As Initial Coin Offerings are rising in popularity, experts are advising investors to be careful about fraudulent token sales.
Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, have become increasingly popular over the past year. Many interesting projects and startups have decided to raise funds through ICOs instead of through venture capitalists. According to the cryptocurrency statistics website CoinSchedule, over $3 billion was invested in many different token sales this year alone. The reason why so many individuals and hedge funds are heavily investing in ICOs is the potential high return on their investments.
Most ICOs have returned very impressive returns for the early investors, and thus they manage to catch the attention of more new investors. But some experts warn that potential fraudulent ICOs might try to abuse the current market trend in order to raise funds without delivering any products. In a recent CNBC interview, co-founder of Ethereum Joseph Lubin and CEO of Ripple Brad Garlinghouse, they gave statements regarding the current token sale trend. The Ethereum co-founder stated following:
High-quality projects, but there have been a lot of copycat projects where people copy all the same materials (and) don’t intend to deliver any value to the people buying the tokens
These fraudulent token sales have also caught the attention of the Chinese government. In a quick response, Chinese regulators decided to effectively ban any ICOs and token sales in China until the government implements proper regulations. Lubin stated following regarding the Chinese ICO ban:
With China’s political approach to things, and with the fraud that was rampant there, it made a lot of sense for them to pause things a little bit and get a better, deeper understanding of the ecosystem, and scare potential fraud perpetrators
Token sales are also a very important component in order to drive innovation in the cryptocurrency and tech community according to analysts. Garlinghouse stated following:
There are a lot of really fabulous things that get done with digital assets and blockchain technologies to reduce friction, to reduce costs, and enable things that weren’t possible before. I think instead of focusing on those, we’re distracted by what’s going on in this gray area
China isn’t the only government that took a stance on ICOs. The South Korean government has also moved on banning token sales until further notice. Experts believe that more governments worldwide are going to implement and enforce regulations for token sales, in order to protect consumers and investors from scams. US and UK regulators are currently observing the ICOs markets before they decide to implement regulations. Many cryptocurrency community members believe that more regulations might hinder and potentially even damage the progress of bitcoin and blockchain technology development in the future.
What are your thoughts on fraudulent token sales? Do you think that governments should implement more regulations in order to protect investors from ICO scams? Let us know in the comments below!
Literally millions of people have joined the world of cryptocurrencies recently. For example, Coinbase, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, has added around 2 million new clients within two months. Blockchain.com, the major electronic wallet, found its client base increase by 1.8 million during the same time frame.
Most of these people are newbies, unacquainted with security issues and risks that surround complex but currently profitable cryptocurrency realm. This makes them easy targets for cybercriminals and thieves.
One popular crime which is conducted on cryptocurrency traders is the phone-porting attack. Crooks monitor social media in search of cryptocurrency discussions wherein people publish their emails and phone numbers for quick connection. After that, hackers use various social engineering techniques and posing as a victim, call the telephone provider and trick the customer support rep into transferring the telephone number to a phone they control. As soon as hackers take charge of the telephone number, they log in to the victim’s wallet or exchange account, reset the password and subsequently snatch all funds from the account.
A phone number is not the only security weak point. Hackers may get hold of your home PC too. Phishing attacks, Ponzi schemes, and ransomware are all widespread forms of cryptocurrency fraud and theft. Nothing teaches a person about security quicker than cybercriminals hacking his account and running off with $5,000 worth of Bitcoins. Once this happens, people tend to get really serious about their security.
So, what is the best method to safeguard your cryptocurrency assets from hacks? We must confess there is no ideal approach to the problem. In this digital age, hard drives, laptops, and phones are becoming the brand new bank vaults. Real-world experience and understanding of how to protect money from thieves are not sufficient for the virtual money.
How to Secure Your Crypto Wallet Like a Boss
The following tips can be used as a security guide for new cryptocurrency aficionados:
Securing your software wallet is similar to protecting any data on your computer. You have to be a little more paranoid while browsing the Internet, clicking on links and email attachments.
Mobile users may take advantage of Google authenticator with a single IP in its whitelist, which should be the VPN to access the online exchange.
It is important to select an exchange that is not only flexible and easy to use but also reputable and secure. Try to follow the news. If industry leaders disengage from a project it should be a worrying signal. Repeated technical problems and strange policies are additional points of concern. Bitcoin withdrawal difficulties will always be a red flag also.
Do create backups. Kept in a secure place, a backup of your cryptocurrency wallet may save you from hardware failures and a lot of human slipups. It will also let you restore your wallet in case your PC or telephone gets stolen.
Encrypting the wallet or your hole device enables you to create a password for those attempting to take out any money.
Although passwords and encryption can protect from thieves, it is not able to put a stop to key-loggers or another malware. It is important to install and keep up-to-date leading antivirus and antimalware solutions. Many of them are free to use.
Prior to creating an account on any exchange, set up a new email box that you will be using for that specific exchange account.
Be sure to choose a very difficult and lengthy password, desirably a passphrase. Write it down on paper and store that piece of paper in a secret place.
Turn on two-factor-authorization not only for login but for any transaction procedures.
While on social media or forums, do not mention what cryptocurrency exchange or wallet you use.
Contact your phone carrier and order all possible levels of security they can offer. Add passcodes, secret questions, pins, etc. Additionally, enable the “do not port” option for any new SIM card.
Web exchanges and wallets all claim they treat security very seriously and implement all necessary protection technologies to prevent breaches and unauthorized transactions. Do not trust these words. Such companies are not banks; they often do not have the same level of security. And even banks get robbed often.
Do not store all Bitcoins in one wallet or exchange. Diversify your risks. It is extremely difficult to steal money from several wallets at once, particularly when you set different email accounts and passphrases for each of them.
Consider keeping big cryptocurrency sums in cold wallets off the Internet. The cold wallet is a technology of keeping Bitcoins offline on hard drives or even paper. Hackers will not be able to reach your funds. On the contrary, the hot wallet is linked to the Internet. It should be used for everyday transactions and is like a checking account, whereas cold wallet may represent your savings account.
Consider examining decentralized exchanges. The difference between decentralized and centralized exchanges is that decentralized exchange does not store your funds. Nobody can gain access to your money except you.
Tell your peers and especially close friends and relatives to embrace the same attitude and mindset. Ecosystems, where all participants treat security seriously, are less attractive to cybercriminals.
Try to always help beginners to buy and sell with security. This territory is new and we should assist people who are trying to find their way. Fortunately, you do not have to be a cryptography professional to make the first security steps which will save you from most of the problems.
Do you take any additional wallet security measures that are not on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Smart Contracts are becoming an important part of modern corporations and institutions. But often times most small and medium businesses prefer to stay aside from Smart Contracts, due to associated legal risks (smart contracts often are not recognized by courts because they aren’t always legally binding) and lack of technical expertise. Jincor aims to solve these problems by offering a platform for businesses that want to create legally binding Smart Contracts in a cost-efficient manner.
[Note: This is a sponsored article.]
Smart Contracts: Blockchain’s Next Killer App?
Blockchain technology has the ability to solve many complex problems in very efficient and smart ways. Finance, KYC/AML, and Healthcare are only just a few areas that can greatly benefit from Blockchain technology.
Huge international corporations and small businesses have now discovered a new exciting component of blockchain technology – smart contracts.
Smart contracts are essentially very similar to traditional contracts, but with the huge difference that they are enforced by cryptographic code.
How can Businesses Benefit from Smart Contracts?
Smart contracts were first proposed by famous cryptographer Nick Szabo in 1996. The idea behind a smart contract is that it can easily allow multiple parties to securely and efficiently exchange shares, properties, and money without having to rely on traditional paper contracts that require a notary.
Companies and big corporations can eliminate potential security risks and save a lot of money on legal fees and manpower with smart contracts.
According to recent reports, SWIFT, one of the biggest financial cooperative in the world, has already started experimenting with smart contracts for its internal systems.
Did you know smart contracts are already used in flight-delay insurance and real estate? Read this new article on our blog to learn exactly what these benefits are.https://t.co/WrD1flq3Mo
Smart contracts seem to be the next big thing in tech, but why haven’t more companies jumped on board yet? There are several things that need to be taken into consideration in order to answer that. First, Smart contracts are still pretty new and not mature enough yet to be used by huge corporations that transact with billions of dollars daily.
Security concerns are also a valid reason why companies are still only experimenting with smart contracts. Since it’s still a relatively new technology, there aren’t many approved security practices/protocols for it yet.
The infamous DAO hack is a great example of how a buggy smart contract could potentially cause millions of dollars in damages to the infrastructure of corporations. The DAO hackers were able to drain over 3 million ETH, which is currently worth over $1 Billion.
Security audits for smart contracts can be relatively expensive and in some cases, very time-consuming, depending on the complexity of the contract and its functions.
Companies that want to develop such contracts also face another big problem. Currently, smart contracts are developed on Ethereum Blockchain with a special programming language called Solidity. Since Solidity is also very new, there not many developers available in the job market with sufficient experience in it. There is a massive demand for solidity and Ethereum developers in the FinTech and blockchain space, which caused the salaries of Solidity programmers to skyrocket as high as $250,000 per year.
Jincor project, founded by Vlad Kirichenko and Vagan Abelyan, develops a platform that will allow businesses to create and deploy legally binding smart contracts in as easy way as possible.
Businesses will not have to worry about hiring expensive developers or security experts in order to create a proper smart contract. The Jincor platform will allow them to choose smart contract templates that have already been coded, tested, and audited by the Jincor development team and then customize them to their specific needs.
One of the most important things that the platform focuses on is the legal compliance with each contract. The Jincor team ensures that each smart contract will be legally binding and comply with the proper regulations of each jurisdiction.
The Jincor team is planning to hold an Initial Coin Offering on the 1st of December 2017. Here are the key points of the ICO:
Total Token Supply: 35,000,000 JCR
Hard Cap: $26,000,000
Soft Cap: $2,500,000
Exchange Rate: 1 JCR = 1 USD
It is worth noting that Jincor already has more than 300 beta requests from companies.
Do you think that an easy to use smart contract management platform will make businesses more likely to adopt the technology? Let us know in the comments below.
Companies such as HealthHeart are leading the charge when it comes to implementing the security, usability, and scalability of the blockchain to improve on current EHR (electronic health record) offerings.
[Note: This is a sponsored article.]
While blockchain technology is primarily associated with the financial world, its benefits can be applied to other sectors too. Healthcare is one sector in particular that could realize significant benefits through blockchain implementation – especially with regard to patient records.
Current electronic health record (EHR) systems are woefully outdated and plagued with issues like security breaches, cumbersome design and workflows, and over-inflated costs. By managing and storing patient records on the blockchain, EHRs can eliminate the most common challenges and pain points reported by healthcare professionals.
A blockchain-based EHR system can be equally applied to health care providers of any size, from single practitioners to multinational hospital chains. The cost savings of using a system stored on a blockchain are also significant, as platform, storage costs and backups are vastly reduced.
Companies such as HealthHeart are keen to make progress in using blockchain technology to improve the EHR system for both care providers and patients.
Security for Sensitive Patient Data
Over the past several years, there has been a big push in the healthcare industry to “go digital”. In fact, in 2009 the United States government issued a mandate requiring healthcare providers to have transitioned to an EHR by 2015 or face penalties in the form of Medicare reimbursement reductions. A recent survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found that as of 2015, nearly 88% of all office-based physicians were using some form of EHR system.
Unfortunately, the push to digitize patient records has left them more vulnerable than ever to theft by hackers who can sell a complete medical record on the black market for as much as $1000. In the first half of 2017 alone, there have been over 790 data breaches, of which nearly 25% were in the medical / healthcare sector.
In the wake of increasing cyber-attacks and electronic security breaches, securing sensitive patient data is more important than ever before. The unparalleled security that the blockchain offers makes it an ideal foundation for a new type of EHR.
Consider the following key benefits of a decentralized, blockchain-based EHR system:
Patient records are not stored in a single central location but are instead encrypted and distributed across the entire blockchain, making patient data much more secure and far less vulnerable to hacking.
Data stored on the blockchain is immutable. It can be amended (e.g. adding new information onto a data record) but it cannot be overwritten. This eliminates the likelihood of patient records falsified or corrupted and maintains data integrity.
HealthHeart – Next Generation EHR
HealthHeart is the first EHR to be developed by veterans of the EHR and network security industries who had the foresight to recognize the possibilities offered for improving existing systems through utilizing the Ethereum blockchain.
The HealthHeart EHR is a holistic approach to healthcare that not only allows all doctors participating in a patient’s care plan to access records but also provides a broader picture of a patient’s general health by syncing with data on apps such as Apple Health. In this way, healthcare providers are able to get a clearer picture of patients’ overall fitness, activity levels, diet, and more, potentially identifying problems that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
HealthHeart’s advisory board of active, certified medical practitioners has led them to address key concerns in the medical records and healthcare industries allowing secure, intuitive, and user-friendly system tailored to the needs of any size of medical practice or hospital.
HealthHeart Token Pre-Sale and ICO
HealthHeart’s token pre-sale has already begun and will continue until November 30, 2017. The main ICO will begin on December 1, 2017, and last until December 31, 2017, or until the hard cap is reached. There is no minimum investment requirement in order to participate in the token sale and investors can contribute using BTC, ETH, or LTC.
In a new development suggesting Parity’ recent flaw that locked up over 900,000 ether was more nefarious than previously thought, affected token startup Cappasity thinks they have proof the “bug” was actually a hack.
Cappasity Thinks Foul Play’s Been Discovered
The Ethereum community was rocked on Tuesday, November 7, after GitHub user devops199 deleted the library responsible for supporting approximately $300 million dollars’ worth of ether in Ethereum wallet provider Parity’s multi-signature wallets.
The space was flabbergasted by the curious nature of the incident, as devops199 immediately posted on the Parity GitHub after the library’s deletion to declare he’d mistakenly killed the library in question.
In comments immediately after the lock-up, devops199 suggested he had little experience with Ethereum and that his deletion was the result of incompetence.
But according to Cappasity – a token start-up that’s lost access to 3,264 ether in the ongoing Parity nightmare – devops199 is only feigning incompetence.
The 3D Virtual Reality upstart firm points to recent investigative developments in the case that suggest devops199 was considerably more competent than he was letting on.
For example, Cappasity notes devops199’s previously undisclosed attempts to commandeer ownership over the Polkadot and ARtokens (ART) smart contracts.
These kinds of maneuverings belie an advanced, or at least novice, understanding of smart contracts.
In a statement on Cappasity’s findings, company CEO Kosta Popov even went so far as to say that law enforcement officials may soon need to be involved:
When you are tracking [devops199’s] transactions, you realize that they were deliberate […] Therefore, we tend to think that it was not an accident. We suppose that this was a deliberate hacking. We believe that if the situation is not successfully resolved in the nearest future, contacting law enforcement agencies may be the right next step.
Fix and Timeline for the Parity Flaw Uncertain
For now, the unusual nature of the ongoing Parity “bug” has everyone in the community wondering what’s next. It remains to be seen what fix can be implemented to return the affected users’ 900,000 ether.
Some in the community have wondered if a hard fork of Ethereum will be necessary to make these users whole, but in an email exchange with the author of this article, Ethereum Foundation’s External Relations lead John Frazer made it clear the Foundation hasn’t “taken this position in any form.”
Indeed, echoing this sentiment, Ethereum Foundation Security lead Martin Swende expressed during recent comments to the press that the fix should be “spearheaded by the affected parties.”
This means its Parity’s time to shine – the way they handle this crisis in the coming days and weeks will likely determine if the users stick with the wallet service or potentially abandon it in droves.
Like many other industries being disrupted by blockchain today, content sharing platforms are facing new challenges in their quest to meet the new consumer trends and needs. The obvious synergy behind blockchain technologies and p2p content sharing protocols (i.e. torrents) has brought to life a new generation of decentralized online services that are on the heels of such market’s giants as YouTube, Twitch, and Netflix.
To explore the nascent future of this industry Bitcoinist talked to Adrián Garelick, CEO of Flixxo. Adrián is the industry veteran, best known for having created RSK Labs. His new project, Flixxo, is a video sharing network, which employs distributed storage and BitTorrent protocol to store and share the content.
Flixxo launched a token sale campaign on October 24 which will end in 30 days or once the hard cap of 75,000 ETH is reached.
Bitcoinist: Both torrents and video sharing platforms revolutionized the paradigm of content sharing. One was a service allowing users to share free and often shady content, no questions asked. Another introduced the concept of monetizations and created online billionaire celebrities. What middle ground is Flixxo seeking? Or is it creating something completely different?
AG: I love this metaphor I´ve heard from a Youtuber “We are building beautiful houses on a piece of land we are renting from someone else”. With Flixxo, a video creator is building on top of his/her own network of followers. On top of his own land. This is only achievable by using p2p distribution systems, in which every user, every subscriber or follower, is making author´s network stronger. In this ecosystem, the creator of content sets the rules on top of his/her content and he/she can reward his/her fans. And the consumers have the power to bring wealth to the author, incentivizing him/her to create more content.
Bitcoinist: Modern online media is slowly shifting from pre-recorded material to lifestreams. Torrents are also shifting in collective perception from a hip tech to a dumpster for pirated content. Bearing in mind these two trends, what in your opinion will help Flixxo stay relevant and cool?
AG: I find torrents and blockchain similar technologies and also comparable in the collective perception. At the beginning blockchain (represented by Bitcoin) was accused to be a technology for money laundering and financing drug trafficking. Finally, financial institutions and governments found that it was an amazing technology that could be used for their own benefit. On the side of torrents, the protocol has been accused by big movies studios of only being used for piracy… when it has already proved to be a compelling technology for media distribution. Instead of adopting the protocol to their own benefit, they´ve decided to fight against it. Instead of exploring the possibilities, they´ve chosen to ban it. And studios didn’t succeed in stopping torrents, because of their decentralized nature. In this context Flixxo takes the most out of both technologies and creates a synergy, encouraging seeding of legal content.
And about lifestreams, there will always be space for quality pre-recorded videos. It is not only about what is happening right now in someone´s life, it is about good storytelling and quality content. However, torrents can be used for live stream and it is on our roadmap to explore that path.
Bitcoinist: Professional content creators depend on centralized platforms to offer their content to huge audiences and monetize the views. Will Flixxo be able to offer YouTubers comparable audience and monetary rewards? Please explain the math behind the platform if possible.
AG: We cannot bring four billion views to the next “Despacito”, but we can really help monetizing authors from a few thousand to some million views per month. These authors are making from nothing to pennies out of their productions on YouTube. In our platform, they get paid every time a user hits the play button. We have developed a complete economy in which consumers, who need Flixx to play a video, can earn tokens by watching advertising or by becoming distributors of content. So almost every token that comes from advertising goes to the wallet of the content producers, and they can exchange the tokens to fiat or to any crypto with liquidity, directly from advertisers.
We were surprised that premium content creators, with more than 1 billion views on YouTube, reached out to us and showed interest in bringing their content to the platform!
Bitcoinist: How will you incentivize people to join Flixxo, both content creators and consumers?
AG: For authors, we will launch a campaign in which we assume the role of co-producers of original content for Flixxo, in exchange they will have to invite their YouTube followers to our platform. For users we have reserved 500M tokens that will be distributed during ten years, and will reward certain social benchmarks (e.g. having distributed their first five videos, having sent or received two tokens with friends, etc) These incentive tokens will end up in the hands of content creators, encouraging them to bring more content to the platform, and more quality content will bring more users. We will need to be smart and to be ready to deal with this fragile flow.
Bitcoinist: To draw an audience to Flixxo, you’d probably want creators involved with Flixxo to no longer post anything on YouTube. Won’t content creators who keep sharing their content on YouTube even after joining Flixxo be nigh useless for Flixxo’s development? In other words, how important is exclusive content and how will you fight for it?
AG: Once authors find out that they can create a better profit out of their exclusive videos, they will stop posting them on YouTube. We are offering a new model, this new model may require a different content than the content they post on Youtube. So, some content creators would feel comfortable with this model and would be protective of their Flixxo content, and some of them would still prefer posting on both platforms.
Bitcoinist: A huge issue for current content creators is non-transparent and often draconian censorship policies centralized platforms observe. How will Flixxo make sure censorship is not a problem for anyone who is at least not creating criminal content according to international law?
AG: Flixxo is a platform and a network. As a platform, we’ve decided to stay family-friendly and to not allow certain content (such as pornography). However, the network cannot be censored and anyone is able to build a platform for their content on top of it. Back to the house metaphor, it is your own land, is up to you to build the house you want to build.
Bitcoinist: Futurists suggest that in the online world of tomorrow content sharing services will become concepts much broader than how we understand them today. Perhaps we will see social media become one huge conglomerate of imaginable services. In your opinion, how does Flixxo push the humanity in that particular direction? How do you see it evolve?
AG: At the end, it is always about human interactions. All the actual models of interactions rely on third parties, on triangles. There is always author, consumer, and YouTube; he, she and Facebook; client, retailer, and Visa. Flixxo is an ecosystem in which people interact without intermediaries: our network is a swarm of individuals connected, with a common interest in sharing audiovisual content. A network where video content is the language in which they communicate with each other. Directly with each other, without outsiders monetizing on their interactions or messing up the communication.
For more information about Flixxo and the services they offer, please visit their company website at flixxo.com.
Do you think the prospect of better monetization will be enough to woo content producers away from YouTube and on to Flixxo? Let us know in the comments below.
People have already made fortunes from crypto fever and cryptofunds, and many more will make money as well. But not everyone.
The Cryptofund Lifeline
Like any rapidly developing market, the cryptocurrency industry provides opportunities, but there are only a few who can really use them. A significant share of the cryptocurrency market is owned by the those who mined it but have no idea how to handle it. Almost all of these people are at risk of ultimately losing their Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Cryptofunds help people survive in this market.For a Blockchain neophyte, such institutions are a throwback. Today, a company doesn’t need any ‘linings’ to raise money transparently and distribute profit.
Indeed, the structure of these kind of organizations is reminiscent of conventional venture funds. But they do work and are indispensable for the new economy.
Market expertise is the main product of any cryptofund. Funds form a team of professional traders and analysts, i.e. of those who are considered useless by the majority of Blockchain partisans in new economy.
Blockchain is characterized by transparent transactions, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the same for a business owner or a business model. Only experienced professionals can separate the wheat from the chaff and find reliable tools in a stack of hollow shells.
Cryptofunds play an important role in the cryptoeconomy. Among other things, they support new projects that create products and develop a Blockchain ecosystem. They also provide money to those who would probably never get a bank loan or investments from venture funds. It’s not necessarily because their projects are bad, but because neither banks nor VCs know how to work with blockchain projects and it’s doubtful that they’ll learn to do so anytime in the near future.
Meanwhile, a cryptofund’s global role is to raise money within the unregulated economy; it’s a bridge for institutional investors.
Explosive cryptocurrency growth attracts investors longing for risk, but it doesn’t mean they have enough money, and institutional investors will never take a risk without funds’ expertise. Truly large-scale projects can’t survive without big money and long-term finance, and the cryptoeconomy isn’t yet able to set up a strong bond with the conventional economy.
I would emphasize that we’re talking about the future. Right now, the market is still too small for major investors, but current growth rates will not keep them away for long. And until then, individual investors are the main source of money along with growing cryptocurrency rates which inflate funds’ value with no external sources.
Strong And Weak Spots
There are several other growth drivers for cryptofunds, apart from the desire of cryptocurrency owners to make their money work:
Low setup and management costs. The difference from conventional funds is immense. Executives can easily take all the profit, while the cryptoeconomy has avoided this for the moment.
Near-instant entry and exit. Thus, many players buy discounted tokens at pre-sales and then sell part of them on the stock market after fund’s listing. There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s standard behavior for speculators and long-term investors.
Openness, transparency and tokenization of cryptofundsare their integral features as explained by technology platforms. No auditor or disclosure could give you such transparency and publicity.
It may seem that this way money flow should be unstoppable and without any restrictions (shutupandtakemymoney!). ICO evangelists think the same way, but in real life, there are some restrictions that hamper the development of cryptofunds and cryptotools.
Lack of trust in the system.Technology transparency means nothing if you don’t understand its principles. Many find it hard to believe that some ephemeral 0 and 1 somewhere on the internet can guarantee something. In several years people will still have no good understanding of the basics of the cryptoeconomy, but they’ll get used to it. And that’s already something.
There is no legal bridge to the traditional economy.Major players are simply afraid to enter the sphere with a legal gray area. It’s also a question of time – state grindstones run slow but hard.
Limited access to liquidity.Due to the legal vacuum, there are no reliable cryptocurrency exchanges at the moment. The existing ones are dangerous, slow and have almost no obligation to their clients. And reputation doesn’t seem to matter a lot in the cryptoeconomy yet.
Technical issues of tokenization.A platform defines cyber resilience, security and productivity. It’s essential to choose the right one, even though this is really difficult.
Smart contracts.Smart contracts can either lead to success or ruin the whole business. In this sphere,developers are in high demand, and as a result, they are overloaded with work, extremely expensive and work very slowly.
In Need Of Change
The first three problems are long term one and will be resolved as the cryptoeconomy develops. But the latter ones can be tackled by active players.
The market desperately needs a simple, legal, technology-based and out-of-the-box solution for cryptofunds. The company that can deliver it will not only have a chance to beat out the competition but to boost the development of the cryptoeconomy, producing benefits for everyone involved as well.
Iranian authorities are taking appropriate measures in order to implement an effective infrastructure for Bitcoin usage in Iran.
As the tensions between Iran and the west rise, the Iranian government is looking for a way to integrate Bitcoin into its economy. Currently, the relations with the USA and Iran have been rather stagnant as Donald Trump called the Iran deal the “worst deal ever”. The Islamic republic is still suffering from international sanctions that affect several of its economic sectors, including finance, energy, and the shipping industry. International sanctions have also hindered Iranian citizens’ ability to use online payment platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and Braintree.
The Iranian government has decided to implement a new payment form that will be able to bypass sanctions -Bitcoin. One of the biggest benefits that the digital currency has is that it cannot be controlled by a central identity like a corporation or government, thus countries are not able to sanction payments. With Bitcoin, Iranian citizen could easily bypass economic sanctions and be able to conduct international trades.
Bitcoin Infrastructure for Iran
According to a recent article in Caspian News, the Iranian government has already done research on Bitcoin and its possible benefits for its economy. Amir Hossein Davaee, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology stated following:
The ministry of communications and information technology has already conducted a number of research studies as part of efforts to prepare the infrastructure to use Bitcoin inside the country,
He also added:
Bitcoin activities include money creation, so the Central Bank of Iran needs to set the ground rules and supervise related activities, otherwise this would disrupt the economic cycle,
Iranian authorities are soon planning to introduce a proper infrastructure for Bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies in order to properly integrate and regulate them. After the economy of Iran greatly suffered from sanctions, experts believe that Bitcoin and other digital currencies will greatly help Iran’s economy to get back on track.
What are your thoughts on Iran’s upcoming Bitcoin infrastructure? Do you think that Iran’s economy will benefit from digital currencies? Let us know in the comments below!
The Norwegian mining company Intex Resources ASA has announced its plan to launch the first ICO for an asset-backed token.
Companies are Turning to ICOs for Fundraising
Initial Coin Offerings have become the new popular method for companies and startups to raise money. This year most prominent ICO was conducted by the Canadian-based messaging app Kik. The token sale by Kik, which is also called Kin, was able to raise the amount of $125 million in a matter of days. The Kin ICO was the first token sale that made by a big and very-known company in the tech space.
Other big corporations have also planned their very own token sales. The famous online-retailer shop, Overstock.com, is planning to launch an ICO for its distribute ledger platform called tZero. The ICO participants and holders of the tZero token will be paid dividends by Overstock.com, similar to stock dividends. The Norwegian mining company Intex Resources ASA is also planning to conduct an ICO that will differ from other token sales.
First Asset-backed ICO
There have been several ICOs in the last couple of weeks that either don’t offer anything or sometimes pay dividends to the token-holders. But Intex Resources ASA is planning an ICO which will offer tokens that are backed by minerals. According to a recent article in Zero Hedge, the tokens will be backed by the company’s own iron ore and nickel ore reserves.
The official press release by the mining company stated:
As the Iron Ore asset owned by Ambershaw Metallics Inc. (AMI) is the closest to production the parties anticipate initial development of a Token with Iron Ore (or products derived thereof) as the underlying asset, in cooperation with AMI. The Company has 5% direct ownership and an option to acquire majority control in AMI. AMI expects to start concentrate production in Q2 2018. AMI estimates that in the initial mining phase it can produce approx. 330,000 tonnes of concentrate annually. The current sales price for 65% Fe concentrate is estimated to approximately USD 93 per tonne, with production cost of USD 35 and estimated freight cost of USD 15-20 per tonne.
Currently, it is unclear if this new concept with asset-backed token ICOs will succeed and be able to fulfill its purpose. But experts and analysts believe that in the future, companies and startups will have to offer something additional for their ICOs in order to attract investments.
What are your thoughts on this ICO? Do you think that asset-backed tokens are the future way for ICOs? Let us know in the comments below!
With the recent rise of ransomware attacks targeting corporations worldwide, law firms are taking what many are deeming ‘appropriate’ preemptive security measures.
In the last couple of years, many corporations and businesses have been affected by ransomware, malware and other hacking attacks. This year hackers were able to successfully attack several big corporations and government agencies. In May 2017, hackers were able to infect hundreds of thousands of computers with an advanced malware called ‘WannaCry’. According to cybersecurity experts, the hackers were able to infect over 300,000 computers worldwide. The countries that were the most affected by the attacks were Russia, Taiwan, and Ukraine, however, the attack was also able to infect western countries.
In Germany, the biggest railway operator Deutsche Bank was also a victim of the WannaCry ransomware. The British National Health Service was also one of the major victims of the WannaCry ransomware. WannaCry was able to slip into computers through phishing attacks and malicious files that users downloaded. The advanced ransomware is able to completely encrypt the hard drives of the computer that it infects. After the ransomware successfully encrypts the hard drives and all files, it will ask the victim to pay a ransom in Bitcoin in order to decrypt the hard drive and make accessible again for the victim. IT experts are warning users not to pay the ransom since there is no guarantee that the hard drive will actually decrypt after the ransom was paid.
Prepared for the Worst but Hoping for the Best
After the devasting WannaCry attack, many corporations and government agencies took major steps in order to upgrade their cybersecurity infrastructure. According to a recent article by Business Insider, several law firms are preemptively preparing for such attacks by opening up Bitcoin wallets.
The president of cybersecurity and IT of LogicForce, John Sweeny, stated that LogicForce will soon open a Bitcoin wallet, in case they become victims of ransomware. Sweeny also stated following regarding the whole situation:
We are predicting there are going to be more sophisticated attempts to intrude at firms that work with highly visible clients whose IP or business information is extremely valuable,
IT experts are advising big corporations and government agencies to invest more in cybersecurity and be more careful with the software that they install in their networks.
What are your thoughts on the WannaCry attack? Do you think that more law firms should open Bitcoin wallets in order to pay the ransom on time? Let us know in the comments below!