The Carbon Footprint of Bitcoin - ScienceDirect

Towards a fast single-threaded CSV parser written in C++17

Link

GitHub: https://github.com/p-ranav/csv2

Introduction/Motivation

  1. I wrote a csv library last year and it turned out like crap.
    • Got some good feedback from Reddit. But, the library was poorly designed, became buggy, and was generally hard to maintain.
  2. I've used fast-cpp-csv-parser in the past. It's great (and fast!) but requires the user to know a lot at compile time, e.g., column_count, column_names etc.
  3. I wanted to see what performance could be achieved by parsing single-threaded and managing internal objects with std::string_view.
It seems to be pretty hard to find benchmarks for (or comparisons between) existing CSV parsers in C++.
I'd love your feedback on this library. Specifically, I'd like to know if the performance measurements (see below) are competitive. Any tips on how to improve ifstream read speeds or tokenization would also be greatly appreciated. Following this blog post by Daniel Lemire, I haven't bothered with mmap.

Highlights

Performance Benchmark

The benchmarks program measures two execution times:

Hardware

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019) Processor: 2.4 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9 Memory: 32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 Operating System: macOS Catalina version 10.15.3 

Results

Dataset File Size Rows Cols M1 M2 Total Time
Denver Crime Data 111 MB 479,100 19 0.166s 0.768s 0.934s
AirBnb Paris Listings 196 MB 141,730 96 0.236s 0.512s 0.749s
2015 Flight Delays and Cancellations 574 MB 5,819,079 31 1.071s 9.316s 10.387s
StackLite: Stack Overflow questions 870 MB 17,203,824 7 2.459s 14.532s 16.991s
Used Cars Dataset 1.4 GB 539,768 25 1.597s 1.999s 3.596s
Title-Based Semantic Subject Indexing 3.7 GB 12,834,026 4 4.869s 10.133s 15.002s
Bitcoin tweets - 16M tweets 4 GB 47,478,748 9 7.431s 10.456s 17.887s
DDoS Balanced Dataset 6.3 GB 12,794,627 85 7.938s 42.951s 50.890s
Seattle Checkouts by Title 7.1 GB 34,892,623 11 11.118s 48.818s 59.937s
SHA-1 password hash dump 11 GB 2,62,974,240 2 32.370s 107.985s 140.356s
DOHUI NOH scaled_data 16 GB 504,779 3213 21.121s 59.328s 80.450s
submitted by p_ranav to cpp [link] [comments]

Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential

/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////

Marketing.
It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community.
It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers.
This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community.
This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential.
Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome.
I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.

///Upcoming Developments///

Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees
Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested.
Multisig
Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero.
Kovri
Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy.
Mobile Wallets
There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon.
Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here.
TAILS Operating System Integration
Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users.
In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow.
Mandatory Hardforks
Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information.
Dynamic fees
Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees!
Tail Emission and Inflation
There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore.
Monero Research Lab
Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.

///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///

Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless
Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero".
Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!.
Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself.
I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World
As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity.
A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain.
The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes.
Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
For those that wish to seek more information about why Monero is a superior form of money, read The Merits of Monero: Why Monero Vs Bitcoin over on the Monero.how website.
Monero's Humble Origins
Something that still rings true today despite the great influx of money into cryptocurrencies was outlined in Nick Tomaino's early 2016 opinion piece. The author claimed that "one of the most interesting aspects of Monero is that the project has gained traction without a crowd sale pre-launch, without VC funding and any company or well-known investors and without a pre-mine. Like Bitcoin in the early days, Monero has been a purely grassroots movement that was bootstrapped by the creator and adopted organically without any institutional buy-in. The creator and most of the core developers serve the community pseudonymously and the project was launched on a message board (similar to the way Bitcoin was launched on an email newsletter)."
The Organic Growth of the Monero Community
The Monero community over at monero is exponentially growing. You can view the Monero reddit metrics here and see that the Monero subreddit currently gains more than 10,000 (yes, ten thousand!) new subscribers every 10 days! Compare this to most of the other coins out there, and it proves to be one of the only projects with real organic growth. In addition to this, the community subreddits are specifically divided to ensure the main subreddit remains unbiased, tech focused, with no shilling or hype. All trading talk is designated to xmrtrader, and all memes at moonero.
Forum Funding System
While most contributors have gratefully volunteered their time to the project, Monero also has a Forum Funding System in which money is donated by community members to ensure it attracts and retains the brightest minds and most skilled developers. Unlike ICOs and other cryptocurrencies, Monero never had a premine, and does not have a developer tax. If ANYONE requires funding for a Monero related project, then they can simply request funding from the community, and if the community sees it as beneficial, they will donate. Types of projects range from Monero funding for local meet ups, to paying developers for their work.
Monero For Goods, Services, and Market Places
There is a growing number of online goods and services that you can now pay for with Monero. Globee is a service that allows online merchants to accept payments through credit cards and a host of cryptocurrencies, while being settled in Bitcoin, Monero or fiat currency. Merchants can reach a wider variety of customers, while not needing to invest in additional hardware to run cryptocurrency wallets or accept the current instability of the cryptocurrency market. Globee uses all of the open source API's that BitPay does making integrations much easier!
Project Coral Reef is a service which allows you to shop and pay for popular music band products and services using Monero.
Linux, Veracrypt, and a whole array of VPNs now accept Monero.
There is a new Monero only marketplace called Annularis currently being developed which has been created for those who value financial privacy and economic freedom, and there are rumours Open Bazaar is likely to support Monero once Multisig is implemented.
In addition, Monero is also supported by The Living Room of Satoshi so you can pay bills or credit cards directly using Monero.
Monero can be found on a growing number of cryptocurrency exchange services such as Bittrex, Poloniex, Cryptopia, Shapeshift, Changelly, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bisq, Tux, and many others.
For those wishing to purchase Monero anonymously, there are services such as LocalMonero.co and Moneroforcash.com.
With XMR.TO you can pay Bitcoin addresses directly with Monero. There are no other fees than the miner ones. All user records are purged after 48 hours. XMR.TO has also been added as an embedded feature into the Monerujo android wallet.
Coinhive Browser-Based Mining
Unlike Bitcoin, Monero can be mined using CPUs and GPUs. Not only does this encourage decentralisation, it also opens the door to browser based mining. Enter side of stage, Coinhive browser-based mining. As described by Hon Lau on the Symnatec Blog Browser-based mining, as its name suggests, is a method of cryptocurrency mining that happens inside a browser and is implemented using Javascript. Coinhive is marketed as an alternative to browser ad revenue. The motivation behind this is simple: users pay for the content indirectly by coin mining when they visit the site and website owners don't have to bother users with sites laden with ads, trackers, and all the associated paraphern. This is great, provided that the websites are transparent with site visitors and notify users of the mining that will be taking place, or better still, offer users a way to opt in, although this hasn't always been the case thus far.
Skepticism Sunday
The main Monero subreddit has weekly Skepticism Sundays which was created with the purpose of installing "a culture of being scientific, skeptical, and rational". This is used to have open, critical discussions about monero as a technology, it's economics, and so on.

///Speculation///

Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested
Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments.
There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin.
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin.
Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero.
Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in.
The Bitcoin Flaw
A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins.
CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero.
CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range.
Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap
Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit.
Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin.
For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin.
Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money.
Technical Analysis
There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today.
Coinbase Rumours
Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading.
Monero Is Not an ICO Scam
It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases.
Monero is a Working Currency, Today
Monero is a working currency, here today.
The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc.
Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin.
Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money.
Monero is private internet money.
Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy.
Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us.
Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.

///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///

Scalability
While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit.
In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
When the Spagni CNBC video was recently linked to the Monero subreddit, it was met with lengthy debate and discussion from both users and developers. u/ferretinjapan summarised the issue explaining:
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming
It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node.
For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too!
Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.

///Conclusion///

I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so.
Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price.
I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors.
I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ?
Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
submitted by johnfoss69 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Beginner’s Guide to BitMEX

Beginner’s Guide to BitMEX

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Founded by HDR Global Trading Limited (which in turn was founded by former bankers Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed and Ben Delo) in 2014, BitMEX is a trading platform operating around the world and registered in the Seychelles.
Meaning Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, BitMEX is one of the largest Bitcoin trading platforms currently operating, with a daily trading volume of over 35,000 BTC and over 540,000 accesses monthly and a trading history of over $34 billion worth of Bitcoin since its inception.

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Unlike many other trading exchanges, BitMEX only accepts deposits through Bitcoin, which can then be used to purchase a variety of other cryptocurrencies. BitMEX specialises in sophisticated financial operations such as margin trading, which is trading with leverage. Like many of the exchanges that operate through cryptocurrencies, BitMEX is currently unregulated in any jurisdiction.
Visit BitMEX

How to Sign Up to BitMEX

In order to create an account on BitMEX, users first have to register with the website. Registration only requires an email address, the email address must be a genuine address as users will receive an email to confirm registration in order to verify the account. Once users are registered, there are no trading limits. Traders must be at least 18 years of age to sign up.
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However, it should be noted that BitMEX does not accept any US-based traders and will use IP checks to verify that users are not in the US. While some US users have bypassed this with the use of a VPN, it is not recommended that US individuals sign up to the BitMEX service, especially given the fact that alternative exchanges are available to service US customers that function within the US legal framework.
How to Use BitMEX
BitMEX allows users to trade cryptocurrencies against a number of fiat currencies, namely the US Dollar, the Japanese Yen and the Chinese Yuan. BitMEX allows users to trade a number of different cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, Tezos and Zcash.
The trading platform on BitMEX is very intuitive and easy to use for those familiar with similar markets. However, it is not for the beginner. The interface does look a little dated when compared to newer exchanges like Binance and Kucoin’s.
Once users have signed up to the platform, they should click on Trade, and all the trading instruments will be displayed beneath.
Clicking on the particular instrument opens the orderbook, recent trades, and the order slip on the left. The order book shows three columns – the bid value for the underlying asset, the quantity of the order, and the total USD value of all orders, both short and long.
The widgets on the trading platform can be changed according to the user’s viewing preferences, allowing users to have full control on what is displayed. It also has a built in feature that provides for TradingView charting. This offers a wide range of charting tool and is considered to be an improvement on many of the offering available from many of its competitors.
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Once trades are made, all orders can be easily viewed in the trading platform interface. There are tabs where users can select their Active Orders, see the Stops that are in place, check the Orders Filled (total or partially) and the trade history. On the Active Orders and Stops tabs, traders can cancel any order, by clicking the “Cancel” button. Users also see all currently open positions, with an analysis if it is in the black or red.
BitMEX uses a method called auto-deleveraging which BitMEX uses to ensure that liquidated positions are able to be closed even in a volatile market. Auto-deleveraging means that if a position bankrupts without available liquidity, the positive side of the position deleverages, in order of profitability and leverage, the highest leveraged position first in queue. Traders are always shown where they sit in the auto-deleveraging queue, if such is needed.
Although the BitMEX platform is optimized for mobile, it only has an Android app (which is not official). There is no iOS app available at present. However, it is recommended that users use it on the desktop if possible.
BitMEX offers a variety of order types for users:
  • Limit Order (the order is fulfilled if the given price is achieved);
  • Market Order (the order is executed at current market price);
  • Stop Limit Order (like a stop order, but allows users to set the price of the Order once the Stop Price is triggered);
  • Stop Market Order (this is a stop order that does not enter the order book, remain unseen until the market reaches the trigger);
  • Trailing Stop Order (it is similar to a Stop Market order, but here users set a trailing value that is used to place the market order);
  • Take Profit Limit Order (this can be used, similarly to a Stop Order, to set a target price on a position. In this case, it is in respect of making gains, rather than cutting losses);
  • Take Profit Market Order (same as the previous type, but in this case, the order triggered will be a market order, and not a limit one)
The exchange offers margin trading in all of the cryptocurrencies displayed on the website. It also offers to trade with futures and derivatives – swaps.

Futures and Swaps

A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell a given asset in the future at a predetermined price. On BitMEX, users can leverage up to 100x on certain contracts.
Perpetual swaps are similar to futures, except that there is no expiry date for them and no settlement. Additionally, they trade close to the underlying reference Index Price, unlike futures, which may diverge substantially from the Index Price.
BitMEX also offers Binary series contracts, which are prediction-based contracts which can only settle at either 0 or 100. In essence, the Binary series contracts are a more complicated way of making a bet on a given event.
The only Binary series betting instrument currently available is related to the next 1mb block on the Bitcoin blockchain. Binary series contracts are traded with no leverage, a 0% maker fee, a 0.25% taker fee and 0.25% settlement fee.

Bitmex Leverage

BitMEX allows its traders to leverage their position on the platform. Leverage is the ability to place orders that are bigger than the users’ existing balance. This could lead to a higher profit in comparison when placing an order with only the wallet balance. Trading in such conditions is called “Margin Trading.”
There are two types of Margin Trading: Isolated and Cross-Margin. The former allows the user to select the amount of money in their wallet that should be used to hold their position after an order is placed. However, the latter provides that all of the money in the users’ wallet can be used to hold their position, and therefore should be treated with extreme caution.
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The BitMEX platform allows users to set their leverage level by using the leverage slider. A maximum leverage of 1:100 is available (on Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash). This is quite a high level of leverage for cryptocurrencies, with the average offered by other exchanges rarely exceeding 1:20.

BitMEX Fees

For traditional futures trading, BitMEX has a straightforward fee schedule. As noted, in terms of leverage offered, BitMEX offers up to 100% leverage, with the amount off leverage varying from product to product.
However, it should be noted that trading at the highest leverages is sophisticated and is intended for professional investors that are familiar with speculative trading. The fees and leverage are as follows:
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However, there are additional fees for hidden / iceberg orders. A hidden order pays the taker fee until the entire hidden quantity is completely executed. Then, the order will become normal, and the user will receive the maker rebate for the non-hidden amount.

Deposits and Withdrawals

BitMEX does not charge fees on deposits or withdrawals. However, when withdrawing Bitcoin, the minimum Network fee is based on blockchain load. The only costs therefore are those of the banks or the cryptocurrency networks.
As noted previously, BitMEX only accepts deposits in Bitcoin and therefore Bitcoin serves as collateral on trading contracts, regardless of whether or not the trade involves Bitcoin.
The minimum deposit is 0.001 BTC. There are no limits on withdrawals, but withdrawals can also be in Bitcoin only. To make a withdrawal, all that users need to do is insert the amount to withdraw and the wallet address to complete the transfer.
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Deposits can be made 24/7 but withdrawals are processed by hand at a recurring time once per day. The hand processed withdrawals are intended to increase the security levels of users’ funds by providing extra time (and email notice) to cancel any fraudulent withdrawal requests, as well as bypassing the use of automated systems & hot wallets which may be more prone to compromise.

Supported Currencies

BitMEX operates as a crypto to crypto exchange and makes use of a Bitcoin-in/Bitcoin-out structure. Therefore, platform users are currently unable to use fiat currencies for any payments or transfers, however, a plus side of this is that there are no limits for trading and the exchange incorporates trading pairs linked to the US Dollar (XBT), Japanese Yen (XBJ), and Chinese Yuan (XBC).
BitMEX supports the following cryptocurrencies:
  • Bitcoin (XBT)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple Token (XRP)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • EOS Token (EOS)
BitMEX also offers leverage options on the following coins:
  • 5x: Zcash (ZEC)
  • 20x : Ripple (XRP),Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Cardano (ADA), EOS Token (EOS), Tron (TRX)
  • 25x: Monero (XMR)
  • 33x: Litecoin (LTC)
  • 50x: Ethereum (ETH)
  • 100x: Bitcoin (XBT), Bitcoin / Yen (XBJ), Bitcoin / Yuan (XBC)

Trading Technologies International Partnership

HDR Global Trading, the company which owns BitMEX, has recently announced a partnership with Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a leading international high-performance trading software provider.
The TT platform is designed specifically for professional traders, brokers, and market-access providers, and incorporates a wide variety of trading tools and analytical indicators that allow even the most advanced traders to customize the software to suit their unique trading styles. The TT platform also provides traders with global market access and trade execution through its privately managed infrastructure and the partnership will see BitMEX users gaining access to the trading tools on all BitMEX products, including the popular XBT/USD Perpetual Swap pairing.
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The BitMEX Insurance Fund

The ability to trade on leverage is one of the exchange’s main selling points and offering leverage and providing the opportunity for traders to trade against each other may result in a situation where the winners do not receive all of their expected profits. As a result of the amounts of leverage involved, it’s possible that the losers may not have enough margin in their positions to pay the winners.
Traditional exchanges like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) offset this problem by utilizing multiple layers of protection and cryptocurrency trading platforms offering leverage cannot currently match the levels of protection provided to winning traders.
In addition, cryptocurrency exchanges offering leveraged trades propose a capped downside and unlimited upside on a highly volatile asset with the caveat being that on occasion, there may not be enough funds in the system to pay out the winners.
To help solve this problem, BitMEX has developed an insurance fund system, and when a trader has an open leveraged position, their position is forcefully closed or liquidated when their maintenance margin is too low.
Here, a trader’s profit and loss does not reflect the actual price their position was closed on the market, and with BitMEX when a trader is liquidated, their equity associated with the position drops down to zero.
In the following example, the trader has taken a 100x long position. In the event that the mark price of Bitcoin falls to $3,980 (by 0.5%), then the position gets liquidated with the 100 Bitcoin position needing to be sold on the market.
This means that it does not matter what price this trade executes at, namely if it’s $3,995 or $3,000, as from the view of the liquidated trader, regardless of the price, they lose all the equity they had in their position, and lose the entire one Bitcoin.
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Assuming there is a fully liquid market, the bid/ask spread should be tighter than the maintenance margin. Here, liquidations manifest as contributions to the insurance fund (e.g. if the maintenance margin is 50bps, but the market is 1bp wide), and the insurance fund should rise by close to the same amount as the maintenance margin when a position is liquidated. In this scenario, as long as healthy liquid markets persist, the insurance fund should continue its steady growth.
The following graphs further illustrate the example, and in the first chart, market conditions are healthy with a narrow bid/ask spread (just $2) at the time of liquidation. Here, the closing trade occurs at a higher price than the bankruptcy price (the price where the margin balance is zero) and the insurance fund benefits.
Illustrative example of an insurance contribution – Long 100x with 1 BTC collateral
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(Note: The above illustration is based on opening a 100x long position at $4,000 per BTC and 1 Bitcoin of collateral. The illustration is an oversimplification and ignores factors such as fees and other adjustments.
The bid and offer prices represent the state of the order book at the time of liquidation. The closing trade price is $3,978, representing $1 of slippage compared to the $3,979 bid price at the time of liquidation.)
The second chart shows a wide bid/ask spread at the time of liquidation, here, the closing trade takes place at a lower price than the bankruptcy price, and the insurance fund is used to make sure that winning traders receive their expected profits.
This works to stabilize the potential for returns as there is no guarantee that healthy market conditions can continue, especially during periods of heightened price volatility. During these periods, it’s actually possible that the insurance fund can be used up than it is built up.
Illustrative example of an insurance depletion – Long 100x with 1 BTC collateral
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(Notes: The above illustration is based on opening a 100x long position at $4,000 per BTC and 1 Bitcoin of collateral. The illustration is an oversimplification and ignores factors such as fees and other adjustments.
The bid and offer prices represent the state of the order book at the time of liquidation. The closing trade price is $3,800, representing $20 of slippage compared to the $3,820 bid price at the time of liquidation.)
The exchange declared in February 2019, that the BitMEX insurance fund retained close to 21,000 Bitcoin (around $70 million based on Bitcoin spot prices at the time).
This figure represents just 0.007% of BitMEX’s notional annual trading volume, which has been quoted as being approximately $1 trillion. This is higher than the insurance funds as a proportion of trading volume of the CME, and therefore, winning traders on BitMEX are exposed to much larger risks than CME traders as:
  • BitMEX does not have clearing members with large balance sheets and traders are directly exposed to each other.
  • BitMEX does not demand payments from traders with negative account balances.
  • The underlying instruments on BitMEX are more volatile than the more traditional instruments available on CME.
Therefore, with the insurance fund remaining capitalized, the system effectively with participants who get liquidated paying for liquidations, or a losers pay for losers mechanism.
This system may appear controversial as first, though some may argue that there is a degree of uniformity to it. It’s also worth noting that the exchange also makes use of Auto Deleveraging which means that on occasion, leveraged positions in profit can still be reduced during certain time periods if a liquidated order cannot be executed in the market.
More adventurous traders should note that while the insurance fund holds 21,000 Bitcoin, worth approximately 0.1% of the total Bitcoin supply, BitMEX still doesn’t offer the same level of guarantees to winning traders that are provided by more traditional leveraged trading platforms.
Given the inherent volatility of the cryptocurrency market, there remains some possibility that the fund gets drained down to zero despite its current size. This may result in more successful traders lacking confidence in the platform and choosing to limit their exposure in the event of BitMEX being unable to compensate winning traders.

How suitable is BitMEX for Beginners?

BitMEX generates high Bitcoin trading levels, and also attracts good levels of volume across other crypto-to-crypto transfers. This helps to maintain a buzz around the exchange, and BitMEX also employs relatively low trading fees, and is available round the world (except to US inhabitants).
This helps to attract the attention of people new to the process of trading on leverage and when getting started on the platform there are 5 main navigation Tabs to get used to:
  • **Trade:**The trading dashboard of BitMEX. This tab allows you to select your preferred trading instrument, and choose leverage, as well as place and cancel orders. You can also see your position information and view key information in the contract details.
  • **Account:**Here, all your account information is displayed including available Bitcoin margin balances, deposits and withdrawals, and trade history.
  • **Contracts:**This tab covers further instrument information including funding history, contract sizes; leverage offered expiry, underlying reference Price Index data, and other key features.
  • **References:**This resource centre allows you to learn about futures, perpetual contracts, position marking, and liquidation.
  • **API:**From here you can set up an API connection with BitMEX, and utilize the REST API and WebSocket API.
BitMEX also employs 24/7 customer support and the team can also be contacted on their Twitter and Reddit accounts.
In addition, BitMEX provides a variety of educational resources including an FAQ section, Futures guides, Perpetual Contracts guides, and further resources in the “References” account tab.
For users looking for more in depth analysis, the BitMEX blog produces high level descriptions of a number of subjects and has garnered a good reputation among the cryptocurrency community.
Most importantly, the exchange also maintains a testnet platform, built on top of testnet Bitcoin, which allows anyone to try out programs and strategies before moving on to the live exchange.
This is crucial as despite the wealth of resources available, BitMEX is not really suitable for beginners, and margin trading, futures contracts and swaps are best left to experienced, professional or institutional traders.
Margin trading and choosing to engage in leveraged activity are risky processes and even more advanced traders can describe the process as a high risk and high reward “game”. New entrants to the sector should spend a considerable amount of time learning about margin trading and testing out strategies before considering whether to open a live account.

Is BitMEX Safe?

BitMEX is widely considered to have strong levels of security. The platform uses multi-signature deposits and withdrawal schemes which can only be used by BitMEX partners. BitMEX also utilises Amazon Web Services to protect the servers with text messages and two-factor authentication, as well as hardware tokens.
BitMEX also has a system for risk checks, which requires that the sum of all account holdings on the website must be zero. If it’s not, all trading is immediately halted. As noted previously, withdrawals are all individually hand-checked by employees, and private keys are never stored in the cloud. Deposit addresses are externally verified to make sure that they contain matching keys. If they do not, there is an immediate system shutdown.
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In addition, the BitMEX trading platform is written in kdb+, a database and toolset popular amongst major banks in high frequency trading applications. The BitMEX engine appears to be faster and more reliable than some of its competitors, such as Poloniex and Bittrex.
They have email notifications, and PGP encryption is used for all communication.
The exchange hasn’t been hacked in the past.

How Secure is the platform?

As previously mentioned, BitMEX is considered to be a safe exchange and incorporates a number of security protocols that are becoming standard among the sector’s leading exchanges. In addition to making use of Amazon Web Services’ cloud security, all the exchange’s systems can only be accessed after passing through multiple forms of authentication, and individual systems are only able to communicate with each other across approved and monitored channels.
Communication is also further secured as the exchange provides optional PGP encryption for all automated emails, and users can insert their PGP public key into the form inside their accounts.
Once set up, BitMEX will encrypt and sign all the automated emails sent by you or to your account by the [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) email address. Users can also initiate secure conversations with the support team by using the email address and public key on the Technical Contact, and the team have made their automated system’s PGP key available for verification in their Security Section.
The platform’s trading engine is written in kdb+, a database and toolset used by leading financial institutions in high-frequency trading applications, and the speed and reliability of the engine is also used to perform a full risk check after every order placement, trade, settlement, deposit, and withdrawal.
All accounts in the system must consistently sum to zero, and if this does not happen then trading on the platform is immediately halted for all users.
With regards to wallet security, BitMEX makes use of a multisignature deposit and withdrawal scheme, and all exchange addresses are multisignature by default with all storage being kept offline. Private keys are not stored on any cloud servers and deep cold storage is used for the majority of funds.
Furthermore, all deposit addresses sent by the BitMEX system are verified by an external service that works to ensure that they contain the keys controlled by the founders, and in the event that the public keys differ, the system is immediately shut down and trading halted. The exchange’s security practices also see that every withdrawal is audited by hand by a minimum of two employees before being sent out.

BitMEX Customer Support

The trading platform has a 24/7 support on multiple channels, including email, ticket systems and social media. The typical response time from the customer support team is about one hour, and feedback on the customer support generally suggest that the customer service responses are helpful and are not restricted to automated responses.
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The BitMEX also offers a knowledge base and FAQs which, although they are not necessarily always helpful, may assist and direct users towards the necessary channels to obtain assistance.
BitMEX also offers trading guides which can be accessed here

Conclusion

There would appear to be few complaints online about BitMEX, with most issues relating to technical matters or about the complexities of using the website. Older complaints also appeared to include issues relating to low liquidity, but this no longer appears to be an issue.
BitMEX is clearly not a platform that is not intended for the amateur investor. The interface is complex and therefore it can be very difficult for users to get used to the platform and to even navigate the website.
However, the platform does provide a wide range of tools and once users have experience of the platform they will appreciate the wide range of information that the platform provides.
Visit BitMEX
submitted by bitmex_register to u/bitmex_register [link] [comments]

Searching for the Unicorn Cryptocurrency

Searching for the Unicorn Cryptocurrency
For someone first starting out as a cryptocurrency investor, finding a trustworthy manual for screening a cryptocurrency’s merits is nonexistent as we are still in the early, Wild West days of the cryptocurrency market. One would need to become deeply familiar with the inner workings of blockchain to be able to perform the bare minimum due diligence.
One might believe, over time, that finding the perfect cryptocurrency may be nothing short of futile. If a cryptocurrency purports infinite scalability, then it is probably either lightweight with limited features or it is highly centralized among a limited number of nodes that perform consensus services especially Proof of Stake or Delegated Proof of Stake. Similarly, a cryptocurrency that purports comprehensive privacy may have technical obstacles to overcome if it aims to expand its applications such as in smart contracts. The bottom line is that it is extremely difficult for a cryptocurrency to have all important features jam-packed into itself.
The cryptocurrency space is stuck in the era of the “dial-up internet” in a manner of speaking. Currently blockchain can’t scale – not without certain tradeoffs – and it hasn’t fully resolved certain intractable issues such as user-unfriendly long addresses and how the blockchain size is forever increasing to name two.
In other words, we haven’t found the ultimate cryptocurrency. That is, we haven’t found the mystical unicorn cryptocurrency that ushers the era of decentralization while eschewing all the limitations of traditional blockchain systems.
“But wait – what about Ethereum once it implements sharding?”
“Wouldn’t IOTA be able to scale infinitely with smart contracts through its Qubic offering?”
“Isn’t Dash capable of having privacy, smart contracts, and instantaneous transactions?”
Those thoughts and comments may come from cryptocurrency investors who have done their research. It is natural for the informed investors to invest in projects that are believed to bring cutting edge technological transformation to blockchain. Sooner or later, the sinking realization will hit that any variation of the current blockchain technology will always likely have certain limitations.
Let us pretend that there indeed exists a unicorn cryptocurrency somewhere that may or may not be here yet. What would it look like, exactly? Let us set the 5 criteria of the unicorn cryptocurrency:
Unicorn Criteria
(1) Perfectly solves the blockchain trilemma:
o Infinite scalability
o Full security
o Full decentralization
(2) Zero or minimal transaction fee
(3) Full privacy
(4) Full smart contract capabilities
(5) Fair distribution and fair governance
For each of the above 5 criteria, there would not be any middle ground. For example, a cryptocurrency with just an in-protocol mixer would not be considered as having full privacy. As another example, an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) may possibly violate criterion (5) since with an ICO the distribution and governance are often heavily favored towards an oligarchy – this in turn would defy the spirit of decentralization that Bitcoin was found on.
There is no cryptocurrency currently that fits the above profile of the unicorn cryptocurrency. Let us examine an arbitrary list of highly hyped cryptocurrencies that meet the above list at least partially. The following list is by no means comprehensive but may be a sufficient sampling of various blockchain implementations:
Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin is the very first and the best known cryptocurrency that started it all. While Bitcoin is generally considered extremely secure, it suffers from mining centralization to a degree. Bitcoin is not anonymous, lacks smart contracts, and most worrisomely, can only do about 7 transactions per seconds (TPS). Bitcoin is not the unicorn notwithstanding all the Bitcoin maximalists.
Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is widely considered the gold standard of smart contracts aside from its scalability problem. Sharding as part of Casper’s release is generally considered to be the solution to Ethereum’s scalability problem.
The goal of sharding is to split up validating responsibilities among various groups or shards. Ethereum’s sharding comes down to duplicating the existing blockchain architecture and sharing a token. This does not solve the core issue and simply kicks the can further down the road. After all, full nodes still need to exist one way or another.
Ethereum’s blockchain size problem is also an issue as will be explained more later in this article.
As a result, Ethereum is not the unicorn due to its incomplete approach to scalability and, to a degree, security.
Dash
Dash’s masternodes are widely considered to be centralized due to their high funding requirements, and there are accounts of a pre-mine in the beginning. Dash is not the unicorn due to its questionable decentralization.
Nano
Nano boasts rightfully for its instant, free transactions. But it lacks smart contracts and privacy, and it may be exposed to well orchestrated DDOS attacks. Therefore, it goes without saying that Nano is not the unicorn.
EOS
While EOS claims to execute millions of transactions per seconds, a quick glance reveals centralized parameters with 21 nodes and a questionable governance system. Therefore, EOS fails to achieve the unicorn status.
Monero (XMR)
One of the best known and respected privacy coins, Monero lacks smart contracts and may fall short of infinite scalability due to CryptoNote’s design. The unicorn rank is out of Monero’s reach.
IOTA
IOTA’s scalability is based on the number of transactions the network processes, and so its supposedly infinite scalability would fluctuate and is subject to the whims of the underlying transactions. While IOTA’s scalability approach is innovative and may work in the long term, it should be reminded that the unicorn cryptocurrency has no middle ground. The unicorn cryptocurrency would be expected to scale infinitely on a consistent basis from the beginning.
In addition, IOTA’s Masked Authenticated Messaging (MAM) feature does not bring privacy to the masses in a highly convenient manner. Consequently, the unicorn is not found with IOTA.

PascalCoin as a Candidate for the Unicorn Cryptocurrency
Please allow me to present a candidate for the cryptocurrency unicorn: PascalCoin.
According to the website, PascalCoin claims the following:
“PascalCoin is an instant, zero-fee, infinitely scalable, and decentralized cryptocurrency with advanced privacy and smart contract capabilities. Enabled by the SafeBox technology to become the world’s first blockchain independent of historical operations, PascalCoin possesses unlimited potential.”
The above summary is a mouthful to be sure, but let’s take a deep dive on how PascalCoin innovates with the SafeBox and more. Before we do this, I encourage you to first become acquainted with PascalCoin by watching the following video introduction:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=F25UU-0W9Dk
The rest of this section will be split into 10 parts in order to illustrate most of the notable features of PascalCoin. Naturally, let’s start off with the SafeBox.
Part #1: The SafeBox
Unlike traditional UTXO-based cryptocurrencies in which the blockchain records the specifics of each transaction (address, sender address, amount of funds transferred, etc.), the blockchain in PascalCoin is only used to mutate the SafeBox. The SafeBox is a separate but equivalent cryptographic data structure that snapshots account balances. PascalCoin’s blockchain is comparable to a machine that feeds the most important data – namely, the state of an account – into the SafeBox. Any node can still independently compute and verify the cumulative Proof-of-Work required to construct the SafeBox.
The PascalCoin whitepaper elegantly highlights the unique historical independence that the SafeBox possesses:
“While there are approaches that cryptocurrencies could use such as pruning, warp-sync, "finality checkpoints", UTXO-snapshotting, etc, there is a fundamental difference with PascalCoin. Their new nodes can only prove they are on most-work-chain using the infinite history whereas in PascalCoin, new nodes can prove they are on the most-work chain without the infinite history.”
Some cryptocurrency old-timers might instinctively balk at the idea of full nodes eschewing the entire history for security, but such a reaction would showcase a lack of understanding on what the SafeBox really does.
A concrete example would go a long way to best illustrate what the SafeBox does. Let’s say I input the following operations in my calculator:
5 * 5 – 10 / 2 + 5
It does not take a genius to calculate the answer, 25. Now, the expression “5 \ 5 – 10 / 2 + 5”* would be forever imbued on a traditional blockchain’s history. But the SafeBox begs to differ. It says that the expression “5 \ 5 – 10 / 2 + 5”* should instead be simply “25” so as preserve simplicity, time, and space. In other words, the SafeBox simply preserves the account balance.
But some might still be unsatisfied and claim that if one cannot trace the series of operations (transactions) that lead to the final number (balance) of 25, the blockchain is inherently insecure.
Here are four important security aspects of the SafeBox that some people fail to realize:
(1) SafeBox Follows the Longest Chain of Proof-of-Work
The SafeBox mutates itself per 100 blocks. Each new SafeBox mutation must reference both to the previous SafeBox mutation and the preceding 100 blocks in order to be valid, and the resultant hash of the new mutated SafeBox must then be referenced by each of the new subsequent blocks, and the process repeats itself forever.
The fact that each new SafeBox mutation must reference to the previous SafeBox mutation is comparable to relying on the entire history. This is because the previous SafeBox mutation encapsulates the result of cumulative entire history except for the 100 blocks which is why each new SafeBox mutation requires both the previous SafeBox mutation and the preceding 100 blocks.
So in a sense, there is a single interconnected chain of inflows and outflows, supported by Byzantine Proof-of-Work consensus, instead of the entire history of transactions.
More concretely, the SafeBox follows the path of the longest chain of Proof-of-Work simply by design, and is thus cryptographically equivalent to the entire history even without tracing specific operations in the past. If the chain is rolled back with a 51% attack, only the attacker’s own account(s) in the SafeBox can be manipulated as is explained in the next part.
(2) A 51% Attack on PascalCoin Functions the Same as Others
A 51% attack on PascalCoin would work in a similar way as with other Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies. An attacker cannot modify a transaction in the past without affecting the current SafeBox hash which is accepted by all honest nodes.
Someone might claim that if you roll back all the current blocks plus the 100 blocks prior to the SafeBox’s mutation, one could create a forged SafeBox with different balances for all accounts. This would be incorrect as one would be able to manipulate only his or her own account(s) in the SafeBox with a 51% attack – just as is the case with other UTXO cryptocurrencies. The SafeBox stores the balances of all accounts which are in turn irreversibly linked only to their respective owners’ private keys.
(3) One Could Preserve the Entire History of the PascalCoin Blockchain
No blockchain data in PascalCoin is ever deleted even in the presence of the SafeBox. Since the SafeBox is cryptographically equivalent to a full node with the entire history as explained above, PascalCoin full nodes are not expected to contain infinite history. But for whatever reason(s) one may have, one could still keep all the PascalCoin blockchain history as well along with the SafeBox as an option even though it would be redundant.
Without storing the entire history of the PascalCoin blockchain, you can still trace the specific operations of the 100 blocks prior to when the SafeBox absorbs and reflects the net result (a single balance for each account) from those 100 blocks. But if you’re interested in tracing operations over a longer period in the past – as redundant as that may be – you’d have the option to do so by storing the entire history of the PascalCoin blockchain.
(4) The SafeBox is Equivalent to the Entire Blockchain History
Some skeptics may ask this question: “What if the SafeBox is forever lost? How would you be able to verify your accounts?” Asking this question is tantamount to asking to what would happen to Bitcoin if all of its entire history was erased. The result would be chaos, of course, but the SafeBox is still in line with the general security model of a traditional blockchain with respect to black swans.
Now that we know the security of the SafeBox is not compromised, what are the implications of this new blockchain paradigm? A colorful illustration as follows still wouldn’t do justice to the subtle revolution that the SafeBox ushers. The automobiles we see on the street are the cookie-and-butter representation of traditional blockchain systems. The SafeBox, on the other hand, supercharges those traditional cars to become the Transformers from Michael Bay’s films.
The SafeBox is an entirely different blockchain architecture that is impressive in its simplicity and ingenuity. The SafeBox’s design is only the opening act for PascalCoin’s vast nuclear arsenal. If the above was all that PascalCoin offers, it still wouldn’t come close to achieving the unicorn status but luckily, we have just scratched the surface. Please keep on reading on if you want to learn how PascalCoin is going to shatter the cryptocurrency industry into pieces. Buckle down as this is going to be a long read as we explore further about the SafeBox’s implications.
Part #2: 0-Confirmation Transactions
To begin, 0-confirmation transactions are secure in PascalCoin thanks to the SafeBox.
The following paraphrases an explanation of PascalCoin’s 0-confirmations from the whitepaper:
“Since PascalCoin is not a UTXO-based currency but rather a State-based currency thanks to the SafeBox, the security guarantee of 0-confirmation transactions are much stronger than in UTXO-based currencies. For example, in Bitcoin if a merchant accepts a 0-confirmation transaction for a coffee, the buyer can simply roll that transaction back after receiving the coffee but before the transaction is confirmed in a block. The way the buyer does this is by re-spending those UTXOs to himself in a new transaction (with a higher fee) thus invalidating them for the merchant. In PascalCoin, this is virtually impossible since the buyer's transaction to the merchant is simply a delta-operation to debit/credit a quantity from/to accounts respectively. The buyer is unable to erase or pre-empt this two-sided, debit/credit-based transaction from the network’s pending pool until it either enters a block for confirmation or is discarded with respect to both sender and receiver ends. If the buyer tries to double-spend the coffee funds after receiving the coffee but before they clear, the double-spend transaction will not propagate the network since nodes cannot propagate a double-spending transaction thanks to the debit/credit nature of the transaction. A UTXO-based transaction is initially one-sided before confirmation and therefore is more exposed to one-sided malicious schemes of double spending.”
Phew, that explanation was technical but it had to be done. In summary, PascalCoin possesses the only secure 0-confirmation transactions in the cryptocurrency industry, and it goes without saying that this means PascalCoin is extremely fast. In fact, PascalCoin is capable of 72,000 TPS even prior to any additional extensive optimizations down the road. In other words, PascalCoin is as instant as it gets and gives Nano a run for its money.
Part #3: Zero Fee
Let’s circle back to our discussion of PascalCoin’s 0-confirmation capability. Here’s a little fun magical twist to PascalCoin’s 0-confirmation magic: 0-confirmation transactions are zero-fee. As in you don’t pay a single cent in fee for each 0-confirmation! There is just a tiny downside: if you create a second transaction in a 5-minute block window then you’d need to pay a minimal fee. Imagine using Nano but with a significantly stronger anti-DDOS protection for spam! But there shouldn’t be any complaint as this fee would amount to 0.0001 Pascal or $0.00002 based on the current price of a Pascal at the time of this writing.
So, how come the fee for blazingly fast transactions is nonexistent? This is where the magic of the SafeBox arises in three ways:
(1) PascalCoin possesses the secure 0-confirmation feature as discussed above that enables this speed.
(2) There is no fee bidding competition of transaction priority typical in UTXO cryptocurrencies since, once again, PascalCoin operates on secure 0-confirmations.
(3) There is no fee incentive needed to run full nodes on behalf of the network’s security beyond the consensus rewards.
Part #4: Blockchain Size
Let’s expand more on the third point above, using Ethereum as an example. Since Ethereum’s launch in 2015, its full blockchain size is currently around 2 TB, give or take, but let’s just say its blockchain size is 100 GB for now to avoid offending the Ethereum elitists who insist there are different types of full nodes that are lighter. Whoever runs Ethereum’s full nodes would expect storage fees on top of the typical consensus fees as it takes significant resources to shoulder Ethereum’s full blockchain size and in turn secure the network. What if I told you that PascalCoin’s full blockchain size will never exceed few GBs after thousands of years? That is just what the SafeBox enables PascalCoin to do so. It is estimated that by 2072, PascalCoin’s full nodes will only be 6 GB which is low enough not to warrant any fee incentives for hosting full nodes. Remember, the SafeBox is an ultra-light cryptographic data structure that is cryptographically equivalent to a blockchain with the entire transaction history. In other words, the SafeBox is a compact spreadsheet of all account balances that functions as PascalCoin’s full node!
Not only does the SafeBox’s infinitesimal memory size helps to reduce transaction fees by phasing out any storage fees, but it also paves the way for true decentralization. It would be trivial for every PascalCoin user to opt a full node in the form of a wallet. This is extreme decentralization at its finest since the majority of users of other cryptocurrencies ditch full nodes due to their burdensome sizes. It is naïve to believe that storage costs would reduce enough to the point where hosting full nodes are trivial. Take a look at the following chart outlining the trend of storage cost.

* https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-cost-per-gigabyte/
As we can see, storage costs continue to decrease but the descent is slowing down as is the norm with technological improvements. In the meantime, blockchain sizes of other cryptocurrencies are increasing linearly or, in the case of smart contract engines like Ethereum, parabolically. Imagine a cryptocurrency smart contract engine like Ethereum garnering worldwide adoption; how do you think Ethereum’s size would look like in the far future based on the following chart?


https://i.redd.it/k57nimdjmo621.png

Ethereum’s future blockchain size is not looking pretty in terms of sustainable security. Sharding is not a fix for this issue since there still needs to be full nodes but that is a different topic for another time.
It is astonishing that the cryptocurrency community as a whole has passively accepted this forever-expanding-blockchain-size problem as an inescapable fate.
PascalCoin is the only cryptocurrency that has fully escaped the death vortex of forever expanding blockchain size. Its blockchain size wouldn’t exceed 10 GB even after many hundreds of years of worldwide adoption. Ethereum’s blockchain size after hundreds of years of worldwide adoption would make fine comedy.
Part #5: Simple, Short, and Ordinal Addresses
Remember how the SafeBox works by snapshotting all account balances? As it turns out, the account address system is almost as cool as the SafeBox itself.
Imagine yourself in this situation: on a very hot and sunny day, you’re wandering down the street across from your house and ran into a lemonade stand – the old-fashioned kind without any QR code or credit card terminal. The kid across you is selling a lemonade cup for 1 Pascal with a poster outlining the payment address as 5471-55. You flip out your phone and click “Send” with 1 Pascal to the address 5471-55; viola, exactly one second later you’re drinking your lemonade without paying a cent for the transaction fee!
The last thing one wants to do is to figure out how to copy/paste to, say, the following address 1BoatSLRHtKNngkdXEeobR76b53LETtpyT on the spot wouldn’t it? Gone are the obnoxiously long addresses that plague all cryptocurrencies. The days of those unreadable addresses will be long gone – it has to be if blockchain is to innovate itself for the general public. EOS has a similar feature for readable addresses but in a very limited manner in comparison, and nicknames attached to addresses in GUIs don’t count since blockchain-wide compatibility wouldn’t hold.
Not only does PascalCoin has the neat feature of having addresses (called PASAs) that amount to up to 6 or 7 digits, but PascalCoin can also incorporate in-protocol address naming as opposed to GUI address nicknames. Suppose I want to order something from Amazon using Pascal; I simply search the word “Amazon” then the corresponding account number shows up. Pretty neat, right?
The astute reader may gather that PascalCoin’s address system makes it necessary to commoditize addresses, and he/she would be correct. Some view this as a weakness; part #10 later in this segment addresses this incorrect perception.
Part #6: Privacy
As if the above wasn’t enough, here’s another secret that PascalCoin has: it is a full-blown privacy coin. It uses two separate foundations to achieve comprehensive anonymity: in-protocol mixer for transfer amounts and zn-SNARKs for private balances. The former has been implemented and the latter is on the roadmap. Both the 0-confirmation transaction and the negligible transaction fee would make PascalCoin the most scalable privacy coin of any other cryptocurrencies pending the zk-SNARKs implementation.
Part #7: Smart Contracts
Next, PascalCoin will take smart contracts to the next level with a layer-2 overlay consensus system that pioneers sidechains and other smart contract implementations.
In formal terms, this layer-2 architecture will facilitate the transfer of data between PASAs which in turn allows clean enveloping of layer-2 protocols inside layer-1 much in the same way that HTTP lives inside TCP.
To summarize:
· The layer-2 consensus method is separate from the layer-1 Proof-of-Work. This layer-2 consensus method is independent and flexible. A sidechain – based on a single encompassing PASA – could apply Proof-of-Stake (POS), Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS), or Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) as the consensus system of its choice.
· Such a layer-2 smart contract platform can be written in any languages.
· Layer-2 sidechains will also provide very strong anonymity since funds are all pooled and keys are not used to unlock them.
· This layer-2 architecture is ingenious in which the computation is separate from layer-2 consensus, in effect removing any bottleneck.
· Horizontal scaling exists in this paradigm as there is no interdependence between smart contracts and states are not managed by slow sidechains.
· Speed and scalability are fully independent of PascalCoin.
One would be able to run the entire global financial system on PascalCoin’s infinitely scalable smart contract platform and it would still scale infinitely. In fact, this layer-2 architecture would be exponentially faster than Ethereum even after its sharding is implemented.
All this is the main focus of PascalCoin’s upcoming version 5 in 2019. A whitepaper add-on for this major upgrade will be released in early 2019.
Part #8: RandomHash Algorithm
Surely there must be some tradeoffs to PascalCoin’s impressive capabilities, you might be asking yourself. One might bring up the fact that PascalCoin’s layer-1 is based on Proof-of-Work and is thus susceptible to mining centralization. This would be a fallacy as PascalCoin has pioneered the very first true ASIC, GPU, and dual-mining resistant algorithm known as RandomHash that obliterates anything that is not CPU based and gives all the power back to solo miners.
Here is the official description of RandomHash:
“RandomHash is a high-level cryptographic hash algorithm that combines other well-known hash primitives in a highly serial manner. The distinguishing feature is that calculations for a nonce are dependent on partial calculations of other nonces, selected at random. This allows a serial hasher (CPU) to re-use these partial calculations in subsequent mining saving 50% or more of the work-load. Parallel hashers (GPU) cannot benefit from this optimization since the optimal nonce-set cannot be pre-calculated as it is determined on-the-fly. As a result, parallel hashers (GPU) are required to perform the full workload for every nonce. Also, the algorithm results in 10x memory bloat for a parallel implementation. In addition to its serial nature, it is branch-heavy and recursive making in optimal for CPU-only mining.”
One might be understandably skeptical of any Proof-of-Work algorithm that solves ASIC and GPU centralization once for all because there have been countless proposals being thrown around for various algorithms since the dawn of Bitcoin. Is RandomHash truly the ASIC & GPU killer that it claims to be?
Herman Schoenfeld, the inventor behind RandomHash, described his algorithm in the following:
“RandomHash offers endless ASIC-design breaking surface due to its use of recursion, hash algo selection, memory hardness and random number generation.
For example, changing how round hash selection is made and/or random number generator algo and/or checksum algo and/or their sequencing will totally break an ASIC design. Conceptually if you can significantly change the structure of the output assembly whilst keeping the high-level algorithm as invariant as possible, the ASIC design will necessarily require proportional restructuring. This results from the fact that ASIC designs mirror the ASM of the algorithm rather than the algorithm itself.”
Polyminer1 (pseudonym), one of the members of the PascalCoin core team who developed RHMiner (official software for mining RandomHash), claimed as follows:
“The design of RandomHash is, to my experience, a genuine innovation. I’ve been 30 years in the field. I’ve rarely been surprised by anything. RandomHash was one of my rare surprises. It’s elegant, simple, and achieves resistance in all fronts.”
PascalCoin may have been the first party to achieve the race of what could possibly be described as the “God algorithm” for Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies. Look no further than one of Monero’s core developers since 2015, Howard Chu. In September 2018, Howard declared that he has found a solution, called RandomJS, to permanently keep ASICs off the network without repetitive algorithm changes. This solution actually closely mirrors RandomHash’s algorithm. Discussing about his algorithm, Howard asserted that “RandomJS is coming at the problem from a direction that nobody else is.”
Link to Howard Chu’s article on RandomJS:
https://www.coindesk.com/one-musicians-creative-solution-to-drive-asics-off-monero
Yet when Herman was asked about Howard’s approach, he responded:
“Yes, looks like it may work although using Javascript was a bit much. They should’ve just used an assembly subset and generated random ASM programs. In a way, RandomHash does this with its repeated use of random mem-transforms during expansion phase.”
In the end, PascalCoin may have successfully implemented the most revolutionary Proof-of-Work algorithm, one that eclipses Howard’s burgeoning vision, to date that almost nobody knows about. To learn more about RandomHash, refer to the following resources:
RandomHash whitepaper:
https://www.pascalcoin.org/storage/whitepapers/RandomHash_Whitepaper.pdf
Technical proposal for RandomHash:
https://github.com/PascalCoin/PascalCoin/blob/mastePIP/PIP-0009.md
Someone might claim that PascalCoin still suffers from mining centralization after RandomHash, and this is somewhat misleading as will be explained in part #10.
Part #9: Fair Distribution and Governance
Not only does PascalCoin rest on superior technology, but it also has its roots in the correct philosophy of decentralized distribution and governance. There was no ICO or pre-mine, and the developer fund exists as a percentage of mining rewards as voted by the community. This developer fund is 100% governed by a decentralized autonomous organization – currently facilitated by the PascalCoin Foundation – that will eventually be transformed into an autonomous smart contract platform. Not only is the developer fund voted upon by the community, but PascalCoin’s development roadmap is also voted upon the community via the Protocol Improvement Proposals (PIPs).
This decentralized governance also serves an important benefit as a powerful deterrent to unseemly fork wars that befall many cryptocurrencies.
Part #10: Common Misconceptions of PascalCoin
“The branding is terrible”
PascalCoin is currently working very hard on its image and is preparing for several branding and marketing initiatives in the short term. For example, two of the core developers of the PascalCoin recently interviewed with the Fox Business Network. A YouTube replay of this interview will be heavily promoted.
Some people object to the name PascalCoin. First, it’s worth noting that PascalCoin is the name of the project while Pascal is the name of the underlying currency. Secondly, Google and YouTube received excessive criticisms back then in the beginning with their name choices. Look at where those companies are nowadays – surely a somewhat similar situation faces PascalCoin until the name’s familiarity percolates into the public.
“The wallet GUI is terrible”
As the team is run by a small yet extremely dedicated developers, multiple priorities can be challenging to juggle. The lack of funding through an ICO or a pre-mine also makes it challenging to accelerate development. The top priority of the core developers is to continue developing full-time on the groundbreaking technology that PascalCoin offers. In the meantime, an updated and user-friendly wallet GUI has been worked upon for some time and will be released in due time. Rome wasn’t built in one day.
“One would need to purchase a PASA in the first place”
This is a complicated topic since PASAs need to be commoditized by the SafeBox’s design, meaning that PASAs cannot be obtained at no charge to prevent systematic abuse. This raises two seemingly valid concerns:
· As a chicken and egg problem, how would one purchase a PASA using Pascal in the first place if one cannot obtain Pascal without a PASA?
· How would the price of PASAs stay low and affordable in the face of significant demand?
With regards to the chicken and egg problem, there are many ways – some finished and some unfinished – to obtain your first PASA as explained on the “Get Started” page on the PascalCoin website:
https://www.pascalcoin.org/get_started
More importantly, however, is the fact that there are few methods that can get your first PASA for free. The team will also release another method soon in which you could obtain your first PASA for free via a single SMS message. This would probably become by far the simplest and the easiest way to obtain your first PASA for free. There will be more new ways to easily obtain your first PASA for free down the road.
What about ensuring the PASA market at large remains inexpensive and affordable following your first (and probably free) PASA acquisition? This would be achieved in two ways:
· Decentralized governance of the PASA economics per the explanation in the FAQ section on the bottom of the PascalCoin website (https://www.pascalcoin.org/)
· Unlimited and free pseudo-PASAs based on layer-2 in the next version release.
“PascalCoin is still centralized after the release of RandomHash”
Did the implementation of RandomHash from version 4 live up to its promise?
The official goals of RandomHash were as follow:
(1) Implement a GPU & ASIC resistant hash algorithm
(2) Eliminate dual mining
The two goals above were achieved by every possible measure.
Yet a mining pool, Nanopool, was able to regain its hash majority after a significant but a temporary dip.
The official conclusion is that, from a probabilistic viewpoint, solo miners are more profitable than pool miners. However, pool mining is enticing for solo miners who 1) have limited hardware as it ensures a steady income instead of highly profitable but probabilistic income via solo mining, and 2) who prefer convenient software and/or GUI.
What is the next step, then? While the barrier of entry for solo miners has successfully been put down, additional work needs to be done. The PascalCoin team and the community are earnestly investigating additional steps to improve mining decentralization with respect to pool mining specifically to add on top of RandomHash’s successful elimination of GPU, ASIC, and dual-mining dominance.
It is likely that the PascalCoin community will promote the following two initiatives in the near future:
(1) Establish a community-driven, nonprofit mining pool with attractive incentives.
(2) Optimize RHMiner, PascalCoin’s official solo mining software, for performance upgrades.
A single pool dominance is likely short lived once more options emerge for individual CPU miners who want to avoid solo mining for whatever reason(s).
Let us use Bitcoin as an example. Bitcoin mining is dominated by ASICs and mining pools but no single pool is – at the time of this writing – even close on obtaining the hash majority. With CPU solo mining being a feasible option in conjunction with ASIC and GPU mining eradication with RandomHash, the future hash rate distribution of PascalCoin would be far more promising than Bitcoin’s hash rate distribution.
PascalCoin is the Unicorn Cryptocurrency
If you’ve read this far, let’s cut straight to the point: PascalCoin IS the unicorn cryptocurrency.
It is worth noting that PascalCoin is still a young cryptocurrency as it was launched at the end of 2016. This means that many features are still work in progress such as zn-SNARKs, smart contracts, and pool decentralization to name few. However, it appears that all of the unicorn criteria are within PascalCoin’s reach once PascalCoin’s technical roadmap is mostly completed.
Based on this expository on PascalCoin’s technology, there is every reason to believe that PascalCoin is the unicorn cryptocurrency. PascalCoin also solves two fundamental blockchain problems beyond the unicorn criteria that were previously considered unsolvable: blockchain size and simple address system. The SafeBox pushes PascalCoin to the forefront of cryptocurrency zeitgeist since it is a superior solution compared to UTXO, Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), Block Lattice, Tangle, and any other blockchain innovations.


THE UNICORN

Author: Tyler Swob
submitted by Kosass to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Mining Profitability: How Long Does it Take to Mine One Bitcoin in 2019?

When it comes to Bitcoin (BTC) mining, the major questions on people’s minds are “how profitable is Bitcoin mining” and “how long would it take to mine one Bitcoin?” To answer these questions, we need to take an in-depth look at the current state of the Bitcoin mining industry — and how it has changed — over the last several years.
Bitcoin mining is, essentially, the process of participating in Bitcoin’s underlying security mechanism — known as proof-of-work — to help secure the Bitcoin blockchain. In return, participants receive compensation in bitcoins (BTC).
When you participate in Bitcoin mining, you are essentially searching for blocks by crunching complex cryptographic challenges using your mining hardware. Once a block is discovered, new transactions are recorded and verified within the block and the block discoverer receives the block rewards — currently set at 12.5 BTC — as well as the transactions fees for the transactions included within the block.
Once the maximum supply of 21 million Bitcoins has been mined, no further Bitcoins will ever come into existence. This property makes Bitcoin deflationary, something which many argue will inevitably increase the value of each Bitcoin unit as it becomes more scarce due to increased global adoption.
The limited supply of Bitcoin is also one of the reasons why Bitcoin mining has become so popular. In previous years, Bitcoin mining proved to be a lucrative investment option — netting miners with several fold returns on their investment with relatively little effort.
bitcoin mining hardware
Mining Hardware
The mining hardware you choose will mostly depend on your circumstances — in terms of budget, location and electricity costs. Since the amount of hashing power you can dedicate to the mining process is directly correlated with how much Bitcoin you will mine per day, it is wise to ensure your hardware is still competitive in 2019.
Bitcoin uses SHA256 as its mining algorithm. Because of this, only hardware compatible with this algorithm can be used to mine Bitcoin. Although it is technically possible to mine Bitcoin on your current computer hardware — using your CPU or GPU — this will almost certainly not generate a positive return on your investment and you may end up damaging your device.
The most cost-effective way to mine Bitcoin in 2019 is using application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining hardware. These are specially-designed machines that offer much higher performance per watt than typical computers and have been an absolutely essential purchase for anybody looking to get into Bitcoin mining since the first Avalon ASICs were shipped in 2013.
When it comes to selecting Bitcoin mining hardware, there are several main parameters to consider — though the importance of each of these may vary based on personal circumstances and budget.
Performance per Watt
When it comes to Bitcoin mining, performance per watt is a measure of how many gigahashes per watt a machine is capable of and is, hence, a simple measure of its efficiency. Since electricity costs are likely to be one of the largest expenses when mining Bitcoin, it is usually a good idea to ensure that you are getting good performance per watt out of your hardware.
Ideally, your mining hardware would be highly efficient, allowing it to mine Bitcoin with lower energy requirements — though this will need to be balanced with acquisition costs, as often the most efficient hardware is also the most expensive. This means it may take longer to see a return on investment.
In countries with cheap electricity, performance per watt is often less of a concern than acquisition costs and price-performance ratio. In most countries, operating outdated mining hardware is typically cost prohibitive, as energy costs outweigh the income generated by the mining equipment.
However, this may not be the case for those operating in countries with extremely cheap electricity — such as Kuwait and Venezuela — as even older equipment can still be profitable. Similarly, miners with a free energy surplus, such as from wind or solar electric generators, can benefit from the minimal gains offered by still running outdated hardware.
Longevity
The lifetime of mining hardware also plays a critical role in determining how profitable your mining venture will be. It’s always a good idea to do whatever possible to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.
Since mining equipment tends to run at a full (or almost full) load for extended periods, they also tend to break down and fail more frequently than most electronics — which can seriously damage your profitability. Equipment failure is even more common when purchasing second-hand equipment. Since warranty claims are often challenging, it can often take a long time to receive a warranty replacement.
Price-Performance Ratio
In many cases, one of the major criteria used to select mining hardware is the price-performance ratio — a measure of how much performance a machine outputs per unit price. In the case of cryptocurrency mining hardware, this is commonly expressed as gigahashes per dollar or GH/$.
Under ideal circumstances, the mining hardware would have a high price-performance ratio, ensuring you get a lot of bang for your buck. However, this must also be considered in combination with the acquisition costs and the expected lifetime of the machine — since the absolute most powerful machines are not always the cheapest or the most energy efficient.
Acquisition Costs
Acquisition costs are almost always the biggest barrier to entry for most Bitcoin miners since most top-end mining hardware costs several thousand dollars. This problem is further compounded by the fact that many hardware manufacturers offer discounts for bulk purchases, allowing those with deeper pockets to achieve a better price-performance ratio.
Acquisition costs include all the costs involved in purchasing any mining equipment, including hardware costs, shipping costs, import duties, and any further costs. For example, many ASIC miners do not include a power supply — which can be another considerable expense, since the 1,000W+ power supplies usually required tend to cost several hundred dollars alone.
Ensuring your equipment runs smoothly can also add in additional costs, such as cooling and maintenance expenses. In addition, some miners may want to invest in uninterruptible power supplies to ensure their hardware keeps running — even if the power fails temporarily.
asic mining
Current Generation Hardware
One of the most recent additions to the Bitcoin mining hardware market is the Ebang Ebit E11++, which was released in October 2018. Using a 10nm fabrication process for its processors, the Ebit E11++ is able to achieve one of the highest hash rates on the market at 44TH/s.
In terms of efficiency, the Ebang Ebit E11++ is arguably the best on the market, offering 44TH/s of hash rate while drawing just 1,980W of power, offering 22.2GH/W performance. However, as of writing, the Ebang Ebit E11++ is out of stock until March 31, 2019 — while its price of $2,024 (excluding shipping) may make it prohibitively expensive for those first getting involved with Bitcoin mining.
Another popular choice is the ASICminer 8 Nano, a machine released in October 2018 that offers 44TH/s for $3,900 excluding shipping. The ASICminer 8 Nano draws 2,100W of power, giving it an efficiency of almost 21GH/W — slightly lower than the Ebit E11++ while costing almost double the price. However, unlike the E11++, the 8 Nano is actually in stock and available to purchase.
ASICminer also offers the 8 Nano Pro, a machine launched in mid-2018 that offers 80 TH/s of hash rate for $9,500 (excluding shipping). However, unlike the Ebit E11++ and 8 Nano, the minimum order quantity for the 8 Nano Pro is curiously set at five, meaning you will need to lay out a minimum of $47,500 in order to actually get your hands on one (or five).
While the 8 Nano Pro doesn’t offer the same performance per watt as the Ebit E11+ or AICMiner 8 Nano, it is one of the quieter miners on this list, making it more suitable for a home or office environment. That being said, the ASICminer 8 Nano Pro is easily the most expensive miner per TH on this list — costing a whopping $118.75/TH, compared to the $46/TH offered by the E11++ and $88.64 offered by the 8 Nano.
The latest hardware on this list is the Innosilicon T3 43T, which is currently available for pre-order at $2,279, and estimated to ship in March 2019. Offering 43TH/s of performance at 2,100W, the T3 43T comes in at an efficiency of 20.4GH/W, which is around 10 percent less energy efficient than the Ebit E11++.
The T3 43T also has a minimum order quantity of three units, making the minimum acquisition cost $6837 + shipping for preorders. All in all, the T3 43T is more costly and less efficient than the E11++ but may arrive slightly earlier since Ebang will not ship the E11++ units until at least end March 29, 2019.
Finally, this list would not be complete without including Bitmain’s latest offering, the Antminer S15-28TH/s, which — as its name suggests — offers 28TH/s of hash power while drawing just under 1600W at the wall. The Antminer S15 is one of the only SHA256 miners to use 7nm processors, making it somewhat smaller than some of the other devices on this list.
Like most pieces of top-end Bitcoin mining hardware, the Antminer S15 27TH/s model is currently sold out, with current orders not shipping until mid-February 2019. However, the S15 is offered at a significantly lower price than many of its competitors at just $1020 (excluding shipping), with no minimum quantity restriction. At these rates, the Antminer comes in at just $37.78/TH — though its energy efficiency is a much less impressive 17.5GH/W.
Mining Hardware Mining Hardware Comparison
Performance (GH/W) Price Performance Ratio ($/TH)
Ebang Ebit E11++ 22.2GH/W $46/TH
ASICminer 8 Nano 21GH/W $88.64/TH
ASICminer 8 Nano Pro 19GH/W $118.75/TH
Innosilicon T3 43T 20.4GH/W $53/TH
Antminer S15-28TH/s 17.5GH/W $37.78/TH
How To Select a Good Mining Pool
Mining pools are platforms that allow miners to pool their resources together to achieve a higher collective hash rate — which, in turn, allows the collective to mine more blocks than they would be able to achieve alone.
Typically, these mining pools will distribute block rewards to contributing miners based on the proportion of the hash rate they supply. If a pool contributing a total of 20 TH/s of hash rate successfully mines the next block, a user responsible for 10 percent of this hash rate will receive 10 percent of the 12.5 BTC reward.
Pools essentially allow smaller miners to compete with large private mining organizations by ensuring that the collective hash rate is high enough to successfully mine blocks on regular basis. Without operating through a mining pool, many miners would be unlikely to discover any blocks at all — due to only contributing a tiny fraction of the overall Bitcoin hash rate.
While it is quite possible to be successful mining without a pool, this typically requires an extremely large mining operation and is usually not recommended — unless you have enough hash rate to mine blocks on a regular basis.
Although it is technically possible to discover blocks mining solo and keep the entire 12.5 BTC reward for yourself, the odds of this actually occurring are practically zero — making pool collaboration practically the only way to compete in 2019 and beyond.
Selecting the best pool for you can be a challenging job since the vast majority of pools are quite similar and offer similar features and comparable fees. Because of this, we have broken down the qualities you should be looking for in a new pool into four categories; reputation, hash rate, pool fees, and usability/features:
Reputation
The reputation of a pool is one of the most important factors in selecting the pool that is best for you. Well-reputed pools will tend to be much larger than newer or less well-established pools since few pools with a poor reputation can stand the test of time.
Well-reputed pools also tend to be more transparent about their operation, many of which provide tools to ensure that each user is getting the correct reward based on the hash rate contributed. By using only pools with a great reputation, you also ensure your hash rate is not being used for nefarious purposes — such as powering a 51 percent attack.
When comparing a list of pools that appear suitable for you, it is a wise move to read their user reviews before making your choice — ensuring you don’t end up mining at a pool that steals your hard-fought earnings.
Hash Rate
When it comes to mining Bitcoin, the probability of discovering the next block is directly related to the amount of hashing power you contribute to the network. Because of this, one of the major features you should be considering when selecting your pool is its total hash rate — which is often closely related to the proportion of new blocks mined by the pool
Since the total hash rate of a pool is directly related to how quickly it discovers new blocks, this means the largest pools tend to discover a relative majority of blocks — leading to more regular rewards. However, the very largest pools also tend the have higher fees but often make up for this with sheer success and additional features.
Sometimes, some of the largest pools have a minimum hash rate requirement ù leaving some of the smaller miners left out of the loop. Although smaller pools typically have more relaxed requirements with reduced performance thresholds, these pools may be only slightly more profitable than mining solo.
Pool Fees
When choosing a suitable pool, typically one of the major considerations is its fees. Typically, most pools will charge a small fee that is deducted from your earnings and is usually around 1-2 percent — but sometimes slightly lower or higher.
There are also pools that offer 0 percent fees. However, these are often much smaller than the major pools and tend to make their money in a different way — such as through monthly subscriptions or donations.
Ideally, you will choose the pool that offers the best balance of fees to other features. Usually, the pool with the absolute lowest fees is not the best choice. Additionally, pools with the lowest fees often have the highest withdrawal minimums — making pool hopping uneconomical for most.
Usability and Features
When first starting out with Bitcoin mining, learning how to set up a pool and navigating through the settings can be a challenge. Because of this, several pools target their services to newer users by offering a simple to navigate user interface and providing detailed learning resources and prompt customer support.
However, for more experienced miners, simple pools don’t tend to offer a variety of features needed to maximize profitability. For example, although many mining pools focus their entire hash rate towards mining a single cryptocurrency, some are large enough to offer additional options — allowing users to mine other SHA256 coins such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) or Fantom if they choose.
These pools are technically more challenging to use and mostly designed for those familiar with mining, happy to hop from coin to coin mining whichever is most profitable at the time. There are even some exchanges that automatically direct their combined hash rate at the most profitable cryptocurrency — taking the guesswork out of the equation.
bitcoin mining pool
Best Mining Pools for 2019
The Bitcoin mining pool industry has a large number of players, but the vast majority of the Bitcoin hash rate is concentrated within just a few pools. Currently, there are dozens of suitable pools to choose from — but we have selected just a few of the best to help get you started on your journey.
Slushpool was the first Bitcoin mining pool released, being launched way back in 2010 under the name “Bitcoin Pooled Mining Server.” Since then, Slushpool has grown into one of the most popular pools around — currently accounting for just under 10 percent of the total Bitcoin hash rate.
Although Slushpool isn’t one of the very largest pools, it does offer a newbie-friendly interface alongside more advanced features for those that need them. The pool has moderately high fees of 2 percent but offers servers in several countries — including the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan — giving it a good balance of fees to features.
BTC.com is another potential candidate for your pool and currently stands as the largest public Bitcoin mining pool. It is responsible for mining around 17 percent of new blocks. Being the largest public mining pool provides users with a sense of security, ensuring blocks are mined regularly and a stable income is made.
Image courtesy of Blockchain.info.
BTC.com is owned by Bitmain, a company that manufacturers mining hardware, and charges a 1.5 percent fees — placing it squarely in the middle-tier in terms of fees. Unlike other platforms, BTC.com uses its own payment structure known as FPPS (Full Pay Per Share), which means miners also receive a share of the transaction fees included within mined blocks — making it slightly more profitable than standard payment per share (PPS) pools.
Another great option is Antpool, a mining pool that supports mining services for 10 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH). AntPool frequently trades places with BTC.com as the largest Bitcoin mining pool. However, as of this writing, it occupies the title of the third-largest public mining pool.
What sets Antpool apart from other pools is the ability to choose your own fee system — including PPS, PPS+, and PPLNS. If you choose PPLNS, using Antpool is free but you will not receive any transaction fees from any blocks mined. Antpool also offers regular payouts and has a low minimum payout of just 0.001 BTC, making it suitable for smaller miners.
Last on the list of the best Bitcoin mining pools in 2019 is the Bitcoin.com mining pool. Although this is one of the smaller pools available, the Bitcoin.com pool has some redeeming features that make it worth a look. It offers mining contracts, allowing you to test out Bitcoin mining before investing in mining equipment of your own. According to Bitcoin.com, they are the highest paying Pay Per Share (PPS) pool in the world, offering up to 98 percent block rewards as well as automatic switching between BTC and BCH mining to optimize profitability.

Electricity Costs
While your mining hardware is most important when it comes to how much BTC you can earn when mining, your electricity costs are usually the largest additional expense. With electricity costs often varying dramatically between countries, ensuring you are on the best cost-per-KWh plan available will help to keep costs down when mining.
Most commonly, large mining operations will be set up in countries where electricity costs are the lowest — such as Iceland, India, and Ukraine. Since China has one of the lowest energy costs in the world, it was previously the epicenter of Bitcoin mining. However, since the government began cracking down on cryptocurrencies, it has largely fallen out of favor with miners.
Technically, Venezuela is one of the cheapest countries in the world in terms of electricity, with the government heavily subsidizing these energy costs — while Bitcoin offers an escape from the hyperinflation suffered by the Venezuelan bolivar. Despite this, importing mining hardware into the country is a costly endeavor, making it impractical for many people.
Finding ways to lower your electricity costs is one of the best ways to improve your mining profitability. This can include investing in renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal, or wind — which can yield increased profitability over the long term.
if you are looking to buy bitcoin mining equipment here is some links:

Model Antminer S17 Pro (56Th) from Bitmain mining SHA-256 algorithm with a maximum hashrate of 56Th/s for a power consumption of 2385W.
https://miningwholesale.eu/product/bitmain-antminer-s17-pro-56th-copy/?wpam_id=17
Model Antminer S9K from Bitmain mining SHA-256 algorithm with a maximum hashrate of 14Th/s for a power consumption of 1323W.
https://miningwholesale.eu/product/bitmain-antminer-s9k-14-th-s/?wpam_id=17
Model T2T 30Tfrom Innosilicon mining SHA-256 algorithm with a maximum hashrate of 30Th/s for a power consumption of 2200W.
https://miningwholesale.eu/product/innosilicon-t2t-30t/?wpam_id=17
mining wholesale website:
https://miningwholesale.eu/?wpam_id=17
submitted by mohamadk to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[META] New to PC Building? - September 2018 Edition

Intro

You've heard from all your gaming friends/family or co-workers that custom PCs are the way to go. Or maybe you've been fed up with your HP, Dell, Acer, Gateway, Lenovo, etc. pre-builts or Macs and want some more quality and value in your next PC purchase. Or maybe you haven't built a PC in a long time and want to get back into the game. Well, here's a good place to start.

Instructions

  1. Make a budget for your PC (e.g., $800, $1000, $1250, $1500, etc.).
  2. Decide what you will use your PC for.
    • For gaming, decide what games and at what resolution and FPS you want to play at.
    • For productivity, decide what software you'll need and find the recommended specs to use those apps.
    • For a bit of both, your PC build should be built on the HIGHEST specs recommended for your applications (e.g., if you only play FortNite and need CPU power for CFD simulations, use specs recommended for CFD).
    Here are some rough estimates for builds with entirely NEW parts:
    1080p 60FPS ultra-settings modern AAA gaming: ~$1,200
    1440p 60FPS high/ultra-settings modern AAA gaming: ~$1,600
    1080p 144FPS ultra-settings modern AAA gaming: $2,000
    4K 50FPS medium/high-settings modern AAA gaming: > $2,400
    It's noted that some compromises (e.g., lower settings and/or resolution) can be made to achieve the same or slightly lower gaming experience within ±15% of the above prices. It's also noted that you can still get higher FPS on older or used PCs by lowering settings and/or resolution AND/OR buying new/used parts to upgrade your system. Make a new topic about it if you're interested.
    Also note that AAA gaming is different from e-sport games like CSGO, DOTA2, FortNite, HOTS, LoL, Overwatch, R6S, etc. Those games have lower requirements and can make do with smaller budgets.
  3. Revise your budget AND/OR resolution and FPS until both are compatible. Compare this to the recommended requirements of the most demanding game on your list. For older games, you might be able to lower your budget. For others, you might have to increase your budget.
    It helps to watch gaming benchmarks on Youtube. A good example of what you're looking for is something like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eLxSOoSdjY). Take note of the resolution, settings, FPS, and the specs in the video title/description; ask yourself if the better gaming experience is worth increasing your budget OR if you're okay with lower settings and lowering your budget. Note that you won't be able to see FPS higher than 60FPS for Youtube videos; something like this would have to be seen in-person at a computer shop.
  4. Make a build on https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/. If you still have no idea how to put together parts, start here (http://www.logicalincrements.com/) to get an understanding of PC part tiers. If you want more info about part explanations and brief buying tips, see the next section below.
  5. Click on the Reddit logo button next to Markup, copy and paste the generated text (in markup mode if using new Reddit), and share your build for review!
  6. Consider which retailer to buy your parts from. Here's a table comparing different retailers: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L8uijxuoJH4mjKCjwkJbCrKprCiU8CtM15mvOXxzV1s/edit?usp=sharing
  7. Buy your parts! Use PCPP above to send you e-mail alerts on price drops or subscribe to /bapcsalescanada for deals.
    You can get parts from the following PC retailers in alphabetical order:
  8. After procuring your parts, it's time to build. Use a good Youtube tutorial like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhX0fOUYd8Q) that teach BAPC fundamentals, but always refer to your product manuals or other Youtube tutorials for part-specific instructions like CPU mounting, radiator mounting, CMOS resetting, etc. If it everything still seems overwhelming, you can always pay a computer shop or a friend/family member to build it for you.
    It might also be smart to look up some first-time building mistakes to avoid:
  9. Share your experience with us.
  10. If you have any other questions, use the search bar first. If it's not there, make a topic.

BAPC News (Last Updated - 2018/09/20)

CPU

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-9000-series-cpu-faq,37743.html
Intel 9000 CPUs (Coffee Lake Refresh) will be coming out in Q4. With the exception of i9 (8-core, 12 threads) flagship CPUs, the i3, i5, and i7 lineups are almost identical to their Intel 8000 (Coffee Lake) series, but slightly clocked faster. If you are wondering if you should upgrade to the newer CPU on the same tier (e.g., i5-8400 to i5-9400), I don't recommend that you do as you will only see marginal performance increases.

Mobo

https://www.anandtech.com/show/13135/more-details-on-intels-z390-chipset-exposed
Z370s will now be phased out for Z390s boards, which will natively support Intel 9000 CPUs (preferably i5-9600K, i7-9700K, and i9-9900K).

GPU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDrpsv0QIR0
RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti benchmarks are out; they provide ~10 and ~20 frames better than the 1080 Ti and also feature ray tracing (superior lighting and shadow effects) which is featured in only ~30 games so far (i.e., not supported a lot); effectively, they provide +25% more performance for +70% increased cost. My recommendation is NOT to buy them unless you need it for work or have lots of disposable income. GTX 1000 Pascal series are still relevant in today's gaming specs.

Part Explanations

CPU

The calculator part. More GHz is analogous to fast fingers number crunching in the calculator. More cores is analogous to having more calculators. More threads is analogous to having more filing clerks piling more work for the calculator to do. Microarchitectures (core design) is analogous to how the internal circuit inside the calculator is designed (e.g., AMD FX series are slower than Intel equivalents even with higher OC'd GHz speeds because the core design is subpar). All three are important in determining CPU speed.
In general, higher GHz is more important for gaming now whereas # cores and threads are more important for multitasking like streaming, video editing, and advanced scientific/engineering computations. Core designs from both AMD and Intel in their most recent products are very good now, but something to keep in mind.

Overclocking

The basic concept of overclocking (OCing) is to feed your CPU more power through voltage and hoping it does calculations faster. Whether your parts are good overclockers depends on the manufacturing process of your specific part and slight variations in materials and manufacturing process will result in different overclocking capability ("silicon lottery"). The downside to this is that you can void your warranties because doing this will produce excess heat that will decrease the lifespan of your parts AND that there is a trial-and-error process to finding OC settings that are stable. Unstable OC settings result in computer freezes or random shut-offs from excess heat. OCing will give you extra performance often for free or by investing in a CPU cooler to control your temperatures so that the excess heat will not decrease your parts' lifespans as much. If you don't know how to OC, don't do it.

Current Products

Intel CPUs have higher GHz than AMD CPUs, which make them better for gaming purposes. However, AMD Ryzen CPUs have more cores and threads than their Intel equivalents. The new parts are AMD Ryzen 3, 5, or 7 2000 series or Intel i3, i5, or i7 8000 series (Coffee Lake). Everything else is outdated.
If you want to overclock on an AMD system, know that you can get some moderate OC on a B350/B450 with all CPUs. X370/X470 mobos usually come with better VRMs meant for OCing 2600X, 2700, and 2700X. If you don't know how to OC, know that the -X AMD CPUs have the ability to OC themselves automatically without manually settings. For Intel systems, you cannot OC unless the CPU is an unlocked -K chip (e.g., i3-8350K, i5-8600K, i7-8700K, etc.) AND the motherboard is a Z370 mobo. In general, it is not worth getting a Z370 mobo UNLESS you are getting an i5-8600K and i7-8700K.

CPU and Mobo Compatibility

Note about Ryzen 2000 CPUs on B350 mobos: yes, you CAN pair them up since they use the same socket. You might get an error message on PCPP that says that they might not be compatible. Call the retailer and ask if the mobo you're planning on buying has a "Ryzen 2000 Series Ready" sticker on the box. This SHOULD NOT be a problem with any mobos manufactured after February 2018.
Note about Intel 9000 CPUs on B360 / Z370 mobos: same as above with Ryzen 2000 CPUs on B350 or X370 boards.

CPU Cooler (Air / Liquid)

Air or liquid cooling for your CPU. This is mostly optional unless heavy OCing on AMD Ryzen CPUs and/or on Intel -K and i7-8700 CPUs.
For more information about air and liquid cooling comparisons, see here:

Motherboard/mobo

Part that lets all the parts talk to each other. Comes in different sizes from small to big: mITX, mATX, ATX, and eATX. For most people, mATX is cost-effective and does the job perfectly. If you need more features like extra USB slots, go for an ATX. mITX is for those who want a really small form factor and are willing to pay a premium for it. eATX mobos are like ATX mobos except that they have more features and are bigger - meant for super PC enthusiasts who need the features.
If you are NOT OCing, pick whatever is cheap and meets your specs. I recommend ASUS or MSI because they have RMA centres in Canada in case it breaks whereas other parts are outside of Canada like in the US. If you are OCing, then you need to look at the quality of the VRMs because those will greatly influence the stability and lifespan of your parts.

Memory/RAM

Part that keeps Windows and your software active. Currently runs on the DDR4 platform for new builds. Go for dual channel whenever possible. Here's a breakdown of how much RAM you need:
AMD Ryzen CPUs get extra FPS for faster RAM speeds (ideally 3200MHz) in gaming when paired with powerful video cards like the GTX 1070. Intel Coffee Lake CPUs use up a max of 2667MHz for B360 mobos. Higher end Z370 mobos can support 4000 - 4333MHz RAM depending on the mobo, so make sure you shop carefully!
It's noted that RAM prices are highly inflated because of the smartphone industry and possibly artificial supply shortages. For more information: https://www.extremetech.com/computing/263031-ram-prices-roof-stuck-way

Storage

Part that store your files in the form of SSDs and HDDs.

Solid State Drives (SSDs)

SSDs are incredibly quick, but are expensive per TB; they are good for booting up Windows and for reducing loading times for gaming. For an old OEM pre-built, upgrading the PC with an SSD is the single greatest speed booster you can do to your system. For most people, you want to make sure the SSD you get is NOT DRAM-less as these SSDs do not last as long as their DRAM counterparts (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybIXsrLCgdM). It is also noted that the bigger the capacity of the SSD, the faster they are. SSDs come in four forms:
The 2.5" SATA form is cheaper, but it is the old format with speeds up to 550MB/s. M.2 SATA SSDs have the same transfer speeds as 2.5" SATA SSDs since they use the SATA interface, but connect directly to the mobo without a cable. It's better for cable management to get an M.2 SATA SSD over a 2.5" SATA III SSD. M.2 PCI-e SSDs are the newest SSD format and transfer up to 4GB/s depending on the PCI-e lanes they use (e.g., 1x, 2x, 4x, etc.). They're great for moving large files (e.g., 4K video production). For more info about U.2 drives, see this post (https://www.reddit.com/bapccanada/comments/8jxfqs/meta_new_to_pc_building_may_2018_edition/dzqj5ks/). Currently more common for enterprise builds, but could see some usage in consumer builds.

Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)

HDDs are slow with transfer speeds of ~100MB/s, but are cheap per TB compared to SSDs. We are now at SATA III speeds, which have a max theoretical transfer rate of 600MB/s. They also come in 5400RPM and 7200RPM forms. 5400RPM uses slightly less power and are cheaper, but aren't as fast at dealing with a large number of small files as 7200RPM HDDs. When dealing with a small number of large files, they have roughly equivalent performance. It is noted that even a 10,000RPM HDD will still be slower than an average 2.5" SATA III SSD.

Others

SSHDs are hybrids of SSDs and HDDs. Although they seem like a good combination, it's much better in all cases to get a dedicated SSD and a dedicated HDD instead. This is because the $/speed better for SSDs and the $/TB is better for HDDs. The same can be said for Intel Optane. They both have their uses, but for most users, aren't worth it.

Overall

I recommend a 2.5" or M.2 SATA ≥ 250GB DRAM SSD and a 1TB or 2TB 7200RPM HDD configuration for most users for a balance of speed and storage capacity.

Video Card/GPU

Part that runs complex calculations in games and outputs to your monitor and is usually the most expensive part of the budget. The GPU you pick is dictated by the gaming resolution and FPS you want to play at.
In general, all video cards of the same product name have almost the same non-OC'd performance (e.g., Asus Dual-GTX1060-06G has the same performance as the EVGA 06G-P4-6163-KR SC GAMING). The different sizes and # fans DO affect GPU OCing capability, however. The most important thing here is to get an open-air video card, NOT a blower video card (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0domMRFG1Rw). The blower card is meant for upgrading pre-builts where case airflow is limited.
For cost-performance, go for the NVIDIA GTX cards because of the cryptomining industry that has inflated AMD RX cards. Bitcoin has taken a -20% hit since January's $10,000+ as of recently, but the cryptomining industry is still ongoing. Luckily, this means prices have nearly corrected itself to original MSRP in 2016.
In general:
Note that if your monitor has FreeSync technology, get an AMD card. If your monitor has G-Sync, get a NVIDIA card. Both technologies allow for smooth FPS gameplay. If you don't have either, it doesn't really matter which brand you get.
For AMD RX cards, visit https://www.pcworld.com/article/3197885/components-graphics/every-amd-radeon-rx-graphics-card-you-can-buy-for-pc-gaming.html

New NVIDIA GeForce RTX Series

New NVIDIA 2000 RTX series have been recently announced and will be carried in stores in Q3 and Q4. Until all of the products have been fully vetted and reviewed, we cannot recommend those yet as I cannot say if they are worth what NVIDIA has marketed them as. But they will be faster than their previous equivalents and will require more wattage to use. The 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti will feature ray tracing, which is a new feature seen in modern CG movies that greatly enhances lighting and shadow effects. At this time, < 30 games will use ray tracing (https://www.pcgamer.com/21-games-will-support-nvidias-real-time-ray-tracing-here-are-demos-of-tomb-raider-and-control/). It's also noted that the 2080 Ti is the Titan XP equivalent, which is why it's so expensive. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Irs8jyEmmPQ) The community's general recommendation is NOT to pre-order them until we see some reviews and benchmarks from reviewers first.
Looks like a couple of benchmarks are out. While keeping other parts equal the following results were obtained(https://videocardz.com/77983/nvidia-geforce-rtx-2080-ti-and-rtx-2080-official-performance-unveiled). So the 2080 and 2080 Ti are better than last generation's 1080 Ti by ~10 and ~20 frames respectively.

Case

Part that houses your parts and protects them from its environment. Should often be the last part you choose because the selection is big enough to be compatible with any build you choose as long as the case is equal to or bigger than the mobo form factor.
Things to consider: aesthetics, case airflow, cable management, material, cooling options (radiators or # of fan spaces), # fans included, # drive bays, toolless installation, power supply shroud, GPU clearance length, window if applicable (e.g., acrylic, tempered glass), etc.
It is recommended to watch or read case reviews on Youtube to get an idea of a case's performance in your setup.

Power Supply/PSU

Part that runs your PC from the wall socket. Never go with an non-reputable/cheap brand out on these parts as low-quality parts could damage your other parts. Recommended branded PSUs are Corsair, EVGA, Seasonic, and Thermaltake, generally. For a tier list, see here (https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/631048-psu-tier-list-updated/).

Wattage

Wattage depends on the video card chosen, if you plan to OC, and/or if you plan to upgrade to a more powerful PSU in the future. Here's a rule of thumb for non-OC wattages that meet NVIDIA's recommendations:
There are also PSU wattage calculators that you can use to estimate your wattage. How much wattage you used is based on your PC parts, how much OCing you're doing, your peripherals (e.g., gaming mouse and keyboard), and how long you plan to leave your computer running, etc. It is noted that these calculators use conservative estimates, so use the outputted wattage as a baseline of how much you need. Here are the calculators (thanks, VitaminDeity).
Pick ONE calculator to use and use the recommended wattage, NOT recommended product, as a baseline of what wattage you need for your build. Note that Cooler Master and Seasonic use the exact calculator as Outervision. For more details about wattage, here are some reference videos:

Modularity

You might also see some info about modularity (non-modular, semi-modular, or fully-modular). These describe if the cables will come connected to the PSU or can be separated of your own choosing. Non-modular PSUs have ALL of the cable connections attached to the PSU with no option to remove unneeded cables. Semi-modular PSUs have separate cables for HDDs/SSDs and PCI-e connectors, but will have CPU and mobo cables attached. Modular PSUs have all of their cables separate from each other, allowing you to fully control over cable management. It is noted that with decent cooling and airflow in your case, cable management has little effect on your temperatures (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDCMMf-_ASE).

80+ Efficiency Ratings

As for ratings (80+, 80+ bronze, 80+ gold, 80+ platinum), these are the efficiencies of your PSU. Please see here for more information. If you look purely on electricity costs, the 80+ gold PSUs will be more expensive than 80+ bronze PSUs for the average Canadian user until a breakeven point of 6 years (assuming 8 hours/day usage), but often the better performance, longer warranty periods, durable build quality, and extra features like fanless cooling is worth the extra premium. In general, the rule of thumb is 80+ bronze for entry-level office PCs and 80+ gold for mid-tier or higher gaming/workstation builds. If the price difference between a 80+ bronze PSU and 80+ gold PSU is < 20%, get the 80+ gold PSU!

Warranties

Warranties should also be looked at when shopping for PSUs. In general, longer warranties also have better PSU build quality. In general, for 80+ bronze and gold PSU units from reputable brands:
Any discrepancies are based on varied wattages (i.e., higher wattages have longer warranties) or updated warranty periods. Please refer to the specific product's warranty page for the correct information. For EVGA PSUs, see here (https://www.evga.com/support/warranty/power-supplies/). For Seasonic PSUs, see here (https://seasonic.com/support#period). For Corsair PSUs, see here (https://www.corsair.com/ca/en/warranty).
For all other PSU inquiries, look up the following review sites for the PSUs you're interested in buying:
These guys are engineering experts who take apart PSUs, analyze the quality of each product, and provide an evaluation of the product. Another great website is http://www.orionpsudb.com/, which shows which PSUs are manufactured by different OEMs.

Operating System (OS)

Windows 10

The most common OS. You can download the ISO here (https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows10). For instructions on how to install the ISO from a USB drive, see here (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/install-windows-from-a-usb-flash-drive) or watch a video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLfnuE1unS8). For most users, go with the 64-bit version.
If you purchase a Windows 10 retail key (i.e., you buy it from a retailer or from Microsoft directly), keep in mind that you are able to transfer it between builds. So if you're building another PC for the 2nd, 3rd, etc. time, you can reuse the key for those builds PROVIDED that you deactivate your key before installing it on your new PC. These keys are ~$120.
However, if you have an OEM key (e.g., pre-builts), that key is tied specifically to your mobo. If you ever decide to upgrade your mobo on that pre-built PC, you might have to buy a new Windows 10 license. For more information, see this post (https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/feature/windows/windows-10-oem-or-retail-3665849/). The cheaper Windows 10 keys you can find on Kinguin are OEM keys; activating and deactivating these keys may require phoning an automated Microsoft activation line. Most of these keys are legitimate and cost ~$35, although Microsoft does not intend for home users to obtain this version of it. Buyer beware.
The last type of key is a volume licensing key. They are licensed in large volumes to corporate or commercial usage. You can find lots of these keys on eBay for ~$10, but if the IT department who manages these keys audit who is using these keys or if the number of activations have exceeded the number allotted on that one key, Microsoft could block that key and invalidate your license. Buyer beware.
For more information on differentiating between all three types of keys, see this page (https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/49586-determine-if-windows-license-type-oem-retail-volume.html).
If money is tight, you can get Windows 10 from Microsoft and use a trial version of it indefinitely. However, there will be a watermark in the bottom-right of your screen until you activate your Windows key.

MacOS

If you're interested in using MacOS, look into Hackintosh builds. This will allow you to run MacOS to run on PC parts, saving you lots of money. These builds are pretty picky about part compatibility, so you might run into some headaches trying to go through with this. For more information, see the following links:

Linux

If you're interested in a free open-source OS, see the following links:
For more information, go to /linux, /linuxquestions, and /linux4noobs.

Peripherals

Monitors

Keyboards and Mice

Overall

Please note that the cost-performance builds will change daily because PC part prices change often! Some builds will have excellent cost-performance one day and then have terrible cost-performance the next. If you want to optimize cost-performance, it is your responsibility to do this if you go down this route!
Also, DO NOT PM me with PC build requests! It is in your best interests to make your own topic so you can get multiple suggestions and input from the community rather than just my own. Thanks again.

Sample Builds

Here are some sample builds that are reliable, but may not be cost-optimized builds. These builds were created on September 9, 2018; feel free to "edit this part list" and create your own builds.

Links

Helpful links to common problems below:

Contributors

Thanks to:

Housekeeping

2019/09/22
2019/09/18
Updates:
2019/09/09
Updates:
Sorry for the lack of updates. I recently got a new job where I work 12 hours/day for 7 days at a time out of the city. What little spare time I have is spent on grad school and the gym instead of gaming. So I've been pretty behind on the news and some might not be up-to-date as my standards would have been with less commitments. If I've made any mistakes, please understand it might take a while for me to correct them. Thank you!
submitted by BlackRiot to bapccanada [link] [comments]

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