The next evolution in Crypto Trading

The revolution of emerging blockchain technologies has been shifting from legacy models and habits to embrace the paradigm shift. The most significant aspect of blockchain is that it is decentralization, which allows for a trust to take place, distribution of ownership and removes the necessity for third party arbitration.

It is a fact that money is now flooding into the cryptocurrency market with the market cap increasing from 17 billion US$ to more than 500 billion US$ in 2017 alone. That is more than 200 fold increase in 2017. Several major catalysts are contributing to the move to decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges also known as DEXs.

DEXs are known to be superior in security and provide instant account creation. In their current state of development, they are said to lack liquidity and their user experience and user interface are still immature compared to their centralized counterparts. The more liquid there is in the market, the less volatile and price manipulation, making DEXs vulnerable at this stage. At the moment, investors are still walking a tightrope between friction and fluidity hence causing pains

To learn the importance of this kind of shift and what it means, one should seek to understand how centralization affects the investment ecosystem and explore the development steps needed for DEXs to reach their full potential. Centralized exchanges are platforms that allow investors and traders to buy and sell and exchange cryptocurrency against fiat or other crypto assets. Traders deposit funds and then exchange issues on an IOU that is freely tradeable on the platform.

Centralized exchanges are now on the high for people with fiat currency to purchase cryptocurrency. These exchanges allow movement from fiat to crypto and have become a prime target for hackers who have siphoned billions of dollars. Exchanges which follow regulatory guidelines have lengthy registration processes which further hinder investment speed.

DEXs shift investments from a centralized third party, peer-to-peer transactions through proxy tokens or assets or multi-signature escrow system with other solutions that are being developed. This has allowed for investors to remain sole custodians of their funds rather than relinquish their private keys to centralized exchanges DEX benefits include elevated privacy, account creation and decentralized sever resilience hence ensuring that the infrastructure cannot be shutdown.

DEXs are the next evolution

If DEXs are the next evolution, why is it that there is only 1% market adoption? To start, the DEX concept is something that is brand new. As centralized exchanges proceed through their own market maturity lifecycle, decentralized services are only at the starting gate. DEXs are blockchain driven; account control resides solely in the hands of the trader. If they lose their private key, or make a mistake when entering a buy or sell order, then there is no recourse-liability resides exclusively with the account holder, and there can be no finger-pointing. In addition to all these:-

  • Margin lending and other more advanced trading options are not yet available on DEXs.
  • Miners can be able to see the blockchain transactions before they are cleared, resulting in front-running risk and market manipulation.
  • Fiat to crypto trading in DEXs will require the cooperation of banks which introduces a new centralized point of failure.
  • There is a chicken-egg effect at play, resulting in low liquidity. And since transactions happen on the blockchain itself, there may be issues of scaling pressure if the connected blockchains have not been architected well.

DEX developers are also facing so many challenges but it is good to note that they are swiftly moving in their progress. They are continuing to develop user friendly interfaces (UX/UI) and issues such as scalability; liquidity and front-running are being solved with new technology models such as relayers.

Progress is continuing and the momentum is slowly starting to shift to the direction of DEXs, which are the next evolution of cryptocurrency investment. Those who have their eyes open will move in full speed and capitalize on the decentralized nature of blockchains.

Blockchain Applications will move beyond Finance

In order to understand the transformation that has been brought about by blockchain technology, it is useful to start with its largest implementation date. With the maturity of cryptocurrency moving to another level, it has been criticised for its inability to match the performance of the existing payment networks and meet the requirements of financial systems and governments.

Bitcoin has been successful in solving the problem it was designed for, and that is allowing global network to securely transact and exchange value without the need for a costly intermediary. Bitcoin replicates the financial systems ability to transfer value but without any of the labor typically involved in running and securing transactions. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and other distributed ledgers are continuing to mature the question would be where might they be applied next?

How Blockchain Works

The following are five basic principles underlying the technology of Blockchain:-

  1. Distributed Database

Each party on a blockchain has access to the entire database and its complete history. No party controls that information or data. Every party can verify the records of its transaction directly.

  1. Peer-to-Peer Transmission

Communication occurs directly between peers instead of through a central node. Each of the nodes stores and forwards information to all other nodes.

  1. Transparency with Pseudonymity

Every transaction and its value are visible to anyone with access to the system. Each node or user on a blockchain has a unique 30-plus-character alphanumeric address that identifies it. Users can choose to remain anonymous or provide proof of their identity to others.

  1. Irreversibility of Records

Once a transaction is entered in the data        base and the accounts are updated then the records cannot be altered because they are linked to every transaction record that came before them. Various algorithms and approaches are deployed to ensure that the recording on the database is permanent and available to others on the network.

It is not a surprise some of the closer-to-market applications of the technology are in the financial sector. Trading and speculation were early use cases of bitcoin, new technologies such as Ethereum and Zcash providing a higher degree of privacy than bitcoin and Ethereum offering a powerful development platform for smart contracts and decentralized applications to job and energy markets to hedge funds and cloud services.

When the cryptocurrency ecosystem matures, digital wallet providers and exchanges will become more professional and secure.

Some companies such as Abra and Circle are taking advantage of the lower costs offered by blockchain technology for cross-border payments, encroaching in the territory of players such as Paypal and TransferWise and traditional remittances providers.

Ripple is now lowering the cost of transactions between banks and other financial institutions through its global settlement network. In all of the cases, blockchain technology is adopted and consumers and businesses can reap the benefits without ever knowing that s distributed ledger was involved.

Central banks are also actively exploring the opportunities and challenges a fiat backed digital currency would entail for monetary policy, taxation and lending. The practical applications for blockchain technology go beyond financial assets. Any type of digital asset can be tracked and traded through a blockchain.

The immutability offered by blockchain is only useful if the original information entered on is accurate. Blockchain can allow for the costless verification of the attributes it carries, recording those attributes in the first place may require labor-intensive tasks and intermediaries to prevent fraud from happening.

Cryptocurrencies have the potential to change how internet services are delivered (Blockstack, IPFS) and how open-source communities fund their development.

Besides Harvesting Facebook User Data Cambridge Analytica Were Planning For an ICO

Cambridge Analytica

Do you know that Cambridge Analytica, the company that harvested and misappropriated 87M private Facebook user information was planning for an ICO last year? Yes, wrap that first before continuing! According to Reuters who spoke to sources privy to the matter, the company was looking forward to issue their own cryptocurrency in exchange of $30M. This was well before their Facebook data breach saga.

Plans of Becoming a Data Company

Ironically, Cambridge Analytica had a well-structured strategy of venturing into the data business. There, their coin would have been the main currency for buying and selling personal data. Through the company’s British CEO, Alexander, the whole ICO process would come through. In an email, a Cambridge Analytica spokesman let through the details saying:

“Prior to the Facebook controversy, we were developing a suite of technologies to help individuals reclaim their personal data from corporate entities and to have full transparency and control over their personal data”

Before facing the sack, he had approached several ICO consulting companies . Fortunately, he was caught on tape bragging about Cambridge Analytica involvement in politics and manipulating democratic processes.

Cambridge Analytica Dystopian Business Model

Even though blockchain technology core objective is to decentralize control, Cambridge Analytica business model was different. Jill Carson, a blockchain expert, attended one of Cambridge Analytica’s pitch. She  said that the company was advancing government and corporate control agendas contrary to the whole objective of blockchain technology. Talking to Reuters, she said:

“The way that Cambridge Analytica was talking about it, they were viewing it as a means of being able to basically inflict government control and private corporate control over individuals”

At the moment, it is still not clear if Cambridge Analytica will still go on with their coin offering. However, we know that they shall utilize blockchain technology in one way or another to safeguard user personal data.

VeChain Introduces distributed data vending

VeChain has yet again hit the limelight with the latest in its technical approach as they are introducing the Distributed Data Vending (DDV), a way of sharing sensitive data. This is indeed a great move that has been made by Vechain in its effort to impact its future value growth.

The latest move by VeChain is a great move to revolutionize the trajectory of the coin for good. Its announcement was made on Twitter that it would be introducing distributed data vending system. The tweet was as follows:

“Introducing Distributed Data Vending, the future of compliant data sharing exclusive to VeChain Thor. Putting power back into the hands of enterprises, customers, and researchers to collaborate and revolutionize the way the world shares and advances!”

The next question one would ask is what is Distributed Data Vending (DDV)? From the tweet that was sent, VeChain intends to put the ability to control data in the hands of data owners. We all know that big data has only been accessible to large corporations that sometimes manipulate the data to sell it to adverts. VeChain’s latest tech DDV will change how things work and those who will now benefit are data owners.

The new technology will impact the healthcare

The new technology DDV is definitely going to impact the healthcare system or industry. Big data has been important for in the health industry especially in medical research in understanding how diseases develop. There has been a disconnection on how this information is normally distributed for instance patients who always provide this data never get rewarded for it.

Researchers have also had rough time accessing information due to government bureaucracy before they can make use of such data. VeChain has created a platform and environment where data can be exchanged on the blockchain technology where health patients will benefit and the consumers of the data will have an easier accessing it.

The innovation will also impact various industries

VeChain’s Distributed Data Vending technology will also impact various industries in the world but the one crucial one that will play a significant role is the health sector. The implementation of this innovation is likely to create great value on the VeChain.

Most investors believe that VeChain is the best crypto that you can invest in and hold for in many years. The value may not go up immediately but chances of it growing in the years to come are very high.

The use distributed data vending will be a gateway for VeChainThor adoption across different markets and this will market it as a pioneer in advancing different technologies that blockchains will enable. The power of DDV and VeChainThor will greatly impact the markets in the months that are coming. With blockchains in place, we can now replace the third part organizations with distributed database locked down by clever cryptography. It will be interesting to see how things will develop in the near future even as companies are beginning to embrace some of the latest technologies.

 

The head of Pantera Capital: the price of bitcoin will very soon return to former heights

Dan Morhad, Venture Capital Director General of Pantera Capital, said that at the current bear market, the $ 6,500 mark is extremely low, below which the bitcoins price is unlikely to decline by the end of this year.

In the April dispatch dispatched, Morhed noted the high probability that bitcoin will grow and even overcome the December maximum at around $ 20,000.

“I rarely say with certainty about the timing of anything. A wave of institutional money will raise the markets to a much higher level, “he stressed.

Thus, the head of Pantera Capital is optimistic about medium-term and long-term prospects of price growth for the first crypto currency.

Tom Lee: by the end of the year the bitcoin price will reach $ 25,000

Wall Street analyst and co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors Tom Lee is still optimistic about long-term growth prospects for bitcoin and is confident that by the end of 2018 the first crypto currency will reach $ 25,000, CCN reports.

“As before, we are confident that bitkoyn has an excellent” risk-profit “ratio, and we believe that by the end of the year it will be able to reach $ 25,000,” Lee said.

Currently, bitcoin is trading around $ 8,100. This means that to achieve a forecast of 25,000 dollars, which is 25% higher than the December highs, digital gold should grow three times more.

Nevertheless, the head of Fundstrat considers this target mark quite achievable. According to him, the recent rapid decline in prices for bitcoins is behind us, and now the crypto currency is in an “incredible oversold”

Low values of bitcoin prices in late March and early April are associated with the approach of the last date of submission of tax returns by American investors. According to his calculations, American traders owed the state about $ 25 billion in taxes from the income they received as a result of operations with crypto-currencies. Many traders, Lee notes, over the past few weeks have got rid of some of their bitcoin assets in order to minimize the capital gains tax.

Do ICO’s stand as the biggest target for hackers?

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) are becoming part of the cryptocurrency world with help from blockchain applications such as Ethereum. Most businesses are now looking for innovative ways of how to integrate blockchain into their systems and through the help of ICO’s they have been able to raise large amounts of money.

With the prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum skyrocketing over the past 12 months, investors have been led to research for the next big coin after the popularity of most cryptocurrencies. A number of ICO’s have received massive investments in terms of capital for their projects but we all know that where there is wealth there is bound to be criminal interest hence ICO’s becoming a target for hackers.

More than 400M lost in the past 2 years

A research that was done by Fortune indicated that more than 400M raised by ICO’s in the past two years was either lost through hacking or through crypto ether. Most companies never look at the necessary security precautions that they can take especially when looking at ways of how to attract investors and hence end up not only exposing themselves but the investors too.

A report by Ernst and Young proved that hackers are now turning to ICO’s as they view them as a soft spot. The report quoted:

“Hackers are attracted by the rush, absence of a centralized authority, Blockchain transaction irreversibility and information chaos. Project founders focus on attracting investors and security is often not prioritized. Hackers successfully take advantage- the more hyped and large scale the ICO, the attractive it is for hackers.”

What attracts the hackers mostly is what you call the speed and size of the transactions that are made. According Ernst and Young report, Russia and China have raised more than $300 million each.

“There is a risk of having the market swamped with quantity over quality of investments,” said Paul Brody the Ernst and Young global innovation blockchain leader.

Most regulators are now sounding an alarm that ICO’s have a high risk of fraud and investors could lose the money they have invested.

The tides are turning for cryptocurrency

The tides may indeed be turning for cryptocurrencies with regards to their popularity and regulation. It is already being noted that fewer projects are meeting their fund raising goals with a margin of around 93%

There are countries that are now issuing regulations for cryptocurrencies and this is not due to the decision that the G20 member states decided that cryptocurrencies are going to be regulated. China and South Korea are examples of countries that have already issued bans while others such as US, Japan and Canada are seeking to regulate ICOs with laws in their countries.

The United States through its Securities and Exchange Commission recently launched a Cyber Unit to deal with digital financial fraud.

The report by EY suggests that in future investors, founders and regulators need to be more transparent and need to do a due diligence before investing in the cryptocurrencies.

Another report that was widely shared last year also indicated that cybercrime rose at a time that Ethereum was raising hence making crypto’s to be more volatile to online fraud.

Phishing is the most common tool

Ernst and Young report shows that phishing is the most common tool that is currently being used by hackers. This makes it easy for them to accomplish all that they want to do thereby making cryptocurrency an easy target for them. The other things that plaque the crypto world include lack of regulation, poor security and poor standards for ICOs

 

Australian blockchain group launches cryptocurrency investment fund.

Australian investors now have a new way for investing in cryptocurrency markets. This led to a publicly listed firm to launch a fund focusing on this field.  Australian blockchain group DigitalX Ltd is launching an investment service for cryptocurrencies. It will as well as work on websites that are going to cover news and education about digital assets.

There was a gap in the market that made DigitalX Ltd to create DigitalX Investments which aims at giving investors access to cryptocurrencies. This investment company will focus on leading cryptocurrencies in Australia. The company will also allow for diversification on ICO tokens, fiat, crypto derivatives and managed schemes. Tim Davies from Ellerston Capital was appointed as portfolio manager.

To come up with such a fund, DigitalX had to pitch $750,000 from its ethereum and bitcoin holdings and they are set to hold 73% as investment advisor. Most of the investors were happy with DigitalX based on the direction that they have taken. This great news led to the company’s share price to jump as high as 27% during its trading on Tuesday at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). DigitalX managing director Leigh Travers said that the fund had the following to say.

“We believe cryptocurrencies are under-researched by mainstream asset managers and there is an opportunity to leverage our expertise in blockchain technology and crypto-asset investment to create value for our clients.”

There have been fluctuations in prices for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in the past years. In order to

“That no individual investment may exceed 20% of the fund assets except into bitcoin or cash, at the time of investment and all crypto-assets will have their legality confirmed in the jurisdiction in which those crypto-assets are issued or offered,” said Travers.

“DigitalX continues to aim to be a leading player in the crypto-asset space in Australia and has to date built extensive experience within its team managing crypto-assets and understanding the protocols behind different crypto-assets, including currencies and tokens,” Mr Travers said.

Crypto Education

Besides to what it is currently doing with regards to the new fund, the Australian blockchain group announced that it is going to enter into the crypto education space. And to show that it is serious about the matter, the company has partnered with a digital media provider-Multiplier to create two websites Coin.org and Multipliercrypto.com to act as a platform that will educate the Australian public about cryptocurrencies and the tech behind them. They will offer short video tutorials on crypto assets and will be delivered by experts in the industry so as to help those who are new.

“These sites will be a platform to educate new investors from around the world about the opportunities and risks of crypto-assets, including cryptocurrencies and ICOs, including being a resource for updated regulatory information as it continues to develop,” Travers said.

“The value of cryptocurrency digital real estate is expected to grow significantly with recent news from the world’s largest technology companies Google, Twitter and Facebook to limit cryptocurrency advertising,” he added.

 

Blockbid Exchange Granted Cryptocurrency License by Austrac

Australia’s Blockbid exchange has been granted cryptocurrency license by Austrac and this makes it the third company granted permission to legally operate as a cryptocurrency exchange in Australia since the setting up of new regulations last week. This is a milestone that has been achieved by the company to becoming an active worldwide cryptocurrency exchange while still being capable of guaranteeing a transparent, safe and compliant platform for crypto investors to trade on.

Blockbid’s main differentiating feature compared with others in the market place is that it provides insurance to users against any possible cyber-attacks that may occur. The company also plans to offer users with the ability to trade with at least six to seven different fiat currencies. This will be done in the next 5-12 months with four being made available immediately during the beta launch. These features offer a more comprehensive exchange platform than the previous two Austrac license recipients.

“Since its inception Blockbid has always wanted to put customers’ security and peace of mind at the forefront of building a one-for-all platform, allowing our users to trade with confidence. As a registered digital currency exchange in Australia we are looking forward to opening up our doors worldwide to all traders and investors who want to use a platform that is legitimate and provides asset insurance as well. This is a big step not only for the Australian cryptocurrency space but also for our company as it means that our vision to allow you to trade with confidence has been acknowledged by the Australian government under AML/CTF guidelines,” said David Sapper, COO at Blockbid.

Beta Launch

Blockbid exchange has also revealed further information about their beta launch which is set to go live April 16th this year. The company will first of all begin with a limited number of users, who will check and explore the platform without doing real trading of currencies and this will continue until its developers and users are satisfied with delivery.

As soon as there is an upgrade in the system based on the user feedback and further testing, phase one of the beta launch will be opened to the general public. The process will commence with five major cryptocurrencies and four fiat currencies: bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), bitcoin gold (BCG), ripple (XRP), EUR, USD and AUD. Additional tokens will be introduced in the second phase of the beta launch.

The step taken by Austrac to license Blockbid is a move towards legitimising cryptocurrencies in the country, and also towards having something that is transparent that the general public will not be afraid of investing in. For Blockbid to be allowed by the Australian government, it means that it has met the threshold required for them to be granted a cryptocurrency license and this is will also boost the public trust on the company.

The granting of the Austrac license and the beta launch that is coming up represents two keys towards the full launch of Blockbid in 2019. Will Australians feel safe with local exchanges getting licensed by the authorities?

Ethereum’s App finally goes live

Ethereum’s App finally goes live after almost three years of trying and testing of the product. Golem is a peer to peer marketing for putting your computer’s excess CPU power for use to other people. This is a major move as it is going live on the ethereum blockchain.

Golem is one the earliest generation of ethereum applications and the move to go live is actually a step towards proving how powerful ethereum is. Its current format allows for computers to rent unused CPU power for creating computer-generated imagery (CGI) using Blender which is an open source software for animated films, video games, interactive 3D applications and visual effects.

“We want to see how it behaves in the wild, the release is there to prove to us and everyone that we can actually deliver something that can run on mainnet and that’s really usable. And well, it is.” Said Zawistowski CEO and founder of Golem

“This is typical for software development in general, and blockchain in particular, we underestimate the complexity of what we want to do, you always underestimate how difficult it is, and this was obviously the case with us.”

Its Big Ambitions

Golem works through a software company that connects two parties in Golem’s network (providers) and those that sell computational resources and those that want to rent the CPU power. The providers are given sub-tasks that when are pieced together are able to create a full computational picture.

“We send those sub-tasks over a peer-to-peer network where peers compute them, return the results for you and connect that into one piece and pay for the use of other peoples’ computers,” said Zawistowski.

Mr. Zawistowski also explained that all the interactions happen directly between the nodes in the network. It is interesting to note that Golem has not been built on blockchain but uses ethereum for its token, GNT and GNT transactions.

The main function of the mainnet release is to test the economic assumptions of the network and to also appeal to early adopters for feedback on usability and issues.

“You start with a very simple Golem that should work up to a point where we have the Golem which is perfect and self-contained and modular, and you give it a computation and it’s done in a matter of seconds,” said Janiuk who is the CTO and co-founder of Golem.

“We definitely need to move in the direction of machine learning. This is something that is suited to Golem pretty well,” said Janiuk

Inventions and innovations

The team behind Golem innovation found out that there was need of splitting computational tasks up into smaller tasks and then reintegrates them. The project faced complicated and previous unresearched technical barriers.

A good example is when verification or proving that computation is correct, it is easy to achieve for simple crypto transactions while at the same time it becomes difficult to develop around different types of computations. These were some of the challenges that faced this project but despite all these, it is a sigh of relief that ethereum’s app finally goes live.