Digital Currency Updates: Thailand Rolls Out Blockchain Crowdfunding Marketplace and More...
Another exciting week in the digital currency world has come and gone.
For this week's digital currency update, we're going to look at events from all over the world and explore how each country is embracing blockchain technology.
Let's kick things off in America with the Winklevoss twins, who just landed their latest patent.
Winklevoss Brothers Win Crypto Exchange Patent
For starters, if you're into digital currencies and don't know who the Winklevoss twins are, we suggest you listen up.
The famous twins are the founders of the Gemini exchange. They are also major players in the digital currency world, playing a critical role in the first (and the first rejected) Bitcoin ETF. That said, things are looking up for the twins these days.
On May 8th, they received their fifth patent. This patent was awarded to the twin's company, Winklevoss IP, and will allow the company to settle exchange-traded products (or ETPs) using digital currencies. This is the second patent that has been awarded to the brothers this year, the first being a cybersecurity patent related to the digital currency exchange Gemini.
So what does this mean? In truth, it's a fairly big deal.
The patent award is outstanding, as it offers a glimpse into the twins’ continued efforts to introduce crypto-related ETFs despite pushback from regulators.
This could also be big because market conditions are now very different from when the first Bitcoin ETF was rejected, meaning the Winklevoss twins may be getting closer to their Bitcoin ETF goal.
We will keep investors up to date as this story develops.
Thailand’s Top Exchange Rolls Out Blockchain Crowdfunding Marketplace
Big news from Thailand this week, as the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) announced that it has launched a new crowdfunding marketplace that is built on blockchain technology. The crowdfunding marketplace was built in an attempt to increase access to capital for new startups.
The new service has been given the name LiVE. The goal is to use blockchain technology to enable peer-to-peer trading, which will help startups access new capital from a wide range of investors. That includes capital drawn from the more traditional venture capital and institutional investor space.
In a statement, the Stock Exchange of Thailand said that eight companies have already joined the new blockchain platform. Fifty more companies are waiting in the wings and are scheduled to participate.
The launch of LiVE was a year in the making. The SET has been working on building a crowdfunding platform since March of last year. When the project was initiated, the SET stated that over 600 companies had shown interest in the project.
Binance CEO Speaks Out in Defense of ICOs
Over the last year, ICOs have come under heavy scrutiny. In 2017, initial coin offerings raised over $5 billion. Today, we're only three months into 2018 and that number is already eclipsed, with initial coin offerings raking in over $6 million. With that much money in the game, it should come as no surprise that regulators have stepped in and started to evaluate these rogue capital offerings. As the regulators emerge, more and more people have spoken out in opposition to initial coin offerings.
But not Zhao Changpeng, the CEO of one of the world's most popular digital currency exchanges, Binance.
To Changpeng, ICOs are the preferred form of venture capital, even with their inherit risk. Changpeng published a blog post titled “ICOs — Not just ‘Good-to-Have,’ But Necessary” on Monday, May 7th.
In that blog post, Changpeng took aim at other forms of venture capital, including many of the venture capital methods that emerged under the Jobs Act in 2013, making the statement, “Through my own experience, and watching hundreds of other projects at a close distance, I would say raising money through ICOs is about 100 times easier than through traditional VCs, if not more.”
For investors and companies, this statement holds a grain of truth. Many of the current crowdfunding and venture capital methods on the market, including Regulation CF, Regulation A+, and Regulation D, are expensive and time consuming. ICOs offer a dynamic solution, allowing companies to raise money efficiently and without the red tape.
Changpeng's comments come at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty about the future of initial coin offerings, and they offer investors and regulators insight into the current world of venture capital and the problems it has.
You can read the full blog post here.
The First Version of Ethereum's Casper Upgrade Has Been Published!
This is also one of the bigger news stories of the week, marking a pivotal turning point for the Ethereum network as it meanders toward proof of stake (PoS).
A couple weeks ago, we noted that this code was up for review in your weekly update. This week it's published, opening the planned change-up for the developer community to scrutinize.
The developer behind Casper FFG, Danny Ryan, posted a version 0.0.0 "first release" of the code to Github on Tuesday, May 8th. This signals that things are starting to happen for the Ethereum consensus change, which will allow Ethereum to be far more energy efficient as well as no longer reliant on the miner-driven proof of work (PoW) model.
After Casper is implemented, the Ethereum network will depend on a hybrid validation method that incorporates both Proof of Stake and Proof of Work. Eventually, the network will completely transition to Proof of Stake.
You can read the full details of this validation method in our Ethereum resource page.
We will provide investors with new updates on the digital currency space next week.