ICOs Produce Slow Start to 2019

ICOs Produce Slow Start to 2019
   

During the first two weeks of 2019,

initial coin offerings (ICOs) raised roughly $90 million, according to data published by Icobench. Of the total funds raised this year so far, $80.2 million can be attributed to the Chelle Coin ICO.

Slow Start to 2019 for Initial Coin Offerings

47 ICOs launched during the first week of January, bringing the total number of ongoing initial coin offerings to 424. Despite the large number of ongoing ICOs, only $6 million was collectively raised between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7, comprising the smallest combined weekly total raised by ICOs since 2017. During the second week of January, the total raised by initial coin offerings jumped substantially after Chelle Coin, an ICO for an “investment platform backed by performing North American True Estate,” generated $80.2 million from Canadian investors. Excluding Chelle Coin, the combined total raised by ICOs between Jan. 7 and Jan. 15 was $3 million.

ICOs Post Steep Decline in Fundraising During Second Half of 2018

The slow start to 2019 follows a significant decline in the average performance of initial coin offerings during the final six months of 2018. After averaging a monthly total of $1.45 billion collectively during the first half of 2018, the combined monthly average raise by ICOs fell by 65 percent to just $500 million in the second half of the year. Additionally, the combined total raised by initial coin offerings fell short of 2017’s monthly average of roughly $850 million for the entire second half of last year.

The average sum raised by each individual ICO also fell by more than 50 percent year-over-year, dropping from $24.4 million in 2017 to nearly $11 million in 2018. Despite the decline in the average performance of ICOs, the collective total raised by ICOs increased last year, with 413 offerings raising $10.06 billion in 2017 versus 1,012 offerings raising $11.59 billion in 2018.

Singapore Comprises Leading Nation for ICO Fundraising During 2018

Nearly $1.54 billion was raised by Singapore-based ICOs during last year, equating to 13 percent of the fundraising total. The total was raised from 275 offerings, making Singapore the second most popular destination for ICO issuers. While the United States hosted the largest number of ICOs during 2018, the 288 U.S.-based offerings accounted for $1.22 billion in raised funds last year, or 11 percent of the global total. The United Kingdom ranked third by collective total raised and number of ICOs, with 222 offerings generating $945 million.

The Cayman Islands hosted the fourth largest total raised by the ninth largest number of offerings, with $917 million raised by just 56 offerings. Switzerland ranked fifth by combined fundraising and number of ICOs, hosting 136 offerings that generated $845 million. These five countries accounted for 47 percent of the combined global sum raised by ICOs in 2018.

Article Produced By
Samuel Haig

Samuel Haig is a journalist who has been completely obsessed with bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012. Samuel lives in Tasmania, Australia, where he attended the University of Tasmania and majored in Political Science, and Journalism, Media & Communications. Samuel has written about the dialectics of decentralization, and is also a musician and kangaroo riding enthusiast.

https://news.bitcoin.com/icos-slow-start-2019/

MIT Professor: Blockchain Can Allow for More Inclusive Borderless EconomyICOs Raised 160 Million in First Half of January Report Says

MIT Professor: Blockchain Can Allow for More Inclusive, Borderless Economy

  

Blockchain can allow for the creation of a borderless economy,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Silvio Micali claimed in a interview on Bloomberg’s Daybreak Asia, Jan. 21. Speaking on the show, Micali outlined three major properties of blockchain systems that must function simultaneously to enable a more inclusive and borderless economy — security, decentralization and scalability. According to MIT’s Ford Professor of Engineering, until recently, only two of those three basic properties could have been achieved simultaneously at any time.

When asked about scalability in particular, Micali stressed that a decentralized system really needs superior technology to provide the same level of participation and confidence that is enjoyed by centralized systems. When asked about security breaches in blockchain systems, Micali stated that centralized systems are far more vulnerable to hacking attempts, pointing to the frequency of security and privacy breaches that repeatedly take place among centralized institution of various sorts. The professor expressed optimism about blockchain in terms of security, noting the level of security built into the concept of

a trustless system:

“Only a true decentralized system, where the power is really so spread that is going to be essentially practically impossible to attack them all and when you don’t need to trust this or that particular node, is going to bring actually the security we really need and deserve.”

Recently, a group of major United States universities, including MIT, Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, announced the launch of Unit-e, a cryptocurrency project touted as a “globally scalable decentralized payments network.” Earlier in January, MIT Technology Review issued an article claiming that 2019 will become the year when blockchain technology finally becomes normalized.

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/71-million-user-volunteer-platform-to-launch-blockchain-based-dapp

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ICOs Raised $160 Million in First Half of January, Report Says

  

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) completed

in the first half of January have raised around $160 million. The figure was provided in a report by ICO rating service ICObench shared with Cointelegraph on Jan. 18. ICOs completed by Jan. 15 have managed to raise about 33 percent of the combined amount raised in the previous month of December. Half of that sum was secured by just one project, the report notes. According to ICObench, the number of fundraisers that are set to take place in January is more than 150, a figure similar to the past seven months, excluding December.

In January, the combined hard cap — the maximum amount of money that a project can secure from investors during an ICO — amounts to more than $4 billion. As per the report, three fundraisers out of the five largest this month have reached or almost reached their hard caps. ICObench also reported that the number of ICO listings has continued to decline in January, suggesting that the phenomenon is losing its popularity. In terms of amount of funds raised, Canada has been leading during the first half of the month, with a combined figure of $80 million. However, when it comes to the actual number of projects, the United States ranked first.

ICO statistics by country in the first half of January 2019.

On Jan. 16, major crypto exchange BitMEX released a report claiming that ICO teams have lost 54 percent of value of the initial $24 billion worth of tokens allocated to themselves due to the decline in coin prices.

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/icos-raised-160-million-in-first-half-of-january-report-says

What’s Difference Between ICO Tokens and Cryptocurrency Coins?

What’s Difference Between ICO Tokens and Cryptocurrency Coins?

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are becoming

increasingly more mainstream every day, but the terminology that surrounds them can be confusing even to seasoned crypto veterans, let alone newcomers.Interested in investing in Bitcoins or other Altcoins? Here’s how we buy Bitcoin and Ethers. You will receive $10 of FREE BITCOIN when you buy or sell over $100 worth of any digital currency.

A lot has changed since an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto released Bitcoin, the first decentralized cryptocurrency in the world, in 2009. According to CoinMarketCap, there are now almost 1,500 cryptocurrencies, the total market capitalization of the entire crypto market is over $700 billion, and the daily trading volume exceeds $30 billion on a regular basis. To understand how we got to where we are today, and what the difference between ICO tokens and cryptocurrency coins is, we need to start with the basics.

What Is a Cryptocurrency?

The term “cryptocurrency” consists of two words: crypto and currency. Even though you may not be able to define it, you already know what a currency is because you use it almost every day as a medium of exchange for goods and services. Investopedia defines a currency as “a generally accepted form of money, including coins and paper notes, which is issued by a government and circulated within an economy.”

The word “crypto” is short for “cryptography,” which is the practice of using various protocols to secure communication in the presence of third parties. Modern cryptography is synonymous with encryption, the process of encoding information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. Put together, a cryptocurrency can be defined as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions.

Cryptocurrency Coins and Tokens

While there were other media of exchange that used cryptography to secure transactions before 2009, Bitcoin was the first one to also be decentralized, meaning that it’s not controlled by any single central authority. The decentralized nature of Bitcoin comes from its use of the blockchain technology, which is a distributed public ledger that records bitcoin transactions in a growing list of records, called blocks. Each block of transactions is cryptographically linked to the previous block, making blockchains resistant to data modification.

Because the blockchain technology was such a novel concept when Satoshi Nakamoto implemented it as a core Bitcoin component in 2009, many other cryptocurrencies were soon derived from Bitcoin, including Litecoin, Darkcoin, Quark, Yacoin, Novacoin, or BitBlock, just to name a few. Collectively, these Bitcoin derivatives are sometimes called Bitcoin clones. What they have in common is the fact that they are all derived from Bitcoin and are meant to be used as media of exchange. Apart from cryptocurrency coins that have been derived directly from Bitcoin, there are also so-called altcoins. An altcoin is an alternative blockchain project that exists in addition to Bitcoin and its blockchain.

By far the best-known altcoin is Ethereum, which is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract functionality. Because Ethereum’s purpose isn’t to serve as a means of exchange, it doesn’t issue any cryptocurrency coins. Instead, Ethereum issues value tokens called “ether.” Compared to cryptocurrency coins, tokens offer wider functionality, often being used to access various features of the platform that provides them. In the case of Ethereum, ether is used to pay for transaction fees and computational services on the Ethereum network. But because tokens hold value, they can also be used the same way as single-purpose cryptocurrency coins can: to purchase goods and services.

ICO Tokens

An ICO is “an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture. An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is used by startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks,” as explained by Investopedia. During an ICO, tokens are sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies, usually Ethereum or Bitcoin.

For example, during its September 2017 token offering, the Filecoin ICO raised over $257 million by selling its FIL tokens in exchange for ether to fund the development of its decentralized network for digital storage through which users can effectively rent out their spare capacity. Most ICO tokens don’t exist on a separate blockchain. Instead, startups take advantage of the blockchain technology to build their own projects and DAPPS (decentralized applications) through smart contracts on Ethereum’s blockchain.

“Think of Ethereum like the Internet and all the DAPPS as websites that run in it. There is something really interesting about these DAPPS, they are all decentralized and not owned by an individual, they are owned by people. The way that happens is usually by a crowd-sale called the ‘ICO.’ Basically, you buy certain tokens of that DAPP in exchange for your ether,” explains Ameer Rosic. The main difference between cryptocurrency coins/tokens and ICO tokens is that disruption on the network that hosts ICO tokens doesn’t affect just the network itself, but also the ICO tokens hosted on it. Bitcoin clones and all other altcoins, on the other hand, are completely independent.

Summary

Cryptocurrency coins are media of exchange that use cryptography to secure transactions. Value tokens are used by blockchain-based projects that don’t strive to serve as digital currency for a multitude of different purposes. For example, the blockchain-based distributed computing platform Ethereum uses its value token, called ether, to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. ICO tokens are issued during a crowd-sale, and they depend on another platform, such as Ethereum. In practice, the terms described in this article are often used haphazardly and interchangeably. So, even if you don’t use the most appropriate term, the chances are that you will be understood without any problems.

Article Produced By
David

https://thedroidguy.com/2018/05/whats-difference-ico-tokens-cryptocurrency-coins-1079421

All About Security Tokens Landscape With The Founder Of Polymath

All About Security Tokens Landscape, With The Founder Of Polymath

Security tokens are an intriguing development,

that function as a bridge between blockchain networks and legacy financial assets. Following the rapid and blessed decline of the ICO, security tokens – particularly the security token offering (STO) – have started gathering momentum among financial institutions, service providers and regulators.

To understand STO's betters, I recently sat with Trevor Koverko, founder of Polymath who offers a look at the current state, and future, of security tokens. In 2017, Trevor wanted to tokenize a private equity fund he was running, but found it hard to do for an existing financial security, especially on the technical and legal side. This drove him to launch a security token launchpad for himself and other STO projects. He grew to raise around 60 million USD in funding.

YV: Can you provide some context on the ST-20 security token standard, for the audience that may be unfamiliar with what exactly a security token is and how they function?

TK: If you look at how important the standardisation of ERC-20 was for Ethereum, it's clear that security tokens similarly need a common set of functions that we all agree upon. Even the NYSE had to standardize its tech stack before it could truly scale. Built into the ST20 standard are transfer restrictions such that only authorized individuals can buy, sell, and hold the token. There are features that restrict trading for a defined period of time, or that limit the number of shares any one individual can hold.

YV: What do you view as the current stage of the security token market?

TK: I believed STO's would overtake ICO's, but didn't expect adoption to happen so fast. 

The infrastructure needed to support things like institutional-grade custody, licensed security token exchanges, and regulatory clarity is progressing faster than I could have imagined. Many players are creating tools for this ecosystem. 2019 is on pace to be a pivotal year for security tokens.

YV: What can security tokens add to financial assets?

TK: One of several things that security tokens bring to the table, is that they unlock liquidity. LP shares, startup equity and even fine art are all typically illiquid assets. STO's have the potential to unlock this value. They can make small, private non-liquid securities more accessible for everyone.

The technology is open and transparent, so international trading becomes trivial. It’s open 24/7. It’s the concept of a global, national agnostic market that never closes. It’s faster and cheaper to make trades. It’s the idea that security tokens are programmable, whereas many legacy stocks are not. You can command security tokens to do things like automating corporate governance, proxy voting and dividends — all perfectly documented on the immutable blockchain

YV: What regulatory progress is being made with security tokens?

TK: STO's are simply securities. They live in an upgraded format than a traditional security, but they are still a security.  

We are fortunate that financial securities have very clear definitions, with enormous bodies of case law and precedents behind them, that tell us what the SEC considers a security. So, you have to follow all the registration forms, secondary trading rules, and for most offering types, investors need to be accredited. The beauty of the blockchain is that code can automate a lot of those rules.

YV: Is there a specific financial asset that you think will initially emerge from the rest with STO's?

TK: We are very bullish on the ownership of funds tokenizing – think LP shares, REIT units and so on. I’m seeing many people choose real estate as a first mover, and I tend to agree.

However, I like to take inspiration from other decentralized projects that have reached scale -for example with Ethereum. I noticed the team didn’t choose which vertices to attack first – instead they opened it up for the world, and let the market decide how to use it. It was community driven. Like Ethereum, we are going to see a lot of small companies that need the money, or struggle to raise capital traditionally turn to STO. But once bigger, well-funded projects see the possible benefits of tokenization, they won’t be far behind.

YV: Ethereum is also very developer-driven. How can more developers be drawn into the STO market?

TK: An active and engaged community of developers isn't just important for decentralized projects, it literally is the project.  

That is what made Ethereum an unstoppable force, the 30k plus of volunteer crypto engineers that self-organized within dozens of meetups globally. Without an army of talented, open-source developers, it hard to make consistent progress in this rapidly evolving ecosystem. It's important to incentivize for-profit developers to build products on top of your platform.

They are expensive and elusive compared to other professions, and the 2017 bull market certainly did cause some dislocation in terms of scarcity of talent and salary expectations. However, 2018 caused the crypto labor market to clear and now is a great time to be aggressive building a deep technical bench of senior engineers.

YV: How do you view the role of broker-dealers, and other service providers, evolving in the STO market?

TK: The thing about security tokens is that it’s not necessarily anything new. Securities laws have an enormous amount of precedents and established case law to guide issuers. Security tokens aren’t looking to skirt regulations; they are looking to embrace and follow regulations in this new environment.

KYC, AML, accreditation attestations, secondary trading restrictions, broker-dealers – these are all things we had to think about during the architecture phase of our company. While security tokens offer hope for the crypto market, is it important to do your own consideration before investing or participating in any type of funding, especially in the crypto market.

Article Produced By
Yoav Vilner Contributor


Crypto & Blockchain.. A serial startup mentor and CEO. Veteran blockchain advisor.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/yoavvilner/2019/01/17/all-about-security-tokens-landscape-with-the-founder-of-polymath/#23b823e860f0

Crypto Winter Isn’t Fatal For All Picks and Shovels’ Makers

Crypto Winter Isn't Fatal For All ‘Picks and Shovels’ Makers

  

Executives say key infrastrucute is continuing to be built
Dropping equity valuations also attractive buying opportunity

The crypto winter that’s seen major digital assets crash by as much as 90 percent hasn’t been bad for all of the firms building infrastructure or investors looking to pick up equity in projects that dropped appreciably. "This is the most productive phase we’ve ever been in," said Konstantin Richter, chief executive officer of Blockdaemon, a firm that creates and hosts the computer nodes that make up blockchain networks. That’s because various efforts in the space need to deliver on their ambitions and are turning to firms like Blockdaemon for help. "Projects now need to show their colors. The time is up of raising a lot of money and talking a lot of talk," Richter said at a panel discussion hosted at the Los Angeles bureau of Bloomberg News.

After seeing cryptocurrency prices soar to records in late 2017 and early 2018 — Bitcoin peaked near $20,000 and Ether traded over $1,300 — the market had a disastrous time last year. Bitcoin is down about 80 percent with Ether having dropped about 90 percent. Investors and the public appear to have major concerns about what blockchain technology can actually deliver in the real world after hearing promises of its transformational potential.

 

"The skepticism is warranted in many ways because this technology is nascent and untested at an industrial scale," said Adam Jiwan, CEO of Spring Labs, which is using blockchain technology to build a decentralized credit-reporting system. He said the shakeout has been good for picking up employees who have seen their funding dry up or been cut loose from development firms. "Our hope is this presents us with a great opportunity to recruit talent," he said during the discussion.

The rise and fall of digital currencies validated the approach at Maco.la, a Los Angeles based investment, advisory and recruiting firm, said co-founder and principal advisor Sheri Kaiserman. That’s because the firm decided at inception last year to make equity investments rather than buying initial coin offerings, she said.

"We felt like the best way to make money is to buy the infrastructure companies — the picks and shovels — that are helping build the foundation," she said. "They are coming down in valuation, which is the best part of the crypto winter for us," Kaiserman said. Maco.la is looking to invest in projects that avoid the repetitious work being done in the space at the moment as well as ones that have a high likelihood of being acquired, she said. "That’s why we focus on ones where we think Microsoft might be interested or that Google might be interested."

Blockchain, originally developed as the ledger technology that powers Bitcoin, is promising for corporations, if they can figure out how to use it. Proponents predict billions of dollars in savings by handling data and transactions more efficiently and rapidly. Yet most corporate efforts are still in early development or testing. Still, depending on when a blockchain startup raised funding, it could still have plenty of money to spend on development, Richter said. "There are projects that are so well funded they’ll last for years," he said. Any ICO that went before the summer of 2017, for example, may have been able to buy Bitcoin at $600 compared to its current value of about $3,600, he said.

Health Care

Kaiserman said blockchain has the potential to radically change how global payments are made, specifically remittance payments when you factor in that Western Union charges 8 percent to 10 percent to send money compared with "a nominal cost" of Bitcoin transactions. There is also the chance to use it to give 1.1 billion people a digital identity around the world who currently lack a documented existence. Her favorite use is in health care, she said.

"I would love to be able to go to a doctor and the knowledge of my insurance is on the blockchain" so that "the insurance company knows that’s a covered diagnosis and there’s no need for reconciliation because we’re all sharing this one ledger," she said. Spring Labs is advised by former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chair Shelia Bair and former Goldman Sachs president and Trump administration chief economic advisor Gary Cohn. The firm avoided an ICO because they thought it would hurt adoption and risked regulatory scrutiny, Jiwan said. It’s working closely with regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission to understand how to transition from a firm backed by equity to issuing a token that would be used on its network, he said.

In November, the SEC announced its first civil penalties against two crypto companies for allegedly violating securities offering registration rules with their ICOs. Both Airfox and Paragon Coin Inc. will need to pay $250,000 in penalties and register the digital tokens they sold through their ICOs as securities to resolve the matters against them, the SEC said Nov. 16. A few weeks later, commission Chairman Jay Clayton said cryptocurrency entrepreneurs should get their “act together” and register their initial coin offerings with the SEC if they want to avoid problems down the road. "There’s some important issues in terms of straddling the transition from security tokens to utility tokens," Jiwan said. "The SEC’s primary concern is speculation ahead of actually delivering a functional technology, which, by the way, is reasonable," he said.

Article Produced By
Matthew Leising

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-16/crypto-winter-isn-t-fatal-for-all-picks-and-shovels-makers

BitMEX Research: ICO Tokens Allocated by Teams to Themselves Lost 54 of 24 Bln Value

BitMEX Research: ICO Tokens Allocated by Teams to Themselves Lost 54% of $24 Bln Value

  

The value of tokens that over a hundred of initial coin offering (ICO) teams have allocated to themselves has decreased by 54 percent from the initial figure of $24 billion. This was revealed in the latest research by cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX published Jan. 16. BitMEX has conducted a research of the ICO market in collaboration with analytics firm TokenAnalyst, looking into treasury balances of more than a hundred projects on the Ethereum (ETH) network. The analysis reportedly made use of machine learning techniques and was based on the interpretation of smart contract data and transaction patterns on the Ethereum blockchain.

According to the report, the combined value of all the tokens that the analyzed projects have allocated to their own teams, has gone down from $24.2 billion at the time of each individual token’s issuance to about $5 billion as of today. BitMEX cited the 2018 crypto bear market as one of the main reasons, along with $1.5 billion worth of transfers to external addresses,

further explaining:

“Based on current illiquid spot prices, the ICO teams still appear to own around US$5 billion of their own tokens, money they essentially got from nothing, depending on ones view. At the same time the teams may have realized gains of US$1.5 billion by selling tokens, based on coins leaving team address clusters.”

The report also highlighted that the historical combined peak value of the tokens controlled by the subject teams was more than $80 billion, using each coin’s individual price peak. The conclusion drawn by BitMEX and TokenAnalysits from their research is that the ICO market suffers from a lack of standards and transparency, especially in regards to allocating tokens to the founding teams. BitMEX noted that the analysis could be further complicated by the ability of ICO teams to mint, burn, buy, and sell their own tokens. As BitMEX found in November, at least 12 ICO projects, each of which has raised over $50 million via a token sale, have yet to launch. The company’s CEO Arthur Hayes commented back then:

Article Produced By
Ana Alexandre

Total change in her career took Anastasia into the world of analytics and business information as a researcher and translator in 2010. Some time later she got into FinTech, a dynamically developing segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology. Ana joined Cointelegraph in September 2017.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitmex-research-ico-tokens-allocated-by-teams-to-themselves-lost-54-of-24-bln-value

Binance’s ICO Platform Ready for Takeoff

Binance’s ICO Platform Ready for Takeoff

  

Binance will be holding initial coin offerings (ICOs)

on the firm’s token sale platform Launchpad nearly every month in 2019. TRON’s BitTorrent and Fetch.ai are two of the ICOs slated to be offered in 2019. Launchpad is Binance’s attempt to legitimize the cryptocurrency-based ICO method, which has had a checkered history since it rose to prominence in 2017. According to Binance’s Jan. 3rd announcement, companies that are offering ICOs on Launchpad undergo a selection process to ensure that they are compliant with applicable laws, have a legitimate business plan, and will be beneficial to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Binance’s CEO and founder, Changpeng Zhao, in a statement said:

“In 2019, Binance Launchpad will help launch projects serving the universal cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole that benefits people around the world. Bringing on distinguished token sales to the Launchpad platform is part of our continuing efforts to create a more secure and open token launch environment, paving a healthier market in 2019 and beyond.”

Binance Launchpad is not available to users in the United States, China, South Korea, and a dozen other countries. The decision is likely motivated by the regulatory grey area around ICOs, which are still illegal in some jurisdictions.

First Offers Available in 2019

The peer-to-peer file sharing company BitTorrent was purchased by the blockchain startup TRON for $140 million in June of last year. With over 100 million monthly active users, it was one of the more high-profile acquisitions by a blockchain firm in 2018. TRON itself raised $70 million in its own ICO in the summer of 2017. The new BTT token will add a cryptocurrency element to the uTorrent software and allow users to pay for faster downloads.

The same day as the BitTorrent ICO was announced, Variety reported that the CEO of BitTorrent, Rogelio Choy, had left the company. This news has not been confirmed by BitTorrent or TRON. That same day, VentureBeat reported that Justin Sun was appointed as the CEO of BitTorrent. Choy has been CEO since 2017, and had previously served as CEO from 2012 to 2015. Unnamed sources told Variety that there had been a disagreement between Choy and the direction of BitTorrent, though this was denied by TRON.

Fetch.ai describes itself as a “decentralized digital representation of the world in which autonomous software agents perform useful economic work.” Per the firm, these agents will deliver data or provide services using “smart ledger technology” in exchange for Fetch Tokens, the network’s native cryptocurrency. Fetch.ai claims its technology has use cases in the hospitality, transportation, energy, and supply chain sectors. No timeline was given as to when the ICOs for BitTorrent and Fetch.ai ICOs will begin, with the Launchpad website only saying they are “coming soon.”

Popularity of ICOs Dropped Sharply in 2018

In making its announcement, Binance appears to be anticipating that ICOs will reverse the trend that began in the second half of 2018, which saw a rapidly declining pace of funding. According to a report entitled The State of the Token Market, released by venture capital firm Fabric Ventures last October, the amount of funds raised by ICOs fell dramatically as 2018 progressed. June through September saw $1.6 billion raised via ICOs, compared to nearly $10.6 billion in the first five months of the year.

While ICOs have been used by companies to raise billions of dollars, their future is in question. Since they have largely operated outside of existing laws regulating securities offerings. Moreover, they’ve been rife with opaque processes, questionable management practices, and even outright fraud. These factors and the lack of clear regulations in many countries have put ICOs in a legal gray area.

However, some countries, such as Malta (where Binance is based), Switzerland, and Thailand, have looked to bring ICOs in from the cold and encourage blockchain technology by streamlining regulations. 2018 also saw the emergence of the security token offering (STO) as a legally compliant alternative to the ICO, though the concept is still in developmental stages. With one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges legitimizing ICOs, the practice could experience a resurgence. Whether it will be accompanied by the widespread fraud and deception like was seen in 2017 is another question.

Article Produced By
Ian Edwards

Blockchain Writer at CryptoSlate

https://cryptoslate.com/binances-ico-platform-ready-for-takeoff/

Ethereum ICO Treasury Withdrawals Hit 2018 High in December

Ethereum ICO Treasury Withdrawals Hit 2018 High in December

Projects which had their initial coin offerings (ICOs)

on the blockchain of Ethereum have quickly liquidated their ETH holdings since June of 2018. Treasury withdrawals hit a year-high in December with more than 420,000 ETH being liquidated.

420,000 Ethereum Sold in December

Upwards of 420,000 ETH has been liquidated from ICO treasuries so far in December, making the month the largest withdrawal period this year according to Diar. The market research firm also reveals some statistics for 2018’s prolonged bear market. In January, the total amount of ETH held in ICO treasuries was 4,623,148. Currently, this number has been reduced to 3,052,168 ETH. The average monthly withdrawal is 2.45 percent while December has seen 12.20 percent of Ether withdrawn from treasuries or a total of 423,816 ETH so far. November was also a month of a massive selloff as over 290,000 ETH were liquidated, led by Tezos’ 82K ETH drawdown.

Sold at Year-Low

Almost half of the total withdrawn amount of ETH in December can be attributed to one single project – Filecoin. It sold off all of its holdings of 216,906 ETH. Another project which liquidated almost all of its ETH holdings was Substratum, withdrawing 8,931 ETH in December. Kyber, on the other hand, withdrew 66,454 ETH and is currently left with a little over 3,000 ETH in the treasury. The reasons for the selloff are undisclosed.

Looking at ETH’s $137.714 -0.01% yearly price chart, however, shows that the third quarter has been particularly unforgiving for the cryptocurrency. In December, it fell down to as little as $83, which is almost 95 percent down from its all-time high values at the beginning of the year.

Article Produced By
Georgi Georgiev

https://bitcoinist.com/ethereum-ico-withdrawals-december/

ICO Projects Liquidating Eth at Increasing Rate: Diar Research

ICO Projects Liquidating Eth at Increasing Rate: Diar Research


The liquidation of the initial coin offering (ICO)

Ethereum bonanza of 2017 and early 2018 has reached its highest rate yet, according to the cryptoasset research analytics firm Diar. The collapse in cryptoasset prices since February of 2018 has hit many firms and projects involved in the industry, contributing to the liquidations. Ethereum was the perfectly suited cryptoasset to act as a vehicle for token sales. Its “smart contract” capability allows anyone to create a digital asset on its platform, in whatever quantity and with whatever characteristics and mechanics are desired.

According to data taken from the recent NKB Group report on token sales, $9.97 billion was raised for token sales between December of 2017 and June of 2018, with a large portion of that raised via Ethereum. Dozens of cryptoasset startup projects thus became huge shareholders of Ethereum’s ether tokens.

Diar find that the projects they have been tracking

have sold their ether tokens at an increasing rate beginning in the summer. Between February and June, the amount of ether held by these projects dropped only from roughly 4.4 million to 4.2 million; from June to now, however, the amount of ether held has fallen from 4.2 to about 3.5 million. All told, 24% of Ethereum tokens have been sold off among the holders in question. The value of all those tokens has also fallen dramatically, too, from the mid-$400 area during the summer to just $115 at time of writing.

DigixDAO (DGD) is now the top holder of ether tokens among the projects in question. DigixDAO purports to be a gold-backed stablecoin, with each DGD token representing one gram worth of gold bullion. Diar claim that the Aragon (ANT) project has sunk a large portion its ether tokens into DAI – an algorithmically-backed Ethereum stablecoin pegged to the US dollar – presumably in an effort to take refuge from the collapsing prices hounding the market of late.

Languishing Projects, Increased Professionalization

There have been many notable examples of the 2018 bear market biting, with some projects closing their doors (virtual or otherwise). Perhaps the leading developer group of Ethereum Classic (ETC), ETCDEV, was forced to shut down recently citing lack of funds. And the preeminent Ethereum development company itself, Consensys, recently fired 13% of its staff, in addition to restructuring its management strategy.

But although at least two recent reports on token offerings have concluded a dramatic fall in funds raised through the – perhaps now defunct – ICO method, they also conclude that overall funding from venture capital firms is up and rising – reflecting an increasing professionalization of the industry.

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/ico-projects-liquidating-eth-at-increasing-rate-diar-research/

ICOs Have Sold Another 400000 ETH in the Past 30 Days What Went Wrong?

ICOs Have Sold Another 400,000 ETH in the Past 30 Days, What Went Wrong?

 

 

ICOs have sold ◊416,000 eth in the past 30 days,

the highest amount within a monthly period since summer. In August they sold just 100,000 eth according to data by Santiment, rising to ◊300,000 in September. Then in November they sold ◊100,000 within a week and now more than ◊400,000 in the past month. Far less than some periods during January-March when ICOs sold ◊630,000 within just one day on the 27th of March 2018 as our general analysis showed earlier this year. Some of that, however, was probably due to eos. Once they run out of eth, it considerably cooled down until seemingly now.

Eth sale by ICOs, December 2018.

Some of the top eth projects are also some of the top eth sellers. SingularDTV being the biggest of them, with Aragon and Kyber not far behind. Status has been selling and selling, but all four still have huge sums of eth, although such sums are now not worth very much. All tracked ICOs still have about 2.9 million eth, which is now worth just $290 million, about as much as one top ICO was worth last year.

It’s worth noting that despite ICOs selling by hundreds of thousands a month, the total combined sum remained the same at circa ◊3.3 million. That however has changed recently, suggesting there aren’t many new ICOs making an entrance. That is probably because SEC has exercised jurisdiction, and after months of megaphone negotiations, it does look like they have now reached a position that can allow this space to work with them. That’s because we kind of got what we wanted as far as general principles are concerned. So to understand where we are, and how to move forward in a reasonable or equitable manner, we need to understand where we were.

The Slockit DAO was eth’s debut in 2016 through a pretty fascinating idea of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) that promised an innovative method of addressing some corporate governance problems. In corporate governance, there are some well known and very difficult problems that basically deal with the matter of trust. Shareholders, who are the owners, have to delegate the daily running of the company to managers or executives. That gives the latter great power. As the former are dispersed, their ability to hold the executives to account is weak and limited.

What the concept of the DAO proposed was the idea of the shareholders, or in this case eth holders or it can be token holders, maintaining custody over the funds by sending them to a smart contract that then moves the funds on if/then based rules. So in effect removing trust to some extent. That proposal was new and unique, but how to actually make it work wasn’t an easy question. A common sense and impartial analysis of it led to basically a redesign of the current corporation with some key differences.

Looking at what was innovative and what wasn’t, we had a new way of pooling funds through a method which allowed those who pooled the funds to still have custody over them and to have a binding say over how they are spent in a generally non-playable manner. The only real innovation here was that instead of handing over the funds to directors to manage or mismanage them, you hand over the funds to an inanimate entity – to the smart contract – which is answerable only to the shareholders through code based rules on voting outcomes on whether to move or not x amount to x.

That small difference was and remains very radical because it effectively eliminated or minimized the opportunity for the management class to abscond or misbehave. They were effectively turned into contractual workers, fireable at will, so placing the shareholder in charge. It was however a limited improvement. You still needed the management class. The workers. The accountants, so on. The shareholders were basically made the CEO or the directors, but how now to really make them do that function was the question.

We never got to the answer. The obvious starting point was to have professionals bid for professional roles with the main professional here being some sort of HR personnel that looks and analyzes things, puts up reports, with shareholders bothered only occasionally when a decision needs to be made, somewhat the same as CEOs who are there mainly for direction or to choose a path when there are crossroads. You can see the problem. What if the HR person doesn’t deliver, or is rubbish at it, or whatever report is misleading, or the professional misbehaves? Well you fire them by shareholders not voting to renew their contract, thus not releasing new funds, same as CEOs or executives currently keep them in check.

Does that work? Reality intervened so we didn’t get to experimentally find out the answer. A bug in the Slockit smart contract was exploited. The idea of shareholders having custody now needed a qualifier of: if some smart kid doesn’t take custody due to some bug. If something goes wrong who is accountable – Jay Clayton, the current SEC chairman, recently said – and if the answer is no one, well it better not go wrong. Was there an audit of the Slockit smart contract? Should have there been a cap considering it was so new and thus bugs were to be expected? Did they mislead, firstly by calling it the DAO, so tainting the whole concept?

What’s gone has gone and as stated this was all very new. A toddler learning to walk is expected to fall and quite often. There were mistakes of course, but understandable and easily forgivable. SEC, however, turned around during summer last year to say the Slockit DAO was a security, but no liability for the Slockit DAO devs. Clayton has now revealed that he, and more widely SEC, had no clue about what was going on during summer 2017. They were sort of being introduced to this new world. So we don’t think that report has standing as far as the Howey test of what is a security is concerned.

That requires an investment of money in an enterprise. Where Slockit was concerned, there was no investment of money, but a transfer of money to a smart contract. A smart contract of course is not an enterprise, it can be merely a bank vault if designed well like multisig wallets. SEC could, or would have to, say that so far there is no security. It’s a mere pooling of funds, but that pooling of funds was aimed at effectively acting as a Venture Capital (VC) investor. Eth holders who had put money in the smart contracts were to be asked by entrepreneurs to give them some of the funds in order to build whatever. The shareholders would then vote yay or nay.

SEC could turn around and say that although this is raising money from the public through the facility of a smart contract, it is still raising money from the public. There still needs to be some way of holding that entrepreneur to account for delivering. How to do so was subject of much debate, with the obvious one being the giving of small sums subject to delivery, so unlocking funds gradually.

Had that all been tried, we would be in a different place, but as stated that experiment was cut short. Effectively the whole idea was thrown out overnight. There would no longer be a smart contract that gives shareholders pretty direct custody of funds (pending bugs), there would be no binding votes, no incremental release of capital, no DAO and really no innovation where corporate governance is concerned. There would instead be only a plain handing over of money on the promise of building something in a fingers crossed way because now they can abscond, not deliver, and so on.

And some did abscond. Roman Mandeleil, a then trusted and a somewhat prominent member of ethereum’s community, raised quite a lot of money to then only vanish from the scene in a pretense of being ill. Ill with partying on other people’s money. Now obviously no one wants that sort of thing, except for thieves, so ethereans turned against this sort of capital formation as it amounted to a considerable misallocation of limited funds in many cases. They effectively called in SEC, or maybe we did in amplifying their voice. When SEC came, however – and very quickly – we had a situation whereby two worlds were learning about each other.

We of course were quite familiar with this space, but not so much with securities laws. SEC was familiar with securities laws, but not so much with this space. So there probably were things said by both sides that now they might not repeat, but our main concern was whether a token is a caterpillar that can transform into a non-security and whether a start-up can have the ability to raise funds from the public.

We argued for both, and both have been promised. SEC’s Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman, the “good cop,” has now promised to flesh out SEC’s policy towards token ICOs, which is really more of a general policy of say a basement dweller with an innovative idea who wants to raise funds from the public, a slightly more established start-up who might want to raise $20 million, a more established company who might want to raise up to $100 million, and then we get to someone who should have all the lawyers and resources, so it’s kind of outside of our main concern. From an impartial and common sense perspective, which is kind of what all good laws are about, compliance shouldn’t cost someone who wants to raise say $10 million more than 1% of the funds or 2% at most at $200,000.

That’s still quite a lot, and in effect makes VC seed-funding almost mandatory, but while SEC does have a duty to protect investors, it does also have a duty to promote capital formation. The former shouldn’t come at the cost of the latter being impossible where the public is concerned. There needs to be checks, but very, very different ones for $10 million as compared to $1 billion because obviously there are far less investors to be protected in the former. SEC’s chairman has now promised a laddered approach. Congress has asked them to produce a number of studies and reports, so we don’t doubt they genuinely mean it because as times change, the law does need to adapt, or it loses public support and thus it is no longer the law.

Even a start-up that raises $20 million, however, does need to deliver at least yearly figures of revenue, profits, users numbers and so on. Otherwise one can’t judge, on probabilities, whether the investment is worth it as they’d be shooting in the dark. Now for a basement dwelling start-up raising say $5 million, it may be that they can be taken at their word under a signature of oath which places them at risk of criminal liability if they are lying. Some will risk it, of course, but we can’t eliminate risk completely, only minimize it.

Where raised funds are say $50 million, then you need audited accounts. Higher than that, then maybe a best efforts clause and so on. Many projects that have ICO-ed are currently providing effectively no information whatever, even though they should. Some of these projects have raised hundreds of millions, yet there is no accountability. No one has a clue whether they are managing or mismanaging the people’s money. Basically investors are at their mercy.

Obviously that’s the opposite of what was aimed. The idea was to put investors in charge, not make them weaker than they were. So all these ICOs that keep selling hundreds of thousands of eth need to provide accounts. They need to comply with reporting requirements, especially if they have raised more than $20 million. They need to implement some sort of binding input from token holders and so on. Maybe what was, was, and a line can be drawn under it, but the ICO space does need to mature as do SEC’s rules with many details remaining unanswered, which may change in this new year.

Article Produced By

https://www.trustnodes.com/2018/12/16/icos-have-sold-another-400000-eth-in-the-past-30-days-what-went-wrong