12 posts tagged

Crypto currency

Airdrop evolution

The airdrop buzzword can be heard numerous times nowadays. Airdrop itself is a popular approach to give away the token to the community.

Airdrop is a popular way to distribute project tokens to the community. So popular that sometimes leads to congestion in the network Ethereum and important commissions in transactions. More recently, this mechanics, which was used to vote on the stock exchange FCoin, has led to sad consequences for the entire network of Ethereum itself. A suitable algorithm allows solving several problems of smart contracts, which operate with extensive lists of users’ addresses. The fact is that putting into the contract a list of even a few thousand addresses and letting this set of addresses do something directly in the contract will not work – in the block, every byte is saved and this is too expensive.

To solve the problem, it is necessary to determine whether the address belongs to the list of “white” addresses in the contract code. If yes, then allow the desired action. The proposed option will enable to solve this problem quite merely by keeping only one number in the contract. The algorithm of brilliant cryptographer Ralph Merkle is widely used in virtually any decentralized software to ensure the integrity of data sets.

Airdrop & ACL

There is such a practice – to release your token and send out its small amounts to tens of thousands of addresses, for which there is, for example, at least 1 ETH. Such spam is extremely popular now to promote your own projects tokens. Few people like the appearance on their balance of someone’s unknown tokens. Nevertheless, the projects need this, and orders for airdrop are prevalent. This is usually done in an old-fashioned way, like this (in the example of Ethereum, but other block contracts with contracts, EOS, for example):

  • Create an address where enough tokens are stored for distribution to all from the list, or they provide in the token contract the ability to create (mint) the required number of tokens to the specified address (when sending the transaction from a particular privileged address);
  • Put on this address is enough Ethereum, enough to pay for the commission for each shipment of tokens to the user;
  • Run a distribution script that iterates through the addresses and for each creates a transaction that transfers (or toms) tokens to the specified address.
    That is, it’s just a pass on the heap of addresses and sending tokens to everyone. In decentralized systems, this push strategy is usually pretty lame, expensive, generates security holes, and generally, it’s spam.

On the commission takes much money (the more addresses, the greater the commission). Besides, at the time of mailing the commission can grow, because the load on the network grows, the cost of the transaction grows too;
Mailing requires writing a script that will send transactions, and the script contains a secret key that gives access to a heap of tokens;

Mailing must be programmed and be able to continue from the place where everything has broken down.

At the same time, the solution is much simpler, which, as is the case in decentralized networks, most of the work is delivered by the software on the client side. This is access control using the Merkle tree – an incredibly convenient data structure to store in the contract only one fixed-size number (merkleRoot), which contains information about all the data included in the tree (about a massive list of recipient addresses, for example).

There is no magic here: information proving that the address is present in the list of allowed, client code provides independently, doing relatively voluminous calculations, and eliminating the need to view a huge list of addresses. The structure of the Merkle tree is extremely useful for a variety of tasks.

So, this algorithm is suitable for creating huge ACL (Access Control List), which allow you to give access to some function of the contract to millions of accounts. To do this, you need to write down a single number in the contract to verify that the account belongs to the list.

Consider the scheme with airdrop, because it is now in high demand on the market and is a demonstrative and straightforward example of smart contracts with large ACLs.

In general, Merkle-proof can be described as “the path that can be traversed from the user’s address in the Merkle tree to Merkle-root itself.”

The Merkle-proof proof consists of log₂N hashes (rounded up to the whole). Each hash is the same size as Merkle-root, which we recorded in a contract-airdrop. That is, for a list of 1024 addresses, the user must provide 10 hashes, and for ~ 4 billion addresses – only 32 hashes. It is in the protocol of construction and presentation of evidence that the main “counter” of the contract hides – the storage of the minimum amount of information to determine the belonging of some data to an extensive list. Also, the more the list is, the higher the gain.

In reality, the contract is supplemented by the ability to take unused tokens, update Merkle root and enter time limits, for example, to prohibit the release of tokens after some time. The contract is quickly updated to distribute an arbitrary number of tokens to each address, in this case, the file contains not just the recipients’ addresses, but also the necessary sums of tokens, and the merkle-proof function is slightly modified, but the general algorithm does not change from this.
Advantages and disadvantages of Merkle-airdrop.

Separately, one can distinguish the advantages and disadvantages of the above method in comparison with the traditional script distribution:

Pros:

The transaction that requires tokens costs little gas, and this number is a constant, depending on the size of the “white” list;
After the launch of the contract, it does not require the slightest support, and all activity is provided by users;
Allows you to work with lists of almost arbitrary size with a minimum consumption of storage block.

Minuses:

It is necessary to spread the public address list somewhere;
The client code needs to see all the addresses in the “white” list and execute a fairly resource-intensive code.
In this algorithm, there are no secrets, such a payoff from the memory of the contract is generously “paid” for the work of the code on the client side to verify the membership of the list. This approach demonstrates very well the difference between the models of using smart contracts in comparison with traditional centralized systems.

The traditional distribution of tokens by the script in response can be countered only by a simple and understandable scheme of work. Moreover, the efforts of the programmer to run ordinary airdrop at times exceed the efforts for laying out the Merkle-airdrop contract, the launched script should be monitored so that it does not fall off in the middle of the list so that it does not run out of funds for commissions for transactions, make sure that no one stole the key with which the script signs transactions. Plus, if you have a file with addresses, you really do not need a programmer-it’s extremely easy to implement such a contract through public services.

Features of the implementation

In addition to the basic smart contract, the full DApp for Merkle-airdrop has some features in the implementation. In the Merkle-airdrop scheme, a significant amount of work is assigned to the code in the user’s browser, for example, building Merkle proof, for which you need to run through the entire address list. The list of addresses should be stored somewhere, and for the user, it should be no more difficult than uploading the file to the server.

Conclusion

The main “advantage” of the traditional distribution of tokens on the list is that this scheme allows you to cast tokens even to those who do not want it. There are also special perversions when you can send out tokens so little that the exchange does not even allow you to make transactions with them, and users are forced to watch these “scraps” on their addresses without being able to get rid of them.
The problem of airdrop, when the company distributes part of the system tokens in the community, is of course extremely important for the development of projects. However, such a decision is unfriendly to users and inefficient in general. So in general, smart contracts tend to gravitate towards the concept of “pull” rather than “push,” in which network users are initiators and controllers of business processes, and stories, when someone centrally imposes something on tens of thousands of users, gradually the past.

2018   Aidrop   Crypto currency   Crypto industry   Digital investmens   ICO

Top Cybersecurity menace

What represents the most terrying things for cybersecurity staff?

No doubt, the greatest threats to cybersecurity is ransomware. Now worth over a billion dollars year (and rising), with attacks like WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya wreaking havoc, every expert worth their salt was planning ways to stay ahead of the hackers.

Anyway, things move pretty quickly in the cybercrime space. Hackers are inventive, ingenious and destructive, always coming up with new ways of pushing boundaries. Ransomware was so last year. While no one will deny it’s still a (massive) problem, other types of cybercrime are beginning to spread like the bubonic plague.
Check out the top five threats keeping cybersecurity professionals up at night right now.

Ransomware

Yes, ransomware is still high up on the list, as this vicious form of cybercrime overtakes systems and locks down computer files with strong encryption. And most businesses end up paying the ransom to get their data back (especially when it isn’t backed up).

According to Peter Tran, Head of Global Cyber Defense & Security Strategy at Worldpay, data manipulation or destruction in the form of ransomware is often the most disruptive and can take out critical infrastructures including healthcare, financial services, and supply chains.

“This is a critical threat as we move toward pervasive hyper-converged mobile, cloud and IoT-based data infrastructures. There’s much more at stake now with modern IT,” he warns.

The Cryptojacking

Spiking by a massive 1,189% in Q1 of 2018, cryptojacking propelled its way past ransomware as the number one nuisance on the block. According to CSO Magazine, what makes this form of cybercrime, so “interesting” is that it blurs the ethical line between everyday internet users and criminals.

In fact, some sites like The Pirate Bay are even using it to replace advertising and earn income. How? As long as you have their site open in your browser, they temporarily hijack your device and borrow your computational power to mine cryptocurrency. As soon as you close your browser, the crypto miner goes away. In other, more serious cases, it infiltrates your system and downloads just like malware.
Since crypto jacking overtakes devices and forces them to mine cryptocurrency, it burns through a lot of CPU cycles. But, unlike DDoS attacks, you won’t see disastrous downtime or funds siphoned off into a criminal’s account. You just get servers pushed to the max mining Monero.

Cryptojacking is more of an irritation than a serious disease. It’s like trying to swat a persistent fly in the outback. In fact, according to Matt Downing, Principal Analyst at Alert Logic, the most worrying thing about crypto jacking isn’t really the crypto jacking itself – it’s the fact that you got crypto jacked.

This highlights a “vulnerability in your system,” meaning that something worse could just as easily have hacked its way in.

Data Breaches

The very word “Equifax” sends a shiver down the spines of cybersecurity professionals, especially if the companies they work for hold sensitive data. In fact, according to research by Norton, 54 percent of US consumers report having had some personal information involved in a breach.

What’s particularly worrying about this is that the data may be sold in stolen data marketplaces on the dark web. Not only do hackers stand to make high profits from this, but they can also gather extra social information they need to hack into more accounts.

Micro Breaches

Oftentimes, cybercrime is aggressive and makes a lot of noise, but this is not the case with what Tran calls “low and slow attacks.” In a type of “micro breach” situation, access is gained slowly and quietly over a period of time by subverting traditional detection methods.

He says, “Lack of visibility or ‘flying blind’ puts security professionals in a constant position of disadvantage… you can’t defend against what you can’t see or detect… that leads to a lot of sleepless nights!”

Internet of Things (IoT) Hacking

By 2020 it is estimated there will be over 20 billion connected IoT devices worldwide. This means the amount of attack vectors significantly increases. “This increases their chances of a successful breach into much larger systems that utilize IoT as their main infrastructure,” Tran advises.

Anyway a bunch of medical devices on the blink and cars crashing into each other?
“Think about it like a hub and spokes on a bicycle wheel,” he explains, “where the hub represents a single IoT device and the spokes all lead to other access points… then multiply that by 20 billion… It’s a lot to monitor for security professionals and certainly will have security pros sleep with one eye open.”

Takeaway

You may have noticed that phishing, cyberstalking, weaponization of AI, and other serious cybercrimes didn’t make a list. There are plenty of other forms of criminality on the web taking place which are keeping our dear friends in the IT department from getting a restful night’s sleep. However, right now, these are the top five on most security professionals’ lists.

2018   Blockchain   Crime   Crypto currency   Digital investmens   Fraud

Citizenship for crypto

Nowadays, the crypto investors are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and increase their fortunes seeing how the cryptocurrency is taking an increasingly prominent place in the world financial system.

The actual citizenship for money (including digital) can be issued only in a limited number of countries. In fact, there is a little more than a dozen. Moreover, the opportunity to obtain citizenship for Bitcoins is still available only in one state – legitimately and quickly – Vanuatu.

Over the past years, it has been possible to observe many changes in the offshore, banking, investment, and tax spheres. These changes began to occur especially often with the acceleration of the transition to the era of the digital economy, and also against the background of active Internetization and globalization. Each next change brings with it specific opportunities and challenges. Also, as practice shows, only those who are ready to adapt to these changes thrive.

This axiom is still relevant, including for the crypto-currency industry. More recently, crypto-currency investors began to face a growing “snowball” of changes. Governments are stepping up the onslaught through tax instruments and are trying to regulate the ever-increasing crypto-currency market. In response to these events, prudent investors began to explore the possibilities of tax and offshore planning available to them to adapt to the changes.

Cryptocurrencies are still an exciting component of wealth planning tools for any successful person. In this case, cryptocurrency investors, no doubt, must protect their assets with advanced tax, offshore and other strategies.

Those who conscientiously seek to adapt to changing realities and norms should take a small part of their cryptocurrency wealth and invest in alternative residences and passports to ensure long-term prosperity for themselves and their loved ones by protecting their crypto savings.

As noted above, you can get the same additional passport for Bitcoins. This procedure is legal and debugged. The first cases are already positive.

Why invest in alternative residence permits / PZHM / citizenships? Here are five main reasons why each serious crypto-currency investor needs an additional residence and/or a new passport – preferably in an offshore and/or low-tax jurisdiction.

The direct approach

In April 2018, the Hungarian company Ajax Software LLC presented the world a new cryptocurrency – Citizenshipcoin. It is designed specifically for the investment immigration industry (CBI / RBI / EB5 programs) and is the first of its kind in the market. According to the developers, the use of the new digital currency will allow investors to instantly settle for participation in passport programs anywhere in the world.

To date, digital currencies are not used in the field of investment immigration due to anonymity. According to the idea of ​​the authors, it is Citizenscoin (CTZ) that can, in the long run, occupy a free niche. The creators assure that using the new cryptocurrency will allow conducting financial transactions without intermediaries in the form of banks.

It is expected that payments will be faster, cheaper and more efficient. Developers predict that in the foreseeable future, consulting companies, citizenship specialists, development, and legal companies, as well as authorities of countries that have the opportunity to obtain a passport for investment, may prefer this cryptocurrency as the primary settlement instrument.

However, given the fact that the level of mistrust of digital currencies is growing, and more fake projects are appearing on the network, it is easy to assume that CTZ authors are facing many difficulties in the way of promoting their coins. Those wishing to issue the second citizenship are required to prove the legality of the funds they use for the investment. If we talk about Bitcoins, then it’s difficult to do. Moreover, the government is involved in the financial operation, which currently relies only on banks that are guarantors of the legality of the process.

The introduction of a new instrument for settlements cannot yet be interpreted as something revolutionary in the industry. It is essential to understand and take into account the specifics of the market. In the Caribbean, the introduction of any innovations drags on for years, Europe is also not ready for such radical innovations.

In October 2017, the readiness to sell passports for Bitcoins was announced in the Republic of Vanuatu. This information edition of The Vanuatu Independent was reported by Jeffrey Bond, the head of the Vanuatu Information Center. Relevant information had appeared in many world media.

A week later, the information was disproved. Samuel Garay, acting Secretary General of the Office of Citizenship of Vanuatu, said that payments are still made exclusively in US dollars.

The current situation was interpreted by many as a profitable marketing move aimed at increasing investor interest in the passport program of the Pacific state. Also, this gave its results: among crypto assets owners, the demand for second passports is growing.

Meanwhile, on April 27, 2018, James Harris, VIC Managing Director, informed the Investment Migration Insider that Vanuatu had established a system for accepting Bitcoins as payment for a Caribbean passport. He said that several applications for issuing second citizenship for Bitcoins had already been successfully processed in his department.

According to James Harris, a particular system timeframe has been developed. The foreign investor and the Vanuatu authorities are contacted in real time. The applicant is informed of the cost of the passport in digital currency and gives two hours for the transfer of funds to the specified wallet. The procedure for conversion into US dollars is made after the successful completion of the transaction.

The Carribean factor

The fact that the idea of ​​using cryptocurrency to pay for a second passport is not new, according to information messages from other countries. In 2014, the authorities of Saint Kitts and Nevis were ready to accept digital money from the participants of the passport program. Soon the website of the Government of the Caribbean country published a refutation of this information.

The prerequisite for the release of relevant information was a series of events. In 2014, Arthur Porter was detained for holding illegal financial transactions in Canada, who at the time of his arrest stated that he was a citizen of St. Kitts and presented a Caribbean passport. Shortly after that, the US Treasury Intelligence Department issued a statement that persons who had registered the economic citizenship of St. Kitts were carrying out illegal financial transactions. Quite often, fake pages with the proposal to issue citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis in exchange for Bitcoins appear over time.

At the same time, the authorities of Antigua and Barbuda are working to legalize operations with the cryptocurrency within the jurisdiction. Stedra Benjamin, the country’s attorney general, is working on a bill that would allow the digital currency to be paid for a second passport.

In particular, in May 2018 the possible introduction of a new option to participate in the passport program on Antigua was reported on. Investors will be offered to invest $ 150,000 in the construction of a new university in Antigua. According to the information provided on the Coingeek website, program participants who choose this option will be able to pay for the passport in Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

On the official website of Antigua and Barbuda, there is no confirmation of this information. Representatives of local media expressed concern that the cryptocurrency, which was put into operation only in August 2017, was able to win such support from the authorities and expressed doubts about the possible implementation of this scheme.

The second passport and the change of tax residency – the ability to freely dispose of its crypto-currency asset

The issue of citizenship in exchange for a cryptocurrency is relevant for residents of countries in which strict currency restrictions apply.

Conducting an illegal currency transaction fraught with the imposition of an administrative fine, the amount of which can reach 100% of its amount.

For example, earlier you bought bitcoins for an impressive amount, and now you transfer profits from their sale to an account opened in a foreign bank. In this case, the fine can be imposed not only on the income received but also on the entire crypto-currency asset.

Registration of the second citizenship and change of the tax residence permit to carry out tax planning, personally manage the available assets and significantly save on paying taxes on income derived from the implementation of the cryptocurrency.

Is it now possible to buy citizenship for bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies?
To explain why on Antigua reported on Antigua reported on Bitcoins and other types of digital currency do not use investment immigration in the industry is not difficult. Some leading states have banned transactions using cryptocurrency because digital money can be used in illegal schemes and for money laundering – the thing we have outlined several times in our articles. Stay tuned.

2018   2018   Bitcoin   Blockchain   Crypto currency   Crypto industry

Crypto industry & currency brutal facts

The digital era offers more and more data every coming day, the ways of informational communication become more and more distinguished and sophisticated. Speaking about the security, the more advanced methods are used for protection, the more complex attack tools are used by fraudsters and cybercriminals of the new era to avoid or to break it.

This is not an easy task to stay safe&sound in the modern informational world, let alone the crypto industry itself.

Fact is, the all the data, which is supposed to remain confidential, the personal stuff, they assets and account info – that’s all at stake. The cybercrimes are the more and more often happening, and the forecast is not positive as the industry seems to be only more lucrative over time.

The latest research from RiskIQ does highlight the unpleasant things that are still present though.

Things can really get out of user control

No matter how much efforts one can take into the protection of the customers’ data, the things can always slip away of your control – just like with the MyEtherWallet phishing attack.

With the emergence of the social engineering, the fraudsters become more innovative and creative. Nowadays they can even copy your company – through the website, email, or social media page: all these efforts are to trick the customers and employees into giving away vital information and get the malware installed on their hardware.

It is stated that in just Q1 2018 RiskIQ identified more than 25,000 phishing domains posing as almost 300 brands – moreover, 40 % of them were established in the financial services industry. So, what is the best way to struggle against the phishing? Raise the level of knowledge of your customers, employees, and stay alert – to take the necessary actions to get down the impostor sites down as soon as possible.

The mass attack goes wide

Going on, the RiskIQ states that their company analyzes over two billion HTTP requests every day. Moreover, they deploy web crawling infrastructure that checks terabytes of passive DNS data, millions of SSL certificates, and monitor mobile apps to see how broad the scope of an attack surface really is – or, simply put, how much of an opportunity is there for hackers to break in?

The company analyzed over three million new domains and 77 million hosts that could all be potential targets for a hacker over a two-week period. Since many modern websites share the same frameworks, plugins, and third-party apps, the hacker’s job is even easier. Just as we can create websites faster and easier, so can hackers come up with malicious code to infiltrate them all.

Fact is, one of the most significant vectors is content management systems (CMS) are to attached to WordPress – RiskIQ found that over 13,000 WordPress plugins were among Alexa’s most-visited sites.

Moreover, some 3,390 of them showed critical vulnerabilities running at least one weak web component.

The scale of mobile attack surface is substantial

Most users think of the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store to be the only mobile app stores available globally. However, there are plenty more of them: a host of affiliate stores serve the Android market, and they can present a wealth of opportunities for bad actors to replace legitimate apps with the fake ones.

Another data from RiskIQ shows an unprecedented 21,948 blacklisted mobile apps, equating roughly to 1.5 percent of all new apps. Almost all of these apps claimed READ_SMS permission, allowing them to intercept messages that could circumvent 2FA.

The best tip could be given – users should always download apps from the primary app stores and be extremely careful when researching the apps they download – if it doesn’t look legit and it’s asking for too much information, it’s probably best to avoid.

Cryptocurrency Miners are set loose

The mining programs and crypto jacking are making the buzz all the time around as more and more computers get infected with the software for mining and lose GPU power as an effect. For example, it is known that more than 50,000 websites have been running Coinhive over the last twelve months – knowingly or otherwise.

Also, there is now an average of 495 new hosts that run cryptocurrency miners every week. Too, even worse than that? Many of the crypto mining scripts found have been active for over 160 days already, meaning companies have failed to detect them.

Hackers may know much more than you expect

Going on, RiskIQ research found that at least 30 percent of companies have more internet assets than they thought. Here counts such stuff as shadow IT, M&As, or a simple lack of organization.

For example, Shadow IT occurs when an IT department outsources for a time and fails to include all internet assets in the company security program. If this happens over a period, it becomes an easy vector for a hacker, since these assets remain unpatched and don’t pass security frameworks.

What is the main reason? Mergers with other companies often lead to this, as the list of assets is frequently incomplete and sometimes chaotic. Internet assets include elements such as domain names, certificates, hosts, and apps.

Still, the modern security strategy for the most companies has shifted to the defense-in-depth approach starting at the perimeter and layering back to the assets that should be protected.

Happy end

In today’s world of digital engagement, users sit outside the perimeter along with an increasing number of exposed corporate digital assets—and the majority of the malicious actors. As such, companies need to adopt security strategies that encompass this change.

The chaotic world of the crypto industry sees many dangers – let alone ICO start-ups which have numerous vulnerabilities as for the investors, and to their creators as well. One should invest as much as possible to security as this present specific danger even nowadays. The existing defensive methods required need to be developed and continuously updated. The things can get out of hand, and harsh pretty fast in case organizations do not take proper attention to assets protection.

2018   Blockchain   Crime   Crypto currency   Crypto industry   Crypto wallet   Hacks   Mining

Gangster-powered ICO: Money laundering in blockchain industry

There are endless efforts of how fraudsters lure out the investor’s money. With the digital age, this activity had acquired new trends and options. With the blockchain technologies, the perfect tool for it became to be known as ICO.

Being developed to help provide the funding for the Internet-start ups which used such crowdfunding services as Kickstarter and Indiegogo before with the help of the new elements and securities, and digital money, over time this model began to be overused by criminal of all kinds due to its hype and convenience.

Recently, the news came around about the super-successful ICO of the former member of the Triad of Macao Van “Broken Tooth” Cup-koy. South China Morning Post officially reported that the gaming industry start-up held the initial placement of HB coins collecting $ 750 million within only 5 minutes.

However, 450 out of 500 million HB tokens intended for the general public have been sold, and the total amount of issued tokens is one billion HB tokens will be released.

At all, three events had been arranged by the same person – Wang. Initial token sale stages had been held in such locations as Cambodia, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Moreover, the people invested are known to be the senior government officials, military, celebrities and people in business from mainland China and Hong Kong, and the last round was held in Malaysia.

Also, it is known that the investment company Wang World Hung Mun Investment concluded a partnership deal with the Beijing firm Zhonggongxin Cosmos Internet Technology Limited, which includes, among other things, asset management and construction projects in Russia.

According to rumors, the parent company of Zhonggongxin Cosmos belongs to the state. However, it’s employees, incidentally, give conflicting answers to questions about the owners of the company.

Moreover, it is reported that Zhonggongxin Cosmos engaged in gambling – in online games in poker and chess. The stated prize fund of the tournament is about $ 1.5 million. Interesting is that the payments will be provided in both the traditional fiat currency as well as nd HB tokens. Moreover, it is noted that in China there is no law prohibiting the use of cryptocurrency as a prize.

The suspiciousness is also raised since the HB cryptocurrency is not provided with the tokens source code and detailed information about the technology. At the moment, the HB coin is traded on the Allin (a.top) exchange launched year by the Hong Kong-based All In Group Limited earlier this year.

The person of the day itself, Wan itself, is known as “Broken Tooth,” a former boss of the dominant 14K Triad that has figured prominently in China and Southeast Asia for decades, spent 14 years in a Malaysian prison for his organized-crime activities before being released in December 2012 for several wicked crimes.

The HB cryptocurrency itself is known to be issued by the shady Chinese company World Hung Mun Investment, and that’s to be among the Wan’s property.
Wan announced the new HB crypto coin in a splashy series of events in Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines, with a fourth launch-related event scheduled for Malaysia early this week. Wan’s company plans to sell a billion of the HB coins, which will also be used as the framework for online-gambling offerings. The company plans to pay the winners of its live poker and chess events either entirely or in large part with the HB coin; some smaller portion of the prizes may be paid in cash as well.

The companies’ plans for live poker and chess tourneys throughout China is slated, to begin with, a major poker event in the Chinese city of Hainan this October. That initial event was announced by Zhonggongxin Cosmos (Beijing) Internet Technology Limited, or Zhonggongxin Cosmos, for short, which also announced a deal with Wan’s World Hung Mun Investment a few weeks back. Zhonggongxin Cosmos’s back.

However, exactly how all this online crypto and online/live gaming events will work out in the wake of China’s recent ban on all Texas Hold’em smart-device apps remains to be seen. Oddest of all in this strange tale is that Zhonggongxin Cosmos appears to be claiming at a deal with China’s government to allow these events to proceed.

On its website, Zhonggongxin claimed to be reporting directly to an advisory committee under the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) called the Advisory Committee on the Management of Financial and Energy Resources and Capital.

No matter, what the Zhonggongxin Cosmos’s true nature is, the whole deal looks like a big-time criminal scheme. The HB is already regarded as “suspiciously vague” cryptocurrency, and the existing code gives no idea of how many coins are created.

The launch and gaming tours are also receiving pushback from many of China’s regulated gaming firms. According to Su Guojing, the founder of the China Lottery Industry Salon, “When chess and poker games are paid with tokens such as cryptocurrencies that can be converted to fiat currencies, it becomes a disguised form of gambling in China.”

Moreover, the suspicions regarding the operations to be the money laundering are going to arise due to how the money transfers within the crypto’s exchange framework will occur still a question.

2018   Blockchain   Crypto currency   Digital investmens   Fraud   ICO

How to return ICO investments?

Being an ICO investor is a tricky thing – no matter how good at digital economics or how smart you are, lack can eventually run out. Nowadays, according to various estimates, fraudulent ICOs activity had brought their creators from up to $ 1 billion incomes of dirty money.

For now, there are different examples when the fraudster ICO organizers got eventually busted and brought to justice. The US SEC is among the best performing in this area up to date.

It is known that in 2017 the founders of the Munchen project were forced to return $ 15 million to investors after the SEC investigation. Moreover, In early April 2018, the organizers of ICO “Centra” were arrested – that one which managed to raise $ 32 million. The SEC especially, in particular, indicates that the founders of the project promised to invest in creating a debit card, which will be supported by Visa and MasterCard payment systems and will allow you to convert cryptocurrency into fiat money easily.

However, the investigation showed that the project had no relationship with cooperation either with Visa or MasterCard firms. Another fine example is from Canadian origin, where the court sentenced the organizer of Plex Coin ICO Dominique Lacroix to two months in prison and a fine of $ 10,000, and the company PlexCorps he founded – to a fine of $ 100,000. The SEC had done a good job here, no wonder.

The latest statistics show, that SEC is very active in the ICO field, but outside the US authorities are not yet successfully combating fraudulent crypto projects. Fact is, the needed ultimate legislation rules are still not established worldwide which makes the prevention of fraud a tough task to accomplish.

Nevertheless, there is still a set of legal instruments, and the necessary steps exist aimed to protect your rights and investments and not to become a victim or consider that the company does not fulfill its obligations for some reason. In fact, for most investors, it does not matter why they lost money in the first place – deception or because of the useless work of the organizers of the ICO. It is essential for them to return the money or at least part of it.

What to do before going to court or police?

In case you think that you have been deceived and want to start an actual case:
First, you need to collect the maximum amount of evidence available to you that you have been cheated or that you owe money. Making screenshots proving the fact of deception or fraud is necessary.

That could be the following stuff:

White Paper with the description of the project, advertising banners, correspondence in Telegram and other messengers will do. Also, it is essential to save and download all communication by e-mail.

If you had any telephone conversations with the fraudsters – you could ask the telephone company to print out the history of your calls, that wo;; serve as perfect proof. If you have personally met with company representatives, you need to specify the address where the meeting was held, the date of the meeting, and try to attract witnesses.

In case your meeting took place in overcrowded business centers, you should have a record of your visit at the security checkpoints. Documents from camcorders can also be saved there, which can later be requested by official representatives and the police. As a result, you should have an impressive folder with information, from which you can already apply to the court or the police. It remains a matter of small – to understand who specifically to write a statement.

Understanding the demanding side

Most ICOs have the same structure at modern market. An issuing company, as a rule, is explicitly created for the ICO, which issues tokens and accepts investors’ money. Very often, such companies are registered in the Cayman Islands, Seychelles or Bermuda, or in ICO-friendly jurisdictions such as Singapore and Estonia. Many ICOs, especially fraudulent, do not specify the information about the company-issuer not in White Paper, or anywhere else. Usually, one can find it in Token Sale Agreement.

However, the issuing company does not conduct operational activities. Moreover, information about the operating company is even more challenging to find – its traces could be seen only by indirect signs. That could be tricky as if the organizers initially wanted to deceive the investors. Most likely, one will first have to demand money from the issuing company.

Visiting the court

The court appeal against the company-issuer for inflicted financial damages could be regarged as the protection in situations where the actions of the responsible person do not contain the corpus delicti. The judicial procedure is relevant for cases when it is not a matter of fraud, but merely an unsuccessful project in which the organizer has not fulfilled his obligations and is in no hurry to return the money. However, in the case of fraud, recourse to a court with a claim against the issuing company can also become an effective way of protection.

One need to present a claim to the issuing company about the return of funds or compensation for damage before going to court with an appropriate application and the evidence collected. With a favorable outcome in court, one will be given a monetary claim to the issuer.

There is a decent worldwide trend – the fewer and fewer jurisdictions are available overtime in which beneficiaries manage to hide from taxes and creditors. Banks exchange information about the funds more actively and there are fewer loopholes. No wonder that over time, opportunities to pursue the issuing company and the real organizers of the ICO will only expand.

However, one can demand to return the money through court only where the company is registered. In case it is registered in the most popular off-shores like Cayman Islands, then one will have to visit the local court. The cost of doing business in the Caymans is up to $50,000 , in Singapore $ 75-125,000 – without regard to state duties, translation services, and other related costs. That is, either one’s investment in the scam-project should significantly exceed the possible costs of conducting the case in a foreign court, or one will need to file a class action together with other cheated investors.

When and how to contact the police

If there is an obvious deception (for example, the organizers received money, did not conduct an ICO and stopped communication), it would be appropriate to contact the police. The criminal case provides additional opportunities, which is a significant plus. For example, an investigator can obtain all the necessary information much faster than if one requested it through a court.

However, there are also several disadvantages: since there is very small legal practice, it will be difficult for the police to understand the matter of this category. The task is to bring the maximum amount of evidence of the violation of the law, and the statement is as simple as possible to describe the crime.

On the other hand, there is a parallel practice when, for example, clients money are stolen from a current bank account. In such cases, the crime scene is considered to be the bank’s registration address, although it is clear that the theft itself occurred somewhere on the Internet. So in the fraudulent ICO crime scene, there may be an address where the computer was located when you invested money in ICO.

Anoter vital question that investigators may have is a problem with determining what Bitcoin is, cryptocurrency, tokens and so on. The legislation does not yet have a precise definition. For the police, the qualifications of such crimes may not be apparent, although there are signs of fraud (theft of property or the right to fraud). Here, by the way, one can recall the cases in which cases of robbery of game artifacts in computer games were considered.

The conduct of both a criminal and civil-law case, especially international – along (and also expensive) process. Therefore, no matter how trite it may sound, it is best to study all documents carefully and all available information, weigh risks at the investment stage. Also, just in case everything is fixed – it will come in handy.

However, it is better to describe the case in the application as simple as possible, without overloading with technical terms. If everything went well for you: the application was accepted, you were interviewed, and the case started according to your application, – the question arises that such crimes, as a rule, are of a transboundary nature. Investigators will have to send a request to conditional Singapore or the Cayman Islands so that local authorities can conduct the necessary investigative actions. The state has much more leverage to handle such cases than an ordinary citizen who is unlikely to wait for help from a foreign court.

2018   Crypto currency   Crypto industry   Fails   ICO   Investment

Top cryptocurrency deceptions

The cryptocurrency market had its moments of glory last year and that attracted the sharks from all around – hackers, criminals and fraudsters, despite the current shifts, market dips and regulations, are still aim strong on luring the digital assets out of consumer wallets.

Basically, there is no shortage of ways of how to lose money in today’s crypto industry, which includes overestimated predictions, fraud commercials, Ponzi schemes and financial pyramids, an overwhelming number of ICOs made solely on purpose to make their creators rich, weak investment strategies and most importantly – the lack of market understanding.

Moreover, today’s crypto investors highly lack profile education as well as proper strategic thinking and, in turn, the market players capitalize on it big time.

For example, Andrew Smith, the director of the trade watchdog’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, speaking recently during an event focused on cryptocurrency scams and fraud, told that the consumers would lose more than $3 billion by the end of 2018.

Becoming an ICO investor is not so hard and overcomplicated as being the IPO participant due to numerous reason, and the entry barrier into the Blockchain niche is not high at all. However, the statistics show that the lack of knowledge and experience results in high losses and over-the-top revenues for ICO creators.
We need to consider the most known and usable cases of these fraud activities:

1)Overestimated false perspectives

There are numerous examples over the Internet where companies and specific people offer the so-called “investment boosts” or “the new strategies” to lure out trustful investors or enthusiasts.

That start’s at doubtful offers of participation in new Ponzi/Pyramid schemes (of course, they all seem legit and solid at the start) or mining bigt time-solutions and goes further with an invitation to invest in a new shiny fake coin to get huge profits in a long-term perspective.

Thus, an investor should be smart and careful in projects selection and not to overestimate the real possible profits of the industry in 2018 – nowadays, market and it’s returns are not skyrocketing as it had been last year.

Of course, these kinds of commercials visuals appeal to classic good old desires like shiny resorts lor luxurious life, or newly-born teenager millionaire stories or just something new. Anyway, if one’s not eager to lose the money he should not buy this and not participate in giving back to anonymous teams or getting involded in another become-a-millionaire-in-3-days-offers.

2)Simple phishing

So far, it is the oldest and most often used method of cyber fraud and crime – little wonder these things had reached into the crypto world. Phishing itself is the way of intrusion of the malicious programs, viruses or other programs aimed to harm your computer or digital device to your device while pretending to look at usual software. For this to work, things used as website creation to require the password, newsletter with viruses, open wi-fi networks, etc.

Moreover, cryptocurrency wallet prompts are often used for tricking out users to send their original keys to hackers. For example, the fraudsters targeted PCs using this Ethereum browser wallet to hijack the accounts by adding a window requesting users to «confirm» their seed phrase – as a matter of fact, that happened to MetaMask.

So, the phishing is a mass and often used method working on the large-scale, and it is not on the list of the witzy-looking fraud solutions.

3)Risky Crypto Exchanges

Basically, the exchanges at large are used to buy/sell and trade the cryptocurrency. Most people praise Bitcoin, and a few main digital assets only and over time try to people trade the less popular currencies into Bitcoin or transfer it to traditional fiat currencies. Though even the most known and well-established exchanges with good reputation provide specific security options and look solid, holding the substantial amount of money on these accounts during the extended time is still a risky game – nowadays no can tell about the malfunctions, hacks or something worse.

Overtime as the crypto assets popularity rose to the moon, the amount of operating and fake exchanges increased as well. So, losing money had become even easier by participating in those shady exchanges operations and trading there only to find out soon enough that the funds you want to withdraw are no longer available.

4)Mining operations faked

Getting Bitcoins and cryptocurrency through mining operations had been trends years ago and building massive mining farms including numerous machines in the second- and third-world countries are things of one can hardly be surprised nowadays.

Thus, commercial offer for investing in those mining operation had become quite popular with shiny prospects and promises about the more and more improved and vast GPU processing units and power levels. No matter to mention the astronomic revenues from this activity.

Quite often, proofs are not provided and money requested are promised to return usually in a long-time perspective only – these make months if not years. Moreover, the payback never actually comes. Do notice the vital point – chances of getting robbed or lose the money increase the less control over your assets and money you have.

So, by attracting the funds to these companies and investing in their hardware one can only make rich the wrong people.

5)Lack of assurance

As the digital age advances, more and more fraudsters activities appear over time. However, the technologies like social engineering are still strong. In case one keeps little attention on what’s going on with his wallet and it’s actives, he’s surely making a perfect target and prey out of his himself.

Actually, the now-popular Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) at large can as well be regarded as scam activities, and they even are getting banned in certain countries. However, before the industry boom in 2017, a lot of ICOs had made many people become millionaires.

ICOs rather represent a fundraising tool for innovative technology startups in the world of blockchain made to receive funding directly from the crypto enthusiasts and investors as well as future users. As it often happens, this became a convenient method for a lot of quick-thinking fraudsters to get their hands on a new shiny Lamborghini or a full-stacked island with a condo in the Pacific.

Of course, even right now one can still earn fat X’s for investing into the right project with decent team and perspective idea, or you can just accidentally invest into some joke coin and hit an unexpected price growth which makes you a millionaire.

How to get scammed?

So, what is the surest way of losing your money?

To invest in ICOs that without any innovative ideas, no website or media presence or advisors who are the developers. Whitepaper full of wordiness and no actual business model/tokenomics is another point to look out. Of course, the less you know about the people involved in the project and their plans, the better is for its scammy developers. What happens next? The coin’s price usually goes down in an instant as it hits exchanges. Its team disappears with profits leaving you empty-pocketed.

One part of the problem is a lack of care on the part of investors. This was an issue highlighted by Joe Rotunda, enforcement director for the Texas State Securities Board. Also, it’s an especially acute one set against the backdrop of a huge rise – and subsequent fall – in the value of cryptocurrencies over the past six months.
Coin Center director of research Peter Van Valkenburgh said that people get sucked into fraud – from exit scams to pump-and-dump schemes – merely because they’re looking to see a higher return on their investment.

“I think nobody should ever buy any more cryptocurrency, put anymore [into] cryptocurrency than what they are completely willing to lose … if you are willing to participate at all,” Van Valkenburgh remarked.

However, at all times the best strategy is to take any actions with a clear mind and always think in advance where your desires to get rich instantly can get you in the end.

2018   2018   Crypto currency   Fraud projects   ICO   ICO Scams

Rule of 56% – ICO fail number rises

While the cryptocurrency market is quite live, it is still far from its autumn 2017’s heights. Nevertheless, the ICO start-ups market shows the constant growing tendency – due to official statistics of ICORating, the amount of ICO projects in 2018 had significantly grown. The overall market dynamic is definitely positive. The volume of funds attracted worldwide through the ICO for the first quarter of 2018 was $ 3.3 billion. For comparison, in 2017 with the help of ICO funding model, $ 6.1 billion was raised.

For now, not only scam projects and fraud are the worst enemies of the investor though. While more than 4,000 ICO projects have managed to raise a combined total of around $12 billion during all the time – a majority of them fail within four months of their token sales, a new study suggests.

The latest research, conducted by a small team at Boston College in Massachusetts, found that a mere 44.2 percent of token projects are active into the fifth month or beyond, using their social footprint via Twitter as a live indicator.

About 56% of ICO start-ups ceased to exist during the first four months after the successful end of the token sale. According to many analysts, the most secure investment strategy for various tokens is the sale on the first day of trading. Either way, almost all investors get rid of coins purchased under the ICO in the first six months.

More than 1,000 different tokens have already ceased to exist, and overall return on investment is steadily declining.

It should be noted that the monthly investment in ICO projects still holds over $ 1 billion. This trend has been maintained since the beginning of 2018.

While the figures are perhaps shocking, they should maybe be taken with a pinch of salt, as the methodology of the study leaves some wiggle-room for ICOs to exist beyond that 120-day time-frame and not be indicated so in the data.
The tokens usually continue to grow in price, generating average buy-and-hold abnormal returns of 48% in the first 30 trading days.

Dead on arrival

Going for an experiment in determining the usual lifespan of an ICO project, the team behind the research, Hugo Benedetti and Leonard Kostovetsky, chose to use the availability and intensity of Twitter posts to analyze the lifespan of projects and found out that tweet absence during the fifth month meant the absolute project fail or, so to say, it’s death.

The analytics data of the research indicates that the safest way of performing for the projects would be managing to list on exchanges after the token has been launched:
“Breaking it down by category, 83% of the 694 ICOs that don’t report capital and don’t list on an exchange are inactive after 120 days. For the 420 ICOs that raise some capital but don’t list, this figure falls to 52%, and for the 440 ICOs that list on an exchange, only 16% are inactive in the fifth month.”

Moreover, their work beside went on with determining the value of ICOs as investments and the average returns over the different time-frames, after going on for the overall moves in the value of the cryptocurrency markets.
Fact is, the researchers Benedetti and Kostovetsky found that “in contrast to IPOs, tokens continue to generate abnormal positive average returns after the ICO,” with token values continuing to climb for six months after launching.

“We find evidence of significant ICO underpricing, with average returns of 179% from the ICO price to the first day’s opening market price, over a holding period that averages just 16 days. Even after imputing returns of -100% to ICOs that don’t list their tokens within 60 days and adjusting for the returns of the asset class, the representative ICO investor earns 82%.”

Conclusion

Further, the researchers say that startups sell their tokens during the ICO at a significant discount to the opening market price, generating an average return for  investors of 179%, accrued over an average holding period of 16 days from the ICO end date to the listing date.

During his interview, Kostovetsky told Bloomberg that “once you go beyond three months, at most six months, they don’t outperform other cryptocurrencies.”The strongest return is actually in the first month,” he added.

Anyway, the overall conclusion shows that, despite the shocking figures of failed projects, high rewards could be achieved for those that accept the risk of investing in “unproven pre-revenue platforms through unregulated offerings.”

However, the market future looks promising as a lot of promising startups in different areas continue to flourish every passing week.

2018   Blockchain   Crypto currency   Crypto industry   Fails   ICO

First world’s ICCO – from Malta with love

The emerging world of blockchain industry had seen different kinds of investment and crowdfunding approaches. The nowadays most popular instrument which is ICO had surely been around for some time and literally rocketed to the moon during the last year, but it’s certainly not the only and top tool to collect money from the investors around the globe.

Malta is known, amongst many other reasons, to be the country which recently applied specific official regulatory measures to make the fundraising for blockchain-based projects fully legislatively regulated within its territory. That implies the first milestone in the industry – the ICCO which stands for Initial Convertible Coin Offering.

The first in the history ICCO was announced by the blockchain company Palladium, and the leading bitcoin-exchange Bittrex – as the first fully regulated environment in Malta.

As stated in the Bittrex press release, the difference between convertible coins is that within three years after the release holders of these coins can at any time change them for shares of Palladium company.

Moreover, Malta is enacting comprehensive blockchain legislation and has a dedicated blockchain unit at the MFSA. This ICCO is one of the unique investment opportunities in the blockchain world. The University of Malta will also offer a special Blockchain degree which will start in October this year.

An ICCO model differs from the now-more-traditional Initial Coin Offering in that investors will be able to convert tokens into company shares at a later date – in Palladium’s case, three years after the sale.

“We expect this project, which will create more than 100 job opportunities, to be a historic landmark and to bridge the gap between traditional financial services and cryptocurrencies,” – founder and chairman Paolo Catalfamo commented. Moreover, he also spoke very positively about Malta, as a country located at the front of blockchain technologies.

The launch of the project was attended by the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, Secretary of the Parliament for Digital Innovation and Finance Silvio Schembri, and the head of the Maltese Financial Services Department Joseph Kushiri.

“This ICCO will become one of the largest investment opportunities in the world of the blockchain. Institutional investors understand all the advantages of investing in the cryptocurrency industry, but the lack of regulation discourages them. The decision of Palladium will change this and allow users to use their accounts to manage cryptocurrency and fiat assets in full compliance with regulatory requirements, ‘says Paolo Catalano.

The goal of this particular ICCO is to collect financing of $ 150 million. The official campaign is scheduled for the period from July 25 to September 30, and the prescription of tokens began on Tuesday, July 10.

‘Our cooperation will lead to a new trading platform based on blockbuster technology, and users of this site will have access to many tokens available at Bittrex,’ said Bill Shihara, CEO of Bittrex.

Malta had adopted the new legislative acts governing the cryptocurrency industry only last week. Silvio Schembri noted back then that Malta had become one of the first countries with such official regulation.

No doubt, during the next months we are about to witness if this recent approach would be appreciated by any other countries which try to apply the ICO regulation rules or other legislative measures within their territory.

2018   2018   Blockchain   Crypto currency   Crypto industry   ICCO   Malta   Regulations

How to catch the Bitcoin whale – fraud schemes explained.

In the crypto world, Bitcoin-whales are considered to be the people who have thousands of precious coins on their wallets. As it turns out, there are not so much of them.

Quite recently, Chainalysis “scanned” the entire network of the first cryptocurrency and found that only 1600 accounts contain more than 1000 BTC. Probably, several of them belong to Satoshi Nakamoto, which everyone knows about, but nobody has a clue about his personality.

Nevertheless, many people who bought Bitcoin many years ago for tech experiments or just for fun had become very rich last year due to cryptomarkets rising – a lot of multimillionaires and even billionaires had appeared suddenly. Even some of them managed to get to the Forbes list, this kind of people mostly tend to stay in the shadows.

Not all of them are active participants of the community or businessmen. Of course, some of them just withdrew some money for classical entrepreneurship, luxury goods, travel and other things that can be bought for cash.

However, when you trade 30, 50 or even 100 BTC, you are not concerned with security and legality from the law are your problems, and when you need to exchange 1000-5000 BTC, it becomes the problem of governmental and regulatory authorities.

No wonder that real criminals – drug lords or terrorists have their own established channels of financing and money laundering, and lawyers have their own methods of destroying such channels.

Let’s imagine that you’re the good guy here and you need to deduce a tremendous amount of money of a 4000 BTC for example. Even considering the bearish lawlessness in the market, it is more than $ 25 million at the current exchange rate. Do you start thinking if it is possible to arrange everything in offshore zones? And of course – how and where to find such a buyer?

In 2015, sophisticated fraudsters took care that the answer to the main question had become the following. We call it a conditional harpoon cannon because of this time attackers aimed at single whales, not organizations like exchanges or e-wallets.
At first, scammers throw their networks into the necessary information flows, which are used by community members. The story they tell always has same contours and diverges only in non-essential details.

A particular person “with great experience in concluding international crypto-currency transactions” has a “large buyer” who is ready to buy 10 000 – 20 000 BTC at a price of -5 % shall we say of the Bitfinex price. And the task of an “experienced intermediary” is to find a seller or sellers. Then they will be invited to meet in such cities as Vienna or Zurich to make the necessary transfers of tete-a-tete. Besides, to scale this scheme, intermediaries attract other intermediaries, promising the recent commission, which gives the system a pyramidal character.

The most known and rich cities often are used for such crime schemes.

One might think that the most bitcoins-whales are intelligent people and will feel wrong, but scammers are incredibly persuasive, focusing on details and nuances, demonstrating imaginary professionalism. And what can happen to a man in a wonderful Switzerland, a country of bank secrecy, luxury, and security? It is the names of cities that create the so-called luxury effect so that the story of a large buyer seemed believable.

The overall scheme is quite simple: the sophisticated fraudsters could arrange a change of suitcases with cash or any other virtuoso trick to convince the seller that he received money without actually receiving anything – not even weapon threatening is required.

There are also thoughtful raids of European law enforcement agencies, which take the issue of money laundering and violation of tax legislation very seriously. Even in Switzerland, where bank secrecy is akin to the biblical commandment, the transfer of a suitcase or sports bags with a massive pile of cash will cause suspicion.

All members of the community should remember that the Bitcoin-industry has attracted the attention of not only hackers, talented crackers of digital systems, but also good old thieves from the area of classical crime. They can come up with dozens of methods for identifying and robbing whales, but the latter should always be a step ahead, and certainly not to be fooled by such infamous schemes.

2018   2018   Bitcoin   Blockchain   Crime   Crypto currency   Crypto industry   Fraud

The most known jesting coins

The traditional, centuries ago-established banking systems had proved itself being extremely hard for accepting changes and innovations. With the advent of blockchain technologies, it became possible to create the decent payment option with the cryptocurrencies assets. Over the years, the number of the cryptocurrencies in circulation had reached more than 1,500 and the capitalization of all assets in the brightest market moments was more than $500 billion – a decent result in comparison that in the first day of the year 2017 it was estimated only to $17,7 billion.

Though major five currencies are a long time, not the subjects the of jokes on the Internet since they present decent growing digital assets, the modern reality dictates the more pragmatic approach.

However, among the hundreds of currently existing digital assets, there had been numerous attempts taken by different geeks and crypto enthusiasts only to provide the so-called joke currencies, which hold a significant place in the crypto world.
Of course, there is a certain degree of coins which sole purpose of existence was the scam fundraising made by cyber pranksters, and some are hardly worth anything at all, yet they all provide a critical outlook on the hype. Their worth is mostly based on their critique of how we react to the financial world, both new and old.

MONACOIN

Introduced back in December 2013 Monacoin was the first distinctly Japanese cryptocurrency. Its icon is a cat featured on a golden coin resembling the mint of Dogecoin. Although its website is more bare bones than tongue in cheek, Monacoin’s community is very robust and engaged in the crypto world. Having been birthed in 2013, Monacoin has longevity relative to other joke coins. Most of its humor is geared toward Japanese speakers. However, every once in a while, a Western investor will speculate, “What about Mona?”

JESUS COIN

There are fewer things older than money and religion. Parodying the human relationship between the two is most certainly a stroke of genius. The Jesus Coin website fully mimics an ICO’s front page with a team, roadmap, and cartoon. Jesus Coin is a classic comedic coin for fans of joke coins.

USELESS ETHEREUM TOKEN

The Useless Ethereum Token is marketed as the most blatantly honest ICO ever created. The website’s creator is totally transparent about using the funds from the ICO for flat screen televisions and other electronics. Hilariously acronymed “UET” in the style of tokens that present themselves for mass trading, UET also flaunted bonuses to entice initial investors.

With an ICO in the summer of 2017, the dawn of the year of ICOs, Useless Ethereum Token is an apt reminder of the fool’s gold ICOs that plague the Ethereum network and the crypto community at large.

GARLICOIN

Garlicoin arose after a Reddit post which said that if it garnered 30,000 upvotes, its author would create a new coin. Well, the author’s position reached its goal, and so a new coin was forked from Litecoin on December 25, 2017.
Most of Garlicoin’s comedy comes from its community’s subreddit. The initial post has enough hilarious comments to keep you entertained for the better part of an hour. Its subreddit is also a central hub for humor with a vibrant community of memes and banter. Although Garlicoin is a very new joke coin, it will be interesting to track its progress throughout the year.

DOGECOIN

With over 110 billion coins mined and a rich meme culture of its own, Dogecoin is most certainly the king of joke coins. This widely known and well-loved coin was initially designed to illustrate the volatility of the crypto space and behavior. With its first flourish in December 2013, it soon became apparent that the joke was lost on its buyers, or that crypto traders will try to make a profit on just about anything. Its subsequent crash illustrated the darker side of cryptocurrency, with memes trolling the market. Perhaps even more ominously, a thief stole millions of Dogecoin around Christmas. However, the community united and donated funds to those who had lost them.

Fast forward to 2017, and Dogecoin had climbed to a $2 billion market cap. That amount has since declined, but Dogecoin continues to unite and inform crypto enthusiasts on various issues. One of its creators, Jackson Palmer, warned against its success in a series of press articles during the bull run of 2017-2018. It seems that despite its blossoming success, the joke was momentarily lost on at least one of its founders. Dogecoin’s staggering volatility, poignant moments and lingering humor place it at the top of the list.

2018   Blockchain   Crypto currency   Digital investmens

The most underrated cryptocurrencies of 2017

The last year had brought the world crypto community attention to some relatively small digital currencies, which until the specific time had been regarded as failed even by many experts. We outline the most successful cryptocurrency projects that had achieved an unexpected acceptance by the community in 2017.

1) Monero’s main feature is that it’s entirely a unique kind of cryptocurrency — an utterly private coin. No one will be able to track the amount of your savings on this blockchain, unlike popular Bitcoin or Litecoin. The Monero network is constructed with the usage of the CryptoNote Protocol, which is the evolution of the principles which are behind the original Bitcoin. In contrast to the transparent blockchain of the Bitcoin which allows any member of the network to determine the sender as well as the recipient, Monero transactions cannot be tracked, making all the participants anonymous. A temporary drawback is the fact that a small by now number of users hamper the procedure of mixing transaction, and as a result, significant transactions can be visible and tracked down.

Initially launched in 2014, Monero uses a famous principle of proof-of-work. For a long time, it had been considered being an another-bitcoin-double as the media often used the expression “the perfect solution for the fraud and drug trafficking” because of its high level of privacy. However, in 2017 the value of this currency rose more than 3000%. Now Monero is the perfect choice not only for dubious personalities — the developers are actively working on the promotion campaign with five online stores and almost 50 well-known musicians, including Mariah Carey, Sia, Weezer, G-Eazy and many others, who will accept this currency as payments for their services during the holiday season. An exciting and competent move for the legalization and promotion of their cryptocurrencies, no doubt.
The main characteristics of Monero that explains its popularity as t
he currency are the following: maximum security, anonymity and transaction privacy.

2) Ripple cryptocurrency platform is focused on transactions to currency with no chargebacks. A Ripple company’s currency main feature is the usage of “consensus in the registry.” The system had been originally launched in 2012; the Protocol supports tokens representing fiduciary money, cryptocurrency, commodity or other objects, such as frequent flyer miles or minutes of mobile communication. At its core, Ripple is based on an open shared database that uses a negotiation process that allows you to make the exchange in a distributed process. The main feature of Ripple is the low and adequate value that will enable it permanently to be in the top 5 currencies by market capitalization.

The Ripple skeptics always had a negative attitude to it due to the apparent platform centralization as they believed that the blockchain must be decentralized. Thomas Ripple is going to dispel this myth, making efforts for a broader implementation of his creation — after all, with the mass success of this technology, there will be no more long days of waiting when the bank completes your transfer.

Nowadays Ripple indeed drew the attention of major players in the financial world like Western Union. In early 2017 Ripple had signed an agreement with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which operates in 17 countries. Today the list of organizations working with Ripple is мукн extensive. It is worth to note the expansion system — recently an additional service had been launched that allows you to complete even precious metals transactions. That had undoubtedly made Ripple a pioneer in this direction and significantly increased the confidence of investors — now even some trust funds make the Ripple deposits.

During the 2017 total rate of the Ripple has grown by more than 4000%, and the experts say that in the future this trend will continue.

3) The main advantage of Stellar Lumens cryptocurrency is its cheapness. Many experts claim that the purchase of XLM tokens is quite profitable because the buyer will not have to worry about the possible substantial loss if XLM is eventually removed from the list — which is very unlikely in the nearest future. Another argument in favor of this cryptocurrency is the trading volume, and the experts also draw attention to the XLM liquidity. Stellar Lumens — one of the undisputed leaders in the alternative coin market capitalization. Another attractive feature is that the XLM tokens can be used as a link between currencies that have no direct private market. They are always among the top altcoins by market capitalization, which means that major “players” are also waiting for the big payouts.

4) The New Economy Movement (NEM or XEM) cryptocurrency has very ambitious goals.

XEM is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platform. It’s written with Java and JavaScript and uses the 100% original code. XEM is a model for widespread dissemination and adds some new features to blockchain technology with the importance algorithm confirmation of POI (Proof-of-Importance). NEM also offers an integrated peer-to-peer system for the exchange of encrypted messages, accounts with multi-signs and the reputation system Eigentrust++.

NEM (XEM) project does have ambitious goals. With the blockchain technology, one can create billions of services on it, from online shopping to decentralized social networks, structures with decentralization and the protection of the highest level.
XEM rewards those who support the internal project economy, so users can earn tokens by merely completing the transactions. This model of growth has much more sense than the conventional mining. No doubt, it also may be a revolutionary way to control the future. The developers have plans to create the first cryptocurrency trading platform like eBay, but with the technology power of the blockchain.

2018   2017   Blockchain   Crypto currency   Crypto industry   Digital investmens