What Are Initial Exchange Offerings (IEO)?

Hands Holding a red Book Open

The ICO’s heyday in 2017 saw various digital assets emerge only to crash in 2018 thanks to the bearish crypto market. ICOs raised billions of dollars in a relatively short time and brought the crypto market cap to over $800 billion before it fizzled out. As the ICO candle was burning out, several other fundraising

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Source: BTC Manager

Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank On-boards 59 New Crypto Clients

Briefcase full of Crypto Signage

Silvergate Bank has for the first time named a few of her clients in an SEC filing. The bank had remained supportive of crypto-related businesses at a time when other financial institutions turned their backs. Deposits Declined 8 Percent The crypto-supportive bank revealed in its March 18, 2019 filing to the Securities and Exchanges Commission

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Source: BTC Manager

This Short Animation Might Make You Think Twice About Taxes

This Short Animation Might Make You Think Twice About Taxes

A Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporter recently noted that the biggest hindrance to cryptocurrency adoption is tax laws and reporting taxes on digital currency usage. After reading the commentary, Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver shared a four-minute video about the subject of taxes in order to spark questions in the minds of people who might not understand what taxes are and why they have hindered the crypto economy.

Also read: 5 Popular Crypto ATMs That You Can Purchase Today

This Short Animation Teaches About Taxation and Why People Believe it Is Immoral

On March 10, the Bitcoin.com Official Youtube channel aired a brief video called “George Ought to Help,” an animated short on taxes and a universal agreement called the Non-aggression Principle. Bitcoin.com’s owner Roger Ver shared the video because a lot of cryptocurrency advocates have been talking lately about how taxation is not helping the crypto economy flourish. In fact, the process is constraining the digital currency industry with old school shackles that don’t fit this technology. The animated short “George Ought to Help” explains the idea of taxation in very simple terms by not leaping to conclusions but by merely asking a few thought-provoking questions.

This Short Animation Might Make You Think Twice About Taxes
Have you seen the short film “George Ought to Help?” Check it out here today.

The video asks you to imagine that you have a friend called George that you’ve known since childhood. However, you two are not as close as you were back when you were children, but you still meet George from time to time and get along very well. But one day while hanging out with George, another mutual friend named Oliver approaches who explains that he’s had a run of bad luck. Oliver details that he’s raising money for tuition fees for his kids and you decide to help Oliver out by giving him some money. George, however, does not offer any help and you try and persuade him but George just won’t budge. The video then asks an important question:

Imagining yourself in this situation — Do you think it’s okay to threaten to use physical force against George to get him to do the right thing?

In another example, the video asks you to imagine a slightly different situation. In this example, a group of your friends take a vote and 6 out of 10 are in favor of threatening George to get him to help Oliver. Again, another interesting question arises from the situation and the video’s narrator asks: “Does this democratic process make it okay to threaten George?” And with one last change to the concept, the video’s narrator supposes this time that thousands of people have democratically agreed that a group called the ‘agents’ shall do whatever is necessary to take money from George and give it to Oliver’s family.

This Short Animation Might Make You Think Twice About Taxes

The agents don’t explicitly threaten George at first as all they do is send him a bill. Like everyone else, George knows what will happen if he doesn’t pay the bill. First, he will get more letters demanding payment and the bill will get bigger. Eventually, if he still doesn’t pay, the agents with guns will break into his house and take him away against his will. Almost everyone pays the bills without question because they know that agents are prepared to use as much force as necessary to overpower those who resist. The video’s narrator poses another question to the viewer:

Do you think it’s acceptable for the agents to threaten violence against George if he doesn’t give his money to helping Oliver’s family?

Bitcoin’s Peaceful and Permissionless Existence Is the Exact Opposite of Compulsory Tax Collection

The video further explains that if a forced redistribution of wealth is approved by society then people must also accept that violence made against peaceful individuals is okay. Right now, in nearly every nation state, the use of violence, force, and coercion is how taxes are collected. Most of us feel uncomfortable with making these threats on our own, so with the so-called democratic system, people can accept the process when violence is executed by agents of the state. Over the last few decades, a growing number of people have came to believe that taxation is immoral because it is a form of theft due to its inherent use of threats of violence that transgress against property rights.

This Short Animation Might Make You Think Twice About Taxes

The animated short “George Ought to Help” shows how enforcing compulsory tax collection goes against society’s underlying non-aggression axiom or the golden rule. Known as the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), it holds that it is immoral to initiate or threaten force against a peaceful individual’s property, even when a large majority of people vote to use force. However, as a large society, we have found that using ‘agents’ and so-called ‘representatives’ helps people ignore the NAP, because the person doesn’t have to accept responsibility for their actions if they decide to initiate violence. Using the ballot box to enforce taxes is far easier than attempting to collect these funds on your own.

Bitcoin allows for peaceful and voluntary trade in a permissionless manner and the idea that regulations and taxation will help bolster the crypto economy is absurd. Compulsory tax collection is the complete opposite of the inherent nature of Bitcoin and the technology’s peer-to-peer innovation. There is a reason taxes and cryptocurrencies mix like oil and water and the four-minute animated film gives a great explanation to why this is the case. People should forget about the complicated process involved with crypto taxes and question the very nature of taxation because to this day the system continues to encourage violence and the use of force against peaceful individuals.

Do you want to learn more about taxation, the NAP, and voluntaryism? Check out the links below for more resources including the short animation “George Ought to Help” by Tomasz Kaye.

What do you think about the video “George Ought to Help”? Let us know what you think about taxation and the non-aggression principle in the comments section below.

OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. Some of the opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.

Image credits: Tomasz Kaye: Voluntaryist and Creator of “George Ought to Help,” Bitcoin.com, and Pixabay.

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post This Short Animation Might Make You Think Twice About Taxes appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Borderless From Block Collider Is a High-Speed DEX That Unites 5 Blockchains

Borderless From Block Collider is a High-Speed DEX That Unites 5 Major Blockchains

Borderless isn’t like other decentralized exchanges (DEXs). For one thing, it comes with its own blockchain – or rather the Block Collider chain comes with its own DEX. Throw in the ability to perform cross-chain transfers, block times that are 3x faster than Ethereum and no limits on order size, and Borderless would appear to be markedly different from the competition. News.Bitcoin.com was given a walkthrough of the new DEX, which is due to go live in the next few weeks.

Also read: Nash Is a Decentralized Exchange for Cross-Chain Trading With Fiat Integration

Welcome to the Multiverse

To understand Borderless, it’s necessary to know a little about Block Collider. The project, whose ICO hit its $7M cap in minutes last April (with over $500M pledged) is now operational, with its Multiverse block explorer showing the network’s current state of play. In addition to the shooting stars that occasionally whizz across the screen, there’s a few other peculiarities to the Block Collider network and its Multiverse explorer, whose defining feature is its interoperability. 2019 will see a string of blockchain projects come onstream that promise to eliminate the “walled garden” effect that renders networks incapable of communicating with one another. Cosmos, Polkadot and Block Collider are leading the movement for cross-chain play.

Borderless From Block Collider is a High-Speed DEX That Unites 5 Blockchains

Block Collider’s solution is to create a blockchain whose mining algorithm consumes blocks from other blockchains as part of its mining computational challenge. Its website explains: “Miners who submit a bad block as their proof of work will be rejected by other miners and won’t get the block reward. As the difficulty rises, the same incentive framework that strengthens the Bitcoin blockchain will reinforce alignment with miners of the Block Collider.” The project has launched with five blockchains initially – BTC, ETH, WAVES, LISK and NEO – with an unnamed sixth to be added later. Block Collider essentially enables smart contracts on separate networks to talk to one another, which has a number of significant applications, not least when it comes to decentralized token trading.

Borderless From Block Collider is a High-Speed DEX That Unites 5 Major Blockchains

How Borderless Works

Borderless by Block Collider is a high-speed DEX that strives for a higher degree of decentralization than, say, Binance DEX. That’s because Borderless doesn’t have validators or centralized oracles to act as gatekeepers. Binance DEX, in comparison, has 11 validators all controlled by the exchange itself. Borderless, which is weeks away from full public release, enables cross-chain transfers between Bitcoin Core, Ethereum, NEO, Lisk, and Waves, has a simple UI that’s easy to use, and no restrictions on order size or trading volume.

News.Bitcoin.com caught up with Block Collider co-founder Arjun Raj Jain to learn more about how Borderless works and observe a platform walkthrough. “You simply download the application for either Windows, Mac or Unix,” began Jain. “Then you upload your wallet, but nothing is being stored or sent to a centralized server. When you are uploading your wallet, what you’re doing is just encrypting it locally, so that anytime you then submit a transaction, you don’t have to type in your private key.” Like Nash, Borderless creates a mnemonic phrase upon setup that can be used for wallet recovery.

Borderless From Block Collider is a High-Speed DEX That Unites 5 Major Blockchains

Visually, Borderless looks much like a conventional exchange, with an order book that displays buy and sell orders and market depth. There are some additional settings that are unique to Borderless, however, such as the ability to set the maximum amount of collateral for the trade, which is denominated in NRG, the native currency used to reward miners; the project also has a second currency, emblems.

“Emblems allow miners to increase their block size, hence earn more energy, the more emblems that they hold,” said Jain. “So you can think of it as a hedge against your decaying hardware. And it also serves the purpose of the whole debate that Bitcoin maximalists have on what the block size should be, right? So instead of having a fixed size, we thought it would be a lot more interesting to instead have a dynamic block size that is controlled by emblems.”

Borderless From Block Collider is a High-Speed DEX That Unites 5 Blockchains

A Blockchain to Control Blockchains

To verify the state of each blockchain within the Block Collider network, without reliance on some sort of central entity to oversee matters, Jain explained, “we actually bake that into the proof of work algorithm that the miners are doing where anytime any of the underlying blockchains issues a block, the task of the miners is basically to find a hash that is closest to that. This permits you to be the miner that can release that block, so it’s kind of the same brute force mechanism that Bitcoin miners have to do for proof of work to find a hash that ends in a certain amount of zeros.” He continued:

So by combining a proof of work, and then having this capacity to also verify the state of each blockchain, you now have a completely decentralized mechanism to actually know the state of all these blockchains out there.

Jain then proceeded to run through the process of placing an order on Borderless exchange, describing settings such as specifying the minimum order fill amount, which could be set at, for example, half of the total order. It’s also possible to specify the amount of time the order should be live for. Should it fail to fill in that time, it will auto cancel and the NRG will be returned to the trader. Borderless is now available to download and trial in safe mode, so users can familiarize themselves with the system, ahead of the exchange going live for trading. When it does, Borderless will face competition from several other DEXs due to launch soon including Binance DEX and Nash, which was also previewed this week by news.Bitcoin.com.

What are your thoughts on Block Collider’s new DEX and the other decentralized exchanges on the verge of launching? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service.

Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

The post Borderless From Block Collider Is a High-Speed DEX That Unites 5 Blockchains appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

BCH Is Now Supported by a Large Crypto ATM Network in Switzerland

BCH Now Supported by a Large Crypto ATM Network in Switzerland

Cryptocurrency ATM operator Värdex Suisse has introduced BHC support to its devices. The company is a financially regulated entity that provides access to digital assets through its teller machines, POS services and partnerships with retailers in Switzerland and abroad.

Also read: American Electronics Giant Avnet Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments

Bitcoin Cash Available on All Värdex ATMs

“Bitcoin cash (BCH) is online and available now on all our ATMs!” Värdex Suisse announced in a tweet on Tuesday. The company claims it maintains the largest crypto ATM network in the Alpine nation. Its website shows 26 ATM locations in major Swiss cities such as Bern, Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lucern, and Lausanne.

The company’s devices support the purchase and sale of three other leading cryptocurrencies as well: bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH) and litecoin (LTC).

BCH Is Now Supported by a Large Crypto ATM Network in Switzerland

Värdex Suisse AG, originally founded as Bitcoin Suisse AG, has been operating independently since 2017 in order to meet the high demand in the retail sector for the kind of services it offers. The company is a member of the Financial Services Standards Association (VQF) and part of the Crypto Valley Zug Community.

Värdex also says its mission is to make buying and selling digital currencies “as seamless and easy as a regular visit to a bank ATM.” It is doing that through a number of partnerships, a recent example being the recently announced crypto exchange service offered by Liechtenstein’s post office with the help of the Swiss company.

350 ATMs Across Europe Support BCH

Switzerland is one of several countries in Europe that have made efforts to create favorable conditions for crypto companies and blockchain businesses. Its Crypto Valley, centered in the Canton of Zug, has expanded significantly over the last couple of years. It currently numbers about 750 companies including those based in neighboring Liechtenstein.

The business-friendly conditions and regulations have catalyzed the growth of the crypto-related services offered in the country. They include payment and teller services providing secure access to digital coins and increasing their mainstream adoption.

BCH Is Now Supported by a Large Crypto ATM Network in Switzerland

According to data compiled by tracker website Coinatmradar, there are currently 52 bitcoin ATMs and crypto tellers across Switzerland. Around half of them now support purchases and sales of bitcoin cash.

The number of BCH trading devices has been growing in Europe as well, reaching around 350 across the region. However, the Old Continent is still lagging behind the U.S. where almost 1,200 ATMs offer bitcoin cash.

Is the number of ATMs supporting BCH growing in your region? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Värdex Suisse.

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post BCH Is Now Supported by a Large Crypto ATM Network in Switzerland appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Blockstream’s New Green Wallet Is ‘Probably the Most Secure’ On the Market

blockstream green wallet bitcoin

Bitcoin HODLers rejoice. Now there’s an even safer, easier way to store your private keys–the all-new Blockstream Green Wallet for iOS and Android.

Blockstream Releases Green Wallet

Rebranded from the GreenAddress Bitcoin mobile wallet, this all-new version promises to offer a more seamless UX and heightened security. It’s arguably one of the safest, sleekest, and most convenient mobile wallets for storing and tracking Bitcoin transactions.

Like its predecessor, this wallet uses 2-of-2 multisig by default. Perhaps one of it’s most impressive features, though, is that the Blockstream Green keeps one key on your device and the other on the company’s servers.

This means that if you lose your mobile device or it gets stolen, no one can get their hands on your funds.

There’s also a host of 2FA methods available within the app from Google Authenticator to email, phone call, or SMS, depending on your preference.

According to the company post, there are “too many features” to mention. However, it reassures current users that:

We’ve retained the same multisig security that our existing users know and love, while packing in a whole host of advanced features that should get our power users excited.

Support for Trezor and Ledger

For those of you used to using the Trezor One or the Ledger Nano S, the good news is the Blockstream Green wallet works like a charm with both.

If you’ve already ordered a Ledger Nano X, you’ll have to wait a little longer until the Green is compatible. The company is currently working on support for later models.

Developed by original cypherpunk and Hashcash inventor Adam Back (one of the most respected names in the space), you don’t need to undergo KYC to use this wallet. In fact, all you need is an email address for wallet recovery purposes only.

Let’s be clear. If you’re looking to store and trade a host of altcoins, this isn’t the wallet for you. But if you’re looking for the best in cryptographic security for your Bitcoin, it doesn’t get much better than this.

According to Back:

As a cypherpunk, cryptographer, and pioneering Bitcoin miner whose technology is still used today, you couldn’t ask for a more qualified person to design your wallet security.

Back’s creation Blockstream is a pioneer in the industry with the mission of “creating the financial infrastructure of the future”–all based on the most secure blockchain there is–Bitcoin.

Will you be trying Green Wallet? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Blockstream’s New Green Wallet Is ‘Probably the Most Secure’ On the Market appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

It’s 2019 and IBM Is Still Trying to Find a Use Case for Blockchain

IBM Brings the Ridiculous 'Blockchain Hype' Back Like Its 2016 All Over Again

IBM claims that six banks will issue stablecoins using its World Wire protocol which is based on the Stellar network. According to the tech giant, three banks have publicly committed to the initiative, and the remainder will reveal themselves soon. The announcement joins the resurgence of blockchain razzmatazz this year that feels eerily similar to the last time distributed ledger technology (DLT) was the cat’s meow back in 2016.

Also Read: Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

IBM’s Race to Remain Relevant: From the ‘Largest Commercial Uses of Blockchain’ to Private Banks Issuing Stablecoins

With JP Morgan’s newly announced coin and Digital Asset replacing Blythe Masters with new CEO Yuval Rooz, it seems blockchain hype is steaming up once again like a warm pile of cow manure. One prime example is IBM recently making headlines when it announced that six banks signed letters of intent to produce stablecoins using the IBM protocol called World Wire. The barrage of IBM’s meaningless blockchain announcements over the years shows the fervor with which the multinational tech firm has tried to remain relevant. A few people might recall the distributed ledger mania three years ago when IBM told the world it planned to launch “the largest commercial uses of blockchain” by September 2016, back when everyone was gaga for enterprise blockchains that have produced nothing but media puffery.

However, according to IBM’s vice president of blockchain technologies, Jerry Cuomo, and a slew of online publications, the system promised in 2016 was allegedly supposed to free some of the “$100 million in capital tied up at any given time in transaction disputes in the IBM Global Financing unit.” IBM even released a blockchain platform available for cloud developers that looks like a cheesy Javascript copy of the NXT blockchain with a quirky VS Code extension. IBM also started the Open Blockchain Initiative and worked with the Hyperledger project that year. But like the storm of Hyperledger announcements, R3 signing 60 banks, and projects like Citigroup’s ‘Citicoin,’ IBM’s largest commercial uses of blockchain seem to be all fluff. While public blockchains like BCH, BTC, and ETH have settled trillions of notional value in a permissionless manner we should probably ask: What have all these corporate blockchains done in the last few years?

It's 2019 and IBM Is Still Trying to Find a Use Case for Blockchain
The lackluster IBM Blockchain 2.0 beta platform. Media publications are often eager to report on these so-called blockchains but rarely test them or even look at the protocol.

Technobabble Blockchains With Zero Innovation

Now IBM is using the Stellar protocol and claims that the “IBM Blockchain World Wire makes it possible for financial institutions to clear and settle cross-border payments in seconds.” Reading IBM’s World Wire homepage is like having a horrible flashback to 2015, however, where it’s blockchain mania all over again. The usual reasons stated for utilizing IBM’s blockchain include lowering clearing costs, cheap cross-border payments, and the ledger reduces a lot of time. IBM’s website insinuates that unlike those crazy libertarian bitcoiners, the corporation is willing to work with the current financial incumbents.

“Bitcoin mania has led some to believe that banks are no longer needed for secure global money transfer — Banks, however, disagree,” explains IBM’s World Wire website.

Of course, the general population and even the media publishing IBM’s blockchain fluff pieces about their quest to secure the globe’s money transfer system only get a gist of what the company wants the public to see. As with most enterprise blockchain projects, it’s all closed door deals and the media gets a technobabble press release about some banks using the platform. Whether it be IBM, Hyperledger, R3, or JPM coin, there’s nothing exciting about these enterprise blockchain solutions. Yet we read about these vacuous initiatives every day in some of the most prominent crypto and financial news outlets.

It's 2019 and IBM Is Still Trying to Find a Use Case for Blockchain

Many of the projects are downright absurd, like when everyone got excited about Bumble Bee tuna products being verified on the blockchain. Private blockchain swaps and financial banks trading stablecoins add nothing new to the table: take away the fancy wrapped DLT packaging and all you’re left with is a generic database. Cryptocurrency advocate Andreas Antonopoulos composed a tweet in 2016 that encapsulated the blockchain hype at the time.

‘Major banks complete first international transaction using a blockchain’ — You mean, the same thing bitcoin has done several million times?” Antonopoulos mocked.

The bitcoin evangelist continued:

Correction: Banks paid consultants thousands to do once what bitcoin does for pennies every day, thousands of times, better.

Right now there are many projects that are permissionless and have an open ledger for everyone to verify. Just because a blockchain project is backed by traditional big name incumbents doesn’t give it an edge over public cryptocurrency systems that have been around for a decade. The DLT-embellished stories large tech companies like IBM and banks like JP Morgan churn out are little more than a feeble attempt to stay relevant.

What do you think about IBM’s blockchain attempts over the years and other well known corporations developing enterprise digital ledgers? Let us know in the comments section below.

OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, IBM Cloud, and IBM logos.

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post It’s 2019 and IBM Is Still Trying to Find a Use Case for Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Seven Reasons Why Startups Fail

Using analysis from 101 startup post-mortems, CB Insights recently published a report on the top 20 reasons startups fail.

It was remarkably dissimilar to a piece I wrote last month on the 19 biggest mistakes founders make. We agreed on only four items: running out of cash, ignoring feedback from customers, lacking a business plan and failing to nail down prices.

CB Insights listed broader and more conventional items than I did, so I thought it would be interesting to give you my quick (and less conventional) take on its top seven.

1. No market need. From the report: “Tackling problems that are interesting to solve rather than those that serve a market need.” Post-mortem quote: Doctors want more patients, not an efficient office.

My take: Founders aren’t as self-absorbed or stupid as CB Insights suggests. Did ride-hailing (Uber) or hotel choices (Airbnb) address clear and obvious market needs? No.

Many times, founders misidentify the problem, creating solutions that don’t meet the needs of customers. Take the above post-mortem quote. Doctors don’t want more patients – they want their workday to produce more earnings.

Seeing more patients is one way, but not the best way. How about creating remote visual consultations? Or monetizing after-office hours emergency calls?

Thinking in terms of efficiency is an incremental approach to the wrong problem. More radical solutions that attack real problems resonate with customers.

2. Ran out of cash. From the report: “The question of how should you spend your money was a frequent conundrum.” Post-mortem quote: [We weren’t] able to raise this additional funding despite multiple approaches and incarnations

My take: There are two things at play here. One is frivolous or unwise spending decisions. That’s squarely on the founders. But the second – not being able to attract additional investment dollars – is more complicated.

Some products just take longer to develop, go through beta, prove out and catch on. I’m convinced a lot of potentially great companies never got the chance to show their stuff because they ran out of cash through no fault of their own.

3. Not the right team. From the report: “A diverse team with different skill sets was often cited as being critical.” Post-mortem quote: I wish we had a CTO from the start.

My take: My favorite combination is two founders – one with loads of business experience, the other with top-notch technological credentials. More than two veers toward leadership by committee, which is not ideal. And fewer than two puts too much of the burden on one person.

4. Get outcompeted. From the report: “Once an idea gets hot… there may be many entrants in a space… Ignoring them [is] a recipe for failure.” Post-mortem quote: It was far easier to have a good experience on [the company’s competitor].

My take: 19% of startup failures are attributed to this. But all the startups I’ve dealt with were keenly aware of the existing competition. And most of them had a good idea of where future competitors were coming from. Some competitors had poorer products but better funding. Other competitors came from overseas.

As an investor, I ask a ton of questions about the competition. I also ask how often the company iterates. It’s one of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition.

5. Pricing/cost issues. From the report: “Startup post-mortems highlight the difficulty in pricing a product high enough to eventually cover costs but low enough to bring in customers.” Post-mortem quote: Customers who churned never complained about the price. We just didn’t deliver up to their expectation.

My take: I said the same thing in my 19 founder mistakes post: “Rolling out a product at a price that encourages demand, produces a profit, and can reach a large and growing customer base should be the goal of every startup.” It’s amazing how many startups drop the ball on this.

When I ran my own business, I wanted my products to be cheaper and better. If I couldn’t compete on price, I made sure I was offering something superior. Sometimes that wasn’t good enough, especially when I was competing against better-known brands. It’s not easy. But startups have to find a way, even if they don’t succeed the first dozen tries.

6. User-unfriendly product. From the report: “Bad things happen when you ignore what a user wants and needs.” Post-mortem quote: Looking back I believe we needed to clear the decks, swallow our pride, and make something that was easier to have fun with.

My take: We still haven’t escaped “why isn’t this obvious” territory. The only acceptable excuse is the one that comes in the crypto space, when the entire industry is so new and the infrastructure so underdeveloped that it’s impossible to fully address ease of use concerns.

7. Product without a business model. From the report: “Failing to find ways to make money at scale left investors hesitant and founders unable to capitalize on any traction gained.” Post-mortem quote: [We] didn’t scale because we were single channel dependent and that channel shifted on us radically and suddenly.

My take: Building a product and building a business require two distinct skill sets. Founders or CEOs who can do one can’t necessarily do the other. An unproven business model is both one of the most exciting and one of the most terrifying things a founder must address.

Filling in the Blanks

This is just a fraction of the dozens of ways a startup can go down the wrong path. As investors, we can’t foresee every wayward path. Even if we ask the right questions, the feedback we get from the startup can be misleading.

That’s because for startups, clarity often only comes in the rearview mirror, never in real time. I’ve never met a founder who doesn’t think they’re meeting a market need, and I doubt I ever will.

But this is also what makes startup investing so interesting. We have to fill in the blank spaces as best we can and fit the pieces of the puzzle together without having a complete set.

Good investing,

Andy Gordon

Co-Founder, Early Investing

The post Seven Reasons Why Startups Fail appeared first on Early Investing.

Source: Early Investing

Binance Opens ‘New’ Cash-for-Crypto Service in Australia (That Already Existed)

buy bitcoin in australia binance

Binance has announced the launch of a ‘new’ platform in Australia to buy Bitcoin with cash across 1,3000 Newsagent locations across the country. The exact same service, however, already existed for over year. 

Binance Sets Foot in Australia

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Binance, has launched a cash-to-crypto platform in Australia, called Binance Lite Australia.

The service allows users to purchase Bitcoin with cash through a network of over 1,300 Newsagents stores across the country.

Per the release, the service currently only allows users to buy bitcoin using Australian Dollars (AUD), but it plans to support more fiat purchasing options and other digital currencies in the future.

Speaking on the matter was Binance’s CFO, Wei Zhou, who said:

Binance Lite Australia further expands digital currency adoption by providing easier ways to buy bitcoin. We are excited to continue to roll out more fiat to crypto gateways around the world to support the growth of our industry. […] We firmly believe that more adoption will lead to more innovation and more economic opportunities.

Some customers have already shared pictures online of their receipts after purchasing BTC using Binance Lite.

Nothing New Under the Sun

As it turns out, the service which Binance touts to bring “adoption of cryptocurrency use in Australia” already existed.

Bitcoinist reported over a year ago that a local exchange called bitcoin.com.au has enabled Australians to purchase bitcoins at Newsagents shops in Australia.

Unlike Binance’s offering, however, bitcoin.com.au also allows users to buy Ethereum. They can also use other payment methods such as online POLi payments, vouchers, electronic funds transfer through BPAY and OTC/ATM cash deposits to any Commonwealth Bank branch. Users are also allowed to sell Bitcoin.

Furthermore, it does seem like Binance has taken example from the previous service, as it does require the exact same KYC process, as well as setting the same minimum purchase limits.

Moreover, in October 2018, one of Australia’s oldest institutions, Australia Post, announced that its customers will be able to buy bitcoin on participating exchanges using its Digital ID service.

Bitcoinist has contacted Binance for comments but did not resceive any response at press time.

Prepare to Reveal Yourself

If anonymity is what you’re looking for, however, you might consider other options. Binance Lite Australia, as well as bitcoin.com.au, require users to go through a thorough Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure.

Per the FAQ section of the platform, in order to complete the verification process, users are required to submit “up to 1-2” government issued ID document numbers, which may include your Driver’s Licence, Passport, or Medicare card.

Moreover, users are also required to confirm their residential address and share their mobile phone numbers.

As it also turns out, the platform isn’t that cheap to use as well. Binance Lite Australia will be charging its users a flat fee of 5 percent plus a Goods and Service Tax (GST) on every purchase.

For comparison, Coinbase charges credit and debit card buys on its platform a flat 3.99 percent fee.

Alternatives Exist

Luckily, there are still various alternatives users can use to purchase Bitcoin with cash in Australia without having to reveal their identity.

One option is decentralized escrow platform Payfair, where users can purchase Bitcoin with cash without having to go through KYC verification.

Another peer-to-peer exchange that Australians can use is HodlHodl. It’s a global P2P cryptocurrency exchange, which has no KYC requirements. LocalBitcoins is also a P2P option. Both of these don’t require you to go through identity verification at the beginning, but their terms of service mention that the platforms “may” require your ID in certain events.

What do you think of Binance’s new platform in Australia? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Binance Opens ‘New’ Cash-for-Crypto Service in Australia (That Already Existed) appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Bitcoin-Friendly US Bank Silvergate Now Serves Over 500 Crypto Companies

Bitcoin Friendly US Bank Silvergate Now Serves Over 500 Crypto Companies

Silvergate Bank, headquartered in San Diego as a California state-chartered bank, started its cryptocurrency-related business in 2013. Now over 500 companies from the digital assets industry are using its services as one of the very few “bitcoin-friendly” banks based in the U.S.

Also Read: American Electronics Giant Avnet Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments

Silvergate Files Amended IPO Prospectus

Silvergate Capital Corp., the parent of Silvergate Bank, filed an amended IPO prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 18 with updated data about its operation. According to the figures presented in the document, the bank’s openness to the cryptocurrency industry has continued to help it with attracting new customers.

Bitcoin-Friendly US Bank Silvergate Now Serves Over 500 Crypto Companies

In total, Silvergate had 542 clients working in the digital assets sector as of December 31, 2018, which is up over 12 percent in three months from the 483 clients it reported as of the third quarter of the year. The bank also already had 232 prospective digital currency customers by the end of 2018, going through various stages of its onboarding process, which includes extensive regulatory compliance due diligence.

Exchanges Drag Figures Down

Among its 542 clients, Silvergate Bank lists a group of 37 digital currency exchanges, including the five largest U.S. domiciled digital currency exchanges, such as Bitstamp, Circle and Genesis. The second biggest group is 142 companies developing new protocols, platforms and applications; mining operations and providers of other services, including Xapo and Paxos. The biggest group of clients is 363 institutional investors such as hedge funds, venture capital funds, private equity funds, family offices and traditional asset managers, including Kenetic and Polychain Capital.

Bitcoin-Friendly US Bank Silvergate Now Serves Over 500 Crypto Companies

Interestingly, the smaller group of 37 exchanges is dragging down the financial figures in terms of total client deposits that Silvergate Bank reported. As of September 30, 2018 it had $792.9 million in deposits from digital currency exchanges, $572.7 million in deposits from institutional investors and $227.5 million from the group of other companies. By December 31, these client deposits figures changed to $618.5 million, $577.5 million and $273.9 million respectively.

What do you think about the latest figures from Silvergate? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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The post Bitcoin-Friendly US Bank Silvergate Now Serves Over 500 Crypto Companies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com