Blockchain in Charity, Explained

Can’t you donate crypto to good causes already?

Yes – but not-for-profit organizations are always exploring new ways of attracting support from the crypto community, and demand is growing.

Charitable giving allows investors to help causes they are passionate about – and if their cryptocurrency assets rise in value, donations can be used in some countries to eliminate the capital gains taxes they would need to pay on the appreciation.

According to a report by Fidelity Charitable, 2017 was a record year for crypto donations. This organization received $69 million in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and claims this was almost 10 times higher than the year before.

Fidelity believes Bitcoin’s dramatic rise in value in 2017 played a factor in this increase. It says being able to accept crypto donations has opened the door to funds, and supporters, who may have been out of research and unable to contribute before.

Meanwhile, an anonymous donor set up the Pineapple Fund, with 5,104 BTC being given to 60 charities. They timed their donation with last year’s “crypto bubble”, meaning $55 million has gone to good causes.

Could crypto be mined for charity?

Several charities have been exploring this concept with some success.

Over 59 days at the start of 2018, UNICEF launched an initiative called Game Chaingers, which aimed to inspire young people to do something good for society.

The children’s charity appealed to people with powerful graphics cards in their PCs, such as gamers, to use their spare computing capacity to mine Ethereum.

More than 12,000 computers were aggregated during the appeal and a total of 85 ETH (roughly $36,000 at today’s rates) was raised. The funds went towards helping children affected or displaced by the Syrian civil war.

For charities, this can be a way of attracting supporters who may not have the make a financial contribution, but still want to help.

However, such schemes aren’t necessarily perfect. Mining can be energy intensive and even harmful to the environment, meaning charities walk a fine line in doing more harm than good. UNICEF stressed that its initiative didn’t result in additional electricity usage, preventing participants from racking up hefty bills.

How would you know donations are being used properly?

Scandals have hit confidence in the charity sector, but blockchain and cryptocurrency could improve accountability and transparency.

Unlike conventional charities, where progress on certain campaigns can be difficult to verify, smart contracts on blockchain can be used to ensure funds are only released to an organization once they can prove their work is having an impact. Failure to meet certain targets could even result in donations being rescinded.

This concept has been put to the test by St Mungo’s, a charity for hopeless people in London. It teamed up with a blockchain platform called Alice to launch a fundraiser which aims to raise $66,000 to help 15 long-term rough sleepers rebuild their lives.

Here, donors can keep track about how rough sleepers are progressing, with the charities progress independently verified by a local authority.

Why do some of us struggle to trust charities?

There have been repeated stories about funds being misused by charities, and other tales of organizations being too aggressive when they are trying to get donations.

Corruption can be a big challenge for aid organizations, and funds which are sent to impoverished countries don’t always reach the intended recipients. Some charities have also been accused of lacking transparency, either by failing to disclose how much money from donations goes towards paying staff or administration, or by refusing to reveal how much money they have in reserve. The pay rewarded to top executives has also angered donors in some cases.

Blockchain allows finances to be publicly audited, ensuring charities remain accountable. Its decentralized nature also eliminates banks, allowing funds to be directly sent to those in need without a middleman.

But this isn’t to say that blockchain can solve all of the charity sector’s ills, or that this technology should be seen as a replacement for charities altogether. The campaign organized by St Mungo’s only enjoyed modest success – helping three rough sleepers – and charities play an important role in highlighting societal issues and campaigning for the public to take action on them.

Can blockchain cut admin costs for charities?

Potentially. Right now, administration and the act of fundraising itself are the two biggest costs for charities.

Through blockchain, charities can cut the transaction fees associated with accepting payments from donors and transferring money to those in need. This helps maximize the impact of the funds they have raised, especially when transactions are taking place internationally.

Instead of creating their own platforms for generating awareness and accepting donations, blockchain organizations have developed APIs which can be customized and adopted by smaller non-profits, helping them to expand their reach and spend less money on developing technical infrastructure.

Who benefits from transparency with charitable payments?

As well as donors getting peace of mind that their money is being put to good use, it could also ensure that charities are not cut off from their funds unnecessarily.

Last year, the UK’s Charity Finance Group revealed that more than 300 charities – many of them legitimate – had their funds cut off after being accused of being involved in illegal money flows.

Oftentimes, this was because they were trying to send help to people in need in nations where terrorism is rife. Their accounts were closed by banks who were afraid of attracting fines for failing to stop terrorism from being financed.

Blockchain paves the way for a clear record of money going in and out of an organization to be recorded on an immutable ledger.

How are for-profit blockchain platforms giving back?

Numerous companies have opened foundations with a goal of giving back to the community, often with an emphasis on educating people about blockchain.

For example, platforms such as Coins.ph have bolstered their social responsibility credentials by attempting to help unbancarized adults in developing economies gain access to bank accounts and other services through blockchain.

MyCryptons.com allows its users to buy and sell dozens of crypto collectibles based on public personalities, known as Cryptons, for a profit. The platform has announced that its smart contract also allows for the issuance of charitable fundraising Cryptons. Here, any proceeds from the sale of a digital collectible are donated to charity until a target is met.

The company behind it, Crypton Labs, hopes this concept would see crypto celebrities rally their followers in order to raise money for good causes.

 

As The Blockchain Revolution Moves Offshore, What Are The Challenges?

 

Blockchain has been widely touted as the most significant technology of the last 20 years, with the potential to revolutionise the financial services industry across a range of applications, from crypto-currencies to smart contracts, to fully automated clearing and settlements systems for payments.

Crucially, blockchain networks can operate securely without the need for any central administrator, and the technology can work for almost every type of transaction. The technology is particularly appealing as a possible replacement for existing processes, which are largely manual, labour-intensive and paper-based but require sensitive information to be transferred and stored in a secure manner, for example, know-your-customer (KYC) processes for identifying new clients. Its potential uses are almost limitless.

Offshore financial centres have a large stake here and are well placed to become attractive destinations for technology entrepreneurs looking for a neutral jurisdiction for their global operations. As the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the BVI and other offshore jurisdictions position themselves as financial technology (FinTech) hubs, there are certain regulatory risks and challenges that each jurisdiction must overcome as the new era of blockchain-based financial services gains traction.

Risks and Challenges

Financial and banking stability alongside consumer protection are the key objectives for all regulatory authorities, but, to date, many offshore authorities have issued little in the way of regulatory guidance or control principles around blockchain. Some of the main challenges facing offshore centres are:

1) Responsibility

Blockchain technology is, by its nature, a shared system, which leads to questions about which activities should be regulated, how activities should be regulated and by whom they should be regulated. As a result, organisations that make use of it will have to pay careful attention to allocating responsibilities appropriately given the absence of a central point of authority.

There are also implications where organisations engage third party service providers. Sufficient oversight of the providers’ activities will be required to fulfil regulatory obligations.

These concerns can be allayed in part by using a ‘permissioned ledger’ and putting in place a governance structure among participants to deliver proper notification to customers through an agreed mechanism. The blockchain platform could also agree a set of rules and policies to be followed by all participants and then share these with customers and regulators.

2) Security Resilience 

The strength of the security afforded by a particular form of encryption is continually under challenge. Blockchain networks will need to establish mechanisms to ensure that appropriate levels of encryption are maintained and that these include responsibilities for the safe custody of encryption keys.

Blockchain technology does, however, bring unrivalled security benefits. Hacking attacks that commonly impact large centralised intermediaries are almost impossible on the blockchain. If someone wanted to hack into a particular block, a hacker would not only need to hack into that specific block, but all of the preceding blocks going back the entire history of that chain, and they would need to do it on every ledger in the network, simultaneously.

3)   Data Protection

One of the major benefits of blockchain technology is its immutability, meaning that data stored on the chain cannot be altered or deleted. This could also create a problem, because in theory there could be no ‘right to be forgotten’ in the context of blockchain. However, personal data can be kept off blockchain ledgers altogether by replacing the data with an encrypted reference to the data a ‘hash’. These hashes or digital fingerprints prove that data did exist at a certain date, without the data itself appearing on the chain.

Encryption controls, limiting the accessibility of personal data hashed in the blockchain, is a viable solution for data protection compliance. While encrypted personal data may still qualify as ‘personal data’ under new data protection laws, as long as the holder of the data possesses the encryption key and those keys are only  made available in circumstances dictated by the individual data subject, then it is difficult to see the objection from a data protection perspective.

4)    AML Compliance

Blockchain’s ability to replace paper trails with easily auditable digital trails offers many possibilities in the reduction of financial crime. Anti-money laundering (AML) regulations generally require organisations to keep easily accessible records of customer identities and transactions. To be effective, a blockchain solution would require network adoption by a number of organisations. However, this represents one of the biggest challenges to implementing a blockchain solution in the AML space, as regulated entities are often reluctant to outsource or share their AML responsibilities with third parties, even other regulated entities. How and whether blockchain solutions will change this approach remains to be seen. The potential global economic benefits from added efficiencies inherent in blockchain-based AML solutions would be immeasurable, but at this stage it is unclear to what extent international AML standards will be adapted to embrace the opportunity for change.

A Leading Offshore Role

Given the challenges above, one way for offshore financial centres to take a leading role in the fast moving FinTech sector would be to demonstrate success with an initial, modestly aimed blockchain proposal, perhaps between a number of local banks, in a regulatory “sandbox” or similar structure under the supervision of the regulator. This would provide an opportunity to gain experience and learn from a close evaluation of blockchain technology as a business tool and secure an offshore advantage in what is an increasingly competitive field.

Appleby has a global team of lawyers with experience in this area, monitoring developments not only in the jurisdictions in which we operate, but more widely. This is a global industry and one that is here to stay. If you have any questions regarding the above, or are interested in hearing more about how we can assist, please contact a member of the Technology and Innovation Team.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

 
This article originally appeared at: http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?article_id=723382.

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.

What You Need To Know About Cryptocurrency Wallets

“At their core, cryptocurrencies are built around the principle of a universal, inviolable ledger, one that is made fully public and is constantly being verified by these high-powered computers, each essentially acting independently of the others.” – Paul Vigna

Cryptocurrency Wallets:

The place where you store your coins is called a cryptocurrency wallet. That simply means that you have a software address where coins are stored with a secret key to access them.

The address and key may be stored electronically or via paper as long as you save it and remember where you put it.

A wallet can be online or offline. Online wallets can one of two types – first is a wallet that is accessible at various locations, second is a wallet stored on your PC. The offline wallet can be an equipment- based wallet. This is much the same as a memory card or garbage drive that can be accessed using a USB port.

As cryptocurrency depends on code, the most secure method to protect your wallet is the paper-based option.

Without cryptographic money wallets, coins would be nothing as it’s the main way people embrace advanced currency standards. Cryptocurrency wallets are similar to the wallets that most of us have to carry cash and credit cards. Essentially, these wallets enable people to own cryptocurrency.

What Are The Best Cryptocurrency Wallets?

Just like banks have account names and numbers; cryptographic currencies have addresses to each wallet on the blockchain. That wallet has a public address and a private address.

The public address is where you acquire tokens or altcoins. The private address gives you access to your wallet to send tokens or altcoins.

Types Of Wallets:

*Hardware wallets: Holds your “private keys” offline in what’s called “cold storage”. This mean there is no linkage to the web. This secures your wallet against malignant programmers/programming.

A hardware wallet is set up with what’s known as a “seed expression“. This is a series of words (which are unique to you) that help you regain access to a wallet should you lose or damage it. Setting up a hardware wallet is simple, just connect it to a USB port then download the related programming.

*Desktop wallets: Downloaded and kept on a computer. This type of wallet can often offer high levels of security. That said, if your PC is hacked or infected with a virus it’s highly probable that you will lose your currency.

*Online wallets: Run on the cloud and are accessible from any device. in any location. Online wallets store your private keys on the web and are controlled by a third party. This, unfortunately, makes them defenseless against hackers and theft.

*Paper wallets: Easy to use and have a high level of security. One can also refer to a piece of software that is used to securely generate a pair of keys that you need to print. If you want to withdraw or spend currency you simply exchange your coins from your paper wallet to your product wallet.

Do You Need a Wallet For Each Cryptocurrency?

Yes, it is absolutely necessary.

Each specific Cryptocurrency requires it’s own digital wallet where coins can be stored. There are many types of digital wallets such as desktop wallets, mobile wallets, web-based wallets, etc.

At first, wallets can certainly be difficult to keep track of if you invested in multiple currencies. Why? You require a different wallet for each coin, which is time consuming and requires space.

With the huge demand and awareness now of cryptocurrencies, the wallet process has been refined and simplified. Extensive time and effort has been invested to make the system more effective and efficient.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Cryptocurrency Wallet

*Compatibility: The wallet should be compatible with different operating systems.

*Security features: Security features are the prominent issue when choosing a cryptocurrency wallet. Therefore, it’s best to seed backup keys and pin codes first.

*Regulate private keys: A cryptocurrency wallet is where you can store and secure your private keys.

There is no such thing as a single wallet that stores every kind of coin. You will have to determine which wallets you need based on which coins you own.

It is extremely important that crypto holders never share their wallet password or private key with anyone.

To emphasize, when you send or receive coins you only need to share your public cryptocurrency wallet address.

PayPal Is Seeking Faster Crypto Payments Tech – CoinDesk

Looks like PayPal wants to move crypto faster. 

An application for an “Expedited Virtual Currency Transaction System” published on March 1 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) details a method by which private keys – the strings of numbers and letters used to transact or otherwise control one’s cryptocurrency holdings – are swapped from a buyer to a seller behind the scenes.

The aim of the concept is to narrow the amount of time it takes for payments to go through between a consumer and a merchant, avoiding the process of sending a transaction and waiting for it to be included in the next block on the network. To do this, PayPal proposed a way to create secondary wallets with their own unique private keys for buyers and sellers. The system would transfer private keys corresponding to an exact amount of any given cryptocurrency.

As the filing explains:

“The systems and methods of the present disclosure practically eliminate the amount of time the payee must wait to be sure they will receive a virtual currency payment in a virtual currency transaction by transferring to the payee private keys that are included in virtual currency wallets that are associated with predefined amounts of virtual currency that equal a payment amount identified in the virtual currency transaction.”

The submission is a notable one, coming years after PayPal announced partnerships with several bitcoin payment processors that allowed merchants to accept the cryptocurrency through the company’s Payments Hub starting in 2014.

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Blockchain’s effect on business: Call Center Industry being reengineered to handle global e-commerce growth.

PodOne™ is launching the next global phase in contact center services, bringing together employers and agents through its decentralized network while optimizing staff time, reducing labor costs and elevating a new standard in training.

PodOne comes from the creators of Fenero, a well-known provider of contact center software with over 2,200+ call and contact centers using the platform in over 20 countries.

“Call centers have earned a mixed reputation through hit-or-miss customer service and poor quality standards,” says Marlon Williams, Founder and CEO of PodOne and Fenero.

“With PodOne, we are on a mission to change this narrative by changing the way the industry works, with the first decentralized network of contact center professionals, with requisite substantive training and by introducing incentives for top-graded customer service representatives.”

The industry must gear up for the ever-increasing global e-commerce model and provide more reliable and effective Customer Service.

“With global online sales on a steady upward projection, it is now more critical than ever to have high, consistent standards of customer service through contact centers. Brands need to assure their customers that they can rely on the sales and after-sales call center service,” says CEO Marlon Williams,

The South Florida based company also officially filed for a U.S. patent to cover their method for using blockchain-based technology to handle employer-to-agent work requests, pooling excess time in a marketplace, and elastic staffing of human resources.

The company has launched an ICO on January 15th to raise funds for the development of their product roadmap and to utilize their Qubicle (QBE) token through all stages of its process, including payment to staff.

The Ethereum-based token, Qubicle, will be issued during the ICO campaigns to serve as an incentive program to high performing customer service agents and is the only method of transacting on the network. Publishing agent available time, creating and taking courses via PodOne University, and facilitating payment for services performed will all be completed via the QBE tokens in users’ PodOne Wallet. In general, 100,000,000 QBE tokens will be created, with 70% being available during the token sale (January 15th, 2018 to February 15th, 2018).

The founders of PodOne has spent the last 15+ years in the contact center technology industry addressing the technical challenges of the industry and are embarking on a journey to address the labor issues of the industry with PodOne’s autonomous, decentralized workforce for streamlining customer and business interactions.

Startup is changing the way we trade online

I advise several startups and Bazista is one of them. What I write here is my own opinion. You can read more about Bazista and why their token sale is worth looking at by visiting Bazista.io

In the short time I’ve been associated with Bazista, I’ve been impressed with their work on the current ICO, but more impressed by the company they are building.

It’s an ambitious goal. They are potentially disrupting the way we do e-commerce. 

Bazista won’t be putting the multi-billion dollar competitors out of business anytime soon and quite likely those players will adapt to move away from dependence on fiat currency. 

Where Bazista really shines is it’s ability to allow trading down to the the unbanked and barely connected parts of the world. They will be able to lower retail distribution markups and the friction of complex distribution systems. With lower transaction costs, security of smart contracts and ability to reach anywhere someone it connected, Bazita will empower billions of people when they want to buy or sell online. 

Without a middle man. 

A grand goal. Early work out of their development team looks like they will do it.  

I won’t try to convince you of the ROI for traders or potential value of the ICO tokens. That’s in their white paper if you need it. What I AM here to tell you. There is a lot of good that can be done by Bazista and other startups who bypass institutions that have benefited the 1st world and been a hurdle for others. 

Fixing this means a brighter future of billions. 

That excites me.

A company from Japan will pay its employess in Bitcoin

I met with a man doing business around the world and paying his team of virtual assistants in bitcoin. 

He told me that once he required each employee to set up a wallet and get paid that way, they found it easier and much cheaper than getting paid in his fiat currency and converting that to the local currency in their country. 

Crypto need not skyrocket in value to improve future economies. It’s the power of faster global transactions that will be the real revolution.


A Japanese internet company with the bitcoin bug will soon allow its employees to receive some of their salaries in the form of cryptocurrency.

According to Fortune.com, Tokyo-based GMO Internet Group announced the new payment option will launch in February 2018. GMO said the option will gradually be opened to all of its more than 4,000 full-time employees.

Those opting in to the new scheme will be able select what portion of their monthly salary to receive in bitcoin between a minimum of 10,000 yen (around $88) and a maximum of 100,000 yen ($882), according to coindesk.

GMO is even reportedly offering an incentive for those who join the new payroll system—a bonus of 10 percent of the selected bitcoin amount.

While Japanese labor laws stipulate paying salaries in yen, GMO told Kyodo News that it was not breaking any regulations since the bitcoin payment would be optional, based on mutual agreement and deducted from an employee’s monthly paycheck.

The tech company, which registers domain names and offers web hosting and other services, joined the bitcoin spree this past May with the opening of an exchange, GMO-Z.com Coin, which was later rebranded as GMO Coin. In September, GMO announced it would invest $3 million in mining bitcoin — the process of obtaining the coin through powerful computers — starting in the first half of 2018.

The firm says it believes cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will evolve into “universal currencies” available to anyone globally, leading to a “new borderless economic zone.”

But not everyone is so optimistic about the rise of digital currencies. A mounting number of experts have warned of a potential bubble effect.

Earlier this week, Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller compared bitcoin to a “contagion” with rapid price fluctuations reflecting the “intensity of the epidemic”.

According to Japanese bitcoin monitoring site Jpbitcoin.com, in November, yen-denominated bitcoin trades reached a record 4.51 million bitcoins, or nearly half of the world’s major exchanges of 9.29 million bitcoin.