Tag: Startups

‘Decentralized Airbnb’ Starts Charging Fees as ICO Model Falters

‘Decentralized Airbnb’ Starts Charging Fees as ICO Model Falters

Coin Desk
Bee Token – a crypto startup seeking to create a decentralized home sharing platform – has begun charging fees for some customers as part of a pivot meant to boost revenues. It’s a significant development for the company, which raised millions in an ICO as an alternative to Airbnb that could cut costs for users by reducing fees and eliminating ads from online services. But Bee found that users haven’t been moving to its site fast enough. Now, the company, founded by Uber alumni, is moving to a more traditional path to sustainability, according to an interview with co-founder and CEO Jonathan Chou. The company announced the closure of its ICO in early February 2018, raising 5,000 ETH (roughly $4.5 million as the sale closed). Of the total supply of 500 million BEE tokens, 213 million are in
50 Cut as $60 Million Blockchain Project Nebulas Lays Off 60% of Staff

50 Cut as $60 Million Blockchain Project Nebulas Lays Off 60% of Staff

Coin Desk
The company behind the Nebulas blockchain project has gone from a team of 80 people to just 30, CoinDesk has learned. After gaining attention in August for its decision to delay its token distribution, including holding onto founder tokens for a period of 10 years, the company has undergone a series of layoffs that have seen peripheral elements of its roadmap shelved, at least pending a recovery in the market for Nebulas’ NAS token. “One of the reasons was the market price kept going down,” Becky Lu, a spokesperson for the company, told CoinDesk. NAS, meant to power a protocol that is itself seeking to measure and score other blockchains, debuted at $2, but is currently selling for a little more than a quarter of that price now, according to CoinMarketCap. Once a top-100 cryptocurrency, th
ConsenSys Exec: Layoffs Did Not Exceed 10 Percent, Mainly Affect Support Staff

ConsenSys Exec: Layoffs Did Not Exceed 10 Percent, Mainly Affect Support Staff

BLOCKCHAIN, COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY, ETHEREUM
Recent layoffs at blockchain software technology company ConsenSys did not exceed 10 percent of staff. The company’s Executive Director of Enterprise and Social Impact Vanessa Grellet spoke to Cointelegraph about the recent developments at the Crypto Finance Conference in Switzerland on Jan. 18.Grellet said that the staff cuts were a “natural movement” and mainly affected support staff, while developers and technical employees were largely unaffected. She said:“I’ve been at the company for two years and a half. When I joined it, we were 60, and we grew to a company that has 1,200 employees all over the world. The way we hired people was related to where the opportunities were, projects etc., and we grew a little bit fast.”Grellet also said that dismissals can be treated as part of the “nat
Blockchain-based digital ad marketplace tribeOS releases ‘Confronting Ad Fraud’ video

Blockchain-based digital ad marketplace tribeOS releases ‘Confronting Ad Fraud’ video

BLOCKCHAIN, CRYPTOCURRENCY
tribeOS, a blockchain-based digital advertising marketplace designed to assist advertisers and publishers in running secure, ad fraud-free campaigns online through a fully transparent platform, has released a video titled “Confronting Ad Fraud.”In a press release CoinReport received, the company said that with the video’s release, it wants to spur a long overdue discussion on the painfully underreported issue of ad fraud. The founders of tribeOS say they themselves have, in their online businesses, collectively lost millions to fraudulent clicks, spambots and phantom views, with the human cost being greater still. The company says there were businesses ruined, jobs lost and a life almost ended. Ad fraud is in fact the second most profitable type of organized crime in the world. It is secon
Go-Jek Buys Coins.Ph in Philippines Power Move

Go-Jek Buys Coins.Ph in Philippines Power Move

BTC MANAGER
Go-Jek, a fast-growing Indonesian ride-hailing startup, made a significant investment on January 18, 2019, in Coins.Ph, which began as a crypto exchange service but has since diversified to a mobile wallet service offering various features for its five million registered users. Jumping Feet First into Fintech Ever since Uber gained traction as one of the world’s most popular startups, there have been many ride-hailing startups attempting to replicate its success. One of those has been Go-Jek, which has the distinction of being Indonesia’s first unicorn company, meaning that it has a valuation exceeding $1 billion. The company now boasts a valuation of over $5 billion and recently raised another $1.5 billion. Go-Jek apparently has now decided to enter the fintech market, as it has made a “s
Blockchain Data Developer Spring Labs’ Research Program Gains 16 Startup Members

Blockchain Data Developer Spring Labs’ Research Program Gains 16 Startup Members

BLOCKCHAIN, COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY
United States-based blockchain startup Spring Labs announced sixteen fintech companies had joined its partner program prior to the release of its Spring Protocol in a press release Jan. 17.Spring Labs, which last year raised $15 million in funding, aims to release anti-fraud technology in the form of private P2P data sharing technology, powered by blockchain.At the same time, it has convened the Spring Founding Industry Partners (SFIP) Program, a research effort comprised of partners aiming to further reduce data fraud and boost security prior to the Protocol’s public release.Now, a further sixteen small businesses and consumer fintech lenders have signed up to the program.“As an ever-increasing amount of financial transactions move online, new types of mission-critical fraud and ID verifi
Circle’s USDC Stablecoin Fully Dollar Backed, Says Latest Auditor’s Report

Circle’s USDC Stablecoin Fully Dollar Backed, Says Latest Auditor’s Report

Coin Desk
Crypto finance startup Circle’s USDC stablecoin was fully backed with fiat reserves at the close of 2018, according to auditing firm Grant Thornton. The auditor published an attestation report on Wednesday, stating that Circle had $251,211,209 held in custody accounts as of Dec. 31, 2018, against the 251,211,148 USDC tokens in circulation at the time. Goldman Sachs-backed Circle currently has a total of 353,309,381 USDC tokens on the markets, according to data from Etherscan, indicating it has topped up supply by about 100 million tokens within the last 15 days. In its report, Grant Thornton noted that its examination “was conducted in accordance with attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.” The firm’s previous attestation of Circle’s as
Game of Coins: Inside the Paxos-Gemini Stablecoin Discount War

Game of Coins: Inside the Paxos-Gemini Stablecoin Discount War

Coin Desk
The rise of new stablecoins was a defining story in the second half of 2018, but the reality is that exclusive discounts partly fueled their growth. Dollar-backed stablecoins are generally supposed to be worth $1, whether it’s Gemini’s GUSD or Paxos’ PAX. But according to four sources with knowledge of these cryptocurrency exchanges, both stablecoin-issuers privately offered over-the-counter [OTC] trading desks up to a 1 percent discount if traders used these tokens in some fashion before redeeming them for USD. “They were offering that as a sweetener for getting it kick-started with adoption,” an OTC trader, who asked to stay anonymous, told CoinDesk. This is why GUSD and PAX activity surged in December 2018, both between OTC desks and on exchange platforms like Huobi and Binance, where s

What We Know About Google Ads Allegedly Blacklisting ‘Ethereum’ as a Keyword

COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY, ETHEREUM
On Jan. 10, Serbia-based smart contract auditing startup Decenter reported that Google has blacklisted keywords mentioning Ethereum (ETH) on its advertising platform, Google Ads.Google Ads: We can’t confirm that Ethereum is eligible to trigger ads, see our policySpecifically, the startup tweeted that they saw “a hard stop” on Google Ads containing the keyword “Ethereum” starting from Jan. 9. Decenter also tagged the advertising platform’s official account in the tweet, asking whether they had introduced any new policy changes.The Google Ads account then replied, stating that cryptocurrency exchanges targeting the United States and Japan can be advertised on the platform, while targeting other countries could be the reason for the ad rejection. While Decenter is based in Belgrade, Serbia, i
Central Bank Veteran’s Blockchain ‘E-Money’ Startup Raises $2 Million

Central Bank Veteran’s Blockchain ‘E-Money’ Startup Raises $2 Million

Coin Desk
Ethereum development studio ConsenSys has participated in a $2 million seed funding round for Iceland-based blockchain startup Monerium, the firm announced Friday. The round was led by early-stage venture capital firm Crowberry Capital and included participation from private investment firm Hof Holdings, both also based in Iceland. Founded in 2016, Monerium is a fintech startup led by, among others, Jon Helgi Egilsson, former chairman of the Central Bank of Iceland. The firm is developing a solution for transacting fiat currencies over blockchains, what it calls “e-money.” The seed funding will be used to accelerate development of its services. Monerium ultimately aims to issue “asset-backed, redeemable and regulated e-money” over blockchains once a licensed institution, saying its product