Explore cryptocurrencies and blockchain industry.
So you think you’ve come to terms with blockchain? Finally! You’ve had your eureka moment and now you’re out in the streets in your bath towel telling the whole neighborhood about it. But five minutes later, just as the cold hits you, you start doubting again. You almost got to the end of a book to do with Distributed Ledger Technology, which you think you understood then but can’t now. You read about Initial Coin Offerings until your eyes turned red and you even invested in a few (the less said about that the better).
The universe of blockchain is scattered with three-letter abbreviations and such rapid change that it is an almost full-time occupation just staying informed. And now along comes another three-letter abbreviation, another initial “offering” of some kind. But this one is something to do with exchanges, not coins. Intrigued? Try to keep up.
A very short backstory of all things blockchain so we can all start on the same ledger.
Blockchain technology burst onto the scene with Bitcoin in 2009. The key aspect of a blockchain is DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) which maintains a decentralized public list of all network transactions as opposed to the previous model of a centralised - and hence secret - database. Whereas transactions through a bank must rely on that institution as the “trusted third party”, blockchains ensure that this third party is spread across a network of nodes. “Miners” enable and maintain the blockchain in exchange for rewards in a certain cryptocurrency. Through transparency, the aim is to guarantee trust through incorruptibility.
The potential of blockchain technology soon spread from a pure digital form of cash like Bitcoin to more specific use-cases such as smart contracts. These allow for the execution and even negotiation of contracts between two or more parties without the need for a physical intermediary to guarantee the contract. This trusted third-party is programmed into the blockchain itself. As the original, Ethereum is perhaps the best example of this, acting as a platform for others to build their own specific smart contract projects.
As the early blockchain pioneers increased, so did the accompanying ecosystem. A staggering number of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) appeared from around 2015, peeking in 2017 to 2018. As with anything popular, especially in an unknown and unregulated space, many of these projects were poorly conceived of or just scams. Projects were launched on their own websites, where they sold tokens of their own cryptocurrency, regardless of whether the aim was to be a pure digital currency or something with more real world application.
The term ICO closely mimics the long-established IPO (Initial Public Offering) for companies going “public” or “floating” on the stock exchange through the sale of shares of equity. The difference was that there were no rules in this new Wild West of blockchain startups. A huge number of these ICOs turned out to be fraudulent, while many more just failed through hasty and poorly-run teams. As such, ICOs quickly earned a reputation for being highly risky. Peaking in February 2018 with over 1,500, a year later by February 2019 they had almost completely died out as a method for blockchain crowdfunding.
Enter our new friend IEO
Initial Exchange Offerings grew into the vacuum left by the suspicion of ICOs, but also played an active role in hastening the end of the ICO age. Their appeal is in the increased level of trust they offer buyers of crypto tokens. So what has changed with this switch from Coin to Exchange?
Well, it’s pretty straightforward. The place where tokens are bought or exchanged has moved from the website of the blockchain project to an exchange site.
But let’s rewind to crypto exchanges
To back up a bit, exchange sites grew up alongside the rise of Bitcoin and the increase of new cryptocurrencies. Here, people could buy cryptocurrencies with fiat (“normal money” - USD, EUR, GBP and so on) or exchange directly between various cryptocurrencies. More recently, as official regulation of cryptocurrencies is catching up with the industry, these exchange sites have tended to fall into two categories: regulated fiat to crypto exchanges and the wilder and more unregulated crypto to crypto alt-coin exchanges (alt-coins include all the thousands of smaller cryptocurrencies, which generally exclude the big three of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin).
These exchanges are important in our story because they stepped in to offer a solution to the general suspicion of ICOs. What they were betting on was that launching a blockchain project’s token offering on their exchange instead of on a standalone website would increase trust. And as IEOs increased in frequency and popularity, while ICOs dwindled, it became clear that they had been right.
The IEO model is based on a mutually profitable crypto triangle. First there is the project or company that wants to sell their token to raise funds to develop further. By partnering with an exchange, they ensure a level of credibility that they could not get if they sold tokens directly to buyers.
This also saves a huge amount of resources on the software development and marketing required to independently host an ICO. The fee that startups have to pay to exchanges for the IEO is almost always significantly less.
Then they are also immediately listed on an exchange, which - depending on the exchange - hugely increases the likelihood that people will buy their tokens (the ease of purchase and exchange of cytocurrenices is called “liquidity”).
That should give the team more time and resources to get on with what they are trying to develop, instead of desperately trying to get listed on an exchange, as was the case back in the days of ICOs.
IEOs are also great opportunities to invest in some up and coming projects. ATAIX IEO offers users with a project in mind with the opportunity to list their project and get funding while offering other users an opportunity to explore some new projects they might be interested in investing in.
UPDATE: TON's Gram Token Available on Sep 19th. Learn more
Blockchain projects have been creating hype since Blockchain “began” back in 2008 with Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper on Bitcoin. Just having the word “Blockchain” anywhere nearby is enough, the pure mystique of this groundbreaking idea and its associated technologies do the rest. Then in 2018, “ICO” became the magic phrase to create an instant Reddit buzz, as focus switched to how to fund Blockchain projects. But the number of scams and failures soon turned ICOs sour. People even started to think that Blockchain itself was some kind of hoax. Then there’s crypto markets. Crypto investors are keen to make big profits by picking the ones that will get “to the moon” one day. And the earlier the better for making the really big profits, which is why Internet gossip is alight with rumors of the next big Blockchain venture. But finding the real winners in this cryptomania is tricky. You have to navigate a lot of hype and speculation, much of which is to influence prices and make a profit through market manipulation. Either way, another layer that adds to the disillusionment with the Blockchain utopia we have been led to believe by many.
But then there are some projects that are just too good to ignore. You read about one and just cannot let it fall back into the sea of scams or mediocrity. These are ideas that are so revolutionary that they might just transform the world we live in. And they remind us, through all the smoke and mirrors, what Blockchain is all about.
TON, as it is known, is a decentralized internet platform with Telegram, GRAM (the native cryptocurrency, its utility token) integrated and the tools for developers to do pretty much whatever they want.
With two pre-ICO funding rounds worth a combined $1.7 billion from selected investors, it ticks the boxes for some considerable expectations. In February 2018, Telegram launched a private presale for Gram with one token priced at $0.37 (source: Techcrunch), which raised $850 million from 81 qualified investors, among them some leading Silicon Valley VCs. Later that month, capitalizing on the huge interest the first offer generated, Telegram launched its second private presale with a staggering 400% increase in price per Gram ($1.33), effectively raising another $850 million from 94 qualified investors.
From the start, Telegram posed considerable restrictions on the Grams offered, namely a lockup period and delivery of the Grams in several batches after the release of the TON mainnet. For the second offering, however, and perhaps to also justify the much higher price, Telegram attracted the investors with a promise of immediate tradability of Grams offered after the release of TON.
Although TON is often excluded from lists of ICOs because they technically raised their funds through a SAFT (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens), which is a pre-ICO, if you consider all Blockchain fundraising rounds it sits in second place behind EOS.
So then there is TON itself, the revolutionary idea. Although referring to TON just as an idea is a bit misleading. Because in the world of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, it’s not so original. TON’s appeal lies in the fact that the team are on the cusp of pulling off an incredibly ambitious technical project – actually fulfilling the promise of Blockchain.
It is hard to explain to a non-technical majority what the difficulties actually are that have taken so long to surmount, even within the crypto community where most have at least a basic grasp of blockchain technologies. In short, TON is at the forefront of what is possible with Blockchain. This means tackling unforeseen problems for the first time.
Brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov founded and ran VK (formerly VKontakte) – a Russian-based social network similar to Facebook – from 2006 to 2013. Allegedly, they were forced to sell their stake in the company in 2013 for refusing to grant external access to certain private pages. (VK is still active but now controlled by Mail.ru group).
Frustrated at the ultimate weaknesses of such centralized and unsecured databases, they launched Telegram, a messenger with end-to-end encryption. This time, the point was that they would not be able to hand over data to any outside authority, even if they wanted to. The encryption system (designed by Nikolai Durov himself) uses private keys only visible by the user’s device.
And then along came Blockchain with its revolutionary distributed public ledger technology, offering the Durov brothers and their libertarian dreams access to the next level. Like Bitcoin and Ethereum - the two leading cryptocurrencies by market capitalization - Telegram are bringing us GRAM, their own cryptocurrency built on TON.
Their intention is for anyone to build on TON, which is Telegram’s own Blockchain. The Telegram team has stated that it will be compatible with Ethereum. And they are encouraging developers to make their own dApps (decentralized apps) once TON is up and running.
As Coinspeaker reports, TON has taken a long time to develop. Although some may consider this as a delay, it has also been posited that this is due to the unique challenges caused by the innovative nature of what the Telegram team are trying to achieve. Yet 31st October is really a date to watch, since if TON mainnet is not live by then, a clause in the contract of early investors will give buyers the right to a refund.
Due to the rising excitement and potential of the project, though, even if this date is missed it is unlikely that there would be any substantial selling of Gram tokens. Some early investors have even said that they are looking for more Gram, not ways to sell it. But considering the importance of 31st October, it is highly likely that TON will be working by then.
The fact that Telegram has just released TON testnet almost on-time and nodes start coming to live (though so far run by TON team itself), gives further support to those making positive assumption about the outcome of October 31st deadline, and furthermore further hopes for those who made a big bet on Telegram and its future.
It does not take much understanding of the Blockchain, crypto or anything in the space to see how significant the public launch of Gram could be.
Gram is the native token for TON, which will be used as an almost instant transfer of value between any Telegram users. Which sounds a lot like Facebook’s plans for Libra, their own native cryptocurrency. In fact, the aims for both Gram and Libra are remarkably similar. But Telegram have been working on this for several years, and Facebook are quite a distance behind.
So if TON launches on time and users start to send Gram to each other successfully, this will truly be a momentous occasion in the relatively young history of crypto. It will be the first time that an almost instant cross-border means of exchanging value is available so easily to so many potential users. Telegram’s latest figures show an active monthly user base of around 200 million, but the launch of TON and Gram could see that escalate quickly.
Much to the probable despair of Facebook, Whatsapp and others, many millions of users would highly likely stick to the messaging service that offers crypto and has a better record with privacy and security.
And that could be just the beginning for Telegram’s plans. As well as supporting native dApps and those built on Ethereum, they have also announced TON Storage – encrypted and distributed file storage across TON nodes, TON Proxy – a VPN service that helps to keep users anonymous and TON Services to help developers build their own dApps on the Telegram Virtual Machine.
In summary, this is an exciting time for Blockchain. It might just be when all of its great potential hits the mainstream. While actually buying and selling Bitcoin is still a bit confusing for the general public, TON will be so well integrated with Telegram’s existing messenger, that we might see a huge uptake in a very short timespan.
So will we remember 31st October 2019 as the day that crypto arrived for good? It’s looking like a real possibility. If you’re an investor, perhaps it is time to use your knowledge and experience to weight pros and cons for this opportunity, lucrative and highly risky at the same time. If you’re interested in private messaging or instant money transfers, then why not download Telegram for free and see just what TON will look like when it launches.
Any day now.
UPDATE: TON's Gram Token Available on Sep 19th. Learn more
The most anticipated project in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies has just arrived: Telegram finally released the testnet of its Telegram Open Network, TON, on Friday 6th September. “Finally” is significant here, since it has had several delays, including stating that the testnet would be up by 1st September.
This follows one of the most notorious pre-ICO offers of the blockchain era by Telegram, with its libertarian founder Pavel Durov raising $1.7 billion in two largely secret offerings, worth $850 million each. Gram [GRM], Telegram’s token, has stormed the markets, creating huge interest among institutional investors and perhaps havoc among others wishing to take part. Wider participation was restricted through the careful orchestration of the offering process by the “puppet master” himself.
Durov, though a revolutionary spirit, clearly understands the risks associated with the regulatory environment created around crypto, especially when dealing with the strictest US regulator. Therefore, the offers were carefully structured to meet the strict requirements set for ICOs by the US regulator. In particular, the issuer banned investors from a large number of countries, in particular, those under US sanctions.
Since the start of the crypto wave, Telegram, offering end-to-end encryption to enable strict privacy protection, has been able to win the position as the main communication platform for the global crypto community and entities seeking a secure haven. Through Telegram’s stringent privacy and security measures, users have freedom of expression and interaction without fear and away from modern surveillance states, international watchdogs and special services of any kind.
Backed with over 200 million of the global community, Telegram is now attempting to create the full environment for its peer-to-peer internal “economy”. While others hesitate, Telegram is attempting to employ the most revolutionary digital invention, crypto, to fuel the huge market it attempts to create, rivalling the competition like WeChat in China, which has been offering more traditional transactions and micropayment services in fiat to its vast community for a while.
The launch of the TON testnet means that we will soon be welcoming Gram live. Although the name itself suggests just about anything other than digital, it could be the cryptocurrency to hit the mainstream and even steal the big headlines from Bitcoin.
There are so many promises out there, but we are yet to experience a real-life global blockchain-powered ecosystem. So Telegram’s claim is highly lucrative, at least for investors who made a bet on it. Perhaps they are seeking the opportunity of being part of a launching rocket on its way to a most promising planet of profit, following the experience of early investors in Apple, Facebook, Google and many others. They certainly do not want to miss this one.
The list of initial investors is impressive. During the first offering of TON’s native token, Gram, Durov secured the participation of mostly first-tier Silicon Valley VCs like Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Ventures, gaining support not only with funding but also their vast expertise and networks that add to promising to deliver with exceptional returns.
The second offering of Gram seems to have attracted the money of some “whales” from Durov’s home country, Russia. Namely, three notable investors: oil mogul and billionaire Roman Abramovich, one of the leaders in Russian money transfer and payment services Sergey Solonin (CEO of Russian payment system Qiwi) and David Yakobashvili, co-founder of dairy product company Wimm-Bill-Dann. Combined, they contributed handsomely towards the final $850 million raised.
Telegram posed considerable restrictions on Grams promised during the first offering, suggesting a considerable lockup period and prolonged delivery of the Grams after the release of TON mainnet. This was supposed to go live in March 2019, however, they failed to deliver, extending the launch until the end of October 2019, which looks likely now with the launch of the testnet. The second offering, which came with a much higher price, attracted investors with promising the immediate tradability of Grams offered after the release of TON.
High expectations for the success of Telegram Open Network and Gram was further proven during the very speculative OTC secondary offering conducted by an Asian exchange, Liquid, where some of the first investors already received huge returns.
Whether Telegram will deliver its promise for the launch this coming October is looking more likely. For the time being, users and investors are able to already work on the testnet that was released a few days after the promised deadline of 1st September. The fact that TON is “live” now makes it highly possible that Telegram will also deliver the mainnet.
Many reputable experts from world-leading institutions and organizations like MIT have provided their analysis of the likelihood of Telegram delivering on its promises. The TON white paper published by the Telegram team, full of complicated jargon, algorithms, formulas and comparisons with other existing environments, has undergone scrutiny and become subject to criticism from the expert community, which has voiced concerns for the deliverables and ability of the Telegram development team to handle the environment it proposes to create.
For now, it is clear that Telegram is trying to use the best available knowledge and expertise in building TON. In trying to find the answers for its own miracle network, they are tapping into well-established environments and technologies, such as Polkadot, developed by former CTO of Ethereum, Gavin Wood.
One thing is clear in all of this. TON is an ambitious endeavour, trying to establish a virtual “country” of its own with all the supporting systems and networks to facilitate a secure, reliable, scalable and super-fast business and transaction environment for its “citizens”.
It is one thing to build a messenger, based on relatively simple and known technologies and protocols. It is another thing to create a functional, virtual, global ecosystem like TON. You have to think up and execute your own digital currency, regulations, working architecture with distributed consensus building and a business environment to meet the high demands of today’s users for service speed and quality. All this has to be secure and risk-free to win the trust of a global community of users.
Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, and his large team and community are struggling with the same promise and deliverables. They are still far from making it over and beyond fintech and upto the speed of Visa and Mastercard in the last four to five years, despite the support from Ethereum’s huge community and vast resources of its partners.
Regardless of how big a user base Telegram messenger has, TON has to build one of its own, with substantially different stakeholders and service providers. There are nodes, storage providers, an open protocol developers community and stakeholders, among others.
So does TON have a future? Can Durov deliver what he promised to his valuable investors? It looks more like yes than no, but a positive outcome rests on several factors.
The global community is already getting used to the integration of payment capabilities into their communication applications for convenience, and will only be demanding more in the future. WeChat has paved the way for others to follow suit by capturing over half of China’s microtransactions market, no matter if it uses traditional fiat money for internal transactions.
The use of crypto wallets, services of numerous global and local exchanges for crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto transactions, along with a much better understanding of crypto and blockchain, has hit the mainstream.
There are several very promising initiatives working to create advanced blockchain technologies and networks addressing either similar or particular aspects of what TON is trying to build. Durov is clever not only to quote but also to use the best practices when building TON.
Finally, the resources that TON has accumulated during the pre-ICO process provide TON with incredible means for its research and development efforts.
Thus, it seems inevitable that TON will sooner or later come to life, which is reinforced with the launch of its testnet. The main question remains on how close it will be to the promised wonders of functionality. However, does it really matter? Perhaps not. No matter the outcome, it is clear that any delivery of the aims will further support the interest and demand for Gram, and allow it to continue. Like all great products, TON will start somewhere and certainly, with the support it has already secured, the chances that it will become another notable blockchain-powered environment are very high.
Durov, nonetheless, has proved to be an excellent strategist, able to handle very complex challenges. What’s more, so far he enjoys the trust of all his investors.
If not these words or others on TON, we can always listen to the Free Market, which clearly indicates a big demand and predicts bright prospects for both TON and its Gram token. How fitting that the Free Market is also a form of decentralized network that puts trust in itself, not anyone or more individuals within it. Just like TON.
The QuadrigaCX exchange scandal from a few months back caused widespread fear among people for their financial wellbeing. The scandal began with the sudden death of the exchange’s co-founder and CEO, Gerald Cotten, which led to over 100,000 of their users losing their cryptocurrency funds.
The CEO was supposedly the only person with access to the codes of almost $140 million worth of cryptocurrencies held in the exchange’s cold storage. When he unexpectedly passed away during his honeymoon in India, he left his customers to fight for their assets in Nova Scotia’s Supreme Court, while an appointed overseer for the company is still trying to search for the missing funds.
Events like this continue to propagate a very fragile trust in crypto, making banks and other traditional financial institutions even more suspicious. As the industry continues to find proper regulations for this new technology, crypto owners should do their best to self-regulate and take better care of their assets. Here are some ways crypto owners can make sure their funds are safe:
Audit and accreditation
When considering an exchange or any sort of fund keeping provider, you should be attentive to their verifications in order to ensure they are the best out there. Many have their verifications and accreditations on their websites, and to be extra safe, you can ask about their security audits and ask to see some audit reports, compliance documents, and any other kind of document that proves some sort of oversight.
As with QuadrigaCX, many changes can happen to a company over time. Technologies evolve and people come and go. One of the most important things for any company is redundancy and adaptability to circumstances. There should be safeguard systems in place for any unexpected circumstances in order to ensure safety for their clients or users.
A company’s history is nearly as important as its future strategy, and a company must have a proven track record of success. Brand new companies with no operational history should be studied carefully, as they aren’t as proven as other alternatives. There are many great new companies and exchanges out there, and by no means are we trying to diminish them, but operational history is important to consider. You should be able to review transactions as well as the type of business they conduct. For example, operating a cold wallet network is very different than providing hot wallet services for high transaction volume. If a company is new with not much available history, do your due diligence and make sure you look at their accreditations and verifications. ATAIX provides ours right on our website for all to look at in order to ensure user trust.
Multi-signature is the use of multiple keys to access cryptographic assets which require multiple people to come together in order to release assets. Those persons should incorporate the right level of governance and security protocols that will ensure the safety of your crypto assets for the foreseeable future.
Any person’s assets should be taken seriously, and the aforementioned steps should be taken by anyone interested in crypto. To start trading safely on a secure platform, sign up on ATAIX today.
Even before anything was announced, many people interested in the tech and phone industry were already speculating that Samsung would have some sort of crypto integration in their new Galaxy S10 line of phones. In the end, it turns out they were right, as Samsung unveiled a cryptocurrency wallet for their S10 line. As we've talked about before, crypto is giving credit cards a run for their money, and this is something Samsung seems to want to capitalize on.
The Korea Herald, one of the most popular English language newspapers in Korea, was the first to report on Samsung’s intention to integrate a crypto wallet into their new line on January 21st, exactly a month before the release of the Samsung Blockchain Wallet on February 21st. Samsung Pay- Samsung’s native payment processing application with over 10 million active users- will be the driving force behind the crypto wallet. On March 8th, Donga, one of South Korea’s biggest media outlets, elaborated on Samsung Pay’s serious intention on crypto integration in order to expand their user base. Donga’s report stated:
“Samsung Pay has recently extended the transaction period for overseas users and integrated an international payment processing service, aggressively targeting the global financial services market.”
As this continues to develop and the wallet is added to Samsung Pay, the platform may cement its status as a modern solution for the new ages. For now, the Samsung Blockchain Wallet is reported to be supporting only Ethereum, but more coins will definitely be integrated in the near future.
Such developments were expected from Samsung when looking at the acquisitions and product launches that it has had in the past. Samsung Pay went head to head with applications such as Apple Pay and KakaoPay immediately after its launch. A 2015 acquisition of LoopPay innovated their payment platform, allowing users to simply hover their smartphones over POS terminals in order to pay, presenting a huge advantage over its competitors.
Some important data reported by Donga shows that Samsung Pay’s user base has increased by a whopping 58 percent from 2017 to 2018, a number of 6.6 million users. Such figures could make Samsung a leader in the crypto payment sector in the near future.
As we have seen with Cash App’s Bitcoin integration, which increased the company’s market valuation by an astronomical 516%, crypto integration can have a huge positive impact for payment services. This could be something we see with Samsung soon.
As of April 2018, Samsung Pay had a transaction volume of $18 billion. With successful crypto integration, Samsung could set a precedent for mainstream companies continuing to embrace and integrate crypto and other blockchain based solutions to their products while also cementing its status among the leading blockchain-friendly companies out there.
Be sure to sign up on ATAIX to begin trading and to follow any other developments in the world of crypto.
Credit card fee hikes in recent years have brought to the surface some questions about traditional financial institutions and their instruments and created some debates among their effectiveness and that of cryptocurrencies. Many reports indicate that there are significant savings in payments processed with cryptocurrencies, but as creatures of habit, most people still prefer their banking cards over crypto transactions. Still, it seems that we are just a few years from established universal blockchain and crypto integration. Even today there are some major advancements that make a solid case for choosing crypto over credit. Here are some of the more significant ones.
This actually might be the single most important difference between crypto and credit cards. The user of a crypto wallet needs to give explicit permission and has full control over its financials when a transaction is occurring. It is up to the user of the wallet to decide under what terms, when and what amount he wants to transact. On the other hand, banks have full control over your money and personal data and have automated all of their processes to simply pull money out of your bank account at any given time.
This is closely linked with the point above. Users of crypto need to display their public address to receive payments and need to personally initiate any transaction in which they are sending money. The user is the only one with access to their funds via their private key. At no point can merchant access the user’s funds. They can only send to the user or receive after the user has initiated a transaction. This completely eliminates security problems, scams, and hidden fees associated with banking cards, since users of banking cards give their bank full access to their funds, which may lead to security risk or exploitation on the banker’s end. Credit cards are notorious for the latter, with hidden fees being a common concern linked to their services. With crypto, this aspect as a whole is eliminated.
Low fees, various alternatives
Low transactional fees were one of the main initial selling points for cryptocurrencies. Although that hasn’t been true with Bitcoin lately, that still leaves us with hundreds of other projects that have successfully implemented a low fee transaction schedule. This means being able to pay just a fraction of a dollar for basically any payment, making this an attractive offer for everyone so much so that even crypto to fiat conversion presents itself with more usable rate than credit cards.
As we all know, our personal information and identity are tightly connected to the credit cards and banks we use. This can create several issues with transactions, travelling, or even doing business overseas (sometimes domestically too!) since these things often include long, bureaucratic processes and the smallest mistake or inconsistency will halt the process. Many factors may contribute to complicating the process as well, including loss of documentation, emigration, or even things such as age and financial history. Cryptocurrencies, however, are like cash- easy to use anywhere, anytime, for anything. In fact- since they don’t need to be converted based on the country or region, they are even more convenient than cash, and certainly a much more preferable alternative to credit cards.
National patent and trademark offices are the clearest way to go if you have some kind of intellectual property to protect. A very well established infrastructure already exists in most nations, coupled with more recent international intellectual property protection programs. However, the 21st century has provided us with many ways to enhance nearly every aspect of private and public life. It has also provided new challenges for almost every field, intellectual property included. With that in mind, we want to once again look into the potential use of one of the 21st century’s greatest innovations- blockchain- in this particular field.
In almost every country around the world there are different systems that regulate intellectual property, all of which were created long before the digital age we live in today. The rules that each country has set for themselves were mostly concentrated inwards, meaning they were meant to be enforced only for intellectual property that was to be used in that particular country. Now in these modern times, almost every idea has some international usage potential, and that, of course, has created some big problems. International treaties and conventions have attempted to address and resolve these issues, but have been met with many enforcement hurdles. This has been particularly evident in the case of internet-based businesses that have quick internationalization capabilities. Managing such businesses across multiple countries and continents has been a headache for many brands, taking a lot of their time and money. Blockchain technology, on the other hand, is the holy grail that everyone hopes will sort out some, if not all, of these hardships.
Below are three interesting ways that blockchain can potentially address these issues:
The birth of an idea
The first steps that are taken when an idea sees the light of day, by its individual creator and/or the company that represents it, are always to protect it. If some kind of technological development, service, or product can potentially be created from it, it’s only natural to patent the idea.
Blockchain actually provides a very clear and simple solution here, which is its ledger and the information that is recorded on it. Recording intellectual property on the ledger guarantees transparency when it comes to proving who came up with a certain idea first. Needless to say, this can prevent the headache, time, and expenses parties spend on legal battles to settle such issues.
One of the other purposes of the intellectual property systems is to award companies that innovate with their ideas when these ideas are used by third parties and their products through licensing. Verifying ownership of patents can be a real challenge when companies don’t update their ownership status, making it very hard for even the biggest companies to license something out.
This, like the issue above, creates endless disputes that can be easily avoided by implementing blockchain, thus giving a clear picture of who owns what, as well as a set of guidelines on how those things can be used by third parties.
Dealing with multiple jurisdictions around the world is a big problem. A ton of paperwork for each separate patent in each different country is enormously wasteful time and money-wise.
If the blockchain is used to save an idea on its ledger, then legal offices around the world can just update the ledger with their set of rules which will make things less complex, more cost-effective, and, above all, borderless.
This is certainly a huge potential development in the blockchain field. To follow any other such developments and begin trading, sign up with ATAIX today.
Despite the bumpy ride that this remarkable technology has endured in the past year, blockchain is still one of the most important and profound inventions of the modern era.
Many startups have failed but even more have succeeded in attempting to bring value to this industry. The most important sign that Bitcoin and its underlying technologies are still going strong and gaining momentum is the fact that big companies are pushing its innovation and overall value creation.
That being said, here are some of the most important trends that everyone should know about when it comes to blockchain today:
Real value vs hype
Practically any industry in the world that could bring innovation where there previously wasn’t, will naturally open huge possibilities for wealth creation, and can attract a lot of positive but also negative attention. For the blockchain industry, this has kind of gone over the edge. There has been an overwhelming number of scammers promising all sorts of get-rich-quick schemes that have fooled a lot of people. But despite that black hole of scams, the industry will see the light of day with the introduction of regulations that promise a lot less of these money grabbers. In any case, a little research and caution can go a long way.
The IOT - Blockchain story is just starting
The interoperability between the blockchain technology and IOT has doubled in 2018. This means that this trend is very far away from its peak and it’s just starting to show the endless possibilities that come from merging these two technologies. With expectations of over 26 billion connected devices in 2019, experts say that this year IOT will see an explosion of use cases and blockchain will push the numbers even further.
Breaking new ground in the financial industry
As it has become obvious by now that there is no stopping the revolution in the traditional finance industry induced by the Bitcoin and its underlying technologies. Many companies in the field have decided to stop resisting and start working on their own solutions that will improve the old inefficient and broken ways of doing business. ICE, the operator of the New York Stock Exchange, has already put their plans in motion with Bakkt – a Bitcoin-based futures trading platform. This represents one of the first steps towards implementing blockchain in many spheres of the current financial system that is just starting to improve the way we go about our finances.
Ever-increasing investment opportunities
With the implementation of blockchain technology, the entry bar for larger investments like real estate, for example, is significantly lower and continues to decrease. This requires a bit more regulation in order to allow everyday traders to take part in, but as things are moving along in that direction, in time we will surely see the doors open for the masses. Digital “shares” will become a common thing in all traditional investment markets and with the help of smart contracts, all of the unnecessary costs and the middlemen like lawyers and brokers will be eliminated.
Be sure to sign up with ATAIX today to begin trading and to follow any further developments in the industry.
Innovative projects utilizing blockchain is something we’ve already covered in-depth, as well as the great possibilities that blockchain has opened for many existing companies from various industries. The use of smart contracts, improving supply chain management, quality assurance, voting processes, improving trust in transactions, accounting- the uses for blockchain seem endless. Now it seems, blockchain and its potential is starting to seep into the mainstream.
As it stands now, only smaller companies and startups have a firm grip on the use of the blockchain as a prominent part of their workflow. Many big companies have been doing research and testing the waters, but are not quite there with full implementation. The biggest problem that enterprise companies seem to have when it comes to blockchain is privacy. It’s just not enough for big companies to have pseudonymous blockchain as they have huge numbers of customers and customer data. If somehow an address used for private business from a company is made public, then all of that address transaction history will be publicly available forever. This creates a big problem for companies that have privacy regulations like GDPR and the California Privacy Act hanging right above their heads.
However the future isn’t all doom and gloom and despite certain concerns, some companies are attempting to build the necessary bridges between blockchain and their existing enterprise infrastructure. For investors interested in the blockchain technology who believe in its potential, this provides an interesting opportunity. Here are a few companies who are looking into blockchain implementation:
Hyperledger Fabric is the name of the standard used by IBM that looks to provide a solution to the problems enterprises may have when it comes to confidential transactions. Hyperledger is hosted by The Linux Foundation and at the moment has the cooperation of hundreds of companies.
A statement from the company issued says:
“Data confidentiality mechanisms ensure that individuals or organizations are prevented from accessing data that they are not authorized to access, such as classified information of other organizations’ transactions. Anonymity requires that participants of transactions are concealed.”
IBM is actually one of the biggest companies out there that is an active proponent of blockchain use. They have created IBM Blockchain to implement blockchain use and are “transforming blockchain’s promise into bottom-line business results.”
Together with the startup Kaleido, Amazon and its Web Services (AWS) have joined forces to offer businesses the power of distributed ledgers with the introduction of Hyperledger and Ethereum templates.
AWS statement goes as follows:
“Introducing Kaleido to AWS customers is going to help customers move faster and not worry about managing blockchain themselves. Kaleido offers a full-stack SaaS for creating, operating and scaling enterprise blockchain solutions.”
This company has been doing an awesome job of working on a solution that will enable different blockchains to communicate with each other. Their main goal is to use smart contracts to make a transaction of data and assets between chains a simple process. The so-called “parachains” will play a big role in Polkadot’s product. They will be used for gathering and processing information and then sending it off to a relay chain. In the end, the data will be passed along to “bridges” that will connect to a base-blockchain like Ethereum.
This blockchain-based storage network has been developing two very interesting solutions that would hopefully suit the big enterprise companies. The first one is Provable Data Possession (PDP) and the other one is Proofs of Retrievability (POR). The idea behind this is to create an immutable and secure solution for storing, accounting for and exchanging large volumes of data between multiple parties. Access control will be implemented via multi-authority attribute-based encryption (MA-ABE).
With each passing day, more companies continue to invest in and adopt blockchain. The next couple of years will be very exciting for the blockchain world and we look forward to seeing any changes that come with blockchain integration. To begin trading and to follow more blockchain-related developments, sign up for ATAIX today.
When the first Bitcoin was mined back in 2009, it silently marked the start of something big. At that time the mining process didn’t really mean anything in particular other than “simply” creating a virtual currency. It was a niche that was shrouded in mystery, much like its founder.
At first, this revolutionary technology was supported and mined only by the enthusiasts and developers of Bitcoin. In order for it to become what it is today, it took many years of building its network’s foundation of miners that now comprises of thousands of people and companies around the world contributing to the most famous online payment system of all time.
Seeing as there’s been many advances in the crypto mining industry in this last decade, we wanted to briefly go over a handful of some of the more interesting methods people use today.
Number 1: Doing the right way. Legally.
In the beginning, as we mentioned, mining cryptocurrencies was reserved for the enthusiasts, developers, and entrepreneurs with some small capital to invest into mining rigs. Soon after, it became incredibly competitive with companies buying all of the latest gear, stacking it up in mining farms all over the world where the electricity is cheaper. But nevertheless, the Bitcoin crash dawned upon the industry and endangered the ability to make at a profit. Despite this huge downturn event this still is the most secure way to mine some crypto: simply upgrading your machine or buying a separate mining machine and getting to work.
Number 2: Using excess power
In some places, there is surplus electricity that is generated, more than is demanded. In Washington for example, electrical power generated by the dams has been in overwhelmingly high numbers. More precisely, it is six times higher than what the whole population including the companies will ever need to use. This represents a great chance for miners as the local price for excess power in Washington has been dirt cheap which makes this region a worthwhile mining investment opportunity.
Number 3: Cryptojacking - Interesting but illegal (and completely unendorsed by us here at ATAIX).
This mining method has been very popular and pretty much on the rise from the moment it was created. What cryptojacking is practically doing is injecting malicious code into an app, website or a computer in order to use the victim’s computer processing power to mine cryptocurrencies. Many people are using various web pages that offer them ready-to-mine code that they can just copy-paste into their own website or application so when someone is using their app or browsing their blog the processing power of the device is used to mine cryptocurrencies without the user knowing. Though certainly fascinating, this is nevertheless highly illegal.
Number 4: Using unregulated markets
Countries like Iran and North Korea that have been under sanctions imposed by most of the world are a pretty safe haven for miners. In Iran, they are using the high rates of the world traditional currency market between the US dollar and the Iranian Rial so they can still make more money at an extremely low crypto market value. An additional plus is cheap electricity in the country so even if Bitcoin goes as low as 2000 dollars combined with the high fiat rates, they can still make a profit.