ICOs Raise Over $9 Billion Six Months into 2018, Surpassing 2017 Figures 138

Despite the slowdown in overall cryptocurrency prices, investment in upcoming projects, in the form of initial coin offerings (ICOs), has not slowed down one bit. In fact, the amount of investment made into these projects has only skyrocketed.

ICOs Investment on the Rise

CoinSchedule reported that over $9.4 billion has been invested into ICOs in just the past 6 months, already topping last year’s numbers. CoinSchedule attributed this rise in funding to large projects such as Telegram and the Venezuelan Petro. The pre-sales of these two tokens raised over $2.43 billion collectively, accounting for 25% of total ICO sales.

In a Bloomberg report Alex Michaelis, co-founder of popular ICO tracker, CoinSchedule, said that he still holds his hopes for the ICO sub-industry. He stated in an email:

“The ICO market is still hot. EOS and Telegram have been big successful ICOs this year, albeit not a classic ICO in the sense that Telegram was closed to private investors only, and EOS has been trading in exchanges for a while, which influences the token price.”

Governmental bodies all across the world have begun scrutinizing cryptocurrency related projects more and more, with ICOs being no exception. Earlier this month, a group of U.S. and Canadian regulatory bodies started to look into fraudulent coin offerings along with other cryptocurrency-related operations that were deemed to be scams.

As of last week, this group of governmental organizations has 60 investigations into a variety of questionable projects, with 35 of these 60 facing legal action. This is just one case of negative governmental attitude towards the topic of these coin offerings.

In September, China banned the sale of ICOs outright, with no exceptions made. But many ICO investors seem to be unfazed by these rising regulatory fears, with 2018’s numbers easily surpassing the levels seen in 2017.

The Largest ICO: Block.one’s EOS platform

Some projects have tried to counter governmental pressure by moving its operations to governments that are more accepting of cryptocurrencies. Take the example of Block.one, the startup behind EOS, which is set to be the largest ICO ever, raising over $4 billion over the course of just one year.

Block.one is based in the Cayman Islands, a small British territory that is accepting of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. Many of the small island nations, often British territories, are often subject to a lack of regulation in certain industries.

However, some critics believe that regulation in an innovative, yet volatile, industry is still necessary.

Earlier this week, Chinese Internet firm, Qihoo 360, found security flaws on the beta version of the EOS blockchain. Due to the fact that this announcement came just a few days before the official release of the EOS blockchain, EOS developers quickly ran to patch the issue. According to a Block.one Twitter post, the team at EOS had the problem under control.

These aforementioned critics believe that there should be some regulation to what Block.one does with the $4 billion which was generated by the EOS token sale. In December of last year, Block.one tried to clear these worries by stating that $1 billion worth of funds would be invested in companies using the EOS blockchain.

But where does that leave the other $3 billion? For now, Block.one has kept this topic behind closed doors, but many hopeful for the success of the EOS platform believe that these funds will only be used to better the project.

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Huobi Tech’s Subsidiary Huobi Asset Management Got the Approval to Launch 100% Virtual Asset Funds and Plans to Launch 3 Virtual Asset Funds 4229

Huobi Technology Holdings Limited (“Huobi Tech” or the “Company”, stock code: 1611), is pleased to announce that Huobi Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited (the “Huobi Asset Management”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, has obtained the Securities and Futures Commission’s (the “SFC”) approval to manage and distribute 100% virtual asset funds with effect from 3 March 2021. Huobi Asset is the second licensed virtual asset manager in Hong Kong to fall under the SFC’s “Proforma Terms and Conditions for Licensed Corporations which Manage Portfolios that Invest in Virtual Assets” (“T&C”) since October 2019.

As the first licensed virtual asset fund manager approved by the SFC to issue virtual asset funds with an active investment strategy, it is the first virtual asset fund manager in the Hong Kong market to accept fiat currency or virtual asset subscription channels. Huobi Asset Management plans to launch three virtual asset funds: BTC tracker fund, ETH tracker fund, and multi-strategy virtual asset fund. Besides, Huobi Asset Management is launching its multi-asset fund with 10% allocation to virtual assets whilst 90% into traditional assets such as equities and fixed income.

A senior investment team will manage Huobi Asset Management’s virtual asset funds. The main business partners include Sidley Austin, Mourant, DBS, Fidelity Digital, and other world-renowned institutions. Ms. Gillian Wu, CEO of Huobi Asset Management, said, “We aim to provide various choices to investors with different risk appetites. We have covered comprehensive perspectives through in-depth dialogues with SFC and made full preparations on corresponding solutions. We are confident that our funds could offer one of the most secure and reliable channels for Professional Investors to access this novel asset class conveniently.”

The management of Huobi Tech said, “We are delighted that Huobi Asset Management team has secured such a breakthrough. The approval’s timing is perfect, coinciding with the mainstream institutional adoption of virtual assets starting from this year. We will continue to explore the possibility of diversifying our businesses in relevant areas to enhance our growth prospects and bring long-term sustainable returns to our shareholders.”

Max Dilendorf Serves as a Bitcoin Expert Witness in USCIS EB-5 Green Card Adjudication Proceedings 4650

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has frequently denied EB-5 applications that list Bitcoin exchange-traded-funds as a legitimate “source of funds”. Yet, in an unprecedented approach that included forensic reporting analysis, attorney Max Dilendorf provided an expert legal opinion and due diligence report proving that a green card applicants’ source of funds met the standards to be qualified under this program.

Because USCIS only requires a “preponderance of evidence” showing the legal acquisition of investment funds in EB-5 petitions and offers little guidance for applicants whose funds originated in cryptocurrency, Dilendorf’s confirming evidence was a significant achievement.

The Dilendorf Law Firm, NYC’s top law firm for the digital age, represented several clients in EB-5 matters with the USCIS concerning the clients’ EB-5 investments funded with cryptocurrencies. By submitting blockchain and cryptocurrency expert reports in these cases, the firm has provided evidence to support the legitimate “source of funds”.

The firm’s clients were software engineers and early cryptocurrency adopters who, in the opinion of the crypto compliance law firm, are legally qualified for obtaining EB-5 investor green-cards, as there was little doubt on the legality of the source of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds.

Dilendorf’s legal opinions and blockchain forensic reports, as submitted to the USCIS, included an expert assessment of the following:

  • legality of the specific digital assets and regulatory framework for the involved financial institutions dealing with cryptocurrencies;
  • origin and flow of cryptocurrencies funding the EB-5 investments;
  • mechanism and sufficiency of digital wallets, private cryptographic keys, crypto trading platforms and accounts establishing ownership of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds;
  • KYC/AML compliance measures taken at each point of the funds’ journey by clients and third parties, including crypto exchanges and OTC traders.

Max Dilendorf, Esq. is also a top forensic Bitcoin and crypto expert witness. His expertise has also made him one of the top cryptocurrency consultants for Fortune 500 companies.  Mr. Dilendorf’s recent speaking engagements have included the Thailand SEC, IBM, Berkshire Hathaway, and New York University, to name a few.

The9 Appointed Cai ZhiFang as the CEO of NBTC Limited to Lead the Development of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Business 4566

The9 Limited (Nasdaq: NCTY) (“The9”), an established Internet company, today announced the appointment of Cai Zhifang as the Chief Executive Officer of NBTC Limited (hereinafter referred to as “NBTC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The9, to lead the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency business in NBTC. Mr. Cai has been on board.

Mr. Cai is an early pioneer in the blockchain industry. In 2013, Mr. Cai co-founded YiBit Digital Technology Company Limited, one of the earliest integrated platforms in blockchain industry in China. In 2015, Mr. Cai served as the general manager of WeiTui Technology Limited Company, which self-operated Bitcoin mining by the purchase of AvalonMiners from Canaan. The peak hash rate managed by Mr. Cai at that time accounted for nearly 4% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin. Afterwards Mr. Cai established a strategic partnership with Canaan, responsible for assisting its customers in establishing, operating and maintaining AvalonMiners. At that time Mr. Cai managed and operated more than 300,000 AvalonMiners, with an accumulative hash rate exceeding 5,000 PH/S, accounted for nearly 5% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin at that time.

After joining the NBTC team, Mr. Cai will be responsible for leading the expansion of NBTC blockchain and cryptocurrency business, making full use of his industry experience and resources to formulate and execute NBTC’s business strategy, and to implement the cooperation between NBTC and worldwide cryptocurrency ecosystem partners with the goal to accelerate the establishment of The9’s global leadership in the cryptocurrency industry.

In January this year, The9 announced the establishment of the wholly-owned subsidiary NBTC to engage in blockchain and cryptocurrency related businesses. Immediately within two months, Bitcoin and Filecoin mining machines had been acquired as the first step to build The9’s cryptocurrencies mining business.

About The9 Limited

The9 Limited (The9) is an Internet company based in China listed on Nasdaq in 2004. The9 aims to become a diversified high-tech Internet company.

Online Blockchain plc: Umbria DeFi Platform Announces First Airdrop of its UMBR Token 4944

Decentralised Finance (DeFi) protocol Umbria is airdropping 100,000 of its governance utility tokens to its users. Umbria, an opensource project on a mission to demystify and simplify DeFi and get people earning income on their crypto, will be rewarding eligible crypto enthusiasts with its tokens. Holders of UMBR tokens – available on Uniswap – or UMBR-ETH Liquidity Pool tokens (tokens issued for adding liquidity to the UMBR-ETH pool on decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Uniswap) on March 1st, 2021 will be able to participate in the airdrop. They will need to have a Metamask wallet.

UMBR and UMBR-ETH LP holders (minimum 100 UMBR or 2 UMBR-ETH LP) simply have to visit airdrop.umbria.network and press the “Claim Airdrop” button to get their share of the airdrop. The tokens will then be distributed directly into their Metamask wallets on April 2nd, 2021. The airdrop will be on chain facilitated by Ethereum Smart Contracts.

Users of the Umbria platform will soon be able to swap tokens and earn interest on their cryptocurrency positions on the Umbria website with other facilities coming online which will utilise the Umbria protocol and its utility token. UMBR tokens will give holders the ability to shape the future of the Umbria ecosystem itself.

“The Umbria project is a collective effort, which is already gaining good traction and seeing a lot of interest,” said Oscar Chambers, Co-Lead Developer at Umbria. “This first airdrop is a great way to reward existing participants and encourage more early adoption of Umbria, which will hopefully be a steppingstone to unlocking the mass adoption of DeFi.”

Margex Launches Globally and Announces $1,000,000 Bonus Giveaway Campaign Making Cryptocurrency Derivatives Trading More Accessible 6255

Margex announces its global launch. Along with the launch, every new client will be able to try Margex for free, with an included $100 bonus to settle trading commissions and funding fees on the platform. During the promotional campaign, Margex plans to distribute up to $1,000,000 in bonuses for a total of 10,000 users.

  • 100X scalable leverage for all of its trading pairs such as BTC, ETH, XRP, EOS, LTC, and YFI;
  • Combined liquidity of multiple liquidity aggregators, allowing for the best possible entry and exit prices;
  • AI-based Price Manipulation Protection systems, monitoring for irregularities across all trading pairs and mitigating the risk of accidental liquidations and short-squeezes;
  • Bank-grade security;
  • Scale-on-demand infrastructure, capable of handling up to 100,000 transactions per second;
  • High-Class User Interface.

Margex’s goal is to provide traders with a world-class user experience, a fair, secure, and easy-to-use trading platform with the highest class of financial technologies in the world. The platform has received a lot of positive feedback from various trading communities for the deep liquidity achieved through the combination of multiple liquidity providers, extremely fast order execution speeds, and an MP-Shield system that uses artificial intelligence to automatically detect irregularities in the trade feed submitted by liquidity pools, eliminating the risk of accidental liquidations.

ZK International Subsidiary, xSigma Corporation, Announces Dwight Howard from the Philadelphia 76ers to Join its DeFi Protocol as an Early LP 6499

ZK International Group Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: ZKIN) (“ZKIN”, “ZK International” or the “Company”), a designer, engineer, manufacturer, and supplier of patented high-performance stainless steel and carbon steel pipe products primarily used for water and gas supplies, is pleased to announce that xSigma Corporation, a subsidiary of the Company, that is a blockchain R&D lab, is pleased to announce that Dwight Howard, a professional basketball player and NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, has committed to joining the xSigma DeFi Protocol as an early liquidity provider (LP).

Mr. Howard committed to providing cryptocurrency for xSigma’s DeFi Protocol upon its launch. In addition, Mr. Howard has partnered with xSigma to advertise the project. Thus, it makes xSigma Protocol the first project of its kind to get a global sports influencer to the list of LPs. By doing this partnership, xSigma expects to bring more LPs and customers for its project.

xSigma Corporation is a blockchain R&D lab owned by ZK International Group Co., Ltd. xSigma’s team includes former Facebook, Google, Ripple, and Amazon engineers. xSigma’s DeFi Protocol is one of the first projects in the DeFi space backed by a public company. The DeFi industry keeps growing and now has over $36 billion of funds locked in the major DeFi protocols, according to defipulse.com.

Mr. Jiancong Huang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ZK International, stated, “We are honored that Dwight Howard decided to participate in our decentralized finance platform. This is a huge step in mass-adoption of blockchain products. xSigma looks forward to bringing more opinion leaders onboard.”