Tag Archives: Cryptocurrency

Already More ICOs in 2018 Than All of 2017: $6.3B

The amount of money raised in initial coin offerings (ICOs)

in the first quarter of 2018 has blown past the amount raised throughout all of 2017, according to data from Coindesk. In the first three months of the year, a total of $6.3 billion raised from digital coin offerings represented 118% more than that of last year's total, suggesting that despite increased scrutiny on the cryptocurrency space, ICOs aren't going anywhere soon.

ICOs have been a major source of controversy in the cryptocurrency space as regulators struggle to combat illegitimate business and protect investors against buying into the frenzy without proper consideration. Since just about anyone can create digital currency: Over 15,000 cryptocurrencies have been launched. Often, the means by which crypto-related startups raise money is by selling virtual coins as an alternative to raising stock. Regulators have tried to crack down on the surge in fraudulent ICOs, which prompt many to buy in due to false advertising and other schemes. Many investors have also fallen victim to "FOMO," or fear of missing out, getting into crypto-investing simply because others have bought in, and not in response to the actual details of the startups that they are funding. 

Digital Token Projects Continue to Gain Popularity 

Of course, not all ICOs are schemes, and many are legitimate. On Wednesday, Basis (formerly Basecoin), landed $133 million in an ICO, with participation from high-profile investors such as Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) GV, Andreessen Horowitz, former Federal Reserve governor Kevin Warsh and billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckermiller. The funding round marked the first time that venture capital firms Bain and Lightspeed had ever bought a digital token.

In 2018, the size and speed of ICO funding rounds have also accelerated, according to the Coindesk report. Q1 saw 59% as many ICOs raise capital as all of 2017. The report noted that without Telegram's record-breaking $1.7 billion token sale, ICOs in the first three months of 2018 would amount to $4.6 billion, or 85% of last year's total. Coindesk notes that given most ICOs in Q1 have garnered less than $100 million, "a number of projects are still eager to sell tokens, despite the regulatory risk." The report pointed to a recent ruling from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which acknowledged some ICOs as securities offerings and required that they be registered with the agency.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns cryptocurrency.

Article Produced By
Shoshanna Delventhal

As a digital nomad based out of New York City, Shoshanna enjoys reporting on business and finance, with a focus on consumer products and technology companies. Shoshanna is passionate about enhancing the future of work by harnessing productivity and adopting transparent, flexible work cultures.

After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Economics and International Relations, Shoshanna worked in international business advisory at KPMG. When she’s not writing, you can now find Shoshanna leading yoga, mindfulness and creative workshops around the world. Shoshanna’s enthusiastic about forward-driving projects that advance social entrepreneurship, conscious consumerism and sustainability movements.

https://www.investopedia.com/news/already-more-icos-2018-all-2017-63b/

 

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Emergence of New Major Ecosystems: Ethereum & Beyond.

Emergence of New Major Ecosystems:
The Battle for Two Layer Protocols

Ethereum and Beyond

Ethereum  —  as the current incumbent among general-purpose permissionless blockchains  —  has to date offered the best resources, tooling, and incentives for developers to build on top of its protocol. These “layer-two” projects combine off-chain software with some number of smart contracts (which may include a native ERC20 token) to create markets in which users can trustlessly interact and exchange some digital resource. That resource might be the sMPC of private data, live streamed video, generic loan contracts, a CryptoKitty, or something else. These markets rely on the security guarantees and immutability of the underlying chain; so the success of a project is, to a degree, contingent on the effectiveness of the underlying chain.

For a developer seeking to build a blockchain project in 2016, Ethereum was the natural (or maybe the only) choice. If that same developer were to build a project in 2019, he or she would have significant optionality in choosing an underlying protocol.

One of the most exciting developments of 2019 will be the emergence of new “major ecosystems” and thus the beginning of the battle for layer two.

Major ecosystems are layer-one blockchain protocols that offer very compelling technical and architectural innovations such that they are likely to capture a significant portion of the technical mindshare within the space. As a number of these new ecosystems approach network launch, we can expect to see direct competition between protocols, each evangelizing its tech and incentivizing engineers to build on top of its stack.

How Will Ecosystems Compete?

There are any number of open questions around how this might play out. What factors are developers likely to prioritize in deciding which base layer to build on? Will developers who have already built layer-two projects on Ethereum migrate their tech to new protocols? The prediction is that they will.

Engineers will congregate on the chains that have the best performance (i.e. scalability, security guarantees, privacy), the most accessible and friendly developer environments, the best perceived long-term viability, and (perhaps) the most valuable cryptocurrencies.

Another variable is the degree to which decentralization or censorship resistance are important to a given use case. For example, a gaming application may make more sense on EOS than Ethereum if “platform-grade censorship resistance” is sufficient for its use. Conversely, a decentralized financial market may be better suited for a consensus protocol that allows any participant to validate and verify blocks.

Evidently, the major ecosystems will need to compete on tech as well as on incentives to adopt the tech. Certain new ecosystems incentivize adoption by offering large pools of organized capital mandated specifically to invest in the development of infrastructure, UI/UX and developer tooling on their platforms.

These capital pools will act as growth drivers in their respective ecosystems, much like ConsenSys was a growth driver for the Ethereum ecosystem.

Technical Hurdles

For Ethereum projects seeking to move to a new chain, the process of porting a Solidity smart contract is not a trivial task. Theoretically, with new base-layer protocols using WebAssembly virtual machines, smart contracts scripted in any language that can be compiled down to Wasm (e.g. Haskell, C, Rust) should run correctly. In reality, a developer will need to customize their smart contracts for each chain’s VM, considering the security guarantees, unique native functionality, and idiosyncrasies of each.

This means projects will need to expend technical resources on adapting their codebase, run new security audits on the code for each chain, potentially hire new engineers, etc.

Given these technical and cost barriers, expectations are to see a mixture of layer-two projects that make dedicated bets on the adoption of a single chain (e.g. EOS maximalists) as well as layer-two projects that run implementations across two or three of the top chains.

What About the Tokenholders?

If a tokenized Ethereum layer-two project decides to launch on top of a new protocol, what does this mean for the project’s existing tokenholders?

The answer to this is unclear today and may differ project to project. It also depends on whether the project is “abandoning” its Ethereum implementation or simply launching a concurrent implementation on top of another chain.

Here are a few approaches likely to be seen:

Multiple TDEs. A project may elect to run alternative token distribution events (either airdrops or token sales) separately for each base-layer chain it has an implementation on. The tokenholders of a layer-two project could therefore differ from chain-to-chain.

Airdrops to ERC20 Tokenholders. A project may elect to airdrop its tokens for each new base-layer chain directly to its ERC20 tokenholders (much like BTC holders receive all of the forks of BTC). This could concentrate economic value to, and incentivize the HODling of, the original ERC20s. The downside of this approach is that the project would not raise any additional capital to finance the costs of porting onto new chains.

Sidechain Bridges. Instead of creating additional sets of tokens for each new ecosystem, a layer-two project may elect to facilitate token transfers from Ethereum to other ecosystems via sidechain bridges. This would effectively turn an Ethereum layer-two project into a “meta protocol.” The process would be conceptually similar to the DOGE-ETH Bridge launched by the Truebit team earlier this year: A user could lock up their ERC20s in an Ethereum smart contract, provide proof of such a transaction on the alternative chain, and then either mint or otherwise receive new equivalent tokens on the alternative chain. For example, a 0x user on Ethereum can lock up their ZRX tokens in a smart contract and, by providing a proof, receive DFINITY ZRX tokens on the DFINITY chain. These bridges can also be bilateral, allowing tokenholders to move their balances across chains while still maintaining a fixed total supply of tokens irrespective of the number of cross-chain implementations.

The Bet.

To be clear, it is not necessarily perceived that the battle for layer two is that of an adversarial process or a zero-sum game between the major ecosystems. It’s impossible to imagine that there will only be a single winner in the development of permissionless blockchains.

Simply put, it’s a safe bet that the market for developer mindshare is about to get a lot more competitive  —  and that this competition will inspire a great deal of innovation, more efficient capital allocation, and even some consolidation across chains and companies (which we are beginning to see with the recent M&A in the space).
 

CREDIT: Tekin Salimi, a VC at Polychain Capital:
https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/07/beyond-ethereum-the-battle-to-own-blockchains-layer-two

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Problem: Crypto Heists Net $761 Million …

… just in first half of 2018.

About $761 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from exchanges in just the first half of 2018, Reuters reports, citing blockchain security firm CipherTrace. Unlike traditional banks, money stored at cryptocurrency exchanges often isn’t insured, and even investors who don’t do business with hacked exchanges can still be impacted, since reports of such heists often bring down cryptocurrency prices at least temporarily. The attackers behind such hacks can be sophisticated: North Korea has been accused of hacking exchanges to get funds in the face of sanctions limiting its role in the global economy. Digital theft isn’t limited to cryptocurrency: In May, Banco de Chile, among the South American country’s largest banks, reportedly saw $10 million siphoned off by hackers who initiated bogus transactions through the international funds transfer system SWIFT amid a malware attack.

For further details: BY STEVEN MELENDEZ
https://www.fastcompany.com/90179857/crypto-exchange-heists-net-761-million-in-first-half-of-2018

Solution:

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Before You Buy Bitcoin, Read This.

Many investors are asking:
Should I buy Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies? And if not, why?

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin arrived on the scene in 2009. The digital currency is created and held electronically. Its value stems partly from the fact that it's decentralized; no single institution or government controls the network. It was developed based on a proposal from a software developer called Satoshi Nakamoto, according to CoinDesk, which tracks cryptocurrency prices and reports on events in the crypto space. Low transaction costs are another feature along with instantaneous transfers.

Perhaps its biggest attraction is that its supply can't be increased or decreased at the whim of a controlling entity. Similar to gold and other precious metals, Bitcoins can be "mined," but it's done by using computing power in a distributed network. And like gold, Bitcoin supply is limited. And it's headed toward terminal creation.

Bitcoin rules state that only 21 million Bitcoins can ever be created, though the coins can be split into smaller parts. That could make Bitcoin, like gold, an attractive inflation hedge, backers say. There are 16.67 million Bitcoin in circulation now.

On the other hand, the potential creation of new digital currencies creates "the possibility of limitless supply of different cryptocurrencies," undermining the value of existing ones, UBS warned recently.

For further information: 
https://www.investors.com/etfs-and-funds/etfs/before-buy-bitcoin-know-cryptocurrency-investment-risks/

 

 

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What Determines If Cryptocurrency Will Be Regulated.

In mid-June, 2018, a top SEC official said that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities, adding that a key point in deciding whether a coin is a security is whether a cryptocurrency network is sufficiently decentralized.

Not being securities means transactions in Bitcoin and Ethereum aren't subject to SEC rules.

"(When) purchasers no longer have expectation of managerial stewardship from a third party, a coin is not a security," said William Hinman, the head of the SEC's division of corporate finance, at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto.

However this also means that initial coin offerings, which have in the past been launched by centralized teams, could fall under SEC rules.

This is because initial investors could be buying coins in the belief they can profit when they go public and increase in value. In addition, at such an early stage they are not sufficiently decentralized.

For more, see: https://www.investors.com/news/sec-explains-cryptocurrency-security-asset-ico-regulation/

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Crypto Rising: Bitcoin Rebounding From 2018 Lows.

Bitcoin regained some losses Monday, breaking 2-month downtrend. Other digital currencies including Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash & Ripple were also up. 

The cryptocurrency's price jumped by 12% from Friday, its biggest intraday rise since April. 

The price rise is a boost for fans of the speculative asset class, which is based on blockchain technology. Cryptocurrencies around the world lost about half their market value from May 5 through last Friday. This, after Bitcoin hit an all-time top price of nearly $20,000 in December, 2017.

For more, see article by Michael Larkin, Investor's Business Daily: 
https://www.investors.com/news/bitcoin-rebounds-2018-lows/?src=A00220&yptr=yahoo

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Malta Determined To Become The ‘Blockchain Island’

Regulations, Adoption, Binance Headquarters

Excerpts from an article from Cointelegraph, by Hector Sanchez dated April 9, 2018
Complete article here: http://hive.pe/yJ

Malta has made it obvious that it wants to become the “Blockchain island” and it seems determined to achieve its goal.

A notable confirmation that Malta is moving in the right direction regarding Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) regulation was the recent announcement by Binance. The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by volume chose Malta for their new headquarters after the warnings received from Japan, China and Hong Kong.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, known as “CZ”, welcomed other projects to Malta such as Tron:

Silvio Schembri, Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation within the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta, commented to Cointelegraph on the news:

“Binance’s decision is a vote of confidence in what we’re offering as a country and as a Government in this sector, that is legal certainty in this space. During the meeting with CZ I explained our long-term vision reflected in the policy document that was launched in February, ‘Malta – A leader in DLT Regulation.’ We are not shying away but instead want to unleash the opportunities that holds by regulating the sector without stifling innovation. Ultimately our vision is to make Malta ‘The Blockchain Island’.”

 

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Liechtenstein’s Blockchain Law, Crypto Banking and ICOs, Interview With Prime Minister

Liechtenstein’s Blockchain Law, Crypto Banking and ICOs, Interview With Prime Minister

Adrian Hasler, the Prime Minister of Liechtenstein,

is certain that blockchain technology will have an impact on a variety of areas and is preparing a new blockchain law to provide essential requirements in order to establish a regulatory base for blockchain businesses. The blockchain law — so called Blockchain Act — was announced by Adrian Hasler at this year’s Finance Forum on March 21. According to Adrian Hasler, the new act is about integrating current business models in regulatory terms in order to give companies and their clients a legal base. The planned act is expected to be circulated for consultations this summer. Cointelegraph spoke with the prime minister about blockchain regulation, the politics regarding this technology and cryptocurrencies, ICOs and the business climate in Liechtenstein.

About Lichtenstein’s blockchain law

Cointelegraph: In your greetings at the Finance Forum you announced a new blockchain law. What makes this regulation special?

Adrian Hasler: We see great potential in blockchain technologies that go far beyond what we can observe today. Our law is designed to serve as the legislative basis for such a token economy and thereby provide regulatory certainty for all participants and overall further

positive development [in this space].

Blockchain can serve as an important base for a variety of economic applications, covering not only payment transactions but broader financial solutions, industry use cases and general applications.

CT: Could you specify the implications of such a regulation when put into place for blockchain businesses and the average citizen? How can they profit from it?

AH: We expect many more rights and assets put into blockchain systems in the future. One example: in order to effectively capitalize on the advantages of these efficient transaction systems we need a lawfully secure connection with the physical world, which we aim to achieve with state regulatory oversight. This will create trust, which is important for blockchain businesses and citizens.

CT: Why is blockchain an interesting topic for Liechtenstein?

AH: We have dealt with possibilities and risks associated with blockchain in the past. We view some opportunities here but also certain challenges for all economic sectors, especially the financial sector. It is important for the state of Liechtenstein that the government and authorities deal intensively with the consequences in practices to be able to treat companies fairly and competently. We aim to actively accompany this development.

About the future of cryptocurrencies

CT: Are you optimistic about the future of blockchain and cryptocurrencies?

AH: We observe a remarkable, globally oriented, and well-educated scene that is very much involved in the advancement of blockchain technology, and we believe that we are only at the beginning of an exciting and long-term development. Cryptocurrencies for me represent merely a fraction of possible use cases of blockchain in a tokenized economy. I believe we have to distinguish between payment traffic, stable coins representing legal means of payments and self-sustaining cryptocurrencies. It goes without saying that payments within a token economy are executed via blockchain. In this context, it can be assumed that stable coins, which are linked to legal currencies, will play an

important role.

Cryptocurrencies can play a significant role in the future once they become widely accepted.

CT: Do you see an interest in blockchain projects and demand for cryptocurrencies from the citizens of Liechtenstein?

AH: Liechtenstein accounts for a relatively large blockchain scene with a very big interest in blockchain projects and cryptocurrencies. For a layperson however, it seems relatively hard to accurately assess the risks of such an investment. Partaking in an ICO alone can be quite difficult. For this reason, there are increasingly more financial products entering the market that make investments easier. However, these are currently only approved for qualified investors.

CT: The Liechtenstein family bank Bank Frick allows direct investments in cryptocurrencies. Do you support the idea of crypto-banking as an alternative to

traditional banking?

I really do not see a contradiction between crypto banking and traditional banking.

AH: I rather expect to see an integration of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the financial sector. I do applaud this development because it introduces high standards und legislative security for investors of the traditional finance sector on blockchains. Of course, we need to make sure that the advantages of the crypto world are sustained as best as possible.

CT: Are you yourself dealing with cryptocurrencies or investing in blockchain projects?

AH: No, in my function as head of the government, I keep a low profile here.

About Liechtenstein as a location for ICOs

CT: Liechtenstein has become a favourite location in the world, to start ICOs. What are the reasons?

AH: One important reason is the openness of the authorities and the government for the new technologies and the subsequently acquired knowledge on how to use them. Surely it helps that you have very little response time as a company. It is relatively quickly possible to schedule a meeting with the ministry of the FMA [financial authority of Liechtenstein]. Furthermore we introduced a so-called regulatory laboratory at the FMA, which is a competent contact for innovative companies. Especially Fintech and blockchain companies seem to use this option intensively.

CT: Liechtenstein is subject to certain European Union regulations. Have those furthered the advancement of innovative ICOs or rather hindered it?

AH: Liechtenstein is a member of the European ecosystem und complies with all EU regulations in his financial service area. This is why companies in Liechtenstein also benefit from the so-called ‘EU-Pass’, hence the access to the European market. In our experience, however, it depends heavily on the specific design of an ICO, whether financial market law issues are affected. To my knowledge, many ICOs in Liechtenstein have already been successfully implemented within the framework of the financial market rules.

Article Produced By
Veronika Rinecker

https://cointelegraph.com/news/liechtenstein-s-blockchain-law-crypto-banking-and-icos-interview-with-prime-minister

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@Markethive proposed airdrop messaging KYC and 2FA wallet

The Proposed Markethive Wallet APP

Markethive’s wallet app is multi-purpose. It acts as a wallet, set up to receive Markethive coin, works as a messaging system integrated with the Markethive dashboard for both the news feed and messaging, acts as the 2FA for login and holds the KYC keys for membership verification. Operates on PC and Apple PCs, Droid and Apple phones and Tablets.

1. Hive Wallet Balances

The Markethive wallet is a software program that stores private and public keys and interacts with various blockchains to enable users to send and receive digital currency and monitor their balance, with the additional options to send payments through the messaging system. The wallet also receives Markethive auto revenue payments 

2.Hive Authenticator

The initial subscription into Markethive requires a mature social network and a cell number is the second level of verification. But further verification is required to conduct business.  This is where the 2FA process requires  documents that when approved, they are encrypted and the Wallet becomes the only point giving the subscriber the only access to their own privacy

3. Hive Verification

Security blockchain end to end, private key for verification access to the Markethive platform. KYC documentation is stored in the blockchain and only accessed via your wallet with the wallets 2FA. Upon logging into Markethive, the wallet delivers several layers of protection.

4. Hive Messenger

Decentralized messenger, p2p, the blockchain, voice, text, 3+ call ways, groups and channels, built-in whiteboard and desktop share webinar. Encrypted, private, crypto coin transfers, shapeshifter, runs from the wallet. Pays to use it. Reads and publishes to the Markethive Newsfeed.

Find out more about the proposed, developing, and operating leading edge tech we bring to you, to support your environment to build your dreams in our machine. All p[art of delivering Universal Income for the entrepreneur.

Thomas Prendergast
Founder
Markethive.com

 

 

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What Are ICO Air Drops and Where to Find Them

What Are ICO Air Drops and Where to Find Them

A recent phenomenon in the cryptocurrency economy

has been the incidences and instances of cryptocurrency token airdrops. This has been particularly pronounced with Initial Coin Offering (ICO) projects. Airdrop events have become such a ‘craze’ that people have turned up in their numbers on the internet seeking how to make some free tokens from airdrops.

What is an Air drop?

Air drop is just another way of distributing cryptocurrency tokens to help with the process of adoption for the particular token. Some ICO projects choose to give out their tokens practically for free to members of their community as a means of encouraging the token’s adoption and usage with the hope that in the process, there will be increased demand for the token which will in turn help to drive up its value. Usually after the main crowd sale events, a small percentage of the total tokens are set aside for air drops.

In as much as these air drops seem to be free, beneficiaries tend to be community members of the ICO project who have made efforts towards the development and growth of the community. Air drop beneficiary efforts are usually gauged by the consistency and quality of their contribution to topics that relate to the project. The duration of community membership is also a parameter often used – older members of an ICO project’s telegram, Slack, Discord or other communal social media platforms tend to be candidates for free tokens by way of airdrops as compared to newer community members.

Changes in the ICO Game

Just like the blockchain technology that runs it, ICOs keep changing by way of operations and execution. As the months go by, a lot of dynamism and improvements are introduced. A lot of these innovations in the ICO space are attributable to the Ethereum blockchain which is the leading blockchain by way of ICO token development. Majority of the token airdrop have been linked to ERC20 tokens. The flexibility and freedom that the Ethereum network gives entrepreneurs and developers has been a catalyst in the dynamism being experienced with the way ICOs are run and this same dynamism has inspired the recent airdrop events we are currently witnessing in the blockchain and ICO space.

Article Produced By
Emmanuel Darko

https://icowatchlist.com/blog/ico-air-drops-find/

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