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The US remains a leading destination for ICO projects according to a new study that also ranks Switzerland and Singapore in the top three. The report notes that authorities in other jurisdictions, like Russia and Estonia, are working to adopt favorable regulations in order to attract more crypto startups. The findings coincide with another study identifying 78% of all ICOs as scams.
A Third of the Largest ICOs Held in the US
Despite regulatory uncertainty, the United States has established itself as the leading destination for companies conducting Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), a new study confirms. According to the recently published report, 30 of the 100 largest token sales were held by companies based in the US. The data compiled by the team of the Crypto Finance Conference places Switzerland second with 15 ICOs, and Singapore third with 11 of the biggest coin offerings.
“ICOs continue to gain momentum. They raised $ 6.3 billion in the first quarter of 2018 — more than was raised in all of 2017,” said the chief executive of CFC, Andrea-Franco Stöhr, quoted by Venture Beat. In a released statement, he also commented that the research provides an opportunity to understand which countries are embracing blockchain and crypto projects and how they do it.
The authors of the study also note that a number of countries are making efforts to adopt and implement regulations that would attract and encourage more initial coin offerings. The Russian Federation, which hosted six of the top 100 projects, is one of them. Another report published earlier this year claimed that startups with Russian participation raised $ 310 million. That study covered a total of 370 token sales.
The other nation that has been mentioned in the study as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction is Estonia, with four of the largest ICOs. According to some reports, the tiny Baltic country accounts for up to 10% of all funds raised through initial coin offerings last year.
78% of ICO Projects Identified as Scams
Despite two recent studies suggesting investors are still bullish on ICOs, a research conducted by the Boston College revealed that less than half of ICOs survive four months after sale. Now, another study, authored by the research company Satis Group, tells us that a staggering 78% of all coin offerings conducted last year have turned out to be scams. These ICOs promised big profits but shared very little information about the project and the team behind it or didn’t even publish a white paper. Most of them disappeared right after the token sale.
The updated data in the “Cryptoasset Market Coverage Initiation: Network Creation” report, released last week, also shows that 4% of the ICO projects have failed to meet their fundraising targets and have returned the capital to the investors. Another 3% were never listed on a trading platform. Only 15% of the coins sold through ICOs continued to be listed and traded on exchanges. Of those currently trading, 7% are deemed ‘successful’, 3% are said to be ‘promising’, and 4% are tagged ‘dwindling’.
It’s been estimated that of the $ 12 billion raised by ICOs, $ 1.3 billion (11%) was lost to scams, $ 1.7 billion (14%) disappeared in failed projects, and $ 624 million (5%) went to those that had gone dead. However, more than 70%, or $ 8 billion USD, went to ICOs that eventually reached exchanges. According to the study, most of the funds appropriated by scams were invested in three projects. These are Pincoin ($ 660 million), Arisebank ($ 600 million) and Savedroid ($ 50 million).
Do you think the regulatory efforts in many jurisdictions will decrease the number of fraudulent ICOs? Share your expectations in the comments section below.
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This week Andrew Stone, the lead developer of Bitcoin Unlimited (BU), published a 42-page paper that details the evolution of the original OP_Group proposal. Now simply called ‘Group,’ the proposal involves a single OP_Code that could be added to the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network’s scripting language in order to effectively create colored coins. However, unlike other representative token protocols like Omni or Counterparty, if the Group protocol was used it would require a protocol change, and miners would validate colored coins within the confirmation of normal transactions.
Bitcoin Unlimited’s Andrew Stone Publishes the Evolution of the Group Proposal
Earlier this week, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the upcoming Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network upgrade that will take place in November. The Bitcoin ABC development team revealed a timeline of certain goals like building and polishing the 0.18 ABC software and launching the client by October 15. However, the developers didn’t detail exactly what will be included in the next upgrade.
A few days later, Bitcoin Unlimited’s Andrew Stone published the evolution of the OP_Group proposal which is an implementation that could effectively add a plethora of features like representative tokens. Although, the Group proposal does not have broad consensus just yet as other developers have alternative ideas for colored coin creation and some think the OP_Group may be risky.
Group Could Extend the BCH Script Language to Allow a Plethora of Features
Bitcoin Unlimited’s lead developer Andrew Stone believes the community should listen and participate in the colored coin discussion. Alongside publishing the 42-page document, Stone has also left a video of the discussion that features the BCH ‘Token Work Group.’ The group consists of developers such as BU’s Stone, and Andrea Suisani, Bitcoin.com’s Emil Oldenburg, Bitcoin ABC’s Amaury Sechet, Shammah Chancellor, Jason Cox, Nchain’s Steve Shadders, Daniel Connolly, and the Electron Cash developer Jonald Fyookball.
“This is the evolution of the original OP_Group proposal — It’s no longer an opcode, so name change,” Stone explains. “The document is a bit long but that’s because it lays out a roadmap to extending the BCH script language to allow some pretty awesome features but at the same time preserving bitcoin script’s efficiency. For example, in the end, I show how you could create a bet with OP_Datasigverify, and then tokenize the outcome of that bet to create a prediction market.”
I strongly urge people to listen carefully to this discussion, even if you are not that interested in tokens, as it shows pretty clear philosophical differences that will likely influence BCH development for years to come.
Some Proponents Disagree With OP_Group and They Believe Tokenization Can Happen Without Making BCH Consensus Changes
Basically, Bitcoin Cash proponents who disagree with Stone’s Group proposal favor tokenization ideas that don’t require a change to the BCH codebase. Further, some people believe it would be safer to use protocols that work outside the main chain and operate like a sidechain or something similar. Another idea being discussed is ‘Tokeda,’ a token-driven metadata proposal written by Joannes Vermorel. The 31-page Tokeda proposal is also an early draft last updated, March 30, 2018, that is incomplete, explains Vermorel.
“Tokeda addresses both the challenge of viably preserving an unbounded amount of metadata without endangering Bitcoin itself and the challenge of introducing tokens within Bitcoin by weaving the two problems through aligned economic incentives,” explains Vermorel’s paper.
Tokeda is compatible with stateless wallets (which include SPV wallets) and requires no consensus change. As a token scheme, Tokeda relies on a trust-but-verify security model centered around the issuer.
Vermorel believes the BCH community needs to learn from the scaling issues the Ethereum network faces by making tokenization simpler.
“Since, it is now clear that tokenization does not require a change of the base protocol, it’s up to the market to deliver solutions, based on Tokeda, or anything deemed superior,” Vermorel details. “If there is one lesson to be learned from ETH it’s violating the locality principle in your design kills the scalability.”
A Matter of Opinion and the Benefits of a Universal Method that Creates Permissionless Tokens
Many others have stated their opinions concerning Stone’s Group proposal and Vermorel’s Tokeda. Following Stone’s published paper, Jonald Fyookball revealed some of his subjective valuations in a paper called ‘Thoughts on Tokens for BCH.’
“Whether or not we should change the BCH protocol to add GROUP is a risk/reward question and a matter of opinion,” Fyookball states. “Part of what made ERC20 so successful is how easy it is for anyone to create and issue a token, and for the ecosystem to support it. The BCH protocol already allows colored coins but no one uses it because the ecosystem doesn’t support it.”
In any case, I believe BCH would greatly benefit from a universal method for doing SPV-friendly, permissionless tokens.
What do you think about the Group proposal described by BU’s Andrew Stone? What do you think about other ideas like Joannes Vermorel’s Tokeda? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.
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The post Group or Tokeda? A Look at the BCH Color Coin Debate appeared first on Bitcoin News.
The ultimate success of bitcoin core (BTC), hyperbitcoinization, contains the possibility of a purposeful and bright future. Inevitable mass adoption will lead to a globally dominant currency. Pushing all other competitors out means, ultimately, mooning prices. At least one theorist believes the above will happen, and further postulates one hundred million dollars per bitcoin could be in the works as early as 2030.
Hyperbitcoinization Talk Resurfaces
Daniel Krawisz doesn’t immediately grab first-time observers as a leading cryptocurrency philosopher. Mouse-colored, little Dutch boy hair, which he’ll at times flip in unintended punctuation during talks, and his generally casual demeanor could cause audience members to wonder aloud why a random stranger has taken the dais.
Mr. Krawisz doesn’t ever cite his academic credentials. He is absolutely devoid of appeals to authority, credentialism, and officialdom. He can often be heard challenging listeners to not believe him. Crypto fame of a kind came his way around Spring of 2014. As co-founder of the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute, his articles took on new meaning during bitcoin’s run up and up and up through 2017.
Hyperbitcoinization is his most enduring effort from that time, and he can be credited with the concept and neologism. “Bitcoin-induced currency demonetization, or hyperbitcoinization” is what would occur should “any hapless currency” stand “in bitcoin’s path of total world domination. If this happens, the currency will rapidly lose value as bitcoin supplants it,” he stressed. Years later, the topic has returned in some circles.
The piece is less braggadocio and more nuanced than proponents are prone to mention, but it does speak to a time in bitcoin core (BTC) history when community optimism reigned. The current store of value talk and digital gold hodl maximalism is revisionist, which more honest BTC enthusiasts concede. The discussion then was mostly about merchant adoption, medium of exchange qualities, and prospects of freeing emerging economies from legacy remittance arrangements. These attributes are no longer highlighted by BTCers.
Recently, Hyperbitcoinization: Winner Takes All (or how Bitcoin gets to $ 100,000,000) was posted by Coin Monks. Pseudo-anonymous author Obiwankenobit lays out Mr. Krawisz’s case anew. In a longer, mathy, graphic-filled essay, he builds the case for a hyper-hyper-hyperbitcoinization even the most optimistic BTC true believers might have trouble getting behind. Everett Roger, Laszlo Hanyecz, Friedrich Hayek, Austrian economics, S-curves, Andreas Antonopoulos, Daniel Krawisz, Satoshi Nakamoto combine to build the basic argument.
As BTC is accepted more around the world (and “acceptance” isn’t well defined), “the cost of rejecting bitcoin will exceed the cost of adopting it. Bitcoin will begin to assume money’s traditional roles and gain institutional and government support. It will become all money and form the backbone of a new global economy,” Obiwankenobit explains, describing the “tipping point.”
With a price hovering in the mid $ 6,000s at press time, the path to that eye-popping estimate seems impossible. However, he believes the current price “is 0.01% of this future value. Bitcoin is currently experiencing ‘microbubbles’ and future appreciation will continue nearly unabated until it plateaus at a stable price.”
Furthermore, BTC “affords us the opportunity to radically change our relationship with money. You will own your money. Central bank machinations will come to an end. 20 years ago we could not imagine how the internet would change our lives. In the next 20 years bitcoin will reframe our roles as citizens in a borderless, global economy.”
He doesn’t posit economic catastrophe to get there, which is refreshing. “Bitcoin can become the world’s first universal currency in part through voluntary social drivers and its inherent sound monetary policy,” he claims. Fanciful, novel ideas abound throughout his essay, and his “crystallization process” analogy is particularly innovative and fun.
He hints at the contentious debate between BTC and bitcoin cash (BCH) by assuming BTC will act in ways similar to BCH. “Like any good form of money bitcoin is divisible. In fact, by up to 100,000,000 satoshis. The satoshi will act as our base accounting unit. You will buy goods and services and be paid in satoshis.”
In the future, with something like 20% of bitcoin missing or lost, this places the “total accessible” at “16.8 million” coins when BTC inflation ends. “The list of global value of all money totals about $ 1.8Q,” he estimates. On his way to making this BCH-like parallel, he does some calculations: “Global value of all money = $ 1.8Q; divide by 16.8 million bitcoins = $ 107,142,857; round result = $ 100,000,000/bitcoin; 100,000,000 satoshis per bitcoin; $ 100,000,000/bitcoin ÷ 100,000,000 satoshis per bitcoin = $ 1 per satoshi,” allowing for micro-transactions. That sounds very familiar, and BCHers don’t have to wait.
What are your thoughts on hyperbitcoinization? Let us know in the comments section below.
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By day, Paul Angus is an engineer. But by night, he’s Cryptonomatron: a producer of hot takes on the latest initial coin offerings who has more than 8,000 subscribers on YouTube. The 43-year-old Scot’s online alter-ego is mostly a labor of love, yet it sometimes comes with an added perk: payment…
Last summer, ICOs could do no wrong. But by 2018, the acronym had been relegated to the realm of the unmentionables, a place normally reserved for the most offensive cuss words and the name of Harry Potter’s antagonist, Voldemort. In many circles, “ICO” has become a dirty word. In its place has come a range of creative alternatives, each designed to improve on the model and nomenclature of the much derided Initial Coin Offering.
ICOs Are So Last Year
Whenever a new musical movement emerges – punk; nu-metal; emo – bands lumped into the genre rush to distance themselves from it. Something similar has happened with ICOs: everyone’s in them, but no one wants to admit to being in them. Instead, we have the spectacle of projects dressing their ICO up as a “token generation event” and other euphemisms.
Some of the alternative nomenclature is an attempt to avoid legal repercussions (“You can’t charge us with running an unregistered ICO if we didn’t call it an ICO!”), but more often it’s an attempt to avoid being tarred with the same brush as the scammy ICOs that have ruined the name for everyone. Then there are the crowdsales whose alternative name reflects a genuine desire to provide an alternative means of raising capital in which everyone gets a bite of the cherry. What follows is six alternatives to the tried, tested, and tired ICO.
A Security Token Offering (STO) is a fully regulated ICO which proceeds with the SEC’s blessing. These are categorized into various types including Reg D (open to institutional investors only) and Reg S, which is for STOs being held in a country outside the US. The holy grail for companies seeking an STO is Reg A+ as this entitles retail investors to participate. A number of projects including Dexfreight, Gab.ai, and Knowbella are all waiting for Reg A+ approval, but SEC permission is still pending.
The Interactive Initial Coin Offering (IICO) was first proposed in a paper by Vitalik Buterin as a fairer model of ICO. It’s designed to prevent the sort of FOMO and gas wars that can result in whales getting all the tokens and squeezing out investors of humbler means. In Fantom’s recent crowdsale, for example, one investor spent 580k gwei, or around $ 24,000, just to ensure their transaction reached the front of the queue.
Decentralized justice protocol Kleros has become the first project to trial an Interactive Initial Coin Offering. Contributors can specify a maximum cap for the sale; if the total raised surpasses that, their ether will be returned to them. This ensures that everyone is given a chance to purchase tokens at a price they deem fair – or at least that’s the theory.
Initial Supply Auction
Metronome’s crowdsale started today under the banner of an Initial Supply Auction. As the team explain, “The Initial Supply Auction utilizes a descending price auction, where the price starts intentionally high and ticks down incrementally toward its intentionally low price floor as long as the auction is open. The price is not averaged out. Purchasers will receive their Metronome almost immediately after purchase, at the price they purchased. Purchasers should purchase only when they feel the price of MET to be fair.”
Various attempts have been made at ensuring everyone gets a chance to participate in a crowdsale including the IICO, the Initial Supply Auction, and variations of the Dutch auction, in which winning bids are not revealed until the sale has been completed. The risk with the latter two methods is that they risk being perceived as a mechanism for boosting the coffers of the project rather than as a more democratic process.
A Simple Agreement for Future Tokens provides a means of overcoming the risk that tokens sold for a project that is under development could be classified as a security. To circumvent this, investors contribute funds on the understanding that they will receive their tokens once the network is operational and the tokens are usable. That way the project benefits from receiving the capital necessary to get building, and investors can sell their tokens to the public at a future date, once the platform has utility.
Most ICOs now allocate a portion of their tokens to an airdrop – i.e a giveaway – to onboard a distributed community in the hope that these individuals will become users of the platform. It’s standard practice to distribute less than 5% of tokens via an airdrop, but there is a bolder approach: to give away the majority of your tokens in this manner, retain a portion for the team as a reserve, and then hope that the market assigns value to the token once it starts trading. That’s the model being trialed by Everipedia and a host of other EOS-based projects whose tokens will be given away to EOS token holders.
The final alternative to the ICO is to have no ICO whatsoever. That might sound crazy in an era of multi-million-dollar valuations for crypto projects, but it’s actually a much better way to align the incentives of participants. Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Decred are all examples of networks that started life without a fundraiser. If your tokenized idea is genuinely revolutionary, you don’t necessarily need to resort to an ICO: build it and they will come.
What ICO alternatives do you think provide a fairer investment model? Let us know in the comments section below.
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EO, a four-platform-ecosystem has obtained two licenses to for its upcoming crypto fiat exchange and wallet. This makes it one of the first crypto-based companies to receive a license prior to launching of its crypto products and it can officially allow the use of fiat on its upcoming crypto exchange, crypto wallet and online trading platform, as well as the exchange of its own coin, EO, with fiat.
Regulation in the crypto world is a fairly new topic which has been getting a lot of attention as more crypto related projects emerge. Many crypto exchanges and crypto wallets are seeking to receive licensing for their services, however currently exchanges and wallets, including some of the biggest names, are operating without licensing, and are allowed to due to the youth of the cryptomarket.
EO comes from ExpertOption which has been a regulated broker since entering the online trading scene, EO which among other products will develop and launch a crypto exchange and crypto wallet for both fiat and digital currencies is following the same path and has received the Virtual Currency Exchange Service License (number FVR000193) and the Virtual Currency Wallet Service License (number FRK000161) before launching its crypto products.
EO.Finance, the financial crypto-fiat hub which will serve as a wallet for storing and exchanging cryptos with fiat is expected to be released in July of 2018 according to the roadmap. EO.Trade crypto exchange, which is the biggest project in the ecosystem will be released in December of the same year and is now officially licensed to offer direct exchange from fiat and crypto and vice versa along with all other EO products.
The EO ecosystem with its platforms will bring online trading and blockchain projects closer by making crypto and fiat exchange easy. The platforms will allow newcomers to crypto to buy tokens using fiat. They can also exchange their cryptos back to fiat without a complicated processes.
The system will introduce token-based accounts on its online trading platform, ExpertOption, where the EO coin will allow crypto trading with higher profit percentages. The EO coin will also allow lower transaction fees on EO.Finance and EO.Trade.
The EO coin presale started on the 16th of April and will continue until the 29th of June while a second round of sale is expected on the 16th of July to the 31st of August.
This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not 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 the press release.
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It isn’t just Malta that is attracting crypto business these days, other small and fast moving countries on the European continent are joining the action. The latest example comes from Estonia, which recently granted licenses for offering wallet and exchange services to the cryptocurrency trading platform Coin Metro.
Coin Metro, which has been founded by the same team behind the Vanuatu-registered forex broker FX Pig, has announced that it has secured two licenses for cryptocurrency trading activities from the Estonian government. The licenses allow the company to offer fiat to cryptocurrency exchange services and cryptocurrency and fiat currency e-wallet services.
The “virtual currency” wallet license and the exchange license (links to Estonian Register of Economic Activities) are Coin Metro’s first pair of licenses, enabling the company to operate under Estonian law and attract customers from around the world. The licenses are said to provide a framework for establishing robust checks for Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorism Financing, and Know-Your-Customer (KYC).
These licenses represent the first step towards being able to operate its fully regulated trading platform, based in the EU, and comes soon after the conclusion of its €12 million token sale. The company’s next step is seeking an e-money license from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Kevin Murcko, CEO of Coin Metro commented: “We’ve set no geographical limits and are determined in our aim to bring transparent, simplified access to the cryptocurrency market everywhere, where laws allow. With regulation on our side, Coin Metro offers a safe haven from the forthcoming legislative storm that has the potential to close many exchanges which aren’t compliant.”
The Estonian Edge
The company explains its first choice for regulation by saying that Estonia is a popular location for crypto-related activity due to its open regulation and progressive attitude towards cryptocurrencies. An example of this was the country’s a plan to issue a state-backed national cryptocurrency – a plan just recently that had to be scaled down under intense pressure from the European Central Bank. It is now planned that these digital tokens will instead be distributed as an incentive to e-residents of the country.
Asked about the advantages of the jurisdiction, CEO Murcko told news.bitcoin.com that: “We decided to target Estonia (and build our HQ there) as it has been a hotbed for tech startups for years and has generally been very progressive on technology and innovation. In recent years, it has been actively adopting blockchain technologies, looking to be at the forefront of this new shift in distributed technologies. The fact that Estonia is the first country in the world to place its health records on the blockchain is a staunch example of just that.
The EU parliament passed the 5th Money Laundering Directive (MLD 5) in March of last year, giving the EU 18 months to draft a framework around the AML and KYC procedures for crypto exchanges and wallet services. Estonia was the first country to write and pass applicable legislation, and remains the only country to have done so for the time being.”
“While Malta is touted as a hub of cryptocurrency, and has a reputation of bringing new regulations to the island (gambling, FX, etc.), their crypto regulation seems to lack a solid foundation. Looking back at how previous industries have been regulated, it is not very promising,” he added.
Can Estonia become the next European cryptocurrency business hub? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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What’s the difference between Ripple the company and ripple (XRP) the cryptocurrency? Many people would assert “Not a lot” given that the former owns most of the latter and its founders were responsible for creating ripple in the first place. Ripple the company has other ideas though, and is on a mission to separate the two ripples – big and small – once and for all.
The Disambiguation of Ripple and XRP
For several months, Ripple has been on a mission to dispel the notion that it is responsible for the XRP currency it issues. Just as Prince once changed himself into a symbol, the project would like to turn its currency into a symbol and keep it that way. This is despite the fact that ‘XRP’ is simply a currency ticker derived from an abbreviation of the word ‘ripple’, just as XMR is an abbreviation of monero. To mark the distinction, a new logo has been proposed that is clean, minimalist and, tellingly, looks nothing like that of Ripple.
There’s even a community-run Twitter account for the new XRP symbol and Github which explains: “In order for XRP to be perceived as a ‘currency,’ it needs its own symbol. Just like the dollar sign ‘$ ,’ XRP needs a universal sign that denotes units of XRP. The current logo being used works great when referencing the company, and it should not be changed, but a character should be created to represent actual units of the digital asset.” The final logo has yet to be decided, but whatever version the community plumps for, it will look very different from the current shared logo of the company and coin.
Why the Rebrand?
It has been theorized that the company is seeking to distance itself from its eponymous currency in order to “desecuritize” it. The likelihood of XRP being a security, given the fact that Ripple has a majority holding, is strong. In the event of XRP being classified as such by the SEC it would have a major impact on XRP’s price and its availability on US exchanges. Given the foregoing, it makes sense for the company to emphasize the distinction between the company and XRP. It is likely to encounter significant difficulties, however, in convincing people that this is the case.
Semantics or Separate Things?
The case for why the company and XRP are separate entities, according to the company, revolves around the fact that the XRP ledger is open source, and thus any company can use it for their own purposes. While this is true, third party development has been few and far between, and the vast majority of XRP’s code commits have been performed by staffers. If the company can successfully separate itself from its currency, it is possible that the XRP ledger could become more attractive to companies wishing to utilize it for their own purposes. It seems unlikely, however, that the XRP ledger, for all its efficiencies, will become the Hyperledger of enterprise.
As cryptocurrency critic Preston Byrne has pointed out, the notion that “There’s not a direct connection between Ripple the company and XRP”, as stated by the company’s Director of Regulatory Regulations Ryan Zagone, simply doesn’t fly. The connections between the two are written all over the website, and every other third party news source. The Wikipedia page for Ripple (payment protocol) points out that “The network can operate without the Ripple company”, but evidence suggests that it would struggle to function if the company bowed out. For one thing, operating an XRP node requires obtaining permission from one of Ripple.com’s servers.
With 55 billion XRP locked in the company vaults, the simplest way for Ripple to rid itself of association with the cryptocurrency would be to burn the bulk of its supply of XRP. That wouldn’t look too good on its balance sheet though, and thus the campaign to rebrand ripple as XRP intensifies.
Do you think Ripple and XRP should be regarded as separate entities? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The Trump-Kim summit has been called off —but it’s still a historic event for coin collectors. A commemorative coin produced by the White House Communications Agency to mark the summit between Trump and “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong Un is now in high demand and is expected to became a valuable…
The fate of President Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un remains uncertain after a series of provocative statements from North Korea. But even if history isn’t made, a commemorative coin created by members of a White House military unit forever memorializes what could have been.
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