I got TRON’d: The TRX Fiasco

TRX & Investors

I don’t normally get this upset. The last time I was this upset, was with FINOM (which I still don’t have my tokens for and may never, and no help from their support or the creator).  I’ve also reached out to the TRON Team and it doesn’t look like there will be a response.

TRX is moving, to Binance.  On April 15th they made an announcement that they would be moving to their own blockchain. They told their Tron investors to move their now useless tokens to Binance, or risk losing their investment.

Migration will occur on June 21st-June 25th.

“you must deposit your TRX to an exchange before June 24, 2018 to avoid any losses”.

This is a quote I pulled from  tron.network and it’s not on the homepage, you have to click on TRX to learn this.

That is extremely dire and stressful when you’ve come upon this after the fact.  I was frustrated to see this, and I’m not alone. There is apparently a lot of frustrated investors venting at Justin Sun on Social Media that demonstrated a lack of respect and care for us investors.  The announcement back in April made no mention of the exact process or even which Exchanges would support this process. To add insult to injury they are causing a direct loss since we all have to pay fees to the Ethereum Network and Exchanger to get our real TRX and if you have get a TRX wallet, pay to take TRX out again.  Whether you have 1 TRX or 120,000 it is yours and they should be protecting your investment and you as an investor and they’ve clearly failed.

I suspect it is completely intentional as this will free up a huge amount of supply once they say “sorry you weren’t watching our social profiles 24/7 your TRX tokens are worthless it’s your fault” which is essentially the response of TRON shills at the moment or that “Binance is EOY”.  EOY (End of Year) is still not a lot of time, but the ‘kind shill’ who told me didn’t point me to where he found this information- just randomly saying that Binance announced it. Oh, so another place I have to go find information from just to figure out how to protect my TRX investment.

Then more assuringly they say “If your TRX is held in a wallet and you were not aware of the migration notice, or saw the migration notice after June 25th, please visit our permanent token-exchange counter to exchange your tokens for Mainnet TRX.

Great!. Where is the permanent exchange counter?  There is no link or information readily available.  I’m sure some shill will point out it is probably buried in some other URL but non-shills or 24/7 supporters like me, shouldn’t have to go through all of this.

Tron-TRX-Scam-Screenshot at 2018-07-09 10-33-34

The Shills & Supporters of Tron
When you go on social media to find information directly and vent your frustrations with the lack of care Tron team put into securing investors money, you’re automatically hammered by shills who think that Tron is God and they did no wrong.

Unsurprisingly, me and others who complained were berated:

Tron-Reddit-Shill

I don’t think they got the point that “normal” users and investors shouldn’t need to watch all of Tron’s myriad of social accounts and websites constantly to avoid a loss. Tron isn’t the only coin I have invested tons into, and cryptocurrencies aren’t my only investments. I shouldn’t have to worry that if I don’t pay attention for a couple of months, my investment might disappear because Justin Sun struck up a pump deal with Binance.

The shills and supporters completely devoid Tron of any wrong, and insist Justin Sun did what was mutually right for Tron and for Investors…How? By screwing investors, that’s how. By forcing us to move to Binance and lose money in doing so, where the potential for scams, fraud and hacks to happen, increase.  All the while Justin Sun’s team could have made a registered account system with the millions of ICO money he collected by Investors. The registered account process would have eliminated any risk of fraud, money spent, and saved time for both TRON and Investors. On top of this, there would be NO potential risk of losing your Tron Token.

The Tron dogs focus only on the sole responsibility of the investor to be watching all of Justin Sun’s and Tron’s multiple social media platforms and websites, instead of calling out Tron’s incompetence and lack of respect for the Investors. It’s this general acceptance of ‘disrespect’ is why cryptocurrency teams do not feel responsible to do the right thing for the Investors, but for themselves.

Conflicting And Incomplete Information
Every one of Tron’s sites has conflicting or incomplete information.  We shouldn’t have to go digging to learn that Binance supposedly honors this until the end of the year (2018, which I learned from a Reddit user, he couldn’t point me to where he got that information from though).

I think common sense says the communication was horrible on this one and they’ve made it a lot more stressful and difficult than it had to be.  This shakes investors like me very quickly since there are so many scams even with ‘good ICO projects’.  It doesn’t matter if it’s “Justin Sun” behind the project, in fact it makes it worse.  How is he managing any of this if this is the best he can do?

The Tron supporters who ignore these glaring responsibilities that Tron has to its Investors, reminds me of Bitconnect. Many people called it out for what it was, a scam and pyramid scheme, but Bitconnect shills and supporters ruthlessly defended it as a trustworthy project.  Bitconnect, unpredictably came to an end.  It was a coin that produced nothing and who’s sole value was derived from shills who pumped and dumped it as part of the pyramid scheme/scam. Making millions and screwing real investors in the process.

The shills would have you think something is wrong with you for being upset or out of the loop for a few months but clearly there has been nothing but confusion and frustration since the start of the very unclear path forward:

Justin Sun Announces Tron Migration, Confusion Reigns

https://medium.com/tron-foundation/trx-migration-notice-34de281ebbbd

I’m not saying TRX or TRON is a complete scam but it operates in a very shady way in my opinion.  I’ve taken a blasting by their supporters (AKA shills who find it unreasonable that I am not on multiple social platforms every day glued to see if I can potentially lose my investment).  That’s ridiculous and I don’t think anyone should accept this.

On top of this, I and many Investors do not like keeping things on Exchanges where hacks are often. If you have never lost from a hack, then you don’t know what it feels like, so I’d like for you to sit back down. But Luckily there is a TRX wallet at least to move your real TRX to once you have moved it to Binance.

So Why Did Tron Do This?
Here’s what happened.  In April the Tron Team announced the move to MAINNET or essentially their own cryptocurrency blockchain separate from Ethereum tokens (the worthless ones they gave us in place of the real TRX).  I think it’s wrong to do it this way, since their website has a dire prediction that if you don’t move your tokens to an exchange like Binance, then you’ll lose your investment because they are literally burning and killing the Ethereum tokens they sold you.  What if you don’t have Binance or can’t get on? They didn’t take that into consideration or care.

This is completely wrong!

The Way It Should Have Been Done?
They should have registered all of their investors and token holders in their own system and simply e-mailed everyone or based it on the Ethereum blockchain token holders.

It’s like the bank telling you they closed your account, now you have to exchange all your money for real money at a cost to you, and you should have known because you should have been following their multiple social profiles and websites, all with differing and conflicting information.

Yes, Tron’s literally telling Investors ‘ you should have been able to piece it altogether after some detective work because we struck a deal with Binance and couldn’t be bothered to make a registration system, which would have been at no cost to you and at no risk to you….And yes Tron supporters are literally saying this with gusto, even hashtagging Justin Sun to garner attention for their undying and blind support.

The Good News Though?
It looks like you have until the end of the year with Binance to do this, but as mentioned their site says if you didn’t do it in June you’re done for. So if you haven’t done it already, do it now. Since I don’t like keeping stuff on Exchanges, I’ll be moving it into a wallet quickly.

It’s really simple, all TRON had to do was create a unified system that would just directly e-mail their users this information.  They surely collected enough of our coins to the tune of millions to have the resources to make that system. Besides that, I think a few months is completely inadequate notification. What if someone went overseas or on vacation?  I imagine there will be some in this category who come back in 2019 and ask how their TRON tokens disappeared and they didn’t get their TRX.

I think it could be argued it was ill-thought, ill-mannered and essentially negligent to force users to move their tokens with such short notice.  If they were going to do it this way, they at least should given an unlimited amount of time to exchange the worthless Ethereum tokens to the real TRX.

Justin Sun
This move is a a huge security issue.  How on earth do they go and ask people to move their tokens to an exchange where they could be hacked?  How about all of the typical phishing scams which I am sure we will see, that will be tricking people into sending their tokens and coins into the hands of hackers.  By encouraging people to only go on Social Media which is insecure and commonly hacked, it is simply inexcusable that Justin Sun’s team would do things this way.  The website doesn’t make things clear enough and it should be the main or primary source of easy to find information about these issues.

I think people look too much at “Justin Sun” is behind this and don’t actually look at how the project is being managed.  It’s definitely lost my confidence now.

I do think TRON is a good project and a good idea.  Will it last and succeed? Maybe and I hope my investment will succeed.  But it reeks of the typical issues that a lack of common sense is being used to handle the very basic aspects of this project. Not to mention of lack of respect for the Investors, and anyone who calls them out is automatically bashed, or accused of spreading FUD.

Cryptocurrency companies and teams have to start valuing the investor and do things in a simple and common sense way that protects us and makes us feel confident in our investment.  TRX has lost my trust over this and clearly a lot of others who are frustrated (at least the normal ones who don’t monitor the TRON social accounts 24/7).

The future is bleak for Tron if this kind of ‘care’ is given to investors. But I’m hopeful that this will be the last time something like this will be handled in such a poor way.

John McAfee’s Not Dead

He’s Alive & McAfee’ing It

The crypto internet was a buzz these last few days after Cyber Security & crypto-expert John McAfee posted a picture of him at the hospital, after what he says was an attempted poisoning to end his life. He went on to say:

“My enemies managed to spike something that I ingested,”
“However, I am more difficult to kill than anyone can possibly imagine. I am back.”

johnmcafeescreenshot2

He’s been tweeting from the hospital, to let his fans and supporters know he’s alright and in stable condition in typical John McAfee style- strong, ‘no shit’ and in your face.

He bashed on panic sellers and continues to promote Docademic and even sent out a mini witch hunt for this guy.

johnmcafeescreenshot1

In all, John McAfee is in good spirits, back in the comfort of his home, and keeping it real for the cryptocurrency community. It’s left to see if this ‘assassination’ attempt pans out with any evidence given to the general public. But if this was indeed an assassination attempt, the implications are horrendous. It gives weight to McAfee’s position in cryptocurrency and his declaration for 2020 presidential candidate.

For now, I’m wishing Mr. McAfee a full recovery.

Cheers,
A.Yasir

BITCOIN’S VALUE WAS FRAUD?

 The Coordinated Manipulation
According to research done by Professor John Griffin of Texas Finance, last years epic rise for Bitcoin was actually done by coordinated market manipulation.

Professor Griffin goes on to explain that he examined millions of transactions on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, and says that “the US dollar pegged cryptocurrency Tether was used to buy Bitcoin at the times that the latter was falling- which helped ‘stabilize and manipulate’ the price”

First I’ll explain what Griffin’s said, and then I’ll explain why he’s wrong about Bitcoin but right about Tether. And it boils down to his understanding of how Exchanges work and how Bitcoin works.

Griffin said “Fraud and manipulation often leave footprints in the data and it’s nice to have the blockchain to track things,” Griffin told CNBC. Whenever bitcoin fell, Tether was used to buy it to prop up the price again.

“It was creating price support for bitcoin and, over the period that we examined, had huge price effects. Our research would indicate that there are sophisticated people harnessing investor interest for their benefit.”

Bitcoin started 2017 at below $1,000 and by Dec 2017 hit 20,000. But as if February to June 2018 it’s been jumping back and fourth from it’s lowest at $6k to the highest $10k (which didn’t even last)  Tether is the 11th largest cryptocurrency and is pegged to the US dollar. Some critics say Tether owners don’t have enough fiat currency to back its $2.5 billion market capitalization.

Bitfinex CEO J.L. van der Velde told CNBC that neither the exchange nor tether helped to boost bitcoin prices. “Bitfinex nor tether is, or has ever, engaged in any sort of market or price manipulation. Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the price of bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex,”

Now here’s what I think:

I’ve personally used Tether but I do worry about it. A lot of people have accused Tether of fraud, and Tether certainly hasn’t proven the naysayers.  Do they have the 2.5 billion USD and how are they raising funds?  Essentially as far as I can see, Tether is a non-backed, way of essentially printing virtual USD.  I think Griffin is way off on this one.  USDT (Tether) is a convenient trading pair that can be used with some of the top cryptocurrencies to trade and exchange directly for other coins.

The issue is that a lot of people don’t realize most tokens and currencies are not directly convertible or tradeable for others on exchanges.  Generally you’ll have to sell your ABC alt-coin or tokens for Bitcoin, or USDT and then use the major currency you sold or exchanged to buy say another coin such as Ripple, Litecoin, Lisk etc..  So this is where USDT comes in, if Griffin thinks it propped up Bitcoin I think he is misunderstanding how the exchanges work.  Yes a lot of people are using USDT to buy other currencies but is USDT a market factor?  No, I don’t think so, it’s just simply convenient and I agree with Bitfinex that it doesn’t appear they are using it to prop up Bitcoin.

However, USDT could not be used in such a way if it wasn’t given prominence and primary trading pairs like Bitfinex and other major exchanges have used.  Could some of the exchanges be in cahoots with currencies like USDT and others?  Absolutely, and this is the more likely scenario of market manipulation in the sense that they essentially largely control which currencies fail and flourish.

Any coin that is used as a primary trading pair or in other words directly convertible has more value and will intrinsically be used more as a vehicle to buy coins like Bitcoin.

I think Griffin just raises the simple question about USDT being a fraud and this is the biggest concern but I highly doubt USDT’s existence or trading patterns are responsible for Bitcoin fluctuations directly.  He may derive this from trading patterns but I really just think USDT is a convenient and easy to understand intermediary trading pair vs how you wrap your mind around how many BTC another coin like Ripple, Ethereum or Litcoin is worth etc…

What do you think?

Cheers!
-A. Yasir

Nasdaq Plans To Become Cryptocurrency Exchange

This is huge news with the CEO of Nasdaq saying they would consider becoming a cryptocurrency exchange.   One caveat is that Adena Friedman said she is waiting for the market to mature.   I anticipate she sees the threat to cryptocurrency as the fact that we don’t know for sure which currencies will be around in the coming years.  She is waiting for the dot-com like bubble to burst which is an excellent strategy for managing the risk.

The fact that Nasdaq would even contemplate this plus the big money from Wall Street going into cryptocurrency is a very positive sign of where the industry is heading.  The coins that survive the bust will become incredibly valuable and I think Bitcoin is one of them dispute its many issues and drawbacks.  It is a tricky call, with one risk of course being hardforks.  After more Bitcoin scams and hardforks will people possibly lose interest in Bitcoin or will it increase interest in the real Bitcoin?

Either way it may be a bumpy and turbulent ride, but cryptocurrency is looking like its about to create its own economy.  Trading cryptocurrency is not the issue though, as we still wait the “messiah coin” which will hopefully resolve the many issues that we have today.  I’d like to see a coin that does everything right or most things right rather than focusing on just a single aspect.

The time will come and the market will follow.  Everyone hold on things are about to keep getting interesting in 2018!

Binance Moves HQ to a Welcoming Country of Malta

Recently, a famous cryptocurrency exchange, Binance got into issues in Japan although it is based in Hong Kong.  Malta is a Southern European island country which is essentially located between Italy and Tunisia. It moved its HQ to Malta to an apparently very welcoming Prime Minister who said the following on Twitter:

. We aim to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies

Although this is very encouraging it remains to be seen how much they can weather storm from external pressures.  Malta is not a strong or powerful country so if a foreign country or powerful bankers threatened Malta to comply with their wishes against cryptocurrency could they really refuse?

The announcement from Malta is good but it will take a stable and powerful country to do the same for cryptocurrency people and business to migrate there.  It may provide temporary protection or respite but what is truly needed is for a place like Hong Kong or Singapore to step up and do something similar.

At this point I think Venezuela may be the leader in this regard but the major risk with Venezuela is the political, economic and social stability.  If they can resolve those issues Venezuela could be like the Hong Kong or Singapore of Latin America in no time.

Binance Proposes a new Decentralized Exchange

Binance’s new blockchain which will be its own decentralized exchange could be just what the decentralized world needs.  I am actually not a fan of a decentralized exchange as it really means no one is responsible for your losses and in fact more scams have happened on the more famous ones like Etherdelta.  One look at most other decentralized exchanges just screams insecure and scam to me.

So this is where Binance comes in as a trusted central exchange.  Centralization is not always bad so long as the person or team behind is trustworthy and conversely as we’ve seen with Etherdelta the opposite applies.

Binance has a real shot here of being the top player in cryptoexchanges.

I’ve found Binance to be easy, safe, and honest for an exchange.  If they apply this to their new blockchain for decentralized exchange trading it could be a huge winner.

We must always remember it’s not so much about the technology but about the integrity, intention and ability of the team behind it.

I am still hesitant on decentralized exchanges because of rampant losses and scams, but if anyone can do it right I bet it will be Binance.  Time will tell but this is exciting to me.

Ethereum’s Issues Stem From the Basics

Ethereum is certainly #2 in the market capitalization only second to Bitcoin but it doesn’t mean it’s as easy to use.  In fact I suspect my recent experience is what is keeping it from rising, Ethereum makes me nervous and reluctant to use it everyday. As someone who has used the client’s/wallets for both I find Ethereum’s is cumbersome and at times impossible to use, thus preventing the user from using it to do any transactions at all.

Imagine if a simple eTransfer or Wire from your bank took over a week to initiate?  That’s way too long and beyond the purpose of the infamous but in practice non-realtime transactions in the cryptoworld.

I spent nearly a week syncing 4 months of blocks!

I needed to do a transaction in Ethereum and opened up my Ethereum Client which slowed my whole computer down and ultimately wouldn’t update past a certain point.

I consider myself an above average user who is good at troubleshooting issues.

I updated to the latest Ethereum client and that still didn’t fix it.

Some users suggest deleting the “chaindata” folder and that didn’t fix it.

Eventually I decided to do delete the whole “Ethereum Wallet” folder (never do this without backing up your keystore files safely).  Also be aware that this folder “Ethereum Wallet” is not where your keys/wallet data are stored.  In Linux they are stored in “~/.ethereum/keystore”which is very misleading when you have a “~/.config/Ethereum\ Wallet” (which is not where your wallet data or keys are stored).  I stress this because I came across many who had sworn off the Ethereum Coin and team because of this confusion where they lost their keys and ultimately their investment and coins.

The solution was to delete “~/.config/Ethereum\ Wallet” but the fun didn’t stop there.  It was updating so slow through the missing blocks that it felt like I was mining the entire blockchaining (you could literally count 1 by 1 as it was processing or sometimes it would take minutes on a single block).  I’ve been able to sync the whole Bitcoin or Litecoin Blockchain more quickly and without or much impact on my computer.

I decided to switch the chaindata for Ethereum to SSD it did speed things up but not significantly and still took about a day to catch up and my computer still did slow down.

What I Learned About Ethereum

For all of its features I think the team is out of touch with getting the basics right first, as evidenced by the “Parity” fiasco where through no fault of the users people have essentially lost or have 160M worth of Ethereum coins frozen and lost presumably forever.  I have never seen this with another major coin.

Nor have I seen or experienced the confusion on basics of why their client is so complex.  Why does it use another program geth to sync the data?  Why are there so many different choices, fast sync (which didn’t help speed things up for me), a MIST client and so many different confusing and unnecessary choices and complexity?

I like how I can just download the Bitcoin client or Litecoin client and it works simply, there’s no guessing or confusion.

When it comes down to it, if someone with my background is having to troubleshoot and it slows me down from doing transactions, or I fear my coins could randomly be lost it doesn’t bold well for Ethereum’s future.  I don’t mind leaving other wallets running but Ethereum just takes too much computing with SSH so it’s not practical.  I will consider Ethereum a wise investment with some risks I’ve highlighted above but for any cryptocurrency to truly be accepted and successful it must be secure, fast, reliable and easy to use (something which most cryptocurrencies still fail at if not for the reason that you require the whole blockchain to keep your money in your own possession or have to rely on dangerous uninsured third party exchanges or services that are often hacked).

As we can see below this is not a sustainable practice for cryptocurrency going forward and I will be posting more about how I think the future of crypto will be significantly different than we currently see.

Screenshot-Ethereum Wallet-19

Trading Cryptocurrency Emotionally Is Good For Me and Bad For You!

With all the hype of cryptocurrency driving all of the coins it creates both opportunities and risks depending on where you’ve bought in and your emotional state.
Emotional buying is for example hearing Bitcoin has hit $6000 USD and then buying it worrying that it is your last chance. In reality buying into new highs doesn’t leave a lot of room for comfortable declines which is why I never buy new highs but patiently wait for a strong pullback. But we must always remember the famous proverbs of “Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy”, “Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful”, “Sharp Rises Are Often Followed By Sharp Corrections”, “What Goes Up Must Come Down” which depending on the time period in general means manage risk, do not trade on emotion, and be prepared that markets can turn either way without warning or in a sudden bearish or bullish trend. If all goes wrong just remember “Buy Low, Sell High” of course as simple as these terms are very few of us actually do or achieve such simple sayings as the end result is often more complex based on a lack of discipline or abundance of emotion.

I fully agree with the many parties that say cryptocurrency is extremely risk, volatile and does trade like the stock market with even less safety and regulation. Therefore my approach is to treat such trading as extremely high risk stock investment with the goal of limiting risk and exposure.

In the case of Bitcoin if you look the chart for the past few years it has been extremely volatile and has had numerous crashes. A lot of people made a lot of money by holding and believing in the long-term value, but just as many lost huge amounts by panicking and selling off at the bottom. At the end of the day the best of us cannot always predict that we know the top or bottom of a market. Instead it is important to look at the fundamentals. Bitcoin is still #1 by market cap today, unless it were specifically banned around the world or the entire network or blockchain itself was compromised there’s no reason to panic based on this kind of emotion. I echo a similar sentiment when people rush to the markets when Bitcoin is the news when things are flying high is when you have the most risk. Before some of you think I’m suggesting to be a contrarian on a fundamental market I’m just saying you shouldn’t fight the trend or the market but be sensible. If you’ve made your own research or belief that a currency is in a bullish upswing then wait for an opportunity such as the “sharp correction” that has been the trend with large rises in cryptocurrency.

Stick to your plan unless the fundamentals have changed so unless Bitcoin has been banned around the world or the blockchain has been compromised or some other fundamental value of Bitcoin has been eroded it doesn’t make sense to dump it on a sharp decline (well it’s good for me and other holders) but for yourself it would probably disastrous.

I am mainly quoting Bitcoin but whenever I watch the charts of the top currencies by market cap I see a very similar trend usually, that often all currencies will be diving or climbing at the same time as a generalization.

The above strategy is only for coins that you have reason or proof have real value and long-term viability. If you have invested in a new ICO and could realize a large profit shortly after I would sell a large portion of that position and continue to hold. In that way you’ve maximized your profit and limited your risk exposure.

I’m going to give you an example of when I bought into some Litecoin. I noticed a sharp decline that eventually hit 5% Monday morning just after midnight and keep watching it. Once the market hit -5% and climbed to -4.5% I bought without regret even though I observed later on the day the decline hit as high as about -8-10%. Obviously buying lower would have been better but in recent trends I’ve seen fast recoveries I was happy with the likelihood that Litecoin would recover my 4.5% discount and more in a few days and it has currently risen to +5.89%. Not a bad spread for less than 24 hours! I think the key is not to be greedy and try to plan what the purpose is.

In my case I am watching some of the top 20 coins in market cap and looking for the chance to trade some Litecoins as they go up and some of the others decline to maximize profit and minimize risk.

Going back to the point of the article is that try not to be emotional when buying or selling, but know that everyone’s actions create an opportunity on either side.

Good luck to all of my fellow traders and please share your thoughts and strategies in the comments!

Disclaimer I am by no means giving out financial or trading advice and am simply giving my opinion, experience and rational for my personal decisions.