Tag Archives: ethereum

Cred App Allows Micro-Investment’ in Cryptocurrencies

Cred App Allows ‘Micro-Investing’ in Cryptocurrencies

Cred is launching a mobile app that allows people to invest small amounts of money in cryptocurrencies. The iOS and Android app is aimed at solving problems around access and transparency associated with buying cryptocurrencies.

Santa Monica, California-based Cred said it has created a “micro-investing” platform to ease access to cryptocurrencies, which have become a hot (and sometimes cold) commodity as people seek to replace cash in the digital era.

With the Cred app, investors can round up the amount they spend on everyday purchases to the nearest $1, $2 or $5 and invest the extra money in cryptocurrency. For example, if an investor who rounds up to the nearest $1 spends $3.55 on an iced coffee, the Cred platform will automatically invest 45 cents in cryptocurrency.

Cred founder Brendon McQueen believes that consumers often feel intimidated when looking to invest in cryptocurrency, due to a lack of education about the industry, confusing product offerings, and reluctance to trust crypto offerings.

The company believes it is uniquely positioned to address these issues by offering an easy-to-use platform that allows users to invest in cryptocurrency, track their progress, learn about each coin prior to investing, and receive daily market recaps and news updates. For its initial rollout, Cred is launching in California, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Montana, with more states being introduced in the coming months.

About 69 percent of people in the U.S. expect the price of Bitcoin to rise in the next five years, but only 5 percent own Bitcoin, according to a Global Blockchain Business Council survey of 5,000 respondents. The high prices of cryptocurrencies, complicated platforms, and lack of education can make the space intimidating for first-time investors.

After signing up and following familiar KYC protocol (know your customer, an anti-money-laundering protocol), Cred presents investors with a variety of cryptocurrency options, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Komodo, and ZenCash — as well as tokens, including Worldwide Asset eXchange’s WAX and Neblio’s NEBL.

In the app, each coin offering includes a graph that can be expanded to show the coin’s price over the last 24 hours, a month, and all time. Users can then press a “Learn” button, which describes each token’s purpose, as well as its history and relevance in the industry. Investors can then select the type of currency they are interested in and choose the amount of money they want to round up from a purchase.

Investors can also set up recurring investments, including on a weekly or monthly basis. Transactions are capped at $2,000 per month to start, which helps add peace of mind for first-time investors averse to spending large sums. Lastly, investors can make a one-time transaction.

“I’m thrilled to finally offer a non-intimidating space for consumers to get involved in cryptocurrency,” said McQueen, who serves as Cred’s CEO, in a statement. “There’s an obvious gap in the market: People aren’t investing in cryptocurrency because they think it’s too complicated and complex. Cred creates a tangible space for people to take advantage of cryptocurrency at any level of experience without having to be an expert. Our platform is clear, quick, and educational — helping us reach our mission of democratizing cryptocurrency and bringing it to the masses.”

Cred is currently partnering with 13 cryptocurrency platforms and coins — including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Stellar, Monero, Dash, Komodo, Wax, Neblio, and ZenCash — and the company continues to seek out interesting coins and projects to add to its platform.

“We are super excited to be partnering with Cred, as they offer a unique micro-savings and micro-investment platform that will help onboard a whole new segment of cryptocurrency users,” said Steve Lee, chief marketing officer at Komodo, in a statement. “Komodo has long been committed to the global adoption of blockchain technologies and enabling real world usage. Through our partnership, Komodo and Cred will be able to lower the barrier-to-entry into cryptocurrency for the mass market and offer a fiat gateway for KMD in the U.S.”

Cred was founded in April 2018 and has 10 employees. The company has raised $1 million to date. McQueen previously founded and led Tuition.io, a market leader in student loan employee benefits.

Article originally posted:
VB (Venture Beats): https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/31/cred-app-lets-you-micro-invest-in-cryptocurrencies/
by: @DEANTAK   JULY 31, 2018   7:00 AM

TP

Emergence of New Major Ecosystems: Ethereum amp Beyond

Emergence of New Major Ecosystems:
The Battle for Two Layer Protocols

Ethereum and Beyond

Ethereum  —  as the current incumbent among general-purpose permissionless blockchains  —  has to date offered the best resources, tooling, and incentives for developers to build on top of its protocol. These “layer-two” projects combine off-chain software with some number of smart contracts (which may include a native ERC20 token) to create markets in which users can trustlessly interact and exchange some digital resource. That resource might be the sMPC of private data, live streamed video, generic loan contracts, a CryptoKitty, or something else. These markets rely on the security guarantees and immutability of the underlying chain; so the success of a project is, to a degree, contingent on the effectiveness of the underlying chain.

For a developer seeking to build a blockchain project in 2016, Ethereum was the natural (or maybe the only) choice. If that same developer were to build a project in 2019, he or she would have significant optionality in choosing an underlying protocol.

One of the most exciting developments of 2019 will be the emergence of new “major ecosystems” and thus the beginning of the battle for layer two.

Major ecosystems are layer-one blockchain protocols that offer very compelling technical and architectural innovations such that they are likely to capture a significant portion of the technical mindshare within the space. As a number of these new ecosystems approach network launch, we can expect to see direct competition between protocols, each evangelizing its tech and incentivizing engineers to build on top of its stack.

How Will Ecosystems Compete?

There are any number of open questions around how this might play out. What factors are developers likely to prioritize in deciding which base layer to build on? Will developers who have already built layer-two projects on Ethereum migrate their tech to new protocols? The prediction is that they will.

Engineers will congregate on the chains that have the best performance (i.e. scalability, security guarantees, privacy), the most accessible and friendly developer environments, the best perceived long-term viability, and (perhaps) the most valuable cryptocurrencies.

Another variable is the degree to which decentralization or censorship resistance are important to a given use case. For example, a gaming application may make more sense on EOS than Ethereum if “platform-grade censorship resistance” is sufficient for its use. Conversely, a decentralized financial market may be better suited for a consensus protocol that allows any participant to validate and verify blocks.

Evidently, the major ecosystems will need to compete on tech as well as on incentives to adopt the tech. Certain new ecosystems incentivize adoption by offering large pools of organized capital mandated specifically to invest in the development of infrastructure, UI/UX and developer tooling on their platforms.

These capital pools will act as growth drivers in their respective ecosystems, much like ConsenSys was a growth driver for the Ethereum ecosystem.

Technical Hurdles

For Ethereum projects seeking to move to a new chain, the process of porting a Solidity smart contract is not a trivial task. Theoretically, with new base-layer protocols using WebAssembly virtual machines, smart contracts scripted in any language that can be compiled down to Wasm (e.g. Haskell, C, Rust) should run correctly. In reality, a developer will need to customize their smart contracts for each chain’s VM, considering the security guarantees, unique native functionality, and idiosyncrasies of each.

This means projects will need to expend technical resources on adapting their codebase, run new security audits on the code for each chain, potentially hire new engineers, etc.

Given these technical and cost barriers, expectations are to see a mixture of layer-two projects that make dedicated bets on the adoption of a single chain (e.g. EOS maximalists) as well as layer-two projects that run implementations across two or three of the top chains.

What About the Tokenholders?

If a tokenized Ethereum layer-two project decides to launch on top of a new protocol, what does this mean for the project’s existing tokenholders?

The answer to this is unclear today and may differ project to project. It also depends on whether the project is “abandoning” its Ethereum implementation or simply launching a concurrent implementation on top of another chain.

Here are a few approaches likely to be seen:

Multiple TDEs. A project may elect to run alternative token distribution events (either airdrops or token sales) separately for each base-layer chain it has an implementation on. The tokenholders of a layer-two project could therefore differ from chain-to-chain.

Airdrops to ERC20 Tokenholders. A project may elect to airdrop its tokens for each new base-layer chain directly to its ERC20 tokenholders (much like BTC holders receive all of the forks of BTC). This could concentrate economic value to, and incentivize the HODling of, the original ERC20s. The downside of this approach is that the project would not raise any additional capital to finance the costs of porting onto new chains.

Sidechain Bridges. Instead of creating additional sets of tokens for each new ecosystem, a layer-two project may elect to facilitate token transfers from Ethereum to other ecosystems via sidechain bridges. This would effectively turn an Ethereum layer-two project into a “meta protocol.” The process would be conceptually similar to the DOGE-ETH Bridge launched by the Truebit team earlier this year: A user could lock up their ERC20s in an Ethereum smart contract, provide proof of such a transaction on the alternative chain, and then either mint or otherwise receive new equivalent tokens on the alternative chain. For example, a 0x user on Ethereum can lock up their ZRX tokens in a smart contract and, by providing a proof, receive DFINITY ZRX tokens on the DFINITY chain. These bridges can also be bilateral, allowing tokenholders to move their balances across chains while still maintaining a fixed total supply of tokens irrespective of the number of cross-chain implementations.

The Bet.

To be clear, it is not necessarily perceived that the battle for layer two is that of an adversarial process or a zero-sum game between the major ecosystems. It’s impossible to imagine that there will only be a single winner in the development of permissionless blockchains.

Simply put, it’s a safe bet that the market for developer mindshare is about to get a lot more competitive  —  and that this competition will inspire a great deal of innovation, more efficient capital allocation, and even some consolidation across chains and companies (which we are beginning to see with the recent M&A in the space).
 

CREDIT: Tekin Salimi, a VC at Polychain Capital:
https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/07/beyond-ethereum-the-battle-to-own-blockchains-layer-two

TP

The Millionaire Maker

Markethive poised to go to battle. Pay attention because it has taken 20 years to prepare for this journey into crypto wealth.

I have built Markethive as a walk in faith. Sometimes it has nearly broken me financially, but the Lord kept prodding me to build it. Through treachery with previous partners, financial collapse with Trivita’s damaged income, through suffering from heart failure and actually death in the hospital from heart failure, diagnosed with diabetes 2, having to move from Wyoming to Fargo, a wife that needs special care daily, I persevered because the Lord kept inspiring and prodding me to keep building it.

Last year (July 2016) I took Markethive out for trials, utilizing the Inbound Marketing  tools  and built the Valentus opportunity and became diamond in 12 days (breaking, even shattering the records!), then I rolled Markethive out to assist in an ICO opportunity and within 3 weeks produced over $180,000 in commissions and broke records again.

Keep in mind neither of these opportunities had the longevity capacity, like Trivita did, to become a legacy lifetime income. I was still looking.

This year, I actually died (obviously recovered)then was given a sobering diagnosis which sidelined me from any work for 5 months. Living on savings off my Bitcoins, I was able to focus on recovery and 4 weeks ago was diagnosed with no heart failure and no diabetes (a miracle blessing from the Lord, walking 10 miles a day and a strict diet) and was able to actually get back in the saddle again.

I was ready to get back into the fight and had a few false starts with The Trade Coin Club and Jet-Coin. Then an associate from my Trivita down line made me aware of Bitclub. Joe Able, one of the 3 founders of Bitclub Networks called me and paid to fly me out to meet him. I went with the intentions to pitch him for Markethive investments (I am obsessed with Markethive). Boy was I in for an amazing revelation.

As he introduced me to Bitclub (he took 3 hours out of his busy schedule for me to present this companies many facets and the details) I was overwhelmed, floored actually. It was a jaw dropping experience how well this company has been built, its foundational vision and mission. There is money to be made on so many levels and this company actually has ascended above all other MLMs in so many ways.

I could go on but I made a video to really illustrate how I am engaging Markethive into this. Millionaires will be made. 100s of them in my organization perhaps even 1000s because of the raw marketing power Markethive brings to this and I own Markethive.

Please join my group to get rolling into this huge opportunity tsunami. Surf is up. Big wave surf. Wax your boards and let’s safari brothers and sisters.

https://markethive.com/group/bitclub

 

 

Thomas Prendergast
Founder

TP

US Signals Clampdown on Red-Hot Digital Coin Offerings

U.S. Signals Clampdown on Red-Hot Digital Coin Offerings

  • SEC says ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges subject to U.S. law
  • Startups have raised hundreds of millions through ICOs

U.S. regulators said they have jurisdiction over one of the hottest new areas of finance: initial coin offerings of digital currencies.

Companies that raise money through the sale of digital assets must adhere to federal securities laws, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday. Issuers must register the deals with the government unless they have a valid excuse, as should exchanges that offer trading of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, the regulator said.

“It’s been a long time coming and this is a big deal,” said Angela Walch, associate professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law. “People have been waiting for some kind of signal from regulators on ICOs.” This is the most detailed the SEC has been about how digital currencies and the exchanges where they trade fit into financial markets, she said. “It’s a reminder that basic consumer protection principles still apply” in the digital asset world, she added. “The tech people coming in don’t necessarily realize they’re playing with fire.”

Startups have raised hundreds of millions of dollars selling such tokens in 2017, bypassing traditional initial public offerings of shares — a process overseen by the SEC — in favor of so-far mostly unregulated ICOs. The commission examined the sale of tokens to fund a startup known as the DAO last year, which raised about $150 million over four weeks, according to the SEC’s investigative report released Tuesday.

The agency’s enforcement division was asked to decide if the DAO token sales “violated federal securities laws with unregistered offers and sales of DAO Tokens in exchange for ‘Ether,’ a virtual currency,” the report said. The SEC decided not to bring charges in the DAO token sale case.

Instead, the SEC report said it wanted “to caution the industry and market participants: the federal securities laws apply to those who offer and sell securities in the United States, regardless whether the issuing entity is a traditional company or a decentralized autonomous organization, regardless whether those securities are purchased using U.S. dollars or virtual currencies, and regardless whether they are distributed in certificated form or through distributed ledger technology.”

One recent ICO was led by Gnosis, a prediction market application based on the Ethereum blockchain. It raised $12.5 million in 12 minutes on April 24, resulting in a market value of almost $300 million. It’s generated no revenue and has little more than a white paper describing what it intends to do. Yet its tokens, which would allow users to bet on things such as election outcomes, have soared 200 percent since early May, according to Coinmarketcap.com.

Open Question

An open question is whether the SEC will apply these new standards to coin offerings that have already happened, said Walch, who is also a research fellow at the Centre for Blockchain Technologies at University College London. And while the SEC won’t pursue action related to the DAO token sale, “I don’t see anything in here that says there won’t be enforcement actions against others,” she said. Some recent ICO have been “egregious,” she said. “I’d be very surprised if they were willing to shove them all under the rug.”
The SEC decision comes a day after the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission gave LedgerX LLC approval to offer options trading based on bitcoin. That could help mature the business of bitcoin trading by helping traders offset risks with derivatives. But it also underscored the fact that digital currencies, decentralized technologies that appeal to the libertarian-minded, probably cannot escape governments.

ICOs offer an attractive deal to young companies: going directly to customers for funding, avoiding venture-capital firms and other professionals. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton addressed the balance he’s trying to strike, saying in the regulator’s statement that, “We seek to foster innovative and beneficial ways to raise capital, while ensuring — first and foremost — that investors and our markets are protected.”

“What the SEC did not say is that all tokens are securities. Rather, they suggest a facts-and-circumstances test,” Peter Van Valkenburgh, research director at Coin Center, said in an email. “We believe that applying the same facts-and-circumstances test to other tokens will mean that some do not fit into the definition of securities, particularly tokens with an underlying utility rather than a mere speculative investment value.”

Exchange Registration

Markets such as Coinbase Inc.’s GDAX and Gemini Trust Co. that offer trading in digital assets so far have dealt mostly with state, not federal, regulators. The SEC now says that will likely change. “Additionally, securities exchanges providing for trading in these securities must register unless they are exempt,” the agency said.

Calling that a “big deal,” Walch said, “Those in the crypto world have been acting as if they live in an alternate universe, and the SEC has delivered a reminder that they still live in the real world, with real investors and real people making decisions that they must be accountable for.”

 

By: Matthew Leising and Camila Russo
July 25, 2017, 4:16 PM CDT July 25, 2017, 5:10 PM CDT

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