What is forex trading? How does it work?

Trading economic news

The majority of this sub is focused on technical analysis. I regularly ridicule such "tea leaf readers" and advocate for trading based on fundamentals and economic news instead, so I figured I should take the time to write up something on how exactly you can trade economic news releases.
This post is long as balls so I won't be upset if you get bored and go back to your drooping dick patterns or whatever.

How economic news is released

First, it helps to know how economic news is compiled and released. Let's take Initial Jobless Claims, the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits around the United States from Sunday through Saturday. Initial in this context means the first claim for benefits made by an individual during a particular stretch of unemployment. The Initial Jobless Claims figure appears in the Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report, which compiles information from all of the per-state departments that report to the DOL during the week. A typical number is between 100k and 250k and it can vary quite significantly week-to-week.
The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report contains data that lags 5 days behind. For example, the Report issued on Thursday March 26th 2020 contained data about the week ending on Saturday March 21st 2020.
In the days leading up to the Report, financial companies will survey economists and run complicated mathematical models to forecast the upcoming Initial Jobless Claims figure. The results of surveyed experts is called the "consensus"; specific companies, experts, and websites will also provide their own forecasts. Different companies will release different consensuses. Usually they are pretty close (within 2-3k), but for last week's record-high Initial Jobless Claims the reported consensuses varied by up to 1M! In other words, there was essentially no consensus.
The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is released each Thursday morning at exactly 8:30 AM ET. (On Thanksgiving the Report is released on Wednesday instead.) Media representatives gather at the Frances Perkins Building in Washington DC and are admitted to the "lockup" at 8:00 AM ET. In order to be admitted to the lockup you have to be a credentialed member of a media organization that has signed the DOL lockup agreement. The lockup room is small so there is a limited number of spots.
No phones are allowed. Reporters bring their laptops and connect to a local network; there is a master switch on the wall that prevents/enables Internet connectivity on this network. Once the doors are closed the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is distributed, with a heading that announces it is "embargoed" (not to be released) prior to 8:30 AM. Reporters type up their analyses of the report, including extracting key figures like Initial Jobless Claims. They load their write-ups into their companies' software, which prepares to send it out as soon as Internet is enabled. At 8:30 AM the DOL representative in the room flips the wall switch and all of the laptops are connected to the Internet, releasing their write-ups to their companies and on to their companies' partners.
Many of those media companies have externally accessible APIs for distributing news. Media aggregators and squawk services (like RanSquawk and TradeTheNews) subscribe to all of these different APIs and then redistribute the key economic figures from the Report to their own subscribers within one second after Internet is enabled in the DOL lockup.
Some squawk services are text-based while others are audio-based. FinancialJuice.com provides a free audio squawk service; internally they have a paid subscription to a professional squawk service and they simply read out the latest headlines to their own listeners, subsidized by ads on the site. I've been using it for 4 months now and have been pretty happy. It usually lags behind the official release times by 1-2 seconds and occasionally they verbally flub the numbers or stutter and have to repeat, but you can't beat the price!
Important - I’m not affiliated with FinancialJuice and I’m not advocating that you use them over any other squawk. If you use them and they misspeak a number and you lose all your money don’t blame me. If anybody has any other free alternatives please share them!

How the news affects forex markets

Institutional forex traders subscribe to these squawk services and use custom software to consume the emerging data programmatically and then automatically initiate trades based on the perceived change to the fundamentals that the figures represent.
It's important to note that every institution will have "priced in" their own forecasted figures well in advance of an actual news release. Forecasts and consensuses all come out at different times in the days leading up to a news release, so by the time the news drops everybody is really only looking for an unexpected result. You can't really know what any given institution expects the value to be, but unless someone has inside information you can pretty much assume that the market has collectively priced in the experts' consensus. When the news comes out, institutions will trade based on the difference between the actual and their forecast.
Sometimes the news reflects a real change to the fundamentals with an economic effect that will change the demand for a currency, like an interest rate decision. However, in the case of the Initial Jobless Claims figure, which is a backwards-looking metric, trading is really just self-fulfilling speculation that market participants will buy dollars when unemployment is low and sell dollars when unemployment is high. Generally speaking, news that reflects a real economic shift has a bigger effect than news that only matters to speculators.
Massive and extremely fast news-based trades happen within tenths of a second on the ECNs on which institutional traders are participants. Over the next few seconds the resulting price changes trickle down to retail traders. Some economic news, like Non Farm Payroll Employment, has an effect that can last minutes to hours as "slow money" follows behind on the trend created by the "fast money". Other news, like Initial Jobless Claims, has a short impact that trails off within a couple minutes and is subsequently dwarfed by the usual pseudorandom movements in the market.
The bigger the difference between actual and consensus, the bigger the effect on any given currency pair. Since economic news releases generally relate to a single currency, the biggest and most easily predicted effects are seen on pairs where one currency is directly effected and the other is not affected at all. Personally I trade USD/JPY because the time difference between the US and Japan ensures that no news will be coming out of Japan at the same time that economic news is being released in the US.
Before deciding to trade any particular news release you should measure the historical correlation between the release (specifically, the difference between actual and consensus) and the resulting short-term change in the currency pair. Historical data for various news releases (along with historical consensus data) is readily available. You can pay to get it exported into Excel or whatever, or you can scroll through it for free on websites like TradingEconomics.com.
Let's look at two examples: Initial Jobless Claims and Non Farm Payroll Employment (NFP). I collected historical consensuses and actuals for these releases from January 2018 through the present, measured the "surprise" difference for each, and then correlated that to short-term changes in USD/JPY at the time of release using 5 second candles.
I omitted any releases that occurred simultaneously as another major release. For example, occasionally the monthly Initial Jobless Claims comes out at the exact same time as the monthly Balance of Trade figure, which is a more significant economic indicator and can be expected to dwarf the effect of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report.
USD/JPY correlation with Initial Jobless Claims (2018 - present)
USD/JPY correlation with Non Farm Payrolls (2018 - present)
The horizontal axes on these charts is the duration (in seconds) after the news release over which correlation was calculated. The vertical axis is the Pearson correlation coefficient: +1 means that the change in USD/JPY over that duration was perfectly linearly correlated to the "surprise" in the releases; -1 means that the change in USD/JPY was perfectly linearly correlated but in the opposite direction, and 0 means that there is no correlation at all.
For Initial Jobless Claims you can see that for the first 30 seconds USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the difference between consensus and actual jobless claims. That is, fewer-than-forecast jobless claims (fewer newly unemployed people than expected) strengthens the dollar and greater-than-forecast jobless claims (more newly unemployed people than expected) weakens the dollar. Correlation then trails off and changes to a moderate/weak positive correlation. I interpret this as algorithms "buying the dip" and vice versa, but I don't know for sure. From this chart it appears that you could profit by opening a trade for 15 seconds (duration with strongest correlation) that is long USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is lower than the consensus and short USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is higher than expected.
The chart for Non Farm Payroll looks very different. Correlation is positive (higher-than-expected payrolls strengthen the dollar and lower-than-expected payrolls weaken the dollar) and peaks at around 45 seconds, then slowly decreases as time goes on. This implies that price changes due to NFP are quite significant relative to background noise and "stick" even as normal fluctuations pick back up.
I wanted to show an example of what the USD/JPY S5 chart looks like when an "uncontested" (no other major simultaneously news release) Initial Jobless Claims and NFP drops, but unfortunately my broker's charts only go back a week. (I can pull historical data going back years through the API but to make it into a pretty chart would be a bit of work.) If anybody can get a 5-second chart of USD/JPY at March 19, 2020, UTC 12:30 and/or at February 7, 2020, UTC 13:30 let me know and I'll add it here.

Backtesting

So without too much effort we determined that (1) USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the Initial Jobless Claims figure for the first 15 seconds after the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (when no other major news is being released) and also that (2) USD/JPY is strongly positively correlated with the Non Farms Payroll figure for the first 45 seconds after the release of the Employment Situation report.
Before you can assume you can profit off the news you have to backtest and consider three important parameters.
Entry speed: How quickly can you realistically enter the trade? The correlation performed above was measured from the exact moment the news was released, but realistically if you've got your finger on the trigger and your ear to the squawk it will take a few seconds to hit "Buy" or "Sell" and confirm. If 90% of the price move happens in the first second you're SOL. For back-testing purposes I assume a 5 second delay. In practice I use custom software that opens a trade with one click, and I can reliably enter a trade within 2-3 seconds after the news drops, using the FinancialJuice free squawk.
Minimum surprise: Should you trade every release or can you do better by only trading those with a big enough "surprise" factor? Backtesting will tell you whether being more selective is better long-term or not.
Hold time: The optimal time to hold the trade is not necessarily the same as the time of maximum correlation. That's a good starting point but it's not necessarily the best number. Backtesting each possible hold time will let you find the best one.
The spread: When you're only holding a position open for 30 seconds, the spread will kill you. The correlations performed above used the midpoint price, but in reality you have to buy at the ask and sell at the bid. Brokers aren't stupid and the moment volume on the ECN jumps they will widen the spread for their retail customers. The only way to determine if the news-driven price movements reliably overcome the spread is to backtest.
Stops: Personally I don't use stops, neither take-profit nor stop-loss, since I'm automatically closing the trade after a fixed (and very short) amount of time. Additionally, brokers have a minimum stop distance; the profits from scalping the news are so slim that even the nearest stops they allow will generally not get triggered.
I backtested trading these two news releases (since 2018), using a 5 second entry delay, real historical spreads, and no stops, cycling through different "surprise" thresholds and hold times to find the combination that returns the highest net profit. It's important to maximize net profit, not expected value per trade, so you don't over-optimize and reduce the total number of trades taken to one single profitable trade. If you want to get fancy you can set up a custom metric that combines number of trades, expected value, and drawdown into a single score to be maximized.
For the Initial Jobless Claims figure I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 25 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 30 seconds elapsed) and only trade when the difference between consensus and actual is 7k or higher. That leads to 30 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... -0.0093 yen per unit per trade.
Yep, that's a loss of approx. $8.63 per lot.
Disappointing right? That's the spread and that's why you have to backtest. Even though the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report has a strong correlation with movement in USD/JPY, it's simply not something that a retail trader can profit from.
Let's turn to the NFP. There I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 75 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 80 seconds elapsed) and trade every single NFP (no minimum "surprise" threshold). That leads to 20 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... +0.1306 yen per unit per trade.
That's a profit of approx. $121.25 per lot. Not bad for 75 seconds of work! That's a +6% ROI at 50x leverage.

Make it real

If you want to do this for realsies, you need to run these numbers for all of the major economic news releases. Markit Manufacturing PMI, Factory Orders MoM, Trade Balance, PPI MoM, Export and Import Prices, Michigan Consumer Sentiment, Retail Sales MoM, Industrial Production MoM, you get the idea. You keep a list of all of the releases you want to trade, when they are released, and the ideal hold time and "surprise" threshold. A few minutes before the prescribed release time you open up your broker's software, turn on your squawk, maybe jot a few notes about consensuses and model forecasts, and get your finger on the button. At the moment you hear the release you open the trade in the correct direction, hold it (without looking at the chart!) for the required amount of time, then close it and go on with your day.
Some benefits of trading this way: * Most major economic releases come out at either 8:30 AM ET or 10:00 AM ET, and then you're done for the day. * It's easily backtestable. You can look back at the numbers and see exactly what to expect your return to be. * It's fun! Packing your trading into 30 seconds and knowing that institutions are moving billions of dollars around as fast as they can based on the exact same news you just read is thrilling. * You can wow your friends by saying things like "The St. Louis Fed had some interesting remarks on consumer spending in the latest Beige Book." * No crayons involved.
Some downsides: * It's tricky to be fast enough without writing custom software. Some broker software is very slow and requires multiple dialog boxes before a position is opened, which won't cut it. * The profits are very slim, you're not going to impress your instagram followers to join your expensive trade copying service with your 30-second twice-weekly trades. * Any friends you might wow with your boring-ass economic talking points are themselves the most boring people in the world.
I hope you enjoyed this long as fuck post and you give trading economic news a try!
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financial advisory full definition

The financial advisory full definition

A Monetary Advisor's Many Roles

A monetary advisor is your planning associate. To illustrate you need to retire in 20 years or ship your youngster to a non-public college in 10 years. To perform your objectives, it's possible you'll want a skilled professional to assist make these plans an actuality, and that’s the place a monetary advisor is available in.
Collectively, you and your advisor will cowl many subjects, together with the amount of cash you need to save, the sorts of accounts you want, the sorts of insurance coverage you need to have (together with long-term care, time period life, and incapacity) and property and tax planning.
The monetary advisor can be an educator. A part of the advisor's job is that will help you perceive what's concerned in assembly your future objectives. The schooling course of could embrace detailed assist with monetary subjects. At first of your relationship, these subjects could possibly be budgeting and saving. As you advance in your data, the advisor will help you in understanding advanced funding, insurance coverage, and tax issues.
The 1st step within the monetary advisory course is knowing your financial health. You'll be able to correctly plan for the long run without understanding the place you stand immediately. Sometimes, you can be requested to finish an in-depth written questionnaire. Your solutions assist the advisor to perceive your state of affairs and make sure you do not overlook any essential data.
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The Monetary Questionnaire

The advisor works with you to get an entire image of your property, liabilities, revenue, and bills. On the questionnaire, additionally, you will point out future pensions and revenue sources, venture retirement wants and describes any long-term monetary obligations. In brief, you’ll checklist all present and anticipated investments, pensions, items and sources of revenue.
The investing element of the questionnaire touches upon extra subjective subjects, reminiscent of your risk tolerance and risk capacity. An understanding of threat assists the advisor when it’s time to find out your funding asset allocation. You may let the advisor know your funding preferences as nicely.
The preliminary evaluation additionally contains an examination of different monetary administration subjects reminiscent of insurance coverage points and your tax state of affairs. The advisor wants to pay attention to your present estate plan (or lack thereof) in addition to different professionals in your planning group, reminiscent of accountants and legal professionals. When you and the advisor perceive your current monetary place and future projections, you’re able to work collectively on a plan to fulfil your life and monetary objectives.

Creating The Monetary Plan

The monetary advisor synthesizes all of this preliminary data right into a comprehensive financial plan that may function a roadmap to your monetary future. It begins with an abstract of the important thing findings out of your preliminary questionnaire and summarizes your present monetary state of affairs, together with internet price, property, liabilities, and liquid or working capital. The monetary plan additionally recaps the objectives you and the advisor mentioned.
The evaluation part of this prolonged doc drills down into a number of subjects, together with your threat tolerance, estate-planning particulars, household state of affairs, long-term care risk, and different pertinent current and future monetary points.
Primarily based upon your anticipated internet price and future revenue at retirement, the plan will create simulations of doubtless best- and worst-case retirement eventualities, together with the scary risk of outliving your cash, so steps may be taken to forestall that end result. It's going to have a look at cheap withdrawal charges in retirement out of your portfolio property. Moreover, if you're married or in a long-term partnership, the plan will contemplate survivorship points and monetary eventualities for the surviving associate.
After you assessment the plan with the advisor and modify it as mandatory, you’re prepared for motion.

Advisors Plan Motion Steps

A monetary advisor is not only somebody who helps with investments. Their job is that will help you with each facet of your monetary life. In truth, you may work with a monetary advisor without having them handle your portfolio or advocate investments in any respect.
For many individuals, nevertheless, funding recommendation is a significant purpose to work with a monetary advisor. If you happen to select this route, right here’s what to anticipate.
The advisor will arrange an asset allocation that matches each your threat tolerance and threat capability. The asset allocation is solely a rubric to find out what proportion of your complete monetary portfolio might be distributed throughout varied asset lessons. An extra risk-averse particular person can have a better focus of presidency bonds, certificates of deposit and cash market holdings, whereas a person who's extra snug with the threat will tackle extra shares and company bonds and maybe funding actual property. Your asset allocation might be adjusted to your age and for a way lengthy you could have earlier than retirement. Every monetary advisory agency will act in accordance with the regulation and with its firm funding coverage when shopping for and promoting the monetary property.

Monetary Advisors and Investments

It’s essential for you, as the buyer, to grasp what your planner recommends and why. You shouldn't blindly comply with an advisor’s suggestions; it’s your cash, and you need to perceive the way it’s being deployed. Preserve an in-depth eye on the charges you're paying, each to your advisor and for any funds purchased for you.
Ask your advisor why they advocate particular investments and whether or not they're receiving a fee for promoting you these investments. Be alert for potential conflicts of interest.
A commonality amongst corporations is that monetary merchandise is chosen to suit the shopper’s threat profile. Take, for instance, a 50-year-old man who’s already amassed sufficient internet price for retirement and is predominantly fascinated with capital preservation. He could have a really conservative asset allocation of 45% in inventory property (which can embrace particular person shares, mutual funds and/or ETFs) and 55% in fixed-income assets reminiscent of bonds. Alternatively, a 40-year-old girl with a smaller internet price and a willingness to tackle extra threat to construct up her monetary portfolio could go for an asset allocation of 70% inventory property, 25% fixed-income property and 5% alternative investments.
Whereas bearing in mind the agency’s funding philosophy, your private portfolio will suit yours wants primarily based on how quickly you want the cash, your investment horizon, and your current and future objectives.

Common Monetary Monitoring

As soon as your funding plan is in place, you’ll obtain common statements out of your advisor updating you in your portfolio. The advisor can even arrange common conferences to assessment your objectives and progress and to reply to any questions you could have. Assembly remotely by way of cellphone or video chat will help make these contacts occur extra typically.
Along with common, ongoing conferences, it’s essential to seek the advice of together with your monetary advisor once you anticipate a significant change in your life that might impact your financial picture, reminiscent of getting married or divorced, including a toddler to your loved ones, shopping for or promoting a house, altering jobs or getting promoted.

Indicators You Might Want an Advisor

Anybody can work with a monetary advisor at any age and any stage of life. You don’t should have an excessive internet price; you simply have to seek out an advisor suited to your situation.
The choice to enlist skilled assist together with your cash is an extremely private one, however, any time you’re feeling overwhelmed, confused, wired or scared by your monetary state of affairs could also be a very good time to search for a monetary advisor.
It’s additionally advantageous to strategy one once you’re coming from a place of energy however need somebody to make sure that you’re heading in the right direction and recommend potential enhancements to your plan which may make it easier to obtain your objectives extra successfully.
Lastly, should you don’t have the time or curiosity to handle your funds, that’s one other good purpose to rent a monetary advisor.
These are some basic causes you would possibly want an advisor’s skilled assist. Listed below are some extra particular ones.

None of Your Financial savings Is Invested or You Don’t Know How you can Make investments

As a result of we dwell in a world of inflation, any cash you retain in money or in a low-interest account declines in worth annually. Investing is the one technique to make your cash develop, and until you could have exceptionally excessive revenue, investing is the one approach most individuals will ever come up with the money to retire.

You Have Investments, however, You’re Constantly Dropping Cash

Even the perfect buyers lose cash when the market is down or once they decide that doesn’t prove as they’d hoped, however general, investing ought to improve your internet price significantly. If it’s not doing that, hiring a monetary advisor will help you discover out what you’re doing incorrect and proper your course earlier than it’s too late.

You Don’t Have a Present Property Plan

A monetary advisor may make it easier to put collectively a property plan to ensure your property are dealt with in response to your needs after you die. And should you aren’t correctly insured (or aren’t positive what insurance coverage you want), a monetary advisor will help with that, too. Certainly, a fee-only monetary advisor could possibly supply a much less biased opinion than an insurance coverage agent can.

Serving to You Attain Your Objectives

Monetary advisors can help you with investing and reaching your long-term objectives in so some ways. Listed below are 5:
  1. Experience. Monetary advisors know extra about investing and managing cash than most individuals. They'll information you to higher selections than you would possibly make by yourself.
  2. Accountability. Monetary advisors assist hold you on the monitor by speaking you out of constructing emotional choices about your cash, like shopping for an inventory that’s been skyrocketing or promoting all of your inventory funds when the market plummets.
  3. Recommendation. It’s within the title: Monetary advisors could make strategies about the perfect methods to implement to enhance your funds, from what to investments to make to what insurance coverage to purchase.
  4. Evolution. As your life circumstances change, a monetary advisor will help you modify your monetary plan in order that it at all times suits your present state of affairs.
  5. Motion. Many individuals don’t take the steps they need to handle their funds as a result of they’re too busy or too unsure about what to do. Working with a monetary advisor means another person can deal with what you don’t have time for and ensure your cash is being deployed in one of the simplest ways.

The Prices of a Monetary Advisor

A rule proposed by the Division of Labor (DOL) would have required all monetary professionals who work with retirement plans or give retirement plan recommendation to supply recommendation that's within the shopper’s greatest curiosity (the fiduciary standard), versus merely appropriate for the shopper (the suitability standard). The rule was handed, its implementation was delayed after which a courtroom killed it.
However within the roughly three-year interval between President Obama's proposal of the rule and its eventual demise, the media shed extra mild than it had beforehand on the other ways monetary advisors work, how they cost for his or her companies and the way the suitability commonplace may be much less useful to shoppers than the fiduciary commonplace. Some monetary advisors determined to voluntarily transfer to a fiduciary commonplace or extra closely promote that they already operated underneath that commonplace. Others, reminiscent of licensed monetary planners™, already adhered to this commonplace. However, even underneath the DOL rule, the fiduciary standard wouldn't have utilized to the non-retirement recommendation – an ordinary certain to trigger confusion.
Below the suitability commonplace, monetary advisors work on a fee for the merchandise they promote to shoppers. This implies the shopper could by no means obtain an invoice from the monetary advisor. Then again, they might find yourself with monetary merchandise that charger greater charges than others available on the market – however, pay the advisor an excessive fee for placing shoppers into them.
Below the fiduciary commonplace, advisors cost shoppers by the hour or as a proportion of the property underneath administration. A typical proportion charge is 1%, whereas a typical hourly fee for monetary recommendation ranges from $120 to $300. Charges range by location and the advisor’s expertise. Some advisors could supply decrease charges to assist shoppers who're simply getting began with monetary planning and mightn't afford a lot. A preliminary session is commonly free and supplies an opportunity for each the shopper and the advisor to see in the event that they’re a very good match for one another.
Financial advisors can also earn a mixture of charges and commissions. A fee-based monetary advisor is not the same as a fee-only financial advisor. A fee-based advisor could earn a charge for growing a monetary plan for you, however nonetheless earn a fee for promoting you a sure insurance coverage product or funding. A fee-only monetary advisor earns no commissions.
The Securities and Alternate Fee proposed its personal fiduciary rule referred to as Regulation Best Interest in April 2018. In some methods, it will be much less strict than the DOL’s fiduciary rule would have been, doubtlessly addressing the considerations of a number of the DOL rule’s critics. In one other approach, it will be broader: It might not be restricted to retirement investments.

Contemplating a Robo-Advisor

A digital monetary advisor, or robot-advisor, is an organization that makes use of pc algorithms to handle your cash primarily based in your solutions to questions on your objectives and threat tolerance. Robo-advisors don’t require you to have a lot of cash to get began they usually price lower than human monetary advisors. Examples embrace Betterment and Wealthfront. These companies can save you time and take the emotion out of investing.
However, a robust-advisor can’t communicate with you about one of the simplest ways to get out of debt or fund your youngster’s schooling. It can also speak you out of promoting your investments out of concern when you have to be holding on to them for the long term. Nor can it make it easier to construct and handle a portfolio of particular person shares. Robo-advisors usually make investments shoppers’ cash in a portfolio of ETFs and mutual funds that present inventory and bond publicity and monitor a market index. And if in case you have a posh property or tax problem, you want the extremely personalised recommendation that solely a human can supply (for now, anyway).
Some corporations, nevertheless, mix digitally managed portfolio funding with the choice for human interplay – at an extra price. One such service is Personal Capital. Some individuals name these companies digital advisors as a result of interactions occur by cellphone or video chat as an alternative of an individual; others use the phrases “robot-advisor” and “digital advisor” synonymously.

What's a Monetary Advisor

A monetary advisor supplies monetary recommendation or steerage to clients for compensation. Monetary advisors, or advisers, can present many various companies, reminiscent of funding administration, revenue tax preparation and estate planning. They have to carry the Series 65 license to conduct enterprise with the general public; all kinds of licenses can be found for the companies offered by a monetary advisor.

BREAKING DOWN Monetary Advisor

"Monetary advisor" is a generic time period with no exact business definition, and plenty of various kinds of monetary professionals fall into this basic class. Stockbrokers, insurance coverage brokers, tax preparers, investment managers and monetary planners are all members of this group. Property planners and bankers can also fall underneath this umbrella.

Completely different Examples of Monetary Advisors

What could cross as a monetary advisor in some situations could also be a product salesperson, reminiscent of a stockbroker or a life insurance coverage agent. A real monetary advisor needs to be a well-educated, credentialed, skilled, monetary skilled who works on behalf of his shoppers versus serving the pursuits of a monetary establishment. Typically, a monetary advisor is an unbiased practitioner who operates in a fiduciary capability through which a shopper’s pursuits come earlier than his personal. Solely Registered Investment Advisors (RIA), who're ruled by the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, are held to a real fiduciary commonplace. There are some brokers and brokers who attempt to follow on this capability, nevertheless, their compensation construction is such that they're certain by the contracts of the businesses the place they work.

The Fiduciary Distinction

For the reason, that enactment of the Funding Adviser Act of 1940, two sorts of relationships has existed between monetary intermediaries and their shoppers. These are the “arms size” relationship that characterizes the transactions between registered representatives and shoppers within the broker-dealer area, and the fiduciary relationship that requires advisors registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Registered Funding Advisors to train duties of loyalty, care and full disclosure of their interactions with shoppers. Whereas the previous is predicated on the precept of “caveat emptor” guided by self-governed guidelines of “suitability” and “reasonableness” in recommending a funding product or technique, the latter is grounded in federal legal guidelines that impose the best moral requirements. At its core, the fiduciary relationship depends on the need {that a} monetary advisor should act on behalf of a shopper in an approach the shopper would act for himself if he had the requisite data and abilities to take action.

What's a Monetary Adviser

A monetary adviser (or advisor) is knowledgeable who supplies monetary steerage to shoppers primarily based on their wants and objectives. Sometimes, they supply shoppers with monetary merchandise, companies, planning or recommendation associated with investing, retirement, insurance coverage, mortgages, school financial savings, property planning, taxes and extra. Another name for monetary adviser embraces "funding advisor" and "registered representative." Monetary advisers can be insurance coverage brokers, accountants or attorneys.

Breaking Down Monetary Adviser

A big problem to think about when evaluating a monetary adviser or deciding on what sort of adviser to me is how they're paid. Some monetary advisors are paid a flat charge for his or her recommendation and are thought-about fiduciaries, whereas others earn commissions from the merchandise they promote to their shoppers. Some advisors, reminiscent of within the case of a hybrid adviser or dually registered advisor, cost charges in addition to earning commissions relying on the product they're promoting or the service they're offering. Charge-only preparations are broadly thought-about to be higher for the shopper.
Monetary advisers are required to fulfil a fiduciary commonplace. In keeping with the Securities and Alternate Fee, advisers should:

How Monetary Advisors Are Compensated

The commonest approach advisers are paid is predicated on a proportion of complete property underneath advisory, normally about 1-2% (or decrease the bigger that sum will get). Some advisors are paid by way of commissions from insurance coverage or monetary merchandise they promote, although this could result in a battle of curiosity due to the motivation to advocate the perfect product commission-wise and never essentially the only option for the shopper. Such an individual is appearing as a salesman and should merely meet a suitability commonplace slightly than an extra-stringent fiduciary commonplace. Hybrid advisors, a fast-growing phase of the advisory enterprise due to its flexibility, are paid by way of fee for promoting some merchandise and likewise charges for companies and recommendation as a fiduciary. This association is also known as "fee-based" (versus "fee-only," which refers to a 100% fiduciary). Some advisers are paid by way of an hourly charge, or a flat charge for particular companies or tasks, or by way of every day (typically quarterly) retainer charge.

How you can Discover a Monetary Adviser

Except for asking family and friends for referrals, skilled organizations just like the Monetary Planning Affiliation (FPA) and the Nationwide Affiliation of Private Monetary Advisors (NAPFA) will help a person discover an adviser. When selecting a monetary adviser, it is essential to ask if they've any FINRA licenses or official credentials. Licensed Monetary Planner® (CFP®), chartered monetary analyst (CFA), chartered monetary guide (ChFC), and registered funding advisor (RIA) are good indicators of an adviser's {qualifications}.

How you can Change into a Monetary Adviser

Many international locations require people to finish coaching or receive a license to turn into a monetary advisor. In America, monetary advisors should carry a Sequence 65 or 66 licenses as stipulated by the Monetary Trade Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In keeping with FINRA, funding advisors, brokers, accountants, insurance coverage brokers and monetary planners can use the time period "monetary adviser." The North American Securities Directors Affiliation supplies a very good brief overview of financial adviser requirements.

Monetary Adviser vs. Advisor

Whereas 'adviser' spelt with an 'e' is the official spelling as per the Funding Advisers Act of 1940, 'advisor' with an 'o' is appropriate to confer with somebody who supplies recommendation. Nonetheless, when utilized in reference to the authorized designation 'adviser' needs to be used.

What Is a Fiduciary?

A fiduciary is an individual or group that acts on behalf of one other individual or individuals to handle the property. Primarily, a fiduciary owes to that different entity the duties of good faith and belief. The best-authorized obligation of 1 social gathering to a different, being a fiduciary requires being certain ethically to behave within the different's greatest pursuits.
A fiduciary may be answerable for basic well-being, however, typically the duty includes funds—managing the property of one other individual, or of a bunch of individuals, for instance. Cash managers, monetary advisors, bankers, accountants, executors, board members, and company officers all have fiduciary accountability.

Fiduciary Defined

A fiduciary's obligations or duties are each moral and authorized. When a celebration knowingly accepts the fiduciary duty on behalf of one other social gathering, they're required to behave in the perfect curiosity of the principal, the social gathering whose property they're managing. That is what is called a "prudent individual commonplace of care," an ordinary that initially stems from an 1830 courtroom ruling.
This formulation of the prudent-person rule required that an individual appearing as fiduciary was required to behave at the start with the wants of beneficiaries in thoughts.
The fiduciary is anticipated to handle the property for the advantage of the opposite individual, slightly than for their very own revenue, and can't profit personally from their administration of property.
Usually, no revenue is to be constituted of the connection until express consent is granted on the time the connection begins. For example, in the UK, fiduciaries can not revenue from their place, in response to an English Excessive Court docket ruling, Keech vs. Sandford (1726). If the principal supplies consent, then the fiduciary can hold no matter profit they've acquired; these advantages may be both financial or outlined extra broadly as an "alternative."
Fiduciary duties seem in all kinds of widespread enterprise relationships, together with:

Fiduciary Trustee/Beneficiary

Property preparations and applied trusts contain a trustee and a beneficiary. A person named as a belief or property trustee is the fiduciary, and the beneficiary is the principal. Below a trustee/beneficiary obligation, the fiduciary has authorized possession of the property or property and holds the ability essential to deal with property held within the title of the belief.
Nonetheless, the trustee should make choices which might be in the perfect curiosity of the beneficiary because the latter holds equitable title to the property. The trustee/beneficiary relationship is a crucial facet of complete property planning, and particular care needs to be taken to find out who's designated as trustee.
Politicians typically arrange blind trusts with the intention to keep away from conflict-of-interest scandals. A blind belief is a relationship through which a trustee is accountable for the funding of a beneficiary's corpus (property) without the beneficiary understanding how the corpus is being invested. Even whereas the beneficiary has no data, the trustee has a fiduciary obligation to speculate the corpus in response to the prudent individual commonplace of conduct.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Board MembeShareholder

An identical fiduciary obligation may be held by company administrators, as they are often thought-about trustees for stockholders if on the board of a company, or trustees of depositors if service as director of a financial institution. Particular duties embrace:

The Obligation of Care

This is applicable to the best way the board makes choices that have an effect on the way forward for the enterprise. The board has the obligation to completely examine all potential choices and the way they could impression the enterprise; If the board is voting to elect a brand new CEO, for instance, the choice shouldn't be made primarily based solely on the board's data or opinion of 1 potential candidate; it's the board's accountability to analyze all viable candidates to make sure the perfect individual for the job is chosen.

The Obligation to Act in Good Religion

Even after it moderately investigates all of the choices earlier than it, the board has the accountability to decide on the choice it believes greatest serves the pursuits of the enterprise and its shareholders.

The Obligation of Loyalty

This implies the board is required to place no different causes, pursuits or affiliations above its allegiance to the corporate and the corporate's buyers. Board members should chorus from private or skilled dealings which may put their very own self-interest or that of one other individual or enterprise above the curiosity of the corporate.
If a member of a board of administrators is discovered to be in breach of their fiduciary obligation, they are often held liable in a courtroom of regulation by the corporate itself or its shareholders.

Fiduciary as ExecutoLegatee

Fiduciary actions may apply to particular or one-time transactions. For instance, a fiduciary deed is used to switch property rights in a sale when a fiduciary should act as an executor of the sale on behalf of the property proprietor. A fiduciary deed is helpful when a property proprietor needs to promote however is unable to deal with their affairs as a consequence of sickness, incompetence, or different circumstances, and wishes somebody to behave of their stead.
A fiduciary is required by regulation to confide in the potential purchaser the true situation of the property being offered, they usually can not obtain any monetary advantages from the sale. A fiduciary deed can be helpful when the property proprietor is deceased and their property is a part of a property that wants oversight or administration.

Guardian/Ward Fiduciary

Below a guardian/ward relationship, authorized guardianship of a minor is transferred to an appointed grownup. Because the fiduciary, the guardian is tasked with making certain the minor youngster or ward has acceptable care, which may embrace deciding the place the minor attends faculty, that the minor has appropriate medical care, that they're disciplined in an inexpensive method, and that their everyday welfare stays intact.
A guardian is appointed by the state courtroom when the pure guardian of a minor youngster just isn't capable of taking care of the kid any longer. In most states, a guardian/ward relationship stays intact until the minor youngster reaches the age of majority.

Legal professional/Consumer Fiduciary

The legal professional/shopper fiduciary relationship is arguably one of the stringent. The U.S. Supreme Court docket states that the best degree of belief and confidence should exist between a legal professional and shopper—and that a legal professional, as fiduciary, should act in full equity, loyalty, and constancy in every illustration of, and coping with, shoppers.
Attorneys are held accountable for breaches of their fiduciary duties by the shopper and are accountable to the courtroom through which that shopper is represented when a breach happens.

Fiduciary Principal/Agent

An extra generic instance of fiduciary obligation lies within the principal/agent relationship. Any particular person individual, company, partnership, or authorities company can act as a principal or agent so long as the individual or enterprise has the authorized capability to take action. Below a principal/agent obligation, an agent is legally appointed to behave on behalf of the principal without the battle of curiosity.
A standard instance of a principal/agent relationship that means fiduciary obligation is a bunch of shareholders as principals electing administration or C-suite people to behave as brokers. Equally, buyers act as principals when choosing funding fund managers as brokers to handle the property.

Funding Fiduciary

Whereas it might appear as if a funding fiduciary could be a monetary skilled (cash supervisor, banker, and so forth), a funding fiduciary is anyone who has the obligation for managing any person else's cash. Which means should you volunteered to take a seat on the funding committee of the board of your native charity or different group, you could have fiduciary accountability. You will have been positioned able of belief, and there could also be penalties for the betrayal of that belief.
Additionally, hiring a monetary or funding professional doesn't relieve the committee members of all of their duties. They nonetheless have an obligation to prudently choose and monitor the actions of the professional.

Suitability vs. Fiduciary Customary

In case your funding advisor is a Registered Investment Advisor, they share fiduciary accountability with the funding committee. Then again, a dealer, who works for a broker-dealer, could not. Some brokerage corporations don't need or permit their brokers to be fiduciaries.
Funding advisors, who're normally fee-based, are certain to a fiduciary commonplace that was established as a part of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. They are often regulated by the SEC or state securities regulators. The act is fairly particular in defining what a fiduciary means, and it stipulates an obligation of loyalty and care, which implies that the advisor should put their shopper's pursuits above their very own.
For instance, the advisor can not purchase securities for his or her account prior to purchasing them for a shopper and is prohibited from making trades that will end in greater commissions for the advisor or their funding agency.
It additionally implies that the advisor should do their greatest to ensure funding recommendation is made utilizing correct and full data—principally, that the evaluation is thorough and as correct as potential. Avoiding conflicts of curiosity are essential when appearing as a fiduciary, and it implies that an advisor should disclose any potential conflicts to put the shopper's pursuits forward of the advisor's.
Moreover, the advisor wants to put trades underneath a "greatest execution" commonplace, that means that they have to try to commerce securities with the perfect mixture of low price and environment-friendly execution.

The Suitability Rule

Dealer-dealers, who are sometimes compensated by a fee, usually solely have to satisfy a suitability obligation. That is outlined as making suggestions which might be in keeping with the wants and preferences of the underlying buyer. Dealer-dealers are regulated by the Monetary Trade Regulatory Authority (FINRA) underneath requirements that require them to make appropriate suggestions to their shoppers.
As an alternative of getting to put their pursuits under that of the shopper, the suitability commonplace solely particulars that the broker-dealer has to moderately consider that any suggestions made are appropriate for the shopper when it comes to the shopper's monetary wants, aims, and distinctive circumstances. A key distinction when it comes to loyalty can be essential: A dealer's major obligation is to their employer, the broker-dealer for whom they work, to not their shoppers.
Different descriptions of suitability embrace ensuring transaction prices aren't extreme and that their suggestions aren't unsuitable for the shopper. Examples that will violate suitability embrace extreme buying and selling, churning the account merely to generate extra commissions, and often switching account property to generate transaction revenue for the broker-dealer.
Additionally, the necessity to disclose potential conflicts of curiosity just isn't as strict a requirement for brokers; funding solely must be appropriate, it would not essentially be in keeping with the person investor's aims and profile.

A broker-dealer follows the suitability commonplace: Funding selections have to be appropriate for the shopper, however, can nonetheless be extra helpful to the dealer than the easiest choice; the dealer's major accountability is to their agency, not their shopper.
The suitability commonplace can find yourself inflicting conflicts between a broker-dealer and shopper. The obvious battle has to do with compensation. Below a fiduciary commonplace, a funding advisor could be strictly prohibited from shopping for a mutual fund or different funding for a shopper as a result of it will garner the dealer the next charge or fee than a choice that will price the shopper much less—or yield extra for the shopper.
Below the suitability requirement, so long as the funding is appropriate for the shopper, it may be bought for the shopper. This could additionally incentivize brokers to promote their very own merchandise forward of competing for merchandise that will price much less.

The Brief-Lived Fiduciary Rule

Whereas the time period "suitability" was usual for transactional accounts or brokerage accounts, the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule, proposed to toughen issues up for brokers. Anybody with retirement cash underneath administration, who made suggestions or solicitations for an IRA or different tax-advantaged retirement accounts, could be thought-about a fiduciary required to stick to that commonplace, slightly than to the suitability commonplace that was in any other case in impact.
The fiduciary rule had a protracted—and in the end unsuccessful—implementation. Initially proposed in 2010, it was scheduled to enter impact between April 10, 2017, and January 1, 2018. After President Trump took workplace it was postponed to June 9, 2017, together with a transition interval for sure exemptions extending via January 1, 2018.
Subsequently, implementation of all components of the rule was pushed again to July 1, 2019. Earlier than that would occur, the rule was vacated following a June 2018 decision by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court.
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Partial translation of long Chinese article regarding the recent actions of PBOC

https://www.sosobtc.com/article/24259.html
The following is a rough/partial translation of the article "Reflections on the present situation of Bitcoin and thoughts on its future" provided in the link above
Two hurricanes swept through the landscape as the summer season trails off, instead of uprooting trees and destroying houses, it ravaged through the Bitcoin markets.
In early September, Chinese authorities made an announcement banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), this was shortly followed by a second official statement regarding the closures of Chinese cryptocurrencies exchanges. These two statements triggered a flurry of selling off and caused a massive upheaval in cryotocurrency markets.
This author had anticipated these actions from PBOC, and was perhaps, even an unwitting instigator (in the most minor sense possible) for the current turn of events. A few days back, this author had suggested that PBOC should just shut down Bitcoin mines and exchanges in China, thus allowing an easy way out for the central bank to abscond itself of any “supervisory responsibility” over this burgeoning industry. This would also ensure that Bitcoin markets would open to develop organically in a democratic, autonomous manner, free from constant irrational interference of the Central Bank. Nevertheless this author still found it surprising that the typically indecisive PBOC would take such a drastic action within such a short time.
In the author’s opinion, there are three main factors, and three minor factors that lead to this latest decision by PBOC. Here are the 3 main reasons:
1) The increasingly unwieldy size of the Bitcoin market
First, let’s keep a few figures in mind. 1) In 2015, based on the limited amount of information available to the public; China UnionPay the crown jewel of PBOC disclosed a profit of 3.8 billion CNY, and held 66.5 billion CNY worth of assets. 2) 220 billion CNY; stamp duty revenue generated from securities issued by CSRC.
Now, consider the size of the Bitcoin industry in China. China holds approximately two thirds of Bitcoin currently in circulation, ~10 million Bitcoins. Before the most recent market upheaval, Bitcoin’s value was holding steady at around 30000 CNY (4500 USD), hence according to this approximation, Bitcoin holders in China is controlling 300 billion CNY worth of a highly liquid, easily transacted wealth that is not subjected to regulations and jurisdiction by the Central Bank and Ministry’s of Finance. In a space of a few short years, the amount of wealth held by Chinese citizens in Bitcoin has now swelled to a very significant amount that’s on the scale of annual military spending of nations such as India and Russia (55.9 billion and 69.2 billion USD respectively, estimated Bitcoin holding in China 45 billion USD (when price was at 4500 usd)
Now that the days of exponential Chinese economic growth driven by its manufacturing industry is over, various ministries are trying all sorts of different methods to promote economic growth. However, for all their efforts to promote and cultivate a new multibillion industry, their achievements pale in comparison to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies industry which had slipped right under their noses and is now thriving. It is easy to conjecture that the success of this new, non-government sanctioned industry is a slap in the face for archaic and control hungry Chinese party officials.
Following the runaway success of Tencent and Alibaba, two recent multibillion companies which the Chinese State failed to put their finger in, Chinese officials are now determined to nip the Bitcoin industry in its bud before it blossoms into another non-state sanction success. This vindictive and petty type of thinking is rather typical, and to be expected of the current administration.
2)Disruption of the societal hierarchy
The social hierarchy of China is still largely determined by state-owned monopolies. The distribution of public wealth and resources like real estate, mining rights, and business permits etc. are dictated by those wielding power in state enterprises. The immense wealth generated by these essentially risk free businesses is only accessible to relatives of high-ranking officials and fellow insiders, i.e an oligarchy.
However the wealth generated from the Bitcoin industry which was essentially started by a bunch of tech enthusiasts with some old computers, a few lot of GPUs, and self taught mathematical models. This completely circumvents the typical route to wealth and riches as dictated by the state, and is a threat to the way they constructed the society to be. Hence, the Bitcoin industry must be stopped and to be made an example of.
Business owners in cahoots with state officials also resents the Bitcoin industry greatly, like how they resisted e-payment systems like Alipay, WechatPay, or e-communities such as qq and Wechat initially. These business owners are essentially power brokers, where their greatest asset lies in their ability to act as an intermediary between private enterprises and the State, if new businesses no longer require the blessing of the state to prosper, then as the unofficial toll collectors would surely be starved.
3)The inequality of wealth distribution arising from the Bitcoin industry
The frontrunners and greatest benefactors of the Chinese Bitcoin industry had been young tech enthusiasts. Typically young males in their late 20s, and as the price of Bitcoin boomed, they became a very conspicuous bunch of newly rich. These quickly drew the ire of the Chinese community, “your dad isn’t some powerful Chinese tycoon or government official, what did you do to deserve to get rich so quickly!” was the unspoken sentiment of the public. As more and more stories about the overnight success of Bitcoin mining/trading enterprises received inceased media coverage across 2016, the Chinese were driven into frenzy on this new source of wealth. One portion of the public started to throw their hats into the ring, by exploiting the fact that the public by large only possess a half-baked understanding of cryptocurrencies. These newcomers posed themselves as some sort of Bitcoin sage, and immediately started advocating all sorts of altcoins and cryptocurrencies to enrich themselves.
Another portion of the public started to horde towards these so called bitcoin sages entrusting them with their hard earned money so that they can be a part of this exciting new industry. The fact that they lost money has nothing to do with the Bitcoin industry, but is solely due to the fact that they did not educate themselves properly and allowed themselves to be taken advantage of by some unscrupulous individuals.
But the largest portion the public became increasingly envious of the success achieved by the frontrunners in the Bitcoin industry, feeling that it’s too late to join the bandwagon, and angry that all these newfound wealth had completely eluded them, they began to sound their frustration, demanding the closure and banning of the new arcane industry that they had missed out on.
In recent years, financial crisis in China had always originated from State-controlled markets such as the stock exchange, Forex or the real estate industry. As the Chinese people grew increasingly distrustful of these State-controlled industries, the self-regulated Bitcoin industry emerged as shining beacon of success. The relevant authorities took note of the public dissatisfaction with Bitcoin and decided to go with the flow, assuaging public outrage while at the same time, diverting attention away from their own failures in issues such as the unaffordable real estate prices that's currently paralyzing the young Chinese community.
The aforementioned three factors are deep rooted, and would always be a core reason for the Chinese government to stamp out Bitcoin. Here are three more minor reasons, which are more circumstantial and technical in nature:
1)The contentious hard fork leading to discord among the Bitcoin community
Ever since Bitcoin splitted into Bitcoin Core and BitcoinCash, the community has grew increasingly partisan. This animosity between the two factions had damaged Bitcoin, and some people had decided to exploit this divide. The statement from James Dimon about Bitcoin being a scam was quickly picked up by Chinese officials to clamp down on Bitcoin. The credibility of his statement is dubious, seeing that JP Morgan was just as complicit as Lehman Brother’s was during the 2008 financial crisis, and really should not be calling out other people for being a scam. However, Chinese officials quickly took his words as gospel, after all enemy of an enemy is a friend. This crackdown essentially kills of the new Bitcoin blockchain advocated by the Chinese Bitcoin community (i.e Bitcoin Cash), so in a sense the state officials are modern traitors, by siding with foreigners and their view of Bitcoin.
2)Bitcoin market is still too naïve and immature
Even before the Bitcoin hardfork was concluded, exchanges started listing tokens representing BitCoin Cash for trading. This action in particular hastens the decision by Chinese authorities to clampdown on Bitcoin. This decision is simply reckless and irrational, as it lies in complete betrayal of what Bitcoin stands for. Bitcoin is the time tested, gold standard among cryptocurrencies because every single bitcoin is forged by miners, this is what that makes Bitcoin secure and distinguishes it from the many other altcoins that currently exisits. Bitcoin is more than just a currency; it has solid proof of work backing it up. By simply listing BCC tokens before they are mined. What the exchanges are doing is no different from the central bank issuing fiat currencies, and by stepping into the domain of the central bank, Bitcoin exchanges now have painted a huge bulls eye on its back
3)Too much speculators, opportunists joining the fray
In the few weeks prior to this crackdown, i.e when Bitcoin was at its all time high. Figures in the financial world that used to jeer at Bitcoin started to change their tune. They popped out like mushrooms after rain, claiming that they too want to join this exciting new industry, be it as a miner, a day trader or to start blockchain companies. In hindsight, these are clear indicators that the Bitcoin market is overheated and is due for a correction.
Three years ago, when Bitcoin was worth around 1000 CNY, it was clearly a good, underpriced product with a clear utility and huge potential for future growth, but not a lot of people were buying it. However, now that the price had climbed all the way to 30000 CNY, people are rushing to get more of it. There was clearly a bubble, and that’s why this author started exhorting for PBOC to crackdown on Bitcoin and pop the bubble.
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[Table] IAmA full-time Bitcoin day-trader, blogger, and explainer. I was a pro TCG player. Here until Midnight EST. AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-02-20
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Let's say someone was looking for a stay at home computer job, would you recommend doing what you do? Is it something you can hop into, or is it something a lot of time must be put into before considerable income comes? You handle risk and pressure well, and you don't let your emotions guide your decision-making. Professional Poker and TCG players often develop this skillset.
You have experience working with stocks, bonds, derivatives, foreign exchange, or other financial instruments. If you have a strong mathematical background, that would also likely fulfill this.
You can invest significant capital into trading while remaining financially secure if it all suddenly vanishes.
You are capable of constantly monitoring a situation, waking up in the middle of the night if an alarm goes off, etc. It requires serious dedication.
You are good at keeping up with news, understanding market psychology, and "feeling" shifts in attitude and perception among other market participants.
Of those, I'd be most cautious if you don't meet no. 3. Going bust is a real possibility--day-trading a volatile commodity is inherently extremely high-risk. Nos. 2 and 4 are the easiest to learn or force through routine. No. 1 requires a person who approaches things in an emotionally detached manner. No. 5 is something that comes with investing enough time.
Second question: I'm answering this after that big block of text because this answer will come off like a get-rich-quick scheme. Yes, you can hop into it very quickly, and you can start making very high profits very quickly. I put in a small initial investment to test the waters, and made 10% on it in a few days. If you have the right skillset, composure, and resources, yes. It is a potentially very lucrative and exciting stay-at-home job. It is not for everyone, though.
As much as it would be beneficial for me (being in the industry and all), to tell everyone it's easy and that it will help them provide for themselves I feel that people need to know the real risks that are involved. Regardless, that's all a little irrelevant. We're not playing the house, and we're not flipping coins. We're playing other investors, and we're making actual decisions. You keep saying things like "98% lose money" and "Go onto any FOREX forum, and you will see from the users posts that they pretty much all lose money" but you don't back it up. Cool, yeah, it's a zero-sum game with a rake: a little more than half of the players will lose. That's expected. They'll probably complain about it, too, huh?
Retrospect can have a very positive effect. Got any real account trading statements I can have a look at? Let's see how fast you can come up with excuses not to show me ;) I only have and need one: I have chosen not to disclose my personal valuation for privacy reasons. Same reason I've had all along. I instead publicly disclose my trades, as they happen, on my website. The posts are timestamped, and the ones that are the start of a position contain the price I entered at. Go check the posts, then go check the charts, then go check my archive. But feel free to continue to arbitrarily call my credibility into question--that makes your argument better!
What leverage do you use? In Australia the leverage is typically 100:1, perhaps that's why your not seeing how risky I deem it to be. First, our argument so far has had nothing to do with risk. Second, I told you I am leveraged 2.5:1, two posts ago. Third, you realize I'm trading Bitcoin, not ForEx, correct? And that no one in their right mind would offer 100:1 leverage on Bitcoin due to its volatility?
What's your last year's hourly salary? A year ago I was finishing up college and extricating myself from the TCG business I'd co-founded. I took very little in take-home pay over that period, but kept part ownership of the continuing business. Money isn't just about the number on your bank account--it's also about residual future income.
How many hours a week are you typically on a computer? On a computer, probably 50-55, if you add in time I spend on my phone, I'd say 65-70. Day trading takes constant watchfulness. I imagine it's like an easier version of taking care of a baby.
What are your favorite to sources of news besides waiting for it to get to the front/hot page of /Bitcoin when it's several hours old? I have an IFTTT for /BitcoinMarkets and /Bitcoin that notifies me early on about some posts.
What's the weirdest thing about your mom? She started a bookselling business online in her 50s and makes more money than me.
Or.
She's a little old lady who loves gadgets and technology.
What are your thoughts on Dogecoin and other bitcoin competitors? Do you think any have staying value? LTC.
DOGE.
NXT.
VTC.
Coins that offer something different or that have a strong community to them can be valuable prospects.
LTC is the first-mover scrypt coin - DOGE has the most non-techies interested in its success and is spreading quickly as a result - NXT is a cool generation two coin that has a lot of features BTC doesn't have - VTC is ASIC-resistant
Ok, let me spell it out to you. The retail forex market only makes up 5% of the total forex markets liquidity. The other 95% is from hedge funds and institutions. Therefore, 99% of the retail market losing their money is very possible, as that only makes up 4.95% of the whole market. Is it possible that 4.95% of the market generally loses? Yes. How is that infeasible? Nope. That's a false equivalence. It is possible that 4.95% of the market loses. It is not feasible, that, say, 99% of people with blue eyes lose. What, exactly, in empirical terms, is the difference between retail investors and hedge/institutions that causes this INCREDIBLE disparity? Would you care to respond to my above empirical argument that demonstrates that a zero-decision system is flipping a losing coin? Do you consider it feasible for 99% of people playing a 45-55 game to lose?
Are there options and/or futures markets for Bitcoin? Not really yet, but there will be more prominent ones soon. I hear about a new one pretty regularly, it seems, but nothing that seems truly legitimate has come out. I'm certainly excited for them, though.
Eventually, once Mr. Lawsky and co. get things sorted out, I'm certain we'll see a big-name investment bank start offering them.
From the time you started trading until today, what is your overall percentage return? In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
Ben, i told you I'd be here and asking about Hearthstone first. If there's one class that needs a bit of tuning, up or down, which is it and why? I think Mage needs basic, class-level tuning. I'm not sure what needs to be done exactly, but I don't like what the Mage class power does to gameplay. I've thought some about how different it would be if it could only hit minions, and I'd want to know if Blizzard had tried that out. The Mage power is too versatile, and over the long-term I think it will prove to be problematic.
What's your favorite card? Lord Jaraxxus is my favorite card. He has a truly legendary feel to him when you play him, but your opponent can still win, even though he's very powerful.
So, where do you think we go from here? I'm currently short, but I don't expect to be so for a lot longer. I don't think we'll get past 550. I also don't expect this drop to hold on for a really long time.
I haven't seen a good, substantive rationale for what the MtGox situation really has to do with Bitcoin price. Yes, it looks bad, it certainly doesn't help with our legitimacy, but is it really worth the incredible price declines we continue to see? I don't think so. I think we are seeing these impressive declines because the price on MtGox (which is a reflection of trust in MtGox relative to Bitcoin price, not just Bitcoin price) has been declining heavily. I don't expect it to continue forever, especially not with things like the Winkdex and the accompanying ETF launching.
MtGox is basically dead to me, for now at least. The sooner everyone stops paying attention to it, the sooner we can all get back on track, which I, for one, will be quite happy about.
Do you think that it's a good thing for a game when the developers of that game discourage certain playing styles (e.g. mill decks or decks that try to win in unconventional manners) whether in hearthstone, MTG, or other TCGs? It can be. I don't want the developers metaphorically over my shoulder outlawing strategies, but I don't mind if the strategies that are "less fun" for your opponent (Draw/Go, Mill, or Hard Combo from MTG, for example) are also less powerful. Most players prefer a game where the best decks are also among the most fun, because it means that they are playing against fun decks more often. Clearly the 2-cost 3/3 will be played most often. If you fix this by making both 2-cost guys 2/2s or 3/3s, or by making one a 2/3 and the other a 3/2, then you've done something--but it's not that interesting. If you instead make the 2-cost 2/2 have text that says "While you control the 3-cost 3/3, this gets +2/+2" and you give the 3 cost 3/3 text that says "While you control the 2-cost 2/2, it has Taunt" you now have more complex cards that reward players for doing something other than just playing the best stand-alone card.
Which do you think is a better option to encourage diversity in TCGs; improving/buffing cards/decks that hardly see any play versus weakening/nerfing cards that are overwhelmingly played? This is obviously a very simplistic example, but I hope it makes the point. Games are more fun when you give players more relevant choices: buffing and nerfing cards tends not to do that as well as promoting synergies does.
Where/what is the actual money behind bitcoin? If it does exist. You might need to rephrase your question for me to understand what you're asking. If you're asking why a Bitcoin has value, the answer is the same as any other good: because someone is willing to pay it.
If you're asking why someone is willing to pay that amount, my answer would be utility.
I just got started on Bitfinex (using your referral link) and am a little intimidated. What types of trades would I recommend I try as a beginner? From there, just keep careful watch, and see what happens. Be neutral and objective toward your own hypothesis, just like in science. Don't be biased by your hopes, be focused on the reality.
So far I've only done a liquidity swap offer to try it since it seemed (nearly) risk free. Have you done any liquidity swap or is it too low in profit? If I'm not going to be able to check my computer for a day or two, or I'm uncertain of what's going to happen the next few days, I do use the liquidity swap function. It's actually very profitable, relative to traditional investments. And you're right, it is low-risk. I'm a fan. Good job selecting it if you were intimidated--that's a good place to start. As far as actually starting trading, do science. Start with a hypothesis. If you were up at 5 AM today when MtGox published their announcement, a good hypothesis might have been something like: "This announcement is going to be a blow to their credibility, and might panic the markets. We'll probably drop by some amount as a result." Invest based on it, figure out around what price you want to take profits, and at what price you'll cut your losses and get out. Stick to those determinations unless something substantive changes. The time you tell yourself you can afford to not close your position because it will "rebound" back to where you want is also the time you lose your shirt.
Is it true that you like Balloons? No, I <3 them.
Lol to the question about your mom... Ben, from my understanding Bitcoin is anonymous, does this mean that you can avoid taxation when receiving payment? Bitcoin isn't anonymous. That's actually a common misconception. It's actually pseudonymous, like Reddit. You end up with an online identity--a wallet address--that you use with Bitcoin.
If I walk up to you on a street corner and buy Bitcoin with cash, then I'm pretty much anonymous. If I buy it from a large institution like Coinbase or some other company, they will have records of the address my Bitcoin was bought for. As a result, you can trace them down, generally speaking.
As for avoiding taxation, that's a general no.
What do you think Bitcoin's biggest hurdle is and how do you think it can be overcome? Are there any misconceptions about Bitcoin that you think people have? The biggest hurdle for Bitcoin to overcome is governments. Governments have a variety of reasons not to want an alternative currency. We seem to have done pretty well on that front here in the US, but for other countries (China) that is not the case. Past that, the other major hurdle is something I consider an inevitability: consumer adoption. Business adoption has begun in earnest, consumer adoption hasn't. It will when enough businesses take Bitcoin to give it sufficient utility for the average customer.
What trading platform do you use to daytrade Bitcoin? What is the standard margin that Bitcoin brokers offer? what's the typical ask/bid spread? I primarily use Bitfinex.
Very few Bitcoin brokers currently offer leverage, Bitfinex offers 2.5:1. Over time, I anticipate it will become more like current Forex, where 10:1 or greater leverage is common.
It varies by exchange depending on their fees. Huobi charges 0% fees, so their spread is generally tiny. Some exchanges can be as wide as 1.5%. Typically, I see spreads between .5 and .7%.
Do you invest in any other type of cryptocurrency? if so, which is your favorite besides bitcoin? I currently have no other holdings, but I've held DOGE and LTC at points and am considering VTC and NXT. DOGE is probably my favorite, because if the community can keep this up for a little longer it will snowball into amaze.
Can you trade me a Jace? TMS WWK, TMS FTV, Beleren, MA, or AoT?
Beleren. M10, M11, LOR, JVC, JVCJPN, or Book Promo?
M10 and if not possible then M11. Sure.
I've been reading your blog for quite some time and especially like your summaries for recent events. Keep up the good work! Do you use strict stop-loss orders for your trades? When do you decide to close a trade? Especially in situations where you can basically see you profit/loss grow by the minute. When is enough? Do you have a longterm bitcoin investment you don't touch or do you use everything you have for trading? I do use relatively strict stop losses, but they're not stop loss orders. My conditions usually aren't just the price hitting a certain point, but instead it sustaining for a brief period, or hitting it with a certain volume, or with a certain amount of resistance to retreat. I don't want my stop loss to be triggered by some idiot who dumps 300 BTC and temporarily drops the price 15, but only ends up really dropping it 3. I am very strict with myself about this, though, generally speaking--if I can't trust promises I make to myself, what good am I?
Let's say for example you have a sum x dollar and a sum y bitcoin on your trading account. How much % of x or y do you risk at every trade? I've seen a formula for the max. amount of investment and read numerous times that traders shouldn't risk more than one or two percent of their "bankroll". Do you generally have dollar and btc or just one of them at any given time? 100% of funds in every trade, so long as all funds are easily moved into the position. Common exceptions are lack of liquidity and funds being on other exchanges. My reasoning for being all-in all-the-time is that it's a profit-maximizing move. It is also risk-maximizing. My risk tolerance is infinite; most people's isn't. Only ever one. Generally BTC if I'm long, dollar if I'm short. I prefer to double-dip, as otherwise it would be in contradiction to the 100% plan. I use everything I have for trading. Again, profit-maximization, infinite risk tolerance.
I decide a closing price when I'm near either my stop loss or my profit aim. I place a limit order or multiple limit orders wherever I need to. I avoid market orders whenever possible. Enough is when I hit my goals or my loss tolerance. I decide these at the start, but I frequently re-evaluate them as news and market conditions develop.
What is a typical bid/ask spread for Bitcoin? It depends what exchange you're looking at, but generally .5-.7%.
What's the best way to popularize Bitcoin among the masses? Add your own but would love your thoughts on: -microtransactions developing nations -gift economy (tipping) I would suggest just running around shouting "You get to be your own bank" is probably the best way.
In all seriousness, though--we don't need to try. It's going to happen on its own from now on, as the news media slowly starts to pick up the story. People will start appearing on TV talking about it with more and more frequency. Things like the Dogelympic teams are great PR and help boost it up, as well, of course, but in general it's just going to follow the adoption curve of every other technology.
If it picks up in a few developing nations that have stable internet, it will be a massive revolution for them. Self-banking can do a huge amount of good for an economy like theirs. We might see reports on that. If a major newspaper decides to run a permanent paywall like what the Sun-Times tested recently, that could be big as well. The slow PR from tipping on Reddit is another way, to be honest. Every bit helps, but the cryptocurrency community is now large enough that we're going to do a significant amount of organic, word-of-mouth style growth.
Do you think that a magic game could beat harthstone? If they do a good job, absolutely. They have to focus on the right things. It needs to be mobile-available, easy to pick up and play, and fun.
Is there a good crypto currency to get in on now, before it explodes like bitcoin did? There are plenty of options. Check out coinmarketcap.com. Fair warning, there are plenty of horrible things there--treat it kind of like penny stocks. I like BTC, LTC, DOGE, NXT, and VTC.
Also, why is it such a pain in the ass to buy them with actual money? Like you have to have bitcoins to buy other crypto currency. It's such a pain to buy them with USD because no one has made a good system to do it on, like Coinbase. If you think there's a desire, go do it!
Well the way I look at it, is how the hell else would you be able to buy them? Not everyone has piles of bitcoins lying around and I really don't want to spend $600+ on a single bitcoin just to buy some other currencies. Ah, I see the problem! You can buy fractions of a Bitcoin using Coinbase--I think .01BTC (~$6) is their minimum.
The March 2013 appreciation was from American and European investors and November 2013 was mainly from Chinese investors. Which group of people do you think will be the next to buy (I hate using the word invest when talking about bitcoin) bitcoin for investment purposes? American institutional and hobby investors. That is, Wall Street and people who pay attention to Wall Street.
Which do you think will be a better long term (~5 years) investment, Bitcoins, Litecoins, Dogecoins, Fetch Lands, Shock Lands, or Original Dual Lands? Does it change for ~10 years? Either Bitcoin or Fetch lands for 5 years. For 10 years, Bitcoin. I'd be worried about the 10-year view for paper MTG.
Ive been mining Bitcoins for years now, i have a good sum im my wallet but i never plan to use them. Does this make me a bad person? Approximately yes.
Ben, I should've simultaneously copied and pasted all of my questions from the Spreecast over to here but here are a few... It seems like the conspiracy crowd has really latched onto the idea of Bitcoin as being a discreet form of currency. If Bitcoin is backed up by the internet why would people choose having a currency that's being tracked over say cash, gold, different commodities? Having a currency be tracked has negatives and positives, but it's overwhelmingly positive for the average consumer. Because it's tracked, you don't need to pay someone to move your money for you. There also are no chargebacks, which means merchants aren't getting scammed and passing those costs onto consumers. Theft costs everyone money. It's also very fast--transactions confirm in just 10 minutes, regardless of size or where it's going. Transferring dollars from here to China is very difficult--transferring Bitcoin? Just as easy as from anywhere else to anywhere.
My job is a mix of voodoo, intuition, science, and news. In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
No, just gambling. In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Anyway, how have the profits been from start to finish compared to the market? Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
Are you willing to disclose how much you have in your trading portfolio/what kind of profit you turn both % and $ wise? In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
What would you say is the easiest method of shorting bitcoin or any other coin? For shorting Bitcoin or Litecoin, check here.
For other coins, there isn't really a good way yet, to the best of my knowledge. A few exchanges have plans to add short-selling, but Bitfinex is really the only one I know of that has.
What did you have for breakfast today. Didn't breakfast, was delicious.
Hey Ben, I know next to nothing about Bitcoin. I went to /bitcoin after seeing this AMA on your FB, and I noticed that everyone is going apeshit over "Gox". I have no idea what that means or why everyone is so sad/angry/suicidal. MtGox (which originally stood for Magic the Gathering Online eXchange) was the first prominent Bitcoin exchange. They've been going through some rather rough times lately, some of which I was an early cataloguer of here. In short, everyone is freaking out because the exchange may be insolvent. It's not really a big deal to Bitcoin as a whole, but it's certainly an obvious blow to credibility. In my view, people are primarily upset because MtGox has been a part of Bitcoin for a very long time, and it can be hard to let go of what we're used to. I expect that they will either fix the issues or will go out of business officially very soon.
Please explain what happened.
Tell me every artist in your iTunes. Daft Punk, detektivbyrån, Kid Cudi, Matisyahu, The White Panda.
Spotify for life, yo.
Follow up question, what % are you in BTC vs Fiat and when you are on the losing side of a trade do you find your self dumping in more to get right or do you pull the cord Unless my positions are on different exchanges or in different coins, they're all always 100% of what I'll put into that trade at entrance and exit. As a result, I end up with a binary choice: stay or reduce/close. I very rarely reduce position size, nearly always preferring to just end the position instead.
Last updated: 2014-02-25 04:57 UTC
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[Table] IAmA: We Are the Hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show! We just spent 4 days at Bitcoin2013, Ask Us Anything!

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Date: 2013-05-24
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Hi all! I was wondering, what do you think it would take to get bitcoin from a niche currency used mainly by internet denizens to go mainstraim? I know the slow creep of more small companies accepting bitcoin helps, but what do you think that final cusp will be, and will it ever come to that? Thanks for taking the time to do this! There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.
Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.
Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.
But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.
Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.
It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.
I guess the Supreme Court has decided this does not apply to taxes, which is crap. Or are you talking about other countries? Thank you :) I actually mean something along the lines of "It is illegal to trade dollars for any cryptocurrency that does not have a real name and social security associated with it"
Will bitcoins ever be able to be traded like other recognized currencies in similar ways to Forex? More specifically, will there ever be retail brokers offering margin trading accounts that allow you to buy and sell bitcoin with leverage? There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens. Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession. With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement. What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.
Do you believe bitcoin is important locally as well as on the internet? If so, how are you promoting bitcoin in your local communities? Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.
If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.
Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.
Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.
What are some of the more exciting things you (each of you?) envision for Bitcoin in the short to medium term? Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.
From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.
Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.
Not to be the doom and gloom person but in the future what do you think will/would be the "last nail in the coffin" for Bitcoin? It depends what you mean by "last nail in the coffin"
How did you meet/find Andreas and Stephanie and how did you persuade them to be part of your show? I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.
I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.
Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.
Thanks for responding! Andreas is my fave (though I enjoy yours and Stephanie's comments too). Everybody has their favorite :) I think the fact that we all have people disagreeing with us at times means we're doing the job, and providing multiple and varied perspectives.
What recording tools are you using? We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)
Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.
I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"
Assuming bitcoin reaches critical mass, how does bitcoin cope with the criticism of rewarding early adopters? Do you see a potential uproar about inequity? Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.
We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.
One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.
>It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.
What do you make of the download trend of the bitcoin client software in China? Isn't this a big story? China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.
You commented on a recent episode about how Satochi Dice was going to block US traffic to the site due to uncertain regulations. Can't bitcoin work around that? If you send bitcoin to the addresses of the various bets - it still works right? Thanks for your show - I await each new podcast. Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.
I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here Link to letstalkbitcoin.com
I'd like to thank all three of you for doing this podcast, it's always thought provoking and fun to listen to. Plus, Stephanie does have a very sexy voice... But I do have a question, Right now, I don't know the answer to that question.
How do miners determine which transactions will be confirmed first and which get put to the back of the line? Shouldn't they be confirmed in a 'first come, first serve' basis? But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.
*edit: As well, do you still plan on using some time on the show to go into more detail about mining? I think it was mentioned a few weeks ago that the topic might be explored in further detail. There will be fewer miners who accept free or very low fee transactions, so there you go.
How would Bitcoin change our financial system as we know it? In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"
Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.
I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.
We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.
Have any of you heard about how in Africa much of the exchange in value is done with mobile phone minutes? It seems to me - whatever the US attempts to do with Bitcoin - there will be other places that it will bubble up in. What about Argentina and other places where they actually understand what damage a desperate government can do to a currency? I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with Link to phoneacoin.com and others.
Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.
No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.
Who invented Bitcoin? What is to stop whoever did so initially issuing themselves the equivalent of $79 zillion in Bitcoin currency prior to it taking off? Is there commission charged on each transaction that occurs? If so, how much, and who receives this? The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".
He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.
Great podcast, can't wait for the next one! It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.
You discussed mesh networks in 3rd world countries and how bitcoin could be used in such a scenario. If the [mesh] network is disconnected from the internet, how would transactions on the blockchain be verified? Couldn't the time the mesh network was disconnected make it vulnerable to hacking the [mesh network's] blockchain? More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)
1) The price for one Bitcoin seems to fluctuate quite a bit. The most successful currencies remain relatively stable over time (e.g. the Dollar). Will Bitcoin ever need to reach a certain level of stability to be a successful unit of trade? and if so, what do you think needs to happen before then? 1 - Yes! Once everyone who has purchased Bitcoin has purchased them, the price will stabilize. In practice this will start happening long before absolute stability, and as soon as people start thinking about prices in terms of BTC instead of their local currency it almost doesn't matter.
2) If Bitcoin ever becomes a widely accepted form of payment (seems a lot of businesses already accept it), how do you think the US government will proceed/react/regulate/etc. considering that technically only the feds can issue currency? 2 - "The Feds" are not the only ones who can issue currency - They have legal tender laws which mean people MUST accept their money, but nothing prevents you from circulating a voluntary currency like Bitcoin.
Do you foresee companies like paypal incorporating bitcoin into their businesses in the future as a more credible exchange than these ones that are currently running? No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.
Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.
Thanks for the well thought out response, I genuinely appreciated that you took the time for this! I do have a follow up question, how does one get bit coin in an easy way? Lets say I have 300$ that I want in bit coin.. whats the best way to approach this? Probably a company like bitinstant.com, bitstamp.com, or btcquick.com - For larger amounts they don't make too much sense but at that level its your best bet.
Not to be rude, but how do you expect for a currency without a standard like gold silver etc. to not crash down in a blaze of glory? What standard is your currency backed by?
Hi There. I was at the San Jose convention hall last weekend attending Big Wow Comicfest and that's where I saw Bitcoin2013! Mostly Bitcoin 2013 was an opportunity for people building the future of Bitcoin to meet each other and network. There were speakers talking about a wide variety of issues, and vendors of Bitcoin services who were showing their latest innovations and systems.
What information was presented at this event that couldn't be done justice disseminated over the internet? The information will eventually be online, but the probably 200 people I got to meet in real life will not (in real life)
What resources do you think I should review as a total newbie to bitcoin? Or if possible, what's the one sentence pitch to get a newb involved? For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.
The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"
Would any of you hazard a guess at the bitcoin exchange rate at the end of 2013? Sure, i'll make a wild guess.
$1000.
If and when a large user comes onboard, I think thats the next price at which we'll bounce around for a while, just like 100 became the sticky point after the last major bout of adoption.
How do bitcoins relate to the law? For example, what would be the crime if somone hacked your account and stole your bitcoins? It's not exactly theft of money, or is it? Bitcoins are your property, it's illegal for someone to steal your property whether it is money or not. Right now there is little that can be done about theft, but eventually I expect a class of "Blockchain Forensic Investigators" to emerge who will track down your stolen coins for a % based fee.
On your last show you mentioned the diversity of the Bitcoiners who attended BitCoin2013 - which nation was most represented in your opinion? Were there any Chinese nationals present (we've heard that they've suddenly gotten the bitcoin bug in the last month)? Did the other nations talk about regulatory problems or is that just a US concern? I met the gentleman from BTC-China, but other than that I actually didn't see any obvious chinese nationals. We saw lots of eastern europeans and south americans.
Other nations are not talking about the regulatory issue as far as I can tell, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what the US does, which is not abnormal in a very new situation like this.
Isn't having an inherently deflationary currency a terrible idea? How is bitcoin different from geeky goldbuggery? Because you can't divide a gold coin into .0001 without incurring cost and expense. That's not the case with Bitcoin, so the deflationary aspect of it is largely moot.
There is a tendency to listen to modern "economics" which makes this arguement, saying that the money supply must expand because otherwise it drives down profitability in a race to the bottom.
I think in practice we'll find that people don't work against their own best interest, and while during the initial adoptions stages of Bitcoin there will be significant discounts offered to those who pay with Bitcoin vs. legacy currency, once the market becomes saturated and the price levels out those discounts will be scaled way back.
Right now it makes sense to heavily discount, because the expectation is that the value of the Bitcoins will go up during this period of adoption, that won't always be true and the discount is a reflection of anticipated future returns.
Was it bad when people saved money in banks that paid 10% interest? No, that's called capital formation. There is a thought that given a deflationary currency nobody will spend any money, that's nonsense. Just because your currency gains value over time doesn't mean that you no longer have costs that must be paid for. What Deflationary currencies do is say "Ok, you could spend it on that, but is it worth it relative to what you'll gain by not?"
That's a good thing. Our system right now works on the opposite theory - Spend money NOW because if you're dumb enough to keep it in the bank it will actually lose value over time between the couple points of "official" inflation and less than 1% artifical interest rates. The situation is like this now because the fed is trying to make people spend as much money as possible with the hope that the flows will "restart the economic engine"
Too bad this isn't how things work, not that it'll stop us from trying it over and over again.
In the 2008 financial crash, govts bailed out the banks because there was no other way to maintain the whole financial ecosystems of payrolls, invoices and trade, all of which go through the banking system. Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.
Can you envisage another financial crash in the future where govt says, "We don't need to do a bailout, as we've got this alternative payment system" and then instructs businesses and employees to just get themselves a bitcoin address and work through the Bitcoin system? Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.
What type of notes and agenda does the team coordinate on before a show? We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.
The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.
Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON.
I first learned about Bitcoins on an episode of The Good Wife. The one with Jason Biggs as the creator of BitCoin. Have you watched that episode and how accurate does that episode portray what's happening with Bitcoin in terms of legal stuff? Not having seen it but knowing TV, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "not very well" Satoshi has not been identified, was a throw-away identity that was cryptographically secured, so probably never will.
Are there any conferences in Chicago anytime soon? I think a Q&A in public would be helpful for your show as well as bitcoin. I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.
We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.
Oh dear. You're not all perfectly grammatical orators on the first try? I'm crushed! I really value my own time, and I know other people out there do too. I try to make the show as information dense as possible, thats the criteria we've been operating under from really day one.
We're actually talking about cutting the show in half and releasing it more often (still recording the same amount) because people can get tired of listening to such dense content for an hour or more.
US Treasury recently issued a directive stating they would be monitoring any entity attempting to exchange virtual currency for USD (or any other currency, goods, or services), indicating that federal authorities take a dim view of what amounts to private coinage. Do you anticipate a Supreme Court case here defining what is and is not private coinage? 2.And given bitcoin's noted extra-legal uses, do you have any indication it is being decrypted by NSA? 3.Taking it a step further, do you think it could be a national security-sponsored international sieve for money laundering? It may eventually go to Supreme Court.
I think the market has done fine for bitcoin so far. I think the market will continue to take care of bitcoin. The idea of giving in willingly to regulation makes me cringe. There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad. The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.
Thanks so much for doing this, I love the Bitcoin system, but hate the volatility. How do you recommend dealing with that? I've heard to convert it quickly to the currency of choice after any exchange has been made to avoid any more changes to the price. The easy solution is just buy and hold - If you need to buy something, do it when you need to and not before. Do not pre-order anything.
What is your prediction of the price for 1 btc in USD, exactly one year from now? Just for fun, since I know it is impossible to even guess the day to day price swings. As a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.
My partner is buying into bitcoin as well as litecoin. Any advice for him? (I personally don't understand it) Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)
Hello, I just wrote a long post about the functions of using BTC to facilitate a 'free bank' using the principals of free money, similar to the WIR bank. Link to en.wikipedia.org Do you think that something like this would be possible using Bitcoin? Probably. Not really my area of expertise.
Why did bits take a dive at the same time gold took a tank? I don't pay attention to price, sorry.
We take full credit for any rise and blame others for any decline. Feel free to tip us from your gains! Lol.
Just wanted to say I love your show. I encourage you to please continue making high-quality podcast episodes. Thank you. I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.
Bitcoins are the stupidest investment anyone could ever make. Pass. Link to static.quickmeme.com
Unfortunately, quickmeme doesn't let you copy image urls directly. Link to i.qkme.me
Yes, but they started being worth a set value. bitcoin was never backed by anything so its value was kind of made up. how do you expect to make a non goverment currency anybody with a computer can print to retain value? Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.
The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.
The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?
Because the governments "pie" does infact have limits to making it, and only dropped gold standard after over 150 years of the doller having a defined worth, unlike bitcoin, where a random hacker can just print endless money. I'd direct you to security researcher Dan Kaminsky. Link to www.businessinsider.com
You'll find it's a little harder than you're describing. Like, impossible.
Last updated: 2013-05-29 11:06 UTC
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