trade.io Partners With Modular, Inc, to Use New Blosym Framework, Decreasing ICO Process by 85 …

Blosym is an all-in-one platform for distributed applications. Blosym will simplify the use of Ethereum applications by offering an easy point-and-click interface for smart contract deployments and point-and-click token crowdfunding participation. Current research and development is underway for future …

The relationship empowers trade.io’s platform with Modular’s security focus on the back-end, usability on the front-end, along with integrating second layer network scaling tech such as TrueBit, thereby creating a synergistic advantage between the two companies in terms of unlocking mainstream adoption for blockchain technology.

On the development, Charles Voltron,trade.ios CTO commented, “This partnership is significant with regards to executing on our initiative on assisting companies to ICO on thetrade.ioplatform in a safe and efficient manner by also utilizing the Blosym platform.The ability to cut down the amount of time for a company to ICO without compromising on security will be beneficial to the dozens of companies we have waiting to list their token on thetrade.ioplatform once we launch.What usually takes upwards of 3-4 months will now take a few weeks, andallow companies to focus on the fund raise rather than the technical concerns.”

Christopher Brown, CEO of Modular Inc, commented, “Were excited to work withtrade.ioand offer Blosym to its client base as they establish themselves as one of the leaders amongst crypto exchanges.”

Ethereum has reached a $51B market cap this year despite losses of over $100M due to source code glitches, web phishing, and private key hacks. All of this due to early technology still finding its way, Modular is a group of 6 developers actively problem solving in the Ethereum ecosystem. Modular has a full open source repository, which can be found at:https://github.com/Modular-Network/ethereum-libraries

trade.io has just started its ICO and has raised upwards of $17 million from over 7,000 participants. Visit https://trade.io for further details.

SOURCE trade.io

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Crypto hedge funds are beating their benchmarks

Hedge fund managers have been under pressure of late, criticized for charging high fees (paywall) while often failing to outperform inexpensive index trackers. But investors in hedge funds that bet on cryptoassets have less reason to gripe: these funds are comfortably beating broad measures of market …

Hedge fund managers have been under pressure of late, criticized for charging high fees (paywall) while often failing to outperform inexpensive index trackers. But investors in hedge funds that bet on cryptoassets have less reason to gripe: these funds are comfortably beating broad measures of market performance.

As usual with cryptocurrencies, the returns are mind boggling. Crypto hedge funds have gained 1,641% in the year to November, according to data-tracking firm HFR. The funds in HFR’s index hold a portfolio of assets like bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, as well as tokens from initial coin offerings (ICOs).

A value-weighted index of the 10 biggest cryptoassets has gained a mere 1,226% over the same period, according to the HOLD 10 Index. A measure of bitcoin prices provided by CME Group—the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate—is up 857%.

The funds’ bumper performance could be explained by their investments in ICOs, which blend aspects of digital tokens with crowdfunding. Just about every government watchdog has warned investors to think twice before investing in them. But despite their slippery legal status, some ICOs have recorded immense gains, either on their own merits or often simply because the tokens are denominated in ether, which has gained more than 6,000% in price this year.

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Cashing in on Bitcoin: What Indians should know

Over the years, multiple factors have contributed to the rise in popularity of this cryptocurrency created under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto – the identity of the creator remains a mystery. The biggest being that transactions using Bitcoins are made without the involvement of a third party, thus cutting …

As the Bitcoin wave reaches an all-time high, questions are being raised over its promises of being a safe and secure digital currency of the future and whether it can be used for effortless peer-to-peer transactions. The cryptocurrency – and to an extent, its ilk – with its stupendous growth, has forced the Indian government and the RBI to stand up and take notice of what is increasingly being termed as “currency 2.0”.

Closer to home, fears of Bitcoin acting as channel for the trade of black money or, worse, being one big Ponzi scheme have been aired in the recent weeks. But before addressing such concerns, let’s rewind and understand what makes Bitcoins – and other cryptocurrencies – such sought-after financial instruments, and where they stand in the Indian context.

Why Bitcoins are good

Not the first cryptocurrency to have made its way into the wild, Bitcoins have come a long way from its humble beginnings back in 2009 when the currency’s ledger was made available to the public for the first time and the creation of Bitcoins through mining began.

Over the years, multiple factors have contributed to the rise in popularity of this cryptocurrency created under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto – the identity of the creator remains a mystery. The biggest being that transactions using Bitcoins are made without the involvement of a third party, thus cutting out the need for middlemen and transaction fees. Additionally, Bitcoin as a currency for the digital world also promises complete anonymity and till date remains out of the purview of government regulations.

The rise of Bitcoin

Though the digital currency has been in place for long and its advantages are for all to see, Bitcoin prices have skyrocketed in the past year. From $780 on December 12, 2016, the current exchange price (as on December 14) of a Bitcoin is hovering at a stupendous $17,000.

This growth has majorly been fuelled by more and more investors looking at ways to ride the Bitcoin wave. A gradual increase in the places where Bitcoin can be used has also contributed to its continued growth in popularity. Even though cryptocurrencies remain largely unregulated – except for Japan which, earlier in the year, passed a law to make Bitcoins a legal payment methodmany banks, including Barclays, Citibank, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas are now looking at ways to safely invest in Bitcoins through secure financial instruments.

bitcoin-copy_121417035316.jpg

Bitcoin trading in India

In India, Bitcoin remains an unregulated financial instrument and one that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) itself has asked investors tosteer clear of. With government bodies not regulating the exchange of the cryptocurrency in the country, in the last year or two, several portals and exchanges have come up to help people from the country trade Bitcoins.

However, despite such efforts, and Bitcoin scaling new heights this year, the cryptocurrency has still not managed to become a household name in the country. Though adopters of this currency are gradually increasing, it’s still not close to being as popular as it is in many of the developed economies across the globe.

Apart from technological bottlenecks and the restricted ecosystem to support Bitcoin in the country, speculation about the Indian government’s take on Bitcoins has also slightly dampened demand for the digital currency in the country.

Indian government cautious of cryptocurrency

Even if we disregard the RBI’s stance on the cryptocurrency – which is in line with other big financial institutions from around the world – it’s the murmurs about the government of the country clamping down on Bitcoins that are of great concern.

In a bid to curb the spread of black money, reports suggest, the Indian government is planning to set up a framework to keep tabs on thousands of Bitcoin transactions that are taking place every day in unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges across the country.

The initial steps in putting a leash on this decentralised currency in the country have already been taken. The Income-Tax department has launched surveys at exchanges operating out of Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad in what is believed to be an attempt at collecting information about those trading in Bitcoins.

If reports are to be believed, the information gathered from these surveys will be used by the department to send hefty tax bills later.

According to a report published in The Economic Times, returns from bitcoins could soon attract 20-30 per cent tax, depending on whether they are categorised as business income or capital gains.

bitcoin1-copy_121417035531.jpg

Need to be cautious

However, to say the words of caution by the RBI or attempts at regulation of Bitcoin by the government are excessive and unwarranted would be wrong. Bitcoin’s framework — which allows for anonymous buying and selling of the cryptocurrency — does bring with itself a set of challenges that need to be addressed by governments across the world.

The very decentralisation – just like the Internet – and anonymity that makes the Bitcoin such a revolutionary financial instrument, not just makes it a threat for the government-regulated currencies of the world but also makes it a great conduit for the unchecked flow of illicit money that can be used for funding illegal drug trade and terror.

Then there’s also the small factor of the Bitcoin – like other cryptocurrencies – being highly volatile in nature. As seen earlier, great gains can be wiped out almost overnight when it comes to Bitcoins. A case in point is the 20 per cent slump in value of Bitcoin post the diktat by the Chinese government banning the exchange of the currency in October 2017.

And that’s not all: there are also concerns over nefarious elements using the Bitcoin wave to get users to sign up for e-ponzi schemes.

Despite all this, what should be remembered is that we are just entering the age of cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin, much like its more than 900-strong brotherhood, is here to stay, and become central to our lives in the coming decades.

Also read: Why Vikas Gupta’s sexuality and Hina Khan’s age became a controversy

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It’s Time for Governments to Embrace Blockchain

Marie Wieck is general manager at IBM Blockchain, where she focuses on driving ecosystem growth around the Hyperledger Project and delivering enterprise blockchain solutions. This article is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2017 in Review opinion series.

Marie Wieck is general manager at IBM Blockchain, where she focuses on driving ecosystem growth around the Hyperledger Project and delivering enterprise blockchain solutions.

This article is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2017 in Review opinion series.


Governments are custodians of their citizens’ most precious information – their Social Security numbers, their tax information, their votes, their identities.

Now, a new technology is emerging that supports open government initiatives focused on unleashing innovation in the public sector. Using blockchain, governments can address the dual challenges of trust and transparency, and the need for data protection and privacy.

Citizens increasingly expect the same ease, efficiency and innovation from public services that they currently enjoy in the private sector. Conflicting data formats, longstanding interoperability challenges and a need to balance the benefits of openness against a need to protect privacy have made it difficult for governments to unleash the full potential of their data – until now.

Blockchain provides an immutable, transparent record of the truth, and it is changing how organizations carry out trusted transactions. Governments around the world are already exploring blockchain. For example, the U.S. state of Delaware is using blockchain to help companies incorporate.

Sweden is using the technology to test a land registry where property buyers and sellers, their banks and land registry authorities can all view and approve transactions on a blockchain in real time.

Dubai has set the ambitious goal of running its entire government on blockchain by 2020, digitizing all public documents onto this ledger to speed and increase capacity for new transactions.

Estonia has been heralded as the first government to embrace blockchain, initially with a focus on cybersecurity, but now also for citizen services like e-voting.

China put a ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and has been questioning the use of blockchain with respect to cryptocurrencies, but is more positive about its other, non-currency, use cases.

Japan has sanctioned the use of bitcoin and is looking at the opportunity for its own digital currency while Venezuela recently launched a crytopcurrency in an attempt to circumvent financial blockades.

The U.S. has convened a summit on the subject of blockchain, and the recent approval of the defense spending bill includes provisions for modernizing government technology specifically allowing for the exploration of blockchain.

Tip of the iceberg

These examples, however, are just the beginning.

2018, IBM believes, will be the year blockchain becomes an accepted and appreciated innovation for government, a year when the global public sector begins to look closely at this technology and a year when citizens begin to see its effects on the issues that affect them.

The fact is, blockchain is coming to the public sector.

This is revealed in a survey conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value of more than 200 regulators in 16 countries focused on building trust in government and reducing bureaucracy. Among those regulators, 14 percent surveyed were already “explorers” with blockchain pilots in progress, and a full 90 percent had plans to do so in 2018.

The top use cases that interested regulators most were not around cryptocurrencies. They were interested in using blockchain to increase collaboration and innovation. Top projects included asset management, digital identity services and reducing the costs of regulatory compliance and citizen services like e-voting.

This amplifies the notion of open government initiatives as an area where blockchain is particularly well suited, such as protecting sensitive data while facilitating approved access where needed.

Pressing questions

With the onslaught of government regulators set to initiate blockchain pilots in the coming year, here are three questions they should consider:

1) What type of permission do government blockchain networks require?

Most of the questions on which blockchain technology to use center on a debate of whether they are public or private blockchains. The better question to ask is whether these are permissioned or anonymous blockchain networks. In permissioned networks, members are known and assigned various levels of permission based on their role in the network.

Contrast this to anonymous blockchain networks where participants are unknown and access is completely open. Most governments and other organizations clearly need a permissioned system that requires consent for use of the information on the network.

2) What’s the best way to get started? Don’t wait for new policies to be introduced, set the policy through experience with initial pilots. Blockchain is still an emerging technology.

Understand how smart contracts work and the role they can play in helping with regulatory compliance. Explore key participants in the network and how their roles differ. How can regulators, auditors, service providers, the private sector and other agencies engage?

Picking a starting point and pivoting quickly on feedback from participants is essential. This will also build skills in the expanding blockchain ecosystem.

3) How does the circle of trust expand? The value of blockchain networks increases as they expand. A key question for regulators is how that value might expand beyond geographic boundaries. Most commercial networks cannot be constrained by national borders.

Rather than fight for data locality and data sovereignty, are there broader benefits that come from sharing data with others? Addressing critical global issues like refugee aid efforts, tracking data on potential health epidemics, or combating terrorism, would all benefit from international standards and cooperation.

The time is now

Blockchain’s potential to support trust and transparency, data protection and privacy has been well established in 2017. While we’ve already seen positive benefits from blockchain, the opportunity is even greater when expanded to open government.

IBM believes that one day, just as the internet became the business standard of communication, blockchain will be how all of us share and verify data.

Government can – and should – help lead that revolution.

Disagree? CoinDesk is looking for submissions to its 2017 in Review series. Email news@coindesk.com to pitch your idea and make your views heard.

Piggy bank with chain via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk strives to offer an open platform for dialogue and discussion on all things blockchain by encouraging contributed articles. As such, the opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of CoinDesk.

For more details on how you can submit an opinion or analysis article, view our Editorial Collaboration Guide or email news@coindesk.com.

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Bitcoin Price Posts Slight Decline But Altcoin Markets Set New Records

Fourth-ranked ripple added 20 percent to its swelling market cap, which rose above $20 billion on Thursday. Litecoin and IOTA each suffered moderate declines, while the dash price had enough steam left in its rally to rise two percent. Bitcoin gold, mimicking fellow BTC fork bitcoin cash, rose more than …

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The bitcoin price posted a minor pullback on Thursday, continuing a weeklong trend that has seen the most prominent cryptocurrency ease its foot off the gas after a meteoric early-month climb. Altcoins, meanwhile, continued to take advantage of bitcoin’s relative stagnancy to set new all-time highs, and, importantly, reclaim market share.

bitcoin price

Source: CoinMarketCap

Despite bitcoin’s minor decline, the total cryptocurrency market cap managed to rise to yet another all-time high, peaking at $514 billion on Thursday morning. This constituted a single-day increase of approximately one percent.

bitcoin price

Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin Price Dips to $16,700

Bitcoin investors have grown accustomed to seeing the value of their holdings soar with every passing day, but the bitcoin price has not made much sustained movement this week. Since last Thursday, the bitcoin price has increased by eight percent, but it has not been able to break through $20,000 — the next psychologically-important barrier — nor has it maintained any significant declines.

bitcoin price

Bitcoin Price Chart | Source: CoinMarketCap

At the time of writing, the bitcoin price was trading at a global average of $16,714, which represents a daily decline of 2 percent and translates into a $279.8 billion market cap.

Ethereum Price Hits New All-Time High Above $750

A contributing factor to bitcoin’s relative stagnancy is that traders appear to be re-allocating their holdings into the altcoin markets. While bitcoin fluctuates around $17,000, altcoin prices have been soaring — and the ethereum price has been leading the charge.

ethereum price

Ethereum Price Chart | Source: CoinMarketCap

In the past week, the ethereum price has climbed by more than 66 percent, bringing the second-largest cryptocurrency to a new all-time high above $750, although it has since ebbed from that mark. At the time of writing, the ethereum price was trading at a global average of $711, which translates into a $68.5 billion market cap.

Altcoins Wrestle Back Market Share

Nevertheless, ethereum is just a single cog — albeit, the largest one — in a comprehensive altcoin advance. Over the course of the past week, 13 altcoins in the top 15 have risen by at least 10 percent against the dollar, enabling the total altcoin market cap to leap by nearly $90 billion during that period.

On Thursday, the gains were less evenly distributed, but four cryptocurrencies in the top 15 — including the two largest Bitcoin forks — managed to post returns of at least 20 percent.

bitcoin price

Source: CoinMarketCap

The bitcoin cash price posted a 24 percent gain, briefly crossing the $2,000 threshold before settling down to a present value of $1,965. Bitcoin cash now has a market cap of $33.1 billion.

bitcoin cash price

Bitcoin Cash Price Chart | Source: CoinMarketCap

Fourth-ranked ripple added 20 percent to its swelling market cap, which rose above $20 billion on Thursday. Litecoin and IOTA each suffered moderate declines, while the dash price had enough steam left in its rally to rise two percent.

Bitcoin gold, mimicking fellow BTC fork bitcoin cash, rose more than 21 percent to cross the $300 checkpoint for the first time since December 5. At present, the bitcoin gold price is $338, making it the eighth-largest cryptocurrency. Moneroand NEM, meanwhile, posted minor declines to round out the top 10.

bitcoin gold price

Bitcoin Gold Price Chart | Source: CoinMarketCap

Outside of the top 10, many altcoins posted moderate increases, enough so that the number of cryptocurrencies with billion-dollar market caps rose to 23 — a new all-time high.

Featured image from Shutterstock.