In a recent tweet, TokenPay (TPAY) decided to remind once again everyone of their accusations against Neo (NEO)and XRP being centralized.
— TokenPay (@tokenpay) August 15, 2018
TokenPay comes after XRP and NEO once more
TokenPay had made a lot of headlines back in March when they claimed that Ripple and Neo are actually centralized currencies. According to them, the NEO Foundation is in full control of NEO and all its nodes. At the time, they claimed to have received a lot of hate for saying this. However, it would seem that TokenPay now believes that everyone should be able to see that they were right.
Decentralization is one of the key aspects of every real cryptocurrency, especially considering that the sole reason for their existence was to take power over money away from companies, banks, and other financial institutions. However, with the rise in the number of cryptos due to their popularity, it would seem that not all cryptocurrencies chose to abide by this rule.
With a situation like that, a large part of the crypto community has become concerned regarding centralization and decentralization issues. It would seem that everyone agrees that cryptos and blockchain projects should be decentralized. However, since there is a legitimate doubt regarding some of these projects, Ripple and Neo, in particular, many have opted to claim that they are not even real cryptocurrencies.
Are Ripple and Neo real cryptos?
The argument against NEO and XRP is based on the fact that they are not regular cryptocurrencies by design. As such, they are not compatible to even be considered real cryptos. Many claims that Ripple’s development and progress of its technology is not for the good of the crypto community, but for the benefit of its partners.
Considering that Ripple is mostly working with large banks and financial institutions like Santander Bank and American Express, many believe that it was created to allow banks to remain relevant in the new crypto era. Considering that crypto mining is actually a process of validating transactions, and Ripple cannot be mined, someone else needs to be in charge of validating its transactions. This is one of the biggest arguments of the coin actually being centralized.
Another argument against Ripple concerns its blockchain. The blockchain is not open. This is unusual for a cryptocurrency, and nearly every other coin out there has a fully open blockchain. Because of this, XRP was condemned by blockchain and crypto enthusiasts alike.
With a negative attitude towards Ripple and XRP growing, significant efforts were made in order to make its blockchain as decentralized as it is currently possible. XRP ledger’s current number of validators is 68, and this is their number after Ripple allowed some new ones to join. It was largely believed that this is done due to constant criticism regarding its centralization.
As stated, the XRP ledger currently has 68 validators, 21% of them is Ripple itself. While this is still not full decentralization, it is still proof that the coin is moving towards a decentralized state. At the same time, this move is allowing Ripple to leave the SEC’s attention. Willingly or not, the coin has to reach decentralization if it wants to remain relevant, and as such, it still has the potential to become a real crypto in the eyes of its critics.
Reddit Investigation Reveals Scope of Manipulation within Online Crypto Communities
A Reddit user by the name /CryptoMaximalist recently revealed the results of an investigation into manipulation within the online cryptocurrency community. The investigation looked into how a group of certain users has been hijacking threads in the r/CryptoCurrency and r/CryptoMarkets subreddits to promote and shill specific products and projects.
Manipulation, shilling, and self-promotion are no strangers to the cryptocurrency industry so many will not be surprised by the news, but the investigation gives some interesting insight into the scope of these activities and how they are conducted. Throughout the investigation, the user managed to uncover 50 Reddit accounts which he dubbed the “Dream Network”. These accounts appear to be working together to perform specific types of manipulation known as Astroturfing and Vote Manipulation.
Vote Manipulation is relatively self-explanatory, and Astroturfing is the act of making the promotion of a specific project look natural and organic – when in fact the users promoting the project are all involved in the scam. In order to make a project look legitimate, several users will begin long and detailed comment threats featuring questions, answers, and discussions that all appear to come from separate individuals with their own opinions. While they may appear to be separate accounts, often the questions and responses are all instigated by the same person in real life or have been agreed upon beforehand.
Several big projects implicated
Crypto projects that have been implicated in the manipulation include Ontology, Bitmax, Ultra Token, OOOBTC, MOAC, Contentos, and Dreamr, amongst others. While it is not conclusive that the operators of these projects elicited the manipulative behavior, it makes sense that those conducting the manipulation stand to make a profit from the success of the project.
To discover which accounts are likely involved in manipulation the investigation looked into the historical behavior of the accounts. Many were found to have long periods of inactivity followed by a sudden change in personality – indicating the account had likely been sold to a ‘shill‘. Shills will often buy existing accounts with high karma and a long history so that they appear more authentic. Other questionable behavior includes ‘karma farming’ – posting comments in popular threads like r/aww that typically accrue karma with very little effort.
As mentioned above, manipulation is not exactly a new concept in cryptocurrency, but hopefully, this investigation will help some newbies not lose money by investing in rubbish ‘pump n dump’ schemes.
Blockstack’s SEC-Regulated Crypto Token Offering Successfully Raises $23 Million
Blockstack, the first SEC-regulated token offering, successfully raises $23 million in two stages – the SEC regulated and the international offering including Asia’s strategic rounds.
The first US Securities exchange commission (SEC) regulated token offering, Blockstack, completed yesterday successfully raising $23 million USD in the process. The official announcement by the CEO and co-founder of Blockstack, Muneeb Ali, further confirmed the company is looking for a further $5million+ from international investors. The international investors will be offered tokens in a private placement or an SEC-regulated token offering again.
The total stats for the Stacks (STX) token stands at 74 million tokens disbursed at a price between $0.12 and $0.30 USD in the past 60 days. The tokens were offered in two batches – the first one, the SEC approved token under Regulation A+ and the second, the international token offering under regulation S – raising $15.5 million and $7.5 million respectively.
The report reads,
“We want to thank the thousands of you that have participated. For the first time, retail investors in the United States were able to participate in a token offering qualified by the SEC. More than 4,500 individuals and entities participated in the 2019 token offerings.”
Some of the top investors in the token offering includes, Union Square Ventures, Lux Capital, Recruit Holdings, Arrington Capital, Hashkey Group, Fenbushi Capital, Frontier Ventures, Spartan Group, and other funds.
More On The SEC-Regulated Stacks (STX) Token
Earlier in June, BEG reported the SEC had given Blockstacks the go ahead to offer their tokens to the public under certain regulations. The regulations are less stringent than those of a regular IPO, requiring less disclosure of details. The fork to distribute the tokens will commence in the next 30 days and continue for a further 30 days if need be.
Once the token offering and release period is over (in the next 30 days or so) the company will start building and developing its Blockstack decentralized computing network. The announcement further confirmed US exchanges will not list the STX token and US traders will not be able to access trading of the token once it launches this October.
Crypto Exchange OKEx to List Hedera Hashgraph’s Token HBAR
Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx announced that it will soon list enterprise-focused decentralized network Hedera Hashgraph’s native token HBAR.
As OKEx’s spokesperson told Cointelegraph, the platform will add HBAR to its spot market with HBAR/BTC, HBAR/USDT and HBAR/USDK on Sept. 17. Deposits and withdrawals will open on Sept. 16 and Sept. 24 respectively. Head of Asia Pacific at Hedera Hashgraph Edgar Seah added:
“Hbars play a crucial role in the function, growth, and security of the Hedera network, and it is important that they are available to those who wish to use or create applications on the network. OKEx’s focus on listing projects with practical uses cases is in line with our belief that making coins easily accessible to developers is important for the development of decentralized ledger platforms such as Hedera.”
As Cointelegraph reported recently, OKEx announced that the exchange will support Ethereum Classic’s (ETC) upcoming Atlantis hard fork that is planned to occur between Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 at block height 8,772,000.
On Aug. 30, it was reported that Boeing will join IBM on Hedera Hashgraph’s governing council, although the aircraft giant has not officially confirmed the news.