Archives February 2018

A quick update… mostly news and a learning resource

A very quick update today, because there is a fair bit of news out there!

Firstly, Poloniex, one of the exchanges that has been around a while has been purchased. When I started in Crypto in the middle of 2017 it was one of the more well respected exchanges with a decent amount of volume. Things gradually dropped off and there were some support issues and a couple of outages. They have now been bought by Circle, a mobile payment provider. For more info see the post here. This is interesting because it’s a start towards some new players who are in regulated spaces coming into the Crypto space. Assuming they can throw in the resources to sort the support issues and scalability problems, then they could reinvigorate this exchange and then move to integrate it with their app, thus making it much easier to buy Crypto direct from your phone, using funds from existing linked bank accounts.

Another new piece today is the release of version 16 of the Bitcoin Core node/wallet software. It fully introduces SegWit and offers a new address type (bech32) which shortens the address and removes case sensitivity. It also changes the starting characters to bc1 instead of the 1 or 3 that have previously been used.

That’s it for now, other than to say i’ve been spending a chunk of time working through the material here:

This is a lengthy series of videos on all aspects of trading. Well worth the time…

 


Stop Buy Orders and buying on Confirmation

One of the things i’ve been reading a fair bit about in the last few days is technical analysis (TA). Obviously this is a massive subject with 100+ years of techniques and strategies to get your head around. However one of the things that has really stood out to me recently is the need to be more certain about when to enter and exit the market.

The basic concept here is that you should be looking to TA to figure out when the price is most likely to move in a certain direction. It seems that there are a handful of indicators that people mostly use in this regard. In no particular order:

  • Volume
  • RSI
  • MACD
  • Fibonacci
  • Various Flags, Pennants, and Wedges!
  • Patterns like Head and Shoulders
  • Elliot Waves

At the moment, I am getting the hang of the general shapes, in particular things like the Flags and Pennants make a lot of sense and are clearly visible. More info here:

I’m also pretty comfortable with the Fibonacci series and how that can be used to look at likely support and resistance points. I’ve still got learning to do around tracking volume, RSI and MACD.

Anyhow, with regards the main point of the post, Stop buy orders and buying on confirmation. The concept is, that actually you don’t always want to buy at the lowest possible point, because you are trying to manage risk. For example if you look at something like Cardano (ADA) which has been gradually moving downwards in a wedge shape for the last few days, it is in this falling wedge but the movements are getting ever smaller. In addition it’s hovering around the major support level presented at the 3124 satoshi mark which is the top of previous highs in mid to late December. Therefore what we’re looking for is a breakout above the falling channel.

To my mind then, if ADA breaks out above 3350 sats there is a good chance with enough volume, that it will have broken the bear market and is heading higher again.

With all that in mind, you could therefore argue that waiting to buy in at somewhere in the 3500 mark or would be a good plan.

I believe that this is possible on various exchanges. Some times it is called a Stop Buy order. I think that it’s possible to execute on Bittrex with a conditional buy order as shown in the shots below:

First we start with the buy settings.

We need to select a Conditional order

Then we need to set the condition, which is in this case greater than or equal to

Then we end up with this, which to my mind means that if ADA goes above 4000 satoshi we will buy.

I’m going to test this out and see where things go. Obviously it would be great to also be able to put in your limit sell order at the same time. I think on Bitfinex more of that is possible, i.e. stacking orders, but I’ve not signed up yet so will keep researching.

Lots more to learn!


Day 51 – Yearly Aims Update – Part 2

 

Now for part two…

Clarinet

Remarkably I’ve managed to play something every day this year! That’s even including the trip to the US I made a couple of weeks back for work. So all in all that’s going well.

We’ve got a few dates in the diary for the wind quintet and I’ve got an idea of a pianist for a duo, so progress is being made.

Health and Wellbeing

At the start of 2018 the fitness idea didn’t really take off! Time management is a major issue. Anyhow, we finally got round to sorting out new life and critical illness insurance with Vitality. This has been a kick in the right direction as it directly links activity to financial reward. They operate a system where you get points for activity and that reduces the cost of the policy. As it stands I’ve been regularly completing my goals so fingers crossed it starts to make a difference! On the squash side of things the Guildford tournament went well and my level has improved which was the main aim.

Finally, sleep. Remarkably having bought an Apple Watch to track the activities above, i’m now using it to track sleep too. I’ve actually proved what Lizzie keeps telling me that less than 7 hours sleep isn’t enough! Who knew…. 🙁

Anyhow, I’ve proven that it dramatically reduces my ability to concentrate, so actually it’s false economy staying up late, as it means you’re less productive the next day.

In summary the top three: 

  • Practice the clarinet every day – On track
  • Do something fitness related… either walking, squash, or simply Core exercises on busy days! – Mostly on track
  • Post to the blog every day, mostly on the topic of blockchain. – On Track

Having kept it going for this long I will continue the daily activities, although I think realistically on the blogging side I may instead start aiming for every other day, to give longer to pull together more in depth pieces that actually trigger learning rather than just news regurgitation.


Day 50 – Update on my yearly aims. Part 1

Given that we’re now 50 days into 2018 that means a little over a 7th of the year has gone already! With that in mind I thought that it was about time to look back at my aims and check on progress. After all, without measurement a goal is less likely to be met.

Work

As it stands, my aim to see people on my team is going pretty well. We’ve recently managed to get all my peers and manager together in one place for the first time in over a year. It was a great chance to build new relationships and strengthen/reinvigorate old ones so all in all pretty happy with that!

Network wise, things are mixed, I’ve certainly talked with a few new people outside my previous circle and have made a bit more regular contact with a couple of people who I previously talked to regularly, but it’s not been the wholesale change / uptick that would be good. More work is needed here.

Blockchain

On a more positive note, I would say that I’m making progress in the blockchain world with regards contacts. It’s slow and steady, but i’ve had a few follows on Twitter and am building up a list of contacts that i’m following. The next step is to continue to add value to the conversation and gradually get people to know me, and to get to know them, rather than just following posts!

On the technical front, I’ve definitely made progress on the trading front. Again it’s slow, but I’ve made some good trades that were not by accident. Clearly there is a huge amount to learn, both technically and emotionally but I’m still in the game which is fine for now. In the pursuit of transparency, I’ve managed to get up over 4BTC at some points in the last few weeks and have made 0.077 in trading profit. Right now though things are looking less good, and I’m down at around 3.7BTC. A lot of this was driven by the significant drop of Raiblocks/Nano after the theft from BitGrail.

As it stands right now I’m no closer to building a coin, however I have made a start on courses on PluralSight and also have discovered some great resources on Steemit, which will keep me busy learning wise for quite a while.

Another of my aims was to start staking coins. I’ve built a significant (0.44BTC) position in NAV which is staking well and also small positions in PIVX and CLOAK. Most recently I’ve got into Crown (CRW) and am looking at running a Crown System Node which is currently reporting a 26% return in a year.

Finally regards blockchain events / conferences, i’ve not made progress. There is an upcoming NAV event but that clashes with a rehearsal so this is an area I still need to working on.

 

Tomorrow I’ll complete the update and set-out any tweaks that I’m going to make to keep things on track.


Lightning network… what is it?

Lightning network (LN) is currently in technology Alpha phase… i.e. it’s mostly working but only if you’re rather brave and comfortable with some form of compiling code! Realistically therefore for me personally that a fair bit outside my comfort zone. Anyhow that doesn’t stop it being something which has the potential to change the future of Crypto and in particular BTC.

To understand why LN is important you need to understand a bit about the challenges inherent in the current implementation of Bitcoin. One of the major problems Bitcoin has faced is that its technology hasn’t quite managed to scale with the adoption rate. This has been one of the causes of the recent high fees and slow transaction times. Interestingly things have improved a lot recently but still, the underlying technology of BTC means that there is a limit to the speed of confirmations. Another area of concern particularly with BTC is that there is not a lot of room in the block for additional functional like smart contracts. Other coins like ETH and NEO have been written specifically with those in mind, but BTC was never designed that way. Lightning network has the ability to change all that. Finally there is still a great deal of centralisation in the BTC world caused by the need to use Exchanges to buy and sell coins. This adds a significant amount of risk and also overhead as we pay fees to move coins to the exchange and then again to buy and sell.

Lightning network has the ability to radically change many of those issues.

The basic concept is providing layers on top of the blockchain. The thing about blockchain is that it is rather good, in fact amazingly good at providing a trust less, decentralised system whereby people can interact. However it’s pretty rubbish at storing large amounts of data. Therefore the blocks are generally kept small to limit the size and load on the network. You wouldn’t for example generally store photos on a blockchain. Instead you would store the checksum giving the ability to validate the presented photo, stored on a second tier, is unchanged from the one linked to the transaction on the blockchain.

Lightning network is an implementation of this second tier. It provides clever integration (using cryptography/hashing for integrity of data), with the blockchain but allows for other functions to live off the original chain. This has the ability to allow external data to interact with the blockchain and provide the ability to have radically more scalability… i.e. instant payments, huge numbers of payments, very cheap payments and the capability to swap one currency for another without using an exchange.

These new capabilities open up the possibility of replacing existing payment networks like VISA and Mastercard and having instant tiny payments (micro-payments) driven by automated entities. This could move us to a truly pay per use type world, where your car pays for the roads it uses, you only pay for articles you read and music you listen to direct to the creator.

For more information about Lightning Network, take a look at the articles and links below:


Steemit is a great resource.

I posted the other day about social media and some of the places i’ve been looking for Crypto information. One of the sites I mentioned briefly was Steemit but at that point I hadn’t actually used it actively.

In the last couple of days I’ve done a lot more looking at Steemit mainly driven by my desire to learn more about trading in the hope to finally get a more rational / strategic plan to build up my BTC.

So far I’ve found some great material from some of the people i’ve been following on Twitter. One in particular has a really nice series of videos which whilst slightly slow paced have a lot of material right from basics to more advanced topics.

Take a look here if you’re interested.


Litecoin Cash (LCC) fork

It seems that the recent surge in the LTC price has come because of a promised fork that will occur at block 1371111 which is likely to be mined sometime on Sunday 18th February. The new coin will be LCC and you will get 10 for every 1 LTC you hold.

As with some of the recent BTC forks it’s not all that clear whether this new coin will bring any particular benefit. After all, the stated aims of changing the Hashing algorithm to SHA256 instead of Scrypt so that older BTC mining gear becomes useful is all very well, but that only really appeals to miners, there needs to be something useful for the coin to do, to build a community behind it, otherwise it just becomes another rubbish coin setup for Pump and Dump schemes.

At this point there doesn’t seem to be any software out there to use as a wallet and Trezor isn’t planning on supporting the fork at this time.

All in all, it sounds like another attempt by someone to make a bit of money off an existing well known brand!


Interesting people to follow on Social Media

It seems since I was last heavily active on social media, things have moved on a bit! There are a lot more channels that people are using, which makes me wonder how on earth content creators manage to participate on all of them! Anyhow, on the plus side from my point of view, Facebook and Twitter are still up there alongside a host of others like:

  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Telegram
  • Instagram
  • Steemit

So what’s changed for me?

Perhaps the biggest thing is I’ve discovered YouTube! I know crazy right and how far behind the world… anyhow, I’ve a few people I’m subscribed to and regularly watch.

Crypto Oracle: A little cheesy, but useful insights / research tips.

CryptoBud: Slightly longer videos often an Asian market focus

Archane Bear: Mixture of Crypto and life, but some great insights and portfolio.

 

On top of YouTube I’ve in the last few weeks I’ve started using Facebook more and more to get the latest news in the Crypto space and Twitter to see trading tips and suggestions. On the FaceBook front I’m enjoying the articles on CoinTelegraph, and on Twitter I’m following these people:

 

 

 

All in all lots to keep up with and lots to learn but it’s an exciting journey so far…

 


News around decentralized identity work from Microsoft

One of the things that I like about Blockchain is the potential to change the way things work. For right now I have to manage tons of identities across physical and digital worlds.

As the physical and digital worlds coalesce and we move into an existence which is a mixture of both (augmented reality) there is the potential to use Blockchain to significantly simplify identity. For example, imagine if you had a single ID which presented granular control over who had access to which attributes.

This week Microsoft has announced work that it’s participating in to move us closer to that type of system. The aim is to put the individual at the centre to provide control over how each element of identity is used and accessed.

Initially there is work to implement support for Decentralized Identities on the Microsoft Authenticator app which will be your control point.

 

It sounds like there is a lot of work needed to make this possible, but it’s an exciting prospect.


Comments on wallets for ICX and PIVX

Just a quick note today. I wanted to get my ICX and PIVX off the Binance exchange and into wallets where I control the keys. Actually it turned out to be dead simple, but here are a couple of quick tips if you’re trying.

Firstly ICX (ICON); this is currently an ERC20 token on the ETH chain, so it should be dead easy to put into MEW (MyEtherWallet) linked to my Trezor. Well it turns out it is, however a while back it wasn’t! There is still information out there about adding ICS as a custom token:

Information about ICX

It turns out that’s no longer needed but if you’re searching it could cause confusion. Either way, if you go and try to add the custom token MEW will tell you it already exists do no damage done.

Secondly PIVX; you will find that by default PIVX makes 10% of your coins into zPiv which is, I believe, part of their privacy system. If you want to stop that behaviour, which I did, just to keep things simple, then you can do it by editing the config file in the wallet. Details are here:

https://pivx.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/30000026578-how-do-i-stop-the-wallet-from-automatically-converting-piv-to-zpiv-