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Ant Financial Services Group was formerly known as Alipay and is an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group. Since Ant Financial Services Group is an operator of AliPay, a perilous stance has been taken by it over ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).

CEO of Ant Financial, Eric Jing spoke during the speech, which was held on 24th March at the annual China Development Forum in Beijing and according to him, most of the existing blockchain fervour comes from speculation about the main perception of the blockchain.

Jing also advised that there are numerous projects behind the ICOs (Initial
Coin Offerings) which can offer nothing but a destitute white paper. Jing seemed to exclude the possibility of his company holding an ICO.

ICO Fundraising

Eric Jing Views

According to Eric Jing:

“The current phase is like the internet bubble period in the 1990s.” While saying that, he added:

“Ant Financial has drawn a clear line with ICOs.”

The local media source “The Paper” reported that the CEO, Eric Jing further described that, despite the fact he has his full confidence in blockchain’s ability as a trust mechanism for the upcoming digitalized society, the bubble at this time is probably going to burst within the next two or three years and only after that, the industry will be capable of seeing real blockchain applications coming into place.

Eric Jing’s Role in Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group is a famous internet entrepreneur in the country, China and Jing is a long-time veteran of this Group as he has helped a lot in growing the AliPay business, along with its operator, Ant Financial and now it seems like he’s ruling out the ICO fundraising.

Last year, the latter firm made headlines for its obstructed attempt to buy MoneyGram, which is a U.S. payment service. Even with the criticism of ICOs, Alibaba did its best to make a move into the blockchain space as it took great interest in the technological development.

As it was earlier reported, a blockchain-powered platform has been already developed by Ant Financial for charity donations. Moreover, China’s State Intellectual Property disclosed a data and according to that, around 50 patents related to the blockchain have been filed by Alibaba Group, which are currently pending for approval.

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How does Bitcoins work?

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Bitcoin- Quick Story

Currency gains worth and value when people tend to give it the value and start accepting it. A vast majority of the people are being attracted to the Bitcoin due to the fact that it’s decentralized and its regulated by no third party. It’s tied to no political or governmental system. Due to this, it’s not vulnerable and doesn’t get affected much by their failings or socio-economical collapses happened in the past.

It is a digital form of money, used for transaction online. The mechanism behind these coins resembles like that of gold due to its limited resource. The word cryptocurrency demonstrates that Bitcoin is encrypted in a way that prohibits it being copied. Every transaction performed using Bitcoins is recorded in Blockchain. Blockchain acts like a ledger where all the data is stored. All this data is encoded on the Bitcoin itself. This method aids in avoiding people to spend the same bitcoin more than once. Due to a connected, peer-to-peer network, every user will know that the particular bitcoin was just spent.

Keeping everybody’s identity complete anonymous just like that of its founder, these Bitcoin holders are associated with an ID code or a wallet code. This can be stored on your hard drive or phone or your computer.

Acquire bitcoins

Bitcoins can be acquired for a number of ways. Some of the ways include,

  • Accept them as payments against goods and services.
  • Exchange them as a typical form of currency.
  • Mine them

Again, like gold, these coins are mined. They are mined through suitable supporting powerful computers. Similar to gold, the more people mine these Bitcoins, the less they are to be found in the system for next process of mining. By solving complex algorithm problems, you can mine these Bitcoins.

But you are not the only one solving the puzzle. There are more people and coin holders solving the same mathematical problem. So, it’s more like a competition. When you enter the race, it’s easier to handle with lesser people. But when more people are included, the problems get way more complex and difficult.

When there are more people being flunked and stuck during the problems, the math problems will get easier to ensure,

  • a steady flow,
  • value is boosted, and
  • remain inflation proof.

By 2140, it is expected that all the Bitcoins will be mined from the system.

Risks with Bitcoins

Being extremely volatile and unpredictable in nature, Bitcoin value can never be guessed. You can manage to judge and guess the value of Dollar the next day, but the Bitcoin value can fluctuate in no time. Being under no regulation to a regulatory body or financial institution, it is monitored and scrutinized by nobody.

Bitcoin transactions are not completely anonymous. They are secured by could be tracked down. A lot of individuals were attracted towards bitcoin due to this feature. Including a lot of people from ‘Black Market’. So, you never know who you are dealing with during the transaction.

Security is a big risk associated with Bitcoins. The format Bitcoin runs on is good to go but the hackers don’t seem to miss their chance. Banks and exchanges that deal in Bitcoins are targeted largely by these hackers. But this isn’t the currency’s fault. The paper money gets robbed too and Bitcoin is no different.

Bitcoin has come with both pros and cons. For its furthermore acceptance with the people, its volatility needs to settle down quite a bit. It’s a totally unpredictable and high-risk currency which needs to adjust a bit to enable more people to get their hands on it.

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“Black Cell” Shuts Down by Hong Kong Securities Regulator

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On 19th March, SFC website posted that the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong has halted the Black Cell Technology’s ICO (Initial Coin Offering) because the offering is constituted as an unregistered CIS (Collective Investment Scheme).

Now the investors of Hong Kong must have to be refunded by the Black Cell for their investments in the tokens. This would support “Krops,” which is a mobile application and a marketplace that lists the agricultural products. At the same time, many warnings have been issued by SFC for companies before, however, today is the very first intervention of shutting down ICO technologies in Hong Kong.

ico technologies

Black Cell to Its Investors

Black Cell promoted the ICO on its website by enlightening their investors that their investment would be considered as funding and will be used for the development of Krops mobile application. Black Cell also told the investors that the token holders would have the rights equivalent to the Black Cell.

In January 2018, a cease-and-desist order was filed by the Philippines SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) against four different companies that were linked with Krops and Black Cell as well as for offering Krops token in the form of securities.

Why Black Cell was targeted?

Black Cell was specifically targeted because their token provides a return for token holders. That was the move which labelled the token as a potential security. There’s no doubt that their other projects have been more abstruse in their approach but on the other hand, it avoided direct regulatory involvement. Even with the authorities making their approach clear towards ICOs, the question still remains the same that for how long that autonomy will continue.

Jay Clayton Views

The U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is taking a hard line on the ICOs following the securities laws. Jay Clayton, head of SEC has recently noted that all the ICOs that he has seen need to be considered as security and added, that they should be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission before they are sold to the investors of US.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Safe Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Trading

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For some reasons, people are hesitant to buy bitcoins in face-to-face transactions. They are afraid of the risk that comes with it and would rather trust a Bitcoin exchange with their bitcoins. However, every method comes with its own set of dos and don’ts.

This post will outline the various dos and don’ts you must keep in mind while trading bitcoin face-to-face.

 

Carry your device with you

Do not forget to carry your personal device, be it your mobile phone, laptop or tablet when you’re going to the meeting. Make sure that you already have a bitcoin wallet if you’re the buyer. It is best to take your own device so that you can verify the trade on it rather than filling out your personal information on the other party’s device.

 

Do not cancel trade if price of Bitcoin drops

Feedback is everything. Do not try to walk out on a trade when you can negotiate. If the prices have dropped then it is best to try to negotiate on a price that benefits both the parties. When you cancel a trade, it is going to lessen your chances of earning a good feedback early.

 

Decide on a price ahead of time

To avoid any debate on the price later on during the meeting, it is best to agree on a price beforehand. Do not try to get a higher rate out of the seller after the price has been decided, this attitude can cause things to go sour very quickly. If possible, get an escrow service as it guarantees the payment to the seller and the buyer is sure that he will receive the bitcoins before releasing the payment.

 

Don’t expect to get rich overnight

You need to keep track of the rapid price changes taking place while trading. You need to prove that you are a good and reliable buyer/seller in order to gain a better reputation on any exchange platform. Be sure to remain patient when dealing with bitcoins, as nothing comes easily. Do not be fixed onto selling your bitcoins the moment it hits a high note since it is very volatile.

 

If you follow these pointers, then you are sure to develop a good reputation on any exchange platforms and have nothing to fear.

 

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US Congress Features Cryptocurrencies for The Very First Time in Its Joint Economic Report

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On 13th March, an annual Joint Economic Report was published by the US Congress in which the Congress dedicated a whole section to the Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, for the very first time.

Joint Economic Report

The Joint Economic Report (2018) contains a whole chapter that provides the insight of the effect of Blockchain and cryptocurrency on today’s US economy and includes scrutiny and recommendations for the rest of the year. According to the report, 2017 was the year of cryptocurrencies, and highlighted the extensive concern over Bitcoin.

joint economic report

The combined value of all Bitcoins in distribution equalled to approximately $15.5 billion, by the starting of 2017; however, it boosted almost 14-fold to over $216 billion by the end of the year. Cryptocurrency market cap was certainly influenced by high prices and such cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Ethereum, and Litecoin also experienced the same gains.

But at the same time, the report also stated that leading economists, like Chair Janet Yellen (former Federal Reserve), still don’t think that cryptocurrencies meet the standard definition of money, and for him, Bitcoin is a highly-speculative-asset.

A stirring surge has been shown in the price of crypto and Blockchain assets, which leaves few crucial economic indexes behind such as;

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average
  • S&P 500

The report says;

“…If digital currencies become less volatile in the future, valuing items in those denominations could become easier and individuals might begin using them more frequently as a medium of exchange”

Recommendations

There are few recommendations in the document, showing certain concern, as all of the authors advise government agencies are about to consider and analyze new customs for the technology. They specifically distinguish Blockchain’s potential to enhance agency competence and guarantee security against cyber-attacks.

The report also says;

“Policymakers, regulators, and entrepreneurs should continue to work together to ensure developers can deploy these new Blockchain technologies quickly and in a manner that protects Americans from fraud, theft, and abuse while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations”

The analysis also highlighted that Blockchain has demonstrated largely resistant to hacking and has a lot of potential applications. Even though Blockchain and cryptocurrencies still stir up clash, the analysis that was shown in the report proves that administrative associations cannot avoid the innovative technology of Blockchain.

The report also noted that the technology can be used in other fields like;

  • Healthcare
  • Securing critical financial
  • Energy infrastructure.

The Subcommittee on Securities, Investment and Capital Markets assembled for a hearing that was dedicated to ICO (Initial Coin Offerings), Blockchain development and cryptocurrencies in the US, making it quite simple understand that more regulatory clarification would be necessary from the US government.

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