How Do They Build the First Blockchain City of Melaka Straits? Exclusive Interview with an Official Representative

The application of this technology in tourism can be very versatile as well. One can use it for keeping a record of the luggage and visas, passengers check-in, booking services without commission fees, and even building tourist smart cities.

Melaka Straits City – a tourist Blockchain-city of the future supported by the government of China

Over 835 acres off the coast of the Malaysian city, Malacca, will soon be turned into a tourist blockchain-city with extensive infrastructure. The project was launched by China Wuyi and SWT International Sdn Bhd and supported by the government of China and several major corporations, including Poly and CCCC.

China Wuyi is a big construction and engineering company, a subsidiary of the Fujian Construction Engineering Group and one of the 250 largest international contractors according to the Engineering News-Record.

The city project was designed by another large company, CPG Corporation. It is known for the development of a few popular buildings in Singapore such as Changi Airport, the Parliament House, and Solaris Business Park.

In total, 635 acres of reclaimed land will be used for the construction of Melaka Straits City. Another 200 acres of the marine area will be kept for building chalets and water recreation facilities. This territory belongs to the local company, SWT International Sdn Bhd. Its main areas of interest are tourism and sustainable development. The company’s activity is based on the innovative production of energy for further waste incineration.

China Communications Construction Company is working on the construction of transport infrastructure, and China Poly Group Corporation deals with issues of capital management and resource allocation.

The authors of the Melaka Straits City project are planning to raise $120 million during the initial stage.

Blockchain-city in detail

Developers intend to make Melaka Straits City the leading tourist destination in Malaysia. The Ministry of Tourism of China foresees 3 million tourists to visit it every year. 5 gorgeous boutique hotels and about 100 villas with a beautiful sea view and private access to the beach will be built along the coastline.

A huge educational cluster will take thirty-two hectares with kindergartens, colleges, universities, and student dormitories. Four campuses which are expected to promote Melaka Straits City as a regional education center will be among the most important elements of the tourist smart city.

To find out more details about the project development, we interviewed the official representative of Melaka Straits City, Lim Keng Kai.

Is Melaka Straits City going to look like a real city of the future?

Lim Keng Kai: Partly, yes. The working methods of our city planner CPG Corporation are famous for being innovative. Its style is highly noticeable in the  Melaka Straits City architecture as well. For example, the boutique hotels and the exhibition center designs look so futuristic, they will probably become the main attractions of the city.

But Malacca is a city with a rich history, and we are willing to emphasize this. Over different periods, it was colonized by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British, and in 2008 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List. That is why we’ve planned to build a distinctive cultural street in the center of the city. It will be inspired by the styles of different colonial eras and is going to make tourists familiar with Malaysian traditions and history.

Shopping centers with a duty-free zone will be built in the city as well, which will not only attract visitors but also have a positive impact on the country’s income growth.

Among other things, two hectares of land will be allocated for the construction of a national conference center. The building, equipped to accommodate 20,000 visitors, can become an official meeting venue for the government and international delegations. A water theme park – the largest in Southeast Asia – will become another attraction of Melaka Straits City. The project feature is a combination of sea and land rides.

The tourist smart city attractiveness will also be reinforced by concert halls, golf courses, tennis courts, and racetracks.

The process of construction and subsequent development of Melaka Straits City will be carried out based on the blockchain technology. In order to create a first-class tourist destination, the developers are going to introduce this technology to the traditional industry. Technological innovations will be focused on the improvement of the fundamental infrastructure and integrated with the city statistics. The creators put emphasize on safety and security management of all smart city systems.

How exactly will Blockchain be used in Melaka Straits City?

Lim Keng Kai: The basis of the blockchain technology in the Melaka Straits City will be DMI platform with DMI coin. It will mainly be used in payment of government-based services in the city. DMI will also feature an exchange that can allow tourists who visit Melaka Straits City to exchange their fiat currencies for DMI coins that they can use freely.  

When tourists visit Melaka, they will be required to exchange their money into digital currencies that they can use to pay for services using their mobile phones or computers. The DMI web application will be available on PC and the mobile applications will run on Android and iOS devices to provide flexibility regardless of the preference of the individuals.

The businesses and merchants in Melaka Straits City will have accounts and a unique QR code where tourists simply scan using their codes and make payments. This is easy mobile banking that can be done in seconds. The transactions will all be stored in the DMI blockchain where any issues that arise can be resolved.

The main purpose of the Melaka Straits City project is to build a tourist city based on blockchain technology.  In particular, it implies the creation of a new tourist blockchain city brand which will enhance tourism development in the country and improve education.

ETH Back Up

On H4, the Ether was pulled back to 50% Fibo, and then a new upward move started. Currently, the crypto has reached 61.80% Fibo, and is heading towards 76%, or $179.67. The target, meanwhile, lies at the high of $187.16. The support is at $165.60.

ETHUSD H4 Chart

On H1, an ascending channel is being formed. After bouncing off the support, the price is heading towards the resistance at $183.73. In the short term, the ETH may re-test the support at around $169.70.

ETHUSD H1 Chart

Donald McIntyre, a crypto enthusiast, says it would be reasonable to merge Ethereum Classic and Ethereum in order to create a powerful and secure blockchain.

Both systems should be integrated one into another, he says, so that one might get a better platform. In McIntyre’s opinion, the strong point of Ethereum is performance and better scalability, while Ethereum Classic has low transaction cost and security. By combining all this, one could get a nearly perfect blockchain.

Besides, the new platform based on two ecosystems could be more competitive and stand ground against EOS and Tezos.

Ethereum Classic has some good potential indeed, but it lacks fundamental drivers on its way through the crypto rating, being just 18th. The ETH, meanwhile, must become more scalable, which would make it more in-demand and competitive.

By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboForex

Disclaimer

Any predictions contained herein are based on the authors’ particular opinion. This analysis shall not be treated as trading advice. RoboForex shall not be held liable for the results of the trades arising from relying upon trading recommendations and reviews contained herein.

Forbes Published TOP-50 Companies that use Blockchain

Bitcoin almost reached $5300 on Thursday, but rolled back, unable to strengthen growth. Apparently, market participants have become more cautious, so on Friday morning, we observed a decrease to $5,160. During the rollback, Bitcoin touched a 200-day moving average, which now looks like an important level of support. The predominance of indecision in the current price range may result in a new correction phase to the lower limit of $4K.

The theory of halving influence (reduction of miner reward) has become a trending topic of recent days. CoinMetrics considered that the last two halvings in 2012 and 2016 were accompanied by the growth of Bitcoin before the event and within a year and a half after. The historic rally to $19,700 became the apogee of the second halving. And the next stage is scheduled for 2020. Nevertheless, it is worth considering the background change around the BTC. The close attention of the community, retail and institutional investors, regulators, algorithms can simply make it impossible to preserve past patterns in the future.

Among the news is to highlight the serious intentions of Binance in relation to its BNB token. They have developed their own blockchain and will transfer the coins from the Ethereum network to the Binance Chain ecosystem. Against this background, the BNB token is one of the few that has shown an increase of almost 5% in the last 24 hours.

In addition, Forbes published a list of the top 50 companies that use the blockchain. The list of companies includes Amazon, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Facebook, Foxconn, Google, and many others. It becomes obvious that if the future of cryptocurrency is a big question, the technology itself can stay with us for a long time.

This article was written by FxPro

Blockstack Aims to Raise $50M in SEC Compliant Token Sale

Their token sale leverages the SEC’s Regulation A+ crowdfunding exemptions which allow companies to sell equity as securities through a crowdsale with looser rules around who can invest. Companies wishing to take advantage of Regulation A+ must aim for two tiers: either a $20M round or $50M round within 12 months. Regulation A+ was introduced in 2012 under the JOBS Act.

Blockstack will sell a total of 295 million STX at $0.30 each. In a release, the company said: “The net proceeds of the offering will be used to accelerate the development of its decentralized computing stack and app ecosystem.”

Muneeb Ali, co-founder and CEO of Blockstack, mentioned: “We’ve been working with securities lawyers to create a legal framework that can enable blockchain protocols to comply with SEC regulations….This can potentially set a precedent for others in the industry, not just for public offerings, but also as a path to launch new public blockchains and establish a path to bootstrapping decentralized ecosystems.” A recent tweet by him can also be seen here.

As a New York based firm, they have been critical of how crowdsales are done, so they are working closely with regulatory bodies.

Current investors include more than 800 people so across Foundation Capital, Union Square Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Blockchain Capital, and recently Harvard University, amongst some others.

Anthony Pompliano, a co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital tweeted about the Harvard investment in particular.

The SEC filing letter notes explicitly three people from the Harvard Management advisory board as investors:  “The token advisory board consists of seven members. Three of the members, Charlie Saravia, Zavain Dar and Rodolfo Gonzalez are designees of affiliates of the Harvard Management Company, Lux Capital and Foundation Capital, respectively, limited partners of the QP Fund which have purchased an aggregate of 95,833,333 Stacks Tokens; the board also consists of four independent members, Koen Langendoen, Arvind Narayanan, Arianna Simpson and Catherine Tucker.”

It’s not clear how much of the 95.83 million STX were purchased by the Harvard affiliated, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

This, in combination with other successful SEC-compliant security tokens such as Nexeo, which gives dividends to investors, in addition to the general STO hype, may be signs of more institutional interest.

Many institutional investors are keeping their eyes out for security token offerings (STOs) throughout 2019. These STOs will offer tokenized securities which may be real estate backed, gold or commodity backed, or simply backed by a profiting business model. These security tokens may provide dividends to investors, grant them ownership and voting rights, and force the company to be obligated to comply with stricter, existing regulatory securities laws. All investors will need to go through KYC/AML processes and all ownership of these tokenized securities are confirmed publicly, yet anonymously on public blockchain ledgers.

PayPal Makes First Ever Blockchain Investment

PayPal was part of an extension to a series A funding round in Cambridge Blockchain, an identity and data management platform that keeps sensitive data secure and private for large institutions using shared ledger technology.

The specific amounts invested by PayPal were not disclosed by any part, but SEC filings indicate that Cambridge Blockchain raised a total of $3.5 million from several investors over the course of nine months. Note that PayPal invested as part of an extension stage to a series A round, whereas the main series A round raises $7 million. The total then would be $10.5 million.

Another notable investor in Cambridge Blockchain is HCM Capital, VC arm of Foxconn, the manufacturer for Apple’s iPhones.

A PayPal spokesperson emailed Coindesk about the investment saying:
“We made an investment in Cambridge Blockchain because it is applying blockchain for digital identity in a way that we believe could benefit financial services companies including PayPal. Our investment will allow us to explore potential collaborations to leverage blockchain technology.”

Unlike platforms such as BitPay, Square, or other point of sale services, Cambridge Blockchain does not compete with PayPal’s business efforts. Partially why this seemed to be an excellent first investment in the blockchain sphere for PayPal. PayPal can have a direct use for Cambridge Blockchain’s business efforts. They indeed hold sensitive user information, and the more secure options they have for handling user data, the better.

To get more detailed about Cambridge Blochain’s mission – it is to store, share, and validate data using blockchain technology. Their systems can run on public or private ledgers. They are working to improve the processes around user onboarding of personal data which included KYC processes, vetting of financial bank accounts, and other counterparties.

Some clients can be institutions who hold lots of sensitive personal information and companies with non-personal, but still sensitive data. They currently have 15 full-time employees and is part of the Decentralized Identity Foundation, a foundation effort which includes top companies such as the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, IBM Blockchain, Hyperledgers, and others.

The industry is ultimately enthused to see PayPal make investments in the space. If they truly understand the power of blockchain, then it would only be wise for them to get involved. Until this point, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have been against PayPal and what they represent, but maybe their image can change now.

Speaking of PayPal, ex-cofounder Elon Musk recently made some waves on Twitter with crypto-related tweets. On April 2, 2019, he made his Twitter bio the CEO of Dogecoin, along with a string of tweets about how Dogecoin is the best cryptocurrency. You can still his tweets if you go to his feed. The real Dogecoin creator is Jackson Palmer, but we did not see any comment by him on the matter.

Another Crypto Brokerage Firm Receives the Hard to Get BitLicense

Tagomi CEO, Greg Tusar commented on the matter:

“The number of clients that opens up in New York is quite a substantial opportunity. We definitely have a backlog of clients that we would like to onboard that we were waiting for this approval to move forward with.”

Considering that most hedge funds regulated by the SEC cannot invest on behalf of their clients because Bitcoin is not seen as a security, the industry hopes that this opens doors for institutional investors to reliably gain exposure to the cryptocurrency markets.

Tagomi currently supports Bitcoin, Ethereum Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash and has approved other cryptocurrencies as well. Additionally, they plan to add functionality for margin trading, shorting, and lending, while aggregating liquidity from OTC markets.

One of their investors, in particular, BitOoda, commented to CCN.com further pressing the advantage to institutional investors:

“BitOoda has worked very closely with Tagomi over the past year and has tremendous respect for Greg, Jenn, Marc, and the rest of the team. We’re excited to see their hard work paying off and regulators recognizing the need for these institutional-quality solutions. The NYDFS approval is significant because it grants Tagomi access to New York-based financial institutions and funds.”

The BitLicense is very difficult to attain, requiring lots of paperwork, surety bonds, funds, and legal assistance. Both Shapeshift and Kraken have spoken out against the BitLicense in the past, mentioning that it inhibits innovation and will leave the state of New York behind during this blockchain discovery phase. New York residents are generally not free to use most exchanges, as a large majority do not have the BitLicense, and are thus, not regulated to operate in New York.

Some firms who were granted the BitLicense are Genesis Global Trading, Coinbase, Bitflyer, Ripple, Xapo, Circle (Poloniex), Square Inc, and Robinhood. As our research tells, this is it. There are under 10 firms that have been granted the New York Bitlicense.

BitOoda even announced their opinion about virtual currency regulation by saying:
A major obstacle preventing greater cryptocurrency adoption is the lack of a fair, transparent, and secure marketplace for larger players. Firms like Tagomi and BitOoda are mitigating the market issues on a daily basis by offering client-focused agency services and acting as regulated entities, while firms such as BitGo and Fidelity are building institutional trust on the custody side.”

Mysterious Bitcoin spike to $5000. What’s next?

Within an hour on Tuesday morning, Bitcoin spiked by more than 15% from $4,200 to $4,850, enjoying growth without barriers after the bounce from important resistance near $4,000. BTC showed the dynamics of a well-forgotten glorious past. The growth was also supported by the Altcoins, as they also found themselves in the green zone, although their dynamics were not so impressive. The total crypto market capitalization soared by $15 billion also in a very short period of time.

However, it was more like a spike than a steady rally. On the way to $5,000 (highs since November), the growth momentum is exhausted.

The current dynamics is similar to the one that occurred on March 30, when Bitcoin showed sharp growth. It is necessary to be cautious about growth, based more likely on the triggering of a large number of buy orders and not based on any fundamental or news factors.

The only “suspect” is the growth in the number of Tether network transactions to record levels. During today’s BTC price jump, the daily Tether trading volume grew by $4.4 billion, which is a record increase. At the same time, it should be understood that Tether is more likely a growth method, but not its cause.

The next important obstacle to the growth of Bitcoin is the level of the 200-day average (at $5,200 now). In financial markets, this line is often considered as an important level as it denotes the return of the trend for growth. Last year, this line proved to be a reliable indicator. The decline below in May last year marked the beginning of a long decline in the next 1.5 month.

Again, attention is drawn to the news about the launch of BTC miners. Despite the unprofitability during recent months, Canaan Creative, like Bitmain, presented a new generation of A10 chips with a hash rate of 31 TH / s. Equipment manufacturers are clearly not in a hurry to bury this area of their business, keeping faith in further prices strengthening.

As regards regulators, everything is still negative there. It became known that the SEC postponed consideration of the applications for the launch of Bitcoin-ETF from VanEck and Bitwise for 90 days. However, such news no longer leads to a deterioration in market sentiment, and positive news from regulators will be a pleasant surprise that no one expects.

It should be noted that market players are ignoring not only regulators but also hacker attacks against crypto exchanges. A new victim of theft was DragonEx. As for CoinBene, there are also suspicions of hacking, as the exchange suddenly went into maintenance service. Bithumb was subjected to an insider attack, as a result of which $19 million was lost. Even the largest players are still suffering from online robberies.

This article was written by FxPro

Study Shows Majority of Bitcoin Trading is Fairy Dust

One of the top trending stories over the week-end says the majority of bitcoin trading is a hoax, according to a new study. Now before bitcoin traders get too defensive, no one is saying the cryptocurrency isn’t real. The article is just saying about ninety-five percent of spot prices that you may be using to base your investment and trading decisions, are being faked by unregulated exchanges. However, it is important to note this because it raises even more doubt on the legitimacy of bitcoin trading.

Personally, I have nothing against bitcoin. I just choose not to analyze it or trade it. However, as a student of the trading, I’m always interested in articles dealing with technological developments, trading systems, exchanges, price action, bid, offers and trading volume. As a stock, futures and Forex trader, I don’t think I could pull the trigger on a trade unless I knew the size of the orders on my side and trading against me.

I don’t trade or invest in anything I don’t know about and cryptocurrencies was one of those things. I have to admit that watching it trade and seeing the plethora of so-called experts offering advice really turned me off because it moved like it was part of a game, and the experts, well they just slapped the data on a chart and followed momentum. Anyone can do that. I can do that with data from my electric bill. So I concluded, there are no experts in the cryptocurrencies. There are just chart readers. And I have enough charts to follow.

Now there are experts in cryptocurrency technology and how it can benefit society. But expert cryptocurrency trade analysts, I don’t think so. Like I said before, they’re all chart readers. This is why I find the article on “hoax prices” fascinating because it supports my notion that one can throw anything up on a chart and someone will find a buy or a sell signal. However, trading and charting are two different things. You can be a great chart reader and a lousy trader because trading is all about controlling risk.

I’m still waiting for a cryptocurrency expert to tell me something new about supply and demand rather that the 50-day moving average crossed the 200-day moving average. Give me information.

In the article, Bitwise, an asset manager in the process of trying to list the first-ever bitcoin exchange-traded fund, said their analysis showed that “substantially all of the volume” reported on 71 out of the 81 exchanges was wash trading, a term that describes a person simultaneously selling and buying the same stock, or bitcoin in this case, to create the appearance of activity in the market. In other words, it’s not real.

Furthermore, the report went on to say that those exchanges reported an aggregated $6 billion in average daily bitcoin volume. The study finds that only $273 million of that is legitimate.

On a positive note, the volume on Coinbase Pro passed Bitwise’s test for having real volume. It posted a bitcoin spread on trades of about 1 cent. This offset CoinBene, which had nearly a $15 spread.

“It is surprising that an exchange with almost 18 times the volume of Coinbase Pro would have a spread that is 1,500 times larger,” Bitwise said in the report.

Bitwise said that “Exchanges may have an incentive to report fake volume”. But I don’t have an incentive to trade or analyze fake data. By the way, many Bitcoin expert analysts who jumped on the momentum bandwagon a couple of years ago and disappeared when the market crashed, have now moved on to marijuana stocks, so be careful there too.

Bitcoin Found a Ladder for Growth

Another weekend rally

At the weekend, we saw another mini-crypto-rally. This weekend rally points out several important changes over the past year.

First, the weakening of speculators pressure, and the appearance of investors on the scene. The fact that growth waves, including recent ones, pass without significant corrections, should be considered as a signal of confidence from at least medium-term investors.

Secondly, along with the cryptocurrency capitalization growth, the faith of market participants is strengthened, that after an 85% market correction from a historic high and a subsequent lull, this phase of decline is over. The current dynamics is similar to the cautious upward movement on the stairs in contrast to the roller coaster that the crypto market experienced in 2017-2018.

Cautious demand returns

It is also worth noting that the cryptocurrency market has not disappeared, and the demand for digital currencies is returned. Although digital currencies are clearly attracting consumer demand, it is not enough at the moment to sustainably overcome new levels of resistance. We must not forget that investors for a long time will be deterred by a collapse of the last year.

Skeptics may dominate the market for a long time, perhaps even until the moment when the crypto markets won’t regain half of the maximum capitalization, and Bitcoin will exceed $10’000. Bitcoin is currently struggling to keep more modest levels, only 4000, and does not strive for new local maximums.

Regulation: an element of uncertainty

The crypto-winter of 2018 made some positive for the crypto sector as a whole, unfortunately, “alpha-bulls” are reappearing on the market with Bitcoin forecasts at $250K and with claims of world domination, but most now understand that mainstream adoption will depend on regulation, which at least in words await the leading crypto investors – Winklevoss twins.

Venture billionaire Tim Draper believes that under the conditions of the crypto-sector development, governments can turn into a “slave unit”, however, in fact, as long as the Bitcoin price is estimated in US dollars, digital currencies will still remain a superstructure over the traditional monetary system.

This article was written by FxPro

Bitcoin Price Slowly Creeps Down

Between $4000 and 2-month average

Over the past 24 hours, Bitcoin has lost more than 1% and is trading under $3,900. Leading altcoins lose from 1.5% to 6%. The price level at $4K remains a serious resistance for BTC, and the market clearly lacks a positive attitude to confidently overcome this threshold. As often happens in finance, what does not up, goes down.

From the technical analysis side, Bitcoin caught between resistance at $4,000 and 50-day moving average support, which almost a month ago turned from resistance into support. At the moment, this level passes through $3,657, leaving the potential for decline.

Consolidation and transparency

The dynamics around Bitcoin at the moment is quite multidirectional. On the one hand, the largest Bitcoin wallets balance increased by more than 150K BTC since the beginning of 2019, which reflects the development of the consolidation process. On the other hand, according to Trustnodes, the fourth largest BTC wallet brought out the last 60K Bitcoins, scattering them at different addresses in small portions. But still, major movements are in the market focus, and this close attention makes the market less anonymous than expected at the outset.

Successful Monero hardfork

Monero, as promised, successfully conducted hardfork against ASIC-miners. Network difficulty almost instantly dropped by 70%. It should be noted that a similar scenario was predicted in the past for the ZCash network, but developers allowed ASIC miners to end the era of GPU chips.

Away from non-professional investors

Meanwhile, the head of CFTC, Christopher Giancarlo, said he was positive about the BTC decline and the end of the speculative phase for this class of assets.

We can say that he expressed the regulators’ point of view, which do not like the hype and increased risks for retail investors. And this may indirectly mean that positive decisions related to new investment instruments can be delayed as much as possible in order to keep non-professional investors aside.

This article was written by FxPro

Traditional Banking Presses down Blockchain Prospects

The largest mining pools total hash rate (Antpool and BTC.com) fell from 42% to 29%. Bitmain closes offices, dismisses employees, and, after all, the company may face IPO application reject. The cost of bitcoin mining in many countries has a long time ago exceeded its current price. Some miners operate at a loss, some spend the past windfall, but this can’t last forever.

The volume of transactions in the BTC network is indeed growing, however, as long as they are associated with the return of popularity in Darknet, this will hardly be a convincing argument for bankers and regulators to give the green light to this technology. At the moment, cryptocurrencies in general, and Bitcoin in particular, have become a kind of salvation for the countries like Venezuela. Its citizens bought almost 2,000 BTC last week, that is around $6.8 million in the current prices. It should be noted that currently with $10 in this country you can buy 1,000 liters of gasoline.

Ripple’s intentions to introduce its products into the traditional banking sector are already facing serious hurdles. Bank officials do not understand why blockchain is better than existing technologies. The Paris Fintech Forum participants came to the conclusion that the crypto-fever was really over, all the participants realized that the new tendency was down to earth due to technical and regulatory restrictions.

Moreover, SWIFT quickly realized the emergence of competition. Their new protocol already allows tracking the money transfer and shortening the delivery time to several hours. Yes, this is not a few seconds or minutes, as when sending to the blockchain, however, given the absence of the need to use a volatile cryptocurrency in the transaction, full compliance with the rules of regulators and closest ties with the largest banks around the world, Ripple prospects are shaken against this background.

As for the regulators, they are clearly not in a hurry. So, the SEC has just now begun to look for a company that would conduct for them the analysis of the main cryptocurrencies’ transactions. Most likely, this slowness is connected with the fact that regulators want to see where the “crypto” is moving in general and is there any point in spending large resources on it.

This article was written by FxPro

Bitcoin – Sees More Green as Swift Gets in on the Blockchain Act

Bitcoin gained 1.48% on Wednesday, following 3 consecutive days in the red, to end the day at $3,529.6.

An early morning dip to an intraday low $3,451.2 saw Bitcoin come within range of the first major support level at $3,427.43 before finding support from the broader market.

Rallying through the morning, Bitcoin broke through the first major resistance level at $3,522.93 to a mid-day intraday high $3,550 before easing back.

A late pullback to 3,508.2 was the only bearish move in the 2nd half of the day, with a return to sub-$3,500 avoided, pointing to a bullish start to the day on Thursday.

Elsewhere amongst the top 10 cryptos, it was Ripple’s XRP that shone, with a news-driven 11.99% rally. Not far behind was Bitcoin Cash ABC, which jumped by 8.25%, while Tron’s TRX saw the top 10’s most modest gains, up by just 0.76%.

On the news front, blockchain technology hit the headlines once more and all for the right reasons.

SWIFT CEO Leibbrandt spoke at the Fintech Forum in Paris on Wednesday. Leibbrandt spoke of an imminent announcement of plans for SWIFT to adopt R3’s blockchain, with proof of concept algorithm, to support its global payments innovation platform (GPI) for a trial period.

Having rolled out the GPI platform in 2017, within the intention of addressing costs, transparency and transaction times, SWIFT’s announcement comes following R3’s Corda Settler launch in 2018, which uses XRP to settle transactions.

Following some back and forth between SWIFT and Ripple Lab over the last year and Ripple’s plans to overtake SWIFT as the leading global payment platform, SWIFT’s decision to go with R3 was not completely out of left field.

During the trial, SWIFT’s payment system would link with R3’s trade finance platform, which uses Ripple’s XRP to settle transactions. The announcement certainly contributed to Ripple’s XRP jumping by 11.99% on the day.

For the broader market, the adoption of yet another blockchain platform, and by such a recognized company, was certainly good news. The trial period is expected to drive demand for Ripple’s XRP.

Whether this can be the beginnings of a break out for Ripple’s XRP remains to be seen, however, with Ripple Lab’s successes having yet to deliver a breakout from the pack.

Get Into Cryptocurrency Trading Today

At the time of writing, Bitcoin was up by 0.33% to $3,541.1. Moves through the early morning saw Bitcoin rally from a start of a day morning low $3,527.0 to a high $3,574.8 before easing back.

The early rally saw Bitcoin break through the first major support level at $3,569.33 before the pullback.

For the day ahead, a hold above $3,515 levels through the morning would support another move through the first major resistance level at $3,569.33 to bring $3,600 levels into play before any pullback. We would expect Bitcoin to struggle to break through to $3,600 levels on the day, however, with Wednesday’s gains not material enough to shift the bearish sentiment across the broader market.

Failure to hold above $3,515 levels could see Bitcoin pullback into the red. A fall through to $3,400 levels would likely bring the day’s first major support level at $3,470.53 into play before any recovery.

For Bitcoin and what lies ahead through the remainder of the week, holding onto $3,500 levels will be key through the day.

BTC/USD 31/01/19 Daily Chart

Interview with Brian Cheong, the President and the Founder of TTC Protocol

He is also the CEO & founder of tataUFO, a social discovery platform with over 13 million users. He founded tataUFO while studying at Peking University in China. tataUFO is supported by great investors like Lightspeed China Partners, Ameba Capital, SoftBank Ventures Korea, Korea Investment Partners and Union Investment Partners. Previously he worked in Softbank Ventures Korea, where he assisted the early stage investments into consumer and mobile companies such as Lotiple (acquired by Kakao) and DevSisters (KOSDAQ IPO). He also worked for the government of Central Java Province in Indonesia as an IT Consult for 2 years where he made its official intranet and official websites. He founded and sold a web company at age of 17.

How was the idea of TTC Protocol born?

“The birth of TTC Protocol stems from domain experience, hype, and opportunity.

It all started back when I was in college. It was during this time that I learned about blockchain technology, and I sensed a huge potential in its possible applications, but this was before the technology itself was well-known to the public.

What made me consider giving blockchain technology a closer look was the massive influx of funds and talent into the blockchain industry in 2017. The number of cryptocurrency investors in South Korea rose from 50,000 to 3 million in only three months, while some of the most talented people I knew were entering the industry. As my startup owned a social networking app called tataUFO for college students in China, now with over 13m users, naturally, I looked into the application of blockchain in the social network industry.

After a deep search, my team and I concluded that, when applied to social networks,  blockchain technology can empower us to build a fully dependable point-to-point and peer-to-peer social platform. I personally believed that the application of the technology would change our view on social networking platforms forever. I shared the concept with Simon Kim, the CEO of Hashed, and Richard Liu, a partner at FBG Capital. They were all very interested in the project. By March of this year, TTC Protocol was officially established.”

How would you explain your project to the general public?

“TTC Protocol is a next-generation social network protocol based on decentralization and token incentives. In simple English, we help social network services to grow their user base and revenue by empowering everyone to claim the value of their likes, or their online contribution, in a wider sense.

It benefits everyone that is part of the ecosystem. For developers, it could solve many issues faced by traditional social networks, such as fake news, cyberbullying, private data leakage, and over-commercialization. For users, it will provide benefits, such as privacy protection, higher quality content, and most importantly, fair rewards for their contribution to the growth of the platform.”

As the company successfully completed its pre-sale fundraising, what has already been done and what are you going to do with the funds collected by the ICO?

“With successful fundraising through our ICO, our team has not only been able to accomplish major milestones in the development of the TTC Protocol but have also had the opportunity to build a diversified global platform. The highlights of TTC Protocol’s progression are as follows:

  • March 2018, Whitepaper Release
  • March 2018, Institutional Investments (FBG Capital, GBIC, Hashed, Dunamu & Partners, NEOPLY, etc.)
  • March 2018, Pre ICO
  • May 2018, Main ICO
  • June 25th, 2018, Token Distribution
  • June 2018, DEx.top & UEX.com Listing
  • July 2018, Acquired ALIVE, a mobile video sharing app with over 10m downloads
  • August 2018, Bibox.com Listing
  • September 2018, Whitepaper V1.0 Update
  • September 2018, Hacken Partnership and Launch of Bug Bounty Program
  • September 2018, “Merapi” Testnet, TTC Reward Engine (TReE,) and TTC Connect (Mobile Wallet App) Release
  • October 2018, Release of TTC SDK
  • October 23rd, 2018, Announced four new Alliance Partners in Korea (Pikicast, Cobak, Womanstalk, SocDoc; total of 7.5m registered users), growing the total user base to 30m
  • November 2018, Vietnamese, Russian, and Indonesian Whitepapers Released

In the coming months, we will continue to focus on both developments of blockchain technology and expansion of the ecosystem. In addition, with the cooperation of Hacken, a leading cybersecurity white hat hacker organization, TTC Protocol keeps up to date with the most current security practices.”

Why build partnerships with apps in the South Korean market first?

There are numerous reasons why we would enter the South Korean market first, but here are the key factors to understand:

First, rapid tech adoption. More than half the population of South Korea resides within a 100 km radius of Seoul, its capital, and the majority of the population are highly educated (more than 70% of the population have the university diploma). It is one of the most technologically developed countries in the world with some of the fastest internet. South Korea has a unique environment, where information and trends can spread more quickly than other parts of the world.

Second, the network effect. A user base of over 7.5 million is considerably high by itself, yet what is more impressive is that there are about 15 million millennials (aged 14 to 36) in Korea, and they mainly reside in or nearby Seoul which enables the network effect to expand rapidly – not only is the young Korean population extremely well connected, but there is the added benefit of clearer communication, as we reside within the same time zone and region. With clear communication channels and a tech-hungry population, we can increase our impact and form a more scalable platform.

Lastly, digital currency friendly. South Korea was one of the first countries to purchase digital assets with fiat currency. As early as in 2000, a Korean citizen is reported to have paid over 25,000 USD for a single digital sword in a popular MMORPG. This trend continues today. One recent study claims that 40% of white-collar Korean workers own or have owned at least one cryptocurrency.”

How does TTC Protocol differ from similar services?

“One key difference between TTC Protocol and other blockchain protocol projects focusing on social networks is that our strategy is heavily focused to welcome and include the existing online and mobile social networks. TTC Protocol is not a single service social network, but a growth tool for helping pre-existing social network platforms to return the value of their platform to their users.

First, we lower the technological hurdles for our partners. We provide the SDK, which enables our alliance partners to smoothly integrate into our ecosystem with little effort, as little as half a day’s worth of coding in some cases. It has helped us to build an alliance with players from different regions: tataUFO is our first partner whose users are based in China, while ALIVE, a video-sharing app with 10m+ downloads globally, has users in North America, India, and many other countries. In addition, we will adopt  7.5m users in South Korean through partnerships with four mainstream social platforms. Overall, we have built an alliance with 6 services and 30m+ registered users across the globe, all using the same coin (TTC) without any shared equity among partners. This is quite a unique achievement in the blockchain industry.

Second, our technology and partnerships do not alter the partner services’ core values and functions. We believe that every social network and online community is unique, that is why our SDK provides a very flexible adjustment system for reward logic that accommodates to the needs of each partner. One service could choose to incentivize users more for likes, while another could promote content creation more. As a result, no partner service has to risk their original colors, culture, and fans to enjoy an accelerated growth and healthier community derived from blockchain technology.

Third, we provide ordinary users with easy-to-use utility functions for TTC tokens, lowering the entry barrier of blockchain technology. For example, many users might have difficulties or would be uninterested with understanding a protocol’s voting mechanism, or even how to vote, but with us, the users just simply need to download our wallet app which provides a voting mining service with a one-click binding service for all apps in our ecosystem. We try to provide the best user experience we possibly can. This is what sets us apart from other blockchain projects – we have been in the social field long enough to know that the users’ experience is key to the success of the platform.”

How can your innovative service change the way we see social networks?

“We believe that each user contributes massively to the growth of social networks. Users contribute by creating content, giving their attention (e.g. likes and comments), and most importantly, sacrificing their time. Without users, there is no Facebook, there are no billions of dollars of revenue and profit. Each user brings something – a value – to the table, and the market cap of Facebook is simply a snapshot of the sum of values from each user.

Once people realize that they can claim the rightful value of their time and contribution, you cannot put that genie back in the bottle. It will change how we perceive the value of our online labor – yes, labor – and it will change our social status from a user to a contributor and a stakeholder.”

What are your plans for the future?

“At present, TTC Protocol launched its Testnet, Merapi, allowing developers to test the integration of social exchange onto their platform – once tested, they will be able to apply the mainnet, launching in Q1 of next year, which will enable real value exchange on the platform.

With a completed mainnet in mind, the focus will be on finding partners and creating a diversified and growing ecosystem. With more partners integrated into the TTC ecosystem, TTC Protocol can increase the utility value of its token – helping to form a truly open and global community.”

About TTC Protocol

TTC Protocol is one of the largest social networking ecosystems on the blockchain, with over 30m users. TTC Protocol provides a simple-to-integrate and fully-customizable blockchain-based SDK for existing communities, which acknowledges users’ contribution to the community and rewards them.

Telegram (English): t.me/ttc_en
Telegram (Korean): t.me/ttc_kr
Email: official@ttc.eco
Homepage : http://www.ttc.eco/
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/ttceco
Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/ttceco

People are Getting Married on the Blockchain

The Washoe County digital marriage certificate program uses the Ethereum blockchain to store marriage certificates primarily due to the fact that Ethereum is the largest smart contract enabled blockchain which makes performing functions like this easy and secure. Bitcoin’s blockchain is optimized for secure monetary transactions, while Ethereum is known as a turing complete blockchain that can run decentralized applications.

Phil Dhingra of the San Fransisco based Titan Seal claims that people are happier with the service. Rather than waiting up to 10 business days for a marriage certificate, couples can now receive it digitally via email within 24 hours. When certificates are written to the blockchain it is known as “Proof of Marriage” a similar lingo to the technical Proof of Work and Proof of Stakes aspects of blockchain technology.

This is not the first time the industry has seen marriage on the blockchain. David Mondrus, the founder of Trive News, married his wife Joyce back in 2014. This made waves in the industry.

The Spotlight on Ethereum

There are several companies that are taking advantage of Ethereum’s blockchain and other networks like it. Many refer to these types of blockchains as “dApp platforms” short for decentralized application platforms, or smart contract platforms. Ethereum has a virtual machine as well as their own programming language, Solidity, which allows developers to create smart contracts to launch applications.

Smart contracts are basically pieces of software, mostly acting like middleware, which can perform very specific functions. In a nutshell, smart contracts are automated, executable contracts. Automating the functions of an escrow is one common use case for smart contracts.

Ethereum is also known as the catalyst for the ICO (initial coin offering) craze which began in 2017. An ICO is when projects issue tokens, at a certain rate, to raise funds to support their initial efforts as a company.

Civic is one example of a company taking advantage of Ethereum’s blockchain. They issued tokens through an ICO raising a reported $33 million. Entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, also a South African Shark Tank host, is the founder of CIvic. Civic is a secure identity management platform for users to upload and secure their identities. The end goal is to make KYC processes more streamlined and give people back control over their identity data. For example, if a bank, credit company, or doctor’s office is onboarding you as a client, they generally need to retrieve your data from several different agencies which can be timely and costly. If your data is on a verifiable and reliable application such as Civic, then you can permission another party to have access to your data – virtually instantly.

Even after a long, down trending market, there remains lots of activity in the blockchain space. The fundamentals are high, and the technology is not going anywhere. With prices sitting at where they are, many are keeping a close eye at the best time to enter the market.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution with Blockchain, Crypto Banking, AI and the Government

Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence as technologies has seen a shift in observation by critics, investors, miners, users, and the cyber population, in the past two years. With words in support like a revolutionary bend in banking–Crypto Banking, automation of services–Artificial Intelligence and the capabilities of eliminating regulatory hurdles of managing/securing/creating data–Blockchain; the last 5 years has been interesting, controversial, and worth a mention in cyber history.

The power of networking fused with programming tricks is what Blockchain can be called at present and imagination empowered by technology is what Artificial Intelligence can be entitled to. But the real question is that all this necessary and smart drift in technology capable of being called as the Fourth Industrial Revolution in spite of the controversial infrastructure attached to it by the governments who are scared of a “little change”?

“Whereas most technologies tend to automate workers on the periphery doing menial tasks, blockchains automate away the center. Instead of putting the taxi driver out of a job, blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets the taxi drivers work with the customer directly”–Vitalik Buterin

Since Blockchain earned its reputation by an entirely successful community, Artificial Intelligence is backed by Tech Titans like Google and Facebook. “Artificial intelligence would be the ultimate version of Google”–Larry Page. Let’s go deeper into the relevance of these prevalent technologies and the actual and necessary use they are bringing in the field gawked by the governments.

AI, Blockchain, Crypto Banking ready for industry dominance in 2019

Since I have shared a small trailer like a piece for Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence above, I would like to throw some thunder on the most active, necessary and revolutionary implementation of the techs in a little detail.

The much-required Blockchain Implementation: Crypto Banking

The best edge given by Blockchain to us is Crypto Banking, apart from the undercurrents of several crypto coins. The future of payments is backed with security and security, as it is uniquely suited to improve verification of account balances, replace expensive and exaggerating middle process of validating transactions.

Blockchain backed crypto networks and Crypto Banks like Quorums–Ethereum based blockchain network by JP Morgan Chase, FotonBank–Decentralized virtual crypto banking system empowered for instant payments, and Crypto Bank are leading the mentions in the crypto world.

Since many in the finance arena isn’t quickly sold on crypto as they belong to the organized business sector, the viability of crypto backed banking is questioned and in few cases dismissed. Despite the record investor profits gained from the GOD coin, Bitcoin saw 1,300 percent rise last year i.e. 2017, most banks have chosen to stay away. However, Goldman Sachs is reportedly betraying the herd mentality developed for Blockchain and plans to establish the first bitcoin trading operation at a Wall Street bank according to CNBC.

More, JPMorgan’s Former Blockchain Head, Amber Baldet, comments about the entry of JP Morgan into Blockchain as: “It’s an open-sourced project, it’s completely agnostic and industry agnostic as well.”

The Banking Revolution

Initiated by Andrey Pashkevich, CEO and Co-founder of FotonBank, explains: “With the ambition of providing immediate transactions, we focussed on forging a decentralized wallet that would have a capability of maintaining anonymity, ability to get instant payments, along with an ease of cryptocurrency-to-fiat transactions, smart integration with external wallets PayPal, Visa, WeChat, etc, and compliments of cashback programs; all done to implement the best of blockchain.” In short, the mainstream finance arena can be easily displaced with the relevance of blockchain and its security promise.

AI and its “Quantum” debate

The intention of Artificial Intelligence is to change the existing social and work boundaries with the assistance of man-made observer and follower of trained commandments, i.e. a robot or superficial algorithm. Artificial Intelligence, since the years, has gained polarized opinions coming from technical, legal, government and academic practitioners. But the technology has indeed proved every headline it has in its name, with many well-thought of and implemented examples like:

Quantum Computing: Quantum computers or supercomputers in simple terms are known for their own inherent risks. Quantum Computing is different from traditional computers as they are based on mechanical phenomena like entanglement and superposition, unlike regular computing systems which are based entirely on binary systems. Nigel Smart who is the founder of Dyadic Security comments on Quantum Computing:

“…all of the world’s digital security is essentially broken. The internet will not be secure, as we rely on algorithms which are broken by quantum computers to secure our connections to websites, download emails and everything else. Even updates to phones and downloading applications from App stores will be broken and unreliable. Banking transactions via chip-and-PIN could [also] be rendered insecure (depending on exactly how the system is implemented in each country).”

To close the argument on Quantum Computing, I will feature the most debated definition of the invention, which clearly explains it’s feared capability–“The genius of Artificial Intelligence basically explains the behavior and nature of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level.”

Blockchain:

Steering towards to the GOD coin, that started all the hype, Bitcoin deceased in its popularity and price, both, this year, and might continue to fall, but this will finally give Blockchain the chance it deserves as it will come out of the undercurrent of several cryptocurrencies.

In Spite of several opinions, predictions, and thoughts on Blockchain, the tech will continue to breed in inventions. Evidently, Fintech and Blockchain Tsunami is triggered by Crypto Networks, Exchanges, ICOs, and Wallets, like Coinbase and Xapo, all existing with millions of dollars bid under their name by smart investors. More, companies like FotonBank are bidding in contributing towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution through its legitimate implementation of Blockchain. All of this is done on the promise of “created trust” that Blockchain provides.

The Verdict: AI and Blockchain

It is no news that AI and Blockchain have experienced a little overlap in the past few years all due to the emergence of Big Data, that has proved to be a catalyst in between Blockchain and AI relationship. The organization of data for businesses through Big Data, created especially for AI and the advancement of Blockchain triggered through the distributed ledger, further promoting secure and automated storage; the novel combination is a part of the reason for the flagging of Fourth Industrial Revolution.

How Blockchain is Connecting Humans

Blockchain or the technology of trust, has redefined the way we transact. The technology is based on a patriotic concept, i.e. a huge database authenticated by a wider community, rather than any middle authority further allowing a self-sustaining, secure, and fast movement of information/payments/data.

To be more technically sincere, what happens when you integrate computers, and internet– records are shaped, established over a distributed network of computers and paired with preceding entries in the chain, developed, as a result of continuous data addition (blocks), conclusively, a blockchain is forged.

Since the technology is now no more extrinsic to timeless controversies, the utility of the technology is what is being debated, left, right and center, everywhere online, offline, the right usage or implementation of the massive technology is still being “talked”. Adding some more debatable, but logical and proof-injected, the utility of blockchain, in this article, I will discuss the fusion of social media and the wide and economically responsive tech.

How Blockchain works and Why its proof model provides trustless and distributed consensus?

Blockchain has the potential to move beyond just buy and sell; it has the capability to change the way social interactions take place today, at Viral News Teller–Facebook; Excessive and Unnecessary Trolls–Twitter; Restricted Content–YouTube and Open Scams.

Required and proved benefits of Social Media with Blockchain backing

  • Exclusive control over content: A decentralized approach to connectivity, and a good riddance from a central server, no single authority can enforce monitoring, and control over user-generated content. Since there has to be a financial incentive attached to maintain the decentralized nature of the platform, cryptocurrency can be used to reward the hosts who continue to contribute technically. Again, this removes every financial liability on the company like advertising, payments and software maintenance.
  • The removal of middlemen: Portals like Upwork, Freelancer have annoyingly high ritualistic checks that are indeed necessary but they reduce the employee/employer power. Considering Social Job Portals are now relevantly required, blockchain based SN job portals are evolving where the data is controlled by the users. An already established an ongoing effort of Humans.net is bringing back the concept of privacy back in the most compulsory part of internet i.e. online services. Built on the axiom of “by the people and for the people”, the SN portal charges no fees, has no middlemen, and has no uncertainties of user profiles.

In an interview with Entrepreneur, Humans.net, CEO quotes: “The fundamental building block of Humans is the development of a huge databank or directory of people, and their skills, made accessible to other people on the platform.” and continues to say “We will be a full-fledged decentralized system with social recommendations in the blockchain ranking the skills and services on offer.” In short,  users can provide and seek services through the clever implementation of the blockchain.

  • Riddance from Data Manipulation: Eavesdropping on user data is at present an outcome of rising connected population and interestingly, as shared earlier, Facebook was the false prophet of privacy. However, the third generation of social networking will give users the stick of control, as they can monetize on their content, and decide whether their data is eligible to receive payments or not.
  • A place where user is NOT the product: Social Media is a goldmine of user data which has been exploited/ or is still be exploited by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; Blockchain which is the spinal cord for new social media networks, eliminates the possibility of exchanging aggregated information for targeted marketing and money exhaustive campaigns. Hence, the user is NOT the product with blockchain based social media networks, instead is the driver of a reliable, pure and a content-rich community.
  • Improved, Promising and Proven Security: Digital sales is a painful reward of targeted marketing where the smartphone penetration has been taken excessively for granted and has played the catalyst for promoting the same, i.e. user targeting. Facebook was recently accused of invasion of privacy, done at a ridiculously massive scale. The result was a mockery, but again, Facebook is still riding the same horse, this time carefully.

Blockchain-based social networks ensure security and privacy through a distributed consensus mechanism further giving the freedom back into the hands of users. Companies like Nexus is working on decentralizing and encrypting all the data and uploads.

  • A new way to transact payments: Facebook is at present working on creating a payment platform, integrated with messenger but as history says, there is always a disjoint in terms of the messaging and the payment platform, how much is achieved, is to be seen. On the other hand, blockchain based social networks can easily prosper in terms of payment capabilities as a smart token exchange through messaging is already into play.
  • Freedom of Speech: The result of social sharing today is that each and every user, leaves breadcrumbs of information which is usually picked up by third parties. This can happen intentionally or unintentionally as well, but the outcome of the same is usually uncalled interference. Blockchain-based social media networks phenomenally eliminate the need of user accounts and only use digital addresses which cannot be used, exploited or even determined, as well. Obsidian Platform is one of the companies that implement decentralized tech, and, as a result, the communication metadata is scattered over the globe, further giving “immortal privacy and freedom of speech” to its users.

What makes Blockchain a special ingredient in its awkward yet beneficial handshake with social media, is the combination of security provided by cryptography with the immortality of the internet.

Backing the claim with some examples, here is what a few blockchain companies are doing with social media networking as a key ambition. Stay with me!

Steemit: Steem, one of the earliest adopters of the blockchain, has matured into the most trustable, effective and organically growing blockchain based social media network. Unlike Facebook, that only implies viral content growth, Steemit, is based on a decentralized reward platform for publishers who can monetize on content and ultimately grow a community.

A Steemit user, David Kadavy in a short interview with Bloomberg says: “I feel like I’m in the Stone Age when I’m on Facebook or Twitter,” and continues by saying: “They have no value without what you’re contributing to them. If Facebook doesn’t respond to this, things can change very quickly. They should be very concerned.”

Sola: A hybrid of social network and media, commanded by Artificial Intelligence, has more than 700,000 users worldwide now as claimed by the website. Sola is responsible for spreading information at a viral pace, by applying AI algorithms further combined with user reactions. The quality content then reaches the user base of Sola where the rest is done, and that is, making it more viral.

As reported by ICO Alert, an interview with Sola’s CEO, he explains: “It allows us to share revenue from advertising, user payments, and partnerships with users, providing a strong financial incentive to use our service and create quality content.”

PROPS Project: The Props Project is an unusual yet very critical to the need of social networking today. The project is responsible for providing users with real-time engagement, content trending boosts, and gains upvote curation power, along with, knowing the status of their contributions to the whole network growth. Social Media stars like Phil DeFranco and Casey Neistat are broadcasted regularly on the platform, which has in a way, attracted many new users.

CEO of Props Project quotes: “We asked ourselves, how can we leverage our strengths and what would the next generation of a social video look like?” according to WIRED.

Opportunities within the social network that have become available thanks to Blockchain

The best example or indicator of public traction is the continuous, traumatic yet exciting up and down of Bitcoin price. This year 2018, was the year where Blockchain emerged into a greater collective conscious which was the reason why Bitcoin price has been swinging to and fro through hell and heaven. Knowing that blockchain will contribute consequently into cybersecurity, the smart integration of the tech with social networking will bring the following changes:

  1. Access to content
  2. Content Authenticity
  3. Content Consumption

Will blockchain-based platforms replace traditional modes of interaction? Predictions

It is a brutal truth that Facebook is in no imminent danger; the blockchain has the potential to offer a necessary solution to plenty of industries deep-seated problems. A more rewarding, interactive and intellectual experience can be created if the fusion of blockchain and social media maintains the growth it has come up to today. All we have to do is, accept!

Centralized and Decentralized Exchanges – Which One To Choose?

Cryptocurrency has brought power back into the hands of individuals. With the possibility of eliminating the third-party involvement in transactions, the digital currency has made palpable growth since its introduction in 2009. As a currency which is almost impossible to duplicate, it holds enormous value in this digital age.

There are more than 200 cryptocurrency exchanges to trade on. Based on their type of operation, we can classify them into centralized or decentralized. While there are so many things to understand in the blockchain, it’s also important to grasp the concept of centralization versus decentralization. So, what exactly is a centralized or decentralized exchange?

What is a Centralized Exchange?

Let’s put it this way, centralized means that there’s a single point which does all the work involved in any given operation. Take Google, their platform needs all the data to enter and leave through a central hub. Which means you can’t send or receive any information without it going through a single point.

That is how a Centralized exchange work. The platform offers an efficient trading environment at the cost of user’s privacy and personal information. The cryptocurrency data gets transferred through a network including passwords and get stored on a centralized server. These pieces of information are sometimes shared with the government due to regulations.

This doesn’t go well with the very concept of cryptocurrency which demands complete anonymity and safety. Also, these kinds of exchanges are vulnerable to attacks, bans, and lack of privacy. Otherwise, you can compare these type of business models to the traditional securities exchanges or even banks.

What Makes Centralized Exchanges More Popular?

Although they are vulnerable up to a certain extent, they helped to bring cryptocurrency into the masses. It has also been essential in the formation of crypto markets that we see today. Here are some benefits of using centralized exchanges or otherwise known as CEX.

The ease of access

CEX makes it easier for users to create an account or buy their first cryptocurrency. This helped to bring new users into the system and has also made crypto markets more popular.

They have a license

Most of these centralized exchanges have licenses and runs under government regulations. This gives the trader an assurance if something goes wrong.

Use of escrow

As a middleman in trades, they hold the currency until both parties complete their end of the bargain. Thus, there’s no need to worry about the transaction after the trade gets finalized.

Transparency

They make their address and location available to the traders. Hence, it helps the consumers to reach them if needed.

Offers and discounts

CEX also offer discounts while trading in large amounts. Also, the users can exchange fiat currencies to crypto and cryptocurrencies to fiat.

How Decentralized Exchanges Benefit Traders?

Decentralization is a type of network that isn’t operated by a central party. In other words, unlike their counterparts, their platform doesn’t need all the information to go through a single point. Instead, it’s more like a peer-to-peer network where many points connect.

This means, instead of one party being responsible for all the data and information, decentralized platforms operate on a peer-to-peer basis. By operating this way, consumers personal information are not shared as a third party has no access to the information.

These exchanges offer privacy and control over the assets by taking power away from market makers and leaders like banks, lawyers, and brokers. They also operate with the help of smart contracts.  Though there are plenty of decentralized exchanges out there, they have always struggled to rival the centralized exchanges. This is due to the technical difficulties making decentralization more accessible.

When a transaction initiates on DEX (decentralized exchange), the transaction data processed on different hard drives must get verified to achieve a secure result. This multiplies the difficulty required to complete a transaction on DEX.

The shared blockchain network remains to be the core issue in improving decentralization. We should also notice that it has been the biggest technical difficulty since the introduction of cryptocurrencies. But, the introduction of smart contracts and distributed apps can make the difference for decentralized exchanges as it offers more functionality.

Benefits Of Using Decentralized Exchanges

Privacy

Transactions made on DEX shares no data with the third party. Hence, it allows maintaining consumers information and privacy. Also, centralized exchanges ask for personal information such as email, identity proof, and phone number while signing up. DEX doesn’t need any of that.

Security

The biggest advantage of decentralization is the enhanced security it offers. The cryptocurrency got introduced for this purpose, it gives the consumer complete control over their assets.

Decentralized servers

Most DEXs do not have a centralized server, they store data across various servers around the world. Hence, the data remains safe and is almost impossible to get hacked.


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Blockchain Companies Using Decentralized Exchange Models

Decentralization is promising a system liberated from banks, laws, and third parties. Thus, the system has the potential to bolster its growth in the next few years. Here’s a list of companies trying to solve their inefficiencies by making use of the blockchain technology. Particularly the future is promising for decentralized exchanges because they are destined to improve and innovate if they want to save the cryosphere.

Waves Dex, CryptoBridge Dex, OasisDex, Bisq (aka BitSquare), Stellar Dex are one of them but there are much more decentralized exchanges out of which few are still being built and few are facing security difficulties or still have very low liquidity.

Companies spend millions on improving decentralized apps. Yet, they are still slow, hard to use, and sometimes very expensive for consumers. Menlo One has found a solution to solve these concerns for users. They provide a reliable framework for making decentralized apps by using a reputed algorithm for enhanced performance. They are as fast as traditional web apps and offer the security of blockchain technology.

Implementing and applying the decentralized technology of the Blockchain cryptocurrency network in the alternative assets as wine industry, invests in it its future and ensures its longevity. Modern trading platforms make fine wine trading easier and more reliable than ever before. Backed up by its partner, DotChain GmbH based in Switzerland, one of such platforms, CWEX, guarantees anonymity and security of investment by providing blockchain based ownership certification to each bottle of wine traded on the trading platform. Fine wine vendors that passed a strict auditing process can list their products for trading in CWEX/EOS/BTC/ETH/NEO/USD.

Founded by Zhang Jian, FCoin is also a fully decentralized exchange with a massive volume of trades happening each day. Centralized exchanges have been ruling the crypto markets since the very beginning. However, a start-up based in China has made the headlines with its fully transparent crypto exchange.

Conclusion

To sum it up, decentralization is the core reason behind the creation of cryptocurrency. Though the centralized exchanges are benefiting the investors and the system, the true purpose of cryptocurrency will only come true with a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange.

It’s up to the individual to choose the right exchange for themselves. Centralized exchange provides the ease of access and reliability while decentralized exchange contributes to the enhanced privacy. Both has its own benefits and concerns, for now, they serve to bring crypto markets into the broad frame.

Bringing the Trust Back: How Blockchain Enhances Social Networks?

Millions of people stay close to each other with the help of social networks, even if they’re hundreds of miles away. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms form an integral part of users’ lives. Facebook only processes over 136,000 photos and 510,000 comments every minute! But does our personal data actually remain personal?

Not long ago the world was struck with Facebook data leak scandal. Over 87 million users learnеd that their personal data was shared with Cambridge Analytica. It included public profiles, page likes, birthdays and current cities. The biggest hypocrisy was that Facebook discovered that the information had been harvested in late 2015 but failed to alert users at that time. As a result, the only government of the United Kingdom fined the platform with £500,000 for not protecting user data. Still, it is very unlikely that this “punishment” can satisfy Facebook case victims – their stolen information can never retreat.

What the vast majority of people don’t understand is that hackers got access not only to Facebook but to Tinder, Spotify and Instagram accounts too. Therefore, more information could have been stolen, including your private photos. And these are not just words. Suffice to remember the summer of 2014, when a collection of 500 private pictures of numerous celebrities, mostly female and considered to be as an 18+ content, were posted on various social networks, such as 4chain and Reddit.

It’s true that during registration users agree to share some of their personal data with the platform. But not always people actually are aware of what this information used for. As the saying goes, “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” All social networks let us use their platform freely in exchange for something more valuable – understanding of our behaviors, habits, connections, locations, interests, and contact information.

While social networks are good at collecting data, they can be not as good at keeping it secure. Simply put our private information could fall into the hands not only of another company but also of hackers and all sort of “malicious actors”. In particular, social media incidents were responsible for over 56% of the 4.5 billion data records leaks worldwide in the first half of 2018, according to the security firm Gemalto. In fact, around 291 leaks happen every second.

Nothing of mentioned above would matter if public’s engagement in social media hasn’t been so skyrocketing. In 2018, there are over 4 billion people worldwide that use the Internet. And more than 3 billion of them are in social media. That’s almost half of the world’s population!

Thankfully, there is one particular trick left in the bag – blockchain. The same technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and other coins. Basically, this technology is a synonym for security and immutability. Thanks to its cryptographic nature, the chance of data-stealing equals almost zero. So, blockchain becomes the long-awaited cure to issues affecting the current breed of social networks.

Major platforms already bet on the distributed ledger system. Back in May 2018, Facebook formed a blockchain team to explore how to best leverage the technology across the social network. Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, is also thinking over employing blockchain for its platform.

The decentralized technology can not only bring security to social networks but can also change the whole concept of media platforms. And some companies are already working on it. As a perfect example, Steemit must be mentioned. They became pioneers in building the first social network on the blockchain. It allows content creators to make money by contributing valuable and engaging content to the platform.

Another company – Japanese Nagezeni – also develops the blockchain solution for social interaction. They want to empower users to support their favorite authors or bloggers by giving small donations in cryptocurrency. Bloggers, in turn, will be able to use the platform to collect funds through crowdfunding mechanism. Finally, Nagezeni makes it possible to place ads on internet media in the project’s NZE currency.

To implement all the plans, the company uses the sidechain, which combines non-standard features in one – Bitcoin’s security and PayPal’s scalability. It will speed up transactions in NZE up to 300 ones per second and allow to confirm most payments in less than 20 seconds. Thus, Nagezeni users will be able to tip content creators easily and fast, as if they are giving a usual like.

Though people are sharing more and more information online, they want to be sure that what should be private stays private. With all the scandals and data leaks, users are losing their trust in media platforms. Is it a way to restore it? Blockchain may be right the answer.

To learn more about Nagezeni and its innovative ideas, visit its website and follow the news on Telegram, Twitter and Facebook.

Bitcoin or Altcoins: What Should You Invest in?

The cryptocurrency industry is packed full of different coins. Seemingly, every day we have a new altcoin bursting onto the scene that could potentially change the crypto landscape. So, knowing how to invest your money can save your nerves and time.

With so many different currencies available for purchase, how can you hope to make the right choice? In reality, there is no right or wrong option in the cryptocurrency market, as it all depends on goals and application areas. Arming yourself with knowledge can allow you to make an informed decision and minimize your investment risk. Let’s look at the pros and cons of various options available, which might help you to decide on whether you should buy Bitcoin or opt for altcoins instead.

Why so many investment opportunities?

Before we examine Bitcoin and altcoins, we can look briefly at why there are so many cryptocurrencies on the market. Bitcoin is hugely successful – no one ever thought it would take off in the way it has. Furthermore, the underlying technology, such as blockchain, has proven relatively easy to recreate.

Due to these factors, many budding entrepreneurs and Bitcoin enthusiasts created their own coins. They saw an opportunity to rival Bitcoin or to create their own legacy. As a result, we now have an abundance of altcoins on the market.

Bitcoin as the cryptocurrency poster child

Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency. Initially created and released in 2009, it introduced blockchain technology and the proof-of-work principle to the world. Since inception, Bitcoin has grown to become the most prominent cryptocurrency. There are over 17 million coins in circulation valued at over $113 billion. This figure vastly outnumbers any other altcoin – the second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin is Ethereum and its market cap totals only $21 billion.

Bitcoins are mined, and this mining process is an integral part of the coin’s existence. Miners find new Bitcoins and bring them into circulation for rewards. Furthermore, they are responsible for validating Bitcoin transactions on the ledger.

Bitcoin Advantages

The main advantage of Bitcoin is its widespread use and acceptance. It is by far the most accepted as an actual form of payment. Many financial institutions are backing Bitcoin, and it is certainly the currency that most people have heard of. Moreover, Bitcoin has a vast community of users who are dedicated to its long-term development. Finally, it also has an immense pool of miners who maintain the network and ensure it is secure.

Bitcoin Disadvantages

Although Bitcoin undoubtedly has a host of advantages, it has its flaws. The price of Bitcoin has taken a large hit since December 2017 when it rose to stratospheric heights of around $20,000. The price still remains positive, but many analysts wonder if it will ever return to those numbers.

Another major drawback that is becoming increasingly evident is the Bitcoin transaction fees. Bitcoin was meant to have ultra-low transactions fees – this was one of its main selling points. Since miners can choose which transactions to process, they will opt for ones with higher fees.

Finally, many people comment on heavy energy consumption that Bitcoin mining requires – they see this a damage to our environment and would prefer to use a more ‘eco-friendly’ alternative.

Altcoins as alternatives with great potential

Bitcoin is seen as the original cryptocurrency, therefore any new currency has deemed an alternative. There are currently thousands of altcoins available to invest in, and more are developed on a regular basis. Some of them prevail and remain in high demand, for example, Ethereum and XRP; whilst others fizzle out. The following are some of the altcoins and their market cap (as of October 18, 2018):

  • Ethereum: $21 Billion
  • XRP: $18 Billion
  • Bitcoin Cash: $7.7 Billion
  • EOS: $4.9 Billion
  • Stellar Lumens: $4.5
  • Litecoin: $3.1 Billion
  • Monero: $1.7 Billion
  • Dash: $1.3 Billion

As you can see, there are many altcoins available, and each offers something slightly different.

Altcoin Advantages

One of the main advantages of altcoins is that by their nature they serve as an alternative to Bitcoin. If the almighty Bitcoin crumbles, there are altcoins to fall back on. Furthermore, many altcoins actually have a unique function. For instance, Po.et (POE) is built around a platform where publishers and content creators can easily manage their licensing.

Finally, many altcoins offer different systems and processes to Bitcoin and have a greater scope to evolve in the future. XRP and Ethereum, for example, are two different altcoins that have been widely adopted and used in many industries.

Altcoin Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of altcoins is their relative lack of exposure and acceptance. While Ethereum, XRP, and Bitcoin Cash have great support, others just don’t have the same scope. Moreover, there is a limited number of outlets and ways in which you can use many altcoins as they simply haven’t been adopted to the same degree that Bitcoin has.

Conclusion

Just because Bitcoin is the largest currency in supply and has the best support, it doesn’t necessarily mean that altcoins are worthless. You could consider diversifying your investment portfolio and purchasing some Bitcoin and some of the major altcoins. The main consideration is to minimize your risk and make an informed purchase.

Cryptocurrency Startups Send Rental Rates Skyrocketing In Hong Kong

Hong Kong Soaring Rental Rates

South China Morning Post reports that the startups are paying an average of $1.3 million per month in rent. The rent translates to cost per square foot of $307 for office space. Per standards, it is a hefty rate given that the same amount would cost nearly 5 floors in New York. Hong Kong rental rates also top London’s West End rent rates as well as Beijing’s Finance Street.

Some of the companies undeterred by the hefty rent requirements include cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX. Diginex, which is engaged in the cryptocurrency mining business also appears undeterred by the higher rental rates.  The two exchanges have reportedly signed for more than 72,000 square feet of grade A space in the island.

“Blockchain companies show no signs of slowing their expansion in Hong Kong. These firms are leasing space in top-tier office buildings to attract and retain talent,” said Colliers International associate director of office services, Philip Pang.

Ripple Effect

The soaring rent price triggered by cryptocurrency startups demand is already having a ripple effect in the market. Some tenants such as BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs Group have had to seek for cheaper office space elsewhere. BNP, for instance, has had to move some of its staff to Swire Properties in a bid to trim expenses. JPMorgan Chace & Co is also feeling brunt having already moved some of its operations to pricier locations.

The rate at which most of these startups are renting prime property is a testament to how confident they remain about the sector. The cryptocurrency marketplace has turned bearish since the start of the year. Cryptocurrencies prices are down by a double-digit percentage and continue to arouse concerns.

Mining operations are not as lucrative as they used to be, on the likes of Bitcoin imploding from record highs of $20,000. That has not dampened investment spirit given the rate at which the startups are renting properties.

Increased Job Openings

Hong Kong has emerged as a prime target for cryptocurrency operations in the wake of mainland China banning such operations. Companies are increasingly shifting their headquarter to the island as others plot IPO’s

Demand for office space in Hong Kong has also skyrocketed as more job openings come into being. Recent studies indicate that blockchain and cryptocurrency jobs are up by more than 50% in Asia. The increase is down to the fact that most startups and established enterprises are focusing on the underlying technology.

Developers with python language skills are some of the most sought after given their ability to come up with blockchain innovations. Blockchain technology has become an area of focus as companies, and people expect it to fuel the next industrial revolution. Investments are on the rise, all geared towards exploring the technology’s use cases in enhancing efficiency in various sectors.