Yuri Molchan

Decentralized Exchange Bancor Loses $24 Mln in Crypto in Security Attack

The platform has lost almost 25,000 ETH and other coins after one wallet was compromised
Decentralized Exchange Bancor Loses $24 Mln in Crypto in Security Attack

On Monday, July 9, Bancor notified its users on Twitter that the website would be shut down for maintenance. Later on, the exchange posted that it had faced a security attack, however, they wrote, all funds were safe and that they had started an investigation.

Damage done

Nevertheless, later the exchange team announced that hackers managed to get control of a wallet, which was used for working with smart contracts. The hackers got hold of slightly under 25,000 ETH, a large number of NXPS and the local coin BNT.

The amount of the funds stolen equaled to $24 mln. However, the Twitter update made by Bancor insists that no user money was lost.

A quick response followed

The exchange team quickly activated a BNT smart contract and froze the coins. However, they failed to trace or get hold of the stolen ETH and NXPS. The team is busy finding a solution to this problem together with many other crypto exchanges in an attempt to trace the coins and identify the criminals.

Bancor background

Last year Bancor raised around $153 mln in an ICO and became the most significant decentralized exchange (DEX) in the industry. It has also consistently exceeded other decentralized exchanges in trading volumes.

Opponents’ critics

After yesterday’s hack, various experts started heavily criticizing the platform regarding its operations security methods. Charlie Lee on Twitter expressed his doubts regarding the exchange being decentralized at all since it froze users’ funds after the hack.

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Lee’s critical assessment of the situation is caused by the similar situation that happened a few years ago with DAO when the Ethereum team decided to hardfork to save the frozen ETH tokens. This resulted in the split in the community and the creation of the Ethereum Classic platform.

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Anatol Hooper

Nasdacoin Is Defying Market Trends

Nasdacoin started at around $1.00 on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and at one point touched $4.95 the next day, suggesting a 395% increase
Nasdacoin Is Defying Market Trends

Nasdacoin, with the ticker NSD, is a cryptocurrency that no one has really heard about before. However, the coin could draw attention amid the recent market collapse. When Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and the rest were losing over 10%, Nasdacoin managed to more than triple its price in less than a day.

The coin started at around $1.00 on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and at one point touched $4.95 the next day, suggesting a 395% increase — by far the largest growth among the top 100 coins. In fact, Nasdacoin and a few stablecoins were the only ones in green. Thanks to this bullish move, NSD could position itself in the 68th place on Coinmarketcap’s list, with a total market capitalization of $92 million during its peak.

However, as Friday came, Nasdacoin was defying the trends again. At the time of writing, the overwhelming majority of the top 100 coins are moving in a sideways direction, but most of them are still in the green. However, Nasdacoin is now the worst performer with a significant detachment from the rest of the coins, losing over 14% for the last 24 hours. Nevertheless, the cryptocurrency has maintained the greatest part of its recent gains, now trading at $3.54 as of 11:01 UTC.

Nasdacoin

What is Nasdacoin?

Even though extreme volatility is a well-known attribute of the cryptocurrency market, an almost 400% surge is still rare today, especially when it happens amid a general market crash. Thus, you might be wondering what’s behind this coin — that is, what is making it bounce so much?

In actuality, we have found there is nothing special in it that would motivate such an expansion. However, as the official website states, Nasdacoin is a “next generation of advanced solutions for all global monetary transactions.”

The whitepaper, a 20-page document, informs us that NSD is an encrypted and decentralized currency, which is open-source, peer-to-peer (P2P), and mineable. Besides acting as a P2P currency, Nasdacoin will fuel the Nasdacoin ecosystem, which is currently in development. It will comprise of an exchange platform, which will be downloadable on smartphones, a mining pool, a VISA-based card, and a marketplace as well as NASDACASINO, a gaming platform that will include casino-like and other types of games.

The whitepaper is quite straightforward as it has more images than descriptive texts, which makes us wonder whether the project as a whole can really inspire quality and confidence.

Why did NSD jump?

Considering the status of NSD — which has been a coin that nobody really knows or cares about — how could it find the community’s support and demonstrate such a bullish move? One of the reasons might point to the launch of the Nasdacoin Multilateral Platform, which came out on Oct. 30, 2018. The platform connects buyers and sellers of a wide range of products, from laptops or TV sets.

Some crypto watchers claim that the platform launch triggered the increase in NSD. However, the platform has been live since the end of last month — why did the cryptocurrency’s price react so late?

According to what we found, on November 14, moments before the NSD price started to increase, Nasdacoin’s Twitter account announced that it made history, as the coin could be traded on three crypto exchanges: Crex24, Mercatox, and BTC-Alpha.

 

If we check Coinmarketcap’s market data for NSD, Crex24 accounted for over 90% of the total trading volume of the coin during the price surge, with Mercatox getting about 4%. Are we dealing with a pump and dump scheme? We don’t know yet. Such schemes have become quite popular in this emerging industry, but so far, NSD could maintain most of its gains.

 

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📈 Pricewise Stavros Georgiadis

Ethereum Price Prediction for December: An Upward Retracement Is Underway

Pricewise
November 2018 was a tough month for Ethereum as the sharp decline in the Bitcoin price was a general one for the major cryptocurrencies
Ethereum Price Prediction for December: An Upward Retracement Is Underway

November 2018 was a tough month for Ethereum as the sharp decline in the Bitcoin price was a general one for the major cryptocurrencies, and ETH fell from the price of $208.88 on Nov. 5 to $104.40 on Nov. 27. Ever since in December 2018, there is a retracement already underway.

We will focus on a price prediction for Ethereum, especially for December, and also make an ETH price prediction for today​​ based on technical analysis. Can this 50% decline from November 2018 reverse and pause, or will there be a continuation of the downtrend?

As always, any Ethereum price predictions have the element of uncertainty and risk, and they are not investment recommendations, but rather the result of financial analysis.

Ethereum price forecast

Here are some Ethereum predictions and Ethereum forecasts by experts:

Bobby Ullery, CTO of Waysay:

“I think Bitcoin and Ethereum will share a $4.5 trillion market cap by 2020. How much could one Ether be worth? This is a little harder to calculate due to the somewhat unknown supply of Ether in the future, how Proof-of-Stake might change new Ether issuance, and the impact that the Ice Age will have on time between new ETH issuance. The original 2014 issuance model, stated a projection of ~162M ETH in circulation in 2020, however /u/manly_ pointed out that Vitalik has said it would be closer to 100M, so for our rough math we’ll use 100M ETH.$1,137,500,000,000 divided by 100,000,000 = $11,375 per coin, ~+4,000% from today.”  

Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group:

The price of Ethereum is predicted to increase significantly this year, and could hit $2,500 by the end of 2018 with a further increase by 2019 and 2020.This general upswing will be fueled by 3 main drivers. First, more and more platforms are using Ethereum as a means of trading. Second, the increased use of smart contracts by Ethereum. And third, the decentralization of cloud computing.”

Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit:

“I’m most bullish about Ethereum simply because people are actually building on it. It’s still early days, but you know, we’ve got a few CryptoKitties.
It’s easy to laugh at, but I think the first version of so many things looks like a toy and often has something to do with cats. It’s because the Internet loves cats. At the end of the year, Ethereum will be at $1,500. Great, now people can call me out if I’m wrong.”

Ethereum is now the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization
Ethereum Image

All these experts appear to be bullish and optimistic about ETH’s price prediction for 2018 and beyond, up to the year 2020. Next we will analyze our Ethereum forecast for the rest of 2018.

Ethereum price prediction December

In November 2018, the price of Ethereum most likely fell due to the selloff from ICOs. The majority of analysts in the cryptocurrency sector have attributed the decline in the price of ETH to the selloff of ERC20 blockchain projects that have raised millions of dollars in ETH in their token sales.

As the price of ETH started to fall and the cryptocurrency market entered a major bear market, analysts said that ERC20 projects started to sell their ETH holdings, causing ETH to experience a more intense downtrend than other major cryptocurrencies. Thus, it is very evident that the decision of ERC20 projects on Ethereum to sell large amounts of ETH in panic largely contributed to the downtrend of ETH. What are our own ETH predictions? Our technical analysis will be based on the price action for the past month.

Ethereum infographic on blockchain
Ethereum and decentralized networks

Ethereum price prediction end year

Before our technical analysis section about Ethereum prediction 2018, a few business arguments in favor of the price increase in the future are as follows:

The reasons behind the rise of Ethereum are plenty. Ethereum is used as a platform these days by a wide variety of ICOs as well as other cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, there are quite a few companies which are solely working on the Ethereum blockchain rather than the Bitcoin-based blockchain.

The underlying technology seems to be strong as well. This is the reason why the Ethereum predictions for 2018 as well as thereafter are positive. So, let’s explore this question further.

Ethereum price prediction 2019

Long-term price Ethereum forecast chart
Ethereum forecast for 2018 and 2019

As seen from the chart above, it is not easy to make any Ethereum projection about its future price. Any ETH forecast entails a very large degree of error. An Ether price prediction can be based, however, on more conservative price levels that are supported by business news and developments such as the arguments mentioned above. In our technical analysis section below, our Ethereum price projection will be a very conservative one.

Ethereum forecast today

Ethereum forecast 2018
Ethereum weekly chart

This weekly chart shows that anybody who would have been bullish about the Ethereum in 2018 would have been proven wrong, as the price collapsed from $1390 in January 2018 to $107.23 in November 2018, a decline of 92.30%. What is the forecast for next year?

Ethereum price prediction
Ethereum daily chart

As with Bitcoin price prediction today, any price prediction is very difficult, as news that may have a large impact on cryptocurrency prices is very hard to predict. Still, here is our Ethereum forecast for December 2018.

Ethereum technical analysis for December 2018

The daily chart of Ethereum (ETHUSD) does not seem very bullish, as there is a very strong downtrend in place, supported by the high values of the ADX/DMI indicator. The value of the ADX line is above 43, signaling a very strong trend. Usually, values above the 25 level indicate a strong trend. These are some of the key points in our technical analysis on Ethereum.

·    Stochastic indicator (14,3,3) is at oversold levels below the 20 level, but still shows no signs of trend reversal. In fact, a few days ago it made a bullish crossover as price bounced from $104 to $126, but it was a short-term bounce as price is now trading at $108.

·    MACD indicator is still at negative values, and although its histogram diminishes, pointing to a possible trend pause, it has not made any bullish crossover yet.

·    Daily Bollinger bands are at $191.72 and $82.30 for the upper and lower band respectively, having expanded significantly. This high volatility may be followed by less volatility and a mean reversion to the 20-period daily moving average at $138.

·    The price is below the daily 20-period and 50-period exponential moving averages respectively at $136.55 and $170.87. Both moving averages are pointing down indicative of a strong downtrend.

·    There are no obvious levels of support other than the recent low price at $102.10.

·    Former levels of support will act as resistance, and one important level is near $172.50, where 50-period daily EMA is now at $165.70 and at $188.40.

·    Fibonacci analysis is taken as a high price of $225.56 and a low price of $102.09 from November 7, 2018 to November 25, 2018, showing that the 0.5 and 0.618 retracement levels are $163.07 and $177.46 respectively.

·    Given the strong downtrend we estimate that a bounce is possible up to the price level of $125.00-$150.00.

·    If the support of $102.00 is breached, then there are no previous support levels and the price can move significantly lower.

·    Another factor to consider is that December is typically a month with reduced liquidity as it is a holiday season, and potential spikes in price could occur.

·    Due to the correlation that exists with Bitcoin price collapse, and in general the decline of major cryptocurrencies in November, any Bitcoin bounce to higher levels could also drive higher the price of Ethereum in December 2018. The current price of Ethereum as of December 3, 2018 is $108.18.

Conclusion

The crypto market has been suffering a severe decline in the last quarter of 2018. But the last month of the year looks bright for Ethereum, as the HTC Blockchain Phone Exodus 1 is getting ready to ship in December, which is only accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies.

Ethereum enables developers to build smart contracts, and this is a positive factor as it has plenty of business potential. Will Ethereum rise or fall in December 2018? It’s a hard answer to give and prediction to make. The recent downtrend is strong. Still, it is too early to make a call for the bottom price of Ethereum as the year ends. But a moderate uptrend during the remainder of 2018 is probable.

We estimate that, due to the liquidity diminishing as we get closer to the Christmas holiday season, a moderate move up to the price level of $125-$150 is possible. The cryptocurrency has fallen significantly, and while we favor trading with the trend, a dominant downtrend with the possibility of a moderate move up is our basic scenario for the rest of December 2018.

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Crypto Gags Heewon Jang

The Future Is Standing Behind The Cash ????????????

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Cash or Crypto ?? Comment Below ! ????????????
The Future Is Standing Behind The Cash ????????????

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🕵️‍ ICO Watch Eric Eissler

Basic Attention Token Fails to Get Full Attention: Past-ICO Review

👁 ICO Watch
Basic Attention Token garners just that, basic attention as it fails to follow through on technological developments
Basic Attention Token Fails to Get Full Attention: Past-ICO Review
Contents

May I have your attention, please! That worked, didn’t it? Are you still reading? Good. Then you might want to hear a bit more about how Basic Attention Token (BAT) would like to disrupt the traditional advertising market.

However, has not nearly captured, forgive the pun, it’s just too easy, the attention of the market to do so. Before we get into the technical aspects, let’s have a look at the books. Now, this next section should have your full attention, because it is about money.

!Attention! Financials

BAT had its ICO on May 31, 2017 which lasted for one day brought in $36 mln in funding. The must have gotten some people’s attention to raise that kind of money.

The token debuted at $0.36 and one year later is at $0.28 a loss of 22 percent, ouch! It seems it lost almost a quarter of the initial attention it had received; the excitement dwindles away.

BAT has one bln tokens in circulation with a maximum of 1.5 bln, and there is 500 mln currently uncirculated. It is also an ERC20 token based on the Ethereum Blockchain. It is ranked 58 by Coinmarketcap.    

At this point, 25 percent of you stop reading

But I hope you will continue as I hope this next bit gets your attention, it sure did for the middlemen that are to be cut out of the advertising cycle of BAT gets its way.

It won’t, however, so don’t worry. What it would like to do is create an ecosystem on the Internet where users and publishers can reward each other for either looking at advertising or supporting quality content.

The system is essentially three parties: advertisers, publishers, and users who can directly affect each other based on advertising or content.

Users can block ads or they could get paid in BAT to view ads by publishers or advertisers. In turn, the users could reward the publishers with BAT for quality content.

According to the website: “Digital advertising is overrun by middlemen, trackers and frauds.” The site goes on to list why the publishing industry is dying with the following points.  

  • Google and Facebook take 73 percent of all ad dollars and 99 percent of all growth.

  • Revenue is recently down 66 percent.

  • Bots inflicted $7.2 bln in fraud last year.

  • Over 600 mln phones and desktops run ad-blocking.

  • Publishers cannot seamlessly monetize value-added services.

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They have some points, but they have some flaws

Sure, publishers suffer a lot in the wake of the digitization and automation of their trade, but creating a limited ecosystem, where users have the option to block out all the ads is not going to help.

Even still rewarding them with tokens is not going to be the answer either. If getting likes on Facebook and Instagram is hard, imagine how much harder it is going to be if you want someone to pay for your content or in this case give a “tip” for great content.

In reality, it is just not going to be as good as it sounds on paper.

Then there are the technical problems, too. As part of the system, you need to use Brave Browser, a lot of people are not so easily swayed to switch browsers, especially if it is not one they heard of. Does anyone remember Opera? I used it for about a week before going back to Chrome. If they want to succeed, then they need to be able to operate plugins.

You had my attention at… but lost it quickly thereafter

It is a really well-meaning idea, but it only works on paper, sadly. I think we are going to see BAT fall into competition with other coins that do similar things and other advanced ad blockers out there that block ads, delete cookies and, and keep prying eyes out of your browser.

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🕵️‍ ICO Watch
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🕵️‍ ICO Watch Tzao Se

The Unreal Estate: Why Blocksquare’s ICO Faces Big Big Problems

👁 ICO Watch
We don’t think Blocksquare’s ICO will reach the goals it says it will achieve, and here is why
The Unreal Estate: Why Blocksquare’s ICO Faces Big Big Problems

Blocksquare dwells on the idea that has occurred to anyone familiar both with ICOs and real estate development. “Look, there’s a such a nice property over there, why can’t I just start an ICO, raise cryptocurrency, buy that property, and make a profit for everyone by leasing or reselling this property.”

That's exactly what Blocksquare wants to do. This Slovenian startup intends to offer a platform allowing to create tokens that represent a share in commercial properties.

Nothing really revolutionary- essentially, it offers a smart contract-based REIT (real estate investment trust) or real estate crowdfunding with blackjack and hookers, I mean, with Blockchain and tokens.

Proof of title. Of what?

On Blocksquare, a token (called generically “proptoken”) is issued in cooperation with a real estate broker or property developer,  for a specific property. Crypto is raised, sold for fiat, and given as an interest-bearing loan to this developer or company.

Developer purchases the property using the borrowed money. The loan is secured by a mortgage on the target property in favor of Blocksquare. Interests on the loan are paid to Blocksquare in fiat currency.

Blocksquare, in turn, buys BST tokens on the market, and a smart contract distributes BSTs between holders of the token. From that point, it is all elegant and simple.

The core of Blocksquare platform is Proof of Title protocol. It claims to provide a way to connect a smart contract with the traditional land registry so that investors can always be sure that the target property still belongs to the entity that has initially purchased it, and there is no further encumbrance. Seems to be okay, too- even though it doesn’t insure from a lot of things.  

So what’s the problem?

The white paper may lead some of the readers to believe that Proptoken owner will be registered as a co-proprietor in the land registry. No, he won’t. There’s a “title escrow entity” mentioned in the white paper- a real-world company, vetted by Blocksquare, an established certified real estate company or developer “with a good track record.”

It is obliged by the loan agreement to pay interest to Blocksquare and to obey decisions made by token holders under consensus protocol. If they don’t pay, the mortgage defaults and Blocksquare transfers ownership to another Certified Partner.

It is not a problem per se, most group investments in real estate are organized in a similar manner (individual investors normally become shareholders of a company or members of a partnership that is registered as a holder of the title, or they are investors in a fund that owns it, etc).

But, in case of Blocksquare, there are few easily enforceable links between the investor (proptoken holder) and the property. The investor only has a quasi-contractual relationship with Blocksquare, based on the smart contract. Blocksquare is protected by a mortgage on the property, but proptoken holders aren’t.

They are dependent on Blocksquare or whatever real-world entity that floats the tokens. Not so de-centralized (especially for an investment that may last for years or decades).

Too many ifs

It will likely be fine, until Blocksquare as a corporate entity is fine, and is managed in good faith, and their partners do the same. If Blocksquare runs into problems, or there’s mismanagement inside the company, proptoken holders won’t be likely to have any priority over other creditors, as their investment isn’t protected by a mortgage - it is just ordinary debt. 

Theoretically, they’d be even in a less secure position: enforcing a smart contract in court may become difficult, at least in the near future until courts accumulate the relevant experience. Of course, even a verbal contract is valid under most legal systems, but it is just more difficult to enforce. The same goes for smart contracts.

Blocksquare is incorporated in Slovenia, but the management is actively scouting for a better regulatory environment in other jurisdictions, including Zug, Switzerland. So Slovenian or Swiss or possibly other courts will be competent over potential disputes between token holders and the company, whenever the property in question is located. It may even be good news for the investor, as they won’t have to deal with courts in obscure overseas jurisdictions.

There is no ready solution yet in terms of investor protection, as things stay right now. “We are looking into a legal structure that will account for all worst case scenarios. It is imperative for a system like Blocksquare to gain trust by taking all legal measures possible to protect the end-users e.g. PropToken holders”, responded Mr. Petrovcic, Blocksquare’s CEO to Cryptocomes, when asked about the destiny of proptokens in case if Blocksquare goes out of business, or absorbed by another company.

Technology

The technology that is the heart of Blocksquare is easy to replicate - the idea is obvious. It is not a rocket science to read the state of the land registry (or have a trusted law firm request an extract and post the state of ownership to the Blockchain, where land registries aren’t online).

When cryptomarket matures and relevant regulation appears, traditional real estate investment funds will add crypto investment possibilities, making Blocksquare position complicated. Blocksquare white paper completely ignores the possibility of the competition.

Also, the land registry is not the single potential point of failure of the whole scheme, so integration with it doesn’t grant the complete peace of mind to the investor.

Tokenomics

Proptoken holders will be paid in BST acquired on the market. To fix their profits, token holders will need to sell their BSTs on the same market. It is not uncommon that even the most liquid cryptocurrencies are traded with significant differences between sale and purchase price. So it won’t be illogical to expect losses when selling BSTs in smaller amounts. “Blocksquare might buy more BST on the market when prices are low, and less when the prices are high, but distribution will be valued on BST price averages. This option gives more stability to the BST token price when markets are volatile.”, - said Blocksquare’s CEO to Cryptocomes when asked how Blocksquare wants to deal with a situation of possible disparity between buy and sell prices of BST token.

Regulatory risks

As it looks right now, Proptokens created on the Blocksquare platform will likely be considered securities by most regulators- as they are offered to the public and bear  interest. This will require regulatory approval by many regulatory bodies for every country where they are offered, for instance with the SEC in the US.

Will Blocksquare will go and ask for regulatory authorizations for every proptoken issued? Will it mean a substantial legal hassle, that will be passed on to issuers? Will this set a natural lower limit for investment, that makes all that trouble worth its while, like in case with IPOs, where one doesn’t go for it unless they need at least certain amount?

All great questions and I wish I had all the answers. As I said, Blocksquare issues a loan and in the eyes of local authorities that's what it is,” told me Denis Petrovcic, Blocksquare CEO, to the questions raised above:

I believe we are now in 1903, looking at a Ford car, while on the road we have carriages and horses and we are trying to mount horses in front of cars, keeping the engines off, just so they would look more like carriages.”

“I would argue Blockchain-based tokens differ from traditional securities in the way accounting is conducted, validation is performed and ultimately medium of value exchange is stored,” he adds. “Just like a carriage and a car, they both do the same job, just the new invention does it much better than what was previously used and society needs first to adapt and put new rules in place so people can safely use them.”

Until that happens though, one may see a possibility of regulatory intervention on behalf of the citizens of different countries where proptokens are offered (or restrictions of availability, as many ICOs do these days).

Given that seeking even one single regulatory approval for a security isn’t generally a quick or cheap process, this may theoretically limit the possibilities of offering proptokens worldwide (at least, legally).

This questions the main assumption of the project - the ability to open the worldwide market in a frictionless manner. In the close perspective, it will be neither worldwide nor frictionless, if done in a compliant manner.

Customer base and revenue assumptions

Blocksquare expects to tokenize 5,000 properties worldwide on the second year post-ICO and 70,000 third year. Given the circumstances we have considered above, it is questionable whether Blocksquare can attract traditional property investors (given overheads, lower level of investment protection compared to traditional investment vehicles, low penetration of cryptotechnology).The Unreal Estate: Why Blocksquare’s ICO Faces Big Big Problems

If this premise shows to be true, Blocksquare would attract mostly investors who already hold cryptocurrencies or mine them.

So Blocksquare’s proptokens will compete with other ICOs for the investor base.

Now, they expect that proptokens’ capitalization will reach $2.5 bln to the end of the second year, and some stunning $35 bln in the end of the third year of operation.

Improbable goals

These numbers are just a simulation of growth based on the number of properties in the system. If you look at the number of Airbnb flats , there is more than 1 trillion USD worth of real estate listed on a short-term rental platform.... and we didn't even start looking at other rent-generating properties”, says Blocksquare’s CEO when asked what motivated their business case’s assumptions. “Can we achieve those numbers? Perhaps. Will it to be hard to get there? Most definitely. How do we start? Flat by flat, unit by unit.

Just to remind ourselves: all ICOs combined have raised about $4 bln in 2017. And Blocksquare wants us to believe that almost 60 percent will be raised by a single consortium (i.e. Blocksquare + Certified Partners), and then, the next year, they’d raise amounts the same order of magnitude to what Ethereum is worth now.

Given that property returns are relatively low (five percent p.a. before taxes is considered a good deal, at least in Europe), and most ICOs are speculative, Blocksquare proptoken offers will attract a relatively limited investor base looking for stability.

I’d be happy to be mistaken, but I see it improbable that Blocksquare will reach the ambitious objectives it aims for.

🕵️‍ ICO Watch
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