the greatest levels of hype and anticipation have often been reserved for initial coin offerings (ICOs), the crowdsourced fundraising sales used to launch new tokens, coins and services. ICOs have come to be seen as a significant risk for the everyday investor. They are both highly speculative—since few ICOs actually go on to see the tokens they launch meet with real success—and many ICOs themselves are actually fraudulent. Nonetheless, investors continue to watch the ICO space closely for the next big opportunity. Perhaps they would do well to look for those ICOs that come closest in design to the most successful ICOs. Below, we’ll explore some of the biggest ICO events in history.
NEO is a Chinese open-source blockchain project that has gone by several different names in its short history. One of the most common is not an official name, however, but rather a nickname: “China’s Ethereum.” NEO gained this distinction by utilizing smart contract applications, decentralized commerce and more. The company had a massive ICO thanks in no small part to support from the Chinese government, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and other major companies. From an initial token price of just over 3 cents to an all-time high price of roughly $180, NEO investors who timed their investments right stood to make an incredible amount of money.
Ethereum remains the second-largest digital currency by market cap today. While bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, ethereum is both a digital currency and the foundation for decentralized applications that make use of smart contracts. Ether tokens sold for $0.31 each, and the token now sits around $700, providing a return on investment of more than 200,000% for those lucky investors who bought in during the ICO.
The third-most successful ICO on our list is for a cryptocurrency that has not made nearly as big of a name for itself as NEO or ethereum. Spectrecoin launched in November 2016 as a “privacy-focused cryptocurrency.” One of the features of the coin is that it can be sent and received around the world with complete anonymity. Spectrecoin pushes the boundaries of what governments around the world are willing to tolerate from digital currencies, but it has not yet broken through to the mainstream. Nonetheless, an investment of $0.001 per token back in late 2016 during the ICO would be worth close to $0.60 today, marking a significant gain.
Stratis is another cryptocurrency that has not yet made it big into the world of leading digital currencies. The company, based in the U.K., prides itself on having a platform that is compatible with various programming languages, allowing businesses the ability to create and design custom applications easily. Microsoft was a prominent supporter of the Stratis ICO, and that led to major success. The project raised nearly 1,000 BTC over a period of five weeks, and individuals paid just $0.01 per token, paying off with a ROI of more than 50,000%.
Ark is designed to be as efficient as possible. The digital currency platform allows for quick integration of other cryptocurrencies into its own blockchain. With a global focus and a commitment to decentralization, Ark seems to have been destined for success. The initial token price was $0.04 during the ICO. At its highest levels, one Ark token climbed to nearly $11, marking a return on investment of more than 35,000%.
In 2013, a developer known by the handle "BCNext" launched NXT. This was one of the earliest ICOs, and it was also one of the very most successful. NXT was designed as a blockchain platform catering to the financial services sector. With tokens selling for just $0.0000168, the NXT development team managed to earn about $16,800 worth of bitcoin at the time of the ICO. This money was focused toward developing the currency associated with the platform. At its peak, NXT tokens reached as high as $2.15 each, giving investors an astonishing 1,477,000% return on investment.
One notable aspect of many of the above ICOs is that the tokens themselves are not particularly well known today. ARK is currently the 64th-most-popular digital currency, while NXT is currently the 90th according to total market cap, for instance. Because the cryptocurrency boom has been largely unpredictable, with prices rising and falling dramatically and at the slightest provocation, it can be incredibly difficult to time the sale of such tokens. Perhaps even more tricky for the budding digital currency investor, though, is identifying which potential new ICOs on the horizon could yield results with the same degree of success as the projects above. For more insight, be sure to consider all of the pros and cons of any ICO before investing, and look to our guide for advice on how to select your next cryptocurrency investment.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns cryptocurrency.
Nathan Reiff is a writer and musician based in the New York City area. He holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Michigan. Nathan has previously worked for Orion Consultants and Partners in Performance and has written for Internet Brands on subjects ranging from money matters to personal and home development. His interests include technology, travel, and food.
Free Crypto Airdrops Are a Real Thing… Here’s Some Happening Now (March, 2018)
A company giving out free samples to entice new customers
is nothing new. But giving out free currency, or shares of their company? That sounds a bit suspicious… Turns out, in the Cyrpto world, it’s nothing new. From Dogecoin to Bitcoin, many developers relied on on free “faucets” to entice their first users (the original BTC faucet gave away 5 BTC just for filling out a captcha…)
More recently, companies have begun “airdropping” as a means of promoting their business and encouraging trading of their coin. This just means they’ll send free coins to a wallet address you provide, typically in exchange for a small favor on your end, like retweeting a post. I’ve rounded up 5 of the most promising airdrops for January and February; each offering between $1-10 USD just for clicking some buttons. Before we hop in, however, here’s what you’ll need to claim your tokens:
To avoid giving out too much private information, I recommend setting up special accounts for airdropping. Each company has different requirements, but here’s what you’ll need to get all 5 offers:
Ethereum Wallet Address: To deposit your tokens. Create one instantly at MyEtherWallet.
Twitter Account: Consider setting one up specially for this purpose
Telegram Account: Telegram is a mobile chat app many companies use to communicate with users. You’ll need to install the Telegram app on your smartphone.
Phone Number: Set one up free on Google Voice if you want to avoid giving out private information. Only 1 airdrop required a phone number (HedgeConnect), but they didn’t verify it anyway.
Now without further adieu, here’s the current airdrop offers for March, 2018:
Estimated Value: $1–10 Lasts Until: Unspecified, Spring 2018
To get 15 LNO tokens, simply follow the link, follow LINO’s Twitter page and retweet a message. You’ll also be given a referral link you can share to earn 5 additional tokens for every new user.
Estimated Value: $2.50 Lasts Until: Unspecified, Spring 2018
Sphere is aiming to create a decentralized social network. They’re offering 50 SAT tokens free when you sign up. Just follow the link, create an account and confirm your email address. Tokens are currently selling for $0.05 each, making this airdrop worth $2.50 before the official launch.
Estimated Value: $9
Lasts Until: End of March
Shivom is running a very limited airdrop, supposedly valued up to $9 USD, according to Airdrop Alert. Simply follow the link, join the telegram and retweet 2 messages from Shivom. The tokens are due to distribute in June after the ICO sale.
House Panda (HPT)
Estimated Value: $1–5 Lasts Until: Extended to May 2018
To sign up for this airdrop, you’ll need to be on your mobile phone. Follow the link to join their telegram channel (download the telegram app if you don’t have it already) and type “/claim” into the message window. You’ll get an immediate response that includes a link to redeem your token, and a referral link you can use to earn extra. To redeem your tokens you’ll actually be given a 12-digit code. Because HPT has not actually launched yet, you’ll this code to claim your tokens in February, after their initial coin offering. Write it down or copy/paste to save it in a safe place!
Estimated Value: $3–150 (no joke) Lasts Until: Indefinitely
Okay, so this isn’t exactly cryptocurrencies, but the stock-trading app RobinHood is giving away 1 free stock when you sign up for their platform. You don’t need to deposit any money, or even provide a credit card/bank account number. Simply create an account, and claim your free stock. Most free stocks are worth around $5, but Robinhood is transparent that 1 in 100 will receive an Apple, Facebook or Microsoft stock, which are valued around $100–160 USD. Cryptocurrencies are also coming to the platform soon, and may be a part of this promotion in the future.
Unlike the other airdrops, Robinhood will require your full information, including home address and Social Security Number. Don’t be alarmed; they are a completely legitimate brokerage company simply complying with federal regulations. Robinhood will track your investments and send a 1099 at the end of the year (similar to Vanguard, Fidelity, or any traditional investment platform). But personally, I’m looking forward to using a trading platform that will make tax time simple, compared to the clusterf**k that crypto-taxes are turning out to be.
Some of these airdrop promotions provide me with extra tokens/stocks for referring other participants. I do not work for or represent any of these companies; referral fees are simply a way to earn a small income from my writing and help support my blog. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back for next month’s airdrops!
Business writer by day; coin trader by night. This blog is for my semi-professional thoughts & insights on cryptocurrency investing in 2018.
Binance CEO Calls ICOs Necessary And ‘100 Times Easier Than Traditional Venture Capital’
Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of digital currency trading platform Binance,
said in a blog post May 7 that initial coin offerings (ICO) perform far better than venture capital funds (VCs), even with a high risk of failure. In a blog post titled “ICOsâ—âNot Just ‘Good-to-Have,’ But Necessary,” Zhao expressed his support for ICOs claiming they are
“100 times easier” for raising money than traditional VCs:
“Through my own experience, and watching hundreds of other projects at a close distance, I would say raising money through ICOs is about 100 times easier than through traditional VCs, if not more. With the ease of raising money increased, logic says there may be 100 times more startups, well-funded startups, where ICOs are allowed.”
Zhao said that while some VC investors are real experts in their field, the great majority of “professional VCs” have “no clue” about the projects or fields they invest in. According to Zhao there is a notable absence of startup experience and insufficient understanding of projects’ technologies. Zhao admitted that the ICO market is in its early days and therefore is encountering problems, including scams and failures. He still believes that “compared to ‘traditional VC invested projects,’ a larger ratio of ICO projects will succeed.”
“Most ICOs are new startup projects, and have a high rate of failure, just like in traditional startups. This is nothing new. Most ICO investors already know this. ICO investors are early adopters (and learners).”
Zhao concluded by mentioning that many VC groups are now investing in ICOs. He said that VC groups “have their nose on the money”, adding that they are more “nimble” than other large organizations which are responsible for public wealth; “the faster movers will reap exponential benefits.” Cointelegraph previously reported that American venture capital firm Sequoia sued Changpeng Zhao for allegedly breaching an exclusivity agreement during negotiations of an investment deal. The deal was for an $80 mln, 11 percent stake in Binance which broke down last year.
Article Produced By Ana Alexandre
Total change in her career took Anastasia into the world of analytics and business information as a researcher and translator in 2010. Some time later she got into FinTech, a dynamically developing segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology. Ana joined Cointelegraph in September 2017.
If you’ve ever opened your crypto wallet and found tokens
that you didn’t knowingly purchase or accept, you’ve probably been the recipient of an airdropâ—âan event where free tokens or crypto assets are distributed to a group of prospective users. Why would the leaders of a project choose to distribute tokens for free? The thinking is generally that it is a tool for seeding network adoptionâ—âby giving people tokens for your protocol, it’s more likely that they will both learn about your protocol and participate in the network. Another reason is to achieve greater initial decentralization of token holders by making sure they don’t just start in the hands of the project team and folks who participated in a token sale.
While airdrops may seem on the surface to be a simple marketing tactic to bost awareness of a new cryptocurrency, they’re actually a complex tool with the potential to fuel more than just brand recognition. Looking ahead, we’ll likely see airdrops go through multiple evolutions as users play around with different elements and uses for them. There is a vast design space around airdrops, hard forks, and other methods of token distribution, which have only just begun to be explored.
To try to get our heads around this topic, in December, IDEO CoLab and CoinList hosted 12 practitioners in the crypto asset fieldâ—âincluding founders, engineers, designers, and investorsâ—âto discuss airdrops. What follows is a synthesis of some of the themes and design provocations surfaced in the discussion.
1. Airdrops as a way to bootstrap new networks and communities
Airdrops can enable easier and faster bootstrapping of new protocols and communities. Airdrops to large communities of existing token holders (e.g., ETH) can provide wide distribution and a new model for marketing to and acquiring users. Airdrops may also help narrow the gap between the distribution and usage of tokens, as compared to a token sale.
How do you airdrop “fairly” and equitably, especially when it is easy to game if you know how the distribution will be done in advance?
How do you know who to airdrop to, and how much to airdrop to them?
How do you airdrop to future users of the platform, not just investors or speculators?
2. Potential to sidestep regulation
There is an assumption that giving away tokens BEFORE a market price has been established for them may enable a project to avoid many regulatory requirements of token sales. It is unclear whether this is actually the case, given precedents set by the SEC related to stock “giveaways” (see 1999 Wilmer Hale analysis), yet it is a frequently cited reason for pursuing airdrops as a distribution mechanism. [Update: some teams like Harbor and TokenSoft are rolling out products that explicitly take the stance that some or all airdrops will not be exempt from regulatory requirements.]
How should issuers legally and financially account for airdrops? As a marketing expense? As a donation? Something else?
How might regulatory agencies (e.g., SEC, OFAC) view and respond to airdrops, especially as they increase in frequency.
3. Airdrops as a marketing interface and onboarding experience
For many airdrop recipients, receiving tokens may be their first exposure to that project. Currently, airdrops are done without any direct way for users to learn more about the project other than searching Google or Etherscan for the token’s name. This is a poor onboarding experience and one which has much room for improvement in terms of design.
How do you communicate with the recipients of airdrops? Could airdrop transactions include an onboarding message and link to learn more in the Input Data field?
How should an airdrop’s onboarding experience be designed to reduce friction and optimize adoption and usage?
How might airdrops reimagine marketing and advertising?
4. Improve effectiveness of airdrops via better targeting
Airdrops to date have targeted all holders of an existing cryptocurrency (either BTC or ETH), but it may be more effective to target a subset of addresses based on their possession or use of other tokens. For example, when launching a token for machine learning experts, it might be more effective to target NMR holders, or more specifically those who have actively staked tokens in a Numerai competition. While the ethics are murky, targeting addresses that frequently interact with various gambling platforms may be a good way to seed adoption for a project like FunFair.
How do you ascertain the ‘identities’ or ‘profiles’ of address holders to make better decisions on which users to airdrop tokens to?
What analyses can be performed to make better inferences for the purposes of targeting?
5. Incentives post-airdrop to use utility (or attach airdrop to usage)
Instead of giving out tokens and hoping recipients will engage, there could also be an incentive to use the tokens to earn the allocation (and/or a larger one). There was a lot of interest in this idea, which essentially amounts to an initial airdrop targeting a broad population with small amounts of a token, followed by a targeted airdrop with more tokens to those who actively engage with the platform after the initial airdrop. One framing of this is to think of the initial tokens as coupons, which could be “redeemed” for more value after a desired action is taken.
How do you create airdrops incentives and/or contingencies based on user actions?
What is the range of post-airdrop incentive models that will exist?
6. Unintended consequences (e.g., tax liability) of airdrops
Airdropping tokens may create unwanted tax and legal liabilities for recipients (and issuers). There may be more unintended consequences, as airdrops are delivered to large exchanges, custodians, and margin traders. Modeling for how different actors in the network will respond as airdrops become more prevalent will be important to an airdrop’s design and its ability to deliver on its intent.
What is the cost basis and tax liability of an airdrop to its recipient? What if that recipient is an exchange, custodian, or margin trader?
Will people value or feel differently about tokens that they get for free?
7. New airdrop models
As airdropping becomes more common, new models will emerge for different strategies. For example, Stellar has done multiple airdrops to bitcoin holders which required proactive proof of ownership, while OmiseGo did a passive airdrop to Ethereum addresses over a minimum threshold.
Experimental models surfaced:
Hard spoons: Copying the balance/UTXO set from an existing blockchain network and using it as the basis for token distribution for a new protocol. Basically, you’re copying the economic distribution of tokens on one network and using that as the starting point for a completely separate protocol that is quite distinct from a technical standpoint.
Continuous distribution models with “central bank” and monetary policy: Models where tokens are not entirely sold/allocated up front, but rather made available over time through an issuance scheme that is laid out in advance but not necessarily governed through a process like proof of work or proof of stake.
Contingent airdrops: In which receiving tokens is dependent upon the user taking a desired action. See #5 above.
8. Airdrops for inter-protocol governance
Airdrops could be an effective tool for dealing with governance decisions that affect holders of multiple tokens. The simplest version is doing a protocol merger/acquisition, whereby holders of tokens for one protocol are granted tokens on another protocol as a way of combining the communities. This can be done via agreement of project leads and respective stakeholders of each project, but could also be done in a fashion akin to a hostile takeover, where incentives are given by one project for the holders of another project’s tokens to burn their tokens or sabotage the target protocol.
See Andy Bromberg’s “What The First Token Hostile Takeover Could Look Like” for more details. Also discussed was the possibility of building “poison pill” terms into smart contracts to proactively counter such attacks.
How might airdrops lead to greater collaboration? Competition?
For what other corporate strategy and/or finance actions could airdrops be used?
While the initial conversation took place under Chatham House Rule, the following people consented to being recognized in this piece for their participation in the conversation: Andy Bromberg, Arianna Simpson, Dan Elitzer, Gavin McDermott, Ian Lee, Jay Freeman, Joe Gerber, Joey Krug, Joseph Poon, Richard Craib, and Tara Tan. No assumption should be made about any individual’s agreement or disagreement with any of the observations above.
Finally, given the pace at which everything in this industry moves, obviously there have been further developments since the initial conversation in December. One is airdrops targeting folks who may not already be crypto users, such as the experiments Numerai is doing to target data scientists on Kaggle and university students; Earn.com rolled out a product allowing airdrops to be offered to over 100,000 users; and Merkle airdrops are an interesting proposal to enable a simple claim process while reducing blockchain bloat.
While it’s clear that airdrops are a powerful tool for network adoption and governance, we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface with how they can be most effectively deployed. Let’s keep experimenting!
ICO market research report for Q1 2018 reveals some interesting statistics.
Market research on the initial coin offering
market in the first quarter of 2018 reveals that institutional investors are playing an increasing large part in funding blockchain projects despite many of them having no development before they are launched.The research was conducted by ICO Rating, an agency which (you guessed it) rates ICOs. According to its official website, its analysis team of more than 50 experts “specialize[s] narrowly in evaluating companies in the fields of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and ICOs/ITOs.” It has offices, in Amsterdam, New York, Singapore and St. Petersburg.
The report says that $3.3 billion dollars has been raised so far this year over 412 projects. This figure only counts money raised from completed ICOs (as opposed to pre-sales and unsuccessful/ongoing projects) and excludes the now-discontinued ICO of Telegram which was worth $1.7 billion alone. If these are counted the figure stands at over $6.3 billion.
The vast majority of ICO money in 2017 was the result of only a handful of projects; according to this research this trend continues this year, although to a lesser extent. It says that only half of completed projects in 2018 raised more than $100,000, while over $1 billion was raised by only 20 projects.
According to the report, only 9 percent of ICOs came from pre-existing businesses, while 46.6 percent of these fundraising projects amazingly “had no development before their ICO campaign[s]” – meaning that they raised their money on the strength of an idea only. ICO Rating CEO Sasha Kamshilov said: “Having a traditional business does not always rule out their use of blockchain with their products, however this can sometimes create some discord amongst the perceptions of entrepreneurs.”
One sign that the industry could be maturing is that the average time taken to raise the required funds has doubled – now it is two months. There were however projects which raised all of their money in one day; in the past some have been completed in minutes. 65 percent of tokens sold were for their respective company’s product/service (utility or hybrid tokens); only 3.8 percent were for cryptocurrencies. Perhaps this is for the best; according to Investing.com, there are currently 1,685 cryptocurrencies available for purchase in the market. Of fiat currencies there are 180.
The report notes that “funding during public rounds has started to noticeably lag behind the infusion of institutional capital.” It adds: “Funds are ready to invest in ICOs but they are often deterred by teams’ negligence regarding organization of KYC and AML. These procedures need to be in place, and organized to a high standard, to reduce legal risks.” 25 percent of 2018’s ICOs were not legally registered, which sounds bad until you compare the equivalent figure for the previous year – 76 percent.
The report notes the increasing importance of cryptocurrency investment funds, which now hold $27.8 billion between 119 entities. However, a full 40 percent of these have not published the identity of their CEOs and 9 have already been closed down. The most popular industry by far for ICO projects is, perhaps unsurprisingly, financial services. ICOs related to this sector raised the most money too. The post-ICO value of tokens is fairly dire – median return on investment is 49.32 percent, a significant drop from the previous quarter. Of tokens traded on an exchange, only 17 percent traded above price at sale.
The country with the most registered ICOs was the US with 59, followed by Singapore with 34 and then the UK with 26. This does not strictly correlate with the amounts raised; the US ($583.9 million) and Singapore ($468.1 million) remain in the top two but the UK ($99.7 million) slides right down behind Switzerland (14 projects, $268.2 million), China (9 projects, $202.1 million), and Estonia (16 prjects, $122.6).
Interestingly two British territories raised more money than their motherland: the British Virgin Islands (5 projects, $158.5 million) and Gibraltar (6 projects, $133.7 million). Another notable point is that while Russia was home to only 13 projects, Russian nationals headed 45 of them – making Russians the busiest nationality ICO-wise, only they don’t do it at home. Overall, by far the most money was raised in Europe (46.6 percent).
What’s a Cryptocurrency Airdrop?
A Beginner’s Guide
What’s an Airdrop?
Have you ever noticed an unexpected increase in your cryptocurrency wallet and didn’t know where the free coins came from? That, my friend, is most likely the result of an airdrop. Hoorah for free money! Airdrops can be delivered in a variety of ways, including forks (e.g. Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Diamond), ICO purchases (e.g.Raiden Network), and freebies (e.g. Binance gifting customers with 500 free TRX). Sometimes an airdrop will occur if a team behind the blockchain project decides to give away “free” tokens to the cryptocurrency community.
One of the most well-known examples of an airdrop is when a hard fork of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, gave current Bitcoin holders an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Cash. At the time of the airdrop, if you were holding 0.4 Bitcoin, you were one of the many lucky receivers of 0.4 Bitcoin Cash. With Bitcoin Cash currently valued at $2,469.36 USD, that sounds like a pretty sweet deal!
Why do Airdrops Occur?
However, a big question still remains. Why does this happen, and why would a team decide to give away valuable tokens? Think about it this way. When you’re walking down the aisle of your favorite grocery store and employees are offering you samples of food to try, you may take a quick peek to analyze what the food is to decide if you want to try it. You take a bite, and it sure is delicious. The employee offering you the free sample then says “if you like it, you can find it in aisle 5 on the left-hand side”. From that single nibble, you may just go and buy the product.
In marketing, awareness is often one of the initial steps in a buyer’s journey. As with the grocery store example, psychology plays a crucial role in the aspects of an airdrop, as a buyer is much more likely to purchase a product they are familiar with than a product they know nothing about. Therefore, those in charge of distributing the tokens see an airdrop as a key opportunity to give you a taste of their tokens. Compared to alternate forms of costly advertising (such as Facebook Ads), airdrops are often a more effective approach to showcasing coins.
How Can I Inform Myself About an Upcoming Airdrop?
Many sites and online groups are dedicated to informing users of upcoming, past, and active airdrops. Icodrops and Airdropalert, for example, show a list of upcoming airdrops. They also advise you on how many days are left before they take place and what currency you need to hold at the time of each one to receive the coins. Another way to inform yourself of an airdrop is to simply keep up to date with the various social media accounts of each project.
That being said, often times, airdrops are surprises (unless you work with the project’s team). In other circumstances, an airdrop will be announced ahead of time and will have a different set of rules for receiving the tokens. The rules designated to an airdrop are decided on by the project’s team. This explains the differences in airdrop strategies. As of now, there are no standard implementation rules on how airdrops need to be designed. We may see official regulation on how they can occur if the government steps in.
A token airdrop currently underway is one from the ShipChain project. Their strategy is a bit more complicated than just holding a certain currency in your wallet and receiving free tokens. According to their website, “eligible” airdrop receivers will get the tokens in their respective wallets around March, as long as they follow these guidelines:
Be an “active member of our Telegram group. An ‘active member’ means anyone that is a member of our Telegram community before the airdrop signup process is complete, which is two weeks from the Jan 15th start date.”
“Pass KYC/AML (Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering). This is a simple form we will have you fill out, it will be emailed to you within 1-3 weeks of completing this registration.”
“Have a valid ERC20 non-exchange wallet.”
What Wallets Do I Need?
Usually, airdrops occur on the Ethereum or Bitcoin blockchain and all you need is an account on an exchange. However, those in charge of the airdrop will sometimes state a specific wallet that’s needed such as an “ERC20 non-exchange wallet”. If you’re new to cryptocurrency, you may not know what this exactly means and that’s ok, we’re here to help.
What ShipChain means by a non-exchange wallet is simply a wallet that isn’t located on exchange sites such Binance or Coinbase. Reputable non-exchange wallets include Exodus and Jaxx. For a detailed list of wallets, feel free to visit our Bitcoin Wallet guide. The article also includes ways to safely store your tokens and the advantages/disadvantages of using different types of wallets.
An ERC-20 wallet simply means any wallet that supports the Ethereum blockchain system. Some tokens follow Bitcoin protocol, some follow Ethereum, etc. Therefore, it’s important to have a wallet that allows you to store ERC-20 tokens if that’s what the airdrop guidelines call for. MyEtherWallet (MEW) is a popular ERC-20 wallet.
Most importantly, make sure you are visiting the official site of the project when researching airdrops. A good way to filter out scam sites is to visit the official social media pages and find a post which links you back to their website. As stated before, the cryptocurrency market is currently unregulated and the potential for fraud and coin theft is high. Reputable blockchain projects will not ask you for private wallet information beyond your wallet’s public address. Never give out your private keys to ICOs who claim to “need it” for your airdrop to be delivered. Identity theft and hacking attempts are prevalent in the cryptocurrency community, and you do not want to be a victim when proper measures can be taken.
Presented By Erin Gorsline
Erin is a Brooklyn based cryptocurrency enthusiast & freelance writer. Nomad at heart, you can often find her at the airport heading to her next adventure.
Colorado Cracks Down On Two Companies For Illegal ICO Promotion
The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA)
announced its investigation of two companies for promoting unlawful Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to Colorado residents, the Denver Post reported May 3. The Colorado Securities Commissioner said that California-based Linda Healthcare Corp. and Washington-based Broad Investments LLC could potentially be violating Colorado securities law by promoting ICOs.
DORA discovered that Linda Healthcare is promoting a “LindaHealthCoin” token on its website, which ostensibly can be used to purchase Linda Healthcare’s insurance. According to the website, the token can buy telemedical coverage “through an artificial intelligence chat service that creates medical solutions through use of blockchain technology.”
According to DORA, Linda Healthcare offers no warnings that ICOs constitute a security in the state of Colorado. “The Linda Health Insurance network is, to date, not in operation,” officials reported. A March 19 tweet from the firm directs potential customers to consult its white paper.
As Denver Post reports, Broad Investments firm is allegedly promoting cryptocurrency using a token that is described on its website as “an equity coin that represents shares of the company, like company stocks.” The token would ostensibly give holders a right to a share in returns from Broad Investments’ strategy, which builds stock portfolios with an algorithm. Officials say that the “math-oriented value system” on the website was not operational.
DORA representatives reported that both companies did not provide any information on the risks of investing in crypto or ICOs on their websites. Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome commented that investments in ICO tokens should be done carefully: “Investment opportunities being sold through ICOs over the internet need to be approached with the same level of caution as for any highly risky investment venture.”
The firms must now prove why the should not be sanctioned under the Colorado Securities Act, according to which the firms will receive cease and desist orders. Earlier in March, the Massachusetts Securities Division issued consent orders requiring the permanent suspension of five firms’ unregistered ICO sales, citing that the companies were selling unregistered securities.
Article Presented By
Helen is passionate about learning languages, cultures and the Internet. She has years of experience working at international online advertising projects. Growing interested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in late 2017, she joined Cointelegraph as a writer.
South Korean Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Legalize New ICOs
A group of South Korean lawmakers
is working on a bill to legalize the launch of new initial coin offerings (ICOs) and digital currencies, local news outlet The Korea Times reported May 2. Rep. Hong Eui-rak of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea is leading the move along with 10 other legislators to back the bill and have it endorsed this year.
During his speech at a forum devoted to ICOs and blockchain technology at the National Assembly on Wednesday, Hong said that "the bill is aimed at legalizing ICOs under the government's supervision." He also said that the bill was based on collaborative research conducted by his office and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
"The primary goal (of the legislation) is helping remove uncertainties facing blockchain-related businesses."
According to the bill, ICOs initiated by public organizations and research centers will be subject to strict supervision by the Financial Services Commission and the Ministry of Science and ICT.
Chung Sye-kyun, a speaker from the National Assembly, underlined the role of lawmakers to eliminate political uncertainties surrounding digital currencies and
"Blockchain and cryptos can be used in various public sectors for good causes. Given their potential, we need to work to help reduce political uncertainties they face."
The move is the first parliamentary challenge to the government's ban on the opening of new ICOs, which was introduced late last year to fight speculative investments in cryptocurrencies. In March, 2018 rumors surfaced that certain entities within the South Korean government were considering to release the ban on ICOs, so long as new offerings adhered to strict government standards.
Total change in her career took Anastasia into the world of analytics and business information as a researcher and translator in 2010. Some time later she got into FinTech, a dynamically developing segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology. Ana joined Cointelegraph in September 2017.
Bitclub the Amazing Bitcoin mining company that's 100% legit!
It took 4 years for BitClub Network to reach over $100,000,000 per month in sales and 300,000 customers. BITCOIN was at a low of $330 in October 2014 and, in December 2017, reached a peak of $19,500. According to many Wall Street analysts and high-level banking, will soon reach $100,000. How many will you have in the next 3 to 5 years? There are two ways to earn BITCOIN with Bitclub Network:
1) Acquire mining pools with the largest leverage in the sector. Turn $3,500 into $150,000.
2) Build a global marketing team of entrepreneurs with mining equipment and be paid daily in BITCOINS.
More than 300 people are already earning $1 million a year and referring others can earn thousands more in the coming years.
There is the dark side of Bitclub too. Accusations the owners are criminals, Accusations that Bitclub is a Ponzi, so we need to address these claims and issues.
Let’s talk about the criminal accusations. There are three owners of the Bitclub DAO (soon to incorporate as of this writing) I know two of them.
Russ Medlan(I know him, shared a drink or two with him, did some development work for him and his friend Corey Citron and know his temperament, his demeanour and social behaviours from the late 90s in San Diego). He was not a criminal; he was a car salesmen type of MLMer and he partied a lot. His run in with the law occurred when he met a woman at a strip club who worked there as a stripper and started dating her. She claimed and carried a fake ID showing she was 18 years old. He got accused of statutory rape by the mother, and despite he believed she was an adult the fact was she was 17 years old. He got arrested and he plea bargained and avoided the felony charge but was classified as a sexual offender. That is it.
Joe Frank (I have known of Joe for many years) and met him last year in his home in Southern California. I originally flew out there to pitch investing in my company, to discuss the natures of Bitcoin mining and the market of Bitcoin in general. This is when I discovered he was a founder of Bitclub (I had heard of them) and he spent the good part of the day educating me about the company, it’s visions, his part in it, our friend Russ and I came away from that meeting impressed with what they had built in a little less than 4 years at that time. Joe is a philanthropist, visionary and solid person. He is a brilliant business man and you will find nothing but positive reviews of him in his history.
Joby Weeks (I have only heard about Joby never meeting him), surrounded with controversy and at logger heads with Bitcoin Jesus (Roger Ver), nothing new in that regards.
A remarkable man any age, Joby Weeks at 21 speaks with the wisdom of an elder, attains goals with the tenacity of seasoned CEO, and plays life hard and fast like the youth he is.
Joby took one giant step further from the lineage when, just weeks before starting college (with textbooks purchased, a place to live and student loans applied for), Joby's mom gave him a copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad.Young Joby's entrepreneurial spirit ignited and he walked away from the education his family had expected of him.
At 18, when Joby told his grandfather that he was deferring college to try a network marketing business for a year, his grandfather was so upset, they didn't speak for three months.By the time he was 19, he had earned the distinction of being his company's youngest Presidential Director.
At an age when his friends were out partying, Joby stayed focused on achieving his first financial goal of $10,000 per month.Joby's passion for making a difference in people's lives shows up in his business, his philosophy, and his philanthropy."If you're going to live life, why not make a huge impact?You're going to put the time in any way, so why not build an asset?If I worked a job really hard ten, or 15 years, I can't even sell it when I want to quit.Why not build a business that's going to pay me for the rest of my life, and then give my kids the comfort they deserve?"
Huge success and enterprise notwithstanding, Joby still finds ample time to play.An avid snowboarder, he can be found spending as much as 50 days a year with his buddies, riding the Colorado Rockies.Recently he carried a snowboard to the summit of Mt. Elbrus in Chechnya, the tallest mountain in Europe, and cruised all the way down!
Now Joby is teaching people to do exactly what he did in his MLM company, and now, a few years later, he has utilized a system which is allowing people to do what he did in a tenth of the time.
No criminals here.
Is Bitclub a Ponzi?
What makes a Ponzi a Ponzi and what are the indications. Ponzi’s make promises of a set return on a single or series of investments. The average lifespan of an Internet Bitcoin based Ponzi is never beyond a year.
Red Flags (From SEC.GOV)
Guaranteed returns (Bitclub does not publish or offer, set or guarantee returns) Bitclub makes it clear the volatile nature of the industry, the increasing difficulty of mining set against the cloud funding and continued growth of their data centers (mining facilities)
Overly consistent returns (Bitclub returns fluctuates dynamically up and down with the market) Bitclub will suggest assessing historical returns to determine the health and potential of future returns. To understand the cyclical nature of the markets and to compare the business to other mining options before making an educated decision. And to also recognize one person’s results never guarantee another’s results.
Unregistered investments (Bitclub does not register because it is not an investment), it is the purchase of machines (hardware you buy and own) that converts electricity into Bitcoin and distributes the product equally among the mining machine owners.
Secretive and/or complex strategies (Bitclub is 100% transparent) with mining data centers producing their own revenue directly from mining. Small commissions are paid on new mining purchased shares, but as of today Bitclub holds over $1.5 billion in equipment with 8 data centers and the most recent one about to open in Montana. All data centers are open for tours and there are 1000s of videos of people taking those tours.
The Bitclub datacentre pools represent as 1 of the top 10 platforms or pools in the world in Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum and Monero.
Difficulty receiving payments. (Bitclub has been in business for 4+ years) never has there been any reports of not being paid or payments delayed. In fact, Bitclub has extended the mining contracts from 600 days to 1000 days and made mandatory compounding (rebuying of equipment) optional.
Must recruit new distributors to receive payments. (Bitclub’s primary income source is from mining) Yes, Bitclub does pay a small commission on pool shares (mining equipment purchases) but the bulk of revenue comes from mining results.
Bitcoin Ponzi’s have been around for about 4 years. Onecoin (more a pyramid scheme) being the most notorious, not even being a real crypto coin has been running from country to country like a Whac-A-Mole game. Begun in 2016 it has been able to survive from country to country leaving a trail of financial wreckage, government arrests and violations charged against Onecoin and owner Ruja Ignatova. One can easily confirm this being a highly illegal and corrupt operation from the 1000s of negative testimonies and accusations of people who have lost everything, and a list of 100s of countries declaring Onecoin illegal, a criminal operation with many arrests made.
The vast majority of these Bitcoin Investment Scams (also known as Bitcoin Lending Programs) never last beyond a year. Like Gladiacoin, Ecoinplus, Jetcoin (Forbes Article), Laser.Online , Bitconnect (Lasted a whole year) and the granddaddy of Bitcoin fraudster Ponzi USI Tech, which has drawn the attention of all the news reporting blogs.
All of these critical sites make claims from assumed opinions, fake news, false facts and old information. Do your own research with the facts I have presented here.
In my opinion, Bitclub is not a typical MLM and should be considered a crowd-funded mining operation with a solid ROI for just investing in the Mining offer. One does not need to recruit to make a good profit. The “optional” compounding for greater mining shares has the potential of returning a .05 Bitcoin earning per month to 3 times that in 1000 days to .15 Bitcoins per month into perpetuity when one options to continue the compounding.
By 2020 the vast majority of pundits agree that Bitcoin will be trading for more than $150,000 per coin and with a monthly projected return of .15 per month the expected income would be significant.
Bitclub is a legitimate business model and not a typical Hope and Dreams scheme like most MLM offers.
Australia's Securities Watchdog Moves to Halt 'Deceptive' ICOs
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
said Tuesday that it is taking aim at fraud in the initial coin offering (ICO) market. In a statement published May 1, the agency said that it is "issuing inquiries to ICO issuers and their advisers where we identify conduct or statements that may be misleading or deceptive." Additionally, the securities watchdog suggested that it was moving to halt unlicensed activity as well. "As a result of our inquiries, some issuers have halted their ICO or have indicated the ICO structure will be modified," ASIC disclosed, though it didn't say how many token sales have been canceled or changed in light of the agency's actions.
ASIC commissioner John Price explained:
"If you are acting with someone else's money, or selling something to someone, you have obligations. Regardless of the structure of the ICO, there is one law that will always apply: you cannot make misleading or deceptive statements about the product. This is going to be a key focus for us as this sector develops."
As CoinDesk previously reported, the move was perhaps expected. Price spoke about token sales on April 27, declaring the agency's intention to focus on overseas-based ICOs that target would-be Australian investors. "I cannot stress enough that if you are doing business here and selling something to Australians – including issuing securities or tokens to Australian consumers – our laws here can apply," Price said at the time.
In Tuesday's statement, ASIC indicated that it would be scrutinizing a popular aspect of ICO marketing – the white paper – as it looks into whether those behind such sales are in compliance with Australian law. "In one recent example, ASIC took action to protect investors where we identified fundamental concerns with the structure of an ICO, the status of the offeror and the disclosure in its white paper," the agency explained. "In addition to potentially misleading statements in the white paper, the offer was an unregulated managed investment scheme."
A member of CoinDesk's full-time Editorial Staff since 2014, Stan has long been at the forefront of covering emerging developments in blockchain technology. Stan has previously contributed to financial websites, and is an avid reader of poetry. Email: email@example.com. Stan does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.