Crypto Needs a Rational Value Investing Model - Yahoo
Crypto trading needs a new model of crypto exchange
Jeff Dorman: Crypto Needs a Value Investing Model - CoinDesk
Crypto trading needs a new model of crypto exchange
Crypto trading needs a new model of crypto exchange platform
Cryptoasset has paved the way for a true decentralized exchange experience. Despite the fact that Blockchain Technology provides a decentralized and trustless system for exchange of tokens, the trading remains controlled by crypto exchange platforms. It is almost as centralized as the traditional stock trading is. According to Coinmarketcap, more than 2100 cryptoassets can be traded on over 200 different crypto exchange platforms33. There is currently two categories of crypto exchanges: centralized exchanges and decentralized exchanges. The vast majority of them are centralized exchange, decentralized exchange are the second generation of crypto exchange platform which appears at the mid of 201734. Centralized exchange models dominate the cryptoasset exchange industry due to mainly of their friendly and easiest access approach. Jamalmg
Crypto trading needs a new model of crypto exchange platform
Tozex #TOZToken #Blockchain #Crypto #Project
Cryptoasset has paved the way for a true decentralized exchange experience. Despite the fact that Blockchain Technology provides a decentralized and trustless system for exchange of tokens, the trading remains controlled by crypto exchange platforms. It is almost as centralized as the traditional stock trading is. According to Coinmarketcap, more than 2100 cryptoassets can be traded on over 200 different crypto exchange platforms33. There is currently two categories of crypto exchanges: centralized exchanges and decentralized exchanges. The vast majority of them are centralized exchange, decentralized exchange are the second generation of crypto exchange platform which appears at the mid of 201734. Centralized exchange models dominate the cryptoasset exchange industry due to mainly of their friendly and easiest access approach. Bitcointalk Username - rajveerkamboj
Necessary Disclaimer: no rule breaking intended. No price manipulation intended. I only want to share verifiable facts/links and my analysis. If I am doing anything against the rules please let me know and I will do my best to fix it ASAP. I trade crypto, including LINK, and I am currently short on LINK. This is not financial advice; this is just for my own record and to start a discussion for anyone who might want more transparency around LINK.
I believe there is a lot of misinformation, uncertainty, and unanswered questions about the LINK token, the Chainlink ecosystem, the SmartContract parent company. I also believe that LINK's current price is unjustified based on fundamental factors like usage/business case/current customers/future potential. So I'm raising some points and asking some questions. What is this post? Why should I care? How do I use it? Read or skim it. It's about the LINK token, the Chainlink ecosystem, and the parent company SmartContract. It's about why I believe the price of the LINK token may be currently driven mostly by hype and not backed by standard market fundamentals like usage/economics. Update 9 AUG: reorganizing, rewriting this post and moving supporting data/sources into "appendix" comments below on this post. The previous versions of this post and my comments elsewhere were too emotionally charged and caused more division rather than honest, evidence-based, productive discussion and I sincerely apologize for that. I have now rewritten it and will continue to update it.
Threshold signatures, staking, on-chain SLAs: How real are these, is there a roadmap, how will this benefit users, is there any evidence of users currently *wanting* to use chainlink but needing these features and actively waiting for Chainlink to launch these? Staking: for there to be a valid incentive for users to stake LINK, it has to return around 5% annually because anything substantially under that would have users putting their money elsewhere (https://www.stakingrewards.com/cryptoassets) (not counting speculative capital gains in terms of LINK's price, but price gain per token/coin applies to all other crypto projects as well). Currently, for stakable cryptos, around 30-80% of their total supply is staked, and a good adjusted reward is on the order of 5% as well (some actually negative, some 10%+). The promise of staking incentivises people to buy and hold more LINK tokens (again, many other crypto projects have staking already live). That 5% reward will ultimately have to come from the customers who pay Chainlink oracle nodes to use their services, so it's an extra 5% fee for them. Of course, in the near future, the staking rewards *could* be subsidized by the founders' reserve wallets. Threshold signatures: addressed below in a comment. On-chain SLAs: [TODO] Here's supposedly Chainlink's agile/project planning board. (TODO: verify that it is indeed Chainlink's, and then analyse it) https://www.pivotaltracker.com/n/projects/2129823
I manually traced EVERY single inbound transaction/source of funds for the above 4 (not counting #1 as 10 LINK is negligible). 2 & 3 are 99.99%+ genesis-funded, being ACTIVELY topped up by a genesis wallet, last tx 4 days ago, 500,000 LINK. #4 has been funded 36 times over the past year and a half (that's 36 manual exports and I did them all). They all come from the 0x27158..., 0x2f0acb..., and https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x1f9e26f1c050b5c018ab0e66fcae8e4394eb0165 (another address like the 0x2f0acb that I went through and checked EVERY SINGLE inbound source of funds, and it's also >99.9% genesis-funded - one tx from Binance for 6098 LINK out of a total ~6,560,000 inbound LINK from genesis wallets), and two other addresses linked to Binance (0x1b185c8611d157a67d9a9d5261b0d2bd52c0bb78, 10,000 LINK and 0x039ac18afe298747c51c85e7c8f0d67c327f3883, 1,000,000 LINK) The 0x039ac... address funded the "Chainlink: Aggregator" address with 127,900 LINK, and the 0x1b185... with about ~9,600 LINK). So yes, it's technically possible that someone not related to Chainlink paid for the ETH / USD price feed because some funds do come from Binance. However, they only come from two distinct addresses. Surely for "240+" claimed partnerships, more than TWO would pay to use Chainlink's MOST POPULAR price feed? That is, unless they don't pay directly but to another address and then Chainlink covers this one from their own wallets. I will check if that's in line with Chainlink's whitepaper, but doesn't that throw doubt on the whole model of end-users paying to use oracles/aggregators, even if it's subsidized? I provide you this much detail not to bore you but to show you that I went through BY HAND and checked every single source (detailed sources in Appendix B) of funds for the OFFICIAL, Chainlink-listed "ETH/USD" aggregator that's supposedly sponsored by 10 DeFi partners (Synthetix, LoopSpring, OpenLaw, 1inch, ParaSwap, MCDEX, FuturesSwap, DMM, Aave, The Force Protocol). Yet where are the transactions showing that those 10 partners have EVER paid for this ETH/USD oracle? Perhaps the data is there so what am I missing? This ETH/USD aggregator has transferred out ~76,000 LINK to I guess the data providers in increments of .33 LINK. It has 21 data providers responding. I will begin investigating the data providers themselves soon. And those middle addresses like 0x1f9e26... and 0x2f0acb...? They have transferred out hundreds of thousands if not millions of LINK to exchanges. And that's just ONE price pair aggregator. Chainlink has around 40 of these (albeit this one's one of the more popular ones). SNX / ETH aggregator is funded 100% by genesis-sourced wallets, only 3 inbound transactions: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xe23d1142de4e83c08bb048bcab54d50907390828 Some random examples (for later, ignore these for now) *********** https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x039ac18afe298747c51c85e7c8f0d67c327f3883 bought 1,000,000 LINK from Binance in Sept 12 & 15, 2019. (one of the possible funding sources for the ETH / USD aggregator example above) This address got 500,000 LINK from 0x27158... and has distributed them into ~5-10,000 LINK wallets that haven't had any out transactions yet https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x5bcf3edc0bb7119e35f322ba40793b99d4620f1e ************** Another example with an unnamed aggregator-node-like wallet that was only spun up 5 days ago, Aug 5: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x2cbfd29947f774b8cf338f776915e6fee052f236 It was funded 2,000 LINK SOLELY by the 0x27158... wallet and has so far paid out ~500 LINK in 0.43 LINK amounts to 9 wallets at a time. For example, this is one of the wallets it cashes out to: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x64fe692be4b42f4ac9d4617ab824e088350c11c2#tokenAnalytics That wallet extremely consistently collects small amounts of LINK since Oct 2019. It must be a data provider because a lot of Chainlink named wallets pay it small amounts of LINK regularly. It has transferred out 20 times. The most recent transfer out: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xc8c30fa803833dd1fd6dbcdd91ed0b301eff87cf which then immediately transferred to the named "1inch.exchange" wallet, so I assume this was a "cash-out" transaction. It has cashed out via this address a lot. Granted, it also has transfer-out transactions that haven't (yet) ended up in an exchange wallet, eg https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x88e5353a73f38f25a9611e6083de6f361f9b537b with a current balance of 3000 LINK. This could be a user's exchange wallet, ready to be sold, or could be something else. No way for me to tell as there are no out txs from it.
LINK overall transaction, volume, and tx fees
This is to understand how much $ moves through the LINK ecosystem through: nodes, data providers, reserve wallets, wallets linked to exchanges, others. A typical aggregator node tx (payout?): https://etherscan.io/tx/0xef9e8e6dd94ebe9bbac8866f18c2ea0a07408ced1aa77fa04826043eaa55e772 This is their ETH/USD aggregator paying out 1 LINK to each of 21 addresses. Value of 21 LINK ~= $210. Total eth tx fees: .233 ETH (~$88.5, ~42% of the total tx value. If LINK was $4.2 instead of $10, the tx fees would be 100% of the value of the tx). Transactions like this happen every few minutes, and the payout amounts are most often 0.16, 0.66, 1.0, and 2.0 Link. Chainlink’s node/job listing site, https://market.link, lists 86 nodes, 195 feeds, 801 jobs, ~1,080,000 job runs (I can’t tell if this is over the past 2 months or 1.5 years). Only 20 nodes have over 1000 job runs, and 62 nodes have ZERO runs. Usual job cost is listed as 0.1 link, but the overall payout to the nodes is 10-20 times this. The nodes then cash out usually through a few jump addresses to exchanges. Some quick maths: (being generous and assuming it’s 1mil jobs every 2 months = ~6mil link/year = $60,000,000 revenue a year. This is the most generous estimate towards link’s valuation I’ve found so far. If we ignore the below examples where on multi-node payouts the tx fees are more than the node revenue itself, then it’s almost in line with an over-valued (but real) big tech company. For example, one of the latest CHF/USD job runs paid 0.1 LINK to 9 addresses (data providers?) - total $14.4 payout - and paid 0.065 ETH ($24.5) in fees. That’s a $10.1 LOSS on a $14.4 revenue: https://etherscan.io/tx/0xa6351bab810b6864bfebb0f6e1e3bde3c8856f8aac3ba769dd2e6d1a39c0d23f Linkpool’s (one of the biggest node operators) “ETH-USD CryptoCompare” job costs 0.1 link and has 33 runs in the past 24 hours (once every ~44min), total ~78,000 runs since May 30 2019 (once every ~8min). https://market.link/jobs/64bb0845-c4e1-4681-8853-0b5aa7366101/runs (PS cryptocompare has a free API that does this. Not sure why it costs $1 at current link prices to access an API once)
Top 100 wallets (0.05% of ~186,000 total) hold 83% of tokens. 8 wallets each hold over 1% of total, 58 hold over 0.1%. Of these 58, 9 are named exchange/lending pool wallets. For comparison, for Tether (TUSD), the top 100 wallets (0.006% of ~1,651,000 total) hold 35.9% of the supply. 3 addresses hold over 1% of the supply and 135 hold over 0.1%. Of these 135, at least 15 are named exchange/lending pool wallets. LINK’s market cap is $3.5B (or $10B fully diluted, if we count the foundedev-controlled tokens, which we should as there's nothing preventing them from being moved at a moment's notice). Tether’s is $6.9B. Tether has 10 times more addresses and less distribution inequality. Both LINK and Tether are ERC20 tokens, and even if we temporarily ignore any arguments related to management/roadmap/teams etc, Tether has a clear, currently functional, single use case: keep 1 USDT = $1 USD by printing/burning USDT (and yet as of April 2019, only 74% of Tether's market cap is backed by real funds - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tether_(cryptocurrency))). Given that Chainlink's market cap is now 50% bigger than Tether's, surely by now there's AT LEAST one clear, currently functional use case for LINK? What is it? Can we *see* it happening on-chain?
Chainlink’s actual deliverable products
"What do I currently get for my money if I buy LINK 1) as an investor and 2) as a tech business/startup thinking of using oracles?” Codebase (Chainlink’s github has around 140-200,000 lines of code (not counting html/css). What else is not counted in this? Town crier? Proprietary code that we don't know about yet? How much CODING has Chainlink done other than what's on github? Current network of oracles - only ~20 active nodes - are there many more than the ones listed on market.link and reputation.link? If so, would be nice to know about these if we're allowed! Documentation - they have what seems like detailed instructions on how to launch and use oracle nodes (and much more, I haven't investigated yet) (TODO this part more - what else do they offer to me as an end consumer, and eg as a tech startup needing oracle services that I can’t code myself?)
Network utilization statistics:
Etherscan.io allows csv export of the first 5000 txs from each day. From Jul 31 to Aug 6 2020, I thus downloaded 30,000 tx from midnight every day to an average of 7:10am (so 24 hour totals are 3.34x these numbers if we assume the same network utilization throughout the day). (Summary of all LINK token activity on the ETH blockchain from 31.07 to 06.08, first 5000 txs of each day (30k total) shown Appendix A comment below this post.) If we GENEROUSLY assume that EVERY SINGLE transaction under 10.0 LINK is ACTUAL chainlink nodes doing ACTUAL work, that’s still under 0.1% of the LINK network’s total volume being used for ACTUAL ecosystem functioning. The rest is speculation, trading, node funding by foundedev wallets, or dumping to exchanges (anything I missed?) Assuming the above, the entire turnover of the actual LINK network is currently (18,422 LINK) * ($10/LINK) * (3.34 as etherscan.io’s data only gives first 5000 tx per day which averages to 7:10am) * (52 wk/year) = USD $31,995,329 turnover a year. Note: the below paragraph is old analysis using traditional stock market Price/Earnings ratios which several users have now pointed out isn't really applicable in crypto. I leave it for the record. Assuming all of that is profit (which it’s not given tx fees at the very least), LINK would need a PE ratio (Price/Earnings) of 100 times to justify its current (undiluted) valuation of $3.5 billion of 300 if you count the other 65% of tokens that haven’t been dumped by the founders/devs yet. For comparison, common PE ratios are 32 (facebook), 29 (google), 37 (uber), 20 (twitter on a good year), 10 (good hedge fund returning 10% annual).
Thoughts on DeFi & yield-farming - [TODO]
Why would exchanges who do their due diligence list LINK, let alone at a leverage? 1) that's their business, they take a cut of every transaction, overhyped or not, 2) they're not safe from listing openly bearish tokens like EIDOS (troll token that incentivized users to make FAKE transactions, response to EOS) https://www.coindesk.com/defi-yield-farming-comp-token-explained The current ANNUAL yield on liquidity/yield farming is something like 2% on STABLE tokens like USDC and TETHER which at least have most of their supply backed by real-world assets. If Chainlink LINK staking is to be successful, they'll have to achieve at LEAST that same 2% at end-state. IF LINK is in bubble territory and drops, that's a lot of years at 2% waiting to recoup losses.
SmartContract Team & Past Projects
Normally I don't like focussing on people because it leads too easily to ad-hominem attacks on personality rather than on technology/numbers as I've done above, but I came across this and didn't like what I saw. Steve Ellis, SmartContract's current CTO, co-founded and worked in "Secure Asset Exchange" from 2014 to 2016. They developed the NXT blockchain, issued 1,000,000,000 NXT tokens (remind you of anything?), NXT was listed end of 2013 and saw 3 quick 500%-1000% pumps and subsequent dumps in early in mid 2014, and then declined to . SecureAE officially shut down in Jan 2016. Then at some point a company called Jelurida acquired the rights to NXT (presumably after SecureAE?), then during the 2017 altcoin craze NXT pumped 300 times to a market cap of $1.8 BILLION and then dumped back down 100 times and now it's a dead project with a market cap of $13 million. https://www.linkedin.com/in/steveellis0606/ https://trade.secureae.com/ https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/nxt/ https://www.jelurida.com/news/lawsuit-against-apollo-license-violations As an investor or business owner, would you invest/hire a company whose co-founders/CTO's last project was a total flop with a price history chart that's textbook pump-and-dump behaviour? (and in this case, we KNOW the end result - 99% losses for investors) If you're Google/Oracle/SWIFT/Intel, would you partner with them?
Open questions for the Chainlink community and investors:
Network activity: Are there any other currently active chainlink nodes other than those listed on market.link and reputation.link? If so, is there a list of them with usage statistics? Do they use some other token than LINK and thus making simple analytics of the LINK ERC20 token not an accurate representation of Chainlink’s actual activity? If the nodes listed on the two sites above ARE currently the main nodes, then
PR, partnership announcements: Why is the google tweet still pinned to the top of Chainlink’s twitter? Due to the frequently circulated Chainlink promotion material (https://chainlinkecosystem.com/) that lists Google as one of the key partners, this tweet being pinned is potentially misleading as there isn't anything in there to merit calling Google a "collaborator" or "partner" - just that blockchains/oracles *can* use Google's APIs (but so can most software in the world). Is there something else going on with the SmartContract-Google relationship that warrants calling Google a partner that we're simply not aware of yet?
By buying LINK, what backs YOUR money: If you have bought and currently hold LINK tokens, how comfortable are you that the future promise of your investment growing is supported on verifiable business and technological grounds versus pure, parabolic hype? If after reading this post you still are, I kindly ask you to reply and show how even one of the points I provided is either incorrect or not applicable, and I will edit my post and include your feedback in the relevant section as I have already done from other users.
What have I missed? Of course not 100% of what I've said is infallible truth. I am a real human, and I have plenty of biases and blind spots. Even if what I've provided is technically correct, there may be other much more important info that I've missed that eclipses what I've provided here. Ask yourself: if the current hype around LINK is indeed valid and points to a $100/$1000 future LINK price, then Where’s Chainlink’s missing financial/performance/usage evidence to justify LINK’s current valuation of $10+?
For your consideration, I have provided evidence with links that you can follow and verify, and draw your own conclusions. I have made my case as to why I believe the LINK token is currently priced much higher than evidence supports, and I ask you to peer-review my analysis and share your thoughts with me and with the wider LINK/crypto community. Thank you for your time, I realize this is a long post. All questions and feedback welcome, feel free to comment or PM. I won't delete/censoblock (except for personal threats, safety considerations etc). I am a real human but I am not revealing my true identity for obvious privacy/harassment reasons. (If anyone is wondering about my credentials ability to add 2+2 and work with basic spreadsheets: I have previously won a math competition in a USA state, I won an English-speaking country's physics olympiad, my university education is in mathematical physics/optimization engineering, and I worked for a few years in a global manufacturing company doing data analytics, obviously I'm not posting my CV here to verify that but I promise you it's the truth) I’m not looking to spread neither FUD, nor blind faith, nor pure hype, and I want an honest transparent objective discussion. I personally believe more that LINK is overvalued, but my beliefs have evolved and may continue to do so as I research more and understand more about Chainlink, LINK, Ethereum, DeFi, and other related topics, and as I incorporate YOUR feedback. If you think I haven't disclosed something, ask. As always, this is not financial advice and I am not liable for anything that may happen as a result of you reading this!
My guide to start working online. After doing this for three years, I am on track to make $40,000 this year from it.
I have posted something very similar here a few times, and it usually gets a good amount of attention. I apologize if you have seen it before, but some people haven't and they could use the money. In 2018 I made about 15k from this guide (give or take a few sites). In 2019 it was closer to 25k. This year I am on track to make 40k. I also want to preface this by saying that this post has refs in it. Some are mine, some are random Redditors, and some don't have one. If that upsets you for some reason, click the link, delete the stuff after .com and submit again and that will take care of it.
Top deals for September 2020
Swagbucks $10-$35 Hulu deal Right now SB has another deal where you get credits to sign up to Hulu with the $5.99 plan. It may only be $20 or it may be $35 when you check as they seem to change it day to day. Since this deal has new terms, the credits might be paid out immediately or after 32 days. The credits can be used for Amazon GC or PayPal credit (both take a few days to get processed). Not only that, but you can get a $25 Amazon GC for $22 worth of points, so you can make even more. You can cancel the subscription after 8 days, but no sooner so you don't lose the points. So, five minutes of work for the equivalent of $16-$29 and a free month of Hulu. $50 from SoFi for opening an account and direct depositing This one will require you to have $500 that you can direct deposit. SoFi Money is a savings account, fee-free, 2% APY annual; so typical bank account. This deal will require you to use your SSN, link a bank account, and do a soft pull with Experian to complete. You just need to create a SoFi Money account through the link, deposit $500 twice to the account, and wait for a few days. After the deposit clears (1-2 business days), SoFi will instantly give you $50 bonus. After you get the $50 bonus you can pull out all money and close the account or keep using it. Another $50 from SoFi but for stocks After you get the $50 sign up bonus from SoFi Money, flip it through this link and fund the invest account. Since I (and you now) already had an account, it literally took under 5 minutes to set up and fund the account. Either way you do it, SoFi will give you an additional $50 in free stock of your choice. Keep it and hope it grows, or sell it for the quick $50 profit. $50 from Chime for opening an account and depositing $200 Pretty much the same exact set up as SoFi. This one will require you to have $200 that you can do without for a few days. You just need to create the Chime account through the link, deposit $200 to the account, and wait for a few days. It says direct deposit only, but this tested and worded with just connecting a bank account and doing the deposit. After the deposit clears (1-2 business days), Chime will instantly give you $50 bonus. After you get the $50 bonus you have to wait until your new debit card arrives and is activated before you can move the money out. $50 from eToro This is a crypto trading account. The same deal as the other ones. Fund the account using the ref link and get $50. The wait time on this one is usually around 7 business days. $10-$120 in crypto for watching videos and answering quiz questions $10 from Coinbase if you buy / sell $100 or more worth of crypto This is a crypto trading account. The link takes you to the account signup screen. After you create the account visit coinbase.com/trade and initiate a buy or sell (in case you transferred crypto into Coinbase from another account) of $100 USD or more (or 100 USD equivalent of your domestic currency) within 180 days of opening and you will receive a $10 bonus (or local equivalent). Orders can take up to 4 business days to complete. Pretty much just watch and answer videos for varying types of crypto. The crypto you earn will get deposited into the wallet you create, which can then be cashed out into USD. Depending on the day, you can earn up to $120 if all free tokens are available. $10-$40 for signing up with OhmConnect A great website if you have one of a few utility companies in California, Texas, or Toronto. OhmConnect supports PGE, SCE, SDGE, Smart Meter Texas, and Toronto Hydro. You essentially just connect your utility account, and earn points. You earn $10 after signing up and getting to a status level of Silver (took me like 10 minutes). $10 more if you connect a smart device like NEST. Several hundred for test driving cars Pretty easy. Click the link, go through the dealerships, get your code, test drive a car, and get paid. I did this last year and I was in and out on my lunch break. These offers come and go all year, so check frequently. UNCLAIMED/ABANDONED PROPERTY States return millions of dollars worth of unclaimed property a year. Unclaimed property typically consists of unclaimed money in accounts that have sat dormant for more than a year. Every state has its own abandoned property site but a good place to start is MissingMoney.com. It’s very simple to search there. If anything comes up, continue the search/filing on your states gov website. Example: California’s is https://ucpi.sco.ca.gov/UCP/Default.aspx. Just cashed a check for $35 from an account I closed years ago. The following are ref links that I am putting in for a random Redditor or two, just to spread goodwill and try to give back to all of you. I get nothing from these and will be doing this for one or two random people every month. PM me if you want your ref link featured here. The Redditor for September is u/moongains PERKSY From Moon: Perksy is a survey app with nice payouts and a fun vibe. I’ve made about $50 on the app with little effort.
Ok. Back to the main post content.
Hey everyone. This is an all-inclusive write-up compiling all of my past posts on how I am making upwards of $1,000 a month through the use of beermoney sites. Beermoney is, according to Urban Dictionary, "Extra money for non-essential payments, available for spending on luxuries, hobbies, or a fresh pint of your favorite draft." I use this definition, because this is (in most cases) not intended to be a primary source of income. This is a way to supplement what you already have. There is no way to know what you will make any given month, so do not count on it. My worst month I only made around $500 and my best I made over $2,000. You can also check out my post on using apps to save money and earn cash back. As I have stated in my other posts, this is not a definitive list of everything a person can do online by any means and refs are included. Do your own research on the subs I list, use Google, ask other people, and find what works for you. What I talk about works well for me, my family, and my schedule. Below I will include time requirements to make this money, provide a quick recap of the revenue streams that I have found to work, and provide payment proof for what I can. I personally invest anywhere from 20 to 30 hours a week doing these sites, on top of my day job. Some days I will make $20 all day, and others I will make over $200. I prefer this, as opposed to a second job, because I can pay partial attention to a laptop and 'clock-out' when I want to focus on family or Netflix. This works better for my temperament and preferences. Tech required: A working laptop, a cellphone (in some cases), an internet connection, and a fairly good amount of patience to learn. If you are in a position where these tools are not available, you can also do many of these from a library. I put all of this info into an e-book, plus a TON of other stuff that was either written by me, or compiled from others (with their permission). Here is a link to it. If you tried even half of the stuff in the book, you would make your money back in less than a day. The dollar amounts next to each site are what I made in 2018. 2019 and 2020 were considerably more, but I have been too lazy to update all of these. Anyway, on to the revenue streams: SwagBucks ($775) Surveys – Majority of countries– This is more of a catch-all for stuff to do when you want to make and save money. You can do surveys, play games, and watch videos to earn points. You can also get cash back from using SB to visit and buy from different stores. You get paid in points which can be used to purchase gift cards or sent directly to PayPal. Each point is the equivalent of $0.01. Usually, SB will have deals where you can get certain gift cards for less. For example, a $20 Amazon gift card for 1800 SB points. The payout can be slow, but if you don’t mind running ads in the background, using a plug-in to save money while you shop, or killing time playing a game, SwagBucks can be a great way to earn $20 a month. Mturk ($3,142): Small tasks and surveys - US mainly. Confirmed also in Canada, Europe, & Aus. - This is by far the one I spent the most time on and has been the best earner. This site lets humans perform small tasks that robots still cannot do well. It is owned by Amazon. Downside is there are slim pickings on weekends and when colleges are out on vacation. I typically stick to surveys, but once in a while do batch jobs which there are more of. You have to wait a week for your first payout, which will go to an Amazon payment account. You can the get payouts one time per day after that. Approval for mturk can sometimes be a pain in the ass, almost impossible if you are not from the US, but is definitely worth it in my opinion if you can get approved. Secret shopper US and Secret shopper UK ($485): In-person store evaluation - US and UK only - These links will take you directly to a sign-up page. US version populates with my ref code. Feel free to delete it before signing up, if you want. You will be taken to the app store where you can download the actual app on your phone. Essentially, you go to stores near you that are identified in the app and take pictures or videos of specific items. I like this one because I have the ability to make a few extra bucks if I am already out shopping. The pay for this one averages about $15/hr. Note: I have not tried the UK version, but it was recommended by another Redditor. Usertesting ($800): Website evaluation - US & maybe select others - This site allows you to review new websites and apps. The pay is usually $10 per recorded test lasting 10-15 minutes. Sometimes the pay is more, but never less. I average a few tests a week. Some weeks I will get a dozen tests, other weeks nothing. This one is great to practice your feedback skills, which open up a lot of other doors. Pay is through PayPal, one week (to the minute) after the test is complete. Redbubble ([$305]: T-shirt creation - Worldwide - After getting rejected by merch by Amazon, I came here. You design and publish t-shirts, phone cases, and about 20 other mixed products, with each sell netting you a few bucks. They are based in Australia, and do pay-outs once a month on the 15th via PayPal. You do all of the uploading and just wait for people to find it with keywords or searches. Great if you are artistic or know how to use any creative software. Prolific.ac ($3,500): Based in the UK, this used to be one of my favorites because they pay in Great British Pound (GBP) which is the equivalent to 1.25x the USD. Prolific is similar to Mturk (listed earlier) in that all you do is fill out surveys. Pay is better than Mturk, but the availability of surveys is not as great. In fact, I personally haven't seen a survey in months, but see others get them often. The initial questionnaire you have to fill out is a bit long taking me about 20 minutes, but ensures you qualify for every survey they show you and will never get disqualified for not meeting the demographic. You have to hit £5 before you can cash out, but you get this after a few days of watching for surveys. Leave it open in a tab and check it throughout the day. I wish I could do this one all day because the pay rocks, but I only see a few a day. They pay out in PayPal anytime you request it and have a balance of over £5. Ebay ($190): Selling goods - Worldwide - Not much explanation needed here. You buy stuff in-person low, and sell online high. Here is a $2.99 beginner's guide dedicated to flipping that covers absolutely everything you need to know (also mine). PlaytestCloud ($190): Video game testing - Many countries - This is just simple game testing. It is super fun, very quick, and you get to test new games before anyone else. They send you tests for different listed devices, you download the game file, and they record your screen and voice. The only issue I have with this one is that you are only able to test 3-4 games per month, at $9-$11 each. Paid almost immediately after each test via PayPal. UsabilityHub ($15): App testing - Many countries - This one lets the user take quick one or two minute surveys on your opinion of an app screen. They pay for this averages to about $.10 a minute, so it is nothing spectacular. Just leave it open in another tab and take a quick survey when you hear a new one come available. UserInterviews ($50): Studies - US & maybe select others - Similar to Respondent, but with less approval when filling out the demographics for each study. Product Testing ($1,500): Mainly US & some UK/CA - There are places online that will pay you to leave positive/negative reviews for companies or purchase products. This is actually a big business model in China and other S.E.A. countries. Personally, I already know that Amazon reviews, Yelp, BBB, and everything in the middle are at least half fake reviews; so I may as well monetize on it. If this is something that sounds interesting, here is more info. Reddit subs($2,300): It is super simple to use Reddit as more than a social media tool or news website. Knowing the right subs to subscribe to, and what to look for, can help you make a few extra hundred bucks a month. There are a ton that you can find small or medium jobs on, but I am only going to outline the top four that have worked for me. /slavelabour: This sub is normally dedicated to doing cheap jobs for people, at cheap rates. I have both had things done for me here, as well as completed a lot of tasks. It may seem daunting at first, with people offering $2 to write an essay (seriously though.. no homework here), but there are gems to be found. Two of my best jobs have been creating meal plans for $60, and finding the name of a book for $80. Cancel that. SL is now power mods that block the decent work and only allow the trash jobs. No longer worth the time. I only leave it up as people ask about it when I don't. /signupsforpay: Since slave labour does not allow paying people to sign up for websites, this is where to go to make a few bucks with signups. From connecting your gas and electric information, to signing up with Acorns, I have probably made a grand total of $100 here. Nothing overly special, but $100 is $100. /giftcardexchange: This is one of my favorites, because you can buy and sell all of those gift cards you have/want. Have a $20 gift card from a family member that you will never use? Sell it here for 80-90%. Want to buy Amazon gift cards for less than face value? Get 'em here. I do a lot of buying on Amazon, so this sub has easily saved me hundreds over the course of using it. Caution: Trade carefully. I know this is a lot of info and a bunch of it is repetitive from my last post, but I wanted to provide as much info as possible for the compiled post. Hope it helps!
You may have heard about off-shore tax havens of questionable legality where wealthy people invest their money in legal "grey zones" and don't pay any tax, as featured for example, in Netflix's drama, The Laundromat. The reality is that the Government of Canada offers 100% tax-free investing throughout your life, with unlimited withdrawals of your contributions and profits, and no limits on how much you can make tax-free. There is also nothing to report to the Canada Revenue Agency. Although Britain has a comparable program, Canada is the only country in the world that offers tax-free investing with this level of power and flexibility. Thank you fellow Redditors for the wonderful Gold Award and Today I Learned Award! (Unrelated but Important Note: I put a link at the bottom for my margin account explainer. Many people are interested in margin trading but don't understand the math behind margin accounts and cannot find an explanation. If you want to do margin, but don't know how, click on the link.) As a Gen-Xer, I wrote this post with Millennials in mind, many of whom are getting interested in investing in ETFs, individual stocks, and also my personal favourite, options. Your generation is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this extremely powerful program at a relatively young age. But whether you're in your 20's or your 90's, read on! Are TFSAs important? In 2020 Canadians have almost 1 trillion dollars saved up in their TFSAs, so if that doesn't prove that pennies add up to dollars, I don't know what does. The TFSA truly is the Great Canadian Tax Shelter. I will periodically be checking this and adding issues as they arise, to this post. I really appreciate that people are finding this useful. As this post is now fairly complete from a basic mechanics point of view, and some questions are already answered in this post, please be advised that at this stage I cannot respond to questions that are already covered here. If I do not respond to your post, check this post as I may have added the answer to the FAQs at the bottom.
How to Invest in Stocks
A lot of people get really excited - for good reason - when they discover that the TFSA allows you to invest in stocks, tax free. I get questions about which stocks to buy. I have made some comments about that throughout this post, however; I can't comprehensively answer that question. Having said that, though, if you're interested in picking your own stocks and want to learn how, I recommmend starting with the following videos: The first is by Peter Lynch, a famous American investor in the 80's who wrote some well-respected books for the general public, like "One Up on Wall Street." The advice he gives is always valid, always works, and that never changes, even with 2020's technology, companies and AI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRMpgaBv-U4&t=2256s The second is a recording of a university lecture given by investment legend Warren Buffett, who expounds on the same principles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MHIcabnjrA Please note that I have no connection to whomever posted the videos.
TFSAs were introduced in 2009 by Stephen Harper's government, to encourage Canadians to save. The effect of the TFSA is that ordinary Canadians don't pay any income or capital gains tax on their securities investments. Initial uptake was slow as the contribution rules take some getting used to, but over time the program became a smash hit with Canadians. There are about 20 million Canadians with TFSAs, so the uptake is about 70%- 80% (as you have to be the age of majority in your province/territory to open a TFSA).
Eligibility to Open a TFSA
You must be a Canadian resident with a valid Social Insurance Number to open a TFSA. You must be at the voting age in the province in which you reside in order to open a TFSA, however contribution room begins to accumulate from the year in which you turned 18. You do not have to file a tax return to open a TFSA. You do not need to be a Canadian citizen to open and contribute to a TFSA. No minimum balance is required to open a TFSA.
Where you Can Open a TFSA
There are hundreds of financial institutions in Canada that offer the TFSA. There is only one kind of TFSA; however, different institutions offer a different range of financial products. Here are some examples:
The Canadian big 5 bank branches and most other financial institutions offer a TFSA that allows you to buy mutual funds, hold cash, GICs, term deposits, and possibly ETFs. This is a good choice if you want guaranteed returns or diversified investing.
There are a number of on-line banks such as Tangerine, Simplii Financial, Oaken Financial, and many more that offer the TFSA.
The discount DIY brokerage arms of the big 5 banks give you more choices, including stocks, warrants, bonds and options. There are also standalone brokers like IBKR Canada, Questrade, Qtrade, and Virtual Brokers, among others, that offer this.
Some brokerages and financial advisors also offer TFSAs that give you these investment choices, in different formats such as:
Traditional brokerage, where a stockbroker invests your money (BMO Nesbitt Burns, RBC Dominion Securities and others)
Financial advisor who will invest your money according to a plan you put together with the advisor (TSI Network and many others)
"Robo" advisors such as Wealthsimple, RBC InvestEase, BMO SmartFolio, or Wealthbar
BMO's AdviceDirect, which is a semi-directed hybrid between standalone DIY investing and fully-advised investing, where you operate on a DIY basis but have access to a registered investment advisor (a live person) who can give you suggetions and advice.
Your TFSA may be covered by either CIFP or CDIC insuranceor both. Ask your bank or broker for details.
What You Can Trade and Invest In
You can trade the following:
GICS, mutual funds, term deposits
individual common and preferred stocks listed on an "approved exchange" which is the TSX, TSX-V, NASDAQ, NYSE, and about 20 other exchanges worldwide, but not the US OTC pink sheets. Many examples, such as Suncor, Linamar, Apple, any of the big banks, and many thousands of others, when you want to buy into an individual company
stock-like securities like REITS, ETFs and ETNs, including 2x and 3x leveraged
gold and silver certificates
cash of many countries (CAD/USD/EUGBP/AUD/NZD/JPY/CHF and many others)
government bills and bonds of most countries, subsovereigns like Canadian provincial bills and bonds, and most corporations
options that trade on the Montreal Exchange or various options exchanges in the USA and the rest of the word (see FAQ for details)
gold, silver bullion certificates
shares in certain private companies -- but consult your tax advisor on this
What You Cannot Trade
You cannot trade:
commodity futures contracts
option spread positions (see FAQ for details)
anything that requires a margin account, meaning, a special kind of account that allows you to borrow money directly from the broker against the assets you have in your account and the assets you intend to buy.
crypto (although there exist crypto ETNs that you can buy)
Again, if it requires a margin account, it's out. You cannot buy on margin in a TFSA. Nothing stopping you from borrowing money from other sources as long as you stay within your contribution limits, but you can't trade on margin in a TFSA. You can of course trade long puts and calls which give you leverage.
Rules for Contribution Room
Starting at 18 you get a certain amount of contribution room. According to the CRA: You will accumulate TFSA contribution room for each year even if you do not file an Income Tax and Benefit Return or open a TFSA. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2009 to2012 was $5,000. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2013 and 2014 was $5,500. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the year 2015 was $10,000. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2016 to 2018 was $5,500. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the year 2019 is $6,000. The TFSA annual room limit will be indexed to inflation and rounded to the nearest $500. Investment income earned by, and changes in the value of TFSA investments will not affect your TFSA contribution room for the current or future years. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/tax-free-savings-account/contributions.html If you don't use the room, it accumulates indefinitely. Trades you make in a TFSA are truly tax free. But you cannot claim the dividend tax credit and you cannot claim losses in a TFSA against capital gains whether inside or outside of the TFSA. So do make money and don't lose money in a TFSA. You are stuck with the 15% withholding tax on U.S. dividend distributions unlike the RRSP, due to U.S. tax rules, but you do not pay any capital gains on sale of U.S. shares. You can withdraw *both* contributions *and* capital gains, no matter how much, at any time, without penalty. The amount of the withdrawal (contributions+gains) converts into contribution room in the *next* calendar year. So if you put the withdrawn funds back in the same calendar year you take them out, that burns up your total accumulated contribution room to the extent of the amount that you re-contribute in the same calendar year.
E.g. Say you turned 18 in 2016 in Alberta where the age of majority is 18. It is now sometime in 2020. You have never contributed to a TFSA. You now have $5,500+$5,500+$5,500+$6,000+$6,000 = $28,500 of room in 2020. In 2020 you manage to put $20,000 in to your TFSA and you buy Canadian Megacorp common shares. You now have $8,500 of room remaining in 2020. Sometime in 2021 - it doesn't matter when in 2021 - your shares go to $100K due to the success of the Canadian Megacorp. You also have $6,000 worth of room for 2021 as set by the government. You therefore have $8,500 carried over from 2020+$6,000 = $14,500 of room in 2021. In 2021 you sell the shares and pull out the $100K. This amount is tax-free and does not even have to be reported. You can do whatever you want with it. But: if you put it back in 2021 you will over-contribute by $100,000 - $14,500 = $85,500 and incur a penalty. But if you wait until 2022 you will have $14,500 unused contribution room carried forward from 2021, another $6,000 for 2022, and $100,000 carried forward from the withdrawal 2021, so in 2022 you will have $14,500+$6,000+$100,000 = $120,500 of contribution room. This means that if you choose, you can put the $100,000 back in in 2022 tax-free and still have $20,500 left over. If you do not put the money back in 2021, then in 2022 you will have $120,500+$6,000 = $126,500 of contribution room. There is no age limit on how old you can be to contribute, no limit on how much money you can make in the TFSA, and if you do not use the room it keeps carrying forward forever. Just remember the following formula: This year's contribution room = (A) unused contribution room carried forward from last year + (B) contribution room provided by the government for this year + (C) total withdrawals from last year. EXAMPLE 1: Say in 2020 you never contributed to a TFSA but you were 18 in 2009. You have $69,500 of unused room (see above) in 2020 which accumulated from 2009-2020. In 2020 you contribute $50,000, leaving $19,500 contribution room unused for 2020. You buy $50,000 worth of stock. The next day, also in 2020, the stock doubles and it's worth $100,000. Also in 2020 you sell the stock and withdraw $100,000, tax-free. You continue to trade stocks within your TFSA, and hopefully grow your TFSA in 2020, but you make no further contributions or withdrawals in 2020. The question is, How much room will you have in 2021? Answer: In the year 2021, the following applies: (A) Unused contribution room carried forward from last year, 2020: $19,500 (B) Contribution room provided by government for this year, 2021: $6,000 (C) Total withdrawals from last year, 2020: $100,000 Total contribution room for 2021 = $19,500+6,000+100,000 = $125,500. EXAMPLE 2: Say between 2020 and 2021 you decided to buy a tax-free car (well you're still stuck with the GST/PST/HST/QST but you get the picture) so you went to the dealer and spent $25,000 of the $100,000 you withdrew in 2020. You now have a car and $75,000 still burning a hole in your pocket. Say in early 2021 you re-contribute the $75,000 you still have left over, to your TFSA. However, in mid-2021 you suddenly need $75,000 because of an emergency so you pull the $75,000 back out. But then a few weeks later, it turns out that for whatever reason you don't need it after all so you decide to put the $75,000 back into the TFSA, also in 2021. You continue to trade inside your TFSA but make no further withdrawals or contributions. How much room will you have in 2022? Answer: In the year 2022, the following applies: (A) Unused contribution room carried forward from last year, 2021: $125,500 - $75,000 - $75,000 = -$24,500. Already you have a problem. You have over-contributed in 2021. You will be assessed a penalty on the over-contribution! (penalty = 1% a month). But if you waited until 2022 to re-contribute the $75,000 you pulled out for the emergency..... In the year 2022, the following would apply: (A) Unused contribution room carried forward from last year, 2021: $125,500 -$75,000 =$50,500. (B) Contribution room provided by government for this year, 2022: $6,000 (C) Total withdrawals from last year, 2020: $75,000 Total contribution room for 2022 = $50,500 + $6,000 + $75,000 = $131,500. ...And...re-contributing that $75,000 that was left over from your 2021 emergency that didn't materialize, you still have $131,500-$75,000 = $56,500 of contribution room left in 2022. For a more comprehensive discussion, please see the CRA info link below.
FAQs That Have Arisen in the Discussion and Other Potential Questions:
Equity and ETF/ETN Options in a TFSA: can I get leverage? Yes. You can buy puts and calls in your TFSA and you only need to have the cash to pay the premium and broker commissions. Example: if XYZ is trading at $70, and you want to buy the $90 call with 6 months to expiration, and the call is trading at $2.50, you only need to have $250 in your account, per option contract, and if you are dealing with BMO IL for example you need $9.95 + $1.25/contract which is what they charge in commission. Of course, any profits on closing your position are tax-free. You only need the full value of the strike in your account if you want to exercise your option instead of selling it. Please note: this is not meant to be an options tutorial; see the Montreal Exchange's Equity Options Reference Manual if you have questions on how options work.
Equity and ETF/ETN Options in a TFSA: what is ok and not ok? Long puts and calls are allowed. Covered calls are allowed, but cash-secured puts are not allowed. All other option trades are also not allowed. Basically the rule is, if the trade is not a covered call and it either requires being short an option or short the stock, you can't do it in a TFSA.
Live in a province where the voting age is 19 so I can't open a TFSA until I'm 19, when does my contribution room begin? Your contribution room begins to accumulate at 18, so if you live in province where the age of majority is 19, you'll get the room carried forward from the year you turned 18.
If I turn 18 on December 31, do I get the contribution room just for that day or for the whole year? The whole year.
Do commissions paid on share transactions count as withdrawals? Unfortunately, no. If you contribute $2,000 cash and you buy $1,975 worth of stock and pay $25 in commission, the $25 does not count as a withdrawal. It is the same as if you lost money in the TFSA.
How much room do I have? If your broker records are complete, you can do a spreadsheet. The other thing you can do is call the CRA and they will tell you.
TFSATFSA direct transfer from one institution to another: this has no impact on your contributions or withdrawals as it counts as neither.
More than 1 TFSA: you can have as many as you want but your total contribution room does not increase or decrease depending on how many accounts you have.
Withdrawals that convert into contribution room in the next year. Do they carry forward indefinitely if not used in the next year? Answer :yes.
Do I have to declare my profits, withdrawals and contributions? No. Your bank or broker interfaces directly with the CRA on this. There are no declarations to make.
Risky investments - smart? In a TFSA you want always to make money, because you pay no tax, and you want never to lose money, because you cannot claim the loss against your income from your job. If in year X you have $5,000 of contribution room and put it into a TFSA and buy Canadian Speculative Corp. and due to the failure of the Canadian Speculative Corp. it goes to zero, two things happen. One, you burn up that contribution room and you have to wait until next year for the government to give you more room. Two, you can't claim the $5,000 loss against your employment income or investment income or capital gains like you could in a non-registered account. So remember Buffett's rule #1: Do not lose money. Rule #2 being don't forget the first rule. TFSA's are absolutely tailor-made for Graham-Buffett value investing or for diversified ETF or mutual fund investing, but you don't want to buy a lot of small specs because you don't get the tax loss.
Moving to/from Canada/residency. You must be a resident of Canada and 18 years old with a valid SIN to open a TFSA. Consult your tax advisor on whether your circumstances make you a resident for tax purposes. Since 2009, your TFSA contribution room accumulates every year, if at any time in the calendar year you are 18 years of age or older and a resident of Canada. Note: If you move to another country, you can STILL trade your TFSA online from your other country and keep making money within the account tax-free. You can withdraw money and Canada will not tax you. But you have to get tax advice in your country as to what they do. There restrictions on contributions for non-residents. See "non residents of Canada:" https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pub/rc4466/rc4466-19e.pdf
The U.S. withholding tax. Dividends paid by U.S.-domiciled companies are subject to a 15% U.S. withholding tax. Your broker does this automatically at the time of the dividend payment. So if your stock pays a $100 USD dividend, you only get $85 USD in your broker account and in your statement the broker will have a note saying 15% U.S. withholding tax. I do not know under what circumstances if any it is possible to get the withheld amount. Normally it is not, but consult a tax professional.
The U.S. withholding tax does not apply to capital gains. So if you buy $5,000 USD worth of Apple and sell it for $7,000 USD, you get the full $2,000 USD gain automatically.
Tax-Free Leverage. Leverage in the TFSA is effectively equal to your tax rate * the capital gains inclusion rate because you're not paying tax. So if you're paying 25% on average in income tax, and the capital gains contribution rate is 50%, the TFSA is like having 12.5%, no margin call leverage costing you 0% and that also doesn't magnify your losses.
Margin accounts. These accounts allow you to borrow money from your broker to buy stocks. TFSAs are not margin accounts. Nothing stopping you from borrowing from other sources (such as borrowing cash against your stocks in an actual margin account, or borrowing cash against your house in a HELOC or borrowing cash against your promise to pay it back as in a personal LOC) to fund a TFSA if that is your decision, bearing in mind the risks, but a TFSA is not a margin account. Consider options if you want leverage that you can use in a TFSA, without borrowing money.
Dividend Tax Credit on Canadian Companies. Remember, dividends paid into the TFSA are not eligible to be claimed for the credit, on the rationale that you already got a tax break.
FX risk. The CRA allows you to contribute and withdraw foreign currency from the TFSA but the contribution/withdrawal accounting is done in CAD. So if you contribute $10,000 USD into your TFSA and withdraw $15,000 USD, and the CAD is trading at 70 cents USD when you contribute and $80 cents USD when you withdraw, the CRA will treat it as if you contributed $14,285.71 CAD and withdrew $18,75.00 CAD.
OTC (over-the-counter stocks). You can only buy stocks if they are listed on an approved exchange ("approved exchange" = TSX, TSX-V, NYSE, NASDAQ and about 25 or so others). The U.S. pink sheets "over-the-counter" market is an example of a place where you can buy stocks, that is not an approved exchange, therefore you can't buy these penny stocks. I have however read that the CRA make an exception for a stock traded over the counter if it has a dual listing on an approved exchange. You should check that with a tax lawyer or accountant though.
The RRSP. This is another great tax shelter. Tax shelters in Canada are either deferrals or in a few cases - such as the TFSA - outright tax breaks, The RRSP is an example of a deferral. The RRSP allows you to deduct your contributions from your income, which the TFSA does not allow. This deduction is a huge advantage if you earn a lot of money. The RRSP has tax consequences for withdrawing money whereas the TFSA does not. Withdrawals from the RRSP are taxable whereas they are obviously not in a TFSA. You probably want to start out with a TFSA and maintain and grow that all your life. It is a good idea to start contributing to an RRSP when you start working because you get the tax deduction, and then you can use the amount of the deduction to contribute to your TFSA. There are certain rules that claw back your annual contribution room into an RRSP if you contribute to a pension. See your tax advisor.
Pensions. If I contribute to a pension does that claw back my TFSA contribution room or otherwise affect my TFSA in any way? Answer: No.
The $10K contribution limit for 2015. This was PM Harper's pledge. In 2015 the Conservative government changed the rules to make the annual government allowance $10,000 per year forever. Note: withdrawals still converted into contribution room in the following year - that did not change. When the Liberals came into power they switched the program back for 2016 to the original Harper rules and have kept the original Harper rules since then. That is why there is the $10,000 anomaly of 2015. The original Harper rules (which, again, are in effect now) called for $500 increments to the annual government allowance as and when required to keep up with inflation, based on the BofC's Consumer Price Index (CPI). Under the new Harper rules, it would have been $10,000 flat forever. Which you prefer depends on your politics but the TFSA program is massively popular with Canadians. Assuming 1.6% annual CPI inflation then the annual contribution room will hit $10,000 in 2052 under the present rules. Note: the Bank of Canada does an excellent and informative job of explaining inflation and the CPI at their website.
Losses in a TFSA - you cannot claim a loss in a TFSA against income. So in a TFSA you always want to make money and never want to lose money. A few ppl here have asked if you are losing money on your position in a TFSA can you transfer it in-kind to a cash account and claim the loss. I would expect no as I cannot see how in view of the fact that TFSA losses can't be claimed, that the adjusted cost base would somehow be the cost paid in the TFSA. But I'm not a tax lawyeaccountant. You should consult a tax professional.
Transfers in-kind to the TFSA and the the superficial loss rule. You can transfer securities (shares etc.) "in-kind," meaning, directly, from an unregistered account to the TFSA. If you do that, the CRA considers that you "disposed" of, meaning, equivalent to having sold, the shares in the unregistered account and then re-purchased them at the same price in the TFSA. The CRA considers that you did this even though the broker transfers the shares directly in the the TFSA. The superficial loss rule, which means that you cannot claim a loss for a security re-purchased within 30 days of sale, applies. So if you buy something for $20 in your unregistered account, and it's trading for $25 when you transfer it in-kind into the TFSA, then you have a deemed disposition with a capital gain of $5. But it doesn't work the other way around due to the superficial loss rule. If you buy it for $20 in the unregistered account, and it's trading at $15 when you transfer it in-kind into the TFSA, the superficial loss rule prevents you from claiming the loss because it is treated as having been sold in the unregistered account and immediately bought back in the TFSA.
Day trading/swing trading. It is possible for the CRA to try to tax your TFSA on the basis of "advantage." The one reported decision I'm aware of (emphasis on I'm aware of) is from B.C. where a woman was doing "swap transactions" in her TFSA which were not explicitly disallowed but the court rules that they were an "advantage" in certain years and liable to taxation. Swaps were subsequently banned. I'm not sure what a swap is exactly but it's not that someone who is simply making contributions according to the above rules would run afoul of. The CRA from what I understand doesn't care how much money you make in the TFSA, they care how you made it. So if you're logged on to your broker 40 hours a week and trading all day every day they might take the position that you found a way to work a job 40 hours a week and not pay any tax on the money you make, which they would argue is an "advantage," although there are arguments against that. This is not legal advice, just information.
The U.S. Roth IRA. This is a U.S. retirement savings tax shelter that is superficially similar to the TFSA but it has a number of limitations, including lack of cumulative contribution room, no ability for withdrawals to convert into contribution room in the following year, complex rules on who is eligible to contribute, limits on how much you can invest based on your income, income cutoffs on whether you can even use the Roth IRA at all, age limits that govern when and to what extent you can use it, and strict restrictions on reasons to withdraw funds prior to retirement (withdrawals prior to retirement can only be used to pay for private medical insurance, unpaid medical bills, adoption/childbirth expenses, certain educational expenses). The TFSA is totally unlike the Roth IRA in that it has none of these restrictions, therefore, the Roth IRA is not in any reasonable sense a valid comparison. The TFSA was modeled after the U.K. Investment Savings Account, which is the only comparable program to the TFSA.
The UK Investment Savings Account. This is what the TFSA was based off of. Main difference is that the UK uses a 20,000 pound annual contribution allowance, use-it-or-lose-it. There are several different flavours of ISA, and some do have a limited recontribution feature but not to the extent of the TFSA.
Is it smart to overcontribute to buy a really hot stock and just pay the 1% a month overcontribution penalty? If the CRA believes you made the overcontribution deliberately the penalty is 100% of the gains on the overcontribution, meaning, you can keep the overcontribution, or the loss, but the CRA takes the profit.
Speculative stocks-- are they ok? There is no such thing as a "speculative stock." That term is not used by the CRA. Either the stock trades on an approved exchange or it doesn't. So if a really blue chip stock, the most stable company in the world, trades on an exchange that is not approved, you can't buy it in a TFSA. If a really speculative gold mining stock in Busang, Indonesia that has gone through the roof due to reports of enormous amounts of gold, but their geologist somehow just mysteriously fell out of a helicopter into the jungle and maybe there's no gold there at all, but it trades on an approved exchange, it is fine to buy it in a TFSA. Of course the risk of whether it turns out to be a good investment or not, is on you.
Remember, you're working for your money anyway, so if you can get free money from the government -- you should take it! Follow the rules because Canadians have ended up with a tax bill for not understanding the TFSA rules. Appreciate the feedback everyone. Glad this basic post has been useful for many. The CRA does a good job of explaining TFSAs in detail at https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pub/rc4466/rc4466-19e.pdf
Unrelated but of Interest: The Margin Account
Note: if you are interested in how margin accounts work, I refer you to my post on margin accounts, where I use a straightforward explanation of the math behind margin accounts to try and give readers the confidence that they understand this powerful leveraging tool.
The world of DeFi is exploding but is it all it’s made out to be?
DeFi (decentralised finance) is most certainly the buzz in the crypto world this minute. It’s bringing similar feelings which was the 2017/18 ICO phase, where a mammoth of new projects begun to explode onto the scene, each with their own promise of new innovation and use case. Hindsight has shown us that most of those projects have ultimately failed, or worse, were outright scams that took advantage of not so wise investors looking to make a buck. Obviously, not all projects fit that description, with many teams still around today working on and delivering their individual visions. Crypto is, after all, still a big experiment of new technology.
Enter DeFi: Serum
DeFi has exploded into the limelight over the last few months, with some tokens appreciating hundreds of percent in price. It appears to be the catalyst that has driven a huge market shift in the crypto world, and for those who’ve been around a number of years, this is a welcome change. In this piece, I’m going to examine a particular project called Serum.
Serum is the world’s first completely decentralized derivatives exchange with trustless cross-chain trading brought to you by Project Serum.
The Serum Project is aiming to create both a decentralised exchange and a cross-chain swapping mechanism. In this article, I’m going to focus solely on the cross-chain swapping aspect of Serum. Although the Serum whitepaper is quite short and lacking in detail, it is useful to derive some understanding of how the cross-chain swapping protocol should work. Throughout this review, I will use it to describe how the imagined protocol works.
Let's assume Alice wants to trade some BTC for ETH and Bob wants to trade some ETH for BTC using Serum. These two users are matched and agree on a price using an on-chain order book on the Solana blockchain (whitepaper provides no practical details on how to do this). Once these users are matched, Bob must send the ETH he wants to trade to an Ethereum smart contract, plus some amount of ETH ~200 USD worth (see section 4 below) to the smart contract as collateral. Alice will also need to send some collateral to the smart contract. Once this initial setup process is complete Alice then has to send her BTC to Bob’s BTC address and if Bob receives the BTC from Alice he can then release his ETH from the smart contract sending it to Alice’s ETH address. Upon completion of this both Alice and Bob are refunded their ETH collateral. So what happens if something goes wrong? For example, say Alice never sends BTC to Bob, after some period of time Bob can initiate a dispute. When the dispute begins both Alice and Bob present a portion of the Bitcoin blockchain information to the smart contract (see section 3). The smart contract then decides whether or not Alice did send BTC to Bob. If she hasn’t then the smart contract returns Bob's ETH and collateral to Bob and also takes Alice’s ETH collateral and gives that to Bob. The same occurs in reverse if Alice sends BTC but Bob never approves the transfer of ETH from the smart contract. This scheme seems pretty simple, there’s no oracles and no centralised parties, however, it has a number of disadvantages.
1. User-Provided Collateral Is Bad for User Experience
Each time a user conducts a swap they must reserve some percentage or fixed amount to cover the collateral for the swap. This collateral amount needs to be present to prevent griefing attacks where users initiate swaps with no intention of ever following through and sending funds to the alternate participant. However, this creates a poor user experience as both Alice and Bob need to have at least the value of the dispute fee committed to the contract in collateral before they conduct a swap. This is totally foreign from the normal exchange experience in which you only require a single coin and a single transaction to begin trading. For example, if using Serum to trade Bitcoin you would need to hold Bitcoin and ~200$ of Ethereum and also interact with the Ethereum chain before any swap occurs. This adds unnecessary complexity and confusion, especially for newcomers to the crypto space.
2. ETH Must Always Be on One Side of the Swap
Although the Serum method of cross-chain swapping could occur on any blockchain with smart contracts, the Serum whitepaper makes it clear the Serum arbitration contract is going to be deployed on the Ethereum blockchain. This means one party must always be locking the full value of the trade in ETH using an Ethereum smart contract. This makes it impossible, for example, to do a single step trade between Bitcoin and Monero since the swap would need to be from Bitcoin to ETH first and then from ETH to Monero. This is comparable to other proposed cross-chain swap systems like Thorchain and Blockswap, however since those networks use AMM’s (automated market makers)and decentralized vaults to take custody of funds, the user needs not to interact with the intermediary chain at all. Instead in Serum, the user wanting to swap Bitcoin to Monero will need to do the following steps:
Send Ethereum collateral to the Serum arbitration contract
Send Bitcoin to the user they are swapping with.
Send Ethereum back to Serum arbitration contract
Send Ethereum out of Serum arbitration contract
Receive back Ethereum collateral
It might be possible to remove or simplify step 4, depending on how the smart contract is built, however, this means a swap from BTC to Monero would require 2 Ethereum and 1 Bitcoin transaction in the best-case scenario. Compared with the experience of other cross-chain swapping mechanisms, which only require the user to send a single transaction to swap between two assets, this is very poor user experience.
3. Proving Transactions on Arbitrary Chains to a Smart Contract Is Not Trivial
Perhaps the most central part of the Serum cross-chain swapping mechanism is left completely unexplored in the Serum whitepaper with only a brief explanation given.
“[The] Smart Contract is programmed to parse whether a proposed BTC blockchain is valid; it can then check which of Alice and Bob send the longer valid blockchain, and settle in their favor”
This is not a trivial problem, and it is unclear how this actually works from the explanation given in the Serum whitepaper. What actually needs to be presented to the smart contract to prove a Bitcoin transaction? Typically when talking about SPV the smart contract would need the block headers of all previous blocks and a merkle inclusion proof. This is far too heavy to submit in a dispute. Instead, Serum could use NIPoPoW, however, these proofs only work on chains with fixed difficulty and are still probably prohibitively too large (~100KB) to be submitted as a proof to a contract. Other solutions like Flyclient are more versatile, but proof sizes are much larger and have failed to see much real-world adoption. Without explaining how they actually plan to do this validation of Bitcoin transactions, users are left in the dark about how secure their solution actually is.
4. High Dispute Fees Force Large Collateral on Small Trades
Although disputes should almost never happen because of the incentives and punishments designed into the Serum protocol, the way they are designed has negative impacts on the use of the network. Although the Serum whitepaper does not say how the dispute mechanism works, they do say that it will cost about ~100 USD in GAS to dispute a swap. Note: keep in mind that the Serum paper was published in July 2020 when the gas price was about 50 Gwei, as Ethereum use has picked up over the past month we have seen average GAS prices as high as 250 Gwei, with the average price right now about 120 Gwei. This means that at the height of GAS prices it could have cost a user ~500 USD to dispute a swap. This means for the network to ensure losing cross-chain swaps aren’t made each user must deploy at least $200 in collateral on each side. It may be possible to lower this to collateral if we assume the attacker is not financially motivated, however, there is a lower bound in which ransom attacks become possible on low-value trades. Further and perhaps more damagingly, this means in a trade of any size the user needs to have at least 300 USD in ETH laying around. 100 USD in ETH for the required collateral and 200 USD if they need to challenge the transaction. This further adds to the poor user experience when using Serum for cross-chain swapping.
5. Swaps Are Not Set and Forget
Instead of being able to send a transaction and receive funds on the blockchain you are swapping to, the process is highly interactive. In the case where I am swapping ETH for Bitcoin, the following occurs:
Send a transaction to the Serum arbitration contract with my collateral.
Send a transaction to the Serum arbitration contract with the funds to be traded.
Wait until the Bitcoin transaction sent to my address has an acceptable amount of confirmations (up to 60 mins, depending on network congestion).
If the Bitcoin transaction is never received then I need to wait for a timeout to occur before I can participate in the dispute process.
Send a transaction to the Serum arbitration contract unlocking my funds and sending them to the participant.
And on the Bitcoin side (assuming the seller is ready), the following must take place:
Send my Ethereum collateral to the smart contract.
Send the Bitcoin.
Wait until the Seller has accepted that Bitcoin.
If the Seller never accepts the Bitcoin I sent to him then I need to wait on line for the dispute process.
Wait to receive my ETH + Collateral back.
This presents a strange user experience where the seller or seller’s wallet must be left online during this whole process and be ready to sign a new transaction if they need to dispute transactions or unlock funds from a smart contract. This is different from the typical exchange or swapping scenario in which, once your funds are sent you can be assured you will receive the amount you expected in your swap back to you, without any of your wallets needing to remain online.
6. The Serum Token Seems to Lack a Use Case
The cross-chain swapping protocol Serum describes in its whitepaper could easily be forked and launched on the Ethereum blockchain without having any need for the Serum token. It seems that the Serum token will be used in some capacity when placing orders on the Solana based blockchain, however, the order book could just as easily be placed off with traditional rate-limiting schemes. There is some brief mention of future governance abilities for token holders, however, as a common theme in their whitepaper, details are scarce:
Serum is anticipated to include a limited governance model based on the SRM token. While most of the Serum ecosystem will be immutable, some parameters without large security risks (e.g. future fees) may be modified via a governance vote of SRM tokens.
Until satisfactory answers are given to these questions I would be looking at other projects who are attempting to build platforms for cross-chain swaps. As previously mentioned, Thorchain & Blockswap show some promise in design, whilst there are some others competing in this space too, such as Incognito and RenVM. However, this area is still extremely immature so plenty of testing and time is required before we can call any of these projects a success. If you’ve got any feedback or thoughts about Serum, cross-chain swapping or DeFi in general, please don’t be shy in leaving a comment.
I’m James Ferguson, CEO of Immutable and Gods Unchained. In addition to Chris Clay’s recent State of the Beta, I wanted to give an overview of our journey with Gods Unchained and where we’re heading. Gods Unchained has always had a grand vision. When we sat down to plan it, we knew exactly what we wanted: to combine the magic of physical card ownership with the convenience and fun of digital TCGs. To build the first AAA quality game with blockchain assets at its core. When Gods Unchained was conceived, Immutable had 3 employees, but only two desk seats at a coworking space… We then grew to 10 full-time and our first playable version of Gods Unchained. Today, we have our own office, and 63 incredibly talented people who are hard at work building something important. In that time we’ve made many learnings, with the main ones I’d like to talk about being:
Learnings about designing successful Play to Earn systems.
Learnings as to the crazy potential of a blockchain game and how the assets plug into the wider space.
Learnings about what is required to bring blockchain gaming to the mainstream.
On Play to Earn... How important can a new TCG really be? Gods Unchained is the first example of a new type of game, a game which radically shifts the relationship between players and developers. A lot of you will already know this, but for those who don’t, it’s important to understand what exactly Gods Unchained does differently, and why the biggest gaming investor in the world and the biggest public crypto company in the world think it is the first example of an entirely new genre of game. In the physical world, if I sell you a shirt, it’s yours. You can wear it, sell it, store it in your basement or destroy it – like I said, it’s yours. However, if you bought a shirt from Target, and they told you that (1) you couldn’t lend it to a friend and that (2) they could take it from you at any time, you’d correctly refuse to buy it: that’s (at best) a rental, not a sale. However, in the digital worlds of modern free to play (F2P) gaming, this is exactly what happens. Companies sell you a virtual shirt that you have absolutely no legal rights over. Last year, F2P games made $87B using this model. None of it went to players. We’re determined to change this. While tradable assets are not new in games, what’s new is the power that trustless ownership, programmable assets and the infrastructure of the Ethereum network bring to the table. These go beyond simply buying and selling in-game items, as it’s the things that allow users to creatively utilize assets beyond the game that really excite us – like smart contracts being able to interface with your digital assets to create new ways to earn. The potential we see in this space grows with every day that Gods Unchained expands. The Play to Earn process is the foundation of our game, and every iteration is based around the above ethos of true, trustless ownership. We’ve had a few iterations of this so far, and we’re constantly learning from these segments in order to build out more instances in the future. One of the biggest scaling potentials for Play to Earn comes from our work with StarkWare on building out Immutable X so that our players and buyers can capitalize on the bonuses of blockchain (namely: trustlessness & programmability) without being hindered by the downsides (gas fees & limited output). The learnings we’ve gained from the Genesis Raffle and the Flux & Fusing system have shown us what Play to Earn needs to take off and run in a sustainable manner, and Immutable X is a big key to carving this out as we forge ahead. On blockchain’s potential... Immutable X also helps reinforce the creation of user-built tools. Blockchain assets create a space where anyone can build an extension to Gods Unchained’s asset system. Here, users have complete freedom to interact with these extensions, with no input from Immutable. We believe that you are, after all, best placed to make that call. When this is combined with upcoming guaranteed Immutable X fees for affiliates and sites who drive liquidity, this means that now is an exciting time to be building community tools for Gods Unchained, and we’re incredibly grateful for those talented people who are doing so now. When we first started, we had a few ideas of what could happen in this space, but we’re endlessly surprised (and impressed!) with what the community is doing in this space. Outside of Immutable X, there are other infrastructure spaces showing huge potential on the Ethereum network that have come to our attention, the most recent being the billions of dollars locked in decentralized finance (DeFi). How we can deliver more value to our players and buyers based on the inherent interoperable nature of cards and chests is a question constantly at the forefront of our minds, and DeFi has the potential to become an extremely exciting area for this, but one we’re only just starting to explore. For example, Genesis and Season 1 chests are ERC20 tokens and therefore compatible with many existing DeFi primitives. While they are unopened, there are some wild ways in which they can be plugged into the wider ecosystem, such as:
Uniswap pools for chests
Use our (upcoming!) 1v1 API to play for chests
Custom contracts to collectively purchase and open a chest, then divide the spoils of opening based on God (useful for all the Nature mains out there)
These are simply ideas at this stage, but we’ll have more on this soon... On going mainstream... So where are we with Gods Unchained? Are we ready to take advantage of these benefits, and to take the game to a million plus players? I’ll be honest: not just yet. We’re extremely keen to do this, and we have the money to simply purchase a large number of new users. But we know that, for any influx of players to be long-term sustainable, we need the following:
Improvements to the UX of onboarding
Improvements to the core loop of the game (e.g. the aforementioned Play to Earn)
Scalability and liquidity for asset trading
We are continuing to explicitly focus on these problems, both in isolation and holistically. We want to create an enormous Gods Unchained economy, and this is where Immutable X’s function is at its most important, as it will keep the economy intertwined to progression through the Gods Unchained experience. This will enable us to retain mainstream users long term while creating value inside our existing economy. With these changes and mobile in the works, we think that Gods Unchained will be ready to start scaling to the big leagues and hit the goal of 1M players. The upcoming season will quite possibly be the last time where Gods Unchained is still quite niche, for early blockchain enthusiasts and some TCG players rather than all mainstream players. As we complete the final necessary pieces of the Gods Unchained ecosystem, the next step function planned is growth: for the playerbase, market and liquidity. We think all of these upcoming opportunities are incredibly exciting, and it makes coming in to work each day both a joy and a rollercoaster. TCGs are popular – centralised games like Hearthstone have had their annual revenue estimated at over $400M. This revenue is essentially from selling a license to use non-sellable cards for entertainment. What Ethereum is doing to finance, by being programmable money, we aim to do to Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering by creating programmable cards and packs, and real markets. For our players and fans, we are so grateful that you’ve been on this journey with us. We’ve grown immensely in the past year, and so has our ability to work effectively as a team and prioritize the most important tasks to both us, as a company, and you, the community (a balancing act that could count as the fourth major learning in this piece). We think we’re about to enter the phase where the journey becomes increasingly interesting and we’re excited to share this next part with you. Sincerely, James Ferguson, Immutable CEO
How many people really understand what they’re buying, especially when it comes to highly specialized hardware companies? Most NVidia investors seem to be relying on a vague idea of how the company should thrive “in the future”, as their GPUs are ostensibly used for Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, holograms, etc. Having been shocked by how this company is represented in the media, I decided to lay out how this business works, doing my part to fight for reality. With what’s been going on in markets, I don’t like my chances but here goes: Let’s start with… How does NVDA make money? NVDA is in the business of semiconductor design. As a simplified image in your head, you can imagine this as designing very detailed and elaborate posters. Their engineers create circuit patterns for printing onto semiconductor wafers. NVDA then pays a semiconductor foundry (the printer – generally TSMC) to create chips with those patterns on them. Simply put, NVDA’s profits represent the difference between the price at which they can sell those chips, less the cost of printing, and less the cost of paying their engineers to design them. Notably, after the foundry prints the chips, NVDA also has to pay (I say pay, but really it is more like “sell at a discount to”) their “add-in board” (AIB) partners to stick the chips onto printed circuit boards (what you might imagine as green things with a bunch of capacitors on them). That leads to the final form in which buyers experience the GPU. What is a GPU? NVDA designs chips called GPUs (Graphical Processing Units). Initially, GPUs were used for the rapid processing and creation of images, but their use cases have expanded over time. You may be familiar with the CPU (Central Processing Unit). CPUs sit at the core of a computer system, doing most of the calculation, taking orders from the operating system (e.g. Windows, Linux), etc. AMD and Intel make CPUs. GPUs assist the CPU with certain tasks. You can think of the CPU as having a few giant very powerful engines. The GPU has a lot of small much less powerful engines. Sometimes you have to do a lot of really simple tasks that don’t require powerful engines to complete. Here, the act of engaging the powerful engines is a waste of time, as you end up spending most of your time revving them up and revving them down. In that scenario, it helps the CPU to hand that task over to the GPU in order to “accelerate” the completion of the task. The GPU only revs up a small engine for each task, and is able to rev up all the small engines simultaneously to knock out a large number of these simple tasks at the same time. Remember the GPU has lots of engines. The GPU also has an edge in interfacing a lot with memory but let’s not get too technical. Who uses NVDA’s GPUs? There are two main broad end markets for NVDA’s GPUs – Gaming and Professional. Let’s dig into each one: The Gaming Market: A Bit of Ancient History (Skip if impatient) GPUs were first heavily used for gaming in arcades. They then made their way to consoles, and finally PCs. NVDA started out in the PC phase of GPU gaming usage. They weren’t the first company in the space, but they made several good moves that ultimately led to a very strong market position. Firstly, they focused on selling into OEMs – guys like the equivalent of today’s DELL/HP/Lenovo – , which allowed a small company to get access to a big market without having to create a lot of relationships. Secondly, they focused on the design aspect of the GPU, and relied on their Asian supply chain to print the chip, to package the chip and to install in on a printed circuit board – the Asian supply chain ended up being the best in semis. But the insight that really let NVDA dominate was noticing that some GPU manufacturers were focusing on keeping hardware-accelerated Transform and Lighting as a Professional GPU feature. As a start-up, with no professional GPU business to disrupt, NVidia decided their best ticket into the big leagues was blowing up the market by including this professional grade feature into their gaming product. It worked – and this was a real masterstroke – the visual and performance improvements were extraordinary. 3DFX, the initial leader in PC gaming GPUs, was vanquished, and importantly it happened when funding markets shut down with the tech bubble bursting and after 3DFX made some large ill-advised acquisitions. Consequently 3DFX, went from hero to zero, and NVDA bought them for a pittance out of bankruptcy, acquiring the best IP portfolio in the industry. Some more Modern History This is what NVDA’s pure gaming card revenue looks like over time – NVDA only really broke these out in 2005 (note by pure, this means ex-Tegra revenues): 📷 https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618394577731223552/tumblr_Ikb8g9Cu9sxh2ERno So what is the history here? Well, back in the late 90s when GPUs were first invented, they were required to play any 3D game. As discussed in the early history above, NVDA landed a hit product to start with early and got a strong burst of growth: revenues of 160M in 1998 went to 1900M in 2002. But then NVDA ran into strong competition from ATI (later purchased and currently owned by AMD). While NVDA’s sales struggled to stay flat from 2002 to 2004, ATI’s doubled from 1Bn to 2Bn. NVDA’s next major win came in 2006, with the 8000 series. ATI was late with a competing product, and NVDA’s sales skyrocketed – as can be seen in the graph above. With ATI being acquired by AMD they were unfocused for some time, and NVDA was able to keep their lead for an extended period. Sales slowed in 2008/2009 but that was due to the GFC – people don’t buy expensive GPU hardware in recessions. And then we got to 2010 and the tide changed. Growth in desktop PCs ended. Here is a chart from Statista: 📷https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618394674172919808/tumblr_OgCnNwTyqhMhAE9r9 This resulted in two negative secular trends for Nvidia. Firstly, with the decline in popularity of desktop PCs, growth in gaming GPUs faded as well (below is a chart from Jon Peddie). Note that NVDA sells discrete GPUs, aka DT (Desktop) Discrete. Integrated GPUs are mainly made by Intel (these sit on the motherboard or with the CPU). 📷 https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618394688079200256/tumblr_rTtKwOlHPIVUj8e7h You can see from the chart above that discrete desktop GPU sales are fading faster than integrated GPU sales. This is the other secular trend hurting NVDA’s gaming business. Integrated GPUs are getting better and better, taking over a wider range of tasks that were previously the domain of the discrete GPU. Surprisingly, the most popular eSports game of recent times – Fortnite – only requires Intel HD 4000 graphics – an Integrated GPU from 2012! So at this point you might go back to NVDA’s gaming sales, and ask the question: What happened in 2015? How is NVDA overcoming these secular trends? The answer consists of a few parts.Firstly, AMD dropped the ball in 2015. As you can see in this chart, sourced from 3DCenter, AMD market share was halved in 2015, due to a particularly poor product line-up: 📷 https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618394753459994624/tumblr_J7vRw9y0QxMlfm6Xd Following this, NVDA came out with Pascal in 2016 – a very powerful offering in the mid to high end part of the GPU market. At the same time, AMD was focusing on rebuilding and had no compelling mid or high end offerings. AMD mainly focused on maintaining scale in the very low end. Following that came 2017 and 2018: AMD’s offering was still very poor at the time, but cryptomining drove demand for GPUs to new levels, and AMD’s GPUs were more compelling from a price-performance standpoint for crypto mining initially, perversely leading to AMD gaining share. NVDA quickly remedied that by improving their drivers to better mine crypto, regaining their relative positioning, and profiting in a big way from the crypto boom. Supply that was calibrated to meet gaming demand collided with cryptomining demand and Average Selling Prices of GPUs shot through the roof. Cryptominers bought top of the line GPUs aggressively. A good way to see changes in crypto demand for GPUs is the mining profitability of Ethereum: 📷 https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618394769378443264/tumblr_cmBtR9gm8T2NI9jmQ This leads us to where we are today. 2019 saw gaming revenues drop for NVDA. Where are they likely to head? The secular trends of falling desktop sales along with falling discrete GPU sales have reasserted themselves, as per the Jon Peddie research above. Cryptomining profitability has collapsed. AMD has come out with a new architecture, NAVI, and the 5700XT – the first Iteration, competes effectively with NVDA in the mid-high end space on a price/performance basis. This is the first real competition from AMD since 2014. NVDA can see all these trends, and they tried to respond. Firstly, with volumes clearly declining, and likely with a glut of second-hand GPUs that can make their way to gamers over time from the crypto space, NVDA decided to pursue a price over volume strategy. They released their most expensive set of GPUs by far in the latest Turing series. They added a new feature, Ray Tracing, by leveraging the Tensor Cores they had created for Professional uses, hoping to use that as justification for higher prices (more on this in the section on Professional GPUs). Unfortunately for NVDA, gamers have responded quite poorly to Ray Tracing – it caused performance issues, had poor support, poor adoption, and the visual improvements in most cases are not particularly noticeable or relevant. The last recession led to gaming revenues falling 30%, despite NVDA being in a very strong position at the time vis-à-vis AMD – this time around their position is quickly slipping and it appears that the recession is going to be bigger. Additionally, the shift away from discrete GPUs in gaming continues. To make matters worse for NVDA, AMD won the slots in both the New Xbox and the New PlayStation, coming out later this year. The performance of just the AMD GPU in those consoles looks to be competitive with NVidia products that currently retail for more than the entire console is likely to cost. Consider that usually you have to pair that NVidia GPU with a bunch of other expensive hardware. The pricing and margin impact of this console cycle on NVDA is likely to be very substantially negative. It would be prudent to assume a greater than 30% fall in gaming revenues from the very elevated 2019 levels, with likely secular decline to follow. The Professional Market: A Bit of Ancient History (again, skip if impatient) As it turns out, graphical accelerators were first used in the Professional market, long before they were employed for Gaming purposes. The big leader in the space was a company called Silicon Graphics, who sold workstations with custom silicon optimised for graphical processing. Their sales were only $25Mn in 1985, but by 1997 they were doing 3.6Bn in revenue – truly exponential growth. Unfortunately for them, from that point on, discrete GPUs took over, and their highly engineered, customised workstations looked exorbitantly expensive in comparison. Sales sank to 500mn by 2006 and, with no profits in sight, they ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2009. Competition is harsh in the semiconductor industry. Initially, the Professional market centred on visualisation and design, but it has changed over time. There were a lot of players and lot of nuance, but I am going to focus on more recent times, as they are more relevant to NVidia. Some More Modern History NVDA’s Professional business started after its gaming business, but we don’t have revenue disclosures that show exactly when it became relevant. This is what we do have – going back to 2005: 📷 https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618394785029472256/tumblr_fEcYAzdstyh6tqIsI In the beginning, Professional revenues were focused on the 3D visualisation end of the spectrum, with initial sales going into workstations that were edging out the customised builds made by Silicon Graphics. Fairly quickly, however, GPUs added more and more functionality and started to turn into general parallel data processors rather than being solely optimised towards graphical processing. As this change took place, people in scientific computing noticed, and started using GPUs to accelerate scientific workloads that involve very parallel computation, such as matrix manipulation. This started at the workstation level, but by 2007 NVDA decided to make a new line-up of Tesla series cards specifically suited to scientific computing. The professional segment now have several points of focus:
GPUs used in workstations for things such as CAD graphical processing (Quadro Line)
GPUs used in workstations for computational workloads such as running engineering simulations (Quadro Line)
GPUs used in workstations for machine learning applications (Quadro line.. but can use gaming cards as well for this)
GPUs used by enterprise customers for high performance computing (such as modelling oil wells) (Tesla Line)
GPUs used by enterprise customers for machine learning projects (Tesla Line)
GPUs used by hyperscalers (mostly for machine learning projects) (Tesla Line)
In more recent times, given the expansion of the Tesla line, NVDA has broken up reporting into Professional Visualisation (Quadro Line) and Datacenter (Tesla Line). Here are the revenue splits since that reporting started: 📷 https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618394798232158208/tumblr_3AdufrCWUFwLgyQw2 📷 https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618394810632601600/tumblr_2jmajktuc0T78Juw7 It is worth stopping here and thinking about the huge increase in sales delivered by the Tesla line. The reason for this huge boom is the sudden increase in interest in numerical techniques for machine learning. Let’s go on a brief detour here to understand what machine learning is, because a lot of people want to hype it but not many want to tell you what it actually is. I have the misfortune of being very familiar with the industry, which prevented me from buying into the hype. Oops – sometimes it really sucks being educated. What is Machine Learning? At a very high level, machine learning is all about trying to get some sort of insight out of data. Most of the core techniques used in machine learning were developed a long time ago, in the 1950s and 1960s. The most common machine learning technique, which most people have heard of and may be vaguely familiar with, is called regression analysis. Regression analysis involves fitting a line through a bunch of datapoints. The most common type of regression analysis is called “Ordinary Least Squares” OLS regression, and that type of regression has a “closed form” solution, which means that there is a very simple calculation you can do to fit an OLS regression line to data. As it happens, fitting a line through points is not only easy to do, it also tends to be the main machine learning technique that people want to use, because it is very intuitive. You can make good sense of what the data is telling you and can understand the machine learning model you are using. Obviously, regression analysis doesn’t require a GPU! However, there is another consideration in machine learning: if you want to use a regression model, you still need a human to select the data that you want to fit the line through. Also, sometimes the relationship doesn’t look like a line, but rather it might look like a curve. In this case, you need a human to “transform” the data before you fit a line through it in order to make the relationship linear. So people had another idea here: what if instead of getting a person to select the right data to analyse, and the right model to apply, you could just get a computer to do that? Of course the problem with that is that computers are really stupid. They have no preconceived notion of what data to use or what relationship would make sense, so what they do is TRY EVERYTHING! And everything involves trying a hell of a lot of stuff. And trying a hell of a lot of stuff, most of which is useless garbage, involves a huge amount of computation. People tried this for a while through to the 1980s, decided it was useless, and dropped it… until recently. What changed? Well we have more data now, and we have a lot more computing power, so we figured lets have another go at it. As it happens, the premier technique for trying a hell of a lot of stuff (99.999% of which is garbage you throw away) is called “Deep Learning”. Deep learning is SUPER computationally intensive, and that computation happens to involve a lot of matrix multiplication. And guess what just happens to have been doing a lot of matrix multiplication? GPUs! Here is a chart that, for obvious reasons, lines up extremely well with the boom in Tesla GPU sales: 📷 https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618394825774989312/tumblr_IZ3ayFDB0CsGdYVHW Now we need to realise a few things here. Deep Learning is not some magic silver bullet. There are specific applications where it has proven very useful – primarily areas that have a very large number of very weak relationships between bits of data that sum up into strong relationships. An example of ones of those is Google Translate. On the other hand, in most analytical tasks, it is most useful to have an intuitive understanding of the data and to fit a simple and sensible model to it that is explainable. Deep learning models are not explainable in an intuitive manner. This is not only because they are complicated, but also because their scattershot technique of trying everything leaves a huge amount of garbage inside the model that cancels itself out when calculating the answer, but it is hard to see how it cancels itself out when stepping through it. Given the quantum of hype on Deep learning and the space in general, many companies are using “Deep Learning”, “Machine Learning” and “AI” as marketing. Not many companies are actually generating significant amounts of tangible value from Deep Learning. Back to the Competitive Picture For the Tesla Segment So NVDA happened to be in the right place at the right time to benefit from the Deep Learning hype. They happened to have a product ready to go and were able to charge a pretty penny for their product. But what happens as we proceed from here? Firstly, it looks like the hype from Deep Learning has crested, which is not great from a future demand perspective. Not only that, but we really went from people having no GPUs, to people having GPUs. The next phase is people upgrading their old GPUs. It is much harder to sell an upgrade than to make the first sale. Not only that, but GPUs are not the ideal manifestation of silicon for Deep Learning. NVDA themselves effectively admitted that with their latest iteration in the Datacentre, called Ampere. High Performance Computing, which was the initial use case for Tesla GPUs, was historically all about double precision floating point calculations (FP64). High precision calculations are required for simulations in aerospace/oil & gas/automotive. NVDA basically sacrificed HPC and shifted further towards Deep Learning with Ampere, announced last Thursday. The FP64 performance of the A100 (the latest Ampere chip) increased a fairly pedestrian 24% from the V100, increasing from 7.8 to 9.7 TF. Not a surprise that NVDA lost El Capitan to AMD, given this shift away from a focus on HPC. Instead, NVDA jacked up their Tensor Cores (i.e. not the GPU cores) and focused very heavily on FP16 computation (a lot less precise than FP64). As it turns out, FP16 is precise enough for Deep Learning, and NVDA recognises that. The future industry standard is likely to be BFloat 16 – the format pioneered by Google, who lead in Deep Learning. Ampere now does 312 TF of BF16, which compares to the 420 TF of Google’s TPU V3 – Google’s Machine Learning specific processor. Not quite up to the 2018 board from Google, but getting better – if they cut out all of the Cuda cores and GPU functionality maybe they could get up to Google’s spec. And indeed this is the problem for NVDA: when you make a GPU it has a large number of different use cases, and you provide a single product that meets all of these different use cases. That is a very hard thing to do, and explains why it has been difficult for competitors to muscle into the GPU space. On the other hand, when you are making a device that does one thing, such as deep learning, it is a much simpler thing to do. Google managed to do it with no GPU experience and is still ahead of NVDA. It is likely that Intel will be able to enter this space successfully, as they have widely signalled with the Xe. There is of course the other large negative driver for Deep Learning, and that is the recession we are now in. Demand for GPU instances on Amazon has collapsed across the board, as evidenced by the fall in pricing. The below graph shows one example: this data is for renting out a single Tesla V100 GPU on AWS, which isthe typical thing to do in an early exploratory phase for a Deep Learning model: 📷 https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618396177958944768/tumblr_Q86inWdeCwgeakUvh With Deep Learning not delivering near-term tangible results, it is the first thing being cut. On their most recent conference call, IBM noted weakness in their cognitive division (AI), and noted weaker sales of their power servers, which is the line that houses Enterprise GPU servers at IBM. Facebook cancelled their AI residencies for this year, and Google pushed theirs out. Even if NVDA can put in a good quarter due to their new product rollout (Ampere), the future is rapidly becoming a very stormy place. For the Quadro segment The Quadro segment has been a cash cow for a long time, generating dependable sales and solid margins. AMD just decided to rock the boat a bit. Sensing NVDA’s focus on Deep Learning, AMD seems to be focusing on HPC – the Radeon VII announced recently with a price point of $1899 takes aim at NVDAs most expensive Quadro, the GV100, priced at $8999. It does 6.5 TFLOPS of FP64 Double precision, whereas the GV100 does 7.4 – talk about shaking up a quiet segment. Pulling things together Let’s go back to what NVidia fundamentally does – paying their engineers to design chips, getting TSMC to print those chips, and getting board partners in Taiwan to turn them into the final product. We have seen how a confluence of several pieces of extremely good fortune lined up to increase NVidia’s sales and profits tremendously: first on the Gaming side, weak competition from AMD until 2014, coupled with a great product in form of Pascal in 2016, followed by a huge crypto driven boom in 2017 and 2018, and on the Professional side, a sudden and unexpected increase in interest in Deep Learning driving Tesla demand from 2017-2019 sky high. It is worth noting what these transient factors have done to margins. When unexpected good things happen to a chip company, sales go up a lot, but there are no costs associated with those sales. Strong demand means that you can sell each chip for a higher price, but no additional design work is required, and you still pay the printer, TSMC, the same amount of money. Consequently NVDA’s margins have gone up substantially: well above their 11.9% long term average to hit a peak of 33.2%, and more recently 26.5%: 📷 https://hyperinflation2020.tumblr.com/private/618396192166100992/tumblr_RiWaD0RLscq4midoP The question is, what would be a sensible margin going forward? Obviously 33% operating margin would attract a wall of competition and get competed away, which is why they can only be temporary. However, NVidia has shifted to having a greater proportion of its sales coming from non-OEM, and has a greater proportion of its sales coming from Professional rather than gaming. As such, maybe one can be generous and say NVDA can earn an 18% average operating margin over the next cycle. We can sense check these margins, using Intel. Intel has a long term average EBIT margin of about 25%. Intel happens to actually print the chips as well, so they collect a bigger fraction of the final product that they sell. NVDA, since it only does the design aspect, can’t earn a higher EBIT margin than Intel on average over the long term. Tesla sales have likely gone too far and will moderate from here – perhaps down to a still more than respectable $2bn per year. Gaming resumes the long-term slide in discrete GPUs, which will likely be replaced by integrated GPUs to a greater and greater extent over time. But let’s be generous and say it maintains $3.5 Bn Per year for the add in board, and let’s assume we keep getting $750mn odd of Nintendo Switch revenues(despite that product being past peak of cycle, with Nintendo themselves forecasting a sales decline). Let’s assume AMD struggles to make progress in Quadro, despite undercutting NVDA on price by 75%, with continued revenues at $1200. Add on the other 1.2Bn of Automotive, OEM and IP (I am not even counting the fact that car sales have collapsed and Automotive is likely to be down big), and we would end up with revenues of $8.65 Bn, at an average operating margin of 20% through the cycle that would have $1.75Bn of operating earnings power, and if I say that the recent Mellanox acquisition manages to earn enough to pay for all the interest on NVDAs debt, and I assume a tax rate of 15% we would have around $1.5Bn in Net income. This company currently has a market capitalisation of $209 Bn. It blows my mind that it trades on 139x what I consider to be fairly generous earnings – earnings that NVidia never even got close to seeing before the confluence of good luck hit them. But what really stuns me is the fact that investors are actually willing to extrapolate this chain of unlikely and positive events into the future. Shockingly, Intel has a market cap of 245Bn, only 40Bn more than NVDA, but Intel’s sales and profits are 7x higher. And while Intel is facing competition from AMD, it is much more likely to hold onto those sales and profits than NVDA is. These are absolutely stunning valuation disparities. If I didn’t see NVDA’s price, and I started from first principles and tried to calculate a prudent price for the company I would have estimated a$1.5Bn normalised profit, maybe on a 20x multiple giving them the benefit of the doubt despite heading into a huge recession, and considering the fact that there is not much debt and the company is very well run. That would give you a market cap of $30Bn, and a share price of $49. And it is currently $339. Wow. Obviously I’m short here!
When I started this post about best Proof of Stake coins for 2020, I had no idea it'd end up this long, but the world of staking is really expanding it seems. If you guys have tips of other great staking coins, or thoughts on the ones brought up, feel free to chip in. I expect this might open the door to chill fest. So readers should beware… Staking is a strong trend in crypto in 2020 and a concept that has multiple success factors, compared to its Proof of Work predecessor. By comparison, Proof of Staking is
Evens the field in the mining game, allowing pretty much anyone to partake, and above all
Adds an actual use to keep the coins, in that keeping and staking them can build you even more value.
This said, not every staking coin is going to succeed, especially since there are already so many, and with time even more coins will become stakable. So, what should you look for, when considering a coin to stake?
A cryptocurrency only has true value, if it has an actual use. A currency could have the best setup for staking, ever, but if the network won’t be used for anything in particular, besides staking, then it’s not going to be likely that the coins gain value. The likelihood of the network gaining more use in the future is therefore very important to look for. Staking generally means holding coins long term, so imminent news and current hype would be less important than the long-term potential.
What is the ROI staking could gain you? This is the first thing most people look at when they decide to invest in POS coins, but looking only at this would be very, very dangerous. Because unless the model is great; higher ROI will almost certainly also mean a higher loss of value as well. It’s quite easy to have a network that prints great amounts of new coins that are handed out to stakers, but to think such coins could maintain their market value would be very naive. A fair assumption is that increase in supply will affect the market cap neither up nor down. Look therefore in particular for systems of recycling, where heavy use of the network will yield higher rewards for the stakers, so that big rewards can be gained without increasing the total supply. Do rewards come only in one form, or in many? How does it affect the total supply of the currency? Rewards for stakers in alternative currencies is also interesting, however, consider in these cases whether the alternative rewards ‘steal’ some of the potential value of the staked currency. Sometimes less is more. Consider also the reasons of the staking? How important is the role of the stakers? Do they govern only the security of the network itself, or is their role even bigger than this? Perhaps they hold custody of locked-in crypto assets from other networks? Do they have a say or voting rights regarding future updates of the network? Who can partake? Networks vary a lot in the answers to these questions. Perhaps they will also shift with time. In general, there may be some relation between the value of staking and the powers stakers are allowed. It’s good if the model is as inclusive as possible too. People don’t like being left out.
Long-Term Holder Supply Ratio
How many coins are staked and how easy is it to unstake them? This is another important thing to check, before you put any cryptocurrency on your own list of best Proof of Stake coins. The supply ratio of staked coins vs unstaked coins vs exchange available coins is interesting. If many coins are bound in staking, this may mean that the ROI becomes low, but it also means that it’s a very stable currency, because those staked coins are ones that are less likely to be sold off soon. That factor may become completely irrelevant though if it is very simple to stake/unstake, because in this case any coin could be sold at exchanges at any time regardless of whether they are staked or unstaked. Sometimes exchanges themselves may stake coins for their users, making the staked and exchange available supplies intertwined, severally handicapping any attempt to try to measure these things. There is certainly a factor to consider here, but it’s much more complex than it may appear. What you should aim for is try to judge
what % of the supply you believe might be actively traded and
what % of the supply you believe would become actively traded if the price goes higher.
And generally, you want those to be as low as possible. Conditions of staking and amounts being staked, and amounts currently in exchanges are all clues to try to figure this out.
Cryptocurrency staking is generally carried out by nodes, who sign or validate the network and each node has a chance to be the next block signevalidator based on how many coins they have staked. Generally, most networks will have some way for holders without nodes to offer the power of their tokens to holders with nodes. Such systems are generally called delegated Proof of Stake. These systems are great in that they more easily include all who desire it (even those who have no desire to run a node) to be part of the staking process. However, the system also presents an issue of decentralization as popular nodes who offer good terms or extra rewards for those trusting their stake with them may also become so popular that they completely dominate the network. Generally, such nodes will be known as pools. These large pools may attain several advantages over small independent nodes as cost of operation, for example, maybe a much smaller part of the total yield. Another common practice is that the number of validator nodes are limited to anything between 10 and 100 nodes and that holders generally stake their coins by voting on their favorite node as to choose which 10, 100, or whatever nodes get to be a signevalidator. Generally, such things are done to sacrifice decentralization for performance. Decentralization is important because it offers greater security, and the more value network guards, the more important it becomes. Overall look for a system that is as open as possible to anyone (with enough stake) being a validator, and that preferably favors smaller nodes in terms of yield/staked coins.
Ease of Staking
This comes both with advantages and disadvantages. The big advantage here is that the easier it is to stake, the easier it will be to get a larger part of the tokens involved in the staking process and it might also be easier to engage new people to try it out, yielding an increase in demand. On the other hand, making it easy, also makes it less of a commitment and if it’s possible to choose to unstake and sell on the same day then 100% of the supply must really be considered liquid, even if it is all staked. Good score for “Ease of Staking” and “Long-term holder supply ratio” therefore becomes an impossible combination. In my opinion “Ease of Staking” is the more important factor out of the two, because if the network is to build value, it really needs to try and get as many people involved as possible.
Perhaps the most important statistic to consider when judging the current health of the network is now used it actually is. This can be seen at https://coinstats.network/, a site that tries to keep track of all the top networks in terms of actual use. Often staking rewards will be tied to spent gas in transactions, and thus rewards become higher as more gas is spent. These are also in a sense “real rewards”, since they give the reward without increasing the circulating supply of the network and thus cause no inflation.
Current Market Evaluation
As when considering any type of coin, you need to consider if the coin is overvalued, undervalued, or neither - all things considered. Undervalued will yield a high score here - but always look for the reasons behind the low value before proceeding. Overvalued would likewise yield a low score – but if the high price is the only bad thing about it, it should still definitely be worth watching. So, what are the Best Proof of Stake coins for 2020, in my subjective opinion? Using these 7 factors I looked at over 40 coins and I’ve made an attempt to score 6 coins that I, myself, would consider staking and for each factor give them points on a scale (1-5)
1. FSN - Fusion: 19% ROI
Network potential – 5 Fusion aims to revolutionize Finance through the interoperability of all types of currencies and assets and enabling easy time-based contracts for anything. Large goals, so, the potential is indeed quite high. Staking model – 5 Open to anyone to run a node if they have enough FSN. Those not wishing to run a node can trust node-runners with time-slices of their FSN in exchange for the yielded interest. Long-term holder supply ratio – 4 Quite a large chunk of the supply is staked and unavailable for quick exchange. Decentralization – 3 Larger pools currently hold an advantage over small nodes on the network. Still, many stakers choose to run their own node anyway, which is the only way to guarantee rewards 100%. Ease of Use – 4 Running your own node requires some level of effort and insight, but using a pool is quite simple. Especially the new app WeDeFi that has daily interest payouts on FSN committed to staking. This has really made FSN staking much easier, but at the same time somewhat hurts decentralization. Network Use – 4 In terms of actual network use, Fusion seems to be booming competing with many top coins. Current market evaluation – 4 Many of you might be surprised to see FSN on the top of the list, but easily it could be one of the most underrated cryptos. Fusion has suffered from a large theft in Q3 last year, has had a complete lack of marketing for a while, has a record of getting ignored by peers, and has had trouble getting exchanges to adopt the main net resulting in it being severely undervalued. And as these issues are getting resolved it is seeing steady recovery. Total score 29/35
2. ETH - Ethereum
Network potential – 5 Ethereum is a clear market leader in network use and the number of projects that have their roots in Ethereum is staggering. It is also a network that continues to evolve to keep up with the competition. As such, I’d be surprised if they don’t hold their spot as a major blockchain for a long time to come. Staking model – (3)? Staking on Ethereum has yet to go live, so I feel attempting to rate it may be unfair, so the score is put as average. All that can be said is that it has been much anticipated for a very long time, but that it suffers the disadvantage of being an afterthought and will have to co-exist with a PoW consensus for some time. It may not be ideal, but I still have hopes that it will be something very great as it no doubt will have consumed more thought and debate than any other model. Long-term holder supply ratio – 5 ETH is one of the most actively traded tokens and they’ve more than enough time to find their way into the right hands who intend to keep them for a long time to come. No major party holds too much. So, even though staking hasn’t even begun it’s fair to give a high score here. ETH even kind of already has its own way to measure these things through its DeFi lock-ins, which is a pretty similar metric. Decentralization – 5 In terms of decentralization, ETH is certainly leading the way with the largest number of active nodes of any blockchain. Network Use – 5 There is absolutely no comparison here at the moment, for any other public blockchain. Ease of Use – (3)? As with the staking model, it’s unfair to rate this at this point in time. Thus a neutral rating. Current market evaluation – 2 Though I’d consider ETH to be one of the safest investments out of all cryptocurrencies, it’s also very unlikely that it will see the biggest growth. So, though market evaluation is definitely not high, the room for growth in other networks is even higher. Total score 28/35
3. ATOM – Cosmos: 13% ROI
Network potential – 4 Cosmos sets out primarily to solve the issue of interoperability between blockchains. Efforts so far, are highly respected by peers, which is important. Since so many set out to solve this as well, useful interoperability requires a high level of trust, and Cosmos are on the right path here. Staking model – 4 The staking model seems to have found a good sweet spot between ease of use and commitment. But the limit of 100 validators would be a negative for anyone seeking to run their own node. Long-term holder supply ratio – 5 A great majority of ATOM are locked into staking. This must definitely be seen as a great success for the network. Decentralization – 4 The limit of validators is somewhat of an issue here for a growing network, though there seem to incentives to keep them balanced and in check, which is great. Ease of Use – 3 There are various possibilities for punishment and time requirements and lock-ups, making it perhaps not the option of choice for more casual staking looking for good ROI. Network Use – 4 Cosmos sees a decent amount of traffic on its network as evidence that it’s actually being used. Current market evaluation – 2 ATOM has had a solid performance in the market, which is no surprise given that it looks like a promising network with a successful staking model. However, this also means that the market evaluation can’t really be called undervalued. Total score 26/35
DCR - Decred: 10% ROI
Network Potential – 2 It doesn’t appear to me that Decred has any specific goal or purpose, so maybe you'll be surprised why it is on my list of best POS coins for 2020. This crypto project aims to be an ideal all-purpose Blockchain. Not a bad goal, however, can it really engage people’s imagination enough to really grow? Staking model – 5 Decred may have been the first system using a model of ticketed staking that’s open to anyone, also used by Fusion, for example. There’s really not much to complain about. It’s been running for years and is still very much relevant. Long-term holder supply ratio – 4 A lot of DCR is bound in staking. Decentralization – 5 Decred is a community-oriented project and has been for a long time. Focus on decentralization comes naturally as a result. Ease of Use – 3 Despite having been around for a long time staking DCR, doesn’t seem to have hit the super simple stage yet, even if there are good guides that can quickly teach someone how to do it. Network Use – 3 The network is used and I’d wager the use is mostly real/meaningful as it’s a community-oriented project. But it’s far from leader inactivity. Current market evaluation – 3 I’d say Decred is neither undervalued nor overvalued. Total score 25/35
BNT - Bancor
Network potential – 4 Bancor is a DEX which has set out to decentralize the provision of liquidity. A good idea and steady progress towards the goal seem to constantly be shaping up. At the same time, it seems as though they fail deeply with market awareness. To my knowledge, they were the first DEX to go cross-chain offering trading of tokens running both on Ethereum and EOS. I’m expecting them to continue to lead the way and eventually become a full-blown crypto DEX across any network. Staking model – 5 Staking is usually about the safety of the network through decentralization. But BNT doesn’t have its own network, so staking here is about something else entirely. It’s about providing liquidity for exchange pairings. Liquidity is the big issue that DEX has in trying to compete with a CEX. Therefore, allowing BNT stakers to help out in this task is absolutely genius. It’s a difficult model to compare to other staking models, and even ROI will depend on which pairing you support with your stake. Since I prefer originality over more of the same, it gets a top score. Long-term holder supply ratio – 2 Only about 30% of BNT seem to be locked in staking and the way to watch this figure is also a bit unclear. In future upgrades, this may improve and may also make staking both easier and more popular. Decentralization – 3 It’s tough to give a score here for BNT as it does not compare to other staking networks. As a DEX it seems to have different layers. A noteworthy event was that bancor.network was closed to US users, but the DEX could supposedly be interacted with anyway through alternative user interfaces. To me, that is promising. Ease of Use – 2 Though BNT tokens have a very clear use as liquidity providers in BNT staking, it’s clear that many holders still haven’t figured out how to do this or felt enough reason to get involved. So, something might be missing in terms of making it user-friendly. Network Use – 4 A good DEX is expected to be busy, and it’s clear that Bancor has a decent amount of network activity and I’d expect it to go up as development expands and more and more activity starts to mover from CEXs to DEXs. Current market evaluation – 4 BNT has seen a recent increase in price after very little action for a long time. I feel it’s still very much undervalued and that it has yet to be truly discovered as a token that can be used for staking. Total score 24/35
IOST - IOS: 13% ROI
Network potential – 4 IOST aims to be perhaps the top blockchain in areas such as speed and tx-throughput, while still having as many parties involved in their decentralization. They have many impressive partners and describe themselves as a network with the combined benefits of Ethereum, EOS, and IOTA. The goal is, it seems, to be the best of the best. At the same time, I don’t see anything new and unique here, which is usually needed to really succeed. Staking model – 3 The network is closed for anonymous nodes. To run a node, you need to be an IOST-partner. What is good is that partners need to split their rewards with the stakers who vote on them. In a sense, it’s an improved POA system and quite a good model. But it certainly cannot claim complete openness to all. Long-term holder supply ratio – 2 Though the amount of bound IOST seems to be really high, it’s also supported by all kinds of partners/exchanges/applications. It seems built to be easy and smooth and not bound away from exchange possibilities. Decentralization – 3 Since you need to apply to be part of the validation process this immediately hurts decentralization a lot. The methods/abilities to keep each node in check by holders/stakers are quite good though. So for, what it is, I think a decent score here is appropriate. Ease of Use – 5 IOST staking has great support from what I can tell and might even be tough avoiding completely. Network Use – 1 Despite its high throughput plans and many partners, next to nothing seems to be happening on the network today. Current market evaluation – 2 The ‘best blockchain’ niche is a tough one with many players competing. To succeed you really need to stand out and be able to show actual network usage. IOST may well do this, but there’s definitely also a chance that it’s overvalued at the moment. This could quickly change of course as a really high throughput blockchain may have areas of use not seen by other blockchains, as of yet. Total score 20/35 -- As I said at the beginning, If you guys have tips of other great staking coins, or thoughts on the ones brought up, feel free to chip in, to share your own list of POS coins for 2020 and whatever you feel like sharing.
Crypto Needs a Rational Value Investing Model. Jeff Dorman. Coindesk. March 10, 2020 a stock trading at $100 was viewed more expensive than a stock trading at $10, independent of number of Crypto trading needs a new model of crypto exchange platform. Tozex #TOZToken #Blockchain #Crypto #Project. Cryptoasset has paved the way for a true decentralized exchange experience. Despite the fact that Blockchain Technology provides a decentralized and trustless system for exchange of tokens, the trading remains controlled by crypto Crypto Trading Needs a New Model. Tim Culpan; Bookmark. Jan 29 2018, 8:57 AM Jan 30 2018, 4:48 PM January 29 2018, 8:57 AM January 30 2018, 4:48 PM (Bloomberg Gadfly) -- Last week, before news broke about the hacking of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc., I conducted a little Twitter poll. Crypto Trading Needs a New Model. Many don't understand how these exchanges work, and that's why hacking is such a problem. By . Tim Culpan. 3:49. Crypto Trading Needs a New Model See also: Never Mind Hodlers, Crypto Needs More Opportunist Investors The smartest crypto analysts (including our own internal team at Arca) are developing new methodologies to value digital assets.
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