COVID-19's Economic Impact in Canada: a collection of stats on jobs losses, investment returns, consumer confidence, interest rates, housing, and future forecasts
Over the past few weeks, the COVID crisis has hurt the Canadian economy and the average Canadian's financial situation in more ways than one. I tried to tally up the damage by going through the info that's been published thus far (by Stats Can, the Bank of Canada, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, news sites, etc.), and have put together some visualizations and commentary on the data. In summary:
Stats Can's March labour force survey showed that 3.1 million Canadians had their job situation impacted negatively during the survey period (March 15 - March 21); that's ~16% of Canada's total labour force
1 million Canadians lost their jobs; 0.8 million had a job but didn't work any hours; 1.3 million had a job but worked less than half of their usual hours
Canadians worked 15% fewer hours in the month of March vs February; the impact was highest in Quebec (-19%), and lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador (-8.4%)
As of April 13th, nearly 6 million Canadians have applied for CERB or EI (reported by the CBC)
Investments (2020 year-to-date returns)
Stock markets are down by roughly 15 - 20% (TSX Composite is down by 17%)
Bond markets are roughly flat
Gold is up by 14% (as investors tend to flock to gold in times of economic uncertainty)
Bitcoin is down by 4%
Canadian oil prices are down by ~70%
Google search volume in Canada for the terms "recession" and "layoff" are the highest on record, even surpassing the search volume during the 2008 recession
The Conference Board of Canada's "Index of Consumer Confidence" registered the largest monthly decline ever in March
The Bank of Canada cut the overnight rate 3 separate times in March, dropping the rate from 1.75% to 0.25%
The rate hasn't been this low since the 2008 recession
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board showed a 16% decline in home sale volumes in the Greater Toronto Area in the second half of March
RBC Economics expects that “Canada’s housing market will slow to a crawl this spring”, and that housing prices will face a temporary set-back — with an estimated 2.9% year-over-year price decline in the second half of 2020
Post-COVID Economic Forecasts
On April 9th, Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer released a “scenario analysis” report on the potential impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy.
It’s estimated that the federal government’s responses to the COVID crisis will have a total cost of over $105 billion
As a result, Canada’s budget deficit in the 2020-21 fiscal year will rise to $185 billion, or roughly 8.5% of GDP
Canada’s budget deficit hasn’t been this high (based on % of GDP) since the 1984-85 fiscal year
In 2020, Canada will have real GDP growth of -5.1%, and an unemployment rate of 12.4%; for context, Canada's real GDP only declined by 3.3% in 2009
The number of unemployed Canadians will rise from 1.2 million (Q4 2019) to 3.1 million (Q3 2020)
These points are addressed in chart form at the link above. You can download a spreadsheet which contains all of the source data / charts. There's also a summary of the emergency response initiatives announced by the federal government (CERB, GST credit, CCB one-time payment, the 75% wage subsidy, etc.), and thoughts about steps that Canadians can take today to improve their financial situation. I'll continue to update the page as new economic stats roll-in, and as the government announces new initiatives. I'd love to hear your thoughts about COVID's economic impact in Canada. Also, please feel free to share any other stats, articles, or reports that you think are relevant!
Market trends are among the most fundamental aspects of financial markets. We can define a market trend as the overall direction that an asset or a market is going. As such, market trends are closely watched by both technical analysts and fundamental analysts. Bull markets tend to be relatively straightforward to trade, as they can allow for some of the easiest trading and investment strategies. Even inexperienced traders may do well in really favorable bull market conditions. With that said, it’s also crucial to understand how markets move in cycles. So, what should you know about bull markets? How can traders take advantage of bull markets? We’ll explain it all in this article.
What is a bull market?
A bull market (or bull run) is a state of a financial market where prices are rising. The term bull market is often used in the context of the stock market. However, it can be used in any financial market — including bonds, commodities, real estate, and cryptocurrencies. Besides, a bull market may also refer to a specific asset such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or CTT. It could even refer to a sector, such as utility tokens, privacy coins, or biotech stocks. You may have heard traders from Wall Street use the terms “bullish” and “bearish.” When a trader says they are bullish on a market, it means that they expect prices to rise. When they are bearish, they expect prices to decline. Being bullish can often mean that they are also long that market, though that may not necessarily be the case. Being bullish may not necessarily mean that a long trade opportunity is present right now, just that prices are rising or are expected to rise. It’s also worth noting that a bull market doesn’t mean that prices don’t fall or fluctuate. This is why it’s more sensible to consider bull markets on larger time frames. In this sense, bull markets will contain periods of decline or consolidation without breaking the major market trend. So, in this sense, the definition of a bull market depends on what time frame we’re talking about. Generally, when we’re using the term bull market, we are talking about a time frame of months or years. As with other market analysis techniques, higher time frame trends will have more validity than lower time frame trends. As such, there may be prolonged periods of decline in a high timeframe bull market. These counter-trend price movements have a notoriety for being especially volatile — though this can vary greatly.
Bull market examples
Some of the most well-known examples of bull markets come from the stock market. These are the times when stock prices and market indexes (such as the Nasdaq 100) are continually rising. As far as the global economy is concerned, it fluctuates between bull and bear markets. These economic cycles can last years, even decades. Some say that the bull market starting from the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis and lasting until the coronavirus pandemic was “the longest bull market in history.” This may or may not be true — as we’ve said, high time frame bull markets can be a matter of perspective. Even so, let’s take a look at the long-term performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). We can see that it basically has been in a century-long bull market. Certainly, there are periods of decline that can last for years, such as 1929 or 2008, but the overall trend is still pointing upwards. Some argue that we could see a similar trend with Bitcoin. But we can’t really tell if and when Bitcoin will face a multi-year bear market. It’s also worth noting that most other cryptocurrencies (i.e., altcoins) will probably never experience similar price appreciation, so be extremely aware of what you invest in.
Bull market vs. bear market — what’s the difference?
These are opposite concepts, so the difference isn’t particularly difficult to guess. Prices are continuously going up in a bull market, while prices are continually going down in a bear market. This also results in differences in how it may be best to trade them. In a bull market, traders and investors will generally want to be long. While in a bear market, they either want to be short or stay in cash. In some cases, staying in cash (or stablecoins) may also mean shorting the market, since we’re expecting prices to decline. The main difference is that staying in cash is more about preserving capital while shorting is about profiting off the decline in asset prices. But if you sell an asset expecting to buy it back lower, you’re essentially in a short position — even if you are not directly profiting from the drop. One additional thing to consider is fees. Staying in stablecoins will likely not incur any fees, as there typically isn’t a cost to custody. However, many short positions will require a funding fee or interest rate to keep the position open. This is why quarterly futures may be ideal for long-term short positions, as there is no funding fee associated with them.
How traders can take advantage of bull markets
The main idea behind trading bull markets is relatively simple. Prices are going up, so going long and buying dips is generally a reasonable strategy. This is why the buy and hold strategy and dollar-cost averaging are generally well-suited for long-term bull markets. There’s a saying that goes like this: “The trend is your friend, until it’s not.” This just means that it makes sense to trade with the direction of the market trend. At the same time, no trend will last forever, and the same strategy may not perform well in other parts of a market cycle. The only certainty is that the markets can and will change. As we’ve seen with the COVID-19 outbreak, multi-year bull markets can be wiped out in a matter of weeks. Naturally, most investors will be bullish in a bull market. This makes sense since prices are going up, so the overall sentiment should also be bullish. However, even during a bull market, some investors will be bearish. If their trading strategy accommodates for it, they may even be successful with short-term bearish trades, such as shorting. As such, some traders will try to short the recent highs in a bull market. However, these are advanced strategies and are generally more suitable for professional traders. As a less experienced trader, it’s usually more sensible to trade according to the trend. Many investors get trapped trying to short bull markets. After all, stepping in front of a raging bull or a locomotive can be a dangerous undertaking.
We’ve discussed what a bull market is, and how traders may approach trading in bull market conditions. Typically, the most straightforward trading strategy in any market trend is to follow the direction of the overall trend. As such, bull markets may present good trading opportunities, even for beginners or first-time investors. However, it’s always essential to manage risk properly and keep learning to avoid mistakes as much as possible. Still having more questions about market trends, bull markets, or trading? Check out our Q&A platform, Ask service support, where the Citex community will answer your questions.
Currently the 500 MCO tier is sort of the sweet spot for most users where a lot of valuable perks kick in. When I first purchased MCO it was under $3 USD, so going straight to the 500 tier was an obvious choice. I was planning to put some Stablecoins and Bitcoin into earn, so the added 2% bonus in-kind in earn, plus the 3% card cashbacks and Netflix reimbursement made the choice economically beneficial quite quickly. Less than a year later the benefits have provided me a larger return on investment than if I had done otherwise. I have been eyeing the upgrade to the 5000 tier, but I wanted to do an analysis of what sort of upgrade strategy makes sense to optimize ROI weighted against risks and if I'm even the right candidate for such an investment. With the price of MCO being higher, it's not such a clear decision. I will outline my thought process below. Assumptions - These are the assumptions that I am working with for my analysis. Working with a different set of assumptions will affect the decision making process differently for different people.
Decision making process involves only MCO, Stablecoins (Fiat), and Bitcoin
Bitcoin being held was bought at a low price and converting to MCO will cause a taxable event
There is no monetary benefit to Prime because I've been grandfathered into prime from an old family members account
There is no monetary benefit to Expedia because I do all my travel spending on my Chase Sapphire Reserve that offers robust travel benefits and protections.
The monetary benefit to CDC Private is not clear at the time
Time frame of one year
Interest rates on the platform do not drastically change over the next year
MCO and BTC change fluctuate roughly in lockstep
Dollar figures below are arbitrary for example purposes only
Based on the above assumptions we can now look at different upgrade pathways and see which options make the most sense. This thought process is a place to start and can be adjusted to each person's individual case.
Stablecoin (Fiat) to MCO pathway
At today's price of ~$4.85 USD at time of writing, it would cost $21,825 USD to upgrade directly into the 5000 tier by buying 4500 additional MCO. This gives additional benefits of 2% in earn, 1% on card, and 8% vs 6% on staked MCO. The variables we need to look at to find out if this makes sense over the next year are: assets in Earn and annual card spend. The opportunity cost of putting the money into MCO is a 4% yield on $21,825 (12% in Earn minus 8% staked in MCO) minus a 2% yield on 500 MCO, or roughly $824.50. We also open ourselves up to exchange rate volatility, there is a very real, non-0% chance that the crypto market collapses, or that MCO itself collapses in value. There is also a chance it will go way up. If you are looking to hold the MCO, or crypto in general, for longer periods of time, we need to sort of normalize the projected trend to figure out ROI. That means ignoring big jumps and drops, or retroactively thinking you could have made or lost money by trading in and out… that falls under trading and speculation. In general, most of us think the crypto market is going up, but by how much and how fast are variables that need to be considered in how exposed to crypto you want to be In order to make this pathway a positive ROI, we need to make an additional $824.50 through the added benefits in Earn and card spending over the course of one year. What does that look like?
Assets in Earn*0.02 + Card spend*0.01>824.50
Card spend: $1,000; Earn: $40,725
Card spend: $5,000; Earn: $38,725
Card spend: $10,000; Earn: $36,225
If you don't have roughly $35-40k in Earn, upgrading to 5000 Tier makes very little sense IMO. Full Account Examples (Assuming today's crypto prices):
Case 1 - 500 MCO staked; $100,000 Stablecoins in Earn; $100,000 Bitcoin in earn; $3000 card spend
500 * $4.85 * 0.06 = $145.50
$100,000 * 0.12 = $12,000
$100,000 * 0.055 = $5,500
$3,000 * 0.03 = $90
Total annual rewards: $17,735.50
Case 2 - 5000 MCO staked; $80,000 Stablecoins; $100,000 Bitcoin in Earn; $3000 card spend
5000 * $4.85 *0.08 = $1,940
$80,000 * 0.14 = $11,200
$100,000 * 0.075 = $7,500
$3,000 * 0.04 = $120
Total annual rewards: $20,760
Case 1 and 2 are very similar in total assets, but case 2 provides the better return after one year ($20,760 - $17,735.50 = $3,024.50) at the cost of being more exposed to crypto.
Bitcoin to MCO pathway via Drip
Another option to consider is upgrading to the 5000 tier via Bitcoin. I mention "Drip" in the header because I imagine most people able to do a lump sum conversion would encounter a taxable event and would be less inclined to go that route. Utilizing a drip format will upgrade on a longer time scale, but result in negligible taxable gain. It also keeps crypto exposure at roughly the same level throughout the process. The benefits from going to MCO from BTC is a higher interest rate for MCO being staked at 6% vs BTC in Earn at 5.5%; I also assume CDC will be able to keep the 6% on MCO longer than they can keep the rate high on BTC. The drawbacks are less liquidity on MCO, potentially more volatility, and potential loss of value relative to BTC in Satoshis (we'll ignore the last point since we are assuming a similar sat ratio over time). Another thing to mention, if we want to upgrade over the course of one year, BTC holdings need to be pretty sizable at $400,000 That's a little unreasonable for most people, so let's assume a smaller holding of $100,000 btc like the two cases above. This will take three years to accomplish and the equation gets a bit more complicated in this situation.
500 MCO staked at 6%
$100,000 BTC in Earn at 5.5%
Proceeds from both go immediately into MCO 3 Month Earn at 8%
Basically if you take the above situation and plug it into a compound interest calculator, compounding quarterly, it takes almost 3 years exactly to drip your way into the 5000 tier. We can mostly ignore any change in crypto USD value as long as the MCO/BTC ratio stays similar. If you definitely want to go to the 5000 tier, the question becomes purchase lump sum via Fiat or drip via crypto. The opportunity cost of dripping is the lost 2% gain in earn over the course of 3 years (which as you'll see below, could be significant if the market jumps quickly at which point purchasing via Fiat becomes prohibitively expensive). But the benefit is that you maintain your current crypto exposure in the case of a major bear market where you could potentially purchase via Fiat at a much lower price.
I think it's important to think about an exit strategy. In my opinion, upgrading to the 5000 tier only really makes sense if you are having a lot of assets in Earn. The added 1% on card spend and other perks pales in comparison to the added 2% on Earn with a large amount of assets. It's also my opinion that MCO should only be a small portion of a crypto portfolio. Regardless, if MCO is your main holding you are betting on the crypto market going up, because the added 5000 tier benefits won't comparatively amount to much over a year anyway. If crypto prices stay the same the benefits to holding MCO stay flat, but as crypto prices rise, the incentives change. Imagine we go on a huge bull run and the market goes up 20x. I bet a lot of people will want to rebalance and cash in some of that profit. It's quite possible holding 5000 MCO becomes too big of a risk for the benefits received. What's nice is that CDC seems to have thought about the optimal profile for people to get to the 5000 tier level...like I stated above, people with significant assets in Earn. Imagine the person in Case 2 above in an environment where the crypto market shoots up 20x.
5000 MCO = $500,000
$80,000 Stablecoins = $80,000
$100,000 BTC = $2,000,000
In this situation, it makes sense to rebalance your portfolio and take some earnings off the table. However, it actually makes a lot of sense to keep the 5000 MCO staked and rebalance away from BTC into Stablecoins. Look at the yearly earnings of different options below:
Leave as is: $191,200
Rebalance $450,000 from BTC to Stablecoins maintaining 5000 MCO tier: $220,450
Rebalance $450,000 away from MCO to Stablecoins dropping to the 500 MCO tier: $176,600
As you can see, losing the bonus 2% in earn cuts your profit over the course of a year. CDC was quite thoughtful in changing the award structure for the added 2% in Earn. It should keep early adopters from leaving if the market goes up, and should actually attract newly minted crypto whales as they rebalance out of other cryptos. This should keep the MCO price strong for a long time and give confidence to people investing in MCO.
I think upgrading to the 5000 tier can make a lot of sense for certain people. But after reaching the 5000 tier I would probably immediately cash out all rewarded MCO to Stablecoins to compound at a higher interest rate and just maintain the 5000 level. Unless there are some dramatic new rewards for the 50,000 level I don't see the value proposition to go for Black. Perhaps an additional 2% in Earn, but that is probably not sustainable to the company. Let me know what you think, or if I made any mistakes. Edit: Changed numbers to reflect 8% earned on staked MCO at the 5000 Tier level. This makes the upgrade more compelling.
LeanFIRE and Goal Oriented Investing: 10 Mistakes you should avoid
Dear All - After my earlier post regarding COVID-19 and 10 rules to deploy savings that generated lots of questions and interest I would like to share my thoughts about Goal Oriented Investing. While it's a 101 it may nevertheless be helpful to highlight especially in this market environment. I wasn't able to put graphs and videos here so you may find the full version here. Looking forward to hearing your feedback.
1. Not clearly defining your goals. Define your objectives and think in terms of sub-portfolios
Define your short and long term goals. Allocate to asset classes based on your time horizon (e.g. short term goals need to be carefully managed with a defensive portfolio since the short term volatility of high risk assets like stocks can hurt you). Be sure to have a reserve fund of liquid short-term investments and cash so you can cover emergencies and upcoming large expenses without having to sell your investments during down markets.
2. Not being patient and overreacting. Good things come to those who wait
Returns tend to smooth out over the long term. There is a myth about a Fidelity study that analysed all its performing accounts and realised that best performance came out of portfolios of people who either forgot about their accounts or were dead. You can understand why people believe these findings although the study never took place (look at the chart here - 1 to 20 year rolling performance again!). Logging into your brokepension plan account every day may not be helpful. You may tend to react – do not rush investment decisions.
3. Oveunderestimating your risk tolerance
Take a risk tolerance assessment if necessary to understand your risk profile. Your risk tolerance is important to tweak the asset allocation of your goal sub-portfolio. It is determined by: the degree of flexibility you have with regard to your financial goal, and your personal comfort level with volatility in your portfolio.
4. Aiming at influencing things outside of your control. Focus of what’s in your control
This is the Stoic part of the 10 recommendations (if you also happen to adhere to this philosophy get the Stoic newsletter I never stopped reading for the past 5 years). One of the eye-openers that you learn while studying for the gruelling (Chartered Financial Analyst ‘CFA’) Charter is that research estimates that asset allocation (not stock selection!) drives up to c. 90% of overall portfolio performance. You control asset allocation and rebalancing. You do control your spending and savings that will grow over time – don’t waste most of your time on researching individual stocks (read: Are you more qualified than a professional analyst).
5. Not acquiring enough education and taking excessive idiosyncratic risks
Some of the most trending Google searches during this COVID-19 pandemic include ‘best stocks to buy now’, ‘how to invest in oil stocks’, ‘best stock for 2020’ or ‘best investments for 2020’ etc. In fact the phrase ‘how to buy a stock’ surged to record highs. This also relates to FOMO which I have described here and chasing upward trends in a bear market. Acquiring Investment Knowledge is key as it is ultimately your decisions that will determine whether your hard-earned savings generate long term returns. Do your homework. Understand investment risks. Research fundamentals. Take a bit more time if needed – the market is efficient and is pricing in information relatively quickly – you have no edge in acting quickly.
6. Being overly conservative over the long run
Think of your goals as liabilities that you need to match with your investments. The power of compounding means that you need a much lower amount today to meet a higher amount expenditure in the future. Einstein said compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it. If you have high needs with long time horizon you need to take calculated risks. Invest too defensively (e.g. low allocation to Equities) and it may not match your long term objective. Buffett’s exceptional investment returns are also due to his time horizon.
7. Holding excessive cash. Not taking risks involves high opportunity costs
Believe it or not but a lot of bankers working for the top names tend to hold cash and under-invest. By holding cash you are not only missing out on compounding interest but also paying more taxes! Inflation is an indirect tax that works by destroying savings in exchange for gov’t financing. It gets worse – as central banks print an unprecedented amount of money – most standard measurements of inflation, such as the consumer price index (CPI), do not account for the disproportional effects of quantitative easing which is rising asset prices (monetary inflation). Even when you hear about deflation it’s often very misleading. This bear market may be a good opportunity to gradually deploy cash for long term returns if you haven’t already. As an example – the ‘headline’ inflation in the UK (2.9%) that over 10 years increased prices by 29.29% vs. London Property Prices that increased over twice as much. The same applies to other real assets, like company valuations (stocks) or gold.
8. Not considering diversification
Yes, bonds are not as sexy as stocks since your returns may not be as spectacular in the short term but these are excellent diversifiers that may be sometimes better suited depending on your investment objective and time horizon. Other currencies or hard metals/BTC may be good as well. As an example YTD performance (as of March 9th when I did the analysis) was -14.2% for stocks, +6.1% for bonds and +10.7% for Gold.
9. Letting your emotions rule
This is difficult to implement since we tend to have emotional biases. If you do decide to have a small part of your goal-oriented strategic asset allocation dedicated to tactical asset allocation, sector or stock selection emotions could drive investment decisions based on loss aversion or overconfidence (e.g. confusing brains with a bull market). If it’s e.g. the latter try to stay humble/rational and ask yourself if you really have an edge before making a decision.
Bull Bitcoin’s Dollar-Cost Averaging tool for Canadians: a detailed overview
Hello fellow Canadian Bitcoiners! I'm Francis Pouliot, CEO and founder of Bull Bitcoin (previously known as Bitcoin Outlet) and Bylls. I haven't been active on Reddit for a while but I thought I'd pop back here to let the community know about our new dollar-cost averaging feature, "Recurring Buy" This post is a copy of my most recent medium article which you can read here if you want to see the screenshots. https://medium.com/bull-bitcoin/bull-bitcoins-dollar-cost-averaging-tool-for-canadians-the-right-time-to-buy-bitcoin-is-every-day-82a992ca22c1 Thanks in advance for any feedback and suggestions! [Post starts here] The Bull Bitcoin team is constantly trying to reduce the frictions ordinary people face when investing in Bitcoin and propose innovative features which ensure our users follow Bitcoin best practices and minimize their risks. We are particularly excited and proud about our latest feature: an automated Bitcoin dollar-cost averaging tool which we dubbed “Recurring Buy”. The Recurring Buy feature lets Bull Bitcoin users create an automated schedule that will buy Bitcoin every day using the funds in their account balance and send the Bitcoin directly to their Bitcoin wallet straight away. We put a lot of thought in the implementation details and striking the right trade-offs for a simple and elegant solution. Our hope is that it will become a standard other Bitcoin exchanges will emulate for the benefit of their users. This standard will certainly evolve over time as we accumulate feedback and operational experience. In this article, I cover: The problem that we are trying to solve Recurring Buy feature details, processes and instructions The rationale (and tradeoffs) behind the main feature design choices Bull Bitcoin is only available to Canadians, but non-Canadians that wish to have a look at how it works are welcome to make a Bull Bitcoin account and check out how it works here. You will be able to go through the process of create the schedule for testing purposes, but you wont be able to fund your account and actually purchase Bitcoin. What problems does Dollar-Cost Averaging solve? The most common concern of Bitcoin investors is, not surprisingly, “when is the right time to buy Bitcoin?”. Bitcoin is indeed a very volatile asset. A quick glance at a Bitcoin price chart shows there are without a doubt “worse times” and “better times” to invest in Bitcoin. But is that the same as the “right” time? Gurus, analysts and journalists continuously offer their theories explaining what affects the Bitcoin price, supported by fancy trading charts and geopolitical analysis, further reinforcing the false notion that it is possible to predict the price of Bitcoin. Newbies are constantly bombarded with mainstream media headlines of spectacular gains and devastating losses. For some, this grows into an irresistible temptation to get rich quick. Others become crippled with the fear of becoming “the sucker” on which early adopters dump their bags. Veterans are haunted by past Bitcoin purchases which were quickly followed by a crash in the price. “I should have waited to buy the dip…” Many Bitcoin veterans and long-term investors often shrug off the question of when is the right time to buy with the philosophy: “just hodl”. But even those holding until their death will recognize that buying more Bitcoin for the same price is a better outcome. Given the very high daily volatility of Bitcoin, a hodler can find himself in many years having significantly less wealth just because he once bought Bitcoin on a Monday instead of a Wednesday. His options are either to leave it up to chance or make an attempt to “time the market” and “buy the dip”, which can turn into a stressful trading obsession, irrational decisions (which have a negative impact on budget, income and expenses) and severe psychological trauma. In addition, trying to “buy the dip” is often synonymous to keeping large amounts of fiat on an exchange to be ready for “when the time comes”. There must be a better way. Bitcoin investors should be rewarded for having understood Bitcoin’s long-term value proposition early on, for having taken the risk to invest accordingly and for having followed best practices. Not for being lucky. Overview of features and rules In this section I go into every detail of the Recurring Buy feature. In the following section, I focus on explaining why we chose this particular user experience. The user first decides his target investment amount. Ideally, this is a monthly budget or yearly budget he allocates to investing in Bitcoin based on his projected income and expenses. The user then chooses either the duration of the Recurring Buy schedule or the daily purchase amount. The longer the better. The frequency is each day and cannot be modified. The user must submit a Bitcoin address before activating a Recurring Buy schedule. By default, every transaction will be sent to that Bitcoin address. It’s the fallback address in case they don’t provide multiple addresses later. Once the user has filled the form with target amount, the duration and the Bitcoin address, he can activate the Recurring Buy Schedule. The user is not required to already have funds in his account balance to activate the schedule. We will randomly select a time of day at which his transaction will be processed (every hour, so 24 possible times). If the user insists on another time of day, he can cancel his Recurring Buy schedule and try again. ￼ ￼ The Recurring Buy feature as displayed on bullbitcoin.com/recurring-buys The schedule is then displayed to the user, showing the time and date at which transactions that will take place in the future. The user will be able to see how long his current balance will last. He can follow the progress of the dollar-cost averaging schedule, monitor in real time his average acquisition cost, and audit each transaction individually. At this point, the user can and should change the Bitcoin address of his next transactions to avoid address re-use. Address re-use is not forbidden, but it is highly discouraged. After having modified the Bitcoin addresses, there is nothing left for the user to do except watch the bitcoins appear in his Bitcoin wallet every day! The Bitcoins are sent right away at the time of purchase. Bitcoin transactions using the Recurring Buy feature will have the lowest possible Bitcoin network transaction fee to avoid creating upwards pressure on the fee market impact other network users. ￼ ￼ What users see after first activating a schedule The Recurring Buy schedule will be cancelled automatically at the time of the next purchase if the balance is insufficient. He can add more funds to his balance whenever he wants. The Recurring Buy schedule will continue until the target amount is reached or until the account balance runs out. The user can cancel his Recurring Buy schedule whenever he wants. If the user wants to change the amount or duration of the schedule, he can simply cancel his current schedule and create a new one. Each schedule has a unique identifier so that users can keep track of various schedules they perform over time. Once a schedule is completed, either fully or partially, a summary will be provided which shows the number of transactions completed, the average acquisition cost, the total amount of Bitcoin purchase and the total amount of fiat spent. Useful for accounting! ￼ ￼ A partially completed Recurring Buy schedule cancelled after 9 days due to insufficient funds Though process in making our design choices Recurring Bitcoin Purchases vs. Recurring Payment/Funding The first and most important design choice was to separate the processes of funding the account balance with fiat (the payment) from the process of buying Bitcoin (the purchase). Users do not need to make a bank transaction every time they do a Bitcoin purchase. They first fund their account manually on their own terms, and the recurring purchases are debited from their pre-funded account balance. Another approach would have been to automatically withdraw fiat from the user’s bank account (e.g. a direct debit or subscription billing) for each transaction (like our friends at Amber) or to instruct the user to set-up recurring payments to Bull Bitcoin from their bank account (like our friends at Bittr). The downside of these strategies is that they require numerous bank transactions which increases transaction fees and the likelihood of triggering fraud and compliance flags at the user’s bank. However, this does remove the user’s need to keep larger amounts of fiat on the exchange and reduces the friction of having to make manual bank payments. Bull Bitcoin is currently working on a separate “Recurring Funding” feature that will automatically debit fiat from the user’s bank accounts using a separate recurring schedule with a minimum frequency of once a week, with a target of once every two weeks or once a month to match the user’s income frequency. This can, and will, be used in combination from the “Recurring Buy” feature, but both can be used separately. The ultimate experience that we wish to achieve is that users will automatically set aside, each paycheck (two weeks), a small budget to invest in Bitcoin using the “Recurring Funding” feature which is sufficient to refill their account balance for the next two weeks of daily recurring purchases. Frequency of transactions The second important decision was about customizing the frequency of the schedule. We decided to make it “each day” only. This is specifically to ensure users have a large enough sample size and remain consistent which are the two key components to a successful dollar-cost averaging strategy. A higher amount of recurring transactions (larger sample size) will result in the user’s average acquisition being closer to the actual average Bitcoin price over that period of time. Weekly or monthly recurring purchases can provide the same effectiveness if they are performed over a duration of time which is 7x longer (weekly) or 30x longer (monthly). It is our belief that the longer the duration of the schedule, the more likely the user is to cancel the recurring buy schedule in order to “buy the dip”. Dollar-cost averaging is boring, and watching sats appear in the wallet every day is a good way to reduce the temptation of breaking the consistency. We do not force this on users: they can still cancel the schedule if they want and go all-in. We consider it more of a gentle nudge in the right direction. Frequency of withdrawals (one purchase = one bitcoin transaction) This is one of the most interesting design choices because it is a trade-off between scalability (costs), privacy and custody. Ultimately, we decided that trust-minimization (no custody) and privacy were the most important at the expense of long-term scalability and costs. Realistically, Bitcoin network fees are currently low and we expect them to remain low for the near future, although they will certainly increase massively over the long-term. One of the ways we mitigated this problem was to select the smallest possible transaction fee for transactions done in the context of Recurring Buy, separate from regular transaction fees on regular Bitcoin purchases (which, at Bull Bitcoin, are very generous). Note: users must merge their UTXOs periodically to avoid being stuck with a large amount of small UTXOs in the future when fees become more expensive. This is what makes me most uncomfortable about our solution. I hope to also solve this problem, but it is ultimately something Bitcoin wallets need to address as well. Perhaps an automated tool in Bitcoin wallets which merges UTXOs periodically when the fees are low? Food for thought. When transaction fees and scalability becomes a problem for us, it will have become a problem for all other small payments on the Bitcoin network, and we will use whatever solution is most appropriate at that time. It is possible that Lightning Network ends up being the scalability solution, although currently it is logistically very difficult to perform automated payouts to users using Lightning, particularly recurring payouts, which require users to create Bolt11 invoices and to convince other peers in the network to open channels and fund channels with them for inbound capacity. These are the general trade-offs: Send a Bitcoin transaction for every purchase (what we do) - Most expensive for the exchange - Most expensive for the user (many UTXOs) - Increases Bitcoin Network UTXOs set - Inefficient usage of block space - Most private - Zero custody risk Keep custody of the Bitcoin until the schedule is over or when the user requests a withdrawal (what Coinbase does) - No additional costs -No blockchain bloating - Same level of privacy - High custody risk Batch user transactions together at fixed intervals (e.g. every day) - Slightly lower transaction costs for the exchange - Same costs for the user - Slightly more efficient use of block space - Same level of UTXO set bloating - Much lower level of privacy - Slightly higher custody risk Single address vs multiple addresses vs HD keys (xpubs) The final decision we had to make was preventing address re-use and allowing users to provide an HD key (xpub) rather than a Bitcoin address. Address re-use generally decreases privacy because it becomes possible for third-party blockchain snoops to figure out that multiple Bitcoin transactions are going to the same user. But we must also consider that even transactions are sent to multiple addresses, particularly if they are small amounts, it is highly likely that the user will “merge” the coins into a single transaction when spending from his wallet. It is always possible for users to prevent this using Coinjoin, in which there is a large privacy gain in not re-using addresses compared to using a single address. It is important to note that this does not decrease privacy compared to regular Bitcoin purchases on Bull Bitcoin outside of “Recurring Buy”. Whether a user has one transaction of $1000 going to a Bitcoin address or 10x$100 going that same Bitcoin address doesn’t reveal any new information about the user other than the fact he is likely using a dollar-cost averaging mechanism. It is rather a missed opportunity to gain more privacy. Another smaller decision was whether or not we should ask the user to provide all his addresses upfront before being able to activate the schedule, which would completely remove the possibility of address re-use. We ultimately decided that because this process can take a very long time (imagine doing Recurring Buy every day for 365 days) it is better to let the user do this at his own pace, particularly because he may eventually change his Bitcoin wallet and forget to change the addresses in the schedule. There are also various legitimate use-cases where users have no choice but to re-use the same address . A discussion for another day! Asking the user to provide an XPUB is a great solution to address re-use. The exchange must dynamically derive a new Bitcoin address for the user at each transaction, which is not really a technical challenge. As far as I can tell, Bittr is the only Bitcoin exchange exchange which has implemented this technique. Kudos! It is however important that the user doesn’t reuse this XPUB for anything else, otherwise the exchange can track his entire wallet balance and transaction history. It is worth noting that not all wallets support HD keys or have HD keys by default (e.g. Bitcoin Core). So it is imperative that we offer the option to give Bitcoin addresses. We believe there is a lot of potential to create wallet coordination mechanisms between senders and recipients which would make this process a lot more streamlined. In the future, we will certainly allow users to submit an XPUB instead of having to manually input a different address. But for now, we wanted to reduce the complexity to a minimum. Conclusion: personal thoughts I have a somewhat unique perspective on Bitcoin users due to the fact that I worked at the Bitcoin Embassy for almost 4 years. During this time, I had the opportunity to discuss face-to-face with thousands of Bitcoin investors. One of my favourite anecdotes is a nocoiner showing up at our office in December 2013 with a bag full of cash attempting to buy Bitcoin, “I know how to read a chart”, furious after being turned away. Many people who went “all-in” for short-term gains (usually altcoins) would show up to the Bitcoin Embassy office months later with heart-breaking stories. This isn’t what I signed up for. My goal is to help people opt-out of fiat and, ultimately, to destroy the fiat currency system entirely. This instilled in me a deep-rooted concern for gambling addiction and strong aversion to “trading”. I do not believe that Bitcoin exchanges should blindly follow “what the market dictates”. More often than not, what dictates the market is bad habits users formed because of the other Bitcoin services they used in the past, what other people are used to, and what feels familiar. Running a Bitcoin company should be inseparable from educating users on the best practices, and embedding these best practices into the user experience is the best way for them to learn. Another important anecdote which motivated me to build a dollar-cost averaging tool is a person very close to me that had made the decision to buy Bitcoin, but was so stressed out about when was the right time to buy that they ended up not buying Bitcoin for a whole 6 months after funding their Bull Bitcoin account. That person eventually gave up and ultimately invested a large amount all at once. In hindsight, it turned out to be one of the worst possible times to invest in Bitcoin during that year. Investing in Bitcoin can, and should be, a positive and rewarding experience. Buying Bitcoin every day is the right strategy, but it is not necessarily lead to the best outcome. The reality is that the best time to buy Bitcoin is at when market hits rock bottom (obviously). Sometimes, the upside from buying the dip can be much bigger than the risk (e.g. when the price dropped below $200 in 2015). But these are exceptions rather than the rule. And the cost of chasing dips is very high: stress, investing time and mental energy, and the very real psychological trauma which results from making bad trading decisions. Ultimately, it’s better to do the right thing than being lucky, but it’s not always a bad idea to cheat on your dollar-cost averaging from time to time if you can live with the costs and consequences. Yours truly, Francis
Quant Network: Token valuation dynamics and fundamentals
This post intends to illustrate the dynamics and fundamentals related to the mechanics and use of the Quant Network Utility Token (QNT), in order to provide the community with greater clarity around what holding the token actually means. This is a follow-up on two articles David W previously wrote about Quant Network’s prospects and potential, which you can find here:
For holders not intending to use Overledger for business reasons, the primary goal of holding the QNT token is to benefit from price appreciation. Some are happy to believe that speculation will take the QNT price to much higher levels if and when large-scale adoption/implementation news comes out, whilst others may actually prefer to assess the token’s utility and analyse how it would react to various scenarios to justify a price increase based on fundamentals. The latter is precisely what I aim to look into in this article. On that note, I have noticed that many wish to see institutional investors getting involved in the crypto space for their purchase power, but the one thing they would bring and that is most needed in my opinion is fundamental analysis and valuation expectations based on facts. Indeed, equity investors can probably access 20 or 30 reports that are 15 pages long and updated on a quarterly basis about any blue chip stock they are invested in, but how many of such (professional) analyst reports can you consult for your favorite crypto coins? Let me have a guess: none. This is unfortunate, and it is a further reason to look into the situation in more details. To be clear, this article is not about providing figures on the expected valuation of the token, but rather about providing the community with a deeper analysis to better understand its meaning and valuation context. This includes going through the (vast) differences between a Utility Token and a Company Share since I understand it is still blurry in some people’s mind. I will incorporate my thoughts and perspective on these matters, which should not be regarded as a single source of truth but rather as an attempt to “dig deeper”. In order to share these thoughts with you in the most pertinent manner, I have actually entirely modelled the Quant Treasury function and analysed how the QNT token would react to various scenarios based on a number of different factors. That does not mean there is any universal truth to be told, but it did help in clarifying how things work (with my understanding of the current ruleset at least, which may also evolve over time). This is an important safety net: if the intensity of speculation in crypto markets was to go lower from here, what would happen to the token price? How would Quant Treasury help support it? If the market can feel comfortable with such situation and the underlying demand for the token, then it can feel comfortable to take it higher based on future growth expectations — and that’s how it should be. Finally, to help shed light on different areas, I must confess that I will have to go through some technicalities on how this all works and what a Utility Token actually is. That is the price to pay to gain that further, necessary knowledge and be in a position to assess the situation more thoroughly — but I will make it as readable as I possibly can, so… if are you ready, let’s start!
A Utility Token vs. a Company Share: what is the difference?
It is probably fair to say that many people involved in the crypto space are unfamiliar with certain key financial terms or concepts, simply because finance is not necessarily everyone’s background (and that is absolutely fine!). In addition, Digital Assets bring some very novel concepts, which means that everyone has to adapt in any case. Therefore, I suggest we start with a comparison of the characteristics underpinning the QNT Utility Token and a Quant Network Company Share (as you may know, the Company Shares are currently privately held by the Quant Network founders). I believe it is important to look at this comparison for two reasons:
Most people are familiar with regular Company Shares because they have been traded for decades, and it is often asked how Utility Tokens compare.
Quant Network have announced a plan to raise capital to grow their business further (in the September 2019 Forbes article which you can find here). Therefore, regardless of whether the Share Offering is made public or private, I presume the community will want to better understand how things compare and the different dynamics behind each instrument.
So where does the QNT Utility Token sit in Quant Network company and how does it compare to a Quant Network Company Share? This is how it looks: https://preview.redd.it/zgidz8ed74y31.png?width=1698&format=png&auto=webp&s=54acd2def0713b67ac7c41dae6c9ab225e5639fa What is on the right hand side of a balance sheet is the money a company has, and what is on the left hand side is how it uses it. Broadly speaking, the money the company has may come from the owners (Equity) or from the creditors (Debt). If I were to apply these concepts to an individual (you!), “Equity” is your net worth, “Debt” is your mortgage and other debt, and “Assets” is your house, car, savings, investments, crypto, etc. As you can see, a Company Share and a Utility Token are found in different parts of the balance sheet — and that, in itself, is a major difference! They indeed serve two very different purposes:
Company Shares: they represent a share of a company’s ownership, meaning that you actually own [X]% of the company ([X]% = Number of shares you possess / Total number of shares) and hence [X]% of the company’s assets on the left hand side of the balance sheet.
Utility Tokens: they are keys to access a given platform (in our case, Quant Network’s Operating System: Overledger) and they can serve multiple purposes as defined by their Utility Document (in QNT’s case, the latest V0.3 version can be found here).
As a consequence, as a Company Shareholder, you are entitled to receive part or all of the profits generated by the company (as the case may arise) and you can also take part in the management decisions (indeed, with 0.00000001% of Apple shares, you have the corresponding right to vote to kick the CEO out if you want to!). On the other hand, as a Utility Token holder, you have no such rights related to the company’s profits or management, BUT any usage of the platform has to go through the token you hold — and that has novel, interesting facets.
A Utility Token vs. a Company Share: what happens in practice?
Before we dig further, let’s now remind ourselves of the economic utilities of the QNT token (i.e. in addition to signing and encrypting transactions):
Licences: a licence is mandatory for anyone who wishes to develop on the Overledger platform. Enterprises and Developers pay Quant Network in fiat money and Quant Treasury subsequently sets aside QNT tokens for the same amount (a diagram on how market purchases are performed can be found on the Overledger Treasury page here). The tokens are locked for 12 months, and the current understanding is that the amount of tokens locked is readjusted at each renewal date to the prevailing market price of QNT at the time (this information is not part of the Utility Token document as of now, but it was given in a previous Telegram AMA so I will assume it is correct pending further developments).
Usage: this relates to the amount of Overledger read and write activity performed by clients on an ongoing basis, and also to the transfer of Digital Assets from one chain to another, and it follows a similar principle: fiat money is received by Quant Network, and subsequently converted in QNT tokens (these tokens are not locked, however).
Gateways: information about Gateways has been released through the Overledger Network initiative (see dedicated website here), and we now know that the annual cost for running a Gateway will be 500 QNT whilst Gateway holders will receive a percentage of transaction fees going through their setup.
Minimum holding amounts: the team has stated that there will be a minimum QNT holding amount put in place for every participant of the Overledger ecosystem, although the details have not been released yet.
On the right hand side, you see the simplified Profit & Loss account (“P&L”) which incorporates Total Revenues, from which costs and taxes are deducted, to give a Net Income for the company. A share of this Net Income may be distributed to Shareholders in the form of a Dividend, whilst the remainder is accounted as retained profits and goes back to the balance sheet as Equity to fund further growth for instance. Importantly, the Dividend (if any) is usually a portion of the Net Income so, using an indicative 40% Dividend yield policy, shareholders receive here for a given year 80 out of total company revenues of 1,000.
On the left hand side, you see the QNT requirements arising from the Overledger-related business activity which equal 700 here. Note that this is only a portion of the Total Revenues (1,000) you can see on the right hand side, as the team generates income from other sources as well (e.g. consultancy fees) — but I assume Overledger will represent the bulk of it since it is Quant Network’s flagship product and focus. In this case, the equivalent fiat amount of QNT tokens represents 700 (i.e. 100% of Overledger-related revenues) out of the company’s Total Revenues of 1,000. It is to be noted that excess reserves of QNT may be sold and generate additional revenues for the company, which would be outside of the Overledger Revenues mentioned above (i.e. they would fall in the “Other Revenues” category).
A way to summarise the situation from a very high level is: as a Company Shareholder you take a view on the company’s total profits whereas as a Utility Token holder you take a view on the company’s revenues (albeit Overledger-related). It is however too early to reach any conclusion, so we now need to dig one level deeper again.
More considerations around Company Shares
As we discussed, with a Company Share, you possess a fraction of the company’s ownership and hence you have access to profits (and losses!). So how do typical Net Income results look in the technology industry? What sort of Dividend is usually paid? What sort of market valuations are subsequently achieved? Let’s find out: https://preview.redd.it/eua9sqlt74y31.png?width=2904&format=png&auto=webp&s=3500669942abf62a0ea1c983ab3cea40552c40d1 As you can see, the typical Net Income Ratio varies between around 10% and 20% in the technology/software industry (using the above illustrated peer group). The ratio illustrates the proportion of Net Income extracted from Revenues. In addition, money is returned to Company Shareholders in the form of a Dividend (i.e. a portion of the Net Income) and in the form of Share repurchases (whereby the company uses its excess cash position to buy back shares from Shareholders and hence diminish the number of Shares available). A company may however prefer to not redistribute any of the profits, and retain them instead to fund further business growth — Alphabet (Google) is a good example in this respect. Interestingly, as you can see on the far right of the table, the market capitalisations of these companies reflect high multiples of their Net Income as investors expect the companies to prosper in the future and generate larger profits. If you wished to explore these ideas further, I recommend also looking into the Return on Equity ratio which takes into account the amount of resources (i.e. Capital/Equity) put to work to generate the companies’ profits. It is also to be noted that the number of Company Shares outstanding may vary over time. Indeed, aside from Share repurchases that diminish the number of Shares available to the market, additional Shares may be issued to raise additional funds from the market hence diluting the ownership of existing Shareholders. Finally, (regular) Company Shares are structured in the same wayacross companies and industries, which brings a key benefit of having them easily comparable/benchmarkable against one another for investors. That is not the case for Utility Tokens, but they come with the benefit of having a lot more flexible use cases.
More considerations around the QNT token
As discussed, the Utility Token model is quite novel and each token has unique functions designed for the system it is associated with. That does not make value assessment easy, since all Utility Tokens are different, and this is a further reason to have a detailed look into the QNT case. https://preview.redd.it/b0xe0ogw74y31.png?width=1512&format=png&auto=webp&s=cece522cd7919125e199b012af41850df6d9e9fd As a start, all assets that are used in a speculative way embed two components into their price: A) one that represents what the asset is worth today, and B) one that represents what it may be worth in the future. Depending on whether the future looks bright or not, a price premium or a price discount may be attached to the asset price. This is similar to what we just saw with Company Shares valuation multiples, and it is valid across markets. For instance, Microsoft generates around USD 21bn in annual Net Income these days, but the cost of acquiring it entirely is USD 1,094bn (!). This speculative effect is particularly visible in the crypto sector since valuation levels are usually high whilst usage/adoption levels are usually low for now. So what about QNT? As mentioned, the QNT Utility model has novel, interesting facets. Since QNT is required to access and use the Overledger system, it is important to appreciate that Quant Network company has three means of action regarding the QNT token:
MANAGING their QNT reserves on an ongoing basis (i.e. buying or selling tokens is not always automatic, they can allocate tokens from their own reserves depending on their liquidity position at any given time),
BUYING/RECEIVING QNT from the market/clients on the back of business activity, and
SELLING QNT when they deem their reserves sufficient and/or wish to sell tokens to cover for operational costs.
Broadly speaking, the above actions will vary depending on business performance, the QNT token price and the Quant Network company’s liquidity position. We also have to appreciate how the QNT distribution will always look like, it can be broken down as follows: https://preview.redd.it/f20h7hvz74y31.png?width=1106&format=png&auto=webp&s=f2f5b63272f5ed6e3f977ce08d7bae043851edd1 A) QNT tokens held by the QNT Community B) QNT tokens held by Quant Network that are locked (i.e. those related to Licences) C) QNT tokens held by Quant Network that are unlocked (i.e. those related to other usage, such as consumption fees and Gateways) D) the minimum QNT amount held by all users of the platform (more information on this front soon) So now that the situation is set, how would we assess Quant Network’s business activity effect on the QNT token? STEP 1: We would need to define the range of minimum/maximum amounts of QNT which Quant Network would want to keep as liquid reserves (i.e. unlocked) on an ongoing basis. This affects key variables such as the proportion of market purchases vs. the use of their own reserves, and the amount of QNT sold back to the market. Also, interestingly, if Quant Network never wanted to keep less than, for instance, 1 million QNT tokens as liquid reserves, these 1 million tokens would have a similar effect on the market as the locked tokens because they would never be sold. STEP 2: We would need to define the amount of revenues that are related to QNT. As we know, Overledger Licences, Usage and Gateways generate revenues converted into QNT (or in QNT directly). So the correlation is strong between revenues and QNT needs. Interestingly, the cost of a licence is probably relatively low today in order to facilitate adoption and testing, but it will surely increase over time. The same goes for usage fees, especially as we move from testing/pilot phases to mass implementation. The number of clients will also increase. The Community version of Overledger is also set to officially launch next year. More information on revenue potential can be found later in this article. STEP 3: We would need to define an evolution of the QNT token price over time and see how things develop with regards to Quant Network’s net purchase/sale of tokens every month (i.e. tokens required - tokens sold = net purchased/sold tokens). Once assumptions are made, what do we observe? In an undistorted environment, there is a positive correlation between Quant Network’s QNT-related revenues and the market capitalisation they occupy (i.e. the Quant Network share of the token distribution multiplied by the QNT price). However, this correlation can get heavily twisted as the speculative market prices a premium to the QNT price (i.e. anticipating higher revenues). As we will see, a persistent discount is not really possible as Quant Treasury would mechanically have to step in with large market purchases, which would provide strong support to the QNT price. In addition, volatility is to be added to the equation since QNT volatility is likely to be (much) higher than that of revenues which can create important year-on-year disparities. For instance, Quant Treasury may lock a lot of tokens at a low price one year, and be well in excess of required tokens the next year if the QNT token price has significantly increased (and vice versa). This is not an issue per se, but this would impact the amount of tokens bought/sold on an ongoing basis by Quant Treasury as reserves inflate/deflate. If we put aside the distortions created by speculation on the QNT price, and the subsequent impact on the excess/deficiency of Quant Network token reserves (whose level is also pro-actively managed by the company, as previously discussed), the economic system works as follows: High QNT price vs. Revenue levels: The value of reserves is inflated, fewer tokens need to be bought for the level of revenues generated, Quant Treasury provides low support to the QNT price, its share of the token distribution diminishes. Low QNT price vs. Revenue levels: Reserves run out, a higher number of tokens needs to be bought for the level of revenues generated, Quant Treasury provides higher support to the QNT price, its share of the token distribution increases. Summary table: https://preview.redd.it/q7wgzpv384y31.png?width=2312&format=png&auto=webp&s=d8c0480cb34caf2e59615ec21ea220d81d79b153 The key here is that, whatever speculation on future revenue levels does to the token in the first place, if the QNT price was falling and reaching a level that does not reflect the prevailing revenue levels of Overledger at a given time, then Quant Treasury would require a larger amount of tokens to cover the business needs which would mean the depletion of their reserves, larger purchases from the market and strong support for the QNT price from here. This is the safety net we want to see, coming from usage! Indeed, in other words, if the QNT price went very high very quickly, Quant Treasury may not be seen buying much tokens since their reserves would be inflated BUT that fall back mechanics purely based on usage would be there to safeguard QNT holders from the QNT price falling below a certain level. I would assume this makes sense for most, and you might now wonder why have I highlighted the bottom part about the token distribution in red? That is because there is an ongoing battle between the QNT community and Quant Treasury — and this is very interesting. The ecosystem will show how big a share is the community willing to let Quant Network represent. The community actually sets the price for the purchases, and the token distribution fluctuates depending on the metrics we discussed. An equilibrium will be formed based on the confidence the market has in Quant Network’s future revenue generation. Moreover, the QNT community could perceive the token as a Store of Value and be happy to hold 80/90% of all tokens for instance, or it could perceive QNT as more dynamic or risky and be happy to only represent 60/70% of the distribution. Needless to say that, considering my previous articles on the potential of Overledger, I think we will tend more towards the former scenario. Indeed, if you wished to store wealth with a technology-agnostic, future proof, globally adopted, revenue-providing (through Gateways) Network of Networks on which most of the digitalised value is flowing through — wouldn’t you see QNT as an appealing value proposition? In a nutshell, it all comes down to the Overledger revenue levels and the QNT holders’ resistence to buy pressure from Quant Treasury. Therefore, if you are confident in the Overledger revenue generation and wish to see the QNT token price go up, more than ever, do not sell your tokens! What about the locked tokens? There will always be a certain amount of tokens that are entirely taken out of circulation, but Quant Network company will always keep additional unlocked tokens on top of that (those they receive and manage as buffer) and that means that locked tokens will always be a subset of what Quant Network possesses. I do not know whether fees will primarily be concentrated on the licencing side vs. the usage side, but if that were to be the case then it would be even better as a higher amount of tokens would be taken out of circulation for good. Finally, as long as the company operates, the revenues will always represent a certain amount of money whereas this is not the case for profits which may not appear before years (e.g. during the first years, during an economic/business downturn, etc.). As an illustration, a company like Uber has seen vast increases in revenues since it launched but never made any profit! Therefore, the demand for the QNT token benefits from good resilience from that perspective. Quant Network vs. QNT community — What proportion of the QNT distribution will each represent?
How much revenues can Overledger generate?
I suggest we start with the basis of what the Quant Network business is about: connecting networks together, building new-generation hyper-decentralised apps on top (called “mApps”), and creating network effects. Network effects are best defined by Metcalfe’s law which states: “the effect of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system” (Source: Wikipedia). This is illustrated by the picture below, which demonstrates the increasing number of possible connections for each new user added to the network. This was also recently discussed in a YouTube podcast by QNT community members “Luke” and “Ghost of St. Miklos” which you can watch here. Source: applicoinc.com This means that, as Overledger continues to connect more and more DLTs of all types between themselves and also with legacy systems, the number of users (humans or machines) connected to this Network of Networks will grow substantially — and the number of possible connections between participants will in turn grow exponentially. This will increase the value of the network, and hence the level of fees associated with getting access to it. This forms the basis of expected, future revenue generation and especially in a context where Overledger remains unique as of today and embraced by many of the largest institutions in the world (see the detailed summary on the matter from community member “Seq” here). On top of this network, multi-chain hyper-decentralised applications (‘mApps’) can be built — which are an upgrade to existing dApps that use only one chain at a time and hence only benefit from the user base and functionalities of the given chain. Overledger mApps can leverage on theusers and abilities of all connected chains at the same time, horizontal scaling, the ability to write/move code in any language across chains as required, write smart contracts on blockchains that do not support them (e.g. Bitcoin), and provide easier connection to other systems. dApps have barely had any success so far, as discussed in my first article, but mApps could provide the market with the necessary tools to build applications that can complement or rival what can be found on the Apple or Google Play store. Also, the flexibility of Overledger enables Quant Network to target a large number of industries and to connect them all together. A sample of use cases can be found in the following illustration: https://preview.redd.it/th8edz5b84y31.png?width=2664&format=png&auto=webp&s=105dd4546f8f9ab2c66d1a5a8e9f669cef0e0614 It is to be noted that one of the use cases, namely the tokenisation of the entire world’s assets, represents a market worth hundreds of trillions of USD and that is not even including the huge amount of illiquid assets not currently traded on traditional Capital Markets which could benefit from the tokenisation process. More information on the topic can be found in my previous article fully focused on the potential of Overledger to capture value from the structural shift in the world’s assets and machine-related data/value transfers. Finally, we can look at what well established companies with a similar technology profile have been able to achieve. Overledger is an Operating System for DLTs and legacy systems on top of which applications can be built. The comparison to Microsoft Windows and the suite of Microsoft Software running on top (e.g. Microsoft Office) is an obvious one from that perspective to gauge the longer term potential. As you can see below, Microsoft’s flagship softwares such as Windows and Office each generate tens of billions of USD of revenues every year: Source: Geekwire We can also look at Oracle, the second largest Enterprise software company in the world: Source: Statista We can finally look at what the Apple store and the Google Play store generate, since the Quant Network “mApp store” for the community side of Overledger will look to replicate a similar business model with hyper-decentralised applications: Source: Worldwide total revenue by app store, 2018 ($bn) The above means total revenues of around USD 70bn in 2018 for the Apple store and Google Play store combined, and the market is getting bigger year-on-year! Also, again, these (indicative!) reference points for Overledger come in the context of the Community version of the system only, since the Enterprise version represents a separate set of verticals more comparable to the likes of Microsoft and Oracle which we just looked at.
I hope this article helped shed further light on the QNT token and how the various market and business parameters will influence its behavior over time, as the Quant Network business is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. In the recent Forbes interview, Quant Network’s CEO (Gilbert Verdian) stated : “Our potential to grow is uncapped as we change and transform industries by creating a secure layer between them at speed. Our vision is to build a mass version of what I call an internet of trust, where value can be securely transferred between global partners not relying on defunct internet security but rather that of blockchain.”. This is highly encouraging with regards to business prospects and also in comparison to what other companies have been able to achieve since the Web as we know it today emerged (e.g. Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc.). The Internet is now entering a new phase, with DLT technology at its core, and Overledger is set to be at the forefront of this new paradigm which will surely offer a vast array of new opportunities across sectors. I believe it is an exciting time for all of us to be part of the journey, as long as any financial commitment is made with a good sense of responsibility and understanding of what success comes down to. “Crypto” is still immature in many respects, and the emergence of a dedicated regulatory framework combined with the expected gradual, selective entrance of institutional money managers will hopefully help shed further light and protect retail token holders from the misunderstandings, misinformation and misconduct which too many have suffered from in the last years. Thanks for your time and interest. Appendix: First article:“The reasons why Quant Network (QNT) will rise to the Top of the crypto sphere in the coming months” Second article:“The potential of Quant Network’s technology to capture value from the structural shift in the World’s assets and machine-related data/value transfers” October 2019 City AM interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO):Click here October 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO):Click here July 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO):Click here February 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO):Click here ---- About theoriginal authorof the article: My name is David and I spent years in the Investment Banking industry in London. I hold QNT tokens and the above views are based on my own thoughts and research only. I am not affiliated with the Quant Network team in any way. This is not investment advice, please do your own research andunderstandwhat you are buying before doing so. It is also my belief that more than 90% of all other crypto projects will fail because what matters is what is gettingadopted; please do not put more money at risk than you can afford to lose.
1) Intro A common sentiment in this Subreddit is the notion that once Eth scales (Eth 2.0 is fully implemented), massive adoption will follow. Furthermore, it is fully expected that this will drive the price of Ether through the roof and lead to the FlippeningTM. While I fully support the first notion, I am not convinced the latter is necessarily true (despite what I want to happen). Mentioning these doubts is usually greeted with downvotes in this sub. In this thread I would like to provide some arguments and discuss with you the potential impact of Eth2.0 on the price of Ether and how it relates to the Flippening. For the Flippening to occur, by definition, Ether‘s market capitalization must overtake that of Bitcoin. This necessitates that the Ether price gains greatly against Bitcoin (or vice-versa). So let us first examine how the price of each token is determined. 2) Token Price So what determines price? On a basic level it is only supply and demand. Let‘s look at each individually and evaluate the potential impact of Eth2.0. Supply New supply will be determined by emission (staking rewards). More supply is provided by transaction fees sold by validators and whatever people sell on exchanges etc. It shall be noted, that tx fees are not (completely) lost, but mostly recycled in the market. Supply may be reduced by burning of tx fees, people hodling, lost wallets etc. Notably, some Eth will be taken off the market due to being locked for staking. It is not clear though, to what extent this will diminish the supply. What seems certain, is that the overall inflation rate ((rewards-burned fees)/total Eth) will be reduced. Long term Eth may even be considered quasi-deflationary. So far, so good on the supply side of Eth. We know that that reduced supply will put upward pressure on the price. What we don‘t know, however, is the strength of this effect. Perhaps somebody with better understanding of math or economics can model this, but most people on this sub only speculate and hope for an extreme impact. When it comes to Bitcoin, similarly supply will be reduced due to subsequent halvings of the block reward. This bodes well for its future price. Demand Demand for a cryptocurency is determined by its perceived suitability as speculative investment and utility of the token. It appears, that Ether‘s speculative value lies in its prospect of future utility, way more so than Bitcoin. And indeed, with scaling and adoption realized, Ether‘s utility will increase tremendously. This may result in a diminishing of its speculative value. Ether‘s utility within the Ethereum network will lie primarily in producing staking rewards for securing the network (running validating nodes) and paying for transaction fees. It is conceivable that demand increases due to people wanting to stake more Ether. However, with larger amounts of Ether being staked, returns diminish. Moreover, people can just stake Ether they already hodl so there may be no need to acquire more. Tax issues due to earning interest may be prohibitve for some people depending on the local jurisdiction. Overall transaction fees depend on the number of transactions and the gas price with both influencing each other. With large scale adoption one might expect a big increase in spending for gas. What needs to be considered here, is that the gas price will be determined by the utilization of the total network capacity. As we know, this capacity is to increase orders of magnitude. It should follow, that gas costs are reduced accordingly, at least until the network becomes congested again. So while those interacting with the chain(s) will need to have some Eth, the required amount may not be significant enough to make a large dent on the demand side. It must also be noted again that tx fees are likely to be recycled for the most part, unless it is decided that a significant amount will be burnt. To summarize: demand for Ether will likely increase. It is not clear, however, to what extent and how much this will drive up the price. There is no reason for me to assume that Bitcoin will lose its attractiveness as investment vehicle, largely because its accepted value proposition seems to be „just because“. An increase of utility of the token beyond „store of value“ is not really in sight, which does not appear to detract investors. Demand should therefore remain equal or increase in the future. 3) Anatomy of a Flippening In order for the ratio to flippen there are certain scenarios. Let us look at our options: A) Bitcoin maintains its value as speculative investment (likely) and Ether gains tremendously vs. Bitcoin at the same time (uncleadoubtful). This would imply moon with an Eth price potentially north of $10,000. B) Bitcoin loses value due to decreased demand for its investment properties despite its deflationary nature (unlikely). Ethereum gains significantly due to increased demand and reduced supply (likely). C) Bitcoin loses its value due to lack of demand (doubtful) without pulling Ethereum down with it - Ether maintains its value or only slightly decreases (doubtful). 4) Conclusion Based on this analysis I expect a long term gain in Ether‘s value. While I would hope for a Flippening to occur, I find none of the scenarios outlaid in the last section highly likely for the reasons presented in section two. So while the Flippening is certainly possible, it is in no way guaranteed. I‘m looking forward to hearing your thoughts. More technical analysis and especially sources/math are appreciated.
Want to start fresh after the crypto crash? Here is a comprehensive guide on how to invest and prosper over the long term.
Well its happened, the crypto market just experienced the worst crash since 2014, the bubble has burst. The idiocy of newbies FOMO-ing into anything with low nominal value lead to endless twitter timelines like this, and now nobody has any idea where the market settles. What do you do now? In the following weeks it will be a good time to rethink your investment approach and how you arrive at your decisions. Just buying whatever is shilled on Twitter or Reddit and jumping from one crypto to another isn't going to work like it did these last two months. The good news is that we're finally back closer and closer to our long term moving average which is much more healthy for entrants, the bad news is that the fear might continue compounding if outstanding issues are not dealt with. Tether is the big concern for me personally for reasons I've stated many times, but some relief in the short term may come if the SEC and CFTC meeting on February 6th goes well. Nobody really knows where the bottom is but I think we're now past the "irrational exhuberance" stage and we're entering a period of more serious inspection where cryptos will actually have to prove themselves as useful. I suspect hype artists like CryptoNick and John McAfee will fall out of favor. But perhaps most importantly use this as a learning experience, don't try to point fingers now. The type of dumb behavior that people were engaging in that was rewarded in a bull market (chasing pumps, going all in on a shillcoin, following hype..etc) could only ever lead to what we are experiencing now. Just like so many people jumped on the crypto bandwagon during the bull run, they will just as quickly jump on whatever bandwagon is to be used to blame for the deflation of the bubble. Nobody who pumped money into garbage without any use case will accept that they themselves with their own investing behavior were the real reason for the gross overvaluation of most cryptocurrencies, and the inevitable crash. So if you're looking for a fresh start after the massacre (or just want to get in now), here is a guide:
Part A: Making a Investment Strategy
This is your money, put some effort into investing it with an actual strategy. Some simple yet essential advice that should apply to everyone, regardless of individual strategy:
Slow down and research each crypto that you're buying for at least a week.
Don't buy something just because it has risen.
Don't exit a position just because it has declined.
Invest only as much as you can afford to lose.
Prepare enter and exit strategies in advance.
First take some time to think about your ROI target, set your hold periods for each position and how much you are actually ready to risk losing. ROI targets A lot of young investors who are in crypto have unrealistic expectations about returns and risk. A lot of them have never invested in any other type of financial asset, and hence many seem to consider a 5-10% ROI in a month to be unexciting. But its important to temper your hype and realize why we had this exponential growth in the last year and how unlikely it is that we see 10x returns in the next year. What we saw recently was Greater Fool Theory in action. Those unexciting returns of 5-10% a month are much more of the norm, and much more healthy for an alternative investment class. You can think about setting a target in terms of the market ROI over a relevant holding period and then add or decrease based on your own risk profile. Example: Calculating a 2 year ROI target Lets say you want to hold for 2 years now, how could you set a realistic target to strive for? You could look at a historical 2 year return as a base, preferably during a period similar to what we're facing now. Now that we had a major correction, I think we can look at the two year period starting in 2015 after we had the 2014 crash. To calculate a 2 year CAGR starting in 2015:
Total Crypto Market Cap
Jan 1, 2015:
Jan 1, 2017:
Compounded annual growth return (CAGR): [(18/5.5)1/2]-1 = 81% This annual return rate of 81% comes out to about 4.9% compounded monthly. This may not sound exciting to the lambo moon crowd, but it will keep you grounded in reality. You can aim for a higher return (say 2x of that 81% rate) if you choose to take on more risky propositions. I can't tell you what return target you should set for yourself, but just make sure its not depended on you needing to achieve continual near vertical parabolic price action in small cap shillcoins because that isn't sustainable. Once you have a target you can construct your risk profile (low risk vs. high risk category coins) in your portfolio based on your target. Risk Management Everything you buy in crypto is risky, but it still helps to think of these 3 risk categories:
Core holdings - This is the exchange pairing cryptos and those that are well established. These are almost sure to be around in 5 years, and will recover after any bear market. The Coinbase pairs (Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum) are in this class of risk, and I would also argue Monero.
Medium Risk Speculative - These would be cryptos which generally have a working product and niche, but higher risk than Core. Things like ZCash and Ripple, relatively established history but still uncertainty over long term viability.
High Risk Speculative - This is anything created within the last few months, ICOs, low caps, shillcoins...etc. Most cryptos are in this category.
How much risk should you take on? That depends on your own life situation for one, but also it should be proportional to how much expertise you have in both financial analysis and technology. The general starting point I would recommend is:
50-70% for newbies in Low Risk Core, then you can go down to 30% as you gains confidence and experience
Always try to keep at least a 1/3rd in safe core positions
Don't go all in on speculative picks.
Some more core principles on risk management to consider:
Diversify across sectors and rebalance your allocations periodically.
Consider using dollar cost averaging to enter a position. This generally means investing a X amount over several periods, instead of at once. You can also use downward biased dollar cost averaging to mitigate against downward risk. For example instead of investing $1000 at once in a position at market price, you can buy $500 at the market price today then set several limit orders at slightly lower intervals (for example $250 at 5% lower than market price, $250 at 10% lower than market price). This way your average cost of acquisition will be lower if the crypto happens to decline over the short term.
Don't have more than 5-10% of your net worth in crypto.
Have the majority of your holdings in things you feel good holding for at least 2 years. Don't use the majority of your investment for day trading or short term investing.
Remember you didn't actually make any money until you take some profits, so take do some profits when everyone else is at peak FOMO-ing mode.
Have some fiat in reserve at a FDIC-insured exchange (ex. Gemini), and be ready to add to your winning positions on a pullback. This should be part of your entry strategy.
Consider what level of loss you can't accept in a position with a high risk factor, and use stop-limit orders to hedge against sudden crashes. Set you stop price at about 5-10% above your lowest limit. Stop-limit orders aren't perfect but they're better than having no hedging strategy for a risky microcap in case of some meltdown. Only you can determine what bags you are unwilling to hold.
You can think of each crypto having a risk factor that is the summation of the general crypto market risk (Rm), but also its own inherent risk specific to its own goals (Ri). Rt = Rm +Ri The market risk is something you cannot avoid, it is essentially the risk that is carried by the entire market over things like regulations. What you can minimize though the Ri, the specific risks with your crypto. That will depend on the team composition, geographic risks (for example Chinese coins like NEO carry regulatory risks specific to China), competition within the space and likelihood of adoption and other factors, which I'll describe in Part 2: Crypto Picking Methodology. Portfolio Allocation Along with thinking about your portfolio in terms of risk categories described above, I really find it helpful to think about the segments you are in. OnChainFX has some segment categorization but I generally like to bring it down to:
Think about your "Circle of Competence", your body of knowledge that allows you to evaluate an investment. Your ability to properly judge risk and potential is going to largely correlated to your understanding of the subject matter. If you don't know anything about how supply chains functions, how can you competently judge whether VeChain or WaltonChain will achieve adoption? If you don't understand anything about the tech when you read the Cardano paper, are you really able to determine how likely it is to be adopted? Consider the historic correlations between your holdings. Generally when Bitcoin pumps, altcoins dump but at what rate depends on the coin. When Bitcoin goes sideways we tend to see pumping in altcoins, while when Bitcoin goes down, everything goes down. You should diversify but really shouldn't be in much more than around 12 cryptos, because you simply don't have enough competency to accurately access the risk across every segment and for every type of crypto you come across. If you have over 20 different cryptos in your portfolio you should probably think about consolidating to a few sectors you understand well.
Part B: Crypto Picking Methodology (Due Dilligence)
Do you struggle on how to fundamentally analyze cryptocurrencies? Here is a 3-step methodology to follow to perform your due dilligence:
Step 1: Filtering and Research
There is so much out there that you can get overwhelmed. The best way to start is to think back to your own portfolio allocation strategy and what you would like to get more off. For example in my view enterprise-focused blockchain solutions will be important in the next few years, and so I look to create a list of various cryptos that are in that segment. Upfolio has brief descriptions of the top 100 cryptos and is filterable by categories, for example you can click the "Enterprise" category and you have a neat list of VEN, FCT, WTC...etc. Once you have a list of potential candidates, its time to read about them:
Critically evaluate the website. If it's a cocktail of nonsensical buzzwords, if its unprofessional and poorly made, stay away. Always look for a roadmap, compare to what was actually delivered so far. Always check the team, try to find them on LinkedIn and what they did in the past.
Read the whitepaper or business development plan. You should fully understand how this crypto functions and how its trying to create value. If there is no use case or if the use case does not require or benefit from a blockchain, move on.
Check the blockchain explorer. How is the token distribution across accounts? Are the big accounts selling? Try to figure out who the whales are (not always easy!) and what the foundation/founder account is based on the initial allocation.
Look at the Github repos, does it look empty or is there plenty of activity?
Search out the subreddit and look at a few Medium or Steem blogs about the coin. How "shilly" is the community, and how much engagement is there between developer and the community?
I would also go through the BitcoinTalk thread and Twitter mentions, judge both the length and quality of the discussion.
You can actually filter out a lot of scams and bad investments by simply keeping your eye out on the following red flags:
allocations that give way too much to the founder
guaranteed promises of returns (Bitcooonnneeeect!)
vague whitepapers filled with buzzwords
vague timelines and no clear use case
Github with no useful code and sparse activity
a team that is difficult to find information on
Step 2: Passing a potential pick through a checklist
Once you feel fairly confident that a pick is worth analyzing further, run them through a standardized checklist of questions. This is one I use, you can add other questions yourself:
Crypto Analysis Checklist
What is the problem or transactional inefficiency the coin is trying to solve?
What is the Dev Team like? What is their track record? How are they funded, organized?
How big is the market they're targeting?
Who is their competition and what does it do better?
What is the roadmap they created and how well have they kept to it?
What current product exists?
How does the token/coin actually derive value for the holder? Is there a staking mechanism or is it transactional?
Is there any new tech, and is it informational or governance based?
Can it be easily copied?
What are the weaknesses or problems with this crypto?
The last question is the most important. This is where the riskiness of your crypto is evaluated, the Ri I talked about above. Here you should be able to accurate place the crypto into one of the three risk categories. I also like to run through this checklist of blockchain benefits and consider which specific properties of the blockchain are being used by the specific crypto to provide some increased utility over the current transactional method:
Benefits of Cryptocurrency
Decentralization - no need for a third party to agree or validate transactions.
Transparency and trust - As blockchain are shared, everyone can see what transactions occur. Useful for something like an online casino.
Immutability - It is extremely difficult to change a transaction once its been put onto a blockchain
Distributed availability - The system is spread on thousands of nodes on a P2P network, so its difficult to take the system down.
Security - cryptographically secured transactions provide integrity
Simplification and consolidation - a blockchain can serve as a shared ledger in industries where multiple entities previously kept their own data sources
Quicker Settlement - In the financial industry when we're dealing with post-trade settlement, a blockchain can drastically increase the speed of verification
Cost - in some cases avoiding a third party verification would drastically reduce costs.
Step 3: Create a valuation model
You don't need to get into full modeling or have a financial background. Even a simple model that just tries to derive a valuation through relative terms will put you above most crypto investors. Some simple valuation methods that anyone can do: Probablistic Scenario Valuation This is all about thinking of scenarios and probability, a helpful exercise in itself. For example: Bill Miller, a prominent value investor, wrote a probabilistic valuation case for Bitcoin in 2015. He looked at two possible scenarios for probabalistic valuation:
becoming a store-of-value equal to gold (a $6.4 trillion value), with a .25% probability of occurring
replacing payment processors like VISA, MasterCard, etc. (a $350 million dollar value) with a 2.5% probability
Combining those scenarios would give you the total expected market cap: (0.25% x 6.4 trillion) + (2.5% x 350 million). Divide this by the outstanding supply and you have your valuation. Metcalfe's Law Metcalfe's Law which states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). So you can compare various currencies based on their market cap and square of active users or traffic. We can alter this to crypto by thinking about it in terms of both users and transactions: For example, compare the Coinbase pairs:
Daily Transactions (last 24hrs)
Active Addresses (Peak 1Yr)
Metcalfe Ratio (Transactions Based)
Metcalfe Ratio (Address Based)
Generally the higher the ratio, the higher the valuation given for each address/transaction. Market Cap to Industry comparisons Another easy one is simply looking at the total market for the industry that the coin is supposedly targeting and comparing it to the market cap of the coin. Think of the market cap not only with circulating supply like its shown on CMC but including total supply. For example the total supply for Dentacoin is 1,841,395,638,392, and when multiplied by its price in early January we get a market cap that is actually higher than the entire industry it aims to disrupt: Dentistry. More complex valuation models If you would like to get into more fleshed out models with Excel, I highly recommend Chris Burniske's blog about using Quantity Theory of Money to build an equivalent of a DCF analysis for crypto. Here is an Excel file example of OMG done by Nodar Janashia using Chris' model . You should create multiple scenarios with multiple assumptions, both positive and negative. Have a base scenario and then moderately optimistic/pessimistic and highly optimistic/pessimistic scenario. Personally I like to see at least a 50% upward potential before investing from my moderately pessimistic scenario, but you can set your own safety margin. The real beneficial thing about modelling isn't even the price or valuation comparisons it spits out, but that it forces you to think about why the coin has value and what your own assumption about the future are. For example the discount rate you apply to the net present utility formula drastically affects the valuation, and it reflects your own assumptions of how risky the crypto is. What exactly would be a reasonable discount rate? What about the digital economy you are assuming for the coin, what levers affects its size and adoption and how likely are your assumptions to come true? You'll be a drastically more intelligent investor if you think about the fundamental variables that give your coin the market cap you think it should hold.
Summing it up
The time for lambo psychosis is over. But that's no reason to feel down, this is a new day and what many were waiting for. I've put together in one place here how to construct a portfolio allocation (taking into consideration risk and return targets), and how to go through a systematic crypto picking method. I'm won't tell you what to buy, you should always decide that for yourself and DYOR. But as long as you follow a rational and thorough methodology (feel free to modify anything I said above to suit your own needs) you will feel pretty good about your investments, even in times like these. Edit: Also get a crypto prediction ferret. You won't regret it.
If you’ve spent much time listening to Bitcoin speculators talk about the halvening, you’ve probably heard them throw out the stock to flow metric. Ever since it made the rounds on social media, this metric is often cited but little understood It’s derived from precious metal and commodity analysis, suggesting that the price of a commodity can be predicted by the production volume of that commodity (flow) relative to volume held in stockpile (stock). Pundits often point to the correlation between stock to flow (S/F) and precious metal prices. But these are cherry-picked examples. Pundits never explain why that correlation exists. They observe correlation without a theory of causation. This is a recipe for pseudoscience. It’s not hard to punch holes in S/F by pointing to exceptions to the “rule”.
For example, after 5 more halvenings (20 years) the S/F rating for Bitcoin is like 1600 vs golds 62. The S/F charts project Bitcoin would be worth much more than all wealth on planet earth (hint: that’s impossible).
At some point, Bitcoin will be truly deflationary ( BTC lost per year exceeds annual mining production) resulting in a negative stock to flow value. What then would the price be? Also negative? Infinite?
Some assets have static/infinite or even negative stock to flow. Land, for example, is limited and no new land is produced (200m square miles in stock/ 0 flow = infinite S/F).
It’s clear that S/F has some limitations in its ability to predict prices. So then, what can it actually be used for? We must first understand what the stock to flow to price correlation actually means. It’s simply the amount people are willing to pay to create a new unit of a commodity (e.g. the cost to mine an ounce of gold) vs the price of buying a unit from someone else’s stockpile. It’s not surprising that an ounce of gold costs about $1000 to mine and sells for about $1400 per ounce. If the cost suddenly dropped to $500, the price per ounce would drop with it, regardless of the “stock to flow”. Stock to flow then isn’t a magical metric. It merely tends to be useful for precious metal price analysis because metals that are expensive to produce are also produced in lower volume. One theory to explain the stock to flow correlation is that commodities that are expensive to produce are produced in less volume to ensure markets are not over saturated (keeping demand high to support high prices). In summary, we can see that “Stock to flow” confuses correlation with causation. Price of metals does actually correlate to S/F, but S/F alone does not cause the price to be what it is. Rather, real world supply and demand dictate price as well as S/F.
Bitcoin is the most censorship resistant money in the world.
You don't have to buy a “whole” bitcoin so don't freak out if you look at the price. You can buy a piece of one no problem.
The Dallas Mavericks accept Bitcoin on their website. You don't trust Mark Cuban. He's the best shark.
Bitcoin is the best performing asset of the last decade (better than S&P500).
Diversify your current portfolio.
It's not illegal in the USA.
You holding just one satoshi slightly limits the supply and can rise the price for everyone else.
[In late 2019] hash rate is the highest it has ever been
Suicide insurance; if Bitcoin rises in price there is no worse feeling than regret.
Some of the smartest people in computer science and cryptography are working on it. Trust nerds.
Look at the all time historical chart. No technical analysis just tell me what you think when you look at it.
Money is a belief system... and I want to believe.
Transparent ledger, no funny business going on it's easy to audit.
Elon Musk appears to be a fan. How's that for an appeal to authority
There is a fixed limit in the number of bitcoins that will exist. 21 million bitcoin, 7 billion people on earth. Do the math.
There are so many examples of governments inflating their currency to the point where it becomes unusable. Read the wikipedia page for Venezuela or Zimbabwe.
Altcoins make sacrifices in either security or centralization. There are altcoins out there that claim to be innovating but just check the scoreboard nothing has flipped Bitcoin in market value or even gotten close.
With technology developing at a rate faster than law, governments and for-profit businesses have the ability to monitor our purchases, location, our habits, and all of this has happened without consent. People made jokes and conspiracy theory, but sometimes conspiracy is real. Most people are good, but there is absolutely evil out there. There are absolutely evil people in positions of power. There are absolutely evil people that work together in positions of power. Does anyone actually believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide. Go read about Leslie Wexner. Go read the cypherpunk manifesto.
The upcoming halvening in 2020 will reduce the number of Bitcoin created in each block, making them more scarce, and if history repeats more valuable.
Bitcoin has lower fees than traditional banking.
Gold has the advantage of being a physical thing. But unlike gold you know Bitcoin is not forged, or mixed with another metal, and you can easily break it into tiny pieces and send it over the internet to someone.
Bitcoin could spark new interests maybe you start to read more into economics, computer science, or Brock Pierce.
Bitcoin has survived with no leader, marketing team, public relations, or legal team.
Because Wired magazine said Bitcoin was dead at $2, Forbes said it was dead at $15, NY Times at $208, and CNN at $333.
Just do a cost benefit analysis. What happens if Bitcoin fails and it goes to zero vs. what happens if it succeeds, and becomes world money.
Bitcoin encourages long term thinking, planning, saving. Due to inflation we are punished by holding on to cash. Look up the statistics on the average savings account while we are bombarded with consumerist bullshit like Funko pop heads, Loot crate subscription services, and new syrup flavors for coffee. Currently we are encouraged to spend now, seek immediate gratification, and ignore what we are becoming as Amazon picks out our clothes and toothpaste ships it to the house and we sit and watch streaming services where content is pushed to us and I'm supposed to buy that this garbage is actually “trending”. Our lives have become so comfortable that idiots spend $60 to escape a room and have someone take your picture when you get out. What would our ancestors think.
Maybe you're a day trader looking to use a trading bot in an unregulated market.
Bitcoin has 7 letters in it. Lucky number 7.....
Bitcoin promises to bank the unbanked, and provide services to those not otherwise “qualified” to open a bank account.
It's just cool, don't you want to seem smart to all your friends.
The origin story is so nuts there's going to be a movie or several movies about the early days of Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto remains anonymous to this day. Imagine if the inventor of the cell phone was anonymous.
If you have money to burn, don't buy soda, weed, or some girls private snapchat it's a dead end put it towards Bitcoin and give it to your child in the future.
To avoid getting ripped off by foreign exchange fees just because you were born one place and your friends were born in another place.
Can't live off the grid in your log cabin and still use Mastercard. Bitcoin is one piece of opting out.
If one country adopts BTC as the national currency, it doesn't take much thought to realise that others will follow.
Join a welcoming and unique community. Everyone is super nice because they want your money.
You can stick it to the baby boomers.
You can stick it to the vegans.
You can stick it Roger Ver.
Maybe your IQ is 70 and you'll do whatever CNBC Fast Money recommends.
Maybe a hacker infects your computer, records you doing that thing, and threatens to release the tape if you do not pay them 1.5 Bitcoin.
You're a risk taker looking for some risky investment.
Aliens attack like Independence Day, blow up major cities in major countries, your money is still safe with Bitcoin. As long as there is a some guy, some person, living on an island with a copy of the ledger out there on your'e good. We're all good.
Many proposals to scale the number of transactions, may the best plan win.
One day you might have to use BTC to pay taxes, buy food, and charge your Tesla.
You want to support a political group and remain private.
You can trust math more than you can trust people to set an emission rate.
Government don't know how much you have.
The first response to Bitcoin being published by Hal Finney stated that Bitcoin was positioned to reach million dollar valuation. Hal was the first bull and passed away in 2014, missing a lot #doitforHal.
Baddies can't freeze your money if they mad at you.
The Big Bang Theory mentioned it, maybe you want to be like Sheldon the bazinga guy.
Be contrarian. In a world where everyone zigs it's sometimes good to zag.
Don't have any hobbies, and you just need a reason to get up in the morning.
Enjoy learning? Bitcoin is a topic where there is so much to learn, and so much development, that it really becomes a never ending journey. For someone who likes learning, it's more productive than speedrunning a video game.
Yolo. You only live once. This isn't a dress rehearsal, if there's something your kind of interested in pursue it. That's true for anything not just Bitcoin. But if you're reading this I'm assuming you're interested.
Bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme. The difference is Bitcoin does not need new people buying in to work, blocks being added will continue even if the community stopped growing.
With religion on the decline maybe you want to join a cult. Crypto twitter is a great echo chamber to meet like minded people.
Satoshi Nakamoto found a way to distribute a global currency in a fair way with the ability to adjust the mining difficulty as we go, it's really incredible. You still need computers and electricity to mine new bitcoin today but it's an extremely fair way for people to earn. There was no premine of Bitcoin. Everyone who has Bitcoin either bought it at what the market said, or they earned it.
No CEO in charge of Bitcoin to make bad decisions or a board of directors that can make changes. The users, an ever growing number, are in charge.
Bitcoin has no days off, it has no workers in charge who can get sick or take a holiday.
Bitcoin has survived 10 years (and more). While there will always be dangers, I'd argue that those first few years it was most vulnerable to fail.
Have some trust in the cypherpunks. Anyone who held and didn't sell bitcoin as it went from pennies to five figures is not looking to get rich. They want to change the world.
Potential president Tulsi Gabbard disclosed owning some.
Digital money is the future, anyone who has tried Venmo can see that. Well Bitcoin is a digitally native asset.
Refugees can use Bitcoin to store their wealth as they flee a failing country.
Bitcoin is an open source project. Anthony Pompliano likes to call it a virus but I like how the author of the Bitcoin Standard describes it. Bitcoin is like a song. As long as one person remembers it you can't destroy a song.
Triple entry accounting. When humans first started recording who owes who what we had single-entry accounting. The king's little brother would keep everything written down, but we had to really trust this guy because he could simply erase a line and that money would be gone. When double-entry accounting started to spread 500 years ago it brought with it massive innovation. Businesses could now form relationships across the ocean as they each kept a record. We did not have innovation again until Satoshi's Bitcoin, where blockchain can be used as the neutral third party to keep record. It might not sound important but blockchain allows us to agree upon an objective reality.
Bitcoin is non-political.
Bitcoin is easy to accept. I mean kind of. It's certainly easier than setting up a bank account.
A sandwich used to cost 10 cents in America, I walk into Subway and they don't even have $5 foot longs anymore. Inflation man..
It's a peaceful protest.
Critics say that mining wastes electricity, but if Bitcoin adoption continues the world will actually be incentivized to produce more renewable energy. There are so many waterfalls and sources of energy in the middle of nowhere right now. People might not see a reason to build a power plant over there now, but in the future it can make business sense. Take that waterfall mine bitcoin, and sell them to the people who can't mine. It allows for a business to sell their energy anywhere.
Get into debates around Bitcoin, build those critical thinking skills.
“Predicting rain doesn't count, building arks does”
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”
"I never considered for one second having anything to do with it. I detested it the moment it was raised. It’s just disgusting. Bitcoin is noxious poison.”
The immaculate conception. No cryptocurrency can have a start the grassroots way Bitcoin did, it's just impossible given how the space has changed.
There are more than 1000x more U.S. dollars today than there were a hundred years ago.
Bitcoin is the largest transfer of wealth this decade from the least curious to the curious.
The concept of the Star Wars Cantina, Galt's Gulch, or young Beat Generation kids sitting in a basement smoking cigarettes and questioning the world can only exist if money remains fungible.
You can send money to your Dad even if he lives in a country run by bad boys.
Memorize your key, and walk around the world carrying your money in your head.
The Federal Reserve is objectively way too powerful.
John Mcafe promised that if bitcoins were not valued at 1 million dollars by the end of 2020 he would eat his own penis on national television. It will be a sad day if we don't hit that 1 million.
The Apple credit card.
If we ever get artificial intelligence it'll be able to interact with Bitcoin.
Katy Perry is aware of crypto so if by some chance you run into her, you get one chance to strike up conversation, so here's your chance to shine. You don't ask for a picture, you don't say she's pretty, or name your favorite song. Take your shot and ask about what type of cold storage she uses for her bitcoin.
Many people are afraid of a world currency because it's associated with a centralized world power taking control. Bitcoin allows for neutral world money.
Adrafinil vs Modafinil - The Definitive Reddit Guide
What is Modafinil?
Modafinil is a eugeroic – or, simply, a wakefulness-promoting agent – with a primary purpose of combating narcolepsy amongst suffers. Eugeroics differ from other stimulants because they are considered relatively non-addictive. This means that they do not cause the typical side effects experienced with most stimulants, like agitation and nervousness. Let us first discuss the chemical components of Modafinil. It is a racemic mixture, and such mixtures have equal amounts of left- and right-handed enantiomers. Enantiomers are the two forms in which large numbers of chemicals exist. Both forms are chemically and structurally identical, yet are nevertheless mirror images of the other. In other words, enantiomers are the ‘left’ and ‘right’ versions of a drug. These are called S and R enantiomers. One enantiomer is typically responsible for the majority of a drug’s effects, while the other can contribute to those positive effects. In other cases, the less dominant enantiomer can cause adverse side effects, or it be inert. Interestingly Modafinil Most racemic mixtures are balanced equally. This means half of the mixture is ‘left’ enantiomer and the other half is ‘right’. Modafinil is an equal combination of its S- and R- enantiomers, meaning that both have a psychoactive function. Just as you sometimes need two hands to do a job correctly, Modafinil uses both of its enantiomers to provide the ideal effect on body and mind. Preliminary scientific evidence has found that Modafinil works through histamine signaling. This phrase might indeed baffle you if you aren’t familiar with biological terminology. What this essentially means is that the histamine receptors, found for example in the central nervous system, are provoked. Michael J Minzenberg and Cameron S Carter’s journal provides ample scientific research on Modafinil’s neurochemical actions and effects. Histamine acts a neurotransmitter, a chemical substance which is released at the end of a nerve fibre by the arrival of a nerve impulse. Neurotransmitters affect the transfer of the impulse to another nerve fibre, muscle fibre, or some other structure within the body. Modafinil enhances histamine activity by stimulating the central system. This increased activity therefore impacts other nerve fibres/muscle fibres in the body, accounting for its ability to stimulate a fatigued body. As well as fighting tiredness, Modafinil also improves general mood and well-being amongst users, with positive improvements seen with mental focus, analytic capability and memory recall and retention. Britain deems Modafinil a prescription-only drug. In America, meanwhile, Modafinil’s brand name is Provigil. It is considered a scheduled drug, meaning that it necessitates a prescription in order to obtain it legally.
What is Adrafinil?
Adrafinil is a pro-drug to Modafinil. This simply means that supplementation of it increases concentrations of Modafinil in the body. The liver changes Adrafinil to Modafinil. Similarly to Modafinil, Adrafinil’s cognitive benefits are enhanced by noted improvements in day-time alertness, motivation, mood and energy levels. It also does not generate the irritability, anxiousness and nervousness routinely experienced through the use of other stimulants. Britain does not measure Adrafinil under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, a legislation that governs the regulation of drugs. This means that it is not regulated. Adrafinil’s legal status and nootropics in general, nevertheless remains in grey area. It is lawful for purchase by British residents, but only for personal use. In the U.S, however, the drug is currently legal and can be bought, prescription free, as an alternative to Modafinil. Though its manufactured moniker Olmifon was discontinued in 2011, Adrafinil itself can still be purchased easily online.
Why do they differ?
Modafinil and Adrafinil are two of the most popular stimulants available. Though both offer similar if not identical cognitive benefits, there are key distinctions between both. Chemically speaking, the structures of both drugs are very similar: Adrafinil Structure It is, however, with the body’s processing of each drug that differences become most apparent. Modafinil is processed through metabolic activity occurring mainly in the liver. Lesser contributions to the metabolising process are made through the activity of the enzyme cytochrome P450 (CYP). Cytochrome p-450 (often abbreviated “CYP”) is a class of enzymes that is involved in the metabolism of many medications and is located primarily in the liver. But, what exactly are enzymes? They exist in living organisms and catalyze specific biochemical reactions within the body. At the beginning of a reaction process, molecules exist called ‘substrates’. The enzyme converts these into ‘products’. All metabolic processes in cells require enzymes to react within the body at rates fast enough to sustain life. Adrafinil differs because it is changed into Modafinil in the liver. This means that it relies on greater enzyme activity to process correctly and efficiently. The conversion process of Adrafinil and Modafinil sees the former breaking down into the latter as a compound. This is how it is metabolized. Enzymes are relied upon more during the metabolic process of Adrafinil. As mentioned briefly in the metabolism of Modafinil, the enzyme involved in metabolizing Adrafinil when it reaches the liver is Cytochrome p-450. How quickly the liver is able to convert Adrafinil is dependent upon metabolic rate and the efficiency of the liver overall. Two people of the same sex, similar age and weight can take the same dose of Adrafinil but achieve very different results. In necessitating a more rigorous metabolism process, the most profound difference between Modafinil and Adrafinil is that the latter requires the greater use of Cytochrome p-450. Over time, if the drug is not taken cyclically, such enzymes can build up in the liver with potentially damaging effects on the organ as a whole.
Adrafinil vs Modafinil Dosage
For Adrafinil, it as advised to dose between 600 to 1200mg per day. It is further advised, as with the majority of supplements, to begin on a low dose, only increasing the amount after recognizing your own body’s reaction and tolerance. Adrafinil should not be taken in the afternoon and evening to prevent a sleepless night. Ideally, it should be taken 3 times a week and for no longer than five months. This is primarily to prevent side effects, tolerance and the build-up of enzymes in the liver. Examine.com state that Adrafinil’s recommended dosage range is vast, ranging from 600 to 1,200mg. BodhiSvaha on erowid.org explained their willingness to take both small doses and larger ones of Adrafinil:
After extensive experimentation with dosage, I have settled on taking 300mg when I wake up and another 300 mg in the early afternoon. There does not seem to be much, if any, habituation or tolerance created by Adrafinil.Occasionally I will take doses up to 1200 mg when a high degree of concentration is required. I have found this dose to be very effective at potentiating and improving the tryptamine experience, in particular. I find tryps sometimes bring a feeling of lethargy or body load with some cognitive dullness. Adrafinil counters this effect very nicely.
Here it is evident that, despite there being a large range of recommended doses for Adrafinil, all of them are safe. Whatever you choose within that range is dependent on your desired alertness and bodily tolerance. Reddit user ssitimefill explains the necessity of slowly upping Adrafinil dosage, as well as suggesting why a higher dose than Modafinil is required:
To my knowledge it is not established how what proportion of adrafinil is broken down into modafinil and what proportion into modafinilic acid.This proportion likely varies person to person, and also by dose. Some studies have reported adrafinil more potent at lower doses.The general psychological effect of adrafinil depends not only on the quantity converted into modafinil but the rate of this conversion.300 mg of modafinil from adrafinil is not likely to produce an identical effect from 300 mg of modafinil.Basically there is no way to determine optimum dose of adrafinil other than trial and error.The best procedure is to start with low doses (measured via scale) and slowly increase dose until you reach the optimal, then sub-optimal dose. When you have reached sub-optimal dose (too much adrafinil) you can deduce what dose is optimal for you.
Because Modafinil does not transform in the liver, it generally requires lesser dosage to reach its optimum effect. Modafinil is typically sold in 100 mg or 200 mg tablets. The latter option is more popular due to its greater availability. 200 mg is indeed the recommended dose, to be taken once per day, usually during the morning. It may be taken with or without food. (nootriment.com) Some recommend starting with an initial intake of 100 mg Modafinil dosage. This helps with accustoming the body to the drug itself. An anonymous writer on erowid.org posted his first use of 100mg Modafinil, describing its positive effects:
And today I tried modafinil 100 mg for the first time. I took it at around 10:45 AM today and it is now 4:35 PM. My experience has been much like those of others herein described– initial buzziness (~1 hr after I took the pill) that lasted about as long. But for the past 4 hours, I have been just plain awake. I have not succumbed to the usual desire to take a nap in the afternoons despite the near-90-degree heat, which usually puts me right to sleep. I have had no such desire in fact. I am not jittery or having unusual thoughts, etc.
It is also possible to take higher doses. Up to 400 mg per day has been shown to be very well-tolerated. Pino on drugs-forum tried a variety of dosages and provides some succinct information of the results: Combinations:
200 mg modafinil +caffeine: Pleasant vibe, easy and fast thinking. Able to solve sudokus a lot quicker. The bus driver becomes more self reassured in conversations and is able to focus more than 16 hours. Sleep quality is ok. (bp: 130/80)200 mg modafinil + too much caffeine (4 cups of coffee): Anxiousness and some hypertension kicks in here. (bp: 140/93) Concentration is less than optimal in this region.400 mg modafinil + normal caffeine: Nice euphoria, but can also turn into anxiousness.
It is clear that the recommended doses are speculative and dependent on personal accounts of drug use. There are certainly more user reviews around the internet that explain individual experiences of alternating dosage amounts. There is, of course, still the question of the differences in dosage between Modafinil and Adrafinil. Jjhurley on Reddit discussed the differences in dosage between both:
… most people tell me 300mg of adra is comparable to just 100mg of moda. Whether your ratio or this other ratio is correct doesn’t make too much a difference, but I have been taking 600mg of adra and don’t want to lose any potency. Is this to say I should go with 300-400mg of moda? If so, that’s a little upsetting because I was really hoping to have equal, if not better, experiences on just 200mg of moda.
ProfWiki agreed that Adrafinil should be taken in higher dosages than Modafinil:
I take 600 mg in order to get effects. This is equivalent to about 200 mg of modafinil. I think throwf0 read you as saying modafinil since he mentioned modafinil. Modafinil is a lot stronger than adrafinil. 150 mg of adrafinil would be about like 50 mg of adrafinil.Anyway, like I said, 50 mg of Adrafinil is far too lose to be effective. 50 mg of MODAfinil might work okay for some but they typically are just breaking up a standard 100/200 mg dose.Being that Adrafinil works by metabolizing into Modafinil, and that as a rule of thumb 1/3 of Adrafinil turns into modafinil, a 50 mg dose of Adrafinil would be just roughly 16-17 mg of modafinil. There wouldn’t be any effects from such a low level dose.
Adrafinil vs Provigil
Let us first make one distinction: Adrafinil = generic drug Provigil = brand name of Modafinil It is often questioned what the difference between Provigil and Adrafinil is. However, the former is simply a branded name for the generic drug Modafinil, which, as we have now found, is the metabolite of Adrafinil. So long as users are acquiring pure generic versions of Adrafinil, then the same effects as Provigil will be felt and the advised dosage will essentially be identical. It is therefore not unusual for potential users to question the differences between Provigil and Adrafinil. Moreover, it is certainly not unreasonable to question their differences. For instance, internet user Shatneresque questioned the difference between Modafinil and Provigil, which are the same drug, asking:
My pharmacy sent me a email saying I can now replace my Provigil ($125 a month) with the generic version and they need my okay to do so.Before I say yes and say the money, I want to know if anyone has noticed any differences. I am very happy with the provigil and have been taking it for several years.
This query was answered by Serpens:
It appears that Cephalon, the maker of Provigil, has been purchased by Teva, titan generic manufacturer. There are currently three manufacturers selling a generic labeled ‘modafinil’ : Cephalon (brand holder), Teva, and Par. All three are using the same brand name NDA license on file with the FDA. In addition, Elsevier’s Clinical Pharmacology has images and references available for the generic product being shipped for all three drug companies.They’re all the same pill. Images of all three products show a white oblong tablet with “Provigil” on one side, and the strength on the other. All products have the same inactive ingredients.
Queries like this prove that caution is imperative when deciding on which supplement to use. This is especially true if you are a first time user or are, like Shatneresque, accustomed to using one particular brand such as Provigil. Researching alternatives and finding the most information about whatever drug you are choosing is vital if you are to select the right one for you. Awareness is the key and there is no harm in asking questions that, to you, may sound obvious once they are answered.
Provigil was originally manufactured by Cephalon, the same company behind the previously branded version of Adrafinil (Olmifon). Business editor Dell Poncet writes of how, in 1999, interest for both Cephalon and Provigil was taking off, with registered quarterly sales of $10.7 million. Being among the leading biopharmaceutical companies in the world, Cephalon flourished. In 2011, it was acquired by Teva, the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world for a huge $6.8 billion (read more here). There is little surprise, then, that Provigil is sold at quite a cost. A 30-day supply of Provigil 200mg pills can cost as much as $1500. Buyers in the UK can therefore expect to pay even more if the pharmacy offers world-wide shipping. Since branded Modafinil is so expensive, Adrafinil is clearly the best alternative. The latter drug does not come attached to a manufactured title, and is inexpensive yet easily attainable. What is more, it can be bought prescription-free online or by phone. There are plenty of legitimate outlets stocking Adrafinil and these can be accessed at the click of a button. If economizing is one aspect of importance, then Adrafinil is certainly the best choice.
Modafinil in India
More importantly health-wise, though, is the scary possibility of purchasing a dodgy-version of branded Modafinil online. With the cost of Provigil being so high, it is unsurprising that many prospective users look for a cheaper alternative for their first time trying the drug. Many turn to the internet’s grey market, where there is a lingering risk of being ripped off with tampered drugs. This is where extra caution and care should be applied. Once users began contemplating off-label equivalents, international pharmacy websites quickly took the opportunity to sell these kinds of drugs. The most popular location from which many internet users buy unbranded Modafinil is India. Sources of the drug in India do not require strict quality control, nor are prescriptions required by users. In fact, there is much information to be considered with regard to India’s counterfeit drugs market. This article on New York Times discusses how:
India’s drug industry is one of the country’s most important economic engines, exporting $15 billion in products annually, and some of its factories are world-class, virtually undistinguishable from their counterparts in the West. But others suffer from serious quality control problems. The World Health Organization estimated that one in five drugs made in India are fakes. A 2010 survey of New Delhi pharmacies found that 12 percent of sampled drugs were spurious.
Meanwhile, this article on safemedsonline.org attests to the New York Times’ discussion, stating that:
The Food and Drug Administration recently conducted a series ofraidsin India to uncover counterfeit drugs. The raids yielded large quantities of substandard medicines and resulted in several arrests. However, in India, the penalties for making and selling counterfeit medicines are minimal, the convictions are rare, and the profits are enormous. Since the raids late last year, the problem has only gotten worse.
Alarm bells should definitely ring here. Without quality control, many drugs that appear on international websites do not contain legitimate ingredients. It is a huge gamble to assume your purchased pills are pure or authentic. There’s a great possibility that you might not experience the proper effects of the medication and there is serious potential that you may have toxic reactions to the ingredients in fake versions of the drug. Some websites and online Nootropics communities maintain lists of verified and trustworthy Modafinil vendors, but such vendors do not generally stay on the lists for long. In many cases, a trusted supplier can end up sending out a fake or ineffective batch of pills even after you have developed a long-standing relationship with them. It is almost impossible to protect against this risk. There is really only one sensible alternative if you find the price of Provigil unreasonable, or if you are contemplating buying potentially contaminated off-label versions from India. Users should purchase Adrafinil from a reputable supplier instead, rather than paying the very serious costs of purchasing from an unreliable source abroad.
Adrafinil vs Modafinil forum
There are many reviews across the internet on individual preferences: Adrafinil or Modafinil. It is all, of course, subjective to user experience. Whilst some remain skeptical towards the newer of the two drugs, Adrafinil, there are huge amounts of successful reviews to be considered. On reddit, jjhurley writes:
Long story short, today is just my 3rd day using adrafinil and I’m impressed with the results so far.I keep reading from people who’ve experienced both adra & moda is that they prefer modafinil. To me it is surprising there would be a whole lot of difference given what we know about adrafinil converting to modafinil once in your system. I understand the conversion takes time but I wouldn’t think that to make a significant impact to different effects.
It is also important to remember that Adrafinil is converted into Modafinil once in the liver. Many users therefore experience the same results with both drugs, and are positive in their opinions of both. DoyouknowmyPW on Reddit concurs, stating that:
I’ve been using Adrafinil and Modafinil for a few weeks now during the workweek. 100-150mg for Modafinil, 200-270 for Adrafinil. I’ve never noticed any painful side-effects, might just be a coincidence. Sharp pain like that could be trapped gas (of course I am not a physician though!).It does help greatly staying more alert during the day. Before I would have issues some days where I am truly struggling to keep my eyes open, especially during meetings. I’ve fallen asleep at least twice for a brief second because my eyes were just too heavy. Since I’ve been taking the morning dose that sleepiness has gone away and I am now on a better sleep schedule because I feel tired when I’m suppose to.
Some users speak of branded versions of the drugs. For example, Akoward on drugs-forum writes:
Recently got a hold of some Nuvigil. Have had previous experience with Olmifon (Adrafinil). As has been said before its much more potent at lower dose that Adrafinil. I only need 1/2 a pill to do what 2x300mg Adrafinils were doing for me. I took a whole Nuvigil the first time and was more productive in that single day that I had been in ages. Got all my work done, worked on personal projects… it was amazing. I will say that some of the physical side effects were a little troubling (ever present tightness in the collarbone to middle neck area, massive restless legs)
It is important to see that with Akoward’s review, despite him alternating to the branded Armodafinil, side-effects were still experienced. This goes to show that Adrafinil, though not manufactured under a moniker, is no less competent in generating the excellent results that might be expected from those drugs which sound more ‘professional’.
Adrafinil vs Modafinil vs Armodafinil
Like Adrafinil and Modafinil, Armodafinil is a stimulant used to combat fatigue. Introduced in 2007, Armodafinil appears under brand names such as Nuvigil, Artvigil, and Waklert. It is purportedly more effective at lower doses than its relatives Adrafinil and Modafinil. Armodafinil is an enantiopure drug. Enantiopure drugs contain only one of the enantiomers (spoken about earlier), R or S. The R enantiomer is longer acting and is most responsible for the effects of Modafinil specifically. Since the S enantiomer is not as strong, Armodafinil’s dosage is therefore lower. Most doses are 150mg compared to Modafinil’s 200mg standard dose. Whilst the effects last for roughly the same time, Armodafinil takes longer to reach its peak than Modafinil, and therefore even longer than Adrafinil. This is simply because the S enantiomer reacts and leaves the body faster. Remember, Armodafinil does not have the S enantiomer, whereas Modafinil does. Adrafinil does, too, because Modafinil is a component within it. Because of this, users find that the effects of Armodafinil take longer to make themselves apparent – a potential disadvantage for prospective users. So, how is Armodafinil processed? Dopamine is a compound existing as neurotransmitter within the body. It is also precursor of other substances including adrenaline. Armodafinil is an indirect dopamine receptor agonist. What this essentially means, then, is that Armodafinil provokes the dopamine levels in the body. Armodafinil is metabolized in much the similar way as Modafinil. It relies on amide hydrolysis primarily, and enzyme activity from by cytochrome P450 secondly. Amide Hydrolysis refers to the reaction with water of amides – a compound) As a consequence, this means that is does not rely as much on heavy enzyme activity in the liver. Adrafinil does. This presents further difference that may be considered by potential users. However, it is important to remember to stick to dosage guidance. If taken properly, and often cyclically, Adrafinil is no more threatening to the liver than Modafinil or Armodafinil. Because Armodafinil, Modafinil and Adrafinil are all very similar in terms of effect, there is much discussion about which is the best. With regard to Modafinil and Armodafinil specifically, some may assume that because small dosages are needed for the latter that it is more efficient. However, it is important to remember individual sensitivity levels. Different drugs can have different reactions for different people. Potency is therefore not the only factor; the personal experience of using either Armodafinil or Modafinil is equally important. A trial and error approach may be necessary, but, of course, extensive research to find the best possible supplement for you is paramount. In undertaking research, then, you may discover information that suits your needs. For example, it is proposed that, unlike Modafinil, Armodafinil will not actually disturb your existing sleep patterns. Modafinil users might agree a good night’s sleep is difficult to achieve depending on the dosage. Reddit user guitar1560 states that
I took 50mg two days in a row twice. Couldn’t sleep well the second night both times
Whereas SequenceConvenience writes
I’ve experienced pretty strong sleep changes while taking modafinil, but nothing that has been negative. I actually seem to need less sleep, at least in the sense that it is very easy for me to get out of bed the day after taking modafinil. Then again, I also don’t seem to have much in the way of dreams during those nights.
Armodafinil does not impact sleep pattern. However, with SequenceConvenience’s review, it is clear that some find this a positive effect of Modafinil while others, like guitar1560, may be disappointed. Respective costs of the drugs might further influence your decision. KimberCT on Longe City tried both Armodafinil and Modafinil, but was swayed somewhat by the price of Nuvigil (the branded name of Armodafinil):
Currently taking 250mg armodafinil daily. To be honest, I kind of prefer modafinil. It seems to have a little more of a quick kick to it. Probably that isomer with a short half life peaking. Other than that, I can’t tell the difference between Nuvigil and modafinil (Sun Pharma). I’d probably have continued taking modafinil, but Cephalon has jacked the price since Nuvigil was FDA approved. With an Rx, Provigil is twice the price of Nuvigil. Their way of getting everyone onto Nuvigil before Provigil’s patent expires.
Adrafinil, meanwhile, can be obtained very cheaply online because it does not exist under a manufactured name. Nevertheless, many of these drugs are safe to use even if they lack a moniker like Provigil or Nuvigil. To stop concerns of the legitimacy of your purchased drug, always ask that your online manufacturer provides a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) on demand. This means that the substance batch has undergone a third-party laboratory analysis to ensure that your purchased drug matches its label and is not contaminated. A common side-effect of Adrafinil is that the urine can smell different after ingestion of the drug. This is because one of Adrafinil’s metabolites contains a sulphur-based compound, and sulphur is strong smelling in itself. However, these criticisms are not limited to Adrafinil alone and it should not sway potential users away from this particular drug. Modafinil has also been found to change the odor of urine. For example, PhysicsMaestro on Longe city queries:
I’ve been using modafinil (modalert) for about 8 months now, and regularly noticed a distinct smell of my urine whenever taking it. However, with this armodafinil, I don’t seem to notice it, which worries me a bit (i.e., not really what it states to be). Has anyone else noticed this difference between armodafinil and modafinil? I thought maybe the S-enantiomer could be metabolized and excreted quicker, thus resulting in an early onset smell, but I am just guessing.
The difference could easily be due to one of the excipients of the tablet, not the active ingredient. It’s also possible that only the S-enantiomer causes the smell, and of course, there’s the possibility that either these pills or the old ones didn’t actually contain modafinil. Sometimes they contain caffeine or dimethylamylamine or other stimulants, either mixed with modafinil or completely replacing it.
PhysicsMaestro thereafter concurrs:
I thought the odorous urine was ubiquitous to all variants of modafinil, resulting from its metabolites. But I guess the smell could be dependent on the enantiomer. I am willing to assume that whatever enzyme metabolizes modafinil to modafinil acid would leave its chirality intact. I don’t think it would be the excipients since the smell is so widely reported with different sources (and the modafinil has a sulfiyl group, so)
Nor does Armodafinil escape the urine issues. An anonymous writer on Erowid.org wrote:
Oh, and the pill tastes awful. Don’t let it get stuck in your mouth. And my pee starts to smell like it, too, but I get used to it
It is therefore important not to be selective of criticism based on what drug you have been swayed by. If you read that Modafinil is apparently “safer” because it does not rely on rampant enzyme activity, then do remember to include other issues such as cost-efficiency and, of course, other side-effects that might become more apparent than rare liver problems. These side-effects might include nausea, chest-pain or a faster heart rate (nhs.uk). Adrafinil stands out as the most cost-effective, and, though it has been reported to alter urine odor, it is not alone. Modafinil, the more expensive, and Armodafinil, with a longer reaction time, also generate similar side-effects. As well as reviews on specific effects of Adrafinil, Armodafinil or Modafinil, there are plenty of general overviews to be found around the internet. On Reddit, BitcoinOperatedGirl writes of her experience:
I tried the adrafinil first, starting with a low dose of 200mg one morning. I prepared a capsule and put it in a baggie next to my pillow before I went to sleep. When my alarm clock rang in the morning, I swallowed the capsule, silenced the alarm clock, and went back to sleep. I was expecting the stimulatory effect to eventually wake me up, as a caffeine pill would, but I ended up sleeping for two more hours. I felt a little disappointed after getting up and not feeling any stimulation, so I decided to add an extra 400mg to the mix.The rest of the day, I was in a fairly good mood. I thought that I was maybe a little more energetic and motivated than usual. I was fairly productive and I worked out. The effect wasn’t what I expected, however. I’ve read people on here talking about feeling wired, and “laser beam focus”, but a whole 600mg of adrafinil felt nothing close to what I imagined (I guess I imagined it would feel like a mild dose of ritalin or something). On the upside, I experienced no substantial anxiety, whereas all the amphetamine-like drugs make me very uncomfortably anxious (I really can’t stand them, they feel disgusting to me). I didn’t really feel a crash and I went to bed at my normal hour.I’m experimenting with adrafinil again today. I took 800mg this time. I was feeling particularly tired this morning (cripplingly tired, lethargic really). I definitely feel more energetic now. I’ve gotten some work done, I’m feeling the drive to write walls of text on reddit and I’m going to have a workout in a few minutes. I don’t expect to have any motivational issues today. Maybe I’ll even cook something fun. Only unfortunate side-effect seems to be a mild headache, but advil seems to be taking care of that.I also tried armodafinil a week ago. Took a small 75mg dose in the morning. Same setup as with adrafinil. I also fell back to sleep for 2 hours. I felt pretty anxious that day and also got a headache. I can’t quite be sure the armodafinil is to blame but I suspect it is. Seems much more anxiety-inducing than adrafinil, which is unfortunate given that it seems adrafinil is worse for your liver. Armodafinil is probably just not for me.
Nezxon on LongeCity meanwhile states that:
I’m taking 75mg Adrafinil (Olmifon) twice daily and I haven’t experienced any side effects. I’d like to give Armodafinil a try, perhaps even safer in the long-term than Modafinil is.
These kinds of reviews certainly help to build a solid picture of each drug’s story. Undertaking research like this to decide on which drug is preferable to you is definitely something you should embark on before picking at random a supplement based on one review.
Adrafinil vs Modafinil reddit
The only notable difference in reviews between Modafinil and Adrafinil is that the latter takes longer to take effect. For example, justmodz1 stated that:
adrafinil is the precursor of modafinil in that it came first and led to the discovery of modafinil in fact adrafinil turns into modafinil in the body due to breakdown of it molecules which actually means that the two have the same effects but adrafinil takes longer to take effect.
While KPC100 agreed that:
Adrafinil gets turned into Modafinil in your system. Because of this, you need a much larger dose and it takes longer to take effect.
Although it does have a longer reaction time, this certainly shouldn’t be a downfall of Adrafinil. It is simply a case that Adrafinil’s chemical processing takes a little longer. However, once complete, the results are just as effective as those found with Modafinil. Take into consideration, also, that Adrafinil will certainly stimulate, energize and ultimately shake you awake. The seemingly longer period of time before this happens will soon become irrelevant when the benefits are reaped. Further Reddit reviews compare other aspects of Adrafinil and Modafinil. Jjhurley, commenting on the actual nature of each drug, states that:
I keep reading from people who’ve experienced both adra & moda is that they prefer modafinil. To me it is surprising there would be a whole lot of difference given what we know about adrafinil converting to modafinil once in your system. I understand the conversion takes time but I wouldn’t think that to make a significant impact to different effects.
While the same user goes on to discuss issues of costing, in the end suggesting that, in terms of price, they would definitely prefer Adrafinil:
I was really hoping to have equal, if not better, experiences on just 200mg of moda. The reason I’d like to not take more than that is simply cost. At $1.50-2.00 per 200mg pill of moda (prices based off the quantities I’d be ordering as well as variation in supplier prices) it’s too costly to have to take twice that for my own personal budget. To be honest, even at $1.50-2.00 per pill/200mg is already high for my budget.I can get 50g of adrafinil for $98 which comes out to up to 50% cheaper a single moda dose/pill of 200mg. If conversion ratios are right and I’d need two pills or 400mg of moda though then my adra would be 75% cheaper.
There are plenty of important aspects to consider when choosing between Modafinil or Adrafinil. Firstly, selecting the safest and most reliable drug should be of paramount interest. Whereas Adrafinil is often tested by third parties and is shipped nationally rather than across sees, Modafinil (both branded and unbranded versions) is often left untested and sent from India. Quality control is a big issue of concern for international pharmacies and should definitely guide your final decision. Pricing is also important to consider. Although you might think you’re getting a better deal by choosing a cheaper off-label version from India, it is still not as easy to buy Modafinil as it is Adrafinil. Most venders of Modafinil do not accept Paypal. This service offers secure buyer protection. With the option of a legitimate, nationally supplied alternative in Adrafinil, it is illogical to risk your bank account details instead – just to purchase a drug that will likely be contaminated and unsafe
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