Category Archives: Online marketing

Meme Specialist Is the Crypto Job of Your Dreams

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Memes are the real fuel of the cryptoconomy. Not tokens. Not blockchain. Memes, in all their dank, unadulterated glory. That an Estonian startup should be advertising the position of Meme Specialist is an inspired PR move or proof that we’ve hit peak crypto. Either way, it’s an offer that crypto shitposters may find too good to refuse. After all, there aren’t many jobs that will pay you $900 a week to post the illest memes from the comfort of your own bed.

Cynics may complain that an ICO with 192 Twitter followers seeking a Meme Specialist – prior to its pre-sale, no less – is simply seeking attention. Cynics would be right, but then how else is ECOS supposed to rustle up interest in its blockchain for the food chain – by banging on about the transformative potential of distributed ledgers? For all ECOS’ shortcomings, soliciting a “ninja of memology” was a masterstroke.

 

Advanced Memetics to Disrupt the Food Industry

The posting on Crypto Jobs List doesn’t specify the sort of memes that might be deemed suitable for a decentralized food industry project. There’s no word on whether they’re looking for exploitable image macros, rare Pepes, pink Wojaks, or something even more subversive. All that’s specified is that the right applicant has “Passed 4 grade in comprehensive school”, excels in “laughter, irony, cynicism”, and is willing to accept “Bonuses in kittens and puppies”. It’s all very frivolous, it’s true. But amidst the doom and gloom permeating the crypto space, anything that can elicit a laugh has got to be welcomed.

There’s every chance that ECOS’ ICO will prove to be a disaster, but their marketing game is on point, and for that they deserve credit. Well memed, obscure Estonian startup. Well memed.

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Large Glassware Plant in Siberia to Mine Bitcoin

 

Large Glassware Plant in Siberia to Mine Bitcoin

The city of Novosibirsk is home to one of the largest glassware factories in Russia – Ekran. It started as an electronics manufacturing facility in the USSR. In the ‘90s the plant survived by switching to glass production.

A couple of years ago, an industrial park with the same name was set up on its premises.

Large Glassware Plant in Siberia to Mine BitcoinAlmost 200 enterprises currently based there employ close to 3,000 people.

However, there are still some unoccupied spaces and unused resources in the 27ha area of the factory.

The park’s management has a good idea how to make use of them.

An empty workshop and surplus electrical capacity will be used in the mining operation.

The initial investment amounts to 11 million rubles (almost $200,000), the president of Ekran’s Board of Directors told Tass.

The second floor of the main factory building, which is unoccupied, will house the mining equipment, Pavel Boboshik explained.

“We are going to build there a farm for mining bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies.

We are ready to spend 11 million rubles on it”, he said. If the project is approved by the Board, the mining facility will be operational by the end of the year, Boboshik added.

Ekran is one of the largest glassware factories in the Russian Federation. It has produced almost 460,000 glass jars and bottles in 2017.

Why Siberia?
Siberia accounts for more than two thirds of Russia’s land territory. Extremes of all sorts are its trademark, especially when it comes to climate conditions.

Siberia is a very cold place, but also extraordinarily rich with minerals and natural resources. That means cheap and abundant energy.

Electricity rates in Novosibirsk, for example, can go down to 3-4 cents per kWh for some consumers and areas.

The city, like many others in Siberia, has become an attractive destination for cryptocurrency miners. Adds offering low-rent offices and warehouses to mining companies can be found in the local press.

Large Glassware Plant in Siberia to Mine Bitcoin

Crypto mining needs a lot of energy and generates much heat.

The powerful application-specific circuits used in processing bitcoin transactions, consume enormous amount of electricity and need some serious cooling.

Cold climate and cheap electricity are two factors that can increase the profitability of mining operations considerably. Siberia offers both.

Last month Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Vyacheslav Kravchenko expressed his department’s positive attitude towards cryptocurrency mining in Siberia and urged miners to invest there.

Russian energy companies have already offered their services to crypto miners, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.

Heat generated by mining equipment has been utilized to warm homes during the long and cold Siberian winters. The leading manufacturer of mining equipment Bitmain has recently opened a service center in Irkutsk.

US Economic Report Dedicates a Whole Chapter on Cryptocurrencies

 

The “2018 Economic Report for the President” has recently been published with a whole chapter dedicated to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and the future of blockchain regulation.

Every year the U.S. Congress publishes an economic report that discusses a variety of subjects that affect the economy such as technology, opioid abuse, employment rates, and the stock market.

This year’s “2018 Economic Report” features a whole chapter focused on bitcoin, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and blockchain technology. Chapter nine is called, “Building a secure future, one blockchain at a time.”

The congressional study takes note that last year cryptocurrencies had entered a mainstream awareness phase.

“Blockchain technology — providing cybersecurity and many other potential benefits—broke into the mainstream in 2017 driven by widespread interest and surging valuations in digital currencies such as bitcoin and ethereum,” explains the report.

The economic study is meant to use analysis and create conclusions in order to assist individual government committees and Congress.

Chapter nine calls 2017 “The Year of Cryptocurrencies,” and the technology’s phenomenal rise is considered a significant economic event that stands out to the report’s researchers.

The study also emphasizes how well traditional stocks did last year, but they did not compare to digital asset markets.

“While both stock market measures experienced strong growth, cryptocurrencies dwarfed their performance,” explains the government research.

Of course, the report details that control is needed for these nascent technologies. It also highlights the possibility of fraud within the ICO marketbut recognizes how well the crowdfunding solution performed last year.

Further, the paper explains how there has never been any evidence of anyone “hacking a blockchain’s underlying protocol, but digital currencies are still vulnerable to theft.”

The report details that U.S. officials must combine efforts to combat “growing pains and misuses.”

“Policymakers, regulators, and entrepreneurs should continue to work together to ensure developers can deploy these new blockchain technologies quickly and in a manner that protects Americans from fraud, theft, and abuse, while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations,” the 2018 economic report researchers conclude.

South Korean Travel Site with Over 50,000 Hotels to Accept 12 Cryptocurrencies.

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A South Korean travel website with over 50,000 hotels and other types of accommodation facilities will begin accepting 12 cryptocurrencies, thanks to a partnership between its operator and Bithumb, a major cryptocurrency exchange in Korea.

Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

Pay for 50,000+ Hotels with Crypto

One of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Bithumb, announced on Tuesday its business alliance with Seoul-based With Innovation Corp.

Thanks to this partnership, customers will be able to pay with cryptocurrencies for over 50,000 accommodation facilities, including hotels, motels, inns, motels, guest houses, and campers.

Specializing in small and medium-sized accommodation facilities, the service operates under the brand name that is loosely translated as “How are you here?” The Hankyoreh elaborated:

The user can pay in a virtual currency held in their Bithumb account when booking a hotel, resort, or motel. There are about 50,000 registered properties here [in Korea].

 

At the time of this writing, Bithumb is the fifth largest crypto exchange globally by 24-hour trading volume and the second largest in South Korea. The Kakao Corp-backed Upbit is currently the country’s largest crypto exchange.

12 Cryptocurrencies Supported

Bithumb explained that all 12 cryptocurrencies the platform supports can be used: bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ripple, ether, ethereum classic, EOS, qtum, monero, litecoin, zcash, bitcoin gold, and dash.

The news outlet quoted the exchange commenting:

We expect that virtual currencies will be used to make reservations and payments for domestic and international travelers, which will be of great help in increasing convenience.

Customers can book a room using With Innovation apps and pay their bills with any of the cryptocurrencies they have in their Bithumb accounts, Zdnet Korea explained, adding that the apps have “about 2 million monthly net users.”

Available in both Android and iOS, the app in the Google Play store has over 41,000 ratings, averaging 4.4 stars. Meanwhile, iTunes store gave it a 4.7-star rating on average, by about 5,700 users.

“The service will be introduced in the first half of this year,” Yonhap quoted Bithumb, emphasizing that it will start “as soon as possible.”

The exchange added that it is “constantly discussing with various companies” in order to expand usage of cryptocurrencies in Korea. Bithumb was further quoted by Green Economy:

Our country has become a part of the global trend of spreading cryptocurrencies through the partnership with Korea’s largest accommodation app.

What do you think of Bithumb’s partnership to allow customers to pay for 50,000+ hotels in cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section 

Decentralized Exchange IDEX Hits $13 Million a Day While Etherdelta Falters

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Cryptocurrency trading, in the early days, was a riot. Erratic trading engines; low liquidity; frequent DDoS attacks and random outages.

When the first decentralized exchanges came along, a few years later, it was like the old days of bitcoin all over again.

Rickety, unintuitive and verging on unusable, platforms like Etherdelta left a lot to be desired. But they did have one thing in their favor: funds remained in the custody of the user at all times, preventing the possibility of another Mt Gox.

Founded in 2016, ED was the only DEX of its kind, and became known as the go-to exchange for acquiring ERC20 tokens before they hit big exchanges.

But over the last three months, Etherdelta has waned and in its place a new pretender has emerged – IDEX. On January 15, ED recorded trading volume of $28.5 million versus $728,000 for IDEX. Six weeks later and how the tables have turned.

On Saturday IDEX reached a record daily turnover of $13.5 million, ranking alongside established exchanges such as Cryptopia, while ED, crippled by technical issues that have left it hamstrung for weeks, only resumed trading on March 1.

In its absence, it’s been usurped by a nimbler and more liquid contender.

 

In truth, Etherdelta’s woes started long before its February outage.

The general unusability of the platform was a running joke, though in a weird kind of way it had the effect of ensuring that only determined traders went there.

If you were willing to go to the bother of enduring Etherdelta’s UX, you really wanted that token.

There was no such thing as a spur-of-the-moment buy. The decline of ethereum’s “flagship” DEX began when Etherderdelta was hacked in December.

Given that they don’t hold user funds, decentralized exchanges are meant to be unhackable, but an ingenious attacker hijacked the site’s DNS, replaced it with a lookalike site and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in ether and tokens.

 

Rumors that Etherdelta knew a lot more about the hack than it was letting on didn’t help. Nor did it help that the incident occurred just as ED was seeking to raise millions in one of the strangest ICOs of 2017, which is saying something.

The Etherdelta token appeared to have no real use case, and in the end, the ICO seems to have quietly disappeared. Whether permanently called off or kicked into the long grass is unclear.

To add to ED’s woes, some time in January its Twitter account has also hacked. Decentralized exchanges are meant to operate markedly differently from traditional platforms, and yet Etherdelta was starting to behave a lot like a centralized exchange, and a shady one at that.

With Etherdelta still licking its wounds, the stage is set for IDEX to carpe diem and enjoy a record-breaking March as the biggest decentralized exchange by volume. It’s been impressively expeditious at adding new tokens; tomocoin (TOMO) for instance was available for trading within hours of the ICO finishing.

It also helps that the site’s trading interface is remarkably intuitive and almost akin to that of a conventional exchange.

IDEX hasn’t been without its problems admittedly; it suffered an outage on March 5, and not for the first time. These blemishes mar an otherwise impressive performance; in the last two weeks alone it’s added 20,000 new users.

 

The number of decentralized exchanges coming onstream is growing rapidly, and IDEX may have to fight for its position as top dog. Hodl Hodl offers cryptos such as litecoin and bitcoin too, and operates as a sort of hybrid Localbitcoins.

Then there’s bitcoin DEX Bisq and Radar Relay, which facilitates ethereum token trading using Metamask. For usability coupled with liquidity, though, IDEX is currently the Facebook to Etherdelta’s Myspace.

Provided it can sidestep the sort of pitfalls that have skewered ED (IDEX is launching its own AURA staking token soon), there’s no reason why the platform can’t retain its crow.

Netherlands Government for Blockchain Solutions to Border Control

The world’s first data management framework based in Amsterdam, is paving the way in blockchain technology to solve complex border control issues with their talks with the Dutch Government.

“Where some people see problems, we see challenges, which then motivates us to develop a solution” says Matteo, Essentia co-founder and Chairman of The Internet of Blockchain Foundation.

On Tuesday, the 20th of February, in The Hague, Matteo Gianpietro Zago (co-founder and Web 3.0 enthusiast) Mirco Mongiardino (co-founder).

Bedros Awanesian (Head of Business Development), and Erik van der Staak (Essentia Advisor) were invited to a joint meeting with two Dutch Ministries (the Ministry of Justice & Security and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water (Transport)) hosted by the Ministry of Justice & Security.

During the session, the Essentia team shared their vision and ideas on how blockchain technology can be leveraged for border control. More precisely, how Dutch authorities could utilize the Essentia framework for incorruptible identity management with travellers aboard the international Eurostar rail service between Amsterdam and London.

As it currently stands, travellers are required to repeatedly offload and re-board the train due to redundant identity and document checks at various stops.

“It puts an unnecessary strain on travellers and the transport system, and it severely prolongs journey time” explains Micro, who has frequented the journey on many occasions.

Essentia explained their thorough analysis of the situation with Eurostar and proposed a practical interim solution to the two Dutch Ministries.

The proposal detailed how the Essentia framework, using blockchain as its underlying technology, can improve the current identification process.

“Using Essentia,” explained Micro and Matteo “all four countries connected by the Eurostar service (the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom) have the opportunity to independently and remotely identify the passengers and confirm whether they have been approved for boarding.

This allows for rapid, remote control of which travellers are allowed to enter a target country, based on entry requirements.”

The meeting between the Essentia team and the Dutch Ministries was conducted in an open atmosphere, where extensive, constructive discussions were made.

The Ministry expressed great enthusiasm for the Essentia proposal and recognized the outstanding potential. Essentia displayed such promise that a further request was made by the Ministries to prepare more blockchain-based proposals for border control nationwide across the Netherlands.

Now Essentia is in discussion with Dutch Ministries regarding the implementation of a pilot, for the facilitation of identity management at border crossings throughout the country.

The Essentia team expresses their utmost gratitude to the Ministry of Justice & Security and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water (Transport) for their kind invitation, genuine interest, and openness to the novel solutions proposed.

Essentia plans ahead and looks forward to working with the Government of the Netherlands to harness the enormous power and potential of blockchain in real world applications.

SEC Goes on a Subpoena Spree

SEC Subpoenas Shepherd ICOs Towards A+ Regulation

Subpoenas are generally issued as an evidence gathering tool with the intention to prosecute if wrongdoing is established.

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal (paywalled) reported that the SEC had issued scores of subpoenas against companies that had filed initial coin offerings.

No specifics were provided however, leaving commenters to speculate on the scope and target of the offensive.

In such scenarios, it is common for a single company to receive multiple subpoenas, so it is unlikely that the SEC has taken on the entire ICO landscape.

With the SEC yet to comment on the matter, speculation has mounted.

The regulatory agency’s position on initial coin offerings, as voiced by its chairman Jay Clayton, is well documented.

At the recent Senate hearing on cryptocurrencies, he stated that the agency’s Division of Enforcement would “continue to police these markets vigorously and recommend enforcement actions against those who conduct ICOs…in violation of the federal securities laws”.

As U.S. investors will attest, trying to find a crowdsale that will accept their contribution is nigh impossible now.

The free and easy days of summer 2017, when anyone, anywhere could swap their ether for the hottest new tokens from the coolest new crowdsale seem like a distant memory.

Startups that have diligently refused to accept funds from U.S. investors should have nothing to fear, but excluding this major and monied demographic isn’t an ideal solution.

Moreover, U.S.-based ICOs desire the freedom to launch in their native country without fear of being shut down should the SEC decide their utility token is actually a security.

 

Instead of keeping a low profile and praying the SEC doesn’t come calling, some startups have been beating a path straight to their door, seeking their tacit approval.

There are three types of federal securities permissions that ICOs – or indeed any company seeking to trade a security – can apply for: Regulation D, Regulation S, and Regulation A+.

Regulation S is only applicable when the security is offered in a country outside of the U.S., but the other two – D and A+ – offer a possible route to compliance.

Knowbella Tech, an open science project, has gone for the A+ option, but its CEO, Mark Pohlkamp concedes that it is entering uncharted waters.

“Regulation A+ is similar to a pre-sale or perk crowdfunding campaign offered on platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but also allows us to offer participants equity in our company in the form of Helix tokens, similar to cryptocurrencies.”

He said. Sovereign, a philanthropic cryptocurrency targeted at Fortune 500 companies, is also considering going down this route.

Regulation A+ isn’t without its problems though. For one thing, issuers are limited to raising $50 million in a 12-month period, although this solution does at least negate the need for investors to be accredited by the SEC.

The alternative, Regulation D, allows the issuer to avoid being registered with the SEC, but investors must be accredited and may not sell their stake for 12 months afterwards. According to attorneys Pepper Hamilton LLP.

Since the beginning of 2018, four companies have filed Form 1-As with the SEC seeking to utilize Regulation A+ to raise funding and go public.

The costs of obtaining regulatory approval for an initial coin offering aren’t cheap.

But compared to the cost of having to cancel a crowdsale, return contributions to investors, and seek legal defense counsel after being prosecuted by the SEC, the next crop of ICOs may have little choice but to cough up and comply.