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How to Defend Yourself from Scam ICOs: a Personal Story

Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, are very popular right now. This kind of Ethereum-based crowdfunding has a principal role in funding crypto-related startup.

We can say that they are Ethereum-based because most often, ICOs are based on Buterin’s Blockchain, as it can be used to develop smart contracts that regulate the funds raised.

For example, a smart contract can define goals and funding rules so the money raised during the ICO could be spent only for the objective previously decided.

ICOs are not the devil

At this time ICOs are quite unregulated, this could be considered both as a pro and a con because it is a faster way for companies to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by capitalists and banks. But still, there is no way to control these kinds of sales.

In fact, the lack of legal guidelines has resulted in more than a few scams, and investors can find it challenging to understand if there is a potential opportunity or if it is a Ponzi scheme.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that ICOs are all bad.

How to evaluate an ICO: start from team members

There are a few steps you need to follow if you want to prevent yourself from a scam ICO. According to me – the first one is checking who are the people involved in the team and who are the project advisors.

Even in a crypto-related world where everything is immaterial, you need to check peoples fame, popularity and seriousness before deciding to invest in a token sale.

After verifying the project goals and the utility of the new token, you need to check team background through LinkedIn or other social networks.

That’s where my story begins because I was added to a scam ICO project without any authorization and with incorrect info about my job and skills.

I would say that is a scam because adding a person as a team member without any authorization seems handsome in the eyes of investors – hoping that the interested people would not notice it – is still a scam-related problem.

Luckily I have my Google Alert set, so I quickly found this ICO misusing my name.

First rule: Google it!

Usually, when this kind of company adds a fake name among their team, this unlucky person has a different background compared to the one revealed in her/his LinkedIn profile.

The first rule is: Google it! Always check the technical knowledge, and previous jobs in the fintech industry of the people you find involved in an ICO team.

In fact, this MCX Coin that was exploiting my name by saying that I’m their community manager is false.

Also, they proudly explained that I correctly speak Chinese, but this is not true, unfortunately, for them — and for me too.

Other fake team members were used on their website with roles they’ve never covered in their whole life. My colleague Eleonora Corti, for example, was added on this scam ICO project with the label of “legal advisor” while she has never worked in this industry.

This is my “sad” story, just to explain to you why you need to verify all the team members involved in an ICO before investing in it.

I hope no one was scammed by this project. Again, I have nothing to do with them; I only worked for Eidoo and Cointelegraph, of course.

How

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Eidoo Fights Back Against FUD

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve heard about the recent feud between Jamie Dimon, head man at JP Morgan Chase, and the cryptocurrency world. Dimon’s vitriolic comments regarding Bitcoin went viral last month, as he called the cryptocurrency a ‘fraud’ and threatened to fire anyone caught trading it.

While the crypto sphere lit up with comments and reports (including a report that on the same day, JP Morgan actually bought the dip), one company turned the tables on Dimon with a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal. According to Eidoo, one of the newest and most flexible exchanges on the market, even if Jamie fires you, at least you can still trade crypto.

New angles on everything

Undoubtedly, the Eidoo ad will generate huge commentary among crypto enthusiasts. However, the move highlights the company’s willingness to think outside the box. A recent statistic shows that the exchange’s app has been downloaded more than 50,000 times in the last week alone. Apparently thinking outside the box is appealing to consumers.

The exchange offers some unique services that others don’t. For example, the Eidoo wallet allows users to hold not only Bitcoin and Ethereum, but all ERC20 tokens, allowing its customers the ability to maintain their portfolios within a single application.

Secondly, Eidoo is developing a hybrid exchange that allows users to exchange ETH directly for other ERC20 tokens through an application, without the complexities of most legacy exchanges. This, coupled with the forthcoming Bitcoin hybrid exchange, indicates the company’s willingness to create new and meaningful systems to service their customers.

Third, the company has fully embraced the ICO concept, allowing users to participate in initial coin offerings through its ICO Engine platform, also within the application. This allows for a smooth interface for ICO participation and provides a user-friendly interface for less tech-savvy consumers.

Finally, Eidoo allows its users access to their own private keys. This feature is not available on many wallets, but Eidoo is allowing full autonomous control to its customers, embracing the original ‘Satoshi’ vision of cryptocurrency and decentralization.

Compare and contrast

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a short infographic of what makes Eidoo such a flexible exchange and wallet platform. Not only will consumers have far greater choice, they will be able to do so all from a centralized and user friendly platform.

What Sets Eidoo Apart

If the Wall Street Journal ad from Eidoo is a litmus test of the company’s creativity and ingenuity, Eidoo has a promising future ahead. Consumers want choice, and Eidoo offers it in the most simple and direct way possible. Even Jamie Dimon would have to agree.

The Eidoo ICO is still live, for those contributors interested in taking part in this groundbreaking platform. However, with the token sale ending on Oct. 16, interested parties should move quickly. Eidoo accepts ETH tokens, and token sale information can be found here.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Smart Wallet Unites and Secures Cryptocurrencies

While the number of incidents of hacking and fraud related to cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets has been declining since the early days, the popular press still likes a good anecdote of a naive investor losing money in the “Wild West” of the cryptocurrency world. Substantial improvements have been made largely owing to advances in technology over the more secure Ethereum Blockchain. Nonetheless, even Vitalik Buterin, the developer of the Ethereum Blockchain, concedes more work needs to be done.

In its efforts to be the Fort Knox of digital asset wallets and exchanges, Swiss-based Eidoo could tick off most items on Buterin’s list. Its battery of software engineers are developing solutions to ease of use, security, accountability, standardization, and interoperability weaknesses in both Ethereum and Bitcoin.

A super crypto wallet to the rescue

By locating in Switzerland’s ‘CryptoPolis’, Eidoo is benefitting from synergies with other Blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies for its ambitious project.  Eidoo is doing much more than placing the two most popular cryptocurrencies in the same wallet. Its Bitcoin and Ethereum teams are working diligently to develop applications that provide a new level of interoperability between the two.

The integration of cryptocurrency applications is no small feat. To provide a more simplified, intuitive user experience, Eidoo is taking on security, privacy, audibility and standardisation issues, among others—and to many observers, winning.

The multi-asset manager views itself as a value-added integrator, aiming to satisfy all user needs in one application. Value added services include debit card recharging and digital identity solutions. Much of the added value will be enabled by underlying Blockchain technology enhancements unseen to users.

A new CryptoPolis

One of Eidoo’s neighbors among the bucolic, green hills of Chiasso, Switzerland is Digital Identity, an investment firm in cryptocurrency infrastructure, whose senior executives are co-founders of Eidoo.

New CEO Thomas Bertani not only brings experience with cryptocurrency exchanges (as founder of cash-to-Bitcoin exchange Bitboat) and high performance Blockchain computing (Bitcoin mining semiconductor chips and systems maker CoinTerra) to Eidoo, but also an important piece of the technology puzzle. His company Oraclize provides the all-important security layer to cryptographically secure the data in the smart contracts.

As fintech startups introduce more peer-to-peer networks, data corruption and tampering are greater risks. Many of these platforms are being run by unknown smaller startups. Oraclize’s Ethereum authenticity proofs—cryptographic engine machines—take the data and security handling out of the hands of the intermediary.

This secure authenticated data-transport-layer allows Eidoo’s Blockchain software engineers to focus on building the exchange and interoperability across currencies. Currently, two teams — an Ethereum and a Bitcoin team—are working fervently on applications. Additional cryptocurrencies will be added in the future.

One password to multi-wallets

Besides the underlying technology enhancements, as digital wallets become multi-asset storage spaces, ultimately user uptake of cryptocurrency wallets will depend on their ease of use.

Bringing the Blockchain-human interface down to earth entails providing the user with a single, intuitive interface. With Ethereum forecasted to pass Bitcoin in market capitalization this year, and new custom tokens launched weekly through Initial Public Offerings (ICO), interoperability between the two cryptocurrencies is becoming more important.

Eidoo simplifies and secures wallets by allowing users to access their cryptocurrencies in one place through one password — comprised of 12 words.

Towards standardization

Another way Eidoo distinguishes itself from other popular cryptocurrency wallets is by offering a wallet that automatically recognizes ERC20 tokens. Like any Ethereum token, ERC20 can represent physical assets such as gold,  an insurance contract, or proprietary tokens such as Golem.  

ERC20 tokens differ from standard Ethereum tokens in that they comply with predefined rules that improve security and compatibility with other ERC20 tokens. While many Ethereum tokens adhere to ERC20 standards, a token may use part but not all of the ERC20 rules. Moreover, they may change those rules on subsequent projects.

With the high number of ICOs involving Ethereum tokens, rules that ensure the tokens will function and interoperate across wallets are critical to maintaining the integrity and value of Ethereum tokens. Conceivably, all Ethereum coins may need to be ERC20 compliant in the future, to be creditworthy and attractive to users. A non-ERC20 token that could pose interoperability problems in the future is analogous to buying low grade gold. It will be much harder to find counterparties wanting to trade in the token.

Lightening trading

Eidoo is not the first to combine a wallet and cryptocurrency exchange. A decentralized exchange eliminates counterparty risk, ensures privacy and can be audited through immutable contracts whose tamper-proof ability can be verified through cryptographic proofs.

At the same time, these advantages can introduce complexity and slower trade execution. Exchanges need to operate at better-than-lightening speed to compete with the state-of-the-art fiber optic communications systems providing professional traders with a critical edge in trade execution.

A major speed bump is the time and computational power it takes to download the entire Blockchain of a transaction, the smart contract.  Eidoo is developing an Ethereum light client that will optimize this process on mobile devices by avoiding the need to download the entire Blockchain.

We have only touched upon some of the super fixes to cryptocurrency storage and trading Eidoo is working on. For more on the systems integrator’s user-centric solutions for its multi-asset wallet and exchange, see the white paper. But keep in mind, Eidoo is much more than a white paper. Eidoo has a complete functioning product ready for release. While some ICOs are still a concept in writing, Eidoo is ready to advance to the commercialization stage.

The ICO

Eidoo is leading the ICO of the Eidoo token (EDO), which starts on Oct. 4 and ends on Oct. 16. The sale will make 20 mln EDO at $2.30 per token available to purchase with Ethereum. To access the sale, download the Eidoo app for IOS or Android.

– Catherine Leona, Guest Author

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Swiss-Based Eidoo on Course for Creating the Swiss Army Knife of Blockchains

The total market capitalisation of cryptocurrencies is hovering around $136 bln, according to coinmarketcap.com. There’s a growing interest in these new assets, and users need a simple way to access them. Exchanges are the gateway to cryptocurrency, and offer investors and users a chance to transform their fiat money into crypto and the other way around. However, exchanging assets still remains a daunting challenge that requires navigating several exchanges and using multiple wallets.

The quest for building a better exchange and a more secure wallet has led to a centralised vs. decentralised exchange debate. In a centralised exchange, all transactions take place in a central location and involve transfer of assets to the exchange. Convenient but unsafe.

Decentralised exchanges offer redress but they post their own challenges, such as liquidity risk. Eidoo, a Swiss-based hybrid exchange and a multi-currency wallet, offers the best of both the centralised and decentralised worlds and at the same time.

Safely and swiftly

The combined benefits of a centralised and decentralised exchange aside, Eidoo is offering security in the form of keeping keys on user mobile devices, as well as giving full control over owned cryptocurrencies to their clients. They also promise higher speeds and scalability compared with other decentralised exchanges.

Eidoo has applications for both Android as well as iOS. Since Eidoo combines an exchange and a wallet all in one go, it is possible that this is the only app anyone would ever need to deal with cryptocurrencies. As it is said on their website, “We want to make only one application, extremely easy to use, and bring the crypto world to the end user; a bridge towards worlds that at this time, as a user experience, are not so close to one another.”

A new CEO for a new Blockchain to human interface

In a press release made available to Cointelegraph, Eidoo announced that Thomas Bertani has been appointed the new CEO of Eidoo. Thomas is known for his work at Oraclize. Eidoo will also be entering into a strategic alliance with Oraclize.

“The Eidoo project vision is somehow complementary with the one I have been working on the last few years. Thanks to the joined effort of several teams which are now coming together under the same umbrella, a new strong foundation was formed to build production-grade Blockchain apps which are both easy and secure. There is a long way ahead, but a lot of great work has already been done, proving why the Eidoo team is so exciting.”

– Thomas Bertani, new CEO of Eidoo

A one-stop solution that can liberate users

At the moment, crypto users have to use n-number of wallets and different exchanges to conduct transactions. This means keeping tabs on what they are using and exposing themselves to exchange-based risks. Then there is the question of a split between technologies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Eidoo has the potential to repair this schism and bridge the fragmented industry.

They are going to be deploying two independent teams for Bitcoin and Ethereum that will work on these technologies and provide the best outcome for users. The wallet will offer access to Bitcoin, Ethereum and all ERC20-based tokens. They have also got plans to add other currencies like Litecoin, ZCash and so on. A whitepaper outlining their plans is available.

If Eidoo have their way, they will take the avatar of a Swiss knife of Blockchains, something which would be a convenient one-stop solution. Perhaps it is high time that happened.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.