a little nudge forward

Your daily newsletter for September 21, 2018
Booster
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” 
- Albert Einstein
Happy Friday errbody, the weekend is here! Today in history: In 1947, famous horror, suspense and supernatural fiction author, Stephen King, was born! Without his existence, movies such as 'The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Shining" would not have been produced. Thank god for this lad, those were 2 excellent movies. 😄

In today's newsletter, we will be covering the SEC's latest announcement pertaining to the BTC ETF, a letter from 5 congress members to the IRS and Bitfury Group's new mining chip. Hope you enjoy today's newsletter, and also the weekend! Happy reading! 📚
A much needed prop up
What an interesting turn of events. Out of nowhere, the total market capitalization jumps ~$18 billion (~9.5%) to ~$217 billion, putting it back above the $200 billion mark. It's quite an altcoin rally as BTC dominance drops ~2% in a 24-hour window. 😲

BTC is up ~4.4% to ~$6,700, registering its biggest price jump all week. BTC shot pass the 21 and 50-day EMA line and is still currently trading above it. Let's hope it closes above them both. MACD indicators are also signalling the start of a momentum reversal and a mini short run upswing. BTC shorts are still relatively high, and so this sudden upswing could trigger several short covers to further push BTC's price up. 📈

Most of the other cryptocurrencies saw gains in the ~5-15% range. Notable mover yesterday is XRP, which is up ~42.76% - a very impressive gain considering it's large market capitalization. It is now just ~$4 billion shy of reaching ETH's market capitalization of ~$23.2 billion. 🤯

A possible explanation for this sudden market upswing could be due to the SEC's latest announcement. Read below to find out more! 😉
The crypto world watches
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced yesterday that it has published an "order instituting proceedings to determine whether to approve or disapprove a proposed rule change" filed by CBOE BZX Equities Exchange. Upon approval, CBOE would be able to list the BTC ETF by money management firm VanEck and Crypto startup SolidX. 🙏

VanEck and SolidX would then be given the green light to create a BTC trust with physically-backed BTC, in which SolidX can list shares from. The SEC has already delayed making a decision on the matter once, and can potentially delay making a final decision through February under existing regulations. 👀

A little push
5 members of Congress have submitted a formal letter on 19 Sept to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), pushing them to update guidelines on how taxpayers should report cryptoasset profits. 🗣️

This comes after an initial letter sent in May 2017, expressing concern over increasing enforcement of crypto violations without introducing a "comprehensive virtual currency strategy", failed to induce a concrete guidance plan on the matter. 😠

In the new letter, the lawmakers stressed that it has been "more than a year after our (since the) initial letter" without "issuing any further guidance", and urged for "additional clarity" on how taxpayers can comply to tax obligations. They also called for a 17 Oct deadline to provide information about its plans to draft and issue updated guidance, as well as a timeline for its eventual publication. 
Advancement
Bitfury Group has developed a more efficient BTC ASIC mining chip called the "Bitfury Clarke" that boasts, a power efficiency up to 55mW/GH, a hashrate up to 120 GH/s, 8,154 rolled hashing cores, a fully integrated controllable clock generation and an integrated power-on-reset circuit. 🐴

Bitfury Group's CEO, Valery Vavilov, also said in a medium blog spot that the development of their mining hardware considers a comprehensive multitude of factors, such as "silicon packaging, chip efficiency, optimal power distribution, cooling designs and speed of development", to help maximize customer ROIs. 
Other small progresses
  • A candidate for a local government seat in the city of Taipei, Hsiao Hsin-chen, has become the first politician in Taiwan to ever receive a campaign donation in bitcoin. He received a modest $325 in BTC. 💰
  • IBM has applied to patent a blockchain system that uses distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address privacy and security concerns associated with the increasing usage of drones in both commercial and recreational applications. 🤖
  • A blockchain/ innovation team from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has left the company to start a blockchain "venture studio" called Chorum. 👋
  • Galaxy Digital CEO and BTC supporter Michael Novogratz commented at Yahoo Finance’s second annual “All Markets Summit”, that he believes crypto prices have "bottomed" and that markets have hit "seller fatigue." 🤑
Crypto deep dive: Cardano
  • Cryptocurrency: ADA
  • Market Capitalization Rank: 9th
  • Consensus: A Proof of Stake (PoS) called "Ouroboros"
How it happened ⚙️
  • Cardano was created in Sept 2017 by blockchain development firm Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), led by the co-founder of Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and BitShares, Charles Hoskinson. Cardano has been dubbed the "Japanese Ethereum" because of the strong support it received from Japanese investors during its private presale.
Why people love it 😘
  • It is a 3rd generation smart contract and dApps platform. It was built after knowing about the problems plaguing the earlier platform generations.
  • It has a 2-layer design, one for settling transactions (settlement layer) and another for smart contract processing (control layer). Keeping them separate might allow it to be more efficient in the long run than say the Ethereum blockchain, that does not have this distinction. This 2-layer design also allows for soft forks to be implemented.
  • It is completely open-source. The Cardano team is very transparent with decisions made for the blockchain through constant updates and posts.
  • It has an experienced team of engineers and researchers (about 30 developers). It's GitHub page is one of the most active ones in crypto.
Why people doubt it 🤔
  • Cardano's adoption has not been the fastest, and so with more infrastructure coins popping up, this might prove to be a huge obstacle for them going forward. It also has to deal with Ethereum's overwhelmingly large first mover advantage.
  • Cardano's programming language for writing smart contracts, "Plutus", is still an unproven language. This uncertainty could further slow down its adoption as it might take some time to win the trust of potential adopters.
  • Cardano's current supply is rather centralized. The top addresses hold a large % of all ADA (about 75%). 
Poll of the Day
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being most comfortable), how comfortable are you with asking others for help? 🤔
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And... are you an individual problem solver or a team player problem solver? Also, tell me about the last time someone helped you when you really needed help. Click on the polls above and share with me! 😆
What you said
"On a scale of 1-10 (10 being most surprised), how surprised do you now get from the flash crashes in the crypto market?"

The average vote was 4.1. I guess the majority of us are desensitized to the parabolic swings by now. 🤣

"Are you a fan of surprises?"

40% said "Yes".
60% said "No".

"Why or why not?"

Those who voted "Yes" said:
Surprises provide opportunities, both to buy and to sell. - They certainly can. For example, huge swings in either direction is usually accompanied by a correction of sorts. 🤔
It certainly depends on the surprise. But certainly when something works out in my favor and I wasn't expecting it, that can be a good time. - Ahhh, gotta love those pleasant surprises. 😊
Because fun. - You thrill seeker, you. 😉
Surprises & unpredictability brings the excitement & challenge with it.. & this drives us to do more... - It can teach one to be better able to handle curve balls! 💪

Those who voted "No" said:

It’s money and I like certainty around cash. - With regard to money, certainty is generally preferred by most. ✔️
I look forward to price stability. - Everyone definitely appreciates that! 👌
I like things to go as per plan. - Understandable!

"What is the BEST surprise you have received in your life?"

You guys said:
My acceptance into university - Must've felt awesome. Personally, it was a 10/10 moment for me! 🙌
Getting my dream job - You must be working hard, but hardly working. 😉
My kids! - Awww 😭
ICX ICO - That sure was a good ICO alright! 📈
I was born privileged - Enviousss. But everyone definitely has their own set of problems to deal with, no matter what the background. 👷
As a child my family didn't have much money. I used to do errands for the elderly on our street and one day one of the elderly neighbors took me down to the local bike shop and bought me my first bike. - So sweet of them! 😭

"What is the WORST surprise you have encountered in your life?"

You guys said: 

January Dip - Sad times 😭
Infidelity - Sorry!
My long term girlfriend was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer (ewing sarcoma) fortunately after 2 years of treatment it did clear up. So at least it was a happy ending. - So happy it cleared up! Must've been really hard on you guys. 👍
Getting pooped on by my kids! - Hahaha 10 years down the road, you're gonna miss those times I'm sure! 💓
Receiving a surprise - lol!
Marriage - HAHAHA 🤣


Thank you for reading! See you back here again on Monday!💙💙💙
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Crypto deep dive: Stellar
  • Cryptocurrency: XLM
  • Market Capitalization Rank: 6th
  • Consensus: Stellar Consensus Protocol - does not require all nodes to be in agreement to reach a consensus.
How it happened ⚙️
  • Stellar was founded by Jed McCaleb and Joyce Kim in 2014, and is a fork off of Ripple (RPX). Jed was actually the founder of Ripple (XRP)! The had a different set of ideologies that were fundamentally different from the rest of the RPX team, and thus left to start XLM based on those ideals.
Why people love it 😘
  • XLM has a built-in, fixed, nominal inflation routine mechanism that increases at 1% per year. This predictability is can be preferred to some.
  • The XLM network can facilitate multi-currency exchanges and store orders to create an order book. Essentially, XLM has a decentralized exchange functionality to match buyers with sellers across multiple trading pairs.
  • Fast transaction speeds (~5 tps) with low fees. The fees are currently approximately ~$0.000002 per transaction, which is distributed weekly as part of the inflation pay outs.
  • Partnerships with recognizable brands like IBM, Deloitte, Stripe, ICICI Bank, TransferTo and Tempo.
Why people doubt it 🤔
  • The Stellar Development Foundation owns a majority share of the tokens (~80%). About half of those tokens are set to be distributed in the coming years, but this centralized structure forces investors to place trust on the foundation that the distribution will actually take place. 
  • Centralized nature may prevent capital flows from retail investors.
  • As of now, only ~20% of XLM tokens have been distributed, meaning that by the time the remaining ~80% do get distributed, the relative price of XLM has to 5x just to keep its current price. Essentially, XLM's demand has to grow accordingly by many fold just to maintain the current price.
"Are you a fan of surprises?"

40% said "Yes".
60% said "No".

"Why or why not?"

Those who voted "Yes" said:
Surprises provide opportunities, both to buy and to sell. - They certainly can. For example, huge swings in either direction is usually accompanied by a correction of sorts. 🤔
It certainly depends on the surprise. But certainly when something works out in my favor and I wasn't expecting it, that can be a good time. - Ahhh, gotta love those pleasant surprises. 😊
Because fun. - You thrill seeker, you. 😉
Surprises & unpredictability brings the excitement & challenge with it.. & this drives us to do more... - It can teach one to be better able to handle curve balls! 💪

Those who voted "No" said:

It’s money and I like certainty around cash. - With regard to money, certainty is generally preferred by most. ✔️
I look forward to price stability. - Everyone definitely appreciates that! 👌
I like things to go as per plan. - Understandable!

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