Former PayPal COO Joins Security Token Startup 0x in Advisory Capacity

Fmr. PayPal COO David Saks, Cryptocurrency, Security Token, 0x
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Former Paypal COO David Sacks has joined 0x, an open protocol used for token trading in an advisory role, according to Fortune.

Sacks, who is the co-founder of Harbor and a partner at Craft Ventures — a compliance service for token sales — shared the news via a tweet. The move is expected to create an industry standard for security tokens, leading to faster adoption with investors and software developers. The 0x protocol was founded by Will Warren and Amir Bandeali, who saw the need for a trustless peer-to-peer token exchange platform for ERC-20 tokens.

Will Warren, CEO of 0x, said the company’s trading protocol is quite secure. He also said he expects a massive shift from the current closed systems that are highly regulated to a much “more open system,” which is not dependent on trading location. The 0x protocol also offers off-chain order books, which allow it to bypass Ethereum’s gas fees and others when orders are altered or cancelled.

Security tokens are a blockchain-based representation of a physical asset — such as stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.— subject to regulation under security laws. Since cryptocurrencies are not classified as securities, they are easier to trade on a larger scale compared to security tokens. Security tokens go through a longer process from issuance to delivery — KYC/AML accreditations. To further complicate compliance, regulations often differ in jurisdictions.

Speaking on the development, Harbor CEO Josh Stein said regulatory compliance is needed for a growing network like 0x which helps connect “buyers and sellers around the world.”

“By tackling the regulatory compliance challenges of tokenizing private securities, Harbor makes it easy for issuers and investors to abide by existing rules and regulations across jurisdictions,” he added.

Adoption of security tokens is on the rise, but they are still far away from being an everyday investment like bitcoin. There is a gradual shift, though, in the way assets are being traded. Sacks believes the real estate industry is in line to be the first major asset class to migrate to the blockchain-based system of ownership. Tokenizing properties will provide a greater form of liquidity, which makes it easier to divide and transfer ownership.

Earlier in July, Colorado based St. Regis offered digital tokens to investors who wish to own a share of the luxury property. Swiss stock exchange operator SIX has also announced plans to build a regulated exchange for tokenized securities.

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Majority of Investors Want to Buy More Digital Currency in 2018, Survey Shows

A majority of accredited and retail investors plan to increase their crypto asset holdings over the next 12 months, according to a survey published September 5 by investment platform SharesPost.

The mid-year survey, which was conducted in July, polled 2,490 retail investors and 528 individual accredited and institutional investors. 

The recent survey shows both consumers and investors remain optimistic about cryptocurrencies in spite of the 60 percent decline in cryptocurrency valuations in 2018. At least 59 percent of investors and 72 percent of consumers confirm they are planning to buy more coins in the next 12 months. Moreover, 57 percent of investors and 66 percent of consumers expect crypto valuations to grow next year.

Respondents were also asked to rank cryptocurrencies by preference. Bitcoin was most preferred, followed by Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin. According to the survey, respondents found that these four cryptocurrencies have the most potential for long term success.

Furthermore, participants increasingly expressed interest in blockchain technology. 32 percent of investors and 49 percent of consumers say their employers are interested in implementing blockchain in the near future.

Both consumers and investors think the success of blockchain integration mostly depends on the prevalence of relevant commercial applications and proper education on the technology.

50 percent of respondents said crypto market volatility was their chief concern, while 37 percent said their main concern was security.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, a poll conducted by research service YouGov Omnibus in August shows that half of American millennials are interested in using cryptocurrency. Moreover, at least 79 percent of Americans know of at least one cryptocurrency.

Ripple Price Intraday Analysis: XRP Faces Tough Battle against Selloff

Ripple Price XRP
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On Friday, Sept. 7, the Ripple price (XRP) is recovering, although the intraday outlook is still mixed. Ripple is trading around 0.2905.

Fundamentals

XRP news are mostly neutral. This week, TransferGo launched a payment channel to India based on XRP technology, which will enable real time transactions.

The channel is going to be available across Europe and, going forward, will enable avoiding most current payment methods where transactions take around two or three days. It is yet unknown which XRP product TransferGo is using, but the reason for basing the transactions on XRP is quite clear: this token is very widespread in India and opens the door to unlimited opportunities there.

Another payment service being launched by TransferGo is also based on XRP. Although it is a bit slower, it is going to be completely free of charge.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said this week that there was no point in replacing fiat currencies with cryptos. Regular money does its job quite alright, he added. In order to contest this point the speed and usability digital money must get much more effective, and while cryptocurrency can function well for overseas transactions, it is still not that useful for everyday payments.

Technical Analysis

With the latest XRP fall, a downtrend has been formed, while the channel support test led to a temporary bounce-off. Currently, there is a new downward wave forming. In case the support at 0.2780 gets broken out, the downtrend will continue with the price moving to the lower projection channel towards 0.2140.

On H1, XRP is finishing its local correction uptrend and forming an inside downtrend channel. Once the support at 0.2780 gets broken out, the new channel support and the key low at 0.2365 is going to be the next target. Meanwhile, the local resistance is at 0.3036.

Analysis by Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboForex

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Energy Firm ENGIE Partners With Consulting Firm to Create Blockchain Software Offering

French electric utility company ENGIE and consulting firm Maltem Consulting Group have jointly established a blockchain development firm designed for commercial customers, according to a press release published September 7.

The new project called Blockchain Studio received seed funding totalling €1.9 million (around $2.1 million). Blockchain Studio has created a software suite for commercial enterprises comprised of two fundamental tools. One tool is focused on the development of smart contracts and enables its application by users without technical background. The other tool manages the creation of cloud-based or server-based blockchain infrastructure.

According to the announcement, the company is planning to roll out its services primarily on the Asian market at the beginning of 2019, with an office in Singapore. By the end of the first financial semester of next year, Blockchain Studio will also open operations in Southern Europe.

Yves Le Gélard, ENGIE’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Digital Officer expressed enthusiasm towards the new project:

“We are very pleased to be contributing to this development, which should allow Blockchain technology to be made accessible to many actors. It is an excellent example of an innovative tool contributing to ENGIE’s digital transformation.”

ENGIE has previously explored blockchain applications in its energy business. In July, the corporate research center of the ENGIE Group, ENGIE Lab CRIGEN, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the IOTA Foundation. The collaboration is focused on the exploration of and experimentation with IOTA Tangle technology in the energy sector.

Ripple General Counsel Departs Cryptocurrency Firm Amid Class-Action Dispute over XRP

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A top lawyer at cryptocurrency startup Ripple has left the company, a spokesperson confirmed to CCN on Friday.

Brynly Llyr, who joined the San Francisco-based blockchain company in Nov. 2016 as the firm’s general counsel and has served in that role in the nearly two years since, is no longer with the organization. Llyr’s departure from Ripple was first reported by Quartz.

In a statement, a Ripple spokesperson confirmed the move and said that the blockchain firm was “grateful” for her work at the company.

“We can confirm that Brynly Llyr has moved on from Ripple. We’re grateful to all that she did to help build an incredible team that will continue the work they’ve been focused on for the past year and beyond. We wish Brynly all the best in her next endeavor and the team here at Ripple looks forward to the next chapter where we will continue to pave the way in this ever-evolving and unchartered industry.”

Previously, she had managed “class action litigation and complex litigation” for eBay and also spent time at PayPal after it was spun off from the e-commerce giant, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Llyr’s departure comes as Ripple prepares to defend itself against a variety of class-action lawsuits alleging that the XRP cryptocurrency — whose majority owner is Ripple — should be regulated as a security and that the firm’s distribution of XRP (which is often colloquially referred to as “ripple”) constitutes an illegal securities offering.

The spokesperson did not respond to an inquiry about whether Llyr’s departure would have any impact on that legal battle. However as Hacked reported in July, the company has hired a heavyweight to oversee its case that XRP is not a security: Mary Jo White, the former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency that determines whether an asset should be regulated as a security by the federal government.

Ripple, for its part, has long denied that XRP is a security. The SEC, meanwhile, has not commented on the matter publicly, though officials have stated that bitcoin and ethereum — the only two cryptocurrencies with circulating valuations higher than those of XRP — should not be classified as securities under current U.S. law.

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Major Mining Pool F2Pool Publishes List of Minimum Prices for Profitable Crypto Mining

The CEO of China-based crypto mining pool F2Pool posted a company-branded infographic September 6 that indicates at what minimum price points the mining of various cryptocurrencies becomes unprofitable.

Shixing Mao, co-founder and CEO and of the world’s sixth largest mining pool F2Pool, published a list of price levels for major cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Zcash (ZEC) below which mining said currency with various different miners allegedly becomes unprofitable.

According to Mao’s graphic, if Bitcoin’s price hits lower than 36,792 yuan (about $5,376) point, this would mean that mining the cryptocurrency on an Antminer T9 would be unprofitable. In the case of using an S7 model miner, the break-even point amounts to a significantly higher 79,258 yuan (about $11,581) Bitcoin price point.

Break-even price points for different cryptocurrencies and miners

Break-even price points for different cryptocurrencies and miners Source: F2Pool’s CEO Weibo

In contrast to S7, mining Bitcoin on Antminer T9 model that was released in January 2017, is still profit-making at Bitcoin’s currently prices, while the newer Innosilicon T2 has the lowest threshold, amounting to 26,636 yuan or about $3,891.

At press time, Bitcoin is trading at $6,452, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index

In mid-August, U.S. graphics processing unit (GPU) manufacturer Nvidia revealed that crypto mining hardware sales were much lower than expected in Q2 2018, claiming that the company does not expect to make significant blockchain-related sales for the rest of the year.

In July, major Taiwanese microchips producer TSMC once again decreased its annual revenue and capital expenditure estimates, following growth rate reduction in the crypto mining field, among other areas.

Crypto, Blockchain Companies Shine in LinkedIn’s Top 50 U.S. Startups

LinkedIn has been keeping its finger on the pulse of the United States’ most thriving startups, and crypto organizations are showing tremendous signs of life — and growth.

The business and employment social media site released its LinkedIn Top Startups list this Thursday, September 6, 2018. Split into two articles, the list details the U.S.’s most dominant startups, weighing each company’s worth with in-house data that looks at “employee growth; jobseeker interest; member engagement with the company and its employees; and how well these startups pulled talent from [the company’s] flagship LinkedIn Top Companies list.” To be eligible, companies could be no older than seven years and must have had at least 50 employees.

Crypto Companies Take Top Spots

Interspersed between the expected ilk of general tech and software startups, cryptocurrency and blockchain companies had an impressive showing among their mainstream industry peers.

Coming in just behind Uber adversary Lyft and low-calorie ice-cream company Halo Top Creamery, respectively, Coinbase ranked third on the list. In describing the six-year-old cryptocurrency wallet and vendor, LinkedIn notes that its services house over 20 million accounts — twice the number of clients Charles Schwab has on its books. At 500 employees strong, the company hopes to double its manpower by year’s end.

Right behind number six — stock-trading service Robinhood (which, while not focused on cryptocurrencies, does offer crypto trading) — comes Ripple. With over 100 clients, the blockchain-based banking platform delivers its services to institutions like Santander, RBC and American Express. The company of 250 employees hopes to add 75 more by 2019. Slinging a bit of mud, the company boasted to LinkedIn that this dedication to expansion — along with an impressive clientele — is what distinguishes Ripple from other crypto startups that are “playing in the sandbox.”

Down the List, Crypto Still Finds Its Place

Outside of the top 10, the Winklevosses’ Gemini straddles the list’s upper and lower division at 25. LinkedIn highlights the Winklevosses’ hitherto unsuccessful attempts to list a bitcoin ETF, as well as their spearheading of an SRO (self-regulatory organization) for cryptocurrency exchanges. Among its 150 employees, the description draws attention to Robert Cornish, Gemini’s newly acquired CIO, whom it “poached” from the New York Stock Exchange.

Just below Gemini, Ethereum incubator ConsenSys tops the latter half of the rankings. Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin heads the organizational body, and its impressive staff of 965, the largest of any of the crypto companies surveyed, is spread across departments for technological development, consulting, education and investing. Earlier this year, the company partnered with Amazon to launch Kaleido, an enterprise-grade, blockchain software-as-a-service kit available on Amazon Web Services.

At 47, Axoni, a fintech firm focused on blockchain and distributed ledger technology, brings up the rear as the last crypto-related company on the list. Founded in 2013, the 50 employee company is starting to make a name for itself, as an infusion of $32 million in venture capital from market heavyweights like Goldman Sachs, Nyca Partners and Andreessen Horowitz has given the fledgling firm expectations to live up to.

A detailed version of LinkedIn’s terminology, along with qualifiers and exceptions, reads as follows:

LinkedIn measures startups based on four pillars: employment growth, engagement, job interest and attraction of top talent. Employment growth is measured as percentage headcount increase over one year, which must be a minimum of 15%. Engagement looks at non-employee views and follows of the company’s LinkedIn page as well as how many non-employees are viewing employees at that startup. Job interest counts what rate people are viewing and applying to jobs at the company, including both paid and unpaid postings. Attraction of top talent measures how many employees the startup has recruited away from LinkedIn Top Companies, as a percentage of the startup’s total workforce. Data is normalized across all eligible startups. The methodology time frame is July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

To be eligible, companies must be independent and privately held, have 50 or more employees, be 7 years old or younger and be headquartered in the country on whose list they appear. We exclude all staffing firms, think tanks, nonprofits, accelerators and government-owned entities.

Canadian Executive Accused of Stealing over US$ 5 Million in Cryptocurrency

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A senior executive at a Vancouver, British Columbia-based marketing firm allegedly preyed on the ignorance of his employer regarding cryptocurrencies to take off with digital assets worth millions of dollars.

In a lawsuit filed by Shair.Com Global Digital Services, the marketing firm accused Jason Arnold, its former chief operating officer, of stealing up to US$5.3 million and then claiming it was all lost after his company-issued laptop ‘died’. The Supreme Court of British Columbia consequently issued a ruling last month directing Arnold to turn over the computer regardless of its current condition.

According to the plaintiff, the decision to invest in cryptocurrencies came towards the end of 2013. With the defendant having promoted himself as the most knowledgeable in the firm with regards to digital assets he was tasked with exploring the opportunity.

When an Altcoin Fared Better than Bitcoin…

At the beginning of 2014, Arnold informed his employer that he had set up a bitcoin wallet as well as created a paper back up and a digital backup on the company’s Citrix server. Between June and August of the same year, Arnold was given US$14,000 to buy bitcoin which would now be worth US$172,000 or US$5.3million if it had been converted into Whitecoin (XWC). This was determined after an investigation conducted by a digital currency consultant hired by the plaintiff.

“The investigation was unable to determine the current location or value of digital currencies owned by the plaintiff, but the plaintiff alleges that the [C]$18,500 in Bitcoin purchased by it in June and August 2014, if it remained in Bitcoin, would have a current value of approximately [C]$225,000,” wrote Skolrood in his ruling. “Had all that Bitcoin been converted to Whitecoin, the current value would be approximately $5.3 million US.”

The investigation also uncovered the fact that the defendant had acquired bitcoin on behalf of the marketing firm as early as January 2014 but the plaintiff was not informed of this development.

No Backup, No Laptop

Though he remains a shareholder in Shair.Com Global Digital Services, Arnold left the company’s employment last year in April. It was, however, only in December 2017 that his employer realized that the company-issued laptop given to him had not been returned. Additionally, it was also this time that the marketing firm realized that no digital backup of the bitcoin wallet had been made on its Citrix server.

Despite an application to free Arnold’s assets worth US2.3 million including a boat, two all-terrain vehicles, two cars, a plot of land and three homes, Justice Skolrood turned down the plaintiff’s prayer.

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Scattered Gains Bring Respite after Midweek Crash, But Many Alts Continue to See Losses

Friday, September 7: after the midweek bloodbath, crypto markets have slightly stabilized today, although many coins continue to shed value, as Coin360 data shows.

Market visualization from Coin360

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at around $6,430 at press time, down just under one percent on the day, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index.

Despite a bullish start to September, Bitcoin’s price decline set in this Wednesday, September 5. Since then, the leading cryptocurrency has spiralled downwards from a high of $7,391 to over $1,000 less at its intraday low today at $6,354.

The coin is now a stark 16 percent down on its weekly chart. On the month, Bitcoin nonetheless remains up by around 7.3 percent.

Bitcoin’s 7-day price chart

Bitcoin’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index

Ethereum (ETH) has tumbled to around $216 at press time, losing just over 3 percent on the day. As with Bitcoin, Ethereum started September strong, briefly brushing the $300 price point September 1 before this week’s price plummet.

On its weekly chart, Ethereum is down just over 23 percent, with monthly losses around 46 percent.

Ethereum’s 7-day price chart

Ethereum’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Ethereum Price Index

Among the other top ten coins on CoinMarketCap, only three are in the green, though losses are capped below 3 percent. After Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is down the most, seeing 2.77 percent losses on the day to trade at just under $500.  

Stellar (XLM) is the only top ten crypto to see solid growth, up 4 percent on the day to trade at around $0.207. While it still remains shy of its intraweek high at almost $0.24, XLM-BTC has seen a solid bounce back to its trading levels before the mid-week market plunge set in September 5.

Stellar’s 7-day price chart

Stellar’s 7-day price chart from CoinMarketCap

Among the top twenty coins, all assets, except for two exceptions, are seeing mixed reds and greens in the 1 percent range, showing the coins are holding steady over the past 24 hours to press time.  

Dash (DASH), ranked 12th by market cap, has soared almost 6.46 percent on the day to trade around $185.56, although it is still trading almost 16 percent lower than its value ($220.50) during early trading hours September 5.

Dash’s 7-day price chart from CoinMarketCap

The other exception among top twenty coins is Dogecoin (DOGE), ranked 20th, which is up around 6 percent on the day, capping a week of extraordinary price volatility.

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $203.5 billion at press time, down over $35 billion from its intraweek high of around $240 billion.

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

Even as the markets tumble, fresh data from management and technology consulting firm GreySpark has found that volumes on crypto marketplaces have burgeoned in 2018, with the U.S. dollar the most actively traded fiat against cryptocurrencies.

Responding to this week’s grim market movements, crypto Twitter has actively mulled the possible impact and price correlation surrounding reports that Goldman Sachs was rolling back their plans to open a crypto trading desk. The banking giant’s CFO refuted the rumors in a statement September 6, calling them “fake news” and affirming the company’s plans were on track.

OKCoin Enters the US Market

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This is a submitted sponsored story. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the content below.

Digital Asset Trading Platform will be open for trading on July 09.

OKCoin, one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges, officially announces its presence in the United States. US Customers, starting with California individuals and entities, will be able to sign up at okcoin.com on July 09, 2018, 03:40 AM Pacific Time (July 08, 2018, 06:40 PM, Hong Kong time). OKCoin supports US dollar deposits and withdrawals and is fully compliant with applicable US regulations. This is an important milestone in OKCoin’s global expansion; and to celebrate, OKCoin is launching with reduced trading fees and an industry-leading referral bonus program.

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