Sunday, Feb. 25: the crypto markets are down almost all across the board, but not by very much. Of the top ten coins listed on CoinMarketCap, no coin is down more than 5 percent in the 24-hour period by press time. Only altcoins Litecoin (LTC) and IOTA out of those top ten coins are in the green. Litecoin is trading for about $208.53, up almost 2.8 percent over a 24-hour period by press time. IOTA is up even more, roughly 5 percent over a 24-hour period, trading for about $1.80 by press time. Bitcoin (BTC) has spent the past day and a half below $10,000, a mark that it had broken through again on Feb. 15. This week saw BTC almost hitting $12,000 before slowly dropping until it hit an intra-weekly low today. BTC is currently trading for around $9,552.92, down a little more than 3 percent over a 24-hour period by press time. Ethereum (ETH) is down 1.21 percent over a 24-hour period by press time, trading for around $827.65.
Total market cap is almost $420 bln by press time, down from the intra-week high of over $500 bln, but higher than the intra-week low thus far of around $417 bln.
Matthew Lesko, the US author who made himself a name in the 90s writing books on how to get “free money” from the United States government, claimed that cryptocurrencies are a scam and Bitcoin is a “gamble,” talking to CNET in an interview on Feb. 20. Lesko, who runs his own website, YouTube channel and various podcasts, all dedicated to to the topic of obtaining federal grants from the US government, says that “many people are interested” in Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Lesko recommended these people to “stay away” from digital currencies unless they “have money to lose.” Lesko argues that cryptocurrencies are actually a “scam”, since they are not backed by anything and are not regulated, unlike the US dollar. He believes that “if there’s no regulation, you get screwed.” In 2004 the New York State Consumer Protection Board criticized Lesko’s commercials and books, stating that many of his readers did not get the “free money” he promised. According to Lesko himself, Blockchain experts today implement the same “exaggerations” he used in his 90s “free-money” infomercials.
Elon Musk has revealed his personal cryptocurrency holdings. The billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla told Twitter followers that he in fact has never purchased cryptocurrency, and only holds a small amount of Bitcoin gifted by a friend. The tweet was made in response to scam posts on Twitter claiming to be Mr Musk requesting Ethereum. It’s an issue that has plagued the Twitter network, with scammers impersonating blockchain figures such as Vitalik Buterin in attempts to steal users cryptocurrency. Twitter users are warned to never send cryptocurrency to anyone claiming to be hsoting a giveaway or event. Whilst the businessman may not own cryptocurrency, it was reported in 2016 that he was not against the technology. When appointed to Trump’s team of advisers he declared that Bitcoin was in fact a “good thing”, although he did not elaborate in great detail. Elon Musk’s lack of involvement with cryptocurrency is interesting, as decentralized technology firmly aligns with his professed aspirations for a better human society. Whether his involvement will change as blockchain technology develops remains to be seen.
Telegram closed its pre-sale ICO at record-breaking numbers. The team sent a document to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in which they claim that they have generated $850 million, so far. The SAFT backed ICO was aimed at major venture capital firms and other cryptocurrency whales. For putting money in early, these investors will receive discounts on the platform’s GRAM tokens. The public token sale is set for March and the team anticipates it will raise another $600 million more. However, that number may grow after the immediate success of the Telegram pre-sale. The messaging app was founded by Russian entrepreneurs Pavel and Nikolai Durov who banked on their social media company VKontakte. Telegram runs very similarly to WhatsApp but is said to be more secure. Its current business model currently makes no revenue, as Pavel Durov currently pays for all the app’s expenses via the $300 million made from their first social media company. Despite all the excitement around the mobile messaging application and the insane amount of money raised in its pre-ICO, some individuals remain unimpressed. There have been many critics that have questioned the app’s security in the past. The app doesn’t encrypt its messages by default and many just assume it does, but it must be turned on as an additional setting.
‘The Buy In’ is a new TV show focused on crypto and blockchain. Teams will be competing in a “Shark Tank” style competition to get their ICOs funded – and you get to be one of the sharks. That’s right, in true decentralized form, anybody watching the show will be able to participate in the outcome of the competition and can have a stake in the winning ICO. Seven teams will be competing to show off their ICOs and the power of blockchain behind the project. Over the course of five weeks, one team will be eliminated each week until there are two teams left; the winner is then chosen. Don’t worry; you won’t be making the decisions completely alone. There will be a panel of five blockchain/crypto experts there to help you decide. The panel decides which team goes home each week and who the ultimate winner will be. It is still unclear at this point how much the viewer’s opinion will come into play regarding who is eliminated and who wins. However, in week 4, the viewers will be able to participate in choosing what the teams must do to progress in the competition. In the end, the winning team will be awarded up to 1 million seed tokens, 50% of which will be issued when the ICO goes live.