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Do you know how much it cost to get a crypto influencer for your ICO promotion on social media platforms? Here’s the surprising answer!

ICO (Initial Coin Offering) operators don’t really like to disclose the amount they are spending on marketing, although promoters usually prefer to delay discussions related to prices ’til after they’ve had the chance to make a sales pitch as précised figures are hardly discussed in public. However, John McAfee (cybersecurity pioneer) has spent all his life resisting convention, and now he is operating an ICO marketing service, McAfee Crypto Team.

ico marketing service

Company’s Official Statement

According to the official site of the company, McAfee Crypto team is a full-service ICO promoter as it offers:

  • Whitepaper support
  • Web optimization
  • Marketing
  • Strategic advice

The cost for many of the services is not listed; however, clients will have to pay $105,000 to get McAfee tweet about their ICO, which will be sent to its 811,000 followers, at least few of them will be probably bots.

According to the website:

“John McAfee’s tweets are by far the most influential in the field of cryptocurrency. Few leaders in the Crypto community can come close to Mr McAfee’s reach into the heart of the cryptocurrency investor community.”

Dubious Claims by McAfee Crypto Team

Furthermore, the website makes suspicious claim that this is one of the most inexpensive ways of marketing a cryptocurrency project. The site also claims:

“Given Mr McAfee’s price of $105,000 per tweet, the cost per investor reached is the least costly of any marketing avenue in the Crypto world. Considering only his own followers, the cost per investor reached is $0.13. Considering his reach beyond his own followers, the cost per investor reached is frequently less than a penny. This is orders of magnitude less than any other approach.”

Even with the heavy price tag, the company still claims that so many projects are showing their interest that now the company has to establish a $750 registration fee to stop staff from being dazed with applications. While responding to opponents, McAfee refused to accept that he has sold out and stated:

“They say I sold out ’cause I use my tweets to promote, but the last 200 ICOs that lined up, we rejected 195 and chose 5.”

He added, he promotes only those projects that he believes in as he tweeted:

“I only promote what I believe.”

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What Should Be Considered in an ICO Whitepaper?

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As the popularity of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) is mounting along market’s instability and other cryptocurrencies fraud around the world, a debate has emerged about the appropriate regulatory policies for cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The most frequently asked questions include the proper division of authority amid the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), whether authority of these commissions should reach the core of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as others are expecting that a whole new regulatory rule is required for cryptocurrency and token fundraisers. This blog illustrates the congressional testimony on cryptocurrencies, which aims to reflect the existing regulatory approach that is being used by the regulators to observe and manage ICOs and cryptocurrencies, and how more regulatory clarity can be achieved in such markets.

ICO whitepaper

US Securities laws disclosure system is the prime one, where promoters can easily share information related to their company and management, openly. With SEC, this information is filed later. By dissimilarity, most of the ICO disclosures are enabled via “whitepapers” which are unregulated at this time, focusing mainly on the current technology and on such technologies that are under-development.

Investors and buyers of ICO tokens that are looking for a good return or technology users that are looking forward to contribute and support in an advanced product would have to expect certain disclosures for making a purchase in a conversant way. Some of the disclosures that have been identified by the entrepreneurs themselves are specifically relevant to ICOs transition.

Location of Promotors

According to a study, in 32% of ICOs, it is literally impossible to identify the promoter’s origin. From an investor’s point of view, this is a serious information asymmetry. It won’t be possible to identify what legal protections and rules are. without this information. Moreover, there are few ways through which investor can interact with related public authorities especially in case of fraud, like; loss or theft. So, ICO whitepaper should set out a comprehensive report of where the issuer and its key management are placed.

Issues

If we talk about the history of US Securities law, there was no such information important for investors than the financial statements of the issuer. Investors could easily evaluate the past performance of the company by scrutinizing income statements, cash flow and balance sheets, and by doing so, they could make well-versed guesses about the future performance of the company as well as its profitability.  A whole ecosystem of third-party auditors, credit rating agencies, and accountants, were settled due to the criticality of financial statements in securities offerings, to make sure the accuracy of financial statements.

ICOs serves for a different purpose as compared to most of the traditional IPOs (Initial Public Offerings). Rather than funding trading companies, ICOs involve products industrialized by startups identifying technology-based issues and offering the sale of solutions based on technology.

It’s not the past performance of the company or financial statements for most of the offerings, but it’s the venture’s technology plan. Therefore, guaranteeing that investors/retail buyers comprehend the crucial contours of the fundamental technology solution is ultimate as ICOs turn out to be a more and more popular way of fundraising.

Moreover, further technical chunks of the ICO whitepaper would be a perfect subject to a system of third-party authentication, especially for larger fundraises. Also, when describing the solution, hyperbole should be avoided by the promoters which are an endemic problem in whitepapers. Plus, investors should be required to identify an objective base for all the upcoming statements as well.

Blockchain

Investors should be well-versed about how the secondary infrastructure works, and how it is going to affect the governance of the token. Also, the consensus method for a virtual currency’s Blockchain should also be revealed as well, along with a summary of how the governance decisions, plus other decisions affect the network, such as; software upgrades, which will be synchronized amid the several investors such as designers, miners, and users.

Token’s Description

This is obvious that tokens can have a number of different economic and qualitative features, like; currency, utility, or securities. The disclosures would have to elucidate what it means to a typical holder, if the tokens are created in a technological format, complying with firm guidelines, like; ERC20 standard.

Likewise, if some efforts will be made for listing a token, for example, to list a securities token on an ATS (alternative trading system), or if there are trading limitations on the security, then such facts have to be disclosed in a way that is clear to the owner of the token. The description of token should specify the envisioned use of the coins that are issued in the offering, their quantity, plus whether the advisors will keep the reserve coins, and if they do, then how they’d liquidate them. Promoters should be required to reveal their intellectual ownership of the company’s protocol.

Technical Team Qualification

Common disclosure requirement in registered offerings is the information about the business experience of executive officers as the investors are given a sense of the quality of management and are probably the success of the company once it goes public. In ICOs, companies have restricted histories and the problem may be exceptional, if same information about the offering’s technical team could be evaluated. At the same time, coders have diverging backgrounds, as some are more qualified and experienced than others. Also, to provide investors with an intellect as to the proficiency and reliability of the white paper, many founders should provide all info linked to key engineering experience, skills, qualifications and other relevant features. Plus, it should also be mandatory for developers to provide links to their previous work.

Risks

ICOs should involve disclosures regarding the most substantial risk aspects affecting token holders in the offering document. Even though many investors will probably understand that even successful ventures can be later disintermediated by more effectual nonentities. A token holder may get astonished to discover that the product doesn’t function as it’s intended or might develop a purpose all-in-all contingent on the progress of the technology, possibly even less in all likelihood, the requirements of the contributors in the ecosystem. Shareholders should comprehend as well that the greater sectoral risks, including variations in the trade that could demote some designs of blockchain into further parts of the sector, making many tokens worthless. Buyers had to be completely aware of their latent susceptibility to hacking, disruption, and data-loss, also authorized subjects like privacy concerns and information transportability across borders.

No doubt, there are other imperative disclosures as well that should be operationalized in means that are way too much effective.

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Bitcoin Goes High When Miners Take a Step to Solve the Scaling Problem of Digital Currency

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Bitcoin miners are intending to support a new upgrade for the Blockchain of Bitcoin which may solve the scaling problem of digital currency. Most of the Bitcoin miners including Bitclub, AntPool, BTC.com, and BitClub have shown their interest to support the Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) 91, through adding a piece of code to every single new block of bitcoins they generated. This block needs 80% support to be “locked in” permanently to the blockchain. This will cause a relief as it stops the blockchain splitting into separate two chains, which would create two different coins effectively. Already 66 % of the last 144 blocks provided signal support for it.

According to Coindesk data, Bitcoin has recovered from a tough 8-weeks low of $1863 on Sunday to about $2329 today.

What is the Problem with Bitcoin?

 

Bitcoin has faced a scaling problem for some time, where the number of the transactions occur on the blockchain at one time are limited to 1MB every 10 minutes. This generates a backlog of the transaction which should process and slow things down.

The Bitcoin community has been looking for the best way to solve this scaling problem. Segregated Witness(SegWit) system is one of the solutions which would increase the transaction speed. But SegWit required about 95% support from the miners. Bitcoin fell about 12% on Sunday because of these concerns. However, Bitcoin miners have to respond to this problem.

What is the Solution of Scaling Problem?

Many members of the Bitcoin community have united on a solution known as BIP148. This may include a “User-activated Soft Fork”, where users of Bitcoin will force the blockchain to split by refusing any block of Bitcoin which didn’t indicate support for SegWit. BIP 148 was coming in action on 1st of August and if a large number of developers didn’t commit on the proposal, the blockchain can split.

Charles Hayter, founder and chief executive of CryptoCompare has explained, However, a large group of miners will continue to mine with Non-SegWit blocks in case of the BIP148. In such case two bitcoins would occur, one in which SegWit is active, and other in which SegWit is not active. This may have terrible results for one of the chains or even both. This could be one of the major factors behind the volatile support for BIP91.

Will Bitcoin Avoid a Fork?

To avoid Fork, miners are giving support behind BIP91, that would present SegWit2X to the blockchain. BIP91 requires only 80% support, rather than 95% and to be ‘locked in’ they would introduce the SegWit system.

The managing editor of The Black Swan Portfolio, Bram de Haas, told CNBC via an email on Tuesday, “BIP91 has a minor edge of adoption which made its implementation less risky and more realistic. Adopting the BIP91 will also decrease the possibility of a fork which many people like”.

Bitcoin will surely avoid a fork now but it’s not much terrible if it does not. Haas expected now the Bitcoin prices to rebound faster and faster.

 

Story Credit: cnbc.com

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Why Audi Is Also Interested In Blockchain?

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blockchain startups

Thanks to Bitcoin and all the related cryptocurrencies, blockchain startups no more a mystery. All those who are somehow related to the crypto market know that the blockchain technology is infact a decentralized technology that keeps the record of digital transaction and has so far its use been specific for the crypto transactions. To be more precise and accurate we can state that a global network of computers uses blockchain technology to jointly manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions. Blockchain is considered to be invincible because it can continuously replicate itself on multiple computers and databases.

So far Blockchain had been used in case of cryptocurrency transactions only but with the passage of time its use expanded for example in determining identity of digital assets, smart contracts, digital voting and distributed storage etc. Porsche can be considered a pioneer who for the first time decided to utilize Blockchain technology in car manufacturing. Let us see how they did it.

First Use of Blockchain in Automobile industry

With the help of  Berlin-based XAIN, Porsche has become the very first automobile manufacturer to successfully test blockchain in its cars. Blockchain technology based digital processes are both secure and super fast than anything that has come before. Test which was carried by the manufacturer of Porsche included locking and unlocking of the vehicle via an app, access authorisations and encrypted data logging. It is a part of further planning to improve autonomous driving functions of Porsche with the help of Blockchain technology.

What is the Plan of Audi?

For the time being Audi is planning to use Blockchain technology for its physical and financial distribution processing. In short Audi is just making an innovative effort to make its global supply chain more transparent and foolproof. For this purpose the car manufacturer also released a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) of its Blockchain system last year. As a result of positive feedback the manufacturer has now decided to advance the project beyond the PoC stage.

Moreover, the management of Audi is further researching on Blockchain in order to improve the process of data transfer and make it more safe and effective.

Interest Shown by other Car Manufacturers

Like Porsche other German car manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes have also hit the news with announcements of their interest and expected experiments with Blockchain technology. According to authentic reports, BMW is planning to expand its portfolio by partnering with a Blockchain startup. Mercedes Benz has even took a step forward and has announced that it may issue its own cryptocurrency by the name of MobiCoin. According to the initial announcements Mobican will be used to reward drivers for their environmentally cautious driving.

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Facts about Blockchain Funding by Chinese Investment Group

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News about generating blockchain funds by a Chinese company are in the news right now. But before discussing about that news, we must have a watch on the history and importance of blockchain. Designed in 2008, blockchain is the backbone of Bitcoin and all the other cryptocurrencies. Blockchain system works by taking in digital transactions and storing them in pieces of digital information called blocks. These blocks are in turn linked together to form ledgers. In case of blockchain, such ledger can be defined as a list of digital transactions. Each time you wish to change the data inside a blockchain database, the software adds a block to the chain containing all the information required to verify the changes. The block will have a unique identifier (a hash) and can be encrypted depending on the underlying software use-case for it.

blockchain funds

Importance of Blockchain Technology in other industries

Blockchain has also a serious impact on various other industries. Even IBM has started work on their own blockchain projects. The main reason for it is that blockchain has played an important role in maximizing the technology’s capabilities, such as autonomous records and easy to access contracts. Even the Pharmaceutical giants are planning to use blockchain to prevent frauds and secure their transaction records. Now let’s come to the point and elaborate why blockchain funds have become so important for China to show active participation in it.

Why China is interested in Blockchain Funding?

Due to such an important role of blockchain in digital transactions, especially cryptocurrency, it has been reported that a government-led investment firm known as Investment Association of China (IAC) is going to establish a funding center to strengthen the blockchain development in China.

This news leaked out when a document related to that entity was circulated by IAC on the internet. IAC reports directly to China’s National Development and Reform Commission.

Later, vice chairman of the IAC, Liu Ren confirmed the document’s authenticity. He further explained that IAC had to take an initiative in this regard due to the growing importance and popularity of blockchain in cryptomarket. That’s why their association decided to provide fundings and maintained standards for the good of cryptocurrency industry.

However, he did not disclose that whether the funding will be provided from the state or private sectors.

This new blockchain funding center will also seek further working with overseas blockchain projects to generate further investment options. It will also provide consultation services to those persons or firms that are interested in blockchain investment. In short, Chinese government is quite serious in its efforts to develop investment plans for the domestic as well as foreign blockchain industry. Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently announced that it will soon launch a committee in order to set national standards for blockchain technology.

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