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Circle Invest lets you buy cryptocurrency collections

With Circle Invest, Circle has been trying to make it as easy as possible to get started with cryptocurrency trading. And the company wants to go one step further with collections of multiple tokens. When it first launched, Circle Invest was pretty straightforward. You could download an app, sign up and buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin in just a few taps. But the company then started adding more coins. And if you’re new to the cryptocurrency industry, it’s hard to understand the difference between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic if you weren’t looking at the market when the fork happened. That’s why Circle introduced a feature called “buy the market”. In one tap, you can buy all the coins on Circle Invest, weighted depending on their respective market capitalization. For instance, the total market capitalization of Bitcoin is much higher than the market cap of Monero. So you’ll end up with a lot of bitcoins. 30 percent of Circle Invest users are using this feature. People who buy this package probably don’t invest as much as users who build their own portfolio, so it might not be 30 percent of Circle Invest’s transaction volume. Coinbase recently introduced a similar feature called bundles. In just a few taps, you can purchase all the coins on Coinbase. Of course, both Coinbase and Circle Invest provide a limited selection of coins. But it’s clear that they both want to list more assets in the future. With collections, you can buy a subset of the tokens available on Circle Invest. There are three packages for now — Platforms, Payments and Privacy. For instance, you’ll find Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar and Litecoin in the Payments collection. Once again, collections are weighted by market cap.

Compound launches easy way to short cryptocurrencies

Think Ethereum and other crypto coins are overvalued? Now you can make money when their prices fall via Compound, which is launching its money market protocol for shorting cryptocurrencies today. The Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz-funded startup today opens its simple web interface allowing users to borrow and short Ethereum, 0x’s ZRX, Brave’s BAT, and Augur’s REP token, or lend them through Compound to earn interest. Compound’s protocol isn’t just useful for crypto haters, or HODLers who want to generate interest instead of just having their coins gathering dust in a wallet.  “If/when Compound scales, this will lead to some really interesting improvements in market structure, namely, fairer prices” Compound CEO Robert Leshner tells me. The startup spent the summer completing a security audit by Trail Of Bits and adding 26 hedge fund partners who will trade with Compound, offering liquidity to independent investors looking to be matched with borrowers or lenders. Next, the startup wants to offer a stablecoin on its protocol, bring in big financial institutions to add even more liquidity, and partner with a wallet provider to make signup faster. Coinbase’s first investment, Compound, earns you interest on crypto Compound users visit its site through a Web3 browser such as MetaMask or Coinbase Wallet and enter their Ethereum price. They can then view the interest rates for borrowing and shorting or lending and earning interest for each of the supported tokens. Compound’s secret sauce is that those interest rates are set algorithmically based on demand, though eventually it wants a community governance body to oversee this process. “It ranges from 5 percent to 45 percent APR depending on how scarce liquidity is . . . in general, we expect supply to outnumber borrowing about 5-1, and borrowing rates to be about 10 percent”. To make sure no one thinks they’re getting scammed, Compound is also releasing a transparency dashboard users can view to check up on all the assets moving through the protocol and see what Compound is earning. It charges 10 percent of what borrowers pay in interest, with the rest going to the lender. That margin is what…

Vinay Gupta to talk about Mattereum at Disrupt Berlin

Cryptocurrency speculation is over. That’s why I’m excited to announce that Vinay Gupta will join us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin to talk about cool use cases that could make blockchain projects useful, beyond financial services. Gupta worked on the initial release of Ethereum back in 2015. He contributed when it comes to project management. He then worked with the Consensys team on other cryptocurrency projects. But he’s now 100 percent focused on his own project — Mattereum. As the name suggests, it’s all about bringing physical objects to the blockchain. For instance, if you buy an expensive painting, you want to make sure that you sign a contract with the previous owner that says that you now own this painting. Mattereum helps you set up self-executing smart contracts to transfer digital assets (including tokens that could prove the ownership of a painting). But if you want to combine smart contracts with good old legal contracts, Mattereum has also worked on Ricardian contracts so that those contracts have a legal value. Finally, Mattereum also worked on a decentralized dispute resolution platform that can be enforced in a national court. If you want to listen to Gupta talk about Mattereum himself, then you should come to Disrupt Berlin. Buy your ticket to Disrupt Berlin to listen to this discussion and many others. The conference will take place on November 29-30. In addition to fireside chats and panels, like this one, new startups will participate in the Startup Battlefield Europe to win the highly coveted Battlefield cup. Vinay Gupta Founder, Mattereum Ltd. Vinay Gupta is a technologist and policy analyst with a particular interest in how specific technologies can close or create new avenues for decision makers. This interest has taken him through cryptography, energy policy, defence, security, resilience and disaster management arenas. He is the founder of Hexayurt.Capital, a fund which invests in creating the Internet of Agreements. Mattereum is the first Internet of Agreements infrastructure project, bringing legally-enforceable smart contracts, and enabling the sale, lease, and transfer of physical property and legal rights. He is known for his work on the hexayurt,…

Circle launches its stablecoin

When Circle raised its $110 million funding round, the company used this opportunity to talk about its stablecoin — USD Coin, or USDC for short. And you can now buy, sell and send USD Coins on Circle Trade and Circle’s exchange Poloniex. But what is a stablecoin? As the name suggests, 1 USDC is worth 1 USD. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies, you can be sure that the value of USDC isn’t going to fluctuate like crazy. There are multiple reasons why you’d want to use stablecoins. First, if you want to short cryptocurrencies without cashing out, you can convert your bitcoins or ethers to USDC. This way, it’ll be easier to buy cryptocurrencies again in the future. Second, if you want to avoid traditional financial institutions, you can send USDC to other people without going through a bank. Sending USDC is like sending any other token — you just need to tell your recipient to get a wallet and ask for their wallet address. Third, I’m sure many people are going to use stablecoins to avoid taxation issues. It’s easier to hide a bunch of tokens than a big wire transfers hitting your bank statement. Many people living in countries suffering from hyperinflation or chronic inflation, such as Venezuela or Turkey, could also rely on USDC to convert some of their savings. This way, you don’t have to open a bank account in another country. USDC is an ERC-20 token, which means that it’s easy to add support for USDC if you’re running an exchange or a wallet. But Circle wants to make sure that issuers are not just printing money without any actual USD in their bank accounts. Multiple companies partnered to create CENTRE, a consortium that is going to define policies around stablecoins and governance. If you want to issue USDC, you have to comply with a bunch of rules. In particular, you have to send monthly audited reports proving that you have as many USD on deposit as issued tokens. Multiple companies have already announced that they will begin trading USDC soon, such as DigiFinex, CoinEx, KuCoin, OKCoin,…

The Best Performing ICOs of 2018

The cryptocurrency market is ruled by ICOs and in previous years, it has generated several millions of dollars in profits. Perhaps you have decided to invest in an upcoming ICO;… Read more » The post The Best Performing ICOs of 2018 appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

Committed to privacy, Snips founder wants to take on Alexa and Google, with blockchain

Earlier this year we saw the headlines of how the users of popular voice assistants like Alexa and Siri and continue to face issues when their private data is compromised, or even sent to random people. In May it was reported that Amazon’s Alexa recorded a private conversation and sent it to a random contact. Amazon insists its Echo devices aren’t always recording, but it did confirm the audio was sent. The story could be a harbinger of things to come when voice becomes more and more ubiquitous. After all, Amazon announced the launch of Alexa for Hospitality, its Alexa system for hotels, in June. News stories like this simply reinforce the idea that voice control is seeping into our daily lives. The French startup Snips thinks it might have an answer to the issue of security and data privacy. Its built its software to run 100% on-device, independently from the cloud. As a result, user data is processed on the device itself, acting as a potentially stronger guarantor of privacy. Unlike centralized assistants like Alexa and Google, Snips knows nothing about its users. Its approach is convincing investors. To date, Snips has raised €22 million in funding from investors like Korelya Capital, MAIF Avenir, BPI France and Eniac Ventures. Created in 2013 by 3 PhDs, and now employing more than 60 people in Paris and New York, Snips offers its voice assistant technology as a white-labelled solution for enterprise device manufacturers. It’s tested its theories about voice by releasing the result of a consumer poll. The survey of 410 people found that 66% of respondents said they would be apprehensive of using a voice assistant in a hotel room, because of concerns over privacy, 90% said they would like to control the ways corporations use their data, even if it meant sacrificing convenience. “Сonsumers are increasingly aware of the privacy concerns with voice assistants that rely on cloud storage — and that these concerns will actually impact their usage,” says Dr Rand Hindi, co-founder and CEO at Snips. “However, emerging technologies like blockchain are helping us to create safer…

Crypto’s second bubble, Juul has 60 days and three Chinese IPOs

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. After a long run of having guests climb aboard each week, we took a pause on that front, bringing together three of our regular hosts instead: Connie Loizos, Danny Chrichton, and myself. Despite the fact that there were just three of us instead of the usual four, we got through a mountain of stuff. Which was good as it was a surprisingly busy week, and we didn’t want to leave too much behind. Up top we dug into the latest in the land of crypto, which Danny had politely summarized for us in an article. The gist of his argument is that the analogies relating crypto as an industry to the Internet may work, but most people have their timelines wrong: Crypto isn’t like the Internet in the 90s, perhaps. More like the 80s. On the same topic, crypto companies formed a team lobbying effort, and a high-flying crypto fund is struggling to once again post strong profit figures. Moving along, Juul is back in the news. Not, however, for raising more money or posting quick growth. Well, sort of the latter, as the government is after it. The Food and Drug Administration has put Juul on a countdown to get its act together regarding teens and smoking. That the financially impressive unicorn is in as much trouble as it is, is nearly surprising. Finally, we ran through the three most recent Chinese IPOs that hit our radar. Here they are: Meituan Dianping: The Tencent-backed group buying, delivery, and everything company raised over $4 billion in its debut, which was impressive, but also short of expectations. The firm won’t begin trading until the 20th, but it’s one more massive deal that got done in 2018. 111: We spent a minute on the show discussing what counts as a technology company thanks to 111. We voted that the Chinese online-to-offline pharmacy startup did in fact count. So, it’s in our list. Some notes on its debut can be found here. NIO: Finally on our list…

Robinhood aims at IPO as the fintech startup seeks CFO

Now valued at $5.6 billion, zero-fee stock trading app and cryptocurrency exchange Robinhood is starting preparations to go public. Just a year and a half ago, it was still largely under the radar. But then it raised a $110 million Series C at a $1.3 billion valuation in April 2017 and then just a year later scored a $363 million Series D, both led by Russian-backed firm DST Global. Combined with the growth of its premium subscription for trading on margin called Robinhood Gold, the startup now has the firepower and revenue to make a viable Wall Street debut. Today during Robinhood CEO Baiju Bhatt’s talk at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, he revealed that his company is on the path to an IPO and has begun its search for a chief financial officer. It’s also undergoing constant audits from the SEC, FINRA and its security team to make sure everything is kosher and locked up tight. The CFO hire could help the five-year-old Silicon Valley startup pitch itself as the cheaper youthful alternative to E*Trade and traditional stock brokers. They’d also have to convince potential investors that even though cryptocurrency prices are in a downturn, allowing people to trade them for cheaper than competitors like Coinbase is a powerful user acquisition funnel. Robinhood now has 5 million customers tracking, buying and selling stocks, options, ETFs, American depositary slips receipts of international companies and cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum. That’s twice as many customers as its incumbent competitor E*Trade despite it having 4,000 employees compared to Robinhood’s 250. The startup has raised a total of $539 million to date from prestigious investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia and Google’s Capital G, allowing it to rapidly roll out products before its rivals can react. This rapid rise in valuation can go to some founders’ heads, or crush them under the pressure, but Bhatt cited “friendship” with his co-CEO Vlad Tenev as what keeps him sane. The startup has three main monetization streams. First, it earns interest on money users keep in their Robinhood account. Second, it sells order flow to stock exchanges…

Peep the future of distributed ledgers with the leaders of Hyperledger, Parity Technologies and Tradeshift

As cryptocurrencies emerge from the speculative bloodletting of the past months, believers in the promise of distributed ledger technologies for business and consumer applications are casting about for what comes next. On our stage at Disrupt San Francisco we’ll be welcoming some of the leading thinkers in how distributed ledgers can create an entirely new architecture for computing and new processes for almost every conceivable transaction framework. For Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of Hyperledger, distributed ledger technologies represent a powerful path for the future of networked computing — no matter the underlying technology.  That’s why Behlendorf –through the Linux Foundation — is investing resources in ensuring that viable open source distributed ledger projects are supported and coming to market for any number of applications for businesses and consumers. One of the leading lights of the internet revolution, Behlendorf’s career shaping the future of the networked world began in 1993 when he co-founded Organic Inc. — the first business dedicated to building commercial websites. Going on to become one of the foundational architects of the Apache http protocol, Behlendorf has served as the chief technology officer of the World Economic Forum and as an executive director for the technology investment fund, Mithril Capital. Meanwhile, Parity Technologies is attempting to ensure that businesses don’t need to worry about the underlying technologies at all. Selling a suite of services that are all enabled by distributed ledger technologies and cryptographic computing, Jutta Steiner is giving businesses a way through the maze of competing protocols with a service that can enable the creation and adoption of distributed apps for businesses. “We see it as a way for people to build blockchains that fulfill their particular needs,” Steiner told our own Samantha Stein at our Blockchain event earlier this year in Zug. “One of the challenges we’re addressing in this is to come up with a scalable framework.” Before Parity, Steiner was responsible for security and partner integration within the Ethereum Foundation when the public blockchain first launched in 2015. Steiner also co-founded Project Provenance — a London based start-up that employs blockchain technology to…

George Church’s genetics on the blockchain startup just raised $4.3 million from Khosla

Nebula Genomics, the startup that wants to put your whole genome on the blockchain, has announced the raise of $4.3 million in Series A from Khosla Ventures and other leading tech VC’s such as Arch Venture Partners, Fenbushi Capital, Mayfield, F-Prime Capital Partners, Great Point Ventures, Windham Venture Partners, Hemi Ventures, Mirae Asset, Hikma Ventures and Heartbeat Labs. Nebula has also has forged a partnership with genome sequencing company Veritas Genetics . Veritas was one of the first companies to sequence the entire human genome for less than $1,000 in 2015, later adding all that info to the touch of a button on your smartphone. Both Nebula and Veritas were cofounded by MIT professor and “godfather” of the Human Genome Project, George Church. The partnership between the two companies will allow the Nebula marketplace, or the place where those consenting to share their genetic data can earn Nebula’s cryptocurrency called “Nebula tokens” to build upon Veritas open-source software platform Arvados, which can process and share large amounts of genetic information and other big data. According to the company, this crossover offers privacy and security for the physical storage and management of various data sets according to local rules and regulations. “As our own database grows to many petabytes, together with the Nebula team we are taking the lead in our industry to protect the privacy of consumers while enabling them to participate in research and benefit from the blockchain-based marketplace Nebula is building,” Veritas CEO Mirza Cifric said in a statement. The partnership will work with various academic institutions and industry researchers to provide genomic data from individual consumers looking to cash in by sharing their own data, rather than by freely giving it as they might through another genomics company like 23andMe . “Compared to centralized databases, Nebula’s decentralized and federated architecture will help address privacy concerns and incentivize data sharing,” added Nebula Genomics co-founder Dennis Grishin. “Our goal is to create a data flow that will accelerate medical research and catalyze a transformation of health care.”

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