Ethereum Co-Founder Anthony Di Iorio Says Safety Concern Has Him Quitting Crypto

Anthony Di Iorio, a co-founder of the Ethereum network, says he’s done with the cryptocurrency world, partially because of personal safety concerns.

Di Iorio, 48, has had a security team since 2017, with someone traveling with or meeting him wherever he goes. In coming weeks, he plans to sell Decentral Inc., and refocus on philanthropy and other ventures not related to crypto. The Canadian expects to sever ties in time with other startups he is involved with, and doesn’t plan on funding any more blockchain projects.

“It’s got a risk profile that I am not too enthused about,” said Di Iorio, who declined to disclose his cryptocurrency holdings or net worth. “I don’t feel necessarily safe in this space. If I was focused on larger problems, I think I’d be safer.”

Back in 2013, Di Iorio co-founded Ethereum, which has become the home of many of the hottest crypto projects, particularly in decentralized finance — which lets people borrow, lend and trade with each other without intermediaries like banks. Ether, the native token of the network, has a market value of about $225 billion.

He made a splash in 2018 when buying the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($22 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district.

In recent years, Di Iorio jumped into venture-capital investing and startup advising. He was also for a time chief digital officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange. In February 2018, Forbes estimated his net worth was as high as $1 billion. Ether’s price has more than doubled since then.

Decentral is a Toronto-based innovation hub and software development company focused on decentralized technologies, and the maker of Jaxx, a digital asset wallet that garnered about 1 million customers this year.

Di Iorio said he has talked with a couple of potential investors, and believes the startup will be valued at “hundreds of millions.” He expects to sell the company for fiat, or equity in another company — not crypto.

“I want to diversify to not being a crypto guy, but being a guy tackling complex problems,” Di Iorio said. He is involved in Project Arrow, run by a high-school friend that’s building a zero-emission vehicle. He is also consulting a senator from Paraguay.

“I will incorporate crypto when needed, but a lot of times, it’s not,” he said. “It’s really a small percentage of what the world needs.”

Source: Ethereum Co-Founder Anthony Di Iorio Says Safety Concern Has Him Quitting Crypto – Bloomberg

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Critics:

Anthony Di Iorio is a Canadian entrepreneur primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and an early investor in Bitcoin. Di Iorio is the founder and CEO of the blockchain company Decentral, and the associated Jaxx wallet. He also served as the first chief digital officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange. In February 2018, Forbes estimated his net worth at $750 million–$1 billion.

Di Iorio grew up with two older siblings in north Toronto, Ontario. He graduated with a degree in marketing from Ryerson University. Di Iorio began developing websites during the early 1990s, and eventually entered the rental housing market as an investor and landlord in Toronto, Ontario. In 2012 he sold his rental properties in order to invest in Bitcoin, and began to organize companies in the field of cryptocurrency.

He first learned about bitcoin from a podcast called Free Talk Live in 2012. According to The Globe and Mail, he “had an anti-authoritarian streak” and  questioned “the fundamentals of mainstream economics.” Di Iorio bought his first bitcoin the same day for $9.73. He created the Toronto Bitcoin Meetup Group which held its first meeting at a pub in the same year.

It was at this first meeting where he met Vitalik Buterin who went on to be the founder of Bitcoin Magazine and one of the original creators of Ethereum. As the Meetups grew from about eight attendees to hundreds, Di Iorio formed the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada.

References:

Ethereum Creator Loses Over $400 Million As Crypto Market Collapses

TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015 - Day 2

Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of the world’s second most-valuable blockchain Ethereum, has taken a major hit to his net worth after the price of ether (ETH) dipped below $2,000 earlier on Monday.

As of 3:15 p.m. ET, ETH is trading at $1,938 according to Messari, down by more than 50 percent just five weeks after reaching its all-time-high of $4,338 on May 12. The decline of the second-largest cryptocurrency falls in line with the rest of the market, as crypto prices have fallen across the board since news broke of a renewed clampdown on bitcoin miners in China.

Buterin’s two main ether addresses currently hold 325,001 and 1,366 ETH worth a collective $632,499,246 as of 3:15 p.m. ET. The current value of his holdings is $457,500,754 less than the $1.09 billion it was worth on May 3 at 1:30 p.m. ET, according to Messari, when Buterin became the world’s youngest crypto billionaire at age 27. When ETH’s value first surpassed the $3,000 price level Buterin held 333,520 ETH worth $1.09 billion. Forbes is unable to account for the 7,153 ETH difference between his holdings now versus on May 3.

Ether’s current market capitalization is $223,752,321,616, second only to the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin with a market capitalization of $606,843,934,844. Ethereum has gained notoriety this year as the birthplace of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications aiming to create decentralized alternatives to traditional financial services. At the time of writing there is $51 billion locked in the DeFi market, according to data aggregator DeFi Pulse.

Emily Mason

 

By:

 

Source: Ethereum Creator Loses Over $400 Million As Crypto Market Collapses

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Well, it’s not necessarily Ethereum that is a risky investment, it’s cryptocurrencies: They are highly speculative. Even though some experts and crypto supporters believe they could replace fiat currency one day, the answer is much more complicated.

Despite their bustling activity growth, efficiency, and impressive blockchain technology render, many countries are still anxious about cryptos replacing fiat currency. But even though peer-to-peer currency might be the bane of central banking systems around the world, the simple answer would be: no, cryptos won’t replace fiat. Why?

Because their usage is on the rise, their speculative popularity is why they won’t be adopted as mainstream legal tender: they are driven for value storage and speculative trading – rather than for transactional value.

For instance, very few mainstream businesses accept cryptos as legal tender – only 2’300 businesses accept it in the United States, which mostly only accept Bitcoins. When you consider that there are over 30 million businesses in the US, a thin fraction accepts Bitcoins, which puts Ethereum at a disadvantage.

As the past few weeks have proven, their volatility can be a double-edged sword: Between May 12 and May 24, Ethereum has lost nearly 50% of its value. While it has somewhat recovered since it is gut-wrenching to see.

How Entrepreneurs Are Capitalizing on Digital Transformation in the Age of the ‘New Normal’

How Entrepreneurs Are Capitalising on Digital Transformation in the Age of the 'New Normal'

The Covid-19 pandemic has carried a significant impact on the rate in which businesses are embracing digital transformation. The health crisis has created an almost overnight need for traditional brick and mortar shopping experiences to regenerate into something altogether more adaptive and remote. While some businesses are finding this transition toward emerging technology a little tricky, it’s proving to be a significant opportunity for entrepreneurs in the age of the “new normal.”

Astoundingly, data suggests that digital transformation has been accelerated by as much as seven years due to the pandemic, with Asia/Pacific businesses driving forward up to a decade in the future when it comes to digital offerings.

With entrepreneurs and new startup founders finding themselves in a strong position to embrace modern digital practices ahead of more traditional companies, we’re likely to see a rise in innovation among post-pandemic businesses. With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look into the ways in which digital transformation are benefiting businesses in the age of the new normal:

Fast, data-driven decisions.

Any digital transformation strategy needs to be driven by data. The emergence of big data as a key analytical tool may make all the difference in ensuring that startups take the right steps at the right time to ensure that they thrive without losing valuable resources chasing the wrong target audience, or promoting an underperforming product.

Enterprises today have the ability to tap into far greater volumes of data than ever before, thanks largely to both big data and Internet of Things technology. With the right set of analytical tools, this data can be transformed into essential insights that can leverage faster, more efficient and accurate decisions. Essentially, the deeper analytical tools are embedded in business operations, the greater the levels of integration and effect that may have.

By incorporating more AI-based technology into business models, it’s possible to gain access to huge volumes of big data that can drive key decisions. The pandemic has helped innovations in terms of data and analytics become more visible in the world of business, and many entrepreneurs are turning to advanced AI capabilities in order to modernise their existing applications while sifting through data at a faster and more efficient rate.

Leveraging multi-channel experiences.

Digital transformation is empowering customers to get what they want, when they want, and however they want it. Today, more than half of all consumers expect to receive a customer service response within 60 minutes. They also want equally swift response times on weekends as they’ve come to expect on weekdays. This emphasis on perpetual engagement has meant that businesses that aren’t switched on 24/7/365 are putting themselves at a disadvantage to rivals that may have more efficient operations in place.

The pandemic has led to business happening in real-time – even more so than in brick and mortar stores. Although customers in high street stores know they’re getting a face to face experience, this doesn’t mean that business representatives can offer a similar personalised and immediately knowledgeable service than that of a chatbot or a live chat operative with a sea of information at their disposal.

Modern consumers are never tied to a single channel. They visit stores, websites, leave feedback through mobile apps and ask questions for support teams on social networking sites. By combining these interactions, it’s possible to create full digital profiles for customers whenever they interact with your business – helping entrepreneurs to provide significantly more immersive experiences.

Fundraising via blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology is one of the most exciting emerging technologies today. Its applications are far-reaching in terms of leveraging new payment methods and brokering agreements via smart contracts, and while the use cases for these blockchain applications will certainly grow over the coming years, today the technology is already being widely utilised by entrepreneurs as a form of raising capital through Initial Token Offerings (ITOs), also known as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

As an alternative to the use of traditional banks, venture capital firms, angel investors or crowdfunders, ITO tokens can be made available for exchanges where they can trade freely. These tokens are comparable to equity in a company, or a share of revenue for token holders.

Interested investors can buy into the offering and receive tokens that are created on a blockchain from the company. The tokens could have some practical use within the company where they can be spent on goods or services, or they could purely represent an equity share in a startup or project.

There are currently numerous companies that use blockchain technology to simply and secure its operations. From large corporations like HSBC’s Digital Vault, which is blockchain-based custody platform that allows clients to access details of their private assets to small education startups like ODEM, which aim to democratize education.

Another company that’s pioneering blockchain technology within the world of business is OpenExO, which has developed its own community-driven utility token EXOS, to help build a new transformation economy that helps companies to accelerate, democratise and internationalise their innovation.

Salim Ismail, OpenExO founder, is the former Yahoo technology innovator who developed the industry of Exponential Organizations. He has become a household name in the entrepreneur and innovation landscape, and now he launches the blockchain ecosystem that includes Fortune 500 companies, cities and even countries.

Reaping widespread rewards.

Although digital transformation could begin with a focus on just one facet of a startup, its benefits can be far reaching for employees, consumers and stakeholders alike. It could limit the mundane tasks required of workers, offer greater levels of personalisation for consumers and free up new skills to be developed in other areas of a business.

This, in turn, helps to build more engaged and invested teams that know the value of fresh ideas and perspectives. Although the natural adaptability of entrepreneurs makes the adoption of digital transformation an easier one to make than for established business owners, the benefits can be significant for both new and old endeavours.

The pandemic has accelerated the potential of emerging technologies by over seven years in some cases, the adoption of these new approaches and tools can be an imperative step in ensuring that your business navigates the age of the new normal with the greatest of efficiency.

Dmytro Spilka

By: Dmytro Spilka / Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP – CEO and Founder of Solvid and Pridicto

Source: How Entrepreneurs Are Capitalising on Digital Transformation in the Age of the ‘New Normal’

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Critics:

Digital Transformation (DT or DX) or Digitalization is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. Digital solutions may enable – in addition to efficiency via automation – new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.

One aspect of digital transformation is the concept of ‘going paperless‘ or reaching a ‘digital business maturity’affecting both individual businesses and whole segments of society, such as government,mass communications,art,health care, and science.

Digital transformation is not proceeding at the same pace everywhere. According to the McKinsey Global Institute‘s 2016 Industry Digitization Index,Europe is currently operating at 12% of its digital potential, while the United States is operating at 18%. Within Europe, Germany operates at 10% of its digital potential, while the United Kingdom is almost on par with the United States at 17%.

One example of digital transformation is the use of cloud computing. This reduces reliance on user-owned hardware and increases reliance on subscription-based cloud services. Some of these digital solutions enhance capabilities of traditional software products (e.g. Microsoft Office compared to Office 365) while others are entirely cloud based (e.g. Google Docs).

As the companies providing the services are guaranteed of regular (usually monthly) recurring revenue from subscriptions, they are able to finance ongoing development with reduced risk (historically most software companies derived the majority of their revenue from users upgrading, and had to invest upfront in developing sufficient new features and benefits to encourage users to upgrade), and delivering more frequent updates often using forms of agile software development internally.This subscription model also reduces software piracy, which is a major benefit to the vendor.

Digitalization (of industries and organizations)

Unlike digitization, digitalization is the ‘organizational process’ or ‘business process’ of the technologically-induced change within industries, organizations, markets and branches. Digitalization of manufacturing industries has enabled new production processes and much of the phenomena today known as the Internet of Things, Industrial Internet, Industry 4.0, machine to machine communication, artificial intelligence and machine vision.

Digitalization of business and organizations has induced new business models (such as freemium), new eGovernment services, electronic payment, office automation and paperless office processes, using technologies such as smart phones, web applications, cloud services, electronic identification, blockchain, smart contracts and cryptocurrencies, and also business intelligence using Big Data. Digitalization of education has induced e-learning and Mooc courses.

See also

How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Main-Picture-1024x683-1.jpg?resize=852%2C568&ssl=1

Digital will separate the winners from the laggards in the hypercompetitive, post-pandemic business landscape, says Ben Pring, Managing Director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. We undertook a global, multi-industry study to understand how businesses are preparing for this future and here’s what we found.

COVID-19 changed digital from a nice-to-have adjunct to a must-have tool at the core of the enterprise. The pandemic forced businesses to reassess how they strategize and execute their digital ambitions in a world that has migrated online, possibly for good in many areas. Those that did not prioritize digital prior to the pandemic found that procrastination was no longer an option — the digital landscape is hypercompetitive.

The Cognizant Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, recently surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally to understand how they are putting digital to use and what they hope to achieve in the coming years.

The CFoW found that digital technologies are key to success in the coming years and uncovered six key steps that all organizations can take to more fruitfully apply to gear-up for the fast unfolding digital future:

  • Scrutinize everything because it’s going to change. From how and where employees work, to how customers are engaged, and which products and services are now viable as customer needs and behaviors evolve rapidly.
  • Make technology a partner in work. Innovations in AI, blockchain, natural language processing, IoT and 5G communications are ushering in decades of change ahead and will drive new levels of functionality and performance.
  • Build new workflows to reach new performance thresholds. The most predictable, rote and repetitive activities need to be handed off to software, while humans specialize in using judgment, creativity and language.
  • Make digital competency the prime competency for everyone. No matter what type of work needs to be done, it must have a digital component. Levels of digital literacy need to be built out even among non-technologists, including specialized skills.
  • Begin a skills renaissance. Digital skills such as big data specialists, process automation experts, security analysts, etc. aren’t easy to acquire. To overcome skills shortages, organizations will need to work harder to retain and engage workers.
  • Employees want jobs, but they also want meaning from jobs. How can businesses use intelligent algorithms to take increasing proportions of tasks off workers’ plates, allowing them to spend their time creating value? This search for meaning stretches beyond the individual tasks of the job to what the organization itself stands for.

Here are a few key findings from our research:

Redesigning the workplace is just the beginning: The virus will force enterprises to ask more strategic questions.

A mesh of machine emerges: While IoT is beginning to take hold, few respondents have piloted 5G projects. But over time , the mesh of machines created by IoT and 5G will serve as the foundation for news levels of functionality and possibility.

The 3As-AI , automation and analytics are the engines of digitization: To make the future of work happen, the 3As are emerging as a sophisticated and complex set of tools more deeply embedded in processes.

To learn more, read our whitepaper “The Work Ahead: Digital First (to Last)” or see the full Work Ahead study series.

Ben Pring leads Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and is a coauthor of the books Monster: A Tough Love Letter On Taming The Machines That Rule Our Jobs, Lives, and Future, What To Do When Machines Do Everything and Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business. In 2018, he was a Bilderberg Meeting participant. He previously spent 15 years with Gartner as a senior industry analyst, researching and advising on areas such as cloud computing and global sourcing. He can be reached at Benjamin.Pring@cognizant.com

Source: How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

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Critics:

Digitalization  is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. Digital solutions may enable – in addition to efficiency via automation – new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.

One aspect of digital transformation is the concept of ‘going paperless‘ or reaching a ‘digital business maturity’ affecting both individual businesses and whole segments of society, such as government,mass communications,art, health care, and science.

Digital transformation is not proceeding at the same pace everywhere. According to the McKinsey Global Institute‘s 2016 Industry Digitization Index, Europe is currently operating at 12% of its digital potential, while the United States is operating at 18%. Within Europe, Germany operates at 10% of its digital potential, while the United Kingdom is almost on par with the United States at 17%.

One example of digital transformation is the use of cloud computing. This reduces reliance on user-owned hardware and increases reliance on subscription-based cloud services. Some of these digital solutions enhance capabilities of traditional software products (e.g. Microsoft Office compared to Office 365) while others are entirely cloud based (e.g. Google Docs).

As the companies providing the services are guaranteed of regular (usually monthly) recurring revenue from subscriptions, they are able to finance ongoing development with reduced risk (historically most software companies derived the majority of their revenue from users upgrading, and had to invest upfront in developing sufficient new features and benefits to encourage users to upgrade), and delivering more frequent updates often using forms of agile software development internally. This subscription model also reduces software piracy, which is a major benefit to the vendor.

Unlike digitization, digitalization is the ‘organizational process’ or ‘business process’ of the technologically-induced change within industries, organizations, markets and branches. Digitalization of manufacturing industries has enabled new production processes and much of the phenomena today known as the Internet of Things, Industrial Internet, Industry 4.0, machine to machine communication, artificial intelligence and machine vision.

Digitalization of business and organizations has induced new business models (such as freemium), new eGovernment services, electronic payment, office automation and paperless office processes, using technologies such as smart phones, web applications, cloud services, electronic identification, blockchain, smart contracts and cryptocurrencies, and also business intelligence using Big Data. Digitalization of education has induced e-learning and Mooc courses.

See also

 

Curious About Crypto? Here’s What 10 Financial Experts Think

A photo to accompany a story about financial experts' advice for investing in cryptocurrency

Everyday investors are overflowing with cryptocurrency questions, according to the financial advisors hired to answer them.

There is clearly an “emotional euphoria that seems to be sweeping through the public around cryptocurrency,” says Frederick Stanfield, a CFP with Lifewater Wealth Management in Atlanta, Georgia.

But for the average person focused on retirement planning and financial stability, is it time to consider investing in cryptocurrency?

The answer is complicated, so we asked financial advisors for their crypto advice, and here’s what 10 of them are telling clients. In an emerging field with few set rules and norms, we discovered some universal truths that everyone should know before putting money in cryptocurrency.

First of all, financial advisors say a healthy dose of skepticism is a crucial place to start, and you should never invest in crypto if it takes away from other goals and financial fundamentals like paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or maxing out your retirement accounts.

As difficult as it may be, do not become seduced by the intrigue and allure of this new technology, says Stanfield. Instead, employ the same mindset you bring to your regular investment strategy.

Here’s what else the experts want you to know about cryptocurrency investing:

Be Prepared for Loss

As with any investment, financial gains are far from guaranteed with cryptocurrency investing. For some financial advisors, crypto looks more like a lottery ticket than an investment strategy.

That means you should only put in what you’re OK with losing. “On a spectrum between gambling and investing, I think it’s closer to the former,” says Matt Morris, principal advisor at Sanderling Finance in Columbia, South Carolina.

As a high-risk, high-reward investment, keep any crypto investments in perspective amid your broader goals and finances. As with certain types of gambling, “you have a high chance of losing it all, but a small chance of winning it big,” says Nate Nieri, a CFP with Modern Money Management in San Diego, California. “Just don’t gamble an amount that would burden your family or prevent you from achieving your goals” if you lost it all.

Steer Clear if You’re Risk Averse

If you’re risk averse, crypto isn’t the investment for you.“How well can you sleep at night knowing that this is an emerging asset class with high volatility? And if you were to wake one morning to find that crypto has been banned by the developed nations and it became worthless, would you be OK?” asks Stanield.

If you’re going to be constantly stressing about your crypto investment, or tempted to change your investments in light of the volatility that comes with crypto, then you’re better off putting your money in a more stable investment, according to Stanfield.

“I believe it is still in its infancy stage, and just like any new fund or IPO, there is a level of uncertainty about the future that I’m not ready to stomach,” says Alajahwon Ridgeway, owner of Ridgeway Wealth Management in Lafayette, Louisiana. “I believe it … is an unnecessary risk at this point for my clients to reach their financial goals.”

There’s also far less historical data available about cryptocurrency to help investors make informed decisions — unlike conventional ETF and index/mutual funds. Crypto investors face additional risk in the form of poor or inaccurate trade data, competition among fellow investors, theft, loss of wallet passwords, supply and demand issues, government regulation, and energy consumption concerns, says Chelsea Rude, a CFP at Rude Wealth Advisory in Olney, Illinois.

“Most importantly for investors, there is a lack of a well designed and tested way to value the assets,” Rude says. This means crypto investors are essentially going in blind, and subjecting themselves to the uncertainty that comes with any new business or investment

Know Why You’re Interested In the First Place

Some people see crypto as an emerging investment, while others see it as an interesting new global currency you can use instead of the U.S. dollar or other international currencies. But whether crypto has long-term staying power on either front is still uncertain.

“I strongly believe the vast majority of people who own crypto currency are doing so for all the wrong reasons and misunderstanding what they are truly buying,” says Ben Lies, chief investment officer at Delphi Advisers.

Many experts are concerned about people dumping their money into crypto without real understanding of the area. Do your own research, and make sure you’re thinking about your investment in the right way.

“Hype and excitement around the space are not reasons for inclusion into any portfolio, but I believe there are compelling reasons to consider cryptocurrencies,” says James Vermillion, owner of Vermillion Private Wealth in Lexington, Kentucky. “When discussing crypto with clients I emphasize education and understanding. It’s important to note that there are thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence and they are not created equally. Due diligence is important, just as it is when looking at stocks or other investment vehicles.”

Nieri warns those who see Bitcoin as a currency to think about what that means for investing. “I don’t typically trade or have a currency hedge as part of my investment strategy. Would you have ever thought about trading dollars for Euros as an investment? In order for Bitcoin to be a legitimate currency, the world’s governments would need to accept it as a global currency, something that has a remote likelihood,” Nieri says.

Keep Crypto In Its Place

Don’t rely on crypto investments for your retirement or overall financial strategy. Make sure the majority of your investment portfolio is made up of stable assets projected for long-term growth.

“What I am sharing for [my clients] to do is build their future financial pie with investments such as stocks and bonds. If there is extra money they want to play with, buying crypto is an option,” says Eric Powell, financial advisor and founder of the Future Mill.

Make sure your overall investment portfolio is predominantly made up of conventional investments like stocks and bonds, says Powell. But within any crypto investments you might have, experts recommend sticking with the big names.

“I personally do not go beyond Bitcoin and or Ethereum,” says Michael Kelly, a CFA at Switchback Financial in Madison, Connecticut.  “I feel those two have a bit more of an established base and feel the risk of other coins becomes too significant.”

By:

 

Source: Curious About Crypto? Here’s What 10 Financial Experts Think | NextAdvisor with TIME

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Decentralized finance (commonly referred to as DeFi) is a blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on central financial intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks to offer traditional financial instruments, and instead utilizes smart contracts on blockchains, the most common being Ethereum.[1] DeFi platforms allow people to lend or borrow funds from others, speculate on price movements on a range of assets using derivatives, trade cryptocurrencies, insure against risks, and earn interest in savings-like accounts.[2]

DeFi uses a layered architecture and highly composable building blocks.[3] Some DeFi applications promote high interest rates[2] but are subject to high risk.[1] By October 2020, over $11 billion (worth in cryptocurrency) was deposited in various decentralized finance protocols, which represented more than a tenfold growth during the course of 2020.[4][2] As of January 2021, approximately $20.5 billion was invested in DeFi.[5]

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References

Braun, Alexander; Cohen, Lauren H.; Xu, Jiahua (May 2020). “fidentiaX: The Tradable Insurance Marketplace on Blockchain”. Harvard Business School. Retrieved 2021-01-05.

10 Largest Venture Rounds In Crypto And Blockchain

Venture capital

The cryptocurrency industry is steaming hot. The total market value of cryptocurrencies is approaching $2 trillion –  that’s bigger than the market caps of Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Bitcoin has been trading above $50,000 since March 8 and has a market value of $1.12 trillion, almost as much as all the silver in the world. FOMO-ed institutions keep pouring into the space.

Tesla will start accepting payments for its electric vehicles in bitcoin, adding the cryptocurrency to its $2.5 billion bitcoin trove. One of the oldest banks in America, BNY Mellon, has launched a digital assets unit, Goldman Sachs has relaunched its crypto trading operations, JPMorgan has introduced a structured note offering tied to a basket of stocks with exposure to bitcoin, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have become the first major U.S. banks to offer ther wealthy clients direct access to bitcoin.

But institutions and venture firms rushing to cash in on the surge don’t come empty-handed. Hoards of capital are pouring on crypto startups, minting new unicorns at a break-neck pace. Just in March, three crypto firms raised some of the largest capital raises in the industry’s short but rich history. There are now at least 18 crypto-native companies with unicorn status, according to data platform PitchBook.


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In the heyday of ICOs, companies raised billions but the hype was short-lived. Low-quality projects, multiple scams, and the lack of institutional and regulatory oversight led to what is now known as the Great Crypto Crash of 2018, when an index that tracks the performance of the 10 largest and most liquid digital assets plunged by 80%.

Crypto bulls are hoping that this time it is truly different. Publicly listed companies like MicroStrategy and Square have amassed sizable bitcoin positions on their balance sheets and are seeing it as an alternative to gold.  Meanwhile applications for a U.S. bitcoin ETF are piling up at the SEC’s doorstep and the market is buzzing in anticipation of Coinbase’s direct listing slated for April 14, the first major public offering for a cryptocurrency company. Amid the frenzy, Forbes analyzed data from PitchBook and compiled a list of the 10 largest venture capital deals for blockchain and crypto-native firms.

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Inside Bitmain, the world’s largest Bitcoin mine. The rush to mine Bitcoin and other crypto currencies has gripped the world. China is home to most of the world’s bitcoin mines, and Inner Mongolia has one of the largest. Today, we take a look inside the Bitmain mine and how it works. If you enjoyed, please, like, comment and subscribe, it helps us a lot! Thanks for watching this video: Inside The World’s Largest Bitcoin Mine Check Out These Videos:
Inside Iceland’s Massive Bitcoin Mine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0HC1… Inside a Secret Chinese Bitcoin Mine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8kua… Inside a Bitcoin mine that earns $70K a day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z4qb… Crypto Mining Farm at Apartment | January 2020 Update https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWPif…
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Bitmain: $422 million

Deal date: August 7, 2018

VC round: Series B1

Notable investors: Crimson Capital China, Bluebell (Asia), Jumbo Sheen Group, Lioness Capital, Palace Investment Company, Pavilion Capital

Post-money valuation: $15 billion

Previous valuation: $12 billion

The world’s leading bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer, Bitmain also operates Antpool, one of the top bitcoin mining pools, accounting for more than 12% of bitcoin’s network hash, or computational, power. Shortly after the $422 million capital raise, the Beijing-based company filed for an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September 2018, but the offering fell through amid the bitcoin crash and market cooldown.


BlockFi: $350 million

Deal date: March 11, 2021

VC round: Series D

Notable investors: Bain Capital Ventures, partners of DST Global, Pomp Investments, Tiger Global, Susquehanna Government Products

Post-money valuation: $3 billion

Previous valuation: $435 million

Founded in 2017, New-Jersey based BlockFi is now one of the leading cryptocurrency lending providers. Its products span multiple categories including crypto-collateralized loans and interest-bearing accounts through which investors can earn interest on their crypto holdings. Rumors of BlockFi’s potential IPO started to circulate last July following reports of a job opportunity, part of which involved helping the company go public.

Dapper Labs: $305 million

Deal date: March 30, 2021

VC round: 5th round

Notable investors: Coatue Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant

Post-money valuation: $2.6 billion

Previous valuation: N/A

The Vancouver-based startup is best known as the developer of NBA Top Shot, an NFT marketplace for basketball video highlights or “moments.” The project, which has already surpassed the $400 million mark in trading volume, is largely responsible for the boom of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), essentially digital proofs of ownership trackable on a blockchain. Earlier, Dapper Labs developed a popular Ethereum game of breedable collectibles called CryptoKitties.


Blockchain.com: $300 million

Deal date: March 24, 2021

VC round: Series C

Notable investors: DST Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, VY Capital

Post-money valuation: $5.2 billion

Previous valuation: $3 billion

Blockchain.com provides a variety of crypto services to retail and institutional clients but is most famous for its non-custodial digital wallets. Unlike its counterparts controlled by third parties, these wallets give users full control over their private keys that represent ownership of crypto assets. The London-based company claims it has processed 28% of all bitcoin transactions since 2012.


Bakkt: $300 million

Deal date: March 16, 2020

VC round: Series B

Notable investors: Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), BCG Digital Ventures, PayU

Post-money valuation: N/A

Previous valuation: N/A

In February 2020, the crypto venture of ICE (the New York Stock Exchange owner) announced the acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, provider of loyalty programs, to power Bakkt’s one-stop shop retail platform. Called Bakkt App, the service lets users aggregate various digital assets, including loyalty points, rewards programs, gaming assets, and cryptocurrencies, all in one wallet. In January, Bakkt announced it is going public via a SPAC merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings at an enterprise value of about $2.1 billion. Upon the deal’s closure in the second quarter of 2021, the combined company will list on the New York Stock Exchange as Bakkt Holdings, Inc.


Coinbase: $300 million

Deal date: October 30, 2018

VC round: Series E

Notable investors: Tiger Global Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Polychain Capital

Post-money valuation: $8.04 billion

Previous valuation: $1.71 billion

On February 25, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. filed for a direct listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Coinbase was valued at $68 billion, based on the recent filings. On March 19, the company was fined $6.5 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over allegations of false transactions reporting and wash trading between 2015 and 2018 on its GDAX platform, later rebranded as Coinbase Pro. The exchange’s direct listing is scheduled for April 14.


Bitmain: $292.7 million

Deal date: June 19, 2018

VC round: Series B

Notable investors: Sequoia Capital, Coatue Management, China Taijia, Blue Lighthouse Services

Post-money valuation: $12 billion

Previous valuation: $100 million


Hangzhou Qulian Technology: $235 million

Deal date: June 4, 2018

VC round: Series B

Notable investors: Xinhu Zhongbao Company,  China Gaoxin Investment Group, State Development and Investment Corporation

Post-money valuation: $470.25 million

Previous valuation: $40.33 million

Qulian Technology provides blockchain products for China’s major organizations and institutions, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Administration for Market Regulation, the State Grid, and local governments. Its one-stop blockchain open service BaaS platform, FiLoop, is used by some of the largest banks in China, including China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and China Merchants Bank, according to the company. Qulian Technology’s partners also include Google and Microsoft.


Bithumb: $200 million

Deal date: Apr 19, 2019

VC round: 2nd round

Notable investors: Vidente, ID Ventures (South Korea), ST Blockchain Fund

Post-money valuation: N/A, valued at $888.27 million as of January 2021

Previous valuation: $868.42 million

In September 2020, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency has reportedly raided the offices of one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges on fraud allegations, linked to a $25 million token sale that never materialized and led to losses for investors.


Ripple Labs: $200 million

Deal date: Oct 1, 2020

VC round: Series C

Notable investors: Tetragon Financial Group, SBI Holdings, Transform Capital, 10X Capital

Post-money valuation: $10 billion

Previous valuation: $410 million (2016)

In December, Ripple Labs and its top executives were accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of selling $1.3 billion of XRP, the native asset of the payments network developed by the company, as an unregistered security. Following the charges, multiple exchanges and trading platforms, including Coinbase, Binance.US, and eToro, delisted XRP and suspended its trading. In January, U.K.-based investment firm Tetragon Financial Group filed a lawsuit to redeem its equity in Ripple but ultimately lost the case. Despite the fallout, XRP remains one of the top traded digital assets.

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I report on cryptocurrencies and emerging use cases of blockchain. Born and raised in Russia, I graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi with a degree in economics and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I focused on data and business reporting.

Source: 10 Largest Venture Rounds In Crypto And Blockchain

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Cybercrime Joker Retires With A Reported $2.1 Billion In Bitcoin

The most popular stolen payment card marketplace on the dark web is no more. The criminal behind the Joker’s Stash site, which trades in stolen credit and debit card data, has announced that all servers and backups will be wiped, and the site will never open again. That criminal, who unsurprisingly goes by the pseudonym of ‘JokerStash’ or Joker for short, has shut up shop and is going into retirement. A rather comfortable retirement, assuming Interpol and the FBI don’t catch up with them, with a reported $2.1 billion (£1.5 billion) in Bitcoin.

Joker’s Stash was the biggest of the carding sites on the dark web. Carding being the process of not just selling that stolen card data, but also enabling criminals to launder their illicit cryptocurrency balances. The stolen card data is used to buy gift cards or other easily traded items which are then sold on for cash. In 2019, I reported how a single payment card database, of more than a million market fresh cards in total, was being offered for sale at $130 million (£93 million.)

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In a January dark web blog posting, the Joker warned customers of the infamous carding site that it would shut up shop for good on February 15. However, according to financial crime compliance blockchain analysis specialists Elliptic, the site went down on February 3.

As you might imagine, this will not have pleased those customers who thought they had 12 more days to cash out their crypto balances. Although it hasn’t been possible to determine exactly how much money these cyber-criminals may have lost, the reverse is not true: Elliptic analysts have calculated the size of the Joker’s retirement pot based on incoming crypto payments to the Joker’s Stash wallet. MORE FOR YOU

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How big a pension has Joker built up through this criminal enterprise since it started operating in 2014? Elliptic said that, in 2018 alone, $139 million (£100 million) in sales went through Joker’s Stash, by way of example. More recently, revenues dropped significantly as payment card fraud detection technology improved. However, more than $400 million (£288 million) flowed through the site between 2015 and 2021.

Joker’s Stash made its money by charging deposit fees for converting Bitcoin to a dollar balance and also through taking a commission on all trading in stolen cards. Although that commission rate cannot be pinned down precisely, Elliptic analysts based their calculations on an average of 20% as seen at other carding operations.

“If we assume an average total commission of 20% on sales,” Elliptic wrote, “then considering bitcoin alone they would have taken a total of at least 60,000 bitcoins.”

Or, to put it another way, around $2.1 billion (£1.5 billion) currently.

Which leaves the departing statement from the Joker with the irony volume turned up to eleven. After telling cyber-gangsters not to “lose themselves in the pursuit of money,” the Joker went on to declare that “all the money in the world will never make you happy and the “most truly valuable things in this life are free.”

That’s easy to say when you have so much cash, regardless of how you came by it.

Maybe the pandemic played a role in both the site closure decision and that display of sentiment. In October 2020, Joker disclosed to customers that he, or she, had been in hospital for a week after contracting Covid-19.

Whatever, Joker’s Stash is no more and that’s a good thing for the law-abiding majority. Unfortunately, the way of the dark web world is that another carding site will soon rise to take over as the crypto kingpin of this illicit trade. Although this particular cybercrime genre has dipped in terms of profitability over the last couple of years, there is still, sadly, plenty of money to be made. Maybe not as much as the Joker’s Stash, but more than enough to make a mockery of the old saying that crime doesn’t pay. Especially as it would seem, based on current intelligence at least, that the site wasn’t busted by law enforcement but closed of its own volition. The last laugh would seem to be with the Joker.

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Davey Winder

Davey Winder

I’m a three-decade veteran technology journalist and have been a contributing editor at PC Pro magazine since the first issue in 1994. A three-time winner of the BT Security Journalist of the Year award (2006, 2008, 2010) I was also fortunate enough to be named BT Technology Journalist of the Year in 1996 for a forward-looking feature in PC Pro called ‘Threats to the Internet.’ In 2011 I was honored with the Enigma Award for a lifetime contribution to IT security journalism. Contact me in confidence at davey@happygeek.com if you have a story to reveal or research to share.

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BitMax.io Pioneering Innovation with Novel Staking Product

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BitMax.io (BTMX.com), a Singapore-registered digital asset trading platform, is pioneering innovation in the industry with a novel staking product that addresses the liquidity challenges associated with traditional staking mechanisms.

BitMax.io was founded in 2018 by a group of Wall Street quantitative trading veterans and has been consistently executing on its strategic roadmap to provide its global userbase with a comprehensive set of trading products. The platform has already introduced various innovations to the cryptocurrency industry, including the industry’s first “cross-asset collateral” margin trading product and a volatility-linked derivative product called Volatility Cards. BitMax.io has recently garnered attention within the industry by announcing the launch of its new staking product that allows users to receive attractive staking returns without sacrificing liquidity. In this article, we will introduce three products offered by BitMax.io, and showcase the competitive advantages of the BitMax.io platform from a product innovation perspective.

BitMax.io Staking allows users to receive more attractive staking returns without sacrificing liquidity; therefore, encouraging higher and more resilient stake ratios for blockchain networks.

The impetus for BitMax.io’s staking product is the so-called “Liquidity Dilemma” that a token holder of a proof-of-stake (“PoS”) blockchain encounters:

  • On one hand, a token holder can stake and earn block rewards; however, in doing so, the holder agrees to “lock” their assets for a period of time, therefore sacrificing the ability to trade or manage the tokens at their own discretion.
  • On the other hand, a token holder can refrain from staking and maintain discretion over asset management; however, in doing so, the token holder sacrifices the opportunity to generate returns through block rewards.

The Liquidity Dilemma presents a number of problems for PoS blockchain projects, specifically: a low network stake ratio, extreme network inflation driven by large staking rewards, and network instability.

BitMax.io’s novel approach to staking solves the Liquidity Dilemma by providing token holders the flexibility to trade and transfer at their will and maximized staking rewards. Key features of BitMax.io Staking are as follows:

  1. Immediate Access to Staked Assets: BitMax.io maintains a pool of assets that allow for immediate access to an asset after it’s unstaked. This allows users to managed staked assets at their discretion even when delegating to a network with a lengthy unbonding period.
  2. Margin Trading for Staked Assets: To promote market efficiency, BitMax.io has created a synthetic version of each staked asset to be used as margin collateral, thus allowing users to hedge exposure while continuing to earn staking rewards.

iii. Maximize Staking Earnings: BitMax.io automatically redelegates staking rewards to staking pools, thus allowing users to further enhance the yields from their token holdings.

While other platforms, such as Binance and Kucoin, have adopted a “soft staking” method to solve the liquidity dilemma, their solution has a number of shortcomings compared to BitMax.io’s product. These platforms essentially stake a portion of their users’ funds without active acknowledgment from the token holders and distribute the rewards back to users.

While this “soft staking” approach also allows users to opt-out any time without delay by simply selling the assets, either to take profit following price appreciation or stop losses following price depreciation, users are most likely to lose some of the rewards as they are distributed based on a snapshot of holdings. At BitMax.io, users can enjoy the benefit to hedge their exposure freely as well, without giving up any rewards since users need not unstake nor sell their staked assets to do so.

 2. BitMax.io’s Cross-Asset Collateral Margin Trading

Since its first launch in early 2019, BitMax.io’s margin trading platform allows users to trade with up to 10x leverage supported by its distinctive cross-asset collateral margin system across over 40 markets. Under the cross-asset margin trading mechanism, users can post collateral in a variety of assets to then borrow against in order to increase trading power. This funding flexibility ultimately promotes greater trading efficiency amongst BitMax.io’s userbase and makes margin trading more accessible to the less-experienced traders.

In the crowded digital asset trading industry, distinct features successfully set BitMax.io’s margin trading apart from similar products of competing platforms. For example, BitMax.io offers 0% interest for margin borrow when repaid with 8-hour settlement cycles (0:00 UTC, 8:00 UTC, 16:00 UTC). Another feature of auto leverage promotes seamless usage by granting users maximum trading power based on their “Margin Asset” balance. Lastly, BitMax.io minimizes price deviation due to unexpected marketplace volatility via a composite reference price from multiple trading platforms. This mitigates risk associated with a single point of vulnerability, such as an illiquid market or system performance disruption

3. Volatility Cards – BitMax.io’s Simple Yet Efficient Solution to Trade on Price Movements

Cryptocurrencies are well-known for their volatility. While some see that as a turn-off, traders see opportunities in gaining exposure to it for both trading and risk management. To meet this demand, BitMax.io introduced an innovative product called Volatility Cards.

Volatility Cards are a short-term volatility-linked derivative with quasi-option structure designed by the co-founder and CEO of BitMax.io, Dr. George Cao. By purchasing those cards,  users can trade based on their anticipation of an asset’s price-movement within certain magnitudes.

The cards are named after Aesop’s Fable – the Tortoise and the Hare – and have a simplified layout that suits both retail and institutional investors. Those who correctly predict the range of the asset’s price movement receive a payout equivalent to the notional value of the card.

For example, a user would purchase a “Turtle Card” if they anticipated a small BTC price movement within the next one hour (i.e., < 0.30%), or a “Bunny Card” if they anticipated a large BTC price movement within the next one hour (i.e., > 1.00%).

Source: Bitmax.io

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In this video I review BitMax and give you a first look at their Beta. BitMax is creating an innovative new kind of digital asset exchange and their goal is to build a decentralized community-based autonomous economy. Their plan is to boost the liquidity of the overall market. Website: https://bitmax.io

India’s Largest Private Port Operator Partners With Blockchain Platform TradeLens

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India’s largest port operator APSEZ has partnered with IBM’s TradeLens platform to digitize its supply chain process.

The largest multi-port operator of India, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ), has partnered with the blockchain-based supply chain solution platform TradeLens.

APSEZ plans to integrate TradeLens’s blockchain solutions across 10 of its major courier management facilities across ports in six Indian states — four in Gujarat and one each in Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

Digitizing to curb supply chain shortcomings exposed by the pandemic

According to the local business news outlet, Business Line, APSEZ’s move to digitize its supply chains comes as an effort to reduce the impact of vulnerabilities of the traditional current supply chain system. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic exposed the drawbacks of the present supply chain that heavily relies on paperwork and manual processes.

The report quoted an unnamed logistics industry official saying:

“During the pandemic, we realized the price of not digitizing the industry. There will be a mindset change now and more firms will adopt the technology.”

Developed by Maersk and IBM, TradeLens is expected to help APSEZ make information sharing more time and cost-efficient, transparent, and secure.

A study by QBIS Consulting on Total Transport and Logistics Costs (TTLC) estimated that digitizing supply chain workflow can save importers of a single major port up to $220 million annually. Exporters too could save around $40 million each year. The nationwide saving could scale to as much as $860 million.

Digitizing supply chains worldwide

TradeLens has made consistent progress in partnering with major industry players in an effort to digitize their supply chains.

In December 2019, TradeLens announced its partnership with a major Asian shipping terminal Cái Mép International Terminal. The following month, Oman’s largest port, Port of Salalah also partnered with the company to digitize its supply chain. Cointelegraph reported in March that Standard Chartered became the first bank to join the TradeLens platform.

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China’s Central Bank Proposes a Blockchain-Based Trade-Finance Platform

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The People’s Bank of China proposed a blockchain trade financing information platform for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

A number of governing entities in China recently came together to issue an official document, proposing the development of a blockchain-based trade finance platform.

Contributors included the People’s Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission, and the Foreign Exchange Bureau.

In the document, the four organizations submitted their opinions on how best to finance the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, with an emphasis on global trade and finance.

Disrupting how cross-border trade info is shared

In an attempt to develop and implement better financial technology in the region, the proposal states that the country should build a blockchain-powered trade financing info service platform “under the premise of legal compliance and commercial voluntariness.”

The platform, they stated, would help participating banks securely share information pertaining to cross-border traders through a reliable source.

Blockchain’s decentralized infrastructure makes third-party intervention unnecessary when sharing trade info between members. This makes for a highly secure foundation for a trade finance information platform.

They further proposed the use of artificial intelligence and big data in marketing, risk prevention, and financial supervision.

China is going both local and global on blockchain

China is spearheading blockchain innovation faster than most other countries. Both its local and central governments are consistently experimenting to disrupt various industrial sectors.

A Cointelegraph report from April cited that the government launched its first blockchain platform for providing government services in the eastern China province of Anhui. The platform was intended to provide electronic certificates and licences.

China also recently launched a Blockchain-based Service Network that allows companies from all over the globe to develop and run blockchain applications.

Additionally, during a meeting with the Financial Technology Committee yesterday, the People’s Bank of China deputy governor, Fan Yifei, urged China to accelerate its blockchain adoption strategy.

By:

Source: https://cointelegraph.com

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