Same Same But Different

Bitcoin and Money Services Businesses (MSB) find it very difficult to open and maintain bank accounts. The global hysteria over possible venues for money laundering (unless of course you are HSBC) has caused banks globally to curtail their support of MSB clients.

Several exchanges figured out that Taiwanese banks would bank them with minimal issues. The two most well known exchanges utilising Taiwanese bank accounts are Bitfinex and OKCoin International.

The American perception of Taiwanese banks lately is that of financial institutions with lax KYC / AML procedures. Read the following excerpt from a Reuters article about problems with Taiwan’s Mega Financial last October.

It is the second bank branch of the state-controlled firm to run afoul of U.S. financial authorities, after its New York branch was fined $180 million for lax compliance and anti-money laundering violations in August.

Mega Financial, which has close ties to Taiwan’s government, has been under scrutiny since about 200 of its customers were named in the so-called Panama Papers, a massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm that put the spotlight on the shadowy world of offshore companies used to avoid tax.

In order for Taiwanese banks to maintain their banking relationships in America, they must update their KYC / AML procedures for MSB clients. Unfortunately a large swath of MSB clients will be deemed too expensive to bank, and will be jettisoned.

Compliance is extremely expensive. Banks waste billions of USD a year on compliance and compliance related technology. It only serves to further protect incumbent financial institutions at the expense of small and innovative upstarts.

Bitfinex, OKCoin, and possibly other Bitcoin exchanges are affected. It may be that they have been told their accounts will not longer by active by a certain date. They are now scrambling for alternatives.

Bitfinex officially announced that both USD deposits and withdrawals are halted. OKCoin International has posted a notice that all USD deposits will be refused by their banking partner in Taiwan. Many old-timers know that the suspension of fiat deposits and withdrawals heralds tough times ahead for any Bitcoin exchange.

To some traders, this feeling is all too familiar. Mt Gox’s slow motion bankruptcy began in 2013 when their USD held in America was frozen. As users rushed for the exits, the Bitcoin thought to be held in custody was not there. In early 2014, Mt Gox shut its doors and filed for bankruptcy.

While traders are right to be nervous, it is not a given that Bitfinex and or OKCoin will be unable to operate. Yet, careful traders will take action. This post will examine how to get your money off the platform, and for those risk seeking traders, arbitrage opportunities that will arise during this time of stress.

Correspondent Banking

The biggest hurdle to successfully operating a Bitcoin/Fiat exchange is obtaining and maintaining a bank account. The quality of the banking relationships held by the exchange is a large success determining factor.

Most Taiwanese banks have branches throughout the Asia Pacific region. However, most do not have branches in the US. Ultimately that means that movement of USD between non-Taiwanese entities must pass through a correspondent bank in the US.

The correspondent bank is fully licensed to do business inside America, and can clear USD. Without the assistance of a correspondent bank, exchanges’ Taiwanese banks cannot process USD deposits and or withdrawals for foreign entities. Given that the majority of Bitfinex and OKCoin’s customers are not Taiwanese, most if not all incoming and outgoing USD must be processed with the assistance of a correspondent bank.

Wells Fargo, The Canary in the Coal Mine

In late March, according to a lawsuit filed by Bitfinex, Wells Fargo ceased processing outgoing USD SWIFT wire transfers from Bitfinex’s Taiwanese bank accounts. Wells Fargo is the correspondent bank for the various banks Bitfinex uses in Taiwan. The lawsuit alleged that $180 million of USD was effectively frozen.

This lawsuit is one of the only public windows the community received into the struggle between Taiwan banking institutions and their American correspondent banks. A similar situation may have occurred with OKCoin, but they did not choose to fight back through a public lawsuit.

Bitfinex vs. Wells Fargo Lawsuit

Get Me Outta Here

Bitfinex and OKCoin USD IOU holders are rightfully concerned. All is not lost. There are still ways to remove funds from these platforms.

The easiest way is for users to buy Bitcoin and withdraw it. Then they can sell that Bitcoin on another platform. As more users exit via this method, the price of Bitcoin rises on Bitfinex and OKCoin relative to other exchanges. Those exiting these exchanges are pushing up the price globally.

Users can use altcoins such as Litecoin or Ether to exit as well. At the time of writing, the Bitfinex premium to buy alts with USD is similar to buying Bitcoins. Given the low liquidity in altcoins, this may not be cheaper.

Bitfinex first indicated in a blog post,  that users could withdraw funds via Swiss Francs (CHF) and Hong Kong Dollars (HKD). However a few days later, they announced that their bank refused to process any outgoing wires in any currency.

The solution now put forward is to wash funds through their lawyer’s trust account. They claim that as creditors of Bitfinex, users can withdraw via this method only once. Those lucky enough to have domestic Taiwanese bank accounts face no issues withdrawing any fiat currency.

As of right now, OKCoin has not issued any announcements regarding the status of funds in their Taiwan bank accounts.


Risk and profit seeking traders will be able to conduct arbitrage trades during this funding crunch. The trade I describe below is the most obvious.

  1. Buy Bitcoin outside of Bitfinex.
  2. Sell Bitcoin for USD on Bitfinex at a premium.
  3. Withdraw HKD to your bank account from Bitfinex.
  4. Wire the funds at your bank rate back into USD to a cheap Bitcoin/USD exchange.
  5. Rinse and repeat.

The ability to execute this trade is predicated on the ability to withdraw HKD or another fiat currency easily and quickly from Bitfinex. Given the recent updates, this assumption is questionable. All MSBs globally face similar issues, it may be weeks if not months before Bitfinex, OKCoin, or any other affected exchange is able to establish banking relationships again.

Due to the halt of Bitcoin withdrawals in China, XBT/CNY trades at a 15% discount to Bitstamp and GDAX. Therefore the premium on exchanges where fiat cannot be withdrawn, could easily reach a similar 15% premium.

Bitcoin / HKD: Bitfinex and OKCoin’s Savior

Days after filing, Bitfinex withdrew the lawsuit against Wells Fargo. Suing a correspondent bank in America may have been lights out for Bitfinex’s current and future banking relationships. To make matters worse, it may have attracted attention to other exchanges. If Wells Fargo is blocking Bitcoin exchanges, other banks should be thinking: should we block them too?

For now, there is still some hope. For every HKD issued, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority backs it with an equivalent amount of USD. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority will conduct open market operations to maintain a peg between 7.75 to 7.80 USD. While the peg holds, HKD is a liquid proxy for USD. If Bitfinex and or OKCoin can launch a liquid XBT/HKD market, they can continue to effectively serve as the most liquid XBT/USD spot markets.

Clearing HKD does not require funds to transit through the American banking system. Most of the world just wants to do business, and not worry about hypocritical moralising American politicians’ inspired regulations. Given enough effort, time, and willingness to pay high fees, exchanges will find banking partners willing to process HKD wires.

The on and off-ramps between digital currencies and fiat continue to cause significant friction. However, once traders squeeze through fiat gateways into the crypto universe, the trading opportunities are rich. If you desire a product to speculate on the value of Bitcoin without touching fiat, consider trading the BitMEX Bitcoin / USD Swap, XBTUSD.

Strongman Bullies and Bitcoin

Trump, Xi Jinping, Putin, and Erdogan: these four men are the embodiment of Strongman Bully leaders. Global trends indicate we will soon have more world leaders with similar mindsets.

Over the past 30 years, throngs of Chinese, Russians, and Turks have become rich. The masses held their tongue, while the elite shamelessly lined their pockets. In China, the wealth amassed in coastal cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou stands in stark contrast to the developing and rural interior. Similar disparities exist in the metro areas of Russia and Turkey.

Xi, Putin, and Erdogan are all promising to restore the bargain with labour at the expense of capital. In previous decades, the masses have accepted disproportionally slow wage growth so long as their standard of living continued to increase. As global growth sputters, the bargain has become less tenable. The plebes are getting restless.

The marginal effectiveness of printing money to generate GDP output is waning. To make matters worse, population growth is shrinking in end markets like America and Europe. In response, central banks are reducing asset purchases. The net result will be higher interest rates and less trade.

All strongman bullies in all countries cannot be successful at the same time. Instead of trading for what they need, these leaders are likely to threaten to take what they need through war. A desperate leader can apply physical force to take resources, disrupt competing markets, and distract the local population from failed promises.

During times of war, assessing financial counterparty risk becomes a key investment survival skill. Will a USD deposit held in a Russian bank be worth the same as one held in an American bank? Every asset that you own must be evaluated on the basis of two concerns: beating domestic inflation and movement friction. In times of war, we are very likely to see inflation in necessity goods and deflation in other goods.

Where will the masses turn? Gold has value everywhere and is likely to triumph during these times. Recently, gold rallied when Trump authorised a missile strike against Syria, and when North Korea announced a potential nuclear missile test. Further rallies will come if global instability grows.

Bitcoin fits into this dynamic. Despite all of the issues it faces, it has persevered for over 8 years and still has substantial global value. Consider that as a vote of confidence in its ability to serve as a safe haven asset for a small pool of global capital.

Regardless of your political stance, the next 30 years will not be like the last. Highly intense regional conflicts are likely to flare up again. As desperate citizens look to store and transport wealth in the digital era, Bitcoin looks more attractive than ever.

The Rock Is In The Building

Litecoin is affectionately referred to as “rock” by many crypto traders. Litecoin has acted like a rock in trader’s bags since it hit its all time high of $40 in 2013. The technical merits of why Litecoin should be worth more than $0 are few and far between. Litecoin exists on life support only because Chinese traders for some reason enjoy trading it. Mainly that is because it is the only shitcoin the big three Chinese exchanges (BTCC, Huobi, OKCoin) offer.

During the current 2017 altcoin bubble, rock caught a stray bid. The pump and dump operators finally decided it was Litecoin’s time to shine. Rock is up almost 200% since late March.

The narrative supporting the rally is that SegWit is close to being activated. The activation threshold on Litecoin is 75% vs. 95% for Bitcoin. Litecoin is a CTRL+C, CTRL+V of Bitcoin. The slight changes include being Scrypt mined, and a block time of 2.5 minutes on average.

Many traders point to Litecoin as proof that if Bitcoin activates SegWit the price should explode higher as well. Some seriously delusional traders con themselves into believing Litecoin could actually serve as a replacement for Bitcoin if the Core vs. Bitcoin Unlimited civil war results in a contentious hard fork.

Oblivious traders are filling their bags with new shiny rocks. How do I know? Because in a recent tweet, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said they will list a Litecoin / USD pair. Altcoin pumps begin in earnest on Poloniex, and end when exchanges such as Coinbase and / or Bitfinex decide to list them.

A recent example of this phenomenon was Ether in Spring 2016. After a lacklustre performance in the secondary market from listing in August 2015 until January 2016, Ether ignited and went asymptotic. The peak during that particular rally was reached when Bitfinex announced it would list ETH. As soon as ETH listed on Bitfinex, the dump began.

Exchanges late to the party, even BitMEX is guilty of this from time to time, signal that peak fomo is near. Those traders tempting fate by holding Litecoin should be cautious. It isn’t called rock for nothing.

Baby Got BOOST

Before today, I would have thought ASICBOOST was a new form of energy drink. It even could be the long awaited reincarnation of 4Loco. Sadly that would not be nerdy enough.

An email from Greg Maxwell made the rounds yesterday, and is causing an uproar. Bitcoin Magazine published an article about the email that is going viral throughout the Bitcoin industry.


  • An unnamed leading mining equipment manufacturer is using a patented technology, called ASICBOOST, to achieve efficiency gains of up to 30%.
  • If activated, Segregated Witness (SegWit) would eliminate any advantage for miners using the ASICBOOST technology.
  • Therefore the reason why large miners refuse to support SegWit activation is because they would lose their economic advantage.
  • Maxwell proffered a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal to eliminate gains achieved by using the ASICBOOST technology.
  • Although not explicitly mentioned, everyone assumes Maxwell spoke of Jihan Wu’s Bitmain.

Let’s Assume It’s True

The purpose of this piece is not to argue whether or not I believe Maxwell. Rather I believe for good or bad, many in the community will agree with Maxwell’s analysis and there will be a discernible impact on the Bitcoin price.

My base case is that SegWit will not be activated, and there will be no hard fork this year. If Jihan Wu is truly a Chinese devil (or Gweilo if he was white), and can secretly mine Bitcoin 30% cheaper than everyone else, my base case will hold.

If Bitmain captures above average profits mining Bitcoin as it currently stands, they have no reason to actually desire a contentious hard fork. They also would not want SegWit to smash the piggy bank. Therefore the optimal strategy is to vocally support a hard fork to erode support for SegWit.

SegWit to many is a convoluted way to scale Bitcoin. Many would just prefer a simple increase in the block size from 1MB to 2MB. However, Bitmain would never go so far as to actually conduct said hard fork.

In essence, Jihan can buy a new pad on the Hong Kong Peak each year under the status quo. Despite high Bitcoin network transaction fees, the price keeps rising. Users prefer Bitcoin as a store of value and a global form of money good collateral, to a fast and cheap payments network.

A continuation of the status quo is bullish for the price. The price dipped from $1,200 to below $900 on fears of a paradigm shift. If you believe the arguments put forth by Maxwell, then it makes business sense for Jihan to prefer the current small block, high fee, rising price situation.

The Market Hath Spoken

The price is steadily rising post publication of said article. If the community believes in the veracity of the claims put forward, the price will shortly surpass $1,200 and retest $1,300.

I’m All Blocked Up

Will Segwit be activated? Will a hard fork occur? Will the block size ever increase? These are the burning questions that act as a drag on further Bitcoin price appreciation. I don’t know how it will all pan out, but that doesn’t mean that BitMEX can’t allow its clients the ability to profit by predicting how Bitcoin will or will not scale.

BitMEX is pleased to announce the launch of two prediction futures contracts themed around the ongoing Bitcoin scaling debate.


SEGWIT, symbol: B_SEGWITZ17, is a prediction future on whether or not BIP141, also known as Segregated Witness, will be activated on the longest Bitcoin chain by the expiry date (31 December 2017, 12:00 UTC).

SEGWIT will settle at 100:

  • If BIP141 is activated during an “activation period” by the expiry date, and
  • The Bitcoin chain that activated SegWit must remain the Bitcoin chain with the largest hash power for 1,512 out of the following 2,016 blocks (75%). These 1,512 blocks must have passed by the expiry date.

SEGWIT will settle at 0 if the above conditions are not met.

What is an Activation Period?

An activation period spans one difficulty period (2016 blocks). 95% of the blocks mined during an activation period must signal acceptance of BIP141 for SegWit to be activated.

View Activation Periods

Big Blocks

BLOCKS, symbol: B_BLOCKSZ17, is a prediction future on whether a block larger than 1MB will be mined on the longest Bitcoin chain.

BLOCKS will settle at 100:

  • If a greater than 1MB block is mined on the Bitcoin chain with the largest hash power, and
  • If the Bitcoin chain that mined the greater than 1MB block must remain the Bitcoin chain with the largest hash power for 1,512 out of the following 2,016 blocks (75%). These 1,512 blocks must have passed by the expiry date.

BLOCKS will settle at 0 if the above conditions are not met.

Note that blocks of size > 1MB due to SegWit activation shall not mean a block greater than 1MB has been mined; BLOCKS is contingent on an actual base block size limit increase.

Trading Prediction Futures

Each contract can either settle at 100 or 0. The value of each contract is 0.0001 XBT multiplied by the futures price. For example, if you bought one contract at 50.00 , it would be worth 0.005 XBT. If the contract settled at 100, you would make 0.005 XBT. If the contract settled at 0, you would lose 0.005 XBT.

No leverage is offered on prediction futures contracts.

You will find all BitMEX prediction futures contracts under the tab entitled “Binary”. All prediction futures contracts’ symbols will begin with “B_”. This prefix denotes that contracts are binary, meaning they will either settle at 100 or 0.

Prediction Futures Series Guide




有钱人不生孩子。结果,在二十世纪中的婴儿潮后,全球发达和发展中的人口率已经下降,或将很快降至低于替代率。 替代率定义为在女士生育期内分娩  2.1名儿童的女性。 非洲是一个例外,但不幸的是,他们的消费力不能取代垂死的已发展国家消费者。

习近平的使命是要在全球商品需求下降,中国的工资上涨,人口老化的时期巩固中国共产党政治基础。 任何被认为对中共政权的威胁都是不能容忍的。 在这个世界里 , 99%的人不是共产主义,资本主义或任何其他主义的人,而他们都饿了。


这些趋势解释了今年的全国代表大会为何那么重要。 不惜一切代价去维持稳定。 然而,内部货币压力仍持续增长。

耶伦奶奶上周加了  0.25% 的息。 她也没有改变未来的计划。 今年预计会有另外两次加息,一些分析师认为,美联储可能而且应该增加加息步伐。

美联储应该加快调高利率,同时市场耸耸肩。 标准普尔  500指数是唯一重要的经济指标,并没有对上涨的利率产生反应。 耶伦有很多的理由可以疯狂的加息。 现在的利率越高,下一次金融危机爆发时就可以削减得越多。

对于中国来说,美国加息对人民币的压力日益增加。 在正常日子里,这不会是一个问题。 中国人民银行可以在岸提高利率,或允许人民币走软。 然而,这个指示只是全国人民代表大会之前的一个冷静期。

中国人民银行不会在岸大幅收紧利率,以免他们戳破巨大的房地产泡沫。 中国房地产市场是政府批准的宽松计划。 开发商是中国一些最有价值的公司,从经济压力不大的储户中借钱。 然后,开发商从地方政府购买土地,而政府往往是以低于市场价格 “买”农民的土地。

开发商必须在信贷额到期前建好,出售他们的房产并再融资。 如果利率大幅上涨,开发商将被迫大量抛售库存。

超过70%的家庭财富被困在房产上。 每次北京似乎都会让市场得到调整,他们面对广大人口的一波亏损。

六四事件基本上是通货膨胀启发中产阶级去抗议中共。 然而,在1989年,中产阶级大多是教师,2017年他们是数亿房产的主人。 使他们贫穷的话,中共将会面临执政危机。

而另一个贬值物质货币的方法也暂时是不可能的。 人民币需要 20%至  30%的一次性贬值。 但是,这样一个行动,将把中国的经济营造为内外虚弱。 新领导人上台的时候,是不会容忍中国的“弱势”。


地方党委第一次使用“否定名单”,包括从贿赂到参与非法建设项目的一切事件,筛选出将在未来五年制定中国政治层次的十九大代表团。 星期一,党报“人民日报”的一篇头版文章赞同这一举动,证明这名单是得到了最高领导人的支持。


否定名单 – 通常与贸易谈判有关的概念,其中没有明确提到的任何内容都是允许的,这给了习近平在北京制定关键聚会的另一个工具。 虽然没有确定日期,但是预计将在下半年发生。

当习近平的任期即将结束,十年两度大会对于他希望保持在2022年以后的影响力是至关重要。 在今年的会议上,25位政治局成员里的 11 位,其中包括其最高常委会 7名成员中的 5名,可能会被替换。


中国人民银行要求,大型交易所正在实施新的 KYC 和反洗钱政策。 某些帐户现在必须亲自前往交易所办理身份检查。 如果遵循这一点,这将使客户入场变得昂贵和极其官僚。 最终的结果将是交易所的交易人数减少,而 LocalBitcoins 等 OTC 平台的交易则变得更多。

我相信在国民议会和随后的人民币贬值之后,提款将不会恢复。 但是,最近火币的通知意味着即将撤销撤离禁令。 要提取比特币,客户必须说明并证明币将提到哪里,并说明提币的目的。 “我想逃避弱势人民币”的回应肯定不行。

诚然,政府是通过不必要的官僚主义来消秏国内交易所的资本,让他们本来就薄弱的资产负债表变成破产。 中国人民银行将继续制定新的 KYC / AML 政策,直到他们准备好让比特币再次自由交易。

可惜的是老百姓也不笨的, 他们了解到中国经济体的危机,仍然保持纸比特币的交易。 他们预计通过出售比特币拿回人民币逃生的恐慌性抛售并没有发生。只要囤著这个纸比特,可以让财富免受迫在眉睫的贬值。 这就是价格仍然在  1000美元左右的原因之一。



石油输出国组织:石油 · 矿工 · 比特币

全球最大的比特币采矿设备运营商和生产商,Bitmain 的首席执行官吴忌寒在比特币扩容问题和石油市场之间做了比较。

石油输出国组织(OPEC)在寻求维持高油价的时候播下了发展美国页岩油的种子。高油价允许工程师探索和钻取更贵的页岩油。随着技术的进步,页岩油的提取价格继续下降。随着石油供应量的增加,价格下滑,加上 OPEC 的囤积居奇令市场持续萧条。

据吴忌寒说,比特币矿工就像 OPEC 。少数玩家控制大多数算力。比特币交易量增加,但网络只能处理有限数量的交易。因此,除了币价以外,交易费用也上涨。


比特币矿工很高兴,但是有些用户并不是如此。最新的发展是,一些核心开发人员改变了比特币的基本协议,允许它在不需要大矿工生产的算力也能处理更多的交易。如果这些链下扩容解决方案成功(例如闪电网络 Lighting Network),矿工从交易费中获得的收益可能会下降。




如果比特币更是一个分散的支付网络,那么交易的成本和速度是至关重要的。比特币必须能够与 Visa 和 Mastercard 等信用卡网络竞争,如果要成为真正的支付解决方案。目前比特币是笨重和昂贵的,因此仍未能够跟它们相比。


如果 SegWit (隔离见证)和增加区块都没有达到共识,比特币将继续走下坡路,成为另一种形式的抵押品,而这抵押品是昂贵并且很少移动。对许多比特币矿工来说,只要价格保持高位,这是一个完全可以接受的解决方案。鉴于区块已满,交易费用高,价格持续上涨,用户将比特币视为比付款网络更有价值的储存方法。






比特币硬分叉不会像以太坊那样简单。当时 DAO 灾难需要一个直接的硬叉,但是以太市场市值只有 10 亿美元。比特币价值 170 亿美元。为比特币量身打造的采矿设备、交易所和钱包所投入的资金数量比以太坊多很多。




比特币的价值是其对比其他加密货币的相对稳定性。破坏稳定性,那么其作为加密储备货币的地位将会蒸发。如果出现比特币的挑战者,它肯定不会使用比特币的工作证明算法(POW)。如果新进场的山寨币成功,该挑战者将使所有比特币 ASIC 采矿设备变得毫无价值。




Hold The Line

Throughout China’s history, northern rulers struggled to effectively control those to the south and west of them. The varied ethnicities, topography, and economies of China meant that no ruler was able to retain absolute power for long. Due to relative global peace and globalisation since WW2, the Communist Party of China (CCP) has been able to maintain control by bribing the masses with employment.

Rich people don’t have kids. As a result, after the baby boom in the mid-20th century, the global developed and developing population rate has fallen or will soon fall below the replacement rate. The replacement rate is defined as a woman birthing 2.1 children over her productive lifetime. Africa is the one exception, but unfortunately their consumption power cannot replace dying first-world consumers.

Xi Jinping’s mission to solidify the political base of the Communist Party of China occurs at a time when global demand for goods is falling, wages in China are rising, and the population is aging. Any perceived threat to the continuation of the CCP’s rule cannot be tolerated. 99% of humans aren’t communist, capitalist or any other “ist”, they are hungry.

China must feed its billion plus population by providing employment. Without employment, young men transform from docile workers to cannon fodder for skilled orators and politicians.

These trends explain why this year’s National Congress is of extreme importance. Calm must be maintained at all costs. However, internal monetary pressures continue to build.

Grandma Yellen unleashed another 0.25% rate hike last week. She also did not alter the forward guidance. Another two rate hikes are expected this year, and some analysts believe the Fed could and should increase the pace of hikes.

The Fed should raise rates faster while the market shrugs them off. The S&P 500, which is the only economic indicator of importance, has not reacted negatively to rising rates. Yellen has cover to raise more aggressively. The higher rates go now, the more they can be cut when the next financial crisis strikes.

For China, USD interest rate normalisation puts increasing pressure on the CNY. In a normal year, this would not be an issue. The PBOC could raise rates onshore, or allow the CNY to weaken. However the directive is for a calm period before the National Congress.

The PBOC can’t materially tighten rates onshore lest they pop the gargantuan property bubble. The Chinese property market is a government sanctioned ponzi scheme. Developers, which are some of the most valuable companies in China, borrow money from financially repressed savers. The developers then purchase land from local governments, who “buy” land from their peasant subjects at below market rates.

The developer must build, sell, and refinance before the bill comes due for past loans. Should rates rise materially, developers will be forced to dump inventory en masse.

Over 70% of household wealth is trapped in property. Each time it appears that Beijing will allow the market to correct, they relent in the face of sure losses from a wide swath of the population.

Tiananmen Square essentially was an inflation inspired middle class protest against the CCP. However in 1989, the middle class were mostly teachers, in 2017 they are hundreds of millions of property punters. Impoverish them, and the CCP will see its mandate to rule evaporate.

The second option of a material currency devaluation is also off the table for the time being. A 20% to 30% one-off devaluation is needed. However, an action of that magnitude would portray China’s economy as both weak internally and externally. A perceived “weak” China will not be tolerated while the new leadership ascends.

A recent Bloomberg article illustrates that Xi Jinping is not relenting in his dive to tame China.

For the first time local party committees are using “negative lists” — including everything from bribe-taking to involvement with illegal construction projects — to screen delegations to the 19th Party Congress, which will set China’s political hierarchy for the next five years. A front-page article endorsing the moves in the party’s flagship People’s Daily newspaper Monday showed the push has support from the highest levels.

The negative lists — a concept often associated with trade negotiations in which anything not specifically mentioned is allowed — gives Xi yet another tool to shape the key party gathering in Beijing. While no date has been set, it’s expected to occur in the second half of the year.

The twice-a-decade congress is crucial for Xi to secure lasting influence beyond 2022, when his own tenure would be expected to end. At this year’s meeting, 11 of 25 Politburo members — including five of seven members on its supreme Standing Committee — could be replaced.

Bitcoin Withdrawals

Mandated by the PBOC, the large exchanges are implementing new KYC and AML policies. Certain accounts must now travel in person to the exchanges’ offices for physical checks of identity. If followed, this will make client onboarding expensive and extremely bureaucratic. The end result will be less people trading on exchange, and more trading on OTC platforms such as LocalBitcoins.

I believe that withdrawals will not resume until after the National Congress and a subsequent CNY devaluation. However, a recent notice from Huobi implies an imminent lifting of the withdrawal ban. To withdraw Bitcoin, clients must state and prove where the coins will go, and state the purpose of the withdrawal. Responses such as “I want to escape a weak CNY” will certainly not fly.

True to form, the government is saddling exchanges with needless bureaucracy to bankrupt those with weak balance sheets. The PBOC will keep inventing new KYC / AML policies until they are ready to allow Bitcoin to be freely traded again.

Unfortunately Chinese comrades aren’t stupid. They recognise the perilous state of the economy and still hold Bitcoin IOU’s on exchanges. The expected stampede for the exits by selling Bitcoin to withdraw CNY has not happened en masse. Held long enough, this Bitcoin IOU could protect wealth against the imminent devaluation. This is one reason why the price still hovers around $1,000.

OPEC : Oil :: Miners : Bitcoin

Jihan Wu, CEO of Bitmain the world’s largest operator and producer of mining equipment, made an apt comparison between the Bitcoin scaling issue and the oil market.

OPEC in their quest to maintain high oil prices sowed the seeds for American shale oil. The high oil price allowed engineers to explore and drill for more expensive shale oil. Shale oil’s extraction price continues to decline as technology improves. As the supply of oil increased, prices fell, and OPEC’s hold on the market withered.

According to Jihan, Bitcoin miners are like OPEC. A small number of players control the majority of the hashrate. Bitcoin transaction volumes have increased, but the network can only process a finite amount of transactions. Therefore, transaction fees rose alongside the price.

Miners are happy. Some users are not. As a work around, some developers (core) altered the Bitcoin protocol allowing it to process more transactions without the need for a larger miner produced hashrate. If these off-chain scaling solutions are successful (e.g. The Lightning Network), miner’s earnings from transaction fees could decline.

On the margin, either you view Bitcoin more as a store of value akin to gold, or a payments network. If Bitcoin is more a store of value, the price of transactions is of little concern. Gold is rarely used for day to day commerce. It is used to store large amounts of wealth, and as a settlement currency for large notional transactions. Therefore the velocity of gold is low.

If Bitcoin is more a decentralised payments network, then the price and speed of a transaction is paramount. Bitcoin must be able to compete with credit card networks such as Visa and Mastercard if it is to become a real payments solution. Currently Bitcoin is clunky and expensive and is no match to these incumbents.

If neither SegWit nor a block size increase reaches consensus, Bitcoin will continue to travel down the road to becoming another form of money good collateral that is expensive in small quantities to move. To many miners this is a perfectly acceptable solution as long as the price remains high. Given that blocks are full, transaction fees are high, and the price continues to rise, users view Bitcoin more a store of value than a payments protocol.

The question is, can another cryptocurrency become a store of value, and be cheap and fast to send. Should another coin achieve this feat, it will become a major challenger to Bitcoin. To date, no coin is within striking distance of Bitcoin. Many claim that Ether will unseat Bitcoin, but it does not command the same global mindspace as Bitcoin.

Will a group of miners engage in a contentious hard fork, I don’t know. But I do know humans. Humans are lazy and greedy. Regardless of the temper tantrums thrown on various social media platforms, miners care about their bottom line. Doing nothing will not harm them in the short to medium term.

A Bitcoin hard fork will not be as cute and cuddly as Ethereum’s. The Ether market cap was barely $1 billion when the DAO disaster necessitated a face saving hard fork. Bitcoin is worth $17 billion. The amount of money invested in mining equipment, exchanges, and wallets tailored for Bitcoin is orders of magnitude larger than for Ethereum.

A failed hard fork that leaves a minority chain commanding a double digit percent of the network hashing power will not be viewed kindly. Unlike Ether and Ether Classic, the sum of the newly formed majority and minority chains will be drastically lower than the pre-fork value of Bitcoin. Ether never positioned itself as a store of value or a payments protocol. It is fuel for decentralised applications.

Bitcoin’s value is its relative stability vs. other cryptocurrencies. Disrupt that stability and its status as the reserve currency of crypto will evaporate. The challenger that does emerge will certainly not use Bitcoin’s Proof of Work algorithm. If successful, the challenger will render all Bitcoin ASIC mining equipment worthless.

Is Jihan going to stake the future of his Billion dollar mining company on a hard fork that could go pear shaped? No chance.


对冲基金兄弟1号徐翔,如上图所示,曾经是一个高飞的对冲基金经理,从来没有输过。有一天,他失踪了。他被控证券欺诈后,现在坐在监狱,并在他几个月后复出。一些人担心比特币交易所负责人可能面临同样的命运。 但是,人民银行显示了怜悯。

另一周,中国人民银行和中国大型比特币交易所负责人之间的另一次“会晤”。 3月7日会议后不久,人民银行发表声明,重申他们有权关闭他们认为不当的交易所。

几天后,财新上就出现了可采取行动的罪行清单。 []


  • 提供杠杆和保证金交易。
  • 使用零手续费操控市场及假冒交易。
  • 违反反洗钱法律。
  • 违反关于外币管理和跨境资本转移与比特币的规定。
  • 通过使用比特币代替商品购买商品。
  • 逃税。
  • 参与诈骗广告或参与庞氏计划。
  • 提供没有许可证的金融服务,包括信贷,证券和期货交易。

在“友好”会议后,宣布无限期暂停比特币提款。 没有进一步提示何时恢复比特币提款。 价格下跌了一点,然后就被忘掉。 到上周末,比特币将以美元计算,创下新高。

中国监管机构认识到,他们不能关闭交易所。 关于上述交易所,一位监管机构注意到:

如果采取过度简化的措施,如关闭它们,投资者将被带入更难以控制的地下黑市或 OTC市场。 因此,有必要探索建立长期监管机制。[]


通过取消杠杆和零费用交易的灵丹妙药,只有具有多元化业务线的交易所才能生存。 现货收益比特币交易只对最大的交易所(BTCC,Huobi 和 OKCoin)有利。 不在该列表上的交易所将很可能 2018 年前消失。

所有这三个交易所都有采矿业务,支付解决方案和或离岸衍生品交易市场。 一旦弱势重叠,中国人民银行将保护大型在职者,并对他们进行严格监控。

从较长的时间来看,过去三个月的发展是积极的。但是比特币不会被监管机构“禁止”。 他们认识到底层技术的力量,并试图在现有的中国货币体系目标范围内使比特币合理化。


(交易平台/网站)只能在被部门允许之下称为交易所。 许多人认为比特币在线交易平台作为交易所。 这些实际上是两个不同的概念。


目前的炼狱将会在中国人民银行的调整过人民币后结束。平静必须保持到10月全国代表大会。10月以后,北京将开放中国人民银行,缓解压力和贬值。在大幅贬值后,中国人民银行可以放松资本管制,届时逃离的中国资本控制的动力就会减少。 届时比特币提款将重新启用。



德意志银行(Deutsche Bank)销售交易柜台的总经理曾经在每次市场走高时尖叫。就算工资不够固定收入部门的多,因为股票部门聘用了这些行业大牛, 在投行里还是很吸引的。

你会怎样看没有中国及 ETF 支持的比特币?历史新高。两个最核心看涨的因素跑了,但比特币仍然在 1200 美元以上交易。

可能导致价格下跌的下一个议题是正在进行的辩论。Segwit 与 BU 的内战不仅在网路小白间口耳相传,而且走到主流金融新闻网站如彭博上。 但无论如何,价格继续缓慢攀升。

在 Mt. Gox 的历史高位之后,我们正处于慢牛行情的序幕。这个慢牛行情将完全重新评估整个加密货币的币值。以太币的市值已经超过 20 亿美元,达世币也将会继续创新高。三个共超过 10 亿美元市值的山寨币是值得关注的。为山寨币喝采。

令人鼓舞的是,在2017年的比特币上涨中,实现波动性是减弱了。 上图显示了 30 天实现的波动率和 比特币/美元 价格。当中国人民银行首次打击时波动增强,但当比特币价格站稳 1200 美元后,波动率就继续下跌。

对于比特币,这个牛市是平静的。不少投资者仍缺乏信心。当价格继续攀升,怀疑论者会因为中国,监管机构扩大和缺乏合法性继续质疑着比特币。但当他们蓦然回首的时候,别人已经发财了。所以,错过几个亿(追多情绪,也称为 Fomo)的阶段其实言之尚早。

另一个令人鼓舞的是期货合约所反映的相对较低的基差水平。 在第一季度,BitMEX 比特币/美元 期货合约 XBTH17 (2017 年 3 月 31 日到期),曾以高达 10% – 13% 的基差水平来交易。

在 2013 年泡沫期间,ICBIT 的 2014 年 3 月季度期货,尽管只有3倍的杠杆,在 2013 年 12 月底居然以 100% 的基差交易。之后旋即崩盘,价格跌破 1000 美元,然后 800 美元,直到 600 美元,进入了整整两年的寒冬。

自那时起,市场已经成熟。然而,追多情绪将在 2017年 6 月 30 日 期货合约 XBTM17 的基差反映。即使有正向套利者持续的抛压,这个基差还是可以变的非常高,因为多军会使用 100 倍杠杆。

30 天实现波动率持续地超过 100%,加上在 XBTM17 超过 30% 的基准水平,将会是比特币能否在第二季度打下稳定基础的指南针。随着价格波动上涨,我们下一个的上行心理关口是 2,000 美元。


零售比特币 ETF 被证明是难以进入监管领域。美国证券交易委员(SEC)会发出了严厉的斥责,解释他们为什么不允许 Bats 改变交易所规则以允许 COIN ETF 挂牌。美国证监会给出的拒绝理由显示出比特币市场结构上的根本问题。

阅读文档后,很明显,SolidX 和 GreyScale ETF 的申请也会直接发往垃圾箱里。要改变一个监管机构的思维不是一朝一夕。 所以在美国挂牌的比特币 ETF 不会在短期内出现。



COIN ETF 每日的资产净值是使用每日 Gemini 比特币拍卖价格计算。要申购和赎回单位,授权参与者(AP)必须在拍卖中交易。



此外,Gemini 交易所的自我报告统计数据显示,Gemini 交易所拍卖的数量相对于比特币的每日交易量以及信托基金申购或赎回篮子中所需要的比特币数量都小。截至 2017 年 2 月 28 日,Gemini 交易所自2016 年9 月21 日成立以来拍卖的平均每日交易量为 1195.72 比特币,而截至 2017 年 2 月 28 日前的 6 个月内,每日全球平均交易量却为 340 万比特币。截至2017 年2 月28 日,在一个工作日的Gemini 拍卖的比特币交易额中位数只有 1,061.99 比特币(如果需要向信托基金提交一个申购或赎回的要求),相比在申购或赎回篮子里 1000 比特币仅多出 129 个。

Gemini 的交易量非常低,他们仅能处理一个申购或赎回篮子。 AP 在 Gemini 无法得到流动性,就被迫在其他交易所交易。这些 “其他” 交易所的所在地却使美国证监会犹豫。

注册于以及受美国监管的交易所占全球比特币/美元现货交易量比较小。流动性最大的交易所都在亚洲或欧洲。不过,Bitfinex 作为最大的比特币/美元现货交易所现在资不抵债。这些事实使美国证监会感到困扰。

当局担心大多数交易量发生在“不受监管”(即:非美国的)交易所,会对 ETF 投资者构成危险。当局提及他们没法对这些主要交易所进行监测。

即使 Gemini 交易所拥有由纽约州金融服务局监管的信托牌照,美国证监会发现 Gemini 交易所的交易其实并不符合国家交易所(如纽约证券交易所或纳斯达克)规则和程序。


交易所表示,它已经与 Gemini 交易所就基金信托的比特币资产交易达成了全面的监督共享协议,Gemini 交易所会由纽约州金融服务局监督。此外,交易所在其评论信中声明,“同意流动性较低的市场,比如比特币市场,可能更容易被受操作,但认为…这些担忧被减轻,因为它涉及 Gemini 交易所基金信托的股票以及其交易活动“。然而,如下所述,委员会不认为这种监督共享协议是足够的,因为 Gemini 交易所只占世界比特币交易里的一小部分,而且 Gemini 交易所也不是相对于国家证券交易所或与迄今已批准的商品信托ETP 标的资产相关的期货交易的一个 “监管市场”。



要再一次申请,ETF 申请人必须证明他们的现货比特币交易所的监管是如何能够与大型及公认的交易所如纽约证券交易所相提并论,并在全球拥有显着的市场份额。这几乎是不可能的。

如果比特币交易员希望看到一个监管严格的交易所,他们就会选择纳斯达克,而不会选择一个资不抵债的机构进行交易。许多大型比特币交易者交易比特币主要原因正是因为交易平台的监管相对较少。 他们相信运营商被可以更多地关注客户体验,准确地提供交易者期望的,而不是烦人的监管机构。

一个被严格监管的美国交易所,既没有保证金制度,也缺乏其他杠杆交易产品,意味着他们的交易将永远屈居亚洲和欧洲。考虑到美国国家监管机构的 “美国是最好的” 心态,说服他们允许一个资产的价格是由“诡诈的中国”设定的是一个艰巨的任务。

然而,这不是末路。其实美国证监会和其他组织只是大型金融参与者的木偶。当比特币成长到不能被忽视,每日交易量也是稳健的时候,ETF 基金管理行业的 iShares,Vangaurd 和 SPDR 将支持比特币 ETF。

这些大型公司只关心赚钱,并不会考虑其标的资产。当比特币足够支持一个稳健的 AUM (资产管理规模) 并产生大量管理费的时候,他们将会加入比特币。

不幸的是,Winklevoss申请最大的问题是它的局外人状态。美国证监会提出的反对意见很容易适用于任何当前上市 ETF。 如果基金经理老老实实,这个 ETF 其实是有机会获得批准。

投资者交易所有限责任公司(IEX)曾经申请并获得美国证监会批准成为指定国家交易所。这不是一个容易的过程。 IEX,在 Michael Lewis 的书 “Flash Boys” 中写道,旨在通过制定政策以平衡低和高延迟交易者之间达到公平竞争。当时高频交易 (HFT) 大厅马上跑到美国证监会去阻止 IEX 的申请。

IEX 提供散户投资者在 HFT 公司面前一个公平的竞争环境。谁不想帮助老婆婆老爷爷?然而,这曾经是一个非常激烈和漫长的批准过程。最后, 美国证监会做了正确的事情, 却惹怒了一群金融大亨。

但试想象一下,如果这群金融大亨希望比特币 ETF 出现,是垂手可得的。