Kvě 24

From Russia with Love: How Cryptocurrency and Blockchain are Finding Their Feet

· May 23, 2018 · 9:00 pm

In the West, crypto markets continue to battle with the regulatory uncertainty as the SEC and other regulatory bodies take their time to decide which camp they sit on. At the same time, things are not much rosier in the East either where China is yet to warm up to cryptocurrencies.


Blockchain has been around “long” enough to show the proof of concept in that by utilizing blockchain it is possible to streamline a number of processes, both on the governmental and also corporate levels. This then has prompted an exponential rise in fintech start-ups looking to challenge the status quo and disrupt the standard ways of storing, organizing, and extracting data sets. However, the actual implementation of blockchain technologies across much of Western Europe and even the US has been constrained by the regulatory uncertainty.

On the one hand, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are yet to put a fundamental framework forward to appease concerns surrounding utility vs security token model. While in Europe, an introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is perfectly suitable for blockchain applications, is being rushed through by compliance and HR departments with such haste that blockchain is far away on their radar.

In Blockchain We Trust

In Blockchain We Trust

Russia is an interesting case when it comes to the world of ICOs. On the one hand, it is a great place to source technical experts for your blockchain related ventures. The price tag might be astronomical but at least you know what you are getting for the labor and that is quality, reliability and of course security. So, with one piece of the puzzle sorted comes the tricky bit, finding a suitable business partner and this is where things go wrong… really wrong.

One of the most depressing and worrying statistics that has come out of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB) is that around half of the ICO funds in the country that were raised in the past year – amounting to $300 million – have gone to pyramid schemes.

Economic and political uncertainty, together with numerous corruption scandals has really dented investor appetite for projects in the country. It is very much high-risk, high-reward based game when it comes to investing in Russia and when combined with the volatile nature of the currency, this perception is unlikely to change anytime soon. The regulation and oversight by the government can help alleviate some of the concerns relating to fraudulent activities but at least for now, the crypto community is yet to “sanction” Russian projects altogether.

In the meantime, the likes of Blackmoon (BMC) will remind budding entrepreneurs and investors of the success stories and there is, of course, hope that the government, which is actively looking at ways to promote and integrate digital economy, will not be overly involved in regulation aspect.

On the subject of regulation, it was reported that the Russian State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work will support the first reading of an initiative that will add the basic norms of digital economy to the Russian Federation Civil Code. The initiative itself does not mean that digital currencies will now become a legitimate means of payment and instead, a separate law developed by other regulatory bodies, will outline conditions for using digital currencies as a payment method. The initiative will also look to treat a digital confirmation by a user in a smart contract is equal to his written consent.

What Does Russia’s Future Hold?

Over the course of 19-20 May 2018, Moscow hosted one of the largest cryptocurrency summits of 2018, with over 200 speakers and over 3000 participants taking part in the event. While the event may not carry the same weight as Consensus, which took place earlier this month, or d10e, it was an important event for the country that stands at a crossroads with the technology. The decisions that will be made by the government need to be made in the spirit of blockchain and with the aim to further technological, as well as economical, advancement as opposed to being the means to destabilize the Dollar.

The commissioning of the crypto-rouble is not far-reaching enough. Anyone looking for inspiration should turn to Dubai and their smart-city plans. According to Smart Dubai, which is conducting government and private organization workshops to identify areas that will benefit from the overhaul, the strategy could save 25.1million man hours, equivalent to $1.5 billion in savings per year for the emirate. It has been noted that the fast majority of improved efficiency will come from moving to paperless government.

What do you think of the latest developments in Russia and can it reform and lead the way in providing a sound base for crypto projects? 


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Shutterstock

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Kvě 22

Ethereum Certified Developer Bernard Peh on The Future of Crypto, Dealing with Regulations, and Blockbid (Interview)

· May 21, 2018 · 9:00 pm

Bitcoinist recently caught up with Bernard Peh, one of only 56 Ethereum Certified developers in the world, and picked his brain on his current project, the state of the cryptocurrency market, and what being “Ethereum Certified” even means. 


Bitcoinist: You are one of only 59 Ethereum Certified developers in the world. What exactly does “Ethereum Certified” mean, exactly?

BP: First of all, I like to congratulate B9lab for setting the golden standard in Ethereum Certification. As of today, the passing rate (based on the number of students who signed up) was about 15%. Basically, you cannot be certified if you do not have very good knowledge of Ethereum and its high-level programming language – Solidity.

In theory, being “Ethereum Certified” means that people should feel more secure with my code in the Blockchain. I have deployed many Ethereum smart contracts and I am still very skeptical of my own code due to the immutability of the blockchain. I think being certified might differentiate you from the rest, but having a paranoid attitude is required if you want to travel far in the blockchain journey. I am proud to be one of the 59 Ethereum certified developers in the world. (At the time of this interview.)

Ethereum

Bitcoinist: Tell us a bit about your new project, Blockbid, of which you are the Lead Blockchain Technologist.

BP: The purpose of Blockbid is to make cryptocurrency trading extremely attractive to traders and competitive with other exchanges. We want our exchange to be very secure and have a very user-friendly UI. Therefore, we have decided to build the bulk of the exchange in-house. This means that we have spent a considerable amount of resources in getting top quality developers. I am glad that I have the chance to work with the brightest minds in the industry.

My role is to liaise with the backend and infrastructure team to ensure that all the wallets for all our coins are implemented correctly. Our users will eventually benefit from our vision and the effort that we put in. Everyone will be able to trade with confidence on our exchange in the next few months.

Bitcoinist: What problem, specifically, does Blockbid solve in the industry today?

BP: Blockbid is being designed to help traders overcome three main issues; the inconvenience of needing to sign up to multiple exchanges, the unease associated with having coins scattered across multiple (and potentially untrustworthy) exchanges, and missed investment opportunities caused by time lapses in transferring funds between different platforms.

Blockbid is the only exchange to offer an insurance policy to protect against potential cyber-attack. Users do not have to worry about their cryptocurrencies in our exchange because they are insured.

Bitcoinist: How will Blockbid protect users’ funds against potential cyber-attacks?

BP: Blockbid is the only exchange to offer an insurance policy to protect against potential cyber-attack. Most other exchanges offer 2FA and for the majority of their liquidity to be held offline in cold wallets. While Blockbid will also offer 2FA and liquidity held in cold wallets, it is the only exchange to offer an additional layer of security in having an insurance policy.

I feel that the cryptocurrency market is still flooded with traders doing pumps and dumps. This has caused huge instability in the price of cryptocurrencies, preventing mass adoption for day-to-day purchases. Most people using cryptocurrencies today are risk-takers or people who are willing to bet money on their curiosity. I would love to see wider adoption.

Bitcoinist: Has Blockbid had to overcome any obstacles in relation to regulations? How difficult is it to comply with different rules in different regions of the world?

BP: With recent legislation last year in December being passed by the government requiring Australian exchanges to register with AUSTRAC, we can proudly say that Blockbid is only the third recipients of an AUSTRAC license, meaning they have been granted permission to legally operate as a digital currency exchange, according to Australian law. This follows on from the guidelines set out for Australian AML/CTF policies and require all our users to complete our KYC forms before trading, prior to this we were operating under the guideline of an AFSL license although now AUSTRAC has taken over as the regulatory body and has been setting the requirements and processes for the cryptocurrency industry in Australia.

In regards to complying with changing regulations in other countries, Blockbid stays up to date and monitors all news and information that would directly impact its operations offshore and acts accordingly. For example, restrictions and regulations on US or China based traders were closely monitored over the past year to ensure we operate legally and in compliance with the regulations of those countries.

Bitcoinist: What excites you most about working at Blockbid?

BP: Throughout my entire software development career, building a secure crypto exchange must have been the most challenging of all and in return, the most rewarding. There are many moving parts and many things to consider. The crypto landscape is changing very fast and the software needs to adapt to the changes quickly. We have to dissect every component and question everything. We also have a very strong team with a good rapport with everyone. There have been a lot of hair pulling moments but also a lot of laughter and I think our Chief Operating Office, David Sapper, has done a good job in gelling everyone together. I’m really glad that we value the team culture more than anything else.

Bitcoinist: What do you feel are the best ways to evaluate a cryptocurrency?

BP: There are a plethora of cryptocurrencies to choose from on the ever-expanding crypto market but there are a few things you should look out for when evaluating a cryptocurrency.

You should always check the development activity of a cryptocurrency. A coin with an active development team will be updating and patching bugs all the time. If there aren’t active developments in a particular crypto, you should steer clear.

Looking into the trading volume of a crypto can also indicate if the price will grow. There isn’t much point investing when no one else is trading it. This low trading volume will cause huge price spikes whenever some are bought or sold which is not good if you’re planning a long-term investment.

Avoid pump and dump schemes by investing in coins with larger market capitalization. Low market capitalization can easily be manipulated whereas those with larger market capitalization will require significant capital to manipulate it.

7 Steps for ICO Analysis

Bitcoinist: What are your opinions on the current regulatory landscape? Do you feel that regulators have investors’ best interests at heart?

BP: Regulation is needed to be able to distinguish the real from the fake, to avoid distrust amongst potential participants, and prevent scammers finding any kind of success. Hopefully, regulators don’t enforce harsh regulations upon cryptocurrencies and kill the market off at such an early stage of development. We will have to see if regulators and governments can embrace the blockchain and aid the growth of the cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoinist: Do you have any advice for new investors?

BP: Consumers like to take their first tentative steps into the crypto market by purchasing a currency they have no doubt heard of before, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. However, it is key to do your research and know what ICOs (Initial Coin Offering) are happening and whether the project is viable – if it’s not, then it’s not worth your money as you could end up with nothing. This is where we need to be mindful of crypto-scams.

There is no clear indicator of when a project or coin might be a scam but there are a few red flags to be mindful of. Any reputable ICO project will have a detailed whitepaper document which details everything you need to know about the campaign. If this is not readily available, then you should ask yourself why. To this effect, it is once more where research becomes a great tool. Look into who the team is behind the project, what is their experience and what are they hoping to achieve. Scams and crypto thefts are increasing and are becoming more widely documented, and so we are seeing crypto exchanges beginning to form self-regulating tightening their regulations

Bitcoinist: What do you identify as the most significant problems in the cryptocurrency market today?

BP: The risk of a data breach is a common one faced by crypto exchanges. Playing host to a large scale of sensitive information, it is possible for company and user information to be accessed, without permission, through mining malware activity and DDoS attacks. The use of mining malware allows hackers to hijack a computer’s resources for mining cryptocurrency, resulting in a diminished processing power which enables fraudsters to make a speedy profit.

Bitcoinist: What solutions do you propose to the problems you mentioned?

BP: The solution would be for greater security protocols and more regulation within the cryptocurrency sphere – although this can only be executed efficiently through a comprehensive understanding of the digital landscape. Without this understanding, exchanges and traders are left vulnerable.

Let’s be honest; cryptocurrency is a technical subject. To use it confidently, you do need to have some technical understanding of how it works. We feel that educating the public on the technology is important. For example, most people do not know what is happening when they transfer one bitcoin to their friend. They might get panicked when their bitcoin didn’t get through to their friend after one hour and then got bombarded with terminologies like confirmation times and transaction fees when they raised a support ticket. We like to have a personal relationship with our clients and hand hold them from the start to the end of the process.

Bitcoinist: Where do you see blockchain technology in 5 years?

BP: Blockchain is already a household name. You see this word being used in almost all tech conferences today. A lot of funds have been poured into making blockchain scale and once we can hit a few thousand transactions per second, we are ready for global adoption. When that day comes (in the next five years), blockchain technology will be used everywhere, from personal identity to buying things online. Coupled with AI and Smart Contracts, there will be no longer a need for a middleman, cutting cost and saving time.

Do you have any other questions for Bernard Peh? Ask them in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Markus Spiske/Unsplash

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Kvě 15

Blockchain Technology Will Usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

· May 14, 2018 · 7:00 pm

Steve Chiavarone is a blockchain believer. The portfolio manager at Federated Investors believes the technology behind bitcoin will help usher in the fourth industrial age. Many commentators have previously identified blockchain as having the potential to disrupt the global business process.


Blockchain: An Exciting Emerging Technology

Chiavarone is certain that the distributed ledger technology (DLT) framework is an essential cog in the wheel of emerging technologies that will transform the world. The Wall Street bull predicts that blockchain, along with robotics, automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of things (IoT) will be the foundation of the fourth industrial age. Indeed, several experts believe blockchain can contribute to the technologies mentioned above.

Such is his conviction that the Wall Street expert is incorporating DLT into his stock market forecast. Speaking to CNBC, he reiterated the viability of the technology despite the struggles in the crypto market since the start of 2018. According to Chiavarone, the current price slump doesn’t diminish the importance of DLT implementation. Earlier in May, Wall Street analyst Nick Colas described bitcoin as the “FANG” stock of the crypto world. FANG refers to the most popular tech stocks; Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. Chiavarone is optimistic that blockchain technology could improve the business operations of the FANG stock companies.

Other corporations are also making forays into developing protocols that implement the technology. Companies like IBM and Maersk are leading the way in developing blockchain-based solutions for supply chain management (SCM) and general logistics. According to Chiavarone, big banks are also investing in DLT. Bank of America (BoFA) recently declared that it was contributing the most resources into blockchain research than anyone else.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

Blockchain Will Replace Reconciliation

Chiavarone is particularly confident that blockchain will disrupt business reconciliation process. He believes the technology is uniquely suited to improve the verification of account balances in the corporate world. According to him, blockchain will replace the expensive, inefficient and tedious reconciliation process. Thus, businesses will be able to reduce back and middle office costs while having more efficient supply chains.

Many in the mainstream finance arena aren’t sold on cryptocurrency. In fact, some of the staunchest crypto critics are from the organized business sector. However, only a handful of people in finance have dismissed the viability of the technology. It is even common to see notable figures declaring their interest in DLT while paying little or no attention to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Does blockchain technology have a pivotal role in the establishment of the fourth industrial age? Let us know in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of Twitter/@federatednews, Christoph Roser/AllAboutLean.com, Shutterstock

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Kvě 07

Will CEEK Be Taking Virtual Reality To The Next Step?

· May 7, 2018 · 6:00 pm

Celebrities and fans oftentimes have a unique relationship. On the one hand, celebrities can become annoyed with all the attention – photo after photo, hardly any privacy, sometimes outright stalking – the list seems like it goes on and on. A simple Google search yields some hilarious photos of celebrities and their fans. It’s as if every photo is saying “Please go away.”


On the other hand, some celebrities embrace their platform and use it to better the world. For these celebrities–be they actors, musicians, or other performers–the spotlight isn’t about them, it’s about their fans. They perform not for the money–though it must certainly help–but to bring joy to their many followers.

Unfortunately for their fans, celebrities can’t be everywhere at once. Though social media has made things much easier, such as allowing them to post photos and videos to keep in touch with their digital audiences, personal interactions are hard to come by. There needs to be a “next step” that further connects celebrities to their fans, and for a while now, there hasn’t been a worthy challenger.

Possible Solutions

This is changing, however, as celebrities continue to show interest in the amazing capabilities of virtual reality (VR) technology. What’s more, some celebrities are actively partnering with VR companies to create VR shows for their fans.

CEEK, a VR company with an already successful VR headset, has partnered with major artists like U2, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and the recently announced World of Dance, to give fans immersive virtual concert experiences. Not content to maintain the status quo, the CEEK team is also working on some trailblazing blockchain developments that will revolutionize the way celebrities and fans interact.

Image source: http://www.houstonpress.com

What Can CEEK’s Blockchain Program Do for Virtual Reality?

The core aspect of CEEK’s blockchain upgrade revolves around the tokenization of the virtual world. This allows the platform to not only run more efficiently but also operate more cost-effectively. A key feature is the ChainLink, a secure Blockchain middleware that lets Ethereum smart contracts on the CEEK platform connect to external resources through outside data feeds. As a result, CEEK can offer services such as “on-chain” subscriptions for direct purchase through the use of smart contracts. In essence, it links the payment systems of the virtual world with the payment systems of the real world, creating a streamlined and efficient transaction process.

In addition, the platform utilizes the CEEK token, a multi-purpose coin that has a variety of functions on the platform. Fundamentally, CEEK is the monetary unit with which users can purchase access to the platform’s VR features. It also has a voting function, allowing users to stake or vote on which content they want the platform to provide. This allows the platform to dynamically grow with the desires of its user base.

But what does any of this have to do with celebrities? As a part of their blockchain initiative, CEEK is debuting the CEEK Virtual Mint feature. The CEEK Virtual Mint is a token conversion protocol that allows celebrities to create custom tokens or coins for their fans. These tokens serve as “in-game” currencies and can be used for an array of purposes, including the creation of custom virtual goods and items. This includes concert tickets to a VR concert with special backstage passes; virtual skins, which can be kept by their owners or sold to other platform users in exchange for CEEK tokens; and frequent visitor coupons, which offer perks at venues that are continuously visited.

What’s more, celebrities will be able to create unique, custom VR experiences for their fans, only accessible through the CEEK platform. This includes backstage passes, interviews, and 360-degree concert experiences that simply aren’t possible in real life. In other words, the CEEK platform provides a way for celebrities to connect with their fans on a more personal level. Because the platform is powered by the blockchain and operates using VR technology, physical barriers like distance are eliminated. Now, fans and their favorite celebrities can connect on a global scale and still have experiences that are just as good as the real thing–sometimes even better! A whole new set of opportunities is available on the CEEK platform, for both celebrities and their biggest fans.

Can CEEK make the concert-going experience more immersive for fans? How will it impact celebrity-fan interactions? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of CEEK

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Kvě 06

Blockchain Technology to Combat Dodgy Ticket Resales

· May 6, 2018 · 6:00 pm

Secondary ticketing in the UK is a billion-dollar problem, one that Aventus hopes to solve with blockchain technology.


Whether it’s your favorite football match or your music idol’s concert, front-row tickets are probably what you’re after. However, if they happen to be sold out by the time you can afford them, you might be tempted to purchase these tickets from unscrupulous secondary parties.

Prepare to be met with counterfeit tickets and sky-high prices. According to The Guardian, secondary tickets for shows for big artists, such as Adele, can fetch up to $12,000. Preventing these so-called ticket touts seems to be a decades-old issue, but something that blockchain technology could solve.

Blockchain to the Rescue

Annika Monari and Alan Vey, who are the founders of Aventus, will have the opportunity to test this theory at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia. Their blockchain-based program will be used for more than 10,000 tickets to fan events in the US and Europe.

By using blockchain technology, the records for each ticket will be immutable and therefore protected against counterfeiting. Essentially, each ticket will be linked to its owner, which will combat fraud.

By doing this, Monari and Vey, who both have degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Particle Physics, have said that Aventus will “virtually eliminate ticketing fraud and the scourge of unregulated touting”.

A New Solution for an Old Problem

A New Solution for an Old Problem

The Aventus founders discussed their excitement at working towards a solution for this problem:

“It has been an amazing journey. We used to sit in this common room having coffees and worrying about our coursework. But now, hopefully, we will be the people who can solve the problems in the ticketing industry. That would feel incredible and be such a huge achievement for us.”

The platform’s ICO in September last year sold out in just seven minutes, raising a total of just over $35 million.

Positive Impact

Professor Mike Waterson from Warwick University acted as a technical advisor to Monari and Vey. He had this to say:

“It has a lot of potential. Thinking through the market from a fresh perspective is very useful. If they get genuine buy-in from a wide enough range of people then it is going to have a big impact on the market.”

Expanding Blockchain-based Solutions

Waterson also conducted a government report into the secondary ticket industry, including ticket sales for Premier League games. This is also an issue that Aventus hopes to help with. The platform will be working with another blockchain-based platform, Blocside, for the FIFA World Cup initiative, but hope to expand their offerings to Premier League football clubs soon.

Ticket fraud is quite a lucrative industry in the UK, with an annual value of about $1.3 billion. Bernie Dillon, an entertainment industry expert, discussed how Aventus could make a difference:

“Anyone who has ever attended, hosted, or produced a live entertainment event has been affected by counterfeit tickets or extortionate resale prices. Aventus brings a refreshing solution that could end fraudulent activity and ticket touting once and for all.”

Do you think that blockchain technology is the answer to the ticketing industry’s biggest problem? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Shutterstock

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Kvě 05

3 Altcoins to Outperform Bitcoin For The Week of May 5

· May 5, 2018 · 5:00 pm

To title this week dramatic in the cryptocurrency space would be an understatement. BTC has seen a price surge with renewed interest from big names like Goldman Sachs while altcoins have major events on the horizon. This is a very exciting period for altcoins like BTC, ZCL, ENJ, and DGB.


What a Week It Has Been, What a Week It Will Be 

The cryptocurrency markets have finally broken out of a multi-month bear slump in brute force. BTC is up more than 50% from recent lows with altcoins trading significantly higher. With positive momentum in the cryptocurrency markets, teams from across the world are announcing major cryptocurrency projects, deadlines are being hit, and milestones are being reached.

Bitcoin price

The bearish markets in the past week have begun to seem increasingly bullish with a major forking announcement from ZClassic; a security break-through for DigiByte, and the Unite world tour for Enjin.

BTC- Goldman Sachs Futures Trading and Possible Trading Desk

The most important name in cryptocurrency trading at $9,952 per coin with a market cap of $170 billion is Bitcoin. This week has been exciting and the near future should also be exuberant as Bitcoin bulls have retaken the reigns and it once again is pressing the $10,000 mark. BTC was trading as low as $6,000 during this recent bear raid and looks to have built significant momentum heading into May.

There are a few main reasons BTC has once again accelerated forward in value: renewed interest from the world’s wealthiest via OTC (over the counter deals) and trading platforms/operations opening up to institutional investors such as Goldman Sachs.

So Long, All-Time Highs? Goldman Sachs Says Crypto Peaks Have Been And Gone

Goldman Sachs announced earlier this week they would begin futures trading of BTC and also were considering a trading desk. This was confirmed on Thursday, May 3, 2018, with the likely pursuit of similar operations by other Wall Street Banks. As more money pours into the cryptocurrency space BTC will obviously be the first big winner with institutional money likely trickling off to other altcoins as well.

A recent announcement by the Anonymous Bitcoin team revealed that BTC and ZCL will both be receiving a forked coin on September 10, 2018. Allowing those that enjoy the BTC bull run to have a nice ‘dividend’ at the end of summer.

ZCL – A Real Forking Announcement (FUD, Upcoming Announcements)

ZClassic (ZCL) is trading at $21.50 with a market cap of $83.6 million. This past week a new dev team announced on CNBC they would be forking ZCL with BTC, creating Anonymous Bitcoin. This was the first televised fork announcement by a major broadcaster like CNBC. The technology behind Anonymous Bitcoin WILL include zkSNARKs anonymity features plus masternode staking ability.

ZCL – A Big Forking Announcement (Anonymous Bitcoin)

This would allow individuals to be incentivized to hold their Anonymous Bitcoin vs actively trade it. This fork was officially announced April 28, 2018. ZCL quickly rose to over $40 before conflicting news was announced by prior ZCL dev teams regarding the inauthenticity of the fork.

The Anonymous Bitcoin team has defended their position and remained completely transparent regarding their methods for forking ZCL while being present and doing interviews at the last two cryptocurrency conventions in Miami and Los Angeles.

The Anonymous Bitcoin lead developer, Sam Abbassi, proudly has a speaking engagement coming up at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The Founder of the project, Jake Greenbaum, will be going to Consensus to continue to network, interview, and share the philosophy behind why forks create better technology at little to no cost to the crypto community. The Anonymous Bitcoin team is not hiding behind the veil of a fork but instead attempting to create a new cryptocurrency with a vibrant community behind it.

In the months leading up to ZCL’s prior fork, ZCL was trading as high as $220 per coin with a market cap of almost $700 million. Currently, ZCL is trading under $22 with new advisors to be announced in the near future, the executive summary to be released in the next week, and the white paper to be released by June 1st. At a bare minimum, the next few weeks will be exciting to watch the charts of ZCL.

Enjin Unite Tokyo: May 7-9; Unite Beijing May 11-13 

Enjin (“ENJ”) is currently on the “conference tour” at Unity events. For those that are not big gamers or developers “Unity” may not be a familiar term. Unity is a cross-platform game engine that is used to develop video games for all consoles and mobile devices. The unity platform now includes over 15 platforms and hosts major conferences regarding gaming, app development, and technology all over the world.

This week is important for ENJ because they are speaking and having booths at Unity’s event in Tokyo and next week’s event in Beijing. ENJ is attempting to integrate its currency into multiple gaming platforms and where better to demonstrate their capabilities than at Unite Tokyo and Unite Beijing?

ENJ currently is trading at $.17 with a market cap of $127 million. If ENJ’s presentations and exposure in Asia is viewed positively this numbers should trend upward. As an altcoin ENJ is well suited to enter the gaming market as they are already partnered with Unity for “True in Game Ownership of Digital Assets.” Having a partner like Unity while being on their conference tour should provide ENJ the perfect amount of momentum to build their user base and continue to excel as a cryptocurrency. 

DigiByte (DGB) – Blockchain Based Open Authentication Protocol Service May 11

One of the biggest concerns of individuals actively participating in the cryptocurrency space is the possibility of being hacked. Managing a handful of passwords that conceal what could amount to thousands of dollars is a frightening prospect. May 11, 2018, maybe a revolutionary day for passwords and that irritating 2FA authentication.

A highly secure, DigiByte blockchain-base open authentication protocol service is claiming it can be used to replace usernames, passwords, and even 2FA. If this is correct this will relieve much of the irritation associated with logging into an exchange or accessing a wallet. However, if a hack occurs their entire platform could come crumbling down.

DGB is trading at $0.048 with a market cap of $492 million. DGB was trading over $0.12 January 7, 2018. With one of their biggest developments to date being released May 11, this should be a very exciting week for DGB. The price of DGB will gauge the market’s reaction. DGB’s focus is their security, “by putting security first, our decisions help make sure that transactions, mining, and the blockchain distribution are as decentralized as possible.

DGB blocks occur on the network every 15 seconds making DGB the fastest UTXO blockchain in the world.” DGB has focused on security and speed and this week releases their authentication protocol that very well may revolutionize how passwords and usernames are used as a means of verification.

Bulls Retaking the Reigns 

This has been an exciting week for many as their portfolios have risen nicely and major projects have started back up in the crypto space. Summer should be a period where enthusiasm is rebuilt and the BTC train begins to build major momentum again. With such excitement on the horizon, it is important to look at coins this week like BTC, ZCL, DGB, and ENJ.

[Full disclosure: Jakethecryptoking has a stake in and is the founder of Anonymous Bitcoin. To get in contact directly with the Crypto King, you can on Twitter (@JbtheCryptoKing) or Reddit (ICO updates and Daily Reports)]

Do you agree with this week’s picks? Share your thoughts below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Kvě 04

Waves Launching Smart Contracts on Testnet

· May 3, 2018 · 7:00 pm

On April 28th, Waves released the first iteration of smart contracts on its testnet. Now, activation is expected on May 3rd.


A Careful and Considered Approach to Smart Contracts

On Saturday, April 28th, Waves officially launched smart contracts on the platform’s testnet.

This first release effectively allows community members to test non-Turing complete contracts. These smart contracts allow for a variety of account controls, in addition to other functionalities. Ilya Smagin, Head of Development for Smart Contracts at Waves, commented:

Waves smart contracts will initially include account and token controls, providing functionality for implementing the most-needed scenarios like multisignature wallets, atomic swaps, 2-factor authorization, as well as more elaborate protections for coins. We’ll also introduce a Data Transaction: a way to post Oracle data to the blockchain, of course, available from within our smart contracts code.

Smart Contracts

Waves notably took its time in implementing smart contracts, having first thoroughly analyzed Ethereum’s smart contracts before taking a careful and considerate approach to their actual implementation — utilizing a phased rollout, predictable computation overheads, and fixed fees. Waves CEO and founder Alexander Ivanov explains:

It’s really important to do this right. Non-Turing complete contracts will cover a large proportion of use cases, including smart accounts and smart tokens. These will be available from the Waves client for all users and will not require any specialist knowledge or expertise.

It’s worth mentioning that the developers at Waves will not fully activate Turing-complete contracts on the platform’s mainnet until all of the aforementioned features have been thoroughly tested and activated.

However, smart contract functionality will be activated on the platform’s testnet on May 3rd — assuming approval of the new code is granted by miners, in accordance with the Waves Feature Activation Protocol. You can find out more about Waves’ smart contracts and their implementation here.

How Will Smart Contracts Benefit Waves?

Smart contracts will bring a plethora of new additions and added benefits to the Waves ecosystem.

First and foremost, smart contracts will allow for multisignature wallets, which cannot be controlled by simply one person alone. For a transaction to occur, all necessary parties must provide their private keys at the same time.

Secondly, unlike other similar blockchains, Waves smart contracts do not use gas for non-Turing complete smart contracts — which means that fixed costs are always known upfront. Compared to Ethereum, this makes Waves significantly more simplified, efficient, and cost-effective, while still providing essentially the same service.

Waves

Additionally, Waves Tokens are like Waves itself, which means that they are treated exactly the same and are held in your address — while the platform still supports token creation in the core and from the standard Waves wallet. Essentially, this makes life a lot easier for end users. Furthermore, the tokens you create can immediately be distributed and traded on the Waves decentralized exchange, DEX, with no further work.

Atomic swaps will also be added, while smart contracts on Waves will also allow for token freezes — meaning users will be able to introduce parameters which prevent buyers from selling or transferring tokens from their address for a specified amount of time.

Finally, decentralized applications (DApps) which are based on Turing-complete smart contracts will be able to complete complicated processes on the Waves blockchain, meeting a wide range of different criteria.

All things considered, the implementation of smart contracts on the Waves platform is a huge step forward for the already successful project.

Are you excited for the activation of Waves smart contracts on May 3rd? Where do you see the successful platform going in the next few years? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Adobe Stock and Waves.

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Dub 21

Blockchain Meets Movie Industry as White Rabbit Teams Up with Production Company K5

· April 21, 2018 · 5:00 pm

Blockchain start-up White Rabbit, developers of a browser plugin that allows users to legally stream movies and television series from any open streaming service, has announced a strategic partnership with K5 International, a subdivision of K5 Media Group, a renowned media production company that has produced Oscar-nominated films.


Financial details of the partnership, which was announced in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, where not disclosed, however, the deal conditions suggest that K5 will grant White Rabbit users access to its library of 50-plus movies while the company’s co-founder Daniel Baur will join White Rabbit’s advisory board. Further details of the details, however, remain undisclosed.

White Rabbit is developing a browser plugin that will recognize any type of streaming content and offer the viewer a chance to directly pay to the copyright holders of said content via secure blockchain infrastructure using the platform’s native WRT tokens. All purchased content will remain available to the user in the Rabbit Hole – the content library – regardless of the viewer’s geographic location.

The tokens themselves will be available for sale during a whitelisting event later this year.

Commenting on the deal, co-founder and CEO of White Rabbit Alan R. Milligan stated:

Such deals show that the conservative cinema industry is becoming interested in innovative technological solutions and that our WRT token will have a very decent real-life application.

Milligan is a renowned filmmaker whose filmography includes award-winning motion picture Letter to the King.

Baur also noted:

I have been actively searching the blockchain space for over a year, looking for companies that can have a massive impact on the film industry. With White Rabbit, I saw a product that properly integrates blockchain and embraces the existing entertainment industry and fans in a unique way.

K5’s portfolio includes films directed by such renowned filmmakers as Andrew Niccol and Tom McCarthy.

Aside from that, White Rabbit has also announced that three specialists from one of Europe’s biggest blockchain companies Blockchangers will join the team. Jonas Therkelson will step in as CTO, Jon Ramvi as lead blockchain developer, and Robin Pedersen as full stack developer.

Milligan remarked:

We are incredibly excited to have K5, Daniel Baur and the Blockchangers team support our mission to ensure a legal, innovative P2P streaming market, offering fans the choice and access they deserve and the industry a transparent and instant monetization model for rights holders, film investors and talent.

White Rabbit was first announced in October 2017. The project is currently being developed with the MVP (minimum viable product) expected to be released in the second quarter of 2018.

Currently, the project holds a $1 million budget partnership program which offers up to $100,000 to any video service that joins White Rabbit.

What do you think of White Rabbit’s new partnership with K5? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of White Rabbit

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Dub 19

GIFcoin Moon-Bound as Stage Three of Their Token Sale Sells Out

· April 19, 2018 · 5:30 pm

GIFcoin continues to sell out at each stage of their ICO, proving that the public is more than ready to be a part of their profit-sharing revolution.


There’s no denying that online gambling has a strong allure. Having the chance to earn some money from the comfort of your couch? Who would say no to that? It’s also a great way to relax, which is part of the reason that it’s a billion-dollar industry.  In fact, it made over $500 billion in revenue last year, making it one of the top three digital businesses out there.

Finding a platform that wants you to be an active part of this wealth may sound too good to be true, but this is exactly what GIFcoin is hoping to achieve with their innovative profit-sharing business model. Haven’t heard of GIFcoin yet? Well, read on and find out why you should be a part of the platform described by investors as having “the most transparent ICO for 2018”.

Now is the Time to Invest

If you know anything about the crypto industry, you are aware that the markets have been looking a bit red lately. Even so, GIFcoin is performing exceptionally well. They sold out at their private sale, as well as at all three previous stages of their public sale.  There are still some tokens available in the fourth stage, which is currently underway. In addition, investors can look forward to a 20% bonus during this phase.

The bearish market is a great time to invest in GIF tokens as you can use your fiat to buy ETH at a lower price. Just one ETH will get you 10,000 GIF tokens and, if you invest now, that attractive 20% bonus as well!

How Can GIFcoin Make you Money?

ICOs are a booming business, and most platforms are claiming to be revolutionary and trailblazing. However, most of them are not backed by a working and already profitable business like GIFcoin is.

The Gambling Investment Fund (GIF) is backed by VitalBet, a well-established platform boasting over 20,000 active members in 20 countries. They also made more than $3 million in profits during last year. The goal of the GIFcoin ICO is to raise capital to further develop and upgrade this already lucrative platform.

GIF token holders will be able to profit from their potentially value-growing tokens. In addition, as token holders, they will be able to enjoy profit-sharing benefits. They will be liable to receive their share of 80% of VitalBet’s annual net profits. This generosity stems from the platform’s desire to foster long-term mutual growth between themselves and their valued members.

Be a Part of the GIFcoin Revolution

Be a Part of the GIFcoin Revolution

All of the ICO’s previous stages have been phenomenal successes. With a total token distribution of 300,000,000, the platform is well on its way to selling completely out:

  • Private Sale – 10,000,000 GIF – SOLD OUT
  • Stage 1 – 6,400,000 GIF – SOLD OUT
  • Stage 2 – 7,000,000 GIF – SOLD OUT
  • Stage 3 – 7,800,000 GIF – SOLD OUT
  • Stage 4 – 8,400,000 GIF with a 20% Bonus
  • Stage 5 – 92,400,000 GIF with a 15% Bonus
  • Stage 6 – 77,000,000 GIF with a 10% Bonus
  • Stage 7 – 61,000,000 GIF with NO Bonus

Even though interested investors may have missed out on some juicy bonuses, there’s still hope! Contributors can purchase tokens in BTC, ETH, and LTC. Stages one to five also have a minimum purchase requirement which is 0.5 ETH, 0.05 BTC, and 2 LTC.

Transparency is Key

The GIFcoin team knows that being transparent goes a long way in securing investor trust. This is why they run regular live streams and constantly ask their investors for feedback. In addition, they are already working on the next steps of the roadmap even before the ICO has come to an end.

If you’d like to find out a bit more about GIFcoin and their plans for the future, have a look at their whitepaper or litepaper. You can also register to invest, and follow GIFcoin on Telegram.

Do you think that GIFcoin will continue this sold-out trend in all of the remaining ICO stages? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, GIFcoin

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Dub 16

Samsung Delves Deeper into Crypto Exploring Blockchain for Its Logistics

· April 16, 2018 · 5:00 pm

Samsung Electronics Co. is the latest big name to show a keen interest in the powers of blockchain technology, specifically, how it can be incorporated into their supply chain management processes.


Even though cryptocurrencies may still be getting critiqued, it’s supporting technology is being more readily adopted. The advantages of blockchain such as security and immutability, are major drawcards for companies that rely heavily on record keeping, such as healthcare, finance, and even art.

Blockchain to aid in shipping

However, it is also a viable option for supply chain management, an option that massive electronics corporation, Samsung, is ready to explore. According to Bloomberg Quint, the company’s logistical and information and technology branch, Samsung SDS CO., could use a blockchain ledger to monitor their billion-dollar global shipments sector.

Song Kwang-woo, the blockchain chief at SDS, touched on how the technology could revolutionize other businesses:

It will have an enormous impact on the supply chains of manufacturing industries. Blockchain is a core platform to fuel our digital transformation.

A cost-effective way of working

A part of this digital transformation is working towards a paperless way of doing business. Not only are physical documents annoying, they’re expensive too. In fact, according to International Business Machines Corp., the documentation costs for container shipments is more than double that of other modes of transportation.

When it comes to Samsung shipments, this equals a substantial amount of money. For this year alone, SDS projects that the company will transport 488,000 tons of air cargo and one million 20-foot-equivalent (TEU) shipping units. The SDS has said that by implementing blockchain technology, the company could save as much as 20% in shipping fees.

It’s not just about saving money though. Blockchain technology could actually impact on overall customer satisfaction. This is because efficiency associated with this technology could mean a shorter time span between product launches and product shipment. Not only will that keep Samsung customers smiling, it will also give the company a competitive edge over their industry rivals.

Cheong Tae-su, who is a professor of industrial engineering at Korea University, explained a bit further:

“It cuts overhead and eliminates bottlenecks. It’s about maximizing supply efficiency and visibility, which translates into greater consumer confidence.”

What’s more, Samsung appears to be going all-in into cryptocurrencies in general as it recently announced manufacturing mining chips. This move that puts them in direct competition with the Taiwan-based company, TSMC, a preferred ASIC chip supplier to Bitmain.

Samsung joins an ever-growing list

Samsung isn’t the only global company big on blockchain. Mastercard recently announced that they will soon be hiring blockchain experts to help drive innovation with regard to payment solutions.

Governments are also realizing its benefits, with China financially contributing towards blockchain-based startups. In addition, the European Union has launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which aims to foster blockchain promotion.

The blockchain business is definitely booming. The US-based research company, Gartner, has predicted that the technology will add $176 billion USD worth of value to businesses by 2025. This number is set to increase to over $3 trillion by 2030.

What do you think of yet another big corporation using blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bttcoinist archives

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