Strategic investing looks a lot different than it did just a decade ago. New and more powerful technologies have made some approaches obsolete while elevating the importance of things like computer algorithms and digital platforms. As The Wall Street Journal wrote last spring, “The quants run Wall Street now.”
Since the start of 2017, cryptocurrencies are further altering the investment landscape by making it more diverse and creating lucrative markets where none previously existed.
Crypto markets are an increasingly compelling opportunity for all types of investors. Individuals are captivated by the intrigue of new digital tokens, and they are encouraged by the potential for more robust returns than through any other investment medium. Even institutional investors are beginning to forge a path into crypto markets.
Regulated Bitcoin futures contracts offered by Chicago-based exchanges CME and Cboe are a compelling investment opportunity that are beginning to pick up steam. Even banking giant Goldman Sachs is said to be getting in on the crypto action.
However, despite their popularity, crypto markets remain uniquely unpredictable. They are frequently characterized by wild price swings that can feel random and violent. Trading cryptocurrencies can be a daunting experience for the uninitiated.
What’s more, slow transaction speeds with high fees are a hindrance to more robust blockchain adoption that can further proliferate such markets.
In other words, while cryptocurrencies are exciting and progressively popular, their capabilities often leave much to be desired.
Now a new platform powered by a forward-thinking digital token is offering solutions that can enhance the future of financial markets.
ThinkCoin Powers the Platform of the Future
ThinkCoin, a new digital token on the Ethereum network, presents a tangible solution to problems related to asset trading, blockchain speed, and cost efficiency. This TCO token powers TradeConnect, a soon to launch blockchain-based financial asset trading platform.
Although TradeConnect is an early-stage platform, it’s ready to offer FX and CFD trading upon its launch. As it continues to advance, the exchange will provide trading options for commodities, derivatives, options, bonds, and other products. In total, TradeConnect will provide an outlet for trading any financial asset in the world using blockchain technology.
In a nod to the transformative power of the blockchain, TradeConnect eliminates the need for brokers or intermediaries in the investment process. Using built-in blockchain tools like smart contracts and tokenized value exchanges, interested investors are connected directly with willing sellers. This makes the investment process cheaper and more efficient for everyone. Rather than charging commissions, the platform is maintained by connection fees, which are based on the type of trading product, and those terms are laid out in the predetermined smart contract.
If the last decade has taught us anything, it’s that large financial institutions are fraught with challenges and their outsized, centralized nature doesn’t do them any favors. With TradeConnect, investors always maintain control of their money, and they aren’t burdened by substantial fees or commissions that typically accompany the use of a big bank.
The platform’s wallet will accept several of the most popular digital currencies including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, dash, litecoin, and monero. To ensure speed and flexibility, all trades are processed off the blockchain, but those records are later uploaded to the chain where they remain immutable, auditable, and secure. This will make the process more efficient so that users can focus on making wise investments, not on the viability of their technology.
All of this is enabled by the ThinkCoin digital token, which is currently in presale and has a public ICO starting in May. A demonstration version of the TradeConnect app is available now in the Apple and Google Play app store.
Financial markets are quickly changing to adjust to new technologies and new investor proclivities. This comprehensive ecosystem is diverse and digital, and new platforms are helping it to thrive. ThinkCoin is emblematic of the broad investment priorities dominating the market. Things like smart contracts, p2p connections, and robust payment represent a bright foray into the financial future.
Charles Hoskinson partners with Polymath’s Trevor Koverko for building new security token blockchain
With Bitcoin [BTC] breaching its immediate resistance, the community is rooting for the largest cryptocurrency to breach the next resistance set at $8,000. This sudden pump in the prices of most major cryptocurrencies, especially BTC, was a hot topic at Consensus 2019, followed by the partnership between Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, and Trevor Koverko, the CEO of Polymath.
The duo has come together for an initiative which aims at launching a Layer 1 security token blockchain called ‘Polymesh’. According to Trevor, there exists a gap in the market for a purpose-built custom blockchain for security tokens. Hoskinson noted that a normal public blockchain system is a homogenous system where regulators, issuers, buyers and sellers are subjected to the same rules and responsibilities. He adds on the design of the Polymesh:
By assigning the responsibilities to a part of the system, they would have the power to ‘maybe freeze’ a transaction, reverse it, and even view an audit trail, while the other part cannot. Hoskinson and Koverko noted that it was necessary for a system like Polymesh to exist for the Security Token Offering [STO] revolution. Hoskinson added:
“Furthermore there’s good evidence of that from just traction of STOs. There’s a desire to create liquidity, there’s a desire to create these assets, but where are they at CoinMarketCap, where are they at in terms of trading, they’re not where they need to be.”
Koverko and Hoskinson believe that this new system will benefit the STO revolution and thus, have to be built from the ground.
Facebook registers ‘Libra Networks’ in Geneva for developing blockchain technology
Facebook, on May 2, registered Libra Networks, a firm specializing in developing blockchain technology, in Geneva. This is their first foray into developing in-house blockchain technology and could have adverse effects on the crypto-market, if speculations are to be believed.
Recently, the United States Senate sent out an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, asking details about their cryptocurrency project named “Libra”. This came out after they read about it in an article by the Wall Street Journal.
The project is likely to be released in the second quarter of 2019 and the development team was already set up last year. It is looking at introducing a coin which users can spend on its website or any other. According to the report by Wall Street, Facebook is also looking at backing its crypto-coin with the dollar reserve. This is done to make it less volatile from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Libra will be looking at investing, payments, financing, blockchain and other technologies to work on via their newly established firm. The social media giant is in talks with all major payment networks like Visa, Master Card and more and is looking to raise around $1 billion for the crypto-project. The crypto research team is expected to be headed by David Marcus, the ex-PayPal president.
However, the crypto-ecosystem is skeptical of Facebook entering the crypto-verse. One of the reasons for this is their past controversies surrounding the sale of user data to third parties. Following the issue, people now allegedly maintain a notion that Facebook could repeat history and sell their private data to any third party and this could spell disaster for crypto-users.
India is one of the biggest markets for Facebook as India has the highest number of WhatsApp users across all markets. While looking at the crypto-market in India, Facebook may have to make large changes in its policies owing to the possibility of a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in India.
Ava Labs Exits Stealth, Launches Blockchain Testnet Based on ‘Avalanche’ Protocol
Blockchain startup Ava Labs is coming out of stealth and starting to open up its blockchain network — backed by a new consensus algorithm — to developers and users.
Ava Labs is launching a private testnet of their technology today at Token Summit, one of the many conferences taking place during Blockchain Week NYC.
Though the blockchain network isn’t ready for real money quite yet, this step is notable because, for the first time, developers outside the organization will be able to put the new code to the test based on their “Avalanche” protocol that was released last year by a pseudonymous group going by the name “Team Rocket,” referring to the villains of the Pokémon game series.
Ava is releasing the code to their launch partners, who will be able to comb through it, battle-test it, and play around with it for the first time. The code will not be completely open sourced quite yet, as Ava Labs founder and Cornell professor Emin Gun Sirer told CoinDesk. Once the code has been “scrutinized” further, a public version of the testnet will be opened up for wider use.
Backing the effort is the $6 million that Ava Labs raised in February during a previously undisclosed funding round, when it won support from notable names in the venture capital and cryptocurrency spaces. These include Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain, former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, Metastable, Initialized and Ramtin Naimi of Abstract Ventures.
Ava’s project forms part of a much wider degree of interest within the academic world in exploring consensus protocols that serve the same purpose of proof-of-work — securing transactions — but are more energy-efficient and have the potential to provide a basis for democratic development and the inclusion of more users in the consensus process. (Though it’s worth noting that some experts are skeptical that protocols with similar goals work in practice — so far, at least.)
Still, Sirer argues that Ava Labs’ implementation of Avalanche represents a breakthrough and a step forward for the ecosystem as a whole.
He told CoinDesk:
“We already have something that works and want to show people who are interested in it.”
Proof-of-work itself is revolutionary, Sirer contends, as it revolutionized what researchers thought were possible of consensus protocols for 45 years. “This third approach combines the best of both worlds,” he said.
He added that Ava is faster and more scalable, “allowing us to open up a new level of decentralization.”
A ‘different’ universe
Ava Labs also claims to have made another “breakthrough” that Sirer says is just as revolutionary as Avalanche, but hasn’t been revealed until today.
It boils down to this: in all blockchains launched thus far, all the nodes have to agree on certain criteria. All nodes utilize the same “scripting language” for smart contracts, for example.
Ava, by contrast, offers a “heterogeneous network,” allowing nodes across the system to have different properties. Essentially allowing different groups in the network to “plug-and-play” different features.
“This is a different type of a universe,” Sirer said, comparing Ava to other popular public blockchains like EOS and ethereum. “Ava has an interoperable framework, but then you have smaller and smaller universes of your own that have minimum properties.”
One could decide to add zk-SNARKS, a bleeding-edge privacy technology, in their own universe, for example. Still, it’s worth noting that some researchers are skeptical of Avalanche, the new concept Ava is putting into practice.
For example, ethereum researcher Vlad Zamfir debated Sirer about its features on Twitter back when Avalanche was first revealed. Zamfir’s opinion on the topic is held in high regard because he’s also been trying for years to develop a greener algorithm for etheruem, the largest smart contract blockchain out there today.