Tag Archives: Etherium

Teenage bitcoin millionaire can see the cryptocurrency’s value shooting as high as $1 million

Teenage bitcoin millionaire can see the cryptocurrency's value shooting as high as $1 million

Teenage bitcoin millionaire can see the cryptocurrency’s value shooting as high as $1 million

If this teen entrepreneur, high-school dropout and bitcoin millionaire has any predictive powers at all, then we’ve hardly seen the top of the market for the hot cybercurrency.

Meet Erik Finman, who started picking up bitcoin at $12 apiece back in May 2011, when he was just 12, riding a hot tip from hits brother Scott and a $1,000 gift from his grandmother, he told CNBC. He’s now the owner of a reported 403 bitcoins, and while the cybercurrency has been on a bit of a bumpy ride lately, at a Wednesday morning price BTCUSD, -0.48% of $2,773.54 each, the now 18-year-old Idahoan’s stash is worth $1.1 million and change.

“Personally I think bitcoin is going to be worth a couple hundred thousand to a million dollars a coin.”

Erik Finman

 

Finman cashed out his first bitcoin investment back in 2013 and started Botangle, an online education company that provides tools for locating instructors in subjects they need or wish to learn about.

He wasn’t a fan of high school and convinced his parents, both Ph.D.’s, to let him drop out at 15.

His teachers clearly weren’t seeing his potential. “One teacher told me to drop out and work at McDonald’s because that was all I would amount to for the rest of my life. I guess I did the dropout part,” the young bitcoin millionaire said. He didn’t really want to go to college, either, and won a bet with his parents that if he was worth a million dollars by 18, he could skip it. He was, and so he did.

Finman encountered discouragement from an Uber executive, who, instead of listening to his Botangle pitch, told him he should count on college rather than racking up millions. But the teen did end up successfully selling his company’s technology, for a cool price of 300 bitcoin, reportedly. He has said he turned down a $100,000 offer.

Bitcoin prices have soared more than 300% in the span of a year, with the bulk of the gain coming during May and June. Ethereum, one of its chief rivals, has also seen big gains. Bitcoin tapped $3,000 last week, before a pullback last week that saw it shed billions in market cap.
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Barbara Kollmeyer
Markets Reporter

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Ethereum Tokens Are All the Rage. But What Are They Anyway

Ethereum Tokens Are All the Rage. But What Are They Anyway

Ethereum Tokens Are All the Rage. But What Are They Anyway

Ethereum wants to create an ecosystem where everything works together seamlessly as part of its vision for a 'world computer' – and that includes the tokens required to power it.

Launched in 2014 by a band of coders and an upstart teenager, ethereum was designed to make it possible for anyone to code nearly any type of app and deploy that on a blockchain. Many of these decentralized apps (or 'dapps' for short) needed their own token that could, among other things, be sold and traded easily.

To that end, nearly 18 months ago, the ERC-20 token standard was born.

It's hard to overstate how important that interface has been. By defining a common set of rules for ethereum-based tokens to adhere to, ERC-20 allows developers of wallets, exchanges and other smart contracts, to know in advance how any new token based on the standard will behave.

This way, they can design their apps to work with these tokens out of the box, without having to reinvent the wheel each time a new token system comes along.

As a result, almost all of the major tokens on the ethereum blockchain today, including those sold in the recent surge of ethereum-based initial coin offerings (ICOs), are ERC-20 compliant.

 

Tokens 101

Before delving deeper, it's important to spell out what a token actually is and how it differs from ether, the native currency driving the ethereum blockchain.

As they relate to the ethereum network, tokens are digital assets that can represent anything from loyalty points to vouchers and IOUs to actual objects in the physical world. Tokens can also be tools, such as in-game items, for interacting with other smart contracts.

But put simply, a token is nothing more than a smart contract running on top of the ethereum blockchain. As such, it is a set of code (functions) with an associated database. The code describes the behavior of the token, and the database is basically a table with rows and columns tracking who owns how many tokens.

If a user or another smart contract within ethereum sends a message to that token's contract in the form of a 'transaction,' the code updates its database.

So, for instance, when a wallet app sends a message to a token's contract to transfer funds from Alice to Bob, this happens:

First, the token's contract checks that the message was signed by Alice and that Alice has enough funds to cover the payment

Then, it moves funds from Alice's to Bob's account in the database

Finally, it sends a response, letting the wallet know the transaction was a success.

In contrast to tokens, ether is hard coded into the ethereum blockchain. It is sold and traded as a cryptocurrency, and it also powers the ethereum network by allowing users to pay for smart contract transaction fees. (All computations on the ethereum network have a 'gas' cost.)

When you send tokens to an exchange, for example, you pay for that transaction (in this case, a request to the token's contract to update its database) in ether. This payment is then collected by a miner who confirms the transaction in a block, which then gets added to the blockchain.

Early on in ethereum's history, standards were part of the overall plan to create a user friendly and broadly accessible system. But like all standards, ERC-20 took time to evolve over a series of long discussions and careful considerations.

So, sometime before DevCon1, the first big ethereum conference in 2015, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of ethereum, introduced the initial standards token.

Later that year, Fabian Vogelstellar, one of the developers working on ethereum's Mist wallet, took that standard, changed a few things, and proposed it to the community as ERC-20 to initiate a formal conversation around how the standard should be implemented.

Then in April, due to changes in how the Ethereum Foundation was organizing its GitHub, the ERC-20 standard was moved to a Github pull request.
 

What's inside?

ERC-20 defines a set of six functions that other smart contracts within the ethereum ecosystem will understand and recognize.

These include, for instance, how to transfer a token (by the owner or on behalf of the owner) and how to access data (name, symbol, supply, balance) about the token. The standard also describes two events – signals that a smart contract can fire – that other smart contracts 'listen' for.

Together, these functions and events make ethereum tokens work the same almost everywhere within the ethereum ecosystem. As a result, nearly all wallets that support ether, including Jaxx, MyEtherWallet.com and the official ethereum wallet, now also support ERC-20 compliant tokens.

According to Vogelstellar, who spoke to CoinDesk about the importance of ethereum's token standard, this interoperability lays the groundwork for big changes to come.
 

He said:

"I believe we are just at the beginning of tokenizing everything. Maybe in the future, you will be able to buy a share of the chair you are sitting on, the paint inside your house or a fraction of equity in a huge building complex."

 

Bumps in the road

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that ERC-20 is formally a draft, meaning it is not being enforced and still needs to be fully blessed by the ethereum community. Regardless, Vogelstellar said, every new token will likely conform to its set of rules.

He cautioned, however, that the standard is still young, so there will be bumps in the road. One of those bumps is that sending tokens directly to a token's smart contract will result in a loss of money. That is because a token's contract only tracks and allocates money. When you send tokens to another user from a wallet, for example, that wallet calls on the token's contract to update the database.

As a result, if you attempt to transfer tokens directly to a token's contract, the money is 'lost' since the token's contract cannot respond.

So far, $70,000 worth of tokens have been lost in this manner.

But solutions are in the works. As an extension to ERC-20, ERC-223 attempts to resolve the issue by suggesting a token's contract implement a tokenFallback function to prevent the contract from holding tokens sent directly to it accidentally.

Vogelstellar argued this is all just part of developing a solid system, though, saying:

"Driving with these prototypes can be rocky at times, but ultimately they provide the necessary learning that will bring us to the future of blockchain and smart contract interactions."

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Amy Castor

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin prices likely to continue wild ride

Bitcoin prices likely to continue wild ride

Bitcoin prices likely to continue wild ride

SAN FRANCISCO — What goes precipitously up, often comes crashing down to earth.

So it was with bitcoin on Thursday, when the price of the digital currency plunged 19% — its steepest drop in more than two years — after a record run. The volatility remained on full display late Thursday and, as of Friday evening, bitcoin rebounded to $2,484.59.

The cryptocurrency, which flirted with $3,000 on Monday, sunk as low as $2,076.16 in intraday trading early Thursday amid a confluence of bad omens. Tech stocks have recently taken a thumping over concerns about their lofty valuations. Ominous reports from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley suggested bitcoin was due for a reversal in price and required government regulation. The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates Wednesday.

Compounding worries, digital currency exchange Coinbase experienced an outage Monday because of high-trading volume. Another exchange, Bitfinex, on Tuesday said it was under DDOS attack.

Meanwhile, prices for digital currencies ripple and NEM declined the past week, though Ethereum, the second-largest currency, has soared 20% on speculation it will be the top currency. At $371.36, it lags far behind bitcoin in value.

CryptoCurrency Market Capitalizations

"Bitcoin and other digital currencies are experiencing rapid growth these days," says Guy Zyskind, CEO of Enigma, a start-up in cryptocurrency investing. "For this to be sustainable over time, the market has to correct itself from time to time."

The market's wild ride this week underscores "the ebbs and flows of an entirely new asset class," says Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra, a peer-to-peer payment service.

"While the bitcoin price will likely recover and continue to rise, what we should see in the future is bitcoin becoming a solid store of value, much like gold," says Mihir Magudia, executive director of LEOcoin Foundation. "It will be relatively easy to liquidate but will not be used to commonly pay for goods and services."

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Jon Swartz , USA TODAY

 

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin, Ethereum and a New Direction for Cryptocurrency Investment

Bitcoin, Ethereum and a New Direction for Cryptocurrency Investment

Bitcoin, Ethereum and a New Direction for Cryptocurrency Investment

This week CoinDesk released its State of Blockchain Q1 2017 study, which details recent trends, statistics and sentiment around cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

While the entire report is worth a read (there are some surprises), two slides especially caught my attention. When put together and compared with current data, they point to what could be a fundamental shift in market dynamics.

Now, why would investors give up bitcoin to buy into ethereum? Either they believe that bitcoin will soon start heading down – slide 62 shows that almost 45% of respondents are negative on the cryptocurrency – or that it could continue to go up, but that ethereum will increase by even more. Either way, we’re looking at an asset reallocation.

If you take a look at the ether trading volumes today, though, you see a different picture.

The volume of fiat purchases of ether has shot past that of bitcoin to account for approximately 70% of volume (at time of writing). A large part of that growth is due to a jump in interest from South Korea, but US dollar purchases have also increased significantly.

This looks like ‘new money’ is coming into cryptocurrencies and choosing ethereum over other alternatives. Bitcoin’s trading volume is also increasing (and still dwarfs that of ethereum), but not by as much.

What could this mean?

While trading data of a few weeks does not necessarily translate to new market trends, it could hint at a shift in portfolio prominence. While bitcoin has traditionally been the main cryptocurrency holding for both private and institutional portfolios, ether is emerging as a strong contender.

One interesting effect from this will most likely be a change in the conversation. It should move from the 'bitcoin isn't money' diatribe, to one of 'what can ethereum do?'.

Although over 85% of our survey respondents felt that ether could serve as a currency as well as bitcoin could, it has never worn the currency cloak like bitcoin has. Ether has traditionally been positioned more as a ‘digital token’ that can engage with scripts and contracts, and can be used to enable apps across a wide range of sectors.

From an asset allocation and a sentiment perspective, ether’s rise in prominence is encouraging. A shift in focus from threat to innovation would be more constructive for all, and should push development in the cryptocurrency sector even further.

From an asset allocation and a sentiment perspective, ether’s rise in prominence is encouraging. A shift in focus from threat to innovation would be more constructive for all, and should push development in the cryptocurrency sector even further.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Article by Noelle Acheson

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, CoinDesk.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Price Flips Downward After Almost Reaching $3,000

The price of bitcoin has been surging over the weekend almost touching $3000 per BTC on Sunday, June 11 across most global exchanges. The following day roughly around 6:30 am bitcoin’s price took a steep decline dropping to a low of $2700 but has since bounced back a touch after the dip.

Also Read: Russian Government To Introduce KYC Guidelines For Cryptocurrency Purchases

Bitcoin Comes Close to $3K, but Highs Were Followed by a Steep Correction

During the weekend throughout June 10-11 bitcoin’s price seemed to be forming a strong consolidation in the $2970-2980 range. It tried to cross the $3000 mark multiple times (it did on a couple of exchanges) with little success as the price per BTC topped a high of $2980 on the trading platform Bitstamp. After that, the June 12th morning dip seemed rather unexpected and looked to be merely some profit-taking for the time being. At press time the price has rebounded and is sitting roughly around the $2775 mark.

‘The Flippening’

Bitcoin's Price Flips Downward After Almost Reaching $3,000 One of the most topical discussions at the moment is the market capitalization of Ethereum (ETH) and the possibility of it surpassing bitcoin’s market cap. Ethereum had a pretty good weekend jumping from $300 to $420 across most exchanges. This has led to the ethereum market capturing roughly 78 percent of bitcoin’s valuation in what a lot of people are referring to as the ‘flippening.’ Currently as far as a flippening is concerned ethereum has already surpassed bitcoin trade volumes, mining reward and even 24-hour transaction volume. As of right now, ETH market dominance is 32 percent, and BTC is 40 percent among the 870 cryptocurrencies in existence.

24-Hour Price Analysis

Looking at the charts on Bitstamp bitcoin’s price is trying to regain ground at the moment. Technical indicators are showing the 100 Simple Moving Average (SMA) is still above the 200 SMA — which is a good sign showing the gap may indicate more bullish trends in the future. Right now order books on Bitstamp are moving faster than the eye can catch but there are big sell walls in the 2850 range and there are even larger walls above this mark. Both the Stochastic and Relative Strength Index (RSI) levels show a healthy correction was due and bulls will remain on the sidelines for better entry points. It’s safe to assume Bitcoin trading markets will be quite volatile over the next 24-hours and day traders, and intra-range players should have a field day scalping profits.

Just an Average Day in the Land of Cryptocurrency

Overall things have been quite positive within the cryptocurrency space, and the correction has taken place across most crypto-markets after a few digital assets touched all-time highs. Mainstream media is reporting about bitcoin’s rising price but are also speculating on the performance of ethereum markets. The likelihood of bitcoin breaking the $3000 range and finding new highs is not out of the question, as we’ve seen corrections like this on multiple times over the past two months. Alongside this, at the token’s current rate of growth, the possibility of Ethereum experiencing a larger market capitalization than bitcoin is also a possibility.

Bear Scenario: The price of bitcoin has dipped quite a bit since the June 11 high to a low of $2700. At the moment bears seem like they are having a hard time pulling down the price further but it’s possible they could bring BTC down to the $2600 range. At the moment there is a strong foundation between $2600-2700, but the price could go lower if psychological patterns cause panic.

Bull Scenario: Bitcoin’s price looks as though it just received a healthy correction and bulls have possibly pulled the elastic back once again to set up for the next spring upwards. The price per BTC could easily break the $3000 mark, as we’ve seen after every correction there have been higher follow-ups in price. Trade volume is healthy with over $2 billion worth of BTC traded daily, and higher price points are achievable even in the short term.

What do you think about the price coming close to $3000 then toppling back down into the $2700 range? Also, do you think Ethereum’s market value will surpass bitcoin? Let us know what you think in the comments below.  

Disclaimer: Bitcoin price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”

Chris Corey

CMO Markethive Inc

By Jamie Redman – June 12, 2017

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The new cryptocurrency gold rush: digital tokens that raise millions in minutes

The new cryptocurrency gold rush: digital tokens that raise millions in minutes

The new cryptocurrency gold rush: digital tokens that raise millions in minutes

 

New York City

About a dozen rain-soaked people were crammed between the revolving doors and security barriers in the lobby of New York University’s Stern School of Business as torrents pelted down outside. All desperately wanted in to the hottest ticket in town, one that promised to make some of them overnight millionaires, if not billionaires. Among them was Dan Morehead, a former Wall Street titan turned bitcoin investor, and a dentist working on a blockchain startup who had flown in from Seoul.

“I don’t really care that you overbooked, it’s not my problem! I don’t care about a refund,” one agitated man seeking entry barked at two T-shirt clad twentysomethings on the other side, one of them clutching a clipboard.

“You can be upset and raise your voice, but we can’t change anything,” one of the gatekeepers replied.

“We have three clients down there!” another man interjected.

The clipboard holder dutifully scribbled down names. When it was my turn, she said NYU wanted to clear out the huddled mass blocking the building’s entrance: “The auditorium holds like 470 people. We have more than 500 people down there right now. NYU is calling security.”

Inside, a conference called “Token Summit” was in full swing. The event was the first to focus on a rapidly snowballing phenomenon called cryptocurrency token offerings—a new fundraising method that allows companies to raise millions of dollars in mere minutes.

The cryptocurrency world has gone mad for token offerings. These launches, popularly known as ICOs or initial coin offerings, have already raised more than $150 million this year, according to research firm Smith + Crown. They are seen as a disruptive new mechanism that could displace traditional venture capitalists from the fund raising process—a view that’s been endorsed by a coterie of brand name VCs themselves—and remake the internet’s business model with decentralized applications and cryptocurrencies. Take an outfit known as Gnosis, a decentralized prediction market, which raised $12 million in under 15 minutes, valuing it at $300 million. Investors had invested based solely on a PDF prepared by its founders (recently a firm called Brave raised $35 million in 30 seconds).

As cryptocurrency prices exploded, ICO fever gripped the over 2,700 blockchain tech enthusiasts who descended on New York in late May for a series of back-to-back industry conferences. Rumors flew about the fortunes being made, as the cryptocurrency ethereum climbed from $127 per unit of ether at the start of the week to $228 by Thursday. The head of an ethereum app development shop was said to hold 6 million ether, meaning he went from being a mere millionaire on Monday to an ether billionaire, holding $1.4 billion worth of the stuff, three days later. “Out of the 2,700 attendees there were at least 500 millionaires, and between zero to five billionaires,” said one longtime observer of the cryptocurrency scene, who wanted to remain anonymous.

Why are tokens a big deal?

The oracles of Silicon Valley say token offerings could reinvent the “freemium” business model of the internet, upending the huge centralized services—think of Facebook or Google—that have emerged. Instead of enticing users with free services, paid for by venture capital, and then eventually turning a profit by showing ads to those users, tokens offer a direct channel for capital to flow between user and the technologist.

The user would pay for a token upfront, providing funds for coders to develop the promised technology. If the technology works as advertised and gains popularity, it should attract more users, thus increasing demand for the token offered at the start. As the token value increases, those early users who bought tokens will benefit from appreciating token prices. Each token offering has different rules around the total supply of tokens and when they are released.

“This is a ‘better-than-free’ business model, where users make money for being early adopters,” write Balaji Srinivasan and Naval Ravikant, a partner at venture firm Andreessen Horowitz and the founder of investing platform AngelList, respectively. Ravikant has launched a platform called CoinList that will help accredited investors put money into token launches.

Token offerings could also correct an imbalance in the way financial rewards are distributed among technologists. Historically, the people who develop foundational technologies, such as protocols, have watched from the sidelines as others—firms that build the applications running atop those protocols—reap the riches. The Google search engine, for instance, is an application that trawls the world wide web, which is made up of a collection of open-source protocols. Yet it’s Google’s founders who are billionaires and not Tim Berners-Lee, who came up with the protocols that made not just Google, but the entire web, possible.

Cryptotokens could change that because protocol creators now have a way to be rewarded for the success of their technology, without having to create a hit application on top of it. “With tokens … the creators of a protocol can ‘monetize’ it directly and will in fact benefit more as others build businesses on top of that protocol,” writes Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures.

This is the argument behind the “fat protocol” investment thesis: the protocols of the past were “thin” and unable to accrue financial value. The application layer resting atop those protocols were the ones to reap the rewards. But cryptotokens could enable the protocols of today to become “fat”—creating more wealth and value than even the enormously successful applications of the past. “These new ‘fat protocols’ may eventually create and capture more value than the last generation of Internet companies,” Srinivasan and Ravikant write.

Venture firms who subscribe to this theory have wasted no time putting their money where their mouths are. This is why firms like Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz have backed funds like Polychain Capital, which invest exclusively in token offerings. While the tokens are being raised for digital services at the moment—things like storage, identity management, or chat room stickers—one can imagine them being used for offline products and services someday in the future, too.

Nor are tokens limited to new projects. The chat platform Kik, with 15 million monthly active users, launched its own token last week at the conference, in the hopes of seeding an “economy built around chat (pdf).” In practice this means Kik users can earn and spend on special stickers, images, or even entry to celebrity chat rooms using the chat app’s Kin token. Unlike traditional loyalty points issued by a merchant, however, the Kin tokens are decentralized because they are issued on top of ethereum (more on that below). The Kin digital currency could exist even if the chat app vanished after issuance—although it probably wouldn’t be used very much and would be worth little.

What are tokens, exactly?

At this stage, an explainer on what tokens are, exactly, is helpful. You can think of a token offering as a hybrid between a Kickstarter campaign and a stock market flotation. On one hand, the launch lets customers reserve a product or service before it’s completed and ready for the market—that’s the Kickstarter part. On the other hand, it also gives those customers a stake in the future of that product or service; if the service gains in popularity, the token should rise in price, enriching the original users, making it a lot like getting in on a hot IPO. However, one of those analogies puts token issuers squarely in the sights of securities regulators, so the distinction is crucial. More on that later when we discuss the legal gray area that tokens occupy.

Like the rest of the cryptocurrency industry, token offerings rely on a basic circular logic: A token has as much value as its users bestow on it, just as bitcoin rises in price so long as demand outstrips supply. But token boosters say their units of digital currency are different from bitcoin in one critical respect: they are programmable, and have been coded to perform various useful functions.

Tokens issued today are built atop ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency on the market. Ethereum is like bitcoin because it is a tradable digital currency, which is called ether. It’s unlike bitcoin because it was designed with its own programming language—a significant departure from, and its creators say, an upgrade over, bitcoin. This language allows people to write “smart contracts” or automatically executed agreements on ethereum. A bond, for instance, might automatically pay out its coupon, without the need for an intermediary or paperwork.

It turns out that ethereum’s programming language is powerful enough that coders can write smart contracts that issue new units of digital currency, bound by their own rules. This is what the tokens offered today are: a series of complicated ethereum smart contracts. The ethereum network itself is being used as a giant token-issuing machine. “Right now ethereum is a token factory,” says Muneeb Ali, co-founder of Blockstack, a startup working on building tools for a decentralized internet.

The circularity of cryptocurrency economics is at play again here: Ethereum itself raised capital from its users by offering ether tokens in 2014, raising $18 million. The ethereum protocol then became a staging ground for experiments in token funding: A vehicle called the Decentralized Autonomous Organization managed to raise $150 million on the promise that it would be a new form of business structure, one that automated away managers using a combination of smart contracts and tokens. It was promptly hacked for millions and flamed out spectacularly.

An ethereum-based token is to ether as a concert ticket is to a US dollar, Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at the Coin Center think tank, suggests. “In the real world we often use all sorts of items rather like we use cash,” he writes. “We use tickets, coupons … and a variety of bearer instruments because they entitle the holder to different things.” These customized tokens can be traded on secondary markets, like exchanges, and have their own value, independent of the price of ether.

Orange groves and securities law

While the potential of token launches remains vague, though powerful, almost everyone I spoke to at the New York conferences agreed on one thing: The US government would crack down on the offerings eventually. No one seems to think the good times for ICOs will last.

The legality of tokens hinges on something called the “Howey test,” named after a Florida company in the 1940s that tried to raise capital by selling contracts against its citrus groves—a practice that the US Supreme Court ruled was similar to a stock offering. At the Consensus conference, the debate about whether or not ICOs were like citrus grove contracts was captured by an exchange between Van Valkenburg, who argued that tokens are like products and not securities, and Preston Bryne, a lawyer and founder of a blockchain company called Monax.

“It’s like buying gold … it’s not like buying a security in a gold mine,” said Van Valkenburg. Responded Bryne, “This is complete nonsense. Everybody knows what this is. It’s, in substance and form, the sale of investments that people are purchasing with expectation of profit at a later date.”

Of course, what really matters is the regulator’s opinion. The US Securities and Exchange Commission hasn’t weighed in on the matter yet. But an SEC official who spoke at the Consensus conference, Valerie Szczepanik, who heads its unit looking at blockchain tech, sounded a note of caution, according to Reuters: “Whether or not you are regulated by the SEC, you still have fiduciary duties to your investors. If you want this industry to flourish, protection of investors should be at the forefront.”

Token boosters await official intervention with a mixture of trepidation and relief. Take Stan Miroshnik, who was a veteran investment banker with Morgan Stanley in London. He now runs a firm called Argon that corrals big investors—like cryptocurrency “whales,” adventurous family offices, and hedge funds—into token launches to ensure they’re sold out.

When a group of coders wants to raise money for their project, Miroshnik hits Slack teams, Telegram groups, and gets press in the cryptocurrency trade media to rustle up business. “Having seen the technology boom in the 90s, this is just another emerging capital market,” he says. “It needs institutional grade providers like ourselves who come out of traditional investment banks. One day Fidelity is going to show up and say, ‘I want $4 billion of that token, help me buy it.’ You need someone who can, frankly, speak their language.”

For Miroshnik, the sooner the SEC steps in, the better. “I welcome it,” he says. “It would be helpful to figure out where the boundaries are.”

WRITTEN BY
Joon Ian Wong

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Move Over Bitcoin, These 4 Cryptocurrencies are Making Their Mark

Move Over Bitcoin, These 4 Cryptocurrencies are Making Their Mark

Move Over Bitcoin, These 4 Cryptocurrencies are Making Their Mark

 

Just a few years ago if you thought of cryptocurrency you thought of Bitcoin and Bitcoin only.

Bitcoin was propelled into the limelight back in 2013. Around that time The Silk Road was taken down and the U.S. government confiscated hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin. Back then, cryptocurrency and Bitcoin was more of an underground thing used mostly for dodgy purposes. But today, the tech and entrepreneurial community has gotten their hands on blockchain and cryptocurrency with the creation of other coins and technology. And now cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum are being used and backed by the biggest companies in the world such as Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase and Samsung to name a few.

Ethereum is leading the pack of the new age cryptocurrencies. The big difference is that these 2.0 and 3.0 versions of digital currencies actually do quite a bit on top of the basic technology that Bitcoin introduced to the world via blockchain. Bitcoin was just the beginning.

Here are 4 cryptocurrencies worth watching this year:

Ethereum (ETH) got popular just a few months ago when the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance was announced. The biggest companies in the world are officially backing and utilizing the new blockchain technology that Ethereum provides, specifically their smart contracts, decentralized applications on the blockchain, the creation of decentralized autonomous organizations and so much more. Ethereum does for code, apps and programming what Bitcion did for peer to peer transactions. Ethereum could eventually, starting with the launch of it’s new web browser Mist, become a complete decentralized internet.

Stratis (STRAT) is a powerful blockchain development platform. They recently got the highest level support from companies like Microsoft. Their aim is to be the one-stop shop for all things blockchain, essentially becoming a Blockchain As A Service (BAAS) platform. They are similar to Ethereum in concept but also very different. Stratis runs on the Bitcoin blockchain. But, where Stratis makes itself unique is that it offers developers the ability to code in C# which opens up a ton of possibilities for app and other developers. Additionally, Stratis is soon to launch their breeze wallet that could revolutionize and redefine transactional privacy. Stratis has a very similar number of circulating supply as Ethereum. So if you wanted to guess where Stratis (STRAT) could be price wise in a short while then look at today’s Ethereum prices.

Ripple (XRP) is a very interesting technology that allows banks to interact with eachother directly without any central point of control or middleman. This could (and is) revolutionize banking. Ripple and it’s token XRP have been critized for not having the technology and the currency truly connected. They also do not currently have their own currency wallet so storing it becomes complicated. But if they were to solve those 2 problems it could be doing very well this year.

Siacoin (SC) is a cryptocurrency and technology that was innovated at MIT at a hackathon in 2013. Siacoin’s blockchain has a technology that allows smart contracts to be created for digital storage. Essentially this could spawn the next Dropbox or Amazon AWS. But instead of Siacoin doing that directly they allow other partners like hosts to connect and compete for the business of consumers via their technology. It is a little early for Siacoin but big developments are already happening. Once they have a few more big use cases things could really take off. Their technology could be backing the next Dropbox or Amazon AWS. And if you have ever paid Amazon AWS hosting or storage costs, you know that needs to be distrupted and made cheaper. Siacoin’s blockchain technology could be the solution.

 

There you have it. These are the 4 cryptocurrencies that I and many others in the community have their eyes on to make big movement in 2017.

Author: Brian D. Evans

 

There is another coin Infinity(XIN) standing in the wings which you will be hearing more about this month so watch this space.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Is China Waking up to Ethereum

Is China Waking up to Ethereum

Is China Waking up to Ethereum

On May 27, Huobi, one of the three leading bitcoin exchanges in China alongside BTCC and OKCoin, officially integrated support for Ethereum trading. The Huobi development team announced that users will be able to trade Ethereum starting from May 31.

In its announcement, Huobi revealed that the company has come to a consensus to integrate support for Ethereum due to its exponential growth, high market liquidity, stability and increase in the demand toward Ethereum in both China and internationally.

Local sources including CNLedger reported that Huobi’s integration of Ethereum was an important milestone for the Chinese Ethereum community and market as the market liquidity for Ethereum within China was substantially low due to the lack of support from local exchanges.

Previously, exchanges including OKCoin did express their enthusiasm toward Ethereum and hinted at the possibility of integrating Ethereum support in the near future. In fact, OKCoin representatives told CNLedger that OKCoin has been planning to list Ethereum and that the company plans to integrate Ethereum at an appropriate time.

Thus, it is likely that other major bitcoin exchanges such as OKCoin will soon integrate Ethereum support following the footsteps of Huobi, which serves millions of users in China alone.

Although Ethereum has been enjoying an exponential growth in Asian markets including Japan and South korea, Ethereum is relatively unknown to the majority of Chinese cryptocurrency traders that have been investing in bitcoin and Litecoin. Cryptocurrency traders have only begun to take interest in Ethereum after the formation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and the Ethereum Foundation’s visit to the country.

Earlier in May, Consensus Systems (ConsenSys) head of global business development Andrew Keys attended the Global Blockchain Financial Summit with other members of the Ethereum Foundation including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. Prior to the Global Blockchain Financial Summit, Keys and the rest of the Ethereum Foundation visited Ethereum communities in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou.

Keys discovered that the Ethereum adoption throughout China has been increasing at a rapid rate. Large conglomerates have started to build applications on top of the Ethereum protocol and universities have been researching into Ethereum’s potential within the finance market.

Even government-owned companies including the Royal Chinese Mint, the subordinate unit of China Banknote Printing and Minting, have started to utilize Ethereum to digitize the RMB. Keys explained that the Royal Chinese Mint is currently utilizing the ERC 20 token standard and Ethereum smart contracts to digitize the RMB.

More to that, CryptoCoinsNews also reported that Ant Financial, the subsidiary company of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is also utilizing the Ethereum protocol to develop various applications and platforms. Ant Financial is the company behind the $60 billion financial network Alipay, which is used by 450 million users in China.

Keys noted:

“The services provided by Ant Financial and its affiliates cover payment, wealth management, credit reporting, private bank and cloud computing. Ant Financial is experimenting with Ethereum technology to improve their global payment platforms.”

The rapid rise in the demand toward Ethereum and the adoption of the Ethereum smart contract technology could allow China to become one of the larger Ethereum exchange markets in the world. At the moment, South Korea is the largest Ethereum exchange market with over 40 percent of the global market share. If China continues to sustain such growth rate, it will see its Ethereum market outpace other regions.

Ethereum Foundation members including Vitalik Buterin are actively encouraging companies and users in China to utilize the Ethereum protocol to build decentralized applications.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author:Joseph Young

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Billion Dollar Cryptocurrency Club Swells to Six Members

Billion Dollar Cryptocurrency Club Swells to Six Members

Billion Dollar Cryptocurrency Club Swells to Six Members

Bitcoin’s market cap surpassed $37 billion today when the price hit $2271.16, commanding more than a billion in trade volume in a 24-hour period, according to coinmarket.com. The total value of the coin market is now at $81.3 billion, as the last two days added more than $10 billion to the capitalization.

Bitcoin’s value has almost doubled in the last month, even while its market share has fallen below 50%, thanks to the gains of other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin’s gains have been steadier than most of the altcoins, but collectively, altcoins are rising at a faster pace.

Asian Trading Remains Key

Rising demand for bitcoin by Chinese and Japanese investors combined with falling stocks and other factors to push bitcoin to new heights. Because the Japanese yen holds the largest share of bitcoin trading, Asian trading pushes the prices higher.

The Nikkei Asian Review today reported, “Bitcoin going mainstream as Japanese business signs on,” signaling bitcoin’s growing popularity in Japan, which recently recognized bitcoin as a method of payment.

Asian interest in bitcoin increasingly carries over to other currencies, as indicated by the gains for Ripple and NEM, the two most popular altcoins in Japan in terms of demand and trading volumes.

Japanese regulators also decided to abolish the 8% consumption tax on transactions of bitcoin bought from exchanges, which is set to go into effect in July this year.

Progress On Scaling Continues

Today’s announcement that a majority of bitcoin miners have reached a consensus to deploy the Segwit2Mb protocol upgrade for bitcoin also bodes well. Bitcoin’s rise has benefited from an alleviation of the fear that a “hard fork” will be needed – dividing bitcoin into two currencies – to improve bitcoin transaction times. A successful deployment of an alternative scaling solution indicates the hard fork that would have resulted in two separate currencies in order to speed up bitcoin transactions may not be required.

Wences Casares, CEO of bitcoin wallet Xapo and a member of PayPal’s board of directors one bitcoin would hit $1 million before the next ten years while speaking at the Consensus 2017 conference in New York.

Ethereum Continues To Amaze

Ethereum, the largest altcoin, hit more than $16 billion market capitalization with a $179.68 price, followed by Ripple at more than $13 billion. The top three cryptocurrencies — bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple — are the only players to boast more than $10 billion market cap.

Ethereum has witnessed the fastest growth of any digital currency ever. Not even two years old, the platform is now worth more than $16 billion with its trading spaces consistently attracting more online active users than even bitcoin’s.

Ripple, designed for enterprise use and can be used by institutions for on-demand liquidity for cross-border payments, also continues to post rapid gains. Banks and payment providers that use XRP will secure better access to emerging markets at lower settlement costs.

Ripple recently committed to placing 55 billion XRP in a cryptographically secure escrow account at the end of the year, addressing concerns that it will eventually sell its 61.68 XRP as it seeks to strengthen XRP’s exchange rate against other currencies.

NEM, number four commands a $2.299 billion cap, followed by Litecoin at $1.575 billion and Ethereum Classic at $1.02 billion.

There are now six cryptocurrencies with more than $1 billion market caps.

Altcoins Keep Shifting Position

Aside from bitcoin, the rotation shifts fairly frequently among the billion dollar players. A day ago, Litecoin, Monero, and Dash displaced Ethereum and NEM, with gains of 15%, 20%, 25%, respectively.

NEM, number four, commands a $2.299 billion cap, followed by Litecoin at $1.575 billion and Ethereum Classic at $1.02 billion. There are now six cryptocurrencies with more than $1 billion market caps.

NEM has also made significant gains over the past few months. A major factor that has allowed NEM to transform into one of the most popular altcoins in Japan is its development team and company composed of Japanese founders and talents. NEM was initially developed and introduced in Japan by Makoto Takemiya, the co-founder and CEO of Soramitsu, the company that has also introduced the Iroha blockchain project to the Linux foundation’s Hyperledger Project.

Litecoin, one of the oldest altcoins, gained visibility this month because of its successful activation of SegWit, a scaling solution that circumvents the need for a hard fork.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author Lester Coleman

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Top 10 Tips For Cryptocurrency Investing, As Bitcoin And Ethereum Surge

Top 10 Tips For Cryptocurrency Investing, As Bitcoin And Ethereum Surge

Top 10 Tips For Cryptocurrency Investing, As Bitcoin And Ethereum Surge

The price of Bitcoin and Ethereum have exploded in 2017. The question is whether there is sufficient upside potential to consider investing in cryptocurrencies. Stated differently, is it still worth looking into cryptocurrencies as an investment or is it too late?

The key consideration is that Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency to invest in. On the other hand, Bitcoin has made cryptocurrencies popular and even more secure. Yes, there were definitely security issues a couple of years ago, but it seems those issues have been resolved. So Bitcoin has helped mature the cryptocurrencies space.

InvestingHaven believes that a combination of price analysis and fundamental analysis is the most appropriate way to make a rational investment choice, and to engage in forecasting the price of cryptocurrencies. With that in mind, we also look into the altcoins space in this article in order to find investment opportunities.

InvestingHaven’s research team has collected 10 investment tips for investing in cryptocurrencies which are useful to investors not very familiar in this space.

Investing in cryptocurrencies: tips, insights and upside potential

1. Cryptocurrencies investments are similar to investing to commodities

Investing in cryptocurrencies is very similar to commodities investing. The fact of the matter is that commodities have two ‘faces’. On the one hand, they are assets that are used in the real world. Base metals, for instance, are used in industry. Softs are used in the food industry. Precious metals are used in the jewelry industry. At the same time, commodities can be invested in, through open market exchanges.

Cryptocurrencies are similar. They are used in financial and insurance applications, but investors can also invest in cryptocurrencies.

From that perspective, it is mandatory to look at usage and added value that cryptocurrencies create in this world when choosing a specific cryptocurrency to invest in.

2. Usage is growing as evidenced by the collective market cap

All cryptocurrencies combined have a market cap of more than $60B meantime. So that includes all cryptocurrencies in existence: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and hundreds of smaller and unknown ones.

To put that into perspective, for investors, here are some reference points: Tesla’s market cap is $50B, Boeing Airlines $100B, Coca Cola $180B (rounded figures for April / May 2017).

Note how the volume of real world transactions has gone up together with the market cap which indicates that ‘crypto is for real’.

3. Most people are unaware about cryptocurrencies, an absolute minority uses them
 

If it is important to look at real world usage as a key criterium when considering investing in cryptocurrencies, then there is great news for investors: “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

According to Statista, who has dedicated a section to cryptocurrencies useful for investing, we see that the number of adults in the U.S. familiar with the most known cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) is only 24 percent. And, by far the most important data point on this graph, the number of Americans that use Bitcoin is 2 percent while the ones thinking of using it in the future is 25 percent.

Investors should get excited when realizing this. Not primarily for Bitcoin, but more so for other cryptocurrencies.

4. Usage is the key criterium for investors

As said in the intro, analyzing fundamental data is the key element in our methodology to identify a decent investment opportunity. So supply and demand data, based on usage in the real world, is what investors should be focused on.

That is also what we used as a method in our Bitcoin Price Forecast For 2017 and our Ethereum Price Forecast For 2017. Note that our Bitcoin forecast got filled meantime, as the price of Bitcoin went over $2000, a forecast we made more two months ago.

As an example, when it comes to Ethereum, we have included the chart which features the number of its transactions, see below. This is proof that Ethereum is being used in the real world.

Top 10 Tips For Cryptocurrency Investing, As Bitcoin And Ethereum Surge

Moreover, the number of Bitcoins in circulation is another proof of cryptocurrency usage, as well as trade volume.

Note also how Ripple, a cryptocurrency which is meant to facilitate payments between financial institutions, and, in doing so, pushes transaction costs down meaningfully, has a great chart highlighting the strong usage of some large accounts along with the long tail of users: Ripple usage statistics.

5. Where are we in the market cycle?

Given the above data points, we consider that we are nowhere near any point close to euphoria according to the traditional market cycle. It is maybe not very useful to consider Bitcoin as an investment opportunity, though prices can go much higher from here. However, there are many other cryptocurrencies which are only now starting to be considered by businesses, governments, and society across the globe.

With that in mind, we believe we are only in the optimism stage in the market cycle.

Note that this market cycle can be considered by individual cryptocurrency as well (we considered all cryptocurrencies combined when we stated that we are in the ‘optimism’ stage). Bitcoin certainly has gone through this cycle, reaching euphoria in January of 2014.

6. Altcoins are similar to the dotcom hype, 80% will not survive the storm

Pareto is one of the few universal principles applicable in all areas of life, including in the investment world.

We see a dotcom type hype arising and, presumably, 80% of cryptocurrencies will not survive the storm. We saw something similar in the dotcom hype. That is simply because, during a hype, users and investors do not focus sufficiently on the real added value that is created.

It is imperative for investors, when choosing cryptocurrencies to invest in, that they acknowledge the added value that is created, from a business and society perspective.

7. A cryptocurrency MUST solve a problem in life

Just buying cryptocurrencies hoping that they will deliver an investment return does not make sense at all. The sweet spot for every investor is the ability to solve a problem: the bigger the problem that gets solved, the higher the potential value.

One of the sweet spots that cryptocurrencies can enable as a problem solver is to provide access to money and basic banking functions like wiring and paying. A fact that is unknown is that a huge amount of people globally do NOT have access to to these traditional banking services. We consider that Stellar Lumens, symbol XLM, is such an enabler. At the moment of writing, Stellar Lumens trades at $0.05. Read on Fortune.com why Stellar has a disruptive potential, especially in the underdeveloped part of the world, and is worth a cryptocurrency investment.

8. Create your investment portfolio with a limited number of cryptocurrencies

As with any other investment, investors should create their own portfolio and work on it actively. Also, they should work on it for the very long term.

Creating a portfolio with some cryptocurrencies is the way to go. Choosing them selectively is imperative. Only invest in things you understand and keep your emotions under control are principles that should always be applied, in every investment portfolio.

9. Crypto to money

Do not forget that your cryptocurrencies can be exchanged for ‘traditional money’. The market is in the process of enabling all exchanges: all traditional currencies will be exchangeable with all cryptocurrencies, sooner rather than later. So the lock-in risk which was present a while back will not be a risk going forward.

Stated differently, your portfolio with cryptocurrencies is just another way to store cash, or exchange crypto for cash (money), over time as market conditions change.

10. Read the right sources

Last but not least, as it goes with every hype, ‘everyone and his uncle’ can become a guru during a hype. Be very sceptical when following people and selecting sources to read. The blogosphere has only a handful of bloggers who are worth following, say maximum 20 percent.

At InvestingHaven, we will do everything we can to offer the best investment insights for high reward / low risk opportunities. You can also follow this upcoming blog which is owned by the same team that runs InvestingHaven: www.BlockchainRevolution.global

This article is brought to you courtesy of Investing Haven.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member