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Tag: 2x9bitmax

Billy Draper’s Investment Tips — Cryptocurrencies, ICOs, Bubbles: CT Exclusive

Billy Draper’s Investment Tips — Cryptocurrencies, ICOs,
Bubbles: CT Exclusive

    

The Draper family is well-known to the Bitcoin community.

Tim Draper is one of the most active investors in the Bitcoin ecosystem: back in 2014, he bought 30,000 BTC as part of the government auction and up until now he is said to keep purchasing Bitcoin and to own Ether. Besides, he used his reserve of Bitcoin to fund the startups of Boost VC (with 300 BTC each), his son Adam Draper’s Virtual Reality, Blockchain and Bitcoin venture capital firm.

However, Tim has recently announced his readiness to take one step further in his relationship with the crypto world and participate in ICO — of a company called Tezos, a “new Blockchain platform launched by a husband and wife team with extensive Wall Street and in hedge fund backgrounds.” Not so long ago Boost VC also followed into his footsteps and wrote in a blog post that they were willing to invest directly in ICOs. In an exclusive interview to the Cointelegraph at Arctic15 in Helsinki, Billy notes that for the Drapers ICO is a new opportunity. “In the last month and a half, we have seen a lot of ICOs,” explains Billy Draper, Tim’s son and currently a Partner at Draper Associates. “Since Gnosis, in the last month we have seen six or seven opportunities either asking us to participate, or to market, or do something, but we’ve been still sorting it out.”

Addressing to the crypto community, Billy notes:

“You have changed the whole dynamic of funding. You have taken the best parts of Kickstarter, the best parts of Venture Capital, the best parts of tech community, and you said: Hey, we are going to release a new token, this token is going to be used specifically for making predictions, and all the engineers who are interested in that come buy those tokens, and then you can increase the value of those tokens by building applications on our token.”

Billy Draper is the one responsible for seed-stage investments in companies such as Robinhood, Laurel & Wolf, Tempo Automation and LawTrades. He is in charge of sourcing and driving investments across all sectors, with some slant towards financial technologies, marketplaces and logistics. Prior to DA, he worked in Operations at Facebook and Product Design at ApartmentList. He was named to the 2016 Forbes '30 Under 30' List for Venture Capital. “And because you bought that application, the price or the value of that currency goes up,” he continues. “And there is something so beautiful about that — that is why we are excited about crypto in general and now we are actually starting to think about ICOs.”

Is it going to be Bitcoin and Ethereum forever?

Billy admits that cryptocurrencies are probably relatively small and it’s not the focal point of the fund yet even though they do look for deals in crypto — Bitcoin, Blockchain and ‘whatever the next token is’. “We know that there will be a sort of cryptocurrency revolution, it has already started, this is no longer a science project,” he says. “This is now huge multibillion dollar industry if you take a look at the the market cap of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and now Ethereum is worth a few billion dollars, and people are building token on top of Ethereum.” However, the question that comes — Is this going to be driven, is this sort of the revolution in crypto going to be driven by 25 different cryptocurrencies or a hundred different currencies? Or is it going to be the winner takes it all?

“The reasons why new tokens pop up is because they find problems with the old ones or perhaps not problems, but opportunities to build a currency more focused on solving one problem — governance, or smart contracts, or anonymity,” Billy continues. “Another thing I like about other currencies popping up is that now Bitcoin is the gold standard to buy into the other cryptocurrencies.” The Drapers do believe that there is something behind Bitcoin and Blockchain tech in general. On the one hand, they have inherited connections and wealth from their father and grandfather. But on the other hand, they have been raised with “anything-is-possible” mentality, the Silicon Valley’s spirit of individualism and relentless optimism.

Billy shares his optimism about cryptocurrencies:

“It is not because cryptocurrency is a cool new thing — it is because of there is an incentive structure, it’s because you are taking some of the smartest engineers in the world. The coins that fail are going to be those that don’t have real world applications, the ones that are going to be successful are the ones that fulfill the promise.”

For venture funds, it would be better if cryptocurrencies and ICOs were regulated because that would make investors feel safer. Right now there is no legal ground, so you can’t ask for your money back. “We would definitely be worried about the bubble, but there is also a fear of missing out, and you have to believe in the promise,” Billy notes. “Not necessarily in the whole market of crypto but you have to believe in the promise just like people now believe in the promise of Bitcoin and Ethereum. So yes we would be worried about the bubble but just like everyone. But I don’t think we could live our lives worrying about that.”

How to invest in ICOs and cryptocurrencies, what to consider

In the early 1980s, Tim Draper was exploring the opportunities of Silicon Valley — he had an engineering degree from Stanford and a diploma from Harvard Business School and so he was trying to figure out what to do next. He started his own firm, which later became the founding investor in Baidu and Tesla Motors and backed the likes of Hotmail and Skype. They say it is the ‘Draper luck’.

“If you talk to all the great venture capitalists in the history, all of their failures have been failures to act,” explains Billy. “It is not like I invested into something and It went to zero. Because you can invest in something that goes to zero, but then you can invest in something that goes to thousands, so one X downside, thousand X upside.” He points out that we could always talk ourselves out the investment, just like we are going to talk ourselves out of an ICO, or investing money directly into cryptocurrency, or a platform built around the cryptocurrency, but the potential opportunity we would miss is what would drive us crazy.

Right now ICOs are small projects with sometimes not very experienced teams who are doing mostly marketing, raising up millions of dollars without having a product. You can get the interest really high in the ICO: you do the offering, you limit the number of tokens, you create a supply on the marketplace and then you could drive up the price because of who is involved and who is building but eventually the apps have to be built. What is important is that the promise has to be fulfilled.

“When it comes to ICOs, the criteria would be if you are an investor interested it is not hard to reach out to these people, if they have a white paper, they usually have contact, if they want questions, they want to be challenged,” says Billy. “You need to believe in the team and the team should be aware of that and the team shouldn’t try to hide behind wherever and more people do that. This is very encouraging, they publish a whitepaper saying hey contact us, this is how we are going to do this, how we are going to implement this, this is the background that we have.”

Billy also recommends investors to diversify and participate in several ICOs to make sure their crypto portfolio has some exposure to some other currencies. They should understand how the market is going to function, that this crypto could go to zero, it could fail, it could be dead, or there is a bigger risk, which we don’t typically have to deal with which is it could be stolen. “What I would do is probably work with the crypto expert, who I trust and ask him if he would consult me and make sure I do it in the right way,” he says. “You look at what applications could be developed for it, so why does this exist, what is the specific use for this that can’t be done elsewhere and if those applications were to be built, what is the market size of that, based on the market cap, then you would approach it the way we approach startups.”

Billy concludes by saying that team and real world application are the two criteria for a success, the real world applications that people need to connect. Previously, in the Cointelegraph we have covered several examples of how real world economy can benefit from the crypto economy. The latest case of such type of a project is Primalbase, which claims to transform traditional office rental into a new-generation community-based ecosystem where one can share, sell or rent out high-quality office spaces using Ethereum and Waves-based digital tokens. In other words, it’s distributed workspace for the tech community in the manner of WeWork but in crypto tokens.

Billy Draper says about it:

“That’s cool, they found a real world application, and that’s what we want to see — we don’t want to see more coins in the world. That is a game-changing thinking, the same with real estate. Renting out these tokens? That is how you start the real revolution, that’s how things will go from Bitcoin sort of still crypto community which is getting bigger.”

We end our conversation with Billy with asking for a general advice about cryptocurrency investment. And he tells us that the best way to start with is to learn about cryptocurrencies that you think are the most interesting, the specific ones. Then you should start trading them, in some small way — you don’t have to start with a huge million dollar investment in a cryptocurrency. You should start to feel and understand the volatility of the market, to understand what drives the market and how you can play into that.

He concludes:

“I would suggest just like with anything — make sure you know what you are getting into, so there are no surprises, and if the token goes to zero, that’s the risk to take. And on the upside make sure you are investing in a token you believe in. If you are trying to pick winners, make sure you pick winners that you feel very comfortable about what they are going to develop.The key is user education, just make sure you understand what you get into, there is a certain risk.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about – Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Altcoin Gulden Set To Implement PoW² In July: Leading Developer

 

Altcoin Gulden Set To Implement
PoW² In July:
Leading Developer

    

Gulden is set to implement Proof of Work 2.0

also known as PoW² latest by July this year. The digital cryptocurrency that has tagged itself as user-driven insists this new technology will tremendously enhance its security and provide economic incentives for holders. In a chat with Cointelegraph, Gulden Lead Dev, Malcolm Macleod who is the mastermind of PoW², says what the technology is going to do to advance it to the crypto space.

Limitations

He intimated that his outfit has taken a long hard look at various usability issues that stand in the way of their current goals. He also identified several limitations of current Blockchain systems that repeatedly stick out as key usability issues that need to be solved. According to Macleod, they include issues like erratic block times, slow transaction confirmations, and the risk of double spends among others.

He says:

"After looking at these problems holistically, we have come up with a solution that not only solves them but also drastically improves our overall Blockchain security and has other positive effects as well, and this is the system we call PoW²."

Malcolm disclosed that the system works not only by building on top of the existing PoW system but adding onto it a concept we call 'witnessing' which involves a deterministic random winner signing each block as it comes in. "In order to participate as a witness users must lock coins in a special address for a period of time (of their choosing) between one month and three years," he added.

Solution

Macleod, the Southern African Based Blockchain Developer, explained that PoW² brings a massive increase in Blockchain security. It is immune to a standard greater than 50 percent attack that would be possible on PoW, with the equivalent attack on PoW² requiring not only 61 percent of hash power but also 61 percent of all coins and still has a lower chance of success.

He explains:

"At the same time, PoW² remains immune to attacks like grinding that regular PoS coins would suffer from. There are less confirms required by users for their transactions. Instead of the standard seven confirms required for Bitcoin (or more for other coins) the security properties of PoW² allow for users to be sure of consensus much faster, and they need to wait only for one or two confirmations.”

Dichotomy

When Cointelegraph inquires about the difference between PoW² and the previous version, Malcolm steered out that it solves the 'empty block' issue which is very important for scalability, and the transaction backlogs with Bitcoin network for instance with miners mining empty blocks, which is really bad for overall transaction capacity. He is of the opinion that PoW² solves this issue for 99.9 percent of cases.

"PoW² helps to keep the PoW miners on the network less centralized, and completely removes from them the ability to censor transactions, something that is quite possibly going to be a big issue for PoW coins going forward," he said. “With Bitcoin, we now see a situation where miners get a disproportionate say in decisions (like SegWit activation). With PoW² those who actually hold currency for the long term get more say in forks and therefore the control is placed in the hands of people who actually have a vested interest in the currencies long term health and not just short-term profits."

Challenges

In response to what limitations and Challenges PoW² has, Jason van Heerden, a Gulden Team member, emphasized it is when it comes to making it possible for secure one-confirmation transactions which will lead to zero-confirmation transactions in the future but the solution to it will also be out soon. "No real limitations besides the code base becoming more complex to manage," Jason stressed. Curiously, on whether you need to permanently keep your wallet open to act as a Witness, Jason said yes. The wallet can remain locked/encrypted during the process so it remains secure. It is likely that cloud and/or dedicated hardware based solutions will become available to assist people with this," he revealed.

Jason also disclosed the concept has been worked on for over a year now already, with the whitepaper and internal feasibility tests ongoing. Moreover, he explained the release will include many other bug fixes and codebase improvements besides PoW² so it is important that proper testing is done. However, it is their believe it is going to be out and operating on the Gulden network by July.

Expert opinion on PoW²

JuicyG of Coinchat.Club thinks Gulden seems to be using a hybrid PoW/PoS and calling it PoW² isn't really accurate. In his evaluation, other projects like Ethereum or Ethereum Classic are working towards adding a hybrid PoW/PoS solution.

He argues:

"As a matter of truth, 80 percent of their block reward seems to be going to miners, while 20 percent is reserved for wallet staking. People have to run the wallets on their computers for it to work. They didn't set up a system yet that would allow one to use a VPS to host the node, which is not ideal if you care about 24/7 uptime. Few people will let their computers on 27/4. This is something they've admitted themselves in their FAQ." Cointelegraph asked JuicyG it appears that is some of the solutions PoW² provides, but he was adamant. "It doesn't strike me as very innovative, to be honest, and also, they mention zero confirmation transactions but this is something that doesn't exist yet and will come in Version 2.0.," he differed.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about – Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Top Altcoins Surge As Bitcoin Price Crosses $2400 in Sign of Recovery

Top Altcoins Surge As Bitcoin Price Crosses $2400 in Sign of Recovery

    

The pioneer cryptocurrency Bitcoin crossed the $2,400 line

At 11:00 GMT+2 on Thursday, the pioneer cryptocurrency Bitcoin crossed the $2,400 line by appreciating 10.22 percent and recording a market price of $2,419. The aftermath of last weekend's panic has seen the price going up and down like a pendulum. But this morning robust growth has returned to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. There are talks of Chinese exchanges resuming withdrawals and if that is the case then it is a good omen for the industry. For almost four months now, Chinese exchanges have suspended Bitcoin and Litecoin withdrawals. This was supposed to last for just a month when the directive came from the People's Bank of China (PBoC) in February.

Top achievers

Moreover, the top 10 on CoinMarketCap is green with the only exception of Stratis, with the Blockchain application going down 9.14 percent. Ripple seems to be making amends with a grand 39.45 percent hike, being the biggest achiever at the elite altcoins club for the day. New Economic Movement (NEM) is not dim-witty either by attaining 20.93 percent. Dash is not relaxing after losing some points and it is up to an admirable 18.17 percentage score. Moreso, Monero and Litecoin appreciated more than 11 percent. Bytecoin brightens the bottom of the top 10 with a 10.97 percent growth rate. It is amiable to see Ethereum and his younger brother, Ethereum Classic managing the least gains of the day. They went up modest 1.78 and 0.07 percent respectively.

A bountiful weekend ahead?

There are talks about back to the winning ways in the community. For instance, there is a lot of optimism on various platforms especially Bitcoin Powpow. Are we heading for a weekend of bounty harvest with prices going up and cryptos bloating their market capitalization? Friday will tell if the current gains are sustained and improved upon. For now, the news is refreshing and just the opposite of what we went through last week. Let us hope the industry will end the week on a very good note.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about – Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Tax Authorities In Pakistan Zero In At Bitcoin Traders

Tax Authorities In Pakistan Zero
In At Bitcoin Traders

    

Tax authorities across the globe have set their sights on Bitcoin traders.

The latest to join the set is the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) in Pakistan.

Bitcoin in Pakistan

While Asian countries like Japan, China and South Korea have been in the news for people taking a fancy to Bitcoin, adoption in Pakistan has been low key. The first Bitcoin exchange in Pakistan, Urdubit, was established in 2014. There is tremendous potential for Bitcoin in Pakistan, with the country receiving remittances of $20 bln every year. Pakistan also has a vibrant freelance economy, with estimated revenue of $1 bln. Wider adoption of Bitcoin can bring efficiencies in both remittances and payment for online freelancing.

Windfall profits

The recent rapid increase in Bitcoin price has meant that Bitcoin investors were able to reap windfall profits. Not all of them declare this income, resulting in scrutiny from tax authorities. In the US, the IRS served a John Doe summons to Coinbase, asking it to hand over details of US customer transactions. The IRS had sought details of customer transactions between 2013 to 2015, much before the current bull rally.

In Pakistan, the volume of Bitcoin transactions has recently increased, leading to the intelligence department of the FBR launching an investigation. The objectives of the FBR are two-fold — detect cases of tax evasion as well as money laundering. According to tax officials, major traders of Bitcoin have not reported their business profits to tax authorities and hence a summons has been issued.

Cracking down

The State Bank of Pakistan does not recognize cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies are traded as commodities and the government has not shown any indication that it would either regulate or impede cryptocurrency transactions. The focus of the current government action seems to be restricted to cracking down on cases of money laundering and tax evasion. The government will find it tough to restrict its people from purchasing a deflationary currency when the average rate of inflation in Pakistan during the last 60 years is 7.8 percent.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about – Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Top Altcoins Bounce Back, Ethereum Price Gains Big Time

Top Altcoins Bounce Back, Ethereum Price Gains Big Time

    

The despair that gripped the crypto market

last week appears to be over. Now the markets are bouncing back with tokens making impressive gains.

Altcoin rollercoaster

Since Saturday ctryptocurrency markets have been in scarlet red with almost every altcoin taking a whack. Sunday seems to be the most horrible day with all top 20 dipping at an outrageous manner.

Occupying the bottom of the top 10 altcoins, Microfinance Blockchain, Stellar Lumen was smitten so hard by the brief depression it tripped down with an unimaginable 44.24 percent. NEM who was one of the major beneficiaries of the rollercoaster wasn't spared as it also took a dip of 40.87 percentage points. The least depreciation was 24.20 percent which was accounted for by the market leader — Bitcoin. On Monday morning the story was no different. Earlier on it was only Golem that was in green at the top 10 but it also somersaulted along the line. The market, however, started showing some recovering late afternoon.

Green is back

Now the markets are bouncing back with tokens making impressive gains. As early as 8:00 GMT+2 on Tuesday, all top 10 altcoins were appreciating with remarkable speed. Generally, it is leafy with a few downs here and there on CoinMarketcap. Ether is having a field day with an accumulation of a 25.48 percent skyward increase. Its market price is close to the $200 mark once again. At the moment it is the biggest swell on top 10. Well, magnificently, Stratis vaulted 22.73 percent over Stellar Lumen and Golem to be countered among the elites of cryptocurrencies. As a matter of fact, this crypto has been knocking on the doors of top 10 for more than a month now.

Deserving a mention here is ETC which also grew by 19.87 percent. The Decentralized Smart Contract platform cannot be left out if we are talking about some of the entities who kept most of their gains during last week's ride.

Prior to the price rally, Monero was tanking gradually, however, it up its game and managed a 70 percent bulge during the price harvest. On Tuesday morning as cryptos are resurrecting from the brief scare, it is the fourth most appreciated currency with 17.03 percent. Bitcoin went up by 7.22 percentage points and the least increase was 8.05. The trend looks more heartwarming than the previous days. The other digital currencies in the elites standing scored between six and 12 percent.

It wasn't a bubble

On many interactive crypto platforms, the popular question that has been floating around is whether the bubble is over or not. But engrossingly, JuicyG of Coinchat.Club beg to differ. The crypto expert is of the opinion that what happened was not a bubble and as an element of fact, there is nothing like that in the recent circumstance.

He says:

"I think it was just a weekend break and there was a banking holiday on Friday so you could call it an extended weekend. No fiat hit the exchanges on the weekend and there was another banking holiday on Monday in the US and other places."

Intriguingly enough, he indicated that there will be much more money flowing into the cryptocurrency market. When Cointelegraph asked of his conviction, he accentuated that cryptocurrencies are gaining traction in the mainstream.

"Take ETC for example — there was that recent New York conference and ETC was the star of the show. Lots of big money guys got acquainted with ETC for the first time and they didn't even get the chance to buy yet."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about – Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member