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The U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has filed charges against the Centra Tech ICO (Initial Coin Offering), claiming that the legendary boxer, Floyd Mayweather promoted a token sale, which was allegedly a sham security offering.

According to the SEC complaint, the co-founders of Centra ICO are involved in the ICO fraud and made material misstatements as well as omissions that were intended to trick the investors whereas, the Centra ICO was also an “unregistered securities offering.”

ico fraud

SEC Ceases ICO

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Centra only pretended to have relationships with major financial institutions and lied about it. The major financial institutions which sent Centra several cease-and-desist letters are:

  • Visa
  • Bancorp
  • Mastercard

In addition to that, some of the executives showed in Centra’s advertising materials were also fake. The co-director of SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Stephanie Avakian stated:

“We allege that Centra sold investors on the promise of new digital technologies by using a sophisticated marketing campaign to spin a web of lies about their supposed partnerships with legitimate businesses.”

Furthermore, he added:

“As the complaint alleges, these and other claims were simply false.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission originally subpoenaed Centra in the month of February as part of its wide-investigation into ICOs.

Centra ICO Dependence

The Centra ICO is quite well-known because of its use of celebrity endorsements to advertise its product. Floyd Mayweather, who is known as a legendary boxing champion and has made paid-endorsements for numerous ICOs, had worked a lot on the promotion of the token sale on various social media platforms and got more than 5,600 like and 1,500 retweets. DJ Khaled was also hired by Centra for the promotion of the ICOs; however, no celebrity was named in the summons.

Steve Peikin also stated:

“As we allege, the defendants relied heavily on celebrity endorsements and social media to market their scheme…. Endorsements and glossy marketing materials are no substitute for the SEC’s registration and disclosure requirements as well as diligence by investors.”

The SEC has also cautioned that some of these ICO endorsements by celebrities might be illegitimate especially if the parties don’t make any obligatory public disclosures. On the other hand, Mayweather’s tweet promoting the token sale, such as, doesn’t specify that it is a paid advertisement.

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Will The Violent Closing of Crypto Hedge Funds Also Persist In 2019?

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According to some financial observers the future of cryptocurrency hedge fund could face a harsh and violent transformation during 2018. It has also been predicted that 10 percent of these hedge funds could shutdown during the next few months. Even Bloomberg reported recently that the continuous decrease in the prices of cryptocurrency assets have played a critical role in the slowdown of hedge funds. This prediction seems to be true as far as the ratio of crypto hedge funds opening is concerned which decreased continuously during the current year as compared to their launch rate in 2017 which was over 170. The situation has totally changed now as during the first three months of 2018 only 20 new players showed their existence on the scenario and shutting down of previous funds also continues.

cryptocurrency hedge fund

Reasons For This Downfall

According to latest hedge fund news the main reason for all this downfall can be the significant reduction in price of cryptocurrency this year, this decrease in price of automatically affected the relative hedge funds resulting in losses and closings of their doors for 2018. The ultimate decrease in price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has not been good for the health of hedge fund business. Regulatory uncertainty has also played its role in all this scenario.

 

Alpha Protocol is one of the recently closed funds which directly cited “potential regulatory and market risks” as main reasons for its decision to refund deposits. A statement was issued by its co-founder that new capital rate had slowed down and it was getting difficult to survive even for a high profile fund like Alpha Protocol.

Which Crypto Funds Were Affected Most?

Among those companies which had to freeze their operations, Crowd Crypto Fund and Alpha Protocol are on the top of the list. It has been reported that a total of 9 hedge funds revolving around cryptocurrency were shut down since December 2017. In addition to the shutdown of various funds, some of the investors have reverted to their previous investment plans which proved to be more secure than the crypto based hedge funds.

 

Alongwith unsure market health, regulatory uncertainty was also responsible for this downfall. Rumours have been circulating that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is fully prepared to check approximately 100 hedge funds in the near future while there are still more than 200 active hedge funds in operation.

 

Whatever the reason may be, all that discussion means that the cryptocurrency hedge fund business must evolve itself in order to compete with the regulatory uncertainty lying ahead.

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BitCoin Mining Hardware Guide ft. CRAZY Obsidian Mining Rig

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Are you looking to make some bitcoins but are not sure that what is the best bitcoin mining hardware, we have covered everything that you are looking for. We provide you a detailed information about the best miners used by the top mining professionals. So, visit our website to get a better idea about best miners out there.

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Introducing Blockchain-Based E-Voting system in Moscow

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It was in 2014 when Moscow’s Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin launched an innovative Active Citizen app. This app was actually an e-voting platform designed solely for the residents of Moscow to vote on municipal projects pertaining to non-political city decisions, e.g.; naming of subway stations, setting up speed limits, plotting of bus routes, replacing the building’s entrance door or even hiring a new management company etc.

The Active Citizen app was a huge success since its launch, more than 2,800 polls were being administered and over 2 million users participated via the app. But according to some critics this app grew vulnerable to manipulation with the passage of time.

That’s why, Moscow officials announced that they have piloted the Active Citizen onto the blockchain technology in order to minimize the vulnerability issue.

Usually, the term of blockchain is referred to the cryptocurrency transactions. It is a sort of a digitalized and decentralized online database pertaining to public ledger of crypto transactions and interactions. Though specific for tracking secure financial transactions of cryptocurrency, it will now also be used in the e-voting platform of Moscow.

blockchain based e voting

What makes it a safest choice?

Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD) has successfully tested this blockchain based e-proxy voting system. This voting system is comprised of the following steps:

  • In the first step a Bondholder will pass vote to a nominal bondholder (NB)
  • The Nominal bondholder will in turn submit that vote to the blockchain
  • The designated Counting commission will count the votes and submit their results to the blockchain
  • Bondholder can latter verify whether the votes were counted correctly or not.

Hence it can be easily concluded that the process of blockchain based e-voting will resemble the secure crypto transactions to a great extent. Once the vote will be placed, it will be listed in a ledger consisting all the votes taken place across a node-to-node fully secure network. So, there will be no chance of data loss, fraud or third-party alteration once the vote has been casted.

In other words, blockchain is becoming a hallmark of digital accountability and security. It comprises of such a complicated mechanism of digitized security that it is almost impossible for the general public to ‘’hack’’ it in their traditional way.

According to some experts the use of blockchain technology will improve the transparency of e-voting system in Moscow and it should also be tried in the general elections as well.

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Bitcoin Escrow Service – Multisignature

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An escrow service provides safer transactions especially since bitcoin transactions are irreversible. It holds the buyer’s coins in escrow and releases them after the satisfaction of both the parties. Escrow protects sellers from fraudulent buyers and likewise, buyers are protected if the seller turns out to be a scammer and doesn’t deliver the goods.

bitcoin escrow service

Bitcoin Multisig

Multisig aka Multi-signature is a technology that takes care of bitcoin wallet address. The basic principle is very simple: more than one person must sign the transaction in order for it to be valid. Bitcoin has a built-in feature that lets you choose as many signatures as you like, and then choose how many signatures in total must be provided for a valid transaction.

Use Bitcoin Multisig for Escrow

How to Use Multisig to Escrow Bitcoin?

The most common use of Multisig would have to be bitcoin multi-sig escrow. Multi-sig escrow provides consumer protection without the need of a central escrow provider to hold the coins on your behalf. Instead, an address is created which requires ‘2 of 3’ signatures from the buyer, seller and a third person who provides arbitration in case there is any disagreement. This address holds the payment until the product or service is delivered, and then can be used to pay the seller or refund the buyer.

Multisig can strongly benefit both individuals and organizations in improving security, establishing access controls, and enabling the delegation of partial trust. The additional signature proves that the transaction process is complete when both parties are aware that the terms of the transaction have met.

Bitcoin Escrow- Specialized Services

There are some specific platforms present for providing bitcoin escrow service to bitcoin users.  When you use one of these services, you are able to choose a third-party arbitrator from a list. If this list isn’t available in the event of a disagreement, they will act as a mediator.

  • Bitrated – Costumers choose from a list of independent arbitrators registered on a platform. After confirmation, the buyer secures bitcoins into a multi-signature address and the payment is secure until two of the participants agree to release them.
  • Escrow My Bits – This Bitcoin escrow service charges 1% escrow fees which provides possible dispute resolution. Storing your funds in a secure 2 of 3 multi-signature transactions where they hold one key.
  • StrongCoin- It’s an online wallet with built-in escrow with 1% fee on bitcoin cryptography. Use this service to buy items as they are able to offer escrow where no single party holds bitcoins. They hold one vote and to release the coins, you require two votes.

While in escrow, coins cannot be stolen unless two of the users also sign the transaction. This is much more secure and is highly recommended for anyone dealing with a large number of bitcoins.

Bitcoin Escrow Service

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What Are the Best Bitcoin Escrow Services In 2017?

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Best Bitcoin Escrow Services

Using third-party services for bitcoin transactions is a great idea, especially for LocalBitcoins users. This is because these types of transactions take place between two untrusted parties. So, you never know when a seemingly simple transaction could turn into an ordeal.

To avoid any unfortunate incident, we advise you to transact bitcoins via escrow service. The escrow service protects users from scams and makes sure that the transactions are taking place in a safer environment.

Learn about the most common Bitcoin scams and how to avoid them.

In case there is a dispute, the escrow service would act as an arbitrator and determine who the funds actually belong to.

Many Bitcoin marketplaces (BitPremier, CryptoThrift, Local Bitcoins, etc.) come with a built-in escrow service. However, if the marketplace through which you are making a transaction doesn’t provide one, then consider the ones discussed below.

Best Bitcoin Escrow Services:

Here are some of the best Bitcoin escrow services to trade your coins.

BTCrow:

BTCrow was established in 2011 and is one of the oldest escrow services out there. Although, the only long-lived solution, BTCrow isn’t that reliable. There have been many complaints regarding delayed payments and system’s response. For example, a user once made a transaction through this service but didn’t receive the payment for a good while. Even after contacting BTCrow support, it took around 12 hours to release the payment which was $7,500 USD. This is way too much for a transaction involving this much money.

Escrow My Bits:

Established just two years ago, “Escrow My Bits” has gone on to become one of the go-to names for Bitcoin users. The site offers a wide variety of services to escrow bitcoin, including:

Regular Escrow:

The site provides the user with a Bitcoin wallet address and asks them to deposit funds in the account. These funds are then forwarded to offline wallets (cold storage) which is one of the most advanced forms of wallet security.

Regular Escrow Pegged to Traditional Value:

The coins are deposited into an account controlled by the site. After the deposit, the coins are pegged to conventional value.

Multi-Signature Escrow:

This service secures your funds through a multi-signature transaction. The funds cannot be withdrawn unless all the signatures are accurately provided. The site holds only one of your private keys.

Multi-Signature Escrow Pegged to A Fiat Value:

Similar to the one mentioned earlier, your funds are kept in a secure multi-signature transaction using “Nubits” or “Omni” to peg the value.

The primary advantage of Escrow My Bits is that if a transaction takes longer than expected, you can still peg it to the fiat currency without the exchange rates affecting you.

The site deducts 1% per transaction in service charges.

Bitrate:

A Bitcoin escrow service which comes with the multi-signature feature. Bitrate is more like a multi-signature wallet.

A multi-signature bitcoin wallet is a wallet which can have multiple owners. To complete a transaction, these wallets require the signatures of involved parties. For example, if a wallet is shared by three individuals and two of those three decide to make a transaction, the order is executed.

The biggest advantage of Bitrate is that the site itself doesn’t hold the private key so it cannot steal your funds.

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