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Crypto Banking Wars: Can BlockFi & Celsius Disrupt Banking?

Crypto Banking Wars: Can BlockFi & Celsius Disrupt Banking?
These crypto lending & borrowing services found early traction. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market?
https://reddit.com/link/icps9l/video/98kl1y596zh51/player
This is the third part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this very powerful technology to reach the masses. As we laid out in our previous series, Crypto-Powered, we believe a crypto-native company will ultimately become the bank of the future. We’re confident Genesis Block will have a seat at that table, but we aren’t the only game in town.
In the first post of this series, we did an analysis of big crypto exchanges like Coinbase & Binance. In our second episode, we looked at the world of non-custodial wallets.
Today we’re analyzing crypto lending & borrowing services. The Earn and Borrow use-case covers a lot of what traditional banks deliver today. This category of companies is a threat worth analyzing. As we look at this market, we’ll mostly be focused on custodial, centralized products like BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius.
Many of these companies found early traction among crypto users. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market? Let’s find out.

Institutional Borrowers

Because speculation and trading remains one of the most popular use-cases of crypto, a new crypto sub-industry around credit has emerged. Much of the borrowing demand has been driven by institutional needs.
For example, a Bitcoin mining company might need to borrow fiat to pay for operational costs (salaries, electricity). Or a crypto company might need to borrow USD to pay for engineering salaries. Or a crypto hedge fund needs to borrow for leverage or to take a specific market position. While all of these companies have sufficient crypto to cover the costs, they might not want to sell it — either for tax or speculative reasons (they may believe these crypto assets will appreciate, as with most in the industry).
Instead of selling their crypto, these companies can use their crypto as collateral for loans. For example, they can provide $1.5M in Bitcoin as collateral, and borrow $1M. Given the collateralization happening, the underwriting process becomes straightforward. Companies all around the world can participate — language and cultural barriers are removed.

https://preview.redd.it/z9pby83d6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=54bf425215c3ed6d5ff0ca7dbe571e735b994613
The leader (and one of our partners) in this space is Genesis Capital. While they are always the counterparty for both lenders and borrowers, they are effectively a broker. They are at the center of the institutional crypto lending & borrowing markets. Their total active loans as of March 2020 was $649M. That number shot up to $1.42B in active loans as of June 2020. The growth of this entire market segment is impressive and it’s what is driving this opportunity for consumers downstream.

Consumer Products

While most of the borrowing demand comes from institutional players, there is a growing desire from consumers to participate on the lend/supply side of the market. Crypto consumers would love to be able to deposit their assets with a service and watch it grow. Why let crypto assets sit on an exchange or in cold storage when it can be earning interest?
A number of consumer-facing products have emerged in the last few years to make this happen. While they also allow users to borrow (always with collateral), most of the consumer attraction is around growing their crypto, even while they sleep. Earning interest. These products usually partner with institutional players like Genesis Capital to match the deposits with borrowing demand. And it’s exactly part of our strategy as well, beyond leveraging DeFi (decentralized finance protocols).
A few of the most popular consumer services in this category include BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius.

https://preview.redd.it/vptig5mg6zh51.png?width=1051&format=png&auto=webp&s=b5fdc241cb9b6f5b495173667619f8d2c93371ca

BlockFi

BlockFi (Crunchbase) is the leader in this category (at least in the West). They are well-capitalized. In August 2019, they raised $18.3M in their Series A. In Feb 2020, they raised $30M in their Series B. In that same time period, they went from $250M in assets under management to $650M. In a recent blog post, they announced that they saw a 100% revenue increase in Q2 and that they were on track to do $50M in revenue this year. Their growth is impressive.
BlockFi did not do an ICO, unlike Celsius, Nexo, Salt, and Cred. BlockFi has a lot of institutional backing so it is perceived as the most reputable in the space. BlockFi started with borrowing — allowing users to leverage their crypto as collateral and taking out a loan against it. They later got into Earning — allowing users to deposit assets and earn interest on it. They recently expanded their service to “exchange” functionality and say they are coming out with a credit card later this year.

https://preview.redd.it/byv2tbui6zh51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=bac080dcfc85e89574c30dfb396db0b537d46706
Security Woes
It’s incredible that BlockFi has been able to see such strong growth despite their numerous product and security woes. A few months ago, their systems were compromised. A hacker was able to access confidential data, such as names, dates of birth, postal addresses, and activity histories. While no funds were lost, this was a massive embarrassment and caused reputational damage.

https://preview.redd.it/lwmxbz5l6zh51.png?width=606&format=png&auto=webp&s=ebd8e6e5c31c56da055824254b35b218b49f80e0
Unrelated to that massive security breach and earlier in the year, a user discovered a major bug that allowed him to send the same funds to himself over and over again, ultimately accumulating more than a million dollars in his BlockFi account. BlockFi fortunately caught him just before withdrawal.
Poor Product Execution
Beyond their poor security — which they are now trying to get serious about — their products are notoriously buggy and hard-to-use. I borrowed from them a year ago and used their interest account product until very recently. I have first-hand experience of how painful it is. But don’t take my word for it… here are just a few tweets from customers just recently.

https://preview.redd.it/wcqu3icn6zh51.png?width=1055&format=png&auto=webp&s=870e2f06a6ec377a87e5d6d1f24579a901de66b5
For a while, their interest-earning product had a completely different authentication system than their loan product (users had two sets of usernames/passwords). Many people have had issues with withdrawals. The app is constantly logging people out, blank screens, ugly error messages. Emails with verification codes are sometimes delayed by hours (or days). I do wonder if their entire app has been outsourced. The sloppiness shines through.
Not only is their product buggy and UX confusing, but their branding & design is quite weak. To the left is a t-shirt they once sent me. It looks like they just found a bunch of quirky fonts, added their name, and slapped it on a t-shirt.

https://preview.redd.it/mi6yeppp6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=fd4cd8201ad0d5bc667498096388377895b72953
Culture
To the innocent bystander, many of these issues seem totally fixable. They could hire an amazing design agency to completely revamp their product or brand. They could hire a mercenary group of engineers to fix their bugs, etc. While it could stop the bleeding for a time, it may not solve the underlying issues. Years of sloppy product execution represents something much more destructive. It represents a top-down mentality that shipping anything other than excellence is okay: product experience doesn’t matter; design doesn’t matter; craftsmanship doesn’t matter; strong execution doesn’t matter; precision doesn’t matter. That’s very different from our culture at Genesis Block.
This cancerous mentality rarely stays contained within product & engineering — this leaks to all parts of the organization. No design agency or consulting firm will fix some of the pernicious values of a company’s soul. These are deeper issues that only leadership can course-correct.
If BlockFi’s sloppiness were due to constant experimentation, iteration, shipping, or some “move fast and break things” hacker culture… like Binance… I would probably cut them more slack. But there is zero evidence of that. “Move fast and break things” is always scary when dealing with financial products. But in BlockFi’s case, when it’s more like “move slow and break things,” they are really playing with fire. Next time a massive security breach occurs, like what happened earlier this year, they may not be so lucky.
Institutional Focus
Based on who is on their team, their poor product execution shouldn’t be a surprise. Their team comes mostly from Wall Street, not the blockchain community (where our roots are). Most of BlockFi’s blockchain/crypto integration is very superficial. They take crypto assets as deposits, but they aren’t leveraging any of the exciting, low-level DeFi protocols like we are.
While their Wall Street heritage isn’t doing them any favors on the product/tech side, it’s served them very well on winning institutional clients. This is perhaps their greatest strength. BlockFi has a strong institutional business. They recently brought on Three Arrows Capital as a strategic investor — a crypto hedge fund who does a lot of borrowing. In that announcement, BlockFi’s founder said that bringing them on “aligns well with our focus on international expansion of our institutional services offering.” They also recently brought someone on who will lead business development in Asia among institutional clients.
BlockFi Wrap Up
There are certainly BlockFi features that overlap with Genesis Block’s offering. It’s possible that they are angling to become the bank of the future. However, they simply have not proven they are capable of designing, building, and launching world-class consumer products. They’ve constantly had issues around security and poor product execution. Their company account and their founder’s account seem to only tweet about Bitcoin. I don’t think they understand, appreciate, or value the power of DeFi. It’s unlikely they’ll be leveraging it any time soon. All of these reasons are why I don’t see them as a serious threat to Genesis Block.
However, because of their strong institutional offering, I hope that Genesis Block will ultimately have a very collaborative and productive partnership with them. Assuming they figure out their security woes, we could park some of our funds with BlockFi (just as we will with Genesis Capital and others). I think what’s likely to happen is that we’ll corner the consumer market and we’ll work closely with BlockFi on the institutional side.
I’ve been hard on BlockFi because I care. I think they have a great opportunity at helping elevate the entire industry in a positive way. But they have a lot of issues they need to work through. I really don’t want to see users lose millions of dollars in a security breach. It could set back the entire industry. But if they do things well… a rising tide lifts all boats.

Honorable Mentions

Celsius (ICO Drops) raised $50M in an ICO, and is led by serial entrepreneur Alex Mashinsky. I’ve met him, he’s a nice guy. Similar to Binance, their biggest Achilles heel could be their own token. There are also a lot of unanswered questions about where their deposits go. They don’t have a record of great transparency. They recently did a public crowdraise which is a little odd given their large ICO as well as their supposed $1B in deposits. Are they running out of money, as some suggest? Unclear. One of their biggest blindspots right now is that Mashinsky does not understand the power of DeFi. He is frequently openly criticizing it.
Nexo (ICO Drops) is another similar service. They are European-based, trying to launch their own card (though they’ve been saying this forever and they still haven’t shipped it), and have a history in the payments/fintech space. Because they haven’t penetrated the US — which is a much harder regulatory nut to crack — they are unlikely to be as competitive as BlockFi. There were also allegations that Nexo was spreading FUD about Chainlink while simultaneously partnering with them. Did Nexo take out a short position and start spreading rumors? Never a dull moment in crypto.
Other players in the lending & borrowing space include Unchained Capital, Cred (ICO Drops), and Salt (ICO Drops).

https://preview.redd.it/9ts6m0qw6zh51.png?width=1056&format=png&auto=webp&s=dd8d368c1aa39994c6bc5e4baec10678d3bbba2d

Wrap Up

While many companies in this category seem to be slowly adding more financial services, I don’t believe any of them are focused on the broader consumer market like we are. To use services like BlockFi, Nexo, or Celsius, users need to be onboarded and educated on how crypto works. At Genesis Block, we don’t believe that’s the winning approach. We think blockchain complexity should be abstracted away from the end-user. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto.
For many of these services, there is additional friction due to ICO tokens that are forcefully integrated into the product (see NEXO token or CEL Token). None of these services have true banking functionality or integration with traditional finance —for example, easy offramp or spending methods like debit cards. None of them are taking DeFi seriously — they are leveraging crypto for only the asset class, not the underlying technology around financial protocols.
So are these companies potential competitors to Genesis Block? For the crypto crowd, yes. For the mass market, no. None of these companies are capable of reaching the billions of people around the world that we hope to reach at Genesis Block.
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Follow our social channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/
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submitted by mickhagen to genesisblockhq [link] [comments]

Investing in Exchanges- A fair comparision between Binance, Coss and Kucoin.

Hello fellow crypto currency roller coaster riders! We are quite deep in the bear market, and today I wanted to talk about investing in cryptocurrency exchanges. Not by purchasing market shares, but by holding their native tokens for utility and of course, growth in the future. I do not work in finance, but I do like to see myself as someone always maintaining a neutral view towards projects. Because a open mind is always better when money is involved, even more when holding "bags" yourself.
(You can scroll down for a TL;DR and for fees)

Please note this article is about investing in exchanges, not which exchange is the best for you to trade at.
I only mention these three exchanges because of personal experience with them. There are many more so this article could only be of partial help to you.

Why investing in (most) exchanges is exciting and with less overall risk:

Let me start this article by showing my excitement for these investments. Instead of hoping that one of the 100+ currency-replacing coins will become a global used coin on the whole globe, by investing in the exchanges themselves, you only risk money on the exchanges becoming a success. A bear market, while negatively impacting exchanges as well, is not half as bad as it is bad as for other coins. Because exchanges mostly win and grow based on volume. We all know how much volume bitcoin has, since it dropped below 6000. The main risk here, in my opinion, is if the exchanges themselves will make it (because there's quite a lot of them), and grow more, and if the cryptocurrency market itself will survive. The latter I have no doubt of. Of Course, standard risks apply as well. Successful hacks or drama will always damage the tokens a lot, but this goes for every project out there.
I want to talk and compare 3 exchanges in this article. Binance, COSS, and Kucoin. I know there are a few more exchanges out there with native tokens as well, but forgive me that I don't have time to research all of them. Some of these exchanges are actually fairly high risk compared to others I am not mentioning, because I do not have experience with them. I recommend you to read this article and put it next to other articles to make your own conclusions and make your own investment advice.
Before I start comparing these three exchanges, I do want to write a little about DEX's. (Decentralised Exchanges).

-----Decentralised Exchanges-----

I feel decentralised exchanges hold no future. The nature of true decentralisation means the exchange can hold no funds, which means that every trade done on the platform requires more fees because its sending it between wallets. (But less fees if you transfer a lot of money) Not only this, but these DEX's sound like heaven to wash money in, so they may get shut down. (Because they do not need KYC) And if you are thinking that they won't, because they are decentralised and can't get shut down, then you are gravely mistaken, because law enforcement definitely has its ways to force the developer's to push a update that breaks the exchange. However, people have to admit that these exchanges are interesting, because security would probably be top notch at most of these DEX's, since it holds no funds whatsoever. It can still fall victim if there is a fault somewhere that allows a hacker to abuse a exploit (and then for example replacing a wallet address), but the chances on this are less than with centralised exchanges.

-----Binance-----

Binance is the top exchange out there. Not immediately by the top exchange volume, but because it has many altcoins that people appreciate. It has top notch support and is a very trustworthy service that has proven itself to also be reliable and fast. I also love its advanced features and UI, and the liquidity and volume it has on most coins makes trading simple. There are almost no negative things to say about binance, I did not experience any negatives anyway, so far.
So now it's token: BNB.
BNB is a growing token that still grows in utility- you can even get hotel rooms with BNB now. But the most important use is the fee cut on the exchange. If you do a trade and you pay 10 euro fee, it will become 7.5 euro paid in BNB, if you have BNB in your binance wallet. Because binance is at the top, people will flock towards binance to trade again. And the good amount of volume makes people want to purchase BNB tokens. Not the mention with the increasing amount of use cases for BNB, it makes more and more sense for people to hold some of it. Although I do have to note that the market cap of BNB is already quite high, so I do not expect huge growth. It should also be noted that every year, the fee cut gained from using BNB tokens will be decreased. Thus value may also therefore drop.
Investment Opinion BNB: I would consider BNB a medium-high risk investment. This is because everyone knows to trust Binance, and it works really well, so I do not see them fall in the top used exchanges. The token earns use cases every year, however their main utility becomes less powerful every year, which is a red flag for investors. Personally not invested anymore.

-----COSS-----

Coss is something different. They actually have two native tokens: CFT and COSS. Coss had quite a buggy past, but seemed to have learned it's lessons regarding outsourcing development and have shown improvement. All of the past and how they improved can also be read on their medium posts. Support was the one time I needed to use it, fast and friendly. They now hired a in-house development team that build a successful exchange before. The recent released 1.2 version is a huge improvement over the buggy older version, that barely got used for good reason. With 1.2, they also introduced CFT, a token that just like BNB allows you to pay the fees using CFT. This will effectively cut all your trading fees by 25%, the same as binance currently does, without plans to make the cut less effective over the years. I feel COSS is on the right path. I think the token’s low market cap is because it's negative past and people moved on, but now coss is pushing forwards fast and seems to become a good competitive exchange. COSS seeks and seems to become best of all exchange worlds combined, and 1.2 shows they are well on their way. The risk on purchasing and holding COSS is due to the question: Can COSS get more users and bots for volume? At least to get to the 8.5 million daily to run even? They have shown (so far) that they are ready, but it’s a big step. There are still bugs to squash, still functions to add. But I can't ignore that 1.2 is a big step up.
So now it's tokens: COSS and CFT.
Purchasing COSS tokens will get you passive income over time. Every week (and in the future every day) the income from fees of the exchange are split in half. Half goes towards the company, and half goes towards COSS token holders. These are paid in literary all the coins that are paid by fees. So if bitcoin is traded the most, you will see mostly bitcoin appear in your passive income wallet. I find it's not only fun to watch getting tiny amounts of coins, but also fun to play around with calculations and see the amount of income we can get as volume increases. And we have to keep in mind coss-fsa.com income is calculated on current rates. Should we enter a bull market again, the income in dollars will only rise up.
A small negative here, is that to receive small received coins from holding COSS, you must convert them to ETH or pay for receiving them. As to my understanding, this is a backup to make sure COSS cannot be noted as a security. (And a singapore lawyer already gave the opinion COSS is a utility token). Coss will be holding promo’s sometimes to convert all received coins into CFT or other possible coins. Participating in these promo’s will be entirely optional though.
However you should also note that currently about 90 million coss tokens receive the passive income, out of a 200 million total supply. CFT fee cutting is also taking a bite from the average fee. So it is hard to make a estimate of what average fee to input on a calculator like coss-fsa.com. I find that COSS is a "high risk high gain" investment, because COSS admitted to need about 8.5 million dollar of volume daily to run even. They could have used the CFT utility on COSS tokens. But they did not, this shows that COSS needs additional funds to grow. I do not mind, this CFT causes additional attraction to use the exchange and will provide COSS with extra income it can use, to make themselves and token owners be successful. Win-Win? With CFT being an attractive option, with a well working API, fast deposits and a much more bug-free and stable 1.2 version right now, the growth potential for COSS is definitely there. You should note that COSS went from 0.4 million daily volume to 1.5 already. That is a growth of nearly 4x already. But to also be fair here, COSS is running on half fees this month only. So perhaps this volume might go down again next month. Unless more users and bots will come, of course. Coss's market cap is very low, and volume as well, because it's a platform that needs to prove itself to be reliable and trustworthy. In my opinion, it is already attractive enough for traders to come, and if COSS keeps this up, I feel COSS will meet a bright future.
Investment Opinion COSS: I find coss a attractive well-working platform since 1.2 and might even consider using it as main exchange, if it will house my favorite altcoins in the future. I will not rate it fully high risk, but more as medium-high risk as investment, because I feel COSS definitely delivered with the 1.2 update and have shown good potential, and growth is already proven.
Investment Opinion CFT: I feel i explained enough about CFT above as well, and would recommend purchasing it for traders, but not for holders currently. I say that because the price of CFT is 10 cents currently, and COSS tokens are currently lower in price, which I feel should not be correct a correct value between coss and ctf.

-----Kucoin-----

Kucoin is in many ways like COSS. They have proven themselves with a stable exchange that has a attractive UI and API, and that shows in their KCS token market cap. They also have a similar token usage and even the UI looks similar. However, I do not have much good to say about kucoin. I had contact with their support team twice, and I feel I was not helped well enough. Once time, I had nano transferred to Kucoin, and it took a full hour to deposit. (Nano is instant, so I panicked after 10 minutes and being fairly new at crypto) After around 30 hours of writing the support request, I got this reply: https://i.redd.it/4h8idfbtkoe01.jpg
Note that this was a support team member, telling me to write "suppoet" if "still not work".
Another time, i deposited eth to Kucoin and it took way longer. The transaction already showed it was successfully confirmed and received on the wallet address on kucoin, yet kucoin persisted that it was the fault of binance and told me to solve it with them. So Kucoin has quite bad support, in my experience.
Furthermore, the platform is not true to promises and shady. I am also a moderator in Gladius, which has its native token as well. Kucoin states they give a head's up of 30 days before delisting. Kucoin did not give this head's up, and decided to delist Gladius's native token GLA because the lack of volume. They said they would delist it after ~30 hours in their message. After around 8 hours, it was already not possible to trade it anymore. So a double promise broken.
Finally as a example is that kucoin stopped withdrawals of USDT, at the same time the market panicked about USDT. This probably caused a lot of trading and in turn, extra volume for Kucoin.
So now its token: KCS.
Again I have to be quite negative here. KCS holders are entitled to 50% of the profit Kucoin gets from trading fees. They also get a fee cut on trading by holding KCS. Sounds attractive right? Well....Not so much.
First of all, Kucoin has a high probability of a secret system in place that will will give more income to kucoin, and less to KCS holders, at certain volume achieved by kucoin. At more than 50 million dollar traded daily, they start to reduce the 50% fair split to KCS holders. Even better, should the exchange ever reach 350 million volume daily, the 50% split will be reduced to 15%. The worst about this all, is that kucoin is hiding this from its users. When asking this question, no one will give you a clear answer. They will simply link you with how KCS works. Apparently this feature was also confirmed on their reddit and initial whitepaper, but all traces about this has been removed. Yet when asking about it, no one denies it, neither confirms it.
Furthermore, you do not get a coin variation passive income like with COSS. No, all trade fees are simply converted to KCS, and then distributed to KCS holders. So you basically purchase KCS...to get more KCS. This may sound attractive to prevent tiny amounts of "dust" like on coss, but with coss you will also get options to convert all your dust to CFT later.
Lastly, you could hold KCS to reduce trading fees, but you will need a lot, for a tiny discount. For holding 1000 KCS, you will get a 1% cut on fees. so 0,1% becomes 0,099%. The maximum discount is 30%, wich you get by holding 30.000 KCS. A small positive is that fees are then not paid in KCS. You keep the KCS. With binance and COSS, the fee is paid in their CFT and BNB tokens, so you lose the token over much trading.
Investment Opinion KCS: I cannot say that Kucoin is a real bad investment perse, because they are clearly doing well, for whatever reason that may be. I will not come back to kucoin unless there is a token on there that I cannot get anywhere else, and then i will transfer that token out of kucoin. I would -personally- never ever invest in KCS and I will stay away from kucoin at all times.

-----TL;DR-----

Investing in exchanges is in my opinion one of the safest bets to make in cryptocurrencies, especially during this bear market.
Decentralised Exchanges probably hold no future due to regulation and higher fees.
Binance is the most used exchange for most, and is proven trustworthy, fast, stable and has many good options and liquidity. BNB tokens are an medium-high risk investment, because the market cap is already high, and its main utility of cutting fees, will grow less effective in time, but is still currently an attractive token.
COSS is a exchange which is progressing fast, but has a bad history due to bugs and a mediocre UI. Can they become one of the top players? Yes they can if they continue like this. Time will tell if they gather enough trust and stability, and with trust and stability more users. COSS tokens are a medium-high risk to make a high passive income later or sell the tokens for high profit.
Why people use Kucoin is beyond me. They are shady and not true to promises. would not recommend using it, neither would I recommend holding it's token, but facts do remain that they are doing well so far. I don't think they hold much future value because of the negative things I noted.
Bitcoin can go down and destroy all your initial investment amounts, no matter what project you put it in. Risk factor: Very high.

-----Fees-----

Binance:
https://www.binance.com/en/fee/schedule (You can pay fees using BNB. Gives 25% discount currently. Will lower each year till 0%)
Kucoin:
https://news.kucoin.com/en/fee/ (Holding 1000 to 30.000 KCS gives you 1% to 30% discount on fees, that does not cost you KCS.)
COSS:
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*ykozhrtDOE6y4vT5hFj92g.jpeg
(You can pay fees using CFT. Gives 25% discount currently. Will always stay 25% or more, might increase actually in time. Confirmed by COSS staff.)
(The more volume you make as trader, the less fee you pay)

Thank you for reading!

submitted by borgqueenx to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Find Out Why Institutions Will Flood the Bitcoin Market

As originally written via CoinLive: (improved reading experience)
Back in 2017, the blockchain industry experienced an unprecedented interest which ended in what is often referred in financial terms as “irrational exuberance”, with a large portion of the rally led by retail-type investors flooding the market to ultimately chase prices at illogically hefty levels based on the infancy stage of the technological advancements and its implementations.
That rise was too fast too quick and eventually, in early January 2018, the bubble-like move came to an abrupt end. The question now is, what will it take for another sustainable bull run to materialize? At CoinLive, we will inspect the key missing pieces of the puzzle. In this article, we will investigate the ever-growing list of evidence that shows why a new type of investors, the institutional ones, looks set to enter the market in mass.
The two critical impediments for the ‘smart money’ to have been on the sidelines are clearly identifiable. Firstly, it has to do with custodianship, in other words, having formal mechanisms that allow the safe storage of the asset. Secondly, the regulation around the crypto market must be clarified with clearer guidance.
When it comes to the first missing piece of custodianship, the NY Times recently helped shed a light on where we are headed. The influential newspaper reported that ICE (Intercontinental Exchange), which is the parent company behind the NY Stock Exchange (NYSE), is working confidentially in the implementation of swap contracts for banks and large investors that will be settled with the physical delivery of Bitcoin.
For ICE to even consider this idea it means that the problem of legal custodianship is being worked out so that the backing and security of Bitcoins by the NYSE will be in place. This will open the floodgates to a whole new market, where the King of cryptos and other digital assets down the road become available to a much wider and more influential customer base. We are certainly at a stage where institutions have recognized that Bitcoin is “too big to ignore”.
What’s also important is that by using a swap contract, the trading of Bitcoins will be oversight under the existing regulatory framework of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, hence less regulatory uncertainty.
As a reminder, the CFTC is headed by J. Christopher Giancarlo, who is a proclaimed pro-blockchain endorser after his popular appearance in front of a U.S. Senate hearing on blockchain technology last February, where he famously said: “We owe it to this generation to respect their interest in this new technology.”
Moreover, earlier this year, Boston-based State Street, the world’s second-largest custody bank with around £24tn in assets under custody and administration, came out to announce that safeguarding clients' digital assets could be a service they are looking to provide a solution in the near future. If confirmed, it would represent a major move as it sets a precedent as the first global bank to provide custodianship services for crypto-related investments.
While Bitcoin is not serving its initially intended purpose as a widely used method of payments (for now), it has found another appeal as a store of value that is uncorrelated to any other asset class, hence it has an exceptional use as a hedging strategy for multi-billion dollar portfolios to help reduce the overall volatility.
Other stories strengthening the notion of institutional capital set to come into the cryptoverse include the news that Goldman Sachs will be trading futures contracts linked to Bitcoin’s price as an initial step, only to gradually transition into a more direct trading of buying and selling actual Bitcoins.
Find our recent article where we explain why Goldman Sachs trading Bitcoin is such a big deal.
Even the chief executive of Nasdaq, Adena Friedman, recently said considerations were being given to set up a virtual-currency exchange should the needed regulatory framework be resolved.
Additionally, we have seen a growing trend of senior-level executives at institutional firms flocking off the safety of their well-established positions to venture into blockchain-related jobs. We include a few articles with evidence below:
Goldman Sachs Executives are Moving to Cryptocurrency Hedge Funds
Mike Novogratz Makes Goldman VP the COO of His Crypto Company
Coinbase Hires Ex-Barclays Director to Expand Its Institutional Client Base
Commonwealth Bank CFO to Lead Block.one as President and COO
The migration in job positions from traditional financial markets into blockchain comes as no surprise and quite frankly, it appears to be a logical and rational step to be taken, especially in light of the new revenue streams the blockchain sector has to offer.
Proof of that is the fact that Binance, a crypto exchange with around 200 employees and less than 1 year of operations has overcome Deutsche Bank, which has more than 100,000 employees and over 150 years of history, in total profits. What this communicates is that the opportunities to grow an institution’s revenue stream is formidable once they decide to integrate cryptocurrencies into their business models.
Another piece of the puzzle, even if occurring behind closed doors, is the consideration to launch a Bitcoin ETF. Back in April, it was reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has put back on the table two Bitcoin ETF proposals, according to public documents. The agency is under formal proceedings to approve a rule change that would allow NYSE Arca to list two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) proposed by fund provider ProShares.
The introduction of an ETF would make Bitcoin available to a much wider share of market participants, with the ability to directly buy the asset at the click of a button, essentially simplifying the current complexity that involves having to deal with all the cumbersome steps currently in place.
More evidence of the emergence of institutions playing a more dominant role in the blockchain industry is the unprecedented interest to amass Bitcoins in the OTC (Over the Counter Market). We perceive this trend as directly linked store Bitcoin as a store of value. This article by Bloomberg should give you a taste of what's happening behind the scenes: The Wealthy Are Hoarding $10 Billion of Bitcoin in Bunkers.
As ConLive recently tweeted: "Our network of Insiders telling us between 5000-10.000 BTC are being sold every week OTC by Chinese BTC miners to Israeli buyers - Wall Street type - as they look to accumulate a big hand in BTC. “
![](https://coinlive.io/ckeditor_assets/pictures/868/content_2018-05-15_0957.png)
Lastly, one of the most critical missing piece is the subject of global regulations. Back in March, Mark Carney, the head of Bank of England and the chief of the Financial Stability Board of G20 stated that “crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time.” That caused a temporary relief in the crypto sphere as the risk of a regulatory backlash was removed for the time being until July, the month when more clarity will be provided.
The chair of the Argentina Central Bank, Federico Sturzenegger, on his role of sitting the G20 summit, said that members showed a unifying view on the need of cryptocurrencies to be supported by a more sound regulatory framework. The policy-maker, however, made it clear that they first need to examine the cryptocurrencies universe to gather the necessary data before proposing regulations.
“In July we have to offer very concrete, very specific recommendations on, not ‘what do we regulate?’ but ‘what is the data we need?” Sturzenegger said.
To sum up, the improvements in custodianship solutions, along with more clarity by the G20 committee, which is set to provide less uncertainty for institutional investors’ involvement, is a recipe for a renewed bull wave, this time of institutional capital, to shake up the crypto space.
At CoinLive, we will not venture into the timing, as that is quite irresponsible trying to pretend we have a "crystal ball" to determine when moves will occur. We just simply look at the big picture and try to connect the dots by first breaking down the latest developments to then draw some conclusions. Never forget, markets should always be approached as a numbers' game, and while nothing is certain, we just attempt to envision and inform on scenarios with the highest likelihood.
submitted by Ivo333 to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Scam Projects

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:
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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!
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Best of the best Q&A Stephens and Shingos. Team, Community, Competition, POS, Marketing

Team
stephen corliss, [19.10.17 21:07] Team Bitquence, Who Are They? Collectively, the team has over 150 years of professional experience, lead by a leader who has accomplished more in 19 years than many people will over their entire careers. This team has the skills and gumption to deliver what it promises. These simple facts should be enough to stop anyone from spreading FUD that anything here is a scam. If it is not, let me say this, I carry securities licenses that are overseen by government regulators and I also founded a regulated investment business that is still active. If I, or anyone as part of this team, were involved in anything devious, the Feds would be at my door with handcuffs. Would I or anyone of us really be this stupid? I can’t wait to remove all these irresponsible pinheads from this industry who care only about themselves rather than society. In the world I desire, there is absolutely NO room for greed anymore where society suffers at the hands of a few!
stephen corliss, [15.09.17 17:43] [In reply to James: stephen interested to know if Bitquence was on your radar before you joined us?? Or were you interested in getting into the space and they approached you?] Hi James, I've actually been in crypto since the early days all the way back to 2013, hopping around the globe trying to help shape the vision for our industry. BQX and I stumbled upon one another and immediately discovered we shared the same visions and inspirations to deliver a truly transformative platform that is built for the consumer to help them in every way possible to take control of their financial futures. This is also why Shingo and I believe our platform should cover not only crypto but even traditional fiat assets (sec's, bonds, etc). This is critical as consumers will have the majority of their wealth tied up in traditional assets, like those retirement assets tied up in employers retirement plans, for at least another decade before they can transition to the Blockchain.
stephen corliss, [24.08.17 02:47] [In reply to Matt Hopkins: stephen I cannot express how impressive the response from the team, Shingo, and yourself has been. Reading the white paper and watching your videos where just a glimpse into this amazing vision and platform. You guys have brought this community to the next level. Thank you for your transparency and constant updates. I know I speak for the whole community here. Here’s to a great future with Bitquence.] Matt, Thanks man. I've seen a lot of stuff in my life and people who claim to be visionaries, only one of them could hold a candlestick to Shingo. You know, I've seen and been involved in a lot of exciting things over the years but nothing like this. Not even close!
stephen corliss, [25.08.17 21:07] [In reply to Liam: Stopping wild rumours in their tracks with your unbeatable knowledge of all the rules and regulations that need to be adhered to, I wonder how other crypto companies ever manage to survive without someone like you on their team] Sustainability of Bitquence and the entire eco-system is of major importance so some times it means getting very deep into the weeds as the complexity level globally can be a daunting task to most. But, it can be fun, especially if your bit wacky like me!
Shingo, [30.09.17 05:59] [In reply to Long Ton: How many coders do you guys have working on Bitquence? I’d be concerned if Shingo was managing university and coding] 7 or 8 devs if you are talking about technical people working on various aspects of the platform. The number feels about right to me. Jeff Bezos always said you should have no team that is too big to share 2 large pizzas otherwise you lose productivity
stephen corliss, [02.11.17 16:02] [In reply to Markus Winnen: What´s the story behind hiring you? Did you know each other before or how does the contact happened? :D]
We didn’t know each other but we had some mutual acquaintances. After meeting, Shingo and I immediately hit it off and also discovered that our dual solutions for creating a new eco-system for global financial services had a lot of overlap. So, they asked me to come on as a founder. Decision was easy.
stephen corliss, [02.11.17 23:49] [In reply to Ab Alphabeta1: amongst all your positions at work so far, which has been your favorite ? I know the first job is always special, apart from that?] My work at BGI/iShares was very special for numerous reasons but none more meaningful than having alignment of core values. The work itself was awesome as I had to build a global sell side business across asia, europe and americas, which is extremely hard to do by itself but doing it within a buy side asset manager and then integrate the two together was unheard of. Building an entire infrastructure including global trading systems across all asset classes including equities, bonds and cash is a lot of fun as you have to also build all of the upstream and downstream processes and tech and then overlay 100’s of jurisdictional regulations and laws while collaborating with regulators. Crazy fun but it was even more rewarding because in a short period of time we grew it to a $200m revenue a year while trading $350billion in assets.
stephen corliss, [10.11.17 18:06] [In reply to Kevv: if you don't mind be asking Stephen, what's the team plan with recruiting/getting more dev/marketing/back end ppls ect?] Its a continuous process but we have the core team of expert devs building as we speak and our expanding with other experts, eg. AI and Machine Learning, so things are changing rapidly as we progress on the roadmap. Non-technical staff are also in the picture and being added continuously as we have already have key staff onboard as part of the assembling of a highly skilled marketing team. Lots happening!
stephen corliss, [15.11.17 15:31] I learned quite early on that creativity and innovation are things that can come both normally and with intention. Most people don’t deliberately set aside time to tap into these skillsets. For me, I’ve always allowed myself time each and every day to challenge conventional ways of thinking, business and economic models or broad processes. This often allows me to devote the time to really understand an issue, model and process so I can then break it apart into small pieces and rethink how to rebuild it to be bigger, better and faster. This is why school for me was frustrating as it moved at a pace that doesn’t truly allow one to build in-depth knowledge and understand all sides and angles. Most of what I have come to know came afterward or what I did on my own time. Hate to admit it but my hobbies are not traditional, I like researching the history of capital market and economic models and studying congressional history around how market based rules came about and what motivated them. Weird? Yeah, a bit but if you truly love something, who cares!
Community
stephen corliss, [28.10.17 14:21] All, As the public opinion debate about Bitquence is beginning to ramp up I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts. Openness and transparency are one of the several reasons I decided to enter crypto several years ago. This may seem strange coming from someone with my background but in my opinion, the traditional approach of hiding behind the corporate veil is cowardly and toxic. So, for any firm in this space, both it and its supporters must embrace diverse opinions and have an intelligent and open dialogue with those that disagree with our opinions. Lets not embrace the culture that exists in our global politics where those with different opinions are tarred and feathered but rather choose to behave like adults to set the example for our youth. Crypto is not about being closed minded but rather quite the opposite. So, when we are challenged lets not scream the loudest and attack but rather choose to engage those having different opinions in an open intelligent dialogue. Lets ask the tough questions of ourselves and others. If someone has an opinion, lets discover what informs that opinion by demanding openness and transparency about the facts that matter when sharing that opinion such as someone’s background or the analysis, facts and details that support it. As you all know, Shingo and I are here everyday to answer all of your questions, whether easy or difficult. This is a conscious decision on our part because of two main reasons, first because leaders in our industry should not cowardly sit behind the corporate veil like our traditional corporate counterparts and secondly, because we are building a global community that desires a financial system that works for society rather than against it. Lets embrace diversity of opinion as we are a diverse community from all walks of life who understand that differences should be embraced rather than pushed aside. I will be here everyday no matter how big or busy things become at Bitquence. Not because I have to but rather because I want to. I’m not afraid to be challenged and neither should any of you as this is the only way to get to the best result. I love this community so lets do everything we can to maintain a culture of openness that embraces our differences to discover the best answers. Change is coming!
Shingo, [10.09.17 18:42] The Bitquence community is different from other communities. We are smaller, but passionate because we all share the same pain points and yearn for the same vision. You don't see this sort of passion in many other places which is why we don't care very much about the short-term. We are looking long and when we have the product, we will get people to come and Bitquence will change the way people interact with crypto
stephen corliss, [19.10.17 21:22] Those of us in this community all know that we have the best community as each one of us plays a powerful role in building the momentum behind a unique grassroots movement that is absolutely scaring the shit out of our competitors. People Powered ya’ll !! stephen corliss about communication [21.08.17 18:32] You all deserve nothing less! We pay attention and want to ensure we all move along together and share in the fun
stephen corliss, [12.10.17 05:29] [In reply to Ke: Stephen can you specify 1 or 2 concrete things that those of us longterm holders who see the vision especially the 7yr plan to overtake Fidelity can do right now to help make it a reality perhaps sooner than we imagine. I believe alot if folks here are in this not just for the profits that will surely come but also because the vision of changing consumer finance is noble.] Two things, absolutely. 1) Every chance you get whether digitally or voice speak positively about this industry and recognize that early on it was full of bad stuff but we are changing that now by legitimizing everything we do so we can change financial models for the future 2) re-Post anything from this forum, other forums or from our site that you believe in, to any venue whether it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit; etc. Don’t do or post anything that you don’t truly believe in as people will see through that instantly. This is not about a single person or company, this is truly about what is best for us as a global community. Our dipstick lawmakers may believe we live in separate societies, but I believe we live in just a single global community who wants more than what the current rules and structures consider. Yeah, a bit of a soapbox comment but this is our time to really deliver change. That is what drives all of us.
Shingo, [26.10.17 20:46] We have said time and time again, we are looking for real, organic growth and a genuine brand and community. That is why we avoid hype, shilling and all that comes with it
stephen corliss, [04.11.17 06:04] This project is backed by a community. We are not defined by any one individual, not Shingo, not me, not the team, but instead a collection of individuals who desire change. We have many supporters and we appreciate them all and although I personally don’t know Suppoman, I would ask that you not slander anyone in this forum. Lets just keep everything professional and focus on delivering change together.
stephen corliss, [25.08.17 04:43] [In reply to John: stephen enlighten this newbie here...what can i expect for investing in bitquence] Game over bro! Sorry for the playground choice of words but if anyone has aspirations to see mass adoption of crypto become a reality then they need to be a part of this community who together will make this a reality. I couldn't mean this anymore than I do. This only happens with every one of us sharing a goal to deliver a new paradigm for financial services, especially how we build wealth ( that means You, Shingo, Adam, Kevin, the other BQX team members, everybody!)
stephen corliss, [10.11.17 23:57] Community Message: All, I wanted to share some thoughts on community etiquette. As we are moving quickly into a very serious phase, I want to share with all of you our views on how we proceed and protect our positioning and image. As you all know, we are a community fighting together to bring real change. As part of doing this, what this means is that we are having serious strategic discussions with countless serious and successful businesses to partner with us as service providers, strategic partnerships and the like. However, what this also means is Bitquence is now under the microscope and held to a much higher standard than most. To ensure we maintain the best public profile this means we must also ask the same of all of you as we are in this together. So, earlier today we had some person enter the forum talking about shorting and referring to BQX as a scam. Rather than sit idle and extend a long rope as we normally would do, I banned this person almost immediately. I didn’t do this to “muffle” anyone’s voices or to limit healthy debates or discussions but rather to protect the public profile of the community and Bitquence for the very reasons I just shared. I promise you that we love and embrace diverse opinions and love open debate but we all must now realize the we have moved into a very critical phase and professionalism has to be the standard. We are doing the impossible but each and everyone of us is playing a critical role in our overall success so lets not allow Fudsters and people focused on themselves to tarnish our image.
Thank you all for everything. Much love!
Competition
stephen corliss, [28.09.17 14:57] If you can find me just 1 single competitor who can do what we plan and do it in a way where they won't violate laws and can service every jurisdiction, let me know. I don't see anyone thinking about this the way we do. Remember, first may be okay initially but if your model isn't sustainable and insulated from all the changes to laws and regs that are forthcoming, then it won't matter as you will be out of business. Working smarter and with speed and precision is always better in my book. I don't think the complexity of what we are doing and the space we're doing it in is always apparent. You can't just build something, especially in finserv, without knowing first where all the minefields are, as many have tried before and have since departed with many others to follow. Don't get me wrong, I don't wish this on anyone but if you don't plan appropriately, there really isn't an excuse. If we are sustainable, everyone wins. The team has basically doubled in a week, so the train is rolling at a high rate of speed to deliver not only an innovative model but also "several" innovative tech solutions.
stephen corliss, [15.11.17 04:14] [In reply to EstimatedProphet: Stephen since you are the global strategist, what do you feel gives you a strategic advantage in comparison to competitors? Is the product quality? Is it your former experience in the finance industry? I would love to know. Also, do you feel that certain relationships you have made in the past working for BOA and BlackRock provided outlets/resources that others might not have access to?]
Great question. Let me try to answer as best I can. what do you feel gives you a strategic advantage in comparison to competitors? With Shingo’s vision and capabilities, my knowledge of global market structures and regulations and the expert team we have brought together, I believe there is no other firm with the collective capabilities that we have at Bitquence. I’ve personally spent nearly 30 years studying everything about global finance, capital markets, structures and regulation. I believe the team here cannot be replicated anywhere. So, competitors may be able to copy but they will never do it as well as us because of our knowledge advantage. Is the product quality? Knowledge and capabilities unleash quality, which is what will differentiate us from all others Is it your former experience in the finance industry? Partially but it is the team that gives us the advantage. Also, do you feel that certain relationships you have made in the past working for BOA and BlackRock provided outlets/resources that others might not have access to? OH, MOST DEFINITELY Lastly, what do you currently feel is the most important market for BQX to take over first? I think we’ve said this before, its the United States. Why? All others avoid the US because they believe it is too risky, I don’t agree. If you solve for the US, this means you can operate pretty much anywhere. So, we solve for the US now ( Which we have!) and then concurrently role out in other Jurisdictions across Europe and Asia. I know there is a global strategy at hand, but what national market is most important to make the mark and or ensure long term success? See above.
Shingo, [15.09.17 22:58] I've seen at least 12 platforms that people are saying "doing something similar to bitquence". If we were the only ones trying to do what we are doing, I would be very worried! The fact that so many are trying to do stuff like this simply means that there is a very real market need for it. Competition is good and will motivate us to make the best product
stephen corliss, [14.09.17 13:19] [In reply to momo] Absolutely, competition is healthy. However, we have a significant advantage as we have visionary engineers and financial minds who know how to create something that nobody has seen before that can also withstand the highest degree of scrutiny. I wish I could find the words to explain how difficult it is to uncover the solutions we have found but I cannot as it requires much more space than is available to me here. Plus, why tip off everyone! let them figure it out for themselves after we become the biggest baddest platform on the street!
stephen corliss about competition, [08.09.17 16:13] Coinbase is not a good barometer for Bitquence, whether we're discussing technology, legal/regulatory structure, product / service quality and depth or customer service. If you can't even get customer service right, how can anything else be great? No worries all, the BQX Team understands all the critical elements required to deliver! Competition? What competition....! In my view, we are trailblazers. Sure, many will try and follow us or even try to interpret our vision and replicate it to beat us to market, but none will be able to do this with complete success. That's what drives us and focused is what we are!
[In reply to Bjorn: How does BQX not be a competitor of existing Exchanges Stephen if we can buy and trade coins on the BQX platform?]
Thanks Justin! Hi Bjorn! Let me first call your attention to page 7 in our latest Whitepaper. Here you will find how all of the various dynamic layers of the platform work in conjunction with one another. BQX powers everything on the platform and links the Platform Layer with the Liquidity Layer. BQX will represent the individual baskets which will hold diverse ccy's and coins where liquidity for the individual constituent ccy's/coins will be sourced via CCY and Coin Exchanges. (also eliminating counterparty risk) There are a lot more nuances here but this should give you more details. I likened this to what we did with exchange traded funds over 15 years ago where exchanges at the time felt unnecessarily threatened by ETF's as they thought it would hurt their businesses. In fact, it did exactly the opposite as they generated exponentially more trading volumes because of the many:1 design of index funds. In the end, what this delivers is a fully fungible diverse basket of ccy's/coins that delivers the full benefits of directly holding them while streamlining day to day transactions for users. Does this help at all? Again, this is why we help exchanges grow their business as it allows for "mass adoption".
stephen corliss, [03.09.17 15:51] [In reply to Z Davinci] All, We hear you 100%. Let me make one point reference competition. Competition will be and is a healthy thing for any industry as it provides options for consumers while also allowing consumers to choose the better service provider and technology. However, when building a model in an industry such as this one that has to align with a complex financial industry centuries old, most will either fail or miss the mark significantly. What we have right now is a classic "square peg round hole" situation where ONLY those with the necessary technical, business AND industry expertise will win. What I can share here is this, we've done all of the necessary work designing a comprehensive solution that can flourish in a highly fluid business environment, where most others will be confused and distracted. I've set up many financial firms in my life worldwide so this is not unchartered territory and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure BItquence can flourish. FOCUS, BE BOLD, BE FAST, BUILD AND DELIVER, it is as simple as that.
stephen corliss, [08.09.17 02:17] [In reply to Slim] First, I'm old school so lets start with a giant HA! Then, lets move on to calling bullsh1t! Clearly, they have no idea about what we are building, and more importantly, how one goes about doing it. Lets take those comment 1 by 1. 1) Its a lot like Prism and Iconomi? What? Prism essentially deploys a CFD type model where holders do not hold the underlying coins it is meant to track and thus users have no rights or benefits that may come with each coin. All they have is a bet that they can win or lose. This is more appropriate for heavy traders employing a hedge or wanting quick/simple artificial exposure. It also doesn't save much in transaction costs either, which contradicts one of the main benefits of a CFD, their usually cheap! I don't knock their product but it is a complete 180 from BQX. Now Iconomi is different but similar. Considering my years with Indexes and ETF's, I clearly appreciate what they are trying to do. However, again, I have access to yield generation capabilities (or not depending on market moves) but what do I actually own? ICNX and ICNP only, not the underlying coins. Is the DAA transportable? No. I can go on and on but it seems unnecessary. Especially considering that none of this considers the Universal Wallet and all its benefits. 2) You do not own the currencies, you own the keys? Wrong, you own both! 3) You are given est. prices and own the assets and compare to actual investments? Nope, you know prices (est and actual) and own the ccy's 4) We are going big and will hv hurdles? Sure, but we solved those already! 5) Bitquence is centralized? Ah, nope its not. 6) They hold the wallet? Nope! 7) They are the exchange? Nope, we deliver optimized price discovery, cost reduction and lessen market impact 8) 1% Fee? Maybe but not finalized, however, that would be a lot cheaper than anyone else by leaps and bounds! 9) Years for product introduction to US customers? Solved!
Okay, did I miss anything? The problem here, all, is that our peers like to say that they understand Shingo's vision, but in all do respect they really really don't. They are building interesting products but none are remotely close to BQX because our visions and motivations are vastly different. We can cohabit the same space as we service different clientele but the similarities begin and end with we occupy space in the same industry. Product differentiation is quite vast.
stephen corliss, [07.11.17 20:53] [In reply to Ke: Is it fair to say that the biggest target bitquence is going after right now is Coinbase? Is that the real competitor?] I wouldn’t call it that specifically. In the financial space there are 2 main groups, Buy Side (eg Blackrock) and Sell Side (Brokers/Exchanges). I believe Bitquence is on the Buy Side and Coinbase is on the Sell Side. So, they could service us as a liquidity provider. However, because of their model involving coin storage, we will have an impact on them as consumers begin to leave their assets in cold-storage. However, this dynamic could still be positive for Coinbase as Bitquence creates opportunities to deliver new product sets of which Coinbase could provide liquidity and possibly even custody.
POS
stephen corliss, [13.09.17 13:54] POS is rebranded to Bitquence Predictions as POS implies other things, although we share numerous simiilarities
Shingo, [23.10.17 18:50] We have changed predictions as a "reward only" system to avoid complex legal concerns
Shingo, [23.10.17 18:42] [In reply to Marco: will BQX hodlers generate profits just by hodling ? (similar to OMG, NEO,...)] I would be cautious of any "passive income" model that is uncleared by regulated bodies. As Stephen said, there are some structures that may work and others that don't. There isn't enough guidance in the industry right now to say for sure Chris Ryan: So all Proof of Stake coins are considered securities?]
Stephen: That will depend on the details. First question to ask is always, what are users doing to earn divs? The less substance there is the more likely a coin will be found to be a security.
Shingo: The jury is still out for me whether or not proof of stake is passive or active income. Masternodes to me seem to be able to be justified as "active income" since you are providing services to the network and getting compensated in return. In that sense you could say you are getting paid income by the organization. The way OMG describes their model is a "tollbooth on a busy highway". As Stephen always says "The devil is in the details". I wouldn't want to say anything here without proper due diligence. I am excited for what OMG is doing and think they have a lot very great minds working for them. I'm sure they are considering issues such as these
stephen corliss, [02.09.17 14:30] Good morning! Quick details on POS or what we now call Bitquence Predictions. First, the critical outcome from this service is high quality intelligent data, which you can think of as Consensus based research. This service is the first step as it builds a valuable data inventory that will feed into our Basket creation, risk management, asset allocation and other functionality. It also allows knowledgeable and successful users to establish and build their reputation and following on the platform. This was never intended to be a gambling service and be, as some say above, "the only value maker for BQX". This thinking is an incorrect interpretation and I hope this explains why. BQX value creation, as discussed in slightly earlier threads, is generated by what happens in the next phases of the project, which are the "transactional" based Baskets and Universal Wallet services where BQX is both 1) necessary as Gas and for transactions and storage 2) A constituent holding option in the basket 3) liquidity enabler for the Liquidity Network and The Universal Wallet. Now, there are a lot more details to think about when thinking about BQX value creation but each one of the above should provide the basis for that analysis. Hope this helps.
stephen corliss, [29.08.17 22:40] All, I want to be sure the entire community understands precisely how POS will work. First, as you all know, we have been doing a deep global analysis of our entire roadmap, vision, products and services. This strategic analysis is and will continue to be our guidebook for all related decisions. The analysis is premised on one large assumption, during the short and intermediate term Bitquence should not require financial related licenses (Unless it is mandatory) in any jurisdiction. As such, with regards to POS, we have completed the required analysis and in NO way will this service be considered gambling, investment or derivative related. Users will not surrender / pay anything of monetary value to participate in POS. Winners will benefit and be rewarded for providing essential data but this will not come from any other user who predicting incorrectly. We will share more information but the above statements should clear this issue up. We of course understand that some of the information put out by us may have lead to this confusion but we will revisit those materials in due time to ensure they are more precise. Thank you everyone!
stephen corliss, [28.09.17 14:51] [In reply to Yoyo: People would get free coins to keep coin in the wallet?] Lets stick to Predictions. In order to build the most powerful financial platform, it begins with intelligent data. The best or smartest data isn't traditional research or crowd-based data individually but collectively. So, we begin by building superior Intelligence by first having users provide predictions on coin performance over short and long term periods enriched with other social data created on the platform. To encourage use, we allow users to join the platform and begin predicting and participating in other social engagement. The more accurate you are, the more rewards users can obtain. The more followers users gain, the more rewards they obtain. This is unique content and when enriched with other traditional and non-traditional research, it is highly intelligent and significantly useful to users when making both passive and active coin decisions.
Shingo, [27.10.17 07:04] [In reply to Ab Alphabeta1: Any coin which provides some sort of dividends be considered security?] I think the distinction is more between passive and active income and income on investment versus income for services rendered. Any token that requires you to stake or use your token in some sort of process that benefits the network suggests to me that it is compensation for services rendered. That being said, line is really blurry and won't become clear until governments and regulators catch up and render a decision
Marketing
Shingo, [19.10.17 19:27] I want to clarify what we mean by marketing. What we will NOT be doing is buying ads, spending on search/video/interstitial etc. What we ARE doing is putting effort into nurturing our community and increasing our earned traffic. This means upgrading the brand, creating a PR plan, scheduling releases etc. Once we launch the product, we will begin to buy ads and push the marketing pedal. I believe that this is the right strategy and will help to develop this community organically
stephen corliss, [20.10.17 01:55] As I know you all know how we approach things by now, I would hope you all expect a slow dribble of news that all connects strategically. We have a lot of great things brewing and information will follow but only when the time is right. We don’t buy into the hole pump crap, so please just remember that we are extremely strategic and precise in everything we do.
Shingo, [16.11.17 20:03] [In reply to Steve Crypto: Do you plan to make another Dev Update video for those who are not part of the Product Council?] Maybe... I've answered this question a bit before. We want to release less high quality content. What will likely be the format going forward is: - ExplaineAnimated Product videos - Captain's Log - Thinkpieces - Blog
Shingo, [01.09.17 02:38] [In reply to EstimatedProphet: Shingo are there any strategic marketing techniques being aimed at the general public? I know you're targeting mass adoption, but what is the plan for reaching consumers outside of the Crypto community?] Lots of guerilla marketing. One of the initiatives we are working on right now is building a large library of content aimed at new users (courses, blog content, guides etc.) We are hoping that for many people, their first interaction with bitquence will be "how do I buy bitcoin" or "what is Bitcoin" We hope to serve the user over the course of their journey of discovery from learning about crypto, to becoming a social crypto trader
Shingo, [10.09.17 18:41] While we are developing the product, we want to be careful with the brand and marketing. There is no point in pushing out our message far and wide before we have anything to show people besides demo videos. Building a community organically is much more powerful than building an artificial community that doesn't care about the product
Shingo, [13.09.17 21:05] [In reply to Ke: Shingo...could you shed some light on how you and the team plan to get this out to the masses once the product is out? Do you plan for early adopters to be sophisticated types looking to enter a new asset class or do you plan on positioning the product as a new cool way for millenials to get a solid ROI through this beautiful tech solution? Or can you adequately market to both groups?] We don't quite want to tip our hand just yet, but our customer acquisition strategy is going to strategic partnerships and aggressive competition to market incumbents. Our strategy with exchanges has always been to get more people exposed to BQX and learning about it which is why we have been pushing for listings and why Binance was a great victory for us. The second part is aggressively going after different market sectors in the crypto industry and strategically taking market share. We anticipate that improved tools, guerilla marketing, enthusiastic community and solid promotional materials will make for a powerful combination as we enter the next phase of development
Shingo, [19.09.17 18:50] [In reply to Greg: It would be nice to put up dates on roadmap in white paper or in one of dev updates, to be official.] We don't want to promise something we can't fulfill. We try to hold true to everything we say publicly. Our PR motto is under promise and over deliver which typically leads to more happy people than the opposite
stephen corliss, [24.09.17 16:43] [In reply to M I H A I] Good day all. Marketing is absolutely critical. However, burning capital on marketing "too early" runs the risk of having a large CAC that will have significant negative results. Your points are not wrong but the right timing is essential
Shingo, [09.10.17 05:17] What I want to do is frame up some more of our ambitious thinking in a way that people can understand where we see all of this going but also while preserving our competitive advantages over others
Shingo, [13.10.17 20:58] Again - we are revamping our marketing efforts and part of that means putting together a cohesive plan and schedule. That means less in the short term, but I believe that it will be highly beneficial in the long term once we start executing to this plan. Instead of putting out mediocre marketing immediately, we are going to put out great marketing in due time.
stephen corliss, [20.10.17 14:15] The only things we will be protective of are those elements that allow us to maintain a competitive advantage and a leading position. Typically these will be strategic initiatives that we will need to keep top secret until making a big public reveal. This allows us to protect our first mover advantage and further differentiate ourselves from everyone else. We have a few big surprises already.. 😊
stephen corliss, [24.10.17 14:27] All, lets move on to more constructive topics. We have just hired a very talented Marketing Executive who is developing our short and long term strategy as we speak. The benefits of this change will be significant and be visible across all channels and methods so lets stay tuned. I’m quite excited as this has been a big missing component for us that is now ramping up!
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