What the Crypto? [Infografic]

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What the Crypto? [Infografic]
Today, there is no one who has not heard of digital currencies. Mass media pay a lot of attention to cryptos, that’s why they are on the everyday news. The first decentralized digital currency was Bitcoin, created in 2009 by an unknown  programmer Satoshi Nakamoto. The technology underlying in Bitcoin was called to change the financial world. And it actually did.
Some crypto enthusiasts believe that blockchain is a catalyst for promoting an understanding of digital security. Some hazard a guess that cryptos will replace traditional money in the future. With such a view, investing in digital currencies is increasing. New projects are developed, more crypto startups are set up. Aware of importance that virtual coins have, governments are interested in their proper regulation, that’s why legislation devoted to blockchain already exist in many countries.
Since 2009, the industry was enlarged with numerous new crytocurrencies of all kinds. The main Bitcoin’s competitor Ethereum was developed in 2013 and gained popularity pretty quickly. XRP, an independent digital asset native to the Ripple Consensus Ledger, is the third top cryptocurrency. Of course, not all the coins reach the status of top, however, those that do certainly leave a mark on the technology and finance world.
If you are interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies, you can have a look at the infographic from Bitcoinplay below. It provides information about the 25 most popular digital coins, including Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Stellar, Tron, and others.
What the Crypto? [Infografic]

M2O Brings Blockchain Pills to Companies’ Headache

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M2O Brings Blockchain Pills to Companies’ Headache
One of the most effective and efficient tools in achieving that goal is loyalty programs. According to Access Development, reward programs can increase a brand’s market share by as much as 20%. Nevertheless, loyalty campaigns are still far from being perfect.
Acquiring new clients costs five times more than retaining already existing, according to a study conducted by Forbes magazine. At the same time loyalty campaign can increase a company’s sales. For example, after Starbucks has implemented a reward program, it saw a record setting quarter. The program helped increase revenue to $2.65 billion, with brand executives pointing out their reward program as the main driver of such an astonishing result.
Each year more and more industries adopt reward schemes. Back in 2015,  the average U.S. household belonged to about 13.3 loyalty programs, according to statista. Nowadays, this number has increased to 18 loyalty-program memberships, whereas is only active in 8.4.
Despite the fact that rewards programs globally are extremely popular with 3.2 billion memberships in the US alone, they still lack some efficiency. About $100 Billion in reward points and miles go unredeemed by consumers. Moreover, 85% of loyalty program members haven’t used their bonuses since the day they signed up.
On the other hand, loyalty programs are not cheap for businesses as any sort of discount can decrease profit margin.
Before starting its own loyalty program, company should think about ways of showing their loyal customers its value. As an example of failed attempt, Microsoft’s Xbox live campaign must be mentioned. Starting in 2012, Xbox began rewarding their fans with 20 Microsoft Points on their birthday, which ended up equating to a mere $0.25. Small wonder, then, sarcastic snarky comments began to appear.
Additionally, firms should keep in mind that one of the basic challenges lies in the ability to determine what clients actually need. Back in 2016, Starbucks introduced a number of changes to their loyalty program. The main purpose was to motivate customers to spend more money in order to receive more rewards.
If before, you could get a free coffee every $48 spent, now you would have to spend something around $62.50 to get it. As a result, Starbucks new loyalty program failed completely.
The question must be raised: is there any way to avoid repeating the old same mistakes? Korean venture M2O believes that blockchain technology can solve existing problems. To improve loyalty rewards efficiency and usability, they have invented an M2O Pay system that converts bonus points into M2O coins that can be sold, exchanged or even traded on cryptocurrency exchanges.

M2O will provide its users with easy, fast, and perfectly secure platform, underpinned by interlocking APIs for personal information protection and ledger management.
For small brands that often don’t have any knowledge or experience of how loyalty programs work or how to manage them, M2O offers the Payment Toolkits platform that will facilitate the usage and distribution of the bonus points. Additionally, this system will enable users to organize their loyalty points and activate the membership system when it’s needed.
It’s worth mentioning that blockchain implementation improves M2O’s platform security and immutability, so it excludes the possibility of fraud and hacker attacks. All loyalty rewards will be safely stored at M2O’s Mileage Bank.
Thanks to M2O platform, businesses will have access to the data that can be useful in analyzing how the loyalty rewards are used and what for. It will include the customer’s mileage and points spending’s, trade analysis, and outcome from ad reward campaigns.
Any business has one important rule: satisfied customers always come back and frequently share their experience with friends and family members, thus creating a natural flow of clients. Unfortunately, in the era of technology people got used to pretty much everything, that’s what brings much complexity to firms.
M2O team believes that loyalty programs are still the best tool to attract new customers and retain already existing, even though, some changes must be made. Shoppers are not very satisfied with current loyalty reward system, because they cannot freely use them. M2O platform seeks to solve that problem by implementing blockchain technology.
It will simplify the management of bonus points both for companies and shoppers,  by converting them into real assets that can be used anywhere and anytime. Companies, in turn, will have access to such crucial data, like where or what these loyalty rewards were spent on, if current loyalty program is efficient and if not, how to improve them.
About the Project
M2O is working on disrupting currently inefficient loyalty program market by employing blockchain technology and its features. As a result, they are able to transform previously intangible assets into digital coin that can be freely used. With M2O Pay system, users will be able to convert their miles, points and any other loyalty reward into M2O coins. M2O token holders will be given full freedom of trading their coins as they want.
M2O is planning to start the second crowdsale on October 29th at, 16:00 JST time (UTC +9), that will be officially ended on November 23rd at 16:00 JST time (UTC +9). They have set a hard cap of $56 million and soft cap of $5.6 million.
M2O Brings Blockchain Pills to Companies’ Headache

Bithumb to Launch Security Token Exchange in Partnership with US Fintech Firm

Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has signed a deal with a US-based fintech company to open a security token exchange.

Bithumb Plans Security Tokens Platform
South Korea-based Bithumb, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, is reported to have signed a deal with a US fintech firm, Series One, to launch a security token exchange in America.
The development was reported in an article published by Yonhap News Agency on their website earlier today. According to the article:
The agreement with SeriesOne calls for Bithumb to invest in and provide technical support for the establishment of the envisioned security token exchange in the world’s largest economy.
At the time of writing Bithumb is the number one exchange by trading volume according to data aggregator CoinMarketCap.
Series one is a fintech firm that leverages crowdfunding model and connects start-ups with investors through its online platform. The firm has the approval from SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) for crowdfunding.

What Are Security Tokens?
Security tokens are digital assets that are considered as securities and need to comply with federal laws and regulations concerning securities.
Like stocks, security tokens are tradeable financial instruments and pay dividends, share profits, pay interest or invest in commodities to generate earnings for holders.
Security tokens are different from utility tokens that are designed to access a company’s products or services in the future and are exempt from the federal laws that govern securities.
As reported by Live Bitcoin News earlier, SEC has increased its surveillance and scrutiny of firms that have launched ICOs (Initial coin offerings) to raise funds for their projects by offering token sales. Many of such projects had not obtained the required clearances from SEC.
Launch Timelines
“SeriesOne is pushing to establish a security token exchange in the United States during the first half of next year, and Bithumb will provide related technology and operate the exchange,” reported the article quoting sources.
A Bithumb official said:
SeriesOne actively sought to strike a deal with Bithumb after assessing it as the most suitable partner. Bithumb will ramp up efforts to develop into a global financial firm as the blockchain-based asset tokenization is expected to spread globally down the road.
To cater to Asian markets, Series One has established a subsidiary in South. The firm is reported to be looking to get its shares traded on the US exchange for unlisted companies this year and preparing for a listing on NASDAQ later next year.
With increased regulatory surveillance in the US, projects that intend to offer their tokens to American investors are likely to issue security tokens. The security tokens market can be expected to grow in the future, and Bithumb has taken a step to fill the need for a regulated securities exchange.
Do you think we will see more securities exchanges open in 2018? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of AdobeStock and ShutterStock
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Ethereum’s Consensys Takes Over Planetary Resources to Further Conduct Space Initiatives

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Ethereum’s Consensys Takes Over Planetary Resources to Further Conduct Space Initiatives
Blockchain software technology firm ConsenSys Inc. is expanding its horizons. According to the recently made announcement, ConsenSys has acquired American asteroid mining company Planetary Resources Inc. The acquisition has been conducted via an asset-purchase transaction.
Details of the Deal
ConsenSys has chosen a way to develop the company through investing and acquiring new businesses. This time it has taken a decision to enter the space industry: the most recent company being acquired is Planetary Resources Inc. which deals with exploring, extracting and refining resources from asteroids.
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement signed by the companies, Planetary Resources President and CEO Chris Lewicki and General Counsel Brian Israel will join the team at ConsenSys.
New Team Members
Chris Lewicki, one of the co-founders of Planetary Resources, earlier worked as flight director of the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers and Phoenix Mars lander at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Being a real professional in this industry, he said that Planetary Resources had been always trying to be the first in all the aspects including technologies, business, law, and policy and now he expressed his hope that together with ConsenSys they would achieve new heights. He stated:
 “I am proud of our team’s extraordinary accomplishments, grateful to our visionary supporters, and delighted to join ConsenSys in building atop our work to expand humanity’s economic sphere of influence in the Solar System.”
As for Brian Israel, he joined Planetary Resources in 2017. From 2009 till 2017 he worked in the US State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser and served as a representative to the United Nations’ space law body. Moreover, he examined the issue of the usability of Ethereum smart contracts in space exploration and their tore in the development of these studies.
He said:
“Ethereum smart contract functionality is a natural solution for private-ordering and commerce in space—the only domain of human activity not ordered around territorial sovereignty—in which a diverse range of actors from a growing number of countries must coordinate and transact.”
Benefits for ConsenSys
ConsenSys was founded in 2015, by one of the co-developers of Ethereum, Joseph Lubin. The company works on creating and scaling tools, developing startups, and enterprise software products powered by decentralized technology. It has more than three dozen companies working on various projects in different spheres that make use of Etherium.
Now, ConsenSys will have a possibility to translate into life its space initiatives. Lubin commented their new acquisition the following way:
“Bringing deep space capabilities into the ConsenSys ecosystem reflects our belief in the potential for Ethereum to help humanity craft new societal rule systems through automated trust and guaranteed execution. And it reflects our belief in democratizing and decentralizing space endeavors to unite our species and unlock untapped human potential. We look forward to sharing our plans and how to join us on this journey in the months ahead.”
Let us also remind that it is not the first breath-taking large-scale initiative of ConsenSys. This July, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s Xiongan New Area government to advise the authorities with a view to develop blockchain solutions for China’s “dream city.”
Ethereum’s Consensys Takes Over Planetary Resources to Further Conduct Space Initiatives

Mobile Voting on the Blockchain? One Cybersecurity Expert Says It’s a Bad Move

West Virginia is to use the blockchain to test mobile phone voting for members of the U.S. military; however, one cybersecurity expert thinks it’s a bad move.

No to Voting with Mobile Phones
In what is a first-of-its-kind pilot, West Virginia is to test the blockchain for mobile phone voting. According to a previous report from Yahoo! Finance, venture capitalist Bradley Tusk argued that the idea was to increase voter participation in the U.S.
However, in a follow-up report from Yahoo! Finance, one cybersecurity expert is against it. Joe Hall, chief technologist and director of internet architecture at the Center for Democracy & Technology, said:
West Virginia has taken the ridiculous step of deciding that they’re going to not only vote on a mobile device, which in and of itself is just a bad idea, but use a blockchain mechanism, something associated with crypto-currency or Bitcoin.
According to Hall, the risks outweigh the benefits. He cites the insecurity of the internet as one reason against it, adding:
You’re fundamentally sending electronic ballot information over the internet to some other system. The phones we use, the desktop computers we use, the networks in between them, the servers on the other side, every single one of those things is fundamentally insecure.
He believes that, unlike banks which have large budgets to tackle fraud, the voting system doesn’t. If and when a vote is misplaced or altered, there’s no way to detect that, Hall argues. He goes on to state that within 20 years, with the aid of quantum computers, how someone acts online, including how a person votes, will be transparent.
In his opinion, he doesn’t think this is right. “It would be really unfortunate if in 20 years you’d be able to walk up to that soldier and say, ‘Hey, is this how you voted in the 2018 midterms?’ That’s just unacceptable to me,” he said.

Accepting Political Crypto Donations
A recent survey has found that 60 percent of eligible voters in the U.S. believe that it should be legal to donate cryptocurrency in federal elections under the same rules that apply to donations in U.S. dollars.
The survey by Clovr found that only 21 percent disagreed. The states of North Carolina and California have already banned political donations in Bitcoin.
What do you think? Should it be allowed? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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New Wave Capital Users Invest More in Cryptocurrencies Despite Bearish Market Conditions

There are always two sides to every story. In the cryptocurrency world, 2018 has been a terrible year in many different regards. At the same time, some businesses are thriving more than ever before. New Wave Capital, a crypto robo-advisor, sees clients invest more money during this ongoing bearish market.

The Success of New Wave Capital
Launching a cryptocurrency robo-advisor service is always a big gamble. For New Wave Capital, their launch couldn’t have been timed worse. Introducing this service after Bitcoin’s retrace from an all-time high usually doesn’t bode well. The year 2018 has turned out rather brutal for all cryptocurrencies, as values continue to trend lower every single month.
Surprisingly, the company is not feeling the ill effects of this market momentum. Client signups are progressing smoothly. Existing users continue to invest more money as prices tend lower. That is surprising, as one would expect users to close their accounts and minimize their losses. Cryptocurrency is a very unusual industry, as the overall “faith” remains rather strong.
New Wave Capital makes investing in cryptocurrency straightforward. They cater to both regular consumers and accredited investors alike. All one needs to invest is a minimum of $100. Given Bitcoin’s current price, that is a more than affordable gamble to take. With $100, one can purchase half of one Ether, a currency valued at over $1,200 several months ago.

The Future of Cryptocurrency Remains Uncertain
Despite the success of New Wave Capital, the market pressure remains in place. Current conditions do not warrant much of an optimistic outlook. This is not the first time the market saw an extended negative trend either. Several years ago, Bitcoin lost over 90% of its value in the following year prior to rebounding.
One thing that makes New Wave Capital appealing is their approach to diversification. In the cryptocurrency world, diversifying a portfolio is of the utmost importance. The company provides exposure to Bitcoin, XRP, Litecoin, ZCash, and others. Moreover, their service rebalances the portfolio’s exposure every single quarter to minimize risk.
For now, it remains unclear what the coming years will offer for Bitcoin and altcoins. A long-term perspective is needed to be successful in this industry as an investor. Bitcoin still remains the dominant asset on the market. This is evident by looking at the Bitcoin Dominance Index. That figure has topped 45% for the better part of 2018 so far.
Why do you think people are investing during a bear market? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of ShutterStock
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Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC/USD Channel Support Held, $7,000 Next?

Bitcoin is down to the bottom of its ascending channel on the 4-hour time frame but it looks like bulls are returning to defend support. A long spike and green candle formed on a test of the bottom, indicating that investors are buying on dips and might be keen on sustaining the climb.

The 100 SMA is above the longer-term 200 SMA to suggest that the path of least resistance is to the upside or that the uptrend is more likely to resume than to reverse. However, the moving averages might simply be oscillating to reflect range-bound action for now.
Still, a bounce off support could take Bitcoin to the very top at the $7,000 major psychological level or at least until the mid-channel area of interest at $6,700. The moving averages might hold as dynamic resistance at $6,600 as well.
Stochastic is indicating the presence of bullish pressure as it moves north, so Bitcoin price might follow suit. The oscillator has a lot of ground to cover before hitting overbought levels, so buyers could stay in the game for a bit longer. Some bullish divergence can also be seen as price made lower lows while the oscillator had higher lows.
RSI is also turning higher after dipping into the oversold region, indicating that buyers are regaining control while sellers take a break. A move below the $6,300 area, however, could reveal that sellers are still strong and could spur a reversal from the climb.

Some say that the bounce was merely a result of profit-taking rather than an actual catalyst as there appears to have been none so far. Bitcoin is celebrating its 10-year anniversary but more folks are highlighting its downbeat year-on-year performance so far.
Even JPMorgan CEO Jaime Dimon had negative things to say about Bitcoin, but this didn’t make much of a dent on price as he has previously expressed these sentiments.

Images courtesy of TradingView
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