A white hat hacker has discovered a major vulnerability in decentralized prediction market Augur, perhaps the most highly-touted decentralized application (dApp) built on the Ethereum network.
The bug, disclosed through bug bounty platform HackerOne by security researcher Viacheslav Sniezhkov, would have allowed an attacker to inject fraudulent data into Augur’s user interface, potentially leading to a significant loss of funds on the part of affected users.
This exploit was made possible because while Augur’s core functionality — an uncensorable prediction market that allows users to bet on the outcome of virtually any event — is secured by the decentralized Ethereum blockchain, UI configuration files are stored locally on a user’s computer.
Consequently, hackers could deploy malicious websites that serve hidden iframes and, unbeknownst to the user, modify the configuration settings stored in those local files such that an Augur UI would serve up fraudulent data, potentially tricking a user into sending funds to a hacker-controlled address.
To reiterate, the bug was not in the Augur smart contract, as was the case with the high-profile Parity and DAO incidents. However, that does not mean that the vulnerability was not serious.
As Sniezhkov explained:
“A third party site can include a hidden iframe which can override “augur-node” configuration variable of a running augur application. This variable is persisted in localStorage. In the case of browser page reload (user action or browser/OS crash), the normal “augur-node” websockets endpoint will be replaced with the provided by attacker so that all the markets data, addresses and transactions can be masqueraded.”
After sparring with Snizhkov for several days over the severity of vulnerability (namely whether it constituted a UI bug or something more serious), the Forecast Foundation, which oversees the development of the Augur protocol, ultimately awarded Sniezhkov $5,000 for disclosing the bug, which has since been patched.
At present, there is no indication that the exploit has been successfully manipulated to steal user funds. However, the Forecast Foundation has advised users to update to the latest version of the software client, particularly since the vulnerability has now been made public.
Japan’s primary financial regulator is reportedly looking at updating its regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency sector to curb speculative investments.
In April 2017, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) – Japan’s financial regulator – enforced new legislationthat revised the Payment Services Act to recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender. The regulatory move was pioneering at the time wherein a major economy mandated domestic crypto exchange operators to register and earn a license from the authority to operate a crypto exchange in Japan.
The regulator mandated the framework to proactively prepare for a surge in cryptocurrency adoption, specifically in their usage in payments and remittances. The FSA moved to “prevent a situation in which there is no law governing (cryptocurrencies) when they come into wide use,” a senior official from the regulatory authority told the Japan Times.
However, the regulator did not foresee adopters turning to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin for as investment rather than payment instruments and, as a result, is now looking at tweaking those regulations to check speculative investments, the report on Wednesday revealed.
The FSA set up a panel of experts in April to ‘close the gaps between regulations and actual practice for cryptocurrencies’, the report added, further hinting at that regulatory shakeup of the current framework.
As reported by CCN in July, the FSA is specifically looking to bring the cryptocurrency exchange sector under the purview of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (FIEA), effecting laws applicable to traditional stock brokerages and financial securities firms. Under the FIEA mandate, regulated firms are required to manage customer funds separately from corporate assets which would, in effect, see far more robust investor protection norms.
Meanwhile, domestic cryptocurrency exchanges are proposing self-regulatory norms of their own. The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), a body representing Japan’s sixteen licensed crypto exchanges, is proposing a 4-to-1 limit on margin trading to restrict investors to borrow only up to four times their original deposit. The measure, seen as a means to limit the risk of losses for investors, is proposed in a market that presently sees no restrictions on borrowed margin trading. A handful of domestic exchanges offer a leverage limit of 25-to-1, the upper default margin limit for foreign exchange trading.
Such trading is currently “unchecked”, an FSA official told the Japan Times. If the proposed revision does occur, cryptocurrencies would also be classified as ‘financial products’, paving their entry into mainstream financial markets.
The internet technology was invented in the early 1980s, known by the public in 1990s and used globally from the beginning of the 21st century.
The Internet is now connecting every single part of the world. The first online advertisement was listed on hotwired.com on Oct 27, 1994. From then on, the internet has been creating a huge market for online advertising and brands promotion. Google, Facebook，Amazon, Twitter, all these internet giants have been benefiting from the online advertising market.
Problems come with prosperity. Too many advertisements make this market super inefficient. For advertisers, the advertising expense is quite high, but more than 50% of the expense is useless. The advertising resources are monopolized by the very few network media and they can shut the door for real value products easily. For browser users, useless information overruns, advertisements are seen everywhere and passively accepted. The fraudulent advertisements like Phishing keep on emerging that the value of the user can’t be embodied.
Odin stands out at this time. An ecological blockchain based on the advertisement industry will redefine the next era of the browser. Users will control the use right for the Odin based browser and own the right to block or read advertisements. Everyone that surfs the internet will receive corresponding token rewards for reading advertisements. Bad advertisements will be screened out, which will provide a more protective network. Now you can “mine” Odin tokens by just reading advertisements as you always did before. Make use of your online time, read/block ads and earn money.
For advertisers, this market will no longer be monopolized by a few media giants. Odin will make breakthroughs in the current monopoly advertisements industry. The advertising publishing is customized, the advertising circulation process is open and transparent, and the advertisers will be well aware of the true and reliable flow of each amount of the advertising fees, which is helpful to the evaluation for the advertising cost-effectiveness.
The new Odin ecological blockchain is integrating the advertising publishing smart contract with blockchain technology. It uses POC (proof of contributions) and POW (proof of work) as combined consensus algorithm to create the redefined browser, which will construct a distributed advertising industry. The value created by the contents are remolded and the delivery process of the content value can be traced. It solved another major problem in the current advertising market that the copyright can’t be guaranteed and the content value for the advertising dissemination can’t be properly assessed.
Starting from the genesis of the Odin blockchain, one or more Odin system maintenance nodes will be elected as Bookkeeping Node to count the contributions of the Odin browser nodes every other contribution accounting cycle, and the Odin equities will be allocated to the Odin browser nodes. The Odin browser nodes will broadcast the flux contribution to the network every other contribution accounting cycle. The Odin system maintenance nodes will capture the flux data broadcast by the Odin browser nodes, count the flux and distribute the advertising fees and blocking awards to the browser nodes according to the contribution ratio.
The bookkeeping nodes will synchronize the contribution data of all other Odin system maintenance nodes and count the total contributions of all Odin browser nodes in the T-moment as well as distribute the Token equities of the current accounting cycle according to the contribution ratio of each browser nodes. At the same time, the advertising fees are allocated to browser users in accordance with the advertisers’ smart contracts.
The POC & POW algorithm will work together as incentives to original content creators. Their copyrights will be protected by blockchain technology so their content values are guaranteed. On the other hand, browser users are rewarded by reading and blocking advertisements. Fraudulent advertisements or advertisements with vulgar contents will be blocked, which keeps the internet clean and positive. These advertisements creators who spent huge money with low returns will start to regulate themselves as well.
The customers’ trust will be built up gradually. More and more low-value advertisements will disappear and replaced by the high-value advertisements instead. The advertisement placed on the Odin Chain needs to be paid by using the Odin Token. The user will receive the Odin Token reward for reading the advertisement, and the content creator will also receive the Odin Token reward fees for publishing the contents, which reflects the privilege of using the Odin Token. A positive internet atmosphere will be constructed with the motivation of Odin Tokens. A new browser ecosystem powered by the Odin ecological blockchain and Odin Tokens is then fully developed in this stage.
Applying blockchain technology into browsers is pretty creative and it’s a great innovation in advertising industry. You won’t just surf the internet for yourself, but also mine rewards for the good of the entire network! A new era of internet experience is coming!
Odin has already owned huge communities in China, Japan and South Korea, it has established an extremely efficient operating team, and hundreds of thousands of its browser miner have been sold out. Furthermore, Odin has reached a strategic cooperation based on the VPN business with the Binance star-rate project QLC, and the two sides will mutually support the functions of each other’s products. Odin has also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Asian Development Investment Bank located in Southeast Asia. Monitor the future of ODIN. We are firmly optimistic about the future of Odin!
August 6, 2018 – Road Town, British Virgin Islands – Peer Mountain joins the LOT Network as its 259th member. The License On Transfer (LOT) Network is a non-profit community of companies providing the protection from patent assertion entities (PAE’s), commonly known as patent trolls. Companies that join the LOT Network, pledge to give all other members an automatic free license to any of their patents that is acquired by a patent assertion entity.
The LOT Network membership has grown in size and stature in the past year with the addition of Yum!, Oracle, Volkswagen, Vizio, Salesforce, Tesla, eBay, Cisco, Alibaba, Amazon, Daimler, and about 80 start-up companies. The LOT Network is now able to permanently immunize members from over 1.2 million assets in the hands of a PAE.
Following the announcement, Marc Kaufman, Co-Founder of the Blockchain IP Council, said;
“Patent filings related to blockchain technology have increased tremendously over the past several years. Many of these patents are likely to end up in the hands of patent assertion entities, sometimes referred to as ‘patent trolls.’ LOT provides a mechanism whereby members are substantially protected from patent assertions by patent assertion entities. Peer Mountain’s membership in LOT is a significant step in expanding the advantages of LOT to players in blockchain eco systems.”
This is an additional element of protection for the Peer Mountain Protocol as the Peerchain patent cannot be utilized by any entity looking to patent hoard. Peer Mountain now are fully aligned with over 250 companies in fighting patent trolls and share protection of their patents through the LOT Network.
“We’re honored to join the LOT Network and share in the fight against patent trolls. As the Peerchain protocol is patent pending, this is a great way to ensure that the patent would remain beneficial for the Peer Mountain community and ecosystem.” Jed Grant, CEO at Peer Mountain.
The consortium was founded in 2014 by Google, Canon and the multinational software companies Red Hat and SAP. LOT has also accepted high profile American banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, with TD Bank Group becoming the latest financial institution to join.
About Peer Mountain
Peer Mountain is the cross-blockchain protocol that connects self-sovereign ID holders with businesses, enabling commerce at scale. It is the only decentralized identity network that provides businesses with instant cost-effective regulatory compliance, puts people in control of their protected personal information, and pays ID verifiers for their trustworthiness. For more information, please join the discussion in the Peer Mountain Telegram group.
About the LOT Network
The LOT Network serves as a non-profit consortium of companies that collectively have agreed amongst members a free license to any of their patents, should those patents fall into the hands of a troll. The LOT Network able to permanently immunise members from over 1.2 million assets in the hands of a PAE and are giving away free startups that qualify. LOT has grown tremendously in the past year with the addition of Yum!, Oracle, Volkswagen, Vizio, Salesforce, Tesla, eBay, Cisco, Alibaba, Amazon and Daimler.
Crypto.com, the payments and cryptocurrency platform formerly known as Monaco, has announced the addition of Litecoin (LTC) to its cryptocurrency application, the MCO Wallet App. Litecoin becomes the fifth virtual currency available on the MCO cryptocurrency platform, which is also tied to its MCO Visa card.
VIRTUAL CURRENCY VARIETY & INCREASED USE OF LTC
The introduction of Litecoin adds to the platform’s original currencies which are Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), Binance Coin (BNB) and Crypto.com’s own MCO.
Users of the MCO Wallet App have adopted it for trading and tracking these currencies. According to Crypto.com, Litecoin has been added to the basket as an alternative that expands users options, brings variety and extends the platform’s use case.
In the official announcement for the new addition, Kris Marszalek, Crypto.com’s co-founder and CEO said:
“By listing Litecoin on the MCO Wallet App, we are deepening both the functionality of the app for users and transforming into a go-to, intuitive cryptocurrency exchange platform. We look forward to continually and regularly expanding the variety of cryptocurrencies available to our platform users. Our support of Litecoin marks an essential step in this process as we strive to broaden the audience of cryptocurrency spenders and investors.”
The addition is also being celebrated by Litecoin, which is viewing the partnership as an opportunity to cast a wider net for users of the cryptocurrency.
Crypto.com’s application and metal Visa card represent additional touch points for people adopting Litecoin as a means of everyday transactions.
The announcement from Crypto.com also quoted Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin who said:
“Litecoin Foundation and Crypto.com share a common vision of accelerating the development and adoption of cryptocurrency. As Litecoin moves towards widespread acceptance as currency for a growing number of merchants, I’m excited to see Litecoin support added to the MCO Wallet App and the MCO Visa Card. We look forward to advancing the mission to expand cryptocurrency use together with Crypto.com by helping more users buy and spend Litecoins in their day-to-day lives.”
BUILDING ON THE NEW BRAND
Despite being mired in controversies revolving around product revisions and premature partnership announcements in the past, Crypto.com appears to be building on its new brand and identity.
It’s also something that a new currency listing (which it says happens after careful review and consideration) could symbolize.
The adoption of a new name and brand that has a clearer tie to the cryptocurrency space, the addition of new currencies and ultimately the opening up of options for current and potential users might all indicate a new chapter for Crypto.com.
Is the addition of Litecoin enough to add to more value to the MCO Wallet App and the MCO Visa Card? Are there any other currencies that should be added to this platform? Please share your comments below.
Opera Ltd (NASDAQ: OPRA), the Norway-headquartered company behind the browser used by 322 million people, has decided to open up its desktop browser to its recently released mobile crypto wallet. The developers say this is due to the “overwhelmingly positive response of the crypto-community and users to the crypto wallet in Opera for Android.”
Opera Is Opening Up the PC Browser to Crypto
The Norwegian browser maker explains that the desktop wallet roll-out is designed to tackle two main issues for its users. Firstly, Opera users will no longer need to install and set up an extension in their PC browser, just to connect the browser with the wallet-enabled mobile app by scanning a QR code which will grant them access to their mobile wallet. Secondly, the phone’s secure system lock will be used to store the keys, allowing people to sign transactions with their fingerprints instead of using long passphrases. And the keys controlling the assets will remain stored only on the user’s phone.
“By adding a crypto wallet directly into the browser, we removed the need for complex extensions or separate apps,” said Charles Hamel, Product Lead of Opera Crypto. “Opening up the PC browser to crypto marks Opera’s second step towards making cryptocurrencies and Web 3.0 mainstream.”
Make Crypto-Integration Mainstream
As we reported when it was launched in private beta back in July, the current version of the app only supports ETH, ERC-20 tokens and ERC-721 collectibles (which it automatically presents to the user). However, the developers plan to add support for additional cryptocurrencies in the future.
The decision to open up desktop browsers to a crypto wallet is part of the company’s long-term strategy of focusing on more demanding users with built-in features. “At Opera, we try to stay at the forefront of innovation. Our next aim is to make crypto-integration mainstream. We believe blockchain technology has the power to transform the web of tomorrow and expect it to make a big difference in the years to come,” said Krystian Kolondra, EVP Browsers.
The largest full-service investment bank in Canada with $59.2 billion in assets under management released a comprehensive new quarterly report on cryptocurrency that declares a Bitcoin ETF is coming.
According to the new report from Canaccord Genuity, a Bitcoin ETF approval is “on the horizon” and will most likely happen next year.
“Even as Gemini hired Nasdaq to conduct market surveillance for bitcoin and ether trading as well as the auction that prices Cboe bitcoin futures earlier this year, the SEC rejected the bitcoin ETF proposed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss for the second time on 7/26, dampening the possibility of seeing a bitcoin ETF come to the market in 2018. And although the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust, seen by many as the most formidable candidate for a potential approval, is due for a potential decision as early as this month, it is largely believed that the SEC will extend its deadline, in which case a decision may not be made until March 2019. Meanwhile, we note that other bitcoin based securities (e.g., Bitcoin Tracker One) have been available for trading on regulated exchanges as early as May 2015 in Sweden, while north of the border, Canada is working towards its own bitcoin ETF product, the Evolve Bitcoin ETF.”
The report also highlights a series of additional positive developments, including a growing number of institutional custody solutions that allow investors with big money to safely store their digital assets.
“In addition, institutional custody continues to make progress, as Ledger announced a partnership with Nomura and Global Advisors during the Consensus conference in May and Coinbase launched its institutional custody product in early-July. Meanwhile, despite the continued downward pressure on the price of bitcoin and other cryptoassets, development (specifically on the bitcoin network) and enthusiasm for the industry remains robust, even in China, where its government has taken multiple measures to seemingly restrict crypto within its borders.”
In addition, the report notes that securities tokens are starting to build momentum and outlines three different securities token models that are emerging.
• Income – looks like preferred stock or dividend-paying stock – contractually entitled to receive a (sometimes fixed – i.e., more stringent than a discretionary dividend policy) portion of the firm’s revenue or profits – would ostensibly be valued like a dividend stock, with a portion of the price derived from the discounted dividend stream, and a portion derived from an expectation of additional value creation.
• Non-income – looks more like a growth equity – there is no “dividend” but, with sufficient trading liquidity, one could expect the price to tether itself to fundamentals somehow, just like for FB stock, for example.
• Functional – these fill a dual role in that they are primarily equity proxies but also provide some more utility-like qualities with functions like tracking contributions to the ecosystem customer registration / screening, and stakes in key resources
Former US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox will be the keynote speaker for an upcoming cryptocurrency event in Los Angeles. This marks the first time that an SEC Chairman has spoken at a crypto event.
Cox will speak about regulation and the future of blockchain technology at “Tokenize the World” hosted by StartEngine Crowdfunding Inc. on October 19th.
Cox was the 28th Chairman of the SEC. Appointed by President George Bush on June 2, 2005, he served until 2009. Prior to his appointment at the SEC, Cox was elected to Congress in 1988. He co-authored the Internet Tax Freedom Act which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 21, 1998. The law bars federal, state and local governments from taxing Internet access to preserve the Internet’s vast potential for commercial ventures, and educational and informational platforms. It prohibits discriminatory Internet-only taxes such as bit taxes, bandwidth taxes and email taxes.
During his tenure at the SEC, Cox introduced a number of popular improvements, including “plain English requirements” in reporting documents so that average Americans with retirement and college savings could actually understand statements issued on behalf of mutual funds and other investments.
He also pushed for technological innovations, advancing compliance analytics and a new database, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system (EDGAR), for investors to research hundreds of thousands of companies.
In addition to presiding over the SEC during the financial crisis of 2008, one of Cox’s greatest challenges as chairman was navigating revelations that Bernie Madoff was operating the biggest Ponzi scheme in world history. Critics charged that the agency did too little to address early complaints. The SEC eventually acknowledged failure and expressed regret.
Bitcoin was launched in 2009, invented by anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto in response to the financial collapse of ’08. Its underlying blockchain technology is regarded as a digital instrument of public record that can protect investors from a myriad of frauds, schemes and middlemen who charge false fees. By creating a trusted, decentralized digital ledger, blockchain is redefining financial transactions and business relationships.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on the listing and trading of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) until September 30, according to an official document released by the SEC August 7.
ETFs are securities that track a basket of assets proportionately represented in the fund’s shares. They are seen by some as a potential step forward for the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies as a regulated and passive investment instrument.
The fund under consideration is powered by investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, and is expected to list on the Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE) BZX Equities Exchange. The SEC now has almost two more months to consider a proposed rule change by CBOE Global Markets Inc. that would allow the fund to list.
Today's notice states that the SEC has received more than 1,300 comments on the proposed rule change to list and trade shares of SolidX BTC shares issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust. Per the document, within 45 days of a filing of a proposed rule change, or within 90 days should the Commission deem necessary, the Commission will approve, disapprove, or extend the period of consideration. The document says:
“Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,6 designates September 30, 2018, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change (File No. SRCboeBZX-2018-040).”
VanEck and SolidX first announced the physically-backed Bitcoin ETF on June 6. As per the SEC filing, the price of each share of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust is set to $200,000. SolidX CEO Daniel H. Gallancy told CNBC, that the high price reflects the fund’s intention to focus on institutional, rather than retail investors.
Last month, the SEC delayed its decision on investment firm Direxion’s application for a Bitcoin ETF until Sep. 21. The regulator also rejected an appeal by Bats BZX Exchange, Inc. (BZX) to list and trade shares of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, originally filed in 2016.
The agency cited the largely unregulated nature of Bitcoin markets as the principal reason for refusing the application, stating, “When the spot market is unregulated — there must be significant, regulated derivatives markets related to the underlying asset with which the Exchange can enter into a surveillance-sharing agreement.”
Bitcoin mining is a very competitive industry. It has grown exponentially over the last few years. During the last nine months, there’s been a bunch of new entrants joining the mining rig manufacturing business like GMO Group, Halong Mining, and Ebang. Now there’s a new firm that has partnered with Samsung’s semiconductor foundry called, Innosilicon, which has launched the Terminator 2-Turbo that claims to boost the machine’s hashrate speeds up to 24 trillion hashes per second (TH/s).
24 Trillion Hashes Per Second — The Hong Kong Firm Innosilicon Launches the Terminator 2 Turbo
Mining rig manufacturing is becoming super competitive lately, and there’s been a slew of new machines launched with much faster semiconductors. For instance, the firm Ebang and its Ebit E10 miner mines the SHA-256 algorithm, and it introduced independently made 10nm chips last year. The machine’s specs claim to produce a low power consumption of 1650W and churns out a maximum hashrate of 18Th/s. However, the machine is unavailable through Ebang as the product is sold out and the E10 can only be purchased through secondary markets. Then there was the firm Halong Mining which produced the Dragonmint T1 a SHA-256 miner that generated 16 trillion hashes per second. Halong also uses a Samsung designed 10nm chip but the Halong miner sold out and has been unavailable for months.
Now the Hong Kong-based firm Innosilicon has created a faster SHA-256 ASIC miner that produces 24TH/s by utilizing the Samsung Foundry’s low-power Finfet semiconductor technology. News.Bitcoin.com initially reported on Innosilicon’s new miner when it was discovered that four containers of the original Terminator 2 model were shipped to the US and sent to the company known as Blockstream.
“The current Innosilicon Bitcoin mining ASIC has already been used in the most power efficient miner, known as Terminator 2 Miner with 17.2TH at 1430W+10%,” explains the Hong Kong firm.
The newly updated T2-Turbo miner offers enhanced 24TH/s performance per a small tube in normal mode and its power consumption can go as low as 75W/TH at the wall in low-power mode, easily 30% better than the closest competing products in the market.
Samsung Pleased With the Mining Manufacturing Partnership
Ryan Sanghyun Lee, the vice president of Foundry Marketing Team at Samsung Electronics detailed that the giant tech firm was pleased with its partnership with Innosilicon. “We are very pleased to provide the utmost low-power solution to Smart Server through Innosilicon to ensure very competitive equipment lifetime,” said Lee. “We believe that Innosilicon’s T2 Bitcoin mining ASIC, based on Samsung’s advanced low power Fin FET process, will offer differentiated value to its customers with notable benefits of power efficiency and high-performance.”
Roger Mao, the vice president of engineering, Innosilicon explains the new T2-Turbo will provide miners with lower operational risk and a better return-on-investment (ROI) against other miners over the next 12-24 months. “Innosilicon and Samsung will go a long way as good partners to deliver many more exciting low power products in the market in the coming years,” Mao emphasized.
While Still Very Powerful the Innosilicon T2-Turbo is Not the Most Efficient Miner — GMO Group’s B3 Miner Processes 33TH/s
Even though 24 trillion hashes per second is a very competitive machine, it is not the most efficient miner on the planet. A while back GMO Group revealed the company’s B2 mining rig, which is on par with Innosilicon’s T2-Turbo at 24TH/s, but GMO has also launched the B3, which blows the B2 and T2-Turbo’s doors off with 33TH/s. Japan’s GMO Group has produced miners with 7nm semiconductor technology which so far is uncontested among other mining rig competitors.
However, the Innosilicon T2-Turbo should bring some added competitiveness to the industry, and the machine is in stock at $1,350 per unit. The development team has also released a video of the Terminator 2 being built and its mining performance as well. Additionally there’s a rumor floating around the net on Wechat forums that Canaan Creative has a powerful machine coming out real soon. A screenshot of a description of the latest Canaan Avalon 9 says the new machine will produce 26-30TH/s.
U.S. troops serving overseas will be able to use a smartphone app based on blockchain technology for casting federal election ballots in West Virginia this November, CNN reports August 6.
The mobile voting platform, Voatz, employes facial recognition software to ensure that each voter matches their government-issued identification. CNN notes that the West Virginia will limit the use of the mobile app mainly to troops currently abroad.
The West Virginia Secretary of State, Mac Warner, and Voatz, the Boston-based app developer, told CNN that they believe the app is secure after successful tests in two counties for the state’s spring primary elections. According to Warner’s office, “four audits of various components of the tool, including its cloud and blockchain infrastructure, revealed no problems."
Michael L. Queen, Warner’s deputy chief of staff, told CNN that each West Virginia county will have the final decision on whether to use the app in the November elections, adding that troops will be allowed to cast paper ballots if they choose.
However, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology Joseph Lorenzo Hall told CNN that “mobile voting is a horrific idea,” and the president of the election integrity watchdog group Verified Voting, Marian K. Schneider, added that mobile voting could create “far more opportunities for hacking and meddling,” CNN notes.
West Virginia had previously piloted Voatz’s mobile blockchain voting platform in Harrison and Monongalia counties in the primary election this spring. The trial was limited to deployed military members, citizens eligible to vote absentee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, and their spouses and dependents.
It’s been a tough week for most cryptocurrency investors, as the groundbreaking news that the world’s largest stock exchange operator is launching a bitcoin market failed to translate into bullish price movement. For ethereum classic supporters, however, the week could not have gone much better.
Coinbase Pro Begins Taking Ethereum Classic Deposits
Over the past two days, ethereum classic has been listed on two of the most prominent cryptocurrency trading platforms.
Yesterday, as CCN reported, ethereum classic became the sixth cryptocurrency listed on stock trading app Robinhood, whose crypto trading service is now available in 19 U.S. states.
Earlier today, ethereum classic marked another milestone, as industry giant Coinbase began accepting ETC deposits on Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX), its order-book cryptocurrency exchange, with trading against both USD and other cryptoassets slated to commence later in the week.
Ethereum classic is not yet available through the firm’s eponymous brokerage service, though it will presumably be listed once the market stabilizes on Coinbase Pro.
The two announcements have spurred a significant ETC price rally. Over the past week, ethereum classic has risen in value by more than 11 percent against the U.S. dollar, making it not only the top performer among coins with market caps in excess of $1 billion but also the only large-cap cryptocurrency to see positive price action over this period.
At present, ethereum classic is trading at a global average of $18.59, which provides it with a $1.9 billion market cap and ranks it as the 12th-largest cryptocurrency.
Coinbase Raises Daily Buy Limit, Nixes 5-Day Waiting Period
Also on Tuesday, Coinbase rolled out several improvements to its brokerage platform. First, the company raised the default daily buy limits for Coinbase users to $25,000, a seven-fold increase over the previous maximum, and eliminated buy and sell limits for wire transfers.
Perhaps even more significantly, Coinbase will now allow users to begin trading cryptocurrency immediately following a purchase. Previously, users had to wait for the bank transfer to settle before receiving their funds, a process that could take up to five business days. Now, users will be able to trade those funds immediately, though they will not be able to transfer them into an external wallet until the bank transfer clears.
This latter update is particularly notable since it brings Coinbase’s settlement policy in line with that of its major cryptocurrency brokerage competitors — Robinhood, Circle Invest, and Square’s Cash App — all of whom make funds available for trading immediately after the purchase.
Coinbase President and COO Asiff Hirji lauded the move, calling it a “meaningful improvement” for the firm’s customers.
Are you a bitcoin maximalist? Convinced that EOS is the “Ethereum killer?” Soon, you’ll have the opportunity to put your money where your mouth is, thanks to a new ethereum derivatives product from decentralized fintech startup dYdX.
The open-source platform, built on top of decentralized exchange (DEX) protocol 0x, uses smart contracts to allow investors to trade ether for tokens that function as options contracts tied to the price of ETH.
Traders who are bearish on ethereum can purchase short tokens that rise in value when the ethereum price goes down, while bullish investors who are comfortable with a high degree of risk can purchase leveraged tokens that multiply profits when the price goes up. These options tokens are backed by ether locked in smart contracts by lenders, who earn interest in exchange for depositing their ETH as collateral for the DEX.
A number of cryptocurrency exchanges already offer derivatives contracts for altcoins, but they predominantly require users to deposit funds into exchange-controlled wallets, creating a central point of failure and providing hackers with high-value targets. DYdX, on the other hand, is “governed by code,” meaning that it as secure as the smart contracts that undergird it (This, as CCN reported, can lead to its own set of problems).
Speaking with TechCrunch, dYdX founder Antonio Juliano said that he believes there is a “big opportunity” for a derivatives market built using a DEX rather than a centralized order book.
“The main use for cryptocurrency so far has been trading and speculation — buying and holding. That’s not how sophisticated financial institutions trade,” Juliano, formerly a software engineer at Coinbase and Uber, told the publication. “The derivatives market is usually an order of magnitude bigger than the spot trading or buy/sell market. The cryptocurrency market is probably on the order of $5 billion to $10 billion in volume, so you’d expect the derivatives market would be 10X bigger. I think there’s a really big opportunity there.”
“We think of it as more than just shorting your favorite shitcoin,” he added, noting that dYdX plans to roll out options tokens for virtually all ERC-20 tokens in the future. “We think of them as mature financial products.”
Notably, dYdX chose not to hold an initial coin offering (ICO), instead raising $2 million through a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz and attracting investments from Polychain Capital and Coinbase co-founders Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam.
The dYdX protocol is currently in late-stage testing and is scheduled to go live in less than two months.
In a blog post in July, a Samsung author claimed that smartphone-based cryptocurrency wallets have the “edge.” The Next Web has since asked security experts for their views, and they don’t entirely agree.
Samsung suggested that “smartphones have the best security for blockchain and cryptocurrency.” The author, Joel Snyder, puts this down to smartphone (and Samsung) Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs). Snyder explained:
The TEE is a separate execution environment with its own memory and persistent storage, completely isolated from the rest of the device.
SMARTPHONES ARE BETTER THAN LAPTOPS
If a wallet runs the right “trustlets” to manage security keys “security is seriously tight,” says Snyder. Laptops don’t run TEEs so it’s argued that versus smartphones, smartphones edge out as a better choice.
The Next Web spoke to a handful of experts. This includes Bitcoin$7078.10 +0.41% developer Jameson Lopp who agrees that TEEs give security benefits, but that attacks can happen elsewhere in the software stack. Lopp says:
Malware can affect other critical components of the wallet operation while creating a transaction, resulting in the funds being send to an attacker’s address.
Lopp would only keep as much cryptocurrency in a single signature smartphone wallet as he’d keep in a conventional cash wallet.
Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins cryptography professor, also agrees that TEEs are a “good thing” and make “hacker’s jobs more difficult.” But, when an application makes a request to a TEE like “send Bitcoins to a specific person,” the TEE protects the keys. However, sophisticated malware might be able to compromise the application. Green said:
Even obvious countermeasures like requiring a password only help a little, since a particularly sophisticated piece of malware can just wait for you to enter the password in order to make a legitimate transaction.
The quality of TEEs can be an issue, security issues have been identified even in those developed by Qualcomm and Trustzone.
For smartphones, constantly being connected to Wi-Fi networks, also increases risks.
On Monday, Robinhood Financial announced that it would launch ethereum classic (ETC) on its trading platform — making it the sixth digital currency it has listed. This news comes one day before Coinbase is to add ETC to its exchange.
At $5.6 billion, Robinhood’s newly launched crypto-trading platform is growing. On Monday, it announced that it would begin supporting ethereum classic, offering ETC $18.9189 +0.9% trading for customers living in one of the US eligible states.
Robinhood has been expanding its services on a state-by-state basis, gathering the necessary licensing to operate in each region. Earlier this year, the company started in four states; California, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Montana, later expanding to 19 with Georgia and Iowa joining most recently.
The trading platform has continued to increase the number of supported cryptocurrencies available to users. At present, Robinhood traders can work in Bitcoin $7072.65 +0.37%, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, and now Ethereum Classic.
The platform is also capable of tracking market data for 10 other cryptocurrencies — which suggests eventual integration into the platform. For now, users simply need to add these digital assets, which include Zcash, Stellar, and Moreno, to their watchlist.
A RUSH TO BEAT COINBASE
The efforts made by Robinhood to include ETC come in light of Coinbase’s similar announcements. Last week, the Coinbase stated it was in the final stages of testing for the new cryptocurrency, reporting that ETC would be made available on August 7th.
However, the announcement outlined that this new listing would only be accessible for users with Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Prime accounts and that ETC trading would not go into effect immediately.
The company’s website explains:
We intend to allow 24–48 hours of transfers through Pro/Prime before opening the markets. In accordance with our Trading Rules, all ETC books will open in post-only for a minimum of 10 mins. Once sufficient liquidity is established, trading will then be enabled on Pro and Prime
The smaller, commission-free Robinhood has tried to maintain its competitive edge by introducing ETC trading before its competitor. It is important that the company continues to garner interest from crypto-buyers and traders.
In June, when Coinbase went public with its plans to support ETC, the value of ethereum classic rose 23% in less than 24 hours. At the time, it was unknown if the company would honor ETC credits to those who did not withdraw their tokens before Ethereum’s hardfork. Now the company has officially stated only those with Pro and Prime accounts will receive a credit since ethereum was not supported until after the fork.
This past April, news.Bitcoin.com reported on a social media application powered by bitcoin cash transactions called Memo.cash. Since then the platform has grown in many ways with more users, features, and extensions. When the project first launched, a few weeks later a similar platform called Blockpress came out, but about a month ago the Blockpress founder abandoned the project leaving the Twitter-like onchain-powered Memo to take the reins.
Memo Use Continues to Gain Traction with Uncensored Content Sharing Powered by Bitcoin Cash
Over the past few months, bitcoin cash fans have been using an onchain social media application called Memo.cash. The application allows anyone to create a profile, post uncensorable messages, and tip people natively in BCH. Essentially users tether written data, videos, pictures, and animations to the website and all the actions are hashed into the BCH chain using an OP_Return transaction.
Furthermore, Memo users can utilize 217 characters now instead of the original 77 characters the application started out with, and this is due to the increased default data-carrier size to 220 bytes implemented on the Bitcoin Cash network this past May. The added characters have allowed Memo users to do a much wider range of things when posting on the main feed.
Not only can users post 217 characters of uncensorable text, but users can also embed Youtube videos, website URLs, torrent magnets, streaming video links, pictures, and animated gifs. Memo users can also post a poll that allows other Memo members to vote on specific topics like should Ross Ulbricht be pardoned, bitcoin cash pre-consensus, political questions, and more. There’s also a topics page with thousands of bundled posts about things like capitalism, anarchism, scaling, global warming, and Satoshi Nakamoto.
A Slew of Memo.cash Extensions
Memo.cash has seen a few extensions as well that tie other platforms to the main Memo system. For instance Andreas Brekken, the developer who just reviewed the Lightning Network, has launched the Memo Enhancement Suite (MES), a protocol that adds a bunch of customizations to the Memo application. The open source extension allows Memo members to update the main layout and design, auto expands images and gifs, and adds in-line liking. Brekken’s MES also features a protocol that remembers what you have liked, and it can also remember your profile password. “Your password is stored in plain text in the browser’s localStorage. It’s probably safe unless your computer is already broken into,” explains the MES Github repository.
There’s also the open source Big Earth Memopress extension which provides helper methods for reading/writing to the Bitcoin Cash blockchain per the Memo and Blockpress protocols. Lastly, there’s the great variety of Memo add-ons built by the developer Unwriter like Chainfeed, the Twitter Bot _Opreturn, and read.cash.
Blockpress Development No More?
Another interesting happening that took place last month was the abandoning of the other social media application Blockpress. The creator of Blockpress took to the Reddit forum r/btc and said he was looking for someone to take over the development of the site.
“We wanted to reach out to the community here to see if anyone would like to take over the development and/or ownership of www.Blockpress.com — We have been working on other projects and think that new leadership and development would be good to have to take this app to the next level,” explains the sites creator.
The Blockpress application is still running, but it’s clear that the platform has not been updated in a while. Meanwhile, many Blockpress users were disappointed to hear the news but migrated over to Memo with ease. We tried reaching out to the Blockpress creator without much success and it’s unconfirmed if someone else will be taking it over.
In recent news pertaining to virtual currency exchanges, Coinjar has launched Australia’s first cryptocurrency index fund; Square’s latest quarterly report has revealed that company is executing its crypto trades via the over-the-counter (OTC) markets rather than “public cryptocurrency exchanges;” and Poloniex has launched EOS pairings.
Coinjar Launches Australia’s First Crypto Index Fund
Coinjar, a financial and cryptocurrency services company based in Australia and the United Kingdom that claims to have processed over $1.2 billion in virtual currency transactions, has announced the launch of Australia’s first cryptocurrency index fund.
The “Coinjar Digital Currency Fund” is an index fund targeting wholesale investors. Eligible investors must have net assets of at least $2.5 million AUD or have a gross income of no less than $250,000 AUD for the previous two years. Minimum contributions from new investors have been set at $50,000 AUD, whilst current investors are able to make incremental payments of at least $10,000 AUD.
The fund has two “classes”; ‘Bitcoin Class’ – “which provides exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) only”; and ‘Mixed Class’ – which “aims to track the performance of four digital currencies, weighted by fixed supply – Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC).” The fund does not incur “establishment costs, contribution fees, or performance fees,” however, “Management fees are 1.3% per annum for Bitcoin Class and 1.8% per annum for Mixed Class plus normal operating costs.”
Jordan Michaelides, institutional head at Coinjar, stated: “We are launching the Coinjar Digital Currency Fund to handle the custody risks, simplify the investment process and provide industry best practice in security for wholesale investors.”
Quarterly Report Shows Square is Trading Crypto Via OTC Markets Rather Than Exchanges
Financial and merchant services company, Square, Inc., has revealed in its most recent quarterly report that the company is trading bitcoin via “private broker-dealers” rather than “public cryptocurrency exchanges.”
Analysts have speculated that the move will facilitate Square providing a cryptocurrency platform with reduced price volatility when trading larger volume. Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at Coinshares, stated, “Working with a broker likely gets Square better pricing and better execution services than floating orders on the open market, as well as more confidentiality.”
Hunter Horsley, the chief executive officer of Bitwise Asset Management, has also praised Square’s decision to trade via the OTC markets. “There are many merits to trading OTC, which might be motivating Square’s switch,” Hunter said, emphasizing the reduced risk of slippage when trading OTC. “Prices, net of fees, are often better, especially for large orders,” he added.
Poloniex Launches EOS Pairings
Exchanges Round-Up: Coinjar Launches Aussie Crypto Fund, Square Trades OTCPoloniex has announced the introduction of pairings for the fourth most traded and fifth largest cryptocurrency market by capitalization, EOS. Pairings are now live for EOS/USDT, EOS/BTC, and EOS/ETH.
At present, Poloniex has expressed that it plans to only support EOS mainnet tokens, and “will not be accepting deposits of the ERC-20 variant or providing conversion to mainnet tokens.” Additionally, Poloniex “will not be supporting EOS airdrops for the time being.”
Early Bitcoin and Ethereum investor Mike Novogratz is revealing his insight on where the market is heading and what’s needed to trigger a bull run.
Novogratz runs Galaxy Digital, which invests directly in crypto businesses, from ICOs to infrastructure platforms to wallets and custody solutions. At the recent Beyond Blocks Summit in Seoul, he explained why he believes in the New World Order crypto developers are trying to create, and what got him to widen his involvement in crypto far beyond his initial speculative investment in Bitcoin.
“I looked at my portfolio and I had a lot of Bitcoin and I had a lot of investments. I had an investment in Korbit here in Korea. I had an investment in Bitstamp and Zapo – in all kinds of portfolio companies that I’d made a few years earlier. And I had a college roommate, Joe Lubin, who now runs a big company called ConsenSys. But at that point, it was a very small company. And I decided to go visit him and thought he was a little bit smarter than me and he might be able to tell me about my portfolio.
It so happened I walked into his office and was amazed at the energy. It was a small company, 20 to 25 people. I thought it was going to be two. And I was like, how’d you hire 25 people? And they were literally plotting out a revolution. A decentralized revolution.
And it was the first time I understood that crypto was a lot more than just a speculative asset. That this was a social phenomenon, it was a cultural phenomenon and an economic phenomenon. And that the people that were getting involved in it really cared about changing the world. It’s often easy to think this is just about the money, but when you meet the guys that are at the core of it, when you sit with VItalik or Alex Morcos who’s a core developer – or any of the guys, they really do care deeply about a new world order. It came out of the breakdown in the financial system in 2008. And then Europe broke down again in 2012. It came as people feared central authority. And so I got inspired and I bought a bunch of Ether, and it was like 96 cents. When you buy something cheap and it goes higher you start paying a lot of attention to it.”
Novogratz says institutional investors with deep pockets are preparing to jump in the market, and are learning as much as they can about how crypto works to ensure their investments are safe before they take the plunge.
“Two years ago if you’d gone to meet with an institutional investor, they’d know nothing. They’d be very interested to hear you talk, and then you’d leave. And now, when I meet with a CEO or CIO, I’m surprised at how much they know. At how much work they’ve done. Most of them haven’t taken the first step in terms of participating, but woah, they’re doing a lot of work…
I went to visit Jeff Sprecher who’s the CEO of ICE, which is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and about 30 other exchanges around the world. They’re the biggest exchange company in the world. And I thought I was going to give him my Bitcoin story. And after about two minutes, I just shut up and started listening. He knew so much more about the plumbing and the future of how coins will be traded than I would ever have imagined.”
According to Novogratz, there are a few pieces of the puzzle missing before those heavy-hitting Wall Street investors will be comfortable going all in on crypto.
“To get institutional investors, there’s a few things missing. The biggest thing missing is custody. And that’s kind of strange to say because we have a lot of good custody solutions. Xapo is a very good custody solution. BitGo is a very good custody solution. There are plenty of them out there. But if you think about how institutional investors operate. If you’re the state of Wisconsin or if you’re a pension fund, it’s hard to tell your boss if something went wrong, ‘Well I had my money with Bitgo or Zapo.’ People have never heard of those places.
And so what you really need as a bridge step is you need a trusted name custodian. You need a Japanese bank or a Hong Kong, Shanghai bank or State Street or ICE or Goldman Sachs to allow institutional investors to feel more comfortable. And that’s going to happen…
We won’t take out $20,000 in Bitcoin or $1,300 in Ethereum until there’s a proper institutional custodian. The second piece that’s needed and coming is regulatory clarity. Because the US controls the global banking system, it really needs clarity in the US first. It’s coming.”
Novogratz says he believes attractive custody solutions that appeal to institutional investors will fully arrive within a year and bring the price of Bitcoin up to at least $10,000.
As for the impact government regulators are having on the space, Novogratz says US regulators were shell shocked by the huge rise in the cryptocurrency market last year, and says he’s pleasantly surprised with the actions they have taken since.
He believes the single most positive sign from regulators is the SEC’s recent declaration that Ethereum is not a security.
I have been wonderfully happy with the posture of US regulators. First of all, all regulators missed the crypto move. Right? Crypto was 98% retail. It was the people’s revolution… and so regulators missed it. Regulators come from the institutional world. The head of the SEC worked at Sullivan & Cromwell. They come from the JPMorgans and the Goldman Sachses. And so, they missed it. And it was small and didn’t matter. And then last fall, October, November, December, January, there was this frenzy, this craziness where prices went up. And regulators said, ‘Oh shit. We need to do something fast.’
And so what they did in lots of places is just say, ‘Stop.’ Or they said, ‘Put the brakes on.’ And they were giving themselves time to understand what was happening. So the SEC, they subpoenaed companies. They really dug in, and the first thing they decided is, let’s go after the fraud and let’s go after market manipulation. And let’s slowly set rules as we understand it better.
And so it was a really, really big deal that they said Ethereum is not a security because they gave a path forward. Most of the tokens issued in the last 18 months were security tokens. They were issued without having a proper decentralized ecosystem to start. But what the SEC did, and I think what’s going to happen is, say, ‘You could have started as a security token, but now you’re a utility token.’ I think you’re going to see some people fined. They’re going to say, ‘Yes, you should have known better and now you’re going to be a utility token.’ But I don’t think they want to crush the whole system…’
And so, regulators are supposed to protect the little guy. And they were doing a crummy job of it. And so that’s changing. And as we get a little bit more regulatory certainty, you’re going to see the institutions feel much more comfortable coming in. And we need them. People say, ‘Well why do we need the institutions? Aren’t we going backwards?’ You’re not going to change the world on a half a trillion dollars of market cap. For crypto to really fulfill its mission, we need lots more money in the system to fund lots of these projects.”
As for which cryptocurrency is the single best to invest in, Novogratz preaches diversity and says trying to pick which platform will have the most success is not a smart way to invest in the market.
“We have 100 blockchains, roughly, 30 or 40 in China alone, and then another 60 or 70 outside. They’re all trying to become the same thing. They want to be this decentralized global super computer that processes data, that authenticates data. And so, it’s a race to see who’s going to get adoption…
None of them are fast enough right now for any real institutional applications. And you’re going to start seeing some of those. You’re going to see side chain on lots of these blockchains. You know, state channels or plasma in Ethereum. Or lightning network in Bitcoin. They go from very decentralized to less decentralized. EOS is already I think the fastest blockchain and it’s only three weeks old. Its critics will say it’s not decentralized enough. That there’s 21 nodes, that the Chinese control a lot of them. It’s three weeks old. Let’s give it some time. Let’s see how this develops.
My philosophy is, don’t think you’re so smart that you’re going to pick the one winner. Is it NEO or RChain or Thunder or Ethereum? Listen, Ethereum has got a giant lead. The most developers. There’s unbelievable human capital in the system. But they’ve got a big transition to make. They’ve got to go from proof of work to proof of stake and deal with a mining community that’s going to lose money on that whole process. So we’ll see. I find Vitalik one of the smartest guys on the planet, and so I wouldn’t want to short him.”
High Times, a cannabis-focused news outlet, is the first initial public offering to sell shares for cryptocurrency.
The Los Angeles-based media company publishes a monthly print and online publication focused on cannabis. It registered its IPO with the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Under Regulation A+, the company has already starting raising funds in cryptocurrency. The regulation is an alternative means of raising capital for smaller, early stage businesses. It was initiated in 2012 under the Jumpstart Our Business (JOBS) Act, a law intended to support small business growth and employment by lowering regulatory hurdles for companies trying to go public and allowing firms to have more private shareholders.
“Cryptocurrencies have created a new investor base across the world—we’re just giving them more stable opportunities for investment,” said CEO Adam Levin. “Beginning with our Reg. A+ crowdfunding, we’ve been focused on giving everyone from retail investors to long-time fans more ways to own a piece of High Times. While we didn’t believe that the ICO process was the right move for our brand, it would’ve been foolish to leave this emerging investor base out as we continue to transform into a diversified media, events and merchandise giant.”
Founded in 1974, High Times plans to expand its magazine and online presence, and continue its efforts to legalize cannabis. It’s one of the first cannabis-related brands to go public on the Nasdaq, and the first-ever stock offering to accept Bitcoin and Ethereum.
But Reg. A+ investment opportunities often struggle to show a return. Like initial coin offerings and any other investment, these IPOs require due diligence.
According to Barron’s,
“We studied the hundreds of mini-IPOs made under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS) rule called Regulation A+. There are earnest entrepreneurs with real products. But sad to say, most Reg A+ businesses haven’t gotten beyond the startup phase known as the pipedream. Cannabis paraphernalia. Flying cars and guns. The founder of rock band Blink-182 Tom DeLonge seeks your money to study UFOs, telepathy, and light-speed travel, but declined to talk to Barron’s about it.
Investors so far have little to show for the hundreds of millions of dollars that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says have gone into these IPOs since Reg A+ took effect in 2015. Investment returns are hard to find, mainly because only a few dozen of the 300-odd Reg A+ stocks have gotten so far as to list on the NYSE, NASDAQ, or OTC markets, where you can trade or at least get a price quote.”
Cannabis culture media organization High Times Holding Corp. will accept cryptocurrencies in its Initial Public Offering (IPO), High Times reports Aug. 2. In doing so, it will reportedly be the “first traditional stock offering ever to accept investments” in cryptocurrencies.
The “preeminent source for cannabis information since 1974” will accept Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) in an effort to cast a wider net in attracting investors to the company. High Times CEO Adam Levin said:
“While we didn’t believe that the ICO [Initial Coin Offering] process was the right move for our brand, it would’ve been foolish to leave this emerging investor base out as we continue to transform into a diversified media, events and merchandise giant.”
Ahead of the IPO, High Times has filed a Regulation A+ report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The report details $29 million dollars of reduction of negative equity, debt reduction, and decreases in operating losses.
Following an SEC rule change in 2015, Regulation A+ allows startups and small companies to “use a ‘mini’ [IPO]” to attract customers to become potential investors. Under the regulation, small businesses can crowdsource up to $50 million from members of the public.
Previous to the rule change, private companies could only seek investment from accredited investors, who are often the smallest and wealthiest portion of the population. Investors will be able to purchase shares in High Times for $11, a price the organization claims is a 10 percent discount on the strike price when it becomes listed on the Nasdaq later this year.
Levin said that accepting crypto is part of the organization’s mission to be “at the forefront of popular culture… not only as one of the first cannabis-related brands to go public on the Nasdaqbut also as the first to allow Bitcoin and Ethereum as part of our public capital raise.”
Cryptocurrencies have previously been regarded as a tonic to the U.S. cannabis industry’s banking woes. While state ballot initiatives have made marijuana usage legal in a number of states, federally backed banks refuse to offer services to cannabis businesses. While customers prefer to pay with cards, dispensaries are confined to only accepting cash, which also makes them a target for robbers.
Last year, the Dash network began implementing Dash as a payment option in the cannabis industry’s point of sale (POS) devices. In doing so, Dash reportedly aims to save the industry 10-15 percent, as the decreased flow of paper money will stymie the need for armored cars, cash boxes, safes, and guards.
Ethereum has entered into an agreement with a provider of end-to-end domain services Minds + Machines Group Limited (MMX) that will let Ethereum Name Service (ENS) get a top-level domain name, according to an Aug. 3 press release.
Under the agreement, Ethereum’s (ETH) consumers will be able to register their addresses with MMX’s top-level domain .luxe (an abbreviation for “Let U Xchange Easily”), which is set to be launched “soon.” The .luxe extension will reportedly enter its pre-launch phases in the near future, and go on sale to the public this October.
Any domain registered within the .luxe zone can reportedly be integrated with the Ethereumblockchain and all associated services like decentralised apps (DApps), distributed storage, or smart contracts. Users will be able to choose any “user friendly” domain name, which will carry all functions of the identification of an individual’s ETH asset, instead of existing 40 character identifiers.
Additionally, the .luxe extension will enable names to “resolve over the Internet in the normal way for email or web-based traffic.” This will reportedly let users to perform their traditional Internet activities along with the same address they use for their Ethereum related items or services. Toby Hall, CEO of MMX, commented on the collaboration:
"We already know from Ethereum's test in its non-ICANN authorized .eth zone that there is a real proven demand for word-based identifiers that are blockchain enabled, ENS having received deposits of over $28 million on approximately 300,000 seven character words and above in the .eth zone. We look forward to working with ENS to allow those .eth registrants the opportunity to claim their equivalent .luxe name before the Company launches .luxe for sale to the general public in late October."
ENS was launched on mainnet in May 2017, featuring an automated registrar process which allows anyone to easily and cheaply register names ending in ".eth" using an auction process. Basically, ENS was Ethereum’s first step towards cryptocurrency mass adoption, bringing readable ETH addresses to the public. ENS enables anyone to create a much more user friendly address like for example JohnDoe.eth.
Ethereum Classic today jumped 10-percent against the US Dollar, coinciding with Robinhood’s announcement of adding the coin to its trading app.
The Ethereum’s unforked version had started recording gains soon after Coinbase, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges announced that it would add the coin to its portfolio. On August 3rd, the day the announcement was made, the ETC/USD had established an intraday low at $14.11. However, the pair collectively gained 18% in value on the same day across all the exchanges, confirming the Coinbase impact.
The same day also witnessed moderate selling pressure, under the influence of which Ethereum Classic dropped to $15.82 on Kraken Exchange. However, the downside never intensified its stay, and price eventually started to consolidate within a strict $1-1.5 range. And today, on August 6th, the ETC/USD gained 10% in value as other top coins, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, continued to underperform.
At the time of this writing, the Ethereum Classic’s market capitalization stands at $1.90 billion.
The ETC/USD, which was previously trading below the ascending trendline depicted in orange, has attempted a successful breakout in the past three days. The buying sentiment is further confirmed by other technical indicators, mainly the RSI and Stochastic that have jumped into the overbought area on a 4H chart. Also, the fact that the ETC/USD’s 200H moving average has crawled above 100H and 50H moving averages add to the current bullish bias in the market.
As far as ideal long/short positions are concerned, Ethereum Classic is now above 61.8% Fibonacci level of the last downtrend move from $19.00 swing high to $14.12 low. The current upside momentum puts $18.69 in view as an ideal long position (a strong resistance level from July 2018). If it is broken, a long position towards $19.00 as the primary upside target would seem ideal, given a stop loss 2-pips below the entry position is placed to safeguard positions against potential bias reversals.
Meanwhile, the ascending trendline could keep providing support to the prevailing uptrend.
Potential Pullbacks?The cryptocurrency markets are not known to handle an overnight bull run for more extended periods. Just the last week, we have seen Tron recording impressive gains within 24 hours, also owing to strong fundamental factors, but the coin also witnessed a vast dump, eventually erasing every gain it had made during its near-term bull run.
Ethereum Classic’s upside could reverse anytime if the other top coins begin to attract buyers, now that they can be bought cheap. Should it happen, putting short towards the ascending trendline could bring decent intraday profits.
While not as widely used as those made for fiat currency, cryptocurrency ATMs remain a popular medium for buying and selling cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. Today marks a milestone, as there are now over 3,500 bitcoin ATMs installed and operational around the world.
ATM Count Breaks the 3,500 MarkThe latest data from Coinatmradar — a leading authority that tracks bitcoin ATM locations — shows the slump in bitcoin prices hasn’t had much impact in the rate at which crypto ATMs are being installed and used across the world. The data shows there are currently 3,503 bitcoin ATMs across the globe, as of press time. Out of these installed ATMs, 1,846 (about 52.7 percent) support altcoins with 49 percent and 32.1 percent of these ATMs supporting litecoin and ether, respectively. This new milestone comes 17 months after the total number of bitcoin ATMs surpassed the 1,000 installation mark in early 2017.
America Keeps its SpotThe data from Coinatmradar reports that North America has the largest concentration of ATMs globally, with a whopping 2,594 bitcoin ATMs installed, which translates to 74.05% of the total spread of ATMs installed across the world. Following North America, albeit still far away, is Europe — where the United Kingdom and Austria, dominate, followed closely by Russia and the Czech Republic.
Price SlumpThe price of bitcoin has been hit the most this year especially the first quarter of the year where it dropped by almost 50 percent in February falling below $7,000. Despite the price slump, manufacturers have continued to install new crypto ATMs. The report shows the accelerating pace at which ATM operators are installing the machines across the world.
Earlier in May, when there were about 3,052 cryptocurrency ATMs installed and functioning globally, the installation rate was a little above 5.88 bitcoin ATMs/day, which has increased by 66% to the current 8.91 installation speed per day. For manufacturers, two companies dominate the pack: American firm Genesis Coin (33.69 percent) and Europe-based General Bytes (26.89 percent).
From the new report, we can assume a few things such as an increase in demand for buying and selling cryptocurrencies through ATMs and that the business model also seem to be profitable for the manufacturers despite the slump in prices.
Manufacturers are also offering increasing options for consumers through the two-way machines. Two-way ATMs allow consumers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, while one-way machines are for buying cryptos only. The market share for two-way machines also jumped from 35.32% to 37.03%, as manufacturers invest in improved hardware to earn fees on both sides of the trade.
Bitcoin is Still KingThe data shows bitcoin is still the dominant cryptocurrency in the world. About 99.9 percent of all the machines installed around the globe support bitcoin, while 52.7 percent support altcoins, with litecoinbeing the most popular.
With the monthly increase in the number of bitcoin ATMs installed around the world and the pessimism towards cryptos, the future looks good for the industry. The real question is how the landscape will evolve, as ATMs provide an excellent medium that could ramp up the adoption of cryptocurrencies, though riddled with high fees. For now, the price of convenience and ease of use seems too good of a deal for consumers to turn them down — transaction fees not withstanding.
GANAPATI GROUP HAS ANNOUNCED THE APPOINTMENT OF EMAN PULIS – THE CEO OF SIGMA AS SENIOR ADVISOR OF GANAEIGHT COIN LIMITED
Malta, August 3, 2018 – Ganapati Group was pleased to announce the appointment of Eman Pulis, the CEO of SiGMA (Summit of iGaming Malta and Malta Blockchain Summit) as one of the Senior Advisors of GanaEight Coin Limited, the Issuer of G8C tokens. As published on July 7 2018, G8C tokens can be used in online casinos. Eman Pulis has a degree in Education with first-class honors. He also holds a Master’s Degree in both “Diplomacy” and “Creativity & Innovation.”
SiGMA, led by Eman as CEO, is known to create much heat during Malta’s Gaming Week, recognized as the must-go iGaming event held in November. The event attracts over 500 exhibitors and sponsors, 12,000 representatives, and 150 speakers every year. In addition, the Malta Blockchain Summit sponsored and hosted by SiGMA, is the world’s largest blockchain-related event attracting a number of investors and stakeholders from virtual currency related industries across the world, including Ganapati Groups’s GanaEight Coin Limited.
During a recent interview, Eman said: “I’ve worked with the team behind Ganapati for the last three years and the relationship has matured into one based on mutual trust. The technical expertise and all-around backing behind their ICO makes G8C a winner. I’m thrilled to walk this journey with them as an advisor and bring my wealth of contacts to the table.”
On July 25, GanaEight Coin Limited, a legal entity that will issue G8C, announced that two qualified lawyers, Hayato Terai from Japan and Kristina Deguara from Malta, had assumed the posts as its Co-CEO’s and will engage in practical affairs of the ICO.
With the two lawyers as its Co-CEOs and Eman Pulis, who has acquired vast experience and knowledge in Blockchain through his great accomplishments in the online casino industry, as its Senior Advisor, GanaEight Coin Limited will take a great leap in its online casino platform development project. The project is based on Ganapati Group’s proprietary ICO and Blockchain technologies and will help in reaching success.
GanaEight Coin Limited’s promotional video has also been updated and is available on the Ganapati Group website. Token sales for this highly anticipated ICO are set to begin in the first quarter of 2019.
The mythical fountain of youth. The tales of it appeared in writings by Herodotus, it was sought by the emperors of ancient China, for its sake alchemists spent years trying to create a philosopher’s stone. Centuries have passed, technological progress inexorably moves forward, but the issue of reversing the age is still hanging at poise. All over the world hundreds of clinics and laboratories spend millions of dollars searching for a way to slow down biological time. Now, in the heyday of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, high-tech startups are also joining the race for eternal youth.
CHAMELEON-LIKE CELLSAccording to the World Bank, about 8.7 percent of the world’s population is people over the age of 65. This is about 652 million humans! The forecasts are even more discouraging: the aging population grows at an unprecedented rate and the percentage is projected to reach nearly 17 percent by 2050.
The life expectancy increases as well. But a longer life does not necessarily mean a better life. With age, a person inevitably loses strength, beauty and is prone to serious chronic diseases. With the latter years comes an ever-growing risk factor for degenerative illnesses and the development of malignant tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia.
By defeating aging, we might overcome many diseases. And vice versa – preventing and curing these illnesses we may finally find longevity.
For more than a decade, stem cell therapy has been at the forefront of a struggle against aging and severe diseases.
Stem cells are the “universal” building blocks – progenitors of all cell types in our body. They are able to repeatedly divide and transform into cells of any organ. Simply put, if the body needs to regenerate a tissue, stem cells have the capacity to transform into these required tissue cells. The same happens with bones, muscles, tendons. So, the body repairs itself with no medications or surgeries involved. Stem cell therapy is already being used to treat tendon ruptures and serious diseases like leukemia and lymphoma.
If stem cells have such huge potential and have already proved their effectiveness in treating a number of diseases, then what is the problem?
ACCELERATING THE PROGRESS
In fact, there are several problems. Firstly, the high price. For example, American clinics charge nearly $10,000 per treatment. Most patients need not just one therapy session, but an entire round. Sometimes the final cost can reach more than $100,000, not including possible travel expenses or follow-up care.
In addition, the availability of stem cell therapies worldwide is much more limited than of other medical treatments. Due to this, there is a growing phenomenon of stem cell tourism. The most popular destinations are the Asian countries of China, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and Thailand.
Stem cell therapy is relatively new and promising, but still largely underexplored. Hundreds of biotech companies around the world are engaged in research of biotechnologies, including stem cell transplantation. Scientists are actively pursuing studies on the use of cell therapy in restoring vision for the blind, regrowing teeth and treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
With all these companies involved, there is no surprise that the global market for cell therapy is growing rapidly. According to the analysis performed by Transparency Market Research, the industry is expected to reach $270.5 billion by 2025.
Today the struggle against aging ceases to be just a lot for enthusiasts, donors, and philanthropists but draws the attention of large investors and venture capitalists.
The stem cell market already has its high-tech unicorns. These include biotechnology company Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. with a market capitalization of $1.34 billion; Athersys with a cap of $264.88 million, Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc. with a stock price of more than $20.
The booming crypto industry also doesn’t stand aloof and makes its own contribution to resolving the global problem. In February 2018, one of the most famous people in the crypto universe – the founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin – donated $2.4 million to the SENS Research Foundation, a charity funding research for treating age-related diseases.
Blockchain companies are not just donating money, some of them plan to facilitate the research of stem cell treatment and expose this innovative therapy to more people. This is what the Japanese blockchain venture Stem Cell Project is working on. It seeks to extend the healthy life expectancy and make its own contribution to the regenerative medicine – with the help of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and their own token SCC.
What we can now do with cell therapy is just the tip of the iceberg,” comments the Stem Cell Project team. “The possibilities of stem cells usage are much wider. And we want to be at the forefront of new discoveries, which might save many lives in the future. Cryptocurrency is borderless and healthcare should be the same – with no limits.
The project promotes a special technology for quick and accurate production of stem cells to allow more people to have access to this advanced treatment. This way, it becomes possible to optimize the cost of the cell therapy and create an environment where people can receive it on equal terms. Stem Cell Project mainly focuses on two directions: making stem cell treatment possible to pay in cryptocurrency and bringing regenerative medicine closer to millions of people – in Asia, and across the whole world. No matter who the patient is and which type of payment he chooses.
With many high-tech ventures already involved, and blockchain companies joining the race, our dreams of a long-lasting life have the potential to finally become a reality. Vitalik Buterin and the Stem Cell Project are among those ‘crypto pioneers’ who stand at the frontier and make their own contribution to modern regenerative medicine. And who knows, maybe their activities will help radically change our human lives.