Are cryptocurrencies a new asset class? This author believes so, although others argue that cryptocurrencies are simply VC-like risk assets best used to forecast movements in traditional stock markets.
However, none can argue that current monetary policies and control of money printing by central authorities have lead to weak money, inflation, manipulation, and loss of purchasing value for fiat currencies.
- Review cryptocurrency history, starting with the Cypherpunk movement
- Define digital currency, Bitcoin, and altcoins
- Explore portfolio construction with cryptocurrencies
The Cypherpunk Movement
Cryptocurrencies are a direct result of frustration with government policies towards privacy, a movement that began with the rise of the Cypherpunks.
“Before the 1970s, cryptography was primarily practiced in secret by military or spy agencies. But, that changed when two publications brought it into the open: the US government publication of the Data Encryption Standard and the first publicly available work on public-key cryptography, New Directions in Cryptography by Dr Whitfield Diffie and Dr Martin Hellman.” – Coindesk
Selected quotes from the Cypherpunk Manifesto:
“Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. Privacy is not secrecy. A private matter is something one doesn’t want the whole world to know, but a secret matter is something one doesn’t want anybody to know. Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world.”
“We the Cypherpunks are dedicated to building anonymous systems. We are defending our privacy with cryptography, with anonymous mail forwarding systems, with digital signatures, and with electronic money.“
- Jacob Appelbaum – Tor developer
- Julian Assange – founder of WikiLeaks
- Dr. Adam Back – inventor of Hashcash, co-founder of Blockstream
- David Chaum – creator of DigiCash, founder of Elixxir
- Bram Cohen – creator of BitTorrent
- Hal Finney – main author of PGP 2.0, creator of Reusable Proof of Work
- Tim Hudson – co-author of SSLeay, the precursor to OpenSSL
- Eric Hughes
- Paul Kocher – co-author of SSL 3.0
- Moxie Marlinspike – founder of Open Whisper Systems (Signal developer)
- Timothy May – wrote the Cyphernomicron
- Sandy Sandfort
- Steven Schear – creator of the concept of the “warrant canary”
- Bruce Schneier – well-known security author
- Edward Snowden
- Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn – DigiCash developer, Founder of Zcash
- Philip Zimmermann – creator of PGP 1.0
The Cyphernomicon, written by Timothy May as an in-depth FAQ, is a collection of Cypherpunk thoughts that reads like the ramblings of a mad man. Not all Cypherpunks agreed with May’s strong views, but in true Cypherpunk fashion, his response to them is:
“I’ve made no attempt to be fair. My libertarian, even anarchist, views surely come through. Either deal with it, or don’t read the document. I have to be honest about this … We are at a fork in the road, a Great Divide – Surveillance vs. Freedom, with nothing in the middle.”
According to May, the Cypherminicron is meant to “fill in some gaps about what we’re about, what motivates us, and where we’re going. And maybe some useful knowledge on crypto, remailers, anonymity, digital cash, and other interesting things.”
Bitcoin wasn’t the first digital cash birthed from the efforts of the Cypherpunks, but it is certainly the most important – the one that worked.
In the words of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin…
“Commerce on the Internet has come to rely almost exclusively on financial institutions serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments. While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model. Completely non-reversible transactions are not really possible, since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes. The cost of mediation increases transaction costs, limiting the minimum practical transaction size and cutting off the possibility for small casual transactions, and there is a broader cost in the loss of ability to make non-reversible payments for nonreversible services. With the possibility of reversal, the need for trust spreads. Merchants must be wary of their customers, hassling them for more information than they would otherwise need. A certain percentage of fraud is accepted as unavoidable. These costs and payment uncertainties can be avoided in person by using physical currency, but no mechanism exists to make payments over a communications channel without a trusted party.”
“What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party. Transactions that are computationally impractical to reverse would protect sellers from fraud, and routine escrow mechanisms could easily be implemented to protect buyers. In this paper, we propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer distributed timestamp server to generate computational proof of the chronological order of transactions. The system is secure as long as honest nodes collectively control more CPU power than any cooperating group of attacker nodes.”
Bitcoin White Paper Abstract
“A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to attack the network, they’ll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.” – Excerpt from the Bitcoin white paper
Bitcoin For Beginners
Bitcoin is a disruptive technology that will “liberate the poor of the world” by offering banking services in emerging markets where banks are few, or may not even exist at all. Because Bitcoin is a global and decentralized technology, it can go anywhere regardless of geography, demographics, or geopolitics. Bitcoin gives people in developing countries the ability to sell their products and services regardless of whether they have access to a bank or not, via mobile payment systems.
Things to Know About Bitcoin:
- Bitcoin is a virtual currency which gives consumers a way to exchange money for free or a nominal fee, without the need for a third party intermediary (banks, for example).
- Bitcoin is secured by cryptography.
- Bitcoin only exists in a digital format and there are no tangible properties to this money (unless one considers the energy cost of Bitcoin mining as a tangible property).
- Bitcoin is not controlled or backed by any bank or central government authority.
- Each unit of the virtual currency is nothing more than an entry on a digital ledger, just as most dollars and cents exist only as entries on a bank’s digital ledger.
- Blockchain is a shared public ledger (distributed) on which the entire Bitcoin network relies, with all confirmed transaction included and visible.
- Bitcoin transactions are immutable.
- Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the invention on October 31st, 2008, to a cryptography mailing list in a research paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”
- Satoshi Nakamoto implemented bitcoin as open source code and released it January 2009.
- Bitcoins are mathematically generated as the computers in the Bitcoin network execute difficult number-crunching tasks, a procedure known as Bitcoin “mining”, in a computational race to win new coins.
- The mathematics of the Bitcoin system were set up so that it becomes progressively more difficult to “mine” Bitcoins over time, and the total number that can ever be mined is limited to around 21 million (generated through the year 2140).
- Mining is a distributed consensus system that is used to confirm waiting transactions by including them in the Blockchain.
- Bitcoin mining enforces a chronological order in the Blockchain, protects the neutrality of the network, and allows different computers to agree on the state of the system.
- Bitcoin mining is also called “hashing”.
- When a Bitcoin mining program wins the mathematics race for new coins, it creates “blocks,” or encrypted Bitcoin transactions. When you (or your pool) solve a block, you are rewarded with Bitcoins.
- Application Specific Integrated Circuits, commonly referred to as “ASICs”, are computer chips built purely for the purpose of mining Bitcoins.
The Lightning Network
First proposed by Joseph Poon and Tadge Dryja, the Lightning Network is “Layer 2 infrastructure”, a protocol layer, built on top of Bitcoin that seeks to increase transactional throughput via instantaneous payments.
The Lightning Network is an extension of the Bitcoin network which uses time-locked, hashed, smart contracts to safely exchange value. In addition, the system utilizes bidirectional payment channels that consist of multi-signature addresses. All Lightning Network transactions are Bitcoin transactions.
“It is an ambitious and audacious application of ‘smart contracts’; contracts which are not enforced by a real-world judge, but are instead enforced by the power of the bitcoin trust network and impossible-to-hack mathematics.” – John W. Ratcliff
The Lightning Network is important for several reasons:
- The Lightning Network represents an improvement in efficiency and uses a logical payment-network structure.
- The Lightning Network supports a virtually unlimited number of transactions, at nearly no cost, while leveraging the security offered by Bitcoin.
- Using the Lightning Network, value can be transferred instantly between counterparties but without broadcasting the transaction to the Bitcoin network.
- The Lighting Network enables the transfer of value in extremely tiny quantities, called “micro-transactions”, which allow for the growth of IoT.
According to Bitcoin Magazine, building the Lightning Network, a bidirectional bitcoin payment channel, requires several “building blocks” that can be combined to create smart contracts. These building blocks are:
- Unconfirmed transactions
- Double-Spend Protection
- Hash Values and Secrets
As a new technology, new money, and new asset, the cryptocurrency asset class can really only be segmented into two sectors: Bitcoin and Altcoins. Within Altcoins there are several sub-sectors, but all, except for stablecoins, generally correlate to Bitcoin’s price movements. After all, Bitcoin is something around 50% of the market and the most liquid investment in this asset class.
Therefore, there is no such thing as diversification within this asset class. An investor can only diversify into this asset class. However, to better understand the cryptocurrencies asset class, let us identify several sectors into which a cryptocurrency project may fall based on its business model or cryptography roadmap.
Altcoin sectors include:
- Privacy Tech
- Exchange Tokens
Price instability and market speculation have contributed to extreme volatility in cryptocurrencies, creating an ecosystem that is not supportive of vital financial functions. For there to be a modern financial system on the blockchain, there needs to be a stable medium of exchange. There needs to be transparency and accountability, as well.
There are three primary use-cases for stablecoins:
- De-risking Investment Portfolios
- Global Currency
- Decentralized Financial Services
A successful stablecoin implementation would be a major catalyst for disruption to global financial infrastructure, challenging weak governments and mismanagement of national economies. Furthermore, stablecoins allow for decentralized insurance, prediction markets, transparent credit and debt markets, and create a level playing field between small and large businesses in global finance.
The vast majority fall into three categories based on how the stablecoin is collateralized:
- Fiat-collateralized (Centralized)
- Crypto-collateralized (Decentralized)
- Non-collateralized (Algorithmic)
The first issue with which all stablecoins must first contend is referred to as “the oracle problem.” This issue revolves around transparency of market conditions and ease of acquiring information about the exchange rate between the stablecoin and the asset against which it is pegged. There are three primary approaches to resolving this problem:
- Use a trusted data source, a centralized solution
- Use the median from a set of data feeds, also a centralized solution
- Use a Schelling point scheme, a decentralized solution
The best understood solution to the oracle problem that also provides a decentralized data feed uses a mechanism that relies on Schelling points. Schelling points, named after theorist Thomas Schelling who introduced them in his book, The Strategy of Conflict (1960), provide a target for coordination, a solution that people will tend to use in the absence of communication. Schelling points are important to understand in Game Theory and have proven useful in negotiations and situations where one cannot completely trust a negotiating partner’s words.
Privacy tech projects are at the core of the Cypherpunk and cryptocurrency movement, with data security and financial sovereignty as key themes. True, for over 2,000 years people have given control to central authorities, but governments have strong hands and are not willing to relinquish power. The modern era, this Fourth Industrial Revolution, has introduced cryptography and cryptocurrencies as a means to an end. Now, finally, technology may allow people to take back control of their lives and financial future.
Bitcoin isn’t private.
“Bitcoin was originally developed as a pseudonymous cryptocurrency that maintained privacy as long as real-world identities couldn’t be linked to Bitcoin addresses. Due to the public nature of the Bitcoin blockchain, however, it quickly became clear that it was possible to identify individuals based on usage patterns of certain addresses and transactions.” – Richard Chen
In response to the lack of privacy discovered in Bitcoin transactions, tumbler services were created. Later, privacy coins were developed to improve privacy at the protocol level. Bytecoin was first privacy coin and CryptoNote was the first privacy coin protocol. More on that coming later in this section, but an excerpt from the original CryptoNote white paper will serve to close this section on Bitcoin’s primary drawback – traceability.
There are hundreds of “privacy-based” cryptocurrency projects, most of which are forks from PIVX or Monero and do not offer any innovation in the field of privacy tech. Perhaps the easiest way to view the privacy tech sector is by privacy protocol, as there are few accepted methods for achieving transactional privacy. Privacy protocols include:
- Tumblers & CoinJoin
- CryptoNote & Ring Signatures
Tumblers & CoinJoin
In response to the erosion of Bitcoin privacy, tumbler services, such as CoinJoin, were created to improve anonymity in Bitcoin transactions. Proposed by Gregory Maxwell, CoinJoin allows users jointly create transactions that permute ownership of their coins, making each user anonymous within a set. This process is then repeated among different users to grow the anonymity set.
An easy way to visualize this is a group of people each putting the same number of coins into a pot, mixing it up and then each taking out the same amount of coins. The idea is that it is now hard to prove whose coin formerly belonged to whom, thus providing some degree of privacy.
CryptoNote & Ring Signatures
Instead of using accumulators to hide the origin of the coins in a transaction, CryptoNote uses Ring Signatures. With Ring Signatures, multiple parties sign a transaction. The network calculates that the transaction is valid, but is unable to know which signer is the spender. To further obfuscate the spender’s identity, CryptoNote also introduces one-time Stealth Addresses, where each address is used only once, cannot be linked to other addresses on the blockchain, and no balance or transaction history metadata is leaked.
Zerocoin was first described in 2013 as a method for using Zero Knowledge Proofs as an extension on top of the Bitcoin network to provide scalable, private Bitcoin transactions by completely breaking transaction links between coins. Through burning old coins and minting new Zerocoin, transaction links are broken such that the new coins appear to have no prior transaction history, similar to newly mined coins.
The original groundbreaking idea of zero-knowledge proofs was developed in 1985 by Goldwasser, Micali, and Rackoff. These researchers were working on problems related to interactive proof systems, theoretical systems where a first party (called a ‘Prover’) exchanges messages with a second party (‘Verifier’) to convince the Verifier that some mathematical statement is true.
Zerocash builds on the work of Zerocoin and seeks to address the perceived shortcomings of Zerocoin. Zerocash is the privacy protocol used in Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, and Bitcoin Private, amongst others.
On July 19, 2016, “Tom Elvis Jedusor” dropped the Mimblewimble whitepaper into a Bitcoin research channel and disappeared. Later, “Ignotus Peverell” started a Github project called Grin and began turning the Mimblewimble paper into a real implementation. Andrew Poelstra of Blockstream presented the work at the 2017 Stanford BPASE Conference.
Mimblewimble works via two primary methods – first, by hiding all transaction values and, second, by aggregating all transactions into one large transaction so that, in a block, the transaction appears as a one giant transaction of many inputs with many outputs. Mimblewimble also allows has a feature called “cut-through”, whereby if A pays to B who then pays it entirely to C, the blockchain can record A to C without showing B.
Get the book What is Investment Diversification? for detailed overviews of popular privacy tech projects BEAM, Grin, Monero, PIVX, Zcash, and Zcoin.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are developing some of the most exciting advancements in the crypto space. Exchange tokens not only facilitate these advancements, but also capture the value of an exchange’s level of adoption (trade volume). Exchange tokens literally give holders the opportunity to share in the growth of crypto infrastructure. The industry is young, and the opportunities are huge.
Most cryptocurrency exchanges follow a business model that allows for profit sharing, with direct benefit to token holders in the form of trading fee discounts, rewards, and quarterly buybacks (token burn based on exchange profitability). For the most part, exchange revenue comes from trading fees. The bigger the volume traded, the more fees generated, the bigger the profit, leading to crypto exchange outperformance during bear markets. After all, traders need to trade. What’s more, most cryptocurrency projects do not have a real business model or even plan for how to make money. Cryptocurrency exchanges clearly differentiate themselves in this way. Advantage – exchange tokens.
Some popular exchanges that also have their own token include Bancor, Beaxy, Bibox, Binance, Cobinhood, Coss, Cryptobridge, Huobi, IDEX, KuCoin, and Waves DEX.
Valuing Cryptocurrency Exchanges
How does one value Crypto Exchange Tokens? That’s the million-dollar question to which there are a million answers. Cryptocurrencies are difficult to value because the industry is relatively new, and use-cases are still emerging. Exchange tokens, specifically, are challenging to appraise because of the difficulty in placing value on the various utility functions served by the token. Further, one can’t help but ask: “Is it really effective to attempt to value emerging technologies experiencing the ‘network effect?’”
Without any doubt, valuing cryptocurrencies requires both subjective and objective measurements.
Does one rely on a fundamental or technical analysis? Is price the only relevant metric for success? Does price ultimately reflect user experience? Is there a correlation between sentiment for exchange token capital growth opportunity and exchange trading volume?
Let’s look at a variant of the Bitcoin NVT (Network-Value-To-Transactions) ratio, called the TVEV (Token-Value-To-Exchange-Volume) Ratio, in order to compare Crypto Exchange Tokens values.
Bitcoin’s NVT Ratio is similar to the PE Ratio used in equity markets, and is calculated by dividing the Network Value (market cap) by the the daily USD volume transmitted through the blockchain. When the Bitcoin network is experiencing growth and investors are bullish, or, alternatively, when Bitcoin’s price is in bubble-trouble, Bitcoin will have a high relative NVT. According to analysts, Bitcoin’s NVT Ratio is technically an expression of inverse monetary velocity.
The TVEV ratio helps one to better understand how the market prices different token utility models.
In short, the higher the TVEV ratio for a Crypto Exchange Token, the more bullish the market is on the token’s prospects. Either there is a higher perceived token utility and a more valuable token model, or the market is more bullish on the prospects for capital appreciation (growth of investment). Conversely, a low TVEV ratio could mean that there is a low perceived utility (poor token model) for a Crypto Exchange Token. It is also possible that a low TVEV ratio may indicate an undervalued Crypto Exchange Token, so consider this data point as only one metric in your research.
It’s important to note that the TVEV ratio needs to be tracked over time in order to draw relevant conclusions about exchange token valuation.
As stated earlier, it is currently impossible to gain diversification within cryptocurrencies as an asset class. In terms of projects from each of the altcoin sectors mentioned above (stablecoins, privacy tech, and exchange tokens), the author is most closely watching MakerDAO, BEAM, and Beaxy.
So, What’s the Point?
As with stocks, income assets, and commodities, in terms of correlations to one another, there is clearly no need to invest in many cryptocurrency assets – many holdings do not provide additional asset protection. In consideration of investment simplicity, low management time, little research time, reduced complexity in portfolio rebalancing, and a potentially small starter stash for building our diversified portfolio, the author is choosing…
Get the book What is Investment Diversification? to learn which cryptocurrencies were selected as top picks and why.
Now, let’s take a look at alternative investments in the next study guide.
Any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin.
An electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.
The first cryptocurrency to actually implement the CrytpoNote protocol.
Similar to a hashtag, except instead of a pound symbol (“#”), it’s a dollar sign (“$”) and refers to ticker symbols such as $BTC for Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
A website that tracks most of the alternative coins that has hit the market as well as Bitcoins and shows users the current value in dollars and Bitcoins for each coin.
Decentralized stablecoins collateralized with cryptocurrencies.
A business platform that allows customers to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for other assets, such as conventional fiat money or other digital currencies.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Token
A cryptocurrency token created by a Cryptocurrency Exchange.
A niche community made up of Twitter users that primarily discuss cryptocurrencies.
Document written by Timothy C. May in 1994 for the Cypherpunks electronic mailing list. In a FAQ format, the document outlines some of the ideas behind, and the effects of, crypto-anarchism.
An activist advocating widespread use of strong cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies as a route to social and political change.
Term used by the cryptocurrency community to represent “Do Your Own Research.”
Term used by the cryptocurrency community to represent “Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt.”
Future Growth-Backed Stablecoins
Also referred to as Seigniorage Shares and Algorithmic Stablecoins, these cryptocurrencies are algorithmically-backed with expansion and reduction of coin supply mathematically determined. There is NO collateral backing issuance.
A “Layer 2” payment protocol that operates on top of a blockchain-based cryptocurrency. It enables fast transactions between participating nodes and has been touted as a solution to the Bitcoin scalability problem.
A privacy protocol that was put forward by an anonymous user in a Bitcoin developers chatroom by the name of Tom Elvis Jedusor. The Mimblewimble protocol relies on strong cryptographic primitives.
The name used by the unknown person or group of people who developed bitcoin, authored the bitcoin white paper, and created and deployed bitcoin’s original reference implementation. As part of the implementation, they also devised the first blockchain database.
Also referred to as Algorithmic Stablecoins and Future Growth-Backed Stablecoins, these cryptocurrencies are algorithmically-backed with expansion and reduction of coin supply mathematically determined. There is NO collateral backing issuance.
Cryptocurrencies designed to minimize the volatility of the price of the stablecoin, relative to some “stable” asset or basket of assets. A stablecoin can be pegged to a currency, or to exchange traded commodities.
A cryptocurrency exchange token’s Token-Value-To-Exchange-Volume (TVEV) is calculated by dividing the total market cap of the exchange token by the 24-hour exchange volume.
In cryptography, a zero-knowledge proof or zero-knowledge protocol is a method by which one party can prove to another party that they know a value x, without conveying any information apart from the fact that they know the value x.
Protocol that provides a decentralized cryptocurrency in which, as in Bitcoin, users collaborate to maintain the currency by broadcasting and verifying payment transactions.
Privacy protocol proposed by Johns Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students in 2013 as an extension to the Bitcoin protocol that would improve Bitcoin transactions’ anonymity.
“Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge,” a proof construction where one can prove possession of certain information, without revealing that information, and without any interaction between the prover and verifier.
An alternative version of zk-SNARK proofs, zk-STARKs are, generally, considered a more efficient variant of the technology – potentially faster and cheaper depending on the implementation. But more importantly, zk-STARKs do not require an initial trusted setup (hence, the “T” for transparent).
- Bitcoin and the Rise of the Cypherpunks (Lopp) https://www.coindesk.com/the-rise-of-the-cypherpunks
- A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto (Eric Hughes) https://www.activism.net/cypherpunk/manifesto.html
- Security Without Identification – Card Computers To Make Big Brother Obsolete (David Chaum) https://www.chaum.com/publications/Security_Wthout_Identification.html
- New Directions In Cryptography (Whitfield Diffie & Martin Hellman) https://ee.stanford.edu/~hellman/publications/24.pdf
- The Data Encryption Standard (DES) https://csrc.nist.gov/csrc/media/publications/fips/46/3/archive/1999-10-25/documents/fips46-3.pdf
- The Cyphernomicron (Timothy May) https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt
- Bitcoin white paper (Satoshi) https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
- Bitcoin Economics (Part 1, 2, & 3) https://blog.bitmex.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018.05.30-Bitcoin-economics.pdf
- The Price Of Anonymity: Empirical Evidence From A Market For Bitcoin Anonymization https://academic.oup.com/cybersecurity/article/3/2/127/4057584
- Explain Bitcoin Like I’m Five https://medium.freecodecamp.org/explain-bitcoin-like-im-five-73b4257ac833
- Bitcoin for Beginners (Andreas Antonopoulos) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPQwGV1aLnTuN6kdNWlElfr2tzigB9Nnj
- Map of coins https://mapofcoins.com/bitcoin
- Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Technologies (book) https://lopp.net/pdf/princeton_bitcoin_book.pdf
- In-depth look at the economics of Bitcoin https://www.cmegroup.com/education/featured-reports/an-in-depth-look-at-the-economics-of-bitcoin.html
- Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin by CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/information
- Bitcoin is Like… http://blog.oleganza.com/post/85111558553/bitcoin-is-like
- What is the Lightning Network and how can it help Bitcoin scale? https://coincenter.org/entry/what-is-the-lightning-network
- The Bitcoin Lightning Network: Technical Primer https://blog.usejournal.com/the-bitcoin-lightning-network-a-technical-primer-d8e073f2a82f
- The Lightning Network whitepaper (pdf) https://lightning.network/lightning-network-paper.pdf
- The Time Value of Bitcoin https://medium.com/@timevalueofbtc/the-time-value-of-bitcoin-3807b91f02d2
- Lopp’s website is a great resource https://lopp.net/
- Articles https://lopp.net/articles.html
- Presentations https://lopp.net/presentations.html
- The Lightning Network In The Old West https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/the-lightning-network-elidhdicacs
- Understanding the Lightning Network (Pt 1) https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/understanding-the-lightning-network-part-building-a-bidirectional-payment-channel-1464710791/
- Understanding The Lightning Network (PT 2) – Building A Bidirectional Bitcoin Payment Channel https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/understanding-the-lightning-network-part-building-a-bidirectional-payment-channel-1464710791/
- Understanding the Lightning Network (Pt 3) https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/understanding-the-lightning-network-part-completing-the-puzzle-and-closing-the-channel-1466178980/
- The Lightning Network (PT 1) https://blog.bitmex.com/the-lightning-network/
- The Lightning Network (PT 2) – Routing Fee Economics https://blog.bitmex.com/the-lightning-network-part-2-routing-fee-economics/
- Stablecoin Use Cases https://medium.com/makerdao/stablecoins-use-cases-44e696ba8633
- Stablecoin Strengths And Weaknesses https://medium.com/makerdao/stablecoins-strengths-weaknesses-62cd47bb7fbf
- Stablecoin Collateralization Types https://medium.com/makerdao/stablecoins-collateralization-types-2a860624dcd3
- A Primer On DAI https://medium.com/makerdao/part-2-a-primer-on-dai-3b6d1506fa83
- Decentralized Versus Centralized Financial Systems: Is There A Case For Local Capital Markets? https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5213337_Decentralized_versus_centralized_financial_systems_Is_there_a_case_for_local_capital_markets
- How DAI Addresses Centralization And Counterparty Risk https://medium.com/makerdao/how-dai-addresses-centralization-and-counterparty-risk-3abce5932b4e
- MakerDAO Partners With Ripio To Bring DAI To South America https://medium.com/makerdao/makerdao-partners-with-ripio-to-bring-dai-to-south-america-via-fiat-on-off-ramp-e22ac71a210d
- MakerDAO And Wyre Give Businesses Immediate Access To DAI Stablecoin In Over Thirty Countries https://medium.com/makerdao/makerdao-and-wyre-give-businesses-immediate-access-to-dai-stablecoin-in-over-thirty-countries-4fe94957c730
- Tradeshift & MakerDAO Leverage Blockchain To Democratize Access To Financing https://medium.com/makerdao/tradeshift-and-makerdao-leverage-blockchain-to-democratize-access-to-financing-for-worlds-small-98076fd05f86
- The DAI Stablecoin System https://makerdao.com/en/whitepaper/
- MakerDAO Purple Paper https://makerdao.com/purple/
- Maker For Dummies https://medium.com/cryptolinks/maker-for-dummies-a-plain-english-explanation-of-the-dai-stablecoin-e4481d79b90
- Stablecoin Overview: A Condensed Version https://blog.coinmarketcap.com/2018/11/16/stablecoin-overview-a-condensed-version/
- Stablecoins: Crypto Stalemate Or Currencies Of The Future? https://cryptocurrencyhub.io/stablecoins-crypto-stalemate-or-currencies-of-the-future-2548b3d5e475
- Why Stablecoins Matter https://medium.com/makerdao/part-1-why-stablecoins-matter-3b273e1c529e
- Nash Equilibria and Schelling Points https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/yJfBzcDL9fBHJfZ6P/nash-equilibria-and-schelling-points
- Denationalisation Of Money: The Argument Refined (F.A. Hayek) https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/denationalisation.pdf
- A Fistful Of Bitcoin: Characterizing Payments Among Men With No Names https://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~smeiklejohn/files/imc13.pdf
- An Overview Of Privacy In Cryptocurrencies https://thecontrol.co/an-overview-of-privacy-in-cryptocurrencies-893dc078d0d7
- CryptoNote v 1.0 white paper https://cryptonote.org/whitepaper_v1.pdf
- CryptoNote v 2.0 white paper https://cryptonote.org/whitepaper.pdf
- When The Cookie Meets The Blockchain: Privacy Risks Of Web Payments Via Cryptocurrencies https://arxiv.org/pdf/1708.04748.pdf
- BlockSci: Design And Applications Of A Blockchain Analysis Platform https://arxiv.org/pdf/1709.02489.pdf
- Ring Signatures: Untraceable Payments https://cryptonote.org/inside#untraceable-payments
- Ring Confidential Transactions https://eprint.iacr.org/2015/1098.pdf
- Moneropedia – Stealth Address https://www.getmonero.org/resources/moneropedia/stealthaddress.html
- The Battle For Blockchain Privacy: Monero https://medium.com/all-things-venture-capital/privacy-protocol-analysis-monero-c116d7c2106f
- What Is The Origin Of Monero And Its Relationship To Bytecoin? https://monero.stackexchange.com/questions/852/what-is-the-origin-of-monero-and-its-relationship-to-bytecoin
- The Reality Behind The Bytecoin Price Pump https://coindiary.net/the-reality-behind-the-bytecoin-bcn-price-pump/
- History Of Monero – The Scam(s) https://forum.getmonero.org/20/general-discussion/211/history-of-monero
- Monero Fees Fall To Almost Zero After Bulletproofs Upgrade https://www.coindesk.com/monero-fees-fall-to-almost-zero-after-bulletproofs-upgrade
- Satoshi Has No Clothes: Failures In On-Chain Privacy https://slideslive.com/38911785/satoshi-has-no-clothes-failures-in-onchain-privacy
- Disclosure Of A Major Bug In CryptoNote Based Currencies https://www.getmonero.org/2017/05/17/disclosure-of-a-major-bug-in-cryptonote-based-currencies.html
- The Knowledge Complexity Of Interactive Proof-Systems https://groups.csail.mit.edu/cis/pubs/shafi/1985-stoc.pdf
- Succinct Non-Interactive Zero Knowledge For A von Neumann Architecture (introduction of zkSNARKs) https://eprint.iacr.org/2013/879.pdf
- zkSNARKs In A Nutshell http://chriseth.github.io/notes/articles/zksnarks/zksnarks.pdf
- Scalable, Transparent, And Post-Quantum Secure Computational Integrity (introduction of zkSTARKs) https://eprint.iacr.org/2018/046
- Cypherpunk Desert Bus: My Role In The 2016 Zcash Trusted Setup Ceremony https://petertodd.org/2016/cypherpunk-desert-bus-zcash-trusted-setup-ceremony
- Security Through Obscurity https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_through_obscurity
- Discrete Logarithm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrete_logarithm#Algorithms
- Integer Factorization https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integer_factorization
- Zcash Discloses Vulnerability That Could Have Allowed Infinite Counterfeit http://fortune.com/2019/02/05/zcash-vulnerability-cryptocurrency/
- Zcash Counterfeiting Vulnerability Successfully Remediated https://z.cash/blog/zcash-counterfeiting-vulnerability-successfully-remediated/
- Don’t Trust, Verify: A Bitcoin Private Case Study https://coinmetrics.io/bitcoin-private/
- Value Overflow Incident https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Value_overflow_incident
- CVE-2018-17144 Full Disclosure https://bitcoincore.org/en/2018/09/20/notice/
- Mimblewimble white paper https://download.wpsoftware.net/bitcoin/wizardry/mimblewimble.txt
- Meet Grin https://grin-tech.org/
- Mimblewimble: Private, Massively-Prunable Blockchains https://cyber.stanford.edu/sites/g/files/sbiybj9936/f/andrewpoelstra.pdf
- Mimblewimble: Private, Massively-Prunable Blockchains (BPASE 2017 video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiUGu48JTd0&feature=youtu.be
- About Dandelion And Mimblewimble https://medium.com/beam-mw/about-dandelion-and-mimblewimble-e083597e0355
- The Zerocoin ELectric Coin Company LLC http://datagovus.com/colorado-business.php?id=20141702515
- Egalitarian Computing (MTP 1.2) https://arxiv.org/pdf/1606.03588.pdf
- Lelantus: Private Transactions With Hidden Origins And Amounts Based On DDH https://lelantus.io/
- Deep Dive Into Zcoin: An Interview With COO Reuben Yap https://briandcolwell.com/2018/06/deep-dive-into-zcoin-an-interview-with-coo-reuben-yap/.html
- Guide to anon cryptocurrencies https://totalcrypto.io/privacy-coins-guide/
- Guide on privacy coins https://masterthecrypto.com/privacy-coins-anonymous-cryptocurrencies/
- Analysis of Monero https://medium.com/all-things-venture-capital/privacy-protocol-analysis-monero-c116d7c2106f
- Privacy tech comparison from Zcoin https://zcoin.io/zcoins-privacy-technology-compares-competition/
- Zero-Knowledge Proofs https://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2014/11/27/zero-knowledge-proofs-illustrated-primer/
- BEAM Coin Fundamental Analysis https://briandcolwell.com/2019/03/beam-coin-fundamental-analysis/.html
- Why BEAM Is Sound Money https://medium.com/beam-mw/why-beam-is-sound-money-b2d956f18efc
- Are Exchange Tokens A Good Investment? https://medium.com/@fouda/are-exchange-tokens-a-good-investment-78ba8cde116d
- 6 Top Cryptocurrency Exchange Coins That Pay Dividends https://coinsutra.com/crypto-exchange-coins-dividends-fees-reductions/
- The Emergence Of Exchange Based Tokens https://medium.com/coinmonks/fundamental-analysis-the-case-for-the-exchange-token-sector-bc3d2e4d3756
- The Value Of Exchange Tokens: Comparing Binance, Huobi, and KuCoin https://blog.coinfi.com/the-value-of-exchange-tokens-comparing-binance-huobi-and-kucoin/
- Best Decentralized Exchanges https://coindiary.net/best-decentralized-exchanges-july-2018/
- 11 Cryptocurrency Exchange Tokens Ranked By TVEV Ratio https://blog.coinfi.com/11-cryptocurrency-exchange-tokens-ranked-by-tvev-ratio/
- Bitcoin NVT Ratio http://charts.woobull.com/bitcoin-nvt-ratio/
- Valuing BNB Token https://blog.coinfi.com/valuing-bnb-token-how-binance-could-2x-bnb-coin-value-overnight/
- Binance: The Fastest Profitable Unicorn In History? https://medium.com/digital-alchemy-holdings/binance-the-fastest-profitable-unicorn-in-history-d71dc659dc44