🕵️‍ ICO Watch Eric Eissler

Swiss Cheese is Full of Holes: Past-ICO Review

👁 ICO Watch
The Swiss are known to be masters of finance and all Delikatessen, but don’t be fooled, there are some struggling projects in the land of cheese and chocolate
Swiss Cheese is Full of Holes: Past-ICO Review

 

The cryptosphere is growing larger and larger and with its growth comes a swell of companies that offer to manage crypto assets and make you more money when you use their services. These companies are now a dime a dozen. While they may claim that they have a new and innovative way  to manage your funds, the details are obscure at best. For example, “Swissborg’s objective is to create a democratic, decentralized and professional ecosystem to manage your portfolio of crypto assets,” according to the white paper.

Swiss clocks are expensive, these tokens...not so much

While Swissborg’s ICO raised $50 mln between Dec. 7, 2017 and Jan. 10, 2018, its market cap is only at $5.9 mln, and the token price has lost 98.9 percent of its value starting at $0.91 per token and shooting straight down to $0.01 per token at the time of writing. It has not been very impressive. CoinMarketCap has it ranked at 496. Remember that not all that glitters is gold.

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Team

Cyrus Fazel- CEO & Founder

Fazel has a formal background in business and finance and has held senior and executive roles within various wealth management institutions before starting Swissborg in June 2015.

Anthony Lesoismier- CSE & Co-founder

Lesoismier has a background in fintech and finance. He has held various positions within this industry in several countries.

Micha Roon- Smart Contract Expert

On first glance, it seems he is part of the core team, however, when looking at the LinkedIn site, he is really just an advisor: “My role at Swissborg is to make sure the Blockchain is used securely and efficiently.” His main role is a senior Blockchain developer at Sweetbridge.

Tomas Hanak- IT Operations

Has more than 15 plus years experience in IT and IT operations management. He is leading the IT charge at Swissborg.

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One hand, too many cookie jars

There are many various projects that Swissborg is tackling. The major difference is in the scope.

A focused company is likely to have a product built more quickly than one that is looking at everything. Swissborg is too spread out and that might make them slow to develop a working platform.

The roadmap on the website has three major milestones, but no expected completion dates. There is a second link that takes visitors to a Trello page with a so-called timeline, but that just happens to be a mess of weeds.

Not really sure what they are trying to communicate on the Trello platform.

Another major roadblock Swissborg faces are that banks are highly regulated and it will be very difficult for Swissborg to operate internationally across multiple jurisdictions. There is nothing in the whitepaper to describe how they will solve this challenge.

Consider alternatives

Yodling, cheese or chocolate making these are all very focused endeavors. Swissborg is all over the place on how it intends to manage wealth and grow. It faces a highly regulated industry with not much direction. There is not much else to say, but “Good luck!”

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🕵️‍ ICO Watch Eric Eissler

Shared Computing Power Comes at Cost to Miners: Past-ICO Review

👁 ICO Watch
It doesn’t make much sense to run an operation where miners are losing just to run the network
Shared Computing Power Comes at Cost to Miners: Past-ICO Review

Golem seems to be what everyone is talking about when it comes to shared computing power and crypto, but there is another coin with the same game but obscured by Golem’s shadow. That is GridCoin.

Users volunteer their computing power and are rewarded Gridcoins for the use of their computing power though BOINC, an open source volunteer computing grid which combines the processing power of individual users for the purposes of scientific research.

In other words, scientists can use this network to solve problems that require massive computational power, which might not be readily available to them in their labs.  

Funny financials

Golem entered the market at $0.0022 back in 2015 and is currently trading at $0.024. Over the past year, the price fluctuated heavily and it did hit an all-time high of $0.183. This price fluctuation was when there was a fundraiser of $32 mln, reportedly.

It has a market cap of only $9.5 mln and daily trade volume is very low at $7,000. It is ranked at 418 on CoinMarketCap. People looking to make some major gains should not look to the scientific Blockchain tokens, because they are designed in principle to support science and not make investors a quick buck.

These are utility tokens. This is the point of contention that has upset some who are mining the coin and providing their computational power; the mining rewards are less than the cost of electricity to run the mining operations.

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High power, low rewards

Looking into GridCoin forums on Reddit, there were complaints about the mining fees being too low, such that miners were operating at a loss due to electricity fees being higher than the mining rewards. I reached out with a pertinent question: “It seems there are many complaints that people signed up for BOINC are paying more in electric fees than they are being rewarded. Could you explain what is going here and why people are making such claims?”

But after four days of waiting, no one reached out to answer the question. It doesn’t make much sense to run an operation where miners are losing just to run the network.

Despite that GridCoin, just the other day tweeted that the network is growing over the past year and it has substantially grown, over the past few months the growth has leveled off. Perhaps, due to the mining rewards?

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Power scientific number crunching

GridCoin incentivizes miners to run both BOINC and GridCoin mining side-by-side. In other words, the BOINC, which is the shared computing power network and the GridCoin both require computing power, which seems a bit wasteful if you need to mine the coins instead of focusing on the science.

The incentive is that, while miners who do not run the BOINC system receive only five GridCoin (GRC) for mining a block, those that do will receive extra GRC based on how much relative computational power they donate to the BOINC network (up to 150 GRC).

This ensures that the integrity of the Blockchain remains intact, while the system strongly rewards miners for computational power committed to scientific benefits.

While there might be financial issues with running at a loss, the scientific community may absorb that cost to keep the project going and helping others advance their projects through the supercomputing power the network provides.

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What is Crypto Pump and Dump: Simply Explained For Beginners

📚 Wikicoin
The article runs about all the peculiarities of pump and dump schemes in the crypto industry
What is Crypto Pump and Dump: Simply Explained For Beginners

What is pump and dump?  

Crypto pump and dump represents a situation when a group of individuals tries to hugely profit off an asset by pumping it. ‘Pumping’ basically means buying a large amount of crypto (or stocks) in order to artificially increase the price of a specific coin. In such a way, pumpers take advantage of the basic law of supply and demand: if the demand goes up for something, the price would normally increase as well.

Scammers often pump and dump crypto, because, unlike traditional financial assets, it is tightly traded. Moving prices on a single exchange could have a substantial impact on the whole market. Pumpers normally target rather unpopular altcoins that do not need a lot of investments for price manipulations. For example, you would need to pump Bitcoin ad infinitum in order to provoke another bull run, but even $1,000 would be enough to effectively speculate on some new cryptocurrencies.

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How pump and dump works?

There are crypto pump and dump groups of people who buy extremely cheap altcoins and then they want to sell it off at a significantly higher price. Their task is to convince people that the coin is constantly increasing its value. They deploy different means of outreach including spam Twitter accounts, Telegram groups with thousands of active users in order to promote a new coin. Until recently, they would also put additional resources in buying Facebook and Google ads, but the recent crackdown on cryptocurrencies and ICO advertisement now prevents it.

Many inexperienced traders would invest in such a ‘promising’ asset out of fear of missing the boat on another big crypto. People are not generally interested in a plethora of obscure coins, but any cryptocurrency will attract their attention if it starts experiencing a major bullish uptick.

How pump and dump works

Then the pumpers dump the coin to their victims. That dwindles the hype and, subsequently, leads to a major drop in price.    

The food chain

Large pump and dump crypto groups usually have a very complicated structure. They consist of the following layers:  

  • organizers,

  • inner circle,

  • outer rim,

  • rank-and-file pumpers.

Obviously, organizers and some individuals from the inner circle run the whole thing: they decide what kind of coin they would like to choose and how they are going to promote this asset. On top of that, they are also responsible for timing. Being one of the organizers is very pricey and time-consuming, but at the same one get a huge profit in everything goes as planned.   

Members from the inner circle find out what cryptocurrency they are going to pump in a few seconds after the decision. All other members of the community (including the outer rim and last-minute pumpers) find out all the information only in about 30 seconds. After such a period of time, most of the move already takes place, so it is almost impossible for run-of-the-mill pumpers to hugely profit off dumping.   
 

Rank

Timing

Organizers

0

Inner circle

3-5 seconds

Outer rim and ordinarily pumpers  

30-60 seconds  


The process of pumping and dumping

How to pump and dump crypto? First of all, the inner circle decides what kind of currency they would like to choose for promoting. They get the biggest profit due to the fact that they purchase the coin prior to other members of the system. However, there is also a high-risk factor, since may they may experience some bug on the exchanges or some technical issues on their side which may slow down the process (even a few seconds are crucial in P&D schemes). It may also be possible that two or more groups will be operating at the same time creating havoc with the system.

The process of pumping and dumping

Once the pumping starts, the participants should be fully prepared with funds already deposited to their accounts. On top of that, they have to make sure that their computer has enough processing power in order to swiftly conduct a large amount of transactions (the same applies to the speed of their internet connection). Sometimes they deploy a whole bot army, which is capable of purchasing altcoins in a matter of seconds. Once the insiders have cashed out, they inform other lower-level members of pump and dump groups about crypto of their choice.

When it comes to the pumping stage, organizers try to involve as many ordinary folks who from the outer circle who will buy the currency at a higher price. Since the effect is really short-lasting, these investors are going to invest significant losses. The price of the pumped coin will drop like a rock in a couple of days.

The process of pumping and dumping

How to avoid pump and dump?

Here’s a list of things that you want to do if you want to avoid pump-and-dumps:

  1. Do an in-depth research of any coin that you want to invest in (the developers behind the project, mining peculiarities, price volatility).    

  2. Try to ignore cryptocurrencies that see massive gains out of thin air. While there may be other factors leading to a sudden surge in value, this is usually a primal indicator of the fact that the beguiling asset is being pumped by scammers.    
    NB! The majority of pumpers are not sophisticated enough to make it seem like the price is increasing gradually by investing small sums of money from time to time, so it is rather easy to spot them.

  3. Read the recent news about this coin and determine whether they are legit. Pumpers usually lure new victims in a crypto pump and dump (Telegram) with the help of fake news that are spreading around social media.


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Is pump and dump legal?  

Is pump and dump crypto illegal? Such practices of giving a push to companies, which are on the cusp of a major ‘breakthrough,’ is nothing new in the world of finance. The cryptocurrency industry is still going through ‘growing pains’ with little to no regulatory efforts. Even such openly fraudulent activities like pump-and-dump still remain legal on cryptocurrency exchanges. In February 2018, however, CFTC came up with an official warning for inexperienced traders and offered as many as $100,000 for any insider who would expose major pump-and-dump schemes. CTFC also states that up to 80 percent of ICOs may be involved in fraudulent activities, so traders should be exceptionally cautious before making some serious investments.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, NEM Correction Needed Before Further Bullish Trend: Price Analysis, July 19

Bitcoin and altcoin bulls need more power, bears turn to take control
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, NEM Correction Needed Before Further Bullish Trend: Price Analysis, July 19

Hello, everybody! This is Andrew Strogoff and welcome to the trip to the world of cryptos and analysis. Today’s review is a weekly one and we are going to look through the daily charts and midterm tendencies.

The current situation on the cryptomarket is bullish I think as investors cling to Bitcoin and altcoins adding to their price and capitalization. Bitcoin and its rivals have started to grow last week and they look promising.

I would like to suggest a couple of news to you as I think they are interesting. The crypto market spreads its influence as more companies pay attention to Blockchain technology. Mastercard, for example, wins patent to conduct crypto transactions on bank cards.

Billionaire investor Marc Lasry sees big perspectives in Bitcoin and predicts that the price of the cryptocurrency is able to reach $40,000 in the nearest future.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) the currency pair is ready for further growth, but correction comes first, price analysis, July 19

Bitcoin looks pretty good on the hourly chart. BTC price, as you may see is above the descending trend line and I am almost sure that BTC/USD is likely to develop its growth. Bulls look very strong. Bitcoin has started to grow last week but it is time for the currency to start a correction.

BTC/USD daily chart

As far as you can see, the currency pair has broken $6,757 resistance area and is trading above $7,000 at the moment of writing. I think that this upside tendency is likely to develop in the nearest future, but I also suppose that further growth is impossible without a downside correction.

My main scenario looks the following. Bitcoin will decline towards the support area at $6,757 first. This is my target for the next week. Why do I have such an idea? If you pay attention to the marked area, you can see a clear Shooting Star candlestick pattern. What does it mean? It is a price action signal for a decline.

I also think that this temporary downside tendency will be broken at $6,757 as this is a strong level, which was tested from below several time before being broken. The next target is higher, but this is a matter of a couple of weeks I think.

Ethereum (ETH/USD) this rocket needs more fuel to fly, price analysis, July 19

ETH/USD started its upside tendency last week and I think the currency pair is going to develop it in the midterm. However, I also think that the fuel is needed for that as buyers are out of power currently. The currency pair looks very promising currently but ETH/USD is likely to go downwards first.

 ETH/USD daily chart

Ethereum has reached new local highs on the daily chart and failed to establish new lows. I see a good sign here as investors seem to be ready to change the situation. ETH/USD touched the resistance area at $495.89 on Tuesday but then retreated below it.

I think that this is logical and natural according to the technical analysis. The first target for the next week is the support area at $427.24. This support is strong as it resisted a couple of bearish attacks already. The next target for midterm lies above the current price at $569.72.

Ripple (XRP/USD) the fuse is lit, price analysis, July 19

Ripple, one of my favorite ones feels good as the currency pair started its growth last week and developed this upside tendency currently. Ripple looks very promising as other altcoins. However, this rocket needs fuel.

XRP/USD daily chart

Let’s pay attention to the daily chart. What do you see there? I see a clear correction on the way. This is why I have drawn this orange line towards the support area at $0.4372. The currency pair has tested the resistance area at $0.4908 but failed to move higher. This indicates on the inability of bulls to develop the uptrend without the downside correction.

What is going to happen next? I see the following situation. XRP/USD is going to jump off the support area at $0.4372 and resume its uptrend. The rocket is likely to break through the resistance area at $0.4908 and fly higher to the sky.

EOS (EOS/USD) the good and the bad news for the bulls, price analysis, July 19

Ripple started to grow the last week and develops this tendency currently. I personally think that the currency pair is likely to develop this tendency in the nearest future.

 EOS/USD daily chart

EOS has reached the resistance area at $8.95 on Tuesday but failed to jump over it. I can see the clear signal on the daily chart, which indicates that the currency pair is likely to make another downside move before going further upside.

Why do I think that EOS/USD is likely to decline before growing higher? I have marked the Shooting Star there. I think that another test of the support area at $6.84 is possible before going higher. However, the situation may change and EOS price will start off from the current level or slightly below it.

NEM (XEM/USD) bears have the last chance to take control, price analysis, July 19

NEM added some percents in the past week and the currency pair looks very promising currently. I think that it may skyrocket in the nearest future but still needs some gas to start off.

XEM/USD daily chart

NEM has reached the resistance area at $0.1909 but retreated from there as bulls were unable to break bears’ defensive lines. I see the Shooting Star candlestick pattern, which makes me think of a downside correction before NEM price will go higher. As for the targets, the first one is at $0.1446 I think, but the general for the midterm is at $0.2640.

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Media Reports Binance Exchange Ordered to Cease Operations in Japan, Binance CEO Denies

Mainstream media outlets worldwide are reporting that the major cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been asked by Japan’s FSA to cease operations.
Media Reports Binance Exchange Ordered to Cease Operations in Japan, Binance CEO Denies

A local news outlet, Nikkei, has reported that cryptocurrency exchange Binance was ordered to cease operations in Japan following its unauthorized expansion into the country. Japan’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) is the regulator that oversees the nation’s licensing program for cryptocurrency exchanges. Following a half billion dollar theft from Japan-based exchange Coincheck earlier this year, the FSA has reportedly been cracking down on crypto exchanges.

Shortly after Nikkei ran its story, Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng denied the rumors, tweeting:

Nikkei showed irresponsible journalism. We are in constructive dialogs with Japan FSA, and have not received any mandates. It does not make sense for JFSA to tell a newspaper before telling us, while we have an active dialog going on with them.

— CZ (not giving crypto away) (@cz_binance) 22 марта 2018 г.

Really big deal

Japan and Binance are both extremely important to the cryptocurrency sector. Japan presently has the largest Bitcoin trading volume in the world, with 56% of Bitcoin trades denominated in yen. Meanwhile, Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, by volume, with $1.7 bln in trades over the last 24 hours. Many of the top altcoins are heavily traded on Binance; the exchange is #5 by volume for Ethereum, #7 by volume for Litecoin, and #1 by volume for NEO.

Carrot and stick

Japan seems to be adopting a carrot-and-stick approach to dealing with Bitcoin. Last spring they made Bitcoin a legal payment method, but shortly thereafter began imposing licensing requirements on cryptocurrency exchanges. The strategy seems to be to offer an olive branch, then bring on the regulation. Put differently, Japan’s government seems to have some faith in cryptocurrency, but only so long as it remains within the nation’s existing regulatory framework. “Rogue” Bitcoiners must be shut down with alacrity.

 

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Physical Violence Against Crypto Owners On Rise, Thefts Prevalent

Criminals are targeting crypto holders, forcing them to transfer their funds under duress
Physical Violence Against Crypto Owners On Rise, Thefts Prevalent

In December, a man named Louis Meza arranged to meet a friend known to have a substantial fortune in Ethereum. Meza and an accomplice abducted the victim, while Meza went to his home and stole the device containing his digital wallet. Meza then forced the victim to transfer $1.8 mln worth of Ether to an address belonging to Meza. Fortunately, police were able to apprehend Meza, although the accomplice has yet to be captured.

With the dramatic increase in the value of cryptocurrencies over the last year, there has also been a marked increase in criminal activity against those with large and valuable investments.

While some hackers target exchanges, online wallets and the like, others target individual crypto owners with physical violence.

Despite the existence of ultra-secure hardware wallets, safes and safety deposit boxes, owners of digital currency find themselves vulnerable to the so-called “$5 wrench” attack.

Targeting crypto holders

Owners of cryptocurrency are more susceptible to this kind of attack due to the liquidity of their investment and the lack of middlemen. Stealing from a wealthy stockholder is a much more complicated process, involving brokers and limited business hours.

Those with large bank accounts have to somehow be transported to the bank and forced to comply with the robber (in a very public venue). The robber has to hope the victim can deceive bank employees into thinking nothing's wrong. It’s complicated and challenging.

On the other hand, most crypto owners can access their wallets immediately, from home 24 hours a day. They can transfer their assets quickly under duress, without the involvement of any intermediaries and without scrutiny from prying eyes. Since digital currency is more-or-less anonymous, a well-executed heist could be covered up much more easily.

Precautions

Jameson Lopp of BitGo recommends taking greater precautions against the $5 wrench attack. He has posted images on Twitter (part) of his security measures:

https://twitter.com/lopp/status/923635945441824770

Additionally, Lopp advocates storing your digital currency in multisig wallets. This would make it impossible for a thief to force you to transfer your wallet contents to them since you don’t have sole control of your funds. Other measures, such as securing your hardware wallet in a bank safety deposit box, would provide protection as well. The key is to make it as difficult as possible to steal your money, ideally by ensuring it isn’t readily available in the event you’re held up.

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