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Behind the Coin: Obsidian (ODN)

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Today, I wanted to cover a platform that has been flying under the radar. With a market cap of $11,809,673 and ranking 264th on CoinMarketCap, the Obsidian altcoin I’m about to talk about has some serious potential. I talked with the CEO recently to better understand what Obsidian is all about. According to the Peter McClory (CEO):

“Obsidian is a decentralized privacy platform with a flagship secure anonymous messaging service. The Obsidian Messenger works on Windows 10 and we have now almost completed porting this to Android, with iOS to follow soon. We are combining a secure, anonymous instant messenger service with a decentralized network so that each user is in control of his or her own data. Bypassing traditional centralized data centers allows for greater privacy and security, moving away from existing VC-led networks which are not transparent, exploit user data for profit, and assist in unwarranted censorship of civilians in many countries around the world.”

Obsidian is building out its anonymous messaging service to showcase what can be done on their privacy platform. The messenger app is being marketed well beyond the crypto world. The Obsidian Messenger works on Windows 10 and is currently being ported to Android with iOS to follow soon after.

In regards to new exchanges, Peter stated: “We are in touch with a number of exchanges. Our major focus is on building our messenger application, recruiting high-quality in-house team members, and evolving our business processes and systems. Once the Android app is launched, there will be a larger team in place, alongside partnership opportunities to help us shift focus to completing more exchange listings.” It sounds like Obsidian wants a working Android and iOS app before approaching larger exchanges but that should be happening soon as the mobile apps are launched.

Obsidian is a Proof-of-Stake coin, meaning investors who own a certain amount of ODN will receive a reward for holding it. In the future, masternodes will be available, and are estimated to cost 10,000 ODN. Currently, masternodes are not implemented, which means that all stakers can enjoy approximately 10% additional ODN to be rewarded.

As for what’s next, Peter stated they are looking at apps related to data privacy, information distribution, decentralized storage and payment processing. They plan to open up the network for third parties to develop add-ons to existing apps such as in-message games, stickers, emojis etc. They are also looking to partner and support interesting startups with little or no blockchain experience and help to support them and onboard them to Obsidian platform in a variety of ways.

After Obsidian launches its Android and iOS messenger apps, I could see this helping them get listed on some of the larger exchanges. I believe they have a solid product but lack the liquidity needed for more investors to invest at this point. That will change soon as their product matures. I will provide more updates over the next few months to update the Hacked.com community.

Disclaimer: Analyst does not have investments in Obsidian (ODN)

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 43 rated postsKent Hamilton - ICO Analyst on Hacked and Founder of CryptoDayTrader.io - ICO Insider Info




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Tech Titans Bullish on Bitcoin

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If you reflect on the Trojan War, you might recognize some modern-day parallels. In the movie Troy, which is based on the Trojan war, Achilles, played by Brad Pitt, leads his rogue fighters and the Greek Army to take control of the city of Troy, which is guarded by great walls and a Hector-led Trojan army.

It’s a drawn-out battle filled with duels and sneak attacks from both sides, the famous and final one being the Greek army’s ability to infiltrate their way into the city walls through the gift of a Trojan horse. Perhaps Troy was a bit of foreshadowing on the global monetary system.

Bitcoin in a sense has been a surprise attack on fiat money. Nobody could have predicted a decentralized digital currency that would challenge the merits of a centralized monetary system that’s been in place for centuries. Now that it’s here, bitcoin and its digital currency soldiers aren’t going anywhere. And if you ask a couple of tech titans, bitcoin should subvert fiat currencies.

Tech Titans

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak and Twitter CEO/Square Founder Jack Dorsey may not be leading armies of the usual kind. But they are tech giants whose influence has gone beyond corporate walls and changed the landscape of modern day technology as we know it. Both are bitcoin bulls and agree that bitcoin deserves the title as the single global currency.

Dorsey is a bit more aggressive about his prediction, having said that bitcoin will win the title as the sole global currency over the course of the next decade or sooner.

When asked about it, Wozniak softened the forecast a bit, saying: “I buy into what Jack Dorsey says. Not that I necessarily believe it’s going to happen. I just, I want it to be that way,” Wozniak said.

Ebbs and Flows

The Apple co-founder reportedly first bought into bitcoin at the $700 level. And even though he says it wasn’t an investment and more of an experiment, he still believes that the bitcoin price will continue to rise even if there are ebbs and flows along the way, similar to the internet during its rise.

Currently, the bitcoin price is experiencing one of those ebbs, having failed to break through the $7,600 level in a weekend rally and falling to about $7,443. While market bulls like Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee aren’t relenting on their forecasts for bitcoin $25,000, the trading volume since year-end 2017 at bitcoin’s pinnacle has dropped and some analysts predict it could get worse before it gets better.

Wozniak’s Portfolio

Wozniak told CNBC he likes bitcoin for its decentralized features that make it more natural, such as the public ledger technology underpinning the coin and the rewards system that keeps it going.

Wozniak’s cryptocurrency portfolio is comprised of one bitcoin and two ether, the former of which he owns for pure experimentation purposes. He likens Ethereum to a platform that tends to grow because “there tend to be lots of people working on applications.” Sounds like another platform that Wozniak knows a little something about.

Meanwhile, whether or not bitcoin overtakes fiat currencies, the digital currency that boasts a market cap of $127 billion is sure to be remembered, which if we could ask Achilles of the Trojan war is what it’s all about anyway.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 16 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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IMF Official Urges Central Banks to Compete with Cryptocurrencies

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A high-ranking official at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging central banks to developer “better” fiat currencies in order to maintain their leadership pace over cryptocurrency.

A Call to Innovation

In an article published Thursday, IMF deputy director Dong He makes the case that “crypto assets may one day reduce demand for central bank money” and that government institutions must do more to not let that happen. In other words, to “forestall the competitive pressure crypto assets may exert on fiat currencies,” central banks need to adopt some of the core concepts driving digital assets.

“Central banks must maintain the public’s trust in fiat currencies and stay in the game in a digital, sharing, and decentralized service economy,” he said.

The Washington-based institution is carefully evaluating cryptocurrencies, though it has not adopted a formal position on the matter. However, it has urged governments to utilize technology to offset the risks posed by digital currencies (or as IMF chief Christine Lagarde says, “fight fire with fire”).

In the article, He seems to argue in favor of a central bank digital currency, but didn’t offer a rubric for implementation.

Central Banks and the Blockchain Divide

Many in the blockchain community believe crypto offers the best alternative to the fiat banking system and its hyper-inflationary nature. In the current system, central banks control a vital means of production: capital. By controlling the money supply, central banks have enormous power, including discretion to print money, adjust interest rates and set the reserve requirement.

As He stated in his paper, some cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have limited inflation risk because their supply is capped. Of course, he offered a caveat: bitcoin is not as well equipped to handle the risk of “structural deflation.”

Although they were initially resistant to the idea of blockchain, central banks are now widely exploring its use. It is unclear whether this will result in widescale adoption of a centrally administered cryptocurrency or whether blockchain technology will enable the current monetary system to operate more efficiently. Of course, for crypto purists, the idea of a central bank-run crypto asset is itself a contradiction.

By adopting blockchain technology, central banks are essentially following in Wall Street’s footsteps – not in terms of blockchain itself, but in embracing innovation. As we’ve seen repeatedly, the wheels of innovation churn very slowly at major financial institutions and it often requires disruptors (startups) to open the door to new business opportunities. We’ve seen it with mobile, apps, big data, cloud computing and now the blockchain.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 462 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Yale Economist Robert Shiller Has Little Faith in Cryptocurrencies

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Yale economist Robert Shiller warns that for all their innovation, the new money that is cryptocurrencies is an experiment that in the end may fall short. According to Shiller in a blog post posted today, computer programmers are the only ones who get cryptocurrencies enough to explain them, which he suggests “creates an aura of exclusivity”, attaches a certain “glamour” to this “new money” and inspires the devout loyalty within blockchain circles.

It’s déjà vu for Shiller, who has seen this all play out before in the history books, each time over the past 100-plus years ending in utter failure. This time it’s the rise of some 2,000 digital currencies and millions of believers who are not deterred by the smoke signals that regulators are sending up. Cryptocurrencies aside, money “is rich in mystique,” he says, and fueled by the faith that people and institutions place in it.

Shiller harkens back to the Cincinnati Time Store, which was a retail store in the 1800s founded by Josiah Warner and fueled by labor notes as well as “time money” surfaced shortly thereafter, which relied on time instead of precious metals. Neither of those experiments succeeded.

The revolution, he says, is nothing new, and the shine associated with reinventing money eventually grows dim.

“The cryptocurrencies are a statement of faith in a new community of entrepreneurial cosmopolitans who hold themselves above national governments, which are viewed as the drivers of a long train of inequality and war.” – Shiller

Shiller taps into the emotional case for cryptocurrencies, suggesting that the allure of new money is shrouded in the mystery of “advanced science.” Perhaps.

But while payments are a key application of cryptocurrencies, they’re not the only use case. And blockchain and cryptocurrencies have a symbiotic relationship, one in which neither wouldn’t exist without the other. But not once in his epilogue does he mention blockchain, the very technology that sets cryptocurrencies apart from historical attempts at new money, or the $143 billion market cap achieved by bitcoin alone currently.

‘A Clever Idea’

Shiller is a Nobel prize winner for his theory on asset prices. His Twitter profile evokes Alan Greenspan’s Fed with a description as being “irrationally exuberant.” Shiller actually shines when he is predicting doom and gloom, having presciently called both the bursting of the dot-com bubble and the housing crisis.

As economists go, Shiller has been more open-minded about bitcoin than his peers, his prediction for a “total collapse” notwithstanding. Shiller once called bitcoin a “clever idea.”

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 16 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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