Column

SECURITY TOKENS AND CRYPTOCURRENCY FUTURE

Of late, we have had lots of experts predict that security tokens could become become the next big thing. Some have even gone asbfar to say that it could befine a multi trillion dollar market within the next 15 years and the reasons are not far fetched as regulatory bodieshave been coming down on initial coin offerings also known as (ICOs), security token offerings (STO) have proven to be a worthy alternative. Cryptocurrency companies like Nasdaq and Coinbase are already making forays into the STO zone and all this has everyone believing that cryptocurrency is the future. We are going to find out how true that is in this post but first, what is a token?
A token is a representative of something in its particular ecosystem. It could be value, stake, voting rights, or anything. A token is not limited to a particular role; it can fulfill a lot of roles. Meanwhile, A cryptocurrency coin, is independent of a platform and they can be used as a form of currency outside their native environment. A token can represent an asset or utility that a company has and they are usually given away to their investors during a public sale called the ICO. ICOs are the cryptocurrency version of community-funding and they have been truly productive.

What are security tokens?

Security tokens normally derive their value from an external, tradable asset. Since the tokens are seen as securities, they are subject to federal securities and federal regulations. If the ICO does not follow the regulations, then they might be subject to penalties.
Tokens are subject to federal security regulations, they are compliant from the first day itself. So, in the United States, security tokens need to follow the named regulations:
Regulation D, Regulation A+ and Regulation S
Regulation D allows a particular offering to avoid being registered by the SEC provided “Form D” has been filled by the creators after the securities have been sold. The individual who is offering this security may solicit offerings from investors in compliance with Section 506C (Section 50 requires a verification via which the investors are indeed accredited and the information which has been provided during the solicitation is “free from false or misleading statements.)
Regulation A+ is an exemption that will allow the creator to offer SEC-approved security to non-accredited investors through a general solicitation amenities can value for as much as $50 million in investment. The issuance of Regulation A+ can take a lot of time compared to other options and for this reason, Regulation A+ issuance is reportedly more expensive than any other option.
Regulation S happens when a security offering is carried out in a country apart from the United States and is therefore not subjected to the registration requirement under section 5 of the 1993 Act. Security Assets are important because they act like a bridge between legacy finance and the blockchain world.
As earlier stated, security tokens have been amazing. Security Tokens have brought

Credibility

As of right now, there is a real deficit of accountability in the ICO space because of a lack of regulation for utility tokens and for the ICO space to regain some credibility, it should make sense to somehow join the crypto space and the legacy finance space together.

Faster Execution Speed

By removing the middlemen the traditional financial institutions are laden with, securities allow for faster execution time for successful issuance of security tokens. Due to the increased speed, security tokens are bound to become attractive investments.

Better Traditional Finance

Security tokens remove the need for middlemen which reduces fees and in the future, we predict that smart contracts may reduce the complexity, costs, and paper works.

More Free Market Exposure

Using security tokens, creators are allowed to market their deals to anyone over the internet. This exposure to free market helps in increasing asset valuation. Also, this increased exposure leads to Huge number of investors since creators can now present their deals to anyone on the internet, the investor base increases exponentially.
This removal of middlemen is by security tokens is usually seen as a huge advantage. However, there are some disadvantages which unavoidably comes along with security tokens. One of such is the fact that removal of middlemen leads to the shifting of responsibilities onto the buyer or the seller in the transaction.
In conclusion, security tokens have a far less share of the market as compared to utility tokens, however, security tokens are something which are quickly becoming huge and need to be embraced by everyone. It is believed that tons of capital is going to flow from Wall Street to security tokens instead of utility tokens.
The shift is because security tokens are considered to be safer because of the strict regulations.
Every type of ownership can be tokenized, which is a massive multi-trillion dollar addressable market

ISLAM AND CRYPTOCURRENCY

Islam is reported to be the fastest growing religion in the world with an estimated 1.5 billion Muslims in the world; Muslims just about make up for well over 21% of the entire world population. Any community this big must have it sets of rules that help to, guide and instruct its members and certainly, Islam provides all Muslims with fundamental principles for conduct of their everyday lives.

Sharia

The Islamic canonical law popularly known as the Sharia law is the religious law that forms part of the Islamic tradition. It is gotten from the religious precepts of the Quran and the Hadith. The Islamic Canonical Law, prohibits certain activities such as; the acceptance of specific interests which are considered usury (Riba) or investments in businesses which are contrary. Whether or not cryptocurrency is in accordance with Sharia laws is a topic that has caused no Small controversy most importantly, amongst Islamic scholars.

Is Bitcoin acceptable?

Some Islamic scholars have said that “as a payment network, Bitcoin is halal. And in actual facts, Bitcoin goes far beyond what most conventional closed banking networks offer. And very much unlike conventional bank networks which used private ledgers where there’s no guarantee that the originator actually owns the underlying assets, Bitcoin guarantees with mathematical certainty that the originator of the transfer owns the underlying assets. Conventional banks operate using the principle of fractional reserve, which is prohibited in Islam. In Islam (Sharia Law) theres the ‘Gharar concept’ which implies that contracts should not be unnecessarily uncertain.” In April 2018, a Muslim expert by the name Muhammad Abu Bakar analysed the possibilities of bitcoin being acceptable (Halal) or forbidden (Haram) with respect to the Sharia Law. Muhammad Bakar’s report posited that Bitcoin was indeed as far as Muslim users have a certain intent when they buy the cryptocurrency; “crypto-traders should not buy or purchase cryptocurrencies for investment purposes,” he stated. “Rather, it is more advisable to utilize cryptocurrency networks as a kind of payment system especially in the situations where cryptocurrency networks offer specific benefits and advantages over conventional financial exchange systems.”

So in very simple terms, the “virtual currency” philosophy and use of cryptocurrencies are acceptable (Halal) under the Islamic canonical law (Sharia law) but the idea of buying and holding cryptocurrencies for investment or in a bid to invest, might not be acceptable (Haram).
Following the publishing of Muhammad Abu Bakar’s report on the acceptability or rejection of cryptocurrencies by the Sharia Law; the price of bitcoin rose to roughly about a thousand dollars ($1000). Lots of media reports attributed the price bump to an influx of new, Muslim users.
Keeping in mind how vastly different virtual currencies are from government controlled coins and paper notes I think its indeed a thing of reason to tackle issues like this. Before the report by Muhammad Abu Bakar, an earlier report compared bitcoin to precious metals. We know that digital currency’s biggest challenge is the fact that it does not have any physical representation but even at that, bitcoin can be proved to exist when needed; although not tangibly but cryptocurrencies are of value to diverse sets of persons from different places and its value to different sets of persons gives it a market and consequently, value.
Another condition for a currency to he acceptable by Sharia law, the report stated; was that the currency had to have intrinsic value and cryptocurrencies have fit in those shoes pretty well. Sighting bitcoin as an example, the report stated that it was almost impossible to duplicate or tamper with the worth of cryptocurrencies and in addition to this, the cryptocurrency, bitcoin, is generated through a process known as “mining” and this requires a computation power in the form of “proof-of-work” and this gives bitcoin its intrinsic value. Also worthy of mention is the fact that cryptocurreny (bitcoin) is recognized as a legal currency in Germany and this therefore qualifies cryptocurrency as Islamic money in that country.
“Bitcoin is permissible in general as long as bitcoin is treated as valuable by market prices on global exchanges and it is accepted for payment by a wide variety of merchants. Moreover, lots of private individuals now accept bitcoin as a medium of exchange in their private transactions.” another study stated.

UNIT-E: THE CRYPTO TO END BITCOIN’S REIGN

One of the bragging right of Cardano as a cryptocurrency is hinged on the fact that it has academicians on its team. But the news out there might just this bragging right, as some of the brightest minds in America’s educational sector have reportedly come together to birth forth a cryptocurrency and a blockchain technology that will be able to process transactions in their thousands.
Yes, you read that right. Professors from seven different colleges in the United State have teamed up in an attempt to create a crypto coin that will allegedly knock Satoshi Nakamato’s Bitcoin of the throne of the cryptocurrency market. The name of the cryptocurrency is called Unite-E and the academic homes of these professors are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California, Berkeley University and Stanford University. The Unit-E is the first of its kind, an initiative of a swizz based non-profit organization (Distributed Technology Research) that was formed by academicians, with major financiers being Pantera Capital Management. The aim of this organization is to develop decentralized technologies, thereby decentralizing the future.

HOW CAN IT END BITCOIN?

Most people are wondering why this cryptocurrency is aiming at overtaking Bitcoin as the team behind it has frequently directed cryptic shades at the suppose king of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin as we all know is the first cryptocurrency, the first blockchain technology that enabled transactions between two parties without the need of a third party or a central authority. But even with the boom in cryptocurrency market and the introduction of various altcoins, and the widespread of the blockchain technology among developers, the cryptocurrency project is yet to be adopted fully.
One of the limitation of Bitcoin as a payment network is the time it takes for blocks to be created. This coupled with a whole lot of others have contributed in the drastic reduction of using Bitcoin as payment option. This is what these professors hope to tackle, a cryptocurrency project that can process transactions at a rate that is even faster than Visa.
Distributed Technology Research (DTR) announced of its plans to launch this cryptocurrency in the second half of 2019. No test records have been given yet but going by their words, the transaction per seconds is out of this world. The fastest cryptocurrency transaction per second recorded is 8. But these academicians are claiming a transaction of 10,000 per seconds. Visa, which is by the way not a decentralized network processes 1,700 transactions per seconds. How on earth are they planning on achieving this speed?
Actually, DTR in an attempt to achieve a higher speed in Unit-E had to deconstruct the blockchain technology which is known and is used by most cryptocurrencies, then they worked on improving every single element of it. They have however published their research on their study on the elements, and they are relying on innovative mechanisms they have designed to reach a consensus. They are also working on creating new ways of sharding and new payment networks in order to reach their target speed.
In my honest opinion, saying that Unit-E will end Bitcoin’s reign simply because of transaction speed has no ground. It can end Bitcoin as a payment network, but definitely not in terms of market capitalization. On a lighter note though, Bitcoin have seen altcoins coming into the market that promises a faster transaction rate and it still remains king. But if Unit-E is built properly, probably with institutional backing, it is definitely going to give Bitcoin a run for its money. 10,000 transactions per second.
 

WHAT NEXT?

Unite-E is not the first cryptocurrency innovation that has been announced to be working on transaction speed. The crypto sphere is well aware of the problem of transaction speed, this is why projects like Lighting Network and Segregated Wintness have emerged, with promises and designs to make transactions faster. But then the promise of DRT is still doubtful, and if this coin is eventually launched, the coin will still have to battle its way up in the market capitalization index. So, I believe it is way to early to say that this cryptocurrency from a group of professors will outshine Bitcoin in the nearest future.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONSTANTINOPLE: ETHERUM'S NEW FORK

Etherum’s new fork called Constantinople is upon us. And everyone seems to be looking for what it is all about. How about we take a journey through the Constantinople fork from the root?

WHAT IS A FORK

A fork is when the state of a blockchain platform diverges into a different perspective. It is just like how you update the software your personal computer or the applications on your smart devices. There are two types of fork; soft and hard fork. A soft fork is an upgrade that is backward compatible; that is it can support older version of the blockchain features. However, older versions cannot use the new features. Hard fork on the other hand is not backward compatible. If a user fails to upgrade to the new version, he does not get have any access whatsoever.

CONSTANTINOPOLE

Constantinople is the name of Etherum’s hard fork of 2019.
The hard fork is made up of five EIPs. Four of them are aimed at making a short-term improvement in scaling, with the biggest news being the reduction in the rewards that Etherum miners get. The five EIPs are as follows;

EIP1014 – Skinny CREATE2

EIP1014 is expected to improve transactions that occurs between Raiden Network and Etherum’s main-chain. It will create memory spaces in the main chain by executing transactions with side-chains in a completely different memory space. The EIP1014 is the creation og Vitalik Butterin.

EIP145 – Bitwise Shift

This is geared towards the reduction of fuel used in running the Etherum network. Recall that the users of Etherum and its developers pay in the form of Ether which is a gas to be on the platform. However, with EIP145, gas cost could be unbelievably cheaper than the current price. This is expected to boost Etherum’s edge over its competitors as it becomes cheaper to use.

EIP1052 – EXTCODEHASH opcode

This users in a new opcode which will help in the verification of codes when two smart contracts interacts with each other. The EIP1053 uses the functionality of has in increasing the speed in which smart contracts are verified.

EIP1234 – Bomb Delay and Block Reward Adjustment

This EIP is called to action is the aspect of the reduction in the mining reward, from 3 ETH to 2 ETH for each block mined. Most developers mistake this EIP to be a step towards PoS protocol but it is actually not, it is rather a means that will ease the implementation of the protocol that Constantinople proposed.
EIP1283 : Net Gas Metering for SSTORE without dirty maps
This EIP deals with the reduction of the cost of gas that is associated with the storage of data. It is arguably the most technical of all the EIPs, and it works hand in hand with the EIP145

EFFECTS OF THE FORK ON ETHERUM HOLDERS

The Constantinople hard fork is a non-contentious type of hard fork. In a non-contentious hard fork, everyone on the network stops running the old software, therefore no new blocks are added to that chain and all the coins on the cold chain are devalued. This on a long run slows the chain, killing it in the process. On the other hand, a contentious fork results into the users of the blockchain using any of the forks. This will keep the two chains alive, making each coin in it valuable. The fact that Constantinople is a non-contentious fork absolves every iota of fear that holders of the coin harbours as a result of them likening this hard fork to that of Bitcoin Cash. So the hard fork will be somewhat beneficial to the entire network. Block time will likely still be 15 seconds and the cost of transactions is expected to decrease. All holdings on crypto exchanges, cold storage wallets and wallets will be unaffected, but one thing that holders of ETH should be weary of is the case of fraud. There are many people parading themselves on the crypto space as representatives of projects forked out of Etherum. This hard fork is no in anyway like the former fork that birthed Etherum Classic.

STABLECOIN AND THE NEW YEAR

Stablecoin is one of the waves in the cryptocurrency world right now, and as you know it, it has been getting a whole lot of media focus especially in Q4 of 2018. A Stablecoin in its simplest form is a stable, collateralized asset blockchain which is used in hedging against the constant decline and volatility that is experienced in the cryptocurrency market. It is somewhat a path of investment taken by people in order to escape the volatility of the cryptocurrency market. Stablecoins are backed by real assets, most of which fiat currencies with the US Dollar being the popular one. They simply reflect the value of the asset of which it is backed.

THE STORY SO FAR

The first ever Stablecoin is BitUSD and it was launched in July 2014 on the cryptocurrency trading platform; BitUSD didn’t get much market popularity probably because they didn’t get their price pegging algorithm right. Next was Tether (USDT) which was issued on the 10th month of that same year, but it was initially called Realcoin. Tether was initially assumed to be pegged with the US dollar, especially as nobody knew where the funds were banked, and there was little or no attempt to do an audit for the project. This coupled with a whole lot of other miscalculations coupled with failing to secure a steady bank account made it one of the slowest blockchain startups as it is currently facing a problem of confidence. However, the fact that Tether failed to achieve its objective didn’t deter other cryptocurrency projects, and the past year (2018) showed evidence as stablecoin like Gemini USD (GUSD), USDC, TrueUSD (RUSD) were all issued. Each one of these stablecoins were backed by audited funds, creating somewhat an assurance to investors that every single token of these stablecoins will keep to their pegs. The most popular stablecoin still remains Tether though, with a 1:1 peg to the US dollar. Its market cap currently sits at $1.92 billion but most experts expect Tether to face a competitive year, especially as they are laced with transparency issues.

STABLECOIN AND 2019

The previous years have seen Tether control the 96% stablecoin market share, which recently dropped to 78% by the way. 2019 promises a year of further plummeting of this share price, especially as stablecoin projects like TrueUSD and USDC has been working on what Tether has refused to work o in years. The secrecy path that Tether has decided to take has affected it, and it has in general attracted critics on the whole stablecoin concept. Reecently, Facebook announced that it is going to launch a stablecoin for payment using its WhatsApp platform. If everything goes according to plan, the Japanese yen in march will be pegged with a stablecoin that will be launched by one of the biggest commercial bank in the country; Mizhuo Bank. PwC is not left out of the trend as they have announced the collaboration with Cred, which is a decentralized lending platform in launching a stablecoin that is to be pegged with the US dollar.
Japan’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange forum – Binance – recently listed two stablecoin pairs which are PAX and TUSD. PAX is issued by Paxos Trust Company and it is to be pegged with the US dollar, however it is expected to pair with BNB and BTC when it starts trading. The United State do not seem to be left out in the 2019 story of stablecoin, word on the net suggests that Texas Department of Banking recently released a statement, suggesting that an instutionalized stablecoin may be considered of monetary value under Money Service Act of the state. Apart from stablecoins backed by fiat currencies, 2019 promises to be a year that will see an increase of stablecoins that are backed by precious metals. Gold and silver are generally known to be assets. The stablecoin projects, backed by assets that we expect in 2019 are Tiberius Coin, Kinesis and Digix.
To conclude, the crypto market with no doubts is volatile, and most coins in the cryptocurrency market are unable to stand the test of time because of this volatility. This is why stablecoins is the future, especially for those who are scared of the cryptocurrency market. One might be tempted to call the concept of stablecoins another Forex market, but it actual sense, it is not.

Top Five Countries That Hate Cryptocurrency

Countries around the globe have varying views when it comes to the issue of cryptocurrencies. While the war for global acceptance is still on, we have seen countries through policies of their government that have maintained hostile attitude towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain in general. Currently, world superpowers like the United States and the United Kingdom have so far developed a positive attitude towards it through their policies. Other countries like Canada and Australia have not made their stand known but many others have in fact taken and maintain their hostility. I have taken out time to list the top five of these countries. While the word ‘hate’ is a strong word that might not be politically correct, I have used it here because the index on which these countries is listed is based on many factors; more on the citizens than policies.

Bangladesh

In early 2014, its Apex bank, Bangladesh Bank issued what seemed to be a warning on the use of Bitcoin by its citizens. It disapproved any transactions that involves Bitcoin or any digital currency alike by stating expressly that they weren’t legal tenders. Then in December 2017, at the peak of the bullish run of the cryptocurrency market, the bank issued a statement again warning its citizen of the dangers accrued in the use of cryptocurrencies. The statement added that the Anti-Terrorism act of 2009 would be violated by any citizen that engages in cryptocurrency transactions. Hence, citizens were asked to desist from any act of performing, assisting or in the advertising of all kinds of transactions through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin in order to avoid financial and legal risk.

Bolivia

The central bank of Bolivia, El Banco Central de Bolivia in May 2018 issued a statement banning any coins or currency that is not issued or regulated by the government. The subtleness of this ban was so visible that everyone knew that cryptocurrencies were the target. According to the statement, “It is illegal to use any kind of currency that is not issued and controlled by a government or an authorized entity.” It didn’t even stop there; the document went further to say that no citizen of the country should be caught denominating prices in any currency other than that is approved by its institutions. The justified the reason for the ban though, they said it was to protect the country’s national currency and to protect its citizens from a decentralized currencies that would encourage the drifts of investment.

Ecuador

Ecuador’s hate on cryptocurrency is not in fact fair in my terms. The country is currently working on its own centralized digital currency project, so they made policies to protect this new currency from any feasible competitor. This according to reports is because other cryptocurrencies are not centralized; hence they cannot be manipulated by the government.

Algeria

The government of Algeria has been making moves to ban cryptocurrency totally, with Bitcoin being the case study. According to reports, the country unlike most countries do not just want to ban the use of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, but it wants to pursue the prohibition of the use and possession of cryptocurrency. The most recent attempt is contained in a 2018 Finance Bill which claimed that the illegality prospects of a digital currency are high as a result of its anonymity platform. Hence it can be utilized for criminal acts like drug trafficking, tax evasion and money laundering. It also claimed that cryptocurrencies is a threat to most of its existing financial policies.

China

Most people are of the opinion that digital currency in its entirety is illegal in China but this is not the case. As a matter of fact, China has one of the largest Bitcoin trading markets. But it doesn’t change the fact that the government of China, through its apex and local banks has banned cryptocurrency transactions. 70% of The People’s Bank of China is owned by the Chinese government, this is somewhat why it is fair to say that the government hates cryptocurrency. It is not illegal for normal citizens in China deal in cryptocurrency. But banks in China forbid their employees from engaging in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions.

Will the Crypto Winter stop soon?

What is Crypto winter?

The cryptocurrency world for as long as we know has been experiencing what most people tag crypto winter. Trust me, crypto winter is not a term that is difficult to decrypt, that is if you are a fan of Game of Thrones HBO television series, where the word, ‘Winter is Coming’ is known. However, if you aren’t familiar with the phrase, it is used to depict a sign of warning, and a time to be constantly vigilant about what we value most. And if bring it down to the cryptocurrency sphere, crypto winter is coming was used as early as 2017 to warn investors. However, unlike the Game of Throne fans that are still waiting for ‘Winter to Come’, crypto winter came in 2018, and some argue that it is still here.
To put it in a more relative term, crypto winter is simply a period where cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile in value, sending it in more of bearish runs compared to bullish runs. Despite the crypto winter however, millions of investors remain somewhat optimistic. And the crypto whales like John Paulson from America have in what seems like self-assurance have continually emphasized on the fact that investors can still make profit even in the winter period. But the question most people’s mind is exactly when crypto winter is going. Maybe when Game of Throne’s winter finally comes – that was a joke.
 

Why we are in Crypto Winter

There is no particular cause that can be singled out as to why we are in crypto winter. As a matter of fact, the cryptocurrency market has been tagged the most volatile investment market in history. Even if I find this tag a little bit extreme, a direct target on the future of the creation of Satoshi Nakamoto, I just have to agree that the market is volatile. We saw this volatility in the first quarter of 2018, when the uncontended king of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin went down to 3,200 USD from 20,000 USD. This was what introduced the crypto winter. And the fact that almost all altcoins are tied to Bitcoin made the winter somewhat look like Antartica. Bitcoin didn’t just go down alone, it took big guns like Etherum and Ripple with it. To answer the question as to if the crypto winter will stop soon, we will have to take a look at why in the first place, crypto winter came.
One of the main reasons that crypto winter came was because of the saturation of the cryptocurrency space by altcoins. During the last quarter of 2018, altcoins were numbering over a thousand. The advent of these new altcoins give way for unmitigated problems that were boggling on the very reason why the cryptocurrency existed. Most people were creating altcoins for the sole purpose of making money, others wanted to make this money by leading the public with wrong information.
Another thing that led us into the crypto winter is the institutional and regulatory pressure. The global issues like the trade tensions, the anti-cryptocurrency policies by Government and major key plays in the financial industries, as well as global events like Brexit have contributed to the winter session. Also, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has over the past year refused all attempts to list big giants like Bitcoin and Ripple. They have repeatedly reiterated their stand on the fact most of the practices are not in compliance with the SEC guidelines.

Will it End Soon?

In an attempt not to bore you with all the story of how we got into crypto winter, let’s answer the question at hand. Firstly, the creation of Bitcoin ETF has somewhat given the cryptocurrency world hope that it will attract institutional investors. Getting institutional investors into the cryptocurrency market will of course solve the problem of volatility in the market. It will also solve some of the regulatory loopholes that are in the system. This, coupled with the emergence of the backing of cryptocurrency by government bodies of the world is a good sign the crypto winter is coming to an end. Also, there are now strict policies set in place to regulate the number of altcoins that are coming into the cryptocurrency market. Some cryptocurrency experts have however predicted that 2019 will be a year that most of the already existing altcoins will disappear, paving way for the authentic currencies. So yes, crypto winter will be coming to an end soon. But then again, crypto winter is something that the cryptocurrency sphere cannot do without. There will be another crypto winter, and another…
 

TOP 5 INDICATORS OF A BAD CRYPTO OFFERING

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is to a cryptocurrency trader or investor, what Initial Public Offering (IPO) is to the stock trader. It acts as a means of raising funds, so a company that is looking forward to creating a new coin, an app or a service that involves the use of cryptocurrency, launches an ICO. This they do to bypass the extraneous processes in raising capital that is mostly required by banks or private investors.  After coin offerings are made, prospective investors buy into it, either with the normal fiat currency, or with existing digital coins. As at 2018, there were over a thousand cryptocurrencies in the market. Most of these coins were created with by people, to make money from cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
While there exists crryptocurrency projects that can end up in a bullish form after its ICO, there are also cryptocurrency projects that is engineered to fail from the beginning. It is therefore imperative that you are able to fish out these coin offerings. I have taken my time to list out five of the top characteristics to watch out for when buying into coin offering projects.

The Transparency of the team

This is the most important of anything that is worth consideration. A check on the transparency of the team that is behind the project might involve checking the website of the company, especially for the full names of the people behind it. When there is no name, or the names behind it cannot be traced, such project is laced with the probability of being a failure. Apart from the identification of the team, the correspondence in communication also matters. A good coin offering project should have a good community engagement, answering questions that are raised by investors and dishing out the latest news that borders on the coin. Their projection about the future is also very important, I usually judge this by the numbers they have on their team. If you at any time wish that your coin offering skyrockets in value, then one or two member team can’t handle it.

Pump and Dump Coins

This is one reason why most people lose money in the cryptocurrency market. Pumping and dumping of coins happens when a trader boosts the value of a coin by making it popular on different channels, thereby instigating a higher tendency of prospective buyer to invest. In the process of the price rising, other investors tend to buy. This action continues until the people involved in this crusade suddenly sell their own share of the coin, this action suddenly affects the price of the coin, putting it in a bearish zone. As a trader or investor, you have to watch out for this scheme.

The Project Plan – Whitepaper

The whitepaper is somewhat the plan of the company that is offering an ICO, it contains their business proposal, and the technical details on which their blockchain technology works. Although not all projects in their ICO stage have whitepapers, you have got to find out why this is so. Personally, I won’t invest in a project without a whitepaper. The feasibility of the road map of the project is also very important. Cryptocurrency market is not some Disney world story, it is not easy, so watch out for those projects that promises more for little. Also, the technology that is involved in the project – should a white paper be presented – needs thorough research. The good thing is that we are the age where everything can be sourced from the internet.

MLM – Multi-Level-Marketing

Most times I tend to see the MLM word as MMM. Multi-Level Marketing is in a nutshell, a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is a pyramid like structure, with the organization, which is always the MLM company in this case being on the top layer. They recruit new investors through enticing offers, give them returns on their investment and encourage them to refer other people. This continues until a saturation point is reached, or till the company is exposed for its schemes.

Centralization or Decentralization

A centralized project is a project whose network and dealings are controlled by a central body. A decentralized project on the other hand is not managed by a central party, leaving most of its dealings for peer-to-peer interactions. Centralized projects, because they have a single point to collect data can be easily hacked. While there are centralized projects that are doing well in the market space, I will strongly advice that in coin offering, you stay away from networks that aren’t decentralized.

TOP GOVERNMENT BACKED CURRENCIES THAT WILL NOT FALL

The year 2018 has not been without its surprises. Especially in May, when a group of cryptocurrency experts suggested that cryptocurrency will replace fiat currency, because of how easy it they can be used, and their encryption. You might want to ask how possible that is. I mean, data shows that there is a total fiat currency of $80 Trillion in circulation as you read, and the experts suggested that cryptocurrency will surpass a $100 Trillion mark, reducing the fiat in circulation to $30 Billion. However, for these predictions to be possible, the government of the world will have to back cryptocurrencies. If government therefore begins to develop cryptocurrencies to replace fiat currencies, the future that the experts predict might just be possible. As a matter of fact, some government of countries have started considering having their own government backed cryptocurrencies. It is generally believed that a government backed cryptocurrency will be more stable, trustworthy and efficient. In as much as most of these plans by government of countries are still cooking, here are the top government backed cryptocurrencies that will not fall.

PetroDollar – Venezuela

The government of Venezuela, in its effort to stable the volatile economy of the country,  adopted the PetroDollar to achieve a radical economic reform. The PetroDollar is the first government backed cryptocurrency to be lunched. When it was launched, it had an ICO with a pre-mining power of 2.7Billion coins in itself, which they sold in large stake volumes to foreign governments and foreign governments. Each coin is valued as the barrel of oil, which is currently at $45 USD. In February, the Venezuelan government released the initial coin offering, releasing just 38.4 million coin to the public. The PetroDollar has a whitepaper suggesting that it is somewhat a ERC-20 token, but other experts suggests that the digital coin is running on the NEM blockchain.

EmCash – United Arab Emirate

EmCash is the world’s second cryptocurrency to be backed by a government government. It was launched by the United Arab Emirate (UAE), with one of the emirates – Dubai – in charge of the development and the implementation of the technology. The EmCash is an encrypted blockchain digital currency, with the power to enable the citizens in the payments of both government and non-government transactions. It is a partnership between EmCredit and Object Tech. EmCredit happens to be a subsidiary of the Dubai Economy, which is responsible for the economic plans of the emirate. It the government’s bids to facilitate this technology, it has partnered with a blockchain firm called Pundi X. However, EmCash is still in its testing stages, waiting patiently to go into the market, even as the investors in this cryptocurrency expects it to solve the volatility that is associated with other cryptocurrencies.

eKrona – Sweeden

Sweeden has been on the list of top countries advocating for a cashless banking system. The Central Bank of Sweden (Riksbank) is currently developing eKrona. The Sweedish government is bent on being a forerunner in the exploration of blockchain technology. And one of the major use for this technology according to releases is to meet the need of viable transfer of funds, especially from people seeking asylum in the country. It does not however replace fiat currencies, rather it is meant to supplement it. The eKrona falls in the Nordic p2p digital coins category, making us of PoW scrypts and offering fast transactions.

Estcoin – Estonia

The release of the Estcoin by the government of Estonia is indeed upon us. The country is known for its friendliness with the blockchain technology, as it is already using it in different tiers of the government. One of the main blockade to the Estcoin is the fact that Estonia is a member of the European Union, therefore it is obligated by legal agreement to make use of the Euro as the accepted national currency.

CryptoRuble – Russia

In 2015, it was rumored that Russia is working on its own cryptocurrency known as the CryptoRubble. But my best bet is that the year of revelation is 2019. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin was once quoted saying that the project will help in making do with western sanctions, bringing additional cash into the country.

Cryptocurrency Mining Situation in 2018

What is cryptocurrency mining?

Cryptocurrency mining, or cryptomining, is a process in which various forms of cryptocurrency transactions are verified and added to the blockchain digital ledger. Also known as cryptocoin mining, altcoin mining, or Bitcoin mining. In other words, mining is simply a validation of transaction in cryptocurrency networks. Successful miners obtain new cryptocurrency as a reward.

ASUS Partners with Quantum Cloud to Develop Cloud Based Crypto-mining Platform

Asus recently announced a partnership with a blockchain startup Quantum Cloud to build a cloud-based cryptocurrency mining platform in a bid to promote the concept of giving incentives to gamers when they donate their GPU cycles. On its GPU product page, Asus explained:
“Quantum Cloud is a secure and simple service that allows users to easily earn extra cash when they donate their GPU cycles. Even if the app’s user interface is straight forward, it allows users to run cloud-based applications and make money in the process.”
Any incentive a user gets will be credited automatically to their PayPal account. The platform will secure the personal data of users as no data will be stored online. This platform is great and it is going to engage more people in the market. However, this isn’t the best time to debut such a product. The Cryptocurrency Market is currently at a low point. Making mining easier, and investing new ways to tap into GPU cycles would have been a great idea last year. Doing this at the end of a terrible year for cryptocurrencies isn’t such a great idea.
Bitcoin, the first largest cryptocurrency per market capitalization, fell as low as $3300 almost reaching the $3000 mark during this same period. This shows that the cryptocurrency fell by more than 75% from its all time high of $19,500. As a result of this record fall, purchase of Bitcoin dropped rapidly. Most people purchase other cryptocurrencies and convert it to Bitcoin whenever they have a need for it. So there will be no need for mining Bitcoin with GPU. These are the reasons why Asus’s plan is not a good thing for the industry.

RISKS INVOLVED

It is a good way to think of cryptocurrency risks as investing in the stock market in the early 1929, when the government did not insure banks and investors lost millions of dollars. When Bitcoin was first introduced in 2009, mining the world’s first and premier cryptocurrency needed little more than a home PC — and not even a fast one at that. To make any kind of profit in it today, the barrier Is quite high. It’s no longer the homebrew industry it once was.
Just as it is the case with buying cryptocurrencies, mining comes with even greater risks. Nothing in the cryptocurrency market is guaranteed but the potential rewards are guaranteed.
There are risks involved when mining any cryptocurrency:

  1. Losing your digital wallet of coins: You can lose your wallet either by forgetting your password, which locks you out or by physically losing the wallet when your hard drive breaks or your online wallet provider goes out of business.
  2. Dishonest mining pool organizers: You have to be really wary of the kind of mining pool you join. If you join a mining pool run by unscrupulous administrators, they could skim coins from your earnings or take your earnings altogether and close shop.
  3. Electricity Cost: Costs of Electricity could make your mining unprofitable. For most mining computers, a cost of 14 cents/kilowatt hour is the most you want to pay. Mining above 14 cents for currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Peercoin, and Feathercoin are not worth the investment.
  4. Black Hat Hackers: There is a possibility of a talented hacker breaking into your mining pool to empty your wallets.
  5. Drop in value of cryptocurrency: Your cryptocurrency could drop in value just like gold or any other commodity. There is a chance that the market value of your cryptocoins will fall, and you will be sitting on top of a pile of pennies instead of a pile of dollars.

CRYPTOCURRENCY MINING IS NO LONGER PROFITABLE

Last year, the “mining” process of earning new cryptocurrencies using high-powered computers, then selling those digital assets, became a profitable side hustle for savvy entrepreneurs who set up the mining rigs in their basements and dorm rooms.

According to analysis by Susquehanna, the side hustle is no longer profitable if you’re mining ethereum using kits containing GPUs (graphics processing units). The profit per month is down for mining, from about $150 last summer to an estimated $0 for November of this year.
In mining, machines run 24 hours a day, competing against other computers around the world to solve complex math problems. The first computer, or multiple computers, to solve the problem earns a fixed amount of bitcoin or ethereum.
The “hashrate,” or speed at which a computer can complete that operation fell drastically for ethereum this year. A higher hashrate is better for miners and adds to the opportunity of finding the next “block” and therefore getting the reward of new cryptocurrency.
The value of ethereum meanwhile has dropped more than 70 percent this year, trading near $205 Tuesday, according to data from CoinDesk.
The combination of those factors means that mining ethereum using a GPU, Nvidia’s flagship graphics card, is no longer profitable.