As the ICO (initial coin offering) market is changing, the cryptoverse just got another story to follow that might set an example of “creative destruction”, or how an ICO project might be closed down.

The platform connecting blockchain believers to teams that are building serious blockchain businesses Cofound.it has announced that it is closing down. According to the startup, it will be distributing the assets to their token (CFI) holders, since they believe “to continue with this purpose for a market that does not exist is not responsible.” At the time of writing, the market capitalization of the token stands at USD 9.8 million, the company has around 20,000 followers on its social media channels.

CFI price chart:

A Precedent: "Creative Destruction" of ICO with Market Cap of USD 10m 102

The startup was launched in 2016 and was the first crowdfunded project that was completely funded by the crowd in a pre-sale. They boasted a positive result in their first month of existence and their token was listed on exchanges such as Bittrex and Bitfinex. However, the winding down of the community-driven ICO concept of crowdfunding led the company to realize that they would rather close down now than try to evolve.

“The core idea of Cofound.it was to create an alternative VC [venture capiltal] ecosystem built around crowdfunding, democratization and transparency. Instead, the larger ecosystem developed and transformed into something completely opposite. Instead of waiting for the market to turn around, we have decided to opt for creative destruction, wind Cofound.it down and distribute the assets to the token holders,” co-founder and former CEO of Cofound.it, Daniel Zakrisson explained in a blog post.

He added that in November 2017 it became clear that the ICO concept needed to be reinvented, the power shifted to early professional investors and hype factories promoting ICOs to retail investors.

“We started the SEED programme to give the crowd the opportunity to join at the earliest funding stage. It became clear that the “community” at the core of the crowdfunding concept disappeared. In February it was evident that we were correct in our predictions<..>. The community-driven ICO concept of crowdfunding was dead,” Zakrisson concluded.

As reported by Cryptonews.com, in Q2 this year the share of institutional capital in ICOs increased while the number of retail investors continued to drop.

The company also adds that they hope to set a positive precedent for upcoming crypto-related projects: “By choosing creative destruction we keep the pace of innovation high in the space and hopefully set an example for other projects that will choose a similar course of action instead of quietly spending funds raised from the community for other purposes than was originally intended,” the blog post concludes.

In an interview, published by Cryptonews.com in January, Cofound.it chairperson David Prais explained what led to the launch of the project:
“I guess a couple of things: one was that the time was right, but, fundamentally, the financing of start-ups has gone wrong. I see this from my role as a director within the Funding London organisation. Some people have tried to rebalance the powers of funders and start-ups, but we really need a proper shake-up to try to get the balance right moving forward. Cofound.it is an attempt to correct the imbalance so it works for all parties.”

Unusual trading

Their coin, CFI, is ranked 330th by market capitalization and has jumped by 38.71% in the past 24 hours at the time of writing, although the blog post states that “The CFI token trading will be stopped at the major exchanges today, Friday, September 14 at 12:00 CET to avoid speculation and market manipulation.”

A Precedent: "Creative Destruction" of ICO with Market Cap of USD 10m 103

The company has not replied to our request for comment by press time. Meanwhile, the next course of action the startup is taking is to consolidate and return all liquid assets within 30 days, destroy any CFI not in circulation, as well as provide regular updates on the wind-down process.

Such an unprecedented move – the closing down of a relatively successful business due to market evolution – is quickly becoming fertile ground to malicious actors who try to take advantage of the situation. However, the company is already aware of this and taking steps to prevent it.

Ervin K. Ursic, currently responsible for the wind-down of the company, writes in an official release, “I have been made aware of what appears to be unusual CFI trading activity in the last couple of days […] I plan to conduct a thorough investigation into trading activity, involving exchanges, law enforcement, securities agencies and other pertinent authorities. Should any irregularities be discovered, reparations will be pursued to the maximum extent permissible by law in both criminal and civil courts.”

A follow-up blog post details the phishing attempt, saying that a small number of people have received an email with subject “IMPORTANT: Ethereum Address Proof of Ownership Urgently Required”. The email appears to have come from “info@cofound.it.” They add that, “The email is a phishing attempt. If you were among those who received it, please report it as phishing and delete it,” as well as that there is “no evidence” of a database breach.

For those who hold CFI, the process of reclaiming is explained: “The total amount of assets will be divided by the amount of tokens in circulation, and as a token holder, your part is claimed by sending CFI tokens to a CFI destroy address that will be available on a dedicated website within 7 days […] First stage of redistribution will be executed within 30 days (>90 percent of all Cofound.it assets).”

 

This post credited to cryptonews Image source: iStock

Robinhood, a red-hot investing app that launched cryptocurrency trading in February, is planning an initial public offering (IPO). CEO Baiju Bhatt made the announcement during a talk at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. He says the company is currently looking for a CFO to lead the effort.

Robinhood currently has 5 million customers and roughly 250 employees. The startup is valued at an estimated $5.6 billion, up from $1.3 billion last year when it had 2 million customers.

What separates Robinhood from other trading platforms is that they collect zero commissions, making all trades free.

“We believe that the financial system should work for the rest of us, not just the wealthy […] We’ve cut the fat that makes other brokerages costly, like manual account management and hundreds of storefront locations, so we can offer zero commission trading.”

These perks have created enough momentum for the startup to land on two major media lists. It ranked #6 on LinkedIn’s 2018 Top Startups list, Robinhood, just ahead of cryptocurrency giant Ripple and just behind the popular scooter app Bird.

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Robinhood Crypto also earned an honorable mention from Fast Company, which just announced its Innovation by Design awards for apps and games.

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Robinhood Crypto received an honorable mention in @FastCompany’s 2018 Innovation By Design Awards. Be on the lookout as we continue improving Crypto for all of you–while keeping it commission free.https://www.fastcompany.com/innovation-by-design/2018/category/apps-and-games 

These Are the 397 Most Inspiring, Innovative Designs of 2018 | Fast Company

When it comes to solving problems, these trailblazing businesses are doing it as simply and as beautifully as possible. Meet the 2018 Innovation by Design honorees.

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Founded in 2013, Robinhood is planning its IPO after five years of solid growth and revenue streams. The company generates revenue through its margin trading subscription service, Robinhood Gold, and by collecting interest on stored investor funds.

 

This post credited to The Daily HODL  Image source: The Daily HODL 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has halted trading of two foreign cryptocurrency investment products, including one that investors commonly referred to as the “Swedish bitcoin ETF.”

SEC Leashes Bitcoin & Ethereum Investment Products

The SEC announced the temporary trading suspension on Sunday, while U.S. markets were closed for the weekend, claiming that “there is a lack of current, consistent and accurate information concerning” the funds, Bitcoin Tracker One (OTC: CXBTF) and Ether Tracker One (CETHF), which have been listed on Nasdaq Nordic since 2015 but have only lately been made available to U.S. investors through an over-the-counter (OTC) market.

In an announcement accompanying the formal order, the SEC said:

“The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities CXBTF and CETHF because of confusion amongst market participants regarding these instruments.”

Writing in the full order, SEC Secretary Brent J. Fields specifically noted that there is widespread confusion, including among broker-dealers, about whether these products are exchange-traded notes (ETNs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or — as the issuer claims in its filing documents — “non-equity linked certificates.”

“The Commission is of the opinion that the public interest and the protection of investors require a suspension of trading in the securities of the above quoted company,” Fields wrote.

The formal suspension will continue through Sept. 20, but the order also warns that broker-dealers can face “prompt enforcement action” if they allow clients to resume trading without exhibiting “strict” compliance to SEC regulations governing securities that trade on the secondary market.

Swedish ‘Bitcoin ETF’ Sees Low Volume Ahead of Trading Suspension

Bitcoin ETF low volume
Both funds were characterized by low volume during their first few weeks on a U.S. OTC market.

CCN reported last month that the three-year-old Bitcoin Tracker One had entered the U.S. market, providing investors with a sort of “consolation prize” since the SEC had not yet allowed a regulated domestic exchange to list an outright bitcoin ETF, and most analysts do not expect a true bitcoin ETF until at least 2019.

Both Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One allow investors to purchase exposure to the two largest cryptocurrencies by market cap while offloading the custodial risk to the fund operator, XBT Provider, a Swedish subsidiary of U.K. cryptocurrency investment firm CoinShares. Moreover, investors can hold shares of the funds in tax-advantaged investment accounts, such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

“Everyone that’s investing in dollars can now get exposure to these products, whereas before, they were only available in euros or Swedish krona,” Ryan Radloff, CEO of CoinShares Holdings — the parent of the company that offers the bitcoin ETN — said at the time in an interview with Bloomberg. “Given the current climate on the regulatory front in the U.S., this is a big win for Bitcoin.”

Because the two funds are listed on an actual stock exchange in Sweden, they historically have not traded at a large premium to the spot price of the underlying assets, unlike Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC), which is available through most U.S. brokerages but is not listed on any exchange.

However, because CXBTF and CETHF are technically-structured as foreign debt instruments in the U.S., they have been difficult for many investors to access through retail brokerage accounts. This, compounded with lagging consumer interest in cryptocurrency investing, prevented either fund from carving out much market share in the days following their U.S debut.

During its first several weeks in the U.S., CXBTF had an average daily volume of 31,917 shares, worth close to $1 million according to data from OTC Markets. CETHF, meanwhile, averaged a paltry ~$2,200 in daily volume.

As a result, the announcement of the temporary trading suspension had virtually no impact on the global cryptocurrency spot markets, and the bitcoin price continued to trade near $6,300 at the time of writing.

XBT Provider did not immediately respond to CCN’s request for comment.

Read the full SEC order below:

SEC Order Halting Swedish ‘Bitcoin ETF’ and ‘Ethereum ETF’ by CCN on Scribd

This post credited to ccn  Images from Shutterstock

Cryptocurrency exchange startup Quoine has launched a new trading platform that it says will bring much needed liquidity to the crypto markets.

Called Liquid, the new service is a cryptocurrency trading “portal” that provides users with access to what it claims in a press release is “a worldwide network of cryptocurrency exchanges.”

With a lack of liquidity having “hampered the development of the cryptocurrency markets,” Liquid argued that its new product could help usher in greater stability.

From launch, Liquid will allow users to match trades across “multiple transactions and cryptocurrencies” – that is, make cross cryptocurrency conversions, as well as convert from the Singapore dollar (SGD). The firm says, as an example, orders of BTC/SGD, ETH/SGD and BTC/ETH could be matched together.

Later on, the firm plans to expand that offering with what it is calling a “World Book” technology. This aggregates orders and prices on different exchanges into a single order book and allows orders to be placed in the currency of choice, Quoine said.

According to an example of the system in the Liquid white paper, a German trader who wants to sell bitcoin can opt to view the World Book for bitcoin (BTC) in euros (EUR). When an order is placed, they will see their order enter the BTC/EUR market, with the order’s price also being reflected in their orderbook in EUR.

If the trader’s order to, say, sell BTC/EUR is matched with an order to buy BTC/SGD, “an FX conversion happens behind the scenes.” After the trade, both parties receive their funds in their chosen order currencies.

Mike Kayamori, co-founder and CEO of Quoine, said in the release:

“Cryptocurrency markets need stability. This year, the 30 day BTC/USD volatility [2] index has been above 3 percent for almost the entire year, with highs topping 8 percent at the start of the year. Liquid is paving the way to a less volatile future by improving liquidity within the cryptocurrency ecosystem,.”

Quoine operates cryptocurrency exchange businesses, and was licensed by Japan’s financial watchdog, the Financial Service Authority, for its operations in the country back in September 2017.

Two months later, Quoine raised $105 million in a sale of its QASH token that it said would fund Liquid’s development. The utility token will now be used to power the platform, allowing users to access to services.

In the press release, the firm further listed a number of features that it plans to add in the future including verification that allows withdrawals “under certain limits” to be made without having to undergo a know-your-customer process.

A credit card funding option and mobile apps for iOS and Android are also in the works.

 

This post credited to coindesk  Image source: Maxpixel

REUTERS: Goldman Sachs Group Inc is ditching plans to open a desk for trading cryptocurrencies as the regulatory framework for crypto remains unclear, Business Insider reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

In recent weeks, Goldman executives have concluded that many steps still need to be taken, most of them outside the bank’s control, before a regulated bank would be allowed to trade cryptocurrencies, the financial news website reported.

“At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering,” Goldman Sachs spokesperson Michael DuVally told Reuters.

Major cryptocurrencies plunged on the news. Bitcoin fell nearly 5 percent to touch five-day low at US$6,985 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. Ethereum slid 9 percent, Litecoin 7.1 percent and Ripple 7.7 percent.

In October, Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein had tweeted, “Still thinking about Bitcoin. No conclusion – not endorsing/rejecting. Know that folks also were skeptical when paper money displaced gold.”

Blankfein’s tweet was in sharp contrast to comments made by JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon, who called bitcoin a “fraud.” It is worse than tulips bulbs,” Dimon had said, referring to a famous market bubble from the 1600s.

Goldman’s rival Morgan Stanley had spoken in favor of the currency, with CEO James Gorman calling it “more than just a fad.”

The virtual currency can be used to move money around the world quickly and with relative anonymity, without the need for a central authority, such as a bank or government. A fund holding the currency could attract more investors and push its price higher.

Bitcoin had rocketed to a record high of US$16,000 in December. Several small U.S. firms reshaped their business models to capitalize on the craze for blockchain technology, which supports cryptocurrency.

Beverage maker Long Island Iced Tea Corp’s shares jumped nearly 300 percent in late December after the company said it would rebrand itself Long Blockchain Corp.

However, regulators across the world have been intensifying their scrutiny of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Last year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission warned that some of the coins issued in ICOs could be considered securities, implying that trading them would have to comply with federal securities laws.

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Arun Koyyur)

This post credited to channel news asia  Image source: Reuters

The adoption of blockchain technology is growing and has seen acceptance throughout various global industries. Its use is so widespread that even the World Bank has used it for settling transactions.

While banking and finance see a logical progression into blockchain, another industry, which could see a disruption in the near future, is the mining industry.

Gold and precious metal mining in particular, could see a huge boost in trust, as well as efficiency, if blockchain technologies are adopted.

With gold being used in industrial applications, ranging from smartphones to cars, intelligently tracking its supply is now more important than ever.

Consider for a moment the journey a gold nugget takes along its long supply chain — from mine  to consumer. Mining.com describes how gold will cross several industries, including manufacturing, legal, regulatory, financial and finally retail.

Each of these individual sectors will have their own ledgers as well as checks and balances.

All of these, however, whether physical or digital, are vulnerable to certain risk factors such as fraud, hacking, forgery and various human errors.

Through blockchain technology, the possibility of these incidents from happening is reduced dramatically. All transactions will be decentralised, immutable and transparent.

Anyone involved in the supply chain will be able to see where and when the metal was mined, who the actors involved are, at every step of the way.

One California-based company, Emergent Technology Holdings, is looking to take this concept to the next level, by building an ecosystem of responsibly-sourced gold from conflict-free zones.

The company is aiming to digitally encode the gold supply chain with the help of blockchain, to guarantee that gold that is mined responsibly.

Mitchell Davis, the company’s chief commercial officer, told CNBC that by attaching cryptographic seals to the gold, mining companies can track their assets along every point along the supply chain.

Once the gold is out of the mines and refined, other companies (like Tradewind Markets) will seek to use blockchain to help investors more easily trade the precious metal.

President and co-founder of Tradewind Markets, Matt Trudeau states that the gold market is fragmented and manual, with gold stored in commercial and sovereign vaults in different places around the world.

Since there isn’t an electronic exchange or clearinghouse for precious metals, the company aims to harness blockchain to do for gold what the technology has done for cryptocurrencies — create a decentralised and transparent method of tracking transactions.

The result is a more secure and efficient system of supply and trading, which benefits the gold market.

Gold has always been very expensive and in high demand. It is still classed among the top precious metals in the world. It comes as no surprise then, that FXCM details that gold is still a precious commodity traded in a variety of ways.

These can include trading through futures, and contracts for difference (CFD). In the US, for instance, traders will invest in gold over-the-counter through the New York Commodities exchange.

Outside the country, CFD trading allows traders to speculate on the price and fluctuations of gold.

With a secure gold supply backed by blockchain, gold trading will see benefits such as easier trading, reduced trading fees and a more stable market.

 

This post is credited to cryptonewsasia  Image source: cryptonewsasia

The bitcoin price went into freefall this morning, despite good news for bitcoin adoption from the growing Lightning Network, as investors get cold feet ahead of the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision expected later this month on whether to grant approval for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) — something the SEC has previously rejected due to fears around bitcoin’s wild price swings and price manipulation.

Bitcoin fell by some $500, or 5%, in just a matter of minutes, according to CoinDesk data, and taking the bitcoin price under the psychological $7,000 mark.

The sharp fall in bitcoin price comes after unconfirmed reports from Business Insider that U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs is ditching plans to open a desk for trading cryptocurrencies due to the murky regulatory landscape.

bitcoin price chart

The bitcoin price took a sharp turn lower this morning, dragging most other major cryptocurrencies with it.COINDESK

BI reported:

Goldman has moved plans to open a desk for trading cryptocurrencies further down a list of priorities for how it can participate in cryptocurrency markets, according to people familiar with the matter.

In response, the bank released a statement: “We have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering,” it said.

Regulators around the world have been grappling with how to properly regulate bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency exchanges. Last year the SEC warned that some of the coins issued in ICOs could be considered securities, meaning trading them would have to comply with federal securities laws.

 

This post credited to forbes  Image source: Getty Image

What’s behind the recent bitcoin rally price to $7,100? Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis Trading and Genesis Capital, thinks the market’s stable reaction to the SEC’s ETF rejections last week played a big role.

Interviewed on CNBC, Moro noted that the selloff that has greeted SEC rejections in the past did not materialize.

The important question now, he said, is how long the $7,100 price level holds.

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Waiting For The Bulls

bitcoin price
BTC/USD | Bitfinex

If the $7,100 price holds for one or two weeks, the bulls will return, he said, and $10,000 is a likely possibility. The bulls are waiting to see if the $7,100 price holds. Asked what will move bitcoin to $10,000, Moro said slow and steady growth will be needed, along with volume.

“What you need to see is the less violent moves of 5% up, 10% up, and a slow and steady growth across the exchanges,” Moro said.“What I also think is important is I think the market now understands that the SEC’s ETF approval isn’t any time soon.”

“I think the bears have realized that they’ve run out of steam,” he added. In addition, on the spot trading side, there were very few sellers around the $6,000 level.

Moro finds it interesting that every time the bitcoin price pops, some people start to sell.

“It’s folks who have managed to scoop up the dip and are selling at the next pop,” he said. “The question is, are the bulls here to stay?” He said a strong buy side demand has yet to materialize. One question is whether the market returns to the $6,000 level because the bulls are still waiting to see if $7,100 price holds.

Also read: Bitcoin price climbs to $7,100, as crypto market hits $232 billion, EOS surges 15%

CME Bitcoin Futures Volume Doubles

Speaking to Moro’s point about the need for volume trading, CNBC’s Bob Pisani pointed out that CME bitcoin futures volumes have doubled, which he attributed to the activity of institutions.

“What’s important here is that the increase in futures volume on CME has occurred while bitcoin went from $6,000 in June to over $8,000 in July and then all the way back down to about $6,000,” Pisani said. “It means that at least some traders are perfectly willing to trade bitcoin for futures on the way up, and also on the way down. It seems like a more active market out there.”

Trading volume has been flat for the much smaller CBOE and on spot markets such as Coinbase.

This post credited to ccn  Image source from Shutterstock