What is An Initial Coin Offering? Raising Millions In Seconds

What is An Initial Coin Offering? Raising Millions In Seconds

 

The Initial Coin Offering gold rush –
the future of fundraising or just another crypto scam?

If you are searching for the biggest trend in cryptocurrency today, a look at Initial Coin Offering (ICO) might be a good start. The idea to presale coins of a cryptocurrency or token of a blockchain project has evolved in a crazy successful instrument to raise funds for the development of a new application. Our guide gives an overview on Initial Coin Offering- ICO and presents the hottest past, current, and future ICOs.

What is An Initial Coin Offering?

ICO is the abbreviation of Initial Coin Offering. It means that someone offers investors some units of a new cryptocurrency or crypto-token in exchange against cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Since 2013 ICOs are often used to fund the development of new cryptocurrencies. The pre-created token can be easily sold and traded on all cryptocurrency exchanges if there is demand for them.

With the success of Ethereum ICO are more and more used to fund the development of a crypto project by releasing token which is somehow integrated into the project. With this turn, ICO has become a tool that could revolutionize not just currency but the whole financial system. ICO token could become the securities and shares of tomorrow.

Short History of Initial Coin Offering? – ICO

Maybe the first cryptocurrency distributed by an ICO was Ripple. In early 2013 Ripple Labs started to develop the Ripple called payment system and created around 100 billion XRP token. The company sold these token to fund the development of the Ripple platform. Later in 2013, Mastercoin promised to create a layer on top of Bitcoin to execute smart contracts and tokenize Bitcoin transactions. The developer sold some million Mastercoin token against Bitcoin and received around $1mio.

Several other cryptocurrencies have been funded with ICO, for example, Lisk, which sold its coins for around $5mio in early 2016. Most prominent however is Ethereum. In mid-2014 the Ethereum Foundation sold ETH against 0.0005 Bitcoin each. With this, they receive nearly $20mio, which has become one of the largest crowdfunding ever and serves as the capital base for the development of Ethereum. As Ethereum itself unleashed the power of smart contracts, it opened the door for a new generation of Initial Coin Offering.

Ethereum – The Initial Coin Offering?- ICO Crowdfunding Machine

One of the easiest application of Ethereum’s smart contract system is to create a simple token which can be transacted on the Ethereum blockchain instead of Ether. This kind of contract was standardized with ERC#20. It made Ethereum host of such a wide scope of ICO that you can safely say that Ethereum found its Killer App as a distributed platform for crowdfunding and fundraising.

The most prominent demonstration of the potential of Ethereum’s smart contracts has been The DAO. The distributed investment company was fuelled with Ether worth $100m. The investors received in exchange against Ether Dao Token which had their own market price and enabled the holder to participate in the governance of the DAO. After it was hacked, the DAO however failed.

The concept of funding projects with a token on Ethereum became the blueprint for a new and highly successful generation of crowdfunding projects. If you already tried out, you know that investing in token on top of Ethereum is charmingly easy: You transfer ETH, paste the contract in your wallet – and, tata: The token appear in your account and you are free to transfer them as you want.

Examples for successful Initial coin offering on Ethereum are:

  • Augur
  • Melonport
  • Golem
  • ICONOMI
  • Singular DTV
  • First Blood
  • Digix DAO.

There are dozens of ICO every month which explore new and creative ways to connect the application with the token and to leverage smart contracts to add more features to these tokens.

The potential of this trend is immense. ICO enables every individual and every company to easily release freely tradable tokens to raise funds. It could be used to completely reconstruct the financial system of shares, securities and so on. It decentralized not just money, but stock creation and trade. If you want to assess Ethereum’s market capitalization you should not only look at the market cap of Ether itself but also on the value of the token, which adds something like $300 Million to Ethereum’s $4 Billion market cap.

Legality

The legal state of ICO is mostly undefined. Ideally, the token is sold not as a financial asset but as a digital good like many other things. This is why ICO is often called “crowd sale”. In this case, in the most jurisdiction, the funding with an ICO is not regulated, which makes it extremely easy and paperless, given a lawyer experienced with the issue is on board.

However, some jurisdictions seem to be aware of ICO and tend to regulate them similar to the sale of shares and securities. The spectacular implosion of the DAO did a good job in kindle regulators attention. So while ICO currently mostly happen in a gray area, in the future they most likely will be regulated. This could bear some financial and legal risks for investors. Also, the cost and effort to comply with regulation could reduce the advantages of ICO compared with traditional means of funding.

Profit and Loss

Many ICO has been a lucky choice for investors. ETH, for example, was sold at 0.0005 Bitcoin and is worth today 0,05 BTC. Profit: 10,000 percent. Augur token (REP) were sold for around 0,005 each and are now traded at 0,01. The gain in value of 100 to 500 percent in Bitcoin is common for successful ICO.

On the other side, many ICO ends with losses. Cryptocurrencies like Lisk, IOTA-token or Omni did not hold the value in Bitcoin the token has been assessed at the ICO (or struggle to keep it). Often ICO is even used by scammers and semi-scammers: Build a glossy website, write some blocks of bullshit bingo, promise the greatest project/cryptocurrency ever, and be happy if you receive just 50 or 100 Bitcoin. Besides the large and successful ICO, like Lisk, Melonpost, Augur or Iconomi, many small and shady ICO did collect funds and

delivered nothing at all.

The ICO market is currently still completely unregulated. Everybody should be aware, that this does imply not only large profits for investors, but also large losses.

The hottest Initial Coin Offering of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Let’s have a look what’s going on of the market for ICO. In the past years, there have been a couple of wildly successful ICO.

Hot past Cryptocurrency ICO

Ripple
Ripple Labs created 100 billion XRP-token which serve as an anti-spam mechanism in the payment network Ripple, as you have to pay your network fees in XRP. The XRP are sold by Ripple Labs; their value doesn’t move in a clear direction, while the trend is more downwards. It started with around 5,000 Satoshi, sometimes felt below 1,000 Satoshi, raised above 7,000 and finally fell again to a new low of 600 Satoshi, before again raising on 3,000.

Next
Next was a new gen cryptocurrency made in 2013. For a start, the 1 billion token was sold to early investors. With the ICO the developers only got a double digits amount of Bitcoins. Today the NXT token, however, are worth much more and Next has become a relatively successful and stable cryptocurrency.

Mastercoin
In 2013 Mastercoin announced to build a layer on top of Bitcoin and sold the Mastercoin-token to investors. The developers received around 10,000 Bitcoin, which has been worth $1mio at this time. Mastercoin token gained value some month later; some investors made huge profits. Later Mastercoin merged with Counterparty and Omni.

Ethereum
The largest ICO by now was made by Ethereum. With a presale of around 60mio ETH, the Ethereum Foundation raised around 31,500 Bitcoin. This event has become one of the biggest crowdfunding ever and the start of a wildly successful cryptocurrency. The investors of the ETH-presale profited massively.

Lisk
Based on BitShares, Lisk is a JavaScript written Blockchain which enables smart contracts on sidechains. Lisk sold the coins for Bitcoins and received around $5mio.

Hot past Ethereum token ICO

While most ICO in the past has been restricted to building a new cryptocurrency, the smart contracts of Ethereum enable startups also to use ICOs to fund development. Most of them are working with Ethereum itself and trick their presold token somehow in the process. Some examples:

Augur
The decentralized prediction market uses so-called REP-token to decide on the outcome of events. 80 percent of these tokens have been sold to fund the development and got the team more than $5m. Today all the token are worth more than $100m.

Golem
The Golem project aims to create a decentralized supercomputer, to which participants can contribute with their own computer and earn money by selling its power. Golem uses the Ethereum blockchain for smart contracts; the GNT token is needed to pay for the services. The ICO was restricted on 820,000,000 tokens, for which the developers received more than 10,000 BTC. Today the market share of Golem is beyond 50,000 BTC.

ICONOMI
Iconomi is a platform for the management of virtual assets. The ICN token is something like shares on the platform and should receive parts of the profits. The developers sold 85,000,000 token and got more than 17,000 BTC for it. Today it has a market capitalization of nearly 40,000 BTC.

First Blood
The Asian platform for decentralized Sportsbet finished the ICO of its token in some seconds. Most of them have been bought by a Chinese exchange.

SingularDTV
SingularDTV wants to merge Ethereum, smart contracts and the production and stream of videos. With the ICO the platform raised more than 12,000 BTC. Today the whole tokens are worth around 40,000 BTC. SingularDTV wants to merge Ethereum, smart contracts and the production and stream of videos. With the ICO the platform raised more than 12,000 BTC. Today the whole tokens are worth around 40,000 BTC. The token of above ICO can be bought and traded on exchanges. Some additional ICO has just finish some time ago and prepare to release the newly created token on the Ethereum Blockchain. This are the following projects:

Melonport
Like Iconomi Melonport aims to develop a platform for the management of blockchain assets built upon Ethereum. The MLN token the developers sold will be needed to use the platform and have been sold or more than 2,000 BTC few month ago.

Qtum
This project wants to build a platform for the easy creation and use of blockchain based smart contracts. For this mission, it could raise more than 14,000 Bitcoin in an ICO.

Chrono Bank
The “uber of recruitment” intends to build a platform with its own currency for freelance projects. They sold 710,000 tokens for more than 4,000 Bitcoin.

Dfinity
Similar to Golem, Dfinity wants to build a decentralized platform for cloud computing. In its ICO it raised more than 3,000 Bitcoin.

BlockPay
With “only” about 1,000

With “only” about 1,000 Bitcoin the ICO of BlockPay was one of the smaller ICOs. BlockPay is a startup building a payment processor for several cryptocurrencies. With “only” about 1,000 Bitcoin the ICO of BlockPay was one of the smaller ICOs. BlockPay is a startup building a payment processor for several cryptocurrencies. This is are just examples. There are hundreds of further more or less successful ICO.

Hot Initial Coin Offerings Today

Currently, you can invest in ICOs like:

  • Humaniq (a wallet for the unbanked), aeternity (“scalable smart contracts interfacing with real world data”), Internet of Coins (a distributed environment for several blockchains) and Cosmos (similar: “a network of distributed ledgers”).

Most interesting however is Blockchain Capital.

  • Traditional investment company which funds a lot of companies in the cryptocurrency ecosystem like BitGo, BitFury, Blockstream, BTCC, Coinbase, Ethcore, Kraken, and Ripple. With the ICO Blockchain Capital enables everybody to participate in its investment rounds.

Not every ICO is worth your money. Some just throw a couple of keywords in the air, something with blockchains, distributed platforms, smart contracts and so on, without having a real business plan or just the skills to realize the project. But some are really interesting. Good ICOs have presented months ahead, and the investment community looks forward to participating in it.

Hot future ICOs

Since some months the Ethereum community waits for the start of the Gnosis ICO. Like Augur Gnosis will become a decentralized prediction market on Ethereum. Since it is developed by a respected Ethereum developer stakes are high. Also, the launch of EtherEx, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, is eagerly awaited. While not as prominent as Gnosis, EtherEx promises to become a part of a truly decentralized ecosystem on Ethereum. Same goes for Akasha, a decentralized social network governed by the Ethereum blockchain. ICO is expected, but no date is announced by now.

With Rootstock and Hivemind, two sidechain ICO are anticipated. However, it is not known if the developers of Rootstock and Hivemind plan to presale tokens. They did not announce it, but the structure of their projects implicates tokens, and somehow these tokens have to be distributed. Several appcoins like Filecoin, which enable the storage of files in the IPFS, and Skycoin, a “third generation cryptocurrency”, should be on the list of any ICO hunter. They did not announce an ICO, but will likely presale the coins.

Article Produced By
BlockGeeks

https://blockgeeks.com/guides/initial-coin-offering/

What is ICO?

What is ICO

We are living in the blessed digital era.

First, we got a digital watch, then digital photo, digital TV, digital marketing and digital sex. The world was ready for digital currency and Bitcoin was born. So, no surprise that in a very short time digital stock has joined the party. ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is pretty close to the well-established IPO (Initial Public Offering) with two major differences:

  1. You are not going to own a share in a future company.
  2. It must be somehow connected to a blockchain.

Why will a startup company prefer ICO?

The concept is relatively new, and the old IPO might look safer, but some ICO benefits are just unbeatable:

  1. Retaining control: you are not sharing your company with an investor, you sell him a future service. That’s a huge difference, you will get the money but still control your business.
  2. Globalization: while some companies go door to door to find an investor, with ICO you can immediately rise money from anybody in any country worldwide.
  3. No regulation. That means no bureaucracy which could take months. Tech startup success is very much a matter of being first on the market. Otherwise you will be yesterday’s news and somebody else will take the jackpot.

So how does ICO work?

First of all, we need a bunch of guys with a cool idea somehow connected to a blockchain. For example, a startup that will allow you to buy a genetically modified tree and when it will grow- it will have your name on its leaves for a Bitcoin. Sounds pretty insane, but I’ve heard much weirder ideas that turned into a successful business.

These guys start a marketing campaign and invite everyone to buy tokens.

What is an ICO token?

Not a race-car or a shoe. It might look pretty much like Monopoly, though. You buy and sell something that doesn't really exist, but somebody wins and somebody loses.

The ICO token basically signifies your contribution to the startup investment. The more money you will give, the more tokens you will get in return. With the tokens, you will be able to buy future company services or just sell tokens.

But why would you give the money if you will not own a part of the company as it works in IPO? Right, nobody will. That’s why you have a smart contract.

What is an ICO Smart Contract?

The guys with weird genetic trees must promise something worthy to the investors. It can be a free tree for your wife, two percent from the future company revenue or any other value or service. In this case, money definitely might grow on trees.

The smart contract is actually an agreement between the ICO issuing company and the token holder. It is a code that makes a certain “then” happen if a certain “if” happened. For example, it can say that everyone who bought “the genetic tree” token before 2020 can sell it for a fixed price. One a holder will send the token – the price will be adjusted automatically.

How to create a smart contract?

Most of them are still created on the Ethereum platform (the first smart contract was issued by the platform creator, Vitalik Buterin). But there are more, such as Confideal, ChainLink, BlockCAT and others. Each one has its pros and cons. You can read about them here.

So, why one should invest in ICO tokens?

  1. The tokens’ price can rise quickly, so you can make money buying and selling in time This part is pretty similar to the regular stock exchange.

Ok, we got it, it is a Bitcoin-inspired stock-exchange. I can invest in weird trees instead of Apple or Intel. What’s the buzz about it?

Here are some pretty impressive numbers:

  1. Plutus, a Bitcoin easy-pay app, issued the tokens on June 2016 with an initial price of $1.183. The current token price is $15.122, which makes 1,178 percent growth! And you could buy lots of it with the price.
  2. Neo, another cryptocurrency, did even better. They started with humble 33 cents per token. And today it’s worth $107. You are welcome to calculate the revenue by yourself. I am busy with a self-flagellation for not buying it.
  3. Daily ROI for Ethereum token holders is 206 percent.

Got it, it's a good deal, isn’t it?

How not to fall for a scam ICO?

That’s a very good question. There is something important to mention: everybody lies (special thanks to Dr. House for the perfect quote). There are good guys and there are less good guys. A start-up named Condido has raised $375,000 and disappeared with the money. Their website was deleted and nobody can find the founders. Well, old-fashioned burglars had to drive to the nearest bank wearing funny pantyhose on their faces. These days, you can do the same without leaving your house.

Here is a short “stay away from” list:

  1. The team is anonymous. Right, it's all about decentralization and regulation free. But would you give your money to a complete stranger? I prefer at least to know who the founders are
  2. Too good offer. Remember, that only a second mouse can enjoy the free cheese. If the revenue percentage is much higher than the average, there should be a heck good reason for it. Otherwise this cheese doesn’t smell good.
  3. No clear roadmap. If it is a serious startup, they will work on a detailed roadmap at least for the next year. If the only thing you can read on their website is “it will be cool, so cool, supercool – trust us and give us your money,” probably you should think twice.

Last, but not the least: Pre-ICO.

What is Pre-ICO?

Hey, wait. There is something else I forgot – actually you can buy the tokens before the ICO. How come, you ask? It’s a cryptoworld, you know, everything is possible. Nothing is real, follow the white rabbit, Neo. In fact, sometimes a company needs funds for the ICO itself (advertising etc.) In that case they can pronounce “sale before sale.” Pre-sale token price is cheaper, so it can be a very good deal. It is usually very limited and can finish literally in seconds. So, if you want to buy on pre-sale, you need to check the upcoming events all the time.

Pre-sales might look like a low hanging fruit but it is not easily achievable. The popular practice is to run the pre-sale for a limited number of investors, who take the role of business angels. So, a startup can use the money raised with the pre-ICO to get much more money with the ICO itself.

Article Produced By
CoinTelegraph

https://cointelegraph.com/ico-101/what-is-ico#how-not-to-fall-for-a-scam-ico

JPMorgan Wants to Use Blockchain to Issue ICO Tokens

JPMorgan Wants to Use Blockchain to Issue ICO Tokens

American investment banking giant JPMorgan Chase

is pursuing a patent for a distributed system that uses blockchain technology to issue virtual depository receipts that sound suspiciously like initial coin offering (ICO) tokens.

JPMorgan Wants to Host IPOs on a Blockchain

The patent application, filed by JPMorgan in January and published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, outlines a method whereby users on a distributed network such as a blockchain can tokenize assets and trade these virtual depository receipts. To create a security token, an originator such as an asset owner or broker will encumber the asset by entrusting it to a qualified custodian, who will then authorize a virtual receipt for the deposited assets.

This virtual depository receipt would essentially be a security token, regulated under the authority of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or other local securities regulators. This designation would necessarily restrict how and where the tokens could be traded. Depending on the nature of the asset, a token holder would also be able to redeem the receipt for the underlying asset by transferring it to the custodian, who would then cancel the tokens.

Notably, JPMorgan believes that one use case for this proposed system is to allow companies to hold initial public offerings (IPO) in a blockchain environment, more or less fulfilling the ultimate promise of the initial coin offering, though it is doubtful both that the firm would ever acknowledge that fact or refer to such token distribution events as ICOs.

Obligation-Backed Receipts

The patent also notes that the tokens could represent obligation-backed virtual receipts, more commonly known as debt equity. This is not the first time that JPMorgan has mulled creating a platform to issue debt on a blockchain. Earlier this year, the firm partnered with the National Bank of Canada and a group of other firms to simulate the issuance of a $150 million Yankee certificate of deposit (CD) on Quorum — JPMorgan’s Ethereum-based enterprise blockchain platform — in parallel with an actual CD issued through conventional means.

“One of the mandates of the J.P. Morgan blockchain program is to identify how blockchain technology can create value, efficiency, and a better experience for our clients across the financial markets value chain,” said Christine Moy, JPMorgan’s blockchain program lead, at the time. “ We look forward to exploring blockchain-enabled capital markets applications, how these types of transformative opportunities can benefit our clients and counterparts.”

As CCN reported, while JPMorgan has been generally hostile toward cryptocurrencies — CEO Jamie Dimon, many will remember, once routinely referred to bitcoin as a fraud — the firm has for years been a leader in the development of enterprise blockchain applications, which seek to capitalize the benefits of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in a private, permissioned environment, most notably through its development and promotion of Quorum.

Article Produced By
Blockchain News

https://www.ccn.com/jpmorgan-wants-to-use-blockchain-to-issue-ico-tokens/

 

Should You Launch an ICO to Raise Money for Your Startup?

Should You Launch an ICO to Raise Money for Your Startup?

As of February 2018, 46 percent of the previous year's ICOs had already failed — despite the fact that they had raised more than $104 million.

In the past few months, you've likely heard about initial coin offering (ICO) fundraising,

as some startups have experienced a significant amount of funding this way. Could ICOs replace traditional venture capital? On the surface, ICOs appear to be the new, successful startup journey alternative. However, before making any hasty decisions, it is imperative that you understand how these two very different types of funding compare.

ICOs have seen immense growth, but there are challenges.

There's been a significant amount of media coverage in relation to ICOs, especially as the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry evolves. However, taking a closer look, it appears that there are some critical gaps in the available information, which for many is misleading. Of course, there are advantages to this model, including more rapid funding and fewer regulations — which may actually be a double-edged sword. Unlike the traditional model, which requires startups to first build a company, generate revenue, and then get funding from angel investors (before landing a venture capitalist), ICOs provide somewhat of a shortcut.

The growth of ICOs alone is enough to turn heads. In June of this year, ICOs surpassed $550 million in funding, which was more than what was raised through venture capital fundraising. However, these benefits are not enough to convince many partners and investors. Being an open, unregulated system, anything can happen, and when you’re dealing with millions of dollars, “anything” isn’t exactly what you want to hear. In fact, one of the primary concerns for investors is the ambiguity of utility tokens, resulting in varying rights. There are also a number of significant risks involved, including taxable proceeds.

ICOs simply are not ready to take over traditional venture capital. Here’s why.

Although many support ICOs and blockchain technology overall, it is the general consensus that the technology itself is still immature, leading to many risk factors. In some countries, such as China, ICOs have been banned due to a lack of regulation, as well as a high rate of fraudulent and illegal activity. If you are considering the ICO market to fund your startup, please consider the following in relation to traditional venture capital.

  1. Poor liquidity. 
    Although companies are raising real capital, without enough liquidity, the participation from buyers quickly outweighs the supports of market buyers. Strict regulations and the use of multiple currencies also contribute to poor liquidity.

  2. Quality control and increased risk of scams. 
    One review, published by the Wall Street Journal, found that after analyzing 1,450 ICOs, 20 percent contained major red flags. This included plagiarized documents, fake executive teams and guaranteed returns.

  3. Higher failure rate. 
    As of February 2018, 46 percent of the previous year’s ICOs had already failed — despite the fact that they had raised more than $104 million. This is resulting in what’s referred to as a “digital graveyard,” as many of these ICOs appear to have been doomed from the start.

At the end of the day, the majority of ICO-funded startups are poorly managed and lack the required cash flow. Since the cash raised by an ICO doesn’t technically have any legal leverage, as they are not currently regulated, this option is risky for investors, as well as your reputation. Token sales and the phenomenon surrounding ICOs certainly has potential, but it's still in its infancy. It’s the new “Wild West,” and until some of the major kinks are worked out, venture capital is still largely the most promising route, as you will attract loyal investors while building valuable connections.

Regardless, this is an industry that should be watched closely, as many industry leaders, including Bill Gates and John Donahoe, support the evolution of digital currency. Based on your current business model and business plan, are you unsure which option is best?

Article Produced By

Rahul Varshneya

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, custom software development services for founder-led companies.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/315873

AdHive launches AI-powered platform to promote ICOs

AdHive launches AI-powered platform to promote ICOs

Regardless of the buzz around ICOs and other blockchain token generation events,

one thing remains true. If you want people to invest in your project and hit your targets, you need to attract a large community. AI-controlled influencer marketing platform AdHive today announced an ICO-focused marketing solution designed specifically for this purpose. The product itself is a combination of influencer marketing and AI-powered campaign management. On the influencer marketing side, AdHive’s platform identifies individuals who have sway in the blockchain technology space and helps your engage with them. The chosen influencers then produce content in the form of reviews, AMAs, interviews, technical and white paper analysis, or native product placement.

“We have our own analytical tool, which allows us to analyze influencers’ accounts and find out the quality of the content, their base of subscribers, their organic traffic, and comments,” AdHive cofounder Alexandr Kuzmin told me. “There are several categories of influencers in our base — micro-influencers with no more than 10,000 subscribers, a middle category with 10,000 to 50,000 subscribers, and macro-influencers with more than 50,000. Such classifications allow brands to take a ‘soft dip’ into our platform — make the first campaign among micro-influencers to see how it works and warm up the market, and then after that launch a big advertising campaign and create a buzz on the crypto market.”

AdHive categorizes influencers not just by size, but by content type and area of expertise, helping marketers and advertisers choose the right people to partner with. “It should be noted that very few influencers are highly specialized,” Kuzmin said. “Most of them prefer to combine several categories in one channel, as they make reviews on the news, crypto projects, and interviews in order to cover as many projects as possible.”

The platform also ensures that these influencers are not gaming the system in return for engagements. “We choose those who show organic growth without any cheating,” Kuzmin said. “All influencers are selected depending on the customer’s needs by targeting. Most often, advertisers prefer to work with influencers from the U.S., Central Europe and Asia (including Japan, India, South Korea, Hong Kong), and Australia.” In addition to the influencer marketing tool, the platform offers a campaign management system that uses AI to optimize campaign delivery, although it isn’t an AI-only system.

“Our platform is highly automated, and we are proud to offer our clients a service that allows them to create a campaign by pressing just one button,” Kuzmin said. “After receiving a request for a campaign, our manager will contact the advertiser and propose an optimal offer. Our artificial intelligence will be monitoring how the task is being completed, which allows us to significantly speed up and automate the process of collecting analytics for the output of commercials so that a full-scale advertising campaign could be launched in one day.”

The crypto space is, famously, awash with money right now. While that’s good news for those launching projects, it has also meant that service providers have raised their prices, which puts pressure on the entire ecosystem. So how much does AdHive’s platform cost? “At the moment, we are offering an individual approach to each client based on their needs, KPIs, and marketing strategy,” Kuzmin said. “However, an average advertising campaign with approximate coverage of more than 80,000 views would cost about $10,000. This price includes our commission. We accept BTC, ETH, and our own ADH tokens as a means of payment. Since we have been actively working with a global network of influencers, we can offer much more favorable prices for brands than if they contact the influencer directly.”

AdHive is aware of the challenges blockchain marketers face right now and hopes its offering will appeal to startups despite current conditions. “It is worth noting that the drop in average caps has also affected companies’ marketing policies,” Kuzmin said. “ICO marketers nowadays are trying to optimize their costs and prefer to use the most efficient channels with maximum output in the short term. We’ve created our service as the answer for such companies, since traditional marketing tools have significantly sagged in efficiency due to market volatility and government restrictions, and crypto projects need non-standard methods.”

So what’s next for AdHive?

“AdHive is not just about crypto and ICO project promotion,” Kuzmin said. “In essence, our main audience is traditional brands. We are hard at work as we prepare to release a massive protocol concept in late July. Among the additions are a mobile app and some new AI products, such as an AI Mobile SDK, Cloud Knowledge Base, and others.”

Article Produced By
Stewart Rogers
Director, Marketing Technology

I’ve been involved in sales, marketing and running software companies since computers had black screens with the ‘wide choice’ of green or orange text. Those were the days… When I’m not speaking, writing or reading about marketing technology, sales force automation, web tools and awesome processes you’ll find me helping to make VB Insight the best analysis and reports resource on the planet – one where every expert can finally have their words read and their voices heard. If you’re a subject-matter champion in any area of sales or marketing technology, you should probably let me know.

I live in the UK, follow football (that’s soccer, not ‘throwball’), Formula 1, ice hockey, and play video games. I respect and subscribe to the VentureBeat statement of ethics. I drink coffee, yerba mate, white tea and water as if I’m getting paid to do so (I’m not). In my spare time, I run a few multi-author blogs that give all the revenue they generate to worthy causes. When they produce a wireless Internet connection that plugs directly into the medulla oblongata, I’ll be first in line.

https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/16/adhive-launches-ai-powered-platform-to-promote-icos/

 

Bermuda Government to Introduce New Regulations on ICOs Address Legal Ambiguity’

Bermuda Government to Introduce New Regulations on ICOs, Address ‘Legal Ambiguity’

The Premier and Minister of Finance of Bermuda David Burt

introduced new regulations on initial coin offerings (ICOs) speaking before the House of Assembly, the Royal Gazette news reports July 13. The regulatory framework describes minimum required information for ICO projects and establishes compliance measures for companies to conduct an ICO.

Addressing the lower house of the Bermudian Parliament, Burt outlined regulations that would require Bermudian ICO issuers to provide detailed information about “all persons involved with the ICO.” Issuers must also disclose a review of the project, including such key aspects as the product or service, the market audience, financing system, the amount of money that is planned to be raised, and technical aspects associated with software and blockchain specifications.

Burt stated that a group of new bills would be tabled before the end of summer that would expand existing laws against money laundering and terrorism financing. The Premier added that Bermuda has developed a legal environment “expeditiously” that addresses the “legal ambiguity” plaguing the fintech and blockchain industries. The Premier stated that, in response to “market demand,”  the Bermuda government set out to develop a legal framework for distributed ledger technology (DLT) firms, passing the Digital Asset Business Act 2018. The new regulatory regime sets visible boundaries for blockchain and crypto-related businesses and protects the rights of their existing and potential clients.

Earlier this month, the government of Bermuda announced plans to release amendments to the Banking Act to establish a new class of bank to provide services to local fintech and blockchain organizations. After local banks refused to offer services to blockchain companies, the government consulted with them to create the new classification. In April, Premier Burt signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, to establish funding for educational programs on blockchain and fintech. Burt said that a new Binance “global compliance base” would create 40 new jobs, 30 of which would go to Bermudians.

Article Produced By
Helen Partz

Helen is passionate about learning languages, cultures and the Internet. She has years of experience working at international online advertising projects. Growing interested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in late 2017, she joined Cointelegraph as a writer.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/bermuda-government-to-introduce-new-regulations-on-icos-address-legal-ambiguity

American Express Files Patent for Blockchain-Powered Proof-of-Payment System

American Express Files Patent for Blockchain-Powered Proof-of-Payment System

Financial services giant American Express (Amex)

has filed a patent for a blockchain-based proof-of-payment system, according to filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Thursday, July 12. The patent’s applicant is listed as American Express Travel Related Services Co., Inc., Amex’s travel arm. The proposed system would automate proof-of-payments by encrypting payment payload data with a public key on an initial node of the blockchain –– the data in question comprising the merchant’s identifying information and the transaction amount.

According to the patent filing, the encrypted data could then securely be propagated to a second blockchain node. In one proposed embodiment of the system, the data could then be fetched by a connected smart device that would decrypt the payment payload data and match it with a second identifier, the customer. In this way, the blockchain-secured system could enable smart devices to detect proof-of-payments and initiate actions

to service paying customers:

“A payment processing entity (e.g., a credit card network, bank, debit, bitcoin, rewards points, or ACH) provides evidence of a payment in a tamper-proof manner by writing the proof of payment to a blockchain. A smart device connected to the blockchain may detect the proof of payment, and can extract relevant information. The information may be encrypted on the blockchain such that access is restricted to entities having the correct cryptographic keys. “

The patent then outlines various use cases for such a secured system, suggesting hotel reservations, real estate rental, and ticketless access to events and venues. All of the proposed use cases would potentially facilitated by customers’ uniquely identified smart devices that could retrieve and decrypt proof-of-payments stored on the blockchain. Amex has already indicated its interest in blockchain technology by becoming a member of the Hyperledger Blockchain consortium, a collaborative effort to define and develop standard blockchain technology for use across industries.

In May, Cointelegraph reported on Amex’s announcement that it would be integrating Hyperledger into its Membership Rewards program. The initiative, in partnership with online merchant Boxed, would enable merchants to design customized offers for Amex cardholders in order to incentivize customer engagement. Back in October 2017, American Express Travel Related Services Co., Inc., filed an earlier patent for a personalized rewards system that would also harness blockchain technology to incentivize its customers.

Article Produced By
Marie Huillet

Marie Huillet is an independent filmmaker, with a background in journalism and publishing. Nomadic by nature, she’s lived in five different countries this decade. She’s fascinated by Blockchain technologies’ potential to reshape all aspects of our lives.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/american-express-files-patent-for-blockchain-powered-proof-of-payment-system

Korean Lawmakers Hasten to Regulate Cryptocurrency Legalize ICOs

Korean Lawmakers Hasten to Regulate Cryptocurrency, Legalize ICOs

Lawmakers in South Korea, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency trading markets,
are set to submit draft bills to legislate regulations for burgeoning sector.According to a report by the Korea Times, a number of lawmakers across different political spectrums are seeking to fast-track cryptocurrency regulations that could plausibly lead to lifting the current ICO ban in the country. The drafts will be submitted during ‘an extraordinary session of the National Assembly from July 13 to 16’ to address the legal status of cryptocurrency and regulatory guidelines for crypto exchanges, Notably, the report suggests that the submitted regulatory drafts are expected to play the role of a ‘catalyst’ in triggering discussions toward regulation and the subsequent the legislative process of turning bills into law.

Representative Park Yong-jin, a lawmaker and member of the country’s ruling Democratic Party, is perhaps the most prominent politician pushing for regulations, alongside Rep. Chung Tae-ok of the primary opposition Liberty Party Korea (LPK) and Rep. Choung Byoung-gug of the Bareun Mirae Party, a minor opposition camp.

As reported previously by CCN in July 2017, Park proposed at least three new bills to build a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies despite previously comparing last year’s surging prices to Europe’s tulip mania in the 17th century. Rep. Hong Eui-rak, also of the political camp in power, is notably pushing for the legalization of ICOs after authorities enforced a ban on the radical new form of fundraising in September last year.

Further, Rep. Song Hee-kyung of the opposition LPK party is set to host a policy debate on the security framework at domestic cryptocurrency exchanges on July 19, in a year of noteworthy major security breaches and thefts at Korean exchanges. Last month, domestic exchange Coinrail was the victim of a hack with a reported 40 billion won ($37 million) in cryptocurrency stolen. A little over a week later, Seoul-based Bithumb – the country’s biggest crypto exchange – suspended Unlinktransactions after losing $30 million in cryptocurrency following another hack.

The proposed draft regulations coincide with a previously-set deadline by G20 nations that aims to enact a uniform regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency sector among member nations.

Article Produced By
CNN

https://www.ccn.com/korean-lawmakers-hasten-to-regulate-cryptocurrency-legalize-icos/

Already More ICOs in 2018 Than All of 2017: 63B

The amount of money raised in initial coin offerings (ICOs)

in the first quarter of 2018 has blown past the amount raised throughout all of 2017, according to data from Coindesk. In the first three months of the year, a total of $6.3 billion raised from digital coin offerings represented 118% more than that of last year's total, suggesting that despite increased scrutiny on the cryptocurrency space, ICOs aren't going anywhere soon.

ICOs have been a major source of controversy in the cryptocurrency space as regulators struggle to combat illegitimate business and protect investors against buying into the frenzy without proper consideration. Since just about anyone can create digital currency: Over 15,000 cryptocurrencies have been launched. Often, the means by which crypto-related startups raise money is by selling virtual coins as an alternative to raising stock. Regulators have tried to crack down on the surge in fraudulent ICOs, which prompt many to buy in due to false advertising and other schemes. Many investors have also fallen victim to "FOMO," or fear of missing out, getting into crypto-investing simply because others have bought in, and not in response to the actual details of the startups that they are funding. 

Digital Token Projects Continue to Gain Popularity 

Of course, not all ICOs are schemes, and many are legitimate. On Wednesday, Basis (formerly Basecoin), landed $133 million in an ICO, with participation from high-profile investors such as Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) GV, Andreessen Horowitz, former Federal Reserve governor Kevin Warsh and billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckermiller. The funding round marked the first time that venture capital firms Bain and Lightspeed had ever bought a digital token.

In 2018, the size and speed of ICO funding rounds have also accelerated, according to the Coindesk report. Q1 saw 59% as many ICOs raise capital as all of 2017. The report noted that without Telegram's record-breaking $1.7 billion token sale, ICOs in the first three months of 2018 would amount to $4.6 billion, or 85% of last year's total. Coindesk notes that given most ICOs in Q1 have garnered less than $100 million, "a number of projects are still eager to sell tokens, despite the regulatory risk." The report pointed to a recent ruling from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which acknowledged some ICOs as securities offerings and required that they be registered with the agency.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns cryptocurrency.

Article Produced By
Shoshanna Delventhal

As a digital nomad based out of New York City, Shoshanna enjoys reporting on business and finance, with a focus on consumer products and technology companies. Shoshanna is passionate about enhancing the future of work by harnessing productivity and adopting transparent, flexible work cultures.

After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Economics and International Relations, Shoshanna worked in international business advisory at KPMG. When she’s not writing, you can now find Shoshanna leading yoga, mindfulness and creative workshops around the world. Shoshanna’s enthusiastic about forward-driving projects that advance social entrepreneurship, conscious consumerism and sustainability movements.

https://www.investopedia.com/news/already-more-icos-2018-all-2017-63b/

 

Liechtenstein’s Blockchain Law Crypto Banking and ICOs Interview With Prime Minister

Liechtenstein’s Blockchain Law, Crypto Banking and ICOs, Interview With Prime Minister

Adrian Hasler, the Prime Minister of Liechtenstein,

is certain that blockchain technology will have an impact on a variety of areas and is preparing a new blockchain law to provide essential requirements in order to establish a regulatory base for blockchain businesses. The blockchain law — so called Blockchain Act — was announced by Adrian Hasler at this year’s Finance Forum on March 21. According to Adrian Hasler, the new act is about integrating current business models in regulatory terms in order to give companies and their clients a legal base. The planned act is expected to be circulated for consultations this summer. Cointelegraph spoke with the prime minister about blockchain regulation, the politics regarding this technology and cryptocurrencies, ICOs and the business climate in Liechtenstein.

About Lichtenstein’s blockchain law

Cointelegraph: In your greetings at the Finance Forum you announced a new blockchain law. What makes this regulation special?

Adrian Hasler: We see great potential in blockchain technologies that go far beyond what we can observe today. Our law is designed to serve as the legislative basis for such a token economy and thereby provide regulatory certainty for all participants and overall further

positive development [in this space].

Blockchain can serve as an important base for a variety of economic applications, covering not only payment transactions but broader financial solutions, industry use cases and general applications.

CT: Could you specify the implications of such a regulation when put into place for blockchain businesses and the average citizen? How can they profit from it?

AH: We expect many more rights and assets put into blockchain systems in the future. One example: in order to effectively capitalize on the advantages of these efficient transaction systems we need a lawfully secure connection with the physical world, which we aim to achieve with state regulatory oversight. This will create trust, which is important for blockchain businesses and citizens.

CT: Why is blockchain an interesting topic for Liechtenstein?

AH: We have dealt with possibilities and risks associated with blockchain in the past. We view some opportunities here but also certain challenges for all economic sectors, especially the financial sector. It is important for the state of Liechtenstein that the government and authorities deal intensively with the consequences in practices to be able to treat companies fairly and competently. We aim to actively accompany this development.

About the future of cryptocurrencies

CT: Are you optimistic about the future of blockchain and cryptocurrencies?

AH: We observe a remarkable, globally oriented, and well-educated scene that is very much involved in the advancement of blockchain technology, and we believe that we are only at the beginning of an exciting and long-term development. Cryptocurrencies for me represent merely a fraction of possible use cases of blockchain in a tokenized economy. I believe we have to distinguish between payment traffic, stable coins representing legal means of payments and self-sustaining cryptocurrencies. It goes without saying that payments within a token economy are executed via blockchain. In this context, it can be assumed that stable coins, which are linked to legal currencies, will play an

important role.

Cryptocurrencies can play a significant role in the future once they become widely accepted.

CT: Do you see an interest in blockchain projects and demand for cryptocurrencies from the citizens of Liechtenstein?

AH: Liechtenstein accounts for a relatively large blockchain scene with a very big interest in blockchain projects and cryptocurrencies. For a layperson however, it seems relatively hard to accurately assess the risks of such an investment. Partaking in an ICO alone can be quite difficult. For this reason, there are increasingly more financial products entering the market that make investments easier. However, these are currently only approved for qualified investors.

CT: The Liechtenstein family bank Bank Frick allows direct investments in cryptocurrencies. Do you support the idea of crypto-banking as an alternative to

traditional banking?

I really do not see a contradiction between crypto banking and traditional banking.

AH: I rather expect to see an integration of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the financial sector. I do applaud this development because it introduces high standards und legislative security for investors of the traditional finance sector on blockchains. Of course, we need to make sure that the advantages of the crypto world are sustained as best as possible.

CT: Are you yourself dealing with cryptocurrencies or investing in blockchain projects?

AH: No, in my function as head of the government, I keep a low profile here.

About Liechtenstein as a location for ICOs

CT: Liechtenstein has become a favourite location in the world, to start ICOs. What are the reasons?

AH: One important reason is the openness of the authorities and the government for the new technologies and the subsequently acquired knowledge on how to use them. Surely it helps that you have very little response time as a company. It is relatively quickly possible to schedule a meeting with the ministry of the FMA [financial authority of Liechtenstein]. Furthermore we introduced a so-called regulatory laboratory at the FMA, which is a competent contact for innovative companies. Especially Fintech and blockchain companies seem to use this option intensively.

CT: Liechtenstein is subject to certain European Union regulations. Have those furthered the advancement of innovative ICOs or rather hindered it?

AH: Liechtenstein is a member of the European ecosystem und complies with all EU regulations in his financial service area. This is why companies in Liechtenstein also benefit from the so-called ‘EU-Pass’, hence the access to the European market. In our experience, however, it depends heavily on the specific design of an ICO, whether financial market law issues are affected. To my knowledge, many ICOs in Liechtenstein have already been successfully implemented within the framework of the financial market rules.

Article Produced By
Veronika Rinecker

https://cointelegraph.com/news/liechtenstein-s-blockchain-law-crypto-banking-and-icos-interview-with-prime-minister