The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued a new checklist as part of the “heightened review process” it’s developing for virtual currencies.
Archives for February 1, 2018
Utah native Ryan Jasperson and fellow members of the Tezos community have officially launched the T2 Foundation. The mandate of the new foundation is to support the launch of the Tezos network “…if the Tezos Foundation is not able to do so in an adequate and timely manner”. Ending The Infighting Tezos Foundation head Johann Gevers
Advertisements, videos, infographics, articles, and more are part of Hong Kong’s push to educate the public on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Earlier this week, Hong Kong’s Financial Services and Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and Investor Education Center (IEC) launched a public campaign to educate cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Hong Kong about the potential risks associated with this new and booming industry. According to Under Secretary for the FSTB, Joseph Chan, the aim of the program is to provide a “correct and comprehensive understanding of ICOs and cryptocurrencies” to help give the public the tools to make informed decisions on their investments.
The campaign has many facets, including television and radio ads, ads that will be displayed in Hong Kong’s public transit system, and government-sponsored educational videos which will be posted on social media. Also included in the campaign will be articles and infographics on ICOs and cryptocurrencies provided by the public financial education arm of the IEC, the Chin Family. Information is already live on their website, which has educational tools in a variety of arenas, including protection from scams and wallet security.
Hong Kong has generally been more open toward cryptocurrencies, contrary to the opposition faced in mainland China. One of the larger cryptocurrency exchanges, Gatecoin, operates in Hong Kong, and regulators have generally held a cautious but open approach. As illustrated by this new campaign, their concern is focused primarily on protecting and informing investors, rather than shutting the door on this emerging asset class.
One of the main drivers behind the educational push is due to the volatility of the cryptocurrency markets, which some traditional investors are not prepared for. “ICOs and cryptocurrencies are high-risk products that are not suitable for everyone,” said Dr. Kelvin Wong, Chairman of the IEC. “Cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and are associated with various kinds of risks. Their prices may be susceptible to significant fluctuations due to speculative activities.”
This isn’t the first time that a government has pushed for state-sponsored educational programs on cryptocurrencies and related technology. Last year, the Russian government announced it hoped to include cryptocurrency in its financial literacy improvement strategy in order to help better educate the Russian people.
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With Israel’s Finance Ministry and the Bank of Israel considering issuing a state-sponsored digital currency, the focus of the BitCoen project is to fill this important role in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The main objectives of this initiative of the Israeli government are to reduce black market activity, which comprises an estimated 22% of the country’s GDP, and to reduce paper cash, which is largely used to facilitate untaxed transactions. Thus, Israel joins Russia in the creation of a national token; but unlike in Russia, cryptocurrency use is generally legal in Israel. A tentative legal framework for a new state-sponsored currency has been under review by the Israeli government since the beginning of the year.
“After all these discussions, the requirements for the blockchain technology of the new Israel state-sponsored currency are very clear: high network speed for immediate transactions, protection from spam and false transactions, and a ready-to-use digital wallet,” says Vyacheslav Semenchuk, founder and CEO of BitCoen. “We can say that BitCoen blockchain is perfectly meeting these requirements. The LCPoA blockchain algorithm reliably protects the network, while it does not require large expenditures of computing resources. The BitCoen technology provides a high network speed (up to 25,000 transactions per second), which is 3500 times faster than the Bitcoin blockchain. The BitCoen digital wallet was ready in December and has been undergoing testing by our token holders for several months.”
“State-sponsored digital currencies like a new “digital shekel” may compete with all cryptocurrencies, even Bitcoin. We look forward to seeing how digital currencies will affect the lives of consumers in Israel and other countries,” says Semenchuk.
At the same time, since the beginning of the year, anyone can purchase BitCoen tokens at a special automated teller machine (ATM) at Bitcoin Change, a shop co-founded by Abe Ziv in the Bauhaus Center in Tel Aviv, Israel. BitCoen is the first altcoin that can be purchased from this ATM. “This collaboration is extremely important for us, because of the geo-strategic location and because it makes buying BitCoen tokens accessible to all,” says Semenchuk, who notes that the ATM installed in the shop is fully compliant with Israeli AML regulations.
Seeking to exploit new opportunities for the BitCoen project, the BitCoen team decided to strengthen the team with the addition of a young and talented advisor. Edward Zillan, the founder of Cryptocurrency Financial, a cryptocurrency consulting firm, and a successful trader, joined the BitCoen team as a project advisor in early January.
Zillan was 16 when he invested his bar mitzvah money in cryptocurrency. Two years later, he has made close to a million dollars trading in various cryptocurrencies. As a student, he has established his own cryptocurrency consultancy business, capitalizing on his investment success. Zillan sees high potential in altcoins, especially BitCoen, because “those are the ones nowadays that have the largest exponential growth.”
“We are glad to see Eddy as our advisor. His experience and energy will help the BitCoen project to reach its strategic goals,” says Semenchuk. “We have prepared some more team updates and interesting news. Stay tuned for more important announcements about BitCoen.”
BitCoen is the first Kosher crypto-token and blockchain ecosystem. British company BitCoen has declared that its strategic goal is to help interaction between representatives of Jewish communities around the world. The BitCoen ecosystem is a system of services, qualitatively improving the life of the Jewish community. The Token sale of the BitCoen blockchain project is being held at http://bitcoen.io and will last until February 15, 2018. To date, the BitCoen project has raised a total of $2 million at the price of $1 per BEN.
There seems to be a sudden surge of ICOs in the gambling space, and Zero Edge has caught our attention. It aims to create a cryptocurrency for the online gambling space and they have an ICO coming up. Zero Edge is a decentralized online casino and an open protocol which aims to offer players 0% house edge casino games, fee-less sports betting and an open source platform for building online games.
Zero Edge will be creating their own token named Zerocoin which is the fundamental part of their business model. Adrian Casey, CEO of ZeroEdge, says, “The Zero Edge Casino model is based on Metcalfe’s law and factual Bitcoin price growth. Casino players, i.e. Zerocoin holders will not only be able to play 0% house edge games, which offer a truly equal odds of winning against the house but will also see their Zerocoin value increase as a result of increased demand and adoption of the token.”
The blockchain use case for Zero Edge is mainly in providing decentralised trust. All games will be publicly verifiable on the Ethereum blockchain without negative effects on user experience during the game session. Furthermore, Zero Edge Casino will have a sophisticated and audited random number generator (RGN) mechanism to ensure complete randomness of its games.
Adrian Casey, the CEO of Zero Edge believes that The main problem with online gambling industry today is that its purely profit-driven enterprise with marginal consideration for consequences of its practices.
He says, “The simple solution to the problem is creating a platform where playing games is “free”. Players are not required to pay any fixed amount of money to be able to play at the casino. This can only be achieved by creating a closed loop economy with its own token where players purchase the token with fiat or crypto. Since the supply of ZERO is limited, its value is directly proportional to demand.”
They claim that their main difference that makes Zero Edge stand out from its competitors is that its business model is based on its token’s value growth rather than the cash flow generated from casino’s games.
The Team and product
The team at Zero Edge is lead by a CEO who has spent 6 years with two of the biggest names in the betting industry, namely William Hill and Centrebet. Adrian is supplemented with a good tech and marketing team, many of whom have had past experiences in the betting industry.
The advisory team is dominated by legal experts, professionals in the betting industry and other entrepreneurs in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. A good thing to note here is that there isn’t anyone mainstream big name on the team and advisors, but preliminary LinkedIn verification shows a very focused emphasis on the betting industry.
As far as the product goes, you can check out some of the games in the casino section on their website, with some other verticals such as sports betting, are still under construction.
An interesting fact I came across recently was that gambling has been part of human life even before written history. The earliest six-sided dice date to about 3000 BC in Mesopotamia. This has translated to a huge betting industry in today’s day and age, where the global online gambling market was 37.91 billion USD in 2015 and is estimated to reach 59.79 billion USD by 2020, at a CAGR of 9.5%
Zero Edge ticks all the boxes when it comes to the market size, the problem it is solving, the team and product. The fact that they have a working product is particularly reassuring. There’s also a good incentive for early investors. The company will organize its early token sale (pre-ICO) in February when the public will be offered to purchase a limited supply of Zerocoins for a discounted price.
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The ease of online commerce has significantly impacted the Online Event Ticket Sales industry in size, scope, and profitability. The economy is anticipated to continue its expansion and consumer disposable incomes are expected to rise. Online ticket sellers will remain the primary source of tickets for sporting events -such as the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 in Moscow, Russia, music concerts, cultural festivals, public appearances and more.
The Online Event Ticket Sales industry has, contrary to expectations, experienced steady growth amid a global shift away from traditional physical ticketing and at-home printing to a fully digitized mobile ticketing experience. The secondary ticket market, being a derivative of the online ticket sales industry, is undergoing the same shift and growing proportionately.
According to a report published by the Economist Magazine, secondary ticket market sales volumes reached $8 billion, of which approximately $5 billion in sales was from the United States market alone. Estimates show that in Western markets, the secondary ticket market share is 20-25% of the Primary market. However, all is not well with the industry. The market is flooded with an outbreak of bots, fakes and frauds, scalpers, lack of transparency among other problems.
If we consider the key sensitivities and success factors of the industry, growth rate projection, and analysis of key market players and their market share, we release that the only reliable solution the online event tickets sales market can rely on, is a blockchain backed solution. A decentralized network can lead to industry disruption.
A Blockchain Solution.
Blockchain technology is increasingly gaining widespread adoption across industries, due to the level of automation it offers through smart contract implementation, security from its immutable nature and the unprecedented transparency. All these ensures easy auditability and accountability of all the parties involved in any transaction.
Eticket4, as it sets out to solve the challenges faced by the event ticketing market has found the cryptocurrency’s underlying technology more than capable of fulfilling almost all the requirements of a new platform. The use of blockchain technology and cryptotokens also drastically reduces the transaction costs, while erasing the geographical boundaries to create a universal platform.
Armed with these features, Eticket4 plans to incentivize black market ticket dealers to operate under international legal standards. Its long-term goal is to become the most secure blockchain-based B2B and B2C ticket distribution and exchange platform with powerful analytical tools and an automated flexible loyalty program.
Since September 2016, Eticket4 has spread across the Russian Federation via partner courier services. The online platform acts as a binder and an arbitrator in transactions verifying the seller, delivering tickets to customers’ doors, and withholding the funds received for tickets until customers attend the events. By the end of November 2017, Eticket4’s had more than 17,000 customers and more than 3,500 sellers.
The peak of sales was reached in the period prior to FIFA Confederations Cup when accredited ticket brokers were able to distribute their tickets among the football fans across Russia and European countries. The Eticket4 blockchain-based service is powered by its own ET4 tokens, which provides for a number of incentives on the platform. In contrast to other proposed blockchain based solutions scheduled for launch this year both in the US and UK, Eticket4 stands out as an already operational business backed with real liquidity and a team experienced in scaling to foreign markets.
The ET4 Token is a utility instrument in the novelty Eticket4 ecosystem. The tokens will be generated after the Token Generation Event. The total token supply is 30 million. The Token conforms to the widely distributed standard ERC20. The emission will be conducted in cooperation with Phenom using a smart contract written on Solidity. Smart contracts will ensure transparency of the entire process of token distribution. Every single transaction will also be recorded into smart contracts. The function of the token depends on the role played by the token holder. The token holder can be a platform participant, including event organizers, ticket brokers, and ticket buyers.
Solution for Different Market Participants.
Event Organizers are representatives of the primary ticketing market on the Eticket4 platform. With an account balance of 10,000 ET4 and above, the event organizer will be granted the power to regulate the secondary ticket market through smart contracts, by setting the price and volume limits of tickets issued via the ETicket4 platform and receive fees from secondary market transactions. The platform allows them to seal the loop holes that can be used by single brokers using bots to purchase tickets.
Ticket brokers with a balance of more than 1,000 tokens get access to advanced analytical tools and ticket price forecasting features that can allow them to scale their businesses to greater heights. On the other hand, ticket buyers are participants in the secondary market on the Eticket4 platform. They can use ET4 tokens to pay for their tickets for a 2% fee instead of 30% in accordance with the commission agreement and are protected from fraudulent issues such as ticket duplication, tickets to fake events, counterfeit tickets among others.
Token Generation Event.
The Token Generation Event — 27th February to 23rd March 2018, will be held after the private offer — 30th January 2018, and presale — 30th January to 21st February 2018. The private offer will be reserved for an exclusive group of cryptocurrency market pioneers, representatives of both the ticketing and event industries. Once the ecosystem is fully operational, the first customers will receive a reward of 40% bonus.
The ET4 token sale has various bonus slabs in place, classified into “Time-Frame Bonus Premiums” and “Volume Bonus Premiums. The former provides an 8% bonus to participants during the first 5 days of token sale, 6% for the next 5 days (Day 6 till Day 10). It will further reduce to 4% from day 11 till Day 20 and 2% for the last 10 days (Day 21 till Day 30). Similarly, the Volume Bonus Premium is calculated based on the total number of tokens purchased by the participants. Those purchasing between 1000 and 5000 ET4 tokens receive a 10% bonus, 15% for 5001 to 10000 tokens, 20% for 10001 to 15000 tokens, 25% for 15001 to 20000 tokens and 30% for those purchasing more than 20001 ET4 tokens.
ET4 tokens will be sold at a fixed price of 1/1000 ETH. Based on the results of private and public offers, the maximum fund is 13,800 ETH for pre-sale, 13,000 ETH for TGE. The pre-sale soft cap is 100,000 ET4. Tokens can be purchased with both Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The platform recently concluded its 2-day private token sale, during which it raised about $400000 by selling about 500000 ET4 tokens (including 40% private sale bonus) among participants.
More information about ETicket4 is available at – https://eticket4.com/
Details of ETicket4 Token Generation Event is available at – http://et4.io
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The European Commision (EC) has launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (BOF) to consolidate and grow blockchain initiatives within the European Union (EU).
With the support of the European Parliament, the BOF is a pilot project proposed by Member of the European Parliament Jakob von Weizsäcker, who is responsible for the recent report on virtual currencies. The project is intended to support the Commission’s work on financial technology. This new initiative will highlight key developments of blockchain technology and promote European actors to accelerate the growth and adoption of blockchain within the EU.
“Among the many technologies that are driving digital innovation, blockchain has the potential to be truly transformative for financial services and markets. The Blockchain Observatory and Forum will monitor developments and also inform our policy making,” said EC Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who is responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.
Many EU member states have announced initiatives with blockchain technology, and the EC wants to ensure those projects can work across borders, consolidate expertise and address challenges such as disintermediation, trust, security and traceability by design. Of concern are the many initiatives from banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges and other business sectors, leading to diverse systems that cannot work together.
“I see blockchain as a game changer and I want Europe to be at the forefront of its development. We need to establish the right enabling environment — a Digital Single Market for blockchain so that all citizens can benefit, instead of a patchwork of initiatives. The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum is an important step in that direction,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.
“It is a mission of ConsenSys to enable open, transparent cooperation between citizens, institutions and governments,” Ken Timsit of ConsenSys France said to Bitcoin Magazine. “The EU was created to enable cooperation between member states.” This shared vision made the partnership a good fit.
According to Timsit, ConsenSys will manage the initiative in cooperation with the Commission, coordinate the preparation of a number of research reports, and organize workshops and events in order to collect input and feedback from a large number of stakeholders.
The Commission has been funding blockchain projects throughout the EU since 2013 and expects to fund up to $425 million through 2020.
This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.
Online beauty bookings startup JOLYY is building a Blockchain-based platform, which will improve the way beauty salons manage their appointments.
The system is already operating as a scaled-down version, and now the company plans to build its next generation with the help of the blockchain. This will extend its capabilities beyond salons and to the wider market.
The beauty industry has been growing steadily in the past decades, recently enjoying a healthy boost from different online channels. As consumers shift their focus online, so does market demand.
The global beauty and personal care products market is expected to grow to $750 billion by 2024, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.15% between 2016 and 2024, according to a report by “Inkwood Research”. The market size was $432.7 billion in 2016.
E-commerce, social media and different online channels are playing an increasingly important role in the industry’s growth. The current market however, is stifled by “lack of efficiency, high commissions and unreliability”, the company COO Ognian Genev says.
To a great extent, salon managers still rely on phone, pen, and paper to manage their bookings. This ineffectiveness leads to considerable financial losses and missed opportunities for all stakeholders.
JOLYY is aimed at addressing the bulk of these issues.
Upon launch, it will offer bookings free of charge. Later, the company plans to introduce a 1% commission, much below the industry standard of 20% or more.
Salon managers will have access to data about their rating on the platform. Detailed analytics will help them improve their listing and go up the search results.
A dedicated social network, integrated within the platform, called JOLYY Live, will allow them to post content, promote their business and interact directly with their clients. The company hopes to turn the social network into the go-to place for the beauty industry with users uploading and sharing content, following experts, finding deals, etc. Salons and vendors will be able to advertise their products.
The JOY token
They will receive secure and instant payments in the system through a native token called JOY.
The company plans to launch JOY, based on the Ethereum blockchain, which will act as the main payment method in the network. Ad space will also be available for sale in exchange for tokens. By attributing an advertising value to tokens, the company hopes to increase the intrinsic value of the currency, long-term. Tokens used for buying ad space will get burned, reducing the total supply.
Clients will be able to book their preferred salons 24/7, paying in JOY tokens or fiat money. In addition, they will receive tokens as rewards for their participation, e.g. writing reviews and comments, referring new customers and salons, etc. The social network module will enable them to interact with their favorite salons and experts, follow and ask questions, read relevant content, etc.
Cosmetic product manufacturers, in turn, will get access to a direct marketing channel through the so-called JOLYY Store component of the platform. They will reach thousands of salons, filtering their search by geography, type, and other criteria. Vendors will promote their products to beauty experts through precisely targeted ads. For any sale, they will arrange cosmetics deliveries through cashless payments and a smart contract, saving time and money, the company says.
The platform will be based on the Origin Protocol, which uses the Ethereum blockchain to help buyers and sellers transact in a decentralized environment without traditional intermediaries.
JOLYY was founded in 2016 and operates out of Bulgaria.
The JOY token is scheduled to be released in the second quarter of 2018.
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