Tracking US$24 billion Of Tokens ICO Makers Allocated To Themselves

Abstract: This is our third major piece on ICOs. In our first piece in September 2017 we focused on the interrelationships between ICO team members. In our second piece, in October 2018, we tracked the Ethereum balances in the ICO treasury accounts. In collaboration with TokenAnalyst, this piece focuses on the treasury balances of the ICO tokens themselves, on the Ethereum network. This report is based on tokens where the team controlled holding’s were worth an astonishing US$24.2 billion on issuance (in reality liquidity was too low for this value to be realized). Today this figure has fallen to around US$5 billion, with the difference primarily being caused by a fall in the market value of the tokens, alongside US$1.5 billion of transfers away from team address clusters (possibly disposals).

(Source: BitMEX Research)

(Note: A reminder of the various interconnections between ICO team members, from our September 2017 interactive graphic)

Team controlled token holdings (Own tokens) – summary data

US$ billion
Value of ICO coins allocated to token teams 21.5
Issuance to team post ICO 2.7
Total issuance to team controlled wallets
24.2
Coins leaving the team address cluster (Perhaps sales) (1.5)
Profits/(losses) due to token price changes (12.0)
Net impact of Noah (token burn) (4.4)
Net Impact of EOS (1.2)
Current team holdings 5.0

(Source: BitMEX Research, TokenAnalyst, the Ethereum blockchain, Coinmarketcap (for token prices))
(Notes: Price data up to Jan 2019, token data up to Dec 2018, based on data for 108 tokens)

Of the US$24 billion worth of tokens ICO project teams issued to themselves, 54% of the value has been lost due to coin price reductions. The peak valuation of the team holdings of their own tokens, using the individual price peak for each coin, is over US$80 billion. This larger figure implies US$70 billion of “losses” from the peak. Although peak valuation highly is dubious due to a lack of liquidity and most of the tokens were granted to the teams essentially for nothing, therefore classifying these price movements as losses may not be appropriate. Unlike ICO investors, the teams did not have an offering price or initial investment. However, some trading activity occurred at these ridiculously high valuations, therefore we believe it’s still interesting to consider these figures, while bearing these caveats in mind.

Based on current illiquid spot prices, the ICO teams still appear to own around US$5 billion of their own tokens, money they essentially got from nothing, depending on ones view. At the same time the teams may have realized gains of US$1.5 billion by selling tokens, based on coins leaving team address clusters. Although this figure may also be an overestimate, as coins could have left the team address cluster for a variety of reasons.

Data Caveats & weaknesses in calculation methodology

  • The liquidity of many of these tokens is low and therefore the US Dollar values may be gross overestimates, this applies to both the initial allocation, current value and the value of any losses. In some cases, the value of tokens given to the team, for instance with projects such as Veritaseum or Noah, were almost comically large relative to the real trading volume in the coins. Therefore it can be considered unrealistic to value the team holdings based on the exchange price of the tokens.
  • The challenge and uncertainty involved in producing this dataset surrounds the allocation of the tokens to the team address cluster. TokenAnalyst conducted this allocation. The methodology used was imperfect and we have not dug into individual projects. The data was obtained by analysing the token smart contracts and transaction patterns on the Ethereum blockchain and applying machine learning type techniques to establish a team controlled address cluster for the team of each project. The data is therefore a probabilistic estimate and is likely to be inaccurate at the individual project level. However, the primary motivation for this report was to produce macro data about the team holdings of ICO tokens on Ethereum. Although this analysis has produced results which are far from perfect, we believe one can draw reasonable macro conclusions from the analysis.
  • As mentioned above, our analysis is based on reviewing smart contract data and transaction patterns, not documents and policies of individual projects. Therefore, it’s possible we included tokens as part of a team balance, although in reality they are held as part of another form of reserves, escrow or some other category, where it’s inaccurate to attribute the coins to the team’s own funds.
  • The data assumes the issuance date is the same date as when the first price data appeared on Coinmarketcap, this may not be a reliable assumption.

Summary data

Value of coins issued to team controlled address clusters (own tokens) – US$ million – Top 10

(Source: BitMEX Research, TokenAnalyst, the Ethereum blockchain, Coinmarketcap (for token prices))
(Notes: Token data up to Dec 2018, data based on prices at the time(s) of issuance)

Loss in value of team controlled holding (own tokens) – US$ million – Top 10

(Source: BitMEX Research, TokenAnalyst, the Ethereum blockchain, Coinmarketcap (for token prices))
(Notes: Price data up to Jan 2019, token data up to Dec 2018)

Proportional loss in value of coins in team controlled address clusters (own tokens) – Top 10

(Source: BitMEX Research, TokenAnalyst, the Ethereum blockchain, Coinmarketcap (for token prices))
(Notes: Price data up to Jan 2019, token data up to Dec 2018)

Value of coins transferred out of team controlled address clusters (Own tokens) – US$ million – Top 10

(Source: BitMEX Research, TokenAnalyst, the Ethereum blockchain, Coinmarketcap (for token prices))
(Notes: Price data up to Jan 2019, token data up to Dec 2018. Huobi and Qash are exchanges and the tokens appear to have been sent to their respective platforms. It is possible the above figures represents sales/”cashing out”, although there could be other reasons for the transfers)

Current value of coins in team controlled address clusters (Own tokens) – US$ million – Top 10

(Source: BitMEX Research, TokenAnalyst, the Ethereum blockchain, Coinmarketcap (for token prices))
(Notes: Price data up to Jan 2019, token data up to Dec 2018)

The raw data – Team holdings of own tokens – US$ million

Token Value at ICO Post ICO issuance Transfers away from team cluster Loss in value Current value
VERI 4,762 0 (15) (3,196) 1,552
NOAH 4,478 0 (4,423) 55
KIN 980 0 (0) (703) 277
AGI 863 0 (27) (814) 22
POLY 842 0 (17) (727) 99
HT 643 0 (366) (29) 248
GNO 636 0 0 (533) 103
QASH 617 0 (177) (300) 140
MKR 596 0 (46) (445) 105
TEL 452 0 (8) (408) 36
ITC 334 0 (7) (323) 4
ZRX 333 0 (9) (155) 169
ZIP 266 0 0 (226) 41
BLZ 256 0 (32) (207) 17
GTO 241 0 (67) (157) 17
BNB 219 110 0 118 447
BTO 198 0 (28) (165) 5
ICX 160 0 (79) (67) 14
ETHOS 153 0 (15) (123) 16
TNT 152 0 (10) (133) 9
CENNZ 143 0 (6) (121) 15
AST 141 0 (24) (104) 13
KEY 132 0 (2) (124) 6
BIX 118 2 0 (85) 35
CVC 117 0 (1) (75) 41
FSN 100 0 (6) (75) 19
OCN 100 0 (31) (64) 5
DEW 95 0 (1) (87) 7
SRN 89 0 (15) (69) 4
MDS 88 0 (8) (75) 5
EDO 83 0 (11) (58) 15
ABT 76 0 0 (71) 5
WTC 69 0 (50) 17 37
INS 68 0 0 (66) 2
PPT 65 0 (55) (5) 5
IHT 65 0 (2) (58) 5
CPT 65 0 (0) (43) 21
SPHTX 64 0 0 (60) 4
DRGN 58 0 (47) (2) 8
MCO 54 0 (89) 72 37
XYO 54 0 (6) (23) 25
RCN 54 0 0 (48) 6
DPY 47 0 (23) (22) 2
THETA 45 0 0 (30) 16
MANA 41 0 (95) 127 73
R 40 0 0 35 75
APPC 35 0 (24) (9) 2
CMT 33 0 (1) (25) 8
FUEL 32 2 0 (29) 5
CREDO 31 0 (0) (6) 25
DMT 31 0 (17) (12) 2
POWR 30 166 0 (154) 42
LRC 30 8 0 (21) 17
WPR 26 0 0 (24) 2
AMB 24 0 0 (17) 7
RNT 22 0 (1) (15) 7
ENG 22 0 0 (12) 10
COB 22 0 (10) (5) 7
GTC 20 126 0 (141) 6
REN 19 0 (3) (13) 3
DENT 19 635 0 (564) 90
UTT 19 0 (0) (11) 8
AE 13 0 (19) 6 0
DATA 11 0 (3) (6) 3
BRD 10 17 0 (21) 7
SNGLS 8 0 0 (3) 6
LEND 6 0 (7) 3 2
RLC 6 0 (5) 2 3
PLR 6 3 0 (4) 5
HVN 5 0 (5) 0 1
CVT 5 11 0 (8) 9
LYM 5 0 (4) 0 2
SAN 5 0 (7) 5 4
GNT 4 0 (12) 31 23
KICK 3 2 0 (4) 1
DGD 2 0 (5) 5 3
EDG 2 0 (29) 28 1
ENJ 2 0 (0) 1 2
RHOC 1 14 0 (13) 1
ARN 0 6 0 (6) 1
ELF 0 45 0 (40) 6
PAY 0 142 0 (132) 11
DAI 0 1 0 0 1
HPB 0 134 0 (119) 15
CRPT 0 3 0 (2) 1
HOT 0 7 0 0 7
SALT 0 95 0 (92) 3
NAS 0 71 0 (50) 21
NGC 0 12 0 (11) 1
CPC 0 12 0 (9) 3
GVT 0 3 0 (2) 2
SNM 0 14 0 (11) 2
BTM 0 9 0 (1) 8
QRL 0 7 0 (6) 2
NULS 0 71 0 (52) 19
POE 0 58 0 (54) 4
TEN 0 29 0 (15) 13
MTL 0 188 0 (177) 11
WINGS 0 18 0 (15) 3
SPANK 0 106 0 (93) 13
OMG 0 195 0 (154) 41
STORJ 0 133 0 (85) 48
BAT 0 38 0 14 52
VIBE 0 10 0 (8) 2
IOST 0 218 0 (185) 34
Total 21,513 2,723 (14,805) (4,396) 5,035

(Source: BitMEX Research, TokenAnalyst, the Ethereum blockchain, Coinmarketcap (for token prices))
(Notes: Price data up to Jan 2019, token data up to Dec 2018)

Conclusion & summary data

This analysis highlights the lack of standards and transparency in the ICO market, especially when it comes to the allocation of tokens to the founding team’s wallet. Teams were often able to mint, burn, buy, and sell (their own) tokens at will, without analysts being able to easily track what is occurring. We would often see tokens in exchange clusters, and it was hard to tell whether the token project “paid” the exchange to list tokens or the token project just transferred their treasury to the exchange to cash out.

To be fair, perhaps we could improve the analysis by spending more time reading the specific documentation of the individual projects and by speaking to the teams involved. This would have resulted in a more robust dataset.

But one thing about ICOs that many people often overlook, is that ICO teams often make profits in two ways from the issuance:

  1. Selling the newly issued tokens (often for Ethereum), and,
  2. Issuing themselves their own tokens.

Our October 2018 report focused on the former, while this report focuses on the latter. The summary table below combines the figures from both of our reports.

ICO team profits US$ billion
ICO process
Ethereum Raised 5.4
Own tokens issued to founding teams 24.2
Total raised 29.6
Changes in coin price
Ethereum profits/(losses) – Mostly realised 0.8
Own token profits/(losses) – Mostly unrealised (17.6)
Total profits/(losses) post issuance (16.8)
Total ICO team profits 12.8

(Source: BitMEX Research, TokenAnalyst, the Ethereum blockchain, Coinmarketcap (for token prices))
(Notes: Ethereum price data to October 2018, Own token price data to January 2019)

Although, as we have repeatedly explained, there are many inaccuracies and assumptions involved in producing the data. Based on our methodology, it appears as if ICO teams have profited by almost US$13 billion from this ICO process. In our view, this money was made incredibly easily, with very little work, accountability or transparency. Therefore, ICOs have proven to be an extremely attractive way for project founders to raise funds. The results for investors of course, have not been as attractive.

The ICO cycle now appears to be dying down to some extent and it’s much harder to raise funds than it was in late 2017. But with so much money made and lost, the events of 2017 and early 2018 are not likely to be quickly forgotten. Entrepreneurs will remember the success (and keep trying to raise money) while investors will remember the pain. A repeat of this cycle within a few years is therefore less likely than many may think.

Atomic Swaps and Distributed Exchanges: The Inadvertent Call Option

Abstract: In this piece, we look at a common problem facing both distributed exchanges and cross-chain atomic swaps: what we call the “inadvertent call option.” Non-custodial fully-distributed trading systems often inadvertently create an American-style call option, rather than the more simple desired operation of exchanging one asset for another. We review how this same issue applies to some specific distributed trading platforms like Bisq and particular cross-chain atomic swaps constructions. We then look at how IDEX solves this problem, but then requires users to trust the platform operator, to some extent, by removing some benefits of distributed exchanges. We conclude that despite the added complexity, in some circumstances it may be better to embrace the call option feature as a viable product, rather than ignoring or fighting it.

Overview

Alongside distributed stablecoins, distributed exchanges (DEXs) are often seen as one of the two holy grails within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. However, similar to distributed stablecoins, the challenges involved in DEXs are often underestimated. In this piece, we focus on one specific challenge with distributed exchange systems: instead of allowing simple exchange, these systems often inadvertently produce American-style call options.

The Theory Of The Inadvertent Call Option

When trading one cryptocurrency asset for another in any fully non-custodial system, one party must act first and the second party must follow. In theory, at some point, this second party then has optionality: – he or she can either follow through and complete the trade, or take no action and stop the trade. In the time interval between the first party taking the necessary action and the second party being required to act, if the price of the token the second actor is attempting to buy falls in value, or the price of the token he is selling increases in value, he could refuse to complete the trade. This means the following:

  1. The trader who acts first has written an American call option on the spread between the two assets.
  2. The trader who acts second has purchased an American call option on the spread between the two assets.

These exchanges can either happen atomically or as two separate transfers. Let’s consider Alice buying Bitcoin from Bob, using Litecoin.

Description Call option problem
Atomic trading

Either both the Litecoin transaction and Bitcoin transaction occur, or both transactions fail

(e.g. Cross-chain atomic swaps).

One party must act first and then the second party can decide to execute both trades or not. This decision can be influenced by price changes in any of the two assets in the intervening period. This provides the second party to act with optionality.
Non-atomic trading

It is possible for one of the transactions in the trade to succeed and the other to fail. In this case, typically a quasi-custodial mechanism such as multi-signature escrow, is required to prevent cheating for at least one side of the trade

(e.g. Bisq-type platforms).

One party must act first and then the second party can decide to execute his part of the transfer or not. Failing to execute the second transfer could result in either:

  • The second party successfully stealing funds from the first party
  • The third party escrow agent reversing the first transaction

Either way, the second party has optionality.

As the table above illustrates, whether the trading is atomic or not, the same optionality principle applies.

One may think this is an insignificant issue, as the time periods can be short or the option value may be low; however, this is typically not the case: the option period is often around 24 hours and cryptocurrency prices can be very volatile. This high volatility is typically the reason traders wish to exchange the tokens in the first place. Therefore, the option value can be significant and impact trading.

It may be possible to mitigate or solve this problem by using more steps involving more deposits, but we have not yet observed a system achieving this. The other way to mitigate the problem is via the reputation of individual traders and a distributed web of trust-based systems, with traders revealing a form of identity. Traders can then lose reputation if they cancel trades based on price volatility. However, this may greatly increase the complexity of the systems, as functioning sybil attack resistant distributed reputation systems are also challenging to construct.

Below we examine three differently constructed distributed exchange type systems (or quasi DEXs) and explain how the call option problem arises.

Case Studies

Bisq

Summary table

Type Non-atomic
Optionality period 24 hours (up to 8 days)
Escrow Multisignature escrow for the trader selling Bitcoin only

Bisq (previously known as Bitsquare) is a peer-to-peer application, which enables one to buy and sell cryptocurrency with fiat money, as well as trade between crypto-tokens. Bisq is essentially a DEX, as traders connect to each other over a peer-to-peer network and transact with each other directly.

Bisq Daily Trading Volume (USD)

(Source: Coinmarketcap)

Screenshot from the Bisq platform

(Source: BitMEX Research)

Below we explain some examples of potential trading activity on Bisq and describe the resulting options.

Example 1: Acquiring Bitcoin with USD on Bisq

Alice wishes to purchase 1 BTC from Bob, using U.S. dollars:

  • Step 1: Bob places 1 BTC in a 2 of 3 multisignature account. The three signatures belong to Bob, Alice, and a third-party arbitrator. This is Bob’s offer, which includes a price (e.g. US$3,800 per BTC).
  • Step 2 – Alice can accept Bob’s offer by paying a small refundable deposit into another multisignature account. The fee is set by Bob (e.g. 0.01 BTC).
  • Step 3 – Alice has 24 hours to conduct a bank wire transfer, paying US$3,800 into Bob’s account. If there is no dispute and the wire transfer occurs, Alice receives the 1 BTC and her deposit back. If no wire transfer occurs, Alice loses the deposit and the 1 BTC is returned back to Bob. Any dispute is mediated by the third-party arbitrator.

The above represents Alice buying Bitcoin; however, when considering the economic incentives involved, since Alice can back out of the trade with limited consequences, one could consider that, after step 2, she has acquired the following American-style call option:

Call option details
  • Underlying: Bitcoin
  • Quantity: 1
  • Strike: $3,800
  • Time to expiry: 24 hours
  • Premium: 0.01 BTC

Therefore, when Bob determines the value of the deposit Alice is required to pay, in theory he should consider Bitcoin’s volatility and use options pricing systems to ensure Alice is unable to acquire the option for a cheap price. Based on the prices currently available on Bisq, it appears many of these options are undervalued.

Example 2: Acquiring Bitcoin with Monero on Bisq

Alice wishes to purchase 1 BTC from Bob, using Monero (XMR):

  • Step 1 – Bob places 1 BTC in a 2 of 3 multisignature account. The three signatures belong to Bob, Alice, and an arbitrator. This is Bob’s offer, which includes a price (e.g. 80 XMR per BTC).
  • Step 2 – Alice  can accept Bob’s offer by paying a small refundable deposit and a fee set by Bob (e.g. 0.01 BTC).
  • Step 3 – Alice has 24 hours to do an on-chain Monero transfer. If there is no dispute and the transfer occurs, Alice receives the 1 BTC and her deposit back. If no wire transfer occurs, Alice loses the deposit and the 1 BTC is returned back to Bob. Any dispute is mediated by the arbitrator.

Again, the above example may be considered as Alice buying Bitcoin; however, when considering the incentives, since Alice can back out of the trade with limited consequences, one could consider that she has acquired the following American-style call option:

Call option details
  • Underlying: Bitcoin
  • Quantity: 1
  • Strike: 80 XMR
  • Time to expiry: 24 hours
  • Premium: 0.01 BTC

If one is trying to capture the benefits of buying a call option with a low premium, this Monero trade may be more beneficial than the U.S. dollar version, since the Monero price is more volatile, and therefore the value of the option is higher. Since the Monero price is more volatile than Bitcoin, it may be more economically correct to conclude that Alice has acquired the following put option, rather than a call option.

Put option details
  • Underlying: Monero
  • Quantity: 80
  • Strike: 0.013 BTC
  • Time to expiry: 24 hours
  • Premium: 0.01 BTC

As a trader, if one wants to take advantage of this structure, one could purchase these Monero puts for a low premium and then hedge the exposure by going long Monero on a centralised platform. However, Bisq has small position limits and therefore the size of the profit-making opportunity is limited.

Although it may make marketing the platform more challenging, it might make Bisq more robust to rebrand these trades as options and encourage sellers of Bitcoin to set the deposit price such that it’s consistent with the premium payment for the equivalent option based on the price volatility of the assets involved, for example by using the Black–Scholes model.

Cross-Chain Atomic Swaps

Summary table

Type Atomic
Optionality period 24 hours (or whatever the parties set as the lock time period)
Escrow None

We believe cross-chain atomic swaps were first described by TierNolan on the Bitcointalk forum in May 2013. Cross-chain atomic swaps allow users to exchange one asset for another atomically, such that the entire process either succeeds or fails. This allows for no risk for either party losing out by only one of the two transfers completing.

The following illustration describes the on-chain atomic swap process.  It is based on a swap between Alice and Bob, with Alice exchanging 1 Bitcoin for 100 Litecoin belonging to Bob.

Cross-chain Atomic Swap Construction

# Actor Description
1 Alice Alice picks a random number X.
2 Alice Alice creates a transaction sending 1 BTC to Bob.

Transaction 1

The transaction can be redeemed when either:

  1. Bob signs it and X is known, such that the hash of X is a necessary value.
  2. Both Alice and Bob sign it.
3 Alice Alice creates and signs a transaction sending the 1 BTC output of transaction 1, back to herself.

Transaction 2

The transaction is time locked for 24 hours.

4 Alice Alice sends transaction 2 to Bob.
5 Bob Bob signs transaction 2 and returns it to Alice.
6 Alice Transaction 1 is broadcast to the Bitcoin network.

7 Bob Bob creates a Litecoin transaction sending 100 LTC to Alice.

Transaction 3

The transaction can be redeemed when either:

  1. Alice signs it and X is revealed, such that the hash of X is the necessary value.
  2. Both Alice and Bob sign it.
8 Bob Bob creates and signs a transaction, sending the 100 LTC output of transaction 3 back to himself.

Transaction 4

The transaction is time locked for 24 hours.

9 Bob Bob sends transaction 4 to Alice.
10 Alice Alice signs transaction 4 and returns it to Bob.
11 Bob Transaction 3 is broadcast to the Litecoin network.


At this point, Alice has the optionality.
If the LTC/BTC price ratio increases, she could continue the swap process. Or, if the LTC/BTC price ratio falls, Alice can end the process here.

Call option details
  • Underlying: Litecoin
  • Quantity: 100
  • Strike: 0.01 BTC
  • Time to expiry: 24 hours
  • Premium: 0
  • Type: American
12 Alice Alice spends the output of transaction 3 to herself, revealing X. Alice now has 100 LTC.

13 Bob Bob spends the output of transaction 1 to himself, using the X Alice provided above. Bob now has 1 BTC.

(Source: BitMEX Research)

As the table illustrates, although one is attempting to structure an atomic swap, similar to Bisq, it has inadvertently resulted in an American-style call option. The same issue appears to apply to either multi-currency routing via the lightning network or off-chain lightning-based cross-chain atomic swaps, during the construction of the channels. It could be possible to solve these issues with more steps and a longer series of deposits, although this added complexity may make implementation more challenging. Just as for Bisq above, it may be more appropriate for cross-chain atomic swap developers to embrace the call options and make it the product, rather than to try to brush this problem under the carpet or solve it with added complexity.

IDEX

Summary table

Type Atomic
Optionality period n/a
Escrow Partial escrow for both sides of the trade with IDEX, with a sunset clause

IDEX is an exchange platform using the Ethereum network. Traders deposit funds into an Ethereum smart contract, where the signature of both the traders and the IDEX platform is required to submit orders, execute trades, or make payments.

After a certain time horizon, users can withdraw funds from the smart contract without a signature from IDEX, which protects user deposits in the event that IDEX disappears. Order submission, order cancellation, and order matching is conducted off-chain on the IDEX servers, to allow for a fast and seamless user experience. The events are then submitted in sequence to the Ethereum blockchain and are only valid with a valid signature from the users. Therefore, IDEX is unable to steal user funds or conduct trades without user authorisation.

According to Dex.Watch, IDEX is the global number one Ethereum-based DEX, with an approximate market share of 50%. IDEX-type platforms are in many ways more advanced than the exchanges above as they can solve the call option problem by having both party’s funds partially held in escrow during the trading period.

IDEX Daily Trading Volume ( USD)

(Source: Coinmarketcap.com)

Although IDEX cannot steal user funds or conduct trades without authorisation, the order of events is determined centrally by IDEX. IDEX could fail to execute an order in a timely manner as well as front run orders or fail to execute an order cancellation in a timely manner. Therefore, while users are protected from some risks common in centralised exchanges, in practise they are still exposed to many of the risks most often talked about with respect to typical centralised exchanges. However, we still consider IDEX type platforms to potentially be a significant improvement compared to the fully centralised alternatives.  IDEX also has other limitations such as one can only trade Ethereum-based assets and the platform is eventually constrained by Ethereum network capacity.

Conclusion

In some ways Bisq’s model is more ambitious than IDEX and cross-chain atomic swaps. IDEX limits itself to tokens that exist on the Ethereum network while atomic swaps only deal with some cryptocurrencies. In contrast, Bisq attempts to handle fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar. While solving the call option problem may be possible using Ethereum smart contracts or more complex lightning network constructions when, fiat currency is involved, it may be impossible to solve.

Of course atomic swaps and an IDEX type platform could work with US dollars if there is a working distributed U.S. dollar stablecoin. This illustrates how the two holy grails, distributed stablecoins and distributed exchanges, are interrelated. In a catch-22 type situation, each can only function robustly if the other exists.

Without a distributed stablecoin, in our view, when trading fiat currency for cryptocurrency through distributed systems, the use of call options could be inevitable. Bisq is potentially a useful distributed onramp into the cryptocurrency ecosystem; however, rather than trying to solve the call option problem, perhaps Bisq should embrace it. Maybe an effective onramp into the cryptocurrency ecosystem could be via American-style call options. While this may not be easy, it may be the only way to structure a robust highly censorship-resistant way in.

 

Would Bitcoin’s mass adoption fundamentally transform the financial system?

Abstract

We look at common misconceptions with respect to how banks make loans and the implications this has on the ability of banks to expand the level of credit in the economy. We analyse the inherent properties of money which ensure that this is the case. We then consider why Bitcoin might have some unique combinations of characteristics, compared to traditional forms of money, namely the ability to transact electronically and avoid a third party financial intermediary, thereby avoiding the need for bank deposits, which fuel the credit cycle. We explain the implications this could have on the ability of banks to engage in credit expansion.

 

Click here to download the pdf version of this report

 

Dynamics of Credit Expansion

The core characteristic of the traditional banking system and modern economies, is the ability of the large deposit taking institutions (banks) to expand the level of credit (debt) in the economy, without necessarily needing to finance this expansion with reserves.

An often poorly understood point in finance, is the belief that banks require reserves, liquidity or “cash”, in order to make new loans. After-all where do banks get the money from? It is true that smaller banks and some financial institutions do need to find sources of finance to make new loans. However, in general, this is not the case for the main deposit taking institutions within an economy.

If a main deposit taking institution, makes a new loan to one of their customers, in a sense this automatically creates a new deposit, such that no financing is required. This is because the customer, or whoever sold the item the loan customer purchased with the loan, puts the money back on deposit at the bank. Therefore the bank never needed any money at all. Indeed there is nothing else people can do, the deposits are “trapped” inside the banking system, unless they are withdrawn in the form of physical notes and coins, which rarely happens nowadays.

Please consider the following simplified example:

  1. A large bank, JP Morgan, provides a mortgage loan to a customer, who is buying their first home, for $500,000
  2. JP Morgan writes a check to the mortgage customer for $500,000
  3. The mortgage customer deposits the check into his deposit account, at JP Morgan
  4. The mortgage customer writes a new check, for $500,000 and he hands it over to the seller of the property
  5. The seller is also a banking client of JP Morgan and as soon as she receives the check, she deposits it into her JP Morgan bank account

 

Illustrative diagram of a new home mortgage with one dominant bank in the economy

As one can see, the above process had no impact on the bank’s liquidity or reserves, the bank never had to spend any “cash” at any point in the above example. Of course, the seller of the property does not necessarily have to have an account with the same bank as the one which provided the loan. However large deposit taking institutions, such as JP Morgan, HSBC or Bank of America, have large market shares in the deposit taking business, in their local markets. Therefore, on average, these large banks expect more than their fair share of new loans to end up on deposit at their own bank. Actually, on average, new loans in the economy increases the available liquidity for these large banks, rather than decreasing it.

The accounting treatment of this mortgage, for the bank, is as follows:

  • Debit: Loan (asset): $500,000
  • Credit: Deposit (liability): $500,000

The bank has therefore increased its assets and liabilities, resulting in balance sheet expansion. Although from the point of view of the home seller, she has $500,000 of cash. The above transaction has increased the amount of loans and deposits in the economy. From the customer’s point of view, these deposits are seen as “cash”. In a sense, new money has been created from nothing, apart from perhaps the asset, which in this case is the property. In the above scenario, M0 or base money, the total value of physical notes and coins in the economy, as well as money on deposit at the central bank, remains unchanged. M1, which includes both M0 and money on deposit in bank accounts, has increased by $500,000. Although the precise definition of M1 varies by region.

Cash reserves from the point of view of a bank are physical notes and coins, as well as money on deposit at the central bank. The ratio between the level of deposits a bank can have and its reserves, is called the “reserve requirement”. This form of regulation, managing the reserve requirement, leads to the term “fractional reserve banking”, with banks owing more money to deposit customers than they have in reserve. However, contrary to conventional wisdom, in most significant western economies, there is no regulation directly limiting the bank’s ability to make these loans, with respect to its cash reserves. The reserve requirement ratio typically either does not exist, or it is so low that it has no significant impact. There is however a regulatory regime in place that does limit the expansionary process, these are called “capital ratios”. The capital ratio, is a ratio between the equity of the bank and the total assets (or more precisely risk weighted assets). The bank can therefore only create these new loans (new assets) and therefore new deposits (liabilities), if it has sufficient equity. Equity is the capital investment into the bank, as well as accumulated retained earnings. For example if a bank has $10 of equity, it may only be allowed $100 of assets, a capital ratio of 10%.

 

The credit cycle

To some extent, the dynamic described above allows banks to create new loans and expand the level of credit in the economy, almost at will, causing inflation. This credit cycle is often considered to be a core driver of modern economies and a key reason for financial regulation. Although the extent to which the credit cycle impacts the business cycle is hotly debated by economists. These dynamics are often said to result in expansionary credit bubbles and economic collapses. Or as Satoshi Nakamoto described it:

 

Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve

 

Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates (a leading investment firm), appears to agree that the credit cycle is a major driver of swings in economic growth, at least in the short term, as his video below explains:

 

 

The view that the credit cycle, caused by fractional reserve banking, is the dominant driver of modern economies, including the boom and bust cycle, is likely to be popular in the Bitcoin community. This theory is sometimes called Austrian business cycle theory, although many economists outside the Austrian school also appreciate the importance of the credit cycle.

The fundamental cause of the credit expansionary dynamic

The above dynamic of credit expansion and fractional reserve banking, is not understood by many. However, with the advent of the internet, often people on the far left politics, the far right of politics or conspiracy theorists, are becoming partially aware of this dynamic, perhaps in an incomplete way. With the “banks create money from nothing” or “fractional reserve banking” narratives gaining some traction. The question that arises, is why does the financial system work this way? The underlying reasons for this, are poorly understood, in our view.

Individuals with these fringe political and economic views, may think this is some kind of grand conspiracy by powerful elite bankers, to ensure their control over the economy. For example, perhaps the Rothschild family, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, the Bilderberg Group, the Federal Reserve or some other powerful secretive entity deliberately structured the financial system this way, so that they could gain some nefarious unfair advantage or influence? Actually, this is not at all the case.

The ability of deposit taking institutions to expand credit, without requiring reserves, is the result of inherent characteristics of the money we use and the fundamental nature of money. This is because people and businesses psychologically and for very logical practical reasons, treat bank deposits in the same way as “cash”, when they could alternatively be considered as loans to the bank. This enables banks to then expand the amount of deposits, knowing they are safe, as customers will never withdraw it, since they already think of it as cash.

Bank deposits are treated this way for perfectly reasonable and logical reasons, in fact bank deposits have some significant advantages over physical cash. Bank deposits are simply much better than physical cash. It is these inherent and genuine advantages that cause fractional reserve banking, not a malicious conspiracy, as some might think.

 

Advantages of bank deposits compared to physical notes and coins

Factor Bank deposit Physical cash
Security

Keeping money on deposits in financial institutions, increases security

The money is protected by multiple advanced security mechanisms and insured in the unlikely event of theft

Large physical cash balances at home could be vulnerable to theft or damage

Physical cash cannot be insured and storage costs can be expensive

Electronic transfers Using the banking system, it is possible to quickly send money effectively over the internet or by phone, across the world at low cost and at high speed If physical cash is used, then a slow, inefficient, insecure physical transfer must take place
Convenience

Using a banking system to manage your money, can result in a convenient set of tools. For example the ability to use money using your mobile phone or on your computer

Precise amounts can be sent so there is no issue with receiving change

Handling cash is often a difficult and cumbersome process. Precise amounts cannot be specified and one may need to calculate change amounts
Auditability Traditional banks offer the ability to track, control and monitor all transactions, which can help prevent fraud. This improves reporting and accountability With physical cash, effective record keeping is less automated, increasing the probability of fraud

 

The main features of the different types of money

Despite the strong advantages of bank deposits mentioned in part 1 of this piece, namely the ability to use it electronically, physical notes and coins do have some significant benefits over electronic money. The following table aims to summarize the main features of the different types of money, bank deposits, physical cash and Electronic Cash (Bitcoin).

 

Features of electronic bank deposits, physical notes & coins and electronic cash

Feature Bank deposit Physical cash Electronic Cash
Advantages of physical cash
Funds are fully protected in the event the bank becomes insolvent or inaccessible*
It is difficult for the authorities to confiscate funds
Funds can be effectively hidden from the authorities
Transactions cannot easily be blocked
Transfers can be highly anonymous
Transfers can be irrevocable
Transfers can occur instantly ? ?
Payments can occur 24×7 ?
Transaction fees are zero ?
Payments work during power outages or when communication networks are unavailable
Money can be used without purchasing or owning a device
Anyone can use the system, without seeking permission
Advantages of electronic systems
Payments can be made over the internet
Change does not need to be calculated
Payments can easily be recorded
Funds can easily be secured to prevent theft ?

Note: * Physical cash still has a potential problem with respect to the solvency, related to the policy of the central bank which issues the currency

 

Due to the strengths mentioned in the above table, physical cash will always have its niche use cases. However, on balance, banking deposits are superior to physical cash, for the majority of users. The ability to use bank deposits electronically is particularly compelling, especially in the digital age. As we explained in part one of this piece, it is this ability to use the money electronically that ensures there is always high demand for bank deposits, giving banks the ability to freely expand the level of credit.

 

The unique properties of Bitcoin

Bitcoin shares many of the advantages of physical cash over electronic bank deposits. Although Bitcoin does not have the full set of advantages, as the table above demonstrates. However the key unique feature of Bitcoin, is that it has both some of the advantages of physical cash and the ability to be used electronically.

Bitcoin aims to replicate some of the properties of physical cash, but in an electronic form, an “electronic cash system”. Before Bitcoin, people had to make a binary choice, between physical cash or using a bank deposit.

Although technically physical cash is a kind of a bank deposit, a deposit at the central bank, physical cash still has unique bearer type properties which could not be replicated in an electronic form. For the first time ever, in 2009, Bitcoin provided the ability to use a bearer type asset, electronically. The simple table below illustrates this key unique feature of Bitcoin and blockchain based tokens.

 

The binary choice in legacy finance & the new option Bitcoin provides

Bearer type instrument Electronic type instrument
Physical Cash (Notes & Coins)
Electronic money (Bank Deposit)
Electronic Cash (Bitcoin)

 

Therefore Bitcoin can be thought of as a new hybrid form of money, with some of the advantages of physical cash, but also some of the advantages of bank deposits.

 

Bitcoin’s limitations

Although Bitcoin has inherited some of the strengths of both traditional electronic money systems and physical cash. Typically Bitcoin does not have all the advantages of either electronic money or physical cash, however it is uniquely positioned to be able to have a subset of the features of each. This provides a new middle ground option.

For example, Bitcoin may never have the throughput of traditional electronic payment systems or the ability to use without electricity such as with physical cash. Although as technology improves, Bitcoin may slowly develop more strengths and gradually improve its capabilities, to narrow the gap.

 

The implications of these characteristics on credit expansion

Understanding the dynamics of these characteristics, can be useful in evaluating the potential economic significance of Bitcoin, should the ecosystem grow. Bitcoin has at least six properties which provide some level of natural resilience against credit expansion, which traditional money does not have. This is because the advantages of keeping money on deposit at a bank are not always as pronounced in Bitcoin, compared to the alternatives. However, Bitcoin is certainly not immune to the same credit expansionary forces which exist in traditional systems, indeed people can keep Bitcoin on deposit at financial institutions just like they can with physical cash. Bitcoin may merely have greater resistance to the same credit expansionary forces.

At the core of our reasoning, is looking at the advantages of bank deposits compared to physical cash, which are the characteristics that enable large banks to freely expand credit and evaluating to what extent they apply in Bitcoin. As the table below shows, the advantages of keeping money on deposit at a bank are less significant in the Bitcoin world, therefore we think Bitcoin does have some unique resilience against the forces of credit expansion.

 

Physical cash vs bank deposits compared to Bitcoin vs Bitcoin deposits

Factor Physical cash compared to deposits Bitcoin compared to Bitcoin deposits
1. Security

Keeping money on deposits in financial institutions, increases security relative to keeping large physical cash balances at home, where the cash is vulnerable to theft or damage

Bitcoin can potentially allow a high level of security, without putting the funds on deposit at a bank

For example Bitcoin can be concealed or encrypted

2. Electronic transfers

Using the banking system, it is possible to send money effectively over the internet or by phone, across the world at low cost.

If physical cash is used, then a slow, inefficient, insecure physical transfer must take place

Bitcoin can allow users to efficiently transmit money over the internet, without using deposits at financial institutions
3. Convenience

Using a banking system to manage your money, can result in a convenient set of tools. For example the ability to use money using your mobile phone or your computer.

Precise amounts can be sent so there is no issue with receiving change

Bitcoin can allow users to make payments on a mobile phone or without manually calculating change amounts. Deposits at financial institutions are not required
4. Ability to redeem deposits In the traditional banking system, withdrawing physical cash from a financial institution is a long administrative process which takes time. Banks therefore do not need to worry about keeping large quantities of physical cash in reserves Bitcoin can allow users to withdraw money from deposit taking institutions quickly, which may encourage banks to ensure they have adequate Bitcoin in reserve at all times
5. Auditability

Banks offer the ability to track and monitor all transactions, which can help prevent fraud and improve accountability.

Physical cash cannot offer this

Bitcoin’s blockchain or other electronic databases can allow users to effectively audit and monitor transactions, without using third party financial intermediaries
6. “Hybrid banking”

In traditional banking models there are only two fundamental choices:

1. Physical cash which provides full user control of the money

2. Money on deposit at a financial institution

This is a binary choice with no middle ground options, forcing consumers to make a difficult choice with no compromise option available

Bitcoin allows for a wider spectrum of deposit and security models, resulting in a more complex credit expansionary dynamic.

For example:

1. 2 of 2 multi-signature wallet, where the bank holds one key and the user holds another key; or

2. 1 of 2 multi-signature wallet, where the bank holds one key and the user holds another key

 

The economic consequences of less credit expansion

The consequences of the lower level of credit expansion this analysis implies, does not really say much about whether this potentially new economic model will be more beneficial to society, nor does it say much about whether Bitcoin will be successful or not. The former is something that has been heavily debated by economists for decades and the latter is a separate topic, in our view. Although, despite decades of economic debate, perhaps Bitcoin is sufficiently different to the money which came before it, such that the debate is required again, with new very different information. For example inflation or deflation, caused by cycles of credit expansion, may have very different consequences in a Bitcoin based financial system, than on one based on bank deposits and debt. A key problem with deflation in a debt based money system, is that it increases the real value of debt, resulting in a downwards economic spiral. For non debt based money systems like Bitcoin, it is less clear what the implications of deflation are.

Although Bitcoin may not necessarily result in a superior economic model, we think this analysis may suggest that Bitcoin may have some properties that make the economic model somewhat unique or perhaps interesting, compared to the possible models that came before it. Therefore it does look like an area worth examining.

To many, the ultimate objective of Bitcoin is to become sufficiently dominant, such that there is a significant decrease in credit expansionary forces, which can neutralize the credit cycle and therefore the business cycle. Although, this should be considered as an extremely ambitious objective, which we consider as extremely unlikely. And even in the remarkable circumstance that Bitcoin grows to this scale, other unforeseen economic problems, particular to Bitcoin, may emerge.

价格崩盘及对矿工的影响

摘要:过去几周,加密币价格大幅下跌。在本文中,我们分析了价格下跌对采矿业产生的影响。自 2018 年 11 月开始,比特币哈希值下降了约 31% ,相当于约 130 万台比特大陆的 S9 机器的哈希值。我们得出结论,许多矿工正在挣扎着; 然而,我们认为,并非所有矿工的挖矿成本都相同,随着加密币价格下降,成本较高的矿工将首先关闭他们的机器并被淘汰。

 

概述

自 2018 年 11 月开始,比特币价格下跌约 45% ,而在同一时期,比特币网络的采矿量下降了约 31% 。根据我们的估计,这代表了大约 130 万台比特大陆 S9 矿机被关闭。因此,由于加密币的价格下跌,采矿业目前面临着相当大的压力。

到目前为止,价格下跌已经分别在 11 月 16 日和 12 月 3 日对比特币的采矿难度调整进行了两次大幅度的调整,分别为 7.4% 和 15.1% 。 7.4% 的调整是自 2013 年 1 月以来的最大调整, 15.1% 的调整是自 2011 年 10 月以来的最大调整。以下图表包含每日区块链的工作量的数据,因此反映了整体网络采矿难度的变化。

 

比特币日常工作量与价格下跌相比

(资料来源: BitMEX 研究, Poloniex )

 

每日采矿收入和成本

如下图所示,比特币采矿业的收入从 11 月初的每日 1,300 万美元下降到 12 月初每日 600 万美元左右。由于难度调整的延迟,这种激励措施的下跌甚至比比特币价格的下跌幅度还要大。在截至 12 月 3 日的六天区间内,由于矿工在难度调整前纷纷离开了网络,因此每日产出的区块数量比预期的 144 个减少了 21.8% 。因此,在短期内,除了加密币价格下跌的影响之外,采矿激励也下跌了 21.8% 。

 

比特币每日采矿收入和预期电费支出 – 百万美元

(资料来源: BitMEX 研究, Poloniex )

(注:假设电费每 KWH 为 0.05 美元,假设矿机规格为比特大陆 S9 型号)

 

比特币现金 ABC 每日采矿收入和预期电费支出 – 百万美元

(资料来源: BitMEX 研究, Poloniex )

(注:假设电费每 KWH 为 0.05 美元,假设矿机规格为比特大陆 S9 型号)

 

以太币每日采矿收入和预期电费支出 – 百万美元

(资料来源: BitMEX 研究, Poloniex )

(注:假设电费每 KWH 为 0.05 美元,假设 200W 产出 32Mh/s )

 

矿工利润率

下图显示,在最近价格崩盘之前,该行业的毛利润率约为 50% (假设电费是唯一用于计算毛利率中的变动成本),而在价格崩溃之后,这个数字对比特币和以太币而言分别下降到 30% 及 15% 左右。

 

矿工利润率

(资料来源: BitMEX 研究,价格来自于 Poloniex )

 

以太币矿盈利能力

在此期间,以太坊哈希值仅下降了20% (代表约 150 万张高级显卡),该数值远低于比特币,而价格下跌比比特币更为显着,为 54% 。因此,以太坊的毛利率下降幅度更大,但目前尚不清楚为何会出现这种情况。

一些潜在的原因如下。可能是因为以太坊矿工更多的是业余爱好者而且利润的追求较低,或者以太坊矿工进入市场时有着比比特币更高的毛利率,因此他们不太愿意时时监督着网络情况并在关闭矿机。如数据显示,以太坊矿工的毛利润率现在显着低于比特币的,在过去几天降至 15% ,因此该情况可能会发生变化(注:此分析仅包括电费成本,当包括其他成本时,矿工可能存在亏损经营的情况)。

 

比特币现金 ABC 采矿利润率

如上图所示,比特币现金 ABC 在分拆成比特币现金 ABC 和比特币现金 SV 两个加密币后,其毛利率变为了负值。两个阵营在争夺最多工作量的区块链下,一直在亏本挖矿。 11 月 25 日,分叉后十天,开采比特币现金 ABC 的盈利迅速攀升至与比特币相同的水平。这似乎表明 “哈希战争” 已经结束了,但后来事实证明这几乎完全毫无意义,因为战争结束对加密币的价值没有显著的影响。

正如下表中的最新数据显示,双方的总工作量再次日趋接近,这可能使得双方再次回到亏本挖矿的处境。

比特币现金 ABC 比特币现金 SV
Log2(PoW) 87.753365 87.747401
区块                          560,091                              560,081
分拆后总量
Log2(PoW) 82.189 81.875
区块                                   3,325                                   3,315
挖矿电费支出 $7,939,318 $6,389,264
代币价格 (Poloniex) $108 $94
预计挖矿毛利 /(损失) ($3,450,568) ($2,494,139)
毛利率 (76.9%) (64.0%)
假设租用哈希值
预计租用费用 $14,608,345 $11,756,245
预计挖矿毛利 /(损失) ($10,119,595) ($7,861,120)

(资料来源: BitMEX 研究,价格来自于 Poloniex )

 

上述分析的缺陷

上述毛利率分析并不完整。虽然收入数字可能准确,但唯一的成本只包括了电费。显然,矿工还有其他成本,例如机器的资本投资以及其维护成本和搭建矿机的成本。因此,下图在仅考虑电费成本时,行业利润很高,但最近的价格崩盘很可能表示所有的矿工都在亏本挖矿。这表明矿工在设备上投入过多,并且已经出现负投资回报率。

 

没有统一的电费

上述分析中未反映的另一个关键点是电费的变化。上图表假设每 KwH 的成本均为 0.05 美元;然而,并非所有矿工的电费都相同。

正如我们上面提到的, 31% 的哈希值在此期间被关闭,逻辑上那些电费最高的矿工应该最先关闭他们的矿机。因此,网络上的平均电力成本在过去一个月中应该大幅下降。

下表说明了上述情况,它假设电力成本以每千瓦 0.01 美元的标准偏差呈正态分布,而成本较高的矿工将首先关闭机器。虽然这种假设可能不准确,能源价格也不会在整个采矿业中呈现正态分布,但从宏观层面来看,它说明了一点,它也可能比上图更准确。

根据这一分析,平均比特币采矿业毛利率仅从 50% 左右下降至 40% ,这意味着其余矿工的情况要好得多。

 

比特币挖矿毛利率(举例)

(资料来源: BitMEX 研究,价格来自于 Poloniex )

在评估价格下跌对比特币的潜在负面影响时,分析师有时会忘记并非所有矿工都有相同的成本。正是这些成本差异将确保网络继续顺利的运行,尽管价格突然大幅下降并且使得采矿难度得以调整。

 

什么导致了价格大跌?

关于价格崩溃的原因已经有着相当多的猜测,一些人说矿工出售比特币是为了资助比特币现金的代价高昂的哈希战争。加密币情报监控平台 Boltzmann 告诉我们,在比特币现金拆分前几天,他们的平台已于 11 月 12 日检测到矿工正大量抛售比特币。

Boltzmann 检测到矿工的净比特币销售额“与 3 个月的平均值差了 17.5 个标准差。”进一步分析,看来这些矿工可能是 Slushpool 的成员。

 

比特币矿工净流量和价格

(资料来源: Boltzmann ,矿工净流量 12 小时汇总)

 

结论和价格评论

虽然矿工们抛售比特币来为比特币现金哈希战争中的损失提供资金确实是价格下跌的催化剂,但我们认为其影响很容易被高估了。由于我们处于熊市,无论新闻或投资流量如何,价格都在下跌。

此外,在熊市中,似乎在无新闻或坏消息的情况下,价格都将下跌,而同时好消息往往被市场忽略,而在牛市中该情况则是相反的。我们认为,即便在矿工有没有在比特币现金拆分之前出售比特币,价格都将走弱。面对加密币市场,投资者的情绪管理是王道。

这对采矿业来说可能是一个非常艰难的时期。然而,对于成本较低的矿工,我们的基本分析表明情况可能比人们预期的要好。如果矿工的设备是以低于成本的价格从比特大陆购买而来,即使包括折旧和其他管理费用,他们仍然可能处于有利可图的状态。

 

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BitMEX (www.bitmex.com)

The Price Crash & The Impact On Miners

Abstract: Cryptocurrency prices have fallen significantly in the past few weeks. In this note, we analyse the impact this price decline may have on the mining industry. The Bitcoin hashrate has fallen around 31% since the start of November 2018, equivalent to around 1.3 million Bitmain S9 machines. We conclude that many miners are struggling; however, we point out that not all miners have the same costs and that it’s the higher cost miners who switch off their machines first, as the price declines.

 

Overview

Since the start of November 2018, the Bitcoin price is down around 45%, while in the same period the amount of mining power on the Bitcoin network has fallen by around 31%. According to our estimates, this represents around 1.3 million Bitmain S9 miners being switched off. The mining industry may therefore be under considerable stress right now, due to the falling prices of cryptocurrency.

The prices have so far caused two large downward difficulty adjustments to Bitcoin, 7.4% and 15.1%, on 16th November and 3rd December, respectively. The 7.4% adjustment was the largest since January 2013 and the 15.1% adjustment was the largest since October 2011. The charts below are based on the daily chainwork and therefore reflect changes in network difficulty.

Bitcoin Daily Work Compared to the Falling Price

(Source: BitMEX Research, Poloniex)

Daily Mining Revenue and Cost

As the chart below illustrates, Bitcoin mining industry revenue has fallen from around $13 million per day at the start of November to around $6 million per day, at the start of December. This drop in incentives was even larger than the fall in the Bitcoin price, due to a delay in the way difficulty adjusts. In the six-day period ending 3rd December, 21.8% fewer blocks than the expected 144 per day were found, as miners left the network before the difficulty adjusted, and as a result, fewer blocks were found. Therefore in the short term, there was a 21.8% fall in mining incentives on top of the impact of the declining price.

Bitcoin Daily Mining Revenue and Expected Electricity Spend – US$m

(Source: BitMEX Research, Poloniex)

(Notes: Assumes an electricity cost of US$0.05 per KWH, assumes advertised Bitmain S9 specification)

 

Bitcoin Cash ABC Daily Mining Revenue and Expected Electricity Spend – US$m

(Source: BitMEX Research, Polonies)

(Notes: Assumes an electricity cost of US$0.05 per KWH, assumes advertised Bitmain S9 specification)

 

Ethereum Daily Mining Revenue and Expected Electricity Spend – US$m

(Source: BitMEX Research, Polonies)

(Notes: Assumes an electricity cost of US$0.05 per KWH, assumes 32Mh/s at 200W)

Miner Profit Margins

The chart below shows that prior to the recent crash, the industry was making gross profit margins of around 50% (these figures assume electricity is the only cost included in gross profits), while after the price crash, this fell to around 30% for Bitcoin and 15% for Ethereum.

Miner Profit Margin

(Source: BitMEX Research, Poloniex for prices)

Ethereum Mining Profitability

In the period, the Ethereum hashrate has only fallen by 20%, much lower than Bitcoin, (representing around 1.5 million high-end graphics cards), while the price decline has been more significant than Bitcoin, at 54%. Therefore, gross profit margins have declined even more sharply for Ethereum, but it is not clear exactly why this is the case.

There are a few potential reasons. It could be that Ethereum miners are more hobbyist minded and less profit focused, or Ethereum miners could have started from a higher gross profit margin position than Bitcoin, so they are less inclined to monitor the network and switch the miners off when necessary. As the data shows, Ethereum miner gross profit margins now appear significantly lower than Bitcoin, falling to 15% in the last few days, so this could change (Note: This analysis only included electricity costs, when including other costs, mining may be a loss making operation).

Bitcoin Cash ABC Mining Profit Margins

As the above chart shows, the Bitcoin Cash ABC gross profit margin went negative during the split into two coins, Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV. The two camps mined uneconomically in a race to have the most work chain. Ten days after the split, on 25th November, the profitability of mining Bitcoin Cash ABC rapidly climbed up to around the same levels as Bitcoin. This appeared to indicate the end of the “hashwar,” which proved to be almost completely pointless, as the war ending had no clear noticeable impact on either the coins or their value.

As the latest data in the below table shows, the two sides are getting closer again with respect to total work since the split and its possible uneconomic mining resumes.

Bitcoin Cash ABC Bitcoin Cash SV
Log2(PoW) 87.753365 87.747401
Blocks                          560,091                              560,081
Cumulative total since the split
Log2(PoW) 82.189 81.875
Blocks                                   3,325                                   3,315
Mining electricity spend $7,939,318 $6,389,264
Coin price (Poloniex) $108 $94
Estimated mining gross profit/(loss) ($3,450,568) ($2,494,139)
Gross profit margin (76.9%) (64.0%)
Assume leased hashrate
Estimated leasing costs $14,608,345 $11,756,245
Estimated mining gross profit/(loss) ($10,119,595) ($7,861,120)

(Source: BitMEX Research, Poloniex for prices)

Flaws in the Above Analysis

The above gross profit margin charts do not show a complete picture. While the revenue figures are likely to be accurate, the only cost included is electricity. Obviously miners have other costs, such as the capital investment in the machinery as well as maintenance costs and building costs. Therefore, although the charts below show that the industry is highly profitable when only considering electricity costs, given other costs, the recent price crash is likely to have sent almost all the miners into the red. This indicates that miners invested too much in equipment and have achieved large negative ROIs.

Electricity Cost is Not Uniform

Another crucial point not reflected in the above analysis is the variance in electricity rates. The charts above assume a flat cost of $0.05 cent per KwH; however, not all miners have the same electricity costs and there will be a distribution.

As we mentioned above, 31% of the hashrate was shutdown in the period, logically those with the highest electricity costs should turn off their machines first. Therefore the average electricity cost on the network should have fallen considerably in the past month.

The below chart is an illustration of the above, it assumes that electricity costs are normally distributed with a standard deviation of $0.01 per KwH and that higher-cost miners switch their machines off first. Although this assumption is likely to be highly inaccurate and energy prices will not be normally distributed across the mining industry, from a macro level it illustrates a point and it may be more accurate than the above chart.

According to this analysis, average Bitcoin mining gross margins have only declined from around 50% to 40%, implying a far more healthy situation for the remaining miners.

Bitcoin Mining Gross Profit Margin (Illustrative)

(Source: BitMEX Research, Poloniex for prices)

When evaluating the potential negative impact of price declines on Bitcoin, analysts sometimes forget that not all miners have the same costs. It is these cost variances that should ensure the network continues to function smoothly despite large sudden price declines and allows the difficulty to adjust.

What Caused the Price Crash?

There has been considerable speculation around the causes of the price crash, with some saying miners sold Bitcoin in order to finance a costly hashwar in Bitcoin Cash. The cryptocurrency intelligence monitoring platform Boltzmann flagged to us that their platform had detected unusually large miner selling of Bitcoin on 12th November, a few days before the Bitcoin Cash split.

Boltzmann detected that net Bitcoin sales from miners were “17.5 standard deviations below [the] 3-month trailing average.” On further analysis, it appears these miners may have been a member of Slushpool.

Bitcoin miner net flow & price

(Source: Boltzmann, 12 hour aggregation of miner net flow)

Conclusion and Price Commentary

While it may be true that mining pools selling Bitcoin to fund losses in the Bitcoin Cash hashwar may have been a catalyst for the reduction in the price, we think it’s easy to overestimate the impact of this. We are in a bear market and prices are falling regardless of the news or investment flows.

Furthermore, in a bear market prices seem to fall on non-news or bad news and ignore good news, while in a bull market the reverse appears true. We think it’s likely that prices would have been weak regardless of any miner selling prior to the Bitcoin Cash split. For cryptocurrency, trader sentiment is king.

This is likely to be a very tough time for the mining industry. However, for miners with lower costs, our basic analysis indicates that the situation may be better than people expect. If the miners acquired their equipment from Bitmain at below-cost prices, they could still be in the green, even when including depreciation and other administrative expenses.

比特币现金 ABC 滚动 10 个区块检查点

摘要:我们评估比特币现金 ABC 的新滚动 10 个区块检查点系统。新系统确实可以抵御“深层”的恶意重组;然而,它增加了共识链分裂的风险,并为潜在矿工提供了攻击系统的机会。另一个权衡是,这种变化会增加了有敌意的矿工对网络可能造成的伤害,但同时它也降低了此类行为的潜在回报。目前尚不清楚这种变化是否利大于弊。由于这对系统的改变是根本性的,因此在网络采用该技术之前花费更多时间评估可能带来的后果会更好。

概述


比特币现金 ABC 在软件版本 ABC 0.18.5 中添加了一个新的滚动检查点系统,该系统发布于 2018 年 11 月 21 日。基本上,新机制在收到 10 个确认后才会锁定一个区块,这可以防止大区块链接重组。因此,即使替代的那条区块链具有更多的工作证明,如果它与检查点冲突,节点也不会切换到那条拥有更多工作证明的区块链。

 

此功能可能已被添加作为对潜在攻击者的防御系统。潜在攻击者包括来自竞争对手比特币现金 SV 区块链的支持者,不排除他们攻击比特币现金 ABC 的可能。

 

新检验点机制的安全性分析


新的滚动检查点机制包括妥协:

  • 深度重组的风险降低了。
  • 共识链破裂的风险增加了。


新检查站系统的网络风险分析

 

延迟问题 攻击场景
重组风险 没变

延迟问题不太可能导致节点在 10 个区块时仍然不同步。因此,在我们看来,这不是个问题。因此,新的检查点系统 在这点上不大可能引起问题。虽然在区块大小高达 32MB 的情况下,可能有少数情况会出现一些延迟问题,并且可能有出现 10 个区块节点仍然不同步。

检查点似乎没有解决任何与延迟有关的问题。如果延迟问题导致 10 区块重组,则用户可能希望使用最大工作量的区块链。因此,我们认为这里没有任何优势。

风险降低

深度恶意重组的风险现在减少或限制在10个区块内。

共识分叉 引入新的小风险

在小概率情况下,不良的网络连接导致节点在 10 个区块以上产生不同步,冲突的检查点可能导致共识分裂,从而产生两个或更多个代币。

引入新风险

虽然现在重组风险降低了,但有敌意的矿工现在有一个新的攻击目标。攻击者可以尝试秘密挖掘 10 个以上的区块,然后在网络上的检查点会导致分歧的时间点发布该链条,从而导致区块链分叉。

 

有敌意的矿工:重组的另一种选择

如上所述,如果一个有敌意的矿工正在制造一条影子链,一旦这条影子链与原先“诚实”的链条偏离了 10 个区块后,它就基本上没用了,因为即使它有更多的工作,它也无法改变“诚实”的链条。 因此,攻击者也可以放弃并停止扩展影子链。

然而,这也意味着,一旦自“分裂”后产生到第 10 个区块,攻击者就会在此时发布影子链,取决攻击者的目标。 (即一旦攻击者收到下图中指示的红色区块,就释放影子链)。当一些节点首先接收到红色块,一些节点首先接收影子链时可能导致共识链分裂,结果造成检查站出现冲突。

(资料来源: BitMEX 研究)

这种攻击可能导致共识链分裂,这可能与继续进行恶意重组一样将对网络造成严重破坏。由于有敌意的矿工可以提前停止攻击,因此也比继续进行深层重组划算。因此,我们不清楚这种新的检查点防御有任何实质性的帮助。尽管本节中提到的风险可能是小概率事件(并且可能要求攻击者拥有大部分哈希值),但它们似乎就是新检查点系统试图规避的问题。

 

检查点系统的优点

  • 虽然新的检查点机制可能对 10 个区块内的安全性帮助不大,但从当前区块链更深入地回顾时,在更长的时间范围内安全性可能会增加。这对某些交易所或商家非常有用,他们现在可以在记录用户账户或转账之前先等待超过 10 个区块,以确保更高的安全性。然而,比特币现金的一个关键优势是提高交易速度,因此这比特币现金社区可能不是一个显著的好处。
  • 虽然通过这种机制开辟了一个新的攻击渠道,为有敌意矿工提供了一种新的攻击方法,如上所述,造成共识分裂,但这种做法能带来的回报不如“正常”深度重组攻击那么明显。正常的重组攻击可以就交易所的双重花费进行攻击,从而获利。虽然攻击者也有可能使用这种新的链分裂渠道进行双重花费攻击,但结果是不太明确的,因为不确定哪一方(如果有的话)将成为胜利者及交易所最后会遵循的哪条链。 因此,虽然这种攻击在网络上可能更具破坏性,但对它所能带来的收益却不那么明显。 我们认为这是一个重要的好处。

 

其他问题

 

中心化和更多开发人员

对检查点的另一个常见批评是它为开发人员提供了更多的功能并强化了系统中心化,因为开发人员通常在发布新版本的软件时手动插入检查点(比如比特币曾经有过)。 但是在我们看来,这不适用于这种情况,因为检查点是由节点软件自动生成的,而不是由开发团队手动生成的。因此这不是个问题。

 

远程攻击和初始同步

正如埃里克沃尔( Eric Wall )在推特上解释的那样,新的检查点机制使得 sybil 攻击可用于 最新区块以外区块。 例如,仍处于初始同步中的节点或与暂时关闭数天的用户节点。 攻击者需要在过去的任何时刻启动自己的中继节点并生成新的 10 个区块的长链。

然后可以将这条 工作量较低的链条广播到节点(包括不在当前链条尖端的节点), 导致这些节点在备用链条上过早地执行检查。这不仅会将这些节点留在不同的链上,而且这个链也在攻击者的控制之下。这似乎是检查点系统的一个重要缺陷。

中本聪的 “原始愿景” 似乎暗示能够验证节点被关闭后发生了什么很重要:

节点可以随意离开并重新加入网络,接受工作量证明链条作为他们离开时发生的事情的依据。

(资料来源:比特币白皮书

在某种程度上,比特币现金 ABC 升级放弃了这种理念,并要求节点全天候在线。

 

结论

新的比特币现金 ABC 检查点系统是对核心网络和共识动态的根本性改变,其中有利也有弊。这些利弊可能在升级之前尚未经过充分的探讨。虽然我们认为这种改变不太可能立马造成重大危机,但似乎它也无法有效避免这种危机在未来发生。

 

检查点系统影响总体概述

好处:

  • 减少恶意矿工攻击链条的动机
  • 就超过 10 个区块确认的交易向商家和交易所提供了更多的保证

 

弊端:

  • 增加矿工造成对网络产生破坏性攻击的能力
  • 在与主链同步的节点上引入新的攻击渠道

 

 

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BitMEX (www.bitmex.com)

Forkmonitor.info 更新自比特币现金拆分以来矿工损失的价值

摘要:比特币现金在 2018 年 11 月 15 日成功拆分为两个代币,比特币现金 ABC 和比特币现金 SV 。 BitMEX 研究赞助了一个网站 forkmonitor.info 来跟踪这两条区块链。现在两个代币之间存在“哈希值战争”。哈希值较高的一方的代币价格会更高,这样另一条区块链上的矿工就会蒙受巨大损失。该网站现已更新,以估算分拆两侧链条上挖矿成本以及矿工所遭受的损失。

(注:更新的 forkmonitor.info 网站的截图)

 

 

目前为止估算的累计挖矿损失

 

根据分拆后挖矿所需的成本,可以根据相应代币的价格估算总预期损失,如下表所示:

比特币现金 ABC 比特币现金 SV
拆分后挖矿成本 US$887,963  US$520,115
挖出代币 2,337.5 2,012.5
代币价格 US$261 US$97
潜在挖矿收入 US$610,087 US$195,212
净收益 / (损失) (US$277,875) (US$324,904)
净利率 (45.5%) (166.4%)

(资料来源: Forkmonitor.infoPoloniex 价格数据)

(注:数据截至北京时间 2018 年 11 月 17 日 02:30 。假设使用标准的比特大陆 S9 矿机和以电费为每兆瓦时 50 美元来计算挖矿费用)


虽然上表显示双方都在亏损,但它说明了为什么 ABC 方面的财务状况可能比 SV 稍强一些。 ABC 不仅 在 PoW 领先(包括区块数量和累计工作量),由于 SV 代币价格较低, SV 矿工的预期损失也大于 ABC 矿工。相对于潜在收入, SV 损失也较大,与 ABC 相比,其利润率为负 166.4% ,而 ABC 为负45.5%。

 

尽管如此,人们应该意识到代币的价格是高度波动且不稳定的。我们无法保证任何一方能够将他们所开采的代币全数出售。然而, ABC 方面确实有一个流动性相对合理的期货市场。

 

接下来会发生什么?

目前双方都在继续挖矿,双方都不愿意放弃这个“最大的工作量区块链的争夺战”。尽管财务状况黯淡,但 SV 方面的表述依然很有底气, Coingeek 表示他们已经准备好打将维持“数月”的长期战。

这将使比特大陆的现金和加密货币储备流失,因为我们准备打持续数月的长期战。如果我是比特大陆的股东或投资者,我会问为什么吴忌寒动用着你们的钱来控制 BCH 而比特大陆的业务本身是支持多种加密货币的。

(资料来源: Coingeek

然而,以我们保守的假设来估算,分拆后 SV 矿工在 24 小时内已经见红并损失 324,904 美元。如果这种情况能持续数月,我们将会感到非常惊讶。

 

结论

虽然双方的言论都很有底气,但在某种程度上,哈希值战争其实是完全没有意义的。无论哪个区块链具有更多的区块或最高的累积工作量,用户和投资者都可以自由选择分拆后的 ABC 或 SV 任一链条。作为更高工作量的链条似乎对这两个代币的支持者很重要,但谨慎的想法及做法是留在最有利可图的链条上挖掘代币。  

 

在我们看来,随着累积损失逐渐开始增加,所涉及的双方不可避免地将从新分配哈希值,使其按比例根据每个代币的价格来分配。我们不知道这会发生在多长时间以后,但 forkmonitor.info 网站将成为一个有用的获取资讯的工具。在这个没什么意义的哈希战争中,它可以帮助我们评估双方的财务压力。

 

 

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Bitcoin Cash ABC’s rolling 10 block checkpoints

Abstract: We evaluate Bitcoin Cash ABC’s new rolling 10 block checkpoint system. The new system does defend against “deep” hostile reorgs; however, it increases the risk of consensus chain splits and provides new opportunities for a would-be attacking miner. Another tradeoff is that the change increases the damage hostile miners can do to the network, but it reduces the potential reward for such behaviour. It is not clear at this point if this change is a net benefit, although it is a fundamental change to the system and it may therefore be better to spend more time assessing the dynamics involved before the network adopts this technology.

Overview

Bitcoin Cash ABC added a new rolling checkpoint system in software version ABC 0.18.5, which was released on 21st November 2018. Essentially, the new mechanism finalizes a block once it has received 10 confirmations, which prevents large blockchain reorgs. Therefore even if an alternative chain has more proof of work, if it conflicts with a checkpoint, the node will not switch over to the most work chain.

This feature may have been added as a defence against potential attackers including from supporters of the rival Bitcoin Cash SV chain, who have indicated they may wish to attack Bitcoin Cash ABC.

Security Analysis of the New Checkpointing Mechanism

The new rolling checkpoint mechanism includes a trade-off:

  • The risk of a deep reorg is reduced.
  • The risk of a consensus chainsplit is increased.

Network Risk Analysis of the New Checkpoint System

Latency issues Attack scenario
Reorg risk

No change

It it unlikely that latency problems will cause nodes to be out of sync with each other by 10 blocks, therefore, this is largely a non-issue, in our view. The new checkpointing system is therefore not likely to cause problems here. Although with a block size of up to 32MB, there could be some latency issues in a small number of circumstances and it is possible nodes could be out of sync by 10 blocks.

The checkpoint doesn’t seem to solve any issues to do with latency. If latency issues cause a 10 block reorg, the user may want to follow the most work chain. Therefore we do not think there is any benefit here.

Risk reduced

The risk of a deep hostile reorg is now reduced or limited to 10 blocks.

Consensus split

New small risk introduced

In the unlikely scenario that poor network connectivity causes nodes to be out of sync with each other by 10 blocks or more, the conflicting checkpoints could cause a consensus split resulting in two or more coins.

New risk introduced

Although the reorg risk is now reduced, the hostile miner now has a new attack vector. The attacker can attempt to mine a 10 block long (or longer) chain in secret and then publish the chain at a time designed to cause conflicting checkpoints on the network, causing a chain split.

Attacking Miner: An Alternative Option to a Reorg

As indicated above, if a hostile miner is producing a shadow chain, once this diverges from the “honest” chain by more than 10 blocks, it is essentially useless as it cannot reorg the honest chain, even if it has more work. Therefore the attacker might as well give up and stop extending the shadow chain.

However, this also means that as soon as the 10th block since the split has been produced on the “honest chain,” the attacker might as well publish the shadow chain at this point, depending on the attacker’s objectives. (i.e. release the shadow chain as soon as the attacker receives the block in red indicated in the below diagram.) This could then cause a consensus chain split, with some nodes having received the red block first and some receiving the shadow chain first, resulting in conflicting checkpoints.

(Source: BitMEX Research)

This attack may cause a consensus chain split, which could be just as damaging to the network as continuing on to do a hostile reorg. It is also cheaper than continuing on to do a deep reorg, since the hostile miner can stop earlier. Therefore it is not clear to us why this new checkpointing defence is a material improvement. Although the risks in this section are unlikely to materialise (and could require the attacker to have a majority of the hashrate), they seem at least as likely to occur as the problem the new checkpointing system is trying to mitigate against.

Advantages of the Checkpointing System

  • Although the new checkpointing mechanism may have a limited impact on security within a 10 block window, when looking back more deeply from the current chain tip, security may be increased over longer timeframes. This may be very useful to some exchanges or merchants who can now wait for more than 10 blocks before crediting a user account and achieve a higher level of assurance. However, a key focus of Bitcoin Cash is to increase transaction speeds, so this benefit may not be desirable for the Bitcoin Cash community.
  • Although a new attack vector is opened up by this mechanism, providing a new way for hostile miners to instigate a consensus split as we explained above, the incentive to do this is less clear than for a “normal” deep reorg attack. A normal reorg attack can be used to initiate a double spend against an exchange, whereby the attacker could profit. While it is possible to also attempt a double spend attack using this new chain split-related attack vector, the outcome is less clear, as it is not obvious which side (if any) will be the winner or which chain an individual exchange may follow. Therefore, although this attack is potentially more devastating on the network, the incentives for it are less obvious. We view this as a significant positive.

Other issues

Centralisation and More Developer Power

Another common criticism of checkpoints is that it gives developers more power and increases centralisation since developers normally manually insert the checkpoints when they release new versions of the software (like Bitcoin used to have). However in our view, this does not apply in this case as the checkpoints are automatically generated by the node software and not manually generated by the development team. Therefore this a non-issue.

Long Range Attack and the Initial Sync

As Eric Wall explained on Twitter, the new checkpoint mechanism opens up the ability to sybil attack nodes not on the latest chaintip. For example, nodes still in the initial sync or nodes related to users who temporarily shut down their nodes for several days. An attacker needs to launch his own relay nodes and generate a new 10 block long chain at any point in the past.

This lower work chain can then be broadcast to nodes (including the specific targeting of nodes not at the current tip), potentially causing these nodes to conduct the checkpoint prematurely, on an alternative chain. Not only does this leave these nodes on a different chain, but this chain is under the control of the attacker. This seems to be a significant flaw of the checkpointing system.

Satoshi’s “original vision” appears to imply that the ability of nodes to be switched off and then verify what happened when it was gone is potentially important:

Nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.
(Source: Bitcoin Whitepaper)

To some extent this Bitcoin Cash ABC upgrade abandons that philosophy, and requires nodes to be online 24×7.

Conclusion

The new Bitcoin Cash ABC checkpointing system is a fundamental change to the core network and consensus dynamics, resulting in a number of trade-offs. These changes may not have been adequately explored before the upgrade. Although we do not think it is likely such a change will result in an immediate crisis, it’s not likely to prevent one either.

Overall Summary of the Checkpointing System’s Impact

Positives:

  • Reduces the incentive for a miner to attack the chain
  • Provides more assurances for merchants and exchanges for transactions with over 10 confirmations

Negatives:

  • Increases the ability of a miner to instigate a devastating attack on the network
  • Introduces new attack vectors on nodes which are still syncing to the main chain

 

Forkmonitor.info updated to estimate the value of mining losses since the Bitcoin Cash split

Abstract: Bitcoin Cash successfully split into two coins on 15th November 2018, Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV. BitMEX Research sponsored a website, forkmonitor.info to track the two chains. There is now a “hashrate war” between the two coins and the hashrate is higher than one would expect given the price of the coins, such that miners are making large losses. The website has now been updated to help estimate the value spent mining on each side of the split and the loses miners may therefore be making.

(Notes: Screenshot of updated forkmonitor.info website)

Estimating the accumulated mining losses so far

Based on the mining spend since the split figure provided, one can estimate the total expected losses, based on the price of the respective coins, as the table below shows:

Bitcoin Cash ABC Bitcoin cash SV
Mining spend since the split US$887,963  US$520,115
Coins mined 2,337.5 2,012.5
Coin price US$261 US$97
Potential mining revenue US$610,087 US$195,212
Total Net profit/(loss) (US$277,875) (US$324,904)
Profit Margin (45.5%) (166.4%)

(Source: Forkmonitor.info, Poloniex price data)
(Notes: Data as at 18:30 UTC on 16 Nov 2018. Mining spend calculated assuming standard Bitmain S9 miner performance and electricity cost of US$50 per MWh)

Although the table above shows that both sides are making losses, it illustrates why the ABC side may be in a stronger financial position than SV. Not only is ABC in the PoW lead (both with respect to the number of blocks and accumulated work), but the SV miners have larger expected losses than ABC miners, due to the lower price of the SV coin. The SV losses are also larger relative to the potential revenue, with a profit margin of minus 166.4% compared to ABC on minus 45.5%.

Despite this situation, one should of course be aware that the prices of these coins are volatile and highly uncertain. There is no guarantee that either side will be able to sell the coins they mined. However, the ABC side does have a reasonably liquid futures market.

What will happen next?

Mining is currently continuing on both sides, with neither side willing to back down over the fight for the most work chain. Despite the bleak financial situation, the rhetoric on the SV side remains strong, with Coingeek stating that they may be prepared to keep this up for “months and months”.

This will bleed Bitmain’s cash and cryptocurrency reserves, because we are prepared to fight for months and months. If I were a shareholder or investor in Bitmain, I’d be asking why Jihan Wu is spending all your money to control BCH when Bitmain’s business supports multiple cryptocurrencies.”
(Source: Coingeek)

However, with just around 24 hours passing since the split and SV miners already US$324,904 in the red, using our conservative assumptions, we would be surprised if the situation continues like this for months.

Conclusion

While the rhetoric from either side is strong, in a way the hashrate battle is totally pointless. Users and investors are free to choose the ABC or SV side of the split no matter which chain has the most blocks or highest accumulated work. The narrative of being the higher work chain appears important to proponents of the two coins, but the prudent think to do would be to step back and mine the most profitable coin.

In our view, as the accumulated losses gradually start to increase, it is inevitable that the parties involved step back and allocate the hashrate such that its distributed in a proportional way to the prices of each coin. How long this will take, we do not know, but the forkmonitor.info website should provide a useful tool. It can help asses the extent to which financial pressure is building on each side in this somewhat pointless hashrate war.

 

 

加密币交易平台行业详细报告(来自 CryptoCompare )

摘要:我们对加密币交易所的整个生态圈进行了深入的报道。我们按照所有可能的特征(交易所类型,交易所覆盖区域和交易对)都整体市场进行了细分。我们也使用了多元的指标来评估交易的稳健性和真实性,包括网络流量,平均交易规模,委托列表深度,安全性和价格可靠性等。该报告出自 CryptoCompare ,内容用了 CryptoCompare 的综合定价指数( CCCAGG )作为大部分的分析基础。

(备注:当前 CCCAGG 成分交易所,按 24 小时流量计算)

 

请点击此处下载 CryptoCompare 报告的 PDF 版本

 

执行摘要


主要交易所在 10 月的新闻

  • 据报道, Bitstamp 被一家比利时投资公司 NXMH 以 4 亿美元收购了。
  • Gemini 上的全数加密资产现在已由 Aon 保险公司来承保。
  • Coinbase 在 CENTRE Consortium 宣布 Circle 合作后,为其交易平台和 USDC 增加了 0x 。
  • 韩国交易所 Bithumb 开始了新的 DEX ,而 Huobi 和 OKEX 推出了稳定币 GUSD , TUSD , PAX 和 USDC 。
  • Chainalysis 将协助 Binance 遵守全球的反洗钱( AML )法规。
  • Coinfloor 成为第一个获得直布罗陀许可证的交易所。

 

交易所市场细分

与期货交易量( 32 亿美元)相比,现货量占总市场量(不到 70 亿美元)近四分之三。 BitMEX 和 BitflyerFX 平均占总交易量的四分之一以上,而 CME 和 CBOE 等传统交易所占比不到 1% 。

在整体市场总交易量中,提取流动性费用( Taker Fee )的交易所占现货市场交易量的 90% ,而基于其他交易费用作为利润和免费交易的交易所则占总交易量的 10% 。

提供法币兑加密币交易的交易所只占现货市场交易量的四分之一(约 20 亿美元),而提供密货币兑加密币的交易所占比约四分之三(约 47 亿美元)。然而,就交易所数量而言,大约一半的交易所提供法币兑加密币交易。

 

“交易即挖矿” 交易所交易量

按 24 小时平均交易量计算,交易量最高的 “交易即挖矿” 交易所是 EXX( 1.6 亿美元),其次是 Coinex ( 1.14 亿美元)和 Coinbene ( 1.13 亿美元)。根据 CryptoCompare ,”交易即挖矿” 交易所 24 小时平均交易量仅超过 5.5 亿美元。这占过去 30 天总交易量约 10% 。

 

去中心化交易所

CryptoCompare 上排名前 5 位的去中心化交易所的 24 小时平均交易总量略低于 240 万美元。这仅占总交易量的 0.4% 。以 24 小时平均交易量计算, CryptoCompare 上排名前三的交易所是 Waves Dex , IDEX 和 Dex 。

 

交易量,交易对和代币

以 24 小时平均交易量计算, Binance 仍然是交易量最高的交易所,平均为 9.77 亿美元。其次分别是 OKEX ( 4.05 亿美元)和 Bitfinex ( 3.68 亿美元)。 Yobit提供最多数量的交易对,数量达到为 7,032 对,其次是 Cryptopia ( 4,321 对)和 CCEX ( 2,140 对)。

 

比特币兑法币交易量

在过去30天内,美元占 BTC 兑法币一半的交易量,其次是日元( 21% )和韩元( 16% )。比特币兑韩元( KRW )的交易量在 10 月 7 日之后大幅上涨。该交易对在此之前仅占平均前五名的比特币交易量的十分之一。在 10 月 7 日至 15 日期间,它的占比上升到了三分之一,韩国交易所 Bithumb 的交易量也大幅飙升,增长达到 230% 。

 

国家分析

马耳他注册的交易所每日总交易量最大,达到近 14 亿美元,其次是在韩国(约 8.4 亿美元)和香港(约 5.6 亿美元)。在前十大交易量最大的国家中,大型交易所的数量在美国最多,其次是英国和香港。做为在马耳他注册的交易所, Binance 和 OKEX 占了其交易量的绝大部分,而 Bithumb 和 Upbit 则在韩国占主导地位。

 

交易数据分析

CoinEx 是一家著名的 “交易即挖矿” 交易所,相对其他前 25 位的交易所,其交易频率相对较高,而每笔交易规模较小。 它的平均每天进行近 176,000 笔交易,每笔交易金额为 125 美元,很可能是算法交易的结果。相比之下, Bithumb 和 HuobiPro 的平均交易规模分别约 3,000 和 1,500 美元,并且每日交易次数明显较低( 12 – 18,000 )。

 

网页用户分析

IDAX 和 CoinBene 的日平均访问量似乎比同等规模的交易所低。 Binance 的日平均访问人数最多,与其高交易量一致。与此同时, Coinbase , Cex.io 和 Bittrex 等交易所的日访问量明显高于其他相似规模的交易所。与同等规模的交易所相比, ZB 和 EXX 每日所吸引的访客量明显较少。

 

委托列表分析

与 CoinEx , ZB 和 Coinbene 等交易所相比, ItBit , Kraken 和 Bitstamp 的交易市场相对稳定。由于在我们所分析的时间段内,它们的平均委托列表的深度相对较浅,因此这些交易所显得不那么稳定。

 

交易所安全性

24 小时平均交易量排在前 100 的交易所中,只有 86% 的交易所的官网页面同时拥有公共隐私政策和条款和条件的资料。三分之一的大型交易所将绝大多数用户的资金存放在冷钱包中,在这些交易所中, itBit , Coinfloor , Bitfinex 和 Coinbase 等交易所是离线存放用户资金规模最大的几家交易所。前 100 的交易所中,有 11% 在过去曾遭受到黑客攻击。

 

了解你的客户 ( KYC )

只有不到一半的大型交易所要有严格的 KYC 要求,而超过四分之一的交易所不要求 KYC 。

 

总交易量和市场细分

本节旨在介绍整个加密币交易市场的宏观概况。其中有趣的是过往现货交易量与期货交易量的比例。我们还将评估一下收费交易所,免费交易所及 “交易即挖矿” 交易所的交易量的比例。最后,我们将看一下提供加密币兑加密币交易及提供法币兑加密币交易的交易所的交易量。

 

历史现货市场与期货市场交易量

现货交易量占总市场量的四分之三。

现货交易量达到近 70 亿美元,而在这段期间,期货交易量达到 32 亿美元。

BitMEX ( XBT / USD 永续合约)和 BitflyerFX ( BTC / JPY 期货合约)等期货交易所平均交易量占整体市场交易量不到四分之一。 CME 和 CBOE 等传统期货交易所仅占总市场的很小一部分,平均不到 1% 。

 

历史 BTC 兑美元期货合约交易量

BitMEX 的比特币兑美元的永续合约交易量依然继续主导着比特币对美元的期货市场。


与 CME 和 CBOE 的交易量相比, BitMEX 在过去一个月中占据了超过 90% 的市场份额。

 

按收费方式划分的历史现货交易量

收取接受者费用( Taker fee ) 的交易所的交易量约占现货市场交易量的 90% 。

另一方面, “交易即挖矿” 交易所的交易量仅占现货市场交易总量的 9% 左右,而提供免费现货交易的交易所的交易量仅占市场总量的 1% 以下。

 

历史加密币对加密币与法币对加密币的交易所的现货交易量

提供法币兑加密币的交易所的交易量占现货市场总交易量的四分之一。

 

调整后的历史现货交易量

在撰写本文期间,加密币交易市场的平均交易量为 52.6 亿美元。

调整后的现货交易量不包括 “交易即挖矿” 交易所及免费交易所的交易量。

 

历史 BTC 兑法币现货交易量 – 前五大法币

从 10 月 7 日开始,韩元( KRW )兑比特币的交易量大幅增加。

BTC 兑 KRW 此前仅占排名前五位的比特币交易所的交易量的平均的十分之一。在 10 月 7 日至 15 日期间,它增长了 230 %。这一增长源于韩国交易所 Bithumb 的交易量飙升。

 

BTC 与各种法币交易的比例

在过去 30 天内,美元占 BTC 兑法币交易量的一半,其次是日元( 21% )和韩元( 16% )。

 

交易量,代币和交易对摘要

24 小时平均美元交易量排名

交易所 24 小时交易量(百万美元) 代币 交易对
Binance 977.5 160 408
OKEX 405.0 171 511
Bitfinex 368.5 96 281
Bithumb 323.2 13 13
HuobiPro 310.2 128 293
HitBTC 295.2 427 889
ZB 247.6 58 167
Upbit 211.0 132 261
Bibox 208.9 87 210

 

交易对数量排名

交易所 24 小时交易量(百万美元) 代币 交易对
Yobit 27.7        1,180        7,032
Cryptopia 3.5            785        4,321
CCEX 0.1            628        2,140
EtherDelta 0.2        2,058        2,059
HitBTC 295.2            427            889
TradeSatoshi 0.1            200            840
Bittrex 49.1            514            637
Livecoin 12.5            249            595
WavesDEX 0.9            163            592
IDEX 0.7            563            563
OKEX 405.0            171            511
Kucoin 10.1            189            450
Binance 977.5            160            408
Gateio 48.8            172            358
Zecoex 1.4            119            342

 

历史 24 小时交易量 – 前 8 大交易所

24 小时现货交易量排名最高的交易所是 Binance ,平均交易量达到近 9.8 亿美元。

根据 24 小时平均交易量计算,紧随 Binance 其后的是 OKEX 和 Bitfinex ,分别为 4.05 亿和 3.68 亿。

10 月 7 日后, Bithumb 的交易量从平均 1.4 亿美元飙升至平均 6.4 亿美元。此后,总部位于新加坡的 BK Global Consortium 收购了该交易所控股股权。

根据 CrypoGlobe , Bitfinex 在 10 月 15 日的交易量激增的原因是因为 Bitfinex 与 Coinbase 的比特币交易溢价在当时达到了 11.28% 的历史最高水平。

 

24 小时月平均交易量 – 顶级交易所

Bithumb 的平均交易量增长了 187% ,而 Binance 和 OKEX 的交易量分别下降了 8% 和 35% 。

韩国交易所 Bithumb 的平均交易量从 8 月/ 9 月的 9,600 万美元大幅增加到 9 月/  10 月的 2.76 亿美元。与此同时, Binance 在同一时期的交易量从 9.74 亿美元下降至 8.93 亿美元。最后,第二大交易所的 24 小时交易量, OKEX ,从 6.55 亿美元下降至 4.23 亿美元。

 

国家分析

交易所在各个国家经营着它们的业务,以服务于更广泛的全球加密币交易社区。它们经常更换它们的经营地点,以避免在那些会限制它们运营方式的管辖权内经营它们的业务。以下国家分析旨在点出根据 24 小时交易量,交易所注册地排名前十的国家 。

 

十大交易所法律司法管辖区 –   24 小时交易量与交易次数

注册在马耳他的交易所的日交易量最高,而大型交易所注册地的数量最多的是在美国和英国。

马耳他交易所的日交易量仅为 14 亿美元,其次是韩国(约 8.4 亿美元)和香港(约 5.6 亿美元)。在排名前十的交易大国中,大型交易所主要在美国,英国和香港。

 

十大交易所法律司法管辖区 – 按对成交量的影响力

Binance 和 OKEX 占了马耳他交易量的绝大部分,而 Bithumb 和 Upbit 在韩国占主导地位。


十大交易所法律司法管辖区 – 交易所细分和数量

著名的美国交易所包括 Coinbase , Poloniex 和 itBit ,而韩国的交易所包括 Upbit , Bithumb 和 Coinone 。

香港的交易所包括 HitBTC , CoinEx 和 Bit-Z ,而偏远地区的交易所包括塞舌尔的 HuobiPro ,萨摩亚的 ZB 和瓦努阿图的 Coinbene 。

 

交易对分析

以下分析旨在显示出加密币兑加密与法币兑加密币的交易总量的分别以及每个类别内的交易所数量。

 

加密币兑加密币与法币兑加密币 –  24小时平均交易量及交易所数量

平均而言,仅提供加密币兑加密币交易的交易所占现货交易市场总量约四分之三(约 47 亿美元)。

那些提供法币兑加密币的交易所平均只占市场交易总额的四分之一(约 20 亿美元)。就交易所数量而言,大约一半的交易所只提供着加密币兑加密币交易。

 

交易数据分析


该分析旨在阐明特定交易所的交易特征。它有助于回答交易所的交易量是否是由少量大额交易带来的,或由大量小额的交易所产生,这些小额交易可能体现背后投资人正使用着算法交易或计算机交易。

 

24 小时平均交易频率与平均交易规模 – 前 25 大交易所

CoinEx 是一家著名的 “交易即挖矿” 交易所,与其他交易量排名前 25 名的交易所相比,其交易频率明显较高,而单笔交易额度由相对较小。

由于它的单笔交易额度约为  125 美元,每日交易量近 176,000 笔,这可能是因为交易员正在使用算法交易。相比之下, Bithumb 和 HuobiPro 的平均单笔交易额分别为 3,000 和 1,500 美元。


24 小时平均交易频率与平均交易规模 – 大型交易所


交易所
24 小时平均交易量(百万美元) 平均单笔交易额度(美元) 24 小时交易数量(千笔)
1 Binance 977.5 950 95.7
2 OKEX 405 701 48.5
3 Bitfinex 368.5 1,438 38
4 Bithumb 323.2 2,788 12.4
5 HuobiPro 310.2 1,483 18.7
6 HitBTC 295.2 2,873 12.1
7 ZB 247.6 702 29
8 UPbit 211 732 22.5
9 Bibox 208.9 1,253 16.4
10 EXX 159.9 1,134 24.1
11 BitZ 143.9 2,333 8
12 IDAX 131.5 520 37.4
13 CoinEx 113.6 125 175.6
14 CoinBene 113.2 298 35.2

 

网页流量分析

此分析针对 CryptoCompare 总交易池中的大型交易所的网页流量统计信息。它基于类似的分析,该研究试图在分析每个特别的域名的用户访问量与该域名后续 24 小时的交易量之间的联系。该分析假设交易所吸引的访客越多,其交易量就越高。

 

每日平均访客人数与 24 小时交易量 –  超过 100,000 的 Alexa 排名

IDAX 和 CoinBene 的平均每日访问量似乎比同等规模交易所的每日访问量低。

上图仅表示出在 Alexa 排名高于100,000的交易平台。这样做的原因是,根据 Alexa 的说法,任何低于此水平的排名可能都不具有统计意义。  

我们可以看到 IDAX 和 CoinBene 等交易所的每日平均独立访客数量低于其他类似规模交易所的交易量,如 Kraken , Bitstamp 和 CoinEx 。

Binance 的每日平均访客人数最多,与其高交易量一致。与此同时, Coinbase , Cex.io 和 Bittrex 等交易所的日访问量明显高于其他日交易量相近的交易所。在 Coinbase 的案例中,这可以归因于交易所的声誉和年龄。


每日平均访客人数与 24 小时交易量 – 所有 Alexa 排名

与同等规模的交易所相比, ZB 和 EXX 每日吸引的访客量明显较少。  

无论 Alexa 排名是否低于 100,000 ,上图显示了 24 小时交易量排名的前 20 位。值得注意的是,交易所 ZB 和 EXX 的访问者数量明显低于同规模交易所。  

这些交易所的日均交易量保持在 2.48 亿美元和 1.6 亿美元之间。尽管如此,他们每天的独立访客数量不超过 700 人。  

虽然仅分析 Alexa 排名低于 100,000 的交易所可能出现统计上的错误,但为了减轻任何潜在风险,这些交易所将被标记,直到得到它们进一步澄清。

 

委托列表分析


以下委托列表分析是基于每个大型交易所 10 天内每隔 10 分钟就其委托列表深度的快照所得来,以便调查各种加密币交易所的交易稳定性。在此背景下,平均深度下降的定义是将指定市场的价格拉低 10% 所需的累积量(以美元计)。我们将其与日平均交易量排名前 5 的交易所平均数值进行比较。该分析的结果是我们能够基于深度降低与每日平均交易量与委托列表深度的比率来评估该交易所的稳定性。

 

平均委托列表深度下降与每日平均交易量(某交易对)

相对而言, CoinBene , ZB 和 CoinEx 的市场是最薄的。  

尽管交易对的平均交易量相对较大(约 1,200 万美元),但 CoinBene 的平均委托累计深度下降(委托购买方)总计仅为 33,000 美元。换句话说,为了将价格向下移动 10% ,交易员需要卖出价值 33,000 美元的货币。  

相比之下, Kraken 虽然有着差不多的日均交易量(约 1 ,350 万美元),但它的平均委托累计深度为 420 万美元。这几乎是 CoinBene 的 130 倍,因此表明该交易所更加稳定。

 

平均深度下降与 24 小时平均交易量比 (某交易对)

与 CoinEx , ZB 和 Coinbene 等交易所相比, ItBit , Kraken 和 Bitstamp 的市场相对稳定。  

例如, ZB 的深度与交易量之比仅为 0.4% 。即为了将价格下调 10% ,交易员只需卖出平均每日成交量的 0.4% 。 在CoinEx ( 0.7% )和 CoinBene ( 0.3% )的情况下,这些比率同样相对较低。  

与此同时, Bitstamp 和 ItBit 等其他交易所的比率分别为 30% 和 40% 。这是 CoinBene 的 100 倍。

 

“交易即挖矿” 交易所

“交易即挖矿” 交易所 24 小时平均交易量

根据 CryptoCompare , “交易即挖矿” 交易所平均 24 小时总交易量超过 5.5 亿美元。这占了过去 30 天总交易量约 10% 。

 

去中心化交易所

24 小时 DEX 平均交易量

CryptoCompare 上排名前 5 位的去中心化交易所的 24 小时平均交易总量不到 2.4 亿美元。这仅占市场总交易量的 0.4% 。

 

安全性分析 –  24 小时交易量排名前 100 名的交易所

此安全性分析旨在考虑在 24 小时内交易量排名前 100 的交易所在官网页面有否公共隐私和条款和条件页面的比例。此外,我们还分析了过去被黑客攻击的交易所的比例,以及用户资金的冷钱包与热钱包存储的比例。从理论上讲,交易所“冷藏”(即离线)存储的资金数量越多,暴露给黑客的资金就越少。


公共条款和隐私政策页面的比例

在 24 小时交易量排名的前 100 的交易所中,只有 86% 同时拥有公共隐私政策和条款和条件页面。

 


交易所“冷藏”持有的用户资金比例

三分之一的大型交易所将绝大多数用户的资金存放在冷钱包中。

 

个别交易所冷藏用户资金比例

itBit , Coinfloor , Bitfinex 和 Coinbase 等交易所是“冷藏”用户资金比例最高的几个交易所。

 

过去被黑客攻击的交易所比例

11% 的大型交易所过去曾被黑客入侵。

 

排名前 100 名的交易所对 KYC 的要求

只有不到一半的大型交易所有严格的 KYC 要求,而超过四分之一的交易所不要求 KYC 。  

那些部分要求(25%) KYC 的交易所需要 KYC 验证才能实行某些功能,例如提取法币,交易法币对或增加最大交易额。

 

新交易所的交易数据评估

我们已经开始对新交易所的交易进行检查。快照数据无法捕捉波动性,因此这些交易图根据其对 CCCAGG 的影响来评估交易特性。我们准备了上个月每个新交易所的排名前 5 个交易对的 CCCAGG 与所有交易的图表。

 

BCEX

BCEX 的两个交易对显示出高波动性。我们可以看见大量的买入委托,这表明市场非常薄弱。因此,此交易所的价格不会很好地反映加密币的价格,因此我们不会将其包括在内。

 

CoinTiger

CoinTiger 上的排名第一的交易对与 CCCAGG 一致,但由于交易量异常,在考虑纳入 CCCAGG 之前应该进一步监控它的走势。

 

iCoinBay

IcoinBay 上的交易对与 CCCAGG 一致。该交易所可能包含在 CCCAGG 中。

 

Iqfinex

在被考虑纳入 CCCAGG 之前,其最大交易对的闪电崩盘引发了更长的评估期。

 

Liqnet

Liqnet 上的交易对与 CCCAGG 一致。但是,我们可以观察到有大量的 API 停机时间。交易所的 API 质量将受到监控,如果 API 规定有所改进,交易所将被考虑包含在内。

 

P2PB2B

与 CCCAGG 不一致,因此 P2PB2B 有理由被排除在外 。

 

StocksExchange

StocksExchange 显示出一些不寻常的交易活动和闪电崩盘。由于该交易模式,交易所不将被包括在内。

 

 

BTC 兑美元的评估和未来交易所的方法论

本节提供了交易所交易数据的定量分析。目的是了解交易所交易生态系统,并选择最能代表加密币价格的交易所。  

为了在交易所之间进行比较,我们需要确定加密币的交易价格。所有  30天内 BTC-USD 对的交易均进行了整理并绘制。在这段时间里,有大约 650 万笔交易。交易被绘制在图表中,颜色表示该区域中的密度。

 

过去 30 天所有 BTC 对 USD 的交易

该图表代表了 30 天期间 BTC-USD 交易对的整个生态系统。然后我们在用其生成 BTC 的代表价格。我们选择中位数来计算加密币的价格。使用这一措施背后的原因是交易数据含有大量异常值。为了使计算易于处理,我们将每 1 小时的交易分割开来,并计算每个小时的中位数。  

出于本次分析的目的,我们并未将交易量进行加权计算。这是由于在查看个别交易所交易数据时观察我们到大量买入委托。我们假设中位数将更好地反映交易所委托的中间价格,因为大多数交易均以中间价格完成交易。因此,中位数应反映平均交易价格。  

然后在交易数据上每一个小时画上它们的中位数,然后检视上图的最高交易密度,其 表示它是对加密币交易价格的良好估计。

 

超过30天的 BTC 兑美元的交易,每小时中位数价格线

CryptoCompare 的 CCCAGG 是交易价格的汇总,旨在反映资产的当前交易价格。可以通过将 CCCAGG 价格与中位数交易价格进行比较来验证其价格的合理性。我们可以看出,这两项指标之间存在一致性,表明 CCCAGG 正准确的捕捉着市场交易价格。

 

CCCAGG价格对比BTC对美元中位数的交易价格

 

 

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BitMEX 研究赞助链条分叉监控网站

摘要:我们很自豪地宣布由 BitMEX 研究赞助的新网站 ForkMonitor.info 上线了。该网站连接到几个不同的网络节点,包括比特币和比特币现金的网络。它显示了所监控的区块链的有关信息。该网站可用于监控系统升级(软分叉或硬件叉时)期间的网络动态,并可能有助于检测无意识的共识错误。特别感谢斯左思·普布斯( Sjors Provoost )开发该网站。

新网站:ForkMonitor.info

( 2018 年 11 月 3 日的网站截图)

 

概述

该网站目前连接着以下 13 个节点:

比特币节点 比特币现金节点
Bitcoin Core 0.17.0.1 Bitcoin ABC 0.18.2
Bitcoin Core 0.17.0 Bitcoin ABC 0.18.0
Bitcoin Core 0.16.3 Bitcoin ABC 0.17.2
Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 Bitcoin ABC 0.16.2
Bitcoin Core 0.10.3 Bitcoin ABC 0.14.6
Bitcoin SV 1.0.1
BUCash 1.5.0
BUCash 1.3.0.1

(截至 2018 年 11 月 4 日由 forkmonitor.info 运行的节点)

 

该网站主要面向比特币现金,与5个比特币节点相比,它运行着8个比特币现金节点。这样做的原因是为了关注即将推出的比特币现金硬分叉,其中有几个不同的节点设计用于监控不同链条的动态。


forkmonitor.info 网站也可用于监控该系统升级期间的情况。比特币现金硬分叉完成后,该网站的目的是将重点转移到比特币上。我们计划运行更多不同版本的比特币核心 ( Bitcoin Core )(尤其是旧版本),以及独立实施,如 Bcoin , BTCD 和 Libbitcoin 等网络。这可能有助于发现共识错误,例如 2018 年 9 月发现的通胀错误 CVE-2018-17144 。网站的代码将是开源的,这可能有助于鼓励其他组织衍生出多个节点并用类似的方式来监控网络。

 

比特币现金硬分叉

在北京时间 2018 年 11 月 16 日 00:40 左右,预计比特币现金将产生硬分叉。有产生以下三个竞争链的可能:

  • 由 Bitcoin ABC 实施的硬分叉
  • 由 Bitcoin SV 实施的第二个硬分叉
  • 可能是原始的规则链

 

下面列出了一些主要客户名单及其在硬分叉上的各自看法:

客户端 评论
Bitcoin ABC 根据过去的中位数, Bitcoin ABC 在0.18.0之后的版本预计将在北京时间 2018 年 11 月 16 日 00:40 左右激活硬分叉。在此之前, Bitcoin ABC 的版本预计不会跟随这个新的链条系统。

 

在我们看来, Bitcoin ABC是最受欢迎的实施方,而大多数比特币现金用户的可能会支持硬分叉并跟随新的链条。我们不清楚旧版本的 Bitcoin ABC 会怎么发展;然而,最有可能的结果是它的原始链上不再产生额外区块。

Bitcoin SV Bitcoin SV (或  Bitcoin Satoshi Vision )是由克雷格史蒂文赖特( Craig Steven Wright )推广的客户端,他通常被称为“假中本聪”。 2016 年,赖特先生制作了他声称可以证明他是中本聪的证据,然而这很快就发现只是一个从比特币的区块链中复制出来并一种奇怪的方式呈现出来的数字签名。

Bitcoin SV 也有可能在 Bitcoin ABC激活硬分叉的同时激活,但是,这个硬分叉应该与 Bitcoin ABC 不兼容。

我们认为, Bitcoin SV 很可能得到的用户支持是有限的。然而,一些大型比特币现金采矿池,看似会支持 Bitcoin SV 或与赖特先生有着某种关联:

  • Coingeek : 25% 的股份( Calvin Ayre 拥有的一个矿池,据称是赖特的金主和支持者)
  • BMG 池: 12.5% (另一个被认为与赖特有关的矿池, BMG 是赖特公司 nChain 集团的其中一个部门)
  • SV 池: 7% 的市场份额(专门设置来支持 Bitcoin SV的池)
    (资料来源: cash.coin.dance

除此之外,市值 6,500 万加元的加拿大上市矿业公司 Squire Mining( SQR CN ),可能会支持 Bitcoin SV 。

根据 Squire 演示给投资者的公司介绍,斯特凡·马修斯( Stefan Matthews )是一名董事,而彭博( Bloomberg )的数据显示他拥有该公司 9.3% 的股份。此外, 2016 年 6 月一本关于赖特的“ The Satoshi Affair ”暗示着马修斯是赖特的长期亲密朋友。马修斯是“ nChain ”的首席执行官,“ nChain ”是另一家深深陷入“骗子”诡计的公司。 Squire的向其投资者演示的公司介绍说马修斯先生是:

目前是 nChain 集团的董事长,该集团以区块链和比特币研究领域的全球领导地位而闻名。 BMG 是 nChain 集团的其中一个部门

因此我们认为,尽管缺乏社区 Bitcoin SV 硬分叉的支持,但该链条可能具有相当大的哈希,即使只是在某段有限的时间内。然尽管 nChain , Coingeek 赖特在市场制造了许多营销的噪音,但我不确定与体相关的采池是否实际上运行着 Bitcoin SV 。即使 Bitcoin SV 确具有大量多数哈希,如果比特币现金忽略它,该链条几乎没有市场影响力。我们认为这是最可能的果。

Bitcoin Unlimited 还有第三个名为 Bitcoin Unlimited 的客户端。这个组的 BUCash 1.5.0 客户端旨在跟随 Bitcoin ABC的硬分叉。早期版本可能表现不同。

虽然看起来大多数人将支持 Bitcoin ABC 的分叉,但每个客户端的行为以及他们将遵循哪条区块链仍然存在很大的不确定性。因此, BitMEX 研究赞助了这个新网站,该网站并在硬分叉前上线了。随着下周事件的开展,该网站可以为一些利益相关的参与者提供有用的信息。

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Detailed Report Into The Cryptocurrency Exchange Industry (From CryptoCompare)

Abstract: We present an in depth report into the cryptocurrency exchange ecosystem. The market is broken down by almost all the possible characteristics (Exchange type, exchange region and trading pairs). The robustness and authenticity of exchanges are evaluated  using metrics such as web traffic, average trade sizes, order book depth, security polices and price reliability. The report was produced by CryptoCompare and uses the CryptoCompare’s Aggregate Pricing Index (the CCCAGG), for much of the analysis.

 

(Note: Current CCCAGG Constituent Exchanges, Sized by 24H Volume)

 

Please click here to download a PDF version of CryptoCompare’s report

 

Executive Summary

Major Exchange News in October

  • Bitstamp was acquired by Belgium-based Investment Firm NXMH for ~400 million USD according to reports.
  • Cryptoassets on Gemini are now fully insured with Aon.
  • Coinbase adds 0x to its trading platform as well as USDC after announcing its collaboration with Circle on the CENTRE Consortium.
  • Korean exchange Bithumb starts a new DEX, while Huobi and OKEX list stablecoins GUSD, TUSD, PAX and USDC.
  • Chainalysis will help Binance comply with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations around the globe, and
  • Coinfloor becomes the first exchange to obtain a Gibraltar license.

Exchange Market Segmentation

Spot volumes constitute less than three quarters of total market volumes on average (less than 7 billion USD) compared to futures volumes (3.2 billion USD). BitMEX and BitflyerFX average more than one quarter of total volumes while traditional exchanges such as CME and CBOE constitute just under 1%.

Within total spot volumes, exchanges with taker fees represent approximately 90% of the exchange spot market volumes, while transaction-fee based and no-fee exchanges represent the remaining 10%.

Exchanges that offer fiat to crypto pairs constitute just under a quarter of spot market volumes on average (~2 billion USD) while exchanges that offer only crypto to crypto pairs constitute approximately three quarters (~4.7 billion USD). In terms of exchange count however, approximately half of all exchanges offer fiat to crypto pairs.

Transaction-Fee Mining Volumes

The top trans-fee mining exchange by average 24h volume was EXX (160 million USD), followed by Coinex (114 million USD) and Coinbene (113 million USD). The total average 24h-volume produced by trans-fee mining associated exchanges on CryptoCompare totals just over 550 million USD. This constitutes approximately 10% of total exchange volume over the last 30 days.

Decentralized Exchanges

The total average 24h-volume produced by the top 5 decentralized exchanges on CryptoCompare totals just under 2.4 million USD. This constitutes just 0.4% of total exchange volume. The top 3 on CryptoCompare by 24h volume include Waves Dex, IDEX and Dex.

Volume, Pairs and Coins

Binance remains the top exchange in terms of 24h volume with an average of 977 million USD. This is followed by OKEX (405 million USD) and Bitfinex (368 million USD). Yobit offers the highest number of pairs at 7,032, followed by Cryptopia (4,321) and CCEX (2,140).

Bitcoin to Fiat Volumes

The US Dollar represented half of BTC fiat trading on average over the past 30 days, followed by JPY (21%) and KRW (16%). Bitcoin trading to Korean Won (KRW) increased sharply after the 7th of October. The pair previously represented a tenth of bitcoin trading among the top 5 fiats on average. Between the 7th and 15th of October it represented a third on average, a 230% increase stemming from Korean exchange Bithumb’s spike in trading volumes.

Country Analysis

Maltese-registered exchanges produce the highest total daily volume at just under 1.4 billion USD, followed by those based legally in South-Korea (~840 million USD) and Hong Kong (~560 million USD). Among the top 10 volume-producing countries, the highest number of large exchanges (with significant volume) are based legally in the USA, the UK and Hong Kong. Binance and OKEX represent the vast majority of Malta’s volumes, while Bithumb and Upbit dominate in South Korea.

Trade Data Analysis

CoinEx, a well-known trans-fee mining exchange, has a significantly higher trade frequency and lower trade size than other exchanges in the top 25. This may point to algorithmic trading, given its almost 176 thousand trades a day at an average trade size of 125 USD. In contrast, Bithumb and HuobiPro had an average trade size of just under 3,000 and 1,500 USD respectively and significantly lower trades per day (12-18 thousand).

Web User Analysis

IDAX and CoinBene appear to have lower average daily visitors compared to similarly sized exchanges by daily volume. Binance has the highest average daily visitor count, in line with its high trading volumes. Meanwhile, exchanges such as Coinbase, Cex.io and Bittrex have significantly greater numbers of daily visitors than other exchanges with similar daily volumes. ZB and EXX attract significantly lower daily visitors than similarly-sized exchanges.

Order Book Analysis

ItBit, Kraken and Bitstamp have relatively more stable markets compared to exchanges such as CoinEx, ZB and Coinbene. These exchanges appear significantly less stable given their relatively low average order book depth values over the specified period of analysis.

Exchange Security

Out of the top 100 exchanges by 24h volume, only 86% have both a public privacy policy and a terms & conditions page. A third of top exchanges store the vast majority of users’ funds in cold wallets. Exchanges itBit, Coinfloor, Bitfinex and Coinbase are among those that store the highest proportion of users’ funds offline. As a proportion of the top 100 exchanges, 11% have been hacked in the past.

KYC

Just under half of top exchanges impose strict KYC requirements, while more than a quarter do not require KYC.

Total Exchange Volumes and Market Segmentation

This section aims to provide a macro view of the cryptocurrency exchange market as a whole. An area of interest is the proportion of spot trading vs futures trading historically. We will also assess the relative proportion of exchange volumes that represent exchanges that charge fees, as well as those that implement models with no-fees or trans-fee mining. Finally, we will take a look at exchange volumes that represent crypto-crypto exchanges versus those that represent fiat-crypto exchanges.

Historical Spot vs Futures Volumes

Spot volumes constitute three quarters of total market volumes on average.

Total spot volume averaged less than 7 billion USD, while futures volume averaged over 3.2 billion USD over the period of analysis.

Futures exchanges such as BitMEX (XBT to USD perpetual futures) and BitflyerFX (BTC to JPY futures) average just under a quarter of total cryptocurrency market volumes. Traditional exchanges such as CME and CBOE trading bitcoin futures, only constitute a very small proportion of the total market at just under 1% on average.

Historical BTC to USD Futures Volumes

BitMEX’s Perpetual Bitcoin to USD Futures volumes continue to dominate the Bitcoin to USD futures market

When compared to CME’s and CBOE’s futures volumes, BitMEX has represented an average of just over 90% of the market over the last month.

Historical Spot Volumes Segmented by Predominant Fee Type

Exchanges with taker fees represent approximately 90% of the exchange spot market volumes.

On the other hand, exchanges that implement transaction-fee mining represent just over 9% of the total spot market, while those that offer no-fee spot trading represent just under 1% of the market.

Historical Crypto to Crypto versus Fiat to Crypto Exchange Spot Volumes

Exchanges that offer fiat to crypto pairs constitute just under a quarter of spot market volumes on average.

Adjusted Historical Spot Volumes

The cryptocurrency exchange market trades an average of 5.26 billion USD in adjusted volumes over the period of analysis.

Adjusted spot volumes exclude all exchanges that operate trans-fee mining or no-fee trading models.

Historical BTC to Fiat Spot Volumes – Top 5 Fiat Currencies

Bitcoin trading to Korean Wan (KRW) increased sharply from the 7th of October.

BTC to KRW previously represented a tenth of bitcoin trading among the top 5 fiats on average. Between the 7th and 15th of October it represented a third on average, a 230% increase. This increase stems from Korean exchange Bithumb’s spike in volumes.

Proportion BTC Trading to Various Fiat Currencies

The US Dollar represented half of BTC fiat trading on average over the past 30 days, followed by JPY (21%) and KRW (16%).

Summary of Volumes, Coins and Pairs

Top Exchanges by Average 24H Volume in USD

Exchange 24H volume (USD million) Coins Pairs
Binance 977.5 160 408
OKEX 405.0 171 511
Bitfinex 368.5 96 281
Bithumb 323.2 13 13
HuobiPro 310.2 128 293
HitBTC 295.2 427 889
ZB 247.6 58 167
Upbit 211.0 132 261
Bibox 208.9 87 210

Top Exchanges by Number of Pairs

Exchange 24H volume (USD million) Coins Pairs
Yobit 27.7        1,180        7,032
Cryptopia 3.5            785        4,321
CCEX 0.1            628        2,140
EtherDelta 0.2        2,058        2,059
HitBTC 295.2            427            889
TradeSatoshi 0.1            200            840
Bittrex 49.1            514            637
Livecoin 12.5            249            595
WavesDEX 0.9            163            592
IDEX 0.7            563            563
OKEX 405.0            171            511
Kucoin 10.1            189            450
Binance 977.5            160            408
Gateio 48.8            172            358
Zecoex 1.4            119            342

Historical 24h Volume – Top 8 Exchanges

The top exchange by 24h spot trading volume was Binance with an average of just under 980 million USD.

By average 24h volumes, Binance was followed by OKEX and Bitfinex with volumes of 405 million and 368 million respectively.

Bithumb saw a 356% spike in trading volumes from an average of 140 million USD to an average of 640 million USD after the 7th of October. This follows after Singapore-based BK Global Consortium bought a controlling share in the exchange.

Bitfinex saw a spike in volumes towards the 15th of October as the Bitcoin premium on Bitfinex vs Coinbase reached an all-time high of 11.28% according to CrypoGlobe.

Month on Month Average 24H Trading Volume – Top Exchanges

Average Bithumb volumes increased 187%, while those for Binance and OKEX dropped by 8% and 35% respectively

Korean exchange Bithumb saw a significant increase in average trading volumes from 96 million USD between August/September to 276 million between September/October. Meanwhile, Binance’s volumes over the same time period dropped from 974 million USD to 893 million USD. Finally, the 2nd largest exchange by 24h volumes, OKEX, saw trading volumes drop 655 million USD to 423 million USD.

Country Analysis

Exchanges maintain operations in a variety of countries, in order to serve the wider global community of cryptocurrency traders. They often change legal jurisdiction to avoid regulation in countries that might restrict their abilities to conduct business as they wish. The following country analysis aims to highlight the top 10 legal jurisdictions by the total 24h volume produced by the top exchanges legally based in each jurisdiction.

Top 10 Exchange Legal Jurisdictions – 24h Volume vs Exchange Count

Maltese-based exchanges produced the highest total daily volumes, while the highest quantity of top exchanges are based in the USA and the UK.

Maltese exchanges produce the highest total daily volume at just under 1.4 billion USD, followed by those based legally in South-Korea (~840 million USD) and Hong Kong (~560 million USD). Among the top 10 volume-producing countries, the highest number of exchanges (with significant volume) are based legally in the USA, the UK and Hong Kong.

Top 10 Exchange Legal Jurisdictions – Constituent Exchanges by Impact on Volume

Binance and OKEX represent the vast majority of Malta’s volumes, while Bithumb and Upbit dominate in South Korea.

Top 10 Exchange Legal Jurisdictions – Constituent Exchanges and Count

 

Well-known USA-based exchanges include Coinbase, Poloniex, and itBit, while those in South Korea include Upbit, Bithumb and Coinone.

Hong Kong exchanges include HitBTC, CoinEx and Bit-Z, while those in more remote jurisdictions include HuobiPro in the Seychelles, ZB in Samoa and Coinbene in Vanuatu.

Pair Offering Analysis

The following analysis aims to highlight both the total volumes produced by crypto-crypto vs fiat-crypto exchanges as well as the total number of exchanges that fall within each category.

Crypto to Crypto vs Fiat to Crypto – Average 24H Volume and Exchange Count

On average, exchanges that offer only crypto-crypto pairs constitute approximately three quarters of the total spot trading market (~4.7 billion USD)

Those that that offer fiat-crypto pairs constitute only a quarter of the total exchange market (~2 billion USD) on average. In terms of exchange count, approximately half of all exchanges offer crypto-crypto.

Trade Data Analysis

This analysis aims to shed light on the trading characteristics of given exchange. It helps to answer whether an exchange’s volumes might be the product of consistently large trades, or the product of many small trades which may suggest the use of algorithmic trading or bots.

Average 24H Trade Frequency vs Average Trade Size – Top 25 Exchanges

CoinEx, a well-known trans-fee mining exchange, has a significantly higher trade frequency and lower trade size than other exchanges in the top 25.

This may point to algorithmic trading, given its almost 176 thousand daily trades at an average trade size of 125 USD. In contrast, Bithumb and HuobiPro had an average trade size of just under 3,000 and 1,500 USD respectively.

Average 24H Trade Frequency vs Average Trade Size – Top Exchanges

Exchange AVG 24H Volume (Millions) Average Trade Size (USD) Trades in 24H (Thousands)
1 Binance 977.5 950 95.7
2 OKEX 405 701 48.5
3 Bitfinex 368.5 1,438 38
4 Bithumb 323.2 2,788 12.4
5 HuobiPro 310.2 1,483 18.7
6 HitBTC 295.2 2,873 12.1
7 ZB 247.6 702 29
8 UPbit 211 732 22.5
9 Bibox 208.9 1,253 16.4
10 EXX 159.9 1,134 24.1
11 BitZ 143.9 2,333 8
12 IDAX 131.5 520 37.4
13 CoinEx 113.6 125 175.6
14 CoinBene 113.2 298 35.2

Web Traffic Analysis

This analysis examines the web traffic stats of the top exchanges within CryptoCompare’s total pool of exchanges. It is based on similar studies that have attempted to make a connection between the number of unique web users per domain and the subsequent 24h trading volume for that specific domain. This analysis assumes that the more unique visitors an exchange attracts, the higher its trading volume.

Average Daily Visitors versus 24H Volume – Alexa Rankings Above 100,000

IDAX and CoinBene appear to have lower average daily visitors compared to similarly sized exchanges by daily volume.

The figure above represents the top exchanges by volume that have an Alexa ranking above 100,000. The reason for this is that according to Alexa, any ranking below this may not be statistically significant.

What we can see that exchanges such as IDAX and CoinBene have lower Average Daily Unique Visitor numbers than other exchanges with similar volumes such as Kraken, Bitstamp, and CoinEx.

Binance has the highest average daily visitor count, in line with its high trading volumes. Meanwhile, exchanges such as Coinbase, Cex.io and Bittrex have significantly greater numbers of daily visitors than other exchanges with similar daily volumes. In Coinbase’s case, this can be attributed to the exchange’s reputation and age.

Average Daily Visitors versus 24H Volume – All Alexa Rankings

ZB and EXX attract significantly lower daily visitors than similarly-sized exchanges.

The above figure represents the top 20 exchanges by 24h volume regardless of whether their Alexa rankings are below 100,000. Noticeably, unique visitor counts for exchanges ZB and EXX are significantly lower than other exchanges within a similar 24h volume band.

These exchanges maintain average daily trading volumes of 248 million and 160 million USD
respectively. Despite this, their daily unique visitor counts amount to no more than 700 visitors per day.

Although there is a chance that these web statistics may present errors given Alexa rankings below 100,000, in the interests of mitigating any potential risks, these exchanges will be flagged until clarification is provided.

Order Book Analysis

The following order book analysis investigates the relative stability of various cryptocurrency exchanges based on snapshots of the average order book depth for the top markets on each exchange in 10-minute intervals over a period of 10 days. In the context of this analysis, average depth down is defined as the cumulative volume required (in USD) to reduce the price of a given market by 10%. This is compared to the average daily volume for the top 5 pairs. The result of this analysis is that we are able estimate the relative stability of a given exchange based on the ratio of depth down to average daily pair volume.

Average Order Book Depth Down vs Average Daily Exchange Pair Volume

In relative terms, CoinBene, ZB and CoinEx have the thinnest markets.

Despite relatively large average volumes per top pair (~12 million USD), CoinBene’s average order book cumulative depth down (order book buy side) totals only 33 thousand USD. In other words, to move the price 10% downwards, a trader would need to sell 33 thousand USD worth of currency.

In contrast, Kraken which has similar average daily pair volumes (~13.5 million USD), has an average order book cumulative depth of 4.2 million USD. This is almost 130 times larger than that of CoinBene’s and therefore suggests a much more stable exchange.

Average Depth Down to Average 24H Pair Volume Ratio

ItBit, Kraken and Bitstamp have relatively more stable markets compared to exchanges such as CoinEx, ZB and Coinbene.

In the case of ZB for instance, its depth to volume ratio was just 0.4%. I.e. in order to move the price down 10%, a trader would only need to sell 0.4% of average daily pair volume. These ratios are similarly low in the case of CoinEx (0.7%) and CoinBene (0.3%).

Meanwhile other exchanges such as Bitstamp and ItBit, had ratios of 30% and 40% respectively. This is a factor of 100 times greater than those of CoinBene’s for instance.

Transaction-Fee Mining Exchanges

Average 24H Trans-Fee Mining Volumes

The total average 24h-volume produced by trans-fee mining associated exchanges on CryptoCompare totals more than 550 million USD. This constitutes approximately 10% of total exchange volume over the last 30 days.

Decentralized Exchanges

Average 24H DEX Volumes

The total average 24h-volume produced by the top 5 decentralized exchanges on CryptoCompare totals just less than 2.4 million USD. This constitutes just 0.4% of total exchange volume.

Security Analysis – Top 100 Exchanges by 24H Volume

This security analysis aims to evaluate a pool of the top 100 exchanges by 24h volume considering the proportion of exchanges with both a public privacy and a terms & conditions page. In addition, we analyse the proportion of exchanges that have been hacked in the past as well as the publicly stated proportion of cold wallet vs hot wallet storage for users’ funds. In theory, the higher the amount of funds stored in “cold storage” (i.e. offline), the less exposed the funds held by a centralized exchange will be to hackers.

Proportion of Exchanges with both a Public T&C and Privacy Policy Page

Out of the top 100 exchanges by 24h volume, only 86% have both a public privacy policy and terms & conditions page.

Proportion of Users’ Funds Held by Exchanges in Cold Storage

A third of top exchanges store the vast majority of users’ funds in cold wallets.

Proportion of Users’ Funds in Cold Storage by Exchange

Exchanges itBit, Coinfloor, Bitfinex and Coinbase are among those that store the highest proportion of users’ funds offline.

Proportion of Exchanges Hacked in the Past

11% of top exchanges have been hacked in the past.

KYC Requirements Among the Top 100 Exchanges

Just under half of top exchanges impose strict KYC requirements, while more than a quarter do not require KYC.

Those that impose partial requirements (25%) require KYC verification in order to conduct certain activities such as to withdraw fiat, to trade fiat pairs, or to increase maximum trading amounts.

Trade Data Assessment of New Exchanges

A visual inspection of the trades on the new exchanges is now carried out. Snapshot data cannot capture volatility, so these trade graphs allow the characteristic trading to be assessed in light of its effect on the CCCAGG. Graphs were produced of all trades vs the CCCAGG for the top 5 trading pairs for each new exchange over the last month.

BCEX

BCEX displays high volatility on both of the pairs that it trades. Buying of large amounts of the order book is visible, suggesting a very thin market. The price on this exchange will accordingly not reflect the price of the cryptocurrency well, so it will not be included.

CoinTiger

Top trading pairs on CoinTiger display agreement with the CCCAGG, but due to anomalous volumes further monitoring will be carried out before considering inclusion into the CCCAGG.

iCoinBay

Pairs on ICoinBay show agreement with the CCCAGG. This exchange is a possible inclusion to the CCCAGG.

Iqfinex

A flash crash on the largest trading pair elicits a longer period of assessment before consideration for inclusion into the CCCAGG.

Liqnet

Pairs on Liqnet show agreement with the CCCAGG. However, large amounts of API downtime can be observed. The quality of the exchange API will be monitored and the exchange will be considered for inclusion in the event of an improvement in API provision.

P2PB2B

Poor agreement with the CCCAGG gives grounds to exclude P2PB2B.

StocksExchange

StocksExchange displays some unusual trading activity and a flash crash. The exchange will not be included due to trading behaviour.

Example Assessment of BTC to USD and Future Exchange Methodology Additions

This section provides a quantitative analysis of trade data received from exchanges. The purpose is to provide an understanding of what the exchange trading ecosystem looks like, and to allow for selection of exchanges that best represent the price of a cryptocurrency.

In order to make comparisons across exchanges, an estimate of the trading price of the cryptocurrency needs to be ascertained. For the BTC-USD pair, all trades over a 30-day period were collated and plotted. In this time period, there were around 6.5 million unique trades. The trades are plotted such that colour indicates the density of points in the area.

All BTC to USD trades over 30 days

This graph represents the entire ecosystem of the price of BTC-USD trading over a 30-day period. This is now used to generate a representative price for BTC. The median was selected to calculate a trading price for the cryptocurrency. The motivating factor behind this measure being used was the large number of outliers in the trade data set. To keep the computation tractable, trades were grouped into 1-hour long time bins, and the median for each of these bins was computed.

For the purposes of this investigation, volume weighting was not used. This was due to high volume buying up of order books being observed when looking at individual exchange trade data. It was hypothesised that the arithmetic median would better reflect the mid-price of the order books of the exchanges, as the majority of trades take place at the mid-price. The median should therefore reflect the price that the average trade was carried out at.

The 1-hour median line was then plotted on the trade data, and a visual inspection of a section of the above graph shows that the line follows the highest trade density, which is indicative that it is a good estimate of the trading price of the cryptocurrency.

BTC to USD trades over 30 days with hourly median price line

CryptoCompare’s CCCAGG is an aggregation of trade prices, and aims to reflect the current trading price of an asset. It is possible to validate the CCCAGG price by comparing it to the median trade price. It can be seen that there is agreement between the two measures, suggesting that the CCCAGG is accurately capturing the trading price.

CCCAGG Price vs Median Trade Price for BTC to USD