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Crypto Banking Wars: Can BlockFi & Celsius Disrupt Banking?
These crypto lending & borrowing services found early traction. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market? https://reddit.com/link/icps9l/video/98kl1y596zh51/player This is the third part ofCrypto Banking Wars— a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become thebank of the future. Who is best positioned toreach mainstream adoptionin consumer finance? While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this verypowerfultechnology to reach the masses. As we laid out in our previous series, Crypto-Powered, we believe a crypto-native company will ultimately become the bank of the future. We’re confident Genesis Block will have a seat at that table, but we aren’t the only game in town. In the first post of this series, we did an analysis of big crypto exchanges like Coinbase & Binance. In our second episode, we looked at the world of non-custodial wallets. Today we’re analyzing crypto lending & borrowing services. The Earn and Borrow use-case covers a lot of what traditional banks deliver today. This category of companies is a threat worth analyzing. As we look at this market, we’ll mostly be focused on custodial, centralized products like BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius. Many of these companies found early traction among crypto users. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market? Let’s find out.
Because speculation and trading remains one of the most popular use-cases of crypto, a new crypto sub-industry around credit has emerged. Much of the borrowing demand has been driven by institutional needs. For example, a Bitcoin mining company might need to borrow fiat to pay for operational costs (salaries, electricity). Or a crypto company might need to borrow USD to pay for engineering salaries. Or a crypto hedge fund needs to borrow for leverage or to take a specific market position. While all of these companies have sufficient crypto to cover the costs, they might not want to sell it — either for tax or speculative reasons (they may believe these crypto assets will appreciate, as with most in the industry). Instead of selling their crypto, these companies can use their crypto as collateral for loans. For example, they can provide $1.5M in Bitcoin as collateral, and borrow $1M. Given the collateralization happening, the underwriting process becomes straightforward. Companies all around the world can participate — language and cultural barriers are removed. https://preview.redd.it/z9pby83d6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=54bf425215c3ed6d5ff0ca7dbe571e735b994613 The leader (and one of our partners) in this space is Genesis Capital. While they are always the counterparty for both lenders and borrowers, they are effectively a broker. They are at the center of the institutional crypto lending & borrowing markets. Their total active loans as of March 2020 was $649M. That number shot up to $1.42B in active loans as of June 2020. The growth of this entire market segment is impressive and it’s what is driving this opportunity for consumers downstream.
While most of the borrowing demand comes from institutional players, there is a growing desire from consumers to participate on the lend/supply side of the market. Crypto consumers would love to be able to deposit their assets with a service and watch it grow. Why let crypto assets sit on an exchange or in cold storage when it can be earning interest? A number of consumer-facing products have emerged in the last few years to make this happen. While they also allow users to borrow (always with collateral), most of the consumer attraction is around growing their crypto, even while they sleep. Earning interest. These products usually partner with institutional players like Genesis Capital to match the deposits with borrowing demand. And it’s exactly part of our strategy as well, beyond leveraging DeFi (decentralized finance protocols). A few of the most popular consumer services in this category include BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius. https://preview.redd.it/vptig5mg6zh51.png?width=1051&format=png&auto=webp&s=b5fdc241cb9b6f5b495173667619f8d2c93371ca
BlockFi (Crunchbase) is the leader in this category (at least in the West). They are well-capitalized. In August 2019, they raised $18.3M in their Series A. In Feb 2020, they raised $30M in their Series B. In that same time period, they went from $250M in assets under management to $650M. In a recent blog post, they announced that they saw a 100% revenue increase in Q2 and that they were on track to do $50M in revenue this year. Their growth is impressive. BlockFi did not do an ICO, unlike Celsius, Nexo, Salt, and Cred. BlockFi has a lot of institutional backing so it is perceived as the most reputable in the space. BlockFi started with borrowing — allowing users to leverage their crypto as collateral and taking out a loan against it. They later got into Earning — allowing users to deposit assets and earn interest on it. They recently expanded their service to “exchange” functionality and say they are coming out with a credit card later this year. https://preview.redd.it/byv2tbui6zh51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=bac080dcfc85e89574c30dfb396db0b537d46706 Security Woes It’s incredible that BlockFi has been able to see such strong growth despite their numerous product and security woes. A few months ago, their systems were compromised. A hacker was able to access confidential data, such as names, dates of birth, postal addresses, and activity histories. While no funds were lost, this was a massive embarrassment and caused reputational damage. https://preview.redd.it/lwmxbz5l6zh51.png?width=606&format=png&auto=webp&s=ebd8e6e5c31c56da055824254b35b218b49f80e0 Unrelated to that massive security breach and earlier in the year, a user discovered a major bug that allowed him to send the same funds to himself over and over again, ultimately accumulating more than a million dollars in his BlockFi account. BlockFi fortunately caught him just before withdrawal. Poor Product Execution Beyond their poor security — which they are now trying to get serious about — their products are notoriously buggy and hard-to-use. I borrowed from them a year ago and used their interest account product until very recently. I have first-hand experience of how painful it is. But don’t take my word for it… here are just a few tweets from customers just recently. https://preview.redd.it/wcqu3icn6zh51.png?width=1055&format=png&auto=webp&s=870e2f06a6ec377a87e5d6d1f24579a901de66b5 For a while, their interest-earning product had a completely different authentication system than their loan product (users had two sets of usernames/passwords). Many people have had issues with withdrawals. The app is constantly logging people out, blank screens, ugly error messages. Emails with verification codes are sometimes delayed by hours (or days). I do wonder if their entire app has been outsourced. The sloppiness shines through. Not only is their product buggy and UX confusing, but their branding & design is quite weak. To the left is a t-shirt they once sent me. It looks like they just found a bunch of quirky fonts, added their name, and slapped it on a t-shirt. https://preview.redd.it/mi6yeppp6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=fd4cd8201ad0d5bc667498096388377895b72953 Culture To the innocent bystander, many of these issues seem totally fixable. They could hire an amazing design agency to completely revamp their product or brand. They could hire a mercenary group of engineers to fix their bugs, etc. While it could stop the bleeding for a time, it may not solve the underlying issues. Years of sloppy product execution represents something much more destructive. It represents a top-down mentality that shipping anything other than excellence is okay: product experience doesn’t matter; design doesn’t matter; craftsmanship doesn’t matter; strong execution doesn’t matter; precision doesn’t matter. That’s very different from our culture at Genesis Block. This cancerous mentality rarely stays contained within product & engineering — this leaks to all parts of the organization. No design agency or consulting firm will fix some of the pernicious values of a company’s soul. These are deeper issues that only leadership can course-correct. If BlockFi’s sloppiness were due to constant experimentation, iteration, shipping, or some “move fast and break things” hacker culture… like Binance… I would probably cut them more slack. But there is zero evidence of that. “Move fast and break things” is always scary when dealing with financial products. But in BlockFi’s case, when it’s more like “move slow and break things,” they are really playing with fire. Next time a massive security breach occurs, like what happened earlier this year, they may not be so lucky. Institutional Focus Based on who is on their team, their poor product execution shouldn’t be a surprise. Their team comes mostly from Wall Street, not the blockchain community (where our roots are). Most of BlockFi’s blockchain/crypto integration is very superficial. They take crypto assets as deposits, but they aren’t leveraging any of the exciting, low-level DeFi protocols like we are. While their Wall Street heritage isn’t doing them any favors on the product/tech side, it’s served them very well on winning institutional clients. This is perhaps their greatest strength. BlockFi has a strong institutional business. They recently brought on Three Arrows Capital as a strategic investor — a crypto hedge fund who does a lot of borrowing. In that announcement, BlockFi’s founder said that bringing them on “aligns well with our focus on international expansion of our institutional services offering.” They also recently brought someone on who will lead business development in Asia among institutional clients. BlockFi Wrap Up There are certainly BlockFi features that overlap with Genesis Block’s offering. It’s possible that they are angling to become the bank of the future. However, they simply have not proven they are capable of designing, building, and launching world-class consumer products. They’ve constantly had issues around security and poor product execution. Their company account and their founder’s account seem to onlytweetaboutBitcoin. I don’t think they understand, appreciate, or value the power of DeFi. It’s unlikely they’ll be leveraging it any time soon. All of these reasons are why I don’t see them as a serious threat to Genesis Block. However, because of their strong institutional offering, I hope that Genesis Block will ultimately have a very collaborative and productive partnership with them. Assuming they figure out their security woes, we could park some of our funds with BlockFi (just as we will with Genesis Capital and others). I think what’s likely to happen is that we’ll corner the consumer market and we’ll work closely with BlockFi on the institutional side. I’ve been hard on BlockFi because I care. I think they have a great opportunity at helping elevate the entire industry in a positive way. But they have a lot of issues they need to work through. I really don’t want to see users lose millions of dollars in a security breach. It could set back the entire industry. But if they do things well… a rising tide lifts all boats.
While many companies in this category seem to be slowly adding more financial services, I don’t believe any of them are focused on the broader consumer market like we are. To use services like BlockFi, Nexo, or Celsius, users need to be onboarded and educated on how crypto works. At Genesis Block, we don’t believe that’s the winning approach. We think blockchain complexity should be abstracted away from the end-user. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto. For many of these services, there is additional friction due to ICO tokens that are forcefully integrated into the product (see NEXO token or CEL Token). None of these services have true banking functionality or integration with traditional finance —for example, easy offramp or spending methods like debit cards. None of them are taking DeFi seriously — they are leveraging crypto for only the asset class, not the underlying technology around financial protocols. So are these companies potential competitors to Genesis Block? For the crypto crowd, yes. For the mass market, no. None of these companies are capable of reaching the billions of people around the world that we hope to reach at Genesis Block. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Weekly Update: ParJar media blitz, Fiat pegged tipping goes live, Hydro Community Content Initiative, Sentivate Ambassadors... – 15 Nov - 21 Nov'19
Sup folks! This is the final one of the catch up series. Here’s your week at Parachute + partners (15 Nov - 21 Nov'19): With the latest update in ParJar, you can now tip crypto to your friends pegged to fiat. For example, if you were ever stuck on “How do I send $PAR tokens worth 10 USD to Cap?”, you can now simply type “/tip 10 USD PAR” and boom! ParJar does the rest for you. Awesome isn’t it? Last week we didn’t even notice that ParJar had been featured on a number of crypto publications. Cap found out this week. From Decrypt to TronWeekly to BitcoinExchangeGuide, ParJar made a big splash everywhere. Friggin amazing! PAR4PAR lottery entered stage 7. 350k $PAR up for grabs. Charlotte's Math trivia in TTR was super fun. 10 questions, 2500 $PAR each. Doc Vic (from Cuba) made a group for CoD Mobile players from Parachute. Join in if interested. No more wondering “How much is 5 USD in $PAR?” when tipping. Yay! In this week’s creative contest (@captainparachute #fanciness) by Jason, Parachuters had to “draw fancy outfits for captain”. Tons of $PAR given out for making Captain fabulous. Haha. Weekly Parenas are back. This week’s Parena saw Carlos take home a cool 25k $PAR from the 50k $PAR pot by beating Brian in a quick finale. This week’s Two-for-Tuesday’s theme was live in concert bands. An epic Tuesday ensued. In this week's #PFFL update, Hang (9-2) has moved to first place with Clinton following closely at 8-3. Chris, Alexis and Andy are in third position with 7-4. For #wholesomewed this week, Parachuters shared pivotal events from their lives that made them what they are. As a Helium hotspot operator, Cap and Ice travelled to a meetup this week in NYC to explore synergies. Peace Love’s late entry for last week’s #Parichristmas. Can you identify the face? Haha Catch up on the latest at aXpire from CEO Gary Markham’s inaugural State of the Market episode. Plus, there’s the Week 46 update video by Joakim as well. This week’s 20k $AXPR burn can be tracked here. Do you work at a Law firm that is looking to improve profitability? Look no further. Bilr is here to help. Have a read of this article to know more. The ERC20-BEP2 swap bridge is now back online. Check out the cool new promo video of the 2gether card. Founder Salvador Casquero will be part of a webinar discussion with Manager Focus on digital currencies on the 28th. Mark your calendars! CEO Ramón Ferraz's full interview with Emprendiendo.TV from South Summit which happened several weeks back was published this week. He also wrote about DeFi (Decentralised Finance) and its impact on the financial sector in a recent CryptoDaily UK article. The story behind the present branding of XIO can be read in this tweet thread. A new gif contest was started just before of the reveal of the first set of nominated startups for the XIO incubator. Hope you had a chance to make a submission. The Birdchain community was invited this week to vote for their favorite entry in the Copywrite Challenge. Voting will be open till the 27th. Plus, a new referral bonus was started. Woot woot! Did you know that you could earn 5% interest for holding $ETHOS on Voyager? Read more about it here. The latest update of the Voyager app was released this week. Thanks for making this ParJar branded coupon/label, Jose. I can already see so many uses for this Tron is now live on the Switch-backed McAfeeDex. Its volume on the SwitchDex network can also be tracked from DappRadar. The Dex supports 70 languages as of now and will become as close to a DAO as possible by decentralising decision making from 2020. Mineable featured Fantom $FTM in his list of 7 promising cryptos video. If you are looking to stake $FTM when mainnet goes live, make sure to read this article to understand how it will work. For the latest roundup from Fantomverse, click here. And welcome to the $FTM fam, Samuel! The voting for the #UptrenndOC contest finalists was conducted. BeInCrypto joined Uptrennd this week. $1UP is now listed on P2PB2B exchange. The crew will be covering CoinPoint's Annual VIP Networking Party next year as a media partner. Congratulations to the winners of the ETH Prediction contest for winning 2k $1UP tokens. Sweet! Part I of the Uptrennd Sharing Contest got off to a roaring start. For the latest scoop on District0x, check out the District Weekly. The District Registry article in the education portal has been updated in preparation of its launch. How to win over customers in the Fintech space? Hydro breaks it down for you in this article. The Hydro Community Content Initiative looks at creative inputs from the community to spread the word on Hydro. The project won an international competition called APIficator hosted by Sia Partners at The Met in NYC. APIficator is an open innovation challenge that looks for the best banking and finance APIs from around the world. Woohoo! As Vault prepares for a 2020 launch, here’s a quick product update. Views from the Hydrogen HQ are to die for If you want to see Silent Notary’s $SNTR token listed on Halodex, then don’t forget to vote for IDLedgers in the Halodex Listing Contest. Interested to become a Sentivate Ambassador? Get in touch with the crew. There will also be an Advocate Program for busy folks. Following the community's vote from a few weeks back to have more ELI5 content on core web technologies in video format, the team announced that they will be starting a podcast soon from their new office in Pittsburgh. Scott Melker (The Wolf Of All Streets) joined as an advisor to the project this week. Stay tuned to the upcoming AMAs to get in on exclusive updates. One of them will have more details on Artifacts. OST CEO Jason Goldberg wrote in depth about how OST’s tech makes Pepo such a powerful app. Pepo also got covered in detailed articles on Cointelegraph and Blockchain.news. Decrypt also did a brief feature of $OST. A Merkle Tree is a data structure that allows for quick verification in a large amount of data. SelfKey team published an article that explains how Merkle Trees make blockchains efficient. They also put together an eye-opening list of major data breaches in 2019. But what do hackers do with the breached data? Click here to find out. Busy week at Pynk with the crew travelling to Expanse Summit to speak on "Investing with AI" and then to Shift Conference in Croatia (where they made it to the finals) followed by FintechMatters in Vienna (where co-founder Mark Little talked about Crowd Wisdom) and finally to Slush in Helsinki (for biz dev). Signing up for Pepo is pretty straightforward Shuffle Monster’s $SHUF token is now a default token on Uniswap. Wibson team attended the Games Changer Summit hosted by Forbes Argentina this week. Head of Research Carlos Sarraute travelled to the University of San Andrés to train attendees on Big Data and talk shop. Read up on the Wibson journey so far from this article. Harmony had proposed a new staking mechanism called Effective Proof-of-Stake (EPoS) back in August. This week, it started to come to fruition with the latest commit. Click here to see what it takes to get it live. Harmony's Java SDK was released as well. Digital marketer Nick Vasilich shared his learnings from working on the development of Harmony DAO from the ground up. To stay upto date with Harmony news in your local language, don’t forget to follow the regional accounts. Welcome to Harmony, Wen! In this week's Harmony Insights episode, we learnt about market making. $ONE was listed on DeFi platform Constant which enables P2P lending. On that occasion, a special deal of lower interest rates for borrowing against $ONE was announced. Click here for pictures from Binance Turkey meetup that Harmony crew visited. Continuing from last week’s Harmony Bytes, the challenges of staking were discussed in the latest episode. As mentioned last week, the team was in Odessa as part of #CryptourUkraine. Next week, Vinnytsia. And with that, we are 100% updated with the latest week. Yay! See you again with another weekly update. Ciao!
My weekend with Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services, TBIS
This is my first ever blog post so please excuse me if I don’t adequately meet up to your writing expectations or answer all of your questions. Just a warning I tend to be wordy. In the Telegram world, my name is “Titanium Big Fish” and I hold a 6-figure amount of Titanium’s utility token, TBAR. As many of you know, Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure was hacked February 21, 2018. Prior to the hack, I had always been active on the telegram channel and enjoyed talking of our future riches to others as I found myself loving the banter and comradery. Moon landings and Lambo’s were often the fun conversation. Unfortunately, this hack happened immediately after I sold my business and a week after my first child was born. I went from someone mentally retired on Titanium and crypto to someone unemployed with a newborn, having to now bust out my 2011 resume. By February 21st, I was known to the top level in the company as a 6-figure token holder and I was still actively accumulating, so when I noticed A LOT of BAR being dumped on IDEX, I sent a telegram to Richard the COO questioning the ‘sale’ of so many tokens. Much to my surprise, and until today, I have kept this to myself, Richard asked me for my email and to sign an NDA and I was to call into a group chat. Much of what I write here might “bend” this NDA. Besides myself on the call there were a few top-level managers. I was informed that there was a hack. Michael, the CEO sounded extremely upset. I could hear despondence and stress in his voice. Before they decided to go with their plan A, they wanted a token holders’ thoughts. Someone who might have some other insight into a different idea and hear how the community might react. I came up with an idea that was not feasible at the time which was to fork into the ‘ingots’ but Richard said the blockchain would not be ready for a few months and not a solution to stop the hacker from profiting. They then discussed an actual fork, that Richard and James could start working on ASAP. Everyone agreed that the fork was the best idea to prevent the hacker from profiting and TBAR was created at this point. Apparently, the team had previously contacted the exchanges, because our call ended when the IDEX owner called for Michael and Michael had to get off the phone with us to take that call. There were 4 takeaways from this phone conversation that I had. One: I strongly suggested NOT to reveal this hack to the community and to make up ANY excuse but ‘hack’ to the token holders. I knew the mention of that word, would cause the BAR price to plummet and as a large holder I wanted to avoid that. Michael said, that we had to take the high road, and be honest and transparent. I really felt that was a strong statement for him to have made and it was something that I am certain that I would not have been able to do in that moment had I been the CEO. Two: I immediately noticed there was one top level manager NOT on the phone call, the CTO. I had been following Titanium and knew all the management and expected the CTO to be on this call. Literally that week I had run background checks on everyone so when someone was not there, I took notice, especially since his background check had some minor criminal issues. Three: when I asked whom I thought could possibly do something like this, it was evidently clear to me that the others on the call had a definite idea who the hacker was and it seemed Michael even wanted to blurt it out, saying something about not knowing who your true friends are. Four: I found myself somewhat on the ‘inside’ of the company. The next few weeks were basically a nightmare. I had added to my holdings all month leading into the hack and even had a 5-figure order on the books that the hacker grabbed up. To say I was fully invested is an understatement. I became the voice of reason to many on the telegram channel, because I really believe in the project, and knew they would pull through and also suspected they knew whom the hacker was and his being caught was inevitable. Also, hearing Michael and Richards voices on the call to discuss options, gave me confidence that they had nothing to do with this. I also felt it best to be reasonable about my holding and think everything through logically and clearly before taking a negative stance on this. My logic and reasoning led me to fully believe in the team after seeing how hard they were working on resolving this. I always felt, if it was not for Hitbtc, this would have been a minor issue that would have been incredibly resolved quickly, brilliantly and with almost no loss of BAR. Over time, I started to grow closer to Richard and others on the team in my private discussions about the hack and my own Sherlock Holmes investigations. Unfortunately, I am still under my NDA and even now can not reveal things that I know because mostly they are circumstantial or might hinder the investigation. My NDA also prevented me from revealing other things that I had known in the past. For example, when a youtube interview was rescheduled, people blamed Michael for this. He seemed to be an easy fall guy, whom everyone felt just didn’t show up. However, I had known all along that it was cancelled by the interviewer and Michael was actually ready for the interview. One of the team members took the fall blaming themselves for this miscommunication. People questioned this when it was revealed, but I saw it as a team that never places blame on others and never speaks negatively about anyone, nor do they try to counter FUD even when they can and should. To me that is the sign of a company specifically thinking long term. I still have not seen a team member bad mouth anyone or any company (even HBTC). On a whim, I reached out to Richard and said that I wanted to meet him, to see the office and meet Michael. I was concerned about my purchase, of course, and felt as a token holder I needed to see what was going on. There was a blockchain event coming up in LA and I was told that weekend would work as Martha, the CCO, would also be there. For this trip, I rented my own car, paid for my own airfare and rented my own hotel room. Titanium did not pay for me to come out to LA and they did not suggest that I come. Titanium is not paying me to write this nor are they demanding I say or not say anything. I never intended to write anything about my trip and my trip was not intended to answer Q and A for myself, nor did I take notes until the last day. My purpose of the trip was not to learn roadmap details nor product details, so I apologize to those that think I will fill you all in on the goodies. I was told many goodies, but I took them in stride as a big whole positive picture. I went to see if this was a long-term hold, if I should actually buy more, and to meet the humans behind Titanium, to get a feel for them specifically. I have been careful in what I have written as to not excite people too much with mentioning things not fully completed nor have I mentioned things told to me that might violate others NDA and I do not go into detail at all on any road map dates nor many specific products really. For example, we discussed the Element wallet in detail, but I won’t mention it in this blog at all, nor will I mention many of the products being worked on. All I will say is that there are a lot of things going on. It took me 2 weeks to get this blog out, and as we know in crypto 2 weeks is a lifetime, so many of the issues discussed below have been resolved, as well as some of the questions at the end, have already been answered. My initial meeting with Richard and Martha was brief. It was a cordial meeting- the conversation focused on HITBTC, the big hack, the twitter hack, as well as the fud group. I initially asked what the plan was for HITBTC. Richard had told me he was waiting on their contact there to do what is asked of them, and though they seem to want to help, and they have agreed to help, they always seemed to stop short of helping. I asked if HITBTC wanted money to resolve this, he said yes, and he was willing to pay. Plan B, Richard said, will take place very soon. Although It is not an ideal solution, Richard would have to have each of the 1500+ wallet holders left on HITBTC send in proof that they have BAR on HITBTC, prove when that purchase was made, and individually, each wallet will be sent TBAR if they qualified. It would be a slow and tedious endeavor, that would use up a lot of manpower, but it would get done. The conversation then turned to the hacker. I can’t speak to most of this as it is under investigation and I don’t know the full details, neither did Richard nor Martha. We all have our suspicions, and everything is unfortunately circumstantial at this point, so we just had an in-depth conversation on the circumstantial evidence. I can’t really discuss some of this information however, it is my opinion that this hack was a hack of vengeance, and not really for profit for they would have waited for a much better time to hack and BAR was really under the radar at this point with very low volume. This person does not want Titanium to succeed and more so, has a personal vendetta against Michael. The amount of people on this list is very, very small and it seems apparent that this is what the FUD group was set up for. Interestingly, this same person that I suspect is often in the FUD group. I suspect the person that publicly stated they did not want a fork and also publicly insinuated we should have paid the hacker, is to blame. You can all decide on that one… Interestingly, when I asked the telegram group to send over some Q and A, only 1 person asked about the hack. It seems that people are starting to move on from it. The conversation then turned to the twitter hack and the FUD group (note: this group is currently shut down as of the writing of this blog). Much to my surprise these two things did not seem to bother Richard nor Martha very much at all as they were already past this and implemented new company protocols and procedures. They felt that they have done nothing wrong and were not concerned as the price of the token was moving downward with the market and was now currently sitting near or above ICO Ethereum price (actually as I finish this, it is double the ICO ETH price). It seems Richard was focused more on moving forward, hiring and getting the product created and out. Laser focused actually! We all suspected the twitter hacker and this FUD group are related. I suspect the same people. I learned, there is only 1 person that no longer works with the team, that would have access to the ‘released’ database (that was threatened to be released), and that person is active in that FUD group. That person still had access to the websites and I learned, apparently had shut them down a few times over the weeks. Richard said they are not even investigating the twitter takeover as it would not lead to much and they needed to focus on putting resources where they are better served. There were a lot of conversations back and forth between the founder of the FUD group and Richard. The founder of that group, was asking a large sum of ETH to do an AMA right after the hack. She was pretty upset that she was being ignored, to me it just made sense that during this moment of crisis, she obviously would not be priority #1, nor would a discord AMA be worth the price of many dozens of ETH. It is now old news, so lets move on. Prior to my arrival in LA, I received a message from someone on Telegram who had “secret information” and correspondence from Michael regarding moving the office to Europe. This individual had once worked for the team and worked on setting up a possible international office and wanted me to know this information. I thought that would be a great idea, to get away from the regulations of the USA. Initially the person seemed to be telling me this as if it was secret FUD that he had, but when questioning him more, he said this was discussed months earlier and definitely not an escape plan, but more so to expand our offices internationally. I asked Richard his thoughts on moving the company, and he said that there are definitely no plans on doing so, however they do plan on running the DEX exchange in a favorable European country. Malta (where Binance recently opened office), Switzerland and Belarus had all come up, but no decisions were being made as to where. They went as far as looking into the intricacies of opening bank accounts and offices if necessary in these European locations, but it has not moved forward at this moment. More details might be released soon, and if so, it is not FUD, but a well thought out plan by Titanium. They truly thought everything through on this. After about 90 minutes, Richard and Martha were heading to the office to meet Michael and interview 2 new engineers. My takeaway from the initial meeting was that I was surprised to hear Martha had recently just met Michael that morning, in person, for the first time. I had always thought they knew each other well, Michael always acted on the telegram that he was very personal with Martha, but I soon found out he is very warm and friendly to everyone. Richard and Martha had also just recently met face to face and only knew each other from Core through the ICO. My initial impression of meeting Richard is that he does not seem phased by anything. Every amount of FUD thrown his way he seemed to brush off with his answer of “we did nothing wrong, the product will speak for itself”. This seems to be his true belief. He is pretty certain of whom the hacker is, and does show some emotion when discussing that. Regarding the investigation, all Richard could say was that he was told something was definitely happening and news will be released soon. He is pretty calm and collected for someone basically running the helm here. Martha seemed to have her ducks in line and was very passionate about the project. She has the high energy and the knowledge it takes to fill her position with the company. That night I met Richard and Martha in bar in LA. We had a few drinks and the topic of course turned to Titanium. Most of the discussion that we had made me super excited, as it detailed many of the future products. I recall texting “Dr Hodler” the telegram manager, that night and telling him I am loading up on more TBAR (since my trip my position has increased by 5 figures). Much of my memories of the conversation revolved around the master nodes. This is where my NDA really kicks in, so I can’t go into detail about them. I know they will be tiered and they will exist, though Richard mentioned unlike regular master nodes that we know of, because those pay a dividend and as a utility token we have to avoid paying a dividend. They will be blockchain rewards based. So token holders that have master nodes will earn block rewards. This was very well thought out. What I will say, and this was a running theme for the weekend, is that Richard is extremely brilliant. Not the nerdy brilliant, one-subject brilliant or boring brilliant but the type of brilliant that probably knows more about your profession, than you do. The Jeopardy champion brilliant. He thought of so many intricate details on every product and regarding these nodes, and this company, that his excitement, passion and intelligence made me excited. He did go into technical detail on these things, but I would never be able to explain it correctly. It was very detailed and thought out. Though after this evenings conversation, I do see why Michael mentioned Elon Musk once in a telegram chat. What I would later find out about Richard was that at age 12 he was building and taking apart computers, and probably charging more to tutor people in computers, than a doctor was charging. He is someone that can lead Titanium to the top, someone that is motivated to, desires to, has the financial ability to, financial incentive to, and someone that will certainly be a huge success story in anything he wants. I am extremely confident in him and Titanium. Everyone wants to hear Michael speak, but Richard in my opinion is really the man behind the tech here. Unfortunately, like many tech guys (or geeks, though he does not come across as that), he is more comfortable behind the scenes instead of in front of a camera and never seemed to bite on my idea of getting him to do weekly video updates. The next day we met at the Blockchain conference. It was not a great conference, but I did end up meeting 3 guys from the LA office, the amigos as Richard would say. They seemed excited to be working for Titanium. They were all intelligent and high energy, amicable and knowledgeable on this space. They were open to doing whatever it is that Richard asked of them. They were however not engineers and are part of the admin team working with Michael out of the LA office and they were there to help network with some of the youtube speakers at the conference and to get TBIS name out. Eventually one of the guys, Alex, got us in the backroom with the main speaker and a youtube personality that I follow. I was excited that this happened however that youtuber seemed only interested in how we could help him, and since his future ICO seemed like shit to me, that was not gonna happen. One takeaway was that I was a little dismayed at the teams elevator pitch. Hopefully in the future if they get to sit down with a big player off-the-cuff like that, it would be a bit more organized. I know it was the first time something like this might have happened, so next time hopefully they prepare better. Sales is extremely important in this space, and being able to spew EXACTLY what you need, what you do and how you do it, all within 30 seconds, has to be practiced. I can tell it was not. It did not matter because this guy was a dud, even though he was a main youtuber, it just goes to show these youtubers just are out only for themselves. Interestingly, in later conversation, I asked if Titanium ever paid “Supoman” and I was not surprised to hear that they 100 percent never had. Our next stop after the conference was to head to the new office to meet Michael. One of my many reasons for investing into the ICO was because this was a USA based company, something located close enough that I could visit if I needed and because of Michael. When I first met Michael, I could see he was extremely well liked by his staff. A few of the guys that I met had come along to the office, and he hugged them when he saw them and seemed to be very warm, friendly and easy going. I have only heard great things about Michael from people that know him and worked with him and I remember our conversation on the phone after the hack how he seemed pleasant even in crisis. He was very professional as well as friendly, we shot the breeze a bit. It was mostly small talk. I had wanted to bombard him with a bunch of questions, but at the time, it didn’t seem appropriate as I was not one on one with him. Richard had already told me there was an investigation going on, but that it was secret and unless I could get alone with Michael I foresaw that was not going to be answered. He definitely seemed more the sweet, caring, puppy loving, family loving, honest and easy-going type, rather than anything else I could have imagined. I didn’t see any ‘snake oil salesman’, ‘used car salesman’ type at all. In fact, how this guy could have any enemies anywhere actually is surprising. I immediately liked him and could see why he would be good in sales. I assume anyone that does not like him, has clearly never met him. When I thought about the office, I envisioned it where every techie developer on the team would be flown in worldwide, living out of a commune together and working 24/7 on Titanium. I envisioned team brainstorming meetings in a huge conference room with 100s of people running around. Well this I have come to understand is not what happens in the real ICO world. Titanium has a really nice office (the new carpet smell was prevalent) though it was not set up completely. It is perfect size for a start-up and I suspect mostly will be Michael’s home base /private office. Especially since Richard said he was not only not moving to LA, but that he was opening up his own office in Oregon (apparently Eugene is a tech town). Much to my dismay, the LA office is just not going to be an active hub of developers and engineers burning the midnight oil. What I have come to know is that the best developers and engineers, just don’t live in LA, nor do they want to, and I can definitely understand that. So, although Richard interviewed a few developers the day before, that might work in the office, he even said they could probably work from home (after implying he was hiring them). The LA office will house most of the admin people working for Michael and possibly the future sales staff, but really won’t be much of an active office with engineers working so anyone wanting that 24/7 camera set up in the LA office, I have given my two cents that it is stupid idea and a complete waste of time, money and energy as there will not be people burning that midnight oil like I suspected. Previously, Richard had mentioned to me and to the telegram group that they have hired about 40 contractors and subcontracted engineers and Michael agreed with that statement when I brought it up. Richard has also told me they are hiring up to about 60 in total. I was pleasantly surprised to hear such a large number. He said they will be located worldwide and did mention what cities he was advertising in, but I have since forgotten. For the most part, people working for Titanium, will work remotely. Richard did state that anyone working for TBIS moving forward will be solely employed exclusively by TBIS and not allowed to work on any other project but ours. That was also refreshing. Other things that were discussed with Michael was the FUD group. Again, I found it interesting that Michael did not seem to care too much about this group. I was under the impression he did not even know much about them at all. Seems the team doesn’t feel they have anything to worry about. The common theme is that they are a utility token, a product, sold to the public for future use in their ecosystem. When asked by me if they thought about getting a cease and desist on the group, they shrugged off the idea. Interestingly, everyone that bought into the ICO is now up money on TBAR compared to ETN, ETH and probably every other coin used to purchase BAR (unless fiat was used) Titanium is trading spectacularly compared to the rest of the market. One last thing that happened in the meeting with Michael was that when I revealed someone wanted me to reach out to the ex CTO for a conversation with him, Michaels demeanor completely changed. He went from a smiling happy guy shooting the breeze about the office furniture, to a complete 180 turn, becoming a stern father figure telling me exactly not to go play in shit. Basically, he gave me warning that it would be a bad idea and lets just leave it at that. That night we ended up going back to Richards Airbnb. We all played a bit on the telegram and chatted about how inexpensive TBAR was. It was here that one of the main team members that I was with went on IDEX and purchased 12,000 TBAR after confirming the price was just too cheap at .25 cents. I also was told that recently another main team member bought a larger amount of TBAR in the 40 cent range. That was confidence building for me. Then it came up that immediately after the hack happened Richard and Martha confirmed that Richard went through ALL 22000+ wallets, one at a time, to take a snap shot of each wallets BAR holdings, to know who had what at the time. This took many hours. I was impressed. It seems that he has a lot of passion for this company and desire for it to succeed and, also that he doesn’t mind taking a back seat to all the work he does. I felt at that moment that I should write a little blog about my trip so that others can see how much work these guys are doing. Martha is also completely on the ball. She is overwhelmed I am sure with her duties, but seemed to handle everything perfectly in stride. She is also very intelligent and has her Master’s Degree in Communications from an amazing school. So even though she came from CORE, seems she is a great fit for the job. Sunday afternoon we spent a little time going over some questions that were asked of me on the telegram chat. Much like some of my blog, some of the issues and questions have already been resolved. I apologize it took me so long to get this out. I do want to make clear, the purpose of my trip was not for me to get answers to certain questions, it was for me to meet the team, see real substance, and get a better understanding of Titanium, it was not a Q and A session for me. It was about absorbing and getting a feel for TBIS. It was for myself and not really to make this blog. I am not technical, so I could not dig too deep into technical details, if you want those answers, hopefully the new Q and A weekly newsletter will answer those for you. I am under an NDA so some of the questions or concerns that I might have answers to, are tough for me to relay. But here are a few paragraphs of what came from these questions. As far as partnerships are concerned, Titanium is obviously seeking out many strategic partnerships, but the product is high priority right now. Politically it is hard to discuss potential partnerships before they actually happen, so there was no set name of a partner that was mentioned. Nor did I ask. This seemed to be the theme with exchanges as well. There was a mention to me of a few exchanges that were seemingly definitely coming, but they cannot be revealed by me because there are NDA’s with those exchanges and of course things could change. I assure you from what was randomly said to me, possibly by accident, there is a real great one coming. But again, that can always change. Product completion is imperative for acquiring customers as well, but I was happy to hear Richard and Michael are flying to Thailand to meet with a potential customer. That seems to be something Michael mentioned in a video and it was confirmed with me that it was indeed definitely happening. As for seeing Michael more, Michael is now focused on the big picture of Titanium as a whole and will be fostering past and new relationships and partnerships for the most part. Due to this he won’t be available as much for video interviews going forward. Hopefully that changes, but the team feels that it is a positive for him to concentrate on the connections he has first and foremost. Masternodes will be tiered and might be set up like block rewards as opposed to dividends. The larger the amount of tokens, the more possible rewards could be earned……. No word yet on how many tokens are needed for MN, rewards will be based off the new token and not TBAR. 10,000 was recently confirmed as one tier. The way it is set up, the # of tokens will not be diminished in our lifetime, I am not sure exactly where this supply is coming from but when I asked where do the never ending supply of blockchain rewards come from, I was told, block rewards are similar to how bitcoin works and the economy is designed to last longer than any of our lifetimes. Tbar will not be minable. There are plans to un ban everyone that has been banned in telegram and start a new slate, once things clear up with all the TBAR HITBTC nonsense. It might be read only or they might open it back up with a short leash, but that is definitely on the agenda. I myself will probably unban everyone banned to read only shortly. There are no patents at the moment- can’t really patent some of this kind of software but if they can they will try. They are looking into all IP patents however, and any patents they can get, they certainly will. Technical whitepaper- a new version is coming with more tech specs and with a tech write up but not how things will work, that isn’t going to be released. No public github but Richard will write a readme writeup for github explaining their open source stance. Some will be open source but it takes longer to open source. Companies often do this. Telegram for example has their app open sourced and some server tech but not all of it. Titanium is concentrating on only hiring the best people around. When asked exactly how many are currently hired full time the answer was- there were already 35 direct hires and they have some contract employees working on a couple of the projects with them (I guess this is the 40 total mentioned before). The website is being redeveloped because it was still in control of the ex CTO, who actually might have crashed it multiple times and took the ICO site offline a few times. Hmmmm, interesting. Some of the new projects will have one-of-a-kind technology. Some were explained in depth and sound awesome… As far as competitors go, Richard seemed happy that Google and others have been very clear on what they will be creating and he says it is not anything like what TBIS is doing. Here are some other direct questions answered briefly. How can long term holders be rewarded? Staking of their tokens for services as well as Master Node options. Is there an ever a reduction of supply? Burning is being heavily considered as services are being paid for. Premium Michael promised after the hack? ICO supporters will have something. It is not solidified yet, the team can’t wait for ICO buyers to hear about it in the official announcement. When can we expect a working product? They currently have working versions of their product and it’s constantly evolving. Open Betas and Alphas are upcoming but I couldn’t get exact dates yet. Apparently, software design is often tricky but they have a good team and always hiring. As far as some past FUD I would like to answer. Many brought up the home address as the address of record on TBIS website and incorporation. Those of you who question this have clearly never set up a small business in the USA. The process is simple. You can NOT lease an office without a corporate bank account, you can NOT get a corporate bank account without incorporating and you can NOT incorporate without an address. It is all one big catch 22. So, the VAST majority of business have 1 or 2 options. One is to use a home address or maybe a PO Box though I don’t think that is allowed in my state, the other option is to pay a ‘registered agent’ to collect your mail and use their random address. This is what a lot of companies do, but it costs money and there is no need for it. There is absolutely NO FUD nor concern that TBIS used a residential address as their initial address. All of my businesses have been incorporated at a residential address. Also, I ran a background check on the 5 current and an ex main player of Titanium and 4 of the 5 background checks (the 4 current and new employee) were clean as can be, completely stellar, the 5th was not. I also have a friend that works for the FBI. She is a psychological forensic profiler. Now I personally do not have an answer to whom was contacted regarding the hack, but my FBI friend said there is no chance, zero chance that the FBI will discuss any ongoing investigation with any Joe from the general public. She went on to say, unless you are an interviewed suspect or the victim, you would not be told about an ongoing investigation. She was very adamant about this. Even stating, “Do you think they would have fielded your call about Madoff?” However, she went on to say that the FBI would be the wrong people to contact regarding a crypto hack and that a private company that specializes in this stuff would be better, as FBI agents (in her words have no clue about this stuff) and make about 1/3 what a private company would pay their hackers. So, this sums up my visit. I learned many things and I hope I could help you with some of your questions. I know I could not answer the whodunit question nor give a price prediction of the future of TBAR, nor resolve HITBTC for you, sorry. One of the most important things I realized is that this is truly a startup. If you are looking for a quick buck it is probably not happening. I think this frustrates many of you, causing unnecessary FUD. Much like my newborn stretching and kicking and making awkward faces, Titanium is in the newborn phase doing similar things. Finding their strong points, falling down a little, scratching themselves and even maybe a little crying / firing. Eventually, like my son, things will fall into place and what we will end up with is a very successful operation because all the groundwork is being laid right in front of our eyes. I was privileged to see the office blueprints, hear conversations about the hiring of team members, meet the CEO, hear about other offices being started, and the intricacies of products that are being built. I believe that once they overcome the hack and hitbtc and the fud, things will be smooth sailing when they can truly focus on all things positive. Those that are interrupting this process are like the big dumb schoolyard bully that doesn’t realize that instead of picking on the cool nerdy kid, they should join forces with this kid, help him off his feet as this will one day grow into something extremely successful. But like the big dumb bully, unfortunately you just can’t reason with stupid.
Hello! My name is Slava Mikhalkin, I am a Project Owner of Crowdsale platform at Platinum, the company that knows how to start any ICO or STO in 2019. If you want to avoid headaches with launching process, we can help you with ICO and STO advertising and promotion. See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund I am also happy to be a part of the UBAI, the first educational institution providing the most effective online education on blockchain! We can teach you how to do ICO/STO in 2019. Today I want to tell you how to sell and transfer cryptocurrencies. Major Exchanges In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Function and History Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe. The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people. Popular Exchanges Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence. Bitfinex Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT). Binance Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours. Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles. Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet. Regulatory Environment and Evolution Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold. The United States of America A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system. The European Union The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology. Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto. Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions. The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins. Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years. The Influence of Age upon Trading Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.” Geographic Influence upon Trading One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside. 2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely. Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak. What are the Exchange Hacks? The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts. Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified). Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed. Market Manipulation It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase. Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2 No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out. Methods to Avoid falling Victim Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.” Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not? If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper. Is this too good to be true? All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH. Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take: If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees. Selling Cryptocurrencies Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time. Methods of Sale Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons. The influence and value of your Trade There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project. Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market. Market Behavior in Different Time Periods The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order. Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens. Follow the link: UBAI.co If you want to know how do security tokens work, and become a professional in crypto world contact me via Facebook to get all the details: Facebook
Cryptocurrencies on pace to close volatile trading week positive following Ethereum Classic addition to Coinbase Index Fund and the launch of the BOLT privacy overlay for Zcash on the lightning network
Developments in Financial Services
Binance is launching a JV with Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX) to launch a fiat to cryptocurrency exchange, Binnace LCX. The exchange/platforming will be based in Liechtenstein and offer trading between Swiss Francs (CHF) and euros (EUR) against major digital currencies pairs with the potential for new trading pairs in the future.
bloXroute Labs, along with a partnership with a team of student at Northwestern University, are experimenting with a trustless scheme to address the scalability limitations of Bitcoin’s P2P platform. At the moment, with the Lightning Network, Bitcoin transactions capacity is capped at 82 BTC. According to Sarit Markovich, professor of strategy at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the bloXroute solution is scaling at 100x better and are targeting 1,000x.
BOLT, a privacy overlay for the lighting network that will be applied to zcash, was formally launched on Github today. BOLT will obscure transaction, balances and sendereceiver identities. The BOLT upgrade to the zcash protocol is considered a soft fork.
Coinbase, according to CEO and co-Founder Brian Armstrong in an interview with Bloomberg, is adding 50k new users a day. Assuming this run-rate, it implies Coinbase will add 350k new users a year.
DGE, a South Korean blockchain developer, who launched its native cryptocurrency TMTG a few weeks ago that is linked to value of gold is attempting to partner with global gold exchanges (after agreements with the Korea Gold Exchange and Vau Diamond Exchange) to create a stable ecosystem for TMTG. In the opinion of DGE, many cryptocurrency developers do not consider the stability of their coins and its impact to the ecosystem these cryptocurrencies support.
Ethereum Classic is +18% this morning after crypto’s inclusion into the Coinbase index fund after being added to the Coinbase Pro trading platform. At the moment, Ethereum Classic has a 0.91% allocation in the fund.
Huobi, the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange (and third largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world), has announced partnerships with Yatai International Holding Group, Vnesheconombank, Chi Fu Group, Asia International Finance Holdings, and Dbank Group to create cryptocurrency trading exchanges/platforms in the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Canada. The five companies will use Huobi’s Cloud service which will provide the different platforms with the tools they need to open their exchanges on a proven framework.
LINE, a Japanese social messaging app, announced that is forming a USD$10mm blockchain venture capital fund. The company believes the decision to create a blockchain venture fund will make LINE one of the first publicly traded companies to formalize token investments through a corporate fund structure.
Pantera Capital announces it has raised USD$71mm for a third cryptocurrency fund. Calling it Venture Fund III, Pantera has already begun to make investments following an allocation to cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt (that has a JV with ICE).
Ripple Labs continues to focus on expansion plans, even in the face of recent lawsuits from the District Court of California. The lawsuits content that Ripple’s native cryptocurrency, XRP, should be considered a security which the company flatly rejects. In spite of these issues, Ripple Labs remains focused on its overseas expansions plans in Asia and the Middle East.
Ripple Labs has endorsed three cryptocurrency exchanges, Bittrex, Bitso, and Coins.ph as its preferred partners for transactions with Ripple’s xRapid payments system. Management at Ripple Labs is encouraging users in the US, Mexico and the Philippines to use these exchanges while transacting with xRapid. XRapid is a solution for Ripple’s blockchain-based real-time gross settlement system and is meant to facilitate international fiat transfers between financial institutions.
Square announces that customers will be able to buy/sell Bitcoin via its Cash App across all 50 states in the United States.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) is publicly expressing concerns about the acquisition of Beat Holdings, listed on the TSE, by Noah Ark Technologies, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency frim. The TSE concerns are related to management’s bias to stay away from the cryptocurrency sector.
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is exploring using a distributed ledger technology (DLT) in place of its current clearing house electronic sub-register system. According to Dominic Steves, Managing Director and CEO of the ASX, shifting to a DLT system would save the exchange as much as USD$23bn. A DLT would permit customers to use nodes instead of sending messages and connect to the whole database instead of having to communicate with several different databases and should help eliminate errors.
Bitmain’s upcoming IPO is coming under scrutiny as investors continue to worry about its long-term viability. Specifically, there seem to be concerns about Bitmain’s reserve of Bitcoin Cash which is considered an illiquid position given the daily turnover in current Bitcoin Cash markets. Bitmain’s IPO is currently being valued at USD$18bn.
Bloomberg is reporting that a Bitcoin-based ETN that is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm will begin targeting US investors. The ETN, Bitcoin Tracker One, is listed and traded in Sweden but is now being quoted in USD$. Traders will buy the ETN in a similar way that they buy ADRs where transactions are in USD$ but settlement, clearing and custody will be done in SEK.
Alexander Petersons, product director of cloud mining service Hashtoro.com and self-proclaimed crypto-enthusiast, believes the cryptocoin industry will begin shifting to cleaner and smart mining by taking advantage of local climates to help reduce electricity consumption. While cryptocurrency critics cite costs of crypto mining as an impediment that will limit widescale adoption of digital currencies, Petersons and the team at Hashtoro.com believe the use of clean energy will help address the challenges of scalability.
Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver has hinted the online cryptocurrency news publisher may consider an ICO in the future. The topic was brought up during a conversation with one of Bitcoin.com’s lead developers about developing tokens on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain - - Bitcoin.com published a new tool helping aspiring developers to build tokens on the Bitcoin Cash protocol.
A group of researchers/hackers have claimed to have hacked John Mcafee-backed hardware wallet Bitfi. According to its advertising, Bitfi claims to be unhackable. The researchers/hackers claim to have had complete access to a Bitfi wallet for the past two weeks, tracking data being sent out of the wallet while still being connected to the Bitfi servers.
According to a research report by Citrix, 59% of UK companies have been affected by cryptojacking malware. Cryptojacking malware employs its victim’s computational resources without their permission in order to mine cryptocurrencies for the attacker and leads to a wasteful increase in electric power consumption and the slowing down of affected devices. According to Citrix’s research, 80% of the cryptojacking cases took place in the last six months.
Deviant coin releases its whitepaper ahead of the launch of its hybrid decentralized exchange and its open-source hardware wallet. The novelty of Deviant is that it proposed to create rewards within its ecosystems without the typical centralized control of node operators. The Deviant network offers improved speed with stealth addresses for complete anonymity, encrypted messaging for secure communication, low transaction fees, lower confirmation time, and a limited total supply.
The Ethereum community continues to struggle with DApps topping the number of downloads on the blockchain network that are promising investments with high returns that turn out to be fraudulent. As an example, Team JUST, the anonymous development team behind the gambling DApp FOMO 3D is warning that an indentical version of its game is eating up 1/3 of the Ethereum network’s total computational power and raising USD$7mm over the past week.
Genesis Mining, an Iceland-basd hashpower hosting service, is forcing customers to upgrade their Bitcoin mining contracts following this year’s drop in cryptocurrency valuations. The company is discounting the upgrade price of its Radiant service per 1 TH/s to USD$180 from USD$285. In 60 days, Genesis announced it will terminate open-ended contracts that mine less than the daily maintenance fee.
Hash House, a crypto-themed café and workshare space in the city of Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province in China, has recently launched. Among its many features, Hash House will provide visitors with learnings materials on cryptocurrencies and will hose seminars and meetups on different crypto topics.
China News reports that the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Business School has received a USD$20mm research grant to investigate the security capabilities of electronic payment systems. Partnering with University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and the City University of Hong Kong (CityU), the HKUST-led research initiative will focus on artificial intelligence, network security and blockchain technologies.
During an unofficial discussion with Quartz India, unnamed state official in the Indian government, which is examining the impact of the virtual currency ecosystem.
IBM files updates to a pending patent for managing a databases management system (DBMS) using a blockchain database. The patent was initially filed in December 2017 and covers the idea of connecting a blockchain databases with a traditional central database.
Joe Lubin, the co-founder of Ethereum and ConsenSys, does not see the recent sell-off in cryptocurrencies constraining growth of the crypto ecosystem. In an interview with Bloomberg, Lubin suggested the recent run-up in cryptocurrency valuations is similar the previous six bubbles with each bubble more pronounced than the previous.
Joe Lubin, the co-founder of the Ethereum Foundation, during an interview with Bloomberg, claims Ripple is not a blockchain technology and is not a competitor for Ethereum. In Lubin’s mind, Ripple is a payment system, not a blockchain technology. In the case of EOS, Lubin cautions against its decision-making framework and doesn’t believe it is should be treated as layer-one technology yet.
Users can now be paid to participate on the lightning network nodes. The average fee on the lightning network currently is about 1 satoshi. In comparison, the montly income of using the lightning network has been estimated to be closer to USD$2 for a prominent application developer.
Microsoft recent patent applications suggests the company is looking to use trusted execution environments (TEEs) within its blockchain technology. TEEs are pre-determined types of blockchain or other security protocols in validation nodes. TEEs will help assist in the implementation of consortium blockchain networks and will also assist in verifying blockchain transactions on networks where multiple pre-authorized entities must interact.
Saudi Arabia officials warn citizens in a formal joint statement from the Ministry of Trade & Investment, Ministry of Information and Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency that trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are illegal in The Kingdom. This press release is in contrast to The Kingdom’s positive disposition to blockchain technology.
Taproot, a protocol overlay for Bitcoin pushed by one of Bitcoin’s most well-known developers Greg Maxwell, will offer a privacy layer which will address Bitcoin critics who believe the benchmark cryptocurrency’s privacy is awful. Taproot, supported by other popular Bitcoin developers, will require the Schnorr upgrade which is still not ready to be implemented. The power of Taproot will be the ability to make smart contract transactions look like any regular Bitcoin transaction, offering anonymity for senders and receivers.
The national government of Vietnam has decided to ban imports of cryptocurrency mining equipment. According to the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, 3,664 ASIC devices were imported into the city in C1H2018. The ban of cryptocurrency mining equipment is related to a government investigation into a ICO-fraud that scammed USD$660mm from 32,000 domestic investors. At the moment, cryptocurrencies are outlawed as payments in Vietnam after the Vietnamese Central Bank refused to accept cryptocurrencies as a recognizable form of non-cash payments.
During an interview with Crypto Congressman Jason Hsu, Vitalik Buterin, the co-Founder of the Ethereum Foundation, highlighted his worries about the lack of sustainable applications on the Ethereum blockchain. Buterin is working on a proof-of-stake and charting protocols to help address the current bottlenecks that are preventing widescale adoption of Ethereum. In his opion, privacy concerns remain the biggest hurdle for widespread adoption of Ethereum in the financial sector.
Hacker News ... Search: A lucky winner at Bitcoin Games has struck a fortune by winning a huge jackpot and cashing out 29.65 BTC (~ $250,000). The bad news is, if your bitcoin was in Binance’s hot wallet, it now belongs to bad guys. The good news is that $40 million comprises only 2 percent of Binance’s overall bitcoin holdings. The ... Binance users can now buy Bitcoin with practically all of the fiat currencies in existence; Binance, which is one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has partnered with the peer-to-peer crypto exchange Paxful. Via this partnership, Binance users can now use 167 different fiat currencies to buy Bitcoin. The CEO behind Binance is Changpeng Zhao a very well known name especially in the Asian cryptocurrency market. Most crypto investors know him, because he is very active in the crypto space. He tweets a lot, gives AMA’s and is the face behind Binance. Check out his Twitter here. The Binance ICO took place in July 2017 and more than 100 million tokens were sold in three phases. During the ... Bitcoin News: Hacker Demands Crypto Ransom for Masturbation Recordings. by Jide Idowu April 24, 2019 April 24, 2019. written by Jide Idowu April 24, 2019 April 24, 2019. Residents of Norton, Kansas have been victims of a new sextortion scam; Hacker threatens to send private videos to the victim’s relatives and co-workers; The actor behind the crime demands $800 worth of Bitcoin as ransom; In ... Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, confirmed today that the company lost nearly $41 million in Bitcoin in what appears to be its largest hack to date. In a statement, Binance's CEO Changpeng Zhao said the company discovered a "large scale security breach" earlier on May 7, as a result of which hackers were able to steal roughly 7000 bitcoins, which worth 40.6 ... Binance Uganda is shutting down, following the fate of its Jersey operation. Lightning operators are bracing for a bitcoin bull run. Porsche turns to Circularise’s blockchain to track plastics ... Millions of people worldwide have received sextortion scam emails in 2020 asking for bitcoin. These bitcoin sextortion schemes sometimes include recipients' passwords to make the threat more real. The Bitcoin Exchange hasn't revealed more details about suspects behind the breach or how the cold wallets were compromised, except that 7,170 Bitcoin cryptocurrency was stolen from the company's " cold wallets ," a way of storing the digital currency offline. " All wallets have been shut down and withdrawals of unaffected coins will be arranged later, " the official website of BTER Bitcoin ...
Binance Could’ve Stopped KYC Leak, But Chose Not To! Beginning of their END!
Binance Hack Interview w/ Mr. & Mrs. John McAfee to learn what CZ and McAfee spoke on the day after Binance's hack. How he will help, what the McAfees are doing in the space and more. This bitcoin market trading analysis applies to various exchanges, including Bitmex/Bybit and Binance. Tackling questions like if Bitcoin can reach 20k again and if we will be seeing a crypto ... Follow Altcoin Daily: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbLhGKVY-bJPcawebgtNfbw/videos Protect your crypto with a Ledger - the world’s best hardware wallet: h... In this video i have explained about the following things, 1. Information about the Binance KYC hack. 2. How to protect yourself form Telegram Scams/Hacks. 3. Bitcoin's next possible move ... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Changpeng Zhao, founder and chief executive officer of Malta-based Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, talks about the outlook for the market. He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets ... Thanks for watching! For donations: Bitcoin - 1CpGMM8Ag8gNYL3FffusVqEBUvHyYenTP8 #binance #bitcoin #crypto #cryptocurrency #bnb #hack #ethereum #eth #altcoin #altcoins #blockchain #wealth #rich #money The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Crypto news update brought to you by The_Crypto_God, covering Bitcoin price action, Binance hack details & Facebook coin rumours... Subscribe to the channel here: https://bit.ly/2LmzQn6 Check out ... Will Bitcoin face more manipulation with the new Binance Stablecoin? Will it be used to pump Bitcoin just like Tether has? We address all this and more in today's video.