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GDPR and Blockchain: Three Projects Seeking to Decentralize Data Protection

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Whether you’ve been keeping track of the news or are a citizen within the European Union yourself, there is a great chance that you have noticed the recent discussion regarding the newly implemented GDPR (or ‘General Data Protection Regulation’) in the bloc.

The rules came into effect this year alongside the recent vote in favor of implementing stricter copyright laws pertaining to intellectual property and ‘memes’ and has caused a fair bit of controversy, alongside the recent worldwide events including the USA, and their repeal of ‘Net Neutrality’ laws across the entire USA.

Image source: Forbes.com

Advertising, Big Data and You

For a wide range of reasons, digital advertising is a huge industry – being near-perfect solutions for digital, web-based organisations which are seeking to maximise their revenue / profits, whilst minimising expenses.

A common phenomenon affecting advertising is ‘Big Data’, where user information is collected and processed through complex artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms.

Your usage of internet technology more likely than not creates an endless trail of digital footprints, which are gathered and interpreted by companies and their systems to provide and interpret detailed insights on user habits.

Data Protection Rights

GDPR is meant to result in transparent and honest interactions between consumers, big data companies, and even social media companies such as Facebook now face the challenge of how to market or rebuild trust with consumers. Though there is still a myriad of concerns amongst consumers regarding how companies will approach this.

Implementation of GDPR has caused quite a shakeup for the AdTech industry, with users are being given total control over how much data websites and applications can collect about them.

Now users can consent to which cookies web operators have access to, but there are still several ways for big data to continue to profit from your data without cookies. Methods such as incoming IP tracking scripts, Browser Fingerprinting and malware-infected websites are commonplace and could prove more malicious than previous methods.

Can Blockchain Further Increase Data Privacy?

Technology has already empowered websites visitors with the ability to overcome issues such regarding data privacy and invasive advertising tactics.

‘Adblocker’ for example is a web-browser extension which automatically removes almost all adverts from a website, and just like ‘NoScript’ (removing potentially malicious scripts from pages) has been utilised by software such as Tor Browser to achieve thorough user safety and anonymity.

Through these kinds of solutions, blockchain or not, website operators are going to be encouraged to increase the quality and value of content on their pages.

Considering such software and the exponential growth of blockchain as an industry, it is of little surprise that we have seen an influx of services, products and ICOs which seek to combine the benefits of these technologies with those of blockchain / cryptocurrency.

Here are a few of what we consider to be the most interesting in the present crypto space…

1. Online.io

Image source: Online.io

The Online.io project financially rewards website operators in a ‘proof of online’ system which essentially quantifies the time spent on each website and rewards website operators appropriately. It is also the only project in this article which we haven’t reviewed on this site so far (although I wouldn’t count it out for the near future, so watch this space!)

Their proprietary crypto-coin (OIO) will be used to distribute rewards to all parties based on visitor time-spent, bounce-rate and other established metrics. This presents a fascinating opportunity for website owners to still effectively monetize their website in compliance with GDPR and without the need to utilize other means of data collection.

Online.io could somewhat be considered a democratized system, as users rank each website based on their experience. The highest rated websites will be rated higher in ‘Trust’ through an algorithmic formula, which acts as an indicator of website quality for future visitors.

It’s likely to continue delivering a highly positive boost to the whole ecosystem as consumers now (especially millennials) would rather get rid of traditional advertising methods: hence ad-skipping buttons on YouTube as well as Ad-blockers and anti-tracker software.

2. Peer Mountain

A blockchain based project which seeks to connect so called “self-sovereign ID holders with businesses, enabling commerce at scale” by utilising technological solutions like smart contracts.

Peer Mountain is unique for providing customers (a private individual / citizen) with a greater level of confidence when looking to access a product or service – no matter where they are, or what their country of origin may be.

To the organisations taking part, budding entrepreneurs worldwide, a whole new market audience is available. A mutual benefit which is equally enjoyed by the ‘self-sovereign ID holder’ too – incentivised by not having to register their private information on a host of centralized servers.

The security is achieved through use of innovative code: which makes use of a combination of user-experience solutions, with the innate security benefits of distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrency.

3. DOVU

This team has put all its efforts into creating a ‘mobility’-focused solution which incorporates “a unified token, wallet and marketplace for earning and spending mobility related rewards”. By mobility, what they are referring to is of course transportation related activities: such as ride-sharing and courier services.

In this instance however, it also applies to mobility information – and how it is bought and sold in the data economy.

Unlike the other solutions listed, DOVU aims to resolve the contentious issue of data privacy by allowing service providing companies make direct offers to users of its ecosystem in return for a quantity of the platform’s proprietary token.

Key use cases and clients pegged to take advantage of this platform include automotive manufacturers and marketing organisations for use in big-data research and algorithmic insight / report generation.

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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MobileGo (MGO) Is Up More Than 40% Since Thanksgiving

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The last few weeks have been an extremely challenging time for crypto enthusiasts.  Major coins like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) have been demolished while many smaller alternative coins have done even worse.  Fortunately, there are still a few bright spots left in the market that traders may want to turn their attention toward.  One of those bright spots is MobileGo (MGO).

Price Surge

Although most cryptos have taken a severe beating in the past few weeks, MGO has done just the opposite.  As seen in the chart below, MGO has soared by more than 40% since Thanksgiving.

A few of the reasons for the surge include being in an industry with rising popularity, innovative methods of earning gaming currency, and key strategic partnerships.

Exploding Popularity of the Gaming Industry

Despite the volatility in the cryptocurrency markets, blockchain remains one of the most exciting technologies being developed.  Blockchain has the potential to disrupt global industries and take them to levels once thought impossible.  MobileGo is attempting to do just that in the gaming industry.

The Gaming market is an extremely exciting opportunity as the industry is growing by leaps and bounds.  According to Market Researcher, Newzoo, the global games market is expected to grow from $137.9 billion in 2018 to more than $180.1 billion in 2021.

GShare Development

One of the company’s main innovations is the development of GShare.  GShare is a special tool which allows its users to earn GShare Gold coins by harnessing the power of their computers.  In this way, it’s very similar to cryptocurrency mining.  These coins (not cryptocurrency) are a soft currency which will be earned as soon as the user runs the app and presses the “start” button.  Users can play their favorite games, work, or simply browse the internet.

Additionally, gamers can also earn GShare Gold Coins by entering tournaments.  There is a wide variety of tournament options so that players can choose tournaments that fit their interests and skill levels.  In this way, it’s really an open environment that caters to individuals of all backgrounds.

Once the coins are earned, users will have several different redemption options that include the following:

  • Tournament Entry Fees
  • Social Activity Platforms

The option to use the coins through social media avenues is extremely interesting.  This presents an opportunity for the coins to gain international recognition by uniting different groups of people for positive results.  These social activity opportunities should become clearer soon.

Xsolla Partnership

MGO coins can be earned through special promotions, exchange trading, or by winning tournaments.  The last one is especially important as it’s directly related to GShare.  Users can use their GShare Gold coins to enter tournaments that fit their skill level.  And, if successful, users will earn MGO coins by performing well.

Being able to earn MGO coins by winning tournaments is very exciting considering the recent partnership news with Xsolla.  Xsolla provides game developers with a comprehensive suite of flexible tools and service to help launch, monetize and scale their games globally.  In late October, Xsolla announced that it would start accepting made-for-gaming cryptocurrency, MobileGo, for its PC and mobile games partners.

The partnership means that developers will be able to receive royalty payouts in MGO cryptocurrency.  As stated earlier, the gaming industry is expected to grow significantly in the future which makes this a very compelling opportunity.  As blockchain technology and gaming continue to grow in the future, it’s safe to assume that more and more game developers will be interested in cashing out via cryptocurrency.  MGO being an option this early in the game is a massive advantage.

Conclusion

Although it’s still early for MobileGo, the company appears to be making all the right moves in an effort to attain blockchain gaming dominance.  Only the future will tell whether the company will prove successful, but things certainly appear promising at the moment.

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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Are Crypto News Sites Allowing Freedom Of Thought?

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As the interest in cryptocurrencies has exploded during the past couple years, crypto news sites have been on the rise.  These sites are quickly becoming an invaluable resource for traders who enjoy learning about new crypto projects and trade ideas.  The content distributed through these platforms is typically created by a combination of full-time staff and guest contributors/bloggers.  Many of these writers also have a lot of experience in crypto trading so the articles are extremely beneficial for readers.

One thing that readers should always keep in mind is that the content from these sites normally represents the independent thoughts of the writer.  This is important because writers/traders aren’t infallible.  They can make mistakes like all of us.  So, the best approach for readers is to try to attain a diversity of thought.  A diversity of thought means to gather as much information as possible, from a wide selection of sources.  This is absolutely necessary before reaching a conclusion on a certain topic.

But what happens when a website prevents writers from writing about specific topics?  A colleague of mine recently tried publishing an article at Coinnounce.  The writer wanted to publish an article about the buying opportunity that the Bitcoin crash was affording investors.  Normally an article is rejected for legitimate reasons such as poor grammar, plagiarism, or promotional work.  Unfortunately, Coinnounce cited that the website was bearish on Bitcoin and that they wouldn’t be publishing bullish articles.  Even more troubling is that when Bitcoin rebounded in price, Coinnounce reached out to my colleague and told him they would now be willing to publish the bullish article.

When I found out about the rejection and the reason given, I decided to browse the Coinnounce website (which I had never heard of) to find out what kinds of articles were being published.  And sure enough, the articles were nearly all bearish in some fashion.  The problem with this approach is that nobody knows where Bitcoin is going.  It’s 100% speculation.  What actually matters is the logic presented in the article that helps back up a prediction.  So, while Coinnounce is free to run its business as it sees fit, the website (or the articles published) should have a disclaimer that the information presented represents the thoughts of the website’s owners/editors.  Otherwise, readers may not have a clear understanding of what is being presented.

The point of this article is not to call out Coinnounce.  Rather, the point is to make sure readers are aware that some sites may have different motivations than others.  It’s important to read from a variety of sources to get as much information as possible.  This is true not just for cryptocurrency markets, but for everything in life.  I’m proud to write for Hacked which runs an open and honest platform.  The articles written do represent the thoughts and feelings of the writers.  So, while the editors may not always come to the same conclusions that the articles do, they will never suppress freedom of thought.

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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Are Cryptocurrency Exchanges Asking Low Volume Coins For Bribes?

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Over the last few years, as cryptocurrency trading volume has soared, there has been tremendous growth in the number of exchanges.  Crypto trading volume really took off in 2017 as retail traders and institutional money flooded into the market.  This presented an opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs to stake their claim and start an exchange.  Unfortunately, not all exchanges are created equal.  Crypto trading is still an industry in its infancy which means it’s not regulated nearly as tough as many other industries.

Big Exchanges Charge Expensive Listing Fees

During the crazy bull run that lasted through the very early part of 2018, crypto projects were desperately trying to get listed on the biggest and most active exchanges.  The most coveted exchanges include Binance, Bittrex, Poloniex, Kraken, and BitStamp.  And while these exchanges certainly offer an attractive landing spot, there is a major problem; the listing fee.  As these exchanges have grown and gained power, only projects that are willing to pay an expensive fee receive a listing.

In August, Bitcoinist.com ran a story about the reported listing fees that Binance was charging.  Christopher Franko, the co-founder of Expanse, submitted a listing request in early August.  According to Franko, Binance contacted him and requested a $2.6 million payment to list his coin.  This approach is problematic for small projects as they can’t afford to pay the fee. Only the biggest projects which are extremely well capitalized and have money to burn can get listed on the most popular exchanges.

In October, Binance issued a listing fee update.  The company now claims that the exchange “will make all listing fees transparent and donate 100% of them to charity.  Project teams will still propose the number they would like to provide for a “listing fee,” or now more appropriately called a ‘donation.’ Binance will not dictate a number, nor is there a minimum required listing fee.”

Small Exchanges Offer An Alternative

Crypto projects that aren’t as resource rich will have a very difficult time getting listed on the most popular exchanges.  The expensive initial listing requirement will consequently relegate many projects to listing on smaller exchanges such as KuCoin, OKEx, and Cryptopia.   While there is nothing wrong with these exchanges, volume isn’t as pronounced as it is on the largest exchanges.

Instead of generating revenue from expensive initial listing fees, these small exchanges rely on trading volume for the bulk of their revenue.  From 2017 through the early part of 2018, that wasn’t a problem.  Cryptocurrency trading volume exploded as retail and institutional money flooded into the market.  Both traders and exchanges were reaping the benefits.  But now that crypto has been in a prolonged bear market, volume has cooled off.  Some of the small exchanges now rely on other gimmicks to generate revenue.

Many of the gimmicks center around advertising/marketing expenses.  For example, on Cryptopia, companies can pay fees to have their coin advertised on the trading landing page.

Bribes To Maintain Listing

While there is nothing wrong with generating revenue from advertising, there have been some troubling reports lately about exchanges asking coins to engage in “liquidity management.”  Rahul Sood, the Chief Executive Officer of Unikrn, recently took to Twitter to let the world know that both OKEx and KuCoin had delisted his UKG token because he refused to engage in liquidity management.

Sood made it clear that he was entirely focused on building his business and not trying to “game” volume to appease the likes of OKEx and KuCoin.  And Sood certainly isn’t the only crypto executive who’s voicing his frustration.  David Koepsell, CEO of Encrypgen, also stated on Telegram that Encrypgen’s token, DNA, was delisted on KuCoin because he refused to pay a bribe.

It’s unclear what bribe KuCoin was asking for but most likely related to a fee for “market making.”  Unfortunately, given the current lack of trading volume in the crypto markets, these small exchanges have had to resort to questionable tactics to bring in additional revenue.

Conclusion

KuCoin and OKEx don’t appear to be playing the long game.  They are delisting solid coins like UKG and DNA that refuse to pay bribes.  While that may not be a problem now, it may become one in the future when the volume returns to the alt market.  Projects that were delisted for refusing to pay a bribe won’t return and, instead, will take their business elsewhere.

One bright spot in the story is that Cryptopia doesn’t appear to engage in the same questionable tactics.  While the company does charge a small fee for an exchange listing, there are no reports of demanding coins pay a market making fee to stay listed.  Since the OKEx and KuCoin delisting, Encrypgen’s volume has exploded on Cryptopia.  Only time will tell but Cryptopia may end up being the big winner in all of this.

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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Hacked.com and its team members have pledged to reject any form of advertisement or sponsorships from 3rd parties. We will always be neutral and we strive towards a fully unbiased view on all topics. Whenever an author has a conflicting interest, that should be clearly stated in the post itself with a disclaimer. If you suspect that one of our team members are biased, please notify me immediately at jonas.borchgrevink(at)hacked.com.

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