21 Exchanges To Buy Bitcoin In Brisbane, Australia (2020)
Your Choice To Make
TL;DR: Wakey wakey, give a crap about freedom, or accept the consequences. Another Sunday afternoon, another news item about Monero being delisted from a centralized exchange, this time in Australia. Last year it was OKEx and others. Just a few days ago it was Coinspot. It is sort of an open secret that Coinbase is not listing Monero due to external pressures. Today we're hit with news that Kraken will be ceasing Monero trading for AU residents. And you will also recall that Japan and South Korea have made similar moves. It's a near impossibility with me, especially when powered by caffeine, which is most definitely the case today, but I will try to make this brief, sweet and to the point. These are not isolated incidents. There is an International Organization™ in particular orchestrating, behind the scenes, the policies and requirements that financial institutions (crypto exchanges have since joined that category for this purpose) must follow, or else. Here is what bothers me about this. Have you been consulted about this? Anyone you know? Heard of it in the news? Yeah, me neither. You have to know where to look to find some information on what they would like to see happening (we'll get to that in a moment), and often you have to read PDFs with dozens of pages to find the good stuff too. I will leave that as an exercise to the reader. Suffice to say, I have been digging a bit deeper myself, and what I found shocked me. FATF wants nothing less than the complete elimination of anonymity and privacy in financial affairs, even going so far as to consider BANNING peer to peer transactions so that people are forced to interact with each other through exchanges, where data collection is more reliable and certain, effectively obliterating one of the major selling points of cryptocurrency (p2p-ness) with complete disregard for the millions of people who are already onboard with the vision. No privacy and no anonymity, imagine that. Many of you probably already use plastic cards for everything, day in day out, and don't think too much about this stuff. But the fact that an international organization that you have little to zero democratic control over is planning to get rid of class of financial tools that 99.99999% of people don't even realize exists yet should give you pause for concern. The tools I speak of are, of course, digital cash-like cryptocurrencies like Monero. I would like you to PAUSE, daydream a bit, visualize and imagine, what a world without zero financial privacy/anonymity would look like. Consider, this has certainly not been the case in human history, ever -- yes, even today. Today most of you still have cash as a choice. But what happens when that goes out of the window, and the only options are CBDCs, CorporateCoins, and transparent cryptocurrency ? Needless to say, both in the case of CorporateCoins and CBDCs, there will be little to none privacy/anonymity, and even if there was (in the case of CorporateCoin), the state would obviously bully its way into it and force them to do otherwise (without being asked to do so, of course). So, imagine that world. Every donation you make. Every $50 transfer to a friend or family member. Every item you buy. Every service you purchase. Every money you send to help a friend you. All of it stored, forever, to be accessed later at will for whatever reasons. Would you make the same choices, knowing that your entire financial life is entirely exposed to powerful organizations of which you likely know very little about and almost certainly can hardly ever influence at all? Does that seem like a good recipe for a free society?
The people at the top either don't care about the consequences of what they're imposing worldwide, or they don't understand. Sounds highly concerning to me either way - It comes down to either bullying or ignorance. Would you ever have truly heart-to-heart conversations if you knew your worst enemy was potentially watching and recording everything? Could you make passionate love knowing hundreds of strangers are analyzing your every move? Can you be spontaneous knowing you are being recorded? What if you did not have a choice in those matters ?! What if someone has already decided for you, your friends, your family, your neighbors, your country, that you are all potential criminals and the thing to do is to keep records on everyone, just in case ? Newsflash: It already happened. It's been happening for awhile, and it seems to be picking up pace; the technology that was going to liberate us, slowly enslaving us instead -- because the general public largely does not understand the issues at hand, while the elite certainly does, and boy oh boy, are they thrilled with the technological advancements that help them cement their power. What do I mean by cement? Imagine trying to kick-start civil rights in a place where every social map is known, everything a person is interested in is known, every transaction they make is known, every website they have visited is known, every time they step on the street, an AI-powered camera automatically identifies them and tracks their movement. You would be unable to organize. To exchange value. To discuss behind curtains, so to speak. You would not have any privacy, and you would not have any anonymity. Could you be free under these circumstances?
It's been a long road towards more freedom, but nowdays it is disappearing fast. Stopping to consider the implications is a most pressing issue. They want Monero(-like tools) GONE because Monero ACTUALLY would change the paradigm. By the time they are done with their "recommendations" (which really mean: comply, or else...), mark my words, there will be a name behind every Bitcoin address in some centralized database, query-able by partners in deciding who can and cannot use the system. Merchants will be forced to perform chain analysis and by law they will be compelled to reject/refund/report transactions coming from "anonymous clusters" (addresses that are not known to have an identity tied to them). This is what the normalization of the lack of privacy has brought us. The possibility was there, and they took it. Of course they did. I repeat, it is no accident that it's not Dogecoin and Nano, Bitcoin or Litecoin being delisted. The star of the show (for better or for worse) is Monero, and that is because it works. It lets you transact anonymously and privately, like cash - why the hell should FATF know that you sent $500 to your mother last week? in fact, why the hell should they know your entire financial history?! When cash goes (and we can be fairly certain that it will be gone; would already be gone if this sort of authoritarian mindset had its way), Monero or tools like Monero, will become the only way to make any transaction outside the eyes of the state. It's not because you have anything (nefarious) to hide. It's not because you're a criminal. Rather, it's because to accept anything else is to bow to tyranny. It's your choice to make - are you meekly going to accept that in perhaps less than a decade there will be zero privacy and anonymity in financial matters, or are you going to fight back? Will you organize, campaign, email, discuss, spread awareness? Will you spend precious summer Sunday afternoons writing for strangers on the Internet trying to help a few more see the major shit-show we're headed into? Or will you be a good boy and do what you're told? Tomorrow, by the way - if left unchallenged - it won't just be financial privacy that disappears. One of the most prominent examples in the introductory part of this post (Australia) has already made quite clear that they don't like the fact that people can hide things from them (encryption). In other words, either they know about it (and archive it forever), or you better let them know. After all, a threat - any threat! - could be lurking somewhere in that encrypted data. And you have nothing to hide anyway, yes? This is a cryptocurrency sub though so let's not steer too far from that. It is important to remember that ultimately the issue is the same though - totalitarian control over everyone's life; mass-surveillance, and the ability to rewind and see someone's entire life exposed for the benefit of the state. Their actions are letting you know what really works and what really threatens the status quo. That is useful information. If you care at all about the freedom and privacy of your future self, your friends and family, children present or future, I think you would do well to think long and hard about these issues. Because the direction assumed by the most prominent regulators seems to be headed in a uniform direction - that is no surprise, seeing as how they meet with each other. You have to ask yourself though, is this for your benefit, your safety? Or is it to keep the statuo quo? How would the world be different if human beings - regardless of color, nationality, age, sexual orientation, political beliefs- with an Internet connection could freely exchange value privately and anonymously (the way we can still communicate private and anonymously in most places today - though not so in authoritarian places like China, AND THAT IS NOT A COINCIDENCE)? It would be instant, like an instant message. It would cost very little. Well, I have news for you: It's already possible, and a growing number of people are realizing this. This tool is called Monero. It exists today, and the cat is out of the bag. The technology will only get better, and more interesting tools may even come along later. In fact, barring mass persecution of open-source developers, that is very likely what is going to happen, as ultrasmart people everywhere congregate in virtual spaces to discuss better ways to do stuff. If we keep losing our right to be left alone until suspected of a crime, life will increasingly come to resemble what the regulator types are - consciously or unconsciously - creating: a Panopticon society. If you don't speak up, then the decision has already been made - and you're probably going to live to regret being complicit in it. Freedom or Tyranny. It's your choice to make. p.s: Yes, totally failed at making this short. I guess it's just not my thing.
Wandering From the Path? | Monthly Portfolio Update - August 2020
Midway along the journey of our lifeI woke to find myself in a dark wood,for I had wandered off from the straight path. Dante, The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Canto I This is my forty-fifth portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal. Portfolio goal My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars). This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent. Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund $733 769
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund $41 794
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund $78 533
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund $110 771
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) $216 758
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) $64 542
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) $237 138
Telstra shares (TLS) $1 540
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) $6 043
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) $5 532
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) $121 976
Secured physical gold $19 535
Ratesetter (P2P lending) $8 998
Bitcoin $177 310
Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) $17 421
Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) $2 759
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) $4 477
Total portfolio value $1 848 896 (+$48 777 or 2.7%) Asset allocation
Australian shares 41.5%
Global shares 22.6%
Emerging market shares 2.2%
International small companies 2.8%
Total international shares 27.6%
Total shares 69.2% (5.8% under)
Total property securities 0.2% (0.2% over)
Australian bonds 4.4%
International bonds 8.9%
Total bonds 13.3% (1.7% under)
Gold and alternatives 17.2% (7.2% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio. [Chart] Comments The portfolio has increased in value for the fifth consecutive month, and is starting to approach the monthly value last reached in January. The portfolio has grown over $48 000, or 2.7 per cent this month, reflecting the strong market recovery since late March [Chart] The growth in the portfolio was broadly-based across global and Australian equities, with an increase of around 3.8 per cent. Following strong previous rises, gold holdings decreased by around 2.2 per cent, while Bitcoin continued to increase in value (by 2.5 per cent). Combined, the value of gold and Bitcoin holdings remain at a new peak, while total equity holdings are still below their late January peak to the tune of around $50 000. The fixed income holdings of the portfolio continue to fall below the target allocation. [Chart] The expanding value of gold and Bitcoin holdings since January last year have actually had the practical effect of driving new investments into equities, since effectively for each dollar of appreciation, for example, my target allocation to equities rises by seven dollars. New investments this month have been in the Vanguard international shares exchange-traded fund (VGS) and the Australian shares equivalent (VAS). These have been directed to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares set out in the portfolio plan. As the exchange traded funds such as VGS, VAS and Betashares A200 now make up nearly 30 per cent of the overall portfolio, the quarterly payments they provide have increased in magnitude and importance. Early in the journey, third quarter distributions were essentially immaterial events. Using the same 'median per unit' forecast approach as recently used for half yearly forecasts would suggest a third quarter payout due at the end of September of around $6000. Due to significant announced dividend reductions across this year I am, however, currently assuming this is likely to be significantly lower, and perhaps in the vicinity of $4000 or less. Finding true north: approach to achieving a set asset allocation One of the choices facing all investors with a preferred asset allocation is how strictly the target is applied over time, and what variability is acceptable around that. There is a significant body of financial literature around that issue. My own approach has been to seek to target the preferred asset allocation dynamically, through buying the asset class that is furthest from its target, with new portfolio contributions, and re-investment of paid out distributions. As part of monitoring asset allocation, I also track a measure of 'absolute' variance, to understand at a whole of portfolio level how far it is from the desired allocation. This is the sum of the absolute value of variances (e.g. so that being 3 per cent under target in shares, and 7 per cent over target in fixed interest will equal an absolute variance of 10 per cent under this measure). This measure is currently sitting near its highest level in around 2 years, at 15.0 per cent, as can be seen in the chart below. [Chart] The dominant reason for this higher level of variance from target is significant appreciation in the price of gold and Bitcoin holdings. Mapping the sources of portfolio variances Changes in target allocations in the past makes direct comparisons problematic, but previous peaks of the variance measure matches almost perfectly past Bitcoin price movements. For a brief period in January 2018, gold and Bitcoin combined constituted 20 per cent, or 1 in 5 dollars of the entire portfolio. Due to the growth in other equity components of the portfolio since this level has not been subsequently exceeded. Nonetheless, it is instructive to understand that the dollar value of combined gold and Bitcoin holdings is actually up around $40 000 from that brief peak. With the larger portfolio, this now means they together make up 17.2 per cent of the total portfolio value. Tacking into the wind of portfolio movements? The logical question to fall out from this situation is: to what extent should this drive an active choice to sell down gold and Bitcoin until they resume their 10 per cent target allocation? This would currently imply selling around $130 000 of gold or Bitcoin, and generating a capital gains tax liability of potentially up to $27 000. Needless to say this is not an attractive proposition. Several other considerations lead me to not make this choice:
The problem may solve itself as portfolio grows - Growth and continued investments in the portfolio will tend to reduce the variance caused by gold and Bitcoin. The asset allocation targeting approach I adopt has seen continued contributions to equities, reducing the ability of these alternative assets to add to future variance.
Falls in Bitcoin or gold values will also solve the problem - Conversely, price falls in Bitcoin or gold will tend to reduce the variance issue, and such price falls have significant precedents, with for example Bitcoin holdings falling to a value of around $50 000 as recently as January 2019.
If neither of these happen, there may be bigger issues to solve - The only scenario where neither of these alleviating factors occur is should gold and Bitcoin continue to rapidly appreciate compared to other assets, in which case it is difficult to see the value of reducing exposure now.
Does Bitcoin even fit the asset allocation model? - Bitcoin in particular is not a well established or accepted asset class as yet, so it may not be appropriate to apply traditional allocation rules to it - it may be functioning more as a hedge or option against extreme states of the world. Linked to this is the high degree of volatility in Bitcoin. Adopting too tight a target on Bitcoin holdings would potentially see a need to buy and sell Bitcoin frequently, where my intention is to actually never purchase any more.
This approach is a departure from a mechanistic implementation of an asset allocation rule. Rather, the approach I take is pragmatic. Tracking course drift in the portfolio components As an example, I regularly review whether a significant fall in Bitcoin prices to its recent lows would alter my monthly decision on where to direct new investments. So far it does not, and the 'signal' continues to be to buy new equities. Another tool I use is a monthly measurement of the absolute dollar variance of Australian and global shares, as well as fixed interest, from their ideal target allocations. The chart below sets this out for the period since January 2019. A positive value effectively represents an over-allocation to a sector, a negative value, an under-allocation compared to target. [Chart] This reinforces the overall story that, as gold and Bitcoin have grown in value, there emerges a larger 'deficit' to the target. Falls in equities markets across February and March also produce visibly larger 'dollar gaps' to the target allocation. This graph enables a tracking of the impact of portfolio gains or losses, and volatility, and a better understanding of the practical task of returning to target allocations. Runaway lines in either direction would be evidence that current approaches for returning to targets were unworkable, but so far this does not appear to be the case. A crossing over: a credit card FI milestone This month has seen a long awaited milestone reached. Calculated on a past three year average, portfolio distributions now entirely meet monthly credit card expenses. This means that every credit card purchase - each shopping trip or online purchase - is effectively paid for by average portfolio distributions. At the start of this journey, distributions were only equivalent to around 40 per cent of credit card expenses. As time has progressed distributions have increased to cover a larger and larger proportion of card expenses. [Chart] Most recently, with COVID-19 related restrictions having pushed card expenditure down further, the remaining gap to this 'Credit Card FI' target has closed. Looked at on an un-smoothed basis, expenditures on the credit card have continued to be slightly lower than average across the past month. The below chart details the extent to which portfolio distributions (red) cover estimated total expenses (green), measured month to month. [Chart] Credit card expenditure makes up around 80 per cent of total spending, so this is not a milestone that makes paid work irrelevant or optional. Similarly, if spending rises as various travel and other restrictions ease, it is possible that this position could be temporary. Equally, should distributions fall dramatically below long term averages in the year ahead, this could result in average distributions falling faster than average monthly card expenditure. Even without this, on a three year average basis, monthly distributions will decline as high distributions received in the second half of 2017 slowly fall out of the estimation sample. For the moment, however, a slim margin exists. Distributions are $13 per month above average monthly credit card bills. This feels like a substantial achievement to note, as one unlooked for at the outset of the journey. Progress Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below. Measure Portfolio All Assets Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 84.8% 114.6% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 103.5% 139.9% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 82.9% 112.1% Summary What feels like a long winter is just passed. The cold days and weeks have felt repetitive and dominated by a pervasive sense of uncertainty. Yet through this time, this wandering off, the portfolio has moved quite steadily back towards it previous highs. That it is even approaching them in the course of just a few months is unexpected. What this obscures is the different components of growth driving this outcome. The portfolio that is recovering, like the index it follows, is changing in its underlying composition. This can be seen most starkly in the high levels of variance from the target portfolio sought discussed above. It is equally true, however, of individual components such as international equity holdings. In the case of the United States the overall index performance has been driven by share price growth in just a few information technology giants. Gold and Bitcoin have emerged from the shadows of the portfolio to an unintended leading role in portfolio growth since early 2019. This month I have enjoyed reading the Chapter by Chapter release of the Aussie FIRE e-book coordinated by Pearler. I've also been reading posts from some newer Australian financial independence bloggers, Two to Fire, FIRE Down Under, and Chasing FIRE Down Under. In podcasts, I have enjoyed the Mad Fientist's update on his fourth year of financial freedom, and Pat and Dave's FIRE and Chill episodes, including an excellent one on market timing fallacies. The ASX Australian Investor Study 2020 has also been released - setting out some broader trends in recent Australian investment markets, and containing a snapshot of the holdings, approaches and views of everyday investors. This contained many intriguing findings, such as the median investment portfolio ($130 000), its most frequent components (direct Australian shares), and how frequently portfolios are usually checked - with 61 per cent of investors checking their portfolios at least once a month. This is my own approach also. Monthly assessments allow me to gauge and reflect on how I or elements of the portfolio may have wandered off the straight way in the middle of the journey. Without this, the risk is that dark woods and bent pathways beckon. The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
Thanks to all who submitted questions for Shiv Malik in the GAINS AMA yesterday, it was great to see so much interest in Data Unions! You can read the full transcript here:
Gains x Streamr AMA Recap
https://preview.redd.it/o74jlxia8im51.png?width=1236&format=png&auto=webp&s=93eb37a3c9ed31dc3bf31c91295c6ee32e1582be Thanks to everyone in our community who attended the GAINS AMA yesterday with, Shiv Malik. We were excited to see that so many people attended and gladly overwhelmed by the amount of questions we got from you on Twitter and Telegram. We decided to do a little recap of the session for anyone who missed it, and to archive some points we haven’t previously discussed with our community. Happy reading and thanks to Alexandre and Henry for having us on their channel! What is the project about in a few simple sentences? At Streamr we are building a real-time network for tomorrow’s data economy. It’s a decentralized, peer-to-peer network which we are hoping will one day replace centralized message brokers like Amazon’s AWS services. On top of that one of the things I’m most excited about are Data Unions. With Data Unions anyone can join the data economy and start monetizing the data they already produce. Streamr’s Data Union framework provides a really easy way for devs to start building their own data unions and can also be easily integrated into any existing apps. Okay, sounds interesting. Do you have a concrete example you could give us to make it easier to understand? The best example of a Data Union is the first one that has been built out of our stack. It's called Swash and it's a browser plugin. You can download it here: http://swashapp.io/ And basically it helps you monetize the data you already generate (day in day out) as you browse the web. It's the sort of data that Google already knows about you. But this way, with Swash, you can actually monetize it yourself. The more people that join the union, the more powerful it becomes and the greater the rewards are for everyone as the data product sells to potential buyers. Very interesting. What stage is the project/product at? It's live, right? Yes. It's live. And the Data Union framework is in public beta. The Network is on course to be fully decentralized at some point next year. How much can a regular person browsing the Internet expect to make for example? So that's a great question. The answer is no one quite knows yet. We do know that this sort of data (consumer insights) is worth hundreds of millions and really isn't available in high quality. So With a union of a few million people, everyone could be getting 20-50 dollars a year. But it'll take a few years at least to realise that growth. Of course Swash is just one data union amongst many possible others (which are now starting to get built out on our platform!) With Swash, I believe they now have 3,000 members. They need to get to 50,000 before they become really viable but they are yet to do any marketing. So all that is organic growth. I assume the data is anonymized btw? Yes. And there in fact a few privacy protecting tools Swash supplys to its users. How does Swash compare to Brave? So Brave really is about consent for people's attention and getting paid for that. They don't sell your data as such. Swash can of course be a plugin with Brave and therefore you can make passive income browsing the internet. Whilst also then consenting to advertising if you so want to earn BAT. Of course it's Streamr that is powering Swash. And we're looking at powering other DUs - say for example mobile applications. The holy grail might be having already existing apps and platforms out there, integrating DU tech into their apps so people can consent (or not) to having their data sold - and then getting a cut of that revenue when it does sell. The other thing to recognise is that the big tech companies monopolise data on a vast scale - data that we of course produce for them. That is stifling innovation. Take for example a competitor map app. To effectively compete with Google maps or Waze, they need millions of users feeding real time data into it. Without that - it's like Google maps used to be - static and a bit useless. Right, so how do you convince these big tech companies that are producing these big apps to integrate with Streamr? Does it mean they wouldn't be able to monetize data as well on their end if it becomes more available through an aggregation of individuals? If a map application does manage to scale to that level then inevitably Google buys them out - that's what happened with Waze. But if you have a data union which bundles together the raw location data of millions of people then any application builder can come along and license that data for their app. This encourages all sorts of innovation and breaks the monopoly. We're currently having conversations with Mobile Network operators to see if they want to pilot this new approach to data monetization. And that's what even more exciting. Just be explicit with users - do you want to sell your data? Okay, if yes, then which data point do you want to sell. Then the mobile network operator (like T-mobile for example) then organises the sale of the data of those who consent and everyone gets a cut. Streamr - in this example provides the backend to port and bundle the data, and also the token and payment rail for the payments. So for big companies (mobile operators in this case), it's less logistics, handing over the implementation to you, and simply taking a cut? It's a vision that we'll be able to talk more about more concretely in a few weeks time 😁 Compared to having to make sense of that data themselves (in the past) and selling it themselves Sort of. We provide the backened to port the data and the template smart contracts to distribute the payments. They get to focus on finding buyers for the data and ensuring that the data that is being collected from the app is the kind of data that is valuable and useful to the world. (Through our sister company TX, we also help build out the applications for them and ensure a smooth integration). The other thing to add is that the reason why this vision is working, is that the current data economy is under attack. Not just from privacy laws such as GDPR, but also from Google shutting down cookies, bidstream data being investigated by the FTC (for example) and Apple making changes to IoS14 to make third party data sharing more explicit for users. All this means that the only real places for thousands of multinationals to buy the sort of consumer insights they need to ensure good business decisions will be owned by Google/FB etc, or from SDKs or through this method - from overt, rich, consent from the consumer in return for a cut of the earnings. A couple of questions to get a better feel about Streamr as a whole now and where it came from. How many people are in the team? For how long have you been working on Streamr? We are around 35 people with one office in Zug, Switzerland and another one in Helsinki. But there are team members all over the globe, we’ve people in the US, Spain, the UK, Germany, Poland, Australia and Singapore. I joined Streamr back in 2017 during the ICO craze (but not for that reason!) And did you raise funds so far? If so, how did you handle them? Are you planning to do any future raises? We did an ICO back in Sept/Oct 2017 in which we raised around 30 Millions CHF. The funds give us enough runway for around five/six years to finalize our roadmap. We’ve also simultaneously opened up a sister company consultancy business, TX which helps enterprise clients implementing the Streamr stack. We've got no more plans to raise more! What is the token use case? How did you make sure it captures the value of the ecosystem you're building The token is used for payments on the Marketplace (such as for Data Union products for example) also for the broker nodes in the Network. ( we haven't talked much about the P2P network but it's our project's secret sauce). The broker nodes will be paid in DATAcoin for providing bandwidth. We are currently working together with Blockscience on our tokeneconomics. We’ve just started the second phase in their consultancy process and will be soon able to share more on the Streamr Network’s tokeneconoimcs. But if you want to summate the Network in a sentence or two - imagine the Bittorrent network being run by nodes who get paid to do so. Except that instead of passing around static files, it's realtime data streams. That of course means it's really well suited for the IoT economy. Well, let's continue with questions from Twitter and this one comes at the perfect time. Can Streamr Network be used to transfer data from IOT devices? Is the network bandwidth sufficient? How is it possible to monetize the received data from a huge number of IOT devices? From u/EgorCypto Yes, IoT devices are a perfect use case for the Network. When it comes to the network’s bandwidth and speed - the Streamr team just recently did extensive research to find out how well the network scales. The result was that it is on par with centralized solutions. We ran experiments with network sizes between 32 to 2048 nodes and in the largest network of 2048 nodes, 99% of deliveries happened within 362 ms globally. To put these results in context, PubNub, a centralized message brokering service, promises to deliver messages within 250 ms — and that’s a centralized service! So we're super happy with those results. Here's a link to the paper: https://medium.com/streamrblog/streamr-network-performance-and-scalability-whitepaper-adb461edd002 While we're on the technical side, second question from Twitter: Can you be sure that valuable data is safe and not shared with service providers? Are you using any encryption methods? From u/ CryptoMatvey Yes, the messages in the Network are encrypted. Currently all nodes are still run by the Streamr team. This will change in the Brubeck release - our last milestone on the roadmap - when end-to-end encryption is added. This release adds end-to-end encryption and automatic key exchange mechanisms, ensuring that node operators can not access any confidential data. If BTW - you want to get very technical the encryption algorithms we are using are: AES (AES-256-CTR) for encryption of data payloads, RSA (PKCS #1) for securely exchanging the AES keys and ECDSA (secp256k1) for data signing (same as Bitcoin and Ethereum). Last question from Twitter, less technical now :) In their AMA ad, they say that Streamr has three unions, Swash, Tracey and MyDiem. Why does Tracey help fisherfolk in the Philippines monetize their catch data? Do they only work with this country or do they plan to expand? From u/ alej_pacedo So yes, Tracey is one of the first Data Unions on top of the Streamr stack. Currently we are working together with the WWF-Philippines and the UnionBank of the Philippines on doing a first pilot with local fishing communities in the Philippines. WWF is interested in the catch data to protect wildlife and make sure that no overfishing happens. And at the same time the fisherfolk are incentivized to record their catch data by being able to access micro loans from banks, which in turn helps them make their business more profitable. So far, we have lots of interest from other places in South East Asia which would like to use Tracey, too. In fact TX have already had explicit interest in building out the use cases in other countries and not just for sea-food tracking, but also for many other agricultural products. (I think they had a call this week about a use case involving cows 😂) I recall late last year, that the Streamr Data Union framework was launched into private beta, now public beta was recently released. What are the differences? Any added new features? By u/Idee02 The main difference will be that the DU 2.0 release will be more reliable and also more transparent since the sidechain we are using for micropayments is also now based on blockchain consensus (PoA). Are there plans in the pipeline for Streamr to focus on the consumer-facing products themselves or will the emphasis be on the further development of the underlying engine?by u/ Andromedamin We're all about what's under the hood. We want third party devs to take on the challenge of building the consumer facing apps. We know it would be foolish to try and do it all! As a project how do you consider the progress of the project to fully developed (in % of progress plz) by u/ Hash2T We're about 60% through I reckon! What tools does Streamr offer developers so that they can create their own DApps and monetize data?What is Streamr Architecture? How do the Ethereum blockchain and the Streamr network and Streamr Core applications interact? By u/ CryptoDurden We'll be releasing the Data UNion framework in a few weeks from now and I think DApp builders will be impressed with what they find. We all know that Blockchain has many disadvantages as well, So why did Streamr choose blockchain as a combination for its technology? What's your plan to merge Blockchain with your technologies to make it safer and more convenient for your users? By u/noonecanstopme So we're not a blockchain ourselves - that's important to note. The P2P network only uses BC tech for the payments. Why on earth for example would you want to store every single piece of info on a blockchain. You should only store what you want to store. And that should probably happen off chain. So we think we got the mix right there. What were the requirements needed for node setup ? by u/ John097 Good q - we're still working on that but those specs will be out in the next release. How does the STREAMR team ensure good data is entered into the blockchain by participants? By u/ kartika84 Another great Q there! From the product buying end, this will be done by reputation. But ensuring the quality of the data as it passes through the network - if that is what you also mean - is all about getting the architecture right. In a decentralised network, that's not easy as data points in streams have to arrive in the right order. It's one of the biggest challenges but we think we're solving it in a really decentralised way. What are the requirements for integrating applications with Data Union? What role does the DATA token play in this case? By u/JP_Morgan_Chase There are no specific requirements as such, just that your application needs to generate some kind of real-time data. Data Union members and administrators are both paid in DATA by data buyers coming from the Streamr marketplace. Regarding security and legality, how does STREAMR guarantee that the data uploaded by a given user belongs to him and he can monetize and capitalize on it? By u/kherrera22 So that's a sort of million dollar question for anyone involved in a digital industry. Within our system there are ways of ensuring that but in the end the negotiation of data licensing will still, in many ways be done human to human and via legal licenses rather than smart contracts. at least when it comes to sizeable data products. There are more answers to this but it's a long one! Okay thank you all for all of those! The AMA took place in theGAINS Telegramgroup 10/09/20. Answers by Shiv Malik.
AMA Recap telos Foundation with Crypto Hunters On August 02, 2020 at 12:00 WIB Indonesia Time / August 01 2020 at 10:00 PM ( PST ) in the Crypto Hunter Telegram Group, AMA TELOS started with Mr.Douglas as guest speaker and Gus Fahlev from Crypto Hunters as moderator. When campaigning, 10 lucky AMA participants when asking questions on Google forms and AMA sessions will get a total TELOS ( TLOS ) prize of $100. The following is a summary of AMA questions and answers announced by the moderator and Segment 1 Question 1: Can you explain us, what is Telos? Answer: Telos is a blockchain platform for smart contracts. It is a low latencya new block every half second, high capacitycurrently in the top 2 blockchains in transactions per day, according to Blocktivity.info, and no transaction fee blockchain. Telos also has many unique features that allow developers to make better, dapps, such as our Telos Decide governance engine. Question 2: what ecosystem is used by telos? Answer: Telos is its own Layer-1 blockchain, not a token on another blockchain. The technology behind Telos is EOSIO, the same technology used by EOS and WAX, for example. Question 3: I see that Telos uses EOSIO platform, what are the very significant advantages that distinguish Telos from other projects? Answer: Telos uses the EOSIO platform but we have built several additional tools. Some of these add more security and resiliency to the blockchain, such as testing block producers and removing non-performant ones, but most are related to development. Telos provides attractive development tools that arent available elsewhere. Telos Decide is a governance platform that lets any group create self-governance tools easily. These run on Telos at very little cost and can provide all kinds of voting, elections, initiative ballots, committee management and funds allocation. Telos also has Telos EVM, an Ethereum virtual machine that can run Ethereum Solidity contracts at hundreds of times the speed of Ethereum and with no costs. Another Telos technology that is deploying soon is dStor, which is a decentralized cloud storage system associated with Telos so that dapps can store files controlled by blockchain contracts. Question 4: At what stage is Teloa Road Map now? what are the latest updates currently being realized? Answer: Telos launched its mainnet in December 2018 and has so far produced over 100,000,000 blocks without ever stopping or rolling back the chain. This is likely a record for a public blockchain. We have an ongoing group Telos Core Developers who build and maintain the code and are paid by our Telos Works funding system that is voted by the Telos token holders. Telos is a leader in blockchain governance and regularly amends its governance rules based on smart contract powered voting called Telos Amend. You can see the current Telos governance rules as stored live on the blockchain at tbnoa.org. The most recent updates were adding new features to Telos Decide to make it more powerful, implementing EOSIO v2.0 which increased the capacity of Telos about 8-10 times what it previously was, and implementing Telos EVM on our Testnet. We are currently working on better interfaces for Telos Decide voting, and building more infrastructure around Telos EVM so that it is ready to deploy on our mainnet. Question 5: Is telos currently available on an exchange? and is it ready to be traded? Answer: Telos has been trading on exchanges for over a year. The largest exchanges are Probit, CoinTiger, CoinLim, and P2PB2B. Other exchanges include Newdex and Alcor. We expect to be listed on larger exchanges in the near future. Question 6: Now is the time when defi tokens begin to develop, can telos be categorized as a defi project? and what strategies for this year and in the years to come prepared by telos? Answer: Telos is a smart contract platform, but it already has many DeFi tools built for it including REX staking rewards with a current yield of ~19% APR, smart contract controlled token swaps (like Bancor) with no counterparty called Telos Swaps, a common liquidity pool/order book shared by multiple DEXs to improve liquidity called EvolutionDEX. Wrapped BTC, ETH, XRP, EOS, and other tokens can be brought to Telos and exchanged or used via smart contracts through Transledger. We have more DeFi tools coming all the time including two new offerings in the next few weeks that will be the first of their kind. Question 7: Governance is an important topic in blockchain and Telos is considered a leader in this area. Why is that? Answer: Telos is among the top blockchain projects in terms of how it empowers its users to guide the growth of the chainalong the likes of Tezos or new DeFi tokens that offer governance coins. Telos users continuously elect the validating nodes, called Block Producers, that operate the network based on a set of governance documents such as the Telos Blockchain Network Operating Agreement (TBNOA). These are all stored entirely on-chain (viewable at tbnoa.org) and can be modified by smart contract through blockchain voting using Telos Amend. You can see examples of this at https://chainspector.io/governance/ratify-proposals Telos also has a robust user-voted funding mechanism called Telos Works that has funded many projects and is one of the more successful blockchain incubators around. Voting for all of these can be done in a number of ways including block explorers, wallets like Sqrl (desktop) and Telos Wallet (mobile), telos.net and Chainspector (https://chainspector.io/governance/telos-works). But Telos goes beyond any other chain-level governance by making all of these features and more available to any dapp on Telos through Telos Decide governance engine, making it easy for any dapp or DAO to add robust, highly customized voting. Segment 2 from google form Question 1: Defi projects are now trending whether telos will also go to Defi projects, to increase investors or the community? Answer: Yes, we have several DeFi tools on Telos that can work together: Telos Swaps is an automated, zero-counterparty token swapping smart contract where you can exchange any Telos tokens you may want at any time. Telos has DEXs and uses a common order book called EvolutionDEX that's available to any DEX so that a buy order on one can be matched against a sell order on another. This greatly increases liquidity for traders. We have staking rewards though the Resource EXchange (REX) with rewards currently at about 19% APR. We also have "wrapped" BTC, ETH, and other tokens that can be traded on Telos or used by its smart contracts at half-second transaction times with no transaction fees. This makes Telos a Bitcoin or Ethereum second layer or state channel that's much faster even than Lightning Network and has no fees once the BTC has been brought to Telos. Question 2: Telos aim is to build a new global economy could you explain how whole ecosystem works? There are already many centralized competitors so what is decentralization aspect in telos? Answer: Telos is one of the most decentralized blockchain's in the world. It is operated by 51 validators (block producers) who validate blocks in any month. These are voted for on an ongoing basis by Telos account holders. Telos is also economically decentralized with no large whales like Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP or EOS because Telos never performed an ICO and limited the size of genesis accounts to 40,000 TLOS max. Telos is also geographically decentralized with users and block producers on every continent but Antarctica and in numerous countries. The is a large amount in North America and Western Europe, but also in Asia, Australia, and large contingents in Latin America and Africa. Telos has had a Block Producer in Indonesia since the beginning and some dapps on Telos are based in Indonesia as well, like SEEDS, for example. Question 3: Most investors focus only on the token price in the short term instead of the real value of the project. Can #TELOStell me the benefits for investors holding #TELOSthe long term? Answer: That's true about crypto speculators and traders, certainly. Traders are usually looking for coins with good positive momentuum that they hope will continue. But these are often pump and dumps where a few people get in early, pump the price, and then get out at the expense of new investors. That's very unfortunate. Telos isn't like this. One reason is that there aren't large whales who can easily manipulate the price. Telos seems to be greatly undervalued compared to its peers. Telos has capacity like EOS and well above XRP, XML, Tron, Ethereum. But its value is miniscule relative to these. Telos is a leader in blockchain governance like Tezos but its marketcap is tiny in comparison. Telos onboarded 100,000 new accounts last month and is appearing in the leading crypto press every week with new dapps or developments. So there's some disconnect between the value of Telos and the price. In my experience, these tend to equalize once more people learn about a project. Question 4: Eos Problems and How Telos Will Solve Them? Answer: Telos originally set out to solve problems with EOS. It was successful in this and now Telos stands on it's own and our roadmap is more about empowering users. In short, these are some of the EOS problems we already solved: RAM speculation - Telos had a plan to reduce RAM speculation through a published guidance price that has been extremely successful. The RAM price is guided by market forces but has remained within 10% of the guidance price since launch. CPU resources - Telos implemented the Telos Resource Improved Management Plan many months ago which was a 7-point approach to making EIDOS-type resource mining unprofitable on Telos. It has largely been successful and Telos has not experienced any resource shortages. Exchange Collusion/Voting - Telos governance does not permit Exchanges to vote with user tokens. This prevent voting situations seen on EOS or STEEM. Block Producer collusion - Telos has minimum requirements for block producers and do not allow anyone to own more than one block producer. Those who are found doing so (there have been about 3 cases so far) have been removed and sanctioned in accordance with the rules of the TBNOA. Question 5: What ecosystems do telos use? and why telos prefers to use EOS network over BEP2 or ERC20? what layer is used telos, can you please explain? Answer: uses the EOSIO protocol because it is the fastest and most powerful in the world and it also receives the fastest upgrades and ongoing development compared to other blockchain technologies. EOS and WAX also use the EOSIO protocol but they are completely different chains. Telos is a Layer 1 protocol, meaning that it is its own blockchain that other dapps and smart contracts deploy upon. One thing that happens when a blockchain like Telos has much, much higher speed and capacity than others like Bitcoin or Ethereum is that Telos can actually run those other blockchains better on its own platform than they can natively. For example, a number of tokens can come in to Telos as wrapped tokens. BTC, ETH, XRP are all current examples of tokens that can be on Telos as wrapped tokens. Once there, these can all be moved around with half-second transaction times and no transaction fees, so they are a better second layer for Bitcoin or Ethereum than Lightning Network or Loom. Telos can also emulate other chains, which we are doing using Telos EVM which emulates the Ethereum Virtual Machine at about 300 times faster and with no gas fees or congestion compared to Ethereum native deployment. Telos can run Ethereum (Solidity) smart contracts without any changes required. Telos EVM is already deployed on the Telos Testnet and will move to our mainnet soon. So anyone who wants to run ERC-20 tokens on Telos can do so easily and they will be faster and with much less cost than running the same contract on Ethereum. Segment 3 free asking Question: I am happy to see new things created by the Telos team. Like What concept did you build in 2020 to make Telos superior? Answer: Currently, I think Telos Decide is the most unique and powerful feature we have built. There are all kinds of organizations that need to vote. Apartment buildings, school boards, unions, tribes, youth sports leagues, city councils. Voting is hard, time consuming, and expensive for many. Telos Decide makes voting easy, convenient, and transparent. That will be a major improvement and disrupt old style voting. It also goes for buisnesses and corporate governance. Even before COVID it was important, but now people can't really gather in one place so fraud-proof voting is very important. No one has the tools that Telos has. And if they try to copy us, well, we are already way out ahead working on the next features. Question: If we look about partnerships, Telos has many partnership ! so what's the importance of that partnership for Telos? And How will you protect the value of Telos to your partners or investors ?? Answer: Many of the partnerships are dapps that have decided to deploy on Telos and receive some level of help from the TCD or Telos Foundation to do so. Once a dapp deploys on a chain, it really is like a long term partnership. Many dapps will become block producers as well and join in the governance of Telos. I suspect that in a few years, most block producers will be the large dapps on the platform with just a few remaining like my company GoodBlock. Of course, we will have our own apps out as well so I guess we'll be developers too. Telos is very fiscally responsible for investors. We spend little. There has not been any actual inflation on the chain in almost a year. (The token supply has remained unchanged at about 355M TLOS) we are actively working with dapps to bring more to Telos and exchanges and other services like fiat on- and off-ramps to increase value for users. Question: In challenging crypto market condition any project is really difficult to survive and we are witnessing that there are many platforms . What is telos project plan for surviving in this long blockchain marathon? In this plan, what motivates long term investors and believers? Answer: True. While we currently have a low token price, Telos as a DPOS chain can be maintained and grow without a massive army of miners and still maintain BFT. But the risk is really not whether Telos can continue. Already there are enough dapps that if the block producers went away somehow (not gonna happen) the dapps would just run the chain themselves. But with 100,000 new users last month and new dapps all the time, we are looking to join the top 5 dapp platforms on DappRadar soon. Survival as a project is not in question. One of the big reasons is that we never did any ICO and Telos is not a company. So regulatory risks aren't there and there's no company to go bankrupt or fail. We have already developed a bootstrapped system to pay block producers and core developers. So we aren't like a company that will run out of runway sometime. Question: Could you explain what is DSTOR? What will it contribute to your ecosystem? Answer: dStor is a decentralized cloud storage system that will have the performance of AWS or Azure with much lower costs and true decentralization. It's based on a highly modified version of IPFS that we have applied for patents for our implementation. It means that dapps will be able to store data like files, images, sound, etc. in a decentralized way. Question: Trust and security is very important in any business , what makes investors , customer and users safe secure when working with TELOS?? Answer: Telos is decentralized in a way that's more like bitcoin than other blockchains (but without the whales who can manipulate price). There was never any single company that started Telos, so there's no company whose CEO could make decisions for the network. There are numerous block producers who decide on any operational issue that isn't clearly described in the TBNOA governance documents. And to get to an action, 15 of the 21 currently active BPs need to sign a multisig transaction. So that's a high threshold. But also, the TBNOA speaks to a large number of issues and so the BPs can't just make up their own rules. Since there are really no whales, no one can vote in any kind of change or bring in their own BPs with their votes. This is also very different from other chains where there are whales. Telos is not located in any one country, so our rules can't be driven by one nation's politics. All in all, this level of decentralization sets Telos apart from almost any blockchain project in existence. People don't have to trust Telos because the system is designed to make trust unnecessary.
This is a creative writing piece! Please don’t take anything I wrote as truth, please do your own research! For entertainment purposes only! Ok! Really bored and feel like a rant! So I’m not sure if you follow what is going on outside of your little box or not? But here is a update on what the fuck is going on (Aussie Man Review Style)! So let’s start with the fact that the US is fucking broke! Like 24 trillion in debt! And the only way they are going to get rid of it, is by killing all the people they owe. Just like John Wick, Right! so most countries in the world use the US dollar to trade oil and commodities, and it’s used as the worlds reserves currency (petrodollar). Anyways due to the US dollar being backed by nothing, like fuck all (maybe it’s the couple thousand nukes it has)! A lot of countries that are currently being sanctioned by these bullies have decided to drop the dollar and do bilateral trade in their own currencies and create cbdc’s! That’s why Gaddafi was killed, he was trying to create a Africa gold standard currency. I would call a leader that provided tax free income, free health care, schooling, power etc a dictator would you. Anyways, Think of it like this, the bully keeps beating you up, won’t let you play the game and keeps stealing your lunch money and cuts you out of the lunch line, so instead of letting them get away with it, you build a new system, so they can’t. another example the setup of BRICS and their new system to bypass SWIFT (international payment system for US dollars). If you haven’t heard of it, look it up! So the US dollar is about to dive! Smart countries and people have been buying Gold to be prepared for the coming collapse and looming devalue of the dollar, or the inflation, good idea to diversify your RSP’s or super buy a little gold or crypto and have some wealth preservation (my crypto has outperformed all my other investments by far). So moving forward, The Trump administration is trying to destabilize the world, and has no regard for international law. Not so recently in news, Trump was at an NRA conference ripping up an UN small arms treaty with him saying quote “America Citizens live by America laws, not the laws of foreign countries” so the rest of the world must bow to US sanctions! So Canada detained the daughter of Huawei founder, because of US sanction laws regarding Iran and she is still in Canada out on bail a year later!! More news today, Iran has sent its fleet of battle ships, aircraft carrier, nuke bomber planes to the Gulf of Mexico, in hopes to stabilize the area and bring democracy and freedom to the citizens for America. Iran has setup military bases along the Canada and Mexico border, justified by The US aggression and provocation behaviour in the area, and if the US try’s to attack Iran or any of its interests, The US will be sorry. Oh sorry, it’s the other way around, The US is in the Persian Gulf and the South China Sea, The US’s disputed waters and territory! It’s not called South West United States Sea! I would like to see China and Russia cruise around to the Gulf of Mexico, It’s freedom of navigation “BITCH”. Think of the absolute power these individuals think they have! You have the leader of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu announce the other day that he is going to name a new development in Golan Heights after Trump, think of this for a second! Isn’t that’s part of Syria? So who the fuck gave them that right? No one! I think if a terrorist organization came into my country or home town and bombed the fuck out of it and then named it after their leader that looks like a Oompa Loompa, I most likely wouldn’t go back either. There’s an immigrant crisis across Europe, millions left homeless, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is out of control! All over the world people are being fucked! All because of the actions of the most organized crime Cartel on the Planet (The Pentagon)! And, don’t we have the UN to deal with groups like this! Oh yeah! I forgot the US only lives by its own laws! Poor Venezuela, Think of this, I go back to Australia and create a new National Assembly, Not recognized by the Australia people, not voted in, and turn around and say “I’m now the new leader of Australia”, and I get my shit fuckery business buddies to give me all the money out of the Government accounts, meanwhile most folks are “like fuck that’s going to happen”. The Venezuelans have been crippled by US sanctions for the last decade! They make it out that it is being lead by a dictator! Such a bad man, he won’t let US Aid in, yeah sounds pretty shitty right, United States Agency for International Development, all you ignorant fucks out there only hear US aid, read between the lines. Isn’t every fucking country the US doesn’t like ran by fucking corrupt governments and dictator! What’s happening there is, The US is going to need it’s fuel from somewhere once the WAR in the Middle East and Asia starts. In the last year the Trump administration has pulled out of FUCKING huge global agreements, Like the JCPA with Iran and the EU, INF treaty with Russia, Understand that it was the Trump administration that started all these pull outs, saying the other countries were the problem, with all their actions destabilizing regional areas! What the fuck! War War War, Oil, Oil, Oil, Money, Money, Money. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Israel vs Palestine, Israel vs Iran, India vs Pakistan? And you’re worried about fucking Isis! And more times than not, it always turns out to be paid by US dollars, and Bitcoin is now a security threat! China trade War! And now the US wants to puts it Intermediate Range Missiles in Asia to stabilize the region! Holy fuck that has immediately done the opposite! Fuck America and it’s love for blowing shit up! Look everyone, I’m America, I just spent $40 million on this really cool thing, “What’s it do?” It stabilizes things! Ok how does it work, AMERICA FUCK YEAH “hold my fucking beer while I blow this country off the map”! Trump comment on the Afghan war! Not so recently by Trumps approval assassination the 2nd highest ranking member of Iran’s Islamic revolutionary guard, let that sink in for bit! That’s like assassinating Mike Pompeo, but he doesn’t have millions of people that would celebrate his life. I understand America is completely fucked either way, it’s mainly because there all a bunch of dumb fucks, and have let their country be built by a bunch of psycho’s paths. It’s fucking crazy that in today’s world 90% of the population have no fucking idea, what so ever, about anything! But believe FB, IG, Twitter, Tiktok are platforms for truthful unbiased thoughts. So yes, I’m no truth seeker, no, I’m not woke af, you have Julian Assange fighting for his life for doing what millions of people do everyday, fight for freedom to self express. I’m going to finish with this! We had world wars, where millions of young people fought for the freedom we have now. Don’t let what little freedoms we have left be taken away, due to our inability to truly question the narrative that is being spread by our completely corrupt system. Anyways that’s enough truth for one day! Wouldn’t want to offend anyone, who has been hyper normalized!
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An intro to mystery shopping apps, and quick cash!
Mystery shopping is a ton of fun, and usually very easy. Many of you may already use some or all of the apps listed in this post, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't or haven't even heard of them. In this post, I'm gonna go over the apps that I use which are a good intro into mystery shopping, and discuss what I like about them, what I dislike if anything, and how they work. These apps offer smaller tasks for you to complete in your local area, and aren't as time-consuming as regular mystery shopping, which is great if you're looking for some quick cash. The premise of all of these apps is pretty much the same: you open the app, look at the available jobs around you on a map, or in list form, and get paid for completing them. You travel to the location specified, and do the work requested in the fashion of a survey where you'd go step-by-step through the job for each task they'd like you to do. Another thing that they have in common is that they expect you to submit quality work (no blurry photos, clearly written responses, etc), and have a good attention to detail when it comes to the job's requirements and instructions.
REF | Invite Code: x59kv92 | NON-REF Field Agent is, by far, my favorite of these apps that offer smaller jobs. The jobs are typically not too in-depth, and the pay is better than some of the others when considering the amount of work required. For instance, most of the jobs I do for Field Agent need only a few photos and ask a few multiple choice questions, and usually pay between $3-5. Don't expect all of them to be that way, though. For instance, I did a job a few days ago that asked me to walk around a convenience store and give my opinion on the store's cleanliness, check out a milkshake machine, look for signage/promotional material related to that machine, and give my opinions about. In total, that job took me about 10 minutes, and it paid $4. The good thing is that you can pick and choose the jobs you want to do. You reserve the job, and then go out and do it. The average window they give you to submit your completed job is 2 hours, which is way more than enough time to claim the job and get it done. Any jobs that would require more time will have a larger window for completion. They also offer more in-depth jobs from time to time, and sometimes even multi-part consumer surveys. One of my favorite categories is Buy & Try. These are exactly what they sound like. They want you to purchase a specific product, submit a photo of your receipt, then try it out and tell them what you like and don't like about it. The best part is that in addition to paying you for the job, usually around $3, they also reimburse you for the price of the product when your job is approved. Reimbursement isn't limited to the Buy & Try category, though. If you're required to purchase something, they'll typically reimburse you for your cost of the product, and it will say so in the job's description. Another thing that makes Field Agent stand out from the rest is that they have Scavenger Hunt categories. These are filled with products from somewhere that they need more information about. They provide you with the product's name, as it would appear in a store's inventory or on a receipt, the specific UPC of that product, and the store that it could possibly be found at. You don't actually have to find them at the listed store, though, or even at any store at all. If you have the product at your house, or a friend's house or whatever, that's perfectly fine as well. The item names are heavily abbreviated, so you've gotta be creative when trying to decipher them. If you do happen to find the exact product, which is evident by the product's UPC, then the bounty for these jobs is $6.50 for each one. My biggest piece of advice for the Scavenger Hunt items is to not spend a lot of time trying to find them, or going out of your way to do so. Stick to products you recognize, and may remember seeing somewhere. In some cases, the products shown are seasonal, regional, or even discontinued, which is why I don't suggest you go scouting for them specifically. Instead, take a peak around if you happen to already be somewhere that may carry it. One more thing: DO THE TICKET JOBS!!! These don't pay anything, but they do sometimes qualify you for other jobs that you wouldn't be offered without having completed the qualifying ticket job first. They're very quick to do, and consist of anywhere from 1 - quite a few questions, but normally only take 30 seconds to a minute to complete. Each one you complete also gives you a ticket for their monthly drawing, and if you win that, the more tickets you have, the higher your prize will be (up to $500). Average Pay: $3 - $5 per job Average Approval Time: 1-3 business days Cash Out Method: ACH (bank account required) Minimum Cash Out: $3 Availability: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Ecuador
Referral Code: QXDD | NON-REF This is a pretty good one, and the pay is also pretty decent. I'm ranking this below Field Agent, though, because the "missions" tend to involve a bit more walking around and require more photos/questions to be answered. You're also not paid out in cash, but rather gift cards. If you sign up using my referral code above, you'll also get an extra $3 (300 points) after your first mission is approved. What sets it apart from Field Agent is that they sometimes give you bonus points, when your mission is approved, for various things. Bonus points can be awarded for such things as a long distance from the last mission you completed (even if it's not on the same day), your first time completing a mission at a specific store, etc. For the distance bonus, the farther straightline distance between jobs, starting at just 10 miles, the more bonus points you'll receive. You can also earn points for claiming Achievements (you have to manually claim them from the Achievements tab once you've reached the specified goals). My favorite of all the achievements is specifically for new users where you can receive a total of $31, collectively through 5 separate Achievements, for completing just a single mission on 30 different days. The first of these 5 Achievements rewards $1 for completing just one mission. Other Achievements are for completing a specified number of missions at certain stores like Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. One fallback of Mobee is that they don't pay you in dollar amounts, but it still isn't bad in my opinion. Instead, they award you with points (100 points = $1). You can redeem your points for gift cards which start as low as $5, and cover numerous retailers, restaurants, a virtual MasterCard, and more. You could also donate your earnings to a charitable organization listed in the app if you wish. Another fallback, which actually kinda annoys me, but hasn't actually been an issue in my years of using the app, is that you cannot reserve missions. The mission must be available when you arrive at the location requested, and you aren't able to start it until you are there. Luckily, I don't live in a large area, so this hasn't been a problem for me as of yet. Average Pay: $2 - $5 (200-500 points) per job Average Approval Time: 3-5 business days Cash Out Method: Gift Cards Minimum Cash Out: $3 (for charitable donations), $5 (for gift cards) Availability: United States, Canada
NON-REF EasyShift is good, but you must pay attention to the requirements of each "shift." The rate of pay for EasyShift, in regard to the amount of work required, isn't normally as high as Field Agent or Mobee, but if you pick the right ones, it certainly can be, so be sure to read what's required of you for each of the shifts before you reserve them, as sometimes you'll find it's just not worth your time. Also, even though the rate of pay isn't always as high, the amount paid per job is usually higher than the former two. Like Field Agent, you are able to reserve shifts, so you don't have to worry about it being taken by the time you get to your location. The biggest problem I've had with EasyShift is the in-app camera, which doesn't show the full area of what you're capturing. This can be a bit annoying when you're asked to take a photo of something, which I'm pretty sure is required in every job if I'm not mistaken. The good thing is that you can review your photos, and delete/retake them if you need to. I've pretty much gotten used to this quirk, and adjust accordingly, so it doesn't bother me as much as it used to, but it would still be nice if they fixed it. Keep in mind that I'm using an Android device, so this may not be an issue for iOS users. Average Pay: $5 - $10 per job Average Approval Time: 3-7 business days Cash Out Method: PayPal Minimum Cash Out: None (Your pay for each shift is deposited into your PayPal account within a few days of it being approved) Availability: United States
Merchandiser by Survey.com
REF | Referral Code: kevinfMJY6 | NON-REF This is definitely a fun and very lucrative one. The pay rate for this app is actually really good. The only reason I'm putting it way down here is because the work involved for each of the "gigs" is more in-depth and sometimes labor-intensive. However, you do have the opportunity to earn much more, and you can be in direct contact with the people who are running the projects, which helps to lead to more and higher-paying gigs if you're able to complete more of the same ones, for instance. It also helps should you have any questions, or issues that need to be addressed. The best parts of this app are the pay, the variety of gigs posted, and the direct contact with project managers/assigners. To give a recent example, I completed a gig at a local Walmart which required that I scan the shelf tags of all products on all endcaps of the specified departments within the store. This type of gig is especially easy, since the in-app barcode scanner allows you to scan barcode after barcode in batches without having to submit each one. That gig took me roughly 30-45 minutes to complete, and paid $25. To give an example of the opportunities for extra work, a while back my mother (who referred me to the app) requested, and was assigned, an audit of a beer cave at a local Circle K convenience store. The audit took about 10 or so minutes to complete, and paid quite decently. The project assigner contacted her via text message asking if she'd be interested in completing a route that same audit at all of the Circle K convenience stores a few cities over (about an hour drive from her home, and included 15-20 stores total). She accepted when he said they'd pay her mileage, a bonus, and a bit more for each of the audits than the first of she could have it done by the end of the upcoming weekend. In total, she made a little over a few hundred dollars for the two or so days she put into it. They really like quality work, by the way. After completing those, he asked if she'd be interested in completing another route of the same audits, but in the next state which is about 2 hours from her home. She wished she would've had the time to do it, since he offered mileage, hotel and food costs, and another slight pay bump to each of the audits. Unfortunately it needed to be done during a time when she had previous engagements, so she had to decline. The types of gigs they offer include those such as quick and simple audits, product demos that you'd perform in stores (these usually require about 3-4 hours of your time, and also an application to be submitted and approved, but they pay very well. As an example, they're currently running a 4-hour product demo project which pays $20/hour), product shelf resets, POS placements (this is where you'd be placing promotional material or signage, product displays, etc. for a specific product in a store), and more! The one thing that may be intimidating about the app is navigation. There are quite a few things to click on to get the information you need. This isn't a huge issue, however, since after using it for some time, you get used to the app's layout and how to find everything you need to be successful. Average Pay: $7 - $20 per job Approval Time: 8 business days (scheduled) Cash Out Method: PayPal Minimum Cash Out: $5 (You must request a payout in the app. Payments are sent on a specified schedule, which also depends on the date you request your payout. The payment schedule for 2019 can be viewed here.) Availability: United States
The following apps are those which I don't use very often because they don't list very many jobs in my area, so they're not as lucrative to me. I'm still going to list them because they may still be worth a look for you, since you never know what they may have available in your area.
GigwalkNON-REF Availability: United States, Canada Cash Out Method: PayPal
ObservaREF | Referral Code: initial-gharial | NON-REF Availability: United States (Maybe others. Their site lists only North America as a whole) Cash Out Method: PayPal, Coinbase (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin)
If there are any other similar apps that you all use, feel free to drop them in the comments along with something about them. I'm always on the lookout for more apps to add to my arsensal. If you have any questions about any of the aforementioned apps, feel free to ask in the comments. I'll do my best to answer anything I can.
List of Physical Stores where you can Buy or Sell bitcoin
There are a number of foreign currency exchanges and other places where there's a "storefront"/branch and an actual teller or other staff where you can just walk up and do a bitcoin buy and/or sell. But I don't think there's ever been a list of them compiled. Lots of location discoveries get shared on social media, like this one, bu there is just no comprehensive list anywhere. So that's what I'ld like to do here. If you know of a location please comment with the name or some details. Physical stores and Trading Spaces Europe, Middle East, and Africa:
What is your favorite use case for DASH, BCH, BCH or LTC?
Since the beginning of bitcoin we have been infiltrated by agents who are inside our community to create conflicts. DASH maximalism is as destructive as BCH or BTC maximalism Their strategy is simple, pick one side, praise that choice as superior, get fame & credibility for that, then bash the other community to create conflicts which in the end suck out a lot of energy which we would need for actually promoting the real objectives & building real solutions. All the coins which have a verifiable limited demand are valid for the purpose to liberate us from the intransparent inflation scam, that has ever been the main purpose of bitcoin, to be a hard & transparent money, to create a medium of exchange that is actually worth what people expect it to be worth. If you like that approach to find a common goal inside the DASH, BCH, BTC & LTC communities you can create more freedom and peace by using all of them for their specific purpose and praise the positive aspects of that coin without even mentioning any other coin. In my specific case DASH is great for buying foods & clothes & technology in Venezuela, Colombia, Thailand, New Hampshire, Nigeria. You can find all the verified DASH accepting merchants on http://bitcoinmap.cash and you can find unverified merchants of all kinds on http://discoverdash.com DASH is great for buying anything with the DASHBACK of 10% which http://anypay.global offers on every DASH consumption! Statistics: http://charts.anypay.global Their map: http://map.anypay.global They currently have a pool of 136 DASH waiting to be dashbacked to you!! https://charts.anypay.global/#/dashback DASH is great for doing extremely fast trades or extremely fast recharges of mobile phones thanks to InstantSend on http://bitrefill.com or any InstantSend enabled exchange. BCH is great for shopping in Slovenia, Japan, Barcelona, Australia and online you can get a great discount of 20-30% on each purchase using http://purse.io BCH is great for coming up with an ICO or token sale and to integrate some automated Cash Scripts into any app that wants to support that. https://github.com/Bitcoin-com/cashscript BCH is great for buying anything with the BCHBACK of 10%https://charts.anypay.global/#/bitcoincash-back They currently have a pool of 3 BCH to be rewarded to anyone paying with BCH at an Anypay merchant that wants to take that coin. In the end the merchants choose which coins they want to accept. BTC is great for onboarding noobs, as they will always believe that the biggest coin must be the best coin. BTC is also great to spend them in Arnhem in Netherlandshttps://www.arnhembitcoinstad.nl/, or at Rovereto in Italy or at many places in Venezuela which actually accept BTC more often than they do accept BCH or DASH. Lately the tx cost of BTC has been as low as 7 cents for a transaction, for many users that is totally ok, as in many territories on this planet we have huge tx fee scams going on. Just last week I had to pay with BTC as that was the only bitcoin they would accept, but I am still happy that I was able to purchase with any bitcoin at all without touching that FIAT scam money. What is your favorite use case for any of these coins mentioned above? Would you mention any other bitcoin which is limited and transparent? I have never used LTC, but probably there are also some people who have done that.
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Alternative VPN protocols have to be manually configured
Obfuscated servers don't always work in China
No obfuscated servers for iOS
Works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi Available on Windows Mac Ios Android Linux Price from $2.99/mo Still, want to know more about NordVPN and whether it’s the right VPN for you? We’ve carefully tested every single NordVPN app so you can rest assured that we left no stone unturned. Without further ado, let's get right into this review starting with NordVPN’s speed. Speed & Reliability Very fast speeds across the world NordVPN is a very fast VPN – as long as you connect to nearby VPN servers. It’s not the fastest VPN there is (these VPNs are currently faster), but NordVPN is still very quick and you won’t experience any speed issues. Both same-country (UK server to UK server) download and upload speeds are impressive, with minimal internet slowdown (around a 5-6% drop from our normal internet speeds). This makes NordVPN a very good choice for both streaming fans and torrenters. Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server. Before using NordVPN: DOWNLOAD Mbps 94.83 UPLOAD Mbps 91.8 PING ms 3 When connected to NordVPN: DOWNLOAD Mbps 90.51 UPLOAD Mbps 86.28 PING ms 5 Download speed without NordVPN: 94.83Mbps Download speed with NordVPN: 90.51Mbps Our download speed loss when NordVPN is running: 5% As you can see, NordVPN registered very impressive speeds when we connected to a nearby VPN server. It’s less impressive – but still very usable – over long-distance connections, though. Here are the average download and upload speeds connecting out from the UK to NordVPN’s servers: USA: 47Mbps (download) & 48Mbps (upload) Germany: 78Mbps (download) & 77Mbps (upload) Singapore: 17Mbps (download) & 6Mbps (upload) Australia: 22Mbps (download) & 3Mbps (upload) Ping times are also fairly low on most of NordVPN’s servers, which is good for gaming although there are better VPNs available to gamers. Server Locations Over 5,600 VPN servers spread across 60 countries worldwide Globe with a blue flag 60 Countries Image of a city landscape 90+ Cities Image of a pink marker 5,600+ IP Addresses See all Server Locations NordVPN’s server list covers 60 countries – it isn’t the widest VPN server range we’ve seen, but it should almost certainly ensure there is a server located near you. Screenshot of NordVPN Server List in App NordVPN provides a whopping 5,600 VPN servers, none of which are virtual, with each server given a static IP address. This is the highest number of VPN servers provided by a top VPN service, which is impressive. Even better, NordVPN owns all of the servers in its network. NordVPN’s server network covers all of the popular server locations such as the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada, as well as less common locations including Argentina, Egypt, and Albania. NordVPN provides city-level server choices in five different countries, too: Australia (five locations, 200+ servers) Canada (three locations, 400+ servers) Germany (two locations, 200+ servers) India (two locations, 20+ servers) The US (20 locations, 1,800+ servers) NordVPN used to offer city-level choice in the UK (London and Manchester) but recently removed the Manchester VPN servers as “their performance was lacking.” NordVPN have added even more servers in London in order to ensure the best speeds for those located in the UK. Streaming & Torrenting An excellent choice for streaming & torrenting Thanks to its SmartPlay technology, NordVPN consistently works with popular streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. To watch Netflix, simply click on the US or UK VPN country server and the NordVPN app will automatically find the best option for you. NordVPN also unlocks loads more Netflix libraries, including Canada, Japan, France, Italy, and Germany. Not all of NordVPN’s UK servers provide access to BBC iPlayer, but a quick message to live chat will let you know which ones are currently working. That will save you the trial-and-error of testing out all of NordVPN’s hundreds of UK servers. This is a big plus, as many other VPN providers can’t unlock BBC iPlayer. Unrestricted access to streaming services doesn’t stop there. Many of NordVPN’s customers use the VPN service to stream: Amazon Prime Video Hulu HBO Sling TV Sky Now TV Torrenting Torrenting (and other P2P traffic) isn’t allowed on every single NordVPN server, but there’s still more than enough server choice to keep torrenters and Kodi streamers happy. You can torrent while connected to almost every country on NordVPN’s server list – these are listed under ‘Speciality Servers’ within in the app settings. However, the following countries do not permit P2P: Argentina Costa Rica Chile Cyrpus Egypt Georgia Indonesia Malaysia South Korea Taiwan Thailand Vietnam Ukraine United Arab Emirates If you attempt to torrent while connected to a VPN server that doesn’t support P2P NordVPN will simply re-route your traffic through a dedicated server located in either Canada or the Netherlands. With plenty of added security features – such as its VPN kill switch – and a no-logs policy, NordVPN is without a doubt one of the safest VPNs for torrenting. Fast uploads and downloads make it a great choice too. Bypassing Censorship Obfuscated VPN servers work in China intermittently Since the VPN crackdown in China, NordVPN has become a little less reliable for residents or visitors in China, but it’s still a pretty good choice of VPN. Users have reported that NordVPN’s obfuscated servers often bypass the Chinese censors, but others have experienced difficulties connecting to them. NordVPN’s obfuscated servers are spread out fairly evenly, with options in North America, North Africa, Asia, and Europe, so you shouldn’t be too far away from one. There are no obfuscated VPN servers available on the NordVPN iOS app, though, so iPhone users may struggle to connect from China without some manual configuration. See our latest VPN recommendations if you’re looking for a reliable VPN for China, or you can read our ExpressVPN review or our VyprVPN review, two of our top choices. That’s just China, though – in other high censorship countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia NordVPN remains a solid VPN choice to bypass censorship. Platforms & Devices Protect all your devices with a wide range of custom VPN apps Apps Windows Logo Windows Mac Logo Mac iOS Logo iOS Android Logo Android Linux Logo Linux Router Logo Router NordVPN has simple native VPN apps for all major operating systems: Windows macOS iOS Android Linux (yes, even Linux) If your device is not compatible with the custom apps above, you can also install NordVPN on your router. What’s more, you can use NordVPN on up to six devices at the same time using just one VPN subscription, which is one of the highest allowances we’ve seen. Games Consoles & Streaming Devices AppleTV Logo AppleTV Amazon Fire TV Logo Amazon Fire TV Chromecast Logo Chromecast Nintendo Logo Nintendo PlayStation Logo PlayStation Roku Logo Roku Xbox Logo Xbox NordVPN has an Android TV app, meaning you can use the VPN app with streaming devices such as Android TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick without any manual configuration. In fact, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for the Fire TV although it is not our top recommendation. If you own a Firestick and want to use a VPN app with it, take a look at our roundup of the best VPNs for Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. If you want to run NordVPN on your other streaming devices or games consoles like Xbox and PlayStation, though, you’ll need to install it at router level. It’s not too difficult and it means that all devices connected to the router will be protected. Browser Extensions Chrome Logo Chrome Firefox Logo Firefox NordVPN provides VPN extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. These VPN add-ons encrypt your browser traffic, but protection ends there so we always suggest using NordVPN’s extensions in conjunction with the main VPN application or client. The extensions also have an in-built WebRTC leak blocker, which is an extremely useful bonus. NordVPN doesn’t yet have VPN extensions for Safari or Opera browsers. Encryption & Security Secure VPN with advanced features but lacking protocol flexibility Protocol IKEv2/IPSec OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) WireGuard Encryption AES-256 Security DNS Leak Blocking First-party DNS Supports TCP Port 443 VPN Kill Switch WebRTC Leak Blocking Advanced features Double VPN TOR via VPN Server Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more. NordVPN has only one choice of VPN protocol by default, but it’s our personal favourite: OpenVPN. The iOS and macOS apps (available to download directly from the Apple App Store) run on IKEv2, though. OpenVPN provides the perfect blend of speed and security. It encrypts all your internet traffic using the ‘unhackable’ AES-256 cypher. Screenshot of NordVPN Settings Menu in App You can also use IKEv2 with NordVPN’s Windows and Android apps if you like, but it requires an extra download and a lot of advanced setup (manual configuration). The VPN kill switch feature protects your IP address in the event of a connection drop, and NordVPN’s privately owned and operated DNS servers ensure end-to-end protection. NordVPN provides Double VPN (multi-hop) and Tor over VPN (Onion over VPN) for extra encryption. As with all the VPN providers we review, we carried out extensive testing to find IP and DNS leaks when using NordVPN and we are happy to report that we found no leaks whatsoever. Screenshot of browserleaks.com test results for NordVPN Leak test results on browserleaks.com while connected to a NordVPN US server. We test from the UK. NordVPN has recently released a new technology for Linux users called NordLynx that’s based on the WireGuard VPN protocol. WireGuard is a new VPN protocol that aims to be faster and more secure than the current standards, but it’s still in development so should be considered experimental at this point. Logging Policy No-logs VPN in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction NordVPN doesn’t log your traffic or store any user logs, making it a safe and trustworthy VPN. Here’s a comprehensive list of all the information it does collect: Server loads That is the full extent of the information NordVPN collects, making it a true no-logs VPN. Server loads are monitored to maintain the optimal performance of VPN servers for users, and nothing else. Your privacy is upheld above all else, and NordVPN absolutely will not sell your personal data to any third parties. Jurisdiction NordVPN was founded in 2012 is operated by Tefincom & Co S.A. which is headquartered under the legal jurisdiction of Panama, putting it beyond the reach of US and EU data retention laws. Panama does not require VPN companies to store or report any of their data, nor is it part of any agreements that compel it to share information with other countries. Being based in Panama gives NordVPN the power to deny any third-party data requests, so there is absolutely no way that any of your online activity can be traced back to you. In 2018, NordVPN came under some heat as it was accused of not being headquartered in Panama. The reason for the controversy is that when you purchased NordVPN on Google Play Store, at the time the Seller of NordVPN was listed as CloudVPN INC. (a company registered in the US), and not Tefincom & Co S.A. It turns out that CloudVPN INC. is a payment processor and NordVPN was simply using it to handle payments, similarly to how other VPN providers use payment processing companies to manage these type of transactions. Ease of Use Quick and easy setup with simple custom apps How to Install & Set Up NordVPN Screenshot of NordVPN Download Button Downloading the software is as simple as going to Nord's website and clicking the download button for the appropriate platform. Screenshot of NordVPN Installation Progress You can check the progress of your installation here, which usually only takes a couple of minutes at most. Screenshot of NordVPN App Login Screen Once the software is installed, all that's left to do is log into the app and you're ready to go. Screenshot of NordVPN Desktop App Main Screen The main NordVPN app view with server locations to the left, which are also presented as pins on the map. Screenshot of NordVPN Specialty Servers On the left-hand side of the app, you can see the full list of server locations and speciality servers for P2P, Double VPN, etc. Screenshot of NordVPN City-Level Servers Hover over a country name and click on the three horizontal dots that appear in order to select a city-level server. Screenshot of NordVPN Connected Screen You will know when NordVPN is working because the server location you are connected to and your new IP address will be displayed at the bottom of the app. Screenshot of NordVPN General App Settings You can find the general settings by clicking 'Settings' at the top of the app. These consist of simple toggles for general settings, including the VPN kill switch. Screenshot of NordVPN Advanced App Settings Scroll down to the bottom of the settings menu to find the advanced options. After confirming that you know what you're doing, you can toggle between TCP/UDP and use obfuscated servers. The NordVPN website has comprehensive VPN setup guides for whatever platform you happen to be using, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever need them. All of NordVPN’s custom VPN apps run smoothly and are almost entirely self-explanatory. If you want to play around with advanced settings then you’re welcome to do that too – they’re clearly labelled and the app even warns you not to do so unless you know what you’re doing. Browser Extensions Screenshot of NordVPN Chrome Extension It couldn’t be much easier to set up NordVPN’s browser extensions – just go to the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox store and download the add-on to your browser. Once you’ve logged on you can choose a server and connect. We’d recommend enabling ‘Block WebRTC’ from the settings menu to prevent any potential IP leaks. Customer Support Helpful live chat support & useful online resources 24/7 Live chat support Online Resources NordVPN provides excellent quality customer support both through its extensive knowledge base and via online live chat. Email support isn’t as good and we’ve found responses to be slow at times. There is really no reason to email customer support, though, as NordVPN’s live chat service is 24/7. Encounter any issues? 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