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New Investigation Claims Many Companies Used Blockchain to Boost Stocks

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New Investigation Claims Many Companies Used Blockchain to Boost Stocks
The Columbia Law School blog has conducted an investigation which found that most companies who claimed to be developing “blockchain systems” ended up doing nothing with the idea.

New Investigation Claims Many Companies Used Blockchain to Boost Stocks

The Columbia Law School blog has conducted an investigation which found that most companies who claimed to be developing “blockchain systems” ended up doing nothing with the idea. Oftentimes, these announcements were made to boost stock performance under dubious pretenses.

A few Columbia Law School researchers have come to that, despite many companies promising ‘blockchain projects’ between 2009 to mid-2018, “few firms developed successful blockchain projects.”

Most Mentions of ‘Blockchain’ Happened at the Top of the 2017 Hype Cycle

The blogpost harkens back to the statement made by Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton who highlighted a “growing trend of blockchain disclosures from public firms with no meaningful track record in blockchain technology.” So, the researchers sought to confirm Clayton’s comments.

According to the researchers, 736 8-Ks were filed containing the words ‘blockchain,’ ‘bitcoin,’ or ‘cryptocurrency’ altogether issued by 224 unique SEC registrants. Altogether, firms purely mentioning these terms for speculative purposes tended to be vaguer in their descriptions.

Moreover, the team found that most 8-K blockchain-related announcements happened at the top of the 2017 hype cycle. This immediately raised eyebrows. In total, the team said that 77 percent of all of the 8-K disclosers were purely speculative and done out of opportunism. In almost all cases, any positive reactions reversed within 30 days. However, the study also confirms that these ‘speculative’ mentions of blockchain by companies continued through 2018 Q2. They seem to have fizzled out by the bottom of the bear market, however.

The most notorious example of this is the case of Long Island Iced Team which opportunistically changed its name to “Long Island Blockchain.” The company is currently under investigation by the FBI.

Trade cryptocurrencies at the world’s largest exchange by volume, Binance.

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A Cascading Stock Rally

The researchers noted how, due to ‘blockchain mania,’ that some more mainstream and crypto-reticent investors were eager to get involved with the sector indirectly through publicly-traded equity securities.

The strong demand but the limited supply of equity securities in blockchain-related firms resulting in a major price spike. The demand further fueled the positive spiral as a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yet, this is not to say that all of the blockchain hype was for naught of course. The good news is that most of these opportunistic firms jumping on the blockchain bandwagon lost interest by the end of 2018. The ones which did stick around ended up producing their own blockchain networks, like IBM.

Do you believe that most companies who claimed to be ‘looking at blockchain’ in 2017 did so opportunistically to boost their stock? Let us know your thoughts below in the comments. 

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Binance CEO: Turkey Among Most Crypto Progressive Countries

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Binance CEO: Turkey Among Most Crypto Progressive Countries

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has lauded the role of the Turkish public and government in the development of the blockchain sector and has said that Turkey has one of the fastest crypto usage growth in the world. He made these remarks on the outlook of the industry in the country after the Turkish Capital Markets Summit held in Istanbul.

During the course of the interview, CZ touched on a variety of topics including the popularity of cryptocurrencies in the country and the recent increase in interest due to the inflation figures. He noted that Turkey Localbitcoins.com experienced record level trading in 2018 when the US placed sanctions on the country due to an ongoing diplomatic row.

CZ praised the general awareness and understanding of the industry in the Turkish populace as well as their openness to new ideas and innovations within the new industry itself. The move is expected to garner further interest in cryptocurrencies in the country which is the only country in the Middle East that has progressively allowed cryptocurrency trading and ownership along with the United Arab Emirates.

 

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Kakao’s Delayed Crypto Wallet Will Support Native Dapps, Collectibles

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Kakao’s Delayed Crypto Wallet Will Support Native Dapps, Collectibles

Kakao’s coming wallet for its “Klay” cryptocurrency will also support blockchain apps and tokens based on the firm’s Klaytn blockchain.

That’s the good news for fans. Less so is that the release of the wallet – called Klip and to be included in the firm’s messaging app, KakaoTalk – has been pushed back to sometime in the first half of 2020, CoinDesk Korea reports Monday. GroundX, Kakao’s blockchain subsidiary, announced Klip in August, with the plan then being to launch the product by the close of 2019.

With the launch of Klip, Kakao’s blockchain subsidiary GroundX will also launch a standalone version of the wallet, Kakao’s co-CEO Yeo Min-soo said at a meeting of the governance council for the Klaytn blockchain on Friday.

Coming up first, however, will be a limited-feature browser extension for the wallet which will offer basic crypto storing and trading features, the executive said. Called Kaikas, the extension will work with browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, and will be aimed at more experienced crypto users.

Klip, on the other hand, will be aimed to introduce new users to blockchain-based services, Yeo Min-soo said. It will support not only Kakao’s Klay token but related KRC-20 tokens and blockchain apps, or dapps. Among those will be a method of logging into social media sites, the report indicates.

Initially restricted to the South Korean market, the Klip-native applications will be opened up to overseas users in the second half of 2020.

Kakao aims to make the wallet app “widely used in everyday life, with Klay tokens available directly in KakaoTalk via the Klip wallet,” said Yeo Min-soo.

Trading and storage of in-game items and non-fungible tokens (or crypto-collectibles) will also be added to Klip in stages.

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Squarelink introduces non-custodial private key recovery tool for DApps

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Squarelink introduces non-custodial private key recovery tool for DApps

Squarelink, a blockchain key management tool to bridge the gap between usability and decentralized security, recently added non-custodial private key recovery for several DApps using its wallet management tool. Squarelink is a pure non-custodial private key recovery platform for cryptocurrency and blockchain applications. Other solutions rely on OAuth providers such as Google or custodial key-management services like Amazon Cognito.

Currently, Squarelink supports non-custodial private key recovery for the following applications:

  • PoolTogether
  • 1inch.exchange
  • Fulcrum
  • Totle Swap
  • Deversifi
  • gDai
  • Hedgie

“Other technology providers have advertised private key recovery solutions, but there’s a catch. Most are not truly non-custodial and rely on companies like Google to create OAuth tokens. Since Google is a centralized authority, a malicious employee with access could arbitrarily create access tokens for every user leveraging that technology, and fetch all the shards on hosted decentralized nodes containing PK information. Squarelink facilitates account recovery through encrypted ‘Recovery Seeds’ that only the user can access, ensuring no third parties are granted access. Today, there are countless threats to a digital wallet, yet so few security solutions. We must equip users with easy-to-use tools to not only keep assets safe but to also recover them should they be mishandled.”
– Alex Patin, co-founder, and CTO of Squarelink

Recovery methods from Sqaurelink increase security and use familiar processes for users to retrieve and reset their private keys. The Squarelink setup process allows users to recover private keys through any combination of email with PGP encryption, challenge questions, and/or Universal Second Factor (U2F).

“Studies suggest nearly four million Bitcoin have been lost to date, but the reality is this number is likely much higher. Mishandling private keys is an issue that affects everyone in the crypto community, and has directly translated to the loss of tens of millions of dollars in digital assets. Squarelink is looking to stop those losses by providing a solution that gives users additional control over their private keys and bolsters recovery methods.”
– Myungin Solomon Lee, Head of Product and Growth at Squarelink

Through the combination of a traditional username/password interface with several novel encryption models, Sqaurelink provides a simple, highly secure, and globally-accessible toolset for self-sovereign private key management. With Squarelink, a user owns a 512-bit Master Key that cannot be accessed by Squarelink nor any other parties. This Master Key is derived from the user’s email address, a user-specified password, and randomly generated 256-bit cryptographic salt that resides securely on Squarelink servers. Squarelink allows users to protect, access, and use any of their private keys via their Master Key

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