Ethereum Competitor Polkadot Closes Token Sale at $1.2 Billion

Ethereum Competitor Polkadot Closes Token Sale at $1.2 Billion

Polkadot Protocol, the first project out of Web3 Foundation (W3F), closed its second private sale of tokens selling 500,000 DOT (five percent of the total supply). This operation confirms an evaluation of around $1.2 billion. This based on a report from crypto publication The Block June 27, 2019.

Successful Round for Polkadot 

Polkadot, a future multi-chain platform, just closed a successful private sale of 500,000 DOT tokens bringing its total evaluation to nearly $1.2 billion. The figure invested was not specified, but considering the number of tokens sold, it is estimated that Polkadot raised around 60 million dollars at 120$ per token.

The Web3 Foundation is the Swiss association in charge of the project and which manages the token sales. Select investors were chosen for this round to buy large volumes or other projects that could build on Polkadot’s protocol. One such project includes the AragonOne project, a DAO creation and management platform, which aims to launch its native blockchain, Aragon Chain, on Polkadot.

Jack Platts, Web3 Foundation Director of Communications, explained that the team is working on strategic partnerships to ensure that once the project goes live, there will be enough members in the community to build parachains, an innovative scalability solution that facilitates seamless transactions between different blockchains.

Tokens are distributed in the form of Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs) which means they can be redeemed once the protocol goes live. However, not everyone seems to respect this condition. Over the counter (OTC) trading desks are currently swapping DOT tokens for anywhere from $75 to $120 against the will of Web3 Foundation.

With this round, a total of 5.5 million DOT tokens were sold, and it is expected that 1.5 million will be available for later sale. The rest of the three million is reserved for the Web3 Foundation to oversee Polkadot’s development.

Ethereum Competitor

Polkadot has captured the interest of various investors and members of the crypto community by presenting itself as an innovative project capable of building a blockchain network that can enable other blockchains to work in conjunction with one another.

As explained previously on BTCManager, the protocol leverages a staking feature called Nominated Proof of Stake (NPoS), which allows for a more decentralized governance implementation relative to PoS consensus.

Polkadot joins the list of the main competitors of Ethereum together with Tron, EOS, Cosmos, and many others.

The launch is scheduled for the end of 2019 and only then will the crypto space be able to see if the proposed solutions are indeed valid.

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Bitcoin Must Break Above $12,444 Or Else Price Breakdown May Occur, Claims Prominent Analyst

Bitcoin and the aggregated crypto markets have been facing tremendous volatility over the past several days and weeks, with BTC oscillating between the $10,000 and $12,000 region, making relatively large moves between each of these two price regions.

Now, the prominent analyst who predicted Bitcoin’s recent bull run is warning investors that Bitcoin may be forming a dangerous chart pattern that historically results in price breakdowns across different markets, and that a surge is needed to invalidate this possibility.

Bitcoin Plummets Below $11,000… Again… 

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down nearly 8% at its current price of $10,960, which is down significantly from its daily highs of $12,200 that were set yesterday.

While looking at Bitcoin’s weekly price action, it is clear that BTC is once again nearing a region of historical support that must hold, as it previously found strong buying pressure in the low-$10,000 region.

Additionally, BTC will be closing out its weekly candle today, which means that bulls must step up the buying pressure over the course of the next several hours or else the downwards pressure could continue to extend due to technical weakness.

Josh Rager, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about the importance of tonight’s weekly close in a recent tweet, explaining that he believes the next downside target exists at $9,500.

“$BTC – price just broke below $11,500. Want to see Bitcoin regain momentum and close above this level by weekly close tonight. Monthly close is looking good, strong month of June but BTC still has ability to retrace to $9500 in coming weeks. Keep an eye on this area,” he explained in a recent tweet.

Prominent Analyst: BTC May Break Down Due to Historically Bearish Technical Formation

Peter Brandt, a prominent analyst who predicted Bitcoin’s recent bull run, recently told his nearly 300k Twitter followers that Bitcoin is currently forming a historically bearish technical formation that has result in downwards breaks in other markets.

“The analogue concept is a foundational premise of chart analysis — that forms tend to repeat, even in different time frames. Nasdaq 100 in 1999-2000 vs. BTC currently. Advance above 12444 violates possible analogue $BTC Forewarned = fore-ready,” he explained in a recent tweet while referencing the below chart.

As the weekend wraps up and a fresh week of trading kicks off, it is highly likely that this aforementioned chart pattern will either be validated or invalidated, so how BTC responds to its current downwards pressure in the near-term is critical for its near-term price action.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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BitMEX: The One Trillion Dollars a Year Cryptocurrency Exchange

The Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (BitMEX), a leading cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, has recorded over $1 trillion in trading volumes over the past 365 days, and a whopping $6.9 billion over the last 24-hour period, according to its CEO Arthur Hayes.

Via the microblogging platform Twitter, Hayes revealed the data, adding in the last 30 days, BitMEX traded $164 billion worth of cryptocurrency-tried perpetual futures contracts.

BitMEX notably broke records earlier this year, trading over $10 billion in a single day back in May. The exchange’s performance may be being added by volatility in the cryptocurrency space, as in the last 3’ days Bitcoin’s price went from less Than $7,000 to a $14,000 high, before plummeting to under $11,000 and then recovering.

At press time, one bitcoin is being traded for $11,180, and despite the volatility the flagship cryptocurrency has seen its price rise about 32.6% in a month. So far this year, it’s up by over 200% as it has been recovering from a year-long bear market.

BitMEX’s performance may also be being aided by the growing popularity of the bitcoin futures market. According to CryptoCompare’s April 2019 Exchange Review, most leading exchanges trading crypto derivatives saw their volumes grow month-on-month.

While the exchange with the highest volume was bitFlyer Lightning, which trades XBTJPY perpetual futures, BitMEX came in second place thanks to its XBTUSD perpetual futures contracts.

Bitcoin futures volumes

In his tweet, Hayes also noted that he’ll be seeing Nouriel Roubini, ‘Dr. Doom’ on Wednesday, July 3. This, as both will have a debate during the Asian Blockchain Summit in Taipei. The debate is widely expected in the cryptocurrency community, as it’ll focus on the fundamental value of crypto, and both have wildly differing views.

Arthur Hayes is a cryptocurrency bull. He worked his way up the conventional banking ladder and then founded BitMEX, which has stood out in the cryptocurrency space. Earlier this year he predicted BTC would again see the $10,000 mark – which it did.

Nouriel Roubini, a professor of economists at the New York University Stern School of Business became a well-known cryptocurrency bear after claiming he believes bitcoin isn’t truly decentralized and is the “mother of all scams,” and after calling the blockchain a “glorified excel spreadsheet.”

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Charles Hoskinson on Bitcoin Maximalism, Internet trolls and Designing a Cryptocurrency for Global Adoption


Charles Hoskinson on Bitcoin Maximalism, Internet trolls and Designing a Cryptocurrency for Global Adoption


Charles Hoskinson Card.png

There are few people in crypto who can lay claim to having founded three successful ventures in the space. Even fewer can claim to be driving the technical vision of a top project while living on a horse ranch in Boulder, Colorado.

One of the most recognisable figures in crypto, we spoke with IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson about his remarkable story. An early Bitcoin adopter and advocate, the mathematician turned entrepreneur has been instrumental in founding BitShares, Ethereum and Cardano. 

As his most recent venture approaches a critical juncture in its transition to Proof of Stake, we discussed a range of topics, including entrepreneurship, global adoption and dealing with the pressures of being a crypto personality. Here are some of the insights we gained from speaking with Charles.

On his initial attraction to crypto…

Charles describes his entry into crypto as ‘accidental’. He told us about his road from educator to founder, beginning with the creation of a popular Udemy course before starting the Bitcoin Foundation’s Education Committee. He explained what it was about this emerging industry that attracted him to devote his time and energy:

“[By 2013 it] became clear that this wasn’t just a philosophical discussion about how do we rewrite the DNA of the world commercial system and our identity systems that are all these other systems. It was now actually an industry if you wanted [you could] quit your job and go work full time and start businesses and try to be on the front line of rewriting these types of things. So that’s exactly what I did.”

“It had really sexy interdisciplinary problems. I mean, it’s very rare that you get to talk about distributed systems and programming language theory, but at the same time game theory and economics and monetary policy, and you get to be an armchair lawyer, talk about regulation, and KYC, and AML. So I said, ‘Wow, this is really cool all-you-can-eat buffet of intellectual challenges’”

On starting his first business…

On entering the space, Charles began networking with a number of people who went on to become well-established crypto personalities, like Andreas Antonopoulos, Erik Voorhees and Roger Ver. His first step into entrepreneurship, surprisingly, came from a Chinese venture capitalist who’d watched his videos and wanted to support him financially to build a crypto business:

“Okay, I am in an odd position where I have a half million dollars allocated without an actual business. So I have to go find a business to fetch the money. I said, ‘okay, here’s what I’ll do: I’ll ask my students and also ask the general community’. I created a thread on Bitcoin talk called Project Invictus.”

Through this thread he met Dan Larimer, now best known as the architect behind EOS, and together they created BitShares. He ultimately left the project and went on to work with Vitalik Buterin in the early stages of Ethereum before starting his own consulting company, IOHK. He recounts the professional journey he’s gone to until today:

“I’ve been here [in IOHK] since 2015, basically building cryptocurrencies and advising venture capital people, doing scientific research and launching protocols on top of cryptocurrencies. It’s been a very strange path; the numbers have certainly got bigger, we’ve gone from two people to 200 people and we operate in about 20 countries.”

“I’ve gone from knowing nothing about regulation to, in some cases, advising on writing new regulations for industry, and I’ve gone from knowing nothing about being an entrepreneur to now being in my third company, and all those companies have produced successful products.”

On Cardano’s progress versus other protocols…

He launched this third venture, Cardano, in 2017. The project received a lot of attention due to the rigorous theoretical approach being applied to the protocol. Two years later, the project has written several papers that have gone through peer review at major academic institutions and is now moving into its ‘Shelley’ phase of its development, which enables staking pools. Charles believes it’s already surpassing other protocols:

“The point of Cardano is to say all right, let’s take a step back. And let’s not be in love with past; let’s use it as a as a measuring stick. And let’s go to the Academy. And let’s do some really rigorous foundational research into different approaches to try to achieve scalability, interoperability and sustainability, with the feature set that we got from the theory.”

“We did some internal benchmarking and we discovered that for about five to 10 kilowatts of power, you could run the entire Cardano network with a proof of stake protocol, and this network would be about 100 times more decentralized, have 15 times more throughput and settle about 12 times faster than Bitcoin settles.”

While there have been challenges, he’s ready to compete with the other popular smart contract platforms:

“We haven’t moved as fast as we’d like to move. But I think we’re actually moving faster, frankly, than pretty much everybody else in the space, considering the things that we’re doing. Ethereum is still working on Casper, they’ve been doing it longer than us by a factor of about two years. Despite that fact, we’re probably more mature on the Proof of Stake side than they are; we have a fully implemented version of our proof of stake. It’s been peer reviewed, theirs has not been.”

On overcoming the technical challenges…

In crypto, we often talk about the ‘trilemma’ of decentralisation, scalability and security. 

Charles explained how Cardano is addressing these challenges using several protocol innovations such as Proof of Stake, interoperability with other protocols through sidechains, smart contract scripting using specially-developed languages Plutus and Marlow, along with innovation at a network level to avoid the risk of centralisation: 

“If you have a million users, you’re going to end up having a petabyte size blockchain. If your blockchain is so heavy the only way to successfully use the system is to have a full node, well, then you’re actually going and seeing only five people or six people are going to have it – Microsoft, Amazon, Google and the NSA.”

“The problem [in existing Internet infrastructure] is those solutions tend to centralize the web around a host of powerful actors that basically are super nodes. Well, in practice for cryptocurrencies we’re actually doing that – we’re centralizing our ecosystem around a collection of trusted centralized actors.”

“You actually need network innovation; you need to find ways of sorting out how are we going to move from this ‘everybody’s the same’ network to a system that can admit some sort of hierarchy and special actors. Yet, no one actor can shut the system down or be in control, or deanonymize transactions or use network analysis to know who sent that transaction.”

On why faster isn’t always better…

While scalability is an important goal for many projects, including Cardano, Charles thinks that security should be the critical concern when developing financial products:

“Speed is something that comes up a lot, but a lot of cases, when people talk about adoption speed, they’re not really talking about sustainable adoption…What’s safe software to release? Because the problem is if I make a mistake, you could lose money.”

“The market validates long term, not in the immediate, top 10 of coinmarketcap, but rather something over five years or 10 years. And actually, the slowest moving cryptocurrency is still the most successful. Bitcoin moves at a glacial pace. Yet it’s here, it has a high degree of trust and faith and reliability.”

On Bitcoin Maximalism…

While Charles began his crypto involvement in Bitcoin, he’s still critical of some of the attitudes within the Bitcoin community. He explains how the staunch ‘maximalist’ position came about as the market grew, polarising those trying to innovate the space from those trying to maintain the status quo:

“Maximalism started from that perspective of people weren’t innovating, they weren’t bringing new ideas to the table, they were basically just rehashing old things. And they were relaunching it because they missed getting in on Bitcoin early. Then what happened was that very subtle changes started occurring, where people started exploring completely new cryptography, completely new consensus algorithms, completely new philosophies.”

Charles feels this ‘anti-altcoin’ stance, which overlooks valuable innovations in the space, is holding Bitcoin back: 

“The reality is, the vast majority of legitimate projects in the space are innovating, and they’re innovating much faster and bringing things to the table in a much elegant, more concise way than Bitcoin has been. Bitcoin could be a trillion-dollar cryptocurrency, it’s never going to capture the core innovation – what we all signed up for – about rewriting the world financial system. It’s lost that momentum.”

“Meanwhile, the rest of us are inventing entirely new protocols and utterly new ecosystems getting 10s of thousands and hundreds of thousands of users and exciting Microsoft and IBM and others to come in and do things with us. So, the world is moving on. If Bitcoin doesn’t want to move on with the world, it will end up becoming basically a victim of its own success in that respect.”

On Internet trolling…

Being a well-known – and often outspoken – figure in the crypto space has both its benefits and drawbacks. Charles has often found himself a figure of derision, but tries to maintain perspective:

“The problem with cryptocurrency culture is you’re taking the internet troll culture, the 4chan culture, and you’re mixing that in with fanboys that are almost like soccer hooligans, and then you’re taking the cult of personality, so it becomes less about the philosophy of ‘Where do we want to take the world?’ and ‘What problems do we want to solve?’”

“I have received enormous personal criticism from people. If you go to cryptocurrency Reddit and start a thread, you will probably get to 300 comments that are negative about me; everything from a sociopath to I’m a scammer. I’m a monster. I mean, I’m running around Africa dealing with some of the poorest people in the world giving away most of my products for free. But apparently, I’m right next to Satan and Hitler, and I’m a huge scammer, and so forth.”

“You know, it’s the price you pay, whenever you want to change things, and you want to make the world a better place, you’re going to have criticism, and you’re going to have naysayers. And you’re going to have people who say really harsh, nasty things about you.”

On changing the world…

Despite these negative aspects, his focus is firmly on furthering Cardano’s objectives. He has already begun to see the places where his protocol can receive the greatest adoption and have the biggest impact: 

“There’s almost no cryptocurrency adoption right now. But [Pan Africa and Asia is] probably the place where we’re going to see the highest cryptocurrency adoption by demographic in the next 10 years. And currently, there’s no competitor, we have a monopoly – we can walk in, and we can take that entire market. And we have ways of getting mass adoption.”

SMC Capital Partner Explains Why Weekend Bitcoin Trading is Booming

bitcoin Bitcoin

SMC Capital Partner Explains Why Weekend Bitcoin Trading is Booming

Mikhail Mironov of SMC Capital says weekend trading volumes for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, is indicative of growing retail trading especially from Asia.

Chinese Retail Interest in Bitcoin on the Rise

In an exclusive chat with Bitcoinist, SMC Capital partner, Mik Mironov, explains why he believes weekend cryptocurrency trading has exploded over the last month. First off, he points to a rise in Chinese retail interest in bitcoin as one of the leading catalysts for the recent boom.

Mironov, a partner at a New York-based blockchain investment fund, says a new wave of crypto exchanges are coming online in mainland China. This is in spite of the blanket ban on crypto trading and initial coin offerings (ICOs) imposed by Beijing back in 2017.

Explaining further, Mironov revealed:

Retail trade from China is on the rise and deserves our close attention. Ever heard of Biki, Bliss, and MXC or These are all the new crypto exchanges in mainland China launched in recent months. They already run business with millions of users acquired by deploying large marketing campaigns, and that’s amid the infamous crypto trading ban. To add, is a fiat to crypto platform accepting Chinese RMB.

The SMC Capital partner also highlighted the entry of “new crypto traders” into the market. These fresh participants weren’t part of the 2017 bull run and will likely have more novel trading patterns and habits that might set them apart from the general herd.

Mironov also provided another proof of increased BTC interest in China based on a parabolic rise in searches for bitcoin and crypto on WeChat – the country’s largest social media platform with over 1 billion monthly users.

Bitcoin YTD

History: Repeating or Rhyming, End Result Remains the Same

As for the 2017 bull market, the consensus is that FOMO-driven hype contributed to the bull market frenzy, where every cryptocurrency recorded new all-time highs.

The hysteria around ICOs played a part in driving the cryptomania, and Mironov believes initial exchange offerings (IEOs) might be having a similar impact on the market now.

Apart from China, Mironov also identified India as another FOMO trigger for bitcoin. The VC’s stance draws heavily from the fact that the country’s government appears to be headed down a path of a total ban on cryptos.

With local exchanges shuttering since 2018, crypto traders in India seem to be turning to foreign-based platforms. This trend has led to growing user traffic and trading volume for some of these exchanges.

As previously reported by Bitcoinist, BTC price reached a $500 premium in India last week. According to Mironov:

In the second quarter of this year, KuCoin has seen a doubled monthly traffic due to the recent Bitcoin bull run. The global exchange’s daily trading volume reaches 200 million, almost tripled compared to the number two months ago. KuCoin now already has 5 million users globally and it continues to grow rapidly. In emerging regions like SEA and South Asia for instance, KuCoin experienced drastic user growth in the last couple of weeks.

Bitcoin Falling below $11,500

Over the last 7-day period, bitcoin topped $13,900 before a price retrace saw the top-ranked crypto fall almost 25%. Bulls will be hoping BTC is in an around the $12k mark with the hourly chart showing bitcoin in danger of slipping below $11,500.

Do you think the influx of new retail trading money from China will see bitcoin top $20,000 in 2019? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Tradingview. Shutterstock