It has always been assumed that a large number of ICOs will fail, be it at the fundraising stage or when it comes to delivering the actual project. It’s hard to settle on a precise figure, however, as most dubious ICOs don’t exit scam: they slowly tiptoe away, like a sneak thief rather than a smash-and-grab robber. Given enough time, everything withers and dies, from the most robust institutions to the most popular crowdsales. No one expected all of 2017’s ICOs to last the course. The pace at which they’ve withered and died may come as a surprise though. Tokendata, one of the more comprehensive ICO trackers, lists 902 crowdsales which took place last year. Of these, 142 failed at the funding stage and a further 276 have since failed, either due to taking the money and running, or slowly fading into obscurity. This means that 46% of last year’s ICOs have already failed. The number of ICOs that are still a going concern is actually even lower. An additional 113 ICOs can be classified as “semi-failed”, either because their team has stopped communicating on social media, or because their community is so small as to mean the project has no chance of success. This means that 59% of last year’s crowdsales are either confirmed failures or failures-in-the-making.
Coindash has announced that 20,000 ETH have been sent to the company’s wallet from the address associated with the hacker that stole approximately 37,000 ETH during the company’s ICO last year. The transaction constitutes the second instance in which the hacker has returned funds to Coindash. The transaction comprises the second time that the hacker has returned funds to Coindash, as 10,000 ETH tokens were sent to one of Coindash’s Ethereum wallets on September 19th, 2017 – then equating to approximately $3 million.
Ironically, the hack suffered by Coindash last year, then described as “damaging event to both our contributors and our company,” now appears to have been responsible for the company netting a significant dollar-value increase in capital. Following the most recent transaction, the combined dollar-value of the returned 30,000 ETH at the time of respective execution equates to approximately $20 million – or double the fiat-value of the stolen ETH at the time of the theft.
It’s only February, but the award for most inaccurate cryptocurrency article of the year is already in the bag. The Financial Post, which bills itself as “Canada’s most trusted source of financial news” has published an editorial that reads like something straight from The Onion. This isn’t satire though – it’s a serious piece authored by the publication’s decorated editor-at-large Diane Francis. “Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are like the Bre-X stock — they will leave investor hopes in tatters” reads the title of the editorial in the Financial Post. Bre-X was a Canadian penny stock that reached $286 CAD in the 90s before collapsing. “These are equity issues without rules and investors should avoid them like the plague” runs the subheading by Diane Francis. The 71-year-old has the accolade of being the first woman editor of a national daily newspaper in Canada and has had a host of academic accolades bestowed upon her. With bitcoin, she is hopelessly out of her depth however.
Misinformed hit pieces about bitcoin are published on a daily basis, and most don’t warrant the oxygen of the publicity they desperately crave. Francis’ effort for the Financial Post deserves picking apart for posterity, though, as it’s filled with a cornucopia of pithy one-liners. “Anyone can create a cryptocurrency out of thin air,” begins the article, quite correctly. It continues: “Some create fake cryptocurrency exchange sites where bogus trading figures and prices are posted to entice money from the gullible.” That’s a new one, but is still one of the saner claims to be found in the article.
Over the past few weeks, many people have noticed that bitcoin core network fees and transactions times have been a lot better than two months ago when fees reached highs of 1,000 satoshis per byte or $30-40 per transaction. Many people are wondering why these issues have subsided, and some people believe it is due to a practice called ‘transaction batching.’ For about two weeks or so bitcoin core fees have dropped significantly after reaching all-time highs a few weeks prior. Multiple theories are being discussed across the web on why the fees and transaction confirmation times have decreased. Some individuals believe the drop is due to the number of daily transactions, as BTC now appears to be used less. Currently, the amount of transactions per day is over 154,000, but during the last quarter of 2017 daily transactions were between 250,000 to 450,000. Another theory is the adoption of Segregated Witness (Segwit) may have helped, but Segwit use still only represents 15 percent of all BTC transactions. Lastly, another opinion of why BTC is operating smoother is because of a process called ‘transaction batching.’ The subject of transaction batching is a hot topic that is being discussed throughout social media and forums right now.
Despite recent claims that bitcoin is becoming less popular for illicit dealings on the dark web, investigations show that it is still the payment method of choice for many. The most recent example comes from the US Navy, where a few entrepreneurial cadets reportedly used bitcoin to buy drugs which they distributed to their classmates for profit. US Navy investigators have uncovered an alleged drug ring at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, involving between ten to two-dozen suspects. Three cadets are accused of buying cocaine, ketamine and LSD on the dark web using bitcoin and selling the drugs to their classmates. The investigation reportedly began nearly three months ago after one midshipman informed the authorities about the drug trade on the base. The top brass ordered a surprise drug test for all 4,500 cadets before dawn on Wednesday morning and DEA drug-sniffing dogs discovered cocaine in the room of one of the suspected users. The cadet suspected of owning the cocaine was at athletic practice at the time and she reportedly made a run for it but was caught and taken in for questioning.