Blockchain Applications Bring More Value To Gamers, Leading The Evolution Of The Multi-Billion…

Blockchain Applications Bring More Value To Gamers, Leading The Evolution Of The Multi-Billion Dollar Gaming Market.

The gaming market is growing at a fast pace. With more than 2.2 billion active gamers in the world, the UK gaming sector generates £3.864bn, making it larger than music and video combined. Revenue from digital gaming, accounts for 87% of the UK market. Globally the industry generated $135bn in 2018.

The market is indeed so attractive that even the ‘big tech’ companies are moving into it. Earlier this week, Apple was said to be investing more than $500 million for its Arcade service, which will let users play exclusive gaming titles across their Apple devices ad-free and offline.

Google is also reportedly entering gaming. In March, the tech giant released a note about Stadia, its new platform that aims to deliver instant access to games on gadgets like laptops, tablets and mobile devices.

Gaming can provide one of the first playgrounds for experimenting with new technology, and the emergence of technologies such as blockchain, machine learning and virtual reality are changing the landscape of gaming as they become integrated into those platforms. The addition of these technologies is making the gaming experience a lot more sophisticated, fun and ever lucrative for users.

Gaming Integrating Blockchain

Technology pioneer OBC debuts in gaming space; Q&A with CEO Clem Chambers:

Blockchain is a mechanism to open the gaming market up further and take in-game values into the real world and vice versa.”

Earlier today, pioneering tech company Online Blockchain (OBC) announced its brand new blockchain-based gaming product FreeLoadr. FreeLoadr is a multi-platform application which allows gamers access to PC games for free in exchange for running the FreeLoadr application on their personal computer. The user donates “hash power” to earn points, which they can redeem for products on the FreeLoadr store’s selection of 2,500 titles.

OBC has been acting at the forefront of technology for decades. Previously known as On-Line plc, the company gained prominence during the dotcom boom. In 2017, the word ‘blockchain’ was added to signal its move into the fast growing blockchain industry. With the opportunity growing within the gaming sector, OBC is using the versatility of blockchain and developing applications with high user-case value and tailored for the needs of gamers. OBC also identifies and invests in strong projects in the space such as US-based gaming company Encryptid. OBC invested US$100,000 in cash in exchange for a 35% interest in the company.

Since then, OBC has developed multiple projects at a global level, envisioning widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and exploring early stage opportunities for blockchain applications.

Cassiopeia Services talked to OBC CEO Clem Chambers about FreeLoadr, blockchain in gaming and opportunities in the industry. Chambers is a well-known figure (Maverick Genius) in the City of London, having made a sizeable fortune in the dot.com boom.

How was FreeLoadr inspired? What makes it special and different from other gaming applications available?

CC: “We’re constantly coming up with great ideas as a group and FreeLoadr was a favourite as it was such an accessible project, in the mainstream and in the heartland of the digital natives that love Crypto.”

What market demands in gaming can blockchain applications meet?

CC: “The potential is endless. Crypto opens up vast horizons for computer games because it allows for a real financial system to underpin the giant environments that are played in by millions of people.”

Nowadays, mobile gaming takes the biggest share in the gaming market. Why is mobile taking over consoles and PCs? In terms of blockchain applications for different platforms, is there any difference between them?

CC: “Mobiles are ever present and that’s spawned a whole new way of delivering and monetising computer gaming. Blockchain is a mechanism to open that market up further and take in-game values into the real world and vice versa.”

What are non-fungible assets and what advantages does it bring to gamers? Can it be monetised in the blockchain?

CC: “Most games have virtual goods that cost money but it is hard or often impossible to sell them on second hand. Micro transactions are already big new in computer games and blockchain will extent that environment much further not just by making non-fungible virtual game items fungible but by providing a platform for made-for crypto games, a tremendous example of this is the game by Encrypted we have invested in.”

Any more gaming projects for OBC in the future?

CC:We have invested in a tremendously exciting developer called Encryptd and the product is taking shape. They have deep crypto expertise and their game could be a smash. distributed Crypto games will light up the gaming market at some point, it’s just a case of when. We want to be part of that.”

Different kinds of fraud, cheating, and other attacks have become a big deal in the $135 billion game market, while research showed that one in five gamers fall victim to fraud while playing. How can blockchain help with preventing and countering gaming fraud?

CC: “Blockchain can and will help but there is no magic bullet for that. Never was, never will be. The best solution is solid game management, something deeply rooted in our heritage in the games business.”

In the case of FreeLoadr, users can enjoy free access to games in exchange for ‘hash power’. How does OBC use this ‘hash power’ to mine selected cryptocurrency? What is the cryptocurrency? Why is this a profitable exchange for OBC?

CC: “We farm the hash power out to mining pools. We receive Bitcoin and other coins from the pools, take our margin and use the rest to buy games for the user. It’s a very simple clean model.”

China is the country with the highest gaming revenues ̶ $34,400M ̶ showing the opportunity in this market. OBC will be launching FreeLoadr in the UK and in North America soon, but are there any plans to bring it to Asia and other parts of the world?

CC: “In one word, Yes. Asia is very interesting and exciting and we’re looking at that market.”

Blockchain and gaming is already a very potent combination, so do you think integrating cloud services with FreeLoadr’s model would help it expand in the future? Considering not all people have a lot of GPU power on their laptops, would it better to have an ecosystem of blockchain-gaming and cloud services?

CC: “This is a possibility, but I think we’re thinking about other verticals as the biggest opportunities. You could charge you Costa Coffee card with Freeloadr, for instance.”

Are there any plans to launch a FreeLoadr coin? Considering your plans to venture into the gaming console systems such as Playstation and Xbox, if people get the opportunity to have one unique coin for all their gaming purchases, it might help promote widespread adoption of FreeLoadr ̶ what are your views on this?

CC: “We will have a Freeloadr that buts console games, that will be a product for this autumn. The lesson we have learned over the years is to focus hard, stay under the radar, keep your risk surface low and embrace talent. Blockchain is a continent of opportunity and the key to success is to find a sweat spot and build your city there. Can you tell I got Civilization IV with Freeloadr points?”

Follow Freeloader on twitter @FreeLoadr_App

DigiByte Summit Agenda

We are pleased to share the agenda for the first DigiByte Global Summit in Amsterdam — only two weeks away on 19th April 2019.

The summit will host some of the most prominent experts working in blockchain and decentralisation today. All are developing projects that build on the DigiByte blockchain, deploying it to new applications such as digital identity, data privacy and digital asset trading. Created by Jared Tate in 2014, DGB boasts high scalability and security, together with a forward-thinking approach to development. As such, the technology is a perfect fit for breakthrough projects and concepts, having seen considerable growth in adoption and awareness over the past few years.

Confirmed speakers are:

DigiByte founder Jared Tate

Josiah Spackman, DigiByte Foundation Member and Chief Fun Officer (CFO)

Steffy (Stefania Barbaglio) Official DigiByte PR

Rudy Bouwman, the founder of the DigiByte Awareness Team

Marnix van den Berg, Lead Dev/Founder of V-ID

Pim Voets, Lead Concept Design/Founder of V-ID

Joshua Jenster, Lead Business Dev of V-ID

Jan Muyldermans, Founder of Antum ID

Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies, Founders of Vertbase

Brian Foote, CEO of Block 30 Labs

The agenda is as follows:

2pm

- Welcome and Introduction — Stefania Barbaglio

- State of DigiByte / DGB Intro — Jared Tate

- DGB Awareness Team and how to get involved — Rudy Bouwman

- Dandelion Info & Demo for Privacy — Josiah Spackman

3pm

- DigiID Demo / Antum ID Demo — Jan Muyldermans

- Vertbase Presentation — Justin Seidl & Stuart Menzies

- V-ID Presentation & Demo — Marnix van den Berg, Pim Voets & Joshua Jenster

- OdoCrypt & Upcoming Hard Fork — Jared Tate

- DigiAssets Live Demo — Jared Tate

4pm

- Block 30 Labs Presentation — Brian Foote

- Panel Discussion: “Where will blockchain be in 2035?”

- Closing remarks

5pm

Networking drinks & nibbles

After the conference, we have also organised a scenic canal boat trip departing at 18.30. If you are interested in joining us, contact Steffy for details and bookings.

The summit marks the first ever gathering of DigiByte’s great minds to present and discuss their projects. Even though the projects serve various purposes and have multiple applications, they are all connected by the same vision of technology potential, and how it can be used to design the future of our society.

Decentralisation, at its very core, is about empowering individuals and reshaping society; it is about offering solutions to protect people and businesses against digital fraud using a network where everyone could fairly contribute to, so it remains distributed and decentralized, without the need for any trusted third party, and building a digital economy that serves users’ purposes and facilitates transactions worldwide with a high level of security. These new platforms are developed by users just like everyone else, who have the technology expertise to create a new system.

More than that, the summit is also a chance for the DigiByte community to engage in open dialogue to strengthen the bonds that bring them together.

Stefania Barbaglio, official PR for DigiByte and organiser of the summit, commented: “It is very inspiring to see these great minds coming together and sharing their plans and projects with us. Jared started DigiByte with the mission to fix most of the cyber security vulnerabilities the internet is facing today by using blockchain technology. DigiByte but it is now a social project that has the potential to change society and its economy. It has grown stronger over the last few years and while many other blockchain and cryptocurrencies tried to ride the hype, DGB were working hard paving the way for more innovative ventures to arise. As Jared always says, DigiByte is a family who share the same values, positive energy and enthusiasm in developing projects that can change the world for the better.

What we are seeing at the summit is all about the future of society and economy, powered by blockchain technology and decentralisation.”

Tickets for the summit can still be purchased here: http://digibytesummit.io

DigiByte Global Summit will take place on April 19th, 2019 at De Balie, Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 1017 RR, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Media Contact

Cassiopeia Services

info@cassiopeia-ltd.com

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.

World leaders focus on technology and governance in Davos

The World Economic Forum is one of the world’s most important political and economic events. Every January, leaders and business personalities from around the globe gather in Davos for a week of discussions about urgent issues affecting societies today. This year, after months of rampant security and privacy scandals, as well as multiple social media crises, key figures got together to assess how technology can be deployed in a safe and constructive manner.

The theme for 2019 was Globalisation 4.0 and the spirit underpinning the event was international cooperation for solutions to improve global order. In times of economic uncertainty and political fragmentation, the forum was a chance for the world’s most prominent figures to discuss how technology can help improve people’s quality of life, particularly in emerging economies and developing countries.

Technology is no doubt a hot topic for governments and business leaders. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, aided by the development of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, is projected to unlock $3.7 trillion in economic value by 2025.

Speaking of disruptive technologies, Google CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted in his keynote interview that we can expect significant developments in AI for the coming months. Pichai said that AI has a fundamental role in the new phase of globalisation and reshaping understanding of technology uses.

“AI is probably the most important thing humans have ever worked on,” said Pichai. “I think of it as something more profound than electricity and fire. Any time you work with technology, you need to learn how to harness the benefits while minimising the downsides. Stepping back, when you think about a lot of problems in the world, we typically have a constraint on resources. AI for the first time offers a different construct.”

But whilst Globalisation 4.0 brings many economic opportunities, it also poses challenges. Concerns over data privacy, cyber security and fake news are some of the most relevant examples of the unwanted consequences of widespread technological developments. The Davos meeting’s exact purpose was to shine a light on those problems and call for collective international action.

One of the important pieces of news in the 2019 forum was the launch of WEF’s Global Center for Cybersecurity, which will be headquartered in Geneva and start activities in March. The Center will work alongside governments and companies in the private sector to facilitate information gathering and sharing. It will also develop strategies such as the Cyber Resilience Playbook to help create appropriate regulatory frameworks to enhance cybersecurity practices.

Also touching on sensitive topics, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about the urgency with which governments need to act in taking care of data privacy. Germany is a major defender of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has a strict set of social media rules. The Chancellor emphasised the intrinsic value of data in the current global scenario and the great responsibility that companies carry when handling individuals’ personal information.

“Data will be the raw material of the 21st century. The question ‘who owns that data?’ will decide whether democracy, the participatory social model, and economic prosperity can be combined,” said Merkel.

In regards to regulations, the forum offered a much-needed chance for businesses and governments to engage in dialogue. Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, highlighted that the tech industry will continue to evolve, regardless of the influence of authorities. The most effective solution, he says, is to make sure regulators hold companies to account when it comes to malpractices.

“The point of regulators and government is to come in and point true north. In the tech industry, we’ve been remarkably clear of those regulatory concerns for the whole industry’s lifespan. We’re seeing signs now, maybe we’re not completely there yet, but especially when you see what happened with the election and social networks and with CEOs who fully abdicate their responsibilities and say I had no idea this was happening,” said Benioff

“There’s no way regulators can keep up with the speed of technology, but they can play a role with accountability,” he added.

European Blockchain Partnership aims to contribute to the creation of an environment in full compliance with EU regualtion and with clear governance models to help blockchain technology grow in Europe via Spot9

If in developed nations, the discussions were mostly about the setbacks caused by technology; when it comes to emerging markets, tech is offering opportunity and growth. One of the key presences in Davos this year was Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba, the ‘Amazon of China’.

Ma said that the growth of e-commerce and digital payments has contributed immensely to economic growth in the past years — and that it will continue to do so.

“E-commerce is the future,” said Ma. “E-commerce will replace a lot of traditional ways of doing business. In the past 20 years with poor logistics, terrible payments, and terrible internet connections, e-commerce has still grown like this for our platform in China for the last 15 years. Last year, sales were more than $750 billion USD, almost ranking number 21 in country’s GDP.”

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has indeed made a great impact on emerging markets and developing countries. Blockchain, for example, has enabled the emergence of multiple platforms that offered digital banking for large unbanked populations, giving them access to financial services as well as allowing cross-border payments for remittances in a fast and cost-effective way.

Keep an eye out for more upcoming news on disruptive technologies and the impact of the Fourth Industrial revolution on society. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel for interviews with technology experts.

World leaders focus on technology and governance in Davos

The World Economic Forum is one of the world’s most important political and economic events. Every January, leaders and business personalities from around the globe gather in Davos for a week of discussions about urgent issues affecting societies today. This year, after months of rampant security and privacy scandals, as well as multiple social media crises, key figures got together to assess how technology can be deployed in a safe and constructive manner.

The theme for 2019 was Globalisation 4.0 and the spirit underpinning the event was international cooperation for solutions to improve global order. In times of economic uncertainty and political fragmentation, the forum was a chance for the world’s most prominent figures to discuss how technology can help improve people’s quality of life, particularly in emerging economies and developing countries.

Technology is no doubt a hot topic for governments and business leaders. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, aided by the development of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, is projected to unlock $3.7 trillion in economic value by 2025.

Speaking of disruptive technologies, Google CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted in his keynote interview that we can expect significant developments in AI for the coming months. Pichai said that AI has a fundamental role in the new phase of globalisation and reshaping understanding of technology uses.

“AI is probably the most important thing humans have ever worked on,” said Pichai. “I think of it as something more profound than electricity and fire. Any time you work with technology, you need to learn how to harness the benefits while minimising the downsides. Stepping back, when you think about a lot of problems in the world, we typically have a constraint on resources. AI for the first time offers a different construct.”

But whilst Globalisation 4.0 brings many economic opportunities, it also poses challenges. Concerns over data privacy, cyber security and fake news are some of the most relevant examples of the unwanted consequences of widespread technological developments. The Davos meeting’s exact purpose was to shine a light on those problems and call for collective international action.

One of the important pieces of news in the 2019 forum was the launch of WEF’s Global Center for Cybersecurity, which will be headquartered in Geneva and start activities in March. The Center will work alongside governments and companies in the private sector to facilitate information gathering and sharing. It will also develop strategies such as the Cyber Resilience Playbook to help create appropriate regulatory frameworks to enhance cybersecurity practices.

Also touching on sensitive topics, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about the urgency with which governments need to act in taking care of data privacy. Germany is a major defender of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has a strict set of social media rules. The Chancellor emphasised the intrinsic value of data in the current global scenario and the great responsibility that companies carry when handling individuals’ personal information.

“Data will be the raw material of the 21st century. The question ‘who owns that data?’ will decide whether democracy, the participatory social model, and economic prosperity can be combined,” said Merkel.

In regards to regulations, the forum offered a much-needed chance for businesses and governments to engage in dialogue. Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, highlighted that the tech industry will continue to evolve, regardless of the influence of authorities. The most effective solution, he says, is to make sure regulators hold companies to account when it comes to malpractices.

“The point of regulators and government is to come in and point true north. In the tech industry, we’ve been remarkably clear of those regulatory concerns for the whole industry’s lifespan. We’re seeing signs now, maybe we’re not completely there yet, but especially when you see what happened with the election and social networks and with CEOs who fully abdicate their responsibilities and say I had no idea this was happening,” said Benioff

“There’s no way regulators can keep up with the speed of technology, but they can play a role with accountability,” he added.

European Blockchain Partnership aims to contribute to the creation of an environment in full compliance with EU regualtion and with clear governance models to help blockchain technology grow in Europe via Spot9

If in developed nations, the discussions were mostly about the setbacks caused by technology; when it comes to emerging markets, tech is offering opportunity and growth. One of the key presences in Davos this year was Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba, the ‘Amazon of China’.

Ma said that the growth of e-commerce and digital payments has contributed immensely to economic growth in the past years — and that it will continue to do so.

“E-commerce is the future,” said Ma. “E-commerce will replace a lot of traditional ways of doing business. In the past 20 years with poor logistics, terrible payments, and terrible internet connections, e-commerce has still grown like this for our platform in China for the last 15 years. Last year, sales were more than $750 billion USD, almost ranking number 21 in country’s GDP.”

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has indeed made a great impact on emerging markets and developing countries. Blockchain, for example, has enabled the emergence of multiple platforms that offered digital banking for large unbanked populations, giving them access to financial services as well as allowing cross-border payments for remittances in a fast and cost-effective way.

Keep an eye out for more upcoming news on disruptive technologies and the impact of the Fourth Industrial revolution on society. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel for interviews with technology experts.