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(Hey everyone, this is the SECOND half of the Finale, you can find the first half here)
The Dollar EndgameTrue monetary collapses are hard to grasp for many in the West who have not experienced extreme inflation. The ever increasing money printing seems strange, alien even. Why must money supply grow exponentially? Why did the Reichsbank continue printing even as hyperinflation took hold in Germany?
What is not understood well are the hidden feedback loops that dwell under the surface of the economy.
The Dragon of Inflation, once awoken, is near impossible to tame.
It all begins with a country walking itself into a situation of severe fiscal mismanagement- this could be the Roman Empire of the early 300s, or the German Empire in 1916, or America in the 1980s- 2020s.
The State, fighting a war, promoting a welfare state, or combating an economic downturn, loads itself with debt burdens too heavy for it to bear.
This might even create temporary illusions of wealth and prosperity. The immediate results are not felt. But the trap is laid.
Over the next few years and even decades, the debt continues to grow. The government programs and spending set up during an emergency are almost impossible to shut down. Politicians are distracted with the issues of the day, and concerns about a borrowing binge take the backseat.
The debt loads begin to reach a critical mass, almost always just as a political upheaval unfolds. Murphy’s Law comes into effect.
Next comes a crisis.
This could be Visigoth tribesmen attacking the border posts in the North, making incursions into Roman lands. Or it could be the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, kicking off a chain of events causing the onset of World War 1.
Or it could be a global pandemic, shutting down 30% of GDP overnight.
Politicians respond as they always had- mass government mobilization, both in the real and financial sense, to address the issue. Promising that their solutions will remedy the problem, a push begins for massive government spending to “solve” economic woes.
They go to fundraise debt to finance the Treasury. But this time is different.
Very few, if any, investors bid. Now they are faced with a difficult question- how to make up for the deficit between the Treasury’s income and its massive projected expenditure. Who’s going to buy the bonds?
With few or no legitimate buyers for their debt, they turn to their only other option- the printing press. Whatever the manner, new money is created and enters the supply.
This time is different. Due to the flood of new liquidity entering the system, widespread inflation occurs. Confounded, the politicians blame everyone and everything BUT the printing as the cause.
Bonds begin to sell off, which causes interest rates to rise. With rates suppressed so low for so long, trillions of dollars of leverage has built up in the system.
No one wants to hold fixed income instruments yielding 1% when inflation is soaring above 8%. It's a guaranteed losing trade. As more and more investors run for the exits in the bond markets, liquidity dries up and volatility spikes.
The MOVE index, a measure of bond market volatility, begins climbing to levels not seen since the 2008 Financial Crisis.
Sovereign bond market liquidity begins to evaporate. Weak links in the system, overleveraged several times on government debt, such as the UK’s pension funds, begin to implode.
The banks and Treasury itself will not survive true deflation- in the US, Yellen is already getting so antsy that she just asked major banks if Treasury should buy back their bonds to “ensure liquidity”!
As yields rise, government borrowing costs spike and their ability to roll their debt becomes extremely impaired. Overleveraged speculators in housing, equity and bond markets begin to liquidate positions and a full blown deleveraging event emerges.
True deflation in a macro environment as indebted as ours would mean rates soaring well above 15-20%, and a collapse in money market funds, equities, bonds, and worst of all, a certain Treasury default as federal tax receipts decline and deficits rise.
A run on the banks would ensue. Without the Fed printing, the major banks, (which have a 0% capital reserve requirement since 3/15/20), would quickly be drained. Insolvency is not the issue here- liquidity is; and without cash reserves a freezing of the interbank credit and repo markets would quickly ensue.
For those who don’t think this is possible, Tim Geitner, NY Fed President during the 2008 Crisis, stated that in the aftermath of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, we were “We were a few days away from the ATMs not working” (start video at 46:07).
As inflation rips higher, the $24T Treasury market, and the $15.5T Corporate bond markets selloff hard. Soon they enter freefall as forced liquidations wipe leverage out of the system. Similar to 2008, credit markets begin to freeze up. Thousands of “zombie corporations”, firms held together only with razor thin margins and huge amounts of near zero yielding debt, begin to default. One study by a Deutsche analyst puts the figure at 25% of companies in the S&P 500.
The Central Banks respond to the crisis as they always have- coming to the rescue with the money printer, like the Bank of England did when they restarted QE, or how the Bank of Japan began “emergency bond buying operations”.
But this time is massive. They have to print more than ever before as the ENTIRE DEBT BASED FINANCIAL SYSTEM UNWINDS.
QE Infinity begins. Trillions of Treasuries, MBS, Corporate bonds, and Bond ETFs are bought up. The only manner in which to prevent the bubble from imploding is by overwhelming the system with freshly printed cash. Everything is no-limit bid.
The tsunami of new money floods into the system and a face ripping rally begins in every major asset class. This is the beginning of the melt-up phase.
The Federal Reserve, within a few months, goes from owning 30% of the Treasury market, to 70% or more. The Bank of Japan is already at 70% ownership of certain JGB issuances, and some bonds haven’t traded for a record number of days in an active market!
The Central Banks EAT the bond market. The “Lender of Last Resort” becomes “The Lender of Only Resort”.
Another step towards hyperinflation. The Dragon crawls out of his lair.
Now the majority or even entirety of the new bond issuances from the Treasury are bought with printed money. Money supply must increase in tandem with federal deficits, fueling further inflation as more new money floods into the system.
The Fed’s liquidity hose is now directly plugged into the veins of the real economy. The heroin of free money now flows in ever increasing amounts towards Main Street.
The same face-ripping rise seen in equities in 2020 and 2021 is now mirrored in the markets for goods and services.
Prices for Food, gas, housing, computers, cars, healthcare, travel, and more explode higher. This sets off several feedback loops- the first of which is the wage-price spiral. As the prices of everything rise, real disposable income falls.
Massive strikes and turnover ensues. Workers refuse to labor for wages that are not keeping up with their expenses. After much consternation, firms are forced to raise wages or see large scale work stoppages.
These higher wages now mean the firm has higher costs, and thus must charge higher prices for goods. This repeats ad infinitum.
The next feedback loop is monetary velocity- the number of times one dollar is spent to buy goods and services per unit of time. If the velocity of money is increasing, then more transactions are occurring between individuals in an economy.
The faster the dollar turns over, the more items it can bid for- and thus the more prices rise. Money velocity increasing is a key feature of a currency beginning to inflate away. In nations experiencing hyperinflation like Venezuela, where money velocity was purported to be over 7,000 annually- or more than 20 times a DAY.
As prices rise steadily, people begin to increase their inflation expectations, which leads to them going out and preemptively buying before the goods become even more expensive. This leads to hoarding and shortages as select items get bought out quickly, and whatever is left is marked up even more. ANOTHER feedback loop.
Inflation now soars to 25%. Treasury deficits increase further as the government is forced to spend more to hire and retain workers, and government subsidies are demanded by every corner of the populace as a way to alleviate the price pressures.
The government budget increases. Any hope of worker’s pensions or banks buying the new debt is dashed as the interest rates remain well below the rate of inflation, and real wages continue to fall. They thus must borrow more as the entire system unwinds.
The Hyperinflationary Feedback loop kicks in, with exponentially increasing borrowing from the Treasury matched by new money supply as the Printer whirrs away.
The Dragon begins his fiery assault.
Hyperinflationary Feedback Loop
As the dollar devalues, other central banks continue printing furiously. This phenomenon of being trapped in a debt spiral is not unique to the United States- virtually every major economy is drowning under excessive credit loads, as the average G7 debt load is 135% of GDP.
As the central banks print at different speeds, massive dislocations begin to occur in currency markets. Nations who print faster and with greater debt monetization fall faster than others, but all fiats fall together in unison in real terms.
Global trade becomes extremely difficult. Trade invoices, which usually can take several weeks or even months to settle as the item is shipped across the world, go haywire as currencies move 20% or more against each other in short timeframes. Hedging becomes extremely difficult, as vol premiums rise and illiquidity is widespread.
Amidst the chaos, a group of nations comes together to decide to use a new monetary media- this could be the Special Drawing Right (SDR), a neutral global reserve currency created by the IMF.
It could be a new commodity based money, similar to the old US Dollar pegged to Gold.
Or it could be a peer-to-peer decentralized cryptocurrency with a hard supply limit and secure payment channels.
Whatever the case- it doesn't really matter. The dollar will begin to lose dominance as the World Reserve Currency as the new one arises.
As the old system begins to die, ironically the dollar soars higher on foreign exchange- as there is a $20T global short position on the USD, in the form of leveraged loans, sovereign debt, corporate bonds, and interbank repo agreements.
All this dollar debt creates dollar DEMAND, and if the US is not printing fast enough or importing enough to push dollars out to satisfy demand, banks and institutions will rush to the Forex market to dump their local currency in exchange for dollars.
This drives DXY up even higher, and then forces more firms to dump local currency to cover dollar debt as the debt becomes more expensive, in a vicious feedback loop. This is called the Dollar Milkshake Theory, posited by Brent Johnson of Santiago Capital.
The global Eurodollar Market IS leverage- and as all leverage works, it must be fed with new dollars or risk bankrupting those who owe the debt. The fundamental issue is that this time, it is not banks, hedge funds, or even insurance giants- this is entire countries like Argentina, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
The Dollar Milkshake
If the Fed does not print to satisfy the demand needed for this Eurodollar market, the Dollar Milkshake will suck almost all global liquidity and capital into the United States, which is a net importer and has largely lost it’s manufacturing base- meanwhile dozens of developing countries and manufacturing firms will go bankrupt and be liquidated, causing a collapse in global supply chains not seen since the Second World War.
This would force inflation to rip above 50% as supply of goods collapses.
Worse yet, what will the Fed do? ALL their choices now make the situation worse.
The Fed's Triple Dilemma
Many pundits will retort- “Even if we have to print the entire unfunded liability of the US, $160T, that’s 8 times current M2 Money Supply. So we’d see 700% inflation over two years and then it would be over!”
This is a grave misunderstanding of the problem; as the Fed expands money supply and finances Treasury spending, inflation rips higher, forcing the AMOUNT THE TREASURY BORROWS, AND THUS THE AMOUNT THE FED PRINTS in the next fiscal quarter to INCREASE. Thus a 100% increase in money supply can cause a 150% increase in inflation, and on again, and again, ad infinitum.
M2 Money Supply increased 41% since March 5th, 2020 and we saw an 18% realized increase in inflation (not CPI, which is manipulated) and a 58% increase in SPY (at the top). This was with the majority of printed money really going into the financial markets, and only stimulus checks and transfer payments flowing into the real economy.
Now Federal Deficits are increasing, and in the next easing cycle, the Fed will be buying the majority of Treasury bonds.
The next $10T they print, therefore, could cause additional inflation requiring another $15T of printing. This could cause another $25T in money printing; this cycle continues forever, like Weimar Germany discovered.
The $200T or so they need to print can easily multiply into the quadrillions by the time we get there.
The Inflation Dragon consumes all in his path.
Federal Net Outlays are currently around 30% of GDP. Of course, the government has tax receipts that it could use to pay for services, but as prices roar higher, the real value of government tax revenue falls. At the end of the Weimar hyperinflation, tax receipts represented less than 1% of all government spending.
This means that without Treasury spending, literally a third of all economic output would cease.
The holders of dollar debt begin dumping them en masse for assets with real world utility and value- even simple things such as food and gas.
People will be forced to ask themselves- what matters more; the amount of Apple shares they hold or their ability to buy food next month? The option will be clear- and as they sell, massive flows of money will move out of the financial economy and into the real.
This begins the final cascade of money into the marketplace which causes the prices of everything to soar higher. The demand for money grows even larger as prices spike, which causes more Treasury spending, which must be financed by new borrowing, which is printed by the Fed. The final doom loop begins, and money supply explodes exponentially.
Monetary velocity rips higher and eventually pushes inflation into the thousands of percent. Goods begin being re-priced by the day, and then by the hour, as the value of the currency becomes meaningless.
A new money, most likely a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, gains widespread adoption- becoming the preferred method and eventually the default payment mechanism. The State continues attempting to force the citizens to use their currency- but by now all trust in the money has broken down. The only thing that works is force, but even the police, military and legal system by now have completely lost confidence.
The Simulacrum breaks down as the masses begin to realize that the entire financial system, and the very currency that underpins it is a lie- an illusion, propped up via complex derivatives, unsustainable debt loads, and easy money financed by the Central Banks.
Similar to Weimar Germany, confidence in the currency finally collapses as the public awakens to a long forgotten truth-
There is no supply cap on fiat currency.
When asked in 1982 what was the one word that could be used to define the Dollar, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker responded with one word-
All fiat money systems, unmoored from the tethers of hard money, are now adrift in a sea of illusion, of make-believe. The only fundamental props to support it are the trust and network effects of the participants.
These are powerful forces, no doubt- and have made it so no fiat currency dies without severe pain inflicted on the masses, most of which are uneducated about the true nature of economics and money.
But the Ships of State have wandered into a maelstrom from which there is no return. Currently, total worldwide debt stands at a gargantuan $300 Trillion, equivalent to 356% of global GDP.
This means that even at low interest rates, interest expense will be higher than GDP- we can never grow our way out of this trap, as many economists hope.
Fiat systems demand ever increasing debt, and ever increasing money printing, until the illusion breaks and the flood of liquidity is finally released into the real economy. Financial and Real economies merge in one final crescendo that dooms the currency to die, as all fiats must.
Day by day, hour by hour, the interest accrues.
The Debt grows larger.
And the Dollar Endgame Approaches.
Nothing on this Post constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any security, portfolio of securities, investment product, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. From reading my Post I cannot assess anything about your personal circumstances, your finances, or your goals and objectives, all of which are unique to you, so any opinions or information contained on this Post are just that – an opinion or information. Please consult a financial professional if you seek advice.
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INTRODUCTIONAs Web3 becomes more and more popular, the industry is seeing an increase in interest from both retail users and institutions. The trustless nature of blockchain technology allows multiple parties involved in a transaction to execute with 100% guarantees for each side once conditions are met. That creates enormous opportunities for new business cases to be developed. At the time of writing, decentralized finance’s (DeFi) total value locked (TVL) is $41 billion, according to DefiLlama,
Decentralized finance (DeFi) total value locked (TVL) (Source).
Blockchain oracles have been in the Web3 space since 2015, bridging the gap between deterministic siloed blockchains and probabilistic real-world data, allowing multiple use cases on the blockchain that could not have been possible otherwise. By design dApps are supposed to be trustless, always running in the way they were designed. Oracles are a critical piece of the infrastructure ensuring that data can be trusted before it reaches the blockchain. For the smart contracts that rely on external data, execution oracles have to be fast, reliable, decentralized, and resistant to any type of attack.
The purpose of this report is to dive deeper into oracles’ value, identify bottlenecks, explore innovations in the space, and provide recommendations on designing the best oracle setup to ensure optimal protocol performance with the most accurate data feeds in the shortest time.
What Is a Blockchain Oracle?First, let’s do a quick recap on blockchain oracles. Oracles are decentralized applications that gather, validate, and deliver off-chain data to smart contracts on the blockchain. Similarly, they can do the same for delivering on-chain data to off-chain systems. Oracles are middleware connecting smart contracts on blockchains to off-chain data providers, sources and systems. Without oracles, smart contract applications would be limited to executing using only on-chain data.
If an oracle is corrupted, the correctness of the result of the execution of the smart contract will be compromised, potentially causing enormous losses. Blockchain oracles are a crucial part of the ecosystem.
Flash loan attacks, orchestrated oracle manipulation, and lengthy latency during extremely volatile times add up to the complexity of the infrastructure a dApp has to monitor when building its protocols.
Latency and FrequencyLatency and frequency are two key parameters that determine the performance of an oracle, and a formula can be more complex taking multiple parameters into consideration.
Latency is the time taken for an off-chain data feed to be available to use for a smart contract on-chain after triggering a condition that requires off-chain data with a transaction. Latency can also be used in the context of data freshness, i.e., how old the last data feed is prior to being published on-chain. The latency formula depends on multiple factors.
Frequency is how often the price is updated on a blockchain. In other words, how often the price update triggers (Deviation Threshold, Heartbeat Threshold or requester contract) publishing a new price. In a highly volatile market, the frequency of updates might be bigger because the triggering parameter such as the Deviation Threshold moves more often. The more frequent, almost real-time updates, especially during times of high volatility might contribute to network congestion if the blockchain throughput is low.
Oracle RelayersA relayer is a general term for a third party that relays some information from one party to another. In the context of blockchain, a relayer submits a user’s transaction to the blockchain network on their behalf and pays the associated gas fee. Oracles usually operate across multiple blockchains and one option for oracle architecture to achieve cross-chain interoperability is to use a third-party relayer design to transmit data across blockchains.
Relayers in oracle design can be used to bridge reported data to other blockchains (Source).
Some potential drawbacks to using relayer architecture are increased latency (users must wait for data to first be delivered to the primary blockchain, then they must wait for it to be bridged to a secondary blockchain or Layer2 network) and responsiveness, as the the relay model requires a set of highly available and incentivized third-party relayers to bridge oracle data from one chain to another.
Data Sources/PublishersData sources are third parties that have access to the information in real-time, and can be divided into various categories
METHODOLOGYA qualitative data collection approach has been used to further deep dive into the existing oracle landscape. A semi-structured interview for the case study was selected to gather information about oracle use by the ten largest DeFi protocols in the market accounting for hundreds of millions of TVL.
All Chainlink, Binance Oracle, Pyth Network and Band Protocol documentation in service of the above-mentioned protocols has been reviewed and analyzed as a part of the case study.
DATA COLLECTIONA semi-structured interview was selected to gather information about oracle use by various DeFi protocols in the market. Participants were selected based on their TVL and trading volume.
The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze the bottlenecks in the industry, as well as discover new options and provide recommendations on oracle use.
The limitations of the case study: CTOs and lead engineers of the largest subset of DeFi protocols were selected to interview. Smaller DeFi lending and borrowing protocols and small DEXs were not included. The list of questions for the interview is provided below.
VALIDATION THROUGH CASE STUDIESThe results from the survey using keywords analysis and transcribed data provided insights on how DeFi protocols are using oracles, what the limitations and challenges are, and sheds the light on how DeFi protocols mitigate risks relative to the industry.
ORACLE TYPESThe very first blockchain oracle was centralized and served the industry well by supplying the necessary data to the blockchain. But as the industry matured, different oracle designs emerged to solve myriad issues with the centralized model. Analysis of documentation from a variety of oracle providers indicate that their designs vary depending on multiple parameters (eth source):
1. Number of Data Sources. Oracles that are connected to multiple sources and generate the average price from different sources are called aggregated price oracles. For example, Chainlink, Binance Oracle, Pyth Network, Band Protocol are all aggregated price feed oracles as compared to Uniswap which is a single source oracle.
2. Location of Data Source. Data sources for oracles can be on-chain or off-chain. Some of the largest off-chain data providers are the largest CEXsconnected through APIs to oracles nodes where data is pulled, validated, signed, and published on-chain. The largest on-chain data sources are DEXs such as PancakeSwap for BNB chain and Uniswap for Ethereum. DEXs provide prices based on the invariant curve exchange rate for cryptocurrency pairs.
3. Centralized or Decentralized. Oracles are classified as centralized or decentralized depending on their trust model and consensus mechanism. One of the very first oracles in the space on Ethereum called Provable (formerly Oraclize) is a centralized oracle provider but now most are decentralized. .
4. Push or Pull. Oracles that automatically update cryptocurrency prices on chain are called push oracles and oracles that need an active request to update cryptocurrency prices are called pull oracles. Push oracles publish prices on-chain when triggered by one of two indicators:
Deviation Threshold: If the cryptocurrency price is different from the previous price by more than 0.1% -1% (varies for different pairs) then the push oracle is activated to update the price on-chain.
Heartbeat Threshold: If the cryptocurrency price doesn’t change within 1-10 minutes (depending on the parameters set) then the push oracle is activated to update the price on-chain.
5. Type of Data Source. Oracles can specialize in many types of data including cryptocurrency prices, commodities prices, FX prices, trade, weather, sports outcomes and statistics, identity, DNS lookups, and more.
TWAP ORACLESWhile most of the oracles in the space are off-chain and decentralized, time-weighted average price (TWAP) oracles are different. TWAP oracles give the average price of a token for a determined period of time versus oracles that provide mean or weighted average prices aggregated from multiple data sources at a given moment. TWAP oracles are based on DEX prices and use the exchange rate of token A to token B as the price-determining factor. DEXs are the only source of truth for the price of the tokens that are not listed and traded on larger exchanges and there are no other providers available. For example, Uniswap TWAP V2.
The time-weighted average price (TWAP) calculation methodology supported by the Uniswap V2 automatic market maker (AMM) (Source).
A TWAP oracle has several limitations. It is a lagging indicator, so if a cryptocurrency price is volatile, the TWAP will not accurately reflect the price, which results in a higher risk of under-collateralization. TWAP oracles pull their price data from a single source only, making it more likely that low-cap asset prices off of a particular DEX are not representative of the broader market price. TWAP oracles do not provide data about off-chain trading pairs and they are not a scalable solution that mirrors the design of the underlying protocols that they service.
That said, TWAP oracles do have an unspoken benefit: they are the only source of price feeds for high-risk, low-cap tokens. Protocols that are built around isolated trading low cap tokens benefit from having access to a TWAP oracle but, as mentioned previously, the data in question is subject to natural (or malicious) market manipulation and must be used with caution.
At the time of the writing, Uniswap TWAP oracle team was working on researching on other improvements such as Time Weight Median Price (TWMP), wide-range liquidity, and limit orders to be introduced to Uniswap TWAP v.3.
Uniswap time weighted average price (TWAP) oracle total value secured (TVS) November 2022 (Source).
ORACLES OVERVIEWCurrently, there are four major market participants in the oracle space:
Chainlink total value secured (TVS) (Source).
Chainlink is one of the largest oracle solutions in the market. It was established in 2017 and has been a source of truth for over 1500 dApps across 15 blockchains. At the time of this writing, the Total Value Secured by Chainlink was approximately $9.4 billion.
Chainlink is an off-chain decentralized oracle network that serves over 200 pairs on Ethereum and more than 100 pairs on the BNB chain. Chainlink data expands far outside of crypto pricing offerings and includes weather data, sports data, FX and commodities.
Chainlink has additional features such as data automation, VRF/RNG, Proof of Reserve, NFT price feeds, and Cross-chain interoperability protocol. Also, dApps can access any external data through AnyAPI adaptors.
Pyth Network total value secured (TVS) (Source).
Pyth Network was launched in 2021 and is the first oracle to popularize the pull mechanism for price feed updates. Currently, more than 70 projects are deployed to use Pyth Network which uses its own network to make sure the underlying blockchain does not affect the reliability of the oracle and that it is always running.
Pyth Network is a decentralized off-chain aggregate price oracle that publishes data off-chain 2-3 times per second for everyone to read it. That data is published on-chain only after the request for a price contract has been made. The gas fee is paid by whoever first called the price update and it is available for the rest to use cost-free once on-chain. End-users of Pyth data can elect to pay data fees to gain protection against a potential oracle failure.
Pyth Network uses a weighted average aggregate price coming from multiple sources, some of them exclusive. Pyth Data Providers are fully transparent and available to read.
Binance OracleBinance Oracle was launched in October 2022 after being in design and production for more than nine months. Binance Oracle has implemented a few modifications to create more resilient and faster push oracles. At the time of this writing, Binance Oracle is deployed to the beta testnet and has onboarded its first customers.
A few significant improvements to Binance’s oracle design were added to make the price feeds faster and more secure:
Band Protocol’s total value secured (TVS) (Source).
Band Protocol is a Cosmos-based oracle supporting 20 blockchains through the inter-blockchain protocol (IBC), a scalable oracle that has its own network to process all data. Band Protocol is also a decentralized off-chain aggregator oracle supporting more than 90 crypto symbols and 12 forex trading pairs.
Band Protocol has built its own relayer network and is able to ensure fast cross-chain communication to publish data to the different blockchains using the IBC bridge.
Other Oracle Designs: API3API3 is moving from the third-party oracle model to the first-party data providers directly on-chain. An off-chain first-party oracle connects data from any API to a smart contract through Airnode. DAO-governed, Airnode is Web3 middleware that connects any web API directly to any blockchain application. Airnodes are a piece of cloud service infrastructure that allow data providers to deploy their existing Web2 API onto the blockchain, creating what API3 calls a dAPI (Decentralized API).
Airnode Web3 middleware connects any web API directly to any blockchain application (Source).
The API3 team manages the endpoints and a multi-sig mechanism is used for extra security signing transactions. API3 can also provide individual data sets for users that require full control over the curation of the data feeds they use.
Other Oracles Designs: Umbrella NetworkUmbrella is a Layer2 oracle built on a sidechain. Umbrella solves the scalability problem in oracles by leveraging a Layer2 solution and utilizes Merkle trees for batching transactions to save on gas fees.
Umbrella leverages a Layer2 solution and utilizes Merkle trees for batching transactions (Source).
NEW DEVELOPMENTS AND TRENDSBlockchain oracles have been live since 2015 – the same year that Ethereum smart contracts were introduced – and have since gone through many iterations and improvements. A few new emerging trends in oracle use have been identified both during analyzing case studies and following emerging technologies.
Privacy, ZK Proofs, and OraclesPrivacy enabling zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) are hot topics that have emerged over the course of 2021-2022, solving inherent blockchain problems like lack of confidentiality and inability to control private data. Blockchain oracles are no exception to this trend. The industry is seeking a solution to reveal and verify the truth without disclosing private information.
For example, Chainlink is working on a ZKP-based oracle solution called DECO, a privacy-preserving oracle protocol developed at Cornell University and later acquired by Chainlink. Oracle nodes can prove facts about data sourced from trusted servers without revealing the data on-chain, while also proving the source of the data since the TLS chain of custody is maintained.
One of DECO’s applications is a verifiable credential oracle that acts as a source of truth for biometric data and allows selective data disclosure paired with digital identity.
Oracle nodes can prove facts about data sourced from trusted servers without revealing the data on-chain.
ZK Cross Chain Messaging Through Oracle RelayersFor the average Web3 user the closest understanding of oracle is the bridge between Web2 real-world data and Web3 dApps. However, oracles can not only act as price or weather data feed providers but also can be used as a source of truth for inter-blockchain messaging itself.
A few prospective solutions are working on a ZK proof for cross-chain messaging where oracles act as a core part of the middleware to prove and verify that the data transmitted is true and can be trusted. An oracle node generates the ZK proof for the state of the smart contract so that data can be transferred across blockchains.
Latency Is Dead, Long Live LatencyThe fastest available data on-chain is necessary and widely used in the DeFi world however, DEX interviews revealed that there is no actual demand for the real-time speed of pushing price feeds – it has to be fast, but it doesn’t have to be ultra-fast. There are two different approaches to data delivery speed with respect to pull oracles:
Modifications to TWAPSome protocols developed their own implementations of TWAP oracles with added features such as using moving averages to smooth abrupt price movements. Others have built custom pools as an oracle on the AMM/DEX. TWAP oracles might see increased demand in the future if markets move towards decentralized exchanges, which may be more likely after recent market volatility in November 2022.
CONCLUSIONOracles are critical middleware infrastructure that enable myriad use cases for the blockchain. Competition amongst legacy oracle providers has pushed them to constantly innovate, add resiliency to the oracle ecosystem, and drive adoption for their services in new and better ways. Binance Oracle’s entrance into the space introduces a new player with enhanced speed and security.
While capital continues to flow to DEXs, the collapse of crypto markets in November 2022 may delay the adoption of further advances in oracle development such as verified credentials and ZK cross chain messaging. Nevertheless, oracle innovation continues to unfold, bringing ever more utility to blockchain over time.
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10 Reasons Why You Need to Use a Grid Trading BotWith the prices of cryptocurrencies swinging widely within minutes and markets opening 24 hours every day, it's hard for traders to keep up.
For starters, crypto traders may not be able to react quickly enough to take advantage of opportunities to profit from rapid price swings. Furthermore, delays in transactions or exchange executions further worsen the problem. Traders cannot monitor all the crypto exchanges and global markets round the clock to achieve optimal trading results.
Fortunately, this is the age of automation. For many investors, bots (short for robots) that run bits of code to trade and execute transactions offer solutions to these problems.
This article will look at the grid trading bot — a bot that adopts the grid trading strategy — how it works, and its benefits to users.
What Is a Grid Trading Strategy?Grid trading is a trading strategy that involves placing orders above and below a set price using a “price grid” of orders. The price grid consists of orders at incrementally increasing and decreasing prices. For instance, you may set buy orders at every $500 below the current market price of ETH, and sell orders every $500 above ETH’s current price. The grid trading bot automatically buys when the price falls to the predetermined level, and again if the price drops by another $500. The reverse occurs when the price of ETH starts to climb.
The basic premise of this strategy is to repeatedly buy at the pre-specified price, and then sell the position when the price rises above that level. Conversely, you can sell at a predetermined price point and wait for the price to fall to a set level and buy — repeatedly.
A grid trading strategy is easily automated, and valuable for forex currency trading and crypto trading. It’s especially useful when prices move within a specific range or a “sideways market,” where assets fluctuate within a tight range for an extended time without going in a particular direction. Prices oscillate within the borders of price support and resistance.
Grid trading strategies attempt to make money whenever the price of an asset changes. However, there’s a trade-off: The more orders a grid trading system has, the higher the trading frequency and, consequently, the lower the profit from each order.
Bybit has finalized plans to introduce a built-in grid trading bot in its trading mechanics. Users can easily automate buy and sell orders placed at predetermined intervals by customizing the grid limits — upper and lower — and the number of grids. Once the set-up is complete, the system will automatically buy or sell orders at these preset prices.
Crypto trading can be taxing and time-intensive. However, when properly deployed, bots can take away some of the hassles while optimizing your profits. Here are ten reasons you need a grid trading bot so you can profit in both Spot and Futures markets.
1. Low entry pointUsing a grid trading bot, you can enter positions at levels you might not be able to achieve by trading manually. Without the need to continuously monitor price fluctuations, you can have orders at several low entry points. Conversely, you’ll also be placing orders to be executed at higher selling levels, or placing the trades at extreme levels.
2. Easy to use and customizableThe grid trading bot is straightforward to use and easily customizable. Once you sign up, you can configure the parameters as you wish. Generally, you can adjust the upper and lower limits of the price range, and set the number of orders the bot can place within this price range, as well as the width between each buy-sell limit order.
Users don't need to know or calculate complex metrics and measurements, or study market indicators. Since it's “plug and play,” anyone without extensive crypto trading experience can set up a grid trading bot in minutes. The underlying grid strategy doesn’t require new traders to understand complex market signals, indicators, and algorithms.
3. High automation levelGrid trading bots lend themselves to a high level of automation. This is because the underlying trading strategy is highly logical. Bots are designed to perform predetermined tasks unrelated to the market sentiments and trends. Grid trading bots efficiently employ the grid trading strategy, which would be too intricate to execute with manual trading.
Since grid trading bots are easy to set up and use, they can be used in virtually any currency market. It’s a great starting point for traders who don’t plan to monitor the market constantly.
4. Turn strategies into profit during a quiet marketGrid trading bots have the unique advantage of turning a profit in a time of market doldrums. Deservedly, cryptocurrencies have earned a reputation for volatility. But now and then, the markets trade within a range, though they might still move wildly within that range. Rather than have your crypto assets hibernate along with the market, you can use grid trading strategies to capitalize on a market where you may not have much conviction.
5. Enhance risk managementA grid trading bot can help you enhance your risk management capabilities. The settings you configure directly impact your profitability. Most importantly, it gives you control over the risk-reward level.
You can earn a small but steady profit with minimal risks when you bet on stablecoin pairs involving USD tether, for example. Conversely, you can choose to whet your risk appetite and go for bigger stakes and chunkier returns, trading coins with low market cap and high volatility.
The ability of trading bots to adjust your risks in line with your appetite is an excellent tool for enhancing your risk management skills.
6. Provide liquidityUsing the grid trading strategy via bots essentially means you provide much-needed liquidity for the exchange. You increase the market liquidity of the exchange by placing buy and sell orders, which makes grid trading an excellent strategy for market making. The bot can provide liquidity on a specific cryptocurrency by placing a bid-and-ask limit order on an exchange.
Grid trading bots ensure you'll pay the maker fee as well because makers provide liquidity to an exchange by "creating or making a market" for other traders. In contrast, takers remove liquidity by “taking” available orders. Maker fees are usually lower to incentivize market makers. Since a grid trading strategy provides liquidity, users pay the lower maker fees.
Illiquid markets with thin order books (order books with fewer offers at different price levels, which increase slippage) tend to benefit from a grid trading strategy. They’re marked by large price spikes, which occur frequently. The grid trading bot eats up these spikes by providing liquidity and converting them into profit for the trader. This also helps anyone trading the illiquid pair try to get a fair price.
7. VersatilityGrid trading bots can be used in any market, and with reasonable potential to make a profit. They’re versatile — because the core underlying strategy proceeds based on the idea of buying low and selling high (and pocketing the difference). Thus, grid trading bots can trade profitably without being affected by market sentiments and trends.
You also have the liberty of configuring the bot and selecting prices ranges and the number of grids, which helps you define the frequency and period. You can tweak the bot for the short term, where it makes small profits by trading frequently in a short interval. Or you can set it up to run for longer periods with less frequency, and earn profit from more significant price shifts.
8. DiversificationGrid trading bots can help you earn some extra profit if you intend to hold on to two exchangeable assets for the long haul. One of the primary tenets of investing is diversification, which is spreading your funds among multiple assets, rather than a single one. Rather than simply holding, you can earn extra profit by using the grid trading strategy to make more money from the fluctuations between the prices of the multiple assets in your portfolio.
9. Suitable for both short- and long-term tradingGrid trading as a strategy has been used in other types of markets, such as forex. All kinds of traders — including scalpers, day traders, swing traders and position traders — can take advantage of grid trading bots for managing risk and maximizing profits.
Traders who prefer quick returns can set up the trading bot to function for the short term, catching hundreds of trades from the small price movements within a short period. Long-term traders can set up a huge grid range in which trades can run for a longer period, ranging from weeks to months.
10. Remove emotions from tradingNaturally, traders are prone to many emotions — including anger, greed, and fear — when money is involved. It’s challenging to keep these unbridled emotions in check when trading manually. Grid trading bots can help implement a rule-based grid strategy, minimizing the involvement of emotions in trading.
Trading bots operate according to a defined set of rules, like fixed profit taking or stop-loss points. If you’re planning to employ a consistent strategy, grid trading bots are useful for carrying out disciplined and controlled trades.
The Bottom LineGrid trading bots are automated trading tools that adopt the grid trading strategy, a trading system that allows you to profit by placing a series of long or short orders at predetermined intervals around a set price, creating a trading grid. Easy to use and set up, these bots can help you execute trades profitably and efficiently, saving you money, time — and stress. Get started with by creating your own grid trading bot so you can easily invest in both Spot and Futures markets today!
We hope this Bybit trading bot guide has been useful for you in your pursuit of automated investing and trading. Here's all the facts about our trading bots, summarized in one simple infographic.
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Gold trading strategy:– Trading gold is much like trading forex if you use a spread-betting platform.
– A gold trading strategy can include a mix of fundamental, sentiment, or technical analysis.
– Advanced gold traders recognize that the yellow metal is priced in US Dollars and will account for its trend in their gold analysis.
Why trade gold and what are the main trading strategies?Once upon a time, trading gold was difficult: you had to buy and sell the metal itself. Then came futures and options, allowing traders to take positions without actually ending up with a safe full of bars, coins or jewelry. Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) made it easier still; trading gold was much like trading a stock. Today, trading gold is almost no different from trading foreign exchange.
If a retail investor uses a spread-betting platform it is simply a matter of buying or selling depending on whether you think that the gold price is likely to rise or fall.
For some people, trading gold is attractive simply because the underlying asset is physical rather than a number in a bank account. There are a variety of strategies for trading gold ranging from studying the fundamental factors affecting supply and demand to studying current positioning of gold traders, to technical analysis and studying the gold price chart.
Even for those who rely principally on the fundamentals, many experienced traders would agree that a better gold trading strategy is incorporating some components of fundamental, sentiment and technical analysis. A gold trading tip we offer is that fundamental and sentiment analysis can help you spot trends, but a study of the gold price chart and patterns can help you enter and exit specific trades.
NOTE: can not find the right trading strategy? if you have no time to study all the tools of the trade and you have not funds for errors and losses – trade with the help of our best forex robots developed by our professionals. They are fully automated, you need install files in your Metatrader only.
Trading gold vs trading forex
Gold has traditionally been seen as a store of value, precisely because it is not subject to the whims of governments and central banks as currencies are. Gold prices are not influenced directly by either fiscal policy or monetary policy and will always be worth something – unlike a currency that can end up being almost worthless because, for example, of rampant inflation.
Gold can also be used by traders as a “safe haven”, along with assets like the Japanese Yen, the Swiss Franc and the notes and bonds issued by the US Treasury. That means that when traders are worried about risk trends they will tend to buy haven assets. On the flip side, traders tend generally to sell haven assets when risk appetite grows, opting instead for stocks and other currencies with a higher interest rate. This makes gold an important hedge against inflation and a valuable asset.
Note, though, that while it is possible to trade the Swiss Franc or the Japanese Yen against a variety of other currencies, gold is almost always traded against the US Dollar. Therefore, trading gold means you will need to take into account the movements of the US Dollar. For example, if the value of the US Dollar is increasing, that could drive the price of gold lower. Keep up to date with the US Dollar and key levels for gold in our gold market data page.
An additional factor to take into account when learning how to trade gold includes market liquidity. The World Gold Council estimates that average daily trading volumes in gold are higher than in any currency pairs other than EURUSD, USDJPY and GBPUSD. That makes it higher, for example, than the daily trading volume in EURJPY, so spreads – the differences between buying and selling prices – are narrow, making gold relatively inexpensive to trade.
Lastly, gold trading hours are nearly 24 hours per day. Gold exchanges are open almost all the time, with business moving seamlessly from London and Zurich to New York to Sydney and then to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo before Europe takes up the baton again. This means liquidity is high around the clock although, as with foreign exchange, it can be relatively quiet after the New York close, with lower volumes and therefore the possibility of volatile price movements.
How to trade gold using technical analysisTechnical traders will notice how the market condition of the gold price chart has changed over the years. Gold prices were in a sizeable trend from 2005 to 2015. Since 2015, gold prices have been trading in a defined range, changing hands between $1,000 and $1,400. We talk about matching your technical gold trading strategy to the market condition. If the market is trending, use a momentum strategy. If the gold chart is range bound, then use a low volatility or range strategy. This is a key ingredient in a gold trading strategy.
Gold Price Chart, Monthly Timeframe (July 2004 – July 2018)
Chart by IG
For those who prefer to use technical analysis, the simplest way to start is by using previous highs and lows, trendlines and chart patterns. When the gold price is rising, a significant previous high above the current level will be an obvious target, as will an important previous low when the price is falling.
Also in an uptrend, a line on the chart connecting previous highs will act as resistance when above the current level, while a line connecting previous higher lows will act as support – with the reverse true in a falling market. As for chart patterns, those like head-and-shoulders tops and double bottoms are relevant just as they are when trading currency pairs.
For the more sophisticated technical trader, using Elliott Wave analysis, Fibonacci retracement levels, momentum indicators and other techniques can all help determine likely future moves
How to trade a symmetrical triangle pattern on the gold chart
Gold trading tips for beginners and advanced gold tradersReturning to fundamental analysis, the beginner needs to consider one point in particular: is market sentiment likely to be positive or negative? If the former, then the gold price is likely to fall and if the latter it is likely to rise. This is therefore the simplest strategy to use when trading gold.
For the more advanced trader, though, it is important to consider too what is likely to happen to the Dollar. In recent years, the Dollar has become increasingly regarded as a safe haven as well, which explains in part why the gold price in Dollars has remained relatively stable. Thus if you think, for example, that the geopolitical situation is going to worsen, you might consider buying gold but at the same time selling, say, the Australian Dollar against its US counterpart.
An advanced trader will also want to keep an eye on the demand for gold jewelry. In India and China in particular, gold jewelry is still seen as an important long-term investment, it has its uses in industry too and central banks’ buying and selling of gold can also be important – all factors that can move the price.
As for supply, advanced traders will want to keep an eye on the output figures from the main producing companies such as Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining.
That said, all the rules of trading forex also apply to trading gold. Retail traders need to be careful not to over-leverage and to think about their risk management, setting targets, and stops in case something goes wrong.
Our principal gold trading tips are therefore:
Read how to trade Forex profitably and what are trading robots…
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