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French Firm Becomes Europe’s First Regulated Crypto Asset Manager Funded by an ICO

French Firm Becomes Europe’s First Regulated Crypto Asset Manager Funded by an ICO

France has one of the toughest regulatory environments in Europe

and the world generally when it comes to finance and specifically cryptocurrency. The country has in recent times taken a few cursory steps toward becoming a hub of ICO activity, but strict enforcement of crypto regulations is the cost of doing business in a well-connected financial hub like Paris.

Napoleon Group Gets Green Light from AMF

Napoleon Group, which is backed by BNP Paribas bankers Jean-Charles Dudek and Stephane Ifrah, and private equity investor Arnaud Dartois, used the ICO funding model about 9 months ago to raise about 10 million euros by issuing around just almost 30 million NPX utility tokens, which are used for access to trading bots and quantitative strategies on the NapoleonX.ai platform. One only needs a single token to access the platform. According to the firm, they are the first to overcome all the regulatory hurdles in French law and acquired approval to offer managed cryptocurrency assets to institutional traders everywhere. This is big news for France and Europe more generally.

Individuals can already benefit from the quantitative strategies available on the napoleonx.ai platform for bitcoin and ether, as well as the main global stock market indices. The first investment vehicles are expected to be launched in the first half of 2019. The group consists of three entities: Napoleon Capital, Napoleon AM, and Napoleon Index, set to launch next year, which will be another first, in that it will be a Benchmark Regulated-registered blockchain index publisher and administrator, which means they are future-proofed for Eurozone regulations set to be fully enforced around the bend in 2020.

Regulation is important, whether those in the crypto space like it or not. Attracting real capital and institutional wealth has been a long process for the crypto space. People don’t want to transact in a market where they can be regulated out of existence at any minute, so regulations that are clearly defined put them back in their comfort zone. France is still outlining its whole crypto framework, but one thing that is clear is that those who profit from cryptocurrencies in France will be paying a flat tax like any other asset, which is, according to co-founder and COO Arnaud Dartois, “the maximum that could have been done in France. It’s not enough. It’s not competitive in regards to what is done in other countries, but it is the best we could hope for at this time.”

As they say in their most recent press release:

“The AMF’s decision validates the Napoleon Group’s approach from the outset: to comply with the strictest financial standards and to rely on regulation to meet the needs of institutional investors. The Group has always believed in the need to regulate the crypto and blockchain industry in order to accelerate its adoption and has participated in numerous meetings and workshops with both public and private players over the last quarters.”

Proof of Performance

Albert Bergonzo/Wikimedia Commons Napoleon has actively participated the development of the ICO-friendly regulations that France is working on, having discussed the regulatory environment at length with the powers that be for over a year, as Dartois explained to this reporter in

an interview Friday.

“Actually, we have been in touch with the French regulator AMF for over a year, and we have done some lobbying to explain to them the importance to be very proactive on crypto and blockchain, and the hold that France can have to lead it. […] Tokenization of assets will be the next big wave, and they have to give the ecosystem, the framework, to seize this opportunity. And they have done it in a quite nice way, meaning they don’t have a very fixed or constrained framework, but something that is very light – they have a very flexible approach to that. It is understood that this is a huge opportunity for France and they have done a nice job.”

Napoleon’s primary market will be institutional investors and traders who have money in France and would like to gain exposure to crypto markets. What they have done is not easily done, and the association with former BNB Paribas banker Jean-Charles Dudek likely didn’t hurt.

Next year, they intend to launch Napoleon Index, which which requires the latest European regulatory approval under the BMR directive. Dartois says the index product will “enable anyone to prove the performance of any benchmark calculated and administrated by Napoleon Index via a public blockchain.” The result is that users can confirmed that the value of any algorithm or index are legitimate, after a requisite period of obfuscation data. The firm calls this feature “proof of performance.” Napoleon Index is scheduled to launch next year after approval is finalized. Dartois said it is currently operational, but just hasn’t received full regulatory approval yet.

Article Produced By
CCN-News

https://www.ccn.com/french-firm-becomes-europes-first-regulated-crypto-asset-manager-funded-by-an-ico/

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AirDrop an unwanted nude pic and you could face stiff penalties

AirDrop an unwanted nude pic and you could face stiff penalties

   

It has come to the attention of the New York City Council

that there have been certain disclosures of – ahem – intimate images, conveyed via portable electronic pocket telephones, that have been inflicted upon strangers in order to harass, annoy or alarm. If a bill introduced last week by the council makes it into law, legions of hands-down-the-pants photographers could be left holding stiff penalties. The bill would make it a misdemeanor “for a person to send an unsolicited sexually explicit video or image to another person with intent to harass, annoy or alarm such other person.” Anybody who gets caught beaming their junk out could be looking at up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

It’s called cyber-flashing, and it’s a modern-day version of flashing that dispenses with the need for a trench coat and sneakers to make a quick get-away. The term refers to the practice of sending obscene photos to strangers through Apple’s AirDrop: an iOS file-sharing app that enables users to send photos, videos and documents instantly over a wireless connection to anyone within 30 feet who’s left the feature open to being contacted by everyone.

By default, AirDrop is set to limit devices to accept content only from people in your contact list. Unfortunately, people often turn it on to accept from anybody and everybody, and then they forget to turn it back to contacts-only. That’s led to a growing number of incidents, such as what happened last year to a Huffington Post UK writer who reported that she’d been gang-flashed with 120 down-the-pants images while riding on the London Underground.

At the time – August 2017 – London police didn’t think that it amounted to an epidemic despite headlines about the ”horrific public transport craze.” However, the UK is ahead of New York on this one: sending indecent images is classified under section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act (2003), given that it’s the same as exposing genitals and intending that the recipient “see them and be caused alarm or distress”. The penalty for breaking the law is a prison term of up to two years.

One little problem: anonymity

Penalizing the propagandists of penises and other private parts is a satisfying notion, but there’s a bit of a hitch: AirDrop allows people to send images anonymously. It also keeps recipients anonymous: senders might never know who, within a 30-foot radius, has received their little package, since AirDrop only identifies nearby phones by their nicknames. Be that as it may. Donovan J. Richards, a councilman from the New York borough of Queens and a co-sponsor of the bill, told the New York Times that the legislation is intended to raise awareness, and to lessen the sense of impunity that emboldens

the creeps who send the pics:

If you do it, the message we are sending is that the repercussion is a fine or jail time.

AirDrop works via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. A similar function has recently come to some Android devices in the form of a feature called AirDroid that offers wireless file transfer. But what makes iOS devices particularly susceptible to cyber flashing is that AirDrop automatically shows an image preview when it asks a recipient to accept or decline a photo – thus, there’s no way of not seeing the fleshy missive if the feature is on and open to receiving content from one and all.

How to not see the fleshy missive

The way to avoid having your eyeballs assaulted is to either turn off AirDrop or set it for use only between phone contacts (Apple’s default setting).

Here’s how to keep the creeps off your phone:

  • In the main settings app, select General, and then AirDrop. Then select either Receiving Off or Contacts Only. The Everyone setting is what the creeps take advantage of.
  • On newer iPhones, you can also swipe up from any screen to bring up the control center. Press and hold the the network settings card that contains the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi icons to open another menu where you’ll find an AirDrop icon. Tap it, and you’ll be presented with options for Receiving Off, Contacts Only and Everyone.

Article Produced By
Lisa Vaas

Lisa has been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. She rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash and joined the freelancer economy. Alongside Naked Security Lisa has written for CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output.

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2018/12/04/airdrop-an-unwanted-nude-pic-and-you-could-face-stiff-penalties/

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International Cooperation Critical’ to Bringing Illegal ICOs to Justice: SEC

International Cooperation ‘Critical’ to Bringing Illegal ICOs to Justice: SEC

   

International cooperation is essential for eradicating ICO fraud,

said Steven Peikin, co-director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division. Peikin made the remarks during a December 3 speech at Harvard Law School’s Program on International Financial Systems, where he discussed the astonishing growth of the ICO market. “The sponsors of ICOs are, in many instances, located outside the United States,” Peikin said. “And international cooperation is critical to our ability to investigate and, where appropriate, recommend that the Commission bring enforcement action.”

ICOs Have Spiked 22,000% Since 2016

Peikin noted that the ICO market has “exploded from a mere concept to a phenomenon” in just a few short years. In 2016, ICOs raised less than $100 million. In 2018, that figure skyrocketed to more than $22 billion — a spike of 22,000%. With that rapid growth has come a massive increase in fraudulent activity. Complicating matters for regulators is that the money raised in initial coin offerings often comes from investors both inside and outside the United States.

Peikin noted that the novelty of ICOs — coupled with the excitement surrounding blockchain technology — makes them an alluring vehicle for investors. This exuberance can sometimes blind them to the risks associated with this nascent asset class, he warned.

Peikin: ‘Some ICOs are Outright Frauds’

“The growth in the ICO market can obscure the fact that these offerings are often high-risk investments,” Peikin said. “The issuers may lack established track records. They may not have viable products, business models, or the capacity for safeguarding digital currencies from theft by hackers. And some of the offerings can be simply outright frauds.”

Steven Peikin then alluded to the example of PlexCoin founder Dominic Lacroix, a Canadian citizen who fleeced as much as $15 million from thousands of US investors for his sham ICO by promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month. The SEC learned from Canadian authorities that Lacroix had a long history of running similar financial scams in Quebec.

In May 2018, US and Canadian regulators launched over 70 investigations into cryptocurrency scams and fraudulent initial coin offerings as part of a wide-ranging crackdown called “Operation Crypto Sweep". As CCN reported, the North American Securities Administrators Association sent cease-and-desist letters to operators of sham crypto companies in more than 40 jurisdictions across the United States and Canada.

Operation Crypto Sweep Targets Scams

Operation Crypto Sweep came shortly after a finding that fraud was alarmingly widespread among crypto investment promoters. Securities attorneys have also warned celebrities who endorse ICOs that they could be sued for aiding and abetting fraud if they promote sham crypto products. Last week, that warning turned into a rude awakening for boxing champ Floyd Mayweather and music producer DJ Khaled, when they were fined a combined $767,500 by the SEC for illegally promoting ICOs.

 These regulatory crackdowns — combined with the current bear market — have led some industry insiders to declare that the ICO market is dead.“The ICO market is dead — over,” said Barry Silbert, founder of crypto investment fund Digital Currency Group. “You now have the lack of demand from ICOs. And you have all the sponsors of the ICOs who raised a bunch of bitcoin [and ether] that are now starting to sell that.”Even though he believes that ICO mania is over, Silbert remains bullish about the future of the cryptocurrency industry, and he called the current market downturn an “awkward transition” that will pass

Article Produced By
ICO News

https://www.ccn.com/international-cooperation-critical-to-bringing-illegal-icos-to-justice-sec/

 

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So Long ICOs Hello Airdrops: The Free Token Giveaway Craze Is Here

So Long ICOs, Hello Airdrops: The Free Token Giveaway Craze Is Here

 

 

Imagine getting $1,000 just for joining a newsletter.

Well, that’s effectively what happened for those that subscribed to Onchain’s mailing list early on in the project’s lifecycle. The company, which is building a distributed network designed to connect real-world institutions, gave 1,000 of its “ONT” crypto tokens to people who signed up to receive its emails prior to a certain date.

Those crypto tokens were distributed earlier this month and are now trading for a little over $1 per coin, according to CoinMarketCap. As you may have noticed, there was no “sale” involved. “Ontology just raised a private round and then didn’t need to do a [public] crowdsale, so they just airdropped to eager NEO hodlers,” Keld van Schreven, a partner at blockchain investment company Kryptonite1, told CoinDesk.

Van Schreven’s comment speaks to a broader trend among token issuers. More are raising the money they need in private initial coin offerings (ICOs) and then skipping the public sale for what’s being called an airdrop. Effectively, these are just token giveaways to broader interested community members

Justin Schmidt of Translunar VC told CoinDesk:

“As a non-accredited investor, it is proving to be very difficult to find public sales to participate in until the tokens are traded on an exchange.”

Whereas the idea around public sales was that the people who buy in are those that understand the platform’s value and will promote the token, airdrops look to accomplish a similar goal, yet expecting that if people hold tokens, they’ll be interested in seeing the network, and the token’s price, grow and promote the platform just the same.

An internet search for “airdrops” or “free tokens” yields lots of websites, subreddits and Telegram channels that people can follow to gather up crypto tokens. And there’s even a Pokemon Go imitator under development that would allow companies to distribute free tokens to people playing an augmented reality game. But these airdrops might not only be about building a community, they likely also have something to do with an uncertain regulatory environment.

For instance, in the U.S., many ICO issuers and investors have become convinced that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will eventually declare that all crypto tokens are securities and as such, need to be registered under cumbersome laws. But even outside the U.S., completing know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance for public sales takes a substantial amount of work and time. Speaking to token issuers stepping away from public sales, Minhui Chen, a partner at Global Blockchain Innovative Capital (GBIC) told CoinDesk, “Raising money from private sales is so easy.”

Tokens, away!

According to Jun Hasegawa, CEO of Omise, the company pioneered the airdrop concept on ethereum in August last year, after announcing it would airdrop its “OMG” tokens to every wallet that held more than 0.1 ETH. Omise decided to conduct an airdrop to raise awareness about the project, but Hasegawa spoke to the broader benefits of the distribution model, writing in an email to CoinDesk — via a spokesperson, “The real value of ethereum projects doing airdrops to all ETH holders is that it’s a crypto economic mechanism designed to incentivize ethereum project communities to maintain alignment with the entire ethereum community.”

The OMG token’s price has since been volatile (many crypto tokens are), but it has trended up overall. Yet because of the ease to airdrop, many, including van Schreven, think crypto wallets are starting to feel “like spam in email.” Indeed, in China, many people refer to these offerings as “candy,”

Chen said, continuing:

“Low-quality projects are taking advantage of airdrops to make a fake community.”

And Schmidt echoed that, saying, “Not having the choice to decline these airdrops can, in my opinion, cause some issues in the future.” As such, many investors, who nonetheless support the larger phenomenon also believe the mechanism could be used more effectively. Brayton Williams of Boost VC, a fund that favors crypto projects with a strong focus on community, thinks issuers could do a better job of targeting with airdrops. For example, he’d like to see issuers focus airdrops on people based on geography, demographics, etc. to cultivate the best market for the future platform.

Williams told CoinDesk:

“Airdrops combine the best of paid referral programs with stock options. Potential users get paid for joining or using the network and have the potential upside if the network increases in value.”

Some crypto companies are taking heed of this advice. Swarm, a blockchain for tokenizing private equity, just announced a few airdrop promotions, two of which encourage referrals, although by far the largest token sale on the platform is one that just drops tokens to existing cryptocurrency holders.

And Earn.com (formerly 21.co) has offered a standalone product for startups to distribute tokens directly to its members since the end of January. Startups that want access to Earn.com members pay small amounts of bitcoin to get users to sign up. But many are willing to pay a fee since the company validates every member, linking a wallet to one distinct person.

“The unique thing that Earn.com offers really is the validation side of things,” Dave Bean, from Earn.com’s sales team, told CoinDesk. He added that while many platforms that allow token issuers to airdrop might have a lot of email addresses, many individuals could be gaming the system by signing up multiple times with different addresses.

Firewall USA

That said, issuers in the U.S. are still skittish about doing airdrops to promote platforms. Stream, a blockchain-based video streaming platform, has delayed its airdrop indefinitely because of concern that airdrops could also be in violation of  securities law. “We can’t be sure,” said Todd Kornfeld, counsel at the law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP, pointing to SEC actions from 1999 which targeted companies giving away free traditional equity.

“Perhaps the SEC thought there was some kind of quid pro quo in giving those securities away and that resulted in a benefit to the issuer,” Kornfeldt said. “And that fact pattern is similar to the fact pattern of an airdrop.” This will definitely affect token issuers since the U.S. is the largest market both for investment and technology users. But until the regulatory environment in the U.S. becomes more clear, token issuers may experience far less hindrance in the rest of the world.

Although some aren’t letting the regulatory environment hold them back. For instance, Onchain isn’t done using airdrops to promote its platform. “The next community reward opportunity will be for active participation in Ontology after the release of the mainnet in Q2 2018,” Daniel Assab, a spokesperson for the company, said. “It won’t be for anything like a newsletter subscription, but no further details for now.”

Still many advise against airdrops for now. According to Chen, “We advise [token issuers]: Don’t do airdrops. Please do public sales.” In his mind, public sales actually engender a more authentic community. In other words, it brings in people who understand the project well enough that they’re likely to actually hold some of the tokens they buy to use in the future, instead of just dumping them on price rises.

Schmidt tends to agree, but hedges saying:

“It’s very early to see how this trend will result, but I do believe you need the actual users to have access to the tokens.”

Article Produced By
Brady Dale

Brady Dale

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Even After 30 Billion Invested Most ICOs Are Doomed

Even After $30 Billion Invested Most ICOs Are Doomed

In the course of recent years, initial coin offering (ICO) ventures

in the crypto market have raised harvested more than $30 billion. However, most ICO projects have little to display, particularly relating to end-user development, blockchain adoption, and predominantly, general user activity on decentralized frameworks.

5 ICOs that have delivered

A small number of tokens have exhibited success in substantiating clear vision, growth paths, and credible use cases of blockchain innovation that’s advantageous for users. Binance Coin (BNB), example, which at present operates as the base cryptocurrency of the Binance exchange, will be widely used to process peer-to-peer trades upon the launch of the Binance decentralized exchange (DEX). Additionally, countless merchants have also as of late started to utilize BNB to receive crypto payments.

WePower (WPR) based on the blockchain is a Green Energy Trading Platform and is committed to finding solutions to relevant issues of funds access for energy developers and furthermore coordinate venture access for final consumers. The tokens can be used for long-term investments in addition to earning purposes. The company has a well-developed ICO profile and is currently meeting their milestones and roadmap schedule.

Solve.Care (CC) is rated as the top healthcare platform on the Blockchain by icoSource. Solve.Care boasts 26 years in Healthcare IT and aims to decentralize and ameliorate healthcare administration utilizing blockchain technology. This will improve the care outcome with the help of effective coordination and reduce the enormous global clinical and IT system costs associated with the current healthcare system. The ICO profile meets all technical requirements and is highly rated by experts.

XYO Network (XYO) is building the world’s first people-powered location network built on blockchain technology. the world’s first decentralized location verification system with more than one million Bluetooth and GPS devices already around the world. With the acquisition of GEO, which provides a protocol that allows anyone to easily distribute and verify Proofs of Location in a decentralized network, XYO is poised to help bring the promise and the benefits of blockchain technology to the real world on a massive and global scale in location-reliant trade markets that generate a staggering $11 trillion in activity.

Markethive (MHV) built on the Blockchain has positioned itself to be the world’s first social/marketing platform that offers complete privacy, along with total freedom of speech. With over 200 engineers and a hive of portals, hubs, E-commerce and marketing tools, Markethive’s influence in the sphere of entrepreneurs, business owners, commercial artists will rise to prominence. The system is up and running with Infinity Airdrops about to be executed. This is unprecedented in this industry and with its vision to bring universal income and success to all its members, it is set to be the number one Social/Market Network.

Imminent demise for most

While there are a few coins in the crypto market that represent feasible applications of the blockchain, the vast majority of projects have questionable roadmaps and long-term procedures.

As Uber’s Sam Gellman said:

“After $30 billion invested in the past two years in ICOs there still isn’t a single crypto app with a real user base for anything other than speculating on crypto. The BTC price movement is tough, but the lack of real user base for anything they’re investing in is tougher.”

With regulatory obstructions initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the ICO ecosystem will turn out to be considerably more troublesome for both innovators and projects. This week, the U.S. SEC impeded two ICO ventures named AirFox and Paragon, portraying their token sales as unregistered security offerings and requesting the two tokens to refund all

of their investors.

“They have also agreed to compensate investors who purchased tokens in the illegal offerings if an investor elects to make a claim. The registration undertakings are designed to ensure that investors receive the type of information they would have received had these issuers complied with the registration provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) prior to the offer and sale of tokens in their respective ICOs.”

The U.S. SEC affirmed that it supports the blockchain and the employment of newly developing technologies. However, the commission said that market contributors must recognize and abide

by local regulations.

“We wish to emphasize, however, that market participants must still adhere to our well-established and well-functioning federal securities law framework when dealing with technological innovations, regardless of whether the securities are issued in certificated form or using new technologies, such as blockchain.”

The significance of Bear Market

2018 bear market will separate worthy ventures from the fallacious and those that endure will be projects that have a definite vision, direction, zealous user base, and an ambitious model. As the capital in the market drops, speculators who recently put resources in every new venture in the market will become more judicious and it will be a real test for token sales without focused methodologies to interest general society. In time, as investors learn to exact due diligence and the market evolves into a more aggressive area, under-achieving projects will inevitably experience a decline in investment opportunities, user activity, and demand.

Article Produced By
Deborah Williams

I am a freelance writer for the Market Network and crypto/blockchain industry. I’m a strong advocate for technology, progress and freedom of speech and I live for a change.

https://zycrypto.com/even-after-30-billion-invested-most-icos-are-doomed/

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Japan’s Financial Regulator to Introduce New ICO RegulationsEstonia: Amendments to Anti-Money-Laundering Regulations Will Tighten Crypto Regulation

Japan’s Financial Regulator to Introduce New ICO Regulations

Japan’s financial regulator is set to introduce new Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

regulations to protect investors from fraud, local news outlet Jiji Press reported Dec. 1. According to “informed” sources cited by Jiji, business operators conducting ICOs will be required to register with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). The agency is reportedly planning to submit bills revising financial instruments, exchanges and payment services laws to the ordinary parliamentary session that starts in January.

This action has been undertaken “in view of a number of possibly fraudulent ICO cases abroad” as a way “to limit individuals' investment in ICOs for better protecting them.” A study reported by Cointelegraph this July identified 80 percent of the ICOs conducted in 2017 as scams.

As Cointelegraph Japan reported last month, the FSA Study Group on Virtual Currency Exchange industry conducted its tenth meeting to discuss ICOs. The tokens emitted during ICOs where classified into three categories: virtual currencies without issuer, virtual currencies with issuer and tokens with issuers that are also obliged to distribute revenues. According to the report, the first and second token classifications are subject to settlement regulation such as the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. The third of ICO tokens is subject to investment regulations like the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.

Estonia: Amendments to Anti-Money-Laundering Regulations Will Tighten Crypto Regulation

The Estonian Ministry of Finance will shortly add amendments

to a recently-passed financial bill that are meant to “tighten” crypto-related regulation, Estonian financial newspaper Äripäev reports Nov. 28. According to the article, a new version of the Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act came into force this week in Estonia, conforming legislation to the EU’s so-called “Fourth Money Laundering Prevention Directive.”

The regulation introduced this week reportedly introduces “virtual currency exchange service providers” and “virtual currency payment service providers,” while before there only was “alternative means of payment service provider.” Still, the Financial Supervision Authority (FI) has since announced that cryptocurrencies and the companies offering crypto-related services introduce money laundering risks, which is reportedly the reason for the new amendments, according to Äripäev.

As Cointelegraph reported, Estonia has rolled back its plans to release Estcoin, a national digital currency, after the President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi criticized the initiative. Canada is also looking towards more regulation to prevent crypto from being used for money laundering, as the Canadian House Finance Committee recommended during its review of the Proceeds of Crime Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) in mid-November.

Article Produced By
Adrian Zmudzinski

Adrian is a newswriter based out of Pisa, Italy. He's passionate about cryptocurrency, digital rights, IT, tech and futurology and likes to think about the future in a positive way.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-markets-meet-december-in-green-bitcoin-trades-above-4-200

 

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The Top Inbound Marketing Platforms Based on Value

The Top Inbound Marketing Platforms Based on Value

  

A substantial content marketing effort demands

a significant investment of time and funds to produce income. Inbound marketing software reduces and streamlines your efforts by automating content creation, distribution, lead capture and management, analytics and measuring of ROI. Each software package below is geared toward different sizes and types of business.

Here are the top three recommendations:

1. Hubspot (starting at $300/month)

Hubspot provides robust solutions for business owners who are not technologically minded and has situated itself as a go-to answer for little and medium-sized organizations. Hubspot’s across the board usefulness allows you to blog, create lead capture forms, control social media, and monitor your progress from one interface. The package also incorporates SEO features. Hubspot offers effective training resources, yearly conferences, and certifications. As one of the most affordable options on the market, it’s a good choice for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

2. Marketo (ranges from $750 to $25,000/month)

Marketo is a top of the line inbound marketing software that centers around the B2B sphere. Their tools are intended to incorporate with the purchaser’s business cycle. Content can be made and dispersed across a range of platforms, with an emphasis on maintaining leads along the sales channel.

The product gathers information that is utilized to create itemized client profiles. These profiles enable you to determine definitive behavioral paths that leads ensue. Leads are then displayed content that is relative to their current location in the sales channel. Fundamental product data is presented to prospects in the inquiry stage, while clients close to buying may receive a call from the sales division.

Another notable feature of Marketo is its cutting-edge and highly custom-built ROI reporting tools. Marketo requires a high level of technical ability and is well-received with huge enterprise-scale companies.

3. Markethive (ranges from ZERO to the full power users Entrepreneur upgrade @ $100/month)

Markethive is a next generation Market Network, built on the Blockchain that has positioned itself as a complete ecosystem for Entrepreneurs. Using the latest technology, it provides prosperous solutions for all business owners, marketers who require an online presence.

Markethive’s functionalities include SEO features, Analytics, Customer Management System, Traffic Portals, Capture Page and Lead Creation, Profile Page, E-commerce portals, video conferencing, Blogging Platform and much more. Also included are significant training tutorials and weekly live support meetings.

Focused on Inbound Marketing, Markethive plugs into all Social Media, simplifying your marketing efforts, with automated email campaigns allowing for lead flow into your designated business. Markethive incorporates collaboration building relationships

within the community.

Inbound marketing is one of the most sought-after attractive marketing strategies in business today, yet managing a successful campaign requires a high demand of human and technical resources. Choose a platform that can help you create, advertise and broadcast, plus evaluate your content’s success effortlessly.

Note: The advent of the blockchain adds several new twists to the revolutionary Market Networks, that being……it offers complete privacy and immutability. It also allows for effortless transactions within the E-commerce Community, along with micropayments allocated to members for engagement on the platform and Infinity Airdrops. This creates a viable ecosystem that will thrive in the long term.

Article Produced By
Deb Williams

I’m a freelance writer for the Market Network & crypto/blockchain. Stong advocate for technology progress & free speech

https://medium.com/@deb_markethive/the-top-inbound-marketing-platforms-based-on-value-36777d7d0b2b

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Understanding the Different Types of Airdrops

Understanding the Different Types of Airdrops

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 (see the KIN and UKG ICOs for example).
  • 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 (see the WAVES Bitcoin Cash airdrop for example).

With the above in mind, we can say then that the term “airdrop” refers to an event where tokens not associated with addresses become associated with them, generally due to a person participating in a pre-sale (like with an ICO) or holding existing coins (like with some forks). However, with the above noted, sometimes the term “airdrop” is used loosely to describe distribution events regardless of the specific mechanics (like in the case with some forks that use the term “airdrop” in their PR).

Since there is a little bit of disconnect between how the term is sometimes used (especially factoring in how it is used on social media) and what the term means in a more pure sense, it is helpful to understand the different definitions. That is the gist. If you want to understand token airdrops (the kind where new tokens are associated with existing wallets), see: The latest crypto PR craze: ‘Airdropping’ free coins into your wallet by Venturebeat.com.

Airdrop Snapshot Block Height and Airdrop Distribution Date:
An airdrop may include either/or 1. an Airdrop Snapshot Block Height, a block height that one has to hold an existing cryptocurrency during to qualify for the airdrop (a snapshot of the existing ledger is taken at that block height), and 2. an Airdrop Distribution Date, a date upon which the tokens are airdropped to existing wallets. Airdrop snapshot dates would be be used with fork-airdrop hybrids, Airdrop Distribution Dates are common to all airdrops and simply describe the date on which the airdrop occurs.

The Semantics of Airdrop:
Airdrop has become somewhat of a PR term here in 2018 and that has led to some questionable usage of the term. As noted, sometimes the term is used to describe a distribution event that occurs after a hard fork goes live and coins can be claimed… even in cases where nothing is technically being airdropped. In cases like this, the term “airdrop” is being used loosely. The slightly confusing thing here is that, as noted above as well, a fork can have an airdrop. For example, in the case where a snapshot of the ledger is taken, the software is forked, but the distribution after the fork occurs on another coin’s network (like with the Loopring example above). I think part of the confusion is due to the fact that there is no good word to describe the distribution date after a fork where the whole of the software is forked (and of course, that distribution is the exciting part where people get “free” coins)… Thus, sometimes the term airdrop gets borrowed to describe distribution events that aren’t actually airdrops.

The General Meaning of the Term Airdrop:
If you want to airdrop a file from your iPhone to another iPhone, you take your file, share it over WiFi or Bluetooth, and then it appears on the other person phone. The person didn’t have the file, now they do. It was “dropped,” through “the air;” “airdrop.”

Article Produced By
Cryptocurrency Facts

https://cryptocurrencyfacts.com/what-is-a-cryptocurrency-airdrop/

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Judge Refutes SEC’s Claim on Blockvest ICO Token Being a Security Will Go to Trial

Judge Refutes SEC’s Claim on Blockvest ICO Token Being a Security,
Will Go to Trial

  

The crypto world received a surprising win from the U.S. justice system today.

Earlier this week, a California judge slapped down an SEC attempt to classify an ICO token as a security. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the Southern District of California declared yesterday that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has failed to provide adequate proof that the Blockvest ICO tokens should be considered securities. For that reason, Judge Curiel has turned back a request from the SEC for a preliminary injunction against the backers of the Blockvest ICO and its BLV tokens. It’s the first federal decision finding that the SEC hasn’t shown a digital asset offered in an ICO is a security. This is a big win for the crypto community.

As reported by CCN.com, the SEC uses three crucial metrics to determine whether or not a token is a security. These metrics date back to the 1946 SEC v. Howey Co. case. That case led to a landmark decision that governs the SEC’s enforcement of securities laws to this day. The SEC claimed that the Blockvest ICO involved the illegal sale of securities in the form of tokens, and that the tokens failed to pass the Howey Test. Judge Curiel disagreed with the evidence presented by the SEC and was not satisfied with the SEC’s arguments.

The judge took particular issue with one specific requirement: in order to prove a token is a security, the SEC needs to prove that the tokens were sold to investors with the promise of expected profits. Judge Curiel was reportedly not convinced that investors had expected to make a profit on the purchase of Blockvest ICO tokens. Instead, Judge Curiel was convinced that the tokens were simply used to test the platform – not as a genuine investment.

The Blockvest ICO Used a Fake SEC Logo to Feign Regulatory Approval

Blockvest, for its part, appears to be far from innocent in this case:

Blockvest was one of the shadier ICOs of the last year. Part of the problem was that Blockvest appeared to create a fake SEC logo to feign approval. Blockvest created a logo for a fake organization called the Blockchain Exchange Commission, apparently for the sole purpose of convincing investors that it was a regulated entity. Blockvest allegedly created the Blockchain Exchange Commission (complete with an official-looking “BEC” symbol) because they wanted to convince investors that Blockvest’s ICO had been approved by a legitimate regulator. The BEC symbol looked suspiciously like the SEC’s symbol.

The Blockvest ICO Attracted Just 32 Investors

Ultimately, the Blockvest ICO failed to generate a splash in the crypto community – despite the best efforts of the Blockvest team. The project received less than $10,000 in total investment from just 32 investors.

The Judge Believes Blockvest Tokens Pass the Howey Test

The Howey Test refers to the 1946 decision in the case between the SEC and the Howey Co. The test states that something can be considered a security if it has certain properties associated with a security. Judge Curiel clearly believes that the Blockvest tokens pass the Howey Test. Therefore, they should not be considered securities.

Here’s how CCN.com summed up the issue:

“According to the judge, the SEC was unable to prove what promotional materials that investors – who numbered only 32 and whose total investment was under $10,000 – had responded to. While the SEC was able to demonstrate that investors were purchasing coins due to evidence shown on checks cashed, the judge did not feel this satisfied the evidence requirements in the Howey Test.”

Part of the reason the judge slapped down the SEC’s request was because of intelligent defending by the Blockvest team.

Blockvest Gave a “Brilliant Defense”

Blockvest’s defense has been described as “brilliant”. Blockvest claims its tokens were only used for testing of the exchange – nothing more. The defense’s claim rests on the idea that most investors were actually well-known friends of defendant and Blockvest ICO creator Reginald Buddy Ringgold III. Blockvest also faced scrutiny for claiming to have raised $2.5 million during the ICO. Blockvest, however, defended that claim by stating that the $2.5 million figure was “overly optimistic” and relied on a single investor. That deal later fell through. The judge ultimately agreed with Blockvest’s defense. Blockvest’s BLV tokens should not be considered securities because the way they were marketed and sold did not meet the standard of a security sale. Thus, BLV tokens cannot be declared as securities at this time.

Here’s how the judge summed up his decision, as reported by Law.com:

“Based on the above, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction. The Court also DENIES Defendants’ ex parte motion for evidentiary hearing and leave of court to file supplemental declarations. (Dkt. No. 30.) The Court also STRIKES Plaintiff’s Supplemental Declaration of David Brown and Defendants’ Opposition and Response. (Dkt. Nos. 39, 40.)”

After the decision was announced, Blockvest’s assets were unfrozen. However, the battle between Blockvest and the SEC is far from over.

Blockvest
Isn’t Off the Hook and Could Face Penalties for Using the SEC’s Logo

The judge has struck down the SEC’s claim that Blockvest tokens should be considered securities. The judge feels that the SEC has insufficiently proven previous wrongdoing on the part of Blockvest, which means there should be no reason for the injunction. However, that doesn’t mean Blockvest has escaped without penalty.

The biggest problem with Blockvest could be in the use of the SEC logo. As mentioned above, Blockvest fabricated an organization called the Blockchain Exchange Commission (BEC). The logo for that organization looked identical to the logo of the SEC. The fake BEC logo was displayed on the Blockvest ICO website, indicating to users that the Blockvest ICO had received official approval from the SEC. The SEC, as you can imagine, does not take kindly to people abusing its logo, and Blockvest could face further penalties.

Conclusion:
This is Good News for Future ICOs Seeking to Avoid Repercussions

The Blockvest ICO was one of the sleaziest ICOs in the crypto space. The creators of the ICO went so far as to create a symbol that looked like the SEC logo. Despite the low-quality ICO, the SEC was still unable to prove that Blockvest’s tokens could be considered securities. This case is a big deal: it’s the first federal decision on whether the SEC can regulate digital assets from ICOs as securities. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on other ICO cases moving forward.

Article Produced By
Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/judge-refutes-secs-claim-on-blockvest-ico-token-being-a-security-will-go-to-trial/

TP

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