Tag Archives: Cryptocurrency

Not Too Big to Fail: Why Facebook’s Long Reign May Be Coming to an End

Not Too Big to Fail: Why Facebook's Long Reign May Be Coming to an End

Sears and Blockbuster fell because neither was able to adapt and grow with its consumer base. Is Facebook making the same mistakes?

  

Over the last several years,
Facebook has gone from facilitating the free flow of information

to inhibiting it through incremental censorship and account purges. What began with the ban of Alex Jones last summer has since escalated to include the expulsion of hundreds of additional pages, each political in nature. And as more people become wary of the social media platform’s motives, one thing is absolutely certain: we need more market competition in the realm of social media.

Facebook might seem too big to fail, but rest assured it is not. Unless it is protected by a government monopoly, every single product and service is vulnerable to market forces, even those considered too powerful. Just a few weeks ago, the once-mighty Sears announced its plans to file for bankruptcy and close 142 of its department store locations. It also wasn't so long ago when Blockbuster Video, a staple of weekend fun in the 90s, announced its closure, as well. These institutions were at the top of their games at one point but were each unable to satisfy their customers as they once did. And both were inevitably replaced by better services like Amazon Prime and Netflix.

Facebook might seem different from other traditional market entities since it technically doesn’t sell anything to the bulk of its users. But just like Sears and Blockbuster, its success relies on its ability to attract and maintain its customers. And in the wake of the recent purges—and its recent security breaches—it is quite possible that, like Myspace and Friendster, Facebook is not long for this world.

The Situation

When it was announced that Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, and eventually Twitter had banned the accounts associated with Alex Jones, it elicited mixed reactions from the public. On one hand, Alex Jones is infamously known for building his career on being an instigator and a “troll,” rendering him an unsympathetic character to most of the American public. On the other hand, the sweeping ban of Jones was concerning as it threatened the future of independent media. After all, if this could happen to Jones, who would be next? To be sure, Facebook is privately owned and is allowed to curate its own content as it sees fit. However, just because someone can do something doesn’t necessarily mean that they should.

To be sure, Facebook is privately owned and is allowed to curate its own content as it sees fit. However, just because someone can do something doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. And it most certainly doesn’t mean that, as users of this platform, we should not voice our concerns. As the summer droned on, independent media held its breath waiting to see how the “Jones” decision would impact their own accounts.  A few weeks ago, the situation escalated when Facebook went one step further and announced it would be deleting nearly 800 pages it said violated its terms of service. Specifically, these pages were accused of “spamming” users, though Facebook’s use of the word was not clearly defined.

However, the fact remains that many of the deleted pages were right-leaning and libertarian, leading many to assume that these purges were politically motivated. And given the prior accusations made against Facebook in regards to suppressing conservative-leaning links and news stories, these assumptions did not seem off-base even if Zuckerberg claimed that content was not a contributing factor.

Carey Wedler, editor-in-chief of Anti-Media, an independent news platform that just had its page deleted by Facebook, told FEE:

According to Facebook, we were not suspended for our content but for “spamming” and using “misleading” practices, but these are tactics we have never employed, and other large pages that employ posting strategies like ours, such as Occupy Democrats (also known to share fake news), were not removed. Curiously, in July, Facebook assigned us a representative to help us manage our page. They also gave us $500 in free advertising to boost our content in September, and these actions seem to imply they had no issues with either our content or our practices.

Even though the purge’s proximity to the approaching midterm elections appears suspect, Facebook maintains that its decision to delete these accounts was purely the result of spam violations and not because of the actual page content. This allowed Zuckerberg to hold firm to his claims that Facebook was not practicing censorship but was instead just enforcing policies that already existed in the user terms of service. However, last week the popular libertarian Facebook account “Liberty Memes” had its page deleted, adding more fuel to the fire. Unlike the previous purge, Liberty Memes was not deleted under the guise of spamming its users like the others. Instead, Facebook openly admitted that the page was being deleted directly because of its content.

In the digital age, it is highly probable that at some point you will come into contact with content you find offensive or untrue. While offensive content can simply be ignored and dismissed, ideally, each individual should be responsible for determining whether or not the information they are exposed to is credible. But with the “fake news” hysteria we are currently experiencing, Facebook has taken it upon itself to protect its users from potentially misleading or even offensive content. And even if these decisions were made in an attempt to appease the many users who would like to see all opposing thought suppressed, this may inevitably come back to haunt the company.

Facebook has not had a great couple of years. In addition to being blamed for both the suppression of conservative links and Trump being elected to office, the popular social media site was also found to have compromised its users’ data on more than one occasion. And while the decision was voluntary, Zuckerberg also found himself testifying in front of Congress just a few months ago. And on the business side of things, market shares have slumped 7.5 percent over the year. In fact, over the past year, Facebook use has also been dwindling, and over 44 percent of young users have admitted to deleting the app off of their phones entirely. In droves, young people are flocking to sites like Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, instead. And without this younger crowd, Facebook could soon find itself desperate for users.

As written in INC:

Recent findings make it clear that a large number of users have changed their relationship with Facebook over the past year following the company's privacy and security scandals. With ripple effects still being felt over six months after Cambridge Analytica, it's unlikely migration from the app will slow down any time soon.

So, what does this mean for those of us who are dissatisfied with the behavior of Zuckerberg and Facebook? It means the situation is ripe for new platforms to rise up and take its place. And we should be diligently searching for its replacement or replacements.

Voice and Exit

Voting with our dollars is one of the most powerful actions we can take as consumers. While we might not be paying for Facebook memberships, each time we log-on to the site and actively engage with other users, we are voting in favor of the social media company. And for many of us, we feel as though we have no other choice. As a writer, I will be the first to admit that I personally rely on Facebook as a means of sharing my work with others. In fact, the thought of deleting my account fills me with unease and isolation. After all, if I am not on Facebook, how can I stay connected to all my contacts around the globe? And since many of us are so hesitant to leave, Facebook has maintained its power in the social media space. But this can easily change.

In order for the market to work, consumers must diligently vote with their feet and their money in order to prop up the brands and products they prefer. There is a grave misconception that the market process is passive when quite the opposite is true. In order for the market to work, consumers must diligently vote with their feet and their money in order to prop up the brands and products they prefer. If a company does something a consumer is opposed to, the consumer can decide to take their business elsewhere or, in extreme conditions, turn to protests and boycotts as we have seen recently with brands like Nike. Consumers have substantial potential to cause financial harm to these companies, they just have to choose to use this power.

We are living in an era of disruption. Just a few years ago, the potential for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to compete with global currencies seemed unfathomable. And while we are still years away from a full-fledged monetary revolution, crypto has proved itself to be a force to be reckoned with in the finance world. If anyone has any doubt of this, just look at how many governments and Keynesian economists fear its widespread adoption.

In the earlier days of Bitcoin, users were small in number as the network was still in its infancy and needed to grow. But over the last couple of years, more and more users have been flocking to cryptocurrencies after becoming disenchanted with centralized financial institutions. The very same thing could happen to Facebook. And speaking of the world of cryptocurrencies, many of the platform alternatives to Facebook that are popping up are utilizing blockchain technology.

Minds, Telegram, Steemit, Mastadon, and other burgeoning social media companies are looking to blockchain to not only keep private user data safe but also to keep the networks decentralized and safeguarded against the same type of censorship we have seen coming from the authority figures in charge of Facebook. But in order for any of these platforms to take off, they will need early adopters and users willing to build a modern social network that has learned from the errors of its predecessors. Sears and Blockbuster fell because neither was able to adapt and grow with its consumer base. Facebook has routinely gone against the wishes and needs of its users and is just now starting to face the consequences.

As Wedler says:

Just as people across the political spectrum are fed up with the current system, so, too, are social media users frustrated with the major platforms currently dominating the market. In both cases, it seems not only obvious but also vital that instead of simply tolerating the current paradigms, individuals must take tangible action to make their preferences known. With respect to social media, if enough people walk their increasingly dissatisfied talk, there is huge potential to spark an exodus towards platforms that better meet their demands and expectations.

Article Produced By

Brittany Hunter

Brittany is a writer and editor for the Foundation for Economic Education. Additionally, she is a co-host of Beltway Banthas, a podcast that combines Star Wars and politics. Brittany believes that the most effective way to promote individual liberty and free-market economics is by telling timely stories that highlight timeless principles.

TP

The Blockchain wallet plans a 125M airdrop of Stellar crypto to drive mainstream adoption

The Blockchain wallet plans a $125M airdrop of Stellar crypto to drive mainstream adoption

Blockchain, one of the world’s biggest crypto wallets,

plans to give away a vast amount of cryptocurrency in a bold move to scale the adoption of crypto to a more mainstream audience. Blockchain and the Stellar Development Foundation (stellar.org) will distribute $125 million worth of Stellar lumens [XLM] to Blockchain’s users. Blockchain is claiming this is the largest airdrop in the history of crypto, and potentially the largest consumer giveaway ever — and to most outside observers, it looks that way.

Critics of the move will, however, may lay the charge that it’s a cynical move akin to cheap marketing techniques. Whatever the case, most people would probably say they’d have quite liked someone to “give them a bitcoin” a few years ago… It remains to be seen, however, what effect it will actually have on the ground in regards to crypto adoption. Accessible to anyone with a Blockchain wallet, Blockchain says that the first batch of recipients will receive their lumens, Stellar’s native digital currency, this week — for free. The Stellar network has gained a reputation for scalability, with its lumen token enabling competitively quick, low-cost worldwide transactions. It has its critics however, and not every crypto fan out there will be impressed.

In a statement, Peter Smith, CEO at Blockchain, said: “At Blockchain, we’re committed to putting our users first. Providing exclusive access to the next generation of cryptoassets allows new and existing users alike to test, try, trade, and transact with new, trusted cryptoassets in a safe and easy way. We’re empowering our users with private keys, which allow them to go beyond just storing their crypto to actually using them. In turn, we can help build a bigger and more engaged crypto community, and drive network effects that make the ecosystem more useful and valuable for the many rather than the few.”

Stellar is Blockchain’s first airdrop partner following the launch of the company’s Airdrops Guiding Principles framework in October 2018. Jed McCaleb, co-founder of Stellar Development Foundation, said, “We believe that airdrops are central to creating a more inclusive digital economy. Giving away lumens [XLM] for free is an invitation to communities to design the services they need. Our hope is to eventually have global citizens own and use lumens, in both developing and developed economies. By working with Blockchain to increase the availability and active use of lumens on the network, leveraging their almost 30 million wallets, we will increase the network’s utility by many orders of magnitude.”

As part of the airdrop, Blockchain is also partnering with a number of organizations to further the adoption of lumens, including charity: water, Stanford d.school’s emerging tech initiative, code.org, and Network for Good who share the company’s vision for using this transformational technology to build a better future. Blockchain plans to reveal specific details of each initiative in the coming weeks. Carissa Carter, director of Teaching and Learning at Stanford d.school, said, “The strength of any network is derived from innovation. We are excited to join Blockchain on this airdrop to empower some of the most brilliant and creative minds to start experimenting and building on Stellar’s network.”

Article Produced By
Mike Butcher


Editor At Large

As a writer, editor, interviewer, moderator and columnist in the tech media world he covers everything the smallest tech startups and the largest tech giants. Lately, he’s been writing a lot about Blockchain and Crypto. Mike has been named one of the most influential people in European technology by various newspaper and magazines. He founded The Europas Awards, the non-profit Techfugees and has advised the UK government on tech startup policy. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2016 for services to the UK technology industry and journalism.

As well as being a long-time Writer, Broadcaster and Editor Mike is also co-founder of TechHub.com, a project to merge a thriving community with office space for fast-moving startups; co-founder of the UK’s Coadec.com lobbyist for startups; the non-profit TechVets for UK military veterans, and the UK event series ThePathfounder.com. Mike has written for UK national newspapers and magazines including The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The New Statesman. He is a former editor of New Media Age magazine, the leading new media weekly in the UK, and the European edition of The Industry Standard magazine.

In 2000 he was nominated as NetMedia’s European Internet Journalist of the Year. In 2004 he was voted ‘One of the 100 Innovators of the UK Internet Decade’ by GfK NOP, the fourth-largest custom research business in the world. In July 2008 he was put at No. 47 out of the Top 100 people in London’s creative industry by The Independent newspaper and The Hospital Club. In August 2008 TechCrunch Europe was awarded the best “Web 2.0 and business blog” in the UK, by the readers of Computer Weekly magazine. In 2009 it was named as one of the Top 10 blogs out of the UK. Also in 2009 Mike was named one of the Top 10 bloggers on Twitter in the UK. In October 2009 he was named one of the Top 50 most influential Britons in technology by The Daily Telegraph. In April 2010 he was in Wired UK’s Top 100 influencer list, in 2011, in 2012, (there was no Top 100 list in 2013), in 2014 and again in 2015. In April 2010 TechCrunch Europe was shortlisted in the Specialist Digital Publisher category of the prestigious UK-based Association of Online Publishers’ Digital Publishing Awards. In November 2010 he was named as one of London’s most influential people in New Media and “king of dotcom commentators” by The Evening Standard Newspaper. He has been listed as one of the Top 100 most influential people on Twitter in the UK. He was named in the TechNation200 Almanac. He has been named as one of “The 100 coolest people in UK tech” by Business Insider. He was named in the “Smith & Williamson Power 100”. In 2016 British GQ magazine named him one of the 100 Most Connected Men in the UK. He has spoken at the prestigious World Economic Forum, the Monaco Media Forum, Le Web, Web Summit and DLD among many other conferences. Mike is a regular commentator on the technology business, appearing on BBC News, Sky News, CNBC, Channel 4, Al Jazeera and Bloomberg. Mike has advised the UK Prime Minister on tech startups, served on the Mayor of London’s Digital Advisory Board, the ‘Smart London’ Board and been a Technology Ambassador for London. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2016 for services to the UK technology industry and journalism. Mike’s personal blog is mbites.com, while he Tweets.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/06/the-blockchain-wallet-plans-a-125m-air-drop-of-stellar-crypto-to-drive-mainstream-adoption/

TP

The Making of the First US ICO Fraud Case

The Making of the First US
ICO Fraud Case

In common law systems, it is precedent that informs judicial approaches

to new and previously unaddressed matters. The precedent that will likely shape the body of U.S. case law on fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs) is currently being forged in a federal court in the New York borough of Brooklyn, where a 39-year old entrepreneur, Maksim Zaslavskiy, has pleaded guilty to committing securities fraud. The development that will most likely result in a landmark decision – the jury will gather in April 2019 to decide on a sentence – is yet another twist of a now 14 month-long effort, involving both the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Previously, the process has already yielded a fateful ruling by a federal judge who in September established that securities law is applicable to ICO-related cases.

The case that is poised to become so consequential for the whole ICO space deals with two ventures that neither issued a token nor developed any blockchain-powered infrastructure: REcoin and Diamond Reserve Coin both only existed on paper. Yet it also makes perfect sense that the authorities first went after the most brazen instances of ICO fraud, the ones that hurt rookie retail investors the worst and inflicted the most reputational damage on the industry.

When the SEC first filed a complaint against Zaslavskiy in a federal court in September 2017, it was estimated that REcoin and Diamond Reserve Coin ICOs resulted in around 1,000 investors losing some $300,000. Having fallen for Zaslavskiy’s aggressive marketing campaign, these people were led to believe that they either invested in a digital asset that was backed by real estate located in developed countries (REcoin), or purchased a tokenized membership in an elite club for wealthy business people, with physical diamonds in the company’s custody underlying the value of tokens.

In fact, though, they were buying “worthless certificates,” as U.S. district attorney, Richard Donague, put it, on Nov. 15, 2018, Zaslavskiy admitted in his guilty plea: “We had not yet purchased any real estate.” He now faces up to 5 years in prison, pending the decision of a jury panel. The regulator is also filing a civil lawsuit against Zaslavskiy.

The making of a fraudster

The Ukrainian city of Odessa, overlooking a scenic coastline of the Black Sea, is known for its vibrant spirit and unique culture. Throughout both the Imperial and Soviet periods of its history, the city has been home to a large Jewish community. As the final years of the USSR saw the liberalization of immigration policies, many Odessan Jews chose to leave for either Israel or the West. Born in Odessa, Maksim Zaslavskiy was 12 when his family relocated to the U.S. While Maksim was destined to make ICO history, his brother, Dmitry, chose a banking career and later became an executive director for Morgan Stanley. Zaslavskiy’s social media pages, as well as websites of many organizations he ran at various points of time, were either deleted or became unavailable in the wake of the high-profile investigation into his activities. The main source of information about his pre-trial life is now the four-hour interview to the SEC representative that he gave in September 2017, of which the Fast Company magazine managed to obtain a transcript.

In 2003, Zaslavskiy received his degree in finance from Baruch College, followed by a LLM from Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law three years later. He worked as an IT consultant for several banks before starting his own international business, whose nature is difficult to infer from the interview. Zaslavskiy also claimed to have been involved in real estate business since the age of 18, yet Fast Company’s investigation failed to verify his employment with the firms he claimed to have worked for. According to the interview, the 2008 crisis became a major blow for Zaslavskiy’s business, further entrenching him in his resentment of the U.S. financial system. He turned to charity work, founding a philanthropic organization called Live Love Laugh. However, it is impossible to say whether the ambitious statements on its website (which is now down) were ever backed by any real actions, since the entity appears to never have been properly registered.

Zaslavskiy has also written at least three books (under the name Avi Meir Zaslavsky) that can be still found on Amazon. These are how-to guidebooks on the ins and outs of real estate business. Another one, which appeared around the time his two ICOs were in full swing in August 2017, sets out to explain the reader that “what you perceive and use as money is designed in such a way that the wealth created by the economy truly benefits only large banks and multinational corporations.” Apparently, the book was meant to lend credibility to Zaslavskiy’s claim for intellectual leadership in the crypto space, as its press release presents him as “one of the world’s leading currency decentralization proponents.” The publicity campaign around the book provides a glimpse into Zaslavskiy’s approach to marketing himself and his ventures: bold, extravagant, overblown. Unsurprisingly, this style carried over to the way his two ICOs were presented to potential investors.

Real estate tokens and Initial Membership Offerings

For someone disenchanted with both the traditional financial system and traditional means of making money, the ICO rush of 2017 presented innumerable opportunities. The beauty of the ICO model was that it opened up the world of venture capital, previously reserved exclusively for professional investors, to anyone with a few spare dollars and some interest in the uncharted space of blockchain applications. The flipside of it is that some of the newcomers were unable to tell legitimate projects from outright scams replete with red flags.

Megalomaniac language and exaggerated promises are usually telltale signs of something not being right with the venture that’s taking off. Zaslavskiy’s projects had both. REcoin, announced in June 2017, presented its founder as a “Real Estate guru” and proclaimed that the 101REcoin Trust held properties “in developed and stable economies like the USA, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, and Switzerland” without providing any evidence in support. Also, an “international team of attorneys and programmers” was allegedly there to “work tirelessly” on increasing token holders’ fortunes. As the court proceedings later revealed, no such team ever existed.

In August, after facing the first signs of SEC interest to REcoin, the “Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Author Max Zaslavsky” began his marketing campaign for an allegedly diamond-backed digital asset, the Diamond Reserve Club token. The release (beginning with “If the Holy Scriptures have taught us anything at all…”) touted a brand new Initial Membership Offering model, which was supposed to tokenize investors’ participation in a large ecosystem of interconnected businesses. It also suggested that the tokens could be inherited by the investors’ grandchildren. One would think that the theatrical language and gargantuan assurances of the two ICOs’ public-facing documents would only make any reasonable person scoff. Yet from July through September Zaslavskiy and his accomplices managed to amass around $300,000 before the SEC took the matter to court.

The fallout

On Sep. 29, 2017, the SEC brought a civil complaint to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York against Zaslavskiy and his two companies for violating U.S. securities laws. Recoin and DRC responded on their websites with a joint statement that argued that it was due to “lack of legal clarity as to when an ICO or a digital asset is a security,” suggesting that their operations were not within the SEC’s purview.

However, the Feds seemed to disagree. On Nov. 1, Zaslavskiy was apprehended by FBI agents and criminally charged with a conspiracy to commit securities fraud. In early December, he pleaded not guilty and secured a $250,000 bail backed by his family’s Brooklyn house. In February, Zaslavskiy’s defense filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the grounds of inappropriate application of securities law to cryptocurrencies. Yet both the DoJ and SEC insisted that REcoin and DRC tokens passed the Howey test – a legal standard that determines whether a contract is a security.

In September, U.S. district judge Raymond Dearie concluded that for the purposes of the case, the tokens could, indeed, be treated as securities, potentially setting a precedent that could shape the future of ICO regulation. The judge was also unequivocal in characterizing the nature of

Zaslavskiy’s enterprises:

“Stripped of the 21st century jargon, including the Defendant’s own characterization of the offered investment opportunities, the challenged indictment charges a straightforward scam, replete with the common characteristics of many financial frauds.”

Article Produced By
Kirill Bryanov

Kirill Bryanov is a PhD researcher at Lousiana State University. His scholarly interests center on political and societal implications of communication technology, with a focus on blockchain-powered decentalized architectures.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/the-making-of-the-first-us-ico-fraud-case

TP

What is a crypto currency Airdrop?

What is a crypto currency Airdrop?

     How to get free tokens on Airdrop?

In cryptocurrency, the term “airdrop” is used to describe a type of distribution event for a cryptocurrency where tokens are distributed to existing wallets. Or more simply, an event where “free coins” or coins purchased during a pre-sale are “dropped” in existing wallets. In other words, the term “airdrop” describes a distribution event that occurs when a cryptocurrency decides to distribute tokens to users for any reason. For example: A distribution event that occurs after an ICO goes live and the smart contract for the ICO sends new tokens to the existing addresses of users who participated in the pre-sale. For example, one buys into an ethereum-based ICO, then on the airdrop date the token is sent to user’s wallets and they can then “add the token” to their Ethereum wallets.

A distribution event after a hard fork or the creation of a new token which results in existing coin holders getting “free coins,” but where the platform being used requires the distribution of tokens. For example, a fork on the Ethereum network that creates a new token on the Ethereum network or another coin’s network (see fork-airdrop hybrids like the Ethereum Classic Callisto Airdrop and the Loopring Airdrop for example). A distribution event where tokens are given to existing holders as a reward for sticking with the cryptocurrency or as an incentive to get people to hold the cryptocurrency or a related token.

How to participate in crypto airdrop?

This can also be done on other blockchains, but Ethereum and Bitcoin are the most used for this airdrop format. Other (often smaller) airdrops require social media posts or you need to contact a member of the team on the Bitcointalk forum. This form is gaining more popularity since September 2017.

  1. An Ethereum Wallet:
    not one that is on an exchange. It has to be a personal address that is ERC20 compatible because most of the tokens that are airdropped are ERC20 tokens, which are or were originally Ethereum-based ICOs.
  2. The Ethereum Wallet Must be ACTIVE.
    By active, we mean that you have to show at least some human use of it. Lots of airdrops have checks in place to make sure that you aren’t just randomly generating a bunch of addresses and signing them all up to unfairly obtain more coins. This means that if your wallet doesn’t show activity, it might not receive the airdrop. Sometimes, coins will be explicit in what they look for, including some type of balance in the account.
  3. Telegram Account:
    I’m sure there are amazing reasons why Telegram is the chatting tool of choice for many of these ICOs. The coins want to boost the audience count. Usually, these airdrop coins will also require you to sign up for their Telegram accounts. Until you receive the coin in your Ethereum wallet, do not leave the Telegram accounts or you risk disqualification for the airdrop.
  4. Twitter Account:
    Similar to the reasons behind the Telegram account, many of the airdrop coins will also require you to follow them on Twitter. Some of them will even ask you to retweet some tweet.
  5. Email address.
    sometimes airdrops will ask for your email, too. If you don’t feel comfortable with giving them your real email, just create a spam one. Remember the password, though; some of them actually ask you to confirm your email.

Another possible way to get free e-coins is a faucet. This means you get a small amount of free crypto for a longer period of time. Some wallets, crypto casino's or crypto promotion sites run this type of airdrop.

Why would anybody give away free cryptocurrency?

To offer coins for free the people are the product. With doing an airdrop the project creates awareness about their ICO or token. It brings people to the project that otherwise would not have owned or heard about it. It could lead to token price appreciation, since people value a token they own higher then a token they don't own. This is called the endowment effect: "In psychology and behavioral economics, the endowment effect (also known as divestiture aversion and related to the mere ownership effect in social psychology) is the hypothesis that people ascribe more value to things merely because they own them." In addition to that I think people are more likely to buy a token that they previously owned or still own, since they are already familiar with it.

A crypto airdrop would create a community/network of people who own the tokens. If you would list the token distribution after an ICO in a pie graph, a large part of the pie is still owned by the Dev's or project. Another large part is owned by people who joined a pre-sale. And a reasonable part is owned by people who invested in the ICO. An airdrop adds a extra slice to the pie and that slice will have the most people in it. Decred still shows a pie-graph like this example on their homepage.

An crypto airdrop also plants a seed. When you look at Coinmarketcap you will see a list of thousand coins. Just on page one you can see 100 coins listed. However if you have or had a coin that name is still in your brain. The seed is planted and whenever you check coinmarketcap and scroll down, the name of the free e-Coin will jump out and people will check how it is doing. If they see an article that the free e-Token is doing well or bad, they are more likely to click it if they own it or previously have owned it. It's just like advertising.

Article Produced By
Bitcoin Wiki

https://en.bitcoinwiki.org/wiki/Airdrop

 

TP

IBM and Columbia University Launch Two Blockchain Startup Accelerators

IBM and Columbia University Launch Two Blockchain Startup Accelerators

 

 IBM and Columbia University announced the introduction of two new blockchain

startup accelerators as critical components of their center for research, education, and innovation in blockchain technology and data transparency.

IBM Network and Columbia Launch to accelerate industry adoption

The joint venture, part of the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency, will provide 20 entrepreneurs and blockchain network founders worldwide with access to the assets, knowledge, and support they need to build sustainable blockchain businesses and enterprise-grade blockchain networks. IBM’s Network Blockchain Accelerator will expedite the global development of ten later-stage growth companies, and focus on building out an enterprise-grade business network and client base for their blockchain solution.

According to David Post, Managing Director of IBM Blockchain Accelerator, “The possibilities presented by blockchain technology are seemingly endless, and we see strong dedication by technical talent to build game-changing applications.” He believes that adoption is inevitable and “what is also needed to truly bring about this sea change is the right technology and expertise which is why IBM is working with Columbia to help give these early- and mid-stage founders a way to build enterprise-grade networks that can move blockchain innovation forward.”

In contrast, the Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator is intended to provide ten pre-seed, idea-stage companies with the necessary expertise and tools on how to build a blockchain startup, as long as it is in affiliation with the Columbia or any NYC-based University. Satish Rao, Executive Director of the Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator, expressed confidence that “Early- and late-stage teams will undoubtedly benefit from IBM’s technology resources, expertise and established network coupled with Columbia’s ground-breaking research and talent in blockchain and data transparency, all while benefiting from rapidly growing NYC blockchain communities.”

Beyond Blockchain Tech: Sustainable Business Development

The two accelerator programs will empower companies and their teams with the aid of an expert network of business and technical support teams, workshops from IBM, as well as access to connections to the Columbia research community, student talent pools, and the IBM Cloud technology. As part of the accelerator plan, entrepreneurs will investigate what are the best practices for building a secure and sustainable blockchain network and ecosystem with the guidance of academic, technical, and business tutors from IBM, the Columbia University and other organizations.

Both programs are expected to launch in Q1 of 2019, while IBM Network has already opened nominations. Since they are invite-only, to apply, companies must look for the recommendation of investors, customers or IBM representatives. The Columbia Launch program is designed to help up to seed-funded startups. Upon completion of the accelerator, IBM may decide to enter into strategic partnerships with the firms to assist them with establishing and/or scaling the concepts developed during the program.

Article Produced By
Mauro Sacramento

Mauro is a Portuguese crypto journalist in pursuit of his digital nomad dream. Although he graduated in scriptwriting, he spent the past decade in corporate environments. Now that he's rediscovering what freedom feels like, he can't get enough of blockchain and its decentralization.

https://www.ccn.com/ibm-and-columbia-university-launch-two-blockchain-startup-accelerators/

TP

Facebook to appeal against ICO fine says it’s a matter of principle not to pay 18 mins’ profit

Facebook to appeal against ICO fine – says it's a matter of principle not to pay 18 mins' profit

Get Zucked, basically

Facebook is to appeal the £500,000 fine handed down

in October by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office over the data-harvesting scandal. The penalty – the highest the ICO was able to dole out for the firm's part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal because it took place before GDPR kicked in – equates to about 18 minutes of profit for the firm.

Nonetheless, the Zuckerborg is insistent that no UK data was involved, arguing that not only does this mean it shouldn't have to pay up, but also that it's a matter of principle about the way people behave online. The ICO said when it handed down the fine that, on the information it had, "it is not possible to determine" if Facebook's assertion that only US resident's data was shared with Cambridge Analytica is correct. However, it contended that the personal data of UK users was "put at serious risk of being shared" for political campaigning – and thus issued the enforcement action for failing to do enough to protect that info.

"Therefore, the core of the ICO's argument no longer relates to the events involving Cambridge Analytica." Facebook is arguing that the ICO's reasoning "challenges some of the basic principles of how people should be allowed to share information online" and that this has implications that "go far beyond Facebook". Benckert – taking a real ad absurdum approach – said the ICO's theory meant that "people should not be allowed to forward an email or message without having agreement from each person on the original thread". "These are things done by millions of people every day on services across the internet, which is why we believe the ICO's decision raises important questions of principle for everyone online which should be considered by an impartial court based on all the relevant evidence."

An ICO spokesperson sent us a statement following Facebooks' confirmation it will appeal the fine:

“Any organisation issued with a monetary penalty notice by the Information Commissioner has the right to appeal the decision to the First-tier Tribunal. The progression of any appeal is a matter for the tribunal. We have not yet been notified by the Tribunal that an appeal has been received.” Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham has made it abundantly clear that she would have fined Facebook more if she had been able to, and said that, in particular, its follow-up after it discovered the breach was "less than robust".

She told MPs earlier this month that her team "found some problems with the signing of [Facebook-ordered] authorisations [from organisations]; some of them weren't signed at all". The ICO has also referred other, ongoing concerns about the firm's targeting functions, its monitoring of individuals' browsing habits and interactions, to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (Facebook's European HQ is in Ireland). Meanwhile, the firm's decision to appeal the UK's fine will do little to bolster goodwill among the nation's lawmakers, especially as Zuckerberg has repeatedly rejected requests to appear in front of parliament's digital committee.

Article Produced By
Rebecca Hill

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/11/21/facebook_to_appeal_ico_fine/

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Airdrop of Crypto Tokens Hits Regulatory Flak

Airdrop of Crypto Tokens Hits Regulatory Flak

On August 14, 2018, the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”)

issued a cease and desist order (the “Tomahawk Order”) against Tomahawk Exploration LLC (“Tomahawk”) and David Thompson Laurance (“Laurance”) for their actions in connection with an initial coin offering of digital assets called “Tomahawkcoins” or “TOM” (the “Tomahawk ICO”). Tomahawk and Laurance’s actions were problematic for the same reasons cited by the SEC in other recent orders related to digital assets (e.g. the Munchee Order). Consistent with such orders, the SEC determined that Tomahawkcoins are securities because they constitute investment contracts under the “Howey” test. However, what makes the Tomahawk Order particularly noteworthy are the lessons to be gleaned regarding cryptocurrency “airdropping.”

What is Airdropping?

“Airdropping” is the distribution of tokens or cryptocurrencies without monetary payment from the token recipient. The practice of airdropping tokens became prevalent in late 2017 and early 2018 when ICOs began to face stricter regulatory scrutiny. Token airdrops or “free crypto” distributions have been particularly popular in conjunction with ICO marketing campaigns, such as the Bounty Program (“Bounty Program”) offered in connection with the Tomahawk ICO. As part of its Bounty Program, Tomahawk dedicated 200,000 Tomahawkcoins, and offered third-parties between 10-4,000 Tomahawkcoins for activities such as making requests to list Tomahawkcoins on token trading platforms, promoting the coins on blogs and other online forums, and creating professional images, videos or other promotional materials. Ultimately, Tomahawk airdropped more than 80,000 Tomahawkcoins to approximately 40 wallet holders as part of its Bounty Program.

Airdropping as a Section 5 Violation

Under Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), any offer and sale of securities must be registered with the SEC or exempt from registration. Section 5 regulates the timeline and distribution process for issuers who offer securities for sale. In the Tomahawk Order, the SEC found that Tomahawk’s Bounty Program constituted an offer and sale of securities because “[Tomahawk] provided TOM to investors in exchange for services designed to advance Tomahawk’s economic interests and foster a trading market for its securities.” Despite not receiving payment in exchange for the airdropped Tomahawkcoins, the SEC nonetheless found that the airdrops made in connection with the Bounty Program constituted the offer and sale of securities: “a ‘gift’ of a security is a ‘sale’ within the meaning of the Securities Act when the donor receives some real benefit…Tomahawk received value in exchange for the bounty distributions, in the form of online marketing…in the creation of a public trading market for its securities.” By offering and selling Tomahawkcoins without having a registration statement filed or in effect with the SEC or qualifying for an exemption from registration, Tomahawk and Laurance were found to be in violation of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act.

Potential Consequences of a Section 5 Violation

In light of the Tomahawk Order, it is important to understand the potential consequences of a Section 5 violation, which may include the following:

  1. SEC Enforcement Action:
    In addition to having the power to impose monetary penalties, the SEC can also bar an individual from serving as an officer or director of a public company for a period of several years. Through the Tomahawk Order, the SEC not only imposed a $30,000 penalty (a reduced amount due to Laurance’s inability to pay a civil penalty) but also barred Laurance from acting as an officer or director of a public company or from participating in any offering of a penny stock.
  2. Rescission Rights:
    Under Section 12(a)(1) of the Securities Act, purchasers of securities that were sold in violation of Section 5 of the Securities Act have a right of rescission. This right of rescission is essentially a “put right” whereby the purchasers can force the seller of the securities to buy the securities back at cost plus interest.
  3. Control Person Liability:
    Even if a person did not directly take part in the airdrop, under Section 15 of the Securities Act, such person might still face liability. Under Section 15 of the Securities Act, each person who, by or through stock ownership, agency, or otherwise, controls any person who violates Section 5 of the Securities Act, may also be jointly and severally liable for such Section 5 violation.
  4. Accounting Consequences:
    Potential payments in respect of rescission rights may be required to be booked as contingent liabilities under GAAP, which can negatively impact financial statements and the issuer’s ability to comply with financial covenants under bank documents.

Conclusion

Any company considering airdropping tokens or other digital assets should make sure to work with their securities lawyers to confirm that such actions do not run afoul of federal or state securities laws. Directors and Officers Insurance Policies do often cover these types of claims, but just because someone has car insurance does not mean they should drive recklessly.

Article Produced By
Robert Wernli, Jr.,
Robert Weber
Osama Khan

https://www.corporatesecuritieslawblog.com/2018/08/crypto-tokens-regulatory-tomahawk/

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Exclusive Lunar Insight: ICO Performances Are Mostly Unaffected By Bear Markets

Exclusive Lunar Insight: ICO Performances Are Mostly Unaffected By Bear Markets

Introduction: A Statistical Analysis Of ICO Performances
In Differing Market Conditions

These past several months, an analysis of ICO performances in the midst of varying market volatility was conducted by the data science team at Lunar Digital Assets. Intuition would probably lead a typical retail investor to believe that an ICO will perform better in bull markets as opposed to bear markets (and in stable markets which are void of any particular direction).

A SURVEY OF 288 CRYPTO INVESTORS:

At the inception of the idea for this study, we were curious to see what cryptocurrency traders and ICO investors thought regarding the performances in bull and bear markets. So we asked various networks of traders and investors a fairly simple question. The results were astoundingly favored towards bull markets, as most would expect. However, it should be pretty noteworthy that 29% of those surveyed disagreed with the majority. (29% because the 12% that voted for «Anytime» would be investing in bull markets as well.) In hindsight, we probably should have had «I don't know» added to the list of choices.

SURVEY RESULTS: WHEN'S THE BEST TIME TO BE INVESTING INTO ICOs?

  • Bull Markets: 171 (59%)
  • Neutral Markets: 40 (14%)
  • Bear Markets: 35 (12%)
  • Anytime, doesn't matter: 33 (12%)
  • Never: 9 (3%)

In this analysis, we aim to bring credence to or dispel this commonplace notion using statistical analysis and hypothesis testing. We strongly believe that this study is especially helpful in the relatively young market of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, whereas traditional financial markets have a much longer history and established patterns and trends. We will attempt to answer the question that everyone thinks they know, but doesn't really know: Do ICOs really—statistically—perform better in bull markets?

DATA SCRAPING, CLEANING, & EDA

DATA OVERVIEW AND EXPLORATORY ANALYSIS: FINDING RELIABLE DATA IN THIS FRAGMENTED, YOUNG MARKET CAN BE CHALLENGING.

The data for this study was acquired from Coinist, which provided a sample data size of 457 initial coin offerings. Although we are aware that there were many more ICO's conducted, we believe that 457 is an ample size to draw inferences from. Coinist was also the only data source that readily had ROI information (the figures were also spot checked for accuracy), and went as far back as 2013 up until the data the captured in May 2018 when this study was being conducted.

As basis of analysis, we will be using each coin’s Return on Investment (ROI) since the ICO Ending date as a measure for investment performance. Due to the varied nature of ROI across ICOs, I will be using a common logarithmic function (Base 10) of each coin’s ROI as reasonable means of comparison. This is especially useful as we are concerned about relative performance in different market conditions and not an associated scalar value.

CAPTURED DATA: 

  1. Name of Coin
  2. 1-Hour % Change
  3. 24-Hour % Change
  4. Weekly % Change
  5. ICO Date (last day of token sale)
  6. ICO Price
  7. Current Price
  8. ICO Return on Investment (ROI)

DATA CLEANING

We did not find any major issues with the data other than one mislabeled adte for the coin APX. The ICO date was set to May 21, 1970. While cross referencing with other sources, we had determined and fixed the APX ICO date to May 21, 2017. Outliers: NXT's overall ROI of ~24,000% was an obstacle to proper comparison and analysis. Despite being a significant outlier (the next best performer was Ethereum at ~1,900%), we decided to keep this data and regularize it via a common logarithmic function for analysis.

EXPLORATORY DATA ANALYSIS

The goal of EDA is to visualize the data in different perspectives to glean additional insights for further analysis, anomaly detection, and data consistency. In this section, we will visualize the data from a high level. First, we wish to explore the pace of ICOs and visualize the rise of ICO as a means of capital funding: We see a staggering yet unsurprising increase in ICOs in 2017 followed by a decline in 2018 YTD. However, we would not be surprised to see the annual 2018 value exceed 2017’s ending tally. It should be noted that since the data was taken in May, as predicted, the number of ICOs is steadily rising.

MORE EDA: VISUALIZING WINNERS AND LOSERS

In the full article published on Lunar Digital Assets, you can visually see the ROI of ICO's categorized in different segments:

  • Yearly ROI
    Our dataset captures the following years and the associated numbers of ICOs held in that year. The below violin plot provides a visual summary of statistical descriptors of the ROI performance by ICO Year 
  • Monthly ROI
    On a monthly basis, ICOs that end in April have the best median performance but also likelier to perform the worst of any month other than December. Otherwise, there does not seem to be a significant difference in ICO performance based on Ending Month.
  • ROI by Market Conditions:
    Another important distinction to consider when analyzing ICO ROI was whether or not the ICO occurred in a bear, bull, or purgatory market environment. Date ranges were leveraged from Thomas Lee, Head of Research at Fundstrat Global Advisors. Please also note that any date ranges not included are considered “purgatory runs” or what traders like to call «sideways markets.»
  • ROI per Year by Market Environment:
    When taking out the year dimension of the view, the plot suggests very little difference in median ROI performance.
  • ROI of all ICOs in Bull, Bear, and Purgatory Markets:
    The plot suggests very little difference in median ROI performance, but one very odd statistic was that bull markets see more outliers of negative performance and purgatory markets see more outliers of positive performance (likely due to NXT's ROI as the coin had its massive run-up in a purgatory market in 2013).

    It appears that the market conditions do not have a significant impact on the median returns of ICO's. Now we can move on to see if, on average, ICOs perform better in bull markets than in bear markets.

 

METHODOLOGY AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS 

MEDIANS AND AVERAGES ARE NOT THE SAME!
The primary method of analysis used to assert our assumption is a hypothesis test using a Z-Test. In order to appropriately perform the test, we require that the distribution of the data be unimodal and normally distributed. In our sampling method, the sample size must be larger than 30 and our samples be independent. We find that each market environment contains 173 ICOs during a bull market, 143 during bear markets and 142 in purgatory markets. As a result, our population and ensuing sample sizes will be greater than 30. Moreover, our population samples are assumed to be independent.

To assert our data is unimodal, an Exponential Cumulative Distribution Function was constructed. The theoretical model takes the mean and standard deviation of our ROIs and plots hypothetical data points. We compare this with the actual plot of our ROI data. In the below graph, we find that our real data is closely aligned with the ideal model and thus can be assumed to be unimodal and normally distributed. The goal of our statistical analysis and hypothesis test is to determine whether ICOs, on average, perform better (has a higher average ROI) during a bull market than in a bear market. To accomplish this, we need to construct the confidence intervals and then the hypothesis test parameters.

We begin with establishing a 95% confidence interval to provide insight on the range of differences that we can observe. Taking 100 random samples from the Bull and Bear populations, the difference in the mean is -0.159. At the 95% confidence level, the difference in Logarithmic ROI can range between -0.52 and 0.21. For our hypothesis tests, our statements will be expressed as:

  • H?: μ1 — μ2 = d?
  • Hα  μ1 — μ2 > d?

Where μ1 is the mean bull market ROI and μ2 is the mean bear market ROI. D? will be 0 (zero) to signify the difference in the means. Our null hypothesis posits that there is no difference between bull and bear market returns while our alternative hypothesis posits that there is a positive difference. Our critical rejection region will be [1.64 to infinity]. Following a stratified sampling method, we arrive at the two population means:

  • Mu1 (Bull Market): -0.19
  • Mu2 (Bear Market) -0.04

The Z-Test statistic formula will be the difference in means (μ1−μ2) less D0 divided by the square root of the standard error of both the bull and bear market ROIs. We arrive at a test statistic of -0.717. This value does not fall into our critical rejection region of [1.64 to infinity] and therefore fail to reject the null hypothesis. This suggests that there is no difference between the average ROI (and by extension performance) between bull and bear markets. This assertion continues to hold true at both the 99% and 99.9% confidence levels.

We additionally tested if this holds true when we change the Alternative hypothesis from Ha:μ1−μ2>D0 to Ha:μ1−μ2≠D0 (which denotes that there is a significant difference between the average ROI in bull and bear markets). We find that at the 95%, 99% and 99.9% confidence levels we still fail to reject the null hypothesis.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

SURPRISE! BAD PROJECTS WILL BE BAD PROJECTS, REGARDLESS OF THE MARKET'S HEALTH.

In summary, we found there to be no statistical significance in the average ICO performance in either a bull or bear market. In fact, we find that

1) there tends to be far more performance losers than winners regardless of market environment
2) ICOs, on average, tend to underperform in both bull and bear markets (where the market is driven by incumbent coins and tokens), and
3) bull markets see more outliers of negative performers!

We can safely say that there needs to be more studies done, and there are so many more variables at play here. But those looking to raise working capital through an ICO should not focus on trying to time the market but rather focus their efforts on other aspects such as the actual product, the white paper, marketing hype, building the community, and etc.

When I assigned our research team this task, I thought that I was going to prove to the world that investing in ICOs during a bear market was a bad idea. Not only was I proven wrong, but this study has given me new epiphanies on how to further capitalize the downtrends. Since then we have embraced the philosphy of truly growing organic communities and building a strong foundation for projects. While most would think that a bear market would have negative effects on all projects, the numbers were fairly clear here, and numbers don't lie. During bull markets, I suppose there's more confirmation bias as there are many more ICO's going on, which means more headline news of X, Y, and Z coins doing 500x returns. 

To all the projects that are on the sidelines waiting for the bull market to come, that is a bit concerning — ultimately, it means you have no faith in your own project. True tech and true community will overcome bear markets, as projects like Chromapolis and Cloudbric has proven.

Article Produced By
Han Yoon
Lunar Marketing

https://icobench.com/thebench-post/126-exclusive-lunar-insight-ico-performances-are-mostly-unaffected-by-bear-markets

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What Is An Airdrop And How Does It Work?

What Is An Airdrop And How Does It Work?


In the cryptocurrency world, Airdrop has a different meaning

to when is used in the military, and specifically relates to gifts of tokens. Free crypto, yay!

What is an Airdrop?

A crypto Airdrop is the process in which tokens are distributed free of charge to users’ wallets in a blockchain. It is usually carried out by start-up companies in the ICO stage as a way to promote their projects and make themselves known. 

Why do cryptocurrency Airdrops happen?

There are several reasons why projects use Airdrops. The most frequent are:

Marketing strategy:
 generally, companies use it to attract attention in its ICO stage, so that interested parties are encouraged to investigate and then invest in the token. These strategies are also implemented with the launch of new cryptocurrencies that result from a fork, such as Bitcoin Cash.

Loyalty rewards: 
an Airdrop uses wallets and cryptocurrency exchange sites to provide free tokens as a way to reward their customers and subscribers for being loyal to their platforms. A relevant case: in 2017 Binance gave 500 TRX to their members.

Decentralization:
this helps from any point of view to any cryptocurrency platform and generates more security for the network and users. Example: OmiseGO distributed a large part of its tokens to Ethereum users.

Examples of successful airdrops

It is hard to define what constitutes a ‘successful’ airdrop, or to quantify its success. Nevertheless, let’s have a look at some of the most notable airdrops to date.

ByteBall airdrop

ByteBall is a Directed Acyclic Graph, or DAG-based, cryptocurrency network that features two native currencies: bytes and blackbytes. This ICO is notable because it launches airdrops to coincide with full moons. ByteBall distributes its token via airdrops for users who hold Bitcoin in their wallets.

OmiseGo airdrop

OmiseGo is now an established Ethereum-based platform for peer-to-peer (P2P) value exchange. But in 2017, it was just another startup ICO. Back in July 2017, OmiseGo launched a widely publicized, large-scale airdrop, where it distributed 5% of all its tokens to all Ethereum addresses that hold a balance over 0.1 ETH as of block 3988888. The airdrop took place exactly on July 7th 2017, 16:36:56 UTC.

Forks vs Airdrops

Airdrops are not to be confused with forks, another one of those terms with seemingly incongruous meanings.

Fork: A definition

Throughout its sometimes volatile history, Bitcoin has undergone changes and gone through forks which have heralded the inception of new currencies. The term “fork” signifies a code change to a coin’s underlying blockchain protocol. The new code might add new features, speed up the blockchain, or introduce other changes. Forks can be hard or soft. During a hard fork event, a currency splits into two. This results in two versions of the same currency (old and new) coming into existence. Hard forks are major changes to the blockchain protocol that underpins a currency, and are thus prone to create extreme market volatility. A soft fork also means a split, but the difference is that only one currency remains afterwards.

The Bitcoin Cash fork of 2017

August 1, 2017, became etched in the history of Bitcoin as its offspring, Bitcoin Cash, was born. A new currency came into existence that day, and any Bitcoin holders received the equivalent amount of Bitcoin Cash. While this fact bears similarities with an Airdrop, as users received “free coins”, it’s not quite the same. Airdrops are designed almost as marketing tools, to either generate interest, commercial leads, or simply maintain the buzz., while forks are major changes to a blockchain protocol, designed to split a currency.

Where to find free crypto Airdrops

There are pages in social networks, forums and applications that keep the community updated with relevant information that helps them select the most popular or current Airdrops. One website that offers interesting and reliable information about Airdrops is 

AirdropAlert.com.

Of course, CryptoCoin.News also has a section dedicated to free crypto Airdrops, in cooperation with AirdropAlert.com.

Scam Airdrops

The attractiveness of Airdrops opens the doors to scams, so it is important to verify the information of an advertisement with the official page of its promoter. No project that has an Airdrop planned will request a private key, personal data or a transfer of funds to be eligible for the distribution of the tokens.

Conclusion

An Airdrop is a useful strategy in many ways; it has brought to the ecosystem a new way of capturing the public and spreading new cryptocurrencies. In addition, it has served the market to motivate users in new project investments and build loyalty in others. And last but not least, Airdrops can earn you some free money, the easy way!

Article Produced By
Abel Colmenares Napolitano

Abel is a Fintech enthusiast experienced with blockchain technology. With a BBA and a master degree in e-commerce, he combines his passion writing about the Blockchain Industry, Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. When he is not working, he loves playing online games.

 

https://cryptocoin.news/analysis/what-is-an-airdrop-in-the-cryptocurrency-world-and-how-they-works-9315/

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Decentralized Identity Systems and the Future of Marketing

Decentralized Identity Systems and the Future of Marketing

What if SSI evolved into more freedom for Content creators and influencers that resulted in an Ad-free blockchain internet?

Instagram stories have become intercepted with Ad-spam,

it’s a pretty terrible user experience. As Facebook seeks to monetize Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram?—?since Facebook’s flagship app is a dying app; the message is clear. Centralized Ads are polluting the internet. Whatever you believe self-sovereign-identity is, blockchain needs to decentralize identity systems on the internet to ensure consumer privacy, control and freedom.

The Emergence of the Next Web Based on Blockchain

A digital identity that’s accountable to human rights, is that so much to ask? Digital creators and influencers need to have full-rights to their creations just as consumers should have full rights to their data, which they can then barter or sell or trade via tokens with advertising platforms. Facebook and Google’s model is all wrong, it’s the past.

I’m following a lot of crypto projects related to UBI and the decentralized identity systems that reward people better. One of the terms I like the most is called “self-sovereign marketing”, where several startups are looking into creating more fairness in content and referral traffic for influencers in a more transparent way.

Everytime I post on LinkedIn, in the back of my mind I’m wondering why I don’t get paid. On Medium, I can put my articles behind a paywall and make a living wage. Why would I ever post again on Instagram or Twitter without some measurable return on investment? I need social media to work for me. If I have 195,000 followers on LinkedIn, that has to mean something.

Human Rights on the Internet

What people do should matter, and their digital rights not just to privacy, but to empowerment is key for how we build the internet and restart it with blockchain. SSI should not just serve Governments in how they track citizens on centralized blockchains. There must be an aspect of decentralization where the peer-to-peer aspect empowers people globally. Imagine if LinkedIn actually worked that way, and wasn’t just a spin-off of Microsoft? Imagine if Facebook stood for something more than a “family of apps” that is just an advertising machine?

SSI should complement existing advertising and government digital identity systems, just as Bitcoin and over 2,000 digital assets already complements how fiat transactions, investment, trading and assets work. Decentralization is about bringing the internet a new era of freedom, stability and alternatives to what’s not working. Let’s be honest, Google and Facebook should probably be broken up. (We don’t need the inventor of the Internet to tell us that). They are too centralized and have become corrupt.

In a future world of decentralized identity,

consumers will have more rights and advertising and
brands will open up a new era of ethical influencer marketing.

The Sociology of Decentralization

As mistrust of centralized tech companies grows, in proportion the movement towards decentralization syncs with our collective values.

At the same time now you have people like JP Morgan saying they are behind Ethereum. We can only assume the rise of digital assets and a token based economy will herald new options and alternatives for consumers on the next phase of the internet. We can’t stay on Facebook family apps and think it’s okay anymore. Consumers will demand better experiences, just like I as an indie journalist need incentives that motivate me and don’t just exploit me for my creativity.

Decentralization is the Key in How we Transition Past Advertising to the Next WebSelf-sovereign identity platforms need to scale with the future of how the internet will work. Their dApps need to empower consumers where new ecosystems of value can emerge that create more level playing fields.Capitalism without trust and blockchain might have trouble sustaining its value based on the old tricks (like vanity metrics for instance).As Instagram itself becomes saturated with stories that no longer have relevance to our fleeting attention, a new generation of apps will take its place.Many of those will have self-sovereign marketing built into them. This is already happening with many micro-video apps, you just might not be aware of it yet.

Self Sovereign Marketing will scale a new model of advertising

and change the internet forever.SSM will Hardcore Opportunity and Authenticity in the next Era of Social Marketing Advertising just like physical retail, needs to adapt to the values of the new consumer. Decentralization identity systems will augment how consumers participate in the future of advertising. Any blockchain startup that’s pioneering better incentives for these apps is ultimately contributing to the future of self-sovereign identity and self-sovereign marketing, SSI and SSM respectively. One day I’ll do a survey covering the main ones.

In a world of cryptoeconomic freedom, social platforms won’t own our data, we will. We’ll be driven by economic incentives to collaborate and create, in an open-source and permissionless manner where we’ll have unparalleled self-governance to explore our interests and abilities online compared to the enslavement of the internet today. Digital assets are pointing to a new model of how the internet of the future will work.

Article Produced By
Michael K. Spencer

Medium member since Apr 2018

Blockchain Mark Consultant, tech Futurist, prolific writer. WeChat: mikekevinspencer

https://medium.com/futuresin/decentralized-identity-systems-and-the-future-of-marketing-c6e1fde04552

 

 

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