Tag Archives: Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency Initial Coin Offerings Are Helping Startups Raise Millions

Cryptocurrency Initial Coin Offerings Are Helping Startups Raise Millions
The largest crowdfunding campaign in history was funded through an initial coin offering.
    
You may have heard about Bitcoin, Ethereum, and othercryptocurrencies

in the news recently. Now entrepreneurs officially have got their hands on the market for fundraising purposes. Just the other day, Bancor raised $155 million in cryptocurrency equivalent in what is the largest crowdfunding campaign in the history of the world.

What is an initial coin offering (ICO)?

An initial coin offering is made when a company wants to fund itself through cryptocurrency. People can "back" the ICO by contributing other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or, more commonly, Ether (the name for Ethereum's coins/tokens). It is basically a crowdfunding campaign that instead of using Kickstarter uses the Ethereum platform's smart contracts to allow people to exchange other cryptocurrency for the new native coins. The coins can then later be sold and purchased on cryptocurrency exchanges (once listed) or held long term for potential profit. Additionally and oftentimes, the coins themselves could be exchanged or used for the company's native product or service, like in the case of Steem.

After the company creates its own native currency (referred to as coins or tokens), the price of the new coins varies, from fractions of a cent to hundreds of dollars. ICOs are very attractive to investors, considering the average listed ICO here has a more than 1,000 percent return in under a year. What other kind of investment would ever get that kind of crazy return? That's a 10x return in a year, or sometimes less. The largest ICO return is for a cryptocurrency and blockchain tech company called Stratis (STRAT), which has a 110,912 percent return in about a year, as of the time of writing. That means if you bought $1,000 worth at their ICO, you have made $1,109,120 to date.

Who should get involved?

The age-old saying holds true: "Don't invest what you aren't willing to lose." If you are interested from an investment perspective, then hopefully you will make a lot of money. Considering the average return so far, investing seems quite tempting. And for entrepreneurs, its like raising money via Kickstarter, except you don't have to ship out physical items and you can quickly fund your startup or company. Bancor reached its $155 million funding in about two hours. Additionally, the money raised can be stored in coins, which have been appreciating in value quite quickly. So the money you raise also makes you more money–sometimes many multiples of what you raise.

TenX is an example of an upcoming ICO that has been highly anticipated

TenX is essentially a debit/credit card that gets rid of the need for banks for cryptocurrency holders. Instead of having to exchange your cryptocurrency into fiat (government issued currency like USD), you can simply put it on your TenX debit/credit card and it will instantly convert it to your native currency when you go to spend money. It has features like a credit card's. The card adds incentives to use your card more often. When you use it, you get a kickback, just like points on a credit card.

What problem does this solve? TenX solves the (big) problem of having to sell off and convert your cryptocurrency back to fiat if you want to spend it in a physical or traditional environment that's not yet accepting cryptocurrency as payment. What I'm getting at is these ICOs are no different than any startup. If an ICO is going to be successful, it needs to solve a problem worth solving. And for that reason, TenX could be one of the biggest ICOs, because it solves a huge problem in the cryptocurrency community. And in a market that's growing by billions (market cap) almost daily. The trend for ICOs is just heating up. Startups all over the world are looking at ICOs as a serious way to raise a large amount of money quickly.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Banking and Blockchain: Why We Need an AML/KYC Safe Harbor

    

An Overstock subsidiary focused on the advancement of blockchain technology

Steven Hopkins is chief operating officer and general counsel of Medici Ventures, an Overstock subsidiary focused on the advancement of blockchain technology. In this opinion piece, Hopkins discusses issues with the global AML and KYC requirements placed on banks, concluding that, while this is encouraging blockchain innovation, more legal clarity is needed to prevent developing countries being largely excluded from the financial system.

In 1970, legislators supporting the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) emphasized that the new law would not be a burden to financial institutions because they already kept most of the records required and the Secretary of the Treasury would have broad latitude to provide exemptions in cases where regulatory costs exceeded benefits. Since then, each of the 11 additional laws has added more requirements for banks and money transmitters. Today, this compendium of regulation is generally referred to as the anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) rules. In addition to reporting transactions above certain levels, banks are now required to know who their customers are, and to report any 'suspicious activity'. Ask any financial institution today what its largest burden is, the answer is invariably "compliance".

Uncertainty and de-risking

Regulatory burdens on financial institutions are expensive, and growing bank fees and service charges have reflected this. However, after the financial crisis of 2008, regulators added uncertainty to the mix. They began to use the broad authority granted them by Congress to impose large fines, levying $321bn in penalties on banks between 2009 and 2016. The perceived randomness of who might be fined next and how much, added enormous uncertainty to the world of banking.

In addition to the financial impact of nine- and 10-figure fines, being singled out as a supporter of terrorism and organized crime carries an enormous reputational risk for any company. Banks got the message. Their response was to sever ties with virtually any foreign correspondent bank with customers that regulators might deem 'suspicious' using 20/20 hindsight. They are also careful not do business with customers or industries that might later turn out to be 'suspicious'. It’s a rational course of action with devastating results.

De-risking and its human cost

The amount of de-risking activity has been significant. Accuity, a banking industry research group, found in May 2017 that 25% of global correspondent banking ties have been severed since 2009. Businesses dealing with cryptocurrency and legal marijuana have had accounts closed and been refused banking services pursuant to a practice labeled 'pre-risking' by bank executives. Certain regions such as Africa and the Caribbean have been hit hardest, with nearly 70% of Caribbean banks reporting severance of correspondent banking relationships by 2015.

A separate study published by the Charity and Security Network in February 2017, found 66% of charities and non-profits experiencing obstacles such as payment delays, additional due diligence requirements and fee increases. Fully 16% of charities surveyed said they had experienced account closures or a refusal to open accounts. Regional economies have been deeply affected, with exporters unable to engage in trade finance and individuals who rely on remittance payments from relatives unable to receive them. Even with worldwide economic growth during 2015 and 2016, remittance payments to developing nations declined two years running – the only double decline in recent memory according to the World Bank.

The economic impacts of de-risking have been so severe that several Caribbean central banks have begun working with bitcoin-based payments company Bitt in order to create an alternative currency settlement network in the Caribbean. Bitt founder and CEO Gabriel Abed has been a passionate critic of de-risking and emphasized at the Medici Ventures Blockchain Summit recently that, for the already impoverished citizens of the Caribbean, de-risking is exceptionally painful. After noting the myriad of very high costs in making a simple transaction, Abed summed it up by

saying simply:

"It is expensive to be poor."

Re-risking

By forcing millions out of the financial system, de-risking is creating a large population that has no other alternative but to use gray market or illicit means to make payments, move money or otherwise participate in the economy. Henry Balani of Accuity notes, "[R]egulation designed to protect the global financial system is, in a sense, having the opposite effect and forcing whole regions outside the regulated financial system."

This marginalization of millions has helped many see the benefits of blockchains, cryptocurrencies and other methods that do not require significant interaction with the global financial system. Without access to traditional banks, Caribbean governments are finding no other way to ensure that their citizens will have access to payment and banking infrastructure. With so many pushed out of the system, financial inclusion has become more than a nicety. As Paul Taylor and Juan Martinez of Swift put it in a recent article, financial inclusion is now a necessity that "needs to remain front and center, not only because it is essential to society, but also as a means of minimizing illicit flows".

Financial inclusion and safe harbor

The obvious solution to this humanitarian and law enforcement problem is to find a way to bring 'de-risked' areas, industries and individuals back into the financial system. Cryptocurrency money transmission businesses are eager to provide solutions for the de-risked at much lower costs than traditional banks, but cannot easily obtain banking relationships. Banks remain uncertain as to whether they will be rewarded or punished for financial inclusion efforts. All parties want to know that they are operating within the law. With this background, no financial institution or money transmission business will risk doing business with industries, individuals or regions that have been 'de-risked' until there is a safe harbor regulation.

The US Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has attempted several times in the past two years to state that its regulations are clear and do not require banks to sever correspondent banking relationships. The empirical results show that this is simply not true. De-risking continues apace. The only thing that is clear today is that banks do not know how to comply with the regulations so they err on the side of caution. A 'bright line' rule with reasonable requirements and a safe harbor is the only thing that will reverse the disturbing trend of de-risking. Legislators passing the Bank Secrecy Act assured us the law wouldn’t be a burden. Let's go back to that sentiment and give financial institutions a way to be sure they have fully complied with AML/KYC rules.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Former US Defense Official Urges Govt to Incentivize Blockchain Investments

Former US Defense Official Urges Govt to Incentivize Blockchain Investments

 

    

Former Department of Defense official Eric Rosenbach

urged the United States Foreign Relations Committee to incentivize blockchain investments as part of a wider strategy to combat cyberspace threats. Rosenbach, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security during the Obama administration, made this remark during a speech titled “Living in a Glass House: The United States Must Better Defend Against Cyber and Information Attacks.”

Rosenbach’s thesis is that cyber warfare is asymmetric in that “a small nation with an offensive cyber capability can have an outsized effect on a large power” such as the United States. He believes that the high rate of internet access within the United States, along with the open nature of American democracy, renders the nation vulnerable to a cyber attack from a hostile actor such as North Korea. He believes such an attack “is likely to happen within the next year if current trends continue.” He argues the United States must guard itself against cyber attacks by pursuing an aggressive,

tech-based approach.

In sum, the strength of the tech sector and the internet has driven American economic growth and strengthened our democracy for the past two decades. The corollary of this success, though, is that the US is increasingly vulnerable to cyber and information attacks. In order to maintain the “center of gravity” for the United States, we must bolster America’s cybersecurity posture and rethink our strategy for countering foreign information operations.

Specifically, he advised the US government to “incentivize investment in cloud-based security, blockchain-enabled transactions, and quantum computing.” Such technological investments should help secure American against cyber threats.

How Will Governments and Blockchains Coexist?

Many cryptocurrency advocates will bristle at some of Rosenbach’s other security suggestions, including withholding information about cybersecurity vulnerabilities from the public domain. However, as governments begin to realize the possibilities presented by blockchain technology, it is inevitable that they will try to find ways to use it for their own purposes. To this end, the Department of Homeland Security recently awarded grants to blockchain researchers, and just this week the State Department established the Blockchain@State working group.

The first blockchain was designed as a tool for revolutionary decentralization. Governments, by necessity, will look to co-opt the technology and integrate it into centralized frameworks. Only time will tell what role the government will play in blockchain technology’s future, as well as how blockchain technology will affect the nation-state.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Billionaire Novogratz: Ten Percent of my Wealth in Crypto-assets like Bitcoin and Ether

Billionaire Novogratz:
Ten Percent of my Wealth in Crypto-assets like Bitcoin and Ether

Despite the Winklevoss bitcoin ETF's disapproval,

could an investment drive by one billionaire ignite a larger movement of money into cryptocurrrency. Michael Novogratz, estimated to be worth billions, stated at a Harvard Business School Club of New York forum on April 19:

"Ten percent of my net worth is in this space."

Investment Opportunity of a Lifetime?

The cryptocurrency play was the "best investment of my life," Novogratz said, whose exact wealth is not known but has appeared on the Forbes billionaire list in 2008 and is a former hedge fund manager for Fortress Investment Group. During his stint at Fortress, Novogratz stated he had put his personal wealth into bitcoin as early as October 2013, and the firm were looking at the cryptocurrency. It is no surprise that Novogratz picked up ealry on bitcoin, given that Fortress is a macro fund, focusing on macroeconomic fundamentals to make investment decisions.

Bitcoin, which demonstrates a decreasing supply of new bitcoins, has been such a stronger performer against fiat currencies because of a key macroeconomic fundamental; inflation. The bitcoin ecosystem enjoys progressively lower inflation levels as the block reward is reduced over time, whereas inflation for fiat currencies is determined by a variety of factors, including discretionary monetary policy, versus the fixed, rules-based policy of Bitcoin. Consequently, the price of bitcoin has broken many key psychological levels against the US dollar (as well as other major currencies); the $1 handle, the $10 level as well as the $1,000 mark more recently. In 2013, Novogratz justified his long position and said that he sees bitcoin growing as a payment system, especially in developing nations. Later in 2015, Novogratz left Fortress. The macro fund suffered a setback in 2015, losing as much as 17 percent on the year.

Diversification is Imperative for Crypto Investors

At the Harvard Business School Club event, Novogratz told of how people laughed at him when he invested in bitcoin in 2013. He also predicted that the cryptocurrency will head to $2,000 next. But the billionaire is not all-in on bitcoin and suggested to diversify, where you should put money into many cryptocurrencies. For instance, Novogratz also invested in ether early on, when it was less than $1. In the first quarter of 2017, the combined market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies grew from $17.5 billion to $25.2 billion. Decred and Golem were notable outperformers, with percentage value growth in the thousands for Decred (2,410.64 percent). Other altcoins performed strongly, such as ether, Dash, XEM, and Stratis, all boasted growth rates in excess of 100 percent.

Furthermore, the combined altcoin market capitalization saw a more than proportional gain than the entire cryptocurrency market in Q1, growing from around $2 billion to $8.1 billion. Will Novogratz's disclosure invalidate concerns about bitcoin gaining acceptance following the ETF disapproval? People can still invest in cryptocurrencies, but they will have to overcome a knowledge barrier. With potentially astronomical gains, taking the time to seek this knowledge is likely to be worth your while. Perhaps with the billionaire moving his wealth into cryptocurrency, others will pay attention and Novogratz's shift could be a tipping point for the flow of money into this emerging technology, which should precipitate further interest from investors in the future.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Bitcoin, Blockchain Payments Startups Win RemTECH Awards at United Nations

Bitcoin, Blockchain Payments Startups Win RemTECH Awards at United Nations

 

    

Bitcoin and blockchain services

Airpocket, Bitso, Everex, Moneytis and Trulioo have taken home awards at RemTECH, an awards show for the remittance industry. Airpocket won the award for ‘Remittances and Financial Inclusion.’ Bitso won the award for “Pioneering Spirit.” Everex won for ‘Service Originality.’ Moneytis won for “Most Innovative Service” and Trulioo won for its “Potential for Growth.”

Nine blockchain companies received recognition as innovators in remittance technology by the RemTECH awards, which recognizes groups and individuals transforming cross-border exchange. 15 companies overall were nominated, demonstrating the degree to which Bitcoin, and blockchain generally, have transformed the financial technology fabric. The awards show was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The blockchain companies nominated by RemTECH included mostly Bitcoin-using outfits, such as Bitso, Bitex, Cashaa, Digital X, Moneytis, OKlink and Trulioo. It also nominated Everex, the only Ethereum-based project behind ‘Cryptocash’, which sets out to place fiat currencies on the blockchain as a basis for cross-border microfinance services. Remittance firm UAE Exchange earned a mention. The payments solutions company recently led a Series A investment into a blockchain loyalty program developer.

“We are happy to see increased number of blockchain companies alongside many traditional financial technology companies,” Everex CEO Alexi Lane told CCN. “The blockchain companies highlighted demonstrate that the technology behind popular platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum is working today to improve not only global remittances, but other financial services. ”

“Like credit card transactions, blockchain records show how much is spent, so we can apply AI and machine learning to analyze the data and come up with the loan rate to offer the user,” explains Mr. Lane. Other blockchain projects recognized include DigitalX, a mobile bill payments and remittance company, which uses public bitcoin and blockchain technology to create its patent pending technology called AirID and the award-winning Airpocket. Bitex is a global Bitcoin service provider. Bitso, winner of the “Pioneering Spirit” award, is a Mexican bitcoin and ether exchange at the heart of that country’s digital currency economy.

Cashaa is a peer-to-peer market to transfer cash over its blockchain-agnostic platform. “Potential for Growth” winner, Trulioo, offers global identity and verification services, while providing instant electronic identity and address verification. While the winners were announced in New York, the nominees were announced Wednesday in San Francisco at the International Money Transfer and Payment Conference (IMTC USA 2017). The awards show specifically highlights those groups or individuals which improve “transparency, speed, cost and reliability for the companies and end-users that send and receive remittances every day.”

Blockchain allows many different people, who otherwise have no association, to write entries into a distributed data record. The people using a blockchain platform can control how data in such an arrangement is changed and updated. Along with cryptographic keys, such a shared ledger can ensure information is authentic and authorize actions based on this data. (think: digital transaction) Such technology is changing the way people send money across borders. Alongside blockchain startups, payment companies nominated include TransferTo, Azimo, Remit-one, Comply, Advantage, Safaricom, Xoom and EcoCash, Diaspora, STPMEX and WireCash.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Ethereum Basics: A Starter Guide for Entrepreneurs and Investors

Ethereum Basics:
A Starter Guide for Entrepreneurs
and Investors

If you are familiar with the terms “Bitcoin” or “blockchain,”

you’ve probably heard of Ethereum, as it has been one of the most widely covered projects in the media. This primer will provide a basic understanding of its viability and future prospects.

What Is Ethereum and How Does It Work

Ethereum is a decentralized, software platform based on blockchain technology that is layered on the Internet. The network functions as an ecosystem of computers, which facilitates the use of new applications. It utilizes a programming language similar to Javascript, which is what developers use to build Smart Contracts. These “Smart Contracts” are applications that execute pre-programmed commands all while mitigating the likelihood of fraud, downtime, censorship, or third-party tampering. They have myriad applications to support functions like trade settlements and the management of real estate transactions.

This coding language and protocol in these smart contracts as a foundational element of Ethereum possess the intelligence to self-enforce and execute commands without human intervention. They can be utilized for multiple purposes involving such things as title registries, corporate entities, election result tabulations, and untold other applications. For this reason, many believe that these programs could replace lawyers, banks and other third-party intermediaries for many common legal and financial transactions.

Each participating stakeholder in the vast Ethereum system is rewarded for their investment in hardware, electricity and processing power used to help run the network. This reward to “miners” comes in the form of a newly created crypto-token known as ether. Once received, computer owner have a couple of options in terms of the use of the ether. For starters, they can further monetize their work and then exchange the ether for fiat in the form of dollars for example. Or they can sell their ether to decentralized app (dApp) developers who may be seeking it for funding to run their dApps on the Ethereum network.

What Makes Ethereum Unique

Unlike all other blockchain platforms in existence, Ethereum is a “Turing complete” system which allows highly sophisticated programs to be designed to run on it. In a 2015 article in Fast Company Magazine, Ethereum was described as a “global computer” that can deliver applications for enterprises while circumventing “inefficient bureaucracies and the other intermediaries who take a slice of the pie.” Unlike the Bitcoin blockchain which has limitations in terms of its functional potential, mostly tied to its scripting language, Ethereum is more broad and expansive regarding its applied nature. This is largely the result of the fact that its functionality allows for the development of dApps on top of it.

As opposed to the Bitcoin community which is embroiled in a fierce debate over its storage capacity, Ethereum can be easily scaled. This means that Ethereum’s capacity for acquiring a massive user base is beyond limits. As both a digital currency and technology platform that is not as hindered by political or ideological barriers, the reliability of growth and flexibility with Ethereum is greater than most other blockchain-based options thanks to a coherent community. Nevertheless, from a technical standpoint, if Ethereum reaches Bitcoin's level of popularity, it will run into the same scaling problems.

History of Ethereum

The beginning of Ethereum dates back to 2009, with the emergence of Bitcoin as the world’s first ever practical, decentralized solution. Bitcoin and its supportive blockchain ecosystem served as a catalyst and inspiration for Vitalik Buterin.

The journey of Buterin, a Russian-born Canadian in conceiving Ethereum is an interesting one. He cofounded Bitcoin Magazine in September 2011, and then in 2012, he dropped out of the University of Waterloo to trek the world and engage in a number of cryptocurrency projects. After this trip and over two years of examining prevailing blockchain technologies and applications, he wrote a much publicized white paper which was released in November 2013. The purpose of this document was to offer a template and vision about the new Ethereum technology, along with basic principles and potential applications. This was the catalyst for the commencement of the Ethereum Project on January 23, 2014, per Buterin’s announcement on the Bitcointalk forum.

Ether and the Ethereum Foundation

Ethereum’s currency is known as ether (ETH). And as in the case of Bitcoin, it, too, is situated on a blockchain. Ether is the digital currency which fuels the execution of and modification of applications situated on the decentralized Ethereum network. The key driver of this initial funding effort was the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss legal entity created in 2014, to oversee the legal and marketing efforts for the initial crowdfunding campaign. A pre-sale of over 60 million ether was conducted to foster a community of software developers, miners, investors and other stakeholders charged with developing the ecosystem. Ethereum has consistently held the position as the second largest market capitalized cryptocurrency after bitcoin.  

With Ethereum still in its infancy, new digital wallets and exchanges for purchasing and storing ether have been slow in development. Currently, the most prominent, stable and popular options are MyEtherWallet, Kraken, Coinbase, Circle, and Shapeshift.io. While Bitcoin has a hard cap on the total number of coins released into its system, Ethereum utilizes a disinflationary model, which means the rate of inflation will decrease steadily year after year. This model has both positives and drawbacks.

Ethereum Advances

ETH DEV was set up for the sole purpose of overseeing and orchestrating the ever-changing roadmap of Ethereum development. Several Proof-of-Concept versions of the Ethereum software have since been released with ongoing updates provided via the official blog. In 2014 DEVCON-0 hosted developers from throughout the world gathered to explore issues around network security and scalability. This gathering fueled several crucial updates to the software.

Security

As is the case with any emerging, application technology, security is paramount to establishing trust within the entrepreneurial and investor communities. While the core protocol is generally secure and tamper resistant, a well-publicized breach with The DAO – the first Decentralized Autonomous Organization on the Ethereum blockchain struck a cautionary tale in terms of potential vulnerabilities with any new technology. To address any looming concerns, the Ethereum Bounty Program has been in place for a number of months, offering substantial incentives for anyone able to find weaknesses in the software or code methodology.

Future Innovation

The beauty of the platform is that it allows any developer to utilize it to build and publish new, distributed applications. To fuel development on this front, the Ethereum Foundation established a DEVgrants program to identify and fund promising projects. This program was re-started January 2016 after a brief hiatus, for aspiring developers to take advantage of. As a result, growing numbers of developers have migrated to the network, launching new projects and promising application experiments.  

Long-Term Investment and Entrepreneurial Possibilities

The immense potential of Ethereum-related applications has sparked a growing interest among major stakeholders and investors worldwide. Many startups in this space are showing significant interest, and in some cases, receiving silent investments, from VC firms specializing in blockchain-related innovation. Growing numbers of investors are engaged in due diligence and research on the ever expanding number of startups that are employing these Ethereum-based dApps. Many, while cautiously optimistic, are hesitant however to take the leap amid an evolving developer community that is still relatively small and lacks sustained case examples.

For entrepreneurs, Ethereum offers an ocean of possibilities for layering solutions on top of its ecosystem. Despite Bitcoin’s meteoric rise, some see Ethereum as a more robust platform for smart contracts, identity management, and other advanced technology applications; many startups are considering the second most valuable blockchain network because of its ease of use and simple scripting language. For both investors and entrepreneurs, the overall mood is a positive one. However, these potential stakeholders are only now beginning to assess the long-term prospects of Ethereum’s value. Blockchain-centric Ethereum, promises to usher in a new age of technological advancement by taking information and transactions out from under monopolist institutions and creating decentralized mechanisms for the free exchange of goods and services.

Ethereum’s biggest impact may well be found in both traditional economic systems as well as the rapidly emerging sharing economy. Eventually, it is believed that its presence will infiltrate all segments of society tied to advancements in the Internet of Things. As a result, financial and other legacy institutions will experience massive competition forcing them to reexamine the core models that brought them to this point. Through all of this, reduced costs and increases economic activity will harken in a new economy. In the end, the long-term trajectory of Ethereum’s future rise is anyone’s guess. But many in the community would argue that it appears quite favorable based on some early use case successes. Moving forward, Ethereum's progress will be largely predicated on its ability to grow and adapt over time amid what is certain to be many hiccups and missteps along the way.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

ZCash, Ether, and Monero Miners Can Now Use Nvidia Pascal GPUs

ZCash, Ether, and Monero Miners Can Now Use Nvidia Pascal GPUs

The impressive rally in digital currencies

in the past three months has given the cryptocurrency mining industry a boost. Demand for mining equipment is higher than ever as individuals and companies are looking to profit from the increased value of many cryptocurrencies through mining.

As BTCManager reported on June 9, the shares of the semiconductor firm Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have skyrocketed due to a surge in demand for its graphics cards, which cryptocurrency miners are increasingly using to  bring more digital currency into existence. AMD, however, is not the only publicly-traded technology firm that has benefited from the boom in cryptocurrency mining.

Nvidia Pascal GPUs More Efficient Than AMD’s

California-based Nvidia produces graphics processing units (GPUs) that are primarily using in the gaming space. Recently, however, cryptocurrency miners have increasingly started to purchase Nvidia’s GPUs to boost their mining productivity. More specifically, Nvidia’s Pascal-based GPUs.

Nvidia’s Pascal GPUs, such as the GTX 1060 and the GTX 1070, have demonstrated to be more efficient than their counterparts produced by AMD. According to research conducted by RBC Capital Markets Analyst Mitch Steeves, who compared the cryptocurrency mining performance of Nvidia’s GTX 1070 with AMD’s RX 580 GPU for the digital currency ether, Nvidia’s GPU required 33 percent less power consumption and is, therefore, a much more efficient graphics card for mining than the popular RX 580. “If we switch to building a full Data Center environment, electrical costs become increasingly more important (Bitcoin environment), and the older NVIDIA GPUs outperform AMD over the course of a year,” Steeves stated.

Nvidia’s Pascal-Based Mining Hardware

To profit from the crypto mining boom, Nvidia has launched mining hardware built using eight Pascal GP106-100 GPUs, which are being referred to as “mining cards.” The mining hardware is targeted at ether, zcash, and monero miners and aims to maximize the productivity and efficiency of the mining process. The mining equipment uses an Intel Celeron Mobile processor, a 64GB mSATA SSD, 4GB of DDR3 DRAM, and up to 1600W PSU. The power supply unit (PSU) is not included and is listed as optional to allow users to choose what they need for the specific currency they want to mine. Each cryptocurrency has different power requirements when it comes to mining.

For example, to mine Ethereum’s ether, it is recommended to use 1000W PSU, which delivers roughly 200MH/s (+/- 5 percent. To mine zcash, 1050W PSU is recommended, which delivers roughly 2500 Sol/s, while monero mining required around 700W, which delivers roughly 4400 H/s +/- five percent. To run Nvidia’s mining machine, seven six pin 12V power connectors are needed plus eight additional six pin connectors to run the “mining cards.” Furthermore, the system is setup for passive cooling on the GPUs while the enclosure makes use of five inflow and four outflow higher power system fans to keep the system cooled and functional.

Should the impressive rally in cryptocurrencies continue throughout the year, bitcoin mining equipment producers will see their business flourish as more and more individuals are jumping onto the cryptocurrency mining bandwagon in the hope to make a nice profit.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Bancor Criticized for Untested Code After $150 Million ICO

Bancor Criticized for Untested Code After $150 Million ICO

The Bancor Network, a blockchain project endorsed

by prominent billionaire investor Tim Draper, recently raised $150 million in an initial coin offering (ICO). However, the development team behind Bancor was criticized for the abrupt extension of investment period and its untested code.

On June 12, Bancor extended the investment timeframe of its ICO by three hours due to supposed attacks on the Ethereum network.

The Bancor team stated:

“BNT allocation event minimum time extended TO THREE HOURS due to massive malicious attacks on network & resulting pending transaction bottleneck.”

The majority of the cryptocurrency community immediately criticized Bancor for the extension as early investors who purchased BNT, the native token of Bancor, either attached incredibly high fees or rely on digital finance brokers such as Bitcoin Suisse to ensure the purchase of BNT went through. “I paid money to be sure I got in via Bitcoin Suisse. Now two more [hours]? Seriously?,” said one of the many early investors who felt that the alterations of the rules of the Bancor ICO were unfair to its investor.

Reputable bitcoin investor and analyst WhalePanda also harshly criticized the controversial decision of the Bancor development team, explaining that the Bancor Network dismissed its early investors by extending the ICO timeframe by three hours. More importantly, George Hallam, Ethereum-based asset management platform Melonport AG’s head of business development, noted that Bancor did not provide real evidence to prove the legitimacy of the attacks. Hallam also emphasized that Bancor decided to extend the deadline when its ICO already raised $60 million, which was already a large amount of capital raised for a software company that had not fully completed alpha testing of its software:

“Pretty ridiculous to extend when there was already $60 million raised. Also, haven't seen any real evidence of actual attacks on the network."

The status of the Bancor Network regarding technical development was a key discussion point amongst experts and developers including Andreas Antonopoulos and Augur founder Joey Krug. Almost immediately after the settlement of a $150 million funding round via its ICO for Bancor, Krug stated that the core software of Bancor was tested in Augur’s beta tests a few years back. Krug revealed that Bancor’s vision did not work out in the early stages of Augur and that the market invested $150 million in an untested project. “Dear God the free market just gave $150M to something we found out didn't work in practice in the Augur beta,” said Krug.

Antonopoulos brought up a similar point as Krug, criticizing Bancor’s untested code and the sheer overvaluation of its ICO. Even on its official blog post dated June 11, Bacor Foundation chief technical officer Yudi Levi explicitly emphasized that it plans to run a one-hour minimum fundraiser. Without the three hour extension, the foundation still managed to secure a $60 million investment, which experts argue was more than enough for a company that had not pushed its software through alpha testing.

Still, despite the criticisms, Bancor aims to continue the development and roll out of its software by storing $150 million multi-sig wallets instead of smart contracts to avoid the DAO case in 2016. “All contributions will be deposited directly into multiple field-tested, industry standard multi-sig wallets in order not to keep too much ETH in any single point of failure. Following the fundraiser, some of the ether will be distributed between several crypto-safekeeping services, again in order to avoid any single point of failure,” said Levi.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

As Crypto Markets See Slowing Growth, Traders Look Long

    

In the notoriously volatile cryptocurrency markets,

it can be easy to get caught up in small price fluctuations. However, advocates of the technology have advice for those who may have had their interest sparked by the combined market's meteoric rise above $100bn this year. Amidst a broader pullback in cryptocurrencies, investors can benefit from focusing on the technology's long-term trajectory, analysts say.

Iqbal Gandham, managing director at eToro, told CoinDesk:

"If you believe that bitcoin is the future of money, and that ethereum is the future of the internet, then you should be investing in the long term."

Gandham is certainly not the only market observer who advocated long-term investing instead of short-term trading. Jacob Eliosoff, a cryptocurrency fund manager, offered similar input. Accurately predicting what the markets will do in the short term is very difficult, he told CoinDesk, and attempts to time the market are "not for most of us". Eliosoff emphasized that while he has been expecting a pullback in certain cryptocurrencies, he is bullish on the asset class in the long-term.

Ether's appeal

That doesn't mean those involved don't have theories about where the best long bets can be placed. As noted by CoinDesk earlier this week, ether, currently the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has been catching up with bitcoin in terms of its total market value. At the time of the report, ether's market cap was more than 80% of bitcoin's, according to data from CoinMarketCap. As such, traders like Whaleclub's Petar Zivkovski suggested those who are new to the markets should do their best to internalize ongoing narratives while attempting to understand the value propositions of any coin. "Ether has also become a true contender over the past few months when it comes to market cap," Zivkovski told CoinDesk. One result of this large market cap is greater liquidity, which has in turn reduced the currency's volatility and made it more appealing relative to many other alternative asset protocols.

Big sell-off?

Of course, looking long is easier said than done given the nascent nature of cryptocurrencies. For example, bitcoin's ongoing scaling debate appears to be intensifying, heightening trader sensitivity over fears the network could fork. Arthur Hayes, CEO of Hong Kong-based exchange BitMEX, for instance, sees this situation as one that could be "bad news" for the market as a whole. "With the 1st August UASF deadline approaching, I believe we will be range bound. There is a lot of uncertainty amongst traders about the event," he said.

Eliosoff also spoke to bitcoin's scaling challenges, describing the tensions that exist within the bitcoin community as "worse than ever" given that efforts like UASF could lead to a blockchain split. He explained how these difficulties have made other assets – particularly ether – even more attractive. "Given those deep hostilities in bitcoin, if I could only hold one coin right now it would be ether – even at these prices," he remarked. Still, in this light, eToro's Gandham noted that the small dips in the price of assets like ether are perhaps best viewed in context,

concluding:

"Whilst the recent drop in the price may look like a crash … it’s more accurately viewed as a bump in the road."

 

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Venezuelans Continue to Seek Refuge in Bitcoin, Other Cryptocurrencies

Venezuelans Continue to Seek Refuge in Bitcoin, Other Cryptocurrencies

    

It’s no secret that Venezuela is in an economic tailspin.

The country famously sought to end corruption
(a la India in November 2016)
by removing the 100 Bolivar note from circulation.

The widespread panic that the already nearly valueless currency would now be worthless led to massive lines and protest from citizens seeking the protection of assets. At that time, many Venezuelans began seeking refuge from the economic turmoil by investing in cryptocurrencies. The market responded and Venezuela’s first Bitcoin exchange was opened. However, according to a recent report by Bloomberg this week, the demand for cryptocurrencies in Venezuela has continued to soar. This week’s trading volume on Bitcoin soared again to over $1.3 mln, nearly doubling the levels from two months ago.

The volatility of cryptocurrencies is minimal, compared to the massive devaluation of the country’s local currency (6000 Bolivars to $1). But cryptocurrencies are not only being used for safe haven investments. Consumers are also using Bitcoin and others as a means of settling accounts and continuing business in the uncertain and volatile economy. Because cryptocurrencies are decentralized, they are seen as a simple and safe solution to the need for stable currency in countries where government practices have destroyed currency values.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.