Open Letter to the Skyfleet

Open Letter to Skyfleet
Dear Skyfleet,

it was exactly one year ago, that I published my first article about Skycoin. At that time, Skycoin’s activity on Github was already high, but there were not a lot of content creators around, Synth had made only three interviews and overall social media presence of the Skyfleet was very little. Fast forward to one year later, Skycoin has evolved into a community full of builders, many people are actively tweeting about the project and thousands of miners are running as the backbone of the Skywire testnet.

That growth can’t be taken for granted however. Over the course of 2018, we saw the Skycoin price plummet from its all time high of 53.85 USD down to 82 cents, some of the worst FUD attempts the crypto space has seen against Skycoin and even a kidnapping of Skycoin founder Synth. How many coins would have fallen apart after all of that happened? Just one of these incidents might have been enough to put critical damage to other crypto projects.

But that didn’t apply to Skycoin. It is absolutely remarkable, that Skycoin did not only survive all of these incidents, but even grew stronger out of them. Even though Skycoin’s price is trading way below its average, we have seen so much progress throughout the project during last year. Skycoin has released the first generation of the Skyminer, launched a very successful testnet, hosted two major Skycoin conferences, released mobile and hardware wallets, finally got listed on a high-volume exchange, ramped up marketing efforts and released their scripting language CX.

While all these accomplishments were achieved by Skycoin’s core team, we have seen tremendous growth throughout the community as well. Even though users had to assemble their miner manually, thousands of official miner nodes participated in the Skywire testnet. In addition to official miner nodes, we have seen a variety of amazing DIY miner builds by the community. The community growth was not only constrained to miners though. We saw the Skycoin community develop applications to support the ecosystem and build games with programming language CX. Interest in the currency Skycoin increased as well, with 10x more Skycoin transactions in 2018, than in its previous 3 years combined. Additionally, we have seen physical Skycoins coming to fruition, way more coverage about Skycoin in videos, articles or social media and even John McAfee becoming a true believer in the project.

I started one year ago with the vision to create a one-stop shop of information about Skycoin and therefore published a ton of content throughout 2018 about the project. Besides comprehensive articles about Skycoin as a currency, blockchain platform Fiber, its parallel currency Coin Hours and the motivation behind a decentralized internet Skywire, I published a couple of unique articles, that reached a wider audience. My article about the Skycoin distribution increased transparency and made most of the FUD around the distribution go away. I introduced the Pine64 Skyminer as a completely new DIY miner build, that became the go-to model for many miners. I also published the first in-depth chain analysis on Skycoin, which showed the path of coins owned by early investors.

I was always excited about Skycoin’s vision and I am still excited about it today. The way Skycoin has grown while interest in cryptocurrencies was very low during this bear market is truly remarkable and only a glimpse of the interest we would see, once successful applications are running on top of Skycoin’s infrastructure. So, Skyfleet, let’s continue to spread the word about Skycoin. Let’s implement the vision of a decentralized internet, that is fast, anonymous and censorship-resistant. And most important: Let’s continue to build a truly decentralized blockchain platform, that is ready for mass adoption.

Yours truly,
Christian Ott

Necessary Exchange Innovations

Necessary Crypto Exchange Innovations
Crypto exchanges come in a variety of fashions. Some have a lot of real trading volume and a good interface, some offer FIAT gateways but because of that enforce KYC, while others are completely automated and provide users with a private key to their personal exchange address. Despite of this variety of already existing exchanges, I see much room for improvement and for new features on crypto exchanges. In this article, I will cover 4 areas, where I want to see innovations on and around crypto exchanges in 2019.

Rank exchanges by orderbook depth
First and foremost, I want sites like CoinMarketCap, Coingecko or Coinlib to improve their exchange rankings. So many exchanges with a small number of users try to create awareness for their exchange by boosting their position in these rankings with fake volume. Volume doesn’t accurately display, whether an exchange is liquid or not. As a substitute metric, I plead to rank exchanges by orderbook depth, which could be described by units of a particular cryptocurrency, that can be sold per market order without hitting buy orders 1% below the current market price (read more information on that in this article). An alternative way to compare crypto exchanges will most likely put an end to the growing number of wash trading exchanges.

Advanced trading features
Occasionally, I like to do a trade based on technical analysis. Whether that is buying, because the RSI went below 10 on a specific timeframe or selling because the price went below certain moving averages doesn’t matter – if I want to execute a trade based on TA I have to do it manually, despite all the information needed for that is already included on the exchange. Let’s say I want to sell the coins I hold on an exchange once the RSI reaches a price above 90 in the 5-minute chart and buy them back once the RSI reaches a value of 70 again. To do that, I literally have to look at the chart and then press a button by hand, if the chart on the exchange hits my sell/buy condition. Sure, I could build a trading bot that acts exactly on that condition, but that’s not user-friendly at all. In 2019, I want to see exchanges innovating in that area. Instead of just providing buy/sell orders based on a price point, I want to see them provide the possibility to link a buy/sell order to a condition.

Concatenation of trades
While we are speaking of single trades linked to a condition, why isn’t it still not possible to concatenate several different trades? Let’s say I want to sell an altcoin, that is only traded against BTC at a certain price point and then switch the received BTC to Fiat or a stablecoin. Again, I have to do that manually by pressing a button based on information already included in the exchange. Something like “if the prior placed trade to BTC is executed, sell all BTC to this stablecoin at this price” would be very helpful and much appreciated, given how many coins are not paired to Fiat or stablecoins.

Trades on the blockchain
One of the main purposes of the whole crypto movement is to eliminate the need of trusting a centralized third-party, by recording everything on a decentralized public blockchain. Ironically enough, 99.9% of all cryptocurrency trades are recorded in centralized databases of cryptocurrency exchanges. Even so-called “decentralized” exchanges like IDEX or Etherdelta execute all their trades in a centralized environment. However, recording trades on a public blockchain would enhance trust towards exchanges, since source, destination and date of all trades would be completely transparent. Therefore, another feature that I would like to see implemented by exchanges in 2019, would be to record trades on a public blockchain.

This article discussed 4 innovations needed on and around crypto exchanges. At first, orderbook depth was named to substitute trading volume as a method to rank and compare liquidity on crypto exchanges. Exchanges itself should introduce more advanced buy/sell orders, that can be based on conditions, such as RSI or moving average values. New features to concatenate trades would also be much appreciated, so that you can automatically convert the amount of BTC, that you received from an altcoin trade, into a stablecoin or FIAT. Adding to these features, trust in exchanges would increase by making trades more transparent and recording them on a publicly accessible blockchain.