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Trans-Fee Mining: Investigating FCOIN and The Future

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Trans-fee mining’ is a concept utilised by a growing number of projects and exchanges which has not received much in the way of critical attention recently from either mainstream financial or specialist cryptocurrency publications.

The Fall of F-Coin?

Thanks to a company called FCOIN, most of the news which has appeared has been negative. Statistical information regarding the exchange can be found at popular aggregate ranking website CoinMarketCap.

Despite positive coverage earlier this year from the likes of Forbes’ Andrew Rossow, David Hundeyin of our sister site CCN.com wrote more recently that the exchange had been “Accused of Crippling Ethereum Network for Cheap Publicity” with a supposed aim of gaining publicity.

These pundits are joined by community members such as Reddit poster u/ltcisking (along with a large amount of other concurring, Google-topping results), who recently wrote a post aimed at proving such allegations, entitled ‘One of the biggest scams to ever hit Crypto’.

Twitter has also seen its fair share of investor complaints as well, including the following…

As well as the replies to this post,

What is Trans-Fee Mining?

Due to the unusual circumstances in which the ‘trans-fee mining’ sits (being supported by a number of independent projects despite the reputation of FCOIN): it is a difficult methodology to describe.

It builds upon the concept of the ‘exchange token’: which is most often associated with coins such as BNB (Binance Coin), which can be used for staking towards a particular crypto in the exchanges ‘community coin of the month’ program.

The original FCOIN implementation appeared to build upon this vision at first. The token’s value is derived from the fact that it has a stable value, and that it can be used on-platform (like BNB) as a means of purchasing other tokens whilst offering regular returns on investment for long-term holders of the token.

What is FCOIN Doing Now?

FCOIN has issued various statements which appear to support the sentiment behind the claims which they have faced. These include a recent August 14th post, with the telling title ‘FCoin community referendum end and recent plan publicity’.

Highlights of the piece include new objectives such as

“1.Complete and publicize the destruction of the remaining unissued FT.
“2. Complete the delivery of all FT warrants and withdraw the FT warrants from the market…
“4. As of the end of the referendum, the previous trans-fee refund will remain unchanged (based on the price of the FT related trading pairs before the suspension), and then, all the trans-fee refund will be stopped (including all return plans based on FT issuance).
“5. We plan to establish an FCoin mechanism and an announcement cleanup team. The team untied and improved the current FCoin mechanisms and standardized the release of various mechanisms in the future, and made a unified interpretation.”

At best, this may be an admission of fault, and at worst: an ambiguous and uninformative piece of messaging which fails to outline the situation with a strong brand or executive voice.

This comes in addition to a couple of announcements regarding ‘compensation planning’ with regards to investors who had “participated” in the fundraising of the ‘GU’ and ‘QOS’ tokens through their service.

The latter included the assurance that this process “compensation plan is an initiative taken by the platform to protect the interests of community user” concluded with the damning statement that:

“The FCoin platform has informed the QOS project parties and urged them to conduct self-examination of market price fluctuations and recent media reports as soon as possible. It is not excluded to take delisting and other related measures. The specific plan will be subject to the subsequent announcement. During this period, QOS will be temporarily suspended.”

Torch-bearers of Trans-Fee Mining?

Various claims of discrepancy against FCOIN’s actions as a company however, have not discouraged many projects which are attempting to build their own version of trans-fee mining. Whether or not they have been inspired by the short-lived success of FCOIN’s implementation is yet to be confirmed!

One of the most recent organisations which has decided to foray into this difficult and all-but-controversial territory is BitMart, an exchange founded by current CEO Sheldon Xia. Their approach is branded ‘Mission X’, and utilises their proprietary ‘BMX’ token.

“All transaction fees from the BMX market will go directly to the users who supported the project. In addition, successful projects will enter BitMart’s main trading markets.

“This program gives users the ability to decide which projects they want to be listed on the exchange, creating a self-regulated market.”

The platform piqued this writer’s attention upon noticing a disparity between public consensus and professional news coverage. Whilst the latter has published next to nothing with regards to the platform, a quick search of social media and communities such as forums seem to illustrate a positive and transparent image.

CoinEx was recently reported to have achieved unprecedented growth following the release of their token – however, like FCOIN have been called out for discrepancies. This time regarding the faking of volume metrics.

Final Thoughts

It appears that trans-fee mining as a concept is a long-way from earning this writer’s confidence, however it must be noted that there are many promising aspects. Time will tell whether talent will shine through or if trans-fee mining will fade out at the hands of opportunists.

What is important to note is that it is not the technology or idea, but the hands that are operating the machine incorporating it.

This writer cannot directly recommend the concept in its current state, but believes that the original idea is solid and if implemented in a viable way: would thoroughly warrant the full attention of any potential investor.

Until then, watch the community and keep an eye on the media – as well as word-of-mouth as this flawed-yet-promising idea is if nothing else, highly interesting!

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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