3 Mean Reversion Strategies That Prop Traders Use To Trade ...

What makes learning forex worth it for you?

What makes learning forex worth it for you?
I've been spending the last few weeks while in furlough learning about FOREX for three main reasons,
  1. To learn something new
  2. To do something productive with my free time (vs browsing reddit or playing games)
  3. To make some money on the side
Now, ignoring #1 and #2, I've just been thinking about #3. I have a pretty good day job when I'm not furloughed (work in marketing data analytics in the tourism sector which is obviously fucked), but I've been thinking about ways to get some cash on the side to fund my sort of expensive hobbies. I've been thinking, if I could trade on the Japanese market from 6-10pm Mountain Time a few nights a week, could I net more than I would working a part time job?
And the answer is, based on the research I've done making the assumptions below, not without a starting capital of in the $20,000-$25,000 range... Which is doable, I guess, but I can think of better uses for my savings account and will probably be playing with less than $5,000 and tiny risks to live test. Anyway, I've made some assumptions below and I guess I'm just looking for someone who wants to step in and confirm or deny my thoughts. That being said, I'm not going to *not* continue on with forex trading as a hobby, but I think I just need to throw out #3 above unless there's something I'm missing.
Assuming 1.5% a month which seems reasonable based on the research I've done so far, compounding:

https://preview.redd.it/70kd6z2paq051.png?width=175&format=png&auto=webp&s=4a79d70e44d52ca0c9b3b0c5cc8f56bd93e1dad4
With these assumptions, and $20,000 to start, you're looking at about $4,000 in earnings over the course of a year. Now, I could go across the street, get a job at a hotel front desk, and work for $15/hr times 8 hours per week times 40 weeks a year and beat this. Not as fun, clearly, but it seems to take the "making money" side of this whole thing away. So what are you all in this for? Do you actually have six figure or million dollar accounts and are making something worthwhile off the ROI, or set up with prop firms and hedge funds? Are people here actually hitting 20%, 30%+ yearly, more? Or is everyone else just here for shits & giggles?
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【翻译Quora上一篇问答】中国是否正在面临一次银行危机(谈到房地产) by phoebeDD on 2016-10-04

Is China really facing a banking crisis? What are its origins?
(中国是否正在面对一次银行危机?其根源又是什么?)



According to a recent article titled China facing full-blown banking crisis, world's top financial watchdog war
ns published in the Telegraph:
(根据近期电讯文章报道:“世界顶级金融观察者发出警告:中国正在面临全面的银行危机”)
China has failed to curb excesses in its credit system and faces mounting risks of a full-blown banking crisis
(中国已对债务违约失去控制,他们正在面对随之而来的全面性银行危机)
(中国债务/GDP 占比图)


Financial Crises

International Economics

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Robin Daverman, Dealmaker
Written Sep 27


Ah, but maybe you want to look around a bit and see how China’s total debt is compared with other economies, like this?
(你可能想看看其他经济体与中国的债务情况相比是怎么样的,如下图)

(G10债务分布图)
If you put China’s data on this chart, it will be somewhere around Canada and New Zealand. Guess Which Country Has Debt Of Nearly 1000% Of GDP... Shocking, isn’t it?
如果你将中国的数据插入上图进行比较的话,中国的数据大约会在加拿大和新西兰之间。猜猜看哪个国家债务大约是自己GDP的10倍....(英国)非常震惊吧
UK has almost 1000% Debt-to-GDP ratio, compared with China’s < 300% Debt-to-GDP ratio, mostly because of that over-sized financial debt - at the end of the day, the government must stand behind it. On top of that, the UK has no resource to sell, hardly any industry left, going through a divorce with EU, and almost never ever meets her fiscal targets. And yet, UK, with its near 1000% debt-to-GDP ratio, is still viewed as the gold standard among safe havens. PRESENTING: The Rosetta Stone Of The Entire Sovereign Debt Crisis Why? Because UK issues debt in her own currency. And who prints the pound? The UK government.
英国的债务/GDP占比将近1000%而中国只是小于300%,其原因是其过于庞大的金融债务——政府最终将不得不为之站台。在此之上,英国没用可出售的资源,没有任何本国工业,正在脱离欧盟,而且英国基本上从来没有达成其财务目标。即使如此,英国仍然被某些传媒视为安全经济体的黄金标准。其原因就是英债都以英镑的方式结算。那么是谁印英镑的呢?英国政府。
Then you take a look at Japan, wow that’s 600%+ debt-to-GDP ratio! But - Japan’s debt is not only mostly internal, in Japanese Yen, but also with 0% or even negative interest. You can roll this kind of debt over practically forever. That’s why people have been yelling about Japanese debt for the last 20 years, and nothing happens.
然后你看看日本,将近600%的债务/GDP占比!但是,日本的债务几乎都是内部的,以日元的形式出售的债务,而且日本是0利率甚至是负利率。实际上这种债务你可以无限积累下去(经济常识:如果是负利率,政府只要保持债务不变,多出来的部分会自行消失)。这就是为啥人们对日债担心了20年但屁事没有发生。
Then you take a look at those economies that have blown up on debt:
Argentina: Government/Sovereign debt in USD, with jurisdiction in New York!Greece: Government/Sovereign debt in Euro, with jurisdiction in Brussels!Iceland: External financial debt → nationalized into Government/Sovereign debt in USD and Euro alone was 700%+ GDP in 2008, with jurisdiction in New York and Brussels.
然后你看看那些因债务问题毁掉的经济体:
阿根廷:政府/主权债务以美元形式结算,其裁判权在纽约!希腊:政府/主权债务以欧元方式结算,其裁判权在布鲁塞尔!冰岛:外部金融债务→债务国有化后2008年政府/主权债务以美元和欧元的形式达到GDP的700%,其裁判权在纽约和布鲁塞尔
Then you look at China, with her debt almost entirely internal, in Chinese RMB to Chinese citizens, government debt at 55%, lower than the US, Japan, and EU average, in her own currency. China’s external debt is about 9% of GDP, globally ranked 184th (less than North Korea, similar to Kosovo) - anyway you look at it, it’s hardly the kind of material to make a banking crisis. China is borrowing a little bit from her own piggy bank. Argentina/Greece/Iceland were borrowing a lot from the Mafia.
然后你看看中国,中国的债务基本都是内部以人民币结算的。中国政府债务只占总债务的55%,比美国,日本和欧盟都要低,再次强调,其债务以人民币结算。中国外部债务只占GDP的9%,全球排行184位(比朝鲜低,比科索沃高)。无论怎么看,你都不会看到中国有任何银行危机的迹象。中国只是向其国内贪心的银行借钱。阿根廷/希腊/冰岛可是像美国欧盟这些黑手党借钱。
PS: The most significant increase in China’s debt is in the financial sector, driven by rising real estate price (which means higher value of housing loans). Right now, the Chinese government is basically using it as a tool to do macro-economic engineering. The goal is to cap urban growth in top tier cities (Beijing, Shanghai, etc.) and push the economic growth to second- and third- tier cities (Hangzhou, the city that just hosted G20, is an example.http://www.g20.org/English/Hangzhou/About/index.html Now you can look back and see why the Chinese government decided to host G20 in a city nobody has ever heard of). This is clearly stated by the Chinese government like 100 times since last year in the official news channels. The reason? Top tier Chinese cities like Shanghai (25 million) already have more city residents than the whole nation of Australia! The metropolitan area of Shanghai (44 million) has more people than the entire population of Canada! In one city! Beijing’s population grew by 8 million within the last decade! The place is simply full.List of cities in China by population and built-up area
PS: 中国最显著的债务增长是在其金融领域内不断升高的房价造成的(不断增高的房贷造成债务问题)。现在中国政府正在利用房价作为宏观经济调控的工具。其目的是限制一线城市的城市化进程和加速二三线城市的发展(刚刚举办了G20的杭州就是个例子,现在你就能知道为啥中国政府将G20放在一个没人听说过的城市举行了)。这些政策中国政府已经在官媒上宣布了无数次。原因就是一线城市,例如上海(2500万人口),其居民数量比阿根廷全国人口还要多!上海都市圈(4400万人口)的人口数量比加拿大全国还要多!北京人口数量在过去的10年内增长了800万!这些城市的人口数量已经饱和了。
In addition to real estate prices, the Chinese government is also doing stuff like restricting residents permits, disallowing second or third homes, even restricting jobs to local residents, everything to say “this place is full. We have these other nice choices, with lower housing prices. Go there.” Young people complaining about housing prices in tier-one cities? But that’s the whole point. The debt you have to take on to live in tier-one cities SHOULD SCARE YOU OFF. The Chinese government is trying to stop the influx of people pouring into tier-one cities, and get these smart and energetic youths to go build two, three, four, five. … more Shanghai’s in other parts of China. 1.4 billion people can’t all fit into tier-one cities.
除了以房地产为手段,中国政府也加强控制了居住证的发放,禁止第二/三套房买入甚至对本地居民的工作种类进行限制,这些都是为了表达一个意思:这些地方都人满为患了。二三线城市有更低的房价和更好的生活条件,快点去那里吧!年轻人都在抱怨一线城市的高房价?但这就是中国政府想要的。你在一线城市生存需要的代价会把你吓退。中国政府正在尝试控制一线城市的人口流入而让有技术和充满活力的年轻人去建设二三四五线城市——让更多的上海出现在国家的其他地方。14亿人口是没可能全部都聚集在一线城市的。
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Paul Denlinger, Involved in China economics study
Written Sep 27


There is too much debt, and a lot of it is likely to turn into bad debt, but that does not equal a banking crisis.
是因为中国贷款太多了,而这些贷款大多数会变成不良贷款,但这些都不等银行危机
Banking crisis may be a nice term to bandy around and get clicks and headlines, but does not really explain what is going on.
银行危机或许是一个十分吸引眼球的头条,但是根本就不能解释实际的情况
There was a lot of debt financing, especially after the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis in the US. In order to keep the economy on a steady keel, the Chinese government, through its banks, pumped money to Chinese state-owned enterprises, in order to keep high employment and maintain an image of “growth”. A lot of this money then found its way into the underground banking system through “wealth management products” and other means. A lot of this has turned into bad debt.
中国政府有过很多次债务融资,特别是08年美国次贷危机之后。为了稳住经济增长,中国政府通过银行将大量人民币注入到国企内以维持就业率和高增长的形象。但这些钱最终大都以理财产品和其他形式流进了地下钱庄。这些大部分都变成了不良贷款。
Another problem area, which frequently overlaps with the “wealth management products” is the local government financing vehicle used to fund local property development, which I have discussed here: Paul Denlinger's answer to Why does China have so many ghost towns?
另一个有问题的领域,和“理财产品”有莫大关联的,就是地方政府为当地基础建设所采用的金融工具(我在这个地方有详细的分析:https://www.quora.com/Why-does-China-have-so-many-ghost-towns/answePaul-Denlinger?srid=tR&share=22b99cfc
What is likely to happen in China is that growth will slow down in some areas, while there will be certain newer parts of the economy which will continue to grow. If the Chinese government is able to support the newer parts of the economy and help them to grow, while cutting back on loans to the weaker parts of the economy, it may be able to handle this transition better.
最可能发生的情况就是中国的经济增长将会放缓,但是肯定会用新的增站点。如果中国政府能支持新的增长点而且能减低夕阳工业的不良贷款率,那么或许能更好地度过过渡期。
This is exactly what the Chinese government is trying to do and you can read about it here:Here is how China is going to quietly save its economy
这些正是中国政府正在尝试去做的,你可以读读这个文章了解一下:http://www.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/2022491/china-deploys-policy-banks-stealth-mission-stimulate-growth
So, if you are expecting there to be a dramatic run on the banks, and the Chinese people to take to the streets and overthrow the Chinese Communist Party, and become a full-blown democracy like Taiwan, Japan or South Korea, you are very likely to be disappointed.
所以,如果你是期待一次强烈的bank run(自行百度啥是bank run),然后中国人民上街推翻TG,中国大陆变成与台湾,日本韩国一样的政体,那么你要失望了。
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Nikhil Ambhorkar, Self studied Finance.
Written Sep 26


Is China facing a Banking crisis?
中国是在面临一个银行危机吗?
Yes.

Is it facing a full blown Banking crisis?
中国正在面临一个全面性的银行危机吗?
No.

Combined debt of China is almost 300% of its GDP. But the the categorized in 4 parts as it is shown in the image with the question too.
中国的总债务大概是GDP的300%。但是分在了如图所示的4个领域内。
The corporate debt has the lion's portion of the total debt. The household debt and non corporate debt are nothing to worry about because it is less many other developed countries and has some room to grow.
公司债务在总债务中占了大头。个人债务和非公司债务根本没啥可担心的因为这些比大多数发达国家还要低所以还有增长的空间。
Government Debt is not too big when compared to standards set by many global institutions like IMF, World Bank, etc.
政府债务以多数国际组织,例如世行和IMF,设定得标准来看其实不高。
The only major concern which is of a serious magnitude is the corporate debt. This is also reiterated by many economists.
最主要的关注点就是公司债务了。许多经济学家都重申了这点无数次了。
Now the problem with China is that data that comes out of major Chinese institutions is murky so their are many different types of estimates by many different institutions but the common theme in it is corporate debt and its size.
中国最大的问题就是中国国内组织公布的数据来源不清晰所以不同的国际组织对中国经济的实际情况估算会不一样。但所有组织最关心的都是中国的公司债务与其规模。
Corporate debt consists of debt owned by state owned corporations and private corporations. Private corporations in China are generally crowded out by the state owned corporations because of connections and political agenda.
公司债务又分成了国企和私企的债务。中国私企大多数收到国企排挤,这是有政体造成的。
Many state owned corporations have invested into unproductive projects as a result of excess boost given by government after 2008 to prop up the economy. This has resulted in a huge amount of NPAs. So, in all the major problem is state owned corporations piling up huge amount of debt. To solve this problem, the government tried to convert the debt into shares which the bank owns and can recover money through profit dividends but this was one of the causes for last year's stock market crash.
在08年过度的经济刺激政策下,很多国企在许多无效益项目上投了许多钱。这造成了大量的无效能资产。所以,最大的问题是国企堆积了大量债务。为了解决这个问题,政府正在尝试将国企的债务转化为股份,那么银行就能将债务转化为红利而最终将债务收回了。但这造成了上年的股灾.....
Hence, it is a big crisis but not the one government cannot handle with so much trade surplus and forex reserves. But actions are definitely needed to stop it from growing into a bigger problem.
所以,这是一个危机但仍然是政府能控制的,毕竟中国政府有大量贸易顺差和外汇储备。但是仍然需要实际行动来防止事态的扩展。
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In case you missed it: HSBC trader found guilty of front running the spot fx market. Detailed court charts provide insight into how bank money moves markets and including actual position size/duration information.

One of the things that surprises many newbies to the forex world is that some forms of insider trading aren't illegal. Front running is the practice of taking a position with the knowledge that there is a large order coming through behind you to push the market in your favour, and it's been generally accepted that this is just the way of things in the spot market, even if it's been outlawed in futures and equities.
However, a recent landmark case means that this may no longer be the case.
Former HSBC Holdings Plc currency trader Mark Johnson was found guilty of fraud for front-running a $3.5 billion client order, a victory for U.S. prosecutors as they seek to root out misconduct in global financial markets.
He was convicted on Monday on nine of 10 fraud and conspiracy counts after a month-long trial in Brooklyn, New York.
(https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-23/ex-hsbc-currency-trader-is-convicted-of-fraud-for-front-running)
It is hard to know exactly what impact this will have on the markets, given that many traders will look at this case and note that: a) there was fall out because the HSBC desk execution acted against the interest of their client, rather than the front running per se b) there was active conspiracy with other traders c) the run was into the fix, rather than less watched times of the day.
I haven't read the case details though, so perhaps there is actual specificity against the practice. Systemic risk averse (not the same as market risk aversion) institutions may be less willing to engage in the practice, and certainly it seems to continue the push towards removing the human element altogether.
-- // --
What's even more interesting for spot traders who can't front run, is the detailed look behind the scenes that the case gives us, as it clearly outlines the actual events in the real world that translate into price movement.
Timeline of events
1) Cairn Energy PLC, an oil and gas company begin talks to sell a 51.8% share of their Cairn India subsidiary in late 2010 for $8.7 billion
2) Approval from the Indian government doesn't come through until September 2011
3) Cairn Energy place an order with HSBC to convert 3.5 billion dollars from the asset sale to pounds in December 2011
4) HSBC desk traders accumulate GBPUSD longs in anticipation of the big order
5) The desk trader responsible for putting through the 3.5 billion trade 'ramps' the order through just before the fix, all traders then close out positions.
References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairn_Energy https://www.law360.com/articles/972069/expert-tells-of-hsbc-trading-frenzy-around-3-5b-forex-deal https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-05/ex-hsbc-trader-says-boss-ordered-him-to-ramp-up-price-of-pound
-- // --
Now for those of you who are already aware that this sort of activity occurs, this isn't news, just open confirmation of what was assumed to take place.
More fascinating though are the position size and timing information, which give proper insight into market dynamics.
You should read this full article to get the best understanding: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-10/in-hsbc-currency-trade-charts-u-s-offers-its-theory-of-a-crime
-- // --
These are the charts in question:
Reuters Buying Market M5 volume chart showing HSBC share
https://i.imgur.com/bXBN2BC.jpg
For all that's said about spot forex having 'no true centralised volume' etc, this is an incredibly telling graphic of just how much a major player can dominate the interbank market and leave a very meaningful and tell-tale spike, even at the fix. Additionally that's 1.6BN notional moved in five minutes.
Prop book position sizes for HSBC London and HSBC NY
https://i.imgur.com/MhRPGWJ.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/krBztbX.jpg
There is a lot of information in these charts if you're willing to dig down into them. You can see the size of individual HSBC bank traders' positions, how much they change them, how long they hold them for, and how quickly they exit them.
It's worth nothing that the increments on the horizontal axis are 6 minutes, meaning the standard position hold length was often only in hours, with size reaching up to $70M for the NY traders.
The London traders had quite different styles, one of them running a frequently adjusting multiple small trades inside their larger position, one of them running a static short for much of the day before flipping to the long as they were alerted to the front-running opportunity.
In addition to liquidating their positions into the $3.5bn client order, many also shorted off the peak, although didn't close out in the given time period.
Actual spot price vs HSBC trader position size
https://i.imgur.com/Qc1Kart.jpg
This is particularly fascinating, because it's rare to see the spot price superimposed over the genuine very high volume buying activity.
Having looked through these charts, it's important to take a step back and think about how it all fits together: corporate activity outside of the market, leading to a major forex order, leading to the constant aggressive buying driving price up over an hour, and then the sharp position exits causing price to peak.
How you would have perceived this depends on your lens to the market. Perhaps it looked to you like a particular candle formation, maybe a test of resistance, maybe a breach of resistance. Perhaps you saw it as a big volume stomp on the DoM. Maybe it was just 'noise' (even though it represented a genuine commercial event). Maybe it formed part of harmonic, or crossed an average, triggered an automated algor entry.
But price doesn't move about for abstract reasons from minute to minute, hour to hour - it's driven by real world events that will never register on your radar, like the Cairn's Indian subsidiary sale, which then manifests when bank traders make decisions with client money and bank prop money on the side.
Whether or not this should factor into your trading depends on a combination of your personality, mental model of the market and your trading style. But new traders should always be very wary of approaches to the market that can not account for the information that can be seen about how the market operates when criminal investigations pull back the curtains.
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[Table] IAmA: We Are the Hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show! We just spent 4 days at Bitcoin2013, Ask Us Anything!

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Date: 2013-05-24
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Questions Answers
Hi all! I was wondering, what do you think it would take to get bitcoin from a niche currency used mainly by internet denizens to go mainstraim? I know the slow creep of more small companies accepting bitcoin helps, but what do you think that final cusp will be, and will it ever come to that? Thanks for taking the time to do this! There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.
Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.
Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.
But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.
Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.
It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.
I guess the Supreme Court has decided this does not apply to taxes, which is crap. Or are you talking about other countries? Thank you :) I actually mean something along the lines of "It is illegal to trade dollars for any cryptocurrency that does not have a real name and social security associated with it"
Will bitcoins ever be able to be traded like other recognized currencies in similar ways to Forex? More specifically, will there ever be retail brokers offering margin trading accounts that allow you to buy and sell bitcoin with leverage? There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens. Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession. With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement. What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.
Do you believe bitcoin is important locally as well as on the internet? If so, how are you promoting bitcoin in your local communities? Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.
If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.
Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.
Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.
What are some of the more exciting things you (each of you?) envision for Bitcoin in the short to medium term? Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.
From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.
Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.
Not to be the doom and gloom person but in the future what do you think will/would be the "last nail in the coffin" for Bitcoin? It depends what you mean by "last nail in the coffin"
How did you meet/find Andreas and Stephanie and how did you persuade them to be part of your show? I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.
I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.
Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.
Thanks for responding! Andreas is my fave (though I enjoy yours and Stephanie's comments too). Everybody has their favorite :) I think the fact that we all have people disagreeing with us at times means we're doing the job, and providing multiple and varied perspectives.
What recording tools are you using? We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)
Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.
I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"
Assuming bitcoin reaches critical mass, how does bitcoin cope with the criticism of rewarding early adopters? Do you see a potential uproar about inequity? Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.
We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.
One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.
>It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.
What do you make of the download trend of the bitcoin client software in China? Isn't this a big story? China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.
You commented on a recent episode about how Satochi Dice was going to block US traffic to the site due to uncertain regulations. Can't bitcoin work around that? If you send bitcoin to the addresses of the various bets - it still works right? Thanks for your show - I await each new podcast. Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.
I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here Link to letstalkbitcoin.com
I'd like to thank all three of you for doing this podcast, it's always thought provoking and fun to listen to. Plus, Stephanie does have a very sexy voice... But I do have a question, Right now, I don't know the answer to that question.
How do miners determine which transactions will be confirmed first and which get put to the back of the line? Shouldn't they be confirmed in a 'first come, first serve' basis? But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.
*edit: As well, do you still plan on using some time on the show to go into more detail about mining? I think it was mentioned a few weeks ago that the topic might be explored in further detail. There will be fewer miners who accept free or very low fee transactions, so there you go.
How would Bitcoin change our financial system as we know it? In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"
Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.
I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.
We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.
Have any of you heard about how in Africa much of the exchange in value is done with mobile phone minutes? It seems to me - whatever the US attempts to do with Bitcoin - there will be other places that it will bubble up in. What about Argentina and other places where they actually understand what damage a desperate government can do to a currency? I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with Link to phoneacoin.com and others.
Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.
No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.
Who invented Bitcoin? What is to stop whoever did so initially issuing themselves the equivalent of $79 zillion in Bitcoin currency prior to it taking off? Is there commission charged on each transaction that occurs? If so, how much, and who receives this? The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".
He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.
Great podcast, can't wait for the next one! It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.
You discussed mesh networks in 3rd world countries and how bitcoin could be used in such a scenario. If the [mesh] network is disconnected from the internet, how would transactions on the blockchain be verified? Couldn't the time the mesh network was disconnected make it vulnerable to hacking the [mesh network's] blockchain? More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)
1) The price for one Bitcoin seems to fluctuate quite a bit. The most successful currencies remain relatively stable over time (e.g. the Dollar). Will Bitcoin ever need to reach a certain level of stability to be a successful unit of trade? and if so, what do you think needs to happen before then? 1 - Yes! Once everyone who has purchased Bitcoin has purchased them, the price will stabilize. In practice this will start happening long before absolute stability, and as soon as people start thinking about prices in terms of BTC instead of their local currency it almost doesn't matter.
2) If Bitcoin ever becomes a widely accepted form of payment (seems a lot of businesses already accept it), how do you think the US government will proceed/react/regulate/etc. considering that technically only the feds can issue currency? 2 - "The Feds" are not the only ones who can issue currency - They have legal tender laws which mean people MUST accept their money, but nothing prevents you from circulating a voluntary currency like Bitcoin.
Do you foresee companies like paypal incorporating bitcoin into their businesses in the future as a more credible exchange than these ones that are currently running? No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.
Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.
Thanks for the well thought out response, I genuinely appreciated that you took the time for this! I do have a follow up question, how does one get bit coin in an easy way? Lets say I have 300$ that I want in bit coin.. whats the best way to approach this? Probably a company like bitinstant.com, bitstamp.com, or btcquick.com - For larger amounts they don't make too much sense but at that level its your best bet.
Not to be rude, but how do you expect for a currency without a standard like gold silver etc. to not crash down in a blaze of glory? What standard is your currency backed by?
Hi There. I was at the San Jose convention hall last weekend attending Big Wow Comicfest and that's where I saw Bitcoin2013! Mostly Bitcoin 2013 was an opportunity for people building the future of Bitcoin to meet each other and network. There were speakers talking about a wide variety of issues, and vendors of Bitcoin services who were showing their latest innovations and systems.
What information was presented at this event that couldn't be done justice disseminated over the internet? The information will eventually be online, but the probably 200 people I got to meet in real life will not (in real life)
What resources do you think I should review as a total newbie to bitcoin? Or if possible, what's the one sentence pitch to get a newb involved? For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.
The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"
Would any of you hazard a guess at the bitcoin exchange rate at the end of 2013? Sure, i'll make a wild guess.
$1000.
If and when a large user comes onboard, I think thats the next price at which we'll bounce around for a while, just like 100 became the sticky point after the last major bout of adoption.
How do bitcoins relate to the law? For example, what would be the crime if somone hacked your account and stole your bitcoins? It's not exactly theft of money, or is it? Bitcoins are your property, it's illegal for someone to steal your property whether it is money or not. Right now there is little that can be done about theft, but eventually I expect a class of "Blockchain Forensic Investigators" to emerge who will track down your stolen coins for a % based fee.
On your last show you mentioned the diversity of the Bitcoiners who attended BitCoin2013 - which nation was most represented in your opinion? Were there any Chinese nationals present (we've heard that they've suddenly gotten the bitcoin bug in the last month)? Did the other nations talk about regulatory problems or is that just a US concern? I met the gentleman from BTC-China, but other than that I actually didn't see any obvious chinese nationals. We saw lots of eastern europeans and south americans.
Other nations are not talking about the regulatory issue as far as I can tell, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what the US does, which is not abnormal in a very new situation like this.
Isn't having an inherently deflationary currency a terrible idea? How is bitcoin different from geeky goldbuggery? Because you can't divide a gold coin into .0001 without incurring cost and expense. That's not the case with Bitcoin, so the deflationary aspect of it is largely moot.
There is a tendency to listen to modern "economics" which makes this arguement, saying that the money supply must expand because otherwise it drives down profitability in a race to the bottom.
I think in practice we'll find that people don't work against their own best interest, and while during the initial adoptions stages of Bitcoin there will be significant discounts offered to those who pay with Bitcoin vs. legacy currency, once the market becomes saturated and the price levels out those discounts will be scaled way back.
Right now it makes sense to heavily discount, because the expectation is that the value of the Bitcoins will go up during this period of adoption, that won't always be true and the discount is a reflection of anticipated future returns.
Was it bad when people saved money in banks that paid 10% interest? No, that's called capital formation. There is a thought that given a deflationary currency nobody will spend any money, that's nonsense. Just because your currency gains value over time doesn't mean that you no longer have costs that must be paid for. What Deflationary currencies do is say "Ok, you could spend it on that, but is it worth it relative to what you'll gain by not?"
That's a good thing. Our system right now works on the opposite theory - Spend money NOW because if you're dumb enough to keep it in the bank it will actually lose value over time between the couple points of "official" inflation and less than 1% artifical interest rates. The situation is like this now because the fed is trying to make people spend as much money as possible with the hope that the flows will "restart the economic engine"
Too bad this isn't how things work, not that it'll stop us from trying it over and over again.
In the 2008 financial crash, govts bailed out the banks because there was no other way to maintain the whole financial ecosystems of payrolls, invoices and trade, all of which go through the banking system. Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.
Can you envisage another financial crash in the future where govt says, "We don't need to do a bailout, as we've got this alternative payment system" and then instructs businesses and employees to just get themselves a bitcoin address and work through the Bitcoin system? Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.
What type of notes and agenda does the team coordinate on before a show? We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.
The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.
Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON.
I first learned about Bitcoins on an episode of The Good Wife. The one with Jason Biggs as the creator of BitCoin. Have you watched that episode and how accurate does that episode portray what's happening with Bitcoin in terms of legal stuff? Not having seen it but knowing TV, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "not very well" Satoshi has not been identified, was a throw-away identity that was cryptographically secured, so probably never will.
Are there any conferences in Chicago anytime soon? I think a Q&A in public would be helpful for your show as well as bitcoin. I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.
We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.
Oh dear. You're not all perfectly grammatical orators on the first try? I'm crushed! I really value my own time, and I know other people out there do too. I try to make the show as information dense as possible, thats the criteria we've been operating under from really day one.
We're actually talking about cutting the show in half and releasing it more often (still recording the same amount) because people can get tired of listening to such dense content for an hour or more.
US Treasury recently issued a directive stating they would be monitoring any entity attempting to exchange virtual currency for USD (or any other currency, goods, or services), indicating that federal authorities take a dim view of what amounts to private coinage. Do you anticipate a Supreme Court case here defining what is and is not private coinage? 2.And given bitcoin's noted extra-legal uses, do you have any indication it is being decrypted by NSA? 3.Taking it a step further, do you think it could be a national security-sponsored international sieve for money laundering? It may eventually go to Supreme Court.
I think the market has done fine for bitcoin so far. I think the market will continue to take care of bitcoin. The idea of giving in willingly to regulation makes me cringe. There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad. The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.
Thanks so much for doing this, I love the Bitcoin system, but hate the volatility. How do you recommend dealing with that? I've heard to convert it quickly to the currency of choice after any exchange has been made to avoid any more changes to the price. The easy solution is just buy and hold - If you need to buy something, do it when you need to and not before. Do not pre-order anything.
What is your prediction of the price for 1 btc in USD, exactly one year from now? Just for fun, since I know it is impossible to even guess the day to day price swings. As a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.
My partner is buying into bitcoin as well as litecoin. Any advice for him? (I personally don't understand it) Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)
Hello, I just wrote a long post about the functions of using BTC to facilitate a 'free bank' using the principals of free money, similar to the WIR bank. Link to en.wikipedia.org Do you think that something like this would be possible using Bitcoin? Probably. Not really my area of expertise.
Why did bits take a dive at the same time gold took a tank? I don't pay attention to price, sorry.
We take full credit for any rise and blame others for any decline. Feel free to tip us from your gains! Lol.
Just wanted to say I love your show. I encourage you to please continue making high-quality podcast episodes. Thank you. I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.
Bitcoins are the stupidest investment anyone could ever make. Pass. Link to static.quickmeme.com
Unfortunately, quickmeme doesn't let you copy image urls directly. Link to i.qkme.me
Yes, but they started being worth a set value. bitcoin was never backed by anything so its value was kind of made up. how do you expect to make a non goverment currency anybody with a computer can print to retain value? Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.
The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.
The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?
Because the governments "pie" does infact have limits to making it, and only dropped gold standard after over 150 years of the doller having a defined worth, unlike bitcoin, where a random hacker can just print endless money. I'd direct you to security researcher Dan Kaminsky. Link to www.businessinsider.com
You'll find it's a little harder than you're describing. Like, impossible.
Last updated: 2013-05-29 11:06 UTC
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