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Crypto and the Latency Arms Race: Crypto Exchanges and the HFT Crowd

Crypto and the Latency Arms Race: Crypto Exchanges and the HFT Crowd


News by Coindesk: Max Boonen
Carrying on from an earlier post about the evolution of high frequency trading (HFT), how it can harm markets and how crypto exchanges are responding, here we focus on the potential longer-term impact on the crypto ecosystem.
First, though, we need to focus on the state of HFT in a broader context.

Conventional markets are adopting anti-latency arbitrage mechanisms

In conventional markets, latency arbitrage has increased toxicity on lit venues and pushed trading volumes over-the-counter or into dark pools. In Europe, dark liquidity has increased in spite of efforts by regulators to clamp down on it. In some markets, regulation has actually contributed to this. Per the SEC:
“Using the Nasdaq market as a proxy, [Regulation] NMS did not seem to succeed in its mission to increase the display of limit orders in the marketplace. We have seen an increase in dark liquidity, smaller trade sizes, similar trading volumes, and a larger number of “small” venues.”
Why is non-lit execution remaining or becoming more successful in spite of its lower transparency? In its 2014 paper, BlackRock came out in favour of dark pools in the context of best execution requirements. It also lamented message congestion and cautioned against increasing tick sizes, features that advantage latency arbitrageurs. (This echoes the comment to CoinDesk of David Weisberger, CEO of Coinroutes, who explained that the tick sizes typical of the crypto market are small and therefore do not put slower traders at much of a disadvantage.)
Major venues now recognize that the speed race threatens their business model in some markets, as it pushes those “slow” market makers with risk-absorbing capacity to provide liquidity to the likes of BlackRock off-exchange. Eurex has responded by implementing anti-latency arbitrage (ALA) mechanisms in options:
“Right now, a lot of liquidity providers need to invest more into technology in order to protect themselves against other, very fast liquidity providers, than they can invest in their pricing for the end client. The end result of this is a certain imbalance, where we have a few very sophisticated liquidity providers that are very active in the order book and then a lot of liquidity providers that have the ability to provide prices to end clients, but are tending to do so more away from the order book”, commented Jonas Ullmann, Eurex’s head of market functionality. Such views are increasingly supported by academic research.
XTX identifies two categories of ALA mechanisms: policy-based and technology-based. Policy-based ALA refers to a venue simply deciding that latency arbitrageurs are not allowed to trade on it. Alternative venues to exchanges (going under various acronyms such as ECN, ATS or MTF) can allow traders to either take or make, but not engage in both activities. Others can purposefully select — and advertise — their mix of market participants, or allow users to trade in separate “rooms” where undesired firms are excluded. The rise of “alternative microstructures” is mostly evidenced in crypto by the surge in electronic OTC trading, where traders can receive better prices than on exchange.
Technology-based ALA encompasses delays, random or deterministic, added to an exchange’s matching engine to reduce the viability of latency arbitrage strategies. The classic example is a speed bump where new orders are delayed by a few milliseconds, but the cancellation of existing orders is not. This lets market makers place fresh quotes at the new prevailing market price without being run over by latency arbitrageurs.
As a practical example, the London Metal Exchange recently announced an eight-millisecond speed bump on some contracts that are prime candidates for latency arbitrageurs due to their similarity to products trading on the much bigger CME in Chicago.
Why 8 milliseconds? First, microwave transmission between Chicago and the US East Coast is 3 milliseconds faster than fibre optic lines. From there, the $250,000 a month Hibernia Express transatlantic cable helps you get to London another 4 milliseconds faster than cheaper alternatives. Add a millisecond for internal latencies such as not using FPGAs and 8 milliseconds is the difference for a liquidity provider between investing tens of millions in speed technology or being priced out of the market by latency arbitrage.
With this in mind, let’s consider what the future holds for crypto.

Crypto exchanges must not forget their retail roots

We learn from conventional markets that liquidity benefits from a diverse base of market makers with risk-absorption capacity.
Some have claimed that the spread compression witnessed in the bitcoin market since 2017 is due to electronification. Instead, I posit that it is greater risk-absorbing capacity and capital allocation that has improved the liquidity of the bitcoin market, not an increase in speed, as in fact being a fast exchange with colocation such as Gemini has not supported higher volumes. Old-timers will remember Coinsetter, a company that, per the Bitcoin Wiki , “was created in 2012, and operates a bitcoin exchange and ECN. Coinsetter’s CSX trading technology enables millisecond trade execution times and offers one of the fastest API data streams in the industry.” The Wiki page should use the past tense as Coinsetter failed to gain traction, was acquired in 2016 and subsequently closed.
Exchanges that invest in scalability and user experience will thrive (BitMEX comes to mind). Crypto exchanges that favour the fastest traders (by reducing jitter, etc.) will find that winner-takes-all latency strategies do not improve liquidity. Furthermore, they risk antagonising the majority of their users, who are naturally suspicious of platforms that sell preferential treatment.
It is baffling that the head of Russia for Huobi vaunted to CoinDesk that: “The option [of co-location] allows [selected clients] to make trades 70 to 100 times faster than other users”. The article notes that Huobi doesn’t charge — but of course, not everyone can sign up.
Contrast this with one of the most successful exchanges today: Binance. It actively discourages some HFT strategies by tracking metrics such as order-to-trade ratios and temporarily blocking users that breach certain limits. Market experts know that Binance remains extremely relevant to price discovery, irrespective of its focus on a less professional user base.
Other exchanges, take heed.
Coinbase closed its entire Chicago office where 30 engineers had worked on a faster matching engine, an exercise that is rumoured to have cost $50mm. After much internal debate, I bet that the company finally realised that it wouldn’t recoup its investment and that its value derived from having onboarded 20 million users, not from upgrading systems that are already fast and reliable by the standards of crypto.
It is also unsurprising that Kraken’s Steve Hunt, a veteran of low-latency torchbearer Jump Trading, commented to CoinDesk that: “We want all customers regardless of size or scale to have equal access to our marketplace”. Experience speaks.
In a recent article on CoinDesk , Matt Trudeau of ErisX points to the lower reliability of cloud-based services compared to dedicated, co-located and cross-connected gateways. That much is true. Web-based technology puts the emphasis on serving the greatest number of users concurrently, not on serving a subset of users deterministically and at the lowest latency possible. That is the point. Crypto might be the only asset class that is accessible directly to end users with a low number of intermediaries, precisely because of the crypto ethos and how the industry evolved. It is cheaper to buy $500 of bitcoin than it is to buy $500 of Microsoft shares.
Trudeau further remarks that official, paid-for co-location is better than what he pejoratively calls “unsanctioned colocation,” the fact that crypto traders can place their servers in the same cloud providers as the exchanges. The fairness argument is dubious: anyone with $50 can set up an Amazon AWS account and run next to the major crypto exchanges, whereas cheap co-location starts at $1,000 a month in the real world. No wonder “speed technology revenues” are estimated at $1 billion for the major U.S. equity exchanges.
For a crypto exchange, to reside in a financial, non-cloud data centre with state-of-the-art network latencies might ironically impair the likelihood of success. The risk is that such an exchange becomes dominated on the taker side by the handful of players that already own or pay for the fastest communication routes between major financial data centres such as Equinix and the CME in Chicago, where bitcoin futures are traded. This might reduce liquidity on the exchange because a significant proportion of the crypto market’s risk-absorption capacity is coming from crypto-centric funds that do not have the scale to operate low-latency strategies, but might make up the bulk of the liquidity on, say, Binance. Such mom-and-pop liquidity providers might therefore shun an exchange that caters to larger players as a priority.

Exchanges risk losing market share to OTC liquidity providers

While voice trading in crypto has run its course, a major contribution to the market’s increase in liquidity circa 2017–2018 was the risk appetite of the original OTC voice desks such as Cumberland Mining and Circle.
Automation really shines in bringing together risk-absorbing capacity tailored to each client (which is impossible on anonymous exchanges) with seamless electronic execution. In contrast, latency-sensitive venues can see liquidity evaporate in periods of stress, as happened to a well-known and otherwise successful exchange on 26 June which saw its bitcoin order book become $1,000 wide for an extended period of time as liquidity providers turned their systems off. The problem is compounded by the general unavailability of credit on cash exchanges, an issue that the OTC market’s settlement model avoids.
As the crypto market matures, the business model of today’s major cash exchanges will come under pressure. In the past decade, the FX market has shown that retail traders benefit from better liquidity when they trade through different channels than institutional speculators. Systematic internalizers demonstrate the same in equities. This fact of life will apply to crypto. Exchanges have to pick a side: either cater to retail (or retail-driven intermediaries) or court HFTs.
Now that an aggregator like Tagomi runs transaction cost analysis for their clients, it will become plainly obvious to investors with medium-term and long-term horizons (i.e. anyone not looking at the next 2 seconds) that their price impact on exchange is worse than against electronic OTC liquidity providers.
Today, exchange fee structures are awkward because they must charge small users a lot to make up for crypto’s exceptionally high compliance and onboarding costs. Onboarding a single, small value user simply does not make sense unless fees are quite elevated. Exchanges end up over-charging large volume traders such as B2C2’s clients, another incentive to switch to OTC execution.
In the alternative, what if crypto exchanges focus on HFT traders? In my opinion, the CME is a much better venue for institutional takers as fees are much lower and conventional trading firms will already be connected to it. My hypothesis is that most exchanges will not be able to compete with the CME for fast traders (after all, the CBOE itself gave up), and must cater to their retail user base instead.
In a future post, we will explore other microstructures beyond all-to-all exchanges and bilateral OTC trading.
Fiber threads image via Shutterstock
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Trading Cryptocurrency Markets

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Major Exchanges
In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Function and History
Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe.
The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people.
Popular Exchanges
Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence.
Bitfinex
Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT).
Binance
Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours.
Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles.
Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
  1. Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
  2. Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
  3. Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet.
Regulatory Environment and Evolution
Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold.
The United States of America
A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system.
The European Union
The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology.
Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto.
Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic
Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions.
The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle
Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins.
Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years.
The Influence of Age upon Trading
Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.”
Geographic Influence upon Trading
One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside.
2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis
In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely.
Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market
Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak.
What are the Exchange Hacks?
The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts.
Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study
In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified).
Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud
Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed.
Market Manipulation
It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase.
Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior
In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”.
Signposts of Fraudulent Actors
The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper.
Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2
No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out.
Methods to Avoid falling Victim
Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.”
Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not?
If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper.
Is this too good to be true?
All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH.
Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take:
If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees.
Selling Cryptocurrencies
Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time.
Methods of Sale
Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons.
The influence and value of your Trade
There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project.
Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market.
Market Behavior in Different Time Periods
The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order.
Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens.
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Groestlcoin Release September 2018

Introduction

As always, the past 3 months since 22nd June have been crazy busy. The bears might still be around, but the show must go on and of course has not slowed the Groestlcoin development team in the slightest. Here’s a quick overview of what has already happened since the last release: - Integrated into the bitbns exchange, with the ability to buy Groestlcoin directly with the Indian Rupee. - Groestlcoin Rebrand Vote – Whilst there was much talk and push for a rebrand vote, the overall result was almost unanimously in favour of keeping our unique and conversation-starting name. With just 83 votes to Rebrand, and 2577 votes to No Rebrand. Thank you for all who voted, the funds raised are being used to fund ongoing hosting and development costs. - Integrated into the Cryptobridge exchange. Cryptobridge is a popular decentralised exchange where you always hold the private keys to your funds, only YOU have access to them. - Groestlcoin has been added to SimpleSwap – Groestlcoin can now be swapped with over 100 other cryptocurrencies, without signing up! - Groestlcoin has been added to UnoDax, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in India, with TUSD, BTC and INR trading pairs. - Groestlcoin has been added to SwapLab.cc, where you can buy Groestlcoin using Bitcoin and over 50 other altcoins. Purchasing with VISA/Mastercard is coming VERY SOON. Discussed later: - Groestlcoin has been listed on #3 largest exchange in the world on volume, Huobi Global! More on this to come further on in the announcements. - Groestlcoin has been added to the Guarda Multi-Currency Wallet. - Groestlcoin has been added to Melis Multi-Device, Multi-Account, Multi-Platform, Multi-Signature advanced wallet! Already this list is far more than most other cryptocurrencies have achieved in the past 3 months. But this is just the tip of the iceberg of what has been developed.

What's been Happening?

GRSPay Released

We are so excited for this, that it has it's own separate reddit thread. Head over there now at https://www.reddit.com/groestlcoin/comments/9ikr5m/groestlcoin_releases_grspay/? to see more on this!
https://www.melis.io/assets/logo-navbar-4b6f0d372f15b2446d3fa4c68f346e4fb08ee113941186cee58fd6135f3f8b7d.svg

Melis Wallet

The the most advanced wallet for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and now Groestlcoin.
With Melis you have the complete control of your bitcoins and private keys, you can define spending limits policies and make use of two or more factors authentication. Melis is open source, published on GitHub.

How Melis Works?

You can create as many accounts as you want. An account is a part of your wallet that can be customised to your requirements. You can choose how many co-signers are required to spend funds. The accounts are completely independent and act like separate wallets from each other but can be accessed via the same details. A core feature of Melis is the ability to set a ‘primary’ device. With this you can set an account as ‘Secure’ so it is only viewable (and accessible at all) from the Primary device. You can have a savings account hidden from the outside world whilst also having your ‘spending’ funds available on the go. With Melis you can create a multi-signature account between N people, where up to N signatures are required to sign a transaction, choosing if any of those should be mandatory.
Core Features:
https://guarda.co/assets/images/1PGo4ID.svg?1537791124643

Guarda Wallet

Safer than ever! Desktop Light Wallet - Anonymous and fast!
With Guarda Multi-currency Desktop Light Wallet you don’t need to register. Guarda has no access to your private keys or funds. You can receive, send, store, buy and exchange cryptocurrencies in complete anonymity and safety. All these features are available on Linux, Windows or MacOS. Choose the one that suits you!
More info about Guarda wallet on www.guarda.co
https://holytransaction.com/images/logo.png

Integrated into HolyTransaction

What is HolyTransaction?

HolyTransaction gives users access to the crypto world with a universal cryptocurrency wallet and instant exchange.

Features

For more information, visit Holy Transaction here.
https://www.groestlcoin.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/next-grs-groestlcoin.jpg

Integrated into NEXT Wallet

What is NEXT?

NEXT is a modern, next-generation stylish open-source Desktop wallet.

Features

For more information, visit NextWallet here.
https://blockchainfinancial.com/mediaserve2018/09/admin-06143647-bcf_logo_vec_256x256.png

Integrated into Blockchain Financial

What is Blockchain Financial?

Blockchain Financial is a set of web based services for individuals and companies that want to make things happen with the Cryptocurrencies Ecosystem. - For those that don't know anything about cryptocurrencies, we offer tools that will let them receive, send and operate with an assortment of coins. - For those that are already riding the wave, we offer tools that will let them do all those things that they weren't able to do.

Blockchain Financials mission

We're not here to reinvent the wheel. We're here to make it run smoother for you, and we provide some of the most useful services you'll find on the internet, made in a way that is easy to understand and use on a daily basis. In short, we're a bunch of people that claim to be Crypto Evangelists. We strongly believe in cryptocurrencies, and our main promise is to push them up so more people get involved and take all the advantages they offer.

More information from Blockchain Financial

Back in 2014, the world was taken by storm when Facebook approved the first cryptocurrencies tipping apps. The first was for Dogecoin, and the second was for multiple coins.
The project was hosted on whitepuma.net, and persisted for almost two years, built up a massive user community and gave a home to Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin and dozens of other bitcoin-based altcoins.
After very active months, the tipping hype started to fade away. Then, the developers decided to jump into the next stage: bringing not only tipping, but also mining and a widget that could be embedded on websites to allow everyone to accept payments. Sadly, the work was never completed because the project started to require an unsustainable amount of resources. Then, in a painful decision, a shutdown was announced by December 2015.
A couple of months after whitepuma.net was closed, the source code was released by its creator as Open Source on GitHub. But it wasn't maintained.
Now, some of the original members of the dev and admin teams gathered up with a handful of the WhitePuma's elite users, and decided to make something good with the best pieces of the old source code. That, with fresh new ideas and the power of the BardCanvas engine, synthesized the core of Blockchain Financial.
More info about Blockchain Financial wallet on .
For more information, visit [Blockchain Financial](www.blockchainfinancial.com)
https://www.huobi.com/image/logo.aeb4723.svg

Groestlcoin Listed on Huobi

Who are Huobi?

Huobi was founded in China and is now based in Singapore, with offices in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and the North America, currently sitting #3 in volume on Coinmarketcap. Huobi is a great leap forward for our growing presence in Asia and we are very excited to be listed here!
You can find the official Huobi announcement here.

Groestlcoin Core v2.16.3 - Please Update ASAP

A new major Groestlcoin Core version 2.16.3 is now available for download which includes both a Denial of Service component and a critical inflation vulnerability, so it is recommended to upgrade to it if you are running a full Groestlcoin node or a local Groestlcoin Core wallet.
v2.16.3 is now the official release version of Groestlcoin Core. This is a new major version release with a very important security updates. It is recommended to upgrade to this version as soon as possible. Please stop running versions of Groestlcoin Core affected by CVE-2018-17144 ASAP: These are 2.13.3 and 2.16.0.
As a result in this, all exchanges and services have been asked to upgrade to this version, so please be patient if wallets go in to maintenance mode on these services.

What's new in version v2.16.3?

This is a major release of Groestlcoin Core fixing a Denial of Service component and a critical inflation vulnerability (https://nvd.nist.gov/vuln/detail/CVE-2018-17144) exploitable by miners that has been discovered in Groestlcoin Core version 2.13.3 and 2.16.0. It is recommended to upgrade to 2.16.3 as soon as possible. If you only occasionally run Groestlcoin Core, then it's not necessary to run out and upgrade it right this second. However, you should upgrade it before you next run it. If you know anyone who is running an older version, tell them to upgrade it ASAP. Stored funds are not at risk, and never were at risk. At this time we believe over half of the Groestlcoin hashrate has upgraded to patched nodes. We are unaware of any attempts to exploit this vulnerability. However, it still remains critical that affected users upgrade and apply the latest patches to ensure no possibility of large reorganizations, mining of invalid blocks, or acceptance of invalid transactions occurs.

The Technicals

In Groestlcoin Core 2.13.3, an optimization was added (Bitcoin Core PR #9049) which avoided a costly check during initial pre-relay block validation that multiple inputs within a single transaction did not spend the same input twice which was added in 2012 (Bitcoin Core PR #443). While the UTXO-updating logic has sufficient knowledge to check that such a condition is not violated in 2.13.3 it only did so in a sanity check assertion and not with full error handling (it did, however, fully handle this case twice in prior to 2.1.0.6). Thus, in Groestlcoin Core 2.13.3, any attempts to double-spend a transaction output within a single transaction inside of a block will result in an assertion failure and a crash, as was originally reported. In Groestlcoin Core 2.16.0, as a part of a larger redesign to simplify unspent transaction output tracking and correct a resource exhaustion attack the assertion was changed subtly. Instead of asserting that the output being marked spent was previously unspent, it only asserts that it exists. Thus, in Groestlcoin Core 2.16.0, any attempts to double-spend a transaction output within a single transaction inside of a block where the output being spent was created in the same block, the same assertion failure will occur. However, if the output being double-spent was created in a previous block, an entry will still remain in the CCoin map with the DIRTY flag set and having been marked as spent, resulting in no such assertion. This could allow a miner to inflate the supply of Groestlcoin as they would be then able to claim the value being spent twice.
Groestlcoin would like to publicly thank Reddit user u/Awemany for finding CVE-2018-17144 and reporting it (https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-core-dev/2018-Septembe000064.html). You deserve gratitude and appreciation from cryptoworld, and you have ours. If you want to support him for his work, please consider donating to him on his bitcoin cash address: bitcoincash:qr5yuq3q40u7mxwqz6xvamkfj8tg45wyus7fhqzug5
http://i.imgur.com/3YhyNZK.png

Groestlcoin Electrum-GRS 3.2.2 - Ledger & Trezor Edition

What is Electrum-GRS?
Electrum-GRS is a lightweight "thin client" groestlcoin wallet Windows, MacOS and Linux based on a client-server protocol. Its main advantages over the original Groestlcoin client include support for multi-signature wallets and not requiring the download of the entire block chain.

Changes:

http://i.imgur.com/3YhyNZK.png

Electrum-GRS Mobile Android

What is Electrum-GRS Mobile?

Electrum-grs is a lightweight "thin client" groestlcoin wallet Android based on a client-server protocol. Its main advantages over the original Groestlcoin client include support for multi-signature wallets and not requiring the download of the entire block chain.

Changes

Groestlcoin EasyVanity Released

Groestlcoin EasyVanity is a Windows app is built from the ground-up in C# and makes it easier than ever before to create your very own bespoke Groestlcoin address(es), even whilst not connected to the internet! You can even generate multiple keys with the same prefix and leave it on overnight whilst your CPU or GPU collects and stores these addresses locally.
If you're tired of the random, cryptic addresses generated by regular groestlcoin clients, then Groestlcoin EasyVanity is the right choice for you to create a more personalized address.

Features

• Ability to continue finding keys after first one is found • Includes warning on startup if connected to the internet • Ability to output keys to a text file (And shows button to open that directory) • Ability to make your match case sensitive (Where possible) • Show and hide the private key with a simple toggle switch, and copy the private key straight to your clipboard • Show full output of commands • Includes statistics whilst the application is running • Ability to choose between Processor (CPU) and Graphics Card (GPU) • Automatically detects 32 or 64 bit systems • Features both a Light and Dark Material Design inspired Themes • EasyVanity's search is probabilistic, and the amount of time required to find a given pattern depends on how complex the pattern is, the speed of your computer, and whether you get lucky. • EasyVanity includes components to perform address searching on your CPU (vanitygen) and your OpenCL-compatible GPU (oclvanitygen). Both can be built from source, and both are included in the Windows binary package. • Prefixes are exact strings that must appear at the beginning of the address. When searching for prefixes, Easyvanity will ensure that the prefix is possible, and will provide a difficulty estimate. • The percentage displayed just shows how probable it is that a match would be found in the session so far. If it finds your address with 5% on the display, you are extremely lucky. If it finds your address with 92% on the display, you are unlucky. If you stop EasyVanity with 90% on the display, restart it, and it finds your address with 2% on the display, your first session was unlucky, but your second session was lucky. • EasyVanity uses the OpenSSL random number generator. This is the same RNG used by groestlcoin and a good number of HTTPS servers. It is regarded as well-scrutinized. Guessing the private key of an address found by EasyVanity will be no easier than guessing a private key created by groestlcoin itself. • To speed up address generation, EasyVanity uses the RNG to choose a private key, and literally increments the private key in a loop searching for a match. As long as the starting point is not disclosed, if a match is found, the private key will not be any easier to guess than if every private key tested were taken from the RNG. EasyVanity will also reload the private key from the RNG after 10,000,000 unsuccessful searches (100M for oclvanitygen), or when a match is found and multiple patterns are being searched for. • Free software - MIT. Anyone can audit the code. • Written in C# - The code is short, and easy to review.

Groestlcoin Sentinel (Android & Blackberry) – Mainnet + Testnet

What is Sentinel?

Groestlcoin Sentinel is the easiest and fastest way to track/receive/watch payments in your offline Groestlcoin Wallets. Groestlcoin Sentinel is compatible with any standard Groestlcoin address, BIP44 XPUB (Extended Public Key) BIP49 YPUB and BIP84 ZPUB
Groestlcoin Sentinel is a great solution for anyone who wants the convenience and utility of a hot wallet for receiving payments directly into their cold storage (or hardware wallets). Sentinel accepts XPUB's, YPUB'S, ZPUB's and individual Groestlcoin address. Once added you will be able to view balances, view transactions, and (in the case of XPUB's, YPUB's and ZPUB's) deterministically generate addresses for that particular wallet.

What's New?

The P2SH paperwallet supports creating P2SH paperwallets in bulk, keypair generation with QR codes and sweeping tool. Groestlcoin believes strongly in privacy, the live version does not collect and store IP or transaction data.
Changes
Features
The BECH32 paperwallet supports creating BECH32 paperwallets in bulk, keypair generation with QR codes and sweeping tool. Groestlcoin believes strongly in privacy, the live version does not collect and store IP or transaction data.
Features
![WebWallet](https://i.imgur.com/Z2oj7bj.png)

Groestlcoin Web Wallet Update 1.4

What is Groestlcoin Web Wallet?
Groestlcoin Webwallet is an open source, multisignature, HD Wallet and more! Webwallet is a a open source browser based Groestlcoin webwallet.
Webwallet is a playground for Groestlcoin in javascript to experiment with. It supports multisig, OP_HODL, RBF and many more. Groestlcoin believes strongly in privacy, the live version does not collect and store IP or transaction data.
Changes:
submitted by Yokomoko_Saleen to groestlcoin [link] [comments]

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