Reflections on setting up a validator as a genuine complete noob
So this weekend I set myself a challenge of getting a medalla testnet validator up and running. The good news is, I did! The less-good news is, it took me the best part of five days. One of the things that I found most difficult was that in spite of the many excellent guides that have been written on this so far, none of them (purely in my own experience) have been comprehensive from the perspective of a 100% full noob. None of the guides I followed I was able to make work without issues being encountered of some kind (albeit some minor). This is more a reflection on my own ability, so I'm making this post in the hope that some future expert documentor will take note of some things that werent obvious to me as someone with absolutely no knowledge of Linux or CLIs. As an analogy, it's akin to reading a recipe where there is an instruction to, for example, 'par boil the potatoes' without describing the process itself for people who dont know what that is. How long for? Do the potatoes need to be peeled? Cut into pieces? Do we add salt? Does the water need to be boiling right the way through? How do we know when done? Do the potatoes need to cool? etc etc. Some reflections on the experience (not of potato boiling):
Hardware setup: I used the hardware recommendations from u/superphiz in this post. I'd never built my own computer before, but found it pretty straightforward thanks to the power of the youtube.
Guides: I then set about following u/maninthecryptosuit 's guide here, but also referred to approx half a dozen other guides that have been posted on this sub in the past week (shoutout to u/metanull-operator's excellent guide in particular). I really appreciate the time taken by each individual in attempts off their own volition to help the community. I would not be here without those efforts.
Operating System: As per superphiz, I chose Ubuntu Server 20.04 as the recommendation to keep the system as light as possible makes sense. This was the first thing to be set up after building the NUC. It was fairly straightforward to download, although there was a small technical hurdle to format my USB stick to suit Linux from the Mac laptop Ubuntu was initially downloaded to. It was not obvious to me that this needed to be done (although it is now!). Again, Youtube, but recommend that this is at least mentioned in future guides as noob. Although the recommendations in most guides seemed to be to use Ubuntu Server, and I did initially set this up, I eventually ended up starting the process again from scratch with Ubuntu desktop. More on that later.
The command line: this was the first time I'd used a command line interface. At first I genuinely didn't know where to start (as in, literally how to access Terminal and what that is). However, once I got in, it was easy to copy and paste commands (I needed to google to learn about the various shortcuts etc). Sometimes I had issues with copy/pasted commands instantly executing when i wasnt expecting it, and sometimes not. And often the commands were split over multiple lines without that being obvious, leading to malformed arguments. One of the main issues I had throughout was not having a solid understanding how directories are structured in Ubuntu, and how to navigate those via command line... forward, back, checking the contents of a directory, etc. Again more google.
Remote access: The next challenge I had was understanding conceptually at a high level what systems I would be using - as in, am I supposed to be doing this whole process on the actual machine that will be running the validator? I'm going to be saying this a lot, but as a total noob, this was not immediately obvious to me.In fact, what eventuated was that I set up Ubuntu desktop on the host machine, SSH'ed in from my Macbook, where I then did most things. Some guides did cover this to a degree... but I encountered some issues where sometimes I would get locked out due to permissions/keys issues. I wont go into those suffice to say I think remote access/SSH is an area which needs more coverage in guides as it seems to be pretty standard way of doing things. I felt quite satisfied getting that aspect working - it felt like some kind of magic.
Setting up the pre-requisites: in all of the guides there were list of prerequisite things that needed to be set up to get validators etc working (things like git, python, rust, etc). I didn't have many issues here as I was simply cut and pasting commands into Terminal. My main issue was that where things did go awry it was not easy to diagnose why and address. Sometimes I would attempt something one way from Guide A, fail, then attempt a similar thing from a different guide, and not get good results because each guide sets up things sightly different and in different directory locations. As such, I found myself usually contained within one guide for the duration and found it difficult to take advice from the others in case of conflicting instructions.
Setting up ETH1 node, beacon chain, and validator.
This was obviously the most difficult step. Issues: The first challenge I had was that the order of operations across various guides was not consistent. In some guides the ETH1 node was set up first (or sometimes not mentioned), and in some guides not. In some guides validator keys were set up early, some not. That was confusing to me. There wasn't much narrative as to what needs to be set up first/last and in what order - I get that there is flexibility now, but only after having gone through the process. This led to an issue where in some cases I ran into difficulties, then switched to the corresponding instructions from a different guide (eg setting up a beacon node) but because the order of operations was different, certain things that had already been set up in guide 1 had not been in guide 2, causing the (no doubt very accurate) instructions not to work in my case. Very frustrating. The reason I felt the need to hop between guides is because there was minimal guidance on how to diagnose issues that arose. Without any instruction on the nature of issues, what do do, what commands to execute to diagnose and fix, I felt my best option was to see what other guides were doing on the same topic in the hope that they gave a steer on how to progress. Not ideal. I recognise much of that was driven by my own impatience - I should have been more methodical in attempts to resolve issues in their current state but it is frustrating to get stopped frequently. Goerli test ETH: some of the methods recommended to get this were better than others. Prysm and Ethstaker discords seemed the easiest way. There were other recommendations about to tap various faucets many times for tiny amounts of ETH which seemed pretty impractical given we need 32, I'm not sure why they were recommended in the first place. Validator keys: there is a need to generate your validator keys via the ETH2 launchpad (or CLI). Although generating the keys themselves I found straightforward... It was difficult to understand how to get my keys from the server into the ETH2 launchpad interface, or conversely from my laptop (where my usual metamask account is) to the server and to tell if actions had been successful or not as there is no immediate CLI feedback. I struggled with this for so long that I gave up in the end and switched to Ubuntu Desktop, restarted the entire process from scratch, just so that I could set up a new metamask on the main machine and drag and drop the files. This was most the most difficult aspect for me of the entire setup... copy/pasting and navigating Ubuntu CLI folder structures is not easy for someone with no previous understanding of the CLI. What I really wanted here was a step by step instruction on how to do this, beyond just "generate your keys on launchpad and send them to your validator keys folder." After that, I found it fairly straightforward to set up the ETH1 node, beacon node, and validator (I chose Prysm) following the documented steps. I did not succeed initially with the client setup instructions from the ETH2 launchpad and ended up going down a black hole where I eventually got Prysm working via VM, but this caused further issues down the line and contributed towards me starting afresh. My main issues were around the management of the processes once active. It was not obvious to me what was supposed to happen in regards setting these up in separate terminal windows, and whether or not to leave the terminal windows open. In practice, I ended up closing the terminal windows and was then uncertain on a) whether this had stopped the processes from running and b) how to get them back. So, the areas I found I wanted more detail on in instructions were: - what are the processes (Terminal outputs) supposed to look like when they are successfully running? - what are they supposed to look like while they are running but not yet fully synced? - how can I check up on the status of these from the CLI? - if I close a terminal window, how can I get back a live view of the processes? - what has happened to the processes if/when the windows are shut down? - what happens if my laptop is shut down but the server is still active? - what happens if BOTH (or just the server) are shut down and how do I get them back? All told, I'm super happy and appreciative to all of those whom I have drawn on to get my validator up and running. However I'm not certain at this point that I will be setting this up when it goes live, at least not initially. The main reason for that is that even though I know where to go to get help in working through issues (shoutout and props to ethstaker and Prysm discords!), I have next to no ability to diagnose and fix issues myself to the extent that I feel confident enough in what I'm doing to trust 32 ETH to it. Debugging overall was the main stress. I dont think I would do this again without a stress-tested GUI which involves minimal steps/clicks. Hopefully that was useful to some people who may have been having similar issues. TLDR; some issues happened that I couldn't work out how to fix and that was frustrating. Edit: am going to attempt setting up Lighthouse, Grafana and Prometheus using u/SomerEsat's guide here next.
The uprasing of a BEAST - DXDAO and Gnosis Protocol - MAKER DAO Killer - DEFI 2.0
dxDAO - the First Crypto Exchange Run by a DAO
Marcet cap: 1.3 MLN Token handle: $DXD Circulation supply: 23 695 / 123 224 Team: Great members of Loopring, Kleros, Gnosis, Ethereum DXdao powered Dapps: Mix.eth / Omen.eth / Mesa.eth - revenue from Dapps goes to DXD holders. DXdao is a decentralized community that develops, governs, and grows DeFi protocols and products. Its initial members were seeded through a 1 month process where over $20M in ETH and other tokens were staked and 400+ addresses received Reputation. Since then, DXdao has been advancing critical DeFi infrastructure like Mesa.eth, a recently launched frontend to the Gnosis Protocol, and Omen.eth, a soon-to-launch prediction market platform. The DXdao is also involved in developing Mix.eth, governing DMM, and maintaining the DutchX trading protocol. In order to bootstrap these efforts and broaden its stakeholder base, the DXdao recently voted to launch a public OpenRaise campaign.
Let’s go deeper in what that means.
Starting with Gnosis Protocol: Gnosis Protocol is built in the spirit of permissionless innovation. Its fully decentralized architecture means you don’t need to trust us at Gnosis to build on our protocol. Not only can anyone list tokens or build integrations, Gnosis Protocol's order settlement process does not rely on any operator. Here you can learn more about the protocol and everything you need to start building. Start with the introduction, use cases, or a deep dive into the contracts. Gnosis Protocol is a fully permissionless DEX, which has been in research and development over the course of the last two years. Gnosis Protocol enables ring trades to maximize liquidity. Ring trades are order settlements which share liquidity across all orders, rather than a single token pair, and uniquely suited for trading prediction market tokens and the long tail of all tokenized assets. Gnosis GitHub Page:https://github.com/gnosis As you can see there is a lot of development going on which includes:
Interface for conditional markets for Gnosis' Conditional Token Standard
Safe Transaction service which keeps track of transactions sent via Gnosis Safe contacts and confirmed transactions. It also keeps track of Ether and ERC20 token transfers to Safe contracts.
Dex services – off chain services for the Gnosis Protocol
Safe iOS – Gnosis iOS Ap
Safe Android – Gnosis Android App
And many other developments…
Which leads us to DXDao products:
MIX.ETHMix.finance/Mix.eth - A portfolio tracker with privacy and security as its core. The goal of Mix is to deliver a portfolio manager for the Ethereum ecosystem with privacy, security and a good user experience as a core feature. With the emergence of DeFi 2, decentralised autonomous organisation frameworks (Aragon, 4 Daostack 2) and privacy enabling technologies (zk-SNARKs 3) we can finally deliver a next level wallet interface/portfolio manager. Deeper dive into Mix.ETH:https://daotalk.org/t/mix-eth-seeking-feedback-on-proposal/1183 MESA.ETMesa is an Open Source interface for the Gnosis Protocol, a fully permissionless DEX that enables ring trades to maximize liquidity. Deeper dive into Mix.ETH:https://mesa.eth.link/ OMENOmen is a fully decentralized prediction market platform built on top of the Gnosis conditional token framework. Slated to launch in the coming weeks, Omen will allow anyone to create a prediction market- be it in the realm of crypto, sports, politics, entertainment, etc.- and stake funds on a particular outcome. “People can and will continue to disagree about important topics — that is natural and important — but prediction markets force them to acknowledge the current consensus and whether their input is persuasive.” — Flip Incoming, “The Case for Prediction Markets” Generally, if you look at the cryptocurrency market, people buy and sell crypto based on their prediction of its future value. Prediction markets (also known as information markets, idea futures, event derivatives, decision markets, etc.) allow people to buy and sell outcomes of events. Because people are staking their funds in these markets, the truth becomes its own profit-bearing asset. Prediction markets can serve as aggregators of superior knowledge, where the market share price adjusts to new information and reflects the probability of future outcomes. Omen facilitates all of this on-chain through Gnosis’ conditional token framework. Deeper dive into Omen:https://daotalk.org/t/omen-mvp-overview/1229https://medium.com/bitfwd/omen-dxdaos-new-flagship-product-4976be96d312
TEAM: That’s part is getting really interesting since we need to start with beginning what DAO really is.
DAO is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), sometimes labeled a decentralized autonomous corporation (DAC), is an organization represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by shareholders and not influenced by a central government. The dxDAO is a community-governed DAO which means they don't really have a team since it's a community driven project. The dxDAO is a community-governed DAO with total control over the DutchX trading protocol. Watch this explainer video how DutchX operates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TBVXT6XIe0 The dxDAO is not a Gnosis DAO. Gnosis is not part of the dxDAO. Although the technical development of the dxDAO is a project of Gnosis Limited with the support of DAOstack based on DAOstack’s Framework, the contribution of the Companies was limited to providing the technical basis for the dxDAO, including its one month initialisation phase, which ran from 29 May to 28 June 2019. Gnosis Limited did not participate in the initial voting rights’ distribution in the dxDAO. This readthedocs document aims to make it easier for interested third parties to understand the DutchX and dxDAO data as critical infrastructure of the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem. If you want to get deeper dive about this project check out link section in the bottom of article.
Maker (MKR) is a utility token, governance token and recapitalization resource of the Maker system. Maker [MKR] is a token based on Ethereum blockchain. The most actual price for one Maker [MKR] is $552.43. Maker is listed on 33 exchanges with a sum of 65 active markets. The 24h volume of [MKR] is $20 738 227, while the Maker market cap is $555 507 722 which ranks it as #24 of all cryptocurrencies. MKR Rank: 28 Marketcap: $494,696,419 Available Supply: 892,170 Max Supply: 1,005,576 USD: $554.8300 BTC: 0.05846718₿ ETH: 2.37206300Ξ 24h Low & High $529.50| $590.08
Comparing it to DXD:
DXD Rank: 582 Marketcap: $1,633,652 Available Supply: 23,697 Max Supply: 123,226 USD: $68.9400 BTC: 0.00726726₿ ETH: 0.29483887Ξ 24h Low & High $55.88| $74.16
Other #DEFI Partners:
The DeFi Money Market (DMM) provides a trust-minimized, transparent, and permissionless environment on the Ethereum blockchain that empowers users across the world to once again earn a positive yield through digital assets backed by a basket of interest-generating real-world assets brought on-chain into the DeFi space. DMM operates as an ecosystem where real-asset owners can tap Ethereum digital asset owners for funding, which also allows digital asset lenders to gain exposure to uncorrelated passive income. This enables real world asset owners to engage in collateralized borrowing at more competitive rates with a global permissionless reach. In the DMM Ecosystem, both the off-chain assets backing mTokens and the interest revenue generated from these assets are overcollateralized, thus protecting depositors. Being backed by real world assets also means DMM mTokens can offer users a much more stable and reliable ROI on their deposited funds (currently DAI, USDC, ETH) at a stable 6.25% APY. This is in contrast to many other on-chain money markets which offer variable interest rates driven by cryptocurrency leverage traders. Transparency into the off-chain assets backing mTokens and their valuations can be found on-chain and on the DMM Explorer. Additionally, our collaboration and usage of Chainlink’s decentralized oracles adds an extra layer of security and trust to the ecosystem by writing essential data on-chain that details the ecosystem’s valuation and total active collateralization. Website: https://defimoneymarket.com/ DMM DAO Partnership with DXDao “DMM has and will continue to work with the DXdao, a DeFi-focused DAO, in crafting the structure and overall governance of the DMM DAO to utilize and implement best practices in DAO governance. The DXdao was granted a 2% allocation of DMG tokens, and is composed of over 400 stakeholders that control Ethereum protocols and related assets, a treasury of Ether and tokens, and oversees multiple different DeFi projects including Mix.eth, Omen.eth, and Mesa.eth. Through the governance structure we have laid out above, it is our goal that the DMG governance token and community DAO will enable DMM to become a highly decentralized protocol removing any single point of failure. We anticipate that changes and fine-tuning to this structure will be required and we are open to any and all feedback you may have as DMM is a community driven project first and foremost. By enabling permissionless access to a stable yield backed by revenue generating real world assets, we envision a world where your geolocation makes no difference to the ability to secure your financial freedom or grow your business.” Source: https://medium.com/dmm-dao/defi-money-market-dmm-dmg-governance-token-491c9a62c6bf
To put it in perspective/ This is your golden ticket to join DEFI wagon with uprising od DXDdao and Gnosis Protocol. 30% of MKR market cap will place DXD token at value of 6262 USD PER 1DXD. BUY IT AND HODL IT. Can’t do all detective work but remember I’m the person who called MFG from the bottom. I know my game.
For further questions regarding DXdao’s campaign visit websites:
Welcome to r/0xProject! 👋 A starter guide to understanding 0x and how to start building on 0x
This guide is intended to help you understand the basics of 0x and show you how to get started building on the 0x protocol. If you have any questions or want to learn more, please visit our website (0x.org), join our Discord chat, follow our blog, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
⚠️ We do not allow token trading or price discussion in this subreddit️. There is an unofficial zrxtrader sub for this type of discussion (not moderated or endorsed by the 0x Core Team).
Please read and follow our Reddit community rules:
NO harassing or trolling
NO inappropriate language or content
NO advertising or spamming
DO NOT engage in activity that brings harm to the members of this community
Support for all Ethereum standards: 0x facilitates the decentralized exchange of a growing number of Ethereum-based tokens, including all ERC-20 and ERC-721 assets.
Networked liquidity: 0x is lowering the barrier to entry by building a layer of networked liquidity that allows businesses to tap into a shared pool of digital assets.
Flexible integration: 0x is a modular system that enables businesses and projects, known as relayers, to easily add exchange functionality to any product experience.
Mission and Values We envision a world in which all forms of value are tokenized on public blockchains. This includes fiat currencies, stocks, bonds, commodities, debt instruments, real estate, video game items, digital collectibles, software licenses, reputation and much more. Combined with a set of open financial primitives, we can build a global financial system that is more efficient, transparent, and equitable than any system that has existed in the past.
Our mission: "Create a tokenized world where all value can flow freely."
We believe public blockchains have the potential to act as a potent equalizing force for the world. As more assets are tokenized and moved onto blockchain rails, public blockchains have a greater chance of democratizing access to financial services in the same way that the internet has democratized access to information. Read more about our mission and values.
2) 🛠️ 0x Use Cases
Order Book Exchanges
Launch a professional exchange for ERC-20 tokens, derivatives, and more.
0x provides all the necessary infrastructure and smart contracts to create ERC-20 token markets. Utilize 0x Launch Kit to quickly spin up a market in just 1 line of code, or use it as reference material to customize your user experience. 0x enables companies to focus on building a business without having to worry about the technical overhead of launching a crypto exchange. Additionally, by integrating with 0x, you can tap into an existing pool of tokenized assets that are already being exchanged through the protocol. This means you don’t have to bootstrap your own liquidity or pay market makers. https://preview.redd.it/rjdstipzf3f31.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=94cea7c3b28fb91445992fadd2d3c159b1b0e01f
Integrate token swaps into your DeFi project by simply pulling liquidity for any token pair from 0x’s networked liquidity pool.
Decentralized lending services, leverage trading platforms, atomic arbitrage bots, and other DeFi projects can use 0x infrastructure to bring peer-to-peer exchange to their users. Crypto businesses needing liquidity for token pairs can tap into the 0x network to source from markets with the most volume, lowest slippage, and best spreads.
Documentation to help you easily tap into the 0x networked liquidity pool
NFT and Gaming Marketplaces
Integrate exchange functionality into your game or create a secondary marketplace for your non-fungible tokens.
Artists and game developers are tokenizing digital art and in-game items known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 0x enables these creators to easily add exchange functionality by providing the tools to embed token exchange within games or as secondary marketplaces.
Seamlessly embed a simple 1-click buy button in any website or app to allow users to purchase ERC-20 or ERC-721 assets.
0x Instant offers a free and flexible way for users to purchase crypto in any product experience. Use our out-of-the-box design or customize the user interface by integrating via the AssetBuyer engine. You can also tap into 0x networked liquidity or choose your own liquidity pool.
Launch a prediction market by integrating with 0x.
Decentralized prediction markets and crypto-derivative platforms generate sets of tokens that represent a financial stake in the outcomes of any event. 0x allows these tokens to be instantly tradable in liquid markets. 0x can be combined with prediction market protocols like Augur to enable businesses to create markets on any event.
0x is modular and extensible infrastructure that enables entirely new markets to be created for a long-tail of use cases.
There is an emerging ecosystem developing on 0x that doesn’t fit into existing asset classes. With 0x, you can choose your own adventure and bring novel markets to users around the world. You can also create layers of infrastructure on top of 0x to make building on 0x even easier.
Check out our developer documentation and follow one of the “getting started” guides to start building on 0x. You will also find tools for building on 0x and Ethereum maintained by the 0x Core Team, as well as our broader developer community. Here are a few important tools that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with before you start building on 0x:
0x.js: A library for interacting with the 0x protocol. It is a high-level package which combines a number of smaller specific-purpose packages such as order-utils and contract-wrappers.
0x starter project: A TypeScript starter project that will walk you through the basics of how to interact with the 0x protocol and trade on an SRA relayer.
0x Launch Kit: Launch a 0x relayer in under a minute. 0x-launch-kit is an open-source, free-to-use 0x relayer template to be used as a starting point for your own project.
0x Instant: 0x Instant is a convenient way for people to get access to a wide variety of tokens and other crypto-assets in just a few taps. With just a few lines codes, developers can integrate the free, open-source library into their app or websites in order to both offer seamless access to crypto-assets, as well as gain a new source of revenue.
0x Python tools: A suite of libraries for interacting with the 0x smart contracts and with 0x relayers.
0x Ethereum tools: A complete Solidity toolchain. Includes an import resolver, a compiler, test coverage and gas profiling analyzers, an RPC client, a documentation generator, and a generator of TypeScript wrappers from ABI’s.
https://preview.redd.it/xrtl7h7acza31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=82bc4cc1a8f4e360a1fcb0549832a362342895b1 Global lottery Online lotteries are an established industry, having existed in some form since at least 19975. The global online lottery market is estimated to reach revenues of more than $10 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of around 8% between 2019-2023. Future outlook Global trends such as the long term increase of mobile phone penetration, internet penetration and the proliferation of blockchain technologies will provide ideal conditions for the growth of the online gambling market, including the online lottery industry. Growth will be driven by the rise of draw-based games and scratch-off instant games across European countries as well as other developed regions. The increasing focus on investment in new technologies (including blockchain), improving the perception of lotteries, and reaching far-away audiences via the internet will propel the transformation of the market. Current issues Lotteries, like any form of gambling, can be manipulated against its participants, despite the high degree of scrutiny claimed by the organizers. Due to the high degree of centralization, organizers wield a considerable amount of power that is liable to abuse due to the current lack of transparency in lotteries. Even without manipulation, lotteries are profitable for organizers, with many claiming a profit margin of up to 50% on ticket sales. Opportunities Global drivers such as increased internet penetration, mobile and PC ownership, and the increased adoption of cryptocurrencies9 point towards greater demand for all-digital lotteries that overcomes current customer issues such as lack of trust and requirements for personal information. Blockchain technology can not only provide a secure and transparent method of organizing the lottery, but it can also tap into new market segments, most notably the global unbanked customer segment as well as regional markets with restrictive legislation. A lottery based on smart contracts would offer an automated, secure and transparent platform for this form of gambling. What is loteo? Loteo is digital automated lottery platform that uses blockchain and smart contracts to create a fully transparent lottery, where your chances are incomparably higher compared to conventional lotteries. LOTES is a security token which is meant to be sold only in private funding round (the STO). There will not be any public sale, for all investment requirements, please fill the form on the website. This token grants owners an opportunity to profit from being part of a lottery without being attendees in amount 20% of each prize total value. The LOTES are locked for 15 months and during this time it is not possible to buy or sell them anywhere else. After the first 15 months pass, there will be another funding round during which LOTEO will sell at least 30% of all tokens in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. All details will be revealed before this event. After selling these tokens, the token will be listed on exchanges. After 15 months,maximum 20% of all security tokens will be owned by the lottery while 80% will be decentralized, preventing the lottery from being manipulated. The token also has a governing function, meaning any significant change has to be achieved by consensus and any token holder can issue a suggestion or voting. How does the lottery work Users enter the lottery by purchasing single tickets for the LOTEO weekly lottery using the Ethereum cryptocurrency, or through a third party merchant. Each Ethereum wallet address that has purchased entry is then registered as a participant in the LOTEO weekly lottery. At a later date, LOTEO will add a daily lottery governed by the same rules. The LOTEO lottery will be executed through a smart contract that will utilize a random number generator (RNG), the code of which will be publically viewable on GitHub and Etherscan. The pool for drawing consists only of lottery tickets (based on the Ethereum addresses of the entrees) instead of drawing random numbers, therefore every drawing must have a winner. Team https://preview.redd.it/783jr8n0eza31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=b1f6c00f9ebb37e0d33f1501c7da400a28322e4c https://preview.redd.it/32znksq2eza31.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=6cbcd5bbcfddbd1236a3ee59d3dfe9784e21b236 Roadmap 2019 Q1
Cryptopia CEO Alan Booth on the Cryptocurrency Exchange Realm (Full Article No Link)
Alan Booth is the CEO of one of Cryptopia, an exchange regarded as having one of the widest selection of tokens. Founded in 2014, Cryptopia is one of a handful of blockchain-focused companies in New Zealand. The Cryptopia team is often tasked with researching hundreds of projects to determine their efficacy before any other major exchange has touched them. The exchange lists many projects in their early stages and post-ICO. As an entrepreneur and business consultant for over 50 years, Alan Booth’s story is fairly atypical of that of many entrepreneurs in the cryptocurrency world. His perspective on the cryptocurrency is grounded in decades of business development experience, and he views the cryptocurrency exchange realm as one of the most exciting opportunities yet. In the following interview, we dive into everything from cryptocurrency psychology, the coin listing process, and blockchain entrepreneurship. How did you get introduced into the crypto world? That’s interesting. I was consulting for Cryptopia or consulting to assist them in their development path for several months when it became obvious that they needed some senior leadership to move them from where they are, which was basically a reactive technical focus to a more business global focus on how we develop their business model. We are very conscious of the fact that you need a higher level of thinking. You need a global perspective, particularly from New Zealand because there’s not a lot of us down here. That probably predicates why we’re a global business grown out of such a small population. We’d known each other for a while, certainly six months or so, and when the opportunity came up, why wouldn’t I move from a very safe, comfortable, fun job that I had previously, which was the chief executive of an international flying school. Nothing really scary goes on there. I am at the latter end of my working life, somewhat semi-retired and all my colleagues went, “You’re going to do what? Are you kidding?” Of course, the blood pressure went up and I said, “yeah, I’m going to have a go at this.” So, it’s really about the opportunity when you’ve learned so much over 40 or 50 years of developing business models and floating companies and taking them to the world, which is primarily what I’ve done. To find something that’s new and a full of excitement and fear and trepidation and where is all this going? Then it’s an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up. So, it’s just the daredevil saying let’s go. The risk and the general fervor for the industry have gotten a lot of people very excited. What are the top concerns for exchanges moving forward from your perspective? They are many fold and they are variable based on feedback from the community and somewhat driven by legislation, driven by corporate requirements. The FinTech world, we’ve got to look at that as well as the coin world. If we want to grow and deliver a product that the average consumer can consume, then we have to deliver all the things that they would typically expect. So, if you went into a retail store to buy a heater, you expect to have a warranty. You expect to be safe, you expect to be treated well with clarity. And typically, the coin industry to date has not been very good at that because it’s been evolving and mostly evolving from a technical perspective with probably less weight put on the public consumption of the coin. It’s being technically driven as a technical product when you look at it. When you go to the exchange, some of them take a fair bit of thinking about before you can operate. So, for us, the first thing is trust. If people can’t trust your brand, and that means every part of it, you’re not going to succeed. So, we are very proactive here in New Zealand, talking to legislators, government agencies in and out of New Zealand. KYC, AML, CML, all of that stuff. We are drafting our own internal rules and then most cases they exceed the requirements of our banking partners. So, they look at us and they go, wow, you’re way ahead of where we thought it would be. So, developing a trust relationship with our consumers and business partners is vital. The next thing is developing a stable and functional platform. I don’t just mean the coin exchange itself, but all of the underlying technology. Will we be up? Do we have latency? Are we speedy? Have we purchased the right partnership relationships for our equipment and how do we continue to be able to scale at will and not risk failing to deliver a result? That means helping people get an exchange done, their coins on and off. I suspect it’s the same as every other exchange. Only thing is, down here, we have really focused on three things to move us very quickly forward. One is the public-facing components. That’s the help desk if you get stuck. We want to be able to respond very quickly. And like the other exchanges, we headed enormous influx in the early part of the year and that was debilitating. Nobody was ready for it. We employed teams of people to come in and train as support operators. We’ve since then spent a huge amount of money on a new ticketing system, which actually went live yesterday. So, this morning when I come in, there’s smiley faces trying to get their head around it going, wow, this is amazing. So, we triage all the tickets on the inbound route now and puts it in a good space for our response team to reply as quickly as possible, I want. At the moment, we’re not there. Instead of being 40 or 50 hours and all these horrible delays, I want people to have a response from us immediately and I mean within seconds saying we’ve got your ticket. I can’t answer it right now, but we’re on you. Then, within hours, get back to those customers and fix their problem. They don’t deserve to wait 24 hours or 48 hours. People are anxious. Ticketing, we’ve done something about it. Highly trained staff, we’re employing all the time. We’ve developed foreign offices to beat the time zone thing. We now have a support office in the UK that we have had for some time, actually. The next thing is just the stabilizing of our software and hardware. When you start these things, the enthusiasm and the inexperience of the development team may not know what’s here to them and now we’ve bought in bigger, stronger, international teams. So, that’s great what you’ve got, but let’s do this. So, that’s the phase we’re on now. We’re spending all of our money. In fact, every penny that we generate in this business goes straight back into furthering and developing the products. Nobody’s racing home in Lamborghinis or flying their jets around. They’re just piling into it. So, that’s how I am in terms of producing a high-quality product. It’s not a decision we just made. It’s always been there, but we are now articulating it internally, that we want to be in the top five of crypto exchanges and digital asset exchanges of some form within the next two years. In the top five, bar none, in every respect. Would you say the number one component of being thought of as one of the top five would be trading volume? Is that the primary metric? I absolutely agree with you, but you can’t have trading volume unless you provide the other things first, like security, safety, a good trading platform. If you want trading volume, I have to have a reason for you to trust me, which has to be if I have a failure, will my ticket, be answered? If you do those things, you will get trading volume. I don’t believe you look at it the other way and say, hey, let’s create trading volume because if that comes at you hard and sharp, how are you going to cope with it when something breaks? It’s technology, things will break. It’s how you address things that go wrong that made you successful, not what you put in place to drive that business in. That will happen if you’re good. The word gets out saying this is a great exchange. They fixed my tickets, they’re fast, they’re responsive, it’s safe. That will create trading volume. Trading volume for us is income and of course, we want it. We have actually slowed down on coin listings. We’ve slowed down on taking new customers and we’ve slowed down on developing relationships with partners simply to get our platform in better shape so that we can become the most reliable, trusted partner you can have. That will create trading volume, no doubt about it. Although trading volume does bring in a sizable amount of revenue, there comes a point where it just becomes a vanity metric where people are using an exchange simply because there just aren’t any better alternatives out there.. So, if there is an exchange that can offer all the features that you’re talking about and a premium level of service, then the trading volume will trickle down. There’s no real loyalty for exchanges other than preferences. Absolutely. We wouldn’t ask for that. Why would you say to somebody, hey, you got to be loyal to us? That’s just silly. You will be loyal to us if I offer you a great experience. That means volume of coins, a huge range to trade through. Ease of trading. One click, two clicks. How about some trading tools just like you see in a modern foreign exchange opportunity? Some arbitrage tools, some tools for measurement, some nice desktop tools. We want to introduce other things. It just means that you’ve got control over your own reporting and your own desktop environment. It can become a very powerful tool to use as long as we listen to the customers and say, hey guys, we can develop that. Give us a couple of months, let’s put it in front of you. What is the coin listing process for you guys? What’s the process for someone who wants to get their coin listed on Cryptopia? We’re just reviewing that and we’re being very focused on changing the way we list coins and who we list. We’re very conscious to gain trust. We are actually your first port of call for particularly those people who don’t know much about coin, so they have to trust their exchange partner. Therefore, we have to make sure that if we list a coin, it’s a viable trusted, honest coin that’s going to give value. Not just to us as an exchange but it’s not a scam coin. It’s not something just to raise money, pump and dump thing. We have coin listing teams who are very tough. I have introduced people as the CEO to my coin listing team and I can’t get it through them. I’ve said, but these are great guys and I have a great story and I met them in Vancouver and boy, they’ve convinced me. My coin listing technical team does all the due diligence. Everything from GitHub, Facebook pages, normal stuff like that. If it doesn’t look like a viable product to us on many levels, then it doesn’t get listed. That’s the end of it. If [the coin] gets past that, we do further due diligence. We’ll actually interview the company. We’ll ask why do you want to list? Why do you want to list with Cryptopia? What’s your plan for the coin? What do you want us to tell customers because they’re going to be relying on us? So, we’d like to do more than just have a coin called 21 Million sitting on the exchange. How about if we had a link to that with some of the criteria we use to judge whether that was a good opportunity. Whether it was a good coin. We might have a 10-point plan and we might say, hey, this coin passed at 9.7. This coin is in, but it only got in at 2.4. Whereas the negative coins, the coins that have gotten negative plans, negative equity in our mindset, they just don’t get on the exchange. We have a very large number of coins at the moment. We want to remain in that space, be the leader. That means that clearly, we’re not going to get it right all the time because we make mistakes and actually, so do the some of the honest and reliable coin generators. Their plans might not just happen, so they get the benefit of the doubt for a while. As long as we see that they’re not doing something deliberately to disrupt the market or just to take money, then we’ll support them until they get their business model right. But we’re very focused on a coin listing to us is actually a business partnership. We’re not just going to throw coins up there. I think 2018 is the year of reckoning, wherein 2017, pretty much anything got listed anywhere. It didn’t really matter how functional the coin was or whether it was legitimate or not. So, it’s really cool to see the trend in exchanges making a stance against that because if the ax falls, it doesn’t fall on the anonymous coin team that could be in Switzerland and Ethiopia. It’s falling on the CEOs and the exchange teams that are allowing access. People come to us and they say, hey, I haven’t got my money. You’re the exchange. I go, well actually, the coin that we listed, I’m afraid the wallet’s faulty or they didn’t do this, or they ran away. People don’t care. They’re relying on us. That’s why Cryptopia has to be a business partner with each and every user, not just a provider of some coin listings. That would be unethical. Absolutely, and it’s good to hear. Speaking of regulations, how do you think that’s going to evolve for exchanges, especially being out of New Zealand? I welcome a regulatory intervention for many reasons. The primary one is that as soon as the regulators start imposing their will and taking notice, it means that it’s a genuine opportunity. They don’t waste their time on something that’s not going to affect global economies or our economy. For example, the New Zealand regulators, we’re working and we’re working with them because they recognize that somebody has got to work with them to tell them what’s going on. The other side of the fence, that’s us. We have to work with them to say, you can’t do that because it won’t work in this environment. So, working with regulators is critical, in my opinion, and we’re doing that very well. Regulation has to come. It was just announced in New Zealand a few days ago that we’re going to start, this is unrelated to coins, collecting GST, which is our equivalent of your local taxes, on online purchases. So, typically anything up to $400 that you buy online from Amazon, for example, in New Zealand, you wouldn’t pay tax on and they’re changing that. They’re taking the same view with coins. So, the government is saying, how do we tax revenue? When do we tax revenue? What should it look like? How do we make it fair for you, the exchange and how do we make it fair and manageable by the consumers who may have to declare a capital gain if they’re going, for instance, as an equity or a property as pure speculative fun like betting? And if that’s the case, when should we do this? Should we backdate all that stuff? Every country is going through this and some have jumped in and made decisions that they’ve had to backpedal on. They were a little bit hasty. In New Zealand, in particular, we have a great relationship with the regulators and all the powers that be, right down to the banks, and are all looking at the space saying, you know what? We don’t quite know what to do, but let’s start doing something and I welcome it. And the more understanding and control we have on these things at this early stage these next few years, the neater and cleaner will be over the next few years. Just as banking has become very stabilized through regulations, so will this crypto business, whatever it ends up looking like. New Zealand has its advantages because a smaller population could make building direct relationships with regulating authorities easier. Tim Draper, for example, is investing in Papua New Guinea to try and make this whole digital citizenship country. The Binance guys just moved over to Malta. The global landscape just opened up, and governments will have to start offering distinct advantages to attract companies that could hypothetically set up virtually anywhere. That’s great because that’s exactly what online trading is about. It’s online and it’s global. We have to join the global party, but we better start from a position of understanding and strength in our own environment. Make sure we have our own stuff together before we start yelling about what someone else should do. Yeah, absolutely. Shifting gears a little bit, what do you think about decentralized exchanges and how they’re going to affect the whole exchange thing? The quick and easy answer to that is it will definitely affect the global exchange market. It will definitely affect FinTech because if people who are regular investors and that’s people with mom and pops with a few dollars, right up to institutional investors, if they can see a way of generating revenue and it’s safe, they’re going to move there. They’re not going to discard their other investment opportunities and they’re not going to discard regular exchange-traded equities or working on the stock exchange. But there’s a space here that we haven’t quite worked out who that’s going to work for or how, but the more we regulate, the more we make the tools visible. The stronger we look to the market and the more professional we look. That doesn’t necessarily mean just wearing a suit into a meeting, but the more gravitas we have behind those discussions demonstrating that we’ve done on the work and that we’ve got smart people here and the technology’s good. We’re ready to come and meet and talk equitably to investors and traditional investment houses. Then there will be a way that they join up. There’s no doubt about it. I mean, it can’t be helped. How about the lightning network and atomic swaps where you could pretty much exchange peer to peer. You could trade Litecoin for Ethereum directly in one single transaction without an exchange. Centralized exchanges have their benefits, like for example, there’s someone you can knock on their door and say where’d my money go? I need customer support. So, there are advantages there, but then the advantages of a decentralized exchange are just the efficiency. I’m wondering how is that viewed for the centralized exchange world? I don’t want people to take away my income opportunity. We’re building a business. We would argue, and I think it could be demonstrated to date until the blockchain comes up with some technical solutions. We’re building a trust environment and we are taking on, at considerable cost, the responsibility for providing the trust. First, it’s a coin that we like and here are the reasons. We’ve done the due diligence on your behalf. We allow the transactions to take place and here’s how we regulate, manage and deliver that transaction and manage the wallet relationships. Cryptopia’s Coin Information display That’s a role we take on. So, if you trade with a centralized exchange, you’ve got a whole lot of advantages that you don’t have by trading peer to peer. It’s fairly obvious what a peer to peer relationship looks like. If that’s on a personal level, that risk is much greater. If it’s on a more corporate structured level, I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I think we’ve got a long way to go before we could move from centralized exchanges to peer to peer simply because there’s going to have to be some regulation around it. How would the regulators engage in that space? Who are they engaging with? Every single person who wants to trade? At the moment, they can deal with an exchange that has potentially 2,000,000 to 10,000,000 customers. That’s not easy for a regulator or a tax authority. So, there’s the regular regulatory component. That’s got to be there. Then there’s the trust management and then there are just a few more technical issues that I think have yet to evolve. It all comes down to running a business. It takes money and capital to get all these users you want to get. If the technology works, that’s great, but onboarding users take resources. How do these projects plan on doing that? It’s just a missing component of every single white paper that tries to go after that who isn’t trying to build a centralized business to oversee it. I think philanthropy is wonderful and when people are talking about decentralization. It’s a great idea and it’s philanthropic and it would be wonderful if the world could work like that. But there’s never been a business model that has worked without generating revenue. There isn’t one. Everyone’s tried, but you can’t name one that doesn’t have to generate revenue at some point or another. Even if that revenue is simply generated to make the action happen, the hardware, the software, the bandwidth, someone’s got to pay. So, if you’re decentralizing, how do you get paid? How do you police it? How do you manage it? Why not stick to a model that works? And it’s not just about centralized coin exchanges. It’s not just about front-end institutions. This is a model that’s worked since the first inhabitants of Earth swapped a bean for a stick or can I give you my dinosaur to cook while I bring you a giraffe? I don’t know, but you can’t have a society without an exchange happening of some value in exchange. Even if I go to a coffee bar with you, here’s the simplest thing. I would say, hey, I’ll meet you for coffee, on me I might pay for the coffee, but guess what? We’ve sat down and exchanged information. I’ve gotten something out of it. How do you do stuff without exchanging value? It’s push and pull between advancing technology and proving the model works but then what’s the incentive to run it and popularize it because you’ve got that whole chicken and egg problem. We need a bunch of users for this to work efficiently, but we’re not going to make any money doing it. Hopefully, we’ll see how things play out in the next couple of months or years or decades. I’m down for decades and a lot of failures. We’ll be there watching them saying we’ll help you if we can and hey, go and play guys, but come back here when it doesn’t work because we are going to be here. What are your thoughts on Bitcoin dominance in general compared to all the other coins out in 2018? So, what does a cryptocurrency landscape look like if Bitcoin happens to fall down to, let’s say, 15\% or 10\% of the market? Does Bitcoin really dominate or is it just big? If you look at the exchanges and watch the traffic, can you see as much traffic taking place and as much interest in the CoinCash or 21 Million or Kenya or any of these things? They’re all there and people are trading them for various reasons. Mom and pops are going to be doing this to buy a new car. Someone else purely looking as a store of wealth and other people are looking to dominate a market. So, I’m not sure that you could say Bitcoin dominates. It might be the largest store of wealth at the moment. Does it dominate people’s thinking? I’m not sure about that. If you’re a coin developer, it’s your coin that’s dominant in your mind and you’ll go after a particular vertical, even a geographic market. So, you have the potential to develop your store or your story within that business scope. Why does Bitcoin dominate? Simply because it was seen as an opportunity? Is it dominated because the people who trade in Bitcoin put so much faith in it being a store of wealth or an opportunity for capital gain? But a lot of those people have run away. That’s why it’s not $20,000 at the moment. It’s just trading between 8,000 and 10,000 in there. So, it stabilized. So, what if it fell over? Some people will lose money. It’s not going to change the blockchain, it’s not going to change our thinking about cryptocurrencies. It’s not going to change Cryptopia’s approach to the market. It might dominate in volume. I’m not sure it’s the dominant force supporting cryptocurrencies. I see what you’re saying. It might just be a dominance of user acquisition because there’s a larger chance they heard of Bitcoin instead of Ethereum if they have heard of cryptocurrency at all. So, it’s like the gateway crypto. Take care that people aren’t saying Bitcoin just like a Hoover, the vacuum cleaner. Every vacuum cleaner for 20 years was called a Hoover. That was the dominant brand. Hey, I’m going to Hoover the floor. What they meant was I’m going to get my vacuum cleaner of which there are 80,000 different makes out there now and they’re going to vacuum the floor, but they just called it a Hoover. So, I trade in Bitcoin. I’ll bet you someone who says, yeah, I trade Bitcoin, he’s only saying bitcoin because he knows or she knows that people understand that you’re referring to a cryptocurrency. If you say to someone I trade in Clearpoll or CoinMedic3, they have no clue what you’re talking about. They go what is that? Oh, it’s Bitcoin. Oh, I get it. If you went home to your mom and dad and they asked what are you doing? You’d say, oh yeah, I’m trading cryptocurrency. They’d go, oh? What’s what? You’d go, Bitcoin. They go, oh, that thing. Bitcoin Cash is competing to be known as the Bitcoin for a reason. In the next four or five years, there are millions of people that haven’t even heard of crypto that would probably receive a lot of benefits from being onboarded into the cryptocurrency world. I’m not really sure how what they get onboarded to first matters immediately, but I know it plays a substantial role for a lot of people. It’s an initiator. It’s a keyword that attracts them to the space that we’re in. It’s simply because it’s got brand dominance in the public persona. If you say a Bitcoin, most people know you’re talking about that strange online thing that no one understands and there are a few other coins, but we don’t know what their name is. As soon as they hit an exchange, if they really want to try it, they’re going to look at the next one down and say oh, I didn’t know that existed. They’ll make their way right to the bottom of the 2,000 list. So, I really don’t think we should worry too much about dominance or anything that’s measured in that way in the space because the variables that change our value perception on any of these products is a mystery to everyone. A rumor can cause change overnight and things like that have happened. Guess what? They also happen in traditional exchanges. Go to the London stock exchange and you’ll see a piece in the paper tomorrow that prices rocketed or have fallen over the next day because the public is there. The public is there late, remember. If you see it in the news, it has already happened. That’s the same thing for this. So, what are your favorite projects out right now? It has to be blockchain focused. I mean, coins seem to be a tool that are being used to raise capital, raise awareness, create hysteria over or some fun. Some of them, and I believe it’s very few of them, I wouldn’t like to statistically put a number on that, but I think it’s very, very few have actually got a basis of a typical good investment. Is company strong behind it? Do they have good ethics? Why are they doing this? What’s it for? Or is it just to raise money? When they’ve got money they can go, oh, look how much money we’ve got. Let’s do something. That’s not the way to grow a business. Somebody has to have a good story that’s technically supported. It has to have social value these days. And that means is it good for mankind? Is it going to save the planet? Will it do something? Create manufacturing? Whatever it is. Hey, I’m not a philanthropist. I’m not saying you’ve got to do something to save the planet. But the youth of today are much more conscious about anything we/they do is about social conscience and social values and responsibility. So, for me, any of those projects, whether they be blockchain based or coin based that do something more than just making money for a bunch of guys, so they can go buy a Lamborghini, gets more of a look and support from us than the others. There are ways of going and creating wealth for yourself than preying on opportunities that exist simply because exchanges listed them. So, we’re very careful about that. So, I wouldn’t like to say at this stage, we have anyone in particular. We do have some businesses we’re looking at, but they all are very well rounded in terms of their sales pitch. It’s ethical, it’s got a good background. They have strong management, a history. They’re well-funded already. They’re not just grabbing money to then decide what they’ll do with it. Well said. The one point you made about how these projects need to be ethical and how that impacts those business models because again, you tap into to the same vein of projects that are looking to substantially change industries that had been stifled by inefficiencies or corruption. It stretches a long way. If you find a solution that bugs business and usually if it bugs a business, it bugs and effects people, consumers, in some way. That might just be, where it’s blockchain related, securities and tracking things to make this whole trust environment that we live in. The point is we say we can trust but we can’t trust. Everything we do is about trust. We get lawyers to look after our trust issues and we shake hands and we still wonder whether it’s a deal. So, solving trust issues globally is probably one of the biggest benefits to mankind because once we solve the trust issue, you can then be positive or confident that something that you want to happen and agreed to happen is actually going to happen. If it doesn’t happen, it’s not just about the broken trust. It’s then about the finances involved before you got there. That’s all gone. The future has all gone around that business model. So, trust management in blockchain and around coins and around exchanges, decentralized exchanges, is probably the biggest thing we have to deal with. Which takes me back to my core development program right now, which is developing a trustworthy exchange. Make it clear, unambiguous. Make it reliable, deliver what we said we were going to do. What does a day in the life of Alan Booth look like? What do you do for fun when you’re not doing exchange type things? If there’s even time for fun. If you’re running an exchange, it’s 26 hours a day to run an exchange. If you can squeeze another hour in, you might find some fun. This is probably my last employment opportunity. I’m in my 60’s. I’ve spent 50 years being an entrepreneur and an arm waver. Wave your arms and see who’s taking notice and make something happen. So, fun for me is actually the exploitation of a business opportunity. I go to bed hoping that I wake up in the night with an idea to scribble on the pad. I come to work a very early. I’m up at 5 am. I get here at 7 am if I can with the work already done. I don’t want to arrive at work and look at emails. If you’re looking at email and other stuff, it’s other people’s requests on your time. I’m going to arrive here being creative. I want to arrive every day going, I’ve got nothing to do except be creative and compel all of my employees and partners to support that creativity and bring their own creativity to it. So, you couldn’t have more fun than that, could you? What else is there? Just to make stuff and see people get excited and give them the opportunity. But when I’m outside of this, hey, I liked to fly light aircrafts. I ride fast motorbikes. I do guy stuff, and when I’m not doing guy stuff, I’m at home helping my wife in the garden. Just an ordinary guy. Most of my daylight waking hours is about being that global entrepreneur with regard to this huge global opportunity which is let’s change the world. It’s like moving from coal to steam, steam to mechanization, mechanization to electronics, and now we move into the digital age and we’re in it. What a fantastic place to be. So, how exactly do you do that? Do you just wake up earlier and just get everything done at 5:00 AM? There’s never enough time in the day. What it is, it’s being super critical about what’s actually important. If you open your email when you get to work, I will guarantee that you will sit there procrastinating and jump between emails. Most people don’t work from the top to the bottom or the bottom to the top. You’re a little bit selective, so already you failed to do what people expect you to. Email and inbound inquiry are other people’s expectations of how to use your time. They’re imposing their requirements on you. So, you’ve already allowed yourself to be managed by outside rules. You’ve got to arrive at your office with nothing that interferes with the creative process of why am I at this office? Why did I come here? I came here to understand what we’ve got. So, that’s a constant job. To work with the clever people that you have employed. I have a major role in employment and myself. Only employ smarter people than yourself, only. Because if you’re employing people that aren’t smarter than you, you’re going to have to tell them what to do and you don’t have time for that. Now, employing people smarter than yourself, for me, that sets the bar quite low, that’s easy, so I get really good pickings. But, generally speaking, you need to employ the best people and get them going and then you’ll be so busy running around trying to keep up with him, not them keeping up with you, that you actually have no time for all that outside noise. You’ve got to impose on the world what you want, not the world imposing on you what they want. Turn it around. Every time I have a conversation with somebody, it’s about what I want, in the nicest possible way. We will listen to inbounds but we already have a path to follow. If you start following other people’s paths, you’re not going to get where you want to go. Here’s the thing. I’ve been a business mentor for probably 20 years. Mentoring basically new CEOs. New CEOs, it’s the loneliest job in the world because it might be your first CEO job, so you can’t talk down because those people below you expect you to be the boss, so you can’t ask them. You can’t talk up because you’re the CEO. It’s no good asking the board, they’re looking down at you. You can’t talk sideways because they’re your competitors. So, the first year or two as a new CEO is the loneliest place on the planet. So, what you have to do is be entirely focused on what you need to get done and that is by changing what you used to do before you became a CEO or a boss. What you used to do is respond to every bit of noise that came at you and it filled your day up until you went nutty. Thank you! Cryptopia CEO Alan Booth on the Cryptocurrency Exchange Realm
CoinCentral's owners, writers, and/or guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the above projects and businesses. None of the content on CoinCentral is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.
Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.
On July 26, 2018, Google updated its Play Store developer policies to ban cryptocurrency mining on all Android devices. The Sentinel team is unsure if the ban can extend to applications that utilize tokens like $SENT or cryptocurrency wallets in the future. To address this problem, the Sentinel development team decided to build out two unique Sentinel Android dVPN Apps:
The Sentinel dVPN Lite client is a decentralized VPN application for Android devices that have FREE access to the Sentinel dVPN Network. Being free, however, the client does not feature the Sentinel Ethereum Rinkeby TestNet Wallets used to pay for dVPN transactions. The key features of the dVPN Lite include:
The current version (v0.1.6) is FREE to establish a secure connection with available Exit Nodes on the Sentinel dVPN Network
The ability to configure limitations in terms of bandwidth usage parameters (since users do not pay for the bandwidth consumed).
A referral code to allow users to participate in future utility drops and promotions.
A seamless user experience without the knowledge of blockchain or cryptocurrency.
The application can be directly downloaded and updated from the Google Play Store.
NOTE: Russian will be added to the list of supported langauges in the upcoming update. The Sentinel dVPN Lite Interaction Process. We can illustrate the process of interacting with the dVPN Lite (v0.1.6) by following the steps below:
The user browses through a list of available VPN Exit Nodes that they can connect to.
The User taps ‘Connect’ to establish a connection to the selected node and utilize the secure and provable Sentinel dVPN Network.
Once the user taps ‘Disconnect,’ the application terminates the connection and ends the session.
In the future, tapping ‘Connect’ when already connected should disconnect the previously connected node and establish a new connection to the newly requested node. The code for the Sentinel dVPN Lite is available on GitHub. The version control system automatically checks for the latest version on the Google Play Store and updates the app via Google Play Services. Feel free to take a look at the code: https://github.com/sentinelofficial/sentinel/tree/mastemobile-client-android/sentinel_lite_android/SentinelLite IMPORTANT: Anonymized user behavior data (NOT user browsing data) will be tracked on the Sentinel dVPN Lite to improve Sentinel as a product. Users concerned about sharing such data can download the Sentinel dVPN directly from thereleasespage on GitHub.
The Sentinel dVPN is a fully-featured decentralized VPN application for Android available to download on GitHub. Built to be used by the crypto community, the app includes Sentinel Ethereum Rinkeby TestNet Wallets used to pay for faster bandwidth speeds. The key features of Sentinel dVPN include:
Integration with both ERC20 and ERC20 Rinkeby TestNet Wallet.
Ability to view and choose nodes based on the location, payment, latency, and connection speed.
Access to community hosted Exit Nodes that route user traffic via OpenVPN networking protocol.
With the release of the Sentinel dVPN Lite app on the Google Play Store, Sentinel now has the means to reach Android users looking for a VPN alternative. With this opportunity, Sentinel plans to market its ecosystem by featuring Exit Nodes offering historical high-quality service and promoting other projects (crypto and non-crypto) that add value to the Sentinel Network. The revenue generated from these promotions will then be distributed to the community nodes that host the required infrastructure. Perhaps the quintessential use case of the VPN, a decentralized VPN provides a much-needed utility to those living in locations where the internet is censored. For that reason, Sentinel is implementing language support to content-sensitive regions to drive adoption. With the Sentinel dVPN app, users in these locations will have FREE, unhindered access to the web. Be on the lookout for our development updates as Russian will be added to the list of supported languages in the near future.
In today’s ever more connected world, internet traffic is alarmingly becoming vulnerable to sophisticated attackers and privacy-invading monitors. As a response, Sentinel developed a desktop dVPN client with fully provable, ‘end-to-end’ encryption between the user and the Exit Nodes. However, the current desktop dVPN client faces a potential barrier to mainstream adoption. Although it may be a trivial task for the average crypto-enthusiast, the desktop client requires package dependencies to be installed by Mac and Windows users, which can be daunting and confusing for the average consumer. The Sentinel team understands that the crypto ecosystem constitutes a small niche in the global markets. As a young industry, only a handful of blockchain-based applications have provided relevant utility value to the general consumer market. It is a challenge faced by all blockchain projects as they try to break into the mainstream audience. For these reasons, it was important for Sentinel to release a consumer-friendly Sentinel dVPN Lite app for Android devices. With future plans to offer similar one-click setup on the desktop client, Sentinel is well positioned to drive the mainstream consumer adoption of its dVPN dApp. https://preview.redd.it/n0nn75wmf0b21.png?width=1257&format=png&auto=webp&s=4fa7f30037b34366d02ac507ab5a335602844288
Sentinel employs a multi-chain architecture to secure data and exchange resources between people andapplications — Legacy, Enterprise Apps, Mobile Apps, and Decentralized Apps. Sentinel has developed the first working blockchain bandwidth resource monitoring and on-chain payment gateway mechanism. Follow us onMediumto stay up to date with the latest Sentinel announcements and developments. View exchanges for trading $SENT at the newSentinel website. Check out and follow Sentinel’s official social media channels: Twitter|Telegram — Official Group|Telegram — Announcements only
Hello! My name is Kristina Semenova, I am the Head of Investors Relation Department at Platinum, the world’s number one business facilitator. Our team knows how to start ICO/STO in 2019! Why are we so sure? Well, our experience speaks for itself: Platinum.fund But what is the difference between ico and sto? What is the cornerstone of ICO marketing strategy? You will know this after finishing the UBAI courses! Here’s just a quick preview of our Short Course lesson. Real World Examples Multinational accounting firm Ernst and Young found that $400 million of the $3.7 billion USD raised from ICOs (as of January 22, 2018) had been stolen. That is, up to 10% of all ICO funding is virtually being stolen from investors. Though ICO scams are the most common method of theft in the crypto world, some projects will actually operate for a period of time before disappearing with the money. Like in a Ponzi scheme, an exit scam may be planned for later, sometime after a manipulated pump; or some other time the team believes is most opportune to take the money and run. Giza: Giza marketed itself as a platform within which different cryptocurrencies could be stored securely. But after raising $2.4 million in one month, the team deleted the website and stopped replying to emails. Investors were duped by a very convincing whitepaper, and actors had been hired to appear in photographs promoting the project. No investor funds have ever been recovered. Centra: The SEC put an end to fundraising for the Centra ICO and charged the founders Robert Farkas and Sohrab Sharma with orchestrating a fraudulent ICO after they raised $32 million USD. They were promoting the ability to develop financial products backed by VISA and Mastercard, though it was later found that neither partnership was real. One of the major red flags in the Centra project was the use of celebrity endorsements for publicity, reportedly paying champion boxer Floyd Mayweather a significant sum to promote their project. Who wants to leave their Blockchain investment decisions up to Floyd Mayweather, regardless of his unbelievable skill as a boxer and regardless of his own financial success? He should still not influence where you invest your money! Ponzi Schemes: Bitconnect: This is the most infamous Ponzi scheme in the history of cryptocurrency, and certainly the most damaging. Bitconnect was a Bitcoin-based project that rose to an all-time high of $463 per token on the back of a fictitious trading bot. The Bitconnect scam operated by paying dividends to users, proportional to the number of tokens they held and the number of referrals they made. The BCC tokens were exchanged for the users’ Bitcoin, and the highly sophisticated and wildly successful trading bot would trade BTC for them and distribute profits as dividends. The value of the dividends offered was approximately 1% of the initial investment per day. In other words, that is approximately 3,780% per year in cumulative gain! The referral system was capitalized upon most heavily by many of the biggest crypto YouTube channels, including CryptoNick and Trevon James, both of whom are now under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Shortly after the Bitconnect Token reached its all-time high, they received cease and desist orders from the security regulators of Texas and North Carolina, which caused the owners of the Bitconnect exchange to shut down operations, and the price to plummet. Davorcoin: Davorcoin was a lending platform very similar to Bitconnect. And Davorcoin was farcically promoted by the same Trevon James crypto Youtuber who promoted Bitconnect, and is currently under investigation by the FBI for promoting Ponzi schemes. The Texas State Securities Board, in likening Davor to Bitconnect, stated that “DavorCoin is telling investors they can earn lucrative profits by investing in a lending program based on a new cryptocurrency known as davorcoin. Investors allegedly purchase davorcoin and then lend it to DavorCoin”. Davorcoin promptly plunged from an all-time high of $180 to very close to zero after a cease and desist order was made against them on the 2nd of February 2018. Useless Ethereum Token: Despite brazenly stating in the name of the project that the token has no use, the UET managed to raise $340,000 in its crowdsale, and saw a significant pump of over 300% on the HitBTC exchange in February of 2018. The scam was an obvious case of pump and dump, with the total trading volume for UET crashing back down to as low as $3 per day, after reaching as high as $350,000 per day during the pump. It is currently an unfortunate consequence of the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency, but there is a distinct lack of recourse for scammed investors. It is wise to become as well-acquainted with the various indicators of good and bad ICOs as you possibly can. In weighing the factors that will allow you to avoid expensive mistakes, ask yourself in whose favor are the terms of the ICO slanted, yours or the teams? To what extent are you actually likely to profit from this investment? Cryptocurrency is inherently a grey area, whether you are investing in it or not. Investing is another inherently grey area, no matter what the area or object of investing might be. Laws and regulations are not always able to keep up. Trying to define and prove what was or was not a scam is not likely to be as simple as the scammed investor would want it to be. A project can be set up in certain ways to avoid being technically classified or provable as a scam, but the unprepared investor can still be burnt or scammed just as badly. Now we look at more individual indicators that can help you form a valid impression whether or not an ICO or even a fully-fledged exchange-listed coin is a scam or a bona fide investment opportunity. Common Signposts Contrasting Scam & Legitimate Projects Presale Bonus/Token Release If the ICO allots massive bonuses to team members, you may leave yourself open to getting dumped on by presale investors if you buy when the project tokens are listed on an exchange. Likewise, if the project has a short lock-up period for developers and founders, you run the risk of them selling as soon as the token is listed on a major exchange. The token release schedule for the founders of a worthwhile project should show long-term team commitment to that project. The Jibrel Network team tokens will be locked up for 5 years before release, and they had no early investor bonus in the main sale. Both of these factors instilled confidence in the JNT ICO investors, and the tokens were sold out weeks before the ICO was due to end. No Presale lock up If Presale investor tokens are not locked up at all for any period after listing, that could easily be a set up for an exit scam after the initial listing. No presale lockup for early investor tokens is a crystal clear warning, the project may be fatally rigged toward those in the inner circle, with little commitment to the long term health or success of that project. Unsolicited Offers or Unasked for Additions to Groups Characters running scam projects will often add you to Telegram groups out of the blue or send you unsolicited emails with information about their project. Telegram is the most widely used messaging app in the cryptocurrency community and you should familiarize yourself with it to keep yourself in the loop for specific projects in which you invest as well as all kinds of other relevant crypto info. You can adjust the settings on the Telegram app to disallow anonymous additions to cryptocurrency projects if you find yourself bombarded with offers by scammers. Reputable projects at the ICO stage will spread by word of mouth, or by eloquent and meaningful articles posted on their Medium page. A project with serious potential does not need to actively seek participants for their ICO like that. They will often be able to fill their ICO hard cap in a matter of hours, or even just minutes! Anonymous Team Alarm bells, again, immediately, if the project has minimal online presence. The individual team members could be mere fabrications. The entire project could be a farce by utterly inexperienced characters. What if the project leaders are simply unaware of the importance of a strong social media profile? That in itself would be too strange to ignore. Top-level projects will have team members with experience in crypto and the LinkedIn accounts for those members will be easily accessible right there on the project website. You should be able to easily see and evaluate each individual’s experience in their field and ascertain what they bring to the project team. Bitconnect’s anonymous team should have been the only deterrent prospective investors needed to discourage them from putting money into that doomed project. Ethhorse, a current project with anonymous founders and operators should be steered clear of at all costs for the same reasons. Community Atmosphere The subreddits or Telegram groups of scam projects will often feature moderators that do not allow any kind of criticism in the group chat. If, in the process of your due diligence, you encounter didactic admins that only wish to silence your questioning of certain aspects of the whitepaper or mechanism of the tokenomics , you should be concerned. Similarly if you see a coherent critical reply attacked by many different users who refuse to engage the substance of the point being made, that may be a subreddit infested with bots. Projects that have nothing to hide will allow free debate in the chat. Ideally, they hope to develop a positive community that is itself an asset to the long-term success and overall strength of the project. Good projects do not need to automatically brand all criticism as Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). Whitepaper One common tactic of scammers is to produce a whitepaper that uses too many buzzwords, and deliberately obfuscates and overcomplicates the explanation of the problem and/or its solution. A good whitepaper clearly and concisely lays out the problem and answer, as well as provides compelling arguments why a Blockchain solution is preferable to the current solution. Another point of concern is a whitepaper that gives unrealistic time frames and goals. Bitconnect’s almost comically optimistic profit projections are a prime example of this, as are the 1,354% yearly gains promised by Plexcoin. Respectable projects will set out development timescales in terms of quarters or years, rather than offering immediate profit projections, which are simply a red flag. Advisors/Connections in the Cryptoworld The most prestigious projects will already have partnerships made before the ICO stage, and the worst ones, i.e. the scams, will not mention any such partnerships. Icon (ICX) for example was spawned from a South Korean project named The Loop, a collaboration between 3 Korean universities and the DAYLIFinancial Group. They boasted an advisory panel consisting of the legendary investor Don Tapscott, Jehan Chu and crowdfunding expert Jason Best. On top of a solid team of advisors, good projects will also be visible at major Blockchain events such as the Consensus, and the World Blockchain Forum, etc. Scam projects will be unable to inspire this same level in confidence. As an investor, you should sense a certain presence and expect a certain feeling of trust that should guide you in your investments. After all, it is actually a people-to-people thing you are doing. Key Stress points upon the Timeline to Identify Scam Projects Post Whitepaper Release The period in the immediate aftermath of the release of the whitepaper can also be decisive in establishing the validity of a project. How a team copes with the roadmap that they have laid out for themselves is key. Valuable insight into the operational efficiency and commitment to the project can be gleaned from the quality of and amount of code committed to GitHub. If you have any experience in computer programming you can see how clean and orderly the code is, which gives insight into the skill of the developers, and in turn the quality of project leaders’ decision-making in hiring team members. Scam projects will have little or no code committed to GitHub, or at best it will be copied and pasted from other projects just to cover their tracks. Start of ICO Sometimes, a scam project, or other project in which you would be better off not investing, will change the terms of the ICO just before the ICO starts. The Key (TKY) ICO doubled the price of tokens on the day before the ICO was due to take place, because the price of NEO had risen so drastically. Currently, the TKY token price is still only half of its ICO price. Initial investors are faced with the prospect of a 50% loss on their investment. Exchange Listing Some particularly greedy scammers will create a scam project with the intent of selling tokens in the ICO for BTC and ETH, and then pumping and dumping their share of the tokens immediately after listing. The team of fraudsters behind Monero Gold used this method after the crowdfunding of their useless ERC-20 token. After listing on CoinExchange.io, the team dumped their tokens until the exchange finally ceased trading. Although it is not uncommon for ICO tokens to sold after listing (just like can happen with shares of stock after an IPO), if the price does not stabilize and massive sell walls are continually placed, a scam is likely taking place and the token is being dumped. Fake Ethereum Twitter giveaway You may have noticed Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin’s twitter handle has been changed to Vitalik “Not giving away Eth” Buterin in recent months. This is because a group of devious scammers had created fake accounts with almost exact replicas of his profile (deviating by only one character). The fake accounts promised to deposit 1 whole ETH for every 0.1 ETH the potential sucker deposited into the wallet address provided by the scammer. These fake account “Ether giveaway” scam tweets were set up to be sent in just a matter of seconds after the real person tweeted, and usually always appear immediately after the tweet of the real public figure. Fake bot profiles then came into play, thanking the fake Vitalik, or fake Elon Musk, for holding up their end of the bargain and depositing the ETH as promised. One scammer, or group of scammers, managed to fill a wallet up with almost $20 thousand worth of ETH, which they transferred out, never to be seen or heard from again. Effect of Scam Customers, Upon the Affected Parties Of course, this is no fun for the targeted public figure either. They need to take steps to avoid being targeted again. This will mean changing their handle, their username, or making their accounts private. However, the injured party with whom we are most concerned is the unfortunate scammed social media user, who has no chance whatsoever of getting his or her funds back, ever. It is a harsh lesson to learn. But it is a fact of crypto reality. Nearly every one that trades crypto will at least be exposed to frauds or scams in one way or another. In this case, we think it is better to learn about scams by studying them, rather than learn from your own unfortunate and expensive experience. In the case of Mr. Buterin, these incidents were awful public relations for the Ethereum project. It had only been a few years since cryptocurrency as a whole was primarily associated with criminality and seedy transactions on the Darkweb. Any connection with unscrupulous behavior is best avoided at all costs. Negative associations could have been particularly damaging for Ethereum’s brand because the vast majority of ICO fraud is committed using the ERC-20 token as the template for the scam tokens. Any and all the scamming or fraudulent behavior in the cryptocurrency ecosystem is bound to have a negative impact on the speed at which mainstream uptake finally takes place. Cryptocurrencies, as an emerging asset class, will be painted in the worst possible light. Crypto is aiming to, and is in fact in the process of, causing great disruption in traditional centralized finance and business. Mainstream media organizations are also part of that traditional centralized economy. Press coverage will be damning. Something is happening here, but Mr. Jones doesn’t know what it is. Legal Recourse for Scams We clearly understand, there is a possibility of being scammed. We know the scams are happening. The SEC has made some arrests and actually charged people for operating fraudulent ICOs. But it is a struggle to deal with the flood of ICOs coming from anywhere at any time. The SEC filed charges against two founders of a purported financial services startup for orchestrating a fraudulent ICO that raised more than $32million from thousands of investors. As you know from the ICOs we have covered so far, the lack of regulation allows for direct contact and dealing between the entrepreneurs, business owners and potential investors. While we believe this is a blessing according to the founding principles of Bitcoin and other alternate Cryptocurrencies, because it frees us from traditional roadblocks, middle-men, and all kinds of time-consuming procedures; it also leaves investors in a place where there is often little to no hope of ever recovering funds lost in fraudulent schemes. Actions after a Successful ICO Good post-ICO practice is characterized by stringent security, well thought-out legal strategy and clear communication. Many projects have paid the price in damage to their reputation for failing to adequately guard customer information, leaving themselves open to phishing attacks by fraudsters. Investors in the Enigma project had half a million dollars stolen from them; and a whopping $8.4 million was defrauded from investors in Veritaseum via phishing attacks. After a successful token distribution, the team’s main focus is initially on switching the enterprise from one primarily focused on fundraising, to superficially at least, a fully-fledged, functioning business. This involves removing most of the token sale-related content from their main webpage, sending newsletters to all successful ICO participants, and sending refunds to those who may have missed the deadline or the hardcap. Then, with the stressful and complicated fundraising stage finally concluded, a portion of the funds raised can be assigned to fuel the growth of the project community. This can involve hiring community managers, forum admins, and social media managers to outsource the job of keeping investors in the loop. The founders can focus on growth strategy and product development. The cultivation of a thriving and energetic community is extremely important. The community will give you free marketing for your product and your business. Community members who believe in the project, and are engaged by professional moderators, can give you very effective promotion to other prospective investors. Communication with community members is a great way to test ideas and gauge sentiment related to various aspects of your project. The project leads must set aside adequate funds for lawyers. The project will need to address potential future or imminent problems with regulators, at the very least. The transition from fundraising project to full-fledged business can be incredibly challenging, and even more stressful than the ICO itself. The main thing to remember is that your pre-sale and ICO investors are not just silent investors waiting for a return. They are the early adopters of your solution, of your product; they are the community and promoters of your project; and they are the individuals with a vested interest in the financial success of your venture. The ICO environment is not as heavily regulated, so quarterly and/or semi-annual reporting is not required the way it is in the traditional world. That means your own style of effective communication about the progress and key developments on your project matters even more. In the ICO world, you communicate with your press releases, social media, and Medium posts. You also communicate by the very nature of your relations with your exchange, and relationships with your cornerstone investors. Effective communication and good business relationships can play a prominent role in the success or failure of your venture (by token liquidity and valuation). If your investors start to lose interest, and stop trading your token on the exchange, liquidity will dry up and cause increasingly volatile price swings. You need to keep certain things in mind, and follow effective practices to maintain a happy and motivated community. Social Media & Medium In addition to your website, your social media & Medium blog most likely formed a significant part of your ICO preparations. Your purpose pivots after the ICO from one of promotion to one of communication. Consistent, informative and material Medium blogs, also Facebook and Twitter updates, ensure that investors remain engaged and well-informed of what the company is up to. Frequent activity in this space makes investors feel much more comfortable. You can foster a kind of organic community expansion that is consistently advertising your project to potential new members. Cornerstone Investors & Exchanges As we mentioned, your relationship with investors in the ICO world is different from that of the traditional silent IPO minority equity partners. Consistent, Transparent & Honest communication is incredibly important here. Even if an ICO is struggling to overcome a problem or whatever issues are occurring, honest communication from the team is key to business survival. You should think of and treat your exchange like a business partner too, a very important one at that. Exchanges provide liquidity for you and your investors. That liquidity is like the blood for your business. Many top exchanges demand nothing less than absolute honesty and integrity, it is imperative to maintain strong and comfortable relationships with exchanges. Everything we have said so far, also applies to your Telegram channel and forums too. These give you another great opportunity to build a thriving community. Team members and investors can enjoy lively debates in their Telegram channels. This can be constructive discussion, or critical commentary too. But it is always valuable as a direct link between the team and the community. It is always good to know how people are feeling and what they expect from you and your project. You are able to use your Telegram channel and forums to consistently adapt your marketing and communication strategy. Keep your investors as happy and comfortable as possible, and you will be more likely to attract new investors and allocations. Other forums around the internet operate more or less in the same manner as Telegram. After a successful funding round with the hardcap reached and time to spare, legal counsel has been secured, and the community is flourishing, the team will prepare for their first listing by paying the exchange fee and waiting for the announcement by the exchange. Unless they are willing to pay exorbitant fees for an immediate listing on Binance for example, teams will usually settle for an initial listing on a second-tier exchange. The fee charged by an exchange depends on many different factors that we will cover in more detail in the next section. ICO Company actions after a Successful ICO Real World Case Study The Basic Attention Token (BAT) project, when used in conjunction with the Brave Browser, allows users to pay micro-fees in BAT to their most-used sites. The idea was conceived by Brendan Eich, the inventor of Javascipt and former CEO of Mozilla Firefox. Investors absolutely pounced on it at ICO and the project raised an amazing $35million in under 30 seconds. The BAT/Brave project has delivered on time on nearly all of its targets, helped in no small part by having a working product, the Brave Browser, for over a year before the token launch. The project secured a listing on the premier exchange, Binance, in November 2017. A project can suffer through a disappointing funding phase and, for example, fail to reach 75% of its hardcap. The team will be only partially funded. Though they may be able to initiate the project, the value proposition of the token has been compromised, potentially forever. The market has spoken. There is limited faith in the team’s ability to complete or carry out their project. Failure to reach a hardcap is a serious obstacle on the project road map. This will mean massive revisions to the timescales for development and listing. Such a project may have to be content listing on decentralized exchanges for a period of time and they will lose any post-ICO hype that could have helped the project price to “moon” early on. There is less money to be allocated. Each section of the business will be underfunded compared to the original plan. There can be delays in code development, exchange listing, marketing and community development as well. Calling the Tezos ICO a disappointment might seem strange considering they raised over $232million. But this open-source, smart contracts fintech platform became a victim of its own success post-ICO by devolving into multiple class-action lawsuits between the founders and its foundation chairman. They suffered from a distinct lack of clearly defined roles and expectations on key positions. There was infighting at the boardroom level. This all caused an as yet unresolved delay in listing and development. This is also one example why a capped ICO can be more desirable for investors than an uncapped ICO. If the team have a set amount of capital to work with, an amount that isn’t absolutely ridiculous, like in the case of Tezos, perhaps the resultant greed and discord is less likely. Although it may not be so easy for speculative investors to make a profit from an uncapped ICO with such a massive initial market cap, it is a very impressive feat of fundraising nonetheless. Tezos’s post ICO market cap of $232million is already 64th of all projects, and would have to perform brilliantly on listing to maintain this position. Company actions after a Failed ICO Failed ICOs can mean either fundraising initiatives that have failed to reach the softcap and will therefore not be economically viable, or fraudulent projects whose sole intention was to steal from investors and do an exit scam. We’ve already covered scams and fraud projects in detail, but what happens when an ICO just fails to raise the requisite funds? Projects that are legitimate, with honest founders and developers, refund the ETH or BTC deposited by investors as quickly as possible if the softcap is not reached. The same process that is followed by ICOs that are oversubscribed is employed by those that have failed to raise enough capital. The process of returning funds back to the sender ideally should take a period of days, but more likely will take a few weeks. The Sappy Network, advised by Dan Tapscott, failed to come anywhere near to their funding goals. They are currently in the process of sending all investor funds back to the wallets from which they came. The statement from the founders read as a textbook example of how you should react to failure with the founder stating “In the spirit of transparency and honesty, we are sharing with the community that we did not reach the soft cap, and thus we will be honoring our terms and conditions and returning the Ethers to all contributors” Exchange Listing A bottleneck developed in the ICO market after the explosion of crypto prices in 2017. There was a massive increase of ICO teams on all stages along the pathway from start-up to fully listed crypto asset. Certainly, a huge part of the value proposition for both the token and the project depends on securing a listing on an exchange. It is precisely the liquidity of the token as a valuable asset on a free market exchange, that determines or even defines its value. The liquidity is what makes tokens attractive to investors, but that liquidity simply does not exist without a platform for the exchange. Unfortunately for new projects, the balance of power is heavily weighted in favor of large centralized exchanges that can pick and choose which tokens to list, and the timescale within which listing will occur. Each large exchange has its own list of pros and cons as well as its own specific procedure for coin/token listing. They also have their own particular ethos regarding the type of projects they prefer to list. ERC-20 tokens will be available for trade immediately on decentralized exchanges (IDEX Forkdelta) but those platforms are generally quite low volume, and certainly not a long term solution. Projects must often pay huge fees to be listed on the larger centralized exchanges. At first those fees will be prohibitive. The usual route is to initially list on a more reasonably priced smaller exchange like Kucoin or Gate.io. Listing Process Major centralized exchanges have the power to list anything they want, and they also each have a unique structure that projects must adhere to if they wish to be listed. Each potential new listing will undergo a rigorous examination by the exchange operators to test the feasibility for listing the token. An exchange will likely have forms available on its website that you can fill out to give them all the necessary initial information. If a particular project and token qualify for listing, the team will invariably be put under a NDA, Non-Disclosure Agreement, to avoid any insider trading or other regulatory problem s. In the case of larger exchanges like Binance, there is a period within which owners of a newly listed coin or token can transfer them to the exchange in preparation for trading. This is a fantastic opportunity for traders to make use of the likely pump that occurs after a new token is listed on a large exchange. It is common to see up to 100% increases on the first day of trading, and a subsequent dump of up to 50% or more can follow. This allows traders holding the coin already, to sell for a good profit, and maybe buy back in at a much lower price too, if they think that is a good idea. Exchange Fees There are no definitive figures available to the public regarding fees that major exchanges charge new projects to list. Binance, Bitfinex, Kraken and Bittrex have all been quoted as saying that they do not charge any fee at all but this is almost definitely untrue. Knowledgeable industry insiders estimate between $500,000 and $1,000,000 USD for listing on a top-tier exchange. (There have been more rumors of 7 figure exchange listing fees since January 2018 too). This figure will vary greatly from project to project. Various factors can affect how an exchange determines the fee for a particular project. These are some of the most important ones: Market Maker Service Required Whether or not the client project requires liquidity services directly from the exchange, or can connect proprietary ones via API, will lead to a huge reduction in listing cost. Type of Token (ERC-20 NEP-5 or DAG) Not all tokens are created equal in the listing process. ERC-20 tokens and BTC based tokens have code architecture that will almost certainly be preferred by the exchange. NEO based tokens (NEP-5) such as Ontology will be far most costly to integrate because separate new wallets have to be built to facilitate NEO transactions. The costs involved in integrating Direct Acyclic Graph projects such as Nano into the exchange structure are even worse. Expected Daily Volume Exchanges derive their profits largely from transaction fees and withdrawal fees. The trading volume a new token is likely to bring in will have a great influence on the computation of the exchange listing fee. Exchange Listing Procedures Evaluation Different exchanges have different rules for new listings. A new project must of course abide by specific rules for that exchange before they are allowed to list there. There are procedures that must generally be followed for the most noteworthy exchanges. You can get a good idea of the hurdles to be overcome before listing can take place. Ongoing relationship with Exchanges Exchanges, usually Huobi or Kucoin, will sometimes make it essential for newly listed tokens to engage in “trading competitions” after listing. Competitions can last between 2 weeks, or a month or more, aiming to increase the trading volume for that token, thereby increasing trading fees collected by the exchange, and giving the project extra publicity too. The whales may have made a nice profit already and be very happy about it; but the project token can still get stuck in a long period of stagnation and a loss of post-ICO hype. Once a coin or token has been successfully registered for trading on a particular exchange, the project must focus on maintaining regulatory compliance and paying things like annual maintenance fees too. Exchanges can investigate and delist coins or tokens to see if they have fallen below a certain standard set by the exchange. The exchange is concerned about such things as: an extended period with an extremely low volume; a team member connection to an exit scam; or other such immoral/illegal behavior. Post ICO Company Evaluation After a presumably successful ICO, the necessary funds have been obtained, and the real business, the real team challenge is now, to bring the project to life as a bona fide disruptive Blockchain endeavor! The core advantage of the ICO method of funding business startups is the lack of regulatory hurdles to navigate with regards to fundraising and fund allocation. The funds that have been raised have, in effect, been freely given to the project leads to do with what they will in a no-strings-attached transaction. Of course, there are still strings attached in that the team are tasked with making that money grow for the investors. But there is no regulatory oversight of the process. The regulatory freedom is a double edge sword. It gives a good team freedom to work however they want; and it also allows for unscrupulous thieves to use the ICO process to defraud investors of their ETH and BTC. Advantages of being Post ICO From Investor Perspective You should have little to fear in terms of fraud from a project in which you have invested, if you have done your due diligence correctly. You can expect the tokens to be distributed, and the exchange listing to take place as expected. And you know your project is totally legitimate. There are different ways to think about your ICO tokens after the crowd sale has concluded. If you are a speculative investor looking for a quick flip, you can gauge the correct moment and sell anytime you like, assuming the ICO has been well-received by the markets. From Team Perspective The post-ICO period is, from the point of view of the team, a period where stress and responsibility for the safety of investor funds is passed, in the form of ICO tokens, from the team to the investors themselves. This responsibility for tokens is replaced with the stress of building the actual company itself, and succeeding in the business as planned. A small portion of the responsibility for the project’s success is also passed on to the exchange that has listed the tokens. This is especially true if market makers have been employed by the team or the exchange to provide liquidity. After the ICO has concluded, all funds are released to the project team immediately, so they can start building their business brand, and tackling each step on the road map right away. The freedom with which startups can operate is one of the main reasons behind the explosion in Blockchain businesses in 2017. With the ICO funds safe, and money being put to work on various areas essential to the growth of the project, and the tokens already distributed to investors, the risk of fraud is greatly diminished. If KYC and Anti-money Laundering procedures have been followed correctly during the ICO phase, the risk of phishing attacks and theft will also be marginal now. At any rate, with tokens safely delivered to all participants, the responsibility has passed from the team to the investor. From Team Perspective The release of all funds and the freedom to allocate them with no supervision, as cited above, is certainly a tremendous advantage empowering the team to fulfil the entire breadth of their vision unimpeded. But it does have its drawbacks. If there is a mistake made in the allocation of funds, or an unforeseen problem arises, there is nowhere to turn to, and no means of generating further money via crowdfunding. The ICO is over; it is finished. The project simply has to work with what it has. Your community can sometimes turn against you when the market is going down. Times like that just add to the already intense pressure of presiding over a startup Blockchain business. Solution: DAICO The DAICO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organization Initial Coin Offering, is a means to integrate a more specific, rigorous and regimented smart contract schedule into the ICO process. Doing so will eliminate fraudulent ICOs, exit scams, pump and dumps, and many of the other disadvantages listed above. The DAICO method, proposed by Ethereum creator, Vitalik Buterin, will merge the core concepts of both an ICO and a DAO to leverage the most relevant features of both, in order to solve the main problems in the ICO method. For example, to eliminate the risk of an exit scam, the release of funds will be spread out over a period of time, with the next allotment only being released when a certain set of parameters are met. Buterin explains that the DAICO method will provide user protection in a manner not present in the current ICO model, ensuring funds are not misspent or used in any way contrary to the intention of investors. In simpler terms the DAICO will operate as follows: The DAICO will start with a smart contract by its executors that can set whether this is to be a capped or uncapped round of fundraising (amongst many other options) as well as including KYC requirements. After these settings have been configured, the DAICO is set into “contribution mode” and presented to the public. This stage will function identically to a normal ICO with ETH exchanged for project tokens. Once the funding period has elapsed, or the hardcap has been met, investors will have the ability to set the “tap” for the collected funds. This will set the amount per second, or amount per minute, that will be available to the executor to develop that specific portion of the project to which those funds have been assigned. If investors believe at any point that the team is misspending funds or otherwise wasting time, etc., the investors have significant options to take. Of course they could choose to release more funds to the team. But, they could also stop the tap altogether, and stop the entire ICO, by voting, and actually release all unused funds back to their own wallets from which the investment had first been made! Learn more on how to market any ICO and STO, get better understanding of security token definition and learn what a scam project is! Follow the link to read the full article: UBAI.co Contact me via Facebook or LinkedIn to know more about our services: LinkedIn Facebook
Ethereum has been stable within the upper-$300 region for the past few days. Buyers and sellers appear to have reached an impasse as it hovers just below $400. Whether or not it is able to surmount this level in the near-term may depend largely on how Bitcoin and the aggregated market trend next. homebrew-ethereum. Homebrew Tap for Ethereum. Important note: reporting issues with any of these brews should be done at their respective repositories (Go client and Solidity). Installation brew tap ethereum/ethereum Go client brew install ethereum Solidity. To install the latest release: brew install solidity To install the latest 0.5.x release: Ethereum wallets are applications that let you interact with your Ethereum account. Think of it like an internet banking app – without the bank. Your wallet lets you read your balance, send transactions and connect to applications. You need a wallet to send funds and manage your ETH. Your wallet is only a tool for managing your Ethereum account. Ethereum and ETH aren't controlled by any government or company - they are decentralized. This means ETH's open to everyone to use. But this also means you need to take the security of your funds seriously. With ETH, you’re not trusting a bank to look after your money, you’re trusting yourself. ... Ethereum Mining is a computationally in-depth work that requires a lot of time and processing power. Miners get rewards in their Ethereum wallets for solving complex math problems via blockchain technology, just like bitcoin mining. Today, crypto mining has seen a major resurgence in recent days. With the help of a PC, a wallet for Ethereum and ...
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