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OMG

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Bitcoin is at $9,800 as of writing, with a lot of pinball price action happening over the past couple of weeks. We have heard nothing but good news. Wyoming is going to be defining a Token that is exempt as a security. This is what we have waited for. Yes, the Swiss had a Token ICO protocol come out, but American businesses are always the ones that wait until one of their own goes first. The Token definition bill is heading to State Congress from State Senate soon, and hopefully we continue to get some good news.

The reason I talk so much about American crypto is because, like it or not, all ICOs are working scared because of the SEC. Americans have not been allowed to launch ICOs easily, nor can they invest in them. This flood gate needs to open. We have a ton of talented people who don’t want to move to Timbuktu to launch a revolutionary idea. I would estimate that we have a crypto-friendly ICO state before the summer.

In the meantime, I am continuing my research on the coins that I hear a lot about. OmiseGO is one of the coins that comes up frequently in discussion. This is a Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum Co-Founder) initiative with a lot of big names and organizations behind it. Full Disclosure: OMG is one of the few coins that I own simply because it is related to Vitalik. I wanted to justify my investment by doing a little more digging on what’s going on behind the hood of the company, and what exactly the ecosystem is going to look like for the company.

Background

The Unicorn (first to achieve $1 billion market cap) of ERC-20 Tokens, OMG was launched in 2017 by its parent company, Omise.

I would categorize Omise exactly like a blend between Ripple’s XCurrent and Xvia for the Asian market. It was founded in 2013, trying to input payment processing systems for organizations and individuals who need quick on-demand payment. An example customer is the e-commerce world. Omise’s software can imbed right onto your website, and you can begin to accept a suite of currencies, both fiat and crypto. The settlement will be in the currency that they have chosen to receive payment in. Sounds like XLM a little bit to me.

OMG token was the next step in the payment processing industry. Omise wanted to provide a way for Southeast Asian populations to be able to utilize the payment processing e-commerce services that they created for their corporate customers. In 2016, KMPG reported that only 27% of the 600 million people in the Southeast Asian region had access to a bank account. With such a tiny penetration rate of financial services, there needed to be a way for people in the region to get their cash on the internet to not only pay for goods and services, but also send money between each other both domestically and globally.

Team

Jun Hasegawa – CEO/Founder: This man knows payment processing. Starting his career in Japan, Jun has focused his 15 year career on figuring out ways to speed up the customer experience of paying for things. His expertise alone has secured over $50 milion in funding for the parent company, Omise. His success within Thailand has made him a key character in Thailand’s interest in blockchain innovation.

Donnie Harinsut – COO/Co-Founder: This guy has the hardest job it seems. He is going around the world to Omise’s different locations, and handling 130 employees. He recently posted a picture with Greylock Partners, a leading Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm. I always like that.

The rest of the Executive team has experience in banking/technology within Southeast Asia, with some being American/European ex-pats. I would say the team is probably the biggest draw to the coin. We already have our historical precedent with their parent company’s success, and they are boots on the ground in their Thailand headquarters. Banking the unbanked would be a little difficult if you are in a cushy Manhattan loft.

Tech Highlights

Decentralized “Plasma” Exchange: The exchange will eventually be freely available to the public, and not owned by any entity. This will allow a structure conducive to the community, where the users have control over their own holdings, and do not need to trust an entity to secure it. This is one of the many reasons why people like Bitcoin blockchain infrastructure so much. When no one is in control, there is inherently less risk.

SDK Wallet: This was the real eye popper during my reading. SDK stands for “Software Development Kit”. This is a wallet platform” you can develop your own white labeled wallet. This will be a way for corporations to have a stake in the blockchain game. They can set up a front-end application wallet that can accept a multitude of different coins/fiat currencies, and convert them into whatever is needed for the given payment or transaction. This is big. I am very excited to see the functionality of a wallet like this.

This is the scenario they are trying to cater to: Remember those 438,000,000 people in Southeast Asia who don’t have bank accounts? They can now access this wallet on their mobile phone, and deposit monies via gift/debit card. This is the same as “Topping up” on cell phone data and minutes. Any time that someone would want to send or pay anything, they would go to a location, “top up” their card with fiat currency, and deposit the contents of the card into their SDK Wallet. They now have complete access to a system that will process their transactions for pennies on the dollar compared to a Western Union. They also have access to pay for E-Commerce goods and services for the first time ever! Sending and receiving money to their families is great, but I really care about them buying stuff online for the first time. No one knows what would happen to the world if all of these people had a way to buy online. I am certainly excited to see it.

Partnerships 

There are too many to list. Once again, the theme I am seeing OMG as the Thai version of Ripple. The Omise team did the heavy lifting with developing these payment processing relationships within the country, with no blockchain included. Through the five years of operation, the level of trust has garnered the support of many corporations, to name a few: McDonald’s (Thai), Thai Airways, Thai Union (seafood producer), Allianz Ayudhya (Ilinsurance). The relationship between all of these companies is that they all want to start accepting things other than cash. Allianz, for example, will be one of the first financial services product providers that people in Thailand will use. As wages in these countries grow, they will want the same services developed countries have: life insurance, health insurance, vacations, and most importantly, savings. The OMG Plasma Network & the SDK Wallet provide that access.

Ecosystem

My most dreaded part of the research. The true value of the OMG token (not the OmiseGO network) is in staking. Staking is pledging your tokens to the network to validate transactions, and you will receive a return on the fees for the transactions. Because the blockchain is completely decentralized, no one controls how much one could theoretically make from pledging their coins. It is all based on supply and demand. If a staking user decides to only validate transactions above a certain fee level, that staking user may be waiting a long time, or forever.

This staking mechanism is not completely defined, as the network is in trials. I will be certainly writing a follow-up article once I have seen how the staking works, and the returns available. Remember: You can choose through OmiseGO how you would like to be paid (USD, EUR, OMG, etc.), which could be a game-changer for people with huge amounts of cryptocurrencies that don’t want to take them out of the market. There may be ways to already do this, but this brings a more commercial use-case, rather than crypto use-case.

The proof of stake system is allowing each of our tokens to act as a “miner” validating transactions. This doesn’t require extreme amounts of energy like bitcoin mining, which means you have the ability to make a passive investment 24 hours per day. I like the sound of this! However, I will wait until I have seen it in action before I make any significant investments/comments.

Conclusion

I love this company. Omise makes complete sense to me. They are a boots on the ground Thai company that has built relationships with partners who want to see their customer experience go into the 21st century. Through OmiseGO, remittance transactions will be cheap, companies can develop their own applications to accept payments for goods/services, and decentralized Proof of Stake ensures investment opportunities and unbiased functions.

I am waiting for the staking information to come out before I can categorize the size of the investment opportunity. OMG uses the Ethereum main net, so these two coins are working together. Just recently, we saw Vitalik with the Thai SEC talking about use cases of OMG. The Thai government has welcomed blockchain innovation with open arms. That can’t be said for many other countries with currencies operating within their borders. This is still very much a project, but it is one that I can’t seem to not be excited about.

 

None of what I have said is a recommendation to buy or sell cryptocurrencies. Please do your own research before investing. As an aside, please do follow me @raijincrypto on Twitter. I would love to know what coins you want more information on, so please do drop me a Tweet if you’d like. Best of luck.

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 27 rated postsMythological God of Lightning. Cryptocurrency/Blockchain writer, evangelist, and friend. May the odds be ever in our favor.




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  1. embersburnbrightly

    February 25, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Very nice article; thank you!

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Articles

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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Op-Ed

The Underlying Assets are Getting Squeezed

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An interesting phenomenon has emerged in the last 3 or 4 months. It appears as if many of the core underlying investment assets of the economy are getting steadily killed in the markets. This is observable in FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) as well as commodities like crude oil and iron ore.

Additionally, Bitcoin has continued to get hammered during this absolute beat down on the economy. Many pundits have come out and talked about how this is the “end of Bitcoin” or how this is Bitcoin finally finding its true value, but something far more important is at work here.

Deleveraging During the Credit Squeeze

For anyone who hasn’t been reading the news over the last several months, the actions of the Fed (and other central banks) have been under considerable analysis. The previous decade has seen some of the easiest money in the history of our economy. Easy money refers to the cost of borrowing. The lower the cost (interest rate), the easier the money is considered to be.

So as we start to see the credit markets change in a way that makes it a lot harder to borrow money, a credit crunch begins. This is when there is a shortage of credit (lending) and borrowers are forced to pay back parts of their loans, or at least not take out any new ones. And as a direct result, they can’t afford to maintain certain investment positions.

Their inability to maintain these positions means they need to sell off their holdings in the same way a short squeeze causes short sellers to need to buy back the security they were shorting. A credit crunch closes a lot of positions.

The economy-wide effect this is having is both predictable and scary, because we don’t know how far all these underlying assets are going to fall before they stabilize. In the mean time, there will be drastic political effects as a result. The policies of central banks have come under scrutiny in recent months thanks to comments by President Trump, and now that a tighter monetary policy is being put into play, we are going to see much lower dollar liquidity in the future.

Zooming in on Bitcoin

So with all of these assets “puking on themselves”, or deleveraging, we are seeing some interesting dynamics unfold. In Bitcoin, capitulation is occurring on both sides of the asset, which is exactly what is necessary to reverse this trend in the future.

You can see traders instinctively realize that the “dead cat bounce” that normally occurs as shorts get squeezed out in the $4k range is much more muted now. This is because many of the shorts have already closed their position. Longs are doing the same as they bought in at what they thought was the bottom, even as recent times have proven them to be mistaken.

This is going to work out as a good thing for Bitcoin in the long-term, as it could be the end of the massive downmarket it has experienced all year and a new time to shine. At the very least, it could create a good “bottom” for opportunistic buyers to hop in and average their costs down a bit.

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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Altcoins

60 Minutes Showcases Potential of DNA and Genetic Genealogy; Opportunity for Crypto Investors

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DNA Storage

Throughout the years, 60 Minutes has been responsible for reporting on some of the biggest stories in the world.  Many of the most memorable episodes have involved world leader interviews, stories on endangered animals, profiles of famous celebrities, and occasionally, segments on promising developments in business and science.  A week ago, 60 Minutes had a very interesting report on how the authorities used Genetic genealogy to solve the case of the Golden State Killer, and how the authorities plan to keep using this new field to solve more cold cases in the future.

On April 25, 2018, authorities in Sacramento announced that they had solved the notorious case of the Golden State Killer.  Authorities were able to use a promising new technique called Genetic genealogy to help identify 72-year-old former police officer, Joseph DeAngelo, as the suspected killer.

Genetic Genealogy

Genetic genealogy is a mixture of high-tech DNA analysis, high speed computer technology, and family genealogy.  The end goal is to determine the level and type of genetic relationship between individuals.

In the case of the Golden State Killer, DNA came into play because the killer had committed at least 12 murders, 50 rapes, and many home burglaries.  Investigators were able to obtain DNA from the killer at one of the reported crime scenes.  After many years of frustrating dead ends, a cold case investigator submitted the obtained DNA sample to GEDmatch.  GEDmatch is the largest public genealogy database in the world.  After uploading the sample, authorities were able to generate a handful of leads which eventually led to the front doors of Joseph DeAngelo.

In addition to the Golden State Killer case, authorities have used Genetic genealogy to make arrests in at least 11 other cold cases.  While the science appears to be sound, there is a legal question that has yet to be answered.  There is no doubt that attorneys for the accused will raise the question of privacy and whether using databases, thought to be private, should be legal.

Opportunity for Crypto Investors

While I’ve invested in equities and crypto for many years with varying degrees of success, I’ve never had the opportunity to invest at the beginning of a new frontier.  Fortunately, the opportunity has come.  Encrypgen (DNA) is a genomic blockchain network that provides customers and partners with best-in-class, next generation, blockchain security for protecting, sharing and re-marketing genomic data.  This creates a fair marketplace for a person’s DNA that can be stored private and sold (if a person wishes to do that).

Over the past few months, Encrypgen has been gaining attention in the mainstream media because of their revolutionary technology as well as the fact that their closest competition is still years away.

In August, Encrypgen released a beta version of its Gene-Chain.  The Gene-Chain allows consumers to upload their genetic profile and for researchers to purchase that genetic data.  Within the next 2 weeks, the company plans to release the full version of the Gene-Chain which will officially make them a new pioneer in the field of genomic blockchain security.

With the DNA token hovering at approximately 5 cents, the time is running out to accumulate at bargain basement prices.  I fully expect the token to achieve utility in the next several months which will cause a rocket-like explosion in the token price.  There is no looking back now, only forward, and I love what I see.

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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