March 2016 – FREEQ Crypto News

Flatten the Curve. #18. The current cold war between China and America explained. And how China was behind the 2008 Wall Street financial Crash. World War 3 is coming.

China, the USA, and the Afghanistan war are linked. And in order to get here, we will start there.
9-11 happened. Most of the planet mistakenly understood terrorists had struck a blow against Freedom and Capitalism and Democracy. It was time to invade Afghanistan. Yet all of the terrorists were linked to Saudi Arabia and not Afghanistan, that didn't make sense either. Yet they invaded to find Bin Laden, an ex CIA asset against the Soviet Union and it's subjugation of Afghanistan. The land in the middle of nowhere in relation to North America and the West. It was barren. A backwater without any strategic importance or natural resources.
Or was there?
The survey for rare earth elements was only made possible by the 2001 U.S. invasion, with work beginning in 2004. Mirzad says the Russians had already done significant surveying work during their military occupation of the country in the 1980s. Mirzad also toes the line for U.S. corporations, arguing, “The Afghan government should not touch the mining business. We have to give enough information to potential investors.”
Rare Earth Elements. The elements that make the information age possible. People could understand the First Gulf War and the Geopolitical importance of oil. That was easy, but it still didn't sound morally just to have a war for oil. It was too imperialist and so they fell in line and supported a war for Kuwaiti freedom instead, despite the obvious and public manipulation at the UN by Nayirah.
This is some of her testimony to the Human Rights Council.
While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. It was horrifying. I could not help but think of my nephew who was born premature and might have died that day as well. After I left the hospital, some of my friends and I distributed flyers condemning the Iraqi invasion until we were warned we might be killed if the Iraqis saw us.
The Iraqis have destroyed everything in Kuwait. They stripped the supermarkets of food, the pharmacies of medicine, the factories of medical supplies, ransacked their houses and tortured neighbors and friends.
There was only one problem. She was the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign, which was run by the American public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government (fun fact, Hill & Knowlton also have extensive ties with Bill Gates).
So the public was aghast at her testimony and supported the war against the mainly Soviet backed, but also American supported and Soviet backed Saddam Hussein, in his war against Iran, after the Iranians refused to Ally with American interests after the Islamic Revolution.
But that was oil, this was Rare Earth Elements. There was a reason the war was called, Operation Enduring Freedom. This natural resource was far more important in the long run. You couldn't have a security surveillance apparatus without it. And what was supposed to be a war on terror was in actuality a territorial occupation for resources.
Sleeping Dragon China is next, and where there's smoke, there's fire.
Let's go point form for clarity.
• China entered the rare earth market in the mid-1980s, at a time when the US was the major producer. But China soon caught up and became the production leader for rare earths. Its heavily state-supported strategy was aimed at dominating the global rare earth industry.
• 1989 Beijing’s Tiananmen Square spring. The U.S. government suspends military sales to Beijing and freezes relations.
• 1997. Clinton secures the release of Wei and Tiananmen Square protester Wang Dan. Beijing deports both dissidents to the United States. (If you don't understand these two were CIA assets working in China, you need to accept that not everything will be published. America wouldn't care about two political activists, but why would care about two intelligence operatives).
• March 1996. Taiwan’s First Free Presidential Vote.
• May 1999. America "accidently" bombs the Belgrade Chinese Embassy.
• 2002 Price competitiveness was hard for the USA to achieve due to low to non-existent Chinese environmental standards; as a result, the US finally stopped its rare earth production.
• October 2000. U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the U.S.-China Relations Act. China's take over of the market share in rare earth elements starts to increase.
• October 2001. Afghanistan war Enduring Freedom started to secure rare earth elements (Haven't you ever wondered how they could mobilize and invade so quickly? The military was already prepared).
• 2005. China establishes a monopoly on global production by keeping mineral prices low and then panics markets by introducing export quotas to raise prices by limiting supply.
• Rare Earth Elements. Prices go into the stratosphere (for example, dysprosium prices do a bitcoin, rocketing from $118/kg to $2,262/kg between 2008 and 2011).
• In a September 2005. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick initiates a strategic dialogue with China. This was presented as dialog to acknowledge China's emergence as a Superpower (which China probably insisted on), but it was about rare earth elements market price.
• October 2006. China allows North Korea to conduct its first nuclear test, China serves as a mediator to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table with the USA.
• September 2006. American housing prices start to fall.
(At some point after this, secret negotiations must have become increasingly hostile).
• March 2007. China Increases Military Spending. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says China’s military buildup is “not consistent” with the country’s stated goal of a “peaceful rise.”
• Mid-2005 and mid-2006. China bought between $100b and $250 billion of US housing debt between mid-2005 and mid-2006. This debt was bought using the same financial instruments that caused the financial collapse.
• 2006. Housing prices started to fall for the first time in decades.
• Mid-2006 and mid-2007. China likely added another $390b to its reserves. "At the same time, if China stopped buying -- especially now, when the private market is clogged up -- US financial markets would really seize up." Council on Foreign Relations-2007 August
• February 27, 2007. Stock markets in China and the U.S. fell by the most since 2003. Investors leave the money market and flock to Government backed Treasury Bills.
I've never seen it like this before,'' said Jim Galluzzo, who began trading short-maturity Treasuries 20 years ago and now trades bills at RBS Greenwich Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut.Bills right now are trading like dot-coms.''
We had clients asking to be pulled out of money market funds and wanting to get into Treasuries,'' said Henley Smith, fixed-income manager in New York at Castleton Partners, which oversees about $150 million in bonds.People are buying T-bills because you know exactly what's in it.''
• February 13, 2008. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was enacted, which included a tax rebate. The total cost of this bill was projected at $152 billion for 2008. A December 2009 study found that only about one-third of the tax rebate was spent, providing only a modest amount of stimulus.
• September 2008. China Becomes Largest U.S. Foreign Creditor at 600 billion dollars.
• 2010. China’s market power peaked in when it reached a market share of around 97% of all rare earth mineral production. Outside of China, there were almost no other producers left.
Outside of China, the US is the second largest consumer of rare earths in the world behind Japan.
About 60% of US rare earth imports are used as catalysts for petroleum refining, making it the country’s major consumer of rare earths.
The US military also depends on rare earths. Many of the most advanced US weapon systems, including smart bombs, unmanned drones, cruise missiles, laser targeting, radar systems and the Joint Strike Fighter programme rely on rare earths. Against this background, the US Department of Defense (DoD) stated that “reliable access to the necessary material is a bedrock requirement for DOD”
• 2010. A trade dispute arose when the Chinese government reduced its export quotas by 40% in 2010, sending the rare earths prices in the markets outside China soaring. The government argued that the quotas were necessary to protect the environment.
• August 2010. China Becomes World’s Second-Largest Economy.
• November 2011. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlines a U.S. “pivot” to Asia. Clinton’s call for “increased investment—diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise—in the Asia-Pacific region” is seen as a move to counter China’s growing clout.
• December 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama announces the United States and eight other nations have reached an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership later announces plans to deploy 2,500 marines in Australia, prompting criticism from Beijing.
• November 2012. China’s New Leadership. Xi Jinping replaces Hu Jintao as president, Communist Party general secretary, and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Xi delivers a series of speeches on the “rejuvenation” of China.
• June 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping for a “shirt-sleeves summit”
• May 19, 2014. A U.S. court indicts five Chinese hackers, allegedly with ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army, on charges of stealing trade technology from U.S. companies.
• November 12, 2014. Joint Climate Announcement. Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping issue a joint statement on climate change, pledging to reduce carbon emissions. (which very conveniently allows the quotas to fall and save pride for Xi).
• 2015. China drops the export quotas because in 2014, the WTO ruled against China.
• May 30, 2015 U.S. Warns China Over South China Sea. (China is trying to expand it's buffer zone to build a defense for the coming war).
• January 2016. The government to abolish the one-child policy, now allowing all families to have two children.
• February 9, 2017. Trump Affirms One China Policy After Raising Doubts.
• April 6 – 7, 2017. Trump Hosts Xi at Mar-a-Lago. Beijing and Washington to expand trade of products and services like beef, poultry, and electronic payments, though the countries do not address more contentious trade issues including aluminum, car parts, and steel.
• November 2017. President Xi meets with President Trump in another high profile summit.
• March 22, 2018. Trump Tariffs Target China. The White House alleges Chinese theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property. Coming on the heels of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the measures target goods including clothing, shoes, and electronics and restrict some Chinese investment in the United States.
• July 6, 2018 U.S.-China Trade War Escalates.
• September 2018. Modifications led to the exclusion of rare earths from the final list of products and they consequently were not subject to import tariffs imposed by the US government in September 2018.
• October 4, 2018. Pence Speech Signals Hard-Line Approach. He condemns what he calls growing Chinese military aggression, especially in the South China Sea, criticizes increased censorship and religious persecution by the Chinese government, and accuses China of stealing American intellectual property and interfering in U.S. elections.
• December 1, 2018. Canada Arrests Huawei Executive.
• March 6, 2019. Huawei Sues the United States.
• March 27 2019. India and the US signed an agreement to "strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation" including the construction of six American nuclear reactors in India
• May 10, 2019. Trade War Intensifies.
• August 5, 2019. U.S. Labels China a Currency Manipulator.
• November 27, 2019. Trump Signs Bill Supporting Hong Kong Protesters. Chinese officials condemn the move, impose sanctions on several U.S.-based organizations, and suspend U.S. warship visits to Hong Kong.
• January 15, 2020. ‘Phase One’ Trade Deal Signed. But the agreement maintains most tariffs and does not mention the Chinese government’s extensive subsidies. Days before the signing, the United States dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator.
• January 31, 2020. Tensions Soar Amid Coronavirus Pandemic.
• March 18, 2020. China Expels American Journalists. The Chinese government announces it will expel at least thirteen journalists from three U.S. newspapers—the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post—whose press credentials are set to expire in 2020. Beijing also demands that those outlets, as well as TIME and Voice of America, share information with the government about their operations in China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the moves are in response to the U.S. government’s decision earlier in the year to limit the number of Chinese journalists from five state-run media outlets in the United States to 100, down from 160, and designate those outlets as foreign missions.
And here we are. You may have noticed the Rare Earth Elements and the inclusion of Environmental Standards. Yes these are key to understanding the Geopolitical reality and importance of these events. There's a reason the one child policy stopped. Troop additions.
I believe our current political reality started at Tiananmen square. The protests were an American sponsored attempt at regime change after the failure to convince them to leave totalitarian communism and join a greater political framework.
Do I have proof? Yes.
China, as far as I'm concerned, was responsible for the 2008 economic crisis. The Rare Earth Elements were an attempt to weaken the States and strengthen themselves simultaneously. This stranglehold either forced America to trade with China, or the trade was an American Trojan horse to eventually collapse their economy and cause a revolution after Tiananmen Square failed. Does my second proposal sound far fetched? Didn't the economy just shut down in response to the epidemic? Aren't both sides blaming the other? At this POINT, the epidemic seems to be overstated doesn’t it? Don't the casualties tend to the elder demographic and those already weakened by a primary disease?
Exactly the kinds who wouldn't fight in a war.
Does this change some of my views on the possibility of upcoming catastrophes and reasons for certain events? No. This is Chess, and there are obvious moves in chess, hidden moves in chess, but the best moves involve peices which can be utilized in different ways if the board calls for it.
Is all what it seems? No.
I definitely changed a few previously held beliefs prior to today, and I would caution you in advance that you will find some previously held convictions challenged.
After uncovering what I did today, I would also strongly suggest reading information cautiously. This is all merely a culmination of ending the cold war, and once I have events laid out, you will see it as well.
At this moment, the end analysis is a war will start in the near future. This will be mainly for a few reasons, preemptive resource control for water and crops, population reduction can be achieved since we have too many people, not enough jobs, and upcoming resource scarcity.
Did you notice my omission of rare earth elements? This is because of Afghanistan. I would wager China or Russia is somehow supporting the continued resistance through Iran. But events are now accelerating with China because the western collation has already begun to build up their mines and start production.
Do you remember when Trump made a "joke" about buying Greenland? Yeah. It turns out that Greenland has one of the largest rare earth mineral deposits on the planet.
Take care. Be safe. Stay aware and be prepared.
This message not brought to you by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Elon Musk, Blackrock, Vangaurd, the Rockefeller Foundation, Rand Corporation, DARPA, Rothschilds, Agenda 21, Agenda 30, and ID 2020.
submitted by biggreekgeek to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Industry of accusation: how do websites publishing compromising material work? Yuri Mosha Experience.

Industry of accusation: how do websites publishing compromising material work? Yuri Mosha Experience.
By Ignat Shestakov
Photo: Global Look Press/Monika Skolimowska
Fake news technologies are becoming more sophisticated, partly owing to the support of Hollywood. Furthermore, the simplest methods of disinformation are getting more and more efficient. Izvestia has figured out why the oldest heads of this monster can never be chopped off.
“The oldest heads” are the websites containing compromising material, which make money from customers wishing to ruin lives of their competitors, and from these competitors willing to pay to remove from the Internet publications about themselves having different degrees of reliability.
And we are not even talking about such veterans of information warfare like the site compromat.ru, that was created in 1999, blocked in 2017 although still perfectly working, but rather short-living web pages that get created as quickly as then become deleted. Their editorial staff sometimes publishes damaging information not even at the request, but simply to keep up with other teams.
Kompromat as a business
Entrepreneur Yuri Mosha had to deal with compromising materials published on the Internet several times. According to him, back in the early 2010s, such things were done by single websites, unrelated to one another. Some of them positioned themselves as official mass media having editorial staff and real legal addresses. “At that time, we could fight it. We contacted that sites and threatened them with filing court claims. In most cases, it helped, because they were afraid of responsibility”, Mosha told Izvestia.
A new wave of compromising material against the entrepreneur who makes money by helping those wishing to move to the United States from the former Soviet Union countries, emerged two years ago. He tried to make a deal with the sites or to make pressure on them through lawyers. But this time it was all pointless: “Now this is big business, and there are groups that have hundreds of websites with dummy registrations”.
Photo: Screenshot
Mosha contacted several owners of websites containing compromising materials by mail. Some of them were ready to delete publications for $ 7,000, others — for $ 20,000. Ordering publication of material damaging a competitor is cheaper — from $ 50,000 to $ 5,000. “You send an e-mail. They answer: “No problem, here’s a bitcoin wallet, transfer the money and I’ll delete the post.” At the same time each group attaches a list of their sites to an email,” the entrepreneur said. He did not pay anything.
Photo: Screenshot
I found a dark PR man, whom I paid at the end, however, not for removing materials, but for his advice. First advise was: you should not pay anyone. As soon as you pay, they will understand that you are ready to do it, and you will keep paying for the rest of your life. And even if they play fair and delete you from one site, they will post you on 50 others. He told me: “You see, we all know each other, and we are retyping all publications. As soon as information appears on one resource, the robot transfers it to others. And if a person pays [an owner of one website containing compromising material], he will start to pay everyone”.
His second hint was that suing them is useless. Because when there is a court decision, if Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) blocks it (only) on the territory of the Russian Federation, they will see that you are fighting with them, and will publish even more information about you.
Third, he said that the target must be not the sites, but Google and Yandex. As he said, they exist due to the support from Google and Yandex. Those two are just like salesmen in a gun shop who sell rifles to buyers who say they will shoot people in the street. They [search engines] do not fight against this [compromising material] at all. Before the lawsuit [with the search engines] I myself sent them information [about compromising material]. I attached a police clearance certificate, a residence permit, confirmation of citizenship. After that I had to go to court.
Now Yuri Mosha is negotiating a settlement with Yandex and is suing Google. Read about the difficulties faced by the entrepreneur and other people trying to remove information about themselves from the Internet (especially not from the Internet segment of one country) through court action here.
Making business on a kompromat business
In recent years, several companies have emerged in the Russian Internet segment that earn money by helping people remove information about themselves from search engines, social networks and mass media. They would not be able to make money if the laws on the right to be forgotten worked well.
Here it should be mentioned, that these laws in different forms exist in many countries. And Russia stays behind its neighbors, as there the law only entered into force in 2016. In 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union adopted the decision according to which the users, in some cases, have the right to request the search engine to remove their personal data from the search results. And the preconditions for this right were already established in the Convention on Human Rights, which entered into force in 1953. In the United States, such cases typically cite Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
So, it is difficult and time-consuming to seek a decision to get the data removed from search engines through courts. According to Yandex statistics, the company satisfied 27% of processed requests within three months from the date when the law on the right to be forgotten entered into force (that is, from January to March 2016). Google has more representative statistics, which, moreover, has been collected since 2014.
Photo: Depositphotos
That is why there are companies that resolve such issues avoiding judicial proceedings. They do not remove links to negative publications from search engines, but instead ensure that first pages of the search contain links to positive publications. They negotiate with social networks, contact websites and sometimes pay them.
The founder of one of such companies, Maxim Zlobin, told VC.RU that he first worked with company leaders, government officials and parliamentarians. But over time, he also started to work with individuals.
Maxim Zlobin, the ISN founder:
Once, a woman from Makhachkala contacted us. Hardly speaking Russian, she asked us to delete information about her sole proprietorship. At first, we could not understand why she needed this because search engines only showed records about the liquidation of the sole proprietorship. But then it appeared that her sole proprietorship had a code of the Russian National Classifier of Economic Activities (OKVED) referring to “Activities of massage parlors”. And although the woman did not provide any massage services to men (for religious reasons), if it became known to her relatives, she would be “forever covered with shame.” To remove this information, we partially used passages of the law on insulting the feelings of believers on the verge of the right to be forgotten.
Now half of Zlobin’s clients are businessmen, 30% are politicians, and 20% are public figures or individuals.
If you can’t delete it, take the lead
There are three methods the businessman uses in his work. The first one is negotiations, including offering money to web-platforms for removing negative publications. But, as noted by Yuri Mosha, this method is associated with high risks, including, first of all, the risk of the Streisand effect when the fact of an appeal may become a reason for new material. Second, there is a risk of getting into bondage when the payments to the web platform would become regular.
Prices for publication of the compromising material with which the founder of ISN works are lower than for those Mosha faced. Publishing information with a link to a foreign (containing the compromising information) site, costs €600–800. This allows the Russian kompromat-trash hole to avoid any responsibility for the publication. At the same time, deleting one publication costs from 5,000 to 600,000 rubles. That is, from $100 to about $ 10,000.
Photo: ТАСС/Ведомости/Максим Стулов
Therefore, the businessman considers the second method — work with search results — to be the most effective. Whitewashing articles about the client get posted and promoted in search engines. Thanks to this, the tarnishing publications move down to other pages of search results.
And the third way is a legal battle. When it comes to search engines, the right to be forgotten is used for this, but the common idea is that even if “there is some success in the court, in order to remove the information, you will have to go straight to the Constitutional Court”. Zlobin’s experts also use the law on personal data, which, in particular, states that no information about citizens of the Russian Federation can be stored and processed on the servers of foreign companies without the consent of these people. With social networks, according to Zlobin’s experience, it is often possible to reach an agreement provided that there is a reasonable proof that the compromising material is fabricated.
Kompromat on a business on a kompromat business
However, all this is useless, as Yuri Mosha noted with regret. Faced with the problem of kompromat, he contacted several companies of this kind. He did not mention ISN among those in his interview with Izvestia’s correspondent, however. And those he had contacted left him disappointed.
Yuri Mosha, an entrepreneur:
They cannot do anything. Some of them need a court decision. Others say, “We’re going to overlay [the negative content] with a positive one.” But I create such content myself, I have 5 thousand videos uploaded on YouTube, and it still doesn’t work.
All these companies are just scammers. They can’t do anything. I contacted one site [containing compromising material]. They said: half bitcoin [for deleting publications]. Then I contacted a company. They told me they would call back. They did call back and promised to solve the problem for one bitcoin.
Short-living website publishing compromising material of a different degree of truthfulness represent an ultimate expression of the fake news industry. Unlike the Hollywood-sponsored fake video technology, which (so far) takes resources and time, a site with catchy headlines can be created in several hours. And just as easily it can be removed from the Internet, as, for example, it happened with ostorozhno.ru.
The Site on Dangerous Connections, as was introduced by its authors, appeared in 2008. It published a standard set of material compromising politicians, including those of the Ural region, wrote URA.RU. Now the website link leads to a Riga travel guide with text stolen from a real travel site and ridiculous low-resolution photographs. It is quite obvious that when the money for the removal of the compromising material arrived, the creators simply covered it with a previously prepared dummy. And when a new order arrives, they will again remove it and continue to earn on lies.
Because it is so easy to create, remove, and reproduce such sites, they cannot be defeated. The University of Oxford recently published a report on the fight against fake news in various, primarily European, countries.
The term \"fake news\" addressed during the talk \"Between facts, fakes and manipulations - how do we defend democracy on the Internet?\" at the Ministry of Justice in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Global Look Press/dpa/Jörg Carstensen
The governments of all these countries do not make any attempts to counteract the sites posting compromising material. Because they just cannot. Most are trying to shift the responsibility onto social media. For example, in Germany, Facebook is threatened with a fine of up to €50 million if "obviously illegal" content is not removed within 24 hours. In some other countries, like Turkey or Bulgaria, according to the authors, the fight against fake news simply justifies the pressure on the opposition. And only two European countries, Sweden and Holland, came to an idea of teaching people to distinguish between rumors and the truth. Other countries, in contrast, just keep prohibiting things without obtaining any reasonable effect of this.
submitted by YuriMosha to u/YuriMosha [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to ethereum [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to privacycoins [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to ethtrader [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to CryptoCurrencies [link] [comments]

For Trading April 3rd

For Trading April 3rd
Oil Recovery
Trading the Range
Jobless Claims Double
Today was pretty constructive in that we opened lower with the futures and of course the blockbuster news of Mr. Trumps tweet (which I find not believable) about and Oil deal between Russia and the Saudi’s, that sent us up to the high of the day +534, before we has some sideways action until around 1:15 when we started to sell-off and headed back to down on the day to -90 before we rallied and finished +469.93 (2.24%), NASDAQ +126.73 (1.72%), S&P 500 +56.40 (2.28%), the Russell +13.81 (1.29%) and the DJ Transports +93.13 (1.27%). There was plenty of news to start the day with Initial Jobless claims that were double the prior number at an astounding 6.6million. Unfortunately, the number next month will be higher. Tomorrow, we have the monthly employment number for March as well as the ISM non-manufacturing pre-open. I regarded today’s market action as very constructive. The lower open and then rally and a second round-trip to a close near the highs was impressive. While there is still plenty of work to be done, plenty of bad news on the economy and COVID-19 to come, we seem to be building some underlying support. Market internals were positive but unimpressive with gains outnumbering losers by 1.4:1 on both NYSE and NASDAQ. Volume was also lower that I would have liked to have seen. On the DJIA there were 25 gainers to 5 losers with BA -50, UTX -36, and WBA-18DPs, while the gainers were led by CVX +50, PG and CAT +36 and MMM+32 DPs.
Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows me to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights, and we’ve grown to almost 800 members.
SECTORS: Walgreen reported earnings today and although they had better than expected numbers, they gave less than stellar guidance and the stock fell to a lower low than the March bottom and made a new low close since 2013. WBA fell to $39.41 and closed $40.32 -2.71 (6.3%). We used the decline to buy some CVS calls, which has been consolidating and has outperformed its competitor. Shopify suspended its guidance and the stock, another darling that was priced for perfection got slammed. The stock, up from $20 in 2016 topped out over $593 in February had fallen to 303 last month but climbed back to $470 last week fell to $334.55 before closing 346.30 -38.37 (9.97%).
And last, the Disaster Du Jour was Luckin Coffee (LK), the Chinese Starbucks, sort of. The stock spent 7 months between $15 and $25 before taking off on a run from $18 to over $50 late last year. It fell back to $28 but had traded up to $43 last month before starting down and closing just above $26 yesterday. Unfortunately, the COO was found to have basically fabricated all of the results since Q2. Muddy Waters wrote up the company on 1/31 saying it had “evolved into a fraud.” The stock gapped down to open $4.92, rallied back to $10.58 buy gave up the gains and finished $6.40 -19.80 (75.57%). Clearly a disaster on any day.
BIOPHARMA: was HIGHER with BIIB +11.20, ABBV +1.08, REGN +1.35, ISRG +8.74, MYL -.23, TEVA -.35, VRTX +16.68 (7.4%), BHC M+.10, INCY +4.32 (5.82%), ICPT +.89, LABU +1.98(10.42%) and IBB $108.69 +4.90 (4.72%).
CANNABIS: This group was MIXED with TLRY +.25, CGC +.29, CRON +.14, GWPH -.50, ACB +.04, PYX -.37 (13.26%), NBEV -.04, CURLF +.08, KERN +.04 and MJ $10.77 +.21 (1.99%).
DEFENSE: was HIGHER with LMT +14.98 (4.43%), RTN -3.93, GD +.35, TXT +.07, UTX -5.37 (5.88%), NPOC +7.30, BWXT +2.24, TDY +14.50 (5.23%) and ITA $136.94 +.47 (.34%).
RETAIL: was LOWER with M +.01, JWN -.13, KSS -1.12 (8.66%), DDS -2.29 (8.20%), JCP -.02, WMT +4.36 (3.82%), TGT -.97, TJX -.77, RL +.28, UAA -.42 (5.08%), LULU +2.08, TPR +.04, CPRI -.69, and XRT $27.64 -.39 (1.39%).
FAANG and Big Cap: were HIGHER with GOOGL +14.90, AMZN +8.80, AAPL +2.99, FB -1.80, NFLX +3.92, NVDA +11.06, IBM +4.31, TSLA +53.44, BABA +.89, BIDU +1.12, BA -6.32, CAT +5.06, DIS +1.18 and XLK $78.33 +1.79 (2.34%).
FINANCIALS were HIGHER with GS +5.21, JPM +3.02, BAC +.68, MS +2.14, C +.50, PNC +3.38, AIG -.20, TRV +3.79, AXP -1.14, and XLF $20.04 +.49 (2.51%).
OIL, $25.32 +5.01. The explosive move in Oil today was spurred on by an early morning tweet from Mr. Trump claiming that Russia and the Saudi’s were close to an agreement. My first thought was BS, but the market held and finished strong. My only warning is that we have had several of these spikes that have failed with news that we knew was real. The stocks were stronger across the board with CVX the big winner +7.56 (11.03%) and added 50 DPs. XOM +3.12 (8.13%), OXY +2.05 (19%), OAS +.06, NBL +.47 (8%), MRO +.33, MPC +.58, RIG +.02, APA +.68 (16.92%), BP +1.80 (7.38%) and XLE $30.15 +2.53 (9.16%).
METALS, GOLD: $1,637.70 +46.30. After the recent gains, Gold has failed to break through the highs around $1700 and have fallen back. Today’s rebound is of little technical value. I will reassess and look for a new entry point.
BITCOIN: closed $6,865 +655. After we traded in another short-range day yesterday we had a range of over $1000 today, closing about midrange. While I want to add the 350 sold just over a week ago, I want to wait and see some stabilization. We still own 400 GBTC with an average of $8.06. GBTC closed $7.72 +1.22 today.
Tomorrow is another day.
CAM
submitted by Dashover to options [link] [comments]

Ouch!

For Trading March 10th
HISTORIC ACTION
Is Cruising Over?
Entire Yield Curve Under 1%
Today’s market was down from overnight with the futures hitting “limit down” before 4:00AM. The DJIA opened at 9:30, like always, but was halted within 4 minutes after hitting the “circuit-breakers” at -7% and trading was stopped for 15-minutes after which we reopened and headed lower again, touching -1946, and by noon we had recovered to only -1183, but by 3:00 we had made a new low of 23,706 -2158 before a rally to -1650 before another sell-off to close DJIA – 2013.76 (7.79%), NASDAQ -624.94 (7.29%), S&P 500 -225.81 (7.60%), the Russell -135.79 (9.37%, and DJ Transports, the biggest loser -874.21 (9.76%). Market internals were just short of absurd with numbers that I had to go to several sources to make sure were correct. NYSE raw numbers were 70:2973 or 43:1 and NASDAQ was 169:3190 or 19:1. The DJIA was 30:0 after WMT, which held on all day fell into the red. The biggest losers were not double, but triple-digit movers with BA -237, AAPL -155, GS -136, HD -123, CAT -117, and JPM -100DPs. The only single digit losers were VZ and WMT. It was an interesting day, but not one I’d like to see too often. The market was influenced by not only COVID-19, but also the fact that OPEC couldn’t come up with an agreement to limit oil production. Over the weekend Saudi Arabia declared a price war with Russia, the main opponent to any agreement. Interest rates continued to fall, and that, along with the oil news sent the banking names down dramatically. I’ll list those below in their sector.
Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows me to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights.
SECTORS: Other names in the news: It was a very tough day for everyone. While we did have a “Merger Monday” deal between AON and WLTW, neither of the participants made any headway. AON Plc, is buying Willis, Towers, Watson in the biggest insurance transaction ever and creating the world’s largest insurance broker, surpassing Marsh & McLennan (MMC) and worth about $80Billion.
There were a couple of names higher, just a few, and the main ones were in the auto parts segment with ORLY finishing $373.63 +5.55 (1.51%), AZO, $1113.69 +53.38 (5.03%) and AAP $130.36 +2.45 (1.92%). This group has been weak for the past 4-6 months. Also higher was discounter DLTR, $83.51 +3.27 (4.08%).
The Cruise lines continued to fall with all making new lows. RCL fell to $48.27 - 16.74 (25.75%) and down from $135 in January. CCL fell to $21.74 -5.41 (19.93%) and down from $52, while NCLH was $19.81 – 7.29 (26.9%) and down from $60. This is absolutely uninvestable. There will clearly be a point at which the shorts cover, but this group is dead money for a while.
In more COVID-19 news, Inovio (INO) which moved from $2.40 to $16.00 on the news that it would start human trials of its vaccine in April. This morning at $19.36 before collapsing all the way back to $8.53 before closing $9.83 -4.26 (30.23%).
But the HOMERUN OF THE DAY was another name I talked about in this space, AIM Immuno-Tech, Inc (AIM). The company said that its drug, Ampligen will begin testing at National Inst. Of Infectious Diseases in Japan that could play an important role in developing a protective early-onset therapy for COVID-19. The stock has been reverse split both 1:12 in 2016 and more recently 1:44 last June and traded under $ .40 had moved up to $3.50 this month and traded up on the news finishing $6.10 +4.00 (190%) and is continuing in extended hours to $8.75 and is currently $7.69 up an additional $1.59 for a total gain of $5.59 (266%). Quite a highlight on a dismal day.
BIOPHARMA: was LOWER with all names falling hard with BIIB -20.76, ABBV -3.55, REGN -20.58, ISRG -44.48, MYL -1.19, TEVA -1.42, VRTX -13.85, BHC -2.69, INCY -4.42, ICPT -6.88, LABU -11.47 (24.95%), and IBB $109.80 -8.23 (6.97%).
CANNABIS: stocks were LOWER with TLRY -2.47 (24.65%) and KERN -2.58 (37.34%) and none down less than 7.48%. The ETF, MJ $11.74 -1.36 (10.38%).
DEFENSE: was LOWER with some major loses by LMT -31.47, RTN -14.83, GD -13.01, TXT -5.48 (15.26%), UTX -12.48, NOC -15.58, BWXT -5.14, TDY -33.73, and ITA was $174.00 -21.04 (10.79%).
RETAIL was LOWER with major losses. The brands were the biggest losers on the day. M-1.12, JWN -1.88, KSS -2.84, DDS -2.37, JCP - .015, WMT -1.17, TGT -1.92, TJX -1.35, RL -10.78 (10.19%), UAA -1.46 (11.56%), LULU -22.44 (10.27%), TPR -3.35 (15.44%), CPRI -3.13 (13.65%) and XRT $37.01 -2.12 (5.42%).
FAANG and Big Cap: were LOWER with GOOGL -80.14, AMZN -96.19, AAPL -21.42, FB -11.40, NFLX -22.48, NVDA -21.04, IBM -10.38, TSLA -92.48 (13.01%), BABA -7.24, BIDU -8.52, BA -36.22 (13.81%) on continuing problems with the 737MAX and the general market, CAT -16.42 (13.52%), DIS -10.55, and XLK $82.84 -6.07 (6.83%).
FINANCIALS were LOWER with most down over 10% with the market and softness in rates with GS -19.14, JPM -13.53, BAC -3.59, MS -4.35, C -9.34, PNC -15.48, AIG -5.13, TRV -8.54, AXP -9.94, and XLF $22.80 -2.75 (10.76%).
OIL, $31.13 -10.15 (24.58%) The stocks were LOWER with the dramatic fall on the “price war” between the Saudi’s and Putin. It’s difficult to even relate to the prices I’m seeing. In August when OXY bought APC for $57billion OXY was just over $50. Tonight it closed $12.51 –14.35 (53.43%) and the COMBINED market-cap is only $11.4Billion. The rest of the list was equally bad with CVX -13.42, XOM -4.94, MRO 4.06 -2.77 (40.56%), MPC -5.43, APA 10.22 -10.48 (50.6%), BP -5.66 and XLE $34.98 -7.52 (17.69%).
METALS, GOLD: $1,675.70 +3.30. After the rebound, and the overnight move to $1,704.30 we sold off as liquidation hit even the yellow metal. We managed to close up on the day, but it was a disappointment just the same. Our $1.40 position in the GLD calls finished $1.65 +.11.
BITCOIN: closed $7,850 -1,315. We broke to the downside overnight and fell to a low of $7,640, which closed a gap left on the breakout back in January. While I want to add the 350 sold just over a week ago, I want to wait and see some stabilization. We did have 2 subscribers add to new positions under the close today. But we still own 400 GBTC with an average of $8.06. GBTC closed $8.86 – 1.72 today.
Tomorrow is another day.
CAM
submitted by Dashover to options [link] [comments]

For Trading April 3rd

For Trading April 3rd
Oil Recovery
Trading the Range
Jobless Claims Double
Today was pretty constructive in that we opened lower with the futures and of course the blockbuster news of Mr. Trumps tweet (which I find not believable) about and Oil deal between Russia and the Saudi’s, that sent us up to the high of the day +534, before we has some sideways action until around 1:15 when we started to sell-off and headed back to down on the day to -90 before we rallied and finished +469.93 (2.24%), NASDAQ +126.73 (1.72%), S&P 500 +56.40 (2.28%), the Russell +13.81 (1.29%) and the DJ Transports +93.13 (1.27%). There was plenty of news to start the day with Initial Jobless claims that were double the prior number at an astounding 6.6million. Unfortunately, the number next month will be higher. Tomorrow, we have the monthly employment number for March as well as the ISM non-manufacturing pre-open. I regarded today’s market action as very constructive. The lower open and then rally and a second round-trip to a close near the highs was impressive. While there is still plenty of work to be done, plenty of bad news on the economy and COVID-19 to come, we seem to be building some underlying support. Market internals were positive but unimpressive with gains outnumbering losers by 1.4:1 on both NYSE and NASDAQ. Volume was also lower that I would have liked to have seen. On the DJIA there were 25 gainers to 5 losers with BA -50, UTX -36, and WBA-18DPs, while the gainers were led by CVX +50, PG and CAT +36 and MMM+32 DPs.
Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows me to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights, and we’ve grown to almost 800 members.
SECTORS: Walgreen reported earnings today and although they had better than expected numbers, they gave less than stellar guidance and the stock fell to a lower low than the March bottom and made a new low close since 2013. WBA fell to $39.41 and closed $40.32 -2.71 (6.3%). We used the decline to buy some CVS calls, which has been consolidating and has outperformed its competitor. Shopify suspended its guidance and the stock, another darling that was priced for perfection got slammed. The stock, up from $20 in 2016 topped out over $593 in February had fallen to 303 last month but climbed back to $470 last week fell to $334.55 before closing 346.30 -38.37 (9.97%).
And last, the Disaster Du Jour was Luckin Coffee (LK), the Chinese Starbucks, sort of. The stock spent 7 months between $15 and $25 before taking off on a run from $18 to over $50 late last year. It fell back to $28 but had traded up to $43 last month before starting down and closing just above $26 yesterday. Unfortunately, the COO was found to have basically fabricated all of the results since Q2. Muddy Waters wrote up the company on 1/31 saying it had “evolved into a fraud.” The stock gapped down to open $4.92, rallied back to $10.58 buy gave up the gains and finished $6.40 -19.80 (75.57%). Clearly a disaster on any day.
BIOPHARMA: was HIGHER with BIIB +11.20, ABBV +1.08, REGN +1.35, ISRG +8.74, MYL -.23, TEVA -.35, VRTX +16.68 (7.4%), BHC M+.10, INCY +4.32 (5.82%), ICPT +.89, LABU +1.98(10.42%) and IBB $108.69 +4.90 (4.72%).
CANNABIS: This group was MIXED with TLRY +.25, CGC +.29, CRON +.14, GWPH -.50, ACB +.04, PYX -.37 (13.26%), NBEV -.04, CURLF +.08, KERN +.04 and MJ $10.77 +.21 (1.99%).
DEFENSE: was HIGHER with LMT +14.98 (4.43%), RTN -3.93, GD +.35, TXT +.07, UTX -5.37 (5.88%), NPOC +7.30, BWXT +2.24, TDY +14.50 (5.23%) and ITA $136.94 +.47 (.34%).
RETAIL: was LOWER with M +.01, JWN -.13, KSS -1.12 (8.66%), DDS -2.29 (8.20%), JCP -.02, WMT +4.36 (3.82%), TGT -.97, TJX -.77, RL +.28, UAA -.42 (5.08%), LULU +2.08, TPR +.04, CPRI -.69, and XRT $27.64 -.39 (1.39%).
FAANG and Big Cap: were HIGHER with GOOGL +14.90, AMZN +8.80, AAPL +2.99, FB -1.80, NFLX +3.92, NVDA +11.06, IBM +4.31, TSLA +53.44, BABA +.89, BIDU +1.12, BA -6.32, CAT +5.06, DIS +1.18 and XLK $78.33 +1.79 (2.34%).
FINANCIALS were HIGHER with GS +5.21, JPM +3.02, BAC +.68, MS +2.14, C +.50, PNC +3.38, AIG -.20, TRV +3.79, AXP -1.14, and XLF $20.04 +.49 (2.51%).
OIL, $25.32 +5.01. The explosive move in Oil today was spurred on by an early morning tweet from Mr. Trump claiming that Russia and the Saudi’s were close to an agreement. My first thought was BS, but the market held and finished strong. My only warning is that we have had several of these spikes that have failed with news that we knew was real. The stocks were stronger across the board with CVX the big winner +7.56 (11.03%) and added 50 DPs. XOM +3.12 (8.13%), OXY +2.05 (19%), OAS +.06, NBL +.47 (8%), MRO +.33, MPC +.58, RIG +.02, APA +.68 (16.92%), BP +1.80 (7.38%) and XLE $30.15 +2.53 (9.16%).
METALS, GOLD: $1,637.70 +46.30. After the recent gains, Gold has failed to break through the highs around $1700 and have fallen back. Today’s rebound is of little technical value. I will reassess and look for a new entry point.
BITCOIN: closed $6,865 +655. After we traded in another short-range day yesterday we had a range of over $1000 today, closing about midrange. While I want to add the 350 sold just over a week ago, I want to wait and see some stabilization. We still own 400 GBTC with an average of $8.06. GBTC closed $7.72 +1.22 today.
Tomorrow is another day.
CAM
submitted by Dashover to swingtrading [link] [comments]

A Doozy!

For Trading March 12th
BA CRASHES MARKET
TRAVEL BUSINESSES COLLAPSE
Yields Improve
Today’s market was pounded from the start with the futures overnight falling on the lack of the president showing up after he said he would be appearing and the fact that there were no specifics of his “plan” to address the issues. After trading down all morning to -1067 around 11:45 rates started to firm and we had a rally back to -787, but then rates slipped and we headed to 1665 before a close -1464.94 (5.86%), NASDAQ -382.20 (4.7%), S&P 500 -140.86 (4.89%), the Russell -86.60 (6.41%) and the DJ Transports -394.75 (4.63%). Clearly, the biggest drag on the market was BA -284 DP’s, one of the reasons that the DJIA was a bigger percentage leader on the downside. Market internals were weak with the NYSE 18:1 and the NASDAQ 7.1:1 negative. All of the DJIA stocks were lower with only 2 NOT down in double digits. Between the declaration that the WHO put out calling the COVID-19 a “World-wide Pandemic,” and the banning of spectators at sports events in Washington State and bans on events in San Francisco of over 1000 people, things only got worse when BA declared that it was taking down a $13.8 billion line of credit and a hiring freeze. Since the close, the NCAA has said that March Madness games will also be played without spectators. Even the late- night TV shows are stopping live audiences by this weekend. The one thing that I feel I have to stress here is that this IS NOT A FINANCIAL CRISIS, IT IS A HEALTH CRISIS. While that does little to take the sting out of a 20% decline, it is not a bank (or banks) failure. I know it doesn’t help, but it is the fact. And frankly, the panic is overdone.
Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows me to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights.
SECTORS: Other names in the news: It was a debacle of a day for the same names as for the last 2 weeks with airlines, cruises, booking companies, and finally BA, the biggest aircraft manufacturer in the world falling. In the airlines we had JBLU -1.01 (6.93%), UAL – 3.22 (6.13%), LUV -307 (6.74%) and DAL -2.80 (6.16%). The cruise lines continued with all down dramatically, but none as bad as NCLH today -5.47 (26.7%), CCL -2.27 (9.45%), and RCL -7.30 (14.13%). The bookers followed with BKNG -116.50 (7.47%) and EXPE –9.26 (10.7%).
As mentioned, BA gets a double (or maybe triple) shot with their 737MAX troubles, yesterday’s issue with wiring bundles, the airlines canceling orders and the fact that they drew on a massive $13.8billion line of credit today. The stock, the leader on the upside moving from $102 in 2016 to a peak of $446 last March has fallen back to 2017 levels, closing $189.08 -73.25 this week and -41.93 (18.15%) today.
BIOPHARMA: was LOWER with none down less than 2.7% and BIIB -11.38, ABBV -2.53, REGN -10.32, ISRG -27.85, MYL -.58, TEVA -.35, VRTX -8.06, BHC -.61, INCY -2.41, ICPT -8.42 (9.29%), LABU -7.07 (18.72%) and IBB $107.70 -4.61 (4.10%).
CANNABIS: stocks were LOWER again with TLRY -.69, CGC -.71, CRON -.03, GWPH -6.49, ACB -.09, PYX -.32, NBEV- .18, CURLF -.22 and the only winner KERN, maker of compliance software, 5.76 +.86 (17.55%) and MJ $11.34 -.80 (6.59%).
DEFENSE: was SHARLY LOWER with -10.24, RTN -14.12, GD -6.85, TXT -3.85 (11.29%), UTX -11.71 (9.81%), NOC -17.04, BWXT -.34, TDY -15.98, and ITA $116.77 -16.54 (9.02%).
RETAIL was LOWER with the brands only slightly better on the day. M-.79, JWN -3.08 (11.36%), KSS -2.96, DDS -4.04, JCP -.068 (12.11%), WMT -4.81, TGT -2.75, TJX -2.36, RL -8.24, UAA -.37, LULU -10.38, TPR -1.59, CPRI -2.04 (9.97%), NKE -4.30 (4.87%) on Adidas earnings and guidance, and XRT $34.97 -2.70 (7.17%).
FAANG and Big Cap: were LOWER with GOOGL -54.17, AMZN -57.62, AAPL -7.65, FB -6.64, NFLX -11.64, NVDA -12.39, IBM -5.51, TSLA –2.33, BABA -6.88, BIDU 2.51, BA (see above), CAT -5.80, DIS -5.27, and XLK $84.10 -3.54 (4.04%)
FINANCIALS were LOWER with the market and a visit with the president didn’t seem to help. GS -10.10, JMP -3.93, BAC -.81, MS -2.30, MS -2.30, C -4.26, PNC -6.10, AIG -2.64, TRV -5.77, AXP -6.85 and XLF $23.00 -1.15 (4.76%).
OIL, $3432.98 -1.38 The stocks were LOWER with the price of Oil trying to rally and making it to $36.35 before turning back down and closing near the lows. I’m still stand aside this market since it has a lot of work to do to rebuild a base to define the risk. XLE finished $34.25 -1.30 (3.66%).
METALS, GOLD: $1,642 -13.80. After the rebound, and the overnight move to $1,704.30 we sold off as liquidation hit even the yellow metal. We finished nearer the low, and we continued lower today.
BITCOIN: closed $7,855 -140. We broke to the downside overnight and fell to a low of $7,640, which closed a gap left on the breakout back in January. While I want to add the 350 sold just over a week ago, I want to wait and see some stabilization. We still own 400 GBTC with an average of $8.06. GBTC closed $8.64 -62 today.
Tomorrow is another day.
CAM
submitted by Dashover to OptionsOnly [link] [comments]

For Trading April 3rd

For Trading April 3rd
Oil Recovery
Trading the Range
Jobless Claims Double
Today was pretty constructive in that we opened lower with the futures and of course the blockbuster news of Mr. Trumps tweet (which I find not believable) about and Oil deal between Russia and the Saudi’s, that sent us up to the high of the day +534, before we has some sideways action until around 1:15 when we started to sell-off and headed back to down on the day to -90 before we rallied and finished +469.93 (2.24%), NASDAQ +126.73 (1.72%), S&P 500 +56.40 (2.28%), the Russell +13.81 (1.29%) and the DJ Transports +93.13 (1.27%). There was plenty of news to start the day with Initial Jobless claims that were double the prior number at an astounding 6.6million. Unfortunately, the number next month will be higher. Tomorrow, we have the monthly employment number for March as well as the ISM non-manufacturing pre-open. I regarded today’s market action as very constructive. The lower open and then rally and a second round-trip to a close near the highs was impressive. While there is still plenty of work to be done, plenty of bad news on the economy and COVID-19 to come, we seem to be building some underlying support. Market internals were positive but unimpressive with gains outnumbering losers by 1.4:1 on both NYSE and NASDAQ. Volume was also lower that I would have liked to have seen. On the DJIA there were 25 gainers to 5 losers with BA -50, UTX -36, and WBA-18DPs, while the gainers were led by CVX +50, PG and CAT +36 and MMM+32 DPs.
Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows me to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights, and we’ve grown to almost 800 members.
SECTORS: Walgreen reported earnings today and although they had better than expected numbers, they gave less than stellar guidance and the stock fell to a lower low than the March bottom and made a new low close since 2013. WBA fell to $39.41 and closed $40.32 -2.71 (6.3%). We used the decline to buy some CVS calls, which has been consolidating and has outperformed its competitor. Shopify suspended its guidance and the stock, another darling that was priced for perfection got slammed. The stock, up from $20 in 2016 topped out over $593 in February had fallen to 303 last month but climbed back to $470 last week fell to $334.55 before closing 346.30 -38.37 (9.97%).
And last, the Disaster Du Jour was Luckin Coffee (LK), the Chinese Starbucks, sort of. The stock spent 7 months between $15 and $25 before taking off on a run from $18 to over $50 late last year. It fell back to $28 but had traded up to $43 last month before starting down and closing just above $26 yesterday. Unfortunately, the COO was found to have basically fabricated all of the results since Q2. Muddy Waters wrote up the company on 1/31 saying it had “evolved into a fraud.” The stock gapped down to open $4.92, rallied back to $10.58 buy gave up the gains and finished $6.40 -19.80 (75.57%). Clearly a disaster on any day.
BIOPHARMA: was HIGHER with BIIB +11.20, ABBV +1.08, REGN +1.35, ISRG +8.74, MYL -.23, TEVA -.35, VRTX +16.68 (7.4%), BHC M+.10, INCY +4.32 (5.82%), ICPT +.89, LABU +1.98(10.42%) and IBB $108.69 +4.90 (4.72%).
CANNABIS: This group was MIXED with TLRY +.25, CGC +.29, CRON +.14, GWPH -.50, ACB +.04, PYX -.37 (13.26%), NBEV -.04, CURLF +.08, KERN +.04 and MJ $10.77 +.21 (1.99%).
DEFENSE: was HIGHER with LMT +14.98 (4.43%), RTN -3.93, GD +.35, TXT +.07, UTX -5.37 (5.88%), NPOC +7.30, BWXT +2.24, TDY +14.50 (5.23%) and ITA $136.94 +.47 (.34%).
RETAIL: was LOWER with M +.01, JWN -.13, KSS -1.12 (8.66%), DDS -2.29 (8.20%), JCP -.02, WMT +4.36 (3.82%), TGT -.97, TJX -.77, RL +.28, UAA -.42 (5.08%), LULU +2.08, TPR +.04, CPRI -.69, and XRT $27.64 -.39 (1.39%).
FAANG and Big Cap: were HIGHER with GOOGL +14.90, AMZN +8.80, AAPL +2.99, FB -1.80, NFLX +3.92, NVDA +11.06, IBM +4.31, TSLA +53.44, BABA +.89, BIDU +1.12, BA -6.32, CAT +5.06, DIS +1.18 and XLK $78.33 +1.79 (2.34%).
FINANCIALS were HIGHER with GS +5.21, JPM +3.02, BAC +.68, MS +2.14, C +.50, PNC +3.38, AIG -.20, TRV +3.79, AXP -1.14, and XLF $20.04 +.49 (2.51%).
OIL, $25.32 +5.01. The explosive move in Oil today was spurred on by an early morning tweet from Mr. Trump claiming that Russia and the Saudi’s were close to an agreement. My first thought was BS, but the market held and finished strong. My only warning is that we have had several of these spikes that have failed with news that we knew was real. The stocks were stronger across the board with CVX the big winner +7.56 (11.03%) and added 50 DPs. XOM +3.12 (8.13%), OXY +2.05 (19%), OAS +.06, NBL +.47 (8%), MRO +.33, MPC +.58, RIG +.02, APA +.68 (16.92%), BP +1.80 (7.38%) and XLE $30.15 +2.53 (9.16%).
METALS, GOLD: $1,637.70 +46.30. After the recent gains, Gold has failed to break through the highs around $1700 and have fallen back. Today’s rebound is of little technical value. I will reassess and look for a new entry point.
BITCOIN: closed $6,865 +655. After we traded in another short-range day yesterday we had a range of over $1000 today, closing about midrange. While I want to add the 350 sold just over a week ago, I want to wait and see some stabilization. We still own 400 GBTC with an average of $8.06. GBTC closed $7.72 +1.22 today.
Tomorrow is another day.
CAM
submitted by Dashover to OptionsOnly [link] [comments]

Historic!

For Trading March 10th
HISTORIC ACTION
Is Cruising Over?
Entire Yield Curve Under 1%
Today’s market was down from overnight with the futures hitting “limit down” before 4:00AM. The DJIA opened at 9:30, like always, but was halted within 4 minutes after hitting the “circuit-breakers” at -7% and trading was stopped for 15-minutes after which we reopened and headed lower again, touching -1946, and by noon we had recovered to only -1183, but by 3:00 we had made a new low of 23,706 -2158 before a rally to -1650 before another sell-off to close DJIA – 2013.76 (7.79%), NASDAQ -624.94 (7.29%), S&P 500 -225.81 (7.60%), the Russell -135.79 (9.37%, and DJ Transports, the biggest loser -874.21 (9.76%). Market internals were just short of absurd with numbers that I had to go to several sources to make sure were correct. NYSE raw numbers were 70:2973 or 43:1 and NASDAQ was 169:3190 or 19:1. The DJIA was 30:0 after WMT, which held on all day fell into the red. The biggest losers were not double, but triple-digit movers with BA -237, AAPL -155, GS -136, HD -123, CAT -117, and JPM -100DPs. The only single digit losers were VZ and WMT. It was an interesting day, but not one I’d like to see too often. The market was influenced by not only COVID-19, but also the fact that OPEC couldn’t come up with an agreement to limit oil production. Over the weekend Saudi Arabia declared a price war with Russia, the main opponent to any agreement. Interest rates continued to fall, and that, along with the oil news sent the banking names down dramatically. I’ll list those below in their sector.
Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows me to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights.
SECTORS: Other names in the news: It was a very tough day for everyone. While we did have a “Merger Monday” deal between AON and WLTW, neither of the participants made any headway. AON Plc, is buying Willis, Towers, Watson in the biggest insurance transaction ever and creating the world’s largest insurance broker, surpassing Marsh & McLennan (MMC) and worth about $80Billion.
There were a couple of names higher, just a few, and the main ones were in the auto parts segment with ORLY finishing $373.63 +5.55 (1.51%), AZO, $1113.69 +53.38 (5.03%) and AAP $130.36 +2.45 (1.92%). This group has been weak for the past 4-6 months. Also higher was discounter DLTR, $83.51 +3.27 (4.08%).
The Cruise lines continued to fall with all making new lows. RCL fell to $48.27 - 16.74 (25.75%) and down from $135 in January. CCL fell to $21.74 -5.41 (19.93%) and down from $52, while NCLH was $19.81 – 7.29 (26.9%) and down from $60. This is absolutely uninvestable. There will clearly be a point at which the shorts cover, but this group is dead money for a while.
In more COVID-19 news, Inovio (INO) which moved from $2.40 to $16.00 on the news that it would start human trials of its vaccine in April. This morning at $19.36 before collapsing all the way back to $8.53 before closing $9.83 -4.26 (30.23%).
But the HOMERUN OF THE DAY was another name I talked about in this space, AIM Immuno-Tech, Inc (AIM). The company said that its drug, Ampligen will begin testing at National Inst. Of Infectious Diseases in Japan that could play an important role in developing a protective early-onset therapy for COVID-19. The stock has been reverse split both 1:12 in 2016 and more recently 1:44 last June and traded under $ .40 had moved up to $3.50 this month and traded up on the news finishing $6.10 +4.00 (190%) and is continuing in extended hours to $8.75 and is currently $7.69 up an additional $1.59 for a total gain of $5.59 (266%). Quite a highlight on a dismal day.
BIOPHARMA: was LOWER with all names falling hard with BIIB -20.76, ABBV -3.55, REGN -20.58, ISRG -44.48, MYL -1.19, TEVA -1.42, VRTX -13.85, BHC -2.69, INCY -4.42, ICPT -6.88, LABU -11.47 (24.95%), and IBB $109.80 -8.23 (6.97%).
CANNABIS: stocks were LOWER with TLRY -2.47 (24.65%) and KERN -2.58 (37.34%) and none down less than 7.48%. The ETF, MJ $11.74 -1.36 (10.38%).
DEFENSE: was LOWER with some major loses by LMT -31.47, RTN -14.83, GD -13.01, TXT -5.48 (15.26%), UTX -12.48, NOC -15.58, BWXT -5.14, TDY -33.73, and ITA was $174.00 -21.04 (10.79%).
RETAIL was LOWER with major losses. The brands were the biggest losers on the day. M-1.12, JWN -1.88, KSS -2.84, DDS -2.37, JCP - .015, WMT -1.17, TGT -1.92, TJX -1.35, RL -10.78 (10.19%), UAA -1.46 (11.56%), LULU -22.44 (10.27%), TPR -3.35 (15.44%), CPRI -3.13 (13.65%) and XRT $37.01 -2.12 (5.42%).
FAANG and Big Cap: were LOWER with GOOGL -80.14, AMZN -96.19, AAPL -21.42, FB -11.40, NFLX -22.48, NVDA -21.04, IBM -10.38, TSLA -92.48 (13.01%), BABA -7.24, BIDU -8.52, BA -36.22 (13.81%) on continuing problems with the 737MAX and the general market, CAT -16.42 (13.52%), DIS -10.55, and XLK $82.84 -6.07 (6.83%).
FINANCIALS were LOWER with most down over 10% with the market and softness in rates with GS -19.14, JPM -13.53, BAC -3.59, MS -4.35, C -9.34, PNC -15.48, AIG -5.13, TRV -8.54, AXP -9.94, and XLF $22.80 -2.75 (10.76%).
OIL, $31.13 -10.15 (24.58%) The stocks were LOWER with the dramatic fall on the “price war” between the Saudi’s and Putin. It’s difficult to even relate to the prices I’m seeing. In August when OXY bought APC for $57billion OXY was just over $50. Tonight it closed $12.51 –14.35 (53.43%) and the COMBINED market-cap is only $11.4Billion. The rest of the list was equally bad with CVX -13.42, XOM -4.94, MRO 4.06 -2.77 (40.56%), MPC -5.43, APA 10.22 -10.48 (50.6%), BP -5.66 and XLE $34.98 -7.52 (17.69%).
METALS, GOLD: $1,675.70 +3.30. After the rebound, and the overnight move to $1,704.30 we sold off as liquidation hit even the yellow metal. We managed to close up on the day, but it was a disappointment just the same. Our $1.40 position in the GLD calls finished $1.65 +.11.
BITCOIN: closed $7,850 -1,315. We broke to the downside overnight and fell to a low of $7,640, which closed a gap left on the breakout back in January. While I want to add the 350 sold just over a week ago, I want to wait and see some stabilization. We did have 2 subscribers add to new positions under the close today. But we still own 400 GBTC with an average of $8.06. GBTC closed $8.86 – 1.72 today.
Tomorrow is another day.
CAM
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Want to know how why Venezuela has an interim president that is not Maduro?

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All funds transfered will be used to buy medicines and food for people in need Venezuela. Please, donate. https://www.paypal.me/sorckas Bitcoin 1JdBWtt995mHH7uYbPjZJNDeh1KxvFMYgB Ethereum 0x5535EEeF023499419f965dc9336A6F339298dC24 Bitcoin Cash qp0r0akjaxfddqzlmskjlu0gq5ydweh0judwhpqn9n
Many people argue that Juan Guaidó is not the president of the republic, or that there's a coup d'etat in Venezuela. Other argue that the legitime president of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro because he won elections, and therefore he should be president. There are so many people who want to know the true but they simply find biased information provided by government-funded agents such as TelesurTV that have clearly a bad reputation when it comes to report the venezuelan humanitarian crisis, the constitutional crisis, and every other aspect that you may find necessary to really understand what is going on Venezuela. To understand how we are here, we must learn about past events like designation of judges to the Supreme Court, derogation of the presidential referendum, dissolution of the parliament, a new designation of judges to the Supreme Court, and other things that I will try to put down in an effort to let people know what actually happened since 2013 to 2019.

First of all. How did Maduro came to presidency?

He was named vicepresident by Chavez, then Chavez died in 2013 which leaves Maduro as the interim president until new elections were convened in april of 2013, which Maduro claims he won, but the opposition contested and called to count the ballots something that the electoral body never does unless it is asked because the results are always issued electronically. The electoral body (put in there by the socialist party) didn't accept the petition to count the ballots.

2015 parliament elections

After the electoral body didn't accept to count the ballots, the discontent against the regime grew among the population, allowing the opposition to keep winning popular support. On December 6 of 2015 parliament elections were hold. The opposition won with 56% of the votes, something that many people didn't expect. The opposition obtained 2/3 of the seats in the parliament.
Both Maduro and the opposition recognized the results as the electoral body claimed that there were not any irregularities

13 new judges illegaly named

On December 22, 2015, the incumbent parliament members who were elected back in 2010 illegaly named 13 new judges to the Supreme Court, something that should have happened not in 2015 but in 2016. The vast majority of these new judges were parliament members the same day they were appointed to the Supreme Court. They even were the ones who proposed in the parliament to name new judges, and of course, they were members of the socialist party. The parliament back then was still controlled by the socialist party.

The Supreme Court declares null the election of deputies elected in December 6 of 2015

One of the socialist deputies who was illegaly named judge to the Supreme Court in December 22th of 2015, declared null the election of several opposition deputies in Amazonas state. This caused the opposition to lose the 2/3 of the parliament that it obtained after winning the election of December 6.

166 deputies sworn in to the parliament, including Amazonas' deputies

On January 6 of 2016, 112 opposition deputies were sworn in to the parliament, including those who were elected in the Amazonas whose election was contested

The Supreme Court outlaws the parliament

After the opposition-held parliament decided to sworn in three deputies who were elected in the contested Amazonas circuit, the supreme court decided, at petition of one parliament member of the socialist party, to outlaw the entire parliament alleging they disobey the orders to not swear in the Amazonas' deputies.

The opposition calls for a presidential referendum

According to the venezuelan constitution, you can recall any elected official after having completed half of the term for which the official was elected. This was the case for Maduro's presidential term which was at its half in April of 2016. The opposition wanted to recall and started the process to do so in April of 2016, but first, according to the constitution, they needed to follow a procediment to collect signatures which must be verified by the electoral body. The opposition needed only 300,000 signatures, they instead collected 2,1 millions of signatures
The opposition parties did call for the presidential recall, not the parliament. Just for clarification.

Electoral body cancels the presidential recall

Because of 10,000 suspicious signatures, the electoral body decided to cancel the entire presidential recall, this caused a huge discontent among the population. This excuse to cancel the presidential recall was already an obvious attempt from the electoral body to protect Nicolas Maduro

The parliament annuls the designation of judges to the Supreme Court

Because they were illegaly named, the opposition-held parliament decided in June of 2016 to annul the designation of the 13 judges who were named back in December of 2015.

3 deputies who were sworn in, were taken out

Beginning in 2017, in its first ordinary session, the parliament, then chaired by Julio Borges, deputy for the opposition coalition, officially disbanded the 3 challenged deputies, fulfilling the condition of the Supreme Court to exit contempt. However, the Supreme Court did not withdraw the contempt alleging that the old directive presided by Henri Ramos Allup is the one who must do the formalities

Supreme Court granted legislative powers to Nicolas Maduro

In March 27 of 2017, the Supreme Court granted legislative powers to Nicolas Maduro, however, they quickly clarified the judgement by issuing a clarification where the judges supressed to grant legislative powers to both the Supreme Court and Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro calls for a constituent assembly, to create a new constitution

On May 1, 2017, Nicolas Maduro, issued a decree to convene a National Constituent Assembly (ANC) based on a controversial interpretation of articles 347, 348 and 349 of the Constitution. This call again ignited the alarms of Venezuelan society, as many jurists point out that Maduro has violated the Constitution by usurping the functions of the sovereign people when calling a Constituent Assembly, when this power corresponds strictly to the People of Venezuela as a whole and not to people in particular. A Constituent Assembly is a supranational body, all-powerful institution that can change from the education curriculum to remove any officials of any branch of the government, including the president of the republic, reform or derogate the criminal code.
It would not be the first time a constituent assembly would be convened. Back in 1998 Chavez did the same, but first he called for a consultative referendum to decided whether the people agreed to convene elections to elect constituent deputies. If the results of the consultative referendum were against the election of constituent deputies then there won't be any constituent assembly at all. Nicolas Maduro didn't allow the people the chance to vote in a consultative referendum to decide whether we wanted a constituent assembly or not. He just directly call for elections to elect constituent deputies implying there will be a constituent assembly.
This move to call for a constituent assembly was seen as parallel national assembly.

"Maduro is the people"

On June 7, 2017, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court handed down judgment 378, which determined that the president was authorized to convene a constituent without a prior consultative referendum, since he acted in the name of the sovereignty of the people. Article 5 of the Constitution establishes that the sovereignity "resides intransferably among the people." People argue that Maduro himself can't act in the name of the entire population for these matters.

Attorney General filed a contentious electoral appeal agains the constituent assembly

On June 8, the Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Díaz, filed to the Supreme Court a contentious electoral appeal and precautionary relief for all purposes of the constituent assembly and, invoking Article 333 of the Constitution, invited all Venezuelans to join the appeal in order to stop the constituent assembly and preserve the validity of the current Constitution. The next day the vicinity of the Supreme Court was closed by State security forces preventing citizens from adhering to the appeal filed by the attorney general

Illegal appoinment of 13 judges elected in 2015 was contested by the attorney general

On July 2, 2017, the attorney general challenged the appointment of the 13 principal judges and 21 substitutes after it was known that in the process of appointing these judges, the Republic Moral Council (formed by the Citizen's Branch which includes the attorney general, the ombudsman, and comptroller) did not hold an extraordinary session to evaluate the scales of application, as established in Article 74 of the LOTSJ (Organic Law of the Suprme Court), but they sent the files of the candidates and then presented the minutes to sign it, which she refused to do so because the session had not been held. The next day, the ombudsman presented a document with the alleged signature of the attorney general alleging that she had signed the act. María José Marcano, former secretary of the Republic Moral Council accused the ombudsman of lying and presenting a forged document, because neither she nor the attorney general had signed the act as it was an act performed illegally due to political pressures

Attorney general was dismissed by the Supreme Court

At petition of a socialist parliament member, the Supreme Court dismissed the attorney general and granted its powers to the ombudsman that are exclusive of the Public Ministry

Opposition-held parliament appoints 13 new judges to the Supreme Court

Once the attorney general contested the election of the 13 judges to the Suprme Court illegaly appointed in december of 2015 by deputies of the socialist party, on July 21 of 2017 the opposition-held parliament decided to follow the procediment fulfill the necessity to appoint new judges to the Supreme Court. This time, every aspect of the process was fulfilled. Days later, Maduro started to jail these judges, however, many could flee the country before being kidnapped.
However, they are functioning as the legitime Supreme Court since it was named by the opposition-held parliament.

Elections to the constituent assembly take place on July 30

The only candidates were members of the socialist party because the electoral bases were designed to avoid any other person not affiliated to the party to be candidate. Only socialist party members could be candidate to the constituent assembly.
The election was denounce by most western countries, including Canada, the EU, Australia, among others.

Constituent assembly calls for presidential election

On January 23, 2018, the constituent assembly decreed that the presidential election scheduled for late 2018, should be held before April 30. Several countries in America and Europe have expressed their disavowal of the results due to the impediment of opposition parties participation and the lack of time for the lapses established in the electoral regulations.
Two days later, on January 25, the Supreme Court ordered the electoral body to exclude from these elections the ballot of the Democratic Unity Table (opposition coalition), arguing that within that coalition there are parties that have not complied with the validation process of political parties established in the law.

Presidential election took place on May 20, 2018

The only candidates were Nicolas Maduro, ex chavista Henri Falcón, and the evangelical pastor Javier Bertucci. Maduro obtained 68% of the votes. Henri Falcon didn't recognize the results, as did many countries around the world and the rest of the opposition parties.
The election was rigged as electoral observers including the Carter Certer condemned the election.
The parliament rejected the election.

Supreme Court in exile annul presidential election

On July of 2018, the Supreme Court that was named by the opposition-held parliament issued a decree to nullify the presidential election, ordering the parliament to name an interim president. Source

Christian Zerpa defects and flees to the US

On January 8, 2019, Christian Zerpa, one of the 13 judges named illegaly in 2015 by socialist parliament members, who also accepted the petition to outlaw opposition-held parliament, defected and fled to the United States, this being motivated by disagreeing with the swearing in of Nicolás Maduro for a second presidential term. Zerpa made a series of statements that questioned the independence of powers and the transparency of Venezuelan justice.
He confessed that he was appointed as a judge in the express process of 2015, because he had always been loyal to Chavez.

Maduro swore in to the presidency

After the presidential election that took place in May 20 of 2018, Maduro swore in to the presidency on January 10 of 2019. This must be done in the parliament but this time he did it in the Supreme Court.

Legislative year ended, new body president is approved

Juan Guaidó was elected president of the legislative branch on January 5 of 2019

Presidential term ended in January 10 of 2019 without an elected president of the republic

The parliament, after rejecting the election back then in May of 2018 and following the judgement issued on July of 2018 by the Supreme Court in exile, stated that there is not an elected president of the republic.
The powers of the executive branch must be transferred to the president of the legislative branch.

Juan Guaidó assumes executive powers, swore in in January 23 of 2019

As an interim president, he must call for elections in the next 30 days, however, there may be some inconvenients about having elections right now. Therefore, he called for a transitory government.

FAQ

What happened to the 13 judges named by the opposition-held parliament, and to the attorney general Luisa Ortega?

The new Supreme Court is fulfilling his duties in another country, as they're recognize by the OAS and the US.
Luisa Ortega now is exiled. She was replaced by the William Saab who was the ombudsman at the time she fled the country. The vice-ombudsman became the ombudsman.

Was the 2018 presidential election legitime?

The body who must convene the election must be the electoral body. For the 2018 presidential elections, the constituent assembly was the one who called for presidential election. If you don't recognize the constituent assembly, then you don't recognize neither the election it convened for.

Why we don't recognize the constituent assembly?

Because we didn't had a consultative referendum to decide whether we wanted a constituent assembly or not.

Why did the opposition parties boycott the election to elect constituent deputies?

The electoral bases for the election of constituent deputies, that took place in june 30 of 2017, were rigged. Only socialist party members were allowed to be candidate. The opposition parties were not allowed to have candidates. They don't even boycotted the election, they couldn't even be candidates.

Is Venezuela a socialist country?

Yes, it is.

70% of the Venezuela's economy is privately owned?

No, it isn't. In order to be on privately owned you first need private property rights. That's to say, if you own something, you then can put prices to products and even distribute/sell or buy whatever amount you want. That is not the case for Venezuela as most of its economy is actually collectively owned, based on socialist principles.
You can't put prices to products, and you get exprorpriated if you produce basic goods, for example. You can't sell them for profit.
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