Private companies who want to grow further raise funds deploying various strategies to bring in investments to their firms. Some prefer to fetch loans from financial institutions, and some try to raise finance through individuals or financial entities by selling their ownership stakes. Companies looking for bigger expansions seek public involvement and sell their shares through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) resemble IPOs in the cryptocurrency industry. They, too, are utilized to raise capital for a company with expansion plans. The respective companies offer ICOs through the coins, or app or their services. The buyers invest their fiat money or exchange other digital tokens to purchase them; they are offered the ICOs in return.

Reasons behind ICOs popularity

ICOs are generally backed up by the supporters of the startups like a crowdfunding venture. But more correctly, ICOs offer monetary returns to their supporters, unlike crowdfunding and thus can be referred to as crowd sales.

The main reasons for their massive acceptance are mentioned below:

  • ICOs are decentralized
  • They are highly unregulated
  • Benefits of both parties
  • Profits have high margins
  • The more the funds received, the more the value of token increases in general
  • Sometimes the prizes of tokens are pre-fixed and no of tokens increases

Popular ICOs in trends

  • Tokens in the Video Gaming Industry
  • Tokens in Social Networking sites
  • Blockchain-based services

Tokens in the Video Gaming Industry

The gaming industry dominates this space, with approximately 40% ICOs being offered in this sector as gaming is popular among all generations for its entertainment value. Industry experts believe that by 2021, the video gaming industry will grow up to $180.1 billion and so the markets will witness a rise of 10.3 % within 2017-2021.

Tokens in social networking sites

The popularity of microblogging sites is consistently on the rise across the world. Apart from the giant social networking platforms, several community-based forums and platforms are popping up every second day. Most of the users are ready to interact via these sites and respond tremendously to any new appealing concept. So tokens have great potential for mass acceptance in this domain.

Blockchain-based services

As the blockchain-based services are sprawling across every possible industry, widely blockchain applied sectors like finance, health, logistics, transport, trade, etc. covers 10% of the markets share.

Apart from the entertainment, the health and wellbeing industry, or, more specifically, the fitness industry is on boom this year.

Limitations of ICOs and solutions

The euphonious surge of ICOs’ turned the attention of regulatory authorities across the globe. Few countries like China have restricted the use of digital tokens in their markets. Also, Twitter, Facebook, and Google have banned the advertisements in 2018 as a preventive measure to curb fraudulent activities or ICO scams.

However, through proper channel recommendations and advisory services, tokens can be purchased.

Across the globe, there are more than 450 crypto startups and many more are in a row to start. More than 1500 cryptocurrencies exist so far, but a still considerable amount of failure can be witnessed in ICOs due to increased competition and certain other aspects. Firms like BlockchainMarketingNinja, thus provide an extensive marketing strategy to promote ICOs to reach to the targeted niche market. They offer exclusive services with its proven expertise in the strategic marketing of ICOs. They offer marketing support to blockchain projects, crypto startups in ICO marketing and promotions.

Realmx, a sandbox game, has recently been launched on Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain. Block Hop, the game developing firm, announced in the first week of August that the game would be fuelled by BCH. Finally, the game was rolled out on October 10 and is now available on PC and Android devices.

Sandbox is a genre of game where a minimal limitation is set on the gamer. The in-game character is allowed to roam and change the gaming environment at will. In the sandbox game, a user can select any task on his own. SimCity, GTA, and Scarface are some examples of sandbox gaming; a similar layout is provided in Realmx.

One doesn’t need BCH for getting hands-on of the game. However, BCH can help in upgrading levels and farming in-game assets. Additionally, the farmed assets can be stored on the BCH chain. The engineers working for the development of Realmx elaborated that they have been testing its compatibility with the platform and the current version is the “official release on BCH mainnet.”

The gameplay starts in the Stone Age with a variety of unique monsters. Just like any other online game, you need to create a username and password. After registration, you have to choose the in-game name and gender and then, a tour guide will pop-up and brief you about the gaming environment. As a new user, your first task is to capture a rabbit in the game. You will get a health bar, which deteriorates whenever you are attacked. The gameplay is turn-based, as in Injustice 2 or Pokémon Go.

After the completion of the first mission, you will be provided with a plot of land, where you have to sow seeds to cultivate plants similar to Hay Day or Farmville. Afterward, you have to breed and catch animals and where BCH comes into account. For catching animals, you need upgraded items and weapons that can be easily acquired using a small fraction of BCH. For now, Realmx provides a collection of four adventures namely ‘Plain of Dawn,’ ‘Mist Forest,’ ‘Desert of Fire,’ and ‘Blue Relics.’

The interesting part of the game is the integration of BCH with the game. It allows gamers to upgrade weapons easily and the feature makes the game more robust. Additionally, gamers can earn Bitcoin Cash by playing the game. The in-game crafted weapons and exclusive items can also be traded with other Realmx players.

Aventus has issued ‘Aventus Classic,’ a fully decentralized open-source protocol to bring more transparency in the ticketing sector. This move will establish new parameters for the exchange of tickets on a public blockchain with a transactional speed of 100 tickets/second. It will also bring less dependency on layer two solutions.

Aventus Classic is an innovative code, based on Ethereum Blockchain aiming to develop a decentralized application with trust and certainty.

The announcement made by the Aventus protocol foundation said, “this release marks our first real step in engaging with the open-source community as Aventus Classic will be open to contributions from everyone and will no longer solely developed by our official partners.”

A competition has also been organized to build DApp on the ticketing system opening the code for everyone. Informative technical blogs will also be written in the coming months relating the development.

The competition is open to all blockchain developers and will be conducted from September 12 to November 12, 2019. The winner will be awarded Ether worth of $15,000 and 2 VIP tickets of the ‘Satoshi awards ceremony’ in 2020. The winning DAppp will be used as the ticketing platform during the ceremony.

“With this release, we are excited to start properly realizing our vision for a more equitable and decentralized ticketing industry,” said Annika Monari and Vey, Founders of Aventus.

Touting and ticket frauds is a big threat to the UK’s 4.5billion music industry and Monari and Alan Vey are hopeful that Aventus will effectively eliminate ticket frauds and unregulated touting.

Aventus is also in the process of building a network which will be a layer two solution for Ethereum similar to plasma. It will be released by the end of this year.

Similar attempts to use the blockchain technology have been made by Ticketmaster, a global ticketing major.

Due to the increased demand for trading, many forex and crypto trading platforms have cropped up, but not all are reliable. Due to the wide range of available platforms, it gets very difficult to select the right one for the traders.  There are few online brokerage firms which have very high minimum deposits while there are others which offer limited services to their clients. A reputed trading platform with advanced tools is needed for convenient trading.

GigaFX, which offers multiple tradable assets for trading, is one of the most prominent online brokerage firms. The firm allows the users to trade in various tradable asset, including indices, valuable metals, forex, soft goods, and cryptocurrencies. This firm has gained a lot of popularity among traders due to its good services. The firm was established in 2019 with an intention to attract maximum investors and to enrich the trading experience of skilled as well as novice traders. The exceptional services offered by GigaFX makes it a unique brokerage firm.

GigaFX has everything that a good brokerage firm should offer. The team of experts is always ready to answer the queries of the traders. The traders can contact the support team through email, live chat, and calls. The support team clears the doubts within minutes. The impressive features offered by the firm makes the GigaFX one of the distinct trading platforms.

GigaFX offers different types of accounts to its traders, which they can pick according to their trading experience and backgrounds. All the accounts are different from each other in terms of features and tools available. The basic account is suitable for beginners, as it is easy to use. The demo account offered by the GigaFX helps the traders to learn the process of trading without having to risk their real money.

GigaFX is one of the few firms which allow trading in such a huge number of financial instruments. The firm also offers to trade in some of the rarest assets, including cannabis stocks. The trading platform offered by the firm is well-equipped with advanced tools and features. The firm provides an MT4 trading platform to its clients, which is very popular among the traders due to several useful features that it offers.

GigaFX is one of the best trading platforms for all kinds of traders. It enhances the trading experience of the traders by offering its extraordinary services.

A blockchain startup company based in Amsterdam, Bitfury Group, has recently created its first artificial intelligence (AI) unit, Bitfury’s top official informed the news in an interview to Reuters.

The startup company, back in November 2018, successfully managed to raise a fund of worth $80 million from various investors, including Macquarie Capital, Galaxy Digital, Armat Group, and others. This resulted, the company to be valued at $1 billion and recently, the startup firm became Hyperledger blockchain project’s member.

The AI unit of Bitfury will work along with existing blockchain solutions of the company and will remain associated with the firm.

Co-founder and CEO of Bitfury Group, Valery Vavilov mentioned the demand to examine and retrieve the value from dozens of available data made Bitfury firm to shift to AI.

The launch company’s AI unit was followed by the launch of ‘new music entertainment’ unit of the firm named ‘Bitfury Surround’ in 2019.

Vavilov further told,

Data is becoming the next oil. We have collected so much data, but only 2 percent of all this data has been analyzed; 98 percent is sitting idle and waiting to be analyzed.

According to Bitfury CEO, the best and most productive technique to examine the data is via AI.

Vavilov mentioned, ‘we also need to trust that data, so that’s where blockchain comes in.’

In 2019, one of the tech industries that attracted huge funding is AI. CB insights- a research company, revealed that 2019’s Q2 noticed a record-break investment of $7.4 billion in AI startup firms and maximum investments were recorded in the field of transportation and healthcare companies.

However, Bitfury’s CEO mentioned that the AI division is currently in ‘research mode’ and he will have more clarification over the wide range of Artificial Intelligence services that Bitfury seeks to offer by 2019 or at the beginning of next year.

Bitfury Appointed Tech Expert for Its AI Unit

The blockchain-based startup firm further announced that it had appointed Fabrizio Del Maffeo- a tech expert as the head of Artificial Intelligence. Prior to his appointment, Del Maffeo was serving AAEON Technology Europe as the Vice President and Managing Director. It is the Artificial Intelligence and IoT (Internet of Things) computing firm across Asus Group of Taiwan.

Bitfury provides numerous blockchain-based services, also manufacturers’ computer and crypto-currency mining hardware. It also operates crypto mining data centers. The company was established in 2011 and one of the popular security and infrastructure service providers for the bitcoin blockchain.

Artificial Intelligence is a computer science branch that focuses on the designing of intelligent machines, functions similar to human beings.

Vavilov mentioned in a statement,

Just as blockchain technology enables us all to fix our most broken and distributed systems, artificial intelligence will bring new and extraordinary benefits to nearly every facet of our lives. To help this incredible technology achieve maximum impact, Bitfury is expanding our mission to offer hardware and software solutions designed especially for AI applications.

Bank of England’s Chief Economist and the Monetary Policy Committee member of the bank, Andy Haldane, during an interview with Crypto Briefing, mentioned that Cryptocurrencies has ‘enormous potential.’ Andy Haldane is also the Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics. They will keep monitoring the fastest growing digital market in the world.

Bank of England (BoE) releases the British Pounds and is Great Britain’s Central Bank. The bank was established 320 years ago, and most of the other leading Central Banks of the world have adopted its model.

He has continuously emphasized that financial institutions are sure to support crypto assets development.

Haldane stated: The Bank of England has a positive attitude towards the emerging technology and also supports them because they assist in driving the services offered by financial institutions forward especially in this area of payments like digital currencies

The Chief Economist then underlined that authorities need to restrict the risk of a young industry and should back sector having tremendous possibility such as crypto industry. The crypto industry should receive maximum support.

In 2015, Haldane shared his opinion on cryptocurrency, and now for the second time, he has expressed his view.  In 2015, he mentioned there was negotiation taking place between banks in order to release first of its kind sovereign cryptocurrencies.

He did not focus on any crypto project but recommended that to integrate with the emerging technology such as digital currency with the existing mainstream system, it’s better to start with payments.

He clearly stated about cross-border payments, “where the cost of doing that is currently largely borne by poor people and needs to change.”

A few months ago, the Chief Economist advised that digital currencies might pose a risk to investors, and in March 2018, representative of Bank of England’s Governor Mark Carney issued notice on digital currencies. Later Haldane mentioned that cryptocurrencies do not cause a threat to the financial platform of the world with regards to digital currencies current growth.

Haldane further mentioned currently, the BoE can only track and keep watching companies, financial institutions, and other central banks on how they handle with the emerging technologies.

Haldane started to develop a positive approach towards these technologies back in 2015, and in 2018, for the first time, he shared his opinion to investors.

Regulations for the leading cryptocurrencies differ from country to country. Large scale businesses have a liberal approach. Countries like China and India have called for a ban on trading with cryptocurrencies and imposed strict regulations.

On 9th June, governors of central bank and finance ministers of G20 officially urged the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to regularly track the crypto asset industry and advice the authorities to approach digital currency in a better way.

The G20 finance ministers also stated they are sure of applying FAFT’s data compliance requirements to digital currency payments. More likely, these requirements will be validated by the end of June. Further, these date requirements might play a significant role in ‘preventing and combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.’

Recently, Ted Budd pointed at the need for tax clarity to the House of Representatives, U.S. According to him, cryptos should be treated like any other foreign currency, and the Se Minimis tax exemption should be applied to them as well.

What is the De Minimis Tax Rule?

De Minimis is a Latin expression. It basically means something suggestion of the “minimal things.” The rule talks about the minimum threshold that can help in recognizing if a “discount bond should be taxed as capital gain or ordinary income.”

If the discount is not more than a quarter point as per complete twelve months from the time of acquiring and the time of maturity, then as per the De Minimis Tax Rule, the discount can’t be considered as a market discount for tax purposes. Rather, the growth from the buying rate to the maximum rate should be considered a “capital gain,” in case it is kept for more than twelve months period.

Ted Budd’s suggestions:

He suggested that the “discount bond should be taxed as capital gain or ordinary income.” He mentioned that he had co-promoted the “Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act.” This, according to him, as a result, will push the “Internal Revenue Code (IRS) of 1986.” Further, personal crypto-based buying could be taxed. At the moment, it is not getting taxed. Moreover, at the moment, cryptos are considered as property by the rules, and therefore, the cryptos do not stand a chance to get exempted by the De Minimis Tax Rule.

Further, as the cryptos are treated as properties, there comes a need of people who make use of the digital currency for doing several things such as purchasing fiat currency or indulging in goods and services. The need of people is to know how much tax should be paid based on the transactions made.

Double Taxation:

He also touched on the topic of ‘double taxation.’ Why double taxation? Well, as the cryptos are getting treated as properties as per the rule, the transactions of both buying and selling are getting treated by the Internal Revenue Code. On this, he said that this is leading to imbalanced tax practices and therefore discourages the participation in the blockchain related activities.

As per him, the crypto-based transactions should be treated as any other transactions. To support his point, he gave the reference of H.R 7361 (Virtual Value Tax Fix of 2018 bill.) As per this bill, cryptos can be deferred for tax as per the section 1031 of the ‘Internal Revenue Code Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.’ If these solutions are not applied then, as per Budd, the crypto transactions will be facing forty percent sales tax.

He raised this concern to the level of ‘national economic issue.’ He further added that it should be dealt with utmost care before the blockchain innovation moves to places such as Singapore and Malta.

There’s good news for Ethereum traders and investors, and now they can celebrate over it as the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is ready to accept Ethereum futures, internal officers of CFTC mentioned.

In December, last year, the US CFTC had held a market feedback forum. The CFTC issued a ‘Request for Input’ (RFI) and requested all blockchain based experts to understand more about the second largest cryptocurrency of the world, as per market cap and other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum network and ether. The form had various questioned related to blockchain technology, risks, use cases, markets, opportunities all concerning to Ethereum network and Ether. The ‘Request for Input’ signaled out the willingness of CFTC to sanction Ethereum futures.

As of now, Ethereum is an unregulated crypto asset, once CFTC sanctions Ethereum futures, Ethereum will come directly within the federal jurisdiction.

The CFTC controls the US derivative markets, and it had permitted bitcoin futures markets to introduce at the end of 2017, the increase of bitcoin price to $20,000 mark is due to the sanction of Bitcoin future. As of now, Cboe Global Exchange and CME Group have offered funds to Bitcoin Futures.

With the approval of Bitcoin futures, the regulator is looking ahead to control another similar ethereum product, authorities mentioned.

“I think we can get comfortable with an ether derivative being under our jurisdiction,” the person stated.

The official further added that they don’t make strong statements; what we do is examine the applications that are before us.

He briefed saying that a derivative exchange reaches to us and tells us that we seek to introduce this specific product and if they arrive at us with a specific derivative that meets our requirements, then I believe that the derivative will have a good opportunity of getting approved or self-certified by the regulator.

The CFTC is the federal body that looks into cryptocurrency regulations. CFTC is a bit more generous in its approach as compared to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Meanwhile, the officials of CFTC said that they might only respond to a particular application that is placed before the federal bodies instead of freely giving opinion, the person mentioned.

If a regulated futures product is planned and sanctioned, then Ethereum futures might get a fresh round of institutional money within the Ethereum ecosystem.

John Todaro, digital currency research director of Tradeblock, a financial software provider, said that most investments have mandates which do not permit them to purchase the virtual currency.

Looking over the long term operation, he mentioned that a CFTC monitored futures market could bring more confidence within regulators like that of SEC and may enable to open opportunity for ETF- a fund traded over the stock market and may bring in more liquidity to ethereum.

Increase in the institutional cash flow will in-turn support retail investors, John mentioned.

Few people even discussed that the bitcoin price might be harmed due to futures, responding to this John said bitcoin value had reached its highest level and the sanction of futures just happened at that time.

Earlier, the chairman of CFTC, Chris Giancarlo said that the US is ahead of any other country in the world, but there are few areas where we need to apply a thoughtful approach.

The latest report mentions about the three major official partners of Singapore government based blockchain accelerator Tribe, namely BMW Group Asia, Nielsen and Intel. Tribe will be taking over US Data Company Nielsen, automotive giant company BMW Group Asia and Technology firm Intel. Singapore backed blockchain accelerator Tribe will get support from these global companies.

Tribe Accelerator revealed the development news on Friday stating that the three global companies will be sharing their knowledge and relevant subject skills in their specific field with Tribe’s startup to assist in building an inclusive ecosystem which will be ready for industry 4.0.

The reports also say that one of the major automation firms, BMW Group Asia will be responsible for providing ‘masterclasses’ and also mentoring sessions on how blockchain based solutions can be applied in a mass market situation. The statement was verified and confirmed by Vice President of group IT and head of Asia Pacific region, BMW Group Asia, Carsten Sapia by stating that

“We hope that we will be able to assist these startups in developing their proofs-of-concept and help them in reaching the next level of the development cycle.”

Meanwhile, another global technological corporation Intel will be providing technical and business related mentorship to these startups.

Each of the new partners of Tribe has planned to offer masterclasses and dedicated mentoring courses. The global firms will also take part in a global demo event which will be covering events across Seoul, Shanghai, San Francisco and Singapore.

On the other hand, The US data company Nielsen will be offering a sandbox. The main aim of the sandbox is to offer a secure and controlled environment for the participants so that they can test new technologies and speed up the adoption of their resources.

The director of the blockchain program of Intel, Michael Reed said,

“some of the Intel technologies such as Intel Scalable processors and Intel SGX will help the blockchain solutions to enhance their privacy, scalability and security.”

The managing partner of Tribe Accelerator, Ryan Chew also commented,

“In order to move ahead as a community, the experimentations need to be encouraged by us, and when the advantages of blockchain technologies become visible then adoption of the mainstream will surely take place.”

The Tribe blockchain was first introduced in December 2018; by TRIVE Ventures- a South-east Asia focused venture capital company which was supported by the government of Singapore.

The main objective of the platform is to help the growth of the next stages of startups by offering a hyperconnected platform wherein the advanced innovations can be held the platform intends to support blockchain based solutions to widespread markets.

This is not the first partnership of Tribe with the global firms. The latest reports state that Tribe has collaborated with ConsenSys and Ethereum development studio. The partnership of Tribe with ConsenSys will eventually help to enhance the blockchain ecosystem in Singapore. Tribe is also a government organization whose objective is to improve the blockchain industry of Singapore. Tribe Accelerator is being supported by Singapore blockchain Enterprise.

Core formulators of Ethereum (ETH) have delayed the commencement of the Constantinople hard fork by the time February reaches its end. The up-gradation is at present position to be put into operation on ETH block 7,280,000, which is stated by a group leader at Ethereum, Peter Szilagyi, as per a tweet on the 18th of Jan.

In his statement, Szilagyi put in plain words that the commencement is going to put into practice at block number 7,280.000 that is supposedly predicted to be excavated on the 27th of Feb, 2019. The up gradation is going to apparently be put into operation as “a solitary fork on main-net as well as a post-Constantinople-fix up fork into the test-nets to get a hold of them into a line feature-wise alongside the primary system.”

The most recent deadline comes into the picture as a result of an unforeseen postponement because of a newly revealed safety susceptibility permitting a reentrancy assault, which got identified in Constantinople’s system by a smart agreement auditing agency named as ChainSecurity.

The susceptibility supposedly permits a possible attacker with all means to rob cryptocurrency from a smart agreement on the system as a result of repetitive asking for finances from it at the same time as providing it fake information concerning the malicious player’s real ETH balance. To scrap the loophole, the commencement of the up gradation got delayed even more to an extended period.

The forthcoming Constantinople hard fork is said to be an up gradation to the ETH system, that encircles a large variety of Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) to alleviate the changeover from the present proof-of-work (PoW) to the further power proficient proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.

By the time it’s put into full practice, it is anticipated that the developments are going to supposedly and essentially alter the Ethereum blockchain, which is additionally going to put off any kinds of rearward affinity-sensing that system codes be required to either upgrade in a synchronized manner in the midst of the whole network or continue to operate as an individual blockchain unit.

As Cointelegraph stated throughout the previous few weeks, some of the chief cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, Huobi, and OKEx have established their sustainability of Constantinople and is moving on the right track.