Mohammed and Fred, two residents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are two cryptocurrency ‘noobs’ that invested in late 2017, unaware the rally would fade all too quickly.The Tale of Two UAE Bitcoin InvestorsCryptocurrencies aren’t new. Wikileaks accepts bitcoin donations since 2011, but it only took the world by surprise in 2017 as the surge in news coverage followed the surge in price and market cap, and vice-versa.Enter Mohammed and Fred, two residents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Marvelled with the never-ending rally, these two cryptocurrency newbies, like many others alike, joined the club and invested in late 2017.Mohammed, a 30-year old trader from Pakistan, risked $10,000 in December after Chicago’s CME Group launched its Bitcoin futures contract: “I knew that would give the currency respectability and there would be a flood of people buying for fear of missing out. It was a chance to make some money but what I made, I then lost. It was fun but I will never go near that stuff again”, he told UAE-based news agency The National.Mohammed, who declined to give his full name, continued: “I invested $10,000, made 30 percent and sold a week later. Then I put the whole $13,000 in again a few days later.” This time, however, things didn’t work out well. The rally in the Bitcoin price quickly turned into a nightmare for the ‘noob’ as the price started plummeting in January. He took the money out and lost his 30 percent profit.Fred, a 40-year old British communications executive living in Dubai, has a similar story and, like Mohammed, did not reveal his full name. This quest for privacy has been quite frequent as many other crypto investors approached by UAE-based The National refused to discuss their portfolios or did not want to share their full details: “It’s not that I’m ashamed. It’s just that I’d rather keep it as my little investment secret”, said one Abu Dhabi-based Bitcoin investorFred invested $900 in Bitcoin in early November after hesitating to do so about six months ago due to the cryptocurrency’s “poor reputation”. Gradually, he built up his Bitcoin holding to about $4,000, which was worth about a third of its current price.“I was very skeptical about the links with purchasing on the dark web and the lack of security with a central bank. But the more I read up on Bitcoin, blockchain and other cryptocurrencies, I realized it was more likely to have an impact in the future of business and offered a genuine and secure opportunity for peer-to-peer lending without the need for expensive fees or currency transfer rates”, said Fred, 40-year old British communications executive living in Dubai.“When it spiked to $20,000 briefly, I thought about selling. Then it started to crash so I sold some at $15,000, with the profits paying for Christmas, he continued. “It was a bit scary when it went as low as $5,000. There isn’t much history of cryptos to go on, but what there is suggests January usually sees a crash/correction and then a recovery, which is what’s happening now. I bought some more when it rose back to Dh8,000 so I’ve got about a third of a coin.”Fred added: “Bitcoin is not far off returning to a price that will give me a profit again. It isn’t for the faint-hearted but I’ve got a clear figure in mind for its value when I exit. It’s a fun ride, but I’m aware it could all disappear overnight.”Despite the stressful period of the January lows, Fred is still invested in Bitcoin as well as in Ripple, after a tip from his brother-in-law.
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Celo, an open-source blockchain ecosystem focused on making decentralized financial (DeFi) systems and tools accessible to anyone with a smartphone, today announced $20 million in new backing from purchasers and partners including Andreessen Horowitz, Greenfield One, and Electric Capital. To date, Celo has garnered more than $65 million from backers including Polychain Capital, Reid Hoffman, Jack Dorsey, Coinbase Ventures, Social Capital, Dragonfly Capital, Version One Ventures, SV Angel, and Valor Capital, among others.
“We now have the technology to create a better financial system – a rich ecology of digital assets and products that allow individuals and organizations to more seamlessly transact and manage risk,” said Rene Reinsberg, co-founder of Celo. “It’s been great to work alongside hundreds of like-minded, mission-driven organizations and entrepreneurs all over the world to bring this technology to life.”
Since the initial development of the Celo Platform in 2017, the Celo community has developed and launched a Mainnet, a native asset (CELO), a stablecoin (cUSD), a mobile payments app, and has been listed on major exchanges including Coinbase and Binance. To date, more than 2M transactions have run across the Celo network, making it one of the most actively used decentralized payments platforms on the market today.
“When we first began supporting Celo two years ago, we saw the opportunity to build a ‘full stack’ global payments platform that anyone with a smartphone could use to send, receive, and store money,” said Katie Haun, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “Celo can dramatically reduce fees and fraud while also making payments instantaneous and global.”
“Celo’s mobile-first approach combined with cross-chain interoperability is truly unique,” said Avichal Garg, Managing Partner at Electric Capital. “A mobile-first philosophy means anyone can onboard into the Celo ecosystem quickly and with just a mobile phone number. Combined with the interoperability bridges that the Celo community is building, people anywhere in the world will soon be able to send Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital assets using only their smartphones. We are quickly moving to a world where cryptocurrencies and digital assets are accessible to anyone, globally.”
DVP – Decentralized Vulnerability Platform – is the world’s first decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)-powered vulnerability testing platform created to solve security issues of DeFi ecosystems. It is an international community of information security professionals (White Hats) that seeks to act as a bridge between the white hats and blockchain projects to provide an efficient and transparent blockchain security information platform, which will help improve the overall security awareness and build a better blockchain ecology. The DVP community of white hats can help blockchain projects identify the security vulnerabilities and deliver them to DVP. As reward, the white hat will be paid the corresponding bounty. Through this model, DVP seeks to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship for both the blockchain projects and the white hats.
How DVP works
DVP is an ecosystem where the community conducts multidimensional audits of smart contracts and protocols to notify blockchain projects about bugs, if any. With the surge in the value locked in DeFi projects, the venture will act to curb the alarmingly high number of security breaches. The bounty program launched by DVP invites white hats to conduct massive testing of blockchain products. Their review will give manufacturers an idea about where the project is heading. In return, they can claim token rewards while the manufacturers save costs, facilitating a win-win situation for both parties.
DVP makes use of blockchain technology and token-incentive schemes to establish an anonymous security crowd-testing platform. It connects blockchain vendors with white hat communities, efficiently reducing the hidden vulnerabilities and safeguarding the interests of the digital information industry.
2020 has been a phenomenal year for cryptocurrencies, not surprisingly, considering the global economic downturn forced by a pandemic. Market sentiment leaned towards unconventional assets, and the significance of decentralized assets reached a larger mass, not to mention the price rise of most digital assets.
The most important development in the crypto industry has definitely been the wide traction garnered by DeFi. Breaking geographical and financial barriers, DeFi opened up a new trove of possibilities for investors and crypto enthusiasts alike. Despite this, the fact remains that as DeFi grows, so does the number of hacks and security breaches in the ecosystem. Being an industry that is reliant on finance, blockchain, and the web, DeFi carries some potential security threats that could put hundreds of millions of digital assets in jeopardy.
The most efficient solution to eliminate the hidden dangers in the DeFi space is to find the vulnerabilities and fix them in advance. However, most start-up companies that offer security solutions today lack infrastructure and skilled professionals. Established companies may have years of capital and the latest infrastructure, but over-the-roof pricing and the complex processes involved are nightmarish. This is where DVP comes in. “By decentralizing the security testing process using the expertise of white hats, DVP has cracked the challenge of providing excellent services without the need to invest resources, which is difficult for any single company,” said Daniel, CEO of DVP.
The wave of international blockchain innovation is coming to the shores of the Mediterranean. In April this spring, Antalya is the place to be for Crypto enthusiasts, Crypto investors, IT specialists and trailblazers in the field of Blockchain IT technology and Cryptocurrencies. Come to Rixos Downtown for networking and recreation!
The organizers are German agency Lead Volume and Turkish blockchain-platform Centex, experienced online-market players.
Blockchain Wave at Rixos Downtown Antalya is a lounge style conference for 1,000 participants with a themed networking after-party on the Mediterranean coast. Listen to speakers from different regions of the world in a relaxed environment. At the exhibition, guests can find new partners and hold discussions in the comfortable networking lounges. Later on, Blockchain Wave participants will go to a themed after-party show, where you have the chance of getting to know partners and clients better in an informal party atmosphere. The mystery theme of the show is to be announced a month before the event.
- 14 speakers from Europe, Asia and the CIS
- 2 panel discussions
- 8 hours of useful content
- 30 promo stands at exhibition
- 3 networking lounges with drinks and snacks
- 1 unique costumed after-party show!
The main goal – the organization of a meeting place on the Mediterrenean coast where IT, blockchain and crypto currency specialists and influencers can to network and relax at. Antalya is an ideal location, with convenient international connections allowing guests from Europe and Asia to come together to negotiate partnerships, socialise and enjoy luxurious resort facilities and warm climate. logistics for the meetings, negotiations and leisure of guests from Europe and Asia. Here, the leaders of innovative projects can share their international experience, establish new business connections and enjoy their leisure time, before celebrating their deals at the impressive after-party.
Blockchain start-ups, crypto funds, investors, crypto exchanges and wallets, traders, miners, developers and visionaries.
- Crypto trading in 2021
- Investing in blockchain projects in current conditions
- New trends: DeFi, crowdfunding and tokensale-Mining in 2021
- The legal aspect of crypto-currency regulation in different countries.
- Decentralised solutions for the modern world-Blockchain and crypto-trading training schemes.
You are welcome!
The Crypto Finance Group brokerage, Crypto Broker AG, has been granted a licence as a securities house with a bilateral trading facility by FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The licence is recognition of the group’s consistently professional approach to crypto asset trading, liquidity provision, and innovation in financial services, making it a business-to-business partner of choice for institutional investors and leading financial players. This significant milestone caps a successful previous year for the group, with the brokerage trading over USD 1 billion in assets in 2020.
Crypto Finance is one of the few crypto brokers worldwide fulfilling the licencing requirements that securities firms active in the established financial markets do. Once effective, this licence also brings new business potential in trading security tokens.
“Getting the securities house licence for our brokerage is a pivotal moment for us. It means that we will be able to offer our professional – and regulated – services to even more financial institutions, enabling them to enter this new asset class. The licence also recognises our team’s dedication and expertise,” says Jan Brzezek, founder and CEO of the Crypto Finance Group.
Rupertus Rothenhaeuser, CEO of Crypto Broker AG adds, “Today’s announcement marks a milestone in achieving the Crypto Finance Group vision: providing professional products and services for the evolving digital asset universe. Given last year’s exponential growth in digital asset operations with our clients, we expect continued business expansion in 2021.”
Multichain Ventures Inc., a pioneer in blockchain, tokenized ecosystems and digital financial infrastructure, utilizing their proprietary patent pending commerce solutions, is pleased to announce that alongside another vendor, has secured a public sector contract with the State of Nevada to fulfill the requirements of Assembly Bill 466. The Bill creates a Pilot Program and legal framework within which legal cannabis entities and supporting businesses can eliminate the necessity of transacting exclusively in cash, through the implementation of blockchain-based financial technology services.
Multichain Ventures was an early participant in roundtable discussions which ultimately culminated in the AB466 proposal, contributing feedback during two events over the course of 2018. Early discussions centered on a variety of potential alternative solutions to issues facing cannabis operators. Co-founders Michael Wagner, CFA and Gabriel Allred, PhD consulted directly with more than twenty five public officials on the fundamentals of tokenized ecosystems, and the inherent advantages of speed, functionality, and transparency of such systems.
Cannabis remains a Schedule I federally controlled substance by the DEA in the United States. As a result, federally regulated entities, such as banks and payment processors, are reluctant to provide services to marijuana businesses, despite some form of legal status across 35 states.
The Cannabis 2021 outlook for federal reform is staging for major strides due to the new U.S. Senate revamp. Recent Democratic victories in Georgia give the Democrats 50 seats along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris holding the tiebreaking vote.
Recent cannabis public market activity increased, with investors feeling inclined to activate investment vehicles in response to Washington’s projected approval of policies and legislation opening commerce to increase business across the nation.
Without a Republican-anchored Senate, cannabis reform efforts stand a chance in congress. But not without grit, perseverance and time. The U.S. economy and the coronavirus pandemic are at the forefront of our Nation’s priorities. Historically, President-elect Joe Biden’s marijuana agenda includes a moderate approach:
- Legalizing medical marijuana federally
- Rescheduling marijuana
- Supporting states’ rights
Cannabis banking reform would enable more marijuana enterprises to use not only traditional banking sources but to also tap into additional sources of capital for business operations and expansion. However, we see a long road ahead until dispensaries and other industry supply chain operators can transact safely with our Nation’s biggest banks.
“Supply chain and financial managers struggle to implement strategic decisions, arrested by a regulatory environment characterized by commerce restrictions. Despite continuous obstacles the cannabis industry continues to see year over year growth driven by global demand. As we look forward into the cannabis economic mechanics we have the opportunity to build this industry with a best in class financial infrastructure benefiting the consumer experience, operator value chain and government regulatory mandates. ” Pablo Quiroga, Chief Operating Officer, Multichain Ventures, Inc.
The AB466 Pilot Program represents a first-of-its-kind solution to the rapidly growing cannabis sector, which continues to see expansion in state legalization. It is a major step in reinventing how cannabis operators conduct business. AB466 specifically calls for a tokenized, closed-loop financial ecosystem. Operators and supporting businesses will have the opportunity to optionally participate in the pilot. The system is designed such that cash deposits are converted to a fully collateralized stable token, which can then be freely transacted with other participants. Ecosystem parties are able to remove cash from the ecosystem through the redemption of stable tokens, and withdrawals to external facilities.
“The Pilot Program presents a tremendous opportunity for Multichain Ventures to demonstrate the enormous potential of blockchain and decentralized technology to solve problems facing the world today. Cannabis institutions have long faced stigma and have lacked access to financial infrastructure most businesses take for granted.” Michael Wagner, CFA – Co-Founder and CEO, Multichain Ventures, Inc.
The Bill saw considerable support from both legislators and local law enforcement during the legislative process in 2019, during which it passed without opposition at both the committee level and on the floor of both houses. Crime related to cash held at dispensaries and cultivation facilities has been problematic for operators. With large volumes of cash transacted daily, and no banking facility to deposit, they are a considerable target for criminals.
“We are very excited to launch this innovative pilot program to provide the legal cannabis industry a safe and efficient way to engage in financial transactions. It is our hope that this pilot program will not only increase public safety in Nevada, but will also provide government entities with a streamlined process to collect tax revenue.” Zach Conine, Nevada State Treasurer.
CUSTOM TAILORED TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION
Multichain Ventures developed a custom solution to satisfy the requirements of the Bill. Leveraging its established digital currency financial infrastructure (patent pending), and integrating the Solana Blockchain Protocol for smart contract deployment, they further developed a software suite dedicated to operators within the Nevada market. Functionality exists to view token balances, review invoices, conduct business-to-business transactions, and mint and redeem stable tokens. All processes are encapsulated in a robust compliance process that factors marijuana retail business (MRB) reporting requirements. Supply chain transparency and seed-to-sale tracking on blockchain will be implemented in the future. The platform is currently capable of integrating with METRC, a standardized government and regulatory reporting platform utilized in Nevada, and numerous other states.
The solution initially targets licensed cannabis operators, including dispensaries, cultivators, and production facilities. However, Multichain Ventures sees a great opportunity to expand into surrounding businesses, such as utility companies, landlords, payroll companies, ancillary service providers, and with the Nevada Department of Taxation for tax remittance. This ecosystem could further provide value to existing popular canna-tech companies, such as Distru and Akerna, as an enhancement to their platforms.
Operators should encounter little disruption to existing business procedures, as the onboarding process was designed from the ground up with the end user in mind. During the initial rollout, operators will continue accepting cash from the consumer as they do today. However, post-consumer transaction, the operator is presented with the ability to deposit reconciled cash with a federal bank facility provided as a resource within the Pilot. Cash becomes tokenized upon deposit, and can then be transacted electronically throughout the ecosystem. Upon completion of the lifecycle of the digital token, it will be redeemed for cash at a one-to-one value with dollars collateralizing the token.
Early feedback from the industry has been positive, with several operators interested in participating in the beta program. TapRoot Brands, a vertically integrated Nevada-based operator, sees the potential for such a system to resolve safety and security issues they face in cash handling and management.
“The strong growth that the cannabis industry has seen nationwide over the last year further reinforces the need for a solution to minimize or eliminate cash transactions and develop banking solutions ahead of federal legalization. Not only does the current cash-only system lead to public safety vulnerabilities for employees, dispensary customers and regulators, but it ties up valuable resources due to the time commitments of cash handling and documentation. TapRoot is excited to participate in the development of this pilot program, and assisting both the Multichain Ventures team and the Nevada State Department of Taxation implement a much needed solution for the industry.” Shane Terry – TapRoot Brands, CEO
While the immediate benefits of safe asset custody and electronic transactions are obvious, the long-term potential remains robust. Transactions globally are naturally trending towards electronic services, and digital currency itself is seeing increasing rates of adoption. The solution presented provides an optimal customer experience, convenience, safety, and security for both consumers and businesses alike. With near-instant settlement on transactions, and none of the fees typically associated with payments, the framework for global adoption of blockchain now exists.
Multichain Ventures continues expanding its service offerings within the financial technology suite. Portfolio management, exchange integrations, investment management, DeFi (decentralized finance) and yield generating opportunities are presently under development, in partnership with companies such as Brave New Coin. Multichain Ventures has positioned itself as the single source of financial infrastructure for businesses and consumers alike to access the rapidly expanding blockchain ecosystem.