1/ People often ask me why I’m so “against” Ethereum. Why do I go out of my way to point out flaws or make analogies that put it in a bad light?Intro
2/ First, ETH’s architecture & culture is opposite that of Bitcoin, and yet claims to offer same solutions: decentralization, immutability, SoV, asset issuance, smart contracts, …Agree! I personally find Ethereum culture far saner, though I am a bit biased :)
Second, ETH is considered a crypto ‘blue chip’, thus colors perception of uninformed newcomers.
3/ I've followed Ethereum since 2014 & feel a responsibility to share my concerns. IMO contrary to its marketing, ETH is at best a science experiment. It’s now valued at $13B, which I think is still too high.Not an argument
4/ I agree with Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir that it’s not money, not safe, and not scalable. https://twitter.com/VladZamfistatus/838006311598030848 …I'm pretty sure Vlad would say the exact same thing about Bitcoin
@VladZamfir Eth isn't money, so there is no monetary policy. There is currently fixed block issuance with an exponential difficulty increase (the bomb).
5/ To me the first red flag came up when in our weekly hangout we asked the ETH founders about to how they were going to scale the network. (We’re now 4.5 years later, and sharding is still a pipe dream.)The core principles have been known for years, the core design for nearly a year, and details for months, with implementations on the way. So sharding is definitely not at the pipe dream stage at this point.
Ethereum's Joe Lubin in June 2014: "anticipate blockchain bloat—working on various sharding ideas". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJG9g0lCPU8&feature=youtu.be&t=36m41s …
6/ Despite strong optimism that on-chain scaling of Ethereum was around the corner (just another engineering job), this promise hasn’t been delivered on to date.Sure, sharding is not yet finished. Though more incremental stuff has been going well, eg. uncle rates are at near record lows despite very high chain usage.
7/ Recently, a team of reputable developers decided to peer review a widely anticipated Casper / sharding white paper, concluding that it does not live up to its own claims.That review was off the mark in many ways, eg. see https://twitter.com/technocrypto/status/1071111404340604929, and by the way CBC is not even a prerequisite for Serenity
Unmerciful peer review of Vlad Zamfir & co's white paper to scale Ethereum: "the authors do NOT prove that the CBC Casper family of protocols is Byzantine fault tolerant in either practice or theory".
8/ On the 2nd layer front, devs are now trying to scale Ethereum via scale via state channels (ETH’s version of Lightning), but it is unclear whether main-chain issued ERC20 type tokens will be portable to this environment.Umm... you can definitely use Raiden with arbitrary ERC20s. That's why the interface currently uses WETH (the ERC20-fied version of ether) and not ETH
9/ Compare this to how the Bitcoin Lightning Network project evolved:Ok
elizabeth stark @starkness: For lnd: First public code released: January 2016 Alpha: January 2017 Beta: March 2018…
10/ Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is now live, and is growing at rapid clip.Sure, though as far as I understand there's still a low probability of finding routes for nontrivial amounts, and there's capital lockup griefing vectors, and privacy issues.... FWIW I personally never thought lightning is unworkable, it's just a design that inherently runs into ten thousand small issues that will likely take a very long time to get past.
Jameson Lopp @lopp: Lightning Network: January 2018 vs December 2018
11/ In 2017, more Ethereum scaling buzz was created, this time the panacea was “Plasma”.Yay, Plasma!
@TuurDemeester Buterin & Poon just published a new scaling proposal for Ethereum, "strongly complementary to base-layer PoS and sharding": plasma.io https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/895467347502182401 …
12/ However, upon closer examination it was the recycling of some stale ideas, and the project went nowhere:Just because Peter Todd rejected something as "insecure" doesn't mean that it is. In general, the ethereum research community is quite convinced that the fundamental Plasma design is fine, and as far as I understand there are formal proofs on the way. The only insecurity that can't be avoided is mass exit vulns, and channel-based systems have those too.
Peter Todd @peterktodd These ideas were all considered in the Treechains design process, and ultimately rejected as insecure.
13/ The elephant in the room is the transition to proof-of-stake, an “environmentally friendly” way to secure the chain. (If this was the plan all along, why create a proof-of-work chain first?)Umm... we created a proof of work chain first because we did not have a satisfactory proof of stake algo initially?
@TuurDemeester "Changing from proof of work to proof of stake changes the economics of the system, all the rules change and it will impact everything."
14/ For the uninitiated, here’s a good write-up that highlights some of the fundamental design problems of proof-of-stake. Like I said, this is science experiment territory.And here's a set of long arguments from me on why proof of stake is just fine: https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/Proof-of-Stake-FAQ. For a more philosophical piece, see https://medium.com/@VitalikButerin/a-proof-of-stake-design-philosophy-506585978d51
15/ Also check out this thread about how Proof of Stake blockchains require subjectivity (i.e. a trusted third party) to achieve consensus: https://forum.blockstack.org/t/pos-blockchains-require-subjectivity-to-reach-consensus/762?u=muneeb … and this thread on Bitcoin: https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/59t48m/proofofstake_question/Yes, we know about weak subjectivity, see https://blog.ethereum.org/2014/11/25/proof-stake-learned-love-weak-subjectivity/. It's really not that bad, especially given that users need to update their clients once in a while anyway, oh and by the way even if the weak subjectivity assumption is broken an attacker still needs to gather up that pile of old keys making up 51% of the stake. And also to defend against that there's Universal Hash Time.
16/ Keep in mind that Proof of Stake (PoS) is not a new concept at all. Proof-of-Work actually was one of the big innovations that made Bitcoin possible, after PoS was deemed impractical because of censorship vulnerability.Oh I definitely agree that proof of work was superior for bootstrap, and I liked it back then especially because it actually managed to be reasonably egalitarian around 2009-2012 before ASICs fully took over. But at the present time it doesn't really have that nice attribute.
@TuurDemeester TIL Proof-of-stake based private currency designs date at least back to 1998. https://medium.com/swlh/the-untold-history-of-bitcoin-enter-the-cypherpunks-f764dee962a1 …
17/ Over the years, this has become a pattern in Ethereum’s culture: recycling old ideas while not properly referring to past research and having poor peer review standards. This is not how science progresses.Tuur Demeester added,I try to credit people whenever I can; half my blog and ethresear.ch posts have a "special thanks" section right at the top. Sometimes we end up re-inventing stuff, and sometimes we end up hearing about stuff, forgetting it, and later re-inventing it; that's life as an autodidact. And if you feel you've been unfairly not credited for something, always feel free to comment, people have done this and I've edited.
[email protected] has been repeatedly accused of /criticised for not crediting prior art. Once again with plasma: https://twitter.com/DamelonBCWS/status/895643582278782976 …
18/ One of my big concerns is that sophistry and marketing hype is a serious part of Ethereum’s success so far, and that overly inflated expectations have lead to an inflated market cap.Ok, go on.
19/ Let’s illustrate with an example....
20/ A few days ago, I shared a critical tweet that made the argument that Ethereum’s value proposition is in essence utopian....
@TuurDemeester Ethereum-ism sounds a bit like Marxism to me:
- What works today (PoW) is 'just a phase', the ideal & unproven future is to come: Proof-of-Stake.…
21/ I was very serious about my criticism. In fact, each one of the three points addressed what Vitalik Buterin has described as “unique value propositions of Ethereum proper”. https://www.reddit.com/ethereum/comments/5jk3he/how_to_prevent_the_cannibalism_of_ethereum_into/dbgujr8/ …...
22/ My first point, about Ethereum developers rejecting Proof-of-Work, has been illustrated many times over By Vitalik and others. (See earlier in this tweetstorm for more about how PoS is unproven.)See above for links as to why I think proof of stake is great.
Vitalik Non-giver of Ether @VitalikButerin: I don't believe in proof of work!
23/ My second point addresses Ethereum’s romance with the vague and dangerous notion of ‘social consensus’, where disruptive hard-forks are used to ‘upgrade’ or ‘optimize’ the system, which inevitably leads to increased centralization. More here:See my rebuttal to Tuur's rebuttal :)
24/ My third point addresses PoS’ promise of perpetual income to ETHizens. Vitalik is no stranger to embracing free lunch ideas, e.g. during his 2014 ETH announcement speech, where he described a coin with a 20% inflation tax as having “no cost” to users.Yeah, I haven't really emphasized perpetual income to stakers as a selling point in years. I actually favor rewards being as low as possible while still being high enough for security.
25/ In his response to my tweet, Vitalik adopted my format to “play the same game” in criticizing Bitcoin. My criticisms weren't addressed, and his response was riddled with errors. Yet his followers gave it +1,000 upvotes!Ok, let's hear about what the errors are...
Vitalik Non-giver of Ether @VitalikButerin: - What works today (L1) is just a phase, ideal and unproven future (usable L2) is to come - Utopian concept of progress: we're already so confident we're finished we ain't needin no hard forks…
26/ Rebuttal: - BTC layer 1 is not “just a phase”, it always will be its definitive bedrock for transaction settlement. - Soft forking digital protocols has been the norm for over 3 decades—hard-forks are the deviation! - Satoshi never suggested hyperbitcoinization as a goal.Sure, but (i) the use of layer 1 for consumer payments is definitely, in bitcoin ideology, "just a phase", (ii) I don't think you can make analogies between consensus protocols and other kinds of protocols, and between soft forking consensus protocols and protocol changes in other protocols, that easily, (iii) plenty of people do believe that hyperbitcoinization as a goal. Oh by the way: https://twitter.com/tuurdemeestestatus/545993119599460353
27/ This kind of sophistry is exhausting and completely counter-productive, but it can be very convincing for an uninformed retail public.Ok, go on.
28/ Let me share a few more inconvenient truths....
29/ In order to “guarantee” the transition to PoS’ utopia of perpetual income (staking coins earns interest), a “difficulty bomb” was embedded in the protocol, which supposedly would force miners to accept the transition.The intended goal of the difficulty bomb was to prevent the protocol from ossifying, by ensuring that it has to hard fork eventually to reset the difficulty bomb, at which point the status quo bias in favor of not changing other protocol rules at the same time would be weaker. Though forcing a switch to PoS was definitely a key goal.
30/ Of course, nothing came of this, because anything in the ETH protocol can be hard-forked away. Another broken promise.How is that a broken promise? There was no social contract to only replace the difficulty-bombed protocol with a PoS chain.
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: Looks like another Ethereum hard-fork is going to remove the "Ice Age" (difficulty increase meant to incentivize transition to PoS). https://www.cryptocompare.com/coins/guides/what-is-the-ethereum-ice-age/ …
32/ This was criticized by P2P & OS developers as a reckless notion, given that every smart contracts is actually a “de novo cryptographic protocol”. In other words, it’s playing with fire. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1427885.msg14601127#msg14601127 …See above
33/ The modular approach to Bitcoin seems to be much better at compartmentalizing risk, and thus reducing attack surfaces. I’ve written about modular scaling here...To be fair, risk is reduced because Bitcoin does less.
34/ Another huge issue that Ethereum has is with scaling. By putting “everything on the blockchain” (which stores everything forever) and dubbing it “the world computer”, you are going to end up with a very slow and clogged up system.We never advocated "putting everything on the blockchain". The phrase "world computer" was never meant to be interpreted as "everyone's personal desktop", but rather as a common platform specifically for the parts of applications that require consensus on shared state. As evidence of this, notice how Whisper and Swarm were part of the vision as complements to Ethereum right from the start.
Christopher Allen @ChristopherA: AWS cost: $0.000000066 for calc, Ethereum: $26.55. This is about 400 million times as expensive. World computer? https://hackernoon.com/ether-purchase-power-df40a38c5a2f …
35/ By now the Ethereum bloat is so bad that cheaply running an individual node is practically impossible for a lay person. ETH developers are also imploring people to not deploy more smart contract apps on its blockchain.Umm.... I just spun up a node from scratch last week. On a consumer laptop.
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: But... deploying d-apps on the "Ethereum Virtual Machine" is exactly what everyone was encouraged to do for the past 4 years. Looks like on-chain scaling wasn't such a great idea after all.
36/ As a result, and despite the claims that running a node in “warp” mode is easy and as good as a full node, Ethereum is becoming increasingly centralized.See above
@TuurDemeester Finally a media article touching on the elephant in the room: Ethereum has become highly centralized. #infura https://www.coindesk.com/the-race-is-on-to-replace-ethereums-most-centralized-layeamp?__twitter_impression=true …
37/ Another hollow claim: in 2016, Ethereum was promoted as being censorship resistant…Yes, the DAO fork did violate the notion of absolute immutability. However, the "forking the DAO will lead to doom and gloom" crowd was very wrong in one key way: it did NOT work as a precedent justifying all sorts of further state interventions. The community clearly drew a line in the sand by firmly rejecting EIP 867, and EIP 999 seems to now also be going nowhere. So it seems like there's some evidence that the social contract of "moderately but not infinitely strong immutability" actually can be stable.
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: Pre TheDAO #Ethereum presentation: "uncensorable, code is law, bottom up". http://ow.ly/qW49302Pp92
38/ Yet later that year, after only 6% of ETH holders had cast a vote, ETH core devs decided to endorse a hard-fork that clawed back the funds from a smart contract that held 4.5% of all ETH in circulation. More here: ...See above
39/ Other potential signs of centralization: Vitalik Buterin signing a deal with a Russian government institution, and ETH core developers experimenting with semi-closed meetings: https://twitter.com/coindesk/status/902892844955860993 …,Suppose I were to tomorrow sign up to work directly for Kim Jong Un. What concretely would happen to the Ethereum protocol? I suspect very little; I am mostly involved in the Serenity work, and the other researchers have proven very capable of both pushing the spec forward even without me and catching any mistakes with my work. So I don't think any argument involving me applies. And we ended up deciding not to do more semi-closed meetings.
Hudson Jameson @hudsonjameson: The "semi-closed" Ethereum 1.x meeting from last Friday was an experiment. The All Core Dev meeting this Friday will be recorded as usual.
40/ Another red flag to me is the apparent lack of relevant expertise in the ETH development community. (Check the responses…)I personally am confident in the talents of our core researchers, and our community of academic partners. Most recently the latter group includes people from Starkware, Stanford CBR, IC3, and other groups.
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: Often heard: "but Ethereum also has world class engineers working on the protocol". Please name names and relevant pedigree so I can follow and learn. https://twitter.com/TuurDemeestestatus/963029019447955461 …
41/ For a while, Microsoft veteran Lucius Meredith was mentioned as playing an important role in ETH scaling, but now he is likely distracted by the failure of his ETH scaling company RChain. https://blog.ethereum.org/2015/12/24/understanding-serenity-part-i-abstraction/ …I have no idea who described Lucius Meredith's work as being important for the Serenity roadmap.... oh and by the way, RChain is NOT an "Ethereum scaling company"
42/ Perhaps the recently added Gandalf of Ethereum, with his “Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians” [sic] can save the day, but imo that seems unlikely...Honestly, I don't see why Ethereum Gandalf needs to save the day, because I don't see what is in danger and needs to be saved...
43/ This is becoming a long tweetstorm, so let’s wrap up with a few closing comments.Yay!
44/ Do I have a conflict of interest? ETH is a publicly available asset with no real barriers to entry, so I could easily get a stake. Also, having met Vitalik & other ETH founders several times in 2013-’14, it would have been doable for me to become part of the in-crowd.Agree there. And BTW I generally think financial conflicts of interest are somewhat overrated; social conflicts/tribal biases are the bigger problem much of the time. Though those two kinds of misalignments do frequently overlap and reinforce each other so they're difficult to fully disentangle.
45/ Actually, I was initially excited about Ethereum’s smart contract work - this was before one of its many pivots.Ethereum was never about "smart BTC contracts"..... even "Ethereum as a Mastercoin-style meta-protocol" was intended to be built on top of Primecoin.
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: Ethereum is probably the first programming language I will teach myself - who wouldn't want the ability to program smart BTC contracts?
46/ Also, I have done my share of soul searching about whether I could be suffering from survivor’s bias.Ok, good.
@TuurDemeester I just published “I’m not worried about Bitcoin Unlimited, but I am losing sleep over Ethereum” https://medium.com/p/im-not-worried-about-bitcoin-unlimited-but-i-am-losing-sleep-over-ethereum-b5251c54e66d …
47/ Here’s why Ethereum is dubious to me: rather than creating an open source project & testnet to work on these interesting computer science problems, its founders instead did a securities offering, involving many thousands of clueless retail investors.What do you mean "instead of"? We did create an open source project and testnet! Whether or not ETH is a security is a legal question; seems like SEC people agree it's not: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/14/bitcoin-and-ethereum-are-not-securities-but-some-cryptocurrencies-may-be-sec-official-says.html
48/ Investing in the Ethereum ICO was akin to buying shares in a startup that had “invent time travel” as part of its business plan. Imo it was a reckless security offering, and it set the tone for the terrible capital misallocation of the 2017 ICO boom.Nothing in the ethereum roadmap requires time-travel-like technical advancements or anything remotely close to that. Proof: we basically have all the fundamental technical advancements we need at this point.
49/ In my view, Ethereum is the Yahoo of our day - an unscalable “blue chip” cryptocurrency:Got it.
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: 1/ The DotCom bubble shows that the market isn't very good at valuing early stage technology. I'll use Google vs. Yahoo to illustrate.
50/ I’ll close with a few words from Gregory Maxwell from 2016,: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1427885.msg14601127#msg14601127 …See my rebuttal to Greg from 2 years ago: https://www.reddit.com/ethereum/comments/4g1bh6/greg_maxwells_critique_of_ethereum_blockchains/
📷submitted by Token_Roll to u/Token_Roll [link] [comments]
TOKEN Roll x FENBUSHI DIGITAL
Analyst: Song Shuangjie
Special Adviser: Shen Bo Rin
The fourth price-rising cycle of BTC might commence around May 2019. The mainstream institutions join the game and ETF might be the driving force of the fourth round of price cycle.
BTC has undergone three rounds of price cycles. ‘It is different this time’ has always been a terrible lesson for investors. The tokens, typical represented by BTC, are special in nature to other financial products, which makes it easily get mistaken that BTC will go up straightly and never decline. When the cycle power works, the asset price, which was thought to create a different history, will collapse. There are 3 major rules of the BTC price cycle:
A. BTC price cycle is closely related to its halving cycle. A complete BTC price cycle lasts for about four years. The price-rising section will commence one year ahead of the time before the output is halved. The BTC output was halved for the first time at the end of November 2012, and before that the BTC price touched the bottom in November 2011. The BTC output was halved for the second time in July 2016, as the BTC price touched the bottom in August 2015. As you can see, each time BTC output halving, is the start of a price-rising cycle, and the price speeding up begins with it.
B. BTC price fluctuation range decreases as market value increasing. The BTC’s (in circulation) market value varies with its price fluctuations, which means BTC’s price rising makes its market value increases, and the price fluctuation range decreases. It is similar to the historical process of other asset classes. During the first price cycle, the price of BTC rose by 10636 times which was the biggest gain, and the maximum drawdown was declined by 93.76%. During the second price cycle, the price of BTC rose by 623 times, and declined by 83.93% maximum. During the third price cycle, BTC rose by 98.57 times at most, the maximum declining has not been confirmed yet.
C. The innovation led by BTC is constantly evolving and more and more approved by the mainstream. From BTC to Altcoin, from Altcoin to Crowdsale, there are iconic innovations and applications in every price cycle. In the first cycle, the birth and gradual application of BTC was a landmark event. In the second cycle, with the re-emergence of BTC in 2013, the tide of the Altcoins was rampant, and a large number of Altcoins appeared. In the third cycle, Crowdsale began to be popular around the world, and many websites started to provide Crowdsale's news and discussion forum. Since 2017, Crowdsale has dominated the blockchain investment, far exceeding VCs and corporate investment. With the development of blockchain technology, the evolution of digital certification, the improvement of practitioners' awareness, and the evolution of government regulation, the innovation led by BTC has evolved and is more approved by the mainstream.
The third round of the price cycle might come to an end around May 2019, and followed by the fourth round of price cycle. The maximum rise in the BTC's fourth price-rising cycle will be smaller than last three cycles. BTC's increasing market value demands more capital. Digital token shall embrace supervision to absorb more institutional funds. ETF will be a viable solution. In the future, it will shift from Crowdsale to ETF, and from deregulation to embracing supervision.
Risk Tips: ETFs have put capital amount into this market less than that we expected. Quantum computer technology is advancing by leaps and bounds
1 The First Round of Price Cycle .
2 The Second Round of Price Cycle
3 The Third Round of Price Cycle
4 Three Major Rules of BTC Price Cycle
4.1 BTC price cycle is closely related to its halving cycle
4.2 BTC price cycle is closely related to its halving cycle
4.3 BTC-led innovatioized by the mainstream
5 The new journey of BTC will Start in May 2019
List of Graphs
Graph 1: BTC Price Trend in The First Price Cycle (in USD)
Graph 2: BTC price trend in the second round of price cycle (in USD)
Graph 3: The number of tokens in 2013 has increased significantly Graph 4: BTC price trend in the third round of price cycle (in USD)
Graph 5: VIX index and BTC price are negatively correlated
Graph 6: Crowdsale has dominated blockchain investment since 2017 (millions of US dollars)
Graph 7: A large number of Crypto Funds were established in recent years.
Graph 8: ETH price trend (in USD)
Graph 9: ETH price is positively related to the size of Crowdsale financing
Graph 10: Lightning network capacity continues to grow
Graph 11: The number of lightning network channels continues to grow
Graph 12: The global Crowdsale growth rate slows down in 2018 .
Graph 13: Crowdsale’s fundraising has started to decline since 2018 .
Graph 14: Significant growth in venture capital in the blockchain sector in 2018
Graph 15: BTC block reward trend reduction
Graph 16: BTC price cycle and halving mechanism (in USD)
Graph 17: BTC market value scale trend increase
Graph 18: BTC price fluctuations become smaller
Graph 19: Admission to mainstream institutions has continued since the end of 2018
Graph 20: The third round of the price cycle may be completed around May 2019
Graph 21: The current stage of the price cycle has been probable more than half, and the downside space is limited
History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme. --Mark Twain
‘It is different this time’ has always been a terrible lesson for investors. The tokens, typical represented by BTC, are special in nature to other financial products, which results in producing an idea, in some investors’ mind, that the price of BTC will go up straightly and never decline. When the cycle power works, the asset price, which was thought to create a different history, will collapse. No matter it is the A-share market of 2007 or the one of 2015, or any ‘bubble time’ in human history, the cycle power played its role. As far as BTC is concerned, its price has also experienced three rounds of cycles.
In addition, when the asset price is in a dark period of continuous decline and weak rebound, the power of the cycle also works. As long as it is a valuable asset, its price will eventually bounce back from the bottom. Opportunities have always been there, if you have an asset with high potential in hand. In the dark moments before dawn, the more you are afraid, the more you will be confused. At this time, you have to believe in the value investing. ‘Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful’, not the other way around. That means, we shall invest reversely, buying undervalued assets gradually in the bottom region of price decline cycle; selling overvalued assets gradually in the top region of price-rising cycle; and following the trend in other time region of the cycle.
1 The First Round of Price Cycle
The first round of BTC price cycle lasted for 610 days, from March 2010 to November 2011, and in this cycle, BTC price rise rate was the highest of BTCs three price cycles.
The price rise stage of the first round of price cycle, from March 2010 to June 2011, lasted for 447 days. The starting price was 0.003 USD/piece, and the highest price was 31.91 USD/piece, the rise rate reached 10,636 times. The price decline section of the first round of price cycle, from June 2011 to November 2011, lasted for 163 days. In this price decline section, the starting price of BTC was $31.91 per piece, and the lowest price was $1.99 per piece. The decline rate was 94%.
On May 22, 2010, the famous BTC Pizza dealt. Laszlo Hanyecz from Jacksonville, FL, bought two pizzas with 10,000 BTCs. Each price ofBTC is less than 0.01US dollars.
In the first round of the price cycle, there is no explicit positive or negative factors causing BTC's price huge fluctuation. Fluctuations are more like in a “natural” situation. Before the first BTC bubble bursted in November 2011, its price was in a trend of increasing. The reason of rise was that the price base of BTC was very low. With the understanding of BTC gradually getting better, the demand increased, and then, the price rose. For example, June 2011, WikiLeaks and some organizations began accepting BTC donations.
2 The Second Round of Price Cycle
The second round of BTC price cycle lasted for 1377 days, from November 2011 to August 2015, and in this cycle, the price of BTC exceeded gold for the first time.
The price rise stage of the second round of price cycle, from November 2011 to November 2013, lasted for 743 days. The starting price was $1.99 USD/piece, and the highest price was 1,242 USD/piece, the rise rate reached 623 times. The price decline section of the second round of price cycle. From November 2013 to August 2015, lasted for 634 days. In this price decline stage, the starting price of BTC was 1,242 USD per piece, and the lowest price was 199.57 USD per piece. The decline rate was 84%.
At the second price cycle, the range of application of BTC has been greatly expanded. In November 2012, WordPress began to accept BTC; and in October 2013, the world's first BTC ATM was deployed in a coffee shop in Vancouver where customers could buy and sell BTC. In November 2013, the University of Nicosia announced accepting BTC for tuition, the university's chief financial officer called it "gold of tomorrow"; In addition to some underground economy and gray economy began to accept BTC, BTC is also getting closer to daily life.
The success of BTC popularized altcoins. The first type of altcoin LTC (Litecoin) was created in October 2011, and it is the time when the BTC price came to the end of price decline. In 2011, Namecoin and SwiftCoin were born successively. In 2012, Bytecoin and Peercoin were issued, however, BTC was still in the stage of rising slowly from the bottom, and the market was not hot. Along with the re-emergence of BTC in 2013, the tide of the altcoins is rampant, and a large number of altcoins are issued. According to CoinMarketCap data, there were 66 kinds of altcoins at the end of 2013, while there were less than 10 at the beginning of the year.
The safe-haven properties of BTC are widely approved. BTC was a choice for people in many countries that are in crises. The residents flocked to BTC, hoping to maintain assets value through BTC. This phenomenon has occurred many times during the European debt crisis. For example, in early 2013, in order to get the bailout, the Cyprus government imposed taxes on deposits and imposed strict capital controls. In order to prevent property from shrinking, the Cypriot people rushed to bank runs and exchanged their currencies for BTC. The price of BTC quickly rose from 30 something to 265 US dollars.
Due to the lack of supervision, BTC is often affected by negative events, which makes the market confidence in the danger of collapsing. In October 2013, the FBI seized approximately 26,000 BTCs from the Silk Road website, causing the BTC price to collapse to 110 US dollars. On December 5, 2013, the People's Bank of China banned the use of BTC by Chinese financial institutions, which made the price of BTC declined. In February 2014, Mt. Gox, the largest BTC exchange at the time, said that 850,000 BTCs of its customers were stolen, worth nearly 500 million US dollars, and BTC prices fell nearly half, from 867 to 439 US dollars.
The emergence of a large number of altcoins caused market bleeding. Since 2014, the number of altcoins has exploded. By August 2015, the number has reached 556, resulting in diversion of funds and market expansion. On May 1, 2013, BTC accounted for 94.29% of the market value of all tokens, and the market value of other tokens except the top 10 tokens was about 1%. By August 25, 2015, the proportion of BTC is about 83%, and the other tokens account for 4%, which is obvious.
No matter how magical token is, it is still a kind of asset. The mean return of value is a basic common sense of investment. The value will pull the price back to it, just like the gravity. The risk increases with the price rises, and the value appears when the price declines. In the rising section of this cycle, the price of BTC rose by 623 times, which is a great rise rate. When the price is too high, and the potential return in the future is insufficient, the attractiveness to new investors will fall, and the old investors will leave and look for more lucrative assets. Once the power of trend investors exhausted, the trend will reverse.
3 The Third Round of Price Cycle
The third round of price cycle of BTC is not over and is currently in the downward phase of the cycle. The price increased from August 2015 and lasted for 845 days till December 2017. The starting price of the price-rising cycle BTC was 199.57 USD/piece, and the highest price was close to 20,000 USD/piece. The rise rate is up to 99 times. Since December 2017, the price started to decline. The price has fallen to the lowest 3,191.30 US dollars up to now, a drop of 84%.
BTC networks expanded rapidly, and BTC has gained increasing recognition among legislators and traditional financial companies. Studies have shown that by November 2013, the commercialization of BTC is no longer driven by the underground economy, but by legitimate businesses. During this price cycle, people from more countries can get in touch with, select, trade and use BTC on a daily basis. In January 2016, Bitcoin computing capacity reached 1 exahash/S for the first time; In March 2016, the Japanese cabinet acknowledged that BTC has a function similar to real money. In 2017, Norway's largest online bank Skandiabanken integrated BTC accounts. In December 2017, Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) officially launched BTC futures, which is an important step for BTC to take toward mainstream investment. In October 2018, Fidelity launched its independent subsidiary Fidelity Digital Asset Services to provide digital asset services to institutional customers. In December 2018, the first round of financing was completed by the token exchange Bakkt launched by the Intercontinental Exchange. In February 2019, Nasdaq officially launched - Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX)- two indexes. The pension fund of US invests in the encryption fund, the mainstream organization is accelerating, and the relevant infrastructure is gradually improved.
BTC has become a risky asset. Under the current “three lows” environment - low interest rates, low spreads and low volatility, investors are seeking high returns, which leads to excessive financial risk behaviors and complacency, investors' risk appetite, and high leverage tools and the acceptance of high-risk products has increased, arbitrage transactions have prevailed, liquidity mismatches have been severe, and the overall market is fragile. As the results we can see that, the price of BTC is increasingly correlated with the VIX index (Chicago Options Exchange Volatility Index). A lower VIX index indicates that investors expect less volatility, while a higher VIX indicates higher expected volatility. The lower VIX index indicates that investors are optimistic about S&P 500, while the higher VIX means that investors are uncertain about the market outlook. When market volatility declines, investors buy stocks and other types of risk assets, when the market volatility rises, investors sell risky assets.
Risk assets will be dumped when risk appetite reduces panic market. BTC bid farewell to the nature of safe-haven assets and become a risky asset. Since December 2017, with the decline of the VIX index, the price of BTC rises, and the price of BTC is negatively correlated with the VIX index. At the beginning of 2018, the VIX index skyrocketed and BTC fell rapidly. In October 2018, the global market risk aversion trend increased, the VIX index went up, and the BTC price also fell sharply.
Crowdsale has become the main financing method in the blockchain field. Crowdsale was born in the second round of the price cycle, Mastercoin did the world's first Crowdsale in July 2013. In 2014, Ethereum also raised funds through Crowdsale, when the price of ETH was less than 0.22 USD per piece. After 2016, when it is in the third price cycle, Crowdsale is popular around the world, and many websites began to provide information and discussion communities for Crowdsale. From a global perspective, Crowdsale has dominated the blockchain investment since 2017, far exceeding VCs and corporate investment. In 2017, Crowdsale raised 7.4 billion US dollars, and in the first half of 2018, Crowdsale Raised 12 billion US dollars.
The Crypto Fund emerged. Along with the Crowdsale boom, a large number of Crypto Funds were created. The number of Crypto Funds newly established in 2017 was nearly 200, far exceeding the total amount of the Crypto funds created in previous years, which fully demonstrated that, with the rise in the price of the token, the enthusiasm of funds to blockchain field is high.
The rise of blockchain 2.0, the Crowdsale tide pushed ETH up nearly 10,000 times. In the third round of the BTC (Token) price cycle, the biggest star is not BTC, but ETH. Crowdsale after 2016, issued tokens mainly through Ethereum, which represented the rise of ETH in the blockchain 2.0 era. Crowdsale prosperity boosted the rise of ETH. On January 13, 2018, the price of ETH rose to a peak of 1,432.88 US dollars per piece, which is 6512 times rise rate comparing to its initial price.
The ETH price has a significant positive correlation with the growth rate of Crowdsale financing. The growth rate of Crowdsale financing decreased by 69.23% in 2015, the price of ETH decreased by 66.30% in the same year. In 2016, the growth rate of Crowdsale financing increased by 2737.5%, and ETH increased by 753.74%. In 2017, the growth rate of Crowdsale financing increased by 3,159.91%, and ETH rose by 8809.91%.
Plan for public blockchain performance improvement emerged, and significant progress were made in lightning network. With the popularization of blockchains, the congestion of BTC and other public chains has gradually emerged, and performance has become one of the bottlenecks in the blockchain industry. In 2018, the performance-improvement plan of the public blockchain emerged. Improvements were made to the difference in blockchain logical architecture, including on-chain capacity expansion schemes by improving consensus mechanism and sharing, and off-chain capacity expansion schemes by status channel, sidechain, off-chain computing, and Layer 0 expansion scheme that enhance the scalability of the blockchain by optimizing the underlying data transmission protocol of the blockchain. Since the main net of BTC lightning network goes live, the number and capacity of channels have been increasing. As of March 10, 2019, the capacity has reached 790 BTC, and the number of channels has reached 35,464.
Note: The Unique channel refers to the channel that is directly connected to the node for the first time, and the Duplicate channel refers to the channel between the nodes that have been connected.
The standardization of the token is promoted. On January 22, 2018, South Korea required all BTC dealers to disclose their identity, thereby prohibiting anonymous trading of BTC. During the first quarter of 2018, Facebook, Google and Twitter prohibited the promotion of Crowdsale, while the US Securities and Exchange Commission investigated a large number of Crowdsale projects, and issued bans to some Crowdsale projects. Regardless of the government's attitude towards the token, it is committed to incorporating the token into the regulatory framework for legal compliance.
The Crowdsale bubble bursted and the magical story is no longer magical. According to incomplete statistics, in 2017, 871 Crowdsale were completed in the world. These projects involved directions as distributed analogous Facebook, twitter, amazon, and next-generation public chain (blockchain 3.0), etc. These projects have raised a large amount of funds, but the actual operating is worrying. The promotion of the project dissipated a large amount of funds, but the actual development progress was far less than expected, resulting in the market's expectation failure and the diversion of funds from the mainstream token. Superimposed the impact of more and more negative news, technical adjustment requirements and market sentiment fluctuation. The market enters a negative cycle, as the decline begins.
In 2018, there has been rapid growth in venture capital in the blockchain sector, indicating that venture capital still have good expectations about the application and future prospects of the blockchain. According to Coindesk data, the risk investment in the blockchain sector in 2018 reverse the decline of 2017, year-on-year increase of 257%, and the total amount for the year 2018 reached 3.1 billion US dollars.
BTC peaked first. In terms of time, in the third round of the price cycle, the first to peak is BTC, which reached 19,870.62 USD per piece in December 2017. The peak of ETH happened later than BTC, in January 2018. EOS did not peak until April. The important reason for BTC to peak first is that the amount of funds needed to support the BTC market value scale is the largest. When the market’s ability to carry on is not enough, it is inevitable for the price of BTC to react first.
4 Three Major Rules of BTC Price Cycle
The price cycle of BTC has obvious regularity, and some unchanging factors determine the price fluctuation of BTC.
4.1 BTC price cycle is closely related to its halving cycle
One full BTC price cycle lasts approximately four years. In the first round of price cycles, the measure of time span is not reliable because of the availability of BTC trading prices. The second round of the price cycle lasted for 1,377 days, from November 2011 to August 2015, about four years.
The price-rising cycle of BTC is closely related to its halving period, and the price-rising cycle starts one year before each halving. At the end of November 2012, the first production of BTC was halved, that is, the number of BTC generated by each block was 25, and in November 2011, the price of BTC has bottomed out, and the halving of BTC is one year after the second price-rising cycle. In July 2016, production of BTC was halved the second time, that is, the number of BTC generated by each block was 12.5. In August 2015, BTC had already bottomed out, and BTC's production was reduced again one year after the third price-rising cycle started.
BTC output halving blows the horn of each price-rising cycle, and the price speeding up begin. Although it is not BTC output halving that brings the price-rising cycle, but the halving of BTC output significantly reduced the growth rate of BTC supply, speeding up the rise of BTC price and the price-rising cycle. From November 2011 to November 2012, before the halving of BTC output, BTC increased by 6.74 times in one year. From November 2012 to November 2013, BTC price increased by 99.57 times. In the third price-rising cycle, BTC price rose by a maximum of 2.87 times in about 11 months before the production cut. After halving, BTC price rose by a maximum of 29.73 times in about 11 months.
4.2 BTC price cycle is closely related to its halving cycle
The change in the market value scale of BTC (circulation) is mainly caused by its price fluctuations, and has little to do with the changes in the total amount of BTC output. According to CMC data, by April 28, 2013, the total amount of BTC that had been mined was about 11.18 million pieces, which is more than 53% of the total amount of BTC of 21 million pieces. The halving mechanism of BTC also accelerated the marginal decline of BTC total growth rate. Compared with the amount of BTC already mined, the new supply of BTC is very insignificant. In addition, the volatility of BTC prices far exceeds the volatility of BTC's total output, and the market value of BTC fluctuates with its price.
The market value of BTC has increased in trend. Because of the trend of BTC price-rising, the number of BTC total output has also increased in one direction, and the market value of BTC has increased in the long run. According to CMC data, on April 28, 2013, BTC's market value in circulation was only 1.5 billion US dollars. By the peak of the third price-rising cycle, the market value increased to 326.1 billion US dollars, and the current market value also reached 113.8 billion US dollars, increased by 74.87 times.
The price volatility of BTC is gradually getting smaller. With the increasing of BTC market value in trend, the BTC market is becoming more and more mature, more and more accepted by the public, more and more professional organizations are participating, the compliance operation is becoming mainstream, and the BTC price volatility is decreasing. Similar to the historical process of other asset classes, and the same thing is repeated again and again. In the first price cycle, the price of BTC increased by 10636 times, and the fell by 93.76% maximum. In the second price cycle, the price of BTC increased by 623 times, and fell by 83.93% maximum. In the third price cycle, the maximum increase of BTC price was 98.57 times, and the biggest decline has not been confirmed
4.3 BTC-led innovation continues to evolve and is more and more recognized by the mainstream
From BTC to Altcoin, from Altcoin to Crowdsale, there are iconic innovations and applications in every price cycle. In the first cycle, the birth and gradual application of BTC was a landmark event. In the second cycle, with the re-emergence of BTC in 2013, the tide of the Altcoins was rampant, and a large number of Altcoins appeared. In the third cycle, Crowdsale began to be popular around the world, many websites started to provide Crowdsale's news and discussion forum. Since 2017, Crowdsale has dominated the blockchain investment, far exceeding VCs and corporate investment.
The original intention of Nakamoto to create BTC is to establish a more efficient means of trading that can be electronically transferred in a safe, verifiable and non-tamperable form. During the early days of bitcoin and blockchain development, this drove the development of most applications of BTC and blockchain. However, with the development of blockchain technology, the evolution of digital token, the recognition of practitioners, and the evolution of government regulation, the changes led by BTC continue to evolve and gain more mainstream recognition.
More and more countries recognize that the blockchain reflects its unique value in many fields. The government has gradually incorporated digital token into regulation, and mainstream institutions are increasingly recognizing BTC. In 2017, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) officially launched BTC futures, as BTC took an important step toward mainstream investment, improving the accessibility of BTC to traditional financial institutions. In March 2017, Cameron's Cliveworth and Taylor W. Crawworth brothers attempted to submit an application to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for BTC ETF (transactional open-ended index fund). Although on September 22, 2018, US Securities and Exchange Commission rejected nine BTC ETF applications, the approval of BTC ETF application is a high probability event in the long run. With the continuous improvement of related infrastructure and the gradual maturity of the market, the pace of institutional entry has shown signs of acceleration. Since the end of 2018, news about the organization of encrypted assets by mainstream institutions has continued.
5 The new journey of BTC will Start in May 2019
The fourth price-rising cycle of BTC will start in May 2019, and mainstream institutions will enter the market, while ETF may become the core trend of the fourth round of BTC price cycle.
From the perspective of supply, the third halving of BTC begins around May 21, 2020. The price-rising cycle of BTC is closely related to its halving period. The price-rising cycle starts about one year before halving. From this perspective, the BTC price-rising cycle may be opened around May 2019.
From the time dimension, the complete BTC price cycle lasts for about four years. The third round of the price cycle, which started in August 2015, will be completed around August 2019, and the fourth round of the price cycle of BTC will begin thereafter. Considering that the data in the second round of the price cycle is more reliable, only the second round of price cycle data is used as the measurement standard, the complete price cycle is 1377 days, about 3 years and 9 months, and the third round price cycle may end around May 2019.
Combined with the previous two BTC price cycles, the downturn phase of the current price cycle has been probably more than half, and further downside space is limited. In the first two rounds of the price cycle, the duration of the downlink phase is less than the duration of the uplink phase. The duration of the third phase of the price cycle has been confirmed (845 days), while the duration of the downturn phase has been more than half of the upstream phase (450 days). From the first two rounds of the price cycle, the rapid decline in prices occurred in the early stage of the downtrend phase. The price fluctuations of BTC in the second half of the downturn phase have been significantly reduced. The BTC price declines reached 61% in the first half and 74% in the second round of the price cycle, and the corresponding maximum declines in BTC were 94% and 84% respectively. In the current round of the price cycle, the biggest drop has reached 84%, so take it from now, even if the price is further down, the downside space is already limited.
Note: The data of the third round of the price cycle and the total duration are up to March 12, 2019.
From the price dimension, the downside space of the current round of BTC prices is limited, and the maximum increase of BTC's fourth price-rising cycle will become smaller. In the first price cycle, the price of BTC increased by 10636 times, and fell by 93.76% maximum. In the second price cycle, the price of BTC increased by 623 times, and fell by 83.93% maximum. In the third price cycle, the maximum increase of BTC price was 98.57 times, and the biggest decline has not been confirmed. On February 6, 2018, BTC fell to a minimum of 3,191.30 US dollars per piece, drop by 84.07%, has reached the low of second round of price cycle, from the perspective of price adjustment, BTC price downside has been more limited. The maximum increase in the fourth price-rising cycle of BTC will be smaller.
From the perspective of risk, after a year of continuous adjustment, BTC prices have fully fallen, risks have been gradually released, and investor’s risk appetite has risen to create favorable conditions for BTC prices to stabilize. Beginning at the end of December 2018, the VIX index has fallen, and now it has reached 15 or below. The investor's risk appetite has gradually picked up, creating favorable conditions for the BTC price to rise stably.
Last but not least, from the perspective of capital, the mainstream institutions accelerated their entry and many positive signals were released. With the continuous improvement of related infrastructure and the gradual maturity of the market, the pace of institutional entry has shown signs of acceleration. Since 2018, on the one hand, the entry of mainstream institutions can bring incremental funds to the entire market, on the other hand, it also contributes to the formal development of the entire industry.
The value of the BTC's market value in circulation continues to increase, and the digital token embraces regulation. It is expected that the ETF will be the core trend in the fourth price cycle. As the value of the BTC and digital token market increases, their use will be more tied-up to legitimate use than illegal activities. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) data, only 10% of the current BTC transactions is related to illegal activities and 90% is used for legal transactions. BTC's increasingly large market value requires more financial support. Digital token will embrace supervision to absorb more funds, and ETF will be a viable solution. In the future, there is going to be an evolution from Crowdsale to ETF, from regulation to embrace supervision.
Although in this report, we try to predict the bottom and time of Token, especially BTC, by using time and space cycle, we would like to tell investors that it is very dangerous to invest basing on a specific dot and time. An investment shall base on the assessment of the value of the token.
Here are our suggestions: 1. Do not try to predict the market. Mistakes are liable to happen when you try to predict market harshly. 2. Feel the cycle. Cycle is always there, because of the constant human nature;3. Be with a good Token, which will bring you more chance to win. 4.Keep valuation in mind. The most important thing in value investing is to keep the valuation in mind. If the price is reasonable, everything is getable. The key is the difference between price and value (Absolute valuation method is not available with Token because of its specialty. However, a relative valuation method can be applied. Please refer to Token Toll’s report series).
For some reasons, some definition in this report are not very defined, such as: Token, Digital Token, Digital Currency, Currency, Crowdsale, etc.
If you have any questions, be free to call us to discuss with us.
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