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Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.
This article is taken from the Wall Street Journal written about nine months ago and sits behind a a paywall, so I decided to copy and paste it here. This article explains Trump's policies toward global trade and what has actually happened so far. I think the article does a decent job of explaining the Trade War. While alot has happenedsince the article was written, I still think its relevant. However, what is lacking in the article, like many articles on the trade war, is it doesn't really explain the history of US trade policy, the laws that the US administration is using to place tariffs on China and the official justification for the US President in enacting tariffs against China. In my analysis I will cover those points.
When Trump entered the White House people feared he would dismantle the global system the US and its allies had built over the last 75 years, but he hasn't. He has realign into two systems. One between the US and its allies which looks similar to the one built since the 1980s with a few of quota and tariffs. As the article points out
Today, Korus and Nafta have been replaced by updated agreements(one not yet ratified) that look much like the originals. South Korea accepted quotas on steel. Mexico and Canada agreed to higher wages, North American content requirements and quotas for autos. Furthermore, the article points out Douglas Irwin, an economist and trade historian at Dartmouth College, calls these results the “status quo with Trumpian tweaks: a little more managed trade sprinkled about for favored industries. It’s not good, but it’s not the destruction of the system.” Mr. Trump’s actions so far affect only 12% of U.S. imports, according to Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. In 1984, 21% of imports were covered by similar restraints, many imposed by Mr. Reagan, such as on cars, steel, motorcycles and clothing. Protectionist instincts go so far in the US, there are strong lobby groups for both protectionist and freetrade in the US.
The second reflects a emerging rivalry between the US and China. Undo some of the integration that followed China accession to the WTO. Two questions 1) How far is the US willing to decouple with China 2) Can it persuade allies to join.
The second is going to be difficult because China's economic ties are greater than they were between the Soviets, and China isn't waging an ideological struggle. Trump lacks Reagan commitment to alliance and free trade. The status quo with China is crumbling Dan Sullivan, a Republican senator from Alaska, personifies these broader forces reshaping the U.S. approach to the world. When Mr. Xi visited the U.S. in 2015, Mr. Sullivan urged his colleagues to pay more attention to China’s rise. On the Senate floor, he quoted the political scientist Graham Allison: “War between the U.S. and China is more likely than recognized at the moment.” Last spring, Mr. Sullivan went to China and met officials including Vice President Wang Qishan. They seemed to think tensions with the U.S. will fade after Mr. Trump leaves the scene, Mr. Sullivan recalled. “I just said, ‘You are completely misreading this.’” The mistrust, he told them, is bipartisan, and will outlast Mr. Trump. both Bush II and Obama tried to change dialogue and engagement, but by the end of his term, Obama was questioning the approach. Trump has declared engagement. “We don’t like it when our allies steal our ideas either, but it’s a much less dangerous situation,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute whose views align with the administration’s more hawkish officials. “We’re not worried about the war-fighting capability of Japan and Korea because they’re our friends.”
The article also points out unlike George Kennan in 1946 who made a case for containing the Soviet Union, the US hasn't explicitly made a case for containing the Soviets, Trump's administration hasn't, because as the the article explains its divided Michael Pillsbury a Hudson Institute scholar close to the Trump team, see 3 scenarios
New Cold War with drastically reduced economic ties
China resolve their tensions, integrate and run the world together
Transactional US-China relationship of the sort during the 1980s
Pillsbury thinks the third is most likely to happen, even though the administration hasn't said that it has adopted that policy. The US is stepping efforts to draw in other trading partners. The US, EU and Japan have launched a WTO effort to crack down on domestic subsidies and technology transfers requirement. US and Domestic concerns with prompted some countries to restrict Huawei. The US is also seeking to walloff China from other trade deals. However, there are risk with this strategy
Other countries like Japan and South Korea to dependent on China. Too integrated.
Raise objections to Belt and Road. But no alternative
My main criticism of this article is it tries like the vast majority of articles to fit US trade actions in the larger context of US geopolitical strategy. Even the author isn't certain "The first goes to the heart of Mr. Trump’s goal. If his aim is to hold back China’s advance, economists predict he will fail.". If you try to treat the trade "war" and US geopolitical strategy toward China as one, you will find yourself quickly frustrated and confused. If you treat them separately with their different set of stakeholders and histories, were they intersect with regards to China, but diverge. During the Cold War, trade policy toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc was subordinated to geopolitical concerns. For Trump, the trade issues are more important than geopolitical strategy. His protectionist trade rhetoric has been fairly consistent since 1980s. In his administration, the top cabinet members holding economic portfolios, those of Commerce, Treasury and US Trade Representative are the same people he picked when he first took office. The Director of the Economic Council has changed hands once, its role isn't as important as the National Security Advisor. While State, Defense, CIA, Homeland Security, UN Ambassador, National Security Advisor have changed hands at least once. Only the Director of National Intelligence hasn't changed. International Trade makes up 1/4 of the US economy, and like national security its primarily the responsibility of the Federal government. States in the US don't implement their own tariffs. If you add the impact of Treasury policy and how it relates to capital flows in and out of the US, the amounts easily exceed the size of the US economy. Furthermore, because of US Dollar role as the reserve currency and US control of over global system the impact of Treasury are global. Trade policy and investment flows runs through two federal departments Commerce and Treasury and for trade also USTR. Defense spending makes up 3.3% of GDP, and if you add in related homeland security its at most 4%. Why would anyone assume that these two realms be integrated let alone trade policy subordinate to whims of a national security bureaucracy in most instances? With North Korea or Iran, trade and investment subordinate themselves to national security, because to Treasury and Commerce bureaucrats and their affiliated interest groups, Iran and the DPRK are well, economic midgets, but China is a different matter. The analysis will be divided into four sections. The first will be to provide a brief overview of US trade policy since 1914. The second section will discuss why the US is going after China on trade issues, and why the US has resorted using a bilateral approach as opposed to going through the WTO. The third section we will talk about how relations with China is hashed out in the US. The reason why I submitted this article, because there aren't many post trying to explain US-China Trade War from a trade perspective. Here is a post titled "What is the Reasons for America's Trade War with China, and not one person mentioned Article 301 or China's WTO Commitments. You get numerous post saying that Huawei is at heart of the trade war. Its fine, but if you don't know what was inside the USTR Investigative report that lead to the tariffs. its like skipping dinner and only having dessert When the US President, Donald J Trump, says he wants to negotiate a better trade deal with other countries, and has been going on about for the last 35 years, longer than many of you have been alive, why do people think that the key issues with China aren't primarily about trade at the moment.
OVERVIEW OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE ORIENTATION
Before 1940s, the US could be categorized as a free market protectionist economy. For many this may seem like oxymoron, how can an economy be free market and protectionist? In 1913, government spending made up about 7.5% of US GDP, in the UK it was 13%, and for Germany 18% (Public Spending in the 20th Century A Global Perspective: Ludger Schuknecht and Vito Tanzi - 2000). UK had virtual zero tariffs, while for manufactured goods in France it was 20%, 13% Germany, 9% Belgium and 4% Netherlands. For raw materials and agricultural products, it was almost zero. In contrast, for the likes of United States, Russia and Japan it was 44%, 84% and 30% respectively. Even though in 1900 United States was an economic powerhouse along with Germany, manufactured exports only made up 30% of exports, and the US government saw tariffs as exclusively a domestic policy matter and didn't see tariffs as something to be negotiated with other nations. The US didn't have the large constituency to push the government for lower tariffs abroad for their exports like in Britain in the 1830-40s (Reluctant Partners: A History of Multilateral Trade Cooperation, 1850-2000). The Underwood Tariffs Act of 1913 which legislated the income tax, dropped the tariffs to 1850 levels levels.Until 16th amendment was ratified in 1913 making income tax legal, all US federal revenue came from excise and tariffs. In contrast before 1914, about 50% of UK revenue came from income taxes. The reason for US reluctance to introduced income tax was ideological and the United State's relative weak government compared to those in Europe. After the First World War, the US introduced the Emergency Tariff Act of 1921, than the Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922 followed by a Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930. Contrary to popular opinion, the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 had a small negative impact on the economy, since imports and exports played a small part of the US economy, and the tariffs were lower than the average that existed from 1850-1914. Immediately after the Second World War, when the US economy was the only industrialized economy left standing, the economic focus was on rehabilitation and monetary stability. There was no grandiose and ideological design. Bretton Woods system linked the US dollar to gold to create monetary stability, and to avoid competitive devaluation and tariffs that plagued the world economy after Britain took itself off the gold in 1931. The US$ was the natural choice, because in 1944 2/3 of the world's gold was in the US. One reason why the Marshall Plan was created was to alleviate the chronic deficits Europeans countries had with the US between 1945-50. It was to rebuild their economies so they could start exports good to the US. Even before it was full implemented in 1959, it was already facing problems, the trade surpluses that the US was running in the 1940s, turned to deficits as European and Japanese economies recovered. By 1959, Federal Reserves foreign liabilities had already exceeded its gold reserves. There were fears of a run on the US gold supply and arbitrage. A secondary policy of the Bretton woods system was curbs on capital outflows to reduce speculation on currency pegs, and this had a negative impact on foreign investment until it was abandoned in 1971. It wasn't until the 1980s, where foreign investment recovered to levels prior to 1914. Factoring out the big spike in global oil prices as a result of the OPEC cartel, it most likely wasn't until the mid-1990s that exports as a % of GDP had reached 1914 levels. Until the 1980s, the US record regarding free trade and markets was mediocre. The impetus to remove trade barriers in Europe after the Second World War was driven by the Europeans themselves. The EEC already had a custom union in 1968, Canada and the US have yet to even discuss implementing one. Even with Canada it took the US over 50 years to get a Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA was inspired by the success of the EEC. NAFTA was very much an elite driven project. If the Americans put the NAFTA to a referendum like the British did with the EEC in the seventies, it most likely wouldn't pass. People often look at segregation in the US South as a political issue, but it was economic issue as well. How could the US preach free trade, when it didn't have free trade in its own country. Segregation was a internal non-tariff barrier. In the first election after the end of the Cold War in 1992, Ross Perot' based most of independent run for the Presidency on opposition to NAFTA. He won 19% of the vote. Like Ross Perot before him, Donald Trump is not the exception in how America has handled tariffs since the founding of the Republic, but more the norm. The embrace of free trade by the business and political elite can be attributed to two events. After the end of Bretton Woods in 1971, a strong vested interest in the US in the form of multinationals and Wall Street emerged advocating for removal of tariffs and more importantly the removal of restrictions on free flow of capital, whether direct foreign investment in portfolio investment. However, the political class embrace of free trade and capital only really took off after the collapse of the Soviet Union propelled by Cold War triumphalism. As mentioned by the article, the US is reverting back to a pre-WTO relations with China. As Robert Lighthizer said in speech in 2000
I guess my prescription, really, is to move back to more of a negotiating kind of a settlement. Return to WTO and what it really was meant to be. Something where you have somebody make a decision but have it not be binding.
The US is using financial and legal instruments developed during the Cold War like its extradition treaties (with Canada and Europe), and Section 301. Here is a very good recent article about enforcement commitment that China will make.‘Painful’ enforcement ahead for China if trade war deal is reached with US insisting on unilateral terms NOTE: It is very difficult to talk about US-China trade war without a basic knowledge of global economic history since 1914. What a lot of people do is politicize or subordinate the economic history to the political. Some commentators think US power was just handed to them after the Second World War, when the US was the only industrialized economy left standing. The dominant position of the US was temporary and in reality its like having 10 tonnes of Gold sitting in your house, it doesn't automatically translate to influence. The US from 1945-1989 was slowly and gradually build her influence in the non-Communist world. For example, US influence in Canada in the 1960s wasn't as strong as it is now. Only 50% of Canadian exports went to the US in 1960s vs 80% at the present moment.
BASIS OF THE US TRADE DISCUSSION WITH CHINA
According to preliminary agreement between China and the US based on unnamed sources in the Wall Street Journal article US, China close in on Trade Deal. In this article it divides the deal in two sections. The first aspects have largely to do with deficits and is political.
As part of a deal, China is pledging to help level the playing field, including speeding up the timetable for removing foreign-ownership limitations on car ventures and reducing tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current auto tariff of 15%. Beijing would also step up purchases of U.S. goods—a tactic designed to appeal to President Trump, who campaigned on closing the bilateral trade deficit with China. One of the sweeteners would be an $18 billion natural-gas purchase from Cheniere Energy Inc., people familiar with the transaction said.
The second part will involve the following.
Commitment Regarding Industrial Policy
Provisions to protect IP
Mechanism which complaints by US companies can be addressed
Bilateral meetings adjudicate disputes. If talks don't produce agreement than US can raise tariffs unilaterally
China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, U.S. companies and assets to generate large-scale technology transfer.
China conducts and supports cyber intrusions into U.S. commercial computer networks to gain unauthorized access to commercially valuable business information.
In the bigger context of trade relations between US and China, China is not honoring its WTO commitments, and the USTR issued its yearly report to Congress in early February about the status of China compliance with its WTO commitments. The points that served as a basis for applying Section 301, also deviate from her commitments as Clinton's Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky paving the way for a trade war. Barshefsky argues that China's back sliding was happening as early as 2006-07, and believes the trade war could have been avoided has those commitments been enforced by previous administrations. I will provide a brief overview of WTO membership and China's process of getting into the WTO. WTO members can be divided into two groups, first are countries that joined in 1995-97, and were members of GATT, than there are the second group that joined after 1997. China joined in 2001. There is an argument that when China joined in 2001, she faced more stringent conditions than other developing countries that joined before, because the vast majority of developing countries were members of GATT, and were admitted to the WTO based on that previous membership in GATT. Here is Brookings Institute article published in 2001 titled "Issues in China’s WTO Accession"
This question is all the more puzzling because the scope and depth of demands placed on entrants into the formal international trading system have increased substantially since the formal conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations in 1994, which expanded the agenda considerably by covering many services, agriculture, intellectual property, and certain aspects of foreign direct investment. Since 1994, the international community has added agreements covering information technology, basic telecommunications services, and financial services. WTO membership now entails liberalization of a much broader range of domestic economic activity, including areas that traditionally have been regarded by most countries as among the most sensitive, than was required of countries entering the WTO’s predecessor organization the GATT. The terms of China’s protocol of accession to the World Trade Organization reflect the developments just described and more. China’s market access commitments are much more far-reaching than those that governed the accession of countries only a decade ago. And, as a condition for membership, China was required to make protocol commitments that substantially exceed those made by any other member of the World Trade Organization, including those that have joined since 1995. The broader and deeper commitments China has made inevitably will entail substantial short-term economic costs.
What are the WTO commitments Barshefsky goes on about? When countries join the WTO, particularly those countries that weren't members of GATT and joined after 1997, they have to work toward fulfilling certain commitments. There are 4 key documents when countries make an accession to WTO membership, the working party report, the accession protocol paper, the goods schedule and service schedule. In the working party report as part of the conclusion which specifies the commitment of each member country what they will do in areas that aren't compliant with WTO regulations on the date they joined. The problem there is no good enforcement mechanism for other members to force China to comply with these commitments. And WTO punishments are weak. Here is the commitment paragraph for China "The Working Party took note of the explanations and statements of China concerning its foreign trade regime, as reflected in this Report. The Working Party took note of the commitments given by China in relation to certain specific matters which are reproduced in paragraphs 18-19, 22-23, 35-36, 40, 42, 46-47, 49, 60, 62, 64, 68, 70, 73, 75, 78-79, 83-84, 86, 91-93, 96, 100-103, 107, 111, 115-117, 119-120, 122-123, 126-132, 136, 138, 140, 143, 145, 146, 148, 152, 154, 157, 162, 165, 167-168, 170-174, 177-178, 180, 182, 184-185, 187, 190-197, 199-200, 203-207, 210, 212-213, 215, 217, 222-223, 225, 227-228, 231-235, 238, 240-242, 252, 256, 259, 263, 265, 270, 275, 284, 286, 288, 291, 292, 296, 299, 302, 304-305, 307-310, 312-318, 320, 322, 331-334, 336, 339 and 341 of this Report and noted that these commitments are incorporated in paragraph 1.2 of the Draft Protocol. " This is a tool by the WTO that list all the WTO commitment of each country in the working paper. In the goods and service schedule they have commitments for particular sectors. Here is the a press release by the WTO in September 2001, after successfully concluding talks for accession, and brief summary of key areas in which China hasn't fulfilled her commitments. Most of the commitments made by China were made to address its legacy as a non-market economy and involvement of state owned enterprises. In my opinion, I think the US government and investors grew increasingly frustrated with China, after 2007 not just because of China's back sliding, but relative to other countries who joined after 1997 like Vietnam, another non-market Leninist dictatorship. When comparing China's commitments to the WTO its best to compare her progress with those that joined after 1997, which were mostly ex-Soviet Republics. NOTE: The Chinese media have for two decades compared any time the US has talked about China's currency manipulation or any other issue as a pretext for imposing tariffs on China to the Plaza Accords. I am very sure people will raise it here. My criticism of this view is fourfold. First, the US targeted not just Japan, but France, Britain and the UK as well. Secondly, the causes of the Japan lost decade were due largely to internal factors. Thirdly, Japan, UK, Britain and France in the 1980s, the Yuan isn't undervalued today. Lastly, in the USTR investigation, its China's practices that are the concern, not so much the trade deficit.
REASONS FOR TRUMPS UNILATERAL APPROACH
I feel that people shouldn't dismiss Trump's unilateral approach toward China for several reasons.
The multilateral approach won't work in many issues such as the trade deficit, commercial espionage and intellectual property, because US and her allies have different interest with regard to these issues. Germany and Japan and trade surpluses with China, while the US runs a deficit. In order to reach a consensus means the West has to compromise among themselves, and the end result if the type of toothless resolutions you commonly find in ASEAN regarding the SCS. Does America want to "compromise" its interest to appease a politician like Justin Trudeau? Not to mention opposition from domestic interest. TPP was opposed by both Clinton and Trump during the election.
You can't launch a geopolitical front against China using a newly formed trade block like the TPP. Some of the existing TPP members are in economic groups with China, like Malaysia and Australia.
China has joined a multitude of international bodies, and at least in trade, these bodies haven't changed its behavior.
Trump was elected to deal with China which he and his supporters believe was responsible for the loss of millions manufacturing jobs when China joined the WTO in 2001. It is estimate the US lost 6 Million jobs, about 1/4 of US manufacturing Jobs. This has been subsequently advanced by some economists. The ball got rolling when Bill Clinton decided to grant China Most Favored Nation status in 1999, just a decade after Tiananmen.
China hasn't dealt with issues like IP protection, market access, subsidies to state own companies and state funded industrial spying.
According to the survey, 39 percent of the country views China’s growing power as a “critical threat” to Americans. That ranked it only eighth among 12 potential threats listed and placed China well behind the perceived threats from international terrorism (66 percent), North Korea’s nuclear program (59 percent) and Iran’s nuclear program (52 percent). It’s also considerably lower than when the same question was asked during the 1990s, when more than half of those polled listed China as a critical threat. That broadly tracks with a recent poll from the Pew Research Center that found concern about U.S.-China economic issues had decreased since 2012.
In looking at how US conducts relations foreign policy with China, we should look at it from the three areas of most concern - economic, national security and ideology. Each sphere has their interest groups, and sometimes groups can occupy two spheres at once. Security experts are concerned with some aspects of China's economic actions like IP theft and industrial policy (China 2025), because they are related to security. In these sphere there are your hawks and dove. And each sphere is dominated by certain interest groups. That is why US policy toward China can often appear contradictory. You have Trump want to reduce the trade deficit, but security experts advocating for restrictions on dual use technology who are buttressed by people who want export restrictions on China, as a way of getting market access. Right now the economic concerns are most dominant, and the hawks seem to dominate. The economic hawks traditionally have been domestic manufacturing companies and economic nationalist. In reality the hawks aren't dominant, but the groups like US Companies with large investment in China and Wall Street are no longer defending China, and some have turned hawkish against China. These US companies are the main conduit in which China's lobby Congress, since China only spends 50% of what Taiwan spends lobbying Congress. THE ANGLO SAXON WORLD AND CHINA I don't think many Chinese even those that speak English, have a good understanding Anglo-Saxon society mindset. Anglo Saxons countries, whether US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland are commerce driven society governed by sanctity of contracts. The English great philosophical contributions to Western philosophy have primarily to do with economics and politics like Adam Smith, John Locke, David Hume and Thomas Hobbes. This contrast with the French and Germans. Politics in the UK and to a lesser extent the US, is centered around economics, while in Mainland Europe its religion. When the Americans revolted against the British Empire in 1776, the initial source of the grievances were taxes. Outside of East Asia, the rest of the World's relationship with China was largely commercial, and for United States, being an Anglosaxon country, even more so. In Southeast Asia, Chinese aren't known for high culture, but for trade and commerce. Outside Vietnam, most of Chinese loans words in Southeast Asian languages involve either food or money. The influence is akin to Yiddish in English. Some people point to the Mao and Nixon meeting as great strategic breakthrough and symbol of what great power politics should look like. The reality is that the Mao-Nixon meeting was an anomaly in the long history of relations with China and the West. Much of China-Western relations over the last 500 years was conducted by multitudes of nameless Chinese and Western traders. The period from 1949-1979 was the only period were strategic concerns triumphed trade, because China had little to offer except instability and revolution. Even in this period, China's attempt to spread revolution in Southeast Asia was a threat to Western investments and corporate interest in the region. During the nadir of both the Qing Dynasty and Republican period, China was still engaged in its traditional commercial role. Throughout much of history of their relations with China, the goals of Britain and the United States were primarily economic, IMAGINE JUST 10% OF CHINA BOUGHT MY PRODUCT From the beginning, the allure of China to Western businesses and traders has been its sheer size I. One of the points that the USTR mentions is lack of market access for US companies operating in China, while Chinese companies face much less restrictions operating in the US.
China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
Trade with China has hurt some American workers. And they have expressed their grievances at the ballot box. So while many attribute this shift to the Trump Administration, I do not. What we are now seeing will likely endure for some time within the American policy establishment. China is viewed—by a growing consensus—not just as a strategic challenge to the United States but as a country whose rise has come at America’s expense. In this environment, it would be helpful if the US-China relationship had more advocates. That it does not reflects another failure: In large part because China has been slow to open its economy since it joined the WTO, the American business community has turned from advocate to skeptic and even opponent of past US policies toward China. American business doesn’t want a tariff war but it does want a more aggressive approach from our government. How can it be that those who know China best, work there, do business there, make money there, and have advocated for productive relations in the past, are among those now arguing for more confrontation? The answer lies in the story of stalled competition policy, and the slow pace of opening, over nearly two decades. This has discouraged and fragmented the American business community. And it has reinforced the negative attitudinal shift among our political and expert classes. In short, even though many American businesses continue to prosper in China, a growing number of firms have given up hope that the playing field will ever be level. Some have accepted the Faustian bargain of maximizing today’s earnings per share while operating under restrictions that jeopardize their future competitiveness. But that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. Nor does it mean they aren’t acutely aware of the risks — or thinking harder than ever before about how to diversify their risks away from, and beyond, China.
What is interesting about Paulson's speech is he spend only one sentence about displaced US workers, and a whole paragraph about US business operating in China. While Kissinger writes books about China, how much does he contribute to both Democrats and the Republicans during the election cycle? China is increasingly makING it more difficult for US companies operating and those exporting products to China.
On Tuesday 16th July, just a few weeks ago I was invited to attend a Karatbit, Karatbars/Karatbank presentation. The presentation was touting everything including a blockchain mobile phone. Someone had approached me over the weekend to investigate an investment, they had made with Karatbit/Karatbars. I attended the presentation with some research which, to be honest, was not that favourable to the company but nevertheless still went with an open mind. KaratBank, a Singapore-based financial organization, has propelled another digital currency that it claims is bound to real physical gold. Is this a progressive thought – or a trick? KaratBank, an organization located in Singapore, has quite recently declared the dispatch of KaratBank Coins (KBC), another digital currency it said is attached to gold. Be that as it may, not just the cost of gold, as different monetary forms — to real bits of gold: they're embedded in plastic cards or banknotes. In any event, that is the way it appears upon first sight. KaratBank is a sister company of KaratBars International, located in Germany. KaratBars really sells gold in exceptionally small quantities (like 0.1g to 1g bullions), inserted into plastic cards (Karatbars) or money like notes (CashGold). The notes are famously overpriced: back when 1 gram of gold was $40, the 1g CashGold note cost $65. As per KaratBank whitepaper, 10,000 KBC can be traded for 0.1g CashGold notes. The initial coin offering kicked off earlier this year and proceeded until March 21, with the ICO starting March 22 (1 KBC = $0.05), Coin Telegraph reports. Be that as it may, KaratBars International as an organization is emphatically connected with scams. A basic search for KaratBars on Google returns three connections with the word "scam" in them on the first page. KaratBars was prohibited in Canada in 2014 over an Autorité des marchés agents (AMF) with a Scam warning. The Canadian government found that KaratBars executes some kind of multi-layered marketing (MLM), or "pyramid" scheme organisation that urged individuals to get new recruits and profit from their sales, promising a return of $15,000 to $136,000 every month. In any case, Is KaratBank is a different story? All things considered, yes and no. Upon a more intensive look at the organization's whitepaper, one finds the following: "United States of America citizens, residents (tax or otherwise) or green card holders, as well as residents of Canada, the People's Republic of China or the Republic of Singapore, are not qualified to partake in the KaratBank ICO." As indicated by the Behind MLM site, the explanation behind this may lie in the way that those nations have actualized strict regulation on ICOs, and KaratBank does not have any desire to have anything to do with them. "ICOs are not unlawful in the US or Canada. In the US, however, ICOs are ordinarily viewed as securities and require registration with the [Securities and Exchange Commission]," the site reads. "Singapore hasn't prohibited ICOs however it is one of the nations KaratBars International works in through the shell companies KaratPay and KaratBars Singapore. Singapore regulators closing those organizations down would cripple KaratBars International. The board most likely figure it's best not to take any risks." To work lawfully in any purview, KaratBars International would need to register itself with the proper securities regulator in that jurisdiction, which the organization appears to need to abstain from, raising doubts. From one's point of view what is disheartening is that blockchain is a great new technology and companies like this seem to mix their existing business with cryptocurrencies. Knowing full well that the general public does not really understand cryptocurrencies, let alone blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). As a blockchain consultant, one feels obligated to pose some questions anyone thinking of getting involved should be asking. At the presentation, I heard the presenters say “ Karatbars is giving its members the opportunity to buy gold in small quantities. They also encourage you to save in gold instead of paper money. This can easily be done by buying as little as 0.1 gram of gold or 1 gram - 2.5 gram or 5 grams.” They said members can keep their gold in Karatbars' vault or ask them to send it to you. Cash gold is the most popular form of buying gold as the gold is embedded in a banknote. 24kt gold 99.9% pure makes it easier for anyone to accumulate wealth. Karatbars is also involved in cryptocurrency and got their own coins, namely KBC and KCB coins. I'm going to get very deep into this, but the main thing to remember is that they say, “these coins are increasing in value and that it is backed by gold”. whereas and another Cryptocurrency is backed by nothing. As a self-proclaimed proponent of blockchain and a graduate of Digital Forensics, I feel obligated to say a few words about this presentation on Karatbit or at least as a conscious citizen of this global world of technology users. Blockchain is a magnificent emerging technology that can be harnessed to do so many things. But most importantly it is a technology that provides one single source of truth. If groups are using this single source of truth technology to spread untruths, someone concerned must come out to say something. Blockchain is a technology that can put everyone on an even playing field but it seems very few understand it. The individuals with even the fleeting basic understanding can influence the general public perception of cryptocurrencies. This leads me to ask a great quote from a book called Richest Man in Babylon …. “if you want advice on investing in expensive jewels, why would you go to a butcher?” The following is what the masses are being manipulated to attach their hopes and dreams. It is that “a further drop in the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has recently left investors nursing heavy losses. Many proponents are holding out for a new breakout “if their digital assets can go mainstream.” The most important part of that statement is “if their digital assets can go mainstream”. This made me ask some questions about Karatbit and this is what I came up with. Something is fishy!! Can someone clarify the following? Claim 1: Gold mine worth $900 million provides security. Can’t find any official source as proof. Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyKQIckXyIU Claim 2: Backed by a gold mine in Africa Can’t find any official source as proof. Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Q3ZvR4b04 Claim 3: Audit report by MM Revisors for a gold mine in Madagascar Can’t find proof that MM Revisors exists. Not sure if this report was published by Karatbars Int (can’t find it on their official website), but this is being circulated by some investors as if it were. Reference: https://karatbars-me.webnode.es/\_files/200000070-01d6002d18/audit.pdf Claim 4: Karatcoin Bank is a fully licensed crypto bank and is situated in Miami Can’t find proof that they are registered as a licensed financial institute in Miami, Florida. Can’t find Karatcoin Bank as a registered corporation, but found Karat Coin Corp. Reference: http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResults?inquiryType=EntityName&searchNameOrder=KARATBANK&searchTerm=Karatbank Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXip2Fizz5U&t=152s Claim 5: Not a pyramid scheme Karatbit describes this as an affiliate program but clearly is a pyramid scheme at best, see links below; Canada: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/karatbars-quebec-activities-covered-by-prohibition-orders-514201571.html Namibia: https://economist.com.na/43874/extra/karatbars-international-is-a-scamsays-central-bank/ Netherlands: https://www.afm.nl/en/nieuws/2014/mei/waarschuwing-karatbars Claim 6: 100KBC = 1g of Gold at $40 per gram (1 KBC = $0.40) (guaranteed) Total supply = 12,000,000,000 KBC (can’t find figures of circulating, so using supply instead) Total gold needed to cover buy back of all coins: 12,000,000,000 / 100 = 120 000 000g = 120 tons (South Africa as a whole produced 139.9 tons of Gold in 2017). Total money needed to buy back all the coins: 120 000 000g x $40 = $4.8 Billion Can’t find proof that they have 120 tons of gold in storage (or backed up by the mines as claimed) or that they are at least worth $4.8 Billion to buy the gold? Taking a more conservative approach: According to icobench.com, they raised $100 000 000 with their ICO from 60% of the total supply. Let’s assume the 60% of 12,000,000,000 is in circulation. This equals to 7,200,000,000 KBC. Total gold needed for the buyback of 7,200,000,000 KBC: 7,200,000,000 / 100 = 72 000 000g = 72 tons Total money needed to buy back all coins: 72 000 000g x $40 = $2.88 Billion Loss for buying back the KBC that were sold during the ICO: $100,000,000 - $2,880,000,000 = - $2,780,000,000 A potential loss of $2,78 Billion!!! Or am I taking crazy pills? Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgeHjhlMfn0 Reference: https://icobench.com/ico/karatgold-coin Claim 7: This Forbes.com article gives credibility to the KBC coin This article was written by a Contributor. Reference: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joresablount/2019/05/31/10-blockchain-companies-to-watch-in-2019/#308b507e543f There is no traditional editing of contributors’ copy, at least not prior to publishing. If a story gets hot or makes the homepage, a producer will “check it more carefully,” DVorkin said. Reference: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2012/what-the-forbes-model-of-contributed-content-means-for-journalism/ “Blogging for Forbes requires being what is commonly referred to as a "self-starter." So far, nobody has said, "Um, you can't do that," or, "Oh, my God, no!" Reference: https://www.forbes.com/sites/susannahbreslin/2011/04/06/how-to-become-a-forbes-blogge#231bb9972862 “Warning over 'scammers paradise' as watchdog reveals victims lost £27m to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and forex frauds last year” • Some 1,850 cases were reported to Action Fraud, a 250% increase on 2017-18 • Victims lost an average of £14,600 - with fewer than 1 in 20 getting money back • Investors are often initially told they've made a profit • They are then encouraged to put in more money - at which point the fraudsters run off with their cash Potential victims have been warned over bogus online 'get rich quick' schemes as it emerged people lost more than £27million to cryptocurrency and foreign exchange scams last year. Fraudsters promise high returns to those who invest, according to Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority. Victims lost an average of £14,600 in 2018-19 and stand little chance of getting their money back. Reports of cryptocurrency and forex investment scams increased by nearly 250 per cent in 2017-18, from 530 to nearly 1,850. The scams work by criminals promoting get-rich-quick online trading platforms through social media. Posts often use fake celebrity endorsements and images of luxury items like expensive watches and cars. Beat the scammers: These then link to professional-looking websites where consumers are persuaded to invest. Often investors are led to believe their first investment has successfully returned a profit, and are then enticed to invest more money or introduce friends in return for greater profits. But the returns stop, the customer account is closed, and the scammer disappears with no further contact. 'Anyone handing over their hard-earned cash should make sure they understand what they're getting into, they've checked it's a legitimate investment, and not rely on hype and excitement from friends or social media. 'Investing isn't a get-rich-quick scheme - and anything that uses fear of missing out or requires you to invest before thinking is best to be avoided.' Those considering an investment to check the following for tips on how to avoid investment fraud at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart. Scammers can be very convincing so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with, to make sure that they are the real deal. 'It's vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they're considering is legitimate. UK consumers are being increasingly targeted by crypto asset-related investment scams. Certain crypto assets, like Bitcoin and Ether (also known as cryptocurrencies), are not regulated in the UK. This means that buying, selling or transferring these crypto-assets falls outside FCA remit. The same is true for the operation of a cryptocurrency exchange. However, some types of crypto-asset products may be or may involve regulated investments depending on their nature and how they are structured. For example, firms that sell regulated investments with an underlying crypto asset element may need to be authorised by the FCA to do so. In recent months, the FCA claims it has received an increasing number of reports about crypto-asset investment scams. Some of them may involve regulated activities, others don’t, but all use similar tactics. How crypto-asset investment scams work Cryptoasset fraudsters tend to advertise on social media – often using the images of celebrities or well-known individuals to promote cryptocurrency investments. In this case, laughably they said KaratBit was endorsed by Barak Obama’s sister. Who is she and what does she know about cryptocurrencies and blockchain? The ads then link to professional-looking websites. Consumers are then persuaded to make investments with the firm using cryptocurrencies or traditional currencies. The firms operating the scams are usually based outside the UK but will claim to have a UK presence, often a prestigious City of London address. Scam firms can manipulate software to distort prices and investment returns. They may scam people into buying the non-existent crypto asset. They are also known to suddenly close consumers’ online accounts and refuse to transfer the funds to them or ask for more money before the funds can be transferred. Action Fraud has also issued a warning on cryptocurrency scams. How to protect yourself Be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in a crypto asset or crypto asset-related products. Most firms advertising and selling investments in crypto-assets are not authorised by the FCA. This means that if you invest in certain crypto assets you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong. The FCA doesn’t regulate crypto assets like Bitcoin or Ether which are vastly the most recognized cryptocurrencies, let alone KBC, they do regulate certain crypto-asset derivatives (such as futures contracts, CFDs and options), as well as those crypto assets I would consider securities. A firm must be authorised by FCA to advertise or sell these products in the UK – check FCA Register to make sure the firm is authorised. You can also check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid. You should do further research on the product you are considering and the firm you are considering investing with. Check with Companies House to see if the firm is registered as a UK company and for directors' names. To see if others have posted any concerns, search online for the firm's name, directors' names and the product you are considering. If you’ve already decided you want to invest in gold, this might not be a bad company to side with. But if you’re just looking for an opportunity to earn a sustainable income and become financially independent, there are better options out there.
General info and list of exchanges for X8X Token (X8X)
Ultimate crypto safe haven! Finally, Securing Value in Crypto is simple. X8X Token holders are granted a 0% fee for issuing X8Currency, a 100% fiat & gold backed Token. Token holders are the gatekeepers! YouTube Video Preview X8X token is also trading on: Latest X-FEED ARE CRYPTOCURRENCIES LEAVING LONG-TERM BEAR TERRITORY? On 17 July Bitcoin broke past the $7000 mark. The influx of … X8 PROJECT ROADMAP UPDATE As promised we are now ready with an updated roadmap which will … FACEBOOK’S POLICY REVERSAL LEADS TO WIDESPREAD SPECULATION After an explosive year for ICOs and cryptocurrency in 2017, some regulators … STOCK AND COMMODITY MARKETS REACT PREDICTABLY TO THE LOOMING TRADE WARS – WITH THE EXCEPTION OF GOLD The G7 Summit in Canada in June was marked by uneasiness and … Media YouTube Video Preview Global Leaders Forum panel 1 YouTube Video Preview Global Leaders Forum panel 2 YouTube Video Preview Global Leaders Forum panel 3 YouTube Video Preview Dubai Blockchain Summit 2018 Upcoming Events Asean Blockchain Summit 3rd – 4th September 2018 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia More info World Blockchain Summit 2018 1st – 5th October 2018 Mumbai, India More info Salon International des Femmes Entrepreneures 13th – 15th February 2019 Paris, France More info Past Events KBS2018 in Seoul 12th – 13th July 2018 Seoul, Korea More info Bloomberg Global Leaders Forum 3rd April 2018 Dubai, UAE More info Dubai Blockchain Summit 2018 28th – 29th March 2018 Dubai, UAE More info Blockchain in Finance 14th – 15th March 2018 Rome, Italy More info Ideal for TGEs / TGE contributors Private individuals – traditional savers Crypto contributors Financial institutions Merchants Speculators & traders Subscribe to newsletter Enter your email address* What is X8X? X8X is an Ethereum pure utility Token, functioning as a Key for issuing X8Currency. To exchange X8Currency for fiat ($/€) with 0% fee you will need to hold a corresponding amount of X8X. X8X TOKEN SPECIFICATION Address: 0x910Dfc18D6EA3D6a7124A6F8B5458F281060fa4c Token Symbol: X8X Decimals: 18 YouTube Video Preview Utility Token Token is used as a key to access services of issuing or exchanging the X8Currency at the Issuer. Limited Cap There will be only 100.000.000 Tokens issued in the TGE, later mining is not supported. Opportunity X8X holders will be able to obtain their own X8Currency or distribute this right to others on Online Exchanges. Legislation compliant The X8X Token is issued by a Swiss-based company, approved by the Swiss Regulatory Authorities. X8 Project - Dual Token Model A revolutionary new store of value for the distributed and traditional economy brought to you by the ultimate currency. The X8 Project developed two Ethereum based Tokens: X8Currency that is fully backed with 8 fiat (cash) currencies + gold and X8X Utility Token that functions as a key to the issuance and exchange process of X8C with 0% fee. What is X8Currency (X8C)? X8Currency is an Ethereum Token, 100% backed in 8 fiat (Cash) Currencies & Gold. Each Token is represented with assets deposited on bank accounts. Assets are actively managed by the propriety software, Automatic Reserve Management AI. X8C can only be issued or exchanged for fiat with X8X Utility Tokens. fiat-gold X8Currency Facts: 100% backed with Cash & Gold assets are actively managed by proved and tested AI risk management platform ARM the most stable Crypto Currency 100% exchangeable for 8 fiat Currencies (Cash) at the Issuer for 0% fee with X8X Tokens PROVEN PROVEN Risk management AI developed over 10 years for traditional FinTech, $1B in transactions since 2015. SAFE SAFE Non-leveraged reserves in top 8 fiat currencies and gold provide unparalleled safety. LIQUID LIQUID Fiat currency foundation enables daily volume in billions without affecting the price. SECURE SECURE Triple-redundant Swiss architecture and gold reserves fully utilise the advantages of the Swiss financial ecosystem. verified Our business partner verifies that this chart represents the holdings of a live account where all trades were executed by ARM AI. View reference here. The ARM Portfolio risk management AI, which operates the reserves of the X8 currency, was developed over 10 years. It has been operational since 2015 and has generated a transaction volume of over $1 Billion for clients in the traditional financial industry. 8-Currencies-ARM-AI Fiat in X8 brings vast liquidity which can support speedy large transactions with little to no price impact. That means that X8 can scale globally and provide a sustainable solution as a financial system for more than 3,5bn people. Together with friendly nature of X8 market operations, all participants in the value chain benefit from this constructive system. X8 leverages the benefits of the Swiss financial ecosystem. Fiat funds deposited in the Swiss UBS AG, will be insured by SwissRE AG and audited daily by JP Fund Services. A store of gold currency in the safest certified storages outside the banking system serves as additional reserve for X8 currency. Swiss-setup Road map Team The team behind the X8 Currency blockchain product. Gregor is behind some of the main design features of ioNectar platform. Gregor combined natural investment perspective with advanced technology capabilities of today into a winning philosophy match. His accumulated experience comes from working as portfolio manager in institutional environment, advising funds, HNWIs and specialists in foreign exchange and other markets. GREGOR KOŽELJ CEO / Founder Tomaz with his long-term experience in business is responsible for executing the Sales strategy and tactics. The focus is to drive the business forward in creating stronger relationships, converting more prospects in gaining potential clients, increasing sales, creating operational efficiency, and lastly creating a fun and motivational environment. TOMAŽ LEPOŠA CSO His experience with entrepreneurship, business organization and sales management has given him a valuable insight into business processes and development. His approach to team management and integration makes business operation a smooth and exciting experience. ALY KULAUZOVIĆ Business development Rudolf Ströbl is a financial expert and program-developer with over 20 years of experience in various projects involving precious metals, options, equities and digital currencies. He has also developed models and algorithms in the Forex Markets. Currently he is the Managing Director of FX & Project Management GMBH in Switzerland. RUDOLF P. STRÖBL Infrastructure Francesca Greco has been a board member of several Private Equity Funds. Her focus are projects related to energy and telecommunications. She has been following closely the development of cutting-edge technologies of great potential. She is currently part of Green Brain Technologies team, where she is in charge of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs. FRANCESCA GRECO Legal Lenart manages and supervises legal aspects of the company's business. With experience at law office, he finds working in the area of finance an opportunity to expand his skills and understanding of legal dimensions of finance. LENART KMETIČ Communications & Legal support Phil is an expert problem solver with a background in finance and communications. He has been a most welcome addition to the team, especially in terms of strategy and sharpening message clarity. He has more than 20 years of active experience in bringing together businesses from Western, Central and Eastern Europe by means of eliminating cultural differentiation. PHIL LAWRENCE Communications An IT expert with years of participation in the world of cryptocurrencies. His experience in computer programming and knowledge of IT is a valuable contribution to the company. The products of ioNectar gave him an opportunity to employ his skills in a new and exciting way. He is also responsible for ICO communication. ALEN OBERSTAR Communications With background in social sciences and focus on collapse of complex systems, he welcomed the opportunity to explore issues of financial stability. His passion for research led him to become one of the main contributors to the company's xfeed. He is also in charge of TGE communication. DAVID PREŽELJ Communications Urban is a long-time cryptocurrency enthusiast with a passion for ICO/TGE research. With his expertise in developing and leading teams he has developed a strategic plan to achieve the successful launch of the X8 TGE project. His strategic vision has assisted in bringing together the existing talents of the X8 team in a coherent manner. URBAN ALJANČIČ TGE / ICO project manager Simon is a seasoned computer expert with an extensive range of programing skills in different computer languages. As the CTO of ioNectar he knows the area of the platform client and manages technological releases of the product. He is creativity driven with insight in new products development and is behind different original aspects of the platform. SIMON HOHLER CTO Ervin is a specialist in IT. He brings together his broad technical proficiency from computer science and manages all main IT administration perspectives of ioNectar. Work in specialized software and electronics product solutions is his passion which he has been following. Through persistent expansion of his ability Ervin proved many times he is an IT authority. ERVIN MARGUČ CIO A computer programmer proficient in several computer languages. He is involved in developing the key components of the ioNectar technology. He is eager to use his knowledge to build bridges between blokchain technology and the world of traditional finance. ERGIM RAMADAN IT Sofia is in charge of visual presentations and design strategies at ioNectar. The dedicated and enthusiastic team around her created the right environment for her to express her artistic sensibilities and passion for aesthetics in every aspect of the company's presentations. SOFIA KULAUZOVIĆ Corporate look & design Advisory Board The team behind the X8 Currency blockchain product. Peter Kristensen is the CEO of JP Integra LLC US, an international finance service group providing administrative and management services to owners and managers of international private capital. PETER KRISTENSEN Financial specialist Olaf Chalmer is a financial advisor with decades of experience in the banking sector who, among other things, offers guidance to investors in financial sector. Currently he is the president of the Swiss Management, Ltd, a consulting company oriented towards clients from Eastern Europe. OLAF CHALMER B2B placement A progressive investment professional with more than 2 decades of experience in top level banks. Mikkel is advising globally on interest rate and FX risk and manages alpha driven G10 portfolios. He is running independent trading & advisory business, is also a specialist in market making and sits on several investment management boards. MIKKEL THORUP Foreign exchange field Marcus von Goetz is a seasoned bondspecialist and trader. During his career he held key bondstrading positions at several prominent financial institutions. He is also a financial advisor for larger market participants. Currently his expertise is available to institutional clients and venture capital entrepreneurs through VG&S Business Development. MARCUS VON GOETZ Business development With a background in finance and an enthusiasm for blockchain technology attorney Peter Merc PhD is the ideal legal consultant for TGEs. He is a member of the supervisory board of Slovenian systemic bank and cofounder of Lemur Legal, a legal company promoting digital transformation. He helps transform TGEs in legally compliant enterprises. PETER MERC, PH.D. Legal advice Simon Cocking is a seasoned business mentor to TGEs and a senior editor at Irish Tech News. He is also an experienced public speaker at events including TEDx and Web Summit. He is a crypto connoisseur and has to date successfully advised and mentored 18 TGEs. He has also founded six prosperous companies. SIMON COCKING Digital Marketing Branko Drobnak is a former investment banker with more than 25 years of experience in finance and entrepreneurship. This background combined with his enthusiasm for ICO research and investment provides valuable insights to the X8 project. BRANKO DROBNAK Strategic advice EXCHANGE LIST Binance Huobi Kucoin Bibox Qryptos Satoexchange BIGone Bitrue Bilaxy Bit-Z Linkcoin SECURE WALLET Ledgerwallet Trezor
The company was started by Mike and Ryan, crypto-enthusiasts who saw problems in the marketplace when dealing in cryptos. They wanted an exchange that had a strong support team, legal visibility, operated somewhere where you could trust your money and had strong security - so in short they built it! We expect really big things for VoS and do indeed intend to be competitive with other exchanges, and yes, that does include building an app - we're currently exploring options in that field but we feel it crucial to take our time in doing that and put security first.
As for Charity we just feel its the right thing to do, I've always been a strong supporter of charities in my daily life and I brought that forward to VoS and the team agreed it made sense to gather up some funds for the Canadian Cancer Society given that April is their big fundraising month. On a grander scale I think it's important for cryptocurrencies to play a positive role in the world, let people know what we are all about, there is a lot of negative stigma about cryptos, some people say it's just kids "printing money", but it's a lot harder to say that when you're positively changing the world!
There's not any more pressure on us now than there was before - in fact I would say the MSB has taken some of the pressure off. We instead hold ourselves to the same laws and scrutiny as any financial institution would have to, and we feel this is best for our users and this sector as a whole. Getting the MSB let us know we had done everything right so far, and being in a new and evolving industry it's not always too clear if you're taking the right steps. The MSB is a checkmark that says "Hey you guys are as legitimate as you say you are" and we'll continue to hold ourselves to what ever rigorous standards we can (even when we don't need too). As far as external entities like Banks and Government - I think they are happy to see we have our MSB, I think it makes them more comfortable with the field in general and more willing to work with us. We recently met with our Member of Provincial Parliament and are setting up meetings with our Member of Parliament, and our Minister of Finance so they can see our operation here! The MPP certainly loved what we've got going!
Oh man if Timmies was a payment I don't think Canada would need cryptocurrencies at all! Timbits everywhere! We love Tim Hortons - we usually start our Monday's with group coffee and donuts! So we are never opposed Timmies if you are dropping by for a visit :P (Compliance disclaimer: Timmies is not a valid payment method, just a staple at all Canadian meetings)
We're always happy to take feedback on our charts, let us know what you want to see! As for Bitcoinwisdom, we've reached out to them multiple times, and added all the API support they need - just waiting on them to hopefully add us!
That's a pretty hard question to answer, and so I can't give you an official Vault of Satoshi answer but I can give you a personal opinion. So please note this is my two cents and nothing VoS official.
Personally I have some experience in day trading and that's the best way to make money in such markets - however that's the kind of situation where you have to take risks, actively watch the market and only ever trade with what you have to lose (not only to avoid loss but also to make sure you are willing to take the level of risk needed to make strong returns.) I'd highly recommend learning about Forex trading before you dive into this.
That being said the Bitcoin community still feels strongly that their currency value will rise, subject to merchant adoption, legal/political landscapes and a number of other factors but I can't really comment on that as it is a real challenge to predict; there is also a great deal of merit to a number of altcoins with unique value - but just make sure you research and make informed decisions. Don't take anyone's advice at face value (mine included) research and invest where you feel comfortable.
As for confidential information, if you have ever made a financial transaction on our website then we are required by law to keep a copy of that information. We take this responsibility very seriously, this information is encrypted and stored securely and is most certainly restricted access!
As for your other question, as Xangelo said, we are working on improving the layout of our coin to coin system to make it less complicated. Being one of the first major exchanges to offer any coin to any coin means there is going to have to be some tweaking while we find out what the marketplace likes! But we're always open to feedback!
If there is anything that years of video game playing has taught me it's always pick the bigger monster over a ton of little ones! A hundred duck sized horses could quite quickly surround and nip and kick from all angles. Where as I feel that whilst a horse-sized duck would be absolutely terrifying my odds are better as I can always keep it in front of me (and perhaps distract it with breadcrumbs)
That being said when we did work with them they were fantastic, very supportive, and loved our business; the local branch went to some great lengths to help with our unique challenges and we certainly hope we can work with them again in the future.
We're currently actually streamlining our financials and will have more announcements on this soon. New partnerships are opening up doors to new payment methods and currencies and we're excited about that.
We are a full reserve exchange. We do have our holdings divided between our hot and cold wallets and top our hot wallet as it gets low. But we do have all the BTC we claim to and are actively working on a Proof of Solvency tool to verify this to users.
Anything that has a unique value proposition and a strong community has the ability to go places but it's pretty hard to gauge these in advanced. We expect great things from the coins we've added/intend to add over the next month, which have all been announced.
Just because you have an account with us, does not mean that you would be barred from applying for a job.
Currently we don't have any openings but when we do we'll be posting them to our website and all current positions would be located at our Brantford office.
Our verification system was designed by our exec team and our compliance officer and aided by our legal team; and our support staff handle the verifications. (Wasn't sure what you meant by "verification team") as for requirements for any opening, we'll be sure to post them with up coming jobs! Thanks for your inquiry though!
The IRS statement actually doesn't change to much for us, FinCEN and other entities still consider it as currency - we're still actively looking into US options and moving forward on some with our legal team.
We have met with our Member of Provincial Parliament, are meeting with our Member of Parliament and are having a meeting with the Minister of Finance arranged to continue to advocate on behalf of cryptocurrency in Canada.
From everything we've been hearing, we're optimistic about Canada's role in the future of Cryptocurrency, people have been very forward thinking and accepting here!
I've actually had the pleasure of talking to some reps from the MintChip program - we kept a careful eye on it but I know that the Mint is selling it off to private enterprise. While it is in a different space from us we are always looking at the evolving landscape of digital money and what can be done to promote that in Canada.
While I don't think there is any direct partnership opportunities at this time it is always something on our radar and I think that MintChip was an interesting hardware development and it was great to see a federal institution being so forward thinking!
We currently do accept USD, we just can't accept it from US citizens or institutions.
That being said we are glad to announce we have identified our US re-entry strategy and are moving forward to launching in a few states first. We have no formal timeline on this yet, but it's a big step in the right direction.
We're actually working on adding an instant online Interac payment system, still no formal timeline but it's in the works. As for email transfers from BMO, BMO has come out and said they aren't working with businesses that operate in cryptocurrencies and so we can't accept funds from them on anything that would require us to have a BMO account or registration there. But, we can accept Pre-authorized debit and wire transfers from accounts there! Also feel free to email me about any concerns you may have about the level 3 account and I'll see if can't reassure you! ([email protected])
Ah yes, that is indeed a side-effect of the patch. While our systems weren't directly effected a load balance server hosted by Amazon would have been so to be better safe than sorry we've got them patching it and we are rolling over to new SSL certs! Always better safe than sorry!
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