Bitcoin Keeps Growing

Its always funny to me to hear people wonder about whether bitcoin will continue to grow, and even whether its a scam, a ponzi scheme, etc. Almost always, these people have no idea what money is, what a blockchain is, and what bitcoin is being used for. I think one of the best ways determine whether the bitcoin economy will continue growing is to consider the number of bitcoin transactions taking place. They continue to grow, and have been growing fairly steady since bitcoin was first used. See this link from Blockchain.com for a graph showing the number of bitcoin transactions over time. Bitcoin is not going away, it will change, other crypto currencies will continue to be released.

My 2019 Masters Bets

I really enjoy the Masters. And I also enjoy betting on the Masters. Below are my 2019 Masters bets. I don’t do much fundamental analysis to determine my bets. I don’t attempt to handicap the players chances of winning. I simply rely on technical analysis.

This year I’m considering the difference in the odds between exchanges such as Betfair and sports books where I have an account. I notice that the odds of favourites on Betfair is close to their price at most sports books, but the odds of players with slim chances of winning are much lower on sports books than on betting exchanges. For example, at the time of writing, the odds for Rory McIlroy is 8.6 on Betfair and is between 8 and 9 on most sports books. But the odds of Kevin Tway, who is one of the least likely active tour players is 950 on Betfair but only about 300 on most sports books. Ian Woosnam seems like the least likely player to win the Masters this week, and interestingly his odds on Betair are 950 (which is the practically highest price Betfair will post) and his odds on many sports books are about 3000.

These odds make sense to me because they follow the principal of short paying the longest odds. Sports books and casinos in general frequently make their profits by short paying the biggest payoffs. Its more difficult for gamblers to intuitively estimate the odds of less frequent events, and there is also a psychological element attached to gamblers who win a long shot and quickly forget to examine the true odds of their wager.

So it looks like the players in the second tier of golfers at this year’s Masters have the best value if you’re betting on a mainstream sports books. Here are my three value picks at these prices on Tuesday afternoon.

Paul Casey @ 31

Hideki Matsuyama @ 34

Xander Schauffele @ 46

Some other interesting bets. Top Canadian?  Conners/Weir 1.22/4.00. I would choose Conners at that price. Based on Weir’s recent Masters records, and the fact that he hasn’t really made a mark on the PGA Tour in a few years, and Corey Conners is a second time Masters starter and just coming off his win, and Conners is a the prime of his career. I think its also likely both Conners and Weir miss the cut, but I still think its very likely Conners gets a lower score.

Best German? Kaymer/Langer 1.77/2.00. This is a funny bet since Kaymer is a regular tour player but hasn’t had much success lately, whereas Langer is the best senior player on the planet. I think giving the edge to Kaymer is fair since Langer will have a tougher time with distance and number of holes down the stretch. Remember that Champions Tour events are only 3 rounds and the courses are much shorter than PGA Tour.

Buy Bitcoins in Canada with Shakepay

Shakepay is a app for Canadians to buy and sell cryptocurrency in less than 10 minutes using an Interac e-transfer. Shakepay is the easiest way for Canadians to buy and sell bitcoins and purchasing at least $100 worth of bitcoin with Shakepay also makes you eligible to receive a $10 bonus on your purchase.

 

Click here to get started with Shakepay and claim your $10 deposit bonus

 

  • Download the Shakepay app or use the Shakepay website to singup

Visit the Shakepay website or download the Shakepay app from Google Play or the App Store.

 

  • Register your account by submitting your personal information

You will be asked to provide your real name and address, its the law in Canada that companies like Shakepay must verify your identity.

 

  • Verify your account by confirming your phone number

Shakepay will send you a text with a verification code to confirm your phone number. This two-factor authentication is used to verify your identity and also to prevent others from accessing your account. You will receive a text with a 6 digit code.

 

  • Click the Add Funds button to make a deposit

You will see a button at the bottom of the app to “Add Funds”, click this button to display a list of deposit methods.

 

  • Choose the Interac e-transfer deposit method

 

  • Follow the deposit instructions

Open your online banking (app or website) and send an e-transfer to funding@shakepay.co. Use your username as the security question and a code provided by Shakepay as the security answer.

 

After sending your e-transfer, it will take Shakepay a few minutes to receive it and confirm your deposit. After your deposit is received, you’ll be able to exchange your Canadian dollar deposit for bitcoins and ether, doing so for at least $100 will entitle you to receive a $10 bonus on your deposit.

Visit the Shakepay website or download the Shakepay app from Google Play or the App Store and use this link to become eligible for the $10 bonus on your deposit.

 

Kraken Futures vs Deribit Futures

Recently Kraken, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, launched a futures trading platform. Their new futures contracts include short term and a perpetual contracts. Crypto traders will be familiar with their perpetual contract as its similar to those traded on Deribit and Bitmex.

The Kraken & Deribit perpetual contracts are virtually the same, and therefore trade at almost identical prices. Their virtual fungibility should probably also help keep them both liquid since market makers can arb each contract against the odds. Both contracts are cash settled. Kraken’s futures use the CME CF Reference Rates as their index. Kraken now owns Crypto Facilities, which also supports the CME reference rates (the “CF” stands for Crypto Facilities). The Deribit contracts settle off a similar index (which is set by Deribit) but which uses similar sources to construct their index. You can visit both company’s websites to find the details of they way they construct their indexes. The only other thing to say about index construction is that I would prefer a 3rd party index provider to reduce potential conflicts of interest (this favors Kraken over Deribit).

The perpetual contracts trade very close to spot. But they essentially settle each day and in some cases several times each day, so a funding rate is either paid or received by open interest depending on whether there is a premium or discount on the contract each period. Please examine the contract specs closely and make sure you understand the funding mechanism before trading these contracts.

Deribit Perpetual Futures Contract Specs

Kraken Perpetual Futures Contract Specs

BitMex Perpetual Futures Contract Specs

Calculating a profit or loss is pretty easy, you simply take the number of contracts you’re short or long multiplied by [(1/Entry Price) – (1/Exit Price)].  For example, if you are long 10 contracts at 3000 and you sell them at 4000, then your profit = 10 * [(1/3000) – (1/4000)] = 0.0008 btc.  Since all of these futures contracts are priced in btc, that why we have to calculate profit in a bit of a convoluted way.

Which contracts are the best?  It depends on what you’re trying to do. Deribit offers 100x leverage, so either this gives you more speculative leverage, or allows you to put up less capital to hedge, but the Kraken platform is better for users who want to link their fiat money to crypto. With Kraken you can verify your account and this will allow you to use fiat to crypto. But if you want to remain anonymous, then you’re better off using Deribit, because they don’t need to know who you are. With Kraken you get some regulatory oversight, this might reduce some of the credit risk associated with keeping money on an exchange.

Deribit also has options listed, so if you might need this extra functionality, then Deribit might be a better venue. I also like how Deribit has a rudimentary affiliate system, this might encourage greater exchange liquidity. Although Kraken offers discounts to orders that provide liquidity.

What are CLAM coins?

CLAM coins are one of the oldest crypto currencies and were forked from bitcoin and created in 2014. What made CLAM coins unique is they were mined using a Proof of Stake method. This makes them different than bitcoin because mining rewards are determined based on the share of coins a miner is “staking” rather than the computing power they contribute to the blockchain as is the way bitcoins and other “proof of work” blockchains work.

Current GIC Rates (27/02/19)

Canadian GIC rates have decreased since my last update during December. Now at the end of February, the forward curve is sloping upward (no more higher kink in the 1-2 year rates) but the spread between 1 and 5 year rates has shallowed from 0.74% to 0.55%, which implies a very low premium for locking money up for 5 years compared to just 1 year. The 5 year ladder yield is currently, 2.67% compared to HISA rates of 1.60% on demand deposits.

Click here to view current GIC rates

QuadrigaCX Bankruptcy Odds

Recently QuadrigaCX declared bankruptcy and filed for creditor protection. In the meantime their website is down and the exchange has ceased operating.

What are the odds that depositors will receive anything within a year’s time?  I’ve posted a fixed odds betting market on this question at coinroster.com. Click here to view the odds of QuadrigaCX depositors getting anything within a year’s time.

You can play and bet for free at CoinRoster.com by using code oscars2019 when you signup. Anyone can post bets with custom odds and terms once they’ve made a deposit to CoinRoster.com

Oscars 2019 Best Picture Odds

Free bets on best picture for the 2019 Oscars are available at CoinRoster.com

Roma is the clear favorite to win best picture this year. With odds of 1.8, this implies Roma has a 55% chance of winning. Green Book and The Favorite are the two next most likely to win with odds of 4 and 9 respectively.

Click on this link to receive 0.0003 bitcoins for free (worth about $1 USD at the time of writing). The free bitcoins can be used to make a bet on the Oscars and can be withdrawn after a 3x playing requirement is met.