The Right Way to Think About Crypto Tokens

Consumers might be the biggest winners when crypto tokens are designed correctly. At least that’s the case made by a new paper by MIT’s Christian Catalini and the University of Toronto’s Joshua Gans, which describes a simplified model that illustrates what might be a valuable price discovery role that utility tokens, or those that operate as true commodities in the spirit of bitcoin and ether, might enable. Not only that but the paper, called “Initial Coin Offerings and the Value of Crypto Tokens,” goes so far as to predict a…

Read More

Naval, ICO VCs Fund Censorship-Free Blockchain Relay BloXroute

There’s one part of bitcoin that isn’t censorship resistant – its relay network. At least that’s according to the team at BloXroute Labs, which just brought its network for relaying information between blockchain nodes out of stealth with an impressive group of investors including AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant, Metastable, 1Confirmation and Flybridge Capital. Through these investors, the company raised $1.6 million. But the new network is more ambitious than the capital suggests. Called BloXroute, the project aims to make relay networks censorship-resistant against any number of powers by blinding the system…

Read More

Social Media Giant Snap Confirms It’s Banned ICO Ads

Snapchat just became the latest social media giant to ban ads for initial coin offerings (ICOs). Cheddar reported Monday that parent firm Snap Inc. has been quietly implementing the policy since February – restricting only advertisements for crypto-token sales, while allowing those related to cryptocurrency more generally. When asked by CoinDesk, a company representative confirmed that Snapchat is indeed prohibiting ICO ads, but did not comment on whether it plans to expand the ban to other crypto activities. So far, though, the firm’s stance is relatively lenient compared to other social…

Read More

Ethereum and Stellar? Mobile Messenger Kik Embraces Two Blockchains

One crypto token on two different blockchains? While it might sound unlikely, social messaging app Kik has announced it’ll be doing just that with its “kin” token, which allowed the company to raise $98 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in September. After some back and forth about which blockchain the company wanted to host its crypto token on, Kik has decided to use ethereum (on which the tokens were first launched) for liquidity and stellar for transactions. The decision comes only a few months after CoinDesk reported that…

Read More

Waking Dragon? Asia’s Token Economy Is Charging Full Speed Ahead

Far East dealers in crypto assets have been on the receiving end of severe regulation and yet the region appears undaunted – at least, that’s if the Token 2049 Hong Kong conference is any indication. Indeed, at day one of the event Tuesday, there wasn’t much evidence of the so-called “crypto winter” being mooted in the west. In fact, China’s “tokenomics” movement appears to be in good health, even with the outright ban on ICOs and trading on exchanges. That’s not to say that the market hasn’t been affected, though. On…

Read More

In Praise of the Cryptocurrency Bubble

Michael J. Casey is chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor of blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. I was at Token Fest in San Francisco last week. It was truly a “Fest.” The cocktails flowed at a VIP party the evening before opening. The next morning a band of mariachis and an elaborately costumed troupe of dancers led the first waves of a total of 1,800 attendees into the theater. There, they heard accounts of how, despite regulatory risks and a serious correction in most crypto-asset…

Read More

Wikipedia Rival Everipedia Plans Token Airdrop in June

Decentralized encyclopedia startup Everipedia plans to distribute its proprietary tokens later this year through an airdrop. Announcing the move Tuesday, the Wikipedia competitor said its IQ tokens will be part of an incentive program, which rewards users who improve the articles on the platform by curating information or editing previously published pieces. The startup will use the EOS network’s genesis snapshot tool to distribute the tokens. To redeem their tokens, Everipedia members must register their existing EOS tokens with the startup. Any user who purchases EOS tokens through June 2018…

Read More

Bermuda Drafting ICO-Friendly Legislation to Draw Crypto Businesses

A move toward ICO regulation is underway in Bermuda, the premier of the British Overseas Territory said last Friday. David Burt, who is also the minister of finance, provided an overview of a draft bill to the parliament’s House of Assembly, saying that legislators will take a “measured approach” to regulating the crypto industry in order to make the island “a global leader in the fintech space.” “Bermuda has an opportunity to become a global leader in the Fintech space by being one of the first countries in the world to…

Read More

Venezuelan Politician Blasts US Sanctions as Petro ICO Goes Public

A senior politician from Venezuela’s ruling party has denounced the sanctions imposed by the U.S. government against its recently launched national cryptocurrency, the oil-backed petro. As reported by CoinDesk, U.S. president Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday prohibiting American citizens and residents from purchasing or transacting in digital currencies issued by Venezuela. Diosdado Cabello, vice president of Venezuela’s United Socialist Party, decried the move on Twitter, saying: “Once again, imperialism is wrong in announcing sanctions and blockades against the brave and dignified Venezuelan people, the sell-out lackeys drool when…

Read More

Israeli Regulator: Utility Tokens Shouldn’t Be Deemed Securities

The Israel Securities Authority is recommending lenient regulations for initial coin offerings, including a clear definition of what separates a so-called “utility token” from a security. In a report released last week, the regulator even proposed a temporary sandbox, where regulators would allow entrepreneurs to experiment under supervision as the cryptocurrency market evolves. According to the ISA report, a utility token that “confers usage rights in a product or service offered by a specific venture” shouldn’t necessarily be deemed a security. Neither should tokens that are used solely for clearing,…

Read More