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Crypto and Blockchain Talk - Making You Smarter

Crypto and Blockchain Talk - Making You Smarter

Author: Savii Digital

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Crypto and Blockchain Talk is a podcast for everyone who is new to the crypto and blockchain space. If you are you lost in the world of cryptocurrencies and you don’t know the difference between a chain-gang and the blockchain then this online podcast is for you!
26 Episodes
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MALTA BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT 2018 (1 - 2 November)
A Buzzing Show on the Blockchain Island - Malta Blockchain Summit!   -50% off from all tickets! Get it on now with this code: 50MBSDLTA1   Malta, with its new regulatory framework, is leading the pack. The massive scale of the Malta Blockchain Summit, set to take place at the InterContinental on November 1-2, is a reflection of this momentum. The Summit includes four conferences, a buzzing expo floor, a two-day Hackathon, a Blockchain Awards ceremony, an eclectic ICO pitch – and ends with a suave Crypto Cruise. Dr Stornetta is one of the most keenly anticipated speakers.    Two of the largest crypto exchanges out there, Binance and OKEx, have already announced their relocation to Malta – The Blockchain Island. Moves like these give credence to the islands ambitions, and make The Malta Blockchain Summit the hottest ticket in town, and a massive development in its own right.   Boasting over 4000 delegates, 100 speakers and 150 sponsors and exhibitors, the Malta Blockchain Summit promises to be an innovative and momentous opportunity for global influencers to network, forge new connections and debate the potential applications of blockchain across a myriad of industries such as health, entertainment, government, and banking.    Every blockchain enthusiast is welcome to the Malta Blockchain Summit and we offer you a -50% off from all the tickets! Get it on now with this code: 50MBSDLTA1   Full Agenda  1st November08:00 | 18:00 - Registration And Expo Opening 09:00 | 09:10 – Keynote (Blockchain Regulation - The Local Scenario) 09:10 | 09:50 - Regulatory Panel (How To Build A Regulatory Framework For Blockchain) 09:50 | 10:00 – Keynote (The Competitive Benefits Of "Blockchain Island": Malta Presentation By Maltaenterprise). 10:00 | 10:10 – Inauguration (Joseph Muscat - Prime Minister Of Malta) 10:10 | 10:40 – Panel (Challenges: Transparency Vs The Right To Be Forgotten) 10:40 | 10:45 - TBC 10:45 | 11:00 – Keynote (Crypto Asset Taxation) 11:00 | 11:30 – Panel (Regulation Gone Wrong) 11:30 | 11:40 - Reserved For Super Speaker 11:40 | 12:10 - Panel Debate (Will Blockchain Replace The Top-Down Approach Of Contemporary Government?) 12:10 | 12:20 – Keynote (Leveraging Multiple Jurisdictions To Achieve Ico Nirvana) 12:20 | 13:00 - Round Tables 14:00 | 14:15- Keynote (How To Prepare A Blockchain Startup For Traffic Acquisition) 14:15 | 14:30 – Keynote (Why Stos Will Outperform Ipos In The Long Run) 14:30 | 14:45 – Keynote (Cryptoexchange Listing. Common Mistakes And Real Cases) 14:45 | 15:00 – Keynote (How We Saved $100,000 In Ico Advertising). 15:30 | 18:30 - Blockchain For Affiliates And Marketing Tbc 19:30 | 21:30 - Mbs Cryptocruise 20:00 -Mbs Dinner Host Tbc   2nd November 09:00 | 09:10 -Opening 09:10 | 09:20 - Opening Keynote 09:20 | 09:30 - TBC 09:30 | 09:40 – Panel (The Use Of Non-Turing Complete Smart Contracts) 09:40 | 09:50 -Permissioned Vs Permissionless Blockchains 09:50 | 10:00 - TBC 10:00 | 10:10 - Consensus: What Lies Beyond Proof Of Stake 10:10 | 10:20 – TBC 10:20 | 10:30 - The Blockchain Of Things 10:30 | 10:40 - Dapp Development In Ethereum 10:40 | 11:10 – Panel (Marrying Ai To The Blockchain) 11:10 | 11:20 - Blockchain Bridging 11:20 | 11:30 - TBC 11:30 | 11:40 -Implementing Oracles In Blockchains 11:40 | 11:50 - TBC 11:50 | 12:00 - Zero Knowledge Proof In Data Verfication 12:00 | 12:10 - Reserved 12:10 | 12:20 - TBC 12:20 | 12:30 - Exclusive Keynote 12:30 | 13:00 - Round Tables (Blockchain For Tokenomics And Cryptocurrencies 14:00 | 14:10 - Killer Keynote 14:10 | 14:40 - The Rise In Cryptotrading 14:40 | 15:10 - Token Modeling 15:10 | 15:40 - Ico Bubble Or Balloon 15:40 | 16:10 - Banking On Bitcoin, Can Banks Evolve? 16:10 | 16:40 - Investing In Blockchain 16:40 | 16:50 - TBC 16:50 | 17:00 - Post Ico, Millions In The Bank, Whats Next? 17:00 | 17:30 - Is Your Business Blockchain-Able? 17:30 | 18:00 - Round Tables 17:30 | 18:30 - Investor/Startup Speed Dating 19:30 | 21:30 - Mbs Cryptocruise 20:00 -Mbs Dinner Host Tbc    Listen to Crypto and Blockchain Talk for more interesting topics! If you like this episode, give us 5 stars in iTunes or Stitcher, Thank you for listening! Crypto and Blockchain Talk - Making You Smarter SUBSCRIBE to our channels and never miss an episode: SPOTIFY iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud Google Play Music Tunein Castbox Pocket Casts Overcast iHeartRadioPlayerFM Twitter YouTube LinkedIn  
Blockchain and Supply Chain #24
Crypto and Blockchain Talk #24  The Supply Chain is a system of processes, people, activities, information, and resources needed to move a product from the manufacturer to the consumer. The supply chain is essentially the process of natural resources and raw materials to a final product that is delivered to the consumer. This process involves all of the suppliers, manufacturers, and companies that assemble the products and deliver them to the end customer – which is you.   Problems with current Supply Chain   Supply chain at the moment is long on data and short on trust. Significant lack of transparency generates constant suspicion of illegal and unethical practices. Companies are so keen on keeping their information private, without even seeing the damage they are doing to the trust between them, their suppliers and vendors. Building a strong relationship between parties starts with mutual respect, benefits, honesty, and trust. For supply chain management to work effectively, enterprises need to track the movement of the raw materials that are needed to create the products, optimize their inventory levels to reduce costs, and synchronize their supply with customer demand. Companies with international supply chains have to consider different cultures, preferences and legal frameworks. There are risks of losing control, oversight, and mismanagement over inventory when the supply chain is taken lightly.   Main features that blockchain integration gives to supply chain: Transparency, Traceability, Security, Automation, Immutability   Blockchain technology can change most industries, and supply chain management is one of the more obvious uses for this technology. Supply chain management provides enterprises, especially manufacturers, with tremendous competitive and business advantages. Adding blockchain to the mix will make your business more competitive, transparent, secure, tracable, and above all, trustworthy.     Listen to Crypto and Blockchain Talk for more interesting topics! If you like this episode, give us 5 stars in iTunes or Stitcher, Thank you for listening! Crypto and Blockchain Talk - Making You Smarter     SUBSCRIBE to our channels and never miss an episode: SPOTIFY iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud Google Play Music Tunein Castbox Pocket Casts Overcast iHeartRadioPlayerFM Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
How to Get Started In Crypto? #23
This week we focus on the topic that many of our listeners have asked - How to Get Started In Crypto? Welcome to the digital money revolution! This isn’t just a financial revolution, this is the next generation of technology being built right before our eyes. There is a lot to learn, with both legal and technological situations evolving constantly. You can wait until the dust settles, or you can try to maximize potential profits now. Either way, it’s an exciting time to be alive! When doing anything with money, the first and most important question is, “Who can I trust?”. With crypto being a “environment of trust” from its very foundation, this is a philosophical problem everyone must overcome using some form of rationality. The most important thing you can do in the beginning is just to learn and watch for a while before breaking into your bank account. Here is a list of things we think you need to do to embrace the world of cryptocurrencies:   Research - The most important thing you can do in the beginning is just to learn and watch for a while before breaking into your bank account. Take Time and Invest Wisely - Take some time to find a project that you find interesting, and that you want to succeed. Find a good team that seems like they know what success looks like. FIAT into Crypto - To make your first investment, you need to convert your money into cryptocurrency (Exchanges with better reputations and no-so-great reputations). Security and Safety – NB! If you lose your private key, and don’t have it backed up, you will lose your money. There is no-one who can recover it for you, so keep it secure Repeat - Now that you’ve successfully invested in cryptocurrency, it’s time to do it all over again!   Even the greatest technology, with the smartest team, and the most fervent community doesn’t always last. There is always an even better project around the corner, with established partnerships already waiting to use their platform. So, keep researching, learning, and investing in more things. But keep things in line, don’t go out there taking a mortgage on your house to invest in crypto. Only invest what you can afford to lose.   Listen to Crypto and Blockchain Talk for more interesting topics! If you like this episode, give us 5 stars in iTunes or Stitcher, Thank you for listening! Crypto and Blockchain Talk - Making You Smarter     SUBSCRIBE to our channels and never miss an episode: SPOTIFY iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud Google Play Music Tunein Castbox Pocket Casts Overcast iHeartRadioPlayerFM Twitter YouTube LinkedIn  
What is  Blockchain? #22
What is Blockchain? You’ve heard this word everywhere lately, but what does it really mean? Simply put, it’s a way of structuring and storing data. Think of how you pack things up to move. Things are put in boxes, the boxes are labeled with the contents, and then it is stacked inside the moving truck or storage unit. That’s it, really. So why is that revolutionary? Or special? It’s not that special or revolutionary at all. How it is being used, is what the fuss is all about. It enables something called distributed ledger technology (or DLT), which is an important step in the evolution of how data is stored and shared. Until now, most companies had private databases. They just had no other means. If they allowed anyone to look at their databases, it would have created huge security risks. With blockchain technology, it can be owned by no one, added to by its users, and all the information can be seen publicly. This use of a public ledger creates transparency never before seen, which in turn enables a company (or government) to show what they are up to, be held accountable, and thus gain trust.   That’s a very simple way of understanding a blockchain. The great thing about it is its simplicity. It can be created very quickly. There are YouTube tutorials under 20 minutes long showing you how to code your own blockchain from scratch! A blockchain can also be written in JavaScript, one of the most widely used and easy to learn coding languages. Someone who has never coded before, EVER, could learn how to code a JavaScript blockchain in under a week, just following simple guides and tutorials.   Here are some real-world uses that are already applying blockchain technology: Decentralized Internet Smart Contracts Decentralized Markets Distributed Cloud Storage Decentralized Social Networking Sites Encrypted Messaging Proof of Ownership Authenticated Voting Stock exchange Real Estate Shipping, Logistics, and Food Processing   Listen to Crypto and Blockchain Talk for more interesting topics! If you like this episode, give us 5 stars in iTunes or Stitcher, Thank you for listening! Crypto and Blockchain Talk - Making You Smarter     SUBSCRIBE to our channels and never miss an episode:SPOTIFY iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud Google Play Music Tunein Castbox Pocket Casts Overcast iHeartRadioPlayerFM Twitter YouTube LinkedIn  

What is Blockchain? #22

2018-07-1700:15:47

Food on Blockchain #21 Something is Fishy on the Blockchain! How the Blockchain is Reducing Seafood Fraud
How is the Blockchain Reducing Seafood Fraud? Are you sure that the expensive “Wild-caught Atlantic Salmon” you had for dinner last night was in fact the gourmet fish you thought it was? Or was it just a cheaper farm-grown salmon? Or was it salmon at all? Moreover, are you sure the tasty white tuna sushi your local sushi bar serves is actually made from tuna and not from escolar, also known as oilfish? What’s the big deal, you might ask. Well, escolar is quite notorious for its delicious, cheap and oily meat. Meat that causes intense stomach problems, in other words, nasty uncontrollable diarrhea. How common is fraud in general in the seafood industry and what is being done to stop this? According to the research, one in every three seafood products people buy don’t actually contain what the label says but fortunately there are organizations and companies that have stood up to the cause and set out to eliminate fraud and crime from the seafood industry. Creating transparency and trust around the whole field. How can blockchain technology help to solve this problem? While many people understand blockchain only in the context of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are many other use cases for this technology. One of the most promising solutions for reducing seafood fraud that is blockchain technology. Two things that make blockchain unique are its immutability and transparency. Everything that is stored on the blockchain is there permanently - no one can alter or delete the information that is stored -  and everyone in the network has the ability to see this data. Some companies are already using blockchain technology to track their supply chain - for example ‘Tuna on the Blockchain’. Every step in the supply chain is tracked. When a consumer purchases the fish off the self of a supermarket, or when a restaurant receives an order of fish, they can check the journey of that exact fish online using a tracking ID or a QR code - and since the information is on the blockchain, no one can change it afterwards. These companies are developing potentially revolutionizing solutions that could bring transparency to the whole industry, and many of them utilizing blockchain technology. When you'll see a QR code on a can of tuna or on a rice wafer in the near future, know that it will likely tell you where the fish is from and what places it went through before reaching you. Blockchain could definitely improve the seafood industry as well as every other industry. It opens up many new opportunities and ways to improve our already existing processes. It definitely holds a place in our technological future and understanding blockchain will be important.   Listen to Crypto and Blockchain Talk for more interesting topics! If you like this episode, give us 5 stars in iTunes or Stitcher, Thank you for listening! Crypto and Blockchain Talk - Making You Smarter SUBSCRIBE to our channels and never miss an episode: SPOTIFY iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud Google Play Music Tunein Castbox Pocket Casts Overcast iHeartRadioPlayerFM Twitter YouTube LinkedIn  
ICO INSIGHT: Internxt
Interview with Fran, Founder and CEO of Internxt  On this week’s edition of our educational podcast, join us as we talk to Fran Villalba Segerra, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Internxt.com, as he explains what happened after his ICO and the future of X Cloud, their cloud storage service which strives to compete with services such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Join us for this fantastic podcast edition of ICO Insight where we cover what Internxt.com is, their roadmap, and what will make this ICO stand the test of time.   Some questions we asked: Can you explain Internxt and your blockchain? You have a range of innovative products starting with XCloud – how will this be a game changer? What about X-core? How did you get this idea? Where are your team based? Who are your competitors? Why would your customers select you over your competitors? Your ICO ended last year – how was the ICO experience for you? Can you explain your technical roadmap? Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years? Listen to Crypto and Blockchain Talk for more interesting topics! If you like this episode, give us 5 stars in iTunes or Stitcher,Thank you for listening! Crypto and Blockchain Talk - Making You Smarter SUBSCRIBE to our channels and never miss an episode:SPOTIFY iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud Google Play Music Tunein Castbox Pocket Casts Overcast iHeartRadioPlayerFM Twitter YouTube LinkedIn  

ICO INSIGHT: Internxt

2018-07-0300:24:39

What are Cryptocurrencies? #19
What Are Cryptocurrencies?    What must our parents or grandparents have thought the first time somebody mentioned the idea of a debit card? After carrying around cash and a checkbook their whole lives, here was a piece of plastic with some numbers that tracked account balances by swiping a black stripe through a box at the checkout counter. And it was supposed to represent a real transaction using real money from a real bank account? Give me a break! It cannot possibly work!   Of course, that’s exactly what Visa, Mastercard and all those other payment networks do. They took currency and digitized it, making it easier to do business. It solved the problem of not having enough money on hand to buy what you wanted. It also increased the speed in which you used to pay for things. It took time to write out a check, then enter the transaction into your checkbook.   Debit cards made paying for things a lot faster and easier. When balancing a checkbook, you had to manually do the math to figure out how much money was in your bank account, and what got spent where. Part of the debit card world was getting a monthly statement (or viewing your account in real-time on the internet) which did all of the calculations for you. People used to have to sit down at their desk and figure out all of these calculations for themselves, and could have taken an hour every month or even more, depending on how often you bought things were purchased. This was normal, and nothing was wrong with this system, but it could have been better.   That is where we are at today. Nothing is wrong with Visa, or banking, or shopping on the internet, but it could be better. Better means lower fees, faster transactions, more security, more privacy, and so on. And the solution is now here. The solution is cryptocurrencies.   Cryptocurrencies are not replacements for Visa or Mastercard so much as they are replacements for the US dollar, the EURO, the Franc, etc. Normal currencies, like US dollars and pesos are issued by governments and are vastly controlled by central banks and other governmental institutes. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, while still issued by someone, are (in most cases) not controlled by any authorities, although many governments are releasing their own (please listen to podcast 14, Crypto is Going Country (http://cryptoandblockchaintalk.com/episode-14-crypto-is-going-country).   Cryptocurrencies are controlled and transactions are verified by the network of people who have devoted their computers to do this work. These people and their computers are called miners. They do the work that is done by banks with normal currencies or fiat. Since there is more than one computer doing this work, and this work requires a lot of power, it creates a situation where manipulating and corrupting the data about the currency and its transaction becomes unfeasible. This new financial structure brings many new interesting possibilities to the table.   International money transfers used to take days or weeks to complete. You’d have to go to a bank branch and create a wire transfer. The bank would then need to find a partner bank in the country your recipient lives in. They need to do anti-money laundering checks and make sure the people involved are not known drug lords or terrorists. All this is done manually by people, so a wire transfer comes with a sizeable fee to pay for this extra work, and at any point, they can decline the transaction without a reasonable explanation.   Bitcoin was invented to solve this problem. It allowed anybody in the world to bypass the wire transfer system, and send any amount of money across the world in a matter of hours. There were no middle men, just a small network fee to pay for the computers running the software that supports the transaction network. While it is not 100% private, it is private enough that it only required a wallet ID address for Bitcoin, yet no personal identifiable information was included in the transfer. With this, comes both good and bad usage.   Today, Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, but as a technology, it is almost obsolete. There are many projects today that can do the same thing, but much faster, cheaper, and require tremendously less energy than what Bitcoin is currently consuming, which you can listen to on podcast 18 Cryptocurrency and the Environment (http://cryptoandblockchaintalk.com/episode-18-cryptocurrency-and-the-environment). Many countries have taken notice, and are contemplating accepting Bitcoin as a nationally legalized currency, or even debating on starting their own cryptocurrency, as talked about in podcast 14, Crypto is Going Country.   If you are in the United States, Russia, China, or Australia, you can travel 500 miles in whichever direction and your native currency is still accepted everywhere. But if you travel a lot or live in regions where currencies change every 200 miles, it is a problem figuring out how to pay for things. Cryptocurrency is aiming to solve this problem as well, with many projects aiming to create Visa-supported debit cards that allow you to pay with your cryptocurrency of choice anywhere in the world.   Aside from using cryptocurrencies to just pay for stuff far away from home, there is another type of cryptocurrency referred to as a utility token. Think of them as going to an arcade where you need to change your money to the arcade’s tokens that can only be used at that place. This format allows them to raise or lower their prices of the arcade games without having to reconfigure every single machine there. In addition, discounts, bonuses, and payouts can be tailored to the token holders. This is the main idea of utility tokens. A company provides a service and users pay for it with the company’s tokens, and there may be extra benefits for holding these tokens, such as discounts and bonuses for paying for company products and services with their tokens.   The greatest example of this is on Ethereum, which is a blockchain platform for developing DApps, other tokens, and creating other services. While you can use Ethereum to pay for things, its main purpose is to do things within the Ethereum network. That’s the main difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin; it can be used for much more than just paying for things.   There are over 1600 cryptocurrencies listed on coinmarketcap.com – the crypto industry market tracking web site which tracks these things. There are many more cryptocurrencies and utility tokens which have not yet made it onto coinmarketcap, but as they grow in value and market size, they will add to the growing pot of viable cryptocurrencies.   The entire cryptocurrency market is extremely volatile. If you lost half your portfolio value in a week on the stock market, the stress would drive some people to the edge. If you lost half your portfolio value in a week in the crypto market, you shouldn’t do more than shrug your shoulders as there is a good chance it will bounce back just as high in a shorter space of time. The downside is that the market is still considerably small and it is easy for very wealthy people to manipulate the prices. A huge dip in the cryptomarket is not a cause for real panic; just wait awhile, or as they say it in the world of cryptocurrencies – “HODL!”, and hold on for dear life.   Listen to Crypto and Blockchain Talk for more interesting topics!   SUBSCRIBE to our channels and never miss an episode:SPOTIFY iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud Google Play Music Tunein Castbox Pocket Casts Overcast iHeartRadioPlayerFM Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
EPISODE 18: Cryptocurrency and the Environment
Cryptocurrency and the Environment “Bitcoin mining is using up more electricity than the entire country of Ireland.”   While Ireland’s population is quite small with its less than 4.8 million people, the power consumption of Bitcoin is still often underestimated. It is odd to think that just one cryptocurrency might consume the same amount of energy every year as 6.3 million US households.   But is it such a crime that the crypto-revolution which is changing the world needs a little juice to get going? Let’s look deeper into the situation.   Using electricity in, and of, itself is fine. Electricity itself is part of nature; it’s not like Styrofoam, which is created in a contamination-free lab by scientists in white coats. The environmental hazards lie in how electricity is generated.   Despite it being 2018, there are many countries still using coal and gas in their power plants. A disturbing piece of news really brought attention to the issue, when a decommissioned coal mining plant in Australia was purchased by a Bitcoin mining company, to be reactivated solely to power bitcoin mining equipment. In this light, it seems as if we are moving backward to create a forward-thinking, global currency when we should be concentrating our efforts on keeping our air clean and the ozone layer intact.   However, there is a significant movement and belief that says we can have cryptocurrency mining and a clean environment, at the same time. According to research conducted at ICObench.com, there are 54 mining companies alone that started in the last 2 years, which boast using renewable clean energy that powers their mining rigs, using either solar, hydrogen, wind power, or a combination of the three.   A handful of other mining farm startups claim special rate deals from local power plants, but ultimately they will struggle to compete with the rates of solar energy and hydro dams. There is even a project for creating electricity through a magnetic vacuum, which is an interesting innovation by itself. While there is no telling yet if this will work on a large scale, the necessity once again is driving technology forward.   “Bitcoin is currently using 0.31% of all the world’s electricity.” - The Digiconomist   Why does Bitcoin need all that energy, when many other coins don’t?   To create Bitcoins, by far the most valuable currency at this time, you have to use a mining rig, which is a powerful computer that performs calculations of random math problems and submits the result to the blockchain. Every 10 minutes, one of those results will be right and is chosen to receive a block reward (contains a certain number of Bitcoins, which decreases over time), currently, that reward is worth almost $100,000 USD. This method of creating coins is called Proof of Work.   This has another function though, as well. It keeps your network decentralized, so no one or a small handful of people control it. Proof of Work ensures the validity of transaction better than any other consensus method so far.   This was an excellent way to do things, in theory, for many years. However, now that industry has got involved, there really are only a small handful of companies with large enough infrastructure to mine the majority of bitcoins. The vast majority of calculations solved per second (known as the network hash rate) is currently controlled by 7 major pools. That’s not at all what a decentralized network looks like, and is not what The Bitcoin Foundation intended.    Bitcoin is not the only coin consuming tremendous amounts of energy. Ethereum is the next largest coin, around 1/3rd of the size of Bitcoin. Their founder is considering changing the consensus mechanism so no more coins can be mined, and going to a Proof of Stake system, which is extremely more energy-efficient.   But then there will be another problem – new coins are given based on how many coins people already have. A powerful investor could easily just purchase the majority of the coin (several billions of dollars) and essentially own the entire network.   As with demand, supply must grow, in parallel. What happens when all of the current renewable energy sources are not enough? Bitcoin miners simply invest in building more renewable energy infrastructure. When new consensus methods are discovered and mining is either obsolete or much more energy-efficient, this surplus renewable energy will then trickle into the rest of the grid, causing fossil-fueled plants to slow, and eventually shut down.   While currently, the electricity consumption by Bitcoin may be a problem, in the long-term it could very well lead to a much cleaner, more energized, Earth.   Listen to Crypto and Blockchain Talk for more interesting topics!   SUBSCRIBE to our channels and never miss an episode: SPOTIFY iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud Google Play Music Tunein Castbox Pocket Casts Overcast iHeartRadioPlayerFM Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
EPISODE 17: ICOs and Regulations: Taming the New Wild West
ICOs and Regulations: Taming the New Wild West ICOs - or Initial Coin Offerings - are a widely used method for cryptocurrency startups, and also how some blockchain technology companies raise their initial funds to get their projects started. It is very much like a Kickstarter or GoFundMe, with the “reward” being given in newly created tokens. These tokens can be used on the product or service that is being built, which is referred to as a utility token, or in some cases, held like a stock and entitles the holder to a profit share, which is referred to as a security. With an ICO, businesses will usually write a whitepaper which gives all the details about their purpose, ideas, and a roadmap to allow investors (both small and large) to have the information needed to buy into these projects for a fraction of the speculated cost, once the coin hits the open market. These projects, are mostly still in the beginning stages of development. That’s right, most have no working product yet, but still ask people to pay them… and people do! By the tens of thousands, or even millions in some cases. ICOs took in over $2 billion dollars in 2017. There are currently over 1500 ICOs that have taken place, with thousands more on the horizon. All on the promise of what might be. If that doesn’t sound scary enough, add this factor in - ICOs have been mostly unregulated. Until now. Until recently, the industry has not been taken seriously by governments, financial institutions, or most of the general population. But with a market cap today of over $424 billion dollars at the time of writing (May 2018), it is now just beginning to get the attention it warrants. While many have gotten rich beyond their wildest expectations, others have been defrauded, robbed, and scammed. For even a discerning mind, it can be difficult to tell the difference when taking in a project at first glance. As 2018 moves forward, governments around the world are taking notice and passing laws they feel best protects their people. There are many concerns: Fraud, is the first, and most obvious, concern. China and South Korea have both banned ICOs. The United States has launched several SEC investigations, and is considering whether it can claim crypto coins are securities (which can only be sold by licensed individuals/institutions). Ponzi/Pyramid schemes have been a big problem also. USI-Tech and Bitconnect are two of the largest successful scams to date, taking in hundreds of millions of dollars, on false pretenses, only to shut down (or be shut down by the government). A substantial amount of money is now leaving the traditional investment sector, to a place where it can vanish and never be recovered if a company goes under. For money to leave the country in the past, a wire transfer had to be created, which was recorded and monitored, and took a long time to complete. A cryptocurrency transaction can move any amount of money around the world in just a moment, with or without a trace (depending on which currency is used). Price fixing is an issue as well, with many coins being mineable (created), using computer hardware performing work. It is considered a “pump and dump” technique, to create and flood the market with supply at will, to control the price. Some cryptocurrencies are untraceable and private, so governments are worried they will be used for money laundering for criminals, and avenues that can be used to fund terrorism. It is important to mention in context, that all of the above activities still existed and thrived long before cryptocurrency ever came around. Even though automobiles are used by bank robbers to make their escape, not every car on the planet is used by a criminal. Hopefully, the same logic will prevail. Despite all the calamity, why are ICOs still growing in popularity? Because it gives people a chance to make an investment. The minimum investment into a wall-street IPO is tens of thousands of dollars. Many offerings are restricted to accredited investors only. The common person isn’t permitted or endowed enough to participate at the most profitable stages in traditional finance. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain companies are built and financed by the common person, united to build something that makes the world a better place. On social media channels and community sites like Telegram, you can see thousands of loyal (sometimes rabid) followers and investors who believe in their project of choice, and back it like their favorite sports team. Legal Standing in 2018: China - ICOs are banned 100%. The Chinese companies who completed their ICOs were instructed to refund all the money they received. The government has also banned crypto exchanges and may be soon blocking all sites related to the cryptocurrency industry entirely. European Union - ICOs are regulated, as of November 13th, 2017. An ICO must adhere to Anti-Money Laundering and “Know Your Customer” policies. Investments cannot be anonymous, and full personal disclosure must be made by investors. United States - ICOs are heavily regulated. ICOs are required to obtain a license, and register with the SEC. Many who have not considered their own token to be a security have not registered yet, and are fearful the SEC will come after them. Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer procedures are required. There is more regulation to come from currently ongoing investigations. Canada - ICOs are regulated. Depending on the type of coin, it may be classified as a security, and is subject to government regulation. Canada looks at each project on a case by case basis, rather than one sweeping law that rules everything related. Switzerland - ICOs are treated with supportive regulation! Laws are friendly, and help protect cryptocurrency companies against suffocating regulations from other countries. They go through each ICO to weed out the potential fraud and poorly designed projects, leaving behind a good promising ICO market. Israel - ICOs are allowed, though a study is being conducted to decide how to regulate these operations in the future. There are plans to introduce tax laws on ICO tokens. Germany - ICOs are regulated. Germany warns the public that investments in these projects are risky. Germany defers to the November 13th, 2017 European Securities Market instruction to comply to securities standards. Japan - ICOs are allowed, but regulation is on the horizon. Japan is considering whether ICOs could fall under the Payment Services Act, or Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. In 2016, Japan declared Bitcoin a legal currency, a monumental achievement for the crypto community! Russia - ICOs are allowed. The government is currently watching things unfold while it determines what stance to take. In October 2017, it issued a ruling that requires all altcoin (a blanket term for any cryptocurrency besides Bitcoin) miners to register, and tax laws will be modified. Singapore - ICOs are allowed. Regulation seems to be coming soon, as the Monetary Authority stated in November 2017, that altcoins could qualify as a “capital market product” and be subject to existing regulations for other products in that industry. United Kingdom - ICOs are allowed. The government has issued warnings to investors about the risks of investing in these products, calling them “experimental”. Regulation could be coming soon, but there are no clear indicators of what the attitude will be. Brazil - ICOs are regulated. Virtual currency exchanges are banned. ICOs are considered securities and are subject to all applicable laws. Australia - ICOs are regulated. Australia looks to weed out scams and fraudulent ICOs, promoting the remaining ICOs as free from fraud. United Arab Emirates - ICOs are allowed. The UAE plans to pass regulation at some point in the near future. Taiwan - ICOs are allowed. The Taiwanese government is supportive of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. While ongoing legislation is underway, the crypto market experiences extreme volatility and has nearly unimaginable dips and peaks, when fears about unfavorable rules or country-wide bans occur. In February 2018, the market overall value dropped more than 60% from January highs, as China passed its law banning cryptocurrencies and exchanges. As of mid-April 2018, it has since recovered the majority of that loss, (much of that growth happening in a 2 week span). It is a scary place to be a day trader, but those who hold for the future are always optimistic. With so much happening so fast, it can get confusing very quickly. In some places, the rules hurt ICOs. In some places, the rules help ICOs. In some places, the rules apply only to the ICO but not the actual coin and company itself. In some places, the rules apply to the entire industry regardless of the product. It is safe to expect that as time goes on, only more laws (and taxes) will be implemented. Some may see this as a good thing, paving the way for financial institutions and the general public to feel safe participating in the financial revolution, boosting the portfolios of everyone else who got in early. Others feel these rules are burdening and suffocating a decentralized worldwide market, prohibiting natural growth. In any event, there are many more changes to come in the next few years. It’s an exciting time to be alive. Listen to Crypto and Blockchain Talk for more interesting topics! SUBSCRIBE to our channels and never miss an episode: SPOTIFY iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud Google Play Music Tunein Castbox Pocket Casts Overcast iHeartRadio PlayerFM Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
ICO INSIGHT: BitLearn Network
ICO INSIGHT: BitLearn Network We at Crypto and Blockchain Talk interviewed Fred Jin, CEO of BitLearn, who develops a new learning ecosystem with his team, which will tokenize college savings, capture skills acquired onto the blockchain, and empowers the best educators.   They plan to make games educational with engaging kids who spend time on gaming and to provide them quality educational content.   Best content from educators Engage kids and award them Help parents with insights. Giving skills that are needed in private sector.   Helping kids who struggle with homework and parents who might not know how to help them. BitLearn awards the students with tokens for their college fund. Learning quest instead of homework. Local schools are engaged.   The most asked question for ICO Insight followers is how is blockchain implemented? In BitLearn: Tokens are embedded inside of it. Kids get experience and parents claim award, set up savings plan.   There is already a teacher portal available with beta users. They can upload their learning sequence into their game format. They started for K8 and K12 classes, but plan for higher education and corporate learning. BitLearn launches in the U.S. first and hits worldwide market later.   When is ICO coming out? It’s a simple reward token so people get rewarded when downloading the app and solving puzzles so there will be no traditional ICO.   What is the revenue model? Small percentage premium fee is charged from parents and gives additional parental control features. Reward kids through good activities, earning and taking ownership with good financial literacy features built in.   BitLearn challenges kids to take ownership of their own learning progress. To spread the joy of learning. A lot of top educational content is broken into small bite size like learning sessions that are 2 to 5 minute long games. Education is a core element of the BitLearn platform. BitLearn is using blockchain technology and Making You Smarter.   Public beta coming soon. To signup, please visit http://bitlearn.network Crypto and Blockchain Talk   SUBSCRIBE to our channels and never miss an episode: SPOTIFY iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud Google Play Music Tunein Castbox Pocket Casts Overcast iHeartRadio PlayerFM Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
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