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Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3
Welcome to the third and final part of this chapter.
Thank you all for the 100s of comments and upvotes - maybe this post will take us above 1,000 for this topic!
Keep any feedback or questions coming in the replies below.
Before you read this note, please start with Part I and then Part II so it hangs together and makes sense.
Part III
  • Squeezes and other risks
  • Market positioning
  • Bet correlation
  • Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

Squeezes and other risks

We are going to cover three common risks that traders face: events; squeezes, asymmetric bets.

Events

Economic releases can cause large short-term volatility. The most famous is Non Farm Payrolls, which is the most widely watched measure of US employment levels and affects the price of many instruments.On an NFP announcement currencies like EURUSD might jump (or drop) 100 pips no problem.
This is fine and there are trading strategies that one may employ around this but the key thing is to be aware of these releases.You can find economic calendars all over the internet - including on this site - and you need only check if there are any major releases each day or week.
For example, if you are trading off some intraday chart and scalping a few pips here and there it would be highly sensible to go into a known data release flat as it is pure coin-toss and not the reason for your trading. It only takes five minutes each day to plan for the day ahead so do not get caught out by this. Many retail traders get stopped out on such events when price volatility is at its peak.

Squeezes

Short squeezes bring a lot of danger and perhaps some opportunity.
The story of VW and Porsche is the best short squeeze ever. Throughout these articles we've used FX examples wherever possible but in this one instance the concept (which is also highly relevant in FX) is best illustrated with an historical lesson from a different asset class.
A short squeeze is when a participant ends up in a short position they are forced to cover. Especially when the rest of the market knows that this participant can be bullied into stopping out at terrible levels, provided the market can briefly drive the price into their pain zone.

There's a reason for the car, don't worry
Hedge funds had been shorting VW stock. However the amount of VW stock available to buy in the open market was actually quite limited. The local government owned a chunk and Porsche itself had bought and locked away around 30%. Neither of these would sell to the hedge-funds so a good amount of the stock was un-buyable at any price.
If you sell or short a stock you must be prepared to buy it back to go flat at some point.
To cut a long story short, Porsche bought a lot of call options on VW stock. These options gave them the right to purchase VW stock from banks at slightly above market price.
Eventually the banks who had sold these options realised there was no VW stock to go out and buy since the German government wouldn’t sell its allocation and Porsche wouldn’t either. If Porsche called in the options the banks were in trouble.
Porsche called in the options which forced the shorts to buy stock - at whatever price they could get it.
The price squeezed higher as those that were short got massively squeezed and stopped out. For one brief moment in 2008, VW was the world’s most valuable company. Shorts were burned hard.

Incredible event
Porsche apparently made $11.5 billion on the trade. The BBC described Porsche as “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.”
If this all seems exotic then know that the same thing happens in FX all the time. If everyone in the market is talking about a key level in EURUSD being 1.2050 then you can bet the market will try to push through 1.2050 just to take out any short stops at that level. Whether it then rallies higher or fails and trades back lower is a different matter entirely.
This brings us on to the matter of crowded trades. We will look at positioning in more detail in the next section. Crowded trades are dangerous for PNL. If everyone believes EURUSD is going down and has already sold EURUSD then you run the risk of a short squeeze.
For additional selling to take place you need a very good reason for people to add to their position whereas a move in the other direction could force mass buying to cover their shorts.
A trading mentor when I worked at the investment bank once advised me:
Always think about which move would cause the maximum people the maximum pain. That move is precisely what you should be watching out for at all times.

Asymmetric losses

Also known as picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. This risk has caught out many a retail trader. Sometimes it is referred to as a "negative skew" strategy.
Ideally what you are looking for is asymmetric risk trade set-ups: that is where the downside is clearly defined and smaller than the upside. What you want to avoid is the opposite.
A famous example of this going wrong was the Swiss National Bank de-peg in 2012.
The Swiss National Bank had said they would defend the price of EURCHF so that it did not go below 1.2. Many people believed it could never go below 1.2 due to this. Many retail traders therefore opted for a strategy that some describe as ‘picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller’.
They would would buy EURCHF above the peg level and hope for a tiny rally of several pips before selling them back and keep doing this repeatedly. Often they were highly leveraged at 100:1 so that they could amplify the profit of the tiny 5-10 pip rally.
Then this happened.

Something that changed FX markets forever
The SNB suddenly did the unthinkable. They stopped defending the price. CHF jumped and so EURCHF (the number of CHF per 1 EUR) dropped to new lows very fast. Clearly, this trade had horrific risk : reward asymmetry: you risked 30% to make 0.05%.
Other strategies like naively selling options have the same result. You win a small amount of money each day and then spectacularly blow up at some point down the line.

Market positioning

We have talked about short squeezes. But how do you know what the market position is? And should you care?
Let’s start with the first. You should definitely care.
Let’s imagine the entire market is exceptionally long EURUSD and positioning reaches extreme levels. This makes EURUSD very vulnerable.
To keep the price going higher EURUSD needs to attract fresh buy orders. If everyone is already long and has no room to add, what can incentivise people to keep buying? The news flow might be good. They may believe EURUSD goes higher. But they have already bought and have their maximum position on.
On the flip side, if there’s an unexpected event and EURUSD gaps lower you will have the entire market trying to exit the position at the same time. Like a herd of cows running through a single doorway. Messy.
We are going to look at this in more detail in a later chapter, where we discuss ‘carry’ trades. For now this TRYJPY chart might provide some idea of what a rush to the exits of a crowded position looks like.

A carry trade position clear-out in action
Knowing if the market is currently at extreme levels of long or short can therefore be helpful.
The CFTC makes available a weekly report, which details the overall positions of speculative traders “Non Commercial Traders” in some of the major futures products. This includes futures tied to deliverable FX pairs such as EURUSD as well as products such as gold. The report is called “CFTC Commitments of Traders” ("COT").
This is a great benchmark. It is far more representative of the overall market than the proprietary ones offered by retail brokers as it covers a far larger cross-section of the institutional market.
Generally market participants will not pay a lot of attention to commercial hedgers, which are also detailed in the report. This data is worth tracking but these folks are simply hedging real-world transactions rather than speculating so their activity is far less revealing and far more noisy.
You can find the data online for free and download it directly here.

Raw format is kinda hard to work with

However, many websites will chart this for you free of charge and you may find it more convenient to look at it that way. Just google “CFTC positioning charts”.

But you can easily get visualisations
You can visually spot extreme positioning. It is extremely powerful.
Bear in mind the reports come out Friday afternoon US time and the report is a snapshot up to the prior Tuesday. That means it is a lagged report - by the time it is released it is a few days out of date. For longer term trades where you hold positions for weeks this is of course still pretty helpful information.
As well as the absolute level (is the speculative market net long or short) you can also use this to pick up on changes in positioning.
For example if bad news comes out how much does the net short increase? If good news comes out, the market may remain net short but how much did they buy back?
A lot of traders ask themselves “Does the market have this trade on?” The positioning data is a good method for answering this. It provides a good finger on the pulse of the wider market sentiment and activity.
For example you might say: “There was lots of noise about the good employment numbers in the US. However, there wasn’t actually a lot of position change on the back of it. Maybe everyone who wants to buy already has. What would happen now if bad news came out?”
In general traders will be wary of entering a crowded position because it will be hard to attract additional buyers or sellers and there could be an aggressive exit.
If you want to enter a trade that is showing extreme levels of positioning you must think carefully about this dynamic.

Bet correlation

Retail traders often drastically underestimate how correlated their bets are.
Through bitter experience, I have learned that a mistake in position correlation is the root of some of the most serious problems in trading. If you have eight highly correlated positions, then you are really trading one position that is eight times as large.
Bruce Kovner of hedge fund, Caxton Associates
For example, if you are trading a bunch of pairs against the USD you will end up with a simply huge USD exposure. A single USD-trigger can ruin all your bets. Your ideal scenario — and it isn’t always possible — would be to have a highly diversified portfolio of bets that do not move in tandem.
Look at this chart. Inverted USD index (DXY) is green. AUDUSD is orange. EURUSD is blue.

Chart from TradingView
So the whole thing is just one big USD trade! If you are long AUDUSD, long EURUSD, and short DXY you have three anti USD bets that are all likely to work or fail together.
The more diversified your portfolio of bets are, the more risk you can take on each.
There’s a really good video, explaining the benefits of diversification from Ray Dalio.
A systematic fund with access to an investable universe of 10,000 instruments has more opportunity to make a better risk-adjusted return than a trader who only focuses on three symbols. Diversification really is the closest thing to a free lunch in finance.
But let’s be pragmatic and realistic. Human retail traders don’t have capacity to run even one hundred bets at a time. More realistic would be an average of 2-3 trades on simultaneously. So what can be done?
For example:
  • You might diversify across time horizons by having a mix of short-term and long-term trades.
  • You might diversify across asset classes - trading some FX but also crypto and equities.
  • You might diversify your trade generation approach so you are not relying on the same indicators or drivers on each trade.
  • You might diversify your exposure to the market regime by having some trades that assume a trend will continue (momentum) and some that assume we will be range-bound (carry).
And so on. Basically you want to scan your portfolio of trades and make sure you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. If some trades underperform others will perform - assuming the bets are not correlated - and that way you can ensure your overall portfolio takes less risk per unit of return.
The key thing is to start thinking about a portfolio of bets and what each new trade offers to your existing portfolio of risk. Will it diversify or amplify a current exposure?

Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

One common mistake is to get bored and restless and put on crap trades. This just means trades in which you have low conviction.
It is perfectly fine not to trade. If you feel like you do not understand the market at a particular point, simply choose not to trade.
Flat is a position.
Do not waste your bullets on rubbish trades. Only enter a trade when you have carefully considered it from all angles and feel good about the risk. This will make it far easier to hold onto the trade if it moves against you at any point. You actually believe in it.
Equally, you need to set monthly limits. A standard limit might be a 10% account balance stop per month. At that point you close all your positions immediately and stop trading till next month.

Be strict with yourself and walk away
Let’s assume you started the year with $100k and made 5% in January so enter Feb with $105k balance. Your stop is therefore 10% of $105k or $10.5k . If your account balance dips to $94.5k ($105k-$10.5k) then you stop yourself out and don’t resume trading till March the first.
Having monthly calendar breaks is nice for another reason. Say you made a load of money in January. You don’t want to start February feeling you are up 5% or it is too tempting to avoid trading all month and protect the existing win. Each month and each year should feel like a clean slate and an independent period.
Everyone has trading slumps. It is perfectly normal. It will definitely happen to you at some stage. The trick is to take a break and refocus. Conserve your capital by not trading a lot whilst you are on a losing streak. This period will be much harder for you emotionally and you’ll end up making suboptimal decisions. An enforced break will help you see the bigger picture.
Put in place a process before you start trading and then it’ll be easy to follow and will feel much less emotional. Remember: the market doesn’t care if you win or lose, it is nothing personal.
When your head has cooled and you feel calm you return the next month and begin the task of building back your account balance.

That's a wrap on risk management

Thanks for taking time to read this three-part chapter on risk management. I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment in the replies if you have any questions or feedback.
Remember: the most important part of trading is not making money. It is not losing money. Always start with that principle. I hope these three notes have provided some food for thought on how you might approach risk management and are of practical use to you when trading. Avoiding mistakes is not a sexy tagline but it is an effective and reliable way to improve results.
Next up I will be writing about an exciting topic I think many traders should look at rather differently: news trading. Please follow on here to receive notifications and the broad outline is below.
News Trading Part I
  • Introduction
  • Why use the economic calendar
  • Reading the economic calendar
  • Knowing what's priced in
  • Surveys
  • Interest rates
  • First order thinking vs second order thinking
News Trading Part II
  • Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
  • Data surprise index
  • Using recent events to predict future reactions
  • Buy the rumour, sell the fact
  • The mysterious 'position trim' effect
  • Reversals
  • Some key FX releases
***

Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
submitted by getmrmarket to Forex [link] [comments]

Post and user flair suggestions for r/DayTrading

Hey day traders, looking to get suggestions on flairs. Currently our user flair is pretty basic, just beginner, intermediate, or advanced and we don't even verify this. And we don't have any post flairs right now, so this post is going to address those 2 things.
I am considering mod only user flair assignment, and even hiring some flair mods from the community to give out flairs when appropriate. Is that actually a good idea? Either way, I'll let users keep choosing their own flair even after I add the new flairs while having mod only assignable flairs for the best of both worlds.
For posts: Over at futurestrading I created a ton of post flairs with automod auto assigning them out, and users could still flair their own posts, plus a search by flair in the sidebar, and that worked out extremely well.
But here, I don't think we'll need such a broad spectrum of flairs based on futures, maybe just "futures" for all futures products, "forex" for all currency pairs, etc. So these are what I'm planing for post flairs:
As for user flairs I'm considering (since we can't discern or completely verify someone's skill level or gains, or have the time for that, none of the flairs will describe someone's skill level, except for them being a new member to the community and for the flairs rewarding someone's advice giving history):
mod only assignable flairs
user assignable flairs
What do you think? Feel free to suggest other flairs that I didn't cover or tell me which flairs are just downright bad.
Update added penny stock trader flair to this list, trade idea, trading screens, workstation; expanded user flairs for algo trader; also added "trades everything," "trades multiple markets," investor (if you want to be that guy in the wrong sub) and "not-a-day-trader" to cover everyone who doesn't day trade but does something else like invest/swing
I still don't know what to do if you trade more than one thing, I guess for now you would just pick the one you trade the most. I could expand algo trader to "algo stock trader" and so on and that's it, but to get all the combinations for the rest would be an insane list. I think cryptocurreny had a similar problem and then went with a bot that just picked a flair for you based on your comment history, I'm not going to do that. So I added a bunch of new user flairs to the list above that should satisfy everyone, if not, let me know.
submitted by provoko to Daytrading [link] [comments]

[educational] Technical analysis, patterns, and charts analysis for the day trader

[educational] Technical analysis, patterns, and charts analysis for the day trader
Chart patterns form a key part of day trading. Candlestick and other charts produce frequent signals that cut through price action “noise”.
The best patterns will be those that can form the backbone of a profitable day trading strategy, whether trading stocks, cryptocurrency of forex pairs.
Every day you have to choose between hundreds of trading opportunities. This is a result of a wide range of factors influencing the market. Day trading patterns enable you to decipher the multitude of options and motivations – from hope of gain and fear of loss, to short-covering, stop-loss triggers, hedging, tax consequences and plenty more.
Candlestick patterns help by painting a clear picture, and flagging up trading signals and signs of future price movements. Whilst it’s said you’ll need to use technical analysis to succeed day trading with candlestick and other patterns, it’s important to note utilizing them to your advantage is more of an art form than a rigid science.
You have to learn the power of chart patterns and the theory that governs them in order to identify the best patterns to supplement your trading style and strategies.

Use In Day Trading

Used correctly trading patterns can add a powerful tool to your arsenal. This is because history has a habit of repeating itself and the financial markets are no exception. This repetition can help you identify opportunities and anticipate potential pitfalls.
RSI, volume, plus support and resistance levels all aide your technical analysis when you’re trading. But crypto chart patterns play a crucial role in identifying breakouts and trend reversals. Mastering the art of reading these patterns will help you make smarter trades and bolster your profits, as highlighted in the highly regarded, ‘stock patterns for day trading’, by Barry Rudd.

Breakouts & Reversals

In the patterns and charts below you’ll see two recurring themes, breakouts and reversals.
  • Breakout – A breakout is simply when the price clears a specified critical level on your chart. This level could by any number of things, from a Fibonacci level, to support, resistance or trend lines.
  • Reversal – A reversal is simply a change in direction of a price trend. That change could be either positive or negative against the prevailing trend. You may also hear it called a ‘rally’, ‘correction’, or ‘trend reversal’.

Candlestick Charts

Candlestick charts are a technical tool at your disposal. They consolidate data within given time frames into single bars. Not only are the patterns relatively straightforward to interpret, but trading with candle patterns can help you attain that competitive edge over the rest of the market.
They first originated in the 18th century where they were used by Japanese rice traders. Since Steve Nison introduced them to the West with his 1991 book ‘Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques’, their popularity has surged.
Below is a break down of three of the most popular candlestick patterns used for day trading.

Shooting Star Candlestick

This is often one of the first you see when you open a chart with candlestick patterns. This bearish reversal candlestick suggests a peak. It is precisely the opposite of a hammer candle. It won’t form until at least three subsequent green candles have materialized. This will indicate an increase in price and demand. Usually, buyers lose their cool and clamber for the price to increasing highs before they realize they’ve overpaid.
The upper shadow is usually twice the size of the body. This tells you the last frantic buyers have entered trading just as those that have turned a profit have off-loaded their positions. Short-sellers then usually force the price down to the close of the candle either near or below the open. This traps the late arrivals who pushed the price high. Panic often kicks in at this point as those late arrivals swiftly exit their positions.

https://preview.redd.it/gf5dwjhbrdh31.png?width=300&format=png&auto=webp&s=437ff856bfd6ebc95da34528462ba224d964f01f

Doji Candlestick

One of the most popular candlestick patterns for trading forex is the doji candlestick (doji signifies indecision). This reversal pattern is either bearish or bullish depending on the previous candles. It will have nearly, or the same open and closing price with long shadows. It may look like a cross, but it can have an extremely small body. You will often get an indicator as to which way the reversal will head from the previous candles.
If you see previous candles are bullish, you can anticipate the next one near the underneath of the body low will trigger a short/sell signal when the doji lows break. You’ll then see trail stops above the doji highs.
Alternatively, if the previous candles are bearish then the doji will probably form a bullish reversal. Above the candlestick high, long triggers usually form with a trail stop directly under the doji low.
These candlestick patterns could be used for intraday trading with forex, stocks, cryptocurrencies and any number of other assets. But using candlestick patterns for trading interpretations requires experience, so practice on a demo account before you put real money on the line.

https://preview.redd.it/4yo650lcrdh31.png?width=300&format=png&auto=webp&s=b2aa3cdeef23e44e1e3e3047bbe2604fce0a4768

Hammer Candlestick

This is a bullish reversal candlestick. You can use this candlestick to establish capitulation bottoms. These are then normally followed by a price bump, allowing you to enter a long position.
The hammer candlestick forms at the end of a downtrend and suggests a near-term price bottom. The lower shadow is made by a new low in the downtrend pattern that then closes back near the open. The tail (lower shadow), must be a minimum of twice the size of the actual body.
The tails are those that stopped out as shorts started to cover their positions and those looking for a bargain decided to feast. Volume can also help hammer home the candle. To be certain it is a hammer candle, check where the next candle closes. It must close above the hammer candle low.
Trading with Japanese candlestick patterns has become increasingly popular in recent decades, as a result of the easy to glean and detailed information they provide. This makes them ideal for charts for beginners to get familiar with.

https://preview.redd.it/7snzz8qdrdh31.png?width=300&format=png&auto=webp&s=f83ff82f0980dd30c33bc6886ae7e7ed3a98b72f

More Popular Day Trading Patterns

Using Price Action

Many strategies using simple price action patterns are mistakenly thought to be too basic to yield significant profits. Yet price action strategies are often straightforward to employ and effective, making them ideal for both beginners and experienced traders.
Put simply, price action is how the price is likely to respond at certain levels of resistance or support. Using price action patterns from pdfs and charts will help you identify both swings and trendlines.
Whether you’re day trading stocks or forex or crypto with price patterns, these easy to follow strategies can be applied across the board.

Zone Strategy

So, how do you start day trading with short-term price patterns? you will likely employ a ‘zone strategy’. One obvious bonus to this system is it creates straightforward charts, free from complex indicators and distractions.

https://preview.redd.it/7e5x37zerdh31.png?width=300&format=png&auto=webp&s=2098a4c9df4a4556c3024cec1c176ce50c9806c0

Dead Zone

This empty zone tells you that the price action isn’t headed anywhere. There is no clear up or down trend, the market is at a standoff. If you want big profits, avoid the dead zone completely. No indicator will help you makes thousands of pips here.

The Red Zone

This is where things start to get a little interesting. Once you’re in the red zone the end goal is in sight, and that one hundred pip winner within reach. For example, if the price hits the red zone and continues to the upside, you might want to make a buy trade. It could be giving you higher highs and an indication that it will become an uptrend.
This will be likely when the sellers take hold. If the price hits the red zone and continues to the downside, a sell trade may be on the cards. You’d have new lower lows and a suggestion that it will become a downtrend.

The End Zone

This is where the magic happens. With this strategy, you want to consistently get from the red zone to the end zone. Draw rectangles on your charts like the ones found in the example. Then only trade the zones. If you draw the red zones anywhere from 10-20 pips wide, you’ll have room for the price action to do its usual retracement before heading to the downside or upside.

Outside Bar At Resistance Or Support

You’ll see a bullish outside bar if today’s low exceeded yesterdays, but the stock still rallies and closes above yesterday’s high. If the complete opposite price action took place, you’d have yourself the perfect bearish example.
Unfortunately, it isn’t as straightforward as identifying an outside candlestick and then just placing a trade. It’s prudent to find an outside day after a major break of a trend.

https://preview.redd.it/egb0lp6grdh31.png?width=300&format=png&auto=webp&s=b0170eceea5006464e5832bc3a9083c72ee677ad

Spring At Support

The spring is when the stock tests the low of a range, but then swiftly comes back into trading zone and sets off a new trend. One common mistake traders make is waiting for the last swing low to be reached. However, as you’ve probably realized already, trading setups don’t usually meet your precise requirements so don’t stress about a few pennies.

https://preview.redd.it/q82lap2hrdh31.png?width=300&format=png&auto=webp&s=9e40f0bc25c2df06a1d93edb68b293c858a32592

Little To No Price Retracement

Put simply, less retracement is proof the primary trend is robust and probably going to continue. Forget about coughing up on the numerous Fibonacci retracement levels. The main thing to remember is that you want the retracement to be less than 38.2%. This means even when today’s asset tests the previous swing, you’ll have a greater chance that the breakout will either hold or continue towards the direction of the primary trend.

https://preview.redd.it/ey997b2irdh31.png?width=300&format=png&auto=webp&s=c938aac51e3b3bbf1f45a11c46f4ae3dfd1b6dd4
Trading with price patterns to hand enables you to try any of these strategies. Find the one that fits in with your individual trading style. Remember, you’ll often find the best trading chart patterns aren’t overly complex, instead they paint a clear picture using minimal indicators, reducing the likelihood of mistakes and distraction.

Consider Time Frames

When you start trading with your short term price patterns pdf to hand, it’s essential you also consider time frames in your calculations. In your market, you’ll find a number of time frames simultaneously co-existing. This means you can find conflicting trends within the particular asset your trading. Your stock could be in a primary downtrend whilst also being in an intermediate short-term uptrend.
Many traders make the mistake of focusing on a specific time frame and ignoring the underlying influential primary trend. Usually, the longer the time frame the more reliable the signals. When you reduce your time frames you’ll be distracted by false moves and noise.
Many traders download examples of short-term price patterns but overlook the underlying primary trend, do not make this mistake. You should trade-off 15-minute charts, but utilize 60-minute charts to define the primary trend and 5-minute charts to establish the short-term trend.

Wrapping Up

Our understanding of chart patterns has come along way since the initial 1932 work of Richard Schabacker in ‘Technical Analysis and Stock Market Profits’. Schabacker asserted then, ‘any general stock chart is a combination of countless different patterns and its accurate analysis depends upon constant study, long experience and knowledge of all the fine points, both technical and fundamental…’ So whilst there is an abundance of patterns out there, remember accurate analysis and sustained practice is required to fully reap their benefits.

The source : https://www.daytrading.com/patterns
submitted by JalelTounsi to ethfinance [link] [comments]

"Satoshi Nakamoto" the mysterious creator of Bitcoin is no other than the CIA

Bitcoin has surged to all time highs, Who created Bitcoin, and why?
The creator of Bitcoin is officially a name, “Satoshi Nakamoto” – very few people believe that it was a single male from Japan. In the early days of Bitcoin development this name is associated with original key-creation and communications on message boards, and then the project was officially handed over to others at which point this Satoshi character never appeared again (Although from time to time someone will come forward saying they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and then have their posts deleted).
Bitcoin could very well be the ‘one world currency’ that conspiracy theorists have been talking about for some time. It’s a kill five birds with one stone solution – not only is Bitcoin an ideal one world currency, it allows law enforcement a perfect record of all transactions on the network. It states very clearly on bitcoin.org (the official site) in big letters “Bitcoin is not anonymous” :
Some effort is required to protect your privacy with Bitcoin. All Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the network, which means anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. However, the identity of the user behind an address remains unknown until information is revealed during a purchase or in other circumstances. This is one reason why Bitcoin addresses should only be used once.
Another advantage of Bitcoin is the problem of Quantitative Easing – the Fed (and thus, nearly all central banks in the world) have painted themselves in a corner, metaphorically speaking. QE ‘solved’ the credit crisis, but QE itself does not have a solution. Currently all currencies are in a race to zero – competing with who can print more money faster. Central Bankers who are in systemic analysis, their economic advisors, know this. They know that the Fiat money system is doomed, all what you can read online is true (just sensationalized) – it’s a debt based system based on nothing. That system was created, originally in the early 1900’s and refined during Breton Woods followed by the Nixon shock (This is all explained well in Splitting Pennies). In the early 1900’s – there was no internet! It is a very archaic system that needs to be replaced, by something modern, electronic, based on encryption. Bitcoin! It’s a currency based on ‘bits’ – but most importantly, Bitcoin is not the ‘one world currency’ per se, but laying the framework for larger cryptocurrency projects. In the case of central banks, who control the global monetary system, that would manifest in ‘Settlement Coin’ :
Two resources available almost exclusively to central banks could soon be opened up to additional users as a result of a new digital currency project designed by a little-known startup and Swiss bank UBS. One of those resources is the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system used by central banks (it’s typically reserved for high-value transactions that need to be settled instantly), and the other is central bank-issued cash. Using the Utility Settlement Coin (USC) unveiled today, the five-member consortium that has sprung up around the project aims to help central banks open-up access to these tools to more customers. If successful, USC has the potential to create entirely new business models built on instant settling and easy cash transfers. In interview, Robert Sams, founder of London-based Clearmatics, said his firm initially worked with UBS to build the network, and that BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, ICAP and Santander are only just the first of many future members.
the NSA/CIA often works for big corporate clients, just as it has become a cliche that the Iraq war was about big oil, the lesser known hand in global politics is the banking sector. In other words, Bitcoin may have very well been ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a banker, group of banks, or financial services firm. But the NSA (as we surmise) was the company that got the job done. And probably, if it was in fact ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a private bank, they would have been waiting in the wings to develop their own Bitcoin related systems or as in the above “Settlement Coin.” So the NSA made Bitcoin – so what?
The FX markets currently represent the exchange between ‘major’ and ‘minor’ currencies. In the future, why not too they will include ‘cryptocurrencies’ – we’re already seeing the BTC/EUR pair popup on obscure brokers. When BTC/USD and BTC/EUR are available at major FX banks and brokers, we can say – from a global FX perspective, that Bitcoin has ‘arrived.’ Many of us remember the days when the synthetic “Euro” currency was a new artificial creation that was being adopted, although the Euro project is thousands of degrees larger than the Bitcoin project. But unlike the Euro, Bitcoin is being adopted at a near exponential rate by demand (Many merchants resisted the switch to Euros claiming it was eating into their profit margins and they were right!).
And to answer the question as to why Elite E Services is not actively involved in Bitcoin the answer is that previously, you can’t trade Bitcoin. Now we’re starting to see obscure brokers offering BTC/EUR but the liquidity is sparse and spreads are wacky – that will all change. When we can trade BTC/USD just like EUUSD you can bet that EES and a host of other algorithmic FX traders will be all over it! It will be an interesting trade for sure, especially with all the volatility, the cross ‘pairs’ – and new cryptocurrencies. For the record, for brokers- there’s not much difference adding a new symbol (currency pair) in MT4 they just need liquidity, which has been difficult to find.
So there’s really nothing revolutionary about Bitcoin, it’s just a logical use of technology in finance considering a plethora of problems faced by any central bank who creates currency. And there are some interesting caveats to Bitcoin as compared to major currencies; Bitcoin is a closed system (there are finite Bitcoin) – this alone could make such currencies ‘anti-inflationary’ and at the least, hold their value (the value of the USD continues to deteriorate slowly over time as new M3 introduced into the system.) But we need to pay
Here’s some interesting theories about who or whom is Satoshi:
A corporate conglomerate
Some researchers proposed that the name ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ was derived from a combination of tech companies consisting of Samsung, Toshiba, Nakayama, and Motorola. The notion that the name was a pseudonym is clearly true and it is doubtful they reside in Japan given the numerous forum posts with a distinctly English dialect.
Craig Steven Wright
This Australian entrepreneur claims to be the Bitcoin creator and provided proof. But soon after, his offices were raided by the tax authorities on ‘an unrelated matter’
Soon after these stories were published, authorities in Australia raided the home of Mr Wright. The Australian Taxation Office said the raid was linked to a long-running investigation into tax payments rather than Bitcoin. Questioned about this raid, Mr Wright said he was cooperating fully with the ATO. “We have lawyers negotiating with them over how much I have to pay,” he said.
Other potential creators
Nick Szabo, and many others, have been suggested as potential Satoshi – but all have denied it:
The New Yorker published a piece pointing at two possible Satoshis, one of whom seemed particularly plausible: a cryptography graduate student from Trinity College, Dublin, who had gone on to work in currency-trading software for a bank and published a paper on peer-to-peer technology. The other was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, Vili Lehdonvirta. Both made denials. Fast Company highlighted an encryption patent application filed by three researchers – Charles Bry, Neal King and Vladimir Oks­man – and a circumstantial link involving textual analysis of it and the Satoshi paper which found the phrase “…computationally impractical to reverse” in both. Again, it was flatly denied.
THE WINNER: It was the NSA
The NSA has the capability, the motive, and the operational capacity – they have teams of cryptographers, the biggest fastest supercomputers in the world, and they see the need. Whether instructed by their friends at the Fed, in cooperation with their owners (i.e. Illuminati banking families), or as part of a DARPA project – is not clear and will never be known (unless a whistleblower comes forward). In fact, the NSA employs some of the best mathematicians and cryptographers in the world. Few know about their work because it’s a secret, and this isn’t the kind of job you leave to start your own cryptography company.
But the real smoking Gun, aside from the huge amount of circumstantial evidence and lack of a credible alternative, is the 1996 paper authored by NSA “HOW TO MAKE A MINT: THE CRYPTOGRAPHY OF ANONYMOUS ELECTRONIC CASH”
The NSA was one of the first organizations to describe a Bitcoin-like system. About twelve years before Satoshi Nakamotopublished his legendary white paper to the Metzdowd.com cryptography mailing list, a group of NSA information security researchers published a paper entitled How to Make a Mint: the Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash in two prominent places, the first being an MIT mailing list and the second being much more prominent, The American Law Review
The paper outlines a system very much like Bitcoin in which secure financial transactions are possible through the use of a decentralized network the researchers refer informally to as a Bank. They list four things as indispensable in their proposed network: privacy, user identification (protection against impersonation), message integrity (protection against tampering/substitution of transaction information – that is, protection against double-spending), and nonrepudiation (protection against later denial of a transaction – a blockchain!).
It is evident that SHA-256, the algorithm Satoshi used to secure Bitcoin, was not available because it came about in 2001. However, SHA-1 would have been available to them, having been published in 1993.
Why would the NSA want to do this? One simple reason: Control.
As we explain in Splitting Pennies – Understanding Forex – the primary means the US dominates the world is through economic policy, although backed by bombs. And the critical support of the US Dollar is primarily, the military. The connection between the military and the US Dollar system is intertwined inextricably. There are thousands of great examples only one of them being how Iraq switched to the Euro right before the Army’s invasion.
In October 2000 Iraq insisted on dumping the US dollar – ‘the currency of the enemy’ – for the more multilateral euro. The changeover was announced on almost exactly the same day that the euro reached its lowest ebb, buying just $0.82, and the G7 Finance Ministers were forced to bail out the currency. On Friday the euro had reached $1.08, up 30 per cent from that time.
Almost all of Iraq’s oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme have been paid in euros since 2001. Around 26 billion euros (£17.4bn) has been paid for 3.3 billion barrels of oil into an escrow account in New York. The Iraqi account, held at BNP Paribas, has also been earning a higher rate of interest in euros than it would have in dollars.
The point here is there are a lot of different types of control. The NSA monitors and collects literally all electronic communications; internet, phone calls, everything. They listen in even to encrypted voice calls with high powered microphones, devices like cellphones equipped with recording devices (See original “Clipper” chip). It’s very difficult to communicate on planet Earth in private, without the NSA listening. So it is only logical that they would also want complete control of the financial system, including records of all electronic transactions, which Bitcoin provides.
Could there be an ‘additional’ security layer baked into the Blockchain that is undetectable, that allows the NSA to see more information about transactions, such as network location data? It wouldn’t be so far fetched, considering their past work, such as Xerox copy machines that kept a record of all copies made (this is going back to the 70’s, now it’s common). Of course security experts will point to the fact that this layer remains invisible, but if this does exist – of course it would be hidden.
More to the point about the success of Bitcoin – its design is very solid, robust, manageable – this is not the work of a student. Of course logically, the NSA employs individuals, and ultimately it is the work of mathematicians, programmers, and cryptographers – but if we deduce the most likely group capable, willing, and motivated to embark on such a project, the NSA is the most likely suspect. Universities, on the other hand, didn’t product white papers like this from 1996.
Another question is that if it was the NSA, why didn’t they go through more trouble concealing their identity? I mean, the internet is rife with theories that it was in fact the NSA/CIA and “Satoshi Nakamoto” means in Japanese “Central Intelligence” – well there are a few answers for this, but to be congruent with our argument, it fits their profile.
Where could this ‘hidden layer’ be? Many think it could be in the public SHA-256, developed by NSA (which ironically, was the encryption algorithm of choice for Bitcoin – they could have chosen hundreds of others, which arguably are more secure):
Claims that the NSA created Bitcoin have actually been flung around for years. People have questioned why it uses the SHA-256 hash function, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The fact that the NSA is tied to SHA-256 leads some to assume it’s created a backdoor to the hash function that no one has ever identified, which allows it to spy on Bitcoin users.
“If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network,” cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said in a previous interview.
Then there’s the question of “Satoshi Nakamoto” – if it was in fact the NSA, why not just claim ownership of it? Why all the cloak and dagger? And most importantly, if Satoshi Nakamoto is a real person, and not a group that wants to remain secret – WHY NOT come forward and claim your nearly $3 Billion worth of Bitcoin (based on current prices).
Did the NSA create Satoshi Nakamoto?
The CIA Project, a group dedicated to unearthing all of the government’s secret projects and making them public, hasreleased a video claiming Bitcoin is actually the brainchild of the US National Security Agency.
The video entitled CIA Project Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin a CIA or NSA project? claims that there is a lot of compelling evidences that proves that the NSA is behind Bitcoin. One of the main pieces of evidence has to do with the name of the mysterious man, woman or group behind the creation of Bitcoin, “Satoshi Nakamoto”.
According to the CIA Project, Satoshi Nakamoto means “Central Intelligence” in Japanese. Doing a quick web search, you’ll find out that Satoshi is usually a name given for baby boys which means “clear thinking, quick witted, wise,” while Nakamoto is a Japanese surname which means ‘central origin’ or ‘(one who lives) in the middle’ as people with this surname are found mostly in the Ryukyu islands which is strongly associated with the Ry?ky? Kingdom, a highly centralized kingdom that originated from the Okinawa Islands. So combining Nakamoto and Satoshi can be loosely interpreted as “Central Intelligence”.
Is it so really hard to believe? This is from an organization that until the Snowden leaks, secretly recorded nearly all internet traffic on the network level by splicing fiber optic cables. They even have a deep-sea splicing mission that will cut undersea cables and install intercept devices. Making Bitcoin wouldn’t even be a big priority at NSA.
Certainly, anonymity is one of the biggest myths about Bitcoin. In fact, there has never been a more easily traceable method of payment. Every single transaction is recorded and retained permanently in the public “blockchain”. The idea that the NSA would create an anarchic, peer-to-peer crypto-currency in the hope that it would be adopted for nefarious industries and become easy to track would have been a lot more difficult to believe before the recent leaks by Edward Snowden and the revelation that billions of phone calls had been intercepted by the US security services. We are now in a world where we now know that the NSA was tracking the pornography habits of Islamic “radicalisers” in order to discredit them and making deals with some of the world’s largest internet firms to insert backdoors into their systems.
And we’re not the only ones who believe this, in Russia they ‘know’ this to be true without sifting through all the evidence.
Nonetheless, Svintsov’s remarks count as some of the more extreme to emanate from the discussion. Svintsov told Russian broadcast news agency REGNUM:“All these cryptocurrencies [were] created by US intelligence agencies just to finance terrorism and revolutions.”Svintsov reportedly went on to explain how cryptocurrencies have started to become a payment method for consumer spending, and cited reports that terrorist organisations are seeking to use the technology for illicit means.
Let’s elaborate on what is ‘control’ as far as the NSA is concerned. Bitcoin is like the prime mover. All future cryptocurrencies, no matter how snazzy or functional – will never have the same original keys as Bitcoin. It created a self-sustained, self-feeding bubble – and all that followed. It enabled law enforcement to collect a host of criminals on a network called “Silk Road” and who knows what other operations that happened behind the scenes. Because of pesky ‘domestic’ laws, the NSA doesn’t control the internet in foreign countries. But by providing a ‘cool’ currency as a tool, they can collect information from around the globe and like Facebook, users provide this information voluntarily. It’s the same strategy they use like putting the listening device in the chips at the manufacturing level, which saves them the trouble of wiretapping, electronic eavesdropping, and other risky methods that can fail or be blocked. It’s impossible to stop a cellphone from listening to you, for example (well not 100%, but you have to physically rewire the device). Bitcoin is the same strategy on a financial level – by using Bitcoin you’re giving up your private transactional information. By itself, it would not identify you per se (as the blockchain is ‘anonymous’ but the transactions are there in the public register, so combined with other information, which the NSA has a LOT OF – they can triangulate their information more precisely.
That’s one problem solved with Bitcoin – another being the economic problem of QE (although with a Bitcoin market cap of $44 Billion, that’s just another day at the Fed buying MBS) – and finally, it squashes the idea of sovereignty although in a very, very, very subtle way. You see, a country IS a currency. Until now, currency has always been tied to national sovereignty (although the Fed is private, USA only has one currency, the US Dollar, which is exclusively American). Bitcoin is a super-national currency, or really – the world’s first one world currency.
Of course, this is all great praise for the DOD which seems to have a 50 year plan – but after tens of trillions spent we’d hope that they’d be able to do something better than catching terrorists (which mostly are artificial terrorists)
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