Nowadays, ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) are among the most contentious fundraising techniques. Though, based on market figures, it looks like there’s no halt in raising money with ICOs anytime soon.
ICO Market Analysis
The very first successful ICO event took place in 2014 by Ethereum. However, the year 2017 saw some of the biggest ICOs, such as Filecoin and Hdac, that raised more than $250 million only with their token sales. But the trend seemed to slow down by the end of the year, with a huge number of failed ICOs.
According to a report, out of 169 projects, only 69 managed to raise money through token sales, effectively. As the trend started to fade away, it grabbed the attention of protruding figures of the blockchain sector.
By the end of 2017, the failure of ICO trends rebounded with force and achieved a whole new level in the starting of 2018. More than $1 billion worth token sales were registered back in December. However, in a mere three months of 2018, the blockchain firms raised more than $5 billion by selling tokens.
The number of ICOs are skyrocketing. Plus, 50 ICOs are now being registered every month, whereas in 2017, not a single month saw ICOs more than 26, except the month of December.
People with dubious business models saw a huge opportunity in the unregulated ICOs market. Major projects such as Bitconnect, was shut down after it reached a $2.5 billion market cap. Furthermore, the intense funds on digital platforms turn out to be an easy target for hackers and according to a report, 450 ICO projects were attacked in 2017.
Problems Faced by Regulators
ICOs are gaining huge popularity and have become a huge concern for regulatory authorities around the world for two main reasons:
- The vulnerability of the investors.
- The cash-flow to an unregulated sector.
Though, the complex decentralized architecture of the blockchain has made it quite hard to execute any regulations on the wild-market, the largest ICO market, US, has recently become the centre of the regulatory discussion on cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Deprived of any real plan, numerous US agencies, like SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) are trying their best to explain the rules according to their own partial understanding.
Is there any solution?
Well, it’s quite clear that the ICO market is far-off from coming to a “full-stop.” Though, on the other hand, this also means that more projects are going to target investors. However, in an attempt to regulate the market, the SEC keeps on banning legit ICOs.
A Child poster for speculation
13 July 2017, bitcoin is the leading prima donna of the digital currency market. Anyhow, a big wall street bank does not impress by the crypto-storm.
James Faucette leads the Morgan Stanley’s team to hold up Bitcoin BTCUSD. +0.05% as a poster child for assumption although downplaying its potential as a valid currency.
In a report, analysts of the cryptocurrency note that online merchants’ percentage is low from last five years. This is the fact that price of the digital currency increases by 250%.
Faucette says, “The disparity between virtually no merchant acceptance and bitcoin’s rapid appreciation is striking.”
He has the responsibility for retailer’s quick appreciation in case of lack of bitcoin’s appeal, high cost with low transaction process. But unluckily, the main offender may be its rapidly growing worth.
Faucette says, “The ecosystem has focused more on value speculation rather than the foot-leather-eating work of increasing acceptance — way easier to trade speculatively than convince new merchants to accept the cryptocurrency.”
In early June, Morgan warned the cryptocurrencies to join the traditional investment tools. In this context, they need to accept the government oversight. Accordingly, it didn’t persuasive what that would demand.
Meanwhile, until the bitcoin’s regulation introduces, the discussion is over that Bitcoin is an alternative formula of monopoly money. Or, a genuine currency is expected to continue without a definitive conclusion.
When making an online transaction, several people like to stay anonymous for various reasons. And to achieve anonymity, they tend to use Bitcoin – a peer to peer, decentralized, digital currency.
It is often said about Bitcoin that it provides complete anonymity – which is not true. The Bitcoin transactions are not completely anonymous. They are made through Bitcoin exchanges. And the exchanges involved in a transaction may request you to provide your personal information, such as email address, a photo of yours, government ID, etc. and by using this information, they can trace and keep track of all your Bitcoin transactions.
(Learn about what are the top Bitcoin exchanges to trade coins)
To sort this out, we are going to discuss here some simple methods that will help you make anonymous transactions. Read carefully.
Stay Anonymous – Buy Bitcoin with Cash:
Wondering how to buy Bitcoin anonymously? Use cash! Yes, this is one of the simplest methods to buy Bitcoin anonymously. However, cash is not the only option – there are some other methods too, and we are going to discuss three of the most common ones here.
Buy Bitcoin Through ATM:
The ATMs give you complete anonymity to buy Bitcoin through cash. The machines don’t require any personal information or something else that a third party can trace. All you have to do is to go to your nearest ATM and make the transaction.
To buy the coins, all you have to do is enter your Bitcoin address and the number of coins you wish to buy. If you don’t have an address, just specify that you don’t have one and the machine will automatically generate a paper address for you.
Later on, using that address, you can import the private key and transfer your bitcoins to PayPal, or wherever you like.
Buy Through Local Bitcoin:
Another way to buy Bitcoin anonymously is Local Bitcoins. It’s a way of buying cryptocurrency through cash and in person. Through Local Bitcoins, you can find someone who is willing to sell bitcoins in exchange for cash in or near your area.
In order to use the service, you will need to sign up to their website. There is no documentation involved, so the process is completely untraceable.
Use Your Prepaid Card to Buy Bitcoin:
Prepaid credit card is another option to stay anonymous. The card is easily available at any supermarket or a convince store. Once you have the card, you can use it to buy the cryptocurrency without having to provide any personal information.
Some Methods That Are Just Partially Anonymous:
If you don’t have access to the above-mentioned methods, you can use the ones that are partially anonymous. These methods don’t require you to provide any ID. However, a phone number is still needed to enjoy the service.
Let’s take a look at some of them down below:
Wall of Coins:
A peer to peer Bitcoin exchange which only requires your phone number to use the service. Wall of coins currently operates only in Latvia, US, Argentina, Canada, Poland, Philippines, and Germany.
Acts like an escrow between a buyer and a seller. BitQuick takes the cryptocurrency from a seller and instructs the buyer to deposit cash into the seller’s account. Once the cash is deposited, the coins are released.
BitQuick also requires your phone number for its services.
These are some ways to trade Bitcoin with complete/partial anonymity. If you are looking to buy coins without being traced, it will solve most of your problems.
US whistleblower Edward Snowden has shown deep concerns over the long-term existence of Bitcoin. He talked about the long-term prospects related to Bitcoin in his latest interview. According to him the use of public Blockchain has made the cryptocurrencies vulnerable to misuse. Before considering his point of view, many readers would sure want to know who really Edward Snowden is and why should we value his discussion about Bitcoin and its future aspects.
Who is Edward Snowden?
Edward Snowden is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee. He is a computer professional and is well known for being the NSA-whistleblower. He earned international fame after revealing NSA’s surveillance agenda. And now he thinks that Bitcoin has a serious problem. According to him the Bitcoin ledger is extremely vulgar to public and it is not dependable in the long run.
Addressing a large gathering at the Blockstack event in Berlin, Snowden said that no doubt majority of people have their full focus on Bitcoins, pertaining to its transaction rate limitations. Edward stated that the long-lasting flaw of Bitcoin is its public ledger.
Why is Public Ledger not dependable?
When asked that how he could decide whether the public ledger had such major drawbacks, Edward explained that the idea of a public ledger might be a nice one but it is not so much compatible with the local trade mechanism for trade. According to Edward we cannot have a lifelong history of purchases made by everyone neither can such be record maintained for long in the form of public ledger. The most fearing thing about a public ledger is that it always has a threat from the government. Without proper government control no one can be sure what may happen after sanctions from the government arise.
When Edward was asked about a solution he stated that Bitcoin was once considered as the safest way to pay for anything on the internet – the main reason behind it was its anonymity. That’s the reason it was considered as the most favorite currency on the Silk Road platform. Furthermore, it was therefore used as a favorite tool for money-laundering and funding terrorist activities. However, Edward disclosed in his above-mentioned discussion that Bitcoins are much more traceable than any of us will bother to believe. Every wallet on the Bitcoin network has an address which acts as an identity and can be easily used to trace all the activities related to that specific user.
There are various warriors out there fighting for the cryptocurrency crown, but the lead runners are Bitcoin and Ethereum and both have serious backing. Due to the increase in competition, it is important for investors to understand the similarities and differences between the two.
What is Bitcoin
Bitcoin is the first form of digital currency which was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. Since everything is shown on the public ledger, the blockchain, you can be confident that the transaction is legitimate. Bitcoin offers lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and has no interference of banks. Also, it is used to buy things electronically. In that sense, it’s like conventional dollars, euros, or yen, which are also trading digitally at the moment.
What is Ethereum
Ethereum is meant to be much more than a payment system. It is also based on blockchain technology and was introduced to supplement decentralized applications.
It even features smart contracts and the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Firstly, Ethereum’s smart contracts allow contract negotiation and facilitation using an app which provides a decentralized way to verify and enforce them. It is powered by the Ethereum cryptocurrency Ether, which is held in the Ethereum wallet. Their aim is to provide greater security than normal contracts and bring down the associated cost. Also, the Ethereum Virtual Machine helps to create blockchain applications in a much easier and efficient way, enabling people to run any program.
Bitcoin vs. Ethereum:
In Bitcoin blockchain, miners mine to earn bitcoins and two-thirds of all available bitcoins have already been mined. The reward for mining halves about every four years and it’s current value is at 12.5 bitcoins with average block time as 10 minutes. Due to this block time, Bitcoin is suffering from slow transaction speeds thus, vendors and purchasers are choosing to shift.
On the other hand, Ethereum rewards its miners with ethers, which is a kind of token that fuels the network. You earn 5 ethers given for each block and unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s block time is 12 seconds. Ethereum’s GHOST protocol enables quick block time. The faster the block time, the quicker the confirmations. However, there are also more orphaned blocks. Ethereum gives application developers the opportunity to create all sorts of applications that carry out their own set of operations, which have never been seen before. While smart contracts are set up to be unchanging and trustworthy, they are still ultimately a creation of humans who are capable of error.
Another major difference is the supply of Bitcoin, which is exceedingly low, with just 16.24 million left from 21 million. Whereas, Ethereum has over 89,752,192 coins currently existing. This is an advantage for Ethereum since Bitcoin might be left behind due to its low supply.
Furthermore, both Ethereum and bitcoin use different hashing algorithms. While Bitcoin uses SHA-256 algorithm that produces a number in hexadecimal format, Ethereum uses Ethash algorithm.
Here’s a table representing all the differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum:
The future of Bitcoin and Ether
As we glance into the future, it’s hard to get a grip on who exactly is going to be on top of the chain. Over the years, Bitcoin has become more and more popular, there has been a steady increase in volume since the beginning of 2017. It now represents a technological breakthrough that has the potential to change the way the world banks. Now standing on $2209, for the first time in history, surpassing even the price of gold.
However, as high as Bitcoin pushes, it is going to drag Ethereum with it as well, which is now trading at $175. While the future of Ether is more uncertain than the future of Bitcoin, the potential gains are also much greater.
Both digital currencies continue to push all-time highs for almost every available metric and show no or very little signs of slowing down.