Gaming in Asia may be crypto’s killer dApp

As money and talent flows into the crypto and blockchain worlds, a persistent question keeps coming up: what is going to be the “killer app” that drives adoption for these nascent technologies? The answer may well be quite simple: gaming in Asia.

That’s the theory for Cryptokitties, the notable purveyor of cute cats. The company has started expanding into China, Japan, and Korea as it attempts to capture a large market of gamer and crypto enthusiasts there, and it is building on the playbook pioneered by Uber when it launched in China in 2014.

Back in March, Andreessen and Union Square Ventures led a $12 million Series A round into Cryptokitties. A portion of that money went into Cryptokitties’ ambitions to expand into Asia. In fact, Cryptokitties’ largest user markets have been, and still are, the U.S. and China, followed by Russia.

For those unfamiliar with Cryptokitties, it’s often been alluded to as a digital version of Beanie Babies. Cryptokitties are virtual collectibles in the form of cute cats that can be bought, sold, collected and traded with cryptocurrency, with all the transactions listed on the blockchain. Owners who purchase these kitties can then breed them with other kitties to produce new baby kitties.

The company is part of Axiom Zen, the Vancouver and San Francisco-based design studio that originally built the game. Since its launch in 2017, Cryptokitties has also built a third-party app platform for crypto developers called the Kittyverse, open-sourced their digital asset licensing platform, and started a crypto gaming investment fund. The company currently has about 70 employees and is headquartered in Vancouver.

One of the main purposes why Cryptokitties raised venture capital was for geographical expansion. Having ample capital to not worry about cash flow as the company steps on the gas is certainly quite helpful. But as a business, Cryptokitties was already doing fine. Back in June when I was having a discussion with the company, Cryptokitties was already profitable starting in week three.

The company has successfully differentiated itself from many other crypto decentralized apps (dApps for short) companies out there by proving that they could make money first and have a sustainable user base. Jimmy Song from Blockchain Capital once said, you can make money three ways in crypto, and those are “selling mining machines, starting up Crypto exchanges, and organizing Crypto conferences.” Nonetheless, Cryptokitties was an outlier. With its newly raised money, the team was looking to deploy the capital for hiring, building out it’s Kittyverse, and expanding in Asia.

Asia and China has a Large and Untapped Crypto Gaming Market

Benny Giang, one of the co-founders of Cryptokitties, has been tasked with Cryptokitties Asia expansion since late 2017. Since then, the team has launched Cryptokitties in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. During the launch, in order to avoid another one of Ethereum’s network clogs like what happened in late 2017, the iOS app launch was initially limited to 5,000 new players, based on selected WeChat accounts.

Benny believes blockchain games in Asia are a huge untapped market but with increasing competition. Whereas the intersection of gaming and blockchain users is still pretty limited in the Americas, in Asia, that audience is significantly larger. This is primarily due to three reasons: 1) the awareness of cryptocurrency and blockchain is more prevalent in Asia, 2) the regulatory markets are more developed and sophisticated (for better or worse) in China, Korea, and Japan, and 3) there is a proportionally higher number of gamers in Asia than the U.S.

China is the biggest market in this intersection, but there have been challenges. As Cryptokitties launched and grew in the last year, the company saw competition and copycats (pun intended) from China moving quickly into the market. In the beginning of 2018, just as Cryptokitties was launching in China, Xiaomi, the mobile phone maker that recently IPO-ed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, launched their own crypto collectible called Cryptobunny. Baidu, the large search engine of China, also recently launched Cryptopuppy.

Go to Market Learnings from Uber in China – Identifying the Right Local Partners and Hires

As Benny and team began doing research on the Asia market, they realized that working in a market that’s twelve hours away is not easy. Taking some of its lessons from Uber’s experience in China, they decided that they needed to localize their go-to-market approach.

One of the reasons Uber ended up exiting the Chinese market was that it did not successfully build a product catered to Chinese citizens. Despite the large sum of money it was pouring into the Chinese market, Uber was still losing market share to Didi. Another suggested reason for the failure was that Uber should have gone to market with a local partner like Didi instead of going head to head with them. The Cryptokitties team knew that they wanted to expand correctly, and subsequently identified a local partner in China to target the market there.

In January 2018, Axiom Zen partnered with Animoca Brands to publish the Cryptokitties game on mobile in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Animoca is a Hong Kong-based, privately-held developer and publisher of games, with a number of games using popular IP such as Garfield, Ultraman, and Doraemon. By working with Animoca, Cryptokitties was able to build out a localized website for its Chinese-speaking audience, provide native-speaker support services, and host numerous giveaway events.

In my discussion with him, Benny provided some insightful advice on go to market strategy in Asia. First, he mentioned that for a blockchain gaming company like themselves, it is best to find two local partners – one in blockchain and one in gaming – to help navigate the landscape. This kind of well-thought-out, go-to-market strategy requires hard work and local community understanding that very few cryptocurrency teams have achieved.

Currently, most Western crypto companies do not apply a traditional tech-oriented go-to-market strategy when trying to expand into other regions. Instead, most of them choose to leverage their “global communities.” They would incentivize these regional token holders to do local marketing and encourage them to find more token supporters and buyers in their region. Nonetheless, that type of marketing approach effectively identifies people who want to make a quick buck, rather than users who can sustain a platform.

Secondly, tasteful and culturally-appealing design is also very important when it comes to dApps. Cryptokitties originally differentiated themselves from other dApps by creating beautiful cats on the blockchain that immediately caught people’s attention. They have also decided to apply a similar local strategy in China.

Momo Wang is the creator of the highly popular Tuzki character, a black and white line drawing of a bunny that’s used widely across various instant messaging platforms, particularly WeChat .

The popular character Tuzki (Photo courtesy WeChat)

Cryptokitties hired Momo as a brand ambassador and contributor to the Artist Series to design kitties for them. By doing so, they are able to appeal to an audience who may have a different local taste.

Benny adds that it is essential for dApp companies to create beautiful websites and great user experiences that appeal to local communities. However, there are also cons when building beautiful websites for a blockchain company that is decentralized by nature. Smooth user interfaces in the form of a traditional website or an app fall under the jurisdiction of a traditional tech business. Internet companies in China, for example, require approval and licensing from the government to be able to operate and serve its citizens.

China has become the wild west of crypto and blockchain, and there will continue to be unforeseen obstacles. It certainly isn’t easy for Cryptokitties to be the first western dApp company to venture into China, but in the next five years, we’ll see a significant number of Western companies heading east – and these early learnings will be invaluable.

How a Tokyo FOMO Family Invested in Bitcoin and Lost

There’s an issue, in Japan, with certain high income families being unable to save money. Here’s the story of a Japanese household of four, living in the Tokyo Bay area, in a high-end tower apartment, repaying multiple loans and having unnecessary spending. Every month the household was using up their entire revenue and they couldn’t pay the tuition for their daughters’ private school and high schools. That’s when bitcoin came into their lives.

Also read: The Psychology of the Cryptocurrency FOMO-FUD Cycle Has Been Weaponized

Tokyo Bay 60 Million Yen ‘Tawaman’ Tower Mansion Tribe is Collapsing

“How can we overcome paying our daughters’ schools and the family’s big expenses?” the family asks Mitsuaki Yokoyama, a financial planner. “I started investing in crypto with 100,000 yen around the end of November last year, then the price rose by 2.5 times in just a month. So I got all excited and I invested 1 million yen more, but the price crashed so badly this year, and when I finally woke up from my daydream, I found out I had lost half of all my important savings,” Masao Ikeuchi, a 42-year old company employee living in Tokyo said. With his spouse, Naoko, (a pseudonym), 42, he went to consult a financial planner. As the couple heard a husband’s colleague saying there was a way to make money very easily, they decided to jump into bitcoin. They had a great start, but soon made losses to the point of no return. “What the hell on earth happened?” the couple questioned.

How a Tokyo FOMO Family Invested in Bitcoin and Lost

The Ikeuchi family lives in a high-rise tower apartment in the Tokyo Bay area with their two daughters, one attending a second grade junior high school, the other a fifth grade elementary school, and with two cats. They enjoy the wealthy life of the so-called “Tawaman tribe”, an abbreviation for “tower mansion” used to refer to people in Japan who purchase newly built properties, mostly 3LDK (3 rooms plus a dining room-kitchen area) at about 60 million yen ($550,000).

Their take-home monthly salary is about 420,000 yen ($3,800) for the husband, about 310,000 yen ($2,800) for the wife – a total of about 730,000 yen ($6,600). In Japan, the family is considered as a privileged high-income household.

The couple earns a 15 million yen ($135,000) annual income, but they can’t pay their daughters’ tuition fees. They bought their flat eight years ago using most of their savings as a down payment of 10 million yen ($90,000), and they had been spending a lot monthly – about 710,000 yen ($6,400), so they could save only about 17,000 yen a month ($153). As of last autumn, their savings amounted to only 2.4 million yen ($21,500) and they started to get worried that they couldn’t pay their children’s school tuitions. What they needed was a way to make money somehow easily.

Bitcoin, “Easy Money”

This is why the couple sought to increase their money by making “easy investments” so they could acquire an average amount of over 1 million yen ($9,000) per year to pay the school fees and tuitions. What made Mister Ikeuchi decide to invest in bitcoin was a colleague at work who told him, “You should try Bitcoin, personally, my investment increased by 1.5 times.”

The attraction of easy money persuaded Masao Ikeuchi to read a bunch of books on cryptocurrency and understand the basics, before he purchased 100,000 yen ($900) worth of bitcoin for the first time, just for a try. He did very well at first, the 100,000 yen ($900) worth of bitcoin that he bought by the end of November 2017 rising to 260,000 yen ($2,350) in just one month. Mister Ikeuchi got so excited he purchased bitcoins for another 1 million yen ($9,000). However, the price fell to a third during the crash this year. The family man panicked and repeatedly failed to recover the losses. He even picked up on FX or individual stocks and by the time he understood what was going on he realized that the 1.1 million yen ($9,900) he had invested into bitcoin had decreased to 300,000 yen ($2,700).

He FOMO-ed

How a Japanese FOMO Family Invested in Bitcoin and LostMister Ikeuchi was caught by fear of missing out (FOMO) and the desire to get rich quickly. Due to prolonged low interest rates, deposits did not increase his savings. Moreover, the media constantly reports on success stories of investors who earned big money with bitcoin or FX. It was understandable that people like Mister Ikeuchi wished to try it for themselves.

“Investments rarely work if you jump into a nice story. If it worked for the first time, it’s often just the beginner’s luck. As far as I know, most things do not last for long,” Mitsuaki Yokoyama, the financial planner told President Online. Mr. Ikeuchi jumped to investment and failed to accumulate more than he had invested. The first thing to do in order to increase your savings is to review all living expenses, the experts says. “Regarding investments, people shouldn’t avoid making any. After reducing household expenditures, people should consider a long-term investment with small risks,” he finished.

Mr. Ikeuchi seems to have misunderstood how to make good use of his money. However, due to this failure, he should be primely positioned to improve his investment strategies, enabling him to invest more intelligently next time. 

What do you think of investors who FOMO into cryptocurrency with the desire to get rich quick? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

Strengthening regulations will increase crypto investors’ protection, and the amateur speculation bubble will end, says Masayuki Tashiro, representative director of Fiscalo Digital Asset Group and market analyst, who handles a crypto business in Japan. The real value of cryptocurrency will be questioned after we leave the bubble, the expert says.

Also read: Japanese Association Seeks Authority to Enforce Self-Regulation on Crypto Exchanges

Is the Cryptocurrency Market Heading to Maturity?

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert SaysThe overall excitement and confusion around cryptocurrency in Japan is over as regulations had been strengthened. In many ways the environment surrounding Bitcoin has changed dramatically this year. Last December, the highest value for 1 BTC was 2.5 million yen (22,500$), then in January it dropped by more than half, at 700,000 yen (6,300$), when on January 26th, 58 billion yen (520 million$) worth of cryptocurrency Nem (NEM) went missing from Coincheck, a local exchange.

“The overheating feeling around cryptocurrency that went on until the beginning of the year was just a bubble,” Masayuki Tashiro said. Right after the Coincheck heist, Japan’s Financial Security Agency (FSA) took immediate measures in February and raided the company and other crypto exchanges to find out what was going on. Then six companies including the major registrants received heavy administrative sanctions in June. BTC price then fell to 600,000 yen (5,400$). Currently the price of one BTC is about 800,000 yen (7,200$), but it is a situation that is changing around all the time, the market analyst pointed out.

Real Value of Crypto Will Show After the Bubble Is Over

The real value of crypto will show after the bubble is over, the expert says. As the Coincheck management apologized during a press conference in Tokyo last January for failing to keep the cryptocurrency, its overall price dropped dramatically and the trend to regulate cryptocurrency accelerated drastically. “Futures traders in the US launching the BTC futures trading market last December also influenced the situation a lot. And those futures hedge funders entered the market as a tide, all at once, that influenced the bubble to burst too,” Tashiro explained, “the more the price falls, the more people tend to sell. And the biggest factor for the bubble bursting is the actions taken by beginners who don’t have the experience of investing in crypto,” he added.

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

“To begin with, there aren’t any investment measures with crypto such as PER (Price Earnings Ratio) and PBR (Price Book-value Ratio) as we see with stocks, so people shouldn’t touch upon it if they don’t understand it. Without any solid understanding, newbies shouldn’t have gotten involved in crypto,” Tashiro explained. Japan’s crypto industry has established a self regulatory association called the Japan Cryptocurrency Exchange Association in April, which is prospecting to set up self-regulatory rules by October. Rules and regulations around crypto have been strengthened globally, and the overall crypto boom seems to have dissipated.

Crypto Is Still a Remarkable Market

“Strengthening the rules is a good move,” the analyst said, “people will be able to invest with peace in their mind as the poor quality crypto vendors will exit and a strong anti-money laundering system will be put in place internally within each exchange,” Tashiro says. “Furthermore, last year BTC price rose by more than 40% twice,” he explained, “this is the same figure as the Nikkei average during the Lehman shock. In the near future, although we might not reach that high, we can still expect a rise in the range of 800,000 yen (7,200$). Although the price range at the moment is around 30,000 to 40,000 yen (270 to 360$), a rise always occurs, that’s why [crypto] is still a remarkable market.” Regarding future market trends, “personally I am bullish,” Tashiro said, “and by the time the outline of the regulations will come together in October, those investors who will feel safer will come back. I hope things won’t get as overheated as last year, but I believe BTC can win back the value of 1 million yen (9,020$) in range,” he believes.

The bubble which attracted or was caused by amateur investors is over, and the reinforcement of regulation is a rather securing outcome from the perspective of investors’ protection in the cryptocurrency market. From this Japanese expert’s point of view, it seems that there is still room for earning in crypto.

What do you think of this Japanese analyst’s expectations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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PR: Bibox Gains Swiss VQF License – Accelerating Global Expansion

Bibox Gains Swiss VQF License - Accelerating Global Expansion

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

On 16th August 2018, Bibox, a leading AI-enhanced digital asset trading platform, announced its acquisition of Chain Capital that owns Swiss VQF license. VQF itself is the largest cross-industry Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) with the longest history that meets the standards established by the Financial Services Standards Association (FINMA). All the members of VQF also need to meet the most serious requirements in order to get a membership. Moreover, their membership means that all their operations are carried out in strict compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act in Switzerland. This acquisition enables Bibox to conduct digital currency business in Europe going forward.

Bibox was founded by Jeffery Lei, co-founder of OKCoin, and was officially launched in November 2017. Within a mere span of 6 months, Bibox has impressively climbed the ranks to become a Top-10 crypto exchange in the world in terms of transaction volume. Bibox has also established footprint across the world with operation centers in more than 10 countries and regions including Estonia, the United States, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.

Bibox integrates AI technology into all aspects of its platform trading, carefully screening high-quality projects for users, and has received wide acclaim from both users and industry experts for its smooth trading experience and excellent customer service. As of August 2018, the number of Bibox users has exceeded 1 million. According to CoinMarketCap’s statistics, Bibox has a consistent average 24-hour trading volume of $200 million.

Bibox’s sponsor Jeffery Lei shared that the acquisition of Chain Capital in Switzerland will not only help Bibox to better develop its European business and serve more users, but also to provide more choices to its users hence greatly improving users’ convenience. At the same time, this acquisition also serves as an example to the rest of the industry to continually explore more opportunities to further develop their blockchain business as the industry grows towards maturity.

Chain Capital is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland’s financial center, and is a digital asset fund management company. Just 2 months after its establishment in July 2017, Chain Capital received the first VQF license issued by Switzerland, which means that the company can engage in transactions of digital assets. This is of great significance to Bibox’s expansion of its global footprint and specifically European business.

“Attaining a license is an instrumental step in our global expansion. In the future, our main task at Bibox is to apply our technical knowledge accumulated in the blockchain field to other domains, and accelerate the development of blockchain technology.” Jeffery Lei exhibits great confidence in blockchain technology in terms of both its applications and development potential, and aims to invest even more funds and energy to aid the development of the blockchain industry. “I think this is the career I can invest my life in.”

Bibox’s feat of achieving its Top-10 ranking within half a year is a result of its co-founders’ years of technical knowledge and experience in the blockchain field. Technical expert Jeffery Lei, was the Marketing Operation Manager / Product Manager at Huawei, later co-founded OKCoin with Xu Mingxing, and also served as CEO of AI company Jixianyuan. Similarly, fellow Bibox co-founder Aries Wang, is the author of Crypto Economics, has gained many years of experience in the blockchain field and is based in North America.

For more information contact:
Lesley Zhang, Director of Public Relations
media_release@bibox365.com
Bibox.com

Press Contact Email Address
media_release@bibox365.com

Supporting Link
https://www.bibox.com/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted 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 the press release.

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Messaging firm Line launches a dedicated crypto fund

Messaging company Line is continuing to burrow deep into the crypto space after it announced the launch of a $10 million investment fund.

The fund will be operated by Line’s Korea-based blockchain subsidiary Unblock Corporation, which is tasked with research, education and other blockchain-related services. The fund will be called Unblock Ventures and it’ll initially have a capital pool of $10 million but Line said that is likely to increase over time.

The company said the fund will be focused on early-stage startup investments, but it didn’t provide further details.

Line is listed in Tokyo and on the NYSE. This fund makes it one of the first publicly traded companies to create a dedicated crypto investment vehicle. The objective, it said, is “to boost the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.”

Line claims nearly 200 million users of its messaging app, which is particularly popular in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. The company also offers a range of connected services that include payment, social games, ride-hailing, food delivery and more.

This marks Line’s second major crypto move this year following the launch of its BitBox exchange last month. It isn’t available in the U.S. or Japan right now but Line envisages closes ties with its messaging service and other features further down the line.

These moves into crypto come despite some serious downturn in the valuation of the space this year following record highs in January which saw the value of one Bitcoin touch nearly $20,000 and Ethereum, among others, surged. In the months since then, however, many cryptocurrencies have seen their valuations decline. This week, Ethereum dropped below $300 in what is its first major price crisis. Bitcoin has, for many years, risen and fallen although January’s valuations took the extremes to a new level.

Note: The author owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.

Japan’s Internet Giant GMO Unveils New Crypto Priorities, Exchange Profits Up 7-Fold

Japan's Internet Giant GMO Unveils New Crypto Priorities, Exchange Profits Up 7-Fold

Japan’s GMO Internet has unveiled new priorities for its cryptocurrency business along with the performances of its crypto exchange and mining operations. The changes going forward result from the bear market and increased total hash rate.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

GMO Coin Profits Up 7.3-Fold

Japan's Internet Giant GMO Unveils New Crypto Priorities, Exchange Profits Up 7-FoldJapanese internet giant GMO published its second-quarter results for this fiscal year on Thursday. The report details the performances of the company’s cryptocurrency operations as well as changes in future plans.

In the second quarter, GMO’s overall crypto business generated a “revenue of JPY 2.6B [~US$23,481,811] in just a year since the launch,” the report reads. It also generated operating profits of 250 million yen (~$2,257,744) in the quarter compared to a loss of 730 million yen (~$6,592,612) the previous quarter.

For GMO Coin, the company’s crypto exchange operation, its “revenue increased 7.3-fold” in the second quarter compared to the previous. Its Q2 net sales were 1.42 billion yen (~$12,824,623) with operating profits of 550 million yen (~$4,967,283). In the first quarter, the subsidiary made a loss of 760 million yen (~$6,863,883).

Japan's Internet Giant GMO Unveils New Crypto Priorities, Exchange Profits Up 7-Fold

Furthermore, GMO revealed that its crypto exchange’s “customer accounts are growing steadily,” with about 177,000 accounts opened in one year.

Mining Revenues Up 92%, Unexpected Loss Incurred

GMO’s crypto mining business generated 1.17 billion yen (~$10,568,436) in revenue in the second quarter, up 91.8% from the previous quarter. While “our hash rate is increasing as expected,” the company made an overall loss of 360 million yen (~$3,252,429).

Noting that the “loss was against our expectation,” the company proceeded to change its mining business policy. In July, GMO mined 568 BTC, a slight increase from the previous month of 528 BTC. However, the hash rate in July was 384 PH/s, unchanged from the previous month.

Japan's Internet Giant GMO Unveils New Crypto Priorities, Exchange Profits Up 7-Fold

Citing external, “uncontrollable factors,” namely the low price of bitcoin and the increasing total hash rate, GMO detailed a change of priorities.

Previously, the company’s top priority was to mine cryptocurrencies in-house, then to offer cloud mining services to the public before selling mining machines. The new strategy puts selling the machines first, then mining in-house before offering their cloud mining services. The company will also “secure a more inexpensive power supply” to lower electricity costs for mining.

Japan's Internet Giant GMO Unveils New Crypto Priorities, Exchange Profits Up 7-Fold

GMO hopes that the change in strategy will lead to more control over their investments and an earlier payback. Meanwhile, the company still plans to ship GMO miners B2 and B3 at the end of October.

What do you think of GMO’s new priorities and performances of the crypto exchange and mining operations? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GMO Internet.


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Asia’s Largest Stock Exchange is Honestly ‘Troubled’ by a Cryptocurrency Firm

The planned acquisition of a Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed company by a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency firm is reportedly raising concerns within the bourse. The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) is receptive, even welcoming, to foreign firms entering the Japanese market – unless they’re a cryptocurrency firm. According to the Nikkei on Sunday, the exchange operator is evidently

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Japan Targets Speculative Cryptocurrency Investments in Regulatory Revamp

Japan’s primary financial regulator is reportedly looking at updating its regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency sector to curb speculative investments. In April 2017, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) – Japan’s financial regulator – enforced new legislation that revised the Payment Services Act to recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender. The regulatory move was pioneering at the

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Japan’s Licensed Crypto Exchanges Formally Apply for Self-Regulatory Body

An association of sixteen licensed domestic cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan have formally applied for certification from the country’s financial regulator to form a self-regulatory body. The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), a body comprised of all 16 licensed cryptocurrency exchanges, is looking to become a “certified fund settlement business association” after a formal application … Continued

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PR: Stemcell-pj – Tech to Reverse Ageing: Blockchain Startup Joins the Fight for Longevity

Stemcell-pj - Tech to Reverse Ageing: Blockchain Startup Joins the Fight for Longevity

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

The mythical fountain of youth. The tales of it appeared in writings by Herodotus, it was sought by the emperors of ancient China, for its sake alchemists spent years trying to create a philosopher’s stone. Centuries have passed, technological progress inexorably moves forward, but the issue of reversing the age is still hanging at poise. All over the world hundreds of clinics and laboratories spend millions of dollars searching for a way to slow down biological time. Now, in the heyday of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, high-tech startups are also joining the race for eternal youth.

Chameleon-like cells

According to the World Bank, about 8.7 percent of the world’s population is people over the age of 65. This is about 652 million humans! The forecasts are even more discouraging: the ageing population grows at an unprecedented rate and the percentage is projected to reach nearly 17 percent by 2050.

The life expectancy increases as well. But a longer life does not necessarily mean a better life. With age, a person inevitably loses strength, beauty and is prone to serious chronic diseases. With the latter years comes an ever-growing risk factor for degenerative illnesses and the development of malignant tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia.

By defeating ageing, we might overcome many diseases. And vice versa – preventing and curing these illnesses we may finally find longevity.

For more than a decade, stem cell therapy has been at the forefront of a struggle against ageing and severe diseases.

Stem cells are the “universal” building blocks – progenitors of all cell types in our body. They are able to repeatedly divide and transform into cells of any organ. Simply put, if the body needs to regenerate a tissue, stem cells have the capacity to transform into these required tissue cells. The same happens with bones, muscles, tendons. So, the body repairs itself with no medications or surgeries involved. Stem cell therapy is already being used to treat tendon ruptures and serious diseases like leukemia and lymphoma.

If stem cells have such huge potential and have already proved their effectiveness in treating a number of diseases, then what is the problem?

Accelerating the progress

In fact, there are several problems. Firstly, the high price. For example, American clinics charge nearly $10,000 per treatment. Most patients need not just one therapy session, but an entire round. Sometimes the final cost can reach more than $100,000, not including possible travel expenses or follow-up care.

In addition, the availability of stem cell therapies worldwide is much more limited than of other medical treatments. Due to this, there is a growing phenomenon of stem cell tourism. The most popular destinations are the Asian countries of China, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and Thailand.

Stem cell therapy is relatively new and promising, but still largely underexplored. Hundreds of biotech companies around the world are engaged in research of biotechnologies, including stem cell transplantation. Scientists are actively pursuing studies on the use of cell therapy in restoring vision for the blind, regrowing teeth and treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

With all these companies involved, there is no surprise that the global market of cell therapy is growing rapidly. According to the analysis performed by Transparency Market Research, the industry is expected to reach $270.5 billion by 2025.

Today the struggle against ageing ceases to be just a lot for enthusiasts, donors, and philanthropists but draws the attention of large investors and venture capitalists.

The stem cell market already has its high-tech unicorns. These include biotechnology company Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. with a market capitalization of $1.34 billion; Athersys with a cap of $264.88 million, Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc. with a stock price of more than $20.

The booming crypto industry also doesn’t stand aloof and makes its own contribution to resolving the global problem. In February 2018, one of the most famous people in the crypto universe – the founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin – donated $2.4 million to the SENS Research Foundation, a charity funding research for treating age-related diseases.

Blockchain companies are not just donating money, some of them plan to facilitate the research of stem cell treatment and expose this innovative therapy to more people. This is what the Japanese blockchain venture Stem Cell Project is working on. It seeks to extend the healthy life expectancy and make its own contribution to the regenerative medicine – with the help of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and their own token SCC.

“What we can now do with cell therapy is just the tip of the iceberg,” comments the Stem Cell Project team. “The possibilities of stem cells usage are much wider. And we want to be at the forefront of new discoveries, which might save many lives in the future. Cryptocurrency is borderless and healthcare should be the same – with no limits.”

The project promotes a special technology for quick and accurate production of stem cells to allow more people to have access to this advanced treatment. This way, it becomes possible to optimize the cost of the cell therapy and create an environment where people can receive it on equal terms. Stem Cell Project mainly focuses on two directions: making stem cell treatment possible to pay in cryptocurrency and bringing regenerative medicine closer to millions of people – in Asia, and across the whole world. No matter who the patient is and which type of payment he chooses.

With many high-tech ventures already involved, and blockchain companies joining the race, our dreams of a long-lasting life have the potential to finally become a reality. Vitalik Buterin and the Stem Cell Project are among those ‘crypto pioneers’ who stand at the frontier and make their own contribution to modern regenerative medicine. And who knows, maybe their activities will help radically change our human lives.

Learn more about plans and vision of Stem Cell Project on the website and in Telegram chat. Join the discussion.

Press Contact Email Address
info@stemcell-pj.com

Supporting Link
http://stemcell-pj.net/en

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted 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 the press release.

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Gox Creditors Agree to $1.3Bil Repayment in BCH, BTC, No Altcoins, by Summer 2019

Gox Creditors Agree to $1.3Bil Repayment in BCH, BTC, No Altcoins, by Summer 2019

Mt. Gox, the defunct and disgraced bitcoin exchange (at one time the biggest in the world) is preparing a final chapter in a long, sorted ordeal. Creditors have coalesced around a repayment scheme to make victims whole. It includes what might amount to $1.3 billion in returned bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) as early as summer of 2019.

Also read: Bitcoiners Hope to Have a Friend in Top US Regulator Jay Clayton

Mt. Gox Creditors Outline Plans for Repayments by Summer of Next Year

The civil rehabilitation plan, a legal maneuver short of formal bankruptcy within the Japanese system, has been updated this August, relating to Mt. Gox and making victims whole. In an announcement published recently, creditors revised policy to better reflect feedback from the previous iteration.

Gox Creditors Agree to $1.3Bil Repayment in BCH, BTC, No Altcoins, by Summer 2019
Mark Karpeles of Mt. Gox back in 2014

The revision includes how formal repayment to victims will be in bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) through existing accounts on various exchanges or pre-approved, newly opened accounts. “We think it desirable that the BTC and BCH be sent to exchanges in which many creditors have accounts or can open accounts easily,” creditors clarified.

Another sticky issue seemingly resolved, at least for now, is that of fiat paper, cash. Gox still holds residual cash from previous sales, and creditors wish that repaid to who they term “monetary creditors” first.

168,000 in BCH and 160,000 in BTC

Alternative coins to either BCH or BTC are no longer being considered in the creditors’ repayment scheme. Differing selections of alts, their notorious volatility, all conspired against their usage in this matter. Creditors describe the notion as “unrealistic.” True too would be such a dump on broader altcoin markets. “There is a possibility that the sale of the altcoins by the trustee would cause a sudden fall in the price of altcoins and security problems may arise if the trustee moves the altcoins. Therefore, the trustee should proceed with the sale of altcoins with careful consideration of these matters,” Gox creditors insisted.

Gox Creditors Agree to $1.3Bil Repayment in BCH, BTC, No Altcoins, by Summer 2019

The August statement details how 168,000 in bitcoin cash and 160,000 in bitcoin core, combined with Gox “derivatives” will be paid by the trustee, summer of next year, assuming the rehabilitation is formally approved (which seems likely). The overall resolution plan itself appears to be lagging, and so it is suspected to be submitted by mid February of next year. Depending on the price, of course, payouts could be worth well north of $1 billion, akin to $1.3 billion as of this writing. 

Mt. Gox was at one point the world’s most popular bitcoin exchange, accounting for a supermajority of BTC’s volume just four years ago. It eventually went bust after 744,000 bitcoin core vanished. Creditors have spent years trying to recover losses. Last year, they petitioned Japanese bankruptcy officials to allow the case be settled in civil rehabilitation. The court eventually granted the request summer of this year. The trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, held over 200k bitcoin, liquidating some 30,000 by spring. The rehabilitation plan under Mr. Kobayashi won’t have to liquidate assets such BCH and BTC going forward. Creditors will be formally advised of claim procedures most likely this month.

What do you think should be done with Mt. Gox’s left over crypto? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via Pixabay. 


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Japanese Association Seeks Authority to Enforce Self-Regulation on Crypto Exchanges

Japanese Association Seeks Authority to Enforce Self-Regulation on Crypto Exchanges

Japanese crypto exchanges may soon have an official self-regulatory body. The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association has applied with the country’s financial regulator to become the authority for self-regulation, with the power to enforce rules on its crypto exchange members.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Registering with FSA

The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (Jvcea) announced Friday that it has applied for certification with the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Japanese Association Seeks Authority to Enforce Self-Regulation on Crypto ExchangesThere are currently 16 government-approved, fully licensed crypto exchanges in Japan; all of them are members of the Jvcea.

The association explained that it is seeking to become a “certified fund settlement business association,” which will serve as a self-regulatory body for crypto exchanges. Its primary objectives include providing “guidance and recommendations to members to comply with regulations, laws and self-regulation rules,” the Jvcea’s announcement reads. The association hopes to contribute “to the sound development of the virtual currency exchange industry and the protection of the interests of users.”

According to To-o Nippo Press:

 The Financial Services Agency will carefully examine the affairs of the association and carefully investigate whether proper group management can be expected. It will take 1 to 2 months for the review.

Japanese Association Seeks Authority to Enforce Self-Regulation on Crypto ExchangesThe Jvcea was established in response to the hack of Coincheck in January where 58 billion yen (~US$521 million) worth of the cryptocurrency NEM was stolen. It aims to restore public trust in the crypto industry.

Japan also has two other crypto associations which predate the Jvcea: the Japan Blockchain Association (Jba) and the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (Jcba). Most crypto exchanges in the country are members of one or both of these organizations.

Self-Regulatory Rules Submitted

Japanese Association Seeks Authority to Enforce Self-Regulation on Crypto ExchangesThe association has reportedly drafted self-regulation that includes a number of restrictions on how crypto exchanges operate. In June, local media reported that privacy coin listings will be restricted and a ban on insider trading will be imposed.

Other restrictions include a margin limit of 4 times leverage, trading caps for all customers, and trading restrictions for minors and the elderly.

“We also submitted voluntary rules on margin trading and insider trading [to the FSA],” Jiji Press quoted the association:

If it [the Jvcea] is approved as a self-regulating organization, it will be possible to enforce disposition and investigation of member exchanges, expulsion of membership…in a mandatory manner.

According to the publication, the FSA “plans to entrust the organization with the flexibility to rapidly develop technologies and to combine technological innovation and customer protection.”

The association wrote, “We will work closely with registered virtual currency exchange traders and all those who support us while fully working to restore users’ trust in domestic virtual currency handlers and markets.”

What do you think of the association’s efforts? Do you think Japan should have a self-regulatory authority? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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