Blockchain Archives - FinanceFeeds

Swiss industry creates a body to set standards for the application of the blockchain technology in the capital markets

June 12, 2018, 1:47 pm UTC.

Swiss industry creates a body to set standards for the application of the blockchain technology in the capital markets

Leading actors from Switzerland’s financial, technological, academic and legal sectors have formed a new associative body – the Capital Markets and Technology Association (CMTA) – to facilitate the use of blockchain in financial markets.

“The blockchain technology has the potential to reduce the complexity of the capital markets system and lower the barrier of entry for start-ups. The current lack of legal certainty is slowing – and potentially compromising – its development in this field. By defining a set of industry-supported, open standards, the CMTA aims to facilitate access to funding for businesses, ultimately contributing to value creation throughout the economy”, says Jacques Iffland, CMTA’s chair, and partner at Lenz & Staehelin.

Established by Lenz & Staehelin, Switzerland’s largest law firm, Swissquote Bank Ltd, the Swiss leader in online banking, and Temenos, a Swiss market leader in banking software, the CMTA has its registered office in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The combination of Switzerland’s regulatory framework and the emergence of new technologies provides an opportunity to simplify the manner in which companies can distribute their securities and raise capital, and also the manner in which investors can acquire and trade these assets. We are excited to participate in a project that opens up opportunities for companies and the market”, comments Marc Bürki, CEO of Swissquote.

The CMTA will work towards creating open standards and toolkits that can be used by new or established companies, businesses and start-ups to access funding and raise capital securely and efficiently, using new technologies and leveraging digitalisation.

“Temenos is committed to using new technologies to make banking better. We see the possibility for distributed ledger technologies to simplify banking value chains, speeding up customer fulfilment, lowering costs and democratizing financial services. We’re excited to work on the challenge of integrating these technologies into financial markets in a safe and reliable way and are very pleased to be part of the CMTA”, adds David Arnott, CEO of Temenos.

James Larus, Dean of EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences, who is also joining the committee, comments, “We’re proud to be part of this exciting interdisciplinary association, bringing together expertise from the academic, technological, legal and financial sectors”.

The CMTA has been established as a not-for-profit, non-governmental association, capable of assuming an independent role as standard-setter. Its membership consists of leading companies from across different industry sectors, and projects are overseen by an advisory board of technical experts. CMTA was discussed and its concepts refined in the framework of the Center for Digital Trust at EPFL (www.c4dt.org).

June 1, 2018, 8:37 am UTC.

ATFX Awarded the “Fastest Growing Forex Broker, Europe 2017″

After being awarded the “Best NDD Broker” at Online Personal Wealth Awards in the first quarter of this year, ATFX (UK) the financial brokerage, is at it again, winning yet another award in the second quarter of 2018, this time it’s the “Fastest Growing Forex Broker, Europe 2017.”  As its name implies, the award goes to the fastest growing FX broker on the European continent over the past year, a key market where major market-makers and liquidity providers have a significant presence.

To achieve the award, requires not just rapid growth in the number of traders they serve, but also larger financial institutions as well as funds.  And given that European FX traders are spoiled for choice with a massive number of FX brokers to choose from, ATFX is proud to have been recognized for its ability to grow at a fast rate in a congested FX market.  The financial services company has been working hard to ensure that it offers its clients superior secure services, with competitive spreads, in a regulated environment, and in an overall optimal trading environment.

Its recent string of successes can also be attributed to ATFX’s choice to emphasize service is king in congested retail trading market, something its CEO, Richard Craddock, confirmed recently by saying “While online interaction has gathered a great deal of pace, it is still important as a business to offer offline support. I think the more transparency we can create, the better for the industry overall.”

With its second major award this year, ATFX is confident that it is moving in the right direction by offering traders both small and large the right formula to achieve trading success.  As an international online leader in forex trading, we intend to continue getting it right and remain the fastest growing broker, be it in Europe or in any other part of the world.  That, combined with our multilingual support, bespoke client services and media attention we continue to attract traders to our award-winning brokerage.

Legal: AT Global Markets (UK) Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom. FCA registration number (760555). Registered Office: 32 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3SG. Company No. 09827091

All trading involves risk, losses can exceed your deposits.

 

January 16, 2018, 5:20 pm UTC.

Stater advances blockchain development with letter of intent from Long Blockchain Corporation

Long Blockchain Corporation has announced that it has entered into a letter-of-intent with Stater Blockchain Limited.

Stater’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Stater Global Markets, is a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated brokerage that facilitates market access across multiple instruments including spot FX, digital currency futures and contracts for difference (CFDs).

The letter-of-intent contemplates an all-stock transaction pursuant to which the Company would form a wholly-owned subsidiary which would merge with and into Stater with Stater surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. It is anticipated that the Company would remain listed on the Nasdaq Capital Markets following the closing of the transaction.

If the Company is able to reach an agreement with Stater and the transaction is consummated, it is expected to complement its recently announced agreement to acquire 1,000 Antminer S9 mining rigs and 1,000 APW3++ PSUs.

Philip Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Long Blockchain, commented, “We are excited to announce this potential milestone event for the Company. Stater has been making investments to build its cryptocurrency platform and blockchain solutions, and we look forward to combining our efforts in this transformational partnership.”

“Our ultimate goal is to build a portfolio of investments that touch multiple points in the blockchain ecosystem and this transaction
would be an important step in that direction” said Mr Thomas.

Ramy Soliman, Chief Executive Officer of Stater Blockchain, added, “This merger would truly be a transformational moment for our business. Stater Blockchain brings a number of different assets to the table and our collective business will be unique in the investor space. It gives a holistic value add for shareholders through accretive blockchain expertise and plans, as well as a regulated institutional brokerage through Stater Global Markets.”

“This combination of fintech and brokerage is a really powerful value proposition and we look forward to working with Philip and his team
to achieve a leading position in a dynamic new world” concluded Mr Soliman

Terms of the letter-of-intent between the Company and Stater have not been made public at this time. Completion of the transaction is subject to the negotiation of a definitive merger agreement between the parties (the “Merger Agreement”), satisfaction of the conditions negotiated therein and approval of the transaction by the Company’s stockholders. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that a Merger Agreement will be entered into or that the proposed merger with Stater will be consummated.

Assuming the Company and Stater enter into the Merger Agreement, the parties will look to seek stockholder approval from the Company’s stockholders in the second quarter of 2018, subject to SEC review of the proxy statement to be filed by the parties for the proposed transaction, and will look to close the transaction shortly thereafter.

September 15, 2017, 7:02 pm UTC.

The Financial Commission Issues Certification of the Genesis Vision ICO

The Financial Commission, a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages who participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, and cryptocurrency markets, today announces certification of the Genesis Vision Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

ICO Certification Process

Following Genesis Vision’s voluntary application for ICO certification with Financial Commission, a rigorous review of its planned ICO – including its business and proposed platform was conducted to determined if it met set of requirements established by Financial Commission’s newly formed Initial Coin Offering Certification Committee (ICC) division.

During the due diligence phase of Financial Commission’s ICO certification evaluation process, over 150 important points were checked across categories including those set forth in Financial Commission’s certification guidelines for ICO applicants.

ICC Driven and Industry Standards

Financial Commission’s ICC consists of a panel of Financial Services (Finserv) and Financial Technology (Fintech) experts with backgrounds across multiple asset classes including foreign exchange, cryptocurrency markets, and digital blockchain assets, who volunteer to help drive the certification standards and protocols, as part of the ICO Certification service.

Commenting on the Genesis Vision certification, Financial Commission Chairman, Peter Tatarnikov, said: “I would like to congratulate Genesis Vision on their successful ICO certification with Financial Commission and wish them all the best with the Genesis Vision project. I am also glad to see that ICC, a newly formed division within our organization was able to contribute to help meet the pressing need of developing minimum industry standards while helping ICO applicants and the broader marketplace.”

“Our standards for ICO certification are new, yet are evolving quickly and alongside other recently formalised efforts including the ERC20 standard for Ethereum, and best practices issued by Consensys for smart contracts, a framework has been established for helping applicants demonstrate compliance while determining if they are capable of obtaining certification.”

About Genesis Vision

Genesis Vision will unite exchanges, brokers, traders, and investors into a decentralized, open and fair network, making the financial market even more global. The Genesis Vision platform combines blockchain technology and smart contracts to allow successful traders to rapidly scale their trading strategies by attracting investments from around the world. The Genesis Vision platform aims to provide an automated and absolutely transparent system for investment and profit distribution while helping to solve industry challenges that market participants face with existing platforms.

GVT is an internal currency of the platform and will be used to establish and settle transactions made on Genesis Vision. The official website is Https://Genesis.Vision which contains the project’s white paper and details about the GVT Pre-Sale that is scheduled to start on Sep 15 09:00 UTC, as well as the planned Genesis Vision ICO start date.

September 13, 2017, 3:48 pm UTC.

ThinkMarkets add Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency trading to their CFD offering

ThinkMarkets, a leading fintech provider of financial derivatives trading has expanded its offering of CFD trading to the four most liquid Crypto currencies. The firm added Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC) CFDs to its MT4 and Trade Interceptor trading platforms.

The dual regulated broker is now offering 24/7 leveraged trading on the most volatile virtual currencies with low spreads and competitive margins.

Nauman Anees, CEO & Co-founder commented about the launch: “Bitcoin CFDs are a natural extension of our vast portfolio of financial instruments that include; major currencies, stock indices, precious metals and commodities. The recent surge in volatility has triggered investor interest in the alternative digital asset class and we are well positioned to service virtual currency traders with unmatched trading conditions.”

Instruments such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have witnessed daily price swings in the range of 10% – 20% thus gaining world-wide traction among technical traders and investors.

Faizan Anees, Managing Director and Co-founder said: “The surge in Bitcoin, driven by market volatility, gives traders the opportunity to take advantage of daily price spikes. That’s why Bitcoin and digital currencies are set to become a key market for day traders.”

ThinkMarkets’ users’ can also access Crypto currencies on the firm’s award-winning mobile app, Trade Interceptor. The world’s most search-for trading app offers state-of-the-art technical analysis tools with over 80 indicators and oscillators, including the popular Trend Risk Scanner, only available through a Trade Interceptor account.

“The Trade Interceptor app offers some of the most advanced and sophisticated analysis tools. The platform has over 550,000 downloads and we expect global Bitcoin investors to benefit from our tight spreads, stable pricing and swift order execution, coupled with the most in-depth selection of charting and analytics exclusively available on mobile”, Faizan Anees added.

Crypto CFDs are used by traders and investors for a number of reasons, notably for hedging and speculative purposes. With Bitcoin’s sudden movements in price, physical buyers of the coin can hedge their exposure and manage their downside risk by using CFDs as they allow both long and short trades.

ThinkMarkets’ Chief Market Analyst, Naeem Aslam forecasted a continued bull run in the price of Bitcoin; “Looking at the current momentum, I still hold the target of 5,500 per Bitcoin by the end of this year. The current pull back is confirming that many investors are not ready to sell, therefore, this could be an opportunity to come join the trend.”

September 8, 2017, 8:52 am UTC.

MTE Media Is The First B2B Provider To Offer Cryptocurrency Based Education And Market Research Tools

Like in any vertical, content based marketing is one of the most common ways to approach clients. The Crypto Industry is no different.
While there are already several providers who provide crypto trading platforms and PSPs, until now there were no white label educational materials and market updates tools which Crypto currency brokers could offer to their traders.

Eran Arvaz, MTE Media

This changes now as MTE Media is pioneering with its dedicated Crypto Currency content department.

MTE introduce a live steam of market data, signals, news and charts alongside with an array of educational videos, courses, eBooks and live webinars. It rides MTE’s popular infrastructure which allows brokers to distribute and use the content for marketing funnels, sales and retention activities.

As the crypto industry grow, MTE Media expects that the demand for crypto education and crypto market data will dramatically increase in the coming years.

Eran Arvaz the founder of MTE Media commented: “The pessimistic atmosphere which recently surrounded our industry is changing direction and becomes optimistic. I’m certain that in the coming months we’ll see a new and evolving market to which we’re getting ready in advance to provide Brokers and their traders the right tools”.

August 8, 2017, 5:56 pm UTC.

IS Risk Analytics to offer exclusive Bitcoin price stream

IS Risk Analytics today announced they will be offering broker clients an exclusive Bitcoin price feed that will be available 24 hours a day, 5.5 days per week. The independent price stream will give brokers a stable pricing source for an extremely high-demand product.

Regarding the new offering, IS Risk Analytics Managing Director Jeff Wilkins said, “With the demand we are getting from our broker clients combined with all the recent headlines surrounding Bitcoin, we felt there was an opportunity to help. We see the daily struggles brokers have with trying to price Bitcoin so it only made sense to have our team build the most reliable Bitcoin liquidity stream in the market place.”

IS Risk Analytics’ Bitcoin price feed is immediately available for brokers seeking to expand their current product offering, attract new clients or replace an unreliable Bitcoin price feed.

According to Coinbase, a San Francisco based currency wallet and platform, Bitcoin is the world’s most widely used alternative currency. It is estimated the total market value of Bitcoin is approximately $45 billion. The bitcoin network is made up of thousands of computers run by individuals all over the world.

Cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular, have been grabbing headlines recently. Last week, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) announce it has partnered with Gemini, the Bitcoin exchange backed by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, as part of a bid to launch cryptocurrency derivatives trading. That followed an announcement the Commodities Futures Trading Commission decided to grant a license to LedgerX to clear and custody cryptocurrency derivatives for assets like Bitcoin.

August 2, 2017, 2:37 pm UTC.

Leverate embraces Bitcoin, Ripple and Litecoin as SIRIXCrypto is launched today

A global leader, providing an award winning range of financial trading software and services, Leverate has launched a dedicated web and mobile platform to answer the increasing demand for trading in Cryptocurrencies: http://leverate.com/sirixcrypto/

SIRIXCrypto can be easily integrated into any new or existing business looking to offer Cryptocurrency trading to its clientele. The platform offers an easy-to-use interface and comes-out-of-the-box with a range of currencies available and more being added on an ongoing basis.

Nicc Lewis, Leverate’s Chief Marketing Officer, commented: “We have seen a huge rise in bitcoin, ripple and litecoin trading volumes on SIRXWeb and SIRIXMobile already, and we have designed this standalone product to address the demands of the market.”

We have also seen a huge rise in web content, sites and marketing opportunities dedicated to this market. With SIRIXCrypto, any business can enter this lucrative and booming space easily and with the peace of mind that with Leverate they will get a state-of-the-art platform. We already have high demand in Europe, China and South East Asia for a standalone cryptocurrency platform.”

 

July 11, 2017, 1:49 pm UTC.

What’s the deal with Cryptocurrencies?

By Oskar Pecyna, CEO, IFM Trade

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies are a hot topic recently being widely discussed in the mainstream media. While Ether and Bitcoin are being purchased mainly by individual investors, the combined value of all Ether and Bitcoin is now worth more than the market capitalisation of PayPal and is considerably approaching the size of Goldman Sachs.

But what is the story behind this hype? In simple terms investors buying Ether are placing a bet that people and companies will want to use the Ethereum computing capabilities and will need the Ether to do so. On the other hand Bitcoin has made its way to the mainstream commerce, with companies like Subway or Expedia accepting Bitcoin for purchases.

Bitcoin is renowned but Ether is becoming a pretender to take over the leader position of the cryptocurrencies market. It has already surpassed long established Litecoin which was the second biggest cryptocurrency of the world for years. A number of investors are now focusing on Ripple and Dash seeing the potential, following the growths obtained by Etherum and Bitcoin. The best strategy would be to diversify and potentially switch long and short positions on single cryptocurrencies as there seems to be a lot of volatility on the market which affects each of those currencies differently.

Currently after weeks of growth it seems that the cryptocurrency market is facing a correction. It might be bad news for the holders of the actual cryptocurrency, but a great opportunity for traders on cryptocurrency based CFDs giving a flexibility of short sell and leverage position when needed.

Just recently, the cryptocurrency powering Ethereum blockchain was heading towards the title of the world’s largest by market capitalisation, making Ethereum the most valuable public blockchain. But, suddenly in mid-June its price dropped from $415 peak to $292 in 24 hours, an impressive 32% decline. Due to this move, Ethereum’s market cap fell to less than 62% of bitcoin’s, down from more than 82% mid-month.


Source: Coinbase and coinmarketcap

As of today, ETH/USD is traded at $236.30 as shown above (as of 08.46 a.m. GMT) which started off its trading day with a 5.09% depreciative value.

Acknowledging the influx of media coverage of cryptocurrencies, Oskar Pecyna, CEO of  IFM Trade, indicated that IFM Trade sees an increased interest in CFDs based on cryptocurrencies. Being one of the few platforms covering such a wide scope of them (Bitcoin, Litecoin, both Euthereum types, Dash and Ripple) it naturally attracts traders interested in diversifying their portfolio into multiple cryptocurrencies.

“We offer leverage that allows entry into the cryptocurrencies trading with a smaller starting capital. Such structure combined with a short selling option is an interesting set-up for traders expecting corrections on the rallying cryptocurrency prices.”, he said.

Previously, analysts have envisaged that Ether would surpass Bitcoin, estimating in some cases that this could take place during this year. And despite Ether’s recent price drop, many analysts still believe this will be the case.

Tim Enneking, managing director of Cryptocurrency hedge fund, Crypto Asset Fund, was quite sure that Ether is still on track to becoming the market leader: “Ethereum will still take over top spot in terms of market cap from Bitcoin before the end of the year,” and he called recent Ether price movements “a bit of consolidation before the next push”.

Marius Rupsys, a cryptocurrency trader and co-founder of fintech startup InvoicePool, offered a similar opinion: “I still believe that [Ether] is moving to become largest by market cap. It will not happen in a day, but it is getting there,” he said.

With Ethereum’s next challenge to reach $467, Bitcoin’s change in vitality in recent times has had an inflated impact on Ethereum which currently has a lot of interest from the financial industry. Will it continue with this significant growth? Time will tell.

April 17, 2017, 5:53 pm UTC.

Ryan Taylor Appointed Dash Core Project CEO as Founder Evan Duffield Officially Transitions to Senior Advisor

Dash’s Director of Finance, Ryan Taylor, has been appointed as CEO of the Dash Core Project. The appointment comes as Dash Founder Evan Duffield today announced he is transitioning to an advisory role, officially departing from day-to-day duties at one of the world’s most valuable and prominent cryptocurrency projects. The appointment was unanimously agreed upon by Duffield and the Dash Core, the democratically-elected body responsible for the development, marketing and expansion of the Dash ecosystem.

Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor has been a key contributor to Dash since mid-2014. He left a traditional Wall Street career in March 2016 to join the Dash Core full-time helping accelerate Dash’s progress in becoming a blockchain industry leader and global payments network. Before joining Dash, Taylor was a hedge fund analyst covering a global stable of payments industry investments for the private equity and public market funds of a $20 billion investment firm based in New York, and previously served as an Associate Partner in McKinsey & Company’s Business Technology Office in New York.

While no changes are being made to the Dash blockchain governance, voting and treasury model, today’s appointment provides the Dash Core organization with an experienced leader in the financial services industry. Taylor’s responsibilities will include leading organizational growth, maintaining the project vision, and overseeing communications with Dash partners and investors.

Evan Duffield said, “Since the beginning, my ambition was to create a sustainable and resilient blockchain project without any singular points of failure. Today’s announcement has been in development for many months, and I am proud to have helped Dash become the extraordinary project it is today.”

Duffield added, “For the last several months, daily operations and technology development at Dash Core have been led by now-CEO Ryan Taylor and CTO Andy Freer. Our most recent software upgrade – deployed in February – was developed and released without my hands-on involvement. Thanks to the Dash Core, our developers, advisors, masternode operators and every single user around the world, the upgrade was the smoothest yet.”

Duffield plans to focus on other projects aimed at expanding Dash’s ecosystem, but will remain available to offer advice and consultation to the Dash Core and its developers.

Newly appointed CEO of the Dash Core Ryan Taylor said, “Evan is one of the most gifted minds in blockchain and fintech. He created something that will have a permanent and lasting impact on many people across the world in a rapidly evolving economy. The Dash Core team is committed to ensuring that we follow the grand vision Evan laid for Dash. Today, we have extensive resources in place to deliver that vision. Dash is fast becoming a popular payment option for many thousands of people around the world, and we look forward to announcing further progress in the near future as we create compelling and relevant solutions aimed at everyday people.”

In the first quarter of 2017, the Dash Project announced several milestone partnerships and the implementation of the highly anticipated Sentinel software upgrade which is a stepping stone towards an industry-first decentralized payments system called Evolution.

Taylor said, “The beauty of a blockchain-based project is decentralization, the dispersion and distribution of functions and powers. Since its inception, Dash has been the benchmark of decentralized success; our unique governance model ensures an ownership mindset that is designed to improve the state and functionality of the Dash network and increase the network’s value. Together with Evan, we built the world’s first self-sustainable decentralized autonomous organization with a substantial organic budget, and there’s so much more to come.”

Dash has a full pipeline of integrations in place and high-level business partnerships in progress. Now headquartered from Arizona State University’s SkySong Innovation Center, the Dash Core team recently announced its plan to add over 20 new positions, including development, customer support, infrastructure support, marketing, and administration.

April 12, 2017, 5:13 pm UTC.

Digital Currency Dash Added To Kraken

Dash, the rising alternative to bitcoin, today announced a historic partnership with one of the world’s oldest bitcoin exchanges with the largest selection of digital assets and national currencies, Kraken Digital Asset Exchange. The world’s fifth most valuable cryptocurrency is now open for trading on the platform with buy and sell pairings including DASH / EUR, DASH / USD, and DASH / BTC. The partnership between Dash and Kraken comes in the wake of a record surge for the cryptocurrency, which experienced a 6x increase in price per ($11 to $72 USD) and a 10x increase in trading volume ($3 million to $30 million USD) across Q1.

Dash VP of Business Development, Daniel Diaz, said “Kraken is excited to offer Dash on their trading platform and our teams are working closely to ensure clients can begin trading the currency immediately. Kraken is an incredibly well established and well structured organization, and amongst the best in the exchange business. In terms of reputation, they represent the highest standard for client satisfaction. Dash is a project that has implemented very original ideas that resonate well with the market, and as a top tier exchange, Kraken’s mission is to provide clients with access to digital currencies that are in demand and provide value.

Following several business partnerships around the world, the implementation of the Sentinel software upgrade and the announcement of revolutionary decentralized payments system called Evolution, Dash has been on record breaking trajectory. Its total market cap skyrocketed from $78 million USD (January 1st) to an all time high of $835 million USD (March 18th), with new international markets unlocked alongside user demand.

Daniel Diaz continued, “As the leading exchange in the Euro market, Kraken’s global reach helps Dash successfully meet the needs of our users and investors. The entire integration experience was very positive and we have high expectations for the partnership going forward. This is a significant achievement for Dash because our ecosystem needs high quality and trustworthy exchanges like Kraken to thrive, and we know they will play an important role as a fiat gateway.”

Founded in 2011, Kraken Digital Asset Exchange is one of the world’s largest and oldest bitcoin exchanges with the widest selection of digital assets and national currencies. Based in San Francisco with offices around the world, Kraken’s trading platform is consistently rated the best and most secure digital asset exchange by independent news media. Trusted by hundreds of thousands of traders, institutions, and authorities, including Germany’s BaFin regulated Fidor Bank, Kraken is the first exchange to display its market data on the Bloomberg Terminal, pass a cryptographically verifiable proof-of-reserves audit, and one of the first to offer leveraged margin trading. Kraken investors include Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, Hummingbird Ventures, Money Partners Group, and SBI Investment

Kraken is expected to offer Dash margin trading in the near future.

April 5, 2017, 3:22 pm UTC.

Steemit Announces New VP of Marketing to Take The Company From Crypto to Consumer

Steemit, the world’s first decentralized social media platform, has taken a major step forward in its evolution as a crypto-enterprise by hiring blockchain tech and marketing expert Mitchell Loureiro, who will pilot an entirely new kind of growth strategy. The strategy will leverage Steem’s unique “proof-of-stake” system, which distributes ownership in the Steem protocol to anyone who adds value to the blockchain, by crowdsourcing plans and proposals for expansion and combining approved projects with traditional marketing. The new VP of Marketing commences this strategy today, and will lead traditional digital and physical marketing campaigns, but most importantly, empower every single Steemit user to participate by drafting proposals, and developing projects designed to attract audiences across the globe.

CEO of Steemit Ned Scott said, “The way Mitchell thinks about taking Steemit from a crypto-centric project to a household name is genius, and completely reflects the nature of our innovation; decentralization, empowering the people, and incentivized community interaction. Mitchell has an incredible background and has been entrenched in blockchain since 2012. He is savvy, has a significant network to leverage, and has deep knowledge of the Steemit community. He is a growth expert and is coming in at the right time as we prepare for dramatic growth.”

Mitchell has a proven track record in building business strategies and exposure for next generation technology. He built startups in Portugal’s largest incubator, StartupLX, before contributing to the successful launch of the Ardor token distribution with the Nxt Foundation. He took iLovePDF to the top of the PDF processing market, helping take it to over 5 million monthly visitors to the site, and is the marketing lead for Santiment, the first provider on sentiment data in the crypto-markets.

VP of Marketing Mitchell Loureiro said, “My job is to provide marketing expertise, but the future of Steemit belongs to our users. We can’t play Facebook’s game. We don’t need to. We have a vibrant and engaged community dedicated to sharing Steemit with the world. That’s the beauty of Steemit; everyone has a voice, and everyone is rewarded for their contributions.”

The initiative, publicized on Steemit.com today, is expected to draw immense support from the 120,000 strong user base.

Ned Scott added, “By leveraging the wisdom of the crowd to amplify and multiply the impact of marketing efforts we’ll build out countless sub communities, each incentivized to grow until we join the ranks of the social media giants. The key difference is that the users really are the true owners of Steem and steemit.com.”

Steemit’s foundational cryptocurrency, Steem, has been on the incline in Q1 in terms of price and demand. Its market cap is currently worth $40 million USD, up from $20 million USD in December 2016, and liquidity has been at an all time high.

Mitchell Loureiro concluded, “If two minds are better than one, what do you call thousands of minds dedicated to making content rewards on the net more fair? Innovation. This has never been done before, it comes after months of careful deliberation, and it’s ambitious, but I truly believe this effort will propel Steemit to new heights.”

April 4, 2017, 2:48 pm UTC.

TaaS, the First-Ever Tokenized, Closed-End Fund Dedicated to Blockchain Assets, Partners With Exchange Platforms

TaaS, the first-ever tokenized closed-end fund dedicated to blockchain assets, today announced that it will partner with two cryptocurrency exchanges, Livecoin and Kuna, to offer its tokens for trading starting April 28, 2017.

Investors will be able to trade TaaS tokens on Livecoin and Kuna after the conclusion of TaaS’ Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which will run from March 27, 2017 to April 27, 2017. So far, the  TaaS ICO has raised more than $2,670,000 USD from 1259 investors globally.

Using the Ethereum blockchain and its revolutionary Cryptographic Audit technology, TaaS offers an innovative way to participate in and benefit from capital raising and fund management. The platform lets users invest in the vast cryptocurrency market with complete auditing transparency.

Livecoin is a user-friendly platform for accessing cryptocurrency exchange markets, designed for beginners and more seasoned traders alike. Livecoin will allow TaaS to be traded with USD and BTC. Kuna is the first bitcoin agency in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, offering customers the ability to buy and sell bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. The company has also deployed a network of bitcoin ATMs.  Kuna will allow TaaS to be traded with BTC.

TaaS Co-founder and President Ruslan Gavrilyuk said: “TaaS is proud to partner with Livecoin and Kuna, helping early adopters capitalize on the surging blockchain and cryptocurrency spaces. With the TaaS token tradable on the Livecoin and Kuna exchanges, more investors can gain easy, fully transparent and convenient access to the vast cryptocurrency market.”

Livecoin CEO Svetlana Geller said: “The partnership with TaaS will aid us in our mission to provide a modern and easy-to-use service for accessing cryptocurrency exchange markets. Our agreement with TaaS will prove mutually beneficial in allowing both companies to bring even more people into the burgeoning space of digital currency investments.”

Kuna Founder Michael Chobanian added: “Kuna is delighted to add TaaS, an innovator in blockchain technology investment, to the Kuna cryptocurrency exchange. We believe Kuna’s customers will greatly appreciate the opportunity to take advantage of TaaS’ groundbreaking offering and that the partnership will help to grow and strengthen Kuna’s platform.”

TaaS, unlike traditional closed-end funds, issues tokens built on a profit-sharing smart contract in which token owners receive 50% of quarterly profits. The smart contracts guarantee that investors will receive profits. To increase the fund’s capital pool without requiring additional investment, 25% of profits are reinvested back into the fund. As the net asset value of a token increases, TaaS tokens will have their value tied to the performance of the parent project.

TaaS is open for investment exclusively during its month-long ICO, concluding April 27, 2017. Now past the 2,000 BTC milestone, TaaS is offering a 20% bonus for the next 1,000 BTC raised, with the bonus system decreasing progressively up to 9,000 BTC. TaaS will reserve 2% of collected funds for bounty programs.

TaaS board members include fund management expert John Wong; serial entrepreneur and investor Mike Costache; blockchain technology and digital currency trading expert Marshall Swatt; and legal expert Arnold Spencer. Wong, previously an investment banker at Lehman Brothers, has more than 25 years of experience taking companies public and managing funds. Costache is the co-founder and managing partner of KrowdMentor, a strategic crowdfunding advisory and investment firm with a roster of 20 startups. Costache was formerly President of Leo & Leo, a management and franchise representation service with clients such as Maserati, Miss Universe and Rockstar Energy. He will serve as a TaaS advisor covering the venture capital and investment sectors, providing assistance in fundraising and negotiations.

Swatt is the founder and major investor at ATS Inc., a leader in algorithmic trading systems focused on strategies in niche financial instruments such as cryptocurrencies. As the former CTO of Coinsetter and Cavirtex, two of North America’s leading VC-backed bitcoin exchanges, Swatt has more than 20 years’ experience in strategy, operations, business development and technology. He will serve as TaaS technology and trading advisor. Spencer is Managing Director of Spencer & Associates, a corporate criminal defense firm, and General Counsel at Coinsource, the world’s largest bitcoin ATM network. Spencer will serve as TaaS’ US legal expert, bringing experience and insight in compliance, U.S. federal criminal law, securities and financial fraud, anti-money laundering, asset forfeiture, and federal trials.

April 3, 2017, 5:38 pm UTC.

Groundbreaking Blockchain Research to Feature at International Financial Cryptography Conference

Prominent academics, researchers and developers in cyber security will arrive in Malta this week for the most important annual conference on the use of cryptography in financial and commercial security.

New research on blockchain, Bitcoin, data security and privacy will be presented at the week-long event, which focuses on the security of vital systems – from finance and banking to the Internet to air travel – and ensuring they are resistant to hackers. The event is the 21st annual Financial Cryptography and Data Security conference and will be held at the Palace Hotel in Sliema, Malta, from April 3-7, 2017.

The goal of the conference is to bring security and cryptography researchers and practitioners together with economists, bankers, implementers and policy-makers. The program features talks, academic presentations, technical demonstrations and panel discussions. The session on Bitcoin and blockchain will be held on Tuesday.

Attendees include Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream; Emin Gün Sirer of Cornell University; Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum; Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK, and Silvio Micali, Turing Prize winner and cryptography pioneer, who will deliver the keynote address on Monday. The organizer of the program is Aggelos Kiayias, Chair of Cyber Security and privacy at the University of Edinburgh and director of its Blockchain Technology Laboratory.

Notable research to be presented includes new papers showing:

* How hackers can exploit a previously undiscovered vulnerability in aircraft communications and interfere with the control of airplanes by deciphering the signals sent between the plane and control towers. These findings have prompted conversations with authorities to discuss how to combat this risk, especially given the omnipresent threat of terrorism around the globe. (Economy Class Crypto: Exploring Weak Cipher Usage in Avionic Communications via ACARS)

* An evaluation of the cryptography of apps from the top 15 consumer banks. Security flaws in popular banking apps from the biggest UK banks make them an easy target for phishing and other attacks. With 11 million logins to UK banking apps each day, the findings from the researchers at the University of Birmingham highlight a need for banks to promptly undertake a thorough review of their security. (Why Banker Bob (still) Can’t Get TLS Right: A Security Analysis of TLS in Leading UK Banking Apps)

* How do you know people on the Internet are who they say they are? Researchers have combined principles of game theory with Bitcoin to create a system that vouches for individuals’ reputations so you know how much you can trust them. This reputation verification works without the need for the stars and reviews you see on centralized platforms. (Trust Is Risk: A Decentralized Financial Trust Platform)

* The first decentralized voting system to ensure maximum privacy for voters by avoiding using a third party to count the votes and using a self-executing smart contract to do it instead. The execution of the protocol is enforced using the consensus mechanism that also secures the Ethereum blockchain. (A Smart Contract for Boardroom Voting with Maximum Voter Privacy)

* How to buy physical goods using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. In practice a third party escrow service is used to offer the buyer and seller security over the transactions. But there are privacy and security issues with this. These new ideas offer a way around that. (Escrow protocols for cryptocurrencies: How to buy physical goods using Bitcoin)

“The conference is a unique opportunity for world leading researchers in cryptography, data security and privacy to come together. The findings presented in the conference will influence best practices and contribute to new standards for cyber security in the information technology industry,” says Professor Aggelos Kiayias, Program chair of the conference, who is Chair in Cyber Security and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh, and Chief Scientist at IOHK.

March 30, 2017, 5:01 pm UTC.

Cofound.it partners with Deloitte and Wachsman PR to create a Silicon Valley for the Distributed Age

ICONOMI, the blockchain technology company behind the one of the largest Initial Coin Offering (ICO) crowdsales in history, has today revealed Cofound.it, an organization previously in stealth mode dedicated to finding, nurturing and incubating the best ICOs anywhere in the world. Cofound.it will provide select ICOs with world-class, expert coaching in business development and optimal ICO processes to help ensure their success. Cofound.it also offers a platform for ICOs to access a number of advanced technical tools.

Jan Isakovic, CEO and Co-Founder of Cofound.it said: “Following the success of ICONOMI’s crowdsale last year that raised over $10.5 million, we are extremely proud to publicly launch Cofound.it as a collaborative platform to share our expertise with other upcoming projects. Many ICOs have a brilliant vision but lack experience with the ICO vehicle, and consequently, they require assistance in formulating and executing an effective go-to-market strategy. By providing active mentorship and expert coaching from seasoned veterans, Cofound.it aims to help the most promising entrepreneurs in the cryptocurrency space. We’re building a platform that will help fulfill the entrepreneurial dreams of young visionaries world-wide, not just those willing to move to San Francisco. In effect we are building a Silicon Valley for the Distributed Age.”

Cofound.it has already engaged with more than 30 potential ICO projects over the last few months. The most innovative of them will be showcased on the Cofound.it platform in the coming weeks.

The unique Cofound.it business model was designed to ensure that ICOs have the requisite expertise to succeed without an inhibitive upfront cost. Cofound.it will take a negotiated percentage of select ICOs’ crowdsales to sustain the development of the advanced technical platform and business team. In return, the team will connect ICOs with experts who will actively provide technical advice and development capabilities. Cofound.it will help ICOs build relationships and trust among investors, accelerating their overall growth. Working together, Cofound.it will help ICOs establish business essentials, define an optimal funding scenario, develop a clear business strategy, and establish fundraising thresholds.

Because investor communications is paramount to the success of an ICO, Cofound.it works with premier external partners to create an effective and comprehensive communications plan that best showcases each ICO’s value proposition. Content is optimized for every channel, from traditional news to social media, and distributed according to a strategy designed to ensure that messaging is properly received by all key audiences.

Daniel Zakrisson, Co-Founder and Head of Evaluations and Mentoring, added: “Raising funds requires more than developing a technically sound product – one must effectively pitch in tune with the investor community. Cofound.it will help provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to leverage our established professional network to build trusted relationships with investors. This is especially important in the crypto market, where investors are highly concerned about the potential for scams or team schisms. The network of experts means that Cofound.it turns ICOs from a novel funding mechanisms into smart money and a real foundation for success.”

From its extremely successful ICO, the ICONOMI team learned the need for expediency in setting and working towards actionable goals immediately after funds are raised. Opportunities to capitalize on blockchain innovation remain boundless, and Cofound.it hopes to use its platform to encourage burgeoning ICOs to best use their funds to win market share in their respective industries. In order to facilitate this rapid growth, Cofound.it will tap into its world-class team to define internal roles within an organization undergoing an ICO, finding experts to temporarily fill roles during the company’s transitional period.

“Cofound.it is an innovative venture because it gives visionaries the freedom to fulfill their entrepreneurial spirit from anywhere in the world, not just Silicon Valley. In this decentralized age, Cofound.it will act as the premier co-founding platform for ICO projects,” Isakovic concluded.

Cofound.it’s global launch partners include Deloitte, Wachsman PR, and Novak Rutar law office.

The upcoming crowdsale will raise funds intended to make the organization self-sustaining, to further accelerate geographic expansion, and to advance platform development. Details on the crowdsale will be announced in the coming weeks.

March 29, 2017, 6:36 pm UTC.

Dash Enhances Global Reach, partnering with a Broker in Europe and an Exchange in Russia

Dash, the world’s third most valuable digital currency and the rising alternative to Bitcoin, today announced two partnerships that will enhance customer bases in Europe and Russia. BitPanda, formerly known as Coinimal, has added a buy option for Dash on its online brokerage, while Moscow’s leading exchange, MaRSe, has integrated the digital currency in the wake of a historic price rise and sustained market demand.

VP of Dash Business Development Daniel Diaz said, “We are very excited about Dash being added to BitPanda and to MaRSe. We are focused on improving access to Dash for users across the planet and it’s exciting to see spikes in demand from places like Europe and Russia. Firstly, BitPanda is the type of high quality broker we need on the Dash ecosystem; they offer multiple payment options as well as Bitcoin and Ethereum integration so it’s huge news for European users. Secondly, MaRSe is the largest and most reputable Russian exchange for bitcoin and now Dash, so we expect trading volumes to increase.”

After a series of strategic business partnerships and software upgrades from January through March, Dash’s token valuation has catapulted from $11.21 to $90.40 USD, representing an approximate 800% increase in Q1.

BitPanda CEO Eric Demuth said, “Recently we observed a significant increase in demand within our customer base for Dash. We carefully observe the market before we add a new technology to our platform. Continuous development as well as a stable community are important parameters for us. Therefore we have decided to add Dash on BitPanda.com.”

The partnership with BitPanda will allow anyone in Europe to purchase Dash instantly with Visa, Mastercard, Sofort, SEPA, Neteller, Skrill and EPS/Giropay.

Headquartered in the heart of Moscow, off-line exchanger MaRSe previously worked exclusively with Bitcoin, but added Dash due to community demand. People are now able buy and sell Dash for rubles, with the exchange rate tied to the current exchange rate on BTC-e.

Daniel Diaz added, “We are working around the clock to pave the way to mainstream adoption and Dash is becoming prevalent in many important regions globally. We are proud to gain allies in companies like BitPanda and MaRSe because they are focusing on projects that are playing a leading role in the transformation of finance through blockchain technology.”

March 28, 2017, 6:45 pm UTC.

ICONOMI Announces World’s First Digital Assets Repayment Programme

ICONOMI, the world’s leading digital asset management platform, has introduced an industry first repayment program that will increase the stake every participant has in the company. ICONOMI’s repayment programme will include a unique mechanic; the tech company will purchase ICN tokens from exchanges using returns made by its actively managed performance array, and destroy (“burn”) them on a weekly basis, giving each participant a larger percentage share of the total ICN token amount. The ICONOMI team, whose performance array is already showcasing lucrative returns after strong investments in successful ICOs like Golem, Santiment and Byteball, will start the repayment programme on June 30. All token purchases and prices will be made publicly available in a quarterly report.

ICONOMI Co-founder Tim Zagar said, “We are proposing a new way to distribute shared value to participants through a repayment programme designed to increase the stake of each ICONOMI contributor. Our performance array is becoming exceedingly effective and it’s clearer now more than ever that cryptocurrency returns are the fastest of any asset class on Earth. For these reasons, we decided to reduce the ICN token count and increase participants’ stake.”

The repayment programme will follow a strict set of rules, today published on the company blog, but the primary financial function is that up to 1000 ETH will be used from April 1st to June 30th to acquire ICN tokens at a fair market price, and then remove them from circulation by sending them to an inaccessible, untouchable smart contract.

“Reducing the circulation creates value in scarcity, and it’s a great way to reward our investors for their continued support. This will not change the way current ICN token holders can buy or sell on any exchange. The proposal in its simplest form is a new way of rewarding holders of a new asset class, the ICN token. We will put this proposal to the community and we will await their feedback,” Zagar said.

The ICONOMI.performance Digital Asset Array (DAA) was launched in November last year with the sole premise to see returns from ICOs expected to gain market momentum. Its success has been phenomenal, and as a result, the ICN token has doubled in just four months from $16 million USD to $32 million USD. ICONOMI, which conducted one of the largest crowd raises in history, has created a unique digital asset management platform that provides a simple way for investors to maximise participation and returns in the decentralized economy.

“We are extremely excited to finally bring our proof of concept to life. We are the first company in crypto to do this, but I promise you we won’t be the last,” Zagar concluded.

March 28, 2017, 3:18 pm UTC.

Blockchain Application Platform Lisk Joins Forces with Distinguished Design Agency

Lisk, the blockchain application platform, today announced a collaboration with distinguished design agency Taikonauten, with the goal of rebranding its ecosystem to greatly enhance the user experience and facilitate even greater user adoption.

The partnership will enable the Lisk Foundation to employ the creative talents of the team at Taikonauten to entirely redesign crucial aspects of its platform, such as its logo, website, blockchain explorer and client user interface (including desktop and smartphone).

Taikonauten is a Berlin-based design agency whose goal is to shape the future of the Internet with its work. The company uses digital design to promote key brands, position products and create new opportunities for cutting-edge businesses.

Lisk, the blockchain application platform will allow users to develop applications from scratch using JavaScript by deploying sidechains next to the Lisk blockchain. Registered in December 2016, the Lisk Foundation has a permanent mission to enable the project to develop into a widely used, next generation, blockchain application platform set out by its Founders.

As outlined in the Lisk Development Roadmap, this collaboration is part of Lisk’s resilience phase, which aims to build a more elegant core system, an even better Lisk SDK, deploy various useful features, design beautiful and easy user interfaces, and continue to put a major focus on security.

The overarching aim of the collaboration – which extends from March to August 2017 – is to create a unified experience for Lisk users. Taikonauten will overhaul Lisk’s corporate design, developing a new logo and media kit. In addition, it will also design and develop a new website for Lisk. Finally, user interfaces for Lisk’s desktop, mobile clients and blockchain explorer will also be crafted and designed by the agency.

“This collaboration will help the Lisk project more efficiently to communicate the goals of our platform. It will improve the user experience of the Lisk client to a level not seen before in the blockchain space, marking a first step for common user adoption, and unifying our whole ecosystem visually,” Lisk Foundation President Max Kordek said.

“Until now, Lisk has been concentrating its resources on the development of the back end. We have released many optimization, stability and security updates to date marking the significant progress the platform is making. Now, our attention moves to making visible changes to our current ecosystem,” added Kordek.

“Our vision, together with Lisk, is to increase the visibility of this important platform. We aim to keep user needs at the heart of our approach and to make Lisk even more accessible to regular Internet users,” said Maik Fahldieck, Founder and Managing Director of Taikonauten.

LSK, the cryptocurrency that underlies the Lisk platform, is currently worth over $30 million USD.

March 27, 2017, 6:19 pm UTC.

TaaS, the First-Ever Tokenized Fund Dedicated to Blockchain Assets, Launches Highly-Anticipated ICO

TaaS, the first-ever tokenized closed-end fund dedicated to blockchain assets, today launched its Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which will conclude on April 27, 2017. Using the Ethereum blockchain and a carefully engineered Cryptographic Audit technology, TaaS offers a new way for investors to participate in and benefit from cryptocurrencies, a new paradigm in capital raising and fund management. The TaaS platform enables investors to enter the vast cryptocurrency market with complete auditing transparency for the first time.

TaaS Co-founder Dimitri Chupryna said: “TaaS’ model solves the major problems faced by early adopters of cryptocurrencies, issues that make it impossible for institutional or traditional investors to access the world’s fastest growing market. We have designed the TaaS platform to reduce the risks and barriers faced by investors when entering the surging blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Experts from across the world have declared that blockchain technology will shake up many industries in the coming years, and those looking for a trusted access to this extraordinary market will be able to invest through TaaS during our crowdsale.”

Unlike traditional closed-end funds, TaaS will issue tokens built on a profit-sharing smart contract where token owners receive 50% of quarterly profits. The smart contracts guarantee that investors will receive any profits earned. To increase the fund’s capital pool without requiring additional investment, 25% of profits will be reinvested back into the fund.

The model functions in such a way that as the net asset value of a token increases, TaaS tokens will have their value tied to the performance of the parent project, thus introducing a Token-as-a-Service (TaaS) business model.

To provide TaaS token owners with maximum transparency into non-Ethereum token investments, TaaS built an in-house Cryptographic Audit technology, which is a set of autonomous auditing techniques that track, record and timestamp trading activity. The technology ensures that all profits are properly recorded, money flow is transparent, and the company is in possession of all declared funds. Its design simplifies investors’ due diligence and provides deep insights into their investment.

TaaS will be open for investment exclusively during its month-long ICO. TaaS is offering a 25% bonus for the first 1,000 BTC raised, with the bonus system decreasing progressively up to 9,000 BTC. TaaS will reserve 2% of the collected funds for bounty programs related to the crowdsale.

In addition to its fund, the TaaS team is developing Kepler, the first Bloomberg-like portfolio management and analytics platform for cryptocurrencies. Kepler will cover the entire spectrum of the investment process, providing market research, due diligence and order management as well as risk exposure and performance forecasting.

“TaaS hopes to deliver significant and long-term changes in the blockchain industry and cryptocurrency market. We believe the vision and technology underpinning TaaS and Kepler will transform digital currency investments and we are eager to see its progress,” concluded Chupryna.

TaaS board members include fund management expert John Wong; serial entrepreneur and investor Mike Costache; blockchain technology and digital currency trading expert Marshall Swatt; and legal expert Arnold Spencer. Wong, previously an investment banker at Lehman Brothers, has more than 25 years of experience taking companies public and managing funds. Costache is the co-founder and managing partner of KrowdMentor, a strategic crowdfunding advisory and investment firm with a roster of 20 startups. Costache was formerly President of Leo & Leo, a management and franchise representation service with clients such as Maserati, Miss Universe and Rockstar Energy. He will serve as a TaaS advisor covering the venture capital and investment sectors, providing assistance in fundraising and negotiations.

Swatt is the founder and major investor at ATS Inc., a leader in algorithmic trading systems focused on strategies in niche financial instruments such as cryptocurrencies. As the former CTO of Coinsetter and Cavirtex, two of North America’s leading VC-backed bitcoin exchanges, Swatt has more than 20 years’ experience in strategy, operations, business development and technology. He will serve as TaaS technology and trading advisor. Spencer is Managing Director of Spencer & Associates, a corporate criminal defense firm, and General Counsel at Coinsource, the world’s largest bitcoin ATM network. Spencer will serve as TaaS’ US legal expert, bringing experience and insight in compliance, U.S. federal criminal law, securities and financial fraud, anti-money laundering, asset forfeiture, and federal trials.

TaaS tokens are intended to be traded on all major exchanges in coordination with exchanges and regulatory authorities. For more information, the TaaS white paper is available on www.taas.fund.