Horizen is an inclusive ecosystem built on its massively scalable blockchain platform where everyone is empowered and rewarded for their contributions. Launched in 2017, our leading-edge platform enables real-life uses outside of our cryptocurrency, ZEN.
[PDF DOWNLOAD] Cryptocurrency: 3 manuscripts to Ultimate Beginners Guide to Master Bitcoin, Ethereum and Cryptocurrency - Investing, Trading and Mining in the World of Cryptocurrencies By Matthew Connor
You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments. It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following videos for a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Limited Supply - There will only ever be 21,000,000 bitcoins created and they are issued in a predictable fashion, you can view the inflation schedule here. Once they are all issued Bitcoin will be truly deflationary. The halving countdown can be found here.
Open source - Bitcoin code is fully auditable. You can read the source code yourself here.
Accountable - The public ledger is transparent, all transactions are seen by everyone.
Decentralized - Bitcoin is globally distributed across thousands of nodes with no single point of failure and as such can't be shut down similar to how Bittorrent works. You can even run a node on a Raspberry Pi.
Censorship resistant - No one can prevent you from interacting with the bitcoin network and no one can censor, alter or block transactions that they disagree with, see Operation Chokepoint.
Push system - There are no chargebacks in bitcoin because only the person who owns the address where the bitcoins reside has the authority to move them.
Low fee scaling - On chain transaction fees depend on network demand and how much priority you wish to assign to the transaction. Most wallets calculate on chain fees automatically but you can view current fees here and mempool activity here. On chain fees may rise occasionally due to network demand, however instant micropayments that do not require confirmations are happening via the Lightning Network, a second layer scaling solution currently rolling out on the Bitcoin mainnet.
Borderless - No country can stop it from going in/out, even in areas currently unserved by traditional banking as the ledger is globally distributed.
Portable - Bitcoins are digital so they are easier to move than cash or gold. They can even be transported by simply memorizing a string of words for wallet recovery (while cool this method is generally not recommended due to potential for insecure key generation by inexperienced users. Hardware wallets are the preferred method for new users due to ease of use and additional security).
Bitcoin.org and BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage. Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".
Securing your bitcoins
With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
If you prefer to "Be your own bank" and have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party, then you will need to create your own wallet and keep it secure. If you want easy and secure storage without having to learn computer security best practices, then a hardware wallet such as the Trezor, Ledger or ColdCard is recommended. Alternatively there are many software wallet options to choose from here depending on your use case.
If you prefer to let third party "Bitcoin banks" manage your coins, try Gemini but be aware you may not be in control of your private keys in which case you would have to ask permission to access your funds and be exposed to third party risk.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email! 2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".
Where can I spend bitcoins?
Check out spendabit or bitcoin directory for millions of merchant options. Also you can spend bitcoin anywhere visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card. Some other useful site are listed below.
Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out. If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options. You can view the global node distribution here.
Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins.
The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis
1,000 per bitcoin
used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases
1,000,000 per bitcoin
colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC)
100,000,000 per bitcoin
smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki. Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval. Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
Syscoin Platform’s Great Reddit Scaling Bake-off Proposal
https://preview.redd.it/rqt2dldyg8e51.jpg?width=1044&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=777ae9d4fbbb54c3540682b72700fc4ba3de0a44 We are excited to participate and present Syscoin Platform's ideal characteristics and capabilities towards a well-rounded Reddit Community Points solution! Our scaling solution for Reddit Community Points involves 2-way peg interoperability with Ethereum. This will provide a scalable token layer built specifically for speed and high volumes of simple value transfers at a very low cost, while providing sovereign ownership and onchain finality. Token transfers scale by taking advantage of a globally sorting mempool that provides for probabilistically secure assumptions of “as good as settled”. The opportunity here for token receivers is to have an app-layer interactivity on the speed/security tradeoff (99.9999% assurance within 10 seconds). We call this Z-DAG, and it achieves high-throughput across a mesh network topology presently composed of about 2,000 geographically dispersed full-nodes. Similar to Bitcoin, however, these nodes are incentivized to run full-nodes for the benefit of network security, through a bonded validator scheme. These nodes do not participate in the consensus of transactions or block validation any differently than other nodes and therefore do not degrade the security model of Bitcoin’s validate first then trust, across every node. Each token transfer settles on-chain. The protocol follows Bitcoin core policies so it has adequate code coverage and protocol hardening to be qualified as production quality software. It shares a significant portion of Bitcoin’s own hashpower through merged-mining. This platform as a whole can serve token microtransactions, larger settlements, and store-of-value in an ideal fashion, providing probabilistic scalability whilst remaining decentralized according to Bitcoin design. It is accessible to ERC-20 via a permissionless and trust-minimized bridge that works in both directions. The bridge and token platform are currently available on the Syscoin mainnet. This has been gaining recent attention for use by loyalty point programs and stablecoins such as Binance USD.
Syscoin Foundation identified a few paths for Reddit to leverage this infrastructure, each with trade-offs. The first provides the most cost-savings and scaling benefits at some sacrifice of token autonomy. The second offers more preservation of autonomy with a more narrow scope of cost savings than the first option, but savings even so. The third introduces more complexity than the previous two yet provides the most overall benefits. We consider the third as most viable as it enables Reddit to benefit even while retaining existing smart contract functionality. We will focus on the third option, and include the first two for good measure.
Distribution, burns and user-to-user transfers of Reddit Points are entirely carried out on the Syscoin network. This full-on approach to utilizing the Syscoin network provides the most scalability and transaction cost benefits of these scenarios. The tradeoff here is distribution and subscription handling likely migrating away from smart contracts into the application layer.
The Reddit Community Points ecosystem can continue to use existing smart contracts as they are used today on the Ethereum mainchain. Users migrate a portion of their tokens to Syscoin, the scaling network, to gain much lower fees, scalability, and a proven base layer, without sacrificing sovereign ownership. They would use Syscoin for user-to-user transfers. Tips redeemable in ten seconds or less, a high-throughput relay network, and onchain settlement at a block target of 60 seconds.
Integration between Matic Network and Syscoin Platform - similar to Syscoin’s current integration with Ethereum - will provide Reddit Community Points with EVM scalability (including the Memberships ERC777 operator) on the Matic side, and performant simple value transfers, robust decentralized security, and sovereign store-of-value on the Syscoin side. It’s “the best of both worlds”. The trade-off is more complex interoperability.
Syscoin + Matic Integration
Matic and Blockchain Foundry Inc, the public company formed by the founders of Syscoin, recently entered a partnership for joint research and business development initiatives. This is ideal for all parties as Matic Network and Syscoin Platform provide complementary utility. Syscoin offers characteristics for sovereign ownership and security based on Bitcoin’s time-tested model, and shares a significant portion of Bitcoin’s own hashpower. Syscoin’s focus is on secure and scalable simple value transfers, trust-minimized interoperability, and opt-in regulatory compliance for tokenized assets rather than scalability for smart contract execution. On the other hand, Matic Network can provide scalable EVM for smart contract execution. Reddit Community Points can benefit from both. Syscoin + Matic integration is actively being explored by both teams, as it is helpful to Reddit, Ethereum, and the industry as a whole.
Total cost for these 100k transactions: $0.63 USD See the live fee comparison for savings estimation between transactions on Ethereum and Syscoin. Below is a snapshot at time of writing: ETH price: $318.55 ETH gas price: 55.00 Gwei ($0.37) Syscoin price: $0.11 Snapshot of live fee comparison chart Z-DAG provides a more efficient fee-market. A typical Z-DAG transaction costs 0.0000582 SYS. Tokens can be safely redeemed/re-spent within seconds or allowed to settle on-chain beforehand. The costs should remain about this low for microtransactions. Syscoin will achieve further reduction of fees and even greater scalability with offchain payment channels for assets, with Z-DAG as a resilience fallback. New payment channel technology is one of the topics under research by the Syscoin development team with our academic partners at TU Delft. In line with the calculation in the Lightning Networks white paper, payment channels using assets with Syscoin Core will bring theoretical capacity for each person on Earth (7.8 billion) to have five on-chain transactions per year, per person, without requiring anyone to enter a fee market (aka “wait for a block”). This exceeds the minimum LN expectation of two transactions per person, per year; one to exist on-chain and one to settle aggregated value.
Tools to simplify using Syscoin Bridge as a service with dapps and wallets will be released some time after implementation of Syscoin Core 4.2. These will be based upon the same processes which are automated in the current live Sysethereum Dapp that is functioning with the Syscoin mainnet.
The Syscoin Ethereum Bridge is secured by Agent nodes participating in a decentralized and incentivized model that involves roles of Superblock challengers and submitters. This model is open to participation. The benefits here are trust-minimization, permissionless-ness, and potentially less legal/regulatory red-tape than interop mechanisms that involve liquidity providers and/or trading mechanisms. The trade-off is that due to the decentralized nature there are cross-chain settlement times of one hour to cross from Ethereum to Syscoin, and three hours to cross from Syscoin to Ethereum. We are exploring ways to reduce this time while maintaining decentralization via zkp. Even so, an “instant bridge” experience could be provided by means of a third-party liquidity mechanism. That option exists but is not required for bridge functionality today. Typically bridges are used with batch value, not with high frequencies of smaller values, and generally it is advantageous to keep some value on both chains for maximum availability of utility. Even so, the cross-chain settlement time is good to mention here.
Ethereum -> Syscoin: Matic or Ethereum transaction fee for bridge contract interaction, negligible Syscoin transaction fee for minting tokens Syscoin -> Ethereum: Negligible Syscoin transaction fee for burning tokens, 0.01% transaction fee paid to Bridge Agent in the form of the ERC-20, Matic or Ethereum transaction fee for contract interaction.
Zero-Confirmation Directed Acyclic Graph is an instant settlement protocol that is used as a complementary system to proof-of-work (PoW) in the confirmation of Syscoin service transactions. In essence, a Z-DAG is simply a directed acyclic graph (DAG) where validating nodes verify the sequential ordering of transactions that are received in their memory pools. Z-DAG is used by the validating nodes across the network to ensure that there is absolute consensus on the ordering of transactions and no balances are overflowed (no double-spends).
Unique fee-market that is more efficient for microtransaction redemption and settlement
Uses decentralized means to enable tokens with value transfer scalability that is comparable or exceeds that of credit card networks
Provides high throughput and secure fulfillment even if blocks are full
Probabilistic and interactive
99.9999% security assurance within 10 seconds
Can serve payment channels as a resilience fallback that is faster and lower-cost than falling-back directly to a blockchain
Each Z-DAG transaction also settles onchain through Syscoin Core at 60-second block target using SHA-256 Proof of Work consensus
Z-DAG enables the ideal speed/security tradeoff to be determined per use-case in the application layer. It minimizes the sacrifice required to accept and redeem fast transfers/payments while providing more-than-ample security for microtransactions. This is supported on the premise that a Reddit user receiving points does need security yet generally doesn’t want nor need to wait for the same level of security as a nation-state settling an international trade debt. In any case, each Z-DAG transaction settles onchain at a block target of 60 seconds.
Syscoin 3.0 White Paper (4.0 white paper is pending. For improved scalability and less blockchain bloat, some features of v3 no longer exist in current v4: Specifically Marketplace Offers, Aliases, Escrow, Certificates, Pruning, Encrypted Messaging)
16MB block bandwidth per minute assuming segwit witness carrying transactions, and transactions ~200 bytes on average
SHA256 merge mined with Bitcoin
UTXO asset layer, with base Syscoin layer sharing identical security policies as Bitcoin Core
Z-DAG on asset layer, bridge to Ethereum on asset layer
On-chain scaling with prospect of enabling enterprise grade reliable trustless payment processing with on/offchain hybrid solution
Focus only on Simple Value Transfers. MVP of blockchain consensus footprint is balances and ownership of them. Everything else can reduce data availability in exchange for scale (Ethereum 2.0 model). We leave that to other designs, we focus on transfers.
Future integrations of MAST/Taproot to get more complex value transfers without trading off trustlessness or decentralization.
Zero-knowledge Proofs are a cryptographic new frontier. We are dabbling here to generalize the concept of bridging and also verify the state of a chain efficiently. We also apply it in our Digital Identity projects at Blockchain Foundry (a publicly traded company which develops Syscoin softwares for clients). We are also looking to integrate privacy preserving payment channels for off-chain payments through zkSNARK hub & spoke design which does not suffer from the HTLC attack vectors evident on LN. Much of the issues plaguing Lightning Network can be resolved using a zkSNARK design whilst also providing the ability to do a multi-asset payment channel system. Currently we found a showstopper attack (American Call Option) on LN if we were to use multiple-assets. This would not exist in a system such as this.
Web3 and mobile wallets are under active development by Blockchain Foundry Inc as WebAssembly applications and expected for release not long after mainnet deployment of Syscoin Core 4.2. Both of these will be multi-coin wallets that support Syscoin, SPTs, Ethereum, and ERC-20 tokens. The Web3 wallet will provide functionality similar to Metamask. Syscoin Platform and tokens are already integrated with Blockbook. Custom hardware wallet support currently exists via ElectrumSys. First-class HW wallet integration through apps such as Ledger Live will exist after 4.2. Current supported wallets Syscoin Spark Desktop Syscoin-Qt
The following questions were asked in our Telegram:t.me/ptokens Q: What is the use case for pBTC tokens? A: pBTC and other pTokens (pLTC, pEOS, etc) ensure that DApps can be accessible to anyone using cryptocurrencies, without them having to sell their Bitcoin, LItecoin, EOS, or any blockchain asset that they hold. With the pTokens DApp, you can deposit your bitcoin and mint pBTC to enable portability to Ethereum and EOS blockchains. This allows you to explore new DApps and DeFi opportunities outside of the Bitcoin blockchain without selling your underlying BTC asset. With pBTC you can:
Earn interest by staking in the Bancor liquidity pool, as outlined here.
Q: What is Crosschain? A: Crosschain is a term indicating that multiple blockchains are connected and interoperable. Q: Can I exchange pBTC for WBTC? A: Yes you can swap for WBTC directly through the Eidoo wallet or with Kyber Network. Or to move from Bitcoin to WBTC, you can utilize pBTC. First, swap BTC for pBTC via the pTokens DApp. Then swap pBTC for WBTC on Uniswap, utilizing the pBTC/WBTC liquidity pool, or through Kyber Network. Q: Let's say I can get 6% interest over my pBTC in a DeFi project – how does it work when I redeem my BTC? A: If you peg-in 1 BTC in pTokens, 1 pBTC is minted. Suppose that after one year you earn 6% on your pBTC and want to redeem your underlying asset. You will peg-out 1.06 pBTC and you will receive 1.06 BTC. Q: What are the contract addresses of pBTC? A: pBTC on ETH: https://etherscan.io/token/0x5228a22e72ccc52d415ecfd199f99d0665e7733b pBTC EOS: https://bloks.io/account/btc.ptokens Q: What projects have integrated pTokens? A: We’ve integrated with a range of liquidity providers, DEXs, and frameworks such as dMEX, Loopring, Kyber Network, Bancor, and Equilibrium. There’s also support for pBTC on popular DEX aggregators like 1inchExchange, Dex.ag, and Paraswap, as well as on wallets like Argent, MyEtherWallet, Trust Wallet, and Eidoo. You can find our full (and growing) list of integrations at: ptokens.io/integrations Q: Do you have any new pTokens bridges planned? Which are live now? A: pBTC is currently on mainnet, both on Ethereum and EOS. And on testnet, pTokens currently has pLTC on ETH and pEOS on ETH. We are working on a few more pTokens bridges that will be released in the coming months, but going forward the pNetwork DAO will decide which pTokens assets and bridges are implemented. You can see our planned assets here under “assets supported.” Q: What phase is pTokens in, and when will it start the next phase? A:p.Network is currently in phase 0 of its progressive decentralization roadmap. This means that pTokens are currently running on a single enclave, trust minimized, while future phases will be decentralized and trustless. The pNetwork DAO will launch in the coming weeks, and Phase1 will launch in Q3. For more on the pNetwork roadmap, visit: https://p.network/project#roadmap Q: Is there any concern for vulnerabilities with the use of a TEE given the history of SGX? A: In our current phase0, we are not decentralized, but are utilizing a stronger-than-SGX TEE (strongbox). In phase1, we’ll be using multiTEE (no point of failure in a single tee)+MPC. Q: Are there any minting fees? A: In our current phase0, there are no peg-in/-out fees, as we subsidize the cost. In phase1 the fee will be chosen by the DAO and enforced by validators (the fee will be distributed among them as a reward for their work). At that point you can expect the fee to be similar to the ones applied by competing projects, which is normally between 0.1 and 0.2% (conceptually similar to the "trading fee" being applied by exchanges). Q: Why are two pTokens BTC listed on Crossmarketcap? (11 e 13)? A: Crossmarketcap shows data for several chains so they show two pBTC tokens: pBTC-on-eth and pBTC-on-eos. Q: What is the difference between pTokens.io and p.Network? A:pTokens.io is the project to unchain assets by creating 1:1 pTokenized assets (like pBTC) to move liquidity from one blockchain to another. It's integrated into various DeFi DApps and platforms across multiple blockchains. p.Network is the governance layer that supports and secures pTokens, and other projects, via a network of validators and a DAO. Q: What is PNT? What happened to EDO? A: The pNetwork Token (PNT) is the governance token for the upcoming p.Network, the decentralized network powering pTokens. Thanks to a collaborative effort between Eidoo and pTokens, the EDO token was upgraded and effectively transformed into PNT on June 18. On this day, EDO holders received an equal amount of PNT tokens in their Ethereum wallets, with leading exchanges listing PNT. EDO is no longer supported, as the value and utility of EDO was transferred to PNT. As a governance token, PNT will be used for staking, voting and earning interest within the p.Network. PNT is available on a growing list of exchanges, including: Binance, Bitfinex, HitBTC, Kyber Network and Loopring. For more on the token upgrade, visit: https://medium.com/provable/introducing-the-pnetwork-pnt-2354f7ab06f Q: What is the reason behind burning 28 million+ edo? A: This is a step to reduce company held tokens so ownership is spread more equitably to the community when we move to the introduction of a community-governed DAO system. Q: How much PNT does the team have now? A: The team has 13M PNT locked, they unlock after 1 and 2 years. The token economy is outlined in the pNetwork deck on p.network/learn. Q: Is there a public audit report? A: The audit report for pBTC on ETH is available here. And the audit report for pBTC on EOS is here. Q: Will the burning of PNT occur, similar to EDO burning for the Eidoo core services? A: Yes. PNT extends the EDO token economy with p.Network so all Eidoo core services will continue as planned. Currently, 5M tokens are locked because of the previous Eidoo staking initiatives and burning happens on a daily basis (edo.watch). Q:What is the contract address of PNT? Where can I find the total supply and circulating supply? A: The contract addresses for PNT is: https://etherscan.io/address/0x89Ab32156e46F46D02ade3FEcbe5Fc4243B9AAeD The total supply is approx 59.65M EDO: https://etherscan.io/token/0xced4e93198734ddaff8492d525bd258d49eb388e The circulating supply is approximately 34M EDO as described on page #22 in our deck. For more on the circulating supply, visit: https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/pnetwork Q: I see another project on Coingecko with PNT called Penta network – What is it? A: We are not associated with Penta. Please be mindful to check the full name of the asset before interacting with it. For example, on HitBTC, Penta is listed as PNT, and pNetwork Token is listed as XPNT, but this is the only exchange where this occurs. Q: Is PNT listed on any exchanges? A: PNT is available on a growing list of exchanges, including: Binance, Bitfinex, HitBTC, Kyber Network and Loopring. We will continue to update our blog as more are added. Coingecko also reports the exchanges where the trading of the pNetwork Token is active: https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/pnetwork#markets. Q: Why is PNT not supported on OKex? A: Given the very small number of EDO tokens deposited on OKex we have decided not to list PNT there. Q: What is the minimum amount of PNT required to stake A: No minimum is required. Q: How much is required to run a node? A: Validators must stake 200k PNT. As an incentive, they would be able to earn 63% interest over two years - 42% the first year, and 21% the second. The pNetwork litepaper goes into more details on validators, PNT and token economics. Q: How can you guarantee those interest rates? A: They will be guaranteed by an inflation mechanism. The supply of PNT is just below 60 million tokens after launch. During the first stages of the pNetwork, an economic incentive is also introduced to the system to encourage users to actively participate within the DAO. In these first two years, all those who stake PNT will see their tokens grow with an overall interest rate of 63% over two years. Up to 28,350,000 PNT tokens are dedicated to this initiative, which are generated through an inflation mechanism. Q: Where can I find community questions from the previous months? May 2020 April 2020 March 2020
Weekly Update: 24 crypto assets live on ParJar fiat on/off ramp, FantomVision PWA, $LINK + Voyager, $GHOST for $ESH Hodlers... – 17 Apr - 23 Apr'20
Hiya folks! Hope the shelter-at-home is treating you well. As you might know that the super cyclone Amphan struck Eastern India and Bangladesh day before yesterday. As a result, I went into radio silence for two days. Now that I am back in the grid (albeit with ultra-super slow internet; this post took 4+ hours of retries just to upload pictures), let’s get rolling with the weekly update catch-up series again. Here’s your week at Parachute + partners (17 Apr - 23 Apr'20): 24 cryptocurrencies are now live on ParJar for trading with fiat in Europe, India and UK. This is massive! The new ParJar and #cryptoforeveryone masks look great Clinton! Designers in Parachute, Clinton is looking for fresh original designs for merchandise in the Parachute Shop. You can bag some cool $PAR and discount codes if your art makes it to the store. The #par4par raffle currently has a 500k $PAR prize pool. If you have 10k $PAR in your ParJar, you can claim a ticket. Get in on it! Foo hosted a Parena so that winners can get a taste of the raffle with their prize $PAR. Bose hosted a random TTR trivia this week for a 10k $PAR prize pot. Don't forget her rules: "you argue and you're wrong, you skip next question". Gamerboy's Tiproom quiz theme was a secret. Did you find out what it was? Charlotte’s Tuesday TTR trivia was fun as always. Victor hosted an animal-themed trivia for 1k $PAR in prize per question. Two-for-Tuesday continued with the ongoing series of letters. This week Gian got Parachuters to post music "featuring bands or artists whose name starts with the letters M, N, O or P". As always, super thankful for the playlist Sebastian! 136 music videos in total. Dang! Jason’s #wholesomewed prompt involved Parachuters sharing unconventional art pieces. "They can be made by you or someone else". Visit the Parachute Shop for more epic merch like these Uber cool #wholesomewed entries by (clockwise from top left) Fakhir, Erol, Pars, Georg, Eric, OilJam, Peace Love Click here to track this week’s aXpire burn transaction. CEO Gary Markham wrote about Time Recording in his latest blog post. More insights into 2gether’s study about women in crypto were released. This is part of their original study report on female crypto consumers which was first published in March. $BOMB founder Zachary Dash set the ball rolling on a proposal system for brainstorming on ideas for the project. Click here for a sample proposal. For #XIOSocial discussions, Citizens talked about what interest rate would be ideal for $XIO when the dApp launches. $LINK was added to Voyager’s platform this week. Click here for the full range of available assets. Voyager also featured in MyFirstBitcoin.info's list of "Where To Buy Bitcoin". They also launched an integration with crypto trading education platform Market Rebellion this week. Switch announced that $ESH token holders will be eligible to claim John McAfee-backed $GHOST coins on 25th May. News of Ghost’s launch was shared in bitcoin.com, Cointelegraph, CoinPedia, Crypto News Flash and CryptoNewsZ. Neva Fomo’s review of SwitchDex was released this week. The winners of the #BUIDLonFantom Developer contest were announced this week. The FantomVision block explorer was upgraded to a Progressive Web App (PWA) which can be installed on your device as an application. The team hosted a monthly AMA in their Discord. This will be happening every month from now. A new technical paper on smart was contracts was published as well. Bitcoin is a clear favourite for trading among female users Bounty0x’s fundraiser on Republic came to a close this week with funding crossing over targeted amount by nearly three times. Founder Angelo Adam also shared a sneak peek into how the Hypedia platform could look like. Uptrennd Head of Community, Luke, started an #InfectedWithGratitude giveaway that brought 2 days of wholesome joy to the community. Founder Jeff Kirdeikis sat down for an Altcoin Buzz interview to talk all things crypto. IOST joined Uptrennd this week. Coingecko joined in the fun too. Awesome! Congratulations on onboarding 30k+ new users in 2020 alone. The team also set the ball rolling for a community-powered blockchain awards. The District0x District Weekly can be read here. Meme Factory now has a fixture inside the virtual world of Cryptovoxels. Hydro made it to the semifinal round of Ground Up Ventures’ March Madness Startup Competition. Congrats! With news of Google’s smart debit card leaking out recently, the team at Hydro discussed the implications of the tech giant entering digital banking. They also wrote at length about FinTech in Brazil and strategies to bank the unbanked. The team also made a presentation at the Canada FinTech Summit this week. For the latest Sentivate development updates click here, here, here and here. SelfKey’s $KEY token was listed on Kyber Network this week. Read more details here. The team opened up an AMA questionnaire form for the community. AMA date not decided yet. They are also hiring currently. Apply if you’re up for it. SimpleSwap listed $KEY and joined SelfKey’s Crypto Exchange Marketplace. To learn more about Constellation’s ERC20 to mainnet $DAG swap, click here. COTI crew sat down for an AMA with KuCoin this week. The KuCoin staking campaign (announced last week) reached its cap within 5 minutes of opening up. If you were hoping to be a mode operator, hope you reached out to the team on time. To read the fee policy, click here. $COTI will be listed on Coinbit next week. Main registration for Staking 2.0 was started. The Hypedia mockups look great! Pynk is now SEIS/EIS approved which entitles investors in its fundraise round to tax benefits. Wibson hosted an online meetup with Crypto Resources Academy for their Spanish community. This was followed by an ETHSantiago meetup to discuss data privacy. Harmony founder Stephen Tse was part of a Miami DevCon Fintech panel to talk about DeFi and blockchain in finance. Also, congratulations on becoming the top blockchain project by GitHub activity. Stake Heist was formally opened with bounties to find bugs in the Open Staking Testnet Network and build stuff on it for some sweet $ONE. Delegators were also invited to test the staking dashboard in return for $ONE prizes. Watch more about it here. $ONE got listed on WazirX. Ankr published a comprehensive Open Staking node setup guide. Another major announcement this week was that a chunk of block rewards from staking in the phase 2 testnet will be converted to mainnet $ONE. Woohoo! Click here for an early sneak peek into the new IntelliShare website. A quick introduction of the testnet Pacific Program was also released. In his latest article, GET Protocol CEO Maarten Bloemers expanded on the significance of contactless ticketing in the post-coronavirus world. The article was an excerpt from the team’s submission to the Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport to explore possible opportunities. Maarten was interviewed by HKB News of Korea where talked about all things GET. Their crowd management solution was featured on Cointelegraph as well. And with that, we have to say Bye for now. See you again with another update. Cheerio!
Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi
Until one understands the basics of this tech, they won’t be able to grasp or appreciate the impact it has on our digital bank, Genesis Block. https://reddit.com/link/ho4bif/video/n0euarkifu951/player This is the second post ofCrypto-Powered— a new series that examines what it means forGenesis Blockto be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols. --- Our previous post set the stage for this series. We discussed the state of consumer finance and how the success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy finance — a weak foundation that is ripe for massive disruption. Instead, the future of consumer finance belongs to those who are deeply familiar with blockchain tech & decentralized protocols, build on it as the foundation, and know how to take it to the world. Like Genesis Block. Today we begin our journey down the crypto rabbit hole. This post will be an important introduction for those still learning about Bitcoin, Ethereum, or DeFi (Decentralized Finance). This post (and the next few) will go into greater detail about how this technology gives Genesis Block an edge, a superpower, and an unfair advantage. Let’s dive in… https://preview.redd.it/1ugdxoqjfu951.jpg?width=650&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=36edde1079c3cff5f6b15b8cd30e6c436626d5d8
Bitcoin: The First Cryptocurrency
There are plenty of online resources to learn about Bitcoin (Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, Naval, Alex Gladstein, Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon). I don’t wanna spend a lot of time on that here, but let’s do a quick overview for those still getting ramped up. Cryptocurrency is the most popular use-case of blockchain technology today. And Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be invented.
Bitcoin is the most decentralized of all crypto assets today — no government, company, or third party can control or censor it.
Bitcoin has two primary features (as do most other cryptocurrencies):
Send Value You can send value to anyone, anywhere in the world. Nobody can intercept, delay or stop it — not even governments or financial institutions. Unlike with traditional money transfers or bank wires, there are no layers of middlemen. This results in a process that is much more cost-efficient. Some popular use-cases include remittances and cross-border payments.
A few negative moments in Bitcoin’s history include the collapse of Mt. Gox — which resulted in hundreds of millions of customer funds being stolen — as well as Bitcoin’s role in dark markets like Silk Road — where Bitcoin arguably found its initial userbase. However, like most breakthrough technology, Bitcoin is neither good nor bad. It’s neutral. People can use it for good or they can use it for evil. Thankfully, it’s being used less and less for illicit activity. Criminals are starting to understand that transactions on a blockchain are public and traceable — it’s exactly the type of system they usually try to avoid. And it’s true, at this point “a lot more” crimes are actually committed with fiat than crypto. As a result, the perception of bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been changing over the years to a more positive light. Bitcoin has even started to enter the world of media & entertainment. It’s been mentioned in Hollywood films like Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and in songs from major artists like Eminem. It’s been mentioned in countless TV shows like Billions, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Gray’s Anatomy, Family Guy, and more. As covid19 has ravaged economies and central banks have been printing money, Bitcoin has caught the attention of many legendary Wall Street investors like Paul Tudor Jones, saying that Bitcoin is a great bet against inflation (reminding him of Gold in the 1970s). Cash App already lets their 25M users buy Bitcoin. It’s rumored that PayPal and Venmo will soon let their 325M users start buying Bitcoin. Bitcoin is by far the most dominant cryptocurrency and is showing no signs of slowing down. For more than a decade it has delivered on its core use-cases — being able to send or store value.
At this point, Bitcoin has very much entered the zeitgeist of modern pop culture — at least in the West.
When Ethereum launched in 2015, it opened up a world of new possibilities and use-cases for crypto. With Ethereum Smart Contracts (i.e. applications), this exciting new digital money (cryptocurrency) became a lot less dumb. Developers could now build applications that go beyond the simple use-cases of “send value” & “store value.” They could program cryptocurrency to have rules, behavior, and logic to respond to different inputs. And always enforced by code. Additional reading on Ethereum fromLinda XieorVitalik Buterin.
Because these applications are built on blockchain technology (Ethereum), they preserve many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin: no one can stop, censor or shut down these apps because they are decentralized.
Just as tokens grew in popularity in 2017–2018, so did online marketplaces where these tokens could be bought, sold, and traded. This was a fledgling asset class — the merchants selling picks, axes, and shovels were finally starting to emerge.
I had a front-row seat — both as an investor and token creator. This was the Wild West with all the frontier drama & scandal that you’d expect.
Binance — now the world’s largest crypto exchange —was launched during this time. They along with many others (especially from Asia) made it really easy for speculators, traders, and degenerate gamblers to participate in these markets. Similar to other financial markets, the goal was straightforward: buy low and sell high. https://preview.redd.it/tytsu5jnfu951.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fe3425b7e4a71fa953b953f0c7f6eaff6504a0d1 That period left an embarrassing stain on our industry that we’ve still been trying to recover from. It was a period rampant with market manipulation, pump-and-dumps, and scams. To some extent, the crypto industry still suffers from that today, but it’s nothing compared to what it was then.
While the potential of getting filthy rich brought a lot of fly-by-nighters and charlatans into the industry, it also brought a lot of innovators, entrepreneurs, and builders.
The launch and growth of Ethereum has been an incredible technological breakthrough. As with past tech breakthroughs, it has led to a wave of innovation, experimentation, and development. The creativity around tokens, smart contracts, and decentralized applications has been fascinating to witness. Now a few years later, the fruits of those labors are starting to be realized.
I know that for the hardcore crypto people, what we covered today is nothing new. But for those who are still getting up to speed, welcome! I hope this was helpful and that it fuels your interest to learn more. Until you understand the basics of this technology, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the impact that it has on our new digital bank, Genesis Block. You won’t be able to understand the implications, how it relates, or how it helps. After today’s post, some of you probably have a lot more questions. What are specific examples or use-cases of DeFi? Why does it need to be on a blockchain? What benefits does it bring to Genesis Block and our users? In upcoming posts, we answer these questions. Today’s post was just Level 1. It set the foundation for where we’re headed next: even deeper down the crypto rabbit hole. --- Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/ Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
There’s often a tension in the crypto world between security and convenience. That trade-off is unacceptable if we want these technologies to be widely used. Here’s how Ergo addresses one common and very important issue. We all know that the most secure way to use Bitcoin, or any crypto, is to download a copy of the blockchain and run a full node yourself. That way, every time you or anyone else makes a transaction, your client checks the blockchain to ensure it’s valid. You don’t have to trust anyone else. A full Bitcoin node checks all the blocks in the blockchain (using headers) and makes sure there are no fraudulent transactions. It’s a very secure way of using crypto – but there’s a problem. It requires significant bandwidth, storage and processing power. That kind of commodity hardware is expensive, and using a full node to validate and make transactions is in any case unsuitable for mobile devices. This is particularly true for Bitcoin, where the blockchain is over 270 GB and counting. SPV Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) is designed to address this problem, as described in the Bitcoin white paper:
It is possible to verify payments without running a full network node. A user only needs to keep a copy of the block headers of the longest proof-of-work chain, which he can get by querying network nodes until he's convinced he has the longest chain, and obtain the Merkle branch linking the transaction to the block it's timestamped in. He can't check the transaction for himself, but by linking it to a place in the chain, he can see that a network node has accepted it, and blocks added after it further confirm the network has accepted it.
Satoshi notes that this is not a perfect solution, and is vulnerable to an attacker overpowering the network and fooling SPV users. Moreover, while SPV mode is intended for resource-limited devices, even this ‘lite’ approach is not always feasible. Ethereum’s headers alone total around 5 GB to download. Thus Ethereum mobile clients do not validate chain validity and so blindly have to trust third parties. There are proposals to reduce the requirements for SPV mode by checking just a few random headers, instead of all of them. But it’s hard to do that securely. Efficient SPV Several years have been spent researching and developing secure protocols that allow for efficient SPV clients. The two best-known and most reliable protocols are NiPoPoWs and FlyClient. Ergo implements NiPoPoWs, or Non-interactive Proof-of-Proof-of-Work. This technology can be explored in full on this dedicated website: https://nipopows.com:
Non-Interactive Proofs of Proof-of-Work (NIPoPoWs) are short stand-alone strings that a computer program can inspect to verify that an event happened on a proof-of-work-based blockchain without connecting to the blockchain network and without downloading all block headers. For example, these proofs can illustrate that a cryptocurrency payment was made.
NIPoPoWs allow very efficient mobile wallets to be created. SPV wallets are already very lightweight compared to full nodes because they only require the download of block headers, not the whole blockchain. NIPoPoW wallets need to download only a small sample of block headers, around 250, when SPV clients need to download half a million block headers. The sample needed changes but doesn't grow much in size as the blockchain grows larger by the years, even after decades of data has been accumulated.
This enables us to build a mobile SPV client that requires around just 100KB of block headers to be downloaded. A super-efficient Ergo wallet with SPV security is in development, so stay tuned for more updates! Share post: Facebook Twitter Ergoplatform.org
A Guide - How to handle your bitcoin / crypto losses for tax savings
So I thought it would be helpful to write this up for everyone. DISCLAIMER - You should still speak with a tax advisor and not treat this as straight tax advice, just information. I am interested in the regulatory side of crypto, so I thought it would be helpful. Bitcoin and crypto losses can be used to offset other types of capital gains for tax purposes. This guide will discuss how to handle your losses and the important things that you need to keep in mind for your crypto taxes.
Losses on Crypto and Bitcoin trades offset other capital gains
For tax purposes in the U.S., selling crypto is treated the same as selling any other type of capital asset—stocks, bonds, property etc. This means that you realize a capital gains or capital losses anytime you sell Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. When you realize a capital gain (you sold your crypto for more than you purchased it for), you owe a tax on the dollar amount of the gain. However, when you sell (or trade) your crypto for less than you purchased it for, you incur a capital loss, and you can use this loss to offset gains from other trades or even a gain from the sale of other property like stocks in your portfolio. Unfortunately in the crypto landscape that we are currently experiencing, there are plenty of losses to go around, and it is wise to file these capital losses in order to reduce your taxable income and save you money.
Net capital losses up to $3,000 can be deducted against other types of income
Whenever your total capital gains and losses for the year add up to a negative number, you incur a net capital loss. If the net capital loss is less than or equal to $3,000 ($1,500 if you are married and filing a separate tax return), then that entire capital loss can be used to offset other types of income—like the income from your job. If your losses exceed $3,000, then the amount over $3,000 will be rolled forward to the next tax year. It's very important to note that before being used to offset other types of income, capital losses offset other types of capital gains. This can provide HUGE tax benefits for people who have capital gains in other areas.
What does this look like in real life?
Let’s go through an example to paint a clear picture. Let's say you gained $20,000 in the stock market this year (this is a capital gain), and you lost $20,000 trading cryptocurrency. Your loss in crypto would completely offset your 20K stock market gain. Therefore, you would pay no taxes on your stock market activity. If you are at a 25% tax bracket, this form of tax loss harvesting would save you $5,000 in taxes (20,000 * 0.25). *Note, there are many other forms of capital gains that your crypto can offset. Tax loss harvesting is a common strategy used by investors of all asset classes: crypto, stocks, bonds, real-estate etc. We break down a step-by-step approach detailing how you can harvest your crypto losses for tax savings in our complete blog post here: Cryptocurrency Tax Loss Harvesting.
What if I have no other forms of capital gains?
In the scenario where you have no other capital gains, your losses simply offset your income up to $3,000. As an example, let’s say you started 2019 doing really well as a crypto trader. You made $5,000 trading Bitcoin and Ethereum. Once August rolled around and the markets took a turn for the worse, you got hit hard and the value of your portfolio dropped significantly. You ended up selling out of all of your positions and took a $7,000 loss. From here, you would be able to harvest a $2,000 loss for the year. This loss would deduct from your taxable income for the year. Let’s say you made $50,000 on the year in income. With this loss, only $48,000 of that income would be taxable.
Wash sale rules do not apply to crypto
This is very important for those who want to take advantage of their crypto losses. Like mentioned, a taxable event only occurs when you sell or trade your crypto into another crypto. This means that if you want to take advantage of your losses from 2018, you should sell or trade out of your crypto before Dec. 31st, 2018. By trading into another cryptocurrency, you trigger a taxable event and "realize" your losses on paper. You can then file these losses with your tax return. Please consult with a qualified tax professional regarding these tactics. Because wash sale rules do not currently apply to cryptocurrency, you can buy back the crypto you sold to "harvest" your losses. This immediate buyback is not allowed in the world of stock trading. This is very helpful for those who want to continue to hold onto their crypto, and this form of tax loss harvesting is a common tactic amongst tax professionals. An example - If you bought $2,000 worth of Bitcoin in February of 2018, that investment would now be worth about $600 USD give or take. To take advantage of this loss, you should trade all of that Bitcoin for Ethereum BEFORE Dec 31st and then trade back that same amount. Now you still have your Bitcoin, but you also "realized" this $1,400 loss on paper. This loss offsets other gains or income on your tax bill! You can trigger a loss on paper by trading into another cryptocurrency, or by selling into FIAT currency. Both aretaxable eventsand allow you to "realize" your loss.
IRS Form 8949
To get more detailed on how to report this crypto on your taxes, you need to report each trade that you made on the IRS form 8949, Sales and Dispositions of other Capital Assets. For every trade that you made during the year, you list the amount of crypto traded, the price traded at, the date traded, the cost basis for the trade, and the capital gain or loss that occurred. Continue to list every trade from the year on this form and total up the net losses at the bottom.
What if I made a lot of trades during the year?
A lot of crypto enthusiasts trade quite often. If you haven’t been keeping a record of the dates of your trades, the dollar value amounts that you bought and sold your crypto for, and the capital gains/losses from those trades, this reporting process, and creating your 8949 form can become a huge headache. If this is a scenario that you are faced with (don’t worry we were in the exact same boat), it could be beneficial to leverage cryptocurrency tax software like CryptoTrader.Tax to automatically create your 8949 for you. All you have to do is import your trades. Once you have your total capital gains and losses added together on the form 8949, you transfer the total amount onto your 1040 Schedule D.
Ideally you are a wizard of a crypto trader, and you won’t have to harvest any losses from your trading activity. However, if you have losses, be sure you are at least taking advantage of them and saving money where you can.
Engaging in tax loss harvesting with your cryptocurrency assets is one of the single most effective ways to reduce your tax bill for the year. It’s no secret that cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile. This and a number of other characteristics make it an unusually effective candidate for tax loss harvesting strategies. This guide outlines what tax loss harvesting is, how you can use it to reduce your bitcoin and crypto tax liability.
Tax Loss Harvesting - What Is It?
Tax Loss Harvesting is the practice of selling a capital asset at a loss to offset a capital gains tax liability. By realizing or “harvesting” a loss, investors are able to offset taxes on both gains and income. This is a tax reduction strategy commonly used in the world of stocks and securities.
John buys $1,000 of Apple stock and $2,000 of Tesla stock in a given year. While holding these investments, the value of John’s Apple stock rises to $1,500 while Tesla drops to $1,700. John sells all of his Apple stock for $1,500.
Without Tax Loss Harvesting
Without harvesting his losses in Tesla stock, John has a $500 capital gain for the year from the sale of his Apple stock. John pays taxes on all $500 of this capital gain.
With Tax Loss Harvesting
Rather than continuing to hold his Tesla stock, John can harvest his losses in Tesla by selling before year-end. Capital gains and losses get summed together for the year resulting in either a net gain or loss. John’s net capital gain is now only $200 for the year ($500 - $300). In this scenario, John only pays taxes on $200 of net capital gains rather than $500.
Tax Loss Harvesting With Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are treated as property for tax purposes, exactly the same as stocks. This means that you can also strategically sell/trade crypto to harvest losses and reduce your tax liability. Unlike stocks however, cryptocurrencies have unique characteristics that make them even better candidates for tax loss harvesting. We discuss these below.
Wash Sale Rules
A wash sale results when you incur a capital loss, and then buy the same security back within a 30-day window before or after the capital loss is incurred. This rule is designed to prevent investors from taking capital losses in one year and then immediately buying back the stock. The IRS specifically states that wash sale rules only apply to securities. Cryptocurrencies are property, not securities, as defined by IRS guidance. This means that wash sales rules do not apply to cryptocurrency at this time.
Cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile—more so than traditional assets. This volatility means that investors regularly have opportunities to realize and harvest capital losses. The difficult part for investors is identifying which of their cryptocurrencies in their portfolio have the highest cost basis (original purchase price) when compared to the current market price. These are the assets that present the greatest opportunity for tax savings. CryptoTrader.Tax has a tax loss harvesting tool built into the app that allows users to automatically identify which of their cryptocurrencies present the greatest loss harvesting opportunity.
Amy has made $15,000 in capital gains from investing in the stock market this year. Amy has also been investing in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, XRP, and Ethereum. In December, Amy imports her cryptocurrency transactions into CryptoTrader.Tax and notices that her investments are down over $20,000 for the year. To harvest these losses, Amy trades all of her cryptocurrencies into Litecoin (thus incurring a taxable event and realizing her losses). Amy’s losses in cryptocurrency complete offset all of her stock market gains, and she’s left with a $5,000 capital loss for the year.
Net Capital Losses Up to $3,000 Offset Ordinary Income
Whenever total capital gains and losses for the year add up to a negative number, a net capital loss is incurred. If the net capital loss is less than or equal to $3,000 ($1,500 if you are married and filing a separate tax return), then that entire capital loss can be used to offset other types of income—like the income from your job. Net losses exceeding $3,000 are rolled forward to subsequent years.
December 31st is the Cutoff - Time is of The Essence!
It is important to keep in mind that the tax year ends on Dec. 31st—even though the filing deadline isn’t until April 15th. This means that you must harvest your losses prior to the end of the year if you want them to impact that year’s taxes. Many investors delay only to realize that they could have saved money on their tax bill if they would have sold or realized losses back in December. By then it’s too late.
This IS the Bitcoin Explained Book you should be sharing with people who KNOW NOTHING about Bitcoin and tech
Being someone who has been investing and heavily building services on Bitcoin, Ethereum and alike public blockchains for the last few years, I often get asked about the Bitcoin by friends and family. And while I do enjoy talking about it over and over, it did occur to me at some point that the lack of understanding of the technology IS one of the reason (if not the main reason) for what seems to be a fairly slow pace of adoption. It's been over 10 years now and still most of the action is in trading space :( We have crypto exchanges exceeding billion USD daily in turnover and yet not a single widely known online retailer accepting crypto! So, after two years of being in the building part of the ecosystem, I decided to put some time aside and work on that "adoption issue", starting with my friends and family. Unfortunately, nearly all current onboarding guides on the subject are still way too complicated for the mainstream. The mainstream audience knows nothing about the technical aspects of the blockchain and the originating concepts like UTXOs, proof of work, hashing, mining, private keys and the list goes on and on. Combine that with the fact that most people don't really understand traditional financial systems they are left somewhat clueless not only about WHAT Bitcoin is but also WHY it was created in the first place. So, long story short, I decided to write a guide that both my friends and relatives would be able to grasp without compromising on some essential elements of the Bitcoin blockchain. This is my first onboarding guide for someone with zero-knowledge in the field. https://github.com/horizontalsystems/Bitcoin-Explained-Guide/blob/masteBitcoin-Explained-Simple-Terms.pdf Enjoy!
Weekly Update: Parachute Townhall, Welcome $GET to ParJar, Uptrennd reaches 50k members, Fantom on IncognitoChain... – 6 Dec - 12 Dec'19
Hi Parachuters! As part of 2 of 3 from today's rapid catch up series of pending updates, here’s your week at Parachute + partners (6 Dec - 12 Dec'19): As mentioned last week, Cap and Ice hosted a townhall to talk about where we are at and where we are heading along with ample feedback and Q&A from the community. We covered a lot of ground: "value hypothesis for ParJar, Product Market fit, and our growth approach for 2020...performance of two key PAR utility metrics, staking and gas, and how we see growth for each in 2020...questions from the community and reviewed upcoming community initiatives". Click here to catch up on all that happened. GET Protocol’s $GET token was added to ParJar this week. Belated Birthday wishes to Doc Vic from Cuba. Jason lost a 5k $PAR wager with Cap on Victor’s age. Haha. Congratulations to Martha for winning this week’s Parena. As per the latest Fantasy Premier League (#FPL) update shared by LordHades this week, he is still ruling the charts at the top with NovelCloud and Alexis hot on his heels. From next week, "You can now view your first opponent in the 2019/20 FPL Cup on the My Team page - under Leagues". While you slay those miles with the Parachute Running Club (which has done 44 miles so far BTW), here’s a podcast to listen to. Cap’s recommendation: "It's geared towards people building products - but super super useful to think about any products you use. Skip to like 9 minutes in to skip through all the advertiesments ". Yes, I know. Cap wouldn’t be Cap without typos. Typos FTW! Parachute townhall Parachute-themed shirts designed by Doc Vic and Alejandro on Doc’s birthday. These are sick! If you want to see yourself on the Parachute world map, make sure to enter your location here. The entries are anonymous. In this week's Parachute Fantasy Football League update, Hang is in the first position followed by Clinton and Andy. Connor made it to the playoffs and is now in 4th position. So it means farewell to Nilz, Ken, Kamo and Cap from this season. CoD mobile players, don't forget to join the Parachute WarZone hosted by Doc Vic from Cuba. I hear there's $PAR and $AMGO to be won! The TTR Hat Contest ended this week with some solid entries running in the lead. Epic creation Wendell! In this week’s creative prompt by Jason, Parachuters had to “do 3 nice things for a total stranger”. Basically, be a true blue Parachuter 😊. For this week's Two-for-Tuesday, Gian made it free-for-all. No theme. Post music as you wish and win 500 $PAR. Cool! Benjamin and Charlotte hosted trivias in TTR this week. Those were loads of fun! Andy announced the start of a College Football Bowl Game Pickem contest in Parachute. 100k $PAR prize pool. Doc Vic hosted another round of Champions League wager this week in TTR. So much epicness in one picture. Jose, you are a genius! Andy's Advent Calendar journey continues Catch up on the latest aXpire update and 20k AXPR burn here and here respectively. As you would already know, instead of pitting both startups against each other, XIO decided to accept both Opacity and Uptrennd into the incubator program and opened up staking for them. This marks the official launch of the XIO Blockchain Incubator and it’s been a roaring start with USD 7k worth of tokens locked up in one hour and Opacity portal getting oversubscribed in no time. Video instructions for staking can be found here. Read up on the startups here. In three days, the total staking crossed 1M XIO levels. Insane! That is a great metric to measure performance. How does the $XIO token play a role in all this? The crew explained in this tweet thread. And with that a series of related discussions got off starting with the possibility of self-nomination for startups. Have a sub-100 CMC project that you think should be part of the incubator? Don’t forget to tag them. Plus, a cool 25k $XIO giveaway was launched. Remember, meaningful conversation is always welcome at the incubator and more often than not, they get rewarded. Check out the latest update on the Birdchain App SMS feature along with an expanded list of supported countries. Silent Notary reduced the $LAW token requirement for running a Masternode from 100M to 20M this week. Russian research company sudexpa.ru also gave its vote of confidence to Silent Notary in terms of its immutability. Wibson Marketing Manager Fi Scantamburlo attended the Latin American Bitcoin Conference Uruguay to speak on Data privacy, monetisation and how Wibson helps achieve these. Opacity now allows shared file preview for uploaded docs. Shared File Preview on Opacity Fantom's foray into the Afghan Ministry of Health's efforts to fight counterfeit drugs and other public health initiatives were covered by Forbes this week. Last week, we shared that Sikoba's e-voting platform, Itugen, which is based on Fantom’s Lachesis consensus was released. This week, they published its technical whitepaper. With so many moving parts in the project and so much happening all around, a recap is always a welcome refresher to catch up. $FTM got listed on South Korea’s Coinone with a $KRW pairing. It was also integrated with the IncognitoChain project’s pDEX with a $pUSDT pairing (remember, Harmony was added to the same platform a few days back?). IncognitoChain allows cryptos to be transacted privately using sidechains including those coins/tokens which are not privacy-oriented. Fantom also launched a developer portal and technical documentation ahead of the XAR Network mainnet release. The interoperability bridge is out as well. This allows both ERC20 and BEP2 token holders to move their tokens to the XAR Network. The wallet allows both staking and delegation. For the guide to joining XAR Network as a validator node, click here. A simple guide to staking on XAR Network can be found here. The team also sat down for an AMA with COTI this week. Blockchain Magazine’s interview of Michael was published. Continuing with Uptrennd’s 24 Days of Celebrations started last week, this week they hosted an Escape Room contest and Photo contest. The latest $1UP tokenomics update can be seen here. After 11 months, the platform now has 50k users across 177 countries. Wowza! And wicked stats on the engagement metrics as well. Jeff’s interview with Crypto Beadles came out this week. A few entries for the Uptrennd Photo Contest Click here and here for the latest District Weekly and Dev Update from District0x. In case you missed this week’s Dapp Digest, you can watch it here. Aragon fans will be in for a treat since it features Aragon Co-Founder Luis Cuende as a special guest. Remember, we had discussed last week that the Shuffle Monster Raffle had crossed a 10k $SHUF pool. Turns out it got to 13k+. Wow! The latest Hydro developer update is a comprehensive roundup from the entire ecosystem. VCC Exchange listed $HYDRO with a $BTC pairing. Hydro’s security tokenisation protocol, Hail, moved to mainnet this week. The team travelled to Boston for MassChallenge Fintech. Hydro will be hosting a Banking-as-a-Service happy hour next week to talk on how they are building solutions in the BaaS space. For starters, don’t forget to read their article on blockchain applications in finance. The team appeared for an AMA with Apache Traders which also featured a 45k $HYDRO giveaway. Digital payments platform VoPay is now partnered with Hydro for end-to-end payment solutions using Hydrogen API and other Hydro tools. Hydro’s smart contract was audited by Callisto and passed their test with flying colours except for one "low severity" issue. The result: "The contract can be deployed". CTO Tim Allard was interviewed by Ethereum Network Nigeria as part of their Ethereum personality chat series. For the latest update on the community explorer Frost, click here. In Pynk’s first guest blog post, community member (or, Pynkster) Alistaire Wallace talks about what the coming year could hold for Pynk and its community of predictors. Check out the transcript of Sentivate’s AMA with tehMoonwalkeR here. Sentivate’s new office in PA is shaping up quite well This week at OST was all about the Pepo app: from angel investor Kartik to Rocket NFT’s Alex Masmej joining the platform, accelerator The Fledge using Pepo Conversations to power community-sourced improvements to businesses, Home for the Holidays Challenge to explain crypto/blockchain to relatives (with a total USD 2k in Pepo coins in prizes) and a “best lifehack” bounty posted by Jason on the app. If you’ve missed all SelfKey news from the past month, you can catch up from the November progress report. Also, did you know that the group Legion of Doom which was once considered to be the most capable hacking group in the world was in a long drawn feud with Masters of Deception in what is now known as the Great Hacker War? Learn more info like this from SelfKey’s latest article on hacking groups. Constellation CEO Ben Jorgensen will be speaking at the Crypto 2020 Summit. If you’re attending, make sure to say Hi. Arena Match announced a trading competition on DDEX with 4M $AMGO tokens to be won. Lucky Bluff Poker will be sponsoring next week’s Arena Match Raffle. The latest Harmony update compilation from the whole team can be found here. In the latest Pangea statistics (Harmony’s experimental staking game to test the limits of its tech), the average staking position is 1.8M $ONE with 75% of participants operate nodes themselves while the rest use delegates. Plus, check out the newest upgrades here. Honest Mining announced mainnet support for the native $ONE token swap. $ONE is also in consideration for listing on Binance US. The token was listed on Pionex this week. The Intellishare website registration and login functions will be down next week for a scheduled upgrade. Also, $INE traders make sure to keep a note of WBFex temporarily disabling the $ETH trading pair. Jobchain’s $JOB token got listed on Bilaxy exchange, P2PB2B exchange, SWFT Blockchain wallet and SWOP.SPACE exchange. The project was also given an A+ score by Xangle. Congrats! And with that, it’s a wrap. See you again soon with another weekly update. Bye!
STATUS: Majority of questions have been answered. If yours got missed, please feel free to post it again. Introduction All, Based on the rapid increase in popularity and price of bitcoin and other crypto currencies (particularly over the past year), I expect that lots of people have questions about how crypto currency will impact their taxes. This thread attempts to address several common issues. I'm posting similar versions of it here, in several major crypto subs, and eventually in the weekly "tax help" threads personalfinance runs. I'd like to thank the /personalfinance mod team and the /tax community for their help with this thread and especially for reading earlier versions and offering several valuable suggestions/corrections. This thread is NOT an endorsement of crypto currency as an investing strategy. There is a time and a place to debate the appropriateness of crypto as part of a diversified portfolio - but that time is not now and that place is not here. If you are interested in the general consensus of this sub on investing, I would urge you to consult the wiki while keeping in mind the general flowchart outlining basic steps to get your finances in order. Finally, please note that this thread attempts to provide information about your tax obligations as defined by United States law (and interpreted by the IRS under the direction of the Treasury Department). I understand that a certain portion of the crypto community tends to view crypto as "tax free" due to the (actual and perceived) difficulty for the IRS to "know" about the transactions involved. I will not discuss unlawfully concealing crypto gains here nor will I suggest illegal tax avoidance activities. The Basics This section is best for people that don't understand much about taxes. It covers some very basic tax principles. It also assumes that all you did during the year was buy/sell a single crypto currency. Fundamentally, the IRS treats crypto not as money, but as an asset (investment). While there are a few specific "twists" when it comes to crypto, when in doubt replace the word "crypto" with the word "stock" and you will get a pretty good idea how you should report and pay tax on crypto. The first thing you should know is that the majority of this discussion applies to the taxes you are currently working on (2017 taxes). The tax bill that just passed applies to 2018 taxes (with a few very tiny exceptions), which most people will file in early 2019. In general, you don't have to report or pay taxes on crypto currency holdings until you "cash out" all or part of your holdings. For now, I'm going to assume that you cash out by selling them for USD; however, other forms of cashing out will be covered later. When you sell crypto, you report the difference between your basis (purchase price) and proceeds (sale price) on Schedule D. Your purchase price is commonly referred to as your basis; while the two terms don't mean exactly the same thing, they are pretty close to one another (in particular, there are three two ways to calculate your basis - your average cost, a first-in, first-out method, and a "specific identification" method. See more about these here and here). EDIT - you may not use average cost method with crypto - see here. If you sell at a gain, this gain increases your tax liability; if you sell at a loss, this loss decreases your tax liability (in most cases). If you sell multiple times during the year, you report each transaction separately (bad news if you trade often) but get to lump all your gains/losses together when determining how the trades impact your income. One important thing to remember is that there are two different types of gains/losses from investments - short term gains (if you held an asset for one year or less) and long term gains (over one year; i.e. one year and one day). Short term gains are taxed at your marginal income rate (basically, just like if you had earned that money at a job) while long term gains are taxed at lower rates. For most people, long term capital gains are taxed at 15%. However, if you are in the 10% or 15% tax bracket, congrats - your gains (up to the maximum amount of "unused space" in your bracket) are tax free! If you are in the 25%, 28%, 33%, or 35% bracket, long term gains are taxed at 15%. If you are in the 39.6% bracket, long term gains are taxed at 20%. Additionally, there is an "extra" 3.8% tax that applies to gains for those above $200,000/$250,000 (single/married). The exact computation of this tax is a little complicated, but if you are close to the $200,000 level, just know that it exists. Finally, you should know that I'm assuming that you should treat your crypto gains/losses as investment gains/losses. I'm sure some people will try and argue that they are really "day traders" of crypto and trade as a full time job. While this is possible, the vast majority of people don't qualify for this status and you should really think several times before deciding you want to try that approach on the IRS. "Cashing Out" - Trading Crypto for Goods/Services I realize that not everyone that "cashes out" of crypto does so by selling it for USD. In fact, I understand that some in the crypto community view the necessity of cashing out itself as a type of myth. In this section, I discuss what happens if you trade your crypto for basically anything that isn't cash (minor sidenote - see next section for a special discussion on trading crypto for crypto; i.e. buying altcoins with crypto). The IRS views trading crypto for something of value as a type of bartering that must be included in income. From the IRS's perspective, it doesn't matter if you sold crypto for cash and bought a car with that cash or if you just traded crypto directly for the car - in both cases, the IRS views you as having sold your crypto. This approach isn't unique to crypto - it works the same way if you trade stock for something. This means that if you do trade your crypto for "stuff", you have to report every exchange as a sale of your crypto and calculate the gain/loss on that sale, just as if you had sold the crypto for cash. Finally, there is one important exception to this rule. If you give your crypto away to charity (one recognized by the IRS; like a 501(c)(3) organization), the IRS doesn't make you report/pay any capital gains on the transaction. Additionally, you still get to deduct the value of your donation on the date it was made. Now, from a "selfish" point of view, you will always end up with more money if you sell the crypto, pay the tax, and keep the rest. But, if you are going to make a donation anyway, especially a large one, giving crypto where you have a big unrealized/untaxed gain is a very efficient way of doing so. "Alt Coins" - Buying Crypto with Crypto The previous section discusses what happens when you trade crypto for stuff. However, one thing that surprises many people is that trading crypto for crypto is also a taxable event, just like trading crypto for a car. Whether you agree with this position or not, it makes a lot of sense once you realize that the IRS doesn't view crypto as money, but instead as an asset. So to the IRS, trading bitcoin for ripple isn't like trading dollars for euros, but it is instead like trading shares of Apple stock for shares of Tesla stock. Practically, what this means is that if you trade one crypto for another crypto (say BTC for XRP just to illustrate the point), the IRS views you as doing the following:
Selling for cash the amount of BTC you actually traded for XRP.
Owing capital gains/losses on the BTC based on its selling price (the fair market value at the moment of the exchange) and your purchase price (basis).
Buying a new investment (XRP) with a cost basis equal to the amount the BTC was worth when you exchanged them.
This means that if you "time" your trade wrong and the value of XRP goes down after you make the exchange, you still owe tax on your BTC gain even though you subsequently lost money. The one good piece of news in this is that when/if you sell your XRP (or change it back to BTC), you will get a capital loss for the value that XRP dropped. There is one final point worth discussing in this section - the so called "like kind exchange" rules (aka section 1031 exchange). At a high level, these rules say that you can "swap" property with someone else without having to pay taxes on the exchange as long as you get property in return that is "like kind". Typically, these rules are used in real estate transactions. However, they can also apply to other types of transactions as well. While the idea is simple (and makes it sound like crypto for crypto should qualify), the exact rules/details of this exception are very fact specific. Most experts (including myself, but certainly not calling myself an expert) believe that a crypto for crypto swap is not a like kind exchange. The recently passed tax bill also explicitly clarifies this issue - starting in 2018, only real estate qualifies for like kind exchange treatment. So, basically, the vast majority of evidence suggests that you can't use this "loophole" for 2017; however, there is a small minority view/some small amount of belief that this treatment would work for 2017 taxes and it is worth noting that I'm unaware of any court cases directly testing this approach. Dealing with "Forks" Perhaps another unpleasant surprise for crypto holders is that "forks" to create a new crypto also very likely generate a taxable event. The IRS has long (since at least the 1960s) held that "found" money is a taxable event. This approach has been litigated in court and courts have consistently upheld this position; it even has its own cool nerdy tax name - the "treasure trove" doctrine. Practically, what this means is that if you owned BTC and it "forked" to create BCH, then the fair market value of the BCH you received is considered a "treasure trove" that must be reported as income (ordinary income - no capital gain rates). This is true whether or not you sold your BCH; if you got BCH from a fork, that is a taxable event (note - I'll continue using BTC forking to BCH in this section as an example, but the logic applies to all forks). While everything I've discussed up to this point is pretty clearly established tax law, forks are really where things get messy with taxes. Thus, the remainder of this section contains more speculation than elsewhere in this post - the truth is that while the idea is simple (fork = free money = taxable), the details are messy and other kinds of tax treatment might apply to forks. One basic practical problem with forks is that the new currency doesn't necessarily start trading immediately. Thus, you may have received BCH before there was a clear price or market for it. Basically, you owe tax on the value of BCH when you received it, but it isn't completely clear what that value was. There are several ways you can handle this; I'll list them in order from most accurate to least accurate (but note that this is just my personal view and there is ongoing disagreement on this issue with little/no authoritative guidance).
Use a futures market to determine the value of the BCH - if reliable sources published realistic estimates of what BCH will trade for in the future once trading begins, use this estimate as the value of your BCH. Pros/cons - futures markets are, in theory, pretty accurate. However, if they are volatile/subject to manipulation, they may provide an incorrect estimate of the true value of BCH. It would suck to use the first futures value published only to have that value plummet shortly thereafter, leaving you to pay ordinary income tax but only have an unrealized capital loss.
Wait until an exchange starts trading BCH; use the actual ("spot" price) as the value. Pros/cons - spot prices certainly reflect what you could have sold BCH for; however, it is possible that the true value of the coin was highelower when you received it as compared to when it started trading on the exchange. Thus this method seems less accurate to me than a futures based approach, but it is still certainly fairly reasonable.
Assume that the value is $0. This is my least preferred option, but there is still a case to be made for it. If you receive something that you didn't want, can't access, can't sell, and might fail, does it have any value? I believe the answer is yes (maybe not value it perfectly, but value it somewhat accurately), but if you honestly think the answer is no, then the correct tax answer would be to report $0 in income from the fork. The IRS would be most likely to disagree with this approach, especially since it results in the least amount of income reported for the current year (and the most favorable rates going forward). Accordingly, if you go this route, make extra sure you understand what it entails.
Note, once you've decided what to report as taxable income, this amount also becomes your cost basis in the new crypto (BCH). Thus, when you ultimately sell your BCH (or trade it for something else as described above), you calculate your gain/loss based on what you included in taxable income from the fork. Finally, there is one more approach to dealing with forks worth mentioning. A fork "feels" a lot like a dividend - because you held BTC, you get BCH. In a stock world, if I get a cash dividend because I own the stock, that money is not treated as a "treasure trove" and subject to ordinary income rates - in most cases, it is a qualified dividend and subject to capital gain rates; in some cases, some types of stock dividends are completely non taxable. This article discusses this idea in slightly more detail and generally concludes that forks should not be treated as a dividend. Still, I would note that I'm unaware of any court cases directly testing this theory. Ultimately, this post is supposed to be practical, so let me make sure to leave you with two key thoughts about the taxation of forks. First, I believe that the majority of evidence suggests that forks should be treated as a "treasure trove" and reported as ordinary income based on their value at creation and that this is certainly the "safest" option. Second, out of everything discussed in this post, I also believe that the correct taxation of forks is the murkiest and most "up for debate" area. If you are interested in a more detailed discussion of forks, see this thread for a previous version of this post discussing it at even more length and the comments for a discussion of this with the tax community. Mining Crypto Successfully mining crypto coins is a taxable event. Depending on the amount of effort you put into mining, it is either considered a hobby or a self-employment (business) activity. The IRS provides the following list of questions to help decide the correct classification:
The manner in which the taxpayer carries on the activity.
The expertise of the taxpayer or his advisors.
The time and effort expended by the taxpayer in carrying on the activity.
Expectation that assets used in activity may appreciate in value.
The success of the taxpayer in carrying on other similar or dissimilar activities.
The taxpayer’s history of income or losses with respect to the activity.
The amount of occasional profits, if any, which are earned.
If this still sounds complicated, that's because the distinction is subject to some amount of interpretation. As a rule of thumb, randomly mining crypto on an old computer is probably a hobby; mining full time on a custom rig is probably a business. In either event, you must include in income the fair market value of any coins you successfully mine. These are ordinary income and your basis in these coins is their fair market value on the date they were mined. If your mining is a hobby, they go on line 21 (other income) and any expenses directly associated with mining go on schedule A (miscellaneous subject to 2% of AGI limitation). If your mining is a business, income and expenses go on schedule C. Both approaches have pros and cons - hobby income isn't subject to the 15.3% self-employment tax, only normal income tax, but you get fewer deductions against your income and the deductions you get are less valuable. Business income has more deductions available, but you have to pay payroll (self-employment) tax of about 15.3% in addition to normal income tax. What if I didn't keep good records? Do I really have to report every transaction? One nice thing about the IRS treating crypto as an asset is that we can look at how the IRS treats people that "day trade" stock and often don't keep great records/have lots of transactions. While you need to be as accurate as possible, it is ok to estimate a little bit if you don't have exact records (especially concerning your cost basis). You need to put in some effort (research historical prices, etc...) and be reasonable, but the IRS would much rather you do a little bit of reasonable estimation as opposed to just not reporting anything. Sure, they might decide to audit you/disagree with some specifics, but you earn yourself a lot of credit if you can show that you honestly did the best you reasonably could and are making efforts to improve going forward. However, concerning reporting every transaction - yes, sorry, it is clear that you have to do this, even if you made hundreds or thousands of them. Stock traders have had to go through this for many decades, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that the IRS would accept anything less from the crypto community. If you have the records or have any reasonable way of obtaining records/estimating them, you must report every transaction. What if I don't trust you? Well, first let me say that I can't believe you made it all the way down here to this section. Thanks for giving me an honest hearing. I would strongly encourage you to go read other well-written, honest guides. I'll link to some I like (both more technical IRS type guides and more crypto community driven guides). While a certain portion of the crypto community seems to view one of the benefits of crypto as avoiding all government regulation (including taxes), I've been pleasantly surprised to find that many crypto forums contain well reasoned, accurate tax guides. While I may not agree with 100% of their conclusions, that likely reflects true uncertainty around tax law that is fundamentally complex rather than an attempt on either end to help individuals unlawfully avoid taxes. IRS guides
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