DST Global Denies Investing in Bitmain IPO

DST Global Bitmain IPO Bitcoin Cash

Cryptocurrency–Just days after Softbank, one of the largest investors in Uber, denied putting money into cryptocurrency mining conglomerate Bitmain’s IPO, another company has come forth to put to rest rumors related to participation in the IPO. DST Global, an investment fund which focuses on late-stage, global ventures, has said in a written statement to CoinTelegraph that it has not been a participant in Bitmain’s $400 million funding round that occurred earlier in the year, despite reports saying otherwise.

CoinTelegraph reports receiving an anonymous tip today claiming that the investment firm had steered clear of Bitmain’s IPO, with managing partner at DST Global John Lindfors later confirming the rumor, writing in an email,

“I can confirm that DST has never invested in Bitmain.”

The bizarre twist over Bitmain IPO partnership comes just days after Cointelegraph was able to confirm reports that Softbank, a high profile investment firm that has made headlines as the largest investor in Uber, had also refrained from putting money into Bitmain’s IPO. Like DST Global, the rumor mill had proposed that Softbank was participating in cryptocurrency’s large profile IPO via Bitmain, which was confirmed to be not true following the release of a statement from Softbank, saying on August 18,

“Neither the SoftBank Group Corp. nor the SoftBank Vision Fund were in any way involved in the deal.”

In addition to the aforementioned denials, Chinese multinational investment holding Tencent has come forth to dispel any rumors related to its connection with the Bitmain IPO. Tencent, which holds the distinction of being China’s largest tech entity by market capitalization, told a Hong Kong news outlet that

“the company did not take part in the investment of Bitmain Technologies.”

While the series of investment banks and firms backing out of a rumored partnership with Bitmain is concerning, the IPO has already stumbled into controversy related to the crypto mining firm’s massive holding of Bitcoin Cash. Despite most of cryptocurrency seeing a large decline in value throughout 2018 (particularly the classification of altcoins), Bitcoin Cash has experienced an 87 percent decline in price from it’s all-time high of $4300 on December 20, 2017. In addition, Q2 sales for Bitmain were reportedly disappointing, falling in line with the rest of the crypto market decline throughout the year.

Leaked documents from the pre-ICO show that Bitmain is sitting on $600 million worth of Bitcoin Cash–a risky proposition in the current market, but one that could prove fortuitous if the price of BCH makes a turn back towards the bullish. Some even view the massive holding of BCH as an indication that Bitmain is supporting the hard fork of Bitcoin fully, and preparing to back the investment with action that further promotes the price of BCH,

However, other investors have described the proposition of a Bitmain IPO as risky in the current market conditions. Popular crypto Twitter pundit WhalePanda put his concerns over Bitmain’s IPO in a specific light,

“They purposely didn’t include the Q2 numbers for Pre-IPO buyers since they were a disaster… They told Pre-IPO buyers they would use some of the money to buy more BCH.”

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Can Rock, Paper, Scissors Save The Ethereum (ETH) DApp Landscape?

Decentralized App User Count Plummets

Decentralized applications, or DApps as they have been dubbed, has been widely touted as the future of the internet and blockchain technology for years on end. And while many innovators see the potential in decentralized systems and applications, recent statistics gathered by Diar show that DApps have yet to garner widespread interest from the common consumer.

Image Courtesy of Diar

Take the example of CryptoKitties, which saw its daily user base decline from over 14,000 to 510 within 7 months, or a dismal 96% decline. While the near-collapse of the CryptoKitties DApp is on the extreme end of ‘DApp deaths’, users counts have been dwindling with a majority, if not all of these applications, including decentralized exchanges (DEXs). Bancor, for example, saw 74% of its userbase disappear from 1747 to 457 individuals accounts. Fork Delta, another popular DEX, unarguably had it even worse, losing 90% of its active users within a similar timespan.

As a result user count declines across the board, the average monthly DApp user count has fallen by 56% since January 2018’s high at 528,000 individual accounts to just 231,000 addresses.

Is Rock, Paper, Scissors The Answer To Ethereum’s DApp Problems? 

While Diar has undoubtedly revealed that the DApp subindustry is suffering, a recently revealed DApp, albeit ever so simple, may be able to fill a growing need for fun, easy-to-use applications.

The Next Web reports that a Reddit user, going by the handle “ikirch,” has just released an Ethereum-based version of Rock, Paper, Scissors as a smart contract, coupled with a consumer-friendly graphical user interface (GUI). The game, which requires only a wallet with ETH and the MetaMask interface to play, is as simple as choosing one of the three options (Rock, Paper or Scissors [RPS]), determining a wager, and submitting a smart contract function transaction to the Ethereum network.

Image Courtesy of 0xFair

What makes this DApp so great is the open-sourced and provably fair nature of the game, with users able to verify if they won or not by viewing the immutable result of a game, via an Ethereum block explorer. Plus this DApp, which has been called 0xFair by ikirch, is not subject to the issues with “censorship, fraud, third-party interference or downtime.”

However, this new DApp has experienced a slow start, with only a select few users utilizing the smart contract to play RPS. In fact, in the past two and a half days, only 200 transactions have been directed towards the 0xFair smart contract.

But maybe it’s worth taking a step back, to realize that this is much more about a game of RPS, but rather, an easy-to-use, consumer-friendly, fair, secure, and last but not least, a blockchain-backed application that proves that decentralized technologies hold value in a simple manner.

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

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Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin: Crypto Market Slump Won’t Curtail Growth

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin said that he does not see the recent slump in cryptocurrency prices as a constraint to growth in the market. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Lubin said the collapse in prices is not a new development as it has always been present in the “blockchain ecosystem since 2009 when Bitcoin

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Ethereum Most Popular Crypto Among Phishers who made $2.3 Million in Q2 2018: Kaspersky

Cybercriminals have raked in a total $2.3 million by exploiting ICOs via phishing in the second quarter of 2018, a Kaspersky study revealed. The multinational cybersecurity company in its new Spam and Phishing in Q2 2018 report found that online malefactors target crypto investors with fake ICO websites. Most of these sites belong to Ethereum-powered startups that raise

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Ethereum Scam Swindles Over $40,000 From Unsuspecting Android Users

$400 For A Logo… Woops 

For years, the cryptocurrency industry has been rife with unbridled creativity from an amassment ofindividuals. While this innovation has resulted in some unique projects, products, and services, creative and near ingenious crypto-related scams have become a common, near-daily sight for many consumers.

Lucas Stefanko, a European cybersecurity researcher, recently brought attention to a new Ethereum-centric scam on the Android Google Play store that was unique in its own right. According to Stefanko, the scam was just an app, one that costs €335 (~$390) that is, that portrayed itself as “Ethereum.”

As the image implies, the app claims to sell “just an Ethereum” for 335 Euros, or approximately $100 over the current value of a single ETH token. While the exorbitant price would be somewhat of a scam in itself if that app actually provided users with one ETH, it turns out that users who purchased the “Ethereum” app got nothing but the classic Ethereum logo, with all of its sharp vectors, minimalistic features, and dark aesthetics.

What’s even more bizarre is that in the app’s over a one-year lifespan, it has garnered over 100+ installs from unsuspecting users, racking up a minimum of $39,000 in the process.

Maybe some users were tricked by the 22 reviews (likely fraudulent), which gave the app an average rating of four out of five stars, or by the apparent firm behind the app — “Google Commerce LTD.” Obviously enough, it isn’t Google nor an affiliated subsidiary that is offering this app, as the firm wouldn’t be caught dead taking part in such a scheme. However, reports from The Next Web have speculated that including Google Commerce may have aided the app’s developers to get their scammy app listed on the Play Store. Although Google has touted its secure system, it would make sense that even some small things sneak past Google’s ‘eye of Sauron’.

While it is unclear who is behind the app, or who unfortunately bought it, the app has since been removed from the Play Store, likely in direct correlation with the security researcher’s tweet.

Google Play Store Remains A Battleground For Crypto Apps

In related news, it was recently revealed that Google’s attempts to stave off crypto mining apps have been rather unsuccessful. As reported by Ethereum World News, Google made an attempt to restrict apps that mine cryptocurrencies in late-July. Nearly one month after the firm’s announcement, mining apps, new and old alike, were still present on the Play Store.

JSEcoin, play store, mining app, cryptocurrency
Image Courtesy of TNW

One app included JSECoin, which allowed users to manage desktop mining operations remotely, while also providing users with a method of mining cryptocurrencies through a mobile device. Although this app was totally within the rules prior to the apparent ban, JSECoin somehow slipped under Google’s all-watching radar after the crackdown occurred. While the technology giant has since responded, cracking down on the app and also noting that it will give existing mining apps a thirty-day grace period, others aren’t convinced that the firm’s efforts are warranted. Nonetheless, Google has begun to show fleeting signs that it may be beginning to accept blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

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Nano (NANO) Now Accepted at the Bitcoin Superstore

On the 17th of August, Nano (NANO) became the 8th cryptocurrency supported by the Bitcoin Superstore. The full list of accepted cryptocurrencies is as follows:

  1. Bitcoin (BTC)
  2. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  3. Dash (DASH)
  4. Ethereum (ETH)
  5. Litecoin (LTC)
  6. Nano (NANO)
  7. Tron (TRX)
  8. XRP

Customers of the Bitcoin Superstore can buy items from retailers such as Amazon, Alibaba, John Lewis and any other online retailer who do not charge a membership fee. The team at the Bitcoin Superstore works behind the scene ensuring the purchases, shipping and deliveries go smoothly on all transactions. Orders are usually processed within 1 – 2 hours with tracking available for the user.

The Bitcoin Superstore does however charge a 2% fee of the order’s subtotal. The Bitcoin Superstore can ship within and to Australia, Canada, the U.K, the U.S and nearly every other country.

One Redditor who used the site using NANO had this to say about the whole experience:

Once I read the faq, the website was easy to use…BSS (Bitcoin Super Store) was the fastest/easiest way to make my PSN subscription active. I will use the website again, likely for smaller purchases during times when I cannot or do not wish to use USD. If my bank still hasn’t fixed my card by tomorrow then I will probably use the service to buy a another digital gift card code for a restaurant I’m going to tomorrow.

From his comments, we can tell that NANO proved to be an efficient option to using regular credit or debit cards.

Other NANO Developments

The team at Nano has provided the most recent developer update for the project. A summary of the update includes:

  1. Version 15/15.1 Being finalized – This version of the Nano Node is currently being finalized for release. This was after bugs were found from the Version 15.0. Users who already downloaded version 15.0 have nanocurrency/nano:V15.0 locally, which would need to be manually cleared. To avoid confusion, the team has changed the version number of the release to 15.1
  2. Community Stress test results – the Nano community had organized and carried out a stress test on the beta Network of Nano. The team thanked the community members who participated. The average transactions per second observed were between 70 and 90 over a thirty minute period
  3. Voice of Blockchain in Chicago – the team will be attending this event at the Navy Pier in Chicago this weekend
  4. Bitcoin Superstore supporting NANO – The team at NANO once again announced that the Bitcoin Superstore was now supporting NANO

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CryptoOracle Co-Founder: Bitcoin Is Functionally Better Than Gold

“Some Gold Users Will Likely Switch To Bitcoin”

Gold is one of the most valuable metals on Earth, with humans finding value in such an element for thousands of years. Over the course of gold’s history, it became a great way for individuals and groups to store value across a variety of settings, countries, and eras. However, with the advent of the internet and the subsequent introduction of Bitcoin, some proponents of digital technologies believe that gold’s time as the primary global store of value might be up.

Bitcoin has long been likened to gold, with many analysts and industry on-lookers alike drawing connections between the inherent nature of the two assets. Some have even called this emerging asset “digital gold,” due to the similarities it shares with the “original” gold.

Yet, Lou Kerner, a co-founder and partner at CryptoOracle, has come out to vehemently state that Bitcoin actually may one-up gold in certain areas and qualities, while still complementing gold for its importance to human history. Speaking on CNBC’s crypto-focused “The Coin Rush” segment, Kerner stated:

Gold has emerged as the global store of value and it has held that position for literally a couple thousand years — that’s an awesome run. So we now we have something (Bitcoin) that we think may be functionally much much better (than gold). So we expect that over time — not in a day, not in a week, not even in 5 years, — for some of the people using gold as a store of value to switch to Bitcoin.

This statement highlights two interesting points about Bitcoin’s role as a form of “digital gold.” Firstly, that Bitcoin may be inherently better than gold. While the CryptoOracle executive did not mention any specific values/features, it can be assumed that he sees Bitcoin’s ease-of-use, immutability, digital nature, and more as a reason(s) why some would prefer to use it over gold.

Secondly, the fact that the foremost crypto may begin to eat at the market share that gold has carved out for itself over thousands of years. As reported by Ethereum World News, Gabor Gurbacs, the director of digital asset strategy at VanEck/MVIS, claims that Bitcoin could be worth upwards of $20,000 a piece if the asset can succeed as digital gold. Gurbacs explained his prediction, stating:

Investors do refer to Bitcoin as a form of digital gold and gold today has around $7 trillion outstanding. If you take, say, 5 to 10 percent — I’ll let everyone do the math — Bitcoin has upside. Bitcoin is used as digital gold today. It’s a de-risk asset. Basically if someone wants to outlay systematic risk, then one would go to access gold or digital gold.

Back to the aforementioned CryptoOracle co-founder, who closed off his segment on CNBC, comparing Bitcoin to the “so-called” junk bond, as both assets were not accepted upon their arrival. In the case of the junk bond(s), it took 40 years to become a normal tradable asset/contract on the market. As Kerner alludes to, for Bitcoin, it might be much of the same, as it may take years to convince those who are hesitant to change that cryptocurrencies (and blockchain) are the next big thing.


Image Courtesy of Michael Steinberg @ Pexels

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Decentralized Crypto Exchange AirSwap Launches OTC Market to ‘Unlock New World of Liquidity’

Decentralized exchange AirSwap is launching the framework for over-the-counter (OTC) trading product for mainnet rollout. In an update posted on its website, AirSwap said the new product would be available “exclusively to a private beta group.” Founded in 2017, AirSwap became known for offering frictionless peer-to-peer trades for ERC20 tokens to a group of primarily

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Crypto Market Sees 3% Pullback After A Short-Term Recovery

As Tuesday rolled around, many traders thought that the worst was yet to come for the market, with critics expecting Bitcoin to chip away at the $5,800 support as the week continued. For those who are unaware, the $5,800 level has been continually cited as a strong line of support, with analysts highlighting previous bounces around this price, along with an amassment of technical indicators.

But to the surprise of some, on Tuesday, the crypto market began a slow recovery of its recently-established year-to-date lows.

From $190 Billion To $220 Billion — The Market Recovery

The valuation of all cryptocurrencies recovered from a low of $190 billion to $220 billion within a three-day timespan, with this move restoring faith in an otherwise bearish market. A majority of cryptocurrencies saw strong gains throughout the past three to four days, with Bitcoin taking a cautious move from $5,950 to $6,600 that was backed by consistent volume.

But with this move, altcoins have seen an unexpected resurgence, with Bitcoin dominance taking a three percent dive even as the market continued upwards. As reported by Ethereum World News, cryptocurrencies like Nano (NANO), VeChain (VET), and Populous (PPT) all saw staggering gains of 30% or more, which was quickly attributed to the decreasing Bitcoin dominance figures. Traders saw their portfolios turn green overnight, and a slight sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) return to the minds of optimistic traders.

However, some industry leaders aren’t convinced that the bear market is over yet. Susquehanna’s head of digital assets, Bart Smith, recently claimed that this recovery, albeit relatively strong, could just be a “bear market rally.” This sentiment was doubled-down by Dan Nathan, a CNBC trader and Fast Money panelist, who also agreed with what Smith had to say.

While Arthur Hayes, the CEO of BitMEX, still expects Bitcoin to reach and establish a low of $5,000 before eventually continuing to new all-time highs. Moreover, some analysts expect that this is a “dead cat bounce,” where the price(s) of a publicly-traded asset sees a quick recovery after a downtrend, only to fall further at a later date.

“Too Much Of A Good Thing Is A Bad Thing”

Attesting to this bearish sentiment, on Saturday, traders were reminded of the age-old saying — “too much of a good thing is a bad thing” — as the market experienced a slight pullback after the aforementioned recovery.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is currently down by 2%, with altcoins posting similar losses. It remains to be seen whether the market will continue to head lower in the near future, but according to the traders on CNBC Fast Money, the technicals on Bitcoin’s chart has begun to show signs of weakness. CNBC analyst David Seaburg stated:

“Look at just the charts, without any other knowledge, it looks like its going lower. The technical set-up right now for Bitcoin does not look promising in my eyes.”

Michał Mancewicz

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Ethereum (ETH) Lowest Fees Claimed on Decentralized Platform, Also Vitalik Buterin on the State of Ethereum

Ethereum ETH Trading Exchange Low

The team behind Blockonix, a decentralized exchange, has set a very major target in front of them. Crypto-verse market domination with a very attractive argument: having the lowest fees. The company promises that the platform will have top quality in being user-friendly and very low fees if their native token is used.

Ethereum Trading Exchange

The firm has made it public that if the user during the trades is not using the native exchange token then the fee will be one percent. If instead you choose to use it, will be 0.03 percent. This way the team wants to bring an environment very cost-effective in comparison to other popular platforms.

This platform is focused on trading Ethereum and Ethereum-based digital tokens and it has a worldwide reach. According to the team, the company is promoting a new wave of payment and futuristic apps that will help the clients. The exchange is fully decentralized and it does not store any of the assets of its clients.

One way of doing things, makes Blockconix stand out of other decentralized platforms. The individuals behind the exchange do not earn from the platform. The fees that are gathered by the use set to buy BDT tokens and burn. Taking it to another level, if you want to list a token in the decentralized exchange, you have to pay a 5 ETH stepping-in fee. Even these are burnt with the BDT tokens. So money is not hoisting the energy for the good team behind Blockonix but by the crypto-verse.

Ethereum Co-Founder

Vitalik Buterin – the much respected and for many role model to lead a crypto-verse project like that of Ethereum added his opinion on various topics related to the platform, decentralization and blockchain latest improvements. The thought-sharing took place during and event in San Francisco, hosted by Blockchain at Berkeley.

When asked what the mind behind Ethereum is working right now, he replied with having his hands full with the PoS and Sharding protocols.

“Recently, I am spending a lot of time working on the proof-of-stake and sharding protocols. This is what the Ethereum research community is focusing on more than anything else at this point. We think that proof-of-stake and scaling are both really important and there has been a lot of progress on improving the algorithms and the development of multiple limitations over the last couple of months, Buterin told me. I’ve also been looking at the economic analysis of transaction fees and how transaction fee algorithms can be improved to basically cut fees down and make the protocol alignment centers better and more efficient. Those are the main things I’ve been working on myself.”

When it comes to Casper Protocol, he spoke very highly and full of hype around it adding that it is truly making progress.

“I think that there has been a lot of frameworks for state channels coming out recently. The Casper protocol is getting much closer to being finalized at this point. It’s just pending review on academic analysis,”

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