Jun 172017
 
Bancor initial coin offering raises over $200 million in three hours to become the largest crowdfunded project ever DOMINIC POWELL / Friday, June 16, 2017 A demo of the Bancor protocol. Source: Bancor.network A new blockchain startup built on the Ethereum platform has become one of the highest funded crowdfunding projects ever, raising approximately $US153 million ($201 million) through an initial coin offering (ICO) in just three hours earlier this week. The startup is called Bancor, and it offers a platform aimed at making it easier for other startups and users to launch, manage, and trade their own forms of blockchain currency, known as “tokens”. These tokens are managed through the Ethereum network’s “smart contracts”, which enable self-executing contracts enforced and recorded on the blockchain. Combining these two features, the Bancor protocol offers “smart tokens”, which enable “any party to instantly purchase or liquidate the smart token in exchange for any of its reserve tokens, directly through the smart token’s contract, at a continuously calculated price, according to a formula which balances buy and sell volumes”. The ICO was intended to run for an hour, reports Coindesk, with a funding target of 250,000 ether (the main currency of the Ethereum blockchain), or around $US95 million. Due to alleged difficulties with the network, including supposed delayed transactions, the campaign was extended an additional two hours, resulting in a total of 396,720 ether or approximately $US153 million being raised. Over 10,000 investors got on board with the ICO, with Coindesk reporting the largest single purchase was $US27 million, equalling 6.9 million BNT, the token used by the Bancor protocol to fuel its new platform. This was enough to shoot Bancor into the number one spot of highest funded crowdfunds, and continues the recent initial coin offering craze, with blockchain startup Brave raising $US35 million in 30 seconds via a recent ICO. However, due to the transitory value of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, the true amount raised by these startups is ever-changing. With the value of ether increasing over 2800% this year alone, a $US153 million raise could be $50 million more, or less, in a matter of days. The Ethereum protocol is proving to be a popular platform for successful crowdfunds, with seven of the top 10 crowdfunding projects having been based on the platform, including the crowdfund for the platform itself. Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
Jun 162017
 
BREAKINGVIEWS-Review: Gold's financial fascination never dies by Reuters Friday, 16 June 2017 13:33 GMT (The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.) By Kate Duguid NEW YORK, June 16 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Before winning the presidency and replacing the Oval Office's red drapes with lamé, Donald Trump was lionizing the gold standard (http://bit.ly/2riEUiS). He wasn't alone. Campaign rivals Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Ben Carson also backed reviving a policy that had been abandoned by the global financial system 40 years earlier. James Ledbetter's new book "One Nation Under Gold" helps explain why the outdated idea won't die. These Republican presidential contenders were not proposing sincere policies with white papers and serious co-authors. Bullion-backed bucks had been discarded for good reason: it was an impractical constraint that, even when it was the law of the land, had to be abandoned when the United States needed money for war or to combat recession. No countries in the world operates on a gold standard today; there is no consensus on what a standard would look like or how it would be implemented. And, as Ledbetter puts it: "there will never be enough gold in the world to support the U.S. economy at its current size." Yet gold, the book argues, is woven into the American DNA. It is enshrined in the Constitution which says that states may not "make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts." Ledbetter chronicles two centuries of debate over the clause's exact meaning and its implications for a federally distributed currency. The California gold rush of the mid-19th century established the West as a locus of political and economic power, largely because of the immigration it brought, and the subsequent development of industry. The gold rush became part of America's founding myth, and for early settlers, evidence of divine providence. Sound money, as commodity-backed currencies are known, also appeals to an American tradition of small government. A limited supply of gold necessarily limits the supply of money a government can issue, which in theory limits government spending. Gold remains of interest to Americans not just as a basis for currency, but also as an investment. Though it pays no dividends and, unlike a company, the size of the asset will not grow, the precious metal is still popular, particularly amid economic insecurity. To (more…)