UK regulatory body issues ICO warning

The UK’s financial regulatory body has issued a press release warning consumers about the risk of investing in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

ICOs are very high-risk, speculative investments.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said ICOs are very high-risk and that anyone investing should be prepared to lose their entire stake.

The FCA does not have the power to regulate a high majority of ICO’s as they fall outside of their legal boundaries, but some may be conducting regulated activities including the exchanges selling the tokens.

If you are not aware of how ICO’s operate they work similar to normal crowd funding events but instead of investors paying in fiat they are paid for with a token or coin e.g Ethereum or Bitcoin in return for a project token.

It has been estimated that around £1bn in fiat has been invested into ICO’s so far and this number is growing exponentially.

The FCA’s warning issued today swiftly follows the People’s Bank of China who have allegedly issued similar warnings and have recently “banned” some ICO’s although experts say this ban was temporary.

You should be conscious of the risks involved and fully research the specific project if you are thinking about buying digital tokens.

As with any ICO’s we recommend carrying out your own independent research to ensure the legitimacy and that it’s worth risking your own money. Common red flags include no whitepaper, unverifiable team members (missing Linkedin profiles or social profiles), projects in the very early stages without any prototype. ALl in all the best policy is to just use common sense when assessing each project and remember if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

Could Uber be the first big company to accept Ethereum?

After a laborious nine-week search Uber’s management board has voted to appoint crypto-friendly Dara Khosrowshahi as their new chief executive – a potential win for Bitcoin Ethereum.

Under Dara’s 12 year run, Expedia was one of the first major organisations to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment (back in 2014) and subsequently legitimising it. So much so that both Microsoft and Dell followed suit shortly after. Dara is also a personal investor in Bitcoin startup 21 inc and has been an influential promoter of blockchain technology and its uses in real world projects.

With Bitcoin dominating the early days it made sense for Expedia to start accepting the cryptocurrency, however three years down the line it would seem Ethereum would be a better all round solution.

Bitcoin has also encountered a number of issues of late, many of which have stemmed from its slow confirmation times and increased transaction fee’s. With neither of these issues being appropriately addressed it is impossible to use this currency in any time critical use cases. Ethereum however with its lightening fast conformations (which are soon to get even faster) and low transaction fees would be a well equipped contender. It only takes around 15 seconds for a transaction to be confirmed on the Ethereum network making it easy to pay as you pop out of the cab, as opposed to Bitcoin which would require you to… well we’re not quite sure how that would work.

Rumours around Uber accepting cryptocurrencies have long circulated but until now they been nothing more than internet chatter, with Dara’s appointment however it may well become a reality. These are exciting times for the cryptosphere.

Will you be paying for your next uber with Ether?

Data scientists create Blockchain backed AI to predict sporting events

A team of data scientists have developed a complex forecasting system based on a collaborative model of neural networks that simulates a collection of biological brains.

The Magos AI is able to predict the outcome of any event whether it’s politics, sports, trading or any big data event with a very high degree of accuracy.

“MAGOS is based on a system of neural networks. Each network performs a specific task, but they work together in collaboration. The backbone of MAGOS is its modular architecture. It allows us to develop and implement individual forecasting modules, targeting different kinds of forecasting domains, from business and finance to sports and politics.” said – Andreas Theiss, Data scientist and CTO at Magos.

The company carried out a four month trial earlier this year going head to head with a crowdsourced sports betting platform beating the rival competition resulting in an overall return of investment of over 30%.

MAGOS AI

The AI will initially focus on sportsbook and conventional prediction markets but aims to expand to Ethereum-based prediction markets by integrating with projects such as Augur, Stox and Gnosis.

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the world we live in and has already managed to achieve some amazing breakthroughs including spotting cancer in tissue slides more accurately than humans, thwarting fraud, spotting errors in legal documents and even beating the world’s top gamers in Dota 2.

Magos is currently holding an initial coin offering (ICO) to crowdfund the future development and has already raised half a million dollars. https://magos.io/

WannaCry: Hackers start to move stolen Bitcoin

WannaCry Bitcoin on the move as hackers cash out

Bitcoin linked to the infamous WannaCry malware attack which held thousands of computers ransom around the world is now on the move according to security experts.

Since the attack three Bitcoin wallets have been sitting idle with roughly 52 Bitcoin, but as of today they have been split into multiple tiny amounts and distributed to various other wallets and exchanged for a more anonymous cryptocurrency, a common tactic used by hackers to disguise and obfuscate trail. At this stage it is not yet known if the coins movement is related to the perpetrators or a law enforcement agency.

wanancry

Victims were asked to pay between $300 and $600 to get their systems back.
According to various security firms the Bitcoin has been exchanged for Monero on a swiss-based cryptocurrency exchanged named ShapeShift which facilities such transactions with minimal if none AML or KYC checks for small amounts.

Monero is the choice cryptocurrency for anyone looking to remain completely anonymous as it offers superior privacy and tumbling features. The link between the two currencies will be almost completely untraceable allowing the perpetrator to use the laundered Monero without any red flags.

Many people are still blaming the NSA for the thousands of victims computers being held ransom due to the 0day exploit used in the WannaCry attack originating from leaked NSA skyware.

It’s safe to say that despite the best efforts of security experts and government agencies it is likely the trail will now go cold.

Global Advisors Launches Altcoin Investment Fund

Jersey-based Global Advisors has just closed a $5 million altcoin and ICO investment fund. The fund caters to investors by smoothing the complex methods and issues people encounter when investing in cryptocurrency, enabling access to a rapidly growing ICO market which has raised around $1 billion since May.

The firm was previously behind the world’s first officially regulated bitcoin investment strategy, GABI which became the first regulated bitcoin fund to be listed on any exchange worldwide when it was listed on The International Exchange (TISE) in December of 2016.

Global Advisors is now applying its success in the Bitcoin space to alternate cryptocurrencies.

Each funding proposal is expected to adhere to strict compliance with the team performing due diligence for each ICO offered to clients. The fund while structured to invest broadly, will focus first on ICOs where tokens are integral to powering the protocol and secondly as a vehicle to invest in other viable, alternative cryptocurrencies which are emerging, in addition to bitcoin.

Speaking to Coin Desk chairman Daniel Masters said an ICO “calls for a team of experienced, motivated and technically savvy founders”

Source: Pressat

Storj partners with FileZilla

Atlanta-based Storj Labs announced today it has partnered with popular open source FTP client FileZilla to bring drag and drop file uploading to the masses.

FileZilla is one of the most popular FTP clients rocking around 100 million downloads per year, lightyears away from its high school project foundations.

Over the last couple of months Storj’s future looked far from bright with a prominent member of the team leaving the company, but in a recent blog post the firm made changes to the executive team which settled investors. Amidst the internal storm, the firm have quietly been developing a highly requested feature to bring drag and drop uploads to users, the partnership with FileZilla opens the distributed cloud storage that to an additional 15 million monthly users.

The feature is currently still in BETA testing but interested users can join the Storj community chat https://community.storj.io/ for access to the group.

Bolenum Project ICO – BLN

It is always nice to see projects attempting to better the world they live in. This is especially nice to see in the blockchain arena given the current low adoption rate of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies on a global scale.

A recent CryptoCoinNews interview explored the lack of Blockchain adoption in Africa, while pointing out the massive untapped opportunities that reside. One new project, Bolenum, is looking to change this.

BOLENUM IDENTIFIES ADOPTION ISSUES

Though Bolenum has sights on an intercontinental project, the majority of their initial efforts appear to be in Africa. Their Whitepaper outlines two main issues they feel have caused cryptocurrencies to see lower scale adoption than other parts of the world.

The first obstacle is one known all too well by all cryptocurrencies: lack of public awareness. Many just do not know about cryptocurrency, the Blockchain, or what it can provide. This could be because of a lack of cryptocurrency and blockchain evangelists, but also can be blamed on the lack of readily translated literature into local dialects.

The second problem is one that many in the western world have not really had to deal with: convertibility of funds. While every exchange takes Euros, United States Dollars, and Chinese Yuan, it is less likely that these exchanges will accept the Egyptian Pound, the Nigerian Naira, or the Moroccan Dirham etc. Without access to fiat exchanges to convert more readily to cryptocurrencies many individuals are struggling to participate in the cryptospace.

BOLENUM’S SOLUTION

The project hopes to provide a solution to these issues as the first Ethereum based token and exchange platform. It aims to garner and promote more participation in the cryptocurrency space on the African continent.

The project’s token, BLN, aims to serve as a secure payment method, and also be able to protect wealth. These are Ether based tokens and will benefit from the speed and security of the Ethereum Blockchain.

The main perk that may help the project accomplish its goal is the fact that they will also be opening an exchange that will allow for BLN tokens to be traded for local currencies. This means that users will be able to not only withdraw the value of their tokens into local currencies, but could give better access to the cryptosphere as a whole. If someone buys BLN with a local currency, they should in theory be able to trade those BLNs on a different exchange for any other digital asset they may be interested in. BLN is not only an asset but also a gateway that was previously denied by fiat binding.

They will be holding an ICO for this project starting July 15 spanning 30 days. 10,000,000 BLN tokens will be made, with 50% of those being open to the public in an ICO with the other 50% behind held by the Bolenum team as capital to support their future exchange.

Press contact:
Mani Robson
Press Contact Email Address: mani@bolenum.com
Supporting Link: www.bolenum.com

The top cryptocurrencies to invest in 2017

We think these altcoins should be part of your 2017 investment portfolio

Sia

The cloud storage industry is currently dominated by DropBox, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. These companies have taken the lion’s share of customers in the file hosting space however this is very likely to change. A small and fairly unknown blockchain startup going by the name of Sia aims to end this monopoly by redefining the technology and processes behind cloud storage.

The current methods of storage rely on massive data centres and server farms to both store and retrieve data. This centralised approach creates a number of issues. For example:

Control – One company having full control over your data.

Ownership – Who owns your data and how will they use it, sell it and profit off of it.

Security – Centralisation means bugs, malpractice and hackers can target very specific companies and infrastructure. In fact DropBox lost 68 customer million passwords not so long ago and for a short period of time and any user could access the data of other users at will.

Scalability – Each organisation needs to operate massive data centres to fulfill the storage and processing needs.

As these companies become even bigger the issues above become compounded.

The blockchain technology behind Sia is completely new for the industry and takes a more decentralised approach to solve the issues above.

When a customer uploads a file to the network it is automatically encrypted and split up into hundreds of tiny pieces. Only the uploader has the private keys to decrypt and view this data. All these encrypted pieces of data are then uploaded across many hosts and duplicated for impeccable redundancy.

With Sia storage is no longer controlled or owned by a company. Instead anyone can become a file hoster by leasing spare unused hard drive space to store encrypted data. File hosters and uploaders create a sort of digital handshake called a ‘smart contract’ which manages the storing of data between the two parties and pays the renter for the hard drive being used by the uploader.

With Sia clearly solving very real storage issues and making great progress with the project we believe it is a great time to invest in the project.

A $1,000 investment today would get you 113,000 Sia.

We highly recommend purchasing your Crypto with https://changelly.com

Ripple

Ripple takes blockchain technology and applies it to the traditional banking sector, resulting in trustworthy, verified, scalable, instant and cheap banking transactions.

For example the current Faster Payments banking service is an initiative between several banks to reduce the time of transfers between registered bank accounts. However transfers outside of that scheme take much longer and are routed through third party intermediaries. This process is not only risky but also labour and time intensive. Ripple solves these problems.

At the time of writing over 100 banks across the globe are trialling Ripple’s blockchain technology. Some of these banks include Santander, UniCredit and most recently the world’s largest Islamic bank, Al Rajhi Bank.

We think the technology behind Ripple will likely become the financial industry standard in the not too distant future.

Ripple has been within the top ten 24 hour volume across all cryptocurrencies and assets for several months now and it’s XRP currency has reached highs of $0.40.

A $1,000 investment today would get you 5,400 Ripple.

We highly recommend purchasing your Crypto with https://changelly.com

Stratis

The Microsoft backed Stratis platform is known as the C# equivalent to Ethereum. It enables programmers to produce decentralised, smart contract based apps very quickly and easily using a tried and tested programming language that has stood the test of time.

This opens it up to an already massive developer base with little to no additional learning required, giving it a clear edge over Ethereum.

Stratis is also poised to release its long awaited TumbleBit service and smart contracts in Q3 of this year and is developing the “Breeze Wallet”, a wallet feature that aims to boost privacy of both Bitcoin and Stratis users.

In the last month Stratis saw significant highs followed by a very quick drop. The coin reached all time highs of $11 but currently trades at $3. This is an ideal opportunity to buy in whilst the price is still low.

A $1,000 investment today would get you 160 Stratis.

We highly recommend purchasing your Crypto with https://changelly.com

Golem

Golem is on track to becoming the world’s first decentralised supercomputer. It utilizes the Ethereum blockchain to harness the unused/ idle power of millions of connected resources and turns it into sellable computing power.

Many companies and individuals require a service like this and currently have resort to small scale farms that can take days to process/ render and cost a small fortune.

For example games developers, film studios, data mining operations and medical researchers have to use vast amounts of processing power to complete very specific tasks. With Golem all these companies will have an always accessible, affordable supercomputer at their fingertips.

With its vast processing power Golem can also be used for making predictions across different industries such as betting, stock markets and even environmental changes.

Anyone with a computer can lease their unused processing power and in return get paid in GNT tokens. These tokens can be re-used, transferred to an exchange for trading or sold for more traditional currencies such as USD/GBP.

When taking a step back and assessing Golems end goal it offers a very unique investment opportunity not seen with any other project. It has many real world, life changing uses and the possibilities are endless.

Sitting at just $0.23 cents Golem is criminally cheap right now.

A $1,000 investment today would get you 3,500 Golem.

We highly recommend purchasing your Crypto with https://changelly.com

Monero

Monero is somewhat of a crypto veteran. The coin doesn’t mince its words and does one thing, albeit extremely well. It is currently the most secure and private coin on the market.

Anyone looking to make a safe long term investment would be wise to invest in it. The coin is seen as the ‘gold standard’ for privacy conscious users looking to stay permanently in the shadows. In fact Monero is in the top 5 most used cryptocurrencies for day to day purchases and traded across the Dark Web making it one of the few coins that is actually used as a currency.

A $1,000 investment today would get you 24 Monero.

We highly recommend purchasing your Crypto with https://changelly.com

Verge

Verge is an interesting (and possibly controversial) entry.

Like Monero it is aimed at users who take privacy seriously and combines Tor and i2p technologies to increase blockchain anonymity.

The project has one of the most active communities with a huge development team regularly ticking off new and exciting features on the roadmap. In June alone Seven major new features were pushed live.

Everything from Tor based Android wallets to RSK Smart Contracts are planned for July making this coin one to watch, especially at its current price. Despite recent price volatility the project is moving at a very quick pace and we believe this will be reflected in its price very soon.

So that’s it! There are many other projects we would have liked to add and others that ‘sound great’ (ICO frenzy anyone!!). As these projects mature and show their progress they will also be assessed and our verdicts shared. Good luck.

A $1,000 investment today would get you 324,000 Verge.

We highly recommend purchasing your Crypto with https://changelly.com

Handmade cosmetic brand Lush is now accepting Bitcoin

Fancy a long invigorating soak?

Handmade ethical cosmetics retailer Lush has recently started accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment for online shoppers.

The retailer operates around 1,000 physical stores across 49 countries worldwide and has suggested its online adoption will likely influence its in store Bitcoin rollout.

Lush said in a statement that Bitcoin was introduced as part of their “wider strategy to delve into the Blockchain community and provide an ethical viewpoint on its possibilities”.

The firm claims that it would allow them to create more ways of working with a wider range of suppliers, some of whom are from developing countries. Providing an alternative method in these regions will open up new new markets and make transactions more transparent with little to no exchange rates or fees.

The Bitpay ecommerce solution has been utilised and will allow the platform to handle customers who wish to pay with Bitcoin.

Lush is headquartered in Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom. The company was founded by Mark Constantine, a trichologist and Liz Weir.

Lush is expected to make $1 billion in global sales by 2017.

So whether you would like to treat yourself to a long relaxing soak or just smell like a million bucks with Bitcoin, grab yourself one of the many awesome sounding bath bombs from: https://uk.lush.com/products/bath

German bank adopts blockchain technology for Africa project

German state-owned development bank KfW has for the first time confirmed its use of Blockchain technology to improve transparency across its budgetary funds.

The bank is a running a pilot project in the African region on behalf of the The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) who will utilise Blockchain technology for greater transparency and auditing purposes.

The use of blockchain technology will allow the provider to create a fully auditable paper trail showing detailed plans of the work carried out, procurement, contracts, tenders and releasing funds for the project.

At this stage it does not appear that the bank is utilizing any of the more prominent open-source Blockchain technologies such as Ethereum and according to the press release have instead partnered with TruBudget, an independent software house who have developed their own blockchain implementation.

At this stage we have been unable to verify TruBudget’s internally developed blockchain (which somewhat defeats the purpose of transparency and openness).

The project hopes that the new technology will benefit the common good with schools, hospitals and other organisations receiving allocated funds in a transparent auditable manner as opposed to current systems that can lead to misuse, misallocation and terrorist funding.