Exclusive Lunar Insight: ICO Performances Are Mostly Unaffected By Bear Markets

Exclusive Lunar Insight: ICO Performances Are Mostly Unaffected By Bear Markets

Introduction: A Statistical Analysis Of ICO Performances
In Differing Market Conditions

These past several months, an analysis of ICO performances in the midst of varying market volatility was conducted by the data science team at Lunar Digital Assets. Intuition would probably lead a typical retail investor to believe that an ICO will perform better in bull markets as opposed to bear markets (and in stable markets which are void of any particular direction).

A SURVEY OF 288 CRYPTO INVESTORS:

At the inception of the idea for this study, we were curious to see what cryptocurrency traders and ICO investors thought regarding the performances in bull and bear markets. So we asked various networks of traders and investors a fairly simple question. The results were astoundingly favored towards bull markets, as most would expect. However, it should be pretty noteworthy that 29% of those surveyed disagreed with the majority. (29% because the 12% that voted for «Anytime» would be investing in bull markets as well.) In hindsight, we probably should have had «I don't know» added to the list of choices.

SURVEY RESULTS: WHEN'S THE BEST TIME TO BE INVESTING INTO ICOs?

  • Bull Markets: 171 (59%)
  • Neutral Markets: 40 (14%)
  • Bear Markets: 35 (12%)
  • Anytime, doesn't matter: 33 (12%)
  • Never: 9 (3%)

In this analysis, we aim to bring credence to or dispel this commonplace notion using statistical analysis and hypothesis testing. We strongly believe that this study is especially helpful in the relatively young market of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, whereas traditional financial markets have a much longer history and established patterns and trends. We will attempt to answer the question that everyone thinks they know, but doesn't really know: Do ICOs really—statistically—perform better in bull markets?

DATA SCRAPING, CLEANING, & EDA

DATA OVERVIEW AND EXPLORATORY ANALYSIS: FINDING RELIABLE DATA IN THIS FRAGMENTED, YOUNG MARKET CAN BE CHALLENGING.

The data for this study was acquired from Coinist, which provided a sample data size of 457 initial coin offerings. Although we are aware that there were many more ICO's conducted, we believe that 457 is an ample size to draw inferences from. Coinist was also the only data source that readily had ROI information (the figures were also spot checked for accuracy), and went as far back as 2013 up until the data the captured in May 2018 when this study was being conducted.

As basis of analysis, we will be using each coin’s Return on Investment (ROI) since the ICO Ending date as a measure for investment performance. Due to the varied nature of ROI across ICOs, I will be using a common logarithmic function (Base 10) of each coin’s ROI as reasonable means of comparison. This is especially useful as we are concerned about relative performance in different market conditions and not an associated scalar value.

CAPTURED DATA: 

  1. Name of Coin
  2. 1-Hour % Change
  3. 24-Hour % Change
  4. Weekly % Change
  5. ICO Date (last day of token sale)
  6. ICO Price
  7. Current Price
  8. ICO Return on Investment (ROI)

DATA CLEANING

We did not find any major issues with the data other than one mislabeled adte for the coin APX. The ICO date was set to May 21, 1970. While cross referencing with other sources, we had determined and fixed the APX ICO date to May 21, 2017. Outliers: NXT's overall ROI of ~24,000% was an obstacle to proper comparison and analysis. Despite being a significant outlier (the next best performer was Ethereum at ~1,900%), we decided to keep this data and regularize it via a common logarithmic function for analysis.

EXPLORATORY DATA ANALYSIS

The goal of EDA is to visualize the data in different perspectives to glean additional insights for further analysis, anomaly detection, and data consistency. In this section, we will visualize the data from a high level. First, we wish to explore the pace of ICOs and visualize the rise of ICO as a means of capital funding: We see a staggering yet unsurprising increase in ICOs in 2017 followed by a decline in 2018 YTD. However, we would not be surprised to see the annual 2018 value exceed 2017’s ending tally. It should be noted that since the data was taken in May, as predicted, the number of ICOs is steadily rising.

MORE EDA: VISUALIZING WINNERS AND LOSERS

In the full article published on Lunar Digital Assets, you can visually see the ROI of ICO's categorized in different segments:

  • Yearly ROI
    Our dataset captures the following years and the associated numbers of ICOs held in that year. The below violin plot provides a visual summary of statistical descriptors of the ROI performance by ICO Year 
  • Monthly ROI
    On a monthly basis, ICOs that end in April have the best median performance but also likelier to perform the worst of any month other than December. Otherwise, there does not seem to be a significant difference in ICO performance based on Ending Month.
  • ROI by Market Conditions:
    Another important distinction to consider when analyzing ICO ROI was whether or not the ICO occurred in a bear, bull, or purgatory market environment. Date ranges were leveraged from Thomas Lee, Head of Research at Fundstrat Global Advisors. Please also note that any date ranges not included are considered “purgatory runs” or what traders like to call «sideways markets.»
  • ROI per Year by Market Environment:
    When taking out the year dimension of the view, the plot suggests very little difference in median ROI performance.
  • ROI of all ICOs in Bull, Bear, and Purgatory Markets:
    The plot suggests very little difference in median ROI performance, but one very odd statistic was that bull markets see more outliers of negative performance and purgatory markets see more outliers of positive performance (likely due to NXT's ROI as the coin had its massive run-up in a purgatory market in 2013).

    It appears that the market conditions do not have a significant impact on the median returns of ICO's. Now we can move on to see if, on average, ICOs perform better in bull markets than in bear markets.

 

METHODOLOGY AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS 

MEDIANS AND AVERAGES ARE NOT THE SAME!
The primary method of analysis used to assert our assumption is a hypothesis test using a Z-Test. In order to appropriately perform the test, we require that the distribution of the data be unimodal and normally distributed. In our sampling method, the sample size must be larger than 30 and our samples be independent. We find that each market environment contains 173 ICOs during a bull market, 143 during bear markets and 142 in purgatory markets. As a result, our population and ensuing sample sizes will be greater than 30. Moreover, our population samples are assumed to be independent.

To assert our data is unimodal, an Exponential Cumulative Distribution Function was constructed. The theoretical model takes the mean and standard deviation of our ROIs and plots hypothetical data points. We compare this with the actual plot of our ROI data. In the below graph, we find that our real data is closely aligned with the ideal model and thus can be assumed to be unimodal and normally distributed. The goal of our statistical analysis and hypothesis test is to determine whether ICOs, on average, perform better (has a higher average ROI) during a bull market than in a bear market. To accomplish this, we need to construct the confidence intervals and then the hypothesis test parameters.

We begin with establishing a 95% confidence interval to provide insight on the range of differences that we can observe. Taking 100 random samples from the Bull and Bear populations, the difference in the mean is -0.159. At the 95% confidence level, the difference in Logarithmic ROI can range between -0.52 and 0.21. For our hypothesis tests, our statements will be expressed as:

  • H?: μ1 — μ2 = d?
  • Hα  μ1 — μ2 > d?

Where μ1 is the mean bull market ROI and μ2 is the mean bear market ROI. D? will be 0 (zero) to signify the difference in the means. Our null hypothesis posits that there is no difference between bull and bear market returns while our alternative hypothesis posits that there is a positive difference. Our critical rejection region will be [1.64 to infinity]. Following a stratified sampling method, we arrive at the two population means:

  • Mu1 (Bull Market): -0.19
  • Mu2 (Bear Market) -0.04

The Z-Test statistic formula will be the difference in means (μ1−μ2) less D0 divided by the square root of the standard error of both the bull and bear market ROIs. We arrive at a test statistic of -0.717. This value does not fall into our critical rejection region of [1.64 to infinity] and therefore fail to reject the null hypothesis. This suggests that there is no difference between the average ROI (and by extension performance) between bull and bear markets. This assertion continues to hold true at both the 99% and 99.9% confidence levels.

We additionally tested if this holds true when we change the Alternative hypothesis from Ha:μ1−μ2>D0 to Ha:μ1−μ2≠D0 (which denotes that there is a significant difference between the average ROI in bull and bear markets). We find that at the 95%, 99% and 99.9% confidence levels we still fail to reject the null hypothesis.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

SURPRISE! BAD PROJECTS WILL BE BAD PROJECTS, REGARDLESS OF THE MARKET'S HEALTH.

In summary, we found there to be no statistical significance in the average ICO performance in either a bull or bear market. In fact, we find that

1) there tends to be far more performance losers than winners regardless of market environment
2) ICOs, on average, tend to underperform in both bull and bear markets (where the market is driven by incumbent coins and tokens), and
3) bull markets see more outliers of negative performers!

We can safely say that there needs to be more studies done, and there are so many more variables at play here. But those looking to raise working capital through an ICO should not focus on trying to time the market but rather focus their efforts on other aspects such as the actual product, the white paper, marketing hype, building the community, and etc.

When I assigned our research team this task, I thought that I was going to prove to the world that investing in ICOs during a bear market was a bad idea. Not only was I proven wrong, but this study has given me new epiphanies on how to further capitalize the downtrends. Since then we have embraced the philosphy of truly growing organic communities and building a strong foundation for projects. While most would think that a bear market would have negative effects on all projects, the numbers were fairly clear here, and numbers don't lie. During bull markets, I suppose there's more confirmation bias as there are many more ICO's going on, which means more headline news of X, Y, and Z coins doing 500x returns. 

To all the projects that are on the sidelines waiting for the bull market to come, that is a bit concerning — ultimately, it means you have no faith in your own project. True tech and true community will overcome bear markets, as projects like Chromapolis and Cloudbric has proven.

Article Produced By
Han Yoon
Lunar Marketing

https://icobench.com/thebench-post/126-exclusive-lunar-insight-ico-performances-are-mostly-unaffected-by-bear-markets

Report: Popular ICO Listing Sites Show Massive Inconsistencies in Project Fundraisers

Report: Popular ICO Listing Sites Show Massive Inconsistencies in Project Fundraisers

A Bloomberg report on November 5, 2018, pointed out the vast inconsistencies in the amount of capital raised by Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) raised in 2018, as per data compared on several websites.

Lacking Consistency and Incentives

In an industry that banks on providing transparency and accuracy to every dataset available for public viewing, the verifiable sources of information look bleak. Much of this is attributed to the lack of uniform industry standards available for the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector, while conflicts of interest may come into account to explain the remainder of such instances.

Tokens issuers in 2018 raised $22 billion in 2018 according to CoinSchedule, an ICO listing site, or just $11 billion if data from Autonomous Research is considered. The two figures represent a mammoth difference in the number of funds raised and form a concern for investors, journalists, and academics who look towards researching the cryptocurrency market for making strategic decisions and publishing educational content.

Alex Buelau, the co-founder of CoinSchedule, cites a lack of incentive for information dissemination platforms as a prime reason for listing inconsistent data in the absence of industry-standards. In addition, sites like his make profits based on advertising revenue and sponsored token listings, which may mean displaying inflated fundraisers to attract unassuming investors. For a $200 billion industry banking on a few startups to access information, Buelau’s comments point out a problem larger than the lack of usable applications for cryptocurrencies; the absence of establishing a common truth for dynamic developments in the nascent sector.

The cryptocurrency exchange RubyX, for example, has raised a massive $1.2 billion if CoinSchedule is trusted, a paltry $200 million based on ICO Rating, and is altogether excluded from Autonomous Research due to a lack of “online footprint.” A more extreme instance is of the controversial Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro, which raised $3.3 billion if President Nicolas Maduro’s statements are to be believed, but only $735 million if ICO Rating and CoinSchedule are assessed.

Elementus’ co-founder Nuria Prunera notes on-chain data must be relied upon to track ICO investments, instead of an online database. But, a major issue with such a method is the inability to capture fiat payments for tokens. Autonomous Research claims it uses 50 trackers to determine token information and manually removes any datasets it deems fraudulent or inflated. However, head of strategy Lex Sokolin ascertains the trackers lose effectiveness over time, especially as the “economics of a database weaken.”

The advent of token “pre-sales,” or making fundraising available to an elite set of investors prior to public offering, also makes ICO data difficult to fully compute. Tokens firms are increasingly offering private deals to venture capitalists, wealthy investors, and crypto hedge funds, without the token’s price, conditions, and lock-in periods available to retail investors.

Meanwhile, crypto-specific funds have been cashing in on similar private deals since inception, which contributes vastly to the disparate funding reports provided by various listing firms. While making huge profits matter to individual investment businesses, it threatens to relegate cryptocurrencies to the very sector it aims to differentiate from: the corrupt world of IPOs, pre-IPO deals, and public misinformation.

Article Produced By
Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Editor at BTCManager. After graduating in business from the University of Wolverhampton, Shaurya ventured straight into the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. He believes decentralizing the world's financial, economic, and political systems is mankind's next giant leap.

https://btcmanager.com/author/shaurya-malwa/

 

How One Project is Fighting Fake ICO Reviews Using AI and Blockchain

How One Project is Fighting Fake ICO Reviews Using AI and Blockchain

 Revain, a service for collecting customer reviews,

released a full-scale working 1.0 version of its Ethereum-based platform. As the project team reported to Cointelegraph, the 1.0 version is completely blockchain-based, containing a veri?cation system and artificial intelligence (AI), among many of its other new features. “Users can see all of the reviews written in the blockchain on a special page,” reads the official press release.The Revain platform was launched in order to change the process of collecting reviews from customers, by means of blockchain technology. The service is aimed to help new projects and startups obtain feedback from users. Specifically, the platform was designed for companies that have concluded their crowdfunding or ICO campaign.

Refining the Dashboard

The basic element of the Revain platform is its Dashboard, which allows startup teams to communicate with users and reward them for high-quality reviews. “We have been actively working on creating the Dashboard. There have been ten releases: versions 0.1 to 1.0 with a number of new features added,” the Revain team reported to Cointelegraph. According to Revain’s previous press release, the Dashboard may be helpful for companies in various ways. Firstly, replying to specific reviews is a great tool for managing negative reviews and encouraging positive ones. Secondly, as the Revain team assures its users, a large number of quality reviews about a company will make it stand out among others in a very positive way.  

Revain is using AI to monitor the quality of reviews, with no third parties involved. The AI moderation system will be able to consider the tone of the reviews, as well as filter them based on certain parameters — such as emotion, language style, and social tendencies. “Revain AI ?lters out low-quality reviews and makes quality ones eligible for rewards,” reads the company’s press release. Users are supposed to benefit from writing reviews on the Revain platform. In order to motivate authors to write reviews, companies can reward users with internal tokens called RVNs.

Revain has recently introduced its first premium service for blockchain projects and crypto exchanges which were designed to help them improve their reputation and perception among the crypto community. A premium subscription was the main part of the latest v0.9 release of the Dashboard. Besides the premium subscription, Revain completely redesigned the complimentary email and added the ability to share a specific review. Due to blockchain technology  and Ethereum platform especially, all of the reviews cannot be deleted or changed, says the company’s website. So far, the platform covers a few kinds of reviews: ICOs and crypto exchanges. In addition to these, the company plans to add other sectors at a later.

Article Produced By
Nick Bakursky

https://cointelegraph.com/news/how-one-project-is-fighting-fake-ico-reviews-using-ai-and-blockchain

 

 

The Rise of Cryptocurrency Ponzi Schemes

The Rise of Cryptocurrency Ponzi Schemes

Scammers are making big money off people who want in on the latest digital gold rush but don’t understand how the technology works.

A Bitcoin ATM at a shopping mall in Sydney, Australia

Last month, the technology developer Gnosis sold $12.5 million worth of “GNO,” its in-house digital currency, in 12 minutes. The April 24 sale, intended to fund development of an advanced prediction market, got admiring coverage from Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. On the same day, in an exurb of Mumbai, a company called OneCoin was in the midst of a sales pitch for its own digital currency when financial enforcement officers raided the meeting, jailing 18 OneCoin representatives and ultimately seizing more than $2 million in investor funds. Multiple national authorities have now described OneCoin, which pitched itself as the next Bitcoin, as a Ponzi scheme; by the time of the Mumbai bust, it had already moved at least $350 million in allegedly scammed funds through a payment processor in Germany.

These two projects—one trumpeted as an innovative success, the other targeted as a criminal conspiracy—claimed to be doing essentially the same thing. In the last two months alone, more than two dozen companies building on the “blockchain” technology pioneered by Bitcoin have launched what are known as Initial Coin Offerings to raise operating capital. The hype around blockchain technology is turning ICOs into the next digital gold rush: According to the research firm Smith and Crown, ICOs raised $27.6 million in the first two weeks of May alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike IPOs, however, ICOs are catnip for scammers. They are not formally regulated by any financial authority, and exist in an ecosystem with few checks and balances. OneCoin loudly trumpeted its use of blockchain technology, but holes in that claim were visible long before international law enforcement took notice. Whereas Gnosis had experienced engineers, endorsements from known experts, and an operational version of their software, OneCoin was led and promoted by known fraudsters waving fake credentials. According to a respected blockchain engineer who was offered a position as OneCoin’s Chief Technology Officer, OneCoin’s “blockchain” consisted of little more than a glorified Excel spreadsheet and a fugazi portal that displayed demonstrably fake transactions.

And yet, OneCoin attracted hundreds of millions of dollars more than Gnosis. The company seems to have targeted a global category of aspirational investors who noticed the breathless coverage and booming valuations of cryptocurrencies and blockchain companies, but weren’t savvy enough to understand the difference between the real thing and a sham. Left unchecked, this growing crypto-mania could be hugely destructive to one of the most promising technologies of the 21st century.

This danger exists in large part because grasping even the basics of blockchain technology remains daunting for non-specialists. In a nutshell, blockchains link together a global swarm of servers that hosts thousands of copies of the system’s transaction records. Server operators constantly monitor one another’s records, meaning that to steal money or otherwise alter the ledger, a hacker would have to compromise many machines across a vast network in one fell swoop. Even as the global banking system faces relentless cyberattacks, the more than $30 billion in value on Bitcoin’s blockchain has proven essentially immune to hacking.

That level of security has potential uses far beyond digital money. Introduced in July of 2015, a platform called Ethereum pioneered the idea of more complex and interactive applications backed by blockchain tech. Because these systems can’t be altered without the agreement of everyone involved, and maintain incorruptible records of every change, blockchains could eventually streamline sensitive, high-value networks ranging from health records to interbank transfers to remote file storage. Some have called the blockchain “Cloud Computing 3.0.” Using most of these blockchain applications will require owning the digital currencies linked to them—the same digital currencies being sold in all these ICOs. So, for example, to upload your vacation photos to the blockchain cloud-storage service Storj will cost a few Storj tokens. In the long term, demand for services will set the price of each blockchain project’s token.

While a traditional stock is a legal claim backed up by regulators and governments, then, the tokens sold in an ICO are deeply embedded in the blockchain software their sale helps create. Knowledgeable tech investors are excited by this because, along with the open-source nature of much of the software, it means that ICO-funded projects can, like Bitcoin itself, outlast any single founder or legal entity. In a 2016 blog post, Joel Monegro, of the venture capital fund Union Square Ventures, compared owning a blockchain-based asset to owning a piece of digital infrastructure as fundamental as the internet’s TCP/IP protocol.

Almost all groups launching ICOs reiterate some version of this idea to potential buyers, in part as a kind of incantation to ward off financial regulators. The thinking is that, if they are selling part of a platform, rather than stakes in any company, they’re not subject to oversight by bodies like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. But in practice, ICOs are constantly traded across a variety of online marketplaces as buyers breathlessly track their fluctuating prices. In this light, they look an awful lot like speculative investments.

Buyer expectations may matter more to regulators than technical hair-splitting. Todd Kornfeld, a securities specialist at the law firm Pepper Hamilton, finds precedent in the landmark 1946 case SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. Howey, a Florida orange-growing operation, was selling grove plots and accompanying “service contracts” that paid faraway landowners based on the orange harvest’s success. When the SEC closed in, Howey argued they were selling real estate and services, not a security. But the Supreme Court ultimately disagreed, establishing what’s known as the Howey test: In essence, if you give someone else money in the hope that their activities will generate a profit on your behalf, you’ve just bought a security, no matter what the seller calls it.

Knowledgeable observers tend to agree that some form of regulation is inevitable, and that the term ICO itself—so intentionally close to IPO—is a reckless red flag waved in the SEC’s face. The SEC declined to comment on any prospective moves to regulate ICOs, but the Ontario Securities Commission has issued an advisory that “assets that are tracked and traded as part of a distributed ledger may be securities, even if they do not represent shares of a company or ownership of an entity.” According to Kornfeld, even those who believe they are conducting ICOs in complete good faith could face serious repercussions when regulators do act, especially if prosecutors think they’ve made misleading statements. “If [prosecutors] think that you’re really bad,” he says. “They can say, hey, you deserve 20 years in jail.”

While it’s easy to see the lie in OneCoin’s fictional blockchain, entirely sincere claims about such a nascent sector still can strain the limits of mere optimism. Many experts, for instance, believe that Gnosis’s use of the blockchain to aggregate data could become a widespread backbone technology for managing complex systems from traffic to financial markets. But the $12.5 million worth of GNO sold in the Gnosis ICO represented only 5 percent of the tokens created for the project, implying a total market value of nearly $300 million. Most tech startups at similar stages are valued at under $5 million.That astronomical early valuation alone could become bait for an aggressive regulator. Many founders of legitimate blockchain projects have chosen to remain anonymous because of this fear, in turn creating more opportunities for scams.

Much of the money flowing into these offerings is smart, both in that it comes from knowledgeable insiders, and in a more literal sense: Buying into ICOs almost always requires using either Bitcoin or Ethereum tokens (OneCoin, tellingly, accepted payment in standard currency). Jeff Garzik, a longtime Bitcoin developer who now helps organize ICOs through his company Bloq, thinks their momentum is largely driven by recently minted Bitcoin millionaires looking to diversify their gains. Many of these investors are able to do their own due diligence—evaluating a project’s team, examining demo versions of their software, or scrutinizing their blockchain after launch.

But as cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, ICOs will present greater risks to larger numbers of people. There are few barriers to participation aside from knowing how to conduct a Bitcoin transaction, and the space mostly lacks the robust independent analysis performed by underwriters in the IPO market, which can help tamp down overoptimism. The risk isn’t just to individual investors; many argue that the mania of the late-1990s internet bubble ultimately slowed the entire sector down by making investors skittish for years afterwards. Imagine how much worse things might have been if the whole thing had been entirely unregulated.

Careful regulation, then, could protect blockchain projects from a hugely damaging bust. And the model is genuinely utopian enough to deserve nurturing. Cryptographic tokens effectively make all of a platform’s users part-owners. Anyone selling goods for Bitcoin, for example, has had a chance to benefit from its huge price boost over the past year, while Facebook and Google users have not shared in those companies’ growth.

The Gnosis team is taking this very long view. Their token sale was halted after that furious 12 minutes by an Ethereum-based bot that knew exactly what the fundraising goal was. It even returned more than $1 million to eager buyers who missed the cutoff. Gnosis’s co-founder Martin Koppelman says the company wants to use its remaining tokens not to enrich its creators, but to attract developers and users. That’s similar to the way that Uber has used cash subsidies to recruit riders and drivers, except that once those new recruits hold Gnosis tokens, they will have a serious stake in the platform’s future.

Article Produced By
David Z. Morris

David is a writer based in Florida. He has written for Fortune, Aeon, and The Japan Times.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/05/cryptocurrency-ponzi-schemes/528624/

Beyond Crypto Friendly: Swiss Bank Helps Clients Participate in ICOs

Beyond Crypto Friendly: Swiss Bank Helps Clients Participate in ICOs

Here’s something we don’t hear every day:

a Swiss bank has opted to enable its clients to participate in initial coin offerings easily. The bank, Swissquote, has previously allowed customers to trade in cryptos. This is, to say the least, an unusual service for a fiat banking institution. Additionally, Swissquote offers traditional FOREX trading and the range of services that traditional banks offer.

LakeDiamond ICO

The first ICO to be offered as an investment option on the banking platform is LakeDiamond, a lab-grown diamond company which is raising funds to purchase new equipment. They will offer more ICOs in the future. The pre-sale of this ICO is ongoing and offers a 10 percent bonus up to 4 million CHF (just under $4 million).The regular public sale will not open until January. Presumably, buyers will not have the opportunity to realize any gains or exchange their tokens for other cryptocurrencies before the spring.

The token itself is pegged to the cost of diamond production. Each token is meant to be equivalent in value to “1 (one) minute of growth reactor operating time, which produces lab-grown diamonds. One minute is the smallest possible unit, so the tokens are non-divisible past this point. If a diamond plate takes 180.5 minutes to grow, it will consume 181 LKD.” While this is not an ICO Review, LKD tokens are priced around 50 cents each. There will be a maximum supply of close to 6.8 million. The funds raised will be used to improve and expand the firm’s operations. Within the system, the tokens will have utility.

Lab-grown diamonds are a growing industry which markets themselves as more ethical. The movie Blood Diamond speaks to the reason that the ethics of traditional diamonds can be seen as questionable. Like all industries which require entry into disadvantaged countries and massive labor forces, the diamond industry has its share of detractors. Nevertheless, not everyone feels they are more ethical. There is the fact that they require less labor and if they became the norm, many thousands of people would find themselves without a livelihood.

You Don’t Need a Bank to Invest in ICOs

Yet, there’s certainly nothing unethical about investing in a firm to help it grow. LakeDiamond is meeting a demand and wants the public’s help to get there. SwissQuote feels it is a good investment opportunity for its account holders, and so they have partnered. All the same, cryptonaughts have invested in ICOs since before banks even took notice of bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. While it is certainly positive to see a bank be so forward-thinking, ultimately banks are not necessary for investment into ICOs and are furthermore decreasingly necessary for anything at all as the blockchain revolution moves on.

Article Produced By
CCN-Altcoin News

https://www.ccn.com/beyond-crypto-friendly-swiss-bank-helps-clients-participate-in-icos/

ICO Trust Returning as Caspian Rakes in Nearly $20 Million Ahead of Deadline

ICO Trust Returning as Caspian Rakes in Nearly $20 Million Ahead of Deadline

A crypto project has revived the investors’ trust in initial coin offerings

by raking in $19.5 million via crowdfunding. Caspian, a Cayman Island-based project, achieved its hard cap before the set date, implying a successful kick-start for the development of its institutional crypto trading platform. A beta-testing round of the platform is live already, which displays the crypto listings of the biggest crypto exchanges, including Techemy, Blockstars, OSL, and Galaxy Digital, in a single user interface.

Further Developments

The raised $19.5 million would be channeled to enhance the research & development and sales & marketing of the Caspian platform, according to its official website. With a beta version already out, the future upgrades would see the inclusion of sophisticated trading algorithms, real-time and historical profit-and-loss and exposure tracking. But most importantly, Caspian would allow institutionally traders the much-needed interchangeability between crypto exchanges via a single dashboard.

The project has already garnered partnerships from leading crypto trading institutions like Coinbase, Gemini and BitMEX. As part of the deal, Caspian will integrate with the said exchanges to bring new sophisticated trading and portfolio management functionality. It would serve to the growing number of professional crypto trading firms around the world.

“We see this partnership as not only a tremendous commercial opportunity but as a chance to truly move forward the institutional adoption of crypto as a mature, tradable asset class,” said Kayvon Pirestani, Director of Institutional Sales at Coinbase, about Caspian. The project also has renowned Bitcoin bulls like Mike Novogratz, Mona El Isa, and Ari Paul serving as advisors.

Institutional Money and Trading Tools

El Isa, the founder of MelonPort, an Ethereum-based asset management project, said that Caspian is attempting to fill the gap between institutional investors and

the professional crypto trading tools.

“Cryptocurrencies will play an increasingly big role with institutional players, yet to date, the sophisticated trading and portfolio management tools have not been available for this asset class,” she recognized.

So far, the mainstream investors willing to inject massive amounts of money into the industry are limited by the lack of liquidity across online exchanges. They are therefore opting for mildly-regulated OTC markets by taking enormous counter party risks. Caspian’s co-founders, David Willis and Robert Dykes, emphasized the demand for tools that simplify the entry of institutional investment in the crypto space. Dykes quoted Fidelity as an example of how even the world’s fifth largest asset management company is working towards mitigating the counter party risk in Bitcoin OTC markets, adding that tools like

these are “gaining momentum.”

“With Fidelity announcing the launch of a much needed custodial solution that allows investors to outsource the safekeeping of their assets to a trusted intermediary, coupled with the intuitive and user-friendly nature of a software platform like Caspian for the management of these assets, the floodgates have opened for institutional money to enter the market,” he stated.

Caspian is reportedly in process of adding 170 customers to its platform, including Lykke, ID Theory, Bletchley Park, and ex-Point 72 manager Travis Kling’s Ikigai Asset Management.

Article Produced by
Davit Babayan

https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/10/24/ico-trust-returning-as-caspian-rakes-in-nearly-20-million-ahead-of-deadline/

Bermuda Government Approves First ICO Under New Regulatory Regime

Bermuda Government Approves First ICO Under New Regulatory Regime

The government of Bermuda has awarded the first certification

for an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) under the island nation’s new regulatory regime for crypto and blockchain business, the country’s only daily newspaper, the Royal Gazette reports Oct. 18. According to the Royal Gazette, the Minister of National Security Wayne Gaines — whose office oversees ICT policy and innovation — announced that fintech company Uulala was awarded certification by the Bermudan government today at the Bermuda Executive Forum in Miami. In July, the Premier and Minister of Finance of Bermuda David Burt introduced new regulations on ICOs to the lower house of the country’s Parliament, the House of Assembly. The new guidelines require ICO issuers to provide detailed information about “all persons involved with the ICO.”

Issuers must also disclose a review of the project, detailing key aspects of the product or service such as the market audience, financing system, the amount of money that is planned to be raised, and technical aspects associated with software and blockchain specifications. The Royal Gazette reports that Uulala aims to improve financial inclusion of unbanked and underbanked people by providing financial services. The firm has reportedly developed a decentralized peer-to-peer network “to load cash into the digital economy.” Once funds are deposited, users purportedly have access to a virtual MasterCard, with which they can participate in e-commerce, as well as pay bills or send cross-border payments.

The company’s CEO Oscar Garcia told the Royal Gazette that Uulala aims to raise $50 million dollars in its token sale, and has already raised $10 million privately. Garcia noted the country’s thorough regulatory standards; it reportedly took four months for the firm to get approval for its license. Despite the wait, Garcia said: “Bermuda is known as a financial hub and it is very forward thinking on blockchain and fintech… They have a reputation of being excellent regulatory stewards and we thought that would be a better fit for us than a jurisdiction where we could say we’re good, they’d believe us and give us approval in three weeks.”

Bermuda has been cultivating a friendly regulatory environment for fintech, crypto, and blockchain-related business over the course of the past year. In addition to the aforementioned regulations, the country also began to amend the Banking Act in order to establish a new class of bank to render services to local fintech and blockchain organizations.The government has also signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with several blockchain and crypto-related companies to both promote the industry in Bermuda and create jobs for the local population.

Article Produced By
Aaron Wood

Aaron Wood is an editor at Cointelegraph, with a background in energy and economics. He keeps an eye on Blockchain's applications in building smarter and more equitable energy access globally.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/bermuda-government-approves-first-ico-under-new-regulatory-regime

ICO portfolio is down by 66% in the first half of 2018, according to EY study

ICO portfolio is down by 66% in the first half of 2018, according to EY study

– 86% of tracked ICOs are below listing price; 30% lost substantially all their value

– ICOs claim to have raised US$15b in first half of 2018

– Top 10 ICOs listed in 2017 account for essentially all of the gains since issuance, with a majority in blockchain infrastructure

 In the first half of 2018, 86% of the leading initial coin offerings (ICOs)

that listed on a cryptocurrency exchange in 2017 are below their initial listing price and a portfolio of these ICOs is down by 66% since the peak of the market at the beginning of this year, according to a study from EY, Initial Coin Offerings: The Class of 2017 – one year later, that examined the ICOs' progress and investment returns. The study finds 30% have lost substantially all their value. There were gains among The Class of 2017 since their ICO, with most gains (99%) concentrated in the top 10 ICO tokens, the majority of which are in the blockchain infrastructure category.

The latest study follows an initial analysis in December 2017, when EY analyzed top ICOs representing 87% of the ICO funding last year. It found that a lack of fundamental valuation and due diligence by potential investors was leading to extreme volatility in ICO performance, which is still an ongoing issue. The study announced today found that ICOs claimed to have raised more than US$15b in 2018, compared with US$4.1b1 in 2017. However, EY found that only 29% (25) of the 2017 ICO projects that EY assessed have progressed to prototypes or working products – an increase of just 13% from December 2017. The remaining 71% have no offering in the market.  

Paul Brody, EY Global Innovation Leader, Blockchain, says:

"Despite the past year's hype around ICOs, there appears to be a significant lack of understanding around the risks and rewards of these investments. In addition, there is a disparity between those who invest in ICOs and the ICO project developers regarding the anticipated timelines of ROI. While ICOs are an entirely new way to raise capital, those participating should understand that there are factors – such as the slow progression toward working product offerings – that can introduce greater risk in ICO investing."

Utility tokens diminish in value

The study also examined the 25 companies with working products. Of those 25, seven were accepting payment in fiat currency as well as ICO tokens for their product offerings. As a result, customers can make purchases directly without buying the tokens issued in the ICO process, therefore bypassing the community of token holders and diminishing the value of the ICO tokens. In at least one case, an ICO company has abandoned ICO investors by no longer accepting their tokens (de-tokenizing).

Yuri Gedgafov, EY Tech Media and Telecom Center Leader, Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe & Central Asia, says: "So far, utility tokens aren't creating the engaged communities anticipated to coalesce around innovative ideas. In fact, many of the most successful ICOs are mired in litigation or conflict over broken promises and unexpected changes in business strategy with little to no rights for the ICO investor."

Ethereum platform remains dominant

Ethereum is the dominant platform and shows the highest activity among developers and on social media. While new platforms arise on a regular basis, there is no sign that the new ICO infrastructure projects have had any success in reducing the dominance of Ethereum as the industry's main platform. Brody says: "It's clear that due diligence and awareness of risk are more important than ever. The number of ICOs showing gains since listing on one of the leading crypto exchanges is so limited that it would have required exceptional good fortune or a visionary portfolio strategy to have made any gains investing in the 2017 ICOs. At the moment, the level of reward in this market doesn't look like it justifies the risks involved."

Note to Editors:

About the survey

The survey collected data on global projects that have conducted ICOs and performed a detailed analysis of the top 141 projects, which collected 87% of all ICO proceeds, following up on their performance between January 2018 and September 2018. The ICO market is unregulated; there is no single source of ICO data, reporting standards or generally accepted methodology. The findings are preliminary and based on public sources, and EY cannot always match the information given by these sources with the transactional data available on the public blockchain. We based our study on project websites, the most popular crypto exchanges, ICO trackers, data aggregators and interviews. The figures on ICO funding volumes (total and per project) are derived from open sources as of September 2018. The EY analysis is of 141 ICOs from 2017. We did not audit or confirm the data and it is subject to change.

Article Produced By
News from EY

A wide array of domestic and global news stories; news topics include politics/government, business, technology, religion, sports/entertainment, science/nature, and health/lifestyle. Articles that appear in this section may be written in English or other languages

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ico-portfolio-is-down-by-66-in-the-first-half-of-2018-according-to-ey-study-300734346.html

Journalism Blockchain Startup Civil Cancels ICO, Refunds Investors

Journalism Blockchain Startup Civil Cancels ICO, Refunds Investors

Crypto and blockchains startups, even those that hold great promise,

have sadly received the full brunt of 2018’s dismal market conditions, resulting in a widespread loss of clients and investment interest. For example, freshly-printed studies have revealed that Coinbase, widely regarded as this industry’s golden child, saw 80% of its U.S.-based customer base dissipate, resulting in a similar decrease in volumes. But most recently, on Tuesday, Civil, a promising blockchain-centric journalism startup, revealed that it had suffered a great setback.

Blockchain Startup Suffers Setback Amid Bear Market

While the conditions of 2018’s crypto winter are something that investors have grown accustomed to, Civil, an upstart blockchain startup, recently revealed that it had to formally cancel its initial coin offering (ICO) due to a lack of interest. For those who missed the memo, Civil’s raison d’être, if you will, is to revolutionize how digital journalism is managed from the ground-up. When it was founded in 2017, the company’s top brass envisioned a “new economy for journalism,” with many of the firm’s co-founders visualizing a series of platforms that brought change to this age-old industry.

However, ambitions don’t come without a cost. And in the case of Civil, that cost was one of a monetary variety. So while the firm initially saw a $5 million seed investment comes its way from ConsenSys, the Google of the blockchain world, Civil still craved capital. More specifically, the startup remained hell-bent on its plans to raise a minimum $8 million via an ICO of its CVL Ethereum-based tokens. But now, after the company’s one-month-long, long-awaited Civil Token ICO has finally elapsed, it is apparent that the startup overstated demand for its ICO, missing its soft cap by $6.5 million dollars. As reported by TechCrunch, although the firm’s head was in the clouds, in the end, only 1,012 investors purchased $1,435,491 worth of CVL tokens.

Seeing that it missed its soft cap by millions, Civil has sadly announced that it will be providing compensation to all participants of its ICO, with refund transactions being slated to be sent by October 29th. In a testament to the resilience of crypto innovators, who will stop at nothing to achieve the improbable, Civil has since revealed that it isn’t ready to shutter its blinds and close its doors. In fact, in a status update, Matthew Iles, the founder and CEO of the startup, alluded to the fact that his firm had learned from its mistakes, immediately divulging plans for a “much simpler token sale.”

Attempting to turn the unfortunate situation on its head, Iles adding that “Civil isn’t going anywhere [and is] here to say” due to a $3.5 million investment from ConsenSys, who seems to be a big believer in the startup. Eventually, following its second token sale, along with the use of its now-stocked up war chest, Civil intends to release a blockchain-publishing WordPress plugin, a “community governance application,” and a developer tool for utilizing data gathered by the firm’s operations.

The Brooklyn-based firm also inked a strategic deal with the world-renowned Associated Press, as reported by NewsBTC on a previous occasion, who will use Civil’s products to better its business in multiple capacities. Along with the Associated Press, Forbes also recently joined hands with Civil, which will see the major media outlet run the startup’s blockchain applications through the works. So while a failed funding round may have spelled the end of any other crypto project, Civil’s drive for innovation likely only rose exponentially after its ICO went kaput.

Article Produced By
Nick Chong

https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/10/17/journalism-blockchain-startup-civil-cancels-ico-refunds-investors/

GG World Announces Reverse ICO as It Prepares to Offer Regulated Blockchain Lotteries

GG World Announces Reverse ICO as It Prepares to Offer Regulated Blockchain Lotteries

 

GG World’s ICO has been announced

to start from November 2, 2018, and the investors are keen to discover the benefits of this revolutionary idea, offering completely transparent, online and government-regulated national lotteries to players and interested investors, globally. Identifying a pressing need for disruption in a market which is incredibly popular, yet notably old-fashioned, GG World Lottery has come up with a solution that can bring the industry up-to-speed by implementing blockchain and other state-of-the-art technologies.

With a team of seasoned veterans and innovative approach, the GG World Lottery project stands out from the rest of the projects. Unlike other projects in the crypto-sector, the company has taken a reverse ICO approach to raise funds and build a strong community of interested investors, players, and even governments. The GGC token, to be issued as a part of the token sale also brings special benefits to the participants as token holders.

Why Is GG World ICO Interesting for the Investors?

The upcoming GG World Lottery ICO will undoubtedly become one of the best options to invest in 2018: an extraordinary professional team with a substantial industry background, unique offering with lucrative gains for investors and token holders, an ability to get the lifetime revenue share. By taking part in the GG World reverse ICO, investors will become eligible to receive a reverse share – USP of the platform’s special business model. The model includes the distribution of dividends based on jackpot prize wins. Overall, the platform intends to create a win-win situation for everyone including investors and lottery operators (government or private).

The GG World Lottery platform protects both players and users by employing blockchain nodes. It provides additional transparency by ensuring fairness of draws through the integration of TRNG technology based on Quantis True Random Number Generator. Also, it will utilize the advantages offered by DLT to share profits with eligible community members and respective jurisdictions as per their existing regulatory and legal frameworks. In addition, the platform also allocates a significant percentage of the profits, to be channeled to verified charitable organizations

The Rise of the Online Gambling Industry

For starters, GG World Lottery platform will take care of the issues that come with regulations while improving transparency levels by offering the lottery on Ethereum smart contracts. The platform will run on mobile devices, for added convenience and easy accessibility to the players, which will in turn appeal to more players and give them a chance to participate in world-class lottery programs.

With a model built around security, transparency, ease-of-use, and accessibility, GG World Lottery hopes to tap into unexplored markets such as the African, Asian, and South American continents. Thanks to GG World Lottery blockchain platform, the gambling industry is also set to receive a facelift as it will get rid of outdated lottery hardware such as communication routers, ticket dispensers, monitors, scanners, tickets, and terminals. In addition to removing retailers and other intermediaries from the equation, the platform will provide numerous advantages to the players by enabling them to play right at their homes while eliminating fraudsters from the lottery ecosystem.

What Makes the Project Special?

  • It’s a Reverse ICO – Not a Startup with Merely an Idea

GG World Lottery knows better than to step into a vastly competitive market of the kind empty-handed. The project is responsible for developing one of the most unique products in this category – comprehensive white-label lottery software which offers a ticket-purchase courier service for the most well-known lotteries throughout the world. This allows it to open multiple lottery ticket-selling websites on behalf of its partners.

  • Backed by Professionals

The project’s team consists of industry experts with decades of experience in the field of national lotteries. GG World Lottery’s CEO, Mark Hutchinson is a start-up expert with a background in some of the early lotteries in the US, including Wisconsin, Kansas, and Colorado. Furthermore, Mark is one of the founding members of Lotto America, which grew to become the biggest lottery in the world – the Powerball.

  • A Lot to Come in Future

The company isn’t just starting the GG World Lottery. Apart from this, they are creating numerous African, South American and Asian lotteries. It has signed agreements with official regulators in a range of specified countries to be an official channel partner or to run national lotteries. They will be entirely online, government-backed and regulated, and mobile friendly.

  • Enhanced Transparency

GG World Lottery has introduced its True Random number Generator (TRNG). The project has come up with a unique system which will deliver entirely true random numbers which is based on the natural randomness in the world.

About the ICO

The ICO is starting on November 2nd and will run till January 31st, 2019. GG World Lottery’s ICO participants, token holders will also receive a quarterly-paid revenue share based on each GG World Lottery Jackpot prize win. The company has already signed NDAs with multiple regulatory bodies throughout the world that would increase the value of the GGC token.

Article Produced By
GG World

https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/10/14/gg-world-announces-reverse-ico-prepares-to-offer-regulated-blockchain-lotteries/