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Crypto Crash: Beyond Crydiving and Voodoo Dolls

BTC, LTC and a few other mineable coins are all good vehicles for value transfer. This has been proved time and again. They currently allow for around $200B dollars transfer every single month. They work efficiently as a unit of account as well. The real problem is how effectively they perform as storage of value in the mid to long term. Extreme volatility is what we are globally witnessing across all exchanges. Everybody agrees on the diagnosis, nobody offers a convincing culprit. However, in my view, the market manipulation bears a major responsibility. Right now the exchanges (possibly except Gemini) are no man's land where all doors are open to reckless crypto bot launchers and P&D gangs. Add also the internecine warfare of tokens and coins hooligans against each other across both social media and exchanges. Can we put some order into the chaos? Yes. We can experiment by forcing the exchanges to abide by the international regulatory rules. This should be done with 2 initia…

Crypto Crash: When Market Manipulations Generate Disaster

Based on the behavior, we have to distinguish between 2 main classes of bots across the cryptomarkets: - Traders - Manipulators The first group operates based on the anticipation of trends and patterns by feeding on historical and real-time data. The 2nd class of bots follows increasingly a swarm logic that serves a different purpose: Poisoning the market "wells" to feed the first category of bots with real-time fake data. By serving such strategies, these bots constantly act to promote or to prevent certain trends and patterns and hence behaviors in and by the average trader bots (and humans) that move along a predictive line of reasoning. This is a de facto poker game: Trading has become gambling!! Given that these hostile bots are run by rival P&D gangs and franc tireurs across highly fragmented and unregulated exchanges, there is always the possibility of triggering either a virtuous or vicious cycle that could become very powerful via an echo chamber effect. The en…

What does it take to generate a significant crypto FOMO wave?

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is defined as a "Pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent, FOMO is characterized by the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing." (Wikipedia)

Here is the break down of a crypto FOMO wave:

1- Ad hoc and well-publicized interviews followed by huge bots- operated retweets, Reddit messages, LinkedIn posts, etc. 

2- News leak of a "new product" bringing about an unclear "disruption", followed by bots and humans social media amplification. 

3- A huge wave of 'wash trading' to generate the appearances of a sudden expanding market liquidity. 

4- A massive 'swarm layering' operated in one of the main crypto exchanges across the world to create fake 'support'. 

5- 'Arbitrageur' bots push to flatten the market prices upward while 'front-runners' fill up their bags as never before. 

HFTs and their armies of bots are indeed th…

Are HFT-based market manipulations the endgame for cryptocurrencies?

The short answer is, not quite yet. The long answer requires more words. 
We should agree the main cause of the wild volatility of the cryptocurrency markets resides in the massive use of bots and hashtag#HFT. This statement becomes clear if we consider that more than 80% of all crypto trades are reportedly conducted by bots versus the 50% on the US stock market (40% in Europe and Japan). We may argue that HFT helps to increase the liquidity and to stabilize the crypto markets. Yet that is not entirely confirmed by observations and analysis. In fact, HFT offers a suitable context for more complex and stealthy methods of market manipulations based on 'swarm layering' and systematic wash trade. These reckless manipulation techniques offer also an opportunity for mutual attacks by followers of cryptocurrencies in close competition. The overselling of hashtag#ETH and hashtag#LTC

A Decade of Cryptocurrency History to the Chagrin of Gloomy Naysayers

The Bitcoin network was created on January 3, 2009 with the release of the first Bitcoin client, wxBitcoin, and the issuance of the first Bitcoins. The major revolutionary merit of cryptocurrency's underlying technology has been to create a reasonably solid solution in the world of bits and bytes for what goes as "double spending". And by doing this it has brought a good deal of sunshine to what has traditionally been seen as the arcane called *fiat currency*: Nowadays, an increasing number of people across the planet easily understand that money as we know it, is nothing more than a politically controlled and manipulated system for storage, transfer, and accounting of value. Many realize there is no heavenly magic behind the money they use on a daily basis. Once the enigma is gone, what remains is just a simple historical human invention: A technology called 'money' that, like many other inventions, could be redesigned, transformed and improved to better serve t…

ICO IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE ICO!

More than 95% of post-ICO startups fail for a number of reasons such as bad business concept, inadequate execution, inexperience, unpredictable market events, etc. ICO, or whatever we want to call this new fundraising paradigm, by far is not the direct cause of failure nor, on the other hand, can it be considered as the mantra to make disappear major business model and execution inefficiencies. 
We need to keep in mind: ICO is just a new model, a fresh approach that tries to solve a fundamental problem of the entrepreneurship life cycle, which is not related to the performance of a startup team but to the accessibility tout court: The main goal of ICO is the democratization of access to investment capital. 
Any critique of ICO should ultimately offer a workable solution for the accessibility issue otherwise it becomes ultimately a shallow ideological prejudice with the inevitable resulting dogmatic rejection of any innovative approach. 
Until we elaborate a better response we need to wor…

Can massive swarm cryptomarket manipulations unleash catastrophic unplanned consequences?

The short answer is yes. The long answer needs a few clarifications.

We can distinguish between at least 2 categories of bots operating across the cryptomarkets: - Trader bots - Manipulator bots 

The first category has a modus operandi based on complex predictive modeling, that is, the anticipation of trends and patterns. The 2nd class of bots follows a swarm logic and pursues a different goal: Its purpose is to feed the first category of bots with fake data. By adopting such strategies, this class of bots constantly acts to promote or to prevent certain trends and patterns and hence behaviors in and by the average trader bots (and humans) that move along a predictive line of reasoning. 

Given that these bots are run by rival and non-coordinated groups and individuals across structurally hyper-fragmented and unregulated cryptomarkets in a High-Frequency Trading context, there is always the possibility of triggering either a virtuous or vicious cycle that could become very powerful via an…