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How to know if a company using blockchain is all hype or the next big thing

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After a 2018 lull, blockchain has returned to the public consciousness in force recently thanks in part to Bitcoin’s bull run and Facebook’s announcement regarding GlobalCoin.

In this environment, it’s trendy to work on blockchain. What I’m noticing with a lot of projects, though, is plenty of hype and little substance.
The reality is that blockchain is extremely complicated and requires a lot of time and resources to apply correctly.

Nevertheless, as you survey the blockchain landscape, how can you tell if a project is credible or fake? What are the “tells” of an illegitimate project?

Below is a series of questions to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Is a network involved?
Blockchain and cryptocurrency are efficient ways to transfer and measure value in and around networks, where there are buyers and sellers, producers and consumers, or creators and distributors. Consider the value of networks, where network effects make the whole more valuable than the sum of the parts. I call this the network surplus, and it is difficult to quantify. Standard currencies do not account for this dynamic value, which is why blockchain and cryptocurrency can be so transformative in the media industry.

As a separate example, let’s examine Bitcoin. The value of this cryptocurrency is in storing and verifying independent, decentralized, peer-to-peer transactions. The work of verifying the transactions and adding them to the blockchain digital ledger (i.e. mining) is rewarded via bitcoin.

When you evaluate a blockchain project and it’s not clear how the technology is being utilized to connect stakeholders in a marketplace, or why cryptocurrency is being used in place of standard fiat, chances are the project does not make sense.

What are people paying for?
Free is not a business model.

If a blockchain project claims that it is free, it is a waste of time. The truth is, for any legitimate blockchain project to be anchored in reality, it must be supported by an economic model that makes sense. For instance, the value of Ethereum represents the cost of maintaining a network that enables transactions and storage.

As Tiereon CEO Wayne Vaughan said in this CoinDesk article, “Data can’t live forever if no one pays the bills.”

Is it a public or private blockchain project?
Blockchain enables independent parties to transact without a “trusted” 3rd party to interfere. Decentralization is a key component since traditional ways to transact require an intermediary – such as a bank – which poses some risks.

Private blockchain (a.k.a. Enterprise blockchain) is a centralized system which defeats the purpose and renders the technology unnecessary. It’s the equivalent of an extremely expensive database.

There’s a reason why JPM Coin, KodakCoin, and others have been met with resistance and/or skepticism.

Is the team legit?
The common thread of sketchy ICOs and shady pump-and-dump schemes is the people behind them are unscrupulous.

Blockchain projects have a high failure rate because they’re tough to pull off and it’s a nascent technology. Absent a strong team with a proven track record and strong business or tech pedigree, the degree of difficulty becomes nearly insurmountable.

Do your homework and ask yourself if the people behind the project are trustworthy or do they seem like hype men for their coin? See: Justin Sun.

Is the goal fundraising?
Plenty of blockchain projects utilize ICOs to enrich themselves and to circumvent traditional fundraising avenues, which require periods of due diligence with professional investors who scrutinize businesses with exacting detail.

Always follow the money. When huge swaths of coins find their way into founders’ digital wallets before their projects have proven anything, that’s a huge warning sign.

Do you buy the concept?
Any legitimate blockchain project has a whitepaper that clearly articulates the specific use case for the technology.

Do your due diligence and read the whitepaper thoroughly. The devil is in the details. Do you understand the vision? Is the vision materializing? Is the team accountable to what is outlined in their whitepaper?

Be careful when the whitepaper conflicts with the reality of the project.

Contributed article by Martin Floreani, Founder & CEO of Rokfin

The post How to know if a company using blockchain is all hype or the next big thing appeared first on CryptoNewsReview.

Source: https://cryptonewsreview.com/how-to-know-if-a-company-using-blockchain-is-all-hype-or-the-next-big-thing/

Blockchain

Beware: Latest Ledger Email Phishing Scam Making The Rounds

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Consumers who have purchased Ledger hardware wallets have been waking up to nasty emails claiming that their crypto assets are in danger of being stolen. It is the latest in a long list of phishing attacks designed to lure the uninitiated into divulging their secret phrases or downloading malware.

The first round of spurious emails was asking for the 24-word recovery phrase and Ledger responded with a warning emailed to customers confirming that it would never ask for this.

The second round of emails is a little more insidious as they claim that a data breach on Ledger servers has affected the wallet associated with the target email account. It asks users to download the latest version of Ledger Live, via an email embedded link, and reset their PIN numbers.

It was reported that Ledger did suffer a data breach in July resulting in 9,500 users having their personal information compromised.

Ledger scam email

Sneaky Social Engineering

On initial glance, the email looks genuine but there are a number of key giveaways that are easy to spot for the trained eye. Firstly, the domain name is not from ledger.com but legder.com

Secondly, hovering over the link in the box (but being careful not to click it) reveals a dodgy URL; http://url9594.legder.com which is likely to result in the downloading of malware which may be able to log keystrokes, steal credentials, or mine cryptocurrency.

Crypto investors and traders have already taken to twitter to share this phishing scam and warn others about it;

Additionally, Ledger itself has published a list confirming knowledge of these phishing attempts and reinforcing the premise that funds are safe providing the recovery phrase is;

The company stated that nobody, including Ledger, should ever ask for the PIN number of recovery phrase, but this latest email was a call to action prompting the clicking of a malicious link.

Risk Mitigation

Hardware wallets, such as those produced by Ledger or Trezor, take an extra step to mitigate these risks. Ledger stated that crypto assets cannot be sent from a Ledger device unless the user physically connects it to the computer and verifies the transaction on both the computer and the device.

If malware is controlling the PC or smartphone, it cannot control the Ledger wallet, even when it is plugged into the computer.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/beware-latest-ledger-email-phishing-scam-making-the-rounds/

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After The Storm: Bitcoin Holds $13K Despite Wall Street Monday’s Plunge

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Despite a brief price slump to $12,800, Bitcoin has perhaps indicated signs of decoupling from the stock markets. Wall Street bled out rather viciously yesterday, while BTC has risen above $13,000 again.

Bitcoin Decouples From Stocks?

During the past several weeks, Bitcoin’s price performance has resembled that of the US stock markets. For example, when news broke out that US President Donald Trump tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, both asset groups tanked. Shortly after, when Trump left the hospital, BTC, and the stock market surged.

However, Bitcoin displayed a few yearly signs of decoupling last week. The three most prominent US-based stock indexes, namely the S&P 500, the Nasdaq Composite, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, lost value, while BTC went on an impressive roll, resulting in a fresh yearly high of above $13,350.

Yesterday’s trading session was also quite negative for Wall Street. The growing COVID-19 confirmed cases and concerns regarding the new US stimulus brought massive drops. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined by nearly 2%, while the Dow closed with a 2.3% decrease.

Initially, Bitcoin also followed the adverse performance. BTC was trading high above $13,200, but it vigorously tanked to its daily low of about $12,800. However, the primary cryptocurrency has recovered most of its losses since then and trades closely to $13,100.

btcusdt_char
BTC/USDT. Source: TradingView

Red Dominates The Altcoin Market

On a 24-hour scale, most altcoins have lost significant chunks of value. Ethereum has dived by 3% and trades well below $400. Just a few days ago, ETH touched $420.

Ripple (-1.8%) has dipped beneath $0.25. Bitcoin Cash (-3.1%), Chainlink (-4.6%), Cardano (-1.5%), and Litecoin (-2%) are all in the red from the top 10.

There’re two obvious exceptions – Binance Coin and Polkadot. BNB has jumped by over 1% to $31.26, while DOT has surged by 9% to $4.7.

heatmap
Cryptocurrency Market Heatmap. Source: Quantify Crypto

Further losses are evident from lower and mid-cap altcoins. Quant leads the way with a 13% decrease. Reserve Rights (-10.3%), HedgeTrade (-10%), CyberVein (-10%), Elrond (-9%), and Ampleforth (-8.5%) follow.

Nevertheless, a few coins are deep in green as well. Kusama is the most impressive gainer with a 26% surge, Ocean Protocol (14%), and Velas (9%) are next.

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/after-the-storm-bitcoin-holds-13k-despite-wall-street-mondays-plunge/

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Fireblocks Hits $150 Billion Milestone, Plots European Expansion

The enterprise-grade digital asset platform is moving into France and Germany as EU lawmakers signal moves toward cryptocurrency adoption.

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In brief

  • Fireblocks is moving into Europe ahead of European policymakers’ plans to spur cryptocurrency innovation.
  • The digital asset platform for institutions has helped facilitate $150 billion in transfers.
  • Fireblocks sees PayPal’s recent move toward crypto as a sign of institutional demand.

Fireblocks, an enterprise-grade digital asset platform, announced plans to expand its European operations into two key markets and said that more than $150 billion in digital assets from institutional customers, including banks, trading desks, hedge funds, and other players have been transferred on its platform. 

The company will launch new operations in France and Germany, expanding beyond its London-based UK operations, where it currently leads its European business.

The move, coming just weeks after EU policymakers announced a series of initiatives to spur innovation in the digital asset space, reflects a wave of increased demand by the type of institutional customers Fireblocks caters to, such as PayPal

 

The European Commission—the European Union’s executive branch—announced plans in late September to develop a new set of rules that will help grow the emerging cryptocurrency and payments business, including the creation of a blockchain-focused regulatory sandbox.

“While this type of regulation will no doubt increase the incremental operating costs of doing business in the EU for Fireblocks and others, we are already seeing the power of such frameworks to actually create opportunities and drive innovation,” Jason Allegrante, the company’s newly named head regulatory counsel and global chief compliance officer, told Decrypt

“Our decision to launch new offices in France and Germany not only positions us to become a regulatory early adopter when and if this regulation is adopted, it demonstrates our commitment to serving our customers in Europe to the best of our ability now and in the future.”

Policymakers and regulators are stepping in at a time when fintech firms and other financial services companies are developing products to enhance the ability to make crypto payments and convert between crypto and fiat currencies. 

“The recent announcement that PayPal will begin offering digital asset products and services is an incredible milestone for digital asset adoption, but the story is much bigger than PayPal,” Allegrante said. He said when we look back in the coming months and years, PayPal will likely be just one of many names to enter the space.

Fireblocks announced earlier this month that challenger bank and mobile app Revolut would leverage Fireblocks’ wallet and network infrastructure to support the launch of new crypto services for its 13 million customers.

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