Category Archives: Introducing Altcoins

Bancor Allows Anyone to Create and Trade their Own Cryptocurrency

Bancor Crypto

Bancor is new interesting crypto protocol that aims to make it really easy for small communities and individuals to issue their own tokens, while retaining price discovery without being listed on exchanges. Intrigued? Read on.

Market Without an Exchange

The biggest feature that the Bancor protocol provides is the ability for a token to have a market but without having to be listed on an exchange. Anyone who’s been in the crypto community long enough knows how hard it can be to list smaller tokens on exchanges. This is not surprising – exchanges make their money on volumes, and if the trading volume is low, they don’t want to go through the overhead of maintaining that token.

However, the proliferation of the token economy means that many different use-cases arise, not all of them having a high trading volume. Smaller communities and individuals could theoretically issue their own tokens for local causes, but they would never garner the types of volumes established global currencies do. If exchanges don’t list them, there is no market and thus no price discovery mechanism.

This is where Bancor comes in. For the first time (that we’re aware of), Bancor provides a way to create a market for a token but without the use of centralized exchanges. It works through a smart contract on Ethereum. The full details are beyond the scope of this introductory post, so read the whitepaper.

But in a nutshell, when a token raises money, it keeps some of it in a reserve, and issues tokens. These tokens trade in the market based on their utility. The smart contract is written so it can create a supply of new tokens whenever needed, by sending ETH (or another ERC20 token) to the contract. This causes the price of the token to increase. By a similar mechanism, whenever someone converts their tokens into ETH (or another ERC20 token), the price of the token decreases.

Note that this whole mechanism is a ‘conversion’ and not an ‘exchange’. One fear is that the prices may be manipulated by whales if they hold supply via the smart contract and also via external exchanges. This also means that during distress, those who are able to exit their positions first are at a significant advantage over those who are not, since the price continues to spiral downward with selling.

A Basket of Tokens

With a full reserve, the Bancor protocol also allows for the creation and redemption of ‘ETF-like’ baskets but of tokens instead of stocks. The price arbitrageurs will make a profit by ensuring the prices stay in sync. This can provide a fairly stable mechanism for a basket of tokens created using Bancor.

Bancor will have an ICO soon. Check out their website to learn more about the project and keep up to date with their progress.

Photo Credit: pedrosimoes7

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Fund Yourself Now (FYN) Targets the Crowdfunding Industry

Fund Yourself Now FYN

Every once in a while we here at Crypto Sailor come across a crypto project that tackles a real problem in a real industry. Fund Yourself Now (FYN) is one such project. Fund Yourself Now is an Ethereum-based crypto project that takes aims at the rapidly growing crowdfunding industry. The industry scope is high – it is a large and growing industry. If FYN can get even a small chunk of the industry, it will be quite valuable.

So what does FYN offer? It is a smart-contract platform built specifically for crowdfunding on the Ethereum blockchain. By being built on the Ethereum blockchain, it removes the element of trust usually required for centralized crowdfunding applications in general.

By removing this centralized trust, Fund Yourself Now is able to create a better accountability and incentive structure for a crowdfunding campaign. This benefits both the projects looking for backers and the backers themselves, since both sides have an incentive to be honest. Ethereum of course offers the team the ability to create a better form of crowdfunding via the use of smart contracts.

A big problem that Fund Yourself Now solves is to keep the team accountable to the backers who are financially invested in the project. The team does this by a smart contract enabled milestone-triggered payment solution. This way the team cannot just abandon the project and take all the money. Instead, the team gets the money only subject to meeting minimum requirements as outlined in their milestones before the backers put any money into the project. In addition, the project backers will have more say in how the funds are distributed via a voting mechanism. This provides some power to the people who are backing projects financially, and doesn’t leave everything at the mercy of the team, that can find it easy to abuse the trust shown by the backers.

Another very interesting aspect of Fund Yourself Now is the creation of a coin marketplace. This marketplace will act as a medium of exchange between the various project-specific tokens and rewards. Since everything is in the form of blockchain tokens, such an exchange will benefit all the projects that are launched on Fund Yourself Now. It also provides much needed liquidity to the backers of the project, who can trade them in the secondary market depending on how the project is making progress. This will allow the backers to ‘exit’ a project that isn’t going according to their vision or what they originally signed up for.

Finally, there is a social reputation system built into Fund Yourself Now platform, which should help with bringing in more transparency. Although this usually isn’t a huge problem in the traditional crowdfunding arena, it is a big step in the right direction for the crypto-backed projects that tend to remain anonymous even while raising a lot of money. With social reputation, there is less incentive for projects to disappear overnight.

Fund Yourself Now is an ambitious attempt at using Ethereum’s smart contracting platform to build a better experience for all parties involved in the crowdfunding process.

Check out the project here.

Photo Credit: Nick Miller

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Starbase Creates Incentivized Project Management on Blockchain

Starbase

Starbase is a really interesting new crypto-project that aims to help other companies and projects in the space attract the right talent and incentivize the people properly to ensure everyone works towards success. In the sea of new ICOs being launched as crypto markets reach record-breaking highs, it is easy to be distracted by all the noise. Starbase however is different in that it is not a quick way to make money for the founders but instead is a great way to help the whole cryptocurrency ecosystem move forward.

A Three-Pronged Approach

Starbase is building a three-pronged approach towards new projects in the crypto community. In our view, this is a great use of resources, and something that will be appreciated by the whole community if it works as advertised.

  • Projects: Projects can list on Starbase in order to attract both money and talent. Any crypto project will need both to succeed. By creating a single place that brings all the stakeholders together, Starbase is building a model where new crypto projects are incentivized to move to the platform instead of start from scratch.
  • Investors: For investors, Starbase provides a quick and easy way to find new investment avenues, especially in the nascent crypto-token economy that is just taking off all over the world. In addition, since the Starbase team will do a first-pass due diligence, and the platform will likely not list balatant scams, investor risk is reduced.
  • Workers: There are many talented people in the crypto-economy who were early adopters and believe in the vision of crypto changing the world for good. However, it is very hard for these talented workers to find the right project fit and also be able to gain in the upside of a project they contribute. Starbase solves this problem by making sure that these workers get paid in the project tokens. This way, the workers are incentivized to give their best because if the project succeeds, they make more money. It is a win-win for the projects and workers.

Starbase is building the next-generation blockchain-based crowdfunding platfrom to help grow the entire crypto-economy and move it forward. Of course, the use of Starbase isn’t limited to crypto-projects. However, we expect that the earliest projects to be built on the Starbase platform will come from within the crypto-economy.

Any project needs money to succeed. Therefore, investors are a key piece of the puzzle. In addition, many of my readers are interested in investing in crypto and ICO, so let’s address the key advantages to investors.

Starbase will implement a voting system to weed out obvious scams and really bad projects. This will not be fail-proof of course, but it should reduce the total risk of complete scams or failed projects that investors usually take in other ways. If you see a completely random crypto project in Bitcointalk, the likelihood of it being a scam would be higher than if you spotted the same on Starbase.

Also, the tokens being created by the Starbase platform are liquid like any Ethereum-based ERC20 token. This has become the de-facto standard Ethereum token today. Therefore, plenty of exchanges and platforms will be able to support the tokens.

So Starbase aims to build a whole new crypto-ecosystem that could benefit the entire community. If you want to discuss more, head over to the Bitcointalk thread.

Starbase Email: captain@cryptosailor.com

Photo Credit:  lukas schlagenhauf

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Populous Builds Trade Invoicing Platform on Ethereum

Populous Trade Invoicing
Populous is a new crypto project that aims to build a decentralized trade invoicing platform on Ethereum. The project aims to undergo its ICO in July 2017.

Trade invoicing? Yes – one of the most profitable and underestimated markets in the financial industry. What is it you ask? Well simple – it’s the buying and selling of trade invoices of businesses. The reason it is a huge deal is because it provides liquidity especially to smaller businesses. The idea is to find lenders that will lend to the business not as secured debt against its assets, but rather as debt secured by the invoice.

A Trade Invoicing Example

As an example, think of Mom-n-Pop store in New Orleans. Mom-n-Pop store sells children’s toys to Target. However, Target being the giant corporation, it will not pay Mom-n-Pop before the product is delivered. Indeed, there is a whole accounts payable cycle, which can be as long as 120 days for the business. During the time, Mom-n-Pop will need to foot its own bills to grow business.

Now say Mom-n-Pop got a new offer to sell to Walmart. Great! However, Walmart requires the toys to be created and sent to them well in time for Christmas. However, the previous large invoice from Target is pending, so now Mom-n-Pop has no money to create toys for Walmart. How will to get the liquidity – cash in hand – to create these toys, sell to Walmart, and ensure the children in Connecticut are spoiled rotten a little more for holidays?

Enter trade invoicing. Mom-n-Pop goes to an investor that is looking for some high rates of return. Considering how much your bank pays you, there are lots of them these days. The investor has money to lend to Mom-n-Pop but needs a guarantee that his money will be paid. This happens through invoice financing. The loan from the investor is secured against the invoice. As long as Target pays Mom-n-Pop, the investor will get paid. If Target doesn’t pay, say because it is goes bankrupt before it can pay its suppliers, then the investor loses money. Since there is always a risk, the investor will demand a decent rate of return. Mom-n-Pop can now use the cash from the investor to make toys to sell to Walmart. When Target pays out, the money goes to the investor, and any interest is paid through existing profits or from the Walmart expansion. Everyone’s happy.

Enter Populous

So how does Populous work? Glad you asked. Go read the whitepaper. Seriously, never invest in an ICO without reading the whitepaper.

Populous creates a peer-to-peer lending platform that is able to work on the blockchain through ‘stablecoins’ called Pokens. Pokens represent real-world currencies, since that’s the currency most businesses operate in. It provides quantitative information like the Altman Z-score that provides information on probability of bankruptcy, so you know what you’re investing in.

As you’d expect, the system works with a borrower and an investor, but there’s also an administrator. The platform administrator approves and manages clients’ accounts and actions. This is needed to liaise the blockchain with the external world.

Populous is built on Ethereum, and its ICO token is PPT.

Check out the ICO on the homepage. Also check out the Bitcointalk announcement thread.

Photo Credit: Chiaochi

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BOScoin Aims to Solve Blockchain Governance

BOScoin is a new crypto project that is taking aim at the problem of governance and smart contracts on blockchains. It is self-described as “Self-Evolving Cryptocurrency Platform for Trust Contracts”. Trust Contracts are quite similar to smart contracts that my readers are very well aware of (e.g. Ethereum smart contracts). These are executable contracts on the blockchain, with rules guaranteed and enforced by the decentralized network. BOScoin uses Owlchain, which consists of the Web Ontology Language and the Timed Automata Language.

However, BOScoin goes beyond, and has a “Congress Network”. This is an important part of the blockchain governance model that BOScoin creates. It helps the system become more robust against attacks like The DAO attack on Ethereum. In addition, BOScoin is able to scale to a much larger number of transactions per second than Bitcoin or Ethereum.

This model of governance is a radically different one than the first generation blockchain governance frameworks developed by the likes of Ethereum and Lisk. In fact, other projects offering similar governance structures like Tezos are really popular with investors, including the billionaire Tim Draper who was an early Bitcoin supporter but is moving towards ICO investing through his venture capital fund.

Ideas like BOScoin hold the potential to leave blockchain contracts with the human-understandable wiggle room – after all, very few things in the real world of human perception and morality are so clearly black-and-white like computer code. This might even help BOScoin scale beyond online contracts into legitimate legal contracts, or at least peer-to-peer contracts that would make it safer for people to enter into than say an Ethereum smart contract.

BOScoin is undergoing an ICO. You can discuss more about BOScoin and the team behind this project on their public slack.  As with all crypto projects covered here, we strongly recommend that investors first read the whitepaper before putting any money down, and only invest if they understand the idea and like it for the long-term, not just short-term speculation that can easily burn you.

BOScoins will be distributed in the ICO, and the distribution is shown in the image:

Non-fully-automated blockchain contracts are emerging, and several projects are working on solving this problem from different angles. Crypto investors should research this new emerging trend, and position themselves to take advantage of these coins at an early stage, for the next 6-12 months.

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Exscudo Aims to Bridge Traditional Finance and Crypto Finance

Exscudo

Exscudo is a new crypto project that aims to bridge the gap between traditional-finance and crypto-finance. By incorporating a clever mix of decentralized and centralized technologies, Exscudo is able to provide a vision for a seamless transition between cryptocurrencies and fiat, and vice versa. This can become an important on-ramp for projects going forward, and also for established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Exscuso is currently undergoing its ICO until May 31st.

Value Proposition of Exscudo

It would be an understatement to say that crypto-finance is on a rapidly growing upward trajectory. The total market capitalization of Crypto is over $30 billion. That’s a significant level today, even when compared to traditional financial products. However, even more than the size, it is the growth of the market that is staggering. It’s up more than 100% in less than 6 months – a growth rate that any traditional financial player would kill to have.

However, crypto is still niche. Very niche. It is hard for people to wrap their heads around Bitcoin, let alone all the cryptocurrencies, crypto-assets, protocol-tokens, crypto-tokens, ICOs etc. Thus, there is a huge market opening for a crypto company that operates in the crypto-financial space but bridges the gap with traditional finance. After all, the traditional financial products hold trillions of dollars, and compared to all the wealth in the world, crypto is small potatoes.

The First Steps

The first step towards building this bridge is to provide for the ability to connect the traditional financial assets with crypto-assets. For this, there needs to be a robust exchange that is able to take traditional currencies and convert them into crypto-assets. You need a high-reliability, high-speed trading platform that can help fuel this transition.

Enter the Exscudo exchange. It is aimed to be built around the highest quality standards, that meets the robust demands of the financial industry, i.e. it can scale really well. This is important because the amateur hour in crypto is over. When the exodus happens, there needs to be on-ramps into crypto that can handle the types of volumes and transactions we can expect.

Exscudo is building the exchange as a semi-centralized, semi-decentralized and open source project, but with proprietary bits as well. This may be much better than existing on-ramps in the ecosystem.

Beyond Just an Exchange

Exscudo has plans to develop the crypto on-ramps much beyond a mere exchange. The exchange is just a necessary first step towards bridging the crypto and traditional finance worlds. The team has several products on the roadmap already, some of which are –

  • An exchange
  • Trading charge/Information for Traders
  • Crypto debit card, so you can spend your crypto funds
  • A wallet to send/buy/exchange currencies quickly
  • A decentralized messenger application
  • Merchant services to accept crypto payments

As you can see, each of the above items on the roadmap is a step towards legitimizing crypto-assets and crypto-financial services in the eyes of the traditional financial industry. Each component can help bring more and more people into the crypto-economy from the traditional economy, thus helping not just Exscudo but the entire crypto ecosystem in the process.

Check out the Exscudo ICO currently ongoing.

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EncryptoTel – the Future of Private Communications

EncryptoTel

EncryptoTel is a new crypto-project with an ICO currently ongoing.  It is quite different from many of the other crypto-projects that you may encounter, in that the product it offers isn’t just another blockchain. Instead, EncryptoTel uses blockchain technology and aims to transform the private telecommunications space – ambitious for sure, but at least something different from all other ICOs we’ve seen recently.

The product being sold by EncryptoTel should make crypto enthusiasts feel right at home. After all, this is a tech-savvy crowd that understands the importance of privacy in everyday life. With the recent NSA revelations, private telecommunications is becoming increasingly important in a global world. And what better way to make use of this than a crypto-project!

EncryptoTel offers dial-up numbers in over 100 countries, which means it has a very wide coverage area already. It uses encryption to ensure private calls, and also has API integrations so you can use it with external services. There are also rewards for onboarding new clients, which can help grow the service beyond its initial roots.

The EncryptoTel ICO is currently ongoing. The crowdsale has a cap of $3 million, and a time until 31st May, whichever comes earlier. Based on the current trends, it looks like the project may be able to raise the full cap of $3 million. As of this writing, the project has already raised $1.58 million worth of crypto. The EncryptoTel ICO also accepts funds in a variety of different currencies, including BTC, ETH, ETC, and Waves.

Check out the ICO here, and the Bitcoin thread here.

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Why Content Creators Should Love Lunyr

Lunyr is a new crypto that has surfaced above from the frothy ICO seas, and for a good reason. We at Crypto Sailor will help you navigate this well. To start off, yes, Lunyr is an ICO that is ongoing. If you want to invest, you can do that now. Obviously, don’t be stupid and invest more than you can afford to lose.

With that caveat out of the way, let’s get to the meat of the issue. What is Lunyr and what problem is it trying to solve? Simply put, Lunyr is creating an entire incentive structure around content creation, which is decentralized. Your work is judged by your peers. The more you contribute, and the better your work, the more you get paid. There is no one ‘manager’ deciding how good you are. Your peers – fellow Lunyr owners and enthusiasts initially, and more later, will accept your works.

Initial Launch – Online Encyclopedia

However, Lunyr isn’t starting off as all-creative-works. In fact, its first main market is an online encyclopedia, like Wikipedia, but with a clever incentive structure. Under this structure, Lunyr will pay content creators i.e. people who contribute to the encyclopedia. This is as opposed to Wikipedia that is completely voluntary.

In addition to paying people who write for the encyclopedia, Lunyr will also have rewards for the editing process – again something that Wikipedia lacks.

So why provide these incentives? Mostly, it is to ensure higher quality of work. Wikipedia, as great it is, suffers from not having enough volunteers. There are Wikipedia hoaxes that have been perpetrated over years. These types of issues are expected in the system. However, Lunyr can help solve these problems because people now have a financial incentive to go look at the new commits being made.

The team is already building out a reader-friendly interface. Check out a sample below:

Lunyr Discovery

So yes, as ambitious as it sounds, Lunyr is trying to build an alternative to Wikipedia, with better curation and more topics because it is in the whole network and system’s best interest for this encyclopedia to be accurate and grow.

Beyond Encyclopedias

Since Lunyr announced the encyclopedia idea, people are hung up only on this. However, they are missing the point. Lunyr is about creating a product which has an incentive system built around it for content creation and content curation/editing. This is the real premise behind the idea. The encyclopedia is just the start. The team mentions VR in passing. That’s actually a huge market. Think about a system that has all manners of VR applications available, which are created and curated by the community.

The market opportunity is huge. We’ll of course need to wait and see how well the Lunyr teams succeeds in their mission and implementation. Which is why people are getting in early, and helping the team with funds through the ICO to realize their vision.

Check out the Lunyr site here.

Photo Credit: zappowbang

ETH Address: 0xC059456BB0E2e9A2ACD5a4c8384b29a89E1a3642

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TaaS: Closed-End Fund ICO to Invest in Other ICOs

TaaS, or Token as a Service, is an ICO, but is different from other ICOs in that its mandate is to invest in other ICOs to give returns to its ICO holders. Confused? Fear not, we’ll explain this project, true sailor style, Ahoy!

So firstly, TaaS is itself an ICO to distribute TaaS tokens. You can see the ICO details here. Just as with any ICO, the people who buy into the ICO will get the tokens, proportional to how much they have invested compared to others. This is a capped ICO. A total of 101 million dollars can be raised, and all other tokens will be destroyed if that limit is not reached (unlikely to reach that limit anyway).

Now for the fun part. TaaS is a closed-end fund. This means they will use the money invested in the ICO to invest in the markets. What types of markets? Well, crypto-markets of course! They will invest in other crypto ICOs and crypto currencies. This is the source of returns for the fund. A part of the profits are used to benefit the token holders, a part of it goes back to the team to manage the fund. Basically, it’s like any other fund, but the owners are crypto-token holders, and profits are distributed to them.

Another interesting feature of TaaS that distinguishes it from other projects is that they are building not just an investment platform, but also a research platform. This is an interesting development, because as crypto sailor readers already know, data is hard to come by in crypto. They are calling this Kepler. Kepler is aimed to be to crypto funds what Bloomberg terminal is to traditional financial funds, i.e. a one stop shop for all data and analytics for the industry.

So what is TaaS? It is a combination of investment and research product. Investment is via a closed-end fund. Research is via a product soon to be launched called Kepler.

So far so good, so why should you invest in TaaS? Firstly, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you should quit immediately, i.e. don’t invest any money. It is easy to lose money in crypto if you don’t know what you’re doing. Secondly, never ever invest more than you can afford to lose. If you lose all of your investment, don’t whine on the forums. Move on. Still want to learn more? Read on.

The value proposition is simple – TaaS will help you gain exposure to crypto as an asset class. This is important for more established and institutional investors. These people will not look at the thousand cyrpto coins and hundreds of coins/scams/ICOs to evaluate projects. Instead, they want a one-stop-shop place to gain exposure to this emerging asset class. TaaS offers such a solution.

But even for crypto enthusiasts who live and breathe this space, there is only so much research you can keep up with. Funds like TaaS help you go long crypto without having to worry about missing out the next big thing or going to scores of Reddit threads each day to figure out what ICOs are out and which ones are worth investing in. TaaS will do this for you.

Check out the website and whitepaper on their homepage.

Bitcointalk forum profile.

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Augmentors Combines AR and Blockchain Into a Powerful Offering

Augmentors VR
Augmentors is what you get when you combine the two hottest trends in technology at the moment – Augmented Reality (AR) gaming and blockchain. And that deadly combination, says your ship captain, isn’t without merit. The natural combination provides features that have never been available to game fans before. Unique characters, ability to trade and make money, and just being part of what seems like the next tech revolution, are not quantifiable in money. But the ICO definitely is.

But before we get into the ICO, some history. Augmentors is essentially a gaming company. You’ll be playing a game with unique creatures and characters, and augmentors is presenting the in-game token of Databits. The technicals behind this token are quite interesting too. The team has chosen to use Counterparty to issue these tokens. This makes Augmentors the first AR gaming company on Bitcoin, the most dominant crypto and blockchain today, by far. Secondly, there is a precedent for gaming and Counterparty in the form of BitCrystals. Although  not the greatest financial hit, Spells of Genesis is a well known game in the Bitcoin community, what with its mysterious Satoshi card! So there is definitely demand for crypto tokens and gaming.

Augmentor Relics

Augmentors is taking this one step further by making the gaming platform even more exciting, by making it AR-enabled. It plans to make this cross-platform too, for both iOS and Android.

Now the concept behind Augmentors is really interesting because the in-game token that is being sold in the ICO, called databits (DBS) has real in-game value. For one, you can provably assign each ‘creature and relic’ in the game to a unique counterparty token id. This means you really do own the creature, and can trade it to someone else. Instantly, there is a liquid trading market to bootstrap both the game and the players. Just so if the excitement wasn’t enough for you, there are Winner-Take-All battles that are sure to get exciting. Finally, there will be a collection of 50 rare creatures that you can buy. All of this in-game economic activity takes place using the in-game ICO token Databits.

Augmentors ICO Schedule

Now that we know about this really interesting Counterparty token, let’s talk about the ICO. The token has a fixed cap of 100 million, with 70 million being given away during the crowdsale ICO and 30 million reserved for the team and promotional activities. That’s a healthy percentage to motivate the team to perform well, while giving investors the majority stake in the economics to keep the system decentralized.

So there you have it. There is still time to get in on this exciting ICO. Check it out here.

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