CrowdCrypto Newsletter by Robin Sosnow,the goal of this newsletter is to share valuable insights, incite conversation, and to bring awareness to the evolving regulatory. 

Image result for blockchain newsCrowdCrypto Newsletter by Robin Sosnow, securities attorney in NYC, graduate school professor at CMU, and founder of LawLab. The goal of this newsletter is to share valuable insights, incite conversation, and to bring awareness to the evolving regulatory

 

 

CRYPTO NEWS
🇺🇸 USA Regulatory Spotlight: 

  • 🔥New York State’s controversial BitLicense regulation may be one step closer to revision, as NY lawmakers on Friday agreed that a bill to reform may come “very soon”. The NY State BitLicense regulations were introduced in 2015 in attempts to regulate business use of virtual currencies, but has proven to be prohibitive as only three BitLicenses have been granted since its adoption.

Cryptocurrency Spotlight:

  • 🔥🔥Cloud-based messaging app Telegram destroyed the blockchain fundraising record previously held by Filecoin, raising $850 million in an ICO that began Jan. 29. It is reported that Telegram plans to raise $1.2 billion at the conclusion of the sale.

Global Spotlight:

  • 🇷🇺Russia continued their move towards embracing a blockchain democracy, integrating the ethereum blockchain into their “Active Citizen” program, where residents of the city of Moscow vote on initiatives to improve the city. The inclusion of blockchain technology is a move towards voter-government transparency, with opportunities for voters to monitor the voting process in real time on the blockchain.
  • 🇯🇵In Japan, 16 cryptocurrency exchanges have banded together to begin the process ofcreating a self-regulatory body after the infamous Coincheck theft that resulted in $530 NEM being stolen less than a month ago. The goal of this initiative is to provide investors with greater security and to create an environment of regulatory practices that all accredited exchange operators will adhere to.

Events Spotlight: 

  • Blockchain Week NYC: A series of events, including the Consensus conference, an industry Hackathon, and a Blockchain Job Fair. May 11-17.
  • Crypto Invest Summit: Join industry leaders at the largest crypto expo space in the world. Los Angeles. Apr. 30 – May 2.
EQUITY CROWDFUNDING NEWS
Equity Crowdfunding Spotlight:

  • 🔥🔥🔥This week, UK crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom released a report indicating that investors in early-stage equities, such as startups, have enjoyed seven consecutive years of 30% growth. The report analyzed 519 UK startups founded between 2011 and 2017 and found that the FInTech industry posted the highest growth rate at 63%. Read the in-depth report here to find out more about the strength of startups.
  • On Feb. 28, innovative funding platform PITCH drops and with it comes a new wave of token investment into startups. Entrepreneurs post summaries of products, prepare on-demand pitches for live audiences, and offer tokens for purchase during the live pitches to fund startups.

Source: CrowdCrypto Newsletter Issue #10

ICOs Raised Over $1 Billion in 2018 So Far

It’s still the beginning of the year while 40 ICOs raised over $1 billion in 2018 so far the nascent industry is on pace to top last year’s mark of $5.6 billion.

With over 40 ICOs and over $1 billion raised already in the new year, the nascent industry is on pace to top last year’s mark of $5.6 billion.

2018: AN EVEN BIGGER YEAR FOR ICOS?

Last year, there were 902 so-called Initial Coin Offerings (or ICO) projects tracked by TokenData. Out of that amount, 142 failed prior to the offering, and another 276 failed after raising funds.

But despite a lackluster success rate of about 48%, startups still managed to raise $5.6 billion USD in 2017, according to Business Insider.

Just under a half (435) of the ICOs were considered to be a success, raising an average of $12.7 million, while the ten largest offerings comprised 25% of the total money raised, according to TokenData.

ICOs

In 2018 so far, the trend is not showing any signs of slowing down. With 48 ICOs into the year, the amount raised so far exceeds $1.1 billion, according to data from Coinschedule.

What’s more is that this figure does not yet include the Telegram ICO that already secured over $850 million in a pre-sale as it aims for its goal of $2 billion later this year.

The top three ICO categories so far in 2018 include Trading & Investing, Finance, and Communications. These comprised over a third of all offerings. Moreover, the lion’s share of this sum ($525 million) has been scooped up by the top ten ICO projects in Pareto fashion, led by Envion—a company promising “off-grid mining solutions” that managed to raise $100 million.

At this rate, ICO projects could raise well over $7 billion USD by the end of 2018. But if last year is anything to go by, the pace could ramp up at any time as an explosion of ICO activity and funds raised occurred in the second half of 2017.

Therefore, the figure could go well into double digits, depending on how the regulatory environment develops in 2018 across key regions, such as the EU and the United States.

 

Source: ICOs Raised Over $1 Billion in 2018 So Far

House balks at $10 billion price tag for VA-Cerner EHR project | Healthcare IT News


VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, testifies at the House VA Committee meeting on Thursday. Credit: YouTube

VA Committee Chair Phil Roe was also concerned that the amount doesn’t cover maintenance or the cost to update the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the new platform.

As the time draws near for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to sign its EHR contract with Cerner, Congressional members are growing increasingly concerned over not only the $10 billion price tag, but that the agency will need to keep the legacy system in place, perhaps indefinitely.

“While the EHR modernization effort is necessary, it is very expensive,” House VA Committee Chairman Phil Roe, MD, R-Tennessee, said during the Thursday hearing on the VA’s 2019 budget requests.

“The contract with Cerner alone has a price tag of about $10 billion and that doesn’t even include the costs of updating infrastructure to accommodate the new EHR, implementation support or sustaining VistA up until the day it can be turned off,” he continued.

In fact, Roe is concerned that the VA’s legacy EHR may never be completely gone.

“After visiting Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, recently, I’m not even sure you can ever turn VistA off,” Roe said.

President Donald Trump released his proposed FY19 budget this week, which earmarked $1.2 billion to get the project with Cerner off the ground. VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD put the potential Cerner contract on hold in January, pending an independent review of Cerner’s interoperability capabilities.

While Roe applauded Shulkin’s move to ensure interoperability, he’s still not certain the project can be successful.

“It’s unthinkable that VA could potentially spend billions of dollars on a project that doesn’t substantially increase the department’s ability to share information with the Department of Defense or community providers,” Roe said. “But that’s exactly what could happen if VA fails to proceed in a careful deliberate manner.”

In response, Shulkin stressed that the agency is taking the modernization very seriously.

“We have to make sure that we can be interoperable with dozens of different health systems out there,” said Shulkin. “And that’s a challenge that frankly the American healthcare system hasn’t figured out yet… We think VA can help lead this for the whole country by making this interoperable.”

Shulkin recognized the agency’s track record of failed IT projects – the Government Accountability Office recently reported that the VA likely wasted at least $1.1 billion on multiple EHR modernization attempts – and understands that this EHR replacement must work.

Given the size and scope of the project – there are more than 130 versions of VistA operating right now – Shulkin said the legacy system will need to be maintained over a 10-year implementation period.

To account for that, Shulkin is requesting Congress provide the VA a separate account to fund the project. The account would provide the VA with the necessary funds for maintaining VistA and implementing the Cerner EHR, and would provide transparency to where those funds are going.

The VA is expected to sign the Cerner contract in the next few weeks, after the vendor reportedly passed its independent assessment.

Source: House balks at $10 billion price tag for VA-Cerner EHR project | Healthcare IT News

Bitcoin blockchain consumes a lot of energy engineers changing that

Innovators from top institutions and tech titans are in a race to develop green blockchain innovations to address demand by businesses.

  • Innovators from top institutions such as M.I.T. and Cornell University and tech titans such as IBM and Intel are in a race to develop green blockchain innovations to address demand by businesses.
  • In order to unleash the power of blockchain – the technology behind bitcoin – for a wide range of business purposes, energy efficiency is key, developers said.
  • The original blockchain runs on an algorithm that could eat up more energy than Argentina this year, Morgan Stanley estimates.If blockchain technology is going to revolutionize how we transact with each other, computer scientists need to solve one big problem: It can consume way too much energy.The original blockchain, which underlies bitcoin, runs on an algorithm that could eat up more energy than Argentina this year, Morgan Stanley estimated.

    “Businesses have every incentive to avoid bitcoin’s waste. It’s very, very expensive to run things the way bitcoin runs things,” said Cornell University computer science professor Emin Gun Sirer, co-director of the school’s Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts.

    https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/01/12/heres-how-much-it-costs-to-mine-one-single-bitcoin-in-115-different-countries-across-the-world.html Here's how much it costs to mine one single bitcoin in 115 different countries across the world

If blockchain technology is going to revolutionize how we transact with each other, computer scientists need to solve one big problem: It can consume way too much energy.

The original blockchain, which underlies bitcoin, runs on an algorithm that could eat up more energy than Argentina this year, Morgan Stanley estimated.

“Businesses have every incentive to avoid bitcoin’s waste. It’s very, very expensive to run things the way bitcoin runs things,” said Cornell University computer science professor Emin Gun Sirer, co-director of the school’s Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts.

Innovators from top institutions such as M.I.T. and Cornell University and tech titans such as IBM and Intel are developing a number of “green” blockchain innovations to address demand by businesses for blockchain that streamlines transactions of all sorts. Blockchain can help automate transactions and records those transactions on a tamper-proof digital record available to all participants in a network.

Energy efficiency allows blockchain to scale for business needs, developers said. That means processing significantly more transactions per second at minimal cost, while accommodating an ever-expanding user base.

The potential reward has spurred a race to develop the winning blockchain solutions for companies and organizations. “The people who come out with the winning algorithms are going to capture a substantial portion of the many billions of dollars that go into back-end systems,” Cornell’s Sirer said. “We are in a phase where a thousand blockchains will bloom. And the markets will decide on a few winners.”

Differentiating from bitcoin

Bitcoin’s cousin ethereum is trying to position itself to be one of those winners among the business community. Developers have created a new blockchain that would reduce its energy consumption to almost zero and allow it to scale as well as improve security, said Mike Goldin, a software engineer at Consensys, which builds applications on top of ethereum.

“If we get to a place where ethereum scales 10,000 X, a million X, but it’s using a million X energy … game over,” Goldin said. “We’d have to drain the power of the sun to power this blockchain. If we scale ethereum, but we don’t also scale the power consumption, it’s useless.”

The move will further set ethereum apart from bitcoin, with whom it currently shares a similar blockchain algorithm called proof-of-work.

Proof-of-work, also known as “mining,” is the culprit behind bitcoin’s energy waste. It’s the process by which computers solve complex mathematical riddles in order to perpetuate the blockchain and garner new bitcoin. The computers are racing to be the one to validate the next block of transaction data and capture new coins.

As more computers mine bitcoin, the math problems get harder to crack and require even more processing power. The soaring price of bitcoin last year incentivized more machines to mine it. While the cryptocurrency’s price has since plummeted below $10,000 from its high of more than $19,000 in December, bitcoin’s recent climb called attention to its long-term sustainability problem.

Source: Bitcoin blockchain consumes a lot of energy engineers changing that

Top 5 free apps to keep you healthy in 2018

The most-downloaded health apps on iPhone and Android app stores reveal where Americans are turning to take control of health issues.

A new year means it’s time to comply with new resolutions for many people. Most often, that means targeting health and wellness. A Google search analysis conducted last January showed that getting healthy was the most popular resolution, with more than 62 million searches, almost double the second-most-searched New Year’s resolution: getting organized.

The ubiquity of smartphones in daily life makes it easier than ever to make a resolution related to health — sticking to it is something else. App tracker App Annie provided CNBC with data on the most popular free versions of health and wellness apps from 2017 based on both the Apple and Android app-store downloads. The data was through Dec. 28, 2017.

As technology giants such as Apple, Amazon and Google get serious about remaking the health-care sector, these results show how Americans are using their phones to take more control of their health, and the specific health issues that are proving to be most app-friendly.

Source: Top 5 free apps to keep you healthy in 2018

Nine Big Workplace Changes Enabled By Ubiquitous Voice-Powered Technology

How can Alexa help your bottom line?

Over the last several years, voice-activated technology has gained mass adoption in the consumer world. It’s not uncommon to hear people dictating notes, reminders and appointments to their smartphones, asking their car’s GPS for directions or controlling their home’s systems and ambiance through a console like the Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Stocksnap.io

Smart speaker

The natural progression of this useful technology is for it to be integrated into the workplace. Although many employees already use voice controls for their daily work, it’s only a matter of time before enterprise software and hardware become equipped with voice activation. As we look toward the age of the ubiquitous smart office, members of Forbes Technology Council shared their thoughts on how companies will use voice to empower and improve their workforce.

1. The Rise Of The Smart Office

Voice activation is increasingly running the smart home and driving the future of IoT. These consumer innovations will be mimicked in commercial spaces, where resource needs are higher and more complex. Companies can conveniently optimize energy and comfort at the office with a quick command — just like individuals use personal assistant devices to adjust lighting and thermostats at home. – James McPhailZen Ecosystems

2. Better Reporting

Amazon is one of the first companies to make a serious attempt to get voice activation into the workplace with Alexa for Business. First adopters are using Alexa for meetings and to set up conference calls. I’m looking forward to being able to trigger custom workflows that integrate voice control with my calendar or task list and to get real-time voice reports for important business metrics. – Vik PatelNexcess

3. Supercharged Data Analysis 

Voice-activated tech, utilizing advanced AI like natural language processing (NLP), will eventually integrate with enterprise systems and leverage their wealth of data. With this foundation, these solutions will be able to instantly analyze records, create reports, and search intranets in addition to completing basic recording and automation duties. The search queries excite me most. – Adam Rogers, UltimateSoftware.com

Source: Nine Big Workplace Changes Enabled By Ubiquitous Voice-Powered Technology

Global cybercrime costs $600 billion annually: Study – The Economic Times

cyber-attack-

Russia, North Korea and Iran are the main sources of hackers targeting financial institutions, while China is the most active in cyber espionage, the report found.

WASHINGTON: The annual cost of cybercrime has hit $600 billion worldwide, fuelled by growing sophistication of hackers and proliferation of criminal marketplaces and cryptocurrencies, researchers said today.

A report produced by the security firm McAfee with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies found theft of intellectual property represents about one-fourth of the cost of cybercrime in 2017.

Russia, North Korea and Iran are the main sources of hacke ..

Source: Global cybercrime costs $600 billion annually: Study – The Economic Times