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  • cqwww 1:07 am on January 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Today’s cryptocurrencies worth paying attention to (and the ones worth avoiding) 

    I’m often asked which cryptocurrencies one should invest in, and I should state this is absolutely not financial advice. Do your own due diligence, not just for investing, but everything in life. That being said, the top practical dcoins for me right now:

    • Stellar (XLM), in terms of platform
    • Monero (XMR), in terms of  a usable, privacy-centric cryptocurrency that works right now
    • and of course Bitcoin (BTC), in terms of a heavily volatile store of value, which you need to acquire most other cryptocurrencies. Its temporary time and cost issues appear to be soon resolved with https://lightning.network

    Notable mentions to Request Network and Quantstamp, whom both have been accepted into tech accelerator extraordinaire, ycombinator. Most tech startups that go through YC effectively become millionaires just by being accepted.

    My thoughts on the biggest sh*tcoins, which are only still only alive due to hypecycle:

    • Tron (TRX)
    • Verge (XVG)
    • Tether (USDT)

    and notable mention to Ripple (XRP) whom are still some how convincing people to invest in them.

    If you’re playing in the day trading space, that’s solely based on hype cycle, but the top ones I mentioned are based on technology that I feel can sustain the others and so I’m watching them medium/long term. With over 1,000 cryptocurrencies, I have many thoughts on many others, but I figure a top 3 technology wise and a bottom of the barrel 3 technology and integrity wise was worth an article so I can just point people here instead of repeating the same thing.

     
    • cqwww 11:54 pm on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

      Himalayan Bath Salt Lamps and Essential Oils 

      One of the feedback I got from the podcast on sleep was to consider Himalayan Bath Salts, and Essential oils.
      According to Snopes, Himalayan Bath Salt Lamps do nothing other than provide a lighting source.

      Unlike the lamps, there is some science on Aromatherapy and essential oils. Although one quote concerned me enough to avoid them, “Lavender and tea tree essential oils have been found to have some hormone-like effects. They have effects similar to estrogen (female sex hormone) and also block or decrease the effect of androgens (male sex hormones). “

      No thanks 

      On the lighting side, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) lightning seems like a better solution than salt lamps, maybe I’ll get one of these: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4673349/

      What is your experience with the three of these? When someone recommends a cure or solution to one of your issues, do you look up the science to validate its efficacy?

       

       
      • cqwww 3:25 am on January 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

        Kris & Tamsin – Episode 2 – Death, and the Paradox of Choice 

        Only one URL referenced this podcast: Joe Rogan Experience

        Our questions, after you listen:

        Tamsin wants to know if we’re normal, and if this podcast conversation is motivating, interesting, or annoying, and why?
        Kris is looking for topic areas; what would you like to hear us talk about?

         

         

         
        • cqwww 11:29 pm on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

          Kris & Tamsin – Episode 1 – How do you correct unexpected sleeping habits 


          waveform

          Kris’ voice the first half, Tamsin’s on the second.

           

           
          • cqwww 9:43 am on January 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

            Topic planning the creation of a podcast with Tamsin Smith 

            Planning topics for a podcast with Tamsin Smith; on Wednesday we plan on going to the gym, yoga, and then chatting through some of the following topics:

             
            • cqwww 10:38 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

              Bitcoin price predictions for 2018 thread.

              +5k USD bump in the next 45 days.

               
              • cqwww 8:42 am on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

                Starting a podcast with Tamsin Smith 

                I caught up with my friend Tamsin Smith after she spent a few weeks in Mexico, and we were talking about cleansing our mental palate, as well as starting a podcast. I pulled out my cell phone and hit record (which explains the unbalanced audio).

                In this chat we discuss:

                • Mental Palate Cleansing
                • Minimalism
                • Tiny Houses
                • Yoga/Breathwork
                • Habit formation around these
                • Exercising your eyes

                And we finished with a proposed podcast title:
                Bitcoin Burnout Building Bold Habits

                Listen here:

                 
                • cqwww 8:24 am on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

                  I generally seek out free, open source software. For video editing, I usually use OpenShot.

                  Here’s a list of other options.

                   
                  • cqwww 8:46 pm on January 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

                    Is Bittrex violating Canadian privacy law, and committing theft by withholding my cryptocurrencies? 

                    I moved some cryptocurrency into a popular exchange called Bittrex. I did some cryptocurrency trades, and last night decided to take a little out. Now first off, Bittrex has 3 levels of verification; one of them is just an email account, one of them is where they have you verified identity including address (Basic), and the last is the full KYC process (Enhanced). I gave them my full name and address, to complete the basic verification, back when I created the account. As I don’t plan on doing any large transactions, or converting to fiat (USD/CAD) currency, I didn’t bother with their enhanced verification — but also because I’m a foreigner, and I don’t trust them to handle my government issued identification documents, or their ID verification provider, Jumio. Imagine my surprise when attempting to withdrawal my cryptocurrency within their identified limits; my request was denied saying I’ve hit a maximum withdrawal limit. This is impossible I thought, I’ve never withdrawn anything.

                    Bittrex Alleged Limit

                    Bittrex Alleged Limit

                    After a lot of digging around, it turns out that they’re alleging that my Basic Authentication was never completed.

                    Bittrex Auth Failed

                    Bittrex Auth Failed

                    Without any ability to know what the issue is to correct it, or withdrawal my funds, it’s now telling me the only way to get my cryptocurrency out, is to complete their privacy invasive Enhanced verification process.

                    Now before I go into details how I think they’re violating Canadian privacy laws, and have stolen my cryptocurrency, I want to mention an important plausible reasons for using KYC which I’ve highlighted before. The reason we have KYC is to prevent money laundering, a reasonable reason to implement — if the transactions are over $10,000 and it’s involving traditional state regulated dollars (fiat).

                    In Canada for example, where I live, cryptocurrency is not regulated by the same laws. Only when I transfer my cryptocurrency to fiat currency do KYC laws apply and I would be responsible for disclosing my earnings, according my accountant. And I’m fine with that. But what is important, is I will not be doing that through Bittrex, or any organization on US soil. I have done KYC on an exchange in my country, where I am comfortable with them being custodians of my government issued ID.

                    After doing some searching today, it seems that it’s not uncommon for Bittrex to take months to even reply to customers, let alone complete KYC even if they do try.

                    Now, in Canada, we have great privacy laws, and businesses must reply to privacy requests within 30 days otherwise myself, as the user, can legally file a privacy complaint against Bittrex. If you’re in the same boat as me, drop me a line and I will help you with the process to file a privacy complaint against Bittrex that they are complying with Canadian privacy laws. The more people whom complain, the faster this will get resolved, and the better we’ll all be.

                    If any lawyers or law enforcement are reading this, I would love your feedback on handling the theft by Bittrex of my cryptocurrency. Last night I tried to take out my cryptocurrency assets that I have before drop to a loss, and Bittrex is not allowing me to take out my funds.

                    Bittrex allows 0 withdrawals of cryptocurrency, of the cryptocurrency deposited into their system, and that’s obviously just not right. If they don’t allow withdrawals, they should not be taking deposits in the first place.

                     

                     
                  • cqwww 2:51 am on December 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
                    Tags: trading pairs   

                    Trading Pairs 

                    As I touched on in the last article, a trading pair is what you want to trade to and from. For example, at a traditional exchange at the airport, when I fly to Europe, I may ask them if they have the CAD/EURO trading pair. I want to buy (trade) Euros for Canadian dollars. A CAD/EURO trading pair will not only be different from USD/EURO because CAD and USD are different currencies from different countries, the pair exchange rate really matters. Some days it’s better to buy bitcoin with CAD, sometimes it’s better to buy with USD, or even a cryptocurrency like ETH(ereum).

                    Let’s take a look at QuadrigaCX’s trade page as an example. It’s worth noting they call Bitcoin XBT instead of BTC. The default page shows the top 10 orders up for XBT/CAD in terms of what someone is willing to pay in Canadian for a bitcoin, and on the other side of the order book, the top 10 offerings on what someone is willing to sell their bitcoin for Canadian dollars.

                    At the top right, you can see a pull down of all of other trading pairs on this exchange, seven at the time of writing this. This exchange currently only trades Canadian & US dollars from fiat currency, and Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin gold in terms of cryptocurrencies. Note that the trading pairs are each effectively their own markets, on their own exchange. This means that XBT/CAD could be widely different then XBT/USD and not just the difference between USD & CAD at that time. One of them will always be worth a little more.

                    There’s also usually a large arbitrage opportunity between exchanges. In the last month, it’s not been unheard of to have XBT/USD on QuadrigaCX and BTC/USD on OKCoin have a price difference per bitcoin at over $1,000 USD!

                    OK, now that we get the value of trading pairs, let’s jump over to everyone’s favourite startpage, coinmarketcap.com which lists all of the popular cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. The first thing I recommend is looking at the coloumns that are available by default. I recommend you instead click on the number after Cryptocurrencies: in the top left. This will add all/views/all to the end of the URL, bookmark this page. I often get asked, where/how to do I buy $SOME_COIN, whichever coin they’ve just heard about, and the intent of this post is to resolve that. Simply find the coin on coinmarketcap.com, and then click on the name of that cryptocurrency. Once you’re on the page for the cryptocurrency you’re interested in, click on the Markets tab. Let’s say I’m interested in buying Ethereum today, I click on Ethereum, then the markets tab, and I end up on the Ethereum markets tab. You can see, by default it lists all of the markets that have that currency as one side of the trading pair. Note that USD is different than USDT, avoid USDT as of reading this! So if I don’t have any cryptocurrency yet, I’m going to be looking for ETH/USD or ETH/CAD pairs. If you’re trying to buy a new cryptocurrency and it doesn’t have a USD or CAD trading pair, it likely has at least a BTC trading pair, so go to the Bitcoin/#markets tab, find a BTC/CAD or BTC/USD pair, acquire BTC, and then go back to the Ethereum/#markets tab and find a ETH/BTC pairing exchange to trade there.

                    The last technical thing I’ll leave you with on the markets tab for any currency is to click on the price header, so that it sorts by price instead of trading volume. If you do this on the Bitcoin/#markets tab, it’s not unheard of to see +$5,000 gaps between trading pairs. Note, I don’t usually trust any price that has less than 6 figures worth of trading volume (If I was an unscrupulous exchange I could say I bought a couple bitcoin for 20% more than elsewhere, so people to move to my exchange). Also note that today bitcoin has a long delay transfer time, so BCH/LTC/ETH are a lot more fun if you’re experimenting with arbitrage of trading pairs.

                    If you are getting into trading, you should speak with your accountant, as in Canada it doesn’t appear to clear yet how many trades constitutes you doing it professionally vs for fun, in which case it has different tax implications.

                     
                    • cqwww 5:00 pm on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
                      Tags: AML, , , KYC, XBT   

                      How to acquire Bitcoin/cryptocurrencies, and understand KYC and AML 

                      Two things that we all should know are

                      1. Know Your Customer (KYC)
                      2. Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

                      Let’s start with KYC. This is the term government regulators use to know the identify of people they’re dealing with, this is most commonly used by financial institutions and money service businesses. kycmap has a list of businesses in Canada that this applies to. When you created your bank account, you had to show your government issued id to the bank teller. This also applies to most of the online exchanges. Before you deposit fiat currency (dollars) to buy bitcoin, you need to give them your government issued id. For most exchanges, this means taking a picture of you with your passport and waiting for a human at the exchange to verify it. Note, this typically takes around 3 business days. So if you’re considering getting into bitcoin or cryptocurrency, you should start the account creation process with your exchange of choice, and beginning the KYC process.

                      Now let’s jump into AML. In Canada, we have FINTRAC, in the U.S.A there is FINCEN. I won’t cover anything more than than the popular thing to be aware of, which is that large transactions through KYC regulated reporting entities need to be provided to your regulator to ensure the customer and transaction are above board. It is because of AML compliance that your KYC must be completed with an exchange before you can do a 5 figure transaction or higher.

                      OK. Now you want to pick an exchange and start KYC. Which exchange will you use? Here’s a great list, sorted by volume. You may also chose an exchange by location (QuadrigaCX is here in Vancouver/Canada) or trading pairs (Bittrex handles over 200 cryptocurrencies, not just Bitcoin). Once you have bitcoin, you can transfer it to any other exchange, and trade it for any of the other cryptocurrencies, but generally you need bitcoin to start. For future reference, this is a trading pair. So if I have money and I want IOTA, I likely need to find an exchange with a USD/BTC trading pair, so my US dollars can be exchanged for bitcoin. Then I would transfer my bitcoin (BTC) to an exchange with a BTC/IOTA trading pair, and do that exchange there.

                      If you’re reading this with the intent on getting into trading, you’ll likely have accounts on several different exchanges, so start the KYC now on several of them with many trading pairs and in different jurisdictions. I’m two weeks into going through KYC with one exchange as of writing this, for example. They weren’t happy with my utility bill scan for example, so I have to send another.

                      Outside of the traditional exchanges, if you’re starting small, and want to skip the long and arduous process of KYC/AML you could also try the craigslist equivalent of cryptocurrency purchasing which is by going to localbitcoins.com and completing the transaction there, finding a local bitcoin ATM (often with 8% of higher transaction fees for the convenience!), or finding your local cryptocurrency/decentralization community hub. If you’re in Vancouver, that is D-CTRL, get your butt there.

                      There’s a lot more to learn, but these are the ways that you can acquire bitcoin. Let me know if you have any questions!

                       

                       
                      • cqwww 9:12 am on October 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

                        Debugging internet issues 

                        If you’re on osx, if you have something like brew.sh, install mtr.

                        Once you have mtr installed, you can test your internet connection with any computer on the network, or internet. For example “mtr google.com” will show all of the computers between your computer, and Google’s webservers. Not only does it show you the internet address of all of these computers, as long as you’re running mtr you will see how long it takes a packet of data to transit this route.

                        Most notably on the right hand column, you want to see 0% packet loss. Under the ping section you want to see under 100ms, or 1/10th of a second latency, especially if you want to do something like Skype/video chat.

                        If the first “hop” is the problem, it’s likely something in your house. If it’s the second or third, or shares the same domain name as your ISP that is showing packet loss or over 1000ms (1 second) in latency, it might be worth a call to your ISP and see if they can fix it.

                        You can get more detailed tutotials from DigitalOcean and Linode.

                        You might also want to try something like Speedtest for an online bandwidth test.

                         

                         

                         
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