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 01

UK’s Most Popular Investment Platform to Offer Bitcoin

· June 1, 2017 · 8:30 am

UK’s most popular investment platform, Hargreaves Lansdown, will soon allow its clients to invest in Bitcoin.


Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown, the administer £70bn of investor money with 876,000 clients, has announced it will allow customers access to invest in Bitcoin.

“By adding self-service, online dealing, the team at Hargreaves Lansdown is providing UK investors with professional and quick access to bitcoin in the UK and greater Europe,”  Ryan Radloff, XBT’s head of investor relations told the Telegraph.

This follows the recent news that the American financial services corporation, Fidelity Investments, will soon allow their clients the ability to view their cryptocurrency holdings on the Coinbase website.

However, Hargreaves Lansdown, are using a fund offered by a Swedish company, XBT Provider, which is structured as an ETN or exchange-traded note. These funds are listed on the stock exchange meaning Bitcoin can be bought and sold as a share.

“The value of and any amount payable under the certificates will be strongly affected by the performance of Bitcoin and the US dollar/krona exchange rate,” XBT Provider explains. “As such an investment in the certificates is likely to be highly volatile and thus risky.”

In other words, British Bitcoin investors will be exposed to two areas of risk, not just the famous volatility of the cryptocurrency itself, but also to the US dollar/Swedish Krona exchange rate.

Clients Asked to Invest in Bitcoin

Danny Cox, head of communications at Lansdown noted that the decision to add Bitcoin as an investment option was driven in part by customer demand.

Cox:

We have seen a handful of clients asking for the ETN, so it’s not purely driven by a provider wanting to be listed.

This interest, although written off as a handful, demonstrates that the demand must surely have been significant among traditional investors for the company to include it.

Despite the potential risks, Bitcoin has (again) been outperforming every asset and fiat currency in 2017, and smart money is starting to pay attention. This is a major step for Bitcoin towards mainstream adoption and becoming a legitimate asset for traditional finance.

Is Bitcoin finally breaking into mainstream finance? Will other brokers follow suite? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock, moneytothemasses.com

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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 24

Jeff Gundlach: Bitcoin is Soaring Because of China

· May 24, 2017 · 9:30 am

It’s no coincidence that Bitcoin is surging as the Shanghai composite falls, DoubleLine Capital CEO, Jeffrey Gundlach, claims.


Gundlach: Bitcoin Surge Linked to Shanghai Composite Fall

Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine Capital, tweeted the above, making the assertion that the surge in Bitcoin price has coincided with a drop in the Shanghai composite, saying:

Bitcoin up 100% in under 2 months. Shanghai down almost 10% same timeframe, compared to most global stocks up. Probably not a coincidence!

This drop in the Shanghai composite has not followed the trend of most major indexes which have so far climbed this year.

That the Shanghai composite fell this year was seen to be a sign of it being under pressure from increasing Chinese regulation, with the index being down almost 10 percent over the last two months.

In local currency terms, the composite has fallen 5.65% from the 22nd of March with Bitcoin itself having risen 120% during this period.

Bitcoin in China

The rise of Bitcoin’s price has obviously been longer in gestation than this quick comparison, but with those eager to get out of fiat, it’s not hard to see why that might be, and why it has so far proved to have been the better choice.

Signs have been positive in China for Bitcoin, it’s a technological field the country is seemingly eager to keep up with, whilst currency pairing has been limited, trading between Fiat and Bitcoin is booming.

Capital Flight

China has a large expatriate market, with foreign talent being brought in due to the country lacking senior managers, many of these look to repatriate their money in a cost efficient way. With Bitcoin heralded for its micro transactional benefits for economic migrants sending money back home to their families, this also benefits those with larger incomes too, be it corporate or personal.

Bitcoin China Money

That China has frozen Bitcoin withdrawals from China based exchanges as part of their latest rounds of regulation demonstrates they are aware of this issue of capital flight (or money laundering) and are taking the necessary steps to counter it.

Something which in my opinion can only bring further stability to the digital currency and ultimately help protect not only Chinese citizens investment, but the market as a whole.

Is Mr.Gundlund correct in his comparison? Does China have a more progressive attitude to Cryptocurrency, and has the governments actions actually made the Chinese more confident in their investments? Does this mean that China is right to regulate? Let us know your opinions in the comments!


Images courtesy of pionline.com, Shuttesrtock

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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 18

Bitcoin is Still Illegal in These 6 Countries

· May 18, 2017 · 9:30 am

As the Bitcoin revolution continues to spread throughout the world, there are still some places where buying or using Bitcoin is illegal and can get you in trouble.


Bitcoin Still Illegal in Some Countries

As Bitcoin’s popularity continues to grow throughout the world, some governments are beginning to realize its benefits and potential and are integrating Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in their economy, rather than trying to punish those that use it with restrictive policies and exaggerated taxes.

Japan, for example, has recently passed a law that makes Bitcoin a legal form of online payment, removing taxes and setting up a regulatory framework for Bitcoin-based businesses. Australia has also taken a stance in favor of cryptocurrencies and removed the double-tax that was penalizing average Bitcoin users.

However, not all countries are as forward thinking especially when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Believe it or not, Bitcoin is still illegal in some countries, which says a lot about Bitcoin as a disruptive technology.

To be clear though, the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency is not illegal because it poses any risk to the citizens of the countries we will list. Rather, it provides an alternative, open, P2P monetary system — and an exit for some  — which is seen as a threat to their centrally-controlled, legacy monetary system.

All of the countries listed below banned Bitcoin in 2014, following the Mt. Gox disaster. As Bitcoin begins to gain traction throughout the world, it’s possible that these countries may eventually change their stance on Bitcoin and digital currencies.

Vietnam

Although Bitcoin can be freely used by citizens, the State Bank of Vietnam issued a statement in February 2014 warning against the use of Bitcoin and prohibiting credit institutions to deal with the cryptocurrency.

The statement reads:

All bitcoin exchanges that allow users to trade anonymously, therefore, can be used to launder dirty money, sell drugs, hide from paying taxes, exchange and pay for illegal activities.

In December 2016, the government of Vietnam stated that it will consolidate cryptocurrency regulations as its current provisions “fall short.”

Iceland

Bitcoin’s legality in Iceland is not very clear. According to a statement issued in March 2014 by the Central Bank of Iceland, dealing with Bitcoin may violate the Icelandic Foreign Exchange Act, which specifies that Icelandic currency cannot leave the country and that foreign currency cannot be used in the country.

iceland

Bitcoin mining is legal in the country and so is transacting with Bitcoin, but apparently if those Bitcoins cannot be purchased from a foreign exchange or have to be mined in Iceland. This leaves a lot of room for questions. The statement reads:

There is no authorization to purchase foreign currency from financial institutions in Iceland or to transfer foreign currency across borders on the basis of transactions with virtual currency. For this reason alone, transactions with virtual currency are subject to restrictions in Iceland.

Bolivia

In May 2014, the country’s central bank, El Banco Central de Bolivia, officially banned any and all currencies not issued and/or regulated by the government, specifying Bitcoin, a few other altcoins and any other currencies that do not belong to a state or economic zone.

The statement reads:

It is illegal to use any kind of currency that is not issued and controlled by a government or an authorized entity.

Ecuador

Ecuador not only banned Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies, but it did so while establishing guidelines for the creation of their own virtual currency.

The National Assembly of Ecuador passed a bill that amends the country’s monetary laws in July 2014, banning cryptocurrencies and allowing the government to issue and transact in its asset-backed “electronic money.”

Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, using Bitcoin as a form of payment is illegal, although no law prohibits users from buying, selling and using. In August 2014, the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic, issued a statement in which it noted that the use of Bitcoin and other cryptos as a form of payment is illegal given that the only legal tender in the country is the country’s Kyrgystani Som (KGS).

The statement reads:

Under the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, the sole legal tender on the territory of our country is the national currency of Kyrgyzstan som. The use of ‘virtual currency’, bitcoins, in particular, as a means of payment in the Kyrgyz Republic, will be a violation of the law of our state.

Bangladesh

Bitcoin is not legal in Bangladesh. Transacting with any type of decentralized cryptocurrency can get you up to 12 years in jail and it has been so for almost three years.

In September 2014, the Bangladesh Bank issued a statement regarding the use of Bitcoin and warning that it is punishable by law. Bank officials said that anyone found guilty of dealing with Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency could be jailed for up to 12 years under current anti-money laundering laws. The central bank went as far as to request citizens not to “spread information about it.”

The statement reads:

Bitcoin is not a legal tender of any country. Any transaction through bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is a punishable offense.

Do you believe these countries will change their stance on Bitcoin and build a regulatory framework around it? Let us know in the comments.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Dub 29

Bitcoin IRA Launches World’s First Ethereum IRA Retirement Fund

· April 29, 2017 · 6:00 am

Cryptocurrency based retirement fund, BitcoinIRA.com has announced the launch of Ethereum IRA. The new investment product offering allows people to invest in an Ether-based, Individual Retirement Account (IRA).


Demand for Ether Prompts Ethereum IRA

Ethereum has recently fortified its position as the second largest cryptocurrency in the market, right below Bitcoin. The demand for Ether is on the rise following significant developments and implementations of Ethereum platform for a range of applications. The creation of Enterprise Ethereum Alliance involving major tech and industry players has further strengthened the confidence of investors in Ethereum.

Bitcoin IRA

This recent success and increasing stability have added to the cryptocurrency’s appeal, as a form of retirement investment. The new fund will be self-directed, following the highly successful Bitcoin IRA which has so far created accounts worth over $10 million since June 2016.   

Just like Bitcoin IRA’s flagship product, investors can hold real Ethereum in retirement accounts as traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401K’s or SEP IRA. Bitcoin IRA’s exclusive partnership with BitGo will ensure users the access to its multi-sig wallet, which will guarantee security, privacy and full compliance with the requisite IRA regulations for retirement accounts of this nature. In the interest of liquidity, the company implements Genesis Global Trading, Inc. and uses TradeBlock’s ECX Index as a reference rate.

Crypto Savings for Retirement

Bitcoin IRA is known to be the first company to offer investors the chance to put cryptocurrencies into their retirement accounts. In contrast to traditional IRA retirement plans, investors in Bitcoin IRA and Ethereum IRA will keep control of their cryptocurrencies permanently, allowing them the freedom to disperse the funds as they see fit once the investment’s term is over.

Ether

The deflationary attributes of cryptocurrencies make them ideal for long-term investment opportunities. In 2017, Ethereum has witnessed an incredible 500%+ growth from less than $10 per unit to over $64.

Bitcoin IRA offers both traditional and Roth IRA (Bitcoin/Ethereum) options, which offer the same tax incentives as regular IRAs and 401ks.

Bitcoin IRA is positioning itself as a unique investment company, which includes little processing and handling fees, which perhaps makes it even more attractive than Bitcoin ETF and other investment funds.

Would you consider investing in an Ethereum IRA? Let us know below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoin IRA, Shutterstock

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Dub 28

EToro Sees Bitcoin & Ethereum Trading Volume ‘Explode’ by 4,500%

· April 28, 2017 · 5:30 am

eToro has revealed that the number of users its Bitcoin and Ethereum has soared while trading volumes have “exploded” on its platform since the beginning of the year. 


eToro Runs Up Trading Volume 4,500%

EToro, a leading online trading and investment platform, has experienced a huge increase in both cryptocurrency users and trading volume of Bitcoin and Ethereum, according to Marketwatch. 

So far this year, eToro users trading CFDs (contracts for difference) in cryptocurrencies his risen by four times compared to the same period in 2016. Since the beginning of the year, cryptocurrency trading volume on eToro has soared by a whopping 4,500%.

Since Bitcoin trading has been supported by eToro since 2014, one major reason for this surge can be attributed to the platform’s addition of Etheurem in the beginning of the year.

The price of Ethereum has jumped from about $15 USD per Ether (ETH) to over $65 today in just the past two months. This is reflected in 90% of Ethereum traders buying the asset since it was launched on eToro. Meanwhile, 80% of Bitcoin traders have been buying up the cryptocurrency for a consecutive fifteen months, eToro notes. 

It should also be noted that eToro provides a feature called “copy functionality.” This lets novice users copy the trading strategies of its most successful cryptocurrency traders.

‘Cryptocurrency is the Future of Forex’

Commenting on this impressive growth, Senior Markets Analyst at eToro, Mati Greenspan, believes that “Cryptocurrency is the future of forex.”

[O]ver the last 12 months we’ve seen a 4x growth in traders accessing this market. But the volume of trading has exploded even more than this, with a huge 4,500% jump.

As the total cryptocurrency market capitalization recently passed $30 billion, Greenspan explained, that its users have been reaping ‘significant rewards’ from this jump in prices and a nascent market that has doubled in just the past four months. 

“The rapid growth in the adoption and price of cryptocurrencies only marks the first few steps on the long-journey to establishing cryptocurrencies as a dominant force in forex trading,” he continued.

We expect cryptocurrency trading volumes to get much bigger over the coming years.

As Bitcoin is once again above Gold market price, surging to record highs, the cryptocurrency market should continue to attract even more traditional investors looking for the next big thing.

Recent news of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) willing to review its rejection of the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF is just the latest in a string of positive news for traders to be bullish on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole.

Will the cryptocurrencies market continue to attract traditional investors or will we see another repeat of the dot-com bubble? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, eToro

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Dub 27

Ethereum Classic Takes Stance Against ‘Manipulative Crowdsale Tactics’

· April 27, 2017 · 8:30 am

The Ethereum Classic team addressed the current ICO hype, warning against “manipulative crowdsale tactics,” while promising not to vouch for coin offerings “in the same capacity” as the Ethereum Foundation. 


Ethereum Classic on ‘Irrational Appcoin Exuberance’

The Ethereum Classic development team has shared its opinion on what Nick Tomaino’s called, the “Irrational Appcoin Exuberance.” This exuberance is currently seen in Ethereum and may soon come to Ethereum Classic as more capital flows into the network.

Citing concerns regarding the way Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are structured in Ethereum and even within the Ethereum Classic network, the post seeks to caution investors against potentially risky investments in poorly planned or outright scam ICOs that can result in monumental losses for naive investors.

The post also showcases some examples where the Ethereum Classic community and dev team has performed its due diligence and warned against ill-conceived crowdfunding campaign on the ETC network, noting the different attitudes that the two competing blockchains, ETC and ETH, employ towards the Initial Coin Offering frenzy. The post reads:

As one might expect, ETCDEV will not vouch for coin offerings in the same capacity as the Ethereum Foundation members who signed on as curators for the launch of The DAO crowdsale.

Appcoins Coming to ETC

The Ethereum Classic team sees yesterday’s launch of the Grayscale Ethereum Classic (ETC) Investment Trust, whose shares are the first securities solely invested in and deriving value from the price of ETC , as a possible incentive for developers to run their ICOs on Ethereum Classic’s “immutable chain.”

“If stakeholders profit in a short span of time as a consequence of the launch of the Ethereum Investment Trust, some developers may choose to run their ICOs on the immutable chain, inviting the backing of the ETC nouveau riche,” the post explains.

Ethereum Classic

Developers will be able to kickstart their Initial Coin Offerings through the Emerald Wallet, an official desktop wallet, that is currently being developed by the ETCDEV team.

It will feature an integrated set of tools that can be used to launch ICOs and build custom applications on top of Ethereum Classic blockchain, allowing the Ethereum Classic team to distance itself from said crowdfunding campaigns.

ICO organizers may opt to use Emerald Wallet tools to deliver tokens to backers, though crowdfunding will not be the stated purpose of the software. Taking advantage of these tools for the creation of ETC decentralized apps, startups can issue offerings without ETCDEV having to involve themselves in ICOs.

‘Curb Your ICO Enthusiasm’

Despite this, the Ethereum Classic team does not share the general enthusiasm that is felt towards ICOs and appcoins, citing Barry Silbert, founder of the Digital Currency Group.

Bitcoinist_Digital Currency Group Barry Silbert

During a presentation at the Blockchain Startups Singapore meetup in November 2016, Silbert noted that the lack of legal structure found in those could “attract negative attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Instead, the team considers “store of value through monetary strategy, internet of things functionality, and smart contracts applications” as the investment merits of ETC.

In the Ethereum space, some developers are voicing concerns regarding recent crowdsales. There exists at present no established framework for investors to assess Ethereum startups’ ICOs, along the lines of a PhD student’s being required to defend their thesis.

The nature of ICOs has made it the perfect pitfall for naive investors who may be enthusiastic about blockchain technology but cannot see through “manipulative crowd sale tactics” often employed by these projects, which often rely on Ethereum and Ethereum Classic blockchains.

The dev team references two ICO hoaxes that took place in the Ethereum Classic blockchain, Unicorn and BorgDAO, the latter of which collecting funds from investors.

Our contention here is that 1) irrational app-coin exuberance and 2) potential SEC intervention should be kept in mind by ETC investors when considering participation in a risky initial coin offering. We do not support disingenuous and manipulative crowdsale tactics, nor do we believe that we have seen the last of hoaxes like the BorgDAO.

Investors should be very cautious when investing in Initial Coin Offerings. Be it on the Ethereum, Ethereum Classic blockchain or any other ‘blockchain.’ ICOs can result in huge losses and some are outright scams.

Bitcoinist advises everyone to perform due diligence and to vet projects and teams carefully before committing your money.

Will we start to see more ICO’s on the Ethereum Classic blockchain? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Dub 26

Take Two: SEC to Review Its Bitcoin ETF Decision

· April 26, 2017 · 9:00 am

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it will review its decision regarding the Winklevoss twins’ Bitcoin ETF.


SEC to Review Its Bitcoin ETF Decision

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will review its decision regarding the rejection of the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

statement issued by the SEC in response to a petition for review of the Disapproval Order by the Bats BZX Exchange reads:

[…] it is hereby: ORDERED that the petition of BZX for review of the Division’s action to disapprove the proposed rule change by delegated authority be GRANTED; and It is further ORDERED that any party or other person may file a statement in support of or in opposition to the action made pursuant to delegated authority on or before May 15, 2017.

The SEC first rejected the Bitcoin ETF (COIN) proposed by the Winklevoss twins last month, citing risk of fraud and a lack of regulation in the Bitcoin markets. The statement in which the SEC rejected the COIN EFT reads:

As discussed further below, the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because it does not find the proposal to be consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices and to protect investors and the public interest.

The petition filed by the Bats BZX Exchange will see the SEC’s action to disapprove the Bitcoin ETF reviewed and possibly amended. If so, COIN ETF shares would be traded on a public stock exchange, providing an easy way for investors to capitalize on the price of BTC without the need to deal with Bitcoin exchanges, wallets, private keys, and so forth.

Winklevoss Chose Bats Exchange For a Reason

As noted by Blockchain researcher and host of the Crypto Scam podcast, Tone Vays, ‎in a 2016 interview, it is very likely that the Winklevoss twins chose to work with the Bats BZX Exchange on the COIN ETF for this very reason. 

Vays

“My guess is the reason that they changed is that Bats is the new kid on the block, so they push the issues a bit,” Vays explained. 

Not only does it make sense for the Winklevoss twins to identify with the Bats BZX Exchange due to the “experimental” nature of the COIN ETF, but it is also a great strategic move that ensured the exchange they partnered with would help them fight to see the Bitcoin ETF approved.

Vays continued:

Nasdaq might not have been helping the Winklevoss fight against the SEC to get this approved and maybe Batz said ‘you know what, we’ll throw your lawyers at it’.

The Saga So Far

The Winklevoss’ bid to see a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund on public stock exchanges is a saga that has been going on for roughly three years. It started with the filling of an S-1 form for the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust in May 2014.

Twins

The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust was based on the twins’ substantial Bitcoin holdings (roughly 1% of the total supply at the time) and had Math-Based Asset Services LLC as the sponsor of the Trust. Later that year, a follow-up filling was made in order list the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust as an ETF on the NASDAQ OMX exchange with the name “COIN.”

Two years later, in June 2016, the twins filed a document that would see the ETF listed on the Bats exchanged instead of Nasdaq. The same filing also saw the ETF offering increase from $20 to $65 million.

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied the Winklevoss Twins’ Bitcoin ETF, which lead to the petition by the Batz BZX Exchange.

Do you think that the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF will be approved after the SEC’s revision? If so, let us know why in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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