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Crypto News Today #39

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What keeps this whole crypto space exciting?  There is not a single boring week.  We have been tracking this space since 2017 and we are yet to find a boring week in Crypto.  

Whether it is filled with FOMO or FUD, there is always excitement of sorts.  Let’s see what’s happening this week.

US Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on digital dollar

China’s digital yuan race is pushing the US to rethink its digital dollar timeline.  Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) stated, “The U.S. needs a digital dollar…The U.S. dollar has to keep earning that place in the global payments system. It has to be better than bitcoin … it has to be better than a digital yuan.”  While Facebook’s Libra is taking center stage of discussion whenever stable-coins are brought up in front of congress, the emphasis during this hearing was to develop a digital dollar controlled by the government and better than existing stable-coins.

NYDIG discloses $190 Million Fund 

“New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) today disclosed, in an SEC filing that it closed a $190 million bitcoin fund. The NYDIG Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP, reports that it has 24 unnamed investors and is  exempt under Rule 506(b) of the Regulation D safe harbor protections established in 2013,” according to Forbes.  This is quite bullish considering that NYDIG also had a similar fund worth $140 Million last month.

You can buy Bitcoin at 3500 Post Offices in Australia

Australians can now buy Bitcoin at any of its 3500 Post Offices across Australia.  Thanks to the partnership of Australia Post with Bitcoin.com.au, Australians can now simply use cash or EFTPOS payments for digital currencies.  “Our mission is to make Bitcoin safe and easy for every Australian”, says Holger Arians, CEO of Bitcoin.com.au, “for many people, paying for Bitcoin at an Australia Post office feels safer than transferring funds online—particularly for first-time buyers. We’re proud of this partnership and would like to thank Australia Post for their continued openness to new technologies.”  This is a tremendous news in the broader Bitcoin movement as this helps Australians to access Bitcoin directly without having to transfer money online or having to open accounts with random exchanges.

Visa partners with Bitcoin startup Zap

Visa partners Bitcoin ZapZap, a bitcoin startup, is building a product called Strike that enables bitcoin lightning payments without needing users to set up a bitcoin wallet.  Visa is now partnering with Zap to bring the lightning fast payments on Strike platform through Visa.  Visa has been aggressively partnering with companies in the crypto space.  It even filed for a patent in the cryptocurrency payment system.  

We have been tracking the most important news in blockchain and crypto space since 2017. You can check out all the chronicled news here.  

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We have used referral codes where available.

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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Chasing the Micro Cap Crypto Gems #4 – Skrumble Protocol – Why We Changed Our View On This?

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Micro Cap crypto Gems

The tricky thing about finding micro-cap gems is that we have to find something that fits our crypto framework criteria and still be under $10 Million in the market cap.   

The project that we picked today had a few flags while we were researching and we promptly reached out to the team to clarify.   

You will see our initial views/opinions based on publicly available information and the response from the company.

What is Skrumble Network?

What is Skrumble NetworkThe core concept behind Skrumble Network is that when data is stored in one centralized location (like a Server) it poses the greatest security when it gets hacked.

However, if your data is fragmented and stored on decentralized servers, even that particular decentralized server gets hacked, your data is still secured because the fragmented piece that got hacked is usually incomprehensible.

Skrumble Network helps decentralize the communication protocol by using Blockchain technology.

Skrumble Network helps facilitate File transfers, secure messaging, Video streaming and calling.

how Skrumble network works

Whitepaper describes: “Skrumble Network is a secure, communication-centric blockchain, decentralized communication application and a communication layer for developers to add into any application. With no middle entity or centralized server host in between to censor, block or manipulate any data, Skrumble Network will enable open, global private communication and transactions that are truly community owned and operated.”

One of the distinguishing factors about this project was that it was initially developed with an established company behind this crypto that has been in the business for more than half-a-decade and they know how to deliver a product that is used in the real business world.

Applying our framework

As is our custom, let’s apply the CryptoTapas framework around this project.

Problem

The security around our communications is as old of an issue as the internet itself.

This concern has become more pronounced in the recent years with the news of hacks and breach of confidentiality, and utter disregard for privacy.

Now that COVID has completely changed the way we work (especially working from home), the security around communications is now taking the spotlight again.

If Skrumble Network addresses this issue in a novel, scalable and easy to implement way – it might have a great chance at this massive problem.

Team

Eric Lifson seems to be working on Skrumble Network for over 3 years now, and he was quite accommodative when we reached out to him with questions. 

When we looked at the team page on the Skrumble’s website, with the exception of three members, everyone who is listed on their team’s page is no longer with the company (some since July 2019) and this disappoints us that they have not updated their own team’s profile.

Skrumble Network team

More importantly, if everyone jumped the ship, who is behind the project now?

The flagship app on Skrumble Protocol, GetAlly, shows the team members that are also associated with Skrumble Protocol, however, most of these team members are no longer with Skrumble.

Question for Skrumble Team: Who is working on this project? What is the current team structure?  

[Update: The project informed us that all these people have at one point worked on the project. While the team has downsized to a team of about 6 core people, SKM has a strong brand and past and present members prefer to maintain recognition of their achievements. Moreover, several are still contributing, just not on a full-time basis. Any who do not, the team offers to remove them at any time. This is now more in line with how ongoing DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) seem to be operating.]

Partnerships

Skrumble Network’s Ally dApp claims to have a 150K user base.  They also teased about the upcoming partnership to take the DeFi initiative forward.

We actually like the advisor profile associated with the Skrumble Network project one of whom is Anthony Di Iorio, co-founder of Ethereum.

Apart from Anthony, Skrumble has Jeff Pulver who is the co-founder of $3 Billion communication company, Vonage.

That is quite a respectable name association with Skrumble.

Question for Skrumble team: Have there been any changes in the Advisor group (similar to team changes?).

[Update: No. We also still Jin Tu – former CTO of Aion, OAN boardmember and Cofounder of Axis DeFi, who is an Expert Blockchain Architect. 

Redouane Elkamhi, PhD, Associate Professor at Rotman

Leader in Fintech & Blockchain at the University of Toronto 

Kevin Hsu

Founder Partner at BlockVC

Investor in Ontology, RSK & QTUM 

Jiangang Wu, PhD

Co-Founder of Fusion

Professor of Finance & Blockchain Economics at Shanghai University] 

Addressable market size

Secured communications, whether it is simple file sharing service or video streaming or chatting is a huge market.

It has only exploded in value in the past few months when people were forced to communicate over the internet instead of in-person meetings.

This trend will only become the norm as the internet becomes more accessible (Elon’s Starlink reality) and companies start restricting travel.

File transfers, messaging, video streaming and calling verticals market size is in $100s of Billions, if not trillions.

Revenue model

Question for Skrumble team: How does Skrumble Network generate revenue?

[Update: The core problem for SKM has actually been the volatility of the utility token model in general. We will address this in more detail later.]

DeFi + Communication?

Skrumble Network’s official blog was silent since October of 2019, although remained very active on Telegram, and resurfaced with an announcement that Skrumble Network is going DeFi. 

The announcement about a partnership with Juggernaut reads “unique custom financial modelling and DeFi deployment, it can enable token projects to have real, sustainable, and modular business models built around their utility model.”

Is this another attempt to exploit the market craze around DeFi?

We asked the team this question directly.

Skrumble Network Roadmap

Question for Skrumble Network Team: What drove this decision to look at DeFi and what unique attributes do you think will help Skrumble succeed in this space? 

How does this Juggernaut help Skrumble’s vision?

[Update: Really, we see two sustainable business models so far in the space – 

  1.     platform tokens (for exchanges) with only room for a few like Huobi or Binance
  2.     DeFi due to the collective staking, lockup and general collateralization of new directions and ability to focus on new industries.

A two-token solution is the only way to do something meaningful and sustainable in my opinion with a utility token. One for utility and one for profit sharing. They are missing the sustainable business model. They don’t have enough usage to reach a critical mass and the DeFi synthetic at least has a chance to have something closer a traditional ‘share’ balanced approach. 

Most proof of stake with inflation models will reach a point where one has to ask where any utility token can be able to sustain beyond initial interest 

This is why we must change the game. 

Basing anything on a pure utility token that fluctuates is basically unsustainable. This is because when people are in the money they just leave to the next hot project. People who operate in DAOs want something more stable to base their livelihoods on. They want something closer to USD that can be more stable and scalable. 

This is an overview of how we see DeFi becoming a crucial component going forward:https://medium.com/juggernaut-defi/skm-partners-with-jgn-to-develop-first-defi-communication-network-20ba9a3ccf38 

What do we like about Skrumble?

We like the fact that Skrumble Technologies has been a technology company since 2014 and it has leveraged some technology and strategic guidance from them in their initial inception.  It has real business with actual clients in the market.  How many of the 6500 cryptos can claim that? 

Additionally, the company has patents to its name and helps them deploy proprietary solutions in the market. 

In addition, we like that the co-founder is quite active in working on building Skrumble Network up. 

You can go to the Telegram and see him responding to the questions posed by the community. 

When we reached out to Eric, he provided a quick ‘highlight’ of Skrumble for someone who is new to the project, we have reproduced what Eric shared with us below (we have not independently verified this information): 

Skrumble Network is reshaping freedom of speech and data privacy with a communication-centric blockchain due to our unique PoA architecture, formidable global community, robust proprietary chain, accomplished advisors, and top-tier exchanges. 

🤝PoA consensus model: Aligning incentives and encouraging active community participation

💪Innovative chain and base layer: Enabling other dApps to be built on top of Skrumble Network. First dApp- Ally already has 150k+ users with more coming soon

🙋🏻‍♂️Industry-leading advisors: Including Anthony Di Iorio (Co-Founder of Ethereum) and Jeff Pulver (Co-Founder of $3B Vonage), Jin Tu (CTO of Aion), Redouane Elkamhi, PhD (Lead of Fintech & Blockchain at the University of Toronto), Kevin Hsu (Partner, BlockVC)

🥇Trusted and premier exchanges. Won Huobi FastTrack vote last week with over 40 million votes. Counting Gate.io, Huobi Global, Bittrex, LBank, Coinbene etc as our exchange partners

🎖Ranked by ICO Drops for both top 5 global community and ROI in Q22018

🗳Won Huobi FastTrack with 40M+ votes on June 27 19

👑Massive dApp ecosystem coming soon with innovative token economic details

🦁DeFi component / partnership incoming 

Things to consider

Apart from the general risk that is inherent with the crypto space, consider the following when you DYOR on Skrumble Network. 

Competition

Few blockchain/crypto companies have tried to take a stab at the ‘secured communication’ aspect using blockchain. 

We have not yet heard the great success story in this space. 

This is good news and not so at the same time. 

It is good news because Skrumble Network could be THE project that penetrates the ‘success resistance’ in space. 

It is not so good news because the same reasons that lead to the failure of previous projects could plague Skrumble Network. 

Team changes

Exodus of team members from the Skrumble Network is a point of concern for us.  We are going to update this section with the response from the Skrumble Network team (without removing this concern from here). [Update: It seems that several are still involved in a part time basis, and they claim to have streamlined their operation. They are also actively working with the Juggernaut (JGN) team to implement the DeFi rewards system. For more details on JGN please see here: https://jgndefi.com/ 

Token supply

While the market cap is what matters the most in terms of the potential multiples, crypto space seems to be very touchy about the token supply. 

Token supply on Skrumble Network (SKM) is 1.5 Billion and might be looked at as quite high.

All tokens have been released to the market. In this space, the actual token supply amounts are becoming far less important. This was a pretty standard number in 2018 and was advised to the team. 

Team is expected to release more token utility and use cases as per the information alluded to by Eric and depending on the future use cases the market might respond positively. 

Moving to a more stable way of incentivizing operators may innovate the DeFI space beyond pure finance and into other industries as we rediscover how we share and perceive value. 

This is an overview of how we see DeFi becoming a crucial component going forward: https://medium.com/juggernaut-defi/skm-partners-with-jgn-to-develop-first-defi-communication-network-20ba9a3ccf38   

Conclusion

Our first impression is that Skrumble Network looks like a project with a lot of potential.  However, potential means nothing until it is ‘realized’. 

Will Skrumble Network realize its potential?  We do not know and that is the dilemma we have to ‘risk’ when dealing with micro-cap gems.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

best Crypto Tax Software

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

 

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Crypto News Today #48

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Crypto News

The US Stock market took a nosedive when the markets closed on Friday as the US went for a long labor day weekend.

Bitcoin mirrored the plunge by losing 17% of its value to land on low $10,000.  

While Bitcoin maximalists (and some technical analysts) say this is the last chance to get Bitcoin under $10,000, many others have sound alarm pointing bearish winds ahead.

Who will prove right?  

Well, we will leave that to the time to decide while we dive into the exciting developments in the crypto and blockchain space. 

Token Launch Platform coming to Coinbase

coinbase best exchangeFuture may be one of launching tokens, instead of stocks, on crypto exchanges.  ICOs, IEOs and STOs, all have occupied the crypto space but they all lack the brand power that could lure the big brands to take the bite.  Coinbase, one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the US, may soon launch Token Launch Platform.  Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, confirmed: “We’re working on a product, we’ll probably call it Coinbase Launch or something like that,” said Armstrong, “but it’s a way for anybody who wants to do a crypto startup to come in and say, ‘All right, I want to issue a token. Maybe I want to raise money. Maybe I just want to use it to build my community.’”

Congress asks IRS for sensible tax policy for Proof of Stake

“It is important that tax policy does not indirectly dissuade U.S taxpayers from participating in this promising new technology,” read the letter sent by Congress to the IRS.  While Bitcoin remains a Proof-of-Work protocol, more and more projects are turning to Proof of Stake protocol in which users can lock their tokens to earn tokens, like dividends for holding stocks.  This process of holding the tokens in a method specified by the token ecosystem is called staking.  Many industry experts expect that staking will attract a lot of investors to the crypto with some staking protocols yielding as much as double digit percentages.  

Chainlink oracles come to Bitcoin through RSK

Chainlink logoBitcoin may soon be benefiting from the massive connectivity boost as Chainlink is now integrated onto Bitcoin sidechain using RSK interface.  The launch that is expected to take less than a month will bring the smart contracts, connectivity with real world businesses to the world’s strongest blockchain network.  Bitcoin, while still remains to be the king of cryptos, has lacked smart contract capabilities which RSK has brought about, now that effort is getting a boost with Chainlink integration.

Leading Stock Exchanges in Switzerland, Germany, Austria Now List Bitcoin ETP

Zug based 21Shares announced that Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Product (ETP) is getting listed on 3 major exchanges in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.  “The 21Shares Short Bitcoin ETP (Ticker: SBTC) seeks to provide a -1x return to the performance of bitcoin for a single day. This product obtains short exposure through borrowing bitcoin and simultaneously selling it on an execution platform,” the company explained on its website. “SBTC is an innovative financial instrument that allows investors to gain exposure to the negative price movement of bitcoin,” the announcement clarified.

Swiss Insurance company now accepts bitcoin and crypto payments

Atupri Health Insurance became the first insurer to accept Bitcoin and crypto for payments.  “Our range is characterized by a high degree of customization. Our customers are free to choose which payment method they choose at any time. As digital pioneers in the health sector, we anticipate social trends and offer insurance solutions with long-term prospects. Blockchain technology and the associated use of cryptocurrencies will become increasingly important. Accordingly, we want to offer the necessary structures for our policyholders,” said Caroline Meli, Head of Marketing and Sales at Atupri.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

We have been tracking the most important news in blockchain and crypto space since 2017. You can check out all the chronicled news here.  

Consider subscribing to our newsletters to receive these news updates in ONE neat email per week along with other freebies that we give away once-in-a-while.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

 

Continue Reading

Crypto News

Crypto News Today #47

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Crypto News

Is the US losing the race of Central Bank Digital Currency to China?  

We personally believe that it’s not just the first mover advantage that matters when you aspire to be the global reserve currency.

We trust the US (even with its own flaws and bureaucracy) more than China.

Why is that trust factor important now?  

Because, it seems a race is underway right in front of the oblivious world.  A race to dominate the digital currency space.  China is enjoying the ‘early adopter’ status now, but the US is not too far behind as it ramps up its plans to launch its own CBDC.

IRS Memo clarifies that virtual currency received in microtasks is taxable

IRS memo 202035011 clarified that the virtual currency received for performing microtasks is considered taxable. The question posed to the IRS “Is convertible virtual currency received by an individual for performing a microtask through a crowdsourcing or similar platform taxable income?” was referenced and the conclusion was arrived stating that “Yes, a taxpayer who receives convertible virtual currency in exchange for performing a microtask through a crowdsourcing platform has received consideration in exchange for performing a service, and the convertible virtual currency received is taxable as ordinary income.”

Chinese bank disables digital asset wallet due to attention

There is such a thing called too much attention.  Chinese Commercial Bank (CCB), one of the four major banks in China, had a silent launch of its digital asset wallet on their official CCB app.  However, the crypto community got the wind of this capability; the news spread like a wild-fire and CCB disabled the feature to avoid too much attention to the matter, which seems like a moot point now as the news has become a sensation. “The brief availability of the wallet shows the Chinese commercial bank has been working towards adoption for the digital yuan initiative, also known as DCEP, which is led by the Peoples’ Bank of China (PBoC),” read the news.

Chainlink acquires DECO from Cornell University

Chainlink logoIn a press release, Chainlink announced that they have acquired a new technology to bring HTTPS/TLS data security capabilities to Chainlink.  “By extending the data security capabilities of HTTPS and TLS, the most widely formats for transmitting all internet data, DECO is able to guarantee that data remains private and untampered with during its delivery from various private and premium data sources. It does so by employing advanced cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs from any server using HTTPS/TLS, without revealing that data to the outside world or even to the final computation using the data. DECO creates a new method of providing private and premium data across the internet, while maintaining its confidentiality and security at previously unachievable levels,” press release informed.

Another company moves to Bitcoin as reserve

Founder of Snappa, Christopher Gimmer, wrote an extensive thesis on why he believes Bitcoin to be better money and hedge against failing fiat. He announced that his company is moving to Bitcoin as ‘reserve’ currency.  This is in the wake of MicroStrategy moving $250 Million cash to Bitcoin as reserve.

Cardano & Bidali to bring crypto to retail

cardano staking newsBidali, a payments processing company that is bridging the gap between traditional payment systems with digital currencies has partnered with Emurgo to bring Cardano to retail payments. In a press release, Emurgo announced that “it has entered into a strategic partnership with Bidali. The partnership enables ADA holders to directly purchase items from more than 1,200 major retail brands, such as Amazon, Nike, Starbucks, Airbnb, and many more via Bidali’s online gift card platform.”

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

We have been tracking the most important news in blockchain and crypto space since 2017. You can check out all the chronicled news here.  

Consider subscribing to our newsletters to receive these news updates in ONE neat email per week along with other freebies that we give away once-in-a-while.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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