Even the most obvious scammers can't curb the ICO craze

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

News & Commentary

Despite an unpleasant exchange with Russian regulators, Telegram remains one of the most crowded initial coin offerings. The enthusiasm in the project doesn't seem to be entirely rooted in long-term vision on the technology, as early subscribers have already developed a robust secondary market on the token allocation. Scammers are taking advantage of the frenzy and have created all sorts of traps to allure unsuspecting investors--yet ICO fundings this year have already surpassed 2017's total. See stories below for details.

Tens of thousands per Gram
(Securelist, by Nadezhda Demidova)

"It should be noted that this ICO project is one of relatively few to have attracted mass attention. And where there’s mass attention, there’s fraud. The lack of reliable information from official sources only serves to aggravate the situation."

NYT reporter comments on the Centra scam

$6.3 billion: 2018 ICO funding has passed 2017's total
(CoinDesk, by David Floyd)

"At $6.3 billion, ICO funding in the first quarter is now 118 percent of the total for 2017, a figure that might go a long way toward undermining a common perception that the controversial fundraising method will soon be extinct."

Reddit commentary on the amount of ICO inflows leading to whale dumps

We are the ones creating the whales that dump on the market, and here's why. from r/CryptoCurrency

The red-hot ICO scene baits more unsophisticated investors into this craziness. Bloomberg reports four undergraduates, with no professional experience, are starting a fund dedicated to cryptocurrency.

Commentary on regulators' general approach to cryptocurrency

Sweden's very own Bitcoin. What could possibly go wrong?
(Bloomberg, by Lionel Laurent)

"Everybody wants a more efficient banking system that protects the public. But pinning your hopes on central bankers is a fool's game."

Technical & Updates

Don't be fooled by deceptive cryptocurrency price predictions using deep learning
(Hackernoon, by Rafael Schultz-Kraft)

"The goal of the this blogpost was to address the many examples of predictions of cryptocurrency and stock market prices using deep neural networks that I have encountered in the past couple of months — these take a similar approach as the one employed here: Implementing an LSTM using historic price data to predict future outcomes. I have demonstrated why these models might not be necessarily viable for actual trading."

Innosilicon releases Blake2b, Blake256 miners that mirror Halong offerings
(H/S, by Utu Arturo)

"Innosilicon announced two new ASIC miners available for order today. The first, the S11 SiaMaster, mines the Blake2b algorithm at a rate of 3.83 TH/s while burning 1380 watts of power. The manufacturer has also announced a Blake256 miner for Decred mining. The D9 DecredMaster is capable of hashing at 2.1 TH/s while using 900 watts of power. Both devices are available for order today."

Let's talk about ASIC mining
(Zcash Blog)

"Second, if technical ASIC resistance measures are what the community wants, then the Foundation could allocate technical resources to support the development of them. We don’t necessarily have to rely on Zooko or the company to do this. If more technical inputs (analysis, inputs from experts) are needed we can also try to provide them."

How the internet turned bad
(Hackernoon, by Arnold Kling)

"I don’t think that blockchain is the answer, even though it has some of the characteristics of the 1990s Internet. I have little confidence that blockchain can scale gracefully, given what we have seen so far and given the way that the Internet has evolved. And even if blockchain is able to overcome scaling problems, I think that the lesson of the last 25 years is that culture pushes on technology harder than technology pushes on culture."

The evolution of computer science: from the static to the dynamic paradigm
(Hackernoon, by Luc Claustres)

"According to the general static vs. dynamic trend you can also put in perspective more specific trends. That’s why the web is eating everything, because web sites have became dynamic in so many aspects."