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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Rise and Fall Part 9

Part 8 (has access to parts 1-7 in it)
For some reason it would not post the last day or so.
It is early 2017. I have been carrying on my usual playing 10-20 hours a week to survive. Still lethargic is best term I suppose. I just dont get excited to play anymore. I consider getting a job to remind me how shitty working is so it gives me a kick in the teeth to play poker. Then it dawns on me, I hate playing poker now.
Poker has been tainted. Everything bad that happened to me I can associate with poker. The rise and fall was poker (the fall part). The oxycontin started as a performance enhancer to log more hours. Everything I consider to be wrong in my life I trace back to poker essentially, even if just a butterfly affect reason that had I done something else I wouldnt be here.
Hating poker is not the greatest realization considering its my only means to income outside of grunt labor. I seek a job in a couple places to no avail which was fine, I didnt wanna do that either.
Several months earlier I had started playing on SWC (bitcoin site) and became familiarized with bitcoin. Thought nothing of it, it was just the currency I was winning or losing. I dont read a thing about it, I learn nothing of it. I wasnt playing a ton or even big stakes, my intention for playing online was to just stay sharp in case it ever comes back full fledge. I have 5-6 btc on this site at the most (2-3k) and I flush it playing plo and big o not thinking much of it.
Back to 2017. Its March/April~ of 2017. I am playing cards one night dicking around probably had a couple drinks and was needling the usuals etc. A guy I do not know is in the game. Looks Russian. I bet he interfered in our election... fucking commies. I dont remember how I got to talking to him but crypto had been brought up. I talk about SWC. Tell him I had a few btc but not anymore. The only other thing I remember well from the conversation was bitching about going from an iphone4 (yes I had an iphone4 from 2010-17, the same one. It barely worked. Many oxycontins snorted off the back of that phone, texts dating back to when I got it in 2010) to the 6 or 7 or wtfever I have now, which is bigger and its harder to text and drive. He just responds by saying “first world problems are the worst”. Amen brother, those Africans and Venezuelans have no clue of our struggle.
I end up talking to him a bit and it turns out he mines crypto. Has a website that sells mining equipment. He has a hell of a back story too. I tell him I am interested in mining. I have about 20k to my name at this time and I realized recently that I dont like playing poker so why not? He eventually tells me not to do it. Regardless we become friends and he is ultimately the most important friend I have ever made. I have made more positive strides mentally since meeting him (mostly work ethic, realizations, reality checks and aspirations) As silly as it sounds, when he told me “first world problems are the worst” it stuck with me. He was saying it as a joke but jokes are funniest when true. He is genuinely the smartest guy I have ever associated with also. If you run into him at a poker table youd think he was a high functioning autist. Then you talk to him and go “ohhh hes just one of those Einstein type geniuses”. His hair is usually a mess, he cuts his own hair for or has his girlfriend do it. He wears cheap clothing usually since it all covers your ass or nipples I suppose. He virtually never instigates conversation with people he doesnt know. He is really deliberate with his actions. Talks really calmly and knows exactly what he is saying. He is just on the same level at all times it seems.
Meeting him has definitely changed my life for the better. We become friends pretty quickly. I know I went on a downer after meeting him because I couldnt afford to buy mining stuff and remember wanting to (again, he told me not to do it eventually anyways).
Which will lead me to another good friend to have. Between 2015 and this point in 2017 I have shot myself in the foot not logging hours a couple times. A friend has bailed me out with a loan or short term stake a few times. He is a well off restaurant owner who loves poker more than just about anything not related to him. Every time I see him we talk about hands he played and he just eats it up, has photographic memory and never butchers a hand history which is nice. He is as good hearted of a guy as I have ever met. (Sorry if this is getting long winded giving praise to people close to me, I intend on sharing with a few people and would like them to know what they mean to me as corny as that is because I suck at doing it in real life. Plus it is kinda gay to get mushy sounding in real life, but I digress. Theyve heard virtually none of the content of this whole thread either, a ton of this stuff I have never shared) In fact he is too kind hearted. He has helped people who wouldnt piss on him if he was on fire, and people have burned him on many occasions. My only complaint about this person is he never kicked my ass and told me to log more hours or fuck off. I needed it. If I just logged hours I wouldnt need the help. Its as simple as that. I have no leaks other than the unwillingness to play (leaks as in drugs/pit games/strippers/wtf ever else) and it has hindered me immensely over the these last couple years. (Ok I do have one embarrassing leak that has been fixed for a year and change, mobile games... I have spent like 30,000$ on mobile games between late 2016 and late 2018, Lords Mobile specifically clocked me for 20k. This definitely hindered my ability to build a roll and got me into a few jams. When youre not logging hours playing youre sitting around gaming and these games arent cheap obviously)
It is around May now and my friend who messes with crypto tells me that Bitcoin is going to 10,000$. Its like 800$ at the time iirc. I own a couple from Ignition cashouts. I kind of trust him. I cant argue him on it as I have literally no mental fortitude on the subject, but I essentially shrug it off. I start watching the price on poloniex and am watching prices jump like crazy. Light bulb in head! I can buy the dips sell the peaks and have more BTC! Lets load the 2.5btc I have onto poloniex! Sell peak but it keeps climbing... “FUCK! gotta get it back before it goes to 10k! Whew. Still have 2.45 BTC. FUCK! Its dropping! Get it out before it goes to zero!”
Yea I turned that 2.5 BTC into .4 BTC. No joke. I think I ended up throwing it onto SWC and losing it once it was almost gone. I honestly forget. I had nothing when it finally hit 20k other than some shit alts worth about 800$ at most (worth 35$ now but they still reside in my locked poloniex account, maybe I will give poloniex my ID if they ever become worth more than 1k)
So I am now annoyed I didnt turn every free dollar I had into BTC. I didnt trust the guy enough and to be fair I would have been using the money I play with. Had I met the guy a year earlier (know what I know of him now) I would probably have just locked it all up and sat around waiting.
I never really get my act together in 2017. I continuously log just enough hours to get by. I just dont care. I just want a way out of this. I catch myself saying “I hate playing poker” and sometime around the end of 17 or early 2018 I start trying to censor myself and quit saying that. Saying it will only make it fester deeper. I have to retrain myself to love poker. I remember the days of playing 18-24 hours straight because I love playing. I love watching for everything I can find to get an edge. I love a situation to present itself where I can step out of line. But now I just sit down and count the minutes before I can tell myself “way to go! You put in an 8 hour shift lets pack it in!” I leave good games often times. I celebrate when games break. This is where I am mentally while I play. I cant break out of it.
Late in 2017 a close friend of mine passes away. Will call him J. He was the guy who gave me a place to stay after the shutdown in Joplin. I was still doing oxy and he never once touched the stuff knowing what has happened to me. He doesnt judge me, he is somewhat of an enabler I suppose. He just drinks does shitty coke sometimes and has a script of adderol and xanax. Literally never once does he do any with me (ive warned him xanax and opiates will kill you if you mix, which is likely part of the reason he never did it) He was a marginal poker player (relative to modern game, he was just good enough to beat the rake live but he had too many pit leaks) and took great pride in being my friend (I was the slayer in the area for years leading up to this, anyone considered the best in their area can relate, you just have the respect of the local poker community). One of my earlier live poker memories involved him. I am like 18 or 19 playing a 1-2 game at a small casino and he was there with a friend. They were the good players in the game at the time. They were having a few drinks eating nice food and laughing having a good time. I remember thinking that I want this lifestyle. Care free gambling fast paced lifestyle. I had told him this story years later and he just ate it up, constantly tried to get me to rebound, but as I have stated many many times in the last few of these I have basically waved my white flag and accepted the result of my fall.
Anyhow after living with him we always talk every few months at minimal and have something to eat when we see each other at the casino. He was somewhat disingenuous sounding he was so nice and honestly it got to a point it started rubbing me the wrong way. I still talk to him of course but less frequently. In December of 2017 I get a phone call from my friend who owns the restaurant and he is distraught. He has been at the hospital and J has passed away. The back story on this is he had gotten a phone call from old friend who was getting out of prison in Arizona with no where to go (a female). J being as nice a guy as he is drives the 20+ hours to get her and gives her a place to stay. Well shes a junky and actually convinces J to do opiates/heroin. He overdoses and dies. I hadnt talked to him in a few months. I regret it. Had I known I would have beaten him senseless and got him to quit before things actually get bad.
Going to his funeral hit me up side the head too. The way I started feeling he was disingenuous just got destroyed. I cant fathom as many people showing up to my funeral with as nice of things to say. I wrote something to say but opt out after a few people say everything I had written (except better). I regret not saying them anyways. I think I still have what I wrote tucked away with the card and his money clip that made its way to me. I stumbled across his casino players card in a box one day and it resides in my wallet ever since. This was the first close friend that has passed away in my life, knock on wood. It woke me up a bit and caused a lot of self reflection because I felt I had let him down. I lived a few miles from him and didnt drop in to see him, didnt stay in contact as well as I should have. All because I felt he was disingenuously nice when he was actually just nice, which is actually because I am a cynical hermit who hates social life these days. That was the real reason I didnt stay closer. Him being too nice was just my excuse to blow him off essentially.
Only other thing I can add is that chick he helped out didnt even go to his funeral and on top of that had tried to take his truck and clean his house out. Junkies are the worst. I was a junky but I proudly say I never robbed anyone or cost anyone anything other than emotional distress, which isnt much of a brag obviously.
2018 starts and I have been decreasing my methadone every week for about 3-4 months now. I am on a low dose. Makes sleeping at night hard (get restless legs and sneezy). So I am having a few drinks any time I am at the casino playing (still just two days a week for the most part) to help get through those late night sessions when its worn off and I feel crummy. I get down to 15mg then 10mg and in March of 2018 I get asked if I wanna work for a week with my crypto friend. His friend is setting up a farm with 500 miners and needs help. I agree. The pay is in excess of the work (in my opinion) at 3k and I have no expenses, but I dont argue obviously. Before we leave town I have to pick up my week of methadone (at 4mg now) and so I do that. I never take any of them, I have the box still. Never opened it. They remain at my apartment as a reminder, the box carrying the 6 doses and a stack of receipts for every 75$ week that I kept in the box, several years worth, at least 9-10k worth of receipts, and that shits CHEAP compared to oxy. So I am finally off of opiates. I take kratom still but its essentially non addictive in comparison. Ill cede that I am reliant on kratom but if it disappeared tomorrow I wouldnt panic, I would be fine.
So I fly to Denver with my friend and meet his friends half brother who was instructed to rent a box truck and the three of us were to drive from Denver to Washington carrying like half a million dollars worth of hardware. Its early March, the roads arent exactly great. Half brother of his friend rents a truck with no middle seat though. Its absolutely miserable. Whoever sat middle was sitting like a fem boy legs closed and knees up high from the drive shaft hump. It was un fucking real how uncomfortable the middle was. So like I stated the roads were not great, we drove on ice for 5-6 hours straight (while my crypto friend did about 30 minutes of it before I decided I value my life and banned him from driving, he was literally doing over 70 on this ice sheet when I checked the gauge. I forget what he said, I will fail to make it sound as good but he said that he is protected and can not die, if we wreck he wont get hurt because of some universe stipulation that protects him. He said we would get hurt but he wouldnt. *** Ok here is what he said.
“quantum immortality. if i die in this universe, my conciousness will shift to others where i am still alive”
He just couldnt assure us ours would.
I end up driving like 18 of the 24 (one shot) hours it took as letting crypto friend drive was out. We make it set up a farm over a couple days then we go to Vegas. Not only do we go to Vegas but we fly a private jet. Not only do we take a private jet but his buddy has all four of us our own room at the Bellagio for 5-6 days. I remember having a 4500$ win at Bellagios 500$ cap 2-5 game... ran pretty salty. I only remember one hand worth bringing up, but I closed action and called 400$ pre with 67o with 3 others all in. Just flop 77X and send me the money. (Was drinking, gamble gamble). I cold called that also, some fish had opened massive and a 300$ stack just ripped a 400$ stack rejammed and I had called out of bb knowing fish will call off his 400~. This is actually a leak I have in poker. I will go over it because it has history.
Dating back to online my biggest leak was playing vs short stacks. Everyones biggest leak obv (6m setting). There were a few min buyers on Carbon and I got to the point I put them in pre every time they opened my bb from button, so long as they opened 75%+ from button or close to it. This has carried with me live, if I can gamble 3-4 ways (4 specifically) I will basically do it any time its 100bb~ or less with about 40% of hands if I can close action safely. I am a bit of a degenerate in this sense. I will flip for 1k if I have 10k to my name. It mostly came as a way to loosen up tables (the flipping blind preflop) at my local casino with players who give action. I am pretty snug in general but I cant refuse a flip when it presents itself and I cant refuse a fun gamble with short stacks.
I spend the month in Vegas during WSOP and run absurdly bad. Lose every big pot I play it seems. Switch to PLO the last half of the month and go a week straight without tripling my buy in up at any point. Just insane. Looking back I play rather poorly in PLO. I have been spoiled with my PLO games back home (which have been dead for about a year) and could get away with playing 50% of hands and no one ever bet big draws or anything not the nuts basically. I didnt adjust at all is what the issue was. Was just a frustrating month.
So I return and take a stake from a friend. I barely play still. Same ole same ole.
The last thing I will cover for this section is an incident late in 2018. One of the girls who is the floor at my local casino takes kratom also, we talk about it a fair amount. She has some 10mg percocets (mini oxycontins essentially) she gives me two of them. I havent had one in several years. I have been off methadone for 6-8 months at the time. I am eager to feel what I felt all those years ago, having no tolerance. So I take them home even though I know I shouldnt.
I get home and take both of them. What transpires is almost depressing. It frustrates me to no end that I realized that I have no desire for these. It affirms that all the money I flushed wasnt about the high, it was about the not withdrawing. I basically stated this in an earlier post but this is the event that I learned this from. I dont even enjoy it. I just sink knowing that I gave my life away for these. I have never recovered thanks to pain killers. Never once after 2011 have I ever looked in the mirror and said “finally, I have finally recovered what I fucked off”.
I am going to finish this thread off on the next post most likely. It will likely be long and take me a while to compose as it will cover my current year, and put a bow on it. The story basically climaxes a couple posts back, these surely have slowly lost their luster but I will finish them anyways. Nothing exciting about hearing about a guy who can beat games but wont sit in the chair to do it. Its a bit more upbeat in 2019 though andd I feel my future is bright and redemption nears though. I dont think I would have written these if not for a change of mentality recently, so look forward to a positive summary next post.
submitted by cisheteropatriarchy to poker [link] [comments]

/r/ethtrader quickstart guide - Acronyms, Jargon, and Personalities.

Hi there new ETH investor and/or new /ethtrader community member! Glad to have you aboard. We are a pretty lively bunch around here; inside jokes, memes, and jargon run rampant.

I figured I would create a sort of glossary to help you figure out what the actual fuck we are talking about.

Acronyms (thanks decronym)

BGD: Big green dildo, as in a big green candlestick on the price chart.

BTFD: Buy the fucking dip.

ATH: All time high, the highest price of a thing ever, 1400ish for ETH.

FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out, the urge to jump on the bandwagon when prices rise.

DeFi: Decentralized Finance, MakerDAO and Dharma and stuff. Loans basically.

CDP: Collateralized debt position. A DeFi thing.

FUD: FeaUncertainty/Doubt, negative sentiments spread in order to drive down prices.

MEW: My Ether Wallet, a website to make and interact with wallets.

TA: Technical analysis, predicting the future of the price based on the past.

2FA: 2 factor authentication, its a security thing, a second password of sorts.

ERC20: The standard for tokens built on ETH.

POS: Not piece of shit, or point of sale. Proof of stake, the new consensus mechanism coming to ETH soon™.

ICO: Initial coin offering, the birth of a new crypto, usually an ERC20. Like an IPO.

IEO: Initial exchange offering, like an ICO, but typically a bit more scammy.

EZPZ: e_z_p_z_, more on him later...

BAT: Not the animal, Basic Attention Token

OMG: Not oh my god, well sometimes oh my god, but mostly OmiseGo. Pronounced OH-ME-SAY GO btw.

MKR: MakerDAO.

REP: There is too many tokens to list here, just google it you will figure it out.

DYOR: Do your own research. People want to steal your money. Make sure you know what you are buying.

LN: A silly bitcoin thing.

GDAX: The old name for Coinbase Pro.



Jargon

Bull: Confident the price will go up.

Confidant: misspelling of confident from e_z_p_z_. More on him later...

Bear: Confident the price will go down.

Cuecomber: Cucumber, another EZPZ classic. Can be used as in cool as a cucumber, or as in BGD (see? now you know what BGD means, damn this guide is helpful.)

The ratio: The trading pair ETH:BTC.

The flippening: The ETH marketcap being bigger than the BTC marketcap. Coming soon™ .

Soon™: The release date for everything crypto related.

Donuts: Like reddit karma but /ethtrader specific, and infinitely more valuable. Legend has it that if you get 10 million donuts Vitalik sends you 10 ETH for every 1 ETH you send him. The name comes from cyounessi's post here.

Moon: The price where you can buy a lambo.

Mooning: The price increasing rapidly. Maybe exposed butts depending on how you choose to spend your money.

Moonboy: A hopelessly optimistic/greedy person.

$13: The price was stuck here for a long time. Dark days for /ethtrader.

$420: The top of the bull market before last. Also weed dude hehehe.

$300: The price was stuck here for what seemed like forever. Oh how easy we had it back then...

$324: EZPZ's number. More on him later...

$80: The bottom of the previous bear market. We will definitely never see this price again.

HODL: Hold. From here.

SODL: Sold, same as above.

BUIDL: Build, you get the pattern.

Golden cross: Moving averages of prices crossing. A TA thing.

FIAT: Not the car. Fiat Money. USD, euros, pounds and so on.

Sharding: An ETH scaling method. Don't make sharting jokes, they anger Vitalik.

Ramen: The meal of choice when the price goes down.

Pamp: Pump

Bogdanoff: This. Just... Don't ask...

Weeks not months: In reference to Joe Lubin's prediction for ETH futures coming out. It has been 75 weeks since he said this.

The Winklevii: Founders of Gemini Exchange, the facebook guys.

Updoot the diddly: Or anything with that vague collection of letters, Upvote the daily discussion.

JT's fire pit: jtnichol posts pictures of food he is cooking in his backyard fire pit. Those posts make you hungry.

The DAO: Tumultuous times in ethereum history to say the least.Further reading here.)

Personalities

vbuterin: The founder of Ethereum. We really really like him.

Joe Lubin: Co-founder of Ethereum, founder of ConsenSys. Memes aside. We like him.

carlslarson: Creator of /ethtrader. Overall good guy.

jtnichol: A mod of /ethtrader. Overall sweetheart.

The rest of the mods: Too many to list. It's a great group of people. They won't give you any trouble if you aren't being a dick.

dcinvestor: DC is a smart guy with good opinions. We really like him.

E_Z_P_Z_ the undisputed meme champion. A genuine crazy person. Made a bad sell on the way up, and wrote lengthy posts about how ETH was going back to $324 multiple times a day for months, often times with terrible spelling and grammar. When ETH did hit 324 he became something like a local hero. He is the heel of /ethtrader and we all love to hate him.

lamboshinakaghini: A fool, not to be trusted.

scienceguy9489: He used to regularly post TA. Sometimes he was right, sometimes he was wrong. The crucial thing was that he was memeable. He started to get a bit of an ego going, and was deleting his posts that were wrong, and keeping the correct ones. He recently made a return to /ethtrader and made a post that ETH was going to moon on a certain day and it ended up not being correct, which was just fuel on the meme fire. He goes by etherdamus now and runs a private TA group which has a fee to join.

singlestateserenity: He posts a haiku in the daily every day until we flippen bitcoin. Reading a nice haiku is a pleasant way to start your morning.

Everyone else: Well you will see them around and catch the vibe. There are just too many lovable and hateable people to list.
submitted by LamboshiNakaghini to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Wealth Formula Episode 187: Ask Buck Part: Part One

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/187-ask-buck-part-part-one/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone and let's get on with the Ask Buck component of today's show. As a reminder this is part one of two. The next one will be airing next week, but we have lots of questions. I want to make sure we give adequate time and yet not bore the lights out of you by making this into a two-hour show. So the first question from Jeffrey Cattell. Jeffrey asked, hey Buck I had a question about investing with an LLC and mortgages. I had heard that purchasing rental properties inside an LLC limits you to getting a commercial mortgage. Can you discuss the differences between commercial and conventional mortgages and how buying within an LLC affects your options.
Yes I can certainly give it a try and of course remember I am not an attorney and I am not an adviser these are my opinions and there are things that I've done etc so don't hold me to it, I'm just giving you my perspective. So let me start out by reminding you a little bit about you know the different kinds of mortgages and they're kind of obvious right I mean there are two really two kinds of mortgages there's two residential there's a commercial mortgage. Now residential mortgages I mean that's the kind that you get for your house that's the kind that you might get for a 1 to 4 unit house or duplex or triplex or quad but you can get a second or third mortgage etc but those are all considered residential mortgages. Pricing is obviously best when it's the first one and it's your primary home but these other residential mortgages that you get as a second or third etc are generally favorable in terms of pricing and amortization and all that stuff as well. Now if your property is already owned by an entity such as an LLC or you're buying it in the name of an LLC by definition you are no longer in the residential category because you're declaring to everybody in the world that this is an investment property in which case you must obtain a commercial mortgage which the major difference between the two frankly is just that the commercial mortgages are more expensive and have less favorable terms than residential ones. So how can you potentially get around this okay. So I let me give you an example and again this is not advice but I'm gonna talk about experience and the experience of others around me so I've had a couple of houses that I own in Chicago one of them that I lived in for a few years and now I rent them all. I bought those houses in my name and therefore at the time we got mortgages and the mortgages are in my name, my wife and my name in this case, but after they were purchased in personal name and mortgages were issued, I then transferred them over especially after obviously when I moved down and I rented the place out into an LLC. So they are now deeded to an entity each shows actually deeded to a separate entity. The process that used to do this is called a quitclaim deed. So if you want to ask your attorney about doing something like this is called a quitclaim deed. Now theoretically and I emphasize the theoretical here if you do this your mortgage could be called. Why? Because in your mortgage usually it's gonna tell you you you know you you know this is a mortgage on you and that if you make these kinds of changes you gotta let them know. In practice though what I have found and this is the part where I keep emphasizing I am not giving you advice is that everyone does this right everyone does a quitclaim deed everyone does it. My dad has been doing this for 50 years and has never had a problem. I'm doing it now and these are major banks they even know about it they don't seem to care. Anyway as long as the mortgage gets paid it seems like no one cares. So bottom line is what most people do what I've done for these smaller properties, buy them in your own name quitclaim deed, so you can't but in your own name get the good better mortgage and then quitclaim. Am I advising you to do that? No. I'm not advising you on anything just what I do what I've done what my dad's done and a lot of people I know have done. Okay all right so that is the first question. Now I'm going to move over to an audio question because some of you weren't chicken. Just kidding I'm kidding about that but audio questions are fun they're fun to hear from people so let's see the so I got have a question here from Garth. Okay Garth here we go.
Garth: Hello Dr. Joffrey this is Garth in Portland Oregon. I understand the definition of accredited investor which I am not one but I've also heard a term sophisticated investor and I'm wondering if that is different than accredited investor and if so what do I need to do to get that title? Thanks.
Buck: Thanks for the question Garth. So the question really is what is a sophisticated investor? Well first of all why does this matter in the first place it's all accredited sophisticated stuff? Well the answer that, for private placements in real estate a certain kind of offering is frequently used called a Regulation D offering, it's the typical structure. Regulation D, a Regulation D offering allows you to move forward with a private offering without pushing it through the SEC for formal classification as the security. Now why would you not want to file with the SEC? Well there's two reasons really cost in time, it's expensive. But the bigger issue in terms of real estate is a very practical one it's the element of time. So if you're doing an SEC filing and you know on an offering it's gonna take you at least a year to get that through the SEC and contrast that with the fact that when you get a building under contract and you know one of the properties that we do an investor club for example, usually you got some under contract you raise capital you close the building and all that it's happening within three months, so you only usually have a very short period of time, you don't have time to send that to the SEC and let them mess around with it. And the SEC in reality knows this so this is not a new new thing this regulation D, it's been around forever you know but so they provide this as an exception to the rule they say if you're not going to file with the SEC you can still do this legally but it has to be under this kind of exemption Reg D and these are limited, these will be limited to investors that are either accredited which we've talked about before, you make $200,000 a year for two years with a reasonable expectation of doing it again the next year, $300,000 if filing jointly and/or a net worth of $1,000,000 outside of your personal residence. That is an accredited investor. What's a sophisticated investor? Well that's the problem right? So that's that's not very clear, it's not very clear at all and it's a little nebulous and when it's not clear frankly often that becomes the area of abuse. There's no clear definition of a sophisticated investor. Sophisticated investors are supposed to be financially savvy. They're supposed to have experience and knowledge and acumen that makes them more qualified to make decisions about these types of more sophisticated investments than your average Joe. But the problem is that it's essentially up to the fundraiser to determine if an individual is sophisticated or not. Now I have seen situations where people join say a real estate gurus organization and immediately upon paying for the course they are somehow deemed sophisticated and start investing in other students deals within that ecosystem, a bit shady if you ask me but it is what it is. Now that's not to suggest that you in particular are not sophisticated because if you're listening to this show there's a very good chance you are sophisticated, you may you know just understand the language well and you may understand real estate well you may own a bunch of real estate and you want to invest passively in a real estate syndication and in those cases you might be sophisticated, you know. I mean it is a little bit random because you know I run into people who are making you know doctors who are making five hundred thousand dollars a year but they've only made it for eighteen months and so therefore they're not accredited, right? So then you have to make some judgment calls but anyway bottom line is sophisticated is subjective but I think the biggest problem for this terminology is that there really is no safe harbor in my opinion at least that makes it really really difficult to deal with from the side of the operator and therefore in our group in general for investor club it's very rare when we will you know not require the true accredited definition and the reality is most major syndicators won't even consider sophisticated investors who are not accredited for this reason, it just becomes one of those situations you don't want to put yourself in trouble. Okay so let's go to the next question or a couple questions from the same individual so that's fine too, okay from Ron.
Ron: I have a question about Bitcoin. Where do the new bitcoins come from in short I know we are accurate we have and they create blocks in those blocks we store transactions and the miners get a fee for building a block that's 12 Bitcoin I believe so are those 12 bitcoins also getting into relation we'll end up with those 21 million bitcoins in the end or is there something else? So that's my question can you help me with that. Thank you.
Buck: Sure Ron pretty straightforward I mean without getting into too much technical the new Bitcoin you mentioned you know the whole mining basically the new Bitcoin come from doing the mathematical work to solve these complex mathematical problems that's what these supercomputers do those are the miners and then there's a competition whoever gets the answer first as you mentioned gets rewarded with this fee, they get rewarded with Bitcoin and that's weird those Bitcoin are actually generated so that's what it means to mine Bitcoin and you're also right they'll never be more than 21 million Bitcoin you know so that's one of the true values of Bitcoin is that it is a finite thing there’ll never be more than 21 million so the fact that some go out of circulation to get lost etc it's deflationary in that regard. The last thing I guess I would point out is you know what happens after mining is complete with 21 million well basically miners get paid for exchanges transfers etc at that point but it'll be interesting to see how that all turns out at that point. All right I think Ron has another question here and I think it's related.
Ron: Hello there Buck. Ron again here with a question, a what-if scenario. What if my thousand dollar worth of Bitcoin explodes and all of a sudden it's 1 million and I started with storing it on my Ledger Nano S. Is that still a good way to go when it's about a million or maybe 10 million or do I need to have some other methods in place due to spread risks or to be safe? Please let me know. Thank you. Bye bye.
Buck: Alright well a good question you know what Ron is talking about is the Ledger Nano S which is a hardware wallet it basically is something that's stored offline. Now listen that's what makes it so resistant to you know any kind of hacking right so you're not it's you're not online if you're not online no one can get to you, you know a hacker and Russia can't get to you, you know. But so if you suddenly end up with a million dollars of Bitcoin or more the reality is that in terms of the ledger it's just as bulletproof as before. I think the issue becomes when people have you know when they get like several million dollars a Bitcoin or Bitcoin million you know multi millionaires and billionaires or whatever then you know I may become a little nerve-racking just to have this little ledger around here right you may want to have you might want to have a little bit more protection than that in which case you might consider some kind of a custodian service like Gemini etc, but that's you know that's not necessary because one of the things about Bitcoin one of the appeals is that itself the ability to self custodian this stuff right you don't need a bank for this. And so I guarantee you that people are walking around with millions of dollars on their ledgers. Now I will point out that you know Ledger Nano S is just one Hardware wallet and you can get a lot more sophisticated and complicated type things you can even get a like a multi signature wallet Hardware wallet would that would require you know multiple people's keys in order to get to the cryptocurrency which you know I mean if you end up with a ton of money in crypto currency that's you know that's probably something that you might want to do. Okay next question from John Jillette.
Hi Buck love your podcast been extremely helpful in increasing my financial intelligence. There's been talk about impending financial crisis from well-known economist Dent, Rickards and Schiff. What do you believe in the percentage chance that we go into a 2008 like financial crisis in the next couple years? Also as the recession is always coming how much dry powder do you recommend having at this point in the cycle scoop up deals when there's “blood in the streets”? Good question John the problem in my view with those guys that you talked about Harry Dent, Jim Rickards, Peter Schiff all super smart guys right and Harry Dent was on the show recently, is that they've all been predicting the same darn thing for at least four or five years now, right? I mean and it hasn't happened and when there is some sort of pull back because as you said there's always gonna be a recession at some point why is it after you blood in the street, you know? The bottom line is that you know Harry Dent in our last show even said you know I said dude it's hard to predict when right yeah it's hard to predict one I absolutely admit that. So what do you do then because let me give you an example of the counter risk to this whole you know this whole world of fear-mongering, and I'm not saying those guys are just doing that on purpose for that reason, I mean I do think that you know if your whole thing is like the world is coming to an end and you need to buy gold and your major business is selling gold then you know it's a little bit hard to swallow sometimes but let me give you an example of what could happen. So six years ago because you know I said before that Peter and you know all these guys have been talking about for five years at least about how you know everything's going to hell. Six years ago there was a company that we work with now called Western Wealth Capital and Investor Club and they have an investor who has put in twenty five thousand dollars and every deal for the last six years and they have a really unique model of people within our group know a lot about it. The total of seven hundred fifty thousand dollars was invested out-of-pocket during that period of time but the principle is now worth four million dollars. Now those are pretty exceptional numbers right that comes out to you know an annualized return of about a hundred percent and I'm not saying that that is you know what's going to happen in the future, but what I would skew to consider is what if we'd been listening to that advice for five years now? If this person had done that would they have done well? Okay well obviously not because you know if you stopped investing because of because of fear then you didn't make any money. Is it a guarantee that they would have lost money? Absolutely not. I mean listen these deals are really solid they go in there and they start to de-risk these things right away by driving up net operating income and maybe you know maybe wouldn’t have made as much money, but would it have lost a bunch of money? Well personally I just don't I don't think so. Now listen I'm not saying there will not be a recession. As I said eventually there will be. The problem is that we cannot time it and we cannot really quantify the magnitude. As much as people would love to talk about this blood and the street thing I mean the major mainstream economists and ITR Economics who I like don't think it's gonna be that big, they think it's gonna be stuck to the manufacturing and industrial sectors. So what do we do? So what do I do? I should say that I stick to quality assets and quality areas, I create value the moment you know that and then we create value in those assets the moment we acquire them, right? So that helps that whole value add concepts helps de-risk any project by dynamically decompressing cap rates. So think about it you you know you you buy something at a certain cap rate all the sudden you're driving in net operating income and you dynamically decompress your cap rates you have a better margin over your debt burden your risk is significantly lowered and if you can get all of your money out of the deal with a refinance all of your risk is gone okay. So now if there is a downturn and you're in one of these things you want to be in a position where you can ride out the storm with assets you already own and then, and then, this is the important part, lean into the downturn right lots of people freeze up when things go south or but the right thing to do is to be greedy when others are scared. So by continuing to deploy on a regular basis my personal belief is that you can volume average your way through a downturn and get capital preservation and then hopefully pick up some really cheap assets, ride them back up and hopefully it you know you end up in really good shape. That's my own approach to this. I'm not sitting around waiting for zombies to you know erupt out of the ground and start you know only accepting silver dollars, you know from a monster box. I'm just that's just not I just don't see it. As for the current financial climate I'd say the banks are, and I think again most economists would tell you that the banks are in a lot better shape than they were in 2008. I don't think that there's necessarily anything that looks like 2008. I think GDP has grown at a record for a record length of time it's been sluggish but on the other hand you know so in other words there will be some kind of recession eventually but why does it need to be blood in the streets? See we have to remember that before 2008 there was such thing as a recession that you just hear about like three months after it happened right it doesn't always have to be cataclysmic. Now you know talking about these guys you know Peter Schiff himself talks about you know the nature of this crisis that he sees happening and what he describes it as, is a dollar crisis. And if it's a dollar crisis what that means is it's gonna result in inflation. Now inflation is good for real estate. Conversely you've got Harry Dent who's talking about a deflationary recession which I have a harder time believing because of how it affects our own ability to pay you know Treasury holders, US Treasury holders, but you know even Harry thinks in his scenario that well you might as well you know own multifamily real estate because the demographics would suggest that that would be a safe place to be now Harry's a demographics guy. Now listen who knows what'll really happen just because Harry said that and Peter said that and I said this it could be completely something different, but if you do nothing and keep all your money in a bank you're guaranteed to lose money with inflation in my opinion because again I don't think it's gonna be deflationary I've been over that before. And as for dry powder it’s always good to have some obviously right I mean it's always good to have some, so it's hard to quantify how much. The way I have done it is I use as you may know I'm sure you know by now I am an advocate for Wealth Formula Banking because I like the option of you know being able to borrow etc. now for this purpose I use Wealth Formula Banking because it's it's sort of a source of liquidity for me that I can access very quickly that it's out of the banking system but how much dry powder I keep, generally relies on my contribution to the Wealth Formula Banking policy every year. So it's one of the things that sort of keeps me honest right I have to put a certain amount every year in there all the way up to the paid up perdition's and so that's basically circulating as my you know almost like a bond portfolio of liquidity in case I need it, so that's how I do it. But that being said, I'm also in a situation where I am very incentivized to invest rather than to keep my money around or invest in anything that's not real estate so I probably could do a better job with keeping a little bit more dry powder around. Anyway right now, so Wealth Formula Banking that's where my dry powder is and like I said that's where it keeps me disciplined, but I do not have a crystal ball and I don't really I'd really don't foresee myself anything horrible happening so I mean if I did if I was sure of it I'd probably I'm sure I would just you know have a bunch of money sitting around but I don't see any serious indication of that frankly. You know and I should point out I saw today you know Ray Dalio came out and said even about the stock market that he's bullish still right on the stock market, right? I'm not saying I'm bullish on the stock market but the point is there's some still some big names not really like hiding out in shorting markets at this point. So anyway I don't know that I even came close to answering your question but I talked a lot so let's see here. Next question Jason got an audio question.
Jason: Buck, this is Jason Beck from The Rock Arkansas. Wanted to see if you had come across any good ways to utilize raw land investments for a tax-advantaged purpose. I've got some land that is timber and some more land that is pasture that we keep some horses on. I want to see if you had seen anybody utilize either various schedules on their tax returns or creation of entities to try to gain some tax advantage from those type of investments?
Buck: Yeah the big one that comes to mind Jason is conservation easements. Now you know as soon as I say that a lot of people think oh that's that one thing that's kind of like that the IRS hates and they write articles about to try to scare people off of them and that's actually not totally the case the thing that IRS really hates are the syndicated conservation easements even those you know they're totally lawful but what I'm talking about is conservation easements on your own land which really are not controversial for the most part at all. So basically here's how that works okay. Effectively what you do in a conservation easement is you commit your land you still keep it you don't give it but you're giving up certain rights, you remember like yeah if you do any kind of real estate you know there's land rights there's ground rights all that kind of stuff. Anyway, in this case you're giving up the right to develop the land and or or in some cases if it's a mining situation, giving up the right to drill on the land. And if you do that what's interesting is that and what's powerful is that you can if you’ve done it appropriately get a valuation on your lands maximum value if it were to be used for that other purpose. Well let's give a give you an example so it's not so nebulous in other words say the alternative of keeping your horse pasture land was to build a multi-million dollar resort and you had all the plans you had architectural drawings etc. In that case you could theoretically get a valuation of how much that resort would be valued at and take the deduction for the amount of the valuation that you got instead of the value that your land currently has. So as you can imagine that could be an enormous potential tax benefit and so I would probably look into that for sure there's some very famous people who use that, Ted Turner CNN that's why he's got so many Buffalo, people say Donald Trump that's one of the reasons why he has so many golf courses but of course we don't see his tax return so we don't know that for sure. Anyway I know the guy you should speak with and I have already sent you a connection via email.
Okay next question when evaluating a private placement opportunity I should say I don't I for some reason I don't have a name on this one so I apologize, but when evaluating a private placement opportunity, how important is it to you that the general partner has their own personal money invested in the deal? Well the answer is it depends okay. Let's take Ken McElroy for example let's take Western Wealth Capital and those guys for example Ken's be a better example because Western Wealth Capital I know got a couple of million dollars in every deal but let's take Ken. In the past you know where he was I've invested in as a limited partner in companies deals where you know I neither Ken was putting any money in and does that bother me not really. Why? Well listen I know Ken's model and he doesn't really get rewarded unless the asset performs. I also know Ken personally and know that he works hard, has a lot of integrity and takes pride in his work. He's got a tremendous track record and I also know that it takes a lot of work to do what he does, so not getting rewarded financially until the you know property starts to really perform the way he pro formas it out is a type of sweat equity because what you're talking about ultimately is skin in the game. Does the operator have skin in the game? And the question really I think is better termed you know does the operator have skin in the game? Because the skin in the game can also come in the form of sweat equity. Now if Ken in his case doesn't get paid unless investors get paid, I would definitely consider that skin in the game knowing how much work that is. Now the problem these days in my opinion is that there is you know there's everybody and their mother is a syndicator. And you know what I'm talking about right? So you've got all these people I was in here, I'm a full-time software engineer we're 50 hours a week and oh yeah and I just went to a guru course and I'm you know I'm taking down a twenty five million dollar asset would you like to join me? Those people are everywhere now and in those kinds of deals personally I would never invest anyway. However, if you do you should demand heavy skin in the game through cash why because you don't you know you don't know what they're gonna do, they don’t have a huge track record, they've got full-time jobs this isn't just about plugging in a property manager and taking your cut that's BS you know but honestly I would stay away from those deals all together personally you don't want to be part of someone's learning curve.
All right let's see next question I have this via email here, I'm gonna read it. Okay so the next question is from Kenny. Kenny French is asking he says hi Buck I'm a podcast listener and Western Wealth Capital investor as well. I'm currently working with Rod Zabriskie to set up Wealth Formula Banking life insurance policy. So far everything has been going pretty smoothly with one exception. One of the features that I really like about the life insurance policy is it offers a way to have money grow that is protected from creditors and it really gives me a peace of mind to know that I will have a good chunk of money set aside for my family that can't or at least is very difficult for creditors or anyone else to touch. In looking how to hold that policy in a trust LLC personally etc I found out that California, where I live, that's where I live too, has terrible protections for life insurance policies. They only exempt a very small amount less than $20,000 presumably of cash values what we're talking about there, but from the little bit of research I did it looks like a Nevada trust may be the way to go, either way I think this would make for a good podcast topic to do a bit of a dive into so that's why I'm reading that and I got Kenny's okay to do this. So I thought was a good question. So what I did is I actually ran this by Doug Lodmell of Lodmell and Lodmell. Doug is of course my asset protection attorney, very smart guy, all-around good guy. I also want to put a plug in for him if you go to wealthformula.com and you go to there's basically some where you can click there and Doug did this really good webinar on asset protection from sort of the very basic to the more complex and he's just really really good so I would highly recommend you consider using him if any of this stuff is relevant to you. So here's the deal, and here's effectively the answer I've got from Doug: life insurance in many states is already a protected asset, so part of the issue is you got to check in your own state like Kenny did, as in some states like Kenny he's talking about California life insurance turns into pretty much just like an asset like any other asset and it has to be put into an asset protected vehicle. But because it is life insurance, there is an additional consideration of what happens when the policy pays out and how that affects the estate and for that reason there's also an additional choice which is an ILIT which stands for irrevocable life insurance trust. So the issue is that life insurance obviously has a death benefit which could impact the size of your estate and this must be a primary driver for where you hold it. If the death benefit will create or increase in estate tax, then the policy should be held by either an ILIT or another type of gift type trust like a dynasty trust. If the death benefit will not affect the estate tax because the total estate is below the exemption then I would suggest using an asset protection trust asset protection structure to hold the insurance if you are not in a state with good protections. He says it also matters if the insured is using life insurance as a savings vehicle and will need it for their retirement, as often we do with these kinds of things. If so then it is better in an asset protection plan. So I know that was a lot. So first of all if you know you're one of these if you have one of these plans I mean Kenny brings up a very good point you you sure look into this if you're looking for the asset protection component of this too. A few thoughts here okay, first of all you know the first thing to do is check your state and see what kind of protections you have. Next you know the ILIT is certainly an option right I mean it's it's just it's not very expensive it is a couple thousand dollars and you can use that, the problem with that it's difficult to to borrow out of. The next thing to consider is okay how big is that life insurance policy right? If it's three four million bucks, may not be a big deal especially if the rest of your estate is sitting outside of your estate or you've got a plan to have it outside of your estate then you can still figure out you know how to keep you know your estate stuff below you know whatever I think it's probably gonna sunset down to five and a half million or something like that for estate taxes. So in that regard, it seems to me that the smart thing to do would be to use like an asset protection trust which is you know certainly an option that that Doug can help you with, and frankly the nice thing about that is that you know you've got the protection from the creditors and it's still available for retirement. Now if you've got a great big you know death benefit on there, the next step really and actually this step that I've got is a dynasty trust, that was a Nevada dynasty trust and I've got one of those. In that situation though you are getting a trustee involved so you're not directly controlling it. Now I can tell you from personal experience that it's actually relatively not that difficult, you know to work with the trustee, but it does make it a little bit more difficult you know to get the cash available for the insured to use so that's the one thing to consider. Now Doug makes the point that you can also in some situations take an asset protection trust that automatically converts to a dynasty trust at death so then it's really the most flexible tool for most people so that might be the way to go. I think based on what I'm hearing and that's actually different from what I did but you know it was before I met Doug but I might have done like an asset protection trust that converted into a dynasty trust later that might have been what I would have done. Anyway complicated question complicated answer and that's kind of where I'll leave it because I've got a little headache from that last one at this point. So that's it for this week and that is just like half the questions we've got. We've been going on for a while. So that's it for me this week on Wealth Formula Podcast for Ask Buck Part One and we'll be back next week with part two.
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Rise and Fall Part 9.

Part 8 (has link to all before it, part 7 link has each individual link)
I expect this one to be the least popular one. Just wanted to be a cynic to open it up. I have been busy and this ones prob a bit sloppy, I didnt really proof read it or clean it up. The next one will likely be my last and hopefully the best one.
It is early 2017. I have been carrying on my usual playing 10-20 hours a week to survive. Still lethargic is best term I suppose. I just dont get excited to play anymore. I consider getting a job to remind me how shitty working is so it gives me a kick in the teeth to play poker. Then it dawns on me, I hate playing poker now.
Poker has been tainted. Everything bad that happened to me I can associate with poker. The rise and fall was poker (the fall part). The oxycontin started as a performance enhancer to log more hours. Everything I consider to be wrong in my life I trace back to poker essentially, even if just a butterfly affect reason that had I done something else I wouldnt be here.
Hating poker is not the greatest realization considering its my only means to income outside of grunt labor. I seek a job in a couple places to no avail which was fine, I didnt wanna do that either.
Several months earlier I had started playing on SWC (bitcoin site) and became familiarized with bitcoin. Thought nothing of it, it was just the currency I was winning or losing. I dont read a thing about it, I learn nothing of it. I wasnt playing a ton or even big stakes, my intention for playing online was to just stay sharp in case it ever comes back full fledge. I have 5-6 btc on this site at the most (2-3k) and I flush it playing plo and big o not thinking much of it.
Back to 2017. Its March/April~ of 2017. I am playing cards one night dicking around probably had a couple drinks and was needling the usuals etc. A guy I do not know is in the game. Looks Russian. I bet he interfered in our election... fucking commies. I dont remember how I got to talking to him but crypto had been brought up. I talk about SWC. Tell him I had a few btc but not anymore. The only other thing I remember well from the conversation was bitching about going from an iphone4 (yes I had an iphone4 from 2010-17, the same one. It barely worked. Many oxycontins snorted off the back of that phone, texts dating back to when I got it in 2010) to the 6 or 7 or wtfever I have now, which is bigger and its harder to text and drive. He just responds by saying “first world problems are the worst”. Amen brother, those Africans and Venezuelans have no clue of our struggle.
I end up talking to him a bit and it turns out he mines crypto. Has a website that sells mining equipment. He has a hell of a back story too. I tell him I am interested in mining. I have about 20k to my name at this time and I realized recently that I dont like playing poker so why not? He eventually tells me not to do it. Regardless we become friends and he is ultimately the most important friend I have ever made. I have made more positive strides mentally since meeting him (mostly work ethic, realizations, reality checks and aspirations) As silly as it sounds, when he told me “first world problems are the worst” it stuck with me. He was saying it as a joke but jokes are funniest when true. He is genuinely the smartest guy I have ever associated with also. If you run into him at a poker table youd think he was a high functioning autist. Then you talk to him and go “ohhh hes just one of those Einstein type geniuses”. His hair is usually a mess, he cuts his own hair for or has his girlfriend do it. He wears cheap clothing usually since it all covers your ass or nipples I suppose. He virtually never instigates conversation with people he doesnt know. He is really deliberate with his actions. Talks really calmly and knows exactly what he is saying. He is just on the same level at all times it seems.
Meeting him has definitely changed my life for the better. We become friends pretty quickly. I know I went on a downer after meeting him because I couldnt afford to buy mining stuff and remember wanting to (again, he told me not to do it eventually anyways).
Which will lead me to another good friend to have. Between 2015 and this point in 2017 I have shot myself in the foot not logging hours a couple times. A friend has bailed me out with a loan or short term stake a few times. He is a well off restaurant owner who loves poker more than just about anything not related to him. Every time I see him we talk about hands he played and he just eats it up, has photographic memory and never butchers a hand history which is nice. He is as good hearted of a guy as I have ever met. (Sorry if this is getting long winded giving praise to people close to me, I intend on sharing with a few people and would like them to know what they mean to me as corny as that is because I suck at doing it in real life. Plus it is kinda gay to get mushy sounding in real life, but I digress. Theyve heard virtually none of the content of this whole thread either, a ton of this stuff I have never shared) In fact he is too kind hearted. He has helped people who wouldnt piss on him if he was on fire, and people have burned him on many occasions. My only complaint about this person is he never kicked my ass and told me to log more hours or fuck off. I needed it. If I just logged hours I wouldnt need the help. Its as simple as that. I have no leaks other than the unwillingness to play (leaks as in drugs/pit games/strippers/wtf ever else) and it has hindered me immensely over the these last couple years. (Ok I do have one embarrassing leak that has been fixed for a year and change, mobile games... I have spent like 30,000$ on mobile games between late 2016 and late 2018, Lords Mobile specifically clocked me for 20k. This definitely hindered my ability to build a roll and got me into a few jams. When youre not logging hours playing youre sitting around gaming and these games arent cheap obviously)
It is around May now and my friend who messes with crypto tells me that Bitcoin is going to 10,000$. Its like 800$ at the time iirc. I own a couple from Ignition cashouts. I kind of trust him. I cant argue him on it as I have literally no mental fortitude on the subject, but I essentially shrug it off. I start watching the price on poloniex and am watching prices jump like crazy. Light bulb in head! I can buy the dips sell the peaks and have more BTC! Lets load the 2.5btc I have onto poloniex! Sell peak but it keeps climbing... “FUCK! gotta get it back before it goes to 10k! Whew. Still have 2.45 BTC. FUCK! Its dropping! Get it out before it goes to zero!”
Yea I turned that 2.5 BTC into .4 BTC. No joke. I think I ended up throwing it onto SWC and losing it once it was almost gone. I honestly forget. I had nothing when it finally hit 20k other than some shit alts worth about 800$ at most (worth 35$ now but they still reside in my locked poloniex account, maybe I will give poloniex my ID if they ever become worth more than 1k)
So I am now annoyed I didnt turn every free dollar I had into BTC. I didnt trust the guy enough and to be fair I would have been using the money I play with. Had I met the guy a year earlier (know what I know of him now) I would probably have just locked it all up and sat around waiting.
I never really get my act together in 2017. I continuously log just enough hours to get by. I just dont care. I just want a way out of this. I catch myself saying “I hate playing poker” and sometime around the end of 17 or early 2018 I start trying to censor myself and quit saying that. Saying it will only make it fester deeper. I have to retrain myself to love poker. I remember the days of playing 18-24 hours straight because I love playing. I love watching for everything I can find to get an edge. I love a situation to present itself where I can step out of line. But now I just sit down and count the minutes before I can tell myself “way to go! You put in an 8 hour shift lets pack it in!” I leave good games often times. I celebrate when games break. This is where I am mentally while I play. I cant break out of it.
Late in 2017 a close friend of mine passes away. Will call him J. He was the guy who gave me a place to stay after the shutdown in Joplin. I was still doing oxy and he never once touched the stuff knowing what has happened to me. He doesnt judge me, he is somewhat of an enabler I suppose. He just drinks does shitty coke sometimes and has a script of adderol and xanax. Literally never once does he do any with me (ive warned him xanax and opiates will kill you if you mix, which is likely part of the reason he never did it) He was a marginal poker player (relative to modern game, he was just good enough to beat the rake live but he had too many pit leaks) and took great pride in being my friend (I was the slayer in the area for years leading up to this, anyone considered the best in their area can relate, you just have the respect of the local poker community). One of my earlier live poker memories involved him. I am like 18 or 19 playing a 1-2 game at a small casino and he was there with a friend. They were the good players in the game at the time. They were having a few drinks eating nice food and laughing having a good time. I remember thinking that I want this lifestyle. Care free gambling fast paced lifestyle. I had told him this story years later and he just ate it up, constantly tried to get me to rebound, but as I have stated many many times in the last few of these I have basically waved my white flag and accepted the result of my fall.
Anyhow after living with him we always talk every few months at minimal and have something to eat when we see each other at the casino. He was somewhat disingenuous sounding he was so nice and honestly it got to a point it started rubbing me the wrong way. I still talk to him of course but less frequently. In December of 2017 I get a phone call from my friend who owns the restaurant and he is distraught. He has been at the hospital and J has passed away. The back story on this is he had gotten a phone call from old friend who was getting out of prison in Arizona with no where to go (a female). J being as nice a guy as he is drives the 20+ hours to get her and gives her a place to stay. Well shes a junky and actually convinces J to do opiates/heroin. He overdoses and dies. I hadnt talked to him in a few months. I regret it. Had I known I would have beaten him senseless and got him to quit before things actually get bad.
Going to his funeral hit me up side the head too. The way I started feeling he was disingenuous just got destroyed. I cant fathom as many people showing up to my funeral with as nice of things to say. I wrote something to say but opt out after a few people say everything I had written (except better). I regret not saying them anyways. I think I still have what I wrote tucked away with the card and his money clip that made its way to me. I stumbled across his casino players card in a box one day and it resides in my wallet ever since. This was the first close friend that has passed away in my life, knock on wood. It woke me up a bit and caused a lot of self reflection because I felt I had let him down. I lived a few miles from him and didnt drop in to see him, didnt stay in contact as well as I should have. All because I felt he was disingenuously nice when he was actually just nice, which is actually because I am a cynical hermit who hates social life these days. That was the real reason I didnt stay closer. Him being too nice was just my excuse to blow him off essentially.
Only other thing I can add is that chick he helped out didnt even go to his funeral and on top of that had tried to take his truck and clean his house out. Junkies are the worst. I was a junky but I proudly say I never robbed anyone or cost anyone anything other than emotional distress.
2018 starts and I have been decreasing my methadone every week for about 3-4 months now. I am on a low dose. Makes sleeping at night hard (get restless legs and sneezy). So I am having a few drinks any time I am at the casino playing (still just two days a week for the most part) to help get through those late night sessions when its worn off and I feel crummy. I get down to 15mg then 10mg and in March of 2018 I get asked if I wanna work for a week with my crypto friend. His friend is setting up a farm with 500 miners and needs help. I agree. The pay is in excess of the work (in my opinion) at 3k and I have no expenses, but I dont argue obviously. Before we leave town I have to pick up my week of methadone (at 4mg now) and so I do that. I never take any of them, I have the box still. Never opened it. They remain at my apartment as a reminder, the box carrying the 6 doses and a stack of receipts for every 75$ week that I kept in the box, several years worth, at least 9-10k worth of receipts, and that shits CHEAP compared to oxy. So I am finally off of opiates. I take kratom still but its essentially non addictive in comparison. Ill cede that I am reliant on kratom but if it disappeared tomorrow I wouldnt panic, I would be fine.
So I fly to Denver with my friend and meet his friends half brother who was instructed to rent a box truck and the three of us were to drive from Denver to Washington carrying like half a million dollars worth of hardware. Its early March, the roads arent exactly great. Half brother of his friend rents a truck with no middle seat though. Its absolutely miserable. Whoever sat middle was sitting like a fem boy legs closed and knees up high from the drive shaft hump. It was un fucking real how uncomfortable the middle was. So like I stated the roads were not great, we drove on ice for 5-6 hours straight (while my crypto friend did about 30 minutes of it before I decided I value my life and banned him from driving, he was literally doing over 70 on this ice sheet when I checked the gauge. I forget what he said, I will fail to make it sound as good but he said that he is protected and can not die, if we wreck he wont get hurt because of some universe stipulation that protects him. He said we would get hurt but he wouldnt. (I will have him tell me this stuff again and leave it in comments, it was pretty funny and I kinda want to think he believes what he said as it was clearly not something he just came up with).
I end up driving like 18 of the 24 (one shot) hours it took as letting crypto friend drive was out. We make it set up a farm over a couple days then we go to Vegas. Not only do we go to Vegas but we fly a private jet. Not only do we take a private jet but his buddy has all four of us our own room at the Bellagio for 5-6 days. I remember having a 4500$ win at Bellagios 500$ cap 2-5 game... ran pretty salty. I only remember one hand worth bringing up, but I closed action and called 400$ pre with 67o with 3 others all in. Just flop 77X and send me the money. (Was drinking, gamble gamble). I cold called that also, some fish had opened massive and a 300$ stack just ripped a 400$ stack rejammed and I had called out of bb knowing fish will call off his 400~. This is actually a leak I have in poker. I will go over it because it has history.
Dating back to online my biggest leak was playing vs short stacks. Everyones biggest leak obv (6m setting). There were a few min buyers on Carbon and I got to the point I put them in pre every time they opened my bb from button, so long as they opened 75%+ from button or close to it. This has carried with me live, if I can gamble 3-4 ways (4 specifically) I will basically do it any time its 100bb~ or less with about 40% of hands if I can close action safely. I am a bit of a degenerate in this sense. I will flip for 1k if I have 10k to my name. It mostly came as a way to loosen up tables (the flipping blind preflop) at my local casino with players who give action. I am pretty snug in general but I cant refuse a flip when it presents itself and I cant refuse a fun gamble with short stacks.
I spend the month in Vegas during WSOP and run absurdly bad. Lose every big pot I play it seems. Switch to PLO the last half of the month and go a week straight without tripling my buy in up at any point. Just insane. Looking back I play rather poorly in PLO. I have been spoiled with my PLO games back home (which have been dead for about a year) and could get away with playing 50% of hands and no one ever bet big draws or anything not the nuts basically. I didnt adjust at all is what the issue was. Was just a frustrating month.
So I return and take a stake from a friend. I barely play still. Same ole same ole.
The last thing I will cover for this section is an incident late in 2018. One of the girls who is the floor at my local casino takes kratom also, we talk about it a fair amount. She has some 10mg percocets (mini oxycontins essentially) she gives me two of them. I havent had one in several years. I have been off methadone for 6-8 months at the time. I am eager to feel what I felt all those years ago, having no tolerance. So I take them home even though I know I shouldnt.
I get home and take both of them. What transpires is almost depressing. It frustrates me to no end that I realized that I have no desire for these. It affirms that all the money I flushed wasnt about the high, it was about the not withdrawing. I basically stated this in an earlier post but this is the event that I learned this from. I dont even enjoy it. I just sink knowing that I gave my life away for these. I have never recovered thanks to pain killers. Never once after 2011 have I ever looked in the mirror and said “finally, I have finally recovered what I fucked off”.
I am going to finish this thread off on the next post most likely. It will likely be long and take me a while to compose as it will cover my current year, and put a bow on it. The story basically climaxes a couple posts back, these surely have slowly lost their luster but I will finish them anyways. Nothing exciting about hearing about a guy who can beat games but wont sit in the chair to do it. Its a bit more upbeat in 2019 though and I feel my future is bright and redemption nears though. I dont think I would have written these if not for a change of mentality recently, so look forward to a positive summary next post.
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ImLuxqzy 1v1ing views (Console only #TeamUnyque #UnyqueRC ... The Beauty of Dash (w/ Hillary Rojas) Stoking Passion for Dash with the Dash Nation Movement Bitcoin Q&A: The lifecycle of a transaction 10 PESO COIN 2018 NGC  LET'S CHECK THE INTERNATIONAL SELLING PRICE  COIN HOBBY (#124)

Is Bitcoin here to stay, or is it a bubble waiting to pop? The cryptocurrency promises to revolutionize global finance by placing control of currency in the hands of users, not nations, and make financial exchanges more transparent, efficient, and democratic. And it seems to be taking hold: Earlier this year both the Cboe and CME debuted Bitcoin futures. Still to this day the principal, real-world use-case for Bitcoin as Bitcoin, rather than as a proxy for some fiat or another. Though in fairness S.MG's products are catching up. Hah! Literally last night a friend of mine asked me for 0.01 bitcoin so that he could buy Trilema credits, and that he would pay me back in cash next time we meet. A classic example of Stop-loss on a single coin. In this other example, the algorithm will keep an eye on the market checking for any of your coins with price decrease larger than 4%. The wallet also maintains the user’s digital currency balance. A wallet provider is a person (individual or entity) that provides the software to create and manage wallets, which users can download. A hosted wallet provider is a business that creates and stores a digital currency wallet on behalf of a customer. Instead, the agency made concessions to seek account data of individuals who transacted — meaning they bought, sold, sent, or received — $20,000 worth of bitcoin in any transaction type.

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ImLuxqzy 1v1ing views (Console only #TeamUnyque #UnyqueRC ...

What is the lifecycle of a transaction, from wallet to inclusion in the Bitcoin blockchain? This question is from the second session of MOOC 11, which took place on February 7th 2019. 10 Signs that you're financially stable and better with money than you think. This channel focuses on personal finance and offers money saving tips and advice on how to live a more frugal life ... Herman Kelly, Irish Freedom Party, 'hand off our kids' demo Leinster Hse. Dublin, 11th, July 2020. - Duration: 7:20. kilmorequay1 Recommended for you. New It's so important to have an engaged, passionate community in all aspects of bringing a disruptive technology such as Dash to the global marketplace. Passionate people make the best teachers ... As Dash grows, the ways people will find to use it will grow as well. Today's guest Hillary Rojas is a very hard worker educating her fellow Venezuelans about the benefits of Dash. But, she also ...