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Can Stellar Become the Next Major ICO Platform?

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If you’ve been paying attention to ICOs, you’ve probably noticed a consistent trend: the vast majority of token raises are built on Ethereum. The protocol has quickly emerged as one of the blockchain community’s undisputed leaders. And just like that, of cryptocurrencies were born.

Although there’s little evidence to suggest that startups are thinking about abandoning the ether platform, a new kid on the block is proving just as worthy of consideration.

Stellar Payment Network

Stellar actually isn’t all that new. It was founded in 2014 as an open platform for developing financial products. Though largely flying under the radar amid the latest crypto boom, Stellar has earned a market cap of nearly $3 billion. That’s enough for 11th spot on the CoinMarketCap chart of leading cryptocurrencies.

Stellar made headlines last month after Smartlands became the first company to launch a token on the payment platform. Smartlands, which markets itself as the platform for agriculture, touted Stellar’s superior transaction protocol and massive reach. Proceeds from the ICO will fund the development of the company’s Asset Based Tokens, which are offered on the Smartlands platform.

With Smartlands latching on to Stellar, market participants are curious to see whether more ICOs will follow suite. As it turns out, Stellar has a number of unique advantages that could make it the ideal platform for future token raises.

Stellar for ICOs: The Rationale

ICOs have raised $3.5 billion and counting this year. Although most token raises continue to be delivered through Ethereum, there is a strong case to be made for Stellar.

1. Cheaper and faster

One of Stellar’s most defining attributes is its ability to avoid the gas problem facing Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. As ether prices march toward $500, transactions are becoming more expensive. Stellar does not need gas to execute programs and has a miniscule transaction fee (i.e., fraction of a penny). The Stellar network is also able to process 1,000 transactions per second, making it ideal for token raises with a strong transaction component.

2. Customizable

As we’ve mentioned before, there’s no shortage of industries represented in the ICO market. Projects are diverse in scale and nature, making customization an essential feature of the underlying infrastructure. Stellar allows token issuers to customize their accounts, payments, tokens and special offers.

3. Decentralized Exchange

As the number of cryptocurrencies continues to rise, a platform that enables efficient trading will be viewed more favorably by the investing public. As Lindsay Lin describes on the Stellar blog, any token created on the platform can be bought and sold via Stellar’s decentralized exchange. Companies that launch their ICOs on the Stellar network do not need a third-party cryptocurrency exchange to make their token available. This is an extremely attractive value proposition at a time when crypto-market liquidity is going through the roof.

4. Security Features

The Stellar system doesn’t offer the same breadth of features as Ethereum. This was done on purpose to limit risk and keep the bad actors from exploiting the program. As an added layer of security, token issuers can choose which nodes are allowed to validate their transactions. Security often comes at a cost, but Stellar has taken a reasonable approach to protecting its infrastructure.

5. The Team

Stellar is backed by one of the strongest teams in the industry, with co-founder Jed McCaleb already building two cryptocurrency companies. For those who are unfamiliar with McCaleb, he created Mt Gox, the now defunct exchange that at one point handled nearly three-quarters of global bitcoin transactions. After the Mt Gox debacle, he went on to found what would eventually become Ripple. The Stellar team currently consists of 12 employees, four board members and eight advisers. It’s advisory group is, shall we say, stellar. It includes the founders of Y Combinator, AngelList, WordPress and Apache Software. The chief scientist of White Ops is also involved in the project.

Of course, none of these attributes diminishes Ethereum’s capabilities as a superior programming platform. Its smart contract applications continue to be a major draw for prospective token raises. As the ICO Ratings page clearly shows, Ethereum remains very much in the driver’s seat.

That being said, keep your eye on the Stellar network. We wouldn’t be surprised if more ICOs are launched on this platform in 2018.

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 648 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Steppa75

    December 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Yes certainly one I’ve been looking at closely, I thing even the recent big gains could be just the start. Maybe a good long term buy, even at current prices.

  2. JL1671

    December 9, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    You might also want to remark, that Ripple XRP offers the same thing on their ledger – with a far better team, and actively pursuing compliance with authorities. Alhough it must be said: yes, Ripple does not concentrate on it (yet). But imagine they would, being the trustworthy partner (contrary to shady McCaleb) towards our real-life regulators that enforce compliance upon us. ICO ban? “Comply through a trustworthy partner, and you’re ok after all” ? Who knows…

    In any case – whatever a future outcome on this might be, the Ripple protocol allows for just the same as well.

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Cardano Price Analysis: ADA/USDT is Eyeing a Big Move Out of Current Technical Setup

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  • Positive update from IOHK audit of Icarus by Kudelski Security.
  • ADA/USDT is moving within a pennant pattern formation, subject to breakout.

Solid Icarus Audit reported by IOHK

IOHK recently announced in their forum that an audit was conducted by Kudelski Security, which is an independent and third-party security audit firm. The audit conducted demonstrated that the Icarus project implementation for Cardano looks all good and set to go, without any major problems. However, a few changes may need to be executed. IOHK developed the Icarus code as a reference implementation, for Cardano light portfolio.

The important of “independent audits, like this one was stressed by IOHK. Stating “they are critical for identifying security issues in the Icarus wallet, that may not have been identified by internal audits”.

Furthermore, IOHK has elucidated Icarus as an open source code base serving as a reference for the creation of safer and easier mobile wallets for Cardano. They said, “this guarantees our customers and clients the safest portfolio we can offer.”  Given the benefit of an external audit, the developers can resolve any problems identified during its product launch audit.

Positive Updates from Cardano Founder

Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, was recently commenting on Cardano’s future. He said “We have so many amazing things coming out.”

Mr Hoskinson further added that one of their scientists has flown in from Switzerland. They will be doing a video, which will be the first time they have ever talked about their sharding design that we have for Cardano. Further commenting on other updates, including videos about Shelley and the Rust project.

Technical Review – Daily Chart

ADA/USDT daily chart

ADA/USDT is moving within a triangular pattern or a pennant formation, as seen via the daily time frame. It is narrowing, moving closer to a breakout. Ranging ahead of another drop to the deep south. Although, fundamental developments coming out from the Cardano foundation, remain very much upbeat currently.

Over the past 8 days, the price has been grinding higher, after receiving support at the lower trend line of the above-mentioned pattern. In terms of resistance to the upside, this can be seen at 0.08310000. The upper tracking trend line. Further north, a supply zone is running from 0.09000000-0.09500000. ADA/USDT  last traded here on 23rd September. Finally, support is tracking at 0.071800000, lower part of the pennant, also within a demand area. Another strong buying territory is observed from 0.06500000-0.06000000.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 33 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Why Would Anyone Have Faith In Tether?

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I don’t want to get sued for slander so let me explain the reasoning beyond today’s title. After all of the turmoil surrounding Tether on Monday, how can the price be anywhere near the $1 parity level with the US dollar?  After more than a year, how can anyone have confidence in Tether and their common law partners Bitfinex when, for example, Circle, backed be the highly respected Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs offers an alternative?  We should also mention that Circle is just one of many so called stable coins.

It isn’t hard to find a list. Exchanges are feverishly adding stable coins. Singapore based Houbi is adding Paxos Standard Token (PAX), True USD (TUSD), Circle (USDC) and Gemini (GUSD).  

When Stable Coins Cause Instability

Well, the evidence is mounting as the months move along that so called stable coins can have the power of creating anything but stability.  This week’s experience with Tether, Bitfinex and the price explosion of Bitcoin demonstrates that there are still dangers lurking. This is why trust is important.

Monday’s gyrations were not the first questionable moment for Tether.  The coin, which gains its intended stability by being tied on a one for one basis with the US dollar, has been the subject of questionable behavior all year.  

As far back as January trade sources were expressing concern the Tether was responsible for last December’s major price bubble in Bitcoin.  The frenzy over Bitcoin set off speculation across the entire crypto spectrum. But that was just the beginning.

In June Bloomberg reported on a paper by John Griffin, a finance professor at the University of Texas, that among other things claimed 60% of last year’s price move in Bitcoin was the result of manipulation surrounding Bitfinex. That directly implicates Tether.

Using algorithms to analyze the blockchain data, Griffin’s team found that purchases with Tether were timed following market downturns and result in sizable increases in Bitcoin prices. Less than 1% of hours with such heavy Tether transactions are associated with 50% of the meteoric rise in Bitcoin and 64% of other top cryptocurrencies.

These findings prompted the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission to step in with a series of subpoenas.

Tether’s coins had become a popular substitute for dollars on cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, and for good reason. They are anonymous, closely tied to the value of the US dollar and can be used in exchange for Bitcoin, Ether or about 10 other cryptocurrencies.  Tether is closely associated with Bitfinex, with whom they share common shareholders and management.

Bitfinex has offices in Hong Kong but it is legally headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. In May they announced plans to move to Zug, Switzerland. Bitfinex has a sorted history of poor security, having lost nearly $100 million worth of Bitcoin from customer accounts. Moreover, while claiming to have total one for one US dollar backing for each Tether, real proof is absent.  

Further Evidence of Manipulation

Over the course of this year, as we have gathered digitally to witness the loss of nearly $600 billion in crypto value, everyone has been looking for the culprit. When I first read of some of the academic studies that blamed the advent of futures trading on the CBOE, I laughed. Honestly, I believed the real cause of the rise and fall of crypto were a well connected group of billionaires that together had the power to move markets.  

Well the folks at Chainalysis have just produced some surprising research results. Their Blockchain Intelligence Platform powers investigation software for some of  the world’s top institutions. These guys don’t do surveys, the have their hands on big data that is able to detect some interesting stuff.

Chainalysis released a new report last week showing that the so called Bitcoin whales are not responsible for price volatility. The study examined the 32 largest BTC wallets, which reportedly represent 1 million BTC, or around $6.3 billion. That is a pretty solid sample size.

The data revealed that the BTC whales are do not act in concert with one another. In fact not only are they a diverse group but about two thirds behave like longer term investors. Instead of being FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) types, on net they have traded against the heard buying on price weakness.

Putting The Pieces Together

The crypto world is bombarded with globally generated news on an hourly basis. But what does all of it mean anyway? Hopefully this article adds some perspective on what and who has been responsible for the direction of crypto prices over the past year.  As more of these weak players are identified and depleted of their business, real investors will have the confidence to return to the market.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 114 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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Why Investors Should Be Paying Attention to Digitex Futures Token

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Right now, to say cryptocurrencies are in a bit of a valley is an understatement. Since January 2018, there has been a consistent downtrend or plateau for much of the year. We’ve heard many crypto-naysayers declare that this is the death of crypto, or that these assets are only now trading at their fair market value, but there is a more likely situation.

Cryptocurrencies are in a natural part of the market cycle where they have dropped a lot, are consolidating, and will eventually go through another bubble and run-up. Yes, this bubble will crash again, but at a higher valuation. This is how many market cycles have gone for nearly every asset from equities to gold.

Making Bets on Crypto’s Return

So the next question to ask is: what should you do if you want to bet on cryptocurrency having a swift comeback. Now, we are going to use a metaphor here. If you invest in a car company, you need that company to do well, whereas if you invest in gas companies, no matter what car company does well, the demand for your product is going to go up.

By that logic, it would be considered wise to find ways to bet on trading exchanges in the cryptocurrency space. Not all of them have ownership up for grabs, but there are some companies (i.e. Kyber Network) that operate in the trading space and have a token available.

More Ways to Enter This Market

Another company that is doing great work in this area is Digitex Futures. They have found a way to eliminate many of the transaction fees that would normally occur on a trading exchange.

As a futures exchange, the platform operates based on “bets” that are made regarding the future prices of cryptocurrencies. By not taking custody of the actual tokens, it becomes simpler to operate a decentralized ledger for the platform.

This is done by having their token be the “currency” by which traders are making their bets based on the price of BTC in terms of USD. DGTX (Digitex Futures Tokens) are paid out accordingly, and traders will naturally need them in order to make futures bets.

Digitex Futures is able to operate with zero transaction fees because they fund the platform by selling off a small amount of DGTX every year. This creates stable growth within the platform by limiting the supply in a measurable way.

A New Opportunity

Recent performance of Digitex Futures Token (DGTX) has been aggressive, to say the least. In the last week the tokens are up 55.2%, and are now trading at $0.12 per token. The market cap is still extremely small, at $85.24 million, but it is continuing to climb.

If you believe that cryptocurrencies are going to have a strong resurgence, then it might be wise to get ahead of the trend and look at the leading variables. As trading volumes increase, price levels will increase as well. Digitex Futures has a uniquely structured business model that creates inherent demand for their token and right now is a prime buying opportunity.

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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