🕵️‍ ICO Watch Eric Eissler

Can Blockchain Really Challenge Amazon and EBay? Past-ICO Review

👁 ICO Watch
A small marketplace app wants to challenge the giants of e-commerce through Blockchain technology
Can Blockchain Really Challenge Amazon and EBay? Past-ICO Review

CyberMiles has a bit of an odd ring to it. I thought it was a coin that had to do with driving a car or an automobile membership. But what it is, is actually a business platform powered by none other than ERC20 Blockchain technology.

It wants to make smart contracts easy to navigate and deploy as well as payment services faster. Payment times for many coins have increased since the start of the year. After Bitcoin implemented the Lightning network, payments have been much faster.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Doing the numbers

CyberMiles had a 24-hour ICO Nov. 21-22, 2017 and raised $30.9 mln. They are ranked 86 by CoinMarketCap and have a current price of $0.14 per token, down from $0.36 since it entered the market on Dec. 5, 2017.

The circulating supply is close to 700 mln out of one bln total tokens. All uncirculated tokens are held by the foundation that is close to $42 mln in the hands of the foundation.

On Jan. 7, 2018, CyberMiles saw its highest price at $0.56 and then the price spiked again on May 29 to $0.44 before crashing down to its current price and all-time low.

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Ready to take on e-commerce giants?

CyberMiles is active on social media and has been making regular updates. According to the roadmap, they are slated to activate the mainnet and go live in Q4 of 2018 and they are planning to ship mining machines in Q3 of 2018. This will be a mined coin, where miners validate smart contracts and transactions on the Blockchain.

Digging deeper into what CyberMiles wants to create, we find that they are planning to take on the kings of cyber retail.

According to the website, they state that “our mission is to build a decentralized ecosystem for e-commerce. Much of this work is to design and implement an economic system. The network must be able to attract a diverse group of participants to share resources in order to truly achieve network effect.”

So they want to make it so that they can attract smaller businesses to join and trade through CyberMiles. They go on further to state that, “a few large corporations dominate the market. This causes small businesses and consumers [to] lose profits, [to slow] innovation, [furthermore,] consumers and network contributors are in the dark about where the money they have been taxed, goes.”

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The team

Lucas Lu, PhD is the CEO. He has a doctorate in particle physics and he worked at CERN when he participated in theoretical and experimental research of Higgs Particle. Previously Dr. Lu was a co-founder and CTO of Light In the Box, an online retailer and logistics company that was founded in China and went public on the NYSE. Before Light in the box, Dr. Lu was the first general manager of Alibaba’s Taobao Mobile platform and was the general manager of another Alibaba business unit.

Michael Yuan, Chief Scientist holds a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Texas at Austin. Michael was an active code committer in large Open Source projects such as Firefox, Fedora, JBoss, and others. He is an expert on enterprise and mobile software and was a Principal Investigator on multiple research projects funded by the US government.

Timothy McCallum, core developer, specializes in Blockchain implementations for businesses. A specialist in fintech programming, McCallum’s most recent project was a finance data migration exercise for local government.

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Too soon to call

While there aspirations are high, about what they want to do, it is unclear how they will succeed exactly. How will the platform operate? It sounds like the platform is more p2p, where buyers and seller reach out to each other to trade, but to what end? Some say it will be similar to eBay or some propose it could be like Amazon. The website references the app known as 5Miles, which is similar to OfferUp and LetGo, which allow users to buy and sell items to each other within a local area. The ideas are not clear and until the mainnet goes live in Q4 of this year, we may not know what it will be exactly until it launches. Whether or not it will succeed will depend on how many users are drawn to sign up to use the platform. We reached out to learn more but our emails went unanswered.

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🕵️‍ ICO Watch Eric Eissler

Green Energy Competition Heats Up Down Under: Past-ICO Review

👁 ICO Watch
On the road to a fall business launch, WePower sets itself apart from competition
Green Energy Competition Heats Up Down Under: Past-ICO Review

The tokenization (what isn’t getting tokenized these days) of electricity is one major use utility that has recently caught on in the Blockchain space. A number of similar projects have surfaced, with a major competitor, Power Ledger, vying for one of the same green energy markets in Australia.

High competition in this space plays a positive role overall as the driving force of innovation, but the implications for any individual company, including WePower, where total market dominance is not guaranteed, but rather working varied energy projects.

WePower and Power Ledger comparison: they are different

Thanks to some tweets,  we had a chance to get some info on what makes WePower stand apart from Power Ledger. WePower is focused on energy financing platform that will create and oppertuing for green energy production that will allow companies to raise capital by selling their “future energy production”. This is a major difference, is that they are selling energy before it is created. Whereas Power Ledger’s financing is equity based, which is similar to the current energy financing systems. WePower’s Smart contracts offer a much leaner and easier method of getting green energy projects financed. WePower is focusing on utility based energy transfers, where as Power Ledger is developing a p2p distribution network. WePower has a different blockchain and token, which accumulates value with the growth of the platform, where all energy is pooled and be bought or sold once it is produced. WPR token is also used for trading energy at auction. Power Ledger’s token is used for subsidizing energy retailers.  

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Throw another bill in the bank, mate!

ERC20 WPR token raised $40 mln in the initial ICO on Feb. 1, 2018. There was a presale that lasted from Sept. 22, 2017 to Feb. 1, 2018. So the company had a lot of time to raise the funding.

The token entered the market at $0.20 and then slid down to around $0.049 per token a 77 percent loss since its debut. It has a market cap of $22,281,006 and a rank of 284 with daily trading volumes around $460,130, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Team is not from Oz

The company is Lithuania based with an office in Estonia. They are working on power projects in their respective countries as well as, most notably in Australia and Spain- it’s pretty sunny in these countries.

  • Nikolaj Martyniuk Co-Founder

  • Artūras Asakavičius Co-Founder

  • Kaspar Kaarlep  CTO

  • Jon Matonis Blockchain advisor

  • Eyal Hertzog Blockchain advisor

  • Heikki Kolk is Energy IOT Expert

Incentives

WP’s main goal is to make green energy projects easily financed by allowing it to come from the community and individuals as opposed to the traditional top-down method of financing.

The financing model created by the WePower ICO incentivizes both producers and energy buyers to use the platform.

For producers, the model helps to increase return on equity by 20-25 percent, according to the website.

For consumers, buyers purchase energy upfront on the market for a reduced cost. Since the energy rights are held within a smart contract, energy that is not used is liquid and can be sold in the market.

This is tokenization in action right here, making things that are not normally liquid, ready to be sold at a moment’s notice.

Buyers, therefore, have access to cheaper energy, using only what is needed and reselling the rights to access the surplus.

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On schedule for business launch

WePower has some cool stuff going for it, and they are pushing ahead with releasing the v1 platform this month and are running ahead of schedule with the v2 platform. These platforms will help with new business and green energy project registrations. The official business launch is scheduled for the Fall 2018.

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How Blockchain and dApps Can Achieve True Decentralization and Massive Adoption

Public Blockchain networks need decentralized governance systems and interconnected network of dApps to reach adoption
How Blockchain and dApps Can Achieve True Decentralization and Massive Adoption

Public Blockchain networks and decentralized applications (dApps) launched on top of the Blockchain are often described as completely peer-to-peer systems that rely on a distributed network of users and developers to remain functional.

But, the emergence of high-performance Blockchain networks and dApps have led users and investors to raise the question, to what extent are Blockchain networks decentralized and how do dApps reach true decentralization through adoption?

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Gnosis founder on how Ethereum can reach mainstream adoption

Major public Blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum are capable of operating without the existence of central authorities and intermediaries. As such, on the Bitcoin and Ethereum protocols, users can freely send and receive data without restrictions.

Since its launch in 2015, Ethereum has been designed to function as the base protocol for dApps, supporting the facilitation of large amounts of data on the Blockchain. As of August, Ethereum is processing around one million transactions per day while Bitcoin is processing merely 20 percent of the volume of Ethereum.

Throughout the past 24 months, the Ethereum ecosystem experienced an abrupt increase in the number of dApps and Blockchain projects, primarily due to the exponential growth of the initial coin offering (ICO) market.

Consequently, thousands of Blockchain projects have launched on the smart contract protocol with sufficient capital to finance their operations for over a decade without depending on their Ether reserves.

While the vast majority of projects and dApps have failed, some including Augur, Gnosis, 0x, Aragon and Maker have created base protocols and platforms which other dApps can utilize to offer unique services.

For instance, 0x offers a decentralized digital asset exchange protocol which enables dApps to launch on top of it to process peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trades. Most decentralized exchanges including Paradex, the digital asset relay acquired by Coinbase, have launched on the 0x protocol.

Martin Köppelmann, the creator of decentralized marketplace Gnosis, said that blockchain technology and dApps can only reach mainstream adoption if the interconnectedness and network effect of dApps can significantly improve. To put it simply, Köppelmann emphasized that blockchains and dApps can only prosper if they rely on and support each other to improve the ecosystem.

“The numbers we care about is the usage of decentralized applications. And as a next step, the number to look out for is dApps that seamlessly interact with each other and draw a benefit from being on the same platform. As a side effect, ultimately the price of ETH will then be a function of the demand for the use of applications in this reliable, open, and interlinked environment,” he said.

In a separate statement, Köppelmann added that the success of public Blockchain networks should be measured by the ability of dApps to use the services and products of other dApps on the Blockchain, ultimately creating an interconnected network of decentralized systems.

“The best metric of success for Ethereum is not how many dApps are deployed or how many transactions those dApps have. It is about how many dApps are created and used that use smart contracts from other dApps,” Köppelmann explained.

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Governance and merit of a decentralized community

The second element that is necessary for the Blockchain to reach complete decentralization and Blockchain adoption alongside dApp network effect is open-source development. On a public Blockchain network, any user or developer should be able to contribute to the codebase of the Blockchain and have a say in its development roadmap.

On proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm-based blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum, users, developers, and miners can reach consensus through soft and hard forks, to integrate changes or improvements in the Blockchain.

Segregated Witness (SegWit), a scaling solution integrated into the Bitcoin network last year, is an example of a soft fork implementation that needs majority consensus from users and node operators to officially integrate into the Blockchain.

Soft forks and hard forks allow the community to weigh in on the decision making of integrating certain solutions, creating a decentralized environment in which every individual on a Blockchain network has the incentive and motivation to contribute.

Last month, at TechCrunch Sessions held in Zug, Switzerland, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin noted that one way to prove the decentralized aspect of Ethereum governance is that if Buterin himself or any other core contributor were to be kidnapped and forced to write code, the community will have to first approve of the changes before they are integrated to the Blockchain.

Hence, it is not possible at the current stage, that a central authority takes over a public blockchain network and manipulate its codebase.

Buterin said:

“The thing with developers is that we are fairly fungible people. One developer goes down and someone else can keep on developing. If someone puts a gun to my head and tells me to write a hard fork patch, I’ll definitely write the hard fork patch. I’ll write the GitHub issue, I’ll write up the code, I’ll publish it, and I’ll do everything they say. If I do this and publish a hard fork patch to delete a bunch of accounts, how many people will be willing to download the update, install it and switch to that update? This is called decentralization.”

For high-performance Blockchains, those that claim to process a million transactions per second, it may be difficult to have a completely decentralized governance system in place to lead long-term development. If this is the case, the long-term adoption and growth of the Blockchain could be sacrificed for short-term gains in scalability.

Already, with Ethereum for instance, an open-source developer community is working on the development and implementation of Sharding and Plasma, two scaling solutions that are expected to increase the capacity of the Ethereum network to potentially one million transactions per second in the years to come.

0x protocol has integrated an onchain and offchain data processing solution of its own to reduce the burden on the Ethereum mainchain and Zilliqa, a high-performance Blockchain launched on top of Ethereum, has focused its development on Sharding. Status, a popular mobile client for Ethereum, has also introduced the first widely utilized Sharding client, allowing both dApps and users to benefit from efficient scaling.

Other projects aim for mass appeal— for example, ONO, which is building a social network as a dApp on EOS. And some projects even take it a step further and make the social network an integral component to their blockchain as in the case with U.Community and UOS with the idea of U.Community being the social interface to the UOS Blockchain, making the blockchain governance frictionless and accessible to every user.

The benefit of having a truly decentralized governance system in place is that it allows for the creation of a community that supports each other to produce dApps, scaling solutions, and other unique products that will be crucial for mainstream adoption in the long run.

With Blockchain networks that are restricted by some central parties and moderators, it is difficult for an open-source developer community to exist and contribute actively to the codebase.

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IOTA Moves Closer to Total Decentralization

Pricewise
IOTA (MIOTA) has dropped almost 14% during the last 7 days against the US Dollar and is in a clear downtrend
IOTA Moves Closer to Total Decentralization

The IOTA Foundation is preparing to completely remove the central node that currently exists to prevent double spending that can occur when the network doesn’t have enough hashing power to be naturally secure. The central node is named Coordinator, and its coming removal has been dubbed “Coordicide” by the Berlin-based IOTA Foundation.

Although the Coordinator is meant to secure IOTA’s network, in theory it can allow the Foundation to prioritize certain transactions or to freeze funds. Also, it is a single point of attack (if it’s taken over or it stops working, network confirmations would stop), and it has been a limiting factor for scalability. The planned removal will occur sometime in 2019 and is widely regarded as bullish.

Chart Analysis – IOTA/USD

IOTA/USD chart

Although IOTA (MIOTA) has dropped almost 14% during the last 7 days against the US dollar and is in a clear downtrend, it shows potential for a stronger correction to the upside.

Currently the pair is trading at 0.23 but has printed a higher low on the second attempt to break 0.20 and is testing the bearish trend line seen on the chart above.

If this barrier can be decisively broken, it’s likely to trigger a move above the 50 period Exponential Moving Average (red line) and into the next resistance at 0.25. A break of the latter would score a major victory for the bulls, opening the door for further upside.

Support zone: 0.20

Resistance zone: bearish trend line (still not completely broken at the time of writing) and 0.25

Most likely scenario: break of trend line, test of next resistance

Alternate scenario: false break of trend line followed by another attempt to break 0.20

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Fork-Mania Could be New ICO-Mania as Companies Clamour for a Name

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10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

📚 Wikicoin
Volatility, scams, legality: those are just a few issues that face investors in Bitcoin and altcoins. Remember, invest only what you can afford to lose.
10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin and other altcoins have been making big headlines over the past few years, laced with stories about incredible gains and devastating losses. It’s the losses that are a hard pill to swallow. Many people ask, is Ethereum a good investment or Bitcoin? Let’s look at the top 10 reasons why you should not invest in Bitcoin and other cryptos. Remember, only invest what you can afford to lose.  

1. Volatility

Bitcoin and altcoins are very volatile, meaning that you could lose your shirt and your trousers if you buy high and sell low. In December 2017, Bitcoin hit its highest price at about $20,000. Fast forward to April 2018, when one Bitcoin is worth about $6,700, a 66.5 percent decrease in value. If you bought in the hype of December 2017, you would be out about $14,000 and for many people, that’s big money.

2. Security

In many countries of the world, banks are backed by the government. In the US the FDIC will ensure your bank account up to $250,000. Many exchanges do not insure your funds in crypto. If they are hacked and your proceeds are lost, you just lost all your money, unless the exchange can reimburse affected users.

3. Value or lack thereof

Bitcoin and cryptos are not backed by anything except belief. But then again, fiat currencies are backed only by the belief in the government that controls it, but at least cash is accepted everywhere. Crytpo derives its so-called wealth from mathematic formulae that are only understood by few.

4. Legality

Crypto is still very new, especially to governments. They are not sure how to regulate it or how to tax it. In some countries, there is a call to have it banned. Imagine being vested heavily in crypto and then finding out it is banned. How can you get your money back? Will you face fines and penalties for owning it? It’s not safe to own in a country that is about to place a ban on crypto.

5. Environmentally unfriendly

The power required to run mining rigs draws so much electricity, that it has become an environmental issue, that consumes valuable resources, pollutes the earth and even disrupts time. In China, Bitcoin mining is estimated to use up to four gigawatts of electricity, equivalent to three nuclear reactors' production levels.

6. Scams

Nothing is worse than being scammed out of your hard-earned cash. Scams and Ponzi schemes abound on the Internet with fake exchanges, fake ICOs, and other ways to steal your money. Whatever seems like an amazing way to double, triple, or quadruple your money in a short time, it probably is. You might also face long withdrawal periods to get your gains out of a rigged system. These are all part of Bitcoin investment scams and should be avoided.

7. No understanding of what crypto is

Many people ask if they should invest in Ether because it is not Bitcoin. Yes, it has a different function other than a store of value, but what makes it different is that it has smart contracts which are fuel and executed by “gas” another sub-set currency of Ethereum. Confused yet? As the old adage goes, don’t invest in something you don’t understand. “Can I invest in Ethereum?” you might ask, and sure you can, but don’t do it unless you understand it. More about Ethereum.

8. Decentralization: who do you trust?

Would you give your money to some guy on the street, who is touting a Bitcoin investment plan? I doubt it. Then why would you place your money into a system that has no central authority to regulate the inner workings of your investment and where your money is going? Could a state-backed cryptocurrency be the answer?

9. Anonymous or not

While Bitcoin is supposed to be anonymous, wallets are transparent. For some types of sales, especially in real estate, your funds need to be verified, it is a bit tricky to do with Bitcoin. Also, the US government is working with a firm to try to identify the individuals who may owe capital gains taxes on sales of Bitcoin. If the government can find you, then the promise of anonymity is false. Better not to get caught up in this trap.

10. Use on the dark web

The dark web is a place where all sorts of online crime take place, such as selling drugs, information, human trafficking, etc. Since Bitcoin is an incorruptible ledger system, that coin could be traced back to illegal dealings and might connect you to a crime: dirty money in other words.

Wikicoin
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