ICOs: One Year Later

ICOs: One Year Later

With the sale of digital coins,

start-ups have taken many billions of dollars of capital last year. For the financiers, however, that has by no means paid off according to a study.

In August 2018, Digipulse declared himself a victim of a hypeship, which it was co-fired with. At the end of 2017, the start-up acquired approximately $25 million in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) through Ethereum blockchain platform to build a secure digital asset inheritance service. But other ICOs were in demand at that time, so the price of Ethereum units shot up. This, in turn, meant that the use of the network became too expensive for Digipulse. So the young company was radically re-thinking: Instead of storing it in a blockchain, data is now classically stored on cloud servers, and those who want to use the service can only pay in dollars instead of using crypto-money. So you can confidently consider the Blockchain plans of Digipulse as failed.

Higher risks with ICOs

Nevertheless, the company is one of the positive exceptions in the ICOs of 2017, because after all, it still exists and has developed a specific product. The majority, on the other hand, sees things differently: The audit firm looked at the 110 largest ICOs in 2017 and found that 71 percent of them had neither a finished product nor a prototype until October 2018.

Also, the value of the digital coins they issue was well below their first market price in the vast majority of cases?—?here Digipulse is no exception. Anyone who would have invested in a portfolio of the examined ICO coins on January 1st, 2018, would have recorded a loss of 66 percent

until October.

“ICO-funded companies seem to be at higher risk due to a number of factors,” the EY experts wrote.

Researchers at Boston College had calculated this summer that investing in ICOs on average yield high returns. But this consideration covered only a short period. As things stand now, the more experience with ICOs, the more disillusionment it gets.

Up and down again

In keeping with this, the ICO hype?—?along with the price losses in most cryptocurrencies?—?seems to be gradually slowing down. Although in the third quarter of 2018 with ICOs still added about 2.4 billion dollars. However, that was only half as much as in the previous quarter and only about a fifth of the volume in the first quarter, which had been at nearly $11.5 billion. In fact, the numbers found by EY are not as bad as they might seem at first sight. 71 percent without a product or prototypes, in turn, means that at least 29 percent of ICOs have already implemented their plans.

Alex Lielacher of the crypto-market research firm Brave New Coin refers to this point. He compares ICOs with “seed funding,” the first start-up financing by venture capitalists?—?in this phase, normal start-ups usually have to offer only speculation and theoretical considerations.

Not unlike other startups

While the number of seed-funded projects in the US has grown rapidly since 2009, there has been little increase in follow-on financing. For Lielacher this shows how difficult it is not just for ICO-funded companies to get from the start-up phase to a marketable product. He points out that according to a rule of thumb from the venture capital industry, around 90 percent of all start-ups financed by it fail. Against this background, the previous success rate of the ICOs examined by EY is no longer so frightening.

The EY experts also point out that many companies have failed in previous technical revolutions. And for those who fared better, it took a while for them to mature enough to be considered an investment for a wide range of investors. In the meantime, according to their forecast, interest in ICO will probably shift from private investors to professionals “who know what downside risks exist and can handle them”.

Article Produced By
Marko Vidrih

Marko Vidrih
I love writing, and that is why I do it. A passion for not only providing the information but for helping people understand.

https://cryptocurrencyhub.io/icos-one-year-later-14f33d1b8196

Does the Fall of 158M Crypto ICO Show Necessity of Strict Regulation?

Does the Fall of $158M Crypto ICO Show Necessity of Strict Regulation?

   

Recently, Sirin Labs, an initial coin offering (ICO) project that raised $158 million

during the bull market of 2017, made the headlines for its controversial pivot from a hardware-based business model to supplying software to mobile phone manufacturers. According to a report released by Bloomberg, nearly a year since the ICO, the company has not been able to generate any profit and its mobile phone called “Finney” was met with underwhelming demand from the market. The project is now facing a serious funding crunch and its capital is set to run out within 6 to 12 months.

Is Strict Regulation Required?

Last year, the project secured a mega-round from investors in the public cryptocurrency market to develop a mobile phone that uses cryptocurrencies as its native currency and allows users to trade and utilize digital assets. The vague business model of the company set out to compete against giants like Samsung, Apple, and Huawei in a highly competitive market.

At $999, the pricing of the mobile phone of Sirin Labs is right up there with Samsung’s Galaxy series and some of Huawei’s latest mobile phones that are considered to have the best specifications in the mobile phone market. Sirin Labs responded to the Bloomberg report stating that the Google Pixel camera module budget cost around $200 million, implying that the budget was not enough to develop a proper mobile phone.

However, the company could have adjusted to the initial capital it raised during its ICO and determined that the integration of cryptocurrencies is simply not enough to compete in the mobile phone market. The company’s entire business model can also be at risk of becoming redundant if a major mobile phone maker directly integrates cryptocurrencies into its models, and HTC has actually done it last month.

The company said:

“SIRIN LABS raised a little over 200,000 Ether, which is currently approximately $16m. We managed our risk efficiently by converting enough Ether to develop an amazing phone (for example, the Google Pixel camera module budget cost around $200 million to develop). I believe we have enough money to make SIRIN LABS a profitable company, even in today’s market, even though our task is more challenging these days, unfortunately.”

Individual investors, given the state of the market in 2017 wherein the valuation of every cryptocurrency and ICO project was rising through the roof, put in a substantial amount of money in projects like Sirin Labs that established vague and unrealistic business models. Even with the pivot, if it intends to provide software to mobile phone manufacturers, then it is competing with Android and Google, which supplies every major mobile phone brand in the market.

ICOs are struggling to find relevance in the market and the problem that Sirin Labs is currently dealing with is not exclusive to the project. Large-scale companies like ConsenSys have realigned their vision and long-term strategy to focus on delivering products that can realistically be adopted by the mainstream.

ICO Regulation

Regulation cannot force investors to make more intelligent investment decisions, as investors lose out in strictly regulated markets like the stock and real estate markets. But, in some regions like Japan and South Korea, the government has started to restrict ICOs to institutional and accredited investors that have the means to properly evaluate the vision, business model, and scope of a project before engaging in a large funding round.

Article Produced By
Blockchain News

https://www.ccn.com/does-the-fall-of-158m-crypto-ico-show-necessity-of-strict-regulation/

Bitcoin Mining Industry Under Considerable Stress’ 13 Million Devices Switched Off

Bitcoin Mining Industry ‘Under Considerable Stress,’ 1.3 Million Devices Switched Off

   

For much of the year, the bitcoin mining industry appeared to be impervious

to the crypto market downturn, as the flagship cryptocurrency’s hash rate continued to climb even as the BTC price halved — and then halved again. In recent weeks, however, cracks have begun to form in this sector as well.

Bitcoin Hash Rate Drops as Miners Turn off Older Devices

Earlier this month, Bitcoin network difficulty, which adjusts dynamically every 2,016 blocks (a roughly two-week interval) in response to hash rate fluctuations, fell by 15.1 percent — its second-largest drop in history and the greatest since Oct. 2011. Just one period earlier, BTC difficulty declined by 7.4 percent, which was the most significant drop in nearly six years. While this does not, as some bears have suggested, mean that bitcoin has begun a death march, it does demonstrate the extent to which the downturn has begun to put the squeeze on miners with higher costs and thinner profit margins, many of whom had anticipated a crypto market that would look very different heading into 2019.

According to BitMEX Research, the Bitcoin hash rate has declined by more than 31 percent since the beginning of November, which is the equivalent of 1.3 million Antminer S9 miners being switched off completely. CCN previously reported that while miner overhead varies wildly based on the size of the operation, energy costs, and other factors, the market decline had hastened the obsolescence of older miner models such as the Antminer S7, which for most users are now little more than expensive paperweights.

Miner Revenue Falling Faster Than Bitcoin Price

Notably, the recent market sell-off has hurt miners even more than ordinary investors. BitMEX Research estimates that cumulative bitcoin mining revenue has declined to $6 million per day at the start of December from $13 million at the start of November, outpacing the bitcoin price’s already-steep decline.” The reason for this is that because network difficulty adjusts at set intervals rather than in real time, a hash rate drop will reduce the number of found blocks until the beginning of the next difficulty adjustment.

As the report explained:

“In the six-day period ending 3rd December, 21.8% fewer blocks than the expected 144 per day were found, as miners left the network before the difficulty adjusted, and as a result, fewer blocks were found. Therefore in the short term, there was a 21.8% fall in mining incentives on top of the impact of the declining price.”

At this point, BitMEX Research estimates that almost all cryptocurrency miners — regardless of scale and overhead — are operating at a loss, though some may have hedged profits or at least trimmed losses by shorting the bitcoin price throughout the year.

Not a ‘Death Spiral’

According to some analysts, this likely means that Bitcoin has entered the outer ring of a “death spiral,” wherein it endures a vicious cycle of miners turning off their machines before the difficulty can adjust lower, preventing the network from processing blocks at regular, 10-minute intervals and further prolonging the interval between difficulty adjustments. Thankfully, as Andreas Antonopoulos recently explained, these ominous predictions fail to account for the fact that most miners are heavily invested in the cryptocurrency industry and thus operate with a long-term perspective that recognizes they may have to temporarily mine at a loss in pursuit of greater profits in the future.

“Part of the reason that’s unlikely to happen is that miners have a much more long-term perspective, meaning that they have existing investments in equipment and they usually purchase electricity on long-term plans, they don’t pay it by the week,” he said. “And therefore, if they have to wait to become profitable another three months and they have the equipment in place, they’re not turning it off.” Consequently, the mining industry’s current struggles shouldn’t have any long-term impact on Bitcoin itself, though that doesn’t make things any easier for the individual cryptocurrency mining firms that must navigate this increasingly rocky landscape.

Article Produced By
Bitcoin Analysis

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-mining-industry-under-considerable-stress-1-3-million-devices-switched-off/

6 ways to create a highly shared newsroom

6 ways to create a highly shared newsroom

   

Most organizations consider it essential to have dynamic newsrooms

these days, downplaying press releases in favor of journalism-style content. But how easy is it for others to share what your organization is up to on social media? In an online world that runs at warp speed, are you getting the most out of the people who read your posts or watch your videos? “Social media sharing is the lifeblood of our newsroom content,” says Jake Jacobson, director of public relations at Children’s Mercy Kansas City. “Whether we’re working with media coverage—the ‘In The News’ section—or content we’ve created—'Our Stories’— we rely on our highly active social media channels to spread the word.”

Social media, boosted by a social-friendly newsroom, helps readers share stories with their friends and followers, thereby driving traffic to Shepherd Center, an Atlanta-based brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation center. “Using social media to boost Shepherd Center’s content allows us to cost-effectively reach a much broader audience than if we just hosted content on our website,” says Kerry Ludlam, associate director of public relations at the center. Here are some ways your newsroom can encourage such sharing:

1. Make it easy to quote and share.

Most organizations’ websites include buttons that make it easy to “like” and share their content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms. Take it a step further, making it easy for readers to share quotes from your stories, and you’ll gain an advantage over most websites—and even mainstream news sites. Shepherd Center frequently writes about successes, such as a former patient who speaks at high schools about making safe and smart decisions around cars.

A reader impressed or moved by a quote—say, “The doctor who treated Andrew while he was in a coma … said his prognosis ranged from ‘Andrew 100 percent’ to ‘he never wakes up’”—can simply highlight it and tweet it or share it on LinkedIn (a function PressPage enables).

2. Offer expertise your audience is looking for.

Recently Children’s Mercy featured its Parent Support Program coordinators in its intensive care nursery in a story that suggested 10 things you can do to help “when a friend’s baby is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.” The article was targeted toward the consumer audience, but the writer’s daughter spent time in Children’s Mercy NICU, “so she’s able to appreciate and empathize with the parents’ perspectives as well as the caregivers,” Jacobson says.

News media coverage turned this into one of Children’s Mercy’s more popular posts on Facebook that month, with nearly 300 likes and more than 140 shares. By reaching 23,000 people and sparking 4,300 engagements—all organic, no paid support—more than half of the nearly 3,000 visits to the hospital’s newsroom were driven from Facebook. The success of this post “reinforced that when we’re talking to the right audience—in this case, our moms—with helpful content and knowledgeable experts they can relate to, the best way to get them engaged with the story is through social media,” Jacobson says.

3. Unleash your employees.

SAS , a North Carolina-based software analytics company, recently encouraged its social media team to use the organization’s employee base to drive share of voice by recommending certain content on social media, says Kirsten Hamstra, senior global social media manager. SAS rallied its 14,300-strong workforce, including 600 employee advocates who are trained on social media. The organization suggested hashtags to promote the company’s expertise in AI and machine learning, setting a challenge of increasing share of voice 20 percent.

“We performed extremely well, reaching the challenge,” Hamstra says.

Many hospitals use this approach. OhioHealth tells how its emergency clinical resource team runs practice drills in case of mass casualty events. Cook Children's Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas, recalls a teen who leaves a mark on nurses who cared for her through cancer journey. "If you walk into a room and see a 6-month-old child, and it doesn't make you beam, you shouldn't go into pediatrics," one physician says.

4. Maximize your supporters.

Few people—inside your organization or out—will spout talking points from your mission statement. They will share something that relates to their own lives. “A key thing with this is that people generally want their messaging to be ‘all about them,’ not ‘all about you,’” says content marketer Lin Grensing-Pophal, adding, “If they see the benefit to them or their organization, they're more likely to share.” Shepherd Center’s pre-Thanksgiving tweet promoting a podcast expressing gratitude for caregivers drew shares and likes recently:

5. Spin a yarn.

Few people are going to share that talking point you crafted, but they will remember a story of selflessness that subtly underscores your mission. “You’re more likely to remember it and retell it as a consumer and an audience member if you hear it as a story than if you hear it as an announcement or a press release or a tag line,” says Jacobson. Take, for example, the story of a Children’s Mercy nurse who donated a

kidney to a friend:

Christa Jordan had several reasons not to donate a kidney a few months ago.She had just gotten married, and her husband was about to start graduate school. And her brother might need a kidney some day.But the Children’s Mercy Hospital nurse had one very good reason to donate: a patient who also happened to be her friend needed a kidney, and she had one to give.

6. Provide quality content.

You can tweak your site all you like, but if you can’t offer interesting content, don’t expect even your most loyal followers to wrap a LinkedIn post around it. On the other hand, quality content boosts your reputation. Says Pophal, “You become known as an expert or go-to resource in a particular area, which will lead to new business, clients and customers.” Building a great newsroom for your brand stories shouldn’t be complicated. PressPage is an online newsroom software that makes building and running your newsroom a quick and painless process, so you can focus on telling the stories that matter to you.

Article Produced By
Russell Working

 

Russell Working is a staff writer for Ragan Communications. A former reporter for the Chicago Tribune, he has also freelanced for The New York Times,The Atlantic Monthly, Columbia Journalism Review, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the South China Morning Post, The Japan Times, and many other publications worldwide. Before moving to the Chicago area in 2003, he was based in the Russian Far East and Cyprus for six years. He has reported from throughout the former Soviet Union, China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, the Philippines, Turkey, Greece, the Middle East, and aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he has also taught as a visiting faculty member.

https://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/89802d51-d7fa-4077-aa52-d35f11540372.aspx

Cryptocurrency Used by Nearly 40 of FreelancersLightning Network Growing Despite Crypto Winter’ Up 300 This Month

Cryptocurrency Used by Nearly 40% of Freelancers

A survey of 1100 freelancers recently conducted by Humans.net,

found that cryptocurrency is becoming extremely popular among the self-employed. According to the study, 38% of the 1100 people surveyed said that they have used cryptocurrency before, while 41% had never used the technology, and only 24% had never heard of it. For many freelancers, cryptocurrency is appealing because there are no intermediaries for payments, even for international transactions, which are typically slow and costly.

Some of the advantages that freelancers found in crypto were illustrated  below

Freelancers are also drawn to the technology because it allows them to deal with clients who they may not know or trust. Humans.net also found that 29% of freelancers would actually prefer to be paid in crypto than through the legacy banking system. 11% of those surveyed said that they would like to receive a portion of their income in cryptocurrency, while 18% said that would prefer to receive their entire income through crypto. Earlier this month, Humans.net announced that they will be using blockchain technology for their freelancing platform. Founder and CEO of Humans.net, Vlad Dobrynin,

told Coinpedia that:

"We are using an advanced AI to drive the search process on the platform which will radically alter how we connect online with peers and businesses. People will get swift and accurate search results irrespective of geographical location. By leveraging decentralized networks, power is given back to users ensuring no one can use their data without their permission. In today’s world of data driven economies, this is a radical but far-reaching step."

Article Produced By
John Vibes

John Vibes is an author and activist who has been writing for various online publications since 2012. In his research of central banking and the financial system, John discovered cryptocurrency, and has since taken a special interest in the technology. In addition to his writing and activism, John also hosts a number of large events and helps first time authors publish their own books.

https://www.cryptoglobe.com/latest/2018/12/lightning-network-growing-despite-crypto-winter-up-a-whopping-300-this-month/

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Lightning Network Growing Despite ‘Crypto Winter’, Up 300% This Month

Bitcoin’s second-layer settlement solution, the so-called Lightening Network,

is growing by leaps and bounds, even as the preeminent cryptocurrency sinks in value versus fiat currencies to new yearly lows. The Network has grown in the last 30 days across all metrics: in terms of the amount of nodes, channels, and bitcoin living on the network, according to the 1ML statistics website dedicated to tracking the network.

The amount of bitcoin stored on the network is of particular note, growing a whopping 300%+ in just one month. Nearly $1.6 million worth of bitcoin, in current valuation, is now stored in Lightning channels. The number of channels is up over 40% versus last month, to 13,000; and the number of nodes is up 9.5%, to about 4,400 nodes. Longhash reports that the amount of Lightning channels has increased sixteen times since the start of 2018. Users store bitcoin in Lightning Network payment channels, in order to have it ready to conduct peer-to-peer transactions off-chain. Once the channel is closed, the transactions are then settled on-chain – on the Bitcoin blockchain.

All About Lightning

The news comes as a ray of sunny good news for those still watching the cryptoasset industry and its developments – except, of course, if one is in the camp that opposes off-chain solutions for Bitcoin’s scaling problems. The question of how to scale the Bitcoin network – on-chain or off-chain – is a long standing bone of contention that mostly prompted last year’s fork of Bitcoin to Bitcoin Cash. The issue prompted one of Bitcoin’s earliest developers, Mike Hearn, to quit his role in development and completely leave the space a couple of years ago. Opponents of the Lightning solution argue that all transactions should be stored on the blockchain, with their prefered solution being to increase the file size of blocks.

It is important to note that not only bitcoin can be sent using the Lightning Network. Other blockchains can transact on the Network if they support its protocol. The Lightning Network also has a mobile solution called Neutrino in development, which is operational at an alpha stage.

Article Produced By
Colin Muller

Colin studied history and political economy at some pretty good universities. He also did other things. He thinks changing the nature of money will change the nature of humanity. 

https://www.cryptoglobe.com/latest/2018/12/lightning-network-growing-despite-crypto-winter-up-a-whopping-300-this-month/

French Firm Becomes Europe’s First Regulated Crypto Asset Manager Funded by an ICO

French Firm Becomes Europe’s First Regulated Crypto Asset Manager Funded by an ICO

France has one of the toughest regulatory environments in Europe

and the world generally when it comes to finance and specifically cryptocurrency. The country has in recent times taken a few cursory steps toward becoming a hub of ICO activity, but strict enforcement of crypto regulations is the cost of doing business in a well-connected financial hub like Paris.

Napoleon Group Gets Green Light from AMF

Napoleon Group, which is backed by BNP Paribas bankers Jean-Charles Dudek and Stephane Ifrah, and private equity investor Arnaud Dartois, used the ICO funding model about 9 months ago to raise about 10 million euros by issuing around just almost 30 million NPX utility tokens, which are used for access to trading bots and quantitative strategies on the NapoleonX.ai platform. One only needs a single token to access the platform. According to the firm, they are the first to overcome all the regulatory hurdles in French law and acquired approval to offer managed cryptocurrency assets to institutional traders everywhere. This is big news for France and Europe more generally.

Individuals can already benefit from the quantitative strategies available on the napoleonx.ai platform for bitcoin and ether, as well as the main global stock market indices. The first investment vehicles are expected to be launched in the first half of 2019. The group consists of three entities: Napoleon Capital, Napoleon AM, and Napoleon Index, set to launch next year, which will be another first, in that it will be a Benchmark Regulated-registered blockchain index publisher and administrator, which means they are future-proofed for Eurozone regulations set to be fully enforced around the bend in 2020.

Regulation is important, whether those in the crypto space like it or not. Attracting real capital and institutional wealth has been a long process for the crypto space. People don’t want to transact in a market where they can be regulated out of existence at any minute, so regulations that are clearly defined put them back in their comfort zone. France is still outlining its whole crypto framework, but one thing that is clear is that those who profit from cryptocurrencies in France will be paying a flat tax like any other asset, which is, according to co-founder and COO Arnaud Dartois, “the maximum that could have been done in France. It’s not enough. It’s not competitive in regards to what is done in other countries, but it is the best we could hope for at this time.”

As they say in their most recent press release:

“The AMF’s decision validates the Napoleon Group’s approach from the outset: to comply with the strictest financial standards and to rely on regulation to meet the needs of institutional investors. The Group has always believed in the need to regulate the crypto and blockchain industry in order to accelerate its adoption and has participated in numerous meetings and workshops with both public and private players over the last quarters.”

Proof of Performance

Albert Bergonzo/Wikimedia Commons Napoleon has actively participated the development of the ICO-friendly regulations that France is working on, having discussed the regulatory environment at length with the powers that be for over a year, as Dartois explained to this reporter in

an interview Friday.

“Actually, we have been in touch with the French regulator AMF for over a year, and we have done some lobbying to explain to them the importance to be very proactive on crypto and blockchain, and the hold that France can have to lead it. […] Tokenization of assets will be the next big wave, and they have to give the ecosystem, the framework, to seize this opportunity. And they have done it in a quite nice way, meaning they don’t have a very fixed or constrained framework, but something that is very light – they have a very flexible approach to that. It is understood that this is a huge opportunity for France and they have done a nice job.”

Napoleon’s primary market will be institutional investors and traders who have money in France and would like to gain exposure to crypto markets. What they have done is not easily done, and the association with former BNB Paribas banker Jean-Charles Dudek likely didn’t hurt.

Next year, they intend to launch Napoleon Index, which which requires the latest European regulatory approval under the BMR directive. Dartois says the index product will “enable anyone to prove the performance of any benchmark calculated and administrated by Napoleon Index via a public blockchain.” The result is that users can confirmed that the value of any algorithm or index are legitimate, after a requisite period of obfuscation data. The firm calls this feature “proof of performance.” Napoleon Index is scheduled to launch next year after approval is finalized. Dartois said it is currently operational, but just hasn’t received full regulatory approval yet.

Article Produced By
CCN-News

https://www.ccn.com/french-firm-becomes-europes-first-regulated-crypto-asset-manager-funded-by-an-ico/

AirDrop an unwanted nude pic and you could face stiff penalties

AirDrop an unwanted nude pic and you could face stiff penalties

   

It has come to the attention of the New York City Council

that there have been certain disclosures of – ahem – intimate images, conveyed via portable electronic pocket telephones, that have been inflicted upon strangers in order to harass, annoy or alarm. If a bill introduced last week by the council makes it into law, legions of hands-down-the-pants photographers could be left holding stiff penalties. The bill would make it a misdemeanor “for a person to send an unsolicited sexually explicit video or image to another person with intent to harass, annoy or alarm such other person.” Anybody who gets caught beaming their junk out could be looking at up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

It’s called cyber-flashing, and it’s a modern-day version of flashing that dispenses with the need for a trench coat and sneakers to make a quick get-away. The term refers to the practice of sending obscene photos to strangers through Apple’s AirDrop: an iOS file-sharing app that enables users to send photos, videos and documents instantly over a wireless connection to anyone within 30 feet who’s left the feature open to being contacted by everyone.

By default, AirDrop is set to limit devices to accept content only from people in your contact list. Unfortunately, people often turn it on to accept from anybody and everybody, and then they forget to turn it back to contacts-only. That’s led to a growing number of incidents, such as what happened last year to a Huffington Post UK writer who reported that she’d been gang-flashed with 120 down-the-pants images while riding on the London Underground.

At the time – August 2017 – London police didn’t think that it amounted to an epidemic despite headlines about the ”horrific public transport craze.” However, the UK is ahead of New York on this one: sending indecent images is classified under section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act (2003), given that it’s the same as exposing genitals and intending that the recipient “see them and be caused alarm or distress”. The penalty for breaking the law is a prison term of up to two years.

One little problem: anonymity

Penalizing the propagandists of penises and other private parts is a satisfying notion, but there’s a bit of a hitch: AirDrop allows people to send images anonymously. It also keeps recipients anonymous: senders might never know who, within a 30-foot radius, has received their little package, since AirDrop only identifies nearby phones by their nicknames. Be that as it may. Donovan J. Richards, a councilman from the New York borough of Queens and a co-sponsor of the bill, told the New York Times that the legislation is intended to raise awareness, and to lessen the sense of impunity that emboldens

the creeps who send the pics:

If you do it, the message we are sending is that the repercussion is a fine or jail time.

AirDrop works via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. A similar function has recently come to some Android devices in the form of a feature called AirDroid that offers wireless file transfer. But what makes iOS devices particularly susceptible to cyber flashing is that AirDrop automatically shows an image preview when it asks a recipient to accept or decline a photo – thus, there’s no way of not seeing the fleshy missive if the feature is on and open to receiving content from one and all.

How to not see the fleshy missive

The way to avoid having your eyeballs assaulted is to either turn off AirDrop or set it for use only between phone contacts (Apple’s default setting).

Here’s how to keep the creeps off your phone:

  • In the main settings app, select General, and then AirDrop. Then select either Receiving Off or Contacts Only. The Everyone setting is what the creeps take advantage of.
  • On newer iPhones, you can also swipe up from any screen to bring up the control center. Press and hold the the network settings card that contains the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi icons to open another menu where you’ll find an AirDrop icon. Tap it, and you’ll be presented with options for Receiving Off, Contacts Only and Everyone.

Article Produced By
Lisa Vaas

Lisa has been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. She rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash and joined the freelancer economy. Alongside Naked Security Lisa has written for CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output.

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2018/12/04/airdrop-an-unwanted-nude-pic-and-you-could-face-stiff-penalties/

International Cooperation Critical’ to Bringing Illegal ICOs to Justice: SEC

International Cooperation ‘Critical’ to Bringing Illegal ICOs to Justice: SEC

   

International cooperation is essential for eradicating ICO fraud,

said Steven Peikin, co-director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division. Peikin made the remarks during a December 3 speech at Harvard Law School’s Program on International Financial Systems, where he discussed the astonishing growth of the ICO market. “The sponsors of ICOs are, in many instances, located outside the United States,” Peikin said. “And international cooperation is critical to our ability to investigate and, where appropriate, recommend that the Commission bring enforcement action.”

ICOs Have Spiked 22,000% Since 2016

Peikin noted that the ICO market has “exploded from a mere concept to a phenomenon” in just a few short years. In 2016, ICOs raised less than $100 million. In 2018, that figure skyrocketed to more than $22 billion — a spike of 22,000%. With that rapid growth has come a massive increase in fraudulent activity. Complicating matters for regulators is that the money raised in initial coin offerings often comes from investors both inside and outside the United States.

Peikin noted that the novelty of ICOs — coupled with the excitement surrounding blockchain technology — makes them an alluring vehicle for investors. This exuberance can sometimes blind them to the risks associated with this nascent asset class, he warned.

Peikin: ‘Some ICOs are Outright Frauds’

“The growth in the ICO market can obscure the fact that these offerings are often high-risk investments,” Peikin said. “The issuers may lack established track records. They may not have viable products, business models, or the capacity for safeguarding digital currencies from theft by hackers. And some of the offerings can be simply outright frauds.”

Steven Peikin then alluded to the example of PlexCoin founder Dominic Lacroix, a Canadian citizen who fleeced as much as $15 million from thousands of US investors for his sham ICO by promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month. The SEC learned from Canadian authorities that Lacroix had a long history of running similar financial scams in Quebec.

In May 2018, US and Canadian regulators launched over 70 investigations into cryptocurrency scams and fraudulent initial coin offerings as part of a wide-ranging crackdown called “Operation Crypto Sweep". As CCN reported, the North American Securities Administrators Association sent cease-and-desist letters to operators of sham crypto companies in more than 40 jurisdictions across the United States and Canada.

Operation Crypto Sweep Targets Scams

Operation Crypto Sweep came shortly after a finding that fraud was alarmingly widespread among crypto investment promoters. Securities attorneys have also warned celebrities who endorse ICOs that they could be sued for aiding and abetting fraud if they promote sham crypto products. Last week, that warning turned into a rude awakening for boxing champ Floyd Mayweather and music producer DJ Khaled, when they were fined a combined $767,500 by the SEC for illegally promoting ICOs.

 These regulatory crackdowns — combined with the current bear market — have led some industry insiders to declare that the ICO market is dead.“The ICO market is dead — over,” said Barry Silbert, founder of crypto investment fund Digital Currency Group. “You now have the lack of demand from ICOs. And you have all the sponsors of the ICOs who raised a bunch of bitcoin [and ether] that are now starting to sell that.”Even though he believes that ICO mania is over, Silbert remains bullish about the future of the cryptocurrency industry, and he called the current market downturn an “awkward transition” that will pass

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ICO News

https://www.ccn.com/international-cooperation-critical-to-bringing-illegal-icos-to-justice-sec/

 

So Long ICOs Hello Airdrops: The Free Token Giveaway Craze Is Here

So Long ICOs, Hello Airdrops: The Free Token Giveaway Craze Is Here

 

 

Imagine getting $1,000 just for joining a newsletter.

Well, that’s effectively what happened for those that subscribed to Onchain’s mailing list early on in the project’s lifecycle. The company, which is building a distributed network designed to connect real-world institutions, gave 1,000 of its “ONT” crypto tokens to people who signed up to receive its emails prior to a certain date.

Those crypto tokens were distributed earlier this month and are now trading for a little over $1 per coin, according to CoinMarketCap. As you may have noticed, there was no “sale” involved. “Ontology just raised a private round and then didn’t need to do a [public] crowdsale, so they just airdropped to eager NEO hodlers,” Keld van Schreven, a partner at blockchain investment company Kryptonite1, told CoinDesk.

Van Schreven’s comment speaks to a broader trend among token issuers. More are raising the money they need in private initial coin offerings (ICOs) and then skipping the public sale for what’s being called an airdrop. Effectively, these are just token giveaways to broader interested community members

Justin Schmidt of Translunar VC told CoinDesk:

“As a non-accredited investor, it is proving to be very difficult to find public sales to participate in until the tokens are traded on an exchange.”

Whereas the idea around public sales was that the people who buy in are those that understand the platform’s value and will promote the token, airdrops look to accomplish a similar goal, yet expecting that if people hold tokens, they’ll be interested in seeing the network, and the token’s price, grow and promote the platform just the same.

An internet search for “airdrops” or “free tokens” yields lots of websites, subreddits and Telegram channels that people can follow to gather up crypto tokens. And there’s even a Pokemon Go imitator under development that would allow companies to distribute free tokens to people playing an augmented reality game. But these airdrops might not only be about building a community, they likely also have something to do with an uncertain regulatory environment.

For instance, in the U.S., many ICO issuers and investors have become convinced that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will eventually declare that all crypto tokens are securities and as such, need to be registered under cumbersome laws. But even outside the U.S., completing know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance for public sales takes a substantial amount of work and time. Speaking to token issuers stepping away from public sales, Minhui Chen, a partner at Global Blockchain Innovative Capital (GBIC) told CoinDesk, “Raising money from private sales is so easy.”

Tokens, away!

According to Jun Hasegawa, CEO of Omise, the company pioneered the airdrop concept on ethereum in August last year, after announcing it would airdrop its “OMG” tokens to every wallet that held more than 0.1 ETH. Omise decided to conduct an airdrop to raise awareness about the project, but Hasegawa spoke to the broader benefits of the distribution model, writing in an email to CoinDesk — via a spokesperson, “The real value of ethereum projects doing airdrops to all ETH holders is that it’s a crypto economic mechanism designed to incentivize ethereum project communities to maintain alignment with the entire ethereum community.”

The OMG token’s price has since been volatile (many crypto tokens are), but it has trended up overall. Yet because of the ease to airdrop, many, including van Schreven, think crypto wallets are starting to feel “like spam in email.” Indeed, in China, many people refer to these offerings as “candy,”

Chen said, continuing:

“Low-quality projects are taking advantage of airdrops to make a fake community.”

And Schmidt echoed that, saying, “Not having the choice to decline these airdrops can, in my opinion, cause some issues in the future.” As such, many investors, who nonetheless support the larger phenomenon also believe the mechanism could be used more effectively. Brayton Williams of Boost VC, a fund that favors crypto projects with a strong focus on community, thinks issuers could do a better job of targeting with airdrops. For example, he’d like to see issuers focus airdrops on people based on geography, demographics, etc. to cultivate the best market for the future platform.

Williams told CoinDesk:

“Airdrops combine the best of paid referral programs with stock options. Potential users get paid for joining or using the network and have the potential upside if the network increases in value.”

Some crypto companies are taking heed of this advice. Swarm, a blockchain for tokenizing private equity, just announced a few airdrop promotions, two of which encourage referrals, although by far the largest token sale on the platform is one that just drops tokens to existing cryptocurrency holders.

And Earn.com (formerly 21.co) has offered a standalone product for startups to distribute tokens directly to its members since the end of January. Startups that want access to Earn.com members pay small amounts of bitcoin to get users to sign up. But many are willing to pay a fee since the company validates every member, linking a wallet to one distinct person.

“The unique thing that Earn.com offers really is the validation side of things,” Dave Bean, from Earn.com’s sales team, told CoinDesk. He added that while many platforms that allow token issuers to airdrop might have a lot of email addresses, many individuals could be gaming the system by signing up multiple times with different addresses.

Firewall USA

That said, issuers in the U.S. are still skittish about doing airdrops to promote platforms. Stream, a blockchain-based video streaming platform, has delayed its airdrop indefinitely because of concern that airdrops could also be in violation of  securities law. “We can’t be sure,” said Todd Kornfeld, counsel at the law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP, pointing to SEC actions from 1999 which targeted companies giving away free traditional equity.

“Perhaps the SEC thought there was some kind of quid pro quo in giving those securities away and that resulted in a benefit to the issuer,” Kornfeldt said. “And that fact pattern is similar to the fact pattern of an airdrop.” This will definitely affect token issuers since the U.S. is the largest market both for investment and technology users. But until the regulatory environment in the U.S. becomes more clear, token issuers may experience far less hindrance in the rest of the world.

Although some aren’t letting the regulatory environment hold them back. For instance, Onchain isn’t done using airdrops to promote its platform. “The next community reward opportunity will be for active participation in Ontology after the release of the mainnet in Q2 2018,” Daniel Assab, a spokesperson for the company, said. “It won’t be for anything like a newsletter subscription, but no further details for now.”

Still many advise against airdrops for now. According to Chen, “We advise [token issuers]: Don’t do airdrops. Please do public sales.” In his mind, public sales actually engender a more authentic community. In other words, it brings in people who understand the project well enough that they’re likely to actually hold some of the tokens they buy to use in the future, instead of just dumping them on price rises.

Schmidt tends to agree, but hedges saying:

“It’s very early to see how this trend will result, but I do believe you need the actual users to have access to the tokens.”

Article Produced By
Brady Dale

Brady Dale

Even After 30 Billion Invested Most ICOs Are Doomed

Even After $30 Billion Invested Most ICOs Are Doomed

In the course of recent years, initial coin offering (ICO) ventures

in the crypto market have raised harvested more than $30 billion. However, most ICO projects have little to display, particularly relating to end-user development, blockchain adoption, and predominantly, general user activity on decentralized frameworks.

5 ICOs that have delivered

A small number of tokens have exhibited success in substantiating clear vision, growth paths, and credible use cases of blockchain innovation that’s advantageous for users. Binance Coin (BNB), example, which at present operates as the base cryptocurrency of the Binance exchange, will be widely used to process peer-to-peer trades upon the launch of the Binance decentralized exchange (DEX). Additionally, countless merchants have also as of late started to utilize BNB to receive crypto payments.

WePower (WPR) based on the blockchain is a Green Energy Trading Platform and is committed to finding solutions to relevant issues of funds access for energy developers and furthermore coordinate venture access for final consumers. The tokens can be used for long-term investments in addition to earning purposes. The company has a well-developed ICO profile and is currently meeting their milestones and roadmap schedule.

Solve.Care (CC) is rated as the top healthcare platform on the Blockchain by icoSource. Solve.Care boasts 26 years in Healthcare IT and aims to decentralize and ameliorate healthcare administration utilizing blockchain technology. This will improve the care outcome with the help of effective coordination and reduce the enormous global clinical and IT system costs associated with the current healthcare system. The ICO profile meets all technical requirements and is highly rated by experts.

XYO Network (XYO) is building the world’s first people-powered location network built on blockchain technology. the world’s first decentralized location verification system with more than one million Bluetooth and GPS devices already around the world. With the acquisition of GEO, which provides a protocol that allows anyone to easily distribute and verify Proofs of Location in a decentralized network, XYO is poised to help bring the promise and the benefits of blockchain technology to the real world on a massive and global scale in location-reliant trade markets that generate a staggering $11 trillion in activity.

Markethive (MHV) built on the Blockchain has positioned itself to be the world’s first social/marketing platform that offers complete privacy, along with total freedom of speech. With over 200 engineers and a hive of portals, hubs, E-commerce and marketing tools, Markethive’s influence in the sphere of entrepreneurs, business owners, commercial artists will rise to prominence. The system is up and running with Infinity Airdrops about to be executed. This is unprecedented in this industry and with its vision to bring universal income and success to all its members, it is set to be the number one Social/Market Network.

Imminent demise for most

While there are a few coins in the crypto market that represent feasible applications of the blockchain, the vast majority of projects have questionable roadmaps and long-term procedures.

As Uber’s Sam Gellman said:

“After $30 billion invested in the past two years in ICOs there still isn’t a single crypto app with a real user base for anything other than speculating on crypto. The BTC price movement is tough, but the lack of real user base for anything they’re investing in is tougher.”

With regulatory obstructions initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the ICO ecosystem will turn out to be considerably more troublesome for both innovators and projects. This week, the U.S. SEC impeded two ICO ventures named AirFox and Paragon, portraying their token sales as unregistered security offerings and requesting the two tokens to refund all

of their investors.

“They have also agreed to compensate investors who purchased tokens in the illegal offerings if an investor elects to make a claim. The registration undertakings are designed to ensure that investors receive the type of information they would have received had these issuers complied with the registration provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) prior to the offer and sale of tokens in their respective ICOs.”

The U.S. SEC affirmed that it supports the blockchain and the employment of newly developing technologies. However, the commission said that market contributors must recognize and abide

by local regulations.

“We wish to emphasize, however, that market participants must still adhere to our well-established and well-functioning federal securities law framework when dealing with technological innovations, regardless of whether the securities are issued in certificated form or using new technologies, such as blockchain.”

The significance of Bear Market

2018 bear market will separate worthy ventures from the fallacious and those that endure will be projects that have a definite vision, direction, zealous user base, and an ambitious model. As the capital in the market drops, speculators who recently put resources in every new venture in the market will become more judicious and it will be a real test for token sales without focused methodologies to interest general society. In time, as investors learn to exact due diligence and the market evolves into a more aggressive area, under-achieving projects will inevitably experience a decline in investment opportunities, user activity, and demand.

Article Produced By
Deborah Williams

I am a freelance writer for the Market Network and crypto/blockchain industry. I’m a strong advocate for technology, progress and freedom of speech and I live for a change.

https://zycrypto.com/even-after-30-billion-invested-most-icos-are-doomed/