US Indicts Hackers Stealing $17M in Bitcoin and Ether From ...
20 arrested in QQAAZZ crypto money laundering syndicate ...
Just how bad is Chainalysis?
I've read about how some guy got his account blocked in Binance because he sent a transaction from Wasabi wallet. I've read it goes deep into several iterations after the mix. For instance: You send the coins into a mixer -> send it back to you to address A -> send it back to you to address B -> send it to an exchanger. Chainalaysis will notice the coins are mixed even if you've send it to 2 "clean addresses" before that. This is insanity. It could put people into trouble since one could mix the coins, send it to someone else, then this person sends it to an exchange where he is identified with his real name, and he ends up in some money laundering investigation scheme. Just nuts. Does it recognize all mixers? If you use helix, chipmixer or whatever else... how would it even know? Do they just keep adding more and more "blacklisted" addresses? In a long enough timeline the % of ending up in some "money laundering investigation" is increasingly higher. Until we have proper fungibility in Bitcoin, I wouldn't send a single satoshi to an exchanger that doesn't come from: 1) Coins you've bought from an exchange that uses Chainalysis (whitelisted by default since they had it on their custody wallet, one would assume those are safe) 2) Mined coins with no tx history These f*ckers are just developing an scheme to put people in trouble and confiscate coins. Use bisq outside of the above mentioned cases IMO. Just assume 0 privacy when dealing with your average big exchange. Better safe than sorry. Our only hope is smart devs crush their Chainalysis dreams where every coin has an ID.
This is the problem with the crypto community. Many only get excited and interested when they see a major pump. OXTBETS seemed very active and interest peaked in late August. Then, the terrible month of September ensued (which I predicted btw, not to toot my own horn) and now Orchid's level of interest is back to the days of June and July. In the terrible words of scholarly rapper, Future: "Molly, Percocets, Rep the set, Gotta rep the set, Chase a check, Never chase a bitch." NEVER CHASE A CRYPTO or you will be doomed. (Btw Future was basically advertising street drugs which makes that a terrible song). Everyone should watch this video by Tommy World Power: (0:48) "imagining if someone put $100 in cryptocurrency or BTC in 2009, that in 2013, that $100 would become worth $100 million. Thinking about how people go to work everyday and they have these routines...and if they could put just $100 which is possible for most people in the Western world..." I can admit that I was sleeping on crypto throughout this decade. I first heard about Bitcoin in 2013 and dismissed it as some illegal black market money laundering scheme. And in a way with Mt. Gox, it was like that. Then came the more traditional exchanges like Binance and Coinbase which helped legitimize this asset class. (1:37) "I watched Bitcoin go from $10 to $1000 in 2013." Didn't we all? (1:50) "I actually made first major investments in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency at the end of 2013, at the end of that bubble...that next year is something we NEVER saw in cryptocurrency before.... My losses on some of them were 90%... Accumulate as much possible at those lows because I knew at some point, it would rebound." Basically, he was referring to how everyone forgot about crypto in 2015 including all his friends and how it came roaring back to reward the loyal crypto holders. Don't chase crypto gains but don't also sleep on crypto. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhfbIGuSBxY
In this short post I want to set out my case for the moral justifiability of 51% attacks against proof of work cryptocurrencies. In the past, a 51% attack was a theoretical construct that most people didn´t seem to think would be practically achievable or lucrative. This has now changed, as hashpower can be rented on sites like Nicehash and Mining Rig Rentals for a few hours at a time. The attack delivers the attacker two prominent opportunities: -You can orphan blocks of ¨legitimate¨ miners. This essentially means that whatever work was produced by legitimate miners during your attack became worthless. Mine a secret chain of two hours worth of blocks, release it and you orphaned 2 hours worth of blocks by your competitors. By the time most of the miners have noticed their blocks were orphaned in an attack, their nodes will have been automatically mining on your own chain for a while and it will be too late for them to do anything about it. The amount of money they lost would be equivalent to the amount you had to spend to produce your chain. Because mining is an industry with tight margins, the economic impact on these miners can be very big. The cost may be sufficient in case of a very long attack, to persuade them to quit their endeavor and get a real job. -The more important opportunity is that you´re able to double spend your coins. This is potentially, incredibly lucrative. How lucrative it is tends to depend primarily on the inflation rate of a cryptocurrency. A low inflation rate means relatively little ¨work¨ is done to maintain the security of the system. A high inflation rate on the other hand, turns the cryptocurrency into a very poor long-term investment. As a consequence, most cryptocurrencies face declining inflation rates, that delay the problem of their ultimately unsustainability into the future. The bank of international settlements explains this issue here. When it comes to the moral justification of a 51% attack, we first have to ask ourselves why proof of work is morally unjustifiable. There are two main reasons for this: -Proof of work has an enormous environmental impact, that ensures future generations will have to deal with the dramatic consequences of climate change. There is no proper justification for this environmental impact, as it delivers no clear benefits over existing payment systems other than the ability to carry out morally unjustifiable actions like blackmail. -Proof of work is fundamentally unsustainable, because of the economic burden it places on participants in cryptocurrency schemes. Cryptocurrencies can´t produce wealth out of thin air. The people who get rich from a cryptocurrency becomes rich, due to the fact that other people step in later. In this sense we´re dealing with a pyramid scheme, but the difference from regular pyramid schemes lies in the fact that huge sums of wealth are not merely redistributed, but destroyed, to sustain the scheme. The cost of the work to sustain the scheme is bigger than you might expect, because the reality is that relatively little money has entered bitcoin. JP Morgan claims that for the crypto assets at large, a fiat amplifier of 117.5 is present, as a purported $2 billion in net inflow pushed Bitcoin’s market capitalization from $15 billion to $250 billion. You have to consider that the Digiconomist estimates that $2.6 billion dollar leaves the Bitcoin scheme on an annual basis, in the form of mining costs to sustain Bitcoin. The vast majority of retail customers who entered this scheme ended up losing money from it. In some cases this lead to suicides. The fact that proof of work is morally unjustifiable doesn´t directly lead to a moral justification for a 51% attack. After all a sane society would use government intervention to eliminate the decentralized ponzi schemes that are cryptocurrencies. There are a few things that need to be considered however: -Governments have so far failed in their responsibility to address the cryptocurrency schemes. Instead you tend to see officials insist that proof of work might suck and most cryptocurrency is a scam, but ¨blockchain technology¨ will somehow change the world for the better. Most libertarians who saw these schemes emerge insisted that it´s stupid to participate in them because the government would eventually ban them and round up the people who participated in them. This didn´t happen because of the logistical difficulty of suppressing these schemes (anyone with an internet connection can set one up) as well as the fact that suppressing them would lend credence to the anti-government anarcho-capitalist ideology on which these schemes are based. Goverments might say ¨these schemes facilitate crime, ruin the environment and redistribute wealth from naive individuals to scammers¨, but anarcho-capitalists would insist that governments have grown so tyrannical that they want to ban you from exchanging numbers on computers. -Because cryptocurrency is fundamentally an online social arrangement, governments have very limited influence over the phenomenon. Binance seeks to become a stateless organization, not subject to the jurisdiction of any particular government. Just as with regular money laundering and tax evasion that hides in small nations that can earn huge sums of money by facilitating these practises, governments are dependent on the actions of individuals to address these practices. Whistleblowers released the panama papers and the tax evasion by German individuals through Swiss bank accounts. Through such individuals, the phenomenon could be properly addressed. In a similar manner, cryptocurrency schemes will need to be addressed through the actions of individuals who recognize the damage these schemes cause to the fabric of society. -The very nature of a 51% attack means that it primarily punishes those who set up and facilitate the cryptocurrency scheme in the first place. The miners who pollute our environment to satiate their own greed are bankrupted by the fact that their blocks are orphaned. The exchange operators are bankrupted due to double-spend attacks against the scams that they facilitate. When this happens, the cryptocurrency in question should lose value, which then destroys the incentive to devote huge sums of electricity to it. Finally, there´s the question of whether 51% attacks are viable as a response to cryptocurrency. There´s the obvious problem you run into, that the biggest and oldest scams are the most difficult to shut down. In addition, cryptocurrencies that fell victim to an attack tend to move towards a checkpoint system. However, there are a few things that need to be considered here: -51% attacks against small cryptocurrencies might not have a huge impact, but their benefit is nonetheless apparent. Most of the new scams don´t require participants to mine, instead the new schemes generally depend on ¨staking¨. If people had not engage in 51% attacks, the environmental impact would have been even bigger now. -51% attacks against currencies that implement checkpointing are not impossible, if the checkpoints are decentrally produced. What happens in that case is a chain split, as long as the hostile chain is released at the right time. This would mean that different exchanges may get stuck on different forks, which would still allow people to double spend their cryptocurrency. -There are other attacks that can be used against proof of work cryptocurrencies. The most important one is the block withholding attack. It´s possible for people who dislike a cryptocurrency to join a pool and to start mining. However, whenever the miner finds a valid solution that would produce a block, he fails to share the solution with the pool. This costs money for the pool operator, but it can be lucrative for the actor if he also operates a competing pool himself. In the best case it leads to miners moving to his pool, which then potentially allows him to execute a 51% attack against the cryptocurrency. -It´s possible to put up a 51% attack bounty, allowing others to do the work for you. This works as following. You make transaction A : 100 bitcoin to exchange X, for a fee of 0.001 BTC. Once this transaction has been included in a block, you immediately broadcast a conflicting transaction with another node: You´ŕe sending those 100 bitcoin to your own wallet, but you´re also including a 50 bitcoin fee for the miners. The miners now have a strong incentive to disregard the valid chain and to start mining a new chain on an older block that can still include your conflicting transaction. Provided that pool operators are rational economic agents, they should grab the opportunity. -Selfish mining in combination with a Sybil attack allows someone to eclipse the rest of the network, while controlling less than 51% of the hashrate. Your malicious nodes will simply refuse to propagante blocks of your competitors, thereby giving you more time to release your own block. Selfish mining will always be possible with 33% of the hashrate and as far as I can tell there are no pathways known currently to make the scheme impossible for people with 25% of the hashrate. This potentially makes a 51% attacks lucrative without having to carry out double-spend attacks against exchanges. Although double spending is a form of theft, it´s not clear to me whether a selfish mining attack would get you into legal trouble or not.
The dreaded 51% attack is a morally justifiable and potentially lucrative solution to the Nakamoto scheme.
The new ‘Standard AML Risk Report’ by Coinfirm has been released with additional features and insights to ensure regulatory compliance.
While most money laundering worldwide is carried out in fiat currencies (like USD or EUR), the emergence of Bitcoin and private cryptocurrencies has opened the doors to a wide variety of new money laundering methods. Usually such KYC compliance is created by external security platforms but it’s hard to find real professionals which can provide an advanced AML platform. “This past year the crypto world has seen quite an evolution around regulatory guidelines with AMLD5 and FATF travel rule being debated, big tech giants like Facebook venturing into crypto, new age banks embracing blockchain and offering crypto services, crypto exchanges still being hacked and crypto traders continuing to be victimized by wide range of scams, ponzi schemes. All these developments have direct or indirect impact on the entire crypto ecosystem requiring even more focus and increased efforts to implement the best AML solutions.” Recently Binance - the leading global cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain ecosystem and Coinfirm - an international regulation technology company, announced their partnership to address the recently issued guidelines on anti-money laundering (AML) rules by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Binance is backing their actions with experts. Furthermore, Coinfirm has recently developed new features which hugely upgraded their Standard AML Risk Report. Users can now upgrade their Basic AML Risk Reports to the new Standard AML Risk Reports for free, which is very profitable for both: bigger cryptocurrency platforms like Binance and smaller ones like any payment processor, or data mining pool. Source: https://www.coinfirm.com/blog/coinfirm-releases-new-standard-aml-risk-reports-for-cryptocurrencies You can view a sample hack-related upgraded Standard AML Risk Report on their blog.
ILPT: Got tons of cash to launder and not sure how? Use cryptocurrencies this way.
Let's assume you've got a ton of cash that you don't want to report for whatever reason. In order to spend that cash on anything more than gas or groceries you're gonna need a way to launder it or give that cash a story. There are a ton of ways to do this but none that are untraceable...most money laundering schemes come with a ton of risk. But if I were properly motivated, this is how I'd do it. First I'd create a private trust. No need to understand how private trusts work in this thread, just know that they exist in a jurisdiction foreign to the US or whatever statutory jurisdiction you exist in. Then have that trust create a public LLC in a state that allows for private member owned LLC such as New Mexico. Literally all that is recorded is the name of the trust on the articles of organization for the LLC. So ABC Trust is the member of the LLC. The members of the trust are private and unknown. Now the LLC needs to be a legitimate cash business that wont draw any suspicion and impossible to audit. And ideally we want to convert all of our cash into cryptocurrencies. Unlike most money laundering schemes that hope to pay taxes and deposit cash into a bank. Cryptocurrencies are superior to cash in a bank for many reasons, but I'll only touch on a few here. So the LLC creates an online peer to peer exchange. It's important that the LLC never actually touches the money because if it does then the exchange would be considered a money changing business and needs to comply with KYC and AML laws. We don't want that. So instead we set up an escrow wallet service that is nothing more than a smart self executing contract. Its computer code that executes when conditions are met. That's it. Peers come to the site to find other peers to trade with. These p2p exchanges already exist like localbitcoins.com for example. Here's how they work. I have cash or gift cards or some other form of money and I want to buy bitcoin. You've got bitcoin and want cash. So you send your BTC to an escrow wallet on the p2p exchange. This escrow wallet wont release the funds until all parties sign. The buyer and the seller and the exchange must all sign with their private keys to send the money out of the wallet. So once your BTC is locked in the wallet, we meet up and exchange cash, or I send you the gift cards or whatever payment method we agree. Once you get the cash, you sign to verify you recieved the cash. Once I send the money, I sign to verify payment was sent. If there are no disputes between the parties then the exchange signs and the BTC is sent to my personal wallet. Easy peasy. And since the exchange never actually has control of the BTC or the cash, they don't require any knowledge of the trading parties. Just 2 anonymous characters. Now in order to not attract a lot of unwanted attention, its important to set buy limits. Even those we aren't regulated as a money changing business we don't want to allow million dollar transactions without any kind of KYC... so we comply with the $1,000 limit per day. Now once the seller has cash they can spend it or deposit it into their bank or do whatever. Once I have BTC now I can do pretty much anything I want. First BTC is a transparent blockchain so I've got one more step to make this truly anonymous and untraceable. I'll send that BTC to an unverified crypto exchange account on Bitfinex or Binance or any number of other exchanges and I'll use that BTC to buy Monero. I wont explain how Monero (XMR) works here but trust me, it uses fancy cryptography to make it truly untraceable. There's no trail to follow. No XMR can be linked to any other party ever. So once I have XMR I can send it to any private wallet I want and no one will ever know I've got millions worth of XMR. It's as if the money disappears. If I ever want to spend it, I try to pay directly with XMR fir whatever. But if the vendor doesn't accept XMR then I simply send that XMR back to the exchange and trade it for BTC. Or I send it to my verified exchange account linked to my bank and I trade it directly for USD. I'll pay a capital gains tax on that single transaction vs paying gains on my millions. So in order to do this at scale with our own p2p exchange LLC we need to create a dozen fake anonymous accounts all making small random trades to other legitimate sellers of BTC. Once we have gotten rid of all of our cash and now have BTC we funnel those BTC to dozens of unverified exchange accounts and wash them with XMR. Then send those XMR to our final destination wallet that no one knows about. When we want to spend it some amount, we simply funnel the XMR back into a verified and legitimate account and pay the tax on that individual transaction. Or we go back to our p2p exchange and get cash back. That's it. That's how you hide millions of dollars without a trace. Of course I've left out a few details like how to spoof your IP address and use things like VPNs and Tor to truly access the exchange site anonymously, and you'll need to do this since you will be the one creating dozens of accounts on the exchange. Each account needs it's own IP address to appear legitimate to anyone who gets wise and wants to look closer. Other than that, you've now got millions of dollars in your pocket you can walk across any border anywhere in the world with.
Emerging Technologies by 2020 As we come to approach a new era of technological revolution this coming year 2020, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), Fifth Generation Cellular Technology (5G), Internet of Things (IOT) and Blockchain technology, these technological innovations would undoubtedly disrupt most of our traditional Industries here in the Philippines as we know it. (Hold that thought for a minute.) Current Situation of the Crypto Industry in the Philippines Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the top picks where most people get their news. It is then obvious, that most marketers, journalists, and influencers, take advantage of these mainstream social media channels as the perfect medium to promote their digital currency of choice or ads to reach a larger target audience compared to the traditional newspapers or postal mail. These have its pros and cons. As the cryptocurrency space is gaining popularity at a rapid rate, more and more Filipinos are enticed to seek refuge to the promises of guaranteed and instant returns “get rich quick schemes” from networking companies to Ponzi schemes, and cyber scamming sites, just to name a few. The innovation of the blockchain technology using cryptocurrencies especially bitcoins has also been a godsend for criminals. Money laundering through various casinos in prominent cities in the Philippines has been rampant, as transactions through Bitcoin is easy and convenient while tracking the original money is near impossible. Extortion also play a major role. We may have no major reports of extortion here in the Philippines that involves crypto (AFAIK) but just recently, Binance a big player and the top cryptocurrency exchange by far with an average of 13–15 million users worldwide (according to a recent interview with CZ), has been in the social media radar due to an extortion attempt to their company, on an alleged Binance Know Your Customer (KYC) data leak. With all the fear, uncertainty and doubt, it is obvious that the common response of most Filipinos, when asked about cryptocurrency in general (especially when asked about Bitcoin), is that it is a scam, a Ponzi, a bubble, and the most convenient medium of exchange for drugs, terrorism, pornography, human trafficking etc etc. which is (IMHO) partly true. Mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies in the Philippines A study made last January 2019 by Napoleoncat reveals a total of 74,850,000 Facebook users in the Philippines. That accounts for roughly 68.6% of the country’s entire population. What does social media demographics have to do with cryptocurrency in the Philippines as you may ask? As Facebook recently announced its development and launch of its Libra coin by 2020, along with the deployment of 5G, IOT, AI and the continued improvements of the blockchain technology. Imagine the 68.6% population of Filipino Facebook users that will be exposed to the convenience of this technology. There is a good chance that this will pave the way for Filipinos to finally get involved and adopt cryptocurrencies for day-to-day transactions. Aside from the internet usage, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) would certainly play a major role as remittances have a proven track record of being the top dollar earner among all financial sectors for the last 2 decades. It is also a proven fact that OFW remittances is currently the biggest economic lifeline of the Philippines apart from the BPO Industry. Let us say cryptocurrencies get adopted in a year or two, thanks to social media and Facebook as a common past time of Filipinos (no pun intended). Everyone would enjoy a safer, more efficient transactions, with zero to minimal transaction costs, instant cross-border money transfers or payments, transparent transaction history and the coolest thing, this could all be done with just a few swipes on a smartphone. Compare this to the current traditional remittance transactions which usually takes days to transact, staggering 10–20% transaction fee, heavily centralized, meaning you have to spend a few minutes to hours just to find the nearest remittance center (pera padala center) to execute your transaction, think about it, think about how inefficient and unfair that is in our current technological state. We are coming to the point that these major financial intermediaries like banks, remittance centers, and financial companies will be eradicated and replaced by smartphones. Sure, the idea seems overrated but it is already happening. Just take a look at some of the countries that are currently experiencing hyperinflation, where their currency is losing value at an alarming rate. The people of these countries no longer trust their banks, nor their government. Instead, relying on the use of smartphones to transact and convert their money through various crypto-coins has been the only proven way that works to hedge their financial assets, their life savings, from hyperinflation. In conclusion: It is no longer a question of “will cryptocurrencies be adopted” in the Philippines, but a question as to when. I firmly believe, with the growing community of Filipino crypto enthusiasts, surfacing in various social mainstream Media, promoting the use case of blockchain technology, we are going to be an influential part of this financial technological revolution sooner than expected. People want freedom, the freedom to transact anywhere, anytime, with no limits. People want something that is efficient, transparent and safe with fair transaction costs and seamless that it happens in an instant. People want full control of their finances, and these technologies we have is the key. The key that will promote a decentralized system that will eliminate the traditional financial problems of transparency, corruption and economy unevenness here in our country.
Hi Bitcoiners! I’m back with the 23rd monthly Bitcoin news recap. For those unfamiliar, each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in Bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in bitcoin over the past month. You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com A recap of Bitcoin in November 2018 Adoption
China In China, history seems to be reversed. They are "witch-hunting" again... We mean crypto platforms hunting, of course. At the same time, the matter concerns not only crypto exchanges but also peer-to-peer platforms. In order to trade in crypto assets, the local population uses VPN. Bolivia The Bolivian Financial Supervisory Authority System (ASFI) is quite cruel to those involved in cryptocurrency matters. In any case, there are already 60 people on trial for this type of activity. Moreover, since 2014, Bolivia has considered both Bitcoin and all Altcoins as pyramidal schemes. This is the first country in the world to ban the use of absolutely any currency that would not be issued or controlled by the government. Bangladesh Bangladesh law enforcement agencies are actively seeking holders and traders since any cryptocurrency operations are prohibited. For them, all the methods seem to be good - except that there is no announcement of a reward for their heads. The Central Bank of the country declared that cryptocurrencies cannot be legal means of payment.
... continue with the neutral attitude
Japan The Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA) is now considering the possibility of changing the legal framework for cryptocurrencies. It is important that Japan is the first country to adopt a bill that recognizes cryptocurrency as a means of legal payments. South Korea After considering the issue of banning trade in cryptocurrencies and ICO in 2017, because of the fear of possible money laundering and tax evasion, South Korea is developing a structure that will allow Korean companies to collect funds on crypto markets. The market also suffered from bursts of manipulation schemes. In response to many questions, South Korea issued a direct ban, and only recently decided to partially accept crypto market with certain conditions. Seychelles Now in Seychelles, several large crypto exchanges are registered. They are probably attracted by the lack of regulation of cryptocurrency trading and the advantages of the offshore zone. However, at the moment the status of Bitcoin in this region is controversial. Belarus Legal regulation of cryptocurrency in Belarus so far consists only of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of December 21, 2017 No. 8 "On the Development of the Digital Economy." The decree has not entered into force, so Belarusians have no formal permission to use cryptocurrency in any way. But at the same time, the country's leadership is loyal to the crypto industry. It is possible that a trading space "paradise" will appear in Belarus. Russian Federation Since January 2018, the implementation of cryptocurrency legislation has been actively discussed in the country, but so far there has been little success in this area. Singapore The country plans to divide cryptocurrency actions into three categories. The first is utility tokens, the second is digital security tokens, and the third group will include payment tokens, that is, cryptocurrencies. In general, many cryptocurrency startups complain about not too transparent legislation in Singapore. At the same time, the government is clearly keen on the idea of attracting crypto traders.
... and end with a positive attitude
Malta Malta is one of the most cryptocurrency-friendly countries. The group of islands exceeds the major players: Japan, Korea, China, USA and Belize. The country has advanced in the acceptance of the crypto industry, ahead of such former leaders as China and the United States. Even Binance crypto exchange moves to Malta. It means a lot! Great Britain Great Britain is another country that has long entered the race for the title of world cryptocurrency capital. "The UK competes with other financial centers around the world that are also striving to become the crypto capital, so it’s important that this regulation be implemented as soon as possible," said Zeeshan Feroz, Coinbase UK CEO, in a letter to CNBC USA Los Angeles - the first in the list of US cities that accepts Bitcoin. There are 878 companies working for cryptocurrency. New York is the second after Los Angeles. Manhattan in New York took the first place in terms of crypto trading - 6.9%, followed by Chicago - 4.9%, Jacksonville - 4.2%, San Francisco - 3.5%, San Antonio - 3.1%, and Washington - 2.4%. Switzerland Switzerland launches the process of registering crypto exchangers. To legalize their business, companies need to obtain a license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Australia Crypto exchanges are legalized in Australia, and the country is progressing in establishing legislation that meets the challenges of the crypto industry. In 2018, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) announced the implementation of reliable cryptocurrency exchange rules. The new rules require that exchanges operating in Australia register with AUSTRAC, identify and verify users, keep accounts, and fulfill AML / CFT reporting obligations. In the future, unregistered crypto platforms will be subject to criminal charges and financial penalties. Such conditions will surely be attractive to traders who are attentive to their assets and want to keep them safe and sound.
Hello! My name is Kristina Semenova, I am the Head of Investors Relation Department at Platinum, the world’s number one business facilitator. Our team knows how to start ICO/STO in 2019! Why are we so sure? Well, our experience speaks for itself: Platinum.fund But what is the difference between ico and sto? What is the cornerstone of ICO marketing strategy? You will know this after finishing the UBAI courses! Here’s just a quick preview of our Short Course lesson. Real World Examples Multinational accounting firm Ernst and Young found that $400 million of the $3.7 billion USD raised from ICOs (as of January 22, 2018) had been stolen. That is, up to 10% of all ICO funding is virtually being stolen from investors. Though ICO scams are the most common method of theft in the crypto world, some projects will actually operate for a period of time before disappearing with the money. Like in a Ponzi scheme, an exit scam may be planned for later, sometime after a manipulated pump; or some other time the team believes is most opportune to take the money and run. Giza: Giza marketed itself as a platform within which different cryptocurrencies could be stored securely. But after raising $2.4 million in one month, the team deleted the website and stopped replying to emails. Investors were duped by a very convincing whitepaper, and actors had been hired to appear in photographs promoting the project. No investor funds have ever been recovered. Centra: The SEC put an end to fundraising for the Centra ICO and charged the founders Robert Farkas and Sohrab Sharma with orchestrating a fraudulent ICO after they raised $32 million USD. They were promoting the ability to develop financial products backed by VISA and Mastercard, though it was later found that neither partnership was real. One of the major red flags in the Centra project was the use of celebrity endorsements for publicity, reportedly paying champion boxer Floyd Mayweather a significant sum to promote their project. Who wants to leave their Blockchain investment decisions up to Floyd Mayweather, regardless of his unbelievable skill as a boxer and regardless of his own financial success? He should still not influence where you invest your money! Ponzi Schemes: Bitconnect: This is the most infamous Ponzi scheme in the history of cryptocurrency, and certainly the most damaging. Bitconnect was a Bitcoin-based project that rose to an all-time high of $463 per token on the back of a fictitious trading bot. The Bitconnect scam operated by paying dividends to users, proportional to the number of tokens they held and the number of referrals they made. The BCC tokens were exchanged for the users’ Bitcoin, and the highly sophisticated and wildly successful trading bot would trade BTC for them and distribute profits as dividends. The value of the dividends offered was approximately 1% of the initial investment per day. In other words, that is approximately 3,780% per year in cumulative gain! The referral system was capitalized upon most heavily by many of the biggest crypto YouTube channels, including CryptoNick and Trevon James, both of whom are now under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Shortly after the Bitconnect Token reached its all-time high, they received cease and desist orders from the security regulators of Texas and North Carolina, which caused the owners of the Bitconnect exchange to shut down operations, and the price to plummet. Davorcoin: Davorcoin was a lending platform very similar to Bitconnect. And Davorcoin was farcically promoted by the same Trevon James crypto Youtuber who promoted Bitconnect, and is currently under investigation by the FBI for promoting Ponzi schemes. The Texas State Securities Board, in likening Davor to Bitconnect, stated that “DavorCoin is telling investors they can earn lucrative profits by investing in a lending program based on a new cryptocurrency known as davorcoin. Investors allegedly purchase davorcoin and then lend it to DavorCoin”. Davorcoin promptly plunged from an all-time high of $180 to very close to zero after a cease and desist order was made against them on the 2nd of February 2018. Useless Ethereum Token: Despite brazenly stating in the name of the project that the token has no use, the UET managed to raise $340,000 in its crowdsale, and saw a significant pump of over 300% on the HitBTC exchange in February of 2018. The scam was an obvious case of pump and dump, with the total trading volume for UET crashing back down to as low as $3 per day, after reaching as high as $350,000 per day during the pump. It is currently an unfortunate consequence of the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency, but there is a distinct lack of recourse for scammed investors. It is wise to become as well-acquainted with the various indicators of good and bad ICOs as you possibly can. In weighing the factors that will allow you to avoid expensive mistakes, ask yourself in whose favor are the terms of the ICO slanted, yours or the teams? To what extent are you actually likely to profit from this investment? Cryptocurrency is inherently a grey area, whether you are investing in it or not. Investing is another inherently grey area, no matter what the area or object of investing might be. Laws and regulations are not always able to keep up. Trying to define and prove what was or was not a scam is not likely to be as simple as the scammed investor would want it to be. A project can be set up in certain ways to avoid being technically classified or provable as a scam, but the unprepared investor can still be burnt or scammed just as badly. Now we look at more individual indicators that can help you form a valid impression whether or not an ICO or even a fully-fledged exchange-listed coin is a scam or a bona fide investment opportunity. Common Signposts Contrasting Scam & Legitimate Projects Presale Bonus/Token Release If the ICO allots massive bonuses to team members, you may leave yourself open to getting dumped on by presale investors if you buy when the project tokens are listed on an exchange. Likewise, if the project has a short lock-up period for developers and founders, you run the risk of them selling as soon as the token is listed on a major exchange. The token release schedule for the founders of a worthwhile project should show long-term team commitment to that project. The Jibrel Network team tokens will be locked up for 5 years before release, and they had no early investor bonus in the main sale. Both of these factors instilled confidence in the JNT ICO investors, and the tokens were sold out weeks before the ICO was due to end. No Presale lock up If Presale investor tokens are not locked up at all for any period after listing, that could easily be a set up for an exit scam after the initial listing. No presale lockup for early investor tokens is a crystal clear warning, the project may be fatally rigged toward those in the inner circle, with little commitment to the long term health or success of that project. Unsolicited Offers or Unasked for Additions to Groups Characters running scam projects will often add you to Telegram groups out of the blue or send you unsolicited emails with information about their project. Telegram is the most widely used messaging app in the cryptocurrency community and you should familiarize yourself with it to keep yourself in the loop for specific projects in which you invest as well as all kinds of other relevant crypto info. You can adjust the settings on the Telegram app to disallow anonymous additions to cryptocurrency projects if you find yourself bombarded with offers by scammers. Reputable projects at the ICO stage will spread by word of mouth, or by eloquent and meaningful articles posted on their Medium page. A project with serious potential does not need to actively seek participants for their ICO like that. They will often be able to fill their ICO hard cap in a matter of hours, or even just minutes! Anonymous Team Alarm bells, again, immediately, if the project has minimal online presence. The individual team members could be mere fabrications. The entire project could be a farce by utterly inexperienced characters. What if the project leaders are simply unaware of the importance of a strong social media profile? That in itself would be too strange to ignore. Top-level projects will have team members with experience in crypto and the LinkedIn accounts for those members will be easily accessible right there on the project website. You should be able to easily see and evaluate each individual’s experience in their field and ascertain what they bring to the project team. Bitconnect’s anonymous team should have been the only deterrent prospective investors needed to discourage them from putting money into that doomed project. Ethhorse, a current project with anonymous founders and operators should be steered clear of at all costs for the same reasons. Community Atmosphere The subreddits or Telegram groups of scam projects will often feature moderators that do not allow any kind of criticism in the group chat. If, in the process of your due diligence, you encounter didactic admins that only wish to silence your questioning of certain aspects of the whitepaper or mechanism of the tokenomics , you should be concerned. Similarly if you see a coherent critical reply attacked by many different users who refuse to engage the substance of the point being made, that may be a subreddit infested with bots. Projects that have nothing to hide will allow free debate in the chat. Ideally, they hope to develop a positive community that is itself an asset to the long-term success and overall strength of the project. Good projects do not need to automatically brand all criticism as Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). Whitepaper One common tactic of scammers is to produce a whitepaper that uses too many buzzwords, and deliberately obfuscates and overcomplicates the explanation of the problem and/or its solution. A good whitepaper clearly and concisely lays out the problem and answer, as well as provides compelling arguments why a Blockchain solution is preferable to the current solution. Another point of concern is a whitepaper that gives unrealistic time frames and goals. Bitconnect’s almost comically optimistic profit projections are a prime example of this, as are the 1,354% yearly gains promised by Plexcoin. Respectable projects will set out development timescales in terms of quarters or years, rather than offering immediate profit projections, which are simply a red flag. Advisors/Connections in the Cryptoworld The most prestigious projects will already have partnerships made before the ICO stage, and the worst ones, i.e. the scams, will not mention any such partnerships. Icon (ICX) for example was spawned from a South Korean project named The Loop, a collaboration between 3 Korean universities and the DAYLIFinancial Group. They boasted an advisory panel consisting of the legendary investor Don Tapscott, Jehan Chu and crowdfunding expert Jason Best. On top of a solid team of advisors, good projects will also be visible at major Blockchain events such as the Consensus, and the World Blockchain Forum, etc. Scam projects will be unable to inspire this same level in confidence. As an investor, you should sense a certain presence and expect a certain feeling of trust that should guide you in your investments. After all, it is actually a people-to-people thing you are doing. Key Stress points upon the Timeline to Identify Scam Projects Post Whitepaper Release The period in the immediate aftermath of the release of the whitepaper can also be decisive in establishing the validity of a project. How a team copes with the roadmap that they have laid out for themselves is key. Valuable insight into the operational efficiency and commitment to the project can be gleaned from the quality of and amount of code committed to GitHub. If you have any experience in computer programming you can see how clean and orderly the code is, which gives insight into the skill of the developers, and in turn the quality of project leaders’ decision-making in hiring team members. Scam projects will have little or no code committed to GitHub, or at best it will be copied and pasted from other projects just to cover their tracks. Start of ICO Sometimes, a scam project, or other project in which you would be better off not investing, will change the terms of the ICO just before the ICO starts. The Key (TKY) ICO doubled the price of tokens on the day before the ICO was due to take place, because the price of NEO had risen so drastically. Currently, the TKY token price is still only half of its ICO price. Initial investors are faced with the prospect of a 50% loss on their investment. Exchange Listing Some particularly greedy scammers will create a scam project with the intent of selling tokens in the ICO for BTC and ETH, and then pumping and dumping their share of the tokens immediately after listing. The team of fraudsters behind Monero Gold used this method after the crowdfunding of their useless ERC-20 token. After listing on CoinExchange.io, the team dumped their tokens until the exchange finally ceased trading. Although it is not uncommon for ICO tokens to sold after listing (just like can happen with shares of stock after an IPO), if the price does not stabilize and massive sell walls are continually placed, a scam is likely taking place and the token is being dumped. Fake Ethereum Twitter giveaway You may have noticed Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin’s twitter handle has been changed to Vitalik “Not giving away Eth” Buterin in recent months. This is because a group of devious scammers had created fake accounts with almost exact replicas of his profile (deviating by only one character). The fake accounts promised to deposit 1 whole ETH for every 0.1 ETH the potential sucker deposited into the wallet address provided by the scammer. These fake account “Ether giveaway” scam tweets were set up to be sent in just a matter of seconds after the real person tweeted, and usually always appear immediately after the tweet of the real public figure. Fake bot profiles then came into play, thanking the fake Vitalik, or fake Elon Musk, for holding up their end of the bargain and depositing the ETH as promised. One scammer, or group of scammers, managed to fill a wallet up with almost $20 thousand worth of ETH, which they transferred out, never to be seen or heard from again. Effect of Scam Customers, Upon the Affected Parties Of course, this is no fun for the targeted public figure either. They need to take steps to avoid being targeted again. This will mean changing their handle, their username, or making their accounts private. However, the injured party with whom we are most concerned is the unfortunate scammed social media user, who has no chance whatsoever of getting his or her funds back, ever. It is a harsh lesson to learn. But it is a fact of crypto reality. Nearly every one that trades crypto will at least be exposed to frauds or scams in one way or another. In this case, we think it is better to learn about scams by studying them, rather than learn from your own unfortunate and expensive experience. In the case of Mr. Buterin, these incidents were awful public relations for the Ethereum project. It had only been a few years since cryptocurrency as a whole was primarily associated with criminality and seedy transactions on the Darkweb. Any connection with unscrupulous behavior is best avoided at all costs. Negative associations could have been particularly damaging for Ethereum’s brand because the vast majority of ICO fraud is committed using the ERC-20 token as the template for the scam tokens. Any and all the scamming or fraudulent behavior in the cryptocurrency ecosystem is bound to have a negative impact on the speed at which mainstream uptake finally takes place. Cryptocurrencies, as an emerging asset class, will be painted in the worst possible light. Crypto is aiming to, and is in fact in the process of, causing great disruption in traditional centralized finance and business. Mainstream media organizations are also part of that traditional centralized economy. Press coverage will be damning. Something is happening here, but Mr. Jones doesn’t know what it is. Legal Recourse for Scams We clearly understand, there is a possibility of being scammed. We know the scams are happening. The SEC has made some arrests and actually charged people for operating fraudulent ICOs. But it is a struggle to deal with the flood of ICOs coming from anywhere at any time. The SEC filed charges against two founders of a purported financial services startup for orchestrating a fraudulent ICO that raised more than $32million from thousands of investors. As you know from the ICOs we have covered so far, the lack of regulation allows for direct contact and dealing between the entrepreneurs, business owners and potential investors. While we believe this is a blessing according to the founding principles of Bitcoin and other alternate Cryptocurrencies, because it frees us from traditional roadblocks, middle-men, and all kinds of time-consuming procedures; it also leaves investors in a place where there is often little to no hope of ever recovering funds lost in fraudulent schemes. Actions after a Successful ICO Good post-ICO practice is characterized by stringent security, well thought-out legal strategy and clear communication. Many projects have paid the price in damage to their reputation for failing to adequately guard customer information, leaving themselves open to phishing attacks by fraudsters. Investors in the Enigma project had half a million dollars stolen from them; and a whopping $8.4 million was defrauded from investors in Veritaseum via phishing attacks. After a successful token distribution, the team’s main focus is initially on switching the enterprise from one primarily focused on fundraising, to superficially at least, a fully-fledged, functioning business. This involves removing most of the token sale-related content from their main webpage, sending newsletters to all successful ICO participants, and sending refunds to those who may have missed the deadline or the hardcap. Then, with the stressful and complicated fundraising stage finally concluded, a portion of the funds raised can be assigned to fuel the growth of the project community. This can involve hiring community managers, forum admins, and social media managers to outsource the job of keeping investors in the loop. The founders can focus on growth strategy and product development. The cultivation of a thriving and energetic community is extremely important. The community will give you free marketing for your product and your business. Community members who believe in the project, and are engaged by professional moderators, can give you very effective promotion to other prospective investors. Communication with community members is a great way to test ideas and gauge sentiment related to various aspects of your project. The project leads must set aside adequate funds for lawyers. The project will need to address potential future or imminent problems with regulators, at the very least. The transition from fundraising project to full-fledged business can be incredibly challenging, and even more stressful than the ICO itself. The main thing to remember is that your pre-sale and ICO investors are not just silent investors waiting for a return. They are the early adopters of your solution, of your product; they are the community and promoters of your project; and they are the individuals with a vested interest in the financial success of your venture. The ICO environment is not as heavily regulated, so quarterly and/or semi-annual reporting is not required the way it is in the traditional world. That means your own style of effective communication about the progress and key developments on your project matters even more. In the ICO world, you communicate with your press releases, social media, and Medium posts. You also communicate by the very nature of your relations with your exchange, and relationships with your cornerstone investors. Effective communication and good business relationships can play a prominent role in the success or failure of your venture (by token liquidity and valuation). If your investors start to lose interest, and stop trading your token on the exchange, liquidity will dry up and cause increasingly volatile price swings. You need to keep certain things in mind, and follow effective practices to maintain a happy and motivated community. Social Media & Medium In addition to your website, your social media & Medium blog most likely formed a significant part of your ICO preparations. Your purpose pivots after the ICO from one of promotion to one of communication. Consistent, informative and material Medium blogs, also Facebook and Twitter updates, ensure that investors remain engaged and well-informed of what the company is up to. Frequent activity in this space makes investors feel much more comfortable. You can foster a kind of organic community expansion that is consistently advertising your project to potential new members. Cornerstone Investors & Exchanges As we mentioned, your relationship with investors in the ICO world is different from that of the traditional silent IPO minority equity partners. Consistent, Transparent & Honest communication is incredibly important here. Even if an ICO is struggling to overcome a problem or whatever issues are occurring, honest communication from the team is key to business survival. You should think of and treat your exchange like a business partner too, a very important one at that. Exchanges provide liquidity for you and your investors. That liquidity is like the blood for your business. Many top exchanges demand nothing less than absolute honesty and integrity, it is imperative to maintain strong and comfortable relationships with exchanges. Everything we have said so far, also applies to your Telegram channel and forums too. These give you another great opportunity to build a thriving community. Team members and investors can enjoy lively debates in their Telegram channels. This can be constructive discussion, or critical commentary too. But it is always valuable as a direct link between the team and the community. It is always good to know how people are feeling and what they expect from you and your project. You are able to use your Telegram channel and forums to consistently adapt your marketing and communication strategy. Keep your investors as happy and comfortable as possible, and you will be more likely to attract new investors and allocations. Other forums around the internet operate more or less in the same manner as Telegram. After a successful funding round with the hardcap reached and time to spare, legal counsel has been secured, and the community is flourishing, the team will prepare for their first listing by paying the exchange fee and waiting for the announcement by the exchange. Unless they are willing to pay exorbitant fees for an immediate listing on Binance for example, teams will usually settle for an initial listing on a second-tier exchange. The fee charged by an exchange depends on many different factors that we will cover in more detail in the next section. ICO Company actions after a Successful ICO Real World Case Study The Basic Attention Token (BAT) project, when used in conjunction with the Brave Browser, allows users to pay micro-fees in BAT to their most-used sites. The idea was conceived by Brendan Eich, the inventor of Javascipt and former CEO of Mozilla Firefox. Investors absolutely pounced on it at ICO and the project raised an amazing $35million in under 30 seconds. The BAT/Brave project has delivered on time on nearly all of its targets, helped in no small part by having a working product, the Brave Browser, for over a year before the token launch. The project secured a listing on the premier exchange, Binance, in November 2017. A project can suffer through a disappointing funding phase and, for example, fail to reach 75% of its hardcap. The team will be only partially funded. Though they may be able to initiate the project, the value proposition of the token has been compromised, potentially forever. The market has spoken. There is limited faith in the team’s ability to complete or carry out their project. Failure to reach a hardcap is a serious obstacle on the project road map. This will mean massive revisions to the timescales for development and listing. Such a project may have to be content listing on decentralized exchanges for a period of time and they will lose any post-ICO hype that could have helped the project price to “moon” early on. There is less money to be allocated. Each section of the business will be underfunded compared to the original plan. There can be delays in code development, exchange listing, marketing and community development as well. Calling the Tezos ICO a disappointment might seem strange considering they raised over $232million. But this open-source, smart contracts fintech platform became a victim of its own success post-ICO by devolving into multiple class-action lawsuits between the founders and its foundation chairman. They suffered from a distinct lack of clearly defined roles and expectations on key positions. There was infighting at the boardroom level. This all caused an as yet unresolved delay in listing and development. This is also one example why a capped ICO can be more desirable for investors than an uncapped ICO. If the team have a set amount of capital to work with, an amount that isn’t absolutely ridiculous, like in the case of Tezos, perhaps the resultant greed and discord is less likely. Although it may not be so easy for speculative investors to make a profit from an uncapped ICO with such a massive initial market cap, it is a very impressive feat of fundraising nonetheless. Tezos’s post ICO market cap of $232million is already 64th of all projects, and would have to perform brilliantly on listing to maintain this position. Company actions after a Failed ICO Failed ICOs can mean either fundraising initiatives that have failed to reach the softcap and will therefore not be economically viable, or fraudulent projects whose sole intention was to steal from investors and do an exit scam. We’ve already covered scams and fraud projects in detail, but what happens when an ICO just fails to raise the requisite funds? Projects that are legitimate, with honest founders and developers, refund the ETH or BTC deposited by investors as quickly as possible if the softcap is not reached. The same process that is followed by ICOs that are oversubscribed is employed by those that have failed to raise enough capital. The process of returning funds back to the sender ideally should take a period of days, but more likely will take a few weeks. The Sappy Network, advised by Dan Tapscott, failed to come anywhere near to their funding goals. They are currently in the process of sending all investor funds back to the wallets from which they came. The statement from the founders read as a textbook example of how you should react to failure with the founder stating “In the spirit of transparency and honesty, we are sharing with the community that we did not reach the soft cap, and thus we will be honoring our terms and conditions and returning the Ethers to all contributors” Exchange Listing A bottleneck developed in the ICO market after the explosion of crypto prices in 2017. There was a massive increase of ICO teams on all stages along the pathway from start-up to fully listed crypto asset. Certainly, a huge part of the value proposition for both the token and the project depends on securing a listing on an exchange. It is precisely the liquidity of the token as a valuable asset on a free market exchange, that determines or even defines its value. The liquidity is what makes tokens attractive to investors, but that liquidity simply does not exist without a platform for the exchange. Unfortunately for new projects, the balance of power is heavily weighted in favor of large centralized exchanges that can pick and choose which tokens to list, and the timescale within which listing will occur. Each large exchange has its own list of pros and cons as well as its own specific procedure for coin/token listing. They also have their own particular ethos regarding the type of projects they prefer to list. ERC-20 tokens will be available for trade immediately on decentralized exchanges (IDEX Forkdelta) but those platforms are generally quite low volume, and certainly not a long term solution. Projects must often pay huge fees to be listed on the larger centralized exchanges. At first those fees will be prohibitive. The usual route is to initially list on a more reasonably priced smaller exchange like Kucoin or Gate.io. Listing Process Major centralized exchanges have the power to list anything they want, and they also each have a unique structure that projects must adhere to if they wish to be listed. Each potential new listing will undergo a rigorous examination by the exchange operators to test the feasibility for listing the token. An exchange will likely have forms available on its website that you can fill out to give them all the necessary initial information. If a particular project and token qualify for listing, the team will invariably be put under a NDA, Non-Disclosure Agreement, to avoid any insider trading or other regulatory problem s. In the case of larger exchanges like Binance, there is a period within which owners of a newly listed coin or token can transfer them to the exchange in preparation for trading. This is a fantastic opportunity for traders to make use of the likely pump that occurs after a new token is listed on a large exchange. It is common to see up to 100% increases on the first day of trading, and a subsequent dump of up to 50% or more can follow. This allows traders holding the coin already, to sell for a good profit, and maybe buy back in at a much lower price too, if they think that is a good idea. Exchange Fees There are no definitive figures available to the public regarding fees that major exchanges charge new projects to list. Binance, Bitfinex, Kraken and Bittrex have all been quoted as saying that they do not charge any fee at all but this is almost definitely untrue. Knowledgeable industry insiders estimate between $500,000 and $1,000,000 USD for listing on a top-tier exchange. (There have been more rumors of 7 figure exchange listing fees since January 2018 too). This figure will vary greatly from project to project. Various factors can affect how an exchange determines the fee for a particular project. These are some of the most important ones: Market Maker Service Required Whether or not the client project requires liquidity services directly from the exchange, or can connect proprietary ones via API, will lead to a huge reduction in listing cost. Type of Token (ERC-20 NEP-5 or DAG) Not all tokens are created equal in the listing process. ERC-20 tokens and BTC based tokens have code architecture that will almost certainly be preferred by the exchange. NEO based tokens (NEP-5) such as Ontology will be far most costly to integrate because separate new wallets have to be built to facilitate NEO transactions. The costs involved in integrating Direct Acyclic Graph projects such as Nano into the exchange structure are even worse. Expected Daily Volume Exchanges derive their profits largely from transaction fees and withdrawal fees. The trading volume a new token is likely to bring in will have a great influence on the computation of the exchange listing fee. Exchange Listing Procedures Evaluation Different exchanges have different rules for new listings. A new project must of course abide by specific rules for that exchange before they are allowed to list there. There are procedures that must generally be followed for the most noteworthy exchanges. You can get a good idea of the hurdles to be overcome before listing can take place. Ongoing relationship with Exchanges Exchanges, usually Huobi or Kucoin, will sometimes make it essential for newly listed tokens to engage in “trading competitions” after listing. Competitions can last between 2 weeks, or a month or more, aiming to increase the trading volume for that token, thereby increasing trading fees collected by the exchange, and giving the project extra publicity too. The whales may have made a nice profit already and be very happy about it; but the project token can still get stuck in a long period of stagnation and a loss of post-ICO hype. Once a coin or token has been successfully registered for trading on a particular exchange, the project must focus on maintaining regulatory compliance and paying things like annual maintenance fees too. Exchanges can investigate and delist coins or tokens to see if they have fallen below a certain standard set by the exchange. The exchange is concerned about such things as: an extended period with an extremely low volume; a team member connection to an exit scam; or other such immoral/illegal behavior. Post ICO Company Evaluation After a presumably successful ICO, the necessary funds have been obtained, and the real business, the real team challenge is now, to bring the project to life as a bona fide disruptive Blockchain endeavor! The core advantage of the ICO method of funding business startups is the lack of regulatory hurdles to navigate with regards to fundraising and fund allocation. The funds that have been raised have, in effect, been freely given to the project leads to do with what they will in a no-strings-attached transaction. Of course, there are still strings attached in that the team are tasked with making that money grow for the investors. But there is no regulatory oversight of the process. The regulatory freedom is a double edge sword. It gives a good team freedom to work however they want; and it also allows for unscrupulous thieves to use the ICO process to defraud investors of their ETH and BTC. Advantages of being Post ICO From Investor Perspective You should have little to fear in terms of fraud from a project in which you have invested, if you have done your due diligence correctly. You can expect the tokens to be distributed, and the exchange listing to take place as expected. And you know your project is totally legitimate. There are different ways to think about your ICO tokens after the crowd sale has concluded. If you are a speculative investor looking for a quick flip, you can gauge the correct moment and sell anytime you like, assuming the ICO has been well-received by the markets. From Team Perspective The post-ICO period is, from the point of view of the team, a period where stress and responsibility for the safety of investor funds is passed, in the form of ICO tokens, from the team to the investors themselves. This responsibility for tokens is replaced with the stress of building the actual company itself, and succeeding in the business as planned. A small portion of the responsibility for the project’s success is also passed on to the exchange that has listed the tokens. This is especially true if market makers have been employed by the team or the exchange to provide liquidity. After the ICO has concluded, all funds are released to the project team immediately, so they can start building their business brand, and tackling each step on the road map right away. The freedom with which startups can operate is one of the main reasons behind the explosion in Blockchain businesses in 2017. With the ICO funds safe, and money being put to work on various areas essential to the growth of the project, and the tokens already distributed to investors, the risk of fraud is greatly diminished. If KYC and Anti-money Laundering procedures have been followed correctly during the ICO phase, the risk of phishing attacks and theft will also be marginal now. At any rate, with tokens safely delivered to all participants, the responsibility has passed from the team to the investor. From Team Perspective The release of all funds and the freedom to allocate them with no supervision, as cited above, is certainly a tremendous advantage empowering the team to fulfil the entire breadth of their vision unimpeded. But it does have its drawbacks. If there is a mistake made in the allocation of funds, or an unforeseen problem arises, there is nowhere to turn to, and no means of generating further money via crowdfunding. The ICO is over; it is finished. The project simply has to work with what it has. Your community can sometimes turn against you when the market is going down. Times like that just add to the already intense pressure of presiding over a startup Blockchain business. Solution: DAICO The DAICO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organization Initial Coin Offering, is a means to integrate a more specific, rigorous and regimented smart contract schedule into the ICO process. Doing so will eliminate fraudulent ICOs, exit scams, pump and dumps, and many of the other disadvantages listed above. The DAICO method, proposed by Ethereum creator, Vitalik Buterin, will merge the core concepts of both an ICO and a DAO to leverage the most relevant features of both, in order to solve the main problems in the ICO method. For example, to eliminate the risk of an exit scam, the release of funds will be spread out over a period of time, with the next allotment only being released when a certain set of parameters are met. Buterin explains that the DAICO method will provide user protection in a manner not present in the current ICO model, ensuring funds are not misspent or used in any way contrary to the intention of investors. In simpler terms the DAICO will operate as follows: The DAICO will start with a smart contract by its executors that can set whether this is to be a capped or uncapped round of fundraising (amongst many other options) as well as including KYC requirements. After these settings have been configured, the DAICO is set into “contribution mode” and presented to the public. This stage will function identically to a normal ICO with ETH exchanged for project tokens. Once the funding period has elapsed, or the hardcap has been met, investors will have the ability to set the “tap” for the collected funds. This will set the amount per second, or amount per minute, that will be available to the executor to develop that specific portion of the project to which those funds have been assigned. If investors believe at any point that the team is misspending funds or otherwise wasting time, etc., the investors have significant options to take. Of course they could choose to release more funds to the team. But, they could also stop the tap altogether, and stop the entire ICO, by voting, and actually release all unused funds back to their own wallets from which the investment had first been made! Learn more on how to market any ICO and STO, get better understanding of security token definition and learn what a scam project is! Follow the link to read the full article: UBAI.co Contact me via Facebook or LinkedIn to know more about our services: LinkedIn Facebook
•Cosmos, a blockchain interoperability project has released its platform dubbed “Cosmos Hub”. This comes after 3 years of planning and development and a $16,000,000 USD raise in 2017. The platform aims to solve scalability of distributed technology by proposing a platform of blockchains.
CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADING SERVICES
•Traders on Coinbase can now transfer cryptocurrency directly from its trading platform to the institution’s custodial wallet offering Coinbase Wallet. •Coinbase Pro, Coinbase’s professional platform lists Stellar Lumens for trading. •New Zealand based exchange Cryptopia migrates 35% of the platform’s funds into new wallets. •DX Exchange, an Estonia based exchange utilizing Nasdaq’s trading engine launches security token offering (STO) listings. •Trust Wallet, Binance’s endorsed wallet now supports Ripple (XRP). Traders and developers building on top of Trust Wallet can take advantage of the support of the Ripple ecosystem. •Hong Kong based exchange Gatecoin shuts down as a result of a legal dispute with a payment processor and a devastating 185,000 ETH and 250 BTC hack in 2016.
•In the U.S state of Texas, a bill has been proposed to require identity verification for sending cryptocurrency payments. •Central bank of Russia aims to introduce an annual limit of 600,000 rubles ($9,100 USD) for unqualified investors who want to purchase digital assets. •Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the decision to create a portal for regulated ICO’s. •Singaporean based exchange Quoine has been found liable by the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) for reversing 7 trades from market maker B2C2 in April 2017. Trades were valued at 10 Bitcoins per 1 Ethereum. •The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) is now seeking regulatory input on cryptocurrency exchanges, in an attempt to integrate securities laws where appropriate. •In the U.S state of Colorado, governor Jared Polis has signed the Digital Token Act on March 8th, 2019. This will exempt specific cryptocurrencies with specific characteristics and functionality from being classified as a security.
•Tether has recently updated terms of service which will shift its reserves from 100% traditional currency (USD) to a combination of traditional currency and cash equivalent assets such as loans. •Samsung unveils a native cryptocurrency wallet for its flagship S10 device that can be found on the Samsung Galaxy Store. Wallet will support Ether (ETH) and ERC20 based tokens alongside 4 dApps from the outset. •MyEtherWallet launches an alpha version of its Ethereum blockchain explorer, EthVM. INSTITUTIONALIZATION •Kakao Corp, the creators of KakaoTalk – South Korea’s most used messaging app raises $90 million USD to supplement the launch of a new blockchain platform in June dubbed “Klaytn”. •A blockchain based ETF, consisting of 48 companies involved or building blockchain technology has launched on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). •Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) announces that it will not add a Bitcoin (BTC) futures market in March.
•Mark Karpeles, the CEO of Mt Gox faces a 10-year jail term from the Japanese authorities for embezzlement of client assets. •Danelle Dixon has been appointed the new CEO of the Stellar Foundation, previously COO of Mozilla. •Konstantin Ignatov, CEO of multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme OneCoin has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Ignatov’s sister, Ruja Ignatov is charged with wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
•@cz_binance – “Populaunpopular opinion: Everyone will be in crypto, sooner or later, whether they know it or not, whether you like it or not.” •@barrysilbert – “Wells Fargo, a Buffett investment, has been fined 93 times for fraud and other abuses, for a total of $14.8 billion in fines since just 2000. I'll take bitcoin's "charlatans" over that any day.” •@erikVoorhees – “Crypto is software eating finance”
Hello! My name is Slava Mikhalkin, I am a Project Owner of Crowdsale platform at Platinum, the company that knows how to start any ICO or STO in 2019. If you want to avoid headaches with launching process, we can help you with ICO and STO advertising and promotion. See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund I am also happy to be a part of the UBAI, the first educational institution providing the most effective online education on blockchain! We can teach you how to do ICO/STO in 2019. Today I want to tell you how to sell and transfer cryptocurrencies. Major Exchanges In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Function and History Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe. The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people. Popular Exchanges Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence. Bitfinex Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT). Binance Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours. Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles. Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet. Regulatory Environment and Evolution Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold. The United States of America A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system. The European Union The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology. Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto. Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions. The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins. Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years. The Influence of Age upon Trading Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.” Geographic Influence upon Trading One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside. 2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely. Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak. What are the Exchange Hacks? The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts. Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified). Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed. Market Manipulation It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase. Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2 No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out. Methods to Avoid falling Victim Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.” Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not? If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper. Is this too good to be true? All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH. Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take: If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees. Selling Cryptocurrencies Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time. Methods of Sale Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons. The influence and value of your Trade There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project. Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market. Market Behavior in Different Time Periods The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order. Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens. Follow the link: UBAI.co If you want to know how do security tokens work, and become a professional in crypto world contact me via Facebook to get all the details: Facebook
Cryptocurrencies continue to slide with Bloomberg Digital Assets 10 Index now down 80% YTD, surpassing the Nasdaq Composite’s drop during dot-com bubble in CY2000
AirSwap, a decentralized cryptocurrency trading platform announced a new partnership Tuesday that will tokenize New York’s real estate markets. AirSwap will partner with FINRA-registered broker dealer Propellr. In a statement, AirSwap said their main goal is to reduce time to complete secondary market transactions of private securities from months to days.
Alive Casino is building a blockchain platform that allows users to participate in VR online gambling. Based in Costa Rica, Alive Casino is currently in the process of selling 15% of its AL tokens in order to raise the necessary funds to develop the platform. AL tokens have a value of USD$0.015/token and can be purchased with ETH, with a maximum purchase cap of 75 ETH.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), the country’s trade agency, and the Australian Digital Commerce Association are jointly sending a delegation of domestic blockchain startups to visit some of China’s largest fintech companies this week. China is one of the world’s leaders in innovative blockchain technology, having filed over 10% of the world’s blockchain patents.
Authorities from US states Illinois and Arizona are asking India’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to seize property of promoters of Bitcoin investment firm BitConnect. The two US states are accusing BitConnect of being a Ponzi scheme, having raised approximately USD$5.6 billion from investors. India’s Criminal Investigation Department also claims BitConnect is suspected of money-laundering.
After Bitcoinist reported Tuesday that investment bank State Street will back stablecoin Gemini Dollar, the Bitcion Foundation’s Charlie Shrem said solid stablecoins are going to serve as a bridge for mainstream investors that will span decades. Shrem elaborated, saying stablecoins’ biggest accomplishment is eliminating the risks associated with high volatility digital coins.
A Canadian town in the Ontario Province is paying hackers a ransom in Bitcoin in order to get its computer network working again. The town of Midland had its computer systems breached and infected with ransom malware that encrypted files at the beginning of this month. Although critical services, like waste management ad fire response, were not affected, the town has begun paying the hackers Bitcoin in exchange for the decryption keys.
CoinDesk is reporting that there is a new major competitor for Bitmain. Bitewei, a Shenzhen-based mining chip manufacturer led by the former director of design at Bitmain, Yang Zuoxing, raised CNY40 million (USD$20 million) to bring to mining hardware to market. Bitewei and Bitmain have been battling over the past 2 years in regards to intellectual property designed by Yang.
Researchers from China’s Xi’an Jiaoton University published a report Wednesday saying at least 4 in 5 altcoins have stolen and plagiarized about 90% of their code. The report examined 488 digital currencies and found the code underpinning 405 digital coins (83%) yielded a ‘similarity score’ of between 90% and 100%.
A variety of blockchain funds, exchanges, and startup have come together to form the Blockchain Association, a lobbying group for the crypto industry. Reported Tuesday, some founding members include Coinbase, Polychain Capital, Protocol Labs, and Digital Currency Group. One of the association’s first hires is Kristin Smith, former Senate aide. The Blockchain Association will specifically focus on lobbying for tax laws and know your customers/anti-money laundering regulations.
Japanese telecom company, Softbank Corporation, has completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) for a blockchain that would allow peer to peer mobile payments across different carriers. Announced early Wednesday, the technology is the product of a partnership with blockchain startup TBCASoft, and Synchronoss, a publicly traded company that works with a communications protocol in Japan called Rich Communication Service.
Crypto AM News Recap You Need to Read: Cryptocurrencies surge this weekend led by Bitcoin Cash (BCH) ahead of its November 15th hard fork
Anatoly Aksakov, the Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, has claimed that the Russian entity is considering the launch of a state-backed cryptocurrency pegged to the Russian ruble. Aksakov detailed in a press conference that the Russian government would back a cryptocurrency, “but it will be a ruble-pegged cryptocurrency.” The state-backed ruble-pegged cryptocurrency will be backed 1:1 by Russian rubles held in reserves by a Russian banking institution, Aksakov detailed.
Bitcoin Cash’s (BCH) value surged almost 21% on Sunday after Binance, now the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily volume, announced that it would support BCH’s upcoming hard fork. Scheduled for November 15th, 2018, the upcoming BCH hard fork is part of a bi-annual scheduled hard fork of protocol upgrades that is also supported by US cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase. On news of Binance’s and Coinbase’s support of the hard fork, BCH trading volume increased sevenfold to about USD$1.3bn.
Bit.ly, a URL shortening service, is being criticized after reportedly blocking more than 200 links from Andreas Antonopoulos’ upcoming “Mastering Ethereum” book that is due for publication in 4 weeks. Antonopoulos is known for writing several guides to Bitcoin and publishing three other cryptocurrency books before the upcoming “Mastering Ethereum” title. On Twitter, Antonopoulos reached out to Bit.ly, saying, “Why are you blocking http://bit.ly links to crypto-currency sites,” and adding, “I’m about to publish my 4th book and it has about 200 http://bit.ly links in it. If you are going to block links, I will need to remove all 200 and replace them with a competitor.”
IBM, the global technology giant, is applying for another blockchain patent -- IBM's latest blockchain patent concerns augmented reality (AR) gaming and a way to prevent from AR gamers from intruding on undesirable locations. Dubbed as Big Blue, the patent details a blockchain-powered system of interactions between a mobile device running an AR game and a locational database to maintain safe boundaries between AR objects and real-world locations. According to the patent, a distributed ledger would maintain a list of constantly updated undesirable locations.
Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, the country’s highest legislative body, has approved amendments to existing laws that will enable the country’s regulator to combat anonymous cryptocurrency transactions. Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan announced changes to the country’s Money Laundering Control Act and Terrorism Financing Prevention Act on Friday that will ensure the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission ability to gather KYC information from investors participating on domestic cryptocurrency exchange platforms. Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan detailed further, saying that the country’s regulator will, “now demand that operators of virtual currency platforms implement real-name systems that require users to register their real names, according to new provisions.”
The People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank, is extending its regulatory scrutiny to cover token airdrops. According to the central bank’s 2018 Financial Stability report published on November 2nd, 2018, token airdrops are “disguised” initial coin offerings (ICOs) and a form of “illegal” fundraising that exposes investors to risks of fraud and pyramid schemes. The People’s Bank of China warns investors that a continued rise in airdrops and related initiatives may result in a negative societal impact.
The research arm of BitMEX, a major Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency derivatives platform, announced plans to launch a network monitoring tool for Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), specifically aimed at monitoring the cryptocurrencies during network upgrades, or forks. Dubbed ForkMonitor.info, the tool is connected to multiple nodes on both the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash networks to help users detect potential consensus bugs in the upgrades. ForkMonitor.info will release on November 15th, 2018, the same date as Bitcoin Cash’s scheduled network upgrade.
The Daily: Report Sees UK as Crypto Leader, Jersey Adopts ICO Rules
https://preview.redd.it/ak49rer34pa11.jpg?width=1600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d7c412ffa547e29c635eed1d1400e86168bde968 The United Kingdom has what it takes to become a true leader in the crypto space, according to a new report covered in today’s Bitcoin in Brief. Also in The Daily, the British Crown dependency of Jersey has adopted new requirements for ICO projects to better protect participating investors, Malta now has a two-way bitcoin ATM, and Hong Kong has been promised thousands of crypto payment terminals. Britain Set To Become Crypto Economy Leader, Report The United Kingdom is in a good position to be a leader in the crypto economy and the implementation of blockchain technologies, according to a new report quoted by the British press. Britain has all the required resources, the authors claim, as well as industrial and governmental will to become a global hub for the technology by 2022. The analysis has been conducted by Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global and Deep Knowledge Analytics. The gap between the traditional financial system and the crypto economy in the UK will close, DAG Global CEO Sean Kiernan believes. “The UK is a major global financial hub and in recent years has become a fintech leader as well. At the same time, it is starting to demonstrate significant potential to become a leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy,” he said, quoted by The Guardian. The research, carried out in coordination with the parliamentary group on blockchain, has taken into consideration the £500m (~650 million) worth of investments into UK blockchain companies made in 2017–18 to conclude that the United Kingdom has the potential to become a world leader in the digital and crypto ecosystem within the next few years. “We are still at the early stages of the blockchain industry’s development and the huge impact it undoubtedly will have in Britain and globally,” said Birgitte Andersen, chief executive of Big Innovation Centre. Jersey Introduces Requirements for ICO Projects The Financial regulator of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, has taken measures to protect investors participating in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). In a guidance note released this month, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) provides basic definitions of cryptocurrencies, digital tokens, and token sales. It recognizes that their use “has risen dramatically” but also warns about the associated risks like high levels of price volatility, loss of funds through cyber-attacks, the high number of scams and pump-and-dump schemes. Nevertheless, the JFSC states that most ICOs are unlikely to be regulated. Instead, the Commission places some conditions on the issuers of coins under the Island’s statutory instrument governing capital raising, the Control of Borrowing Order, noting for instance that a consent from the JFSC is required to establish a Jersey company. In granting such consent, regulators say, the JFSC may choose to impose certain conditions on the respective entity. Jersey-based ICO issuers are also required to be incorporated as a Jersey company and administered through a trust and company service provider licensed by the JFSC under the Financial Services Law. The Commission classifies digital coins in two major categories — security and non-security tokens. The latter have been divided into “utility token” — “a usage right or the right to access a product or service”, and “cryptocurrency token […] designed to behave like a currency, being a store of value and medium of exchange.” The document also lists a number of requirements that apply to ICO issuers and describes certain procedures and processes that should be followed in order to mitigate and manage the risks for retail investors. Companies are expected to apply anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures as well as inform investors about the risks. In recent years, the British Crown dependency, situated off the French coast of Normandy, has attracted many startups from the crypto space. In the summer of 2015, the Government of Jersey released a consultation paper on cryptocurrencies, becoming one of the first jurisdiction in Europe to address the regulatory challenges in the fintech industry.
Malta Acquires Two-Way Crypto ATM
Malta, another crypto-friendly European destination, has reportedly acquired its first two-way automated teller machine exchanging cryptocurrency with fiat. Last week, a company called Moon Zebra launched the ATM located at the Quicklets offices, on Tower Road in Sliema. It operates Monday through Friday, 9 am — 6:30 pm. The new BATM offers users the opportunity to buy and sell two cryptocurrencies, bitcoin (BTC) and litecoin (LTC). Moon Zebra claims this is the first device offering two-way transactions with cash. Another teller machine supporting purchases of cryptocurrency strangely disappeared last year. According to Coinatmradar, two other devices are also operational not far from Moon Zebra’s ATM, but both are buy only machines. One of them offers BTC, and the other supports BTC and LTC purchases. The launch of the new BATM comes after the island nation took another step towards becoming one of the most crypto-friendly nations in Europe. Recently, the parliament in Valletta adopted three laws designed to introduce clear regulations for the country’s growing crypto industry. It’s been reportedthat the largest crypto exchange by trade volume, Binance, is considering a project to launch a “decentralized bank” in Malta. The favorable business climate has attracted other large crypto businesses to the island, including the Chinese exchange Okex and the Polish Bitbay. Hong Kong Promised 5,500 Crypto POS Terminals The Indonesian startup Pundi X is working to build a network of 5,500 POS terminals in Hong Kong supporting payments in a number of cryptocurrencies, the South China Morning Post reported. The devices will be able to connect not only to crypto wallets but also with other traditional payment methods like Visa, MasterCard, and Apple Pay. According to Pundi X CEO, Zac Cheah, Hong Kong is the ideal place to test the payment network. His company has ambitious plans to introduce up to 100,000 crypto POS terminals in Southeast Asia by 2021. Recently, a chain of restaurants in Hong Kong installed crypto point-of-sale devices in partnership with the Indonesian startup. Pundi X claims that in the last six months 25,000 of its terminals have been ordered by businesses in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland. Source
Bermuda's Blockchain Strategy Goes Beyond Just Winning New Business
When it comes to regulating the blockchain industry, size really does matter. Government size, that is, according to the Bermudian officials driving the island's regulatory efforts around the nascent technology. "Small ships can turn quickly. That's the beauty of Bermuda," Premier David Burt told CoinDesk. https://preview.redd.it/6ya4wx3i0uw01.jpg?width=2644&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=614f8376e6bdacecf4fc3f04827efe7e70a8e114 Bermuda is one of several small territories and microstates striving to leverage their nimble governments to attract blockchain and crypto businesses by creating regulatory certainty where other, larger governments have failed to deliver thus far. Liechtenstein, Malta, Gibraltar and, most recently, San Marino have joined the race alongside Bermuda, all offering proposals - and in some cases formal legislation - that promise "comprehensive blockchain legislation." Typically such schemes entail detailed guidance on how initial coin offering (ICO) tokens will be viewed; secondary market controls; investor and consumer protections; and anti-money laundering (AML), know your customer (KYC) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) measures. And to date, Bermuda's strategy has proved fruitful. Since launching a blockchain task force in conjunction with the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) in late 2017, the government has passed legislation on ICOs and created a regulatory sandbox for those companies, put forth a Digital Asset Business Act and partnered with BitFury to shift the island's property deeds system to the blockchain. But most recently, and perhaps most notably, the U.K. territory inked a $15 million investment agreement with major crypto exchange Binance, demonstrating that the tiny island's blockchain push is attracting real industry heavyweights. This result is one reason, Burt argues, that Bermuda stands apart from its peers. "We have a very simple mantra in my government, and it's 'show, don't tell,'" Burt said. But with the competition here fierce, Bermuda is attempting to diverge from other places luring crypto and blockchain startups by moving beyond regulation, and incorporating its blockchain aspirations into its own public policy agenda - including re-envisioning its youth education and immigration policies. With this, Burt said: "We believe over the last nine months that our government has shown that not only are we open for business, but we mean business." The old with the new Understanding Bermuda's blockchain strategy, and more importantly, what sets it apart also requires a historical view. One feature which distinguishes the island from other aspiring hubs precedes the blockchain entirely - Bermuda's multi-billion dollar insurance and reinsurance industries which have "full regulatory equivalence" with both the U.S. and the EU. The maturity of these industries means that there are existing robust investor protection measures and other pertinent rules that regulators have been able to build on to create the Digital Asset Business Act, explained Sean Moran, head of business development at the BDA. "We've had to tweak them, of course, to make them appropriate and fit for purpose for this industry," Moran told CoinDesk, "but we have a model that we can work from that takes all of those protections and disclosures into account, and that's what we're working from." The dominance of Bermuda's reinsurance and insurance industries has also resulted in a burgeoning compliance-oriented sector, which Burt envisions as a critical resource for the blockchain businesses he hopes to attract. "If you cannot meet, match the Bermuda standards, if you cannot pass our high bar, then we don't want you," Burt said. He explained that part of creating desirable regulatory conditions is implementing high compliance standards for companies that are made in consultation with industry players - like Binance, for example. "That is squarely in our sweet spot," Wayne Caines, Bermuda's minister of national security, told CoinDesk. More than a haiku And that sweet spot will be especially beneficial for ICO issuers and the various stakeholders of that burgeoning industry. While industry has been waiting with baited breath for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to come out with formal guidance - since it was revealed that the regulator was closely investigating ICOs - Bermuda regulators have already set up a framework for those companies. The territory will not only require ICO issuers to scrutinize potential investors, but Bermuda itself will also scrutinize the issuers by requiring them to outline beneficial ownership structures and to create more robust white papers. According to John Narraway, an emerging technologies consultant at the BDA, this is particularly helpful since: "The regulations around what must be in an offering document or a white paper is critical because a white paper can be something like poetry or a haiku." He thinks this collection of standards will greatly mitigate the potential for Bermudian blockchain companies to engage in fraudulent activities. And these regulations were also based off an existing regulation, the Companies Act, that officials merely tweaked. "We've kind of billed this as, if you will, the greenhouse off the side to start growing new things, but using the main house of structure and reputation with the success of the thing and the clarity that's going to come from that," John Narraway, emerging technologies consultant at the BDA said of the amendment. Yet, those leading Bermuda's blockchain efforts are also cognizant of the industry's proclivity for rapid change, and believe their regulations are prepared to accommodate it. "Think of it like software versioning," Narraway suggested. "We know it's not going to be 100 percent perfect, but it's going to be as best as it possibly can be. If we can go from whiteboard to legislation in two months, how long is it going to take us to issue a 'patch' - to use software terminology?" He added: "We're going to have [version] 1.1 probably pretty quickly because we're going to be listening to the industry." Involving the locals Likewise, another means by which the government plans to keep pace with the industry is by keeping communication lines open with the major industry players, and making sure to keep the island's citizens in mind. For instance, the memorandum of understanding between Bermuda and Binance stipulates that the crypto exchange will not only move its compliance center to the island, but also invest $10 million into blockchain-related educational programs and $5 million in blockchain startups over the course of two to three years. In return, Bermuda will work to provide a steady talent pool for the company. "We want to do it because we want those players and others to come into the market and create economic activity," Burt said of the deal. Echoing Burt, Narraway said, the arrival of such companies can bring Bermuda up to speed with the industry by converting and capitalizing on local talent, and ideally abet the island's "brain drain," whereby highly-skilled locals move to other places where the market for such talent is more competitive. "We want to be able to pull [young people] back in and give them opportunities, real opportunities, to participate in the economy and to grow it and to develop their careers," Narraway said. According to Burt, the Bermudian government is in talks with other heavyweights from "the entire space," though he declined to identify them. The officials plan to release further information on industry partners and legislation in upcoming weeks. Narraway thinks local startups also stand to benefit, particularly because the industry presents new possibilities for raising early stage capital, which is in short supply on the island. "I can tell you from the business development side, we're having meetings every week with companies that are saying, 'I think I'm going to do this startup, this is where I want to go,' and now they're saying, 'explain to me this ICO as an option for doing my first round of funding," he said. Narraway concluded: "So I think this is a huge opportunity for the local companies and local entrepreneurs in Bermuda." Source
Some may argue that Bitcoin is a big pyramid scheme, but this is simply not true. Bitcoin is simply money. It is a decentralized digital currency that is secured by mathematical algorithms and cryptography and that may be used to buy goods and services. Just as fiat money, cryptocurrencies can also be used on pyramid schemes (or other illicit activity), but that doesn’t mean crypto or fiat ... Law enforcement agencies in Australia, the United States and Europe have arrested some 20 individuals thought to be members of a gang accused of running an international money laundering scheme involving BTC. While there are no publicly known cases of this Bitcoin laundering scheme, ... Some of the largest publicly known cases of Bitcoin laundering include the Binance hack, BTC-e exchange, QuadrigaCX exchange, and BestMixer.io. Although Bitcoin has indeed been used for money laundering in the past years, publicly known cases are much rarer than one might think. Binance hack. In early 2019 ... Two people have been charged in the U.S. for allegedly using "a sophisticated market manipulation scheme" to defraud and steal $17 million in bitcoin and ether from users of three cryptocurrency ... Mastermind of Alleged Billion Dollar Spanish Pyramid Scheme Arrested, Faces 16 Year Prison Sentence . The CEO of Arbistar the Spanish investment company, Santiago Fuentes, has been arrested and ... Leaked ‘Tai Chi’ Document Reveals Binance’s Elaborate Scheme To Evade Bitcoin Regulators 30 Oct 2020. Share: Binance Holdings Limited, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange conceived of an elaborate corporate structure designed to intentionally deceive regulators and surreptitiously profit from crypto investors in the United States, according to a document thought to be created ... Binance CEO Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao has denied allegations that the cryptocurrency exchange set up its U.S. arm to sidestep regulations. Forbes, on Thursday, reported that it obtained a leaked "Tai ... Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted, “Also knowing Chainalysis’ business is charging exchanges for this data. If they make that data publicly available, that problem wouldn’t exist.” He added that they are a paying client for them too. I guess we don’t pay enoungh. Bad business etiquette for them to do this, he further added. Zhao also noted that the report might be violating ... Binance was founded in China in the summer of 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, 44, a cryptocurrency veteran with prior experience at bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain LLC and cryptocurrency exchange, OKCoin. Forbes has reported that Binance had a secret plan to circumvent US regulations using an American subsidiary. The unnamed source for the leaked plan says it was created and viewed by Binance senior leadership. The CEO of both Binance and Binance.US have pushed back against these allegations Want to ...
Binance CEO Denies 'Tai Chi' Bitcoin Regulation Evasion Scheme
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