Ethereum is almost certainly the number 2 coin in comedy gold. It will likely surpass Bitcoin in comedy gold long before it passes it in market cap. Thanks in large part to a spam-based marketing campaign on Reddit, it also has a dedicated base of critics. After its IPO, it was known as “Inthereum” for a while, infinitely powerful of course, as vaporware can do anything. It had a major version release, then another. Finally, a major smart contract, in terms of valuation, came along: The DAO. Not to be confused with other DAOs, before and after. The DAO was the biggest. It was going to be the best; it already was the best! Euphoria was off the charts. Until just a few months in, a bug was found. And the killer app became the flash point. What could they do? Well, hard fork and give the money back, of course! And so they did. “Code is Law”; but this is actually good for Ethereum because “[a]lthough some do question the analogy ‘code is law’. I do not. We just found out that we have a supreme court, the community!”  After the D'OH, Ethereum struggles to top its ATH comedy gold, but there is still a bright future for popcorn and comedy gold from Ethereum.
5 Largest Veins of Comedy Gold
Here are the largest comedy gold veins in Ethereum in potential reserves in our estimation in approximately descending order:
Cultlike euphoria - Now, this can certainly be said to be common to almost all cryptocurrencies. But Ethereum seems special here, even more than Bitcoin's community. There is a real belief here that this coin is going to change the world. This helps play into a "this is very good for Ethereum" mindset, wherein even the D'OH fork was a great success!
Vitalik Buterin - The best name in cryptocurrency! Young genius central to Ethereum and almost universally seen as the most important leader in the project. In our view, his endorsement and leadership during the D'OH fork led to that route being taken. That is, we believe if he had opposed it from the start, he may have been able to prevent it or at least have led to what is now called ETC being the dominant of the two.
And so in our view, Mr. Buterin runs a billion dollar cryptocurrency right now. He and his team seem to have done reasonably well so far; it seems likely they'll continue to thrive. To the best of my knowledge, confirmed on /ethereum, there hasn't been a drug market implemented in Ethereum or trading with ETH so far. But while it seems like a terrible idea, because of the lack of privacy and proven mutability of contracts, it seems like eventually there's going to be a major drug market accepting ETH just because it has such a high value. And, they point out, monero and zcoin’s core privacy feature will apparently be available on ETH after this next fork, so look forward to anonymous ETH fueling drug markets! And then the interesting question will be raised of how Chief Justice Buterin will rule on the case, whether it is worthy of an intervention or not. If not a drug market, then another buggy and hacked contract. Or a hacked exchange, and the question of whether to make it or its users whole, or "let the hacker win".
DAOs - From the beginning, it was proposed that Ethereum itself and its reserve fund would be turned into a DAO. How exactly this was going to happen would be figured out later of course. There was an initial estimate of 2016 for the transition.
Of course, in 2016, The DAO and the D'OH happened. I'm not aware of a current further push to put all of ETH's future funding into a DAO. But I'm sure the topic will resurface. And it will be hilarious on so many levels. The DAO actually collapsed too soon for peak comedy gold extraction. It had been predicted that there would be no consensus on any proposals and that nothing would be funded, and that there would be gold from that. But it was just a few months in when the bug was found. And while the D'OH fork was certainly a rich vein of comedy gold, it wasn't as rich as what the DAO could have been if it had floundered around for a year or so before the hack. Surprisingly, there's actually a running, apparently working DAO on ETH that was started even before The DAO: digixDAO. If it keeps on running, it will continue to be hilarious as other DAOs fail to learn from it. If it fails, there's all the more hilarity for Ethereum, making it the platform where anything complicated enough to look like an original use case will break. The very existence of digix is proof-of-comedy-gold.
Immutability - The whole central notion of immutability is going to be a recurring question for Ethereum after the D'OH. While there was a lot of sentiment of "just this once and never again" at the time, there will someday be another major issue, and the precedent will mean that at least a major debate among the community will be had. Ethereum is "mostly immutable". Bitcoin is far better protected here, because while it's true they've hard forked to fix a bug before, that was years ago and the community is far more fractured now. Ethereum has a demonstrated capacity to do both routine and controversial hard forks. This strength is also a challenge, as it will invite constant legal and ethical questions about when it's appropriate to modify the chain itself with a fork: that is, rolling back some or all transactions after major bugs, thefts, frauds, and so forth.
Concentration of funds - This one I'm just guessing at. Although rich lists do exist, obviously one entity like an exchange could pool funds in an address without one person owning that much, or one person could splits their coins among many accounts. But it gives a rough guide. In Bitcoin, the top 113 addresses, having more than 10,000 BTC, in total are 17.46% of the current supply [ 2 ]. And in Ethereum, it's true that the top two accounts are marked as exchange accounts [ 3 ]. Still, having lots of funds concentrated in a single exchange wallet seems to still have some potential for comedy gold. In Ethereum, the top 50 addresses have more than double the proportion of the top 113 in Bitcoin, a bit over 40% of the current supply. My guess would be there are still a lot of people who invested heavily in the initial ICO who have held onto a significant portion of their initial ETH. While some of these top addresses are exchanges, I think there are probably many individuals represented in here as well, and every one of them is a multimillionaire from this account alone.
Of course, so far, because ETH is still smaller than BTC in overall market cap, these top addresses aren't as huge as the top addresses in Bitcoin in current market value. But if ETH were to overtake BTC's current position with a relatively unchanged distribution, there would be some real comedy gold coming off this factor. Cribs could have a spin-off Ethereum series. This concentration was a part of making The D'OH what it was in my view as well: in Bitcoin, there would never have been so much of the coin tied up in one particular venture, at least not now. But in Ethereum, this concentration and groupthink can combine to hilarious effect.
A Brief History of Comedy Gold in Ethereum:
“Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made” - John Godfrey Saxe In the beginning, there was an offering. The greatest coin the world had ever seen; step right up and buy it! There was even code; this is no vaporware! Sure, there was more work to be done, but the ICO would fund that work, the founders would get a little, and create a reserve for the future and the rest would be mineable. There was also some of the most vociferous objections on BCT, declaring that the stake allocated to the founders was too large, pointing to other coins which had done smaller or done without. Arguing against the reserve; arguing against having a presale at all. Some people, of course, completely failing to read the documentation accurately to see what was even being proposed. And an almost complete radio silence from this large team working around the clock on Ethereum. It took some months from when the initial ANN was made until the sale actually started, but by the time they had their sale, they had perhaps the best documentation at launch to-date. Of course, there were some areas which seemed to lack some detail, like the budgeting, but never mind that, it was finally launching! Launching the sale, at least. In July and August of 2014, Ether was first sold. It was described as “fuel” for the virtual machine they were going to build [ 4 ]. And then, a year later, Ethereum was released live. By July 2016, it had already had its first major crisis after The DAO was hacked and the D’OH fork introduced in response. But the fact that Ethereum was ever released, and that it was released so quickly, is truly incredible. There was more than one person who thought that the stated goals of Ethereum were not possible. And, of course, many initial goals and deadlines didn’t happen. But unlike the railbirds on BCT were convinced, the team did not fail nor did it run off with the money. They were given a blank check, and they actually delivered a working product which has been successful so far financially. Of course, having its flagship smart contract go belly-up quite so quickly after having finally gotten a “killer app” seems rather unfortunate. The oracle problem (the question of how to reliably relate smart contracts to the outside world) seems unresolved, but partial solutions are inevitable and can only serve to make increasingly complex and thus popcorn-loaded contracts possible. Right now, all seems relatively quiet. But rest assured, there remains plenty of euphoria and gas to drive many more cycles of comedy gold production. Ether huffers need something to throw their ETH at. The more complicated; the better! Given some of the creations that have been made in NXT, for instance, a few more years of creativity on ETH should yield some very complicated and pop-corn rich smart contracts.
I was relaxing in my office, waiting for business. It was a dingy little one-room affair, but it would serve for now. Particularly with no clients. I had poured myself a double shot, and was about to enjoy it, when suddenly the door opened. A man walked in, familiar somehow although I couldn't place him. I reached out my hand instinctively, and instead of shaking it, he handed me a dollar. "Hello?" He pointed at the sign in the window, advertising a promotional one dollar gold survey for the first client. Always astute, I quickly surmised he wished to hire me. "Of course, sir! What coin would you like?" "Ethereum." "Certainly! And may I have your name for the log?" "Tyler Durdan." And with that, my newest client left. I downed my double and poured a generous triple to follow it. This was going to be a long day. Ethereum was the ultimate prize in my line of work. The coin which proved the adage that truth is stranger than fiction; which had proved itself a lucrative source of comedy gold. And who am I? Guy Noir, private comedy gold surveyor. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Premined scamcoins crashing on noname exchanges. I watched popcorn glitter in the dark on forgotten the BCT threads. Popcorn junkies strung out on a high, and I've delivered them more comedy gold, popcorn, salt and butter. There is never enough. A dark night in a world that never sleeps and knows how to keep its secrets...But on the 12th Floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, private comedy gold surveyor. Thank you, Narrator. Now, as I was saying, Ethereum is overloaded with gold. But the core is pretty straightforward: Ethereum promised "smart contracts". Immutable. Turing-complete. This was what Bitcoin lacked. The bee's knees. Crypto 2.0. What could go wrong? We'll skip over the "Inthereum" period. Perhaps the vaporware criticism was never fair: from their version, they had Proof-of-Concept code; they went through some iterations and eventually got to release. Let's note clearly that there was plenty of time to determine some sort of official policy for what to do about a buggy or improperly written contract losing money. In Bitcoin, every hack has been a SFYL event, although it’s true that a bug in the coin itself was hard forked away before. Mt. Gox tried to blame malleability, but there was never a fork to try to recover funds. In Ethereum, immutability was often talked about. So far as I saw in skimming, “what if” scenarios to undo bugs wasn’t brought up front-and-center. Nor was immutability being debated that I saw. So Ethereum releases. A major contract is launched, The DAO, which gets an astonishing portion of ETH invested. The world's largest crowd sale as they ultimately called it. All the major players in ETH buy into it, including Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum and the best name in cryptocurrency. Just as they're starting to get into the comedy gold that The DAO doesn't really have a purpose, a bug is discovered. And just as its leader is assuring everyone that no funds are at risk, the funds start being drained out of the contract by an unknown party. And suddenly immutable means "immutable unless we screw up on the biggest contract which everyone important has invested in heavily". Ethereum ultimately hard-forks to return investor funds and basically unwind The DAO. After claiming that the bug was in the contract, the coin itself is hard forked to fix the issue. And the first Ethereum clone results, one which simply does not follow the new hard fork. So the natural question is: when can a contract be changed? In the first page of the Ethereum launch, this question was implied by asking about what would happen if there were an assassination market hosted by a smart contract on Ethereum. Of course, in reality, Ethereum is not really functional enough at present to enforce such a contract, but the question remains in case Ethereum were to actually attain a functioning smart contract platform. Attempted reference to Tears in rain monologue, credit to Rutger Hauer Guy Noir and narrator text lovingly stolen from Prairie Home Companion's Guy Noir, by Garrison B. Keillor.
Filed for psych eval Twenty pages into the BCT ANN, I believe I have contracted cancer, again. I’m reminded of why I don’t generally go on BCT. As bad as altcoin forums tend to be for their circlejerking, it’s almost better than the, well, there’s really no way to put it other than FUD that inevitably appears in response to anything. Of course, it’s not paid shilling so much as it is willful and vocal ignorance. For all the critiques in that thread, most of them are utter nonsense and simply are misreading the initial information. On the other hand, it’s January 27th in the thread by now, with February 1st and the pre-sale start, and they don’t have their “prospectus” up yet. I also haven’t seen the change in mining rate yet. Side note: eMunie; wtf? I guess I missed something? Either it’s gone through a namechange or it’s dead, because a quick coinmarketcap search didn’t find anything. A comedy gold mining project for another day. Great; spoiler alert: fundraiser delayed apparently, so even more cancer to read through in that thread on the way to getting to a prospectus! The first 44 pages of the thread was summarized thus: “I want to believe. Why are you not speaking to us? Throw me a bone. Just tell me what I want to hear, and I'll gladly throw my money in.” [ 5 ] Would that I had only had to read that quote rather than all 44 pages, and facing many more. Pages and comments dragged on as I waded through the low-grade popcorn. When would this prospectus be released, so my torment would end? Oh god: a side-thread shows that by the time they get to April, there’s still no prospectus or presale date or estimate of when there may be a date [ 6 ]. It’s time to give up on reading through the cancerous mainthread on BCT and start jumping ahead pages to find the pre-sale and prospectus. Okay, finally, in July, they release documents and start the sale [ 7 ]. Good enough. I have mountains of links on my desk. Comedy gold is overflowing, but this is a survey expedition, not a mining operation. But by the time it’s surveyed, there’s always so much gold lined up to mine it gets hard to leave it behind and leave with the samples. It’s time to hammer out some copy and close this file. Folks, we hope you’ve enjoyed this descent into madness and comedy gold brought to you by the Comedy Gold Survey Company and our patron Tyler Durden. Do you need more comedy gold in your life? Of course you do! So please donate today; every $1 helps! I’ve added a new special: $5 lets you choose the next coin to be surveyed! Thanks again to Tyler Durden, and I will now be re-watching Fight Club and questioning my sanity. Cheers y’all! Resources:
[ 6 ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=448923.msg6438910#msg6438910 - April 28th, 2014; Ursium says “We won't issue further comments regarding the Ether Sale, until we have completely finalized the framework for it. In the meantime enjoy the free technology, people are already building apps on it, which is exciting Smiley” ; this official Q&A thread then abandoned; these guys clearly hates BCT as much as I do
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=412878.msg4497464#msg4497464 charleshoskinson, January 14th, 2014; “Current plans are for a 60 day fundraiser, starting from Miami on; however, we are still exploring this and thus will set something in stone closer to the conference.” - fundraiser launches in less than a month but date not even set yet; also “No, the rate of inflation is always decreasing and comparable with bitcoin.” and “In terms of ROI, this should be reflected with a positive ROI.” ; also “As for P2P exchange, we have a close relationship with Open Transactions and combined with a namecoin style contract provided in the whitepaper and bitmessage makes a significantly more efficient distributive exchange than is possible with BitShares. Trust is not required as auditing can be done on Ethereum blockchain and we wouldn't suffer any bloat. “
[ ] https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/White-Paper - Accessed Feb 12, 2017; shows a different version of the issuance model, including the variable presale price modification and reduced future mining. But constant mining reward is still shown and fixed.
[ ] https://forum.ethereum.org/discussion/2007/whitepaper-pdf - Thread from April 2015 where Stephen Tual says changes in whitepaper were “as to how significant these were, probably not much”; “We had a hosted copy of the WP on our .org website, but that is now pointing to the github (as the pdf, by definition, was static).”
[ ] https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,1854.0.html Thread which goes into Bytemaster response to initial Ethereum proposal; points out that running something complicated like Bitshares on Ethereum would be cost prohibitive. Also predicts Ethereum becomes PoS.
[ ] https://github.com/slockit/DAO “Our Standard DAO Framework allows people to create Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) governed by the code in this repository written immutably to the blockchain.”
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=428589.msg4690140#msg4690140 - “I think this whole project will get forced underground onto the Tor network in short order because the illegal stuff will be in the blockchain instead of externalized. It will have to directly compete with bitcoin with both hands tied behind its back because it will be hard for people to even find a safe copy of the program to download. Am I to understand that you will not have a legal opinion supporting what you are doing?” - Seth Otterstad
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=428589.msg4718951#msg4718951 “We will switch our PoW from Dagger to a hybrid PoW/PoS system to be developed via a bountied competition conducted by our university partners and open to the general community for participation. The terms will be announced in late february including judges, specifications and the university partners.” - jubalix quoting some Ethereum promotional document
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=428589.msg4740396#msg4740396 “Creating the platform with new features is one thing. Competing in the real world of hype, adoption, and social marketing with Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin is a completely different beast. Especially, when every coin is based on ever changing software. The software is secondary to the marketing and socialization at this stage in the ballgame.” - DieJohnny
A little late, but as promised here is Part 2 of the Beginner’s Guide to Exchanges. I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their support and feedback in making these. Link to Part 1 This time I also made a Google Docs survey in the hopes of sharing the results with the community. I thought we could share what we use as a whole and why redditors choose the exchanges they do. For skeptics (as you all should be), I assure you that I am not collecting personal information. This is for recreation and if you are still wary, then by all means abstain! Link to Survey In Part 3 I will be wrapping up this series by covering decentralized, semi-decentralized, and derivative exchanges. Here it goes!
00 – Concepts and Definitions (Continued)
What is FinCEN? This is an agency within the US Dept. of Treasury that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions. It is meant to prevent financial crimes and money laundering both by businesses and individuals. In 2011, FinCEN defined digital currencies as fiat and started cracking down on those in the crypto world. Since then, every exchange serving US citizens has been trying comply with regulations otherwise they face severe penalties. Thank them when exchanges as for your Address and an ID.
What is the ICO (UK Regulatory Body)? This stands for the Information Commissioner’s Office and it is the UK counterpart to FinCEN - a regulatory office that reports directly to Parliament. ICO oversees compliance of the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts. It is meant to help companies and individuals keep their private information private, and can enforce this with penalties up to £500,000 when personal information is recklessly stored or leaked.
What is APR? Stands for Annual Percentage Rate.
What is Arbitrage? Arbitrage trading means to take advantage of price differences between markets. For example, say Poloniex lists ETH at $400, while Kraken lists it at $500. Buy low at Poloniex and then sell high on Kraken and you just made yourself a hundred bucks. Simple!
What is a Coinswap/Crypto-converter? Basically, a coinswap is a broker. If liken an exchange to a marketplace where buyers and sellers meet to agree on a price, then a Coinswap is a person who goes to the market on your behalf. Give them what you want to sell, and they will come back with what you want to buy. They take a small commission, give you a fair market rate (or close to it), and sometimes don’t even ask for your identity. Coinswaps are popular because they are convenient and offer coin pairs that exchanges sometimes cannot.
Overview: Founded in late 2013 by Gerald Cotton in Vancouver, Quadriga should be a source of national pride. While 4 major Canadian exchanges suddenly closed between 2015 and 2016, Quadriga survived. Then In 2015, Quadriga became the first exchange to attempt being listed publicly by enrolling for enlistment on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE). However, it ultimately failed to do so after being confronted with restrictions and regulations.
Withdrawal/Deposit Fees: Low deposit and withdrawal fees in comparison to other exchanges. A little unorganized on their official site
Linked Bank Transfer
Deposit 1%/ Withdraw Free
Free (Withdraw Only)
1% (Withdraw Only)
Free (Withdraw Only)
Security: Quadriga was quite notably lost of 67,000 ETH earlier this month, after an expensive mistake involving the Geth 1.5.9 upgrade. Apparently, outgoing addresses were incorrectly entered without 0x at the beginning of addresses and the sent ETH became trapped. Yet Quadriga has taken full responsibility and reassured customers that it will not affect their accounts.
Google Authenticator or Email 2FA Available
Undisclosed amount of funds in cold storage
3rd Party Security provided by CloudFlare
Expired $50 bounties
Verification: Quadriga CX enables alternative instant verification with an Equifax Credit Score Report.
Digital only, Limits Vary
Customer Service: Negative reviews are hard to come by, but perhaps that is due to the smaller size of this exchange. The FAQ is a little disorganized with a lack of tabs or categories on the site. However, support offers a direct phone line and email support. Also u/QuadrigaCX seems very active and responsive in the Bitcoin CA subreddit.
Bottom Line: The handling of the ETH loss was handled professionally and quickly. And as a Canadian, lower deposit and withdraw fees are probably impossible to find somewhere else. Trading fees are a little high, but that is the trade off. It seems they have weathered some ugly storms other Canadian exchanges could not and are a trustworthy exchange going into the future.
05 – Fiat Exchanges – Europe
Overview: CEX.io is started in London in 2013 both as an exchange and a cloud mining provider with its acquisition of Ghash.io. In 2014, Ghash was the largest Bitcoin mining pool contributing to over 42% of the mining power and mining over $200 million in BTC. In October of 2014 Ghash closed yet CEX.io lived on as an exchange.
Verification: With a lot of backlash from the Bitcoin community, CEX has registered with FinCEN and ICO in the UK, while also implementing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know-your-Customer (KYC) policies. Once these policies came into effect and ID verification was requested, many original Ghash users abandoned the exchange. Exchange allows for linking of Facebook and Google+ accounts. Not a good option IMO.
ID + Photo
$10,000 Daily/$100,000 Monthly
Customer Service: Customer complain are abound here, and for justified reasons with hidden deposit and withdrawal fees. However it seems the company is quick about inquiries and verification, stating that most inquiries are filled in 24 hours. The FAQ is comprehensive which you should come to expect from established exchanges. Despite some unhappy customers, tt is good to see that they care about their reputation and their product.
Bottom Line: If you are already invested in crypto, CEX.io has some of the lowest trading fees in the game. However, they are clearly taking advantage of inexperienced users and those looking to exchange fiat for the first time. When purchasing with their FOK buying service (using instant credit card transactions), not only is the buy rate not at market price, but a 7% fee is added. This is price-gouging, this is FOK-ing unreasonable. I understand that this service offers something not found elsewhere, but additionally 1% crypto and $50 USD withdrawal fees makes these actions questionable if not just plain greedy.
BTC-E / XBTC-E
Overview: BTC-e is has been operating out of Russia since 2011 and provides language support in English, Chinese, and Russian. Perhaps due to this flexibility, it has high volumes of BTC, LTC, and ETH. It has an unclear connection to xBTCe, but both link to each other in the FAQ of the respective sites. A feature that is provided by BTC-e not seen elsewhere is software for trading called MetaTrader 4. This software seems a little clunky, but includes some TA features.
Security: BTC-e was hacked way back in 2013/2014 and reportedly $35,000 of BTC was stolen. Since then it has had a relatively clean record. This Digiconomist review is a thorough and detailed read, but unsure.
Google Authenticator Available
Must be changed every 6 months
3rd Party Security Services provided by CloudFlare
Verification: Since late May, there have been a shit storm of reports claiming BTC-e is locking funds for previously unverified users. In the FAQ users are asked to register at XBTC-e and within 10 days the account will be unblocked. It is unclear how the websites are connected or related to each other and 10 days is eons in crypto time.
No Stated Limits
Customer Service: Live Chat is supported during operating hours and the FAQ is listed in Russian and English. Resources are a little unorganized, but complete none-the-less. Bad reviews and complaints are plentiful with the long history of the exchange and the recent troubles with account verification for some long time users.
Bottom Line: I’ve got to be honest that I personally despise the interface at these 2 sites. Both give Yahoo! GeoCities and the original SpaceJam website a run for their money in terms of web design. Perhaps it makes up for it with some free TA software and a large daily volume. But it comes to say that the longevity of this exchange is its biggest strength.
Overview: Liqui is based out of Kiev, Ukraine. As a digital exchange, it does not support fiat currencies and is competing with the likes of Bittrex and Poloniex as it lists dozens of altcoins. The feature that differentiates Liqui is its ‘Interest’ feature which was introduced to increase traffic and volume to the newer exchange. It works similarly to depositing money into a savings account - deposit ETH into an account and earn 24% APR (or .066% daily interest) which is deposited every 24 hours. There is some fine print about deposit limits and interest calculations, but how it is presented is clear and straightforward. Unfortunately the limit of 1000 ETH needed by Liqui is currently full, so you will need to wait until others withdraw ETH or the limit is increased to participate.
Verification: There are no deposit/withdrawal limits and no verification levels. In order to start trading, all that is needed is an email address.
Customer Service: Searching for user reviews shows mixed results about Liqui’s customer service. The fact that it supported on several platforms, is reassuring. Contact Support@liqui.freshdesk.comBy Twitter@Liqui_ExchangeBy Telegram@Liqui
Bottom Line: The design and simplicity of Liqui stands out in my opinion. It is like what Poloniex could be if they just cleaned the UI/UX a bit. I like that it immediately gets into the trading charts without having to click around and if you miss the trollbox then this is your site. Like other smaller exchanges there are doubts over the reputation and reliability due to the opaque nature of the operations and development team. If you are looking for an alternative to Bittrex or Poloniex, this exchange may be worth investigating.
06 – Fiat Exchanges – South Korea
안녕하세요 여러분! 혹시 우리 한국인 친구 이 보고서를 한국어로 읽고 싶어한다면 알려주세요. 관심이 많이 있다면 간단한 한국어 보고서도 만들 수 있습니다. This year, ETH has taken off like a rocket in the Land of the Morning Calm. With a population of just 50 million, South Koreans account for almost 30% of daily ETH trade volume. Even more surprising is that currently the daily volume of ETH is about 5 times higher than that of Bitcoin on Korean exchanges. Since demand is high, ETH is trading at a premium on Korean exchanges. Some users have been talking about capitalizing off this imbalance by trading on arbitrage between exchanges. For those who have no connection to Korea and hope to do so, I have bad news – all Korean exchanges require a National ID number and access to a Korean bank account. This makes Korean exchanges virtually closed to Korean nationals and those with long-term visas. Sorry everyone.
Overview: Bithumb has all the features of horrid Korean web design - pop-up ads, flashing side-banners, disorganized pull downs, links to cafes/blogs, and generic stock images with embedded text. You can’t even see the exchange before making an account with your email or mobile number. It does support 4 languages, but reveals only poor translation done by Google Translate. In the face of this, this exchange has been trading a daily volume only second to Poloniex. On the bright side, they have the unique options to buy gift certificates/vouchers and remit money overseas.
Overview: Coinone is the second largest Korean exchange, and its design is a breath of fresh air compared to its rival. It offers service in English and Korean and allows for the trading of Bitcoin, ETH, ETC, and Ripple. It has a very comprehensive chart that is highly customizable, but sadly is only gear towards BTC currently. This makes it perfect for margin trading, and in the future I hope they add ETH. They also offer overseas remittance through their service Cross. Coinone support seems above average in their customer service with a PDF guide and an unprecedented landline number for direct support.
Overview: As the smallest of the 3 Korean exchanges, Korbit benefits from its simplicity. It by far has the best design and English support with clear links to services - including remittance, global payment, and their company bio. Like CoinOne they offer a direct phone line for customer inquiries and an extensive FAQ in 2 languages. Similar to the other exchanges, it has insanely low fees for deposits and withdrawals. This is largely thanks to the Korean banking system where wire transfers and mobile banking are commonly used. I recommend anyone interested in Korean exchanges to start here as they also have a reddit presence on u/korbitBTC
With a great deal of anticipation, major Chinese exchanges started trading ETH this summer. Since these exchanges deal huge volumes of Bitcoin already, naturally it was expected that they invest heavily into ETH as well. So far this hasn’t quite lived up to the hype with many exchanges still favoring Bitcoin, Litecoin, Altcoins, and even Ethereum Classic (Gulp). Three of these exchanges underwent inspections by the Peoples Bank of China earlier this year and will be working closely with the government to ease fears of money laundering and market manipulation. There are a lot of Chinese sites, and since my Chinese is non-existent this list is basically just for name recognition. In many ways these sites are very similar in regards to security, verification, and fees compared to their western counterparts; just marketed at a different audience and currency. If users are seriously interested in these exchanges and making reviews, please contribute or ask!
Overview: Number one in Chinese ETH trading, currently overtaking the volume of exchanges like GDAX and Kraken. CoinOne is very accessible with a mobile app, PC trading software, live chat customer support, and wallet services. OK Coin has English for the basic interface, but no detailed information in the FAQ.
Overview: Second in Chinese ETH volume, Huobi mirrors its rival OKCoin in many ways. It has a solid interface, a mobile access, and even the same rumors of faking trading data! Huobi also started with the ambitious motive of having zero trading fees, only to introduce them in January of this year.
Overview: ShapeShift is the leading Coin-converter site and has been since 2014 when it was founded. With great effort put into to eliminating verification requirements and allowing for the exchange of dozens of altcoins, ShapeShift provides a relatively seamless and simple service. The big buttons and bright color scheme immediately differentiates it from other exchanges.
Trading Fees: From the website ShapeShift does not charge a specific fee. Instead, we offer an exchange rate for each coin which changes every 30 seconds with market conditions. We try to earn revenue by offering a profitable exchange rate, and typically we earn in the range of 0.5% (50 basis points). You receive exactly what the exchange rate shows, there is no additional fee (except the tiny miner fee). There are complaints about the fees not being calculated fairly, but no one is forcing any of these users to exchange at the unbalanced rate. Or you could just read what CEO u/evoorhees has to say about it over at the Ethereum subreddit.
Security: After losing $230,000 from a possible internal hack in 2016, ShapeShift contracted the Canadian Security firm LedgerLabs. Afterwards they permanently hired Michael Perklin as Chief Security Information Officer. ShapeShift claims the only information stored during exchanges is the logs of wallets and the transfers between them. This is protected by storing the data across servers in multiple countries with none based in the US.
Customer Service: Customer service is necessary for the inevitable ‘entered the wrong wallet address’ problem from new users. Along with complaints about slow transfers, a simpler platform does not exempt ShapeShift from dealing with tons of angry customers and their problems. I take many of the complaints about unfair exchange rates with a grain of salt, because the problem could have been avoided by the customer. It does seem however that ShapeShift is very responsive, with a presence on almost every social platform imaginable. Even right here on reddit at shapeshiftio
Bottom Line: Especially after the release PRISM, it is obvious that no one is better at simplifying than the ShapeShift team. In order for crypto trading to become mainstream, it need to be easy enough that your grandma could do it. Erik Voorhees understands better than anyone. Instead of being confronted by esoteric graphs, unfamiliar ticker symbols, and a list of registration requirements, ShapeShift differentiates itself from other exchanges in both its interface and ease of use.
Overview: Changelly is a prototype project that was created by developers associated with MinerGate 2013. It has a slightly less sleek interface than ShapeShift, but is still quite intuitive in terms of its pull down exchange bars and other information. Changelly offers Credit Card services like CEX.io, but the fees are currently so expensive that it is hardly worth it. Another downside is the recently introduced email requirement.
Trading Fees: 0.5% Commission Fee with .00042 ETH Network Fee.
Security: It offers 2FA with Google Authenticator and HTTPS protocol.
Verification: A confirmed email address is all that is needed to start trading. You could easily use a throwaway email if there are concerns over privacy. There are also links to your Google+ or Facebook Profile, which seems a little uneccessary.
Customer Service: Like ShapeShift, Changelly suffers in its reviews due to inexperienced users. Those using Credit Cards especially will feel ripped off despite a clear disclaimer stating that rates are high. They have an extensive FAQ, but do not appear to have a ticket system for complaints and their social media pages are more geared for press releases than support. Their subreddit is a similar story in changelly, but their support staff u/changelly_com runs circles trying to solve issues. Because of the honest effort, I believe they can do better and can improve.
Bottom Line: When it comes to criticisms of Changelly, the apple does not fall far from the tree with MinerGate. Users rightfully have some distrust about the lack of opacity in the management and operations of this exchange. I feel that they are more honest and fair in the Credit Card services than CEX.io, but still should cut the service as it generates a ton of bad experiences. If you are looking to convert coins, it seems to be an acceptable service, but some of the benefits are lost with having to verify an email address. In this way it is hard to compete with ShapeShift.
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