Tangem Brings Physical Bitcoin Banknotes to Singapore

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One of the bigger complaints about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is that they don’t exist in tangible form. A Swiss startup is solving that problem by creating physical Bitcoin banknotes. For now, this effort is limited to Singapore, but it does have some appeal on an international level as well.

Physical Bitcoin Banknotes With a Purpose

Every time someone creates a physical representation of Bitcoin – or any other cryptocurrency – it is usually a product designed for collectors and genuine enthusiasts. Using a physical Bitcoin or banknote in the real world is very rare, as it is simply impossible to transact it directly. One could scan the QR code to import the funds into a mobile wallet, but that is not the most convenient solution.

Swiss startup Tangem appears to have cracked this nut. The firm has introduced physical Bitcoin banknotes – in Singapore, of all countries. This choice is not random either, as the banknotes aren’t just collectible items. They have S3D350Q chips embedded within them, allowing one to make Bitcoin transactions without using third-party devices.

This is not necessarily a way to buy a brand-new car with Bitcoin, though. The smart banknote will store Bitcoin in denominations of 0.01 and 0.05 BTC. That means the maximum amount capable of being spent is under $500, but it should be sufficient to complete most regular transactions and payments.

Tangem is launching this initiative in Singapore because the Asian country is home to a thriving Bitcoin community. There is genuine interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology alike, which makes it a perfect place for any firm exploring Bitcoin payments.

Using these physical Bitcoin banknotes will be an interesting experiment. With just 10,000 of these notes being made available in the first batch, Tangem will be able to gauge whether or not consumers and merchants actually see merit in this form of payment. If it’s successful, we may very well see similar ventures in other countries across Asia, and potentially the rest of the world.

It appears these banknotes are relatively easy to manufacture. The production costs were around $2, which is pretty low, all things considered. It is a bit unclear how transaction fees will be handled, as there don’t appear to be any. Tangem seems to favor the idea of having users exchange the physical notes rather than complete transactions, although NFC functionality will be enabled as well. All in all, it’s an interesting project to keep an eye on.

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What Is a Security Token Offering?

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TheMerkle Security Token Offering

The world of initial coin offerings is bound to undergo some major changes. Regulators all over the world are closely scrutinizing this industry because of its somewhat shady nature. Transforming this business model into security token offerings could alleviate a lot of concerns. However, most people have no idea what an STO entails exactly.

The Appeal of a Security Token Offering

Even though the initial coin offering industry has been pretty popular and rewarding for various companies and projects, the business model still leaves something to be desired. To be more specific, every time an ICO is organized, one has to wonder if the tokens being sold could be considered securities at some point in the future. With the SEC cracking down on such misleading securities offerings, the companies behind these projects will usually be unable to achieve their initial goals.

On top of that, it seems there are quite a few initial coin offering scams to be wary of, and they will need to be weeded out sooner rather than later. In the case of the Centra ICO, it didn’t take long for regulators to slap fraud charges and security law violations on the people responsible for creating this venture. There have been a few other projects suffering similar fates as well.

One way of ensuring there won’t be any further concerns regarding initial coin offerings is by replacing the business model altogether. It will not be easy to do, but it seems the PolyMath team may have come up with a viable solution. More specifically, the company proposes a brand-new business model known as the security token offering, or STO.

As the name somewhat suggests, STOs and ICOs are not all that different on the surface. Companies can still issue tokens and shares as they see fit, and the tokens can be sold, bought, and traded all over the world without any repercussions. However, the tokens offer more “rights” compared to regular ICO tokens which are mainly focused on utility rather than actual benefits.

Such tokens will also be backed by assets, profits, or revenue generated by companies. This means these tokens will have tangible value from day one, rather than be based on hype and speculation first and foremost. It is a financial security just like that which is issued by traditional companies, but with a few cryptocurrency-related elements added to the mix.

Another benefit to security token offerings is that certain parties can be blacklisted from trading these tokens. This requires slight modifications to the underlying smart contracts and involves a proprietary form of whitelisting technology. By turning all ICOs into security tokens from day one, a lot of regulatory scrutiny can be avoided. However, this will require service providers which can take the complexity out of this process and allow companies to embrace this business model with relative ease.

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Malicious ICO-Related Google Ads Continue to Show Up

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The cryptocurrency industry has been plagued by scams for quite some time now, especially when it comes to paid advertisements on popular search engines. The NEX ICO, for example, is subject to a lot of fake advertisements, which makes it very difficult for novice users to distinguish between reality and fiction.

Cryptocurrency Scams Rise in Number

People who have been invested in cryptocurrency for quite some time will acknowledge that there is a growing number of scams to contend with. Ranging from social engineering attempts to phishing and even misleading advertisements, this industry has seen it all. It appears the fake advertisement business model is still quite popular, according to some recently surfaced information.

More specifically, it seems initial coin offerings are still prone to fake advertisements on Google. Considering that such projects raise millions of dollars with relative ease, it is only normal that criminals want to get in on the action through less than legitimate means. The NEX ICO is a great example, as it has at least three fake advertisements on Google as of right now.

Unsurprisingly, criminals are using a very common tactic to make their ads look more legitimate. By copying text directly from the message in the search engine description, a smart approach is taken. One of the three results is a bit different in this regard, but that doesn’t mean people will be less likely to click on it.

Anyone with a clear mind can easily see which of these sites are fake. Although the obvious answer is “all three of them”, there are a few giveaways. First of all, the titles of these Google advertisements leave a lot to be desired. They are all focused on hype, and some are even in broken English. Secondly, the domain names themselves clearly show the actual domain name, with the domain extension making it easy to spot the fake ones. A com.de domain, as well as a .at domain name, are simply not the real thing.

It is not the first time such ICO scams have showed up in Google’s paid advertisements either. This has been an ongoing trend for quite some time now, and it seems the search engine giant has not been able to make a big dent in preventing such malicious advertisements to this point. 

For users who are interested in initial coin offerings and other cryptocurrency projects, doing their own research is an absolute must. Not doing so will always result in financial losses of some sort, which is something users need to avoid at all costs. Criminals will continue to target this growing industry, especially as the price of Bitcoin and altcoins continues to go up.

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Former Fed Governor Believes FedCoin Could Rival Bitcoin

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Central banks all over the world are – for the most part – convinced that issuing their own versions of Bitcoin serves no real purpose as of right now. The Federal Reserve, on the other hand, may have different ideas. One of its former officials is still convinced that the concept of FedCoin holds a lot of merit. One can only hope common sense prevails in the long run.

The FedCoin Concept Isn’t Dead

For quite some time now, there have been rumors regarding the Federal Reserve issuing its very own digital currency. Such a concept makes sense on paper, as the central bank doesn’t want competitors such as Bitcoin to succeed without opposition. In the real world, however, a bank-issued digital currency will always be scrutinized first and foremost.

Whereas most people assumed the FedCoin concept had been put on ice indefinitely, that is not necessarily the case. No real development progress has been made, but former Fed governor Kevin Warsh is convinced this currency will come to market. Whether or not it would have a chance of succeeding is a different matter altogether.

In a recent interview, Warsh made it clear that the concept of FedCoin needs to be seriously considered. In his opinion, existing crypto assets are cleverly designed and have tremendous potential. However, they all lack the “fundamental backing” of a government or central bank. That is also what makes such currencies incredibly popular, as a lot of people are fed up with the interference of banks and governments.

According to Warsh, FedCoin would be implemented if he were ever to be reinstated. He stated that a team should be put in place to contemplate the creation and issuance of FedCoin, and that the main reason for creating such a currency would be to “bring legal activities into a digital coin.” However, FedCoin would not replace traditional cash, but be more of a tool to implement a monetary policy during the next financial crisis.

That comment is pretty interesting for many reasons. It confirms that Warsh is a firm believer in monetary policy, which is often considered to have been the catalyst for the 2008 financial crisis. It also shows he worries about a new financial crisis looming on the horizon. Most consumers don’t give such a prospect a second thought, but it is important to keep an eye on the bigger picture at all times.

Central bank digital currencies will bring nothing of value to the table. Since these currencies will not replace cash, it is an extra “avenue” for more helicopter money to be brought into circulation. This is not something the world needs at this stage. It is certainly true that Bitcoin and other currencies are not perfect by any means, though their volatility is both a problem and their strong suit. Contrary to what some people might wish, though, they will not be going away.

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NAGA and Ontology Announce Massive Partnership – BIG Positive Changes for the Market

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Two titans in the blockchain industry — NAGA and Ontology — have just teamed up to change the way the world does business. Here’s everything you need to know.

Joining Forces

In an exciting announcement, two major players in the cryptocurrency space — NAGA and Ontology — have formed a long-term strategic partnership in an effort to effect “significant and powerful change” in the way business is conducted. Together, the two projects aim to bring high-performance public blockchains to the gigantic financial-technology (fintech) market, along with a series of complete distributed ledgers and smart contract systems.

Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Article

NAGA is diverse yet unified cryptocurrency ecosystem which offers the world’s first crypto-gateway to trade any sort of financial instrument and virtual good in a secure and transparent way. Ontology, on the other hand, is a new high-performance public blockchain and distributed trust collaboration platform.

Together, the two blockchain titans will explore application development, outreach, incubation, and the building of a new generation of public blockchain infrastructure and distributed trust ecosystems — with the intention of supporting real business applications and scenarios. NAGA Founder and Executive Director Yasin Sebastian Qureshi stated:

We think that this partnership can really change the way crypto companies act and execute their promises. Our and Ontology’s precision and hard-working ethos will help us to not only deliver products ahead of the roadmap, but to also make them more reliable and more valuable for the whole community.

NAGA Founder and Executive Director Benjamin Bilski also added:

We are super excited about the Ontology project and we are eager to announce new developments in cooperation with the platform. We believe that it will help to boost and grow our business exponentially.

Likewise, Ontology Founder Jun Li also expressed his excitement over the strategic partnership, stating:

We are happy to welcome NAGA to build up the application ecosystem through wielding Ontology’s next-generation public chain infrastructure […] We feel confident that together we can open up the international market, expand the Ontology ecosystem, and advance global blockchain development.

It is hard to overstate just how large of an announcement this partnership is, as two massive projects with the scope and vision of NAGA and Ontology rarely form such strategic partnerships.

NAGA currently has a number of big projects in operation, including its NAGA WALLET, NAGA TRADER, NAGA CARD, NAGA COIN (NGC) and several others. The ecosystem is already one of the largest and most fully-realized in the cryptocurrency space, and the addition of Ontology’s power will only further solidify its already more-than-solid project.

The match is also a logical one, and far more than a mere PR stunt.

At the heart of NAGA is the aim to provide financial inclusion to individuals all over the world, while also providing the best products the industry has to offer. Likewise, Ontology is firmly focused on trust, identity, data exchange, and authorization, with its sights firmly set on the insurance industry, governments, and the medical sphere. The broad scope of Ontology’s project makes it the perfect fit for NAGA’s ecosystem, as it provides even more efficiency and trust.

What do you think about the strategic partnership between NAGA and Ontology? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

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EOS Price Rises Above $18 Again as Bulls Retake Control

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While most cryptocurrencies are still trying to recover from a setback over the weekend, there are always exceptions to keep an eye on. The EOS price, for example, is preparing for another run at $20, by the look of things. Thanks to another 6.7% gain over the past 24 hours, the EOS price is certainly successfully bucking the overall bearish trend plaguing the cryptocurrency industry.

EOS Price Rise is Pretty Surprising

There will be a time throughout 2018 when most cryptocurrencies will set a new all-time high. For EOS, that all-time has already occurred this year, but it is possible there will be another all-time high later this year. With the EOS price recovering from this weekend’s onslaught rather quickly, the positive momentum is in effect once again. As a result, the EOS price is now back above $18.

While such gains are pretty impressive as of right now, it remains to be seen if the EOS price can remain above $18 for an extended period of time. There is a good chance this altcoin has not seen its actual correction just yet, which may effectively spell some interesting things to come where this coin is concerned. At the same time, EOS is also the only currency to note a 6.7% gain in the past 24 hours, whereas most other currencies are in the red and will continue to be for most of the day.

It is also peculiar to note how the EOS price is rising thanks to gains over both Bitcoin and Ethereum. To put this into perspective, EOS has gained 9.37% over Bitcoin and 13.9% over Ethereum. Again, it is the only altcoin to make any major gains in this regard, but it is possible things will turn around in the future. If Bitcoin and Ethereum can recover as well, the future will be pretty interesting for all cryptocurrencies. This will also positively impact the EOS price in the long run.

With $1.617bn in 24-hour trading volume, EOS is in much bigger demand compared to some of the other top cryptocurrencies. This is a pretty remarkable trend, although it is possible this EOS “hype” will calm down eventually. There is no reason for the EOS trading volume to slow down anytime soon, though, but the cryptocurrency world often evolves in very interesting directions.

OKEx is the biggest trading platform for EOS as of right now. Its lead over Bithumb is pretty steep, and Upbit is even further behind. One positive trend for EOS is how there are three fiat currency pairs in the top five, which is far better than most other cryptocurrencies on the market right now.  It’s also interesting to note how there are no EOS/BTC pairs in the top five, although things may come to change in the near future.

For the time being, the EOS price looks pretty solid, but maintaining any momentum in the cryptocurrency world is pretty difficult, especially in 2018. If this trend keeps up, however, there is a good chance the EOS price will surpass $20 at some point.  Only time will tell if that is even remotely possible, but in this industry, anything can and will happen at some point. The bigger question is if and when other cryptocurrencies will recover as quickly.

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Litecoin Price Seemingly Builds Support Near $165 Until Market Uptrend Resumes

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It seems the past weekend has left a lingering mark on the cryptocurrency industry.  With all top currencies suffering from small to medium-sized losses, a lot of bearish momentum materialized seemingly out of nowhere. It is possible this trend will reverse course soon. Until that happens, the Litecoin price won’t reclaim $175 anytime soon.

Litecoin Price Dip Seems Temporary

As is always the case when most cryptocurrencies start to regain a lot of value in quick succession, a dip seems inevitable. It is not uncommon for currencies to lose anywhere from 3% to 12% after two weeks of solid upward momentum. This past weekend illustrated that point perfectly, as most currencies are down by such percentiles. The Litecoin price, for example, lost just 4.9%, but it is still a bit of a setback for short-term speculators.

The past week has been pretty stable for the Litecoin price. With the momentum holding firm at $144 for the most part, it seemed evident an uptrend would form sooner or later. That did effectively happen, and it pushed the Litecoin price to just over $182. Very positive momentum overall, but it also led to a small decline a few days later. That decline is not necessarily something to work about, though.

With this 4.9% decline for the Litecoin price, the value has dropped to just below $165. Once the momentum returns, it seems a matter of time until LTC surpasses $175 again, but it remains unclear if and when that will happen exactly. With LTC losing just 1.19% over Bitcoin, there is no reason to panic as of yet. If there is no panic selling to speak of, the future Litecoin price will almost certainly be higher than what it is right now.

Litecoin hasn’t lost much trading volume either. More specifically, there is a lull in trading for all cryptocurrencies, as the volume dropped by nearly $13bn over the weekend. That is a very common trend and it seems to be a matter of time until things return to normal in this regard.  Negative cycles like these will always happen in the cryptocurrency world, but they can be overcome with relative ease if people keep a cool head.

OKEx is certainly making a name for itself when it comes to cryptocurrency trading. The platform generates a lot of volume with its USDT and BTC pairs. GDAX completes the top three with its USD trading pair. One would have expected Binance to be near the top three, but for now, the platform is in fifth and seventh place respectively. Only two fiat currency pairs in the top 10 is a bit worrisome, but also something that will correct itself eventually.

For the time being, it remains a bit unclear where all cryptocurrencies will head next. As such, it is also impossible to make any accurate Litecoin price predictions. Returning to $175 will happen eventually, but it may take anywhere from hours to days, or potentially even weeks. The Litecoin price is still in a good place right now, and looking at the bigger picture, the best has yet to come in 2018.

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Press Release: NAGA & Ontology

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Big news in the crypto world – NAGA and Ontology have announced the start of a long-term strategic partnership to commence a significant and powerful change in business operations, and bring high-performance public blockchains that include a series of complete distributed ledgers and smart contract systems to the massive financial technology markets.

The partnership of the two giants will be aimed at exploring application development, outreach, incubation, and building a new generation of public blockchain infrastructure and a distributed trust ecosystem. The purpose will be to support real business applications and scenarios.

NAGA currently has a number of big projects in operation: NAGA WALLET, NAGA TRADER, NAGA CARD, NAGA COIN (NGC) and several other projects in development. Thus, the partnership will not only help to structurize business processes at NAGA, but can potentially mean that one of the biggest Crypto Ecosystems will soon be powered by the Ontology Platform.

NAGA Founder and Executive Director Benjamin Bilski claimed:

We are super excited about the Ontology project and we are eager to announce new developments in cooperation with the platform. We believe that it will help to boost and grow our business exponentially.

NAGA Founder and Executive Director Yasin Sebastian Quresh added:

We think that this partnership can really change the way crypto companies act and execute their promises. Our and Ontology’s precision and hard-working ethos will help us to not only deliver products ahead of the roadmap, but to also make them more reliable and more valuable for the whole community.

Ontology Founder Jun Li said:

We are happy to welcome NAGA to build up the application ecosystem through wielding Ontology’s next-generation public chain infrastructure. The NAGA Group AG (N4G) is a leading publicly listed German FinTech firm, backed by Fosun Group and the German Stock Exchange (Deutsche Börse AG). We feel confident that together we can open up the international market, expand the Ontology ecosystem, and advance global blockchain development.

Description of partnership

While NAGA aims at financial inclusion across the globe, as well as the provision of the best industry-leading products; Ontology focuses on trust, identity, data exchange and authorization. The wide range of industries that Ontology targets, such as insurance, government, and medicine, makes it a wide-scale project that can provide even greater efficiency and trust within NAGA’s ecosystem.

NAGA Brief

The NAGA Group (NAGA) is a German publicly listed FinTech company with a focus on financial markets, virtual goods and cryptocurrencies. The company’s goal is to drive the development, marketing and growth of disruptive applications for financial  technology, and to actively participate in the change and opening up of the existing financial system. The word “NAGA” is Sanskrit and means “Cobra snake”. It is also the name of the world’s hottest chili variety. In 2017, NAGA completed a successful IPO and established the NAGA COIN (NGC) in cooperation with its partner Naga Development Association Ltd. during an ICO.

Ontology Brief

Ontology is a new high-performance public multi-chain project and a distributed trust collaboration platform. Ontology provides new high-performance public blockchains that include a series of distributed ledger and smart contract systems. Ontology blockchain framework supports public blockchain systems and is able to customize different public blockchains for different applications. Ontology supports collaboration amongst chain networks with its various protocol groups.

Ontology will constantly provide common modules on the underlying infrastructure for different kinds of distributed scenarios, such as those for the distributed digital identity framework, distributed data exchange protocol, and so on. Based on specific scenario requirements, Ontology will continue to develop new common modules.

Contact information of both companies:

NAGA Press Dpt.:

Naga Development Association Ltd.

123 Barrack Road

Belize City

Belize

Email: press@naga.com

Ontology

Chloe Fu

Email: contact@ont.io

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of The Merkle. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.

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Paytomat Accelerates Cryptocurrency Adoption In Real Life And Teams Up With ZenCash

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May 6, 2018, Tallinn, Estonia and Kyiv, Ukraine, Paytomat, the decentralized payment solution for crypto, has announced that it has partnered with ZenCash, the privacy coin for decentralized communications and transactions. Through the cooperation, ZenCash became available as a payment method via Paytomat. Paytomat has already introduced an extension to receive payments in crypto on existing POS (point-of-sale) terminals using Poster, Profit Solutions and 1C. Operating across 150 retail businesses, it currently supports the widest variety of cryptocurrencies: ZEN, XEM, LTC, DASH, WAVES, ETH, BCH, NANO, DCR, XZC and BTC.

Yurii Olentir, Paytomat CEO, said: “The ZenCash philosophy of borderless and secure transactions also lies at the heart of the Paytomat business idea. We believe that cryptocurrencies will become a common payment method, and we’re committed to increasing their transactional usage in everyday life with our feature-rich and user-friendly payment system”.

Paytomat will use its unique decentralized franchise model as a big part of the go-to-market plan. “We invite the great ZenCash community to join Paytomat. Help us to establish fiat-to-crypto gateways, build direct relationships with POS vendors, or help merchants start accepting cryptocurrency, and receive rewards within the Paytomat loyalty program,” – Yurii added.

Robert Viglione, Co-Founder of ZenCash, said: “ZenCash’s integration as a form of payment in the Paytomat platform represents a critical step forward in making Zen becomes a more widely adopted and easily accessible cryptocurrency. We are confident that this partnership will incentivize more users to adopt ZenCash as a means of secure and private payment and advance our mission of promoting financial freedom around the world.”

Previously, Paytomat reported closing its pre-sale early, having sold 5,000,000 PTI tokens and reaching its softcap. With this success, Paytomat shifted its focus to closer cooperation with crypto core teams and investment funds aiming to cover 85% of the token sale with institutional contributors. The main sale is scheduled for August 1-20, Whitelist registration is currently open. Tokens that were already sold during the pre-sale will be distributed to their holders 10 days after the main sale ends.Join the Paytomat official Telegram for 24/7 support: https://t.me/paytomat. Follow the Paytomat Twitter for the latest news: https://twitter.com/paytomat

About Paytomat

Paytomat is a blockchain-based payment processing system created to help merchants, consumers and crypto core teams to find each other and create real life traction for cryptocurrencies as an emerging method of everyday payments. Built as a decentralized autonomous organization and decentralized franchise, Paytomat features a unique loyalty program based on PTM coin, incentivizing merchants to accept payments in crypto, and PTX tokens, thereby incentivizing customers to pay with crypto. For more information visit https://media.paytomat.com. Media contacts: media@paytomat.com

About ZenCash

ZenCash, the privacy coin for borderless, decentralized communications and transactions, is the first and most important product in the Zen portfolio. Zen launched its blockchain in Spring 2017 with a vision of creating a truly private ecosystem for messaging and payments. Zen provides privacy and networking infrastructure for secure and anonymous collaboration. For more information, visit zencash.com.

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of The Merkle. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.

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Education Ecosystem to Burn 30 Million Education Tokens (LEDU) on July 31st, 2018

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The Education Ecosystem is powered by Education tokens (LEDU). These tokens are used for all transactions on the LiveEdu platform – the first for the Education Ecosystem. Tokens minted following their crowdsale were allocated for different purposes, as explained in this article. However, due to a change in the original plan for sourcing of tokens to use on the LiveEdu platform, on July 31st 2018, 30 million Education tokens will be burnt.

Tokens for subscribers on the LiveEdu platform will now be sourced from exchanges instead of from the subscription pool. Consequently, a portion of the subscription pool tokens will be burned. In addition, a portion of the tokens originally allocated for API Ecosystem Developers and Supporters (Quality Assurance & Moderation) will also be burned and sourced from exchanges if further tokens are required.

New Offices

Education Ecosystem recently opened a new office in Kiev and will soon be opening another in Santa Monica. They are in the process of hiring 3 new engineers who will be joining the team at the engineering office in Kiev.

In 2019, they will also be opening a China office as they continue expansion into the Asia Pacific region. With three offices in areas where the majority of their users are located, they will be able to provide more value to the ecosystem and achieve their goal of becoming the world’s largest project learning platform, decentralized on the blockchain.

Get Education Token (LEDU)

Get Education tokens now with ETH or BTC on Bibox or Gate.io. Read more about Education token on their project page and ask any questions you might have in their Telegram group chat.

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of The Merkle. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.

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