“The Petro is pure propaganda for the next elections” – Mango-Markets-CEO in the interview

I met Alejandro V almost two months ago. Betancourt at Room77 in Berlin. When I asked him where he came from, and he replied with “Venezuela”, I was directly curious what he had to report. I consider the first-hand assessment to be very valuable. Alejandro told me that he is the founder and CEO of Mango Markets, one of the three crypto exchanges in Venezuela. I just had to interview him.

Alejandro, what’s the Bitcoin news in Venezuela right now?

The country is paralyzed and bankrupt. Every industry is declining strongly or is already dead. The few people who still have a job get so little pay that the bus ride to work is not worth it. Even the public transport network is slowly coming to a standstill because the maintenance and repair of buses and trains is too expensive (many spare parts have to be imported). The roads are deserted – a mixture of insecurity, the number of unemployed, the people who have left the country, and the reduced number of vehicles (new cars have not been sold for years). Read more Bitcoin news on: Bitcoin News Trader Review 2018 » Full Scam Check

Most people spend their day waiting in queues to buy substituted food that is sold sporadically in different places in the city before there is nothing left. The rest of the people have to rely on remittences received from family members in other countries. The latter group buys food from the first group for much higher prices. The sale of substituted goods on the black market is also called “bachaqueo”.

How could this Bitcoin formula happen?

The origin of the Bitcoin formula crisis lies in the Bitcoin formula. For years the oil price was high – significantly higher (up to 150 US dollars) than the average 40 US dollars per barrel of the national budget. The government was to finance the entire oil barrel from USD 40, with the difference going to the executive for “discretionary spending”. Some of the money was used to finance populist initiatives such as giving away washing machines and food – especially during election time. State spending was excessive, although not much was passed around. The rest of the money simply disappeared.

When the price of oil plummeted, a spending government had to deal with a people drunk on free goods. To keep up with expectations, they printed money (Bolivar). The government employs over half the workers (including state-owned companies) and the monthly salary was freshly printed cash.

Inflation and hyperinflation are ongoing problems. To “tackle” this, the government had introduced currency controls for the last 15 years. The exchange rate between Bolivares and the US dollar was arbitrarily high and only accessible to people with good connections to the government. The rest of the economy operates on a black market. The main problem with a black market is that it is inefficient and insecure. There is no way to determine the actual exchange rate. Most people rely on ominous websites that update their prices manually every two days. Fraud is widespread and is not reported because exchange with foreign currencies is already a punishable offence.

What role do crypto currencies play in this fiasco?

While the population quickly loses confidence in the bolivar and has to suffer under state restrictions, crypto currencies are rapidly gaining popularity. The main feature is the limited amount of money and the possibility to send the money quickly and cheaply worldwide (opening a foreign bank account is not easy). Many Venezuelans are just receiving remissions in crypto currency, which they need to survive. Many people also mine to make a living.

Token Utility Canvas using Bitcoin as an example

So far, so abstract. Let us therefore go through an example together. Much of this section is known to the reader of our page and is only repeated here once to explain the thinking within the framework of the Token Utility Canvas.

We start with the stakeholder analysis and focus on a “Lightning-free” Bitcoin ecosystem. With Lightning Nodes, which are responsible for maintaining payment channels, there would be another stakeholder.

Furthermore, we only look at the core of the ecosystem, without which Bitcoin trader would not run:

Bitcoin trader Desired behaviour Priority Incentive Possible token solution Need for tokens, Miner Create new blocks, verify transactions high financial Receive newly generated coins, read the Bitcoin trader review and transaction fees, both in BTC/Satoshi high Node-Hoster Management of the blockchain, verification of transactions highly ideal* none necessary none Developers Develop clients that implement the Bitcoin protocol Medium Ideally None None User use of Store of value and Medium of exchange highly ideal Coins that can be managed by no third party controllable Keypairs high.

First of all, it can be stressed that all other stakeholder groups ultimately work for users. The management of own funds without the need of a middleman and without the possibility of censorship is one of Bitcoin’s goals. A second is that no central source can change the amount of all Bitcoins, making arbitrary inflation impossible.

All other stakeholders – miners, node hosts and developers – support Bitcoins for this purpose. There is therefore no incentive for users other than the benefits and opportunities of using the system.

Users also recognize the need for a token: the funds must be countable. In order to avoid central control, an ecosystem must be created that administers decentrally the total amount of all tokens as well as the ownership of the individual users. This is done via a decentralized protocol, which is implemented by the developers in the form of Bitcoin clients. After all, the Bitcoin client is the software basis for both the miners and the full nodes.

Incentive – Do crypto trader always have to be financial?

While Full Nodes and Developer hosters receive no financial incentive, crypto trader benefit from their work according to: http://www.onlinebetrug.de/crypto-trader-review. They receive transaction fees from users who want to send funds, as well as newly generated tokens that follow a clearly defined emission line according to the Bitcoin protocol. This definition, which is stored on all Bitcoin clients, limits the number of Bitcoins and prevents arbitrary inflation. The financial incentive is necessary because the production of a new block is a computationally and thus energy-intensive process. Miners therefore need a compensation of the electricity costs.

Developers and node-hosters do not receive an incentive as defined in the protocol, but are centrally involved in reaching a consensus. By developing a new client, the developer can influence the consensus and the interpretation of the protocol. Node hosters can in turn exert a strong influence by using such a client. This was demonstrated very well last year with the User Activated Soft Fork (UASF).

Interview with Uni Basel-Profs: “Fiat money is also a bubble”

Professor Dr. Aleksander Berentsen and Dr. Fabian Schär head the Center for Innovative Finance in Basel, Switzerland. Our author met with the two scientists at their university to interview them on their research topic. In part 2 you learn that Fiat money is also a bubble, why Charlie Munger doesn’t like Bitcoin and when the two scientists first heard about Bitcoin.

Charlie Munger described Bitcoin profit in an interview as “antisocial, stupid and immoral”

What makes a chairman of a multinational conglomerate make such a Bitcoin profit statement? AB: What can I say about that? I don’t think people like Munger are able to judge that Bitcoin profit – they haven’t looked at it. They probably think that any asset you can’t explain is a bubble.

What they don’t understand is that every asset has a bubble component. Of course, Bitcoin is a bubble. But Fiat money is also a bubble. That’s nothing out of the ordinary. As a money theorist, I’ve known that for a long time.

Basically one can divide an asset into two value components. It has a fundamental value and a bubble component. If you look at it, you will quickly see that most assets have a bubble component. This means that the price is higher than the fundamental value. Of course, you can never say exactly that, but let’s take gold, for example. I’d say that 90-95 percent of gold is a bubble. You can only use it to a limited extent in industry – that’s the remaining 5-10 percent of fundamental value. With Fiat money, it’s all bubble. That is confirmed. There’s the saying: the dollar bill is 75% cardboard and 25% paper. That is the fundamental value. The rest is bubble.

FS: Many people don’t realize that this is the same for all Fiat currencies.

This is just the initial Bitcoin profit phase right now

AB: I can understand what Munger is saying. Or Warren Buffet. He only invests in something he understands. Coca Cola, for example, he understands. He knows what they produce and what they sell. You can estimate what will happen in the future – that’s a sensible approach overall. We are dealing here with technical Bitcoin profit innovations. This is simply the initial Bitcoin profit phase at the moment – we are all speculating what will become of it. There are many older people who think similarly. That is also a matter for generations.

FS: Maybe they’re not willing to deal with it. The problem is that you really have to deal with it for a long time before you actually understand it. At the beginning I was also extremely skeptical: How does it work? What is behind it? It takes a while. Many people in such positions simply don’t have the time to deal with the topic. Then such statements come out.

Regulation Special: The Hierarchy of Liability


The functioning of the blockchain technology is beyond the logic of the state. States, central banks and supervisory authorities are overburdened because they do not know how to regulate a system that is not central. Although there are always position papers on the subject of digital currencies, they are often without concrete instructions on how to regulate them. Our regulation special dares to take a step into possible options. Today: Who is liable?

“We want to regulate Bitcoin better in the future.” That or something similar is the sound of efforts by politicians and regulators in all countries. But how is that supposed to work?

If you recall the characteristics of Bitcoin formula, you can see the problems of regulation

By definition, Bitcoin formula is known to be pseudonymous, cryptographic and decentralised: https://www.geldplus.net/en/bitcoin-formula-review/. In the latter attribute lies the crux of the matter, if you ask yourself how to regulate the crypto currency. Is it possible to regulate a crypto currency that comes from all corners of the world just like that? If so, who is responsible?

Only recently the Bafin published a letter in which it pointed out that when classifying crypto currencies and ICOs one must always decide on a case-by-case basis. Accordingly, crypto currencies are mainly classified as financial instruments, securities or investments. The Bafin initially shifts responsibility to the initiators of ICOs, because

Market participants who provide services with regard to tokens, trade in tokens or offer tokens to the public are required to carefully check whether a regulated instrument, i.e. a financial instrument within the meaning of Section 2 (4) WpHG or a security within the meaning of Section 2 no. 1 WpPG, exists in order to fully comply with any legal requirements.

Liability according to Bitcoin trader

Bafin’s proposal is partly in line with a working paper on the subject by a Bitcoin trader research group like this: https://www.forexaktuell.com/en/bitcoin-trader-scam/. In a comparison of German and French law as well as common law, they finally came to the conclusion that it makes sense to establish a hierarchy of people involved in the respective networks. Depending on the involvement and responsibility within the various networks, liability also arises. According to German law, the blockchain must normally be treated like a GbR or OHG with the corresponding rules. They propose the following hierarchy:

Developers who are responsible for the code and create the technology; owners of servers; “qualified users” (such as Exchanges or Miners); “simple” users; third parties who do not actively participate in the system.

Furthermore, it is necessary to clarify who is responsible for the data and whether the use of the data is compatible with the respective national laws. The distribution of data over individual nodes (see our What about Ledgers series) could violate the data protection laws of some countries. For example, Bitcoin is theoretically able to obtain information about users from individual nodes and personalise the apparently unpersonalised data again – the network is pseudonymous, not anonymous. Entities using block-chain applications must address these issues and review their respective data security policies. Once the framework has been worked out, the technology itself can be used – and Smart Contracts can be used, for example, to ensure that the respective national laws are observed.

The problem that joins this question is the fact that the blockchain does not forget – all data is stored forever. This can cause massive problems for individuals or companies working with the blockchain. In the event that incorrect data is fed into a system, it can no longer be deleted. Everyone who works with blockchain solutions must always keep this in mind. A regulatory approach also has to deal with this.

What was that like again?
If one follows the proposal of the working paper of the European Banking Institute, a hierarchy of participants makes sense. The more you deal with the network, the more liable you are. From top to bottom: Developers – server operators – qualified users (exchanges/miners) – simple users – third parties.

Types of forks

To understand the explanations, you should know what nodes are all about. In brief, the nodes store the blockchain as network nodes and make it available to the network. At best, the current consensus of the blockchain, i.e. the most recent transaction history, is stored decentrally on all nodes.

All nodes in the network must be operated with compatible software so that they can agree on a blockchain. If a change proposal is submitted, there are two ways to perform the fork:

Soft fork and the Bitcoin code review

A soft fork is characterized by its downward compatibility. So there may be nodes in the network that work with the new software review. This does not lead to compatibility problems: The nodes with the old software also accept the opinions of the users who have now opted for the new software. On the other hand, the users want to establish their Bitcoin code review standard with the new software and therefore rely on their new procedure for all blocks.

As soon as the majority in the network is reached, all nodes agree on the new blocks. “Old” and “new” nodes continue to work together

Hard fork and the Bitcoin code scam

This type of fork is not downward compatible – and therefore poses special challenges to guarantee consensus in the network. Existing nodes must update their software to take the new blocks into account (in the Soft Fork, existing nodes could simply take the new blocks into account due to compatibility). The incompatibility of the versions means that the Bitcoin code scam network can be split, so to speak: Users who speak for or against accepting the changes then operate on different blockchains. This is called a blockchain fork (not comparable to a software fork). It is important to stress that not every hard fork creates a new, stable blockchain. Ethereum now has five hard forks behind it and only one of them has formed a new blockchain with Ethereum Classic.

“Old” and “new” nodes go their separate ways. Two blockchains can be created.
How is a fork performed?
Let’s take a look at a fork using Bitcoin as an example. The Bitcoin Core Team may be able to suggest changes – but they can’t enforce them alone. Ultimately, the miners decide which block chain to follow. This preserves decentralization because the network is also left with decision-making authority here. The core team can certainly push ahead with further developments – but it has to keep pitching before the miners and hoping for acceptance.

In the past, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic were indeed a decisive split of the Ethereum blockchain: After the DAO hack, the community intensively discussed undoing the transfer of the hacked coins by agreeing on a blockchain that does not include this transfer. Of course option A) Hacker may keep his loot with option B) Action of the hacker is reversed is not compatible. The procedure therefore requires a hard fork. And as long as 100% of the participants do not agree on a version, the blockchain is split. This happened because now two Ethereum blockchains exist: Ethereum Classic (without Hard Fork: the hacker remains in possession of the stolen coins) and Ethereum (with Hard Fork: unwanted transaction was reversed).

More information about Ethereum and Ethereum Classic can be found here.

Now there are different ways to perform a fork – not to be confused with the different types of forks.

Miner Activated Fork
In this case, the miners in the network decide whether to perform a fork. They signal that they want to perform the fork by attaching this information to confirmed blocks. If within the last 1000 blocks a sufficient amount of miners has signaled the fork, the changes will be enforced. For example, the new version becomes valid from 75% approval, from 95% even old blocks that are not marked with the new version are rejected.

User Activated Soft Fork (UASF)
The User Activated Soft Fork (UASF) is a fork that is triggered by a majority decision among the full nodes. It is terminated on a certain date on which the majority of full nodes must agree to it in order for the fork to actually take place.

Miner Activated Soft Fork (MASF)
With a Miner Activated Soft Fork (MASF), the miners use their computing power to decide on the fork as their voting right and initiate it. This makes the process more efficient, as the full nodes can then accept the changes. However, MASF entails risks because the network relies on computing power as a benchmark. In this way, the Re

The SEC has presented interested investors with a list of arguments

Many open questions: The SEC has presented interested investors with a list of arguments put forward by the applicants as well as general questions on the subject, which they can work through in their next comments.

Is the Bitcoin ETF really not manipulable?

The CBOE argues that the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust is better protected against manipulation than other physically covered exchange products. This is partly due to the global fragmentation of the Bitcoin markets and the continuity of Bitcoin trading. In addition, its low transaction speed makes the Bitcoin less susceptible to manipulation attempts.

2nd OTC and Arbitrage. Next, the SEC cites an argument from the Bitcoin ETF sponsor SolidX. The sponsor argues that over-the-counter (OTC) trading, which is used to determine prices, is more suitable than the index of one (or more) exchanges.

The SEC also requires information on the number of traders on OTC bit-coin markets, their liquidity and whether sufficient arbitrage has been provided.

IIV and NAV. Can the dissemination of information via the fund’s website contribute to making manipulation attempts less likely? What about intra-day indicative value (IIV) and net asset value (NAV)? manipulation: general Fourth, the SEC asks the commentators for their general opinion on the susceptibility of the proposed Bitcoin ETF to manipulation.

Manipulation of Bitcoin futures

The SEC asks investors and interested parties to comment on the general resistance of Bitcoin future markets to manipulation in the fifth item of its list.

The Opaque Index
The Commission wants to know from investors how they feel about the fact that the calculation of the index used (“MVBTCO”) is carried out using a private method and is based on the quotes of non-identified market makers? And: Does the time of the daily price determination, 16:00 EST, make the Bitcoin ETF more susceptible to manipulation?