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Current State & The Future Of Digital Assets From Ariel Ling, BitMax COO.

Current State & The Future Of Digital Assets From Ariel Ling, BitMax COO.
Ariel Ling, co-founder and COO of BitMax, has shared her thoughts on the current state of digital assets and what to expect in the next years, what retail investor should take into account when buying any cryptocurrencie and the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin.
Ariel Ling, BitMax COO
Why, when and how have you started your crypto journey?
I started my crypto journey at the beginning of 2018 when my long-time friend, the co-founder and CEO of BitMax.io, Dr. George Cao “pulled” me out of the traditional Wall Street and asked me to join him in launching this exciting venture. Three main drivers are 1) to learn more about blockchain technology and its transformational applications in different industries; 2) to leverage in-depth traditional finance expertise to improve overall crypto trading and exchange market structure for better efficiency and transparency; 3) to have a chance to work with a talented and driven team who share similar vision, passion and conviction to build a top global digital asset trading platform as well as a wonderful organization from good to great!
If your friend will ask you: should I consider cryptocurrencies as investment opportunity? What will be your answer? Will you recommend any specific digital asset?
Coming from traditional finance perspective, I would explain my thoughts process from three angles — 1) types of crypto or digital assets as the foundation for understanding; 2) whether they, are more for short-term trading or mid-term investment 2) what are elements for investment valuation and decision-making so our friends can assess and make decision for themselves.
First, in general there are three types of digital assets:
  • Major currency / coin-type like Bitcoin, ETH, XRP, Litecoin, etc. and stable coins;
  • Security-type tokens representing some equity or debt rights of underlying projects;
  • Utility tokens for usage on specific blockchain platform or network.
Each type represents different type of opportunity and risk.
Second: is digital asset good for trading or investment? due to the nascent nature and very short history of market development with most of retail investors’ participation and lack of proper regulatory framework globally, there are quite some market manipulation, speculation and fraud activities in the current market, causing significant volatility and investors loss across all types within very short period of time. This made it very hard for any investors to assess the real valuation and momentum drivers behind those large swings. So at this point, I would think with its high volatility and risk, digital asset in general is more of very short-term trading product than investment vehicle. From liquidity perspective, major currency/coin-type will have more market depth across exchanges, hence more suitable for short-term trading-focused strategies.
Third, from traditional investment perspective, it is critical to assess digital asset investing from valuation and fundamental perspectives, such as business model, future growth, economic return vs. person’s risk tolerance and investment objectives. For major coins, especially Bitcoin itself with its longest history among all the digital assets, have started to provide certain payment function similar to fiat currencies in certain countries. Hence, there are more interesting dynamics to the Bitcoin investing based on one’s view of Bitcoin usage over mid-term horizon and the relative valuation vs its production (mining cost) especially with the price down to 3,500–3,650 USD. For security-type or utility tokens, the performance over short-to-medium term really comes down to combination of intrinsic value of underlying blockchain projects and token economics. Similar to Internet in 1990s, blockchain technology projects are still at the early stage of development and looking for meaningful and applicable use cases to bring real economic benefit from the economics and business model perspective, so it becomes very difficult to apply traditional finance valuation and assess the real intrinsic value of those projects. Recent market crash has brought many of those tokens down to near zero value. So the investment in those tokens are extremely high risk and everyone should be really careful and prudent in the evaluation of any specific projects for the decision-making and risk protection.
What is the story behind BitMax? Who are the foundefounders? When it was founded?
Q1 2018, Dr. George Cao and I founded Global Digital Mercantile (GDM), global operator of digital asset platforms, including BitMax.io based on Singapore for overseas markets and North America’s trading platform aiming for the first half of 2019. BitMax.io started public beta testing mid July, 2018, and was officially launched later mid August. On November 18th , we launched our mining mechanism, the industry very first transaction-mining & reverse-mining mechanism, which has made us the industry leading third-generation cryptocurrency exchange — after first generation of traditional exchanges like Binance, Gemini, Coinbase, etc. and 2nd generation of transaction-mining ones like FCoin, Bitthumb, etc.
Just a quick introduction of my partner. Dr. Cao studied Computer Science in the University of Science and Technology of China, and earned his PhD degree from the University of Chicago. Dr. Cao was the Founder and the Chief Investment Officer of Delpha Capital Management, LLC., New York, specializing in trading equity, ETFs and commodity future products in all major exchanges across the globe. He is also the founder and managing partner of Whitestone Investment Group, a New York based venture fund that invests in a large variety of startup companies that are in the high tech, fintech, big data and medical area. Before founding Delpha Capital, Mr. Cao worked at the Equity Division of Barclays Capital in both the New York and London offices. During that period, he oversaw equity electronic trading in the U.S., European and Asian markets. Prior to Barclays, he researched and traded U.S. equity as a Portfolio Manager at Knight Capital Group.
For me, I have built more than 18-year extensive experience in strategic planning, business development, financial risk management and regulatory implementation across major trading asset classes (Equity, FX, and Fixed Income) at several top global banks. Previous to jumping into digital asset trading, I ran USD liquidity and investment product for top financial institutions and corporate clients at tier-one global investment bank. Before that, I ran US Broker Dealer as COO and head of Business Development for Germany 2nd largest bank. Earlier from 2007 to 2012, I was global equity trading COO across Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, building out trading franchise and market making businesses globally. I have four degrees — graduated top of class from Nankai University with two Bachelor degrees in Finance and English Literature and got my MBA from NYU and Master of Mass Communication from University of Georgia.
Where is Bitmax located? Are you a distributed team or do you have an office to work together? How many people work for Bitmax?
Our global team of 50 members are based off two main location — New York with 20 members, including all the founding members, and Beijing with 30 members.
Would you be so kind to introduce briefly the core team members?
Both George and I are very proud of our 10-member founding team. Similar to us, they are all from Wall Street top firms like Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, and top high-frequency hedge funds with deep experience in the fields of financial engineering research and development of large-scale quant trading infrastructure. Our educational background span across multiple prestigious institutions including Columbia University, University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, and New York University in the United States, as well as Peking University and Tsinghua University in China. So one special thing about BitMax.io is that very few exchanges in the crypto trading space are built by solid team like ours with strong traditional finance mindset and trading background.
You’ve started BitMax during market downtrend in pretty competitive environment. What is your value proposition? Why traders should switch to BitMax?
I think BitMax.io is actually very special in this market, and our team is very proud of what we have built in the short period of six months. There are at least three reasons I think traders should chooseBitMax.io:
  • It’s our real-word professional trading experience and expertise;
  • It’s is our platform, resilient, high volume quantitative-trading platform;
  • It’s is our top-quality customer-centric strategy.
First of all, as I mentioned in the last question, architected by a group of Wall Street veterans, BitMax.io builds upon the core value of blockchain, transparency and reliability, and delivers high-quality client services and trading experience through its innovative trading platform.
Second, our quant-driven tech platform. Our development members were all from high frequency and quantitative systematic trading shops. They definitely make sure the platform was resilient and it can actually handle billions of volume during the design and build. The platform resilience and scalability were fully being tested when we launched the transaction mining and reverse-mining. The first day, we actually had, within the first 24 hours, the trading volume of 1.6 billion in notional; and our system didn’t flinch, didn’t slow down, and didn’t shut down. This is very rare in any of today’s exchanges where you can frequently see the slowdown, the crash, and very slow user responses, especially with transaction mining exchanges.
Third, what we are extremely proud of and all the users can see, is our 24/7 customer services built upon the core Wall Street client-centric concept. Besides our customer support team who never sleep, George actually stands behind the platform almost 24/7 answering questions from the customers, seeking solutions for their issues, and providing the most responsive customer service for the entire crypto trading space.
BitMax CEO, George Cao, is often seen in official Telegram group answering different questions.
We constantly remind our team: customer first. When we design a product, when we launch a system, and when we look at user needs, we all look from customers’ perspective, from how we can protect the users. When we look at primary listing, we only select the high-quality projects because we want our users to have the best investment and trading experience on BitMax.io.
Are you satisfied with the current results of BitMax? Is transaction mining model giving expected volume? What is the % of traders using this model?
We are very pleased with current business development and delivery results from client acquisition and trading perspectives.
On the business development side, we completed the global setup for both 50-member team organization and comprehensive legal entity structure from Asia to North Americas in 2018, which laid down foundation and paved way for 2019 business expansion especially with US.
Since our platform launch in mid Aug, we successfully started Industry FIRST transaction mining and reverse-mining exchange and built out the most active global communities and users within four months in the bear market, with registered users more than 95k; average daily active traders more than quadrupled since the start of transaction mining; average daily trading volume of $465mm through the month of January and February in 2019. Those are extremely promising under this tough market condition.
From the composition of trading volumes, there are two parts — transaction mining which grows exponentially; second is organic, the regular trading which has experienced healthy increase as well because of all the listing activities and all the incentives we have. The regular trading takes about 5% of total trading volume, which is very good for an exchange which was launched in August and running right into the bear market.
What are the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin?
From traditional finance /investment view token economics is really a balance act between business / economic model and exchange market force, driven by three factors: intrinsic value and sustainability, supply and demand, and liquidity and depth.
First, from a traditional finance perspective, we need to look at the intrinsic value, the economic valuation behind a project. How does this project make money? Do they really have fundamentals? Do they really have a viable business model? Do they really have a solid user base for future growth? For example, our exchange business model is very simple. We are exchange; People trade on our platform. The more they trade, the more transaction fee the exchange collect — the revenue source. The exchange will last when people keep trading on the platform and the transaction revenue generated covers the operating cost of running an exchange.
Second, it is the supply and demand of token on the market — who will buy and for what purpose; who will sell and under what scenarios. For major currency coins like Bitcoin, people might buy and sell for potential investment or use in actual payment processing. For other types of token, it is more driven by short-term trading pattern and profit taking. So it is extremely important to set up certain token mechanism to support the equilibrium of supply and demand like how Central Banks manage the supply of currency in circulation through monetary policies.
Third, when the market force comes in, it comes down to the liquidity and depth. Exchange is about liquidity and market depth. That means there has to be enough of trading volumes at each pricing level for each token. For BitMax.io, we have very sophisticated market making model that is similar to Designated Market Maker model of New York Stock Exchange. We focus on providing liquidity and maintaining a fair and orderly market for those token listings who agree to engage our market making services.
Every exchange is looking for good projects in order to become a premiere market for this new asset. Can you name some projects that impressed you recently (even if you are not discussing possible listing with them)?
BitMax.io has strict listing requirements in order to identify high-quality projects for our users. Very proud that we have listed five industry star projects in the last several weeks, with more in the pipeline. All of them have the following attributes that made them successful — viable and profitable business model, growing user bases, strong community support, and comprehensive funding sources.
One of the shining examples is European project named LTO Network listed mid Jan. Its price has been steadily rising since then, as more and more people get to know their business model and more project support comes into the market place to buy the tokens — It uses blockchain technology to streamline a lot of legal processing for one of EU governments, which is very easy to understand its economic value from a revenue perspective. This is simply what people need to see eventually, clean and clear from business economic model perspective.
Let’s imagine a crypto market in 5 or 10 years. Can you make any prediction what the market will look like? What customers will expect from exchange in 5–10 years?
Based off my long-time experience in traditional trading, especially how equity market evolved last twenty years, I would imagine maturing market structure and entrance of institutional investors are key mandatory and healthy development of digital asset market.
First, As the market develops and expands globally, traditional institution participation is a must, in order to upgrade and strengthen the overall market structure and maturity, making it more transparent and resilient, and most importantly enabling the real broad-base adoption of digital assets. Most institutional investors, such as mutual fund, pension fund and other financial institutions, hold the majority of world investment assets, not individual retail investors. Only when those big guys join the market, will there be real revolutionary improvement and expansion of the digital asset just like any other financial markets.
Second, I would expect the market to become more structured with major building blocks for transparent trade life cycle processing and separate risk analytics supporting services. Current crypto trading market is very fragmented with exchanges taking on different roles of trading, wallet management, custodian, etc. Also the lack of clear and consistence regulation on market structure has led to many aspects of market inefficiency — inconsistent liquidity and depth, wide spread, high transaction cost, high volatility, speculation, etc. This definitely hampers the broader adoption of digital assets from institutional investors.
Forward looking, multi-tier structure under some level of regulatory framework with clear guidance is required for future maturing market. Similar to security market, there should be at least three layers of different and independent roles: the role of broker dealer to handle the client relationship with good KYC/ AML processes, retail clients, other financial institutions, blockchain players and to take client order as agent or dealer; the role of exchange to focus on listing and trading — liquidity provision and order matching; the role of clearing house to provide clearing and settlement and custodian on custody of assets with proper control and independence. It is very clean and clear with good check and balance in place.
What are the key challenges for 2019?
During our 2018 business planning, we clearly view 2019 to continue being full of challenges with market uncertainty from both asset price and valuation as well as regulatory development globally. In prep for that and further growth of our platform, we have laid out the following four main strategic objectives and they are all well underway:
  • To launch North America trading platform for high networth and institutional clients. With North America being heavily regulated market, there are two aspects of our plan — First is to leverage a trust structure to facilitate the major coin trading with fiat, and the second is broker-dealer license application with potential for securitized tokens pending regulatory guidance in place.
  • To enhance BitMax.io platform and reach global top-tier exchange. We will continue listening to our users and working hard to enhance user interface and experience by upgrading website vs. other competitors for better client retention.We will continue leading product innovation among the competitors with margin trading (successfully launched in mid Feb) and then derivative to attract new clients.
  • Relent focus on implementation and expansion of current business lines — listing, Market Making, marketing advisory services to grow current revenue base; and further seek new revenue opportunity through North America platform while maintaining cost discipline.
  • we are always on the lookout in terms of exchange alignments, acquisition target, and any business partnership from different aspects of the value chain.
When do you expect a market recovery or next bull run? What are the factors that will influence the start of the market recovery?
With current market crash or correction, there are two possibilities from trading perspective — recovery depending on whether this is a V down or U curve. The U curve occurs when the market collapses, it takes a longer time for market to find the bottom and struggle to rise up. The V down is like a quick collapse — dropping down very fast and reaching the bottom, and then, with some catalyst event, either catalyst from market structure, or catalyst from the market expansion itself, suddenly it gives a boost and bounces right back up.
For market recovery, besides all the investment and economics elements I’ve discussed above, I believe one critical factor is the regulatory development especially clear guidance from key regulatory bodies of those major financial markets such as US, UK, EU, etc. on those key building blocks I mentioned in the maturing market structure. Once those in place, more traditional institutional investors will be ready to get in and hence boost the liquidity and valuation of the digital assets. That is the new beginning of digital assets being accepted as part of Main Street investment globally.

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Cryptocurrency: Is It Still Alive or Dying? Part 2.

Cryptocurrency: Is It Still Alive or Dying? Part 2.
Part 2. Political and Economic Trends in Favor of the Cryptocurrency Market Development

In the first part of the story we showed that the cryptocurrency market crash in 2018 and the beginning of its recovery in 2019 fit well into the general patterns of the financial bubbles’ development, and also repeat pretty well the Bitcoin dynamics of 2014-2016. But besides the analogies with other bubbles, there are a lot of other arguments in favor of the global growth of the market, among which are the political and economic trends of the recent years.

Relaxation of the Political Climate around the Cryptoassets

The entire year of 2017 has witnessed heated discussions as to the legal status of the digital assets. One of the central events of the year was their legalization in Japan in April. Precisely this legalization, according to many, spurred a dramatic growth of the cryptocurrency market in May (especially, altcoins). But the majority of other countries during this period held more skeptical positions.

The U.S. government on several occasions refused to register bitcoin-ETF - exchange-traded funds, the price of shares in which would repeat the price of BTC. The U.S. government also extremely tightened the conditions of the ICO procedure, while some countries, such as China and South Korea - have banned it completely. Certain countries, such as Indonesia and Salvador, have banned cryptocurrencies to the extent of criminal responsibility.

A number of countries, including Russia, have adopted a cautious wait-and-see attitude, regularly promising to impose restrictions of varying severity, but not hurrying to sign it into law.

A turning point on the way to the global recognition of the cryptocurrency was the beginning of trading the Bitcoin futures at the Chicago exchanges (CME) (the world’s largest stock exchange in terms of turnover) and CBOE in December of 2017. That is when the American government admitted openly that cryptocurrencies are now to be reckoned with. With the beginning of this trade, the powerful financial circles of the USA, whose opinion cannot be ignored by the political leadership, became interested in the development of the cryptocurrency market.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CME – the world leader in terms of trade volume

In 2018, the following paradox became obvious: even if over the longer term cryptocurrencies are dangerous for the modern political system (tied up in the central banks and the currency exchange regulation), the countries that will be the first to prohibit them will be most affected along with those countries that will simply overdo stirring up negative attitude. Those countries that will settle on legalization will benefit. The drain of brains and capitals will be directed to these countries from the more repressive or unpredictable countries. A typical example of that - Crypto Project GRAM of the Russian businessman Pavel Durov, whose ICO in 2018 reached a record amount, but it was carried out in USA, and not in the legislatively uncertain Russian Federation.

The experience of the countries that have legalized the cryptocurrencies, proved successful both from the financial standpoint, and from the perspective of the international prestige. They proved themselves to be open to the progress and new freedoms. In addition to Japan, Switzerland is especially noteworthy here, because it legalized cryptocurrencies as early as in 2016, but the most brilliantly announced about itself in 2018, when its banks began to introduce cryptocurrency services one after another. Among the innovator banks there was even a Swiss subsidiary of the Russian Savings Bank (Sberbank). The very expression “Swiss bank” became a synonym of not only high reliability, but also innovation.
A milestone event of 2018 was legalization of cryptocurrencies in Germany – the leading economy of the European Union. Rather liberal measures relative to the cryptocurrencies are being applied today in Czechia, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Estonia, Norway, Finland, and a number of other countries.

“Legalization parade” has shown: the politicians with repressive attitudes cannot count on the global ban of the cryptocurrencies (which seemed theoretically possible in 2016-2017). Economically developed countries made an obvious choice: “if you cannot stop the process – become its leader”. And precisely in these countries the maximum capitals are being circulated, and the market situation depends precisely on their business activity.

Explosive Growth of the Retail Use of Cryptocurrencies
Despite obvious popularization of cryptocurrencies, there is still a myth that they are purely investment and speculative instrument, which, even if used as a payment method – only in the dark net, and as a means of payment for illegal commodities. But this is not the case today. As far back as 2013-2015, legal services accepting bitcoin emerged, and in 2016-2018 their market has undergone explosive growth.

The pioneers of the cryptocurrency market of goods and services in 2013, were, for example, Virgin Galactic – space tourism company, Victoria’s Secret lingerie company, Shopify - a supplier of software for the online stores. In 2014, the cryptocurrency was adopted by the Overstock online store, Expedia tourism service, Zynga – operator of the online games, the software monster Microsoft and many others. Some of these companies considerably went up due to the innovations: for example, the shares of Shopify and Overstock have increased in price several-fold since then.

As of today, the cryptocurrency is accepted by hundreds of large companies and thousands of small ones, while the range of their products is approaching the one in a traditional economy. The most popular categories of the goods for the cryptocurrency in the large famous companies are tourism and air tickets (Expedia), software and games (Microsoft, Shopify, Zynga, Steam), clothing and other consumer goods (Victoria’s Secret, Overstock.com, Rakuten), as well as food products (Subway, KFC, Burger King – in Russia). As an example, Playboy erotic products, premium accounts of the 4chan.org and reddit.com forums, Bloomberg.com business news, automobiles in the Czech show room Alza and many other goods can be also purchased for cryptocurrency.

A number of well-known companies, although they prefer traditional payments, nevertheless allow crypto payments through the intermediary services, such as gyft.com (trading with the card Gyft for BTC). For example, Ebay online store, Wallmart supermarket chain, Starbucks restaurants, Uber taxi service, etc. The turnover of gyft.com is evaluated in the amount of 25 million dollars with only 38 employees.
Small start-up companies often use ready-made multicurrency gateways such as coinpayments.net. It supports dozens of currencies, and hosts about 400 companies. In addition to mainstream, it contains a lot of specialized commodities. For example, crypto-armory.com sells cartridges, francvila.com – Swiss watches, directvoltage.com - 3D-printers, electric motors, CNC machines, etc. Some new stores not only accept cryptocurrencies, but also purposely give up fiat currency. For example, crypto-armory.com, explaining their refusal from fiat currency, state both ideological, and narrow pragmatic reasons. In the opinion of the owners of the store, it is easier to accept cryptocurrency payments both technically and legally.

Cartridges from the cryptocurrency store crypto-armory.com
An important trend of 2017-2018, in addition to the general growth of the commodity market - re-orientation of the stores to the multi-currency payments. Whereas previously most of them accepted only BTC, now a sign of good manners is to accept also LTC, ETH, XMR and at least several more currencies.

Thus, while the politicians were solving the problem in the manner “not possible to allow - disallow”, a vast market of commodities for cryptocurrency spontaneously emerged on the Internet. Some of its participants have multibillion capitalizations. This market is very international. The majority of commodities and services can be bought even from Russia and other countries, where cryptocurrency is not legal as an internal payment instrument, but is not prohibited as such. Today, it is hard to imagine a consumer good, which cannot be bought for cryptocurrency.

The Latest Trend – Support of Cryptocurrencies by Smartphones

The first smartphone with a cryptocurrency wallet was HYPERLINK "https://bitcryptonews.ru/blogs/sravnenie-blokchejn-smartfonov-exodus-1-i-finney"HTC Exodus 1, released in the autumn of 2018. Then, a crypto smartphone HYPERLINK emerged "https://bitcryptonews.ru/blogs/obzor-kriptosmartfona-finney"Finney. And in March of 2019, the baton was unexpectedly picked up by the smartphone from the major South Korean company, Samsung - Galaxy S10. And although Samsung refrained from the direct embedding of the cryptocurrency wallet into the standard supply set, a brand wallet of Samsung can be installed from the Galaxy Store.

Galaxy S10 – the first smartphone from Samsung with cryptocurrency support

On the part of crypto enthusiasts, there are a number of claims to Samsung initiative, among which – the lack of bitcoin support (BTC). At the moment, Samsung Blockchain Wallet supports only Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 standard currencies and tokens created on its basis:
Basic Attention Token (BAT), Chainlink (LINK), BinanceCoin (BNB), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard (PAX) and others.

Anyway, from a political and PR perspective, the emergence of Galaxy S10 is a great event.

First of all, smartphone can attract to the cryptocurrency market new people who have greater confidence in the famous brand, than in the traditional bulky cryptocurrency wallets. Now, many people are frightened away from the cryptocurrencies only by technical difficulties, whereas smartphones on many occasions have proved their ability to promote to the masses those things, which previously seemed to be very complex.
Secondly, this step of Samsung is a clear signal both to the domestic and foreign governments: big business is on the side of the new technologies. South Korea has a reputation of a country not very friendly to cryptocurrencies, however, its business giant publicly demonstrated another attitude.
Thirdly, the initiative of Samsung with a high degree of probability will be emulated by other leading producers of communication devices. Thus, shortly after the release of Galaxy S10, there appeared a news that a cryptocurrency wallet will soon be available in iOS Opera Touch, which means that cryptocurrencies can be also stored in iPhone of Apple.
All this creates excellent prerequisites both for the world legalization of the cryptocurrencies, and for the growth of the market due to the increase of the number of users.

Conclusion
Thus, despite the “roller coaster” of the cryptocurrency exchange rates, some fundamental processes have developed steadily in the same direction in the recent years: expansion of the commodity market for cryptocurrency, increase in the number of countries with a liberal attitude to cryptocurrencies, adoption of cryptocurrencies as a strategic technology by more and more industrial giants. The total number of individuals who tried to work with the cryptocurrencies grows steadily, while the new technological trends (in particular, crypto smartphones), can additionally accelerate this growth.

The only thing that can seriously damage a cryptocurrency market is its global ban, but it seems to be unlikely. Right now there are about 40 million bitcoin wallets on earth. It is believed that on average their number is doubled annually, which means that within 5 years it can reach a billion. And if now a global ban on cryptocurrencies is unrealistic due to their profitability for the developed countries, by that time their prohibition will become impossible almost physically.

In the first part of the story we had put forward the arguments as to why the investors need not fear the bubble of 2017-2018: in the end, the bubble showed not so much the riskiness of the crypto investments, but rather their long-term prospects. Today we described political and economic events, which have occurred in parallel “behind the scenes”, and in which there were no “drops” – only progressive development toward the construction of the crypto economy. And in the next, third part, we will try to describe in detail specific financial reasons of the collapse and recovery of the market in 2018-2019.

Analytical department, Trident company, Victor Argonov, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
Source:http://trident-germes.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Germes.mining.robot/
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Cryptocurrency: Is It Still Alive or Dying? Part 2

Cryptocurrency: Is It Still Alive or Dying? Part 2
Cryptocurrency: Is It Still Alive or Dying?
Part 2. Political and Economic Trends in Favor of the Cryptocurrency Market Development

In the first part of the story we showed that the cryptocurrency market crash in 2018 and the beginning of its recovery in 2019 fit well into the general patterns of the financial bubbles’ development, and also repeat pretty well the Bitcoin dynamics of 2014-2016. But besides the analogies with other bubbles, there are a lot of other arguments in favor of the global growth of the market, among which are the political and economic trends of the recent years.

Relaxation of the Political Climate around the Cryptoassets

The entire year of 2017 has witnessed heated discussions as to the legal status of the digital assets. One of the central events of the year was their legalization in Japan in April. Precisely this legalization, according to many, spurred a dramatic growth of the cryptocurrency market in May (especially, altcoins). But the majority of other countries during this period held more skeptical positions.

The U.S. government on several occasions refused to register bitcoin-ETF - exchange-traded funds, the price of shares in which would repeat the price of BTC. The U.S. government also extremely tightened the conditions of the ICO procedure, while some countries, such as China and South Korea - have banned it completely. Certain countries, such as Indonesia and Salvador, have banned cryptocurrencies to the extent of criminal responsibility.

A number of countries, including Russia, have adopted a cautious wait-and-see attitude, regularly promising to impose restrictions of varying severity, but not hurrying to sign it into law.

A turning point on the way to the global recognition of the cryptocurrency was the beginning of trading the Bitcoin futures at the Chicago exchanges (CME) (the world’s largest stock exchange in terms of turnover) and CBOE in December of 2017. That is when the American government admitted openly that cryptocurrencies are now to be reckoned with. With the beginning of this trade, the powerful financial circles of the USA, whose opinion cannot be ignored by the political leadership, became interested in the development of the cryptocurrency market.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CME – the world leader in terms of trade volume

In 2018, the following paradox became obvious: even if over the longer term cryptocurrencies are dangerous for the modern political system (tied up in the central banks and the currency exchange regulation), the countries that will be the first to prohibit them will be most affected along with those countries that will simply overdo stirring up negative attitude. Those countries that will settle on legalization will benefit. The drain of brains and capitals will be directed to these countries from the more repressive or unpredictable countries. A typical example of that - Crypto Project GRAM of the Russian businessman Pavel Durov, whose ICO in 2018 reached a record amount, but it was carried out in USA, and not in the legislatively uncertain Russian Federation.

The experience of the countries that have legalized the cryptocurrencies, proved successful both from the financial standpoint, and from the perspective of the international prestige. They proved themselves to be open to the progress and new freedoms. In addition to Japan, Switzerland is especially noteworthy here, because it legalized cryptocurrencies as early as in 2016, but the most brilliantly announced about itself in 2018, when its banks began to introduce cryptocurrency services one after another. Among the innovator banks there was even a Swiss subsidiary of the Russian Savings Bank (Sberbank). The very expression “Swiss bank” became a synonym of not only high reliability, but also innovation.

A milestone event of 2018 was legalization of cryptocurrencies in Germany – the leading economy of the European Union. Rather liberal measures relative to the cryptocurrencies are being applied today in Czechia, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Estonia, Norway, Finland, and a number of other countries.

“Legalization parade” has shown: the politicians with repressive attitudes cannot count on the global ban of the cryptocurrencies (which seemed theoretically possible in 2016-2017). Economically developed countries made an obvious choice: “if you cannot stop the process – become its leader”. And precisely in these countries the maximum capitals are being circulated, and the market situation depends precisely on their business activity.

Explosive Growth of the Retail Use of Cryptocurrencies

Despite obvious popularization of cryptocurrencies, there is still a myth that they are purely investment and speculative instrument, which, even if used as a payment method – only in the dark net, and as a means of payment for illegal commodities. But this is not the case today. As far back as 2013-2015, legal services accepting bitcoin emerged, and in 2016-2018 their market has undergone explosive growth.

The pioneers of the cryptocurrency market of goods and services in 2013, were, for example, Virgin Galactic – space tourism company, Victoria’s Secret lingerie company, Shopify - a supplier of software for the online stores. In 2014, the cryptocurrency was adopted by the Overstock online store, Expedia tourism service, Zynga – operator of the online games, the software monster Microsoft and many others. Some of these companies considerably went up due to the innovations: for example, the shares of Shopify and Overstock have increased in price several-fold since then.

As of today, the cryptocurrency is accepted by hundreds of large companies and thousands of small ones, while the range of their products is approaching the one in a traditional economy. The most popular categories of the goods for the cryptocurrency in the large famous companies are tourism and air tickets (Expedia), software and games (Microsoft, Shopify, Zynga, Steam), clothing and other consumer goods (Victoria’s Secret, Overstock.com, Rakuten), as well as food products (Subway, KFC, Burger King – in Russia). As an example, Playboy erotic products, premium accounts of the 4chan.org and reddit.com forums, Bloomberg.com business news, automobiles in the Czech show room Alza and many other goods can be also purchased for cryptocurrency.

A number of well-known companies, although they prefer traditional payments, nevertheless allow crypto payments through the intermediary services, such as gyft.com (trading with the card Gyft for BTC). For example, Ebay online store, Wallmart supermarket chain, Starbucks restaurants, Uber taxi service, etc. The turnover of gyft.com is evaluated in the amount of 25 million dollars with only 38 employees.
Small start-up companies often use ready-made multicurrency gateways such as coinpayments.net. It supports dozens of currencies, and hosts about 400 companies. In addition to mainstream, it contains a lot of specialized commodities. For example, crypto-armory.com sells cartridges, francvila.com – Swiss watches, directvoltage.com - 3D-printers, electric motors, CNC machines, etc. Some new stores not only accept cryptocurrencies, but also purposely give up fiat currency. For example, crypto-armory.com, explaining their refusal from fiat currency, state both ideological, and narrow pragmatic reasons. In the opinion of the owners of the store, it is easier to accept cryptocurrency payments both technically and legally.

Cartridges from the cryptocurrency store crypto-armory.com
An important trend of 2017-2018, in addition to the general growth of the commodity market - re-orientation of the stores to the multi-currency payments. Whereas previously most of them accepted only BTC, now a sign of good manners is to accept also LTC, ETH, XMR and at least several more currencies.

Thus, while the politicians were solving the problem in the manner “not possible to allow - disallow”, a vast market of commodities for cryptocurrency spontaneously emerged on the Internet. Some of its participants have multibillion capitalizations. This market is very international. The majority of commodities and services can be bought even from Russia and other countries, where cryptocurrency is not legal as an internal payment instrument, but is not prohibited as such. Today, it is hard to imagine a consumer good, which cannot be bought for cryptocurrency.

The Latest Trend – Support of Cryptocurrencies by Smartphones

The first smartphone with a cryptocurrency wallet was HYPERLINK "https://bitcryptonews.ru/blogs/sravnenie-blokchejn-smartfonov-exodus-1-i-finney"HTC Exodus 1, released in the autumn of 2018. Then, a crypto smartphone HYPERLINK emerged "https://bitcryptonews.ru/blogs/obzor-kriptosmartfona-finney"Finney. And in March of 2019, the baton was unexpectedly picked up by the smartphone from the major South Korean company, Samsung - Galaxy S10. And although Samsung refrained from the direct embedding of the cryptocurrency wallet into the standard supply set, a brand wallet of Samsung can be installed from the Galaxy Store.

https://preview.redd.it/p8zc6dat0ay21.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d7f173f7470107c2f4cc5868ed882089499b2a09
Galaxy S10 – the first smartphone from Samsung with cryptocurrency support
On the part of crypto enthusiasts, there are a number of claims to Samsung initiative, among which – the lack of bitcoin support (BTC). At the moment, Samsung Blockchain Wallet supports only Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 standard currencies and tokens created on its basis:
Basic Attention Token (BAT), Chainlink (LINK), BinanceCoin (BNB), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard (PAX) and others.

Anyway, from a political and PR perspective, the emergence of Galaxy S10 is a great event.

First of all, smartphone can attract to the cryptocurrency market new people who have greater confidence in the famous brand, than in the traditional bulky cryptocurrency wallets. Now, many people are frightened away from the cryptocurrencies only by technical difficulties, whereas smartphones on many occasions have proved their ability to promote to the masses those things, which previously seemed to be very complex.

Secondly, this step of Samsung is a clear signal both to the domestic and foreign governments: big business is on the side of the new technologies. South Korea has a reputation of a country not very friendly to cryptocurrencies, however, its business giant publicly demonstrated another attitude.

Thirdly, the initiative of Samsung with a high degree of probability will be emulated by other leading producers of communication devices. Thus, shortly after the release of Galaxy S10, there appeared a news that a cryptocurrency wallet will soon be available in iOS Opera Touch, which means that cryptocurrencies can be also stored in iPhone of Apple.

All this creates excellent prerequisites both for the world legalization of the cryptocurrencies, and for the growth of the market due to the increase of the number of users.

Conclusion

Thus, despite the “roller coaster” of the cryptocurrency exchange rates, some fundamental processes have developed steadily in the same direction in the recent years: expansion of the commodity market for cryptocurrency, increase in the number of countries with a liberal attitude to cryptocurrencies, adoption of cryptocurrencies as a strategic technology by more and more industrial giants. The total number of individuals who tried to work with the cryptocurrencies grows steadily, while the new technological trends (in particular, crypto smartphones), can additionally accelerate this growth.

The only thing that can seriously damage a cryptocurrency market is its global ban, but it seems to be unlikely. Right now there are about 40 million bitcoin wallets on earth. It is believed that on average their number is doubled annually, which means that within 5 years it can reach a billion. And if now a global ban on cryptocurrencies is unrealistic due to their profitability for the developed countries, by that time their prohibition will become impossible almost physically.

In the first part of the story we had put forward the arguments as to why the investors need not fear the bubble of 2017-2018: in the end, the bubble showed not so much the riskiness of the crypto investments, but rather their long-term prospects. Today we described political and economic events, which have occurred in parallel “behind the scenes”, and in which there were no “drops” – only progressive development toward the construction of the crypto economy. And in the next, third part, we will try to describe in detail specific financial reasons of the collapse and recovery of the market in 2018-2019.

Analytical department, Trident company, Victor Argonov, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
Source:http://trident-germes.com/
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Scam Projects

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!
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Subreddit Stats: ethtrader top posts from 2016-12-11 to 2018-03-28 14:09 PDT

Period: 472.46 days
Submissions Comments
Total 995 184897
Rate (per day) 2.11 391.02
Unique Redditors 592 22569
Combined Score 787834 1865594

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 44976 points, 68 submissions: AutoModerator
    1. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 14/Jun/2017 (2926 points, 8485 comments)
    2. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 15/Jun/2017 (1960 points, 8597 comments)
    3. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 13/Jun/2017 (1764 points, 5212 comments)
    4. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 12/Jun/2017 (1358 points, 12903 comments)
    5. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 24/May/2017 (1345 points, 9454 comments)
    6. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 23/May/2017 (1241 points, 6398 comments)
    7. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 30/May/2017 (1141 points, 9056 comments)
    8. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 25/May/2017 (1019 points, 8164 comments)
    9. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 10/Jun/2017 (1001 points, 7984 comments)
    10. Daily Discussion [Serious] - 17/Jun/2017 (910 points, 2930 comments)
  2. 16379 points, 1 submission: Pracy_
    1. Everytime Bitcoin drops (16379 points, 358 comments)
  3. 11940 points, 4 submissions: Justjoshmygosh
    1. Welcome to ethtrader new people, let me save you some time (7350 points, 369 comments)
    2. This is NOT the end (2076 points, 197 comments)
    3. Welcome BACK to ethtrader (1969 points, 112 comments)
    4. Hello again, ethtrader... looks like I have some work to do (545 points, 10 comments)
  4. 11915 points, 2 submissions: _Mido
    1. Here you go (9778 points, 318 comments)
    2. How I felt this week (2137 points, 232 comments)
  5. 8919 points, 5 submissions: leafac1
    1. Would You Like to See Reddit Accept ETH as a Means to Pay for Gold? (3187 points, 196 comments)
    2. Most Popular Story on CNBC Tech: 'Bitcoin’s main rival Ethereum hits a fresh record high' (2476 points, 181 comments)
    3. Tweeted today: Casper (Proof of Stake) testnet is coming. (2106 points, 232 comments)
    4. Ethereum just processed 0.46% of Visa's total tx per day. And it did so without Ethereum Dapps using scaling solutions. (625 points, 78 comments)
    5. Perspective: It seems many are currently unaware that ETH will have a lower inflation rate than BTC (and BTC-Forks) come Proof of Stake & beyond. (525 points, 136 comments)
  6. 8899 points, 6 submissions: sopun
    1. Stocks VS Crypto (2259 points, 53 comments)
    2. Bitconnect, Davorcoin and other scams continue being advertised on Coinmarketcap. We should take a stand as a community and push out these people who made a career out of scamming innocents (2228 points, 149 comments)
    3. A shitcoin ICO called Prodeum just exitscammed millions of dollars from investors and left them only this message on their ICO website (1543 points, 200 comments)
    4. Trevon James erased 39 of his YouTube videos promoting BitConnect yesterday. Looks like he starts getting worried about the class action lawsuit against him (1364 points, 223 comments)
    5. Tron's TRX whitepaper raises more red flags than a workers parade in Soviet Union (1124 points, 235 comments)
    6. Charlie Lee retweet: "Wow! How absurd! Tron whitepaper is mostly stolen copy & paste!" (381 points, 109 comments)
  7. 8699 points, 7 submissions: econoar
    1. Ethereum is now processing more transactions a day than all other cryptos combined. (4027 points, 476 comments)
    2. Today, Ethereum has processed 50% more txs than BTC. Ethereum currently has 17 pending TX and BTC has 45k. It takes $0.006 to move Ether in less than 20 seconds. (1411 points, 282 comments)
    3. Visa, IBM, Microsoft and USAA have all posted jobs in the past week looking for Ethereum developers (865 points, 47 comments)
    4. Goldman-Backed Startup Circle Launches No-Fee Foreign Payments Service. Built on Ethereum. (852 points, 86 comments)
    5. Etheremon is completely centralized and the owners can withdrawal all the funds from the contract. (665 points, 387 comments)
    6. On average, it's 59x cheaper to send an Ethereum transaction than a Bitcoin transaction. (484 points, 31 comments)
    7. Ethereum dapps expected to launch very soon. (395 points, 131 comments)
  8. 7472 points, 12 submissions: DCinvestor
    1. Personal Finance Rules for Being an Effective Holder (1303 points, 238 comments)
    2. Will Proof of Stake turn ETH into the best Store of Value coin? (1074 points, 142 comments)
    3. What can the earlier days of Bitcoin teach us about holding Ethereum? (626 points, 152 comments)
    4. How to Survive Crypto Investing (in this market, or in any market) (614 points, 121 comments)
    5. The Most Important Crypto Theses for 2018 (and my current feelings on this market) (604 points, 323 comments)
    6. A Re-evaluation of Ethereum as Long Term Investment (versus new market entrants) (593 points, 136 comments)
    7. It's time for investors to pursue quality, and to stop chasing shit (505 points, 89 comments)
    8. Coinbase is trending #1 on the Apple App Store (504 points, 39 comments)
    9. Switching from BTC to ETH (445 points, 219 comments)
    10. Is Ethereum Dead? Ask the Developers, not the Traders (424 points, 120 comments)
  9. 7445 points, 6 submissions: ScienceGuy9489
    1. New price target $1,000 (2996 points, 504 comments)
    2. I heard you guys miss me, looks like we're only going up from here (2102 points, 652 comments)
    3. Technical Analysis, Liftoff Due June 16th (755 points, 1034 comments)
    4. I predicted the last two liftoffs, the next one is by May 24th. (727 points, 534 comments)
    5. I predicted the last 3 liftoffs, this is a situation update (504 points, 460 comments)
    6. I predicted the last 3 lifts offs, the next one is by May 29th (361 points, 470 comments)
  10. 7410 points, 11 submissions: BeerBellyFatAss
    1. Bitfinex now trades all pairs against ETH. It’s time for Binance and the rest of the exchanges to do so as well. (2257 points, 220 comments)
    2. Number of Users on Coinbase Surpasses Number of Brokerage Accounts at Charles Schwab (822 points, 63 comments)
    3. Omise signed an agreement on the development of a national ID utilizing the ETDA and block chains of Thailand government agencies! We will continue to work on a number of projects that utilize block chains! (789 points, 113 comments)
    4. Catalonia Considering Cryptocurrency Post-Independence, Advised By Ethereum Creator (507 points, 74 comments)
    5. Germany’s Largest Bitcoin Trading Platform Will Soon Add Etheruem (499 points, 46 comments)
    6. Olaf Carlson - On Bloomberg Technology (12/01) - Ethereum to Surpass Bitcoin Market Cap by YE 2018 - Great Interview! (483 points, 150 comments)
    7. Casper is Pretty Close, Sharding Number One Priority Says Vitalik Buterin (467 points, 79 comments)
    8. "Ethereum, which I think just touched $500 or is getting close, could be triple where it is as well" - Michael Novogratz (446 points, 106 comments)
    9. Ethereum was a safe haven from yesterday's cryptocurrency sell-off — and not for the first time (416 points, 45 comments)
    10. GOLDMAN: 'It's getting harder for institutional investors to ignore cryptocurrencies' (372 points, 35 comments)
  11. 7378 points, 5 submissions: EthTrader_Mod
    1. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 22/May/2017 (4029 points, 10547 comments)
    2. Daily Discussion [Serious] - 16/Jun/2017 (1359 points, 4550 comments)
    3. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 28/May/2017 (684 points, 3361 comments)
    4. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 04/Jun/2017 (654 points, 3894 comments)
    5. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 29/May/2017 (652 points, 4675 comments)
  12. 7075 points, 13 submissions: Mr_Yukon_C
    1. This is what leadership looks like -- I present to you, CFTC Chairman Giancarlo (831 points, 45 comments)
    2. Millennials are afraid stocks are too risky, so they're investing in crypto (787 points, 240 comments)
    3. OmiseGo Becomes the First Ethereum Unicorn With a Market Cap of $1 Billion (760 points, 157 comments)
    4. AMERICANS: Kill bill 1241 • ethereum (697 points, 66 comments)
    5. Microsoft – Decentralized Digital Identities and Blockchain – The Future as We See It. [Building on Ethereum] (643 points, 87 comments)
    6. Scaling Ethereum to hundreds to thousands of transactions per second - TODAY! (513 points, 47 comments)
    7. Brian Armstrong (Coinbase CEO): "Bitcoin still has a black mark against it if you look at what big banks or more traditional folks in law enforcement think. Ethereum has a blank slate, and that is a chance to reach a mainstream audience." (471 points, 121 comments)
    8. Joseph Lubin: 5.6bil requests a day for @infura_io, >280k downloads for @trufflesuite, and a jaw-dropping 1 million installs for @metamask_io (455 points, 83 comments)
    9. Alpha Casper FFG Testnet Instructions - HUGE! (420 points, 54 comments)
    10. The 0x team donated ~$12,000 to Etherscan and ~$22,000 to MyEtherWallet (399 points, 28 comments)
  13. 6809 points, 8 submissions: thepipebomb
    1. CNBC: Why buy Ethereum? (1519 points, 146 comments)
    2. CNBC - "I love Ethereum, I think Ethereum is the one to own here." (1240 points, 158 comments)
    3. CNBC: This is an incredible buying opportunity for Ethereum (989 points, 181 comments)
    4. Please boycott Vinny Lingham's Civic ICO (896 points, 200 comments)
    5. Pantera Capital Quantitative Researcher: By 2020 Ethereum's market cap will be 10x higher than Bitcoin's (745 points, 155 comments)
    6. When is $10,000 per ETH realistic? (504 points, 491 comments)
    7. Brian Kelly of CNBC on investing in Ethereum (496 points, 131 comments)
    8. Kevin O'Leary: NYC hotel wants to use a $400 million cryptocoin offering to sell ownership like a stock (420 points, 135 comments)
  14. 6621 points, 11 submissions: jtnichol
    1. Joseph Lubin on Twitter: "#Bitcoin = A single app. #Ethereum = An entire app store. Thanks for having me on @BloombergTV, always a pleasure. https://t.co/LXKX8cF8BR" (1209 points, 89 comments)
    2. Microsoft helps launch world’s first blockchain-based investment product: settled on the public Ethereum chain. (923 points, 84 comments)
    3. This room feels like Q4 2016 all over again (768 points, 264 comments)
    4. Massive heap of rhetoric. But it needs to be said. (544 points, 239 comments)
    5. Friday Donut Day. (535 points, 53 comments)
    6. We're rocketing up in subscribers. Wow! (+1,160 subscribers today; 164% trend score) • TrendingReddits (519 points, 58 comments)
    7. Vitalik Buterin on Twitter: Plasma implementations are already happening (490 points, 77 comments)
    8. Unlisted Video Message just for Ethtrader - Thanks for helping someone on Reddit yesterday struggling with life. (475 points, 80 comments)
    9. For all the drama lately I've made you some comfort food. I love you Ethtrader. Whale sized BLT's with a quart of Bloody Mary. (390 points, 87 comments)
    10. Vitalik Buterin on Twitter: "Scalability research and development subsidy programs: https://t.co/PwbkdUHbZS" (387 points, 40 comments)
  15. 6224 points, 7 submissions: Butta_TRiBot
    1. Vitalik Buterin: If all that we accomplish is lambo memes and immature puns about "sharting", then I WILL leave. (2170 points, 434 comments)
    2. Vitalik Buterin: In my opinion, the current sharding spec as described is already good enough to get us to thousands of transactions per second (1549 points, 191 comments)
    3. Inflation rate will go down by ~90% with Casper and Sharding (3 ETH block reward -> 0.22ETH) (694 points, 217 comments)
    4. "Casper Testnet up right now and Sharding will come sooner than you think" - Karl Floersch [41:02] (507 points, 45 comments)
    5. Vitalik on Wechat: We have started developing a test version of Ethereum with sharding using python (447 points, 79 comments)
    6. The reason I invested in Ethereum - motivated developers who even spend their free time explaining the tech (433 points, 79 comments)
    7. Congrats to @naterush1997 and @dannyryan for releasing v0.2 of the cbc Casper prototypes, last night! (424 points, 43 comments)
  16. 6206 points, 1 submission: PaulieVideos
    1. Dips are just happy little accidents (6206 points, 214 comments)
  17. 6106 points, 2 submissions: moneyfink
    1. It's one of the biggest moments of your life... what to wear? (5607 points, 487 comments)
    2. Reminder: HODL and don't be like this guy (499 points, 84 comments)
  18. 5355 points, 4 submissions: shouldbdan
    1. Every day I check the price when I wake up (3047 points, 105 comments)
    2. Me reading the daily during downtrends (810 points, 78 comments)
    3. A thank you, to everyone working countless hours to solve the scaling problem (758 points, 112 comments)
    4. HODLing Bitcoin vs HODLing Ether (740 points, 70 comments)
  19. 5075 points, 4 submissions: antiprosynthesis
    1. ETH price has just entered the bottom of a new channel. Next level of resistance well over $2,000. (2055 points, 493 comments)
    2. The Ethereum blockchain now processes about as much USD value as all other blockchains combined, including Bitcoin. (1296 points, 135 comments)
    3. ETH price in one year: between $700 and $14,000, averaging around $3,500. (1056 points, 543 comments)
    4. Legally Binding Smart Contracts? 9 Law Firms Join Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (668 points, 122 comments)
  20. 4617 points, 1 submission: shadow_op
    1. I'm a longterm hodler, but even i hate this sub sometimes. (4617 points, 292 comments)
  21. 4602 points, 6 submissions: brantlymillegan
    1. Seinfeld gives trading advice in a bear market (1142 points, 94 comments)
    2. Let's be honest, this is most of us here on /ethtrader... (1106 points, 63 comments)
    3. The Flippening is back on: 51.9% ETH/BTC mk ratio and climbing! (1024 points, 141 comments)
    4. The most popular trade on ShapeShift right now is BCH to ETH (519 points, 52 comments)
    5. Jerry & George give /ethtrader advice to traditional traders (434 points, 58 comments)
    6. The most popular trade on ShapeShift right now is BTC -> ETH (377 points, 43 comments)
  22. 4558 points, 5 submissions: CallMeGWei
    1. Ethereum's µRaiden - Bitcoin is Falling Behind (1206 points, 191 comments)
    2. Crypto: The Wrong Bubble? (1162 points, 484 comments)
    3. ICOs: Avoid The Lemons (849 points, 69 comments)
    4. Vitalik Buterin: To be clear, the operative word here is "all". No, I won't stop or slow working on crypto just because price memes and stupid jokes exist... (751 points, 88 comments)
    5. CryptoKitties slows Ethereum down... temporarily... (590 points, 75 comments)
  23. 4395 points, 5 submissions: jonesyjonesy
    1. Upvote if you think ethtrader should create a community rating service for ICOs (1931 points, 173 comments)
    2. Only a matter of time before people wake up and realize the gravity of Circle acquisition. Leaked photo reveals Poloniex is now 1) ATS certified and 2) the first ever US regulated crypto exchange. Amazing milestone for crypto's quest towards regulatory acceptance (819 points, 164 comments)
    3. Hey guess what? Gox caused the 2018 crash. Here's how. (693 points, 240 comments)
    4. EthTrader's reaction when they see ScienceGuy is back posting liftoff predictions (529 points, 48 comments)
    5. To anyone who is doubting EOS is offloading their ETH for fiat (423 points, 297 comments)
  24. 4321 points, 3 submissions: c0mm0ns3ns3
    1. UPVOTE if you're sick of KRAKEN's performance! (3011 points, 369 comments)
    2. How about we get Vitalik NOT on Joe Rogan etc. and leave him alone (762 points, 74 comments)
    3. Dear Exchanges, it's time to unpair everything from Bitcoin! (548 points, 138 comments)
  25. 4102 points, 1 submission: DAXEEY
    1. Literally.. (4102 points, 164 comments)
  26. 4027 points, 1 submission: saintmax
    1. Ethereum is UP since last month! Can we get this post to all to show everyone the tides are turning quickly (4027 points, 194 comments)
  27. 3903 points, 3 submissions: PhiStr90
    1. Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Becomes World’s Largest Open-source Blockchain Initiative (2690 points, 312 comments)
    2. Hewlett Packard Enterprise and 47 Organizations Join 200-Member Strong Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (846 points, 113 comments)
    3. Ethereum is now for the first time the blockchain with highest mining incentive or simply put 'the most secured' (367 points, 52 comments)
  28. 3811 points, 3 submissions: onenessup
    1. "If you are new to #blockchain (s) and you wonder which of the top 100 from coinmarketcap will win - you should realize that 43 of those 'coins' are ON the Ethereum blockchain." (2557 points, 167 comments)
    2. Casper (Proof of Stake) Code was Published Today by Vlad Zamfir (899 points, 249 comments)
    3. Germany's Largest Crypto Exchange To Begin ETH/EUR Trading (355 points, 36 comments)
  29. 3772 points, 3 submissions: Jimmyl101
    1. TWICE IN THE SAME DAY??? (2179 points, 151 comments)
    2. HE'S BACK (1102 points, 71 comments)
    3. Please consider posting more memes. (491 points, 68 comments)
  30. 3743 points, 3 submissions: Hiphopsince1988
    1. Ethereum & the Hodlors that love them (2420 points, 282 comments)
    2. Metcalfs Law has 97% Correlation to ETHUSD Since 2015. Puts ETH value at $8,000 (960 points, 213 comments)
    3. Tweet: Bank of America Demo using its Ethereum app at Microsoft (363 points, 48 comments)
  31. 3677 points, 6 submissions: barthib
    1. Updated fact list: why Ethereum will be the most successful blockchain network (1028 points, 229 comments)
    2. The Ethereum Foundation just released an impressive list of 2017 achievements and work to flourish in 2018 (802 points, 30 comments)
    3. Overstock lets customers pay with more than 40 cryptocurrencies, including ETH (672 points, 111 comments)
    4. At the end of the year, the first official European investment fund in cryptocurrencies launches (ETH, BTC, LTC, ...) (423 points, 49 comments)
    5. Today is important in the History of cryptocurrencies. Miners earn now more money by securing Ethereum than Bitcoin. (378 points, 42 comments)
    6. Chairman of Fair Trade Commission of South Korea: Whether cryptocurrency investment is excessive speculation or not, the risk is on the investor, and thus the government should not outright ban economic activity because it is risky. That's for the individual investors to decide. (374 points, 20 comments)
  32. 3600 points, 1 submission: GHOSThit
    1. It happened! $1234.56! (3600 points, 147 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. csasker (9957 points, 970 comments)
  2. OperationNine (9563 points, 506 comments)
  3. cyoreligion (9218 points, 516 comments)
  4. thepipebomb (9182 points, 494 comments)
  5. jtnichol (8874 points, 741 comments)
  6. econoar (8732 points, 669 comments)
  7. Nooku (8475 points, 442 comments)
  8. DCinvestor (8394 points, 425 comments)
  9. cutsnek (7614 points, 521 comments)
  10. antiprosynthesis (7103 points, 843 comments)
  11. Mr_Yukon_C (5748 points, 473 comments)
  12. dillllllzzzzz (5707 points, 426 comments)
  13. oldskool47 (5688 points, 414 comments)
  14. IRefuseToGiveAName (5461 points, 427 comments)
  15. loveYouEth (5369 points, 288 comments)
  16. subdep (5231 points, 326 comments)
  17. laughncow (5071 points, 372 comments)
  18. ruvalm (4955 points, 290 comments)
  19. ethacct (4937 points, 340 comments)
  20. skYY7 (4929 points, 297 comments)
  21. Libertymark (4810 points, 954 comments)
  22. shouldbdan (4809 points, 291 comments)
  23. blog_ofsite (4609 points, 408 comments)
  24. OM3N1R (4549 points, 314 comments)
  25. Enigma735 (4504 points, 478 comments)
  26. pinastri (4457 points, 305 comments)
  27. myownman (4334 points, 402 comments)
  28. WeLiveInaBubble (4201 points, 342 comments)
  29. aItalianStallion (4162 points, 307 comments)
  30. jezzaccc (4116 points, 310 comments)
  31. ninethirtyone (4075 points, 346 comments)
  32. leafac1 (3826 points, 206 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Everytime Bitcoin drops by Pracy_ (16379 points, 358 comments)
  2. Here you go by _Mido (9778 points, 318 comments)
  3. Welcome to ethtrader new people, let me save you some time by Justjoshmygosh (7350 points, 369 comments)
  4. Dips are just happy little accidents by PaulieVideos (6206 points, 214 comments)
  5. It's one of the biggest moments of your life... what to wear? by moneyfink (5607 points, 487 comments)
  6. I'm a longterm hodler, but even i hate this sub sometimes. by shadow_op (4617 points, 292 comments)
  7. Literally.. by DAXEEY (4102 points, 164 comments)
  8. [ETH Daily Discussion] - 22/May/2017 by EthTrader_Mod (4029 points, 10547 comments)
  9. Ethereum is now processing more transactions a day than all other cryptos combined. by econoar (4027 points, 476 comments)
  10. Ethereum is UP since last month! Can we get this post to all to show everyone the tides are turning quickly by saintmax (4027 points, 194 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 1709 points: Blactory's comment in Everytime Bitcoin drops
  2. 1351 points: deleted's comment in It's one of the biggest moments of your life... what to wear?
  3. 1298 points: dwy0818's comment in Been in a coma for 23 days, about to check my portfolio
  4. 1170 points: Butterfly_Lags's comment in New price target $1,000
  5. 1110 points: mikewirkijowski's comment in Here you go
  6. 1053 points: phigo50's comment in My wife just talked me out of selling $10,000 eth
  7. 953 points: PcChip's comment in Vitalik Buterin: If all that we accomplish is lambo memes and immature puns about "sharting", then I WILL leave.
  8. 869 points: deleted's comment in Ethereum is UP since last month! Can we get this post to all to show everyone the tides are turning quickly
  9. 832 points: BroKing's comment in It's one of the biggest moments of your life... what to wear?
  10. 829 points: khalo_'s comment in Welcome to ethtrader new people, let me save you some time
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BITCOIN TO $7,180 TO FILL THE GAP?!  NEWS: Facebook Coin LAUNCHING THIS MONTH!!  Binance News Huge Economic Shock, People Are Greedy, Bitcoin Can Help, Bank Closure & Why Coinbase? Binance Coin + Stock Exchange, KIN Returns, Stablecoin Risk & Five Crypto Basket BINANCE KYC EXTORTION, Hack explained Gold, Bitcoin, Stocks - Programmer explains KIK SEC Shut Down, Binance + Tezos, Crypto Stock Exchange & Bearish Bitcoin Price Prediction Bitcoin Quater's Drop By 10%. Binance And CoinMarketCap In Focus Bitcoin Stock Dividends, France + Bitcoin, Countries Holding Bitcoin & IMF + Stablecoins Economy Taxes 2019 Free Bitcoin Price Prediction  Binance Crypto Trading BTC Live News Forecast BITCOIN BREAKOUT?!  Altcoin Boom Coming Soon?  Altcoins On Binance & BitMEX Bitcoin Price Jumps, Massive Power Grab, Binance In China, Ripple + Santander & Games On Tezos

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BITCOIN TO $7,180 TO FILL THE GAP?! NEWS: Facebook Coin LAUNCHING THIS MONTH!! Binance News

Huge Economic Shock, People Are Greedy, Bitcoin Can Help, Bank Closure & Why Coinbase? The Modern Investor. Loading... Unsubscribe from The Modern Investor? Cancel Unsubscribe. Working ... BINANCE KYC EXTORTION, Hack explained 😳 Gold, Bitcoin, Stocks - Programmer explains ... halvening, too late, when, fed, federal reserve, interest rates, rates, cut, economy, stock market, Good ... Bitcoin Donations Address: ... Binance New Lending Coins, ETH On BitPay, Fiat To Crypto & Bitcoin ETF SEC Report - Duration: 37:07. The Modern Investor 15,104 views. 37:07. How Neuroscience Can ... Support Me On Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/TheModernInvestor ----- Protect And Sto... US Economy Taxes 🔥Free Bitcoin Price Prediction Binance Crypto Trading BTC News Forecast Live HD Want to learn more - watch my latest video! #blockchain #bitcoin #fintech I take pride in ... Support Me On Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/TheModernInvestor ----- Protect And Sto... Bitcoin Technical Analysis & Bitcoin News Today: On Binance and BitMEX you can trade the altcoins when the altcoin boom comes. Also, I'll use technical analysis on the Bitcoin price to make a ... Bitcoin Analysis & Bitcoin News Today: Facebook coin news, according to a report, Facebook will launch its stable coin Libra this month. Also, Binance might launch a stable coin soon. And, I'll ... Bitcoin Stock Dividends, France + Bitcoin, Countries Holding Bitcoin & IMF + Stablecoins The Modern Investor. Loading... Unsubscribe from The Modern Investor? Cancel Unsubscribe. Working ... Bitcoin experienced its worst month since departing from its all-time highs 2 years ago, but still it managed to outperform the US stock market in the first quarter of 2020. Major crypto exchange ...

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