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Biggest ICO Ever? tZERO to Launch Pre-Sale Nov. 15 via SaftLaunch

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Blockchain trailblazer tZERO has finally announced plans for its highly anticipated token sale, where it is expected to become one of the first token sales to generate significant participation from both cryptocurrency enthusiasts and traditional finance.

The Announcement

Overstock CEO and tZERO Chairman Patrick Byrne made the announcement at the annual Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas. Byrne provided a general description of the tZERO token, and said the first round of funding will be administered as a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) project. New York-based SAFTLaunch.com will handle the pre-sale, which is expected to run from Nov. 15 until Dec. 31.

SAFTLaunch provides a secure and compliant ICO platform, where companies and investors are vetted to ensure maximum quality.

tZERO made headlines last month after it announced plans to work with Argon Group and RenGen to launch a U.S. regulated Alternative Trading System (ATS).  The platform will enable trading of both security tokens and app tokens administered through ICOs as well as SAFTs.

Byrne first announced his vision for tZERO all the way back in 2014. In Las Vegas, he commented on how quickly the blockchain community has evolved over the past three years.

“While many doubted, the tZERO team worked hard to be at the tip of the spear in creating and launching credible, capable and institutionally scalable blockchain technologies for crypto assets,” he said, according to GlobeNewswire. “Today those efforts are attracting interest from both the crypto community and the largest global institutional funds.”

About tZERO

As a subsidiary of Overstock, tZERO is a distributed ledger platform for capital markets and private exchanges. In addition to launching the world’s first SEC compliant ATS for cryptocurrency assets, tZERO also issued the first private blockchain bond offering, as well as the first public blockchain security.

As CCN reported two weeks ago, tZERO could very well become the biggest token raise yet. Byrne predicts the tZERO token sale could “easily” raise between $200 million and $500 million, breaking the all-time record set by Filecoin.

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 499 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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Crypto Credit Card? MasterCard Wins Blockchain Payments Patent

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MasterCard has moved one step closer to developing a cryptocurrency-backed credit card after one of its patents was approved by U.S. regulators.

Patent Approved

According to the filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, MasterCard has received the green light to develop a proprietary method for “managing fractional reserves of blockchain currency.” The new system will link blockchain-based assets such as bitcoin and Ethereum to fiat currency accounts, which virtually enables users to pay for goods and services in cryptocurrencies using their credit cards.

The approval was granted on Tuesday, more than three years after it was originally filed.

The document details MasterCard’s intent to create a system that could theoretically speed up cryptocurrency transactions and encourage more people to adopt digital assets for everyday usage. Until now, crypto assets have made excellent stores of value but payment options remain limited as blockchains address scalability issues on their networks.

MasterCard identified all the way back in 2015 how users were beginning to favor cryptocurrencies over traditional payment methods due to anonymity and fraud prevention. That being said, the patent also highlights limitations in using cryptocurrencies for everyday life, including the time it takes to process transactions.

Merging Crypto and Traditional Payments

While no products have been brought to market as a result of the patent, MasterCard believes that the proposed system could enable users to retain the benefits of distributed ledgers without sacrificing the convenience of traditional payment systems. For merchants themselves, such a system would enable them to accept cryptocurrency payments without the risk.

Nevertheless, bitcoin adoption among businesses has grown significantly since the bull market began in early 2017. Hundreds of thousands of merchants worldwide already accept BTC as a form of payment, including Overstock, Microsoft and Expedia.

Japan – a country that recently recognized digital currency as a form of payment – has also witnessed an upsurge in merchant adoption and acceptance of bitcoin.

Behind the scenes, blockchain companies are looking to bring new scalability to their networks. Back in March, a newer version of the Lightning Network went live following a yearlong consultation. The upgrade is said to enable faster blockchain payments without confirmation bottlenecks.

With respect to MasterCard, it is unclear whether the company will move forward with its new patent. In an email conversation with CNBC, senior vice president Seth Eisen that the application is a way for the company to safeguard intellectual property in pursuit of new innovations:

“We’re consistently looking at ways to bring new thinking and new innovations to market to create value for us and our customers and cardholders. Patent applications are part of that process, taking steps to protect the company’s intellectual property, whether or not the idea ever comes to market.”

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 499 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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IBM Goes All In On Stablecoin Project as Mainstream Crypto Adoption Grows

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Dow blue-chip IBM (IBM) has teamed up with a financial technology startup to launch a new stablecoin that will be pegged to the U.S. dollar. The announcement is the latest in a series of positive developments linking mainstream business to the bustling world of cryptocurrency.

IBM Backs Stablecoin

IBM and fin-tech startup Stronghold are developing a new stablecoin by the name of “Stronghold USD,” which is backed by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured U.S. dollars. Reserves will be held in Prime Trust, a blockchain-focused asset manager.

By experimenting with virtual dollars, IBM is looking to develop new ways of helping financial institutions process payments more quickly and securely. The company is leveraging its existing relationship with Stellar to launch the new stablecoin. This means Stronghold USD will be backed by the Stellar blockchain.

This isn’t the first time IBM has tapped the Stellar protocol to experiment with cryptocurrency. Earlier this year, the technology giant joined hands with environmental startup Veridium to transform carbon credits into digital tokens. As Hacked reported in May, the carbon credits will be used by businesses to offset environmental damage.

IBM’s original partnership with Stellar involved work on a global payment network powered by blockchain solutions. Through Stellar’s digital ledger, IBM is seeking to develop 12 currency corridors in the South Pacific.

Stablecoins: Opportunity and Controversy

In principle, a stablecoin removes much of the volatility from digital currency trading by ensuring that each token is tied to a government-backed currency. Conceivably, each Stronghold USD token will be pegged to the U.S. dollar.

The problem with stablecoins is confirming whether the token is actually backed by an equal quantity of government-backed currency. Much of the controversy surrounding stablecoins emanates from Tether, a highly controversial project that has repeatedly failed to provide evidence of its U.S. dollar reserves.

Tether has also been accused of inflating the price of bitcoin by flooding the market with USDT tokens. Tether is run by the same CEO as Bitfinex, a leading digital currency exchange, prompting an investigation of both companies by U.S. federal regulators. This culminated in a subpoena by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Dec. 6.

Nevertheless, stablecoins have surged in popularity as investors search for a reliable funding mechanism to enter trades. Tether’s USDT token accounts for nearly one-fifth of total cryptocurrency trades, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.

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 499 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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EOS Developer Secures New Funding from Bitmain, PayPal Co-Founder in Major Investment Deals

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Despite its recent struggles, the development firm behind EOS has received new backing from several big-name investors, including Bitman and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. The deals solidify EOS’ emergence as a major player in the booming market for decentralized applications.

EOS Backing

Bitmain, the world’s largest blockchain company, announced its investment stake in EOS on Monday after CEO Jihan Wu praised the protocol’s performance and scalability potential.

“The EOSIO protocol is a great example of blockchain innovation. Its performance and scalability can meet the needs of demanding consumer applications and will pave the way for mainstream blockchain adoption,” Wu said.

While the specifics of the deal were not disclosed, Bitmain’s involvement is said to align with Block.one’s vision of creating a more “connected world,” according to CEO Brendan Blumer.

Bitmain has quickly evolved into an international conglomerate with a number of key investments in recent months. The company, which was originally a bitcoin mining manufacturer, announced in May it had led a $110 million Series E round for Circle, a cryptocurrency exchange and wallet platform that is also backed by Goldman Sachs.

Earlier this month, Bitmain announced plans to purchase a roughly 43% stake in Opera Ltd., a Norwegian internet browser that has filed for an initial public offering with Nasdaq.

As Hacked reported earlier this month, Bitmain has emerged as the world’s largest blockchain company with a total value of about $12 billion.

EOS in the Spotlight

In addition to Bitmain, the development arm behind EOS has announced that Peter Thiel and hedge fund billionaires Louis Bacon and Alan Howard have also invested in the company. While their monetary contributions have not been publicized, their backing is considered a silver lining for EOS, which has struggled in the wake of a botched mainnet launch that has revealed more weakness than strength.

False starts, account suspensions and, more recently, RAM hoarding have all tainted EOS’ mainnet campaign. The project’s arbitration mechanism has also come under attack, which has compelled founder Dan Larimer to propose a new constitution entirely.

“I am merely saying that the current constitution is not wise,” Larimer said last month. “I have learned a lot about human nature by watching the disputes, the witch hunts, the ‘bring everything before ECAF’ mindset.”

Since peaking in late April, EOS has lost more than two-thirds of its value. The cryptocurrency is back below $8.00 a unit on Tuesday after reaching a high of $8.11 earlier in the week.

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 499 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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