Author: Kai Sedgwick

Crypto Trading in 2018: New Strategies, Bigger Crowds and Diminishing Returns

Markets and Prices The cryptocurrency landscape has changed significantly over the past 12 months. Gone are the guaranteed returns of 5x, 10x or greater on ICOs, as a growing number of investors clamor for a piece of the pie. New coins, new forks, and new airdrops have created a competitive marketplace characterized by diminishing returns and reduced profits. The best traders are still able to claim the lion’s share of the rewards though, leaving the rest to fight it out for the scraps. Also read: Telegram Followers – The New Metric for Cryptocurrency Success Welcome to 2018, Where 20%...

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Atari Joins Growing List of Old Brands Trying To Revitalize Through Cryptocurrency

Crowdfunding For generation X-ers, old enough to remember a time when photographs were analogue and games consoles were 16-bit, brands such as Kodak and Atari evoke fuzzy nostalgia. Nothing perfect lasts forever though, and those companies which once dominated their respective spheres have not aged well. Many assumed these 80s stalwarts had already given up the ghost amidst growing financial problems. As it turns out, not only are the Kodaks and Ataris of the world still limping on, but they’re seeking an injection of new blood and fresh capital in the form of an ICO (Initial Coin Offering). Also read: Kodak Getting Into Bitcoin Mining The Childhood Companies Coming for Your Crypto Kodak’s descent from photographic giant to failed firm desperately trying to find its niche is a sad one for anyone old enough to associate the name with better times. In the pre-digital age, companies such as Kodak and Atari were mainstays of popular culture. Times change and the companies that fail to innovate get left behind. Kodak’s sudden transformation into crypto miner and ICO entrant has already been picked apart. Atari’s has attracted less scrutiny, but bears many of the same hallmarks. In 2013, Atari filed for bankruptcy which, coincidentally, was the same year that Kodak followed suit. Five years on and Atari is throwing its hat into the blockchain ring. The pattern is a predictable one now:...

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Bank of America Has Filed More Cryptocurrency Patents Than Any Other Company

Technology Think of cryptocurrency developers and names like Satoshi Nakamoto, Gavin Andresen, and Nick Szabo spring to mind. Individuals who place principles ahead of profit and are more aligned with open source principles than filing patents and closely guarding their secrets. The only secret Satoshi guarded was his identity. It may come as a surprise then to learn that in the last decade, the company that has more cryptocurrency patents than any other is in many bitcoiners’ eyes the antithesis of everything decentralized currency stands for – Bank of America. Also read: Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms from Latvia and Bulgaria Bitcoin Patents Pile Up Since Bitcoin’s genesis block was mined nine years ago, over 2,000 related patents have been filed, Bitcoin Patent Report reveals. In the cryptocurrency’s early years, the number of patents was low, averaging under 50 a year, but by 2015 that figure began to pick up and by 2016 was growing exponentially. Some of the companies whose names feature in the top ten are to be expected, such as Bitflyer and IBM, whose interest in blockchain is well documented. The computing giant has filed a total of 34 cryptocurrency related patents, but is outplaced by South Korean brokerage Coinplug, which is third on the list with 39. Some entrants on the list are unexpected, either because they have publicly expressed little interest in cryptocurrency, or are...

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Mining Crypto In a Browser Is a Complete Waste of Time

Mining Malware that surreptitiously mines cryptocurrency while you browse the web is big news right now – literally in the case of news outlet Salon, which has enabled it as an opt-in feature. One thing that it certainly isn’t, though, is big business. Every other day, media outlets seem to be running stories about the latest cryptojacking scams. While these tales are mostly true, the extent of the problem has been vastly overstated. Smart criminals aren’t covertly crypto mining in-browser, not because they’re incapable of doing so, but because even at scale it simply isn’t profitable. Also read: Nuclear Engineers Arrested for Mining Cryptocurrency Using Government Supercomputer Cryptojacking Malware Last weekend, it emerged that the Browse Aloud web browser plugin had been hijacked, causing it to covertly mine cryptocurrency on around 5,000 computers. Among those affected were systems used by a number of British government bodies including the National Health Service and a student loans company. At the time, a spokesperson for the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre said: “NCSC technical experts are examining data involving incidents of malware being used to illegally mine cryptocurrency…Government websites will continue to operate securely. At this stage there is nothing to suggest that members of the public are at risk.” Naturally members of the public weren’t at risk – in any sense of the word. The only real side effects of having your...

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Here’s Why You Can’t Judge a Coin by Its Market Cap

Altcoins Ever heard of a coin called ucash? You should have. It’s in the world’s top 25 cryptocurrencies after all, based on market cap, placing it higher than stratis, omisego, and zcash. Making it to the hallowed heights of 21st, where ucash placed on February 12, calls for mainstream media coverage, a growing user base, and significant adoption you would think. As it turns out, ucash is an outlier – a nothing coin whose ascent is proof that you can’t judge a coin by its cap. Also read: United Bitcoin May Be the Most Controversial Fork to Date Fake It Till You Make It It’s widely accepted that market capitalization – that is, the total value of all coins in circulation multiplied by their last traded price – is a crude reckoner. As an approximate guide to the relative size of respective cryptocurrencies, market cap usually suffices, but there are occasions when it’s glaringly wrong. Ucash is the perfect case in point. The obscure altcoin – or shitcoin, as such offerings are pejoratively described – rose out of nowhere this week to soar into the crypto top 100. As anyone with a cursory knowledge of market cap metrics will know, gaming the system is extremely easy. All it takes is for someone to create a shitcoin with a circulating supply of 150 billion, list it on an equally shit exchange,...

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Crypto All Stars Brings Your Favorite Twitter Traders to the Blockchain

Smart Contracts Blockchain based trading cards are all the rage, with one estimate placing the transaction value of ethereum games at $10 million a day. While the vast majority of these games are derivative and ephemeral, that’s not to say they can’t provide short-term entertainment. The latest addition to the Crypto Kitties stable is Crypto All Stars, which promises to bring all your “favorite Twitter shitposters” to the blockchain. Also read: People Are Paying Thousands of Dollars for Crypto Celebrities on the Blockchain Pyramid Scheme Meets Proof of Ego This week’s must-have blockchain game is next week’s relic, so the odds of Crypto All Stars standing the test of time seem remote. In the here and now though it’s a shameless but amusing take on the meme birthed by Crypto Kitties back in December. The project of Twitter trader Crypto Randy Marsh (who naturally includes himself as one of the cards), the game features many of the cryptoverse’s loudest luminaries including Crypto Cobain, Bitfinexed, and Ari Paul. Thanks to their desire not to be usurped by their peers, many of the “celebs” have already bought their own cards several times over. There are many ways to make money in the cryptosphere, and appealing to traders’ natural vanity is a clever ploy. For the proles who don’t possess these “legendary” shitposters’ follower count or portfolio, there’s the satisfaction of at...

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British Couple Lawyer Up as $840k Cryptocurrency Divorce Heats Up

Finance Divorce is never fun and rarely simple, but when one party – generally the male – owns cryptocurrency, there’s an added layer of complexity. With cryptocurrency still relatively new as an asset class, there have been very few cases to date in which the unhappy couple have squabbled over altcoins. A British law firm professes to be handling three such cases at present, with the largest involving a tug-of-war over crypto valued at $840,000. Also read: Divorce is Messy – Especially When You Own Bitcoin Kissing Goodbye to the Ball and Blockchain It was only a matter of...

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Token Holders Don’t Give a Damn About Voting Rights and Community Governance

Crowdfunding You’ve probably heard of The DAO and you’ve certainly heard of the ICO. Now say hello to the DAICO, an “innovative fundraising model” that aims to combine the best of both frameworks. The Abyss Platform is the first project to utilize this hybrid organizational structure, which has been credited as the brainchild of Vitalik Buterin. There’s just one problem with The DAO, the ICO and the mutant DAICO it’s spawned – the public couldn’t give a damn about key tenets such as voting rights and community governance. All they want is cheap tokens they can flip for a quick profit. Also read: U.S. Corporate Customers Barred From Bitfinex’s Margin Markets Live and Let DAICO The DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) was the first major project to be launched on the Ethereum blockchain, complete with a novel governance structure that replaced a board of directors with a community-run model. It didn’t end well. A vulnerability in the code saw one third of the ether committed to the project stolen and The DAO collapsed. As prominent crypto critic and agent provocateur Preston Byrne explains: The original DAO could pass resolutions with a simple majority drawn from quorum of 20% (meaning as little as 10% +1 of the investors could bind the remaining 90%). No resolution ever passed because none of the tokenholders actually cared enough about what the DAO was doing in...

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Bad Code Has Lost $500 Million of Cryptocurrency in Under a Year

Security Cryptocurrency can be lost in a variety of ways, from hacking to forgotten passwords and failed flash drives. But in dollar terms, one of the biggest causes of crypto losses is bad code, and it’s not usually the fault of the coin’s developers. Instead, third parties, including shoddy smart contract developers and shady exchanges, are to blame for losses that have reached half a billion dollars in the last seven months. Also read: Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitgrail Suspends Operations After ‘Losing’ $170 Million of Nano Bitgrail Gets Railed for Dodgy Code Last week, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the demise of Bitgrail, which contrived to lose $170 million of nano cryptocurrency. While the precise sequence of events that caused the catastrophic collapse of the exchange with the assets of thousands of customers is still being confirmed, poor code is being blamed. As reported at the time: There are rumors that Bitgrail became insolvent following a withdrawal bug that was discovered by some users and then shared in Discord and other chat groups, causing the wallet balance to gradually diminish. One user explained: “There was a bug on Bitgrail where if you placed two orders you got double balance added to your account. You could then withdraw while the orders were up and steal the coins. You had negative balance in the end but you could just make a new account.” In...

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KYC Requirements Are Making ICOs Riskier, Not Safer

Crowdfunding Once upon a time initial coin offerings were open to everyone. That time was last year, and since then gaining entry to ICOs has become increasingly difficult. In response to regulatory attention from the SEC, crypto startups have begun to perform due diligence on aspiring investors. Thanks to onerous KYC requirements, the pendulum has swung the other way, presenting hackers with an additional prize – the data of tens of thousands of investors. Also read: Many Token Crowdsales No Longer That Open to the Crowds KYC Requirements Are an Accident Waiting to Happen Last year, the U.S. Securities...

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