Energy Web Foundation Launches Public, Open-source, Enterprise-grade Blockchain Tailored to the Energy Sector

Zug, Switzerland, 19 June 2019 – The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) today announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than 10 EWF Affiliates—including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers—are hosting validator nodes for the live network. In addition, EWF is currently tracking 17 decentralized applications (dApps) running on Energy Web test networks that are expected to transition to the live network over the coming weeks. This first wave of dApps focuses on making it easier for individuals and companies to buy renewable energy, enabling customer-owned devices like batteries or air conditioning units to balance the grid (and be paid for doing so), and simplifying the way electric vehicles are charged.

“We started Energy Web Foundation in 2017 with a promise: a production version of Energy Web Chain by Q2 2019. We are proud to announce that we kept our promise. Energy Web Chain is now running in production mode,” said Hervé Touati, co-founder and chief executive officer for EWF. “Our next target, to be reached latest by Q4 2019, is to fully decentralize the chain. At that point, it will no longer be ‘our’ chain; it will be the energy sector’s blockchain—the first public blockchain where blocks are validated by energy sector companies.”

“EW token holders are alongside our worldwide EWF Affiliate community, supporting a platform capable of underpinning hundreds of different dApps that can fundamentally transform the energy sector,” added Jesse Morris, chief commercial officer of EWF. “Global energy sector investment last year totaled $1.8 trillion. And the Energy Web Chain—with its 100+ network of supporting Affiliates—boasts an unprecedented pathway to blockchain solution adoption and global scale across that massive industry.”

Over ten organizations are hosting validator nodes for the Energy Web Chain. These organizations are the foundation of the Energy Web chain’s public Proof-of-Authority (PoA) network design: a publicly accessible, ethereum-based network with permissioned validators. The chain itself is public; any company, individual, or internet-connected device can transact across the network without permission. This dramatically increases network interoperability and reduces solution development cost. At the same time, the chain’s validators are permissioned—they are known energy market participants identified and affiliated with EWF, and who has in essence “staked their brand” to help stand up this energy-specific blockchain. This PoA-based design comes with three additional benefits for the energy sector: scalability, energy efficiency (which also equates to low transaction costs for energy market participants using the network), and increased regulatory compliance.

“The Energy Web is essentially a new operating system—a new digital DNA—for the electricity grid,” explained EWF’s Morris. “Other token-based energy blockchain projects are focused on delivering singular decentralized applications. By contrast, the Energy Web is a blockchain infrastructure project focused on supporting all blockchain developers looking to accelerate the global transition away from fossil fuels toward efficiency and renewables. That’s a huge and exciting distinction.”

Today’s EW Chain launch represents the latest major milestone in the Energy Web’s fast-growing ecosystem. EWF formed in early 2017 with support from co-founders Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, as well as a cohort of ~12 initial Affiliates. By early 2018 EWF had surpassed 40 Affiliates and by early 2019 had crossed the 100-Affiliate threshold. Meanwhile, a growing list of respected utilities and grid operators have launched demonstrations, pilots, and even pre-commercial deployments on Energy Web test networks, including PJM-EIS, SP Group, Acciona, Iberdrola, Elia, and Stedin, among many others.

Like most public blockchains, the Energy Web Chain uses a native token to pay transaction costs and reward validators. But organizations are already experimenting across the Energy Web test networks and mainnet with additional uses of the token including: a) token staking to enhance data reputation and quality from internet-connected devices (e.g., electric vehicles, solar farms), b) directly using EW Tokens to pay prosumers and others for participating in the energy market, and c) decentralized finance for energy (e.g., stablecoins produced via EWT staking).

Beyond novel uses of the token, an expanding set of open-source software development toolkits (SDKs) help speed the time to commercial dApps, while the EW Link protocol allows everything from utility SCADA systems to smart meters to edge devices (e.g., inverters, EVs, thermostats) to connect to the EW Chain and transact via their digital identities. With billions of connected energy devices forecasted in the years just ahead, enabling them to easily transact on the Energy Web Chain is paramount.

“The electricity sector is on a clear pathway: more renewables, more distributed energy, more electric vehicles. According to industry forecasts, by 2030 consumers would invest more money in distribution-edge devices—solar PV, batteries, charging stations, electric vehicles, smart controls—than electric utilities would invest in power generation and electricity grids. This is a massive and unprecedented shift,” observed EWF’s Touati. “That shift will put enormous pressure on utilities to integrate all these investments and make good use of them. Customers will not want to pay twice. For that, utilities need new kinds of software technology, like the Energy Web Chain—distributed, open source, run by the industry—allowing low cost interoperability and trust between millions of devices and retailers or grid operators. Energy Web is bringing energy—if not power—back to the people.”

About Energy Web Foundation

Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system by unleashing the potential of blockchain and decentralized technologies. EWF focuses on technology integration and development, fostering market innovation, speeding adoption, and building community. 

In mid-2019, EWF launched the Energy Web Chain, the world’s first enterprise-grade, open-source blockchain platform tailored to the sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs. EWF also fostered the world’s largest energy blockchain ecosystem, comprising utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers, and others.

The Energy Web has become the industry’s leading energy blockchain partner and most-respected voice of authority on energy blockchain. 

For more, visit https://energyweb.org

Coinbase Expands Cryptocurrency Visa Debit Cards Across Europe

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has expanded its Visa debit card service to six European countries, allowing customers in the region to spend their digital assets.

According to a report from CNBC on Wednesday, the Coinbase Card is now available for users in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

With the card, customers will be able to spend their cryptocurrency assets including bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin in both online and physical stores that accept Visa.

Coinbase first rolled out a cryptocurrency Visa debit card in April, exclusively for users based in the U.K. at the time.

Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase U.K., did not disclose how many users the firm had signed up since April but said in an interview with CNBC that it had “blew past” the initial 1,000 cards issued to customers for free.

Coinbase Cards are linked to a mobile app available on both Android and iOS devices, in which customers can select which type of cryptocurrency they would like to use to fund each spending.

That said, customers are not directly paying merchants with crypto assets. Instead, Coinbase charges a fee to help convert users’ cryptocurrencies into a fiat currency, i.e. euro in the new offering.

The firm partners with PaySafe, a U.K. payment processor, to issue the cards.

Image courtesy to Coinbase

This article originally appeared at: https://www.coindesk.com/coinbase-expands-cryptocurrency-visa-debit-cards-across-europe.

Huobi Global will launch Prime Lite and list ThunderCore on May 9, 2019

Since the launch of Huobi Prime on March 26, 2019, Huobi Global has significantly promoted the development of high-quality projects by providing an efficient listing process, innovative trading model and in-depth advisory services. Huobi Prime also offers users with trading opportunities at low cost through rigorous project review and filtration, 0 trading fees and a unique “price limit” mechanism. Ever since, Huobi Prime has become quality blockchain projects first and best choice for service platform.

In order to further improve the listing service and meet the practical needs of varieties of project teams, Huobi Global will officially launch an ultra-fast version of the Huobi Prime – Prime Lite on May 9, 2019 (GMT+8).

Prime Lite is a niche brand of Huobi Prime, projects listing through Prime Lite are still required to meet all the thresholds for our Smartchain v2.0 evaluation model, and will be able to leverage resources from Huobi’s worldwide local exchanges, Huobi Pool, Huobi Wallet, Huobi Chat as well as Huobi Eco Partners.

Compared to Huobi Prime, Prime Lite will have the following features:

1. Shorter listing cycle and more flexible listing schedule

2. Trading allocations for users are more flexible

3. To facilitate the development of HT (Huobi Token), all HT exchanged will be burnt

The first Prime Lite project will be ThunderCore (TT), and total trading allocation reserved for Prime Lite will be worth roughly 500,000 USDT. Specific project information and trading rules will be further disclosed in subsequent announcements.

This article originally appeared at: https://huobiglobal.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000243462-Huobi-Global-will-launch-Prime-Lite-and-list-ThunderCore-on-May-9-2019-.

Why is my keyboard connected to the cloud?

First cab off that rank should be input devices, because what sort of maniac thinks the advantages of a roaming cloud-based configuration outweighs the potential explosion in surface area to attack and compromise? That maniac is called Razer, and it has been connecting keyboards to its Synapse software for years.

At last week’s CES, Razer took it a step further when it announced it is adding support for users to use Alexa to control their peripherals.

“Alexa, ask Chroma to change my lighting profile to FPS mode,” Razer cheerily proclaims as an example of its upcoming functionality.

For this to work, the software that usually controls keyboard and mice settings needs to be connected to Amazon Alexa.

It’s a 2-for-1 cloud connection, because once you embrace the idea of Razer’s servers being secure, then you’ve already accepted a more risky proposition than using just Amazon.

Last month, Razer faced blowback when it launched a cryptocurrency mining application called Cortex, where users would be rewarded with its Silver funny money.

“The new app to put snoozing machines to work, solving blockchain puzzles in the background in exchange for sweet, sweet Silver,” Razer said at the time.

Enter Tavis Ormandy, security researcher for Google Project Zero and scourge of buggy software makers, who took a look at the software and was stunned.

“Holy moly, I just installed this. WHY IS CEF (chromium embedded) REMOTE DEBUGGING ENABLED AND LISTENING BY DEFAULT (!?!?!?!),” Ormandy tweeted.

“I don’t have any razer hardware to test, but they probably (like, *right now*) need to fix that.”

To Razer’s credit, the company fixed the issue within 24 hours; on the other hand, it allowed remote command execution in the first place.

Also in Razer’s favour is that it acknowledged it was responsible, which is more than can be said for Gigabyte.

On December 18, SecureAuth detailed an exchange of when it discovered that software utilities for Gigabyte and Aorus motherboards had privilege escalation vulnerabilities.

“There is ring0 memcpy-like functionality … allowing a local attacker to take complete control of the affected system,” SecureAuth said.

In trying to resolve what was clearly a serious issue, the security company could not locate a proper contact within Gigabyte, and headed over to its technical support team.

“Gigabyte is a hardware company and they are not specialized in software,” Gigabyte told SecureAuth on two different occasions in May.

In the end, SecureAuth said Gigabyte eventually responded by saying its products did not have any issues.

If a vendor with the experience and sales of Gigabyte responds by denying responsibility for its software, it doesn’t bode well for smaller players.

Gigabyte should stop distributing software as long as it keeps on throwing out the excuse that it is a hardware company.

And it is no small matter, because the utilities that the Taiwanese manufacturer puts out are built to manipulate hardware settings, and flash BIOSes.

If a bad actor was looking for a shortcut into a modern Windows system, trying to find your way in via Microsoft’s code will be time wasting when the camembert-like underbelly of a modern system is likely to be crap software from peripheral makers.

That tactic is not new, but with connectivity exploding, things are likely to get worse before it gets better, as with most things in the cyber realm. 

Kiev’s Bessarabsky Market Accepts Cryptocurrencies for Groceries – Bitcoin News

Kiev’s Bessarabsky Market Accepts Cryptocurrencies for GroceriesKiev’s historic Bessarabsky market, an indoor marketplace located in the center of the capital city, is accepting cryptocurrencies, the public communal company that operates it announced on Facebook. Locals and visitors can now buy fresh produce with a variety of digital coins thanks to a partnership with crypto payments processor Paytomat.

Currently supported are payments in bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin gold (BTG), litecoin (LTC), ethereum (ETH), nano, dash, waves, EOS, and NEM. During this initial, experimental stage customers can spend their crypto at a fruits and vegetables stand. However, a vegan street food cafe at the market is also preparing to launch crypto payments soon. Purchases are made through a QR code scan and sellers should receive the payments in fiat Ukrainian hryvnias after instant conversion.

Kiev’s Bessarabsky Market Accepts Cryptocurrencies for GroceriesThe cryptocurrency payment option will offer buyers a new experience and attract crypto enthusiasts, according to Bessarabsky market’s managing director, Nikolay Kovalchuk, quoted by the Ukrainian outlet Bykvu. He also hopes for an increase in customer loyalty that will lead to sales growth. The market, which is one of Kiev’s landmark sites, is frequented by foreign tourists as well, and for many of them crypto payments are known and convenient.

‘Babushka’ Shows How Easy It Is to Spend Crypto

The project, which has been named “Babushka” (Granny), aims to demonstrate the simplicity of using cryptocurrency in everyday life. According to Alexander Kurin, operations director at Paytomat in Ukraine, the hardest part is to convince sellers they are going to get their hryvnias after the crypto payment is processed. He told Forklog:

The main idea is a symbiosis between traditions and innovations. We chose the Bessarabsky market because it is a well-known tourist destination, and cryptocurrencies are a universal means of payment in any country.

Kiev’s Bessarabsky Market Accepts Cryptocurrencies for GroceriesPaytomat has been working to introduce cryptocurrency payments in a number of cafes, restaurants, online stores, and even clinics, schools, and beauty salons, the Ukrainian outlet notes. Businesses and merchants using its services are spread across Europe, from Ukraine and Georgia in the East to the Netherlands and Spain in the West.

The platform offers several payment solutions including POS terminal, web panel, QR code and WordPress plugin. As news.Bitcoin.com reported earlier this year, the Paytomat supports 11 cryptocurrencies and works with more than 330 restaurants and stores.

What do you think about Bessarabsky market’s initiative to introduce crypto payments in Kiev? Tell us in the comments section below.  

This article originally appeared at: https://news.bitcoin.com/kievs-bessarabsky-market-accepts-cryptocurrencies-for-groceries/.

A Patent-Based Bull Run

A Patent-Based Bull Run

There has been something of a boom of late in cryptocurrency related patent applications filed by Big Money players. Wells Fargo, for example, applied for a patent on a system in which any type of ‘data element’ can be located, protected, and accessed by means of its tokenization.

Meanwhile, Bank of America now has 45 blockchain patents pending, adding the latest to that queue in recent days.

Those with romantic visions for a blockchain revolution may have (at best) mixed feelings about what they may see as its corporate co-optation, and the fencing in of a commons at that. Still, the boom in filings may mean good things for the prices of the more venerable currencies in the field. Bitcoins are now in the neighborhood of $7,500. That isn’t a pricey neighborhood if your mind is still focused on the December 2017 numbers, but it is a significant improvement over late June.

 

This article originally appeared at: http://mainbloq.io/a-patent-based-bull-run/.

Half of ICOs Die Within Four Months After Token Sales Finalized

About 56 percent of crypto startups that raise money through token sales die within four months of their initial coin offerings.

That’s the finding of a Boston College study that analyzed the intensity of tweets from the startups’ Twitter accounts to infer signs of life. The researchers determined that only 44.2 percent of startups survive after 120 days from the end of their ICOs. The researchers, Hugo Benedetti and Leonard Kostovetsky, examined 2,390 ICOs that were completed before May.

Acquiring coins in an ICO and selling them on the first day is the safest investment strategy, Kostovetsky said in a phone interview. But many individual investors can’t participate in ICOs, so this option isn’t open to them. Still, all investors should probably sell their coins within the first six months, the study found.

“What we find is that once you go beyond three months, at most six months, they don’t outperform other cryptocurrencies,” Kostovetsky said. “The strongest return is actually in the first month.”
ICO Funding by Month

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Returns have been declining over time, as startups have become savvier about pricing coin offerings and more have people jumped into ICO investing. Returns of people who sold tokens on the first day they were listed on an exchange have been declining by four percentage points a month, Kostovetsky said.

“They are much lower now, so I wouldn’t expect them to continue to decline at this rate,” he said.

A slew of recent studies have shown just how risky ICO investing is. More than 1,000 tokens have already bitten the dust, according to the website Coinopsy

“People often look at returns and say this is a great deal, but we teach in finance that return is a compensation for risk,” Kostovetsky said. “These are stakes in platforms that have not yet been built, that have no participants yet. There’s a lot of risk. The majority of ICOs do fail.”

Kostovetsky is an assistant professor at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, and Benedetti is a finance PhD student at the school.

From $2.9 Billion in a Month to Hundreds Dead: Trends of the Rollercoaster ICO Market in 18 Months

Stats on where ICOs are mostly coming from, and what they are mostly about, paint an interesting insight into the ecosystem. As does the data on how the ICO market has changed into 2018. The biggest month for ICO investment was just four months ago, and 2018 has also seen the time taken to complete and ICO, and success of these projects, shift significantly since 2017.

Around 1000 cryptocurrencies have been considered deceased recently. It was attached to Bitcoin’s drop in value and was hinting toward a total cryptocurrency bubble.

However, the cryptocurrency ecosystem is a little more complex than that, and one of the most interesting and staggering facets of it all has to do with the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) marketplace. It is seen as an area of cryptocurrency that is aimed at both disrupting traditional venture capitalism as well as expanding the broadness of cryptocurrency beyond that of just Bitcoin.

This rambunctious side of cryptocurrencies has a lot of telling statistics that are worth delving into — especially over the last 18 months, which have seen a massive boom in new coins as well as a steady growth in capital raised for new cryptocurrency projects.

ICO countries and categories

ICOs are indeed a global phenomenon. However, some countries and markets have taken to them far better than others. In the latest trends, it is still the United States that leads the way, followed by Great Britain and Russia.

Chart

Source: icowatchlist.com

When it comes to the sectors that these ICOs are targeting, it is unsurprising that  finance is at the top, due to the cryptocurrency nature of the projects. But what is surprising is that finance is not where the most money is going — that belongs to blockchain technology itself.

Chart

Source: icowatchlist.com

Finance comprises 13 percent of ICOs, then goes to payments/wallets with 6.6 percent, while third is commerce/retail at 6.3 percent.

Then, looking at token sale results based on funds raised, we can see a big chunk going to blockchain platforms with 38 percent, followed by network/communications at 16.6 percent and then Finance at 9.5 percent.

Chart

Source: icowatchlist.com

The evolving trends of ICOs in 2018

It would not be hard to estimate that a good time for ICOs would have been in 2017, especially toward the end of the year. Cryptocurrencies were the talk of the entire globe and interest in them was being picked up in terms of Google searches — as well as in the price of things like Bitcoin in what has been called a ‘Satoshi Cycle.’

However, while there was indeed a boost toward the latter months of 2017 and into 2018, March 2018 has been by far the best month on record for funds raised by ICOs. As much as $2.94 billion was raised in March alone, which is more than the next two best months (Dec. 2017 and Jan. 2018) combined.

This however did have a lot to do with two specific ICOs, the Telegram ICO — raising $1.8 billion in total, including $850 million in its second round of ICO on March 30 — as well as the Petro of Venezuela — which raised $5 billion with its presale beginning on February 20.

Chart

Source: Coinschedule

However, the worrying trend with these ICOs and the money they are raising is that not enough of the projects are leading to success. ICOs have picked up a bad rap in recent times, with some major names hitting major difficulties — such as Tezos, which suffered a slew of lawsuits after infighting between the members shattered its progress.

Data collected over 2017 saw 913 projects with tokensales with 435 (48%) a success, raising $5.6 billion. 131 (14%) didn’t survive this stage and as many as 347 (38%) stayed unreported, with no data displayed. Some even had their websites and all traces of them disappear.

This puts forward a very negative perception of the ICO space, and thus also flows over to other major cryptocurrencies and even blockchain technology itself. Much like the Dot Com bubble, businesses flocked to ICOs, but many found out that they were, perhaps, unnecessary for their projects.

Chart

Source: ICObazaar

2018 emerges, and the hype has somewhat died down. Regulations are also tightening up and more protection is being afforded to investors, but at the same time, project teams are getting a more powerful foothold for development.

Still though, ICOs — even with increased pressure from laws and regulations — are struggling to deliver on their promises in 2018, as they are held to more scrutiny.

In May 2018, there were 195 ongoing ICOs listed on ICObazaar that were planning to close sales. However, only 91 public sales were closed, with total of $2.57 billion raised.

Chart

Source: ICObazaar

This statistic shows that either ICOs are not delivering at all on their promised timelines or that their ICO stage of the project is purposely taking longer. Comparable data from 2017 suggests that, indeed, more time is being taken across the board to complete ICOs in 2018, indicating that they are not as rushed or poorly formulated.

Chart

Source: ICObazaar

From the data above, one can see that 2017 had ICOs that predominantly planned to last between 10-30 days. However, in 2018, there was a broader division, with longer periods of time being prefered. In fact, where a 150 day ICO was unheard of in 2017, five percent of them in 2018 have chosen this route.

This has a lot to do with ICOs that are run in different stages becoming more popular. These teams initially have a pre-ICO, and then three or more stages of sales. In the current conditions of substantially increased competition, the duration of marketing preparations also increases.

There are also case studies that show that these elongated ICOs can be more successful — a project like EOS showing how it managed to accrue $4 billion over a year-long ICO.

Private over public

Another trend that has come about in 2018 is the idea of first launching a private ICO and then opening it up to the public. Nearly 30-35 percent of tokens with large discounts — of up to 50 percent — will go to funds and angel investors. Projects use the money to fund pre-ICO campaigns, including marketing and social media advertising.

A good example of this is the Telegram ICO, which was so successful in its private ICO that it decided to cancel its public ICO due to the abundance in funds it raised initially.

Some others include Kodak Coin, which also went the private ICO route, raising $10 million in the presale. Coinlist collected over $9.2 million from some of the finance industry’s most prominent investment firms in its attempt to keep regulation friendly.

In fact, there have been reports that suggest 84 percent of all ICO fundraising this year has come from private and presales.

An evolving form of raising capital

Already — even though it is barely a few years old — we are seeing a change in the trend for fundraising through blockchain technology. Part of it has to do with the belief that the ICO space is in its own bubble and part of it is a general evolution in a fast-paced space.

The terminology is changing, as is the way in which these offerings are made. Companies as big as Overstock are leaning toward Security Token Offerings (STO), while other major crypto players, such as Vitalik Buterin, are proposing new forms of crypto crowd sales like DAICO, Interactive Coin Offerings or Continuous Token Models.

The STO is a token is backed by a real asset, profits or company revenue. Prime examples of this include the Venezuelan government’s oil-backed Petro coin. These coins are meant to operate more like traditional securities and to meet all the requirements of the SEC.

These STO tokens are seen as a step in the right direction because of their regulatory compliance at the start, and there is already a belief that they will be the dominant force in the near future when it comes to Initial Coin Offerings.

Security Token Offering (STO) is held when token is backed by real assets or profits or company revenue. These tokens are protected from speculations and scammers, more like a traditional security, but in electronic form. Moreover, such a token meets all requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which allows it to completely legally implement the token sale in the USA. The first security token platform Polymath data shows that STO will prevail on the market by 2020 and will be more than $10 trl.

Chart

Source: Polymath

Then there’s DAICO, which is a hybrid solution of ICO and DAO — a decentralized, autonomous organization, which is a form of a management management model based on blockchain technology. It allows a company to attract a solid investment, but at the same time provide investors with certain levers of management. It was Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin who suggested this modification in order to improve ICO processing.

Interactive Coin Offerings are another option — which offer a protocol from creators Jason Teutsch and Vitalik Buterin — that suggests a different model of a crowdsale that ensures the certainty of valuation and participation at the same time.

Then there are Continuous Token Models. This model assumes that, “instead of pre-selling tokens during a launch phase, the tokens are minted as needed through various means. The tokens are then dispensed for services rendered in the network,” a Medium post describes.

Sorting out the scams

The data indicates that there are a few big problems with the ICO space in terms of not delivering on projects after investors have taken part in ICOs. This partly comes down to failed ICOs, but also down to a number of scams.

ICObazaar has a system of rating ICO projects that consists of a weight-adjusted formula with five factors — a sixth factor consisting of the actual score — which is all correlated by their blockchain and finance professionals. Their data shows some interesting trends. Firstly, they state that, in their rating system, only 7 percent of projects are rated above 4.5 out of 5.

The majority of the rest of the projects — up to 58 percent — score less than 4 out of 5. The reason for this, according to the site, is because of a “lack of information about the company and it’s team, as well as an unsatisfactory description of the product in the Whitepaper.”

“This usually happens when the team hurries to get listed on ICO trackers but doesn’t pay enough attention to their documentation, social media or the size and quality of community supporting the project.”

On the up

There is also data that shows better results in terms of ranking ICOs in 2018, as compared with last year.

Projects with ratings lower than 4 were even higher in 2017, with a large portion of projects having scores of 3–3.4. Thus, it shows that the share of high-quality projects has increased into 2018, ICObazaar’s data explained.  

Chart

Source: ICObazaar

Still early days

We need to remember that ICOs, cryptocurrencies and the entire blockchain space is still very much in its infancy. And, just like we have seen things like Bitcoin evolve, with Segwit and even the emergence of Bitcoin Cash, ICOs will evolve too.

The changes will be geared toward security, transparency, and reliability, and a lot of that will be driven by harder regulations intended to protect investors. However, it will also continue to be a competitive space, and that competition will also drive the necessity for well-built projects.

ICOs may have become a bit of a dirty word, but the process still has a lot to offer. After a bit of tweaking and growing, there will be a lot that can be done in the ecosystem once it is functioning well.

This article originally appeared at: https://cointelegraph.com/news/from-2-9-billion-in-a-month-to-hundreds-dead-trends-of-the-rollercoaster-ico-market-in-18-months.

Mastercard Latest Crypto Patent: Anonymous Third Party Transactions

Did Mastercard invent the blockchain? Interesting patent appears to say that though from a quick read appear to be referring to fiat transactions.

Will there next move be a lawsuit against Satoshi for patent infringement? 


Mastercard Granted Still More Crypto Patents

In its latest crypto patent filings, Mastercard stresses “a need for a technical solution whereby an entity may participate in a transaction where transaction details may be posted publicly to ensure accountability and trust in the data, while still providing anonymity and inability of others to track individual transactions or volume information by transaction party identifying information of both parties of a transaction to satisfy the confidentiality needs of each entity involved in the transaction.”

The more than half-a-century old legacy payments institution based in the United States is a world leader. Tens of thousands of employees. Nearly $13 billion in yearly revenue. It is a staple of Standard & Poor’s component indices. Its principal global business is as an intermediary, trusted third party, between merchant banks, and their derivations, along with credit, prepaid, and debit cards.

Mastercard Latest Crypto Patent: Anonymous Third Party Transactions

United States Patent Application 20180181953, granted yesterday after having been filed back in late December of 2016, reads in abstract

“A method for posting of anonymous directed transaction includes: storing a plurality of entity profiles, each including an entity identifier and a secret value; receiving a transaction request from a first entity, the request including transaction data and a specific entity identifier associated with a second entity; identifying a specific entity profile that includes the specific entity identifier; generating a first hash value via application of one or more hashing algorithms to the transaction data; generating a second hash value via application of one of more hashing algorithms to a combination of the first hash value and the secret value included in the identified specific entity profile; and posting the first hash value and second hash value to a publicly accessible data source.”

Loosely translated, a public blockchain transaction, as it exists in its popular forms with regard to bitcoin core (BTC), just might be a key in holding back more crypto acceptance on a broader scale. Of its many ironies, BTC’s open ledger provides a wealth of information for both consumers and businesses, and aspects of industrial espionage are sure to follow, something giants like Mastercard are keen to avoid at all cost.

Privacy for Mastercard is Different than Privacy in the Crypto World

The cryptocurrency world has continued to tackle the issue of private, cash-like transacting since its inception. Alternatives abound among tokens and alternative coins, and their numbers and intensity are growing at record paces.

Mastercard Latest Crypto Patent: Anonymous Third Party Transactions

For traditional payments companies, avoiding a public distributed ledger is equally growing in importance. They’ve several masters to please, including lawmakers and regulators who wish to grant such transaction access to police. Eliminating peer-to-peer features is also very important, and so third party processors are vital to the company’s plans. A lucrative side business is to sell such information to other companies hoping to exploit its proprietary data for advertising purposes, for example.

Crypto-related patents recently granted to the company include travel and even coupons. They’re yet another ironic turn for a company with well-known hostilities toward the crypto community.