Tether Interview (spoiler: they ignored us)

With the recent media controversy surrounding Tether we reached out to the team with 13 interview questions at the start of December, heres what they had to say ( more precisely didn’t say):

  • The UK government along with banks have been very strict and often reluctant to provide any banking solution to crypto related businesses, often forcing them to look to places like Poland. How do you plan to tackle this with the GBP Tether plans?

Failed to respond.

  • Do you have a approximate date for when the JPY and GBP Tether currencies will be available?

Failed to respond.

  • Matthew Leising in a recent Bloomberg article was concerned about whether the exact amount of Tether ration exists 1-1 dollars within a bank?

Failed to respond.

  • Oguz Serdar claims Tether will not allow him to exchange his $1 million worth of Tether for US dollars and that Tether refused to disclose the bank Tether held the funds in. To avoid confusion how do you respond to this as various sources are claiming that Tether have issued more tokens than it has assets for, which of course is a great concern for those wanting to start using Tether.

Failed to respond.

  • People are very concerned about the link between Bitfinex and Tether, more specifically Phil Potter’s/ Giancarlo Devasini role as per the connection found in the Paradise Paper’s leak. Can you comment on this?

Failed to respond.

  • Bitfinex has hired a law firm to counter claims which you say are untrue regarding the Bitfinex/ Tether connection. Can you elaborate on this?
    Is it possible/ likely that you will be more open/ provide evidence of where funds are held to calm investor concerns?

Failed to respond.

  • When will the full audit of Tether’s assets be available to the public?
    Will you be launching on any exchanges in the future?

Failed to respond.

  • Your recent audit by Friedman LLP has been discredited by many. What have you learnt from this and how to you plan to overcome the naysayers?
    What are Tether’s plans for 2018?

Failed to respond.

  • Do you have any update on the recent “$30,950,010 USDT Tether hack? Are authorities any closer to resolving this?

Failed to respond.

  • Can you provide more information on how Tethers are created. Specifically what determines the creation volume. For example what prompted the creation of $70 million Tethers in Early September?

Failed to respond.

British banks strangle UK crypto-startups

bitcoinDo British banks fear cryptocurrency startups?

We asked Santander, Barclays, the RBS, Metro Bank, Halifax, Standard Chartered, HSBC for their side of the story.

The UK’s financial service sector adds more than £6.6 billion into the economy each year, employing hundreds of thousands of people. The City of London and Canary Wharf are often portrayed as the hub of fintech, with many of the world’s biggest financial firms operating there. With such an influential and active global presence one might think Britain would be at the forefront of blockchain innovation and adoption. Unfortunately the reality is quite the opposite, with banks demonstrating cartel-like behaviour and overplaying the money laundering card to actively discredit and cut off these startups.

With the recent exponential growth of blockchain technology, many of these startups are seeking to create innovative financial products by mixing old money with new − and this means obtaining a bank account like any other business. Unfortunately, in the UK, adoption has been thwarted at every turn by the country’s banking elite, often forcing these firms to seek banking partnerships elsewhere in Europe, such as in Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia and Estonia, and thus the startups often end up based in those countries too.

Blockchain is undoubtedly one of the most exciting technologies of our time and it will probably change the world we live in by redefining and streamlining every industry, be that through global distributed ledgers, smart-contract-based automation or even global collaborative systems and resource sharing. Some examples include:

  • charities using blockchain technology to provide transparent processing of donations/aid relief,
  • green energy startups using blockchain to offer transparent, distributed peer-to-peer energy, resulting in a national grid that allows anybody to generate, sell and consume energy,
  • medical research institutions that use the technology to harness, combine and manage computing power. This allows anybody to donate their idle laptop/computing power to a distributed network to help process things such as misfolding and protein aggregation, to help find cures for Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, cystic fibrosis etc.

Where does the government stand on this?

Earlier this year even HM Treasury’s special envoy for fintech, Eileen Burbidge, said:

“The UK is already the best place in the world to start, grow and scale a FinTech company”.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:

“The FinTech sector is one of our fastest growing sectors, adding more than £6.6 billion into the UK’s economy and attracting more than £500 million of investment.”

And yet, despite these boasts from the UK government, the country’s own banks downplay and stigmatise the technology and refuse to service any crypto-related companies.

It’s a Catch-22 situation: on the one hand you have the UK government harping on about fintech and IoT while, on the other hand, British banks, supported by the government, are flat-out refusing to work with such companies by denying them basic access to services such as bank accounts without any justifiable reason.

Her Majesty’s Treasury is reluctant to intervene in any banking decisions, stating:

“Which businesses banks choose to offer services to is a commercial decision for each individual bank and the Government does not seek to intervene in these decisions.”

“The Government encourages banks to take a risk-based approach in their management of money laundering and terrorism financing risk, to ensure that the measures they take are proportionate and effectively mitigate the risks that they face.”

“We recognise the significant benefits that virtual currencies and the related technologies could bring, as well as the potential risks such as money laundering and terrorist financing.”

It would appear that change is on the horizon, as the Financial Conduct Authority, which operates independently of the UK government and regulates the financial industry, carried out sandbox testing with blockchain firms.

Following a feasibility report in 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) established a regulatory sandbox, which enables financial firms to test innovative products, services and business models in a live market environment while adhering to appropriate safeguards. But, unfortunately, multiple participants in the sandbox programme, the aim of which was to create innovative services with distributed ledger technology (DLT) were given “blanket refusals” from banks and “denial of banking services”. Furthermore, even individual enthusiasts exploring blockchain technologies have been penalised and deterred through bank account closures and warnings.

Due to the reluctance of banks to open accounts for cryptocurrency-related firms, the FCA is concerned about banks hindering competition, especially after many banks flat-out refused several start-ups entering the FCA’s sandbox programme to test their business models under its guidance.

The government is essentially taking a backseat in the matter and giving banks free reign on blockchain adoption, or rather the lack thereof.

“We are concerned that denying certain customers bank accounts on a wholesale basis causes significant barriers to entry and could lead to poor competition in certain markets,” said the FCA.

“We work to ensure that the UK financial system is a hostile environment for money launderers. However, we are clear that effective money laundering risk management need not result in wholesale de-risking, and are aware of the risks this may pose to innovation and competition and intend to continue our focus on this issue,” said the FCA.

Speaking to the Financial Times, James Godfrey, head of capital markets at BlockEx, said:

“Nobody will give us a bank account in the UK.”

“Having [Bank of England governor] Mark Carney standing at the front of the shop and saying ‘raa, raa, fintech’ just doesn’t do it for me.” James continued to say that London-based Metro Bank shut its UK account, forcing it to rely on a lender in Bulgaria.

We reached out to the Bank of England for a comment on this, and they said:

“We do not have a comment for you on this issue.”

We spoke to Jamie McNaught, founder of Solidi, a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange based in the UK:

“Our cryptocurrency exchange has implemented some of the most advanced AML and fraud detection systems in the industry; this has resulted in our fraud rate being below £3 per £1,000,000, much lower than card fraud statistics.”

“Multiple banks have refused our banking applications without a plausible reason; this is not just a problem for blockchain startups but also other innovative products in fintech. We are even part of the FCA Sandbox programme and with this accolade we’re still having little success with banks.”

We spoke to Marc Warne, the founder and CEO of Bittylicious:

“I can confirm the banks have remained hostile for the last five years; there are no crypto-companies allowed to open bank accounts in the UK [including those selling or operating ATMs].”

“Bittylicious and other companies in London regularly have meetings with representatives from the FCA to see if there is any power to change this – it’s a slow process but we’re trying hard.”

“The government is encouraging technology like this but the UK only has five real banks: they appear to have the same policies and block our industry quite easily.”

“Some exchanges are using banks on the continent too − it’s expensive and a waste of money, but there are ways around this.”

Jesse Powell, CEO and co-founder of Kraken Digital Asset Exchange:

“There are banks that see bitcoin and digital assets as an innovation they want to explore and leverage for good. These are the banks we choose as our partners. We choose to partner with the banks that are courageous enough and have the foresight to see opportunity and possibility in what’s new and different.”

UK Finance

What is UK Finance? It represents nearly 300 of the leading firms providing finance, banking, markets and payments-related services in or from the UK. They said:

“We can’t comment on individual banks and their activity.”

We contacted Santander, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Metro Bank, Halifax, Standard Chartered and HSBC, among others.

Here’s what they had to say:

HSBC

“HSBC is monitoring the development of virtual and digital currencies such as Bitcoin as well as regulations governing their use. In countries where use of virtual currencies is permitted by the authorities, we expect any customer transacting in them to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, just as they would for transactions denominated in traditional legal tender. HSBC does not process virtual currency payments and we do not bank virtual currency exchanges.”

Santander

“As an innovative bank, we are interested in new technology and emerging currencies. In line with our regulatory obligations and industry best practice, any company, big or small, will be risk assessed when applying to open an account with us.”

“Santander is a supporter of new businesses and start-ups in the UK and across the globe, making significant investments through our venture capital, Santander Innoventures fund, based in London.”

Royal Bank of Scotland

Failed to respond to our enquiries.

Metro Bank

“We review all applications on a case-by-case basis.”

Halifax

Failed to respond to our enquiries.

Bank of Ireland

We are not in a position to comment.

Standard Chartered

Failed to respond to our enquiries.

Lloyds Bank

Failed to respond to our enquiries.

Co-operative Bank

“The Bank has been through a recapitalisation exercise as we look to rebuild our business, and our strategy is to focus on becoming a smaller retail and SME bank. As such, more specialist areas of finance and banking is not part of our current strategy, which includes new sectors such as blockchain at this moment in time,” said Paul Lawler, Head of Values & Ethics and Communications.

Yorkshire Building Society

Failed to respond to our enquiries.

Deutsche Bank

Failed to respond to our enquiries.

Conclusion

Based on the findings of the FCA, it would appear that some banks have been complicit in anti-competitive practices. The law states that businesses can be fined up to 10% of their worldwide turnover and sued for damages if they are found to be involved in anti-competitive activities. It’s been widely said that the larger banks have formed a “cartel” to block out crypto-businesses.

Hostility has been ripe for many years now (we covered the same issue back in 2014) and yet nearly four years on nothing has changed, with mainstream banks continuing to suffocate blockchain companies across all sectors.

What has changed, however, is the flexible and adaptive nature of some smaller banks in Europe that have started to embrace crypto-businesses. If things continue as they are over the next ten years we will probably see London lose its fintech crown to a more blockchain-friendly country somewhere in Europe.

Steam drops Bitcoin support

Washington-base game developer and distribution company Valve will cease to accept Bitcoin as a valid payment method on Steam due to high transaction fees but. The outfit may re-evaluate in the future.

In a blog post today, Valve said “Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method on our platform due to high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin.”

When the firm started accepting Bitcoin sometime ago the network transaction fees was roughly $0.20, in recent days this has reached around $20 making the purchase of games extremely expensive.

Back in April 2016 Valve partnered with BitPay to utilise their payment gateway enabling customers to pay in Bitcoin. They hoped it would provide a fast, cheap and alternative solution for emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil with no risk of chargeback fraud that comes with card payments. Fast forward today it has become the complete opposite in terms of the currency becoming an overly expensive method of payment.

Valve are stating they have no control over transaction fees due to BitPay automatically presetting them when generating invoices, which are automatically adjusted depending on network congestion.

“When checking out on Steam, a customer will transfer x amount of Bitcoin for the cost of the game, plus y amount of Bitcoin to cover the transaction fee charged by the Bitcoin network,” the company said. “The value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time so if the transaction doesn’t complete within that window of time, then the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover the transaction can fluctuate considerably. This value has been increasing significantly.”

“At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option,” Valve said. “We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.”

Valve added support for Steam purchases with bitcoin in 2016 as part of a partnership with company Bitpay.

In the last few months alone Blockchain technology has rapidly advanced with newer technologies, Valve may look into Ethereum which would offer a faster checkout process.

Old money meets new: Revolut merges mobile banking with crypto trading

London-based mobile banking outfit Revolut is merging traditional day-to-day fiat spending with digital currencies, enabling customers to buy, sell, trade and hold cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin in 130 currencies in what the firm claims to be a world first.

Aiming to fill the void between digital currencies and old money, customers who have an debit card attached to their Revolut account can purchase goods in real time and have the funds deducted from their accounts in fiat or crypto. More importantly small transactions such as paying for groceries at the supermarket, parking etc are encouraged and work seamlessly at very reasonable rates.

Now, spending Bitcoin with a debit card is nothing new, firms such as Xapo, CEX and CryptoPay have been providing this for some time. The key difference with Revolut is that customers are now be able to tap into extremely low exchange rates resulting in ‘fee-free’ transactions with real exchange rates in over 130 currencies.

Revolut also removes the inconsistencies associated with Bitcoin/ fiat conversions which can be time consuming and expensive, particularly when the exchange is operating in other jurisdictions. These exchanges charge anywhere from 5 percent to 10 percent per transaction whilst Revolut offers a fixed fee of just 1.5 percent.

Revolut’s platform launch comes as Bitcoin continues to blow past ATH’s like $10,000, fight for its legitimacy in the eyes of mainstream users and governments and prepares for futures trading this month. With the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approving Bitcoin futures, cryptocurrencies has grown up considerably since their less stellar dark web days and with services like Revolut now available are ready for mass adoption.

“Despite being one of the hottest trends in the world right now, getting exposure to cryptocurrency has notoriously been time-consuming and expensive,” Storonsky writes.

Nikolay Storonsky, the CEO of Revolut said at this years Techcrunch Disrupt conference in Berlin that users will be able to access the new cryptocurrency trading features on the app from this Thursday.

The company has an excellent track record when it comes to saving customers millions on foreign exchange fees, citing more than $160 million in customer savings since launch. The app is currently servicing over 1,000,000 users in Europe and is growing exponentially and now the company ready to roll out its mobile banking to the masses.

trade.io Announces Historic Partnerships & Introduces Tiered Structure Further To Community Demand

01 December 2017, Zug Switzerland. Highly anticipated upcoming ICO trade.io has made three major announcements this week, which have strengthened its positioning as one of the leading ICOs to invest in, for 2017.

The company has launched an historic partnership with The University Of Nicosia.

Two post-doctoral seats, funded by trade.io will focus on advanced research in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).  The research will have a specific focus on side-chains and cross-chain interoperability, as well as smart token corporate governance best practices and implementation.

trade.io has partnered with HitBTC.

HitBTC is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, exceeding upwards of half a billion in daily volume, and operating since 2014. Once listed on the HitBTC exchange, the Trade Token (listed as TIO) will trade against the counters Bitcoin (BCT) and Ethereum (ETH).

The company has introduced a four-part tiered pricing structure

Further to overwhelming demand from the community a tiered pricing structure is now in place:

7-14 December: 1 ETH = 900 Trade Tokens

14-21 December: 1 ETH = 800 Trade Tokens

21-28 December: 1 ETH = 700 Trade Tokens

28 December – 4 January: 1 ETH = 600 Trade Tokens

On this, CEO Jim Preissler commented: “Our community has spoken. You have been asking us to extend the low Trade Token price for the ICO.  The strength of trade.io lies in our community, your voice acts as a directing force for strategic decisions.  With this in mind, our board has agreed to extend the low pricing by adding a tiered structure, giving early movers a bigger incentive to contribute and also to allow more time for such contributions”

Crypto broker LH-Crypto has collected $2,500,000 during the pre-ICO

 

Today has started the ICO of the project LH-Crypto, the first Forex broker that will work fully on the cryptocurrency. During the Pre-ICO was collected $ 2 555 426 and was determined the price of the token LHC and it is $0.128.

According to the mechanism of the sale of the tokens, every week the tokens LHC will become more expensive – so on the ICO  the price of the token was $0.1352 (5% higher than  pre-sale price). During the second week of the sale the price of the token will increase in comparison with the pre-ICO by 10%, during the third by 15%, and finally in the last week of sale by 21%. Thus, the company motivates investors to invest at an earlier stage. However, in the case of the crypto-broker it is really beneficial as early investors participate in the program Early Bird. Here, as elsewhere, those who buy tokens at the beginning pay less and those who buy in the end – pay more, that’s just the smart contract is set up so that with higher prices in the next step the difference is divided between the early participants.

All the project investors receive a guarantee of return of the token at +20% annually: if the tokens’ value will not be equal to “nominal + 20%”, the company will pay the missing funds into personal account of investors. This amount can be used for trade or immediately withdrawn.

And the main thing of the project is the monthly income which receive holders from operating activities. Regular crediting of funds to client’s personal account with a debit card on the brokerage account carries a high commission, but the transfer of cryptocurrencies doesn’t have such a cost. That’s why the company has decided to save 5% monthly from all incoming payments and at the end of the month to transfer them to the holders of the tokens.

LH-Crypto is  the project of the company Larson & Holz  which is broker with a 13 years of history. Why has a successful international broker decided to enter the cryptocurrency market? First of all, it will allow to solve the problem of mutual settlements with other countries, primarily with China, India, Arab countries, where the currency legislation considerably differs from the European one. Second, the “hype” around cryptocurrency is attracting to the market new and new people. Individuals who are interested in increasing their capital and in speculating. It expands the client base. Thirdly, the use of cryptocurrencies allows to avoid the territorial and legal constraints, including lengthy and complex process for obtaining licenses, and the limits of financial regulators will not have such a large value. And finally, the use of cryptocurrency helps to reduce transaction costs in 6 times up to 1%, which will attract more people.

To participate in the ICO LH-Crypto: https://lh-crypto.io

 

Introducing ‘petro’ – A new oil-backed cryptocurrency being launched by Venezuela

In a daring attempt to boost Venezuela’s economy, the country’s president Nicolas Maduro has announced the introduction of a new cryptocurrency which will be backed-up by Venezuela’s oil reserves.

The currency, which is imaginatively called ‘petro’, was announced by the left-leaning leader on Sunday with an emphatic statement of “the 21st century has arrived.”

Critics may point to the lack of specifics in regard to how this cryptocurrency will function, but nonetheless, President Maduro was adamant that it will be a success during this televised statement.

During the broadcast, he added that “Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency” which will be backed by their natural reserves of oil, gas, gold and diamonds.

The president also referred to the US-led sanctions currently in place and how petro will help his country “make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”

The announcement wasn’t met with universal acclaim however, with political opposition stating that such an act will have to overcome copious amounts of red tape before it becomes official.

oil gas
The “petro,” a cryptocurrency backed by oil, gas, gold, and diamond reserves.

This move further indicates that the sanctions towards Maduro’s government that were put in place by Pres. Trump’s administration earlier this year are hurting Venezuela’s economy. Those moves from the USA include sanctions on officials from the country, PDVSA executives and Venezuela’s debt issuance.

The bolivar, which is the current currency in the country, is at a weak point and the country is struggling to move money through international banks.

Optimism regarding President Maduro’s move has been muted, for many reasons, including his poor economic record.

The bolivar has been on a constant slide as of late, with government controls and the over printing of currency leading to a depreciation rate against the dollar of almost 60 per cent during the last month.

Poverty stricken natives aren’t overly positive about this announcement either, as many think that Maduro’s decisions are creating a complete economic bust.

Economist and opposition lawmaker Angel Alvarado told Reuters that his opinion of the president does not amount to much, adding: “It’s Maduro being a clown. This has no credibility.”

Fellow opposition lawmaker Jose Guerra added to the dissenting voices, telling Reuters that he can’t envisage any future for the cryptocurrency.

However, President Maduro has stated that he is trying his utmost to fight for his country in a monetary “war”.

The recent surge in other digital currency’s value (especially Bitcoin) have without a doubt influenced Maduro’s decision to make this move. Relations between Venezuela and the USA will most likely to continue to be tense, as Maduro looks for alternatives to boost his country’s economy.

Block Asset Management launches world’s first crypto fund of funds

Block Asset Management has launched what is recognised as the world’s first cryptocurrency and blockchain ‘fund of funds’.

Led by Manuel E De Luque Muntaner and Kevin Ballard, the firm was founded earlier this year. The team of financial experts contribute over 100 years of experience in a variety of banking, asset, fund and compliance industries.

The fund offers investors hassle free investment across a highly sought after portfolio of cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects which are strategically chosen and have a combined AUM exceeding $500m.

“After a year of global market research, we realised that interest in the blockchain/crypto space is extremely high”, said founder and COO, Kevin Ballard.

“We knew that many funds exist in the crypto space, but most would clearly not pass any comprehensive, serious due diligence. However, relying on Block Asset Management’s team, we successfully completed months of extensive analysis of dozens of funds and eventually approved the best funds for inclusion in our fund”, said De Luque Muntaner, Block Asset Management’s CEO.

Investor demand in combination with early stage adoption of blockchain technology is what Block Asset Managment believe will dramatically increase its portfolios value.

The Fund’s management company, Block Asset Management S.à.r.l., is domiciled in Luxembourg and registered with the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF).

Top ERC20 token projects to invest in right now

Six interesting ERC20 projects to invest in right now

In the last few months our editorial team have been flooded with pitches from a variety of token based startups. We’ve read white papers on everything from blatant scams through to fairytale ideas and everything in between.

As an investor it can be hard to cut through all this clutter and find the next big token, especially one that will make a good return on your investment. This is getting considerably harder with scammers becoming more creative when their marketing techniques and ideas.

That said every so often we do come across innovative blockchain projects that genuinely fix a problem and are set to revolutionise their respective industry.

Our team have researched six promising ERC20 tokens backed startups we think will make great investments.

HelloGold

hellogold logoHelloGold is not a Blockchain firm you might be familiar with, despite the company raising just over 17,000 Ether in a token sale earlier this year.

The project aims to simplify the purchase and management of Gold through a smartphone app for low to medium income customers based in poorer parts of the world.

Built on the Ethereum blockchain the project helps do what traditional gold investing cannot – it provides greater transparency and security for gold owners and verifies the amount of gold being held by each person whilst cross-checking with daily gold list custodians who physically store the gold in a fully insured vault in Singapore.

Why is this important? It means every gram of gold only has one owner and is completely traceable.

HelloGold have already delivered on many fronts. Their app is already available to download on Google Play and gold purchase trails are already unddrway in Malaysia.

They have also recently partnered with blockchain startup Aeon credit who have agreed to provide financing to customers at competitive rates.

It’s the first certified Shariah compliant online gold platform in the world, during the token sale they attracted investment from heavyweight venture-capital firm Fenbushi Capital with Bo Shen from the firm also joining the advisory board.

As for the team it includes CEO Robin Lee who is the former CFO of the World Gold Council with a strong background in financial roles.

Roger Ward also has vast experience working in the gold industry, having most recently worked at the World Gold Council developing strategy and managing complex projects in London. Other team members have come from roles at the Royal Bank Scotland Group, Wolff Olins PLC, AEON Group and Wykeen Seet was the VP at Bangkok Bank in Thailand.
At the time of writing one HelloGold (HGT) costs $0.008512, making it a bargain.
It is currently trading on EtherDelta, HitBTC and Coss.

https://www.hellogold.com/

Cindicator

cindicator logoCindicator is a decentralised analytics platform powered by ‘hybrid’ intelligence. The project raised a cool 55,569 Ether in the token sale earlier this year with over 4,000 participants.

Cindicator uses the wisdom of the crowd to determine answers to market changes. By aggregating opinions from a wide range of forecasters in different countries with different professional backgrounds, personal experience etc the platform can accurately quantify and provide accurate predictions when hedging trades.

The team behind Cindicator is what makes it a very promising token to watch. Names include Charlie Shrem COO at Jaxx, who is also a founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, Anthony Diiorio Founder at Jaxx and Ethereum, Marcus Killick Chairman of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, Evan Cheng Director of Engineering at Facebook, Anton Govor head of strategy at Moscow Exchange, CFO and co-founder of changelly Konstantin Gladych.

The current price of one CND token is a steal at $0.016822. Trading is taking place on both HitBTC and Mercatox.

https://cindicator.com/

VeChain

vechain logoEstablished two years ago in Singapore VeChain is a product management platform built on the Ethereum Blockchain. They aim to revolutionise how products are processed through the supply chain by simplifying how manufacturers manage, collect and share data with vendors and consumers.

VeChain is already making waves by securing some very promising partnerships. Recently they were accepted into an incubation program launched by accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). They have also partnered with the world’s largest freight company, Kuehne & Nagel. The firm has a yearly revenue of around $21 billion. VeChain will help smartify parcels with chips linked to data held on the Blockchain to make tracking, managing and global collaboration more efficient.

VEN token is currently trading on Binance, Liqui, HitBtc, Coss, OpenLedger DEX, Kucoin and EtherDelta at $0.25 per token.

https://www.vechain.com/

Tronix

tronix tron logoBeijing-based blockchain startup TRON is a protocol for the global digital entertainment industry. It provides developers with the infrastructure for app development and smart networks which in layman’s terms means TRON is developing a worldwide free content entertainment system built on the blockchain which will enable users to publish, store and own media in a decentralised manner.

Tron’s founder Justin Sun is no stranger to the entertainment industry and was named in Forbe’s China 2015, 30 under 30.

He was also a former Chief Representative at Ripple and has since turned Peiwo, a streaming app into the leading live-streaming app in China. He will also bring the apps 10 million active userbase into the TRON ecosystem giving the project a solid user base from the get go.

Other members of the team include Jihan WU, CEO of Bitmain, Shuoji Zhou, partner of FBG Capital, Chaoyong Wang and founder of ChinaEquity Group.

The price of one TRX is currently $0.001956 and can be purchased on Binance, Liqui, Gatecoin, Mercatox, HitBtc and EtherDelta.

https://tronlab.com/

Request Network

request.network logoFin-tech firm Request Network has made waves in the last couple of months when it raised a cool $33,600,000 in their initial coin offering. Unlike many Blockchain firms they were actually founded in 2015 and started receiving support very early on from ING bank. Request Network aims to become a decentralised network for payment requests allowing businesses or anyone for that matter to request monies from just about anywhere. It is looking to position itself as a payment provider like paypal, stripe etc with one of its main uses being invoice management on a distributed ledger.

Notably Request Network was the first ICO to be incubated by the well known American-based seed accelerator YCombinator.

Not only is Request Network utilising the Ethereum Blockchain but also other technologies including Civic, Aragon and 0x. The team behind Request Network also have great experience in the finance industry having founded money transfer service Moneytis. Gilles Fedak co-founder of iEx.ec also sites on the advisory board.

As blockchain starts being implemented into mainstream services it is crucial that tools and services are available to simplify and automate migration from traditional billing and invoicing systems through to blockchain based approaches. We Request.Network will be that bridge.

Request Network is trading at $0.054420 per REQ token on Binance, Kucoin, Liqui, Gate.io, EtherDelta, Mercatox and IDEX.

https://request.network/

Utrust

utrust logoSimilar to Request.Network and dubbed the “payments platform of the future” Utrust aims to take the benefits of PayPal and weave them in to Blockchain technology to create the ultimate online payment gateway that will protect buyers with mediation and sellers.

Utrust is a member of the Crypto Valley Association and is also supported by the Swiss government.
The team behind Utrust come from a variety of backgrounds including finance, banking, UX and cyber security.

The price of one Utrust token is just 6.5 cents through the crowdsale and is expected to be trading on EtherDelta very soon.

https://utrust.io/

Bitcoin surges to record high after developers halt SegWit2x proposal

  • Bitcoin was scheduled to upgrade mid November following SegWit2x proposal
  • Major bitcoin developers dropped their support for the upgrade
  • Developers behind SegWit2x announced today they are calling off plans

The Bitcoin block size increase has been suspended after the organisers behind the scaling proposal called off the attempt earlier today.

The news surged Bitcoin to a record high of $7737 with altcoins also seeing a rise in price.

segwit2x bitcoin

Mike Belshe, the CEO of BitGo who was one of the leaders of the SegWit2x proposal announced today that the proceeding could divide the Bitcoin community and set back its growth.

“Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time. Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin’s growth. This was never the goal of Segwit2x.”

You can read the full email here.

Segwit2x gained early support from startups and mining pools who seeked to increase the block size this month.

The email was also signed by other notable figures pushing for Swgwit2x – Mike Belshe, Wences Casares, Jihan Wu, Jeff Garzik, Peter Smith and Erik
Voorhees.

Although the increase has been halted for now, the group aims to increase the block size at a later date with more support.

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