The Five Keys to Crypto Evolution

So the doomsayers were right all along. Crypto was nothing but a bubble and it finally burst.

Good.

Maybe you’re surprised to hear that coming from me, someone who’s dedicated more than a few words to the power of crypto to change the world. Did I suddenly have a change of heart? Did I jump on the Paul Krugman bandwagon and finally realize that Bitcoin is evil? Did I join the naysayers who laugh with glee every time the price drops and arrogantly shout that Bitcoin is going to zero?

Nope.

I say good because the circus has finally left town. The cameras have packed up and gone home. The reporters are losing interest. The story is finished.

And now the crypto community can get back to doing the hard work of building the future in peace and quiet.

Cryptocurrency Art Gallery: Litecoin, Ether, Ripple, Bitcoin and Namecoin (Image: Namecoin/Flickr)
Cryptocurrency Art Gallery: Litecoin, Ether, Ripple, Bitcoin and Namecoin (Image: Namecoin/Flickr)

I’ve always said the bubble would burst and in the long run it wouldn’t matter in the least. In retrospect I think Bitcoin getting to $20,000 so fast was the worst thing to ever happen to the community. For years, Bitcoin was nothing but Internet geek money and something to laugh at, but when Bitcoin’s price rocketed higher and higher, it suddenly became something else entirely:

A threat.

Bitcoin’s furious rise scared the hell out of banks and governments everywhere. Banks saw their business models crumbling as programmable money took the world by storm and governments feared they might lose their iron-fisted control of the money supply. Authoritarian regimes raced to crush it. Regulators came out in force. The press unleashed a torrent of articles filled with fear, uncertainty and doubt.

But now as Bitcoin’s price recedes the frenzy of ignorance and fear will die with it and the community can get back to work.

Read more: HackerNoon

Gunbot Crypto Trading 5: Emotionless Trading

Previous posts:

Trading So Far

The situation as we left it in my last post is that Gunbot had made 3 complete buy-sell trades of 0.002 BTC each using the ‘Emotionless’ strategy. It had then bought again, and hadn’t seemed to be able to sell again that day. In fact early the following day it did manage to sell, and then later that morning it bought and sold again quickly. Each trade was, naturally, profit making, though only to the tune of about 10p.

Emboldened by this I increased the stake for each trade to 0.005 BTC (about £33). Gunbot soon did another Ether trade, for a profit of about 27p, so a healthy gain of about 0.8%.

I was impatient to see more trades and profits at this point, so I increased the stake to 0.01 BTC and added further coin pairs:

  • Bitcoin – Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Bitcoin – Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin – Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Bitcoin – Dash (DASH)
  • Bitcoin – Ripple (XRP)

This naturally increased the transaction volume, here’s what’s happened since:

Poloniex Trade History: Gunbot trading Ether with Emotionless Strategy - more coins (Image: BIUK)
Poloniex Trade History: Gunbot trading Ether with Emotionless Strategy – more coins (Image: BIUK)

In a nutshell, Ether trading has continued solidly but Gunbot has also regularly bought and sold Litecoin, and Ethereum Classic, and also made single completed trades with Dash and Ripple. Bitcoin Cash is nowhere to be seen.

Profits so far, in Bitcoin:

  • Ethereum: 0.00059094
  • Litecoin: 0.00032900
  • Ethereum Classic: 0.00032669
  • Dash: 0.00007898
  • Ripple: 0.00013795
  • Total: 0.00146356 (about £10)

So not a bad start having been out of bot trading for some time.

Advanced Trading

One thing I like very much about the latest Gunbot is the charts in the user interface – they pretty much reproduce what you get in Poloniex or Trading View with the addition of clear markers of where Gunbot bought and sold.

Gunbot chart with buy/sell indicators (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot chart with buy/sell indicators (Image: BIUK)

What this highlighted for me, though, was that the Emotionless strategy is a bit ‘literal’. What I mean is that Gunbot is selling once it achieves the profit it has been set but is missing opportunities for greater profit. For example, in the middle of the screenshot shown we can see that Gunbot sold even though the market was rising fast and if it had waited a couple more minutes the profit would have been many times greater (perhaps even 10x).

I believe this consideration of trend is part of other strategies, particularly those using Trading Stop / Stop Limit (TSSL) which wasn’t an option in my previous Gunbot version. I’m therefore going to investigate that further before changing any more Gunbot settings, in particular increasing the trading stakes.

Gunbot Crypto Trading 4: Your First Gunbot Trade

Previous posts:

Strategy

After my previous post, creating my first Gunbot Setup in this version of Gunbot using the Bollinger Band strategy, I had a change of heart. I decided to try the Emotionless strategy instead, something I don’t remember being an option in my previously installed versions.

Emotionless is described on the Wiki as follows:

“The Emotionless strategy is fully tuned and ready to use, even for novice traders! It’s meant to be a relatively safe strategy, with modest but steady gains.

“With this strategy, you don’t need to think about setting the right or best parameters: it’s all there already. You only need to set the basics like your trading limit and choose on which pairs you want to trade. Optionally, you can increase GAIN slightly.

“Behind the scenes, an advanced algorithm based on the Ichimoku cloud indicator does the hard work. The specifics will not be disclosed.”

Given I haven’t used Gunbot seriously in many months this seemed like a good bet. I cancelled the run and restarted it with the strategy set to Emotionless. I kept all other settings the same.

Trading

I then went to bed, and didn’t check the results until the next morning. Success! Gunbot had bought some Ether and sold it again at a higher price during the night.

I suspect you won’t be impressed if I say the profit made was just 0.00001482 BTC (worth about 10p) but that is to miss the point. The stake, remember, was just 0.002 BTC (£13) and the setting for GAIN is 0.6, i.e. aim to make a profit of 0.6%. In fact the profit is 0.74% so the bot has done really well.

Of course, once you have gained confidence that the bot is working then you naturally increase the stake. If it were set to 1 Bitcoin, for example, then each trade would make a profit of about £50 and you could get multiple trades in one day. 10 BTC would make you £500 per trade, and so on.

In this case I left the bot running unchanged and it has now made 3 complete trades (for a total profit of 2.25%). In any other field such a gain in 2 days would be unprecedented.

Here’s the record of transactions so far:

Poloniex Trade History: Gunbot trading Ether with Emotionless Strategy (Image: BIUK)
Poloniex Trade History: Gunbot trading Ether with Emotionless Strategy (Image: BIUK)

Note that the bot has since gone on to buy again, but has not yet sold. It will be interesting to see if it sells successfully or if the market drops and it’s left holding Ether it can’t sell – I’ll report back once the outcome is clear.

Update: Gunbot Crypto Trading 5: Emotionless Trading

Gunbot Crypto Trading 3: Your First Gunbot Setup

Previous posts:

Initial Setup

Click on Create my first setup. For Setup Name I use the name of the exchange, also select the exchange in the Exchange dropdown. The pair of coins to trade is nearly always Bitcoin and another coin, both specified by their common abbreviation. I’m starting with Bitcoin trading against Ether, so I enter BTC-ETH. The strategy I choose is bb (‘Bollinger Band‘) because it’s the one I’m most experienced with – though I plan to try out others very soon.

Setup with a new trading pair (Image: BIUK)
Setup with a new trading pair (Image: BIUK)

Click Add pair. The new pair will appear as a tab in the lower window, with settings on the left and a Trading View window on the right. Repeat the process if you want to add more trading pairs.

A new trading pair added (Image: BIUK)
A new trading pair added (Image: BIUK)

Click Create. You’ll get a message “Setup created! Go to the dashboard to preview and run your setup.” Click on Go to dashboard.

 

Preview and Run

You are now in the preview screen – here you can check all the settings for the setup by clicking on the triangle marker next to each set. I’ll accept the defaults, however you may want to review how much Gunbot will spend on each trade – for this go to the particular strategy you selected under strategies and review TRADING_LIMIT (this is the amount in Bitcoin). The default is 0.002 (currently about £13).

Preview screen (Image: BIUK)
Preview screen (Image: BIUK)

Click Run Gunbot. A gunthy.exe command window will open (allow it if asked by Windows Firewall). The trading pair tab will now contain a and a trading view window and a window showing real-time output from gunthy.exe (the actual Gunbot bot).

Gunbot running (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot running (Image: BIUK)

That’s it – Gunbot is up and running and ready to trade when the conditions are right. We’ll go over the details of the trading in future posts.

Next post: Gunbot Crypto Trading 4: Your First Gunbot Trade

Gunbot Crypto Trading 2: Installing Gunbot

I have previously described Gunbot and how it works, including how to prepare for using it. Here I cover installation and initial setup.

Installation

Download and unzip the most recent version of Gunbot from GitHub (obviously you will need to have paid for a license for it to work). I run the Windows version and have mine in a C:/Gunbot/Latest folder (and move older versions into other folders as they get replaced).

Gunbot folder and files (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot folder and files (Image: BIUK)

Double-click on gunthy-gui.exe to run the Gunbot user interface. If you get a message about needing to get something from the Windows store, cancel it. If you get a message from Windows Defender Firewall, Allow access.

You should have a Windows command window running that says “Gunthy GUI <version> running on http://localhost:5000″.

In a new brower tab (I recommend Chrome as the browser) type in the address “localhost:5000” and enter.

 

Gunbot User Interface

You should now see the Gunbot interface up and running – the first time it will take you to the Login screen.

Gunbot Login screen (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot Login screen (Image: BIUK)

If you don’t get that then you may need to open access to port 5000 through the Firewall – for more details see the official installation video.

Choose and enter a password, record it somewhere safe, then click on Create password. You are now in the main Gunbot dashboard.

Gunbot Dashboard after first login (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot Dashboard after first login (Image: BIUK)

Assuming you are a new user, and so don’t have an existing config file, select Start without import.

On the next screen, Settings/API Keys, enter the API Key and Secret for the exchange you want to use (I use Poloniex). I have previously covered the method to get an API key for the Bitfinex exchange, but it’s a very similar process on most exchanges.

Gunbot settings screen for API keys (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot settings screen for API keys (Image: BIUK)

With Master Key enabled, click Add. You should get the message “API Key sucessfully added!” and it should be shown in the table at the bottom of the screen.

Next post: Gunbot Crypto Trading 3: Your First Gunbot Setup

Gunbot Crypto Trading 1: Starting With Gunbot

What is Gunbot?

Gunbot is an automated bot (robotic software) for trading cryptocurrencies, primarily trading Bitcoin with other crypto coins (‘altcoins’). It was coded by Gunthar De Niro (‘Gunthy‘) with support from the Bitcointalk community.

The theory for trading with Gunbot is relatively straightforward:

  1. You deposit some Bitcoin on a trading exchange.
  2. You request remote access to your account via an API Key and give the Key details to the bot.
  3. You setup the bot, using particular settings to specify how you want it to trade (e.g. what level of risk/reward, etc.).
  4. You start the bot. It runs 24/7 and when the trading conditions are right it buys and sells coins on your behalf using the Bitcoin in your account.
  5. The intention is that it will buy an altcoin at a low price, determined by its trading history, and hold on to it until its price goes above a certain threshold (allowing for trading fees) when it will sell it.
  6. In most cases this works well and makes a profit, and the bot is then ready to make the next trade.
  7. In a small proportion of cases the altcoin price goes down steadily and cannot be sold (this is known as ‘holding a bag’). At that point you need to step in and, in some cases, sell the altcoin at a loss.
  8. With good settings, and regular monitoring, in my experience trading with Gunbot will make more money than it loses and can produce a significant income over time.

 

Preparing to Use Gunbot

Before you use Gunbot for the first time it is worthwhile to learn about how it operates and what its features and limitations are.

  1. Spend some time in the Gunbot Wiki to get familiar with the bot, how it runs, what strategies it uses, etc.
  2. Read at least the last dozen or so pages of the Gunbot thread on BitcoinTalk to learn about recent changes, and any issues or bugs found. Join BitcoinTalk if you aren’t already a member.
  3. Do the same for the Gunthy forum.
  4. When you feel ready to take the plunge buy a copy of Gunbot from an authorised reseller.
  5. Get an API key for your exchange(s) and have it linked to your Gunbot licence by your reseller.
  6. Join the Telegram group to get support (the link will be provided once you’ve bought the bot).

When you’re ready, see my next blog post and learn how to install and setup Gunbot.

 

Why Bitcoin is Different

If you’re new to the Bitcoin space, the last few months have been pretty crazy.

There have been some steep climbs and heart-stopping drops making for a roller coaster of emotion that’s not easily controlled. The price action is both thrilling and at times, painful, so it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re investing in. All the coins seem to be running together, so what’s the difference? How is one coin to be distinguished from another? And more importantly, how is an investor to know what the long term value of a coin will be?

Bitcoin (Image: MichaelWuensch/Pixabay)
Bitcoin (Image: MichaelWuensch/Pixabay)

In this article, I’m going to make the case for what makes Bitcoin different, how Bitcoin is a system that, despite all the cloning, has yet to be truly replicated.

Real Innovation

To really understand the value proposition of Bitcoin, it helps to look at a bit of history. It’s tempting to think that the newest ICO or altcoin is the one that will finally “improve” Bitcoin and fix all of its problems and that Bitcoin will be relegated to the dustbin of history due to its lack of some “feature”. Indeed, nearly every altcoin, ICO or hardfork thinks that they’re being innovative in some fundamental way. What’s missed is that the biggest innovation has already happened.

Decentralized digital scarcity is the real innovation and Bitcoin was the first, and, as this article will make clear, continues to be the only such coin. All the other so-called innovations such as faster confirmation times, changing to proof-of-whatever, Turing completeness, different signature algorithm, different transaction ordering method and even privacy, are really tiny variations on the giant innovation that is Bitcoin.

It’s important to remember here that alternatives to Bitcoin have been proposed since 2011 and none of them have even come close to displacing Bitcoin in terms of price, usage or security. IxCoin was a clone of Bitcoin created in 2011 with larger block rewards and a premine (large number of coins sent to the creator). Tenebrix was an altcoin created in 2011 that tried to add GPU resistance and again had a large premine. Solidcoin was another altcoin created in 2011 with faster block times and again, a premine. About the only ones that survived (and not living out a zombie existence) out of that early altcoin era are Namecoin and Litecoin, which distinguished themselves by NOT having a premine.

Read more: Medium

Handing your Happiness to Mr. (Crypto) Market

Recently, in personal communications and small Telegram groups, I’ve noticed signs of quiet desperation growing as dreams of a quick reversal to new all-time-highs fade.

Meanwhile, Twitter is noisy with technicians, and egos attached to price predictions. Predictions are made with seeming conviction, because if right, egos will claim clairvoyance.

Here’s the truth: no one knows how far we’ll fall.

Bitcoin price chart (Image: geralt/Pixabay)
Bitcoin price chart (Image: geralt/Pixabay)

Certainly, we can make educated guesses based on technical indicators, and even predict points of support based on our early explorations of crypto fundamentals, but these are all educated guesses. Our techniques will mature over time, but reflecting on my career in the equity markets, everything will remain an educated guess. We’re predicting the behavior of humans, after all.

Some concrete numbers. If 2018 truly echoes 2014, then we could very well be in for another ~50% drop from here.

Upset that I said that? Already typing FUD!!!! in the comments? Wait until the end; discussing that reaction is the entire point of this post.

Read more: Medium

Why America Can’t Regulate Bitcoin

Hearings on Bitcoin and its derivatives are being held in the USA on a regular basis, and invariably the expert witnesses fail to properly describe the actual processes going on.

If they used the correct language and excluded all analogies, the only possible conclusion would be that America cannot regulate Bitcoin under its current legal system. The Constitution guarantees the inalienable rights of American citizens, and therefore Bitcoin is a protected form of publishing. The only way Bitcoin can be made regulable is if the Constitution is changed; and that does not mean adding a new Amendment, it means removing the First Amendment entirely. Inevitably the anti-Bitcoin protagonists will face a robust and ultimately successful legal challenge that will remove the possibility of any sort of “BitLicense” or interference from the CTFC, FinCEN or any other agency. It will also remove any possibility of interference at the State level. The consequence of adhering to the basic law of the United States will cause America to become the centre of all Bitcoin business for the entire world.

Let me explain why this is the case.

Bitcoin Network (Image: MaxPixel)
Bitcoin Network (Image: MaxPixel)

Some say that Bitcoin is money. Others say that it is not money. It doesn’t matter. What does matter are three things; that Bitcoin is, that the Bitcoin network does what it is meant to do completely reliably, and what the true nature of the Bitcoin network and the messages in it are.

Bitcoin is a distributed ledger system, maintained by a network of peers that monitors and regulates which entries are allocated to what Bitcoin addresses. This is done entirely by transmitting messages that are text, between the computers in the network (known as “nodes”), where cryptographic procedures are executed on these messages in text to verify their authenticity and the identity of the sender and recipient of the message and their position in the public ledger. The messages sent between nodes in the Bitcoin network are human readable, and printable. There is no point in any Bitcoin transaction that Bitcoin ceases to be text. It is all text, all the time.

Bitcoin can be printed out onto sheets of paper. This output can take different forms, like machine readable QR Codes, or it can be printed out in the letters A to Z, a to z and 0 to 9. This means they can be read by a human being, just like “Huckleberry Finn”.

At the time of the creation of the United States of America, the Founding Fathers of that new country in their deep wisdom and distaste for tyranny, haunted by the memory of the absence of a free press in the countries from which they escaped, wrote into the basic law of that then young federation of free states, an explicit and unambiguous freedom, the “Freedom of the Press”. This amendment was first because of its central importance to a free society. The First Amendment guarantees that all Americans have the power to exercise their right to publish and distribute anything they like, without restriction or prior restraint.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This single line, forever precludes any law that restricts Bitcoin in any way.

Read more: HackerNoon

Experiments in Crypto Mining 9: Paying Attention to Cooling

Although my mining PC, The Beast, is capable of mining cryptocurrency profitably I was concerned about the amount of heat it produced, and consequently how noisy it was (because of the graphics card fans running hard). My conclusion was that it was not set up well for running the graphics cards continuously because most of the cooling airflow bypassed the cards.

That can be seen in this photo where I have tried to illustrate the airflow route – it comes in the front of the case via the fan in the middle, then gets pulled through the CPU heatsink via the CPU fan then exits out the far corner through the outlet fan. This makes sense for a PC where the CPU is running hard. It’s pretty useless for crypto mining where the graphics cards – whose positions are ringed in red – are doing all the work and generating all the heat.

The current airflow largely bypasses the hot graphics cards (Image: BIUK)
The current airflow largely bypasses the hot graphics cards (Image: BIUK)

The main change I have implemented therefore is to install a second inlet fan, nearly opposite the graphics cards, powered from the same connector as the current fan (so they match speeds). I have also removed two expansion card blanking plates between the graphics cards so there is more space for the hot air to exit after it has passed the graphics cards.

This is the ‘after’ picture:

After the addition of a second front fan (Image: BIUK)
After the addition of a second front fan (Image: BIUK)

The result is that the graphics cards are running cooler most of the time, and significantly cooler if I manually increase the speed of the inlet fans. The main issue now is that they are set to automatically react to the CPU temperature, which of course stays relatively low, rather than directly to the GPU temperature. My next step in cooling will therefore be to look into slaving the fan speed to the GPU temp.

That is not a standard feature on almost any motherboard or fan utility, but is apparently something that can be done by a third party utility called SpeedFan. But that’s for another day – for now I’m happy to keep mining with the system as it is with the extra fan.

The leading Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency site for UK investors