Category Archives: Cryptocurrency

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 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.

 

Two magical ways to turn your spare time into crypto

When most people think about earning money in crypto, they think of two common activities: investing and mining. Both can be costly and time consuming endeavours. But growing your cryptocurrency stash doesn’t have to be either of these things.

There are several less explored pathways to crypto-gains. In this article we’ll cover:

1. How your coins can work for you with Proof of Stake
2. How applications in this ecosystem can help you earn money

Let’s get started.

Getting started with Proof-of-Stake

Proof of stake is an alternative to cryptocurrency mining that doesn’t require hardware or crazy amounts of electricity. Instead investors who hold coins are gradually rewarded with more coins.

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

Think of it like interest in a bank account, but with cryptocurrency. All you need to get started is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency and a computer

Major coins like NEO, LISK, and Stellar Lumens are built on proof of stake models. And other major coins like Ethereum have announced their intention to adopt it.

How can I use PoS to start making money?

You can use PoS today with nothing more than your laptop and a stable internet connection. Although, you’re going to have to let it run 24/7 so you might want to use an old laptop.

Read more: HackerNoon

Experiments in Crypto Mining 7: Testing The Beast

Once my mining PC (‘The Beast’) had arrived it unfortunately sat around for a while as I was busy on other things (particularly getting my tax return done). Once more time became available the first thing I did was to check out The Beast’s performance.

Having paid out for a high end system I was hoping for great things. I ran two particular suites of tests: 3D Mark  and PassMark.

3D Mark

The 3D Mark software is used for evaluating specific 3D graphics card performance – the most crucial element in cryptocurrency mining.

3DMark Home Page (Image: BIUK)
3DMark Home Page (Image: BIUK)

3D Mark works primarily by running the latest version of the Time Spy benchmark at high resolution and with a range of graphical features enabled to determine how well the graphic card(s) can keep up. The benchmark is impressive to watch run with highly complex and challenging scenes running through at an impressive speed.

I’m pleased to say the Beast showed itself off well, with an overall 3D Mark score of 11,589.

3DMark Results (Image: BIUK)
3DMark Results (Image: BIUK)

Comparing this to all the PCs logged against 3D Mark shows The Beast’s score to be better than 97% of all results.

3DMark Comparison (Image: BIUK)
3DMark Comparison (Image: BIUK)

PassMark PerformanceTest9

The PerformanceTest9 benchmark by PassMark, in contrast, is for bench-marking general PC performance, including CPU, disk and memory speed – although it does also include some graphical tests.

PassMark PerformanceTest Screen (Image: BIUK)
PassMark PerformanceTest Screen (Image: BIUK)

Again The Beast acquitted itself well with 5/5 scores for CPU, 3D Graphics, Memory and Disk (though only 4.5/5 for 2D Graphics).

PerformanceTest Scores (Image: BIUK)
PerformanceTest Scores (Image: BIUK)

It achieved an overall score of 6736:

PerformanceTest Score (Image: BIUK)
PerformanceTest Score (Image: BIUK)

And individual results putting it in the 99th Percentile, against other PCs testing with the same benchmark, for CPU, 3D Graphics, Memory and Disk (though only 90th Percentile for 2D Graphics):

PerformanceTest Comparison (Image: BIUK)
PerformanceTest Comparison (Image: BIUK)

Summary

Overall I was very pleased with the core performance of The Beast, particularly its raw 3D performance which is the key to cryptocurrency mining.

Next I tried it out mining to see if it would live up to the potential it clearly showed on paper – results are here: Experiments in Crypto Mining 8: Initial Performance.

An Open Letter to Banks about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

Dear Mr Bank Manager,

This is not an easy letter for me to write. I have been a customer of yours for over 20 years. You were there with a loan for me when I bought my first car; you helped arrange the mortgage when I bought my first house, and you even helped me launch my first business. We have been through so much together.

And I’ll let you into a little secret?

You were my first! Don’t worry, I know I wasn’t yours. I think this is why this relationship means so much more to me than you.

You may not have noticed that our relationship has changed, you have been so busy since that big financial crisis that we are doing less together. I got my last loan from my supermarket as they had a better rate and my last mortgage from another bank. These days I am only using you to hold money for me and pay my bills.

Bitcoin (Image: Antana/CCBY-SA2)
Bitcoin (Image: Antana/CCBY-SA2)

We are like passing ships in the night and I am worried that if we don’t talk we might have to separate.

Recently I made this new friend called Bitcoin; a form of Cryptocurrency, I call her Crypto, you have probably heard of her. She is fresh and exciting, and I want you to get to know her too. I want you to make her part of our relationship.

I know I am neither a bank manager nor an economist and you have all these arguments for why Crypto will fail, but I am someone using Crypto in my daily life and I know that this is going to be an ever-increasing need for me, and I want us to share this experience.

I know you are scared, or maybe you just don’t understand it. Maybe you think Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme and everyone buying it is only doing so to make a quick buck. Sure, some of us are, like some of us who bought shares during the Dot Com boom and lost money when it crashed. But look what happened after that, we got some of the most significant companies in the world: Amazon, Google and Facebook.

Read more: HackerNoon

Cryptocurrencies as Portfolio Diversification

As Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies gain more and more media coverage, investors who have never been involved in crypto are increasingly asking the question of whether cryptocurrencies could provide meaningful portfolio diversification to the traditional portfolio asset allocation.

In order to answer this question one must look both backwards and forwards: backward looking to determine past correlations and risk-reward profile; and forward looking to understand the real risk of central bank policy mistakes and government debasement of fiat currencies.

Open bank vault (Image: ahobbit/Pixabay)
Open bank vault (Image: ahobbit/Pixabay)

Diversification of portfolio focuses on how the volatility of an underlying security plus their correlation with core market assets impacts a portfolio’s risk-return characteristics over the long-term or during periods of extreme macroeconomic or market stress.

Diversification drivers

The main reasons why Bitcoin provides portfolio diversification are: investability, politico- economic features, correlation of returns, and risk-reward profile.

Read more: CoinTelegraph

Google To Ban All Crypto-Related Ads Starting June 2018

Google will ban all cryptocurrency-related advertising of all types in June 2018, according to a recent update to their Financial Services policy.

The news of a crypto ad ban comes just days after crypto advertisers using Google Adwords noticed a drastic drop in the number of views of their advertisements, according to posts on the Adwords support pages. However, Google Adwords had at that time denied any change in their Financial Services regulations that would block cryptocurrency or Initial Coin Offering (ICO) related advertisements.

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

Under Google’s newly updated financial products policy, no advertisements for “cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice),” will be accepted.

Read more: CoinTelegraph

Florida State Employee Arrested for Allegedly Mining Crypto at Work

A state employee at Florida’s Department of Citrus (FDoC) has been arrested for allegedly using official computers to mine cryptocurrencies.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has jailed Matthew McDermott, IT manager for the state government agency that oversees Florida’s citrus industry. He is reportedly being held pending trial, with bail set at $5,000.

Cryptocurrency Mining Farm (Image: M. Krohn/Wikimedia)
Cryptocurrency Mining Farm (Image: M. Krohn/Wikimedia)

The FDLE alleges that McDermott used computers in the department to mine cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and litecoin, and has charged him with grand theft and official misconduct, according to the report.

An investigation further indicated that the utility bill of the department had surged by over 40 percent from October 2017 to January 2018, as cryptocurrency mining requires significant amounts of electricity due to its high processing demands.

Read more: CoinDesk