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ICO Funding Has Slowed to a Crawl; Bithumb Reportedly Eyes Security Token Offerings

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The amount of money flowing into initial coin offerings (ICOs) plunged in October to levels not seen since before the crypto boom took off in early 2017, as regulatory uncertainty and bear-market conditions continued to take their toll.

ICO Funding Plunges

Crypto startups managed to raise a mere $54.5 million in token sales last month, the lowest haul since March 2017, according to ICOData.io. That’s a far cry from the $1.66 billion raised in December 2016 and the $1.52 billion-dollar haul from this past January.

ICO funding has declined in each of the last four months following a decisive shift in market dynamics earlier in the summer. Tokens sales attracted nearly $913 million in investments in June; one month later, that figure had fallen to less than half.

For all of 2018, 1,150 ICO projects have raised in excess of $7.16 billion, easily outpacing last year’s haul. Although that still comes out to a respectable $6.2 million average raise per project, the amount of money flowing into the ecosystem has fallen sharply from peak levels.

Bithumb Pursuing STO Platform: Report

The fallout from the ICO boom has given rise to a new paradigm that seeks to address many of the longstanding issues plaguing token sales. The security token offering (STO) is a financial security that mirrors traditional shares in a publicly-traded company. STOs are governed by federal laws set forth by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), putting them in the same bracket as traditional securities. This includes specific consumer protection guidelines and rules for soliciting investment from the general public.

According to a new report from South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is planning to launch its own STO platform. Citing industry sources, Yonhap reports that the exchange has already entered into an agreement with SeriesOne, a U.S. fintech firm, to begin developing the STO exchange, which would allow it to list security offerings in the world’s largest economy.

Yonhap reports that SeriesOne is looking to launch the security token platform during the first half of 2019, with Bithumb providing necessary resources to operate the exchange.

“SeriesOne actively sought to strike a deal with Bithumb after assessing it as the most suitable partner,” a Bithumb official said, as quoted by Yonhap. “Bithumb will ramp up efforts to develop into a global financial firm as the blockchain-based asset tokenization is expected to spread globally down the road.”

A platform backed by one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges could entice more startups to register as a security and actively seek contributions from U.S. investors. Until now, blockchain companies have been hesitant about entering the U.S. market due to more stringent regulations.

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 704 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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Cryptocurrencies

PayPal Follows Own Customers in Move to Crypto; U.S Coinbase Support Launched

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Freelancers, digital nomads and internet-based workers the world over will have something to smirk about this morning, when they wake up to the news that PayPal may be starting to see the lack of wisdom in their own business model.

PayPal recently initiated a cryptocurrency-based incentive system for its in-house staff, as covered earlier on CCN. This news was followed immediately by an announcement by prominent cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, that it would now facilitate fiat withdrawals to customers’ PayPal accounts.

After filing a patent for its own blockchain-based solutions earlier this year, it seems as though PayPal is dipping more than just its toe into crypto waters. The firm’s Google Play app was recently overtaken by the crypto-friendly Square Cash App, and the road to a crypto/blockchain conversion appears more likely by the day.

Coinbase – PayPal Withdrawals

As per the Coinbase blog announcement:

“Starting today, U.S. customers can instantly withdraw Coinbase balances to PayPal, providing even faster access to their funds through one of the world’s easiest and most widely-used payment platforms. These withdrawals are not only fast; they’re free and incur no fees.”

Coinbase had apparently been responding to demand from its customers regarding the introduction of a PayPal option. According to the post:

“Coinbase customers have been clear: you want to be a part of the open financial system. We believe that means more than just owning cryptocurrency — it means having the flexibility to use it how and when you want.”

No longer will U.S customers require an ACH or federal wire account to withdraw funds. Although, one presumes that PayPal will still have to be linked to existing bank accounts if any large amounts of money are to be transferred.

The new feature is already available for U.S-based customers, while global customers will have to wait until an unspecified date in 2019.

Escape PayPal? Or Absorbed By It?

Anyone who’s used PayPal for any length of time will have become familiar with its unreasonable, and dare I say, unethical fee structure.

According to a recent survey, 29% of freelancers would prefer to be paid in cryptocurrency, rather than via existing systems. Given the general ease-of-use of PayPal for even the non-technically minded, that’s quite the indictment.

Currently holding the same market cap as the entire crypto space, PayPal now has the option to edge closer towards becoming more crypto-like, with exchange compatibility, lower fees, and who knows – maybe future crypto wallets and instant exchange rates.

The other option is one where the corporate monster throws on some crypto-friendly clothes to attract people in the short term, but ultimately reverts to type with profit-maximizing practices in the long-term – not unlike a troubled French president 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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4.5 stars on average, based on 106 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Altcoins

EOS Price Analysis: Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson Warns of Regulatory Action Against EOS

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  • Charles Hoskinson projects some form of action from the SEC on EOS.
  • EOS/USD enjoys a relief rally on Wednesday, as price moves further north following recent bounce.

The EOS price hasn’t done much but decline of late. Back in August, EOS/USD entered into a very stubborn narrowing range. The price had been confined within this mode of trading right up until November. The range was seen from the $6 territory down $4 area. On the 19th November, EOS/USD bears had finally pushed for a breakout to the downside, from this mentioned range-block. Following this fall, the price plummeted over 60%, over the course of 3 weeks.

Cardano Founder Hoskinson Expresses EOS Regulatory Concerns

The Cardano (ADA) founder, Charles Hoskinson, has beliefs that EOS chief developer of the network is likely to face strong action from regulatory bodies. The SEC would be a potential regulator that investigates their $4bln ICO, as he has described as “egregious.”

Speaking at a press conference in Edinburgh, Charles Hoskinson has made a projection that the Securities and Exchange Commission will look at taking firm measures against Block.One. He believes that this would be done due to the way it had run and hosted the EOS ICO.  Hoskinson further detailed how the EOS token sale sits within the remit of the regulators for them to review the potential for harm of retail investors in the United States.

Charles Hoskinson Anticipating SEC Action on EOS

Hoskinson predicted that the SEC will likely bring punitive measures against Block.One for the way it ran the EOS Initial Coin Offering. The IOHK leader explained that EOS’ token sale falls well within the regulator’s remit to take action against any financial activity which harms US retail investors.

There were several fundamental issues with the EOS ICO, which clearly raise red flags, from Hoskinson’s view. He expressed for particular focus on the amount they had raised over the course of a year, in addition to their “utter lack of respect” for investors. Hoskinson said, the SEC “needed” to take action.

Technical Review – EOS/USD

EOS/USD daily chart

Most recently, the price has managed to stabilize, which could be due to sellers exhaustion. A bounce was seen on 7th December, after falling to a low of around $1.55. The bulls are attempting to make a convincing push back into the $2 territory. Demand in the near-term should now be observed from that recent low, $1.55 up to $1.80.

It is interesting to note the area of which EOS/USD received some comfort on 7th December (this is a known acting support). Back in November 2017 during the big bull run, the price consolidated within the mentioned demand zone for a brief period. This came before continuing its strong move to the north.

Downside Observations

EOS/USD daily chart

Should the near-term area of support fail to hold, then there could be some devastating moves to the downside. A breach of the $1 mark could very well be seen. The next major demand area will be within the depths of $0.90 region. EOS/USD had last traded down here again within the early part of Nov 2017 bull run.

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 88 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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Altcoins

Coinbase to ‘Explore Support’ for Over 30 Altcoins; XRP, Cardano, EOS, NEO & More

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Coinbase has announced plans to ‘explore support’ for over thirty cryptocurrencies, with major altcoins such as XRP, EOS, Cardano and Stellar up for consideration.

Just yesterday Coinbase Pro surprised everyone by suddenly accepting inbound transfers of four new ERC-20 tokens: Loom Network (LOOM), Civic (CVC), districtOx (DNT) and Decentraland (MANA).

Coinbase Gets Alt-Happy

The addition of those four tokens leaves twenty-seven coins remaining out of Coinbase’s list, published yesterday. According to the announcement, the following batch of coins and tokens are currently being explored:

“Cardano (ADA), Aeternity (AE), Aragon (ANT), Bread Wallet (BRD), Dai (DAI), EnjinCoin (ENJ), EOS (EOS), Golem Network (GNT), IOST (IOST), Kin (KIN), Kyber Network (KNC), ChainLink (LINK), Loom Network (LOOM), Loopring (LRC), Mainframe (MFT), Maker (MKR), NEO (NEO), OmiseGo (OMG), Po.et (POE), QuarkChain (QKC), Augur (REP), Request Network (REQ), Status (SNT), Storj (STORJ), Stellar (XLM), XRP (XRP), Tezos (XTZ), and Zilliqa (ZIL).”

Caveats

Such news will be a boon to bag-holders everywhere, assuming they’re still in the game. However, the announcement does come with a caveat or two:

“Adding new assets requires significant exploratory work from both a technical and compliance standpoint, and we cannot guarantee that all the assets we are evaluating will ultimately be listed for trading.”

With that said, Coinbase has shown itself to be one of the more cautious cryptocurrency exchanges over the years, and the team don’t tend to make many calls that they can’t back up. As many of these coins have already started to pump following the announcement, it’s more than likely that the exchange is fairly confident that the listings will go ahead as planned.

Coinbase stated the possibility that not all of the assets may get the same level of exposure on the platform, owing to technical and legal difficulties:

“…our listing process may result in some of these assets being listed solely for customers to buy and sell, without the ability to send or receive using a local wallet. Finally, as per our listing process, we will add new assets on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, which allows us to add assets efficiently and responsibly.”

Market Effects

Every coin mentioned felt some kind of price volatility yesterday, even the stable coin Dai (DAI). Tezos (XTZ), Quarkchain (QKC), Aeternity (AE) and OmiseGo (OMG) were all leading the front page of CoinMarketCap on Saturday morning, surging to between 15-20% gains overnight.

Many of the other coins mentioned also attempted upswings, such as NEO and EOS, but were halted by the movement of the broader market.

The four ERC-20 tokens added to Coinbase Pro yesterday experienced between 20-50% gains within a matter of minutes, however they couldn’t be sustained and ultimately pulled back by large margins.

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 106 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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