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Bitgenstein’s Table: Kidnapped for Bitcoin

This week, we discuss kidnappings & gunpoint attacks demanding cryptocurrency. We often say that cryptocurrency is unseizable. But in one sense, it’s actually more seizable than dollars in your bank account: Kidnappers’ crypto accounts, unlike bank accounts, are unfreezable and are themselves unseizable — making stolen funds completely unrecoverable.

What can we do to be safe from ransom and wrench attacks?

Bitgenstein’s Table is a narrative podcast with music and sometimes dramatization, so you might want to listen to this episode. But if you prefer text instead, or you’d like a few pictures, read on!

December 26, 2017.

Pavel Lerner, kidnapped for a $1 million bitcoin ransom.

Pavel Lerner, a director at U.K. cryptocurrency exchange Exmo, is leaving his Kiev, Ukraine office.

A black Mercedes van screams to a stop, and six masked men emerge and force Pavel inside.

The Exmo site is subjected to a Denial of Service attack, though it’s unclear whether that is related. Soon, Exmo executives are reading over a letter demanding $1 million, paid in bitcoin, for Pavel’s release.

Is this the future for cryptocurrency investors?

It sounds absurd, but one of the best ways to fight the dozens of cognitive biases, the mental shortcuts that can become thinking problems, which we use in day-to-day life is to remember that we humans over-generalize.

We find meaning, patterns, stories, and principles in order to understand the world. This is the only way we can use our mental resources effectively, but it also means we assign meanings to things than might not have those meanings, we selectively remember things and exaggerate things in order to fit the patterns we hold, and we apply stereotypes liberally.

We really cannot defeat these tendencies, since attempting to live without general principles would turn every tiny decision into analysis paralysis. But if we realize that we over-generalize, we can catch a number of errors.

Again, it sounds absurd: due to our cognitive biases, the best way to keep track of our many cognitive biases is to over-generalize them into the single category of over-generalization.

The blockchain space is full of generalizations.

Cryptocurrencies are “decentralized,” we say. Except that, to varying degrees, they’re not. As long as we are aware that this just is a generalization, we’re OK.

Cryptocurrencies are “unseizable wealth,” we say.

Well, sometimes.

If someone takes the right security precautions, it’s not possible to seize their bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies by raiding their home, picking their pocket, or shaking them down as they escape across the border. This is wealth that is unseizable by traditional methods.

So what are the methods by which a group can take your cryptocurrency?

Obviously many would-be thieves try social engineering. They attempt to get you to give them your keys or send to incorrect addresses. If you’ve been in the space for a little while, you’ve seen bad emails, or URLs with diacritics like dots and lines above and below letters, directing you to malicious websites in an attempt to steal a private key or an exchange login and password from you.

But crypto-conscious people are becoming more and more aware of, and building more and more protections against, these social attacks. Serious cryptocurrency thieves will start to turn elsewhere.

Kidnappers who kidnap for ransom, according to rough estimates, make about $500 million a year on their crimes.

It’s been a major business in some places like Mexico City — my favorite movie with Denzel Washington takes place there, in which Denzel plays a bodyguard gone on a mad vengeance streak when kidnappers call and say that Pita, the girl he was protecting and who was kidnapped, is now dead. The film is called Man on Fire, and among its other good production values, the cinematography is unique and excellent.

Critics attacked the movie for becoming too violent and vigilante. They tally to only 39% on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences give it an 89%. I may run a philosophy podcast, but that doesn’t mean I always agree with the movie critics.

Daniel Arizmendi López made $40 million on kidnappings.

The story of Man on Fire is based on real-life Mexico City kidnapper Daniel Arizmendi López, who made over $40 million on ransoms, and was often assisted by police officers in his kidnappings. He confessed to murdering four people and was imprisoned in 1998, and to my knowledge still resides in prison.

I’ve avoided areas at times for these reasons. During my time in north India, many groups and people warned me not to travel to the province of Assam. I really wanted to visit Assam, but kidnapping Westerners was particularly common that year. Even though my brother and I were poor by American standards, we were doing fine by Indian standards at the time.

Kidnapping for ransom is a worldwide issue. It’s about as old as money itself.

And kidnapping for crypto isn’t a new thing, either.

The first case I know of was January 20, 2015, where a Canadian expat in Costa Rica, Ryan Piercy, was kidnapped, and a $500,000 ransom was demanded in bitcoin. Ryan was held for 5 weeks, outside, chained by his neck to a tree.

Later that year, Wong Kwan, a Hong Kong businessman, was released after a ransom of $13 million was paid in bitcoin.

In May of this year, 13-year-old Katlego Marite was kidnapped in South Africa, and $120,000 was demanded in bitcoin. (Thankfully a friend of the family found a CCTV recording of the event, found the car involved in the area, and alerted police, and the boy was recovered and the kidnappers arrested.)

Katlego Marite

But these cases were not due to the individuals involved holding cryptocurrency. Katlego’s parents reportedly didn’t even know what Bitcoin was.

These attackers demanded bitcoin because Bitcoin accounts aren’t freezable. Transactions can’t be locked up or reversed by the authorities, nor do the kidnappers no longer need to risk a high-tension dropoff of a briefcase of cash.

But Pavel Lerner’s case was different. His kidnappers knew that he worked at a cryptocurrency company. Pavel was ultimately safely released, the $1 million ransom reportedly paid. Apparently, Pavel’s kidnappers had believed he had access to his exchange’s funds, which wasn’t true. Others had to transfer Pavel’s ransom rather than Pavel transferring it himself.

So this kidnapping-turned-ransom wasn’t likely originally planned to have a ransom letter involved. Perhaps it wasn’t initially meant to be a ransom attack at all, but a wrench attack.

It’s one of my favorite XKCD comics.

XKCD is a stick-figure webcomic on technology and other things where intelligent characters make absurd suggestions and inventions and often counter them with sarcastic shutdowns.

xkcd.com/538

On January 28, 2018, Danny Aston, a British cryptocurrency trader, had his home broken into and was forced at gunpoint to make a Bitcoin transaction. Those who are known or suspected to have access to large amounts of cryptocurrency might become targets of these attacks.

Papers signed under force or duress might not hold up in court, and the court can invalidate them. But cryptocurrency transactions for most cryptocurrencies, including BTC, cannot be reversed by courts, so they cannot be invalidated. In this strange way, digital assets are actually more seizable than other assets.

If they are seized from you at gunpoint, there’s no help line or government agency to appeal to to get them back.

Unseizability is one of the major attractions of cryptocurrency.

As Blocktower Capital’s Ari Paul likes to point out frequently, what if the victims of the Holocaust or other genocidal episodes in human history could have escaped across the border with their wealth hidden as a password in their heads? They could have traveled lighter and safer, and could have had the means to start a new life whenever they arrived in a safer land.

Imagine if refugees from Nazi Germany or maoist China or Syria recently could take all their wealth with them when they start a new life elsewhere, with just a password in their head.

 — @AriDavidPaul

There are a number of technological solutions in the works for protection against phishing and other attacks. Multi-signature accounts can prevent an individual’s signature from transferring funds from an account without another signature involved. This really just turns the wrench attack into a more complicated ransom attack, but it does help somewhat.

Some systems are experimenting with limited decentralized protections. EOS has a three-day freeze on tokens that are unstaked, preventing them from being transferred during that time. This allows an EOS account holder to notice the tokens being unstaked and use his or her owner key to change the account’s active key so that the compromised active key no longer has the power to transfer the tokens when the three days are up.

That’s helpful against gunpoint break-ins, but not so much against kidnappings. Many kidnappings have lasted longer than three days.

If you’re in the cryptocurrency space, or close to it, and you have ideas on creative technological solutions to this problem, the community is ready to support the development of your ideas. Preventing an attack on Bitcoin’s unseizability is in the interest of us all.

But even if protections will emerge, they’re in the future. What can we do until then?

It surprises me how we instinctively flaunt our wealth. In the human economy, wealth is power, so much as a lion roars or a bear rears up to intimidate others with its might, some humans feel compelled to drive Lamborghinis, throw wads of cash around, and play with gold-plated golf clubs.

This can be dangerous.

I don’t mean you’re in danger of exchanging close personal connections for mobs of shallow admirers, as true as that may be. And I don’t mean you’re in danger of pride corrupting your soul, or spirit, or mind, or essence, or whatever your view on metaphysics. I mean that people who make it publicly known that they’ve made lots of money on cryptocurrency make themselves targets.

Sometimes this is unavoidable, of course. Brian Armstrong can’t reasonably go live in a distant cave, the Winklevosses can’t reasonably change their identities, and Charlie Lee can’t publicly claim to sell all of his crypto assets. (Wait a second…)

But for the majority of listeners, the best protection in any situation — whether we’re talking violent crime, cyber crime, extortion, whatever — is to not be a target.

All strains of philosophical thought have had things to say about the ethics of the wealthy.

We haven’t discussed philosophy much in this episode. Perhaps that’s because most philosophers have lacked the perspective of the poor. Philosophical output has usually been an activity of exclusively the wealthy class.

Bitgenstein’s Table is named in honor of Ludwig Wittgenstein, a part-Jewish British Austrian philosopher who revolutionized two different schools of philosophy and worked in many fields: philosophy of logic and mathematics and then later philosophy of mind and language. Listen to episode one of the podcast to hear more about him.

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s family was wealthy. Very wealthy. His father, Karl Wittgenstein, was one of the wealthiest men in the world. Still, there isn’t much writing done on Karl. Despite his wealth, his sons gets the spotlight.

One son, Paul Wittgenstein, was a concert pianist who lost his right arm in the First World War. He created new techniques that enabled him to play things formerly considered impossible with his left hand. The piano songs accompanying the podcast version of this episode are for left hand alone.

Ludwig and Paul Wittgenstein. Paul later lost his right arm in World War I but continued performing as a pianist.Ludwig and Paul in 1909, before the war

Composers of the day like Sergei Prokofiev, Maurice Ravel, Benjamin Britten, and many more wrote many pieces for Paul Wittgenstein.

Paul’s brother Ludwig, meanwhile, gave away his massive fortune to his siblings, three of whom ultimately committed suicide. The family had billions of dollars — as of this writing far more than anyone who has made their money in the cryptocurrency boom — and yet they were plagued by sadness, and the one who did the best of them all gave his wealth away.

Most philosophical, spiritual, and ethical traditions — whatever you’re into — suggest that wealth is a burden as much as it is a blessing. I’m certainly not suggesting all wealthy people need to make the same move as Ludwig. But part of the burden of wealth is that people suspected to be wealthy are much more likely to be targeted.

That’s reason enough to be careful.

And by the way, I haven’t made much money on cryptocurrency. Just throwing that out there. Wrench-wielders, go find somebody else.

Hackers rely on deception — fake emails, fake webpages, false senses of urgency or opportunity, etc. — to wage their war on us. The Hollywood image of hackers brute-forcing encryption is nonsense. Besides finding exploits, attacks are mostly about using social engineering to get access.

As Sun Tzu famously says in The Art of War, “All warfare is based on deception.” What then is the best way to fight back? Also deception.

Deceptive information planted to suggest you’ve lost your assets already can turn off attackers. Information misleading them as to your identity, your location, your activities. Misdirection is the ultimate form of security. Paint yourself as a non-target, or mislead attackers into believing that targets exist where they don’t in fact exist, and you’re safer than a man with ranks of armed bodyguards and alarm systems.

Yet my suggestion from a few minutes ago still stands. Technological innovation that makes crypto unseizable by ransom and wrench may not be feasible, but if you have ideas how to make it so, you’re camping on a goldmine. Get involved with your favorite crypto projects and pitch your ideas, or launch a project of your own. If you need introductions or suggested projects, get in touch and I’ll consider which projects best suit your idea.

Next week, I’m excited to have Manuel Martin of Orvium on. Manuel worked at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider for many years. Now he’s teaming up with other experts to fix the problems with the business of publishing scientific and medical studies, a business plagued by an antiquated, opaque peer review process that can hide bias and conflicts of interest — and even create and reinforce false knowledge.

Learn how we can address these problems for a future of more reliable scientific and medical knowledge, next week, on Bitgenstein’s Table.

Originally published at media.icoalert.com.

Kidnapped for Bitcoin (Bitgenstein’s Table) was originally published in ICO Alert Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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What is qiibee?
At qiibee, our mission is to establish a loyalty ecosystem for hundreds of brands that service thousands of customers. Through qiibee’s plug and play protocol, brands can easily connect to our ecosystem, launch their own loyalty token, remove outstanding point liabilities, reduce their costs and security risks, and profit from higher customer engagement and lifetime value. And, apart from providing a robust blockchain-agnostic protocol, qiibee streamlines the integration experience for brands by offering a software development kit, which has a direct impact on brands’ time and resources. Brands therefore do not face a cost intensive integration and maintain full control.
In this sense, consolidating the loyalty market means creating a loyalty ecosystem that is based on the same foundation and enabling different loyalty program owners to either move their existing loyalty programs from off- to on-chain or create their own loyalty tokens and reward their loyal customers.
Customers, on the other hand, earn real-valued loyalty tokens which can be exchanged for other loyalty tokens, crypto or even FIAT.
Thereby we not only make the loyalty landscape more efficient and user-friendly for both brands and customers, but also bring blockchain and crypto to everyone.
 — Gabriele Giancola, Sales & Partnerships
ICO Alert Quick Facts
  1. Protocol that allows brands to issue trustless, secure and provable loyalty tokens backed by the QBX token across different blockchains.
  2. 1 ETH = 10,000 QBX token (5% bonus in first week)
  3. 664,000,000 total available / 1,380,392,157 total supply
  4. Raised $6.75 million of current $11.25 million hard cap
  5. 38,500 people are pre-registered to contribute during ICO
Q&A With qiibeeHow does the qiibee token function within the platform and why is it needed?

qiibee: qiibee’s token economics are designed so that brands can easily issue their own tokens with the LoyaltyToken Protocol. To do so, they first need to specify their own loyalty tokens suited to their needs. After defining these parameters, the brands can then go to the public market, buy the respective amount of QBX needed, freeze these QBX in the smart contract and create their own branded loyalty tokens. The brand receives the own branded loyalty tokens on corporate wallet, meanwhile all loyalty tokens remain backed by QBX in the smart contract. Now the brand is ready to start their loyalty program on the blockchain as desired.

Customers can now get loyalty tokens via different ways in different loyalty programs, hold on to them, redeem, send to friends or even exchange into other cryptos or FIAT.

And, by structuring the use cases and lifecycle of QBX as described above, the demand from agencies & loyalty system providers reselling the QBX to their brand portfolio, brands & merchants buying QBX to create their own loyalty token and customers to use loyalty tokens is directly translated into demand for QBX on public exchanges.

What are the current issues facing the loyalty rewards market, and why is blockchain the ideal answer to solve these issues?

qiibee: According to Reuters & Affinity Capital Exchange (2017), an estimated $500 billion USD in points are left unredeemed by members. This figure clearly shows that brands have to make their programs more effective to really drive customer behavior. While loyalty programs have become fairly common, at the same time, customers increasingly expect more personalized and shared interactions across brands’ loyalty programs, which makes it essential for brands to rethink their loyalty strategies.

Loyalty is a tricky game for brands:

  • High outstanding liabilities
  • High customer acquisition costs
  • Low engagement and redemption
  • Low inter-operability of programs

Loyal customers have a hard time today as well:

  • No real value of collected points
  • Lock-in and low usability of points
  • Fragmentation of loyalty market
  • Exploitation of personal data

qiibee is therefore based on the blockchain for numerous reasons:

  • It gives tokens real value; customers earn their tokens from the brands. After that, how they want to use those tokens is completely in their hands. They can exchange, trade, invest or cash out — they have total control over their tokens.
  • It connects the loyalty market; this creates interoperability between various brands and programs, making their rewards programs even more rewarding.
  • Later: It allows P2P exchange; customers can trade tokens without relying on the middleman.
  • 100% certainty that the quantity and type of loyalty tokens earned cannot be deleted or manipulated.
  • A traditional database belongs to someone. With a blockchain database, the foundation is independent — thus, it doesn’t belong to anyone, so competing brands don’t experience competing interests.
  • Interoperability from different databases.
Establishing partnerships with brands who will implement the qiibee rewards system would seem to be a vital objective. What is your current strategy to acquire these partnerships and can you name some brands you have now, or plan to secure in the near future?

qiibee: To spur the adoption, qiibee is currently working with five marketing agencies, which make the loyalty programs part of their own portfolio, provides them with their marketing expertise and offer them to their existing brand clients. This approach has three main advantages: it allows for strong partnerships with interests that are aligned between the parties involved, fast scaling of sales pipeline via multiplicators and improving of the product offering based on bundled sales feedback from agencies.

qiibee already signed contracts with three big brands and already have eight additional confirmed token launches:

  • Lattesso, second largest cold coffee producer in Switzerland with 2,800 point of sales
  • Sausalito, biggest cocktail producer in Germany with five million customers
  • Foodchain, Y Combinator backed start-up, with 900 locations in 73 countries
How will you deal with both retailers and consumers who do not want to hold digital tokens for any period of time due to high volatility?

qiibee: Most brands, in fact, do not want to have any volatility risk in their balance sheet. Therefore, we created different mechanisms which satisfy the specific needs of each brand. Brands can, for example, choose to issue their loyalty tokens just-in-time so that they never actually hold loyalty or qiibee tokens by themselves.

For customers, on the other hand is the volatility one of the main attractions of a blockchain-based loyalty program. Even if the initial reward is just marginal, it can increase in value and potentially give the customers a reward, which is worth their loyalty. In the case that the customer does not want that volatility, he can still just cash out his loyalty tokens and reward himself with small amounts of FIAT money.

The Qiibee app is currently live on both iOS and Android. What has been the reaction from both the retail and consumer community? What does your current user base look like now, and in the near future?

qiibee: We are getting awesome feedback from retail and community about our qiibee Wallet. People love the idea to actually have all their loyalty awards as an overview in one app, as well as being able to exchange these awards for each other. Based on the first campaign we did with Lattesso, we saw more then 10,000 Wallets being opened in around 1.5 months. If we keep adding more companies and growing at this pace, we will reach one million wallets in the next 12 months.

You’re a global company, are there any specific regions you are targeting first or that you have seen have the most growth over the past year?

qiibee: As described above, qiibee is working with five major marketing agencies which include qiibee in their portfolio and push loyalty on the blockchain across their brand clients. Four of these five marketing agencies are located in the DACH region, which is consequently also the market we target first. Through our Asia roadshow and the contacts knitted, we already established partnerships there and have a contract with a marketing agency based in Indonesia. The next step is to focus on the expansion to Asia and following the the global market.

What does the roadmap look like for 2018–19?Tell us a little more about your team and why you feel they have the experience and skills needed to reach the goals you have mentioned above.

qiibee: The qiibee team currently consists of 19 full time employees working in product and tech (7), business development (7) and marketing (5). 70% of the team has been part of the foundation of a company before joining qiibee, including a loyalty company which has been built, developed and sold. Six developers with combined 41+ years of experience in tech provide sound blockchain experience (10+ years). The team is geographically diversified and offers insight from former working experience of the likes of BCG, CERN, FinLeap, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Amazon, Bloomberg and many more.

As a non-qiibee question, we like to ask for unique predictions for the ICO and cryptocurrency space in the future. Where do you see both in the next 3–5 years

qiibee: As we have seen in the last 12 months, a lot of maturity came into the space. Going from the Wild West to more traditional approaches. We believe the next few years will be the same for both areas, ICOs and cryptocurrency. On the one side, you will see more professionalism going into ICOs, treating them more like an IPO, from a projects and an investors side. On the other side you will see more stability in the price development of major currencies and maybe a completely new Top 10 list.

ICO Information

The ICO is currently live and will run for four weeks until October 24, 2018. The softcap of $3,000,000 has been surpassed, with an $11,250,000 hardcap currently in place.

1 ETH = 10,000 QBX token (5% bonus in first week)

“We’ve reached $6.75 million USD worth of QBX from the total hardcap of $11.25 million USD. Even more exciting, over 37,500 people have already registered for our Crowd Sale.”

The total maximum contribution amount is set at $11,250,000 with individual minimum ($200) and maximum ($10,000) contributions amounts set.

Multiple cryptocurrencies are accepted during sale including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Token Lockup Period

From qiibee Blog Post:

“In addition, most QBX will not be circulating right at the beginning but locked up for a different time period and released monthly until the lock up period is over. This is to protect the contributors and enable a sustainable growth and expansion for qiibee.

While Crowd Sale participants do not face a lockup period, 70% of all Pre-Sale QBX will be locked for six months reducing the circulating supply at the beginning by 436,800,000 QBX. The same lock up period is also applied to the QBX allocated for advisor to ensure long term thinking and aligned visions. Last but not least, all team and ecosystem tokens will be locked for 36 months reducing the circulating supply by more than 600,000,000 QBX.”

Restrictions/KYC/AML
  • Current restricted countries include the United States and China
  • All KYC & AML data will be checked externally by Intrum Justitia. This is a trusted third party authority which is compliant with FINMA. All data will be deleted.
Token Allocation / Budget AllocationRoadmapSocial Media

View the Qiibee website here.

View the only comprehensive list of active and upcoming Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) here.

References

qiibee (QBX) ICO Alert Report was originally published in ICO Alert Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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September 26 2018

Ryan Dennis, Head of Content at ICO Alert, joins us on this week’s Roundtable to talk all things happening in the crypto and blockchain space.

We covered the following topics on this week’s episode:

- Q gives away his most prized CryptoKitty — Ryan tell us about Waltonchain and their social media blunders — We cover the Ripple PUMP, and speculate on which coin might come next — Evan’s looking for his long lost Doge Coin — Stop bag shaming people

- Why Bitcoin hasn’t reached its full potential to the world

Watch on YouTube:

Topics: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Podcast, Cryptokitties, Roundtable, Podcasting, XRP, TRONDOGE

Originally published at media.icoalert.com.

Roundtable Podcast #17: CryptoKitty Giveaway, XRP, DOGE, and more! was originally published in ICO Alert Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Christian Kameir, the Managing Partner at Sustany Capital and member of the Forbes Finance Council, joins the ICO Alert Podcast to offer sweeping commentary on the cryptocurrency space, including the need for good tools in the space, including custody, and why every company should be investigating blockchain (though perhaps not launching a token).

Kameir brought about unique insights on how the Internet didn’t become the decentralized structure it was meant to be and the new nature of money. We found that the terminology we use (including whether “asset class” is really a correct classification for cryptocurrencies), has a lot to do with where our industry will be headed.

Stimulating questions also include whether Bitcoin is a commodity and if it will become a currency, the future of fundraising and ICOs, and much, much more.

Find out about Sustany Capital at https://sustany.co

Check out the comprehensive list of ICOs at https://icoalert.com

Follow interesting ICO tweets & data at https://twitter.com/icoalert

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

The ICO Alert Podcast showcases exclusive, in-depth interviews with founders of past, present, and future Initial Coin Offerings. The podcast is hosted by Mike Finch, Co-Founder of ICO Alert. If you’d like, you can request a guest to appear on a future episode by emailing podcast@icoalert.com.

Sustany Capital Interview with Christian Kameir was originally published in ICO Alert Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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On this episode of the ICO Alert Podcast, I talk with Thomas Schouten, Head of Marketing at Lisk. We talk about Lisk’s use of sidechains, their competition and where Lisk is headed in 2018 and 2019.

I have a lot of respect for the Lisk team and have had the pleasure of meeting many of the team members. They’re the “OGs” in the industry as I see it and tend to do everything correctly.

Enjoy!

-Mike Finch, Co-founder and COO, ICO Alert

Topics: Marketing, Podcast, Podcasting, Lisk, Sidechain

Originally published at media.icoalert.com.

ICO Alert Podcast #55: Thomas Schouten, Marketing Lead at Lisk was originally published in ICO Alert Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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What is Block66?
“Block66 is building a new blockchain-enabled marketplace for mortgages. Institutional and private lenders can use the service to offer loans to a wide range of borrowers, introduced by Block66 broker partners. Through the practical use of smart contracts, loans can be taken from origination to facilitation, quickly and efficiently.”— CEO Joe Markham
ICO Alert Quick Facts
  • Mortgage lending platform that leverages blockchain tech to increase transparency and streamline the deployment of capital.
  • $0.07 = 1 B66 token (30% bonus)
  • Presale currently live; Main ICO to run in Q4 of 2018 with exact dates TBA
  • 135,000,000 total available / 300,000,000 total supply
  • Partnered with Civic to enhance efficiency, privacy, and security
Q&A with Block66’s Team

ICO Alert: Can you please describe how you plan to tokenize mortgage contracts?

Block66: It’s quite simple really. Block66 will tokenize mortgages with an API-synced smart contract for each home loan. Due to the fact that each mortgage is unique, having this type of dynamic real time information is vital.

ICO Alert: What intricacies are involved?

Block66: Really, the borrowing terms are unique for each lender. These unique lender terms have to fit within the context of regulation and will be built into a smart contract for that mortgage. This sounds simple, but this includes details around borrower credit score, regulation, loan-to-value and an array of other factors.

ICO Alert: What happens in the case of a borrower’s default?

Block66: As with mortgages today, this will be an issue between the lender and the borrower. One of the advantages of Block66 is that we will be using APIs from a variety of sources to give lenders as much upfront information as possible so they can avoid these situations.

ICO Alert: Can you please describe Block66’s relationship with BrickBlock?

Block66: We work closely with BrickBlock’s developers to build the Block66 MVP and protocol. This team is highly skilled and have 3+ years experience in blockchain real estate.

ICO Alert: What is the proof-of-loan token and how is it utilized in the Block66 ecosystem?
Block66: A proof-of-loan token is a piece of a mortgage that can be sold to investors from lenders. These tokens will be launched on our roadmap after the MVP has been finalized and mortgages are created.

ICO Alert: Can you please describe how the B66 and BNET tokens work within the platform?

Block66: B66 is the oil well. BNET is the oil (fuel). The BNET fuel is sold for access and the proceeds go to the B66 token holders who have activated their tokens with our special fountain smart contract.

ICO Alert: Since the price of the BNET token will be set by Block66, can you give investor’s some insight into how that decision will be made?

Block66: The BNET token price will be set such that their collective value to complete a mortgage will be competitive in the market. For example, if $1,000 is the competitive rate for the mortgage, Block66 will set BNET equal to $1.00 and a lender would need to buy 1,000 BNET to set up the mortgage. Ultimately, the price won’t matter because the mortgage fee will be the total value transferred in BNET. To avoid any doubt, in this example, there could be 1 BNET token worth $1,000 or 1,000 BNET tokens worth $1.00, ultimately totaling $1,000, which would be passed along to B66 holders.

ICO Alert: Is there collateral being secured on the blockchain for these loans?

Block66: Collateral will be appraised by our underwriters and logged on the blockchain.

ICO Alert: How do the repayments of capital function in terms of converting from fiat/ETH? Will centralized exchanges be used?

Block66: We will not be dealing with the repayments of mortgages, merely setting them up.

Pre-ICO Information

The Pre-ICO will run for two weeks until September 20, 2018. B66 tokens will be generated using the ERC20 protocol in an Ethereum smart contract. The total maximum contribution amount is set at $12,285,000 with individual maximum contribution amounts to be announced.

$0.10 = 1 B66 token

  • The total B66 supply is 300,000,000; this will make the B66 marketcap in the event of a sell-out, $30,000,000
  • 50% of the total B66 supply will be made available for Pre-ICO and ICO
  • Pre-ICO will come with a 30% bonus
  • After the ICO, Block66 will retain 40% of the total Block66 token supply. While producing and selling BNET is the primary revenue generating mechanism for Block66. All B66 token holders can submit their B66 holdings to the Block66 platform, to produce and sell BNET to the network participants thereby giving holders the ability to draw a share of fees from the network.
Softcap: $2,800,000Hardcap: $12,285,000

Current accepted cryptocurrencies for B66 include Ethereum.

The Block66 Token (B66) is used to produce the Block66 Network Tokens (BNET). As with B66 held by Block66, holders who activate their B66 will begin generating BNET which can be sold to other platform participants. Platform users require BNET to pay platform fees, hence the active market for these tokens. The price of BNET will be set by Block66.

B66 is an ERC20 token, so it’s important that contributors use ERC20 compatible wallets to send funds to the ICO smart contract, and to receive the B66 tokens.

Restrictions/KYC/AML

Based in the U.S.? Available soon through sign up: https://block66.typeform.com/to/wS8oGi

  • All ICO participants will be required to undergo an identification verification process, in line with globally accepted standards of AML/KYC regulation.
  • A government photo ID or driver’s license will be required as part of the registration process.
  • The TGE KYC/AML verification will be undertaken by Onfido. The Onfido service makes identity verification as easy as taking a photo of an identity document and a selfie.

Token Allocation / Budget Allocation

40% — Reserve
34.4% — Main Sale
16.6% — Presale
9% — Advisers & Bug Bounty 40% — Engineering
30% — Business Development
15% — Operations
15% — Marketing

Roadmap

FAQ

When is the B66 token sale?
The Block66 whitelist is now open with the presale starting soon. Stay tuned for updates.

When should I register?
As soon as possible and as soon as registration opens. Better to be safe in case you have any KYC/AML issues that need ironing out. Keep checking back to see when registration starts online.

What is the presale discount?
The presale discount is 33%.

Which cryptocurrencies are supported?
You can buy B66 tokens with Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). You will be asked to provide a contribution address so we know who has transferred funds and also an address where you wish to receive your B66. When we receive payment from you we will swiftly follow up by transferring you your B66 tokens to the address provided.

Social Media

View the Block66 website here.

View the only comprehensive list of active and upcoming Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) here.

References

Block66: Mortgages on the Blockchain | ICO Alert Report was originally published in ICO Alert Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Ryan Dennis: Welcome back to the ICO Alert podcast, I’m here, joined by the one and only Adam Curry of Dench music. We’re so excited to actually get another project,
We’ve seen a few different music-oriented projects, but I think you’re not going to see many that have this level of partnerships and influencers who are kind of crowding around and trying to find out, “what’s going on with Dench? This was brought to our attention, we were really excited as a team to get Adam on the phone, and I just would love to welcome Adam to the ICO Alert podcast.

Adam Curry, Dench Music: Hey Ryan, alright, yea good, good, how are you today?

Ryan: I’m feeling great, it’s probably The best day of my life. I get to talk about blockchain, I…

Adam: So every day, we get up and every able to a blockchain, it’s a good day.

Ryan: Absolutely. I mean, what’s a better feeling than just chasing a new passion and being ahead of the curve, why not?

Adam: Well, and that’s exactly why we started Dench music, was we saw the music. And when I say We, older friends of mine and we’re all in our early 50s, where we’ve been around for a while, in the entertainment and music business and everything was changing very rapidly and really started with the unbundling of the album. Thanks to Steve Jobs and iTunes. And then, of course, streaming became the way to distribute and make money with music. But it’s…but it’s not necessarily beneficial to everybody.
We’ve heard a lot of gripes about the amount of money for stream, but it’s also I think, how money is made in the music business is poorly understood in general, certainly by the public but we see things changing, we see how Blockchain is eventually going to be a distribution method, not just for music, but also for payment. And we wanted to be the company, the music production and publishing company that was ready for any change.

Ryan: The readiness is so applicable to block thing because we’re all playing this patient game, we’re waiting for other industries and Blockchain to kind of gain some more enterprise readiness, as you put it to be ready to attack these industries. So here on the podcast, we love to chat with new projects, to find out how ready they are and to kind of investigate what they’re working on, but when we’re talking to you, we kind of have already seen you guys have already negotiated some partnerships. So, let’s just get going. I, first of all, I want a little background I guess you have a really interesting background yourself. Adam, I’m sure a lot of people are interested in… so your story with the music industry, but I love to hear from your perspective how the music industry kind of readied you… and I prepared for you to serendipitously find yourself in blockchain, if you don’t mind.

Yeah, we have to go back a little bit then. For my personal history I… I was on air, and VJ on MTV in the ’80s in very early 90s, but it was in 1987 that I discovered the internet and it was really quite by mistake. I mean, I had a Mac Plus and a big hunk and twenty megabyte external SCSI Drive. Do you remember those days? And my bad modem, and the internet, I heard about it, and I heard about this internet thing and it was very hard to get on, but once you were there, all the cool kids were there and you had to get a dial-up account and a slip account or PP start-up or there was no World-Wide Web and this was all just text-based stuff, but who was on the Internet was kids at universities who had access to mainframe terminals. And I really went very quickly from there throughout my TV career when I eventually launched MTV dot-com with their full knowledge and compliance initially, and I saw how this was going to be an excellent distribution for media of being a long-time broadcaster, and I was the co-founder of podcasting and so that was one of the things that I was very frustrated about. How do we broadcast on the internet and how do we make it work for everybody?
And so, having seen this integration of media and technology continuously, and then of course when we had a Napster,

I was like… All right, now everything is completely different. I’ve had several companies, one fact, which I took public in ’96 that dealt specifically with internet distribution in an advertising — monetizing the network to a degree. And it was very frustrating I could not convince two groups that their world was about to be rocked. And the first one was newspapers. In fact, I went to Mercury in California, I went to many big publishers in Chicago and said, “Hey you’re about your lunch is about to get eaten because the classifieds which is your bread and butter are going to move away. Look at this thing called Craigslist..ah! We don’t care.

In the same music business to look at what’s happening at the time. The music business would really run by five lawyers. It’s five guys who are doing everything, it’s all kind of shake handshake deal over here, we’ll do this back there. Very, very non-transparent. So I’ve seen that how technology can rip entire industries apart and I don’t think we’re done with either one of those, not with the news or newspaper business, or how news is disseminated, and made profitable or at least doable.

And the same goes for music. And when you see it’s really… it’s more about ownership of something of the past. We don’t necessarily want to own our car, we don’t wanna own our home, we wanna use Airbnb we want to use Uber and Lyft, and it’s about access. We don’t necessarily have to own the music, we want the access to the music and once you make it easy, then it turns out that people will actually start to consume the media, that way.

So, we’re seeing these companies like in music and other blockchain initiatives that are coming up, they have yet to prove that their system is right, but we wanna be ready.

Having the technological understanding of how to translate that to media and to seamlessly integrate into whatever comes across our path that we’re lean and mean, and that’s exactly why we’re in business doing this.

Ryan: So, the music industry was run by five lawyers and now you’ve got a blocking industry, which is pretty much run by five block chains. You know, or people are trying to decide..

Adam: I’m a Bitcoin maximalist so I have all kinds of views on that.

Ryan: I love that. If you’re a bitcoin maximalist, this, is the podcast for you, and that will be the clip. But for sure, I mean, I love… he described how ownership is being something of the past, right? And access, we don’t want to own things and maybe we’ve done ownership wrong ever since colonial times, that Native Americans are like, you guys want to own our land. How does that even work?

Yeah, and thusly,, also value itself kind of need to be redefined to… but how I value being allocated in different places. And what are these things that we’ve thought to be hard and true being really being redefined what does that mean for us and how we play a role? And I think that when you say… Yeah, I want to own the music, I wanna own my album. You don’t really own it, you just get the ability to listen to it and so people are like… Well, I just want to listen to it. So, and you really went back into your history of with podcasting as well.

Just a quick question on, I gotta ask the pod Father, will podcasts be available in the blockchain world, in a different place? How do you see podcasting kind of evolving on the blockchain as well?

Adam: That’s a good question, what I’m seeing with crypto currencies is a way to define and value what I call value networks. So an example of a value network very basic in my case is the no agenda podcast, which I’ve been doing now for ten years in my partner, John C Dvorak and… and we use the internet, but the value that is created within our ecosystem of what we don’t call them listeners, we call them producers, because they literally are producing stories clips artwork background information, knowledge, and money.

We don’t take advertising, so some people, they just give us money, as their input to the Value Network. Now what they get out of it, should be similar, to… I went to the movies this weekend with the day had some popcorn sat in the dark room with people for an hour and a half spent 45–50 bucks. It was worth it. That’s good value. So, all we ever said was, we’ve just brought you three hours of entertainment and news. What is it worth to you to… one is worth five bucks, to another is worth nothing and to another, a thousand. And so, you get out when you put into it, for some creating an album. artwork, just being recognized is the value. So the logical next step is to say, how do we define this network is a value network, which runs on top of the internet infrastructure, which is just a network. And that’s where your crypto comes into play when you have a community of music lovers, and they want to be involved in all things in order to have some way to exchange
a crypto-currency, perfect for that, not only because it is easy to use, as a transaction, mechanism, but it is also easy to track and you can see exactly what the value of that network is at any point in time.

So that’s where I think the future is going, and I like all the different crypto. Not for the same reasons. I like Bitcoin because Bitcoin which has been mis-evangelized in my opinion, as the new paypal, it’s not, it’s a reserve currency, and all the cryptos tie into it. And of course, he theory and which our MIC token, will be placed in this world, as well. But again, it’s related to Bitcoin so you could almost see this tree structure forming,

And I think we’ll see take-overs of entire tokens by one token may take another one over just to merge the two networks. You have to change the thinking from Wall Street financials into what represents this network of people.

Ryan: Wow, so the network effects are really… that’s the phase two, that we’re heading into, and understanding how these networks work, together. When you’re talking about the community of music lovers who wanna be involved in all things super true. I mean, where is it more true that people are fanatics than the music industry, they are were they would auction for $40,000 for Michael Jackson’s hat from a tour in the ads, right?

So when you think about the experiential value of these musical artists or these labels or any of the concerts, Dench Music wants to play the role in that, right? You have this kind of gap that you wanna bridge from fandom to experiential value. How will people be able to experience or be able to get different value for these experiences on the block term with Dench music?

Adam: Well, let’s start by first recognizing that the music business itself from a technical perspective has changed enormously where back in the day, my MTV days you had you walked into a studio and it was 48 track s huge 24-track machines, what we call take monkeys running around engineers a musician streaming in one by one when convenient, for them playing a baseline put in, a little track down and all of that has been completely supplanted by and digital technology. So when you listen to hit music today and I’ll just take Beyonce,, there’s really two sides to every… well, the three but the different sides to a record, you have the, the composition which is the music you have the lyrics and then you have the production then production can or cannot have a piece of the back end that depends on the deal you set up.

But really 50–50 between the music and the lyrics, so we see lyrics often done by an artist such as a Beyonce, who will also sing on a track but the music may be done by what we call a DJ. These days is very different from the DJs from my days and they’ll create the beats and yeah, they might have some live musicians, but it’s much easier to roam around with your laptop and just studios by itself these days or basically a USB interface, and kick-ass speakers in a great environment. So the creation of music has become so much more accessible to just hundreds of thousands of people. Dance music, is located in the Netherlands, the Netherlands is important because all of the top DJs in the world right now

if you look at Tiesto, if you look at Armin Van Buren, and venue, and if you look at the 15 different top DJs, Martin Garrix, these guys all come from the Netherlands and there’s just a culture of creating beats. It’s very integrated with influences from all over with now, Western Europe and Moroccan, Turkish. There’s all kinds of interesting groups and beats and these kids are collaborating it cause all kinds of cultural and perhaps even racial boundaries if you want to look at it through that lens.

So participating in that can be as simple as, “Hey I have a cowbell that I want, add to this track. And now you can do it.
We have, there’s all kinds of vernacular like you talk about stems which is really a music format. But these days I was like, “Oh I’ll give you a STEM. It’s got the horn section on it, to have some drums, and may be a guide track, and then that can be integrated into someone else’s Digital Audio Work Station. They can create something completely different.

You release a track today, it’s not one track. We’re gonna release Chris Brown, the title track a special…we already have five remixes, and it’s all by different DJs who in turn will make money properly for a change on their actual creative input and not just on some… just some streaming revenue.

I don’t wanna under-play it, because it’s still very significant.

And one of our board members is a covers who was the CEO of the music video site online and he understands how the flows work and the money is definitely big, but when you get a piece of the actual back end because you are recognized as a producer and you’re given that which Dench music does to its artists, that’s a big difference, and that’s really our model, our model is we wanna take at least half of the equation. So usually DJ who produces beats with himself his friends, his group, whatever it is, we want to develop them, help them hone their craft, we can even provide management services, but we will match them with the Superstar. So we have a number of Dutch DJs who’ve done music now in our first release, after the summer will be Chris Brown, and so he did the, the lyrics and the melody and everything else comes from Dench music. This is a perfect, a perfect way to participate.

That’s from a musician standpoint. But then we have the marketing aspect which has also become incredibly cost-efficient music video is the main thing you need to have, and be anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000. and that investment depends on how much are you going to invest into this particular artist? So, for Chris Brown, we envision a higher budget than normal would be close to the four or five hundred thousand, but you can… have people participate in that.

And every participation on the internet has always sucked. Every voting thing, every contest it all sucks because there’s no transparent way of seeing what happens once you click enter on the website. That’s what a distributed ledger can do, that’s what blockchain can do for us.

Ryan: There’s no way that I’m gonna enter a sweepstakes and believe that I’m gonna win. Or that whoever won legitimately one and somebody who gets that opportunity, to go and meet, I don’t know, Justin Bieber behind the scenes. deserved it more than I did, so I was first to…

Adam: I mean, I’ve worked at radio stations, “Hey everybody it’s z100 and yeah!!!” It could have been caller three hundred. Yeah, there’s no transparency, no accountability. Now by the same token Ryan,
We’ve set our ICO very differently from most ICOS as we’re offering a completely legal structure for people to invest in the company through a silent partnership. I think this is what’s really unique about the Dench ICO.

Ryan: I do wanna talk about that a little bit, but before that when you’re talking about the actual DJs creating music and being a part of that process, I think a lot of people who have understood the real evolution of music coming out from the production standpoint, those who are making music out of their garage, or their bedroom, it’s much different than it was ten years ago. You can actually put a song on the internet and put it on one of the streaming services easily, but there’s also the problem of music when you’re putting those contracts together or you own a part of that music. You broke down. So what’s the answer?

Adam: You are understanding the sample problem

Ryan: Right, exactly.

Adam: So for instance, an example we have some guys in the net and Jackpackers and they’re in production with us and so they have

little bits of sound like: *sound*

So, they created this little opening and then there’s an answer to that music. So those two pieces can be registered with us through a ledger and they take that they’re put into that song in that particular mix. So actually I’m gonna give you a world premier for a second here, if you don’t mind,

This is the new Chris Brown track coming out after the summer,,

[Music Plays]

Adam: So, that’s Dutch guys doing the DJ work, and Chris Brown did that in his studio in Los Angeles. I mean, this to me, is mind-blowing that this is all gonna be done tracked, completely accountable, transparent, to everybody,

Ryan: That’s beautiful, I mean that flute alone is gorgeous. So it’s a dream come true to actually have the credit that you deserve as a producer or a musician linked to a block then that’s crazy, and I appreciate that you guys are even building this and you were kind of getting into how investors can play a role in this blockchain as well, so feel free to share more about that.

Adam: Yeah, so in general, for those of you who may not be as familiar with the ICO process, although you are listening to this podcast, I presume you know something. Regular token sales, than ICOs, do not have the legal option for profit sharing. And what we did with our partners as we looked for a way to have people invest in the company with actual profit sharing, so not just some…Yeah, well, it’ll be okay some day, I… so, no, it’s a silent partnership. It’s a world-wide accepted investment method, which allows private individuals and companies from every country, almost every country in the world to invest in any company in exchange for-profit sharing completely legal. And you have to, of course, fill out a KYC so we understand who you are, but as an investor in the Dench ICO, one Ethereum invested, you get 1200 MIC tokens. So a 00 there would be 120000… coins, ERC compliant, but more important 30 percent of Dench’s profits will be distributed every quarter to investors over a period of six years. Now, your portion of the 30 percent is dependent upon how much you’ve invested obviously, but we take 30 percent of our profit and are giving that to investors quarterly for six years.

I think that is something that is instead of a spray and pray like… Oh, let me jump into this and see what happens and see if I can bop out. Now, you buy in and our white-list starts on the fifteenth, just a plug, you actually will receive money over a six-year period, from the profitable revenues of Dench music. This is something that you can’t get from any music company let a lone an ICO.

Ryan: That’s unheard of you. If you’re not familiar with kind of the music in the splits, how it goes… you sign up with ASCAP or BMI or something, and you just hope and pray those quarterly checks come in, and there’s very little transparency and analytics there.

So to see it all kind of fleshed out there would be remarkable. And it’s something that’s unique with your ICO because you’re talking about actual profit sharing. Can you explain why you chose to not do a regular token sale and how profit caring and ICOs can actually be legal. Because I’m sure some people are like… How can you legally do this in a country like the US?

Adam: Well, the silent partnership is a legal entity worldwide in the US as well. Now, you do have to submit your Kc so we have to know you are a camping anonymous investment, if you want to purchase mic tokens later after the ICO for abuse on a retail platform for all the things that you and I discussed earlier, in this podcast, that of course, is going to be available, but the actual investment upfront…So we’re old school guys and we come from the music business, we’ve seen so many people screwed including people invested in Music companies, so we want to be very sure that we had a completely… which is what, ledger does. Blockchain does it. We’ve a complete transparent way of seeing exactly what’s going on with everybody’s investment not just yours, but everyone else is and how all the… everything is flowing.

It’s not that uncommon for silent partnerships, so I don’t think anyone has done it in an ICO and maybe they haven’t had the organization or the business case to warrant such a close relationship with people who hold their tokens and are thus investors in their organization.

We feel we have the back office… we have, and if you look at the white paper, I think we have quite a number of people on our advisory board who are not just people pulled off of some website, but they’re actually…actual experts in the field and we want to really build a business pretty much right out front in public and we have no problem. We’ve run public companies, so we understand what this is like. This is just a new version. Just like the music business is changing. So, is investing. We do not see a logical business case for any one to invest in something that’s just an ICO. Give us your money. Here’s the white paper, it’s gonna be great.

No. We want you to know who we are and…and when you invest in us, through the ICO you’ll learn who we are, you’ll speak with us, and if someone wants to come and look, they can… this is a real organization, and it’s not just Chris Brown, that we have… we have at least 15 records were going to release in 2019. So, this is an ongoing and quickly growing concern. Quite honestly, needs cash. We need an infusion to start making the marketing part is the most expensive. We need to start making great videos and get our music out there. And the first one will be right after the summer.

Ryan: It’s hard to find projects that will honestly tell you how they’re working, how they’re looking to make money, even that they need money to actually move to the next phase. A lot of them just show that we’ve already got this and that, it’s a lot of lies and… and there are vague reasons why they need the money, with the silent partnerships, which I’m gonna be reading about all night to discover more about it because I haven’t seen anything like that before, I…

Adam: I don’t know why this hasn’t been done before. It seemed like such a slam dunk. We did have to search around to find the right structure, but then once we really looked out and said, Yeah, this, this is the way to go, and it’s legal, the US-EU law which is the most important for us. I’m pretty sure almost every country allows this as long as..

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Wise words from Nick Spanos from Zap.org always reminds me why I love our industry.

When I sat down with Nick, I knew I had to cover two things. One, his awesome oracle-based blockchain project which is allowing people to stake and bond their subtokens to another token.

The other topic I had to cover was his great speech at World Blockchain Forum on “fighting the good fight” where he expanded upon our industry’s social responsibility with sharp dexterity and a call to action for us all:

“Hopefully we use the blockchain for good. If we don’t embrace the blockchain and use it for liberty,, others are going to use it for imprisonment and enslavement so we have to bust our ass, be very vocal, and bring in as many people as possible so they understand this is here for us to declare our monetary independence.” — Nick Spanos, Zap.org

His other project, www.OracleMarketCap.com is allowing the Oracle market, as well as decentralized data, to trigger financial events on the blockchain so that real-world ideas turn into impact.

Check out more of our conversation on our YouTube page below:

Declaring our independence via the blockchain, with Nick Spanos was originally published in ICO Alert Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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ClinTex CTi — ICO Alert ReportWhat is ClinTex CTi?
ClinTex is a solution provider to the pharmaceutical industry providing predictive analytics and machine learning to new medicines development and the clinical trials process, with the ultimate mission of driving down the cost of bringing new medicine to market for the end consumer.
CTi — Clinical Trials Intelligence, is a new decentralized software solution that ClinTex will launch next year. CTi will lower the cost of new medicines and speed up their delivery to market for the people that need them by making the clinical trials process faster, more efficient and more cost effective for companies that engage in the R&D when a new medicine is being trialled for the market.
Neill Barron, Director of Clinical Data Analytics
ICO Alert Quick Facts
  1. Clinical trial management with intelligent blockchain systems
  2. $0.10 = 1 CLX token
  3. Pre-ICO and ICO will take place in Q4 2018, with the exact dates TBA
  4. 183,270,833 total available / 366,541,667 total supply
  5. Partnered with Intellimed, health-tech company focusing on streamlining UK National Health Service (NHS) processes, reducing costs and improving patient care
Q&A with ClinTex’s TeamNeill Barron, Director of Clinical Data Analytics & Brendan O’ Mainnin, Director of Operations

ICO Alert: How does the CLX token function within the platform and why is it needed? What are the major dApps that users should look forward too?

ClinTex: The CLX token will primarily be used for access to the CTi platform in a stake-per-licence model — the user will send their CLX to the CTi integrated wallet and their CLX tokens will then remain staked on the platform the duration of the licence (12 months).
This is an integral part of creating an ecosystem for CTi — through the use of CLX it is envisioned CTi will form its own micro-economy, which will allow ClinTex to keep the cost of using the platform down.
Through the staking-per-licence model combined with ClinTex’s marketing efforts as the 7 Core dApps are rolled out, the aforementioned reducing supply is expected to drive value in the CLX token, which will allow the ClinTex stakeholders to be rewarded that way when their tokens are released to them through the build and development phases of the project.
As ClinTex’s ultimate mission is to drive down the cost of medicine, we believe that the use by CTi of its own native token to repay the stakeholders and keep costs of R&D down for medicine development is a distinct advantage over a traditional model, where the stakeholders’ costs would be added to the R&D and ultimately drive up price for the end consumer of the medicine.

ICO Alert: ICO Alert: What are some of the major problems in clinical trial management software right now and how is ClinTex planning to solve them?

ClinTex: The sources of clinical data to support clinical trials are numerous and exist in silos across a pharmaceutical organization. Furthermore, as clinical data gets updated, existing data gets overwritten. These two features limit existing software to focusing on specific types of clinical data (a unidimensional approach) and to only work off of the latest copy of data, overlooking the history and evolution of that data. Therefore, unlike CTi, current systems are limited in their ability to unify data sources for a complete end to end picture of clinical trial performance, and, without a complete and immutable history of clinical data, cannot perform predictive analytics and machine learning.

ICO Alert: What is your strategy for growing adoption in the medical trials field? What are some of your major partners in the industry?

ClinTex: The CTi platform will be initially deployed in academic clinical trials in a research collaboration with our strategic partner, Intellimed. These initial deployments will establish the CTi concept in live clinical trial settings and help to further refine the predictive algorithms using new sources of data. After these clinical trial deployments, use in larger scale Phase III clinical trials will be achieved through a free-trial offering, funded using reserved tokens, for 2–3 large pharma organizations.The value delivered in these deployments will be used to solidify the CTi concept, and benefits realized will be a natural driver for future deployments. We see our main customer base as being large pharmaceutical companies running large clinical trials on new medicine e.g. GlaxoSmithkline, Pfizer, Novartis. We are confident that the powerful product offering and favorable licensing propositions offered by ClinTex will drive rapid and widespread uptake of the CTi platform in the industry.

ICO Alert: Machine learning and data networks are growing at a fast pace in the medical field. How does ClinTex ensure that network data is accurate? What kind of auditing oversights are being implemented?

ClinTex: All the data that CTi uses will be hashed and stored on CTi’s private consortium blockchain. This will ensure the clinical data and metrics remain immutable, creating a verifiable history. When data is used in analytics off-chain, the hash is consistently verified with the data on-chain, to ensure CTi is working with accurate clinical data records and metrics at all times.

ICO Alert: Privacy and security is a high priority when it comes to medical records. What kind of security measures are you taking to ensure that private information won’t be exposed?

ClinTex: The focus of the CTi platform is on the generation of powerful performance metrics and analytics from all available clinical data sources. In terms of patient data protection, all data stored and derived on the CTi platform will not contain any patient identifier information, and be fully compliant with all clinical trial and data protection regulation. Furthermore, pharmaceutical companies collaborating on the CTi platform will only be able to share high level metrics data on their clinical trial performance, rather than detailed clinical data, thus protecting commercial sensitivities.

ICO Alert: Pharmaceutical and clinical trial regulations are quite extensive. How does ClinTex plan to be regulated and stay compliant in this field?

ClinTex: Prior to deployment in any clinical trial setting, the ClinTex CTi platform will be developed to ensure FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliance. The elements of this compliance include audit trails and electronic signatures and will be maintained via internal and external audits, system validations and maintenance of documentation for the platform.

ICO Alert: What kind of experience does your core team have that will help ClinTex achieve its goals?

ClinTex: The ClinTex team combines top talent and leading thinkers from the pharmaceutical and clinical trial industry, with extensive experience from software, blockchain and data analytics expertise.
Our pharmaceutical and clinical expertise will ensure that we develop a platform that is focussed on the exact needs of clinical trial sponsors. The seniority of our expertise in this area also provides ClinTex with valuable links to the industry for initial and free trial deployments.
We believe that this extensive clinical experience, combined with expertise in software development, blockchain technology and business development is the perfect recipe for success.

ICO Alert: What is ClinTex’s primary geographic target? What are your plans for expanding to other regions?

ClinTex: Once we reach CTi’s mainnet launch, ClinTex will focus on on-boarding big pharma organizations primarily targeting UK clinical trial sponsors conducting local and global trials. The UK regulatory environment is an established and credible background in which to initially establish and refine the CTi proposition, after which CTi application will meet the requirements of global regulators to help achieve our vision that the platform will become an essential part of every clinical trial in the world.

ICO Alert: As a non-ClinTex question, we like to ask for unique predictions for the ICO and cryptocurrency space in the future. Where do you see both in the next 3–5 years?

ClinTex: While we are seeing the inevitable cull in the ICO space the moment, separating the good projects from the not-so-good after the ICO-mania of the past, we believe this is a good thing and highly necessary for the health of the space long term. I believe the regulations that are coming in in many jurisdictions will help too (ClinTex CTi’s ICO will be run in Malta, being fully compliant with the Virtual Financial Assets Act, 2018) and next year the ICO space will be totally transformed from what we saw in 2017, with good, honest and reliable projects working with regulators to ensure a safe and secure environment for both ICO projects and participants.
This should be reflective of cryptocurrency in general — the groundbreaking technology has not changed, nor have the fundamentals, and once we are over the initial shockwave, a regulated environment should nurture an extremely healthy investment market once again.
ICO Information

The ICO will run for four weeks towards the end of Q3 2018. CLX tokens will be generated using the ERC20 protocol in an Ethereum smart contract. The total maximum contribution amount is set at $19,000,000 with individual maximum contribution amounts to be announced.

$0.10 = 1 CLX token

  • The total CLX supply is 366,541,667; this will make the CLX marketcap in the event of a sell-out, $36,600,000
  • 50% of the total CLX supply will be made available for Pre-ICO and ICO; a further 10% of the total CLX supply will be made available to strategic partners in the private pre-sale (invite only)
  • Pre-ICO will come with a 20% bonus, and a two-month vest
  • CLX tokens that are distributed to Partners and Management Team will all have a six to twelve-month vest enforced by smart contract (reviewable on the ClinTex Github)
Softcap: $4,000,000Hardcap: $17,000,000

Current accepted cryptocurrencies for ClinTex include Ethereum, Bitcoin and Binance Coin. Fiat currency will also be accepted — EUR, GBP, USD, CHF, RMB & KRW, payable by Visa or Mastercard.

ClinTex is an ERC20 token, so it’s important that contributors use ERC20 compatible wallets to send funds to the ICO smart contract, and to receive the CLX tokens.

Contributors will have their tokens distributed 72 hours after the end of ICO. Visit the ClinTex website for more information and the contribution address.

Restrictions/KYC/AML

U.S. citizens are prohibited from participating in this ICO.

  • All ICO participants will be required to undergo a whitelist identification verification process, in line with globally accepted standards of AML/KYC regulation
  • Government photo ID and documents verifying residential address, such as a utility bill, will be required as part of the registration process
  • The CTi TGE KYC/AML verification will be undertaken by Sum & Substance. Sum & Substance are a pioneer in the Trusted Digital Identity space that specialize in identity proofing, risk-based authentication, regulatory identification, and the detection and prevention of the use of stolen identities, ensuring a robust and comprehensive risk and compliance solution.
AllocationUse of ICO ProceedsRoadmapVisit www.clintex.io for full team detailsSocial Media

View the ClinTex website here.

View the only comprehensive list of active and upcoming Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) here.

References
  1. ClinTex Website, ClinTex (2018)
    https://www.clintex.io/
  2. ClinTex Whitepaper, ClinTex (2018)
    https://www.clintex.io/Clintex_CTi_Whitepaper.pdf

ClinTex CTi — ICO Alert Report was originally published in ICO Alert Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Ethereum dominated the crypto market in 2017 as the smart contract platform of choice for ICOs and blockchain projects. In 2017, over 95% of projects decided to run their token sale and/or build their decentralized application using Ethereum’s ERC20 standard (or some form of it).

While Ethereum clearly has first mover advantage, it seems to be slowly losing support over time from dApp developers in favor of newer, faster, more feature rich smart contract platforms. Its flaws are becoming more clear as the crypto market matures; with scalability being a hot topic in 2018. A significant amount of commercial grade decentralized applications require a higher throughput, or the capacity to process more transactions per second (TPS). While an Ethereum smart contract is a decent tool for raising funds via an ICO, it is less than satisfactory when it comes to running and deploying apps. In a nutshell, Ethereum is slow and requires expensive gas fees paid by the end user, making the smart contract platform landscape ripe for disruption.

This graphic shows how Ethereum is losing market share to its competitors over time in 2018:

Interestingly enough, it does not seem that another smart contract is directly cannibalizing Ethereum or “winning” the race to have the most adoption and/or development activity. Instead, other smart contract platforms are designing their features to cater to specific use cases, while Ethereum markets itself as “featureless.” Therefore, for the time being, the smart contract platform ecosystem appears to not be a winner take all market. Ethereum is still the clear market leader, and there are a great deal of resources and documentation available for developers to get started programming in Solidity, which gives Ethereum its edge over competition.

Out of 3,928 ICOs launched in the last 18 months, 91% of them have used Ethereum to run their token sale. Furthermore, 3.1% of ICO projects have opted to build their own blockchain.

Data from icoalert.com

Behind Ethereum, the platform with the second most ICOs is the Waves platform. Waves finds its niche by being quick, low cost and easy to use; an ICO can be run on its platform without the need for technical know-how. Furthermore, Waves helps address the liquidity problem with its built-in decentralized exchange.

Stellar has the third most ICO traction and caters to financial applications by allowing cheap and fast value transfer. Not far behind in fourth and fifth place are NEO and EOS. NEO has gained popularity in Asia due to its scalability and support for many programming languages. EOS, which launched its main-net in June, boasts new features such as readable account names, hacked account recovery, and more. EOS has fewer nodes in its system which makes it arguably less decentralized than Ethereum, but much more scalable. EOS is also the largest ICO in history, raising over $4 billion in its year-long token sale.

EOS, NEO, Waves, and Stellar all have the ability to scale to hundreds (if not thousands) of transactions per second, compared to Ethereum’s approximate 10 tx/s currently. However, what Ethereum lacks in scalability it makes up for in decentralization(and security). Similar to Bitcoin, anyone can become an Ethereum miner, and every node is required to process every transaction.

In conclusion, Ethereum now has some very real competition with the introduction of new consensus mechanisms and governance models. This does not mean Ethereum is destined to fail, however, it must adapt in order to survive in this dynamic market. Ethereum is currently evolving to include emerging concepts to solve the scaling dilemma such as plasma, sharding, and the Casper protocol. Will Ethereum be able to implement these improvements in time? Or is the Ethereum killer out there lurking? Only time will tell.

An interesting note — all of this software is open source; each project can easily copy features (such as readable account names) from others. However, consensus models and governance structures are fundamental changes in the protocol, and are NOT easily copied without starting from scratch.

For a more in depth analysis on competing smart contract platforms, check out my colleague Peter Keay’s articles here.

Originally published at media.icoalert.com.

ICO Insights Ep. 1: Smart Contact Platforms & Ethereum’s Dominance was originally published in ICO Alert Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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