Huobi Opens First Russian Office in Partnership with State Bank’s Digital Tech Center

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has officially launched its first branch in Russia on Thursday, Dec. 6, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph today.

The Moscow-based exchange, dubbed Huobi Russia, is established in partnership with the state-owned Russian Development Bank’s (VEB) Digital Transformation Center and supported by Huobi’s regional exchange partnership program, Huobi Cloud.

The Center of Digital Transformation was created by VEB to promote blockchain and other crypto-related technologies, as its website states.

Back in September of this year, Huobi first joined Russia’s VEB Innovation Fund and became a resident of the Digital Transformation Center to share experience on crypto regulation, with the fund’s CEO claiming that Huobi’s expertise will assist in building a “legal basis that could compete with current promising jurisdictions.”

Speaking at a private event on Thursday, Huobi senior business director David Chen claimed that the launch of Huobi Russia will help to promote the company’s “leading technology and trading expertise to Russian users,” including such skills as “unmatched safety, stability, and user experience.”

Huobi Russia CEO Andrei Grachev also noted the increasing volumes of crypto trading in Russia, claiming that the volumes have “recently exceeded US $20 million in a single day,” regardless of the current bear market.

Russia’s VEB Innovation Fund, created in 2011, is reportedly the “first” Russian specialized center for support and development of disruptive technologies in the fields of management and the functioning of enterprises and government corporations, according to the center’s website.

The innovation center is exploring and implementing various blockchain projects, and houses more than 20 branches of major blockchain and tech companies such as the Ethereum Foundation, Bitcoin (BTC) tech company Bitfury, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and others.

Vladimir Demin, chairman of VEB’s Innovation Fund, claimed that Russia is “actively promoting the blockchain market,” with VEB willing to play an “important role as a leader in blockchain research and legislation,” as reported in the press release.

Founded in 1922, VEB bank, or “the state corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs,” is the first international bank of the Soviet Union, originally named Roskombank. The bank is responsible for developing the Russian economy, as well as managing Russia’s state debts and pension funds.

Other Russian banks have also shown an interest in blockchain technology.

Recently, major Russian state-backed bank Sberbank conducted an over-the-counter (OTC) monetary repurchase agreement based on blockchain technology. And earlier in November, the Russian branch of Raiffeisen Bank International teamed up with local state oil giant Gazprom Neft to issue a blockchain-enabled bank guarantee.

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R3 Adds Ripple as First Crypto for Its Universal Payments DApp

Enterprise blockchain software firm R3 has announced that ‘rival’ Ripple’s XRP token will be the first crypto supported on its new universal payment settlement platform, Finextra reports today, Dec. 5.

Dubbed “Corda Settler,” the new open source Corda-based decentralized application (CorDapp) reportedly allows payment obligations raised on the Corda blockchain to be settled via any parallel payment rail that supports cryptocurrencies or assets, or any ‘traditional’ payment rail that can provide “cryptographic proof of settlement.” A payment rail is a term for a payment platform or network that transfers money from one entity (a payer) to another (a payee).

After verifying the beneficiary’s account has been credited, the new CorDapp will automatically update the Corda ledger accordingly; a future version will reportedly support domestic deferred net settlement, as well as real-time gross settlement payments.

Richard Gendal Brown, Chief Technical Officer at R3 is quoted as saying that:

“The deployment of the Corda Settler and its support for XRP as the first settlement mechanism is an important step in showing how the powerful ecosystems cultivated by two of the of the world’s most influential crypto and blockchain communities can work together.”

Gendal Brown’s allusion to the positive development in cooperation between R3 and XRP refers to a year-long legal dispute over purported mutual breaches of agreement between Ripple Labs and R3 Consortium that was finally settled this September.

Gendal Brown added that the cooperation between the two industry giants “is the next logical step in showing how widespread acceptance and use of digital assets to transfer value and make payments can be achieved.”

As of press time, XRP is seeing losses amid a bleak crypto market picture, shedding 4 percent in value on the day, and 26 percent on the month, to trade at $0.34.

As reported just yesterday, Brazil’s largest private bank has this week partnered with United Kingdom bank Standard Chartered to create a Corda-based platform for small loans.

Also this month, SBI Ripple Asia announced a joint proof of concept (PoC) with the Japan Payment Card Consortium to combat fraud using the Corda platform.

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The Making of the First US ICO Fraud Case

In common law systems, it is precedent that informs judicial approaches to new and previously unaddressed matters. The precedent that will likely shape the body of U.S. case law on fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs) is currently being forged in a federal court in the New York borough of Brooklyn, where a 39-year old entrepreneur, Maksim Zaslavskiy, has pleaded guilty to committing securities fraud.

The development that will most likely result in a landmark decision – the jury will gather in April 2019 to decide on a sentence – is yet another twist of a now 14 month-long effort, involving both the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Previously, the process has already yielded a fateful ruling by a federal judge who in September established that securities law is applicable to ICO-related cases.

The case that is poised to become so consequential for the whole ICO space deals with two ventures that neither issued a token nor developed any blockchain-powered infrastructure: REcoin and Diamond Reserve Coin both only existed on paper. Yet it also makes perfect sense that the authorities first went after the most brazen instances of ICO fraud, the ones that hurt rookie retail investors the worst and inflicted the most reputational damage on the industry.

When the SEC first filed a complaint against Zaslavskiy in a federal court in September 2017, it was estimated that REcoin and Diamond Reserve Coin ICOs resulted in around 1,000 investors losing some $300,000. Having fallen for Zaslavskiy’s aggressive marketing campaign, these people were led to believe that they either invested in a digital asset that was backed by real estate located in developed countries (REcoin), or purchased a tokenized membership in an elite club for wealthy business people, with physical diamonds in the company’s custody underlying the value of tokens.

In fact, though, they were buying “worthless certificates,” as U.S. district attorney, Richard Donague, put it, on Nov. 15, 2018, Zaslavskiy admitted in his guilty plea: “We had not yet purchased any real estate.” He now faces up to 5 years in prison, pending the decision of a jury panel. The regulator is also filing a civil lawsuit against Zaslavskiy.

The making of a fraudster

The Ukrainian city of Odessa, overlooking a scenic coastline of the Black Sea, is known for its vibrant spirit and unique culture. Throughout both the Imperial and Soviet periods of its history, the city has been home to a large Jewish community. As the final years of the USSR saw the liberalization of immigration policies, many Odessan Jews chose to leave for either Israel or the West. Born in Odessa, Maksim Zaslavskiy was 12 when his family relocated to the U.S. While Maksim was destined to make ICO history, his brother, Dmitry, chose a banking career and later became an executive director for Morgan Stanley.

Zaslavskiy’s social media pages, as well as websites of many organizations he ran at various points of time, were either deleted or became unavailable in the wake of the high-profile investigation into his activities. The main source of information about his pre-trial life is now the four-hour interview to the SEC representative that he gave in September 2017, of which the Fast Company magazine managed to obtain a transcript.

In 2003, Zaslavskiy received his degree in finance from Baruch College, followed by a LLM from Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law three years later. He worked as an IT consultant for several banks before starting his own international business, whose nature is difficult to infer from the interview. Zaslavskiy also claimed to have been involved in real estate business since the age of 18, yet Fast Company’s investigation failed to verify his employment with the firms he claimed to have worked for.

According to the interview, the 2008 crisis became a major blow for Zaslavskiy’s business, further entrenching him in his resentment of the U.S. financial system. He turned to charity work, founding a philanthropic organization called Live Love Laugh. However, it is impossible to say whether the ambitious statements on its website (which is now down) were ever backed by any real actions, since the entity appears to never have been properly registered.

Zaslavskiy has also written at least three books (under the name Avi Meir Zaslavsky) that can be still found on Amazon. These are how-to guidebooks on the ins and outs of real estate business. Another one, which appeared around the time his two ICOs were in full swing in August 2017, sets out to explain the reader that “what you perceive and use as money is designed in such a way that the wealth created by the economy truly benefits only large banks and multinational corporations.”

Apparently, the book was meant to lend credibility to Zaslavskiy’s claim for intellectual leadership in the crypto space, as its press release presents him as “one of the world’s leading currency decentralization proponents.” The publicity campaign around the book provides a glimpse into Zaslavskiy’s approach to marketing himself and his ventures: bold, extravagant, overblown. Unsurprisingly, this style carried over to the way his two ICOs were presented to potential investors.

Real estate tokens and Initial Membership Offerings

For someone disenchanted with both the traditional financial system and traditional means of making money, the ICO rush of 2017 presented innumerable opportunities. The beauty of the ICO model was that it opened up the world of venture capital, previously reserved exclusively for professional investors, to anyone with a few spare dollars and some interest in the uncharted space of blockchain applications. The flipside of it is that some of the newcomers were unable to tell legitimate projects from outright scams replete with red flags.

Megalomaniac language and exaggerated promises are usually telltale signs of something not being right with the venture that’s taking off. Zaslavskiy’s projects had both. REcoin, announced in June 2017, presented its founder as a “Real Estate guru” and proclaimed that the 101REcoin Trust held properties “in developed and stable economies like the USA, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, and Switzerland” without providing any evidence in support. Also, an “international team of attorneys and programmers” was allegedly there to “work tirelessly” on increasing token holders’ fortunes. As the court proceedings later revealed, no such team ever existed.

In August, after facing the first signs of SEC interest to REcoin, the “Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Author Max Zaslavsky” began his marketing campaign for an allegedly diamond-backed digital asset, the Diamond Reserve Club token. The release (beginning with “If the Holy Scriptures have taught us anything at all…”) touted a brand new Initial Membership Offering model, which was supposed to tokenize investors’ participation in a large ecosystem of interconnected businesses. It also suggested that the tokens could be inherited by the investors’ grandchildren.

One would think that the theatrical language and gargantuan assurances of the two ICOs’ public-facing documents would only make any reasonable person scoff. Yet from July through September Zaslavskiy and his accomplices managed to amass around $300,000 before the SEC took the matter to court.

The fallout

On Sep. 29, 2017, the SEC brought a civil complaint to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York against Zaslavskiy and his two companies for violating U.S. securities laws. Recoin and DRC responded on their websites with a joint statement that argued that it was due to “lack of legal clarity as to when an ICO or a digital asset is a security,” suggesting that their operations were not within the SEC’s purview.

However, the Feds seemed to disagree. On Nov. 1, Zaslavskiy was apprehended by FBI agents and criminally charged with a conspiracy to commit securities fraud. In early December, he pleaded not guilty and secured a $250,000 bail backed by his family’s Brooklyn house. In February, Zaslavskiy’s defense filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the grounds of inappropriate application of securities law to cryptocurrencies. Yet both the DoJ and SEC insisted that REcoin and DRC tokens passed the Howey test – a legal standard that determines whether a contract is a security.

In September, U.S. district judge Raymond Dearie concluded that for the purposes of the case, the tokens could, indeed, be treated as securities, potentially setting a precedent that could shape the future of ICO regulation. The judge was also unequivocal in characterizing the nature of Zaslavskiy’s enterprises:

“Stripped of the 21st century jargon, including the Defendant’s own characterization of the offered investment opportunities, the challenged indictment charges a straightforward scam, replete with the common characteristics of many financial frauds.”

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Binance Launches Its First Fiat-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

Major international crypto exchange Binance has announced that its fiat-to-crypto exchange will open in Uganda this week, the company reveals Monday, Oct. 15.

CEO and founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), had told Cointelegraph in an exclusive interview in June of plans to open the Ugandan crypto-fiat exchange.

As per Binance Uganda’s press release, the new branch will officially start accepting deposits and withdrawals of Ugandan shillings (UGX) Wednesday, Oct. 17. Binance Uganda notes that exchange has already begun its know-your-customer (KYC) procedures.

An additional press release reports that Uganda’s national fiat can only be traded with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), but that the exchange is planning to add more pairs soon.

A Cointelegraph analysis of cryptocurrency in Africa noted that although the Bank of Uganda issued a warning to investors about cryptocurrency risks in March 2017, the country’s government has showed interest in using blockchain technology.

Binance’s CFO Wei Zhou says that company’s first fiat-to-crypto exchange in Uganda will help maintain sustainable economic stability in Africa, noting that the company plans to bring “more innovations to the region.”  

As Cointelegraph previously reported, this year Binance has revealed plans to open several fiat-to-crypto exchanges.

In August, Binance LCX — a joint venture between Binance and Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX) — had announced plans to launch a fiat-to-crypto platform in Liechtenstein and offer trading between Swiss francs (CHF) and euros (EUR) against major digital currencies pairs. However, the exact date of the launch was not revealed.

Later in September, Binance had stated it will soon start private beta testing of a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Singapore, which will presumably support the Singapore dollar.

Binance is the largest international crypto exchange by 24-hour adjusted trading volume, seeing almost $1.8 billion in trades on the day to press time, according to CoinMarketCap.

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China Issues First Tax Authority-Approved Invoice on Blockchain

China’s first digital invoice on the blockchain has been issued in the southeastern city of Shenzhen, local news platform EEO reports August 10.

This is the first implementation of a pilot blockchain ecosystem for invoices that has been developed by Tencent — the developer of the 1 billion-user social media platform WeChat — together with the Shenzhen Municipal Taxation Bureau.

It is the only such pilot to have received the official approval of the State Administration of Taxation, and has been designed for comprehensive use by consumers, merchants and tax authorities, according to EEO. In China, official invoices are dubbed “fapiao,” indicating that they have been issued by the Chinese Tax Bureau for goods and services purchased in the country.

EEO reports that the debut invoice was issued August 10 by a local Shenzhen restaurant. Several other local merchants have already been given access to the system, including a parking lot, auto repair shop, and cafe.

The system allowed for a consumer payment via WeChat to generate an invoice that would be eligible for inspection and management by tax authorities. Cai Yunge, general manager of blockchain at Tencent, is quoted by EEO as saying that the new system achieves a frictionless link between consumer scenarios and tax services.

In the traditional scenario, processing an invoice entails multiple and somewhat cumbersome steps, EEO notes. When a consumer completes a given transaction, they must wait for the merchant to generate the invoice, file it away safely, complete a returns form in the Finance Department, wait for the return to be processed, and then receive their returns.

Using a blockchain-enabled electronic invoice means that the consumer can manage all these steps using one click on the WeChat app after checkout, and is then able to track their reimbursement status in real time, EEO writes.

As EEO notes, blockchain’s cornerstone innovation of providing an immutable and transparent record-keeping system is highly consistent with the invoice supervision process, as it effectively traces the source, authenticity, and accounting of invoices, thereby solving the problems of over-reporting, false-reporting, and other true-false inconsistencies in the process of invoice circulation.

The technology also has the advantage of improving data privacy through encryption methods and providing an overall cost-effective streamlining of processes.

Cointelegraph has previously reported on Tencent’s ongoing cooperation with the Shenzhen Municipal Office of the State Administration of Taxation to establish an “Intelligent Tax” Innovation Laboratory focused on tax management modernization and fighting fraudulent “fapaio” with blockchain technology.

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World Bank Taps Australia's CommBank to Issue Its First Blockchain Bond

The World Bank Group has partnered with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to issue a bond using blockchain.

The CBA, one of the “Big Four” commercial banks in Australia, said in a release on Friday that it had won a mandate from the World Bank to arrange the issuance of the bond, which will be created, transferred and managed via a blockchain platform.

The technology, already developed by CBA’s in-house blockchain lab, aims to have key parties in a bond issuance process such as investors and banks to be participating nodes in a distributed network. In this way, capital for the bond can be raised and transacted more efficiently.

Called bond-i, the debt issuance sees input from investors including Northern Trust, QBE Insurance and Treasury Corporation of Victoria.

World Bank’s treasurer Arunma Oteh said in the release that the technology is in the position for the launch after a year of working with the CBA. That said, the issuance timeline and size of the bond remain unknown at this stage.

According to the release, the World Bank issues $50 to $60 billion in bonds every year as part of its mandate to reduce poverty and improve sustainability for worldwide markets.

World Bank’s chief information officer Denis Robitaille commented in the release:

“This pioneering bond is a milestone in our efforts to learn how we can advise our client countries on the opportunities and risk that disruptive technologies offer as we strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The CBA, which designed and developed the technology, said it is a private blockchain on top of the ethereum network and had also been reviewed by Microsoft regarding the platform’s architecture, security, and resilience.

The announcement follows news in December 2017 that the CBA was developing a blockchain system for bond issuance in collaboration with a “major world issuer,” whose name was not disclosed at the time.

Currently, several major financial institutions in the world, such as JP Morgan, the Agricultural Bank of China, and BBVA, have already tested blockchain-based systems for bond and loan issuance.

World Bank image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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ZUEN Chain Launches ICO Backed by World’s First TotalWellness Blockchain Alliance Platform


This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

The Global Wellness market is a Trillion Dollar industry that stands as one of the largest consumer markets in the world.  Virtually untapped, ZUEN Chain stands to introduce a revolutionary blockchain technology to the market that will completely disrupt the current status quo.

Singapore – August 3rd 2018, ZUEN Capital made headlines this week with the announcement of their ICO launch that is expected to shake up the Cryptocurrency industry in totality. ZUEN Capital is a Singapore-based Total Wellness company that aims to bring a revolutionary change to the currently fragmented market by introducing the world’s first Total Wellness Blockchain Alliance Platform, known as “ZUEN Chain”. ZUEN Chain will allow consumers and product providers to connect in a whole new and efficient way, totally cutting out the middlemen. ZUEN Chain will be the first “Tripadvisor” like platform for the blockchain world.

Set to launch the ICO in August 2018, The ZUEN Chain ecosystem is decentralized and allows providers to connect with consumers efficiently in a trusted and transparent approach.  ZUEN Chain adds a new paradigm to the Global Total Wellness Industry. The ZUEN Chain platform is Blockchain driven and links the Total Wellness businesses globally, bringing transparency to a new level and building an efficient alliance platform for partners to connect, share resources and provide their services to each other. It also aims to develop a ground-breaking platform that addresses the challenges of the Global Total Wellness Industry.

Zuen Capital’s upcoming ICO is expected to be a well-rounded ecosystem that allows everyone involved to benefit in multiple ways, including:

  1. For the consumers–An easy to use online marketplace that is feature rich. Consumers receive tokens as rewards for providing feedback or referrals. Immutable reviews by other consumers make it a more trusted shopping process.
  2. For the providers – Providers will receive unparalleled service and support as well as a marketplace to sell their goods to eager consumers waiting to buy. This ecosystem will also connect providers to profit from cross-advertising. The benefits are wide and far-reaching for both the consumer and provider.

The ZUE tokens have become prominent on a global scale after the three major events were hosted by the ZUEN community. A large number of potential and impending investors gathered at the event and signed up for the purchase of ZUE tokens. ZUEN Chain kick-started its Private Placement on the 22nd of April 2018, at Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore. It also hosted a seminar on the 11th of May, 2018 at Hotel Furama City Centre, Singapore as the second major event. The conference roofed a range of topics regarding the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Industry. On the 20th of May 2018, ZUEN Chain hosted another major event at Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Singapore, focusing on the Total Wellness Industry. The three events marked the importance of the Blockchain Technology in Total Wellness Industry and the benefits that it provides for all investors.

Moreover, ZUEN Chain is also partnered with TTEX and CMBDEx, a decentralized exchange for the cryptocurrency.

Those interested in participating in this ICO should visit their official website at https://zuenchain.io or click here to download their Whitepaper.  And Users can subscribe to the official telegram channel https://t.me/zuenchain and claim their free Airdrop tokens!

Media Contact:

ZUEN Capital
Attn: Media Relations
Kaki Bukit Techpark1,
Singapore
[email protected]

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Crypto Mining Giant Canaan Unveils First-Ever Bitcoin Mining Television


Canaan Creative has launched what it hopes will be the future of the blockchain and the first of a series of releases that will improve its position as it battles for increased market share in the bitcoin mining device market.

Dubbed the AvalonMiner Inside, the smart TV also doubles as a bitcoin mining device, and while some dismiss it as a marketing stunt, Canaan believes that this could be the future of bitcoin mining.

The ASIC Killer?

Canaan Creative is the world’s second-largest maker of bitcoin mining equipment behind Bitmain. While Bitmain controls an estimated 70 percent of the mining rig market in addition to its substantial bitcoin mining operations, Canaan controls about 17 percent.

Canaan’s ‘AvalonMiner Inside’, has the capacity to process 2.8 trillion hashes per second which might sound like a lot, until the capacity of existing ASIC rigs is taken into consideration. The most powerful mining rig in Canaan’s current inventory can process 11 trillion hashes per second, which means that the AvalonMiner Inside only has about a quarter of the power available to a regular mining rig.

Even including the added features like voice control, real-time bitcoin mining profitability display and a link to Canaan’s entertainment platform where users can pay for content and gifts using mined bitcoin, this still does not seem on the surface to be a device that is practical.

The catch however, is that Canaan has not built a device that is intended to directly compete with Bitmain’s Antminer or other comparable ASIC miners. What Canaan is trying to do is to build a new generation of blockchain-enabled IoT devices that blend into the background.

These devices will expand the blockchain and increase its hashrate while simultaneously reducing the centralization risk inherent to the dominant model of large bitcoin mining farms. Instead of taking on Bitmain in a potentially painful price war on a turf that has only one clear leader, Canaan hopes to democratize bitcoin mining by making people buy mining devices for reasons other than bitcoin mining.

A network of five million networked devices operating at 25 percent of an ASIC miner’s capacity will, in theory, produce better results than a network of 500,000 ASIC miners working at full capacity.

Criticisms and Upcoming IPO

Some, however, insist that the device is little more than a self-promotion gimmick, offering no real utility to users. Speaking to the South China Morning Post recently, Xiao Lei, a bitcoin analyst bsed in Beijing said:

“It looks more like hype. It will be more meaningful if these companies are able to embed the mining function into existing major TV brands.”

CCN reported in May that Canaan’s big rival Bitmain is set to go public in a record-breaking IPO. Canaan itself recently filed for its own upcoming IPO in Hong Kong estimated at $1 billion, and it no doubt has an eye on Bitmain’s existential threat with the launch of the new device.

An excerpt from its IPO filing reads:

“If we cannot maintain the scale and profitability of our single line of system products and, at the same time, offer new products, our ability to continue to grow will suffer.”

The Chinese government’s stance on cryptocurrency mining and exchange activities poses another significant risk to Canaan’s business. According to the South China Morning Post, this is a major motivation for Cannan’s proposed plan to list in Hong Kong instead of mainland China.

Featured image from Canaan.

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High Times Becomes the First IPO to Accept Cryptocurrencies

News

On Thursday, the well-known cannabis culture brand and publication High Times announced it’s holding an initial public offering (IPO) and that it will be the first regulated A+ stock offering to accept cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

High Times Takes Another Step Into the Future by Accepting Cryptocurrencies for its IPO

High Times Becomes the First IPO to Accept CryptocurrenciesThe firm High Times is a popular cannabis-focused monthly magazine that was founded in 1974. The publication founded by Tom Forcade reports on the marijuana counterculture and the legalization of cannabis. On August 2, 2018, the legacy company announced it is holding an IPO so individuals can invest in the firm by buying shares. In an unusual twist, the firm has also revealed it is the first A+ stock offering to accept bitcoin core (BTC), and ethereum (ETH).

According to High Times, the firm filed its Reg. A report which detailed “$29 million in a reduction of negative equity, significant decreases in operating losses, and a debt reduction — with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.”  High Times CEO Adam Levin believes adding cryptocurrency acceptance will allow a bigger audience to participate in the IPO.

“High Times has been at the forefront of popular culture for more than four decades,” Levin explained during the announcement.

Now we’re taking another step into the future, not only as one of the first cannabis-related brands to go public on the Nasdaq but also as the first to allow bitcoin and ethereum as part of our public capital raise.

High Times Becomes the First IPO to Accept Cryptocurrencies
High Times has been reporting on cannabis culture since 1974. It will be the first US company to accept cryptocurrencies for its IPO.

No Initial Coin Offering But Including Crypto Investors

Investors can purchase shares at $11 a piece at the website Hightimesinvestor.com, and the company says with the firm’s strong online presence many will be interested in doing so. Furthermore, High Times has been trending a lot higher these days, as the US and other countries worldwide have been more lenient and even legalizing marijuana use. High Times says the publication is an “important beacon in the legalization activism game.” Levin details that they didn’t believe in utilizing the new crowdfunding process called initial coin offerings (ICO), but felt they needed to tend to these types of investors.

“Cryptocurrencies have created a new investor base across the world—we’re just giving them more stable opportunities for investment,” Levin notes.

Beginning with our Reg. A+ crowdfunding, we’ve been focused on giving everyone from retail investors to long-time fans more ways to own a piece of High Times. While we didn’t believe that the ICO process was the right move for our brand, it would’ve been foolish to leave this emerging investor base out as we continue to transform into a diversified media, events and merchandise giant.

Many cryptocurrency proponents believe the cannabis and digital currencies economies are up and coming industries that will grow exponentially in the future. Crypto supporters are pleased with High Times accepting BTC and ETH for IPO shares as the two budding sectors are once again growing together hand in hand.

What do you think about High Times accepting ETH and BTC for its initial public offering (IPO)? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, and High Times. 


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First Crypto Firm IPO on London Stock Exchange Raises $32.5 Million

A crypto mining company has raised £25 million (about $32.5 million) through an IPO on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). 

U.K.-based Argo Mining (ticker: ARB), which provides “accessible” crypto mining via a subscription service, is the first crypto company to be listed on the LSE. The company raised £5 million (about $6.5 million) more than its initial goal of £20 million through the IPO. 

Argo kicked off on the exchange with about 156 million shares accounting for 53.2% of its issued shared capital, according to a company document. Shares were priced at 16 pence, giving the business a total market valuation of £47 million pounds (about $61.2 million).

“Argo’s admission to the London main market is a major step in the company’s development and will put us in a strong position to execute our long-term growth strategy,” executive chairman Jonathan Bixby said in the document. “We are delighted with the strong response from investors which will enable us to grow our business in multiple jurisdictions.”

The company won approval from the UK Listing Authority in May to be listed on the exchange, and subsequently released its crypto mining subscription service in June. According to its website, Argo offers consumers three packages differentiated by the capacity of the mining power provided. BTG, ETH, ZEC and ETC are currently supported. All of its packages are sold out.

Bixby told the Financial Times around the time of the release that Argo wants to be “the Amazon Web Services of crypto.”

“More than 90 percent of crypto mining is done by elites on industrial scale because it is technically very difficult to do,” Bixby was quoted as saying. “It is incredibly expensive to buy, up front, the hardware you need at $5,000 a machine.”

Several other mining companies in the space are also considering IPOs.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, market leader Bitmain is rumored to be conducting a pre-IPO funding round and to be considering going public. Two other China-based mining hardware makers, Canaan Creative and Ebang Communication have both filed IPO applications with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

London Stock Exchange image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Canaan Creative Launch World’s First TV with Bitcoin Mining Capabilities

The second largest manufacturer of Bitcoin mining hardware has announced a new product aiming to bring Bitcoin mining to people’s homes once again. Canaan Creative are hoping to promote greater decentralisation on the Bitcoin network with the launch of a television set with mining capabilities.

Are Devices Like the AvalonMiner Inside Going to Help Further Decentralise Bitcoin?

The television set announced today is called the AvalonMiner Inside. It possesses a reasonable hashrate of 2.8 trillion hashes per second. To put this into perspective, the current most powerful piece of mining hardware made by Canaan Creative is capable of performing 11 trillion hashes each second.

The AvalonMiner Inside is powered by artificial intelligence and according to a report in the South China Morning Post, also has voice activated functions. In addition, the television set has a built-in mining profitability calculator to help users determine how well the device is performing.

The Bitcoin mined by the AvalonMiner Inside will be able to be spent on various items in a designated store platform provided by Canaan Creative. These will include entertainment packages and physical gifts.

Canaan Creative’s newest product will be distributed to retail businesses who will supply the product to customers. The company also have plans to launch additional blockchain-related appliances in the future.

However, some industry analysts are not impressed by the efforts of Canaan to increase decentralisation on the Bitcoin network. Xiao Lei, a financial expert from Beijing, explained his reservations about the new Bitcoin mining television to the South China Morning Post:

“It looks more like hype. It will be more meaningful if these companies are able to embed the mining function into existing major TV brands.”

Canaan Creative are currently the second largest Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturers on the planet. Last year, the company sold nearly 300,000 of their Avalon Bitcoin miners. This number was a threefold increase over the sales of the previous twelve months. Such a prolific yearly performance meant that Canaan Creative was able to generate around $205 million in revenue in 2017 alone.

The only Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer with a larger market share than Canaan Creative is Beijing-based Bitmain. The creator of the Antminer ASIC chips owns two of the largest Bitcoin mining pools and enjoys a huge share of the overall hashing power of the network. Such dominance has lead to some commentators raising concerns about the potential of a 51% attack orchestrated by Bitmain themselves or an outside entity able to breach the company’s security precautions.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently posed the question on a WeChat group called Mars Finance Global Family:

“Bitmain and affiliated pools now have ~53% of all Bitcoin hashpower. Isn’t this a really big problem?.”

One member of the chat group replied that it would be foolish of Bitmain to perform such an attack as it would surely jeopardise the company’s position to do something that would potentially harm Bitcoin. However, another respondent opined:

“It will be a problem later, when the supply drops and it is optimal for Bitmain to destroy Bitcoin.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Article First Published here

FlipNpik Token One of the First Available on New StellarX Exchange


This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

2 Aug, London, UK and Singapore, Singapore – FlipNpik is excited to announce that the FNP token will soon be listed on the StellarX marketplace. The new platform, powered by the Stellar network, is fast and without transaction fees.

FlipNpik will be one of the first coins listed on StellarX, the new professional grade trading interface for Stellar tokens. StellarX is an exciting project sharing the same values as FlipNpik. “Because we’re built on the open Stellar order book, no one — no exchange, no miners, no middleman of any kind — takes a cut of your transactions,” announced Christian R, co-founder of Stellar (XLM) and now StellarX.

“Indeed, you’ll be able to trade FNP tokens completely for free on StellarX. The StellarX marketplace will benefit all our investors by allowing more visibility and liquidity of the FNP Token,” stated FlipNpik CEO Henri Harland. “It’s great news – we can reward the support of the community and make the FNP token a credible cryptocurrency with high potential value,” he added.

Led by a strong team of experienced entrepreneurs and experts in the fields of digital currencies, finance and marketing, FlipNpik empowers small businesses and communities by providing a global platform that supports a unique ecosystem of mutually beneficial relationships.

FlipNpik is also working to list its token on exchange platforms located in Asia and Europe. New announcements should follow in the weeks to come.

Whale bonus’ for the Public Ending Soon