Daniel Zakrisson, CEO at Cofound.it: ICO is not a way to raise funds. It’s a way to start your network

Daniel Zakrisson

Startupers should initially treat an ICO as a tool for growing their business rather than just raise funds. It is the opinion of a speaker at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Stockholm: Daniel Zakrisson, CEO at Cofound.it Startup Accelerator. In the interview, he shares his perspective on the blockchain industry development in Sweden and gives tips for startupers aiming to launch ICOs.   

BCS: Hello, Daniel. Your company, Cofound.it, supports blockchain startups. How do you select startups to cooperate with?

D.Z.: Startups come to us via our community, partners (accelerators, funds etc), our website and conferences. We have a common process regardless how they come, intended to find out the real potential of a team and project and their maturity level.

BCS: What kinds of startups do request Cofound.it assistance most frequently? What do you think is the reason for that?

D.Z.: We have two main types of startups that approach us:

  1. blockchain startups, that at the core is working on blockchain technology or services that potentially will work better using internal token systems;
  2. Traditional startups and companies that explore if what they do could see benefits by tokenising the whole or part of their product.

I think that the main reason for this is that we have become know for taking a genuine interest in helping startups.

BCS: What would you recommend a startuper who has a promising idea and a desire to launch its ICO to start with?

D.Z.: First really think through if an ICO is the best way to raise funding. 

Second develop their idea, release code, technical white papers and validate their model. An ICO should come when they are ready to launch their network and can use the ICO to bootstrap users and services into their network.

BCS: What are the most common mistakes of startupers during ICO preparations?

D.Z.: Thinking it’s a way to primarily raise funds, it’s not. It’s a way to start your network.

BCS: What is the most uncommon application of blockchain that you have faced in your practice?

D.Z.: We have seen many different applications. The most interesting and uncommon ones are probably the ones pushing the boundary of the decentralised economy, such as aiming to launch a project with a completely anonymous team.

BCS: What do you think about the blockchain industry development in Sweden?

D.Z.: It’s finally taking off! It basically started a year ago with the early adopters. But Sweden will catch up and longer term. I really see large potential as much of the talent needed to scale bleeding edge tech companies exists in Sweden.

BCS: Please tell us more detailed about your presentation at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Stockholm.

D.Z.: I’m planning to talk more about some of the real token models and practical use cases are in actual use or can be used today. Some examples include Token Curated Registries and Discount Tokens.

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Malware From The Pirate Bay May Hijack Website To Steal Crypto

The movies downloaded from The Pirate Bay bring a malware to the user’s computer. That was the conclusion reached by a security researcher, with the nickname  0xffff0800 in Twitter. He told that when he downloaded a movie ‘The Girl In The Spider’s Web’ from TPB, a .LNK shortcut with CozyBear malware got to his computer.

However, the Cozy Bear malware is just a decoy, the real thing that brings damages is Powershell commands. Once the malware reaches the computer, it carries out malicious actions, like disabling Windows Defender and installing viral extensions in Firefox and Chrome browsers. Moreover, it edits the appearance of the website on the user’s computer.

The movie is an application itself which links the computer to the external malicious servers.

Source: Bleeping Computer

Moreover, the newly installed viral extensions can modify the JavaScript code and add some advertisements to the main page, like it is shown below.

Source: Bleeping Computer

What is the most dangerous is that the malware can edit the appearance of the web page and add or change the information without the user’s awareness, this ability allows the malware to steal the crypto. For example, if the user open Wikipedia page on a compromised system, he/she is likely to see the message saying “Wikipedia now accepts donations in form of bitcoin” and a ‘DONATE’ sign. All the donations will go to the hacker.

Source: Bleeping Computer

In addition, the malware is able to change crypto wallet addresses provided on the pages. Unfortunately, you will not even notice how the hacker stole your money.

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Cryptocurrency Prices Today, January 18: Cryptocurrencies Are Relatively Stable

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA, Dash, Monero: Cryptocurrency prices

According to the Coingecko online platform, Bitcoin (BTC) added 1% over the past 24 hours. The price at the time of writing is $3611 per coin.

Cryptocurrencies are demonstrating both slight increase and decrease:

Bitcoin Cash added 0.61% over the past 24 hours and costs $129 per coin;

Ripple grew by 0.21% and costs $0.32;

EOS increased by 2.72%, and its price is $2.51;

Litecoin gained 1.1%, and its value is $31;

Cardano added 1.62%, and its cost is $0.046;

Stellar gained 2.44% and costs $0.10;

IOTA increased by 5.41%, and its cost is $0.31;

Dash grew by 2.21%, and its price $72;

Monero became more expensive by 0.35% and costs $45.

Over the past 24 hours, Ethereum added 0.66%. The rate of the coin is $123.

The total market capitalization is $122 billion. Bitcoin accounts for 52.4% of the total volume. In monetary terms, this is $64 billion.

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BitPay Transactions Surpasses $1B in 2018, B2B Payments Records 225% Increase

BitPay is a US-based bitcoin payment provider which has recently announced its financial results of the past year. The company has processed over $1 billion in transactions alone. Moreover, its B2B payments record 225% increase in compare to 2017.

The main reason of such a lift-off is that Bitpay added a lot of new clients, like Dish Networks, HackerOne, and the State of Ohio, as well as many other law firms, data center providers, and IT vendors.

The CEO of BitPay, Stephen Pair, commented on this development:

“BitPay’s B2B business continues to grow rapidly as our solution is cheaper and quicker than a bank wire from most regions of the world. To process over a $1 Billion for the second year in a row despite Bitcoin’s large price drop shows that Bitcoin is being used to solve real pain points around the world.”

BitPay mostly supports Bitcoin transactions, however, it also supports payments with Bitcoin Cash, Gemini, and Paxos. During that year a lot of companies had to lay off their employees due to the market situation, yet, Bitpay conversely increased its manpower by 78 percent in the past year.

In addition, BitPay is attractive to the investors, in 2018, it raised $40 million in Series B funding round taking the total raised capital to $70 million.

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Cryptocurrency Prices Today, January 17: Cryptocurrencies Are on the Border of the Red and Green Zones

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA, Dash, Monero: Cryptocurrency prices

According to the online platform Coingecko, Bitcoin (BTC) lost 0.8% over the past 24 hours. The price at the time of writing is $3582 per coin.

Some cryptocurrencies slightly decreased, others added in price a little:

Bitcoin Cash lost 2.6% over the past 24 hours and costs $126 per coin;

Ripple dropped by 1.1% and is $0.32 in rate;

EOS added 0.34%, and its price is $2.44;

Litecoin decreased by 2.66%, and its value is $30;

Cardano grew by 1.3%, and its cost is $0.044;

Stellar fell by 1.73% and costs $0.10;

IOTA lost 3.42%, and its value is $0.29;

Dash dropped by 0.52,% and its price is $71;

Monero became more expensive by 1.21% and costs $45.

Over the past 24 hours, Ethereum lost 2.17%. The exchange rate of the coin is $121.

The total market capitalization rose to $121 billion. Bitcoin accounts for 52.4% of the total volume. In monetary terms, it is $63 billion.

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Crypto Exchange Bittrex Partners With Bitsdaq To Conquer Asia Market

One of the biggest US-based cryptocurrency exchanges, Bittrex, announced that it was partnering with Bitsdaq to open a special trading platform in Asia. This platform will provide different digital assets to the Asian investors.

Moreover, Bitsdaq will operate on Bittrex technology and will be built based on Bittrex’s experience in the blockchain.The platform will allow users to trade various digital tokens, including tokens a available on the Bittrex exchange.

The Chairman and CEO of Bitsdaq, Ricky Ng, said:

“We are honored to bring Bittrex’s extensive cryptocurrency options to the Asia market.….It takes a unique combination of advanced technology and financial expertise to launch an efficient, reliable and secure platform for trading digital assets in Asia. We found the ideal partner to help provide a safe environment for our customers and the entire community.”

In accordance with the statement, the Bitsdaq platform will control a lot of things connected to the management of the platform, such as customer support, marketing, sales and customised development. In addition, it will take care of customer operations.

The day of the launch is yet to be announced, though customers can pre-register for an account on Bitsdaq’s website.

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Coingecko Publishes Its Annual Crypto Report for 2018

The online platform Coingecko published it crypto report for the passed year of 2018, where it analyzed the most important events in the crypto industry, including the market trends, crypto thefts, ICO news, stablecoins, Bitcoin Cash wars etc.

As for the market tendencies, there is no doubt that 2018 was the year of collapse. The total market capitalization decreased by whopping 78.85%, with the main period of decrease falling onto Q4. Meanwhile, the trading volumes remained quite stable.

Regarding the top-5 coins in the rating, they decreased as follows:

  • BTC – by 73%;
  • XRP – by 82%;
  • ETH – by 84%;
  • BCH – by 93%;
  • EOS – by 66%

The largest crypto exchange by the end of 2018, according to the trading volumes, turned out to be Bithumb, followed closely by ZB.com and Binance.

As for stealing cryptocurrency, the estimated money loss from criminals and scammers amounted to around $867.45 million. The biggest crypto theft was Zaif hack which took place in September and resulted in the theft of $23.5 million.

The most popular blockchain platforms for creating decentralized apps became Ethereum, EOS, Steem and Tron.

The synopsis of the stablecoin development in 2018 looks the following way:

Thus, we can definitely see that though 2018 was a hard year for crypto and there were much more downs than ups, the industry is still afloat and developing. Hopefully, 2019 will be a better year.

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