The City of Berkeley Will Organize an ICO for Affordable Housing

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TheMerkle Berkeley ICO Affordable Housing

Cryptocurrencies have proven to be an interesting way of transfering value. In a lot of cases, people seemingly take a liking to Bitcoin and a few altcoins. In the city of Berkeley, however, a brand-new cryptocurrency will be introduced and issued. This new currency will mainly be used to fund affordable housing in the area.

Berkeley’s ICO is an intriguing Creature

It is quite interesting to see how different people and regions respond to the “challenge” of cryptocurrencies. More specifically, this new form of money has certainly introduced a lot of interesting changes, even though not everyone sees the value in it right now. That situation is slowly changing in favor of this nascent industry, by the look of things. While we may not see mainstream cryptocurrency adoption anytime soon, the concept powering this new form of money is being explored behind the scenes.

Most recently, the city of Berkeley, California has been looking into creating its own cryptocurrency. While interesting, this should not come as much of a surprise. Individual US states have different opinions and regulations associated with cryptocurrency as of right now. California appears to be rather open-minded when it comes to this new form of money, although things are always subject to change.

The main reason why the city of Berkeley is taking this approach is that it wants to solve a very real problem. Housing in the city is not easy to come by, mainly because of the mounting prices. To counter this problem, the city will organize an ICO – Initial Community Offering – to fund affordable housing to support the homeless population in the city. It is evident this is a rather different business model from what most people first expect.

Berkeley City Council member Ben Bartlett explains it as follows:

This is not your typical ICO, but rather an initial community offering. We decide to explore new forms of finance in response to the cuts from DC and corporate tax cuts that took away our ability to fund affordable housing. There are more than one-thousand homeless people living in Berkeley, which is projected to increase by a factor of five in the coming years. Many cities, just like Berkeley, are under a funding assault – we have to think outside of the box in order to solve this problem. We did this a decade ago with PACE financing and now it’s time to do it again.

With nearly 1,000 homeless people in the city at the end of last year, it has become a matter of great importance to turn this situation around. Doing so is not all that easy, though, especially considering the recent changes to the US tax code for businesses. Many people fear this change will have a negative impact on the contractors building affordable housing across the nation. This is why the city of Berkeley wants to remain ahead of this problem and take a very different approach.

It is important to note Berkeley’s cryptocurrency is very different from traditional ICOs. Instead, it’s issuing bonds which are backed by municipal bonds, which can be put on the same level as a government-issued security. By tokenizing these bonds, the Berkeley City Council aims to appease residents who want to make their city a better place for everyone. If this effort proves successful, we may see similar efforts take place across the United States moving forward.

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Bitcoin Wallet and Jaxx Blockchain Wallet Contain Major Security Flaws

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TheMerkle Mobile Bitcoin Wallets Insecure

Cryptocurrency wallets have always presented a mix of convenience and potential security issues. For the most part, the top cryptocurrency wallets do not suffer from any major vulnerabilities. In the case of Jaxx and Bitcoin.com’s Bitcoin Wallet, things are very different. Cheetah Mobile Blockchain Research Lab recently highlighted some major security flaws affecting both of these wallets.

Bitcoin.com’s Bitcoin Wallet Flaws

The research which Cheetah Mobile Blockchain Research Lab provided us paints a worrisome outlook for Bitcoin.com’s Bitcoin wallet. Given its widespread popularity, it is even more worrisome to learn that this software has a big problem under the hood. More specifically, the mnemonic phrases – or recovery seeds – used by the Bitcoin Wallet are stored in plain text in the local “mwallet” file. While that may not seem worrisome to the average consumer, it poses a big risk to users.

Given how easy it is to hack mobile phones these days, an assailant could easily access this unencrypted file. With the information stored inside this “document”, he or she could obtain the mnemonic phrase and import the user’s wallet into a different client without recourse. It is an unsafe practice in general, and it raises the question as to why the developers thought this would be a good idea in the first place.

What is even more problematic is that a hacker would not require root access to exploit this vulnerability. Once a mobile phone is infected with malware of any kind, the backdoor is created to give the assailant access to files such as this one. It is unclear if anyone has had their assets stolen in this way, but we can only hope to see the wallet developers address this problem in the very near future. Problems like these can have disastrous consequences for users and developers alike.

Jaxx Blockchain Wallet Risks

Unfortunately, it also seems the Jaxx Blockchain Wallet is at risk right now. Although no one should use this wallet to store large amounts of cryptocurrency for longer periods anyway, it seems there is a simple process associated with stealing user funds. More specifically, acquiring and decrypting one’s private key data files appears to be a piece of cake. Cheetah Mobile Blockchain Research Lab shared two methods by which these weaknesses may be exploited.

Firstly, having physical access to a phone with the Jaxx wallet can be problematic. More specifically, nefarious individuals can use Android’s backup mechanisms to save a user’s private key file on an unsecured device. This is made possible due to a lackluster attitude by the Jaxx developers regarding the “Android allowBackup” feature, which has been left enabled since day one. It’s a grave oversight by this team, but fortunately it’s one that can be fixed with relative ease.

Secondly, it is possible to exploit one of the many Android operating system weaknesses to bypass security barriers. Even though Jaxx does encrypt private key files, it is still possible to crack the AES encryption algorithm. It seems the Jaxx team made a “major mistake” in this regard, as they hard-coded the encryption algorithm in the app’s code. Nothing about it is randomly generated, which makes decrypting this information almost a cakewalk.

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Israeli Supreme Court Orders Bank Leumi Not to Block Bits of Gold’s Activities

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TheMerkle Israel Supreme Court Bank Leumi

Israel is a pretty intriguing country when it comes to cryptocurrencies in general. So far, we have not seen any major regulatory actions in that part of the world. That makes it all the more surprising to see the Supreme Court of Israel intervene in a recent spat between one of the country’s banks and a cryptocurrency exchange. The outcome is surprisingly positive and will hopefully set a global precedent.

Israel’s Supreme Court Intervenes in Favor of Cryptocurrency

Bits of Gold, an Israeli cryptocurrency exchange, has seen great success over the years. Unfortunately, its bank partner did not see things the same way and decided to block the activity of this cryptocurrency company. It is always unfortunate when things like this happen, although it has almost become the new normal.

This particular incident got a lot of attention because many people think the bank in question is concerned about cryptocurrencies. We have seen major financial entities in the US admit that Bitcoin and altcoins legitimately threaten their business models. It is possible Bank Leumi falls into the same category, although its official statement on the matter suggests otherwise.

According to the bank, it is concerned that Bits of Gold’s business model entails risks which are in violation of current regulation. If anything were to happen to the company or its funds, the bank could be held liable for any ensuing issues. It is only normal that entities such as Bank Leumi wish to avoid negative backlash in this regard. However, blocking a company from performing its day-to-day operations seems a bit severe.

For this reason, the Israeli Supreme Court decided to intervene. While such intervention is rather rare, it shows the government is not sitting by idly when cryptocurrency is a topic of discussion. Big was most people’s surprise when the country’s supreme court ruled in favor of Bits of Gold. Its verdict claims that Bank Leumi cannot extensively block the activity of the company any longer. This outspoken support for the cryptocurrency industry sets a very interesting precedent for the future.

According to the high court, Bits of Gold should “not be banned sweepingly”. Any damages caused to the bank are mainly speculative in nature as of right now, and there is no reason for Bank Leumi to block Bits of Gold’s services any longer. It seems the financial institution made a lot of assumptions without basing their decision on factual evidence. Consequently, it made a hasty decision, which has now been officially overturned by the Supreme Court of Israel. It is a pretty big victory for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.

For the time being, Bank Leumi says it will respect the court’s decision. However, it will continue to manage the case and keep a very close eye on how things proceed. It is possible the bank may decide to take further action against Bits of Gold or other companies making use of its services until proper cryptocurrency regulation is put in place. This legal gray area will need to be addressed sooner rather than later, although when that will happen exactly is yet unknown.

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Top 6 Crypto Influencers on Twitter

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TheMerkle Twitter Crypto Influencers

Everyone in the cryptocurrency world has their own opinion regarding this industry. The so-called influencers in this space can often be found on Twitter and other social media platforms. Below are some of the people well worth keeping an eye on, in no particular order.

CryptoCobain

By far one of the more intriguing “color commentators” in the cryptocurrency ecosystem goes by the handle of @CryptoCobain. Although it appears that he is trying to quit this ecosystem once and for all, it seems to be a matter of time until he makes a full return. One could say CryptoCobain is as entwined with cryptocurrency as blockchain is with Bitcoin. It’s not always a happy marriage, but the associated parties are simply stuck with one another for the time being.

Chris Dunn

For those among us who like to hear something new about technical analysis without all of the shilling – or simply hope to get rich with cryptocurrency over time – Chris Dunn is the go-to person in this regard. He is an active investor in this ecosystem and has quite a lot of insights when it comes to finance and cryptocurrency in general. With his goal to help 100,000 people successfully invest in cryptocurrencies, there’s no reason not to keep an eye on Chris Dunn right now.

John McAfee

Although John McAfee can often be a loudmouth – and a foul mouth as well – in the cryptocurrency industry, he is also a visionary in his own right. Whether you agree or disagree with his opinions and references to alternative cryptocurrencies, his insights always provide some entertainment in one way or another. McAfee is a cult figure in the cryptocurrency scene right now, whether we like it or not.

Vinny Lingham

It is safe to say Vinny Lingham‘s followers have a love-hate relationship with the man. While his insights are always intriguing, he also manages to go against the overall sentiment of the industry at times. Then again, one of his companies is trying to bring blockchain technology to the digital identity sector, which will undoubtedly yield some interesting results. Like him or not, Vinny’s advice should always be kept in the back of one’s mind.

Charlie Shrem

Although Charlie Shrem has a bit of a checkered past, his insights and opinions always strike a chord with his Twitter audience. It is evident he is in a prime position to explain the intricate inner workings of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, although it’s always healthy to have a different opinion regarding certain matters as well. Most of his comments are well-argumented, and they always lead to worthwhile discussion in the long run.

Andreas Antonopoulos

Everyone who gets involved in cryptocurrency comes across the name Andreas Antonopoulos sooner or later. His opinions, insights, and arguments regarding both cryptocurrency and blockchain are simply phenomenal. More importantly, he is also a genuinely nice and down-to-earth person. The author of two prominent cryptocurrency-related books has built an immense following which continues to grow as the popularity of cryptocurrency rises.

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What Is Rabobit?

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TheMerkle Rabobank Rabobit

Banks all over the world have shown increasing interest in cryptocurrencies as of late. Rabobank in the Netherlands is probably the most open-minded institution in this regard. Its Rabobit service will be of great interest to a lot of cryptocurrency users in the future.

A Closer Look at the Rabobit Service

As the name Rabobit somewhat suggests, Rabobank has officially entered the cryptocurrency world. Although most people knew the bank was experimenting with this new form of money, it largely remained unclear what its long-term vision entailed exactly. It seems we now have an answer, as the Dutch financial institution wants to let users store and manage their cryptocurrencies in a secure manner.

To do so, Rabobank is currently developing a service known as Rabobit. It will serve as a cryptocurrency wallet managed by the Rabobank team. For a lot of cryptocurrency users, this concept will immediately raise a lot of questions. After all, why would anyone trust a bank to store their cryptocurrency balance? Most people flock to this new form of money as a way to sever ties with their bank altogether.

Even so, Rabobank is genuinely convinced its Rabobit service will be of interest to a lot of people. The project focuses on security first and foremost, which is always a good sign. It is possible to store one’s cryptocurrency balance in a wallet hosted by this “trusted” third party. Moreover, the service can seemingly be accessed through the same online banking environment which Rabobank’s clients have grown accustomed to using.

That certainly makes things more convenient, but users will no longer be in full control of their cryptocurrency balances. The main reason why cryptocurrency matters is that users can manage their own money from any device at any given time and in any given location. When a bank becomes a custodian over one’s funds, it is evident we are taking a few steps backward.

For those users who do prefer the convenience, it seems Rabobit will check a lot of the right boxes. All of one’s funds can be accessed using their bank account and from mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Moreover, users can add their cryptocurrency balance to their banking app without requiring external solutions, which can only be considered a good thing. It does come at a steep price in terms of sacrificing one’s financial freedom, but for novice users, this may still be an option worth exploring.

The big question is when Rabobit will officially launch. As of right now, it seems the service is still in development. Rabobank has not issued any official timeline regarding this product or any specific limitations associated with its new service. It is an interesting project to keep an eye on, even though veteran cryptocurrency users will not see any merit in this offering. When banks want to hold your cryptocurrencies, things are not necessarily evolving in the right direction.

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What Is RippleByte?

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TheMerkle RippleByte ICO

Ripple has quickly become one of the more intriguing projects in the world of digital currencies. Although the project is not even remotely similar to cryptocurrency, a lot of people see the value in what the company aims to provide. As such, it was only a matter of time until copycat currencies tried to capitalize on the Ripple name. RippleByte appears to be the first major currency to do so, although it is not exactly something most people will care about.

Is RippleByte a Decentralized Ripple?

Anyone who has paid attention to Ripple and its XRP asset will notice that its infrastructure is unique. There is no mining involved and it is impossible to stake coins, yet the total coin supply is fixed. Over half of the available XRP is locked in escrow contracts for the foreseeable future, which makes this native asset quite interesting to speculators.

Even so, the Ripple ecosystem is fairly centralized. The same can be said for major cryptocurrencies with centralized mining hubs and consensus algorithms relying on miner input. In the case of Ripple, its validator nodes must be approved, which is something some people take offense to. This particular approach seems to be working for the company, though, and the team is in the process of further decentralizing Ripple as a whole.

For those who cannot wait for Ripple to complete its decentralization process, there is now a currency known as RippleByte. This has absolutely nothing to do with the original Ripple project or any of its team members. Instead, it is an ERC20 token trying to capitalize on Ripple’s current market traction. The RippleByte team advertises their token as a decentralized currency for global payment solutions. It seems to copy all of the traits of Ripple in terms of business adoption, even though XRD will never be of any importance to the financial sector.

Under the hood, RippleByte is open source, which is always good to see. However, it seemingly achieves the same goal as Ripple’s XRP without relying on central authorities. With a fair distribution, faster confirmations, and dedicated wallet encryption, there are some things to like about XRD. Assuming, that is, that people actually buy into this upcoming ICO even though they know all too well this currency will be forgotten about in the very near future.

Considering that this project has no active roadmap as of right now, there is no real reason to pay attention to RippleByte. It is clear to everyone what the objective of this project is. There is no relation with Ripple in any official capacity, and anyone who buys into this ICO will probably end up losing money. It is commendable to see people try and make a positive impact on this industry, but copying existing successful projects is never the way to go.

Moreover, the project’s whitepaper is rather amateurish at best. It contains a lot of words which basically leave everything up to “how users perceive and use this currency”. From an investor’s point of view, this is anything but a reason to throw money at this initial coin offering. There are a lot of other currencies that can do the same as RippleByte and which will still be around after people forgot this ICO ever took place. Even so, there will still be people who buy into projects like this one, simply because an ICO is involved.

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The 5 Best ICOs in 2018 Which Might Make You a Millionaire

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Have you ever wondered what you would do if you had all the money in the world? Everyone has. But we take it to be just daydreaming.

Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Article

According to researchers, at least in the US, while entering the top 20% income distribution can be achieved through education and hard work, entering the top 1% is almost impossible if you don’t have a wealthy background.

It’s also well known that nobody becomes rich by saving up under the mattress. You could take 20% of your income each month and save it, but if you’re making $50 or $60 k a year (rough averages for the US and EU), it’ll take you around 65 years to get to your first million. That’s a bad deal.

Check any publication on the matter, you’ll see one thing: millionaires and billionaires get to be so by investing. You don’t break into the top 1% by working and drawing a salary, but by making your money work for you.

Nowadays, thanks to digital currencies and ICOs, investing is easier than ever. You can find investing opportunities everywhere. Some are quite risky (a few are scams). But big risk means big rewards.

In this list, we’ll showcase some of the most profitable ICOs to take off in 2018. Some might make you a millionaire if you’re ready to take some risk.

But first, let’s see previous ICOs so you can see what I mean by big rewards.

The Top 10 Most profitable ICOs ever

It’s no news that some ICOs have yielded amazing returns. But if you do the math, it becomes almost unbelievable just how amazing this returns have been.

Check Ethereum, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies right now (and the basic code for most ICOs). Since its ICO, Ethereum has seen a pant-dropping 229615% increase.

That’s almost 2300 thousand dollars for each dollar invested. Picture you had bought some at its ICO. For $100, you could now afford a sports car. For $1000, you’d be a multi-millionaire.

And that doesn’t even compare to what you could have got for a $1000 investment in NXT. If you had purchased $1000 worth of it, it would now be worth a mind-shattering eight million dollars.

Bet you’re feeling like you missed those. Well, don’t feel bad. Let’s break down my picks for the next big thing in the ICO world.

Our Top 5 ICOs that might make you a millionaire

I’ve selected my top 5 pick for ICOs running this year that may make you millions. The selection is based on the potential growth, all around hype and the strengths that come with each product and the team behind it. I’ve also pointed out some of the risk factors, so you can see both sides of the coin.

#1 TON [Telegram]

The product

TON (short for Telegram Open Network) emerged as a solution to problems common to all cryptocurrencies. The idea is simple: give blockchains a common foundation so they’re more easily accessible. The TON architecture is designed to allow for three things:

  • Speed and scalability
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Wide user-base

Its flexibility would also make it the perfect base for uses other than exchange, such as storage or automated transactions.

It would be integrated to the Telegram app, with which most crypto-enthusiasts are already familiar. This implies a direct access to their almost 200 million monthly users, and is a very valuable asset on itself. The idea is quite good, and somewhat resembles Kik’s KIN token. We’ll have to wait and see whether it takes off.

Why it might make you a millionaire

First off: user base. One of crypto’s main hurdles is that its there’s not enough users yet to make it universal. If the Telegram team manage to integrate TON into their apps, and make every instance of the app a secure personal wallet, it’d be major hit.

TON would instantly become the world’s most widely used cryptocurrency. And if they can build, on top of that, all the functionality they propose, it could reshape the internet.

Also, Telegram is an already well-known brand and a strong player in the digital arena, so they have a name to backup their claims. And besides, TON has accumulated hype in the past weeks. If it’s sustained, even quick selling investors may find a good reason to get in on it early.

The risk

There’s three things to keep in mind. First off, the good old ‘don’t believe the hype’. The idea is sound, but the team has yet to make it a reality. And that’s a steep hill to climb.

It’s one thing to build a message app and another to revolutionize the internet with blockchain in every phone.

Second: the task is either huge or not worth it. KIN is a suitable comparison: big message app developer wants to introduce blockchain en masse. But you either change internet forever or end up with Paypal for hipsters. And that depends on functionality. Which brings us to the third.

Without use, the instantly generated user base may evaporate. Easy come, easy go. To keep them, Telegram has to build its platform, made it user-ready in a small window of time and add functionality, without disrupting its user base in the transition.

Bonus Tip

Feasibility aside, the idea behind KIN showcases one of the most radical uses of blockchain: hardware interconnection. Like a neural network, blockchain allows for processing power to be shared through a common, digital architecture. We may not be at that point yet, but a time may come when the internet is just one big supercomputer, with each of our devices acting as operating nodes.

#2 Kodak ICO

The product

Who hasn’t heard of Kodak?

Most of us over 20 have owned and used a traditional Kodak camera, and recall a time in which the brand laid dominance on all things photography. And now, Kodak’s withering road on the digital world has taken them to launch KODAKCoin in 2018.

The token is designed to protect photographers’ digital rights using blockchain. The core concept is simple: digital photographs will carry their creator’s info, becoming fully traceable. This is attractive to every photographer out there, and it’s surely a nice use of blockchain’s capabilities.

Why it might make you a millionaire

Let’s ask again. Who hasn’t heard of Kodak? A brand with such a long history has a name and legacy to back-up their endeavours. Besides, if anyone knows anything about photography it’s Kodak, right?

Also, although there are other ways to track digital rights, blockchain may indeed be the best to track intellectual property rights’ holders. And that’s thanks to integration. In an ideal setting, the hashing (or branding, if you like) of the photographs could be almost instantaneous (a word with a history of its own in photography). Combine that with the most futuristic, internet connected digital cameras, and it could prove an invaluable tool to professionals and amateurs alike.

The risk

I’m gonna ask one last time. Who hasn’t heard of Kodak? Although legacy counts for a lot in the business world, when it comes to tech, you have to be famous for doing the right thing. Kodak has failed in the past, especially when it came to adapting to the digital sphere. If they can’t change this history, the photography platform may just be poorly managed and all around clumsy (assuming they get the tech running in the first place).

Besides, even though it sounds like a nice way to track digital rights, it’s not necessarily an appropriate tool to enforce them. Thus, incentives, especially for professional photographers, would be slim. If the blockchain is integrated in more expensive devices, this hurdle could prove to be twice as hard to overcome. Kodak’s negatives may indeed overcome their golden age successes.

Bonus Tip

Every once in a while, intellectual property rights become an issue. Those of us with more internet hours on our backs are aware of the amount of piracy going on, and how little social pressure there is on maintaining some intellectual property rights. Independent artists and studios still have people’s hearts with them, but Disney-sized giants don’t. So, maybe intellectual property rights will get disrupted through social and political shakes. This would leave Kodak’s token as a solution to a no longer existing problem.

#3 Cointed Token

The product

Cointed is a company with a mission. They’ve set out to change money using crypto. They’ve already set up a network of Crypto ATM machines in Austria and several other European countries. Their token is called CTD and it facilitates acquisition of the ATMs.

The devices by themselves are highly functional, coming in one-way and two-way varieties, allowing users to exchange crypto to fiat and back again. Also, their low transaction fees make the platform easy to use and accessible.

This also counts for making crypto more widely available and attractive to not just investors, but ordinary users. Imagine if using crypto could be as simple as a credit card (which Cointed is also developing).

Why it might make you a millionaire

Cointed is a functioning company, and their ATMs are already operating, so it’s safe to say that their tech and management are sound. They have also been successful so far, so it’s not a question of whether they can be, but if they can improve their returns by upping their game. Cointed is even working on a banking license, so they’re willing to go the extra mile to secure their success.

Also, if they succeed, the whole crypto world succeeds.

Crypto ATMs are quite recent, but their tariffs and costs are unbearable right now. If Cointed can change that, crypto will break into the “real” world like a rockstar coming onstage. And I can’t wait to see that happen.

The risk

The hardest part of being ahead your time is everyone that isn’t. Especially big governments and banking institutions. Not only will banks (both private and central) will probably frown on the notion of decentralized money ATMsbeing as common as gas stations, but more than likely governments will want to set up some restrictions on it.

Cointed are getting a banking license in Austria, but they plan to take their business international. If governments want to crack down on them, maybe they won’t fly as far and high as they’re shooting for.

Bonus Tip

It’s refreshing to see someone break the mold every once in a while. Some companies and teams take lightly the notion of a community when they launch their ICOs. A few engage and communicate with their investors. But after getting some bad mouth about their inner practices, with an ex partner claiming Cointed had taken credit for their products, the team took the time and effort to launch a full transparency report. A rare but fine treat, it goes to show their team is serious and willing to keep their base. They might have just turned a bad thing into an opportunity to shine. This also sets them further apart from traditional financial institutions, which are not the most popular right now.

#4 ATF

The product

AgroTech Farming is an already established Russian company specializing in indoor hydroponic farming equipment. They have developed and constructed, a futuristic looking appliance to grow vegetables indoors without effort or previous knowledge. The ATF homegrower is app-controlled and comes in two models: Strawberry, made for growing three different small crops and cannabis, suitable to grow cannabis plants or any other tall crop.

The ICO aims to fund ATF’s hard footing in Canada and the US, where the market for medicinal and recreational cannabis, combined with the ever growing need for organic produce shape the ideal demand in those big markets. The token is called the ATF, and it has two main uses: discounts for buying and shipping the appliances and the possibility of conversion to shares, so it’s also aimed at investors (professional and amateur alike).

Why it might make you a millionaire

This ICO has many signs of a killer deal. The company and product are already set up, so it’s not a gamble to see whether they can build what they promise, they’re past that point. These are not dreamers but serious businessmen.

Also, the demand for their grower rests on an already well established demand: the US and Canada cannot produce enough organic veggies and Cannabis for its growing consumers. That’s why you can see big bumps on prices for organic products.

Also, it’s a cool idea to fall behind: easy to make, affordable, safe organic food for everyone? Count us in. Medicinal Cannabis Oil free of pesticides and additives? Double that.

The risk

Check out their appliance. It looks like it has been taken straight out of an Asimov novel. Maybe we are not ready for a world in which we all grow our food inside our own hose in a sort of magic shelf. Besides, the device is a bit pricey, and it can be tricky to sell at first. Finally, if you happen to be against cannabis for some reason, you may not want to take part in this.

Bonus Tip

ATF’s research on cannabis demand in the US and Canada looks quite promising. Obviously, they’re riding the green rush in North America to full extent. Besides, using an ICO to take control of a market is a creative spin on ICOs in general. I’ve also checked their notion of organic cannabis. The argument is sound: if you want to avoid pesticides in your foods, you definitely want to avoid them in your meds. All cannabis enthusiasts have a good reason to check this up.

#5 Envion

The product

Envion’s device is a pretty neat idea that combines solar-power, high-tech mining and a global community.

It’s all based on electricity prices. Solar power plants generate an overcapacity. This means that sometimes, they make much more energy than is demanded. So, price plummets, but only at the source.

Envion has set out to distribute mobile mining devices that can make use of this cheap energy, generating usable heat and mining crypto. All supervised using their custom made platform. Hardware is neat and well engineered and designed, but Envion has also set up a blockchain network to connect their soon to be raised army of miners.

Why it might make you a millionaire

The idea tackles big issues in the crypto world: energy prices and environmental impact. We already know bitcoin mining is seriously hurting the planet, using jaw-dropping amounts of energy. This, by the way, does not come cheap. By using overabundant solar energy, both hurdles are avoided.

One major hit is also the mining use for the technology. Blockchain that helps mine crypto is a good recipe for high returns.

The global community of Envion miners, interconnected through dedicated house-made software is also a solid base to run on. Finally, their tech is not just sound, but patent-protected, so the risk of copycats is limited.

The risk

EVN is hard to get. Unlike most tokens, you have to provide personal data and some documentation. Of course, these are justified, because miners become sort of ambassadors of this brand. Still, a harder process means less people will take the time and effort to join this futuristic army.

Shipping and manufacturing costs are also problematic, so while promised returns are big, bigger starting investments may be required.

This means Envion will rely more on professional users, ready to dedicate resources and time, so the crowd is not as big as could be, and will demand a lot from them. Envion will have to show nerve and organizing power to set up and manage their community.

Bonus Tip

Envion has focused on a big issue the crypto world faces today. We crypto enthusiasts can’t just turn our backs on keeping the environment undamaged.

While the biggest argument against crypto mining is false (namely, that it has no inherent use-value) it is true that the usefulness of crypto and blockchain are on their initial steps.

Picture this. If car manufacturers had known of climate change and what the product was slowly causing, wouldn’t you judge them as irresponsible and short sighted if they did nothing? I would.

That’s why we must meet the challenge of green mining. It’s quite possible, and a lot of companies have already fallen in line.

Ride the ICO Wave

As I said right at the start, becoming rich is about investing. Smart investing in turn is not about avoiding risks, but taking them intelligently.

Instead of just saving up under your mattress, try a different approach in 2018. Here’s my pick on some cool, calculated risks one can take this year in hopes of making your first million.

Remember one not only invests in tech. When it comes to ICO’s and blockchain, the product is important, but so is the team behind it and the community it springs.

ICO’s and blockchain tech are hooking, because of the vast array of possibilities. I no longer think of crypto as just a means to exchange value, but a platform on which to create more, divergent value. Blockchain is here to stay and sweep feet in a lot of industries.

Mine is a good list to start off 2018 the right way, but keep your eyes peeled. Who knows. Maybe you’ll spot the right risk at the right time.

And it might just make you a millionaire. Always make sure to read the latest Bitcoin News, so you don’t miss good opportunities.

Disclaimer: This is not intended as investment advice. Only invest while completely sure of your choice and with adequate counseling. Investing is a personal financial decision, for which the investor is fully responsible.

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Bitcoin Cash Price Surpasses $1,275 Again as Markets Bounce Back

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THeMerkle Bitcoin Cash 32MB

With all cryptocurrency markets attempting to transition from a bear market to full-throttle bullish momentum, interesting things will happen in the coming days and weeks. The way things look right now, the Bitcoin Cash price is bound to gain a  fair bit of value throughout the day. Thanks to the current 5.4% gain, the Bitcoin Cash price has already surpassed $1,250 once again.

Another leg up for the Bitcoin Cash Price?

Given all of the volatility plaguing the cryptocurrency industry right now, any short-term gain needs to be put into its proper perspective. While things may look either decent or terrible for a specific currency, there’s a good chance the momentum will turn around before the week is over. As such, the current 5% Bitcoin Cash price gain looks pretty good, but maintaining this momentum may prove to be difficult for this – or any other – market.

Even so, no one will deny the Bitcoin cash price is noting some interesting gains as of right now. Thanks to this small nudge, we are now looking at a value of $1,280 again. Compared to the $1,150 we hit not that long ago, this is a pretty decent gain altogether. Whether or not the Bitcoin Cash price can return to $1,500 or higher, remains to be seen, though.

It is also worth noting Bitcoin Cash is effectively gaining on Bitcoin itself. Given the “correlation” between these two currencies, it is worth keeping an eye on their ratio. Right now, the BCH/BTC ratio has changed by 3.43% in favor of the altcoin. As such, we may see some more Bitcoin Cash price gains later today, as the Bitcoin price is also moving up a bit right now. How all of this will play out, is anybody’s guess, though.

With $445.823m in 24-hour trading volume, things are looking pretty good for Bitcoin Cash. Although this volume is lower than some people might want it to be, all markets suffer from a decrease in trading volume as of right now. Under half a billion is not stellar for Bitcoin Cash, but it is still a good amount better than most other currencies in the top 10 right now. If this volume can pick up the slack a bit, we may see more Bitcoin Cash price fireworks later today.

As of right now, OKEx is once again the largest trading platform for BCH trading volume. That in itself is pretty interesting to keep an eye on, although HitBTC is not that far behind, all things considered.  With no fiat currency pairs in the entire top five right now, things are not looking all that great, but one never knows what the next few hours or days may bring to the table either.  The first fiat currency market on the list is Bitfinex’s USD pair with just $17m in volume.

Whether or not the Bitcoin Cash price will reach a new all-time high at some point in the near future, remains to be determined. For now, it seems anything is possible, although one never knows what the future holds in this regard. It is certainly possible the Bitcoin Cash price will each $1,300 later today, but whether or not this means we will see a push to a higher value by the time the weekend is over, remains to be determined. Anything is possible in the world of cryptocurrency, especially where the altcoins are concerned

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Waltonchain Price Drops Below $20 as Social Media Controversy Takes its Toll

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TheMerkle Walton Cryptocurrency Waltonchain

The world of cryptocurrency is always full of surprises. Some of the market movements are not entirely surprising, although that doesn’t make them any less intriguing to keep an eye on. The Waltonchain price, for example, has seen a massive dip over the past 24 hours thanks to their social media campaign turning into a bit of a disaster.

Waltonchain Price Takes a Major Beating

Even though the start of 2018 was not all that terrible for WTC, things have taken a big turn for the worse. More specifically, in the first weeks of 2018, we have seen the Waltonchain price from $10 all the way to $40. Such spectacular gains are not uncommon in the world of cryptocurrency, even though this value is driven by speculation first and foremost.

In a way, it is not entirely surprising to see the Waltonchain price come down after that spectacular uptrend. With the value dropping from $40 to $20 in a matter of days, the speculators have cashed out their profits and flocked to a new currency altogether. Ever since that time, we have seen a few positive spikes for the Waltonchain price, but nothing that could effectively form a new support level. It now seems things will continue to go down from here, at least for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to the recent social media campaign blowing up in the team’s face, the Waltonchain price is now suffering from another 10% decline. This pushes the Waltocnhain price down to below $19.5, although it is expected this value will go a bit lower in the coming hours. It also represents an 11.15% decline in BTC value and an 11.06% loss over Ethereum. Not a positive trend for Waltonchain, but it is entirely justifiable at this time.

With just $32.58m in 24-hour trading volume, the demand for Waltonchain is not there either. In fact, one could argue things are not looking all that great for this particular altcoin as of right now, even though the opinions will certainly be divided on that front. With more and more people now doubting the honest intentions of this company and its staff members, it remains unclear whether or not the future Waltonchain price will improve or not. People tend to forget these sorts of setbacks rather quickly, though.

As of right now, Binance is the only cryptocurrency exchange generating any notable WTC trading volume. Their BTC and ETH pairs combine for over 93% of all trades, which is not entirely unexpected. Coinnest completes the top three, although their WTC/KRW pair isn’t even generating $1m in volume right now. Binance’s BNB pair is in fourth place, with Kucoin’s WTC/BTC market completing the top five. No non-KRW fiat currency pairs for Waltonchain can prove to be a big problem when looking toward the future, although it is unclear how things will evolve in the next few days and weeks.

The way things look right now, we will see a further Waltonchain price decline throughout most of the day. That doesn’t mean the market will not recover eventually, but for now, it may not make for the best of investments whatsoever. At the same time, every dip is an opportunity to buy in and score big profits when the market recovers eventually, Whether or not the Waltonchain price will ever return to $40 or more, remains impossible to predict as of right now.

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