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Project to Watch: Phatansma (SOUL)

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Phantasma is a new generation content distribution system. It is an innovative platform for revolutionary application development in a critical area of data management and content sharing. This project is the concept of a decentralized content distribution system based on blockchain technology with an emphasis on confidentiality and security. The platform allows users to control their content, rather than relying on third-party services for its placement, protection, and management.

Development Team

A highly qualified team of specialists with relevant experience in the amount of 17 people works on the project, including:

  • Sergio Flores: co-founder and engineer, a member of the City of Zion development team, has been programming for about 20 years, the experience of previous startups includes the creation of his own game development company Lunar Labs in 2015.
  • Miguel Ferreira: co-founder and engineer, has a Master of Computer Science degree and is an experienced blockchain developer.
  • Alexandre Paixao: marketing manager, graduated from ISCTE business school, where he received a master’s degree in marketing, has more than six years of experience in marketing, of which most of the time he worked in the gaming industry.
  • Sergio Pereira da Silva: finance guy, has extensive experience in the field of finance and accounting, worked for the last two years at the Portuguese engineering company SyncData, specializing in development using the blockchain.
  • Bruno Freitas: engineer, mobile technology specialist, a member of the City of Zion developer community, has a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

The problem of ownership rights in a centralized environment

Cloud technologies, including data storage services, have recently become increasingly popular. This is a classic example of “centralization.” Practically everything that we do today is in the “cloud,” like e-mail, content (games and videos, web services, etc.). Relying on centralized, third-party services for something meaningful and personal, companies may be at risk of hacking and leaking confidential information.

Since the beginning of the 2000s, there have been dozens of cases of such hacking cases. For example, the email service Lavabit in 2013 and Apple iCloud in 2014. The latter incident led to the leakage of many private photos of celebrities.

With the advent of the new computing paradigm, blockchain technology has emerged, followed by a host of innovative decentralized services and applications (dApps). However, this modern computing and economic environment is still in its infancy and does not contain a large number of basic building blocks and infrastructure necessary for the full development and implementation of decentralized applications, systems, and services. One of the essential components is a service for custom communication and data exchange between dApps.

How can Phantasma make a difference?

This platform provides a decentralized content distribution system operating on the NEO blockchain. It focuses on privacy and security. This is the platform on which users control their content, rather than relying on third-party services that take over the functions of hosting, protecting and managing it.

Interfacing with existing systems is extremely important so that Phantasma-based mailboxes will be compatible with standard email addresses. This will enable contact and interconnection with e-mail systems outside the blockchain. As for privacy, all data in Phantasma is encrypted, providing full control over the content. No one except its owner will be able to access it and give access to others.

In other words, possession of private keys to the wallet provides control over all the contents stored in it. Since everything is encrypted, without a private key, no one can read its contents or steal it. Even Phantasma developers will not be able to access it.

According to the authors of the project, their idea is the concept of a new standard for the safe and unlimited data exchange, management and integration through many partner services in the field of user communication and dApps applications in the NEO ecosystem. By providing a single standard interface (API) with all the fundamental semantics of data access required by applications, Phantasma can increase the efficiency of dApp developers, expand their potential and enhance the development of the NEO ecosystem.

 

Platform Architecture

Phantasma provides both a platform for storing content and a protocol for sending messages through smart contracts. The ultimate goal of the protocol is to provide a framework for data management for dApps applications. The developers have created a messaging protocol, files and other data on top of a blockchain. The platform architecture consists of five main components:

Phantasma is originally based on the original NEO blockchain. Its creators intend to use NEOX for interchain compatibility, but in the future to create a separate blockchain for the platform. They consider this the best way to achieve maximum network efficiency.

The core architecture is broken down below.

Smart contracts. The primary function of the project is to create a messaging protocol. The smart contract system will also be used to process transactions during content storage, and the system’s internal tokens will be used as fuel for the network.

Software Development Kit. The authors of the project intend to release a set of tools for SDK developers so that everyone can create their dApps applications using the capabilities of Phantasma. The SDK is a critical component for expanding the ecosystem.

Relay Nodes. To create an architecture that can adequately perform data exchange tasks in a decentralized environment, network nodes will exist on their layer in the blockchain, which will not overlap with other layers. It will be located between the NEO blockchain and all dAps applications of the platform. The purpose of creating this layer outside the network is to speed up the process of sharing encrypted content.

Storage with distributed content. The Phantasma Data Filesystem System (PDFS) file system is a decentralized data storage system that will serve as storage for phantom applications. Users acting as network nodes will be able to make an additional contribution to its work by launching full PDFS nodes.

Token SOUL. Since Phantasma is created on the NEO blockchain, SOUL will initially have the NEP-5 standard. Phantasma users will be able to use it to pay for the data exchanged, as well as to create/update storage space. Developers and other participants will receive SOUL for providing storage and network services, and site owners will be rewarded for their role in verifying network transactions.

Benefits and Capabilities

Interaction with existing systems is the main focus for the later stages of platform development. Expanding beyond the NEO ecosystem, Phantasma is best suited for transferring data between dApps and different protocols.

The platform will begin using its mailboxes, which will be compatible with standard email addresses. This will ensure communication with postal services outside the blockchain.

A possible disadvantage of this is that any information exchanged with email services outside the blockchain will be stored on centralized servers. As a result, this will be contrary to the primary goal of the project – to provide a decentralized data exchange environment.

As a system designed exclusively for the exchange of encrypted data between dApps, Phantasma has more prospects. The team foresees many possible uses of their product if they can encourage developers to use the potential of the platform in their work — for example, the creation of a distributed network of entertainment content and a decentralized e-commerce platform.

Despite the presence of an SDK for developers, the incentive to build applications within the platform will largely depend on the initial success of Phantasma in the developer community at the initial stage of development.

Disadvantages 

The real issue at stake is that if users want to adopt a system of chat and e-mail really that require digital tokens to use. Is there a readiness of the mass market to accept such a model, or will the average users be more likely to continue to use free services such as Gmail, Dropbox, and others?

Despite growing concerns about data confidentiality, some studies have shown that this issue is not essential for consumers to make decisions when using specific services or services.

Moreover, large technology companies have begun to actively use encryption technologies in the field of mass consumer messaging services, such as WhatsApp. Besides, there are already free encrypted mail services that provide many of the security features that Phantasma offers.

Conclusion

The project authors mainly focus on the value proposition, which may not have a sufficient level of support from the average Internet user. But on the other hand, we see that many influencers endorse the project. However, I will not include it in my portfolio.

Price and Liquidity

  • Ticker: SOUL
  • Major Exchanges: none
  • Market and Returns: SOUL token price: $0.0224038679 (-5.08%); 0.0002589056 ETH; 0.00000676 BTC
  • 24h Volume Market Cap: $104,823 $1,306,883
  • Returns Since ICO: 0.10x USD 0.68x ETH 0.23x BTC

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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4.9 stars on average, based on 42 rated postsVladislav Semjonov has a legal and financial background. He has been involved in crypto space since early 2017 in both ICO advising positions in several ICO consultancy firms, and as an ICO analyst for VC. He began contributing for Hacked.com in April 2017.




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What is an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO)?

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In 2018, an alternative to ICOs appeared – Initial Exchange Offerings (IEO). The main difference between these methods of attracting funding lies in the critical role of the exchange, which selects promising and viable projects(in its opinion).

With an ICO, a listing of tokens on the exchange may be delayed by several months after the completion of the token sale, and usually, projects lose a lot of hype during the process. In the case of IEO, the exchange is initially the critical partner of startup. So, it can issue tokens and sends them to the exchange. That, in turn, distributes digital assets among interested investors who are verified users of the trading platform.

IEO: An Introduction

Instead of the usual ICO, where investors send funds to a smart contract, an IEO participant needs to register (and, as a rule, verify) on the exchange, transfer funds to the account and after starting the token sale, purchase coins from the exchange directly.

The agreement between the exchange and the organizer of IEO may contain various conditions: the maximum sales cap of tokens per investor, a predetermined asset price, hard cap,soft cap, the percentage of sales and a fixed amount of funds for the trading platform, the distribution of marketing costs, etc.

The scope of the Initial coin offering has developed rapidly over the past few years, but by the end of 2018, it had almost exhausted itself. The reasons for this are legal uncertainty, non-fulfillment of promises, bankruptcy of many projects, fraud and the lack of mechanisms to protect the rights of investors as well as the tightening of measures by financial regulators.

Maybe an improved method of raising funds will become a natural result of the ICO boom and will repeat its success, thereby restoring confidence in token sales.

Let us look at the main advantages of IEO for investors.

IEO Advantages

The exchange assumes due diligence of projects, assessing their investment attractiveness, the viability of the products being developed, risks, financial condition, market position, etc. The fact that the marketplace takes on reputational risks increases the level of investor confidence.

In the last few years, ICO projects shifted public offering to private offerings, which are generally accessible only to large investors. IEO democratizes the process of investing in digital assets, making it available to a wide range of participants.

If the exchange on which IEO is held is centralized, then the likelihood of the so-called “gas wars” is excluded. We are talking about a situation when the participants in Ethereum token sale compete with each other, setting high gas limits. This is done to increase the speed of transactions and the first to acquire the tokens.

From an exchange and project side, IEO has some other benefits as well.

The main advantage of this approach for the projects is a ready base of potential IEO participants from a vast number of exchange users. This reduces marketing costs.

Besides, both project and exchange are doing marketing of the IEO. Such an approach not only saves money but also creates a synergy effect, which increases the efficiency of tokens promotion to the market.

The primary source of income for the exchanges is trade commissions. More users and coins in the listing means more transactions and, accordingly, higher revenue from commissions. Holding IEO on its platform gives the exchange the opportunity to attract new users and offer, at times, exclusive coins that are not available at other sites. All this increases trade volumes and, consequently, income.

In the case of ICOs, listing on the exchange is the next logical step after the completion of the token sale. The listing procedure is often costly and time-consuming. At the same time, there are no guarantees that the coin will be available on the favorite exchange and will become liquid. IEO optimizes this process as tokens almost immediately become liquid.

Tokens issuers, in any case, will have to pay considerable sums for the listing, which may differ on different exchanges. Also, the marketplace may require a certain percentage of the total amount of funds raised.

Projects distributing tokens through IEO bear the main marketing costs. These expenses are considerable, and their total amount can easily reach $ 100 thousand or more.

Exchange team should consist of qualified and technically savvy analysts who can competently and systematically evaluate the long-term potential of projects and the viability of their business models. In the event of a campaign failure, the exchange carries significant reputational risks.

Recently it became known that the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance has restarted its Launchpad platform for token sales. This platform was initially launched in August 2017.

Now on Launchpad, they are preparing to launch the token sales of BitTorrent and Fetch AI projects. In general, Binance promises to hold at least one IEO monthly in 2019.

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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4.9 stars on average, based on 42 rated postsVladislav Semjonov has a legal and financial background. He has been involved in crypto space since early 2017 in both ICO advising positions in several ICO consultancy firms, and as an ICO analyst for VC. He began contributing for Hacked.com in April 2017.




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Altcoins

Lite.IM Surpasses Facebook In Race To Support Cryptocurrency Compatible Messenger

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Since the early part of 2018, crypto traders have been bombarded with bad news.  Hacks, broken promises, and overall lack of enthusiasm have resulted in huge losses.  But more than that, some promising cryptocurrencies just haven’t survived.  As traders look to the future, they should begin looking at projects that have the potential to disrupt industries and take them to the next level.  One company that has the potential to accomplish that is Zulu Republic (ZTX).

Zulu Republic is an ecosystem of blockchain tools and platforms, designed as a place where people, businesses, and organizations can thrive on their own terms.  The company’s stated mission is to advance the development of decentralized technologies, to promote human rights and empowerment around the globe, and to reduce the global digital divide.

Well the company is off to a great start with the development of Lite.IM.

What is Lite.IM? 

Lite.IM is a project aimed at expanding global cryptocurrency adoption.  With Lite.IM, users can send, receive, and manage Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and the company’s native currency (ZTX), on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and SMS (in the USA and Canada).  To get started managing these cryptocurrencies on the aforementioned platforms, users simply need to send a text-based command to the Lite.IM bot.  The commands are as follows:

Telegram:  @LiteIM_bot

Facebook Messenger:  @lite.im

SMS (USA and Canada only):  760-LITEIM-0

Competition with Facebook

On December 21st, 2018, Facebook announced that it was developing its own stable cryptocurrency that users would be allowed to exchange through its popular chat service, WhatsApp.  But while Facebook’s initial approach will target users based in India, Lite.IM is open to everyone in the world.  Further, Zulu Republic has previously mentioned that they expect to announce support for WhatsApp in the next few weeks.  It certainly appears as though Lite.IM has the upper hand here.  And that is before even addressing Facebook’s obvious privacy concerns.

When it comes to cryptocurrency, privacy and security have always been two issues at the forefront.  Given the rough year that Facebook has had in that regard, users must certainly be forgiven if they have trouble trusting the social media giant.  In September, 2018, Facebook announced that an attack on its computer network had exposed the personal information of nearly 50 million users.  Apparently, the hackers were able to exploit a feature in Facebook’s code to gain access to user accounts.  Even prior to this announcement, Facebook was already under Congressional scrutiny over revelations that a British analytics firm obtained access to private information from nearly 87 million Facebook users.  Not to mention Facebook’s rumored involvement with Russian election meddling.  Suffice it to say, it has been a tumultuous year for Facebook.

And while users may have concerns trusting Facebook’s ability to handle cryptocurrency data, they shouldn’t have those same concerns with Lite.IM.  Private keys are RSA encrypted with the user’s password.  Lite.IM will never ask for that information nor will it be stored.  Because of this, no third party will ever have access to that valuable information.

Conclusion

The truth of the matter is that Facebook is an absolute giant and has grown at an extraordinary rate since its initial public offering.  Facebook has hired some incredible talent, from executive positions to marketing to development.  And while one should never count them out, I simply wouldn’t be able to trust them with all of the recent issues.  Perhaps in time, after regaining the public’s trust, users could once again look to Facebook as a leader.

Fortunately, users have another strong and dependable option.  Lite.IM will allow users all over the world to manage popular cryptocurrencies via their favorite messenger platform.  Users should continue to stay tuned for future developments.

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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Investing Ideas

Five STO Projects to Watch in 2019

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Security Token Offerings (STOs) are gaining popularity and promise as the go-to method to replace the ICO model over time. They also have the added benefit of being equal in status to securities with dividend payments and other benefits attributed to equity ownership. The main hurdle lies with legal uncertainty, as the standard law giver in this field is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In this article, I will present to your attention five projects that have already completed the STO phase. It is worth noting that due to their legal status, these tokens are not available at exchanges, and you can only get them though over-the-counter (OTC) deals.

Vaultbank

Vaultbank (https://vaultbank.io/) is a project where, besides the digital asset exchange for security and utility tokens, users could easily exchange fiat through their debit card. The company will also provide other services related to the tokenization of various assets like companies, businesses and real estate. The holders of the tokens are equal to the shareholders the company and will get pay dividends and full reports once a quarter. Vaultbank’s STO ended in March, and they raised $10 million.

Aspen Digital

Aspen Digital (http://aspencoin.io) is a token that gives the right to partial ownership of the luxury hotel The St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen, Colorado, which is a ‘sacred Mecca” of winter sports enthusiasts in the United States. Token holders are entitled to re quarterly dividends of 4.75% and reports. The Aspen Digital STO ended on October 1 and they raised $ 18 million.

Neluns

Neluns (https://neluns.io/) is an ecosystem consisting of an exchange, bank, and an insurance company. NLS tokens grant dividends to their holders on a quarterly basis and makeup 50% of the company’s profits. The company plans to release cards in partnership with Visa, Mastercard and American Express. The project is huge and managed to collect $136 million at the ICO/STO stage.

Ceyron

Ceyron (https://ceyron.io/) is a decentralized exchange for crypto assets with an annual dividend payout. It is noteworthy that owning tokens does not mean automatic ownership of the company. The percentage of dividends is also not specified. There is a prepaid debit card that allows you to cash out 20 types of currencies without fees.

tZero

tZero (https://tzero.com) is a project that plans to build an exchange for security tokens trading in accordance with regulation. The tZero project has collected $134 million. The size and frequency of payment of dividends are not found in the open access. Behind the project is a major online retailer Overstock.com.

I think that the most noteworthy project here is tZero and this is due to the growing popularity/potential of STO trading.

STOs are likely to rise in popularity for several reasons. The first reason is that due to it being an equity, an STO has a regulatory status that allows for more protection of its owner. The second reason is equity value is based on its existing and expected cash flow and balance sheet, so it is much easier to evaluate. Thirdly, it provides liquidity to the assets that do not have liquidity (unless they are stocks and are traded at the stock exchange). The tZero platform tries to solve the third problem, so there is a huge potential.

Perhaps more interestingly is the potential to allow retail investors to participate in venture-type projects as accredited investors. And as we know, retail investor participation resulted in a surging ICO market last year.

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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4.9 stars on average, based on 42 rated postsVladislav Semjonov has a legal and financial background. He has been involved in crypto space since early 2017 in both ICO advising positions in several ICO consultancy firms, and as an ICO analyst for VC. He began contributing for Hacked.com in April 2017.




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