Čvn 20

CryptoPing to Help Users Navigate the Cryptocurrency Investment World

· June 20, 2017 · 2:00 pm

CryptoPing is an Instant Message bot for cryptocurrency traders, compiling information from exchanges and presenting it to the user in the form of comprehensive signals.

[Note: This is a sponsored article] 


Navigating the Cryptosphere

The recent cryptocurrency rally has taken crypto to unexplored heights, amassing a global market cap of over 100 billion and gaining new users worldwide. However, it has also created a FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) environment where inexperienced traders can lose fortunes in weeks due to rushed decisions based on no substantial research whatsoever.

In a market like this, experienced traders profit greatly from past experience, while entrant users must resort to information hubs. However, quality trading and analysis tools and info are not in abundance in cryptocurrency world, which means that users may be lead to make decisions based on incorrect information.

Bitcoin Price markets

CryptoPing is an Instant Message bot for cryptocurrency traders. Taking the form of an ordinary chat room, it compiles information from exchanges and presents it to the user in the form of signals, who can then choose to act upon it. The CryptoPing bot clears the overwhelming noise in the cryptosphere and prevents you with the most relevant movements in the market in due time.

Showcasing the need for quality tools in the field, CryptoPing’s ongoing crowdfunding campaign has already raised 65% of the initially expected funds. The CryptoPing IM bot has more than 25,000 active users, with more 500 new daily registrations, currently awaiting the launch of the subscription-based services and social sharing.

CryptoPing: Enhance Your Trading System

The information provided by CryptoPing is based on the trading volume, price movements, change to coin rate to BTC, cryptocurrency market capitalization, and more. This information will be compiled in a manner that quickly tells the user what altcoins he can buy and why, showing the relevant market movements.

Although CryptoPing can be used to enhance your trading skills, allowing you to quickly scope out the market in four different cryptocurrency exchanges and to place your orders based on the provided info, all of your purchases should be accompanied by extensive research. This system allows you to know all relevant information about the investment you’re making and not just the price/volume movements, which can be deceptive.

In the future, CryptoPing’s roadmap includes social trading, an investing app, news and social feeds monitoring, neural network for markets and auto-investing app and more

The PING Token & ICO

In order to fund the development of the CryptoPing project, an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Campaign is currently taking place, allowing users to exchange Bitcoin in exchange for PING tokens, a crypto-based asset issued on the Waves Platform.  The ICO has gathered over 377 BTC so far, with four more days left until the end of the campaign.

The PING token is used as a payment method for the CryptoPing subscription model. Most of the PING tokens used for payments will be burnt for the first six months, which allows the total supply of 10 million to decrease.

So far, CryptoPing has been able to gather 65% of the expected funds. With over 2202 investors worldwide, CryptoPing will be able to deliver a globally accessible product that can be used by anyone that has access to an IM app like Telegram or Slack.

Can CryptoPing become a standard tool for experienced and novice traders alike? Share your opinion below!


Images courtesy of CryptoPing, Shutterstock 

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Čvn 19

Altcoin Exchanges: Pros and Cons of Top Platforms

· June 19, 2017 · 1:00 pm

Altcoins, a collective name for all cryptocurrencies except bitcoin, have become the main point of attraction for cryptotraders around the world. The altcoin market, full of promising new coins, highly reputable old rivals of bitcoin, and downright scam coins, shows an equal potential for making someone a fortune or leaving them penniless.


Altcoin exchanges pop up like mushrooms after a summer rain, a fact that is predominantly attributed to the need of diversifying one’s altcoin investments. After the Mt.Gox fiasco, everyone is understandably very cautious.

The collapse of Cryptsy has made matters even worse. After two years of operation marked with multiple technical failures and unpopular administrative policies, the exchange went down after a $7.5 million-worth hack. The litigation that ensued has revealed that the exchange’s owner was stealing money for himself.

Even under increased caution and scrutiny, there are still many existing altcoin exchanges offer deals that involve downright swindling coins. Because of this, traders who lack a gargantuan appetite for risk-taking stick with the most reliable exchanges. Here are three of the most popular and top performing altcoin exchanges.

Poloniex

Poloniex, aka Polo, is probably the best-known altcoin exchange of them all. It offers a wide variety of cryptocurrency pairs, so a seasoned trader may compose a great portfolio of their choosing in no time.

Poloniex altcoin exchange

Signing up with Poloniex is similar to other websites that don’t offer instant registration via social networks. As with other online trading platforms, a new user has to undergo two levels of verification. Undergoing just the first level limits withdrawals to $2,000 a day. By providing further personal information like ID and home address, a user may extend the withdrawal limit to $25,000. In order to have an opportunity to withdraw more than that, a user would have to contact the exchange’s support team.

Technical support is available via e-mail, tickets or direct chat. The latter is possibly the best way to get a response as fast as possible, however, the moderators do not tend to answer the queries right away, and some users have complained that the responses were not sufficient to answer their questions.

The website offers two-factor identification similar to other online exchanges.

Remarkably, Poloniex does not deal with fiat currencies. The USD exchange rate it presents is actually tied to Tether, an altcoin designed to cost exactly $1. This issue often confuses newbies who try to withdraw fiat from the exchange.

Poloniex chart

Another notable downside is that the Poloniex offers no mobile apps, though it does provide a mobile browser version instead. There have been reports suggesting that there is an app at Google Play for Android devices, however, the app has no affiliation with the exchange, and therefore considered dangerous.

The exchange’s website is somewhat bulky and has been known to perform slowly compared to other exchanges. There have been reports of users’ browsers freezing up if there are other tabs opened at the same time.

Most notably, despite the service’s overall strong reputation, there have been numerous accusations of minor scams like supervising controllable and prearranged pumps and dumps, as well as meddling with Ethereum Classic supply. Additionally, DDoS attacks occur quite often to Poloniex, and its customers are more likely to receive phishing e-mails.

Takeaway: Overall, Poloniex is a great exchange for those interested in altcoin trading.

LiveCoin

LiveCoin does not focus on any particular part of the world, however, it supports USD, Euro-Russian Ruble withdrawals, so it might have the biggest appeal to those who mostly deal with those fiat currencies. However, altcoins traded at the platform are abundant.

LiveCoin altcoin exchange

The exchange requests that those who use bank transfers for deposits undergo special verification, which should be addressed to the support team. For all other cases, no additional verification is required. The service also offers two-factor verification for log-in and withdrawals common with all trading platforms and additionally may enable text notifications sent directly to the customer’s phone. Unlike Poloniex, LiveCoin does not use any withdrawal limits.

Similar to most other exchanges, LiveCoin offers standard market orders, limit orders, and, on top of that, pending orders, which is not common with its competitors. Pending orders are orders that essentially will activate only once the price of a selected currency reaches the value set forth by a trader. This may actually influence the trading by removing any influence from a particular trader. In fact, as long as nobody sees an order at a specified price, it cannot drive the market anywhere.

LiveCoin Chart

Another notable feature of LiveCoin is that the exchange offers fiat vs altcoin pairs, which most other currencies lack. This effectively removes the need to buy bitcoin for fiat, and then altcoin for bitcoin, thus paying transaction fees twice.

Unlike some other exchanges where users may wait a long time until the support team responds, LiveCoin’s support team is quick to reply and remains strictly professional. Additionally, they maintain a FAQ section at Bitcointalk where everyone may ask their questions.

The user interface is quite convenient and the exchange works great in mobile browsers. Unfortunately, just like Poloniex, it has no apps for either iOS or Android. Another downside of the exchange is that some of the altcoins traded there have poor liquidity.

Takeaway: Both professional and amateur altcoin traders may find LiveCoin to be a great altcoin exchange with many useful and unique features.

Bittrex

Bittrex has been active since 2015 and features thousands of cryptocurrency pairs, two-factor authorization and cold storage of most user assets to protect them against possible system failures.

Bittrex altcoin exchange

The exchange may be one of the safest platforms for online trading as its creators pride themselves on being “security freaks.” Nevertheless, signing up with the exchange may scare anonymity advocates away due to those security reasons, as the new user has to specify their full name, date of birth, country, address, and ID number.

For the same security reasons, one cannot withdraw anything in the 24 hours following the change of password, and without two-factor authorization enabled, the amount of withdrawals will be limited to 1 BTC a day.

Even with all the security in place, there is still room for user complaints. Aside from the absence of an interface in any other language than English, the exchange’s technical support also causes some users to express their discontent. Complaints remain unresolved for a long time, and there are even some accusations of non-transparent policies and withdrawal problems.

Bittrex chart

The exchange acts as a wallet and a trading platform at the same time, which, with all the security rolled out, might be convenient without involving any serious risks.

Bittrex may be the best solution for those who value security above comfort. While verification may take a long while, and the support team seems to be generally sluggish, the security of user accounts is beyond all praise. When the user database was hacked in April 2016, only those accounts that had not enabled two-factor verification were in fact compromised.

Takeaway: While generally being one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges, when it comes to matters beyond security, Bittrex still has something to improve.

What do you think of our Top 3 altcoin exchanges? Do you have a favorite exchange that isn’t listed here? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Bittrex, LiveCoin, Poloniex, Shutterstock

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Čvn 09

Crypviser Will Encrypt Messages on the Blockchain for Private Communications

· June 9, 2017 · 3:00 am

Crypviser is building a blockchain-based all-in-one network for secure social and business communications. ICO is currently ongoing.


Improving on Privacy with Blockchain Technology

In today’s Orwellian society, privacy has become a rare and valuable asset that some go to great lengths to protect while others simply throw it away in exchange for convenience. As technology evolves, however, so does access to privacy-oriented tools and their underlying technology.

Blockchain tech has gone a long way in the realm of financial privacy, now Crypviser wants to build upon it and extend its use onto end-to-end message encryption by providing a blockchain-based all-in-one network for secure social and business communications. The project is currently undergoing a crowdfunding campaign that will help fund the development of this network.

A unified and secure instant communication network, Crypviser provides real end-to-end encryption and unique blockchain based authentication, the latter of which allows users to truly identify and confirm each other’s identity through the user of private and public keys.

The end result is a secure and private messenger which will also feature its CVCPay system, allowing users to send funds to each other anonymously.

Crypviser ICO & CVCoin

In order to fund the development and marketing of Crypviser’s network, a crowdfunding campaign is currently taking place. Taking the form of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), the Crypviser’s funding stage ill last until June 30, 2017, during which time investors can buy the CVCoin, the underlying token in the Crypviser’s platform.

The CVCoin is required in order to interact with the Crypviser platform and to cover its transaction fees. Transactions are required to authorize and identify the users’ access to public encryption keys, ensuring that messages cannot be forged nor can they be decrypted.

So far, the Crypviser ICO has managed to gather over $900,000. These funds will be used to cover mobile, backend, and infrastructure costs as well as licensing fees, legal services, operational costs, and of course, marketing.

The Initial Coin Offering is currently ongoing and will last until the 30th of June. Users can invest in the Crypviser ICO using Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even USD. Most recently, support for the TIME token was also added. 15 million CVCcoins will be distributed, along with special benefits such as free subscriptions, access to special features, free access to the CVPay system, and more. 

Can Blockchain technology help the internet regain its privacy? Can Crypviser become the merged solution we need for financial privacy and message encryption?


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Crypviser

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Čvn 04

Cryptocurrency-Powered Game Platform ZENIgames Announces Official Launch

· June 4, 2017 · 10:00 am

The new online gaming platform ZENIgames offers gamers a chance to play games and win “Zennies” in the process.


Love online gaming and cryptocurrencies? Then this new gaming platform is just for you. The Bulgarian arcade game website ZENIgames.com has announced its official launch and is powered by “Zennies”, the platform’s own cryptocurrency. ZENIgames offers free-to-play online games and lets players earn Zennies in the process.

ZENIgames joins other companies such as Datcroft Games Ltd. and Ionomy Studios in integrating cryptocurrency into their games. While Bitcoin has already fostered a burgeoning online gambling industry, it has more recently attracted the attention of mobile game companies who wish to use it to further monetize their games.

The ZENIgames Platform

ZENIgames currently offers around 2000 flashed-based games, which work on regular Internet browsers as well as Android and iOS devices. The site offers the usual range of browser-based games, from basic puzzle and platform games to more involved 3D action games.

The games are user-submitted, so their quality tends to vary. Some games, such as Crash Drive 2, are multiplayer-enabled and highly polished. Others, such as Tile War, are clearly meant as amusing time-killers. However, a five-star rating system allows users to push the best games to the top of each game list.

Zenigames Crash Drive 2

Some games track player progress using cookies stored on the user’s machine. The site also includes leaderboards and a site-wide chat system, allowing users to communicate with each other in-game.

Nonetheless, some HTML5-based games will not work on the Chrome browser due to their need for the Unity Web Player plugin. This is not enabled on Chrome by default, as it’s considered a security risk by its developers (amongst its other stability issues). Users will either need to manually enable NPAPI plugins on Chrome, or play using one of the Unity-supported browsers.

Zennies, the Prize Tickets of the Future

The innovation ZENIgames offers is its own cryptocurrency, Zennies, which are currently worth around 0.00000135 Bitcoins (or about $0.0034). Its name is derived from the Japanese word for “coins” or “small change”. According to CryptoCompare, Zennies was launched on March 22, 2017 (likely during the development of the site). Like other cryptocurrencies, Zennies is completely decentralized with its own blockchain and community of developers.

CryptoCompare price index for ZENI

By registering with ZENIgames, users can play games to earn Zexperience points, which can then be converted into Zennies. These can be used on the website as payments for games and other In-App Purchases (IAP). The site also offers tools to help developers integrate Zennies into their own creations.

A Blockchain Gaming Network

Although Zennies can be traded across one or two exchanges, they currently appear to have limited use as payment for game prizes on their own platform. However, ZENIgames is built on the ZENI game distribution system, which allows other arcade sites to fetch ZENIarcade games.

The ZENIverse

Theoretically, this will allow Zennies to be used as a cross-platform payment system on other sites. Should it gain momentum, the ZENI game distribution system may evolve into a networked game system, where Zexperience can be traded to earn prizes across a network of games.

ZENIgames is currently in beta, so expect more developments on the platform to follow in due time.

Is gaming a good application for blockchain? Could Zennies gain momentum as a currency for online games? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of CryptoCompare, ZENIgames.

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Čvn 02

China’s Central Bank Will Soon Regulate ICO’s

· June 2, 2017 · 9:00 am

The People’s Bank of China is turning its attention Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), seeking to regulate the new form of crowdfunding.


China to Regulate ICOs

Although cryptocurrency withdrawals are back on the big three Chinese exchanges, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) isn’t quite through with the cryptoworld. Now it seems like it’s going after Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), seeking to regulate the new phenomena in the crowdfunding world.

Chinese publication Weixin reports that Yao Qian, head of Digital Currency Research Institute at PBoC, has stated that the PBoC will soon regulate ICOs.

Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs are a way to fund projects or companies crowdfunding methods. This typically includes selling project tokens for fiat currency, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular cryptocurrencies. These tokens are usually required in order to use the platform or they can also represent equity through a dividend or buy-back program.

Current ICO Landscape

The news comes at a time where ICOs are extremely popular, gathering millions of dollars every week and amassing higher and higher market caps.

Most recently, the Basic Attention Token (BAT) ICO, gathered $30million in a matter of seconds, while the Aragon project gathered $20million in roughly 15 minutes. The MobileGo ICO gathered over $53 million in the course of its month-long ICO.

Poloniex

While most ICOs currently take place through the use of the Ethereum network, other projects are also getting in on the action, as is the case of the Waves Platform, Wings DAO, and Ethereum Classic.

Although some of these crowdfunding campaigns have had exorbitant returns for investors, many members of the community are also raising questions about the validity of some of these projects and if they are really worth tens of millions of dollars before having even built their project/platform or an MVP (minimum viable product).

Regulatory Clarity Could Boost Industry

Although the moratorium on cryptocurrency withdrawals has come to an end, the PBoC has stated that they are not yet done with Bitcoin exchanges.  Now, Bitcoin miners in the country are starting to shut down their operations in fear of future regulatory pressure like the one applied to exchanges.

Some Bitcoin miners in the Szechuan province, a place with cheaper electricity prices due to abundant hydropower resources, have decided to shut down in fear of regulation. One miner told YiCai Global:

The price is so high at the moment. Shutting down costs mine owners hundreds of thousands of yuan every day.

In China, the pressure from the PBoC has resulted in a weakened Bitcoin market, strict KYC policies and may now also affect mining and ICOs as well. However, regulation can also be helpful. In Japan, the new regulatory framework built around cryptocurrencies has allowed their popularity to grow in the country.

Can the new stance on Initial Coin Offerings by the PBoC change the ICO landscape? 


Images courtesy of CryptoCompare, Twitter, Shutterstock

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Kvě 29

China’s Biggest Exchanges to Add Ethereum, Other Altcoins as Demand Surges

· May 29, 2017 · 7:00 am

As altcoins continue to gain popularity throughout the world, Bitcoin exchanges in China are also getting in on the action and listing alternative cryptocurrencies.


Huobi to Support Altcoins

As the moratorium on cryptocurrency withdrawals is expected to soon end in China, exchanges in the country seem to be turning their attention to alternative cryptocurrencies. Two days ago, one of the big three exchanges in China, Huobi, announced it will launch Ethereum trading on May 31.

The announcement reads:

We are excited to announce the CNY/ETH will be listed on our exchanges. Trading will start at 12:00 May 31st (GMT +8). ETH deposit and withdrawal is available from now on.

Today, Huobi released a list of altcoins that are to be added in the future according to the rank of the coin in said list. According to Huboi’s underlying model, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple are the highest ranking coins following Bitcoin, followed by Dash, Zcash and Dogecoin.

Online news service cnLedger tweeted:

The list was ranked using a model created by Huobi which factors in the coin’s strategy, marketing, activity, risk and technology to calculate the relevance of the coin.

The list and underlying model can be seen in Huobi’s official announcement.

BTCC to Get In On the Action as Well

Huobi isn’t the only Bitcoin exchange in China that is to list alternative cryptocurrencies.

After a two-week poll, in which over 190k votes by the cryptocurrency community were counted, Ethereum Classic will be listed in the BTCC exchange. Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC tweeted:

Although the exchanges employed a completely different method in which Huobi used a model to rank cryptocurrencies and BTCC used a community poll, both exchanges are interested in opening the doors for the Chinese community to invest in  alternative cryptocurrencies.

Huobi and BTCC, however, are not the first exchanges in the country to list alternative cryptocurrencies. The China-based Yunbi exchange allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Etherem, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, QTUM, Bitshares, and others. BTC38 also offers a multitude of cryptocurrencies to be bought and sold for CNY. Lastly, CHBTC also lists Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin.

Crypto in Asia

Although less-known exchanges in the country offer altcoin trading, most Chinese users are only familiar with Bitcoin and Litecoin, given that most cryptocurrency investors use one of the big three exchanges in the country, BTCC, OKCoin and Huobi.

China plays a big part in the Bitcoin world, ranking in the top 3 countries by daily trading volume but other countries in the continent are becoming increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies and it’s not just Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Take Japan, for example, where the recent Bitcoin law has created an accentuated demand for cryptocurrencies, making the JPY the biggest Bitcoin pair in the world by trading volume and that’s not all. Other cryptocurrencies are also gaining traction in the country.

Co-Founder of IndieSquare and Community Director at the Counterparty Foundation, stated in a recent blog post:

First, one of the unique characteristics of the Japanese crypto space is that altcoins are very popular as a means of investment and some of them have very strong and dedicated communities; some even more active than the Bitcoin community itself in a way. Among them, two of the most popular altcoins in Japan are XRP(Ripple) and XEM(NEM).

In South Korea, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are also extremely popular, even more so than Bitcoin whose daily trading volume is smaller than that of ETH or ETC.

With China adhering to the altcoin craze, could Asia become the capital for alternative cryptocurrencies?


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.com, Twitter 

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Kvě 19

MobileGo Becomes 2nd Biggest ICO Ever, Netting Over $26 Million

· May 19, 2017 · 9:30 am

MobileGo has gathered over $26 million dollars making it the second most successful crowd sale in the cryptosphere, and the fourth in the world.

[Note: This is a sponsored article]


MobileGo Raises Over $26 Million & Counting

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are changing the way projects are being crowdfunded, creating a new generation blockchain-based tokens like appcoins and assets. Although ICOs started with Mastercoin’s relatively modest sum of roughly 500,000 USD, they are now taking new proportions.

As time passes by, it seems that investors are becoming less wary when it comes to investing in blockchain-based crowdfunds. Now, it is not uncommon for ICOs to gather millions on their first day (or minutes) and that’s exactly what MobileGo, one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns in history, has done.

Kicking its ICO off with 4 million dollars on the first day, MobileGo has attracted over $26 million (or 6,800 BTC) so far, making it one of the most successful ICOs ever, second only to the DAO, and the fourth most successful crowdfunding project in the whole world. And the ICO isn’t even over yet, with five days left until the end.

Hosted by GameCredits Inc., the MobileGo ICO allows users to exchange several established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Waves, GAME, and others in exchange for MobileGo (MGO) tokens, which will bring several benefits to its holders and help shape the environment of the GameCredit’s Moblie Store, a platform for mobile games with over 300 games by 150 different developers.

ICOs: Hype or New Paradigm?

The MobileGo ICO will not only help fund the Gamecredit’s Mobile Store marketing and branding efforts, but it will also gamify the platform through the use of Ethereum-based smart contract, allowing users to compete among themselves in a decentralized manner and to earn rewards and reputation while doing so.

The MobileGo token features some of the latest trends in the blockchain space such as dual-blockchain capabilities and a buyback program that will see the token supply decrease over time. The dual-blockchain functionality allows users to transfer tokens between the Ethereum and Waves blockchains through the use of BlockSwap technology.

However, the main aspect of these tokens are not their technical characteristics per se, but rather the function they serve within the platform. Although the GameCredit’s Mobile Store already features its own cryptocurrency, GAME, Ivica Simatovic, CEO at GameCredits Inc, explained to Bitcoinist why a second token is necessary.

GameCredits CEO Ivica Simatovic

He said:

The MobileGO token will be used to provide many important features to Gamecredits Store based on smart contracts. In this store there will be 2 tokens: 1 for processing (Gamecredits) and another for tournaments, betting, virtual market place (MGO).

Not only that, but MobileGo will also reward customers with discounts, free entrance to VIP tournaments and access to private game beta stages.

“This store will be a unique and special place for gamers where they will receive services they can not find in other places,” adds Simatovic.

Money is Pouring into Crypto

Although ICOs are not new, they are certainly one of the new crazes in the world of investment. Not only has the global cryptocurrency market cap doubled in size in May alone, millions and millions of dollars kept flowing into ICOs like MobileGo, Gnosis, Aragon,etc. with many more in the pipeline.

Although some have concerns regarding Initial Coin Offerings and the lack of regulation or guidelines, ICOs are providing new ways for entrepreneurs to get their projects off the ground, which wouldn’t be nearly as easy through banks and VC firms.

While undoubtedly uncharted territory, ICO are shaping the future of technology allowing developers to experiment with blockchain technology at will and to build decentralized and trustless applications, which were not possible before.  

What’s your take on the current ICOs trend? Share your thoughts below! 


Images courtesy of Gamecredits, Shutterstock

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Kvě 17

Ripple Soars 445% in 2 Weeks, But XRP Holders Won’t Like This Article

· May 17, 2017 · 9:00 am

The Ripple cryptocurrency XRP has been the center of attentions, rallying to unprecedented heights over the last month but what is truly fueling the rally?

[Note: This is an Op-Ed]


XRP Shoots Up 445%

Ripple has been enjoying a phenomenal month on the price charts, constantly breaking all time highs and dominating daily trading volume.

Although recent times have been filled with exciting rallies, XRP has overshadowed every altcoin out there, growing over 445%% in two weeks, making it the second most valuable cryptocurrency with a marketcap of roughly $14 billion. 

The rally experienced in the XRP price charts can be attributed to recent news on the cryptoshpere like the addition of new customers (banks, and payment service providers) to the Ripple network. This also includes news of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which recently joined Ripple’s Interbank Group for Global Payments, and the announcement to lock a large portion of the company-owned XRP tokens under escrow.

Some have also pointed to the current cryptocurrency landscape in Japan (where Ripple holds a strong community presence and has made several bank partnerships), and how the new regulatory stance of the country can be supporting a new wave of misinformed investors.

In a recent blog post, Co-Founder of IndieSquare and Community Director at the Counterparty Foundation, Koji Higashi stated:

Another thing to note about this new trend is that the general lack of understanding or appreciation of the technology by many of new users. This is no surprise and all of us have been there at one point but the new wave of Japanese investors seem to be exhibiting a whole new level of incomprehension and misguided decision making in my opinion.

However, it is becoming evident that the general lack of knowledge regarding what Ripple is and what the recent updates actually mean is global as XRP has been dominating trading volume in the BTC market as well.

Fueled by Misinformation?

Although Ripple been one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in terms of market cap for quite some time, its recent rally can only be fueled by the recent rumors and news regarding the XRP token. The most relevant of which are the customers and partnerships acquired by Ripple and today’s announcement regarding Ripple’s 55 Billion coins being locked, which has been circulating the web as a rumor for a while now.

Given the scenario, many investors that are now joining the Ripple boat must have no idea what they are buying and how the news actually influences the demand and supply for the token in the long-term, once the “hype” has died down.

For example, many users believe that banks and other types of financial service providers that are joining the Ripple network should create demand for the XRP token, which is needed in order for banks to make use of the technology that Ripple has created, one that rivals VISA itself in terms of transaction throughput.

However, the general public doesn’t seem to realize that these institutions are “encouraged” but not required to use XRP to pay any kind of operation fees. Instead, they can simply make use of the technology provided by Ripple and build their own network using their own in-house tokens.

It is also a known fact that Ripple holds ~62% of the XRP supply, which is capped at 100 billion. This means that Ripple currently has roughly $23 Billion worth of XRP. Standards on how marketcap is measured in the cryptocurrency space vary but if you count all of the XRP that currently exists, Ripple has a ~37 billion dollar market cap, or over 7 billion dollars more than Bitcoin.

computer security

Another general misunderstanding is that the token-lock result in scarcity of XRP tokens. According to the announcement, Ripple will lock 55 billion tokens out of the 62 billion tokens they own as a means to inspire trust (or perhaps to further accelerate the price growth of XRP).

The truth is that this will affect the supply of XRP. The tokens that have been in the possession of XRP will continue to be held by the team. In other words, no XRP will be removed from circulation. The number of XRP available on exchanges and wallets today, will remain unchanged. Unfortunately, some less-informed users believe this will create some sort of artificial scarcity.

One should also note that Ripple’s pledge to lock any amount of tokens is nothing but fireworks, given that the centralized nature of Ripple allows it to change the rules at any time.

A post by Ripple that seeks to compare the characteristics of Bitcoin, Ether, and Ripple makes this clear:

In contrast, the Ripple Consensus Ledger has proven governance with institutional validators run by MIT, Microsoft and leading global banks.

Lastly, user’s should also note that these tokens won’t be locked for long. The official announcement reads:

We’ll use escrow to establish 55 contracts of 1 billion XRP each that will expire on the first day of every month from months 0 to 54. As each contract expires, the XRP will become available for Ripple’s use.

Crypto End-Game

Despite the aforementioned misunderstandings, it should also be noted that Ripple is certainly not vaporware. The Ripple company is building real technology that is being used by real corporations.

But traders should keep in mind that whatever Ripple is building, it is building it for the banks and middlemen, not for the people, per se. This, in my opinion, puts it in a whole other category than Bitcoin and many other decentralized cryptocurrencies, whose goals are to eliminate middlemen, decentralize money, and empower the individual.

Is the XRP token in a bubble? Or is there something else we are missing? Let us know what you think is driving the rally in the comment section.


Images courtesy of CryptoCompare, Ripple, Shutterstock

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Kvě 10

Hungary’s Central Bank Cracks Down on OneCoin

· May 10, 2017 · 3:00 pm

Hungary is the latest to take legal action against OneCoin as the country’s central bank organizes task force against the cryptocurrency scheme.


The OneCoin Task Force

Following India and Germany, Hungary is the most recent country to mount a crackdown on the OneCoin scheme. Following several warnings issued regarding the nature of dangerous nature OneCoin, the Hungarian central bank, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB) is now assembling a task force aimed at dismantling the OneCoin operation.

Announced yesterday, the task force will be comprised of several agencies and institutions. The (translated) statement reads:

Several departments of the Ministry of the Interior, the Budapest Police Headquarters, the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the National Taxation and Customs Administration, The National Police Headquarters and the Joint Market Advisory Working Group of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB).

This new development doesn’t come as a surprise, given the three warnings issued by the MNB throughout 2016 and 2015 and the recent Onecoin-related arrests in India. In the announcement made by Hungary’s Central Bank, OneCoin’s model is described as being “similar to the pyramid scheme”. The statement reads:

Simply put: for OneCoin currently no real commodity or service can be purchased, the value of the alleged virtual currency and its price is objectively unobservable.

Onecoin vs The Law

OneCoin has always been perceived by the cryptocurrency community as a Ponzi scheme and throughout the years, several official warnings have been issued by regulators and central banks all over the world. Too many to list in this post. However, OneCoin has managed to continue its global operations, leaving a trail of disgruntled “investors” along the way.

OneCoin dubbed ponzi scheme

Now, it seems that the tide is changing for the cryptocurrency scheme, possibly due to the unprecedented growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In the last few weeks, authorities both in India and in Germany have started taking action against OneCoin.

In India, several people with ties to OneCoin were arrested by undercover officers, while in Germany, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) froze the accounts of OneCoin’s payment processor, International Marketing Services GmbH, and ordered the company to return the funds to investors who made recent payments.

About OneCoin

If you’re new to the cryptocurrency space, you may be wondering just what exactly is Onecoin. This subject has been covered extensively in media outlets and there are multiple exposé articles throughout the web. Nevertheless, new users should be made aware of the dangers in the cryptocurrency sphere, and one of them is OneCoin.

OneCoin describes itself as a cryptocurrency with a private blockchain. However, it has been made clear, mostly through OneCoin’s own attempts to prove the existence of its blockchain, that it doesn’t exist.

When you invest in OneCoin, you’re basically buying the digital equivalent of monopoly money. The statement issued by Hungary’s central bank also makes note of this:

The OneCoin construction, similar to the pyramid scheme, seems to be an investment in some kind of equipment, but in reality, it can only be traded in a closed and unmanageable forum operated by the organizer.

The Organizations behind OneCoin will not sell you the coins directly. They will sell you “educational material” and mining spots so that you can “produce” them. They also have ridiculous methods like “splitting” coins, which doubles your coins out of thin air, something that doesn’t make any sense for someone that understands the basics of economy and/or blockchain technology.

In short, OneCoin is not really a cryptocurrency (centralized or otherwise), but rather just a bunch of numbers on a server that has no real-life value and cannot be exchanged for anything else outside of the OneCoin platform. Still, many have fallen victim to this scam, which has been successful most due to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Hopefully, the recent developments may make potential investors aware and keep them away from OneCoin.

Is this the beginning of the end for the OneCoin scheme? If so, will others take its place? Let us know what you think in the comment section.


Images courtesy of AltcoinSpekulant, Shutterstock. Wikimedia

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Litecoin Activates SegWit Today As Price Nears $40

· May 10, 2017 · 9:48 am

SegWit activation day is here for Litecoin as the fourth-largest cryptocurrency gains another 38% in price.

Litecoin Passes $35, Lee Remains Cool

With just several hours to go before its “locked-in” status changes to “activated”, investors are celebrating as Litecoin’s price per token exceeds $35.

The surge marks a turnaround in the altcoin’s fortunes, prices having suffered earlier this week as assets across the board hemorrhaged value.

Poloniex, a major altcoin exchange, experienced slowness and loading problems, which some pointed to as a major cause of panic selling resulting in a broad comedown.

On Twitter Wednesday, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee appeared naturally upbeat, noting nonetheless that this was just the start for his cryptocurrency.

SegWit Still King For Investor Confidence

The rags-to-riches story has been marked by overwhelming investor appetite for SegWit. The confidence that accompanied Litecoin locking in the technology appeared to engulf any misgivings or even alleged attempts to derail the process.

This in turn led to a rapid U-turn for two other altcoins, namely SysCoin and Vertcoin, which both successfully activated SegWit and benefitted from giant price rises.

As in the case of Litecoin, criticism that SegWit activation was simply a tool for developers to make money did not stop trading interest.

Now, Litecoin will no doubt be eyeing the next step in the chain – introduction of Lightning Network transactions.

Lightning Network Brewing

“The activation of segwit on Litecoin allows us to deploy Lightning on an active production blockchain,” Lightning’s Olaoluwa Osuntokun wrote in a blog post last week.

“With our ultimate launch, we’ll be able to examine monetary incentives within the network, observe the emergent properties of the networks’ channel graph, and see the rise of production services and applications built on top of the network.”

A survey conducted by Lee meanwhile suggested Litecoin users were keener on harboring their funds long term than testing Lightning.

Lee himself stated that he intended to both “hodl” and test the technology.

Across the altcoin board meanwhile, only a modest recovery is noticeable, while Bitcoin is also down from its near $1800 highs. The figures will likely be music to the ears of experts such as Vinny Lingham, who repeated warnings about “bubbles” in recent public comments.

What do you think about Litecoin after SegWit activation? Let us know in the comments below!


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