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Tag: blockchain

Public meetings suggested on future business development

Public meetings suggested on future business development

County Commissioners are asking the Industrial Development Board

to host public meetings to gather citizen input about the county’s industrial/business development future.Meeting Monday, the group postponed a vote on another motion setting a joint meeting on the same issue that would bring together Commission, IDB, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Alliance, and others.The search for a way forward comes in the wake of a failed attempt by the IDB to interest Commission in purchasing industrial land in White Pine.

The motion for public meetings came from Commissioner David Seal, who has been calling for a “bottom-up” approach to industrial/business development. His motion, seconded by Commissioner John McGraw, asks the IDB to hold public meetings to gather input before proposing any other projects. Since projects have an impact on local quality of life and could be paid for by taxpayer funds, citizens “deserve to have direct input,” his resolution states.Commissioner David Gaut told the group that Chamber representatives have indicated they can also help facilitate “town hall” style meetings. Chairman Jimmy Carmichael said he will work with the IDB, Chamber, and EDA to help set them up.

Last month, the IDB’s proposal to spend $2 million for 216 acres in White Pine failed, with only a couple of Commissioners voting in favor. Residents in the area of the proposed commerce park opposed it, calling the proposal a gamble with taxpayer money that would be unlikely to pay off.The Board has been trying to find industrial land Commission will buy for over a decade. Back in 2011, they brought three parcels for consideration but were told to continue working. After that, an ambitious plan for an industrial “megasite the junction of Interstates 81 and 40 fell apart in the face of resident opposition.

The debate over the county’s industrial future continued during Monday’s regular Commission session. A vote on Commissioner Russell Turner’s plan for a joint work session was postponed until June on motions from Commissioners Terry Dockery and John Neal Scarlett. Turner said he believes such a meeting can provide a “frame of reference” along with public input sessions — but Dockery and others said they want public input first in the process.

Turner said he feels public input was included in the White Pine proposal from the beginning. The IDB and Town of White Pine hosted town hall meetings about it, and a White Pine survey in 2014 showed that 80 percent of citizens favor industrial development, he said, adding that the project received support from White Pine Council.

Commissioner Rita Musick said the survey involved city residents only – while the project was to occur partially on county land.Citizens continued to give their input on the industrial issue during the comment section of Monday’s meeting.David Nelson suggested that something is “out of sync” about the process when a project receives only a ten percent vote of Commission. He suggested a “walk before you run” approach using smaller tracts of land for business development.

Shonda Griffin, one of the White Pine residents who opposed the commerce park plan, said she is “thrilled” to hear officials welcoming citizen input and looking in other directions besides heavy industry. Ruth Gerard said she believes the town hall meetings should be held on all sides of the county. David Gerard told the group he believes greater scrutiny of its spending on the Economic Development Alliance is needed.

“Over $1 million has been spent over eight years, yet we have yet to see anything profitable come out of it,”
he said.

• Approved a rezoning request from John Hunt and Charlotte Lynn Morgan for property on Chestnut Hill Road. The zoning will change from A-1 (agricultural) to R-R (rural resort). The owners have plans for a marina and cabins on about 40 acres adjacent to Douglas Lake.

• Approved a resolution requesting the governor and state legislature to uphold an article of the state constitution which recognizes the only legal marital contract as between one man and one woman. The resolution passed 15-2, with Commissioners McGraw and Rob Blevins voting “no,” and Seal abstaining. The resolution was introduced by Commissioner Bob Beeler at the request of Greeneville attorney Jeff Cobble, who told the group last week that he believes the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex should be nullified.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Let’s Want to Close the Knowledge Gap on Crypto Currency

Let's Want to Close the Knowledge Gap on Crypto Currency

Cryptocurrency trading has become a way of life

In Asia, Europe, and the Americas, Cryptocurrency trading has become a way of life, but that is not the case in Nigeria and other African countries. In this interview, the Chief Executive and Principal Consultant, Crypto Plus Certified, Mr. Peter Ayoade Moradeyo tells Ndubuisi Francis that his company is poised to close the knowledge gap with the ultimate goal of enlisting Nigeria on the global cryptocurrency exchange.

What is a good way to concisely explain Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrencies?

The success story of Cryptocurrency dates back to 2009, during the financial breakout, when Bitcoin was formed on blockchain technology. Bitcoin was first introduced in Asian countries and gradually to Europe, US etc. It is needful to clarify however, that the blockchain technology is not the same thing as Bitcoin; the relationship between them is only that Bitcoin is deployed on the blockchain technology. Interestingly, Bitcoin seems to be more popular today than the platform on which it stands. Now, there are two things which distinguish Cryptocurrency from the normal currencies.

The first is that it is finite. It has a fixed number that can be taken off and immediately that happens, its value shoots up and we all know that anything that can finish naturally increases in value as it is being taken up. So, as the world gradually adopts cryptocurrency, the available number reduces and value automatically drives upwards, causing it to grow dynamically in value. That explains why Bitcoin has been able to grow like that since 2009.

The second thing is that cryptocurrency has intrinsic value or what some call store of value. Let me explain it this way: each copy of a coin is an address, a location on the blockchain. When one address belongs to a person, that address cannot belong to another person in any part of the world. This is unlike the fiat counterpart where any money reading on a person’s bank account means that the bank owes the account holder to the tune of the said amount, but not necessarily that money is the account holder’s to cash at any time. This is why sometimes the banks would tell an account holder that they do not have enough cash to complete a transaction. The case of the blockchain is different because the value is intrinsic and better preserved.

What is the function of CryptoPlus Certified?

Since 2009, Bitcoin and several other alt coins have been coming up. Alt coins are referred to as alternative coins to Bitcoin which is the first and most popular of them all. At a point, we realized there was an opportunity where Bitcoin and other coins can relate in value; there is value relativity between them. So, we started by trading Cryptocurrency. I can recall that sometime in 2015, there was an upsurge of certain Ponzis in Nigeria. Nigerians sustained the following of Ponzis until it became almost endemic. Unfortunately, very few Nigerians knew about the very essence of the medium of transfer which Bitcoin was during the transaction of these Ponzis. Bitcoin was only used because it did not need a third party like banks to facilitate a transaction between the Ponzis and their victims. So, the Ponzis took advantage of their patronage, cashing in on the anonymity of transaction which was part of the features of cryptocurrency. What was supposed to have been an advantage became a disadvantage because of the ignorance of Nigerians.

Someone needed to educate Nigerians appropriately as to what cryptocurrency really meant and what disruption it was meant to address. So, we now came up because before now, we had a deep background on its trading. We decided to reappraise the image of Cryptocurrency as it were in Nigeria.

Also, at several conferences we have been all over the world, we realised that Africans are non-existent on several cryptocurrency trading platforms. Just like we have the Nigerian Stock Exchange with several companies trading on its platform, there are also several participating bodies that trade value among us. The sad thing here is that Africans are non-existent on any Cryptocurrency exchange whether in US, Asia or Europe. This is also true when one considers Cryptocurrency graph. The Asians are up there; Europe and America are there too, but Africa is non- existent. Our function at Crypto Plus Certified is basically to close the knowledge gap so that people can take advantage available and then Nigeria can be enlisted on what we call the global Cryptocurrency exchange.

We trace the current state of Cryptocurrency trading to a slowness of adoption. The federal government is yet to adopt a framework for the implementation of blockchain that can give rise to participation. Several countries have done that but for some reasons it has not happened in Nigeria.

You have a dream to raise and establish 1,000 Nigerians on the Poloniex Exchange. What is the implementation plan put in place to achieve this and why the choice of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt?

We need to make it clear that Nigeria is a country with many opportunities. We also need to state that Bitcoin came into Nigeria with a wrongly perceived image, and on the wrong platform. So, our first goal is to take the responsibility to repair that image, and then reappraise the benefits and enlist Nigeria as a participator in the normal trading of Cryptocurrency.
In order to achieve that, we launched what we called, ‘Dream 1000’. It is all about trading on Poloniex which is the largest Crypto exchange in America and we are currently working with them on releasing a mobile platform strictly for Nigerians and it will work as an arbitrage with our own exchange which will come from Germany. We want to work as an arbitrage so that they will trade on our own platform via the mobile interface. Nigerians can be taught on how to trade this currency easily, and our strategy is very unique because the mobile application is actually enhanced to be able to reduce all the variables of a trading system. Since we launched the ‘Dream 1000’ recently in Lagos, we have had some of our students who were able to distinguish themselves with the level of knowledge we passed to them and they are going to show Nigerians that we are serious about what we are here to do.

How has the response been like?

I grew up in Nigeria before I decided to relate with other countries for business reasons. One thing I know about Nigerians is that they respond to results. So, the first thing we want to identify is, we want to be able to have people who have had results and that is why all the events we have done, we have been showcasing people that distinguished themselves, those that we gave the knowledge and they applied it and got results. We want to be inspired by results and not just belief.

Can Bitcoin be regulated? What about Bitcoin and taxes?

Those conversant with information coming out of crypto plus certified would have noticed that Nigeria is currently on a discourse on how to regulate Cryptocurrency trading based on several frameworks. I have several write-ups regarding this. Cryptocurrency trading as it were is decentralized and this is why the banking system cannot operate it. It is decentralized because of its nature. For instance, Bitcoin as it were, does not have a management interface and that is why the regulation has not been somewhat forthcoming. But it is found to be very secured and has an ability to store values. That has been the reason for all the inquiries on how do we have a framework for a kind of currency that has thus kind of features? Sometimes, it takes time, but individuals are working and several people have stored values on it and exchanged it with another. The US is an example where Poloniex is operating. So looking at it more objectively, the regulatory framework and the operational climate go hand in hand but they can be mutually exclusive.

 Bringing it to a layman’s understanding, what are the advantages of Bitcoin and how does Bitcoin work?

In a layman’s way, I would like to use the similitude of changing one currency to another, for instance. If you have some Naira notes and you want to change to Dollar, knowing the exchange rate that relates one to the other will be very helpful. Now to a layman if I bring my Naira and want to buy a Dollar, I will change the Naira to a Dollar based on the foreign exchange rate agreed between the person selling the Dollar and myself. Now imagine where you have the Bureau de Change in the middle and you have the buyer, that is, the demand, on one side and the supplier on the other side; that is the way it works. The person at the middle collects commissions from two persons. The buyer sells at a price based on demand and supply. So, if the demand is higher than supply, the price is likely to go up. If I’m able to read that the demand and price for a thing I bought and own have gone up and I sell it, now the difference between what I bought and what I am selling now that the price has gone up is my own profit. That is the basic analysis of how it works.

Demand for Cryptocurrency…what are your training modules like? The fee, process, and duration?

Training is 30 days and we have a huge demand for it and because of this, we have set up world class training hubs in the three geopolitical zones Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. So, demand is already there. We have a structure that accommodates different levels of trading — the strategic portfolio building and robotics. Our modules cover; Introduction to Cryptocurrency Trading — CPC 101, Cryptocurrency Masterclass — Advanced Trading CPC 102, Trading Engaging Robotics — CPC 103. People are already aware of what Cryptocurrency is; it will be wrong for us to say that people are not aware of it. The only thing is that there is a knowledge gap on how to use it and take advantage of the value in it, and that is what we are trying to close up.

Is there any risk attached to Cryptocurrency… Is Bitcoin legal? And how secure is Bitcoin?

The idea of trading Cryptocurrency and the national legal framework is mutually exclusive. Trading on Cryptocurrency can be done when someone knows how to handle it. The reason for the legal framework is to protect the participators because when there is no third party that puts power in the hands of those that know the ‘Whats’ and ‘Hows’. Bitcoin is safe and this knowledge is out there. You are your own bank. Records are protected by mathematical laws and are irreversible. The Blockchain technology protects its addresses and have histories on an open ledger, and is always available and transparent for anyone to confirm.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

ETHBITS Gets Green Light for New Copy Trading Cryptocurrency Exchange

ETHBITS Gets Green Light for New Copy Trading Cryptocurrency Exchange

   ETHBITS Gets Green Light for New Copy Trading Cryptocurrency Exchange

ETHBITS Gets Green Light for New Copy Trading Cryptocurrency Exchange

Cryptocurrency exchange provider Ethbits has reached its minimum funding goal signaling that development on a new iTrade platform will now begin. The UK-based company has already built a peer to peer  Cryptocurrency exchange, called Ethbits Local, to facilitate secure trades between people from bank accounts to cryptocurrency. Ethbits Local will offer the ability to trade face-to-face across a range of cryptocurrencies, a unique feature that is in high demand.

Given the current success of the crowd sale, Ethbits Local will now start development of Ethbits iTrade, an exciting new cryptocurrency exchange which will not only act as a standard exchange but also has a copy trade feature, where new traders can copy professionals and experienced traders can gain followers to maximize their profits. Ethbits Local will launch in May, immediately after the crowd sale ends followed closely by iTrade.

"Reaching our Minimum goal within the 1st week is super exciting, as a result the copy trading exchange is now in development. We are at the start of something ground breaking in the crypto world and the more support we can get, the faster we can grow and the more rewards we can generate for the token holders. We will now implement provably fair profit sharing to ensure the continued confidence in our company." Monty Singh, CEO, Ethbits LIMITED

Support for the platform has been strong with 300 contributors acquiring Ethbits (ETB) tokens. ETB gives the holder access to up to 40% of gross profit from trading fees, depending on how much is raised by the end of the crowdsale. ETB tokens can also be used to pay for transaction fees on the exchange ensuring the volume of the token remains a high as possible, driving both of the platforms. iTrade will launch with the top 15 cryptocurrencies on offer with plans to diversify further as the exchange grows.

Ethbits has just announced that it will partner with BCB ATM — an expanding Bitcoin ATM service based in the UK. Ethbits iTrade platform will be linked to BCB ATM's to help people find crypto traders in their local area. The crowdfund will run until 13th May at 5pm UTC. To get involved visit a website. Participants will receive 100 ETB for 1 ETH until Saturday 22nd April when the price will increase.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Cryptocurrency explainer: Everything you need to know

Cryptocurrency explainer:
Everything you need to know

  

Everything you need to know CryptoCurrency Bitcoin Stack

If you’ve ever had a company or friend offer to pay you with Bitcoins or another type of digital money, you’ve encountered cryptocurrency, also called crypto-money or cryptoassets. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is created through the use of encryption software. This approach is a solution to security and control issues that prevented a purely digital currency from being successfully developed in the past. If you hear someone talking about one of these currencies, it’s almost certainly in a cryptocurrency format. This type of digitally created and secured money is currently in a period of very cool experimentation, so let’s take a look at how it work, why it’s popular, and where cryptocurrency is heading in the future.

How does cryptocurrency work?

DopaMINE Cryptocurrency Mining Case

How does a currency exist in a totally digital format? What is it based on? While the process varies a little between different cryptocurrencies, they all follow the same general system. First, cryptocurrency chooses a base unit and how much that particular unit is worth when compared to other currencies (often, the U.S. dollar is used as a baseline). Some cryptocurrencies are more imaginative than others at this point. They try to represent debt registries, contracts, or the act of currency exchange itself. It can get a little weird, but ultimately the unit in some way relates to the value of other currency, as is true of all currencies in the world.

Units of cryptocurrency are then created, typically when a transaction occurs. The units are carefully formed and preserved through algorithmic encryption, then linked together in vast chains of data, where the currency can be tracked and exchanged. However, at this point, cryptocurrency is still too vulnerable and too easy to fake. The currency units need to be time stamped processed to make them more concrete and harder to copy. A third party developer can do this, but most cryptocurrencies prefer to crowdsource the process to those with the right hardware and software to “mine” the currency.

Mining uses algorithms to go through each transaction, encrypt the cryptocurrency, and add it to a digital ledger, essentially verifying it and cementing its position online. This process may also be referred to as “consensus protocols” or “consensus platforms,” depending on the currency. This process is meant to make the currency impossible to duplicate, though whether it’s successful is up for some debate. Some cryptocurrencies are highly centralized, with someone — usually the organization that created the process/software — making decisions about how much currency is created and how it is used. Other types are very decentralized, controlled only by how and where people are willing to use them.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Weekly Round-Up and Cryptocurrency Markets Update

Weekly Round-Up and
Cryptocurrency Markets Update

   

Last week saw Bitfury striking xxxxxx

a deal with the Ukranian government to put the latter’s data on a Blockchain platform. The deal will ensure blockchain recordings for areas like public health and services, state registers, energy and social security. In a twist, High Tech Private Equity Fund SICAV plc is reported to have acquired nChain, a Blockchain company associated with Wright Craig, the man who once claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. The company plans to make available their intellectual property assets to the blockchain community via royalty-free licensing and open sourcing.

An initial Coin Offer intended for mining activities to support the signaling of Bitcoin Unlimited has been halted as a result of not reaching its goal. The ICO was allegedly linked to Chinese Angel Investor in Bitcoin and Ethereum Classic, Chandler Guo. On the Bitcoin Network scaling front, the world’s largest Bitcoin mining pool, F2Pool has declared its support for Segwit. Wang Chun, Owner of F2Pool revealed on Friday that 56 percent of his network members are in support of Segwit.

Eventually, the advent toward mainstream adoption of blockchain gets after Mark Carney, Bank of England’s Governor, claimed blockchain technology can save banks tens of billions of dollars a year. The governor was speaking International Fintech Conference last week in London, where he further revealed that the next generation of Britain’s interbank wire system will be blockchain-compatible.

Market Updates (as of Monday)

Bitcoin’s current price recovery

is outstanding despite the fact that the scaling debate is still raging on. Some experts believe it is being driven by mainstream adoption in Japan. As at 22:00 GMT, Bitcoin has appreciated by 0.22 percentage point and its market value was $1180.73 maintaining the number one position on CoinMarketCap. Ethereum is still holding on to the 2nd spot and has kept the velocity from the current altcoin rally although it lost 0.82 percent today. Its market price was $48.49.

After a stratospheric rise that resulted in Ripple ousting Dash from number three, it has slow down to some degree. The cross-border transfer crypto with KYC was selling at $0.033308 with a 1.33 percent downward adjustment. The battle for number four is so titanic. For three days now, Litecoin and Dash has been dislodging each other to take over momentarily. However, at the time of filing this report, Dash was reigning with a 0.21 percent depreciation, posting an exchange rate of $75.23. Litecoin also took a fall of 1.02% and was being sold for $10.71. It must be stated that the decision to implement Segwit has boosted its price and market cap.

Even though Monero was recently indicted in a finding that found out that some of its transactions are traceable, it doesn’t seem to be affected much and is still at the 6th position. It scored a negative 1.76 percentage point and the exchanges listed it for $20.38. Moreso Ethereum didn’t have a good time either. At number seven, it could be bought for $2.65 and dip 0.42 percent. With a market price of $0.024212 and 0.48 percent upward gain, NEM kept its 8th position intact. The consistency for the Smart Contract platform is impressive.

Angur with the selling rate of $11.52 and a 2.55 percent upward adjustment maintained number 9 as well as the biggest gain on top 10. In a surprising move, PIVX has pushed Maidsafecoin to the 11th position and it is now counted among the top 10 Cryptos on CoinMarketCap. This anon digital currency in a few months has established itself among the elites. It bagged a 0.93 percent growth and its price was $2.01.

Gainers And Losers

On the top 20,

Factom rose by a significant 14.37 percent. It is one of the Cryptos below top 10 that must be watched keenly. Sadly Bitconnect which was at top 10 briefly on Wednesday fell negative 26.63 percent to be the biggest loser.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

ICO Report: iEx.ec

ICO Report: iEx.ec

  

The iEx.ec project

is all about connecting Blockchain technology and cloud computing business. It aims to create a decentralized cloud and set up a marketplace for computing resources. Its founders conducted numerous scientific research over the years at prominent research institutions, such as the French INRIA and CNRS. The team has a step-by-step plan for the four years ahead. iEx.ec will rely on a set of its own technological solutions. However, the team has not done a lot of dissemination work till recently. Its track record on Github is quite modest. So the question remains open, whether the iEx.ec technological base is as good as they claim it to be.

Konstantin Lomashuk, CEO of Satoshi.Fund:

“The market of cloud computing is huge and we will see more and more new companies aiming at it. It’s really good for the decentralized ecosystem.”

iEx.ec

iEx.ec stands for “I Execute”. Headquartered in Lyon, France, the project was created in October 2016. It is a spin-off company from INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science. iEx.ec aims at starting off as a fully distributed Blockchain-based cloud platform. It is designed for distributed Blockchain-based applications (DApps) with plans to evolving into a market network for decentralized computing products and services. In total, their five editions of the project planned within four years from the launch date. The last outlined edition will represent a fully distributed platform for Blockchain computing.

Potential market

The iEx.ec market network will be designed for various participants of the distributed computing ecosystem. It will enable them to do business with each other to better monetize their products and services. Each new version of the network will be updated to host new types of participants:

  • DApps providers (version 1)
  • application and server providers (version 2)
  • data providers (version 3)
  • mining farms, miners, GPU apps providers (version 4)
  • emerging classes of applications (version 5)
  • at this stage, iEx.ec also plans to partner with telecom companies, attracting the latter, among other, with the possibility to halve their infrastructure costs, distributing small data centers along their network point-of-presence

The market network is to provide its users with

  • full traceability and trust
  • a wide range of customers and, consequently, new markets
  • an innovative Blockchain-based environment, tailored for its users’ features and needs

Competitors

The project’s closest challenger is the Golem Network. It is a decentralized economy of computing power, where one can rent it out or develop and sell software. As pointed out in iEx.ec whitepaper, the key difference between the two is that Golem, with its supercomputer, focuses mainly on High-Performance Computing (HPC) users, while iEx.ec, with its decentralized cloud, will first attract DApps and expect Cloud and HPC users to join later when the Network will evolve becoming more competitive. The economy of DApps is on the rise now, and iEx.ec seems to fit perfectly in it.

Main features

  • Desktop Grid Software XtremWeb-HEP, to enable use of any computing resources to execute compute- or data-intensive applications
  • Blockchain, to coordinate the access of computing resources to distributed apps
  • Claim of Proof-of-Contribution consensus protocol, to certify off chain contributions directly on the Blockchain
  • Matchmaking smart contracts, to pair a resource request with a resource offer according to their description
  • Simplified version of a multicriteria scheduler [MulticritSched], to enable customers to define their own preferences based on specific criteria
  • Market management framework, including API to register bids, a set of template contracts, a web user interface and JavaScript code
  • Result checking algorithm, including escrow mechanisms and a reputation system, to choose business partners from the market based on their provable reputation and on the established budget
  • Native RLC token, to pay for Application, Server and Data providers on the market network

Team

The core team members, including Gilles Fedak, Haiwu He, Oleg Lodygensky, and Mircea Moca, have an impressive research and development background in big data, grid and cloud computing. Gilles Fedak alone co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed scientific papers. The core features underlying the iEx.ec are their own developments. They were produced in the scope of their work at INRIA and CNRS. The team is also linked with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Blockchain part is done by two experts from La Javaness, a French digital innovation accelerator. There are also a data management expert, the Energy Positive Server developer, two PR specialists and a new media expert based in the company’s China office. In the future, the team considers collaborating with several well-known European and Chinese universities in research. It also intends to obtain complementary funding through national and European research agencies.

ICO Details

  • Launch: 19 April, 2017 at 13:00 UTC
  • End: as soon as the max cap of 60.000.000 RLC is reached (otherwise — in 30 days)
  • Max RLC total supply: 87,000,000 RLC
  • Max RLC sold by crowdsale: 60,000,000 RLC
  • RLC minimum objective: 10,000,000 RLC
  • Both BTC and ETH are accepted
  • 1 BTC = 5000 RLC
  • USD/ETH — to be defined at the start of ICO, according to the ETHBTC rate
  • 20% bonus — April 19 to April 29
  • 10% bonus — April 29 to May 9
  • Crowdsale terms and funding URL: http://crowdsale.iex.ec

Token distribution

  • Maximum of 60,000,000 RLC — crowdsale
  • 12,000,000 RLC to 15,000,000 RLC — founders, team and early investors
  • 1,700,000 RLC to 6,000,000 RLC — a fund for developers, to be distributed in the form of bounty grants, marketing actions, and research grants
  • 1,700,000 RLC to 6,000,000 RLC — special contingency reserve (not sold on markets)

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

German Finance Watchdog Shutters OneCoin Payment Processor

German Finance Watchdog Shutters OneCoin Payment Processor

Germany's top finance regulator has moved to shut down a payment processor tied to the OneCoin cryptocurrency scheme, a digital currency service that has faced widespread allegations of fraud.

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) said on 10th April that it was freezing the accounts of IMS International Marketing Services GmbH, which is registered in Germany.

According to BaFin, the firm accepted €360m on behalf of OneCoin between December 2015 and December 2016. Of that amount, €29m is being held in the accounts frozen by the regulator.

The agency went on to threaten financial penalties in excess of €1m, going on to say:

 

"In case IMS should not abide by the order to cease business, BaFin threatened to impose a coercive fine of €1.5m; for non-compliance with the winding-down order, it would impose a coercive fine of €150,000. By law, the administrative acts, including the threats of coercive fines, are immediately enforceable."

With the move, BaFin becomes the latest regulator in Europe to take action against elements of the OneCoin scheme.

OneCoin is a multi-level marketing scheme that pitches an eponymous digital currency as an investment opportunity. Prospective buyers purchase batches of tokens which can then be redeemed online, though those involved are strongly encouraged to find buyers of their own — a characteristic that lends itself to accusations that OneCoin is a pyramid scheme.

In the past year, regulators in several African countries have warned consumers about local efforts by OneCoin to solicit investors. In the UK, London police have been investigating OneCoin since as early as September, while in Italy, regulators moved last month to prohibit promotional efforts for OneCoin by local proponents.

Notably, BaFin made it clear in a statement that it was moving against the firm due to unlicensed money activities rather than the legality of sales of OneCoin tokens.

"BaFin does not have the right to decide as to the validity under the civil law of the 'OneCoins' sales contracts. It may therefore not answer questions of this nature," the agency said.

Chris Corey CMO MarketHive Inc

 (@mpmcsweeney) | Published on April 18, 2017 at 14:00 BST

Closed sign image via Shutterstock

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Mining Pool ViaBTC Says No toSegwit

Bitcoin Mining Pool ViaBTC Says
No to
Segwit

  

Following a previous announcement by F2Pool

that they are now to signal for segregated witnesses (segwit), ViaBTC has publicly reiterated they do not support segwit for a number of reasons.  The bitcoin mining pool says:

SegWit, which is a soft fork solution for malleability, cannot solve the capacity problem… Even if SegWit after activation can slightly scale up block size with new transaction formats, it’s still far behind the demand for the development of Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin has been running at full capacity for months with numerous proposals put forward and rejected by miners. The latest ones are segwit, currently at around 32% hashrate share, and Bitcoin Unlimited which stands just under 40%. Segwit’s main aim is to send transactions off-chain and onto second layers, such as the Lightning Network or sidechains. ViaBTC says such transactions “are NOT equal to Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer on-chain transactions” before adding that “LN will also lead to big payment “centers”, and this is against Bitcoin’s initial design as a peer-to-peer payment system.”

The main criticism against segwit is its use of a 1:4 ratio, which many suspect is a political decision that will bind bitcoin’s trajectory for decades to come regardless of technical factors. ViaBTC says: “SegWit lifts the block size limit to 4MB with 1MB base and 3MB witness block. However, from the current transaction data, the average effective block size will be less than 2MB even if all transactions upgrade to SegWit. This is a tremendous waste. If we want to double the capacity of Bitcoin, we’ll need to make sure the internet bandwidth to run full nodes can support at least 8MB blocks, instead of 2MB. This will make it even tougher to increase block size in the future.” Moreover, the decision to upgrade to segwit is irreversible, according to ViaBTC. So if something goes wrong, bitcoin might be stuck because:

“On technical terms, SegWit uses a transaction format that can be spent by those who don’t upgrade their nodes, with segregation of transaction data and signature data. This means SegWit is irrevocable once it’s activated, or all unspent transactions in SegWit formats will face the risk of being stolen.” Some 70% of miners have now made a decision on whether to support segwit or Bitcoin Unlimited, a proposal which simply increases the blocksize as set by nodes and miners. It’s not clear what the other 30% are waiting for, but it will be interesting to see what they do decide once they get around to exercising their duty.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

ICO Market: from $6,000 to $150 mln. Overview with Waves CEO

ICO Market: from $6,000 to $150 mln. Overview with Waves CEO

  

The concept of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

has made massive progress since its emergence in 2013 — evolving from makeshift efforts on Bitcointalk to unbelievable campaigns which raked in millions of dollars in mere minutes. Today, we take a look back, as well as try to predict the future of the market of ICOs, together with one of its largest players — the Waves Platform and its CEO Alexander Ivanov. ICO is the practice of securing funds for an early-stage company, issuing a digital token, cryptocurrency and selling a part of its total supply to the intended audience of the project. That way, the startup is able to fund further development of its product, and in return, the users get a tradable asset that may appreciate in value with the future success of the company.

As the name suggests, ICOs are somewhat similar to a much older concept of an Initial Public Offering (IPO), although they aren’t as clearly defined or regulated. Like almost everything in the Blockchain industry, the question of how an ICO should be organized and conducted is an ongoing evolutionary process and a rapid one at that. It’s not hard to surmise that ICOs are a godsend to the young Blockchain-powered startups, which often manage to build a large and loyal fan following based on the idea alone, but may struggle to convince the conservative and incredulous venture capitalists. However, there’s still a long road ahead for the community, before an ICO truly becomes a standard in funding such projects. This ongoing progress can be defined in terms of several prominent trends described below.

Growing numbers

The most evident is the growth in sheer numbers. More and more campaigns are being launched year-on-year and each one of them is able to bring in more and more money, as time goes by. The earliest examples of ICOs, which weren’t even called that at the time, were ad hoc efforts conducted in 2013 by the developers of various cryptocurrencies on the Bitcointalk.org forum. Such projects as NXT and Mastercoin had a proof-of-concept and a fan base but not much money. To them, it seemed reasonable to fund the development of the final product by selling a part of the total supply of coins to the enthusiastic crowd.

And so they did, perhaps unknowingly giving birth to what we now call an Initial Coin Offering. As improvised as they were, these efforts were rare and not too mind-blowing money-wise, at least by today’s standards. Mastercoin has managed to secure a little over half a million dollars, while NXT has grabbed a mere $6,000. But, the precedent was set, and in the next year, it was a massive success. Ethereum, a decentralized applications platform, has secured over $18 mln in a crowd sale of its ETH tokens in July to August 2014.

Some may argue that this was the breakout, needed to propel the concept of ICOs to popularity, especially considering that Ethereum developers made good use of the collected money. Today, the cryptocurrency can boast the second-highest capitalization, only exceeded by Bitcoin itself. It only went uphill from there, as the community realized that any Blockchain-based project can be funded this way, not just the cryptocurrencies. Waves Platform, SingularDTV, ICONOMI, Golem — 2016 truly became the year of ICOs, with 64 campaigns bringing in an incredible total of $103 mln.

Cointelegraph: What is your opinion on the fast rate of growths of the ICO market? Some have noticed similarities to the early days of the dot-com boom. Are we in for a bubble burst, or is this a natural growth driven by real demand?

Alexander Ivanov:

“It’s certainly real demand. These are real projects, with real people and companies behind them. The rate of growth is fast but it’s not fake. People are simply starting to access funds a different way. If it’s not possible to start a business with a loan from a bank or with VC funding — as it’s not for many people — they will turn to the alternatives. The ICO market is a subsection of the crowdfunding sector more broadly, and we’ve seen how popular platforms like KickStarter have been.”

Perhaps, the most impressive testament to the strong — if reckless — appetite the Blockchain community has acquired for this new paradigm of fundraising was The DAO. The absolute record in the history of crowdfunding, it was able to secure over $150 mln, which it would hold to this day, were it still active. The DAO was built as a decentralized autonomous VC fund, meaning that it didn’t have a conventional management structure, and was instead governed by software. Soon after the ICO was finished, some unidentified hackers have exploited a software vulnerability to siphon off one-third of The DAO’s funds, leading to its eventual demise.

Self-regulation

Although the investors did get most of their money back, in the end, adequate preventative measures would have likely made the attack impossible in the first place. Thus, the story of The DAO highlights another major trend present on the ICO market — evolving self-policing measures and increasing compliance with financial regulations. Hacker attacks aren’t the only danger here. The anonymous and permissionless nature of cryptocurrencies often allows scammers to dupe investors out of their money in a crowd sale and then disappear into thin air, never to be heard of again.

Legitimate startups have quickly realized that self-imposed restrictions are the only way to ensure the investors’ trust and, by extension, their contributions. So, gone are the days when a good idea backed by a fuzzy whitepaper were enough for a developer to secure the money to move forward. Today, if an ICO wants to be taken seriously, it has to provide a whole range of detailed data regarding the developers, the project, its goals, the terms and conditions for the investors, and so on.

The use of escrow wallets to store the collected funds is basically a given. These wallets ensure that the money for development is released in parts and only after certain milestones have been reached on the project’s roadmap. Otherwise, the danger of the company just unilaterally withdrawing all the money and disappearing with it is too high. Waves Platform, a service which allows anyone to set up their own digital token and use it in an ICO, is a prime example of this trend. It works exclusively with fully AML/KYC-compliant fiat gateway organizations. Not only that, it has also established its own, decentralized analogue of those regulations, which allows to pinpoint and eliminate unscrupulous actors from the network.

Cointelegraph: What customer protection measures are implemented on your platform, and what is their importance?

Alexander Ivanov:

“With a decentralized platform, it’s hard to have the kinds of protections that people take for granted with existing crowdfunding solutions. Waves is an Open Blockchain platform, so by design, you can’t stop people from issuing their own tokens on it. What we have done is start a system of community-based due diligence through the creation of the Waves Community Token. This will allow holders to vote on a project and make a collective decision about whether it is viable and trustworthy.”

ICO platforms

In fact, Waves is also an example of another big movement on the ICO market — the development of platforms designed specifically to serve as aggregators of ICOs. They provide the necessary tools for the startups to set up their campaigns, and for the investors to look for and contribute to them. Crowdfunding was an option long before the Kickstarter was a thing, but it was the appearance of this platform, where the projects and backers could find each other with unprecedented ease, which made it into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today. Platforms such as Waves and ICONOMI are trying to do to ICOs what Kickstarter did to crowdfunding. By creating a single place for Blockchain startups to list their campaigns and the potential investors to find them, they may soon enable a similar explosion of growth on the ICO market.

Cointelegraph: How is the experience of launching an ICO on a specialized platform different from launching your own token? In which ways is it better?

Alexander Ivanov:

“It’s hugely different. All of the infrastructure is taken care of. It’s a very simple matter to launch a token on the Waves platform — it takes less than a minute and costs less than a dollar. And it’s very easy to distribute those tokens to your investors. Compare that with creating your own coin from scratch — cloning and altering bitcoin, at the very least, or coding a new platform from the ground up; bootstrapping the network and ensuring its ongoing security; creating a custom solution for crowdfunding investment, and then distributing coins. All of this has a significant financial and technical overhead. It’s hard to do well and security is key. Waves is a proven and secure solution that takes that headache away from token issuers — which is why a growing number of regular businesses are using it.”

Looking into the future

Trying to predict what’s going to happen next is never easy, especially in a such a fast-growing and changing environment as ICOs. Perhaps, the most likely scenario is that we’ll keep seeing more of the same: continued growth in numbers, the emergence of legal regulations, further development of the tools and practices involved in conducting a campaign.

It’s definitely not too early to say that 2017 is turning out to be a good year for emerging startups. Qtum, a platform for mobile decentralized applications, has secured over $15 mln back in March. Humaniq, a Blockchain-powered decentralized bank for the unbanked, has just collected $5.4 mln for the ICO. ChronoBank, an innovative time banking platform, has grabbed more than $2.7 mln in January. The $103 mln secured in ICOs in 2016 are impressive, but it’s still nowhere near the $34 bln valuation of the crowdfunding industry as a whole. As the crowd sales of digital tokens become more accessible to the newcomers — especially with the development of the ICO platforms and evolving regulatory environment — we may see larger numbers of crowdfunding enthusiasts taking part in them.

Cointelegraph: Any predictions you might have for the near future?

Alexander Ivanov:

“Well, interest will only increase — both in Blockchain and in ICOs. It’s likely that Blockchain crowd sales will grow to a point where they rival and even overtake VC funding in the coming years. That point will probably come sooner rather than later as we see a large number of small ICOs as well as more multi-million dollar ones.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Unbreachable Data Made Possible With Bitcoin & Ethereum Blockchain, Here’s How

The Unbreachable Data Made Possible With Bitcoin & Ethereum Blockchain, Here’s How

  

MyBit, a Berlin-based startup, is utilizing the Ethereum and Bitcoin Blockchain networks to solve data manipulation.

For decades, large-scale corporations in the industries of healthcare, finance, and technology have struggled to secure, store and process data in a secure ledger. If most data breaches and hacking attacks launched since the early 2000’s are evaluated, the issue of the vast majority of successful attacks stems from the inefficient and impractical implementation of security measures.

The drawbacks of private Blockchain

For a start, any centralized server, database or platform is vulnerable to data breaches and hacking attacks. Malware distributors and hacking groups have introduced highly sophisticated technologies over the last few years, making it that much more difficult for companies to protect their data and assets. Some multi-billion dollar companies in the insurance and healthcare industries are attempting to utilize private Blockchain networks created on top of infrastructures developed by Blockchain-focused corporations such as IBM.

However, as Jerry Cuomo, VP of Blockchain technology at IBM noted in an interview, it is not possible for private Blockchain networks to be completely immutable and unbreachable. Blockchain infrastructure providers such as IBM provide technologies such as safeguards to strengthen security measures which automatically detect hacking attempts and shut down a Blockchain network if and when necessary.

Immutable technologies for data storage and transfer

Companies in the industries of insurance and healthcare that almost entirely rely on the settlement of data prioritize immutability and are actively investigating the potential of Blockchain technology due to its unbreachable nature. This is where startups like MyBit can offer unique propositions to corporations looking for immutable technologies for data storage and transfer. Ian Worrall, co-founder and managing director of MyBit stated:

“MyBit revolutionizes asset management by enabling the secure administration of ownership via a decentralized, golden source ledger. It effectively removes the single point of failure risk, reliance on third-party escrow agents and much of the friction in traditional systems.”

Streamline peer-to-peer commerce and Smart Trusts

The key component in MyBit’s data storage technology is its non-custodial nature, which is seen in most Bitcoin wallet platforms and infrastructures. For instance, the world’s most popular Bitcoin wallet Blockchain is a non-custodial platform as it does not hold passwords or other sensitive information of its users.

Once data is recorded to the infrastructure of MyBit, it autonomously transfers data into the Bitcoin and Ethereum Blockchains thus removing trust and offering immutability to users and companies. “We extend the functionality of MyBit to enable the transfer of ownership between users to streamline peer-to-peer commerce and offer Smart Trusts as a flexible tool to secure ownership as you desire,” added Worrall. Currently, many startups such as MyBit are leading the development of unique and innovative technologies that can be utilized to protect data of large-scale commercial companies.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member