Remember tokenized securities or securitization with tokens on the blockchain?

With the entire year in crypto defined by a maelstrom of projects embarking on decentralized finance (DeFi) aspects to their products, it can be easy to forget that previous advancements in blockchain-based technologies have continued to make great headway in terms of adoption and application.

Security tokens and tokenized securities 

In 2019 especially, with greater regulatory scrutiny on blockchain-based crowdfunding in the shape of initial coin offerings (ICOs), many projects sought to reconcile crypto’s much-maligned aspect of democratic fundraising with increasingly unforgiving regulatory compliance. Hence the proliferation of Security Token Offerings (STOs) that meant to replace ICOs as legitimate, law-abiding instruments to raise funds and issue securities through blockchain-based tokens.

It’s important here to distinguish between security tokens and tokenized securities — often used interchangeably, but hardly the same thing. In the former, blockchain technology is used to create new tokens that are a representation of real-world “securities”, ie. crypto assets that share some qualities as securities in the traditional sense. In the latter, we are talking about existing assets (securities) in the real world, that is expressed digitally… wrapped, if you will, in a token technology.

An overlooked breakthrough

Put in another way, security tokens create a token and create securities, but tokenized securities simply digitalize existing securities. That really is something that solves a major problem with traditional securities, which makes it somewhat surprising that it hasn’t been picked up more.

Tokenizing securities immediately helps with widening the market and improving their liquidity. In addition, it’s not a new product so it isn’t so much something for regulators to look at, it simply is a new, digital channel for distribution, which actually makes tokenized securities simpler to approve.

They’re not just an idea, they’re already here.

Because tokenizing securities are comparatively simple to do, there actually have been quite a number of them entering the market. Last year, we saw traditional funds as 22X Fund put together a tokenized fund (with money raised through an ICO in fact in 2018) to invest in 22 startups. But SPiCE will argue it was even earlier, as the VC fund set up in 2017 and lays claim to being the first tokenized VC fundable to offer immediate liquidity for venture capital — which otherwise takes years to liquidate!

This year, AllianceBlock, which is building the “world’s first globally compliant decentralized capital market” partnered with another blockchain firm AIKON for a secure blockchain-based identity management service — making decentralized finance services accessible to all, and securing that access with the blockchain.

The data already shows that the coming years will see securities very soon fully digitized and empowered by blockchain. From owning a small share in your favorite soccer club to fractional ownership of pizza restaurants in a country halfway around the world from you, using blockchain for authentication is spelling out a way for $256 trillion worth of real-world assets, mostly illiquid as physical representations, to go digital.

As they say in blockchain, tokenized securities are a matter of when not if.


This article was originally published at aikon.com


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

Crypto prices have been soaring for the past year. With a short hiatus during the COVID19 outbreak in March 2020, there has been a constant bull run in the cryptocurrency markets.

Thanks to this, the number of investors has been increasing by the day, as people buy bitcoin with credit card or by any other means available to them. But this market is still quite young and external events can sometimes be a large contributor to extreme price swings.

One type of these external influencers can be the “calendar effect”. In this article, we explore one such event, which is related to the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Based on the lunar calendar, this date varies each year and is usually between the 20th of January and the 20th of February, In 2021, the Chinese New Year will be celebrated on the 12th of February.

It is believed that this celebration has had a strong influence on cryptocurrency prices in the past. But is this true or is it just a myth? Let’s find out about the factors that might be influencing the prices of crypto in this period.

How is the Chinese New year celebrated?

There is a large number of traditions that are observed during the Chinese New Year, such as putting up decorations, gatherings, meals with the family, and fireworks.

However, there are two very interesting traditions observed during this period – the offering of expensive gifts and settling debts. Chinese people believe that it is important to display model behavior on the first day of the year, and on the contrary, you might be followed by bad luck the whole year through.

One plausible theory of how the Chinese new year can influence the price of Bitcoin is the gifting of the “red envelopes” which are a gift in cash money. Given the high population of the country, the number of red envelopes sent each year is staggering: more than 100 billion red envelopes are sent each year over electric cash payments such as WeChat and Alipay.

How does the Chinese new year affect the price of Bitcoin?

With that in mind, it’s not too strange to think that Bitcoin holders would cash out some of their BTC holdings to be able to give out these cash gifts to friends and relatives.

Furthermore, there are billions of people that travel during this time of year, visiting relatives.
There are at least 1 billion Chinese people traveling across the country or returning from abroad. It is considered to be the greatest short-term migration in the world, and it happens every year.
A number of these travelers are possibly dipping into their crypto funds for travel money, and influencing the price of Bitcoin, increasing the supply of coins on the market.

And as the supply increases, the prices of cryptocurrencies plummets, or so it would seem. But does the Chinese new year really have a negative impact on the crypto market?

Some analysts believe this is the case and support their theory with statistical proof. Others, on the other hand still think that the cryptocurrency price dip in January is nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy and has nothing to do with the Chinese new year.

Bitcoin’s price before and after the Chinese new year in the past few years

Let’s have a quick look at what happened to the price of Bitcoin in the past few years during that period.

2017
◦ Pre CNY high $1000
◦ Post CNY low $800
Price drop -20%
2018
◦ Pre CNY high $14000
◦ Post CNY low $7000
Price drop -50%
2019
◦ Pre CNY high $4041
◦ Post CNY low $3350
Price drop -17%
2020
◦ Pre CNY high $9250
◦ Post CNY low $8210
Price drop -11%

For 4 consecutive years, the price of Bitcoin has flawlessly dropped in the approach of the Chinese New year. The worst case of Bitcoin’s price dropping was registered in 2018, with more than 50% loss in value in just a couple of weeks.

The relatively mellow drop in 2020 could be signed off to the coronavirus pandemic and the traveling restrictions that were enforced during that period.

Following this data, we can draw a conclusion that there might be some correlation between cryptocurrency prices dropping and the Chinese new year celebrations.

Conclusion

With a population of 1.4 billion people, the Chinese new year is one of the most celebrated holidays on a global level. During this period, traditions of settling debts, offering money, and traveling across the country increase the demand for cash money in China. To gain access to cash, many Chinese crypto investors sell a part of their crypto funds, increasing the supply of cryptocurrencies on the market, resulting in a drop in crypto prices right before the New Year is celebrated.


This article was written by Judy Smith

About the Author:

Being in love with communications and human relations I found myself in Journalism. Another passion of mine is the crypto world and I believe in the crypto future. So I have spent the past 8 years studying as much as I can and sharing my own experiences with people. I am writing now about new trends – how crypto keeps changing the world, businesses and our future.


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

One of the most interesting trends surfacing in the crypto industry today is the increasing likelihood of Bitcoin emerging as the next global reserve currency – something that Bitcoin fundamentalists have been preaching for the last decade. 

With the combination of transparency and decentralized trust brought on by the blockchain, individuals and companies across the world have had the opportunity to participate in a free financial system since the emergence of Bitcoin some twelve years ago. 

Since the dawn of Blockchain, trust in this trustless system has been slowly rising with a diverse range of individuals, institutional investors, and even world governments investing in the technology and the various tokens in circulation today. One result of this has been the free flow of liquidity across borders in a remarkably revolutionary way – satisfying the ever-growing need for a more efficient global financial system. 

Mr. Yoon Kim is an accomplished and dynamic crypto analyst and strategist. He successfully built the TMT sector of Tremblant Capital and helped the company increase its AUM from $200 million to $5 billion in five-years’ time. He then launched Vestry Capital, a global TMT equity fund as the head of which he served as an advisor and consultant to various hedge funds and blockchain projects.

With his 20 years of experience in investing and in the blockchain industry, Mr. Kim acutely understands these shifts in the global financial system. 

For that reason, one of the key topics of conversation during The New Normal of Blockchain & Cryptocurrency panel which AIKON organized in late October was “where the future lies for the USD and its long-term position as the world’s reserve currency”. 

Mr. Kim indicated that the USD losing some of its standing in the global financial system and possibly its status as the reserve currency as an inevitable product of blockchain’s accessibility and decentralization. 

“The timing is very auspicious […] it becomes rational and logical for a lot of people to push Bitcoin as a reserve currency” – Yoon Kim

Yoon Kim

As Mr. Kim has pointed out, the current financial system has been in place since World War II – 75 years now! On average, global financial systems have typically lasted for ~70-80 years each. We are, then, coming to the end of an era and can stand with bated breath awaiting the next financial revolution. 

Moreover, history has shown that significant global events often precede the breakdown of institutionalized financial systems. For the Pax Britannica, it was World War I. For the global financial system, we have today, it may very well be the impact of COVID-19 on the world economy. 

Having been a staple of the global economy, and considering the turmoil, the US has endured throughout 2020, USD is in serious danger of being dislodged from the position of power it has enjoyed over the last three-quarters of the 21st century. 

“The prevailing global systems of finance, trade [and] economic activity [have been around for] 70 to 80 years” – Yoon Kim

Given the amount of influence that US politics now has on the rest of the world, and being mindful that the level of engagement that USD (as a global reserve currency) will have on the rest of the world after the presidential election will probably never reach the levels from 40 – 50 years ago when it was at its peak. With the decrease in the level of engagement of the US with the world economy after the Soviet Union’s dissolution, what we see now are the effects of the politics that took 20 years to materialize. 

In that sense, Mr. Kim pointed out that it is very probable that USD is about to be dethroned as the most important currency in the world. 

And while there are those who would like to see the Chinese RMB take its place, Mr. Kim considers this very unlikely to happen. For one, dethroning USD from the position of the global reserve currency would put a significant amount of pressure and responsibility on the Chinese financial system, responsibilities the country seems to be shunning presently. For instance, China has been accused of intentionally increasing demand which then leads to an increase in the prices of international commodities. 

Therefore, the question is what will supplant USD as the global reserve currency or at least become an alternate reserve currency running in parallel with USD?

Mr. Kim stated that Bitcoin seems to fit perfectly, especially taking into account the timing of its rise, as well as its ability to cross borders with very little effort. 

As political and economic relations between the US and China continue to collapse, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that either the USD or RMB will be viewed as a viable global reserve currency going forward. 

Bitcoin may prove to be the thing that both nations, as well as the rest of the world, decide they can live within the upcoming decades. 

“BTC […] will become a reserve currency that stands aside and is not controlled by a single nation” – Yoon Kim

While the Chinese government is actively restricting crypto trades, there is massive support within the government for cryptocurrencies and blockchain. This implies that they have a long-term strategy in place, where Bitcoin would be used to dislodge the USD as the global reserve currency. 

In the same way, we’re seeing the causality of the US global economics politics conducted in the past 20 years and its effect on the situation now, there is a good chance that 20 years from now we will have Bitcoin as the reserve currency of the world simply because it will not be controlled by any one nation and its financial system. 

Should Mr. Kim’s predictions come to be realized, individual and corporate players in this new market that is quickly gaining momentum should be preparing for the shift.


This article was originally published at Aikon.com


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

ShapeShift recently released a nifty new feature called Rainfall, which rewards ShapeShift users simply for using the platform.

Here’s how Rainfall works: The entire system is based on holding FOX tokens.

What is a FOX token?

FOX token is an ERC-20 token pioneered by the non-custodial exchange ShapeShift that grants users the luxury of zero-commission trading, among other benefits. These tokens don’t expire and offer this zero-commission trading structure in proportion to the number of FOX tokens held.

For example,

  • 100 FOX = $1,000 trading volume per month.
  • 160 FOX = $1,600 trading volume per month.
  • 200 FOX = $2,000 trading volume per month.

So, a user holding 5,000 FOX tokens would be able to trade up to $50,000 worth of cryptocurrency in any single month.

Rainfall by Shapeshift

Enter Project Rainfall

ShapeShift launched Rainfall to incentivize user engagement and involvement.

Rainfall rewards ShapeShift users with free USDC every time someone trades. As a user, you basically don’t have to do anything but hold FOX in your wallet to be eligible to receive a randomized “rainfall” of tokens in real-time. For every single trade that happens on ShapeShift, a random user gets USDC.

The more FOX tokens one holds, the better their chances of winning.

ShapeShift users can automatically enroll into rainfall by holding FOX in their wallet. If you don’t have ShapeShift yet, you can snag yourself 10 FOX tokens for free by following this link and signing up for an account.

For the more experienced corner of the cryptocurrency trading world, Rainfall can be seen as a combination of the user benefits of DEX trading (liquidity) and exchange trading (availability.)

Centralized exchanges, such as Coinbase and Binance, primarily exist to provide massive liquidity to users. If you want to sell Bitcoin or trade Ethereum, you won’t have a hard time finding a counter-party to fill your trade.

Decentralized exchanges, or DEXes, exist to allow direct peer-to-peer trading. ShapeShift, for example, is a non-custodial decentralized exchange, which allows users to trade– and ShapeShift doesn’t take custody of their assets to do so. Since DEXes are primarily peer-to-peer, they must incentivize or reward users to provide liquidity.

Rainfall aims to take the best of both worlds– the liquidity of a classic exchange and the user rewards of a DEX.

So, here’s what this means for you as a potential ShapeShift user.

  1. If you hold 100 FOX tokens, you can trade up to $1,000 in volume every month with no fees. Yes, that makes ShapeShift a zero commission, zero spread, and zero trading fee platform up to the extent of your FOX holdings, although standard network mining fees apply.
  2. These 100 FOX tokens enter you into the Rainfall program. Anytime a user trades on ShapeShift, you’re eligible to get a USDC reward. This USDC is generated from the transaction fees.

Final Thoughts – The TL;DR

By creating a ShapeShift account and holding FOX tokens, you have the possibility of winning some USDC on every trade. You don’t need to take any other action than just holding FOX tokens.

A reputable entity in the cryptocurrency space since 2014, ShapeShift prides itself on being a non-custodial exchange that offers extremely competitive trading rates. The exchange is completely decentralized, so users always retain full custody of their private keys.

If this sounds like music to your ears, give ShapeShift and Project Rainfall a shot. Get your 10 free FOX tokens.


This article by Alex Moskov was originally published at coincentral.com

About the Author:

Alex Moskov is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.

Cargo is an all-in-one platform to create, manage, and sell digital collectibles. Because of the interoperability that Ethereum provides, users can manage all of their compatible digital collectibles on Cargo– not just the ones created on Cargo.

Launched in July 2020, Cargo represented several years of Founder Sean Papanikolas’ research and experimentation within the Ethereum ecosystem. Sean helped pioneer scalable minting technology on the Ethereum blockchain.

With the launch of the Cargo Marketplace shortly after, Cargo has grown to voter 265 accounts created and over 170 unique digital items added to the marketplace. So far, the highest an item sold for has been for around $1200.

NFT Platform Cargo

We connected with Sean to discuss his entrepreneurial journey within the cryptocurrency landscape and the future of Non-Fungible Tokens.

Could you give us a two-minute movie trailer of your life? How did you end up involved in the NFT space?

In 2017 a friend introduced me to Ethereum and It immediately piqued my interest. I’m drawn toward new technologies, but I’ve found the best way to understand them is to build something on them. So, I decided to build a dApp. At the time, I was dating a woman who was a fan of The Bachelor, so I created a smart contract betting on who would win The Bachelor.

Well, nobody used the contract and the relationship didn’t work out, but I saw the power of Ethereum and learned how to write smart contracts in the process.

I asked my friend if he had an idea about something else we could build on Ethereum and he came back with an idea – a marketplace of 3D models. We planned on calling it Pedddle with three d’s – you know for “3D” models. We had the Pedddle t-shirts made and we were off to the races.

Through this, I got familiar with the ERC-721 standard and even came up with an ERC-20 token called xR coin that would be used to purchase the 3D models. By the middle of 2017, I had a working prototype where users could upload 3D models and the platform would create NFTs and you could sell them.

Unfortunately, my partner dropped out, so I scrapped Pedddle and started working on a digital collectible iOS and Android app to bring crypto to the masses. The plan was to abstract all of the crypto stuff and users could pay with a credit card.

The app was called Dolli and it allowed users to buy and collect grungy characters – most notably of which was the infamous Pizza Rob, which was a pretty big hit that I designed. The app was completed and ready to ship, but right before the launch, the payment processor rejected supporting the Dolli app. (At the time, payment processors wouldn’t touch a crypto app with a ten-foot pole.)

I tried a couple of other payment providers but soon came to realize that I was facing a centralization of power – the exact thing bitcoin was supposed to fix. I decided to rebuild Dolli using a decentralized infrastructure.

That was the catalyst for Cargo. I knew there had to be others like me who would benefit from a platform that allowed you to create digital collectibles, interact with and sell them within your application.

For someone looking to get involved, either as an investor or as an entrepreneur, how would you define opportunity in the cryptocurrency space?

I’m not an investor, so take this with a grain of salt, but you want to look at the technology and the team. Who’s the team building the product, what are they building, and can they pull it off?

The same applies to launching a startup. Even if the technology may be difficult to understand, you want to look at the team. In my case, I was fortunate to have teamed up with Polyient Labs, an early-stage blockchain incubator founded by Brad Robertson. He and his team understand the crypto and blockchain space, which is why they saw Cargo’s potential.

How will NFTs change day-to-day life?

I think for many people, it’s only a matter of time until NFTs are part of their daily life.

NFTs help make sense for digital ownership. Think about all the digital things you can own – art, tickets, subscriptions, access tokens, the list goes on.

So, it may be that everyone eventually owns a piece of digital art and has it hanging in an electronic frame on their wall, or they are buying NFT tickets that they can trade or transfer.

Or imagine that in every video game you played you actually owned the in-game items and could take them out of the game and sell them on secondary markets, or even use them in other games. This is exactly the ecosystem that Polyient Games and I are building.

What does Cargo accomplishing its 5-year vision look like?

Hard to tell where the space as a whole will be in five years. We are really at an inflection point now, but I imagine that we will have made great strides in usability and scalability. But no matter, Cargo intends to be the platform of choice to power any NFT project regardless of whether it is small or large.

For now, Cargo will continue building on Ethereum, but Ethereum in its current state could look significantly different in five years. We may be building on the next iteration of Ethereum, or a layer-2 solution. No matter what we are building on, we intend to take our principles of usability and scalability with us.

Can you explain how Cargo differs from other NFT platforms?

Cargo has spearheaded and is the first platform to integrate EIP-2309 which is a standard event to track the infinite creation of NFTs. Using efficient data structures, Cargo pioneered a smart contract allowing creators of the batch-create as many collectibles as they want in one transaction.

Because of high gas fees, this can save creators thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars in transaction fees when creating collectibles at scale.

We’ve also just announced Cargo Gems, which will function as a utility token and payment option on the Cargo platform, as well as a governance token for the upcoming Cargo DAO. What’s exciting is that Gems can be staked inside of any compatible NFT for token rewards.

Cargo is the only platform that allows users to deploy smart contracts which enable them to create an infinite amount of NFTs in one transaction for the same cost as creating one NFT on other platforms. ERC-2309, an open standard on Ethereum that makes this possible, was spearheaded by myself because I realized early on that to scale NFTs we’d need a way to create and transfer large amounts at one time for a price that worked. Recently OpenSea, the largest marketplace for digital goods, started supporting the standard that makes this possible.

NFT Platform Cargo

From a feature perspective, we are the first open platform to support 3D NFTs and we also support audio, video files in addition to image NFTs. On Cargo, you can lock digital content within your NFTs that only the token holder can unlock and that content is AES-256 encrypted.

When I was building Cargo I never thought that it would be only an NFT marketplace and it’s not. Cargo was built to be the engine that powers other NFT projects in a way that scales and is cost-efficient. We have a robust API that allows you to use Cargo’s infrastructure directly in your platform.

From the beginning, we could collaborate with others and automatically split payments – this has been supported via our API.  We are seeing that people want this in the UI of the site, so we are working on including it in a future version of Cargo.

This is a cool feature and opens the door for a lot of cool projects.

For example, you could do an art series for charity and you can set it up so each of the charities will automatically receive payment when one of the pieces is sold. Or, if you’re an artist, you can collaborate with other artists, or create your own marketplace that other artists can join.

Where do we learn more?

Our next big release will be Cargo Gems which brings the exciting world of Defi to the NFT space. You can find more information here.

Readers can visit Cargo here. They can also follow Cargo on Twitter.


This article by Alex Moskov was originally published at Coincentral.com

About the Author:

Alex Moskov is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

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