Coin Report #6: Dero

N.B: In the spirit of full transparency, the following Coin Report is the second Sponsored Post on my blog. The Dero team recently contacted me with a request to write up a Coin Report on the project. After they had agreed to my sole stipulation that this report would conform to the rigour of the previous reports, with all strengths and weaknesses being explored and evaluated, I agreed to write the report. Regarding future Sponsored Posts, I have 3 spots open before the end of January 2019. If you would like a Coin Report written for a project, please ask the team to get in touch.

Welcome to the sixth Coin Report. In today’s report, I will be assessing the fundamental and technical strengths and weaknesses of Dero. This will comprise of an analysis of a number of significant metrics, an evaluation of the project’s community and development and an overview of its price-history. The report will conclude with a grading out of 5. I hope you enjoy the read!


Prior to receiving a request to write this report, I had never heard of Dero. I had no idea what the coin did; where it traded; or what its goals were.

Having now completed my research, I am very much intrigued by the project, and I believe this report will be insightful as to the privacy development flying under the radar at present. There is quite a lot to get through, and I will do my best to accurately and fairly assess the various strengths and weaknesses that I perceive. Overall, I hope this report will prove particularly useful for those interested in lesser-known privacy coins.

If you’d like to find out a little more about Dero prior to reading on, here are some primary links:




Name: Dero

Ticker: DERO

Algorithm: CryptoNote

Sector: Private Smart Contracts

Exchanges: TradeOgre, STEX, SouthXchange, Crex24 & Tokok

Dero was launched in December 2017 – as the market began its ascent to the January highs – with a 2,000,000 DERO premine (~10.87%). 1mn of this premine is unlocked and 1mn is released over the course of four years. Dero operates using a Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism under the CryptoNote algorithm, and has done so since launch. There was no ICO.

Though we’ll delve into the details of supply emission a little later, it is important to note that Dero has a progressively diminishing block reward, and, as such, the inflation rate decreases incrementally with every new block minted. Dero will operate under its Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism indefinitely, with the diminishing block reward tapering off to a static reward approximately 8 years post-launch.

As Dero was only launched a little under a year ago, and as it has only been available on exchanges since March, there is very little price-history; price did, however, find a peak of $5.23 (~62k satoshis) on May 21st, 2018. It then experienced a prolonged decline into the autumn period but has recently reversed, as we’ll discuss in the Technical section.

Dero, as a project, seems solely concerned with innovating privacy technology and improving on existing solutions. There are no masternodes, as is common practice with privacy coins, and all development efforts are directed at improving the overall security and anonymity of the coin. As you’ll all know, privacy is the hot-topic in this space and deservedly so; it is integral to the community and has been since the very beginning. As such, there are a plethora of projects all working on privacy tech, many of which are just junk clones of other, more established privacy coins. Let us discover whether Dero is one of those junk clones or not… (spoiler: it isn’t)

Firstly, let’s take a look at some important metrics:

Metric Analysis:

Below are listed a number of important metrics, all of which are accurate as of 26th November 2018. For anyone reading this who has yet to read a Coin Report, it might be worth reading this section of the first report, where any potentially unfamiliar terms are explained. For any terms or metrics specific to this post, I will provide explanations besides the figures. Also, Transactional Volume, NVT and Network Staking Weight have been omitted due to lack of functionality of the block explorer (and integrated privacy, obviously) for such calculations. Further, another symptom of integrated privacy is that distribution cannot be determined; as such, there is no rich-list analysis.



Price: 26288 satoshis ($1.05)

Exchange Volume (24H): $49,312

Circulating Supply: 4,727,576 DERO (1mn of which is unlocked premine funds)

Total Supply: 5,727,576 DERO

Maximum Supply: 18,400,000 DERO (calculated as supply ~8 years post-launch, prior to static block rewards)

% of Max. Supply Minted: 31.13%

Network Value: 1242.79 BTC ($4.960mn)

Network Value at Max. Supply: $19.304mn

Category: Midcap

Exchange Volume-to-Network Value: 0.99%

Average Price (30-Day): $1.69

Average Exchange Volume (30-Day): $75,917

Average Network Value (30-Day): $9.393mn

Average Exchange Volume (30-Day)-to-Average Network Value: 0.81%

% Price Change USD (30-Day): -39.9%

% Price Change USD (1-Year): N/A

USD All-Time High: $5.23

% From USD All-Time High: -79.7%

Premine % of Max. Supply: 10.87%

Premine Location:

Devs premine second year wallet viewkey:

Wallet viewkey of third and fourth year:
4685a4f7d86ecd6f2493291fdb26329f97ea5e7af48629c120dcb175df7c62ac09dd096278efec8df52c531298f5cf73aa9d6ee722d64521efdf97c f69172505

(the above two are directly copied from the whitepaper)

Premine viewkey: f221cf4f77d11f0061f3e4c9615540cbc2d2d532ac2f08c623d2a72ad0145d702b7e5941737e041 6eebaba30c3c30b517a14db1efa9aa13b119e31c380313603

(the above is copied from the Bitcointalk ANN)

Liquidity (calculated as the sum of BTC in the buy-side with 10% of current price across all exchanges): 2.568 BTC

Liquidity-to-Network Value %: 0.21%

Supply Available on Exchanges: 104,039 DERO

% of Circ. Supply Available on Exchanges: 2.2%

Supply Emission & Inflation:

Block Reward Schedule: 12-second block times = 7200 blocks minted daily on average. Smoothly-varying block rewards (progressively-diminishing) – currently ~1.34 DERO per block. After 8 years, the rewards become static with 157,000 DERO minted yearly.

Below is printed the supply emission curve:

Dero Supply Emission

Current Block Height: 1200411

Circulating Supply in 365 Days: ~8,000,000 DERO

Annual Supply Emission: Using the above printed supply emission curve (and the estimated circ. supply in 365 days) = 3,272,424 DERO (860.25BTC at current prices)

Annual Inflation Rate: 39.68%


Unlike the usual Metric Analysis sections in these reports, we have a mole-hill of metrics to delve into rather than a mountain. This is primarily due to the lack of staking/masternodes and the integrated privacy in Dero that renders distribution analysis impossible. That being said, there is plenty to get stuck into, so let’s crack on…

Firstly, let’s determine which of these metrics are most insightful. As ever, the most insightful metrics for coins like Dero, which seek to have high velocity with exceptionally secure, private transactions, are those that we cannot obtain due to their private nature; Transactional Volume and NVT. Nonetheless, the next-most important metrics are those concerning Exchange Volume, Liquidity and Supply Available on Exchanges, as all of those metrics relate to Dero’s supply and demand. We’ll begin by looking at Exchange Volume and its relationship with Supply Emission and Inflation:

Dero experienced ~$50k of Exchange Volume in the past 24 hours, and has averaged ~$76k of Exchange Volume daily for the past month. This equates to 0.99% and 0.81% of the Network Value and Average Network Value, respectively. Now, as I’ve mentioned before in these reports, I tend to look for 1% or greater Exchange Volume-to-Network Value, but, given the current market conditions (and, most promisingly, the fact that Dero is on zero prominent exchanges with significant volume), I think an average of 0.81% is perfectly reasonable as an indicator of sustained interest. Comparing these figures to those of other coins I’ve written reports on – all of which are traded on far larger exchanges – Dero looks strong: Stakenet is the only coin of the previous five Coin Report posts that beats Dero on the volume metrics. Promising.

Further, the relationship between Exchange Volume and the inflation metrics depicts more strength for Dero: as expressed above, Dero is likely to have around 8mn coins in circulation this time next year, which means there are around 3.3mn DERO to be minted in that time. This equates to 860.25 BTC of annual supply emission at current prices, or 2.35 BTC on average daily (~$9.4k). Dero’s Exchange Volume over the past 24 hours covers this supply emission by around 525%, and its Average Exchange Volume covers it by 800%. This is highly indicative of sustained demand at current prices. Relative to coins from previous reports, Dero’s volume metrics cover its average daily supply emission to a far greater degree than Bulwark or ALQO, but not quite to the same extent as Stakenet.

Next, let’s look at Dero’s Liquidity and supply-based metrics: across all of its listed exchanges, Dero has ~2.5 BTC of buy support within 10% of current prices, which equates to 0.21% of Network Value. This is weaker than Stakenet and Bulwark but stronger than ALQO, but I think it is important to again take into consideration the lack of highly liquid exchange listings for Dero. There is also a little over 100,000 DERO available in the orderbooks across all exchanges, which is 2.2% of the circulating supply. This is the exact same available supply as was calculated for Stakenet but more than Bulwark, and it is suggestive of moderate levels of demand. This is also despite the fact that Dero does not have masternodes, unlike the other two coins, so it is all the more impressive that there is relatively little available to buy on exchanges.

Now, before I move on to talk a little more on inflation to conclude this section, there are a couple of other metrics from the General section that need highlighting. Firstly, the ~11% premine is not something I like to see – there’s no way to get around that. However, I do appreciate the transparency via the viewkeys provided by the team. I am well aware that development cannot be funded from nothing; it’s just that I tend to prefer buying coins with premines lower than 5%. That being said, the fact that the entire premine is not made immediately available and instead will be unlocked over the coming years is a positive. More specifically, 1mn DERO is immediately available but will be used in conjunction with the community’s proposals (note: in future this will be via the Dero Foundation) and 1mn DERO will be unlocked over the course of four years. Secondly, I very much like that price is still ~80% below all-time highs against the Dollar. This suggests a possibility for a profitable entry at current prices, given that the fundamentals of the project are sound.

To draw this lengthy section to a close, I’d like to discuss some more of the data pertaining to inflation. We’ve looked at supply emission and its relationship to average traded volumes, but what about the block reward schedule? Well, unlike the vast majority of coins that are programmed to have several block reward stages that incrementally decrease over time, Dero’s block reward decreases by a fraction every block. This produces a smooth supply emission curve that makes it somewhat difficult to accurately predict future circulating supply and inflation rates. Thus, I have included the coin’s supply emission graph from Dero website. Using this, we can see that in a year’s time, there will be roughly 8mn DERO in circulation, leaving a little under 3.3mn to be minted in that time. This equates to an annual inflation rate of 69.22%. This is higher than both Stakenet and Bulwark. Looking forward to the end of the curve, 157,000 DERO will be the static annual emission, which will equate to roughly 1% annual inflation.

Now, let’s take a look at the Dero community:


There are two primary aspects of community analysis: social media presence and Bitcointalk threads. I’ll begin with the former before moving on to the latter.

Social Media:

Concerning social media presence, there are four main platforms to examine: Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and Discord.

Dero is present on all except Facebook. To begin, let’s look at the various social metrics that I calculated from the Dero Twitter accounts:

Twitter Followers: 2763

Tweets: 136

Average Twitter Engagement: 3.64%

At first glance, it is evident that less effort is focused on generating a social media presence than is ideal. ALQO and Bulwark are two coins from previous reports that were launched around the same time as Dero, and yet they have around 7,000 and 8,000 followers, respectively, and both have well over 500 tweets.

Dero does not have a large following on Twitter, but it certainly has an engaged one, which, in part, makes up for the smaller presence. Their Average Twitter Engagement rate is 3.64%. This is almost twice that of Stakenet, over 2.5x that of ALQO and 9x that of Bulwark. Using the RivalIQ benchmark report, as usual, we can see that this engagement rate is also 79x greater than the average across all industries, and a whopping 280x greater than that of the Media industry (the closest industry in the report). This is a very impressive level of engagement.

Moving onto the Dero Discord, there are 1796 members in the group, which, whilst smaller than other Discord groups from previous reports, is actually quite large given the overall small social media presence that Dero possesses. On average, the Announcements channel seems to be updated once or twice a week, and there is an FAQ channel containing a link with all relevant resources for new users. This could be streamlined by having the information native in the channel itself. Looking at the Joins channel, I can see that there are around 40 new members a week, which is ~2.2% weekly group growth. Consistency in growth is good – it means that there is sustained new interest in the coin.

There also appears to be quite a lot of activity in the General channel, which tends to be the most used, with near-constant back-and-forth between the team and the community. There is a lot of talk on price recently, which is expected given current market conditions. I would like to see more interest shown by the community in the project’s future, as this is a little scarce. There is, however, confirmed talk of an upcoming Cryptopia listing, which the community seem excited for. Moving onto the Technical channel, this seems to be the spot for discussion project development. One thing that does come up a lot is the Dero Virtual Machine (which I’ll dig into in the Development section) – this is promising as it highlights the aspects of Dero’s development that distinguish the project from others. There also seems to be fewer support queries than usual, which is a positive as there are evidently less problems that occur for the Dero community. Any support questions are swiftly answered.

Overall, there seem to be around 50 members in active discussion, which is a little shy of 3% of the group. This is quite promising and is in line with the engagement found on their Twitter. However, there is room for improvement in both engagement and, of course, community growth, and I think this can be achieved by incentivising the current community to be more vocal about Dero’s accomplishments. The Discord scores four out of five, just about.

Moving onto the Telegram group, we find much more strength here. Despite having only 824 members (less than half the size of the Discord), there is a lot going on here. 28 new members joined in the past week, giving the group 3.4% weekly growth. The conversation is  also even more constant than in the Discord. Promising.

Looking through recent conversation, I can see an update on the Cryptopia listing, with Cryptopia now beginning wallet integration; support queries on cold wallet offline transactions; far more discussion about Dero as a project rather than just price; back-and-forth about deroDAG and the new codebase etc. Overall, the conversation is much more focused on what makes Dero Dero. This serves to highlight the distinguishing features of the coin. As a new user, you’d immediately find out that Dero has 12-second blocktimes with no orphan blocks and, most importantly, is working on private smart contracts. Further, I found out that a Dero Convention was organised, which is great for brand awareness and community growth. There seems to be a genuine and active interest in helping find and develop solutions to present or anticipated future problems. There also seems to be more members involved in discussion than in the Discord, despite there being half the members. I saw around 60 individuals posting over the past week, which is 7.28% engagement. This is stronger than the engagement in any Telegram group of a coin I’ve previously written a report on. 5 out of 5.


The Dero BitcoinTalk announcement was created on December 5th, 2017. It has generated 4338 posts spanning 217 pages since then, equating to an average of 12.19 posts per day. There have been 183 posts in the past 90 days, however, which is a little over 2 posts per day on average. This indicates a dwindling of interest on the thread of late. This is reinforced by the fact that there have been only 4 posts in the past week. That being said, the thread did generate more posts over the past 90 days than the equivalent periods for ALQO and Bulwark, but less than Stakenet.

On the content of the thread, there seems to be some community input on the requirement for more effective marketing. The general consensus is that marketing for the project is weak but the development is very strong. There is also very little support-related discussion, which aligns with Discord, suggesting that fewer issues crop up than usual when using Dero. Also, there seems to be some excitement stirring around the current development of smart contracts. 4 out of 5 for the BitcoinTalk thread.

That concludes the section on Community. Onto Development:


For the following Development analysis, I will be evaluating project leadership, the website, the roadmap, the whitepaper, the wallets and finally providing a general overview:

Project Leadership:

Concerning project leadership, Dero has a small core team of 3 developers, all of whom remain anonymous. Each developer has, according to the Dero website, a decade of experience in cryptography. In addition to this core team, there is a Dero Community Advisory Board, which was appointed this summer. This comprises of 12 members of the community with experience in: computer science; marketing; Cloud migration; start-ups; systems engineering; software engineering; and senior management.

My suggestion would be to employ a marketing specialist as part of the core team so that there is better balance. After all, it’s all well and good having a unique and well-designed product, but if there is no effective marketing plan, it may be fruitless.


The website is clean and informative and features a useful introductory video on the homepage. There is clear explanation of use-cases, what distinguishes Dero from other projects, the coin’s specs etc. and all relevant resources are clearly linked. I like that there is a dedicated forum for the community and it seems to be quite active. Monthly updates are provided at

The website could do with stronger branding. The overall UI is a little unsophisticated but highly functional. This is also the case with the block explorer, which is functional but with zero branding whatsoever and quite primitive in design. It should be more user-friendly.

Overall, not bad but there are some simple things that need updating and improving. 3 out of 5.


Firstly, the roadmap is visually appealing and is presented in an easy-to-follow route from the coin’s launch through to the present day. However, at first glance, I can see that there is only detailed information up to August 2018.  We are now almost in December and there has been no update or additions to this roadmap since. As the first point-of-reference for many new users as to the direction of a project, this is essential to keep updated.

Other than that, the roadmap is decent: there are clearly segmented goals (most of which have been achieved now) with brief descriptions of the goal itself. I would have liked to see some sort of Show More or Further Info tab for these. Each set of goals is separated by months rather than quarters (as is usual), which is great as there is greater specificity and thus progress and development consistency can be more accurately judged.

However, post-August, we see “Q4 2018” for the rest of this year, which doesn’t have the same strong specificity as the rest of the roadmap.

As for the goals themselves: December 2017 was Dero’s launch; March 2018 was when CryptoNote was integrated in Golang (a first); in April, the mainnet migrated to Golang; June saw the development of Dero Atlantis; in July, Dero mainnet migrated to Atlantis (if I was a new user who hadn’t done any research on Dero, at this point I’d be wondering what Atlantis is, thus there should be some relevant links or further detail. Atlantis is a key part of what makes Dero unique – let users know from the outset); July also saw the integration of Rocket Bulletproofs; August was the month of marketing and targeted exchange listing; and Q4 (the current quarter) will  see Dero develop private smart contracts. There is also some vague language like “partnerships” and “marketing”. This needs to be more specific. The roadmap ends with smart contracts on the mainnet before 2019, which is solid.

Personally, I’d like to see more detail on the coming year; just seeing “keep on innovating” under the Future tab gives me no indication of what lies ahead for the project.

Overall, informative but lots of gaps to be filled for a new users. 4 out of 5. It was not quite as thorough and useful as Bulwark’s or Stakenet’s roadmaps but not as brief as Covesting’s or GeoCoin’s.


Right off the bat, I like that the document is 13 pages long. This is the perfect range for whitepaper length regardless of the project. It is long enough to be thorough but brief enough to remain concise and interesting to the reader. Further, an October 2nd release date means that it is very recent.

The whitepaper opens by stating that Dero is new in its composition (written in Golang from scratch) and that it is based on DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) and CryptoNote. It also states that Dero’s primary goal is to create Private Smart Contracts. The content is comprised of jargon-free prose, which ensures reader accessibility, and any potentially unfamiliar terminology is concisely explained. The document explicitly mentions Dero’s unique use-case in private smart contract technology; something not available in other projects at the date of publishing. This is great as it serves to distinguish the project.

There is a brief section explaining potential issues with KYC/verification: Dero suggests the allowance of wallet signatures by publicly known authorities. It then moves on to discuss anonymous voting as a use-case. The following section is quite interesting as it discusses asset management;
assets managed on Dero’s blockchain would be both private and auditable via viewkeys. Further use-cases are then outlined, such as one-time password integration, which will allow for greater security for service users by obfuscating any public address information.

The next section is on Dero’s key features and consitutes the bulk of the document. There are clear and concise explanations of the following features: CryptoNote; SSL; scalability; smart contracts; atomic swaps; mobile/offline wallets; lightweight wallets; subaddresses; escrow on the blockchain; verification; and voting. Of these, it is important to emphasise that Dero is the first blockchain with SSL integrated in the P2P layer, which encrypts all network traffic. It is also the first CryptoNote-based coin with 75 tx/s without off-chain solutions or Lightning Network. Dero also has 12-second block times without orphaned blocks thanks to DAG, which was implemented in the Atlantis codebase. DAG is Directed Acyclic Graph. DeroDAG is a combination of traditional blockchain technology and DAG technology, allowing for the security of the blockchain with the scalability of DAG. As a technical Neanderthal, it would be a lie to suggest that I have anything beyond a surface-level understanding of how the tech works. You can read more about it in the whitepaper.

The whitepaper also highlights Dero’s immunity to 51% attacks: where, usually, a block is a single unit of computation, in Dero, a transaction is a single unit of computation; thus all blocks are accepted. There is then a section on Optimized Bulletproofs that is beyond me, but it is important to highlight that these bulletproofs operate nearly 10x faster than a regular bulletproof, and Dero has these already integrated.

The next section is titled Dero Virtual Machine: this explains how Dero’s smart contracts will operate; using a virtual machine environment. Perhaps this may have been a section for further elaboration as it is quite brief for such a significant and distinguishing feature of the project.

This is followed by a rudimentary roadmap and then Dero’s specs. The subsequent section is on future development, in which the premine of 2 million DERO is highlighted and viewkeys are provided for the funds. The justification is long-term development and marketing. These funds
are split 50/50: 1m for the devs to use for development, locked until they are unlocked each year for four years at a rate of 20%/20%/30%/30%; the other 1m is free to use for marketing purposes and general growth, but is utilised in conjunction with the wishes of the community. I like that none of this is hidden – transparency with premine funds is critical.

The final page is a list of areas for continued improvement and refinement for the project and a brief section on the Dero Project Foundation, which will be a future corporation used to expand the team and fund research and development.

Overall, one of the more useful (and certainly concise) whitepapers I’ve read, particularly amongst the coins I’ve written reports for. 5 out of 5.


Concerning wallet, there are Windows, Linux and Mac local wallets, though these are in pre-Alpha stage and thus are bare-bones with no branding. They are very limited in functionality and design. I expect more from future wallet releases.

The web wallet can be found at


In general, there is a lot going for Dero on the development-front. They seem super focused on creating the best possible privacy product, though often to the detriment of their marketing efforts. Of course, building the best product is more important than creating brand awareness, and at this task Dero excels. I like that the code was written from scratch, as there are too few projects with this level of commitment around. Further, DAG technology integrated with CryptoNote, Rocket Bulletproofs and 12-second block-times is quite an achievement given the short existence of the project and that everything was written from scratch. It is clear to see that the team are most concerned with innovating or improving exisiting technologies in the privacy sector. Looking forward, the obvious development goal to highlight is private smart contracts on the Dero Virtual Machine.

Regarding project funding, Dero is currently funded using the premine as well as community support, but will look to the Dero Foundation in the future. On this subject, I would perhaps suggest creating an avenue for revenue generation.

That concludes my fundamental analysis of Dero. Let’s take a look at its chart:


Whilst Dero hasn’t got all that much price-history to look at it, there does seem to be quite a lot going on. It set its all-time high in May, around 62,000 satoshis, and then bled out for several months, eventually forming an accumulation range between 4400-6200 satoshis in September. Price has since begun a new bull cycle, running 1200+% in less than 6 weeks, and setting a local high at ~42k satoshis. It then dropped off back to an area of prior support turned resistance once again turned support (around 25k satoshis), and it is now range-bound between key short-term support at 23k satoshis and range resistance at 33k satoshis. Given the recent run-up, I would certainly not enter a position in this spot, as the direction is unclear. Price could quite easily form a complacency shoulder here and break below that key support, triggering a decline back towards the 16k-satoshi area, or it could break above trendline resistance and range resistance and begin the next leg up to attack all-time highs.

For me, it would seem much more wise to wait for price to decide where it wants to move. I’d be buying 16k satoshis and below if price was to end its bull cycle here, or I’d buy a close of the Daily chart above 33k with a soft stop-loss below the key support at 23k.


This report is now around 5,000 words, and it is time to draw it to its conclusion.

My final grading for Dero is a 4 out of 5 (just about). It clearly excels on the development front but leaves much desired with regards to marketing. It does seem to have an engaged community, though it is a small one. Further, I cannot discount the fact that price has experienced a 1200% run from the lows recently, and thus is in a potentially precarious and currently unclear position.

I hope this report has proved insightful and that you’ve enjoyed the read! Please do feel free to leave any questions in the Comments, and I’ll answer them as best I can.

If you’ve enjoyed this post and want to receive new posts straight to your inbox, I’ve set up a RSS-to-Email feed that will be sent out weekly; every Monday, 12pm. Just submit your email and I’ll make sure you’re included in the list. Cheers.

Orderbook Reading 101

Orderbook reading is a key component of my trading toolbox. It is a technique I developed myself, back in 2014, and one that there is little-to-no quality information on online. (Seriously, Google “orderbook reading” and you’ll be shocked by the lack of resources.) In my book, I dedicated an entire 5,000-word section to orderbook reading, and, given the lack of material readily available elsewhere, I figured that it might be useful for anyone interested in the technique to have a primer written; if you find orderbook reading compelling, you can take a look at the more advanced material in the book.

Of course, I don’t doubt that there were others who had dissected the orderbook in a similar way to myself prior to 2014, and I don’t take any credit for the concept of orderbook reading; but it is the one technique that I learnt entirely via my own experience, with no help from resources such as those one would look to when learning other aspects of technical analysis. Now, I say it is an aspect of technical analysis, though strictly that isn’t true. TA is exclusively concerned with the chart, but orderbook reading resides in that grey area between fundamentals and technicals. The technique itself feels more like technical analysis, intuitively, but given that it is not derived from the chart, the analytical grey area is where it will remain.

So, what is orderbook reading? In short, it is the study and subsequent analysis of the ledger of orders for any given market. Orderbooks contain a list of all the buy and sell orders currently placed within a market on a specific exchange, and it is this transparency on which I learnt to capitalise. By studying the orderbook, one can often find clues as to the plans of those manipulating price. This can add confluence to our technical targets for entries and exits, as well as boost confidence in the validity of our positions.

But what’s the process? Below, I’ve outlined a breakdown of what I tend to look for when studying an orderbook:

  • There are three key components to orderbook reading: Order Depth, Order Patterns and Time. In this post, we will be looking at the first two.
Order Depth:

This is the simplest form of orderbook reading, and is predicated on studying the value of the orders in the bid and ask (buy and sell) sides of the orderbook.

  1. Pick any given market on any given exchange. Ideally, you’ll want to use exchanges that provide the most transparency with their orderbooks. Bittrex and Cryptopia are two exchanges that I like to use.
  2. Calculate the total value of orders in both the altcoin itself and Bitcoin for the bid-side and ask-side of the orderbook. For example, Vertcoin on Bittrex currently has ~20 BTC-worth of orders in the bid-side, totalling ~28,800,000 VTC. It has ~9.5 BTC-worth of orders in the ask-side, totalling ~100,000 VTC.
  3. At this point, you want to calculate the average order size in both sides of the orderbook. Using the above values, the average buy order is 69 satoshis. This doesn’t make a lot of sense, at surface-level, and we’ll come back to it in a second. The average sell order, however, is 9500 satoshis, or ~30% above current prices.
  4. A quick thing to note before we continue is that, from this point, one can also make another surface-level analysis based on the total Bitcoin values of the bid and ask sides: given 20 BTC-worth of buys and 9.5 BTC-worth of sells, it is evident that there is greater demand than supply. This, as mentioned, is surface-level, and does not account for orderbook manipulation, which I won’t go into here.
  5. Returning to our average order values, why is it that the average buy order for Vertcoin is so low relative to current prices? If we inspect the latter pages of the orderbook, we find a buy order worth 1.13 BTC at 4 satoshis, totalling ~28,200,000 VTC. This explains everything. At your discretion, you can then discount this order from the calculations. Doing so would give us ~600,000 VTC remaining in the buy side at a total of ~18.87 BTC, which equates to an average buy order of 3145 satoshis. Far more insightful a figure.
  6. Now, the ask-side calculation also comes with a caveat. Despite there being less than 10 BTC-worth of orders listed, we can see, if we look to the last page shown, that we are only being shown 20 pages of data – in this case, orders up to ~11,000 satoshis. Undoubtedly, there will be orders above that point, but this is a disadvantage of Bittrex; it only shows 20 pages of orderbook data for either side. Cryptopia, and many other exchanges, offer full transparency of the orderbook.
  7. Another point to note is that these values are dynamic, as orderbooks are dynamic. Consistent monitoring and study is required in order to garner a more accurate understanding of order depth.
Order Patterns:

Order patterns are perhaps the most complicated aspect of orderbook reading, as they illuminate much of the manipulation that occurs in altcoin markets. Whilst I won’t go into the more advanced stuff here, it is significant to highlight the four types of order pattern: clean orders, bot orders, walls and, for lack of a better term, non-clean orders or messy orders.

Clean Orders: a clean order is simply an order that is unusually perfect, mathematically. These are often orders comprising of multiples of 5s or 10s that occur at regular intervals in the orderbook. For example, buy orders of 50,000 Vertcoin at 5000 satoshis, totalling 2.5 BTC, with corresponding orders at 1000-satoshi intervals. These are indicative of significant price-levels for the market-maker; perhaps levels at which accumulation is taking place. On the ask-side, you may find similar patterns of clean orders that are set up as future targets for price-action. Again, this is simplistic, and not taking into account orderbook manipulation, but it is obvious to see how this can be useful when looking for entries and exits.

Bot Orders: a bot order is one that defies human ability in its execution. Often, algorithms are in place to bid up a buy order or push down a sell order. This is easily noticeable and you have likely experienced it yourself. Recall a time when you’d place a buy order at the top of the orderbook, only for it to be displaced within milliseconds by another buy order; this is a bot order. The purpose of these orders can be two-fold: either to drive you to make irrational decisions (as we’ll discuss in the next section) or to beat you out for the purposes of active and immediate accumulation or distribution.

Walls: Most are familiar with walls. A wall is an unusually large order in the orderbook. However, most tend to react in the most irrational manner when it comes to these orders. Large buy orders being pushed and pulled near current prices are often viewed by the masses as the perfect time to enter, lest one miss out on what must be an imminent bullish move. Large sell orders are viewed as the perfect time to exit, lest we lose all our money when the market crashes and burns. This is orderbook manipulation at its finest. Buy walls are an attempt at causing irrational market participants to buy up the orderbook, and vice-versa  for sell walls. This allows for better pricing to be had for the puppet-master for both accumulation and distribution purposes.

Non-Clean Orders: much like clean orders, non-clean orders are about determining symmetry and patterns in the orderbook. However, they are more difficult to notice, as, unlike their clean counterparts, they are comprised of seemingly random numerical values. For example, an order of 24879.284733 Vertcoin at 6435 satoshis might appear in the orderbook. This order would seem irrelevant to most, but perhaps you notice another order of that exact same amount at 5733 satoshis… and another at 5210 satoshis. Coincidence? I think not. Non-clean orders, such as these, are simply a more discrete way for market manipulators to mark out significant levels for future reference.

Note these various orders down as and when you come across them – and you will come across them – and you’ll begin to piece together a trail of footsteps that must be left by those manipulating price.

I hope this post has proved somewhat insightful and piqued your interest in orderbook reading. For anyone compelled to learn more, there is an advanced section in my book that goes into far more detail.

If you’ve enjoyed this post and want to receive new posts straight to your inbox, I’ve set up a RSS-to-Email feed that will be sent out weekly; every Monday, 12pm. Just submit your email and I’ll make sure you’re included in the list. Cheers.

Coin Report #5: Stakenet

N.B: This Coin Report has been selected by the readers of the blog, with Stakenet winning the poll with 33% of  the ~5,000 votes. Congratulations!

Welcome to the fifth Coin Report. In today’s report, I’ll be covering Stakenet, looking primarily at its fundamental strengths and weaknesses, followed by analysis of its price-history and concluding with a final grading out of 5. I hope you enjoy the read!


Stakenet has been a coin of great interest to me for a long time. I first came across the project back when it was POSW, prior to its rebranding and chain swap. Back then, I saw a coin with a great chart, solid fundamentals and some exciting goals. I think I originally bought in around 1200 satoshis, and held through the swap to XSN (its current ticker), all the way to its peak around 11k satoshis this past summer. I then noticed a Complacency shoulder forming on the chart, and exited my entire position a little below 10k satoshis, content with my profits but disappointed with a couple of things: firstly, that XSN did not quite reach the heights that I expected of that cycle; and secondly, that I had to exit my position, as I did like the project and had spent a lot of time learning about it. Regardless, I am first and foremost concerned with turning a profit on my trades, and thus any admiration I had for Stakenet had to be set aside. In hindsight, it was absolutely the correct decision, as that particular bull cycle did end and prices have retraced heavily.

But enough background on my interest in the project; what is important is where the project stands now, and, prior to researching this report, I had little clue on the progress that had been made since the summer. There is indeed a lot to get through in the following report, and a number of interesting cross-comparisons to be made with prior reports, particularly those of Bulwark and ALQO. These two coins seem to have some overlap with Stakenet in their ambitions and their current developments, and I look forward to dissecting where Stakenet shines and where it does not…

I hope this fifth Coin Report will prove objective and insightful.

If you’d like to know more about the project, prior to reading the report, here are some of Stakenet’s primary links:



Name: Stakenet

Ticker: XSN

Algorithm: X11

Sector: Decentralised Financial & Cloud Services

Exchanges: Cryptopia, Livecoin & Sistemkoin

Stakenet was launched in March 2018, completing a transition from the POSW chain. Since March 1st, the POSW chain has been abandoned, with Stakenet operating on its own blockchain. At that time, 73m POSW was swapped to XSN. There is no premine and there was no ICO. The coin also exclusively operates with a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, and is currently in its final block reward stage; a stage that will continue indefinitely. This is important to note for the purposes of profitable speculation, as we’ll discover when we dig into supply emission and inflation.

XSN has very little price-history, having only been listed on exchanges from early April 2018. As such, it has only experienced a (brief) bull cycle that topped out in June, with price now trading within its first bear cycle, having made a local low early last month around 1800 satoshis. But more on that a little later…

There is a great deal of ambition apparent in the Stakenet roadmap and whitepaper, and the project states that its ultimate aim is to build “an integrated decentralized ecosystem to create a suite of effective investment tools for investors and the world’s first truly decentralized cryptocurrency bank.” They also persistently refer to Stakenet as “a trustless, profit-driven economy.” There is much to be evaluated here, but with goals as ambitious as these – with such a broad, global scope of use – the development has to be constant, consistent and distinguished. It’s a lot to ask for, but let’s see how Stakenet fares.

Metric Analysis:

Below are listed a number of significant metrics, all of which are accurate as of 20th November 2018. For anyone reading this who has yet to read a Coin Report, it might be worth reading this section of the first report, where any potentially unfamiliar terms are explained. For any terms or metrics specific to this post, I will provide explanations besides the figures. Also, Transactional Volume and NVT have been omitted due to lack of functionality of the block explorer for such calculations. However, as Stakenet (as we’ll see) is aiming at XSN becoming a store-of-value rather than a currency, this is not such a big deal. The rich-list analysis has been conducted using Lastly, I also used for some masternode-related data, though much was calculated by myself.



Price: 2273 satoshis ($0.10)

Exchange Volume (24H): $172,764

Circulating Supply: 73,434,401 XSN

Total Supply: 82,563,978 XSN

Maximum Supply: 135,123,978 XSN (there is theoretically no maximum supply, but I have calculated it as the circulating supply in 5 years)

% of Max. Supply Minted: 61.10%

Network Value: 1669.16 BTC ($7.412mn)

Network Value at Max. Supply: $13.638mn

Category: Midcap

Exchange Volume-to-Network Value: 2.33%

Average Price (30-Day): $0.18

Average Exchange Volume (30-Day): $195,936

Average Network Value (30-Day): $13.208mn

Average Exchange Volume-to-Average Network Value: 1.48%

% Price Change USD (30-Day): -48%

% Price Change USD (1-Year): N/A

USD All-Time High: $0.89

% From USD All-Time High: -87.5%

Premine % of Max. Supply: 0%

Premine Location: N/A

Liquidity (calculated as the sum of BTC in the buy-side within 10% of current price across all exchanges): 8.471 BTC

Liquidity-to-Network Value %: 0.51%

Supply Available on Exchanges: 1,615,485 XSN

% of Circ. Supply Available on Exchanges: 2.2%

Staking & Masternodes:

Network Staking Weight: 7,579,469 XSN on XSN Cloud (unable to determine entire Network Staking Weight)

Staking ROI (Annual): Minimum 9.23%* (if all circulating supply is staked minus that locked in masternodes)

Masternode Price: $1,514.01

Masternode Collateral Size: 15,000 XSN

Masternode Count: 1479

Masternode Count Growth (30-Day): -0.14%

Masternode ROI (Annual): 21.32%**

Masternode Reward / Block Reward: 45%

Supply Locked In Masternodes: 22,185,000 XSN

Masternode Network Value$2.239mn

MNV / Network Value: 30.21%

*To calculate minimum staking ROI annually: ((Annual Supply Emission * 45%) / (Circulating Supply – Masternode Locked Supply)) * 100 = (4,730,400 / 51,249,401) * 100 = 9.23%

**To calculate masternode ROI annually: ((Annual Supply Emission * 45%) / Masternode Count)) / Masternode Collateral = (4,730,400 / 1479) / 15000 = 21.32%

Supply Emission & Inflation:

Current Block Height: 364690

Block Reward Schedule: Currently in final reward stage of 20 XSN per block with 60-second block times. This will continue indefinitely.

Annual Supply Emission: 10,512,000 XSN (238.94 BTC at current prices)

Annual Inflation Rate: 14.31%

Circulating Supply in 365 Days: 83,946,401 XSN


Address Count: 6947

Supply Held By Top 10 Addresses: 34.31%

Supply Held By Top 20 Addresses: 40.95%

Supply Held By Top 100 Addresses: 56.80%

Inactive Address Count in Top 20 (30 Days of No Activity): 9


Now, I’m sure you were all enthralled by that mountain of metrics, but which of them are the most insightful for our purposes? Well, this is where Stakenet differs a little from Bulwark and ALQO (two projects that I have previously reported on and that I believe share a number of similarities with XSN). Where those two projects are focusing a lot of their effort on making their respective coins more effective as means-of-payment, Stakenet is seeking to position XSN as a store-of-value, with the coin fueling the Stakenet ecosystem. As such, metrics such as Transactional Volume and NVT, which would usually be insightful, are not so relevant, and so it is not such a problem that the Stakenet block explorer does not allow for such calculations to be easily made. Where, then, should we look for insight? In my opinion, there is much to be gleaned from the metrics concerning supply emission, distribution and masternodes, in particular. But, before we get to those, let’s run through some of the General metrics:

Firstly, Stakenet has unusually high Liquidity, calculated using buy-side depth within 10% of current prices as a percentage of Network Value. Where it’s potential competitors in ALQO and Bulwark had 0.12% and 0.29% Liquidity, respectively, Stakenet currently has 0.51%. This is almost twice that of ALQO and 4x that of Bulwark. This is indicative of high demand at current prices, relative to Stakenet’s competitors.

However, this evens out when we take a look at the Supply Available on Exchanges. Stakenet has ~1.6mn XSN available in the orderbooks on its two primary exchanges, Cryptopia and Livecoin. This constitutes 2.2% of the circulating supply. Bulwark, however, only had 1.18% of its circulating supply available on exchanges, suggesting that the desire to hold onto Bulwark is greater than the desire to hold onto XSN. Perhaps this is a symptom of the ~60% annual masternode ROI offered by Bulwark relative to the ~21% ROI offered by Stakenet, and the minimum annual staking ROI of 38.57% relative to Stakenet’s minimum of a little over 9%. (I didn’t run these calculations for ALQO, so a comparison cannot be made here.) However, these greater rewards come with a catch, as we will discuss when we delve into supply emission and inflation; where Stakenet shines over Bulwark.

Moving on, I’d like to highlight the metrics concerning volume and price. Stakenet’s Exchange Volume for the past 24 hours works out as 2.33% of its Network Value. This is the largest EVNV figure I’ve found whilst researching these reports, indicating significant interest in the coin despite the macro bear market. To cement this notion of interest, the Average Exchange Volume works out as 1.48% of the Average Network Value for the past month; the interest in Stakenet has been sustained at greater-than-usual levels given the current market conditions. For context, of my previous four reports, no coin has had an EVNV or Average EVNV of greater than 0.64%, which is less than half of Stakenet’s average.

Further, Stakenet is currently price around $0.10, with an average price of $0.18 for the past 30 days… it is trading at a ~40% discount to its average for the month. It is also trading 48% below its opening price for the month (in USD). This, of course, is partly a symptom of Bitcoin’s recent decrease in prices, but perhaps it is an opportunity for a relatively cheap entry. We’ll come back to this in the Technical section.

Lastly from the General metrics, it is important to highlight the lack of premine. Unlike Bulwark or ALQO, Stakenet was launched without a premine, and, though both of those projects had small premines, this could imply relative strength if Stakenet is able to deliver on its promises as effectively as those two, given that all three projects are looking at similar areas of development (which we’ll come to later).

So, let’s get stuck into the metrics concerning Supply Emission & Inflation:

The most significant aspect of Stakenet’s supply emission is that it is currently in its final and lowest stage of block rewards, thus inflation is the lowest it has ever been. With 20 XSN rewarded per block and 60-second block times, this equates to an annual supply emission of ~10.5mn XSN, or 238.94 BTC at current prices. Stakenet’s annual inflation rate is a little over 14%.

Now, let’s break this down a little further. Whilst even a surface-level calculation like this one illuminates just how low the inflation is for Stakenet – and thus, how little headwinds there are for price growth – it is important to get an understanding of whether current demand would cover this inflation: 238.94 BTC of supply coming into existence annually at current prices equates to 0.654 BTC of daily supply emission, or ~$2,900-worth. Stakenet’s Average Exchange Volume for the past month is ~$196,000; 67.5x greater than the supply emission.

This is a very promising sign of sustained demand and there is a strong possibility that current prices will be maintained going forward, as there is vastly more daily volume being traded than there is supply being minted. This is not even taking into account the fact that 10% of the block reward is automatically locked in a Treasury fund that can only be accessed via an accepted proposal through the Governance system. Decreasing prices against Bitcoin at current levels of volume would indicate either smart-money distribution or panic, as it could not possibly be caused by the sale of the daily supply emission. We’ll look more at price when we dissect the chart.

Further, when we take into consideration the current Liquidity figure of 8.471 BTC, daily supply emission is covered almost 13x by buy support within 10% of current prices. This is a good indication of a cheap entry.

Now, let’s take a look at Staking & Masternodes:

Whilst total Network Staking Weight was unable to be determined (as was the case with Bulwark and ALQO), the functionality of XSN Cloud allows us to see that over 10% of the circulating supply is being staked using that service alone; or ~15% of the circulating supply minus the supply locked in masternodes. Further, I calculated that minimum annual staking ROI would be around 9%, if all circulating supply minus that locked in masternodes was being staked. This is a modest but decent minimum return.

Moving onto masternodes, the first point-of-interest is in the 0.14% decrease in active masternodes over the past month. This is neither good nor bad, and simply indicates a stable network.

Secondly, I calculated the annual ROI for a masternode to be a little over 21%, which is significantly lower than that of Bulwark and ALQO, which return ~60% and ~53%, respectively. However, Bulwark’s annual inflation rate comes in at a little under 55%, and ALQO’s is around 5%. Going by these metrics alone, if one was simply seeking a profitable masternode, going with ALQO would seem the best choice, as its return covers its inflation by almost 10x, whereas Stakenet’s masternode ROI is 50% greater than its inflation rate, and Bulwark’s barely covers its inflation.

Lastly, we must look at Masternode Network Value. This is where Stakenet comes up a little short relative to the other two projects. Stakenet has an MNV of ~$2.2mn, which equates to just under a third of its Network Value. In comparison, ALQO had an MNV equal to 49.79% of its Network Value, and Bulwark had the strongest MNV, with 55.2% of its Network Value comprising of masternodes. This is a signficant metric as it gives us another perspective on demand and a much clearer picture on real value than the traditional Network Value (market cap) figure.

At long last, we come to Distribution. This is where the decentralisation of a project can be assessed, particularly if that is one of its goals, and, more importantly for the speculator, smart-money interest can be determined. Now, the Stakenet block explorer is pretty awful for functionality, so I did the best I could to accurately assess distribution. It seems decentralisation is where Stakenet is currently failing, relative to its competitors in Bulwark and ALQO. ALQO, in particular, is also looking at becoming the foremost decentralised financial and cloud services ecosystem, but is doing significantly better on the decentralisation front. Stakenet’s top 10 richest addresses control ~34% of the supply; the top 20 control almost 41% of the supply; and the top 100 control 56.8% of the supply. ALQO’s top 100 richest addresses control less than half the supply that Stakenet’s top 10 richest addresses control: 15.77%. Bulwark’s top 100 richest addresses control even less, at 15.3%. This is certainly no bad thing, on Stakenet’s part, for our purposes of profitable speculation, but it must be said that it is a current failure for the project given its core aims.

(update: apparently, those larger addresses are mostly exchange-owned and the richest address is the XSN Cloud – usually these are labelled as such, so I thought that they were individually-owned)

Breaking the distribution down a little further, 9 of the top 20 richest addresses have been inactive for the past 30 days, and thus almost half of the largest holders seem to be content with position sizes at current prices. This is despite (as we will see on the chart later) a recent sell-off, confirming that the decrease in price is a result of panic rather than smart-money distribution. Further, of the remaining addresses, the majority seem to be staking or running masternodes. The 20th-richest addresses recently bought their entire position of 384k XSN. There was, however, some position shaving that seemed to take place in early-to-mid October, which actually lines up with the low that formed on the chart around 1800 satoshis.

That concludes this section on Metric Analysis. Onto the Stakenet community:


There are two primary aspects of community analysis: social media presence and Bitcointalk threads. I’ll begin with the former before moving on to the latter.

Social Media:

Concerning social media presence, there are four main platforms to examine: Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and Discord. In the previous reports, I had included Slack in this list, but as none of the coins reported on thus far seem to use the platform, I will no longer be including it.

Stakenet is present on all four platforms. To begin, let’s look at the various social metrics that I calculated from the Stakenet Twitter and Facebook accounts:

Twitter Followers: 10811

Tweets: 1225

Average Twitter Engagement: 2.09%

Facebook Likes: 1575

Facebook Posts (90-Day): 40

Average Facebook Engagement: 2.48%

Using RivalIQ‘s benchmark report as a point-of-reference, as usual, Stakenet excels in its social presence. Stakenet’s Average Twitter Engagement rate is 45x greater than the average across all industries, and ~160x greater than the average for the Media industry (the closest industry in the report). It is also a little over 5x greater than the Average Twitter Engagement rate of Bulwark, and ~60% greater than that of ALQO. Further, where those two coins had fairly weak audiences on Facebook, Stakenet comes in strong with over 3x more Likes than Bulwark and almost 8x more than ALQO. This shows a cross-platform commitment to generating a social media presence. Regarding Facebook engagement, Stakenet has an average engagement rate that is 15.5x greater than the average across industries, and 31x greater than the engagement found in the Media industry. It also beats Bulwark’s rate of 2.16%, despite Bulwark having a far smaller audience. ALQO’s rate was 3.43% but the sample size was only 1 post in the past 90 days. Overall, very promising.

Now, let’s take a look at the Discord group. The Stakenet Discord has 5862 members, which is a few hundred more than the Bulwark Discord and a few hundred less than ALQO. There are clearly segmented channels spanning relevant topics. The FAQ channel is extensive, providing informative answers to a plethora of common questions that a new user might be thinking about. This is great for accessibility. The Announcements channel seems to have been regularly updated (every other day, or so) up until about two weeks ago, with no update since. The Github channel shows near-daily activity, which is promising. Regarding resources, these are all compiled in their own channel, ensuring ease-of-access. Further, there are multiple channels for support depending upon the support required, allowing for efficiency of management for the team and more useful responses for the community. As would be expected, much of the discussion occurs in General, and the channel was actually utilised to great effect recently by imploring the community to vote on the poll for this Coin Report. As such, Stakenet won the vote with 33% of the total votes. Positive. There seems to be plenty of back-and-forth between the community, with suggestions being put forward and the team seeming to take these on board. This has dried up a little over the past 48 hours, but this is perhaps in part a symptom of the recent Bitcoin volatility. Overall, there is a strong sense of community involvement and a genuine interest in Stakenet’s future. One thing that could perhaps do with improvement is the % engagement of the group as a whole: there seems to be a lot of discussion between 100 or so members. Regardless, the Discord definitely scores a 5.

Moving onto the Stakenet Telegram, there are 2514 members in the group. A comprehensive list of relevant resources is pinned, ensuring new user accessibility and thus allowing for greater community growth. Looking through the past couple of weeks of messages, I can see that the vast majority of discussion is support-related, with queries being swiftly answered. There is also a clear trend in growth of the group size. However, there is rather little conversation concerning the development of the project and no palpable sentiment of genuine interest towards the future of the project, unlike that found in the Discord group. There also seems to be only ~25 individuals in discussion recently. 4 out of 5.


The Stakenet BitcoinTalk thread was created on March 28th, 2018, and has since generated 33 pages of discussion, totalling 658 messages. In the past 90 days, there have been 206 posts from around 50 individual posters: the most posts in 90 days of any coin I’ve reported on so far. The community seems eager to answer questions from new users and the thread is used to push out long-form, detailed development updates via the Medium blog. As tends to be the way with BitcoinTalk, there is quite a lot of focus on price, but there is plenty of discussion on support and some conversation concerning the future of the project. In particular, there is talk about the upcoming Decentralised Exchange, which will be the run fully on masternodes. Overall, I get a strong impression, and it is certainly the strongest thread of the five coins I’ve written reports for. 5 out of 5.

And that concludes my evaluation of the Stakenet community. Onto Development:


For the following Development analysis, I will be evaluating project leadership, the website, the roadmap, the whitepaper, the wallets and finally providing a general overview:

Project Leadership:

Once again, relative to competitors, Stakenet seems to be in a strong position with regards to its leadership. There are 18 listed core team members on the website; Bulwark and ALQO both have fewer than 10. There are 40+ individuals reported as part of the Stakenet team. More impressively, there are 535 Github contributors, which shows true decentralisation of development (making up, at least in part, for the lack of strong decentralisation of the coin itself). They are currently hiring an International Communications Manager and an Article Writer.

Overall, I like the balance amongst the listed team, with 10 members that have relevant experience in development, 7 that have relevant experience in marketing and support and a  listed advisor in Frank Amato, who is assisting with development of the DEx and has vast experience in traditional finance. This is a good balance between generating brand awareness and creating a strong end-product: there’s no point in having a stand-out product if no one knows about it, and even less point in having a strong brand identity with no working product. Overall, very impressive. I also like that they’re continuing to expand. 5 out of 5.


The website itself is sleek and easy-to-use. It is well-design with a very strong brand identity. I would like to see the Medium blog linked in the main menu, perhaps alongside the Wiki (extensive FAQ) as it is such an insightful resource for those interested in the product. On the topic of the blog, it is thorough and fairly regularly updated with a variety of topics covered. All the relevant social and resource links are included, and there are informative pages on the team and the coin itself. However, the block explorer is dreadful and in dire need of an update. It needs to be far more functional and feature-rich. XSN Cloud (which we will get into in the following sections) works smoothly, though it is in Beta at present. Overall, 4. Sort that explorer out.


Currently, only the 2018 roadmap is available, though I can see an inaccessible page for the 2019 roadmap.

The 2018 roadmap begins with a brief description of the composition of the roadmap itself, which is useful as it allows new users to better understand the core components of the project’s development. The layout of the roadmap is visually appealling, comprising of brief descriptions of individual goals, with dates of completion and a visual progress bar. There are also Show More tabs for further info. The roadmap clearly states that the various projects in development will see reveneues returned into XSN. As the first 3 quarters of the year (beginning with the launch in March) are pretty much complete, there has been much progress:

In Q1 (March-May), XSN successfully underwent a coin swap from POSW, and Trustless Proof-of-Stake (an original innovation by Stakenet) was integrated. Masternodes were also implemented and the end of the quarter saw the release of the new website.

Q2 (June-August) saw team expansion and the appointment of Frank Amato as advisor. The website was updated and XSN Cloud was launched with Staking-as-a-Service. Segwit and Lightning Network updates were completed.

Q3 (September-November) is the deadline for the Excalibur multi-currency hardware wallet. Further info can be found at The progress bar indicates this is near-completion. Q3 has also seen the completion of Lightning Swap compatibility, allowing Lightning Network Cross-Chain Atomic Swaps (more on this). In essence, this allows for instant swaps between XSN and other Lightning Network coins. Apparently, Stakenet is the first coin in the space to achieve this outside of BTC and LTC. Very impressive stuff. Masternodes-as-a-Service are also scheduled for Q3 completion, and are 95% complete. Further, testing for the hardware wallet prototype is complete, Stratis and PIVX have been added to the XSN Cloud for staking functionality, and the Revolving Stake Bonus (RSB) business model has been implemented, with a trackable page depicting buy-backs-and-burns of the XSN supply and funds donated to the Treasury.

Next quarter (December-February) will see zk-SNARK and TOR integration, Cross-Chain-Proof-of-Stake functionality, cold staking via Ledger Nano S, conceptual work completed for the DEx, autonomous swaps via masternodes, testnet sharding, new whitepaper and roadmap releases and prototype launch of the hardware wallet. Wow. That’s a lot to get done in 3 months. I’ll be beyond impressed if it’s all completed to a high standard. The ambition is certainly great.

The roadmap gets a 5 out of 5 but I’d have liked to have seen more of 2019’s roadmap given we’re only a month away from the New Year.


My first impression of the whitepaper is that is is far too long. 56 pages is incredibly excessive, regardless of the content, and this is the weakest part of the project thus far, as I will explain. The Bitcoin whitepaper is 9 pages long… too long a whitepaper makes the most important document less accessible or attractive for new users.

However, there is a clear and ambitious overall goal for Stakenet stated in the opening paragraphs:

Stakenet (XSN) is building an integrated decentralized ecosystem to create a suite of effective investment tools for investors and the world’s first truly decentralized cryptocurrency bank.

The whitepaper also opens by listing many of their innovations or their improvements on existing technologies (TPoS, CCPoS, DEx, masternodes with multiple income sources, RSB, cold staking etc). This is all clearly described in jargon-free prose, painting a solid overall picture as to the project’s core components. The block reward schedule is informative and transparent, with the 10% Treasury reward not obscured. There is also a focus on XSN becoming a “store-of-value” and Stakenet being a “trustless profit-driven economy”. There are visual aids to increase ease-of-understanding and much of the description remains in plain English. That being said, the prose should be far more concise, with much overlap in the pages concerning goals/aims/objectives/missions/vision etc.

Next, there is a condensed version of the roadmap printed in a visually appealing graphic, which is useful. This usefulness dwindles when the following pages are filled with a detailed breakdown of each component of the roadmap, in exactly the same language as that of the roadmap on the website. It feels redundant. There is also a lot of repetition throughout the document, especially with regards to the components of the Stakenet ecosystem. This is what is making the whitepaper unnecessarily long.

That being said, there are informative yet brief sections on the history of XSN and its beginnings as POSW. The subsequent graphic featuring Bitcoin first-of-class forks is particularly smart, as it distinguishes Stakenet as one of few Bitcoin forks truly innovating. This is followed by clear breakdowns of more general technical terminology concerning cryptocurrencies (algorithms, consensus, masternodes etc).

The Treasury section elaborates on the 10% block reward, stating that these funds will be exclusively used for development, bounties and marketing, Further, the funds will only be accessible once a proposal has been accepted via the governance system, ensuring decentralisation of power.

Next, the block reward schedule is repeated – again, redundant. Later sections delve into more technical aspects of Segwit and Lightning Network. The following section on Trustless Proof-of-Stake is useful as it serves to distinguish XSN, showing its unique use-case; the utility of cold storage staking and Staking-as-a-Service is massive. There is then pages and page of material covering the history of Proof-of-Stake, which, whilst seemingly overkill and certainly dull, does help illuminate where Stakenet has improved on these older solutions.

We then find out that masternodes will be getting rewards via three income streams: block rewards; 100% of DEx fees; and 100% of TOR fees. This is followed by some very informative sections explaining various privacy technologies. But, alas, we find pages and pages of material on consensus mechanisms, making the whitepaper begin to feel almost like a cryptocurrency encyclopaedia rather than a document explaining the purpose and development of Stakenet. Once again, there is repeated material on TPoS, and, most mindnumbingly, there are sentences that have been copied and pasted within the same section in the XSN Businesses section. Proofreading is required. I also think a condensed “light paper” would be far more useful, as, by the final few pages of the whitepaper, I could not wait to stop reading. It is just a little bit confused; there are some informative, concise and exciting sections mingled with dull and excessively long sections of little utility. Overall, 3 out of 5.


Concerning wallets, there are local wallets for Windows, Mac and Linux and the web wallet on XSN Cloud. There is a multi-currency hardware wallet in development, as well as a multi-currency light wallet for desktop and mobile.

The Windows wallet is well-branded, like everything else, and works well with smooth UI/UX. It is a little bit bare-bones in functionality, a bit like the explorer. It is also a little high in CPU usage. Overall, solid 4 with room for improvement.


Generally, Stakenet has a lot going for it. Significant achievements of the past year include the initial transition to XSN from POSW; the integration of masternodes; Trustless Proof-of-Stake; Segwit; and Lightning Swaps. In particular, those latter 3 are stand-out achievements. There is also so much to look forward to, it seems: a Decentralised Exchange; DApps on the Stakenet blockchain; a multi-currency hardware wallet; zk-SNARK integration; cold staking functionality for Ledger Nano S; a multi-currency Light wallet; and, a new innovation in Exertive-Proof-of-Stake. You can find out more on that here.

The primary innovation, and what I think gives Stakenet an edge over its competitors, is Trustless Proof-of-Stake, Cross-Chain-Proof-of-Stake and Lightning Swaps. These are truly revolutionary technologies in the space.

Regarding funding, I like that they have a 10% Treasury that is governed using the masternode network. I am more excited for the RSB mechanism to start buy-backs-and-burns and to begin assisting with Treasury funding as the Stakenet ecosystem evolves to include more services.

That concludes my fundamental analysis of Stakenet. Let’s have a look at that chart:


Whilst there is rather little price-history for XSN, the chart is somewhat of a beauty in its clean market structure. We can quite clearly see the phases of the bull cycle play out, with a peak forming in June and price subsequently bleeding out over the past few months. That bleed occured on unusually low volume. Since then, price seems to have found a bottom at ~1800 satoshis, and the volume profile is in an uptrend over the past few weeks, indicating that accumulation is once again underway. Price is currently sitting at a level of prior resistance potentially turned support, and is only ~20% above all-time lows. Given the rest of this report – in particular, the Metric Analysis – it would seem as though price is in a strong position for a low-risk, high-reward entry, and the signs of reversal are there. It will be interesting to see whether Stakenet can buck the macro market downtrend in the short term, but, over the coming 12-24 months, I can see a lot of upside for the coin. Exciting.


This report is now approaching 6,000 words, and it is time to draw it to a close.

My final grading for Stakenet is a strong 4 out of 5. It would be so easy for me to award it a 5, but there are lots of areas where improvement is necessary for a perfect score, despite the overwhelming strength in social media presence and innovation, in particular.

I hope this report has proved insightful and that you’ve enjoyed the read! Please do feel free to leave any questions in the Comments, and I’ll answer them as best I can.


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