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ICOs Being Blamed for Ethereum (ETH) Sinking Price

Ethereum (ETH)–After a 16 percent decline in value over 24 hours, the price of Ethereum sunk to its lowest point in nearly a year. Trading a $265 as of writing, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has completely retraced the gains made following the beginning of the year’s massive bull run. While some have pointed to the overall state of the cryptomarkets as being bloated and unhealthy, with altcoins across the board experiencing double digit losses on the week, the head of crypto hedge fund BloomWater Capital is placing the blame on ICOs cashing out.

As Bloomberg points out, the massive number of ICOs being built on the Ethereum blockchain was the primary catalyst for Ether’s price gain throughout last year, in addition to the significant amount of development interest it generated. Now, the very same usability is leading to price decline that is outpacing Bitcoin, as investors who were previously purchasing ETH to participate in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are staying out of the market.

Considering that the majority of ICOs to come out in the past year have been built as ERC-20 tokens, it has made sense for investors to buy in with existing Ether coins. In addition, Ethereum has lower mining fees and faster average transaction times than Bitcoin, while still being a highly recognized coin. While previous reports have seen the ICO market double in volume through the first half of the year over 2017, existing ICOs are cashing out in massive volumes to cover the costs of the sinking crypto market. The result is a forced selling of Ether, driving the price of ETH down ahead of other top of the market coins like BTC.

Biswas Das, director of BloomWater Capital, blames the amateurish development filling the ICO space, which has far less regulation than typical startups and overall lower barrier to entry–both contributing to headaches for investors and would-be project speculators,

“These startups are raising a lot of funds but they don’t have treasury management or enough cash management experience, so they’re selling too early and causing a lot of pressure in the market. It was fine last year but right now the the market is so fragile that it causes a lot of pressure.”

As Das puts it, the fragility of the current market is unable to withstand the forced selling and downward pressure of ICOs cashing out to cover costs, causing Ethereum to drop to price levels not seen since the middle of last year. Bloomberg also points out growing concerns over the ability of Ethereum’s network to handle transactionary volume in addition to the ICO’s being built on the platform. The end result has been other platform-focused cryptocurrencies springing up in the interim, such as Cardano’s ADA and TRON’s TRX, to fill the void in investor skepticism over Ethereum being capable of handling the development volume.

Bloomberg also quotes Spencer Bogart of Blockchain Capital LLC, saying that general disillusionment in ICOs, in conjunction with growing stories of scams and outright profiteering has caused some backlash towards the platform that hosts the ERC-20 based tokens,

“Investors are increasingly disillusioned with tokens and ICOs, most of which have been launched on top of Ethereum and we’re seeing this play out in the market with continued downward price pressure.”

ICOs have managed to thrive despite the bearish market of 2018, however not without controversy. A study published earlier in the year found that 80 percent of ICOs could be classified as ‘scams.’

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Elon Musk Gives Nod to Ethereum (ETH) Twitter Scam Bots

Ethereum (ETH)–Ethereum holders, take note: Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has finally made mention of the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. However, the context of the tweet was in reference to the endless “crypto bots” that have seemingly clogged the entire Twitter space related to cryptocurrency.

While scam bots have been targeting accounts within the industry of cryptocurrency for over a year, such as Litecoin’s Charlie Lee, Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin and Binance exchange’s Changpeng Zhao, the relentless nature of the token “giveaway” schemes has started to bleed over into other high profile industries.

Scam bots function in a very generic but deceiving way: they utilize the same name and profile photo of popular crypto figureheads, despite having a different handle that often serves as the tip-off. However, the bots have become more devious, utilizing pre-verified accounts to give their tweets the characteristic “blue check mark” and posting in the comments under real messages and updates devised to deceive undiscerning users. Typically, the scam involves some version of a token giveaway, where unsuspecting users are compelled to send a small amount of crypto (almost always Ethereum) to an address, with the promise of receiving a larger “lottery amount” in return. While the ploy does reveal some utility to the system of crypto transactions–an anonymous sender may user their address to send and receive cryptocurrency–the overwhelming volume of Twitter bots and scam-artists have suffocated the platform as a forum for discussion.

Despite operating in a similar realm of digital money when he co-founded Paypal, Elon Musk has been characteristically silent on the evolution of cryptocurrency. While a popular conspiracy theory exists that Elon Musk is the inventor of Bitcoin (evidence makes the idea suspect), the high profile entrepreneur has yet to make much mention of Bitcoin, Ethereum, or crypto in general. In February, Musk revealed that he owned just a quarter of a Bitcoin–an amount he had been sent by a friend years before. On Sunday, Musk made his first mention of the currency Ethereum in the form of a comment on the pervasive nature of crypto scam bots,

Ethereum’s founder Vitalik Buterin, who has been forced to change his Twitter name to “Not giving away ETH”, replied to Musk’s tweet with disappointment over the nature of the ETH reference, in addition to providing a solution to the scam problem. Calling upon Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who has been extremely bullish on the future of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, Buterin asked for a ceasefire to be devised in regards to the scam bots, while also proposing an Ethereum developer could solve the problem through layer 2 filtering.

While many in the community of cryptocurrency look at the scam bots as a minor nuisance and blame the victims for being duped into a fairly obvious scheme (similar to early 2000’s Nigerian emails), the relentless bombardment of deceit has presented a negative image of crypto to the general public. Twitter responded the problem of cryptocurrency by banning crypto-related ads earlier in the year, but has yet to address the overwhelming problem of scam bots. With the emphasis turning towards digital solutions to filter out blatant fake news and troll accounts, crypto scam bots should be a high priority in reducing further confusion towards the industry of cryptocurrency.

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Google Co-Founder Mines Ethereum (ETH), Lauds Zero-Knowledge Proofs

ETHEREUM (ETH)–In a somewhat bizarre and surprising twist for Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Sergey Brin revealed at a summit yesterday that he has been mining the cryptocurrency with his son. Brin, a billionaire tech entrepreneur who co-founded Google alongside Larry Page, made a surprise appearance at the ongoing Blockchain Summit in Morocco where he shared with the crowd his experience mining the coin alongside his 10-year-old son.

One of our panels this morning at the 2018 Blockchain Summit was emerging technologies and trends – where blockchain,…

Posted by The Bitfury Group on Sunday, July 8, 2018

In addition to sharing his story of crypto mining, Brin lauded one of the underlying fundamentals to cryptocurrency: the act of zero-knowledge proofs. Zero-knowledge proofs is a cryptography principle that allows an algorithm to prove something true (such as a private key transaction) without revealing that information. This has formed the backbone to the rise of privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, such as ZCash, which allows users to participate on a public blockchain ledger while keeping the specifics of their transaction private. While all cryptocurrencies offer a degree of security and anonymity through the use of private-public keys, zero-knowledge proofs give the option for users to conceal their transaction history and still have access to a typical public ledger blockchain

Despite his company Google taking a hard stance against the advertisement and promotion of cryptocurrencies, Brin has been a proponent of crypto in the past, making a statement to investors in May where he praised Ethereum, in particular, and the accompanying mining process for creating a boom in computing and a “technology renaissance.” While his praise centered on the increased demand for GPU-based mining, he sees the net-gain of crypto as beneficial to the entire sphere of tech and computing,

“There are several factors at play in this boom of computing. First, of course, is the steady hum of Moore’s Law…The second factor is greater demand, stemming from advanced graphics in gaming and, surprisingly, from the GPU-friendly proof-of-work algorithms found in some of today’s leading cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum.”

Brin’s appearance at the Blockchain Summit is more a direct acknowledgement of the industry, and may accompany a desire on his behalf–and hopefully that of his company–to take a harder look at the innovation created through cryptocurrency. While news of Brin mining Ethereum with this adolescent son is not the type of bullish price forecasting some media outlets are reporting (ETH is down 2% as of writing), it does provide further legitimacy for the broader industry of cryptocurrency. Investors and enthusiasts have to appreciate the complexity of cryptocurrency, in addition to the misconceptions wrapped up in the culture and industry. With Google and other media giants (Twitter in particular) taking a hard stance against the advertisement of cryptos, it’s down to grass-root efforts and community involvement to drive adoption. Having a figure as high-profile as Brin both recognize the value of the tech, in addition to participating in industry events like the Blockchain Summit, is a win for all of cryptocurrency. The next step is providing usability for the currencies, beyond just price speculation.

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