China’s Central Bank deputy governor has denounced STOs terming them as illegal activities in China following the slow progress from Initial Coin Offerings to the
Cryptocurrency has always been an extremely volatile marketplace to trade in. Price swings of 10 to 50% within a 24 hour period can occur
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
Hundreds of new cryptocurrencies enter the market every single month. Not all of them will survive the ultra-competitive cryptocurrency niche. Most altcoins will never see
Cryptocurrency has always been an extremely volatile marketplace to trade in. Price swings of 10 to 50% within a 24 hour period can occur
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
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.|
Something is definitely brewing in Facebook’s newly formed department. Early in May, there was a rumor that Facebook was interested in opening a cryptocurrency department within its headquarters. The advertised positions are:
According to experts, if the social media company was to launch its own cryptocurrency, it would have one of the most active circulations among other virtual currencies, with its two billion plus users. What happened in May instead was that David Marcus, who had been running the company’s messenger app revealed through a press announcement that he was going to lead a team of dedicated blockchain technology researchers.
The announcement made Facebook among the top blue-chip companies to announce their interest and venture into cryptocurrencies. According to the advert for the new positions, the company aims to help ‘billions of people have access to things they do not have.’ What Facebook plans to do is not clear as they remain tight-lipped about the way forward or what they are working on but the general speculation is that they could be launching a wallet or a token of their own.
Let us not forget that before this, Facebook has been yo-yoing with the idea of getting involved with cryptocurrencies. In January this year, they had completely banned all advertisements regarding ICOs and crypto after finding out that some of these advertisements were associated with intentionally misleading and deceptive practices that were not scripted for success. But the reasons behind the ban were not merely a cautious move. Satis Group had released a report stating that most of the ICOs with a market cap of above $50 million were scams. The move, though hailed as a good one by crypto enthusiasts at the time, turned out to hurt a lot of genuine digital currency business from making legitimate advertisements and therefore not being able to reach a lot of potential clientele due to the limited platform.
Five months later, the ban was lifted. Every crypto product that wanted to advertise had to make an application to the company and satisfy their eligibility conditions before advertisements were granted, including licenses and public stock exchange records. Now, the updated policy regarding the pre-approved advertising guidelines may have just made Facebook the sole arbitrator on what cryptos will have how much coverage. More like a first come, first serve situation. Meaning, that the crypto that gets the advert platform first, will have more coverage than its competitors.
Anyway, it is safe to conclude that whatever Facebook is planning, its big. The advertised positions all require not less than 7-10 years’ experience in the various fields and the fact that this is the second time they are hiring, since the inception of the blockchain department,
Cryptocurrency start-ups have had a rough year with a huge section of them laying off loads of their workers with the Bitcoin price crash. Bitcoin has lost around $280 billion of its value this year alone, and the value of all digital tokens as at the time of posting has lost about $600 billion. So, comes with it a struggling market that has now led to a decline in cryptocurrency start-ups, Especially those that invested this year, banking on the close of 2017 prices.
Coinbase, for example, gained a surging number of customers since October 2017 and March 2018. The company is the largest coin brokerage in the U.S. ETCdev, following the incredibly volatile market conditions in 2018 has announced that it will be closing its doors due to lack of funds and being unable to raise more capital to keep the company afloat. This is despite the fact that the company is among the top most successful cryptocurrency start-ups, having launched Ethereum Classic and having a market capitalization value of $400 million.
As of September 2018, the cryptocurrency funding level recorded its lowest figures standing at $279 million, just shy of the required $300 million mark. Since cryptocurrency ICOs heavily depend on funding, the decline was blamed on the stricter regulations that have been put in place for most of this year mainly from the SEC, classifying ICOs as securities made it difficult for crowdfunding to function like it used to before since the funds were now subjected to securities law and scrutiny.
According to a recent post by Tech Crunch, another reason start-ups are failing is that the sheer amount of money being crowdsourced for cryptocurrency projects is simply frightening. Hence the inevitable scrutiny by regulatory bodies. According to tech experts, too much fuel in such a short period of time will always end up consuming the project and the drivers of the ICOs.
The marketing tactics are also very weak on the trust levels in the sense that ICOs are marketed via multi-level theory, just like Ponzi and pyramid schemes. Therefore creating greed for quick money and the fact that the future of the tokens is not analysed only opens doors to fraudulent funding.
David Schumpeter; Eidoo utility token backer, is calling this ‘creative destruction’. First of all, with the failing start-ups, what is alarmingly clear is that majority of the investors are actually quiet about so much money going down the drain. According to David, the destruction of these failed ICOs is good news to some of the investors who do not plan on letting the whole idea collapse but are waiting for the ‘inevitable’ recovery of the market since the value of their investments will increase.
If the market recovers, which is hopefully soon, it will be very interesting to see how start-ups will come back from this mess.
China’s Central Bank deputy governor has denounced STOs terming them as illegal activities in China following the slow progress from Initial Coin Offerings to the newer ICO called Security Token Offerings. STOs represent an ICO backed by tangibles such as assets, or profit or revenue of a company. Ultimately more lucrative than an ICO. However, both are still currently banned in China.
Pan Gongsheng, the deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China said that financing activities through STOs and ICOs were illegal, even though the activities continue to be rampant in the mainland following a nationwide crackdown of cryptocurrency markets from 2017.
Companies have been looking at moving to STOs following the lack of success with ICOs recently, companies in China may think that this loophole allows them to promote their business as ICOs are currently illegal in China. However, the governor announced, “The STO business that has surfaced recently is still essentially an illegal financial activity in China, Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Gongsheng admits that most ICO and STO fundraising projects in China are linked to possible illegal fundraisings and pyramid schemes, among other financial fraud.
China’s crackdown on ICOs in 2017 came after 80% of all ICO financing was taking place in China. The clamp-down in a bid to curb crime within the industry appears to have had a positive effect on the industry. China took steps to stop ICO operations and participation within the country due to the negative effect the potentially illegal activities could have on the countries overall financial industry.
Huo Xuewen, Chief of financial watchdog Beijing Bureau of Financial Work, issued a stern warning to anyone trying to operate an STO in China “I want to warn those who are promoting STO fundraising in Beijing. Don’t do it in Beijing. You will be kicked out if you do it.”
China remains one of the massive players in the cryptocurrency space and is taking steps to prevent companies from taking advantage of citizens and damaging the financial industry in the country.
Lyoness has been declared an illegal pyramid scheme in Norway, Austria, and Switzerland. A video has emerged that appears to show Hosp presenting an online tutoring session before becoming the face of Tenx.
The emergence of the video points to a damning lack of integrity and a willingness to promote a dishonest project by the TenX President in pursuit of Profit. In the video, Hosp is heard advising potential clients to exploit relationships with friends and family because they “cannot evade” them, and to hide the real reason for requesting meetings with them.
TenX raised over $80 million in its ICO last year on promises to “make cryptocurrencies spendable anywhere anytime” by connecting bitcoin to the real world with a Visa debit card and banking license. According to the TenX whitepaper, the platform native PAY token would qualify holders to dividend payments generated from the use of its cards – a promise which has since been dropped. The bitcoin-linked debit cards is yet to be produced one year Later.
With that said ,some early Investors have concluded that the company is in fact yet another iteration of an ICO exit scam.
Check out the Video:
The video is unlikely to bother Hosp too much because multi-level marketing schemes are not a regulatory priority in the U.S. What will bother him a whole lot more however is the SEC’s current affinity for prosecuting ICOs that sold unregistered securities during the height of the ICO boom last year, one of whom is TenX.
CoinAlpha got served with a cease and desist order today from the SEC on the grounds of operating as an unregistered entity. The SEC also accuses the company of being sneaky in the way of business operations after raising over $600,000 last year and quickly unwinding the fund once the SEC came calling. Another reason is that when the company filed for an exemption for offering securities, they were deemed ineligible but still sourced investors. The Silicon Valley-based blockchain company had earlier raised close to $3.5 million to create a fully-fledged digital asset management program.
The reason behind founding the company in the first place was the success Ethereum had. Their use of smart contracts changed their whole perspective on transaction obligations and reinforced contractual parties without the influence of a third party. The company has been running two asset funds; Coin Alpha Falcon which deals with machine learning strategy and Coin Alpha Index, which was a market cap index. Now, following the company contravening section 5(a) of the Securities Act, and subsequently unwinding the fund, the SEC slapped the sanction on them today.
Technically, the actual offence is the soliciting of investors without proper relationships between the investors and the company. Interestingly, the website was also accessible to the investors without any passwords. The company, in turn, earned management and incentive fees from the fund, but when called upon by the SEC, halted the fund immediately. The SEC mandated that the company is to pay $50,000 immediately to cater for the charges. Matter of fact, the website is at the moment inactive.
The SEC is looking for effective ways to manage cryptocurrencies and as such has made it clear that some specific conditions must be met, such as disclosure and securities registration. The power of the SEC is not to be taken lightly. Just have a look at the pending proposal to execute and approve Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund, a proposal that was initially made by three different ETF providers, but is still on hold.
In terms of assets, the above-mentioned bank is the third largest in Russia, with a management capital in form of assets worth $3.1 billion. And for this reason, for a renowned world power in every sense and most ominous of it being an economy to contend with, it only makes sense that the bank follows suit in revolutionary currency developments; in this sense cryptocurrency.
First of all, this is not to say that Russia has been on the backpedal on matters digital assets. As of the beginning of 2018, the country has been on the legislature path of cryptocurrency regulation. In actual case, the bill in Parliament was dubbed ‘Digital Financial Assets’ the bill did not get much ground due to the lack of knowledge on the subject and the resistance of traditional methods of the same. Consequently, the central bank came up with a draft of regulations for upcoming ICOs. The pre-existing cryptocurrencies were not readily accepted by Russian banks due to the nature of the transactions.
The bank is owned by the state, regulated by the Swiss Financial Regulatory Authority. It specializes in investment and depository services, corporate banking and retail banking. It is safe to say that the bank has no independent power to make any of its crucial investment banking ideas without parliamentary consensus.
The bank announced its plans to launch cryptocurrency services in 2019. In fact, the announcement was made by the Swiss branch of the bank. The decision is not independent though. The bank is partnering with Avaloq and Metaco, to provide these crypto services. This is hot on the heels of Bobby Lee’s contest that cryptocurrencies should be managed as a differentiated asset class. The working theory behind this is that government will be able to make very specific regulation regarding cryptocurrencies.
Regulation of cryptocurrency around the global market has had its different perceptions and attitudes and not many countries have been so receptive to it. Meaning that in terms of regulation, it has mostly been every country on its own. Not until last week did the G-20 summit members come up with a recommendation on a universally recognized fundamental regulation of how cryptocurrency business should be conducted, (pending 2020 clarification and fresh presentation).
The bank wishes to cater to its private clientele and also any other interested clients by making it an easier process for them to transact and make any other exchanges easier. With the wave of cryptocurrencies around the world, 2018 has pushed banks to try to understand and incorporate digital assets into their system.
Swiss banking giant UBS and a multitude of other banks had been making plans for cryptocurrency adoption since 2015 and they have finally made the move. The goal was to make money exchanges more reliable and efficient. The invention of cryptocurrencies and blockchain has challenged banks to develop effective monetary policies to handle cryptocurrencies; while the market is currently a shit show, optimism is still high and hopefully, this move will prove beneficial in the long run.
Cryptocurrencies and the technology behind it can be realistically considered to be one of the most driven advances in the financial sector. Not only because of the nature of the assets but the entire working idea behind it, the transactions and the virtual lack of regulation surrounding digital currencies.
Fast forward to say a decade or two, money will be virtual globally. Meaning walking around with actual cash will be a rare occurrence. Digital currencies have skipped that hurdle and are completely encased in a system that is complicated for most people to understand.
Moreover, the blockchain system is a complete opposite of the traditional financial system around the world which are already regulated. It doesn’t mean that cryptocurrencies are a mystery. It is gaining more knowledge and assimilation worldwide. So with higher popularity, comes the need for regulation.
Crypto has seen its fair share of multiple scams and fraud incidences. Different countries have different stands on cryptocurrencies. Let us have a look at a few economies around the world and analyse the regulations they have put in place.
China was once the biggest cryptocurrency market worldwide and used to dominate Bitcoin trading. As of last year, their stand on cryptocurrency trading became harsh and they banned ICOs. The reason behind this move was the volatile Bitcoin prices. In 2017, Bitcoin soared to levels of $20,000, raising the interests of the US, South Korea and Japan. In 2018, they dropped to lows of $7,000.
China supports the underlying blockchain technology but states that the use of the technology has raised significant concerns especially because the trades are unregulated and have been used for fraudulent and questionable purposes before. In August 2018, five different Chinese government bodies; People’s Bank of China, Banking Regulatory Commission, State Administration for Market Regulation, Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission and Ministry of Public Security issued a warning regarding the use of cryptocurrencies and ICOs for risky illegal use.
The Chinese government wants to protect its financial stability and regards the unregulated use of cryptocurrencies and the unlimited trading of the same as a threat to its economy. Crypto mining is not banned however, and individual investors have not been badly affected by the current bans.
To begin with, even the term cryptocurrencies in the U.S is subject to different definitions in different jurisdictions. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network only recently acknowledged crypto trading as some sort of currency which they term as ‘money transmitters’ and tokens as ‘other value that substitutes for currency’. The IRS has issued a tax guidance and legally recognizes cryptocurrencies as property.
The SEC (Securities and Exchanges Commission) considers cryptocurrencies as securities and earlier this year were looking forward to setting up comprehensive securities laws that would govern digital assets and the transaction of the same.
The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approach is that it allows cryptocurrencies to trade publicly and describes Bitcoin as a commodity. As of two days ago, American Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are awaiting the first ever Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) from the SEC. ETFs trade like stocks by tracking groups of assets or indices. If the ETF goes through, it may auger well for the future of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at large.
Cryptocurrencies in the U.K are not really legally defined as legal tenders but the trade of cryptocurrencies have specific registration requirements. Cryptocurrencies in the U.K are required to register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and has set up trading guidance that ensures that entities engaged in cryptocurrencies which fall under pre-existing financial regulations for futures and options and other derivatives require authorization.
The FCA is working closely with the Bank of England as recommended by UK’s Treasury Committee to establish well worked out framework around cryptocurrencies and ICOs so that consumers can be protected seeing that cryptocurrencies are under limited FCA jurisdiction.
Australia was among the first countries to institute cryptocurrency regulations. In fact, it was the second after Japan to declare cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin as legal tender in 2017.
In 2018, on the sole motivation of consumer protection, Australia’s Financial Intelligence Agency (AUTRAC), laid down actionable guidelines to be flowed by any ICOs under anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws.
The Asian country has had a confusing stand on cryptocurrencies altogether. In September of 2017, there were rumours of blanket ban on all ICOs, which were consequently dismissed in January 2018. The ban did not happen and it seems that South Korea has had a change of attitude towards crypto.
This came with harsh regulations;
Japan is the first country to regulate bitcoins and cryptocurrency trading overall. However, as time has gone by, their grip has become tighter and tougher. In recent months, investors have lost sums of up to 7 billion Yen.
A recent hacking scheme led to the loss of approximately $61 million stolen from Osaka based trader Zaif being operated by Tech Bureau Corp. this is not to mention what happened to Coincheck, the world’s leading crypto exchange in January.
Revision of the existing regulations require more frequent audits and taxation of the exchanges as crypto is treated as an income for the business.
Canada has not been very quick to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon but has undoubtedly become one of the more favourable countries to trade crypto. Their government has been working on a regulatory document but it will be revealed in early 2019. As such, crypto is not considered a legal tender but trading is very much allowed in the state.
There are high hopes that the regulations will be favourable as compared to the initial imposed rules that had been proposed in June 2018.
The Reserve Bank of India banned Indian banks from serving Bitcoins and cryptocurrency exchanges. India used to issue subliminal threats to investors and entities and businesses as well through official statements regularly, so maybe the ban was not a complete surprise.
The most telling threat came worded like this;
‘The government does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender or coin. As such it will take all measures necessary to eliminate the use of these crypto assets in financing illegitimate activities.’
I may point out that the stand is completely unreasonable and unjustified. This leaves the question as to the future of cryptocurrencies in India.
Matter of fact, crypto regulations are only just beginning to unravel. On the one hand, it is a prerequisite since the idea is to make sure people have faith in the digital assets trading ground. This also means that it will take a long time to come up with highly effective legal framework to regulate crypto since the technology behind it is what runs the transactions altogether, eliminating the need for a legal intermediary.
Countries inherently look to preserve their financial stability and functional economies and may adapt crypto regulation at different speeds depending on their technological abilities. My take is that the scrutiny of crypto as a whole is a real playing factor before regulations can be set up.
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