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Why You Must Buy The Brand Names

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No matter if you are a developer with deep knowledge of technology or a prospective first time investor, your choices are pretty mind-boggling. This year started with 1384 cryptocurrencies. More are coming every week.

Literally billions are being made but how to choose the right one. If it means spending you life buried in complex technical blogs trying to understand both the obtuse technical language and then the writers jargon, you may decide to bail.

Putting Perspective on The Technology

There are loads of folks who understand the different technology between bitcoin and Litecoin or between Ethereum and Cardano. My perspective comes from analyzing dozens of businesses over more than four decades and cryptocurrencies is one of the most promising yet.

Simple Solution

Here is a solution that will help you cut through the complexity. Buy the best brand name. Classic investment risk management dictates a completely different strategy. Every certified investment advisor will recommend risk diversification and clearly cryptocurrencies are about as risky as you can find.

However, after digging through all 1384 cryptocurrencies, you will be fully diversified by owning just two brands. The couple that we are talking about is bitcoin and Ethereum.

There are other choices in the top ten like Ripple, bitcoin Cash, Cardano and Litecoin. Each brand is worth researching but none offer all the combined benefits of bitcoin and the Ethereum Network.

ICOs Don’t Need To Be Confusing: Look To Ethereum

 In the past year some huge returns have been chalked up by initial coin offerings. Here we are talking about companies seeing their value go from fractions of a penny to dollar multiples in no time. The challenge is how to choose the right one.

Consider what you are dealing with. Initial coin offerings allow companies that are at pre-venture capital stage to get started. So the risks here are higher than investing in a blind pool venture capital fund.

The accepted formula by VCs is to aim for a success rate of 2%-5%. This means that 95% of the companies that are much further developed than most ICOs will fail. With your chances of finding the dream ICO generously placed at 1%-2%, why bother.

In 2017 more than 1,000 ICOs raised about $4 billion. According to ICO Watch List, 78.7% of those used the Ethereum platform. So if you want to play the ICO game, why not simply own the gas the powers the network: Ether.

 The Ethereum Brand: Think Microsoft Corp

In a recent CNBC interview Ethereum co founder Steven Nerayoff made the comparison of Ethereum with the early stages of Microsoft Windows. Along with Bill Gates, Microsoft is one the world’s most ubiquitous brands. Side note: Microsoft didn’t reach Ethereum’s present value until after ten years of Windows.

Nerayoff cites billions of dollars being poured into as many as ten times the number of projects in 2018 over the previous year. From his vantage point these projects include a wide breadth of industries starting from financial tech, oil & gas, gaming, travel/resorts, government and various creative areas.

According to Jeremy Millar, cofounder of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), CEOs across the world are clamoring for blockchain technology. Millar believes most CEOs require a heavy dose of education about the new technology and that means there will be a natural demand for the largest supplier with the biggest brand- Ethereum.

A key to Ethereum’s brand leadership started last February when the EEA to connect Fortune 500 companies with Ethereum experts. Now with almost a year under their belt membership has grown to over 300. This is brand leadership in the most important market for Ethereum. Nobody else is close.

The Bitcoin Brand

Think of bitcoin as a brand like MasterCard, Visa, American Express or even Crest toothpaste. Each of these names enjoys instant consumer recognition thanks to million invested in advertising, marketing and image development. Bitcoin is unique in the sense that not a single bitcoin has been spent to advertise its usefulness.

One source claims there are well over 10,000 merchants that accept payment in bitcoin. Headliners include Microsoft Corp, Subway, Whole Foods, Intuit, Expedia, Bloomberg, Dish Network and Overstocked.

Ask First Data, Fiserv or any other payments processing company and they will attest to the difficulties of changing client habits in accepting payments. Any newbie attempting to enter the payments business will have to answer the dual questions: what makes you better, faster and cheaper then bitcoin and do you have greater consumer acceptance? Right now, bitcoin has a lead of at least two year and they aren’t sitting still.

The Bitcoin Moat Is Being Built

 Bitcoin is the king of digital currencies but the king is not perfect. There are those shortcomings like volatility and slow speed.

The start of a bitcoin futures market began on December 18. The CME and CBOE are giving everyone the ability to hedge. The prospect of reduced price volatility will attract additional mainstream retailers.

No more than a few days after futures trading began on the CME, one of the largest luxury used car dealers in Japan announced the acceptance of bitcoin. Since then the giant investment bank Goldman Sachs has created a research team and issued a glowing report on the cryptocurrency outlook. The tipping point for bitcoin has taken place.

The bitcoin moat is being built even wider by Bitcoin Lightning Network, which was released this week both increasing speed and resulting in dramatically lower fees.

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 115 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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2 Comments

  1. douglash

    January 13, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Wow, are we paying to subscribe to Hacked to get the advice, “Just buy ETH and BTC for full diversification”?

    A more sophisticated approach to diversification would be to think about various token functions as ‘sectors’ and buy 2-4 high class offerings within each sector. Example:

    Store of Value coins: Bitcoin, Diamond
    Convenient Transaction coins: Dash, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash
    Smart Contract coins: Ethereum, NEO, QTUM, Cardano, EOS, Lisk, Ethereum Classic
    Business-friendly coins: Ripple, Bancor, Neblio, Modum
    Functionality coins: Raiden Network, BlockCat,VeChain, Walton Coin, Quantstamp
    Exchange coins: KuCoin Shares, Binance Coin, COSS, Spectre, Kyber Network
    Blockchain for the Masses coins: Everex, UTRUST, NEM, Stellar, Omise Go
    IOT coins: IOTA, IOT Chain, Golem, SPARK
    Privacy coins: ZCash, ZCoin, ZClassic, Monero, Pivx, Zen Cash
    Masternode coins: Dash, Pivx, Diamond, Crown
    Change the World coins: SALT, Substratum, Civic, ARNA
    AI coins: Deep Brain Chain, Neurotoken, Red Pulse

    I could call out a few more sectors, but you get the point. There are key differences in utility of these blockchain ecosystems. Targeting high quality coins within each sector is a far better approach, to me, than just loading up on ETH and BTC. It’s a lot of coins, but the great thing about being diversified is that you really don’t need to trade often. Every day you’re having a good day in some sector.

  2. douglash

    January 13, 2018 at 11:15 am

    *sorry, Golem and SPARK were supposed to be under AI coins.

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Project to Watch: Sentinel Protocol

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The creators of Sentinel Protocol set themselves the goal of overcoming the current disadvantages of decentralization in the field of cryptocurrency technologies, turning this ecosystem into a safe and protected environment from hacker threats.

Using a collective intelligence system created by using decentralization, the project combines cryptographic functions and threat analysis algorithms based on artificial intelligence to create a secure, innovative platform.

Creation History and Team

The creators of the project note the current difference in the level of protection against security threats between individual users and business users. The latter can afford to spend large amounts of money to ensure their IT security.

According to the SANS Institute, in 2016 the largest category of costs for financial institutions was to ensure cyber security (10-12% of the annual budget of organizations). The report of Cybersecurity Ventures argues that the size of the market of protection systems in this area will grow by $ 1 trillion from 2017 to 2021 since the constant increase in the number of cybercrime led to a critical level.

The DAO case in 2016 was the first serious incident in the field of a security breach in blockchain technology and gave the developers of the Singapore-based Uppsala Foundation idea to create the Sentinel Protocol project.

Core team:

  • Patrick Kim (founder and CEO, has experience with Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, F5 Network and Darktrace).
  • HM Park (co-founder, head of operations, worked at F5 Networks, Darktrace, Penta Security Systems).
  • John Kirch (chief evangelist, worked at Darktrace, Watchguard, Softbank, Bank of America).
  • Dayeol Lee (Lead Developer, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, received a doctorate in computer science, a security systems specialist, and previously worked at companies such as Penta Security Systems, Inc. and WINS Co., Ltd.).
  • Guo Feng (lead developer, worked on the Singapore Exchange, Accenture, and NCS).

Overview of Main Features

Although blockchain technology is aimed at ensuring the confidentiality of personal data, the lack of a guarantee of confirmation of the user’s identity does not allow him to take part in financial services and projects. A blockchain consortium could be a way out of this situation, although it is associated with some drawbacks of public decentralization. The creators of the Sentinel Protocol offer their approach to solving this problem.

The Security Intelligence Platform for Blockchain (SIPB or Sentinel Protocol) has the following security features:

  • Threat database (TRDB);
  • Built-in secure wallet with machine learning (S-Wallet);
  • Split Isolated Malware Analysis Environment (D-Sandbox).

Threat Database

TRDB immediately solves two problems related to current cyber security threats. The first is a centralized database of security companies. Storing information about threats in one centralized location makes the data vulnerable to manipulation and abuse. The database becomes an obvious target of the Sybil attack, a server is hacked, and the service is interrupted. This is the fundamental problem of the centralized client-server model in the modern Internet.

The second problem is the lack of common knowledge among companies specializing in providing IT security. The more risk information collected, the higher the likelihood of preventing cyber crime. This is due to the lack of incentives for such companies to join and collaborate to create one comprehensive database.

Thanks to the collective intelligence, TRDB is able to efficiently collect data about hackers, malicious links, phishing addresses, virus software, etc. TRDB is updated only by security experts to eliminate systematic errors, such as false positives. However, ordinary users can also participate in this process in two ways – through the functions of automatic and manual reporting.

In the first case, unknown threats will be automatically detected by the security system of the wallet based on the machine learning mechanism and sent to the database. Manual reporting allows the user to report risks. The community will subsequently verify this information.

TRDB will be provided in the form of an API so that this information will be available to any person or organization.

S-Wallet

S-Wallet has the functionality of antivirus software, but it also has a fundamental difference. Antivirus software responds best to new threats only after receiving the latest updates via a centralized server. This approach is ineffective against new unknown threats, such as zero-day attacks.

S-Wallet analyzes threats, their trends, and history to respond to unknown attacks.

S-Wallet uses collective intelligence by connecting to TRDB and provides essential security services, such as cryptocurrency address filtering; URL/URI filtering; data analysis; search and detect fraud risk.

The fraud detection system (FDS) is based on machine learning technology operates on all distributed registers and identifies transactions that could potentially be fraudulent, thereby preventing secondary damage.

D-Sandbox

D-Sandbox is a security mechanism for running untested programs and code on a separate virtual machine without risk to the entire system or host. This feature is based on analysis using the collective mind.

D-Sandbox has two key benefits. Firstly, this approach has significant economic benefits. This ensures infinite scaling across distributed systems and is limited in operation only by the potential of virtual machines. The second advantage is that D-Sandbox is not only able to solve the problem of loss of computing power using the PoW algorithm, but is also capable of creating a better security ecosystem. The computational capability of the Sentinel Protocol network nodes can be used for additional analysis to detect malware.

In the end, the advantage of a decentralized system is that free resources can be used where they are needed. Moreover, individual users will help by using D-Sandbox through a virtual machine to improve the overall security of the ecosystem.

Sentinel Protocol Ecosystem

One of the biggest obstacles to business continuity in the cryptocurrency industry is security. Recently, the number of customer hacking incidents and costs has increased significantly, and security systems could not cope with a threat level.

The Sentinel Protocol overcomes this problem, which security experts are working on in the field of cryptocurrency technologies by combining collective intelligence.

By joining the Sentinel Protocol community, users of digital currencies can easily get knowledge and help on all security issues. They can also use security solutions provided by the Sentinel Protocol. This approach is aimed at ensuring the overall security of the cryptographic world and its prosperity based on the fundamental principle of decentralization.

Theft Protection System

While a large number of cryptocurrency applications are entering the market every day, there is currently no system for checking the integrity of digital assets. This means that it is impossible to track and identify the stolen virtual money.

To fight this, the Sentinel Protocol will act like bank card providers that block plastic cards in case they are stolen or lost. The system will track all stolen cryptocurrencies and pass this information to providers of crypto resources. Then, stolen digital assets will be tagged and will not be used to exchange, pay, or convert to fiat money.

Prevent Transaction Distortion

Addresses registered as fraudulent and all related addresses will be entered into the database, which will be available to all system participants in real time.

One of the examples of this approach is an ICO fishing, in which thousands of people participate in a short period of time. Even if the hacker changes his address and transfers his funds to him, all users will be automatically notified of the new suspicious address. This can completely change the security industry paradigm, as there is currently no such platform that could provide users with such information.

As of today, there is merely no systematic approach to identifying suspicious persons and ensuring the protection of users from potential damage.

Sentinel Protocol Consensus

The platform uses a delegated proof of stake algorithm (DPoS), presented by BitShares and invented by Daniel Larimer. The “guards” appointed by employees of the Uppsala Foundation are a group of trusted institutions or individuals with the necessary qualifications, including security teams on servers, employees of specialized research firms or a group of white hackers. All of them will be certified to confirm their status and experience.

They will receive points for work performed, such as identifying threats and fraudsters. Based on their effectiveness, users will be able to vote for a particular “guard,” increasing or decreasing its reputation. If the actions of the “guard” dishonest in his hand are harmful, he will lose his reputation.

Trading and Liquidity

  • Ticker – UBT
  • Major exchanges – Bitrex, Ubbit
  • UPP token price $0.0134082748 (+3.82%);  0.0001487522 ETH; 0.00000391 BTC
  • 24h Volume $649,370 Market Cap $3,092,586
  • Returns since ICO: 0.11x USD; 0.73x ETH; 0.24x BTC

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 29 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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Project to Watch: Eximchain

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The Eximchain project is designed to help companies organize supply chains. The solutions that will be implemented on the platform are aimed at ensuring the possibility of establishing effective and reliable business connections, transactions and information exchange.

Team

The American project Eximchain (Export and import on Blockchain) was founded in 2015 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, its authors have created a set of key-based toolkits to transform the global supply chain by integrating it into a platform. The ideas proposed by the project developers are aimed at improving the transparency of the ecosystem.

A group of 20 experts and consultants is working on the creation of the platform, including:

Hope Lew – Co-founder and CEO, received a bachelor’s degree from Peking University and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, handled international transactions at the Asian branch of UBS for 6.5 years, is the head of the laboratory of the Association of Office Supplies of North America.

Juan Sebastian Huertas -Co-founder and technical director, received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, began studying programming at age 13, previously advised many startups on technical aspects.

Jiang Xu – Business architect, previously worked at IBM for 14 years, with previous roles as executive project manager and enterprise software distribution manager.

Jia Zhang – Business analyst, has been in the supply business since 1994, has been managing global trade finance and international settlement at ICBC for seven years, then took the position of Chief Representative of MS Textiles in China, where she has been working successfully for about ten years.

Strategic partners of the project include:

  • blockseed.vc
  • alphabit.fund
  • fbg.capital
  • hashed.com
  • inblockchain.co
  • kenetic.capital
  • signum.capital
  • emurgo.io
  • enuma.io
  • gbic.io
  • YOOsourcing

Main Project Goals

Eximchain’s authors intend to innovate and change the current supply chain organization system by overcoming barriers, strengthening coordination and increasing confidence in cross-border operations using blockchain technology.

The Eximchain platform will offer ample opportunities, from networking with suppliers to inventory management. The product will operate from a public blockchain with a high level of confidentiality. It is ideal for corporate use by supply chain organizations and application developers who need blockchain technology.

All stakeholders involved in creating effective supply chains will be able to more effectively and securely cooperate, carry out mutual settlements and exchange information.

Partnership with YOOsourcing

Eximchain developers have developed a partnership with the YOOsourcing platform, which allows users to verify the authenticity and reliability of suppliers.

Thanks to the YOOsourcing partnership, users of mobile applications will be able to fulfill requests from suppliers directly from the supplier’s company profile. The platform has a built-in verification system designed to ensure the accuracy of the displayed information.

This will allow suppliers using the Eximchain platform to track their requests, promote new products and develop tactics to attract future business leaders. Using the blockchain technology in the platform will increase confidence in accountability, data storage and agreements between suppliers and buyers on the YOOSourcing platform.

Token 

Digital coins on the platform will be based on the standard ERC-20 protocol. The purpose of their creation is to act as a valid register for the genesis file of the Eximchain main network. The ERC-20 routers will be distributed across the Ethereum blockchain by the corresponding ERC-20 smart contract. They are repurchased for Eximchain’s internal tokens after the network has been launched.

With the launch of the main network, Eximchain’s internal tokens will be used to pay for network charges, check state changes, and management functions.

They are also designed to access applications built on the Eximchain network, such as smart contracts and products developed using the SDK platform.

Advantages of Smart Contract SDK

The use of smart contracts for developers provides many advantages and opportunities:

Financing. It is carried out through instant and transparent order confirmation and check on the blockchain. Suppliers will be able to receive prepayments, and buyers will be able to use the option of arbitration.

Procure-to-Pay. Users will be able to conduct an audit through a finally agreed contract at each stage of the payment procedure. This process will be carried out in real time via the network without the need for trust and the use of a secure protocol.

Platforms of suppliers or rating agents will be able to use the “Proof of Existence” (PoE) algorithm to control time, check the integrity of documents and other purposes. This will allow independent verification without the need for data disclosure.

Inventory Management. Conducted by sharing real-time demand information to create a supply chain. This will allow participants to improve their inventory plans and automate the alignment process in different registers and systems to save time and reduce costs.

Risk mitigation. Eximchain will allow for real-time dynamic monitoring of processes within the supply chain to ensure the visibility of all operations. Participants will be able to control risks through a single function.

Price and Liquidity

The EXC token price is currently valued at $0.0274281298 (-13.52%), which is equivalent to 0.0002654258 ETH and 0.00000712 BTC. Its 24-hour volume is$18,756 and has an overall market cap of $1,846,090.

Returns since ICO: 0.08x USD, which is equivalent to 0.70x ETH and 0.19x BTC. The token is listed on Bilaxy and Idex.

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 29 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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Cryptocurrencies

Investor Watch: Holochain Provides Solid Returns Despite Bear Market

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Holochain is a distributed network project with autonomous capabilities for users embedded directly into its architecture and protocols. The creators of Holochain claim that the distribution of their proposed type of storage and data processing can change the order of coordination and interaction. Thanks to digital integration, under the control of the user, Holo can free users’ online life from corporate control.

Key team members:

  • Eric Harris-Brown: The project’s co-founder is an executive engineer who received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Yale University. He’s the co-founder of the peer-to-peer network application provider Glass Bead Software and independent software development store Harris-Braun Enterprises. He is also the author of sophisticated health data collection websites, Android-based application for monitoring catches for the fishing industry and other successful projects.
  • Arthur Brock: The other co-founder is the chief architect who has extensive experience in the field of artificial intelligence technology, which initially applied to GM, Chrysler and Hughes. He later turned his attention to creating social architectures and at Holochain is responsible for developing target currencies that form social the dynamics of the emerging post-industrial economy.

Main features

Unlike many crypto projects, platforms such as EoS, BitLattice and Holochain represent the evolution of block technology. They do not even use blocks as such and avoid linear arrangement of transactions (progression of “blocks”). They provide cryptographic control of information, but none of these projects require the same amount of consumed energy and resources, like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

At its core, Holochain is not a chain at all. It is more like “git-archives” that can be distributed, shared, synchronized or combined using BitTorrent-like DHT technology (distributed hash table). Each application has its own Holochain, and each operator has its own chain.

Holochain is a system book and application platform, similar to a blockchain, which, according to developers, is not affected by issues such as scalability and energy efficiency. Each device in the network receives its own register (Holochain) and can function independently, simultaneously interacting with all other devices in the network for decentralized problem-solving.

Another name that is often referred to at the same time as Holochain is Ceptr. This parent project uses Holochain infrastructure. It represents a new paradigm, which in some way resembles the Internet. It uses blockchain-like technology, which is characterized by a lack of consensus dependence.

Currently, the project authors are working on two initiatives: Holochain and Holo (Holo-Host). Holochain itself is a peer-to-peer infrastructure that serves as the necessary foundation for Ceptr.

Token

The community will receive tokens called Holo Fuel. According to the technical documentation, they are intended for the implementation of large volumes of microtransactions. Holo Fuel is not a cryptocurrency or token, but a kind of crypto credit that is created to link transactions between system participants.

Stability Holo Fuel will be provided by the computing power of each device in the network. Nevertheless, the authors of the project claim that the cost of crypto credits will depend on the number of hosts on the network and the computing power used. With each new user, the value of the ecosystem will grow, which will also increase the value of the tokens.

There are several essential characteristics of Holo Fuel, including asset support, non-use of tokens and signature of transactions by both parties to the transaction.

At the moment, the main coin of the Holochain network is the HOT token of the ERC-20 standard, which will be replaced by Holo Fuel after the launch of the final platform version.

TPs

The developers claim that the transaction processing ability of their network is limitless. The thing is, every second transaction is almost meaningless because of the Holochain architecture. Instead of supporting a single consensus, the Holochain distributed hash table contains a report on the main type and legitimacy of the information provided by the individual block chains. This eliminates the need to track every action on the network and the need for global consensus.

In simple terms, Holochain, as a framework for applications and has no limit on the number of transactions per second because the ecosystem where they should be implemented does not initially exist. This parameter is floating and increases as the number of network users increases.

Holochain Target Applications

First of all, the project is suitable for frameworks that require multiple individual inputs with some limited copy available to all. The most straightforward example is online networking platforms. Holochain also additionally offers technologies for administering the manufacturing network, cooperatives, public platforms, reputational platforms or digital forms of money.

Roadmap

The project’s roadmap is provided below. Here, you can see new developments coming through the pipeline in Q1 2019.

Price

We see that Holo receives positive sentiment from investors.

Its current market cap is around $75 million with an average turnover of $2 million over 24 hours. It still holds a good standing in the bear market, with returns of around 3.5x in U.S. dollar terms, 20.68x in ETH, and 7.8x in BTC. At the time of writing, it is currently traded at $0.0005 USD.

One could expect a conservative x2 in USD if the crypto market cap would remain the same and x4 if the market cap increases twice.

I usually invest with a stop loss to ensure a risk reward of at least 1:4 and buy assets weekly.

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 29 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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