SEC Warns Public to Avoid ICO Scams Manipulating Stock Prices

SEC Warns Public to Avoid ICO Scams Manipulating Stock Prices

SEC Warns Public to Avoid ICO Scams Manipulating Stock Prices

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an investor alert intended to warn the public about companies using claims about initial coin offerings (ICO) to manipulate their stock prices.

SEC: Avoid ICO-Related Microcap Scams

The alert, which was published by the SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, specifically focuses on publicly-traded companies who claim to be involved with or investing in ICOs. They allege that companies use the lure of cutting edge technology like ICOs to manipulate their stock price and facilitate pump-and-dumps.
 

From the alert:

Fraudsters often try to use the lure of new and emerging technologies to convince potential victims to invest their money in scams. These frauds include “pump-and-dump” and market manipulation schemes involving publicly traded companies that claim to provide exposure to these new technologies.

 

The SEC had previously issued an investor alert regarding direct ICO participation, but they have found that companies may be “publicly announcing ICO or coin/token related events to affect the price of the company’s common stock.” This is particularly a problem with microcap companies, whose stock price can be manipulated in the same way that traders can artificially pump up the price of a cryptocurrency with a small market cap and then dump their coins to secure a profit.

SEC Cracks Down on Public Bitcoin Firms

The Commission says this type of fraud is often rampant within the emerging technologies sector. For this reason, they have been cracking down on publicly-traded bitcoin firms in recent months. In August alone, the SEC has suspended securities trading for CIAO Group (OTC: CIAU), First Bitcoin Capital Corp. (OTC: BITCF), and Bitcoin Crypto Currency Exchange Corporation (OTC: ARSC). All of these companies had seen dramatic increases in the price of their stock, leading the SEC to want to take a closer look at their operations.

According to the release, the SEC issues trading suspensions due to the following occurrences:

  • “A lack of current, accurate, or adequate information about the company – for example, when a company has not filed any periodic reports for an extended period;
  • Questions about the accuracy of publicly available information, including in company press releases and reports, about the company’s current operational status and financial condition; or
  • Questions about trading in the stock, including trading by insiders, potential market manipulation, and the ability to clear and settle transactions in the stock.”
  • A suspension does not necessarily mean a company is acting nefariously, but the SEC warns investors to take caution when considering an investment in a company whose stock has been suspended.

The SEC has been monitoring the cryptocurrency industry with an increasingly watchful eye. Last month, they issued a report concluding that DAO tokens are a security, which implies that smart contract tokens may also fall under securities regulations. This is one reason why Filecoin restricted its record-setting $250 million ICO to investors willing to submit to SEC accreditation.

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 29/08/2017

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepereneur

DAvid Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Standpoint Founder – Bitcoin Asset Class Will Grow Into $2 Trillion Market

Standpoint Founder - Bitcoin Asset Class Will Grow Into $2 Trillion Market

Standpoint Founder – Bitcoin Asset Class Will Grow Into $2 Trillion Market

 

Forget $5,000.

At a time when many are making short-term bets on the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, one bitcoin bull is going a step further. Ronnie Moas, founder of Standpoint Research, is making the case cryptocurrencies will not only be a decade-long trend, but a viable asset class.

In fact, he's going so far as to call for a massive rise in the market cap of cryptocurrencies. His prediction? The total value of all cryptographic assets, today valued at $150 billion, will soar to $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

And in a new interview, Moas walked CoinDesk through his forecast, explaining how it stems from his fundamental analysis of the capital markets and the broader macroeconomic trends he now sees in place.

The Standpoint founder's view stands in stark contrast to the highly bearish analysis of Peter Schiff, who called cryptocurrency a bubble, a speculative frenzy and a natural Ponzi scheme driven by "just plain greed" last week.

In the broadest sense, Moas sees the current state of the cryptocurrency market as a direct parallel to Silicon Valley during the 1990s, when a massive surge of innovation created new technologies that transformed the way we work and live and ushered in a period of massive wealth creation.

He explained:

"I am not any more concerned with bitcoin being at a record high than Amazon or Google investors were concerned when those share prices jumped hundreds of percent and hit $100 and $200 many years ago. Today, both of those stocks are above $900. The question is not where we are at – it is where are we going? I do not think we are in a bubble."

 

Roadmap to $2 trillion

How does Moas get to the $2 trillion market cap for cryptocurrency in his forecast?

He begins by looking at the $200 trillion that is currently invested in global capital markets today, including all major asset classes: cash, stocks, bonds and gold. Moas, who also does traditional equity analysis, begins his market breakdown with stocks, which he believes are currently overvalued.

According to Moas, three-quarters of the names in the S&P 500 are trading at least 18 times earnings, which is higher than his value threshold of 12 times earnings. He also adds that we haven't had a stock market correction in 20 months.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is currently losing 1 to 2 percent per year due to inflation. Moas also points out that the dollar has lost half its value since he was in high school 35 years ago.

 

From a global perspective, where most people don't have access to U.S. dollars, Moas believes the case for cryptocurrency is even more compelling:

"Now, imagine what they think of their own local currencies elsewhere in the world. Imagine you live in Venezuela and you're keeping your money under the mattress. Would you rather leave it there in Venezuelan bolivar or would you rather put it in bitcoin? It's not going to take you very long to make that decision."

Breaking his thesis down further, Moas believes that a conservative estimate is that at least 1 percent of the $200 trillion now tied up in stocks, cash, gold and bonds will migrate into cryptocurrencies over the next decade.

In that case, he says, "Bitcoin could end up with a market capitalization that is more than Amazon and Apple combined."

Under this scenario, that would mean that the current market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies would naturally grow.

And if Moas's market capitalization targets are correct, investors would then receive a 1,250 percent return on their cryptocurrency investments made today.

 

Diversified strategy

But he adds one major caveat to that prediction. Simply, "You've got to be in the right names."

Assuming you accept Moas's basic bull market thesis for cryptocurrencies, how do you know if you are invested in the right "names" in the cryptocurrency space? And, if the market boom in cryptocurrency is analogous to the roaring years of the 1990s tech boom, how can you avoid investing in the next Pets.com?

As Moas frames it:

"A lot of people say there is a bubble out there. I see a bubble when you get down below the top 50 cryptocurrencies. There are more than 800 names right now. In my view, what happens outside the top 50 is irrelevant."

Moas goes on to point out that 91 percent of the nearly $150 billion market cap is invested in the top 20 names and 70 percent is invested in bitcoin and ether alone.

He recommends, for the purposes of portfolio diversification, retail investors should hedge their bets and invest across the top 10 or 20 cryptocurrencies.

In Moas's view, the 800 cryptocurrencies that are now trading are analogous to the 800 stocks that were available on the Nasdaq at the height of the dot-com bubble nearly 20 years ago. While Amazon and Apple and Microsoft emerged to become among the most valuable companies of all time, there were many companies from that time period that died slow and painful deaths.

Or, as Moas more colorfully puts it: "Back then, there were hundreds of pump-and-dump, small-cap junk names just as there are in crypto today. Today, the crypto market is giving you the same signals with names like dash, ripple, litecoin, monero, bitcoin, ethereum, neo, nem, iota and others."

He went on to add that while there are certainly risks involved in investing in cryptocurrency, those risks are, in his view, outweighed by the possibility of 10-to-one or 20-to-one payout to the upside experienced by tech stocks.

 

The bull case

Of all the major cryptocurrencies, though, Moas seems especially bullish in his view of bitcoin. Unless there is a major shakeup in the underlying confidence, he believes that investors are going to want to buy-and-hold for their portfolios for 10 years or more.

Moas points out that there are currently only about 16 million bitcoins that have been issued of a possible total 21 million coins that will be created.

In his analysis, this could lead to tens of millions of people trying to get their hands on just a few million coins.

When asked for a specific price target, Moas summed up as follows:

"At the beginning of July, bitcoin was trading at $2,500. I believe in the next three years you will probably see $15,000 to $20,000 for bitcoin. It could double twice from here in the next 36 months."

 

 

Aug 24, 2017 at 09:00 UTC by Ash Bennington

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepreneur

DAvid Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

$154 Billion – Bitcoin Price Rally Carries Crypo Markets to New Record

$154 Billion - Bitcoin Price Rally Carries Crypo Markets to New Record

$154 Billion – Bitcoin Price Rally Carries Crypo Markets to New Record

The bitcoin price rallied on Wednesday, leaping 9% to cross $4,200. The wider crypto markets followed bitcoin’s lead, with 93 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies marching into positive territory for the day.

This near-universal advance added more than $10 billion to the total cryptocurrency market cap. After entering the day at $142.5 billion, the total value of all cryptocurrencies burst through the $150 billion threshold to set a new all-time high of $154 billion.

Popular Cryptocurrency Chart

Bitcoin Price Leaps Past $4,200

The bitcoin price had experienced an early-week correction, briefly diving as low as $3,675 on August 22. Theories for this decline include a hashrate shift from bitcoin to bitcoin cash, as well as concerns surrounding the Segwit/Segwit2x debate. However, the bitcoin price had strong support on the Asian exchanges, which helped prevent it from staying below $4,000 for long. Today’s 9% climb brings the bitcoin price to a present value of $4,243 and a market cap of just over $70.1 billion.

 

Ethereum Price Closes on $350

The ethereum price did not quite keep pace with bitcoin, but it did return a 4% increase for the day. At present, the value of ether is $323, bringing the ethereum market cap to $30.4 billion.

Metropolis, ethereum’s next major protocol upgrade is, quickly approaching. Although these protocol upgrades are implemented by hard forks, they have generally been supported by the community. Consequently, many investors believe the ethereum price will close on $350 as its September release nears.

 

Bitcoin Cash Price Stumbles Following Difficulty Adjustment

The bitcoin cash price surged close to $1,000 last week, one of several converging factors that made bitcoin cash more profitable to mine than bitcoin. Suddenly, the bitcoin cash hashrate exploded, nearly reaching parity with bitcoin. At its height, bitcoin cash boasted 44% of the combined hashrate between the two coins.

However, the hashrate increase triggered an August 22 difficulty adjustment that caused bitcoin cash mining profitability to plunge. Bitcoin cash is now just 42% as profitable to mine as bitcoin, which has led several miners to move hashpower back to the main blockchain. At present, bitcoin cash has about 27% of the combined bitcoin hashrate.

The difficulty adjustment coincided with a decrease in the bitcoin cash price. Despite the widespread market advance, the bitcoin cash price retreated 7% to $661. Bitcoin cash now has a $10.9 billion market cap.
 

Ripple Price Soars to 50% Gain

Bitcoin cash was the only top 25 cryptocurrency to decrease more than 1% for the day, and most coins returned significant gains.

popular chryptocurrency charts

Altcoin Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

The Ripple price led the way, posting a shocking 50% increase following a flood of volume on the major Korean exchanges. This rapid advance raised the Ripple price as high as $0.300 for the first time since June 25, although it has since tapered to $0.277. Ripple now has a market cap of $10.6 billion, putting it within striking distance of reclaiming the 3rd spot from bitcoin cash

Fifth-ranked IOTA rose 9% to $0.92, while the litecoin price increased 4% to $48. The NEM price saw just a 2% gain, but it was enough to raise its market cap to $2.3 billion. The Dash price rose 7% to $300, and NEO climbed 9% to about $38. Other than Ripple, ethereum classic was the only top 10 cryptocurrency to rise more than 10%. ETC’s 14% gain helped it secure the 10th place spot from Monero, who rose 8% to a new all-time high of $98.

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 23/08/2017

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepreneur

David Ogden Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

EVERYONE IS CRAZY FOR ETHEREUM, BUT BITCOIN IS STILL THE BEAST TO BEAT

EVERYONE IS CRAZY FOR ETHEREUM, BUT BITCOIN IS STILL THE BEAST TO BEAT

EVERYONE IS CRAZY FOR ETHEREUM, BUT BITCOIN IS STILL THE BEAST TO BEAT

We’ve come a long way in the eight years since Bitcoin’s original release. Back in 2009, when the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto launched the cryptographically verified digital asset, it was just a curiosity. With time, though, new uses have been found for it, from buying drugs, to transferring money near-instantaneously across the globe. Its value has peaked and troughed to reach considerable worth today – right now, a single Bitcoin is worth almost $2,800, close to its record high of $2,964.
 

The success of Bitcoin has inspired many imitators. That includes the classics, like Litecoin and Dogecoin, along with more contemporary and serious alternatives, like Ethereum and Zcash. They’re all subtly different, and often more volatile, than their Bitcoin foundation.

 

There’s now more than 900 cryptocurrencies in the wild. While many of them hog attention with their potential for larger earnings on less upfront investment, differing features, or philosophy, their futures still rest in the hands of that cryptocurrency created way back in 2009.
 

They are all built off the same core technology as Bitcoin, and susceptible to the same whims of human nature.
 

Bitcoin: The foundation and face of cryptocurrency empires

 

“Bitcoin underpins and backs up the entire crypto economy. When Bitcoin falls, the rest fall, when Bitcoin rises, the rest rise,” the host of the Bitcoin News Show, Vortex, told Digital Trends. “The alt coins are simply an extension of Bitcoin, most of them are even based on its source code.”
 

“Nothing like bitcoin could ever emerge again as the path to its inception is absolutely unique.”

There’s many “alt coins,” most with a unique spin. Some use different cryptographic hash functions, others build in smart contracting functionality, while others look to be more centralized. Yet at their core, they are all built around similar technology to Bitcoin, which is partly why their pasts and futures have been, and are, so dependent on the first mainstream cryptocurrency.
 

“Bitcoin will remain the digital gold that backs up the entire crypto-economy,” Vortex told us. “Nothing like bitcoin could ever emerge again as the path to its inception is absolutely unique. It was created anonymously with no pre-mine, no intent for profit, no attachment to any corporation, and essentially donated to the community by its founder.”
 

Although there have been some stumbling blocks over the years, with minor changes required to keep Bitcoin functioning as it should, it’s organic growth, and the lack of a desire to drive profit for its creators, that make Bitcoin so unique.

A quick look at the value charts shows that Bitcoin is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Its value was, at the time this article was published, four times greater than the nearest competition. That suggests a confidence in the long-standing currency that is far grander than its contemporaries.

Part of that comes from its very value, which makes large fluctuations in its worth less likely. It’s a sturdier investment than many other currencies – though that doesn’t mean it isn’t susceptible to fluctuation. Its price today is close to double what it was at the start of the year.

Bitcoin also acts as the face of the industry. It’s the original, most publicized, and close to a household name. That means first time investors are likely to consider it over other, more obscure investments. In turn, this popularity gives Bitcoin influence over its competitors. When the world sees Bitcoin doing well, other currencies usually benefits, too.

 

“The entire cryptocurrency market often moves up or down based on what’s happening with Bitcoin,” said Stewart Dennis, CEO of cryptocurrency email system Bitbounce. “If Bitcoin’s value continues to appreciate, that bodes well for the future of other currencies.”

A fork in the road?

 

Predicting the future appreciation of Bitcoin is difficult. As we have seen over the past couple of years, it can tumble back down following major world events. China’s decision to ban financial institutions from using Bitcoin in 2013 saw the currency nearly halve in value over a few weeks. Hacks of major Bitcoin exchange services, and speculative bubbles, have led to other temporary downturns in its fortunes.

Of course, there’s always the competition looking to use one of these disruptions to make an attempt on the crown. The latest is Bitcoin Cash, a “hard-fork” from Bitcoin, designed to offer larger capacity than its predecessor to reduce transaction fees. Does it stand to find success as an alternative top-tier currency where others have failed?

“Anyone at any time can fork Bitcoin as it is open source,” Vortex told us, dismissively. “This is what Litecoin and many other coins did. They forked Bitcoin, tweaked a few things, and called it something else.”

The only difference with Bitcoin Cash, he claims, is that it’s the first currency to attempt to use the original Bitcoin name. Although Bitcoin Cash has quickly become one of the more valuable cryptocurrencies ($400 at the time of writing), Vortex points out that it does not have much support.

“It only has two developers [and] is highly centralized and controlled. The core [Bitcoin] developers want nothing to do with it,” he said.

For the sake of argument, though, let’s assume Bitcoin Cash is successful, or some major calamity caused Bitcoin to fail and fall from grace. What would happen to the market then?

“If Bitcoin were to fall, faith in crypto itself would be lost for many years, at least as a store of value,” Vortex told us. “As a currency however, it would still flourish. Gold is what made and broke nations for thousands of years. Digital gold, or Bitcoin, is what will make or break nations for the next thousand years.”
 

Others, like BitBounce’s CEO, believe that the market itself would recover much more quickly, and that some other coin that would pick up the reins where Bitcoin left off.

“A [Bitcoin] calamity would cause other cryptocurrencies to lose significant value in the short-term,” he said. “But in the medium to long term, it could create an opening for currencies such as Ether to become the most valuable cryptocurrency.”
 

Predicting the future with Bitcoin’s past

Although Bitcoin’s future remains a little uncertain, we can draw something from its past. As the cryptocurrency with the greatest longevity and the most proven track record, we use it to get an idea of what may happen to its younger competitors as they grow and mature.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is one of the more popular, vogue currencies, and in terms of its market capital, is second only to Bitcoin, even if it does trail it by a significant margin. Though it has suffered a recent downturn in value, it reached a new high less than a month ago, peaking just shy of $400 per Ether.

If we look at a graph of its growth and fall and compare that to Bitcoin’s earliest peaks in 2013, the similarities are hard to ignore. The only difference is that Ether has yet to recover in quite the same manner as Bitcoin. While there are no guarantees of such a thing happening, Bitbounce’s Dennis believes it will soon.

“Bitcoin has repeatedly appreciated to an all-time high and then corrected to a lower price for a while, before eventually reaching an even greater high. I see similar trends with other younger currencies,” he told DigitalTrends.
 

Indeed, Dennis sees those currencies one day even eclipsing that of Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin is still important because it started everything and has the widest adoption. However, Bitcoin’s dominance has been fading. Before too long, I expect other currencies to become even more valuable, and have greater adoption than Bitcoin.”

Vortex, however, disagrees. While he believes that Bitcoin will continue to underpin cryptocurrencies and even worldwide economies in the forseeable future, the outcome of other currencies is far less certain.
 

“Nothing is predictable,” he said, but reiterated that Bitcoin’s fortunes will be reflected in those of others currencies.

While he does see that any sort of success in Bitcoin cash would be a potential indicator for more hard-fork currencies being created in the future, “that trick only works a few times” and will ultimately just bring more attention to the original currency that started it all. Bitcoin.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

 

Author: Jon Martindale

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Mastercard Eyes Cryptocurrency Refunds in New Patent Application

Mastercard Eyes Cryptocurrency Refunds in New Patent Application

Mastercard Eyes Cryptocurrency Refunds in New Patent Application

A new patent application from Mastercard suggests that the global credit card issuer is exploring ways to build refund services for cryptocurrency users.
 

The application, titled "Information Transaction Infrastructure", was published by the the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on August 3, having been submitted in late January. Vladimir Goloshchuk, who according to LinkedIn previously worked as a senior analyst at Mastercard, is listed as the sole inventor.

 

The application details an infrastructure through which users could verify their identities, which would then be linked to cryptocurrency addresses they elect to disclose.
 

The text of the application points to this being most relevant for situations in which users are submitting payments to merchants from accounts on exchanges, or other services, in which their funds may be held alongside those belonging to others.

 

In the event that a merchant has to send the money back for a refund, they would send it back to an address linked to that user's account – a situation in which the exchange or custody holder might then need to know where those funds are being sourced from and why.
 

To counter this, Mastercard proposes a way for users, through a shared service, to have two kinds of wallets.
 

"The basic principle of the arrangement … is that a user of the shared wallet service has two types of wallet. Firstly, they have a 'public' wallet for on-the-chain publicly visible and verified transactions. The user will make and receive cryptocurrency payments external to the shared wallet service using a public wallet," the application explains, adding:
 

"Using this approach, the refund problem can be addressed – a payment received from the public wallet can be refunded by an equal payment back to the public wallet."
 

The application is the latest from Mastercard, which has filed several patents in the past few years. The company has also developed projects focused on blockchain tech, releasing a set of dedicated APIs last fall.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

 

Author: Stan Higgings

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Top Cryptocurrencies Price Weekly Prediction – Next Days Will Be Rough For The Crypto Market

Top Cryptocurrencies Price Weekly Prediction – Next Days Will Be Rough For The Crypto Market

Top Cryptocurrencies Price Weekly Prediction – Next Days Will Be Rough For The Crypto Market

Not much has changed for most cryptocurrencies over the past few hours. Bitcoin is, together with Monero, the only currency in the top 10 noting a small loss, whereas most other coins have stabilized or regained some losses. Considering how the weekend is often a dreadful period for cryptocurrency trading this overall trend is rather positive. The total cryptocurrency market cap is heading toward US$90bn as well, which is a positive sign for the future.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES PREPARE FOR A STRONG WEEK

It seems evident most of the top 10 cryptocurrencies are in a good position for some notable gains over the next seven days. Even though we will see one Bitcoin hard fork materialize on August 1st, it is doubtful this will harm the price in a negative manner. Do not be mistaken in thinking Bitcoin Cash tokens come free of charge, though, as they may effectively subtract value from the actual Bitcoin price until the market stabilize.

That being said, we do see the Bitcoin price has dipped a whopping 0.19% over the past 24 hours. That in itself means very little as far as the world’s leading cryptocurrency is concerned. In fact, as long as Bitcoin doesn’t move by 5% or more over the course of 24 hours, there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about. A minuscule change such as this one means absolutely nothing.

lastest prices july

Despite the Bitcoin price “dip”, most altcoins are doing quite well. Ethereum is finally showing some life signs after weeks of declines. The 5.67% gain in the past 24 hours is quite substantial, as the price seems to be heading toward US$200 once again. It is still a far cry from US$400, though, and the currency is not out of the woods just yet. Future declines in value may still be a big part of Ethereum as there is still some funds in circulation which may be dumped across exchanges in the near future.

Other top currencies are showing small gains as well. Litecoin is up by 189%, whereas NEM, Dash, and IOTA all report gains below 1%. The big winners are XRP – up by 3.47% – as well as Stratis – up by 2.99% – and Ethereum Classic, which increased by 1.45%. The bigger question is when people will realize Ethereum Classic is the true, immutable Ethereum chain without SEC scrutiny, highly controversial ICOs, and a blockchain which can be rolled back when founders’ money is stake. Only time will tell if the ETH/ETC correlation will ever see proper momentum, as for now, all the hype and focus is still in Ethereum’s camp.

What is rather surprising is how Monero is the only top 10 currencies to note any losses, other than Bitcoin Monero lost6.41% of its value overnight, which is quite substantial. There is no real reason for this sudden downturn other than people speculating on the other currencies and trying to make a profit. Monero is still a very powerful cryptocurrency with honest developers who aim to provide anonymity to all users. Then again, a price of US$40.65 per XMR is still more than fair, all things considered.

Looking at the individual cryptocurrency market caps, it is pretty obvious Bitcoin remains the undisputed leader for some time to come. This also results in the Bitcoin Dominance Index going back above 50%, as it currently sits at 50.5%. Not too long ago, that percentage was heading toward 40% and lower, but it seems the market has finally come to its senses once again. There is no other currency capable of rivaling Bitcoin right now, that much is evident.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur
 

Author: Oliver Wood

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Malta Entrepreneur has Installed the Country’s First Cryptocurrency ATM

Malta Entrepreneur has Installed the Country's First Cryptocurrency ATM

Malta Entrepreneur has Installed the Country’s First Cryptocurrency ATM

A Malta entrepreneur has installed the country’s first cryptocurrency ATM. The installation has occurred just days after local media reported that a start-up had launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance the country’s first bitcoin ATM.

The Cryptocurrency ATM Has Been Installed Days After a Crowdfunding Campaign Was Launched to Fund a Rival Terminal

A local Malta entrepreneur, Gabriel Cretu Torica, has installed the country’s first cryptocurrency ATM. The terminal has been installed outside a store in Sliema and facilitates bitcoin purchases and balances checks via QR codes.

 

Mr. Torica discussed the advantages of bitcoin and the speed of cryptocurrency ATMs, telling local media that “online exchanges often ask for ID verification, and that can waste up to 24 hours”. Mr. Torica also believes that the bitcoin ATM will inspire greater adoption of bitcoin in Malta. “Many people are still suspicious of bitcoin… I’m sure this will change over time as people realize the benefits”, he said.
 

Ivaj, a start-up and bitcoin cryptocurrency advocacy group championing bitcoin adoption throughout Malta, had already started a crowdfunding campaign seeking to raise finances for the purchase and installation of the island’s first cryptocurrency ATM. The crowdfunding campaign hopes to raise $6,000, with plans to install a second bitcoin ATM if more money than requested is received. If the campaign falls short Ivaj co-founder, Leon Siegmund, has pledged to provide the remaining required funds. Mr. Torica has stated that his bitcoin ATM had already been purchased but not installed when he heard about the crowdfunding campaign – which prompted him to contact local press.
 

The crowdfunding campaign is still active and has so far raised 6% of its total goal, currently having raised $368 from only 6 backers. The campaign will finish approximately one month from today. “We believe in Bitcoin’s potential and decided to invest time and effort in bringing the first Bitcoin ATM to Malta in order to unleash these opportunities to individuals, and society as a whole,” Leon Siegmund previously told The Times of Malta. “We’ve already identified a few potential locations, but it’s too early to discuss them now. What I can say is that it will either be in Valletta or in Sliema.”

 

Malta’s Government Has Previously Focused on Attracting Cryptocurrency Investment From Businesses

Malta’s central government has recently expressed great interest in embracing bitcoin, with the cabinet of malta approving the first draft for a national strategy designed to promote cryptocurrency and blockchain technology across the nation during April. Despite the bold rhetoric, the island still lacks basic infrastructure that will allow increased user adoption, as evidenced by the crowdfunding campaign for the nation’s first bitcoin ATM.

 

Malta’s government has predominantly focussed upon attracting cryptocurrency based businesses to register on their shores. Several government agencies participated in a conference hosted by PKF Malta this week that sought to “[bring] together a think tank of professionals representing a cross section of the market ranging from start-up success stories to crowdfunding, blockchain, [and] bitcoin.” The conference featured keynote speakers from Silicon Valley, and an audience predominantly comprised of representatives from Malta’s business and academic sectors.
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Samuel Haig

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Now You Can Pay For Your University Degree With Cryptocurrency

Now You Can Pay For Your University Degree With Cryptocurrency

Now You Can Pay For Your University Degree With Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has taken the online e-currency market by storm in recent years. The likes of Bitcoin have gone all out and it’s currently the fastest growing e-currency in the world by a considerable margin. As of July 2017, Bitcoin has made investors billions and it’s currently worth more than $2,200 apiece. It’s uncertain how much further the value of Bitcoin is expected to grow, but as its market cap alone was valued at more than $40 billion in May 2017, it’s certainly a cryptocurrency worth implementing online.

That’s why many merchants and businesses and e-commerce stores have sided with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It seems they are the go-to e-currencies right now, along with the standard PayPal and Skrill payments.
 

THE E-COMMERCE INDUSTRY HAS SEEN A RISE IN MERCHANTS IMPLEMENTING BITCOIN

Popular domain registrar, Name Cheap, has been accepting Bitcoin for a while now and it’s businesses like that that have seen a rise in consumers because of the popularity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Many web developers now use Bitcoin as a standard payment method for their web development resources such as domain registration, web hosting, and even as their primary method for their own web development businesses.

 

ONLINE BOOKMAKERS HAVE BEEN USING BITCOIN FOR YEARS

While many official bookmakers haven’t quite got to grips with cryptocurrency yet, there are still several online bookmakers that have implemented it as a deposit and withdrawal payment method. It looks set to grow in popularity with bookmakers in 2017 because it offers a fast and easy deposit method, much like the process PayPal and Neteller offers.

UNIVERSITY OUTLETS HAVE SEEN A RISE IN CRYPTOCURRENCY IMPLEMENTATION

Those studying for an online healthcare MBA using a healthcare MBA online program now have it easy when it comes to paying for their online courses. With cryptocurrency now available as a payment method, many more students have opted to obtain their degree using online courses provided by multiple universities around the United States.
 

POPULAR ONLINE MARKETPLACES NOW USE BITCOIN

While the likes of Amazon have still yet to implement Bitcoin as a payment method, there are still other stores that use it. For those with Shopify stores, for example, Bitcoin is a payment available to both you and your customers.
 

Shopify is one of the few stores and e-commerce set ups that have provided Bitcoin as a payment option for more than three years. Shopify announced in November 2013 that the cryptocurrency was available for all merchants to implement into their own set ups. It’s unclear whether any of the other big marketplaces will implement it anytime soon, but it’s not a matter of if they are going to implement it, it’s a matter of when.

Although Bitcoin holds the number one spot as the most popular cryptocurrency available, there are still other fast-growing currencies that are providing much bigger competition. It is clear Bitcoin is loved by many and it’s almost certain to be a popular payment method with bigger e-commerce stores in the future.
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur.

David ogden Cryptocurrency entrepreneur

 

Author: Oliver Wood

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Ripple has risen by almost 3,000% this year

Ripple has risen by almost 3,000% this year

Ripple has risen by almost 3,000% this year

It’s not just Bitcoin and Ethereum posting astonishing gains. Ripple, a cryptocurrency based out of San Francisco, has risen in value by almost 3,000% this year.

 

One Ripple token, known as XRP, is currently valued at just below US20 cents. XRP started the year at the fractional value 0.0065, but experienced rapid growth in the June quarter as transaction volumes increased.

 

According to a report by CNBC, that growth was primarily driven by plans to set up a platform for the sale of XRP tokens.

 

XRP tokens differ from Bitcoin and Ethereum in that most of them are owned by the Ripple network itself and can’t be mined.

 

Ripple rose as high as US26 cents in June taking its annual gain to almost 4,000%, before falling back in July.

Ripple’s total value of $US7.6 billion makes it the third biggest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalisation.

 

Bitcoin has a market cap of $US44.8 billion, while Ethereum is valued at around $US21 billion.

 

Ripple’s head of XRP markets, Miguel Vias, told CNBC that Ripple had a specific strategy focused on international payments and had already partnered with large global banks.

 

“With respect to XRP, we are incredibly focused on international payments, I think we are probably the only digital asset that has a clear use case with respect to what we are trying to do with the asset,” Vias said.

 

Ripple has partnered with around 30 digital asset exchanges, and is positioning itself in the market as a faster faciliation network for international transactions.

 

CNBC reported that the Ripple network processed over $US11 billion worth of transactions in the June quarter.

 

The company’s CEO, Brad Garlinhouse, said Ripple has a processing speed of around 70,000 transactions per second.

 

That compares to Bitcoin’s current volume capacity of around 7 transactions per second. The Bitcoin developer community is in the process of setting up a new platform which is expected to double transaction speeds.

 

Last year, Ripple announced the setup of its first interbank global payments group, which included Westpac, Bank of America Merril Lynch and the Royal Bank of Canada.

 

“With respect to growth and outreach, we will continue to partner with digital asset exchanges for listings and mostly importantly … it is really all about payments and in this quarter, you will see some very interesting developments with respect to our partnership in payments, with respect to XRP in particular,” Vias told CNBC.

 

Time will tell whether the value of the XRP tokens traded on the Ripple network will continue to maintain their recent rate of growth.

 

David Ogden
Entrpreneur

cryptocurrency entrepreneuer

 

Author: Sam Jacobs

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

The crypto-currency craze

The crypto-currency craze

The crypto-currency craze

 

In the late 1990s, as investors woke up to the promise of the internet, shares in any company with dot.com after its name soared to giddy heights.

Then the bubble burst.

Now there are warnings of another technology investment bubble – this time related to the fascination with crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.

On the Tech Tent podcast this week, we examine the phenomenon of ICOs – Initial Coin Offerings – which have seen over $1bn raised so far this year from investors who get little more than a token and a vague promise of involvement in a new business.

The term ICO – designed to mirror the IPO that sees a firm issue shares and float on a stock exchange – seems to mean different things to different people. Early versions were simply ways of getting a new crypto-currency off the ground, but now many are promising to use the blockchain technology that underpins Bitcoin and similar currencies to create businesses.

Among the ICO projects listed by Smith + Crown, which researches the crypto-currency scene, is a business raising money to create the world's most lucrative lottery based on blockchain, and another that promises to rent out high-quality office space using digital tokens.

On Tech Tent, we talk to an entrepreneur who is boldly going into uncharted territory with this new investment technique. Pavlo Tanasyuk is the founder of Spacebit, which aims to create what he calls "a distributed space agency unshackled by state or national sponsorship".

Next month, he will invite investors to take a stake in this venture, which he describes as a crypto version of Elon Musk's Space X. He will only accept payment in Bitcoin, Ethereum or other crypto-currencies and in return backers will get tokens and a role in deciding how the business is run.

But the finance blogger Frances Coppola has compared ICOs to the tulip fever of the 16th Century and other investment bubbles.

"The enthusiasm for ICOs is coming off the back of the Bitcoin and Ethereum booms," she says.

She warns that such schemes are completely unregulated, and fears that many who invest in them simply won't understand what they're getting into.

"There will be scams in this – I'd be astonished if regulators aren't looking at this."

Even Pavlo Tanasyuk concedes there is plenty of risk attached to this kind of investment. "Ninety-five per cent won't deliver – but we will. It's important to set an example. We're doing something real and have a strong management team in place."

When the dot.com bubble burst, it became clear that many investors had not really understood what the firms they were backing actually did or the nature of the technological challenges they faced. Today, the world of crypto-currencies and the blockchain looks even more impenetrable.

Consider this description of one project, Neverdie, which has already raised more than $2m (£1.5m) in an ICO: "A virtual reality infrastructure platform that bridges virtual worlds with popular MMORPGs [massively multiplayer online role-playing games] on the Ethereum blockchain."

Doubtless those who have bought the coins that are meant to fund this vision have read the white paper describing the project, and the disclaimer at the end: "Neverdie Coins and Teleport Tokens do not represent ownership in any real-world companies. These tokens are designed to activate virtual utilities."

Real money is going into a virtual world and if it disappears in a puff of virtual smoke, no regulator will be there to cry foul. Let's hope those who back these kind of ventures are going into them with their eyes open.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Rory Cellan-Jones

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden