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KFC6855/环球潮鞋: The Secrets of Replica Sneaker Selling

KFC6855/环球潮鞋: The Secrets of Replica Sneaker Selling
Following a post from u/donjonne about a HUGE Weibo story on how to actually start your own 1:1 repsneaker empire, I figured as a native Mandarin speaker I gave it a shot and translated the entire article, since I myself am pretty damn intrigued what the guy's speaking.Do note this article is written in March 2017, lots of stuff may have been outdated, and I translated word-for-word with some pruned paragraphs that seems like the fella repeating himself. I absolutely hate the weird flowery prose Mandarin always carry when I work on translations, so apologies if the in-jokes or general writing gets a bit dry.
This is my personal tl;dr without the author's boastful claims, so if you're short on time, here's the quick rundown.

How do replica sneakers get sold?

Taobao: Long history with the reputation for being the single biggest online BST hub, with Tmall and Xianyu Second-hands integrated. Lots of fake reviews and seller reputation ratings. The rep game there got outta hand, CEO of Alibaba stepped in and cleaned house, thus everyone moved to...
WeChat: Lots more convoluted, no proper tracking and confirmation like a real shopping app and build quality can vary greatly between sneaker models from the same seller. But through word-of-mouth, standout resellers get recommended more organically, of course you need connections to start with.
Agents: Your best friend if you're overseas, usually ran by freelancers merely collecting orders, reporting back to resellers and have them directly ship your kicks to your doorstep. Agents can be a single person, or a huge operation i.e. Wegobuy and Ytaopal.

How's the quality tho?

Depends. Some will try to bait-and-switch, some will bond genuine friendships for simply being a return customer. Factories often cut corners to save some dough and end up with a worse rep, so like the purpose of this sub, dig into forums and guide yourself to trustworthy sellers. Author also goes on a tangent and revealed the numbers and figures of selling reps, along with the sheer gold rush he's in now. Read below for more info.

Anything of note?

We're getting ripped off. Real hard, if you're a Mainlander chances are you're being sold 1/3 of the prices we see here. Part of the reason is that the multi-level reselling jacks up the price a lot, so unless you're buying in bulk for the purpose of selling them, good luck finding GET-passable OW AJ1's for less than $70. If you get caught selling, it's fines upwards of ¥50,000 and your license revoked, but nothing too serious beyond that. Author promised more novel shoes get made in the future, like Uggs and non-hypebeast dress shoes or sumthin.

With that outta the way, here's the translation for the whole article, hope you'll learn something for it and if there's any mistakes, feel free to point it out in DMs or just in the comments.
EDIT 17/05/2020: punctuation mistakes and missing formatting, also thanks for the kind words repfam
_______________

GOD'S HAND: The Secrets of Replica Sneaker Selling


Having been in the rep game for around 4 to 5 years, it all started out of sheer curiosity. I spent ¥1099 for Air Force 1's some celebrity wore, only to had my buddy show up on me with a fake pair of the same sneaker only costs ¥300.
Not everyone is some rich parents' spoiled brat where a pair of shoes costing a couple grand is considered pocket change, yet everyone has that sense of envy, the need to follow the hype to really stand out from the crowd, so do I honestly. But then again you'd only wear that pair of grails for only a good couple months and it'll be out of the wave, why not I find myself a more wallet-friendly way to do so?
Ever since dipping my toe into the replica community, I'm making connections, meeting new friends and getting scammed in every step I make, keeping contacts of my favorite sellers (looking back yeah they're not the best and cheapest isn't it huh). I'm deep in the rabbit hole now, buying so many pairs I'm starting to be able to tell batches at a glance, and where to hunt down that very best batch at the cheapest price. At this point it's natural that I'm thinking of selling these reps and becoming a middleman with the best of the batches under one roof (which is what's following below).
Anyone who has dealt with middlemen know that actually tracking down the direct factory outlets are nigh impossible, and the multiple stages of middlemen-ception where bigger but more discreet resellers selling to more minor, smaller middlemen can only make one dream of the sheer profit you can make for being on the very top of the pyramid, that idea has only been a mere blip in my mind. There was once in a bar my fam hollered at me with "Yo you remember that John Doe went to Putian for two years? Dude gave up college and has been filthy stinkin' rich by now!" I was like bah it'll never work out for me, but with the summer break I'd worth giving it a shot and have John Doe on the line. And boy howdy, ain't he wildin' right now with his business.
Some say every Nike you see there's 1/3 chance it's straight outta Putian, some say Nike's LC works by handling a pair of dumb shoes to an uninformed factory worker and have him say "fuck kinda shoes are these, looks cool I guess so it's legit?" The only way is to really tear down the whole sneaker and see the markings in UV, and once we're on the point where we can fake inside tags and its barcodes, ask yourself can call out fakes on feet?
A promotion for \"discount\" NB's on Weibo
Ever seen promos like these?
It's what I saw on Weibo today, and you've seen one like it yourself did you? They all look good on the images and you'd be right that they're photos of the real deal, just that of course the shoes you actually get were reps, and for each pair profits are never above ¥100; I sell ya an NB for ¥165, I'd only make ¥50.

REPLICA SNEAKERS: HOW DO THEY GET SOLD?

TAOBAO
Taobao has always been the single biggest hub for BST. Run by the faceless middlemen, sold by the page visits, and reviewed by the bots. And stores with inflated trust scores were used as a front, once costing hundreds of yuan to buy now go for the tens of thousands. As Taobao is taking action to curb counterfeits to make way for legitimate resellers, these fronts are getting more expensive by the day, since then people took it to WeChat later on.
Ask anyone who ran a Taobao store, and they'd tell you "you'll never make a cent unless you're selling fakes". A pair of (fake) shoes take some ¥100 to make, and can be sold as a legit like the thousands of yuan you see on their listings, you'd get away with dozens of fakes sold this way, where you can properly guage and adjust said price to match your profit margins. Once the rep game got popular and the snowball kept rolling, the problem got too big for Ma Yun to not ignore it and he went full banhammer on every rep seller. With every media outlet roasting Taobao's ass, everyone wises up to the knowledge that almost every sneaker you see could be fakes. The stigma lived on, and no one would touch any store where its place of origin writes "Putian".
When life gives you lemons, you make a whole damn lemonade stand and just circumvent the whole damn thing by appearing that you're not from Putian. Problem solved. As you check your shipping details, it always seems to travel from Shangai, Shenzen, Quanzhou or even goddamn Xiamen of all places, even overseas.

Proxy services are very popular due to China's stringent laws
When sneakers are labeled as being shipped from Hong Kong, of course the sellers gonna say "it's from Hong Kong" but in fact it's shipping from Shenzhen, and the seller's excuse is that the sneakers are going through HK's borders from Shenzen then to the buyer's location. Even if you bought fakes in Tmall however, it won't be as bad as the ones sold as legit retails in Taobao. There's just too many of these rip-offs anyway! Had a reseller came to me to buy 10 pairs of sneakers, I make ¥10 each pair, but he sold it as retails and went on to make ¥500 each. Of course I'd panicked a jacked a prices a bit so I could have my own slice of extra profit to ¥20 each pair, said the factories jacked the prices themselves as an excuse.
Hoe's mad I guess

WECHAT
While profit margins are no higher than Taobao, they still range around a dozen yuan on bulk. For all the actual friends I have in WeChat, I'd never believe them not having owned a replica sneaker in their whole life, blah blah blah "factory direct", "wholesale prices" my ass, who really can head to the factories and buy direct these days? Rep resellers buying bulk from those factories are truly the "direct from factory" purchases. Resellers then selling the reps to middlemen and agents, that's another step. Said middlemen then resell these reps to quote-on-quote "middlemen". (NB: may have been the very resellers we see on the sub) And it goes on and on and then, to you, the customer.The so-called A-grade reps you see on WC, let's say we buy it from the factory at ¥200 (for example, the real deal won't be this cheap) and sell to the end-user for ¥400~¥500, it does in fact look decent. Heck, retails may get "called out" in forums and reps may sneak under the radar. Chat and forum opinions aren't good indicatiors for a rep's actual quality. Thus you may wonder why buy retails at this point? No one would really hit the New Balance outlets at their local Wanda mall and ask the teeny-bop promoter lady if their kicks are legit anyway, so wouldn't this been the dream job you've wanted, right?
SMALL-TIME AGENTS
These sort of agents are mostly handling orders from overseas to cater the westerners, mainly Russian, SE-Asian, North/South American countries etc., and will never be some solo project as they always come in groups of a few dozen staff members. These agent groups can also hire decently well-spoken college students to help converse customers in English and pay them good pocket change, which is eerily similar to how Forex scams work before, but this time they're doing legit businesses for a change. Sort of.
FREELANCE AGENTS
The most common agent you may come across can be your close friends, they get instant payouts for attracting their local classmates to collect orders for reps, and this wannabe hustler reports them back to the resellers to ship to school dorms directly.

REPLICA BUILD AND QUALITY

Replicas reach far, far and wide. You could see your neighborhood cleaner aunt wearing 990v4s, motorbike taxi riders wearing Duck Camo AM90's, your kind old uncle next door exercising in Flyknit Racers and so on. NB, Nike, Converse, Ascis, Kappa; any brand you wanted they got it. ¥100 to ¥500 is what the factories charge, but after it hits resellers with a ¥200 hike, the illusion what seems to be a shoe that'll last breaks down as it wears out after a few wears. Bad stitching? Poorly-tumbled faux-leather? Off-moulded shape? I'd believe you but you sure you can tell if the EVA is fake by just looking on it? Is the gluing pattern underneath it visible even? A good deal of local boutiques sell ¥120 replicas at official retail prices like ¥599, a good ¥400 profit.
Putian factories are split into "heavy" and "light" industries. The heavy industries builds the sneaker as a whole from scratch, while the light industries were like CKD vehicles, where parts are purchased and assembled together instead. and quality of each part of the sneaker depends among factories. Lots of them try to cut corners to save every extra cent, which explains the decreasing quality of recent sneakers you see now. Larger factories has always been delivering consistently decent sneakers, as customers who contacted them are much picker and won't slash prices along with quality out of the blue. The stitching (and Nike Air units/Boost soles even!) is close enough to pass off as retails. Some of the more badass factories can make a batch of 100 brand new replicas for you, just hand in a donor retail pair and they'll get to work.The old dogs in Putian has been around for ages, runs most of the resellers you know and love. They buy reps from the factory direct at ¥140, sell to resellers at ¥160 and have the resellers push ¥180, at these prices the shoes are just not enough to satisfy demand. I've gave it an estimate if the factory got his order to 30 dozen pairs of reps, with each pair a ¥20 profit, we're looking at ¥7,000 a day or ¥20,000 a month in gross profit.
Of course, the Sales and Commerce Assoc. will still take a heavy hand on counterfeit sneakers till today, basically a few sellers every month get caught in the counterfeit business. The offenders walk into the office, sit down, had "the talk" yet again and pay a good ¥30k~¥50k fine and had their licenses taken away, for just awhile. Factories themselves get raided very seldom, maybe a every 6 months only a single factory gets caught per year. Putian has become the leading worldwide repsneaker operation for the entire world, and outputs around 50% the actual worldwide sneaker market, an estimated ¥20bn yearly. The Nikes and Adidases you wear now has an "OEM" for that. You may have bought a brand sneaker [in China], but it may very well be a fake regardless, to be fair the quality itself is indistinguishable anyway.

REPSNEAKER GRADES

1) The Standard Putian's cheapest offering, pretty much trash tier and a certain Taobao sells them the most often :^)
2) The GET Batch A huge improvement from the Standards, and the so-called 1:1 batch from the mouths of others. It's really not, some of the materials itself is not as fine or accurate as the real deal. Tmall often sells these batches, but often get sold as retails.
3) The 1:1 The absolute tip of the high-end replicas. Take it to HuPu.com and only the eagle-eyed few would call you out. Not everyone can get their hands on them, regardless of price. [eg: similar situation to UABat's Union AJ1's]
4) The Retail Nuff said, just retails. (But really, reps cost just 1/5 of the retail price, why bother lol?)
A snapshot of KFC6855's wares

HOW TO TELL FAKES

[The author essentially details how to LC NB998's, so this is best skipped as it adds nothing to the article other than repeating the author's point over and over.]

THE REPSNEAKER FUTURE

If you ever think replica sneakers will only remain within the hypebeast sporty trainer radar, oh you'd be surprised. The replica factories are on full steam, churning out Dr. Martens, UGGS, Tod's and a lot more to come. If you're interested, my WeChat: KFC6855 has them on sale right now, guaranteed to keep ya comfy this winter.

With all that said, I hope you learnt something from this, and now that you know if you really wanted a retail pair to sleep well at night, just don't get 'em in online stores. There's no glitz and glamor selling counterfeit sneakers, it's just business after all.
If you know, you know.

submitted by TeddyTheEspurr to Repsneakers [link] [comments]

Weekly Roundup

News roundup for the previous week.
In International news
  1. Popular Chinese teenage star speaks up for youth at UN Forum: Wang Yuan, UNICEF Special Advocate for Education and member of TFBoys, addressed a global audience of youth, leaders and development experts before the closing plenary of the 7th Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum
  2. China says it welcomes investment by foreign companies as long as they respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity
  3. Trump wants $716 Billion by 2019 to pursue "aggressive defense" against China
  4. Why Is China Buying Up Europe’s Ports? In bustling ports from Singapore to the North Sea, state-owned Chinese firms are turning the idea into a reality with a series of aggressive acquisitions that are physically redrawing the map of global trade and political influence
  5. Taiwan Social Media in Uproar, Surprised by What Expats Would do (litter, stereotype locals, with no "bad intentions")
  6. Taiwan Calls on its Firms not to Break North Korea Sanctions (after a report found a network of ships supplying petroleum products based in Taiwan)
  7. Tillerson China-bashing turns counterproductive
  8. #Venezuela Skirts U.S. Sanctions With Chinese Oil-For-Cash Loans: Oil-for-loan deals between Beijing and Caracas are preventing American sanctions from having their full effect on Venezuela’s economy, according to David Malpass, U.S. treasury under-secretary for international affairs
  9. China’s new pitch to win over #Taiwan: Our jobs are better. About 420,000 Taiwanese people, 58% of those employed off the island, worked in China as of 2015. They earn 1.2 to 1.3 times more money on average than in Taiwan
  10. Beijing has duty to make Taiwan abide by UN sanctions
  11. Chinese-funded projects totaling 53 have created 16,511 jobs for Ugandans in the first 11 months of 2017, while bilateral trade between China and #Uganda amounted to 750 million U.S. dollars during the same period
  12. China Reportedly Negotiating Creation of Military Base With #Afghanistan: “We are going to build it [the base] but the Chinese government has committed to help the division financially, provide equipment and train the Afghan soldiers,” Defense Ministry deputy spokesman said
  13. Asia University Rankings 2018 released: China and Hong Kong have five of the top 10 institutions in Asia, 12 of the top 20 and 30 of the top 100
  14. China is guest of honor at 27th Havana International Book Fair: More than 200 Chinese writers, artists and representatives from publishing houses are attending. They are offering a wide range of contemporary Chinese literature, translated into Spanish
  15. China and #Vietnam close to landmark deal on streamlined joint border checkpoint. The two countries share a 1,280km (795 mile) land border and have been discussing a “two countries, one inspection” system for several years
  16. China's spending in Central and Eastern European countries is helping clear a path toward more investment in Western Europe, one former economic adviser to the Serbian government told CNBC
  17. With Sri Lankan port acquisition, China adds another 'pearl' to its 'string'
  18. Russia and China vie to beat the US in the trillion-dollar race to control the #Arctic
  19. Lavish military parades are almost an art form in North Korea, Russia and China. Will Trump reintroduce them in Washington DC? [It's explicitly confirmed Trump wants to do it after watching France's military parade, I wonder why others "Soviet style hardware display" are being dragged in]
  20. U.S. remains committed to one-China policy, Tillerson says
  21. Russia and China challenge dollar domination Iran joining
  22. While Trump eyes Latin America with malign neglect, China sees opportunity
  23. U.S. and China reaffirm commitment to pressure North Korea
  24. Donald Trump Offers a Helping Hand to China and Russia
  25. Alibaba kicks off sponsor deal in Pyeongchang
  26. China's Su smashes indoor 60m Asian record for 2nd time in four days
  27. China’s latest move in the graveyard of empires
  28. US hits Uighur terror group to impress China
In Domestic news
  1. China to vitalise its rural areas
  2. Chinese #Eden Project to feature world's highest indoor waterfall: An artist’s impression features one large biome and a series of streams and lakes. The waterfall will plunge from 50m – the height of Niagara Falls
  3. [HD] New photos show South China Sea construction close to completion
  4. China Could Steer Self-Driving Cars
  5. China's first automated restaurant opens in Hangzhou: 24-hour a day restaurant features intelligent ordering, service notifications, self-service dining, and automatic payments
  6. Long March 2D launches platform for earthquake observation into space: The satellite is an important platform for studying the electromagnetic environment of Earth and has vital applications in research into the precursors of earthquakes
  7. China Taking the Lead in Space
  8. Face Recognition Glasses Augment China’s Railway Cops
  9. #Quantum Video Call Displays the Future of Secure Communication: Previously, we knew that the 75 minute call used Micius to send data, contained in photons, to two stations operated by China and Europe. Now, however, we know the specifics regarding how everything came together
  10. How China’s AI technology can help Twitter’s suicidal users: The system has been used on Weibo for the past nine months, identifying more than 20,000 users who expressed suicidal thoughts and sending messages to them with a hotline number and online tools to get professional help
  11. In China, these facial-recognition glasses are helping police to catch criminals
  12. China’s tough #cyber rules raise risk of infiltration, US business group says: In a report, the council said China should open access to cloud computing services, level the playing field in technology procurement and allow foreign firms to send copies of data abroad for analysis and processing
  13. China to build the country’s first heating nuclear reactor
  14. Controlling quantum interactions in a single material: breakthrough could enable ultrafast, low-power electronics and quantum computers that operate faster than current models in the areas of data acquisition, processing, and exchange. Jiangang He and Franchini served as the paper's co-first authors
  15. Citation impact helps China surge ahead in latest Asia rankings: China has 63 institutions, up from 54 last year, and a breakdown of its average scores in each metric shows that as well as citation impact, it has also made significant ground on research income and the reputation of its universities
In Economic news
  1. China to Probe U.S. Sorghum Subsidies
  2. Baidu’s plan: beat Google in self-driving cars with a totally Google-y move
  3. China to launch anti-dumping investigation into U.S. sorghum imports
  4. China’s forex new year resolution: hit illegal currency outflows hard
  5. World markets crash, except for China
  6. Trump said he’d shrink the trade deficit with China. It just hit a record high.
  7. Government policy constrains Embraer, Bombardier jet offerings for China regional airlines
  8. What happened in China business last week?
  9. Renault-Nissan and Didi plan self-driving ride service in China
  10. Global times: The idea that China has more to lose in a trade war with the US is absurd| Hu Says
  11. Daimler apologizes to China for quoting Dalai Lama: #Daimler has no intention of questioning or challenging in any manner China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Offers no support, assistance, aid or help to anyone who intentionally subverts or attempts to subvert China's sovereignty
  12. This small electric car made by GM’s Chinese joint-venture can cost just $5,600
  13. China Set To Launch Yuan-Prices Oil Futures Next Month
In Military news
  1. China’s plan to use artificial intelligence to boost the thinking skills of nuclear submarine commanders. Equipping nuclear submarines with AI would give China an upper hand in undersea battles
  2. China’s military fires up world first in revolutionary rail gun technology
  3. China conducts missile interception test: Midcourse interception is often regarded as the most difficult in the three flight phases because the incoming missile usually reaches its maximum speed and height during its flight above the atmosphere
  4. PLAAF Su-35 patrol South China Sea
  5. China Intercepts Missile in Space One Week After Failed US Attempt
  6. China plans sea-based anti-missile shields ‘for Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean’
  7. Missile defense test in pursuit of equilibrium: US has been talking recently with its list of rogue states and its portrayals of China and Russia as predatory rivals and revisionist powers challenging the rules-based order. But then the biggest lies are usually told with shows of sincerity
  8. China sends advanced fighter jets to South China Sea for first time
  9. US warns about the expanding nuclear arsenals of China, Russia, and North Korea
  10. China's military facilities in #SouthChinaSea 'almost ready': runways for the three biggest islands have been completed. Lighthouses, radar domes, hangars and buildings have been built, while helipads, wind turbines and observation and communication towers can be seen on four smaller islands
  11. Electromagnetic guns should be fitted on China's new destroyer the Type 055: Because direction energy weapons, including electromagnetic and laser guns, would consume a huge amount of energy, only warships with integrated full electronic propulsion systems could meet such energy requirements
  12. China's CH-4 drone completes first live-fire test: The tested CH-4 is an upgraded version of the model which was first produced in 2015
  13. Pentagon: China, Russia Soon Capable of Destroying U.S. #Satellites. The report concludes that "China and Russia will be capable of severely disrupting or destroying U.S. satellites in low-earth orbit" in the next several years, said the officials
  14. China Using AI to Build Nuclear #Submarine That Can 'Think for Itself': The "machine learning" process means the computer running the nuclear submarine would be able to work without any human involvement, receiving knowledge, building on its skills and developing new battle strategies
  15. China's Su-35 fighter jets, J-20 stealth jets to maintain airspace safety
Other Notables
  1. Chaoyang resident discovers suspects by unusual food delivery: Residents living in #Chaoyang District, Beijing were given the nickname of “world’s fifth largest intelligence agency”, by Chinese netizens due to their excellent intelligence-gathering ability
  2. In 2017 mainland China grew GDP by $USD 1.055 Trillion, an all time record high.
  3. Happy Lunar New Year flash mob dance
  4. Operation Red Sea - Wolf Warrior on steroids, coming out this month people.
  5. Bruce Lee Star Wars Mashup Is Amazing
  6. Jackie Chan & Arnold Schwarzenegger: Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask.
  7. The Monkey King 3 Trailer #1 (w/ English Subs)
  8. China's SCS artificial island sizes (Washington DC for Scale)
  9. Oriental Dreamworks Relaunches As 100% Chinese-Owned Pearl Studio: The studio’s first release will be Everest, the previously announced Dreamworks Animation film
  10. Mercedes-Benz aggravates Chinese consumers with Instagram post quoting Dalai Lama
  11. 沒有共產黨就沒有新中國 Without the Communist Party, there would be no new China 1080pHD
  12. “Monkey King” actor from the 1986 TV series performing for the New Years Gala
  13. CCP need to put a mandate onto Chinese film industry
  14. [Traditional Instrument Music] 吹簫人去玉樓空
  15. Uncovered Chinese tomb is confirmed as belonging to eldest son of Han Dynasty emperor who was kicked out just a month into the job
  16. Why China Loves Trump
  17. China's irresistible rise
  18. What's Taiwan DPP hiding after the Earthquake? They are refusing all official help from EVERY government except Japan
  19. Discover the ancient city site of Xiongnu
  20. Han Geng publicly announces his relationship with Wolf Warriors 2 actress Celina Jade
  21. Su Bingtian 60m 6.43 New Asian Record - Dusseldorf 2018 [1080p]
  22. Nanjing and Hangzhou by 木白-文
  23. 9,000-year-old wells found in central China: Previously it was believed that wells first appeared along the Yangtze River some 6,000 to 7,000 years ago in the late Neolithic period
  24. Haval's futuristic car concept ad
  25. The Quad Jump Is Changing Figure Skating. Nathan Chen Is Leading the Way
  26. 南禅寺 Nanchan Temple was built in 782 during China’s Tang dynasty, and its Great Buddha Hall is currently China’s oldest preserved timber building extant
  27. Niagara Falls lit up in red to welcome Chinese New Year: "In celebration of the Chinese New Year, and in recognition of 2018 being designated the Canada-China Year of Tourism, we are glad to illuminate Niagara Falls in a shade of red this evening,"
  28. Jeremy Lin leads NBA's record-setting Chinese New Year celebrations
  29. A Libertarian’s Take on China’s Belt & Road Initiative
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[Table] IAmA: We Are the Hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show! We just spent 4 days at Bitcoin2013, Ask Us Anything!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-05-24
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
Hi all! I was wondering, what do you think it would take to get bitcoin from a niche currency used mainly by internet denizens to go mainstraim? I know the slow creep of more small companies accepting bitcoin helps, but what do you think that final cusp will be, and will it ever come to that? Thanks for taking the time to do this! There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.
Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.
Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.
But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.
Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.
It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.
I guess the Supreme Court has decided this does not apply to taxes, which is crap. Or are you talking about other countries? Thank you :) I actually mean something along the lines of "It is illegal to trade dollars for any cryptocurrency that does not have a real name and social security associated with it"
Will bitcoins ever be able to be traded like other recognized currencies in similar ways to Forex? More specifically, will there ever be retail brokers offering margin trading accounts that allow you to buy and sell bitcoin with leverage? There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens. Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession. With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement. What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.
Do you believe bitcoin is important locally as well as on the internet? If so, how are you promoting bitcoin in your local communities? Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.
If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.
Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.
Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.
What are some of the more exciting things you (each of you?) envision for Bitcoin in the short to medium term? Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.
From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.
Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.
Not to be the doom and gloom person but in the future what do you think will/would be the "last nail in the coffin" for Bitcoin? It depends what you mean by "last nail in the coffin"
How did you meet/find Andreas and Stephanie and how did you persuade them to be part of your show? I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.
I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.
Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.
Thanks for responding! Andreas is my fave (though I enjoy yours and Stephanie's comments too). Everybody has their favorite :) I think the fact that we all have people disagreeing with us at times means we're doing the job, and providing multiple and varied perspectives.
What recording tools are you using? We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)
Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.
I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"
Assuming bitcoin reaches critical mass, how does bitcoin cope with the criticism of rewarding early adopters? Do you see a potential uproar about inequity? Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.
We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.
One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.
>It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.
What do you make of the download trend of the bitcoin client software in China? Isn't this a big story? China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.
You commented on a recent episode about how Satochi Dice was going to block US traffic to the site due to uncertain regulations. Can't bitcoin work around that? If you send bitcoin to the addresses of the various bets - it still works right? Thanks for your show - I await each new podcast. Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.
I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here Link to letstalkbitcoin.com
I'd like to thank all three of you for doing this podcast, it's always thought provoking and fun to listen to. Plus, Stephanie does have a very sexy voice... But I do have a question, Right now, I don't know the answer to that question.
How do miners determine which transactions will be confirmed first and which get put to the back of the line? Shouldn't they be confirmed in a 'first come, first serve' basis? But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.
*edit: As well, do you still plan on using some time on the show to go into more detail about mining? I think it was mentioned a few weeks ago that the topic might be explored in further detail. There will be fewer miners who accept free or very low fee transactions, so there you go.
How would Bitcoin change our financial system as we know it? In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"
Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.
I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.
We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.
Have any of you heard about how in Africa much of the exchange in value is done with mobile phone minutes? It seems to me - whatever the US attempts to do with Bitcoin - there will be other places that it will bubble up in. What about Argentina and other places where they actually understand what damage a desperate government can do to a currency? I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with Link to phoneacoin.com and others.
Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.
No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.
Who invented Bitcoin? What is to stop whoever did so initially issuing themselves the equivalent of $79 zillion in Bitcoin currency prior to it taking off? Is there commission charged on each transaction that occurs? If so, how much, and who receives this? The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".
He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.
Great podcast, can't wait for the next one! It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.
You discussed mesh networks in 3rd world countries and how bitcoin could be used in such a scenario. If the [mesh] network is disconnected from the internet, how would transactions on the blockchain be verified? Couldn't the time the mesh network was disconnected make it vulnerable to hacking the [mesh network's] blockchain? More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)
1) The price for one Bitcoin seems to fluctuate quite a bit. The most successful currencies remain relatively stable over time (e.g. the Dollar). Will Bitcoin ever need to reach a certain level of stability to be a successful unit of trade? and if so, what do you think needs to happen before then? 1 - Yes! Once everyone who has purchased Bitcoin has purchased them, the price will stabilize. In practice this will start happening long before absolute stability, and as soon as people start thinking about prices in terms of BTC instead of their local currency it almost doesn't matter.
2) If Bitcoin ever becomes a widely accepted form of payment (seems a lot of businesses already accept it), how do you think the US government will proceed/react/regulate/etc. considering that technically only the feds can issue currency? 2 - "The Feds" are not the only ones who can issue currency - They have legal tender laws which mean people MUST accept their money, but nothing prevents you from circulating a voluntary currency like Bitcoin.
Do you foresee companies like paypal incorporating bitcoin into their businesses in the future as a more credible exchange than these ones that are currently running? No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.
Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.
Thanks for the well thought out response, I genuinely appreciated that you took the time for this! I do have a follow up question, how does one get bit coin in an easy way? Lets say I have 300$ that I want in bit coin.. whats the best way to approach this? Probably a company like bitinstant.com, bitstamp.com, or btcquick.com - For larger amounts they don't make too much sense but at that level its your best bet.
Not to be rude, but how do you expect for a currency without a standard like gold silver etc. to not crash down in a blaze of glory? What standard is your currency backed by?
Hi There. I was at the San Jose convention hall last weekend attending Big Wow Comicfest and that's where I saw Bitcoin2013! Mostly Bitcoin 2013 was an opportunity for people building the future of Bitcoin to meet each other and network. There were speakers talking about a wide variety of issues, and vendors of Bitcoin services who were showing their latest innovations and systems.
What information was presented at this event that couldn't be done justice disseminated over the internet? The information will eventually be online, but the probably 200 people I got to meet in real life will not (in real life)
What resources do you think I should review as a total newbie to bitcoin? Or if possible, what's the one sentence pitch to get a newb involved? For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.
The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"
Would any of you hazard a guess at the bitcoin exchange rate at the end of 2013? Sure, i'll make a wild guess.
$1000.
If and when a large user comes onboard, I think thats the next price at which we'll bounce around for a while, just like 100 became the sticky point after the last major bout of adoption.
How do bitcoins relate to the law? For example, what would be the crime if somone hacked your account and stole your bitcoins? It's not exactly theft of money, or is it? Bitcoins are your property, it's illegal for someone to steal your property whether it is money or not. Right now there is little that can be done about theft, but eventually I expect a class of "Blockchain Forensic Investigators" to emerge who will track down your stolen coins for a % based fee.
On your last show you mentioned the diversity of the Bitcoiners who attended BitCoin2013 - which nation was most represented in your opinion? Were there any Chinese nationals present (we've heard that they've suddenly gotten the bitcoin bug in the last month)? Did the other nations talk about regulatory problems or is that just a US concern? I met the gentleman from BTC-China, but other than that I actually didn't see any obvious chinese nationals. We saw lots of eastern europeans and south americans.
Other nations are not talking about the regulatory issue as far as I can tell, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what the US does, which is not abnormal in a very new situation like this.
Isn't having an inherently deflationary currency a terrible idea? How is bitcoin different from geeky goldbuggery? Because you can't divide a gold coin into .0001 without incurring cost and expense. That's not the case with Bitcoin, so the deflationary aspect of it is largely moot.
There is a tendency to listen to modern "economics" which makes this arguement, saying that the money supply must expand because otherwise it drives down profitability in a race to the bottom.
I think in practice we'll find that people don't work against their own best interest, and while during the initial adoptions stages of Bitcoin there will be significant discounts offered to those who pay with Bitcoin vs. legacy currency, once the market becomes saturated and the price levels out those discounts will be scaled way back.
Right now it makes sense to heavily discount, because the expectation is that the value of the Bitcoins will go up during this period of adoption, that won't always be true and the discount is a reflection of anticipated future returns.
Was it bad when people saved money in banks that paid 10% interest? No, that's called capital formation. There is a thought that given a deflationary currency nobody will spend any money, that's nonsense. Just because your currency gains value over time doesn't mean that you no longer have costs that must be paid for. What Deflationary currencies do is say "Ok, you could spend it on that, but is it worth it relative to what you'll gain by not?"
That's a good thing. Our system right now works on the opposite theory - Spend money NOW because if you're dumb enough to keep it in the bank it will actually lose value over time between the couple points of "official" inflation and less than 1% artifical interest rates. The situation is like this now because the fed is trying to make people spend as much money as possible with the hope that the flows will "restart the economic engine"
Too bad this isn't how things work, not that it'll stop us from trying it over and over again.
In the 2008 financial crash, govts bailed out the banks because there was no other way to maintain the whole financial ecosystems of payrolls, invoices and trade, all of which go through the banking system. Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.
Can you envisage another financial crash in the future where govt says, "We don't need to do a bailout, as we've got this alternative payment system" and then instructs businesses and employees to just get themselves a bitcoin address and work through the Bitcoin system? Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.
What type of notes and agenda does the team coordinate on before a show? We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.
The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.
Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON.
I first learned about Bitcoins on an episode of The Good Wife. The one with Jason Biggs as the creator of BitCoin. Have you watched that episode and how accurate does that episode portray what's happening with Bitcoin in terms of legal stuff? Not having seen it but knowing TV, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "not very well" Satoshi has not been identified, was a throw-away identity that was cryptographically secured, so probably never will.
Are there any conferences in Chicago anytime soon? I think a Q&A in public would be helpful for your show as well as bitcoin. I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.
We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.
Oh dear. You're not all perfectly grammatical orators on the first try? I'm crushed! I really value my own time, and I know other people out there do too. I try to make the show as information dense as possible, thats the criteria we've been operating under from really day one.
We're actually talking about cutting the show in half and releasing it more often (still recording the same amount) because people can get tired of listening to such dense content for an hour or more.
US Treasury recently issued a directive stating they would be monitoring any entity attempting to exchange virtual currency for USD (or any other currency, goods, or services), indicating that federal authorities take a dim view of what amounts to private coinage. Do you anticipate a Supreme Court case here defining what is and is not private coinage? 2.And given bitcoin's noted extra-legal uses, do you have any indication it is being decrypted by NSA? 3.Taking it a step further, do you think it could be a national security-sponsored international sieve for money laundering? It may eventually go to Supreme Court.
I think the market has done fine for bitcoin so far. I think the market will continue to take care of bitcoin. The idea of giving in willingly to regulation makes me cringe. There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad. The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.
Thanks so much for doing this, I love the Bitcoin system, but hate the volatility. How do you recommend dealing with that? I've heard to convert it quickly to the currency of choice after any exchange has been made to avoid any more changes to the price. The easy solution is just buy and hold - If you need to buy something, do it when you need to and not before. Do not pre-order anything.
What is your prediction of the price for 1 btc in USD, exactly one year from now? Just for fun, since I know it is impossible to even guess the day to day price swings. As a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.
My partner is buying into bitcoin as well as litecoin. Any advice for him? (I personally don't understand it) Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)
Hello, I just wrote a long post about the functions of using BTC to facilitate a 'free bank' using the principals of free money, similar to the WIR bank. Link to en.wikipedia.org Do you think that something like this would be possible using Bitcoin? Probably. Not really my area of expertise.
Why did bits take a dive at the same time gold took a tank? I don't pay attention to price, sorry.
We take full credit for any rise and blame others for any decline. Feel free to tip us from your gains! Lol.
Just wanted to say I love your show. I encourage you to please continue making high-quality podcast episodes. Thank you. I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.
Bitcoins are the stupidest investment anyone could ever make. Pass. Link to static.quickmeme.com
Unfortunately, quickmeme doesn't let you copy image urls directly. Link to i.qkme.me
Yes, but they started being worth a set value. bitcoin was never backed by anything so its value was kind of made up. how do you expect to make a non goverment currency anybody with a computer can print to retain value? Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.
The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.
The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?
Because the governments "pie" does infact have limits to making it, and only dropped gold standard after over 150 years of the doller having a defined worth, unlike bitcoin, where a random hacker can just print endless money. I'd direct you to security researcher Dan Kaminsky. Link to www.businessinsider.com
You'll find it's a little harder than you're describing. Like, impossible.
Last updated: 2013-05-29 11:06 UTC
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[Table] IAmA: I am Timothy Sykes: Ask Me Anything

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-04-22
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
So you've managed to be in the green during the years when any idiot could throw darts at a dart board for stock picks and derive gains. What happens when a bear market comes along? LOL I love my haters/doubters, why are u all so inept? I do BETTER IN BEAR MARKETS, I'M A SHORT SELLER YOU MORON! LOLOLOLOLOL.
You also manage less than $4M and only have $1M in your trading accounts right now. I wouldn't trust a lot of the people I know with more than that in their accounts for advice (and neither would they, that's why their money is managed by others). So, what exactly is it that makes you qualified to give advice for long term success for other investors to follow you? I could trade with $20 million and probly make $10-15 mil/year but then i wouldnt be able to teach which i love more.
Do you know the success rate of all of your subscribers as a whole, including the ones that didn't stick through your "program", do you have any stats? Not just the two millionaires? U can see alll my students trades, add up the profits, go fetch, Link to profit.ly
LOL I love my haters/doubters, why are u all so inept? I do BETTER IN BEAR MARKETS, I'M A SHORT SELLER YOU MORON! LOLOLOLOLOL. As a sell-side analyst who has worked on Wall Street for several years and has met analysts and portfolio managers at the largest hedge funds and investment banks in the world, I'd like to ask everyone reading this a question: would you entrust your life savings to a guy who talks like this? Do you think the people at Goldman Sachs or Third Point talk like this? The good thing is i dont manage other people's money, all i do is teach lessons i've learned over 15 years...ignore my rules at your own risk, nobody forces u to learn them...
How did that hedge fund you started work out? I was the #1 ranked short bias hedge fund for 3 years and then tried investing as i got too greedy...overall made 2%/year over 4 years, still #1 ranked in my category, see details Link to tim.ly i accept your apology for your laziness.
I do BETTER IN BEAR MARKETS. Have you traded in a bear market before? Because to me it looks like you started trading shortly after the crash. i could trade with $20 million and probly make $10-15 mil/year. Then why not put more money into your trading account, it's not like holding more than half your in assets in cash is somehow going to improve your awesome performance? but then i wouldnt be able to teach which i love more. If you love it so much, why don't you offer it at a more discounted rate than $1200/year per person? For that much money most people could buy all the best investing books on the shelves. Are yours somehow better than everyone who has come before you? As well, at $1200/year, if you only have 10k in your account, that's 12%/year. For 12% a year you could hire some of the best money managers in the world, or even for a flat rate fee, you could find at least a half-decent financial planner. What advantages do you offer over those people? u can see alll my students trades, add up the profits. After factoring in relative risk, and performance relative to the market, how does this fare? I mean if all your students at so successful why not display that front and center on your page, I'm sure it'd draw in more customers and there would be more faith in your advice. Your own success and the success of a few hand picked students isn't a lot to go on. How do you become a better sprinter, do you ask the world's fastest sprinter, or their coaches? Do you judge these coaches based on the performance of the most skilled students (who likely had an innate ability to begin with), or do you assess them based on the sustained increase in performance across the board, relative to other coaches? Generally the guy with $500k in his bank account is going to have an easier time making 1M than the guy with $5k in his account is. I'm not hating on you, I'm just asking why some of this data hasn't been gathered to show just how successful your students have been, relative to the rest of the people in the markets they've been trading in. go fetch. Are you aware of what selection bias and survivorship bias are? Also have you considered offering a full refund for people who have blown up their account after buying your books? Where do you see your investment future headed with these sizable gains so quick in your short career? Do you think your performance will compare to that of Berkshire Hathaway, or the Medallion Fund in the long term? Yes i've traded bear markets, i made my 2nd million dollars 2000-2002, u have a long comment but u didnt bother researching me so i have no time for lazy people, sorry!
In the wake of Flash Boys, if you could recreate the market to your specs how would you want it? Single exchange? No maketaker? No darks? Trading pauses? Cancel fees? No Internalization? People whine too much, i could care less about HFTs.
Why does google have more scam accusations than success stories when I search your name? Because i expose scams and those scammers spread lies...already sued one penny stock promoter and won, but their skillset is spreading misinformation on the internet so it works well to smear me...but they couldnt stop Link to tim.ly or Link to tim.ly and as i create more millionaires, more people will realize i'm 100% right...until then let the haterade flowww.
I love how so many of the people asking questions here are ~5 hour old accounts...Got a bunch of your students pumping and dumping your AMA too? I just sent the link out to everyone we dont give a crap about reddit, stupid hater.
My question keeps disappearing for some reason. ??? On a $15,000 account, what position size ($) would you risk, max, and what % gain target would you shoot for to minimize risk in partial fills/no-fills? I know this depends greatly on volume. I answered it in long before, no time for double questions.
You are quite the heartless prick. You publicly laugh at all the traders when your short brigade tanks a stock price. Has anyone recognized you in public, walked up and threatened you? Nah actually everyone who meets me is very thankful for my tireless work and EDUCATION...anyone who hates on education deserves to be poor.
Do you want to eventually settle down with a wife and have kids and get out of the spotlight?? And do you ever get tired of the fame? Of course but i never get tired of trading/teaching.
What indicators do you use to find earnings/contract winners? What news sources do you read through? How do you find them? Go watch Link to timothysykes.com
2pac or biggie? Eminem.
If you're so fucking rich why do you need to sell shit? Why did you make this AMA? To get more customers. Those who can't do, teach. Link to www.timothysykes.com
You're a typical lazy, inept hater, u accuse before u do research, sad.
Tim, big fan, love the instagram photos. Quick question, why not use options to position for trades (assuming they are availalbe in a particular name at all), rather than long/short? I've had problems getting margin approval (long story) even though i make six figures a year, so buying calls and puts is where im at right now. thoughts? Less serious question, "on a scale of Moses to Hitler" (Andy Samburg quote), how Jewish do you consider yourself? Favorite brand of coffee? Favorite toy? My stocks arent usually optionable, oh how i wish they were :) i dont drink coffee and no time for toys.
TIM SYKES. If you had a son or daughter, which majors would you want them to study? STEM field? Liberal arts? Other. Pic related: Link to i.imgur.com. College is useless, I'd want them to live and learn in the real world.
How was the conversation with Wolf when you guys ended the little Twitter war? What caused that whole mess? It was me probing whether he was a stock promoter or not and i'm confident that he's just a naive newbie.
Are you familiar with BullsOnWallstreet? What do you think of their trading education, chatroom, and hedgefund? Yah, nice guys but i dont know their teachings/track record, try to get them to post publicly on profitly.
What % of your income is from trading, what % from subscribers/dvds/marketing etc.? Link to mixergy.com
Hi Tim, what advice would you give a new trader with a very small account ~$500. on the best way to grow the account over time? Focus on volatile stocks and realize my top student started with just $1500 and turned it into $1.71 million in 3 years...anything is possible if u study and work ahrd.
Tim, what is the tech analysis software you use in all of your video lessons. Is it thinkorswim? Its Etrade PRO but I don't recommend them -- I only use them as I'm superstitious and have made too many millions of dollars with them over 15 years...Otherwise I'd recommend Link to stockstotrade.co as it has great scanning/screening tools too.
Tim, as happy as I've been with my Silver sub so far, I was a day trader for four years in forex and am a bit burned out on it. But I do love swing and positional trading and have really fallen in love with options over the last six months. Right now I am thisclose to buying Tim Longterm. Do you get a lot of optional stocks in the TL program? Cool yes timlongterm has more optional stocks.
How did you become interested in the stock market? Read Link to timothysykes.com
How has your self-made wealth changed your lifestyle? Yes i live very well now :)
Where do you see yourself in five years? Depends how many millionaire students i can create.
Was trading stocks your first career choice? I never thought about careers, i just made a ton of $ when i was young and liked doing that so i wanted to do it more.
Tim, I've been a silver sub for about three weeks now and have made some nice trades and done well so far, including a sweet +13% on ARTX (would have made more if I'd waited for it to break support). But I haven't seen any of the big-spike penny pumps happening so far. How often do you see them happening? Cool, big spike penny pumps were every day in dec, jan, feb...they'll be back but u just missed the busiest season in 15 years.
How would you invest / what would you buy for $100 ? I'd buy a good sushi lunch for that amount, it's too low for stocks.
How much does it cost to become one of your students? Go look Link to timothysykes.com prices rising soon too so i'd lock in current prices for life if i were u.
I should've clarified, how much is it to become one of your millionaire challenge students? Depends, we offer different options, gotta apply and be accepted first anyway.
Differences between the Tim Sykes Challenge and the silver membership? See Link to timothysykes.com
Do you regularly give talks/seminars at colleges and universities. Would you ever consider coming to a smaller university to give a lecture on stock trading and smart investing? Yes hit up Link to timothysykes.com
What do you think about forex? I just started larning about forex, because here in méxico there is not much information about penny stocks; and As i said before I want to make the amount to take you challenge. Too low odds of success for me to care.
How backed up are your email responses for trader challenge requests? And what is the difference between silver and being accepted into the challenge. And by differences i'm referring to benefits. 75,000 emails or so.
Thoughts on fspm? Below technical resistance so its irrelevant.
When you were growing up Tim, in your teens, did you look into the future and want to be wealthy? Was it a dream of yours to be where you are today or did you decide so much later on? Always wanted to be wealthy, thought i needed to go to a good school & get job on wall street to make it happen.
When you first started out.. How did you handle the stress when you weren't trading? I'm having some crazy up days $12k+ and then when I make a shitty trade and lose $3k I wanna throw something... No stress if u stick to rules...i didnt have rules at first and that was stressful...i didnt have a mentor either...luckily for u with me in the picture u now have both :)
Dear Tim, I have a dream of making an automated trading machine out of your system, I have experience and the trading floor access. In your opinion, why shouldn't it work ? (I can automate: market research, stock picks, technical indicators, risk management, money management etc.) Do it up, i'm sure it would work I just havent had the time and I'm more interested in teaching people to be self-sufficient.
When did you start trading? Go read Link to timothysykes.com and stop being so lazy.
Would you accept a deal to start being your student? I sent an email but i'd like to know what do you think, if the answer is not, it's ok; but i want to know what do you think; No time for deals, only looking for dedicated students.
Any plans to expand the conference / speaking opportunities for you and your other gurus? I loved the Vegas event and think there is a large opportunity for smaller, regional Saturday events. Thoughts? Ha nah in person events are a biatch, focus on online teaching is better.
I have to ask how often do you check twitter for hot news/tips? Also have you heard of Mark Gomes he is more like long term investor. I can't do margin on my ira so lose out on a lot of opportunities when trading. Gotta let the funds settle. I could care less about news/tips, I'm ALWAYS searching for good patterns though.
Amazing call on artx I'm now number 1 in my finance class stock game Nice!
I'm 23 years old, looking for stock investment options. What type of stocks should I be looking at with about $500 to spend? Nothing, forget about investing with $500 and learn trading, watch these free videos Link to tim.ly
On a $15,000 account, what position size ($) would you risk, max, and what % gain target would you shoot for to minimize risk in partial fills/no-fills? I know this depends greatly on volume. I am more aggressive in my trading when my account is small, I'd use 30-50% per play but watch the play like a hawk...for example I shorted ARTX yesterday at 4.50, today it dropped to 3.90...if i had $15k I would've shorted 1,500 at 4.50 and tried to cover at 4ish today to lock in $750 profit...then rinse and repeat and gradually grow the account.
How much money do you have in your checking account right now? I dunno exactly, a few million last time I checked.
How often do you take money out of your trading account to spend? monthly, quarterly, annually or as needed? Annually.
Hey Tim I am a big follower of yours on twitter and am considering purchasing your news letter. I got lucky and got in some marijuana stock in November and pretty much didn't look at it until February when I sold. I quickly found out how lucky I was afterwards by not taking profits on other stocks I had purchased. I was looking for another 10 bagger and quickly realized how rare it is for that to happen. My question for you is what type of percentage gains do you look for before securing profit? Nice, normally i go for 10-30% gains, watch Link to tim.ly
What is the best product on your site to strictly see your stock picks? The best bang for my buck? My newsletters at Link to timothysykes.com but picks do little good without knowledge/education behind WHY I am trading them.
Last one from me. I know you say to not be long before ERs but what do you think about Facebook with their upcoming ER ? Last time they jumped $10 but with the WhatsApp acquisition their stock has fallen back to where it was before last ER. Don't guess on earnings.
You say college is useless, and I agree. What do you think should change in the education system to make it more relevant? I'm doing EXACTLY what i think more teachers and their students should be doing.
What's the douchiest thing you've ever seen? Too many characters needed, basically any Wall Street/Murray Hill party/event.
What would happen if too many people caught on to your short sale strategy? What strategy would you then adopt? I was hoping that would happen when I first got into teaching so I could get more sleep! Sadly only a few people take the time to learn...I also buy and am up 100% in 4 months in 2014 mostly buying too.
Where can I find more information about the event in Harvard? Just moved to Boston. U cant it sold out within minutes but we'll have it recorded for ya!
Thank you for the AMA and your reply. I bought your DVDs recently, but haven't finished. What ratio would you say your income is based on, trading vs. teaching? I ask because I think I would prefer teaching, but I need to learn first. So should I be learning to teach, or learning to just invest personally? Teaching vs trading is something like 10-1...the cool thing is EVERYONE wants to be rich, the sad part is not many are willing to study hard to get there.
Hey TIM, I am a Pennystocking Silver member for about 2 months now and have been trying to figure out what is the maximum size position you can take when long on a stock? How do you know when to buy 100 shares or 100,000 shares? I have been making sure not to buy more than 2% of a stocks daily trading volume, I think I heard that in one of your DVDs, is that accurate? There is no set maximum or minimum, every play is different...just gotta be comfortable and understand your risk/reward BEFORE making the trade and then stick to the rules during the trade.
Any recommendation to control overtrading? Btw I am flying all the way from Miami to Boston to be at Harvard on saturday, someday not too far I will be one of your top students :) As I say in my Link to timothysykes.com DVDs, I try to think of myself as a retired trader who only comes out of retirement for the perfect setups when I know I'll feel guilty missing...otherwise I'm retired ALL the time, understand?
In An American Hedge Fund you mention that you met a trading coach at a large hedge fund you were interviewing for. Later you said you bought all his books. Would reccommend his books/ mind sharing his name? It was Dr. Ari Kiev, sadly he died, but he's written some great books, use Google.
Besides your book that I enjoyed, do you have a few other books you would recommend? Yes go read Link to investimonials.com
How did you know to short it since it gapped down right at open? I shorted yesterday, see my video lesson I sent out mid-day yesterday too.
How long do you think BIOF will stay up before it will start going down? and what is holding it so far? Irrelevant chart pattern, gotta focus on Link to tim.ly patterns if you want better odds.
Tim! Which actress do you think is the hottest? I like Scarlett Johansson a lot! (and thanks for changing my life!) Nobody can compete with my girlfriend :)
Make sure she reads that post ;) I will :)
Who would win in a fight you or superman(supertrades)? Superman, he's strong and fit, I'm overworked and out of shape.
Here's my question: What is your favourite stock? Also you should come into this chat: Link to webchat.freenode.net. It is the official unofficial chat for /wallstreetbets -- a sub which adores your trading style. Thanks for taking the time. Link to tim.ly
Hey Tim, huge fan, ive watched ALL of your DvD's expect for the how to read SEC filings. And i've been following your exact strategy for finding stock picks that you showed in your TIMfundamentals part deux DvD but i never find the same one's that you trade, for example ARTX did not come up on my watchlist. Did you change your strategy on finding stock picks? If so, what's new? Link to profit.ly
Have you ever considered world domination? Nah thats boring, my focus is world education.
I haven't read all about the challenge information yet, but how much is the amount I have to bring in ? Different for everyone first u need to apply and get accepted Link to tim.ly
Can you make a gif animation of you flying to da moon and post it every time you tell us your stock picks? Sure I'll put it on my to do list.
Tim I am I college student and I started trading this year mostly because of your story. I have bought into the company TWD (tweed marijuana inc.) Do you have any suggestions for me? Ps, they're all just haters. Cool, the companies don't matter and TWD's chart is a mess, focus on Link to tim.ly patterns.
Right on, is the Vegas conference going to be a DVD also this year or is that the video you are talking about? BTW can't wait for the conference this year hopefully its the best one yet. Nah brand new DVD going over all the basics.
I'm low on funds so more newsletters or getting equity feed? About the same price so just pick one Data is cheap, good information from newsletters is more useful, use Link to tim.ly sale while its still on.
Hey Tim, I was accepted to your challenge but was unaware about needing $7500 to begin. Any way around that? I think what you do and how you help people is great. I'm guessing you have someone answering your emails so I thought this was the best way. Thanks. Gotta invest in your financial education, my program is a steal given the value of what u learn...skimp out on everything in life, but not education.
To start off, you are my biggest inspiration for trading stocks. That being said, in the future I would love to trade with you like Tim G and your other students in the Maldives or other crazy places you go. I currently trade my own strategies and am making pretty good money. Do I need to become one of your challenge students to hang out/trade with you? Yup Link to tim.ly students get first dibs on everything.
Hi Tim, TimAlerts subscriber here, When you started out with $12,500 what was the lowest your account went to in the beginning, did your ever drop below $10,000 ? Go and look at the first 1,000 blog posts on Link to timothysykes.co i tracked EVERY trade.
Hello Tim, Big fan here & Silver Subscriber! Been watching a lot of your videos and I've read your book. I live in Denmark, so a lot of brokers won't accept me as a customer. Only broker I can find is SureTrader. What do you think? Cool i use suretrader they have shorts every now and then.
Do you lift? I used to, no time now.
Tim! I've been following you now for a while and have learned a great deal from you! I live in Boston and would love to come see your talk! Is there ANY WAY I can get a ticket?? Cool, sorry my Harvard talk sold out within minutes, but it'll be recorded.
What trading platform do you use? Read Link to tim.ly multiple brokers.
What is the best path i should take if i want to be sitting beside you on your next yacht adventure? Apply at Link to tim.ly then study your butt off!
Do you watch game of thrones? If not you should get on it. Yes its great, wish I had more time to watch them all a second time.
What do you think about the wild west of cannabis stock trading and do you think that it stands apart from the internet .com boom since it is ACTUAL product as opposed to a dozen guys in an office? Are they good for long term investments aside from possible law retractions being an obvious danger? Just the latest stock market sector craze, little different from nanotechs, 3d printing oil, gold, ethanol, alternative energy...pump and dump, NOT longterm holds.
How long will your 60% off newsletter be on? I want to buy it but my money is locked up in the market and will take about a week for me to have enough to get it. tia Just a few days more we cant have Link to tim.ly sale last forever!
Thanks for doing your AMA Tim! I currently am a TimAlerts subscriber and saving money to start trading some day as a (succesfull) European student of yours. I saw you are going to speak at Harvard in a few days, will there be a video of it afterwards? Cool yes my Harvard speech will be recorded!
Why are they not longterm holds? because its the early stages of the industries development? Theyre mostly scams and pump and dumps, development my ass LOL.
Any plans on doing a seminar anywhere on the West Coast some time soon? Yes hit up Link to timothysykes.com to be added to the earlybird list.
Question - how did you manage to post losses of almost 40% in '06/07 when the market was doing so incredibly well? I'm a short seller for one and second read Link to tim.ly I detail my losses in depth.
Timothy. My mentor. Why your loosing trades show profit in your page ? 4/10 MDBX $23.25 $22.1 $4365. Tell me how you enter at 23.25 and exit at 22.1 making $4365 in profit please. You have to teach me this magic !! It's called short selling you incredible nitwit.
How much money do you make in a year from your DVDs, trading challenge, and subscriber alerts? Link to mixergy.com
I lost 70% on SPLI, 40% on ERBB, and, 40% on MYEC, and 30% on MINE, should i hold? Sorry to hear, they can always come back, but I wouldn't bet on it...gotta learn my Link to tim.ly rule #1 cut losses quickly.
I'm a college senior. Would you recommend me working at an investment bank or tech startup? Do both, make connections everywhere.
What characteristics do you look for when people apply to your "Tim Challenge?" Dedication, ability to follow instructions, hunger for immense wealth.
How many cars do you have? I have 2, a Lamborghini and Porsche.
Is e-gear hard to drive? I have a automatic setup on my cayman s. Nah its easy.
Can you annotate a chart of any instrument with price action or indicators? Yes.
Tim, you have mentioned you have students from outside the US. Have you recommended them any brokers in particular or do you happen to know witch they use? Trading the OTC seems to be a common problem for us folks outside the US. Any input on this would be appreciated. My preferred Link to tim.ly all accept international customers.
Hi Tim, NEWBIE. What brokerage account do you recommend? Thanks Read Link to tim.ly
Actually didn't know that. Thank you for your time Tim. YES!
Can my girlfriend borrow $500 to adopt her dog? Nope.
Hey Tim, I am a Pennystocking Silver subscriber and newbie to trading, and have been studying your teachings for about a month. Thank you for doing this AMA. In your book you say that the most valuable classes you took in college were micro and macro economics. I am an econ major and am curious as to how you apply econ theory to trading. Why do you value those classes so much, and what is the most important economic concept you apply to trading? Cool always important to know supply/demand, that basically sums up all of penny stocks.
Last updated: 2014-04-26 15:42 UTC
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Understanding Forex Quotes - YouTube

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