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On June 26, 2018, Facebook announced it’s reversing its full-scale crypto ad ban effective immediately. Back in January Facebook banned all crypto ads on its platform citing that it wanted to deter people from advertising “financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

Facebook is now allowing ads and related content from advertisers who go through their application process. Ads promoting binary options, and initial coin offerings are still banned, but other crypto-related services such as exchanges, and wallets will be allowed if approved.

Those involved in the cryptocurrency community were not happy with the blanket ban that was enacted in January, many stating that it set back the efforts of many legitimate businesses, and stifled the advancement of a rising technology. Facebook’s blanket ban was followed by Google and Twitter, with Twitter now allowing ads for exchanges and wallets.

It remains to be seen if the ban on initial coin offerings will be lifted or revised in a way to allow for legitimate products. There is no denying that ICO scams were abundant in the industry, but since before the ban and now there are plenty of great products and services that have arisen out of ICOs. Much of the confusion surrounding ICOs has been lifted since regulators have become more vocal on securities laws.

Only time will tell if Facebook, Google, and Twitter will allow for all crypto-related services to go through their application processes, but for now, many crypto-enthusiasts will agree that this is a step in the right direction.
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Huobi, one of the world’s largest and most popular crypto exchanges, recently announced the launch of their US platform HBUS. Huobi expressed that HBUS is not a subsidiary or division of Huobi, but rather a virtual currency marketplace that will be their exclusive US partner.


On June 25, 2018, Huobi announced that executive director Frank Fu from Meitu Inc., a successful photo-retouching app in China, will be the CEO of HBUS overseeing operations and leading the expansion of HBUS in the U.S. market.


Frank Fu has held several executive positions in the tech industry and already has a notable track record in the crypto space. While working at Meitu Inc., he had led a team that generated 500 million new mobile subscribers worldwide. Additionally, he has founded several digital media startups, and various blockchain mobile consumer applications.


This news marks another example of a traditional finance executive moving into the blockchain space. Fu said he sees the current economic climate as a “compelling time in cryptocurrency,” and looks forward to “assembling a team dedicated to building a world-class virtual currency and digital asset platform.”


Fu will be the keynote speaker in San Jose at the Blockchain Connect Conference on Tuesday, June 26.

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Twitch, the largest live video streaming platform for video games in the United States has just added cryptocurrency donations to its service.

 

Streamlabs, the company that created the software that provides users the ability to tip on Twitch, announced that there is currently support for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

 

To accept and payout cryptocurrency donations users will have to link their Streamlabs account to their Coinbase account. The company said more coins will be added to the platform in the near future.

 

Twitch has been known to have a pro-crypto mindset as they have accepted bitcoin-based subscriptions since 2014. This new support for crypto donations is just another step in bringing cryptocurrency to a massive audience.


Amazon acquired twitch in 2014 for $970 million, which in turn gave Twitch the rights in April to the National Football League through an eleven-game package of Thursday Night Football games. Streamlabs also paid out $34 million in donations in Q1 of 2018. Twitch is on top of the streaming world and shows no signs of slowing down.


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The blockchain and cryptocurrency space is scaling at a rapid rate. Crypto startups are popping up on a weekly basis, and a lot of these businesses are in need of funding. Binance, one of the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, is set to launch a $1 billion venture capital fund to help boost this growing industry.


Binance will be using its BNB token, which currently has a market cap of $1.6 billion to make investments. The company will be primarily funding crypto and blockchain startups, specifically payments/wallet, security token platforms, decentralized exchanges, alternative trading systems, and other blockchain funds.


Ella Zhang, head of the companies blockchain fostering program, Binance Labs, explained that they are seeking at least 20 funds to invest in, and each of these funds must already have $100 million in assets under management to be eligible for funding.


The first project to be funded by Binance Labs is a ride-sharing app that will be supported by blockchain technology. CEO of the new app, Weixing Chen, explained that this would be the first app to test blockchain technology on a massive social scale.


Binance was founded in 2017 and is already using its wealth to fund other startups and foster growth. This news is a testament to the exponential growth of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies.


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Coinbase, the largest and most prominent U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, announced its acquisition of the trading platform Paradex. Paradex is a decentralized exchange that allows users to trade hundreds of coins peer-to-peer directly from their wallets, in contrast with Coinbase’s centralized platform that holds tokens on behalf of its customers.  


This acquisition continues Coinbase’s trend of expanding beyond the four tokens offered on their service – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Coinbase currently only offers these currencies because of the regulatory uncertainty about which tokens must be registered as securities.


Paradex allows users to rely on smart contracts to trade tokens and record the transactions on the blockchain. Coinbase is excited about the smart contract technology, and believes the acquisition will bring them a different pool of users, and gives their current customers access to lesser-known tokens.


Coinbase reiterates in a blog post that, “this peer-to-peer trading removes the need for third-party custodianship and the associated security risks,” and that, “It is another step toward creating a truly decentralized crypto economy.” It is clear the San Francisco based company wants to move away from the centralized model so that they can offer more digital tokens to their users.


Paradex will be suspending its app as of Wednesday to integrate its services with Coinbase. Initially, only customers outside of the U.S. will be able to use the Paradex services, but they will eventually offer these services to U.S. customers after changes for compliance purposes.


The company also revealed a new brand called Coinbase Pro that will replace its current professional investor platform GDAX. The platform will feature a new design, chart features, and a whole new suite of services to attract more institutional investors. GDAX will be retired at the end of June, and all customers will be rolled over to the new service.



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If you believe crypto is the future of currency Twitter and Square Inc CEO is on your team. Jack Dorsey spoke at the Consensus blockchain conference in New York to express his enthusiasm for the future of bitcoin and how he wants to help move the technology forward. “The internet is going to have a native currency, so let’s not wait for it to happen, let’s help it happen,” he said at the conference. “I don’t know if it will be bitcoin, but I hope it will be.”


The Twitter CEO told the Sunday Times newspaper in March that he expects bitcoin to become the single global currency within the next decade. Dorsey is also a personal investor in bitcoin, and his recent speech reaffirms his positive stance on the crypto market.  


A big leap in the industry came from Dorsey’s payments processing company Square adding transactions in bitcoin to their Cash app in January. The CEO stated that using bitcoin or another cryptocurrency as a global currency would lower the barrier for his company to enter new markets.


According to Nomura Instinet, the Cash app is growing substantially quicker than Venmo and other payment processing apps because of their decision to add crypto to their platform.


Like most companies, not everyone on the board of directors remains as bullish as Dorsey on bitcoin’s role in the future of currency. The CEO expressed that there are still varying opinions on the topic and the decision to add bitcoin to the app was a controversial move in the company.


Dorsey concurred that as of right now Bitcoin has its problems and that it’s slow and costly, but he remains hopeful that as adoption becomes more widespread, these issues will disappear.


Square spent $33.9 million to buy bitcoin for the Cash App and sold a total $34.1 million. As a result, Square reported low bitcoin trading profits that only amounted to around $200,000. Regardless, Dorsey’s view on bitcoin remains hopeful, which gives the crypto community at large a boost in morale.



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Swiss startup Streamr has announced several partnerships at the Consensus conference in New York this week to allow users to sell their data on the blockchain. Data privacy has been a growing concern for consumers as highlighted in the recent Facebook-Cambridge analytica scandal. Major companies are now working day and night to find solutions that will give customers complete control of their personal data. Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Nokia are two such companies that are looking at blockchain as the answer to this growing concern.


Steamr plans to build a data marketplace and put in on the blockchain, this would allow consumers to put their data at whatever capacity on the blockchain, and potentially let them to sell it to advertisers, government agencies, or whoever is interested in buying it. The marketplace would give users complete control of their data and the knowledge to know how and where their personal information is being used. Streamr plans to tokenize this data in the form of their cryptocurrency DATAcoin.


Nokia, the Finnish telecom giant, wants to use Streamr’s marketplace to put the data collected by their WiFi hotspots on the blockchain. These hotspots are valuable to all mobile consumers, for example, their hotspots are frequently used in farming communities that use internet-enabled sensors to give farmers their own weather stations. This data is very valuable to these rural areas, and this partnership would allow them to monetize this information.


Many businesses are seeing the limitless potential of blockchain technology. Hewlett-Packard is going to use the Streamr engine to collect data from consumer’s vehicles. HP created a prototype in which a vehicle can receive data from fuel levels, tire pressure, windshield wiper activity, etc., and drivers can sell this information.


All of these innovations will allow consumers to monetize anything that’s valuable to outside parties. Nokia’s radio system lead Martti Ylikoski stated, “We recognize a growing movement of empowered mobile customers who want to control and monetize their data, our partnership with Streamr reflects our firm belief in the platform.” Streamr is just the tip of the iceberg in showing how blockchain technology can give consumers complete control of their data. This is a big win for data privacy and data usage, and hopefully, it will push other big businesses in the right direction.



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Technology and computing goliath International Business Machines Corporation, better known as IBM, has announced a partnership with Veridium Labs to launch a token on the Stellar blockchain. Veridium Labs Ltd. is an environmental fin-tech startup that aims to provide a digital asset solution for consumers and businesses to offset their environmental footprints.


The issue that this partnership aims to solve is that third-party carbon credits are often difficult to value and mark on a traditional balance sheet. The “verde” token will act as a layer upon the carbon credit to give it value and make it easier to track and account for by using the Stellar blockchain. Todd Lemons, CEO of Veridium labs said that the underlying formula for the valuation of the token would involve “carbon density per dollar times product group.” The startup is still ironing out the kinks, and working with several global institutes to help determine the value for each product group.  


IBM’s role in the partnership is to handle the commodity aspect of the verde token to make sure that it is a viable asset. The company has previously worked with Stellar, and it’s own lumen cryptocurrency, so they have experience in overseeing the buying, selling, and managing of cryptocurrencies. IBM also manages nine nodes on the Stellar blockchain, so it comes as no surprise that they have decided to bring the verde token into the mix.


The tech giant has expressed that they are willing to work with other blockchains in the future, but as of right now issuing their token on the Stellar blockchain shows that a long-lasting relationship might be in place. This partnership also highlights another considerable leap in traditional tech companies moving into the blockchain arena to eradicate issues that have proved to be too challenging for the traditional sector.


Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM’s blockchain division, said, “By using a public, permissioned blockchain network, we can help Veridium create a new sustainable marketplace that is good for business and good for the world.” The primary goal of the verde token is too easily track and manage the carbon footprint of businesses on an open ledger and ultimately allow each consumer to offset their footprint through the exchange.



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1. Respect your Community

Give them the information they deserve
● Being Transparent is KEY
● If you hide things now, who’s to say you won’t later?
Sure you can sell out your ICO in the presale, if you have the right team and a good idea.
● Brands that will SURVIVE, and not become useless shitcoins, need a steady backing of honest community members that see the vision. If your plan is for mass adoption, and to truly decentralize global markets, you need to win over the masses and not just a group of 100 whales. Start this from the beginning, and it will benefit you greatly in the end.
If they raise concerns about your dev, address them immediately, not “soon” or “in due time”
● If you can’t supply the answer, MAKE IT HAPPEN. When a community member brings up something crucial and critical, don’t just ban them. Yes there are plenty of trolls, but there are also these things called honest concerns. If there is a flaw in your tech or idea, IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO FIX IT.

2. Just because other ICO’s are doing it, doesn’t mean you have to

Kick your pride to the curb, and ditch the vanity metrics.
● Who cares if a new ICO ran an airdrop for $5 million and gave away xxx,xxx tokens, it doesn’t mean YOU HAVE TO.
● Airdrops are a great way to spread awareness for your coin, but just because you have 50,000 telegram users doesn’t mean a thing if your tech isn’t going to do something. Oh and the SEC might not like this very much, but that’s up to your law team 🙂
● Do yourself a favor, don’t focus on only one social channel. Again, the vanity metric of 50,000 telegram users means practically nothing.

3. You are running a potential multi-million, or billion even, dollar business, carry yourself as such.

● Yes all of the emojis are cute and “when moon” is so fun to say over and over again. You don’t see the Apples, and Microsofts of the world expressing the potential of their product with some cute characters.
● The whitepaper should be your holy grail, and respected as a contract. Read it 400 times and have someone with every single varying point of view read over it. More often than not you have a global team, utilize that diversity to the maximum! “Group Think” can KILL an ICO. Just because your savvy group of investors thinks its brilliant, doesn’t mean it is.
● It is definitely great to have team members and executives jump into community chats from time to time. This can be great for transparency and give your community something to believe in. But if your CEO and founders are in the chat ALL DAY LONG and analyzing every single little sentiment, does that mean they don’t have CEO things to do? Top ranking executives should be negotiating the BIG DEALS that will get a firm to the top, not spending every waking moment concerned that some troll talked trash in their telegram.

4. Don’t Rush It

● Of course you want to get this investor money ASAP, but developing at least an MVP/demo/beta/alpha will give investors SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO and look forward to.
● Who says you need to launch your marketing one month before the ICO? Build the hype as much as possible. Give time to work things out and foster a community that will go to the ends of the earth for this business.
● Make a contingency plan. It’s ok if things have to change, but if you pre-meditate the changes, you will be so far ahead of the curve and everyone will respect that you were quick to act. Unless of course you sell out your ICO in the presale, that might not go over the best.
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When preparing to launch your ICO, the number of potential digital platforms to utilize can be overwhelming. This comprehensive guide analyzes the top 10 digital platforms companies utilize to market their ICO.

#1: Telegram
Overview: Telegram is a free messaging app that functions on both mobile and desktop devices. Telegram has quickly become a staple in the cryptocurrency community. Companies preparing to launch an ICO frequently create a Telegram group for their potential investors to discuss among themselves and have their questions answered by company staff (admins).
Pros: Private, cloud-based, customizable, multiple users can have ‘admin’ status, and widely accessible.
Cons: Breeding ground for scammers – if you’re going to utilize Telegram your team needs to have systems in place to prevent ‘phishing’ practices.

#2: Facebook
Overview: Facebook business pages are a great way to communicate new information to your user base.
Pros: No character limit, largest digital platform, multiple users can be made an ‘admins’, and your Facebook page can be used to facilitate messages between users and company staff.
Cons: Can NOT run ads for your ICO through Facebook’s native ad manager.

#3: Reddit
Overview: Reddit is a platform that’s been utilized by the cryptocurrency community since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009. It consists of countless topic specific boards called ‘subreddits’. The best way to utilize Reddit is to proactively create a subreddit for your token.
Pros: Large population of cryptocurrency investors present on the platform, subreddits are highly customizable, and multiple users can have ‘admin’ status.
Cons: Reddit has been known to have its fair share of ‘trolls’ (users who disrupt the conversation taking place on the platform just for fun). That being said, it’s very easy to simply ban these users from your subreddit.

#4: Twitter
Overview: Twitter is a great platform to consistently update your user base. Twitter is a platform where you truly can’t post too much – the platform is designed for a high volume of brief posts (called ‘Tweets’). Each Tweet is limited to 280 characters (that’s right, it’s no longer 140 characters).
Pros: Retweets have the potential to increase your token’s exposure and your Twitter page can be used to facilitate messages between users and company staff.
Cons: Can NOT run ads for your ICO through Twitter’s native ad manager.

#5: Medium
Overview: Medium is an online publishing platform that allows users to upload ‘articles’ to the site. For companies preparing for an ICO, it’s ideal to proactively create a Medium page and populate it with in-depth articles that explain the mission and technology behind your new token.
Pros: Allows you to convey large amounts of information to your user base and increases your companies organic exposure (as your medium page will be ‘searchable’ during potential investors web searches).
Cons: No native ad manager to grow your Medium following.

#6: YouTube
Overview: YouTube is owned by Google and arguably the second largest search engine in the world. That being said, if your company does not have video content, then this platform is not for you.
Pros: Ability to customize channel, ability to monetize views, and ability to convey large amounts of information to your user base (in video form).
Cons: Can NOT run ads for your ICO through YouTube’s native ad manager.

#7: GitHub
Overview: GitHub is a platform for technologically savvy users. It allows companies to post their code and the projects that they’re working on, so potential investors can review.
Pros: Heavily utilized by cryptocurrency investors and the ability to have potential questions answered by the educated user base.
Cons: This is a premium service, there’s not the option to have a free account.

#8: Bitcointalk
Overview: BitcoinTalk is an online forum for everything relating to cryptocurrency. Believe it or not, Bitcointalk was create by Satoshi Nakamoto himself in 2009.
Pros: EVERY user on the platform is a potential investor
Cons: The site’s organization can be slightly confusing. Also, it can be rather difficult to establish credibility on the site (each user has a rating next to their name which shows how much they’ve contributed to the community).

#9: LinkedIn
Overview: LinkedIn is a great platform to utilize so potential investors can learn about the members of your company / team. Create a ‘company’ LinkedIn page which all employees are ‘linked’ to and add all necessary resources (such as a link to the website, whitepaper, etc.).
Pros: Passively gains exposure for your token by having your company listed in employee’s personal LinkedIn pages and could serve as a source to hire new employees if needed.
Cons: In our experience, it can be rather difficult to grow a large following on a company LinkedIn page.

#10: Instagram
Overview: Instagram is owned by Facebook and consistents of a younger user base (compared to the other platforms listed). To successfully utilize this platform, your company needs to have a large amount of photo and video marketing material.
Pros: There’s not a lot of cryptocurrency companies exceling on Instagram (meaning the competition is minimal).
Cons: Can only post links in your bio, 60 second video limit, and you can NOT run ads for your ICO through Instagram’s native ad manager.
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