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Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?

Crypto Banking Wars: Will Coinbase or Binance Become The Bank of The Future?
Can the early success of major crypto exchanges propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market?
https://reddit.com/link/i48t4q/video/v4eo10gom7f51/player
This is the first part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this powerful technology to reach the masses. We believe a crypto-native company, like Genesis Block, will become the bank of the future.
In an earlier series, Crypto-Powered, we laid out arguments for why crypto-native companies have a huge edge in the market. When you consider both the broad spectrum of financial use-cases and the enormous value unlocked through these DeFi protocols, you can see just how big of an unfair advantage blockchain tech becomes for companies who truly understand and leverage it. Traditional banks and fintech unicorns simply won’t be able to keep up.
The power players of consumer finance in the 21st century will be crypto-native companies who build with blockchain technology at their core.
The crypto landscape is still nascent. We’re still very much in the fragmented, unbundled phase of the industry lifecycle. Beyond what Genesis Block is doing, there are signs of other companies slowly starting to bundle financial services into what could be an all-in-one bank replacement.
So the key question that this series hopes to answer:
Which crypto-native company will successfully become the bank of the future?
We obviously think Genesis Block is well-positioned to win. But we certainly aren’t the only game in town. In this series, we’ll be doing an analysis of who is most capable of thwarting our efforts. We’ll look at categories like crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, centralized lending & borrowing services, and crypto debit card companies. Each category will have its own dedicated post.
Today we’re analyzing big crypto exchanges. The two companies we’ll focus on today are Coinbase (biggest American exchange) and Binance (biggest global exchange). They are the top two exchanges in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. They are in pole position to winning this market — they have a huge existing userbase and strong financial resources.
Will Coinbase or Binance become the bank of the future? Can their early success propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market? Is their growth too far ahead for anyone else to catch up? Let’s dive in.
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Binance

The most formidable exchange on the global stage is Binance (Crunchbase). All signs suggest they have significantly more users and a stronger balance sheet than Coinbase. No other exchange is executing as aggressively and relentlessly as Binance is. The cadence at which they are shipping and launching new products is nothing short of impressive. As Tushar Jain from Multicoin argues, Binance is Blitzscaling.
Here are some of the products that they’ve launched in the last 18 months. Only a few are announced but still pre-launch.
Binance is well-positioned to become the crypto-powered, all-in-one, bundled solution for financial services. They already have so many of the pieces. But the key question is:
Can they create a cohesive & united product experience?

Binance Weaknesses

Binance is strong, but they do have a few major weaknesses that could slow them down.
  1. Traders & Speculators Binance is currently very geared for speculators, traders, and financial professionals. Their bread-and-butter is trading (spot, margin, options, futures). Their UI is littered with depth charts, order books, candlesticks, and other financial concepts that are beyond the reach of most normal consumers. Their product today is not at all tailored for the broader consumer market. Given Binance’s popularity and strength among the pro audience, it’s unlikely that they will dumb down or simplify their product any time soon. That would jeopardize their core business. Binance will likely need an entirely new product/brand to go beyond the pro user crowd. That will take time (or an acquisition). So the question remains, is Binance even interested in the broader consumer market? Or will they continue to focus on their core product, the one-stop-shop for pro crypto traders?
  2. Controversies & Hot Water Binance has had a number of controversies. No one seems to know where they are based — so what regulatory agencies can hold them accountable? Last year, some sensitive, private user data got leaked. When they announced their debit card program, they had to remove mentions of Visa quickly after. And though the “police raid” story proved to be untrue, there are still a lot of questions about what happened with their Shanghai office shut down (where there is smoke, there is fire). If any company has had a “move fast and break things” attitude, it is Binance. That attitude has served them well so far but as they try to do business in more regulated countries like America, this will make their road much more difficult — especially in the consumer market where trust takes a long time to earn, but can be destroyed in an instant. This is perhaps why the Binance US product is an empty shell when compared to their main global product.
  3. Disjointed Product Experience Because Binance has so many different teams launching so many different services, their core product is increasingly feeling disjointed and disconnected. Many of the new features are sloppily integrated with each other. There’s no cohesive product experience. This is one of the downsides of executing and shipping at their relentless pace. For example, users don’t have a single wallet that shows their balances. Depending on if the user wants to do spot trading, margin, futures, or savings… the user needs to constantly be transferring their assets from one wallet to another. It’s not a unified, frictionless, simple user experience. This is one major downside of the “move fast and break things” approach.
  4. BNB token Binance raised $15M in a 2017 ICO by selling their $BNB token. The current market cap of $BNB is worth more than $2.6B. Financially this token has served them well. However, given how BNB works (for example, their token burn), there are a lot of open questions as to how BNB will be treated with US security laws. Their Binance US product so far is treading very lightly with its use of BNB. Their token could become a liability for Binance as it enters more regulated markets. Whether the crypto community likes it or not, until regulators get caught up and understand the power of decentralized technology, tokens will still be a regulatory burden — especially for anything that touches consumers.
  5. Binance Chain & Smart Contract Platform Binance is launching its own smart contract platform soon. Based on compatibility choices, they have their sights aimed at the Ethereum developer community. It’s unclear how easy it’ll be to convince developers to move to Binance chain. Most of the current developer energy and momentum around smart contracts is with Ethereum. Because Binance now has their own horse in the race, it’s unlikely they will ever decide to leverage Ethereum’s DeFi protocols. This could likely be a major strategic mistake — and hubris that goes a step too far. Binance will be pushing and promoting protocols on their own platform. The major risk of being all-in on their own platform is that they miss having a seat on the Ethereum rocket ship — specifically the growth of DeFi use-cases and the enormous value that can be unlocked. Integrating with Ethereum’s protocols would be either admitting defeat of their own platform or competing directly against themselves.

Binance Wrap Up

I don’t believe Binance is likely to succeed with a homegrown product aimed at the consumer finance market. Their current product — which is focused heavily on professional traders and speculators — is unlikely to become the bank of the future. If they wanted to enter the broader consumer market, I believe it’s much more likely that they will acquire a company that is getting early traction. They are not afraid to make acquisitions (Trust, JEX, WazirX, DappReview, BxB, CoinMarketCap, Swipe).
However, never count CZ out. He is a hustler. Binance is executing so aggressively and relentlessly that they will always be on the shortlist of major contenders.
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Coinbase

The crypto-native company that I believe is more likely to become the bank of the future is Coinbase (crunchbase). Their dominance in America could serve as a springboard to winning the West (Binance has a stronger foothold in Asia). Coinbase has more than 30M users. Their exchange business is a money-printing machine. They have a solid reputation as it relates to compliance and working with regulators. Their CEO is a longtime member of the crypto community. They are rumored to be going public soon.

Coinbase Strengths

Let’s look at what makes them strong and a likely contender for winning the broader consumer finance market.
  1. Different Audience, Different Experience Coinbase has been smart to create a unique product experience for each audience — the pro speculator crowd and the common retail user. Their simple consumer version is at Coinbase.com. That’s the default. Their product for the more sophisticated traders and speculators is at Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Unlike Binance, Coinbase can slowly build out the bank of the future for the broad consumer market while still having a home for their hardcore crypto traders. They aren’t afraid to have different experiences for different audiences.
  2. Brand & Design Coinbase has a strong product design team. Their brand is capable of going beyond the male-dominated crypto audience. Their product is clean and simple — much more consumer-friendly than Binance. It’s clear they spend a lot of time thinking about their user experience. Interacting directly with crypto can sometimes be rough and raw (especially for n00bs). When I was at Mainframe we hosted a panel about Crypto UX challenges at the DevCon4 Dapp Awards. Connie Yang (Head of Design at Coinbase) was on the panel. She was impressive. Some of their design philosophies will bode well as they push to reach the broader consumer finance market.
  3. USDC Stablecoin Coinbase (along with Circle) launched USDC. We’ve shared some stats about its impressive growth when we discussed DeFi use-cases. USDC is quickly becoming integrated with most DeFi protocols. As a result, Coinbase is getting a front-row seat at some of the most exciting things happening in decentralized finance. As Coinbase builds its knowledge and networks around these protocols, it could put them in a favorable position to unlock incredible value for their users.
  4. Early Signs of Bundling Though Coinbase has nowhere near as many products & services as Binance, they are slowly starting to add more financial services that may appeal to the broader market. They are now letting depositors earn interest on USDC (also DAI & Tezos). In the UK they are piloting a debit card. Users can now invest in crypto with dollar-cost-averaging. It’s not much, but it’s a start. You can start to see hints of a more bundled solution around financial services.

Coinbase Weaknesses

Let’s now look at some things that could hold them back.
  1. Slow Cadence In the fast-paced world of crypto, and especially when compared to Binance, Coinbase does not ship very many new products very often. This is perhaps their greatest weakness. Smaller, more nimble startups may run circles around them. They were smart to launch Coinbase Ventures where tey invest in early-stage startups. They can now keep an ear to the ground on innovation. Perhaps their cadence is normal for a company of their size — but the Binance pace creates quite the contrast.
  2. Lack of Innovation When you consider the previous point (slow cadence), it’s unclear if Coinbase is capable of building and launching new products that are built internally. Most of their new products have come through acquisitions. Their Earn.com acquisition is what led to their Earn educational product. Their acquisition of Xapo helped bolster their institutional custody offering. They acqui-hired a team to help launch their staking infrastructure. Their acquisition of Cipher Browser became an important part of Coinbase Wallet. And recently, they acquired Tagomi — a crypto prime brokerage. Perhaps most of Coinbase’s team is just focused on improving their golden goose, their exchange business. It’s unclear. But the jury is still out on if they can successfully innovate internally and launch any homegrown products.
  3. Talent Exodus There have been numerous reports of executive turmoil at Coinbase. It raises a lot of questions about company culture and vision. Some of the executives who departed include COO Asiff Hirji, CTO Balaji Srinivasan, VP & GM Adam White, VP Eng Tim Wagner, VP Product Jeremy Henrickson, Sr Dir of Eng Namrata Ganatra, VP of Intl Biz Dan Romero, Dir of Inst Sales Christine Sandler, Head of Trading Hunter Merghart, Dir Data Science Soups Ranjan, Policy Lead Mike Lempres, Sr Compliance Vaishali Mehta. Many of these folks didn’t stay with Coinbase very long. We don’t know exactly why it’s happening —but when you consider a few of my first points (slow cadence, lack of innovation), you have to wonder if it’s all related.
  4. Institutional Focus As a company, we are a Coinbase client. We love their institutional offering. It’s clear they’ve been investing a lot in this area. A recent Coinbase blog post made it clear that this has been a focus: “Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has been laser-focused on building out the types of features and services that our institutional customers need.” Their Tagomi acquisition only re-enforced this focus. Perhaps this is why their consumer product has felt so neglected. They’ve been heavily investing in their institutional services since May 2018. For a company that’s getting very close to an IPO, it makes sense that they’d focus on areas that present strong revenue opportunities — as they do with institutional clients. Even for big companies like Coinbase, it’s hard to have a split focus. If they are “laser-focused” on the institutional audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be launching any major consumer products anytime soon.

Coinbase Wrap Up

At Genesis Block, we‘re proud to be working with Coinbase. They are a fantastic company. However, I don’t believe that they’ll succeed in building their own product for the broader consumer finance market. While they have incredible design, there are no signs that they are focused on or capable of internally building this type of product.
Similar to Binance, I think it’s far more likely that Coinbase acquires a promising young startup with strong growth.

Honorable Mentions

Other US-based exchanges worth mentioning are Kraken, Gemini, and Bittrex. So far we’ve seen very few signs that any of them will aggressively attack broader consumer finance. Most are going in the way of Binance — listing more assets and adding more pro tools like margin and futures trading. And many, like Coinbase, are trying to attract more institutional customers. For example, Gemini with their custody product.

Wrap Up

Coinbase and Binance have huge war chests and massive reach. For that alone, they should always be considered threats to Genesis Block. However, their products are very, very different than the product we’re building. And their approach is very different as well. They are trying to educate and onboard people into crypto. At Genesis Block, we believe the masses shouldn’t need to know or care about it. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto.
Most everyone needs banking — whether it be to borrow, spend, invest, earn interest, etc. Not everyone needs a crypto exchange. For non-crypto consumers (the mass market), the differences between a bank and a crypto exchange are immense. Companies like Binance and Coinbase make a lot of money on their crypto exchange business. It would be really difficult, gutsy, and risky for any of them to completely change their narrative, messaging, and product to focus on the broader consumer market. I don’t believe they would ever risk biting the hand that feeds them.
In summary, as it relates to a digital bank aimed at the mass market, I believe both Coinbase and Binance are much more likely to acquire a startup in this space than they are to build it themselves. And I think they would want to keep the brand/product distinct and separate from their core crypto exchange business.
So back to the original question, is Coinbase and Binance a threat to Genesis Block? Not really. Not today. But they could be, and for that, we want to stay close to them.
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TokenClub Bi-Weekly Report — Issue 116(6.1–6.14)

TokenClub Bi-Weekly Report — Issue 116(6.1–6.14)

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Hello everyone, thank you for your continued interest and support. In the past two weeks, various tasks of TokenClub have been progressing steadily. The product development and community operation progress this week are as follows:
1. TokenClub Events
1)TokenClub’s 2nd Token Circle Talent Show starts registration
The second 2nd Token Circle Talent Show is coming, providing you with a big stage that you want to show yourself in the coin circle. 500,000 people will watch your performances here. This event takes part in the form of registration, and enters the selection competition after passing the preliminary screening of TokenClub. The trial will be promoted in the form of live PK. Winners will receive key support from TokenClub, self-media matrix, help create personal exclusive boutique columns, get the chance to talk with more heavyweight guests, and there will be TCT awards waiting for you! Friends, sign up now.


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2)June 1 activity ended successfully
On the advent of “June 1”, the TokenClub team opened a new welfare activity for overseas communities. During the event, follow the team’s official Twitter and forward the event poster in real time, or participate in the topic interaction of the Telegram group to receive private red envelope rewards


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3)BTCGrandpa is invited to participate in the live broadcast of Golden Finance
On June 3rd, Grandma Coin was invited to participate in the live broadcast of Golden Finance’s “Mining Double Coins” theme. Review link:
https://m.jinse.com/live/topic?id=14268.

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4)BTCGrandpa was invited to participate in the 499 Block community AMA
On June 11, Grandpa Nina was invited to participate in the 499Block community AMA. The theme is “Coin Circle Big V Coin Grandpa takes you to see the market”, the article review link:
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/qCnwuaohiwi4BXcbRSJ1gw


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2.TokenClub Live
1) Summary
Recently, Jianan Technology Senior Vice President Lu Xiaoming, OKEx CEO-Jay Hao, Founder of Litecoin Charlie Lee, Binance Vice President Lu Mai, Bitribe Founder-SKY, Luyin Agreement Founder-Wang Dong, Kubi CEO-Johnny Lyu , Co-Founder of BTW.com-Dylan, MYKEY & Coin Hu founder Guru, suterusu investor & Betterbit founder Richard, CasperLabs CEO-Mrinal Manohar, CasperLabs COO- Cliff Sarkin, DoraHacks partner & business leader-Yue Hanchao, former Silicon Valley Engineer & Early Blockchain User-Wu Weilong, Distributed Capital Partner and General Counsel Sun Ming, Ontology Founder Li Jun, Cardano Project Founder Charles Hoskinson, QuarkChain Founding Partner Anthurine, ARPA Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officials-Nogi, the well-known KOL Ke Haoran of the currency circle, the “Ancient” old leek who loves trading, One.Love, the early investor of Bicc & the founder of CC Capital & the co-founder of the three o’clock blockchain community Wang Xiaobin, Binance Angel Steven, Binance Angel Wu Mi, Binance Angel July, Injective Protocol Co-Founder and CEO-Eric Chen, BN Capital Senior Partner-Wayne Lin, and TokenClub Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Investment Strategy Senior Expert-Zao Shen Chat with everyone Those things of the blockchain~
On June 1, the global blockchain live festival “Stay Live, Stay Young”-Bitribe +499BLOCK hosted by 499Block and Bitribe was childlike and childlike, celebrating June 1st. A total of 18 industry heavyweights, Jay Hao, Charlie Lee, Mai Lu, SKY, etc., and many industry leading exchanges such as Binance, OKEx, Matcha, Kucoin, Bitribe, BTW, etc. were invited to participate in the live broadcast festival Including Luyin agreement, Harmony, Cortex, Beam, Wedifi, etc., the continuous airdrop of up to 6BTC.

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On June 1st, CasperLabs CEO-Mrinal Manohar, CasperLabs COO- Cliff Sarkin, DoraHacks partner & business leader-Yue Hanchao, former Silicon Valley engineer & early blockchain user-Wu Weilong was a guest at the TokenClub live room, sharing the theme: Ethereum 3.0: Casper Labs, a Silicon Valley star project, takes us to interpret Casper Labs together.

On June 1, Binance Luna talked to Lu Xiaoming, senior vice president of Jianan Technology, and talked to us about the mine. Lu Xiaoming believes that blockchain has played a huge role in breaking the “data island” and other aspects, and he has confidence in the future of the industry. Just like the sentence he gave to everyone: “We still believe firmly, still believe, of course ,we still love you!”

On June 2nd, Binance Yingge talked to the founder of MYKEY & Coin Hu. Around: “Is Stablecoin a killer application?” Speaking from the beginning of the coin circle to the first pot of gold to the establishment of MYKEY, Guru and shared with us the secrets of grasping so many value projects, investment experience, etc., and stability The key analysis was carried out.

On June 3, Binance Sis talked with Sun Ming, Partner and General Counsel of Distributed Capital-”Sun Ming, Partner of Distributed Capital: The past of the currency circle of a lawyer.” Sun Ming is more optimistic about Ethereum than Bitcoin. Sun Ming believes that the easiest way to invest is to choose the most important project in the main track.

On June 4, Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cointelegraph Chinese and the Cardano project, gave a live broadcast and shared an in-depth discussion around the topic of “How to Cardano surpass Ethereum after five years of precipitation.” Charles Hoskinson, who was a close working partner with V God and BM, why did he leave Bitshares and Ethereum to create the Cardano project? There is an answer in the live room.

On June 4, Binance Li Jiayi talked with Ontology founder Li Jun-”Ontology founder’s blockchain entrepreneurial experience”. For the future of the public chain, Li Jun believes that in the past two years of infrastructure construction, the public chain has paid more attention to technology. However, in the process of open source in the blockchain industry, technical homogeneity is gradually emerging. In the next stage, the public chain will pay more attention to the application of landing entities and offline scenarios, and new focus will appear, which is a good thing for the development of the public chain.

On June 5, Binance Seven Seven talked to Binance Captains-Hard Candy, He Rensi, Deer Deer Captain, and three post-90s Binance Captains. Focusing on the topic of “Binan Captain chatting about “Cloud Stall” earning “after-sleep income”, I talked about how the entire currency circle has been following the wind in recent days, to see how the Captain Binance is lying and making money.

On June 6, the post-modernist economist hard-core punkist master, Zao Shen, went online, with the theme of “street stalls in the city management area, and speculation of coins out of heaven.” “Street economy” has become the most popular word recently. In this issue, Zao Shen takes everyone to analyze: behind the promotion of the land stall economy, what are the trends and choices in national policies? And analyzed the recent stock market, currency circle, and international policies.

On June 8th, Binance Luna talked to Anthurine, the founding partner of QuarkChain, focusing on the “challenges and opportunities of blockchain in the “new infrastructure””. Anthurine is interested in the development of China’s new infrastructure and the blockchain industry in the new infrastructure In order to play its role, how to participate, and the new infrastructure you think they need the underlying architecture of the blockchain and other issues have been shared in detail.

On June 9th, Binance Yingge talked with ETC Asia-Pacific community manager Xu Kang Christian, and talked to everyone: the brother story of ETC and ETH. Xu Kang said that after 2016, a hard fork occurred in Ethereum. The newly forked chain is ETH, and the original chain is now ETC. Xu Kang believes that the most suitable native scenario for blockchain implementation is the financial field, followed by the alliance chain that the country has vigorously developed.

On June 10th, ARPA co-founder & chief growth officer-Noki as a guest TokenClub live broadcast room and Gate brand public relations Yue Yue connection centered on “ARPA DeFi ideas and growth strategy” centered on the discussion. Nogi talked to you about some ARPA things, and shared her views on the future of the entire digital currency and blockchain industry.

On June 10, Binance Li Jiayi talked to the well-known KOL Ke Haoran of the currency circle and One.Love, the “old” leek who loves trading. Both guests were Binance’s “bosses” (rebate partners). The two guests shared their respective stories in the currency circle and the stories they saw, and shared their own experience in currency speculation.

On June 11, Wang Xiaobin, an early investor of Bicc, founder of CC Capital, and co-founder of the three o’clock blockchain community made a guest live sharing and shared about the BICC trading platform, recent industry hotspots, and blockchain technology.

On June 11, Binance Qianjiangyue spoke to Binance Angels Steven, Wu Mi and July. Binance Angel is a volunteer team established at the beginning of Binance. This team exists as a real voice of community users. The three Binance Angels also shared their daily work in the live broadcast room.

On June 12, Binance Sis talked with Injective Protocol co-founder and CEO-Eric Chen, BN Capital Senior Partner-Wayne Lin, and shared their experiences of speculating on coins around “Defi makes the market value of crypto assets tenfold” , Investment experience and experience, a hot discussion was held on blockchain technology and Defi ecology.

On June 13th, the currency circle song king Zao Shen went live, and the theme was “Recovery of the Minority, Lost of the Most”. Mainly revolving around this Thursday’s plunge in the currency circle, US stocks have driven the currency market to chat. On the linkage of the US stocks & currency circle, the reasons for the collapse of US stocks, the following market trends and investment strategies were analyzed one by one. For more exciting content, please move to the live room.

3.TokenClub operation data
-Live data: 17 live broadcasts in the past two weeks, with over 500,000 views. TokenClub hosted a total of 889 live broadcasts with a total of 45.78 million views.
-Binary trade data: In the past two weeks, guess the rise and fall to participate in a total of 5274 times, the amount of participation exceeded 3 million TCT. At present, it is guessed that the rise and fall function has participated in a total of 1.12 million times, with a cumulative participation amount of 501 million TCT.
-Chat data: In the past two weeks, a total of 10124 messages have been generated. A total of 4.88 milliom messages have been launched since the function was launched.
-Mini-game data: The mini-game has participated in a total of 5069 times in the past two weeks. A total of 1,67 million self-functions have been online.
-Cut leeks game data together: Since the game was launched, the total number of user participation in the game was 976086 TCT total consumption was 6.28 million gift certificate total consumption was 16.39 million and TCT mining output was 163812.
-TokenClub KOL data: Over the past two weeks, the total reading volume of the BTCGrandpa article has been viewed by more than 300,000 people.
-Social media data: At present, the number of Weibo official accounts is 18053 and the number of Twitter followers is 1822 and we have opened the official Medium account this week, welcome to follow.
-Telegram official group data: In the past 2 weeks, there were 741 chats in the group, and the total number of Telegram official groups is currently 3113.
-Medium data: Medium official account u/TokenClub has published 3 excellent articles, official announcements and updates are published in English, welcome to follow.
4.Communities
1)Overseas community
On June 1, TokenClub organized an award-winning event for overseas users to participate in live broadcast interaction, retweet Twitter, and telegram group chat. At the same time, with the increase of live broadcast content, the telegram group is becoming more and more active, and the questions raised by overseas users who have just entered the telegram group are also answered in the first time. TokenClub has translated the high-quality live content of the past two weeks into English and released it to the Medium platform. Please pay attention.

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TCT has been listed on Binance、Okex、Gate.io、ZB-M、MXC、Biki、Coinex、BigOne、Coinbene、Cybex、SWFT、Loopring、Rootrex etc.
TokenClub website: www.tokenclub.com
Telegram:https://t.me/token_club



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Weekly Wrap 17/04

Market News
The economic impact of the global lockdown continues to be felt around the world. A further 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment, according to the US Labour Department, taking the total to just over 22 million for the month and wiping out a decade of employment gains.
Bitcoin dropped to a two week low as the price neared $6400, with many speculating that it would breach the $6,000 level. However, bears were left disappointed as Bitcoin surged and almost reached $7,200. We will be watching the price for an upside break to $7,400. As expected, due to their high correlations other cryptoassets followed suit, with Ethereum, Chainlink and Binance Coin staging strong rebounds.
The price of gold reached a 7-year high as the price peaked to over $1,740 before falling again to the $1,680 region. The sharp pullback in prices came as the dollar was firmly higher, providing some resistance to the asset’s recent climb. Bulls’ next upside price objective will be a close in June futures above the solid resistance level of $1,750. Meanwhile, the price of oil continues to face severe pressure. Crude oil once again found itself beneath the $20 level, which placed additional stress on the stock market.
The S&P 500, which gained more than 12% last week, has shown relative inconsistency as prices surged and fell throughout this week. Markets closed on Thursday partially higher than the week prior. U.S. futures on Friday will be heavily influenced by President Trump’s announcement as he details plans to reopen the U.S. economy.
Industry News
Other News
submitted by Camaa to InvictusCapital [link] [comments]

Weekly Wrap 17/04

Market News
The economic impact of the global lockdown continues to be felt around the world. A further 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment, according to the US Labour Department, taking the total to just over 22 million for the month and wiping out a decade of employment gains.
Bitcoin dropped to a two week low as the price neared $6400, with many speculating that it would breach the $6,000 level. However, bears were left disappointed as Bitcoin surged and almost reached $7,200. We will be watching the price for an upside break to $7,400. As expected, due to their high correlations other cryptoassets followed suit, with Ethereum, Chainlink and Binance Coin staging strong rebounds.
The price of gold reached a 7-year high as the price peaked to over $1,740 before falling again to the $1,680 region. The sharp pullback in prices came as the dollar was firmly higher, providing some resistance to the asset’s recent climb. Bulls’ next upside price objective will be a close in June futures above the solid resistance level of $1,750. Meanwhile, the price of oil continues to face severe pressure. Crude oil once again found itself beneath the $20 level, which placed additional stress on the stock market.
The S&P 500, which gained more than 12% last week, has shown relative inconsistency as prices surged and fell throughout this week. Markets closed on Thursday partially higher than the week prior. U.S. futures on Friday will be heavily influenced by President Trump’s announcement as he details plans to reopen the U.S. economy.
Industry News
Other News
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Weekly Update: Jason starts #discussionThursday, $COTI on Binance, WibsonTree, Harmony + IBC Media... – 21 Feb - 27 Feb'20

Weekly Update: Jason starts #discussionThursday, $COTI on Binance, WibsonTree, Harmony + IBC Media... – 21 Feb - 27 Feb'20
Hiya folks! With this update we will finally be 100% caught up with the latest. Let’s go! Here’s your week at Parachute + partners (21 Feb - 27 Feb'20):

As mentioned 2 weeks back, Alexis announced the start of a new style of raffle from this week. 300k $PAR in the pot to be won! Bose hosted a Friday Quiz in TTR on movies with a 10k $PAR prize pool. Cap shared a unique bit of trivia from the tipbotverse: ChangeTip, a bitcoin tipbot launched 7 years back, was acquired by Airbnb in 2016 that led to its closure. A crypto pioneer that was way ahead of its time. The usual suspects continue to be on top of the Fantasy Premier Leagure (#FPL) leaderboard – LordHades, Alexis and Novelcloud as per the latest update shared by LH. Alejandro hosted a gun-mode CoD game in the Parachute War Zone followed by a free-for-all for $PAR prizes. Tavo announced another CoD Battle Royale in the Parachute War Zone to be held next week. Afful’s TTR trivia was fun as always. Charlotte hosted another trivia in TTR as well for a 10k $PAR prize pool. Victor held one in TTR with another 10k $PAR pot as well. GamerBoy’s trivia in TTR this week was based on Kindergarten Geography. Haha! Belated Birthday wishes to Victor. Two-for-Tuesdays by Gian for this week had the theme rap/reggae/reggaeton. Like last week, Sebastian set up a YouTube playlist to compile all the entries. For #wholesomewed, Parachuters put on their creative hats as they made some epic artwork based on a primary shape shared by Jason. So much talent! There’s $PAR to be won! In the latest project update shared by Cap, ParJar is in final stages of testing with Transak, ParJar integrated coin-swaps are being worked on at the moment and $PAR-based Dex to be launched in the coming weeks in partnership with Switch. Jason launched a new event for Thursdays called #discussionThursday from this week. The first discussion series revolved around "something you don't understand". The goal is "hopefully someone that does understand it can explain it". Good conversations and altruism gets $PAR tips. TTR crew hosted a fun “guess the admin” contest based on the Parachute Christmas artwork.
Lmao Victor!
Happy Carnival to you too Rene
Just a sampling from all the #wholesomewed entries
20k $AXPR was burned as part of the weekly aXpire burn event. aXpire COO Matthew Markham wrote about how technological differentiators give PEs an edge over public markets. The latest Bilr blog post talks about disruptive technologies in the legal industry. 2gether CEO Ramon Ferraz appeared in an IEB podcast to talk about Neobanks. YouTuber FunOntheRide’s latest video covers collaborative economy and how 2gether plays a role in it. Head of Marketing, Laura Braulio explained must-do’s in marketing strategies for fintechs in her article which was published on ClickZ. The XIO DApp went into the final stages of unit testing this week. Beta tests should start soon. For #XIOSocial chatter, Citizens discussed the semantics of the term “crowdstaking”. Ethos’ parent company Voyager released the full Android version of its app this week. Switch-backed McAfeeDex is slated for some updates soon. Read about what’s coming up from John McAfee’s tweet. Plus, a new privacy coin “ghost” is on the horizon. $ESH holders are expected to get a taste of it on launch. For the latest update on Switch, click here. Fantom’s $FTM was one of the winners of a public vote to get listed on ZelCore. As an update to the fantom.rocks tool released last week by GoFantom (a Fantom validator), this week a dApp named Supercharge was released on top of it. Supercharge allows users to send 20 test transactions to demonstrate the speed of consensus. The DAO Maker shared a compilation of Fantom’s 2019 updates. For the 2020 project plan, click here. This was followed by a detailed 2020 roadmap. Too long? No sweat! This graphical representation of the roadmap by Generation Crypto is here to rescue you. Or, if you would rather watch a video, CMO Michael Chen made one. For notes, click here. The first version of Uptrennd’s mobile redesign is here. Congratulations to TREOS for winning the Round 1 of the Uptrennd free advertising package contest that launched last week. Voting for Round 2 started this week with Fantom included in this round. Banano ended up winning the second round and going head to head with TREOS in the finals. The first 2UP Tuesday kicked off this week with every upvote counting for twice the normal points (with the same rules applying for downvotes). Sweet! Uptrennd founder Jeff Kirdeikis was invited to speak at the EntrepreneurShip cruise event. Don’t forget the epic giveaway mentioned.
First sneak peek of Uptrennd’s new mobile design
Catch up on Distric0x’s Weekly update here. If you missed the DappDigest, the crew’s got your back. Their video walkthrough of ETHDenver covers snippets from the event along with Brady’s on-stage performance and an interview of Dmitry Buterin (Vitalik Buterin’s father). Read about how the recent fintech M&A deals will influence markets in this article by Hydrogen. The team sat down for an AMA with Crypto Cabital this week and also hosted a 150k $HYDRO giveaway. Fintech nerds, check out Hydro’s explainer blog post on open banking and WSO2. Is the project ticking off its roadmap items on time? Click here to find out. As a 2020 cohort member of the MassChallenge Fintech accelerator, Hydro’s Senior Director for Strategic Partnerships, Ken Kavanaugh travelled to Boston to talk about “platformication in fintech” at their meetup. If you are attending the Milwaukee Blockchain Conference in March, don’t forget to say Hi to Biz Dev Lead Mark Anstead where he will be a featured speaker. If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, there’s a 50% discount coupon available for you. $HYDRO got listed on DeFi aggregator Totle this week. How does Sentivate aim to solve HTTP / TCP bottlenecks? Click here to find out. For a primer on UDSP, click here. The Mycro Hunter landing page went live this week. OST’s Pepo is the official community app and partner of Europe-based Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) where it will also be collaborating with Epicenter podcast for the event. The first browser version of Pepo was released. Crypto exchange Mine Digital will be joining SelfKey’s exchange marketplace. SelfKey’s R&D team shared a 2020 update on the identity management space and how the project aims to place itself in this segment.
Early preview of the SelfKey Mobile Wallet to be submitted to App Store for review
For the latest Constellation community update, click here. Don’t forget to send in your questions for the AMA happening next week. Attendees of VeneCoiners meetup in Argentina next week, don’t forget to say Hi to the crew from Wibson who will be presenting the Rewards Marketplace at the event. The team also published a paper on “WibsonTree” which preserves data privacy when interacting with an agent. They hosted an Ethereum meetup this week to discuss DeFi. Here’s a video demo of how fast the Harmony mainnet is. The weekly #pow tweet thread summarises updates from across the team. KuCoin’s $ONE token swap is now complete. A new page was launched to monitor mainnet and testnet status. The crew attended a Binance meetup in Ukraine to talk about latest project updates. Harmony announced a partnership with IBC Media to incubate and accelerate Indian fintech startups. Safe Haven’s digital inheritance solution, Inheriti, will be available on the Harmony chain. $ONE was listed on MathWallet. Intellishare co-founder Nicholas Wan shared a sneak peek of the testnet mobile UI. dGen listed GET Protocol’s GUTS Tickets as one of the notable startups in the Dutch blockchain space in their Blockchain in Europe 2020 Review report. For a project overview click here – nicely summarised by Generation Crypto. GUTS will be ticketing 3 new shows of Chef’Special. Global Crypto Alliance live streamed another demo of its IoT prototype smartlock device being operated through $CALL tokens. The team also hosted a fun quiz on their Telegram this week. YouTuber Crypto Rich interviewed the crew on all things $CALL (Part I, Part II). Nik Patel’s detailed research report on COTI was published this week. $COTI was added to the Staking Rewards platform. And here’s a biggie, Binance listed both the ERC20 and BEP2 versions of the token this week with a bonus airdrop for deposits. Woot! Before the listing frenzy started, the team took a moment to take stock of the situation. A big listing like Binance leads to a lot of new eyeballs that could trigger scams. COTI crew shared their anti-scam guide for this reason. DOMSCRYPTO covered the project in their latest video. DoYourTip was covered in an iHODL news feature.

And with that, we close for this week at Parachute. See you again with another update. Ciao!
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Weekly Update: Launch of McAfeeDex, Hydro partners with OmiseGo, Jarau’s Uptrennd success story, OST’s Pepo @DevCon5... – 4 Oct - 10 Oct'19

Weekly Update: Launch of McAfeeDex, Hydro partners with OmiseGo, Jarau’s Uptrennd success story, OST’s Pepo @DevCon5... – 4 Oct - 10 Oct'19
Sup folks! Here’s your week at Parachute + partners (4 Oct - 10 Oct'19):

First off, super congratulations to Alexis for becoming a Parachute admin. Woot woot! In the words of Cap: "Long overdue and much appreciated!". Doc Victor hosted a games trivia in Tiproom with 2500 $PAquestion prize. 10 questions. Charlotte’s Math and Voice Clip trivia in Tiproom were another 10 Qs each at 2500 $PAR per Q. Sweet. Ian got $PAR listed in the newly launched McAfeeDex (more on that later). Thank ya Ian! Cryptopreneurs looking for some guidance? Check out Cap’s recommended reading for the week – Haseeb Qureshi of Dragonfly Capital talks about how "pretty much everyone is winging it", how that's part of the journey and how to move from a maybe to a sure thing. Cap says the article “has a hundred powerful little points for building a company (in any space really) that resonate through what we do here at Parachute”. Great stuff! Parachute announced a partnership with Pynk this week. Pynk is an investment platform that uses crowd wisdom to make investment decisions. They will be using ParJar to share USDC and PAR with their community. Welcome on board Pynksters!
Cap, Ice and Shawn in NYC checking out the new WeWork office

View from the office
Victor’s 10 question Friday trivia at aXpire had a 100 $AXPR prize for each question. Neat! Click here to watch the latest weekly recap from aXpire. The new Resolvr promo video was launched. The Resolvr and Bilr twitter handles were started as well. This week’s $AXPR burn saw 200k tokens removed from total supply permanently. CEO Gary Markham was interviewed by PetaCrunch. 2gether’s Crypto Talent contest got coverage from Being Crypto. Founder Salvador recorded training videos for participants of the contest. The platform was featured in an article on Merca2. Spanish speakers, have a look! Emprende TVE did a quick mention, as the team bid farewell to South Summit and travelled to Freshworks Inc's Experience Roadshow. Read up on CEO Ramon’s thoughts on Facebook’s Libra in this Forbes article published this week. The XIO community voted to keep the twitter public in order to keep content available to non-citizens as well. As part of the Binance Dex listing proposal*, the team continued to answer queries raised by the BNB community. Great bit of chatter on the thread on how the XIO ecosystem will work. Andrew (cryptocoindude) wrote a review of the BOMB project which came out this week.
\[As already shared, the switch to Binance Chain has been shelved. $XIO will continue stay on Ethereum chain. But there will still be a token swap. Details will be shared in a future update]*
Bilr UX: simple and intuitive
The $ETHOS to $VGX rebrand requires collaboration from a large set of partners. In line with this, Shingo announced the Rebrand Partner Program. Plus, a shoutout to Voyager from Scott Melker in his CoinTelegraph article was the perfect way to cap off the week. SelfKey is officially out of beta with the latest update. You can read all about it in the detailed article on SelfKey v1.3.0. Also, a summary of all that has happened in September can be found here. We have covered most of these in previous updates. John McAfee launched his self branded decentralised exchange McAfeeDex. This is the first white label Dex built on the SwitchDex contract. Massive! The news was featured on CoinTelegraph, Decrypt, Bitcoin.com, AMBCrypto, Bitcoinist, Block Publisher, Coinspeaker and U.Today. Here’s a guide on how to use the Dex. The smart contract and front end is open sourced and there are bounties to BUIDL more fun stuff on it. Listing any ERC20 on the McAfeeDex is free and the Dex will support more blockchains in the future. SwitchDex will also be offering anyone the chance to launch their own Dex’es called portals built on their smart contract. Click here to see how. Platform fees from McAfeeDex will be distributed to exchange operators and ESH and SDEX token holders. Want to spend a day with the man himself? Get in on the ESH Trading Competition! Also, the social media bounties were distributed this week.
McAfeeDex vs Others. Check the last row. Haha
For the technically inclined, Andre Cronje’s latest post explains Fantom’s current project status. A community member got Uptrennd’s $1UP token listed on McAfeeDex. Uptrennd underwent some upgrades this week while the community partied on Meme Monday. $1UP deposits are now live on the platform. Plus, a few other updates can be seen here. There’s also a post to read all the details on the deposit feature. Along with the consistent rise in Alexa rankings, Google ranking has steadily gone up as well. Congrats! Here’s looking at you Uptrennd crew! Amazing crypto success story of the week has to be Jarau’s journey of buying a laptop with his earned points on the platform. Even Altcoin Magazine featured this. Big up to ya Jarau! Catch up with the latest District Weekly from District0x by clicking here. Hydro entered into a partnership with OmiseGo to make use of their plasma chain tech so that Hydro Pay doesn’t stall even when Ethereum chain slows down. Biz Dev Mark Anstead was also in DevCon5 in Osaka this week to spread the word on Hydro and to demo OmiseGo’s plasma implementation in Hydro Pay at $OMG’s booth. As the Hydro crew prepared for their webinar on financial wellness to be held in a few weeks, their article on this hit the stands. Co-Founder Mike Kane also wrote about its use-cases and about accelerating of fintech innovation in an Oracle blog post. This week we got to see another sneak peek into the Hydro Vault which is currently under development. Super slick! KPMG Turkey became a certified member of the Hydro Partner Program. This will allow them to offer all Hydrogen solutions to their enterprise clients. Noice!
Hydro Vault is sure to grab some major eyeballs
As part of its Notary Consilium, Silent Notary set up a dedicated Telegram group for this. In the run up to DevCon5 at Osaka, beta testing of OST’s Pepo app saw it become the #1 non-game Ethereum dApp. Awesomeness! The formal live beta launch of Pepo saw founder Jason Goldberg and co-founder Benjamin Bollen introduce the app for the first time at Building the New Web and EthPlanet Lightning Talks events to DevCon5 attendees. Don’t forget to get the app today in order to catch your favourite crypto thought leader on there – from Bobby Ong to Amanda Gutterman to Jordan Spence and many more. The launch of Pepo was also covered by Decrypt in a feature article. Click here for pics from the Pepo sponsored Shabu Shabu dinner and pub crawl. Fun! And if you were in Osaka, hope you didn’t miss the Crypto Grows on Trees art exhibition. Another event sponsored by Pepo. Also, Pepo stats can be tracked on the OSTWatch as well. This week at Constellation involved the core team sharing insights about the project on various platforms. Co-Founder Ben Jorgensen shared some quick thoughts on how the team works on BizDev that makes it stand out from the rest. BD VP Benjamin Diggles travelled to Oregon Venture Blockchain Studio Demo Day to talk about $DAG. Read up on VP of Finance Mathis Goldmann's thoughts on Constellation's role in the future of blockchain - "The solution to this issue (of scalability) is third generation horizontally scalable blockchains like Constellation…". Ben’s interview with FomoHunt had a few easter eggs (*cough partnerships *cough) peppered in between. The Daily Chain covered the project in a detailed feature. Tons of $BAGS tokens were given away this week in a community-based SWOT analysis sprint on the project. Also, here’s a call-to-action for content creators. BAGS is looking for you. Collab opportunity FTW!

And with that, it’s a wrap. See you again soon with another exciting update. Bye!
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Current State & The Future Of Digital Assets From Ariel Ling, BitMax COO.

Current State & The Future Of Digital Assets From Ariel Ling, BitMax COO.
Ariel Ling, co-founder and COO of BitMax, has shared her thoughts on the current state of digital assets and what to expect in the next years, what retail investor should take into account when buying any cryptocurrencie and the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin.
Ariel Ling, BitMax COO
Why, when and how have you started your crypto journey?
I started my crypto journey at the beginning of 2018 when my long-time friend, the co-founder and CEO of BitMax.io, Dr. George Cao “pulled” me out of the traditional Wall Street and asked me to join him in launching this exciting venture. Three main drivers are 1) to learn more about blockchain technology and its transformational applications in different industries; 2) to leverage in-depth traditional finance expertise to improve overall crypto trading and exchange market structure for better efficiency and transparency; 3) to have a chance to work with a talented and driven team who share similar vision, passion and conviction to build a top global digital asset trading platform as well as a wonderful organization from good to great!
If your friend will ask you: should I consider cryptocurrencies as investment opportunity? What will be your answer? Will you recommend any specific digital asset?
Coming from traditional finance perspective, I would explain my thoughts process from three angles — 1) types of crypto or digital assets as the foundation for understanding; 2) whether they, are more for short-term trading or mid-term investment 2) what are elements for investment valuation and decision-making so our friends can assess and make decision for themselves.
First, in general there are three types of digital assets:
  • Major currency / coin-type like Bitcoin, ETH, XRP, Litecoin, etc. and stable coins;
  • Security-type tokens representing some equity or debt rights of underlying projects;
  • Utility tokens for usage on specific blockchain platform or network.
Each type represents different type of opportunity and risk.
Second: is digital asset good for trading or investment? due to the nascent nature and very short history of market development with most of retail investors’ participation and lack of proper regulatory framework globally, there are quite some market manipulation, speculation and fraud activities in the current market, causing significant volatility and investors loss across all types within very short period of time. This made it very hard for any investors to assess the real valuation and momentum drivers behind those large swings. So at this point, I would think with its high volatility and risk, digital asset in general is more of very short-term trading product than investment vehicle. From liquidity perspective, major currency/coin-type will have more market depth across exchanges, hence more suitable for short-term trading-focused strategies.
Third, from traditional investment perspective, it is critical to assess digital asset investing from valuation and fundamental perspectives, such as business model, future growth, economic return vs. person’s risk tolerance and investment objectives. For major coins, especially Bitcoin itself with its longest history among all the digital assets, have started to provide certain payment function similar to fiat currencies in certain countries. Hence, there are more interesting dynamics to the Bitcoin investing based on one’s view of Bitcoin usage over mid-term horizon and the relative valuation vs its production (mining cost) especially with the price down to 3,500–3,650 USD. For security-type or utility tokens, the performance over short-to-medium term really comes down to combination of intrinsic value of underlying blockchain projects and token economics. Similar to Internet in 1990s, blockchain technology projects are still at the early stage of development and looking for meaningful and applicable use cases to bring real economic benefit from the economics and business model perspective, so it becomes very difficult to apply traditional finance valuation and assess the real intrinsic value of those projects. Recent market crash has brought many of those tokens down to near zero value. So the investment in those tokens are extremely high risk and everyone should be really careful and prudent in the evaluation of any specific projects for the decision-making and risk protection.
What is the story behind BitMax? Who are the foundefounders? When it was founded?
Q1 2018, Dr. George Cao and I founded Global Digital Mercantile (GDM), global operator of digital asset platforms, including BitMax.io based on Singapore for overseas markets and North America’s trading platform aiming for the first half of 2019. BitMax.io started public beta testing mid July, 2018, and was officially launched later mid August. On November 18th , we launched our mining mechanism, the industry very first transaction-mining & reverse-mining mechanism, which has made us the industry leading third-generation cryptocurrency exchange — after first generation of traditional exchanges like Binance, Gemini, Coinbase, etc. and 2nd generation of transaction-mining ones like FCoin, Bitthumb, etc.
Just a quick introduction of my partner. Dr. Cao studied Computer Science in the University of Science and Technology of China, and earned his PhD degree from the University of Chicago. Dr. Cao was the Founder and the Chief Investment Officer of Delpha Capital Management, LLC., New York, specializing in trading equity, ETFs and commodity future products in all major exchanges across the globe. He is also the founder and managing partner of Whitestone Investment Group, a New York based venture fund that invests in a large variety of startup companies that are in the high tech, fintech, big data and medical area. Before founding Delpha Capital, Mr. Cao worked at the Equity Division of Barclays Capital in both the New York and London offices. During that period, he oversaw equity electronic trading in the U.S., European and Asian markets. Prior to Barclays, he researched and traded U.S. equity as a Portfolio Manager at Knight Capital Group.
For me, I have built more than 18-year extensive experience in strategic planning, business development, financial risk management and regulatory implementation across major trading asset classes (Equity, FX, and Fixed Income) at several top global banks. Previous to jumping into digital asset trading, I ran USD liquidity and investment product for top financial institutions and corporate clients at tier-one global investment bank. Before that, I ran US Broker Dealer as COO and head of Business Development for Germany 2nd largest bank. Earlier from 2007 to 2012, I was global equity trading COO across Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, building out trading franchise and market making businesses globally. I have four degrees — graduated top of class from Nankai University with two Bachelor degrees in Finance and English Literature and got my MBA from NYU and Master of Mass Communication from University of Georgia.
Where is Bitmax located? Are you a distributed team or do you have an office to work together? How many people work for Bitmax?
Our global team of 50 members are based off two main location — New York with 20 members, including all the founding members, and Beijing with 30 members.
Would you be so kind to introduce briefly the core team members?
Both George and I are very proud of our 10-member founding team. Similar to us, they are all from Wall Street top firms like Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, and top high-frequency hedge funds with deep experience in the fields of financial engineering research and development of large-scale quant trading infrastructure. Our educational background span across multiple prestigious institutions including Columbia University, University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, and New York University in the United States, as well as Peking University and Tsinghua University in China. So one special thing about BitMax.io is that very few exchanges in the crypto trading space are built by solid team like ours with strong traditional finance mindset and trading background.
You’ve started BitMax during market downtrend in pretty competitive environment. What is your value proposition? Why traders should switch to BitMax?
I think BitMax.io is actually very special in this market, and our team is very proud of what we have built in the short period of six months. There are at least three reasons I think traders should chooseBitMax.io:
  • It’s our real-word professional trading experience and expertise;
  • It’s is our platform, resilient, high volume quantitative-trading platform;
  • It’s is our top-quality customer-centric strategy.
First of all, as I mentioned in the last question, architected by a group of Wall Street veterans, BitMax.io builds upon the core value of blockchain, transparency and reliability, and delivers high-quality client services and trading experience through its innovative trading platform.
Second, our quant-driven tech platform. Our development members were all from high frequency and quantitative systematic trading shops. They definitely make sure the platform was resilient and it can actually handle billions of volume during the design and build. The platform resilience and scalability were fully being tested when we launched the transaction mining and reverse-mining. The first day, we actually had, within the first 24 hours, the trading volume of 1.6 billion in notional; and our system didn’t flinch, didn’t slow down, and didn’t shut down. This is very rare in any of today’s exchanges where you can frequently see the slowdown, the crash, and very slow user responses, especially with transaction mining exchanges.
Third, what we are extremely proud of and all the users can see, is our 24/7 customer services built upon the core Wall Street client-centric concept. Besides our customer support team who never sleep, George actually stands behind the platform almost 24/7 answering questions from the customers, seeking solutions for their issues, and providing the most responsive customer service for the entire crypto trading space.
BitMax CEO, George Cao, is often seen in official Telegram group answering different questions.
We constantly remind our team: customer first. When we design a product, when we launch a system, and when we look at user needs, we all look from customers’ perspective, from how we can protect the users. When we look at primary listing, we only select the high-quality projects because we want our users to have the best investment and trading experience on BitMax.io.
Are you satisfied with the current results of BitMax? Is transaction mining model giving expected volume? What is the % of traders using this model?
We are very pleased with current business development and delivery results from client acquisition and trading perspectives.
On the business development side, we completed the global setup for both 50-member team organization and comprehensive legal entity structure from Asia to North Americas in 2018, which laid down foundation and paved way for 2019 business expansion especially with US.
Since our platform launch in mid Aug, we successfully started Industry FIRST transaction mining and reverse-mining exchange and built out the most active global communities and users within four months in the bear market, with registered users more than 95k; average daily active traders more than quadrupled since the start of transaction mining; average daily trading volume of $465mm through the month of January and February in 2019. Those are extremely promising under this tough market condition.
From the composition of trading volumes, there are two parts — transaction mining which grows exponentially; second is organic, the regular trading which has experienced healthy increase as well because of all the listing activities and all the incentives we have. The regular trading takes about 5% of total trading volume, which is very good for an exchange which was launched in August and running right into the bear market.
What are the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin?
From traditional finance /investment view token economics is really a balance act between business / economic model and exchange market force, driven by three factors: intrinsic value and sustainability, supply and demand, and liquidity and depth.
First, from a traditional finance perspective, we need to look at the intrinsic value, the economic valuation behind a project. How does this project make money? Do they really have fundamentals? Do they really have a viable business model? Do they really have a solid user base for future growth? For example, our exchange business model is very simple. We are exchange; People trade on our platform. The more they trade, the more transaction fee the exchange collect — the revenue source. The exchange will last when people keep trading on the platform and the transaction revenue generated covers the operating cost of running an exchange.
Second, it is the supply and demand of token on the market — who will buy and for what purpose; who will sell and under what scenarios. For major currency coins like Bitcoin, people might buy and sell for potential investment or use in actual payment processing. For other types of token, it is more driven by short-term trading pattern and profit taking. So it is extremely important to set up certain token mechanism to support the equilibrium of supply and demand like how Central Banks manage the supply of currency in circulation through monetary policies.
Third, when the market force comes in, it comes down to the liquidity and depth. Exchange is about liquidity and market depth. That means there has to be enough of trading volumes at each pricing level for each token. For BitMax.io, we have very sophisticated market making model that is similar to Designated Market Maker model of New York Stock Exchange. We focus on providing liquidity and maintaining a fair and orderly market for those token listings who agree to engage our market making services.
Every exchange is looking for good projects in order to become a premiere market for this new asset. Can you name some projects that impressed you recently (even if you are not discussing possible listing with them)?
BitMax.io has strict listing requirements in order to identify high-quality projects for our users. Very proud that we have listed five industry star projects in the last several weeks, with more in the pipeline. All of them have the following attributes that made them successful — viable and profitable business model, growing user bases, strong community support, and comprehensive funding sources.
One of the shining examples is European project named LTO Network listed mid Jan. Its price has been steadily rising since then, as more and more people get to know their business model and more project support comes into the market place to buy the tokens — It uses blockchain technology to streamline a lot of legal processing for one of EU governments, which is very easy to understand its economic value from a revenue perspective. This is simply what people need to see eventually, clean and clear from business economic model perspective.
Let’s imagine a crypto market in 5 or 10 years. Can you make any prediction what the market will look like? What customers will expect from exchange in 5–10 years?
Based off my long-time experience in traditional trading, especially how equity market evolved last twenty years, I would imagine maturing market structure and entrance of institutional investors are key mandatory and healthy development of digital asset market.
First, As the market develops and expands globally, traditional institution participation is a must, in order to upgrade and strengthen the overall market structure and maturity, making it more transparent and resilient, and most importantly enabling the real broad-base adoption of digital assets. Most institutional investors, such as mutual fund, pension fund and other financial institutions, hold the majority of world investment assets, not individual retail investors. Only when those big guys join the market, will there be real revolutionary improvement and expansion of the digital asset just like any other financial markets.
Second, I would expect the market to become more structured with major building blocks for transparent trade life cycle processing and separate risk analytics supporting services. Current crypto trading market is very fragmented with exchanges taking on different roles of trading, wallet management, custodian, etc. Also the lack of clear and consistence regulation on market structure has led to many aspects of market inefficiency — inconsistent liquidity and depth, wide spread, high transaction cost, high volatility, speculation, etc. This definitely hampers the broader adoption of digital assets from institutional investors.
Forward looking, multi-tier structure under some level of regulatory framework with clear guidance is required for future maturing market. Similar to security market, there should be at least three layers of different and independent roles: the role of broker dealer to handle the client relationship with good KYC/ AML processes, retail clients, other financial institutions, blockchain players and to take client order as agent or dealer; the role of exchange to focus on listing and trading — liquidity provision and order matching; the role of clearing house to provide clearing and settlement and custodian on custody of assets with proper control and independence. It is very clean and clear with good check and balance in place.
What are the key challenges for 2019?
During our 2018 business planning, we clearly view 2019 to continue being full of challenges with market uncertainty from both asset price and valuation as well as regulatory development globally. In prep for that and further growth of our platform, we have laid out the following four main strategic objectives and they are all well underway:
  • To launch North America trading platform for high networth and institutional clients. With North America being heavily regulated market, there are two aspects of our plan — First is to leverage a trust structure to facilitate the major coin trading with fiat, and the second is broker-dealer license application with potential for securitized tokens pending regulatory guidance in place.
  • To enhance BitMax.io platform and reach global top-tier exchange. We will continue listening to our users and working hard to enhance user interface and experience by upgrading website vs. other competitors for better client retention.We will continue leading product innovation among the competitors with margin trading (successfully launched in mid Feb) and then derivative to attract new clients.
  • Relent focus on implementation and expansion of current business lines — listing, Market Making, marketing advisory services to grow current revenue base; and further seek new revenue opportunity through North America platform while maintaining cost discipline.
  • we are always on the lookout in terms of exchange alignments, acquisition target, and any business partnership from different aspects of the value chain.
When do you expect a market recovery or next bull run? What are the factors that will influence the start of the market recovery?
With current market crash or correction, there are two possibilities from trading perspective — recovery depending on whether this is a V down or U curve. The U curve occurs when the market collapses, it takes a longer time for market to find the bottom and struggle to rise up. The V down is like a quick collapse — dropping down very fast and reaching the bottom, and then, with some catalyst event, either catalyst from market structure, or catalyst from the market expansion itself, suddenly it gives a boost and bounces right back up.
For market recovery, besides all the investment and economics elements I’ve discussed above, I believe one critical factor is the regulatory development especially clear guidance from key regulatory bodies of those major financial markets such as US, UK, EU, etc. on those key building blocks I mentioned in the maturing market structure. Once those in place, more traditional institutional investors will be ready to get in and hence boost the liquidity and valuation of the digital assets. That is the new beginning of digital assets being accepted as part of Main Street investment globally.

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Consensus Network EP36: Buy, Borrow and Die: Bitcoin Style

Catch the full episode: https://www.consensusnetwork.io/podcastepisodes/2019/10/5/ep36-buy-borrow-and-die-bitcoin-style-1
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Zack Prince. He's Founder and CEO of BlockFi. BlockFi bridges the gap between blockchain and the basic financial products that you're used to including interest-bearing accounts and loans. Zack, welcome to Wealth Formula Podcast. I think you we might have had you on before as a Consensus Network replay but first time on Wealth Formula Podcast specifically, so welcome.
Zac: Yeah, excited to be here, Buck. Thanks for having me. And it's good to chat with you again
Buck: Yeah so remind me how you got into this you know Bitcoin stuff in the first place, I mean you were as I understand you were a traditional finance guy right so where did the blockchain part come in?
Zac: Sure so I was I was working at a company in the FinTech world that provided data and technology solutions to institutional investors that wanted to participate in some of the new online lending platforms, whether they were real estate platforms or consumer lending platforms, and I kind of became the FinTech guy amongst my friend group and people would ask me you know should I invest in these real estate deals on fund rise or buy loans from Lending Club and I started writing a blog to share the information more efficiently with my friends basically and I started expanding a little bit writing about Robo advisory and some other things that were going on in the FinTech space and that's what led me to Bitcoin, and this is back in early 2015. I didn't start BlockFi until 2017 because I started following the market in the background, still working in traditional financial services in FinTech and then in early 2017 it started to feel like mainstream adoption was starting to happen in the crypto ecosystem. I'm started going to some meetups in New York City because at a certain point my wife said Zac, you're talking about crypto all the time and you're talking to me about it and I don't want to talk about it so you should find some other people to talk about this with. And the meetup composition started to change and in 2016 when I started going to these meetups it was the early crypto adopters you know libertarians, computer scientists and then in early 2017 I started to see some venture capitalists, some guys who had just left their job at Wall Street still wearing a suit, some more entrepreneurs and it was a really exciting time in the ecosystem, things like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance were getting announced which had participation microsoft and a lot of other you know fortune 500 companies and I had started to believe in it. I was drinking the kool-aid a little bit so I decided to find a way to get involved in the space full-time and that's what led me to start BlockFi.
Buck: So I have to imagine that the response you got from the traditional finance people around that time when you started talking about the blockchain space and when you started being more and more involved with that was probably not a very positive response initially or did you did you experience some of that sort of you know rejection initially to what you were doing?
Zac: Yeah absolutely. But you know throughout my career this is now kind of the third emerging technology industry that I've worked in. I was originally an advertising technology starting like you know 15 years ago and I was in FinTech specifically the online lending side of FinTech which in its early days was called peer-to-peer lending and now in crypto. So having to do a lot of education explain it you know why something isn't crazy and it might work and here's why and here's the value proposition and here's what it is, I've gotten very used to that and comfortable with it. But yeah there were a lot of people who are like you know I've heard Bitcoin is only used by drug dealers and money launderers. I've heard that I'm supposed to care about blockchain and not Bitcoin. And you know at BlockFi we’re providing financial products into the market so it's a heavily regulated business so we also had to communicate with regulators. We had to explain to state regulators, federal regulators why what we were doing with Bitcoin and other cryptos than when you're doing these same types of things with assets that they're more familiar with.
Buck: So when you were talking to people back in, I don't know I guess 2016/17 and it's not a long time ago, it's only two years ago, but I have to imagine that the response or the you know the approach that people take to you when you speak to investors is very different. Has it become more mainstream in that regard for you know for big money investors?
Zac: It's absolutely become more mainstream you know the end of 2017 Q3/Q4. Point was going on that parabolic run it started to get covered everywhere, I mean it was on CNBC every day it was in Bloomberg New York Times Wall Street Journal. If you were paying attention to the financial industry and markets you heard about Bitcoin at that time if you hadn't heard about it before. So from a baseline of awareness perspective it got a lot better and then in 2018 you had a number of positive developments for the sector including one that I think is probably the most noteworthy which is that Bitcoin futures were listed on the CME the institutional investor perspective that's massive. You now have a well regulated well known super trustworthy venue where you can get exposure to this asset class, you also had companies like Grayscale bringing products to the market which are accessible to certain types of investors and their low bridge accounts and you started to see some adoption from companies like FinTech companies like Robin Hood and Square making Bitcoin available on their platforms. So the conversation has absolutely changed a lot and it's become less about whether or not this is something that's going to continue to exist whether or not it's something that was just a bubble and is going to die and now it's more about ok how is it going to get used how big could it get what are the interesting applications of it and what could have potentially disrupt in the traditional financial ecosystem.
Buck: So you know we had obviously following this you know pop in 2017, you know I actually like you kind of really got into this early 2017 so timing was pretty good I guess now regards. Good or bad depending how you look at it but I was there before before the parabolic move. And then we have you know then we followed this up with a crypto winter and and you know who knows if we're done with it, I guess we certainly are much better off than we were. You know a unit buddy it's funny Zac I don’t know if you remember this but I was about to, we'll talk about BlockFi specifically in a minute but, I was about to use BlockFi for borrowing because I like this idea of borrowing you know collateralized debt and collateralized debt on assets and buying something else. So I was about to do it and then Bitcoin lost a clip and I was like literally and I remember I was just emailing with somebody somebody over there and I was like sorry dude I guess I just sold it, I just sold all that Bitcoin I had and you sent one email back to me and it said “capitulation” but it you know and so now we're looking back at these we go down from 3,000 back up you know been sort of flirting around this 10,000 and it seems like we're kind of maybe that we're stuck there, maybe we're kind of out of winter, maybe we're in a holding pattern but it seems like to me that since that two years not only is the awareness increase but the development of the ecosystem itself is so much further advanced than it was in 2017. Is this an unusual case where the technology and maybe even the infrastructure is actually outpacing the price?
Zac: You know it's really hard to say. I would argue that in some ways it's typical. In other industries that showed a lot of promise where investors could you know participate maybe a little bit ahead of the adoption curve you saw crazy price run ups with the tech bubble and you know ‘99-2000 being the one that's kind of top of mind in recent memory and then on the other side of things, are we behind where the price should be now? It's really hard to say because this is kind of like a commodity type asset built on a payment network and valuing that is challenging and there's not a perfect model for for doing it today. It's not as easy as something that's cashflow producing but I'm incredibly bullish. I'm on record as saying at the beginning of this year that Bitcoin has only had one year in its 10-year existence where it had a lower low than the year before and parted this year around the low price for 2018 and I predicted that we would in the year had a higher price than where we started the year pretty soon and now we're up and you know around 300 percent from where we started the year. As that happens in investing is people frequently look at things on a year-to-year performance basis and when people are looking at Bitcoin even if all we do is stay around 10 K from here when they're looking at how Bitcoin performed rather than other relative to other assets at the end of 2019 it's probably going to look fantastic. And you also have an event coming up and in the summer of next year called The Halvening where basically the supply that's produced by miners is going to get cut in half and so if you believe in the stock the flow type models of valuation for Bitcoin that is usually a very big driver of price appreciation.
Buck: I believe May of 2020, right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: In May of 2020. Can you just talked a little bit about that just so people know because people hear about it, I've been talking about it but I don't think that it really explained it.
Zac: Yeah and you know I'm not I'm not a computer scientist so I can explain it in a you know in a very simple…
Buck: No one else here is either.
Zac: So basically the way that new Bitcoin is created is through this process called mining. And it's analogous to mining gold except instead of finding a place in the earth where gold exists and then getting your trucks and mining equipment and digging it out of the ground, the way bitcoin is mined is using this computer program and there is now specialized computer hardware that's built specifically and optimized for mining Bitcoin. And you have this network of machines around the world where the input is energy into the mining hardware and the output is new Bitcoin and those miners are what provides the power for the payment network a Bitcoin to run and when we say that there is this event called The Halvening, what that basically means is that the output that's built into the Bitcoin program that the miners are receiving as their payment for contributing energy to the network, is going to get cut in half. So the miners are going to have the same you know relative input but the amount that they're receiving is going to get cut in half for that input. This should, if the demand side for Bitcoin remains equal, it should drive up the price and historically Bitcoin has had three of these Halvening events in its lifetime so far I believe and around each Halvening you have seen you know six months before or six months after a pretty material run up in price.
Buck: Yeah so it also goes along with that sort of that the entire idea that Bitcoin unlike you know other assets including gold is it's a deflationary asset ultimately and and that's one of the things that makes that happening really significant. Apart from and I have one more question before we get to block five which is apart from the Halvening, you know thing that's happening, what is maybe the biggest development or upcoming thing that's coming up that makes you the most bullish on the future of Bitcoin or blockchain in general?
Zac: Sure so I think I wouldn't actually point to any one specific thing, I would point to two broad trends. So one is institutional adoption and participation in the asset class and the other is better ramps for retail participation into the asset class and just focusing here you know on the US market because it really is an international story but just in the US market. In September we should have Bakkt launching their futures platform. Bakkt is owned by ICE, the Intercontinental Exchange, and there's a big core difference between their futures and the current futures that are available on the CME in that futures on Bakkt platform are going to be physically settled so that means that actual Bitcoin is going to be needed to facilitate the trading on Bakkt’s platform which does not happen on CMEs exchange so that's that should be a very positive catalyst in terms of demand for physical Bitcoin that could have an impact on the price. Also on the institutional side this year I believe earlier this year, the first pension fund made an investment into an asset management vehicle that was focused on investing in Bitcoin and private equity opportunities in the Bitcoin and blockchain sector. So that will be a trend.
Buck: Which pension fund was it?
Zac: It was in North Carolina so I think it was like the North Carolina Firefighters and the group that raised the money from them was Morgan Creek Digital it’s actually invested in BlockFi by Anthony Pompliano Twitter and Mark Yusko so that's on the institutional side. And then on the retail side you've seen FinTech companies like Square and Robin Hood offer Bitcoin trading to their users. But soon you will also have companies like TD Ameritrade E-Trade and others offer Bitcoin to their users sometimes be a partnership sometimes because they've built it directly. You also at some point might see progress made in terms of an ETF getting approved that would give retail investors in the US market exposure to Bitcoin in a really easy and familiar way. All of those things are tremendously positive catalysts and the caliber of people working on them only continues to increase. Talent was attracted into the sector very, very rapidly these days.
Buck: You know one question that leads me to is that all of this is happening with Bitcoin for the most part. Are alt coins in your opinion is that market coming back or is that something that we're gonna see probably select you know group of tokens projects emerge and then the rest will kind of just get left in the dust, what do you think?
Zac: I mean I'll tell you exactly what I'm doing with my portfolio and then I'll provide a bit more color. So my asset allocation in the crypto side of my investing is I'm like 90% Bitcoin 5% Ethereum and 5% B&B; which is the Binance right. So I'm super bullish on Bitcoin. I think that you know there's a chance that Ether makes a comeback specifically I think that a lot of the stable coins that have been launched have been built on Ethereum if you're not familiar with stable coins it's basically the concept of a dollar but on a blockchain which could be really really powerful because it creates the opportunity for the delivery of US dollar denominated financial services at a global scale not using the traditional banking rails. And then B&B; I mean Binance is the biggest and most successful exchange they have a history of innovating, creating new products, going fast and so I'm taking a bit of a flyer with them but I'm 90% Bitcoin. I don't think that I'm not bullish on any of the other all coins frankly I struggle to see you know the big upside I have heard whispers in the community that there's kind of like a new wave of altcoins 3.0 might emerge, you know could see some some good returns similar to what some of the ICOs did in 2017 but it's not an area of focus for me. So that's my view.
Buck: Yeah let's talk about BlockFi. Remind us exactly what BlockFi is.
Zac: Sure so we're a wealth management platform for crypto investors. Today we have two products that we offer. One product is analogous to a savings account from a traditional bank where you're able to earn interest on your holdings except on BlockFi, the assets instead of being dollars are bitcoin and Ether and we don't have FDIC insurance so it's not exactly the same risk profile as a savings account at a bank, but conceptually you're able to hold Bitcoin and an account with BlockFi and earn interest on it paid in Bitcoin every month. That's one product that we have. The second product that we have which you are alluding to earlier offers our clients the ability to borrow dollars secured by the value of their cryptocurrency and it's analogous to a securities backed loan or a liquidity access line in the traditional world except instead of securities we're taking Bitcoin or other digital assets as collateral and lending it rates as low as four point five lending USD that rates as low as four point five percent a year.
Buck: I wanna pick these apart a little bit if you don't mind. In terms of this savings account first of all is it just bitcoin or is it bitcoin, Ethereum?
Zac: We actually support three assets in the interest account currently Bitcoin, Ether and GUSD which is the stable coin from Gemini.
Buck: Got it. And talk about the interest because it's not one flat interest rate right it's different depending on how much cryptocurrency actually is held?
Zac: Correct so there's a tiered interest rate structure. Currently on Bitcoin for balances up to ten Bitcoin, we offer a six point two percent annual yield and for balances above ten Bitcoin it's a 2.2 percent annual yield. On Ether, for balances up to two hundred Ether it's a 3.3 percent annual yield and balances above two hundred Ether is 0.5% annual yield and for GUSD the stable coin it's an eight point six percent interest rate with no tier so yeah those are the different rates.
Buck: Why did, I mean was it just a matter of like an issue with people dumping like a thousand Bitcoin and trying to get six you know 6% of that, was it just too hard to you know make that a long-term part of the business model or why did the higher levels end up changing to a lower rate?
Zac: Sure so I wanted to function of market conditions and to it's a function of supply and demand. So we launched the interest account in March of this year. We were just starting to come out of the bear market and one of the things that happened as we switched from being in a bear market to being in a bull market is the futures switched from being in backwardation to contango which basically means that our institutional borrowers the groups that we lend to that enable us to pay the rate to depositors had less of a need they had less demand to borrow and they were willing to pay lower rates to borrow crypto than they were when we were building and planning to launch this product. The second thing that happened is we were surprised to the upside in terms of the level of interest that we received from depositors and especially depositors with very large sums of cryptocurrency. So to give you an example you know within a day or two of making the product available publicly, we had a number of groups that were depositing 5, 10, 15, 20 million dollars worth of Bitcoin and so the supply-demand that we have to manage is, the amount that we have on deposit relative to the size of this market that will borrow Bitcoin size of the market that will borrow Bitcoin is partially a function of market sentiments partially a function of number of trading venues and the liquidity profile and it's partially a function of you know BlockFi’s efforts in terms of sales and client development relationship management. So the supply side got a little bit ahead of the demand side on deposit and how much there was available to borrow so we made a few tweaks. We want to keep the 6%, 6.2% rate on Bitcoin available to as many people as possible for as long as possible so that's why we went with the tiered structure where we made it available on balances up to 10 and reduced it for balances above that.
Buck: Got it and the interest on that, when you say 6.2 percent that six point like it's all denominated in Bitcoin, you're not paying cash out right?
Zac: Correct so to use round numbers to provide an easy example you start on January first with a hundred Bitcoin in an account, by the subsequent January first you will have 106 point 2 Bitcoin in your account.
Buck: Yeah and that that's kind of neat too because then you're you know you're also getting potentially the upside of that you know I mean they made 6% but if you if you're really bullish on the market you could be potentially looking at a lot more than 6% on your money. How about in terms of the, is there like a you know do you do it sort of a month-to-month or six month or month you know year-long contracts for these things?
Zac: It's month-to-month. So the rates are subject to change on a monthly basis. We provide notifications at least a week in advance before the end of one month on what the rates will be for the subsequent month and people are able to you know withdraw any time without penalty. We reserve up to 7 days to process withdrawals but we've never taken more than one business day to process a withdrawal so they're pretty quick but not instant for security reasons and yeah it's pretty flexible.
Buck: How about the lump in the lending side how does how does that work? So now I've got like 10 Bitcoin and so I would deposit that I guess and you guys I understand that maybe that that goes into like a Gemini account or something, is that still how it works?
Zac: Correct so we have a partnership with Gemini for custody. So when you log into a BlockFi account you'll have a deposit address. When you send Bitcoin to that deposit address it actually goes directly into storage with Gemini. Gemini was the first custodian in the crypto sector to receive insurance against cyber hacks on their platform. They were also the first custodian to get to complete a SOC 2 compliance audit and they have a really long track record of custody billions of dollars worth of crypto without ever having any issues. So it goes directly to Gemini and then you're able to interact with block-wise platform to take any actions that you might deem necessary. So you can view your interest payments you can withdraw you can deposit more you can also take out a loan. So in terms of taking out a loan, if you have ten Bitcoin that's worth roughly a hundred thousand US dollars at this point in time, you can borrow up to fifty percent of that value in a US dollar loan which can be funded be a wire or stable coin and then the structure of those loans is that you make interest-only payments on the amount that you borrowed throughout the duration and you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: And what's the typical you said it was four point six.
Zac: We have interest rates as low as four point five. The interest rates on borrowing USD vary according to your initial loan to value ratio. So if you have a hundred thousand dollars worth of Bitcoin we actually have three loan-to-value ratio options. You can borrow at a 50 percent initial loan-to-value ratio which would mean you're borrowing 50k, the interest rate on that will be eleven point two five, if you borrow thirty five percent of the value so 35k the interest rate is seven point nine, and if you borrow twenty five percent of the value of the interest rate is four point five percent per year.
Buck: Got it. In terms of you know the technical, so you basically pay that on a month-to-month basis and then in terms of contracts, are those also month-to-month loans or how does that work?
Zac: Those are one-year term loans well now it's the ability to renew without repaying the principal at the end of the term at current rates and our rates for those loans have always come down so far. So it's a one-year term loan BlockFi committed for a year at that rate your payments stay the same but you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: Right. When do you do when would you do an actual sort of I guess a cap will call like what loan-to-value because you can go up to say you're borrowing at you know you're borrowing at the lowest rate you know you're at 4.5% you're borrowing see you know just for round numbers 100 Bitcoin you borrowed or you said 10 Bitcoin hundred thousand dollars but you only borrowed twenty-five thousand dollars at four point five percent, what if Bitcoin you know loses 50 percent of its value then what happens?
Zac: Well you wouldn't have a margin call based on on that example. If your loan to value ratio hits 70 percent that's when we have a margin call and the way the margin call works is our clients have the option to either post more collateral, pay down the loan using USD or some of the collateral that's posted for the loan or take no action. If they take no action there's a 72-hour window where we'll wait to see if the price recovers, if it does then no action is required, if the price keeps going down further then we will initiate a partial collateral sale to rebalance that LTV to a healthy level at the end of that window.
Buck: So in terms of the clients that you see doing this kind of stuff, I mean who are you seeing borrowing because you don't have a cap I mean you can on the borrow side, I mean and the rates don't really change like if you're depositing a hundred Bitcoin you're getting the same rate differences as somebody who's depositing ten for borrowing right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: So who are the people who are putting I mean what are these businesses that are putting are using these loans who are the typical clients?
Zac: Sure so it's a mix of retail and corporate. On the retail side we actually did a survey recently on use cases and the number one use case about a third of our borrowers expressed is that they were using the funds that they borrowed to start a business, which we were really excited about. So the other popular use cases were investing in real estate, investing in other types of traditional assets like stocks and bonds, home improvement, larger purchases, vacations were all used cases, paying down higher cost debt was another use case, and then on the corporate side the loans are used for operating capital. So we have some mining companies that borrow from BlockFi. Other types of companies who you know maybe have crypto denominated inventory like exchanges or crypto ATM businesses our frequent borrowers from BlockFi and our loan sizes rearranged from you know as low as five thousand dollars all the way up to seven figures. So it's a pretty diverse group of borrowers.
Buck: So recently it sounds like you guys partnered with another company called Casa. What is Casa and I guess how does that benefit both companies?
Zac: Sure. So Casa is a leader in fighting self sovereign storage solutions for cryptocurrency owners so if you're alone that owns Bitcoin and to use a gold analogy. If you want to own gold but you keep it in your vault or in your backyard you want to have physical possession of it yourself if you want to do that same type of custody with Bitcoin. Casa has a solution that makes that really easy. Our partnership with Casa provides mutual benefits to clients on either side. So Casa clients are able to receive some discounts in terms of accessing BlockFi products and vice-versa BlockFi clients are able to receive discounts in terms of accessing kasam products and over time we'll build some things in to the user experience specifically on Casa’s platform that will make it you know a bit more seamless to interact with BlockFi products while you're on their platform. In general that partnership strategy is something that you'll see more of we think there are in the ecosystem that are specializing in areas that BlockFi's not focused on and doing things where we can provide benefits to clients on both sides is a win-win for us then and our clients.
Buck: Last thing I want to ask you about, last time I spoke to you, you had talked about the idea of potentially Bitcoin backed credit cards meaning like you know getting Bitcoin back instead of miles or dollars back. You guys any closer to that, because I definitely want one of those cards.
Zac: I'm so glad you brought it up. We're definitely closer, but we're not you're not going to have the card until like Q3 of next year probably. It's getting worked on, these things you know for better or worse they take a long time launching a credit program is no small feat you know we're working on it. We've identified some of the key partners that we'll be working with to bring that product to market it is going to happen and I share your sentiment like I wish I had it now.
Buck: Yeah seriously that'd be great. Well listen it was great talking you. So it's BlockFi.com and it's spelled like block and then fi and tell us you know tell us the process of doing is pretty simple okay how long does it take to apply for these things…
Zac: Yeah I mean nothing takes any time really. So you could come in and start earning interest and get a loan from us all in under five minutes. And we also have a client service team that's super responsive in in terms of communication however you want to communicate with them, over email, over the phone, over text message so you know don't don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're also on twitter. My twitter handle is BlockFiZac and our company twitter handle is @therealBlockFi so we're very active on those platforms and happy to chat with you there as well.
Buck: Zac Prince, thank you very much for being on Wealth Formula Podcast today.
Zac: Thanks for having me, Buck, I appreciate it.
Buck: We’ll be right back.
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Wealth Formula Episode 179: Buy, Borrow and Die: Bitcoin Style

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/179-buy-borrow-and-die-bitcoin-style/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Zack Prince. He's Founder and CEO of BlockFi. BlockFi bridges the gap between blockchain and the basic financial products that you're used to including interest-bearing accounts and loans. Zack, welcome to Wealth Formula Podcast. I think you we might have had you on before as a Consensus Network replay but first time on Wealth Formula Podcast specifically, so welcome.
Zac: Yeah, excited to be here, Buck. Thanks for having me. And it's good to chat with you again
Buck: Yeah so remind me how you got into this you know Bitcoin stuff in the first place, I mean you were as I understand you were a traditional finance guy right so where did the blockchain part come in?
Zac: Sure so I was I was working at a company in the FinTech world that provided data and technology solutions to institutional investors that wanted to participate in some of the new online lending platforms, whether they were real estate platforms or consumer lending platforms, and I kind of became the FinTech guy amongst my friend group and people would ask me you know should I invest in these real estate deals on fund rise or buy loans from Lending Club and I started writing a blog to share the information more efficiently with my friends basically and I started expanding a little bit writing about Robo advisory and some other things that were going on in the FinTech space and that's what led me to Bitcoin, and this is back in early 2015. I didn't start BlockFi until 2017 because I started following the market in the background, still working in traditional financial services in FinTech and then in early 2017 it started to feel like mainstream adoption was starting to happen in the crypto ecosystem. I'm started going to some meetups in New York City because at a certain point my wife said Zac, you're talking about crypto all the time and you're talking to me about it and I don't want to talk about it so you should find some other people to talk about this with. And the meetup composition started to change and in 2016 when I started going to these meetups it was the early crypto adopters you know libertarians, computer scientists and then in early 2017 I started to see some venture capitalists, some guys who had just left their job at Wall Street still wearing a suit, some more entrepreneurs and it was a really exciting time in the ecosystem, things like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance were getting announced which had participation microsoft and a lot of other you know fortune 500 companies and I had started to believe in it. I was drinking the kool-aid a little bit so I decided to find a way to get involved in the space full-time and that's what led me to start BlockFi.
Buck: So I have to imagine that the response you got from the traditional finance people around that time when you started talking about the blockchain space and when you started being more and more involved with that was probably not a very positive response initially or did you did you experience some of that sort of you know rejection initially to what you were doing?
Zac: Yeah absolutely. But you know throughout my career this is now kind of the third emerging technology industry that I've worked in. I was originally an advertising technology starting like you know 15 years ago and I was in FinTech specifically the online lending side of FinTech which in its early days was called peer-to-peer lending and now in crypto. So having to do a lot of education explain it you know why something isn't crazy and it might work and here's why and here's the value proposition and here's what it is, I've gotten very used to that and comfortable with it. But yeah there were a lot of people who are like you know I've heard Bitcoin is only used by drug dealers and money launderers. I've heard that I'm supposed to care about blockchain and not Bitcoin. And you know at BlockFi we’re providing financial products into the market so it's a heavily regulated business so we also had to communicate with regulators. We had to explain to state regulators, federal regulators why what we were doing with Bitcoin and other cryptos than when you're doing these same types of things with assets that they're more familiar with.
Buck: So when you were talking to people back in, I don't know I guess 2016/17 and it's not a long time ago, it's only two years ago, but I have to imagine that the response or the you know the approach that people take to you when you speak to investors is very different. Has it become more mainstream in that regard for you know for big money investors?
Zac: It's absolutely become more mainstream you know the end of 2017 Q3/Q4. Point was going on that parabolic run it started to get covered everywhere, I mean it was on CNBC every day it was in Bloomberg New York Times Wall Street Journal. If you were paying attention to the financial industry and markets you heard about Bitcoin at that time if you hadn't heard about it before. So from a baseline of awareness perspective it got a lot better and then in 2018 you had a number of positive developments for the sector including one that I think is probably the most noteworthy which is that Bitcoin futures were listed on the CME the institutional investor perspective that's massive. You now have a well regulated well known super trustworthy venue where you can get exposure to this asset class, you also had companies like Grayscale bringing products to the market which are accessible to certain types of investors and their low bridge accounts and you started to see some adoption from companies like FinTech companies like Robin Hood and Square making Bitcoin available on their platforms. So the conversation has absolutely changed a lot and it's become less about whether or not this is something that's going to continue to exist whether or not it's something that was just a bubble and is going to die and now it's more about ok how is it going to get used how big could it get what are the interesting applications of it and what could have potentially disrupt in the traditional financial ecosystem.
Buck: So you know we had obviously following this you know pop in 2017, you know I actually like you kind of really got into this early 2017 so timing was pretty good I guess now regards. Good or bad depending how you look at it but I was there before before the parabolic move. And then we have you know then we followed this up with a crypto winter and and you know who knows if we're done with it, I guess we certainly are much better off than we were. You know a unit buddy it's funny Zac I don’t know if you remember this but I was about to, we'll talk about BlockFi specifically in a minute but, I was about to use BlockFi for borrowing because I like this idea of borrowing you know collateralized debt and collateralized debt on assets and buying something else. So I was about to do it and then Bitcoin lost a clip and I was like literally and I remember I was just emailing with somebody somebody over there and I was like sorry dude I guess I just sold it, I just sold all that Bitcoin I had and you sent one email back to me and it said “capitulation” but it you know and so now we're looking back at these we go down from 3,000 back up you know been sort of flirting around this 10,000 and it seems like we're kind of maybe that we're stuck there, maybe we're kind of out of winter, maybe we're in a holding pattern but it seems like to me that since that two years not only is the awareness increase but the development of the ecosystem itself is so much further advanced than it was in 2017. Is this an unusual case where the technology and maybe even the infrastructure is actually outpacing the price?
Zac: You know it's really hard to say. I would argue that in some ways it's typical. In other industries that showed a lot of promise where investors could you know participate maybe a little bit ahead of the adoption curve you saw crazy price run ups with the tech bubble and you know ‘99-2000 being the one that's kind of top of mind in recent memory and then on the other side of things, are we behind where the price should be now? It's really hard to say because this is kind of like a commodity type asset built on a payment network and valuing that is challenging and there's not a perfect model for for doing it today. It's not as easy as something that's cashflow producing but I'm incredibly bullish. I'm on record as saying at the beginning of this year that Bitcoin has only had one year in its 10-year existence where it had a lower low than the year before and parted this year around the low price for 2018 and I predicted that we would in the year had a higher price than where we started the year pretty soon and now we're up and you know around 300 percent from where we started the year. As that happens in investing is people frequently look at things on a year-to-year performance basis and when people are looking at Bitcoin even if all we do is stay around 10 K from here when they're looking at how Bitcoin performed rather than other relative to other assets at the end of 2019 it's probably going to look fantastic. And you also have an event coming up and in the summer of next year called The Halvening where basically the supply that's produced by miners is going to get cut in half and so if you believe in the stock the flow type models of valuation for Bitcoin that is usually a very big driver of price appreciation.
Buck: I believe May of 2020, right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: In May of 2020. Can you just talked a little bit about that just so people know because people hear about it, I've been talking about it but I don't think that it really explained it.
Zac: Yeah and you know I'm not I'm not a computer scientist so I can explain it in a you know in a very simple…
Buck: No one else here is either.
Zac: So basically the way that new Bitcoin is created is through this process called mining. And it's analogous to mining gold except instead of finding a place in the earth where gold exists and then getting your trucks and mining equipment and digging it out of the ground, the way bitcoin is mined is using this computer program and there is now specialized computer hardware that's built specifically and optimized for mining Bitcoin. And you have this network of machines around the world where the input is energy into the mining hardware and the output is new Bitcoin and those miners are what provides the power for the payment network a Bitcoin to run and when we say that there is this event called The Halvening, what that basically means is that the output that's built into the Bitcoin program that the miners are receiving as their payment for contributing energy to the network, is going to get cut in half. So the miners are going to have the same you know relative input but the amount that they're receiving is going to get cut in half for that input. This should, if the demand side for Bitcoin remains equal, it should drive up the price and historically Bitcoin has had three of these Halvening events in its lifetime so far I believe and around each Halvening you have seen you know six months before or six months after a pretty material run up in price.
Buck: Yeah so it also goes along with that sort of that the entire idea that Bitcoin unlike you know other assets including gold is it's a deflationary asset ultimately and and that's one of the things that makes that happening really significant. Apart from and I have one more question before we get to block five which is apart from the Halvening, you know thing that's happening, what is maybe the biggest development or upcoming thing that's coming up that makes you the most bullish on the future of Bitcoin or blockchain in general?
Zac: Sure so I think I wouldn't actually point to any one specific thing, I would point to two broad trends. So one is institutional adoption and participation in the asset class and the other is better ramps for retail participation into the asset class and just focusing here you know on the US market because it really is an international story but just in the US market. In September we should have Bakkt launching their futures platform. Bakkt is owned by ICE, the Intercontinental Exchange, and there's a big core difference between their futures and the current futures that are available on the CME in that futures on Bakkt platform are going to be physically settled so that means that actual Bitcoin is going to be needed to facilitate the trading on Bakkt’s platform which does not happen on CMEs exchange so that's that should be a very positive catalyst in terms of demand for physical Bitcoin that could have an impact on the price. Also on the institutional side this year I believe earlier this year, the first pension fund made an investment into an asset management vehicle that was focused on investing in Bitcoin and private equity opportunities in the Bitcoin and blockchain sector. So that will be a trend.
Buck: Which pension fund was it?
Zac: It was in North Carolina so I think it was like the North Carolina Firefighters and the group that raised the money from them was Morgan Creek Digital it’s actually invested in BlockFi by Anthony Pompliano Twitter and Mark Yusko so that's on the institutional side. And then on the retail side you've seen FinTech companies like Square and Robin Hood offer Bitcoin trading to their users. But soon you will also have companies like TD Ameritrade E-Trade and others offer Bitcoin to their users sometimes be a partnership sometimes because they've built it directly. You also at some point might see progress made in terms of an ETF getting approved that would give retail investors in the US market exposure to Bitcoin in a really easy and familiar way. All of those things are tremendously positive catalysts and the caliber of people working on them only continues to increase. Talent was attracted into the sector very, very rapidly these days.
Buck: You know one question that leads me to is that all of this is happening with Bitcoin for the most part. Are alt coins in your opinion is that market coming back or is that something that we're gonna see probably select you know group of tokens projects emerge and then the rest will kind of just get left in the dust, what do you think?
Zac: I mean I'll tell you exactly what I'm doing with my portfolio and then I'll provide a bit more color. So my asset allocation in the crypto side of my investing is I'm like 90% Bitcoin 5% Ethereum and 5% B&B; which is the Binance right. So I'm super bullish on Bitcoin. I think that you know there's a chance that Ether makes a comeback specifically I think that a lot of the stable coins that have been launched have been built on Ethereum if you're not familiar with stable coins it's basically the concept of a dollar but on a blockchain which could be really really powerful because it creates the opportunity for the delivery of US dollar denominated financial services at a global scale not using the traditional banking rails. And then B&B; I mean Binance is the biggest and most successful exchange they have a history of innovating, creating new products, going fast and so I'm taking a bit of a flyer with them but I'm 90% Bitcoin. I don't think that I'm not bullish on any of the other all coins frankly I struggle to see you know the big upside I have heard whispers in the community that there's kind of like a new wave of altcoins 3.0 might emerge, you know could see some some good returns similar to what some of the ICOs did in 2017 but it's not an area of focus for me. So that's my view.
Buck: Yeah let's talk about BlockFi. Remind us exactly what BlockFi is.
Zac: Sure so we're a wealth management platform for crypto investors. Today we have two products that we offer. One product is analogous to a savings account from a traditional bank where you're able to earn interest on your holdings except on BlockFi, the assets instead of being dollars are bitcoin and Ether and we don't have FDIC insurance so it's not exactly the same risk profile as a savings account at a bank, but conceptually you're able to hold Bitcoin and an account with BlockFi and earn interest on it paid in Bitcoin every month. That's one product that we have. The second product that we have which you are alluding to earlier offers our clients the ability to borrow dollars secured by the value of their cryptocurrency and it's analogous to a securities backed loan or a liquidity access line in the traditional world except instead of securities we're taking Bitcoin or other digital assets as collateral and lending it rates as low as four point five lending USD that rates as low as four point five percent a year.
Buck: I wanna pick these apart a little bit if you don't mind. In terms of this savings account first of all is it just bitcoin or is it bitcoin, Ethereum?
Zac: We actually support three assets in the interest account currently Bitcoin, Ether and GUSD which is the stable coin from Gemini.
Buck: Got it. And talk about the interest because it's not one flat interest rate right it's different depending on how much cryptocurrency actually is held?
Zac: Correct so there's a tiered interest rate structure. Currently on Bitcoin for balances up to ten Bitcoin, we offer a six point two percent annual yield and for balances above ten Bitcoin it's a 2.2 percent annual yield. On Ether, for balances up to two hundred Ether it's a 3.3 percent annual yield and balances above two hundred Ether is 0.5% annual yield and for GUSD the stable coin it's an eight point six percent interest rate with no tier so yeah those are the different rates.
Buck: Why did, I mean was it just a matter of like an issue with people dumping like a thousand Bitcoin and trying to get six you know 6% of that, was it just too hard to you know make that a long-term part of the business model or why did the higher levels end up changing to a lower rate?
Zac: Sure so I wanted to function of market conditions and to it's a function of supply and demand. So we launched the interest account in March of this year. We were just starting to come out of the bear market and one of the things that happened as we switched from being in a bear market to being in a bull market is the futures switched from being in backwardation to contango which basically means that our institutional borrowers the groups that we lend to that enable us to pay the rate to depositors had less of a need they had less demand to borrow and they were willing to pay lower rates to borrow crypto than they were when we were building and planning to launch this product. The second thing that happened is we were surprised to the upside in terms of the level of interest that we received from depositors and especially depositors with very large sums of cryptocurrency. So to give you an example you know within a day or two of making the product available publicly, we had a number of groups that were depositing 5, 10, 15, 20 million dollars worth of Bitcoin and so the supply-demand that we have to manage is, the amount that we have on deposit relative to the size of this market that will borrow Bitcoin size of the market that will borrow Bitcoin is partially a function of market sentiments partially a function of number of trading venues and the liquidity profile and it's partially a function of you know BlockFi’s efforts in terms of sales and client development relationship management. So the supply side got a little bit ahead of the demand side on deposit and how much there was available to borrow so we made a few tweaks. We want to keep the 6%, 6.2% rate on Bitcoin available to as many people as possible for as long as possible so that's why we went with the tiered structure where we made it available on balances up to 10 and reduced it for balances above that.
Buck: Got it and the interest on that, when you say 6.2 percent that six point like it's all denominated in Bitcoin, you're not paying cash out right?
Zac: Correct so to use round numbers to provide an easy example you start on January first with a hundred Bitcoin in an account, by the subsequent January first you will have 106 point 2 Bitcoin in your account.
Buck: Yeah and that that's kind of neat too because then you're you know you're also getting potentially the upside of that you know I mean they made 6% but if you if you're really bullish on the market you could be potentially looking at a lot more than 6% on your money. How about in terms of the, is there like a you know do you do it sort of a month-to-month or six month or month you know year-long contracts for these things?
Zac: It's month-to-month. So the rates are subject to change on a monthly basis. We provide notifications at least a week in advance before the end of one month on what the rates will be for the subsequent month and people are able to you know withdraw any time without penalty. We reserve up to 7 days to process withdrawals but we've never taken more than one business day to process a withdrawal so they're pretty quick but not instant for security reasons and yeah it's pretty flexible.
Buck: How about the lump in the lending side how does how does that work? So now I've got like 10 Bitcoin and so I would deposit that I guess and you guys I understand that maybe that that goes into like a Gemini account or something, is that still how it works?
Zac: Correct so we have a partnership with Gemini for custody. So when you log into a BlockFi account you'll have a deposit address. When you send Bitcoin to that deposit address it actually goes directly into storage with Gemini. Gemini was the first custodian in the crypto sector to receive insurance against cyber hacks on their platform. They were also the first custodian to get to complete a SOC 2 compliance audit and they have a really long track record of custody billions of dollars worth of crypto without ever having any issues. So it goes directly to Gemini and then you're able to interact with block-wise platform to take any actions that you might deem necessary. So you can view your interest payments you can withdraw you can deposit more you can also take out a loan. So in terms of taking out a loan, if you have ten Bitcoin that's worth roughly a hundred thousand US dollars at this point in time, you can borrow up to fifty percent of that value in a US dollar loan which can be funded be a wire or stable coin and then the structure of those loans is that you make interest-only payments on the amount that you borrowed throughout the duration and you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: And what's the typical you said it was four point six.
Zac: We have interest rates as low as four point five. The interest rates on borrowing USD vary according to your initial loan to value ratio. So if you have a hundred thousand dollars worth of Bitcoin we actually have three loan-to-value ratio options. You can borrow at a 50 percent initial loan-to-value ratio which would mean you're borrowing 50k, the interest rate on that will be eleven point two five, if you borrow thirty five percent of the value so 35k the interest rate is seven point nine, and if you borrow twenty five percent of the value of the interest rate is four point five percent per year.
Buck: Got it. In terms of you know the technical, so you basically pay that on a month-to-month basis and then in terms of contracts, are those also month-to-month loans or how does that work?
Zac: Those are one-year term loans well now it's the ability to renew without repaying the principal at the end of the term at current rates and our rates for those loans have always come down so far. So it's a one-year term loan BlockFi committed for a year at that rate your payments stay the same but you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: Right. When do you do when would you do an actual sort of I guess a cap will call like what loan-to-value because you can go up to say you're borrowing at you know you're borrowing at the lowest rate you know you're at 4.5% you're borrowing see you know just for round numbers 100 Bitcoin you borrowed or you said 10 Bitcoin hundred thousand dollars but you only borrowed twenty-five thousand dollars at four point five percent, what if Bitcoin you know loses 50 percent of its value then what happens?
Zac: Well you wouldn't have a margin call based on on that example. If your loan to value ratio hits 70 percent that's when we have a margin call and the way the margin call works is our clients have the option to either post more collateral, pay down the loan using USD or some of the collateral that's posted for the loan or take no action. If they take no action there's a 72-hour window where we'll wait to see if the price recovers, if it does then no action is required, if the price keeps going down further then we will initiate a partial collateral sale to rebalance that LTV to a healthy level at the end of that window.
Buck: So in terms of the clients that you see doing this kind of stuff, I mean who are you seeing borrowing because you don't have a cap I mean you can on the borrow side, I mean and the rates don't really change like if you're depositing a hundred Bitcoin you're getting the same rate differences as somebody who's depositing ten for borrowing right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: So who are the people who are putting I mean what are these businesses that are putting are using these loans who are the typical clients?
Zac: Sure so it's a mix of retail and corporate. On the retail side we actually did a survey recently on use cases and the number one use case about a third of our borrowers expressed is that they were using the funds that they borrowed to start a business, which we were really excited about. So the other popular use cases were investing in real estate, investing in other types of traditional assets like stocks and bonds, home improvement, larger purchases, vacations were all used cases, paying down higher cost debt was another use case, and then on the corporate side the loans are used for operating capital. So we have some mining companies that borrow from BlockFi. Other types of companies who you know maybe have crypto denominated inventory like exchanges or crypto ATM businesses our frequent borrowers from BlockFi and our loan sizes rearranged from you know as low as five thousand dollars all the way up to seven figures. So it's a pretty diverse group of borrowers.
Buck: So recently it sounds like you guys partnered with another company called Casa. What is Casa and I guess how does that benefit both companies?
Zac: Sure. So Casa is a leader in fighting self sovereign storage solutions for cryptocurrency owners so if you're alone that owns Bitcoin and to use a gold analogy. If you want to own gold but you keep it in your vault or in your backyard you want to have physical possession of it yourself if you want to do that same type of custody with Bitcoin. Casa has a solution that makes that really easy. Our partnership with Casa provides mutual benefits to clients on either side. So Casa clients are able to receive some discounts in terms of accessing BlockFi products and vice-versa BlockFi clients are able to receive discounts in terms of accessing kasam products and over time we'll build some things in to the user experience specifically on Casa’s platform that will make it you know a bit more seamless to interact with BlockFi products while you're on their platform. In general that partnership strategy is something that you'll see more of we think there are in the ecosystem that are specializing in areas that BlockFi's not focused on and doing things where we can provide benefits to clients on both sides is a win-win for us then and our clients.
Buck: Last thing I want to ask you about, last time I spoke to you, you had talked about the idea of potentially Bitcoin backed credit cards meaning like you know getting Bitcoin back instead of miles or dollars back. You guys any closer to that, because I definitely want one of those cards.
Zac: I'm so glad you brought it up. We're definitely closer, but we're not you're not going to have the card until like Q3 of next year probably. It's getting worked on, these things you know for better or worse they take a long time launching a credit program is no small feat you know we're working on it. We've identified some of the key partners that we'll be working with to bring that product to market it is going to happen and I share your sentiment like I wish I had it now.
Buck: Yeah seriously that'd be great. Well listen it was great talking you. So it's BlockFi.com and it's spelled like block and then fi and tell us you know tell us the process of doing is pretty simple okay how long does it take to apply for these things…
Zac: Yeah I mean nothing takes any time really. So you could come in and start earning interest and get a loan from us all in under five minutes. And we also have a client service team that's super responsive in in terms of communication however you want to communicate with them, over email, over the phone, over text message so you know don't don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're also on twitter. My twitter handle is BlockFiZac and our company twitter handle is @therealBlockFi so we're very active on those platforms and happy to chat with you there as well.
Buck: Zac Prince, thank you very much for being on Wealth Formula Podcast today.
Zac: Thanks for having me, Buck, I appreciate it.
Buck: We’ll be right back.
submitted by Buck_Joffrey to u/Buck_Joffrey [link] [comments]

Waltonchain All-in-One - Extended

Welcome!

I would like to warmly welcome everyone to waltonchain
This is an updated, extended community-written post and I will try to update it regularly over time.
Please respect our rules (see sidebar) and feel free to comment, contribute and ask questions.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the subreddit for any news on Waltonchain!
 

Getting Started

What is Waltonchain?

The Waltonchain Foundation is building a cross-industry, cross-data sharing platform by integrating Blockchain with the Internet of Things through self-developed RFID Chips with intellectual property rights.
The in-house developed Waltonchain RFID chips integrate a proprietary, genuine random number generator and an asymmetric encryption logic and hardware signature circuit, all of which are patent-protected.
The combination of self-developed RFID chips and the Waltonchain blockchain will ultimately achieve the interconnection of all things and create a genuine, believable, traceable businessmodel with totally shared data and transparent information.
Waltonchain will unfold a new era of the Value Internet of Things (VIoT).
 
Waltonchain Introduction Video
Launch of Waltonchain
 

The Project

The Waltonchain team has formulated a 4-phase development plan, starting from infrastructure platform establishment to gradually incorporating retail, logistics and product manufacturing, and to finally achieving the full coverage of the business ecosystem.
 
As for the phase 1.0 of the project, the team has developed the clothing system integration scheme based on RFID. The application scenarios at phase 1.0 will establish Golden demonstration template
At phase 2.0, our RFID beacon chip will be massproduced and can be used in clothing, B2C retail and logistics.
At phase 3.0, manufacturers will achieve traceable customization of intelligent packaging.
At the project phase 4.0, with the upgrading and iteration of assets information collection hardware and improvement of blockchain data structure, all assets can be registered in Waltonchain in the future.
 
Original Roadmap Thread

Project-Updates:

Video: WTC-Garment System by Waltonchain & Kaltendin
Video: WTC-Food System by Waltonchain
 

Official Resources

Waltonchain Whitepaper
Waltonchain Official Website
Waltonchain Github
 
Official Official Medium
Official Slack
Official Instagram
Official Facebook
Official Twitter @waltonchain
Official Telegram @waltonchain_en
 
Dedicated community Telegram channel for Waltonchain miners, MN & GMN holders.
@WaltonchainMining
 
 
Chinese Community
本群为沃尔顿链华文官方社群
Chinese Telegram @waltonchain_cn
官方网站 - Waltonchain China - Website
 
Korean Community
공식사이트 - Waltonchain Korea - Website
카카오톡 - Waltonchain Korea - Kakao
트위터 - Waltonchain Korea - Twitter
블로그 - Waltonchain Korea - Naver Blog
인스타그램 - Waltonchain Korea - Instagram
Freyr 공식텔레그램방(한국) - Freyrchain Korea - Telegram
Communities in Progress
Russian Twitter @waltonchain_ru
Russian Website
Japanese Twitter @waltonchain_jp
Japanese Website
Brazilian Twitter @waltonchain_br
 

Waltonchain Wallet

Please note that before the token swap,
DO NOT transfer your ERC20 WTC tokens to the WTC wallet!!
 
Wallet for PC (Github)
Web Wallet - Instruction Manual
Windows Wallet - User Manual
Windows Wallet - Tutorial Video
Wallet for Android
Google Playstore
Github
Android User Manual
Android Wallet - Tutorial Video
 
Wallet for IOS
(pending Apple Store approval)
 
Explorer
Waltonchain Explorer
Waltonchain Blockchain Explorer User Manual
 
Mining
Waltonchain GPU Mining User Manual
Waltonchain Progressive Mining Reward Program
 
Unofficial
Unofficial Guardian Masternode Tracker
waltonchain.tech - Unofficial collection of news and useful resources

The Foundation

>> Waltonchain Organizational Chart <<<--
 
Waltonchain Foundation Ltd. (Singapore) - 沃尔顿链
Waltonchain (HK) Development Co. Ltd. (Head company)
Walton Chain Technology Co. Ltd. (Korea)
Silicon (Shenzhen) Electronic Technology Co. Ltd.
Silicon (Xiamen) Electronic Technology Co.Ltd. (RFID Chip Research)
Silicon (Quanzhou) Electronic Technology Co. Ltd.(IoT Intelligent Switch Chip)
Nanjing Sleewa Information Technology Co. Ltd. (Blockchain)
Quanzhou KEDIHENG Electronic Technology Co. Ltd
Xiamen IOT Technology Co. Ltd.
Xiamen Citylink Technology Co.Ltd.
Xiamen ZhongChuan IOT Industry Research Institute Co.Ltd.
 

The Team

Founder:

Do Sanghyuk (都相爀) – Initiator in Korea
Korean, Vice Chairman of the China - Korea Cultural Exchange Development Committee, Director of the Korea Standard Products Association, Chairman of Seongnam Branch of the Korea Small and Medium Enterprises Committee, Chairman of Korea NC Technology Co., Ltd., Senior Reporter of IT TODAY News, Senior Reporter of NEWS PAPER Economic Department, Director of ET NEWS.
 
Xu Fangcheng (许芳呈) – Initiator in China
Chinese, majored in Business Management, former Director for Supply Chain Management of Septwolves Group Ltd., has rich practical experience in supply chain management and purchasing process management. Currently, he is the Director of Shenzhen Silicon, the Director of Xiamen Silicon and the Board Chairman of Quanzhou Silicon. He is also one of our Angel investors.
 

Senior Experts:

Kim Suk ki (金锡基)
Korean, South Koreas electronics industry leader, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from the University of Minnesota), Professor of Korea University, previously worked at Bell Labs and Honeywell USA, served as vice president of Samsung Electronics, senior expert in integrated circuit design field, IEEE Senior Member, Vice President of the Korea Institute of Electrical Engineers, Chairman of the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association. Has published more than 250 academic papers with more than 60 patents.
 
Zhu Yanping (朱延平)
Taiwanese, China, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from National Cheng Kung University), Chairman of the Taiwan Cloud Services Association, Director of Information Management Department of National Chung Hsing University. Has won the Youth Invention Award by Taiwan Ministry of Education and Taiwan Top Ten Information Talent Award. Has deeply studied blockchain applications over the years and led a block chain technology team to develop systems for health big data and agricultural traceability projects.
 

Chief Experts

Mo Bing (莫冰)
Chinese, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from Harbin Institute of Technology), Research Professor of Korea University, Distinguished Fellow of Sun Yat - sen University, Internet of Things expert, integrated circuit expert, Senior Member of Chinese Society of Micro-Nano Technology, IEEE Member. Has published more than 20 papers and applied for 18 invention patents. Began his research of BitCoin in 2013, one of the earliest users of btc 38.com and Korea korbit. Served as Technical Director of Korea University to cooperate with Samsung Group to complete the project Multi sensor data interaction and fusion based on peer to peer network. Committed to the integration of block chain technology and Internet of Things to create a real commercialized public chain.
 
Wei Songjie (魏松杰)
Chinese, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from the University of Delaware), Associate Professor of Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Core Member and Master Supervisor of Network Space Security Engineering Research Institute, Block Chain Technology expert in the field of computer network protocol and application, network and information security. Has published more than 20 papers and applied for 7 invention patents. Previously worked at Google, Qualcomm, Bloomberg and many other high-tech companies in the United States, served as R D engineer and technical expert; has a wealth of experience in computer system design, product development and project management.
 

Core Members

Shan Liang (单良)
Graduated from KOREATECH (Korea University of Technology and Education) Mechanical Engineering Department, Venture Capital PhD, GM of Waltonchain Technology Co., Ltd. (Korea), Director of Korea Sungkyun Technology Co., Ltd., Chinese Market Manager of the heating component manufacturer NHTECH, a subsidiary of Samsung SDI, economic group leader of the Friendship Association of Chinese Doctoral Students in Korea, one of the earliest users of Korbit, senior digital money player.
 
Chen Zhangrong (陈樟荣)
Chinese, graduated in Business Management, received a BBA degree in Armstrong University in the United States, President of TIANYU INTERNATIONAL GROUP LIMITED, leader of Chinese clothing accessories industry, Chinas well-known business mentor, guest of the CCTV2 Win in China show in 2008. Researcher in the field of thinking training for Practical Business Intelligence e-commerce and MONEYYOU course, expert on success for Profit Model course. Began to contact Bitcoin in 2013 with a strong interest and in-depth study of digital money and decentralized management thinking. Has a wealth of practical experience in the business management, market research, channel construction, business cooperation and business model.
 
Lin Herui (林和瑞)
Chinese, Dean of Xiamen Zhongchuan Internet of Things Industry Research Institute, Chairman of Xiamen Citylink Technology Co., Ltd., Chairman of Xiamen IOT. He successively served as Nokia RD Manager and Product Manager, Microsoft Hardware Department Supply Chain Director. In 2014, started to set up a number of IoT enterprises and laid out the industrial chain of the Internet of Things. The products and services developed under his guidance are very popular. Assisted the government in carrying out industrial and policy research and participated in planning of multiple government projects of smart cities, IoT towns and project reviews.
 
Ma Xingyi (马兴毅)
Chinese, China Scholarship Council (CSC) special student, Doctor of Engineering of Korea University, Research Professor of Fusion Chemical Systems Institute of Korea University, Korea Sungkyun Technology Co., Ltd. CEO, Member of Korea Industry Association, Associate Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, has published his research results in the worlds top journal Nature Communications and participated in the preparation of a series of teaching materials for Internet of Things engineering titled Introduction to the Internet of Things. His current research direction covers cross-disciplines that combine blockchain technology with intelligent medical technology.
 
Zhao Haiming (赵海明)
Chinese, Doctor of Chemical Conductive Polymer of Sungkyunkwan University, core member of Korea BK21th conductive polymer project, researcher of Korea Gyeonggi Institute of Sensor, researcher of Korea ECO NCTech Co., Ltd., Vice President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Director of Korea Sungkyun Technology Co., Ltd. He has been engaged in transfer of semiconductor, sensor and other technologies in South Korea. He is an early participant of the digital currency market.
 
Liu Cai (刘才)
Chinese, Master of Engineering, has 12 years of experience in design and verification of VLSI and a wealth of practical project experience in RFID chip design process, SOC chip architecture, digital-analog hybrid circuit design, including algorithm design, RTL design, simulation verification, FPGA prototype verification, DC synthesis, backend PR, package testing, etc. Has led a team to complete the development of a variety of navigation and positioning baseband chips and communication baseband chips, finished a series of AES, DES and other encryption module designs, won the first prize of GNSS and LBS Association of China for scientific and technological progress. Finally, he is an expert in the consensus mechanism principle of blockchain and the related asymmetric encryption algorithm.
 
Yang Feng (杨锋)
Chinese, Master of Engineering, worked at ZTE. Artificial intelligence expert, integrated circuit expert. Has 12 years of experience in VLSI research and development, architecture design and verification and 5 years of research experience in artificial intelligence and the genetic algorithm. Has won the Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Award. Has done an in-depth research on the principle and realization of the RFID technology, the underlying infrastructure of blockchain, smart contracts and the consensus mechanism algorithm.
 
Guo Jianping (郭建平)
Chinese, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong), Associate Professor of the Hundred Talents Program of Sun Yat-sen University, academic advisor of masters degree students, IEEE senior member, integrated circuit expert. Has published more than 40 international journal conference papers in the field of IC design and applied for 16 patents in China.
 
Huang Ruimin (黄锐敏)
Chinese, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from the University of Freiburg, Germany), academic advisor of masters degree students, lecturer of the Department of Electronics of Huaqiao University, integrated circuit expert. Mainly explores digital signal processing circuit and system implementation and works on digital signal processing technology long-term research and development.
 
Guo Rongxin (郭荣新)
Chinese, Master of Engineering, Deputy Director of the Communication Technology Research Center of Huaqiao University. Has more than 10 years of experience in design and development of hardware and software for embedded systems, works on the long-term research and development of RFID and blockchain technology in the field of Internet of Things.
 
Dai Minhua (戴闽华)
Chinese, graduated in Business Management, received a BBA degree from Armstrong University, senior financial expert, served as Vice President and CFO of Tanyu International Group Co., Ltd. Has 13 years of financial work experience, has a wealth of experience in developing and implementing enterprise strategy and business plans, as well as achieving business management objectives and development goals.
 
Liu Dongxin (刘东欣)
Chinese, received an MBA from China Europe International Business School, Visiting Scholar of Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, strategic management consulting expert, investment and financing expert. His current research interest lies in the impact of the blockchain technology on the financial sector.
 

Angel Investors

Song Guoping (宋国平)
Qiu Jun (邱俊)
Yan Xiaoqian (严小铅)
Lin Jingwei (林敬伟)
He Honglian (何红连)

Advisory Team

Ko Sang Tae (高尚台)
Liu Xiaowei (刘晓为)
Su Yan (苏岩)
Zhang Yan (张岩)
Ma Pingping (马萍萍)
Peng Xiande (彭先德)
Fu Ke (傅克)
Xiao Guangjian (肖光坚)
Li Xiong (李雄)
 
The Team (pt.I)
The Team - The Engineers (pt. II)
The Team - Angel Investors & Advisors (pt. III)
WaltonChain Office Tour
Meet the team #1: Xu Fangcheng
Meet the team #2: South Korean Team
Meet the team #3: Wei Songjie
Meet the team #4: Suk Ki Kim
Meet the team #5: Lin Herui
Meet the team #6: Bing Mok (CEO)
 

Partnerships, Affiliations & Corporate Interests

Government Affiliations
Fujian IoT Industry Association
Air purification and smart monitoring project with Jinhu Provincial Government
"Smart Oceans" blockchain R&D project with Fujian Provincial Government
Building "Blockchain Silicon Valley" with Taiwan Cloud and Fujian Provincial Government
KISA and Korean IoT research centre
Taiwan Cloud Association
Korea University engineering department
Korea Blockchain Enterprise Promotion Association (authorized by South Korean National Assembly)
 
Smart Logistics / Smart Warehouse
Xiangyu Group
Fuyao Glass Industry Group co., Ltd
Kehua
Lipson Plastic
NanKang City Furniture industry
Direct delivery
Fujian Soonbox Logistics Park
Huodull Technology
 
Smart Retail
Guangdong Original Clothing Trading Center
Shenzhen M&A Association of Listed Companies
Septwolves
Fuguiniao
SMEN
TANYU
JoeOne
Lalabobo
Ishijah
Kaltendin
 
Technical Alliance
Alibaba Cloud
China Mobile IoT Alliance
Xiamen Branch of China Telecom Corporation Limited
Zhangzhou Branch of** China Telecom** Corporation Limited
NC Technologies
Shenzhen Card Cube Smart Technology co., Ltd
NIDS Sensor Technology
Sungkyun Technologies
NH Tech
Jiangsu Zhongke Internet of Things Technology Venture Capital Co., Ltd.
Fujian C-TOP Electronics co., Ltd.
 
Finance
Sinolink Securites
Gingko Capital (Investment Arm of Waltonchain) -> Investments
Gingko Investment List on Reddit
 
Blockchain Partner
Mobius
Freyrchain
Loci
Coinlink
SwftCoin
Morganchain
Aston
 
Media Partner
JU&KE Creative Design
Yunnan Yunshanghuaxia Trading co., Ltd.
ArtCrypto
Fanfangxiang Culture & Media co., Ltd.
 
Waltonchain Government Affiliations Infographic
Waltonchain Business Affiliations Infographic
Summary of Some of Waltonchain's Government and Business Partnerships
 
Child Chains
Freyrchain - Freyrchain - The world’s first blockchain-based collectibles data authenticity platform
Fashionchain Fashionchain - Fashionchain restructures the strongly-centralized pyramid structure inherent in the fashion industry ecology into a decentralized structure in which all parties connect point to point directly.
 
Click here for the News, PR & Awards Thread.
Click here for a Timeline of Official - Waltonchain-Medium - Posts.
 
Videos
Waltonchain Annual Meeting Presentation Video
Waltonchain Introduction Video
Waltonchain Visit and Product Demo! (Part 1 of 2) - Boxmining
Waltonchain Interview and Demo (Part 2 of 2) - Boxmining
Waltonchain Coinnest Meetup with Mo Bing
Dr. Mo Bing's First Live Interview with Coinnest CEO
Waltonchain CEO Mo Bing announcing the official launch of Waltonchain Mainnet
List of AMAs
First Reddit AMA - October 1, 2017
Technical AMA - October 9, 2017
Hardware AMA Summary - October 17,2017
Extended Hardware AMA - October 24, 2017
Retail Demo AMA - November 27, 2017
Masternode AMA - December 7, 2017
Slack AMA Live Thread - January 3, 2018
Waltonchain Beta Release AMA Part 1 - January 5, 2018
Waltonchain Beta Release AMA Part 2 - January 15, 2018
Waltonchain February Q&A - February 18, 2018
Waltonchain March AMA Part 1 - March 19, 2018
Waltonchain March AMA Part 2 - March 27, 2018
Progress Reports
Waltonchain Work Progress in Q2 2018
Waltonchain Work Progress in Q1 2018
Waltonchain: New Logo · New IC strategy ·New Journey!
The Summary of Waltonchain in 2017
Waltonchain Project Progress Report (Nov. – Dec. 2017)
Professor Kim Suk Ki Arrived at Xiamen for Project Review and to Provide Guidance
A letter to the waltonchain family
A Letter from Waltonchain Foundation
Waltonchain Alpha Version Internal Testing
Noteworthy Posts
Waltonchain’s Bigger Picture: OBOR
Waltonchain: Ushering an Era of IoT Mass Market Adoption
What is Waltonchain and Why Should We Care?
Waltonchain and the Chinese Government: Cooperation, Collaboration and a Bright Future
Top 5 Cryptocurrencies Set For Success In 2018 - Invest in Blockchain
 
Exchanges
Binance, Coinnest, HitBTC, LATOKEN, OKEx, Kucoin, COSS, Coinlink, Allcoin, Coinrail, Cobinhood, Huobi
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 
 
Walton Knights
u/fent11
u/NetworkTraveler
u/yayowam
u/Crypto_RALLY
u/TheSideQuest
RikkiTikki (slack)
Crypto Buff (telegram)
submitted by istaan69 to waltonchain [link] [comments]

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