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Tuesday, 17 February 2015 00:00

Crypto 1.0 vs 2.0 – or – A Comparison of Legacy Exchanges & Veritaseum's UltraCoin Featured

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Depositphotos 22847034 800px originalI was looking at the offerings of a large US bitcoin exchange just now, after hearing that Coinbase had the highest volume of any US-based broker just weeks after opening an exchange (we’ll discuss that at a different time, since Coinbase is waiving fees meaning those users are hot money, but likely are part of the largest installed bitcoin user base in the world and growing rapidly). What I found was illuminating, at least for me since I don’t follow the offerings of BTC brokers and exchanges that closely. I noticed several of the industry (BTC exchange) leaders offer leverage, plain vanilla swaps and TRS (total return swaps - basically fixed/variable rates in major fiat denominations for cryptocurrency (BTC. LTC, DRK) exposure). I said to myself, “Wow, that’s pretty advanced.” Then I looked at the fees, and saw the swaps were priced up to and past 15%. Then, upon further research, I realized that these swaps were financing mechanisms for margin lending. The first thing that came to mind was the difference, and limitations that come with the business models of first generation bitcoin companies and second generation Bitcoin companies. Take notice in the difference of the capitalization. Lower case "b" denotes the accounts of value that the mainstream media calls digital currency. Upper case "B" denotes the blockchain-based, protocol driven services and capabilities behind the lower case "b". Generation 1.0 v. generation 2.0!

To put this into perspective, Veritaseum's UltraCoin offers user programmable swaps (ie. you can make your own CDS, TRS or plain vanilla, or even a custom swap) with exposures to not just 3 cryptos and 3 or 4 fiat currencies, butall major and most exotic currency pairs (dozens) as well as over 45,000 tickers covering EVERY major asset class (stocks, bonds, forex & commodities as well as cryptos) from exchanges throughout the world. This is all capable at a sliding scale of 10 to 25 basis points, round trip. That's the equivalent of 5 bp to 12.5 bp per trade. In addition, all of this is done without UltraCoin having any possession of your funds, whatsoever. Veritaseum (the company behind UltraCoin) is a software concern, not a financial entity, thus you have no exposure to our balance sheet. We cannot MT. Gox you and you essentially have no counterparty, default or credit risk because your counterparty is the blockchain, and you trade peer to peer vs. through a centralized exchange. Pretty big difference from the legacy systems that we're all used to, no?

The Difference between Bitcoin 1.0 and Bitcoin 2.0 Companies

To begin with, I'd like to make clear that not only is the title misleading, but all references to the same are essentially inaccurate. Bitcoin itself is still in beta stage (0.9x) thus its not accurate to refer to 1st and 2nd generations of bitcoin businesses. If anything, we're all in beta. Now that I've gotten that off of my chest... The first bold generation of bitcoin entrepreneurs (it's amazing that you can refer to companies born 2 and 3 years ago as a previous generation, it just goes to show you how fast this space is moving!) built businesses based upon bitcoin as a legacy commodity. Basically, they bought, sold, transmitted or transferred it as a unit of value. They did this because that's how everything was done for the last several thousand years in the financial services industry. Basically, they had no choice - or so they thought. Then came those who read the Satoshi whitepaper and the bitcoin wiki and saw a very different meaning. My team and I are among those entrepreneurs. We saw that bitcoins were malleable, programmable, tools with which one can use to paint upon the canvas of value. A far cry from the moving of static financial widgets from place to place. Think of moving bitcoins around (bitcoin 1.0 companies) vs programming bitcoins to act on their own according to their contractual owner's wishes (bitcoin 2.0 companies) akin to pushing a model T Ford around town vs. programming your driverless electric Tesla to go by the grocery store to pick up some fresh produce before swinging by the school to pick up your kids on the way home to meet you to take your wife (girlfriend?) out to dinner.

A Real World Comparison of Bitcoin Companies

Tickers Available

Veritaseum's UltraCoin: ~45,000+

Asset Classes Available

Veritaseum's UltraCoin: Stocks, Bonds, Commodities, Forex, Cryptos and many indices

Costs Veritaseum's UltraCoin: up to 25 bp round trip for all products (primarily smart contract swap driven)

Leverage available: Veritaseum's UltraCoin: up to 10,000x, with finite digital P/L parameters (no margin calls, no negative account drawdowns)

How does Veritaseum do it? We program the bitcoin to act according to a mutual agreement between two or more parties, then send it to the blockchain to act accordingly. These agreements are self executing, unbreakable promises known as "Smart Contracts". In this case, they are highly customizable, P2P OTC swaps, but we are working on a multitude of other products, services and solutions as well. We also supply very high level, unconflicted, independent and impartial strategy and research for our customers. Since we don't use our balance sheet and we don't act as a principal, we have no incentive to skewer the research in any particular direction.

Smart Contracts as Transaction Vehicles: The Safest Possible Way To Exchange Value

Veritaseum's UltraCoin BTC-based smart contracts are: 1. highly flexible - you design your own derivatives yourself using your own parameters via our simple graphical user interface 2. self-executing 3. autonomous 4. unbreachable: we call them, the unbreakable promise! They are backed, fortified and stored by/on the Bitcoin blockchain itself 5. uber-transparent: simple click the "trace transaction" button to find the location and historical travel path of your assets anytime, from anywhere you have an internet connection

Trading Through a Balance Sheet-Based Financial Institution vs. Distributed, Decentralized, P2P Software Concern

What I do want to accomplish is the education through the fact that the Bitcoin protocol has given rise to the genesis of a new type of company, with a new business model that can offer a totally new type of product. As you were able to see from above, Veritaseum's UltraCoin offers a very uniquer product with many if not all of the attributes that potential competitors offer, with a slew of attributes that others can't touch. This is done at 1/150th of the price and at much less risk! When dealing with Veritaseum's UltraCoin, you can never get Gox'd because we never have (nor do we want) possession of your coins or fiat - every, at any time. Because we don't user our balance sheet (we are a software company, not a centralized exchange or broker/dealer) you:

  • are never exposed to us as a counterparty, we make the blockchain your counterparty

  • never have to worry about our capital reserves or the capitalization/credit of your initial counterparty (all trades are fully funded at the outset, even a heavily levered trade at 10,000x),

  • You never have to worry about negative drawdowns, negative equity or margin calls

  • If a catastrophic event were to occur, say bi-coastal earthquake takes out our datacenters on the east and west coasts simultaneously while a meteor hits the backup center in the midwest, you will still be able to recover you funds - on your own. Since we do not have possession of your funds you don't have to worry about us absconding with them nor getting blown up with them. Each trade has a catastrophic rollback feature which will put you back into your original funding position n-time units after expiry. Unfortunately, you will not be able to complete your trade, but if two bi-coastal trades hit at the same time as meteor to the mid-west, you may not be studying that EUR short anyway :-)

This is just the beginning of what is capable with bitcoin (and this is pure bitcoin, not altcoins, no tokens, no sidechains, just pure, old fashioned [at least as old as it can be considered] bitcoin) and 2.0 business models. Wait until you see the new stuff we'll be rolling out.

I implore you to download our:

There's also a lot of BTC industry research available for download as well as our blog which has some of the best fundamental and macro research available on the web. Hardcore traders, investors and speculators should check out my latest piece: It's All Out War, Pt 3: Is the Danish Krone Peg to Euro More Fragile Than Glass Beads? The Danish National Bank Infers So!

Any bitcoin-rich individuals or entities looking to provide liquidity to the system, individuals/compamies who wish to partner, accredited investors looking for a piece of the action (you have to be willing to sign and NDA, we are quite open to working with anybody), or those who simply want to shoot the breeze should feel free to contact us.

Bitcoin 2.0 An example of an UltraCoin smart contract summary

Here's some info about me, my team and what we're doing at Veritaseum:

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