Crypto-currency exchanges

Business model

  • Pricing model
    • USD 80K initial listing fee
    • fees on each transaction
  • Enterprise sales acquisition approach
    • acquisition channels
      • LinkedIn
      • Crypto-conferences
    • Cost
      • USD2500/month for sales staff
      • USD4000/month for engineers

Landscape

  • Over supply of exchanges versus crypto projects
    • Crypto-currencies have tanked in 2019
    • There are more than 2000 exchanges right now
    • 20 new currencies are minted each month
    • There is a lack of differentiation between exchanges
  • crypto projects are reporting an exceeding high level of failure rates
    • due diligence traditionally handled by VCs for traditional startups are left to end consumers for crypto projects
    • most projects do not have a sound use case
    • teams tend to be poorly managed
  • Uneven playing field
    • US media’s extensive distribution network is the primary advantage of US based exchanges
      • Binance is the largest exchange
      • Binance ability to tap into engineering talent in US has allowed it to be the trail blazer helping it garner constant media attention
    • Chinese crypto-currency companies are attempting to penetrate US and Europe by hiring talents with fluent in English

Complementary assets for Biki

  • Parent company’s crypto news portal
  • Parent company’s engineering knowledge in building exchange software

Ethereum smart contract introduction – HackerDojo

Library overview

The library for interacting with an Ethereum ABI
https://www.sbt-ethereum.io/tutorials/getting-started.html

An example of a smart contract
https://github.com/swaldman/eth-quip-client/issues/1

Information about the contract
https://etherscan.io/address/0x2a03eb37c0077dba0814a004bc53f2567b7587a0#code

Checking the cost of ether to gas
http://ethgasstation.info

Listing your key
ethKeystoreList

Creating a new wallet
ethKeystoreWalletV3Create

Set your default ether wallet
ethAddressSenderDefaultSet MY_ETH_KEYSTORE

Override your default ether wallet
ethAddressOverride  MY_ETH_KEYSTORE

Importing a contract for crypto kitties
ethContractAbiImport 0x2a03eb37c0077dba0814a004bc53f2567b7587a0

Reading from the blockchain is free.

  • ethTransactionView quip getQuip 0
  • ethTransactionView cryptokitties totalSupply

Writing to the blockchain requires the creation of a transaction. Creating transactions require gas.
ethTransactionInvoke quip addQuip “This is pretty boomz”

Ether has a fluctuating exchange rate for gas. Paying higher gas ensures transaction gets prioritized and mined.

Sending ether to an address
ethTransactionEtherSend MY_ETH_KEYSTORE 0.01 ether

Checking balance in an ether wallet. Balances in all wallets are public
ethAddressBalance  MY_ETH_KEYSTORE

To send money to your local wallet from coinbase simply send the money to that address from your own coinbase account.

Checking the balance of your contract currency (etherscan)

creating a new coin

  • https://github.com/swaldman/quick-and-dirty-token-overview
  • https://github.com/OpenZeppelin/openzeppelin-contracts

General practices

  • use Solidity as a programming language
  • always emit an event which generate logs that are free to read
  • Etherscan is subjected to man in the middle attack. Important to encrypt your transactions using TLS

Observations

The creator has generally been working on this alone and its a lonely experience. This seems to be common phenomena for creators

An unchanging constant as the source of trust

Trust is the ultimate source of wealth in any society. The level of manifested physical wealth correlates positively with the level of perceived trust members of society have for an entity.

When an entity, be it a phenomena or a behavior, is observed to be consistent across time without much falter, it soon becomes accepted as the norm. Overtime this norm gets deeply embedded within a society and becomes an integral part of its culture. It thus becomes trusted and a source of credibility.

Societal commerce is built on trust. Trust accumulated through consistency overtime can be converted to other forms of tangible currency. These currencies can then be used to direct resources within the society towards the achievement of very material goals.

When comparing between two entities that are embedded within the cultural fabric of society, the one that exhibits a higher level of consistency inevitably gains more trust. This explains why while fiat currencies comes and goes, the value of gold remains consistent across time.

While it might be tempting to equate trust with value, there is a subtle difference. While trust elicits value, value need not necessarily elicit trust.

Expressing the entire civilization’s undertaking at any point in time as an linear equation, any essential variable that happens to be the most restrictive in supply at that point inevitably becomes the most valued. However wide fluctuations in value does not elicit trust in the long run.

Sources of trust

  • the rotation of seasons and our subsequent practice of agriculture
  • the constant speed of light and it’s use in Einstein’s theory of relativity
  • gold with its scarcity and it’s persist use as a store of wealth
  • well run institutions with well defined constitutions
  • fiat currencies with under sound government regimes
  • individuals who exhibit consistent behavior overtime

Qualities of viable currencies

  • Ability to be divisible
  • Ability to be moved
  • Ability as a store of wealth overtime
    • consistent levels of supply
    • scarcity

Functions of currencies

  • a means to facilitate transactions
  • a store of wealth

Examples of trust erosion

Example 1: Michigan Pulls $600 Million From Ken Fisher an individual After Lewd Remarks

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-12/michigan-pulls-600-million-from-ken-fisher-after-lewd-remarks

Example 2: 1918 Germany as an institution, towards the tail end of WWI.

When it became evident that the country will loss the war, it experienced increased inability to raise debt to in domestic currency denomination to continue financing its war efforts. It’s currency soon lost it’s reserve currency status and it was increasingly forced to denominate debt in foreign reserve currencies.

Post WWI debts denominated in domestic currency where inflated away through printing of cash by the  German government to pay of debts denominated in foreign currencies.

Example 3: Africa use of glass beads as a failed form of currency

Europe was able to cheaply produce this in abundance . Europeans for a period were able to exploit this asymmetry by exchanging cheap glass beads for valuable natural resources. When value within the African society became depleted,  Europeans were eventually able to subjugate the entire African population and exploit them through the slave trade.

Example 4: Wall Street crash and the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Bankers increasingly became concern of easy credit driving share prices to stratospheric valuations. An eventual tightening of credit lead to rapid deleveraging within the system. The lack of trust within the system prevented the circulation of money and credit. The central bank ultimately had to step in to restore trust.

It did so by first preventing the flight to value. This was achieved through the banning of conversion of USD dollar to gold.

Example 5: An ongoing slow erosion of fiat money

With the deliberate pursuit of constant 2% yearly inflation by central banks around the world current fiat money are failed stores of wealth .

The currency of the Roman Empire is a perfect example of where we will be headed. Overtime less gold per coin is used. Their currency was ultimately replaced by paper which allowed rampant printing by the government during times of war. The effects of inflation eroded the Roman empires currency as a long term store of wealth.

Examples of persistent sources of trust

  • The institution of the Catholic Church
  • The consistent adherence to a set of sound principles by Berkshire Hathaway’s reinsurance business over multiple decades. 
  • Federal reserves consistent adherence to the dual mandate of 2% inflation and low unemployment rates

Conclusion

To build trust is to build wealth. The key to doing so is to adhere and operate on a consistent set of sound principles over across time and in all environments. Being slow and steady is a pre-requisite of this process.

Related readings

Analysis of the Facebook Libra Token

High level

  • The launching of Libra Token will allow large swath of people access to banking
  • It will also allow corporations with a huge stock pile of cash the access to alternate forms of investment

Libra currency liquidity

Every Libra token that gets created is backed by a reserve of real assets. Close examination of partner balance sheet figures shows approximately USD148 billion dollars of cash and equivalent available for deployment right out the gates.

Libra social impact

One of Libra’s goals is to provide banking access to segments of the world’s population that don’t. Close examination of partners’ reach to this segment of the world shows 7.9million people. This is not including the 204 million African Internet Users on Facebook.

Related References

Insights from house party at Qyunh’s

On Crypto-currency

  • Major institutions like hedge funds and banks are trying to figure out how to increase exposure to this currency type while mitigating against volatility
  • Governments are exploring into how this new  form of currency can be regulated
  • Companies in this space are increasingly gearing towards providing missing infrastructure like secure wallet as opposed to creating new Token
  • Transaction throughput
    • Visa gateway allows for 50,000 transactions per second
    • Lightning networks as well as off chain transaction provide ability to temporarily by-pass bottleneck
  • Promising candidates
    • EOS (Chinese currency) supports up to 1,200 transactions per second
    • TRON (Chinese currency)
    • Ethereum

On Data API

  • New travel portals need to be able to prove traction before existing providers like Viator is willing to become partners
  • Normal affiliates get 7% commission while partners get 18% commission
  • This is a missing step in this eco-system that startups will need to gap before they can reach partner status.

On AR/VR

  • Much of efforts is done on AR right now as opposed to VR. Where there is actual industrial application

On Reality

  • Accurate interpretation of signals provided by reality requires the ability to set aside predisposed lens
  • Morality is one of the hardest lens to set aside when interpreting signals
  • Morality derived construct like the Good and Evil dichotomy is inherently subjective, while useful for marketing, branding and messaging purposes, is not useful for analytical purposes.

Key take aways from the Blockchain revolution

The Blockchain revolution
  • ensuring the integrity of data exchanged among these billions of devices without the need for a trusted third party
  • allow people that do not have access to the service of these third part into the digital economy
  • easier ability to get compensated for your work or ownership of digital property
  • Ronald Coase on types of costs
    • Searching cost
    • Coordination cost
    • Contracting cost
  • Dimensions of search
    • horizontal search – wide search across the web
    • vertical search – within a specific website
    • sequence – blockchain?
  • Innovation typically comes from the edge
    • monopolies have a lot of resources but lack the culture and will to explore, Yochai Benkler
    • This can be attributed to high levels of bureaucracy within the core

Related references