The CEO of Overstock (NASDAQ: OSTK), Patrick Byrne, who has openly supported Bitcoin, announced his immediate retirement.
Although the entrepreneur has not mentioned about his future endeavors, he mentioned in his letter that “the blockchain revolution will reshape key social institutions.” Hinting towards the company’s inclination on blockchain, he further added,
“We have designed and breathed life into perhaps the most significant blockchain keiretsu in the world, a network of blockchain firms seeking to revolutionize identity, land governance (= rule of law = potential = capital), central banking, capital markets, supply chains, and voting.”
Crypto advocate Anthony Pompliano also tweeted regarding the incident, crowning Byrne as the “only verbal supporters at the helm of a public company.” Moreover, crypto enthusiasts are optimistic about the fact that other crypto ventures such as tZERO will receive the much needed attention and deliver real value in the crypto space. One of the popular comments on Twitter read,
“Ouch, he was the guy that basically shifted things hardcore into crypto last year, right? Big risk and I’m guessing the shareholders and board are pissed wanting results. Damn shame.”
The First Yearlong ICO for EOS Raised $4 Billion. The Second? Just $2.8 Million
- Block.One’s yearlong initial coin offering (ICO) for the EOS blockchain raised a record-breaking $4.1 billion in 2018.
- LiquidApps created a second-layer protocol for EOS to offload computing expenses for dapps, which became very expensive just a few months after EOS launched.
- In a similarly yearlong ICO, LiquidApps is currently selling DAPP tokens to be used on its new protocol.
- However, six months in, LiquidApps had sold only $2.8 million worth of DAPP. After the same amount of time for its sale, Block.One had sold $700 million worth of EOS.
New cryptocurrencies aren’t raising money like they once did, even during marathon sales.
In the first half of 2018, the average initial coin offering (ICO) raised $25.5 million, based on data reported by PwC. The biggest ICO of them all, the yearlong EOS offering, closed during that era and raised a whopping $4.1 billion.
But a second ICO that aimed to make EOS more usable and also opted for a yearlong approach hasn’t drawn as much investor interest.
LiquidApps is building a second-layer solution for EOS that runs on the company’s DAPP token, which has been sold in daily auctions since February 2019. At the end of its 233rd auction cycle on Aug. 19, the DAPP sale had raised just $2.8 million worth of cryptocurrency.
A source with knowledge of the LiquidApps fundraise told CoinDesk:
“They’ve done an interesting job and [have been] innovative in learning from the Block.One sale and mechanics in crafting how a fundraise for a project should be done. Where they’ve struggled is, not just different market conditions, but finding the right investors and participants for their sale that fully understand the value proposition for the project.”
LiquidApps declined to provide comment on the results of its token sale so far, despite multiple attempts by CoinDesk for comment.
For 333 days and 444 sale cycles, 500 million of the 1 billion pre-mined DAPP tokens will be gradually sold off – that’s 1.12 million tokens every 18 hours. CoinDesk’s analysis is based on the reported price of these tokens in each sale, as shown on the LiquidApps auction site.
The LiquidApps solution is meant to take pressure off the EOS blockchain’s RAM system, which has gotten bogged down as computing resources have proven to be the scarce asset on the fourth-largest blockchain by market cap.
Still, the effort seems to be garnering comparably little fanfare. For comparison, six months into the EOS sale, the startup behind it, Block.One, had raised $700 million, according to a December 2017 report by the Wall Street Journal.
This is a different era in crypto, however, and LiquidApps has put out a much more real product than vastly larger ICOs that ended long ago.
Fred Kreuger, creator of the Lynx Wallet, which is built to work well with EOS, told CoinDesk that he was not surprised by more modest returns on the LiquidApps ICO.
“Most end users and token buyers understand one thing – native tokens for blockchains.”
The company made a conscious decision at the outset not to set a goal for its fundraiser.
“Our goal with the Token Generation is to bring as many stakeholders into the ecosystem to best establish it for success,” LiquidApps CEO Beni Hakak told CoinDesk in a February email, shortly before the sale opened. “As true believers in the free market, we don’t involve ourselves with price speculations – there is no technical possibility to combine an auction, like we’re doing, with a capped amount.”
There may be less pressure on LiquidApps to raise a substantial amount due to its close relationship to another well funded ICO, Bancor.
Hakak was the director of operations at Bancor until January of this year, according to his LinkedIn page, which also lists him as the CEO of LiquidEOS, an EOS block producer that CoinDesk previously reported as a project of Bancor itself.
In February, the LiquidApps white paper listed eight people on its founding team, including all three co-authors of the original Bancor white paper: siblings Guy and Galia Benartzi and Eyal Hertzog. Still, according to a Bancor spokesperson, LiquidApps is a distinct and separate company, though one made up of Bancor alums.
That relationship yielded a great deal of skepticism from the broader crypto community. At the outset of the LiquidApps sale, Cornell professor Emin Gün Sirer saw the whole effort as ill-advised.
“This is an idea that, in the old days, would attract no more than $225K in seed funding from angels and a few VCs, and those VCs would be considered mavericks for taking this on,” he told CoinDesk in an email before the sale opened, adding:
“If $4 billion was not enough to yield an EOS network that is functioning smoothly, the thing to do is not to seek additional funds for more work in the same vein, but to question what went wrong with the original design of the RAM market in EOS.”
Why buy DAPP?
RAM is the ready, easy-to-access memory that applications need to work through a given function. Early on, speculators bought up the RAM supply in anticipation that increased popularity of EOS would make it valuable. In fact, it became so pricy that acquiring RAM resources on EOS became prohibitive.
The first product from LiquidApps was vRAM, a way for EOS dapps to offload most of their RAM needs to a second, less expensive layer. To its credit, vRAM was live at the start of the token sale and has been running ever since.
Investing With a Difference (IWAD) runs a node on the LiquidApps network, and one of the companies it worked with to use its services found dramatic savings. Moonlighting, a freelance job site that runs on EOS, would pay $2,000 per day to run all of its transactions on EOS, according to Raman Bindlish of IWAD. Their costs after moving most transactions onto IWAD’s deployment of LiquidApps dropped to about $10 per day.
“We are doing 10,000–20,000 transactions per day, and CPU/NET cost on EOS blockchain is almost minimal,” Bindlish told CoinDesk. “So, using LiquidApps framework for RAM, we brought down the cost of each transaction to less than $0.0005 on average.”
Since releasing vRAM, LiquidApps has put out many more useful tools for developers, such as a way to make accounts for free (an EOS account costs a bit of EOS), an oracle system and a time tool, among other things. LiquidApps published a detailed account of progress so far early this year. To access its different services, users pay in DAPP tokens.
Despite doubts about the necessity of its product, launching the solution has led to a network of service providers running its vRAM system and other products. This has created a new income stream for technically proficient teams no longer able to earn enough contributing to consensus on EOS, either as a block producer or standby block producer.
LiquidApps began in an era of expensive RAM. In September of 2018, it was running at roughly $0.80 per kilobyte. For context, at that time, it would cost a developer a few dollars in RAM to add one new user.
Since then, the price of RAM has dropped considerably. As of this writing, a kilobyte of RAM cost about $0.34 in EOS, according to EOS New York.
And EOS, for its part, had a strong first quarter in terms of transaction volume, largely driven by gambling dapps.
Hakak told CoinDesk in February:
“We believe The DAPP Network should be a separate, complementary ecosystem (economy) to EOS. While EOS Mainnet is where the consensus is established, the DAPP Network is a secondary trustless layer; and having a unique token, the DAPP token, will allow this ecosystem to flourish.”
Interstellar, a Startup Focused on Stellar Network, Appointed Mike Kennedy, as CEO
An enterprise organization concentrated on developing the stellar framework, Interstellar, has designated Mike Kennedy as Chief Executive Officer recently. Interstellar has created another organization which present CEO Adam Ludwin will lead.
We are thrilled to have Mike lead Interstellar through its next phase of growth. Mike’s record of success founding and growing Zelle [fka clearXchange], his innovation in mobile payments, FX and banking, and his history as a high-impact advisor to Stellar make him the perfect fit to lead Interstellar.
Alongst Kennedy’s deputation, Interstellar additionally declared that it is “spinning-out a new app-focused company” known as Pogo, which has been in stealth mode for quite some time. Kennedy will supplant Adam Ludwin, the previous RRE Ventures partner and the present CEO of the blockchain payments startup Interstellar.
In the meantime, Ludwin will proceed to steer the organization’s most recent project, Pogo, a subsidiary that will concentrate on applications and mobile wallets. Further, Kennedy’s designation as CEO at Interstellar pursues the news that Franklin Templeton, Investment fund, plans to tokenize the part of a government currency market fund on the stellar system.
Besides, as CEO, Mike will direct all aspects of Interstellar, by focusing on helping to expedite the adoption of the stellar system for worldwide payments. Mike is an accomplished official with notable payments experience. Moreover, he established, led, and sold Zelle (fka clearXchange), one of the most prominent Peer-to-peer payment frameworks in the US.
Furthermore, Kennedy’s system Zelle, the payment framework is utilized by Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and several other finance-related organizations, as indicated by its site. Additionally, it claimed that Zelle oversees over 50 billion dollars in transaction volumes from more than 25 million clients.
Interstellar was initiated in 2018, from an acquisition deal with Lightyear.io, a startup based on the stellar protocol, and a decentralized ledger technology builder chain. Meanwhile, the organization expressed that it planned to provide enterprise solutions for embracing the stellar blockchain, created by the non-profit SDF (Stellar Development Foundation).
Regardless, Interstellar is developing the system by building the payment layer on stellar, a sector where Kennedy has broad experience. The organization has been associating with different banks, authorized non-bank providers and organizations, and building layers to attract a more extensive client base, as indicated by Kennedy.
Presently at Interstellar, Kennedy intends to work on with similar giants like correspondent banking and the SWIFT payment framework. Over and above, most traditional financial organizations use these instruments to transfer cash universally; however, Kennedy said blockchain could do it quicker, more reliably and at a lesser cost.
CZ Recommends Holding BNB: Would Amazon’s CEO Ever Do That?
In a recent tweet, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, recently emphasized the potential profits that Binance Coin offers its holders. While a tweet of the kind might appear innocuous, it could also have an impact on the BNB price, given Zhao’s influence on the community, making the entire thing questionable. After all, we’ve witnessed prominent CEOs getting sued for propping up the value of their companies. How long will it be until the crypto industry is similarly scrutinized?
CZ Emphasizes the Value of Holding BNB
It’s safe to say that Binance Coin (BNB) has seen better days. Over the past few months, the cryptocurrency lost almost half of its value, plummeting from its all-time high of around $40 in June to $21.
Interestingly enough, the decline comes amid seemingly massive developments for Binance and its overall ecosystem. Yet, all of that seems to have had no impact on investors.
Against this backdrop, Zhao posted a seemingly controversial tweet today, “warning” people that not holding BNB could be a bad play.
While the majority of the text seems like a simple throwback to BNB’s glory days, the last sentence (“In the future, don’t say I didn’t tell you”) is questionable, to say the least. While it’s subject to interpretation, this sounds an awful lot like a warning that not holding BNB is a bad choice. Moreover, interpreted broadly, it could also sound like financial advice. Needless to say, this line of expression is completely unacceptable in traditional financial markets and we’ve already seen the consequences of it.
Standards are Not the Same
While a lot of cryptocurrency proponents are clamoring for regulatory clarity and definitions, it appears that the standards applied to traditional financial markets and the crypto world are a tad different, to say the least.
Back in August 2018, Elon Musk, widely considered to be one of this century’s visionaries as the CEO of SpaceX and co-founder/product architect at Tesla, got into a legal storm with the SEC over a tweet.
Musk said that he’d been considering taking Tesla private and that he had secured the necessary funding. Back then, he was also the company’s chairman.
The SEC took measures immediately, filing charges against the entrepreneur. Despite voicing his disagreement, Musk settled, agreeing to pay a $20 million fine, step down as the company’s chairman, and obtain pre-approval of his tweets from the company’s legal counsel.
In other words, the US SEC takes social media behavior seriously. And it probably should. Apart from being major shot-callers at their respective companies, a lot of the rich and famous CEOs, Changpeng Zhao included, have serious social media followings.
Zhao, for instance, has over 429,000 followers on Twitter. Hence, it’s only natural that his opinions would have influence over the people who read them. As such, it’s questionable at best to use the platform to offer any sort of financial advice, especially that which would impact the price of an asset that one’s company created.
Of course, Zhao is far from the only individual to have done so, even subtly. Justin Sun, TRON’s founder, provides perhaps the best example of such behavior.
After all, we haven’t seen Jeff Bezos directly propping up Amazon’s stock, have we?