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BitMEX Research: ICO Tokens Allocated by Teams to Themselves Lost 54% of $24 Bln Value

BitMEX Research: ICO Tokens Allocated by Teams to Themselves Lost 54% of $24 Bln Value The value of tokens that over a hundred of initial coin offering (ICO) teams have allocated to themselves has decreased by 54 percent from the initial figure of $24 billion. This was revealed in the latest research by cryptocurrency exchange […] Cet article BitMEX Research: ICO Tokens Allocated by Teams to Themselves Lost 54% of $24 Bln Value est apparu en premier sur Bitcoin Central.
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BitMEX Research Reveals ICO Teams Have Banked Almost $13B With Very Little to Show

A new in-depth study was recently published at the BitMEX blog. In this study, made by BitMEX Research, the research arm of the company, BitMEX shows that around $24 billion USD have been gathered by Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and it affirms that, without being very accountable or transparent about the process, these companies banked in a lot of money. The study is focused on showing how these companies allocated their funds and what they ended up doing with them. What is actually more incredible about the whole thing is how these ICOs were able to make a profit of $13 billion USD completely out of thin air. Most ICOs were not even about projects, only promises of projects and everybody invested heavily in them because of the hype. According to the study, $24 billion USD have been gathered so far and more than half of this was pure profit. It was easy money, that’s for sure. The BitMEX article confirms this view as it describes the ICOs (both the scam and legal ones) as something that was made without a lot of accountability or transparency and that made many companies rich overnight. An important highlight was how the age of ICOs was pure Wild West. It was a wasteland without any rules, you see, companies (at least before the regulatory agencies went after them) could take all the money out of their customers with a good marketing campaign and not even deliver something real. This is, in fact, something that sparked all the issues with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) calling these tokens securities. A security token is, well, secure. The company has an obligation to provide something and most of the ICOs did not, and this study shows. Tracking US$24 billion Of Tokens ICO Teams Gave Themselves In collaboration with @thetokenanalyst, this report focuses on the treasury balances of the ICO tokens. Teams issued themselves US$24.2 billion of their own tokens, now worth around US$5 billion — BitMEX Research (@BitMEXResearch) January 16, 2019 Teams burned, minted and sold their own tokens at will without any kind of oversee or regulation. The research makes absolutely clear how they profited: they created tokens for their products without even having the products and sold them, often using Ethereum. The research indicates that the teams are still sitting on top of at least $5 billion USD in their own tokens despite the price losses. It is very important to notice, however, that all the research was done by reviewing the data out of the blockchain and smart contracts and is “likely to be inaccurate at individual project level” because machine learning and estimates were used instead of real hard data. This is no reason to take these affirmations with a grain of salt, though, as their overview of the whole market is pretty spot on. ICOs were something that sparked a hype train and delivered very little in many cases. Even the companies that did deliver had their tokens diminished in prices a lot. The report ends by affirming that ICOs are starting to have a tougher time now as they need to get funds and people are less likely to believe them. The conclusion is that while the entrepreneurs might remember how easy it was to raise money, investors will remember how much money they lost and we will not see the rise of ICOs again so soon.
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ICOs Raked in $13 Billion Despite 90% ETH Price Drop, New Research Finds

ICOs made almost $13 billion in profits from their token sales despite the 2018 cryptocurrency bear market, new research from BitMEX reveals. BitMEX: ICO Issuers ‘Gave Themselves $24 Billion’ Published January 16, the third instalment of the trading platform’s dedicated series on ICO statistics also suggests ICO teams “gave to themselves” tokens worth over $24 billion at the time of issuance. “Today this figure has fallen to around US$5 billion, with the difference primarily being caused by a fall in the market value of the tokens, alongside ($1.5 billion) of transfers away from team address clusters (Possibly disposals),” BitMEX summarizes. In total, combined with findings from the second installment in October 2018, a figure of $12.8 billion is now circulating as the total profit wrought from the ICO craze of the past two years. While some teams have since launched products and demonstrated application of funds, many have yet to do so, staying dormant since their token sales. As Bitcoinist reported, ICOs that raised hundreds of millions of dollars each faced a highly volatile market over the last twelve months with over 70 percent now underwater. Others have since fallen foul of the law, with Paragon and Airfox both required to pay back huge sums to investors along with fines for flouting US securities regulations. 2020 ICO Renaissance? Responding to the BitMEX findings, Blockstream CEO and Hashcash inventor Adam Back thus appeared unsurprised. “[W]hen people start startups, they take usually a paycut (versus a) big (company), so modest pay, relatively,” he commented on Twitter. [A]and take illiquid stock, that is not tradeable (sic) until they achieve technology and market success. [A]m I reading it right that ICOs just dipped into investor capital (and) gave it to themselves? when people start startups, they take usually a paycut vs big co, so modest pay, relatively. and take illiquid stock, that is not tradeable until they achieve technology and market success. am I reading it right that ICOs just dipped into investor capital & gave it to themselves? — Adam Back (@adam3us) January 16, 2019 BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes was also palpably nonplussed. “When you create poo poo out of thin air, gravity is a bitch,” he tweeted. Ethereum (ETH) 00, the major network used to issue ICO tokens, currently trades around $120, equating to a drop of over 90 percent versus its all-time highs. Earlier this month, Hayes suggested that both ETH and the ICO market could see a resurgence within the next eighteen months. What do you think about BitMEX’s new findings? Let us know in the comments below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock The post ICOs Raked in $13 Billion Despite 90% ETH Price Drop, New Research Finds appeared first on

Analytics services. Serverless analytics

Serverless and AWS Lambda how-toThis is the second part of our three-part story about analytical systems. Here you can find Part 1 which answers the questions about client analytics and Part 2 about classical server-side analytics implementation.In this part, we will continue telling you about server-side analytics, particularly about the implementation entirely based on cloud services. In the previous part we have listed the main steps of the implementation. These are:Data queryStream processingDatabaseAggregation serviceFront-endThe same applies here with the only difference in that each step is transferred to cloud services to the greatest extent possible. So, we will follow the main steps listed above in their original order trying to describe potential cloud option properties and differences between them.1. Data QueryIn our work, we generally prefer to use Kinesis. It’s a SaaS streaming platform developed and managed by Amazon. This solution is much easier than Kafka (both its self-hosted and manageable options). It allows real-time and batch processing and easily sends data from the clients to the streams. The biggest benefit of using Kinesis over Kafka is that you don’t have to operate and manage any underlying infrastructure (servers and clusters). Kinesis can be scaled both programmatically and via web-interface. The cost of running a one shard stream with the ingestion rate of 100 events per second (0.5 KB each) is about $20 a month. It converts to 260M events per month (for approx. 130 Gb of data).Possible alternatives: manageable Kafka (which is much more difficult), RabbitMQ, or any other similar pub/sub-queue.Raw logs storageRaw logs storageTalking about raw logs storage, the option we prefer is a duet of Amazon Firehose and S3.Firehose is a part of Kinesis which receives events from producers, keeps them for a specified time period (say, 5 minutes) and then sends to the destination in a batch. S3, in turn, is a highly durable and scalable cloud storage. It’s worth reminding that the main objective of the storing raw logs is to have a relevant copy in case something went wrong within the whole log transfer process.We recommend uploading objects to S3 by batches in order to reduce the number of the Put operations, cause you have to pay for each of them. This service is fully managed and doesn’t require any administration. The cost for 1000 events per second (0.5 Kb each) is $9 per month. $5 is for Firehose, and another $4 for storing 130 Gb of data in the S3. And if you are not going to delete your previous month raw logs, the price for S3 will grow up every month by $4. Athena is an additional service which allows making SQL queries to the data stored in S3 buckets.2. Stream ProcessingTo process the continuously generated events we need to include some platform which allows custom logic creation. For example, Kinesis is friendly to the Amazon Lambda.Lambda is a cloud service which allows running business logic written in Node.js, Python, Java, C#, and Go without manual managing servers. In a nutshell, Lambda is a stateless function which is called in response to a trigger (an HTTP query, a timer or a Kinesis event). Lambda scales up and down automatically based on the amount of simultaneously incoming events. You pay only for the time when the function is executing: specifically, for calls and for the lifetime of the function (for every 100ms the code is executed). The estimated cost for processing around 100 events per second is $5 a month.Another possible option is developing your own container-based application using Docker. Docker is a container platform which allows you to deploy code with a predefined environment on any server. It reduces deploy time a lot comparing to bare servers and allows to configure auto-scaling using popular orchestrators (Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Rancher etc.) Unlike Lambdas containers don’t set any limits (on languages or external libraries used, duration, memory etc.) for your system. However, containers require much more operations and management than Lambda does.We often use serverless functions as follows:Basically, we create one central entry point and a central handler surrounded by other microservices and plugins. This is the way to create a scheme of events configuration and routing.For instance, you can create a configuration file which will send a whole set of events to the processing module and metrics calculation: one of them to the aggregations, another — to different analytics systems and so on.As a result, each of these workflow parts can be replaced by an Amazon lambda function. Thus instead of a large Spark streaming you can get a set of functions working in parallel. Some of them call others and it performs as a directed graph of related functions.Lambda calls LambdaHow does Lambda function call another one? There are two ways: making a direct call or via API. To make direct calls we use boto3 (which is built in for Lambda). The calls can be sync and async and this way we pay only for the function calls. On the contrary, when using API, a restful interface is available. However, API is a paid option.What is important about serverless is the variety of ways to use it. These are the development of:WSGI apps (which take only several hours to develop)websiteschatbotsMapReduce architectureson-demand calculationsAnd some limitations you should consider:CPU or GPU usage while running intensive tasks. This means one can’t run highly complex computational tasks via Lambda.Only 3 Gb RAM quota, which can be exceeded easily.Cold starts. If no one has used the app for a long time, at the next request the container call will occur and the request processing time may increase by 10 times. To avoid this, try using the warm-up method: send a test event to lambda function every hour so that it remained ‘warm’. However, the cold start issue hasn’t been solved yet. We believe one of the cloud providers will manage it in the nearest future.3. DatabaseFor storing processed data we offer to study the following known solutions: Amazon RDS Postgres and ClickHouse.AWS RDS is a service which takes away the common database administration tasks such as making backups, security updates and performance optimization. It also helps with replicas provisioning. It’s not a completely managed database like DynamoDB, but still, it’s handier than running Postgres by yourself. Postgres is an object-relational database with many great features but it’s not the best choice for storing and especially querying analytics events.Luckily, there are columnar (column-oriented) databases which are developed specifically for building analytical systems in production. They are made clear both for software developers/devops and data scientists/analysts. One of the most popular columnar databases is HBase made by Apache. It is optimized specifically for high loads, however, it is hard to deploy and scale and has a tricky API.Another columnar database is ClickHouse. It is developed by Yandex specifically for analytics services. It’s designed for extremely fast real-time (benchmarks) queries with SQL-like syntax. It has a variety of useful built-in analytics features. We’ve tested ClickHouse on a dataset of 2 billion entries and most aggregation queries took under 1 second to execute.Clickhouse can work well on a single machine but can also be deployed to a cluster relatively easy. Running an instance with ClickHouse on EC2 for the specified workload (100 events per second) costs from $50 to $120 per month depending on the amount of allocated memory. The price for the instance can be significantly reduced by using the reserved instance: committing to use the same instance for a year-long or three-year term. SSD storage is $0.11 per Gb per month. You can also run ClickHouse on your own hardware.4. Aggregation serviceBig data analysisSince at Step 1 we have created a common configuration file for routing all of the app events, any analytics system can be connected easily now. For example, with new app version release we may bring in new events. Suppose, analysts would like to look at them through their analytics system interface, say, Mixpanel.To achieve this we should add a new component written in one of supported by Lambda languages: Node.js (JavaScript), Python, Java (compatible with Java 8), C# (.NET Core) and Go. This is something that can be done quickly and simply. Note that all modules can be compiled with AWS Linux and should be deployed with the app simultaneously, otherwise it will not work as expected.Below is a scheme of the possible final architecture using described Amazon services and several costs estimates.ArchitectureScheme showing how the final architecture may lookCosts*Cost can be reduced 30–50% when using reserved instances (12 or 36 months commitment)ConclusionImplementing analytics solutions for enterprises can be realized in a variety of ways. The solutions we’ve described above is a low-cost and easy to deploy variant. This is achieved by a bunch of Amazon and serverless technologies which allows to:Fine-tune events using lambda functions;Significantly decrease and manage costs;Scale smoothly;Cut the time spent on devops. Team lead himself can administer and deal with the deployment;Release new versions quickly.Thank you for reading! Please, ask us questions, leave your comments and stay tuned! Find us at https://potehalabs.comAnalytics services. Serverless analytics was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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BAT Outperforms Bitcoin, XRP On New Brave Browser “Rewards” Feature

Brave Browser Announces BAT “Rewards” Feature On Tuesday, Brave Browser, a crypto-friendly internet application headed by the founder of Mozilla Firefox, Brendan Eich, made a surprising announcement, seemingly aiming to start of 2019 with a proverbial bang. Via a company release, conveyed through its in-house blog, the Brave and Basic Attention Token (BAT) team, which consists of Eich, coupled with an array of fintech, Silicon Valley, and crypto veterans, revealed that it would be previewing “opt-in ads in [the] desktop browser developer channel.” While this feature sounds nebulous, there’s more to this integration than meets the eye. In fact, as broken down in a PC Magazine feature article, this new advertising model will allow common Joes and Jills to earn crypto, in the form of BAT, and potentially other rewards in the feature. This new offering, dubbed Brave Rewards, will siphon 70% of earned ad revenue to users who agree to view advertisements. The remaining 30% will be paid to Brave’s war chest — a likely controversial play, but one necessary for the blockchain project’s long-term survival. Rewards will be available via Brave’s developer/test browser edition. It wasn’t exactly divulged when the innovative feature would hit the publics’ desktops, but the following GIF is how the feature will work: Looking outwards, the Brave team revealed that they expect opted-in users to earn upwards of $60 to $70 a year in the near future, with their preliminary projections predicting that $224 a year could be earned by 2020 through Brave’s in-house ecosystem. While this sounds great — an effective free $224/year for viewing ads — like all things too good to be true, there’s a catch. At the time of writing, Brave has announced support for BAT token withdrawal, as the company wants Rewards’ users to reward their favorite content creators, whether it be large new portals or Youtubers. After this feature goes live successfully, Brave intends to activate “publisher-integrated ads,” which will allow content creators to feature “private ads” on content creators’ pages through the startup’s systems. The company subsequently explained its Brave Ads offering and its applications/benefits from a top-down perspective, writing: With Brave Ads, we are reforming an online advertising system which has become invasive and unusable. Users have turned to ad blockers to reclaim their privacy from ads that track them and sometimes even infect them, and publishers are finding it increasingly difficult to earn ad revenue to sustain quality content with intermediaries that collect huge fees. It is important to reiterate that at this time, this newfangled feature is technically in its beta phase. Due to this positive news, the popular altcoin, which recently gained the support of industry powerhouse Coinbase, has posted a respectable price gain. At the time of writing, BAT is currently valued at $0.125 apiece, posting a 3% in the past 24 hours. The crypto, currently the 36th in this market’s standings, is currently outperforming Bitcoin (BTC) by 2.7%, and Ethereum (ETH) by 2.4%. Crypto Lulls: Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP Post Barely Any Movement In the same vein of cryptocurrency prices, the broader market has posted close-to-zero movement in the past 24 hours. Per data from Coin Price Watch, BTC has found itself at $3,645 — a mere 0.58% gain over the past day. Other leading crypto assets have also posted slight gains, but have still underperformed BAT. XRP, the go-to asset for fintech upstart Ripple, is up 1.27%, as it sits just shy of the $0.33 price level at $0.3296. ETH, which recently tumbled due to the delayed Constantinople fork, has found itself up by 2%, regaining a portion of the losses incurred yesterday. While the market is trending slightly positive, some analysts expect that BTC is ready to dive. Speaking to MarketWatch, Jani Ziedens of Cracked Market claimed that BTC, if truly oversold, should be posting monumental gains right now, rather than finding itself in an extended lull. So, Ziedens added that this “lethargic base” indicates that demand is limited, “incredibly weak” even, and as such, lower crypto bottoms may be inbound. BAT Title Image Courtesy of via Flickr The post BAT Outperforms Bitcoin, XRP On New Brave Browser “Rewards” Feature appeared first on Ethereum World News.
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Cryptopia Hacker Moves Stolen Crypto to Binance; Community Alerts CZ and Funds Are Frozen

It is clear that hackers gave themselves a place to stay in the cryptocurrency industry, which was only made more evident by a recent security breach that happened over the last few days. Cryptopia, a leading exchange in New Zealand, announced a breach that ended in a major theft on January 14th. However, unlike the unfortunate tale that many other exchanges succumb to, that is not the end of the story. The official statement notes that Cryptopia has placed itself into a maintenance mode, helping them to protect their accounts until the regulatory authorities of New Zealand provide other details. Both the High Tech Crimes Unit and the local police are pursuing investigative efforts, though they have commented that “a significant value of cryptocurrency may be involved.” At this point, the actual amount has not been released, and no substantial details have been provided. Still, that has not stopped local news portal Radionz from reporting that the loss is close to $3.6 million. A Twitter user, ShaftedTangu, seems to know where these digital assets are going. On the posts, the user said, Hey @cz_binance Binance has stolen tokens from Topia hitting it sir. Can you lock it down? — I Dream Of Alts (@ShaftedTangu) January 16, 2019 Through a string of additional tweets, the user continued to track the funds, as he mentioned wallet address 0x9007a0421145b06a0345d55a8c0f0327f62a2224. In another tweet, he claimed, “Currently the 0x900 wallet contains around $10 mil USD of tokens, large amounts are $PRL $2mil, $CENNZ $1.168 mil, $Denacoin $2.73 mil, $MSP $0.99 mil” Luckily, just under four hours after the original tweet, CZ Binance replied. The reply said, Just checked, we were able to freeze some of the funds. I don't understand why the hackers keep sending to Binance. Social media will be pretty fast to report it, and we will freeze it. It's a high risk maneuver for them. — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) January 16, 2019 With such a nonchalant type of reply, it is quite a victory for Cryptopia and Binance that the funds could be frozen at all. However, the victory has not been won yet, considering there is no indication of exactly who performed the hack in the first place. Cryptopia has remained silent, though they posted to their own Twitter profile, saying, “We cannot comment as this matter is now in the hands of the appropriate authorities. We will update you as soon as we can.” As a result of these issues, Zhao posted that users should keep their holdings on exchanges, rather than a hardware wallet. However, his post caused an onslaught of negative replies, with some saying that his post implied that self-storage is substantially riskier than storing on a seemingly “reputable” exchange. Zhao later retracted, saying that he was not advising investors to store funds on exchanges. In the first half of 2018 last year, there was over $731 million lost in thefts involving exchange hacks. However, none have reached the severity experienced by the 2014 Mt. Gox hack.
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Binance Freezes ‘Some of the Funds’ Stolen in Cryptopia Hack

Some of the stolen cryptocurrency from yesterday’s Cryptopia hack has been sent to Binance, which has confirmed already freezing some of the funds.  Binance Freezing Funds Stolen from Cryptopia Twitter account @ShaftedTangu has alleged that some funds stolen as a result of Cryptopia’s hack have been siphoned through Binance. The amounts sent to Binance in question include roughly $7,500 in Metal (MTL) 00, $6,750 in KyberNetwork coin (KNC) 00, $7,181 OmiseGO tokens (OMG) 00, and $8,724 in EnjinCoin (ENJ) 00. All of it totals around $30,000. Changpeng Zhao, CEO at Binance – the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by means of traded volumes, has confirmed the allegations, reassuring that they’ve already frozen some of the funds. Zhao commented: Just checked, we were able to freeze some of the funds. I don’t understand why the hackers keep sending to Binance. Social media will be pretty fast to report it, and we will freeze it. It’s a high-risk maneuver for them. Just checked, we were able to freeze some of the funds. I don't understand why the hackers keep sending to Binance. Social media will be pretty fast to report it, and we will freeze it. It's a high risk maneuver for them. — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) January 16, 2019 Bitcoinist reported yesterday that Cryptopia’s security has been breached, resulting in ‘significant losses’. Police in New Zealand also confirmed. Binance Caught in the Fire Zhao’s tweet caused a reaction in crypto Twitter’s community as one user (@Crypto_Bitlord) expressed his bewilderment that Zhao referred to “social media” as a means of reporting rather than Binance’s own surveillance systems. I’m genuinely shocked stolen funds from @Cryptopia_NZ have easily passed through @binance UNDETECTED until social media flagged them. This raises some big questions. How is that possible with modern blockchain analysis? — Sir Bitlord (@Crypto_Bitlord) January 16, 2019 On the matter, Binance’s CEO said: It’s quite easy to generate a brand new address. We (and no one) recognize every transaction out there. We already have very in-depth and detailed blockchain analysis. Yet, the question remains – if a regular Twitter user has been able to detect the transaction in question, how, and more importantly – why did Binance miss it? Perhaps the better question, as posed by @Crypto_Bitlord is: So you are saying criminals can steal funds and just create a brand new address to send to before binance? In the meantime, Binance announced today the launch of their Binance Jersey fiat exchange. The platform is aimed at traders from Europe and it offers BTC/GBP, ETH/GBP, BTC/EUR, and ETH/EUR trading pairs. What do you think of Binance missing the transactions in question? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock The post Binance Freezes ‘Some of the Funds’ Stolen in Cryptopia Hack appeared first on
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