An Introduction to Bitcoin Script Binance Academy

Recap of AMA with Zac on July 3 and Q2 report

Dear Pundians,
Thank you for participating in the AMA session with Pundi X co-founder and CEO Zac Cheah.
For those of you who may have missed it, the live recording of the AMA session held on July 3 at 10:00 am GMT+8, tackling Q2 progress and addressing questions and concerns by the community members, can be viewed here. A side note that today’s AMA video quality and setting was not ideal. We acknowledge this situation and will make improvement for our next AMA session.
You may also find a summary of the Q2 progress presentation as well as all the detail Q&A below.
## Pundi X Q2 2019 Highlights
* Pundi X has integrated more public chains into our products. In Q2, we completed integration of Binance Chain. NEM chain is in the work. As of today we’ve launched BNB, the Binance Chain native Coin and XEM, NEM native coin on Pundi X payment platform. We will integrate at least one more public chain in Q3.
* The transactions on XPOS for Q2 is 15.5 million in USD, which is close to 300% quarterly growth. The number of transactions is 29,367, which leads to a 11% growth QoQ.
* XPOS has successfully received FCC and KC certifications. A new certification for Latin American market is on the way. * To expand XPOS footprint, Pundi X’s integration with a new leading mainstream point-of-sales device is in the work. Stay tuned for the announcement.
* Pundi X Open Platform was launched in May, 2019, which now supports ERC20 and BEP2 token listing. Moving forward, we will continue to support tokens from other public chains.
* A 3,000 XPASS order from DigiX, a gold-based token, and a 10,000 XPASS order from BitCobie this quarter.
* XPOS is spread in use in over 30 countries. We’ve published a map of XPOS location of self-report XPOS merchant directory. You can find a list of selected XPOS merchants at [https://www.pundix.com/products\](https://www.pundix.com/products). * The QoQ growth of XWallet is tremendous at 43%. In the previous quarter, we have less than 20k users, whereas in Q2 we have hit 297k XWallet users.
More updates on XWallet:
* Supported BNB and NEM tokens; 2FA, face ID, and optimized SMS serviceAvailable on iOS, Android as well as in Samsung Galaxy Store
New features coming up in Q3:- DApp integration - Decentralized wallet- In-app crypto payments - Chat service, which will be compatible with a commonly used chat app- f(x) testnet features to be rolled out first in XWallet
## Other notices coming up in Q3 2019
* The Q2 token removal will take place on July 14, 2019, which will involve in total 34 billion of NPXS and NPXSXEM (22 million worth in USD) removal. In the past 365 days, we’ve removed a total of 36.1 million US dollar worth of NPXS and NPXSXEM.
Before Q2 removal, the total supply of NPXS ERC20 is 266,962,422,906.53 and NPXSXEM is 95,816,218,929. [See Q1 removal here.](/pundix/recap-of-ama-with-zac-on-july-3-and-q2-report-a23de165dd28)
* [NPXSXEM will be ported to Binance Chain from July 20](/pundix/npxsxem-will-be-on-binance-chain-c6485f17726b). * XPhone pre-order will start in late July with a new product name. Stay tuned. Check out the teaser video that we are releasing it across our communication channels. ## Q&A
## On XPOS
* **Where are we on official global location of XPOS?**
Zac: We have made a map on our official website that merchants can self report and feature their locations. It’s at [https://www.pundix.com/product\](https://www.pundix.com/product). We’ll be increasing and updating the map once we have permission form the merchants to update their locations.
* **The marketing from pundi has shifted from 100,000–700,000 xpos units by 2021 to 100,000. I understand the bear market has affected this but please share the strategy moving forward to hit your goal. How do you feel about hitting this goal?**
Zac: The 100K XPOS target has always been the initial goal and it’s stated in our whitepaper. And we are still working on achieving the goal by the end of 2021. Part of our growth strategy is to also explore the possibility to port our platform to traditional POS manufacturers to increase the adoption, which is ongoing at the moment.
* **1 year ago you sent 5000 XPOS somewhere. When, at least half of them, will be working? 3 year target was 100,000 by 2021. Now we have only 150 units, how do you expect to reach this goal?**
Zac: Yes, we have shipped thousands of XPOS to over 30 countries in the world. The 150 you’ve mentioned are the featured merchants which are published on the map. The active XPOS devices are deployed over 33 countries and we are actively talking to B2B partners to have higher wholesale and big deployments.
* **How many XPOS are live and used?**
Zac: We have gone through a very serious bear market, and some of the initial inbound requests for XPOS are not delivered. However, we are working slowly but surely with our Business Development team to not just roll-out into individual buyers, such as what we did on Pizza Day, but also to B2B partners. With the certifications approved, that will also help us to officially roll out to some of the key markets.
Individual merchants can use XWallet collection feature to accept crypto payment with QR code. For the merchants who have physical offline storefronts, they can use XPOS to enable the instant crypto transaction seamlessly. Moreover, as mentioned previously, we are exploring the integration on leading traditional POS terminal so that their distributors have option to enable crypto transaction feature. As for the challenge to adopt XPOS, it is the regulatory compliance in different countries. For this, our legal team think ahead and encourage our merchants to complete KYC.
I must be very honest to say the activation takes longer time than we expect but it will be worth at the end.
* **What’s the average number of transactions per xpos in use?**
Zac: The transaction number has increased very well. The number of each XPOS differs, due to the frequency of using crypto currency to purchase item or crypto assets. There’s no standard answer to this, but overall we see the transaction number and volume are going up.
* **How do you plan to reach the target of 100,000 by 2021?**
Zac: One of the challenges that we have is regulatory compliances in different countries. There are certain markets that do not allow crypto currencies and some require a clear approval for us to deploy XPOS. We are working on both challenges by talking to governments and applying for certifications. So how we plan to reach 100,000 XPOS user by 2021 is to work with distributors, B2B partners on a government / business level, and with existing POS companies to integrate our software solution into the system.
* **We understand as there was bear market and hence Xpos usage demand was low. Are you guys seeing growth of Xpos usage with current market conditions. Can you guys put some statistics comparison like last 30 days Xpos usage vs any month from bear market usage?**
Zac: It is very clear that as we moved out from the bear market, the demand for XPOS has been increasing. As we’ve shared just now both the transaction number and volume of Q2 have beaten Q1. We’ll be able to share more transaction numbers once we receive approval from our XPOS merchants.
One exciting thing is that, with the listing of different tokens, we also see users using these tokens as a way to transact on XPOS, which means we will be having more ways to transact and this is a growth point for XPOS.
* **When will there be more details for XPHONE and XPOS HANDY?**
Zac: For XPOS handy, we have finished production and it will be released in Q3
* **When will the iOS version of XWallet and XPOS be fully translated to other languages?**
Zac: Right now, the XWallet has Traditional Chinese, Korean, Spanish, German and English. With the latest version update, it now includes Portuguese. XPOS also comes with many languages and we hope to finish with more language, either working with professionals or volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact us.
* **When will the Merchant back office have Product Registration and SKU id ability and also integrate with other POS software?** * **When will the top-up feature go away for XPOS to allow liquidity for XPOS**
Zac: We constantly update features in XPOS and merchant backend to make it easier for distributors and merchants to use. We understand that one of the ways for mass adoption is to enhance our distributor management system. With that, the distributors can manage manay XPOS at one time with different merchants.
Please stay tuned as we announce more and more functions of this feature.
## On Dubai
* **When will we see the deployment of the XPOS in Dubai?** * **Can we spend NPXS on the Dubai XPOS?**
Zac: As with all big projects there are a lot of moving parts, that includes working very closely with the local government, in Dubai’s case, the Credit Bureau of the Finance Ministry. Things are progressing for the Dubai project but due to confidentiality agreements with the parties involved, we cannot reveal much. All we can say is that we and our Dubai partners are working hard to have XPOS roll-out in the Dubai market and the UAE.
We are also discussing aggressively with Dubai partners whether to include crypto assets in the XPOS in Dubai. That clearly will involve local compliance and legal for that to happen.
* **Your system upgrades expect merchants to have downtime on their XPOS terminals, can you explain if you plan to run a business why this would be considered feasible (specially at the rate you have been doing your upgrades)?**
Zac: Yes, the benefit / strength of the XPOS is that most of the updates can be done on the fly. For example, when we have a token update on our XPOS where developers submit their tokens on Open Platform, the updates of this token are on the fly, which means that once we approve the token on our Open Platform, it will automatically appear on XPOS without any software updates.
The great thing that we believe about XPOS is not just the support of crypto assets, but also the ability to update most things on the fly, which means that whenever we have a good feature or a new token, the updates will be done instantaneously.
* **Can you guys arrange at least a community voting which is the next blockchain we would like to see next in XPOS? Voting will help to prioritize to chose the projects.**
Zac: One of the reasons why BNB is being listed on the XPOS is simply because of its popularity and also our user demand, in a way that we are already answering to our community’s request.
Right now, our main focus is getting all the tokens submitted on Open Platform to be listed on the XPOS. The submission process includes legal and compliance valid, so our legal and compliance teams are working hard to make sure that we have more tokens to roll out onto Open Platform, which means that they will be on XPOS, XWallet, and XPASS.
As to a specific voting mechanism, we’d like to consider that and hopefully we’ll be able to run a specific voting for the chain which users would like to see.
* **While comparing Xpos handy to Square POS devices at least with mobile it’s very cheap like under $30 and easy to use. When can we expect such light weight and cheaper version for XPOS? Is team working on such devices ?**
Zac: There are different POS companies around the globe and pour focus is to work with these POS companies with our software, so that a crypto sales feature will be part of the existing POS system. The more support of crypto asset usage using our software on existing POS, the better it is for global adoption.
We actually strongly believe that the pricing of our POS system is competitive in the market. And one of the great features of the XPOS is that the merchants will not need not to pay a certain percentage to existing acquirer but to be able to earn certain percentage from each transaction. That is the key differentiator for merchant to want to adopt this.
* **From the website with some of the key Countries for XPOS adoption looks great. However, the concern is for Venezuela, there is no reference link like the others have. Can you guys add the link with details to clear the ambiguity?**
Zac: Let’s give a little bit more patience so that we can actually release more information about our Venezuelan partnership. The good news is that we expect concrete news from Venezuela in the coming 2 weeks. So stay up-to-date about our Venezuelan roll out on XPOS, the best way is to subscribe to our telegram group for Venezuela.
## On Partnerships
* **Are there some major partnership in the works? I’m also interested in how you do immediate transactions? Do you anticipate scaling issues?**
Zac: The way XPOS is being designed is that when you use your crypto assets to purchase, it will have instantaneous confirmation because the action is an off-chain process. An on-chain action happens when a user who owns crypto assets in our system transferring the assets out of the Pundi X ecosystem to their own wallets; or to transfer crypto assets in Pundi X from an off-chain to a private wallet, which we will have very soon on XWallet itself.
That is why we are able to handle scaling. When a person wants to use crypto currency to buy a coffee, the transaction will happen instantaneously.
For specific partnership, especially with B2B partnership, we oblige to the NDA that we have signed. But if you follow us closely, you’ll know that we go to different parts of the world, talking to major companies to try to land more deals so that NPXS usage will increase dramatically.
* **Any big partnerships for making xphone or using the software for xBlockchain?**
Zac: These partnerships are also subjected to NDA, so please be patient for us to release more news.
* **When will XPOS have approval to process Visa and MasterCard payments?**
Zac: We have met representatives from these players including some of the key management people. They are obviously looking into crypto currency attentively, and we hope that there’s something we can do with MasterCard and/or Visa.
This is something that the community has suggested and we agree fully. Please allow us with some time to work on this. We have also showcased XPOS to the CEO of MasterCard. For what or when will anything happen, please wait for our official announcement.
* **What’s the status on Quantum fund and their contribution or involvement with Pundi’s project?**
Zac: We announced last year that we are creating a fund to invest in projects beneficial to our ecosystem. We’ve identified some interesting projects, and we have invested in at least 1 project. The reason why we’re investing in that project is because of the services that it will bring onto the Pindi X ecosystem. So the purpose of the investment of the companies is that these companies in turn will benefit on our ecosystem. This is our key consideration.
The team has evaluated the projects that will benefit the Pundi X / Function X ecosystem. Vic and his team will be able to reveal more details on the companies we have invested in and how they will contribute to our ecosystem in Q3.
* **Recent update on NPXSXEM is highly ambiguous as mentioned that it will be now BEP token and later once FX goes live it will get back to Fx platform. Why you guys had so rush to use Binance chain only for few months? Isn’t you guys switching to much in a short time span?**
Zac: Liquidity and utility have been an issue for NPXSXEM. Due to the design philosophy and the limit of token that can be created on NEM’s smart contract, we are only able to create a small number of tokens on NPXSXEM. By moving into the Binance chain for NPXSXEM, the BEP2 token version will be able to support all the NPXSXEM tokens, which means that we’ll migrate and also be able to make sure all the NPXSXEM tokens are under the same contract address.
We believe with the strong liquidity, we will be able to give our NPXSXEM token holders a good reason of what the token holders have been waiting for. We hope to bring NPXSXEM to match the level of NPXS.
* **When #XRP?**
Zac: Our OpenPlatform is a currency agnostic platform, which means that we will work on integrating public chain as well as tokens that are most requested by the users. We’ll also be looking into the listing of different tokens that are being mentioned by the community.
As said, we will have at least one more public chain integration in Q3, perhaps even more.
* **Are you as a company going to try and connect with libra? If they have said they want to be a payment remittance service, have Square, PayPal, Visa on board I as an investor would prefer you try to join them rather than beat such large competitors**
Zac: Of course, we’ll be delighted to work with Facebook and also the Libra coin. Pundi X and XPOS is a currency agnostic / currency neutral platform, if there’s opportunity to list Libra coin or work with Facebook in different ways to promote crypto currency adoption, we’ll certainly look into that and work on reaching out to them.
## On Trading
* **Can you confirm during AMA, Pundi team is not involved with any trading with their own token like selling over time to manage the fund to run the company.**
Zac: All the wallet addresses of the team holdings are disclosed and transparent. This is one of the first things that we did after ICO. Hence, our token holdings are transparent and everyone can monitor our fund transactions. Also, we have strict internal financial regulation and compliance, shows that we are here to build a long-term project.
The best way to make NPXS or the NPXSXEM to rise is real daily life use case.
* **When will you stop manipulating NPXS chart?**
Zac: Our focus has always been and will be building great products. The more product usage, the demands for NPXS and NPXSXEM will increase. Let’s address again that, Pundi X the company is NOT involved in any manipulation of the NPXS price.
There are trading teams, market makers, financial institutions that profit from the drop and rise of token prices in the crypto market. The good thing about NPXS is that we have managed to create a high liquidity by listing on 40+ exchanges and having global trades and demand from all over the world. We hope this and coupled with the fact that we are a solid product and roll out the use cases, the demand of NPXS will only continue to rise and will be able to deter any of the traders or speculators there is for NPXS.
These traders gain profit from manipulating tokens whether BTC or other tokens. In fact, the traditional financial markets have similar challenges as well. What I want to stress is that, we at Pundi X, do NOT speculate or manipulate the price. We work very hard to create demands for NPXS and as a company, it is only beneficial for us to see the prices of NPXS and NPXSXEM rise.
* **Can we please address the elephant in the room which is the Binance bot with huge sell walls and buy walls causing huge distress and concern among users?**
Zac: First, I cannot confirm nor deny that whether Binance has a bot. I think this is something that you need to ask Binance. We need to work with Binance because Binance has one of the biggest liquidities, if not the greatest liquidity, for NPXS. The best way to counter manipulators is to create more use case, more demand and more acceptance of our tokens.
* **Why on almost all exchanges do you not offer a USDT trading pair?**
Zac: We have USDT trading pairs on Bittrex, Bittrue, and more. In addition, we have fiat pairs in Korean Won, IDR, INR, and Turkish liras. We will continue to work on adding trading pairs for NPXS to make it more liquidate.
* **Why don’t you offer a stable coin sell and purchase on the xpos to help with adoption? Places in Africa with volatile currencies would go crazy for this.**
Zac: It’s a great observation. This is a request that’s been asked from many users. We’re working on stable coin listing on XPOS and hopefully it’ll come soon. Stable coin requires a greater compliance and legal validate, which we have been working on since months ago and we hope to have the stable coin up in XPOS soon.
* **When will you add an active tracker for coin burn, whether its measured in usd, NPXS or whatever you choose. The community has been asking for this on twitter, reddit and telegram for this entire year.**
Zac: It will be hard for us to have a daily tracker of the coin burn, but what we might be able to work on is a tracker which have shown all of the tokens that have been removed from the usage. Thank you for giving us this great suggestion and we will work on it in some form.
Zac: Our token supply has always been specified in our white paper, and as promised in our white paper, we will continue to remove tokens through usage and use cases, which we’re working on all the time.
* **Price movement. When will NPXS go to which price?**
Zac: We cannot comment on the change of the price. Our focus is on building products. We hope by doing that the NPXS value will go up. Again, there’s no way that we can comment on the price.
**I believe that burning tokens every 14 weeks keeps the price suppressed and will only lead to huge pumps and dumps. Imo, If the burns were more frequent, the price would move organically.**
Zac: We continue removing tokens quarterly per advised by our legal and compliance team.
**Is it mandatory npxs swap? What happens for token we have in binance?**
Zac: No it’s not a mandatory NPXS swap for FX.
**How many NPXS or NPXSXEM was converted?**
Zac: In Q2, we will remove 29B NPXSXEM and 9B NPXS.
## On XWallet
* **Why not put in XWallet like the place where we can buy and sell like restaurants and shops?**
Zac: You are correct. In fact, if you look at XWallet, there is a merchant feature, whereby you can register as a merchant. By becoming a merchant, you will be able to print out your QR code and stick it on your restaurant. People are able to make payment through this QR code. This will act like a mini-XPOS.
* **In addition to that having multiple different blockchain in XWallet will increase the XWallet adoption. Hence, we would like to see aggressive game plan and execution from the team and would like to hear that**
Zac: That’s a great suggestion. Every day we want to increase use cases for XWallet. In fact, our XWallet update is one of the most frequent in the market. Within 5 months, we have over 10 updates on iOS and Google Play. This does not include soft update which happens every several days. In my view, the effort is very tremendous.
* **Is there any plan to add Swap option within XWallet so that people can trade the coins within XWallet?**
Zac: Yes, there’s such plan and in fact there is an upcoming feature that people will be able to use coins in XWallet to exchange into other things. The exact form and format have not been reviewed. We hope to share more when we have concrete example. But what you suggested is what we are planning for months ago.
* **When will XPOS and XWallet have fiat on ramps?**
Zac: This is a good question. It’s not only involved with regulatory compliance but also involved the technical part. This is also something we are planning for months. Once approved, hopefully we are able to support fiat currency on ramps and off ramps on XWallet.
**On Others*\*
* **How is the internal organization doing? Currently how many employees work for Pundi? Currently how many job positions are open?**
Zac: Pundi X has grown tremendously. We are now having over seven offices around the globe. I’m sitting in the Singapore office. We have office in Jakarta, Taiwan, Tokyo, Shenzhen, São Paulo and London. These are the places we have physical offices and house approximately 100 full time employees of Pundi X.
The positions open from Pundi X are legal associate in Singapore and other offices. We are looking for more R&D people, especially in Taiwan. We are looking at marketing and PR people in different parts of the world. And we are looking for POS distributors. As a POS distributor, you will work with our business development team and also our technical team to roll out many XPOS which you have a network to control in your local market.
* **Would you consider removing the KYC to allow u.s. holder to stake and be rewarded?**
Zac: We would love to have more users, including US. However, our compliance and legal advisors have not allowed us to accept US holders to stake and be rewarded.
I’m sorry to say that but this is after serious consideration to make such a decision. In fact, it is a very hard decision because we have healthy user base in the US.
will continue to monitor the situation in the different markets and be compliant. There are also ways to be rewarded when using XWallet service without KYC. We are looking into to explore more on this and launch new features. Hopefully we are able to bring the beta version for you to test this week or next.
**On XPhone*\*
* **Where are we on pre-sale announcement of Xphone? It was highlights of Q2 goal. If we are getting delay, that’s ok. But at least community will have some clarification why it’s getting late and when approximately it coming?**
Zac: Pre-sale order will start this month. It’s likely the end of July. Pre-sale will take place in different channel including the official website and XWallet. Apart of our own channel, the pre-sale will go live on a 3rd party channel. People will be able to pre-order crypto either in crypto or in fiat.
* **Can you discuss in AMA, is participants can pay with Crypto or Credit/debit card or in both ways?**
Zac: As a crypto company, we prefer payment in crypto, but fiat, Visa, MasterCard, and other traditional payment methods will be accepted on different pre-order channels. Stay tuned for pre-order which will happen in late July.
* **Will the Xphone be open to purchase in all regions of the world?**
Zac: Yes, pre-orders will be able to be done on-line, and products will be shipped from our offices to users in different parts of the world.
* **Will the blockchain mode on the Xphone be operable during the testnet or will this function not work until mainnet?**
Zac: XWallet and XPhone are the first channel and avenue for Function X testnet, so once the testnet is operateble, we will start to engage certain services on XWallet and XPhone into Function X testnet, and ultimately into mainnet. Slowly but surely.
* **Does Xphone have hard protective cover,extra Sim slot, also is it enhanced with ip68 water rating?**
Zac: XPhone will not be waterproof, so please do not submerge XPhone into water. XPhone will definitely be eavesdrop-proof because we’re using a blockchain mode, only you and you control your own conversation.
* **Which country accept the Xphone?** * **Will I also be able to use the SIM-card?** * **The blockchain modus will work in every country (what in the absense of nodes)?** * **Will the XPhone I buy now support updates in the future?**
Zac: People from any country will be able to buy XPhone on-line. You will be able to use a SIM for we have built a SIM slot. Wherever you are, the XPhone can be turned on to become a node.
Will XPhone support future updates? Yes, of course. Just like the XPOS, we support silent update. It will be like how we support XPOS, many updates. The updates will always be supported on XPhone.
**On Function X*\*
* **When is the detail white paper coming for FunctionX? Why the team is very resistive to have well documented white paper? We need scientific approach and well documentation on FunctionX to have developers to be more involved.**
Zac: Yes, developer involvement is a key criterion of the growth of Function X. We have done 2 things, one is that we have set up Function X Foundation which is led by David Ben Kay and will involve third party adviser and board members. Second, we have set up a developer relations team led by one of our own members as well. This team will work on creating developer documents, developer demos and sample, so that excellent developers can tap into working with Function X resources.
The first version of developer documentation is ready in English and Chinese. We are still polishing up the documents and hopefully to release them soon.
We are also working with third party developers, and are engaging at least 2 third party developer companies, so that we can help create their services on Function X and also XWallet.
We are hoping to showcase a smooth and usable service to the audience, we think this is the key criterion of the Function X growth.
Thank you for this suggestion. We need to update more often on github developer documentation as well.
As for the white paper, we did not have one per se because Function X did not do an ICO. But we will continue to update our white paper and include not only technical details, but also details on the chain and how we can get more developers and users so that the future hardware will be added as a node and you will be rewarded financially, at least through our ecosystem genesis fund. Please stay tuned and there are a lot of things going on in the company. Each and one of us is working hard.
* **Why does the FX ecosystem need a decentralized OS?**
Zac: The mantra of Function X is decentralization and having private control of your data. A full private control of your data comes with a decentralized system not just in transmission of your data, but with the operating system built fully for decentralization , which includes a transmission protocol replacing http. The apps uploaded into Function X will be decentralized as well as the data that is stored on the app, which means that how BitCoin or crypto assets are verified on different nodes will also be part of the way we store data and content.
The decentralized OS is key to fulfilling a decentralized environment for a more private and free usage.
* **What about FX are you most excited about?**
Zac: We are actually creating a shift of how people view of blockchain and how decentralization is not just about transacting commercial commodity, but also data, including your identity, are all decentralized. That is what we are most excited about.
The only way for us to achieve this is to have developer support, for we need the developers to build on the foundation we have to offer those exciting services.
* **We understand that developing a new blockchain is time consuming. As a community we are in a dark space to understand where exactly the development of FX right now.**
Zac: We are working hard on creating the testnet and eventually the mainnet. For the latest updates of Function X, what I can encourage you to do is to go on and subscribe to the Function X telegram group where discussions are made. We have formed the Function X Foundation and created the developer relations team, so that the Function X progress will go smoother and with more partnership from outside, whether it’s developers, third party companies, teleco, etc.
* **When FX goes live on the mainnet, will FX coin be used to stake and earn NPXS? how will staking work on that new mainnet?**
Zac: The NPXS/NPXSXEM staking will last till March 9, 2020 as announced. What we are committed is to create more use cases. For FX tokens, the use cases will be focusing on the Function X Chain and the use cases on Function X that include DApp on Function X and different hardware/software services.
* **When fx testnet will be available?**
Zac: First I would like to thank you for your constant support. In Q3, we plan to open Function X testnet so that we will be migrating and creating certain use cases that can be used on Function X testnet, starting with our own XWallet. Which means, the XWallet will migrate some features into Function X testnet, and slowly followed by our other Pundi X products, including XPhones, XPASS, Open Platform and Function X own developer related products from third parties.
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Groestlcoin September 2019 Development Release/Update!

For a more interactive view of changes, click here
In our current world; bordering on financial chaos, with tariff wars, Brexit and hyperinflation rife, you can count on Groestlcoin to consistently produce innovation that strikes to take the power away from the few and into the many, even after a full five and a half years of solid development.
Here is what the team has already announced in the last 3 months since the last development update:

What's Being Released Today?

Groestl Nodes

What am I?

Groestl Nodes aims to map out and compare the status of the Groestlcoin mainnet and testnet networks. Even though these networks share the same protocol, there is currently no way to directly compare these coins in a single location. These statistics are essential to evaluate the relative health of both networks.

Features

Source - Website

Groestlcoin Transaction Tool

What am I?

This is a tool for creating unsigned raw Groestlcoin transactions and also to verify existing transactions by entering in the transaction hex and converting this to a human-readable format to verify that a transaction is correct before it is signed.

Features

SourceDownload

Groestlcoin AGCore

What am I?

AGCore is an Android app designed to make it easier to run a Groestlcoin Core node on always-on Android appliances such as set-top boxes, Android TVs and repurposed tablets/phones. If you are a non-technical user of Groestlcoin and want an Android app that makes it easy to run a Groestlcoin Core node by acting as a wrapper, then AG Core is the right choice for you.

What's Changed?

Source - Download

Groestlcoin Electrum

What's Changed?

Android Electrum-Specific

OSXWindowsWindows StandaloneWindows PortableLinux - Android
Server SourceServer Installer SourceClient SourceIcon SourceLocale Source

Android Wallet – Including Android Wallet Testnet

What am I?

Android Wallet is a BIP-0032 compatible hierarchial deterministic Groestlcoin Wallet, allowing you to send and receive Groestlcoin via QR codes and URI links.

V7.11.1 Changes

Groestlcoin Java Library SourceSource - DownloadTestnet Download

Groestlwallet

What am I?

Groestlwallet is designed to protect you from malware, browser security holes, even physical theft. With AES hardware encryption, app sandboxing, keychain and code signatures, groestlwallet represents a significant security advance over web and desktop wallets, and other mobile platforms.
Simplicity is groestlwallet's core design principle. Because groestlwallet is "deterministic", your balance and entire transaction history can be restored from just your recovery phrase.

iOS 0.7.3 Changes

Android v89 Changes

iOS SourceAndroid Source - Android DownloadiOS Download

Groestlcoinomi Released

What am I?

Groestlcoinomi is a lightweight thin-client Groestlcoin wallet based on a client-server protocol.

Groestlcoinomi v1.1 Desktop Changes

Groestlcoinomi Android v1.6 Changes

Groestlcoin Java Library SourceAndroid Source
Android DownloadWindows DownloadMac OS DownloadLinux Download

Groestlcoin BIP39 Tool

What's Changed?

Source - Download
submitted by Yokomoko_Saleen to groestlcoin [link] [comments]

Decred Journal – August 2018

Note: you can read this on GitHub (link), Medium (link) or old Reddit (link) to see all the links.

Development

dcrd: Version 1.3.0 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) is out! The main features of this release are significant performance improvements, including some that benefit SPV clients. Full release notes and downloads are on GitHub.
The default minimum transaction fee rate was reduced from 0.001 to 0.0001 DCkB. Do not try to send such small fee transactions just yet, until the majority of the network upgrades.
Release process was changed to use release branches and bump version on the master branch at the beginning of a release cycle. Discussed in this chat.
The codebase is ready for the new Go 1.11 version. Migration to vgo module system is complete and the 1.4.0 release will be built using modules. The list of versioned modules and a hierarchy diagram are available here.
The testnet was reset and bumped to version 3.
Comments are welcome for the proposal to implement smart fee estimation, which is important for Lightning Network.
@matheusd recorded a code review video for new Decred developers that explains how tickets are selected for voting.
dcrwallet: Version 1.3.0 RC1 features new SPV sync mode, new ticket buyer, new APIs for Decrediton and a host of bug fixes. On the dev side, dcrwallet also migrated to the new module system.
Decrediton: Version 1.3.0 RC1 adds the new SPV sync mode that syncs roughly 5x faster. The feature is off by default while it receives more testing from experienced users. Other notable changes include a design polish and experimental Politeia integration.
Politeia: Proposal editing is being developed and has a short demo. This will allow proposal owners to edit their proposal in response to community feedback before voting begins. The challenges associated with this feature relate to updating censorship tokens and maintaining a clear history of which version comments were made on. @fernandoabolafio produced this architecture diagram which may be of interest to developers.
@degeri joined to perform security testing of Politeia and found several issues.
dcrdata: mainnet explorer upgraded to v2.1 with several new features. For users: credit/debit tx filter on address page, showing miner fees on coinbase transaction page, estimate yearly ticket rewards on main page, cool new hamburger menu and keyboard navigation. For developers: new chain parameters page, experimental Insight API support, endpoints for coin supply and block rewards, testnet3 support. Lots of minor API changes and frontend tweaks, many bug fixes and robustness improvements.
The upcoming v3.0 entered beta and is deployed on beta.dcrdata.org. Check out the new charts page. Feedback and bug reports are appreciated. Finally, the development version v3.1.0-pre is on alpha.dcrdata.org.
Android: updated to be compatible with the latest SPV code and is syncing, several performance issues are worked on. Details were posted in chat. Alpha testing has started, to participate please join #dev and ask for the APK.
iOS: backend is mostly complete, as well as the front end. Support for devices with smaller screens was improved. What works now: creating and recovering wallets, listing of transactions, receiving DCR, displaying and scanning QR codes, browsing account information, SPV connection to peers, downloading headers. Some bugs need fixing before making testable builds.
Ticket splitting: v0.6.0 beta released with improved fee calculation and multiple bug fixes.
docs: introduced new Governance section that grouped some old articles as well as the new Politeia page.
@Richard-Red created a concept repository sandbox with policy documents, to illustrate the kind of policies that could be approved and amended by Politeia proposals.
decred.org: 8 contributors added and 4 removed, including 2 advisors (discussion here).
decredmarketcap.com is a brand new website that shows the most accurate DCR market data. Clean design, mobile friendly, no javascript required.
Dev activity stats for August: 239 active PRs, 219 commits, 25k added and 11k deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 2-10 developers per repository. (chart)

Network

Hashrate: went from 54 to 76 PH/s, the low was 50 and the new all-time high is 100 PH/s. BeePool share rose to ~50% while F2Pool shrank to 30%, followed by coinmine.pl at 5% and Luxor at 3%.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 95.6 DCR (+3.0) as of Sep 3. During the month, ticket price fluctuated between a low of 92.2 and high of 100.5 DCR. Locked DCR represented between 3.8 and 3.9 million or 46.3-46.9% of the supply.
Nodes: there are 217 public listening and 281 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 2% at v1.4.0(pre) (dev builds), 5% on v1.3.0 (RC1), 62% on v1.2.0 (-5%), 22% on v1.1.2 (-2%), 6% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Almost 69% of nodes are v.1.2.0 and higher and support client filters. Data snapshot of Aug 31.

ASICs

Obelisk posted 3 email updates in August. DCR1 units are reportedly shipping with 1 TH/s hashrate and will be upgraded with firmware to 1.5 TH/s. Batch 1 customers will receive compensation for missed shipment dates, but only after Batch 5 ships. Batch 2-5 customers will be receiving the updated slim design.
Innosilicon announced the new D9+ DecredMaster: 2.8 TH/s at 1,230 W priced $1,499. Specified shipping date was Aug 10-15.
FFMiner DS19 claims 3.1 TH/s for Blake256R14 at 680 W and simultaneously 1.55 TH/s for Blake2B at 410 W, the price is $1,299. Shipping Aug 20-25.
Another newly noticed miner offer is this unit that does 46 TH/s at 2,150 W at the price of $4,720. It is shipping Nov 2018 and the stats look very close to Pangolin Whatsminer DCR (which has now a page on asicminervalue).

Integrations

www.d1pool.com joined the list of stakepools for a total of 16.
Australian CoinTree added DCR trading. The platform supports fiat, there are some limitations during the upgrade to a new system but also no fees in the "Early access mode". On a related note, CoinTree is working on a feature to pay household bills with cryptocurrencies it supports.
Three new OTC desks were added to exchanges page at decred.org.
Two mobile wallets integrated Decred:
Reminder: do your best to understand the security and privacy model before using any wallet software. Points to consider: who controls the seed, does the wallet talk to the nodes directly or via middlemen, is it open source or not?

Adoption

Merchants:

Marketing

Targeted advertising report for August was posted by @timhebel. Facebook appeal is pending, some Google and Twitter campaigns were paused and some updated. Read more here.
Contribution to the @decredproject Twitter account has evolved over the past few months. A #twitter_ops channel is being used on Matrix to collaboratively draft and execute project account tweets (including retweets). Anyone with an interest in contributing to the Twitter account can ask for an invitation to the channel and can start contributing content and ideas there for evaluation by the Twitter group. As a result, no minority or unilateral veto over tweets is possible. (from GitHub)

Events

Attended:
For those willing to help with the events:
BAB: Hey all, we are gearing up for conference season. I have a list of places we hope to attend but need to know who besides @joshuam and @Haon are willing to do public speaking, willing to work booths, or help out at them? You will need to be well versed on not just what is Decred, but the history of Decred etc... DM me if you are interested. (#event_planning)
The Decred project is looking for ambassadors. If you are looking for a fun cryptocurrency to get involved in send me a DM or come talk to me on Decred slack. (@marco_peereboom, longer version here)

Media

Decred Assembly episode 21 is available. @jy-p and lead dcrwallet developer @jrick discussed SPV from Satoshi's whitepaper, how it can be improved upon and what's coming in Decred.
Decred Assembly episodes 1-21 are available in audio only format here.
New instructional articles on stakey.club: Decrediton setup, Deleting the wallet, Installing Go, Installing dcrd, dcrd as a Linux service. Available in both English and Portuguese.
Decred scored #32 in the August issue of Chinese CCID ratings. The evaluation model was explained in this interview.
Satis Group rated Decred highly in their cryptoasset valuation research report (PDF). This was featured by several large media outlets, but some did not link to or omitted Decred entirely, citing low market cap.
Featured articles:
Articles:
Videos:

Community Discussions

Community stats:
Comm systems news:
After another debate about chat systems more people began testing and using Matrix, leading to some gardening on that platform:
Highlights:
Reddit: substantive discussion about Decred cons; ecosystem fund; a thread about voter engagement, Politeia UX and trolling; idea of a social media system for Decred by @michae2xl; how profitable is the Obelisk DCR1.
Chats: cross-chain trading via LN; plans for contractor management system, lower-level decision making and contractor privacy vs transparency for stakeholders; measuring dev activity; what if the network stalls, multiple implementations of Decred for more resilience, long term vision behind those extensive tests and accurate comments in the codebase; ideas for process for policy documents, hosting them in Pi and approving with ticket voting; about SPV wallet disk size, how compact filters work; odds of a wallet fetching a wrong block in SPV; new module system in Go; security of allowing Android app backups; why PoW algo change proposal must be specified in great detail; thoughts about NIPoPoWs and SPV; prerequisites for shipping SPV by default (continued); Decred vs Dash treasury and marketing expenses, spending other people's money; why Decred should not invade a country, DAO and nation states, entangling with nation state is poor resource allocation; how winning tickets are determined and attack vectors; Politeia proposal moderation, contractor clearance, the scale of proposals and decision delegation, initial Politeia vote to approve Politeia itself; chat systems, Matrix/Slack/Discord/RocketChat/Keybase (continued); overview of Korean exchanges; no breaking changes in vgo; why project fund burn rate must keep low; asymptotic behavior of Decred and other ccs, tail emission; count of full nodes and incentives to run them; Politeia proposal translations and multilingual environment.
An unusual event was the chat about double negatives and other oddities in languages in #trading.

Markets

DCR started the month at USD 56 / BTC 0.0073 and had a two week decline. On Aug 14 the whole market took a huge drop and briefly went below USD 200 billion. Bitcoin went below USD 6,000 and top 100 cryptos lost 5-30%. The lowest point coincided with Bitcoin dominance peak at 54.5%. On that day Decred dived -17% and reached the bottom of USD 32 / BTC 0.00537. Since then it went sideways in the USD 35-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0064 range. Around Aug 24, Huobi showed DCR trading volume above USD 5M and this coincided with a minor recovery.
@ImacallyouJawdy posted some creative analysis based on ticket data.

Relevant External

StopAndDecrypt published an extensive article "ASIC Resistance is Nothing but a Blockchain Buzzword" that is much in line with Decred's stance on ASICs.
The ongoing debates about the possible Sia fork yet again demonstrate the importance of a robust dispute resolution mechanism. Also, we are lucky to have the treasury.
Mark B Lundeberg, who found a vulnerability in atomicswap earlier, published a concept of more private peer-to-peer atomic swaps. (missed in July issue)
Medium took a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies and triggered at least one project to migrate to Ghost (that same project previously migrated away from Slack).
Regulation: Vietnam bans mining equipment imports, China halts crypto events and tightens control of crypto chat groups.
Reddit was hacked by intercepting 2FA codes sent via SMS. The announcement explains the impact. Yet another data breach suggests to think twice before sharing any data with any company and shift to more secure authentication systems.
Intel and x86 dumpsterfire keeps burning brighter. Seek more secure hardware and operating systems for your coins.
Finally, unrelated to Decred but good for a laugh: yetanotherico.com.

About This Issue

This is the 5th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack.
Contributions are welcome too. Some areas are collecting content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Check out @Richard-Red's guide how to contribute to Decred using GitHub without writing code.
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Haon, jazzah, Richard-Red and thedecreddigest.
submitted by jet_user to decred [link] [comments]

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

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Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) History
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are a means of fundraising for the initial capital needed to get new projects off the ground within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. More often than not, Bitcoin and Ethereum, are used to buy a quantity of project tokens. However, new projects are also being launched on alternative Blockchain platforms such as NEO or WANchain, wherein the “parent” chain’s tokens will be used to fund these ICOs. Pre-launch, ICO tokens are endorsed as functional currency in the project ecosystem. After a project’s ICO, it is available on exchanges, and then the market determines the value of those tokens. The main benefit of using the ICO funding system is that it avoids the prohibitive amount of time and expense incurred by launching a startup in the conventional method, by way of Initial Public Offering (IPO). The lengthy and costly process of ensuring regulatory compliance in different jurisdictions often makes the IPO format unfeasible for small companies. Thus, the ICO method of fundraising is far more attractive as a means of crowd funding for the project. But at the same time, an ICO is certainly riskier for the investor.
It is important to note the different stages of the token sale. Token prices generally escalate the closer the token gets to its listing date. Projects often seek funding from angel investors even before the date of the private pre-sale is set, though some ICOs do go straight to pre-sale. After potential initial investment has been sought from angel investors, pre-sale begins. Usually there will be a 15–30% discount from the public sale price. The main-sale begins after the pre-sale has concluded. At that time, normal everyday crypto enthusiasts, with no connections to the team, may buy into the project at pretty close to the ground floor price. Angel investors and pre-sale investors sometimes receive quite large discounts from main sale prices, but their tokens are locked up for varying amounts of time, to prevent dumping, or selling all their tokens for a quick profit at the time of listing. Today the vast majority of ICOs make use of the Ethereum blockchain and the ERC-20 token. The very first token sale was arranged by Mastercoin, a Bitcoin fork, in July 2013. Ethereum soon followed in early 2014, raising 3700 BTC in only 12 hours (equivalent to $2.3 million at that time, and just under $35 million today). Before late 2015 there were sporadic ICOs, with Augur, NXT and Factom all successfully raising funds. 2016 was the year that the ICO format grew to truly disrupt the Venture Capital industry. There were 64 ICOs in 2016 which cumulatively raised $103 million USD.
Tremendous Success & Why Real World Case Study
The ICON (ICX) Initial coin offering is an example of a project that reaped the rewards of a token sale done with precision of execution and clarity of vision. The project promised to build a world-wide decentralized network that would allow Blockchains of different governances to transact with one another without a centralized authority, and with as few barriers as possible. ICX offered fair and clear tokenomics, with 1 Ether buying 2500 ICX, and with 1 ETH costing approximately 250 dollars when the ICO began on September 18th. 50% of the total amount of tokens were put up for public sale, 400,230,000 out of a total of 800,460,000, equating to a fundraising goal of 150,000 Ether. One of the core reasons for the project’s spectacular success was the incredibly distinguished background of those involved, and the foundation the project had in many years of stellar achievement. ICON was originally a project developed by “The Loop”, a joint venture between DAYLI financial group and three Korean Universities. They lead the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium, one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world, boasting members including Samsung Securities. The Loop had already implemented Blockchain solutions for high profile clients well before ICX was born, including completing a KYC/AML authentication smart contract platform for Korea Financial Investment Consortium.
Real World Example of Failure & Why Case Study
The risk involved in starting your own company is huge. Over 75% of startups eventually fail, according to the Harvard Business School study by Shikhar Ghosh. The study’s findings show the rate of failure for new companies is roughly 50% after 5 years, and over 75% after 10. Shikhar Ghosh identifies the following issues as the most common factors in start-up failure: -Insufficient Market Demand -Insolvency -Wrong Team -Got beat by competition -Pricing/Cost issues -Poor Product -Need for or Lack of business model -Ineffective Marketing -Disregarding Customer desires The statistics concerning rate of failure for conventional business startups pale in comparison to the number of crypto startups that fail according to Tokendata. They are one of the most rigorous ICO trackers, recording 46% of the 902 ICO crowdsale projects initiated in 2017 as failing by the time of writing. Of these 46%, 142 collapsed before the end of the funding stage, and a further 276 had either “exit scammed” (took the money and ran) or slowly faded into eventual obscurity. With no shortage of failed and abortive projects to look into, we thought it would be more helpful to look into an ICO that was mismanaged and unsuccessful in terms of its execution, rather than being fraudulent, or terminally mismanaged.
Real World Example of Failure & Why §3
Tezos was designed as a “new decentralized Blockchain that governs itself by establishing a true digital commonwealth”. The project was a partnership between the husband and wife team of Kathleen and Arthur Breitman, and a Swiss foundation run by Johann Gevers. They had a novel idea of “formal verification”, a technique that mathematically proves the veracity of code governing transactions and heightens security of smart contracts. That idea was wholeheartedly endorsed by investors, resulting in $232 million USD raised in the 2017 crowdsale. Trouble arose after the Breitmans asked the head of the Swiss foundation they were in partnership with to step down. In Gever’s words, the Breitman’s were attempting “to bypass Swiss legal structure and take over control of the foundation”. The resulting 6 class action lawsuits that were spawned from the wreckage of one of the most successful ICOs of all time have yet to be fully resolved at the time of writing, though Gevers has stepped down and a new leadership team is in place. The Tezos Network has a prospective launch date of somewhere around Q3 2018. The debacle, though not terminal to the prospects of the Tezos network, provides a cautionary tale about the need for a clearly defined leadership structure and plan for the allocation of funds after an ICO. It is entirely possible that the Tezos project could have ridden the late 2017 market euphoria to sit near the top of the cryptocurrency hierarchy if boardroom strife could have been avoided.
Real World Example of Failure & Why §4
Projects often also “pivot” from one focus or project to another. More often than not, teams change the project name entirely, even while retaining the same core team, to try for a successful venture one more time. One such project is Chain Trade Token (CTT) which, while technically speaking, not yet a “deadcoin”, shows all the signs of shutting down operations within a few months, and “pivoting” into a new project. The CTT project aimed to be the “first blockchain-based platform for the trading of futures and options on food and raw materials (aka commodity derivatives)”. But through a combination of a non-existent social media presence, and a distinct lack of urgency in securing listings beyond decentralized exchanges, the lofty ambitions of the top-level team were left unrealized. The team has supposedly split their operations from solely Chain Trade, to a former business endeavors, and the Nebula Decentralized Exchange. The project leaders then offered a 1-for-1 token swap which has been accepted by the vast majority of CTT holders.
The ICO Process
Before even researching the particular strengths and weaknesses of any specific project in which you may want to invest, it is important to know the overall processes of the ICO crowdfunding method. This will allow you to avoid any potential pitfalls if you do decide to move forward and invest money into a particular idea or project. How does an ICO happen? Stage One: Token sale details are set: This takes place usually after release of the whitepaper, and the presentation of a project to prospective investors in forums and on social media. Stage Two: Whitelisting for private sale begins: The vast majority of all ICOs have instituted KYC checks for investors which usually involve uploading a photograph of your passport or driving license along with a selfie holding the ID. Did you know? Participation in ICOs has proven to be a regulatory nightmare in some localities. Most token sales restrict contributions from investors in China and the USA entirely, though accredited investors may participate in the USA in some cases.
Stage Three: Private/Pre-sale states: Typically, 10% of tokens will be offered to early investors at a 10–30% discount. These select few investors will likely have a close association with the team. But not all projects have a pre-sale round, some go straight to public sale. Stage Four: Whitelisting for Public/Main sale starts: The same format used for pre-sale investors is used for public sale investors, though it is a regular occurrence to see main sale KYC checks closed early due to overwhelming demand. An investor must then register a contribution wallet address. That is the address used to send cryptocurrency from, to buy the ICO tokens, and then also into which you will receive your purchased tokens. This wallet address must be a non-exchange wallet, like Blockchain.info bitcoin wallet, or MyEtherWallet for ERC-20. You already understand from the prior lesson that making a mistake with your wallet address may mean you lose the tokens forever as well as the BTC or ETH you used to purchase them. Copying and pasting your cryptocurrency public key into the whitelist wallet form is the next task to complete. And then, as the investor, you wait for confirmation of successful ICO registration from the team.
Stage Five: Public sale starts: Commonly on a specific date, though sometimes for a specific period of time. If you are interested in participating in an ICO, it is important to make your contribution as quickly as possible, or you risk sending your ETH or BTC after the hard cap has been reached, resulting in your funds being sent back. This refund can sometimes take many days, or even weeks in times of high market activity. Did you know? In 2017 it was not unheard of to find ICOs that had originally scheduled their ICO period for many weeks, but then they met with such high demand that they could close their crowdsale in a matter of hours or even in just a few minutes!
Stage Six: Tokens are allocated to successful participant investor wallets, and trading can begin on some decentralized exchanges like IDEX, or EtherDelta in the case of Ethereum based tokens. Tokens will be sent to and received by the wallet addresses from which the investor contributions were made. Stage Seven: Tokens are listed on mainstream exchanges: The tokens will then be listed on the exchanges with which the teams have negotiated listing, prior to or during the sale. It can cost huge amounts of money to list on large exchanges like Bitfinex Bittrex, Huobi or Binance, so usually smaller projects will not be listed on top 10 exchanges so quickly. As tokens are listed on more and more exchanges, their price usually rises because more and more investors are exposed to opportunities to buy that particular token.
Evaluating a Blockchain Use Case
Evaluating a particular use case for Blockchain technology, and thus how successful an ICO project’s ambitions might be in a particular market, is not a simple endeavor. As demonstrated in the graphic below, Blockchain technology has nearly limitless potential to be applied to a great variety of business areas, but as an ICO investor, you are looking for projects that have the potential to deliver significant long-term success. In the currently saturated ICO environment, some use cases have more potential than others. Ascertaining which use case is likely to have long term success is a key distinction. Also, we must recognize that businesses and corporate entities may be overeager to experiment with this new Blockchain technology, whether or not usage of the technology is actually advisable or profitable for their particular purpose. The main questions to ask when analyzing specific solutions proposed by the project are: What are the problems posed and the solutions offered? Does this particular area of business need a Blockchain solution? That is, is a Blockchain solution in fact superior to the current way this particular business operates? Is the use of Blockchain in this specific instance feasible and applicable? What are competitors doing about Blockchain projects in this same area?
A Blockchain network provides a shared, replicated, secured, immutable and verifiable data ledger. The implication for use case analysis: Shared and replicated: participants have a copy of the ledger and many people can view it or work on it Secured: Secured through cryptography Verifiable: Business rules are associated with all interactions that occur on the network Immutable: Transactions (records) cannot be modified or deleted, therefore a verifiable audit trail is maintained by the network So, with all this considered, what should we look for with regard to a possible business use case that would be best solved using Blockchain technology? 1. Data exchange that has trust issues i.e. businesses transacting with one another. Trust must be established through a multitude of verification processes with regards to employees and products. These processes increase operational cost. Example: Digital voting. 2. Any potential business process involving data storage, or compliance and risk data that get audited. Blockchain solutions would provide the regulators a real-time view of information. Example: Supply chain solutions like VeChain or WaltonChain. The possibility of close to zero operational loss would of course be attractive to any business. 3. All kinds of asset transactions. A Blockchain network, with its tamper-proof ledger, validating traceable and trackable transactions, could save many different industries untold amounts of money. Example: Tokenization of assets e.g. Jibrel Network or Polymath
Purpose of Tokens
Within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the definition and role of a token iswidely understood. They represent programmable units of currency that sit atop a particular Blockchain, and they are part of a smart contract “logic” specific to a certain application. In the business sphere, a token can be defined as a unit of value that a project or business venture creates to enable it to self-govern. And the business venture also allows token users to connect and collaborate with its business products, while facilitating the sharing of rewards to all of its stakeholders. A token can also be described in a more general sense as a type of privately issued currency. In the past it was solely within the purview of governments to issue currency and set the terms of its governance. With the advent of Blockchain technology we now have businesses and organizations offering forms of digital money over which they, not the government or central bank, have control of the terms of operations and issuance. Wide scale adoption of these mechanisms could fundamentally alter the global economy. This is like the creation of self-sustaining, mini-economies in any sector of business or life, via a specific token or currency.
Fun Fact: Tokens of the particular Blockchain upon which the project is launched will usually have to be bought in order to be exchanged for ICO tokens, hence it is important for traders and investors to be aware of the schedule for upcoming ICOs. ETH is usually the token used for exchange because the majority of ICOs launch on the Ethereum Blockchain. But this is not always the case. During January 2018, two NEO token ICOs, both the Key TKY and Ontology ICOs, were being carried out, and this caused the NEO cryptocurrency to spike to its all-time high in excess of $160 USD. Since the product or project is more often than not in its embryonic stage at the time of the ICO crowdfunding process, the ICO token’s true function and purpose is in most cases yet to be realized. At the ICO stage the tokens can usually be grouped together into one of three categories. Knowing how to distinguish these categories involves determining the specific nature and function of the token around which the project is centered. The main and crucial distinction, is whether or not a token is a security, and therefore subject to securities registration requirements.
ICO Stage Token Categories
Howey Test: This is the test created by the US Supreme Court to ascertain whether certain transactions qualify as “investment contracts”. If they are found to fall within this classification, then under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Exchange Act of 1934, those transactions are considered “securities” and participants must adhere to registration and disclosure requirements. One of the most important and amazing considerations of the effect of Blockchain technology is that normal people with a computer science background are now empowered to make decisions and offer products and services that previously only licensed financial institutions were able to do. This is a very complex and complicated situation with serious ramifications for anyone involved. One thing to note well is that ordinary participants and actors in this arena can easily commit white-collar crime, violating serious securities laws, without even realizing it. If a token falls within the US legal definition of “Investment Contract” then you must adhere to US regulations. For that reason, many ICOs simply do not want to sell to US based investors, perhaps until all the rules and regulations are clarified.
Security Tokens
The broad and varying definition of the term “security” is a regulatory minefield. This has always been true for traditional financial products, and now it is especially true for the as yet unregulated cryptocurrency market. In the case of SEC V. Howey, parameters were established to determine whether or not a particular financial arrangement could be classified as a security and thus be subject to securities regulations. Cooley LLP Fintech Team Leader Marco Santori has said, an arrangement is a security if it involves “an investment of money, and a common enterprise, with the expectation of profit, primarily from the efforts of others.” Investors have the option of accessing a huge range of security tokens through ICOs. Prime examples are the gold backed DigixDao (DGD) and CProp (still in crowd funding stage). A security token is fundamentally different from the currently available ICO project tokens in that it provides a legal and enforceable ownership of a company’s profits and voice in its governance much like common stock traded on any exchange. If security tokens are the next step in the evolution of crypto-finance, real estate, stocks, venture capital, and commodities can all be tokenized. The traditional markets could be fully connected to the Blockchain. Financial assets would available to anyone in the world, not just licensed or accredited investors. That is one aspect of Fintech, the financial revolution taking place today, as Blockchain technology clashes with traditional finance.
Equity Tokens
One exciting application of smart contracts on the Ethereum Network is the potential for startups to distribute equity tokens through initial coin offerings. That would reduce the hurdles that an average person has to face in order to take part in the early stages of a company’s development. And, democratic governance of a project could be conducted in a transparent manner through voting on the Blockchain. As of yet, few startups have attempted to conduct equity token sales for fear of falling afoul of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US. But many Venture Capital insiders are bullish on the prospect of equity tokens taking a central role in the crypto finance industry, when and as the legal issues are resolved. For example, the Delaware State legislature recently passed a bill enabling companies to maintain shareholder lists on the Blockchain. That is one major step to enable Blockchain based stock trading. Lawyers also generally believe it is only a matter of time before the regulations are clarified. Did you know? Important consideration: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 made it unfeasibly expensive for smaller companies to be listed on exchanges, causing a halving in the number of IPOs between 1996 and 2016 (7322 to 3671). In 2017 there was an almost 5-fold increase in the number of ICOs, from 43 to 210, with the 2017 volume already being eclipsed in the first 5 months of 2018.
Utility Tokens
However, given that this area is still a regulatory nightmare for people planning to issue security and equity tokens, many projects attempt to ensure that the tokens within their specific model fall under the definition of Utility Tokens rather than securities, so as to avoid the SEC regulations altogether. If a token is imbued with a certain functionality and use within the Blockchain infrastructure of that particular project, the token can avoid being labelled as a security, and thus render SEC regulations inapplicable. Just this week in fact, the SEC made the long-awaited and momentous decision that Ether was not a security. In the words of William Hinman, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission division of corporate finance, “Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions.” This means that Ethereum, in fact, fails the Howey test, which is exactly the decision the crypto world wanted. Hinman said, “When the efforts of the third party are no longer a key factor for determining the enterprise’s success, material information asymmetries recede,” Hinman said. “The ability to identify an issuer or promoter to make the requisite disclosures becomes difficult, and less meaningful.” We will now cover various use cases that projects have been adopting up to now in order to get their tokens classified as utility tokens rather than securities.
Voting Rights
Some coins portray themselves as a company with tokens being held in a way that is analogous to voting shares of a stock. One coin held is equal to one vote. This form of token utility has a major flaw in that so-called whales (people with huge amounts of a particular cryptocurrency) can manipulate any poll conducted. The cryptocurrencies Aragon and Lykke are examples of projects that have written voting rights into the structure of their code. In-App Reward: Another common tactic to evade the security label has been the addition of in-app rewards to the functionality of a particular token. The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is the unit of currency for use with the project browser named “Brave”. The BAT is a unit of account for the advertisers, publishers and users of the platform. Filecoin, the cloud storage project that raised a record $257 million through their ICO, pays other people or companies for use of their spare storage space. Some of the many rights afforded to token holders in various Blockchain projects are described by the graphic below.
Token Roles Function
The token can be used as a mechanism through which user experience is enhanced, enabling such actions as connection with users, or joining a broader network. It may also be used as an incentive for beginning usage or for on-boarding. Examples include Dfinity and Steemit. Value Exchange: In its most basic usage, a token is a unit of value exchange within a specific app or market. This usually is made up of features that allow users to earn tokens through real work or passive work (sharing data, allowing use of storage space) and to spend them on services or internal functions within the specific market ecosystem created by that organization. Augur and KIK, amongst countless others, are projects that have implemented this functionality into their tokenomics. Toll: The token can also be used for getting onto the Blockchain infrastructure, or for powering decentralized applications run on that particular Blockchain. This ensures that users have “skin in the game”. Tolls can be derived from running smart contracts, paying a security deposit, or just usage fees. Examples include Bitcoin and Ethereum. Currency: Seeing as the particular platform or app is designed with a view towards functioning in synergy with a particular token, the token is an extremely efficient means of payment and transaction engine, resulting in frictionless transactions. This means that companies can become their own payment processors and no longer have to rely on the often unwieldy stages of conventional financial settlement involving trusted third parties in the form of banks and credit card companies.
Rights: Owning a token bequests certain rights upon the holder, such as product usage, voting, access to restricted markets, and dividends (e.g.: GAS for holding NEO). Though most businesses are trying to avoid fitting the definition of a security laid out in the Howey Test, the right to real ownership of a particular asset is sometimes granted as a result of holding a token, for example DigixDAO or Tezos.
Comparison to Traditional IPO and Equity Capital Raisings
Despite the similarity of the acronyms and the derivation of one from the other, Initial Coin Offerings and Initial Public Offerings are very different methods of fundraising. The distinction is not limited simply to the fact that IPOs are used in conventional business, and ICOs are associated with cryptocurrency. Through ICO’s, companies in their early stages issue digital tokens on a Blockchain and those tokens act as units of value for use within the ecosystem created by the project. They have many other uses, but it is also fair to say they are analogous to shares offered in an Initial Public offering.
In an IPO, shareholdings are distributed to investors through underwriters, usually investment banks. But in the case of ICO token sales, companies often do not even have an actual product to show. Often, all that there is a whitepaper, evidence of the partnerships involved and the particular social-media infrastructure they have established. IPO’s take place when a more well-established company floats shares on a stock exchange. The company would have a well-established history of success and significant reasons to expect a bright future. In the vast majority of cases, an ICO is used for a new company with no such history, just trying to get off the ground.
Another important difference is the expected return in exchange for the investment. Companies engaging in IPOs may offer participants dividend paying stocks which result in various levels of return depending on the success of the company after the shares are issued. An ICO however can offer no such guaranteed return. When buying tokens in an ICO, you do so with no promise of return. An investor who holds the tokens of a particular project does so with the promise, rather than an assurance, of future success. The main benefit to investors taking part in Initial Coin Offerings, compared to Initial Public Offerings, is the need for only basic Know Your Customer checks in the case of the ICO, compared to the costly, complex and time-consuming regulatory obstacles that must be traversed in an IPO. In the case of Initial Public Offerings, a business must obtain authorization from a number of entities before the act of “going public”. Prior to an IPO, companies are not obliged to disclose so much of their internal records or accounting. It is not so complicated to make a private company in the United States. But in the run up to going public, the company must form a board of directors, make their records auditable to the relevant authorities in one or more jurisdictions, and prepare to make quarterly reports to the SEC (or equivalent).
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
When analyzing the chances of success for a specific project, and the likelihood of a favorable return on investment in the long term, it is essential to break down the project into its constituent parts, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each part individually. An effective investigation and analysis would start with the team and white paper. Consider the stage the project is at,and VC investments in the project. That would lead to a good initial idea of the actual progress thus far. Next, evaluate the social media presence and the credentials of the community that has formed around the core team. If a compelling case is made by the team, (e.g.: via an in-depth dive into the use case), and the tokenomics, distribution schedule, potential competitors, as well as the team’s awareness of any future business or regulatory concerns all check out; then the ICO might present a good opportunity for investment. In the following slides we tackle each of these considerations in order so you will be able to evaluate an ICO’s worth and assign a grade for the success of each project.
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
The Team First and most important, we need evaluate the background and experience of the team, the people involved in the project. Well-established developers, for example, will likely have LinkedIn profiles demonstrating their previous endeavors and occupations, from which we can judge their suitability to the project and the likelihood of the team’s success. The LinkedIn profile is a point of reference for professional accomplishments and official positions. But we can also learn more about a person from their personal accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Medium etc. That is also a good way to follow along with the progress of the project. By investigating team members through as many means as possible, you will know how long they have been involved in cryptocurrency. If they have been around and active for a long time, they are that much more likely to be knowledgeable and capable of making better quality decisions in this business. It goes without saying that it is a huge red flag if it is too difficult to find information about the team members online, and worse still if the team members are anonymous.
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
A good Whitepaper gives a detailed description of the project, the problems the team is going to solve, the timeframe projected, and methods to be used in the implementation of their ideas. If, in answering the question about what the project actually does, it seems the team is presenting ideas that are too complicated or advanced to understand, then you simply should not invest until you are satisfied you have been given the requisite level of insight to understand the concepts described. It is always possible that the whitepaper is nothing more than a salad of buzzwords and technical language intended to give the impression of competence while really doing nothing but obfuscate the truth. The whitepaper should clearly and concisely present the problems and the solutions needed. The whitepaper must give a solid and coherent answer as to who needs this project and why. Also, if the team have put no effort into explaining why a Blockchain solution is needed for this particular problem, or why such a solution is superior to its “real-world” equivalent, it is likely they are only in it for the money. We have more to say about red-flags later.
While 2016 raised a comparatively small amount in comparison to the proceeding years, there were a few specific projects that raised significant amounts of capital. These are respectable amounts of money, even by today’s standards, and especially impressive when contrasted with the immaturity of the ICO market at the time, and relative to amounts raised in traditional IPOs. Waves ($16.4mill), Iconomi ($10.6mill) and Golem ($8.6mill) were the three largest fundraisings of the year. 2017 was the year of the ICO whales. Hdac ($258mill), Filecoin ($257mill), EOS Stage 1 ($185mill) and Paragon ($183.16mill) were the largest that year. To be able to raise so much money, so quickly, in such a new market, using such a new mechanism is truly incredible. 2017 was the year that proved ICOs are for serious individuals and institutional investors as well. We have also had some phenomenal amounts raised so far in 2018. Telegram ($1.7bill), Dragon ($320mill), Huobi ($300mill) and Bankera ($150mill). Telegram might be the first mainstream example of an ICO, not only by raising close to $2billion, which would be beyond incredible and impressive even by traditional IPO standards; but also, because it is one of the first ICO companies to tangibly put a product in the hands of hundreds of millions of users, and successfully compete against traditional companies such as Facebook (MessengeWhatsApp), Microsoft (Skype) and Tencent (WeChat).
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