# Botnet Bitcoin - Sell Bitcoin On Gemini Land Of Bitcoin ...

[ Bitcoin ] Technical: Taproot: Why Activate?

Topic originally posted in Bitcoin by almkglor [link]
This is a follow-up on https://old.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/hqzp14/technical_the_path_to_taproot_activation/
Taproot! Everybody wants it!! But... you might ask yourself: sure, everybody else wants it, but why would I, sovereign Bitcoin HODLer, want it? Surely I can be better than everybody else because I swapped XXX fiat for Bitcoin unlike all those nocoiners?
And it is important for you to know the reasons why you, o sovereign Bitcoiner, would want Taproot activated. After all, your nodes (or the nodes your wallets use, which if you are SPV, you hopefully can pester to your wallet vendoimplementor about) need to be upgraded in order for Taproot activation to actually succeed instead of becoming a hot sticky mess.
First, let's consider some principles of Bitcoin.
I'm sure most of us here would agree that the above are very important principles of Bitcoin and that these are principles we would not be willing to remove. If anything, we would want those principles strengthened (especially the last one, financial privacy, which current Bitcoin is only sporadically strong with: you can get privacy, it just requires effort to do so).
So, how does Taproot affect those principles?

Taproot and Your /Coins

Most HODLers probably HODL their coins in singlesig addresses. Sadly, switching to Taproot would do very little for you (it gives a mild discount at spend time, at the cost of a mild increase in fee at receive time (paid by whoever sends to you, so if it's a self-send from a P2PKH or bech32 address, you pay for this); mostly a wash).
(technical details: a Taproot output is 1 version byte + 32 byte public key, while a P2WPKH (bech32 singlesig) output is 1 version byte + 20 byte public key hash, so the Taproot output spends 12 bytes more; spending from a P2WPKH requires revealing a 32-byte public key later, which is not needed with Taproot, and Taproot signatures are about 9 bytes smaller than P2WPKH signatures, but the 32 bytes plus 9 bytes is divided by 4 because of the witness discount, so it saves about 11 bytes; mostly a wash, it increases blockweight by about 1 virtual byte, 4 weight for each Taproot-output-input, compared to P2WPKH-output-input).
However, as your HODLings grow in value, you might start wondering if multisignature k-of-n setups might be better for the security of your savings. And it is in multisignature that Taproot starts to give benefits!
Taproot switches to using Schnorr signing scheme. Schnorr makes key aggregation -- constructing a single public key from multiple public keys -- almost as trivial as adding numbers together. "Almost" because it involves some fairly advanced math instead of simple boring number adding, but hey when was the last time you added up your grocery list prices by hand huh?
With current P2SH and P2WSH multisignature schemes, if you have a 2-of-3 setup, then to spend, you need to provide two different signatures from two different public keys. With Taproot, you can create, using special moon math, a single public key that represents your 2-of-3 setup. Then you just put two of your devices together, have them communicate to each other (this can be done airgapped, in theory, by sending QR codes: the software to do this is not even being built yet, but that's because Taproot hasn't activated yet!), and they will make a single signature to authorize any spend from your 2-of-3 address. That's 73 witness bytes -- 18.25 virtual bytes -- of signatures you save!
And if you decide that your current setup with 1-of-1 P2PKH / P2WPKH addresses is just fine as-is: well, that's the whole point of a softfork: backwards-compatibility; you can receive from Taproot users just fine, and once your wallet is updated for Taproot-sending support, you can send to Taproot users just fine as well!
(P2WPKH and P2WSH -- SegWit v0 -- addresses start with bc1q; Taproot -- SegWit v1 --- addresses start with bc1p, in case you wanted to know the difference; in bech32 q is 0, p is 1)
Now how about HODLers who keep all, or some, of their coins on custodial services? Well, any custodial service worth its salt would be doing at least 2-of-3, or probably something even bigger, like 11-of-15. So your custodial service, if it switched to using Taproot internally, could save a lot more (imagine an 11-of-15 getting reduced from 11 signatures to just 1!), which --- we can only hope! --- should translate to lower fees and better customer service from your custodial service!
So I think we can say, very accurately, that the Bitcoin principle --- that YOU are in control of your money --- can only be helped by Taproot (if you are doing multisignature), and, because P2PKH and P2WPKH remain validly-usable addresses in a Taproot future, will not be harmed by Taproot. Its benefit to this principle might be small (it mostly only benefits multisignature users) but since it has no drawbacks with this (i.e. singlesig users can continue to use P2WPKH and P2PKH still) this is still a nice, tidy win!
(even singlesig users get a minor benefit, in that multisig users will now reduce their blockchain space footprint, so that fees can be kept low for everybody; so for example even if you have your single set of private keys engraved on titanium plates sealed in an airtight box stored in a safe buried in a desert protected by angry nomads riding giant sandworms because you're the frickin' Kwisatz Haderach, you still gain some benefit from Taproot)
And here's the important part: if P2PKH/P2WPKH is working perfectly fine with you and you decide to never use Taproot yourself, Taproot will not affect you detrimentally. First do no harm!

Taproot and Your Contracts

No one is an island, no one lives alone. Give and you shall receive. You know: by trading with other people, you can gain expertise in some obscure little necessity of the world (and greatly increase your productivity in that little field), and then trade the products of your expertise for necessities other people have created, all of you thereby gaining gains from trade.
So, contracts, which are basically enforceable agreements that facilitate trading with people who you do not personally know and therefore might not trust.
Let's start with a simple example. You want to buy some gewgaws from somebody. But you don't know them personally. The seller wants the money, you want their gewgaws, but because of the lack of trust (you don't know them!! what if they're scammers??) neither of you can benefit from gains from trade.
However, suppose both of you know of some entity that both of you trust. That entity can act as a trusted escrow. The entity provides you security: this enables the trade, allowing both of you to get gains from trade.
In Bitcoin-land, this can be implemented as a 2-of-3 multisignature. The three signatories in the multisgnature would be you, the gewgaw seller, and the escrow. You put the payment for the gewgaws into this 2-of-3 multisignature address.
Now, suppose it turns out neither of you are scammers (whaaaat!). You receive the gewgaws just fine and you're willing to pay up for them. Then you and the gewgaw seller just sign a transaction --- you and the gewgaw seller are 2, sufficient to trigger the 2-of-3 --- that spends from the 2-of-3 address to a singlesig the gewgaw seller wants (or whatever address the gewgaw seller wants).
But suppose some problem arises. The seller gave you gawgews instead of gewgaws. Or you decided to keep the gewgaws but not sign the transaction to release the funds to the seller. In either case, the escrow is notified, and if it can sign with you to refund the funds back to you (if the seller was a scammer) or it can sign with the seller to forward the funds to the seller (if you were a scammer).
Taproot helps with this: like mentioned above, it allows multisignature setups to produce only one signature, reducing blockchain space usage, and thus making contracts --- which require multiple people, by definition, you don't make contracts with yourself --- is made cheaper (which we hope enables more of these setups to happen for more gains from trade for everyone, also, moon and lambos).
(technology-wise, it's easier to make an n-of-n than a k-of-n, making a k-of-n would require a complex setup involving a long ritual with many communication rounds between the n participants, but an n-of-n can be done trivially with some moon math. You can, however, make what is effectively a 2-of-3 by using a three-branch SCRIPT: either 2-of-2 of you and seller, OR 2-of-2 of you and escrow, OR 2-of-2 of escrow and seller. Fortunately, Taproot adds a facility to embed a SCRIPT inside a public key, so you can have a 2-of-2 Taprooted address (between you and seller) with a SCRIPT branch that can instead be spent with 2-of-2 (you + escrow) OR 2-of-2 (seller + escrow), which implements the three-branched SCRIPT above. If neither of you are scammers (hopefully the common case) then you both sign using your keys and never have to contact the escrow, since you are just using the escrow public key without coordinating with them (because n-of-n is trivial but k-of-n requires setup with communication rounds), so in the "best case" where both of you are honest traders, you also get a privacy boost, in that the escrow never learns you have been trading on gewgaws, I mean ewww, gawgews are much better than gewgaws and therefore I now judge you for being a gewgaw enthusiast, you filthy gewgawer).

Taproot and Your Contracts, Part 2: Cryptographic Boogaloo

Now suppose you want to buy some data instead of things. For example, maybe you have some closed-source software in trial mode installed, and want to pay the developer for the full version. You want to pay for an activation code.
This can be done, today, by using an HTLC. The developer tells you the hash of the activation code. You pay to an HTLC, paying out to the developer if it reveals the preimage (the activation code), or refunding the money back to you after a pre-agreed timeout. If the developer claims the funds, it has to reveal the preimage, which is the activation code, and you can now activate your software. If the developer does not claim the funds by the timeout, you get refunded.
And you can do that, with HTLCs, today.
Of course, HTLCs do have problems:
Fortunately, with Schnorr (which is enabled by Taproot), we can now use the Scriptless Script constuction by Andrew Poelstra. This Scriptless Script allows a new construction, the PTLC or Pointlocked Timelocked Contract. Instead of hashes and preimages, just replace "hash" with "point" and "preimage" with "scalar".
Or as you might know them: "point" is really "public key" and "scalar" is really a "private key". What a PTLC does is that, given a particular public key, the pointlocked branch can be spent only if the spender reveals the private key of the given private key to you.
Another nice thing with PTLCs is that they are deniable. What appears onchain is just a single 2-of-2 signature between you and the developemanufacturer. It's like a magic trick. This signature has no special watermarks, it's a perfectly normal signature (the pledge). However, from this signature, plus some datta given to you by the developemanufacturer (known as the adaptor signature) you can derive the private key of a particular public key you both agree on (the turn). Anyone scraping the blockchain will just see signatures that look just like every other signature, and as long as nobody manages to hack you and get a copy of the adaptor signature or the private key, they cannot get the private key behind the public key (point) that the pointlocked branch needs (the prestige).
(Just to be clear, the public key you are getting the private key from, is distinct from the public key that the developemanufacturer will use for its funds. The activation key is different from the developer's onchain Bitcoin key, and it is the activation key whose private key you will be learning, not the developer's/manufacturer's onchain Bitcoin key).
So:
Taproot lets PTLCs exist onchain because they enable Schnorr, which is a requirement of PTLCs / Scriptless Script.
(technology-wise, take note that Scriptless Script works only for the "pointlocked" branch of the contract; you need normal Script, or a pre-signed nLockTimed transaction, for the "timelocked" branch. Since Taproot can embed a script, you can have the Taproot pubkey be a 2-of-2 to implement the Scriptless Script "pointlocked" branch, then have a hidden script that lets you recover the funds with an OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY after the timeout if the seller does not claim the funds.)

Quantum Quibbles!

Now if you were really paying attention, you might have noticed this parenthetical:
(technical details: a Taproot output is 1 version byte + 32 byte public key, while a P2WPKH (bech32 singlesig) output is 1 version byte + 20 byte public key hash...)
So wait, Taproot uses raw 32-byte public keys, and not public key hashes? Isn't that more quantum-vulnerable??
Well, in theory yes. In practice, they probably are not.
It's not that hashes can be broken by quantum computes --- they're still not. Instead, you have to look at how you spend from a P2WPKH/P2PKH pay-to-public-key-hash.
When you spend from a P2PKH / P2WPKH, you have to reveal the public key. Then Bitcoin hashes it and checks if this matches with the public-key-hash, and only then actually validates the signature for that public key.
So an unconfirmed transaction, floating in the mempools of nodes globally, will show, in plain sight for everyone to see, your public key.
(public keys should be public, that's why they're called public keys, LOL)
And if quantum computers are fast enough to be of concern, then they are probably fast enough that, in the several minutes to several hours from broadcast to confirmation, they have already cracked the public key that is openly broadcast with your transaction. The owner of the quantum computer can now replace your unconfirmed transaction with one that pays the funds to itself. Even if you did not opt-in RBF, miners are still incentivized to support RBF on RBF-disabled transactions.
So the extra hash is not as significant a protection against quantum computers as you might think. Instead, the extra hash-and-compare needed is just extra validation effort.
Further, if you have ever, in the past, spent from the address, then there exists already a transaction indelibly stored on the blockchain, openly displaying the public key from which quantum computers can derive the private key. So those are still vulnerable to quantum computers.
For the most part, the cryptographers behind Taproot (and Bitcoin Core) are of the opinion that quantum computers capable of cracking Bitcoin pubkeys are unlikely to appear within a decade or two.
So:
For now, the homomorphic and linear properties of elliptic curve cryptography provide a lot of benefits --- particularly the linearity property is what enables Scriptless Script and simple multisignature (i.e. multisignatures that are just 1 signature onchain). So it might be a good idea to take advantage of them now while we are still fairly safe against quantum computers. It seems likely that quantum-safe signature schemes are nonlinear (thus losing these advantages).

Summary

I Wanna Be The Taprooter!

So, do you want to help activate Taproot? Here's what you, mister sovereign Bitcoin HODLer, can do!

But I Hate Taproot!!

That's fine!

Discussions About Taproot Activation

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Bitcoin 11 Years - Achievements, Lies, and Bullshit Claims So Far - Tooootally NOT a SCAM !!!!

That's right folks, it's that time again for the annual review of how Bitcoin is going: all of those claims, predictions, promises .... how many have turned out to be true, and how many are completely bogus ???
Please post / link this on Bitcoin (I am banned there for speaking the truth, so I cannot do it) ... because it'a way past time those poor clueless mushrooms were exposed to the truth.
Anyway, without further ado, I give you the Bitcoin's Achievements, Lies, and Bullshit Claims So Far ...
.
Bitcoin Achievements so far:
  1. It has spawned a cesspool of scams (2000+ shit coin scams, plus 100's of other scams, frauds, cons).
  2. Many 1,000's of hacks, thefts, losses.
  3. Illegal Use Cases: illegal drugs, illegal weapons, tax fraud, money laundering, sex trafficking, child pornography, hit men / murder-for-hire, ransomware, blackmail, extortion, and various other kinds of fraud and illicit activity.
  4. Legal Use Cases: Steam Games, Reddit, Expedia, Stripe, Starbucks, 1000's of merchants, cryptocurrency conferences, Ummm ????? The few merchants who "accept Bitcoin" immediately convert it into FIAT after the sale, or require you to sell your coins to BitPay or Coinbase for real money, and will then take that money. Some of the few who actually accept bitcoin haven't seen a customer who needed to pay with bitcoin for the last six months, and their cashiers no longer know how to handle that.
  5. Contributing significantly to Global Warming.
  6. Wastes vasts amounts of electricity on useless, do nothing work.
  7. Exponentially raises electricity prices when big miners move into regions where electricity was cheap.
  8. It’s the first "currency" that is not self-sustainable. It operates at a net loss, and requires continuous outside capital to replace the capital removed by miners to pay their costs. It’s literally a "black hole currency."
  9. It created a new way for people living too far from Vegas to gamble all their life savings away.
  10. Spawned "blockchain technology", a powerful technique that lets incompetent programmers who know almost nothing about databases, finance, programming, or blockchain scam millions out of gullible VC investors, banks, and governments.
  11. Increased China's foreign trade balance by a couple billion dollars per year.
  12. Helped the FBI and other law enforcement agents easily track down hundreds of drug traffickers and drug users.
  13. Wasted thousands if not millions of man-hours of government employees and legislators, in mostly fruitless attempts to understand, legitimize, and regulate the "phenomenon", and to investigate and prosecute its scams.
  14. Rekindled the hopes of anarcho-capitalists and libertarians for a global economic collapse, that would finally bring forth their Mad Max "utopia".
  15. Added another character to Unicode (no, no, not the "poo" 💩 character ... that was my first guess as well 🤣)
  16. Provides an easy way for malware and ransomware criminals to ply their trade and extort hospitals, schools, local councils, businesses, utilities, as well as the general population.
.
Correct Predictions:
  1. 2015-12: "1,000 dollar in 2015", u/Luka_Magnotta, aka time traveler from the future, 31-Aug-2013, https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1lfobc/i_am_a_timetraveler_from_the_future_here_to_beg/ (Technically, this prediction is WRONG because the highest price reached in 2015 was $495.56 according to CMC. Yes, Bitcoin reached $1,000 in 2013 and 2014, but that's NOT what the prediction says).
  2. 2017-12: "10,000 in 2017", u/Luka_Magnotta, aka time traveler from the future, 31-Aug-2013, https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1lfobc/i_am_a_timetraveler_from_the_future_here_to_beg/
  3. 2018-04: $10,000 (by April 2018), Mike Novogratz, link #1: https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/, link #2: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-21/mike-novogratz-says-bitcoin-will-end-the-year-at-10-000
  4. 2018-12: $10,000 (by 2018), Tim Draper, link #1: https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/, link #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AW5s6QkRRY
  5. Any others ? (Please tell me).
.
Bitcoin Promises / Claims / Price Predictions that turned out to be lies and bullshit:
  1. ANONYMOUS
  2. CENSORSHIP RESISTANT
  3. FRICTIONLESS
  4. TRUSTLESS
  5. UNCENSORABLE
  6. UNTRACEABLE
  7. SAFE
  8. SECURE
  9. YOU CANNOT LOSE
  10. NOT A SCAM
  11. PERMISSIONLESS
  12. GUARANTEED PRIVACY
  13. CANNOT BE SEIZED
  14. CANNOT BE CONFISCATED
  15. Be your own bank
  16. Regulation-proof
  17. NO MIDDLEMEN
  18. DECENTRALIZED
  19. Instantaneous transactions
  20. Fast transactions
  21. Zero / No transaction fees
  22. Low transaction fees
  23. A store of value
  24. A deflationary digital asset
  25. "A deflationary digital asset that no single human being can destroy."
  26. "an asset that is equally as dual use as a car, water, or any other traditional element that has existed."
  27. "Digital gold"
  28. Easy to use
  29. Cannot be stolen
  30. Cannot be hacked
  31. Can be mined by anyone
  32. Can be mined by anyone, even with an old computer or laptop
  33. Cannot be centralized
  34. Will return power back to the people.
  35. Not a Ponzi scam
  36. Not a Pyramid scam
  37. Never pay tax again
  38. Your gains cannot be taxed
  39. A currency
  40. An amazing new class of asset
  41. An asset
  42. A means to economic freedom
  43. A store of value
  44. The best investment the word has ever seen
  45. A great investment
  46. Efficient
  47. Scalable
  48. Stable
  49. Resilient
  50. Reliable
  51. Low energy
  52. Low risk
  53. Redistribute wealth to everybody
  54. No more have's and have not's
  55. No more US and THEM
  56. No more disadvantaged people
  57. No more RICH and POOR
  58. No more poor people
  59. Uses amazing new technology
  60. Uses ingenious new technology
  61. Satishi Nakamoto invented ...
  62. Segwit will solve all of Bitcoin's woes
  63. Lightning Network will solve all of Bitcoin's woes
  64. Limited by scarcity
  65. Can only go up in value
  66. Price cannot crash
  67. Has intrinsic value
  68. Value will always be worth more than cost to mine
  69. Adoption by investors is increasing exponentially
  70. Adoption by investors is increasing
  71. Adoption by merchants is increasing exponentially
  72. Adoption by merchants is increasing
  73. You are secure if you keep your coins on an exchange
  74. You are secure if you keep your coins in a hardware wallet
  75. You are secure if you keep your coins in an air-gapped Linux PC
  76. Will change the world
  77. "the next phase in human evolution"
  78. "Blockchain is more encompassing than the internet"
  79. Blockchain can solve previously unsolvable problems.
  80. "The only regulation we need is the blockchain"
  81. "Bank the unbanked"
  82. "To abolish financial slavery and the state's toxic monopoly on money."
  83. "To have better tools in the fight against the state violence and taxation."
  84. "To stamp information on a blockchain forever so we can bypass state censorship, copyrights, patents(informational monopolies) etc."
  85. Will destroy / overthrow FIAT
  86. Will destroy / overthrow the world's governments
  87. Will destroy / overthrow the banking system
  88. Will destroy / overthrow the world economies
  89. Will free people from tyranny
  90. Will give people financial freedom
  91. Will bring world peace
  92. Never going below $19K again
  93. Never going below $18K again
  94. Never going below $17K again
  95. Never going below $16K again
  96. Never going below $15K again
  97. Never going below $14K again
  98. Never going below $13K again
  99. Never going below $12K again
  100. Never going below $11K again
  101. Never going below $10K again
  102. Never going below $9K again
  103. Never going below $8K again
  104. Never going below $7K again
  105. Never going below $6K again
  106. Never going below $5K again
  107. Never going below $4K again
  108. Is NOT a Scam
  109. Hashing Power secures the Bitcoin network
  110. Untraceable, private transactions
  111. Guaranteed privacy
  112. Not created out of thin air
  113. Not created out of thin air by unregulated, unbacked entities
  114. Totally NOT a scam
  115. Is not used primarily by crimonals, drug dealers, or money launderers.
  116. 100% secure
  117. 2010 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  118. 2011 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  119. 2012 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  120. 2013 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  121. 2014 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  122. 2015 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  123. 2016 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  124. 2017 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  125. 2018 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  126. 2019 will be the "Year of Crypto"
  127. 2010: MASS ADOPTION any day now"
  128. 2011: MASS ADOPTION aany day now"
  129. 2012: MASS ADOPTION aaany day now"
  130. 2013: MASS ADOPTION aaaany day now"
  131. 2014: MASS ADOPTION aaaaany day now"
  132. 2015: MASS ADOPTION aaaaaany day now"
  133. 2016: MASS ADOPTION aaaaaaany day now"
  134. 2017: MASS ADOPTION aaaaaaaany day now"
  135. 2018: MASS ADOPTION aaaaaaaaany day now"
  136. 2019: MASS ADOPTION aaaaaaaaany day now"
  137. "Financial Freedom, bro."
  138. no single entity, government or individual, can alter or reverse its transactions
  139. insurance against the tyranny of state
  140. Bitcoin has come to destroy all governments and bring about the libertarian utopia of my dreams.
  141. The major issues in Bicoin's network will be fixed. This is still early days, Bitcoin has only been around for 2+ years.
  142. The major issues in Bicoin's network will be fixed. This is still early days, Bitcoin has only been around for 5+ years.
  143. The major issues in Bicoin's network will be fixed. This is still early days, Bitcoin has only been around for 7+ years.
  144. The major issues in Bicoin's network will be fixed. This is still early days, Bitcoin has only been around for 9+ years.
  145. 1,000's of predictions of skyrocketing and/or never falling prices
  146. Escape the petty rivalries of warring powers and nation states by scattering control among the many. The Bitcoin Cash debacle proves that even the most cryptographically secure plans of mice and men often go awry. Ref: https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/9zfhb6/like_theres_only_one_flaw_with_buttcoin_crash/ea8s11m
  147. People will NEVER be able to welch out of bets or deals again. Nov-2018, Ref: https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/9zvpl2/the_guy_who_made_the_1000_bet_that_btc_wouldnt/
  148. "Everything will be better, faster, and cheaper.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  149. "Everything will be more connected.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  150. "Everything will be more trustworthy.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  151. "Everything will be more secure.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  152. "Everything that exists is no-longer going to exist in the way that it does today.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  153. "Everything in this world is about to get better.", Brock Pierce, EOS.io shill video.
  154. You are a slave to the bankers
  155. The bankers print money and then you pay for it
  156. Bitcoin is The Peoples Money
  157. Bitcoin will set you free
  158. Bitcoin will set you free from the slavery of the banks and the government Ref: https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/cd2q94/bitcoin_shall_set_you_free/
  159. ~~Bitcoin is "striking fear into the hearts of bankers, precisely because Bitcoin eliminates the need for banks. ~~, Mark Yusko, billionaire investor and Founder of Morgan Creek Capital, https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  160. "When transactions are verified on a Blockchain, banks become obsolete.", Mark Yusko, billionaire investor and Founder of Morgan Creek Capital, https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  161. SnapshillBot quotes from delusional morons:
  162. "A bitcoin miner in every device and in every hand."
  163. "All the indicators are pointing to a huge year and bigger than anything we have seen before."
  164. "Bitcoin is communism and democracy working hand in hand."
  165. "Bitcoin is freedom, and we will soon be free."
  166. "Bitcoin isn't calculated risk, you're right. It's downright and painfully obvious that it will consume global finance."
  167. "Bitcoin most disruptive technology of last 500 years"
  168. "Bitcoin: So easy, your grandma can use it!"
  169. "Creating a 4th Branch of Government - Bitcoin"
  170. "Future generations will cry laughing reading all the negativity and insanity vomited by these permabears."
  171. "Future us will thank us."
  172. "Give Bitcoin two years"
  173. "HODLING is more like being a dutiful guardian of the most powerful economic force this planet has ever seen and getting to have a say about how that force is unleashed."
  174. "Cut out the middleman"
  175. "full control of your own assets"
  176. "reduction in wealth gap"
  177. "no inflation"
  178. "cannot print money out of thin air"
  179. "Why that matters? Because blockchain not only cheaper for them, it'll be cheaper for you and everyone as well."
  180. "If you are in this to get rich in Fiat then no. But if you are in this to protect your wealth once the current monetary system collapse then you are protected and you'll be the new rich."
  181. "Theres the 1% and then theres the 99%. You want to be with the rest thats fine. Being different and brave is far more rewarding. No matter your background or education."
  182. "NO COINERS will believe anything they are fed by fake news and paid media."
  183. "I know that feeling (like people looking at you as in seeing a celebrity and then asking things they don't believe until their impressed)."
  184. "I literally walk round everyday looking at other people wondering why they even bother to live if they don't have Bitcoin in their lives."
  185. "I think bitcoin may very well be the best form of money we’ve ever seen in the history of civilization."
  186. "I think Bitcoin will do for mankind what the sun did for life on earth."
  187. "I think the constant scams and illegal activities only show the viability of bitcoin."
  188. "I think we're sitting on the verge of exponential interest in the currency."
  189. "I'm not using hyperbole when I say Satoshi found the elusive key to World Peace."
  190. "If Jesus ever comes back you know he's gonna be using Bitcoin"
  191. "If this idea was implemented with The Blockchain™, it would be completely flawless! Flawless I tell you!"
  192. "If you're the minimum wage guy type, now is a great time to skip food and go full ramadan in order to buy bitcoin instead."
  193. "In a world slipping more and more into chaos and uncertainty, Bitcoin seems to me like the last solid rock defeating all the attacks."
  194. "In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any filthy statist's blessing, but because I am enlightened by own intelligence."
  195. "Is Bitcoin at this point, with all the potential that opens up, the most undervalued asset ever?"
  196. "It won't be long until bitcoin is an everyday household term."
  197. "It's the USD that is volatile. Bitcoin is the real neutral currency."
  198. "Just like the early Internet!"
  199. "Just like the Trojan Horse of old, Bitcoin will reveal its full power and nature"
  200. "Ladies if your man doesnt have some bitcoin then he cant handle anything and has no danger sex appeal. He isnt edgy"
  201. "let me be the first to say if you dont have bitcoin you are a pussy and cant really purchase anything worldwide. You have no global reach"
  202. "My conclusion is that I see this a a very good thing for bitcoin and for users"
  203. "No one would do such a thing; it'd be against their self interests."
  204. "Ooh lala, good job on bashing Bitcoin. How to disrespect a great innovation."
  205. "Realistically I think Bitcoin will replace the dollar in the next 10-15 years."
  206. "Seperation of money and state -> states become obsolete -> world peace."
  207. "Some striking similarities between Bitcoin and God"
  208. "THANK YOU. Better for this child to be strangled in its crib as a true weapon for crypto-anarchists than for it to be wielded by toxic individuals who distort the technology and surrender it to government and corporate powers."
  209. "The Blockchain is more encompassing than the internet and is the next phase in human evolution. To avoid its significance is complete ignorance."
  210. "The bull run should begin any day now."
  211. "The free market doesn't permit fraud and theft."
  212. "The free market will clear away the bad actors."
  213. "The only regulation we need is the blockchain."
  214. "We are not your slaves! We are free bodies who will swallow you and puke you out in disgust. Welcome to liberty land or as that genius called it: Bitcoin."
  215. "We do not need the bankers for Satoshi is our saviour!"
  216. "We have never seen something so perfect"
  217. "We must bring freedom and crypto to the masses, to the common man who does not know how to fight for himself."
  218. "We verified that against the blockchain."
  219. "we will see a Rennaisnce over the next few decades, all thanks to Bitcoin."
  220. "Well, since 2006, there has been a infinite% increase in price, so..."
  221. "What doesn't kill cryptocurrency makes it stronger."
  222. "When Bitcoin awake in normally people (real people) ... you will have this result : No War. No Tax. No QE. No Bank."
  223. "When I see news that the price of bitcoin has tanked (and thus the market, more or less) I actually, for-real, have the gut reaction "oh that’s cool, I’ll be buying cheap this week". I never knew I could be so rational."
  224. "Where is your sense of adventure? Bitcoin is the future. Set aside your fears and leave easier at the doorstep."
  225. "Yes Bitcoin will cause the greatest redistribution of wealth this planet has ever seen. FACT from the future."
  226. "You are the true Bitcoin pioneers and with your help we have imprinted Bitcoin in the Canadian conscience."
  227. "You ever try LSD? Perhaps it would help you break free from the box of state-formed thinking you have limited yourself..."
  228. "Your phone or refrigerator might be on the blockchain one day."
  229. The banks can print money whenever they way, out of thin air, so why can't crypto do the same ???
  230. Central Banks can print money whenever they way, out of thin air, without any consequences or accounting, so why can't crypto do the same ???
  231. It's impossible to hide illegal, unsavory material on the blockchain
  232. It's impossible to hide child pornography on the blockchain
  233. Fungible
  234. All Bitccoins are the same, 100% identical, one Bitcoin cannot be distinguished from any other Bitcoin.
  235. The price of Bitcoin can only go up.
  236. "Bubbles are mathematically impossible in this new paradigm. So are corrections and all else", John McAfee, 7 Dec 2017 @ 5:09 PM,https://mobile.twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/938938539282190337
  237. Scarcity
  238. The price of Bitcoin can only go up because of scarcity / 21 million coin limit. (Bitcoin is open source, anyone can create thir own copy, and there are more than 2,000+ Bitcoin copies / clones out there already).
  239. immune to government regulation
  240. "a world-changing technology"
  241. "a long-term store of value, like gold or silver"
  242. "To Complex to Be Audited."
  243. "Old Auditing rules do not apply to Blockchain."
  244. "Old Auditing rules do not apply to Cryptocurrency."
  245. "Why Bitcoin has Value: SCARCITY.", PlanB, Coin Shill, 22-Mar-2019, https://medium.com/@100trillionUSD/modeling-bitcoins-value-with-scarcity-91fa0fc03e25
  246. "Bitcoin is the first scarce digital object the world has ever seen, it is scarce like silver & gold, and can be sent over the internet, radio, satellite etc.", PlanB, Coin Shill, 22-Mar-2019, https://medium.com/@100trillionUSD/modeling-bitcoins-value-with-scarcity-91fa0fc03e25
  247. "Surely this digital scarcity has value.", PlanB, Coin Shill, 22-Mar-2019, https://medium.com/@100trillionUSD/modeling-bitcoins-value-with-scarcity-91fa0fc03e25
  248. Bitcoin now at $16,600.00. Those of you in the old school who believe this is a bubble simply have not understood the new mathematics of the Blockchain, or you did not cared enough to try. Bubbles are mathematically impossible in this new paradigm. So are corrections and all else", John McAfee, 7 Dec 2017 @ 5:09 PM,https://mobile.twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/938938539282190337
  249. "May 2018 will be the last time we ever see $bitcoin under $10,000", Charlie Shrem, bitcoin advocate and convicted felon, 11:31 AM 3-May-2018, https://twitter.com/CharlieShrem/status/992109375555858433
  250. "Last dip ever.", AngeloBTC, 14 Oct 2018, https://mobile.twitter.com/AngeloBTC/status/1051710824388030464/photo/1
  251. "Bitcoin May Have Just Experienced its Final Shakeout Before a Big Rally", Joseph Young, coin shill, October 15, 2018 22:30 CET, https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-may-have-just-experienced-its-final-shakeout-before-a-big-rally/
  252. Bitcoin would be a buy if the price fell under $5,000., Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz, 29-Jun-2018, https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-a-buy-below-5000-says-allianz-chief-economic-adviso
  253. 2013-11-27: ""What is a Citadel?" you might wonder. Well, by the time Bitcoin became worth 1,000 dollar [27-Nov-2013], services began to emerge for the "Bitcoin rich" to protect themselves as well as their wealth. It started with expensive safes, then began to include bodyguards, and today, "earlies" (our term for early adapters), as well as those rich whose wealth survived the "transition" live in isolated gated cities called Citadels, where most work is automated. Most such Citadels are born out of the fortification used to protect places where Bitcoin mining machines are located. The company known as ASICminer to you is known to me as a city where Mr. Friedman rules as a king.", u/Luka_Magnotta, aka time traveler from the future, 31-Aug-2013, https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1lfobc/i_am_a_timetraveler_from_the_future_here_to_beg/
  254. 2018-02: Bitcoin price to hit $27,000 by February 2018, Trace Mayer, host of the Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast, and self-proclaimed entrepreneur, investor, journalist, monetary scientist and ardent defender, Link #1: https://mobile.twitter.com/TraceMayestatus/917260836070154240/photo/1, Link #2: https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  255. 2018-06: "Bitcoin will surpass $15,000 in June [2018]." John McAfee, May 25, 2018, https://bitcoinist.com/john-mcafee-says-bitcoin-will-surpass-15000-in-june/
  256. 2018-07: Bitcoin will be $28,000 by mid-2018, Ronnie Moas, Wall Street analyst and founder of Standpoint Research, http://helpfordream.com/2018/12/23/5-bitcoin-price-predictions-gone-wrong/.
  257. 2018-12: Bitcoin to reach a price of between 40,000 and 110,000 US dollars by the end of the 2017 bull run ... sometime before 2019, Masterluc, 26-May-2017, an anonymous "legendary" Bitcoin trader, Link #1: https://www.tradingview.com/chart/BTCUSD/YRZvdurN-The-target-of-current-bubble-lays-between-40k-and-110k/, Link #2: https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  258. 2018-12: "There is no reason why we couldn’t see Bitcoin pushing $50,000 by December [2018]", Thomas Glucksmann, head of APAC business at Gatecoin, Link #1: https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  259. 2018-12: Listen up you giggling cunts... who wants some?...you? you want some?...huh? Do ya? Here's the deal you fuckin Nerds - Butts are gonna be at 30 grand or more by next Christmas [2018] - If they aren't I will publicly administer an electronic dick sucking to every shill on this site and disappear forever - Until then, no more bans or shadow bans - Do we have a deal? If Butts are over 50 grand me and Lammy get to be mods. Deal? Your ole pal - "Skully" u/10GDeathBoner, 3-Feb-2018 https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/7ut1ut/listen_up_you_giggling_cunts_who_wants_someyou/
  260. 2018-12: 1 bitcoin = 1 Lambo. Remind me on Christmas eve [2018] u/10GDeathBoner, 3-Feb-2018, https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/7ut1ut/listen_up_you_giggling_cunts_who_wants_someyou/dtn2pna
  261. 2018-12: Been in BTC since 2014 and experienced many "deaths" of BTC... this too shall pass... $10k end of the year. [2018] u/Exxe2502, 30-Jun-2018 https://reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/8uur27/_/e1ioi5b/?context=1
  262. 2018-12: "Yale Alumni prediction - 30 Grand by Christmas [2018] - and you my friend... you will be the one eating Mcafee's dick in 2020. :) -:", u/SirNakamoto, 15-Jun-2018, https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/8r0tyh/fdic_agrees_to_cover_bitcoin_losses_in_event_of/e0nzxq7
  263. 2018-12: "Impossible For Bitcoin Not to Hit $10,000 by This Year (2018)", Mike Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, ex-hedge fund manager of the Fortress Investment Group and a longstanding advocate of cryptocurrency, 22-Sep-2018, https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/09/22/billionaire-novogratz-impossible-for-bitcoin-not-to-hit-10000-by-this-yea
  264. 2018-12: "[Bitcoin] between $13,800 and $14,800 [by end of 2018]", Fundstrat's Tom Lee, 13-Dec-2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/13/wall-streets-bitcoin-bull-tom-lee-we-are-tired-of-people-asking-us-about-target-prices.html
  265. 2018-12: "Bitcoin is going to be $15k-$20k by the end of the year (2018)", Didi Taihuttu, 1-Nov-2018, https://www.wsj.com/video/series/moving-upstream/the-bitcoin-gamble/85E3A4A7-C777-4827-9A3F-B387F2AB7654
  266. 2018-12: 2018 bitcoin price prediction reduced to $15,000 [was $25,000], Fundstrat's Tom Lee, 16-Nov-2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/16/wall-streets-crypto-bull-tom-lee-slashes-year-end-forecast-by-10000.html
  267. 2018-12: "I want to be clear, bitcoin is going to $25,000 by year end (2018)", Fundstrat's Tom Lee, 5-Jul-2018, https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/07/05/tom-lee-i-want-to-be-clear-bitcoin-is-going-to-25000-by-year-end.html
  268. 2018-12: "Bitcoin could be at $40,000 by the end of 2018, it really easily could", Mike Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, ex-hedge fund manager of the Fortress Investment Group and a longstanding advocate of cryptocurrency, 21-Sep-2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lC1anDg2KU
  269. 2018-12: "Bitcoin will be priced around $50,000 by the end of the year (2018)", Bitcoin bull Arthur Hayes, co-founder and CEO of BitMEX, 29-Jun-2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/29/bitcoin-will-reach-50000-in-2018-says-founder-of-bitcoin-exchange.html
  270. 2018-12: "Bitcoin could definitely see $50,000 in 2018", Jeet Singh, cryptocurrency portfolio manager, speaking in January 2018 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, https://www.dcforecasts.com/new-prediction-says-bitcoin-hit-50000-2018/
  271. 2018-12: "Bitcoin will hit $100,000 this year (2018)", Kay Van-Petersen, an analyst at Saxo Bank, 17-Jan-2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/16/bitcoin-headed-to-100000-in-2018-analyst-who-forecast-2017-price-move.html
  272. 2018-12: "Bitcoin price to surpass the $100,000 mark by the end of 2018", Tone Vays, 21-Sep-2017, https://www.ccn.com/prominent-bitcoin-trader-price-is-heading-towards-100000-in-2018/
  273. 2018-12: "Bitcoin’s Price Will Surpass the $100,000 Mark by the End of 2018", Anonymous ("author" obviously too embarrassed to put his name to such bullshit "articles"), Oct-2018, https://investingpr.com/bitcoin-price-predictions-for-2018/
  274. 2018-12: "Our [2018] year-end bitcoin target is $7700.", James Stefurak, Founder at Monarch Research. See article: "Experts Forecast Bitcoin will rise by 2019", REF: https://hackernoon.com/experts-forecast-bitcoin-will-rise-by-2019-f4af8807036b?gi=dfea3c30d6d8
  275. 2018-12: "... we’ll see the price rally reaching its all-time of high of around $20K before the end of 2018", Khaled Khorshid, Co-Founder at Treon ICO. See article: "Experts Forecast Bitcoin will rise by 2019", REF: https://hackernoon.com/experts-forecast-bitcoin-will-rise-by-2019-f4af8807036b?gi=dfea3c30d6d8
  276. 2018-12: Bitcoin will end 2018 at the price point of $50,000, Ran Neuner, host of CNBC’s show Cryptotrader and the 28th most influential Blockchain insider according to Richtopia,https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
  277. Plus a whole host of wrong 2019 predictions (could not be included here because of post character limit issues), so please see my earlier post from 4 days ago: Ummm, remember those "Expert" Bitcoin Price Predictions for 2019 ..... ohhhhh dear ....., https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/eiqhq3/ummm_remember_those_expert_bitcoin_price/
.
But it's NOT all bad news, some claims and promises are yet to be determined:
  1. Never going below $3K again
  2. Never going below $2K again
  3. Never going below $1K again
  4. Any others ? Please let me know.
submitted by Crypto_To_The_Core to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

EliteLands [SMP] {PVP Allowed} {Main version 1.12.2} {1.7.x - 1.15.x}

Hello, It's u/AMDBartek and I have been playing Minecraft pretty much since it came out. So I have decided to make a server (EliteLands) and release it to the public.
Here at EliteLands, we are a small SMP server, we don't have much of a player base yet, however, we do aim to create a nice, kind and friendly community. Our server is geared towards anyone who wants to have a great time playing SMP Minecraft (with friends or alone).
EliteLands is currently self-hosted on my gaming PC (If you could find a good Minecraft server hosts please share them in the comment section, preferably free or one that accepts Bitcoin.) and I don't have the best internet so I apologize if your experience some latency.
We also have AdvancedLogin, a GUI-based login system. Please create a PIN when you join, You will need this to log-in. If you forgot your PIN, please email me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). (AdvancedLogin also stops bots from joining.)

Server Features:
-We have some plugins to spice-up the Vanilla Minecraft experience
-A decent economy (virtual currency)
-DefensiveTurrets (Protect your base with a turret, to purchase ask an admin (virtual currency))
-Friendly staff
-A small community
-No world border!
-GriefPrevention
-AdvancedLogin
Server Rules:
-No hacking (Punishment: permanent ban, if you continue this will become a permanent IP ban)
-No racism (Punishment: permanent ban)
-No NSFW content (Punishment: temporary ban up to a week, if you continue this will become a permanent ban)
-No doxxing (Punishment: permanent ban + permanent IP ban)
-No spamming (Punishment: mute - temporary ban up to a week)
-No advertising (Punishment: mute - temporary ban up to a week)
-The occasional swear or two is fine, however, we do have a filter
-Griefing is allowed (However we do have GriefProtection)

Server Website: https://elitelands.cf/
Minecraft Server IP: elitelands.serveminecraft.net
submitted by AMDBartek to mcservers [link] [comments]

NEX AMA Answers!

Some of the NEX team went through the questions asked a couple of days ago, but due to the answers being posted sporadically, i thought it might be better collating answers and reposting for visibility!
I highly recommend reading through if you are interested in NEX!
    NEX team marked as
U = u/Unignorant, C = u/Canesin, L = u/Localalhost_coz  
Original post here
Q: What is the NEX marketing plan to grow in terms of a customer base ? And how far is the team away from a finished product? During most of the interviews I noticed the team reference comparison to Binance, how does the interface match binance in a decentralized environment? (u/sheldonbraganza)
(U)We will have a complete product out on TestNet in Q2, and a fully working cross-chain exchange on the NEO and Ethereum networks in Q3.
NEX is marketing to two primary groups of users: (1) Mainstream users who want an easier experience buying altcoins with cryptocurrency. Through our network of banking partners, we will make it easy for anyone in the world to buy tokens on NEO, ETH (and eventually other chains) using their national currencies. (2) Bots and traders: we aim to have best-in-class trading APIs for high performance, computational trading. We will have better and faster APIs than today's centralized exchanges, with the added benefit of these systems running on decentralized networks
The point of our off-chain matching engine tech is to enable the same (or better!) usability as an exchange like Binance, while keeping around the decentralized model. The off-chain engine makes trading just as performant as today's centralized exchanges, and makes it much easier to support the kind of cross-chain trading functionality that has long been a pipe dream for decentralized exchanges. We are very much inspired by other exchanges like Coinbase in this regard, and we will be the first DEX to achieve this.
(C) Just to remember that NEX is also going after costumers that usually are not considered by other exchanges with its features to facilitate peer to peer payments requests, invoicing and tipping/gifts.
Q:Can you elaborate on NEX staking? The whitepaper was fuzzy about it and had terms like "staking percentage". (u/r3dh4r7)
(U) The NEX staking rate will be from 25-75%. Committing to stake for one day gives a rate of 25%, which increases linearly to a rate of 75% if you are willing to stake for 2 years By staking rate, we mean the percentage of revenue you will get from NEX fee collection proportional to the tokens you hold. For example, if you hold 10% of all NEX tokens and are staking at a rate of 75%, then you will receive .10 * .75 = 7.5% of all fee revenue generated by NEX over that period.
We will confirm these details in an updated white paper release coming out today or tomorrow. ~ If you commit for two years, the first year will still be at 75%.
Q:How soon do you introduce Fiat pairs? (u/coinonymous1)
(U) Our network of banking partners will begin to go live in Q2. That means users will be able to enter the ecosystem with national currencies through the NEX extension and web-based exchange interface.
(C) To clarify, this are not direct trading pairs on the exchange itself (i.e. JPY/NEX) but a easy method to on ramp and cashout using the tools. Users will be able to acquire NEO and GAS with fiat and any other tokens traded at NEX will be using the exchange itself.
Q: The chrome extension is great but why should I still rely on desktop to access NEX interface ? When can we expect Iphone/ Android App? (u/cryptobuddy_1712)
(U) We are planning native android/iOS apps. Depending on how fast we can grow, they may be out by Q3.
(C) Mobile presence is a complex topic, depending of how much of the full experience you want to provide - that will depend on the support shown by 3rd party wallets, if they adopt NEX APIs.
Q: Will you guys be supporting Ledger integration any time soon? Nex chrome add-on, Nex exchange integration...?! Plans to list the Nex token on other exchanges before the release of your own? What are the plans to continue supporting Neon wallet now that Nex came out with their extension for chrome? Will Nex exchange introduce fiat deposits/withdrawals? (u/mihai_ss)
(U) Yes, ledger is on the roadmap. We cannot comment on other exchange listings right now. We love and will continue to support Neon wallet (you are speaking to its creator :) as a great desktop wallet and complementary partner to our extension. NEX will support national currencies in/out of the exchange through our network of banking partners.
(C) Not only ledger but hardware wallets in general. Ledger is priority currently given that it is quite popular in NEO. We have to have in mind that NEX is trying to do a lot of different things to make usage easier to new users (that probably don't have a ledger!), there is currently about 96k users of it (more than this sub) so we will focus on fixing the corner cases and issues that appears frequently with such large user base first.
Q:More and more people are using mobile apps for trading. Don't you think nex should also have its own iOS and Android app. Are the API being developed future proof to integrate with mobile apps for trading and seeing candle charts. (u/Cryptobanku)
(U) We agree with the power for mobile, and future proofing the API is 100% on our mind. Longer term, we are planning native iOS/android apps.
Q:So NEX is a security right? What does that mean exactly? The Token only will be available on the neon exchange? In order to get the exchange dividends are we gonna be forced to put our tokens on stake mode? If so, once we put our tokens on stake mode does that mean we are not gonna be able to move them or sell them for a specific period of time? (u/sersimovi)
(U) NEX is a registered European security. It will be traded on NEX exchange, but that is not the only place it will be traded (I cannot say more than that right now). Being a registered security is amazing for investors. It means that all of the sketchy things that so often happen with cryprocurrencies/tokens (things like market manipulation or insider trading) are made explicitly illegal. It also means that we, as a company, go through an extensive audit. For that, we have partnered with the top tier accounting firm Ernst and Young.
The staking model means that you commit to staking your NEX for a certain amount of time to receive a share of fee revenue. The minimum amount of time you can stake NEX is one day. The maximum time you can stake is two years. While staked, you cannot move or sell the NEX tokens.
(C) All that plus the investor don't need to fear it will crash because someone classified it as a security in the future.
Q:When will the official sale date be announced and when will the official tokens per neo be determined? (u/rborsb9)
(L) We are still working with our legal partners to determine a final sale date, but it will be sometime at the end of April. The tokens per Neo/Gas will be determined from the 10 day moving average of the price before the sale begins.
Q:What do you think sets NEX apart from the countless other DEXs that are starting up right now? Why should people invest in NEX vs Switcheo/Etherdelta/Binance(once they release)?
(U) NEX will be the first usable, performant, and cross-chain DEX. Out of all the exchanges you mentioned, none of them are using an off-chain matching engine, which quite simply means none of them can do what we are doing.
In addition to that, NEX has by far the most generous revenue share model of any exchange you have mentioned. This is because we are embracing being a security (not hiding behind some questionably legal utility token). The people who invest in us will be treated very well by this model.
As for competitors: Switcheo unfortunately doesn't work. There is no volume, and the SC is broken (or at least didn't work when I tried it; the transaction failed and it stole the small amount of GAS I tried to trade). Etherdelta has higher volume but still ridiculously low overall. And again, just try to use Etherdelta... it is a usability disaster. There is really no comparison here. Binance might do something interesting, if they decide to do anything. But we have better technical talent than Binance, so I am not too worried.
Q:What % volume neon exchange will support compared with top centralized exchanges? Thanks big neo fan! (u/myfriendbaubau)
(U) We will support just as much volume as today's centralized exchanges.
Q: Will NEX have a stable coin? (u/masi252)
(U) We have looked into various implementations and ideas surrounding stable coins and have determined that it is not something we are planning on doing in the near future.
Cont: What about when Alchemint releases? (u/Bing0to)
(C) We wanted to do a fundamental strong stable coin that was capital efficient. Unfortunately there is some pre-requisites for that to be possible that currently is lacking in crypto markets. We will continue to monitor how this space evolves and our ideas are stored waiting the future when they can be applied.
Q:Can we expect the erc20 token trading earlier than q3? (u/markerizza)
(U) Q3 is the current roadmap projection. It is possible it will happen earlier depending on our growth.
Q: Will the token sale be via smart contract, so that we recieve our tokens right away? (u/Ebrii)
(U) Yes
Q: will you guys have an official subreddit and telegram anytime soon? (u/markerizza)
(U) No, we dislike the idea of project oriented telegrams. There are too many opportunities for scammers. We may have a subreddit in the future, but not anytime soon.
Q: What is the plan to get liquidity on the platform? It seems to be the biggest problem with current DEXs. (u/Mutedtommy)
(U) We have strategic partnerships for this. We are also working with other partners to develop some nice APIs for high performance trading.
Q: On the site you say that the ORIGINAL winners can participate in the second round (9000$) options, do you mean only the first round lottery winners or the first and second round winners combined? (u/FrancoisFrancis)
(U) Any lottery winners (whether first or second draw) have the opportunity to participate in both rounds 1 and 2. Please see this medium post for clarification: https://medium.com/neon-exchange/nex-extension-and-lottery-q-a-667e56f58e4a
Q: If you chose to participate in round 2 from the KYC process, does that mean you are guaranteed a spot? The medium article seems to indicate there will be an additional lottery from those who selected that option to see who from round one is eligible for round 2. (u/DwyerMatt)
No one is guaranteed a spot in round 2. It is even possible (though extremely unlikely) that all NEX is sold out in round one. This would happen if everyone who is selected goes through KYC and participates at 100%. (U)
Q: Will NEX tokens only be tradeable on NEX or is there a chance of it being listed on other exchanges like Binance? (u/Frank_Sinatra88)
(U) See an answer above. Not just NEX, but I can't say more than that right now.
Q: How do you see NEO compare to other coins on its network ? Like another coin could be valued more than NEO itself ? And will NEX always be bound to NEO? (u/BN_Boi)
(U) It is unlikely but possible that a NEP5 token could eventually achieve a higher marketcap than NEO itself.
NEX is not bound to NEO much at all. Our token will live as a NEP5 on NEO, and that is how users will receive staking rewards, but we will support trading very early on Ethereum as well.
(C) Google runs atop of other companies infrastructure (telecom providers), but it is valued more than all of them. The same thing can (and probably will) happen in token land, it will just take a while - when infrastructure becomes less important than applications and platforms atop of it. Like with the internet.
NEX behind the scenes (as the DEX is cross-chain from start) is using NEO capabilities, but the future of both is broad and uncertain. As a long term strategy the NEX company will do what it can to improve its underling technology and remove risk from its business.
Q: Is there a vesting period for the half of available NEX tokens that will not be sold during the ICO? (u/ETHERjimbo)
(U) The founder and employee tokens (25%) will vest over two years.
Q: Whitepaper uses an example $100m in the fee distribution calculation. If NEX is truly a security token and the whitepaper is your prospectus then you must provide further data on fwd looking statements. The NEX token gives the right to fee distribution. Given this you must provide assumption based forecasts on expedited fees over the next 3 years. This will support price discovery. How can the market properly price the token when fee expectations are unknown.(u/nsheahan82)
(C) Fee structure is defined on whitepaper and version v1.1 contains a example section as stated. Version v2.0 (to be released very soon) contains the actual staking portion (25% to 75% linear over two years growth on staking).
Guess work on the volume would in reality be very indigenous, look at volume behavior market wise (https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin/#charts) so much variation. Following the 3 years trend we could say trading volume will be bigger than the world economy, clearly that is not happening.
Q: Would NEX Staking be a 50% or 75% as stated on the whitepaper? (u/GMDaddy)
(C)See answer above, it starts at 25% and goes up to 75%. The increase is linear and maximum period is 2 years.
Cont: By linear, you mean like as an option where the user has the choice on picking whether to stake it from 25% up into 75%?
(C)No, when you start staking it starts at 25% and by linear I mean it increases at a constant rate of about 2.08% per month for two years until it reach 75%.
(U)To clarify fabio's comment: yes, you can choose a fixed rate of 75% by committing to stake for two years.
Q: A massive attraction to NEX is the prospect of decentralised banking. What makes decentralised banking better than traditional banking? (u/kabelofthe3rd)
(C)Our goal is to facilitate crypto trading at large, this touches from usage of applications to investing passing by funds management and invoicing solutions. What this enables is a digital cashless economy, we call it the smart economy. In the smart economy users are in control of their funds using this advanced technological tools to perform the tasks above and current banking solutions are no longer needed.
Q: Once NEX is rolled out, what will be the easiest way for US residents to buy some stake? I'm aware it's going to be issued as a security so I'm thinking the NEX token will only be tradable on NEX itself because most non decentralized exchanges will not list security's or tokens that don't pass the Howet Test. Is this correct?(u/Cozmo525)
(C)You are correct, for US persons you will need to wait other licensed exchanges list NEX or we acquire the proper licenses to allow US people to trade securities. Whatever happens first =)
Q: Can I stake only NEX or also other Token f.e. NEO? (u/masi252)
(C) NEO doesn't need to be staked, you already can claim GAS on NEX extension.
Q: How do you plan to compete with Switcheo when they have first movers advantage and will be live for months before your platform will be? (u/toneeey1)
(C)We plan to compete with anyone in our market by providing better products.
Q: Will TNC be utilized? (u/molly1nora)
(C)That is not planned, NEX has it own custom scaling solutions already in development.
Q: Do you see exchanges not listing NEX, due to the fact that you guys are direct competition? (u/detnah)
(C)That is a tricky question, I believe competition will not be with every exchange - in special centralized ones, as CEX they will more focused in national markets and we are going after broad chain level trade.
Q: Is there a chance in the future you will also introduce other coins to the exchange sich as ERC-20 tokens etc? If so you'd blow all competition out the water. (u/Frank_Sinatra88)
(C)Yes, ERC-20 tokens will be supported by Q3 together with NEP-5.
Q: Will NEX APIs support mobile Dapps or Wallets? (u/johndon96)
(C)Both, APIs are in general not target to a specific application, is up to the developers to use it in their products.
Q: What are the team's plans to make NEX the best decentralized exchange and one of the best projects ever released? (u/its_me_TAG)
(C)We will be working close to our costumers, never afraid of breaking status quo and never ending improvements. NEX will never be done.
Q: Are there any plans to open up some Nex-Stores in several spots around the Globe? (u/michaeluebelhart)
(C)No, but will have a online swag store :D
Q: Is it possible that in the long future to have forex pairs listed on NEX? (u/BR8889)
(C)In a future where fiat has token representations or stable coins are indeed stable.
Q: When will we see the updated Whitepaper? (I know for example that you plan to integrate ERC20 tokens earlier than mentioned in the original Whitepaper) (u/mambor)
(C) Target is this weekend. We could delay if redacting detects things that should be changed/improved.
Q: What is your go-to-market strategy? (u/Dux_AMS)
(C) We already have >100k users. ;)
submitted by menofthenorth to NEO [link] [comments]

How can I create a blockchain from scratch?

Blockchain technology was announced initially as “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” by Satoshi Nakamoto in the year 2008. It is a list of transaction records known as blocks and linked together by using cryptography. In other words, blockchain is a distributed ledger and each block consists of cryptographic hash of the previous block, transaction data, and a timestamp.

Eight Steps to Make Blockchain from Scrap

#Step 1
Identify the Right Use-Case
Look for the suitable use-case complementing your business sense and needs. Get your data authenticated and verified by including encryption, and digital signatures. Use, smart asset management to include payment, exchange, escrow, issuance, and retirement payment options.
#Step 2
Identify the Right Consensus Mechanism
Once, you have opted for use-case, you need to choose the right Consensus Mechanism. Over the years, there have been multiple distributed ledger systems you can choose like Byzantine fault tolerant, Proof of stake, Round Robin, Federated consensus, and Derived PBFT.
#Step 3
Choose the Suitable Platform
Fortunately, there are many free of cost and independent blockchain platforms to use such as Chain Core, BigChainDB, Eris:db, Domus Tower Blockchain, Stellar, Symbiont Assembly, Hyperledger Sawtooth Lake, and Quorum.
#Step 4
Designing the Nodes
Blockchain solutions are distinguished into two- Permissioned (Government run land registry) and Permission-less (Where everyone can be a miner such as Bitcoin). The solutions can be private, public, and hybrid. Meanwhile, in this stage decide whether the nodes will access on premise, cloud or both. You also need to opt for base operating systems such as Debian, CentOS, Windows, Ubuntu, and Red Hat.
#Step 5
Create the Blockchain Illustration
Multiple blockchain platforms require vigilant and planned configuration that must include permissions, asset re-issuance, asset issuance, key management, native assets, address formats, and block signatures.
#Step 6
Creating APIs
Some blockchain has inbuilt APIs and some don’t. Your API must generate key pairs, and address, perform audit, authenticate data, smart asset lifecycle management and data storage and retrieval.
#Step 7
Create the Admin and User Interface
Now is the time to choose the right programming languages (JAVA, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, and Solidity), front end, external databases (MongoDB, and MySQL), and severs (mail servers, Web servers, and FTP servers).
#Step 8
Infusing Future Tech
By adding biometrics, bots, artificial intelligence, cloud, data analytics, machine learning and cognitive services you can accentuate your blockchain technology.
References:
#8 Steps to Build a Blockchain Solution
How do you make Blockchain?
submitted by Sonaliiiii to u/Sonaliiiii [link] [comments]

How do you make Blockchain?

How do you make Blockchain?
Blockchain technology was announced initially as “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” by Satoshi Nakamoto in the year 2008. It is a list of transaction records known as blocks and linked together by using cryptography. In other words, blockchain is a distributed ledger and each block consists of a cryptographic hash of the previous block, transaction data, and a timestamp.


https://preview.redd.it/pdbd1r2qlsi31.jpg?width=860&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=762eda991eabcb1a033b192801f31dec18413287

Eight Steps to Make Blockchain from Scrap

#Step 1
Identify the Right Use-Case
Look for the suitable use-case complementing your business sense and needs. Get your data authenticated and verified by including encryption, and digital signatures. Use, smart asset management to include payment, exchange, escrow, issuance, and retirement payment options.
#Step 2
Identify the Right Consensus Mechanism
Once, you have opted for use-case, you need to choose the right Consensus Mechanism. Over the years, there have been multiple distributed ledger systems you can choose like Byzantine fault tolerant, Proof of stake, Round Robin, Federated consensus, and Derived PBFT.
#Step 3
Choose the Suitable Platform
Fortunately, there are many free of cost and independent blockchain platforms to use such as Chain Core, BigChainDB, Eris:db, Domus Tower Blockchain, Stellar, Symbiont Assembly, Hyperledger Sawtooth Lake, and Quorum.
#Step 4
Designing the Nodes
Blockchain solutions are distinguished into two- Permissioned (Government run land registry) and Permission-less (Where everyone can be a miner such as Bitcoin). The solutions can be private, public, and hybrid. Meanwhile, in this stage decide whether the nodes will access on premise, cloud or both. You also need to opt for base operating systems such as Debian, CentOS, Windows, Ubuntu, and Red Hat.
#Step 5
Create the Blockchain Illustration
Multiple blockchain platforms require vigilant and planned configuration that must include permissions, asset re-issuance, asset issuance, key management, native assets, address formats, and block signatures.
#Step 6
Creating APIs
Some blockchain has inbuilt APIs and some don’t. Your API must generate key pairs, and address, perform audit, authenticate data, smart asset lifecycle management and data storage and retrieval.
#Step 7
Create the Admin and User Interface
Now is the time to choose the right programming languages (JAVA, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, and Solidity), front end, external databases (MongoDB, and MySQL), and severs (mail servers, Web servers, and FTP servers). Experts at Sphinx Worldbiz can help you in choosing and creating the right admin and user interface to enhance your blockchain technology.
#Step 8
Infusing Future Tech
By adding biometrics, bots, artificial intelligence, cloud, data analytics, machine learning and cognitive services you can accentuate your blockchain technology.
submitted by AniiJain to u/AniiJain [link] [comments]

/r/Bitcoin. ALL of /r/Bitcoin.

A couple weeks ago Bitcoin peaked at an all-time high of around $1300. Currently it's trading at $500. This crash was accelerated last night when BTCChina stopped accepting new deposits. This is coming after reports that China has directed third-parties to stop accepting Bitcoin.
Anyway, whenever something loses nearly 2/3rds of it's value in two weeks people are going to talk. And /Bitcoin has been burning the midnight oil circlejerking. The entire front page is nothing but circlejerk. It's impossible to choose one post. Instead, let's just look at top thread titles and the top replies in them. I'll use bold to signify a new thread.
Please sticky: U.S.A. Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Remember, it's just money. +191
It's never a good sign when the first post on your front page is to the suicide hotline.
Hahahaha this is how you know it's a REAL crash. Suicide hotline posted on /bitcoin! Last time this happened was when we crashed in April. +26
This is a pretty slick way of implying that this is just another dip in the road. Who knows, maybe it is. But the "it's happened before so it's no big deal" jerk is something we're going to see a lot of here.
That's fucking funny. I have my entire net work in bitcoin, and I still find this drop nothing but funny. If we get below $100 though, I might need that phone number. Ah Bitcoin. You and your crashes. You so craazzzyy. +5
There is a lot of trolling in circlejerking in this thread, so I'm really hoping this guy is trolling or that his "entire net worth" is the allowance he's saved in his piggy jar.
Just sit back and enjoy the ride, grow a pair. +5
Remember, this is in a thread about suicide. I wonder if people jumping out of windows on Black Tuesday were told to grow a pair?
To anyone who bought at over $1000: You'll have your money back within a few months. Possibly a lot less. This has happened like three or four times now :) +3
No comment can really do this justice.
BTCChina closed bank deposit as a way to deposit Chinese Yuan. Right now no way to deposit CNY into BTCC. (Link will follow) +213
This is the main thread discussing China pulling out of Bitcoin. I guess the Chinese landed on the moon this week, so they don't need BTC as their vehicle TO THE MOON!!1
so is it safe to say that chinese government has declared war on bitcoin +8
Fucking facebook is not allowed in China, a currency perfect for avoiding taxes and government control will never be accepted. Forget China. +5
Of course those evil commie bastards would try to ban Bitcoin, the currency of Freedom, Small Government, and Hot Pockets!
China here. Most people here knew this was coming as news analysts were talking non-stop about it for the past few weeks. +25
Tell us this earlier then so we get a heads up haha! +18
it was downvoted. +41
At least people are recognizing /bitcoin is a positive news only circlejerk.
Bitcoin should only be traded OTC. Stop using the exchanges, because they are a prime target for our fiat overlords ;-) +7
Originally I thought he was a troll (lots of those on /bitcoin this morning) but the rest of his posts look genuine.
After this it's nothing but "Fuck, we're going to $10" or "Just a small bump on the way to le moon!". It seems like everyone on Bitcoin is either expecting it to drop 99% or raise 100000%. There is no in-between.
Just a reminder, If you want the best bitcoin it is important for everyone to vote on every post. It stops the small groups of people from controlling what is seen. There are very active people here now admitting they are trying to crash bitcoin. +1601
Wow, this title is loaded. What's that's great is the implicit belief among a lot of /bitcoin community that the cycle of busts is the result of some shadowy boogeymen. The next quote is the body of this self post.
if a post is informative and presents good information then by all means upvote it please. If you see reposts of old bad information please downvote them. We are being flooded with posts that repeat the same discredited headlines from 5 days ago. update so far there are 209 downvoting shills who dont even want you to vote on stories on bitcoin 489 points (76% like it) 698 upvotes 209 downvotes Second update as of now there are over 1450 downvoting shill bots who don't want you to see this message! Imagine that! Over 1450 downvotes who don't want you to not let small groups influence this subreddit!
Ho. Ly. Shit. This is so over the top and circlejerky that this has to be a troll, right? That's what I thought, but this post is from a 6 year old account who has submitted hundreds of posts to /bitcoin and /conspiracy. This is the real deal, I'm afraid.
To be fair, almost all the posts in the thread are calling out OP for his stupidity. However, this is still a +1601 post on the front page.
My first legal bitcoin purchase [picture of a gold bar] +286
Bitcoin isn't just for buying drugs anymore!
Good luck with your tulip bar. +77
The top comment is real gold (har har). That's right, the historical medium for trade is actually a sham! The real true currency is imaginary internet money!
This is a future I would love to live in. Transactions in gold, silver and bitcoin, each to its strengths and according to the situation. I believe the intersection of gold and bitcoin, as the OP has just illustrated, is where the real magic happens. That would be a solid economy. +5
Any type of currency is fine so long as it isn't that fake funny money the world governments are using!
I bought in at over $1000, held strong, still have no regrets +71
I think I might have a couple regrets if I invested in something and it almost instantly lost half its value.
China is not the whole world. And there is allot of over selling. It will swing back soon enough What the smart money is doing right now is buying more. Every week buy a little more +8
Smart money = doing what I'm doing
No ragrets! Guys, this is good news for Bitcoin. The faster the speculative bubble bursts, the sooner healthy steady growth will continue, without media overhype. +8
In the world of /bitcoin, everything is good news. Going ballooning to $1000 is good and crashing to $500 a couple weeks later is good. Nothing bad ever happens.
Good job bro ! Keep it like that thats the real spirit of Bitcoin ! +8
The spirit of bitcoin is losing half your money!
bitcoin - I just got back from India. Banks there actually CHARGE people to make deposits. I swear I am not making this up. Bitcoin will be an instant hit there. +490
Based on this anecdote, Bitcoin is sure to replace the rupee in month or two.
Right now, a small bunch of techies know about Bitcoin but with the right service providers, this could be boom town. Note that US has been able to control inflation very well for decades, but Indian Rupee is highly susceptible to oil prices and general government mis-management. +9
Is this guy really suggesting that bitcoin could replace the rupee because the rupee is unstable!?
This is why Bitcoin will eventually be a big hit everywhere. Banks and governments will keep taking their slice any way they can just to use your own money. And they have the audacity to tax you on top of it... +1
Ooooh boy.
Why BTC value is dropping and will continue to drop for the near future; A detailed explanation with sources. +33
This thread isn't notable for the title, but for the replies.
Not everyone in china is selling, some will be keeping since they are able to transfer those coins out of china it they like. Some are keeping because they still know that Bitcoin will grow big in west and longterm in east asia no matter what the government says. So yes it might go down low, but not everyone will be selling all their coins. +6
They don't believe it, they know it!
The answer is obvious Chinese need to start doing business with bitcoins rather than simply investing, this is utterly impossible to regulate and the Chinese government doesnt attempt to. Its intrestings also because the web has thousands of exchanges from china selling virtual currencys for games, there is actually no diffrence, so what if any of these websites starts selling bitcoins? or what if you simply dont call it a bitcoin, its just a virtual commoditys exchange, how many virtual commodoitys do you want to buy? Theres also no ban against litecoin, btcchina could just buy sell litecoin. +5
Yeah, the Chinese have never comprehensively regulated business before.
OP has no idea what he's taking about. +2
QED, motherfuckers.
Suicide prevention post. If you have made bad decisions and your in a bad place, Please seek help before doing anything stupid. There are great people you can talk to. +21
What's better than one suicide prevention thread? Two suicide prevention threads!
Just sayin: Now is the time to buy.. +7
Top post.
I lost $11,000 in minutes after re-buying in - But I learn to appreciate the good shit I have in life - like family, etc. +1
Oh my
If you want to get rid of your bitcoins because the prices are dropping, buy products with them instead of selling it on exchange websites. The value of a bitcoin is determined by the volume traded, so when everyone tries selling at once, the price drops. +226
You idiots are hurting my money dollars! Also, isn't this guy making a pretty big assumption that the retailer is going to just sit on bitcoins while they tank in value? Next post is the body of the self post.
Treat it like a currency, not a stock. If you treat it like a stock it will act exactly like a stock. At least this is my understanding.
I'm at the thread limit but there is still a lot of buttery jerk over on /bitcoin today. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
submitted by ONE_GUY_ONE_JAR to circlebroke [link] [comments]

Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with a writeup from Ahmad Iqbal.
Ahmad was one of the first people I interviewed at Starter Story for his bidet business. Now he's working on building Shopify apps and wrote this awesome post about his transition:
One of the best pieces of advice I was given was to Fall in love with the problem, not the solution. And it wasn’t until I came across a big problem that I realized how perfect this advice is.

My name is Ahmad Iqbal and I’m currently running two online businesses. I am both an Ecommerce Merchant as well as an Ecommerce App Developer.
The first of the two is my online store where I sell hand-held bidets. The later business, borne of the need to increase bidet sales, guided me to designing and developing apps for other merchants, like me.
In this post I want to illustrate how I made the leap from selling bidets online, to building an app design and development team. It’s strange for me to say it out loud, "how does one go from selling butt cleaning appliances to building and marketing apps?" So when Pat from Starter Story reached out to do a follow-up piece to my original post I was happy to try and put my experiences into words. Not just for others to read, but for myself in documenting my journey.
If the title hasn’t already given it away, this will be about my relationship with Problems.
I'm going to start at the middle (quiting my job) and then go to 2015 when this 'starter story' actually started, followed by the meat and potatos of the frameworks we use in our app development model.
My desk and kanban board

Quitting my Job & Making Money through Shopify Apps

From 2015 to 2017 I was working full-time at a global Big Four firm as a Senior Technology Consultant. My job was to help Fortune 1000 companies get their products to market faster. During my time growing my bidet store, I was starting to become more and more immersed in growth marketing. So much so, that I spun out a marketing framework I used for myself and called it the "Agile Marketing Framework" for the firm. Everything I was learning on my own time for growing my own business, was helping me be better for my big clients at my job. But even though doing well at work felt great, it was WAY more fun helping small businesses. In 2017 I had decided the world needs better small businesses, not bigger big businesses.
But in order to quit my job (my Nadeef bidet sales were taking a hit with my attention now diverted between my demanding full-time job, app design/development, and supporting Scout merchants) I needed to figure out if building apps on Shopify would be a viable business model. Was it even possible to earn a living selling apps full time?
It seemed like a tough proposition. I would need thousands of merchants paying at least $20/month to create a successful business. I didn’t think it would be possible, until I came across the Bold Commerce story. This four person team in Winnipeg, Manitoba, had almost the same story as us. Merchants first, identified gaps in the app store, and deciding to build apps on Shopify. Bold Commerce now employs almost 300 people, with no outside funding to date, and with their growth solely on the Shopify platform. This case study was enough to convince us to take the leap, I wanted us to be like Bold.
Having decided it was in fact possible to build positive cash flows through app subscriptions on Shopify, next thing we had to do was get our financing organized.
We decided to take three months to prepare and think about if this problem was something we wanted to dedicate the next several years of our lives to. This three month period was my time to save as much money as I could, and test my own conviction. This time was a constant decision making cycle, where I continually asked myself if the market was big enough, if the problem was widespread enough, and if I had the right pieces in place. It was an important lesson from my first startup attempt almost seven years earlier. In my first startup we picked the wrong market, at the wrong time, with no experience or resources, and the result was a four year uphill campaign that left us in pieces.
So before quitting my job, every dollar of income was saved, Bitcoins were cashed, plans to move out of my parent’s basement were halted, and I started creating a partner network across the ecommerce ecosystem.
We had enough to focus on building our apps for 36 months without worrying about money or raising venture capital. Today we’re on month 12 out of 36.

Let's Talk About the Failure First

Instead of jupming straight into Scout (the first app we built and the main subject of this post) let me first tell you about one of our apps that did not do well. Our "hand-written" notes app was attempted after the initial success of Scout, but it was a wake up call to stay focused on the problem, not the solution.
After quitting my job, and landing on the bigger problem of customer experience as our company mandate (more on this later), we decided to offer hand-written note services. We figured customers would love getting a handwritten note from merchants, so with little else research, or testing, we went ahead and started building out this crazy printer.
A video about how it worked
The app would connect to your Shopify backend, identify your VIP customers, and then convert that customer information into a special Adobe Illustrator script that would feed into the printer. The printer then would proceed to start writing the notes in a handwritten style font (both the letter copy and the addresses on the envelope).
We rolled this app out as an added skill to Scout. Basically, when Scout would alert you about the previous days’ VIP customers, it now offered an additional button labeled "Send Handwrote Card" which when pressed would instigate our printer. When the card was printed, I’d just have to put the postage stamp on it and drop it off at the post office which was across the street from our co-working space.
I believe this idea failed because I fell in love with the solution (cool looking robotic handwriting printer) rather than the problem it was designed to solve. I still believe there is value in this idea, but by overbuilding the solution first, we lost track of what was most important.
If I had to do it again I would have done a few things differently:
1. Manually write and fulfill the cards myself while doing the merchant discovery
Because there exists an intimate relationship between selling the service, and having to manually having to fulfill the service. It gives you more appreciation for the process and what’s important to do it successfully. Like with Scout, where I called my customers up manually through finding their details myself, and only after seeing how to do it well proceeded to systemize it with an app.
2. Personally talk to each merchant who wanted cards written
This would have been the best (only?) way to validate the value of the service. How important is this service for merchants? What else do they wish they could give as 'thank you's? What price would they be willing to pay on high volume handwritten cards? How much does it bother them that the cards are not personally written by the brand, and hence not authentic?
3. Write 0 lines of new code
Why divert precious development time and resources on something if A) it’s possible to do manually, and B) there is no guarantee that it’s a lucrative idea?
Thinking back, this idea was destined to fail for several reasons. Writing notes is very time consuming, there isn’t enough volume in the merchants who wanted to use it, the authenticity of the cards dies if customers figure out it’s not actually written by a person (even though it fooled almost anyone who looked at it). Even if we had done this the lean way and manually tested first, I still think we would have stopped offering the solution. But if I had just followed my four step Identify, Test, Build, Measure framework we would have saved the $4,000 we ended up spending designing and developing the software, and sourcing this printer and it’s parts. I would have found out in the Test section of the cycle that this is way too time consuming and merchants have too many questions about it to feel comfortable signing off on handwritten notes on high volume.
The handwritten note printer is now a piece of decoration at our office, but hey, at least it makes for a good conversation! And it taught me what I'm about to share with you today...

Identifying a Problem

Rewind back to 2015, a few months after opening my Nadeef hand-held bidet store on Shopify I found myself tackling the abandoned checkout problem, something every merchants probably faces. For every three potential customers that reached the final stage of checkout, one wasn’t pulling out their credit card. The way I saw it, I was leaking 33% of my sales in the final, most crucial, "moment of truth."
I was new to this field, I didn’t know the jargon or the best practices, all I knew was I needed to plug this hole. I went down a rabbit hole of recommendations, blog posts, forum threads, apps and YouTube videos. I tried many tactics, with varying degrees of "success" but later I realized I was asking myself the wrong question.
Instead of asking "How can I recovery these sales?" I should have been asking “Why are customer abandoning their checkout?”
At first I tried to extrapolate why they abandoned through the default go-to answers most blog posts claim are the reasons, like shipping timeframes, pricing, return policies, etc. But I knew these weren’t the real issues causing the abandoned cart because I would address them in my auto-recovery emails, exit-popups, Facebook retargeting campaigns, or all the other ways I would try to reduce abandons.
As simple as those recovery tactics may seem, I now know I was overthinking it. There was only one thing I could do to figure out why someone abandoned their checkout. Pick up the phone, and ask them one-on-one.
Before I go on, I should state that my recovery rate at this point was around 10%. And Shopify’s dashboard told me this was a good thing. I just didn’t think that was good at all. It meant that for every 10 people who reached the final stage of their checkout only one person actually returned to buy? Sure it's better than $0, but what about the other 90% who aren't returning? Surely we could do better than 1/10...
...and I wanted to talk to those nine people.
Calling my abandoned checkout customers changed everything. It changed my whole perspective about how to do business, and it continues to change it even now. At first, there was hesitation to call up a customer out of the blue, but the desire to figure out the problem far outweighed any "worst-case" awkward conversation. Not to mention, they weren’t cold leads, these were highly interested customer who reached the final steps of making a purchase. In my head I kept telling myself this was exactly as if someone walked into a store, grabbed some items, placed them on the checkout counter, but just as they were about to pull out their wallet, they turned around and walked out the door. Wouldn’t the store owner ask what’s up? So I just smiled and dialled.
The results were tremendous.
I went from recovering 10% of my abandoned checkouts from auto-emails, to recovering 55% when I got them on the phone. Not only that but by gathering feedback and identifying holes in my offering the percentage of abandons slowly decreased as well.
I’ve outlined my learnings from calling customers in this diagram

Creating a Solution

I saw my process was working, but now I needed to systemize it so I could maintain consistency in my callbacks. I quickly learned that the longer I waited to call the abandoned customer back the less likely I would be able to recover the sale. I really just needed an alert app, one that would push notify me as soon as someone abandoned, tell me what products they left, and their phone number. There was nothing in the app store that provided this function.
Don’t get me wrong, there were tonnes of cart recovery apps available. The top results, the "Top 10" lists, all relied on exit-popups, and auto-emails. I didn’t want an app to take an auto-action by auto-sending an email, or auto-sending a Facebook message. I wanted to be told, so I could take action on it personally. I needed this because I learned how important the one-on-one relationship with my own customer was.
So I called up one of my friends, who was also the developer on my first start-up, and one weekend later Scout was born. It was stupid simple. 20 minutes after an abandoned checkout, Scout would email me with the key details I needed. When I got this email all I had to do was tap the phone number in the email and my phone would automatically start dialling. It wasn’t an exciting or sexy process. It wasn’t even very hard. There was no user interface to design, there was no website to develop, it was just a hacked prototype with one simple, useful, function. If an abandoned checkout, then email me. And it just took a weekend to build.
I used this prototype of Scout for my own needs for several months. It was easier to manage because I was push notified when I needed to take an action. It maintained my high recovery rate. And most importantly, it was fun to know when an abandon happened in real-time, it made my site feel more alive.
Bend the conversion curve
Having used it for a few months and not seeing any slowdown in its utility for my store, we decided this was a tactic every merchant should have in their sales strategy. We iterated on the first version of the email-only alert channel and made it a Facebook Messenger bot, sort of like a customer relationship focused personal assistant. Scout's job would be to alert merchants when a customer abandoned their checkout, and give you their checkout details.
So we published the free app in the Shopify App Store and one review at a time, we realized it was as useful for many others as it was for us. Merchants were sending thank you emails to us, and it was here we felt we had found our first glimmer of that ever illusive "Product-Market Fit."
You have to remember, during this time both my friend and I had full-time jobs, and I was also running my bidet store. Scout was in no way near something resembling a business. And we didn’t approach it at all to be its own business. We just wanted to put something out into the world that would have an impact. Plain and simple. Our first few installs came organically from the Shopify App Store, and a few weeks later we had a small spike as a result of Felix Thea’s Shopify Masters Podcast where, as a guest I spoke about Nadeef and mentioned Scout. We didn’t do any marketing for it until we reached about 1,000 merchants through organic search, which took over a year to achieve.
It felt good making an impact for so many entrepreneurs, but we didn’t feel we had anything to quit our jobs for, yet…

What is "Product-Market Fit"?

Finding product-market fit is a term used very frequently in the startup or entrepreneurial circles. If you’ve found product-market fit, it means you’ve figured out how to consistently deliver value to a group of people (and get paid as a result).
The two components in this equation are Product and Market. In my experience, the key is to start with the market. It’s important to start with the market because that’s the big immovable environment you’re in. It’s uncertain, it’s changing, there are producers and consumers operating in it already. One can’t create a market, one can only play in it, and so the market is the "hard part."
The product side of the equation is the easy part. These days if you can dream it, you can figure out how to make it, or get it made. For example, if you want to build a skateboard that can be converted into a surfboard, you could probably figure that out. Let's assume you've done that, it looks great, and has tonnes of cool features like an intergrated smartphone app! Awesome, great work!
But now that it's built, who’s going to buy it? Where do they live, what's the population of all the surf-friendly cities? Who suffers badly enough from carrying two boards? How big is the problem? How much are people willing to pay for this? How often do they need to buy parts/replace their boards?
The point is, if you confident in your answers to the above questions and your ability to establish a distribution and marketing strategy to your ideal target market, then it makes sense to start product developerment. The same rules apply for app development.
I will clarify that I didn’t think Scout had enough of a product-market fit at the time. I thought we had found some fit, but we still had (have) a long way to go. After all, it is a free app and no one pays for it, so we don’t really have a way to measure if it valuable enough that people pay for it.
The way this went down for us was simple. We were trying to solve my problem first. Being one of the participants in the "market" that had a problem with online sales, I slowly learned what I needed. And when I saw it helped/worked/was awesome, I had de-risked the product enough to feel comfortable going to market with it. In my case, it was as simple as publishing Scout to the app store AFTER knowing it was working for me.
Build, measure, learn diagram
This is again, why the advice of falling in love with the problem, is so great. Because it forces you to think about the market, and its needs, first.

Iterating the Product

Fast forward about a year after using Scout. I was looking through my list of customers, ordered from highest Lifetime Value (LTV) to lowest, and noticed something really fascinating. Eight out of my top 10 customers had originally abandoned their checkout and were individuals I had personally reached out over the phone. This means that by calling my abandoned checkout customers I was not only recovering the sale, but as a result they were turning into VIP customers.
This was a huge wake up call because it helped me understand the real problem in my online sales strategy. If calling my abandoned checkout customers resulted in them becoming loyal customers, what if I also called those who bought without abandoning? If the one-on-one phone call is the common denominator for the high retention rate, why not apply it to more customers?
Thinking back to the phone conversations over the previous 12 months I realized the most valuable bi-product of asking for feedback was not the sale itself. Rather, it was the lasting brand impression that a friendly, pre-sale service call had on my customer. Suddenly my high recovery rate made so much sense. The phone call earned trust with my customers and they were happy to come back and do business with me.
With this realization came clarity about our app focus. Creating customer conversations. Customer relationships are today's small business competitive advantage. And so Scout had its first major iteration, the opportunity we've decided to pursue is to enable customer relationships. We decided Scout’s job for each and every merchant that installs it, is to identify these relationship building opportunities and turn them into one-on-one conversations.
I like the below diagram (as opposed to the one earlier above) for explaining the concept in more detail because it outlines another key step, which is to test your hypothesis. Once you’ve identifying a new problem you want to solve, next thing you should do is run a test to see if your solution will work. If you can solve it, then you should build something to systemize it. If you can’t at least prove your hypothesis is true even a little bit, then I wouldn’t recommend investing more time in building a systemized solution (the product).
Identify/test/build/learn diagram
Once you’ve gone through the loop at least once, you should have identified opportunities for improvements, and this is where Scout is today. Currently we feel we’re on the Learn phase in our third loop.
For those who are interested in the math of our second "Measure" step as it related to my store’s results after 12 months using using Scout:
My top 10 customers had spent at least $600 on my store, through an average of 3 or more purchases. My top three had spent at least $1,000 in 5+ orders. As a comparison, the average customer LTV is $100.
Eight out of my top 10 overall customers were originally abandoned checkouts that I had called and recovered. They went on to be way more likely to become returning and word-of-mouth customers. Based on this, it was safe to say I needed to focus on getting more people on the phone, regardless of whether they abandoned first or not. This was the most recent learning which fueled the next round of product iterations.

Generating Installs

The Shopify App Store is pretty saturated today. There are so many apps on there already, many popular apps even have dozens of copycats. This makes it hard to market apps to merchants, because there is so much noise that’s keeping them from finding your app.
I wish I had some secret formula we used to grow our installs. What I will say is that the vast majority of installs come straight from app store ranking, which I believe is mostly dependant on the number of 5 star reviews and your usable of the right keywords. I’ve added a screenshot of our first 9 months below to show you what the growth looked like in the early days.
first 9 months of installs
You can see that for the first 4 months, we only generated 20 installs. And three of those were from my own store and a couple friends’. The other 17 I believe probably came from the Shopify Master Podcast that I was featured on. To be fair, remember that at this time we were not focused on Scout at all. I had my full-time job, as well as my bidet store, so there were no marketing efforts put into Scout whatsoever. So how did the growth suddenly pick up in January 2017?
I believe it had a lot to do with positive merchant reviews of the app. I think the app store’s algorithms started picking up the reviews we were generating and this caused a sort of upward cycle. Based on this, my advice would be, in order to grow your app installs, focus on your merchant support. Offer the best customer support you possibly can, and keep providing this level of support. It’s worked for us in the past, and it continues to work for us. Every few weeks when we generate several positive reviews in quick succession we watch our installs over the next few days, and it is noticeably larger.
Just like the theme of our apps, of enabling merchants to provide great customer experience, we do the same for our service. We are an app development merchant to business owners. We saw it working in terms of making product sales online, why wouldn’t it work for app companies trying to sell to other businesses?
So far the story checks out.

Customer Experience is Important (because it’s hard)

In my research around ecommerce success stories, I came across Zappos. Their business model was so on point I had to create some content around it in the form of several vlogs. Our series of vlogs talks about several topics around small businesses, especially the advantage that we have as small businesses. Hint: it has a lot to do with our ability to provide a superior customer experience.
To get back to Zappos, Zappos is an online shoe store based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that was eventually acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion. It just sold shoes, the same shoes you’d find in any regular store, but it did so with a militant focus on the customer experience.
They do this so well that their business has a 75% repurchase rate. Even though it's an online retail business model, I strongly feel the same principles apply to all sorts of models, including SaaS, consulting, whatever.
So how did Zappos do this? They did this by reinvesting a portion of each sale’s revenue, back into the customer’s experience. So instead of taking $20 from $100 sale and giving it to Facebook or Google ads in the hope of acquiring a new customer, they would use that $20 to upgrade their shipping to overnight, send a free pizza, or offer unlimited free returns. This not only made sure they retained the customer (repurchasing customers spent more and bought more frequently), but they also created free word-of-mouth customers through the advocate marketing as a result of the great experience. Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos went on to write a book called Delivering Happiness about this idea, which I would highly reccommend for all merchants.
Speaking of great books, another book also further opened my eyes to the lost opportunities at businesses who don’t focus on the customer experience. Joey Coleman’s Never Lose a Customer Again
opening chapter highlights an interesting ratio of 43:1. For every 43 books about sales or marketing, there is only one book about customer service, experience, or retention. That means the education around creating a customer far outweighs the education around keeping the customer. But why? It's a known fact retention provides more profitability than new acqusitions.
Thinking about why this is, I believe it has less to do with the difficulty of creating "wow" customer experiences, and more to do with how ridiculously easy it is to automate ads and marketing campaigns. I don’t think we’re against doing hard things, but when presented with the easy option, that’s what merchants will take.
Cycle of momentum
If the "orthodox" marketing tactics can be automated (and they can), you should also incorporate the unorthodox campaigns. Things like sending a free pizza and handwritten thank you notes, will close the loop for a complete marketing strategy.
Whether you’re marketing physical goods, or SaaS apps, or even professional services, it’s easy to want to automate everything. Automating Facebook and Google ads, automating email campaigns, automating chatbots, automating discounts, popups, and special offers, automating dropshipping; it’s really easy to do this, and the app stores are overflowing with apps that automate. It’s clear automation is the future, but there is no competitive advantage here.
And so in order to stand out, I’ve learned you can’t automate the hard things. You should try to do the important hard things personally, because it’s in those moments that you will build brand reputation and value.

More than One Solution (to the Problem)

We went from running a Shopify store earning several thousand dollars per month, to developing a suite of apps used by over 10,000 merchants.
Working on Scout, and seeing the success from it, we started ideating other ways of getting customers on the phone. Why does only an abandoned checkout need to result in the phone call? What if a customer is interested in purchasing but hasn’t clicked "add to cart" yet? To capture these unrealized leads we developed the callback app called Raven Callback. Raven turns website visits into qualified sales calls. It helped tremendously on my store, because it started to capture more leads due to its lightweight nature. I didn't think the contact/email form was working for me because it’s too much stuff for customers to type, and they perceive replies would take up to 48 hours, so why bother? Same with the livechat, since majority of small businesses don’t reply immediately. The “immediate” callback did wonders and customers continuously commented it was the best customer service they’ve experienced. So, we ran with Raven as well, based on the success I had with my own store we published it on the Shopify App Store.
Raven only has a few dozen merchants on our paid plans, but just those merchants have directly generated over $500,000 for themselves in sales over the past 3 months since we launched. Again, we’re seeing the phone channel as a great medium to close sales, and it works really well for certain products and services. I think any store that wants to have one-on-one conversations with customers, especially those who sell products over $200, should seriously consider the phone as a sales channel.

What’s Next

Now we’re working on publishing our third app, again, inspired from running my bidet store. It’s not phone related, but it is related to customer experience and building a relationship with your VIP customers. The app is called Pizza Party, and it sends free pizzas to those VIP customers.
Based on the learnings from the "failed" hand-written note product, this time, I'm focusing on more customer conversations about it before going ahead and publishing the app. We're not sure yet when we'll officially launch it, it's about half-way done, but I'm happy to chat with anyone who wants to use it for their store. It’s really fun and easy to use. When merchants install it they just outline the parameters of a "great" customer, like order value, lifetime value or order frequency, and then confirm which customers to send to. For example, if you consider any customer who spends at least $200 per order on your store as a “VIP” customer, then Pizza Party will send a free “thank you” pizza to that customer on your behalf. The merchant pays for the pizza, and we take a small percentage, but it’s super easy to get started and really fun to use. The feedback I was getting from my bidet customers who I sent free pizzas was just too awesome to pass up on this app idea. I sent free large cheese pizzas to customers who bought a few hundred dollars worth of bidets last winter and that small token of my appreciation turned into a few hundred dollars in more revenue; it was triple digit ROI. Customers said it was the best customer service they’ve ever had, ended up sharing the story with their friends, which then resulted in word-of-mouth sales.
If you’ve read this far you’ve probably put together the pattern here. I tried a marketing experiment for my Nadeef Bidet store, and if it worked really well I tried to systemize it. By focusing on solving our own problems first, we now have 3 apps, 3 more in private beta, and plans to roll out for several other platforms very soon. And thanks for reading! If you want to get in touch, or have any quetions, feel free to reach out via email or Instagram
I’ll sign off with a Haiku:
What better problem
Than the one you yourself face
To solve for others too
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos.
submitted by youngrichntasteless to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with a writeup from Ahmad Iqbal.
Ahmad was one of the first people I interviewed at Starter Story for his bidet business. Now he's working on building Shopify apps and wrote this awesome post about his transition:
One of the best pieces of advice I was given was to Fall in love with the problem, not the solution. And it wasn’t until I came across a big problem that I realized how perfect this advice is.

My name is Ahmad Iqbal and I’m currently running two online businesses. I am both an Ecommerce Merchant as well as an Ecommerce App Developer.
The first of the two is my online store where I sell hand-held bidets. The later business, borne of the need to increase bidet sales, guided me to designing and developing apps for other merchants, like me.
In this post I want to illustrate how I made the leap from selling bidets online, to building an app design and development team. It’s strange for me to say it out loud, "how does one go from selling butt cleaning appliances to building and marketing apps?" So when Pat from Starter Story reached out to do a follow-up piece to my original post I was happy to try and put my experiences into words. Not just for others to read, but for myself in documenting my journey.
If the title hasn’t already given it away, this will be about my relationship with Problems.
I'm going to start at the middle (quiting my job) and then go to 2015 when this 'starter story' actually started, followed by the meat and potatos of the frameworks we use in our app development model.
My desk and kanban board

Quitting my Job & Making Money through Shopify Apps

From 2015 to 2017 I was working full-time at a global Big Four firm as a Senior Technology Consultant. My job was to help Fortune 1000 companies get their products to market faster. During my time growing my bidet store, I was starting to become more and more immersed in growth marketing. So much so, that I spun out a marketing framework I used for myself and called it the "Agile Marketing Framework" for the firm. Everything I was learning on my own time for growing my own business, was helping me be better for my big clients at my job. But even though doing well at work felt great, it was WAY more fun helping small businesses. In 2017 I had decided the world needs better small businesses, not bigger big businesses.
But in order to quit my job (my Nadeef bidet sales were taking a hit with my attention now diverted between my demanding full-time job, app design/development, and supporting Scout merchants) I needed to figure out if building apps on Shopify would be a viable business model. Was it even possible to earn a living selling apps full time?
It seemed like a tough proposition. I would need thousands of merchants paying at least $20/month to create a successful business. I didn’t think it would be possible, until I came across the Bold Commerce story. This four person team in Winnipeg, Manitoba, had almost the same story as us. Merchants first, identified gaps in the app store, and deciding to build apps on Shopify. Bold Commerce now employs almost 300 people, with no outside funding to date, and with their growth solely on the Shopify platform. This case study was enough to convince us to take the leap, I wanted us to be like Bold.
Having decided it was in fact possible to build positive cash flows through app subscriptions on Shopify, next thing we had to do was get our financing organized.
We decided to take three months to prepare and think about if this problem was something we wanted to dedicate the next several years of our lives to. This three month period was my time to save as much money as I could, and test my own conviction. This time was a constant decision making cycle, where I continually asked myself if the market was big enough, if the problem was widespread enough, and if I had the right pieces in place. It was an important lesson from my first startup attempt almost seven years earlier. In my first startup we picked the wrong market, at the wrong time, with no experience or resources, and the result was a four year uphill campaign that left us in pieces.
So before quitting my job, every dollar of income was saved, Bitcoins were cashed, plans to move out of my parent’s basement were halted, and I started creating a partner network across the ecommerce ecosystem.
We had enough to focus on building our apps for 36 months without worrying about money or raising venture capital. Today we’re on month 12 out of 36.

Let's Talk About the Failure First

Instead of jupming straight into Scout (the first app we built and the main subject of this post) let me first tell you about one of our apps that did not do well. Our "hand-written" notes app was attempted after the initial success of Scout, but it was a wake up call to stay focused on the problem, not the solution.
After quitting my job, and landing on the bigger problem of customer experience as our company mandate (more on this later), we decided to offer hand-written note services. We figured customers would love getting a handwritten note from merchants, so with little else research, or testing, we went ahead and started building out this crazy printer.
A video about how it worked
The app would connect to your Shopify backend, identify your VIP customers, and then convert that customer information into a special Adobe Illustrator script that would feed into the printer. The printer then would proceed to start writing the notes in a handwritten style font (both the letter copy and the addresses on the envelope).
We rolled this app out as an added skill to Scout. Basically, when Scout would alert you about the previous days’ VIP customers, it now offered an additional button labeled "Send Handwrote Card" which when pressed would instigate our printer. When the card was printed, I’d just have to put the postage stamp on it and drop it off at the post office which was across the street from our co-working space.
I believe this idea failed because I fell in love with the solution (cool looking robotic handwriting printer) rather than the problem it was designed to solve. I still believe there is value in this idea, but by overbuilding the solution first, we lost track of what was most important.
If I had to do it again I would have done a few things differently:
1. Manually write and fulfill the cards myself while doing the merchant discovery
Because there exists an intimate relationship between selling the service, and having to manually having to fulfill the service. It gives you more appreciation for the process and what’s important to do it successfully. Like with Scout, where I called my customers up manually through finding their details myself, and only after seeing how to do it well proceeded to systemize it with an app.
2. Personally talk to each merchant who wanted cards written
This would have been the best (only?) way to validate the value of the service. How important is this service for merchants? What else do they wish they could give as 'thank you's? What price would they be willing to pay on high volume handwritten cards? How much does it bother them that the cards are not personally written by the brand, and hence not authentic?
3. Write 0 lines of new code
Why divert precious development time and resources on something if A) it’s possible to do manually, and B) there is no guarantee that it’s a lucrative idea?
Thinking back, this idea was destined to fail for several reasons. Writing notes is very time consuming, there isn’t enough volume in the merchants who wanted to use it, the authenticity of the cards dies if customers figure out it’s not actually written by a person (even though it fooled almost anyone who looked at it). Even if we had done this the lean way and manually tested first, I still think we would have stopped offering the solution. But if I had just followed my four step Identify, Test, Build, Measure framework we would have saved the $4,000 we ended up spending designing and developing the software, and sourcing this printer and it’s parts. I would have found out in the Test section of the cycle that this is way too time consuming and merchants have too many questions about it to feel comfortable signing off on handwritten notes on high volume.
The handwritten note printer is now a piece of decoration at our office, but hey, at least it makes for a good conversation! And it taught me what I'm about to share with you today...

Identifying a Problem

Rewind back to 2015, a few months after opening my Nadeef hand-held bidet store on Shopify I found myself tackling the abandoned checkout problem, something every merchants probably faces. For every three potential customers that reached the final stage of checkout, one wasn’t pulling out their credit card. The way I saw it, I was leaking 33% of my sales in the final, most crucial, "moment of truth."
I was new to this field, I didn’t know the jargon or the best practices, all I knew was I needed to plug this hole. I went down a rabbit hole of recommendations, blog posts, forum threads, apps and YouTube videos. I tried many tactics, with varying degrees of "success" but later I realized I was asking myself the wrong question.
Instead of asking "How can I recovery these sales?" I should have been asking “Why are customer abandoning their checkout?”
At first I tried to extrapolate why they abandoned through the default go-to answers most blog posts claim are the reasons, like shipping timeframes, pricing, return policies, etc. But I knew these weren’t the real issues causing the abandoned cart because I would address them in my auto-recovery emails, exit-popups, Facebook retargeting campaigns, or all the other ways I would try to reduce abandons.
As simple as those recovery tactics may seem, I now know I was overthinking it. There was only one thing I could do to figure out why someone abandoned their checkout. Pick up the phone, and ask them one-on-one.
Before I go on, I should state that my recovery rate at this point was around 10%. And Shopify’s dashboard told me this was a good thing. I just didn’t think that was good at all. It meant that for every 10 people who reached the final stage of their checkout only one person actually returned to buy? Sure it's better than $0, but what about the other 90% who aren't returning? Surely we could do better than 1/10...
...and I wanted to talk to those nine people.
Calling my abandoned checkout customers changed everything. It changed my whole perspective about how to do business, and it continues to change it even now. At first, there was hesitation to call up a customer out of the blue, but the desire to figure out the problem far outweighed any "worst-case" awkward conversation. Not to mention, they weren’t cold leads, these were highly interested customer who reached the final steps of making a purchase. In my head I kept telling myself this was exactly as if someone walked into a store, grabbed some items, placed them on the checkout counter, but just as they were about to pull out their wallet, they turned around and walked out the door. Wouldn’t the store owner ask what’s up? So I just smiled and dialled.
The results were tremendous.
I went from recovering 10% of my abandoned checkouts from auto-emails, to recovering 55% when I got them on the phone. Not only that but by gathering feedback and identifying holes in my offering the percentage of abandons slowly decreased as well.
I’ve outlined my learnings from calling customers in this diagram

Creating a Solution

I saw my process was working, but now I needed to systemize it so I could maintain consistency in my callbacks. I quickly learned that the longer I waited to call the abandoned customer back the less likely I would be able to recover the sale. I really just needed an alert app, one that would push notify me as soon as someone abandoned, tell me what products they left, and their phone number. There was nothing in the app store that provided this function.
Don’t get me wrong, there were tonnes of cart recovery apps available. The top results, the "Top 10" lists, all relied on exit-popups, and auto-emails. I didn’t want an app to take an auto-action by auto-sending an email, or auto-sending a Facebook message. I wanted to be told, so I could take action on it personally. I needed this because I learned how important the one-on-one relationship with my own customer was.
So I called up one of my friends, who was also the developer on my first start-up, and one weekend later Scout was born. It was stupid simple. 20 minutes after an abandoned checkout, Scout would email me with the key details I needed. When I got this email all I had to do was tap the phone number in the email and my phone would automatically start dialling. It wasn’t an exciting or sexy process. It wasn’t even very hard. There was no user interface to design, there was no website to develop, it was just a hacked prototype with one simple, useful, function. If an abandoned checkout, then email me. And it just took a weekend to build.
I used this prototype of Scout for my own needs for several months. It was easier to manage because I was push notified when I needed to take an action. It maintained my high recovery rate. And most importantly, it was fun to know when an abandon happened in real-time, it made my site feel more alive.
Bend the conversion curve
Having used it for a few months and not seeing any slowdown in its utility for my store, we decided this was a tactic every merchant should have in their sales strategy. We iterated on the first version of the email-only alert channel and made it a Facebook Messenger bot, sort of like a customer relationship focused personal assistant. Scout's job would be to alert merchants when a customer abandoned their checkout, and give you their checkout details.
So we published the free app in the Shopify App Store and one review at a time, we realized it was as useful for many others as it was for us. Merchants were sending thank you emails to us, and it was here we felt we had found our first glimmer of that ever illusive "Product-Market Fit."
You have to remember, during this time both my friend and I had full-time jobs, and I was also running my bidet store. Scout was in no way near something resembling a business. And we didn’t approach it at all to be its own business. We just wanted to put something out into the world that would have an impact. Plain and simple. Our first few installs came organically from the Shopify App Store, and a few weeks later we had a small spike as a result of Felix Thea’s Shopify Masters Podcast where, as a guest I spoke about Nadeef and mentioned Scout. We didn’t do any marketing for it until we reached about 1,000 merchants through organic search, which took over a year to achieve.
It felt good making an impact for so many entrepreneurs, but we didn’t feel we had anything to quit our jobs for, yet…

What is "Product-Market Fit"?

Finding product-market fit is a term used very frequently in the startup or entrepreneurial circles. If you’ve found product-market fit, it means you’ve figured out how to consistently deliver value to a group of people (and get paid as a result).
The two components in this equation are Product and Market. In my experience, the key is to start with the market. It’s important to start with the market because that’s the big immovable environment you’re in. It’s uncertain, it’s changing, there are producers and consumers operating in it already. One can’t create a market, one can only play in it, and so the market is the "hard part."
The product side of the equation is the easy part. These days if you can dream it, you can figure out how to make it, or get it made. For example, if you want to build a skateboard that can be converted into a surfboard, you could probably figure that out. Let's assume you've done that, it looks great, and has tonnes of cool features like an intergrated smartphone app! Awesome, great work!
But now that it's built, who’s going to buy it? Where do they live, what's the population of all the surf-friendly cities? Who suffers badly enough from carrying two boards? How big is the problem? How much are people willing to pay for this? How often do they need to buy parts/replace their boards?
The point is, if you confident in your answers to the above questions and your ability to establish a distribution and marketing strategy to your ideal target market, then it makes sense to start product developerment. The same rules apply for app development.
I will clarify that I didn’t think Scout had enough of a product-market fit at the time. I thought we had found some fit, but we still had (have) a long way to go. After all, it is a free app and no one pays for it, so we don’t really have a way to measure if it valuable enough that people pay for it.
The way this went down for us was simple. We were trying to solve my problem first. Being one of the participants in the "market" that had a problem with online sales, I slowly learned what I needed. And when I saw it helped/worked/was awesome, I had de-risked the product enough to feel comfortable going to market with it. In my case, it was as simple as publishing Scout to the app store AFTER knowing it was working for me.
Build, measure, learn diagram
This is again, why the advice of falling in love with the problem, is so great. Because it forces you to think about the market, and its needs, first.

Iterating the Product

Fast forward about a year after using Scout. I was looking through my list of customers, ordered from highest Lifetime Value (LTV) to lowest, and noticed something really fascinating. Eight out of my top 10 customers had originally abandoned their checkout and were individuals I had personally reached out over the phone. This means that by calling my abandoned checkout customers I was not only recovering the sale, but as a result they were turning into VIP customers.
This was a huge wake up call because it helped me understand the real problem in my online sales strategy. If calling my abandoned checkout customers resulted in them becoming loyal customers, what if I also called those who bought without abandoning? If the one-on-one phone call is the common denominator for the high retention rate, why not apply it to more customers?
Thinking back to the phone conversations over the previous 12 months I realized the most valuable bi-product of asking for feedback was not the sale itself. Rather, it was the lasting brand impression that a friendly, pre-sale service call had on my customer. Suddenly my high recovery rate made so much sense. The phone call earned trust with my customers and they were happy to come back and do business with me.
With this realization came clarity about our app focus. Creating customer conversations. Customer relationships are today's small business competitive advantage. And so Scout had its first major iteration, the opportunity we've decided to pursue is to enable customer relationships. We decided Scout’s job for each and every merchant that installs it, is to identify these relationship building opportunities and turn them into one-on-one conversations.
I like the below diagram (as opposed to the one earlier above) for explaining the concept in more detail because it outlines another key step, which is to test your hypothesis. Once you’ve identifying a new problem you want to solve, next thing you should do is run a test to see if your solution will work. If you can solve it, then you should build something to systemize it. If you can’t at least prove your hypothesis is true even a little bit, then I wouldn’t recommend investing more time in building a systemized solution (the product).
Identify/test/build/learn diagram
Once you’ve gone through the loop at least once, you should have identified opportunities for improvements, and this is where Scout is today. Currently we feel we’re on the Learn phase in our third loop.
For those who are interested in the math of our second "Measure" step as it related to my store’s results after 12 months using using Scout:
My top 10 customers had spent at least $600 on my store, through an average of 3 or more purchases. My top three had spent at least $1,000 in 5+ orders. As a comparison, the average customer LTV is $100.
Eight out of my top 10 overall customers were originally abandoned checkouts that I had called and recovered. They went on to be way more likely to become returning and word-of-mouth customers. Based on this, it was safe to say I needed to focus on getting more people on the phone, regardless of whether they abandoned first or not. This was the most recent learning which fueled the next round of product iterations.

Generating Installs

The Shopify App Store is pretty saturated today. There are so many apps on there already, many popular apps even have dozens of copycats. This makes it hard to market apps to merchants, because there is so much noise that’s keeping them from finding your app.
I wish I had some secret formula we used to grow our installs. What I will say is that the vast majority of installs come straight from app store ranking, which I believe is mostly dependant on the number of 5 star reviews and your usable of the right keywords. I’ve added a screenshot of our first 9 months below to show you what the growth looked like in the early days.
first 9 months of installs
You can see that for the first 4 months, we only generated 20 installs. And three of those were from my own store and a couple friends’. The other 17 I believe probably came from the Shopify Master Podcast that I was featured on. To be fair, remember that at this time we were not focused on Scout at all. I had my full-time job, as well as my bidet store, so there were no marketing efforts put into Scout whatsoever. So how did the growth suddenly pick up in January 2017?
I believe it had a lot to do with positive merchant reviews of the app. I think the app store’s algorithms started picking up the reviews we were generating and this caused a sort of upward cycle. Based on this, my advice would be, in order to grow your app installs, focus on your merchant support. Offer the best customer support you possibly can, and keep providing this level of support. It’s worked for us in the past, and it continues to work for us. Every few weeks when we generate several positive reviews in quick succession we watch our installs over the next few days, and it is noticeably larger.
Just like the theme of our apps, of enabling merchants to provide great customer experience, we do the same for our service. We are an app development merchant to business owners. We saw it working in terms of making product sales online, why wouldn’t it work for app companies trying to sell to other businesses?
So far the story checks out.

Customer Experience is Important (because it’s hard)

In my research around ecommerce success stories, I came across Zappos. Their business model was so on point I had to create some content around it in the form of several vlogs. Our series of vlogs talks about several topics around small businesses, especially the advantage that we have as small businesses. Hint: it has a lot to do with our ability to provide a superior customer experience.
To get back to Zappos, Zappos is an online shoe store based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that was eventually acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion. It just sold shoes, the same shoes you’d find in any regular store, but it did so with a militant focus on the customer experience.
They do this so well that their business has a 75% repurchase rate. Even though it's an online retail business model, I strongly feel the same principles apply to all sorts of models, including SaaS, consulting, whatever.
So how did Zappos do this? They did this by reinvesting a portion of each sale’s revenue, back into the customer’s experience. So instead of taking $20 from $100 sale and giving it to Facebook or Google ads in the hope of acquiring a new customer, they would use that $20 to upgrade their shipping to overnight, send a free pizza, or offer unlimited free returns. This not only made sure they retained the customer (repurchasing customers spent more and bought more frequently), but they also created free word-of-mouth customers through the advocate marketing as a result of the great experience. Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos went on to write a book called Delivering Happiness about this idea, which I would highly reccommend for all merchants.
Speaking of great books, another book also further opened my eyes to the lost opportunities at businesses who don’t focus on the customer experience. Joey Coleman’s Never Lose a Customer Again
opening chapter highlights an interesting ratio of 43:1. For every 43 books about sales or marketing, there is only one book about customer service, experience, or retention. That means the education around creating a customer far outweighs the education around keeping the customer. But why? It's a known fact retention provides more profitability than new acqusitions.
Thinking about why this is, I believe it has less to do with the difficulty of creating "wow" customer experiences, and more to do with how ridiculously easy it is to automate ads and marketing campaigns. I don’t think we’re against doing hard things, but when presented with the easy option, that’s what merchants will take.
Cycle of momentum
If the "orthodox" marketing tactics can be automated (and they can), you should also incorporate the unorthodox campaigns. Things like sending a free pizza and handwritten thank you notes, will close the loop for a complete marketing strategy.
Whether you’re marketing physical goods, or SaaS apps, or even professional services, it’s easy to want to automate everything. Automating Facebook and Google ads, automating email campaigns, automating chatbots, automating discounts, popups, and special offers, automating dropshipping; it’s really easy to do this, and the app stores are overflowing with apps that automate. It’s clear automation is the future, but there is no competitive advantage here.
And so in order to stand out, I’ve learned you can’t automate the hard things. You should try to do the important hard things personally, because it’s in those moments that you will build brand reputation and value.

More than One Solution (to the Problem)

We went from running a Shopify store earning several thousand dollars per month, to developing a suite of apps used by over 10,000 merchants.
Working on Scout, and seeing the success from it, we started ideating other ways of getting customers on the phone. Why does only an abandoned checkout need to result in the phone call? What if a customer is interested in purchasing but hasn’t clicked "add to cart" yet? To capture these unrealized leads we developed the callback app called Raven Callback. Raven turns website visits into qualified sales calls. It helped tremendously on my store, because it started to capture more leads due to its lightweight nature. I didn't think the contact/email form was working for me because it’s too much stuff for customers to type, and they perceive replies would take up to 48 hours, so why bother? Same with the livechat, since majority of small businesses don’t reply immediately. The “immediate” callback did wonders and customers continuously commented it was the best customer service they’ve experienced. So, we ran with Raven as well, based on the success I had with my own store we published it on the Shopify App Store.
Raven only has a few dozen merchants on our paid plans, but just those merchants have directly generated over $500,000 for themselves in sales over the past 3 months since we launched. Again, we’re seeing the phone channel as a great medium to close sales, and it works really well for certain products and services. I think any store that wants to have one-on-one conversations with customers, especially those who sell products over $200, should seriously consider the phone as a sales channel.

What’s Next

Now we’re working on publishing our third app, again, inspired from running my bidet store. It’s not phone related, but it is related to customer experience and building a relationship with your VIP customers. The app is called Pizza Party, and it sends free pizzas to those VIP customers.
Based on the learnings from the "failed" hand-written note product, this time, I'm focusing on more customer conversations about it before going ahead and publishing the app. We're not sure yet when we'll officially launch it, it's about half-way done, but I'm happy to chat with anyone who wants to use it for their store. It’s really fun and easy to use. When merchants install it they just outline the parameters of a "great" customer, like order value, lifetime value or order frequency, and then confirm which customers to send to. For example, if you consider any customer who spends at least $200 per order on your store as a “VIP” customer, then Pizza Party will send a free “thank you” pizza to that customer on your behalf. The merchant pays for the pizza, and we take a small percentage, but it’s super easy to get started and really fun to use. The feedback I was getting from my bidet customers who I sent free pizzas was just too awesome to pass up on this app idea. I sent free large cheese pizzas to customers who bought a few hundred dollars worth of bidets last winter and that small token of my appreciation turned into a few hundred dollars in more revenue; it was triple digit ROI. Customers said it was the best customer service they’ve ever had, ended up sharing the story with their friends, which then resulted in word-of-mouth sales.
If you’ve read this far you’ve probably put together the pattern here. I tried a marketing experiment for my Nadeef Bidet store, and if it worked really well I tried to systemize it. By focusing on solving our own problems first, we now have 3 apps, 3 more in private beta, and plans to roll out for several other platforms very soon. And thanks for reading! If you want to get in touch, or have any quetions, feel free to reach out via email or Instagram
I’ll sign off with a Haiku:
What better problem
Than the one you yourself face
To solve for others too
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos.
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