated that Venmo's payment volume rose 73% annually in its most recent quarter.
How Square's Cash App Makes Money (SQ) | May 6, 2019
Square makes money from Cash App by charging businesses transaction fees for using its software. For a 1.5% transaction fee, individual users can expedite deposits to have them transferred immediately into their bank accounts instead of waiting the standard deposit time. They can also send personal payments from credit cards for a 3% transaction fee.
Village Financial Cooperative partners with Square to bring tech and education to the North Side | Apr 18, 2019
Minnesota’s first black-led credit union is partnering with Square to bring financial education and technology to North Minneapolis. Village Financial Cooperative announced the partnership with the San Francisco-based financial technology company on Thursday. In a statement, the credit union made the case that its mission to empower the black community required it to be at the forefront of financial technology, shaping products and practices. Me’lea Connelly, the credit union’s vision and strategy lead, said the partnership, which includes the city of Minneapolis, was a year in the making. It will officially launch April 27 during “Village Squared: A Black Economic Empowerment Symposium,” one of the events closing out Minneapolis Tech Month.
Square (SQ) to Open New Office, Expand Presence in Seattle | April 11, 2019
Square Inc. SQ recently signed a lease to buy a property in Seattle, in view of opening a new office therein. The office is expected to accommodate approximately 100 workers. We believe that the developments will enable it to carry on with new growth initiatives.
Why Square Is Hiring Cryptocurrency Experts | April 3, 2019
Square (SQ) has announced a plan to hire several cryptocurrency experts. Square’s crypto team will work on an open-source initiative as part of the company’s contribution to the development of a cryptocurrency ecosystem. Although Square says the crypto team it’s planning to create won’t focus on its commercial interests, the company still stands to benefit if the team’s efforts lead to the broader uptake of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Square operates a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users of its Cash App to buy and sell Bitcoin. In the fourth quarter, Square’s Bitcoin business generated $52.4 million in revenue, up from $43 million in the third quarter. Square is already making a small profit from its Bitcoin business even though the overall business is still seeing losses.
Where Does Square Rank in the Food Ordering Market? | April 3, 2019
Caviar is among America’s top five food ordering services. Square (SQ) runs an online food ordering and delivery business called Caviar. Through the Caviar app, people can order food from more than 3,000 restaurants across the United States and have food delivered to their doorsteps. According to the latest rankings of on-demand food delivery services, Square’s Caviar is one of America’s top online food ordering and delivery providers, but it’s currently holding on to a tiny share of the market.
Square Partners with Washington Nationals to Enable Order-Ahead and In-Seat Card Payments at D.C.’s Nationals Park | March 27, 2019
Square has partnered with the Nationals to create a concession stand that offers the only skip-the-line, order-ahead experience in the ballpark, powered by Caviar Pickup. Fans who open the Caviar app from their seats will be able to order their concessions in advance – including beer and wine for fans 21 and over – and receive an alert when their food is ready to be picked up. The stand will feature food from exclusive Caviar restaurant partners, featured in a rotating series of pop-ups throughout the season. On Opening Day, fans will be able to enjoy Hong Kong-style Chinese food from Tiger Fork, with future food options including biscuits from Mason Dixie and ramen from Toki Underground. Square Terminal, the handheld, all-in-one payment processing hardware device, will also be piloted by roving concessions hawkers at Nationals Park. Square Terminal will allow fans to pay using credit cards or contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay as they purchase food and beverage items from the comfort of their seats. With Square’s point of sale and employee management software built right into Square Terminal, it’s easy for hawkers to quickly accept payments. Square Terminal will help fans who don’t carry cash, and will speed transaction times as hawkers spend less time counting change and more time making sales.
Square introduces invoice app; brings Stand to Japan | Mar. 26, 2019
App allows sellers to create, manage, and send invoices using mobile devices. “With the Square Invoices app, small business owners are able to get paid remotely and access their funds quickly and securely," says Alyssa Henry, seller lead at Square. Separately, in Japan, Square introduces Stand for iPad and its reader for contactless and chip.
Square Expands Omnichannel Offerings with New Square Online Store and a Revamped Square for Retail | March 20, 2019
The new Square Online Store allows sellers to grow their business in person and online, with a professional eCommerce website and integrated tools including Instagram selling, shipping, in-store pickup, and more. The new product also brings the Square Online Store experience to restaurants, allowing sellers to offer seamless online ordering from their website, customized pickup times across multiple locations, and the option to easily pay ahead for online orders. Square for Retail, the point-of-sale app optimized specifically for retailers, has also been completely redesigned with expanded product features. For the first time, business owners who also want to sell online can easily create a professional website and automatically connect their Square for Retail catalog to their Square Online Store, allowing them to sync their items, inventory, prices, and data instantly across online and offline channels. Sellers that use Square for Retail and Square Online Store can also enable their customers to easily shop online and pick up their purchases in store, a feature typically only available to larger retailers. Finally, the Retail point-of-sale app has been redesigned to make managing online orders alongside a brick-and-mortar store quick and intuitive.

Leadership

Jack Dorsey - CEO - $2.75
Jack is CEO and Chairman of Square, CEO of Twitter, and cofounder of both.
Amrita Ahuja - CFO -
Amrita is Square’s Chief Financial Officer. She was previously CFO of Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard, and held various leadership positions at Fox Networks Group, the Walt Disney Company, and Morgan Stanley.
Kevin Burke - Marketing and Sales Lead
Kevin oversees Square marketing, sales, and partnerships, as well as international markets. Prior to joining Square, Kevin was CMO at Visa Inc.
Jesse Dorogusker - Hardware Lead
Jesse leads hardware product development at Square, including design, cross-functional engineering, manufacturing, and operations. Prior to Square, Jesse was the Director of Engineering for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Accessories business.
Brian Grassadonia - Cash App Lead
Brian leads Cash App, the fastest and easiest way to pay individuals or businesses. Brian has held a number of leadership positions at Square including helping to launch the company’s flagship credit card reader.
Alyssa Henry - Seller Lead - $3,870,481
Alyssa leads product management, design, and engineering for Square’s seller facing products including payments, point of sale, Customer Engagement, and Payroll. She previously served as VP of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Storage Services and Product Unit Manager for Microsoft SQL Server Data Access.
Sam Quigley - Risk and Security Lead
Sam leads engineering, product management, and data science for risk and information security. As an early engineering leader at Square, Sam helped to build and scale many of Square’s products.
Gokul Rajaram - Caviar Lead
Gokul oversees Caviar, Square’s growing food ordering service. Prior to Square, he served as Product Director of Ads at Facebook and Product Management Director for Google AdSense.
Jacqueline Reses - Square Capital Lead - $3,972,968
Jackie leads Square Capital, overseeing credit products that provide sellers with access to the funding they need to grow and consumers with the ability to pay for purchases over time. She previously served as Yahoo’s Chief Development Officer and was on the Board of Directors at Alibaba Group. She also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council.
Sivan Whiteley - General Counsel - $2,796,591
Sivan oversees Square’s legal, regulatory, compliance, and security operations. A longtime leader of Square’s legal team, she previously held positions at Better Place, eBay, and Bingham McCutchen.
Aaron Zamost - Communications, Policy and People Lead
Aaron leads Square’s communications, government relations, and community affairs efforts, as well as human resources and talent. Prior to joining Square, Aaron led business communications at YouTube and managed corporate communications at Google.

Technical analysis

Descending triangle
Daily Chart
Weekly chart

Institutions

May 16 2019 Buckingham reiterated a buy rating with a $100 price target.
May 2 2019 Needham reiterated a buy rating and lowered their price target from $95 to $90.
May 2 2019 Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and raised their price target from $92 to $94.
April 9 2019 KeyBanc Capital reiterated an outperform rating with a $100 price target.
April 3 2019 Bernstein initiated a market perform rating with an $80 price target.
March 28 2019 Instinet reiterated a buy rating with a $105 price target.
March 27 2019 Macquarie initiated an outperform rating with a $94 price target.
March 25 2019 RBC Capital reiterated an outperform rating with an $88 price target.
February 27 2019 Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating with an $88 price target.
Vanguard, Blackrock, Jennison, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, State Street, Allianz, and Goldman Sachs are the largest institutional holders of SQ respectively, collectively making up over 25% of ownership.
submitted by nikolabs to RobinHood [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Insitutional Investors Already Here? Institutional Interest in Bitcoin (BTC) and Crypto Markets are Rising...And the Twitter hack $1.6 Billion Invested in Institutional BITCOIN & CRYPTO Custody! Institutional Money Is Flowing Into Bitcoin! Best Bitcoin Investment Apps & Sites 2020

Bitcoin is setting the very early stages to become not only an alternative asset for investors’ portfolios but a reserve currency that rivals the U.S. dollar or the euro. Tagged with: analysis Boston-based financial service firm Fidelity Investments is likely to open up its Bitcoin over the counter (OTC) trading desk to institutional investors in the coming weeks, according to reports by Bloomberg.. Citing a person familiar with the matter, the source stated that Fidelity will buy and sell the world’s most popular digital asset for institutional customers within a few weeks. A study released by global cryptocurrency exchange Binance indicates that only about 7% of Bitcoin in circulation is owned by institutional investors, suggesting that the much ant eToroX Launches Institutional-Grade API in Pitch to Trading Firms and Asia’s Bitcoin Investors eToro chief executive Yoni Assia Blockchain firm eToroX, a subsidiary of global investment platform eToro, announced today the launch of an institutional-grade trading API called AlgoX Prime. B2BX is a cryptocurrency exchange catering to both retail and institutional investors. With $30 million of 24 hour trading volume, B2BX ranks among the top 50 or 60 cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide by transaction volume. Today, the exchange has particularly strong volume in its Tether (USDT) pairs, including BTC/USDT, ETH/USDT, XRP/USDT, and

[index] [28255] [17652] [19915] [28016] [23751] [185] [29273] [25517] [6016] [21787]

Bitcoin Insitutional Investors Already Here?

Watch this video! 133k Bitcoins have been bought over the past 4 weeks! The mainstream media does not report this. But we have proof! Follow us on Twitter at... LEAKED: The US in HEAVY Accumulation as NEW Bitcoin Institutional Investor REVEALED - Duration: 10:04. Altcoin Daily Recommended for you. 10:04. How Bitcoin Works Under the Hood - Duration: 22:25. Bitcoin Institutional Investors is Getting Ready for Incoming Rally Become a CryptosRus INSIDER to gain exclusive insight on the market, get reviews and analysis on undervalued cryptocurrencies ... $1.6 billion was invested in institutional-focused Bitcoin and crypto custody services according to the Block Crypto research. Between 2012 to 2020, $ 1.6 billion was invested over 46 deals in ... Institutional Interest in #Bitcoin (BTC) and Crypto Markets are Rising...And the Twitter hack Narrated by The Cryptocurrency Portal on Thursday July 16th, 2020 We send out daily up-dates about # ...

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