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#Blockchain Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) adoption, development, and participation continue to spread as there’s been a myriad of BCH-related announcements in the last few weeks. Moreover, there’s now over 18 million bitcoin cash in circulation and only three million coins left to mine.

Also read: Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support

Bitcoin Cash Adoption and Announcements

The last few weeks have seen a variety of new adoption stories, software development, and new platforms that utilize BCH. Proponents of the decentralized cryptocurrency have been relentlessly pushing for mass adoption while showing a strong dedication toward scaling. Right now the price of bitcoin cash is hovering between $210-230 after most digital assets dropped a few percentages in value last week.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments
Coin Dance BCH statistics in comparison to BTC.

According to Coin Dance statistics, it is 489x more expensive to transact on the BTC chain in comparison to using the BCH network. Additionally, at the time of publication it is currently 3.5% more profitable to mine on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. BCH fans have also witnessed the 18 millionth coin mined on the chain and there’s now only three million BCH left to mine. The fact that there are so few left makes bitcoin cash scarce and far superior to the fiat currencies that can be printed on a whim.

Bitcoincash.org’s Developer Portal

On October 10, the website bitcoincash.org announced it is launching a developer portal so programmers can utilize tools to develop and build on BCH. “Create amazing apps with Bitcoin Cash with resources for developers, by developers,” the website explains. The bitcoincash.org developer portal has tools like Python and Javascript libraries, vocabulary and associated APIs for Bitcoin Cash, the Badger Wallet software development kit (SDK), and an SLP SDK. The portal gives blockchain engineers the means to create infrastructure and third-party services for the BCH chain.

Bitcoin ABC Version 0.20.4 and the November 15 Upgrade

Six days later, the Bitcoin ABC development team released Bitcoin ABC version 0.20.4. The latest client release provides users with a new ‘createwallet` RPC command, bug fixes, and more. The 0.20.4 version is available to download now for a variety of operating systems. In addition to the recent release, BCH developers from across multiple clients are preparing for the forthcoming November upgrade. BCH engineers plan to implement two new features: Schnorr support for OP_Checkmultisig and enforcing Minimaldata in script, otherwise known as the “Minimaldata” rule.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments

Telefuel Accepts Bitcoin Cash

A new unofficial platform for the Telegram messaging application Telefuel has announced the firm is now accepting bitcoin cash payments for its premium-tier services. Telefuel is an application for Telegram power users who can leverage the platform for coworking, collaboration, and productivity offerings. For instance, with Telefuel users can access Slack-like services that can support individual and group workflows. Features include chat folders, workspaces, keyboard shortcuts, unread mention filters, and split tabs for DMs, groups, bots, and channels.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments
Telefuel.

“We’re building Telefuel to serve power users on Telegram, so crypto-industry professionals are obviously an important focus for us,” Telefuel co-founder Alan VanToai detailed. “Bitcoin Cash is an important pillar in the industry, so we’re happy to include BCH among the currencies we’re accepting for Telefuel Pro.”

Visual Recognition Engine Visionati Accepts Bitcoin Cash for Services

Another service that now accepts BCH is Visionati, a visual recognition engine that leverages artificial intelligence (AI). Visionati believes it’s the “most robust computer vision API on the market” by offering advanced algorithms and data. Users can harness the platform to interact with image and video metadata. Services offered include image and video analysis so people can make images and films searchable with the ability to filter as well. This includes automatic tagging, NSFW filtering, facial recognition, logo detection, color analysis, and optical character recognition. For services, Visionati accepts BCH, ETH, and BTC. The startup believes it is one of the first visual recognition products enhanced by AI that accepts digital assets.

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments
Visionati.

Blockchain.poker’s Tournament Feature

A new feature is available at blockchain.poker for users who want to play poker for BCH, BTC, or BSV. Users can simply log in and sit down for a game or they can create their own tournament on the platform with the added functionality. The site’s owners recently revealed the poker platform’s tournament update on Twitter, explaining: “You can now earn bitcoin by creating your own sponsored tournaments on blockchain.poker. Create a tournament by clicking the “+” button at the bottom of the tournament lobby.”

Bitcoin Cash Roundup: Adoption Stories and New Developments
Blockchain.poker.

This morning a few players announced on the Reddit forum r/btc a 0.5 BCH guaranteed prize pool tournament on the web portal. BCH fans seemed to enjoy the poker site’s announcement and one person remarked: “Keep up the great work guys — I’m convinced this is going to be huge once the key features you described here are implemented. The reputation system should mitigate a good portion of the risk of cheaters if done right.”

Upcoming Consensus Changes and the Road Forward

Overall there’s been a lot happening within the BCH ecosystem and passionate Bitcoin Cash proponents continue to truck forward. Bitcoin Cash miners, businesses, and node operators are also preparing for the consensus changes coming November 15. The upgrade is a touch over two weeks away and according to developers, the added features will continue to bolster the BCH roadmap going forward.

What do you think about all the Bitcoin Cash developments and adoption stories? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Bitcoin ABC, blockchain.poker, Telefuel, Visionati, Coin Dance, and Twitter.


Did you know you could win big with Bitcoin gambling? Choose from a range of BCH games including BCH poker, BCH slots, and many more. All games are provably fair—good luck!

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#USA Startups Weekly: The unicorn from down under, an Uber TV show and All Raise’s expansion

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Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy news pertaining to startups and venture capital. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about Revel, a recent graduate of Y Combinator that’s raised a small seed round.

Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. If you don’t subscribe to Startups Weekly yet, you can do that here.


What happened this week?

Uber the TV show

Is anyone surprised Mike Isaac’s “Super Pumped” is set to become a TV show? Travis Kalanick’s notorious journey to CEO of Uber and subsequent ouster was made for television. This week, news broke that Showtime’s Brian Koppelman and David Levien, the creators and showrunners of “Billions,” would develop the project, with Isaac himself on board to executive produce. I will be watching.

All Raise expansion

All Raise, an 18-month-old nonprofit organization that seeks to amplify the voices of and support women in tech, announced new chapters in Los Angeles and Boston this week. I spoke with leaders of the organization about expansion plans, new hires, product launches and more. “Women are hungry for the support and guidance we provide. I think the movement is just gathering momentum,” All Raise CEO Pam Kostka told me.

VCThe unicorn from down under

You’ve probably heard of Canva by now. The Australian tech company, which has developed a simplified graphic design tool, is worth a whopping $3.2 billion as of this week. Investors in the company include Bond, General Catalyst, Bessemer Venture Partners, Blackbird and Sequoia China. Alongside a fresh $85 million funding, Canva is also making its foray into enterprise with the launch of Canva for Enterprise. Read about that here.


What else?

  1. The Station, TechCrunch’s Kirsten Korosec’s new weekly newsletter, has officially launched. She is going deep each week on all things mobility and transportation. You can read her first one here and subscribe here.
  2. ‘Cloud kitchens’ is an oxymoron, says TechCrunch editor Danny Crichton. He penned an interesting piece this week, arguing cloud kitchens are just adding more competition to one of the most competitive industries in the world, and that isn’t a path to leverage.
  3. NASA made history this week when astronauts Christina H. Koch and Jessica Meir took part in the first-ever spacewalk in the agency’s history featuring only women. No, this isn’t startup-related but it’s pretty damn cool. Watch the video here.

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NASA astronauts Christina H. Koch and Jessica Meir


VC deals


Startup spotlight: Petalfox. I discovered the business earlier this week. Basically, it’s a super easy way to order flowers, coffee and others goods via SMS. I’m trying it out. That’s all.


Equity

This week was honestly a treat. We had myself in the studio along with Alex Wilhelm and a special guest, Sarah Guo from Greylock Partners, a venture firm (obviously). Guo has the distinction of having the best-ever fun fact on the show. We kicked off with Grammarly, a company that recently put $90 million into its accounts. Then chatted about Lattice, Tempest, WeWork, SaaS, the future of valuations in Silicon Valley and more if you can believe it. Listen here.

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on iTunesOvercast and all the casts.

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#Blockchain Circle Drops Poloniex Leaving US Crypto Traders High and Dry

Circle Drops Poloniex Leaving US Crypto Traders High and Dry

According to a blog post published by Circle, the cryptocurrency firm is releasing its subsidiary exchange Poloniex which is now owned by an “Asian investment group.” The trading platform will become an independent company called Polo Digital Assets, Ltd., and after November 1, 2019, U.S. residents will no longer be able to use the platform.

Also read: Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support

Circle Spins Out Poloniex

Circle, which specializes in digital assets and over-the-counter swaps, has decided to sell the cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. The terms of the deal are unknown, but Circle paid roughly $400 million for the trading platform in February 2018. In a message to the public, Circle cofounders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire disclosed that the exchange will be its own entity known as Polo Digital Assets, Ltd., and it is now backed by an investment agency located in Asia. Circle’s blog post disclosed that Poloniex will be performing “aggressive hiring” and the new entity will spend $100 million on operations management. On October 21, Polo is offering 0% trading fees until the end of the year but U.S. customers received some bad news.

Circle Drops Poloniex Leaving US Crypto Traders High and Dry
The crypto firm Circle purchased Poloniex in 2018 for $400 million and less than two years later the company announced it was spinning out Poloniex.

“This transition will mean some significant changes for existing U.S. customers of Poloniex,” Circle’s blog post underlines. “As detailed in a separate announcement from the Poloniex team, U.S. customers will no longer be able to trade on the exchange starting on November 1, 2019.” Neville and Allaire’s announcement further details:

U.S. customers will continue to be able to access and use their wallets and withdraw funds through wallet and custody services operated by Circle until at least December 15, 2019.

US Regulations Stifle Digital Currency Businesses

The cofounders mentioned that it was “bittersweet” for the company to release the firm, but also highlighted that Circle “faced challenges as a U.S. company growing a competitive international exchange.” On social media and forums, U.S. residents were flabbergasted by Circle’s announcement. One person wrote that he was “getting really sick of losing access to crypto markets due to being a U.S. citizen.” “Someone needs to put up an easy how-to guide on how to set up an offshore corporation U.S. citizens can put their assets into, and then how to use a VPN to access exchanges,” the individual continued on the Reddit forum r/cryptocurrency.

Additionally, the cryptocurrency community discussed the Asian investment group that allegedly purchased Poloniex. Celia Wan and Frank Chaparro from The Block assert “Tron founder Justin Sun is behind Poloniex’s spin-off.” The founder of Digibyte, Jared Tate, remarked that it was “sad to see Poloniex is kicking all U.S. customers off their platform.” Tate added:

One major step backward for crypto in the USA.

U.S. residents have been at a loss when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges that offer a large assortment of digital currencies. Recently Binance shut down operations in the U.S. for a while and when it returned, the number of tradeable coins was far less. Bitfinex explained that it would “be discontinuing services to our existing U.S. individual customers” in 2017. Last summer Bittrex banned 32 cryptocurrencies from American citizens including QTUM, STORJ, and BCTP.

Since 2017, interest in cryptocurrencies has surged and many U.S. states have implemented regulations toward digital currency trading platforms and money transmitters. There are certain states in the U.S. exchanges won’t go near like New York due to the strict Bitlicense guidelines. New York’s measure of regulations and guidelines consists of a 44-page document and lots of upfront fees. When the Bitlicense was enacted into law, cryptocurrency startups like Shapeshift, Poloniex, and Xapo left the state and never returned.

What do you think about Circle parting ways with Poloniex? What do you think about U.S. residents losing more access to cryptocurrency exchanges? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Circle, Poloniex, and Pixabay.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post Circle Drops Poloniex Leaving US Crypto Traders High and Dry appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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#Blockchain Russia Blocks 2 Crypto News Websites

Russia Blocks 2 Crypto News Websites

Russian authorities have restricted access to a couple of cryptocurrency news outlets. The formal reasons for the censorship move are different in each case but the end result is the same. In both, regulators have acted on the basis of a law that empowers them to block online sources of information that have been banned in the Russian Federation.

Also read: Telegram Offers to Postpone Launch of the TON Network

Moscow Restricts Access to Cointelegraph and Coinspot

The restrictive measures have been imposed against Cointelegraph, a global information source about the latest developments in the crypto space, and Coinspot, a Russian language portal spreading news and other useful information about decentralized digital currencies, fintech trends and financial innovations. Both have been blocked for readers in Russia, starting from October 16.

The formal reason in the case with Cointelegraph is a request from Russia’s Federal Tax Service filed on Dec. 25, 2017. The outlet explained that although Cointelegraph was blacklisted almost two years ago, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) technically implemented the ban only this week. It remains unclear why it took the watchdog so long to act.

Russia Blocks 2 Crypto News Websites
Roskomnadzor

Cointelegraph quoted the developer of a Russian anticensorship browser extension who, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the block, noting that the website’s URL has been added to the blacklist file Roskomnadzor emails to internet service providers. However, it seems not all of them have updated their databases at this point as the website is still available to some users in the country.

The other affected news outlet, Coinspot, has been blocked at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office of Danilovsky District in Volgograd region, Forklog reported. According to an August 22 ruling by the Central District Court of Volgograd, only a single article detailing how to find a blockchain casino had to be taken down. However, most Russian internet providers have restricted access to the whole site.

In both cases, Roskomnadzor’s decisions are based on the Law “On information, information technology and information protection,” which went into force in July, 2006. Its provisions are typically used to justify the blocking of websites containing information the dissemination of which in the Russian Federation has been prohibited for various reasons.

Sarkis Darbinyan, lead legal expert at Roskomsvoboda, confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com his organization is aware of these developments. The NGO, which is fighting internet censorship in the country, is currently trying to gather more details about the blocking of the websites.

Government Internet Censorship Intensifies

The Russian telecom regulator has in the past taken actions against other web portals related to cryptocurrencies, usually on request from other government institutions and the judiciary. For example, the supervisory service blocked the online exchanger Buybit.net in April of this year. But there have been also cases where such attempts have failed.

Russia Blocks 2 Crypto News Websites

In May, Roskomnadzor had to take a similar platform, removing Bestchange.ru from its blacklist after prosecutors gave up efforts to block the website citing pending legislation expected to regulate digital assets. In March 2018, the Saint Petersburg City Court struck down a ban on 40 websites offering information and services related to cryptocurrencies, and in April, the Supreme Court overturned a decision to block the Bitcoininfo.ru portal.

Despite these positive developments, the government has been tightening the noose on the Russian segment of the internet. In March, Roskomnadzor demanded that 10 VPN service providers connect to the Federal State Information System, the register that keeps information about all websites that have been banned in Russia.

Later, in April, the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, adopted a law designed to channel Russian internet traffic through routing points controlled by authorities in Moscow and effectively isolate the Russian internet space (Runet) from the rest of the web in the future. It grants Roskomnadzor powers to go after internet providers that refuse to participate in Russia’s version of the Great Firewall.

Do you think Russian authorities will try to block other crypto news websites? Share your expectations in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post Russia Blocks 2 Crypto News Websites appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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#Blockchain 6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious

If you’ve got a few thousand satoshis burning a hole in your wallet, the darknet beckons. There’s no obligation to spend a single sat while scouring the darker recesses of the web, but it’s nice to know that should you get the urge, your crypto’s good. There are few certainties when shopping on darknet markets (DNMs), but acceptance of BTC, XMR, and other leading cryptos is a given. Here’s a snapshot of what the current crop of darknet markets has to offer.

Also read: Bitcoin ATM in Miami Airport Raises Questions About Traveling With Crypto

Sliding Into the DNMs

Although darknet markets are under increased threat from law enforcement, business continues to boom. Every time a darknet market is taken down, a new head of the Hydra springs up in its place. Dark.fail lists around 20 DNMs, as well as forums and other darknet resources. A cornucopia of forbidden pleasures is but a Tor connection away, but as with all endeavors that involve dabbling in gray or black markets, discretion is advised. Intrepid bitcoiners eager to indulge in a little retail therapy can boot up their browser and mosey down any of the following bazaars.

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious

Empire Market

Reliance on any single DNM is unwise, as you never know when a site might be busted, backdoored, DDoSed into oblivion, or head for the exits. That said, at this point in time, Empire is the DNM leader by some distance. It’s got almost 40,000 listings for drugs alone and has a thriving ecosystem of vendors and customers who congregate on darknet forums like Dread. Empire’s a little over a year old, but you wouldn’t think it to look at the size of the place. Its subdread board of over 8,000 users vastly exceeds that of any other DNM. If there’s one criticism of Empire, it’s that it’s often offline. That’s the trouble with being the king: everyone wants to topple you.

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious
Grey Market

Grey Market

Grey Market is one of the newer DNMs, making its online debut in mid-2019. Despite its youth, it already boasts over 450 vendors and some 4,700 products, from cannabis vape oil to goods aimed at those with a stronger constitution. As a wallet-less market, there’s no need to deposit funds before you can shop. For every order, you dispatch coins from a wallet you already control to a newly generated address. In theory, this ensures better security for users. Grey Market accepts BTC and XMR and has a 10-tier EXP (experience) structure for vendors.

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious
Cannazon

Cannazon

Cannazon’s logo gives a good indication of the sort of products it offers, with kush lovers well catered for. Like Grey Market, the accepted currencies here are BTC and XMR and there’s a multisig escrow system which is standard with DNMs. Cannazon has been operating since mid-2016, which is practically forever in the world of darknet markets. One good thing about Cannazon is that they vet vendors pretty hard to ensure a high level of product and service and there are 15 vendor tiers. Unlike Grey Market, Cannazon will not ship to or from the U.S.

Cryptonia

Cryptonia cares about security. That’s why, as soon as you alight on the site, you’re bludgeoned with reassurances: “Cryptonia features the most secure 2/3 Bitcoin Multisig implementation of any market, a transparent wallet-less escrow system” and so forth. XMR and BTC are the accepted cryptocurrencies, and though the UX isn’t a strong point, the thousands of product listings more than compensate.

Tochka

Whatever your poison, you’ll find it on Tochka. This DNM, which has been operating since 2014, offers a seven-day escrow system and two-of-three multisig. BTC, XMR, and LTC are the favored currencies. Over 6,800 products are on sale at the time of writing, from just under 600 vendors: everything from seeds and edibles to viagra and growth hormone. Interestingly, Tochka has joined forced with DNMAvengers, a forum dedicated to reducing harm and spreading awareness via testing of products suspected of containing adulterants. What’s more, the site allows dead drops, should customers wish to subtly pick up their wares from a prearranged location.

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious
Tochka

Apollon

With over 10,000 listings for drugs alone, Apollon can’t be accused of scrimping on choice. It accepts a good selection of cryptocurrencies too: bitcoin cash as well as BTC, XMR, and LTC. It’s a traditional direct deposit market, so you need to fund your wallet address and wait for the deposit to clear before you can order. There’s nothing novel about Apollon, but that’s okay. The mere existence of multiple DNMs, no matter how generic, lessens the likelihood of them all becoming unavailable at once.

6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious

Needless to say, if you do decide to avail yourself of any of the aforementioned darknet markets – or any others not included in this list – keep your opsec on point and exercise caution at every pass.

What are your thoughts on darknet markets? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Neither the company nor the author is 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 this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

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#USA Adam Neumann planned for his children and grandchildren to control WeWork

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WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann didn’t plan for his family’s control of WeWork to end at his death but he expected it be controlled by future generations of Neumanns, too, says Business Insider.

The outlet reports that in a speech Neumann gave to employees in January of this year, footage of which it says it has viewed, Neumann is seen saying that WeWork isn’t “just controlled — we’re generationally controlled.” He reportedly goes on to say that while the five children he shares with wife Rebekah Neumann “don’t have to run the company,” they “do have to stay the moral compass of the company.”

According to BI, Neumann even invoked his future grandchildren, telling those gathered: “It’s important that one day, maybe in 100 years, maybe in 300 years, a great-great-granddaughter of mine will walk into that room and say, ‘Hey, you don’t know me; I actually control the place. The way you’re acting is not how we built it,’” he said.

“If we do this right, over the years different CEOs will come, but we will keep an eye on these basic values and basic moral standards and not allow them to shift,” he’s quoted by BI as saying.

It may sound like yet another outlandish proclamation from Neumann, who has a flair for the dramatic. (Talking to Fast Company earlier this year, he compared WeWork to a rare jewel, asking, “Do you know how long it takes a diamond to be created?”)

But before WeWork began coming apart at the seams, Neumann had every reason to believe that he could pass power down to his heirs. Though many public shareholders may not realize as much, a growing number of tech founders enjoy the kind of dual-class shares that Neumann had extracted from investors, shares that don’t merely give founders more voting power for a while after their companies go public or even throughout their lifetimes, but whose power can be passed down to their children, too.

We wrote about this very issue as a kind of hypothetical last month, quoting SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson, a longtime legal scholar and law professor, who told an audience last year that nearly half of companies that went public with dual-class shares between 2004 and 2018, gave corporate insiders “outsized voting rights in perpetuity.”

Warned Jackson, “Those companies are asking shareholders to trust management’s business judgment — not just for five years, or 10 years, or even 50 years. Forever.” Such perpetual dual-class ownership “asks them to trust that founder’s kids. And their kids’ kids. And their grandkid’s kids . . . It raises the prospect that control over our public companies, and ultimately of Main Street’s retirement savings, will be forever held by a small, elite group of corporate insiders — who will pass that power down to their heirs.”

You might argue that it’s senseless to worry, that the market will speak as it did in WeWork’s case. But not every company has such apparent flaws, and Neumann could have made himself a lot harder to shake than he did. In fact, the broader question the video raises is whether anyone will step in to stop the broader trend, or public market investors will be living with the consequences down the road instead.

Neumann wasn’t insane to imagine the scenario that he did. That doesn’t mean it’s rational. Giving founders super-voting shares for some period after transitioning onto the public market, we can understand. Giving founders so much power that their kids call the shots? Now that is crazy.

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#USA Tilting Point acquires game monetization startup Gondola

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Tilting Point announced yesterday that it has acquired Gondola, a company that aims to increase to improve game monetization by optimizing in-game offers and video ads.

Tilting Point CEO Kevin Segalla described his company’s model as “progressive publishing” — usually, mobile game developers starting working with Tilting Point because they need help with user acquisition, and then develop a deeper publishing relationship over time.

“With a select group of our development partners, we’ll acquire an IP, and we’ll … have them take the engine that they already have and create a whole new game,” Segalla said. “It’s really a dual effort between us and the developer.”

To accomplish all this, the company has built artificial intelligence tools to improve user acquisition. But the other side of that equation, in Segalla’s view, is increasing the lifetime value of the users acquired.

“At the end of the day, scaling a game boils down to two simple things, [cost per install] and LTV,” he said. “Strong developers are working to improve the LTV of their players, but there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit that with the right toolset you can use to improve the lifetime values. That’s what Gondola is about … We’ve been following for years, and we said, ‘Let’s bring this in-house.’”

Gondola currently offers four modules: Target Optimization (choosing the best offer for a player), Rewarded Video Ad Optimization (choosing the right amount of virtual currency to reward a player for watching a video ad), Store Optimization (choosing the right store items to show a player) and Currency Optimization (choosing the best virtual currency amounts for offers and promotions).

The financial terms of the acquisition — Tilting Point’s first — were not disclosed. As part of the deal, Gondola CTO André Cohen is joining Tilting Point as its head of data science, while his co-founder and CEO Niklas Herriger remains involved as an executive advisor.

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#Blockchain Telegram Offers to Postpone Launch of the TON Network

Telegram Offers to Postpone the Launch of the TON Network

Telegram, which was surprised with a last minute restraining order on the sale of its tokens in the U.S., is now ready to delay the launch of the TON network until the spring of next year. The company has informed the New York court reviewing the case that it can suspend all operations with grams until the legal issues around the coin offering are resolved.

Also read: 104 Addresses Hold 70% of Tether, Research Reveals

Messenger to Halt Operations With Grams

Lawyers representing Telegram Group and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ton Issuer Inc., have filed documents containing their clients’ proposal to the District Court for the Southern District of New York, Tass reported. The entities behind the Telegram Open Network (TON) have also expressed disagreement with some of the demands put forward by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

On October 11, the regulator announced that it had obtained a temporary restraining order for Telegram’s ICO. The court will conduct a hearing on the case on October 24. Due to the legal proceedings, the company now offers to effectively freeze the blockchain project. Before the SEC filed its lawsuit, TON was scheduled to launch by the end of this month.

Telegram Offers to Postpone Launch of the TON Network

The court has already satisfied some of the SEC’s demands regarding Telegram’s plans. The regulator claims the messaging platform held an unregistered offering of TON’s native GRM tokens. In two private sales between January and March 2018, Telegram sold the rights to 2.9 billion coins to 171 investors worldwide for $1.7 billion. The total includes a billion tokens bought by 39 U.S. residents for $424.5 million.

Telegram is now proposing to halt the sale and transfer of its cryptocurrency for a period of five months to give the court enough time to resolve the legal issues. In the recent filing, it also declared its commitment to inform the Securities and Exchange Commission 30 days before it starts any operations with the gram tokens.

SEC Rejects Proposal

Telegram’s petition to the district court notes that over the past 18 months the company has voluntarily cooperated with the commission and requested its feedback regarding the launch of TON and gram. Its developers even introduced changes to the blockchain platform to address some of the concerns expressed by the SEC.

The lawyers disagree with the regulator’s opinion that gram is a security and insist the token has to be regarded as a currency. The Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom law firm, which represents the messenger, has asked the court to relieve Telegram of the obligation to meet a number of demands and respond to new requests for additional information from the SEC.

However, in its own petition to the court, the commission argues that a postponement of the launch would not be enough. The regulator claims that such arrangement would allow Telegram to continue to commit offenses. If the court does not establish the appropriate prohibitions for the duration of the proceedings, future violations related to the distribution of gram are guaranteed, the SEC insists.

Telegram Offers to Postpone Launch of the TON Network

Investors Asked to Vote on April 30 Deadline

Reaching out to the participants in the two fundraising rounds held last year, Telegram has updated investors on the situation around the TON project and its disagreement with the SEC’s arguments. In recent correspondence with investors, the company asked them to share their position on the proposed extension of the deadline for the network.

In case the majority agrees, the messenger plans to proceed with a new launch date before April 30, 2020, using the time to make additional investments and further develop the blockchain platform. However, if either of the two groups of investors disagrees with the delayed start, they will be partially compensated and fewer gram tokens will be issued at launch.

Do you think the majority of TON investors will agree with the newly proposed deadline for the launch of Telegram’s blockchain? Share your expectations in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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#Blockchain Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support

Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support

On October 16, the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) announced multi-currency support and integration with 15 platforms and wallets. The fusion will provide users with the ability to use a single ENS name across a wide spectrum of crypto applications alongside leveraging a variety of digital assets.

Also read: Honestnode Founder Discusses the First Stablecoin Built on Bitcoin Cash

15 Wallets and Platforms Pledge to Support the Ethereum Name Service

Anyone who has used a cryptocurrency like bitcoin cash (BCH) or ethereum (ETH) knows that long alphanumeric addresses can be awkward, especially to newcomers. The Ethereum Name Service attempts to solve this issue by providing a decentralized method of using simple, human-readable names. So users who use ENS don’t have to rely on long addresses and anyone can use names like “alice.mywallet.eth.” In order to send ‘Alice’ funds, you simply use the ENS name with a compatible wallet.

ENS is already supported by well known platforms such as Opera Touch, Pandax, Cipher, Myetherwallet, Metamask, and Argent. On Wednesday, ENS detailed that 15 more wallets and applications will be supporting the ENS infrastructure. With a total of 24 platforms, multi-coin support will be available as well for a large number of digital assets. ENS representative Brantly Millegan said that the first version of multi-currency support will integrate with ETC, ETH, BTC, and LTC. However, the manager UI will be expanded for other assets like bitcoin cash (BCH).

Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support
15 more wallets plan to add ENS support in the future including Bitcoin.com’s noncustodial wallet. If you want to keep your coins secure by storing them in our free Bitcoin mobile wallet click here.

The 15 new additions implementing ENS support include the Bitcoin.com Wallet, Atomic Wallet, Coinbase Wallet, Opera, Imtoken, Dcent, Trustwallet, Portis, Haven, Squarelink, and Coin Request. Apart from the new client support, ENS is going beyond .ETH namespace names Millegan noted. “We still plan on expanding the namespace available for use on ENS by integrating the DNS namespace. For example, the Ethereum Foundation owns the DNS name “ethereum.org”; with our system, they could also have an ENS record for “ethereum.org” (notethereum.eth, which is a separate name). In this way, the Ethereum Foundation could use “ethereum.org” both for their normal website (using DNS) and for receiving cryptocurrency payments (using ENS).” Millegan added:

This already works for .XYZ names, as well as in a special way for names on .LUXE, .KRED, and .ART. And soon we will be rolling out this functionality to all DNSSEC-enabled DNS TLDs, which includes all the major ones.

Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support
The website ethereum.org uses the ENS infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Governance for the Distributed Web

With multi-coin progression and the integration with major DNS namespace names, the ENS team believes the project is key in creating a powerful decentralized web. Millegan stressed that ENS and IPFS are accessible in Opera and the Metamask extension. He further highlighted that Ethdns with .LINK can be an answer to the Tor .onion address naming problem. “Support for voluntary personal Whois data has a project underway for serving traditional DNS records,” Millegan said.

Ethereum Name Service Adds Infrastructure for Multi-Currency Support
In August, ENS announced that the Ethereum Name Service now supports the resolution of Tor .onion addresses.

The nonprofit hopes the project will bolster a censorship-resistant system for the internet’s name system. Further multiple wallets pledging to support ENS will help spread human-readable addresses as well. The team behind ENS thinks that with all the prior crypto-namespace attempts in the past with projects like Namecoin, “ENS operates in a distributed fashion for both its infrastructure and governance.” Other wallets and platform developers can integrate ENS support as resources are available like the EIP for ENS multi-coin support and the Github repository. Check out the Devcon5 video demo below showing off multi-coin support for ENS at the event in Osaka, Japan.

What do you think about ENS being supported by 15 more wallets including Bitcoin.com, Coinbase, and the decentralized marketplace Haven? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Ethereum Name Service, Bitcoin.com Wallet, and Pixabay.


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#USA Three of the best tackle the thorny issue of Brexit for startups at Disrupt Berlin

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The turbulence of Brexit has left both UK and European startups alike wondering about the best path forward. From recruiting to acquiring investment to scaling into other parts of Europe, the challenges seem to be mounting. By December, who knows what will have happened on the Brexit landscape, such is the chaos.

At Disrupt Berlin in December, we’ll hear from investor Bindi Karia who has deep European ties, founder Glenn Shoosmith who’s expanding his startup internationally and German-born but UK-domiciled VC Volker Hirsch on how to make the right decisions in the face of these obstacles.

Bindi Karia works as a venture partner at large London-based VC Draper Esprit and has held positions in and around the tech industry for as long as she’s been working. She’s been a consultant at PwC Consulting, worked in corporate environments like Microsoft Ventures, served within a startup at Trayport, as an advisor across a number of organizations (Startup Europe, TechStars Startup Weekend, Tech London Advocates, European Innovation Council, WEF). She’s been a banker with Silicon Valley Bank and currently invests as a partner at a large London-based VC firm, as well as serving on the advisory board for seven different startups. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the conversation and understands the differing perspectives involved in each startup’s journey to success.

Volker Hirsch will bring us not only his perspective as a former entrepreneur-turned-VC but also as a German-born citizen living in the UK and dealing with Brexit. He is a Partner at Amadeus, working on its early-stage funds whose investment focus is on artificial intelligence & machine learning, autonomous systems, human-machine interfaces, cybersecurity, enterprise SaaS, digital health and medical technologies.

Volker founded or co-founded a total of 6 companies to date. He is currently co-founder of Blue Beck, a 40-strong mobile development house and a Venture Partner at Emerge Education, Europe’s leading early-stage EdTech investor.

Prior to joining Amadeus Capital, Volker was amongst the first angel investors in companies like Pi-Top, Bibblio (where he is also Chairman), Aula Education and Wonde. His personal investment portfolio comprises about a dozen investments with companies based across Europe and the US.

Previously, Volker was the Chief Strategy Officer at Scoreloop, a mobile social gaming platform, which he helped grow from (almost) inception to 450m users at its peak. When the company got acquired by BlackBerry in 2011, he served as BlackBerry’s Global Head of Business Development – Games.

Lastly, Glenn Shoosmith will bring his perspective as a founder with a substantial operation in the UK but who recently expanded into the US. Originally founded as BookingBug in 2008, the renamed JRNI (pronounced ‘journey’) has become one of the market-leading multichannel appointment scheduling and customer journey platforms, helping leading global retailers, banks, central and local governments enhance their customer experience and save costs. JRNI has a team of over 100 based in London, Boston and Sydney.

Glenn has been a passion advocate for London and the UK as a technology hub within Europe and in the past has helped shape government policy towards innovation and technology, both as an early advocate for Tech City, and an advisor and representative of the government nationally and internationally.

Buy your ticket to Disrupt Berlin to listen to this discussion — and many others. The conference will take place December 11-12.


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