Vertbase: Coinbase for Altcoins.

Accelerating cryptocurrency adoption

Founded in 2018, Vertbase is a highly secure and user-friendly digital currency platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies with US Dollars. Vertbase was born with the aim of finding a solution to the complex, time-consuming and expensive process of trading altcoins on most crypto exchanges, which tends to prevent non-experts from engaging in crypto trading.

Coinbase is a great platform for only few cryptocurrencies, but there are many other coins with high value that cannot be traded on the Coinbase exchange.

Looking at Coinbase and the challenge around coin trading, Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies, co-founder at Vertabse, created a digital altcoin trading platform that is user-friendly, super-fast and highly secure. A Coinbase for altcoins, but only the one with legitimate projects and strong use cases, particularly those Vertbase believes can change the landscape of finance: DigiByte, Vertcoin, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ravencoin and Decred.

In the latest episode of FinancialFox, Justin Seidl was interviewed by Blockchain PR expert Stefania Barbaglio, where he talked about how he came to create and design Vertbase, and shares his views on the altcoins to watch.

The mission behind Vertbase is to give visibility and market exposure to altcoins with high use case value. Altcoins are considerably less expensive than coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and in some cases are more sophisticated and highly developed.

Over the recent months, cryptocurrency exchanges have been in the spotlight over coins being delisted and alleged extortionate listing fees required by prominent exchanges. These controversies highlighted the need for corrections in the way the crypto market works and the challenges that need to be overcome. They also prompted more calls for further decentralisation and transparency among exchanges.

Indeed, the current lack of regulatory frameworks leaves room for inconsistent practices. Different cryptocurrency exchanges can offer various types of cryptocurrencies, with different terms, policies, payment methods, and fees. Exchanges also differ on aspects such as security, user-friendliness, functionality, and design.

Some of the advantages Vertbase offers users is 100% non-custodial transactions that allow users to send coins to any wallet of their choice. In the spirit of co-operation, Vertbase also gives a portion of trading fees back to the community to continue development.

Moreover, with security reportedly the biggest worry among cryptocurrency traders, Vertbase is equipped with a robust anti-money laundering monitoring system. Furthermore, its system requires two-factor authentication, granting access to authorised users only, while the website and apps are fully secured with 128-bit encryption. Vertbase is registered with FinCEN and operates with full compliance and procedures under all US federal and state laws.

This January, Vertbase donated 50,000 DGB to the DigiByte Awareness Team to show their support of the project and DigiByte’s vision. “DigiByte has proven strong use cases, which include security features utilising the Digibyte Blockchain. Digibyte has some exciting plans and projects, so we have no doubt they will continue to be a major player in this industry,” says co-founder Justin Seidl.

Vertbase Founders Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies will also be presenting at the DBG summit. The DGB community can also expect more news and updates on DGB projects to be released during the first global DigiByte Summit, taking place in Amsterdam on 19th April 2019. The theme of the Summit is ‘The Power of Decentralisation’ and its agenda will expand on the multitude of possibilities and uses enabled by decentralised technologies.

Tickets can be purchased here: http://digibytesummit.io

Block 30 Labs presenting at the DigiByte Global Summit

Cassiopeia Services, official PR for DigiByte, is pleased to announce Block 30 Labs as partner at the first DigiByte Global Summit.

Block 30 Labs is developing indexes to work with strategic global partners to issue tokenised, digital index funds (ECFs). The BLOCK 30 Index was built to provide a central framework for the tracking of the 24/7 Digital Trading (“Crypto”) markets by global media, financial institutions, government and investors.

Officially launched in November 2018, the Block 30 index helps to accurately measure the value and performance of digital assets. It is one of the very first US indices to help investors track multiple factors in the market beyond Bitcoin. With a growing number of Security Token Offerings (STOs), the market requires more comprehensive and sophisticated tools to assess the value of digital assets.

The unique aspect to BLOCK 30 is that it begins to disaggregate Digital Trading assets from their singular classification within this new asset class. It distinguishes between core holdings such as Bitcoin — which may function more as a store of value — and STOs, which will function more like Initial Public Offering (IPOs), with real revenues and fundamentals.

Confirmed speakers at the first DigiByte Global summit include DigiByte founder Jared Tate; Official DigiByte PR Stefania Barbaglio; Rudy Bouwman, the founders of DGBAT, the DigiByte Awareness Team; the founders and lead developers of V-ID and Antum ID; and Vertbase Founders, Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies.

Stefania Barbaglio, official PR for DigiByte commented: “Block 30 is a revolutionary tool to accelerate the development of tokenised asset trading. The DigiByte team and community are very much open to co-operation with valuable new projects that can help build a more transparent and decentralised financial system, and Block 30 is one of them.”

“The excitement and pace of this new asset class has led to the need to work backwards into traditional fundamentals like market indexes, tokenized index funds and more “one-click” interoperability between customer marketplaces, digital wallets and investment products’, said BLOCK 30 Labs CEO, Brian McLaren Foote.

We’re working at BLOCK 30 Labs to solve that — and having DigiByte and DGB Assets as a strategic technology partners “under the hood” is an enormous win for us on delivering product-market-fit for our clients and exchanges.

“If you look at the core tech + specs of Bitcoin, Litecoin + Ethereum, there are so many features and benefits to the DigiByte offering that are not yet reflected in its market cap and global adoption. Our goal is to help drive that change forward to the benefit of consumers, merchants + Fortune 500 enterprise.”

DigiByte Global Summit

April 19th, 2019

De Balie

Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 1017 RR

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tickets can be purchased here: http://digibytesummit.io

Challenges and issues in cryptocurrency trading: beyond the controversies

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are often portrayed as the big challenger to the current financial system, promising to fight corporate red tape, increase financial inclusion and create a more just and transparent economy. While all this is true, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns in the crypto world.

Different cryptocurrency exchanges can offer various types of cryptocurrencies and have different terms, policies, payment methods, and fees. Exchanges also differ on aspects such as security, user-friendliness, functionality, and design. These factors can all play a significant part when choosing the most suitable exchange.

Talks over regulation of digital currencies and crypto exchanges are a way to help the market become healthier and more transparent. Cryptocurrencies and exchanges indeed have many issues to address and challenges to overcome. Here, we highlight some of the main concerns and recent issues that are preventing the crypto revolution from progressing to its next stage.

Security

The biggest problem currently in the crypto market is the lack of security. Indeed, with news of hackings and breaches often making headlines, users are demanding more protection over their assets and data.

It is important to remember that as technology becomes more sophisticated, so do hackers. Exchanges are essentially so vulnerable to hacks because they centralise the risk, so further decentralisation can be an option in the pursuit for maximum security.

Security is indeed an urgent and weighty matter. Coin Desk reports that each day, $2.7 million is stolen from exchanges, with the amount of cryptocurrency taken in 2018 having increased 13 times compared to the previous year. This amounts to $2.7 million in crypto assets being stolen every day, or $1,860 each minute.

Transparency

Indeed, it is a well-established fact that the majority of ICOs end up unsuccessful — some of them even fraudulent. Furthermore, many expensive crypto projects often make a case for themselves claiming they are decentralised, when in reality, data from Token Analyst for Yahoo Finance showed that nearly 80% of the top 50 coins are held by the top 20 wallets. In 16 cases, the 20 biggest wallets held more than 90% of total token supply.

Much like in the more traditional economy, power dynamics also underline the negotiations and collaborations set in the crypto sphere, and the nuances of marketing strategies can mislead users and investors.

The lack of transparency, accountability and professionalism from renowned institutions can poison the benefits of digital currencies and undermine the strength and influence of blockchain adoption in different industries beyond finance. True blockchain believers call for an end to sketchy practices in the financial system and market structures, promoting widespread professionalism and ethical standards.

Credibility

Initial Coin Offerings are a great way to attract investors, but part of them resulted to be scams. Exchanges need to be careful and strict enough only to list those crypto coins which are reliable and ensure that the right assessment is performed.

Trading fees

Some exchanges charge a single flat fee, for example, 0.2% of the transaction value, on all trades. But many exchanges split their trading fees into two separate fees: the maker fee and the taker fee.

In some cases, maker fees can be higher than the taker because the maker adds liquidity to the market, so the exchange ‘rewards’ the trader.

Liquidity

Liquidity is a vital element for any of the market. A lack thereof creates an imbalanced environment, and things go out of control. Due to the decreased liquidity, orders are not placed/executed on time, and the doors are open for large holders to manipulate prices. Additionally, with a lack of liquidity, markets become more volatile and see more price slippages.

A secondary issue of reduced liquidity is that it puts the power into the hands of cryptocurrency exchanges with large liquidity. Some major exchanges now charge up to $1 million to get tokens listed, essentially selling liquidity to the token projects.

Price manipulation

Currently, the majority of crypt exchanges are only lightly regulated, leaving room for sometimes shady or abusive manoeuvres. It is reported that crypto exchanges use bots to manipulate the prices of coins. Last September, cryptocurrency trader and analyst Alex Kruger exposed a promotion on Bithumb which inflated the trading volume on the exchange.

“There currently are $250 million [in] fake volume traded at [the] Korean crypto exchange Bithumb, every day at 11 a.m. Korean Time, since Aug. 25. Bithumb offers 120 percent payback of trading fees as an airdrop. Trading fees are 0.15 percent taker. To collect the full KRW 1 billion rebate, a wash trader must thus trade KRW 278 billion. That is $250 million in daily fake volume. Notice how 31K Bitcoin is traded at exactly 11 a.m,” Kruger explained.

Transaction Delays

While cryptocurrency transactions are known for being fast, delays can happen and can be a way to protect users from hackings or fraudulent transactions. Exchanges sometimes delay transactions if they suspect the user did not authorize the transactions.

Regulation

In light of these flaws and loopholes, and continuing cases of hacks and breaches of exchanges, regulations would be welcomed if tailored to ensure transparency and consumer protections.

Crypto experts have anticipated 2019 is on track to be the year of crypto regulations

This year started with stronger calls for rules and regulations all around the world. In January, two major European regulatory bodies, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have publicly called for better assessments of crypto technology and its impacts to develop appropriate regulations.

In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is applying their regulatory guidance to cryptocurrency projects as it considers another form of securities.

Recent controversies over exchanges ’ lack of professionalism and transparency are likely to prompt exchange regulations to be in place soon.

Decentralisation

Over the last few months, we have been seeing more moves from centralised exchanges towards decentralisation. Binance, for example, announced earlier this month that it is about to launch its decentralised exchange, Binance DEX, for public testing.

There various advantages to decentralisation. A DEX ensures the poor and unbanked can participate in the global economy: anyone can store and transfer wealth to anyone anywhere in the world, almost at no cost. Another benefit of decentralised exchanges is that users are fully in control of their data as there is no central authority storing or managing it.

How does the future look like?

While centralised crypto exchanges have been the tradition so far, they have somewhat given way to the decentralised crypto exchanges. The main objective behind bitcoin and blockchain is decentralisation and thus, both the CEX’s and DEX’s should come together to develop a hybrid model which benefits all of the crypto ecosystem.

Hybrid crypto exchanges can represent a viable option that bridges the gap between the benefits of a centralised exchange and those of a decentralised exchange. This is the way to gain the trust of numerous users and the cooperation of huge investors, while eliminating the element of subordination to a third-party and ensuring reliable storage.

If there is one thing we can learn from the recent developments and news, it is to look at the shortcomings of the so-called transparent crypto sphere, realise there is plenty of work to be done in this realm, and use the combination of technology, knowledge and accountability to fight these flaws. For the blockchain & crypto revolution to produce its best outcomes, it is important to address the factors that undermine its integrity.

Keep an eye out for a special episode on Financial Fox about crypto exchanges and the challenges to overcome. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Special guests: the crypto evangelist Chico Crypto @chicocrypto & Alexander Fred, Technology Researcher and Writer of @beincrypto, the truly independent bitcoin & cryptocurrency news.

Challenges and issues in cryptocurrency trading: beyond the controversies

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are often portrayed as the big challenger to the current financial system, promising to fight corporate red tape, increase financial inclusion and create a more just and transparent economy. While all this is true, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns in the crypto world.

Different cryptocurrency exchanges can offer various types of cryptocurrencies and have different terms, policies, payment methods, and fees. Exchanges also differ on aspects such as security, user-friendliness, functionality, and design. These factors can all play a significant part when choosing the most suitable exchange.

Talks over regulation of digital currencies and crypto exchanges are a way to help the market become healthier and more transparent. Cryptocurrencies and exchanges indeed have many issues to address and challenges to overcome. Here, we highlight some of the main concerns and recent issues that are preventing the crypto revolution from progressing to its next stage.

Security

The biggest problem currently in the crypto market is the lack of security. Indeed, with news of hackings and breaches often making headlines, users are demanding more protection over their assets and data.

It is important to remember that as technology becomes more sophisticated, so do hackers. Exchanges are essentially so vulnerable to hacks because they centralise the risk, so further decentralisation can be an option in the pursuit for maximum security.

Security is indeed an urgent and weighty matter. Coin Desk reports that each day, $2.7 million is stolen from exchanges, with the amount of cryptocurrency taken in 2018 having increased 13 times compared to the previous year. This amounts to $2.7 million in crypto assets being stolen every day, or $1,860 each minute.

Transparency

Indeed, it is a well-established fact that the majority of ICOs end up unsuccessful — some of them even fraudulent. Furthermore, many expensive crypto projects often make a case for themselves claiming they are decentralised, when in reality, data from Token Analyst for Yahoo Finance showed that nearly 80% of the top 50 coins are held by the top 20 wallets. In 16 cases, the 20 biggest wallets held more than 90% of total token supply.

Much like in the more traditional economy, power dynamics also underline the negotiations and collaborations set in the crypto sphere, and the nuances of marketing strategies can mislead users and investors.

The lack of transparency, accountability and professionalism from renowned institutions can poison the benefits of digital currencies and undermine the strength and influence of blockchain adoption in different industries beyond finance. True blockchain believers call for an end to sketchy practices in the financial system and market structures, promoting widespread professionalism and ethical standards.

Credibility

Initial Coin Offerings are a great way to attract investors, but part of them resulted to be scams. Exchanges need to be careful and strict enough only to list those crypto coins which are reliable and ensure that the right assessment is performed.

Trading fees

Some exchanges charge a single flat fee, for example, 0.2% of the transaction value, on all trades. But many exchanges split their trading fees into two separate fees: the maker fee and the taker fee.

In some cases, maker fees can be higher than the taker because the maker adds liquidity to the market, so the exchange ‘rewards’ the trader.

Liquidity

Liquidity is a vital element for any of the market. A lack thereof creates an imbalanced environment, and things go out of control. Due to the decreased liquidity, orders are not placed/executed on time, and the doors are open for large holders to manipulate prices. Additionally, with a lack of liquidity, markets become more volatile and see more price slippages.

A secondary issue of reduced liquidity is that it puts the power into the hands of cryptocurrency exchanges with large liquidity. Some major exchanges now charge up to $1 million to get tokens listed, essentially selling liquidity to the token projects.

Price manipulation

Currently, the majority of crypt exchanges are only lightly regulated, leaving room for sometimes shady or abusive manoeuvres. It is reported that crypto exchanges use bots to manipulate the prices of coins. Last September, cryptocurrency trader and analyst Alex Kruger exposed a promotion on Bithumb which inflated the trading volume on the exchange.

“There currently are $250 million [in] fake volume traded at [the] Korean crypto exchange Bithumb, every day at 11 a.m. Korean Time, since Aug. 25. Bithumb offers 120 percent payback of trading fees as an airdrop. Trading fees are 0.15 percent taker. To collect the full KRW 1 billion rebate, a wash trader must thus trade KRW 278 billion. That is $250 million in daily fake volume. Notice how 31K Bitcoin is traded at exactly 11 a.m,” Kruger explained.

Transaction Delays

While cryptocurrency transactions are known for being fast, delays can happen and can be a way to protect users from hackings or fraudulent transactions. Exchanges sometimes delay transactions if they suspect the user did not authorize the transactions.

Regulation

In light of these flaws and loopholes, and continuing cases of hacks and breaches of exchanges, regulations would be welcomed if tailored to ensure transparency and consumer protections.

Crypto experts have anticipated 2019 is on track to be the year of crypto regulations

This year started with stronger calls for rules and regulations all around the world. In January, two major European regulatory bodies, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have publicly called for better assessments of crypto technology and its impacts to develop appropriate regulations.

In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is applying their regulatory guidance to cryptocurrency projects as it considers another form of securities.

Recent controversies over exchanges ’ lack of professionalism and transparency are likely to prompt exchange regulations to be in place soon.

Decentralisation

Over the last few months, we have been seeing more moves from centralised exchanges towards decentralisation. Binance, for example, announced earlier this month that it is about to launch its decentralised exchange, Binance DEX, for public testing.

There various advantages to decentralisation. A DEX ensures the poor and unbanked can participate in the global economy: anyone can store and transfer wealth to anyone anywhere in the world, almost at no cost. Another benefit of decentralised exchanges is that users are fully in control of their data as there is no central authority storing or managing it.

How does the future look like?

While centralised crypto exchanges have been the tradition so far, they have somewhat given way to the decentralised crypto exchanges. The main objective behind bitcoin and blockchain is decentralisation and thus, both the CEX’s and DEX’s should come together to develop a hybrid model which benefits all of the crypto ecosystem.

Hybrid crypto exchanges can represent a viable option that bridges the gap between the benefits of a centralised exchange and those of a decentralised exchange. This is the way to gain the trust of numerous users and the cooperation of huge investors, while eliminating the element of subordination to a third-party and ensuring reliable storage.

If there is one thing we can learn from the recent developments and news, it is to look at the shortcomings of the so-called transparent crypto sphere, realise there is plenty of work to be done in this realm, and use the combination of technology, knowledge and accountability to fight these flaws. For the blockchain & crypto revolution to produce its best outcomes, it is important to address the factors that undermine its integrity.

Keep an eye out for a special episode on Financial Fox about crypto exchanges and the challenges to overcome. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Special guests: the crypto evangelist Chico Crypto @chicocrypto & Alexander Fred, Technology Researcher and Writer of @beincrypto, the truly independent bitcoin & cryptocurrency news.

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain…

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain research

This week, Hungary has joined the European Blockchain Partnership, becoming the 29th member country. The partnership is led by the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which aims to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the European Union. More than that, the objective of the forum is to promote education, understanding and research around blockchain.

The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum was launched by the European Commission in February last year. It will see the investment of 300 million euros into projects that support the use and adoption of blockchain technology for economic, technical and societal changes. The forum plans to become an articulator between researchers and the EU, make the most appropriate recommendations, and oversee initiatives and implementations throughout the member countries. It will also aid in creating more appropriate regulations in the region.

The forum is part of the the Horizon 2020 programme, the largest Research and Innovation programme ever launched by the EU. It will make €80 billion of funding available over 7 years, from 2014 to 2020, to support the EU’s reach for excellence in the area.

Blockchain, as one of the most important technologies introduced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has immense industrial and technical value. The European Commission understands that blockchain is not merely about finance, even though this is the area in which the benefits are already most tangible.

Beyond the finance realm, blockchain can support the development of more sophisticated and secure internet systems, as well as being integrated into other industries beyond finance — such as agriculture, education, healthcare, to name only a few.

In fact, among the projects that have already received funding are two projects focused on services: MHDMD, a blockchain platform to enable safe and effective transmission and storage of medical data; , and DECODE, a system providing tools affording individuals the ability to control whether they keep their personal data private or share it for the public good.

“Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society at the launch of the partnership.

“The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”

Beyond the hype around cryptocurrencies and ICOs, which often still holds back investment and adoption, blockchain technology can have an immensely positive impact. This advanced technology can help states manage unified digital identities, gain more control over supply chains, introduce smart contracts and even prevent fraudulent actions.

Blockchain is also part of the European Commission’s Fintech Action Plan, a 23-step strategy designed to increase the adoption of new technologies, create a business-friendly environment, increase cybersecurity and consumer protection and allow for integrity of the financial system across the EU backed by new technologies.

The Fintech plan will also present a blueprint with best practices on regulatory sandboxes, based on guidance from European Supervisory Authorities. A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by regulators to allow FinTech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment, under a regulator’s supervision.

“The position taken by the European Commission shows professionalism, commitment and open-mindness towards embracing the benefits of disruptive technologies. It shows the EU understands the potential of blockchain beyond media and market speculation, and serves as an example for other governments around the world who are still reluctant in welcoming this powerful technology,” says Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services, leading PR firm in the blockchain space.

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain…

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain research

This week, Hungary has joined the European Blockchain Partnership, becoming the 29th member country. The partnership is led by the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which aims to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the European Union. More than that, the objective of the forum is to promote education, understanding and research around blockchain.

The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum was launched by the European Commission in February last year. It will see the investment of 300 million euros into projects that support the use and adoption of blockchain technology for economic, technical and societal changes. The forum plans to become an articulator between researchers and the EU, make the most appropriate recommendations, and oversee initiatives and implementations throughout the member countries. It will also aid in creating more appropriate regulations in the region.

The forum is part of the the Horizon 2020 programme, the largest Research and Innovation programme ever launched by the EU. It will make €80 billion of funding available over 7 years, from 2014 to 2020, to support the EU’s reach for excellence in the area.

Blockchain, as one of the most important technologies introduced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has immense industrial and technical value. The European Commission understands that blockchain is not merely about finance, even though this is the area in which the benefits are already most tangible.

Beyond the finance realm, blockchain can support the development of more sophisticated and secure internet systems, as well as being integrated into other industries beyond finance — such as agriculture, education, healthcare, to name only a few.

In fact, among the projects that have already received funding are two projects focused on services: MHDMD, a blockchain platform to enable safe and effective transmission and storage of medical data; , and DECODE, a system providing tools affording individuals the ability to control whether they keep their personal data private or share it for the public good.

“Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society at the launch of the partnership.

“The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”

Beyond the hype around cryptocurrencies and ICOs, which often still holds back investment and adoption, blockchain technology can have an immensely positive impact. This advanced technology can help states manage unified digital identities, gain more control over supply chains, introduce smart contracts and even prevent fraudulent actions.

Blockchain is also part of the European Commission’s Fintech Action Plan, a 23-step strategy designed to increase the adoption of new technologies, create a business-friendly environment, increase cybersecurity and consumer protection and allow for integrity of the financial system across the EU backed by new technologies.

The Fintech plan will also present a blueprint with best practices on regulatory sandboxes, based on guidance from European Supervisory Authorities. A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by regulators to allow FinTech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment, under a regulator’s supervision.

“The position taken by the European Commission shows professionalism, commitment and open-mindness towards embracing the benefits of disruptive technologies. It shows the EU understands the potential of blockchain beyond media and market speculation, and serves as an example for other governments around the world who are still reluctant in welcoming this powerful technology,” says Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services, leading PR firm in the blockchain space.

Calls for crypto regulation gather momentum around the world

As the crypto market matures and gains relevance within the global economy, executives, investors and even public bodies worldwide are calling for clearer crypto regulations.

In 2017 we witnessed the ‘Bitcoin boom’, with skyrocketing prices and major attention driven towards cryptocurrencies.

Since the Bitcoin Boom in 2017, the crypto market has exploded with Initial Coin Offerings — the controversial ICOs — with many of those projects, under the flag of the crypto revolution, proving to be nothing more than artifice designed to trick eager investors into putting money into a business that was never realised.

Nevertheless, the high number of fraudulent ICOs is more a representation of dubious morals than a testament of the actual revolutionary nature of blockchain. The challenge posed by the introduction of cryptocurrencies and tokens has allowed for an expansion of investment opportunities for new groups of investors, as well as giving millions of unbanked people around the world an alternative means of finance.

This realisation is slowly spreading among financial regulators, which are now exploring the ways that crypto technology can be integrated into the widerfinancial and regulatory market framework.

In recent months, with the rise in the popularity of tokenised securities — a SEC-compliant class of digital assets, comparable to equities stocks — the theme of regulation is spreading across the crypto space.

At the moment, although the EU does not present a unified framework regarding cryptocurrencies — regulations vary by state members — the European Central Bank has shown plenty of initiatives in exploring ways to regulate and manage cryptocurrencies.

In the beginning of 2019 alone, two major European regulatory bodies, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have publicly called for better assessments of crypto technology and its impacts in order to develop appropriate regulations.

In an official statement, the EBA said it is calling for regulations to protect investors above all, and has asked the European Commission for a comprehensive analysis to assess whether unified crypto rules are needed across the region. In addition, the ESMA’s recommendations advise the EU Commission on the current regulations which can be suitably applied to crypto assets.

In the emerging markets scene, where the positive effects of cryptocurrencies are more tangible, calls for regulation have also risen, with movements urging authorities to work on implementing and regulating cryptocurrencies.

In India, where the legalisation of digital currencies has become a divisive topic, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put a ban on banks and any regulated financial institutions from “dealing with or settling virtual currencies”. The move in April 2018 sparked backlash from crypto enthusiasts, who defend their right to enjoy alternative finance means.

The CEO of India-based Cryptocurrency Exchange WazirX, Nischal Shetty, kicked off a social media campaign to attract the attention of Indian financial regulators over the need for ‘positive regulation’ ofcryptocurrencies, which provide the Indian population with an innovative, necessary and accessible tool for economic growth: “Please bring positive regulations in crypto and over 5 million crypto Indians will be thankful to you. Youth of India have found a new way to make wealth & this is especially important when there are not enough jobs for everyone,” he said.

Crypto experts have already stated that 2019 should be “the year of crypto regulation” and represents an important move towards allowing the blockchain revolution to truly thrive and improve financial practices around the world.

“Regulations are a necessary step to take the crypto industry to the next level. We have seen numerous cases of fraud and scams in the ICO space in the last couple of years, which has put off institutional investors and created a sense of distrust in crypto projects. However, with a regulatory framework in place, cryptocurrencies and tokens are no longer products of mere speculation. They have become real assets. It benefits both the investor side and companies themselves, and shows the maturity of the crypto market,” says Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services, leading crypto & blockchain PR.

Keep an eye out for upcoming interview with Nischal Shetty about the crypto scene in India and the impact of cryptocurrencies on emerging markets. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel FinancialFox.

Calls for crypto regulation gather momentum around the world

As the crypto market matures and gains relevance within the global economy, executives, investors and even public bodies worldwide are calling for clearer crypto regulations.

In 2017 we witnessed the ‘Bitcoin boom’, with skyrocketing prices and major attention driven towards cryptocurrencies.

Since the Bitcoin Boom in 2017, the crypto market has exploded with Initial Coin Offerings — the controversial ICOs — with many of those projects, under the flag of the crypto revolution, proving to be nothing more than artifice designed to trick eager investors into putting money into a business that was never realised.

Nevertheless, the high number of fraudulent ICOs is more a representation of dubious morals than a testament of the actual revolutionary nature of blockchain. The challenge posed by the introduction of cryptocurrencies and tokens has allowed for an expansion of investment opportunities for new groups of investors, as well as giving millions of unbanked people around the world an alternative means of finance.

This realisation is slowly spreading among financial regulators, which are now exploring the ways that crypto technology can be integrated into the widerfinancial and regulatory market framework.

In recent months, with the rise in the popularity of tokenised securities — a SEC-compliant class of digital assets, comparable to equities stocks — the theme of regulation is spreading across the crypto space.

At the moment, although the EU does not present a unified framework regarding cryptocurrencies — regulations vary by state members — the European Central Bank has shown plenty of initiatives in exploring ways to regulate and manage cryptocurrencies.

In the beginning of 2019 alone, two major European regulatory bodies, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have publicly called for better assessments of crypto technology and its impacts in order to develop appropriate regulations.

In an official statement, the EBA said it is calling for regulations to protect investors above all, and has asked the European Commission for a comprehensive analysis to assess whether unified crypto rules are needed across the region. In addition, the ESMA’s recommendations advise the EU Commission on the current regulations which can be suitably applied to crypto assets.

In the emerging markets scene, where the positive effects of cryptocurrencies are more tangible, calls for regulation have also risen, with movements urging authorities to work on implementing and regulating cryptocurrencies.

In India, where the legalisation of digital currencies has become a divisive topic, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put a ban on banks and any regulated financial institutions from “dealing with or settling virtual currencies”. The move in April 2018 sparked backlash from crypto enthusiasts, who defend their right to enjoy alternative finance means.

The CEO of India-based Cryptocurrency Exchange WazirX, Nischal Shetty, kicked off a social media campaign to attract the attention of Indian financial regulators over the need for ‘positive regulation’ ofcryptocurrencies, which provide the Indian population with an innovative, necessary and accessible tool for economic growth: “Please bring positive regulations in crypto and over 5 million crypto Indians will be thankful to you. Youth of India have found a new way to make wealth & this is especially important when there are not enough jobs for everyone,” he said.

Crypto experts have already stated that 2019 should be “the year of crypto regulation” and represents an important move towards allowing the blockchain revolution to truly thrive and improve financial practices around the world.

“Regulations are a necessary step to take the crypto industry to the next level. We have seen numerous cases of fraud and scams in the ICO space in the last couple of years, which has put off institutional investors and created a sense of distrust in crypto projects. However, with a regulatory framework in place, cryptocurrencies and tokens are no longer products of mere speculation. They have become real assets. It benefits both the investor side and companies themselves, and shows the maturity of the crypto market,” says Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services, leading crypto & blockchain PR.

Keep an eye out for upcoming interview with Nischal Shetty about the crypto scene in India and the impact of cryptocurrencies on emerging markets. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel FinancialFox.

Cassiopeia trends to watch in crypto and blockchain for 2019

The year to come promises yet more innovative mainstream blockchain and cryptocurrency applications. Two years after the bitcoin boom, we can see increasing understanding of cryptocurrencies and markets reaching greater maturity.

Whilst the hype around bitcoin has certainly passed, the advantages and benefits of deploying blockchain have only just started to show. Blockchain technology itself has improved in 2018, with greater scalability, more decentralised features and enhanced security. One thing we can be sure of is that in 2019, the blockchain and fintech revolutions will continue to gain ground, paving the way for more innovations to enter the market.

The external mood is causing investors and entrepreneurs to steer clear of traditional markets. With the political climate bringing chaos in the UK and Europe, coupled with low oil price expectations and continued volatility in equities, alternative investment options, as those found in the crypto market, can be much more attractive.

Check out our predictions in the blockchain and crypto space for next year and pick your favourite projects.

  1. Bitcoin out, Altcoins in. DigiByte under the spotlight

The Bitcoin hype is certainly over, and the last year has created a chance for other crytpocurrencies — known as altcoins to shine.

One of the most successful of such projects is DigiByte (DGB). Powered by strong community effort, DGB is a token designed for mass scale adoption and cybersecurity. DGB is the fastest and most scalable blockchain in the world due to its design choices, such as multi-algorithm mining and decreasing block times. Every 2 years, the DGB blockchain's dynamic strcuture system doubles the number of transactions per second by doubling the block size. In 2019, capacity should reach 1100+ transactions per second, with a maximum capability of 280,000 transactions per second by 2035.

Another crypto in strong favour is Ripple. Desgined as the cryptocurrency of banks and international companies for money transfer, its token XRP allows users to send money all around the globe at high speed and low cost. Ripple is becoming further integrated to banks and fintech systems and is already being used by over 100 companies worldwide.

2. The Darwin Effect in the ICO market.

Capital to be directed to projects with stronger use cases.

After the ICO boom in 2017 through 2018, the next year will bring a more ‘evolved’ phase of the ICO market. Many of the vast number of coins launched over the last couple of years proved to be poorly managed projects with no real or practical applications, or in some cases even fraudulent.

The future of ICOs is in projects that present great scalability — ability to grow without losing efficiency — and strong use cases. Coins and tokens to watch are those that can add real value to the user experience and provide new avenues for efficiency in business models while promoting innovation.

With the introduction of more reliable regulating mechanisms both at governmental and community level, we’ll see a cleansing in the market, with a ‘survival-of-the-fittest’ model allowing only the most solid projects to stay in the game.

3. The Technology Revolution is on: Blockchain meets AI

The integration of blockchain with other disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence is already a hot topic this year — a trend set to increase even more. Recently, Google announced solid moves to widen its AI team and research. The tech giant has promised to deploy AI features to social change projects and develop fairer machine learning mechanisms.

We should also expect further integration of blockchain into platforms with AI and Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is a system of multiple interconnected devices, all with unique identifiers and capable of transferring information between one another via network connection.

Because of its decentralisation, automated data and strong security framework, blockchain is an ideal underlying structural technology for many industries.

4. Crypto market matures and becomes more sophisticated amid widespread adoption of blockchain by different industries

According to a survey by the International Data Corporation, in 2019, we can expect more investments in blockchain projects as investors are searching for increasingly sophisticated solutions, faster networks and a higher degree of innovation. The technology is set not only to generate new applications but also be integrated into already existing systems. Respondents reported being keen to take blockchain on board as it will provide significant benefits to their companies and improve their way of doing business.

In the crypto market, the trend indicates that the number of exchanges and listed coins are continuing to grow, but also that the crypto market in general is more mature, more sustainable and receiving more substantial investments from institutional investors.

Aside from finance, so many different industries can benefit from adopting blockchain. One of the prime cases is Online Blockchain (OBC), a pioneer tech company developing a number of blockchain projects around the world. OBC employs a long-term strategy, analysing various markets and applications where blockchain can bring disruption. Throughout 2018, the company has launched cryptocurrencies in many Asian and Latin American countries, as well as establishing partnership with a gaming company to integrate blockchain into its gaming features.

5. Stronger crypto communities: DigiByte in the driving seat

With the widespread adoption of blockchain and people getting used to the decentralised ecosystem, there is an atmosphere of understanding and appreciation. People all over the world are beginning to understand the power of decentralisation so are keen to get involved in blockchain projects, sharing ideas and bringing their contributions to the cause. This proactive social involvement and engagement in the technology revolution has resulted in digital communities which are starting to serve as a key element for any project aiming at a wide adoption. They are also the new protagonist of a new marketing and communication frontier.

One example of such a strong and effective community is the community around DigiByte Coin. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world have contributed to DigiByte in countless ways over the past half-decade to make it what it is today. In fact, in a first-of-its-kind DGB event in London hosted by Cassiopeia Services, the founder of DGB Mr Jared Tate himself admitted that one of his developers is someone he has never met in his life, showing that people’s strong belief in DGB is the real reason behind its immense growth. Those people are highly motivated, driving the development of blockchain with new project ideas, all the while spreading awareness.

The next DGB event, DigiByte Global Summit is taking place in Amsterdam on 19th April 2019. Registrations now open here.

5.The Power of Decentralisation: Increasing Decentralised Applications (DApps)

The coming year will see a prominent boost in the adoption of decentralised applications. Any centralised database can be converted into a distributed, scalable database that can be used to power such innovative applications.

More recently, the scalability of DApps has been improving and investor attention is turning to the different applications that are built of top of blockchain platforms. One of the most prominent coins developing and exploring DApps is DigiByte, which has implemented further decentralisation features and increased security for the new generations of crypto applications.

Decentralised applications run on a peer-to-peer network, rather than a single computer, and have existed since the advent of peer-to-peer networks. They are a type of software program designed to exist on the internet in a way that is not controlled by any single entity. A DApp is a distributed application that runs its back-end code on a distributed ledger network. DApps can be designed to be censorship-resistant and prevent a failure or attack from a single point. The software program is designed on the internet where consensus — rather than a single entity — is the control. DGB’S focus on DApps regarding decentralised networks will cause a paradigm shift in the industry’s software models. The distributed, transparent, and incentivised application will transform technology, especially the app industry.

Games as DApps have already started to get the attention of millennials, an area which is expected to increase considerably in the coming year. One such example of a potential ICO is ULTICOIN.

6. Regulations and jurisdictions: Increase watchdog

Along with the ‘mainstreaming’ of blockchain come regulations and legal frameworks to standardise it. Countries like Malta, Gibraltar and Switzerland have already indicated moves towards welcoming crypto into their economies and legislations.

In light of expansive growth, other economies are working on strategies for digital economy and fintech, with special address to cryptocurrencies. In Europe, Switzerland takes the lead in welcoming blockchain and disruptive technologies into a regulatory framework. During this year, the country has established a crypto sector within FINM, its financial market regulatory body. In recognition of the increasing number of coins on offer under the Swiss market, the body has set specific rules for ICOs and digital assets, aiming to better protect banks, businesses and customers who transact with cryptocurrencies.

Malta has also followed similar steps to set cryptocurrency regulations which came into effect in late 2018 under the The Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act. The small country is indeed showing itself as the leading nations in embracing blockchain. Malta is home to famous crypto exchanges such as Binance and BitBay, and has established a partnership with OKEx to launch a new crypto exchange with the fintech arm of Malta Stock Exchange Holdings.

7. Gaming innovation and development. Gamification to spread

The multi-billion-dollar gaming industry is usually seen as a forward-thinking space in terms of adopting new technologies. This is (almost certainly the case with blockchain. Projects integrating blockchain into gaming services or coupling gaming and cryptocurrencies have recently emerged and are showing strong tendencies towards growth.

Gaming platforms built on blockchain offer many more features to users such as increased security and transparency, and the ability to trade assets without the need for a third party — which would usually set rules and charge fees.

Furthermore, projects such as ULTICoin offer gamers — for the first time — the chance to exchange their gaming tokens into cryptocurrencies and potentially fiat currencies, promising to turn gaming into a profitable activity and make the market increasingly attractive to investors. ULTI capitalises on the value locked in the gaming market, giving more power and control to developers over earnings and distribution.

A decentralised gaming market allows more independence for all parts involved, as it eliminates the middlemen who can delay proceedings or deprive these developers of their entitlements. On top of that, blockchain helps with distribution and publishing fees, arbitrary selection and restrictions.

8. Future Economy Tokenisation & Digital Security Assets

Structurally comparable to stocks, tokens are becoming the new assets, with the advantage of being more user-friendly, as tokens — more accurately called digital assets — are more practical and tangible. Usually located in digital wallets in smartphones, tokens are secure and immutable, representing a more attractive alternative to the old environment of the stock market.

Security tokens are fully-compliant digital assets representing the ownership in traditional asset classes such as real-estate, equities and bonds. Thanks to blockchain, investors of all levels are able to access investments on a 24/7, transparent and global platform to trade securities of all kinds.

Swarm Fund is at the forefront of the digital security implementation in market and investment. Swarm is the Open Infrastructure for Digital Securities and the first private equity blockchain fund: an open-source fully regulated platform for scalable crypto investments. In essence, Swarm is a decentralised capital marketplace that democratises investment in crypto security assets offering a fully compliant and legal infrastructure.

It offers a wide variety of investment options in crypto security assets, within a fully compliant and legal infrastructure. The investments are all built on the same platform: new opportunities and free access to digitised assets to any investor on a non-discriminatory basis.

Crypto experts believe that, due to increased sophistication and better regulation, Security Token Offerings will be just as successful as the movement in the ICO markets in 2018, or even more so.

9. Cybersecurity at the top

While a digital economy can make doing finance easier, it also poses risks of data breaches and hacking. Therefore, the future calls for better management of digital assets at all levels and more sophisticated mechanisms to counter malicious acts.

DX exchange is the first crypto exchange powered by NASDAQ. Its technology relies on NASDAQ’s infrastructure, such as its matching engine, used by over 70 exchanges around the world. DX’s regulations meet the highest regulatory standards, thus avoiding common errors and bugs, such as double count trading, and in general prevents fake volumes.

Cybersecurity is a major concern for crypto exchanges, as has been seen in numerous cases. This issue will also be addressed with the help of NASDAQ’s infrastructure, and Daniel Skowronski, the CEO of DX exchange, has promised to hire the best specialists in the field to avoid hacks and other malicious attacks.

10. Decentralised Exchanges (DEX)

The past couple years have seen centralised crypto exchanges being hacked, and attacked by regulators as a result. One of the trends in 2019 will be the growth of the decentralised exchange, which introduces the features of blockchain to the market structure. Even though DEX architecture employs centrally-managed, off-chain order books, traders retain possession of their private keys until a counterparty is found, at which point the trade is executed on chain.

11. Fintech spurs growth in developing countries

In emerging economies, technological developments are set to prompt economic growth and societal change by increasing financial inclusion and individual empowerment. Fintech tools, especially mobile banking, have helped millions of unbanked citizens to manage their money better and more safely.

In Africa, where the vast majority of the population works in agriculture, technology can make a big difference. Use of innovative tools allows small holder farmers to grow production and make a living. Block Commodities, a leading agritech company operating in Africa, has developed Farmer 3.0, a farming model that integrates small scale farmers into commercial supply chains and markets with the aid of disruptive technologies. With the use of digital finance, as well as big data, artificial intelligence, drones and machine learning, farmers are able to reduce inefficiencies in their practices and maximise production as a result.

12. Blockchain to combat fake news: Securing your digital identity is now a priority.

Among its various applications, blockchain technology can underpin online platforms that promote more authentic relationships between users and a healthier social media environment overall.

During 2018, we witnessed the spread of fake news on social media for political purposes. In light of this, technology companies have started developing applications to counter malicious content and bad actors online. One such company is Right of Reply, which is harnessing blockchain to create multiple platforms which can better regulate online interactions.

One way of addressing the fake news problem is to allow opposing ‘sides’ of a story to tell their respective versions within the same platform, to save time and enhance relevance. For this to happen, users need access to mechanisms which can manage their reputations and flag any mention of their names in online content.

RoRkey, Right of Reply’s technology subsidiary, focusses on aligning digital and real identity to allow verifiable identity and truth.

RoRKey offers verified digital reputation identities for registered users (DRI Standard and DRI Pro) which allow them to interact in a secure and protected ecosystem in various social communications and online media content as well as offering a verified ID that can used for different services within Right of Reply and its partners.

DRI Pro utilises a thorough identification process, requiring each user to undergo significant KYC (“know your customer”) and AML (“anti-money laundering”) procedures. This verification process reflects financial service level procedures, and includes the delivery of private and public encryption keys to the registered user.

Right of Reply and RorKey are planning to partner with other third-parties such as financial institutions, utility and insurance companies, online payment platforms, websites and social media to use DRI Pro as the means to prove the user’s digital identity. The plan for for DRI Pro is to become an officially recognized legal proof of ID.

The trends above set the scene for what we can expect in the tech space and the areas where growth and opportunity are brewing.

“Individuals have finally understood that blockchain is so much more than bitcoin and can truly revolutionise the way many industries work. Embracing this technology is not only positive but necessary to survive in an increasingly competitive space,” says Stefania Barbaglio, director of Cassiopeia Services, a leading PR/IR company acting in the blockchain space.

“The key to successful projects is to have strong use cases and applications that can add value to people and society. Innovation is the rule.”

“Without our community, DigiByte would be nothing,” says DGB founder Jared Tate at the first UK…

“Without our community, DigiByte would be nothing,” says DGB founder Jared Tate at the first UK Digibyte Event in London

Cassiopeia is thrilled to share the success of the first ever kind of exclusive DGB event in the UK which took place in London last Sunday 18th November.

The founder Jared Tate attended the reception to give DGB community a first-hand insight into his vision and DGB future. In Jared’s own words, he conceived the idea of DGB as an improvement over the Bitcoin protocol. “The main difference between bitcoin and DBG is in the very origin of their blockchain: DGB’s genesis block was created keeping in mind the safety and privacy of online customer data.”

DigiByte is a forward-thinking coin: DGB had no ICO or pre-mining. It is largely decentralized, which means full user autonomy. DGB has one of the strongest user cases in the cryptocurrency market: DGB can support over 48 million transactions a day –10 times the current transaction capacity of the top 50 blockchains by market cap. DigiByte can handle the expected transactions from several million users instantly, with no changes needed to the existing blockchain. The DGB platform can also support arbitrages and fund remittances.

Five years since the inception of the coin, Jared feels ‘exciting overwhelmed and very happy’ by the support and strength of the DGB community.

The community-driven effort and the tremendous faith that Jared has in the people supporting his project are the key factors that make DGB so unique and compelling. So much it is true that Jared says one of DGB’s leading developers is someone who he has never met but because of trust his vision and idea.

The potential of DGB as a mass-adopted cryptocurrency lays on its strong cybersecurity feature — and the deployment of blockchain technology to address the security flaws online.

Jared thinks that the internet, as it is today, is fundamentally broken. The centralised databases which currently support the system act as a catalyst for single points of failure. Thus, what DGB has intended to and continued to strive to achieve is to provide an utterly decentralised platform which is efficient, fast and secure.

One of the major updates of DigiByte is the improvement of one of its five mining algorithms that changes itself every 10 days. This has increased the security of the network by making it hard for coders and developers to guess the sequence and manipulate the blockchain.

When asked about his vision for DGB, Jared highlighted the importance of ‘Digi assets’, a second layer is built on top of the DGB blockchain. The Digi assets promise to be a revolution in the field of data privacy and security. Some of the sectors which is set to revamp are the health care system, real estate, politics, as well as improving payment and remittance systems.

Another special guest was DANIEL SKOWRONSKI Co-Founder and CEO of DX. Exchange. DX is the first fully EU regulated, complete crypto community that allows institutions and individuals to trade cryptocurrencies with fiat. Having years of experience trading on the financial market, Daniel is building DX Exchange on the Nasdaq’s leading matching technology.

From DigiByte’s perspective, the listed on DX exchange is a big milestone. “I’m very excited to bring DigiByte into DX Exchange. I believe the coin has a great future,” said Daniel to DGB investors.

The event was successful not only because all the investors were so engrossed in Jared’s insights but also because this was the first time in the UK that DGB enthusiasts could meet one another. Apart from founder Jared Tate, other special guests included Steem blockchain ambassador Stephen Kendal and the founder members of the DigiByte Awareness Team.

The interaction between investors was friendly and energetic. There were plenty of questions and raised between the guests to be answered by Jared and much knowledge was shared among the DGB community. In an interactive way of displaying the peer to peer transaction of Digicoins, Deano from the DigiByte Awareness Team purchased the DGB socks from another DGB investor by transferring him 100 DGB instantly and in real time.

The atmosphere reflected the true spirit of DGB: open, transparent, engageing. While the coin continues to strive towards excellence and improve its protocol, we can see that its ideology remains the same — and this is what it makes DGB so powerful and game-changing.

Digibyte Blockis a technology for the people, by the people.

Watch highlights of the event here