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10 projects that prove ICOs are alive and well
You know when you're walking down the street and find a $10 bill That's bonus money. It's a nice little present extra cash, given to you by the grace of God. That's the money you take, and instead of spending it on a Starbucks latte, you can invest in an ICO. Your coffee is not going to 50x in value'but an ICO might. That's called low risk, high reward. This is not financial advice, by the way. I'm just saying. Only 20% of the 70 ICOs issued in November are trading above their ICO market cap. Most people lost money. Many of those ICOs were scams. The bar on ICO risk standards is being raised. By regulators, but also by amateur investors. Now that you've felt the burn, or have friends who have felt the burn, you know to do your due diligence. You know not to spend money you can't afford to lose.

Daily Crypto Roundup 1/9/2019
Today in the crypto space, bitcoin revealed bullish sentiment, a security firm investigated the recent ethereum classic hack and Tron hired a former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) employee. Qtum also introduced atomic swaps and Bill Miller commented on Ripple. Catch the details on today's action: A CoinDesk report today showed positive chart sentiment regarding bitcoin. The ratio of long-to-short positions placed on bitcoin (BTC) has reached its highest level in over five months on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, the media outlet noted. CoinDesk also noted the presence of an inverse head and shoulders price chart formation, a bullish pattern possibly giving bitcoin bears a reason to question further downward prices.

The top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch in 2019
Market sentiment is changing constantly, requiring individuals to adapt their views. As crypto projects grow, stall, or even die, people must change their expectations and speculations. That being said, here are five crypto assets to watch in 2019. This one may be a somewhat obvious pick. Nevertheless, bitcoin has a lot going for it. It has the most institutional interest, by far. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) employed their cash-settled bitcoin futures over a year ago, boosting institutional interest, as well as bitcoin's credibility. Last year also saw a mass influx of further institutional interest in bitcoin that will carry over into 2019. Interest includes multiple bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF ) proposals and Intercontinental Exchange's (ICE) much-anticipated Bakkt platform with bitcoin-settled futures trading.

U.S. sanctions could trigger a Russian bitcoin buying spree
Vladislav Ginko, an academic at Moscow's Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, expects massive Russian investment in Bitcoin by February. Ginko anticipates a surge Russian bitcoin purchases next month, possibly triggering a bullish move in bitcoin prices. Ginko explains that this predicted investment into bitcoin would result from the need for Russia to diversify its cash reserves in preparation for the next batch of sanctions coming from the U.S. Congress. US sanctions may be mitigated only through Bitcoin use, explained Mr. Ginko, adding because of US sanctions, Russia's elite is forced to dump US assets and US dollars and invest hugely into Bitcoins. The central bank of Russia sits on $466 billion of reserves and has to diversify in case there is limited opportunities to do it (in the future).

Distributed consensus: PoW vs PoS
Proof-of-work (PoW) and proof-of-stake (PoS) are the two main types of consensus algorithms used by most blockchain-based cryptocurrency platforms to verify transactions. Digital currency transactions are broadcasted on a blockchain network, which usually consists of a large number of computing machines and an immutable distributed ledger. The distributed ledger is referred to as a blockchain, and it contains a permanent record of all transactions that have been successfully processed on a cryptocurrency network. In order to verify a transaction, the full-node operators of a cryptoasset platform have to come to a consensus regarding the authenticity of a transaction. Sets of transactions, or multiple transactions, are grouped into blocks and all the nodes participating in a cryptocurrency network compete for a chance to validate each block.

It's time Bitcoin returns to its roots
The crypto-sphere underwent a sort of transformation in 2018? Consider it the awkward teenage years of the burgeoning space. Bitcoin stumbled, struggling to find its place in the world. And regulators, officials and traditional economists didn't make it much easier. Now, going into 2019, the industry is caught between two warring worlds. That of Big Finance, and that of the cypherpunks decentralized dream of yesteryear. While some old heads are still carrying on the idealistic spirit of the world's first cryptocurrency, a wave of new blood has entered the mix that is less concerned about anonymity and security and more focused on taking control the transformative qualities of this new money.

The women who made 2018 a brighter year for crypto
We all know crypto is male dominated and the stats prove it: As recorded in January 2018, women were approximated to own only 5% of the $550 billion market cap for the cryptocurrency industry. Additionally, a study by Quartz showed that over the span of 6 years looking into hundreds of blockchain companies, only 8.5% of people on the founding team were women. Finally, according to Google Analytics data, as of June 2018, 91% of people engaged in the bitcoin community were recorded to be men. But regardless of the stats, all you need to do is go to any crypto-related event or meet-up to notice that women are a minority both in the crowd and in the limelight.

Interview with Bhume Bhumiratana, Consultant at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand
In an exclusive interview, Crypto Insider's Usman Javed talks about cryptocurrency and ICO regulations in Thailand with Bhume Bhumiratana, SEC Consultant and academic. Issues ranging from the status of ICO to the criteria which classify a certain asset as a security get tackled to better understand how the government of Thailand views this novel sector. Could you elaborate on the regulatory landscape of blockchain and crypto in Thailand Thailand recently, in May of this year passed a law. Currently the entire process regarding virtual asset has regulation all the way from issuance to public crowd sale to setting up exchange to broker service dealers, basically anything relating to selling cryptocurrency or virtual assets. We believe that the regulation is a good balance between what technology can do and what the regulator needs to do. Anyone involved in sector, should consult lawyers and regulators to figure out what they can and cannot do because there is regulation and there a lot of exceptions.

0x allows users to trade ether using off-chain order books
First (formally) proposed through a whitepaper published on February 21st, 2017, the 0x (ZRX) protocol outlines the specifications for a decentralized cryptoasset exchange built on the Ethereum blockchain. The whitepaper's abstract notes that the 0x (ZRX) protocol aims to facilitate low friction peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange of ERC-20 compliant tokens on the Ethereum network. Authored by Amir Bandeali (a University of Illinois Finance graduate and the CTO at 0x) and Will Warren (a University of California, San Diego Mechanical Engineering graduate and technical advisor for Basic Attention Token), the platform's whitepaper explains:

Hashrate moving averages in bitcoin mining
Moving averages have been used in the technical analysis (including cryptocurrency niche) forever. In this article, we introduce a notion of Hashrate Moving Average. There is no Bitcoin without the miners. More mining power (greater hashrate) results in more security for the network, but it also decreases the probability of mining a block. Ceteris paribus, if you are a miner and you observe the network hashrate going up and the price of bitcoin not increasing proportionally, your revenue will decrease. On the other hand, many consider that this distributed mining power is one of the key value drivers of bitcoin; if so, the increased hashrate should lead to a higher price. Although it's not clear which factor is leading and which is lagging, this positive correlation between the two factors had been holding true for most of the Bitcoin's existence until 2018.

BitTorrent moves to decentralize the internet
BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer file sharing platform, has launched a new cryptocurrency on the Tron blockchain, a move which Justin Sun suggests is a first step in building a decentralized internet. In collaboration with the Tron foundation, the BitTorrent foundation has revealed its new whitepaper for BitTorrent Token (BTT), a project aiming to create an economy around the usage of storage, networking and bandwidth of computers on the decentralized peer-to-peer platform. In the long-term, the project hopes to grow beyond the file-sharing platform which has been used by governments, entertainment giants and universities into a larger-scale infrastructure that will allow consumers to create value from their spare resources.

At 10 years old, Bitcoin is a wunderkind who's fighting for our freedom
On the 3rd of January 2009, Bitcoin was brought into the world to fulfil a prophecy: chaining blocks together in order to unchain the world from the crooked financial system, eliminating the individual and institutional middlemen from economic activities, and establishing a system of consensus and trust that is based on permanent verification. At the time, in the context of a ravaging recession, governments of the world were printing money in order to bailout the banks that caused the entire mess, while critics of fiat money were longing for the days of the Gold Standard. Not everyone raised their eyebrows when they heard about the birth of Bitcoin, but the early adopters were definitely visionaries who decided to nourish the newborn until it reaches its full potential of becoming sound money. From father Satoshi Nakamoto to uncle Hal Finney and beyond, Bitcoin has been constantly educated and moulded by the most brilliant minds of our time. Just like John Stuart Mill has learned ancient Greek by the age of three and read most of Plato's works at eight, Bitcoin has taken the best of computer science, game theory, and Austrian economics in order to outgrow its teachers and bring to the world something truly new and innovative: sound and uncensorable money.

How Lisk is building scalable dApps by using JavaScript and sidechains | Crypto Insider
Launched in early 2016, Lisk (LSK) is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency platform that was developed by Oliver Beddows, a Germany-based tech entrepreneur, and Max Kordek, the co-founder and director of Lightcurve, a blockchain product development firm. As explained on its official website, Lisk has its own (independent) blockchain network and native crypto token called LSK. According to its founders, the main purpose of creating Lisk is to make it easier to build and deploy? decentralized applications (dApps) in JavaScript. A short video on Lisk's website explains that as a society, we have managed to develop a very advanced justice system. However, we still face fraud and corruption? and while medical emergencies happen every day, our medical records are still hard to access. Moreover, smart homes are on the horizon?, but can we trust them

Charlie Lee on the Future of Litecoin
Litecoin creator Charlie Lee is definitely one of the most influential, charismatic, and respected voices in the world of cryptocurrencies. He has been around for a long time, he's seen many projects get born just to crash and burn during the various market cycles, but through it all LTC has thrived and has maintained relevance as digital silver which helps king Bitcoin scale and improve. Given these circumstances, to which we also add the fact that he's been the most accurate crypto prophet of 2018, it was a true privilege to get to interview Charlie Lee himself. However, the talks didn't really revolve around making speculations about the price: instead, we spoke about the new technologies that were brought and are about to get brought into Litecoin, and we tried to envision a future for the 7 year-old digital silver. From SegWit and the Lightning Network to the prospect of adding Confidential Transactions and Schnorr signatures to increase fungibility, it was a really productive discussion that should reveal why Litecoin is still around after all these years: it's all about a mix of conservatism and the boldness to embrace new technologies that get tested before they get implemented into Bitcoin.

Proof of Keys - Is Everyone Doing This?
Notable crypto enthusiast Trace Mayer has been recently advocating the importance of a Proof of Keys celebration. The event will take place on January 3, 2019. Trace Mayer is now promoting a crypto ownership awareness event called Proof of Keys?. In the event, cryptocurrency holders are urged to remove their crypto assets from exchanges and other third parties in an effort to prove solvency. The idea is that if the exchanges actually hold customers crypto assets (which they claim to store for customers after deposit), then all customers should essentially be able to remove their assets from those third parties at any point. Mayer described the details and reasoning on his website.

Dogecoin is more decentralized than NEO, IOTA, NEM, Stellar, and Nano
Decentralization is definitely one of the most important reasons to consider the use of blockchains. Not having a single point of failure, enabling for voluntary participation to the protocol, and allowing anyone to mine or stake are all must-haves for any serious cryptocurrency project. However, the situation is not always favorable for decentralization, even among the most popular projects. Jackson Palmer, the often bitter Dogecoin creator, has decided to take his criticism of the cryptocurrency market to a new level by creating arewedecentralizedyet.com. In order to ask this puzzling question, he decided upon five criteria which include the number of entities controlling more than 50% of the hash power, the percentage of coin supply being held in top 100 wallets, the number of clients which run the coin's protocol, the number of live public nodes, and whether or not miners or node runners are incentivized.

Igor Artamonov and Donald McIntyre on the collapse of ETCDEV and the future of Ethereum Classic - CryptoInsider
On December 3rd 2018, the ETCDEV Twitter account has posted a message to announce that the project would shut down its operations. The reason invoked was that of an inability to secure short-term funding. On the surface, this seemed like the culmination of a common issue for open-source developers: as soon as their funding runs out, they have to cease their operations and move on to other projects. However, the social media announcement came after a long week of infighting which culminated with the deletion of the ETCDEV GitHub account and the removal of the team's Medium blog account. Though the files were not completely lost, the actions were a sign that some collaborators may be less benevolent than they seem.

Tezos moves closer to zk-SNARKs protocol upgrade
Implementing some form of Zero-Knowledge proofs, based on the zk-SNARKs model pioneered by Zcash, into the Tezos protocol has been on the radar of creator Arthur Breitman since the original Tezos white paper. With the Tezos Mainnet humming along and the first protocol amendment vote on the horizon, it seems that some meaningful progress has been made which could pave the way for zk-SNARKs integration with Tezos. Just days ago, on Nov. 29, a commit was made to the Tezos public Gitlab explaining a new OCaml binding which is intended to allow easy interfacing with Zcash's zk-SNARKs library to bring shielded transactions to the Tezos network.

Maduro is at it again - raises price of 'el petro' even though there is still no functioning wallet....
Late last week, Venezuelas President Nicolas Maduro ordered a hike in the value of the country's state-sponsored cryptocurrency el petro. In an announcement on Thursday, President Nicolas Maduro ordered that the price of one petro be increased from 3,600 sovereign bolivars to 9,000. This move came with a 150 percent wage hike, the sixth such hike of the year as the Venezuelan economy continues its disastrous negative spiral. The arrival of Christmas is very exciting, so this corrective measure comes as a gift for large working families, Maduro said. There is growing suspicion, however, that the world's first state-sponsored cryptocurrency still does not exist.

Satoshi Nakamoto's profile updated 2018!
Satoshi Nakamoto has been a mysterious figure since the inception of the paperless e-currency known today as Bitcoin (BTC). After his disappearance in December 2010, many were left to speculate as to who he was and why he left. Well, Satoshi Nakamoto's P2P profile has come to life with one update. The update is just the word nour with quotation marks included. Back in 2014, his email that was associated with Satoshi's P2P profile was compromised. This could be a continuation of that potential hack, or perhaps it is something else. Maybe Satoshi has decided to make an appearance, but it may be too far-fetched. If he/she/they were to come back, why now Why on a platform that had been hacked previously

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