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Following a post from u/donjonne about a HUGE Weibo story on how to actually start your own 1:1 repsneaker empire, I figured as a native Mandarin speaker I gave it a shot and translated the entire article, since I myself am pretty damn intrigued what the guy's speaking.Do note this article is written in March 2017, lots of stuff may have been outdated, and I translated word-for-word with some pruned paragraphs that seems like the fella repeating himself. I absolutely hate the weird flowery prose Mandarin always carry when I work on translations, so apologies if the in-jokes or general writing gets a bit dry.submitted by TeddyTheEspurr to Repsneakers [link] [comments]
This is my personal tl;dr without the author's boastful claims, so if you're short on time, here's the quick rundown.
How do replica sneakers get sold?Taobao: Long history with the reputation for being the single biggest online BST hub, with Tmall and Xianyu Second-hands integrated. Lots of fake reviews and seller reputation ratings. The rep game there got outta hand, CEO of Alibaba stepped in and cleaned house, thus everyone moved to...
WeChat: Lots more convoluted, no proper tracking and confirmation like a real shopping app and build quality can vary greatly between sneaker models from the same seller. But through word-of-mouth, standout resellers get recommended more organically, of course you need connections to start with.
Agents: Your best friend if you're overseas, usually ran by freelancers merely collecting orders, reporting back to resellers and have them directly ship your kicks to your doorstep. Agents can be a single person, or a huge operation i.e. Wegobuy and Ytaopal.
How's the quality tho?Depends. Some will try to bait-and-switch, some will bond genuine friendships for simply being a return customer. Factories often cut corners to save some dough and end up with a worse rep, so like the purpose of this sub, dig into forums and guide yourself to trustworthy sellers. Author also goes on a tangent and revealed the numbers and figures of selling reps, along with the sheer gold rush he's in now. Read below for more info.
Anything of note?We're getting ripped off. Real hard, if you're a Mainlander chances are you're being sold 1/3 of the prices we see here. Part of the reason is that the multi-level reselling jacks up the price a lot, so unless you're buying in bulk for the purpose of selling them, good luck finding GET-passable OW AJ1's for less than $70. If you get caught selling, it's fines upwards of ¥50,000 and your license revoked, but nothing too serious beyond that. Author promised more novel shoes get made in the future, like Uggs and non-hypebeast dress shoes or sumthin.
With that outta the way, here's the translation for the whole article, hope you'll learn something for it and if there's any mistakes, feel free to point it out in DMs or just in the comments.
EDIT 17/05/2020: punctuation mistakes and missing formatting, also thanks for the kind words repfam
GOD'S HAND: The Secrets of Replica Sneaker Selling
Having been in the rep game for around 4 to 5 years, it all started out of sheer curiosity. I spent ¥1099 for Air Force 1's some celebrity wore, only to had my buddy show up on me with a fake pair of the same sneaker only costs ¥300.
Not everyone is some rich parents' spoiled brat where a pair of shoes costing a couple grand is considered pocket change, yet everyone has that sense of envy, the need to follow the hype to really stand out from the crowd, so do I honestly. But then again you'd only wear that pair of grails for only a good couple months and it'll be out of the wave, why not I find myself a more wallet-friendly way to do so?
Ever since dipping my toe into the replica community, I'm making connections, meeting new friends and getting scammed in every step I make, keeping contacts of my favorite sellers (looking back yeah they're not the best and cheapest isn't it huh). I'm deep in the rabbit hole now, buying so many pairs I'm starting to be able to tell batches at a glance, and where to hunt down that very best batch at the cheapest price. At this point it's natural that I'm thinking of selling these reps and becoming a middleman with the best of the batches under one roof (which is what's following below).
Anyone who has dealt with middlemen know that actually tracking down the direct factory outlets are nigh impossible, and the multiple stages of middlemen-ception where bigger but more discreet resellers selling to more minor, smaller middlemen can only make one dream of the sheer profit you can make for being on the very top of the pyramid, that idea has only been a mere blip in my mind. There was once in a bar my fam hollered at me with "Yo you remember that John Doe went to Putian for two years? Dude gave up college and has been filthy stinkin' rich by now!" I was like bah it'll never work out for me, but with the summer break I'd worth giving it a shot and have John Doe on the line. And boy howdy, ain't he wildin' right now with his business.
Some say every Nike you see there's 1/3 chance it's straight outta Putian, some say Nike's LC works by handling a pair of dumb shoes to an uninformed factory worker and have him say "fuck kinda shoes are these, looks cool I guess so it's legit?" The only way is to really tear down the whole sneaker and see the markings in UV, and once we're on the point where we can fake inside tags and its barcodes, ask yourself can call out fakes on feet?
A promotion for \"discount\" NB's on Weibo
Ever seen promos like these?
It's what I saw on Weibo today, and you've seen one like it yourself did you? They all look good on the images and you'd be right that they're photos of the real deal, just that of course the shoes you actually get were reps, and for each pair profits are never above ¥100; I sell ya an NB for ¥165, I'd only make ¥50.
REPLICA SNEAKERS: HOW DO THEY GET SOLD?TAOBAO
Taobao has always been the single biggest hub for BST. Run by the faceless middlemen, sold by the page visits, and reviewed by the bots. And stores with inflated trust scores were used as a front, once costing hundreds of yuan to buy now go for the tens of thousands. As Taobao is taking action to curb counterfeits to make way for legitimate resellers, these fronts are getting more expensive by the day, since then people took it to WeChat later on.
Ask anyone who ran a Taobao store, and they'd tell you "you'll never make a cent unless you're selling fakes". A pair of (fake) shoes take some ¥100 to make, and can be sold as a legit like the thousands of yuan you see on their listings, you'd get away with dozens of fakes sold this way, where you can properly guage and adjust said price to match your profit margins. Once the rep game got popular and the snowball kept rolling, the problem got too big for Ma Yun to not ignore it and he went full banhammer on every rep seller. With every media outlet roasting Taobao's ass, everyone wises up to the knowledge that almost every sneaker you see could be fakes. The stigma lived on, and no one would touch any store where its place of origin writes "Putian".
When life gives you lemons, you make a whole damn lemonade stand and just circumvent the whole damn thing by appearing that you're not from Putian. Problem solved. As you check your shipping details, it always seems to travel from Shangai, Shenzen, Quanzhou or even goddamn Xiamen of all places, even overseas.
Proxy services are very popular due to China's stringent laws
When sneakers are labeled as being shipped from Hong Kong, of course the sellers gonna say "it's from Hong Kong" but in fact it's shipping from Shenzhen, and the seller's excuse is that the sneakers are going through HK's borders from Shenzen then to the buyer's location. Even if you bought fakes in Tmall however, it won't be as bad as the ones sold as legit retails in Taobao. There's just too many of these rip-offs anyway! Had a reseller came to me to buy 10 pairs of sneakers, I make ¥10 each pair, but he sold it as retails and went on to make ¥500 each. Of course I'd panicked a jacked a prices a bit so I could have my own slice of extra profit to ¥20 each pair, said the factories jacked the prices themselves as an excuse.
Hoe's mad I guess
While profit margins are no higher than Taobao, they still range around a dozen yuan on bulk. For all the actual friends I have in WeChat, I'd never believe them not having owned a replica sneaker in their whole life, blah blah blah "factory direct", "wholesale prices" my ass, who really can head to the factories and buy direct these days? Rep resellers buying bulk from those factories are truly the "direct from factory" purchases. Resellers then selling the reps to middlemen and agents, that's another step. Said middlemen then resell these reps to quote-on-quote "middlemen". (NB: may have been the very resellers we see on the sub) And it goes on and on and then, to you, the customer.The so-called A-grade reps you see on WC, let's say we buy it from the factory at ¥200 (for example, the real deal won't be this cheap) and sell to the end-user for ¥400~¥500, it does in fact look decent. Heck, retails may get "called out" in forums and reps may sneak under the radar. Chat and forum opinions aren't good indicatiors for a rep's actual quality. Thus you may wonder why buy retails at this point? No one would really hit the New Balance outlets at their local Wanda mall and ask the teeny-bop promoter lady if their kicks are legit anyway, so wouldn't this been the dream job you've wanted, right?
These sort of agents are mostly handling orders from overseas to cater the westerners, mainly Russian, SE-Asian, North/South American countries etc., and will never be some solo project as they always come in groups of a few dozen staff members. These agent groups can also hire decently well-spoken college students to help converse customers in English and pay them good pocket change, which is eerily similar to how Forex scams work before, but this time they're doing legit businesses for a change. Sort of.
The most common agent you may come across can be your close friends, they get instant payouts for attracting their local classmates to collect orders for reps, and this wannabe hustler reports them back to the resellers to ship to school dorms directly.
REPLICA BUILD AND QUALITYReplicas reach far, far and wide. You could see your neighborhood cleaner aunt wearing 990v4s, motorbike taxi riders wearing Duck Camo AM90's, your kind old uncle next door exercising in Flyknit Racers and so on. NB, Nike, Converse, Ascis, Kappa; any brand you wanted they got it. ¥100 to ¥500 is what the factories charge, but after it hits resellers with a ¥200 hike, the illusion what seems to be a shoe that'll last breaks down as it wears out after a few wears. Bad stitching? Poorly-tumbled faux-leather? Off-moulded shape? I'd believe you but you sure you can tell if the EVA is fake by just looking on it? Is the gluing pattern underneath it visible even? A good deal of local boutiques sell ¥120 replicas at official retail prices like ¥599, a good ¥400 profit.
Putian factories are split into "heavy" and "light" industries. The heavy industries builds the sneaker as a whole from scratch, while the light industries were like CKD vehicles, where parts are purchased and assembled together instead. and quality of each part of the sneaker depends among factories. Lots of them try to cut corners to save every extra cent, which explains the decreasing quality of recent sneakers you see now. Larger factories has always been delivering consistently decent sneakers, as customers who contacted them are much picker and won't slash prices along with quality out of the blue. The stitching (and Nike Air units/Boost soles even!) is close enough to pass off as retails. Some of the more badass factories can make a batch of 100 brand new replicas for you, just hand in a donor retail pair and they'll get to work.The old dogs in Putian has been around for ages, runs most of the resellers you know and love. They buy reps from the factory direct at ¥140, sell to resellers at ¥160 and have the resellers push ¥180, at these prices the shoes are just not enough to satisfy demand. I've gave it an estimate if the factory got his order to 30 dozen pairs of reps, with each pair a ¥20 profit, we're looking at ¥7,000 a day or ¥20,000 a month in gross profit.
Of course, the Sales and Commerce Assoc. will still take a heavy hand on counterfeit sneakers till today, basically a few sellers every month get caught in the counterfeit business. The offenders walk into the office, sit down, had "the talk" yet again and pay a good ¥30k~¥50k fine and had their licenses taken away, for just awhile. Factories themselves get raided very seldom, maybe a every 6 months only a single factory gets caught per year. Putian has become the leading worldwide repsneaker operation for the entire world, and outputs around 50% the actual worldwide sneaker market, an estimated ¥20bn yearly. The Nikes and Adidases you wear now has an "OEM" for that. You may have bought a brand sneaker [in China], but it may very well be a fake regardless, to be fair the quality itself is indistinguishable anyway.
REPSNEAKER GRADES1) The Standard Putian's cheapest offering, pretty much trash tier and a certain Taobao sells them the most often :^)
2) The GET Batch A huge improvement from the Standards, and the so-called 1:1 batch from the mouths of others. It's really not, some of the materials itself is not as fine or accurate as the real deal. Tmall often sells these batches, but often get sold as retails.
3) The 1:1 The absolute tip of the high-end replicas. Take it to HuPu.com and only the eagle-eyed few would call you out. Not everyone can get their hands on them, regardless of price. [eg: similar situation to UABat's Union AJ1's]
4) The Retail Nuff said, just retails. (But really, reps cost just 1/5 of the retail price, why bother lol?)
A snapshot of KFC6855's wares
HOW TO TELL FAKES[The author essentially details how to LC NB998's, so this is best skipped as it adds nothing to the article other than repeating the author's point over and over.]
THE REPSNEAKER FUTUREIf you ever think replica sneakers will only remain within the hypebeast sporty trainer radar, oh you'd be surprised. The replica factories are on full steam, churning out Dr. Martens, UGGS, Tod's and a lot more to come. If you're interested, my WeChat: KFC6855 has them on sale right now, guaranteed to keep ya comfy this winter.
With all that said, I hope you learnt something from this, and now that you know if you really wanted a retail pair to sleep well at night, just don't get 'em in online stores. There's no glitz and glamor selling counterfeit sneakers, it's just business after all.
If you know, you know.
How exactly did the British manage to diddle us and drain our wealth’ ? was the question that Basudev Chatterjee (later editor of a volume in the Towards Freedom project) had posed to me 50 years ago when we were fellow-students abroad.This is begging the question.
After decades of research I find that using India’s commodity export surplus as the measure and applying an interest rate of 5%, the total drain from 1765 to 1938, compounded up to 2016, comes to £9.2 trillion; since $4.86 exchanged for £1 those days, this sum equals about $45 trillion.This is completely meaningless. To understand why it's meaningless consider India's annual coconut exports. These are almost certainly a surplus but the surplus in trade is countered by the other country buying the product (indeed, by definition, trade surpluses contribute to the GDP of a nation which hardly plays into intuitive conceptualisations of drain).
She [Patnaik] consistently adopts statistical assumptions (such as compound interest at a rate of 5% per annum over centuries) that exaggerate the magnitude of the drainMoving on:
The exact mechanism of drain, or transfers from India to Britain was quite simple.Convenient.
Drain theory possessed the political merit of being easily grasped by a nation of peasants. [...] No other idea could arouse people than the thought that they were being taxed so that others in far off lands might live in comfort. [...] It was, therefore, inevitable that the drain theory became the main staple of nationalist political agitation during the Gandhian era.- Chandra et al. (1989)
The key factor was Britain’s control over our taxation revenues combined with control over India’s financial gold and forex earnings from its booming commodity export surplus with the world. Simply put, Britain used locally raised rupee tax revenues to pay for its net import of goods, a highly abnormal use of budgetary funds not seen in any sovereign country.The issue with figures like these is they all make certain methodological assumptions that are impossible to prove. From Roy in Frankema et al. (2019):
the "drain theory" of Indian poverty cannot be tested with evidence, for several reasons. First, it rests on the counterfactual that any money saved on account of factor payments abroad would translate into domestic investment, which can never be proved. Second, it rests on "the primitive notion that all payments to foreigners are "drain"", that is, on the assumption that these payments did not contribute to domestic national income to the equivalent extent (Kumar 1985, 384; see also Chaudhuri 1968). Again, this cannot be tested. [...] Fourth, while British officers serving India did receive salaries that were many times that of the average income in India, a paper using cross-country data shows that colonies with better paid officers were governed better (Jones 2013).Indeed, drain theory rests on some very weak foundations. This, in of itself, should be enough to dismiss any of the other figures that get thrown out. Nonetheless, I felt it would be a useful exercise to continue exploring Patnaik's take on drain theory.
The East India Company from 1765 onwards allocated every year up to one-third of Indian budgetary revenues net of collection costs, to buy a large volume of goods for direct import into Britain, far in excess of that country’s own needs.So what's going on here? Well Roy (2019) explains it better:
Colonial India ran an export surplus, which, together with foreign investment, was used to pay for services purchased from Britain. These payments included interest on public debt, salaries, and pensions paid to government offcers who had come from Britain, salaries of managers and engineers, guaranteed profts paid to railway companies, and repatriated business profts. How do we know that any of these payments involved paying too much? The answer is we do not.So what was really happening is the government was paying its workers for services (as well as guaranteeing profits - to promote investment - something the GoI does today Dalal (2019), and promoting business in India), and those workers were remitting some of that money to Britain. This is hardly a drain (unless, of course, Indian diaspora around the world today are "draining" it). In some cases, the remittances would take the form of goods (as described) see Chaudhuri (1983):
It is obvious that these debit items were financed through the export surplus on merchandise account, and later, when railway construction started on a large scale in India, through capital import. Until 1833 the East India Company followed a cumbersome method in remitting the annual home charges. This was to purchase export commodities in India out of revenue, which were then shipped to London and the proceeds from their sale handed over to the home treasury.While Roy's earlier point argues better paid officers governed better, it is honestly impossible to say what part of the repatriated export surplus was a drain, and what was not. However calling all of it a drain is definitely misguided.
she [Patnaik] consistently ignores research that would tend to cut the economic impact of the drain down to size, such as the work on the sources of investment during the industrial revolution (which shows that industrialisation was financed by the ploughed-back profits of industrialists) or the costs of empire school (which stresses the high price of imperial defence)
Since tropical goods were highly prized in other cold temperate countries which could never produce them, in effect these free goods represented international purchasing power for Britain which kept a part for its own use and re-exported the balance to other countries in Europe and North America against import of food grains, iron and other goods in which it was deficient.Re-exports necessarily adds value to goods when the goods are processed and when the goods are transported. The country with the largest navy at the time would presumably be in very good stead to do the latter.
The British historians Phyllis Deane and WA Cole presented an incorrect estimate of Britain’s 18th-19th century trade volume, by leaving out re-exports completely. I found that by 1800 Britain’s total trade was 62% higher than their estimate, on applying the correct definition of trade including re-exports, that is used by the United Nations and by all other international organisations.While interesting, and certainly expected for such an old book, re-exporting necessarily adds value to goods.
When the Crown took over from the Company, from 1861 a clever system was developed under which all of India’s financial gold and forex earnings from its fast-rising commodity export surplus with the world, was intercepted and appropriated by Britain. As before up to a third of India’s rising budgetary revenues was not spent domestically but was set aside as ‘expenditure abroad’.So, what does this mean? Britain appropriated all of India's earnings, and then spent a third of it aboard? Not exactly. She is describing home charges see Roy (2019) again:
Some of the expenditures on defense and administration were made in sterling and went out of the country. This payment by the government was known as the Home Charges. For example, interest payment on loans raised to finance construction of railways and irrigation works, pensions paid to retired officers, and purchase of stores, were payments in sterling. [...] almost all money that the government paid abroad corresponded to the purchase of a service from abroad. [...] The balance of payments system that emerged after 1800 was based on standard business principles. India bought something and paid for it. State revenues were used to pay for wages of people hired abroad, pay for interest on loans raised abroad, and repatriation of profits on foreign investments coming into India. These were legitimate market transactions.Indeed, if paying for what you buy is drain, then several billions of us are drained every day.
The Secretary of State for India in Council, based in London, invited foreign importers to deposit with him the payment (in gold, sterling and their own currencies) for their net imports from India, and these gold and forex payments disappeared into the yawning maw of the SoS’s account in the Bank of England.It should be noted that India having two heads was beneficial, and encouraged investment per Roy (2019):
The fact that the India Office in London managed a part of the monetary system made India creditworthy, stabilized its currency, and encouraged foreign savers to put money into railways and private enterprise in India. Current research on the history of public debt shows that stable and large colonies found it easier to borrow abroad than independent economies because the investors trusted the guarantee of the colonist powers.
Against India’s net foreign earnings he issued bills, termed Council bills (CBs), to an equivalent rupee value. The rate (between gold-linked sterling and silver rupee) at which the bills were issued, was carefully adjusted to the last farthing, so that foreigners would never find it more profitable to ship financial gold as payment directly to Indians, compared to using the CB route. Foreign importers then sent the CBs by post or by telegraph to the export houses in India, that via the exchange banks were paid out of the budgeted provision of sums under ‘expenditure abroad’, and the exporters in turn paid the producers (peasants and artisans) from whom they sourced the goods.Sunderland (2013) argues CBs had two main roles (and neither were part of a grand plot to keep gold out of India):
Council bills had two roles. They firstly promoted trade by handing the IO some control of the rate of exchange and allowing the exchange banks to remit funds to India and to hedge currency transaction risks. They also enabled the Indian government to transfer cash to England for the payment of its UK commitments.
The United Nations (1962) historical data for 1900 to 1960, show that for three decades up to 1928 (and very likely earlier too) India posted the second highest merchandise export surplus in the world, with USA in the first position. Not only were Indians deprived of every bit of the enormous international purchasing power they had earned over 175 years, even its rupee equivalent was not issued to them since not even the colonial government was credited with any part of India’s net gold and forex earnings against which it could issue rupees. The sleight-of-hand employed, namely ‘paying’ producers out of their own taxes, made India’s export surplus unrequited and constituted a tax-financed drain to the metropolis, as had been correctly pointed out by those highly insightful classical writers, Dadabhai Naoroji and RCDutt.It doesn't appear that others appreciate their insight Roy (2019):
K. N. Chaudhuri rightly calls such practice ‘confused’ economics ‘coloured by political feelings’.
Surplus budgets to effect such heavy tax-financed transfers had a severe employment–reducing and income-deflating effect: mass consumption was squeezed in order to release export goods. Per capita annual foodgrains absorption in British India declined from 210 kg. during the period 1904-09, to 157 kg. during 1937-41, and to only 137 kg by 1946.Dewey (1978) points out reliability issues with Indian agriculutural statistics, however this calorie decline persists to this day. Some of it is attributed to less food being consumed at home Smith (2015), a lower infectious disease burden Duh & Spears (2016) and diversified diets Vankatesh et al. (2016).
If even a part of its enormous foreign earnings had been credited to it and not entirely siphoned off, India could have imported modern technology to build up an industrial structure as Japan was doing.This is, unfortunately, impossible to prove. Had the British not arrived in India, there is no clear indication that India would've united (this is arguably more plausible than the given counterfactual1). Had the British not arrived in India, there is no clear indication India would not have been nuked in WW2, much like Japan. Had the British not arrived in India, there is no clear indication India would not have been invaded by lizard people,
This article starts from the premise that while economic categories - the extent of commodity production, wage labour, monetarisation of the economy, etc - should be the basis for any analysis of the production relations of pre-British India, it is the nature of class struggles arising out of particular class alignments that finally gives the decisive twist to social change. Arguing on this premise, and analysing the available evidence, this article concludes that there was little potential for industrial revolution before the British arrived in India because, whatever might have been the character of economic categories of that period, the class relations had not sufficiently matured to develop productive forces and the required class struggle for a 'revolution' to take place.A view echoed in Raychaudhuri (1983):
Yet all of this did not amount to an economic situation comparable to that of western Europe on the eve of the industrial revolution. Her technology - in agriculture as well as manufacturers - had by and large been stagnant for centuries. [...] The weakness of the Indian economy in the mid-eighteenth century, as compared to pre-industrial Europe was not simply a matter of technology and commercial and industrial organization. No scientific or geographical revolution formed part of the eighteenth-century Indian's historical experience. [...] Spontaneous movement towards industrialisation is unlikely in such a situation.So now we've established India did not have industrial potential, was India similar to Japan just before the Meiji era? The answer, yet again, unsurprisingly, is no. Japan's economic situation was not comparable to India's, which allowed for Japan to finance its revolution. From Yasuba (1986):
All in all, the Japanese standard of living may not have been much below the English standard of living before industrialization, and both of them may have been considerably higher than the Indian standard of living. We can no longer say that Japan started from a pathetically low economic level and achieved a rapid or even "miraculous" economic growth. Japan's per capita income was almost as high as in Western Europe before industrialization, and it was possible for Japan to produce surplus in the Meiji Period to finance private and public capital formation.The circumstances that led to Meiji Japan were extremely unique. See Tomlinson (1985):
Most modern comparisons between India and Japan, written by either Indianists or Japanese specialists, stress instead that industrial growth in Meiji Japan was the product of unique features that were not reproducible elsewhere. [...] it is undoubtably true that Japan's progress to industrialization has been unique and unrepeatableSo there you have it. Unsubstantiated statistical assumptions, calling any number you can a drain & assuming a counterfactual for no good reason gets you this $45 trillion number. Hopefully that's enough to bury it in the ground.
Perhaps the single greatest and most enduring impact of British rule over India is that it created an Indian nation, in the modern political sense. After centuries of rule by different dynasties overparts of the Indian sub-continent, and after about 100 years of British rule, Indians ceased to be merely Bengalis, Maharashtrians,or Tamils, linguistically and culturally.or see Bryant 2000:
But then, it would be anachronistic to condemn eighteenth-century Indians, who served the British, as collaborators, when the notion of 'democratic' nationalism or of an Indian 'nation' did not then exist. [...] Indians who fought for them, differed from the Europeans in having a primary attachment to a non-belligerent religion, family and local chief, which was stronger than any identity they might have with a more remote prince or 'nation'.
submitted by Tokenomy to tokenomyofficial [link] [comments]
Author: Christian Hsieh, CEO of Tokenomy
This paper examines some explanations for the continual global market demand for the U.S. dollar, the rise of stablecoins, and the utility and opportunities that crypto dollars can offer to both the cryptocurrency and traditional markets.
The U.S. dollar, dominant in world trade since the establishment of the 1944 Bretton Woods System, is unequivocally the world’s most demanded reserve currency. Today, more than 61% of foreign bank reserves and nearly 40% of the entire world’s debt is denominated in U.S. dollars1.
However, there is a massive supply and demand imbalance in the U.S. dollar market. On the supply side, central banks throughout the world have implemented more than a decade-long accommodative monetary policy since the 2008 global financial crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the need for central banks to provide necessary liquidity and keep staggering economies moving. While the Federal Reserve leads the effort of “money printing” and stimulus programs, the current money supply still cannot meet the constant high demand for the U.S. dollar2. Let us review some of the reasons for this constant dollar demand from a few economic fundamentals.
Demand for U.S. DollarsFirstly, most of the world’s trade is denominated in U.S. dollars. Chief Economist of the IMF, Gita Gopinath, has compiled data reflecting that the U.S. dollar’s share of invoicing was 4.7 times larger than America’s share of the value of imports, and 3.1 times its share of world exports3. The U.S. dollar is the dominant “invoicing currency” in most developing countries4.
This U.S. dollar preference also directly impacts the world’s debt. According to the Bank of International Settlements, there is over $67 trillion in U.S. dollar denominated debt globally, and borrowing outside of the U.S. accounted for $12.5 trillion in Q1 20205. There is an immense demand for U.S. dollars every year just to service these dollar debts. The annual U.S. dollar buying demand is easily over $1 trillion assuming the borrowing cost is at 1.5% (1 year LIBOR + 1%) per year, a conservative estimate.
Secondly, since the U.S. has a much stronger economy compared to its global peers, a higher return on investments draws U.S. dollar demand from everywhere in the world, to invest in companies both in the public and private markets. The U.S. hosts the largest stock markets in the world with more than $33 trillion in public market capitalization (combined both NYSE and NASDAQ)6. For the private market, North America’s total share is well over 60% of the $6.5 trillion global assets under management across private equity, real assets, and private debt investments7. The demand for higher quality investments extends to the fixed income market as well. As countries like Japan and Switzerland currently have negative-yielding interest rates8, fixed income investors’ quest for yield in the developed economies leads them back to the U.S. debt market. As of July 2020, there are $15 trillion worth of negative-yielding debt securities globally (see chart). In comparison, the positive, low-yielding U.S. debt remains a sound fixed income strategy for conservative investors in uncertain market conditions.
Last, but not least, there are many developing economies experiencing failing monetary policies, where hyperinflation has become a real national disaster. A classic example is Venezuela, where the currency Bolivar became practically worthless as the inflation rate skyrocketed to 10,000,000% in 20199. The recent Beirut port explosion in Lebanon caused a sudden economic meltdown and compounded its already troubled financial market, where inflation has soared to over 112% year on year10. For citizens living in unstable regions such as these, the only reliable store of value is the U.S. dollar. According to the Chainalysis 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, Venezuela has become one of the most active cryptocurrency trading countries11. The demand for cryptocurrency surges as a flight to safety mentality drives Venezuelans to acquire U.S. dollars to preserve savings that they might otherwise lose. The growth for cryptocurrency activities in those regions is fueled by these desperate citizens using cryptocurrencies as rails to access the U.S. dollar, on top of acquiring actual Bitcoin or other underlying crypto assets.
The Rise of Crypto DollarsDue to the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, USD stablecoin, a crypto-powered blockchain token that pegs its value to the U.S. dollar, was introduced to provide stable dollar exposure in the crypto trading sphere. Tether is the first of its kind. Issued in 2014 on the bitcoin blockchain (Omni layer protocol), under the token symbol USDT, it attempts to provide crypto traders with a stable settlement currency while they trade in and out of various crypto assets. The reason behind the stablecoin creation was to address the inefficient and burdensome aspects of having to move fiat U.S. dollars between the legacy banking system and crypto exchanges. Because one USDT is theoretically backed by one U.S. dollar, traders can use USDT to trade and settle to fiat dollars. It was not until 2017 that the majority of traders seemed to realize Tether’s intended utility and started using it widely. As of April 2019, USDT trading volume started exceeding the trading volume of bitcoina12, and it now dominates the crypto trading sphere with over $50 billion average daily trading volume13.
An interesting aspect of USDT is that although the claimed 1:1 backing with U.S. dollar collateral is in question, and the Tether company is in reality running fractional reserves through a loose offshore corporate structure, Tether’s trading volume and adoption continues to grow rapidly14. Perhaps in comparison to fiat U.S. dollars, which is not really backed by anything, Tether still has cash equivalents in reserves and crypto traders favor its liquidity and convenience over its lack of legitimacy. For those who are concerned about Tether’s solvency, they can now purchase credit default swaps for downside protection15. On the other hand, USDC, the more compliant contender, takes a distant second spot with total coin circulation of $1.8 billion, versus USDT at $14.5 billion (at the time of publication). It is still too early to tell who is the ultimate leader in the stablecoin arena, as more and more stablecoins are launching to offer various functions and supporting mechanisms. There are three main categories of stablecoin: fiat-backed, crypto-collateralized, and non-collateralized algorithm based stablecoins. Most of these are still at an experimental phase, and readers can learn more about them here. With the continuous innovation of stablecoin development, the utility stablecoins provide in the overall crypto market will become more apparent.
Institutional DevelopmentsIn addition to trade settlement, stablecoins can be applied in many other areas. Cross-border payments and remittances is an inefficient market that desperately needs innovation. In 2020, the average cost of sending money across the world is around 7%16, and it takes days to settle. The World Bank aims to reduce remittance fees to 3% by 2030. With the implementation of blockchain technology, this cost could be further reduced close to zero.
J.P. Morgan, the largest bank in the U.S., has created an Interbank Information Network (IIN) with 416 global Institutions to transform the speed of payment flows through its own JPM Coin, another type of crypto dollar17. Although people argue that JPM Coin is not considered a cryptocurrency as it cannot trade openly on a public blockchain, it is by far the largest scale experiment with all the institutional participants trading within the “permissioned” blockchain. It might be more accurate to refer to it as the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) instead of “blockchain” in this context. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that as J.P. Morgan currently moves $6 trillion U.S. dollars per day18, the scale of this experiment would create a considerable impact in the international payment and remittance market if it were successful. Potentially the day will come when regulated crypto exchanges become participants of IIN, and the link between public and private crypto assets can be instantly connected, unlocking greater possibilities in blockchain applications.
Many central banks are also in talks about developing their own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Although this idea was not new, the discussion was brought to the forefront due to Facebook’s aggressive Libra project announcement in June 2019 and the public attention that followed. As of July 2020, at least 36 central banks have published some sort of CBDC framework. While each nation has a slightly different motivation behind its currency digitization initiative, ranging from payment safety, transaction efficiency, easy monetary implementation, or financial inclusion, these central banks are committed to deploying a new digital payment infrastructure. When it comes to the technical architectures, research from BIS indicates that most of the current proofs-of-concept tend to be based upon distributed ledger technology (permissioned blockchain)19.
These institutional experiments are laying an essential foundation for an improved global payment infrastructure, where instant and frictionless cross-border settlements can take place with minimal costs. Of course, the interoperability of private DLT tokens and public blockchain stablecoins has yet to be explored, but the innovation with both public and private blockchain efforts could eventually merge. This was highlighted recently by the Governor of the Bank of England who stated that “stablecoins and CBDC could sit alongside each other20”. One thing for certain is that crypto dollars (or other fiat-linked digital currencies) are going to play a significant role in our future economy.
Future OpportunitiesThere is never a dull moment in the crypto sector. The industry narratives constantly shift as innovation continues to evolve. Twelve years since its inception, Bitcoin has evolved from an abstract subject to a familiar concept. Its role as a secured, scarce, decentralized digital store of value has continued to gain acceptance, and it is well on its way to becoming an investable asset class as a portfolio hedge against asset price inflation and fiat currency depreciation. Stablecoins have proven to be useful as proxy dollars in the crypto world, similar to how dollars are essential in the traditional world. It is only a matter of time before stablecoins or private digital tokens dominate the cross-border payments and global remittances industry.
There are no shortages of hypes and experiments that draw new participants into the crypto space, such as smart contracts, new blockchains, ICOs, tokenization of things, or the most recent trends on DeFi tokens. These projects highlight the possibilities for a much more robust digital future, but the market also needs time to test and adopt. A reliable digital payment infrastructure must be built first in order to allow these experiments to flourish.
In this paper we examined the historical background and economic reasons for the U.S. dollar’s dominance in the world, and the probable conclusion is that the demand for U.S. dollars will likely continue, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, accompanied by a worldwide economic slowdown. The current monetary system is far from perfect, but there are no better alternatives for replacement at least in the near term. Incremental improvements are being made in both the public and private sectors, and stablecoins have a definite role to play in both the traditional and the new crypto world.
 How the US dollar became the world’s reserve currency, Investopedia
 The dollar is in high demand, prone to dangerous appreciation, The Economist
 Dollar dominance in trade and finance, Gita Gopinath
 Global trades dependence on dollars, The Economist & IMF working papers
 Total credit to non-bank borrowers by currency of denomination, BIS
 Biggest stock exchanges in the world, Business Insider
 McKinsey Global Private Market Review 2020, McKinsey & Company
 Central banks current interest rates, Global Rates
 Venezuela hyperinflation hits 10 million percent, CNBC
 Lebanon inflation crisis, Reuters
 Venezuela cryptocurrency market, Chainalysis
 The most used cryptocurrency isn’t Bitcoin, Bloomberg
 Trading volume of all crypto assets, coinmarketcap.com
 Tether US dollar peg is no longer credible, Forbes
 New crypto derivatives let you bet on (or against) Tether’s solvency, Coindesk
 Remittance Price Worldwide, The World Bank
 Interbank Information Network, J.P. Morgan
 Jamie Dimon interview, CBS News
 Rise of the central bank digital currency, BIS
 Speech by Andrew Bailey, 3 September 2020, Bank of England
https://preview.redd.it/1rf74ljv34l51.png?width=960&format=png&auto=webp&s=566235871ce22dd3078f0532dfb672bff6eb0707submitted by WorriedXVanilla to u/WorriedXVanilla [link] [comments]
The irony of financial markets is that this business that officially has got as much regulation as arms trafficking, has also got the same problem –- numerous illegal entities that evolve around the niche.
Scam brokers, funds recovery services that rob the robbed traders, HYIPs, “learn how to make millions overnight” trading courses and a number of other schemes all tend to exploit the weak point of human nature – the belief that there is the magic device with the “MORE MONEY” button out there, that someone can sell you.
A thief shouting “Thief!”Considering the above there is a high demand in society for truthful and unbiased information about the market players. WikiFX claims to be the provider of such honest information about brokers but in fact, makes money by blackmailing brokers and promoting any company that offers to pay enough in their rankings.
WikiFX is a classic illustration of a thief shouting “Get the thief!” louder than anybody else in the crowd. The strategy works unfortunately and traders tend to trust WikiFx broker’s ratings without questioning what these ratings are based on and who sponsors this global brokers’ database.
Paving the road with some good intentionsEven the most horrible crimes against humanity were done under the cover of best intentions. Starting with the first crusades and ending with the holocaust. There are always some sound arguments, protected people and reliable methods.
Ask any trader whether each forex broker must be regulated by a third party? The answer will be “yes” with a near 100% probability and this answer is totally correct. Know-your-customer procedures and some unbiased third-party control are essential for maintaining the overall transparency of any business in a sphere of finance. This is the argument that WikiFX starts with when promoting its service and there is absolutely no point to argue. Starting with an indisputable truth is a good strategy to win the debate.
“The long-term presence on the market adds credibility”, – says WikiFX, and hears “yes” again.
“Don’t you agree that the longer the company is in the business, the better?”. “Sure”, – the trader agrees one more time.
The mission is completed. This is when the broker ranker can add any other criteria to their appraisal methods. Traders will tend to trust the service because they’ve agreed upon the most important criteria. The rest are minor details.
But what if the rest of the appraisal methods are not just minor issues? What if these details can be the means to manipulate the facts as much as they want to?
Can WikiFX appraisal criteria be trusted?If we take a look at any broker’s WikiFX rating, we can see that the criteria of appraisal are the following:
WikiFX Forex com example
Looks good. Really. Regardless of the attitude to this particular brokerage, the work seems to be done fine. All the regulators are listed below, the information on the used software, licensing, and years of operation is included.
But what if we take some other random brokerage with one of the lowest rankings at WikiFX?
NinjaTraderBrokerage WIkiFX Ranking
This is where the truth reveals itself. Once again, regardless of the attitude to this particular brokerage this is really easy to find out what they do, what licenses they’ve got and what kind of software they use.
Suspicious clone? Seriously? If WikiFX staff cared enough to do any investigation prior to stamping that “Suspicious” mark on the brokerage, they would have seen that both domains, nijatrader com and ninjatraderbrokerage com belong to the same entity.
NinyaTrader whois data
If they cared enough to collect information on the brokerage from at least one reliable source, like Investopedia or any other similarly known database, they would also have found out that the company not only provides the brokerage service, but also is known for its trading platform with advanced technical analysis tools. But the only trading software that WikiFX considers reliable seems to be MT4/MT5. They simply ignore the fact that trading does not evolve around MetaTrader products, no matter how good and popular they are. WikiFX lowers the score of any brokerage with custom-developed software. We can clearly see this with the above example.
Other criteria that WikiFX is proud to use for the broker’s appraisal are regulations. Using the same example let’s see how well they do the appraisal in this field. As you can see above, WikiFX used the “Suspicious Regulatory License” stamp for NinjaTrader Brokerage.
And here is what The National Futures Association, that NinjaTrader is registered with as a futures broker has on its record:
NFA regulation of NTB proof that WikiFX did not consider to be trustworthy
We can’t expect every trader to know that any futures broker that wants to operate on the US market must be a member of NFA. This is the requirement of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regarding the futures broker’s operations. But this is totally unacceptable for a broker ranking website, which WikiFX claims to be, to mark NFA-registered futures brokerage as non-reliable.
By the way, did you notice on the above screenshot that NTB has obtained the NFA license in 2004? Yet, this does not prevent WikiFX from claiming that the brokerage has only been providing its services for 1-2 years only, instead of the factual 16 years of operations.
We can long discuss the reasons that lie behind such selectivity of WikiFX but this random example clearly shows that any brokerage that provides access to non-forex derivatives trading or dares to suggest custom-developed software to its traders is in danger of receiving a negative review at WikiFX regardless of the factual reliability and regulations.
What lies beneath WikiFX selectivity?WikiFX claims to have a team of professionals that are all involved in objective appraisal of broker’s services, licenses and used software. The methods used by these professionals remain unrevealed and as we see from the above comparison two similarly reliable brokerages can get any score from 1.0 and up to 10.0 at WikiFX, no matter what regulations they’ve got, for how long they’ve been in the business and what kind of software they use.
This is difficult to say what lies behind such selectivity with 100% confidence. The first thing that comes to mind is that WikiFX might be affiliated with some brokers. The hypothesis gets even more realistic if we try to understand who sponsors WikiFX.
There are no transparent built-in ads neither on the web-version of the website nor in its applications. There are no paid subscriptions for access to the database. This means that users sponsor the service with neither their attention to ads nor directly. Being the non-charity and non-governmental organization WikiFX can’t be sponsored with donations or a government. The only option that we have left is that brokers sponsor this ranking system directly, which automatically makes the whole system non-reliable and highly biased.
The only transparent method that we know WikiFX uses to collect money is sponsorship fees they collect from their offline events participants. Let’s have a look at the exhibitors of the recent WikiFX Expo in Thailand.
WikiFX Expo Exhibitors
Murky & MurkierSo far we’ve only discussed the facts that anyone can check himself using free tools and sources.
It was not that difficult to discover that WikiFX uses non-transparent standards for brokers’ appraisal. It ignores the specifics of some brokerages lowering their scores due to non-standard derivatives they offer to trade or custom trading software. It also promotes non-regulated and non-licensed brokerages, which is 100% against the declared WikiFX values and mission.
The rumors are that this company was also noticed blackmailing brokers with the purpose of making them pay for better reviews at WikiFX. There are also some signs that indicate suspicious promotion of WikiFX platform through social media and Quora. Some of the WikiFX positive reviews also look highly suspicious. All of the above is a matter of further investigation.
Nevertheless, thousands of users keep relying on the information provided by this scam ranking system. It may even look like all these users are satisfied. WikiFX has got 4.5 starts at Google Play, which sounds good enough. However, positive WikiFX reviews use similar semantics and are also highly suspicious. Despite the high average grade, Google Play finds the following messages to be most relevant and brings them to the top of WikiFX reviews:
Google Play most relevant WikiFX reviews
You’ve got the facts now and it’s time to make your own conclusions.
Heyo! Continuing with our six-part catch up series to get up to date on the May and June news from Parachute and partners, here’s Part II of VI (22 May - 28 May'20):submitted by abhijoysarkar to ParachuteToken [link] [comments]
If you're in crypto, there's often the random pump/moon/wenBinance talk that props up from time to time in groups. Especially, when someone new joins a project and is unfamiliar with the community culture. At Parachute, we have always made it a point to have more meaningful discussions than price. Cap shared some of his thoughts on this as well. For the #culturalweekend prompt this week, Jason got Parachuters to share about “something weird your family does that is a tradition for them but not a traditional tradition”. Peace Love’s Big Trivia in TTR was quite fun as always. The beta testing group for ParJar swaps was set up this week. Also, Chris organised something amazing this week which will possibly remain a secret amongst Parachute admins (and Doc Vic 😊 ). But if word of it ever goes out, you’ll realise why Parachute is the most wholesome project in all of crypto. Chris also gave out some cool $PAR to folks in the Parachute channel to talk about "something that you didn't spend much money on that had a big impact on your quality of life". This week's Two-for-Tuesday featured music from "female artists, including bands with at least one female member". Click here for the playlist. Thanks Sebastian!
Some good cheer from Alexis all the way from Germany
aXpire’s May recap video covers product updates from Bilr, PayBX etc. To track this week’s 20k $AXPR burn, click here. The team also shared success strategies for law firms. 2gether co-founder Salvador Casquero wrote about best security practices in finance. A new update was pushed to Wednesday Coin’s dApp, WednesdayClub. In this week’s XIO discussions, Citizens talked about ideal time allocation strategies for research and execution. Top Citizens on the Leaderboard stand a chance to win some cool merch. Also, watch out for pesky scams. Voyager announced a partnership with Sterling Trading Tech to launch a crypto trading widget. Proactive Investors covered Voyager in its latest piece chronicling their growing user base. As mentioned in a previous update, CEO Stephen Ehrlich’s crypto investment webinar happened this week. Switch crew did a community AMA just before the $GHOST airdrop snapshot. The team expanded with new dev hires. In preparation for the $GHOST airdrop, ProBit completed its $VSF:$ESH swap and Stex announced support for $ESH/$GHOST airdrop. $ESH was listed on HitBTC and Changelly. Folks who guessed these exchanges correctly won some tokens as well. Founder Josh Case sat down with Mr. Backwards for an interview. Among several updates to the Ghost website, a staking calculator was added. Click here to read the latest technical update from Fantom. $FTM was in the running to be added as a collateral for DAI. Congratulations to Uptrennd for becoming the highest ranked blockchain-based social media platform as per Alexa. They started a SmartLink campaign with 2key Network. The first Uptrennd halvening went live this week. The team is reachable on Discord from now as well. District0x’s latest District Weekly and Dev Updates can be read here and here respectively. Hydro team shared their thoughts on how virtual cards for independent contractors (otherwise referred to as 1099 employees) could improve reimbursement practices. Entries for their Decentralization Ambassador program were opened this week.
These look great, XIO team
This is what is planned for the GHOST ecosystem currently
SelfKey compiled a master list of crypto lending platforms. The Loans Marketplace will feature many of these. Full transcript of the May 12th AMA was released. SelfKey advisor Edmund Lowell spoke at the BlockConf DIGITAL conference this week. Mongolian exchange AIS-X joined the Exchange Marketplace. Pynk’s crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs went live this week. Check out their campaign video here. Amazing production! Plus, this cool feature in City A.M. was the perfect way to close off the week. Wibson hosted a meetup (online of course!) for its Spanish speaking community this week. The crew also introduced the app at an Ethereum event in Buenos Aires. Harmony burned all mainnet tokens mined before Open Staking going public. The latest staking stats and validator data can be seen here and here respectively. That’s right, 3B+ $ONE is already staked. Woohoo! With its latest CoinDCX listing, $ONE got its first INR trading pair. Saweet! The major improvement proposals that were discussed with the community this week were making Open Staking more decentralized and creating a more liquid staking market. This led to the first release after Open Staking. The winners of the effective-median-stake contest were announced. Hope you got a chance to take part in the Flash Quiz. Do you know about all the projects that have been built in the Harmony ecosystem? Here’s a rundown. The team hosted an AMA as well. BitMax changed some of its rules for $ONE staking. Check out COTI’s latest network growth stats here. And super congratulations on winning the Gate.io listing vote! $COTI was also added to Binance’s Locked Savings staking program. Broking platform Troy Trade partnered with COTI to improve its scalability. DoYourTip’s $DYT now has 2500+ HODLers. Neat! Mycro was invited to join BitForex’s app platform CAPP Town. GET Protocol’s GUTS Tickets was covered in Cryptogeeks’ latest blogpost on blockchain-based ticketing.
And with that, it’s a wrap for this week in Parachute and partners! See you again with another update. Cheerio!
Here're some of the highlights in my unbiased review on IM Mastery Academy - An MLM company that sells Forex trading courses.submitted by zacphuaks to pyramidschemes [link] [comments]
I hope this info can keep every beginneFX lovers fully-informed before joining their program.
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for IM Mastery Academy.
This review is based on research and information available online in the public domain.
Any recommendation and conclusions are only opinions and may not apply to all persons or situations.
#1: What Is IM Mastery Academy (IMMA)?
IM Mastery Academy is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company solely in the Forex trading niche.
They offer a range of forex trading courses, tools, and resources that help beginners develop trading strategies and show them real-time trade ideas.
#2: How Big is The Income Potential Of IMMA?
2018 IMMA income disclosure
Here're some of the key points from their 2018 income disclosure:
This isn’t surprising because such "pyramid-shaped earning" is happening in most MLM companies.
#3: Is It A Pyramid Scheme? If they aren't, do I recommend their business opportunity?
Technically, I can say that IM Mastery Academy is not a pyramid scheme because they’ve actual services for associates to sell, and they have a compensation plan in place.
However, you might rather choose Forex trading to make money than relying on their MLM program because of the low earning potential.
If you wish to learn more about the business, you can read the full review by clicking the link below. I hope this helps.
Untold Truths About IM Mastery Academy Pyramid Scheme Rumors
|Our estimates||Management estimates|
|Accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves||RM 1.452 billion||RM 1.468 billion|
|FY20||FY21 (incl. 2C)||Difference|
|Daily oil production (bbl/day)||8,626||14,400||+66%|
|Average oil price (USD/bbl)||$68.57||$50||-27%|
|Average OPEX/bbl (USD)||$16.64||$20||+20%|
|EBITDA (RM ‘m)||632||630||-|
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