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I completed a Bachelors in Information and Technology in December 2019. I did pretty good in school but am by no means a big coding guy and am more interested in IT side than computer science. I have been trading cryptocurrency for the last 3 years working for myself. I have been avoiding job offers because they make close to nothing what I’m currently making with crypto, but I really want to break into the IT field to get a more stable career and advanced my skills. I got offered a job for $15 an hour (yikes, terrible) for an entry level position. I have been applying to other with higher pay during the pandemic but my past job experience is in management/call centers so I was getting no bites. So I finally caved and accepted a low one. I am trying to just think of this as a necessary step in my career, but am having a hard time convincing myself of that because of the pay. submitted by
This job I took I can’t say I’m too excited about. But am thinking it might be a good starting point. I am just not sure if I am wasting my time and can get something better. I have a bachelors but no certs. My new job title is “Computer Repair Technician” and I will be working mainly on chromebooks and laptops for k-12 schools at a technical warehouse type setting. They are starting me off just installing cases, applying asset tags, wiring AC adapters. And then they will be moving into my repair position once I get a feel for things. That will include repairing broken screens, swapping parts, etc.
I did not imagine I would be making less than before I went back and got my bachelors at $15 an hour. But do you guys think from my brief description this is something good to get my foot into the door in an official IT position? I honestly feel I’m a bit above it, but no one else is biting so maybe I’m not. I for sure am starting on Monday, so I’m going to try it out for at least a few months. But how long do people typically stay in these entry positions before pay increases? I’m 31 and feel like I’m going too far back in the ladder of work experience. They are going to be long days for little pay (30k a year). Luckily I will still be doing my crypto trading so I am not worried about money, just that this is an unnecessary time sink.
Any input would be appreciated.
Necessary Disclaimer submitted by
: no rule breaking intended. No price manipulation intended. I only want to share verifiable facts/links and my analysis. If I am doing anything against the rules please let me know and I will do my best to fix it ASAP. I trade crypto, including LINK, and I am currently short on LINK. This is not financial advice; this is just for my own record and to start a discussion for anyone who might want more transparency around LINK.
I believe there is a lot of misinformation, uncertainty, and unanswered questions about the LINK token, the Chainlink ecosystem, the SmartContract parent company. I also believe that LINK's current price is unjustified based on fundamental factors like usage/business case/current customers/future potential. So I'm raising some points and asking some questions. What is this post? Why should I care? How do I use it?
Read or skim it. It's about the LINK token, the Chainlink ecosystem, and the parent company SmartContract. It's about why I believe the price of the LINK token may be currently driven mostly by hype and not backed by standard market fundamentals like usage/economics.
Update 9 AUG: reorganizing, rewriting this post and moving supporting data/sources into "appendix" comments below on this post. The previous versions of this post and my comments elsewhere were too emotionally charged and caused more division rather than honest, evidence-based, productive discussion and I sincerely apologize for that. I have now rewritten it and will continue to update it.
Who has Chainlink partnered with? Who is using Chainlink's technology and network? Who is contributing to developing Chainlink? Google
- this is the pinned tweet on Chainlink's official page. Nothing there about Google
services or co-developing with them. Just that blockchains/oracles CAN use google cloud services (APIs?). This is Google Cloud's June 13, 2019 blog post: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/data-analytics/building-hybrid-blockchain-cloud-applications-with-ethereum-and-google-cloud Oracle
- (TODO. This seems to have potential as some product manager at Oracle has posted that chainlink integration is coming Q3/Q4 of 2020) SWIFT
- the best they've got is a 30 second video with NOBODY from SWIFT present, with a *hypothetical* use case using SWIFT API. Intel
This is the only google result for "chainlink site:intel.com", and it casually mentions that Intel's TEE (trusted execution environment) technology can
be used to improve the security of oracles/blockchains. Nothing about Intel themselves using or developing with Chainlink. https://software.intel.com/content/www/us/en/develop/articles/new-confidential-computing-solutions-emerge-on-the-hyperledger-avalon-trusted-compute.html
Another 240+ claimed project integrations:
[TODO] There are so many to keep track of. Every week or even more frequent is yet another integration *announcement* Current DeFi usage
: we've heard that Chainlink "secures" $1 billion in DeFi. But that's not in value locked: https://defipulse.com/
(LINK doesn't even appear on that list). That's just with DeFi data supposedly being priced using Chainlink nodes.
EG Synthetix: https://blog.synthetix.io/chainlink-decentralizes-first-wave-of-synthetix-price-feeds/
yet where does Synthetix actually PAY to use an oracle? Not visible on-chain, maybe someone will find it. https://defipulse.com/blog/3-defi-dapps-starting-2020-off-strong/
"... Chainlink's following includes partnerships big and small, including Intel and Google Cloud services" example of misleading/exaggerated partnership claims being circulated.
Threshold signatures, staking, on-chain SLAs:
How real are these, is there a roadmap, how will this benefit users, is there any evidence of users currently *wanting* to use chainlink but needing these features and actively waiting for Chainlink to launch these? Staking
: for there to be a valid incentive for users to stake LINK, it has to return around 5% annually because anything substantially under that would have users putting their money elsewhere (https://www.stakingrewards.com/cryptoassets
) (not counting speculative capital gains in terms of LINK's price, but price gain per token/coin applies to all other crypto projects as well).
Currently, for stakable cryptos, around 30-80% of their total supply is staked, and a good adjusted reward is on the order of 5% as well (some actually negative, some 10%+). The promise of staking incentivises people to buy and hold more LINK tokens (again, many other crypto projects have staking already live). That 5% reward will ultimately have to come from the customers who pay Chainlink oracle nodes to use their services, so it's an extra 5% fee for them. Of course, in the near future, the staking rewards *could* be subsidized by the founders' reserve wallets. Threshold signatures
: addressed below in a comment. On-chain SLAs
Here's supposedly Chainlink's agile/project planning board. (TODO: verify that it is indeed Chainlink's, and then analyse it) https://www.pivotaltracker.com/n/projects/2129823
LINK wallet addresses
As LINK is an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, all its movements are visible, all the way from the genesis creation of 1,000,000,000 LINK tokens through to aggregator nodes through to cashing out on exchanges. Below are some examples and some reasons why this may be concerning to investors/holders of LINK.
This is one LINK address whale with over 6 million LINK. Looks like some of the funds end up on a Turkish exchange Paribu. https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xc6bed363b30df7f35b601a5547fe56cd31ec63da
This wallet has moved out >200,000 LINK in the last 24 hours. Don't know where, go trace it.
Typical data provider example. Lots of named Chainlink oracle nodes pay this address: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x72f3dff4cd17816604dd2df6c2741e739484ca62
Usually 0.16 LINK to this address every few minutes, sometimes 2 LINK. This data provider has sent out ~11,620 LINK out to the following wallet: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xa5d0084a766203b463b3164dfc49d91509c12dab
That wallet has cashed out 9,560 LINK to 1inch.exchange (a DEX) over the past year. Has also transferred 6000 LINK to a currently loaded wallet (possibly exchange account ready to sell?): https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x088d50c0bb5381a1205d1182cc21496c6fdc4c62
Another destination accumulation wallet (~493,000 LINK with no out transfers yet) https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x7758e507850da48cd47df1fb5f875c23e3340c50
(unrelated but a sell order of this size would drop LINK's price by 10-30% on Binance, someone check my maths on this) Now tracing back who funds the 0x72f3... data provider, we see a number of named Chainlink Aggregator nodes. Picking one at random, say the TUSD/ETH one: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x73ead35fd6a572ef763b13be65a9db96f7643577
It was last funded March 12 2020 with 5000 LINK. Tracing back the funds we ultimately come to the genesis wallet of the Chainlink network itself, the original source of the 1,000,000,000 LINK tokens in existence. (side note: some interesting-looking transactions there) This is the first child of the genesis wallet that received 100,000,000 from the genesis wallet. https://etherscan.io/tokentxns?a=0xf37c348b7d19b17b29cd5cfa64cfa48e2d6eb8db
Last time this wallet transferred out was YESTERDAY for 500,000 LINK. Now this doesn't prove anything, DYOR, but to me it looks like the genesis wallets are slowly cashing out through the aggregator nodes, making it look like the oracle node network is being actively used (which it is, but it's not the end customers like AAVE/NEXO paying the LINK required to power oracles, it's SmartContract itself). I know that this is just ONE aggregator node, but I've seen the same behaviour from their other named nodes - go check for yourselves.
If you trace chainlink oracle funds to their source, you can find some of the original addresses. Some of these early on (around 1000 days ago) were linked to AfroDex labs, which looks like now doesn’t work. http://afrodex.net/#!/trade/AfroX-ETH
Who currently pays Chainlink nodes?
How much of the revenue that Chainlink nodes receive is from potentially third party customers vs internal funding by the Chainlink team wallets? For example, this is the "Chainlink: LINK / USD Aggregator" wallet.
It has had a total 8,200 LINK deposited from 5 transactions in round amounts (on any of the below links, click the "Analytics" tab to see In/Out balance history), and has so far paid out ~5,156 LINK. https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x32dbd3214ac75223e27e575c53944307914f7a90
It typically pays ~10 wallets 0.16 Link each, a few times an hour, like so: https://etherscan.io/tx/0x02c595981b935a57cfbe6170656181faac9a16d7a33a123930a716c4abec615a
($45 in ETH fees to transfer $22 worth of LINK, sounds like a lot of overheads)
Where does this aggregator wallet get its LINK funding from?
From ONLY here: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x27158157136384c713bc09a0a7ae81c8391d7f11
(current net balance ~50,000 LINK, total ~5,000,000 million in and out)
Which in turn gets it from ONLY these three, in HUGE amounts: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xf37c348b7d19b17b29cd5cfa64cfa48e2d6eb8db
(6,000,000 LINK) https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xaf40738c6f940519516e043f924b8d05fc0292b8
(just a jump address into the one above, only 3 total tx) https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x1f9e26f1c050b5c018ab0e66fcae8e4394eb0165
the 0x1f9e2... one got its funding from:
- 6098.8 LINK from Binance about a year ago: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x161cdd891e04a77e0458a3ef65c563c4d2064cd6
- 12,600,000 from the genesis wallet through one jump address https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xdad22a85ef8310ef582b70e4051e543f3153e11f
- 13,000,000 from the 0xf37... wallet above
the 0xf37... in turn got its 50,000,000 (!) LINK from the genesis address which minted the original 1 billion tokens: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xf55037738604fddfc4043d12f25124e94d7d1780
So the 0x27158... wallet is basically a genesis wallet.
Now let's do the most popular feed on feeds.chain.link
, the ETH/USD feed: https://feeds.chain.link/eth-usd
, with a wallet address of: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xF79D6aFBb6dA890132F9D7c355e3015f15F3406F#tokenAnalytics
It was first funded in Jan 2020 and has been funded a total of 9 times for a total influx of 108,437.533 LINK, by:
- "Chainlink: Deployer" 10 LINK: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x6f61507f902e1c22bcd7aa2c0452cd2212009b61
- The 0x27158... genesis-sourced wallet, 20,000 LINK
- An intermediary/middle very active wallet (which is 99.998% funded by the 0x27158... genesis-sourced wallet), 52,000 LINK https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x2f0acb9c5dd2a3511bc1d9d67258e5c9434ba569
- "Chainlink: Aggregator", 36,427.533 LINK, https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x79febf6b9f76853edbcbc913e6aae8232cfb9de9#tokenAnalytics
I manually traced EVERY single inbound transaction/source of funds for the above 4 (not counting #1 as 10 LINK is negligible). 2 & 3 are 99.99%+ genesis-funded, being ACTIVELY topped up by a genesis wallet, last tx 4 days ago, 500,000 LINK. #4 has been funded 36 times over the past year and a half (that's 36 manual exports and I did them all). They all come from the 0x27158..., 0x2f0acb..., and https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x1f9e26f1c050b5c018ab0e66fcae8e4394eb0165
(another address like the 0x2f0acb that I went through and checked EVERY SINGLE inbound source of funds, and it's also >99.9% genesis-funded - one tx from Binance for 6098 LINK out of a total ~6,560,000 inbound LINK from genesis wallets), and two other addresses linked to Binance (0x1b185c8611d157a67d9a9d5261b0d2bd52c0bb78, 10,000 LINK and 0x039ac18afe298747c51c85e7c8f0d67c327f3883
, 1,000,000 LINK)
The 0x039ac... address funded the "Chainlink: Aggregator" address with 127,900 LINK, and the 0x1b185... with about ~9,600 LINK). So yes, it's technically possible that someone not related to Chainlink paid for the ETH / USD price feed because some funds do come from Binance. However, they only come from two distinct addresses. Surely for "240+" claimed partnerships, more than TWO would pay to use Chainlink's MOST POPULAR price feed? That is, unless they don't pay directly but to another address and then Chainlink covers this one from their own wallets. I will check if that's in line with Chainlink's whitepaper, but doesn't that throw doubt on the whole model of end-users paying to use oracles/aggregators, even if it's subsidized?
I provide you this much detail not to bore you but to show you that I went through BY HAND and checked every single source (detailed sources in Appendix B) of funds for the OFFICIAL, Chainlink-listed "ETH/USD" aggregator that's supposedly sponsored by 10 DeFi partners (Synthetix, LoopSpring, OpenLaw, 1inch, ParaSwap, MCDEX, FuturesSwap, DMM, Aave, The Force Protocol). Yet where are the transactions showing that those 10 partners have EVER paid for this ETH/USD oracle? Perhaps the data is there so what am I missing? This ETH/USD aggregator has transferred out ~76,000 LINK to I guess the data providers in increments of .33 LINK. It has 21 data providers responding. I will begin investigating the data providers themselves soon.
And those middle addresses like 0x1f9e26... and 0x2f0acb...? They have transferred out hundreds of thousands if not millions of LINK to exchanges. And that's just ONE price pair aggregator. Chainlink has around 40 of these (albeit this one's one of the more popular ones).
SNX / ETH aggregator is funded 100% by genesis-sourced wallets, only 3 inbound transactions: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xe23d1142de4e83c08bb048bcab54d50907390828
Some random examples (for later, ignore these for now) *********** https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x039ac18afe298747c51c85e7c8f0d67c327f3883
bought 1,000,000 LINK from Binance in Sept 12 & 15, 2019. (one of the possible funding sources for the ETH / USD aggregator example above)
This address got 500,000 LINK from 0x27158... and has distributed them into ~5-10,000 LINK wallets that haven't had any out transactions yet https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x5bcf3edc0bb7119e35f322ba40793b99d4620f1e
Another example with an unnamed aggregator-node-like wallet that was only spun up 5 days ago, Aug 5: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x2cbfd29947f774b8cf338f776915e6fee052f236
It was funded 2,000 LINK SOLELY by the 0x27158... wallet and has so far paid out ~500 LINK in 0.43 LINK amounts to 9 wallets at a time. For example, this is one of the wallets it cashes out to: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x64fe692be4b42f4ac9d4617ab824e088350c11c2#tokenAnalytics
That wallet extremely consistently collects small amounts of LINK since Oct 2019. It must be a data provider because a lot of Chainlink named wallets pay it small amounts of LINK regularly. It has transferred out 20 times. The most recent transfer out: https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0xc8c30fa803833dd1fd6dbcdd91ed0b301eff87cf
which then immediately transferred to the named "1inch.exchange
" wallet, so I assume this was a "cash-out" transaction. It has cashed out via this address a lot.
Granted, it also has transfer-out transactions that haven't (yet) ended up in an exchange wallet, eg https://etherscan.io/token/0x514910771af9ca656af840dff83e8264ecf986ca?a=0x88e5353a73f38f25a9611e6083de6f361f9b537b
with a current balance of 3000 LINK. This could be a user's exchange wallet, ready to be sold, or could be something else. No way for me to tell as there are no out txs from it.
LINK overall transaction, volume, and tx fees
This is to understand how much $ moves through the LINK ecosystem through: nodes, data providers, reserve wallets, wallets linked to exchanges, others.
A typical aggregator node tx (payout?): https://etherscan.io/tx/0xef9e8e6dd94ebe9bbac8866f18c2ea0a07408ced1aa77fa04826043eaa55e772
This is their ETH/USD aggregator paying out 1 LINK to each of 21 addresses. Value of 21 LINK ~= $210. Total eth tx fees: .233 ETH (~$88.5, ~42% of the total tx value. If LINK was $4.2 instead of $10, the tx fees would be 100% of the value of the tx). Transactions like this happen every few minutes, and the payout amounts are most often 0.16, 0.66, 1.0, and 2.0 Link.
Chainlink’s node/job listing site, https://market.link
, lists 86 nodes, 195 feeds, 801 jobs, ~1,080,000 job runs (I can’t tell if this is over the past 2 months or 1.5 years). Only 20 nodes have over 1000 job runs, and 62 nodes have ZERO runs. Usual job cost is listed as 0.1 link, but the overall payout to the nodes is 10-20 times this. The nodes then cash out usually through a few jump addresses to exchanges. Some quick maths: (being generous and assuming it’s 1mil jobs every 2 months = ~6mil link/year = $60,000,000 revenue a year. This is the most generous estimate towards link’s valuation I’ve found so far. If we ignore the below examples where on multi-node payouts the tx fees are more than the node revenue itself, then it’s almost in line with an over-valued (but real) big tech company.
For example, one of the latest CHF/USD job runs paid 0.1 LINK to 9 addresses (data providers?) - total $14.4 payout - and paid 0.065 ETH ($24.5) in fees. That’s a $10.1 LOSS on a $14.4 revenue: https://etherscan.io/tx/0xa6351bab810b6864bfebb0f6e1e3bde3c8856f8aac3ba769dd2e6d1a39c0d23f
Linkpool’s (one of the biggest node operators) “ETH-USD CryptoCompare” job costs 0.1 link and has 33 runs in the past 24 hours (once every ~44min), total ~78,000 runs since May 30 2019 (once every ~8min). https://market.link/jobs/64bb0845-c4e1-4681-8853-0b5aa7366101/runs
(PS cryptocompare has a free API that does this. Not sure why it costs $1 at current link prices to access an API once)
Top 100 wallets (0.05% of ~186,000 total) hold 83% of tokens. 8 wallets each hold over 1% of total, 58 hold over 0.1%. Of these 58, 9 are named exchange/lending pool wallets.
For comparison, for Tether (TUSD), the top 100 wallets (0.006% of ~1,651,000 total) hold 35.9% of the supply. 3 addresses hold over 1% of the supply and 135 hold over 0.1%. Of these 135, at least 15 are named exchange/lending pool wallets.
LINK’s market cap is $3.5B (or $10B fully diluted, if we count the foundedev-controlled tokens, which we should as there's nothing preventing them from being moved at a moment's notice). Tether’s is $6.9B. Tether has 10 times more addresses and less distribution inequality. Both LINK and Tether are ERC20 tokens, and even if we temporarily ignore any arguments related to management/roadmap/teams etc, Tether has a clear, currently functional, single use case: keep 1 USDT = $1 USD by printing/burning USDT (and yet as of April 2019, only 74% of Tether's market cap is backed by real funds - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tether_(cryptocurrency)
)). Given that Chainlink's market cap is now 50% bigger than Tether's, surely by now there's AT LEAST one clear, currently functional use case for LINK? What is it? Can we *see* it happening on-chain?
Chainlink’s actual deliverable products
"What do I currently get for my money if I buy LINK 1) as an investor and 2) as a tech business/startup thinking of using oracles?” Codebase
(Chainlink’s github has around 140-200,000 lines of code (not counting html/css). What else is not counted in this? Town crier? Proprietary code that we don't know about yet? How much CODING has Chainlink done other than what's on github? Current network of oracles
- only ~20 active nodes - are there many more than the ones listed on market.link and reputation.link? If so, would be nice to know about these if we're allowed! Documentation
- they have what seems like detailed instructions on how to launch and use oracle nodes (and much more, I haven't investigated yet) (TODO this part more - what else do they offer to me as an end consumer, and eg as a tech startup needing oracle services that I can’t code myself?)
Network utilization statistics:
Etherscan.io allows csv export of the first 5000 txs from each day. From Jul 31 to Aug 6 2020, I thus downloaded 30,000 tx from midnight every day to an average of 7:10am (so 24 hour totals are 3.34x these numbers if we assume the same network utilization throughout the day).
(Summary of all
LINK token activity on the ETH blockchain from 31.07 to 06.08, first 5000 txs of each day (30k total) shown Appendix A comment below this post.)
If we GENEROUSLY assume that EVERY SINGLE transaction under 10.0 LINK is ACTUAL chainlink nodes doing ACTUAL work, that’s still under 0.1% of the LINK network’s total volume being used for ACTUAL ecosystem functioning. The rest is speculation, trading, node funding by foundedev wallets, or dumping to exchanges (anything I missed?)
Assuming the above, the entire turnover of the actual LINK network is currently (18,422 LINK) * ($10/LINK) * (3.34 as etherscan.io’s data only gives first 5000 tx per day which averages to 7:10am) * (52 wk/year) = USD $31,995,329 turnover a year. Note: the below paragraph is old analysis using traditional stock market Price/Earnings ratios which several users have now pointed out isn't really applicable in crypto. I leave it for the record.
Assuming all of that is profit (which it’s not given tx fees at the very least), LINK would need a PE ratio (Price/Earnings) of 100 times to justify its current (undiluted) valuation of $3.5 billion of 300 if you count the other 65% of tokens that haven’t been dumped by the founders/devs yet. For comparison, common PE ratios are 32 (facebook), 29 (google), 37 (uber), 20 (twitter on a good year), 10 (good hedge fund returning 10% annual).
Thoughts on DeFi & yield-farming - [TODO]
Why would exchanges who do their due diligence list LINK, let alone at a leverage? 1) that's their business, they take a cut of every transaction, overhyped or not, 2) they're not safe from listing openly bearish tokens like EIDOS (troll token that incentivized users to make FAKE transactions, response to EOS) https://www.coindesk.com/defi-yield-farming-comp-token-explained
The current ANNUAL yield on liquidity/yield farming is something like 2% on STABLE tokens like USDC and TETHER which at least have most of their supply backed by real-world assets. If Chainlink LINK staking is to be successful, they'll have to achieve at LEAST that same 2% at end-state. IF LINK is in bubble territory and drops, that's a lot of years at 2% waiting to recoup losses.
SmartContract Team & Past Projects
Normally I don't like focussing on people because it leads too easily to ad-hominem attacks on personality rather than on technology/numbers as I've done above, but I came across this and didn't like what I saw.
Steve Ellis, SmartContract's current CTO, co-founded and worked in "Secure Asset Exchange" from 2014 to 2016. They developed the NXT blockchain, issued 1,000,000,000 NXT tokens (remind you of anything?), NXT was listed end of 2013 and saw 3 quick 500%-1000% pumps and subsequent dumps in early in mid 2014, and then declined to . SecureAE officially shut down in Jan 2016. Then at some point a company called Jelurida acquired the rights to NXT (presumably after SecureAE?), then during the 2017 altcoin craze NXT pumped 300 times to a market cap of $1.8 BILLION and then dumped back down 100 times and now it's a dead project with a market cap of $13 million. https://www.linkedin.com/in/steveellis0606/ https://trade.secureae.com/ https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/nxt/ https://www.jelurida.com/news/lawsuit-against-apollo-license-violations
As an investor or business owner, would you invest/hire a company whose co-founders/CTO's last project was a total flop with a price history chart that's textbook pump-and-dump behaviour? (and in this case, we KNOW the end result - 99% losses for investors) If you're Google/Oracle/SWIFT/Intel, would you partner with them?
Open questions for the Chainlink community and investors:
- Network activity: Are there any other currently active chainlink nodes other than those listed on market.link and reputation.link? If so, is there a list of them with usage statistics? Do they use some other token than LINK and thus making simple analytics of the LINK ERC20 token not an accurate representation of Chainlink’s actual activity? If the nodes listed on the two sites above ARE currently the main nodes, then
- PR, partnership announcements: Why is the google tweet still pinned to the top of Chainlink’s twitter? Due to the frequently circulated Chainlink promotion material (https://chainlinkecosystem.com/) that lists Google as one of the key partners, this tweet being pinned is potentially misleading as there isn't anything in there to merit calling Google a "collaborator" or "partner" - just that blockchains/oracles *can* use Google's APIs (but so can most software in the world). Is there something else going on with the SmartContract-Google relationship that warrants calling Google a partner that we're simply not aware of yet?
- By buying LINK, what backs YOUR money: If you have bought and currently hold LINK tokens, how comfortable are you that the future promise of your investment growing is supported on verifiable business and technological grounds versus pure, parabolic hype? If after reading this post you still are, I kindly ask you to reply and show how even one of the points I provided is either incorrect or not applicable, and I will edit my post and include your feedback in the relevant section as I have already done from other users.
- What have I missed? Of course not 100% of what I've said is infallible truth. I am a real human, and I have plenty of biases and blind spots. Even if what I've provided is technically correct, there may be other much more important info that I've missed that eclipses what I've provided here. Ask yourself: if the current hype around LINK is indeed valid and points to a $100/$1000 future LINK price, then Where’s Chainlink’s missing financial/performance/usage evidence to justify LINK’s current valuation of $10+?
For your consideration, I have provided evidence with links that you can follow and verify, and draw your own conclusions. I have made my case as to why I believe the LINK token is currently priced much higher than evidence supports, and I ask you to peer-review my analysis and share your thoughts with me and with the wider LINK/crypto community.
Thank you for your time, I realize this is a long post. All questions and feedback welcome, feel free to comment or PM. I won't delete/censoblock (except for personal threats, safety considerations etc). I am a real human but I am not revealing my true identity for obvious privacy/harassment reasons.
(If anyone is wondering about my credentials ability to add 2+2 and work with basic spreadsheets: I have previously won a math competition in a USA state, I won an English-speaking country's physics olympiad, my university education is in mathematical physics/optimization engineering, and I worked for a few years in a global manufacturing company doing data analytics, obviously I'm not posting my CV here to verify that but I promise you it's the truth)
I’m not looking to spread neither FUD, nor blind faith, nor pure hype, and I want an honest transparent objective discussion. I personally believe more that LINK is overvalued, but my beliefs have evolved and may continue to do so as I research more and understand more about Chainlink, LINK, Ethereum, DeFi, and other related topics, and as I incorporate YOUR feedback. If you think I haven't disclosed something, ask.
As always, this is not financial advice and I am not liable for anything that may happen as a result of you reading this!
I have seen some posts here wondering about the wisdom of investing in Wealthsimple's parent company, Power Corporation of Canada (POW.TO). I decided to look more into this, decided to post my investment thesis and research on why I, long-term, I have a very bullish view on Wealthsimple (and by extension POW.TO), and why I think this is equal to being an early stage investor in a Wealthsimple IPO.
- Name: Wealthsimple (WS) (Crunchbase Profile)
- Founded: 2014
- Ownership: Power Corporation of Canada (POW.TO) (83.2% ownership)
- Assets Under Mangement: $5.4 billion, as of June 30, 2020 (4.9 billion in June 30, 2019)
- Wealthsimple Invest (ETF Roboadvisor service), WS was one of the first-movers in this space in Canada and offered robo-advising as part of its initial product in 2015. WS claims to have largest digital investing presence in Canada (70% of the market) (reference).
- Wealthsimple Cash, a savings account service
- Wealthsimple Trade, a commission free trading app where users can buy and sell ~8,000 stocks and ETFs
- Wealthsimple Crypto, a commission free cryptocurrency trading app, currently in beta
- SimpleTax.ca, a free tax-return service used by ~1 million Canadians per year, acquired in late 2019
WS has had many successful rounds of funding and a vote of confidence from both its parent POW.TO and other multinationals investing in fintech.
- Last year WS received a $100 million dollar investment led by Allianz X, the start up investor arm of German financial services giant Allianz
- WS has had 7 total investing rounds, totalling $266.9 million (reference)
WS has been extremely aggressive in targeting growth areas. Wealthsimple’s CEO Mike Katchen has said he wants to position the company as a “full-stack” financial services company. Here are some of their current expansion areas:
- UK and USA Expansion - in 2017, they started offering similar investing services in the UK and the US (reference and reference).
- Socially Responsible ETFs - WS recently partnered with Mackenzie Investment to offer socially responsible ETFs with a social and environmental focus. Although probably not something that older investors care about, this is particularly important for younger investors who want to make sure their investments are socially responsible
- Cryptocurrency - WS is currently testing a beta service of their cryptocurrency app, and offering fee-free cryptocurrency trading, similar to Wealthsimple Trade. Whatever your views of cryptocurrency (I'm of the view that I can in some cases be part of a portfolio to hedge against risk), it's here to stay. Earlier this month, WS was the first company in Canada to register with the Ontario Securities Exchange Commission (reference). My sense is that crypto will face increasing regulations and scrutiny in the coming years, which will be a good thing for WS which is a step ahead of the game (reference). Even Google is starting to look into relaxing its restraints on crypto (reference).
- Other full-stack services - WS has been mum on what other services they might offer, but insurance, mortgages, and chequing accounts could be other areas of disruption. (Reference)
WS is run by young guys who have big ambitions and plans for the company. Sometimes there are CEOs with the intangibles that can really drive a company's growth, and from what I can glean, I think the company has a lot of potential here in terms of vision by its leaders. You can read more about the founders here
- Michael Katchen, CEO, Background: Led product and marketing at a start up called 1000memories, a Y Combinator startup later acquired by Ancestry.com. Worked for McKinsey & Company.
- Brett Huneycutt, COO, Rhodes Scholar... not much else I know about the guy
Quote sfrom CEO: Michael Katchen On being laughed out of the boardroom when he proposed his idea for Wealthsimple:
Within the last month, Wealthsimple has also opened an office in London. Katchen said a push into the European market is “possible” as its “ambitions are global,” but right now the Canadian and U.S. markets are “a lot to chew.” It is a far cry from the company’s early days: Katchen said he was “laughed out of the boardroom” for laying out a global vision for Wealthsimple at a time when they had just $1.9-million in funding and 20 users***.***“It’s a very personal mission of mine since I moved back from California, to inspire more Canadian companies to think big and to think internationally about the businesses that they’re building,” he said. (reference) On Wealthsimple's growth in the next 10-15 years:
Wealthsimple has more than $5 billion in assets under management and 175,000 customers in Canada, the U.S. and U.K. He sees that reaching $1 trillion 15 years. “We’re just getting started,” he said. “Our plans are to get to millions of clients in the next five years.” (reference)
Brand Value and Design
Out of all the financial services company in Canada, WS probably has the most cohesive and smart design concept across its platforms and products. I see the value in Wealthsimple in not just the assets they have under management, but also the value of the brand itself. I mean, what kind of financial services company makes a blog post about their branding colour scheme
and font choices? Also see: Wealthsimple’s advertisement earlier this year capturing 4 million views on Youtube
There also seems to be very strong brand awareness and brand loyalty amongst its users. I think a lot of users find WS refreshing as a financial services company because they cut through the "bullshit" and legalese, and try to simply things for the consumer. They also have their own in house team of designers and creative directors to do branding, design, and advertising, and this kind of vertical integration is generally unheard of in the financial services industry (reference
Interestingly, the CEO’s ultimate goal is to take the company public. Therefore, I see an investment in POW.TO as being an early stage pre-IPO investor in WS (reference
The goal is to get Wealthsimple to the size and scale to go public, something that Katchen said he’s “obsessed with.” While admitting that an IPO was still a few years down the road, Katchen already has a target of $20 billion in assets under administration (AUA) as the tipping point (the company recently announced $4.3 billion in AUA as of Q1 2019) (reference)
Ultimately, my sense is that a spun-out Wealthsimple IPO eventually be worth a lot, perhaps even more than POW.TO at some point. Obviously the company is losing money right now, and no where even close to an IPO, and there are still many chances that this company could flop. The best analogy that I can think of is when Yahoo bought an early stake in Alibaba (BABA) back in the early 2000s, and there came a point where their stake in BABA was worth more than Yahoo’s core business. I think an investment in POW.TO now is an early investment in WS before it goes public. (reference
- Expansion problems. In the UK, they reported significant losses and despite increasing users. (reference). The US is also an especially competitive space with lots of similar competitors.
- The robo-advising, fintech space is highly competitive now, and the Big Five Banks and other investment/trading companies could easily start offering low-cost or commission free trading
- Competitors such as Robinhood could also expand into the Canadian market and take out a huge chunk of WS's userbase
The X Factor
What I find particularly compelling about WS is they have aggressively positioned themselves to be a disruptor in the Canadian financial services industry. This is an area that has traditionally been thought to be a firewall for the Big Five Banks. There is also a generational gap in investing approaches, knowledge, and strategy, and I think WS has positioned itself nicely with first-time investors. My sense is that COVID-19 has also captured a huge amount of young adults with its trading app in the last few months, who will continue to use Wealthsimple products in the future. The average age of its user is around 34. As younger individuals are more comfortable with moving away traditional banking products, I think Wealthsimple’s product offering offers significant advantages over its competitors.
Power Corp is a Good Home
Currently POW.TO is trading at $26.30, down from its 52-week high of $35.15. I see an investment in POW.TO now as fairly low risk, and while WS grows, and there is also the added benefit of a high dividend stock. One of the most confusing things I found about Power Corp was its confusing corporate structure where there were two stocks, Power Financial Corp, and Power Corp of Canada. Fortunately, in Dec 2019, they simplified and consolidated the stocks
, which also simplifies the holding structure of WS. I currently see POW.TO
has a good stock to hold as well if you're a dividend holder, with a dividend of 6.86%.
Also, POW.TO is patient enough to bide its time and let its investment in WS grow, unlike a VC that might want to sell it quick. For example, the reason why WS went with POW.TO instead of the traditional VC route is explained here:
Katchen has directly addressed the question of why he did not go the traditional VC route recently, saying: If you are a business that requires perhaps decades to achieve the vision you have, well, if you’re not going to be able to generate the kind of returns that venture needs is they will force you to sell yourself, they will force you to go public before you’re ready, or they will just forget about you because you’re going to be a write off. And so Katchen essentially flipped Wealthsimple to Power Financial. Power is well known as a conservative, patient, long-term investor. (https://opmwars.substack.com/p/the-wealthsimple-founders-before)
My belief is there is a huge unrecognized potential in POW.TO's massive ownership stake in WS that will be realized maybe 5-10 years down the road. I didn't really dive into the financials of POW.TO in relation to WS's performance, because the earnings reports do no actually say much about WS. I'm aware of the main criticisms that POW.TO is a mature company and dividend stock that has been trading sideways for many years, and the fact that WS is currently not a profitable company. I am not a professional investor, and this is just my amateur research, so I certainly welcome any comments/criticism of this thesis that people on this subreddit might have! (Please be gentle on me!).
: Thanks to all for the thoughtful comments about POW's size and other holdings relative to WS, and that WS is basically a tiny, tiny portion of POW.TO. Again, I am just an amateur investor, appreciate we can discuss these points on this forum! And fair point is taken that WS's margins are also razor thin right now. I guess I am buying more into the CEO's vision of growth (see this video about his confidence about getting to $1 trillion AUM (!) in the next 8 years
), rather than the current financial status or size of the company. Call me delusional if you will :P.
In any case, glad that I was able to flush out these thoughts with the CanadianInvestor community! I do wonder if WS's expansion into a broad-based financial services company (into mortgages, credit lines, and life insurance) might increase their profitability and size over time. https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/wealthsimple-targets-canada-s-richest-with-grayhawk-partnership-1.1301993
I am a 28M; I started watching porn a tiny bit at 19/20. This story is going to be a bit crazy and I feel like a horrible damaged person quite a bit. Warning that it gets a little dark. Please stop reading whenever you want. submitted by
Pre-story: I lost my best friend in 7th grade when he showed me porn. I told my mom and she stopped letting me see him. I thought it was an evil thing and watching it was the worst thing you could do. I never even had the temptation to watch until I was 19/20.
Why I started: My computer got hacked and I lost $5,000 my Sophomore year of college. While trying to figure out what happened and to get better anti-virus software, the IT person accused me and basically told my mom that it was most likely adult/porn websites that caused it. I feel like my mom sided with him. I tried to tell him I don't go on those sites, and he repeated to my mom that it was almost certainly from porn. Then he told me some good antivirus software that should work.
I was upset over his accusation, upset over losing $5,000, and as a 19 year old virgin who did not even know what a vagina or sex looked like, and who had zero luck with women in college, I thought maybe I should just take a peak at porn. I was very lonely and stressed out trying to get straight A's in college. I looked up a lot of non-nude images for weeks before I built up the courage to look up a picture of a vagina. Oh how innocent I was.
I eventually followed a link to a porn site. Watched a little, then more, then more. I was a very good student who put all my self worth on my school grades. I would motivate myself to study with porn. Watch more when I got a good grade. Etc. Etc. I don't think I watched too much during this time period. I kept taking 18 credit hours per semester and did graduate with a 3.9+ gpa with 2 majors and a minor; basically top of most my STEM classes.
But by now I was depressed and burnt out. Mostly from classes, but also from a job, a sport I did well at, and the porn. I was constantly doing something. I had strived so hard for good grades and now everyone was pushing me to make money. After all my self worth came from grades, I had to switch it to money. I was so burned out it was hard to apply for jobs. I did get one a year after graduating, but i watched more and more porn as i lost more and more hope of finding a job that year. As a straight A perfect student who was unable to land any job for so long, I felt like a failure.
The job was extremely stressful and i started watching porn every day afterwards, eating dinner, going to bed and watching a little more to numb myself before going to work the next day. This continued for a year and a half. The job made me hate my life. The porn was not helping. I would stay up until 1 or 2 am watching it (2-3 hours per day) and being tired the next day at work. Oh well, I hated the job so i did not mind.
I was 24 years old now. Never had a kiss. Hardly a hug with a woman. I had done so good at school, was working a stressful job, but felt utterly alone, hated, and immense shame from the porn. I had saved up enough money that I decided to quit the job and travel the world for a year or two and try to regain some sanity. By now I was severely depressed and almost suicidal. Maybe travelling would help.
And that would have been fine. And it was. But I felt like i failed everyone. They were all expecting the super smart kid to be wildly successful at work. Then i just up and left and I could tell people started treating me like an unemployed loser. self esteem crashed even more. Depression was getting worse and worse and worse. I kept watching more and more porn up until the date I left to start travelling. The only way I could stop hating myself so much was to take the attitude of "I don't give a fuck what anyone thinks about me, no matter what". I had enough money saved up from work to coast for 3-5 years. By all objective measures I was successful and would have been fine taking a year off. But mentally I was all wrong, completely lonely and isolated, all I wanted was for one women to fall in love with me and go travelling with her for a year.
But I had no idea how to ask anyone out. Nobody seemed interested in me. So I made the wise (lol) decision of visiting a strip club. Maybe just try and talk to an attractive women and keep the conversation going. Maybe it would help with other woman. I had fun. Had no idea what a lapdance was, but got one of those. The closest a women had ever been to me. It was fun but expensive... and I went back a few more times while travelling.
Simultaneously my ultra-competitive fear of failure streak led me into trading cryptocurrencies obsessively. I monitored prices almost constantly. 60, 70, 80, 100 hours per week. My year of travelling ended up being 3 months of travel and 9 months of obsessively trading cryptocurrencies. Even more than 100 hours per week - Every waking moment of my life was on the computer analyzing markets. But it was stressful. I needed the porn. I would watch more and more. I was trading while watching porn. Trading while masturbating.
If I made a large amount, I would go to a strip club. If I was travelling in a country where prostitution was legal - well - I hired a prostitute. Didn't even have sex with them. Didn't want to lose my virginity to one. I was so stressed and mentally broken that I just needed somebody to hug. One of them straight up told me to stop watching porn. But I couldn't. I am sorry Natalia :(
These sexual distractions and the massive amounts of porn helped keep my mind off of trading on the exact moments I needed to not think about it. A convenient escape. I don't know if I would have done as well trading that year had I not had this distraction. That year i had multiple days making $5k+. That year I bragged to a stripper giving me a lapdance that I made $25k over the weekend. That year I traveled to 15 countries. That year a massage lady in asia gave me a happy ending massage and I begged her for another. That year I felt like i failed my parents/friends/extended family by quitting a shitty job. That year I stopped caring about what anyone thought about me. That year I barely escaped suicide. That year I turned $20k into $1 million from trading.
The following year I bought a house, a car, did more travelling. Watched way, way, way too much porn.
I felt so guilty over the porn. So guilty seeing strippers, cuddling with hookers, getting a hand job. I turned to femdom porn. The first one was funny - woman humiliating men. Clearly roleplay, for fun, a little bit silly. laughed the first time i saw one. But i needed it to be real. I needed women to tell me how much they hated me and I needed to believe it. I needed to feel like I had failed all women and let them destroy me. So I convinced myself they were real. POV femdom videos where they verbally shred me. Tell me to stay locked in my closet the entire weekend, tell me to drink a lot of alcohol, tell me to go broke for them and beg them to let me drink enough water to survive. Over and over I would watch these videos. Becoming sadder and sadder and sadder. Never able to actually cry. Just sadder and sadder and sadder. How badly I wanted to just cry for the first time in 5 years. Never anyone knowing what I was doing. The successful 25 year old millionaire.
I tried to hire a prostitute to verbally degrade me. She looked at me so sad, sitting naked before her, and told me "There is nothing about you I can humiliate". We cuddled instead. And I tried to cry. I went back to see her again. This time I wished to be tied up and tickle tortured. She laughed and agreed. I told her i liked it because it was the only thing that could make me smile. I saw her again one final time 6 months later. She remembered I liked to be tickled because it made me smile. I had forgotten why I liked it. But she remembered.
Went to a sex therapist. She said I needed to stop feeling guilty about porn, masturbation, about it all. Never wanted to hurt anyone. I hurt myself the most. Still watch a lot of porn but I am trying. Wrote a book about trading. Practice my sport 4 days a week. Trying to get back into studying for fun. Feeling less burned out and ready for something new. I have already seen all the (legal - never had any desire to see anything illegal) porn there is. Nothing else left to see is what i tell myself. But still watching it too much.
But maybe there is something left to salvage.
I was going to watch porn today. But i wrote this instead. Maybe tomorrow I will read it instead.
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