Download any of these for free at https://oppfiles.com/585933 DM me if you have any requests for anything not on the list. Please subscribe the sub to find all the eBook releases. Enjoy! [BOOK] 'The macabresque : human violation and hate in genocide, mass atrocity and enemy-making' Edward Weisband, Oxford University Press 2018(self) 1 [BOOK] Scotland After the Ice Age Environment, Archaeology and History 8000 BC - AD 1000(self) 1 [Book] Ethics of Captivity edited by Lori Gruen(self) 1 [Book] Aspects of American History By Simon Henderson(self) 1 [Book] The Soviet Colossus History and Aftermath By Michael G. Kort(self) 1 [BOOK] Challenges to Political Decision-making Dealing with Information Overload, Ignorance and Contested Knowledge(self) 5 [Article] The EU Competition Law Fining System: A Reassessment, Damien Geradin(self) 1 [Book] Russia and the USSR, 1855–1991 Autocracy and Dictatorship ByStephen J. Lee(self) 1 [Book] Søren Kierkegaard: Epistemology and psychology : Kierkegaard and the recoil from freedom - Daniel W. Conway, K. E. Gover(self) 4 [ARTICLE] 'A History of Reason in the Age of Insanity: The Deconstruction of Foucault in Hegel’s Phenomenology' The Owl of Minerva, Volume 25, Issue 1, Fall 1993, Andrew Cutrofello Pages 15-21(self) 1 [BOOK] Mere Civility by Teresa M. Bejan(self) 2 [book] The Philosophy Shop by Peter Worley(self) 1 [BOOK] Sentenciando Trafico - Marcelo Semer(self) 1 [Article] GENETIC INSTABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH BREAK-INDUCED REPLICATION(self) 1 [Article] Properties of elastic bodies in contact - J. Dundurs 1975(self) 2 [Article] Transition alumina phases induced by heat treatment of boehmite: An X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy study(self) 1 [Book] Russian Companion by James Cooper(self) 1 [Book] Model Stock Purchase Agreement with Commentary, by American Bar Association(self) 1 [Book] A History of Modern France By Jeremy D. 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Author: Mads Hvilshøj, Simon Bøgh, Oluf Skov Nielsen, Ole Madsen.(self) 1 Removed: Pending moderation REQUEST [eBook] The Assessment Book – Physiotutors Guide to Orthopedic Physical Assessment(self) 1 [Article] [Brill] The Tragedy of Small Power Politics: The Philippines in the South China Sea by Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby and Robert Joseph Medillo(self) 1 [BOOK] Echo and Reverb: Fabricating Space in Popular Music Recording, 1900-1960(self) 5 [Article] EFFECTS OF HIGH CONCENTRATIONS OF PLANT OILS AND FATTY ACIDS FOR MYCELIAL GROWTH AND PINHEAD FORMATION OF HERICIUM ERINACEUM(self) 1 [Article] [HeinOnline] "Disposable Deontology: The Death Penalty" by Tung Yin(self) 2 [Article] Efficient conversion of pretreated brewer’s spent grain and wheat bran by submerged cultivation of Hericium erinaceus(self) 1 [Chapter] The Imperial Institute: The state and the development of the natural resources of the Colonial Empire, 1887–1923(self) 1 [Book] Pieter Steyn - Zapuphizo: Voice of the Nagas(self) 3 [Article] Critical Constructivism and Postphenomenology: Ethics, Politics, and the Empirical(self) 5 [BOOK] Political Populism: A Handbook - Reinhard C. 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Parker(self) 1 [Book] Marsh's Becoming a Teacher(self) 4 [Book] Germans Against Nazism: Nonconformity, Opposition and Resistance in the Third Reich: Essays in Honour of Peter Hoffmann by Francis R. Nicosia and Lawrence D. Stokes(self) 4 [Chapter] The Standard Story and Its Rivals(self) 1 [BOOK]Agrarian and Other Histories Essays for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri - Edited by Shubhra Chakrabarti and Utsa Patnaik(self) 1 [Book] Regional modernities : the cultural politics of development in India. Ed. K. Sivaramakrishnan; Arun Agrawal(self) 1 [Chapter] Damping in Structures(self) 1 [Book] Gerontología y geriatría: valoración e intervención. Editorial Médica Panamericana. José Carlos Millán-Calentí(self) 1 [Book] Lotman's Cultural Semiotics and the Political - Makarychev & Yatsyk (2017)(self) 2 [Book] (Brill) The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)(self) 1 [Book] Indian Films in Soviet Cinemas: The Culture of Movie-going After Stalin by Sudha Rajagopalan(self) 4 [BOOK] Decolonizing Theory: Thinking across Traditions by Aditya Nigam (1st edition, Bloomsbury India)(self) 3 [Request] [Article] Cell-by-Cell Deconstruction of Stem Cell Niches(self) 1 [Book] Social research methods- fifth edition, Bryman, Alan (2016)(self) 4 [Book]Chinese and Indian Warfare – From the Classical Age to 1870(self) 1 [Book] PC-Forensik Christoph Willer(self) 1 [Book] Designing for Empathy: Perspectives on the Museum Experience(self) 4 [book] American Communism and Black Americans by Philip Foner(self) 4 [Book] Marcus Franke : War and Nationalism in South Asia The Indian State and the Nagas(self) 8 [BOOK] Natural Resources, Extraction and Indigenous Rights in Latin America. 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Brisbane: Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, Faculty of Humanities, Griffith University, 1997.(self) 3 [Book] Request: Migration and the Refugee Dissensus in Europe: Borders, Security and Austerity by Nicos Trimikliniotis.(self) 9 [Article] Masculinity in videogames: the gendered gameplay of Silent Hill(self) 1 [BOOK] 'Truth games : lies, money, and psychoanalysis' by John Forrester, Harvard University Press, 2000(self) 1 [Book] Osterloh, Jörg, und Clemens Vollnhals. NS-Prozesse Und Deutsche Öffentlichkeit: Besatzungszeit, Frühe Bundesrepublik Und DDR.(self) 2
Mitch McConnell's Brother-in-Law One of the Masterminds of Trump-Russia
Jim Breyer, Mitch McConnell's brother-in-law, Facilitates Russia’s Takeover of Facebook through Yuri Milner In 2005 Jim Breyer, a partner at Accel Partners, invested $1 million of his own money into Facebook and gained a seat on the board (1). In Feb 2009 Jim Breyer visited Russia with a number of other Silicone Valley investors. While there, Yuri Milner, a Russian tech entrepreneur who founded DST with close ties to the Kremlin, hosted a dinner to cap the entire event (2). As one Moscow source put it:
DST has the backing of the big boys at the top in the Kremlin, which is why it will go from strength to strength (5)
Milner found out Breyer liked Impressionist art and took him to Russian’s Hermitage Museum to view Matisse paintings otherwise closed off to the public. Three months later Yuri Milner’s DST invested into Facebook at a bloated value. (2)
Mr Milner dismissed suggestions that at a valuation of $10bn he overpaid for his stake in Facebook, especially given that the social networking site has yet to prove it has turned to profit. (3) it’s seen as a desperate and rather vulgar deal on the one hand—Milner buying a small stake in Facebook, valuing the entire company at $10 billion—and, on the other, Facebook debasing itself by taking Russian money. Russian money! In fact, it seems rather like a desperate deal for both parties (in the midst of the banking crisis, Facebook has only two other bidders for this round—and none from the top VC tier) (4)
By the end of 2009, DST would own 10% of Facebook. Later revealed by the Paradise Papers, DST’s investments into Facebook were financed by the Russian government through state-owned Gazprom. That’s right, in 2009 Russia owned 10% of Facebook. (6) Soon after, the two continued to work together on other investments. Breyer introduced Milner to Groupon, and Milner helped Breyer’s Accel invest into Spotify (7). In 2010 an Accel representative joined a gaggle of Silicon Valley investors to Russia and signed a letter promising to invest into the country (8).
Jim Breyer and Rupert Murdoch Then in Nov 2010 Jim Breyer invested into Artsy.net, run by Rupert Murdoch’s then-wife, Wendi Deng, and Russia oligarch Roman Abramovich’s then-wife, Dasha Zhukova. Jared Kushner’s brother, Josh, also invested in the fledgling company (1). At the time Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation had a joint venture with the Russian mob-linked oligarch Boris Berezovsky, called LogoVaz News Corporation, that invested in Russian media (4). It was Berezovsky’s protege close to Putin, Roman Abramovich, who tied Berezovsky to the mob.
According to the Mirror Online, Abramovich paid Berezovsky tens, and even hundreds, of millions every year for "krysha", or mafia protection. (5)
In June 2011, Rupert Murdoch ended his foray into social media by selling Myspace to Justin Timberlake (2) and elected Jim Breyer to the board of News Corp (3).
Jim Breyer invests in Wickr with Erik Prince In 2012 Breyer invested in a encrypted messenger app, Wickr. Other investors include Gilman Louie and Erik Prince. To understand the connection, we need to go back to 1987. Breyer, newly hired to Accel Partners, made his first investment with Louie’s video game company that owned the rights to the Soviet Union’s first video game export, Tetris (1). Louie went off to become the founding CEO of the CIA-backed In-Q-Tel which invested in Palantir. Palantir’s founder, Peter Thiel, sat on the board of Facebook with Breyer (2)(3). On the board of In-Q-Tel is Buzzy Krongard (7), the man who helped Erik Prince’s Blackwater receive their first CIA contract, who also joined the board of Blackwater in 2007 (6). Around that same time, 2012-2013, Prince met Vincent Tchenguiz, founder of Cambridge Analytica's parent company, SCL (8), and was introduced to Cyrus Behbehani of Glencore, one of the purchasers of Rosneft stock detailed in the Steele Dossier (9). Cyrus Behbehani sat on the board of RusAl with Christophe Charlier, who is also Chairman of the board at Renaissance Capital (10), an early investor of DST (11).
Jim Breyer and Yuri Milner invest in Prismatic That same year, 2012, Jim Breyer invested in Prismatic, a news aggregate app, with Yuri Milner.
Prismatic’s technology works by crawling Facebook, Twitter and the web (“anything with a URL”) to find news stories. It then uses machine learning to categorize them by Topic and Publication. Prismatic users follow these Topics and Publications, as well as Individuals and the algorithm then uses these preferences and user-activity signals to present a relevant Newsfeed. (1)
Sounds like the beginning of what could be a propaganda dissemination tool. That goes in-line with Yuri Milner’s vision of Social Media. Milner’s theory:
“Zuckerberg’s Law”: Every 12 to 18 months the amount of information being shared between people on the web doubles... Over time people will bypass more general websites such as Google in favor of sites built atop social networks where they can rely on friends’ opinions to figure out where to get the best fall handbag, how to change a smoke detector, or whether to vacation in Istanbul or Rome. “You will pick your network, and the network will filter everything for you,” Milner explained. (2)
So how does Milner intend to utilize the data gathered through social media? Let’s see what Milner did to Russia’s top social media site, VK:
In January 2014, Durov sold his 12 percent stake to Ivan Tavrin, the CEO of major Russian mobile operator Megafon, whose second-largest shareholder is Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia’s most powerful oligarchs, a man who has long been lobbying to take over VK. Then, in April 2014, Durov stated he had sold his stake in the company and became a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis back in February after "coming under increasing pressure" from the Russian Federal Security Service to hand over personal details of users who were members of a VK group dedicated to the Euromaidan protest movement in Ukraine. (3)
The Euromaidan protest ousted the Russian-backed president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Paul Manafort had worked to install. (4)
Facebook talks US Elections with Russia In Oct 2012 Zuckerberg traveled to Moscow and met Dmitry Medvedev where they had a very interesting conversation:
Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Medvedev talked about Facebook’s role in politics, though only jokingly in reference to its importance in the American presidential campaign, according to Mr. Medvedev’s press office. (1)
While there he also visited Victor Vekselberg's Skolkovo, who’s currently under investigation by Mueller for donations to Trump (2).
As Obama’s effort to reboot diplomatic relations [with Russia] sputtered, federal officials began raising alarms about the Skolkovo Foundation’s ties to Putin. “The foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research, development facilities and dual-use technologies” (3)
And took time to teach Russian's how to hack Facebook friend data, the same hack used by Cambridge Analytica, Donald Trump’s campaign data firm.
In a 2012 video, Facebook's Simon Cross shows the Moscow crowd how they can "get a ton of other information" on Facebook users and their friends. "We now have an access token, so now let's make the same request again and see what happens," Cross explains (YouTube). "We've got a little bit more data, but now we can start doing really interesting stuff. We can get my friends. We can get some more information about one of my friends. Here's Connor, who you'll meet later. Say 'hello,' Connor. He's waving. And we can also get a ton of other information as well." (4)
Facebook later hired the individual who hacked Facebook and sold the data to Cambridge Analytica (5). A month after that visit, Putin propaganda mouth-piece Konstantin Rykov, claims he began helping with Trump’s presidential aspirations (6). Days later, Trump registered “Make America Great Again” (7). The following year, Russia's Troll Factory, the Internet Research Agency, was created as was Cambridge Analytica.
Andrei Shleifer and Len Blavatnik Len Blavatnik, a US-Russian oligarch currently under investigation by Mueller, graduated from Harvard in 1989 and quickly formed Renova-Invest with Viktor Vekselberg, another oligarch under Mueller’s investigation (7)(8). Since then Blavatnik has maintained close ties to the university. In 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Andrei Shleifer led a consortium of Harvard professors to assist Russia’s vice-president, Antaoly Chubais, with the privatization of Russia’s state-run assets. Scandal broke when it was revealed Shleifer, through Blavatnik’s company and with Blavatnik’s guidance, invested in the very companies he worked to privatize. (6) Years later, Shleifer continued to fund loans to Blavatnik for Russian ventures through his hedge fund, managed by his wife, Nancy Zimmerman (9), and created the Russian Recovery Fund which bought $230 million of Russian debt from Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management (10), who’s seed fun, Tiger Global, later invested in Milner’s DST. Len Blavatnik and Viktor Vekselberg are major investors in Rusal (11). Schleifer is still a professor at Harvard.
Breyer and Harvard On April 2013, two months after Breyer was elected to the board of Harvard (1), Len Blavatnik, donated $50 million to the school (2) and joined the Board of Dean’s Advisors (3)(4) and Harvard’s Global Advisory Council (6) alongside Breyer. The next month Breyer announced plans to step down from the board of Facebook with an intention of focusing on his latest Harvard appointment (5). In 2016 Len Blavatnik donated over $7 million to GOP candidates, including $2.5 million to Mitch McConnell himself (7).
Breyer invests in Russian Companies In 2014 Breyer’s Accel Partners invested in Russian hotel booking site, Ostrovok, along with Yuri Milner, Esther Dyson (1), Mark Pincus, and Peter Thiel (2). Accel Partners also invested in Avito.ru in 2012 (3) and KupiVIP.ru in 2011 (4).
Jim Breyer, Blackstone Group, and Saudi Arabia In 2011 Schwarzman was named to the board of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (2), headed by Kirill Dimitriev. In June 2016, during Trump’s presidential campaign, Jim Breyer met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman, or MBS (8). The next month Breyer joined the board of Blackstone Group (1) alongside Stephen Schwarzman and Jacob Rothschild (3). In the past Blackstone Group had loaned Kushner Companies a combined $400 million over multiple projects (7). In the 2018 election cycle, Schwzarman donated $5 million to the pro-McConnell superPAC, Senate Majority PAC (13). Jacob’s brother, Nat, is business partners with both Oleg Deripaska (4), Rupert Murdoch, and Dick Cheney (5). Nat is also a major investor in Glencore, one of the purchasers of Rosneft stock detailed in the Steele Dossier (6), and RusAl. In January 2017, Breyer’s business partner at Wickr, Erik Prince, was introduced to Dimitriev by MBS’s emissary, George Nader, and the Crown Prince of the UAE (10). On October 22, 2018, three weeks after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, when most American investors were spooked away from Saudi Arabia, Jim Breyer showed up at an MBS-hosted Saudi business summit alongside Kirill Dimitriev of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (9). That same day, MBS pledged $20 billion for Blackstone Group's new infrastructure fund (11) to fund Elaine Chao's $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan (12). Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnells wife and Jim Breyer's sister-in-law, is Trump's Secretary of Transportation.
Download any of these for free at https://oppfiles.com/585933 DM me if you have any requests for anything not on the list. If you want solution manuals/testbanks, you can also request them Almost all the books are in their latest editions and some of them are available in multiple editions too. Please subscribe the sub to find all the latest textbook releases. Enjoy!
Hello everyone, It has been a little over 24 hours since we last spoke with one another. Thank you very much for being so helpful in providing wallet information. It helped in the verification of fund locations significantly. A preliminary, 4,000-word report has been compiled and published here: https://medium.com/@zeroresearchproof/quadrigacx-chain-analysis-report-pt-1-bitcoin-wallets-19d3a375d389 I say 'preliminary' because there is even more information (via demonstrations, examples, and spreasheets) that I would like to include within the piece. However, in the interest of QuadrigaCX investors gaining more information about this situation since it is so time sensitive, I decided to publish my analysis as well as a comprehensive sample of wallet addresses and TX IDs so that other users in the community can verify all information independently as well. If you don't feel like reading the article, here are the main conclusions that were garnered:
It appears that there are no identifiable cold wallet reserves for QuadrigaCX.
It appears that QuadrigaCX was using deposits from their customers to pay other customers once they requested their withdrawals. This did not happen in every withdrawal case by any means, but it happened very frequently toward the end of 2018 (from November onward).
It does not appear that QuadrigaCX has lost access to their Bitcoin holdings.
It appears the number of bitcoins in QuadrigaCX's possession are substantially less than what was reported in Jennifer Robertson's (Gerry's wife) affidavit.
At least some of the delays in delivering crypto withdrawals to customers were due to the fact that QuadrigaCX simply did not have the funds on hand at the time. In some cases, QuadrigaCX was forced to wait for enough customer deposits to be made on the exchange before processing crypto withdrawal requests by their customers.
After completing the analysis, it is my opinion that QuadrigaCX has not been truthful with regards to their inability to access the funds needed to honor customer withdrawal requests (specifically for Bitcoin; $ETH analysis coming very soon). In fact, it is almost impossible to believe that this is the case in lieu of the empirical evidence provided by the blockchain and corroborated by volunteered information from former customers at QuadrigaCX (i.e., most interested parties in this subreddit).
Verifying the Authorship of the Research I posted this on Medium because it is clean and concise. However, I had to create a new Medium to do so. Thus, this is the only piece on there (at the time of writing). I will post this link from my Telegram (t.me/MerkleTrader) and Twitter (twitter.com/@proofofresearch) as well. If there is an alternative link circulating or an individual that is not posting from this account, or the social media platforms provided above, they are an imposter and should be ignored. I'm not invalidating any other research sources, I'm just saying if there's another individual purporting to be the author of this specific study. Closing Remarks I'm open to any and all responses as well as questions. I need a nap before I can get to any responses though, this consumed the majority of the weekend for me with little sleep in between. Combing through these addresses was tedious, to say the least. Also, if anyone feels so inclined, I'd be more than happy to accept a donation or 'thanks' at this Bitcoin address: 1BxwKqfKFQhq2pyvbbcxfagN2bTK3cBqBs This is not compulsory by any means, of course, and I will continue to investigate this and do as much due diligence as possible even if I don't receive so much as 1 satoshi. So don't feel pressured or like you're being hustled for this work. Its my pleasure. I do have to pay bills and provide for my family though, so obtaining some sort of monetary return for the time and effort invested makes the research a more sustainable use of time. Again, thank you everyone and I look forward to reading your comments and feedback on this. If I haven't hit the nail on the head, I hope I've at least moved the needle forward on what's going on and provided enough information and leads for the us collectively as a community to quickly extract the truth. Thank you.
Troubled Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX owes its customers $190 million and cannot access most of the funds, according to a court filing obtained by CoinDesk. In a sworn affidavit filed Jan. 31 with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Jennifer Robertson, identified as the widow of QuadrigaCX founder Gerald Cotten, said the exchange owes its customers roughly $250 million CAD ($190 million) in both cryptocurrency and fiat. The company previously announced it had filed for creditor protection on its website, but the filing itself provides greater details about its predicament. As of Jan. 31, 2019, there were roughly 115,000 users with balances signed up on the exchange, with $70 million CAD in fiat and $180 million CAD in crypto owed overall, according to the filing. The exchange holds roughly 26,500 bitcoin ($92.3 million USD), 11,000 bitcoin cash ($1.3 million), 11,000 bitcoin cash SV ($707,000), 35,000 bitcoin gold ($352,000), nearly 200,000 litecoin ($6.5 million) and about 430,000 ether ($46 million), totaling $147 million, according to the affidavit. It was not clear what portion of the exchange’s crypto holding were kept in cold storage, versus its hot wallet. In the affidavit, Robertson explained that “only a minimal amount of coins” were stored in the hot wallet, but specifics were not provided. Robertson added that:
“The normal procedure was that [QuadrigaCX founder and CEO Gerald Cotten] would move the majority of the coins to cold storage as a way to protect the coins from hacking or other virtual theft.”
She added that Cotten held “sole responsibility for handling the funds and coins,” and the remaining team members have had no luck accessing the exchange’s cold wallets since. There is a possibility that some of Quadriga’s funds are being stored on other exchanges, though this has not been confirmed, she said. Cotten reportedly died of Crohn’s disease in Jaipur, India in early December 2018. The exchange announced his death earlier this month. A death certificate was included in the list of exhibits. The founder seemingly had sole control or knowledge of Quadriga’s cold storage solution. Robertson wrote that after his death, “Quadriga’s inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost.” She later added that she has no business records whatsoever for QuadrigaCX or its affiliated companies. While she does have Cotten’s laptop, the device is encrypted and she does not have its password or recovery key. While a consultant has been retained to try and recover the laptop’s contents, he has had limited success to date.
The exchange’s access to its fiat holdings have also been “severely compromised” by banking issues, the filing says. In particular, a now-resolved legal fight with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce(CIBC) has resulted in ongoing issues. In particular, a payment processor working with Quadriga, Billerfy, has reported problems with finding a banking partner, preventing the processor from releasing any funds back to the exchange, and therefore, to its customers. In addition to the roughly $30 million CAD currently being held by Billerfy, three other third-party processors are holding around $565,000 CAD combined. A fifth payment processor called WB21 is holding another $9 million CAD and $2.4 million USD (roughly $9.2 million USD total) on Quadriga’s behalf. However, WB21 “is refusing to release the funds or respond to communications from Quadriga,” the affidavit claimed. WB21 could not be immediately reached for comment. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is suing WB21 US Inc and WB21 NA Inc, as well as affiliated individuals on unrelated fraud charges. Under an “additional issues” section, Robertson noted that users have also continued to deposit funds after Cotten’s death, which the exchange accepted. Some of these came from automatic deposits, though CoinDesk has confirmed that manual deposits were also accepted from at least one user.
Request for assistance
The affidavit concludes with a request that the court enter a stay of proceedings to preempt any lawsuits that might be filed. The exchange “urgently needs a stay of proceedings which will allow Quadriga and its contractors additional time to find whatever stores of cryptocurrency may be available and also to negotiate the bank drafts available to Quadriga,” Robertson wrote. “Many, if not all” of the exchange’s customers might suffer further damages without a stay, she said. Users have been complaining about withdrawal issues and a lack of communication from QuadrigaCX’s team for months, with concerns exacerbated earlier this week when the website went down entirely for maintenance. Robertson noted that the exchange’s new directors voted to “temporarily pause” the platform on Jan. 26. Though she did not explicitly say the website went down as a result, the portal only became inaccessible sometime in the morning on Jan. 28. To help pay users back, the exchange is considering selling off its operating platform. “Multiple parties” have already approached the exchange to inquire about acquiring the operating platform, though none are named in the filing. Robertson added that she believes the “trading platform may have significant value,” but this value may be reduced if the exchange is sued.
A Response to "Why I Downvote Your Alternative Investment Advice"
Original post here: https://www.reddit.com/financialindependence/comments/bpdxy3/why_i_downvote_your_alternative_investment_advice/ TLDR;Index funds are great, but if you want to really to avoid risk and get good return on your money the only safe way is to become a good investor. You need to become good at making money. (I actually appreciate the post quite a bit but I thought it deserved a formal response as opposed to just a comment.) A quick summarization of the author's perspective: "Alternative" investment advice shouldn't be mistaken for the legitimate advice of utilizing "passive investing" through Index funds. In summary: You Can't Pick Stocks, Cryptocurrency is gambling, Managed funds depend on the manager, Entrepreneurship is fake because only 20% succeed, and finally, Rental properties can be good advice, but the people offering the advice deserve to be down-voted often. Before I dig into each individual claim, I would like to address the overarching argument: >>> Passive investing/ index funds should be the only recommended investment. Maybe Real Estate circumstantially. ... I would argue that this happens to be good advice at the moment, but investors would be wise to not believe it will continue indefinitely.
Good investing advice should NOT be about the vehicle it should be about the investor's process, decision making, and the circumstances that define the investment. Said another way... it should be about the opportunity.
Here's some historical truths (In the US over the last 30 years) that people knew to be true that turned out to be false:
Mutual Funds out-perform the general market (early 90s)
Technology Stocks are a smart buy (late 90s)
Real Estate always goes up in value (mid 2000s)
And we learned later:
Mutual funds value is eroded by their management fees,
Most tech companies exploded in 2000 (and the others are our most valuable companies right now),
Real Estate can blow up too
And today the standard investment advice is that you should use low cost index funds. I have no problem with index funds (they make up the majority of my investments currently), but index funds won't save you. At some point, things will change and index funds will go from being great investment advice to being a mediocre, or poor, or terrible investment choice. Here are some questions to chew on regarding index funds:
What if the tax codes change and index funds explicitly are taxed in a different manner?
What if future large companies decide that they don't want to utilize the public markets and today's giants leave the market?
What happens when EVERYONE invests in index funds and no one is voting for the direction of individual companies?
What happens when the long-term stock market is released and indexes aren't tracking stocks on that market?
What happens if current geopolitics change for the worse?
Index funds are great, but if you want to really to avoid risk and get good return on your money the only safe way is to become a good investor. You need to get good at making money. ...Now, if you aren't sick of me going on, I'd like to tackle each argument about alternative investments that the original author made. I would first express that I think the authors statements obtusely ignore risk, uncertainty, and market conditions - the author does not consider opportunity at all... despite the fact that index funds are a good opportunity right now - all opportunities have a tendency to erode or change once they become popular. In the United States RIGHT NOW many of the alternative investments don't make sense compared to index funds. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't look at them, nor should you ignore "Alternative" Investments if your circumstances are solid (good opportunities). I promise you if someone came up to the original author today and offered them 100 Bitcoins for their cell phone... they would probably take it.
Crypto - Cryptocurrencies fall into the "high risk" world of investments such as Angle investing, scratch off lottery tickets, Poker, Aggressive hedge funds, etc. I think all of society is struggling to understand crypto and thats where it stands. With that being said, you can actually become a better student of investment opportunities by studying how cryptocurrencies work. The original poster is right to start his post by criticizing cryptocurrency in its current form, but its very possible that someone reading the post a year from now might wonder what the heck they were thinking. Long Story short- OP is right to criticize crypto and tell normal investors to stay away; and OP was wrong to completely dismiss it.
Individual stocks - No doubt since you're on this sub you've heard all about how active investing (picking your own stocks) is a bad idea... the author of the post even goes on to try and provide evidence of this fact, without citation of course. It is well known that you can't beat the market- after all efficient market hypothesis says there should be no "alpha" (Ben Hunt actually has some fun reads on the topic, example). But what you will find out the further you dig is that there are actually ways to pick stocks and beat the market... but unfortunately it is really hard to do. Ever written software to aggregate millions of peoples public data to be able to see what purchasing decisions they are making now compared to before? YEAH... its that kind of hard. But it is possible.
That's why I don't care for the original post in the first place... it presumes that because something isn't as simple as an ACH transfer to a vanguard account, that it isn't worth doing. To systematically pick stocks in a way that will beat the returns of the whole market is hard. But if you want to do it, go do it - you obviously know the risks. There are people and companies that do it, and have consistently done it (e.g. Bridgewater, Citadel, Renaissance, etc... and yes I know I'm not Ray Dalio, but neither was he in 1975).
Managed funds - the post's author is pretty spot on here. The only thing I would add is that there is another echelon for the uber-wealthy where wealth management or managed funds make a lot of sense. But I would also agree with OP that persons in that boat won't be reading this.
Entrepreneurship - The author's post on this subject could be one of the most ignorant, mis-informed things I've read in this subreddit. First and foremost - I would suggest that the author read the literature on the subject. Watson & Everett (1996) give an overview of how to define venture "failure", and plenty of research (e.g. Dunne, Robertson and Samuelson) has demonstrated that 80% is not accurate (the most convincing arguments I've read are that the 5 year exit rate to be roughly 50%... not 1 year). Now there is one study about restaurants that showed that 80% of restaurant phone numbers would change in the first 5 years but even restaurant survivorship has been proven to be nowhere near the 80% failure rate assumed by the public (link). So when the author brings up survivorship bias of owning a venture they're dead wrong. TheHigh failure rate is a myth.
Aside from the "risky" nature of business, the author believes that business results are not repeatable and business is only for certain people. He believes this all while recommending that you own businesses (through index funds). The reality of these claims are contrary to the author's opinion. Many business results are entirely repeatable (they even have a term for it, i.e. "Franchise"), and all businesses are founded by people just like you. The author somehow presumes the scope of your business will be a larger, risky, venture without any reason to assume that. If you go drive for Lyft... you are in business. If you put a coin operated candy vending machine in your office and restock it... you are in business. These sort of investments are usually pretty good investments. You don't have to be raising billions in venture capital to be in business nor to make investing in a business a good decision. The biggest reason why I disagree with the author of the post is that entrepreneurship gives you the massive advantage of being able to pick what you are doing. The market and your index fund are largely out of your control, but your business is not. Furthermore, nobody tells you how much or how little of your business you have to do. If you want so bake some brownies and sell them once a week, for some extra money, you can do it. Most of the people that I know who have become truly successful and been able to have a good, early retirement, did it through owning some sort of business combined with passive investment strategies.
Rental properties - The author pays some homage to rental properties as potentially being a good investment, but added it to their list because the people that talk about it as an investment strategy. I think the author actually did a decent job with their explanation. I have my own opinions, but thats not really what this post is about.
Finally, I would like to say one thing to the author directly... you wrote a great piece and I'm happy you did it, but the whole system (including your index funds) is based on a search for ways to find or create more value in the future than exists currently. When other people are searching for those opportunities or educating the rest of us about them... thats a good thing, so don't be so hasty to downvote if there's something to be gained.
Here’s the sequel of our previous article. You wanted — you got it. Let’s roll! OneCoin OneCoin is a good example of a Ponzi scheme. In 2015, the Indian company One Coin Limited began to issue digital currency without a blockchain and decentralization. The old-school MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) strategy was used for the distribution of coins. The company was selling a wide range of training packages on crypto trading, mining and successful life. There were textbooks, presentations, and other rubbish, among which were OneCoin tokens. They were supposed to allow users to get even more tokens. But the thing was that only One Coin Limited had exclusive rights to issue of coinage. So there were no other options for mining this coin. On the international conference the founder of OneCoin, Ruja Ignatova, presents these tokens as theBitcoin killer. See how easy it is to fool users? Over the years, the company has spread its network globally. And only in 2017, the project gets into a number of investigations and restrictions. Owners and employees of the company more and more often could not answer questions from investors and carried on with the nonsense about “a bright crypto-future.” Finally, regulators and banks in Italy, Germany, Hungary, Belize, Thailand and other countries have banned the trade of OneCoin and warned users not to get engaged with this company. In early March 2019, the current OneCoin cryptocurrency leader Konstantin Ignatov, brother of Ruja Ignatova, was arrested at Los Angeles airport. He is accused of fraud and creating a financial pyramid. According to the United States Attorney’s Office, Ignatov and his sister misled investors all over the world, and as a result, the people invested billions of dollars in a fraud scheme. They are accused of building a billion-dollar cryptocurrency company, based entirely on deception. FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney, Jr. said:
“OneCoin was a cryptocurrency existing only in the minds of its creators and their co-conspirators. Unlike authentic cryptocurrencies, which maintain records of their investors’ transaction history, OneCoin had no real value. It offered investors no method of tracing their money, and it could not be used to purchase anything. In fact, the only ones who stood to benefit from its existence were its founders and co-conspirators.”
Despite all hardships, One Coin Limited continues to work. If you check out their website you will find everything there: a meaningless text about the benefits of a “revolutionary” token and other signs of a high-quality international project that deceives people. QuadrigaCX It’s not possible to take your savings to the grave, right? More than 100,000 clients of QuadrigaCX are ready to argue with that. So let’s try to recount the details of this strange story. QuadrigaCX was created in 2013 and was Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. In December 2018, Gerald Cotten (founder and CEO of the QuadrigaCX) and his wife — Jennifer Robertson, were in India on their honeymoon. During this trip Cotten suddenly passed away from Crohn’s disease. After his death, it turned out that Gerald was the only one who had access to cold wallets of the exchange platform. Changpeng Zhao (Binance CEO) comments this situation on Twitter:
“That’s sad. There are many solutions to split private keys or signing to achieve 3/5, 5/7 etc. Never neglect security. Also, never have CEO carry private keys. Bad on many levels.”
On January 25, 2019 (that is, almost two months after Cotten’s death) a special meeting was convened to appoint QuadrigaCX’s new directors. As a result, the inconsolable widow Jennifer Robertson, her stepfather Thomas Beazley and Jack Martel were elected to take charge of a company. By the way, this meeting was held by a conference call as the widow was very busy by hastily selling the property of her deceased husband. Indeed, there was something to deal with: a yacht, a plane, and several houses. Also, dearly departed managed to take care of his Chihuahuas by opening a special trust account for them in the amount of $100,000 (which is interesting, as Cotten did not show such forethought about the clients of his company). It’s worth to mention that the clients of QuadrigaCX had problems with the exchange for a long time — mainly related to the withdrawal of funds. The first wake-up calls took place in March 2018, when press reports negatively about delays in the withdrawal of funds the total amount of which exceeded $100,000. But that’s all just moonshine compared to the fact that in June 2017 the exchange platform lost about 15 million Canadian dollars — as explained to the community, due to a bug in the smart contract. As a result, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) froze about $22 million in QuadrigaCX accounts. This happened in November 2018, and for all users, it would have meant the end of a remarkable business but Mr. Cotten wasn’t explaining the problems to customers, wasn’t trying to solve them, and so on. He had just married and went on a honeymoon trip to pass away exactly two weeks after freezing the accounts. As the inconsolable widow stated in her testimony:
“To the best of my knowledge, most of the businesses of these companies was being conducted by Gerry whenever and wherever he and his computer were located”.
In February 2019, the head of Coinbase — Brian Armstrong unveiled the results of an independent investigation into the QuadrigaCX. He reported on his Twitter account the following:
“Sequence of events suggests this was a mismanagement with later attempt to cover for it.”“This implies that at least few people inside Qadriga knew that they were running fractional. If so, then it’s possible that untimely death of their CEO was used as an outlet to let the company sink”.
Brian Armstrong stressed that QuadrigaCX users started complaining about problems with withdrawing money long before Gerald Cotten’s death. Thus, the company management decided to invent a story about private keys on the laptop of the CEO to hide the financial insolvency, one of the reasons for which could be inefficient management. Nowadays, the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX is officially bankrupt. Users of the closed Quadriga are now leading legal battles in order to recover their funds. The total amount of which is about $190 million in crypto. The exact circumstances of the disappearance of user deposits remain uncertain. Do you think the story with QuadrigaCX was Exit Scam or Mismanagement? Bitfinex One of the largest crypto scandals of the year broke out on April 30, 2019. The New York State Attorney General’s Office has filed serious accusations against the biggest exchange platform — Bitfinex. According to Leticia James, the exchange platform used the reserves of Tether, an affiliated company to cover up a loss of $850 million. Questions to Tether have been in the air for a long time. In January 2018, the critics of the main stablecoin assumed that the company, in fact, produced more coins than it actually could sustain. Some critics accused the Bitfinex in fraud and manipulation of Tether’s rate and influenced through it on the price of Bitcoin. So what’s up with the Bitfinex? Investigators of the prosecutor’s office claim that the lost money belonged to the clients and iFinex corporation. That is why, back in October 2018, Bitfinex started having problems with the withdrawal of the funds: the clients complained about long response time and a delay in receiving currency. According to the authorities, Bitfinex transferred $850 million to Crypto Capital Corp., the payment company. The Tether reserves were used to fill the gap, but this information was not disclosed to the public. According to the first data, Tether provided funding in the amount of at least $700 million for this purposes. Withdrawing this amount of currency severely shook faith in the idea that Tether tokens are indeed fully backed by dollars. And then Bitfinex had extraordinary difficulties in satisfying the withdrawal demands from the platform since Crypto Capital refused to process withdrawals or simply could not return any funds. One of the senior Bitfinex executives opened a can of worms by writing the following:
“Please understand all this could be extremely dangerous for everybody, the entire crypto community. BTC could tank to below 1k if we don’t act quickly.”
Soon after it was known about the serious accusations against companies, Bitfinex’s users began to panic. They started buying Bitcoin and trying to get rid of their assets in USDT. As a result, BTC was trading $350+ (6.75%) more expensive than the crypto market average. Tether and Bitfinex published a joint statement on their official blogs in response to the allegations of missing funds. The posts allege that the companies did not receive any preliminary warnings, as well as that lawsuits from the New York Prosecutor General’s Office were “riddled with false assertions”. According to the latest information, Bitfinex is supposed to release its own token and attract $1 billion in Tether through IEO. What do you think about these scandals and scams? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
I have come to believe the following that no sizable amount of money will ever be recovered. Quadriga was an elaborate fraud.
The payment processors conduct. The payment processors were not legitimate processors. They had no website or footprint and processed payments only for Quadriga. When the monitor tried contacting them, they basically either left the country, ghosted or refused to respond. Some like WB just simply refused to give the money back. Jose Reyes worked at Quadriga, he also ran the payment processor Billerfy.
Firing of anyone who could provide controls to Gerry. When they no longer decided to go public they fired anyone who could provide oversight. The fact he decided not to go public is already a big red flag he planned to do something shady.
Suspicious death. You have chrones and go to the diarhea capital of the world? You write a will but not any plan or clues as to where $200 million in crypto assets are of all your customers? You care so much about people you are building an orphanage in India like you are mother Theresa but you didn't give a flying F about all your customer's of your life's most important project that financed this lifestyle? The only way that could make sense was Gerry actually did leave behind information and keys with the money on it and Jen cashed it in that month where she decided to hide his death from the world and is lying about it.
Monitor's most recent report.
I now believe Gerry knew he was running a fraud the whole time. Take in money for crypto, buy the crypto, transfer it into his other accounts on other sites, gamble the money. When the crypto prices fell, he was going to get exposed as there was "run on the bank" so he faked his death. The payment processors were essentially just used to launder the money. The banks already didn't want to deal with the crypto exchanges so just depositing the money directly into a quadriga account was difficult. Instead what he did was use phony payment processors to launder the stolen money from the exchange. Jose knowing the scam being run at Quadriga probably figured why am I helping Gerry steal when I could steal myself. Billerfy should be holding millions in Quadriga funds. Jenn claimed in her affidavit that she knew nothing about Quadriga but it turns out " Robertson Nova Consulting Inc., a company owned by Jennifer Robertson, acted as a payment processor for Quadriga from at least 2016 (archive) — despite Robertson having claimed in her original affidavit requesting CCAA protection for Quadriga that she’d never had anything to do with the business side of Quadriga. Robertson says she holds no Quadriga funds. " Not only was Jenn aware but she was helping Gerry run the money laundering scheme in my view. Gerry could not use a legit payment processor. Why? Because they'd see that the money from the clients was being withdrawn into a personal account of Gerry. He also couldn't withdraw it into a business account with a different name because the processor would grow suspicious of millions of dollars and see clients writing for quadriga and bitcoin as the reason for transaction but being deposited towards "Robertson Nova Consulting". When questions would be asked they'd see, clients are paying quadriga but quadriga is sending the money elsewhere to another company: i) owned by the quadriga/gerry but not where the clients intended it to go ii) not owned by quadriga/gerry and not related to transaction. These are two classical money laundering flags of large scale laundering, which is why you have your money frozen by CIBC. Lastly, " During the course of the Monitor’s investigation into Quadriga’s business and affairs, the Monitor became aware of occurrences where the corporate and personal boundaries between Quadriga and its founder Gerald Cotten were not formally maintained, and it appeared to the Monitor that Quadriga funds may have been used to acquire assets held outside the corporate entity. " So Gerry was mixing Quadriga money with his own accounts, yeah he was scamming hard. This is AFTER he met with lawyers and considered going public and knew all the laws he should have been following. I've come to accept no money will come back. the best outcome is that the crooks including the payment processor crooks who helped in this get life sentences in American prisons for financial fraud.
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