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The State of Tokens 2019

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During the ICO boom of 2017, projects were not incentivized to finish their proposed products. Instead, they’d create perpetual hype cycles based on their hypothetical future plans. This toxic environment led to ICO projects developing nothing nearly two years later, leaving us with the state of tokens today.

The formula for a successful ICO seemed simple enough: you take anything and tack a token onto the end of it and you were good for exponential gains. People bought tokens no matter the sustainability. But, projects that raised money are failing or abandoning their tokens original planned utility.

Mercury Protocol, Civic, and Iconomi reimagined their tokens. (Kudos to them for being adaptable in a swiftly evolving industry) Cofound.it abandoned crowdfunding altogether and their site now redirects to a 404 Page Not Found. Projects bought tokens back, discontinued theirs, converted it into equity or another security. Civic introduced a new white paper on its token’s updated usage.

These companies generally steered away from their payment tokens. They rather try to capture value more effectively. It’s much harder to pay with a token than with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Stellar, etc, placing payment tokens at an instant disadvantage.

The vast majority of tokens are not going to capture any meaningful value. Many token projects simply failed at mechanism design. They didn’t know how to capture a token’s value. And thanks to these pioneers, we know now what not to do.

There are four things a token can do.

The first is to be a payment token.

Users have little incentive to hold onto them. This presents a problem, as the game theoretics morph into a game of redeeming the payment tokens as fast as possible, theoretically for a good or service. Tokens though have a considerable amount of friction. People weren’t paying in Quantstamp, a protocol for securing smart contracts, for its auditing services. It was easier to pay ETH or USD – they’re liquid. Tokens are not.

Payment tokens might be the most popular type of token integrated into a token project. Most don’t effectively capture value. In addition to Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, and Litecoin all claim payment functionality.

The second thing a token can do is provide a mechanism to vote.

So-called ‘governance’ tokens are often based on Ethereum. The governance of Ethereum will then affect the governance of these tokens. Most governance tokens, in large part due to their dependency on Ethereum, do not effectively capture value. They are meant to represent a vote.

The third type of token entails rewarding a user for a service they provide to the network.

Work tokens are perhaps the most easily recognizable cryptocurrency models. In this model, the user provides a service for the network for a reward. Ethereum and Bitcoin are examples work tokens or proof-of-work systems, in which a user provides electricity for bitcoin block rewards. With that said, Ethereum is migrating to a proof-of-stake model this coming week.

At the token level, this whole dynamic is abstracted. You’d have to value these networks more than you would Ethereum in order to be incentivized to work for them. Most people would support Bitcoin or Ethereum before they supported a token.

A network might give or pay in a work token or it might be used to lock a staking mechanism for a bond, etc, and earn from it. In the token universe, projects that described work tokens in their white papers have failed to deliver a network for which users can work. You can’t work for a network that is not in production.

The fourth type of token represents equity or an asset

There is of course the popular security token, which is an investment contract and represents a real world asset. Projects like Polymath.Network have garnered attention by setting out to solve problems like KYC and AML when it comes to tokens.

The security tokens ecosystem is nascent, but this will be a large market. You’ll have both systems – utility and securities. Both will exist.

The Near Future of Tokenization

Different protocols on which tokens can be issued might offer benefits over Ethereum, which enjoyed first mover advantage in the token industry. Other protocols might offer similar functionality, and possibly better, which would have major implications for holders of tokens issued on Ethereum.

For now, too many tokenized projects simply have no use for their tokens. Companies blockchainified their products when there was no point. Blockchains are good at a few things, like censorship resistance, immutability and verifiability. Not too many companies designed their token in an elegant or sophisticated way.

Po.et is an example of an elegant blockchain-based business model. They don’t use a token. Po.et notarizes to bitcoin’s blockchain. Blockchain provides value here through proof of existence and notarizations.

There probably won’t be another ICO bubble like 2017. There will be another bubble cycle that drives the value of tokens up artificially. Nowadays and into the future companies will have to design good tokens. That means identifying a problem that is elegantly solved by a token. Today, the standard entails creating a problem where there earlier was none, and then creating an even bigger problem by tacking a token onto it.

If you’re considering a token for your businesses, focus first on your business. Then on how blockchain applies to it. And then, and only then, ask yourself whether or not you truly – honestly – need a token. Honestly, probably not.

We will begin seeing more applications built on Ethereum – and, indeed, other systems – that have nothing to do with tokens, and just use the base protocol as is. The only thing capturing value at the level of the base protocol are decentralized exchanges, which currently are used to move tokens. In the future – beyond CryptoKitties – we will see more services like Po.et using blockchain in a defensible manner.

Image: Pixabay.

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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5 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsJustin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused CryptographicAsset.com. Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Drift Lower but Damage Remains Limited

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The major cryptocurrencies continue to trade in narrow ranges following last week’s decline and this week’s failed rally attempt. While Bitcoin is stuck near the $3600 support, the other top coins have been losing ground today, with Ethereum dipping below the $120 level, Ripple violating the $0.32 price level and Litecoin testing the $30-$30.50 support zone yet again.

Trading volumes and volatility remain very low across the board, but correlations are still high between the majors, and despite the quiet environment, we haven’t seen bullish signs in the market. That said, the trading ranges that developed this week are still intact, and although the overwhelmingly bearish long-term picture still makes the continuation of the decline more likely, a failed break-down pattern could still develop in the segment, should the top coins recover above their weekly highs in the coming days.

For now, our trend model remains on sell signals on both time-frames in case of most of the majors, and traders and investors should still stay away from entering new positions here, with still no bullish leadership being present.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin is still relatively stable even in the very quiet environment, and the most valuable coin is trading right at the $3600 support/resistance level. BTC formed a volatility compression pattern in recent days, and that formation points to a more significant move in the coming days, with a move out of it being inevitable as soon as this weekend.

Bulls are still looking for a move above $3850, towards the key zone between $4000 and $4050, but the bearish long-term setup continues to favor a dip below $3600, with support zones still found near $3250 and $3000, and traders and investors should still not enter positions here.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum failed to get close to the $130 resistance level again, and as it dipped below primary support, the test of the swing low near $112 is likely in the coming days. The coin remains on sell signals on both time-frames in our trend model, and a move towards the key support zone and between $95 and $100 is likely in the coming weeks, barring a quick reversal above $130. Further resistance is ahead at $145, $160, and near $180 while the bear market low is found near $80

Ripple Under Pressure Again in Weak Environment

EOS/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Altcoins continue to trade without a clear direction despite today’s dip, but the bearish drift of the recent days means that the key support levels could be in focus during the weekend, should the volatility compression finally end. The few major coins showing signs of strength haven’t been able to maintain the bullish momentum, like EOS, which gave back yesterday’s gains today.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the market of Ripple is still very quiet, the coin fell below the $32 support yet again, and it remains relatively weak compared to its closest peers. It is also on sell signals on both time-frames in our trend model, and a dip below $0.30 will likely be the next significant move. Further strong support is found near the $0.26 level, with resistance ahead near $0.3550 and $0.3750.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Litecoin is trading just above the key $30-$30.50 support zone, and it sill failed to get anywhere near the next major zone near the $34.50 price level. Given the hostile long-term setup and the short-term sell signal our trend model, traders should stay away from the coin here, with a move toward the $26 level being likely in the coming weeks. Further strong resistance is ahead near $38 and $44 and with another support level found near $23.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 443 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Altcoins

Power Ledger (POWR) Reaps Benefits of Good-Guy Image with 45% Weekly Growth

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Power Ledger (POWR), the blockchain-based democratizer of the energy industry, gained 45% on its value over the past week. While 68% of daily trades came from Korean markets, it was Western eyes which were focused on Power Ledger this week.

Coverage in Huffington Post, and a nomination from Newsweek in their ‘Blockchain Impact Awards’, both added to POWR’s growing reputation of one of crypto’s good guys.

Power Ledger’s Good Rep

Coming hot out the gates with a plan to democratize the energy sector by cutting out third-party middlemen, Power Ledger got off to a promising start when it launched in late 2017.

Only a month or so after trading commenced, POWR got swept up in the altcoin pump of January 2018 and charged ahead to 3,919% gains, and an all-time high of $2.01.

Power Ledger’s aim to put (literal) power back in the hands of the average citizen made it an instant media darling. Its reputation as one of blockchain’s good guys, or gals, may also have been helped by the media focus on co-founder Jemma Green – one of the few women currently involved prominently in the blockchain space.

Blockchain Impact Awards

The first ever Blockchain Impact Awards, held by Newsweek, lists Power Ledger as one of the nominees for the upcoming ceremony.

“Newsweek is working with global experts in the blockchain world to present the first ever Blockchain Impact Awards. The awards will recognize entrepreneurs and enterprises that are developing blockchain applications to accomplish a social good.”

Power Ledger is up against 24 other blockchain projects – none of which are as instantly recognizable as the still fairly unknown Power Ledger. The next most known project among the nominees would perhaps be Akoin – the project founded by U.S-Senegalese rapper, Akon.

Huffington Post Likes Power Ledger

Power Ledger was given the spotlight in the Huffington Post before its ICO was even over, back in 2017. This week saw another focus article dedicated to Power Ledger, this time covering co-founder Jemma Green’s position as a female role-model in the blockchain industry.

Yet the promise of Power Ledger may run deeper yet. A single mother of two when she launched Power Ledger, Green has already met with the likes of Richard Branson and Elon Musk – both of whom have shown interest in the project.

Power Ledger Price

The last seven days have seen POWR wake up after a long and painful descent through 2018. From a weekly low of $0.070057 seven days ago, POWR surged 45% up to Friday morning’s price point of $0.102010.

The late night peak of $0.112617 took weekly gains to 60%, however much of that faded away by the time Western traders woke up for the day. The recent daily volume peak of $15 million is the highest in almost three months, with the POWR/KRW trade to thank for 68% of it.

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 123 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

What is Optimal Shelf Availability Token (OSA) – And Is it Worth Your Time?

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Optimal Shelf Availability Token (OSA) splashed onto the first page of CoinMarketCap this week when its token circulation stats were updated.

While the coin price remained the same, the token’s market cap jumped 200% in a flash – possibly a result of locked-in ICO funds suddenly becoming available, although different sources report varying circulations at this time.

So what is Optimal Shelf Availability Token? Is it worth your time, or is it just another shitcoin with a ridiculous name?

Optimal Shelf Availability Token

Well, the answer might surprise you. At first glance, OSA actually seems like one of the more promising projects to pop up in recent years – and that’s coming from such a cold-hearted cynic as myself. The team’s self-description sounds common enough:

“OSA is a decentralized, AI-driven blockchain platform that collects and analyzes data from retailers, manufacturers, consumers and open sources real-time.”

The first thing you notice as you land on the project website is a claim that such global brands as Coca-Cola, L’Oreal and Danone already use OSA’s services. As you scroll down, you realise that Optimal Shelf Availability Token is targeting the retail supply-chain industry – and that those claims about Coca-Cola and co are actually…kind of true!??!

Well, for six months the Russian wing of the Coca-Cola HBC (Hellenic Bottling Company) rolled out the OSA tech in a number of retail stores. Over the span of the six-month pilot program, sales increased by 10% – as covered in this report.

When L’Oreal initiated the pilot, sales also increased within a two-month period, but were actually down for the rest of the experiment compared to the control group. More can be read here.

Manga & Marketing

OSA is the first crypto project I’ve seen that comes with a manga comic dramatizing its use-case – two comics, actually. The professionalism of the website compared to some of the tokens recently reviewed on Hacked is night and day. Multiple technical documents are made available for public consumption, including several whitepapers, annual and quarterly reports, and research papers.

The project’s Bitcointalk forum page was launched last April, and is currently 61 pages long. Contributions from the team are regular, and an extension of the bounty program was recently initiated to celebrate the token’s ascension through the rankings.

All of this can seem great at first sight – but, like a thirsty man in the desert, when you’ve been deprived of nutrition for so long, just about anything is going to look good compared to the mass of shitcoins we’re constantly exposed to.

The level of professionalism, and amount of goodies, on the website almost makes me suspicious. Like the polished veneer is only there to compensate for other shortcomings. But that’s coming from a tired mind, grown weary from having its cynicism confirmed on so many occasions.

OSA Price

Despite the recent ascent in the past week, OSA lost 17.98% in the previous twenty-four period, falling from $0.045754 down to $0.037524.

The Bibox exchange processed over 98% of daily trades via OSA/ETH and OSA/BTC, with CoinEgg making up the rest of the $1.3 million daily volume.

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 123 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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