🤷 Opinions Alexander Goborov

Twitter Followers This Week: LEDU in Lead; Tron, Binance, and Bitcoin ABC with Promising Figures

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Despite a complex situation in the market, Twitter accounts are alive with new followers: here we look at the figures of the past seven days
Twitter Followers This Week: LEDU in Lead; Tron, Binance, and Bitcoin ABC with Promising Figures

Twitter is often considered to be a fair indicator of how well a company is doing. So, with a bit of help from our partners, we’ve decided to bring you the latest stats on new Twitter followers from the past seven days, between today and last Thursday. The figures are as follows:

Twitter

Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCH) has close to 2500 new Twitter followers this week. Roger Ver must be doing something right despite the recent fork’s tribulations.

Binance Coin (BNB), the crypto coin belonging to the world's largest crypto-exchange, has around 2650 new followers this week.

Tron (TRX) led by Justin Sun, known for his philanthropy among other things, has around 2750 new Twitter followers.

KuCoin Shares (KCS), a less known crypto-exchange platform compared to Binance, established in the fall of last year, has an impressive figure of around 3800 new Twitter followers.

And finally, Education Ecosystem (LEDU), a platform of online learning with its own token, headquartered in San Francisco, has close to 6000 new followers on Twitter, 5823 to be precise, making them this week’s leaders. According to the founders, the company is in the process of “building the world's biggest project-based learning library on any topic”, so good on them.

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The Top Crypto Dozen by Year of Formation

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If you ever wondered whether being the first meant staying ahead of rivals, this crypto list should offer some insight
The Top Crypto Dozen by Year of Formation

We have previously brought you a fair bit of statistics, from popularity trends to age categories of Bitcoin owners. But now, why not take a step back and look at the bigger picture, as it were. ICOs come and go, prices drop and skyrocket, but who is actually leading the market? Or, more interestingly, how long have they been doing so?

Below is our latest list that offers a brief crypto history from the start of the Blockchain movement up until now:

The Top Crypto Dozen

2008: The actual, seemingly invisible starting point, the global financial crisis. Huge banking corporations, among them Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs, go bankrupt. To many, this is the glaring signal that the centralized system is failing.

2009: The crypto pioneer Bitcoin gets launched by the mystery man Satoshi Nakamoto and later adopted as the currency of choice by the infamous Silk Road. Today, with the market cap of around 111.7 billion US dollars, it is the current leader, as well as the most valued altcoin on the market (around 6 500 USD a pop).

2011: Litecoin gets launched by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee. Though the second to be featured on our list (and of very similar fintech specifications to Bitcoin), it is, actually, currently occupying the seventh position by market cap with around 3.2 billion USD.

2012: Ripple, or XRP as it is known to many, gets launched. Despite the low price of around 50 US cents per coin, Ripple is both the third one to be mentioned in our list and concurrently the third one by market cap with roughly 21 billion USD. Note that XRP cannot be mined.

2014: Dash (first called XCoin, then Darkcoin, finally getting its present name in 2015), Monero, Stellar, and Tether get launched, who are currently occupying positions twelve with 1.4 billion USD, nine with 1.85 billion USD, six with 4.8 billion USD, and ten with 1.8 billion USD respectively. The fact that four of the leading companies appear in the aftermath of the 2013 Bitcoin bubble (that continued well into 2014) is surely no coincidence.

2015: Ethereum gets launched by the Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin. In spite of formally entering the market comparatively late in the game, six years after Bitcoin, the Ethereum platform with its native coin, Ether, is in second place by market cap today with around 22 billion USD, slightly ahead of Ripple (with just around 800 million USD in excess). Ethereum futures are said to be on the way shortly.

2017: Bitcoin Cash (through the hard fork split with Bitcoin), Cardano, and TRON get launched, who are presently occupying positions four with over 10 billion USD, eight with roughly 2 billion USD, and eleven with 1.6 billion USD respectively. Once again, the fact that we have yet another three major players that emerged out of yet another crypto bubble (with Bitcoin’s price approaching 20 000 USD in December) does not look like a coincidence either.

2018: EOS gets launched. Being the latest newcomer, it is already at the very respectable number five by market cap with just over 5 billion USD. However, very recently, EOS got accused by the Ethereum-funded research companies, ConsenSys and Whiteblock, of not being a Blockchain company and instead being a cloud-like service. This could potentially affect EOS’s global standing, but the full outcome of this scandal still remains to be seen.  

We hope you found our list helpful. Stay tuned for more.

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Retail Sales Moving to Internet, So Money Will Too

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With the Internet pervading every aspect of our lives, including shopping and entertainment, it makes sense to give up physical money for digital currency
Retail Sales Moving to Internet, So Money Will Too
Contents

Have you heard? The Internet is winning.

Last year’s holiday shopping season was the first time more shoppers planned to go online than into a physical store. In 2017, 55 percent of respondents said they would be doing their shopping online, up from 45 percent in 2016, according to Deloitte.

Retail apocalypse

CNBC has released a list of 19 major retailers that filed for bankruptcy last year- some of them more than once. Included are familiar names like Toys R US, The Limited, RadioShack, Rue21 and other. Likewise, in an article entitled “Retail Apocalypse,” Fox Business reports that 23 major retailers have plans to close additional stores this year. CNN Money calls 2017 the worst year in history for retail store closings.

Everywhere you turn, things are looking bad for brick and mortar retail. On the other hand, e-commerce is booming. Walmart’s online sales increased by 47 percent last year, while Amazon by itself made up 43 percent of all e-commerce sales. During the 2017 holiday season, e-commerce sales increased by over 10 percent while brick and mortar sales grew by a paltry four percent.

Internet of money

It seems to follow, that if the Internet is having such a massive influence on how we shop, how we are entertained and how we live our lives, that at some point the Internet is going to change how we interact with money as well. While credit cards have done a great job of bridging the gap between paper money and the Internet, something more is still needed. The Internet needs native currencies of its own.

Cutting out the middlemen almost always creates greater efficiency, speed and monetary savings. Using credit cards involves a half dozen or more different businesses working in tandem to make sure that your money eventually ends up in the hands of the retailer. This is fine for now, but a form of money that’s native to the Internet, that doesn’t have to go through the hands of numerous middlemen, that is the ultimate goal. In an era where cryptocurrency begins to take its rightful place as the money of the Internet, massive dumps of hacked credit cards will be a thing of the past.

Not dying, adapting

Brick and mortar stores still comprise 85 percent of retail sales, so there’s virtually no chance that you’ll see cities full of shuttered retail stores any time soon. However, Internet commerce is forcing brick and mortar companies to adapt to a changing landscape. They have to be more price competitive, sensitive to their customer’s needs and adaptable.

Cryptocurrencies aren’t going to destroy banks - not now, not ever. But they will eat into banks’ profits, and force bankers to change their ways. It’s amazing that in an era of instant global communication, near-instant peer-to-peer money transmission anywhere in the world, satellites and the Internet - traditional banks are still only open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They’ve yet to adapt to people’s actual needs, seeing their customers as something to be exploited rather than cultivated.

As cryptocurrency continues to go mainstream, banks will have to find ways to actually accommodate their customers and provide good service, instead of just soaking them with fees. Banks will have to innovate, offer new products, be price-competitive and actually stay open during hours when their customers can come in.

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Blockchain's Most Successful Women: The Lucky Seven List

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Today we bring you the names of Blockchain’s top females who have become major contributors to the global crypto movement
Blockchain's Most Successful Women: The Lucky Seven List
Contents

Today’s world of centralized finance and politics is often associated with a patriarchal structure, which is, it is said, dominated by cunning ambitious men, both old and young. Since Blockchain is the decentralized, mirrored version of this system supposedly striving for equality of opportunity, we thought it would be fun to look at some of the most successful women working in Blockchain today. Here’s our list of the seven ladies who were lucky, talented, and persevering enough to have made it big, listed alphabetically:

Athey, Susan (Ripple)

Athey

With a BA in economics, mathematics, and computer science from Duke University and a PhD in economics from Stanford, Susan Athey is probably the most rigorously trained and academically acclaimed of all of the females on this list. Having previously taught at MIT and Stanford, she worked as an economic consultant for Microsoft for a few years before joining Ripple in 2013. She has been serving on Ripple’s board of directors ever since contributing to the company’s economic strategy and educating the public on the use of the Blockchain technology and DLT.  

Baldet, Amber (Clovyr)

Baldet

A former executive director of JP Morgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, which “leads efforts for applications of distributed ledger technology (DLT) within JP Morgan”, Amber Baldet is now the cofounder and current CEO of the recently established platform Clovyr. According to Amber, the company specializes in developing a “framework and ecosystem of applications and services” on the Blockchain. An avid believer in this technology, she is considered to be an influential figure in the community, concurrently also serving on the board of the Zcash Foundation.

Boring, Perianne (Digital Chamber of Commerce)

Boring

Perianne Boring is the president and founder of Digital Chamber of Commerce, which was established back in 2014. The center claims to be no less than “the world's largest trade association representing the blockchain technology”, thereby putting Perianne at the very forefront of the industry. A graduate of the University of Florida, she was a legislative analyst in the US House of Representatives, as well as a financial services journalist for RT America before eventually establishing her own firm and claiming yet more limelight. Today, she is considered to be a major voice in the field, not only among women but also men.

Haun, Kathryn (Coinbase)

Haun

Kathryn Haun is serving on the board of directors of Coinbase, a well-known digital currency exchange platform based in San Francisco. Prized for her legal experience and expertise, the Stanford graduate previously worked as a federal prosecutor with the US Department of Justice. While there, she was involved in such high profile cases as fraud with extortion among federal agents in the Silk Road investigation, as well Bank Secrecy Act violations in the US Department of the Treasury vs. Ripple Labs. Now, Kathryn is using her impressive background to ensure that Coindesk operates well within the US government’s regulations and compliance guidelines.

Kim, Joyce (Stellar)

Kim

Joyce Kim is arguably one of the most accomplished crypto women today. Being the co-founder of Stellar (together with Jed McCaleb), the world’s sixth biggest crypto coin by market cap, Joyce resigned as the company’s executive director two years ago, though she still maintains close ties with the company. Having previously given speeches at the UN about migration and sustainable development, she embarked on a mission to tackle income inequality in some of the less privileged places across the globe, including Asia and Africa. In an effort to further this cause and attempt to solve real world issues through innovation, last year Joyce became a managing partner at SparkChain Capital, an early stage venture capital fund.

Reckhow, Carolyn (Casa)

Reckhow

Carolyn Reckhow is the head of operations and client services at Casa, a recently established company that specializes in multisig storage of digital currencies. She is also the former director of operations at Lubin’s ConsenSys, a company that develops software for Ethereum’s decentralized network, the very same one that earlier this month famously accused EOS of not being a Blockchain company. Carolyn comes from a social sciences background and refers to herself as a “macro social worker for the Internet”. With Casa’s ambitions growing by the day, Carolyn is sure to follow with her hands-on approach and finely honed communication skills.

Vranova, Alena (Trezor)

Vranova

After working for ten years in the insurance sector in her native Czech Republic, Alena Vranova later served as the CEO of Satoshi Labs and became famous in the crypto community for being the founder of the much sought-after Trezor wallet. Earlier this fall, she became the global director of development at Casa, the same recently established company that Carolyn Reckhow is now also working for. At present, Alena is using her strategic know-how and close ties with Satoshi Labs to build a client base comprised of the wealthiest crypto owners around, promising them the best possible hardware protection for their digital assets.   

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Bitcoin Strikes Back

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Given the prominence on the market, and given the fact that it is the universal trading currency on exchanges (i.e., Bitcoin is used to buy and sell other cryptos) it is not going to collapse because it is the backbone of the crypto market, the potential
Bitcoin Strikes Back
Contents

“Bitcoin is a bubble, Bitcoin is tulip mania, Bitcoin is worthless, Bitcoin is dead.” There is an overabundance of negative press towards Bitcoin in the media currently.

When prices fluctuate sharply, it’s easy to forget that: Bitcoin made a lot of people rich; Bitcoin broke down the door for Blockchain technology; Bitcoin started the cryptocurrency revolution; Bitcoin is more than a currency, it’s driving future Internet technologies.  

Bitcoin is Drives IT to next level

Bitcoin is not a housing market, nor is it a commodity, it’s a new technology and any new technology must pass through phases of understanding and acceptance.

There are many “oracles” who predict one thing or another: Bitcoin price is going to the moon or it’s going straight to the depths of Hell. No one can say for sure, where it is going or what it is doing because it is new and is unlike anything humans have seen before.

Now, is the time to learn, watch for patterns, understand behaviors; it is mainstream.

“In the final quarter of 2017, Bitcoin increased in value unlike anything ever seen before. It broke the 10,000-dollar psychological barrier and it rapidly increased to touch $20,000 before crashing down to below half of its value.”

Yes, Bitcoin is volatile. Over its nine-year existence, it has risen and fallen sharply. It is only now criticized heavily by the masses because they either missed out or lost in the recent crash—of course, they will curse it.

Remember, human memory is short, it easily forgets, and is shortsighted. Throughout January 2018, there has been a lot of talk of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) because Bitcoin came crashing down and brought the rest of the market with it.

That’s ok, it’s normal for markets to correct, investors want to take profits. The FUD talking only makes it worse for everyone else.

Normal profit-taking becomes negative

The stock market hit an all-time high of more than 26,000 points and after two years of magnificent growth, it slid two percent on Friday, Feb. 2nd. What happens next? Fear permeates the air, and there are whispers of the market starting to weaken.

Stop it! It’s normal. Investors take profits, not taking profits defeats the point of investing. Of course, with a massive run up people will divest and enjoy some of their gains. With lower prices on the market, investing becomes more attractive to others who join in and start the next rally upwards.

Short sellers and futures contracts collapse cryptocurrency markets

During the tulip bubble of the 1700s, the market downturn started when trading futures on tulips began; then all of a sudden the tulip market collapses and it's over.

The bears won, the futures contracts pushed the prices down and ate away at support levels.

The recent contracts offered on the CME and CBOE in December 2017, commenced the selloff of Bitcoin as traders set stop-limit orders at support levels to trigger a major selloff.

However, given the speculation, given the prominence on the market, and given the fact that it is the universal trading currency on exchanges (i.e. Bitcoin is used to buy and sell other cryptos) it is not going to collapse because it is the backbone of the crypto market, the potential for it to regain ground is tremendous.

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Investor Ari Paul Calls Out Cryptocurrency TRON For Plagiarism, Exaggeration of Network Size

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Prominent analyst and investor Ari Paul criticizes TRON for plagiarizing the white paper of Filecoin and IPFS, and doubts of its network existence.
Investor Ari Paul Calls Out Cryptocurrency TRON For Plagiarism, Exaggeration of Network Size
Contents

Prominent analyst and investor Ari Paul, who co-founded cryptocurrency investment firm Blocktower with former Goldman Sachs executive Matthew Goetz, publicly criticized TRON for plagiarizing the white paper of Filecoin and IPFS and condemned its non-existent network.

TRON and IPFS Conflict

A few months ago, TRON was involved in a scandal that accused the organization of plagiarizing the white paper of Filecoin and IPFS. Juan Benet, one of the founders and developers of both IPFS and Filecoin, revealed that Tron employed technologies invented by the two Blockchain projects, and described them as its own technology on its white paper.

Although the white paper has since been taken down by the TRON development team, Benet and the Filecoin team archived the white paper of TRON in the server of the IPFS network to ensure that the community can access the TRON white paper that has allegedly plagiarized the whitepaper of IPFS and Filecoin.

The cryptocurrency community is open-source so projects often are inspired by the technologies developed by other development teams. For instance, Litecoin has integrated Bitcoin’s Segregated Witness (SegWit) for scaling, and the Ethereum development community has been collaborating with the Zcash team to employ the private features of the Zcash network.

But Ari Paul and Benet noted that it is unreasonable to utilize the technologies of other projects without credit and list them on a whitepaper. One of the sections of TRON’s whitepaper is called Bitswap, and it reads:

BitSwap is a block transmission agreement similar to BitTorrent—where nodes represent the expected block set with want_list, and represent the data block set they can provide with have_list. Unlike BitTorrent, block swapped by BitSwap is not limited to a single torrent.

A section entitled Bitswap on the whitepaper of IPFS, which was released before Tron, reads:

In IPFS, data distribution happens by exchanging blocks with peers using a BitTorrent inspired protocol: BitSwap. Like BitTorrent, BitSwap peers are looking to acquire a set of blocks (want_list), and have another set of blocks to offer in exchange (have_list).

The Bitswap section on both whitepapers evidently have significant similarities, and it is also important to note that the white paper of TRON listed a section called “Bitswap,” which is almost identical to the section of the white paper of IFPS.

Paul’s Criticism

Paul publicly condemned TRON’s continous marketing of its Blockchain network that utilizes the core technologies of other Blockchain projects. Referring to TRON’s network that exists on the Ethereum network as an ERC20 token project, Paul stated:

Did you mean the new filecoin or bitswap @justinsuntron? I thought the TRX paper copied those. Also...Tron doesn't actually *exist* as a network...to be the next Bitcoin you first need to produce...ya know, a network. https://t.co/2r1XFTd2gy

— Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) March 25, 2018

The TRON network also claims that it has more than 30 mln users located in more than 100 countries. But, even Bitcoin has less than 60 mln users, at least on wallets like Coinbase and Blockchain.

TRON’s Blockchain is ambiguous and the business model includes services like social media and content distribution. But to claim without evidence that it has more than 30 mln users which is more than Ethereum’s  and all of the tokens combined is simply unsound.

While TRON may have 30 mln users, it is unlikely that the 30 mln users are native users of its network.

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