Yuri Molchan

Controversial Chinese Crypto Billionaire Joins Hong-Kong-Listed DLT Company

Li Xiaolai gets invited to join the board of a blockchain firm that went public through the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as a co-CEO
Controversial Chinese Crypto Billionaire Joins Hong-Kong-Listed DLT Company
Contents

Grandshores Technology Group sends word that Li Xiaolai is about to work for them as an executive director, helping to supervise different projects connected to the open ledger technology, as well as the creation of a stablecoin backed by a fiat currency. He will be also working on trusted execution environment apps and do other crucial things for the firm.

Who is Li Xiaolai

The man is currently 46, and his reported net worth equals approximately $1 bln based on the estimates in October. The data comes from the Hurun firm that watches businessmen with top net worth in China and also around the world. He is also known to be the founder of venture investment firm BitFund in Beijing.

Li has recently put his funds into several blockchain-related businesses. He was also one of the people who founded Grand Shores Global Blockchain Ten-Billion Innovation Fund. This organization was created this spring to support startups dealing with innovations.

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Terms on which Li takes the invitation

At Grandshores, they have stated that the size of Li’s compensation is not definite yet, as the board is still to decide on it. Similarly, the period of his work will be defined later on. As per the conditions, he will occupy the aforementioned position until the next board meeting takes place. After that there will be re-elections, the results of which will determine whether he stays at or leaves the company.

The company intends to create a stablecoin that is linked to the Japanese native currency yen later in 2018 or at the start of 2019.

More about Xiaolai

Earlier this year, U.Today reported that Li Xiaolai took part in a scandal, insulting several crypto leaders in an audio recording which later emerged on the Web. Reportedly, Li called the leaders of world-famous platforms – Binance, Tron, Nem – cheaters and scammers.

The offended persons responded soon on social media, saying that “only a cheater can call other people cheaters”.

Later on, he apologized via the Chinese social network Weibo, but he only regretted that he had used a lot of curse words and insisted that what he said on the recording was true.

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Wikicoin Vera Thornpike

5 Best Upcoming Cryptocurrency to Watch in 2018

📚 Wikicoin
BTC and ETH are not the only options for investment! Meet five new cryptocurrencies to consider in 2018
5 Best Upcoming Cryptocurrency to Watch in 2018
Contents

Despite the fact that Bitcoin continues reigning the market of cryptocurrency, there are new altcoins appearing every day. Some of them are innovative, while some are junk. The market is bursting with top upcoming ICOs, and today we continue observing altcoins worth taking a look at. Yesterday we explored five well-known cryptocurrencies, here are five fast-growing coins.

EOS

EOS is a versatile smart contract Blockchain platform proposed by the Block.one company. It makes up for a better speed, excellent user experience, and scalability. EOS uses Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism, which allows for a higher throughput, as well as the absence of transaction fees. Thanks to shared networks, such resources as bandwidth and storage are provided and shared by participants.  

What makes its new upcoming cryptocurrency advantageous is the technology underlying it. EOS is way more technologically advanced than many other projects alike. The much-awaited upcoming cryptocurrency ICO is already available on the market, and it made waves long time before the coin offering and the main sale which brought the team over $2 bln. EOS is highly capitalized– a lot of money has been put into launch.

Considering the fact that EOS plans to start with 1,000–6,000 TPS (which is an enormous speed for Blockchain transactions), and will achieve a strikingly great performance with 21 nodes only, it can surely be called one of the best upcoming cryptocurrencies of this year.

Key merits of EOS
What makes EOS Blockchain technologically superb?

QASH

The next upcoming cryptocurrency worth consideration is QASH, an ERC20 token offered by a Japanese company QUOINE. The team behind the project aims to become a leading financial services provider for huge institutions in the blockchain industry. The services are leveraged inside the LIQUID Platform that was launched in June 2018. Some of its most prominent services include:

  • fiat–crypto exchange,

  • crypto–crypto exchange,

  • prime brokerage services,

  • world order book,

  • and the platform for development and launching of ICO in the frames of their proprietary ecosystem.

One of the most anticipated upcoming cryptocurrency events is releasing of QASH Blockchain and swapping of the ERC20 version for the native token that will take place in 2019. If things go as planned, QASH can become one of Top-10 best up and coming cryptocurrency by 2020.

The strongest side of this project is the fact that it offers end-to-end solutions for Blockchain projects to organize ICO on their platform. That saves entrepreneurs time and efforts for solving major technical issues. After launching, QASH has already started hosting the ICO for VUULR project.

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ChanCoin

This new upcoming cryptocurrency proposed by ChanCoin was initially created in 2017. The ChainCoin team has been working on the steganographic technology which credits the original content creators. CHN is used to define and attach the original ownership to the primary creator of a video or image. This way, the upcoming ICO cryptocurrency will be used to reward the original creators of content, if their works are viewed and reposted.

After the incident with one of the developers who was engaged in the malicious behavior, the community rebuilt the project and has made serious advances since then. Now, ChainCoin’s CHN is a microcap coin, and the market cap has reached $200,000. The release of ChainCoin platform is considered to be one of the most awaited cryptocurrency upcoming events.

Need more info about new altcoins? Check out this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRgdhLFyRUk

Ontology

ONT is an NEP-5 token, one of the most anticipated upcoming cryptocurrency forks of NEO blockchain. By staking their ONT, users get Ontology Gas (ONG) that are used to drive performance transactions for the Ontology Blockchain.

The Ontology project was designed to face one major issue: how to verify personality to upload the information safely into the Blockchain. The smart economy system created by NEO won’t be accessed without digital identity. This platform would be useful for the whole gamut of industries, such as healthcare, insurance, banking, etc. Although it’s a public Blockchain, Ontology also allows for creating private chains for corporate clients to keep mission-critical information safe and secure.

Ontology project is backed up by a serious team who has created a lot of fuss around the platform after being listed in Binance in April. Developers plan to start a partnership with different companies soon after the launch (they have already started working with Sequoia Capital, Danhua Capital, and Matrix China).

Ontology and NEO– Onchain projects
Ontology is an affiliate project of Onchain

Elixir

Elixir (ELIX) is a project that enables users to lend money, perform payments, and perform crowdfunding. The team will introduce the mobile application soon, and leverage the main functions of the platform. At the moment, users can join as “Early Creators” and host the first crowdfunding initiatives. The up and coming cryptocurrency ELIX will be given to early contributors in exchange.

This Blockchain is based on a Proof-of-Time algorithm, which means the coin is distributed with the help of a “genesis airdrop” event. Airdrop participants will not only receive a few ELIX tokens but can also grant their coins to mine more. The longer coins are held, the more ELIX is returned.

Elixir website interface
How an account on Elixir website looks

Comparison of upcoming cryptocurrencies

Let’s check out the market cap of the new popular coins:

EOS

$10.3 bln

Zilliqa

$743 mln

Neblio

$94 mln

Ontology

$703 mln

Qash

$168 mln

Elixir

$9.5 mln

ChanCoin

$200,000

Masari

$1 mln

These are the most promising projects of this year– they have all chances to conquer the market down the road.

When searching for new investment opportunities, don’t limit yourself by well-established coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum– the choice is much, much wider. Bet on the best upcoming cryptocurrency and, probably, you will wake up rich and wealthy.

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Patrick Thompson

CTFC and SEC Meet with Senate Banking Committee

The CTFC and the SEC meet with Congress today to discuss the future of virtual currencies.
CTFC and SEC Meet with Senate Banking Committee

Today, Tuesday Feb. 6th, 2018, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission will be meeting with the Senate Banking Committee to discuss virtual currencies. Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) J. Christopher Giancarlo and Jay Clayton from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be addressing Congress about the CTFC and the SEC’s role as overseer's of virtual currencies.

 

Over the past month, the CTFC and the SEC have filed lawsuits, launched investigations, overseen Bitcoin futures launches and issued warnings to investors. The world of cryptocurrency is currently like the Wild West. There are no investor regulations or policies in place that would prevent investors from getting scammed out of their money and no single person owns the Blockchain. Because of this, it is difficult for the government to try to step in and regulate virtual currencies like Bitcoin. Many fear that if a centralized federal agency gets there hands on a decentralized system like Bitcoin, the system will break down or they will be taxed out of the wazoo. However, Clayton and Giancarlo have a more optimistic outlook, it seems as though Clayton and Giancarlo believe they will be able to compromise with lawmakers. Giancarlo said:

 

’Do no harm' was unquestionably the right approach to the development of the Internet. Similarly, I believe that 'do no harm' is the right overarching approach for distributed ledger technology. ... With the proper balance of sound policy, regulatory oversight and private sector innovation, new technologies will allow American markets to evolve in responsible ways and continue to grow our economy and increase prosperity.

 

Giancarlo could be hinting toward a hands-off approach to virtual currency regulation; an approach that resembles Laissez-faire, the idea that the government should do their best not to tamper with a free market because the free market will work itself out to the point of efficiency.

 

Clayton said:

 

As Chairman Giancarlo and I stated recently, we are open to exploring with Congress, as well as with our federal and state colleagues, whether increased federal regulation of cryptocurrency trading platforms is necessary or appropriate. We also are supportive of regulatory and policy efforts to bring clarity and fairness to this space.

 

Both Clayton and Giancarlo seem to be hopeful that there is a place for Blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency within the legal space. Today’s hearing may be the most significant hearing ever held for cryptocurrencies. The outcome of today’s 10 a.m. meeting with Congress can change the future for cryptocurrencies, it all depends on what the outcome of the meeting is.

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🕵️‍ ICO Watch Eric Eissler

Past ICO Review: Mysterium, an ICO as Mysterious as the Name

👁 ICO Watch
Mysterium offers a decentralized VPN powered by users renting out unused network capacity.
Past ICO Review: Mysterium, an ICO as Mysterious as the Name
Contents

Lithuania-based Mysterium is a decentralized, private VPN powered by Blockchain technology. It is an Open Sourced Network allowing anyone to rent out their unused network traffic while providing a secure connection.

Bubble ICO: popped quickly, bubbled up again, burst

The Mysterium ICO debuted May 30, 2017 and raised more than $13 mln in the one-day ICO sale. The Mysterium token entered the market at $2.45. One month later, at the end of June, it was down to $1.66. At the end of July, it was down further to $0.74, sinking to $0.48 by the end of November, before rocketing up to more than $4.00 in January!

The gains were brief, as it came crashing back down below $1.00 in January and has stayed there since that time. Mysterium was listed on Bittrex before it was removed earlier in 2018, possibly due to the crash in the price. According to the Mysterium team on the Reddit ADA in March 2018:

When the MYST token has been integrated in the VPN and nodes with the payments system we will be able to apply for relisting. We are also in the final stages of negotiations with several exchanges for listing. As mentioned previously we will be listed on at least one medium size exchange and a decentralized one. MYST is currently listed on: centralized- Liqui, BigONE; decentralized - IDEX, ForkDelta.

Additionally, according to the Mysterium Website, there will be a second ICO sometime in 2019. Perhaps, the second coming of an ICO will help lift the company back up.

Much potential, but lack of action scares investors  

It is rather surprising that Mysterium did not do better considering the privacy services that it offers to users:

  • Focus on network participant benefits

  • Private data is decentralized

  • Obstructed access of your data for third parties

  • Perfect competition sets fair price

  • Essentially, you get paid to rent your unused network capacity

Since the first ICO almost one year ago, Mysterium has been pretty quiet about what is developing. A second AMA was held on April 19, 2018 on Reddit, but there have been no updates as to what questions were selected and answered. Investors need to see the progress of the technology to realize the potential to invest.

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Possible prosperity ahead

While Mysterium might seem like one of the many ICO losers, it had a massive spike in January before falling back down. That spike makes it stand out in the crowd of failed ICOs. A second ICO on the horizon and a pending response to the Reddit AMA give hope that Mysterium will rise from the ashes like the Phoenix.

Furthermore, this coin was designed to facilitate more secure internet usage. Aside from working on establishing entirely private internet usage, Mysterium focuses on providing the users of its technology with an internet connection that is solid, stable and secure. Globally, the internet is challenged by many regimes and oppressive governments, and not everyone has an established fast internet connection, or any connection at all.

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🕵️‍ ICO Watch Brian Kean

5 Main Reasons Why Telegram ICO Can Fail

👁 ICO Watch
Telegram has already received pre-orders for $3.8 bln. It thrice surpasses the amount of $1.2 bln, claimed as the aim of TON ICO. But the hype could hide problems that not many are talking about.
5 Main Reasons Why Telegram ICO Can Fail
Contents

Even experts, who are generally skeptical about cryptocurrency, are optimistic about Telegram Open Network (TON). The main argument in favor of the TON ICO is that the company already has more than just a white paper.

But a closer look shows that the things are not so obvious.

The most ambitious ICO yet

The ambitiousness of the TON ICO amounts to more than its aim of raising $600 mln only in private sale of tokens to large investors with the average check of $20 mln.

It is worth to note that Telegram has already received pre-orders for $3.8 bln. It thrice surpasses the amount of $1.2 bln, claimed as the aim of TON ICO.

Key concerns are whether the messenger can succeed in building revolutionary crypto-ecosystem and in implementing conversational commerce in its product as WeChat has done.

2011 failure

Durov failed with his first digital currency in 2011.

Vkontakte, the social network founded by Pavel Durov, shut down its payment system in 2011 due to low demand. Only around one percent of users were spending its internal digital currency on shopping.

Later, in 2014 Durov sold shares in Vkontakte, left Russia and launched encrypted messaging service Telegram.

Will the Telegram Open Network (TON) launch become a successful revanche for  Durov?

durov_1

Green Team

The hardest challenge for the project is its attempt to create, as they call it, a “truly mass-market cryptocurrency.” The Telegram team is led by one of the world’s most talented programmers, Nikolai Durov.

His technological approach to building fast and scalable cryptocurrency transactions seems reasonable, but very multidirectional.

The weak point may be the implementation of this concept, as none of the Telegram team has previous experience in the blockchain industry.

durov_2

Trailing other messengers

Telegram stays behind almost all other messengers by the number of monthly active users. But its users are the keenest on transferring money(GlobalWebIndex research).

According to TON primer white paper, Telegram will reach 200 mln MAU by the end of Q1, 2018.

That means that by the audience it will continue to fall far behind the market leaders such as WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, etc.

It’s only fair to say that despite the low number of its users, Telegram obviously has success with their engagement. According to GlobalWebIndex research, Telegram users are the keenest on transferring money. They are almost twice as likely to do this than users of WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

But this is not the major achievement of Durov’s team. Based on security, privacy, and anonymity, Telegram goes beyond a traditional messenger and becomes a new media platform similar to Youtube or Instagram with its types of content, opinion leaders and native ads.

The white paper states that Telegram’s public broadcast channels generate over 30 bln views by 80 mln users per month. It is easy to guess that its unofficial advertising turnover probably amounts to millions of dollars.

In this paradigm, the key competitor for Telegram is the centralized app WeChat owned by Tencent, a $300 bln worth company.

Having tremendous success in China, WeChat has no idea yet on how to expand its audience in the west. A token sale along with the implementation of Blockchain will give Telegram a chance both to raise money and build a reliable ecosystem to compete with WeChat.

durov_3

US Compliance Uncertainty

SAFT usage is mentioned as "likely," while there can be around two quarters between token sale and distribution.

durov_4

Legal problems ahead

The legal aspect of TON ICO and post-ICO expansion is still a question as it is described neither in primer white paper nor media.

durov_5

Besides these complexities, the TON ecosystem could be limited by Telegram’s modest footprint in the largest markets such as the US, China, Brazil, Japan, India, Indonesia, South Korea, where other messengers’ presence are currently much higher.

Volatility and liquidity

According to market rumors, the line of venture funds wishing to include Telegram in their portfolios is rather long. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark and Sequoia Capital, are among them.

Russian media reported that Telegram has already received pre-orders for $3.8 bln. It thrice surpasses the amount of $1.2 bln, claimed as the aim of TON ICO.

The justification for a strategy of having a closed primary round also seems quite sensible. In both second (public) round and secondary market for tokens, private investors are supposed to be lining up to invest in Telegram since they were unable to do so in the first stage.

This might provide essential liquidity for the asset for those who come in first, i.e. for the funds; this is also perceived as a definite plus in terms of risk management by the investment community.

What else could increase liquidity? 

The Telegram business model enables it to implement a token in the product structure rather efficiently without the need to "drag in" the role of a token in the system, which is typical for projects staging ICOs. The ways to spend the token mentioned in its unofficial white paper look quite specific and narrow, however.

Pros of the TON 
We tried to imagine what else the TON could be used for so that an average user could benefit from it.

Online retailers: Many of them already communicate with clients and sell via messengers. The problem is that they have to pay commission to third parties such as banks and payment systems. Instead of paying this fee, retailers could offer better prices or rewards, and acquire more customers in the process. Although, this acquiring approach would still raise lots of questions from regulators.

P2P classifieds: There is always a lack of trust between seller and customer on platforms like eBay. Both sides have to choose between taking a risk or paying a fee for a secure transaction.

Darknet market: Let’s be honest- TON is an ideal ecosystem for illegal retailers, for whom it is essential to communicate and trade anonymously and privately.

Human resources: There is an obvious demand for a common workspace for both freelancers and employers, with easy communication tools and a smart-contract payment system.

Will the largest ICO be reasonable?

Telegram's ICO could become the largest to date and launch a trend for raising funds through issuing tokens for other existing online businesses which do not want to resort to venture capital by different reasons, for example because they want to keep control over most of their business.

The motivation of Telegram that doesn’t have easy access to venture capital is entirely rational. Durov has a strong team and a scalable product already, which is important to investors.

But what works for building social networks may not work for building the platform that figuratively competes with Bitcoin, Ethereum, WeChat and Facebook Messenger at the same time.

Whatever success, TON, for sure, will make a big splash in the ICO market.

ICORating has not made an official evaluation of TON as its ICO has not been officially announced yet. This is our opinion based on what we know from insiders and open sources. 

Brian Kean, СBDO at ICORating agency

🕵️‍ ICO Watch
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Thomas Hughes

The Dreaded 51% Attack Is Myth No More. Vertcoin Under Siege

Vertcoin has been hit by a 51% attack during which a group of cybercriminals got hold of more than 50% of the network’s hash rate
The Dreaded 51% Attack Is Myth No More. Vertcoin Under Siege

Vertcoin (VTC) was created in 2014 and was meant as “a direct hedge against long-term mining consensus centralization on the Bitcoin mining network”. Just recently, it has been hit by a 51% attack during which a group of cybercriminals got hold of more than 50% of the network’s hash rate.

This practically means that said group now owns Vertcoin’s Blockchain, and they can create additional blocks from any previous block, thus creating two versions of the same Blockchain (reorganization) and allowing double spending.

According to Mark Nesbitt, a security expert, there have been 22 cases of Vertcoin Blockchain reorganization so far, 15 of which resulted in double spending, which is estimated at over $100,000.

Chart Analysis – VTC/USD

Chart Analysis – VTC/USDHaving dropped more than 4% against the US Dollar during the last 7 days, Vertcoin is likely to sink even lower considering the recent 51% attack, which will probably generate panic against traders.

Currently, the pair is trading at 0.29, inside bearish Bollinger Bands (angled down) and capped by a downtrend line. A solid break outside of the channel formed by 0.36 and 0.26 will trigger an extended move in the direction of the break, but looking at the latest candles, we can see there is an almost complete lack of bullish pressure, so we consider the most likely target to be 0.26.

The candles show long wicks in their upper part, meaning that bulls are trying to push higher but lack the necessary strength and by the end of the candle period, the bears take over. If the trend line on the chart is intact, our bias is bearish.

Support zone: 0.26

Resistance zone: bearish trend line (as diagonal resistance) and 0.36 (as horizontal resistance)

Most likely scenario: drop into 0.26

Alternate scenario: break above the trend line without momentum

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