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Algorithmic trading types classified based on development perspectives: 1) Technical Analysis 2) Statistics and Probability 3) Machine Learning
I took a different path which is not discussed widely in this subreddit. 4) Signal Processing
I'm not a good storyteller, but this is my journey and advices for the beginners
First, my background:
- Electrical and Electronic engineer,
- Software developer (20+ years)
- Trader (5+ years)
- Algorithmic trader (3+ years)
How I Found The Alpha:
Before algorithmic trading, I was somehow profitable tradeinvestor. Like most of you, when I began to algorithmic trading, I tried to find magic combination of technical indicators and parameters. Also I threw OHLCV and indicators data into the RNN for prediction.
I saw that, even very simple strategies like famous moving average crossover is profitable under right market conditions with correct parameters. But you must watch it carefully and if you fell it is not working anymore, you must shut it down. It means you must be experienced trader to take care of your algorithm.
I am a fulltime software developer, algorithmic trading was my side project also it became my hobby. I tried to learn everything about this industry. I watched and listened hundreds of hours of podcasts and videos in all my free time like commuting from home to work.
These are the most useful to me:
- Chat with traders: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdnzT5Tl6pAkATOiDsPhqcg
- Top traders unplugged: https://www.youtube.com/usetoptraderslive
- Ukspreadbetting: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnKPQUoCRb1Vu-qWwWituGQ
Also I read plenty of academic papers, blog posts and this subreddit for inspiration.
Inspiration came from my field, electronics. I will not give you much detail about it but I have developed a novel signal processing technique. It is a fast and natural technique which I couldn’t find any article or paper which mention this method. It can transform any interval price data into meaningful, tradable form. The best part is, it doesn't require any parameter and it adapts to changing market conditions intrinsically.
These are the concepts that inspire me:
- Information Theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_theory
- Signal Processing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_processing
- ADC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog-to-digital_converter
What a Coincidence:
While googling to improve my algorithm, I found out that, Signal Processing is used by Jim Simon's Renaissance Technologies according to various sources including wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_signal_processing
Output of the process can be used to develop endless type of profitable strategies. I made some money with different momentum based strategies while thinking about how I can use this technique more efficiently.
I like to combine different fields. I think trading and life itself have many things in common. So beside general trading concepts, I think that I can try to implement concepts of the life. Also because of the parameterless design, it's more like a decision making process than an optimization problem.
I searched proverbs and advices for better decision making. I handled them one by one and thought how I could implement them in a unified strategy while preserving the parameterless design. In time, this process was significantly improved stability and reliability while it was evolving from momentum to mean reversion.
These are some proverbs which I use them at various aspects of the algorithm:
- “The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.” (Japanese proverb)
- "When the rainwater rises and descends down to where you want to cross, wait until it settles." (Sun-Tzu)
- "If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail" (Heraclitus)
If you wonder how I implement them in the code, think about the last one; how do you define the unexpected, how to wait for it and how to prepare your algorithm to generate profit.
By the way, I strongly recommend: The Art of War (Sun-Tzu)
I have plenty of ideas waiting to be tested and problems that need to be solved. Nevertheless these are the some of the backtest results, for the time being: Crypto:
- Market fee and spread are considered, slippage is not.
- For multiple assets testing; Survivorship bias was attempted to be eliminated using historical market rank of the assets. Data is acquired from coinmarketcap.com
ETH / BTC BNB / BTC Binance Historical Top 100 / BTC Other Markets:
My main focus is crypto trading. But all the improvements are cross checked in different markets and intervals and validated empirically and logically. It can’t beat every asset and every interval but it tends to work profitably across them.
The algorithm is running live for over 1.5 years with evolving strategies I mention before. The last one is running for months.
Warnings and Advices: - Bugs:
A few months ago, before bedtime, I released new version for fixing small cosmetic bug and gone to sleep. When I woke up, I saw that nearly 40% of my account wiped out in a few hours. Instead of live settings, I published test settings. It was very painful. I have been coding since childhood, so everyone must be careful. I recommend, implement hard limit for stopping the algorithm. - Fully Automatic Strategy:
Finding an edge is not enough. If you need fully automated trading system, you need a portfolio manager (a lot of research is going on at this field) and especially an asset selector mechanism which is maybe more important than the edge itself. If your algorithm is not be able to select which assets to trade, you must select manually. It's not an easy task and it's prone to error. I was very lucky with that: A mechanism already contained in the algorithm was used to rank and select the assets based on their momentums. - Fee-Spread:
Because of the market fee and spread, trading is a negative sum game. Do not ignore it when backtesting your algorithm. - Slippage:
It's really a problem for low volume assets like penny stocks and lower market cap crypto currencies. Stay away from them or play with small capital or find a way to determine how much money you can use. - Latency:
Don’t think it's a HFT only problem. If your algorithm synchronize multiple assets data from the market and run calculations before sending order back to the market, you lose significant amount of time. This usually causes losses that you have not considered before, especially in a volatile environment. Also if you want to develop realtime strategy, you must seriously consider what you will do in downtime. - Datasource:
This is the most important part for preparation before developing you strategy. If you don’t have good, reliable data; you cannot develop a good strategy. For free data for various market; I suggest investing.com
, but you should consider that volume data is not provided. For crypto, all of the exchanges provide their real data for any asset and any interval, you can use them freely. Also you can buy data , especially if you want intraday data, but I can't suggest any because I never tested them. - Biases:
Before developing algorithm, please take a look at and understand the common biases like: Survivorship bias, Look-ahead bias, Time period bias. Or you can be sure that you will face them when you go live. - Live trading:
When you think your algorithm can make money, don’t wait till perfection. Go live as soon as possible with small capital to wake up from your dreams and face with the facts early. - Psychology:
If your education is based on STEM and you don’t have trading experience, it’s not easy in the real world to swallow all those ups and downs that you see in minutes during backtest. It can affect your mood and your life much more than you think. I suggest, work with a professional trader or only invest what you can really afford to lose.
After over 3 years of journey, I have a profitable algorithm that I trust. I was supposed to lie on the beach and drink beer while my algorithm printing money. But I am consistently checking it’s health and I have always things to do like all software development projects.
I posted some of the backtest results, but I don’t know are they considered P/L Porn or not. If so, I can remove it.
Sorry about mysterious parts of this post. I removed some parts unwillingly before posting, but there is really a thin line between giving away your edge freely (also it means loosing it) and inspiring people to find their own way.
“Non est ad astra mollis e terris via" - Seneca
For those engineers and EE students who are bombing my inbox for guessing what I did; I can not write all of you in private, also I want to explain it publicly.
I must say, you are on the wrong way. If I open sourced the signal processing part, probably it doesnt mean anything to you and you can not turn it into a profitable algorithm.
I have to clarify that; before I developed the technique, I knew what I am looking for exactly. Signal processing is not magically trading the market, I am trading the market. it's just a tool to do what is in my mind near perfectly.
Also proverbs are the way of thinking. I read them and think if it means anything for trading.
Lastly watch the Kung Fu Panda :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHvCQEr_ETk
Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ
You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper
however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following videos for a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Some other great resources include Lopp.net
, the Princeton crypto series
and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute
Some Bitcoin statistics can be found here
. Developer resources can be found here
. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here
Potential upcoming protocol improvements and scaling resources here
The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here
Key properties of Bitcoin
- Limited Supply - There will only ever be 21,000,000 bitcoins created and they are issued in a predictable fashion, you can view the inflation schedule here. Once they are all issued Bitcoin will be truly deflationary. The halving countdown can be found here.
- Open source - Bitcoin code is fully auditable. You can read the source code yourself here.
- Accountable - The public ledger is transparent, all transactions are seen by everyone.
- Decentralized - Bitcoin is globally distributed across thousands of nodes with no single point of failure and as such can't be shut down similar to how Bittorrent works. You can even run a node on a Raspberry Pi.
- Censorship resistant - No one can prevent you from interacting with the bitcoin network and no one can censor, alter or block transactions that they disagree with, see Operation Chokepoint.
- Push system - There are no chargebacks in bitcoin because only the person who owns the address where the bitcoins reside has the authority to move them.
- Low fee scaling - On chain transaction fees depend on network demand and how much priority you wish to assign to the transaction. Most wallets calculate on chain fees automatically but you can view current fees here and mempool activity here. On chain fees may rise occasionally due to network demand, however instant micropayments that do not require confirmations are happening via the Lightning Network, a second layer scaling solution currently rolling out on the Bitcoin mainnet.
- Borderless - No country can stop it from going in/out, even in areas currently unserved by traditional banking as the ledger is globally distributed.
- Trustless - Bitcoin solved the Byzantine's Generals Problem which means nobody needs to trust anybody for it to work.
- Pseudonymous - No need to expose personal information when purchasing with cash or transacting.
- Secure - Encrypted cryptographically and can’t be brute forced or confiscated with proper key management such as hardware wallets.
- Programmable - Individual units of bitcoin can be programmed to transfer based on certain criteria being met
- Nearly instant - From a few seconds to a few minutes depending on need for confirmations. Transactions are irreversible after one or more confirmations.
- Peer-to-peer - No intermediaries with a cut, no need for trusted third parties.
- Portable - Bitcoins are digital so they are easier to move than cash or gold. They can even be transported by simply memorizing a string of words for wallet recovery (while cool this method is generally not recommended due to potential for insecure key generation by inexperienced users. Hardware wallets are the preferred method for new users due to ease of use and additional security).
- Scalable - While the protocol is still being optimized for increased transaction capacity, blockchains do not scale very well, so most transaction volume is expected to occur on Layer 2 networks built on top of Bitcoin.
- Divisible - Each bitcoin can be divided down to 8 decimals, which means you don't have to worry about buying an entire bitcoin.
- Designed Money - Bitcoin was created to fit all the fundamental properties of money better than gold or fiat
Where can I buy bitcoins? Bitcoin.org
are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources
for a larger list of options for purchases. Here
is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage
Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price
people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev
is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".
Securing your bitcoins
With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank"
and personally secure your bitcoins OR
you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks"
which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
- If you prefer to "Be your own bank" and have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party, then you will need to create your own wallet and keep it secure. If you want easy and secure storage without having to learn computer security best practices, then a hardware wallet such as the Trezor, Ledger or ColdCard is recommended. Alternatively there are many software wallet options to choose from here depending on your use case.
- If you prefer to let third party "Bitcoin banks" manage your coins, try Gemini but be aware you may not be in control of your private keys in which case you would have to ask permission to access your funds and be exposed to third party risk.
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Watch out for scams
As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".
Where can I spend bitcoins?
Check out spendabit
or bitcoin directory
for millions of merchant options. Also you can spend bitcoin anywhere visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card
. Some other useful site are listed below.
|Store ||Product |
|Gyft ||Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc. |
|Spendabit, Overstock and The Bitcoin Directory ||Retail shopping with millions of results |
|ShakePay ||Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds |
|NewEgg and Dell ||For all your electronics needs |
|Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Coinsfer, and more ||Bill payment |
|Menufy, Takeaway and Thuisbezorgd NL ||Takeout delivered to your door |
|Expedia, Cheapair, Destinia, Abitsky, SkyTours, the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats ||For when you need to get away |
|Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA ||VPN services |
|Namecheap, Porkbun ||Domain name registration |
|Stampnik ||Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage |
are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk
There are also lots of charities
which accept bitcoin donations.
There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
- 1-3% savings over credit cards or PayPal.
- No chargebacks (final settlement in 10 minutes as opposed to 3+ months).
- Accept business from a global customer base.
- Increased privacy.
- Convert 100% of the sale to the currency of your choice for deposit to your account, or choose to keep a percentage of the sale in bitcoin if you wish to begin accumulating it.
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;
Can I mine bitcoin?
Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home
. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here
. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining
would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node
using this setup guide
. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options
. You can view the global node distribution here
Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
|Site ||Description |
|WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, Cryptogrind, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, BitforTip, Rein Project ||Freelancing |
|Lolli ||Earn bitcoin when you shop online! |
|OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market ||Marketplaces |
|/GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW ||Adult services |
|A-ads, Coinzilla.io ||Advertising |
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket
by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins.
The following is a short
list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
|Unit ||Symbol ||Value ||Info |
|bitcoin ||BTC ||1 bitcoin ||one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis |
|millibitcoin ||mBTC ||1,000 per bitcoin ||used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases |
|bit ||bit ||1,000,000 per bitcoin ||colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC) |
|satoshi ||sat ||100,000,000 per bitcoin ||smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor |
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
- 0.001 BTC
- 1 mBTC
- 1,000 bits
- 100k sats
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki
. Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit.
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
"The withdrawal of cryptocurrency from BTC Markets wallet to an external wallet is treated as a disposal event (hence a taxing event) by BTC Markets." submitted by
Does your tax agency do it like this?
Necessary Disclaimer submitted by
: no rule breaking intended. No price manipulation intended. I only want to share verifiable facts/links and my analysis. If I am doing anything against the rules please let me know and I will do my best to fix it ASAP. I trade crypto, including LINK, and I am currently short on LINK. This is not financial advice; this is just for my own record and to start a discussion for anyone who might want more transparency around LINK.
I believe there is a lot of misinformation, uncertainty, and unanswered questions about the LINK token, the Chainlink ecosystem, the SmartContract parent company. I also believe that LINK's current price is unjustified based on fundamental factors like usage/business case/current customers/future potential. So I'm raising some points and asking some questions. What is this post? Why should I care? How do I use it?
Read or skim it. It's about the LINK token, the Chainlink ecosystem, and the parent company SmartContract. It's about why I believe the price of the LINK token may be currently driven mostly by hype and not backed by standard market fundamentals like usage/economics.
Update 9 AUG: reorganizing, rewriting this post and moving supporting data/sources into "appendix" comments below on this post. The previous versions of this post and my comments elsewhere were too emotionally charged and caused more division rather than honest, evidence-based, productive discussion and I sincerely apologize for that. I have now rewritten it and will continue to update it.
Who has Chainlink partnered with? Who is using Chainlink's technology and network? Who is contributing to developing Chainlink? Google
- this is the pinned tweet on Chainlink's official page. Nothing there about Google
services or co-developing with them. Just that blockchains/oracles CAN use google cloud services (APIs?). This is Google Cloud's June 13, 2019 blog post: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/data-analytics/building-hybrid-blockchain-cloud-applications-with-ethereum-and-google-cloud Oracle
- (TODO. This seems to have potential as some product manager at Oracle has posted that chainlink integration is coming Q3/Q4 of 2020) SWIFT
- the best they've got is a 30 second video with NOBODY from SWIFT present, with a *hypothetical* use case using SWIFT API. Intel
This is the only google result for "chainlink site:intel.com", and it casually mentions that Intel's TEE (trusted execution environment) technology can
be used to improve the security of oracles/blockchains. Nothing about Intel themselves using or developing with Chainlink. https://software.intel.com/content/www/us/en/develop/articles/new-confidential-computing-solutions-emerge-on-the-hyperledger-avalon-trusted-compute.html
Another 240+ claimed project integrations:
[TODO] There are so many to keep track of. Every week or even more frequent is yet another integration *announcement* Current DeFi usage
: we've heard that Chainlink "secures" $1 billion in DeFi. But that's not in value locked: https://defipulse.com/
(LINK doesn't even appear on that list). That's just with DeFi data supposedly being priced using Chainlink nodes.
EG Synthetix: https://blog.synthetix.io/chainlink-decentralizes-first-wave-of-synthetix-price-feeds/
yet where does Synthetix actually PAY to use an oracle? Not visible on-chain, maybe someone will find it. https://defipulse.com/blog/3-defi-dapps-starting-2020-off-strong/
"... Chainlink's following includes partnerships big and small, including Intel and Google Cloud services" example of misleading/exaggerated partnership claims being circulated.
Threshold signatures, staking, on-chain SLAs:
How real are these, is there a roadmap, how will this benefit users, is there any evidence of users currently *wanting* to use chainlink but needing these features and actively waiting for Chainlink to launch these? Staking
: for there to be a valid incentive for users to stake LINK, it has to return around 5% annually because anything substantially under that would have users putting their money elsewhere (https://www.stakingrewards.com/cryptoassets
) (not counting speculative capital gains in terms of LINK's price, but price gain per token/coin applies to all other crypto projects as well).
Currently, for stakable cryptos, around 30-80% of their total supply is staked, and a good adjusted reward is on the order of 5% as well (some actually negative, some 10%+). The promise of staking incentivises people to buy and hold more LINK tokens (again, many other crypto projects have staking already live). That 5% reward will ultimately have to come from the customers who pay Chainlink oracle nodes to use their services, so it's an extra 5% fee for them. Of course, in the near future, the staking rewards *could* be subsidized by the founders' reserve wallets. Threshold signatures
: addressed below in a comment. On-chain SLAs
Here's supposedly Chainlink's agile/project planning board. (TODO: verify that it is indeed Chainlink's, and then analyse it) https://www.pivotaltracker.com/n/projects/2129823
LINK wallet addresses
As LINK is an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, all its movements are visible, all the way from the genesis creation of 1,000,000,000 LINK tokens through to aggregator nodes through to cashing out on exchanges. Below are some examples and some reasons why this may be concerning to investors/holders of LINK.
This is one LINK address whale with over 6 million LINK. Looks like some of the funds end up on a Turkish exchange Paribu. https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xc6bed363b30df7f35b601a5547fe56cd31ec63da
This wallet has moved out >200,000 LINK in the last 24 hours. Don't know where, go trace it.
Typical data provider example. Lots of named Chainlink oracle nodes pay this address: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x72f3dff4cd17816604dd2df6c2741e739484ca62
Usually 0.16 LINK to this address every few minutes, sometimes 2 LINK. This data provider has sent out ~11,620 LINK out to the following wallet: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xa5d0084a766203b463b3164dfc49d91509c12dab
That wallet has cashed out 9,560 LINK to 1inch.exchange (a DEX) over the past year. Has also transferred 6000 LINK to a currently loaded wallet (possibly exchange account ready to sell?): https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x088d50c0bb5381a1205d1182cc21496c6fdc4c62
Another destination accumulation wallet (~493,000 LINK with no out transfers yet) https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x7758e507850da48cd47df1fb5f875c23e3340c50
(unrelated but a sell order of this size would drop LINK's price by 10-30% on Binance, someone check my maths on this) Now tracing back who funds the 0x72f3... data provider, we see a number of named Chainlink Aggregator nodes. Picking one at random, say the TUSD/ETH one: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x73ead35fd6a572ef763b13be65a9db96f7643577
It was last funded March 12 2020 with 5000 LINK. Tracing back the funds we ultimately come to the genesis wallet of the Chainlink network itself, the original source of the 1,000,000,000 LINK tokens in existence. (side note: some interesting-looking transactions there) This is the first child of the genesis wallet that received 100,000,000 from the genesis wallet. https://etherscan.io/tokentxns?a=0xf37c348b7d19b17b29cd5cfa64cfa48e2d6eb8db
Last time this wallet transferred out was YESTERDAY for 500,000 LINK. Now this doesn't prove anything, DYOR, but to me it looks like the genesis wallets are slowly cashing out through the aggregator nodes, making it look like the oracle node network is being actively used (which it is, but it's not the end customers like AAVE/NEXO paying the LINK required to power oracles, it's SmartContract itself). I know that this is just ONE aggregator node, but I've seen the same behaviour from their other named nodes - go check for yourselves.
If you trace chainlink oracle funds to their source, you can find some of the original addresses. Some of these early on (around 1000 days ago) were linked to AfroDex labs, which looks like now doesn’t work. http://afrodex.net/#!/trade/AfroX-ETH
Who currently pays Chainlink nodes?
How much of the revenue that Chainlink nodes receive is from potentially third party customers vs internal funding by the Chainlink team wallets? For example, this is the "Chainlink: LINK / USD Aggregator" wallet.
It has had a total 8,200 LINK deposited from 5 transactions in round amounts (on any of the below links, click the "Analytics" tab to see In/Out balance history), and has so far paid out ~5,156 LINK. https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x32dbd3214ac75223e27e575c53944307914f7a90
It typically pays ~10 wallets 0.16 Link each, a few times an hour, like so: https://etherscan.io/tx/0x02c595981b935a57cfbe6170656181faac9a16d7a33a123930a716c4abec615a
($45 in ETH fees to transfer $22 worth of LINK, sounds like a lot of overheads)
Where does this aggregator wallet get its LINK funding from?
From ONLY here: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x27158157136384c713bc09a0a7ae81c8391d7f11
(current net balance ~50,000 LINK, total ~5,000,000 million in and out)
Which in turn gets it from ONLY these three, in HUGE amounts: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xf37c348b7d19b17b29cd5cfa64cfa48e2d6eb8db
(6,000,000 LINK) https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xaf40738c6f940519516e043f924b8d05fc0292b8
(just a jump address into the one above, only 3 total tx) https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x1f9e26f1c050b5c018ab0e66fcae8e4394eb0165
the 0x1f9e2... one got its funding from:
- 6098.8 LINK from Binance about a year ago: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x161cdd891e04a77e0458a3ef65c563c4d2064cd6
- 12,600,000 from the genesis wallet through one jump address https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xdad22a85ef8310ef582b70e4051e543f3153e11f
- 13,000,000 from the 0xf37... wallet above
the 0xf37... in turn got its 50,000,000 (!) LINK from the genesis address which minted the original 1 billion tokens: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xf55037738604fddfc4043d12f25124e94d7d1780
So the 0x27158... wallet is basically a genesis wallet.
Now let's do the most popular feed on feeds.chain.link
, the ETH/USD feed: https://feeds.chain.link/eth-usd
, with a wallet address of: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xF79D6aFBb6dA890132F9D7c355e3015f15F3406F#tokenAnalytics
It was first funded in Jan 2020 and has been funded a total of 9 times for a total influx of 108,437.533 LINK, by:
- "Chainlink: Deployer" 10 LINK: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x6f61507f902e1c22bcd7aa2c0452cd2212009b61
- The 0x27158... genesis-sourced wallet, 20,000 LINK
- An intermediary/middle very active wallet (which is 99.998% funded by the 0x27158... genesis-sourced wallet), 52,000 LINK https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x2f0acb9c5dd2a3511bc1d9d67258e5c9434ba569
- "Chainlink: Aggregator", 36,427.533 LINK, https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x79febf6b9f76853edbcbc913e6aae8232cfb9de9#tokenAnalytics
I manually traced EVERY single inbound transaction/source of funds for the above 4 (not counting #1 as 10 LINK is negligible). 2 & 3 are 99.99%+ genesis-funded, being ACTIVELY topped up by a genesis wallet, last tx 4 days ago, 500,000 LINK. #4 has been funded 36 times over the past year and a half (that's 36 manual exports and I did them all). They all come from the 0x27158..., 0x2f0acb..., and https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x1f9e26f1c050b5c018ab0e66fcae8e4394eb0165
(another address like the 0x2f0acb that I went through and checked EVERY SINGLE inbound source of funds, and it's also >99.9% genesis-funded - one tx from Binance for 6098 LINK out of a total ~6,560,000 inbound LINK from genesis wallets), and two other addresses linked to Binance (0x1b185c8611d157a67d9a9d5261b0d2bd52c0bb78, 10,000 LINK and 0x039ac18afe298747c51c85e7c8f0d67c327f3883
, 1,000,000 LINK)
The 0x039ac... address funded the "Chainlink: Aggregator" address with 127,900 LINK, and the 0x1b185... with about ~9,600 LINK). So yes, it's technically possible that someone not related to Chainlink paid for the ETH / USD price feed because some funds do come from Binance. However, they only come from two distinct addresses. Surely for "240+" claimed partnerships, more than TWO would pay to use Chainlink's MOST POPULAR price feed? That is, unless they don't pay directly but to another address and then Chainlink covers this one from their own wallets. I will check if that's in line with Chainlink's whitepaper, but doesn't that throw doubt on the whole model of end-users paying to use oracles/aggregators, even if it's subsidized?
I provide you this much detail not to bore you but to show you that I went through BY HAND and checked every single source (detailed sources in Appendix B) of funds for the OFFICIAL, Chainlink-listed "ETH/USD" aggregator that's supposedly sponsored by 10 DeFi partners (Synthetix, LoopSpring, OpenLaw, 1inch, ParaSwap, MCDEX, FuturesSwap, DMM, Aave, The Force Protocol). Yet where are the transactions showing that those 10 partners have EVER paid for this ETH/USD oracle? Perhaps the data is there so what am I missing? This ETH/USD aggregator has transferred out ~76,000 LINK to I guess the data providers in increments of .33 LINK. It has 21 data providers responding. I will begin investigating the data providers themselves soon.
And those middle addresses like 0x1f9e26... and 0x2f0acb...? They have transferred out hundreds of thousands if not millions of LINK to exchanges. And that's just ONE price pair aggregator. Chainlink has around 40 of these (albeit this one's one of the more popular ones).
SNX / ETH aggregator is funded 100% by genesis-sourced wallets, only 3 inbound transactions: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xe23d1142de4e83c08bb048bcab54d50907390828
Some random examples (for later, ignore these for now) *********** https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x039ac18afe298747c51c85e7c8f0d67c327f3883
bought 1,000,000 LINK from Binance in Sept 12 & 15, 2019. (one of the possible funding sources for the ETH / USD aggregator example above)
This address got 500,000 LINK from 0x27158... and has distributed them into ~5-10,000 LINK wallets that haven't had any out transactions yet https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x5bcf3edc0bb7119e35f322ba40793b99d4620f1e
Another example with an unnamed aggregator-node-like wallet that was only spun up 5 days ago, Aug 5: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x2cbfd29947f774b8cf338f776915e6fee052f236
It was funded 2,000 LINK SOLELY by the 0x27158... wallet and has so far paid out ~500 LINK in 0.43 LINK amounts to 9 wallets at a time. For example, this is one of the wallets it cashes out to: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x64fe692be4b42f4ac9d4617ab824e088350c11c2#tokenAnalytics
That wallet extremely consistently collects small amounts of LINK since Oct 2019. It must be a data provider because a lot of Chainlink named wallets pay it small amounts of LINK regularly. It has transferred out 20 times. The most recent transfer out: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xc8c30fa803833dd1fd6dbcdd91ed0b301eff87cf
which then immediately transferred to the named "1inch.exchange
" wallet, so I assume this was a "cash-out" transaction. It has cashed out via this address a lot.
Granted, it also has transfer-out transactions that haven't (yet) ended up in an exchange wallet, eg https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x88e5353a73f38f25a9611e6083de6f361f9b537b
with a current balance of 3000 LINK. This could be a user's exchange wallet, ready to be sold, or could be something else. No way for me to tell as there are no out txs from it.
LINK overall transaction, volume, and tx fees
This is to understand how much $ moves through the LINK ecosystem through: nodes, data providers, reserve wallets, wallets linked to exchanges, others.
A typical aggregator node tx (payout?): https://etherscan.io/tx/0xef9e8e6dd94ebe9bbac8866f18c2ea0a07408ced1aa77fa04826043eaa55e772
This is their ETH/USD aggregator paying out 1 LINK to each of 21 addresses. Value of 21 LINK ~= $210. Total eth tx fees: .233 ETH (~$88.5, ~42% of the total tx value. If LINK was $4.2 instead of $10, the tx fees would be 100% of the value of the tx). Transactions like this happen every few minutes, and the payout amounts are most often 0.16, 0.66, 1.0, and 2.0 Link.
Chainlink’s node/job listing site, https://market.link
, lists 86 nodes, 195 feeds, 801 jobs, ~1,080,000 job runs (I can’t tell if this is over the past 2 months or 1.5 years). Only 20 nodes have over 1000 job runs, and 62 nodes have ZERO runs. Usual job cost is listed as 0.1 link, but the overall payout to the nodes is 10-20 times this. The nodes then cash out usually through a few jump addresses to exchanges. Some quick maths: (being generous and assuming it’s 1mil jobs every 2 months = ~6mil link/year = $60,000,000 revenue a year. This is the most generous estimate towards link’s valuation I’ve found so far. If we ignore the below examples where on multi-node payouts the tx fees are more than the node revenue itself, then it’s almost in line with an over-valued (but real) big tech company.
For example, one of the latest CHF/USD job runs paid 0.1 LINK to 9 addresses (data providers?) - total $14.4 payout - and paid 0.065 ETH ($24.5) in fees. That’s a $10.1 LOSS on a $14.4 revenue: https://etherscan.io/tx/0xa6351bab810b6864bfebb0f6e1e3bde3c8856f8aac3ba769dd2e6d1a39c0d23f
Linkpool’s (one of the biggest node operators) “ETH-USD CryptoCompare” job costs 0.1 link and has 33 runs in the past 24 hours (once every ~44min), total ~78,000 runs since May 30 2019 (once every ~8min). https://market.link/jobs/64bb0845-c4e1-4681-8853-0b5aa7366101/runs
(PS cryptocompare has a free API that does this. Not sure why it costs $1 at current link prices to access an API once)
Top 100 wallets (0.05% of ~186,000 total) hold 83% of tokens. 8 wallets each hold over 1% of total, 58 hold over 0.1%. Of these 58, 9 are named exchange/lending pool wallets.
For comparison, for Tether (TUSD), the top 100 wallets (0.006% of ~1,651,000 total) hold 35.9% of the supply. 3 addresses hold over 1% of the supply and 135 hold over 0.1%. Of these 135, at least 15 are named exchange/lending pool wallets.
LINK’s market cap is $3.5B (or $10B fully diluted, if we count the foundedev-controlled tokens, which we should as there's nothing preventing them from being moved at a moment's notice). Tether’s is $6.9B. Tether has 10 times more addresses and less distribution inequality. Both LINK and Tether are ERC20 tokens, and even if we temporarily ignore any arguments related to management/roadmap/teams etc, Tether has a clear, currently functional, single use case: keep 1 USDT = $1 USD by printing/burning USDT (and yet as of April 2019, only 74% of Tether's market cap is backed by real funds - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tether_(cryptocurrency)
)). Given that Chainlink's market cap is now 50% bigger than Tether's, surely by now there's AT LEAST one clear, currently functional use case for LINK? What is it? Can we *see* it happening on-chain?
Chainlink’s actual deliverable products
"What do I currently get for my money if I buy LINK 1) as an investor and 2) as a tech business/startup thinking of using oracles?” Codebase
(Chainlink’s github has around 140-200,000 lines of code (not counting html/css). What else is not counted in this? Town crier? Proprietary code that we don't know about yet? How much CODING has Chainlink done other than what's on github? Current network of oracles
- only ~20 active nodes - are there many more than the ones listed on market.link and reputation.link? If so, would be nice to know about these if we're allowed! Documentation
- they have what seems like detailed instructions on how to launch and use oracle nodes (and much more, I haven't investigated yet) (TODO this part more - what else do they offer to me as an end consumer, and eg as a tech startup needing oracle services that I can’t code myself?)
Network utilization statistics:
Etherscan.io allows csv export of the first 5000 txs from each day. From Jul 31 to Aug 6 2020, I thus downloaded 30,000 tx from midnight every day to an average of 7:10am (so 24 hour totals are 3.34x these numbers if we assume the same network utilization throughout the day).
(Summary of all
LINK token activity on the ETH blockchain from 31.07 to 06.08, first 5000 txs of each day (30k total) shown Appendix A comment below this post.)
If we GENEROUSLY assume that EVERY SINGLE transaction under 10.0 LINK is ACTUAL chainlink nodes doing ACTUAL work, that’s still under 0.1% of the LINK network’s total volume being used for ACTUAL ecosystem functioning. The rest is speculation, trading, node funding by foundedev wallets, or dumping to exchanges (anything I missed?)
Assuming the above, the entire turnover of the actual LINK network is currently (18,422 LINK) * ($10/LINK) * (3.34 as etherscan.io’s data only gives first 5000 tx per day which averages to 7:10am) * (52 wk/year) = USD $31,995,329 turnover a year. Note: the below paragraph is old analysis using traditional stock market Price/Earnings ratios which several users have now pointed out isn't really applicable in crypto. I leave it for the record.
Assuming all of that is profit (which it’s not given tx fees at the very least), LINK would need a PE ratio (Price/Earnings) of 100 times to justify its current (undiluted) valuation of $3.5 billion of 300 if you count the other 65% of tokens that haven’t been dumped by the founders/devs yet. For comparison, common PE ratios are 32 (facebook), 29 (google), 37 (uber), 20 (twitter on a good year), 10 (good hedge fund returning 10% annual).
Thoughts on DeFi & yield-farming - [TODO]
Why would exchanges who do their due diligence list LINK, let alone at a leverage? 1) that's their business, they take a cut of every transaction, overhyped or not, 2) they're not safe from listing openly bearish tokens like EIDOS (troll token that incentivized users to make FAKE transactions, response to EOS) https://www.coindesk.com/defi-yield-farming-comp-token-explained
The current ANNUAL yield on liquidity/yield farming is something like 2% on STABLE tokens like USDC and TETHER which at least have most of their supply backed by real-world assets. If Chainlink LINK staking is to be successful, they'll have to achieve at LEAST that same 2% at end-state. IF LINK is in bubble territory and drops, that's a lot of years at 2% waiting to recoup losses.
SmartContract Team & Past Projects
Normally I don't like focussing on people because it leads too easily to ad-hominem attacks on personality rather than on technology/numbers as I've done above, but I came across this and didn't like what I saw.
Steve Ellis, SmartContract's current CTO, co-founded and worked in "Secure Asset Exchange" from 2014 to 2016. They developed the NXT blockchain, issued 1,000,000,000 NXT tokens (remind you of anything?), NXT was listed end of 2013 and saw 3 quick 500%-1000% pumps and subsequent dumps in early in mid 2014, and then declined to . SecureAE officially shut down in Jan 2016. Then at some point a company called Jelurida acquired the rights to NXT (presumably after SecureAE?), then during the 2017 altcoin craze NXT pumped 300 times to a market cap of $1.8 BILLION and then dumped back down 100 times and now it's a dead project with a market cap of $13 million. https://www.linkedin.com/in/steveellis0606/ https://trade.secureae.com/ https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/nxt/ https://www.jelurida.com/news/lawsuit-against-apollo-license-violations
As an investor or business owner, would you invest/hire a company whose co-founders/CTO's last project was a total flop with a price history chart that's textbook pump-and-dump behaviour? (and in this case, we KNOW the end result - 99% losses for investors) If you're Google/Oracle/SWIFT/Intel, would you partner with them?
Open questions for the Chainlink community and investors:
- Network activity: Are there any other currently active chainlink nodes other than those listed on market.link and reputation.link? If so, is there a list of them with usage statistics? Do they use some other token than LINK and thus making simple analytics of the LINK ERC20 token not an accurate representation of Chainlink’s actual activity? If the nodes listed on the two sites above ARE currently the main nodes, then
- PR, partnership announcements: Why is the google tweet still pinned to the top of Chainlink’s twitter? Due to the frequently circulated Chainlink promotion material (https://chainlinkecosystem.com/) that lists Google as one of the key partners, this tweet being pinned is potentially misleading as there isn't anything in there to merit calling Google a "collaborator" or "partner" - just that blockchains/oracles *can* use Google's APIs (but so can most software in the world). Is there something else going on with the SmartContract-Google relationship that warrants calling Google a partner that we're simply not aware of yet?
- By buying LINK, what backs YOUR money: If you have bought and currently hold LINK tokens, how comfortable are you that the future promise of your investment growing is supported on verifiable business and technological grounds versus pure, parabolic hype? If after reading this post you still are, I kindly ask you to reply and show how even one of the points I provided is either incorrect or not applicable, and I will edit my post and include your feedback in the relevant section as I have already done from other users.
- What have I missed? Of course not 100% of what I've said is infallible truth. I am a real human, and I have plenty of biases and blind spots. Even if what I've provided is technically correct, there may be other much more important info that I've missed that eclipses what I've provided here. Ask yourself: if the current hype around LINK is indeed valid and points to a $100/$1000 future LINK price, then Where’s Chainlink’s missing financial/performance/usage evidence to justify LINK’s current valuation of $10+?
For your consideration, I have provided evidence with links that you can follow and verify, and draw your own conclusions. I have made my case as to why I believe the LINK token is currently priced much higher than evidence supports, and I ask you to peer-review my analysis and share your thoughts with me and with the wider LINK/crypto community.
Thank you for your time, I realize this is a long post. All questions and feedback welcome, feel free to comment or PM. I won't delete/censoblock (except for personal threats, safety considerations etc). I am a real human but I am not revealing my true identity for obvious privacy/harassment reasons.
(If anyone is wondering about my credentials ability to add 2+2 and work with basic spreadsheets: I have previously won a math competition in a USA state, I won an English-speaking country's physics olympiad, my university education is in mathematical physics/optimization engineering, and I worked for a few years in a global manufacturing company doing data analytics, obviously I'm not posting my CV here to verify that but I promise you it's the truth)
I’m not looking to spread neither FUD, nor blind faith, nor pure hype, and I want an honest transparent objective discussion. I personally believe more that LINK is overvalued, but my beliefs have evolved and may continue to do so as I research more and understand more about Chainlink, LINK, Ethereum, DeFi, and other related topics, and as I incorporate YOUR feedback. If you think I haven't disclosed something, ask.
As always, this is not financial advice and I am not liable for anything that may happen as a result of you reading this!
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