World Crypto Con: Get Ready for WCC with Us!

World Crypto Con

Welcome to World Crypto Con!

World Crypto Con, or WCC, is an opportunity for industry leaders to share their exciting new crypto and blockchain projects to the world.

People who have an in-depth understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, as well as those who are clueless, can learn something at WCC.

Welcome to a new way to look at cryptocurrency.

World Crypto Con will be running from October 31st to November 2nd in wild Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Aria Hotel and Casino. With over 75 keynote speakers and more than ...

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The Biggest Blockchain Trends According to the 5 Experts!

Blockchain Trends

This article covers the take of 5 experts from diverse fields of blockchain technologies on widely discussed blockchain trends.

Since the inception of blockchain in the year 2008, the digital world has experienced a massive revolution. The blockchain technology has undergone a considerable evolution in a short period. It has been pushing limits and setting new boundaries in the digital space.

According to experts, the year 2017 has been phenomenal in terms of the developments in blockchain technology. So, it goes without saying that 2018 is most likely to be as prodigious.

...

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KYC & AML: Could this Really be the End of the Decentralized Era?

KYC & AML

If you’ve been following the news and tendencies of the crypto world, you should certainly know about Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes. Designed to make blockchain-supported transactions more transparent and secure, these procedures have been frequently subject to criticism.

But what led to such pervasive criticism? And what is so controversial about KYC and AML? In a couple of minutes, you will understand why these procedures can easily lead the entire decentralized sector to death.

KYC & AML vs. Anonymity

Why has crypto become a subject of interest among the ...

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How Restaurants Could Help Bitcoin Growth

Bitcoin Growth

Bitcoin is a distributed, worldwide, decentralized, digital money. The advantage of Bitcoin is that there is no central authority like a bank, company, or government issuing Bitcoin. Bitcoin might be intimidating to most restaurant owners because it’s not integrated with most POS systems.

For retailers and POS companies, Bitcoin is a better alternative to credit card companies because they charge between three and five percent of each purchase simply to use the service. It costs even more to wire money from one country to another.

Here are some of the ways restaurants could help ...

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Sidechains Promise a Seamless Way to Play for Money on Blockchain

Sidechains

What if players could arrange a spontaneous cash game of any multiplayer title with tailored rules and the means to enforce fairness? 

It would need to be secure, so that gamers know there’s no chance of foul play, but also has to cater to the demands of a large number of players. Otherwise, there is a risk of slowing down the entire network.

Well, a solution may lie in sidechains on Ethereum Plasma. This extension allows for mini-blockchains to be created off the main network and confers the advantages of nearly instant payments with ...

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How Can You Stay Ahead of Competition in the Blockchain Industry?

blockchain industry

Blockchain can be explained as an innovative technology that’s designed to transform the digital landscape. It was originally a decentralized ledger used for transactions in bitcoins. This ledger comprises various linked blocks of transactions in which an identical copy was meant to be stored on every computer that was part of this network. The changes made in this ledger were cryptographically approved by the person transferring bitcoins. This person is considered to be the real owner of this digital currency.

About Emerging Blockchain Technology:

The basic idea was to track every unit of digital ...

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The Case for the Ethereum Bear Market Ending, And Which Tokens May Lead The Way Out

For those who view ERC-20 tokens as potential investment opportunities, now may be a time to pay slightly closer attention. In the 20 day period from September 7 to September 27 of 2018, a sample of 574 ERC-20 tokens from the Ethereum One dataset was observed. The average price of those tokens in US dollars, weighted by their market cap, was calculated for each day. Below is a visualization of that data; the labels on the chart reflect the percent change since September 7.

We see that a weighted average portfolio would be up ...

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The Myth of Bitcoin Volatility

Bitcoin Volatility

Bitcoin volatility is one of the most used arguments against the cryptocurrency, but stability in commodity prices is a myth. Thus, assuming that Bitcoin prices are not yet ready for public use because of price volatility is a weak criticism based on a false assumption that price stability is somehow a sign of an accepted, adopted commodity. In reality, market-based prices move, constantly. This means Bitcoin’s price will always be unstable and it is time to accept that and move on to solving actual cryptocurrency problems instead of chasing myths.

The Myth of Commodity Price Stability

...

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Cryptocurrency Regulation – the Vital Ingredient in Helping Cryptocurrencies Grow

cryptocurrency regulation

We’ve all heard the saying that “ignorance is bliss” at some point in our lives, but this term most certainly does not apply to the financial world.

In the financial sphere, ignorance is risk, not bliss.

It’s for this very reason that traditional financial markets are regulated. The US markets are more than happy to see reasonable regulation, as it ensures a suitable level of transparency and fairness.

When it comes to stocks, we see regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and government-issued currency is overseen by the Department of ...

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Will Bitcoin Become the New Gold for Cryptocurrency Age?

bitcoin

Bitcoin Looks Poised to Dethrone Gold Globally

It may seem absurd to compare Bitcoin and gold, but the truth is that there are several common talking points between them. Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency on the market today with an outlook. In fact, many individuals tend to believe that Bitcoin can become the gold of the Cryptocurrency age. This is possible since Bitcoin has shown some quality features that are reminiscent of gold.

The main difference between Bitcoin and gold as a currency is that Bitcoin lacks a physical form which is not the case ...

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Is the Blockchain Ecosystem Heading in a Different Direction With New Technologies?

Blockchain Ecosystem

Bitcoin remains the primary and first use case for blockchain technology, though there remain doubts as to its efficacy as not just a currency, but also as a payment rail that can reliably facilitate global transfers.

This has led to three alternative proposals, none without their issues but all envisioning a better solution which is scalable—a key concern to be addressed if widespread adoption is ever going to be plausible.

The First Alternative: A Faster and Cheaper New Cryptocurrency

A more efficient new currency which also bases itself on blockchain technology is a popular ...

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Inside the pay-for-post ICO industry

In a world where nothing can be trusted and fake news abounds, ICO and crypto teams are further muddying the waters by trying – and often failing – to pay for posts. While bribes for blogs is nothing new, sadly the current crop of ICO creators and crypto projects are particularly interested in scaling fast and many ICO CEOs are far happier with scammy multi-level marketing tricks than real media relations.

The worst part of this spammy, scammy ecosystem is the service providers. A new group of media organizations are appearing where pay-to-post is the norm rather than the rare exception. I’ve been looking at these groups for a while now and recently found a few egregious examples.

But first some background.

Oh yeah, Mr. Smart Guy? How do I get press?

Say you’re trying to publicize a startup. You’ve emailed all the big names in the industry and the emails have gone unanswered. Your product is about to flounder on the market without users and you can’t get any because, in perfect chicken-or-egg fashion, you can’t get funding without users and you can’t get users without funding. So isn’t it a good idea to pay a few dollars for a little press?

No.

And isn’t most PR just pay-for-post anyway?

No.

PR people are consummate networkers and are paid to reach out to media on your behalf and their particular set of skills, honed over long careers, are dedicated to breaking down the forcefield between the journalist and the outside world. They are your surrogate hustlers, dedicated to getting you more exposure. A good PR person is worth their weight in gold. They can call up a popular journalist and make a simple pitch: “This cool new thing is happening. Can I put you in touch?”

If a journalist’s mission is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, a good PR person makes the comfortable look slightly afflicted in order to give the journalist a better story. Also, like velociraptors, they are tenacious and will follow up multiple times on your behalf.

A bad PR person, on the other hand, will cold-call hundreds of journalists and read a script that is half the length of Moby Dick. They produce little more than spam and their efforts begin and end with pressing the “Send” button. It’s also interesting to note that many bad PR people, of late, have found new life as ICO specialists.

Now meet the pay-for-post hucksters. As I wrote before, there is now a subset of the PR world that offers to get your press release or story on the top of various websites for the low, low price of between $500 and $13,000. For example, one set of hucksters created a small business selling posts on Harvard.edu by creating garbage WordPress blogs and posting press releases to increase SEO coverage. Further, I received a document that outlined the prices for placement in various blogs including this one. While it is impossible to buy a post on TechCrunch this way, it doesn’t stop many from trying.

What’s the difference between that price list and the job a PR person will do for you? The difference is trust. A pay-for-post huckster is dependent on convincing poorly paid freelance writers to add links and other dross to their posts in order to get a “placement.” I get requests like this almost every day and almost all the journalists I talked to reported the same.

Some entrepreneurs are savvy enough to avoid these scams. Even more aren’t.

“I’ve never paid since I think it’s almost always a waste of money but I’ve been offered this type of coverage many times,” said Rick Ramos, of HealthJoy.com. “The last offer was for Kathy Ireland’s Worldwide Business… A TV show that I’ve never heard of in my life. I’ve also been approached by niche publications like InsuranceOutlook and HealthCareTechOutlook that want $3,000 for a ‘reprint branding package.’ A quick Alexa.com search shows their rank as 1,725,207 and 1,054,501 globally. I think I get pitched at least every six months for one of these types of packages.

Unfortunately, many of these organizations hide their request for payment until the last minute. That said, how do you know when it’s someone selling pay-for-play vs. a real editor? It’s usually obvious.

“It’s usually pretty easy to sniff out based on their email blast. It’s pretty untargeted with no reference to what your company does or how it related to a story. Some people are up front about the payment but others want a ’15 min call to discuss.’ A quick LinkedIn search always shows them as a sales person versus a reporter or editor,” said Ramos.

It’s getting worse

This is a document I received from a company attempting an ICO. This sort of menu was quite uncommon until fairly recently when the “on-demand” economy melded with PR scammers. The completeness of the document is unique – you could feasibly plan your own PR efforts just by reaching out to journalists who work at all of these places. But you’ll also note that each spot has its own price, often in the low hundreds of dollars, which means that those spots are mostly pay-for-play anyway.


ICOLists by on Scribd


No PR company can promise coverage. In fact, many pay-for-play folks mention this in their communications, hiding it in plain sight. This snippet of text appeared in a contract for work from one of the pay-for-play providers. In short, you’re paying for something they cannot guarantee to get. Interestingly, the PR company below calls their product an IO – an insertion order – which is language used in ad sales. Further, they take great pains in explaining that it is almost impossible to achieve what they promise.

None of the pay-for-post folks I mentioned here would respond to my requests for comment.

Counter-point: Journalists are also at fault

Journalists should never expect money for coverage.

Yet many do.

“Lately I have worked on a number of blockchain technology pieces and I have encountered a wide variety of these asks,” said Brittany Whitmore, CEO at Exvera Communications. “A lot of the new, smaller blockchain-focused outlets seem to do a lot of pay-to-play, likely trying to capitalize on the ICO gold rush. The strangest request that I received was that the outlet would do a an article about the news for free but only if we paid them over $1,000 to promote the article with ads. I did not proceed.”

In one very detailed article on The Outline, Jon Christian explored this world and found that many writers received small sums for a single brand mention in a story, a sort of SEO flogging that rarely helps. He wrote:

An unpaid contributor to the Huffington Post, also speaking on condition of anonymity because, in his words, “I would be pretty fucked if my name got out there,” said that he has included sponsored references to brands in his articles for years, in articles on the Huffington Post and other sites, on behalf of six separate agencies. Some agencies pay him directly, he said, in amounts that can be as small as $50 or $175, but others pay him through an employee’s personal PayPal account in order to obfuscate the source of the funds. In a statement, Huffington Post said “Using the HuffPost Contributors Network to self-publish paid content violates our terms of use. Anyone we discover to be engaging in such abuse has their post removed from the site and is banned from future publication.”
The Huffington Post writer also described specific brands he’d written about on behalf of one of the agencies, which ranged from a popular ride-hailing app, to a publicly-traded site for booking flights and hotels, to a large American cell phone service provider.
“This is a classic example of payola,” he said of the brand mentions, invoking a term that’s been used to describe radio DJs who accept payments from record companies in order to play certain artists on the air.

Further, many influencers – folks who sell their Internet fame to the highest bidder – masquerade as journalists, asking for outrageous sums to flog an ICO on their YouTube channel or Instagram page. Pay-for-play services can also put out organic content like this in hopes of appearing in the news.

The rule of thumb? Paid posts and native advertising are not journalism. Ultimately, journalists who charge for coverage are marketers. No one at any reputable news organization will ask for cash but, sadly, there are a number of disreputable news organizations making the rounds.

ICO spamming/Don’t do it

All this still doesn’t answer the question: Should you pay-to-post?

“The short answer is no,” said Kevin Bourke of BourkePR. “I get asked all the time, and in fact, turned down another request just today. And I advise my clients to decline these offers as well.”

Pay-for-post disrupts journalism in a way that should be familiar and desirable to any modern-day entrepreneur. Middlemen are being knocked out everywhere and brands are approaching consumers from every angle including native ads in Instagram and Twitter. But the value of coverage – real coverage – from a journalists perspective is the opportunity to explain complex ideas to a ready audience. While posting a picture of a blockchain on Facebook and hoping for clicks is one strategy, explaining your views, opinions, and insights is far more important even if you approach it from a mercenary position.

“When you start paying for placement, you remove objectivity and credibility, and in my opinion, this is the reason you look for coverage of your company/products in the first place. That’s what influences readers/viewers. But I understand the temptation for startups. You come to believe that ‘all visibility is good visibility.’ I just can’t agree with that,” said Bourke. “I see the trend toward paid placements (now called sponsored content), paid awards and I can’t stand it – especially with the trade show awards in high tech. They’ve completely devalued the Best of Show awards in so many cases. Typically, only the big companies with budgets can afford them, so many of the smaller guys with no money but amazing products get left out. I understand that the publishing industry needs to figure out new revenue streams – these are very difficult times for them. But they need to figure out smarter business models and maintain the integrity of editorialized content, built on the opinions and perspectives of journalists and influencers.”

What to Look For in a Crypto Trading Platform

choosing cryptocurrency exchanges

For many, the first step into the world of cryptocurrencies is by way of an exchange, which is essentially a marketplace that allows users to both buy and sell various cryptocurrencies. In many ways, it’s similar to the process of buying and selling stocks via a stock exchange, but it differs in one fundamental way. There is no middle man, no broker executing transactions, with a cryptocurrency exchange.

With anywhere around 200 exchanges in operation, with most of them not operating under any rules or regulations, you have to do your homework before you place your ...

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You Would Never Guess These Celebrities Are Into Crypto

celebrities in cryptocurrency

The number of people who are interested in blockchain is rapidly growing, and that includes celebrities. As tech continues to flourish, the blockchain movement has captured an array of personalities—ranging from rappers to reality stars.

Here are the biggest celebrities in cryptocurrency, ranked by star power.

4. Chris Bukowski, the Bachelor

Chris Bukowski, an ex-Bachelor contestant, said the dating show almost ruined his life, but the opportunities from the reality juggernaut eventually led him to a career in tech. Bukowski runs a web development agency, KCM Create, while simultaneously investing in cryptos. In fact, ...

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Trust is the Central Issue of the Decentralized Ecosystem

Trust in a Decentralized Ecosystem

Satoshi’s vision for Bitcoin was to build an economic vehicle that did not require a trusted agent. This is often called a ‘trustless’ system of payment. His justification for launching Bitcoin was that the trusted agents could no longer be trusted. Specifically, the trusted agents had become corrupt, and people needed a method of commerce that did not require third parties. What is lost on many people is that this new system still required trust.

For currency to work, we must believe in it, we must trust it has value, and we must trust the person ...

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Is Tourism the Next Sector to Benefit from Blockchain Technology?

blockchain technology

Each day, more and more blockchain technology-based solutions are being developed across various major industries and applications globally. It’s also evident how the blockchain revolution has brought about great success, especially in the financial sphere. In fact, as time goes by, we expect to see more industries adopting this technology.

The nascent rise of blockchain technology offers great potential for human efficiency. This can revolutionize some of the significant aspects of the technology, governance, and business. Also, it is tamper-evident, trust-free, and has cryptographic security features. In fact, corporations, governments, and individual investors have adopted blockchain-based ...

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The Crypto Fraud that Promised Investors Shipwreck Gold

cryptocurrency scam

Cryptocurrencies transformed the way we glance at transactions, but against the grain, they have also encouraged cybercriminals to lead some massive frauds over the past few years. While the cleverest minds have developed some beyond-belief organizations upheld by the might of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, wicked minds have also pounced on the furor, defrauding innocent investors in complex scams.

Do you know about the Shinil Group scam that took place last month, in which investors were tricked into investing in their cryptocurrency?

The Shinil Group Scam

The most recent attack was reported by JoongAng Daily ...

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Eliminating Crypto Myths: Understanding When to Use Blockchain

Blockchain Solutions

As we move into a brave new financial world with cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions, capturing the essence of crypto in a bottle can be a tricky affair. As the benefits of blockchain and digital currencies are different for everyday users in comparison to businesses, it is important to differentiate between the two and to eliminate the myths and confusion that surrounds the blockchain industry. If you are looking to implement blockchain technology into your already-existing company, it is important to fully understand what blockchain is all about and when and when not to use these solutions to enhance ...

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Why are Major Crypto Exchange Firms Optimistic Towards Ethereum Coin?

Cryptocurrency Investing

The cryptocurrency industry has been around for a long time and has been attracting a lot of investors for a decade. Cryptocurrency investing has turned into a huge mainstream business. Cryptocurrency has helped many people to generate extensive profits through their investment. This all started with the introduction of Bitcoin, which was the first cryptocurrency ever that gave the world the idea of the blockchain. This inspired other cryptocurrency firms to innovate more and come up with a different solution based on blockchain technology.

Ethereum was one such cryptocurrency that was introduced to the market based ...

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Going Beyond the Cryptocurrency Hype with Blockchain

Cryptocurrency Hype

Bitcoin has been on a roller coaster ride in its price, its value reached as high as $20,000 in late 2017 to as low as $6,000 within a time frame of just six months. The highly volatile nature of Bitcoin is certainly a blotch on its reputation and certainly this could be why Goldman Sachs’ head of Global Investment Research, Steve Strongin holds the view that most cryptocurrencies ultimately will not survive in the long run and compares it to the dotcom bubble where only a few companies around that time survived. While Bitcoin’s volatile nature is a ...

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