The cryptocurrency industries largest crypto mining company, Bitmain, just opened their new office in Silicon Valley ahead of its planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) later in the year.
According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the China based cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturer moved into a 20,000 square foot office space in downtown San Jose California. The company filled the last vacancy of the city’s Riverpark Towers office building, which is known to be the hub of tech startups like Cohesity, Okta, and WeWork.
The expansion of Bitmain’s company is not surprising after the firm was recently valued at over $12 billion following the end of last month’s $400 million funding round. This makes it the most valuable cryptocurrency company in the world as well as the most valuable privately held tech startup.
Cryptocurrency companies have centered themselves around the same geographic locations as other tech industries. This recent move will better position Bitmain to expand and manage its digital empire. The company has been targeting expansion into the United States and Canada due to the industry’s uncertain future in China. The company has currently opened mining centers in both Washington state and Québec , Canada.
Bitmain has started investing in other tech startups, so it’s moved to Silicon Valley would naturally benefit its investment capital arm of the company.
The crypto mining company recently led a $110 million funding round for well renowned cryptocurrency trading desk, exchange, and investing app Circle. Bitmain has also announced that they plan on creating a USD pegged stablecoin in the near future.
Recently, Bitmain invested $50 million in the Opera web browser, which allowed it a controlling stake in the company. Shortly after the investment, the company announced that it would integrate an Ethereum wallet into their web browser.
Just this week, Bitmain also funded a round for the launch startup Block.one (creator of EOS cryptocurrency), alongside PayPal cofounder Peter Theil. The investment capital size was not announced publicly.
A recent study prepared by the Statis group ICO advisory firm identified that over 80% of ICO’s in 2017 were scams. The study examined the lifecycle of these ICO’s from the initial proposal of sell to the mature phase of trading on a cryptocurrency exchange.
The research revealed that over 70% of the ICO funding went to higher-quality projects, while over 80% of the projects were identified as scams. This study labeled an ICO death as “not listed on exchanges for trading” and “not updating code within their Github contribution page for over three months”.
According to the research, total ICO funds raised from these companies in 2017 amounted to $11.9 billion. 11% of the ICO funded ($1.34 billion) went towards scam these scam coins. The vast majority went to larger scam projects like Pincoin ($660 million), Savedroid ($50 million), and Arisebank ($600). The three ICO’s alone equaled $1.31 billion. While a larger number of ICO’s were scams, they received little funding as compared to the industry as a whole.
Techcrunch released another report earlier this year from Coinopsy and Deadcoins, which discovered that over 1000 cryptocurrency projects are already dead as of June 30, 2018. According to the Coinopsy list, there were 247 dead coins, while Deadcoins contained a 830 “dead list” of cryptocurrencies.
These cyber security company Carbon Black, conducted research in June of roughly around $1.1 billion worth of digital currency which was found stolen in the first half of 2018. The security company stated that cyber criminals take advantage of the dark web in order to initiate large-scale cryptocurrency theft. Estimated reports showcase 12,000 marketplaces and 34,000 offerings associated with crypto theft that hackers took advantage of.
The consulting firms PwC and Swiss Crypto Valley Association released a report showing the volume of ICO’s between January and May 2018. The report shows that $13.7 billion worth of ICO funding has already been accumulated, which is twice as much as the entire year of 2017.
The crypto evangelist and antivirus mogul, John McAfee recently tweeted that he’ll no longer be promoting initial coin offerings (ICOs) due to threats from the SEC.
Due to SEC threats, I am no longer working with ICOs nor am I recommending them, and those doing ICOs can all look forward to arrest. It is unjust but it is reality. I am writing an article on an equivalent alternative to ICOs which the SEC cannot touch. Please have Patience.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) June 19, 2018
McAfee revealed back in April that he charged $105,000 per tweet in order to promote crypto projects. When asked if McAfee felt responsible for pump and dump schemes which occasionally follow a few of his endorsements he stated “absolutely not”.
In May, McAfee made an announcement that he will release his own fiat currency backed by cryptocurrency. This currency would be redeemable for face time with him of up to 100 minutes of his personal time from any location in the world. He goes on to state that the promissory notes will be connected to a blockchain utilizing tokens.
McAfee has also hit recent headlines where he announced earlier in June that he would run for the 2020 presidential election as a way to serve the cryptocurrency community. He stated in one of his tweets
Representative of the Democratic Party of Korea, Hong Eui-rak is leading the legalization along with 10 other legislators. They plan to have the bill endorsed this year.
Hong stated during a form devoted to ICO’s a blockchain technology that the bill is aimed at legalizing ICO’s under government supervision. He also stated that collaborative research by his office and the Korea International Trade Association was implemented within the bill.
The bill will ensure that all ICO’s will be subject to strict supervision by the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
A speaker for the national assembly aimed at legalizing ICO’s stated “Blockchain and cryptos can be used in various public sectors for good causes. Given their potential, we need to work to help reduce political uncertainties they face.”
A ban on all new ICO’s was introduced last year by the South Korean government. This is the first challenge of the government to fight speculative investments in shady cryptocurrency investments, while keeping the market open to legitimate businesses (ICOs) within this space.
Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, some of the top crypto investors, requested that SEC (Securities And Exchange Commission) consider an exemption for cryptocurrency in a private meeting reports Wall Street Journal on April 19.
The venture capital firms met with SEC’s top officials who regulate ICOs, to combat against cryptocurrency regulations that would impair the development of the young and growing industry.
The group of top investors stated that all ICO tokens should not be considered investments but rather products that can be used to access services of the startup companies. The investors assured the SEC that any accounts of fraud would be held accountable.
The SEC has expressed skepticism in the past over such broad exemptions and is more than likely to offer limited exemptions where investors could set investment limits. Once established, the purchased tokens from the ICO’s would not be allowed to resell to third parties for profit.
Back in February, the SEC introduced a cryptocurrency probe which suggested that ICO’s may be violating securities laws. Due to this probe a regulatory body has increased pressure on ICO projects.
Many crypto enthusiasts have expressed their concerns over excessive regulatory scrutiny within the industry. However, others like Ryan Zagone of Ripple encouraged regulatory measures. Zagone compared the framework of the existing cryptocurrency space to the early days of the Internet.
The president of the Chamber Of Digital Commerce, Perianne Boring, believes that sensible regulation will take time. He states “You can’t start writing laws and regulations today and expect to get it right, it’s building on wet cement.”
Mike Lempres, the Chief Legal And Risk Officer at Coinbase stated that the US regulatory system is stifling healthy innovation due to a complete lack of understanding on what should and should not be allowed. They do not have a fundamental understanding of how digital assets should be considered, whether that be as commodities, property, securities, or currency.
Taobao, the Chinese online shopping site, which is the subsidiary of Alibaba, announced that they will be banning any store that provides services related to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), according to reports published on April 10.
The ban is an addition to the restrictions already in place regarding cryptocurrency related items. These services include restrictions on customers and merchants from selling Bitcoin, cryptocurrency mining tutorials, Bitcoin mining machines as well as other related hardware on Taobao.
This new restriction will take effect on April 17. The new rules now cover ICO’s and other similar digital products. It also increases control of digital products that are based on blockchain technology.
Taobao’s goal is to protect its users from financial risk associated with ICO, which may include fund raising and speculative donations. They state that online stores which violate these new rules will suffer punitive measures.
Just last week, Alibaba sued the ICO (Dubai-based Alibaba coin) for copyright infringement as well as misleading users by utilizing the company’s name.
AliBaba, the Chinese eCommerce giant, is suing the Dubai-based ICO AliBabacoin foundation for copyright infringement after the ICO initially raised 3.5 million as reported on April 3.
According to the filings within the US District Court in Manhattan, Alibabacoin engaged in intentionally misleading and repeated mentioning of the company’s name.
The ICO had intentions to create an eCommerce platform using its own cryptocurrency. It describes itself as a “technology optimize for distribution, shopping, security, finance, utilizing watching technology”
Alibaba states that they are not interested in moving into the cryptocurrency space and there is no relationship between Alibaba and Alibabacoin.
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10 Tips For Choosing the Best ICOs to Invest In If you’re new to ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), you might be wondering what all the
If you’re new to ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), you might be wondering what all the hype is about. ICOs are events in where creators of a particular token offer a partial supply to investors in order to further the development of the coin. In turn, this will give the ICO team enough money to fund more future developments and increase the value of the new coin. This, in turn, will create more interest with potential investors and increase the coins value even more.
By investing in an ICO within its early stages of development, you can get a much better investment price (think early bird special), which will lead to a much better return on investment if the coin eventually increases in value through further developments. ICO companies have been doing a great job in getting people to participate in these “pre-released cryptocurrencies” through solid marketing exposure, well thought out whitepapers (layout of future plans for the crypto coin), as well as a reputable development team.
Now that you have a better understanding of what an ICO is and how lucrative they can potentially be, you might be tempted to invest in the next one that crosses your path. At first glance, any particular token might seem like a great investment. However, it’s been proven time and time again that investing in less reputable ICO’s can be very dangerous to your overall investment capital. In fact, there are many ICOs that are flat out scams.
For example, the Mycelium ICO failed because the creators were using the development funds primarily for travel. Another example would be CoinDash, in which the entire network was hacked right before one of their events. This only proved that CoinDash’s security could not handle such a large event. Potential investors for that ICO would have had their money stolen. So now you might be asking yourself, how exactly do I know which ICO to invest in?
I’ve created a nice checklist of factors that you want to run down the next time you start shopping for potential investments in an ICO. Print this out and have it closed by once you start to shop around.
Behind every successful ICO is a team of highly dedicated developers creating and managing the coin. Without a great team, the ICO is just another random coin to add to the 100+ piles of useless shitcoins out there. If you want to invest in a new coin, you first need to know who the people are behind it.
Some of the developers are well known in the tech world. Have they had contributions in other cryptocurrencies before? The key here is to know who the developers are so that you’ll know whether a coin is worth investing in or not. Acquire a list of developers and Google them.
It’s pretty easy to do, simply run a few background checks on high profile individuals. This will allow you to check how credible or trustworthy your potential investment is. If the team of developers are comprised of a group of noteworthy people, then the coin has a higher chance of success.
What is Bitcointalk.org, you ask? Why, it’s only the largest cryptocurrency forum on the net. If you want to get feedback on a particular ICO, then this is the place to go. You can see what other investors have to say about a particular ICO. You may also leave some of your own feedback for them to view. It’s basically a huge discussion board for people who are interested in talking about any particular cryptocurrency. It is also one of the best places for you to do your initial research.
Other than reading feedback on what other investors have to say about an ICO, it’s also good to do your own research (DYOR) on the ICO’s development stages (AKA Whitepaper). Investigate to see what information is already available to the public. The whitepaper is a crucial part of the research process as it contains all the key information about the coin. It contains all past, present, and future plans of the company.
However, you have to look beyond the whitepaper and see what else they have to offer. Do they offer prototypes for testing? Does it contain other useful information that is essential to investors? How far have they gone in developing the coin? Obviously, the more information that they release to the public, the more credible they are. This means that there’s a high chance of success for the company and high probability of profit for investors like you.
You can tell how much confidence is placed in a coin by looking at the size of the community. The value of a coin is dependent mostly on the supply and demand. Every cryptocurrency has a certain supply of coins that will slowly be released to the public.
While the supply is maintained by the developers, the demand has to come from the community. If the size of the community is really large, then you can easily determine that there is most likely a high demand for it as well.
It also helps if there are more prominent or reputable names investing in the coin. If the demand is high for standard investors as well as high profile ones, you know that the coin is most likely worth investing in.
When you invest in a security or investment medium, you want to place your money in something that has value. With regard to cryptocurrency, the value lies in the purpose of the coin or what it’s used for (you can find this in the whitepaper).
For example, the purpose of Bitcoin is to enable people the ability to transfer money without any involvement of third-party entities such as payment facilities. Ethereum, on the other hand, was used for smart contract functionality.
As you can see, each coin has its own purpose. You have to find out whether the purpose of the coin you want to invest in actually makes sense or not. If you think it’s something that people can really use and get behind, then it’s investment potential increases. However, if you and others within the crypto community deem the coin useless, it’s most likely not a great investment opportunity.
|Another thing to take note of is the distribution volume of the coin. If it happens to be more than 50% during the ICO, then you may want to think twice about investing. A credible ICO will only have a certain volume of distribution as to not over-saturate the market. The key here is to find an ICO that doesn’t release all of its coins at once and instead releases the coins slowly into the market.|
The cap refers to how many funds are allowed to be accumulated by the developers. If an ICO allows a lot of these funds to be stored, then a lot more coins will be supplied to its investors. This, in turn, may lessen the demand because demand goes up whenever the supply is down. You have to take note of the cap of the ICO to get an idea of the supply and demand figures.
This step is more applicable to those who have more knowledge of computer programming. In order to know whether a certain ICO is junk or not, a lot of tech specialists actually examine the code that powers it. If the code is messy (especially during its final stages), then it might not be a very safe investment. Remember that the code is the core of the token. If the core itself is a mess, then you can assume that the rest of the company is too.
Just to give you an idea, a cryptocurrency that has function codes of more than 50 lines is a red flag for most programmers. If you’re really interested in investing a great deal of money into a particular ICO, you may want to take the time and hire a developer to look over the code for you.
Each cryptocurrency is powered by an open source code, which means that the public can view the improvements or the progress of the token. There will be logs that are also known as “commit logs” in the coding. A commit is a word that developers use to promote a code to the Github coding sector.
The number of commits in the log can tell you the progress and improvements of your cryptocurrency. It’s great to invest in a coin that has a high number of commits because it shows that the coin is developing quickly.
Aside from viewing progress of the code, another way to check progress of an ICO is to look into the Insights page of a particular ICO’s website. By clicking on the Insights page, you’ll see a chart of the daily commits of the cryptocurrency. Moreover, you can view the specific activity that each developer has completed for the token on a daily basis. You can check whether the developers of the coin are actually doing their job and making progress.
With the rising popularity of cryptocurrency, more and more ICOs will pop up on a monthly basis. In fact, ICOs have become one of the main methods of raising money for the development of new cryptocurrencies. As time passes, it will become even easier for people to have access to ICOs due to their rising popularity. Of course, this also means that people will have a harder time knowing which ICOs are worthy of funding and which ones are scams.
The key here is to do your homework on any particular ICO before investing. The checklist outline for you above should help you avoid any careless investment mistakes. The coins that don’t have much public information aren’t recommended.
A few resources I always check before investing into an ICO is…
Here you can view a comprehensive list of top ICOs along with ratings, rankings, and comprehensive analysis that will help you form a better buying decision.
|Don’t invest in a token unless you have full knowledge about the coin that you’re planning to invest in. If you take the time to do your due diligence, and have investigated every facet of the ICO, then regardless of what happens to it, you’ll know you did everything in your power to prevent losing your investment captial…..and that my friend is something to be proud of.|
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