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Crypto-Currency: A Guide to Common Tax Situations

STATUS: Majority of questions have been answered. If yours got missed, please feel free to post it again.
Introduction
All,
Based on the rapid increase in popularity and price of bitcoin and other crypto currencies (particularly over the past year), I expect that lots of people have questions about how crypto currency will impact their taxes. This thread attempts to address several common issues. I'm posting similar versions of it here, in several major crypto subs, and eventually in the weekly "tax help" threads personalfinance runs.
I'd like to thank the /personalfinance mod team and the /tax community for their help with this thread and especially for reading earlier versions and offering several valuable suggestions/corrections.
This thread is NOT an endorsement of crypto currency as an investing strategy. There is a time and a place to debate the appropriateness of crypto as part of a diversified portfolio - but that time is not now and that place is not here. If you are interested in the general consensus of this sub on investing, I would urge you to consult the wiki while keeping in mind the general flowchart outlining basic steps to get your finances in order.
Finally, please note that this thread attempts to provide information about your tax obligations as defined by United States law (and interpreted by the IRS under the direction of the Treasury Department). I understand that a certain portion of the crypto community tends to view crypto as "tax free" due to the (actual and perceived) difficulty for the IRS to "know" about the transactions involved. I will not discuss unlawfully concealing crypto gains here nor will I suggest illegal tax avoidance activities.
The Basics
This section is best for people that don't understand much about taxes. It covers some very basic tax principles. It also assumes that all you did during the year was buy/sell a single crypto currency.
Fundamentally, the IRS treats crypto not as money, but as an asset (investment). While there are a few specific "twists" when it comes to crypto, when in doubt replace the word "crypto" with the word "stock" and you will get a pretty good idea how you should report and pay tax on crypto.
The first thing you should know is that the majority of this discussion applies to the taxes you are currently working on (2017 taxes). The tax bill that just passed applies to 2018 taxes (with a few very tiny exceptions), which most people will file in early 2019.
In general, you don't have to report or pay taxes on crypto currency holdings until you "cash out" all or part of your holdings. For now, I'm going to assume that you cash out by selling them for USD; however, other forms of cashing out will be covered later.
When you sell crypto, you report the difference between your basis (purchase price) and proceeds (sale price) on Schedule D. Your purchase price is commonly referred to as your basis; while the two terms don't mean exactly the same thing, they are pretty close to one another (in particular, there are three two ways to calculate your basis - your average cost, a first-in, first-out method, and a "specific identification" method. See more about these here and here). EDIT - you may not use average cost method with crypto - see here. If you sell at a gain, this gain increases your tax liability; if you sell at a loss, this loss decreases your tax liability (in most cases). If you sell multiple times during the year, you report each transaction separately (bad news if you trade often) but get to lump all your gains/losses together when determining how the trades impact your income.
One important thing to remember is that there are two different types of gains/losses from investments - short term gains (if you held an asset for one year or less) and long term gains (over one year; i.e. one year and one day). Short term gains are taxed at your marginal income rate (basically, just like if you had earned that money at a job) while long term gains are taxed at lower rates.
For most people, long term capital gains are taxed at 15%. However, if you are in the 10% or 15% tax bracket, congrats - your gains (up to the maximum amount of "unused space" in your bracket) are tax free! If you are in the 25%, 28%, 33%, or 35% bracket, long term gains are taxed at 15%. If you are in the 39.6% bracket, long term gains are taxed at 20%. Additionally, there is an "extra" 3.8% tax that applies to gains for those above $200,000/$250,000 (single/married). The exact computation of this tax is a little complicated, but if you are close to the $200,000 level, just know that it exists.
Finally, you should know that I'm assuming that you should treat your crypto gains/losses as investment gains/losses. I'm sure some people will try and argue that they are really "day traders" of crypto and trade as a full time job. While this is possible, the vast majority of people don't qualify for this status and you should really think several times before deciding you want to try that approach on the IRS.
"Cashing Out" - Trading Crypto for Goods/Services
I realize that not everyone that "cashes out" of crypto does so by selling it for USD. In fact, I understand that some in the crypto community view the necessity of cashing out itself as a type of myth. In this section, I discuss what happens if you trade your crypto for basically anything that isn't cash (minor sidenote - see next section for a special discussion on trading crypto for crypto; i.e. buying altcoins with crypto).
The IRS views trading crypto for something of value as a type of bartering that must be included in income. From the IRS's perspective, it doesn't matter if you sold crypto for cash and bought a car with that cash or if you just traded crypto directly for the car - in both cases, the IRS views you as having sold your crypto. This approach isn't unique to crypto - it works the same way if you trade stock for something.
This means that if you do trade your crypto for "stuff", you have to report every exchange as a sale of your crypto and calculate the gain/loss on that sale, just as if you had sold the crypto for cash.
Finally, there is one important exception to this rule. If you give your crypto away to charity (one recognized by the IRS; like a 501(c)(3) organization), the IRS doesn't make you report/pay any capital gains on the transaction. Additionally, you still get to deduct the value of your donation on the date it was made. Now, from a "selfish" point of view, you will always end up with more money if you sell the crypto, pay the tax, and keep the rest. But, if you are going to make a donation anyway, especially a large one, giving crypto where you have a big unrealized/untaxed gain is a very efficient way of doing so.
"Alt Coins" - Buying Crypto with Crypto
The previous section discusses what happens when you trade crypto for stuff. However, one thing that surprises many people is that trading crypto for crypto is also a taxable event, just like trading crypto for a car. Whether you agree with this position or not, it makes a lot of sense once you realize that the IRS doesn't view crypto as money, but instead as an asset. So to the IRS, trading bitcoin for ripple isn't like trading dollars for euros, but it is instead like trading shares of Apple stock for shares of Tesla stock.
Practically, what this means is that if you trade one crypto for another crypto (say BTC for XRP just to illustrate the point), the IRS views you as doing the following:
  • Selling for cash the amount of BTC you actually traded for XRP.
  • Owing capital gains/losses on the BTC based on its selling price (the fair market value at the moment of the exchange) and your purchase price (basis).
  • Buying a new investment (XRP) with a cost basis equal to the amount the BTC was worth when you exchanged them.
This means that if you "time" your trade wrong and the value of XRP goes down after you make the exchange, you still owe tax on your BTC gain even though you subsequently lost money. The one good piece of news in this is that when/if you sell your XRP (or change it back to BTC), you will get a capital loss for the value that XRP dropped.
There is one final point worth discussing in this section - the so called "like kind exchange" rules (aka section 1031 exchange). At a high level, these rules say that you can "swap" property with someone else without having to pay taxes on the exchange as long as you get property in return that is "like kind". Typically, these rules are used in real estate transactions. However, they can also apply to other types of transactions as well.
While the idea is simple (and makes it sound like crypto for crypto should qualify), the exact rules/details of this exception are very fact specific. Most experts (including myself, but certainly not calling myself an expert) believe that a crypto for crypto swap is not a like kind exchange. The recently passed tax bill also explicitly clarifies this issue - starting in 2018, only real estate qualifies for like kind exchange treatment. So, basically, the vast majority of evidence suggests that you can't use this "loophole" for 2017; however, there is a small minority view/some small amount of belief that this treatment would work for 2017 taxes and it is worth noting that I'm unaware of any court cases directly testing this approach.
Dealing with "Forks"
Perhaps another unpleasant surprise for crypto holders is that "forks" to create a new crypto also very likely generate a taxable event. The IRS has long (since at least the 1960s) held that "found" money is a taxable event. This approach has been litigated in court and courts have consistently upheld this position; it even has its own cool nerdy tax name - the "treasure trove" doctrine.
Practically, what this means is that if you owned BTC and it "forked" to create BCH, then the fair market value of the BCH you received is considered a "treasure trove" that must be reported as income (ordinary income - no capital gain rates). This is true whether or not you sold your BCH; if you got BCH from a fork, that is a taxable event (note - I'll continue using BTC forking to BCH in this section as an example, but the logic applies to all forks).
While everything I've discussed up to this point is pretty clearly established tax law, forks are really where things get messy with taxes. Thus, the remainder of this section contains more speculation than elsewhere in this post - the truth is that while the idea is simple (fork = free money = taxable), the details are messy and other kinds of tax treatment might apply to forks.
One basic practical problem with forks is that the new currency doesn't necessarily start trading immediately. Thus, you may have received BCH before there was a clear price or market for it. Basically, you owe tax on the value of BCH when you received it, but it isn't completely clear what that value was. There are several ways you can handle this; I'll list them in order from most accurate to least accurate (but note that this is just my personal view and there is ongoing disagreement on this issue with little/no authoritative guidance).
  • Use a futures market to determine the value of the BCH - if reliable sources published realistic estimates of what BCH will trade for in the future once trading begins, use this estimate as the value of your BCH. Pros/cons - futures markets are, in theory, pretty accurate. However, if they are volatile/subject to manipulation, they may provide an incorrect estimate of the true value of BCH. It would suck to use the first futures value published only to have that value plummet shortly thereafter, leaving you to pay ordinary income tax but only have an unrealized capital loss.
  • Wait until an exchange starts trading BCH; use the actual ("spot" price) as the value. Pros/cons - spot prices certainly reflect what you could have sold BCH for; however, it is possible that the true value of the coin was highelower when you received it as compared to when it started trading on the exchange. Thus this method seems less accurate to me than a futures based approach, but it is still certainly fairly reasonable.
  • Assume that the value is $0. This is my least preferred option, but there is still a case to be made for it. If you receive something that you didn't want, can't access, can't sell, and might fail, does it have any value? I believe the answer is yes (maybe not value it perfectly, but value it somewhat accurately), but if you honestly think the answer is no, then the correct tax answer would be to report $0 in income from the fork. The IRS would be most likely to disagree with this approach, especially since it results in the least amount of income reported for the current year (and the most favorable rates going forward). Accordingly, if you go this route, make extra sure you understand what it entails.
Note, once you've decided what to report as taxable income, this amount also becomes your cost basis in the new crypto (BCH). Thus, when you ultimately sell your BCH (or trade it for something else as described above), you calculate your gain/loss based on what you included in taxable income from the fork.
Finally, there is one more approach to dealing with forks worth mentioning. A fork "feels" a lot like a dividend - because you held BTC, you get BCH. In a stock world, if I get a cash dividend because I own the stock, that money is not treated as a "treasure trove" and subject to ordinary income rates - in most cases, it is a qualified dividend and subject to capital gain rates; in some cases, some types of stock dividends are completely non taxable. This article discusses this idea in slightly more detail and generally concludes that forks should not be treated as a dividend. Still, I would note that I'm unaware of any court cases directly testing this theory.
Ultimately, this post is supposed to be practical, so let me make sure to leave you with two key thoughts about the taxation of forks. First, I believe that the majority of evidence suggests that forks should be treated as a "treasure trove" and reported as ordinary income based on their value at creation and that this is certainly the "safest" option. Second, out of everything discussed in this post, I also believe that the correct taxation of forks is the murkiest and most "up for debate" area. If you are interested in a more detailed discussion of forks, see this thread for a previous version of this post discussing it at even more length and the comments for a discussion of this with the tax community.
Mining Crypto
Successfully mining crypto coins is a taxable event. Depending on the amount of effort you put into mining, it is either considered a hobby or a self-employment (business) activity. The IRS provides the following list of questions to help decide the correct classification:
  • The manner in which the taxpayer carries on the activity.
  • The expertise of the taxpayer or his advisors.
  • The time and effort expended by the taxpayer in carrying on the activity.
  • Expectation that assets used in activity may appreciate in value.
  • The success of the taxpayer in carrying on other similar or dissimilar activities.
  • The taxpayer’s history of income or losses with respect to the activity.
  • The amount of occasional profits, if any, which are earned.
If this still sounds complicated, that's because the distinction is subject to some amount of interpretation. As a rule of thumb, randomly mining crypto on an old computer is probably a hobby; mining full time on a custom rig is probably a business.
In either event, you must include in income the fair market value of any coins you successfully mine. These are ordinary income and your basis in these coins is their fair market value on the date they were mined. If your mining is a hobby, they go on line 21 (other income) and any expenses directly associated with mining go on schedule A (miscellaneous subject to 2% of AGI limitation). If your mining is a business, income and expenses go on schedule C.
Both approaches have pros and cons - hobby income isn't subject to the 15.3% self-employment tax, only normal income tax, but you get fewer deductions against your income and the deductions you get are less valuable. Business income has more deductions available, but you have to pay payroll (self-employment) tax of about 15.3% in addition to normal income tax.
What if I didn't keep good records? Do I really have to report every transaction?
One nice thing about the IRS treating crypto as an asset is that we can look at how the IRS treats people that "day trade" stock and often don't keep great records/have lots of transactions. While you need to be as accurate as possible, it is ok to estimate a little bit if you don't have exact records (especially concerning your cost basis). You need to put in some effort (research historical prices, etc...) and be reasonable, but the IRS would much rather you do a little bit of reasonable estimation as opposed to just not reporting anything. Sure, they might decide to audit you/disagree with some specifics, but you earn yourself a lot of credit if you can show that you honestly did the best you reasonably could and are making efforts to improve going forward.
However, concerning reporting every transaction - yes, sorry, it is clear that you have to do this, even if you made hundreds or thousands of them. Stock traders have had to go through this for many decades, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that the IRS would accept anything less from the crypto community. If you have the records or have any reasonable way of obtaining records/estimating them, you must report every transaction.
What if I don't trust you?
Well, first let me say that I can't believe you made it all the way down here to this section. Thanks for giving me an honest hearing. I would strongly encourage you to go read other well-written, honest guides. I'll link to some I like (both more technical IRS type guides and more crypto community driven guides). While a certain portion of the crypto community seems to view one of the benefits of crypto as avoiding all government regulation (including taxes), I've been pleasantly surprised to find that many crypto forums contain well reasoned, accurate tax guides. While I may not agree with 100% of their conclusions, that likely reflects true uncertainty around tax law that is fundamentally complex rather than an attempt on either end to help individuals unlawfully avoid taxes.
IRS guides
Non-IRS guides
submitted by Mrme487 to personalfinance [link] [comments]

A cartel in the market.

The purpose is to get a monopoly by banding together. This is sometimes called cooperation, the purpose is to earn more by either fixing prices or reducing supply.
It is bad, if it is supported by the state, by laws and regulations with coercive actions againts those that break the cartel rules. If it is done in the market, it is probably benign, and anyway, the cartel can not do much to the detriment of the customers, it can do just a little.
The reasons for this:
A submarket, what the cartel concerns itself about, is never well defined. There is always a possibility of spillover.
The more successful the cartel is, in increasing the profit, the more pressure there is on the inside, to cheat, either with prices or amounts. Therefore there is a limit to how much can be achieved.
The more successful the cartel is, the more profitable it is to be outside the cartel, they can sell as much as they want for slightly less than the cartel price. Therefore the size of the cartel is held in check, it can even collapse.
So that is three mechanisms, and it works only under market conditions, not with coercion. With coercion, as in all intervention in the market, value creation is reduced, destroyed, or turned into value destruction.
There are a lot of state backed cartels around, with a varying degree of intrusion, hairdresser licensing, import restrictions, taxi medallions, farm subsidies, electrical power suppliers and so on. As a rule of thumb, every value creating business which by it's nature have capital or open sales of a type where it is easy for robbers to intrude, will have interventions of some kind.
Then there is the world trading scene, where there is no obvious power entity to control it, because there is no world government, and also according to the cartel mechanisms above, there can probably not be.
Examples:
The oil cartel can move oil prices, or can they? All members are eager to fix the amounts, still all members cheat with the volumes and the prices. The coercive powers are limited
A cartel of taxis can increase the prices, but it is only transport, and it spills over to walking, buses and personal car transport, we have all driven a friend to the airport, as an alternative to taxi transport.
Henry Ford was very aware, that even with a near monopoly on car production, he could not exploit that position to take extraordinary profits, because there were hundreds of competitors that were eager and ready to supply, and with a higher car price it would be easier for them to produce with profit and get the capital needed to expand.
As an example of a cartel of the type setting standards, is the fax industry. Almost overnight, the product was transformed from being useful only to world wide enterprises, to everybody, it was even used to order takeaway. (This was before text messaging and the web).
In crypto, there is possibility of spillover, to the remaining branch after a chain split, to some other established coin, or to something new.
Finally, let me just describe the mining business as extraordinarily competitive. It can be done everywhere, in any jusrisdiction, it can take advantage of lower power prices, lower power distribution prices, lower work prices, lower ambient temperature, everything that can give an edge. Even taking advantage of subsidised power, even stolen power, even the police will run the mining rigs after confiscation of a mining plant, and I doubt they pay for power when doing it.
So the development towards a mining monopoly or an association of people forming a monopoly, also called a cartel, where that cartel can do much of anything to the detriment of the systems users, is totally out of the question for bitcoin mining,
submitted by ErdoganTalk to btc [link] [comments]

HODLing since 2013. Sold 1/3rd of BTC today at $19.5k. Don't be afraid to take gains. Thoughts and ramblings inside.

Throwaway account for obvious reasons. I am posting this for others who may be debating about what to do with their BTC gains.
First heard about Bitcoin in 2013. Ordered $8k worth of computer parts and took over the extra power in my house and built milk crate mining rigs. Kept them running, even as the price fell... As cards failed I didn't replace them. Long story short, I end up with ~80 BTC.
During the "down years" before things really picked up steam I played around mining some other things, so I have around 65 Litecoin and 70 Ethereum. I messed around and spent some BTC just because I could, a couple BTC on online pokecasino sites to see how it worked... And that ill fated 1 BTC porn video from a Redditor who is probably laughing her way to retirement by now.... ;)
Earlier this month I became a cryptomillionaire on December 10th. That was an awesome achievement. Luckily for me I've been involved in technology so I was already a millionaire in the traditional sense. Not anything too crazy... 4M net worth or so, but used to dealing with money and investments. My advice to others is based on 30 years in technology and being a high net worth individual since the early 2000's.
Today I passed 1.5M in crypto wealth and I cashed out a third of my holdings to pay off my mortgage. I did this for multiple reasons:
  1. I think we are in a speculative bubble. I believe in crypto and blockchain technology. It is going to change the world. But the utility is not fully there yet. The current price, in my opinion, is overinflated relative to what these things are really doing in the world. I think there will be a correction but eventually things will really take off, similar to the dot com bubble. Having worked in technology since 1997 this is just my opinion based on my gut reaction to everything going on.
  2. Traditional banking needs reformed/to die. Why should a big bank get to collect thousands in interest from me every year? I view selling some of my crypto and clearing a major debt as not only a personal gain but a vote against the system. I would encourage anyone who can clear debt against existing fiat to do so. I would rather put $1k back into crypto a month than be giving $1k in interest back to the banks.
  3. You are not investing if you are not ever willing to take gains, you are just gambling. I don't think anyone should ever sell 100% of their crypto, but you need to be able to part with some of your BTC at the time and choosing that makes the most sense for you and your goals.
As part of adjusting my crypto portfolio for the future today, I also converted all my Bitcoin Cash to BTC. I very much do not like what is coming out of the mouths of that group, and I believe there should only be one "Bitcoin." I am appreciative of the free money that landed in my lap from that fork, but too many options is going to confuse the general public. I encourage everyone to do the same.
As I write this, I am still a cryptomillionaire and am looking forward to the future. But I have future goals in mind where I may clear other debts or continue to diversify. Unless you have no debts at all and no plans in your life I think HODLing until death is a pretty silly idea. Everyone should have some goals in mind with any financial venture. Just make sure they are big enough checkboxes that you won't keep looking back.
EDIT: Since many people have asked: I used Gemini to do the sale. I also have a Coinbase account, but the fees are much higher for a large sale. Yes, you can have your limits raised at both places to be able to do larger sale quantities and bank transfers.
EDIT2: Just to clarify, me mentioning my net worth and background is not to brag (to be honest, many of the people I know in the industry are worth 10X me because they took more risks) than wanting other people to know that I consider myself a successful and educated investor. When someone who has no experience is handed 1M they lose it (look at lottery winners). I want people to NOT lose, so I am using my knowledge to make sure others without that think carefully and realize that taking some gains is not a bad thing. HODL is great and all, but you need to be smart about what you own, crypto or otherwise. I apologize to anyone if it comes off as grandstanding, but you shouldn't get emotional about money.
submitted by throwbtcnw to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

An extensive guide for cashing out bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into private banks

Hey guys.
Merry Xmas !
I am coming back to you with a follow up post, as I have helped many people cash out this year and I have streamlined the process. After my original post, I received many requests to be more specific and provide more details. I thought that after the amazing rally we have been attending over the last few months, and the volatility of the last few days, it would be interesting to revisit more extensively.
The attitude of banks around crypto is changing slowly, but it is still a tough stance. For the first partial cash out I operated around a year ago for a client, it took me months to find a bank. They wouldn’t want to even consider the case and we had to knock at each and every door. Despite all my contacts it was very difficult back in the days. This has changed now, and banks have started to open their doors, but there is a process, a set of best practices and codes one has to follow.
I often get requests from crypto guys who are very privacy-oriented, and it takes me months to have them understand that I am bound by Swiss law on banking secrecy, and I am their ally in this onboarding process. It’s funny how I have to convince people that banks are legit, while on the other side, banks ask me to show that crypto millionaires are legit. I have a solid background in both banking and in crypto so I manage to make the bridge, but yeah sometimes it is tough to reconcile the two worlds. I am a crypto enthusiast myself and I can say that after years of work in the banking industry I have grown disillusioned towards banks as well, like many of you. Still an account in a Private bank is convenient and powerful. So let’s get started.
There are two different aspects to your onboarding in a Swiss Private bank, compliance-wise.
*The origin of your crypto wealth
*Your background (residence, citizenship and probity)
These two aspects must be documented in-depth.
How to document your crypto wealth. Each new crypto millionaire has a different story. I may detail a few fun stories later in this post, but at the end of the day, most of crypto rich I have met can be categorized within the following profiles: the miner, the early adopter, the trader, the corporate entity, the black market, the libertarian/OTC buyer. The real question is how you prove your wealth is legit.
1. Context around the original amount/investment Generally speaking, your first crypto purchase may not be documented. But the context around this acquisition can be. I have had many cases where the original amount was bought through Mtgox, and no proof of purchase could be provided, nor could be documented any Mtgox claim. That’s perfectly fine. At some point Mtgox amounted 70% of the bitcoin transactions globally, and people who bought there and managed to withdraw and keep hold of their bitcoins do not have any Mtgox claim. This is absolutely fine. However, if you can show me the record of a wire from your bank to Tisbane (Mtgox's parent company) it's a great way to start.
Otherwise, what I am trying to document here is the following: I need context. If you made your first purchase by saving from summer jobs, show me a payroll. Even if it was USD 2k. If you acquired your first bitcoins from mining, show me the bills of your mining equipment from 2012 or if it was through a pool mine, give me your slushpool account ref for instance. If you were given bitcoin against a service you charged, show me an invoice.
2. Tracking your wealth until today and making sense of it. What I have been doing over the last few months was basically educating compliance officers. Thanks God, the blockchain is a global digital ledger! I have been telling my auditors and compliance officers they have the best tool at their disposal to lead a proper investigation. Whether you like it or not, your wealth can be tracked, from address to address. You may have thought all along this was a bad feature, but I am telling you, if you want to cash out, in the context of Private Banking onboarding, tracking your wealth through the block explorer is a boon. We can see the inflows, outflows. We can see the age behind an address. An early adopter who bought 1000 BTC in 2010, and let his bitcoin behind one address and held thus far is legit, whether or not he has a proof of purchase to show. That’s just common sense. My job is to explain that to the banks in a language they understand.
Let’s have a look at a few examples and how to document the few profiles I mentioned earlier.
The trader. I love traders. These are easy cases. I have a ton of respect for them. Being a trader myself in investment banks for a decade earlier in my career has taught me that controlling one’s emotions and having the discipline to impose oneself some proper risk management system is really really hard. Further, being able to avoid the exchange bankruptcy and hacks throughout crypto history is outstanding. It shows real survival instinct, or just plain blissed ignorance. In any cases traders at exchange are easy cases to corroborate since their whole track record is potentially available. Some traders I have met have automated their trading and have shown me more than 500k trades done over the span of 4 years. Obviously in this kind of scenario I don’t show everything to the bank to avoid information overload, and prefer to do some snacking here and there. My strategy is to show the early trades, the most profitable ones, explain the trading strategy and (partially expose) the situation as of now with id pages of the exchanges and current balance. Many traders have become insensitive to the risk of parking their crypto at exchange as they want to be able to trade or to grasp an occasion any minute, so they generally do not secure a substantial portion on the blockchain which tends to make me very nervous.
The early adopter. Provided that he has not mixed his coin, the early adopter or “hodler” is not a difficult case either. Who cares how you bought your first 10k btc if you bought them below 3$ ? Even if you do not have a purchase proof, I would generally manage to find ways. We just have to corroborate the original 30’000 USD investment in this case. I mainly focus on three things here:
*proof of early adoption I have managed to educate some banks on a few evidences specifically related to crypto markets. For instance with me, an old bitcointalk account can serve as a proof of early adoption. Even an old reddit post from a few years ago where you say how much you despise this Ripple premined scam can prove to be a treasure readily available to show you were early.
*story telling Compliance officers like to know when, why and how. They are human being looking for simple answers to simple questions and they don’t want like to be played fool. Telling the truth, even without a proof can do wonders, and even though bluffing might still work because banks don’t fully understand bitcoin yet, it is a risky strategy that is less and less likely to pay off as they are getting more sophisticated by the day.
*micro transaction from an old address you control This is the killer feature. Send a $20 worth transaction from an old address to my company wallet and to one of my partner bank’s wallet and you are all set ! This is gold and considered a very solid piece of evidence. You can also do a microtransaction to your own wallet, but banks generally prefer transfer to their own wallet. Patience with them please. they are still learning.
*signature message Why do a micro transaction when you can sign a message and avoid potentially tainting your coins ?
*ICO millionaire Some clients made their wealth participating in ETH crowdsale or IOTA ICO. They were very easy to deal with obviously and the account opening was very smooth since we could evidence the GENESIS TxHash flow.
The miner Not so easy to proof the wealth is legit in that case. Most early miners never took screenshot of the blocks on bitcoin core, nor did they note down the block number of each block they mined. Until the the Slashdot article from August 2010 anyone could mine on his laptop, let his computer run overnight and wake up to a freshly minted block containing 50 bitcoins back in the days. Not many people were structured enough to store and secure these coins, avoid malwares while syncing the blockchain continuously, let alone document the mined blocks in the process. What was 50 BTC worth really for the early miners ? dust of dollars, games and magic cards… Even miners post 2010 are generally difficult to deal with in terms of compliance onboarding. Many pool mining are long dead. Deepbit is down for instance and the founders are MIA. So my strategy to proof mining activity is as follow:
*Focusing on IT background whenever possible. An IT background does help a lot to bring some substance to the fact you had the technical ability to operate a mining rig.
*Showing mining equipment receipts. If you mined on your own you must have bought the hardware to do so. For instance mining equipment receipts from butterfly lab from 2012-2013 could help document your case. Similarly, high electricity bill from your household on a consistent basis back in the day could help. I have already unlocked a tricky case in the past with such documents when the bank was doubtful.
*Wallet.dat files with block mining transactions from 2011 thereafter This obviously is a fantastic piece of evidence for both you and me if you have an old wallet and if you control an address that received original mined blocks, (even if the wallet is now empty). I will make sure compliance officers understand what it means, and as for the early adopter, you can prove your control over these wallet through a microtransaction. With these kind of addresses, I can show on the block explorer the mined block rewards hitting at regular time interval, and I can even spot when difficulty level increased or when halvening process happened.
*Poolmining account. Here again I have educated my partner bank to understand that a slush account opened in 2013 or an OnionTip presence was enough to corroborate mining activity. The block explorer then helps me to do the bridge with your current wallet.
*Describing your set up and putting it in context In the history of mining we had CPU, GPU, FPG and ASICs mining. I will describe your technical set up and explain why and how your set up was competitive at that time.
The corporate entity Remember 2012 when we were all convinced bitcoin would take over the world, and soon everyone would pay his coffee in bitcoin? How naïve we were to think transaction fees would remain low forever. I don’t blame bitcoin cash supporters; I once shared this dream as well. Remember when we thought global adoption was right around the corner and some brick and mortar would soon accept bitcoin transaction as a common mean of payment? Well, some shop actually did accept payment and held. I had a few cases as such of shops holders, who made it to the multi million mark holding and had invoices or receipts to proof the transactions. If you are organized enough to keep a record for these trades and are willing to cooperate for the documentation, you are making your life easy. The digital advertising business is also a big market for the bitcoin industry, and affiliates partner compensated in btc are common. It is good to show an invoice, it is better to show a contract. If you do not have a contract (which is common since all advertising deals are about ticking a check box on the website to accept terms and conditions), there are ways around that. If you are in that case, pm me.
The black market Sorry guys, I can’t do much for you officially. Not that I am judging you. I am a libertarian myself. It’s just already very difficult to onboard legit btc adopters, so the black market is a market I cannot afford to consider. My company is regulated so KYC and compliance are key for me if I want to stay in business. Behind each case I push forward I am risking the credibility and reputation I have built over the years. So I am sorry guys I am not risking it to make an extra buck. Your best hope is that crypto will eventually take over the world and you won’t need to cash out anyway. Or go find a Lithuanian bank that is light on compliance and cooperative.
The OTC buyer and the libertarian. Generally a very difficult case. If you bought your stack during your journey in Japan 5 years ago to a guy you never met again; or if you accumulated on https://localbitcoins.com/ and kept no record or lost your account, it is going to be difficult. Not impossible but difficult. We will try to build a case with everything else we have, and I may be able to onboard you. However I am risking a lot here so I need to be 100% confident you are legit, before I defend you. Come & see me in Geneva, and we will talk. I will run forensic services like elliptic, chainalysis, or scorechain on an extract of your wallet. If this scan does not raise too many red flags, then maybe we can work together ! If you mixed your coins all along your crypto history, and shredded your seeds because you were paranoid, or if you made your wealth mining professionally monero over the last 3 years but never opened an account at an exchange. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I am not a magician and don’t get me wrong, I love monero, it’s not the point.
Cashing out ICOs Private companies or foundations who have ran an ICO generally have a very hard time opening a bank account. The few banks that accept such projects would generally look at 4 criteria:
*Seriousness of the project Extensive study of the whitepaper to limit the reputation risk
*AML of the onboarding process ICOs 1.0 have no chance basically if a background check of the investors has not been conducted
*Structure of the moral entity List of signatories, certificate of incumbency, work contract, premises...
*Fiscal conformity Did the company informed the authorities and seek a fiscal ruling.
For the record, I am not into the tax avoidance business, so people come to me with a set up and I see if I can make it work within the legal framework imposed to me.
First, stop thinking Switzerland is a “offshore heaven” Swiss banks have made deals with many governments for the exchange of fiscal information. If you are a French citizen, resident in France and want to open an account in a Private Bank in Switzerland to cash out your bitcoins, you will get slaughtered (>60%). There are ways around that, and I could refer you to good tax specialists for fiscal optimization, but I cannot organize it myself. It would be illegal for me. Swiss private banks makes it easy for you to keep a good your relation with your retail bank and continue paying your bills without headaches. They are integrated to SEPA, provide ebanking and credit cards.
For information, these are the kind of set up some of my clients came up with. It’s all legal; obviously I do not onboard clients that are not tax compliant. Further disclaimer: I did not contribute myself to these set up. Do not ask me to organize it for you. I won’t.
EU tricks
Swiss lump sum taxation Foreign nationals resident in Switzerland can be taxed on a lump-sum basis if they are not gainfully employed in our country. Under the lump-sum tax regime, foreign nationals taking residence in Switzerland may choose to pay an expense-based tax instead of ordinary income and wealth tax. Attractive cantons for the lump sum taxation are Zug, Vaud, Valais, Grisons, Lucerne and Berne. To make it short, you will be paying somewhere between 200 and 400k a year and all expenses will be deductible.
Switzerland has adopted a very friendly attitude towards crypto currency in general. There is a whole crypto valley in Zug now. 30% of ICOs are operated in Switzerland. The reason is that Switzerland has thrived for centuries on banking secrecy, and today with FATCA and exchange of fiscal info with EU, banking secrecy is dead. Regulators in Switzerland have understood that digital ledger technologies were a way to roll over this competitive advantage for the generations to come. Switzerland does not tax capital gains on crypto profits. The Finma has a very pragmatic approach. They have issued guidance- updated guidelines here. They let the business get organized and operate their analysis on a case per case basis. Only after getting a deep understanding of the market will they issue a global fintech license in 2019. This approach is much more realistic than legislations which try to regulate everything beforehand.
Italy new tax exemption. It’s a brand new fiscal exemption. Go to Aoste, get residency and you could be taxed a 100k/year for 10years. Yes, really.
Portugal What’s crazy in Europe is the lack of fiscal harmonization. Even if no one in Brussels dares admit it, every other country is doing fiscal dumping. Portugal is such a country and has proved very friendly fiscally speaking. I personally have a hard time trusting Europe. I have witnessed what happened in Greece over the last few years. Some of our ultra high net worth clients got stuck with capital controls. I mean no way you got out of crypto to have your funds confiscated at the next financial crisis! Anyway. FYI
Malta Generally speaking, if you get a residence somewhere you have to live there for a certain period of time. Being stuck in Italy is no big deal with Schengen Agreement, but in Malta it is a different story. In Malta, the ordinary residence scheme is more attractive than the HNWI residence scheme. Being an individual, you can hold a residence permit under this scheme and pay zero income tax in Malta in a completely legal way.
Monaco Not suitable for French citizens, but for other Ultra High Net worth individual, Monaco is worth considering. You need an account at a local bank as a proof of fortune, and this account generally has to be seeded with at least EUR500k. You also need a proof of residence. I do mean UHNI because if you don’t cash out minimum 30m it’s not interesting. Everything is expensive in Monaco. Real Estate is EUR 50k per square meter. A breakfast at Monte Carlo Bay hotel is 70 EUR. Monaco is sunny but sometimes it feels like a golden jail. Do you really want that for your kids?
Dubaï
  1. Set up a company in Dubaï, get your resident card.
  2. Spend one day every 6 month there
  3. ???
  4. Be tax free
US tricks Some Private banks in Geneva do have the license to manage the assets of US persons and U.S citizens. However, do not think it is a way to avoid paying taxes in the US. Opening an account at an authorized Swiss Private banks is literally the same tax-wise as opening an account at Fidelity or at Bank of America in the US. The only difference is that you will avoid all the horror stories. Horror stories are all real by the way. In Switzerland, if you build a decent case and answer all the questions and corroborate your case in depth, you will manage to convince compliance officers beforehand. When the money eventually hits your account, it is actually available and not frozen.
The IRS and FATCA require to file FBAR if an offshore account is open. However FBAR is a reporting requirement and does not have taxes related to holding an account outside the US. The taxes would be the same if the account was in the US. However penalties for non compliance with FBAR are very large. The tax liability management is actually performed through the management of the assets ( for exemple by maximizing long term capital gains and minimizing short term gains).
The case for Porto Rico. Full disclaimer here. I am not encouraging this. Have not collaborated on such tax avoidance schemes. if you are interested I strongly encourage you to seek a tax advisor and get a legal opinion. I am not responsible for anything written below. I am not going to say much because I am so afraid of uncle Sam that I prefer to humbly pass the hot potato to pwc From here all it takes is a good advisor and some creativity to be tax free on your crypto wealth if you are a US person apparently. Please, please please don’t ask me more. And read the disclaimer again.
Trust tricks Generally speaking I do not accept fringe fiscal situation because it puts me in a difficult situation to the banks I work with, and it is already difficult enough to defend a legit crypto case. Trust might be a way to optimize your fiscal situation. Belize. Bahamas. Seychelles. Panama, You name it. At the end of the day, what matters for Swiss Banks are the beneficial owner and the settlor. Get a legal opinion, get it done, and when you eventually knock at a private bank’s door, don’t say it was for fiscal avoidance you stupid ! You will get the door smashed upon you. Be smarter. It will work. My advice is just to have it done by a great tax specialist lawyer, even if it costs you some money, as the entity itself needs to be structured in a professional way. Remember that with trust you are dispossessing yourself off your wealth. Not something to be taken lightly.
“Anonymous” cash out. Right. I think I am not going into this topic, neither expose the ways to get it done. Pm me for details. I already feel a bit uncomfortable with all the info I have provided. I am just going to mention many people fear that crypto exchange might become reporting entities soon, and rightly so. This might happen anyday. You have been warned. FYI, this only works for non-US and large cash out.
The difference between traders an investors. Danmark, Holland and Germany all make a huge difference if you are a passive investor or if you are a trader. ICO is considered investing for instance and is not taxed, while trading might be considered as income and charged aggressively. I would try my best to protect you and put a focus on your investor profile whenever possible, so you don't have to pay 52% tax if you do not have to :D
Full cash out or partial cash out? People who have been sitting on crypto for long have grown an emotional and irrational link with their coins. They come to me and say, look, I have 50m in crypto but I would like to cash out 500k only. So first let me tell you that as a wealth manager my advice to you is to take some off the table. Doing a partial cash out is absolutely fine. The market is bullish. We are witnessing a redistribution of wealth at a global scale. Bitcoin is the real #occupywallstreet, and every one will discuss crypto at Xmas eve which will make the market even more supportive beginning 2018, especially with all hedge funds entering the scene. If you want to stay exposed to bitcoin and altcoins, and believe these techs will change the world, it’s just natural you want to keep some coins. In the meantime, if you have lived off pizzas over the last years, and have the means to now buy yourself an nice house and have an account at a private bank, then f***ing do it mate ! Buy physical gold with this account, buy real estate, have some cash at hands. Even though US dollar is worthless to your eyes, it’s good and convenient to have some. Also remember your wife deserves it ! And if you have no wife yet and you are socially awkward like the rest of us, then maybe cashing out partially will help your situation ;)
What the Private Banks expect. Joke aside, it is important you understand something. If you come around in Zurich to open a bank account and partially cash out, just don’t expect Private Banks will make an exception for you if you are small. You can’t ask them to facilitate your cash out, buy a 1m apartment with the proceeds of the sale, and not leave anything on your current account. It won’t work. Sadly, under 5m you are considered small in private banking. The bank is ok to let you open an account, provided that your kyc and compliance file are validated, but they will also want you to become a client and leave some money there to invest. This might me despicable, but I am just explaining you their rules. If you want to cash out, you should sell enough to be comfortable and have some left. Also expect the account opening to last at least 3-4 week if everything goes well. You can't just open an account overnight.
The cash out logistics. Cashing out 1m USD a day in bitcoin or more is not so hard.
Let me just tell you this: Even if you get a Tier 4 account with Kraken and ask Alejandro there to raise your limit over $100k per day, Even if you have a bitfinex account and you are willing to expose your wealth there, Even if you have managed to pass all the crazy due diligence at Bitstamp,
The amount should be fractioned to avoid risking your full wealth on exchange and getting slaughtered on the price by trading big quantities. Cashing out involves significant risks at all time. There is a security risk of compromising your keys, a counterparty risk, a fat finger risk. Let it be done by professionals. It is worth every single penny.
Most importantly, there is a major difference between trading on an exchange and trading OTC. Even though it’s not publicly disclosed some exchange like Kraken do have OTC desks. Trading on an exchange for a large amount will weight on the prices. Bitcoin is a thin market. In my opinion over 30% of the coins are lost in translation forever. Selling $10m on an exchange in a day can weight on the prices more than you’d think. And if you trade on a exchange, everything is shown on record, and you might wipe out the prices because on exchanges like bitstamp or kraken ultimately your counterparties are retail investors and the market depth is not huge. It is a bit better on Bitfinex. It is way better to trade OTC. Accessing the institutional OTC market is not easy, and that is also the reason why you should ask a regulated financial intermediary if we are talking about huge amounts.
Last point, always chose EUR as opposed to USD. EU correspondent banks won’t generally block institutional amounts. However we had the cases of USD funds frozen or delayed by weeks.
Most well-known OTC desks are Cumberlandmining (ask for Lucas), Genesis (ask for Martin), Bitcoin Suisse AG (ask for Niklas), circletrade, B2C2, or Altcoinomy (ask for Olivier)
Very very large whales can also set up escrow accounts for massive block trades. This world, where blocks over 30k BTC are exchanged between 2 parties would deserve a reddit thread of its own. Crazyness all around.
Your options: DIY or going through a regulated financial intermediary.
Execution trading is a job in itself. You have to be patient, be careful not to wipe out the order book and place limit orders, monitor the market intraday for spikes or opportunities. At big levels, for a large cash out that may take weeks, these kind of details will save you hundred thousands of dollars. I understand crypto holders are suspicious and may prefer to do it by themselves, but there are regulated entities who now offer the services. Besides, being a crypto millionaire is not a guarantee you will get institutional daily withdrawal limits at exchange. You might, but it will take you another round of KYC with them, and surprisingly this round might be even more aggressive that the ones at Private banks since exchange have gone under intense scrutiny by regulators lately.
The fees for cashing out through a regulated financial intermediary to help you with your cash out should be around 1-2% flat on the nominal, not more. And for this price you should get the full package: execution/monitoring of the trades AND onboarding in a private bank. If you are asked more, you are being abused.
Of course, you also have the option to do it yourself. It is a way more tedious and risky process. Compliance with the exchange, compliance with the private bank, trading BTC/fiat, monitoring the transfers…You will save some money but it will take you some time and stress. Further, if you approach a private bank directly, it will trigger a series of red flag to the banks. As I said in my previous post, they call a direct approach a “walk-in”. They will be more suspicious than if you were introduced by someone and won’t hesitate to show you high fees and load your portfolio with in-house products that earn more money to the banks than to you. Remember also most banks still do not understand crypto so you will have a lot of explanations to provide and you will have to start form scratch with them!
The paradox of crypto millionaires Most of my clients who made their wealth through crypto all took massive amount of risks to end up where they are. However, most of them want their bank account to be managed with a low volatility fixed income capital preservation risk profile. This is a paradox I have a hard time to explain and I think it is mainly due to the fact that most are distrustful towards banks and financial markets in general. Many clients who have sold their crypto also have a cash-out blues in the first few months. This is a classic situation. The emotions involved in hodling for so long, the relief that everything has eventually gone well, the life-changing dynamics, the difficulties to find a new motivation in life…All these elements may trigger a post cash-out depression. It is another paradox of the crypto rich who has every card in his hand to be happy, but often feel a bit sad and lonely. Sometimes, even though it’s not my job, I had to do some psychological support. A lot of clients have also become my friends, because we have the same age and went through the same “ordeal”. First world problem I know… Remember, cashing out is not the end. It’s actually the beginning. Don’t look back, don’t regret. Cash out partially, because it does not make sense to cash out in full, regret it and want back in. relax.
The race to cash out crypto billionaire and the concept of late exiter. The Winklevoss brothers are obviously the first of a series. There will be crypto billionaires. Many of them. At a certain level you can have a whole family office working for you to manage your assets and take care of your needs . However, let me tell you it’s is not because you made it so big that you should think you are a genius and know everything better than anyone. You should hire professionals to help you. Managing assets require some education around the investment vehicles and risk management strategies. Sorry guys but with all the respect I have for wallstreebet, AMD and YOLO stock picking, some discipline is necessary. The investors who have made money through crypto are generally early adopters. However I have started to see another profile popping up. They are not early adopters. They are late exiters. It is another way but just as efficient. Last week I met the first crypto millionaire I know who first bough bitcoin over 1000$. 55k invested at the beginning of this year. Late adopter & late exiter is a route that can lead to the million.
Last remarks. I know banks, bankers, and FIAT currencies are so last century. I know some of you despise them and would like to have them burn to the ground. With compliance officers taking over the business, I would like to start the fire myself sometimes. I hope this extensive guide has helped some of you. I am around if you need more details. I love my job despite all my frustration towards the banking industry because it makes me meet interesting people on a daily basis. I am a crypto enthusiast myself, and I do think this tech is here to stay and will change the world. Banks will have to adapt big time. Things have started to change already; they understand the threat is real. I can feel the generational gap in Geneva, with all these old bankers who don’t get what’s going on. They glaze at the bitcoin chart on CNBC in disbelief and they start to get it. This bitcoin thing is not a joke. Deep inside, as an early adopter who also intends to be a late exiter, as a libertarian myself, it makes me smile with satisfaction.
Cheers. @swisspb on telegram
submitted by Swissprivatebanker to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Mining Hash Rate Plummets To 35 EH/s, Increasing Centralization Of Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin Mining Hash Rate Plummets To 35 EH/s, Increasing Centralization Of Bitcoin Mining

https://preview.redd.it/7qe13wsg3yz11.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=cdb3cb372c118e1bde3b75332739ab61ca868e21
http://genesisblocknews.com/bitcoin-mining-hash-rate-plummets-to-35-eh-s-increasing-centralization-of-bitcoin-mining/
The Bitcoin mining hash rate had been exponentially increasing from 2009 through August 2018, from MH/s, to GH/s, to TH/s, to PH/s, and now EH/s. The all-time record high for Bitcoin’s mining hash rate was 62 EH/s on 26 August 2018.
After that point the trend broke, and Bitcoin’s mining hash rate plateaued. This was due to a combination of two factors. First, the Bitcoin bear market brought Bitcoin’s price down from USD 20,000 to about USD 6,500, making mining much less profitable. Second, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty had been rapidly rising despite the bear market, as all the new hash power came online. The end result was there was no more room to profitably add hashing power to the Bitcoin network.
It was thought that Bitcoin’s support level was solidly at USD 5,800, but that paradigm broke when Bitcoin Cash forked, the Securities and Exchange Commission began to launch catastrophic civil penalties against initial coin offerings (ICOs), and the launch of physical Bitcoin futures on Bakkt was delayed. This trifecta of extremely bad news within 1 week has brought Bitcoin’s price down to USD 4,400.
This unexpected crash in Bitcoin’s price has been destructive for the mining industry. Many mining farms were right at the break even point, or perhaps even losing some money, but expecting Bitcoin to go up in the near future so they kept mining. Now Bitcoin’s hash rate has plummeted to 35 EH/s, implicitly indicating about 25 EH/s of Bitcoin mining rigs have been taken offline since they are no longer profitable due to electricity costs.
This represents billions of USD of Bitcoin mining equipment going to complete waste, since Bitcoin mining rigs have no real use besides mining Bitcoin. The events unfolding in the Bitcoin mining space could spell doom for mining rig manufacturers. Now the market for rigs is completely over-saturated, and any demand for rigs has probably dried up. Mining rig manufacturers could perhaps rectify this by rapidly developing cutting-edge technology, like what Bitmain did when they recently released 7 nm rigs.
Speaking of Bitmain, no matter how good their technology is, unless Bitcoin’s price rises soon they are going to experience their lowest sales numbers in history. There is a chance this will throttle their attempt at an initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and if that IPO falls apart that will send more shockwaves through the crypto space.
On a final note, Bitcoin mining supersites that cost hundreds of millions of USD have been popping up across the globe recently, and these have been forcing personal miners out of business, since the supersites are far more cost effective per unit of hash rate. The crash in Bitcoin’s mining hash rate we are seeing right now could very possibly be individual miners collectively shutting down their rigs, leaving just the supersites. This could drastically increase the centralization of the Bitcoin mining network, and therefore increase the centralization of Bitcoin itself.
GenesisBlockNews believes it is a dangerous trend for Bitcoin’s hash rate to increasingly be in the control of a select few corporations.
submitted by turtlecane to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Back to the Future: 2014 Bitcoin increase, market Crash, and GPUs flood the market.

Image a world, where Bitcoin hits a new ATH of 1,000 USD! A new coin emerged, Litecoin. Using a new Algorithm called SCRYPT which makes GPU mining profitable and a thing again!
The story starts in January 2014. AMD Just released it's newest GPU, the R9 290X in late Oct. this thing a monster of a GPU, extremely powerful! A GPU mining crazy has just hit the internet and waves of Tech people are making mining farms to mine Crypto. AMD GPU's are priced at premiums with 290's/290x's OOS or for sale upwards of $700, $200 over MSRP. Everyone is gulping up used AMD GPUs. Ebay is awash with GPUs selling over MRSP even used ones!
I was there, I started out mining Litecoin to Litecoinpool.org, I had 3 Rigs I slapped together in crate boxes. Mixature of 7970/7950/7850's and a single a 4 GPU R9 290x rig (over 1400w!!!) using AMD AM3+ Motherboards and CPU's running Windows 8. I even near the end had a 750ti Rig, the new Maxwell, efficiently mining SRCYPT. I'm glad i lived in WA at the time The electric bill wasn't bad at all maybe 200-300 a month. I lived in Ellensburg getting that sweet Wind farm Electric rate. I Remember this time as I struggling to learn mining, overclockings for mining, and rig stability. In the short period I did this February 2014 to May of 2014 I made 48 Litecoins. This was a fun period for me because I loved messing with the hardware and GPUs even made decent profits from selling used hardware because it became such a premium then. In the end I quit mining and sold all my hard around May/June. Then moved back to CA to live with my mom to help support her after she lost her job and couldn't find work. I sold off my entire small operation. In the end the Market crashed, MT GOX was hacked millions of Bitcoin lost, and SCRYPT ASICs were released. I stopped paying much attention to the crypto-sphere and just HODLed the small Bitcoin that I had traded from the Litecoin I earned. Bitcoin dropped down to $200 by the end of that year.
All in all I just want everyone to take in the fact that this exact, I repeat EXACT, thing has happened before in the long forgotten past of 2014. Yet everyone is making it out like its some crazy big deal? every crypto is still at high comparing to previous years, GPUs have declined in price because mining has died down, and ASICs are coming out for almost every Algo.
To those of you still mining, keep on my brother! If I had kept mining, or kept on eye on the crypto sphere rather than walking away like most are right now, I could mined Etherum back in the early days of 2015 and now could of been extremely well off. Now, that im in it again and this time with more foresight and readiness. I'm here to stay through this rough times. hopefully to come out to see the otherside. I Only started(again) in june 2017 so I was late for this "gold rush" but mark my words the massive "Gold rush" for crypto has yet to come...
Some Articles back then
https://wccftech.com/gpu-miners-crash-2014-arrives-graphic-card-market-shrinking-fall-40/
https://www.ccn.com/amd-devastated-mining/
https://www.coindesk.com/litecoin-radeon-shortage/
TLDR: History repeats itself.
submitted by Xazax310 to gpumining [link] [comments]

Why I no longer support Bitcoin

Will prob get downvoted to hell by maxis.. here we go:
Initially, Bitcoin’s appeal to me was not to just to be able to send money globally, “fast”, for a “fair price”, “with no intermediary” – most of which I now know to be untrue. Bitcoin mainly represented the liberation from the system of financial control established by debt. It was the fact that no one would be able to profit from the money system at the cost of others. It was supposed to be a fair money. However, what I observe is that Bitcoin is just a new make up for the system we currently live in. Here’s why.
Banks, the controllers of the global financial market, are able to ever extend their wealth through the use of debt. Debt in its current form is the best investment someone can make, especially if you have the brute power (military might) to enforce your credits. There is no risk of default when you can just beat the hell out of your debtor to get enough assets. Today, when you lend money and charge interest, you are multiplying money with little to no risk. Debt is a mechanism that allows for effortless and endless income. When you lend money, you don’t need to produce 1% more to profit. You transfer the obligation of productivity to another person, that now has the burden to literally create / produce 1% more than they did before, or else lose money to you. Charging 1% interest is waaay easier than increasing production by 1%+. If increasing production was so easy, society would know no poverty.
Even if debtors default and have no assets, banks are still gonna get payed, they just print more dollars, passing the responsibility of the risk they mistakenly assumed into the population, to be slowly payed through the years. We live in a rigged system where Banks suck value out of their “costumers” and are not allowed to go bankrupt due to bad management (like any other company in any other industry). Bankruptcy is natural selection in the market. Bad companies fail, and that is a good thing. It allows the market to restructure itself, to transfer value from inefficient / bad players to more efficient ones, and come back stronger. By constantly bailing out bankrupt / bad companies, we are insisting in a proven mistake, and going against the natural forces of the market, at a very high cost - only to the benefit of the banks themselves.
The current scenario is one where the (i) maintainers of the global financial system (Banks) (ii) profit endlessly and effortlessly (iii) by slowly sucking out value from the network of participants (inflation through debt). What many fail to see is that the Bitcoin protocol reproduces the same aspects of the flawed current system, but with a different format.
The new (i) maintainers of the system (Miners) will profit endlessly and effortlessly (turn on a machine) by sucking out value from the network of participants (inflation by block rewards + wealth concentration through fees). This allows for value to go to people who produce nothing (but new ASICS to ensure their monopoly position / status quo). In the long term, if protocols like Bitcoin, which are both centralizing in terms of Consensus Participation and Wealth, become predominant in the economy, we won’t correct / fix the mistakes we currently observe, but only enforce them.
If only new network participants could be equally rewarded, it would be fine. However, the system is so broken that the barrier for entry is too high – and so are the costs of keeping up with competition, forcing many miners to LEAVE THE ECOSYSTEM. Today, only a few people are able to mine without considerable cost – which will only increase in the future. The centralizing nature of Bitcoin ensures that early entrants in the mining space have an increasing edge over late adopters. This first mover advantage allows initial players to increase their influence proportionally to the growth of the network. As network value raises, they can afford even better and faster computers, increasing their share of the hashpool – creating never-ending centralization spiral. Such concentration is enforced by the open or secret development ASIC miners which are only accessible to a few members of the industry, further increasing the competitive asymmetry between participants. Sadly, a greed based incentive model inevitably creates a breach to systemic corruption and overlapping – which has already taken root.
Currently, there are three main pools in the Bitcoin network, the biggest being Bitmain. Today, it is valued at 14b, and made a Q1 profit in 2018 of +1.1B USD. What many don’t realize is that Bitmain is not invested in the Bitcoin network. It cares not for its tokens or participants - most of the BTC they mine gets instantly dumped in the market. As a COMPANY, ran by businessman, it cares only for PROFIT. They are only invested in (i) Mining the most profitable chains and (ii) HARDWARE sales, which can be used to support any minable blockchain. Bitmain does not support any network but maybe their own (Bcash). If Bitmain wishes to, it can easily cheat BTC-like protocols, create coins from thin air and crash the system. They can do all this and switch to another protocol WITH NO PENALTY WHATSOEVER. They will still be the most sought out Mining hardware supplier in the world. BTC-like protocols are at the mercy of a single company. It is not decentralized, but EXPLOITABLE, UNRELIABLE, FLAWED and DOOMED to FAIL. The fact that those who exert the most power over the system have NO SKIN IN THE GAME whatsoever makes it even worse.
Many say Bitcoin is money like Gold. While they do share many money characteristics, Bitcoin differs from gold in a key one, which originates from Banking: the charging of fees. When you pay someone with a gold coin, the other party receive the whole coin - no part of it gets vaporized and magically sent to the “gods of transactions”. If it did, these people would be the richest people on Earth. What happens in Bitcoin is that miners not only take part of your money for the simple fact of you using it (fees) – they get double rewarded by diluting the value of every other participants Bitcoin by inflating the supply (block rewards). In this sense, Bitcoin is a very costly money, both in short and long term. Although block rewards are programmed to end, transaction fees are a core element of the protocol. Since the system pushes for extreme competition in hashpower, participating effectively in network consensus requires a considerable initial investment
A truly decentralized system would reward every node or user equally. The “meritocracy” argument that contributing with more hashpower = more right to own reward is a shitty one in the end. This flawed greedy rat-race approach does not increase network efficiency – on the contrary, it contributes to never-ending centralization and network cost, both in electricity and hardware.
I love the liberating nature of cryptocurrencies. I was once in love with BTC, but today, I see it does not reflect the fundamentals it seemed to. If BTC ever gets adopted as the global standard money, it will increase wealth inequality and energy consumption – both which I am against. It is a system in which value does not go exclusively to those who are Productive and de facto add value to the economy. It allows for leeching, and has the same flaws the current banking system has.
TLDR: True money should be fair and equal. A means of exchange, store of value and unit of account. Not a tool for profit. Profit should be reserved for those who add real value to society.
submitted by sneaky-rabbit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Buttcoin Foundation ROCKED as founder exposed to be PAID SHILL for Butterfly Labs

My name is borderpatrol. I'm the founder of Buttcoin.org and have been making fun of bitcoiners since 2011. Buttcoin is one of the oldest Bitcoin sites on the internet and just last month celebrated it's 1 millionth visitor.
And about 7 months ago I (accidently) became a paid shill for Butterly Labs.
In December of 2013, Bitcoin losing steam and after 2 1/2 years of running the site I was getting tired. I had started up school again and work was getting steady so I wasn't updating as much. I was in the middle of a redesign to keep myself busy but I went weeks between updates. But I liked the site so I kept it around. A few months prior killhamster had helped me find new comedy gold to mine and was posting constantly on the twitter.
I was approached by someone named Jeff. He emailed me from a domain at a local bar in Chicago. He had asked about buying the site. This wasn't the first offer I had gotten. I have been asked to comment on articles in PC World and speak at John Hopkins University about Bitcoins and the site was somewhat popular, but no one ever put in any serious offers. The site got steady traffic but everyone who knows about bitcoins, knows about computers. And everyone who knows about computers runs AdBlock. So the site made no money but was a fun little hobby of mine.
Jeff presented himself as a regular reader of the site who owned bitcoins and had presumably cashed out. He said he liked the writing style, liked the site, and wanted to know if I was interested in a sale. I asked what he was offering. He said he wanted to offer me $XX,XXX dollars (not as high as the $30,000 someone is quoting however). I thought his was a joke. The site had no revenue and was virtually impossible to monetize. The only people willing to advertise on bitcoins sites are BFL, Mt. Gox, BitPay, and they would never advertise on Buttcoin. I asked him a few more questions to gauge his sincerity; what he planned on doing with the site, how the transition would be handled, would he allow me to continue to write for the site. He explained that he wanted to keep the site like "The Onion of Bitcoin", wanted me to keep writing for a minimum of 6 months. He also wanted everything to be in his daughters name because she was just graduating out of journalism school and he wanted her to learn online publishing. The guy was going to buy my site and then let me still have control. I have bought and sold a few domains and sites before and could tell he was serious, so I said fuck yeah and took his money. Signed a contract, completed escrow and
We did the site transfer and closed escrow. The day after the transfer occurred my admin account was locked out even though I had an agreement to stay there for 6 months. Since I was already fighting with little site issues because of the transfer I didn't think much of it, I emailed Jeff but got no response. Killhamster still had publishing rights. The next day we noticed that our most popular article on the entire site, the "The $22,484.00 Butterfly Labs Mini Rig bitcoin miner is a huge, broken, unstable piece of shit." had been edited and now read The Butterfly Labs Mini Rig is a sexy Bitcoin mining machine. At this point killhamster emailed Jeff and asked what was up. He stated that there were "going to be some changes to attract new advertisers". He explained that he liked the humor but picking on specific brands was no good. He said that BFL pays $1000/month for every ad on BitcoinTalk and that there's no reason we can't get the same kind of deal. Since my account was now locked out and I was the original author, killhamster could not change the article. At this point I was pretty bummed that what was told to me was no true but whatever, not much I could do about that now. Killhamster was still running the twitter and planning to do some funny stuff with future articles. I wanted to see what was up with this guy though.
I checked and see what was edited. The only thing edited was That BFL article and 2 more, one about them faking CE certification and one where Wired tested it and was unimpressed. But there was some much worse stuff on there that wasn't touched. If he was trying to clean up the site for advertisers, why just those BFL articles.
Then I remembered that my Google Search Rankings for certain Butterfly Labs related terms were high. Very High. Buttcoin was ranking between 3-4 for the search term "Butterfly Labs" and "Butterfly Labs Review" and was usually #1 for "Butterfly Labs Scam" and "Is Butterfly Labs ligit". It was obvious to me that the purpose of purchasing the site was to simply remove the negative articles that were destroying their search traffic and making them look bad.
So I Google "Jeff Butterfly Labs"
http://www.butterflylabs.com/management-view/jeff-ownby-2/
Jeff Ownby is the VP of marketing for BFL.
I never got his last name and all contracts where under his "daughter's name".
So I looked a bit deeper and see Jeff from BFL graduated from Elmhurst College in Illinois and the Jeff that bought Buttcoin emailed me from was a Chicago-area bar domain. I still couldn't get this guy's last name but I finally found an old Facebook post from a press release by the bar the guy owns and it said his name was Jeff Ownby. Could be another guy with the same name but I'm sure now that BFL bought the site simply to remove three negative articles.
So that's the whole story. I was tricked into selling Buttcoin.org to BFL and no longer have access to the site so I've set up camp on the subreddit instead so I can shitpost about bitcoins still. Killhamster still can write articles once in a while and does wonderful things on the twitter. And in way, even though I never owned any, I still cashed out because of Bitcoin.
submitted by borderpatrol to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

How Governments will Destroy Cryptocurrencies [Theory]

I have a few theories how the Governments around the world will eventually crackdown on cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. It will either be a coordinated effort amongst G20 or just independently creating more and more regulations until crypto will die off. I may be wrong, there is a chance that we can win, but it's still good to consider the follow scenarios so that people can prepare themselves against them.
   

1) Mass Quantum Hack [Unlikely]

Allegedly govts may have at disposal secret quantum computers. There is already commercially available QC, but it's less powerful, and we can, from observation suspect that military technology is about 30 years ahead of commercially available ones, so there is a likelyhood of this. Quantum technology is not "magic", it doesn't solve issues instantaneously like it's portrayed in the media, but to our misfortune it can specifically crack wide open SHA256, RIPEMD-128 and AES256 cyphers which Bitcoin and other cryptos use.
Now the likelyhood of this is small, not because they can't do it, but because even if they can, if they would do this, the cat would be out of the box and then other governments would start hacking banks, which also using these algorithms, so it could collapse the entire global economy creating global hyperinflation and mass chaos.
So they would by all means avoid this, no matter how annoying Bitcoin will become for them they would not use this option, unless Bitcoin would really take over the planet, but they probably have other measures against that. And they probably have agreements with other governments too, to avoid this option, not even North Korea would do this in my opinion because the Chinese would put pressure on them.
   

2) Demonize and ridicule Bitcoin users in the Media [Likely, Inefficient]

This is likely and they are already doing this, but it's not effective. People don't care about chit-chat, they care about results. So if a starving African family can feed their kids from the remittances that their family members sent them back with Bitcoin, they would totally dismiss whatever the media would tell them.
Bitcoin has practical results, it doesn't need propaganda to spread, and propaganda against it is ineffective, because the results speak for themselves.
So while they might scare a few mainstream sheeps, it won't work forever and eventually the media would either have to get behind Bitcoin or become obsolete.
   

3) Criminalize Bitcoin and prosecute everyone [Unlikely]

They could have easily done this back in 2009-2010, and for some reason they didn't. They could have just easily labeled any Bitcoin user a hacker and cybercriminal when there were only a few thousand of them and jail them like with any other cybercrime. But they have missed this opportunity for some reason, either they thought Bitcoin would not be as big as it is now, or they had other plans for it. Some theories say that governments created Bitcoin, we don't know.
The point is that the genie is out of the bottle, now it's not going back. There are tens of millions of crypto users worldwide and as time goes on it would be harder and harder to ban Bitcoin completely. In fact now many politicians and elites are getting behind it so the political capital this would require would be near absolute totalitarianism, at which point we'd have bigger problems.
They could still crack down on many aspects of it, and criminalize certain bitcoin transactions, but it would then be as inefficient as the war on drugs and such.
   

4) Hijack developers to sabotage Bitcoin [Likely]

They could hijack or bribe some of the developers in order to destroy Bitcoin from within. First they would place their minions inside the community and make them celebrities, then they would be given positions of authority. And then use them to slow down Bitcoin and create as much chaos within as possible. For example like not increasing the block size so that average fees become close to 100$. Now African families can't feed their kids anymore and the entire 2nd and 3rd world would be cut off, so only a few rich first worlder would be able to use it, at which point it would be no different than a stock in a stock market, it would lose it's global revolutionary aspect. They could also use their minion developers to introduce intentional bugs and patches that would give them more control. Creating centralized payment processors, and removing people's abilities to store their own coins without a custodian. Then they would have control over everone's money and could forfeit it at will.
So a combination of slowing down Bitcoin's growth, like with massive censorship and character assasinating dissenters, while also introducing evil software patches to give them control over it. At this point the developers would be worshipped and would have a cult of personality with many useful idiot fanboys supporting them, not realizing that they are getting screwed.
After they have the influence over the community they could use this to justify any further crazy upgrades: like implementing "tax patch" where every transaction would automatically be taxed at 50% and sent to a govt controlled address.
   

5) Regulate developers, exchanges and miners [Likely, Inefficient]

They could just regulate and implement laws to coerce all developers and miner to implement policies the governments want. Given that all developers are public they are easy to reach and most miners are either LLC's or Corporations, they are directly controllable. They will comply.
The issue is that this is not very covert and people would start speaking up against this. Of course they would immediately implement KYC/AML policies for all transactions, and it would be pretty hard to argue against that as they would just use arguments like "for the children" , "evil drug users" and so forth, which have became curse phrases lately.
It is likely that they would be done as the banking system is fully regulated and you don't control your money and can be forfeited, they could just make people have to use a "Bitcoin Bank", maybe even legalize Banks to open BTC accounts, so most people would just go back into the government controlled world.
However the decentralization momentum lives on, so there will be solutions to decentralize everything. If they regulate exchanges, people would just move to decentralized ones. If they regulate miners, then people would invent more stealthy mining algorithms, and so forth.
The enforcement of these draconian laws would be very hard, even harder than the war on drugs, so they could try but they would fail.
   

6) Tax and Regulate Cryptocurrency use out of Existence to save Humanity [THIS]

If the government would really want to destroy crypto, they would definitely choose this path as it's the most easily enforceable and they have the most propaganda justification for this.
The way this would work is the following:
“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support …the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half…”
-- 1970 Life Magazine
"If the climate change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic."
-- 1975 Newsweek
"By 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…(By 1996) The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers…The Mexican police will round up illegal American migrants surging into Mexico seeking work as field hands.”
-- Michael Oppenheimer, 1990, The Environmental Defense Fund
 
So the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX is really extremely catastrophic therefore you must ban Bitcoin immediately to save human civilization. Mark my words, they will definitely choose this option.
submitted by alexander7k to Anarcho_Capitalism [link] [comments]

Why I no longer support Bitcoin

Initially, Bitcoin’s appeal to me was not to just to be able to send money globally, “fast”, for a “fair price”, “with no intermediary” – most of which I now know to be untrue. Bitcoin mainly represented the liberation from the system of financial control established by debt. It was the fact that no one would be able to profit from the money system at the cost of others. It was supposed to be a fair money. However, what I observe is that Bitcoin is just a new make up for the system we currently live in. Here’s why.
Banks, the controllers of the global financial market, are able to ever extend their wealth through the use of debt. Debt in its current form is the best investment someone can make, especially if you have the brute power (military might) to enforce your credits. There is no risk of default when you can just beat the hell out of your debtor to get enough assets. Today, when you lend money and charge interest, you are multiplying money with little to no risk. Debt is a mechanism that allows for effortless and endless income. When you lend money, you don’t need to produce 1% more to profit. You transfer the obligation of productivity to another person, that now has the burden to literally create / produce 1% more than they did before, or else lose money to you. Charging 1% interest is waaay easier than increasing production by 1%+. If increasing production was so easy, society would know no poverty.
Even if debtors default and have no assets, banks are still gonna get payed, they just print more dollars, passing the responsibility of the risk they mistakenly assumed into the population, to be slowly payed through the years. We live in a rigged system where Banks suck value out of their “costumers” and are not allowed to go bankrupt due to bad management (like any other company in any other industry). Bankruptcy is natural selection in the market. Bad companies fail, and that is a good thing. It allows the market to restructure itself, to transfer value from inefficient / bad players to more efficient ones, and come back stronger. By constantly bailing out bankrupt / bad companies, we are insisting in a proven mistake, and going against the natural forces of the market, at a very high cost - only to the benefit of the banks themselves.
The current scenario is one where the (i) maintainers of the global financial system (Banks) (ii) profit endlessly and effortlessly (iii) by slowly sucking out value from the network of participants (inflation through debt). What many fail to see is that the Bitcoin protocol reproduces the same aspects of the flawed current system, but with a different format.
The new (i) maintainers of the system (Miners) will profit endlessly and effortlessly (turn on a machine) by sucking out value from the network of participants (inflation by block rewards + wealth concentration through fees). This allows for value to go to people who produce nothing (but new ASICS to ensure their monopoly position / status quo). In the long term, if protocols like Bitcoin, which are both centralizing in terms of Consensus Participation and Wealth, become predominant in the economy, we won’t correct / fix the mistakes we currently observe, but only enforce them.
If only new network participants could be equally rewarded, it would be fine. However, the system is so broken that the barrier for entry is too high – and so are the costs of keeping up with competition, forcing many miners to LEAVE THE ECOSYSTEM. Today, only a few people are able to mine without considerable cost – which will only increase in the future. The centralizing nature of Bitcoin ensures that early entrants in the mining space have an increasing edge over late adopters. This first mover advantage allows initial players to increase their influence proportionally to the growth of the network. As network value raises, they can afford even better and faster computers, increasing their share of the hashpool – creating never-ending centralization spiral. Such concentration is enforced by the open or secret development ASIC miners which are only accessible to a few members of the industry, further increasing the competitive asymmetry between participants. Sadly, a greed based incentive model inevitably creates a breach to systemic corruption and overlapping – which has already taken root.
Currently, there are three main pools in the Bitcoin network, the biggest being Bitmain. Today, it is valued at 14b, and made a Q1 profit in 2018 of +1.1B USD. What many don’t realize is that Bitmain is not invested in the Bitcoin network. It cares not for its tokens or participants - most of the BTC they mine gets instantly dumped in the market. As a COMPANY, ran by businessman, it cares only for PROFIT. They are only invested in (i) Mining the most profitable chains and (ii) HARDWARE sales, which can be used to support any minable blockchain. Bitmain does not support any network but maybe their own (Bcash). If Bitmain wishes to, it can easily cheat BTC-like protocols, create coins from thin air and crash the system. They can do all this and switch to another protocol WITH NO PENALTY WHATSOEVER. They will still be the most sought out Mining hardware supplier in the world. BTC-like protocols are at the mercy of a single company. It is decentralized, but EXPLOITABLE, UNRELIABLE, FLAWED and DOOMED to FAIL. The fact that those who exert the most power over the system have NO SKIN IN THE GAME whatsoever makes it even worse.
Many say Bitcoin is money like Gold. While they do share many money characteristics, Bitcoin differs from gold in a key one, which originates from Banking: the charging of fees. When you pay someone with a gold coin, the other party receive the whole coin - no part of it gets vaporized and magically sent to the “gods of transactions”. If it did, these people would be the richest people on Earth. What happens in Bitcoin is that miners not only take part of your money for the simple fact of you using it (fees) – they get double rewarded by diluting the value of every other participants Bitcoin by inflating the supply (block rewards). In this sense, Bitcoin is a very costly money, both in short and long term. Although block rewards are programmed to end, transaction fees are a core element of the protocol. Since the system pushes for extreme competition in hashpower, participating effectively in network consensus requires a considerable initial investment
A truly decentralized system would reward every node or user equally. The “meritocracy” argument that contributing with more hashpower = more right to own reward is a shitty one in the end. This flawed greedy approach does not increase network efficiency – on the contrary, it contributes to never-ending centralization and network cost, both in electricity and hardware.
I love the liberating nature of cryptocurrencies. I was once in love with BTC, but today, I see it does not reflect the fundamentals it seemed to. If BTC ever gets adopted as the global standard money, it will increase wealth inequality and energy consumption – both which I am against. It is a system in which value does not go exclusively to those who are Productive and de facto add value to the economy. It allows for leeching, and has the same flaws the current banking system has.
True money should be fair and equal. A means of exchange, store of value and unit of account. Not a tool for profit. Profit should be reserved for those who add real value to society.
submitted by sneaky-rabbit to nanocurrency [link] [comments]

4New - Frequently Asked Questions

Is the KWATT Token an ERC-20 Token?
Yes, the KWATT token is based the ERC-20 token standard and Ethereum-powered smart contracts. Once the blockchain is developed, the token will be swapped out for the KWATT coin which will interact with the blockchain. The total token offering is three hundred million tokens (300,000,000). This is the hard cap limit for the crowd sale offering. Each KWATT Coin represents 1 kilowatt of electricity per year.
How Can KWATT Coin Holders Use Their Coins?
KWATT Coin holders will be able to apply their energy to one of two places. They can either sell their energy to the UK National Grid, or they can choose to apply it towards 4NEW’s cryptocurrency mining farm. At the start of each year, KWATT Coin holders will be able to choose how their energy is used. Energy is determined by the total amount of KWATT Coins in their control at the time of this election. Management reserves the right to determine a user’s energy allocation if a decision is not made within the allotted time frame.
Is the Business Model Scalable?
Each year, 35% of profits are allocated towards the development of additional plants. This will increase business longevity and scalability.

What is 4NEW’s Accounting Procedure?

4NEW’s financial statements will be maintained at Zucker Forensics P.A. Zucker Forensics is a credentialed forensic accounting firm with a staff of U.S. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). The team has over 35 years of forensic accounting experience and specializes in identifying fraudulent accounting practices.
Who Audits 4NEW?
4NEW’s independent auditor is Daszkal Bolton LLP. Over a 26 year tenure, Daszkal Bolton has forged an illustrious track record that includes highly profitable companies from every sector. In an effort to comply with the highest ethical standards, 4NEW management will submit to annual audits.
How Bad is Bitcoin’s Energy Waste?
The energy inefficiency of Bitcoin mining is significantly greater than initially anticipated, and the associated carbon footprint is worrisome. Bitmain serves as a perfect example. Their mining operation consists of 25,000 units in total, seven buildings housing 21,000 ASIC Bitcoin rigs, and another building with 4,000 Litecoin rigs. Their profits are around $200,000 per day, after paying for 40 mW of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour, coal-powered electricity totaling $40,000. This is in addition to paying 50 salaried employees.
The mining operation produces a lot of heat, resulting in a higher-than-usual malfunction rate. Cooling costs to keep the devices at normal temperatures are about one fifth of the total power consumption.
The mine’s total footprint is between 24-40 tons of CO2 per hour. This mean the total energy consumption of the Bitcoin network processes about 200 tons of CO2 per hour at minimum. The footprint could be significantly reduced if the source of energy is substituted for a greener method.
Bitmain’s plant consumes 40 megawatts per hour (approximately 5% of the total Bitcoin output), the same output capacity of the 4NEW plant. Therefore, it is possible for our operation to scale in the same way. At approximately 5% market share of a $20 billion Bitcoin mining sector, the projected market capitalization of 4NEW revenues is roughly $1 billion.
submitted by airdroptime to cryptocurrencynewico [link] [comments]

Draft Discussion of Crypto Currency and Taxes for r/personalfinance - Feedback Appreciated

Hi tax,
Mod from personalfinance here - love your sub and appreciate the many members of your community that are also active in personalfinance.
As long-time members are probably aware, we're getting ready to kick off our weekly tax mega-threads over at personalfinance. In addition to normal questions, we're expecting a fair amount of questions specific to crypto-currency.
Many of these can probably be handled by just comparing them to stock/other investments, but I wanted to put together a specific guide for inclusion in our wiki and the weekly tax help thread.
Please see below for a rough draft of this guide and let me know if you have any corrections, suggestions, additions, or other thoughts. The one thing I would ask you to keep in mind is that this guide tries very hard to be written in an "accessible" manner - we're trying to get the majority of people moving down the correct path, not cover every possible exception or situation. Thanks in advance for your time!
The Basics
This section is best for people that don't understand much about taxes. It covers some very basic tax principles. It also assumes that all you did during the year was buy/sell a single crypto currency.
Fundamentally, the IRS treats crypto not as money, but as an asset (investment). While there are a few specific "twists" when it comes to crypto, when in doubt replace the word "crypto" with the word "stock" and you will get a pretty good idea how you should report and pay tax on crypto.
The first thing you should know is that the majority of this discussion applies to the taxes you are currently working on (2017 taxes). The tax bill that just passed applies to 2018 taxes (with a few very tiny exceptions), which most people will file in early 2019.
In general, you don't have to report or pay taxes on crypto currency holdings until you "cash out" all or part of your holdings. For now, I'm going to assume that you cash out by selling them for USD; however, other forms of cashing out will be covered later.
When you sell crypto, you report the difference between your basis (purchase price) and proceeds (sale price) on Schedule D. Your purchase price is commonly referred to as your basis; while the two terms don't mean exactly the same thing, they are pretty close to one another. If you sell at a gain, this gain increases your tax liability; if you sell at a loss, this loss decreases your tax liability (in most cases). If you sell multiple times during the year, you report each transaction separately (bad news if you trade often) but get to lump all your gains/losses together when determining how the trades impact your income.
One important thing to remember is that there are two different types of gains/losses from investments - short term gains (if you held an asset for one year or less) and long term gains (over one year; i.e. one year and one day). Short term gains are taxed at your marginal income rate (basically, just like if you had earned that money at a job) while long term gains are taxed at lower rates.
For most people, long term capital gains are taxed at 15%. However, if you are in the 10% or 15% tax bracket, congrats - your gains (up to the maximum amount of "unused space" in your bracket) are tax free! If you are in the 25%, 28%, 33%, or 35% bracket, long term gains are taxed at 15%. If you are in the 39.6% bracket, long term gains are taxed at 20%. Additionally, there is an "extra" 3.8% tax that applies to gains for those above $200,000/$250,000 (single/married). The exact computation of this tax is a little complicated, but if you are close to the $200,000 level, just know that it exists.
Finally, you should know that I'm assuming that you should treat your crypto gains/losses as investment gains/losses. I'm sure some people will try and argue that they are really "day traders" of crypto and trade as a full time job. While this is possible, the vast majority of people don't qualify for this status and you should really think several times before deciding you want to try that approach on the IRS.
"Cashing Out" - Trading Crypto for Goods/Services
I realize that not everyone that "cashes out" of crypto does so by selling it for USD. In fact, I understand that some in the crypto community view the necessity of cashing out itself as a type of myth. In this section, I discuss what happens if you trade your crypto for basically anything that isn't cash (minor sidenote - see next section for a special discussion on trading crypto for crypto; i.e. buying altcoins with crypto).
The IRS views trading crypto for something of value as a type of bartering that must be included in income. From the IRS's perspective, it doesn't matter if you sold crypto for cash and bought a car with that cash or if you just traded crypto directly for the car - in both cases, the IRS views you as having sold your crypto. This approach isn't unique to crypto - it works the same way if you trade stock for something.
This means that if you do trade your crypto for "stuff", you have to report every exchange as a sale of your crypto and calculate the gain/loss on that sale, just as if you had sold the crypto for cash.
Finally, there is one important exception to this rule. If you give your crypto away to charity (one recognized by the IRS; like a 501(c)(3) organization), the IRS doesn't make you report/pay any capital gains on the transaction. Additionally, you still get to deduct the value of your donation on the date it was made. Now, from a "selfish" point of view, you will always end up with more money if you sell the crypto, pay the tax, and keep the rest. But, if you are going to make a donation anyway, especially a large one, giving crypto where you have a big unrealized/untaxed gain is a very efficient way of doing so.
"Alt Coins" - Buying Crypto with Crypto
The previous section discusses what happens when you trade crypto for stuff. However, one thing that surprises many people is that trading crypto for crypto is also a taxable event, just like trading crypto for a car. Whether you agree with this position or not, it makes a lot of sense once you realize that the IRS doesn't view crypto as money, but instead as an asset. So to the IRS, trading bitcoin for ripple isn't like trading dollars for euros, but it is instead like trading shares of Apple stock for shares of Tesla stock.
Practically, what this means is that if you trade one crypto for another crypto (say BTC for XRP just to illustrate the point), the IRS views you as doing the following:
  • Selling for cash the amount of BTC you actually traded for XRP.
  • Owing capital gains/losses on the BTC based on its selling price (the fair market value at the moment of the exchange) and your purchase price (basis).
  • Buying a new investment (XRP) with a cost basis equal to the amount the BTC was worth when you exchanged them.
This means that if you "time" your trade wrong and the value of XRP goes down after you make the exchange, you still owe tax on your BTC gain even though you subsequently lost money. The one good piece of news in this is that when/if you sell your XRP (or change it back to BTC), you will get a capital loss for the value that XRP dropped.
There is one final point worth discussing in this section - the so called "like kind exchange" rules (aka section 1031 exchange). At a high level, these rules say that you can "swap" property with someone else without having to pay taxes on the exchange as long as you get property in return that is "like kind". Typically, these rules are used in real estate transactions. However, they can also apply to other types of transactions as well.
While the idea is simple (and makes it sound like crypto for crypto should qualify), the exact rules/details of this exception are very fact specific. Most experts (including myself, but certainly not calling myself an expert) believe that a crypto for crypto swap is not a like kind exchange. The recently passed tax bill also explicitly clarifies this issue - starting in 2018, only real estate qualifies for like kind exchange treatment. So, basically, the vast majority of evidence suggests that you can't use this "loophole" for 2017; however, there is a small minority view/some small amount of belief that this treatment would work for 2017 taxes and it is worth noting that I'm unaware of any court cases directly testing this approach.
Dealing with "Forks"
Perhaps another unpleasant surprise for crypto holders is that "forks" to create a new crypto also generate a taxable event. The IRS has long (since at least the 1960s) held that "found" money is a taxable event. This approach has been litigated in court and courts have consistently upheld this position; it even has its own cool nerdy tax name - the "treasure trove" doctrine.
Practically, what this means is that if you owned BTC and it "forked" to create BCH, then the fair market value of the BCH you received is considered a "treasure trove" and you must report it as income (ordinary income - no capital gain rates for this). This is true whether or not you sold your BCH; if you got BCH from a fork, that is a taxable event (note - I'll continue using BTC forking to BCH in this section as an example, but the logic applies to all forks).
While everything I've discussed up to this point is pretty clearly established tax law, forks are really where things get messy with taxes in my opinion. Thus, the remainder of this section contains more speculation than elsewhere in this post - the truth is that while the idea is simple (fork = free money = taxable), the details are messy.
One practical problem with forks is that the new currency doesn't necessarily start trading immediately. Thus, you may have received BCH before there was a clear price or market for it. Basically, you owe tax on the value of BCH when you received it, but it isn't completely clear what that value was. There are several ways you can handle this; I'll list them in order from most accurate to least accurate (but note that this is just my personal view).
  • Use a futures market to determine the value of the BCH - if reliable sources published realistic estimates of what BCH will trade for in the future once trading begins, use this estimate as the value of your BCH. Pros/cons - futures markets are, in theory, pretty accurate. However, if they are volatile, they may provide an incorrect estimate of the true value of BCH. It would suck to use the first futures value published only to have that value plummet shortly thereafter, leaving you to pay ordinary income tax but only have an unrealized capital loss.
  • Wait until an exchange starts trading BCH; use the actual ("spot" price) as the value. Pros/cons - spot prices certainly reflect what you could have sold BCH for; however, it is possible that the true value of the coin was highelower when you received it as compared to when it started trading on the exchange. Thus this method seems less accurate to me than a futures based approach, but it is still certainly fairly reasonable.
  • Assume that the value is $0. This is my least preferred option, but there is still a small case to be made for it. If you receive something that you can't access, can't sell, and might fail, does it have any value? I strongly believe the answer is yes (maybe not value it perfectly, but value it somewhat accurately), but if you honestly think the answer is no, then the correct tax answer would be to report $0 in income from the fork.
Note, once you've decided what to report as taxable income, this amount also becomes your cost basis in the new crypto (BCH). Thus, when you ultimately sell your BCH (or trade it for something else as described above), you calculate your gain/loss based on what you included in taxable income from the fork.
I know this section (and post) are long, but there is one more approach to dealing with forks that I think is worth mentioning. In my personal opinion, a fork "feels" a lot like a dividend - because you held BTC, you get BCH. In a stock world, if I get a cash dividend because I own the stock, that money is not treated as a "treasure trove" and subject to ordinary income rates - in most cases, it is a qualified dividend and subject to capital gain rates; in some cases, some types of stock dividends are completely non taxable.
The dividend - fork analogy breaks down at some point (BTC didn't make the decision to distribute profits; BTC doesn't have any E&P from which to distribute profits; the creation of BCH presumably didn't directly reduce the value of BTC on a dollar for dollar basis the way a cash dividend does). However, I would argue that the treasure trove doctrine also breaks down slightly as well (you didn't randomly "find" BCH on your hard drive - you got is because you held BTC; some crypto investors purchase cryptos and especially BTC because they want to receive the benefit of forks [leading to a very familiar price run up and then drop pattern around popular fork dates]). Still, if you are a tax expert who has somehow stumbled across this post, I would note that I think a more rigorous examination of the potential treatment of forks as dividends is warranted and would be of service to the crypto community.
Ultimately, this post is supposed to be practical, so let me make sure to leave you with two key thoughts about the taxation of forks. First, I believe that the majority of evidence currently suggests that forks should be treated as a "treasure trove" and reported as ordinary income based on their value and that this is certainly the "safer" option. Second, out of everything discussed in this post, I also believe that the correct taxation of forks is the murkiest and most "up for debate" area.
Mining Crypto
Successfully mining crypto coins is a taxable event. Depending on the amount of effort you put into mining, it is either considered a hobby or a self-employment (business) activity. The IRS provides the following list of questions to help decide the correct classification:
  • The manner in which the taxpayer carries on the activity.
  • The expertise of the taxpayer or his advisors.
  • The time and effort expended by the taxpayer in carrying on the activity.
  • Expectation that assets used in activity may appreciate in value.
  • The success of the taxpayer in carrying on other similar or dissimilar activities.
  • The taxpayer’s history of income or losses with respect to the activity.
  • The amount of occasional profits, if any, which are earned.
If this still sounds complicated, that's because the distinction is subject to some amount of interpretation. As a rule of thumb, randomly mining crypto on an old computer is probably a hobby; mining full time on a custom rig is probably a business.
In either event, you must include in income the fair market value of any coins you successfully mine. These are ordinary income and your basis in these coins is their fair market value on the date they were mined. If your mining is a hobby, they go on line 21 (other income) and any expenses directly associated with mining go on schedule A (miscellaneous subject to 2% of AGI limitation). If your mining is a business, income and expenses go on schedule C.
Both approaches have pros and cons - hobby income isn't subject to the 15.3% self-employment tax, only normal income tax, but you get fewer deductions against your income and the deductions you get are less valuable. Business income has more deductions available, but you have to pay payroll (self-employment) tax of about 15.3% in addition to normal income tax.
What if I didn't keep good records? Do I really have to report every transaction?
One nice thing about the IRS treating crypto as an asset is that we can look at how the IRS treats people that "day trade" stock and often don't keep great records/have lots of transactions. While you need to be as accurate as possible, it is ok to estimate a little bit if you don't have exact records (especially concerning your cost basis). You need to put in some effort (research historical prices, etc...) and be reasonable, but the IRS would much rather you do a little bit of reasonable estimation as opposed to just not reporting anything. Sure, they might decide to audit you/disagree with some specifics, but you earn yourself a lot of credit if you can show that you honestly did the best you reasonably could and are making efforts to improve going forward.
However, concerning reporting every transaction - yes, sorry, it is clear that you have to do this, even if you made hundreds or thousands of them. Stock traders have had to go through this for many decades, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that the IRS would accept anything less from the crypto community. If you have the records or have any reasonable way of obtaining records/estimating them, you must report every transaction.
What if I don't trust you?
Well, first let me say that I can't believe you made it all the way down here to this section. Thanks for giving me an honest hearing. I would strongly encourage you to go read other well-written, honest guides. I'll link to some I like (both more technical IRS type guides and more crypto community driven guides). While a certain portion of the crypto community seems to view one of the benefits of crypto as avoiding all government regulation (including taxes), I've been pleasantly surprised to find that many crypto forums contain well reasoned, accurate tax guides. While I may not agree with 100% of their conclusions, that likely reflects true uncertainty around tax law that is fundamentally complex rather than an attempt on either end to help individuals unlawfully avoid taxes.
IRS guides
Non-IRS guides
submitted by Mrme487 to tax [link] [comments]

Console gaming is hardly different from PC gaming, and much of what people say about PC gaming to put it above console gaming is often wrong.

I’m not sure about you, but for the past few years, I’ve been hearing people go on and on about PCs "superiority" to the console market. People cite various reasons why they believe gaming on a PC is “objectively” better than console gaming, often for reasons related to power, costs, ease-of-use, and freedom.
…Only problem: much of what they say is wrong.
There are many misconceptions being thrown about PC gaming vs Console gaming, that I believe need to be addressed. This isn’t about “PC gamers being wrong,” or “consoles being the best,” absolutely not. I just want to cut through some of the stuff people use to put down console gaming, and show that console gaming is incredibly similar to PC gaming. I mean, yes, this is someone who mainly games on console, but I also am getting a new PC that I will game on as well, not to mention the 30 PC games I already own and play. I’m not particularly partial to one over the other.
Now I will mainly be focusing on the PlayStation side of the consoles, because I know it best, but much of what I say will apply to Xbox as well. Just because I don’t point out many specific Xbox examples, doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there.

“PCs can use TVs and monitors.”

This one isn’t so much of a misconception as it is the implication of one, and overall just… confusing. This is in some articles and the pcmasterrace “why choose a PC” section, where they’re practically implying that consoles can’t do this. I mean, yes, as long as the ports of your PC match up with your screen(s) inputs, you could plug a PC into either… but you could do the same with a console, again, as long as the ports match up.
I’m guessing the idea here is that gaming monitors often use Displayport, as do most dedicated GPUs, and consoles are generally restricted to HDMI… But even so, monitors often have HDMI ports. In fact, PC Magazine has just released their list of the best gaming monitors of 2017, and every single one of them has an HDMI port. A PS4 can be plugged into these just as easily as a GTX 1080.
I mean, even if the monitoTV doesn’t have HDMI or AV to connect with your console, just use an adaptor. If you have a PC with ports that doesn’t match your monitoTV… use an adapter. I don’t know what the point of this argument is, but it’s made a worrying amount of times.

“On PC, you have a wide range of controller options, but on console you’re stuck with the standard controller."

Are you on PlayStation and wish you could use a specific type of controller that suits your favorite kind of gameplay? Despite what some may believe, you have just as many options as PC.
Want to play fighting games with a classic arcade-style board, featuring the buttons and joystick? Here you go!
Want to get serious about racing and get something more accurate and immersive than a controller? Got you covered.
Absolutely crazy about flying games and, like the racers, want something better than a controller? Enjoy!
Want Wii-style motion controls? Been around since the PS3. If you prefer the form factor of the Xbox One controller but you own a PS4, Hori’s got you covered. And of course, if keyboard and mouse it what keeps you on PC, there’s a PlayStation compatible solution for that. Want to use the keyboard and mouse that you already own? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Of course, these aren’t isolated examples, there are plenty of options for each of these kind of controllers. You don’t have to be on PC to enjoy alternate controllers.

“On PC you could use Steam Link to play anywhere in your house and share games with others.”

PS4 Remote play app on PC/Mac, PSTV, and PS Vita.
PS Family Sharing.
Using the same PSN account on multiple PS4s/Xbox Ones and PS3s/360s, or using multiple accounts on the same console.
In fact, if multiple users are on the same PS4, only one has to buy the game for both users to play it on that one PS4. On top of that, only one of them has to have PS Plus for both to play online (if the one with PS Plus registers the PS4 as their main system).
PS4 Share Play; if two people on separate PS4s want to play a game together that only one of them owns, they can join a Party and the owner of the game can have their friend play with them in the game.
Need I say more?

“Gaming is more expensive on console.”

Part one, the Software
This is one that I find… genuinely surprising. There’s been a few times I’ve mentioned that part of the reason I chose a PS4 is for budget gaming, only to told that “games are cheaper on Steam.” To be fair, there are a few games on PSN/XBL that are more expensive than they are on Steam, so I can see how someone could believe this… but apparently they forgot about disks.
Dirt Rally, a hardcore racing sim game that’s… still $60 on all 3 platforms digitally… even though its successor is out.
So does this mean you have to pay full retail for this racing experience? Nope, because disk prices.
Just Cause 3, an insane open-world experience that could essentially be summed up as “break stuff, screw physics.” And it’s a good example of where the Steam price is lower than PSN and XBL:
Not by much, but still cheaper on Steam, so cheaper on PC… Until you look at the disk prices.
See my point? Often times the game is cheaper on console because of the disk alternative that’s available for practically every console-available game. Even when the game is brand new.
Dirt 4 - Remember that Dirt Rally successor I mentioned?
Yes, you could either buy this relatively new game digitally for $60, or just pick up the disk for a discounted price. And again, this is for a game that came out 2 months ago, and even it’s predecessor’s digital cost is locked at $60. Of course, I’m not going to ignore the fact that Dirt 4 is currently (as of writing this) discounted on Steam, but on PSN it also happens to be discounted for about the same amount.
Part 2: the Subscription
Now… let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: PS Plus and Xbox Gold. Now these would be ignorable, if they weren’t required for online play (on the PlayStation side, it’s only required for PS4, but still). So yes, it’s still something that will be included in the cost of your PS4 or Xbox One/360, assuming you play online. Bummer, right?
Here’s the thing, although that’s the case, although you have to factor in this $60 cost with your console, you can make it balance out, at worst, and make it work out for you as a budget gamer, at best. As nice as it would be to not have to deal with the price if you don’t want to, it’s not like it’s a problem if you use it correctly.
Imagine going to a new restaurant. This restaurant has some meals that you can’t get anywhere else, and fair prices compared to competitors. Only problem: you have to pay a membership fee to have the sides. Now you can have the main course, sit down and enjoy your steak or pasta, but if you want to have a side to have a full meal, you have to pay an annual fee.
Sounds shitty, right? But here’s the thing: not only does this membership allow you to have sides with your meal, but it also allows you to eat two meals for free every month, and also gives you exclusive discounts for other meals, drinks, and desserts.
Let’s look at PS Plus for a minute: for $60 per year, you get:
  • 2 free PS4 games, every month
  • 2 free PS3 games, every month
  • 1 PS4/PS3 and Vita compatible game, and 1 Vita-only game, every month
  • Exclusive/Extended discounts, especially during the weekly/seasonal sales (though you don’t need PS Plus to get sales, PS Plus members get to enjoy the best sales)
  • access to online multiplayer
So yes, you’re paying extra because of that membership, but what you get with that deal pays for it and then some. In fact, let’s ignore the discounts for a minute: you get 24 free PS4 games, 24 free PS3 games, and 12 Vita only + 12 Vita compatible games, up to 72 free games every year. Even if you only one of these consoles, that’s still 24 free games a year. Sure, maybe you get games for the month that you don’t like, then just wait until next month.
In fact, let’s look at Just Cause 3 again. It was free for PS Plus members in August, which is a pretty big deal. Why is this significant? Because it’s, again, a $60 digital game. That means with this one download, you’ve balanced out your $60 annual fee. Meaning? Every free game after that is money saved, every discount after that is money saved. And this is a trend: every year, PS Plus will release a game that balances out the entire service cost, then another 23 more that will only add icing to that budget cake. Though, you could just count games as paying off PS Plus until you hit $60 in savings, but still.
All in all, PS Plus, and Xbox Gold which offers similar options, saves you money. On top of that, again, you don't need to have these to get discounts, but with these memberships, you get more discounts.
Now, I’ve seen a few Steam games go up for free for a week, but what about being free for an entire month? Not to mention that; even if you want to talk about Steam Summer Sales, what about the PSN summer sale, or again, disc sale discounts? Now a lot of research and math would be needed to see if every console gamer would save money compared to every Steam gamer for the same games, but at the very least? The costs will balance out, at worst.
Part 3, the Systems
  • Xbox and PS2: $299
  • Xbox 360 and PS3: $299 and $499, respectively
  • Xbox One and PS4: $499 and $399, respectively.
Rounded up a few dollars, that’s $1,000 - $1,300 in day-one consoles, just to keep up with the games! Crazy right? So called budget systems, such a rip-off.
Well, keep in mind that the generations here aren’t short.
The 6th generation, from the launch of the PS2 to the launch of the next generation consoles, lasted 5 years, 6 years based on the launch of the PS3 (though you could say it was 9 or 14, since the Xbox wasn’t discontinued until 2009, and the PS2 was supported all the way to 2014, a year after the PS4 was released). The 7th gen lasted 7 - 8 years, again depending on whether you count the launch of the Xbox 360 to PS3. The 8th gen so far has lasted 4 years. That’s 17 years that the console money is spread over. If you had a Netflix subscription for it’s original $8 monthly plan for that amount of time, that would be over $1,600 total.
And let’s be fair here, just like you could upgrade your PC hardware whenever you wanted, you didn’t have to get a console from launch. Let’s look at PlayStation again for example: In 2002, only two years after its release, the PS2 retail price was cut from $300 to $200. The PS3 Slim, released 3 years after the original, was $300, $100-$200 lower than the retail cost. The PS4? You could’ve either gotten the Uncharted bundle for $350, or one of the PS4 Slim bundles for $250. This all brings it down to $750 - $850, which again, is spread over a decade and a half. This isn’t even counting used consoles, sales, or the further price cuts that I didn’t mention.
Even if that still sounds like a lot of money to you, even if you’re laughing at the thought of buying new systems every several years, because your PC “is never obsolete,” tell me: how many parts have you changed out in your PC over the years? How many GPUs have you been through? CPUs? Motherboards? RAM sticks, monitors, keyboards, mice, CPU coolers, hard drives— that adds up. You don’t need to replace your entire system to spend a lot of money on hardware.
Even if you weren’t upgrading for the sake of upgrading, I’d be amazed if the hardware you’ve been pushing by gaming would last for about 1/3 of that 17 year period. Computer parts aren’t designed to last forever, and really won’t when you’re pushing them with intensive gaming for hours upon hours. Generally speaking, your components might last you 6-8 years, if you’ve got the high-end stuff. But let’s assume you bought a system 17 years ago that was a beast for it’s time, something so powerful, that even if it’s parts have degraded over time, it’s still going strong. Problem is: you will have to upgrade something eventually.
Even if you’ve managed to get this far into the gaming realm with the same 17 year old hardware, I’m betting you didn’t do it with a 17 year Operating System. How much did Windows 7 cost you? Or 8.1? Or 10? Oh, and don’t think you can skirt the cost by getting a pre-built system, the cost of Windows is embedded into the cost of the machine (why else would Microsoft allow their OS to go on so many machines).
Sure, Windows 10 was a free upgrade for a year, but that’s only half of it’s lifetime— You can’t get it for free now, and not for the past year. On top of that, the free period was an upgrade; you had to pay for 7 or 8 first anyway.
Point is, as much as one would like to say that they didn’t need to buy a new system every so often for the sake of gaming, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been paying for hardware, and even if they’ve only been PC gaming recently, you’ll be spending money on hardware soon enough.

“PC is leading the VR—“

Let me stop you right there.
If you add together the total number of Oculus Rifts and HTC Vives sold to this day, and threw in another 100,000 just for the sake of it, that number would still be under the number of PSVR headsets sold.
Why could this possibly be? Well, for a simple reason: affordability. The systems needed to run the PC headsets costs $800+, and the headsets are $500 - $600, when discounted. PSVR on the other hand costs $450 for the full bundle (headset, camera, and move controllers, with a demo disc thrown in), and can be played on either a $250 - $300 console, or a $400 console, the latter recommended. Even if you want to say that the Vive and Rift are more refined, a full PSVR set, system and all, could cost just over $100 more than a Vive headset alone.
If anything, PC isn’t leading the VR gaming market, the PS4 is. It’s the system bringing VR to the most consumers, showing them what the future of gaming could look like. Not to mention that as the PlayStation line grows more powerful (4.2 TFLOP PS4 Pro, 10 TFLOP “PS5…”), it won’t be long until the PlayStation line can use the same VR games as PC.
Either way, this shows that there is a console equivalent to the PC VR options. Sure, there are some games you'd only be able to play on PC, but there are also some games you'd only be able to play on PSVR.
…Though to be fair, if we’re talking about VR in general, these headsets don’t even hold a candle to, surprisingly, Gear VR.

“If it wasn’t for consoles holding devs back, then they would be able to make higher quality games.”

This one is based on the idea that because of how “low spec” consoles are, that when a developer has to take them in mind, then they can’t design the game to be nearly as good as it would be otherwise. I mean, have you ever seen the minimum specs for games on Steam?
GTA V
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA 9800 GT 1GB / AMD HD 4870 1GB (DX 10, 10.1, 11)
Just Cause 3
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k, 3.3GHz / AMD Phenom II X6 1075T 3GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 (2GB) / AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2GB)
Fallout 4
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent
Overwatch
  • CPU: Intel Core i3 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8650
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460, ATI Radeon™ HD 4850, or Intel® HD Graphics 4400
Witcher 3
  • Processor: Intel CPU Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz / AMD CPU Phenom II X4 940
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 660 / AMD GPU Radeon HD 7870
Actually, bump up all the memory requirements to 8 GBs, and those are some decent specs, relatively speaking. And keep in mind these are the minimum specs to even open the games. It’s almost as if the devs didn’t worry about console specs when making a PC version of the game, because this version of the game isn’t on console. Or maybe even that the consoles aren’t holding the games back that much because they’re not that weak. Just a hypothesis.
But I mean, the devs are still ooobviously having to take weak consoles into mind right? They could make their games sooo much more powerful if they were PC only, right? Right?
No. Not even close.
iRacing
  • CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, i7 or better or AMD Bulldozer or better
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVidia GeForce 2xx series or better, 1GB+ dedicated video memory / AMD 5xxx series or better, 1GB+ dedicated video memory
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-4340 / AMD FX-6300
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • GPU: nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB / AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
These are PC only games. That’s right, no consoles to hold them back, they don’t have to worry about whether an Xbox One could handle it. Yet, they don’t require anything more than the Multiplatform games.
Subnautica
  • CPU: Intel Haswell 2 cores / 4 threads @ 2.5Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 4GB
  • GPU: Intel HD 4600 or equivalent - This includes most GPUs scoring greater than 950pts in the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark
Rust
  • CPU: 2 ghz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 11 (they don’t even list a GPU)
So what’s the deal? Theoretically, if developers don’t have to worry about console specs, then why aren’t they going all-out and making games that no console could even dream of supporting?
Low-end PCs.
What, did you think people only game on Steam if they spent at least $500 on gaming hardware? Not all PC gamers have gaming-PC specs, and if devs close their games out to players who don’t have the strongest of PCs, then they’d be losing out on a pretty sizable chunk of their potential buyers.
Saying “devs having to deal with consoles is holding gaming back” is like saying “racing teams having to deal with Ford is holding GT racing back.” A: racing teams don’t have to deal with Ford if they don’t want to, which is probably why many of them don’t, and B: even though Ford doesn’t make the fastest cars overall, they still manage to make cars that are awesome on their own, they don’t even need to be compared to anything else to know that they make good cars.
I want to go back to that previous point though, developers having to deal with low-end PCs, because it’s integral to the next point:

“PCs are more powerful, gaming on PC provides a better experience.”

This one isn’t so much of a misconception as it is… misleading.
Did you know that according to the Steam Hardware & Software Survey (July 2017) , the percentage of Steam gamers who use a GPU that's less powerful than that of a PS4 Slim’s GPU is well over 50%? Things get dismal when compared to the PS4 Pro (Or Xbox One X). On top of that, the percentage of PC gamers who own a Nvidia 10 series card is about 20% (about 15% for the 1060, 1080 and 1070 owners).
Now to be fair, the large majority of gamers have CPUs with considerably high clock speeds, which is the main factor in CPU gaming performance. But, the number of Steam gamers with as much RAM or more than a PS4 or Xbox One is less than 50%, which can really bottleneck what those CPUs can handle.
These numbers are hardly better than they were in 2013, all things considered. Sure, a PS3/360 weeps in the face of even a $400 PC, but in this day in age, consoles have definitely caught up.
Sure, we could mention the fact that even 1% of Steam accounts represents over 1 million accounts, but that doesn’t really matter compared to the 10s of millions of 8th gen consoles sold; looking at it that way, sure the number of Nvidia 10 series owners is over 20 million, but that ignores the fact that there are over 5 times more 8th gen consoles sold than that.
Basically, even though PCs run on a spectrum, saying they're more powerful “on average” is actually wrong. Sure, they have the potential for being more powerful, but most of the time, people aren’t willing to pay the premium to reach those extra bits of performance.
Now why is this important? What matters are the people who spent the premium cost for premium parts, right? Because of the previous point: PCs don’t have some ubiquitous quality over the consoles, developers will always have to keep low-end PCs in mind, because not even half of all PC players can afford the good stuff, and you have to look at the top quarter of Steam players before you get to PS4-Pro-level specs. If every Steam player were to get a PS4 Pro, it would be an upgrade for over 60% of them, and 70% of them would be getting an upgrade with the Xbox One X.
Sure, you could still make the argument that when you pay more for PC parts, you get a better experience than you could with a console. We can argue all day about budget PCs, but a console can’t match up to a $1,000 PC build. It’s the same as paying more for car parts, in the end you get a better car. However, there is a certain problem with that…

“You pay a little more for a PC, you get much more quality.”

The idea here is that the more you pay for PC parts, the performance increases at a faster rate than the price does. Problem: that’s not how technology works. Paying twice as much doesn’t get you twice the quality the majority of the time.
For example, let’s look at graphics cards, specifically the GeForce 10 series cards, starting with the GTX 1050.
  • 1.8 TFLOP
  • 1.35 GHz base clock
  • 2 GB VRAM
  • $110
This is our reference, our basis of comparison. Any percentages will be based on the 1050’s specs.
Now let’s look at the GTX 1050 Ti, the 1050’s older brother.
  • 2.1 TFLOP
  • 1.29 GHz base clock
  • 4 GB VRAM
  • $140 retail
This is pretty good. You only increase the price by about 27%, and you get an 11% increase in floating point speed and a 100% increase (double) in VRAM. Sure you get a slightly lower base clock, but the rest definitely makes up for it. In fact, according to GPU boss, the Ti managed 66 fps, or a 22% increase in frame rate for Battlefield 4, and a 54% increase in mHash/second in bitcoin mining. The cost increase is worth it, for the most part.
But let’s get to the real meat of it; what happens when we double our budget? Surely we should see a massive increase performance, I bet some of you are willing to bet that twice the cost means more than twice the performance.
The closest price comparison for double the cost is the GTX 1060 (3 GB), so let’s get a look at that.
  • 3.0 TFLOP
  • 1.5 GHz base clock
  • 3 GB VRAM
  • $200 retail
Well… not substantial, I’d say. About a 50% increase in floating point speed, an 11% increase in base clock speed, and a 1GB decrease in VRAM. For [almost] doubling the price, you don’t get much.
Well surely raw specs don’t tell the full story, right? Well, let’s look at some real wold comparisons. Once again, according to GPU Boss, there’s a 138% increase in hashes/second for bitcoin mining, and at 99 fps, an 83% frame rate increase in Battlefield 4. Well, then, raw specs does not tell the whole story!
Here’s another one, the 1060’s big brother… or, well, slightly-more-developed twin.
  • 3.9 TFLOP
  • 1.5 GHz base clock
  • 6 GB VRAM
  • $250 retail
Seems reasonable, another $50 for a decent jump in power and double the memory! But, as we’ve learned, we shouldn’t look at the specs for the full story.
I did do a GPU Boss comparison, but for the BF4 frame rate, I had to look at Tom’s Hardware (sorry miners, GPU boss didn’t cover the mHash/sec spec either). What’s the verdict? Well, pretty good, I’d say. With 97 FPS, a 79% increase over the 1050— wait. 97? That seems too low… I mean, the 3GB version got 99.
Well, let’s see what Tech Power Up has to say...
94.3 fps. 74% increase. Huh.
Alright alright, maybe that was just a dud. We can gloss over that I guess. Ok, one more, but let’s go for the big fish: the GTX 1080.
  • 9.0 TFLOP
  • 1.6 GHz base clock
  • 8 GB VRAM
  • $500 retail
That jump in floating point speed definitely has to be something, and 4 times the VRAM? Sure it’s 5 times the price, but as we saw, raw power doesn’t always tell the full story. GPU Boss returns to give us the run down, how do these cards compare in the real world?
Well… a 222% (over three-fold) increase in mHash speed, and a 218% increase in FPS for Battlefield 4. That’s right, for 5 times the cost, you get 3 times the performance. Truly, the raw specs don’t tell the full story.
You increase the cost by 27%, you increase frame rate in our example game by 22%. You increase the cost by 83%, you increase the frame rate by 83%. Sounds good, but if you increase the cost by 129%, and you get a 79% (-50% cost/power increase) increase in frame rate. You increase it by 358%, and you increase the frame rate by 218% (-140% cost/power increase). That’s not paying “more for much more power,” that’s a steep drop-off after the third cheapest option.
In fact, did you know that you have to get to the 1060 (6GB) before you could compare the GTX line to a PS4 Pro? Not to mention that at $250, the price of a 1060 (6GB) you could get an entire PS4 Slim bundle, or that you have to get to the 1070 before you beat the Xbox One X.
On another note, let’s look at a PS4 Slim…
  • 1.84 TFLOP
  • 800 MHz base clock
  • 8 GB VRAM
  • $300 retail
…Versus a PS4 Pro.
  • 4.2 TFLOP
  • 911 MHz base clock
  • 8 GB VRAM
  • $400 retail
128% increase in floating point speed, 13% increase in clock speed, for a 25% difference in cost. Unfortunately there is no Battlefield 4 comparison to make, but in BF1, the frame rate is doubled (30 fps to 60) and the textures are taken to 11. For what that looks like, I’ll leave it up to this bloke. Not to even mention that you can even get the texture buffs in 4K. Just like how you get a decent increase in performance based on price for the lower-cost GPUs, the same applies here.
It’s even worse when you look at the CPU for a gaming PC. The more money you spend, again, the less of a benefit you get per dollar. Hardware Unboxed covers this in a video comparing different levels of Intel CPUs. One thing to note is that the highest i7 option (6700K) in this video was almost always within 10 FPS (though for a few games, 15 FPS) of a certain CPU in that list for just about all of the games.
…That CPU was the lowest i3 (6100) option. The lowest i3 was $117 and the highest i7 was $339, a 189% price difference for what was, on average, a 30% or less difference in frame rate. Even the lowest Pentium option (G4400, $63) was often able to keep up with the i7.
The CPU and GPU are usually the most expensive and power-consuming parts of a build, which is why I focused on them (other than the fact that they’re the two most important parts of a gaming PC, outside of RAM). With both, this “pay more to get much more performance” idea is pretty much the inverse of the truth.

“The console giants are bad for game developers, Steam doesn't treat developers as bad as Microsoft or especially Sony.”

Now one thing you might’ve heard is that the PS3 was incredibly difficult for developers to make games for, which for some, fueled the idea that console hardware is difficult too develop on compared to PC… but this ignores a very basic idea that we’ve already touched on: if the devs don’t want to make the game compatible with a system, they don’t have to. In fact, this is why Left 4 Dead and other Valve games aren’t on PS3, because they didn’t want to work with it’s hardware, calling it “too complex.” This didn’t stop the game from selling well over 10 million units worldwide. If anything, this was a problem for the PS3, not the dev team.
This also ignores that games like LittleBigPlanet, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Metal Gear Solid 4 all came out in the same year as Left 4 Dead (2008) on PS3. Apparently, plenty of other dev teams didn’t have much of a problem with the PS3’s hardware, or at the very least, they got used to it soon enough.
On top of that, when developing the 8th gen consoles, both Sony and Microsoft sought to use CPUs that were easier for developers, which included making decisions that considered apps for the consoles’ usage for more than gaming. On top of that, using their single-chip proprietary CPUs is cheaper and more energy efficient than buying pre-made CPUs and boards, which is far better of a reason for using them than some conspiracy about Sony and MS trying to make devs' lives harder.
Now, console exclusives are apparently a point of contention: it’s often said that exclusive can cause developers to go bankrupt. However, exclusivity doesn’t have to be a bad thing for the developer. For example, when Media Molecule had to pitch their game to a publisher (Sony, coincidentally), they didn’t end up being tied into something detrimental to them.
Their initial funding lasted for 6 months. From then, Sony offered additional funding, in exchange for Console Exclusivity. This may sound concerning to some, but the game ended up going on to sell almost 6 million units worldwide and launched Media Molecule into the gaming limelight. Sony later bought the development studio, but 1: this was in 2010, two years after LittleBigPlanet’s release, and 2: Media Molecule seem pretty happy about it to this day. If anything, signing up with Sony was one of the best things they could’ve done, in their opinion.
Does this sound like a company that has it out for developers? There are plenty of examples that people will use to put Valve in a good light, but even Sony is comparatively good to developers.

“There are more PC gamers.”

The total number of active PC gamers on Steam has surpassed 120 million, which is impressive, especially considering that this number is double that of 2013’s figure (65 million). But the number of monthly active users on Xbox Live and PSN? About 120 million (1, 2) total. EDIT: You could argue that this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, sure, so if you want to, say, compare the monthly number of Steam users to console? Steam has about half of what consoles do, at 67 million.
Now, back to the 65 million total user figure for Steam, the best I could find for reference for PlayStation's number was an article giving the number of registered PSN accounts in 2013, 150 million. In a similar 4-year period (2009 - 2013), the number of registered PSN accounts didn’t double, it sextupled, or increased by 6 fold. Considering how the PS4 is already at 2/3 of the number of sales the PS3 had, even though it’s currently 3 years younger than its predecessor, I’m sure this trend is at least generally consistent.
For example, let’s look at DOOM 2016, an awesome faced-paced shooting title with graphics galore… Of course, on a single platform, it sold best on PC/Steam. 2.36 million Steam sales, 2.05 million PS4 sales, 1.01 million Xbox One sales.
But keep in mind… when you add the consoles sales together, you get over 3 million sales on the 8th gen systems. Meaning: this game was best sold on console. In fact, the Steam sales have only recently surpassed the PS4 sales. By the way VG charts only shows sales for physical copies of the games, so the number of PS4 and Xbox sales, when digital sales are included, are even higher than 3 million.
This isn’t uncommon, by the way.
Even with the games were the PC sales are higher than either of the consoles, there generally are more console sales total. But, to be fair, this isn’t anything new. The number of PC gamers hasn’t dominated the market, the percentages have always been about this much. PC can end up being the largest single platform for games, but consoles usually sell more copies total.
EDIT: There were other examples but... Reddit has a 40,000-character limit.

"Modding is only on PC."

Xbox One is already working on it, and Bethesda is helping with that.
PS4 isn't far behind either. You could argue that these are what would be the beta stages of modding, but that just means modding on consoles will only grow.

What’s the Point?

This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with PC gaming, and this isn’t to exalt consoles. I’m not here to be the hipster defending the little guy, nor to be the one to try to put down someone/thing out of spite. This is about showing that PCs and consoles are overall pretty similar because there isn’t much dividing them, and that there isn’t anything wrong with being a console gamer. There isn’t some chasm separating consoles and PCs, at the end of the day they’re both computers that are (generally) designed for gaming. This about unity as gamers, to try to show that there shouldn’t be a massive divide just because of the computer system you game on. I want gamers to be in an environment where specs don't separate us; whether you got a $250 PS4 Slim or just built a $2,500 gaming PC, we’re here to game and should be able to have healthy interactions regardless of your platform.
I’m well aware that this isn’t going to fix… much, but this needs to be said: there isn’t a huge divide between the PC and consoles, they’re far more similar than people think. There are upsides and downsides that one has that the other doesn’t on both sides. There’s so much more I could touch on, like how you could use SSDs or 3.5 inch hard drives with both, or that even though PC part prices go down over time, so do consoles, but I just wanted to touch on the main points people try to use to needlessly separate the two kinds of systems (looking at you PCMR) and correct them, to get the point across.
I thank anyone who takes the time to read all of this, and especially anyone who doesn’t take what I say out of context. I also want to note that, again, this isn’tanti-PC gamer.” If it were up to me, everyone would be a hybrid gamer.
Cheers.
submitted by WhyyyCantWeBeFriends to unpopularopinion [link] [comments]

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