41% of Surveyed Crypto Investors are Newbies
41% of Surveyed Crypto Investors are Newbies 101
Source: AdobeStock/Pormezz

As many as 41.4% of cryptocurrency investors are crypto newbies, and 60% of them declare they have invested between USD 2,500 and USD 5,000 in crypto, according to the results of a recent survey by alternative investment firm Invictus Capital.

“Today’s investor resembles a 35-year-old German engineer named Günther. He derives his crypto investing information from YouTube, because he values learning how to generate high returns on his investment more than the idealism of cutting out the middleman,” the company said in the survey’s summary.

They are referring to the finding that the country with the highest percentage of surveyed alternative investors was Germany, at 14.1%, followed by the US and Spain, with 7.7% and 6.8%, respectively. The UK and Turkey were ranked fourth, both at 4.8%.

Furthermore, the survey indicates crypto investing is dominated by those aged 31-45, with 41.8%, while respondents aged 25 and below represent 25.1% of the total. Investors aged 25 to 30 hold a 22.9% share, while those aged 45 and above represent only 10.2% of the total.

The survey collected answers from some 3,473 respondents spread across a total of 60 countries. Ofir Sever, a PR spokesperson for Invictus Capital, told Cryptonews.com that the survey’s focus was to determine the modern investor profile, media consumption habits, crypto investing sources, as well as investing habits. The survey was carried out online last February and March, and it targeted investors.

Data was sourced from respondents with access to high-speed Internet, with a significant share of responses from the European Union’s member states and Asian countries, according to the spokesperson. Mobile users provided 94% of the responses, with desktop and tablet users generating a further 5.5% and 0.5%, respectively.

The average sum invested in crypto is reported to be USD 2,500 – USD 5,000, with 60% of those surveyed marking this option. 40% also reported investing USD 100 – USD 2,500, while more than 30% of the respondents have also made investments under USD 100.

With regards to the respondents’ professional profiles, engineers lead the way, at 12.5%, followed by tradesmen and lawyers, both at 9.6%, and finance professionals with 8.6%. Among the listed professions, IT is at the bottom of the list, with 1.6%.

The survey’s summary further stated that:

  • 68% said high returns remain a motivation;
  • 54% see crypto investing as a method to future proof their money;
  • 25% invest to mitigate dealing with middle men;
  • 50% noted high fees on exchanges, quality, and volume on exchanges as the biggest challenges they faced.

And speaking of exchanges, 69% of surveyed investors listed Binance as their exchange of choice, followed by Coinbase with 42.6%, and Kraken with 13%.

74% of the surveyed individuals chose YouTube as their preferred social channel.

Meanwhile, almost 40% percent of respondents said that they invest on a weekly basis, 34.3% said they invest monthly, and 7.7% said they invest once a year, Invictus Capital concluded.

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Learn more:

9% of Surveyed US Teens Claim to Have Traded in Crypto

50% of Inexperienced Investors to Hold Bitcoin Less Than a Year – Survey

18% of Asked Americans Bought Crypto, Most Know Only Bitcoin – Survey

Young Investors Drive Increased Aussie Bitcoin & Crypto Investments

Investors Still Prefer Stocks To Bitcoin, But BTC Wins Over Gold – Survey

More Professionals Trust Crypto Than Want To Get Paid In It – Survey

Crypto is Here to Stay, But There is a Twist, Survey Shows

[OKEx] BTC futures data shows lackluster market sentiment as alts outperform market leader

Bitcoin is unable to get back above the $60,000 mark, but the market remains optimistic about mid-term price — Futures Friday Bitcoin has continued to oscillate over the past week, not showing any decisive bullish moves even though the total cryptocurrency market cap is back around $2 trillion. Since altcoins have outperformed it in recent […]

>> View on OKEx

SnackMagic picks up $15M to expand from build-your-own snack boxes into a wider gifting marketplace

The office shut-down at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year spurred huge investment in digital transformation and a wave of tech companies helping with that, but there were some distinct losers in the shift, too — specifically those whose business models were predicated on serving the very offices that disappeared overnight. Today, one of the companies that had to make an immediate pivot to keep itself afloat is announcing a round of funding, after finding itself not just growing at a clip, but making a profit, as well.

SnackMagic, a build-your-own snack box service, has raised $15 million in a Series A round of funding led by Craft Ventures, with Luxor Capital also participating.

(Both investors have an interesting track record in the food-on-demand space: Most recently, Luxor co-led a $528 million round in Glovo in Spain, while Craft backs/has backed the likes of Cloud Kitchens, Postmates and many more).

The funding comes on the back of a strong year for the company, which hit a $20 million revenue run rate in eight months and turned profitable in December 2020.

Founder and CEO Shaunak Amin said in an interview that the plan will be to use the funding both to continue growing SnackMagic’s existing business, as well as extend into other kinds of gifting categories. Currently, you can ship snacks anywhere in the world, but the customizable boxes — recipients are gifted an amount that they can spend, and they choose what they want in the box themselves from SnackMagic’s menu, or one that a business has created and branded as a subset of that — are only available in locations in North America, serviced by SnackMagic’s primary warehouse. Other locations are given options of pre-packed boxes of snacks right now, but the plan is to slowly extend its pick-and-mix model to more geographies, starting with the U.K.

Alongside this, the company plans to continue widening the categories of items that people can gift each other beyond chocolates, chips, hot sauces and other fun food items, into areas like alcohol, meal kits, and non-food items. There’s also scope for expanding to more use cases into areas like corporate gifting, marketing and consumer services, and analytics coming out of its sales.

Amin calls the data that SnackMagic is amassing about customer interest in different brands and products “the hidden gem” of the platform.

“It’s one of the most interesting things,” he said. Brands that want to add their items to the wider pool of products — which today numbers between 700 and 800 items — also get access to a dashboard where they monitor what’s selling, how much stock is left of their own items, and so on. “One thing that is very opaque [in the CPG world] is good data.”

For many of the bigger companies that lack their own direct sales channels, it’s a significantly richer data set than what they typically get from selling items in the average brick and mortar store, or from a bigger online retailer like Amazon. “All these bigger brands like Pepsi and Kellogg not only want to know this about their own products more but also about the brands they are trying to buy,” Amin said. Several of them, he added, have approached his company to partner and invest, so I guess we should watch this space.

SnackMagic’s success comes from a somewhat unintended, unlikely beginning, and it’s a testament to the power of compelling, yet extensible technology that can be scaled and repurposed if necessary. In its case, there is personalization technology, logistics management, product inventory and accounting, and lots of data analytics involved.

The company started out as Stadium, a lunch delivery service in New York City that was leveraging the fact that when co-workers ordered lunch or dinner together for the office — say around a team-building event or a late-night working session, or just for a regular work day — oftentimes they found that people all hankered for different things to eat.

In many cases, people typically make separate orders for the different items, but that also means if you are ordering to all eat together, things would not arrive at the same time; if it’s being expensed, it’s more complicated on that front too; and if you’re thinking about carbon footprints, it might also mean a lot less efficiency on that front too.

Stadium’s solution was a platform that provided access to multiple restaurants’ menus, and people could pick from all of them for a single order. The business had been operating for six years and was really starting to take off.

“We were quite well known in the city, and we had plans to expand, and we were on track for March 2020 being our best month ever,” Amin said. Then, Covid-19 hit. “There was no one left in the office,” he said. Revenue disappeared overnight, since the idea of delivering many items to one place instantly stopped being a need.

Amin said that they took a look at the platform they had built to pick many options (and many different costs, and the accounting that came with that) and thought about how to use that for a different end. It turned out that even with people working remotely, companies wanted to give props to their workers, either just to say hello and thanks, or around a specific team event, in the form of food and treats — all the more so since the supply of snacks you typically come across in so many office canteens and kitchens were no longer there for workers to tap.

It’s interesting, but perhaps also unsurprising, that one of the by-products of our new way of working has been the rise of more services that cater (no pun intended) to people working in more decentralised ways, and that companies exploring how to improve rewarding people in those environments are also seeing a bump.

Just yesterday, we wrote about a company called Alyce raising $30 million for its corporate gifting platform that is also based on personalization — using AI to help understand the interests of the recipient to make better choices of items that a person might want to receive.

Alyce is taking a somewhat different approach to SnackMagic: it’s not holding any products itself, and there is no warehouse but rather a platform that links up buyers with those providing products. And Alyce’s initial audience is different, too: instead of internal employees (the first, but not final, focus for SnackMagic) it is targeting corporate gifting, or presents that sales and marketing people might send to prospects or current clients as a please and thank you gesture.

But you can also see how and where the two might meet in the middle — and compete not just with each other, but the many other online retailers, Amazon and otherwise, plus the consumer goods companies themselves looking for ways of diversifying business by extending beyond the B2C channel.

“We don’t worry about Amazon. We just get better,” Amin said when I asked him about whether he worried that SnackMagic was too easy to replicate. “It might be tough anyway,” he added, since “others might have the snacks but picking and packing and doing individual customization is very different from regular e-commerce. It’s really more like scalable gifting.”

Investors are impressed with the quick turnaround and identification of a market opportunity, and how it quickly retooled its tech to make it fit for purpose.

“SnackMagic’s immediate success was due to an excellent combination of timing, innovative thinking and world-class execution,” said Bryan Rosenblatt, principal investor at Craft Ventures, in a statement. “As companies embrace the future of a flexible workplace, SnackMagic is not just a snack box delivery platform but a company culture builder.”

Bitcoin price unexpectedly turned around to increase more than $ 2,100, while the top cryptourrencies also increased sharply

Despite the best efforts by bulls for what has been several weeks now, Bitcoin price can’t seem to get back above $60,000 and spend any meaningful time above it. Fundamentals are as bullish as it gets for the top cryptocurrency, but bearish technicals might have finally caused sellers to step in.

bitcoin-price-unexpectedly-turned-around-to-increase-more-than-2100-while-the-top-cryptourrencies-also-increased-sharply

BTC/USD 4-hour chart | Source: TradingView

Bitcoin price bull run on the ropes as technicals face off against fundamentals

Bitcoin price has had its best year on record yet dollar for dollars and fundamentals, the stock-to-flow, and just about all other data suggests that the bull run isn’t near finished yet.

Technicals have been long overheated given the strength of the showing by bulls, leaving a large string of green monthly candles on the price chart without any serious corrective behavior. The once trending strong cryptocurrency has begun to slow, struggling specifically with anything around $60,000.

Indicators such as the logarithmic MACD are turning down on weekly timeframes for the first time since the bull phase began, and the quarterly candle just closed with the first-ever bearish divergence in history. Yet the top cryptocurrency hasn’t corrected anywhere near it has in the past.

At press time, Bitcoin unexpectedly turned around to increase more than $ 2,100, while the top cryptocurrencies also increased sharply, pushing the total market cap to $ 1,980 billion.

Over the previous 24 hours, Bitcoin’s price traded as low as $ 55,758 billion and as high as $ 58,231 billion. Trading volume reached 53 billion USD, capitalization increased sharply to 1,088 billion USD.

Many other cryptocurrencies also climbed following Bitcoin such as Ethereum up 4.7% to $ 2,094, Binance Coin up 9% to $ 418, XRP up 10.9% to $ 1.05, Cardano up 2.5% to $ 1.22. , Polkadot increased 3.6% to $ 41.7… As a result, the total market capitalization reached 1,980 billion USD, up 4.2%.

Bitcoin’s price has risen sharply since the beginning of the year, thanks to increasing interest in the cryptocurrency market by businesses and financial institutions. Many other large investment institutions also announced that they are considering investing and accepting the currency as a form of payment. Private bank Donner & Reuschel of Germany announced it will provide crypto buying and depository services to its customers.

JP Morgan Bank predicts that Bitcoin can reach a theoretical level in the long term of $ 146,000 when it starts to compete with gold.

According to Citibank analysts, the digital currency price could reach $ 318,000 by the end of this year. Strategist Mike McGlone suggests that Bitcoin could be traded for over $ 400,000 by 2022 if the market follows previous trends, which we have seen throughout 2013 and 2017.

The information has continued to give investors an optimistic view about the future of Bitcoin in particular and the crypto market in general.

[Chainlink] How the Chainlink Network Goes Beyond Data Delivery

How the Chainlink Network Goes Beyond Data Delivery

Oracles are commonly thought of as blockchain middleware that enable smart contracts to access external data—yet oracle networks, as they exist within Chainlink’s model, are much more than data delivery mechanisms. Through a wide-range of off-chain computational abilities, Chainlink’s decentralized oracle networks are providing blockchains with decentralized services that go far beyond securely fetching external data.

From Chainlink’s widely adopted Data Feeds, an extensive collection of on-chain price oracles for DeFi smart contracts, to Chainlink VRF, which generates a verifiable source of randomness for dynamic NFTs, to Chainlink’s highly customizable external adapters, the Chainlink Network is supporting a rapidly-expanding array of key oracle functions that are enhancing the capabilities of smart contracts across numerous blockchains and layer-2 networks.

In his recent presentation at the 2021 ETHDenver Hackathon, Chainlink Co-founder Sergey Nazarov emphasized the expansive functionality of decentralized oracle networks and how Chainlink-powered off-chain computations service a wide variety of smart contract use cases, from DeFi to parametric insurance to blockchain-based gaming.  The following is an excerpt of Sergey’s talk highlighting a key takeaway that the Chainlink Network goes far beyond data delivery to power new features and applications for the fast-growing blockchain economy.


Chainlink is not just about data—it is about an oracle network—and oracle networks are responsible for everything that blockchains are not responsible for. An oracle network is not just about delivering data. It is about providing all the tools and services needed by a contract. Smart contracts run on blockchain platforms are hyper-secure and hyper-reliable, but they are low on feature-richness for security reasons. Oracles extend the capabilities of blockchains by offering decentralized services like off-chain computation.

Centralized systems have completely lost people’s trust in many cases and will continue to lose people’s trust in almost all cases. Centralized services from social media to communications to the financial system are being viewed even by the average person as unreliable. People no longer want to create long-term relationships with these institutions.

How the Chainlink Network Goes Beyond Data Delivery
Chainlink offers a wide-range of off-chain computation and decentralized services.

I think the middle ground between highly centralized, feature-rich systems and highly trust-minimized but low-feature blockchain systems is an oracle network. An oracle network sits between every use case and all of the blockchains that those use cases run on, providing blockchains with all the other services they need. All of the other services a blockchain needs are a huge universe of inputs that may start at providing different types of data but quickly moves on to trust-minimized computations that, generally speaking, blockchains usually don’t do and probably won’t do at scale. Oracle networks will expand to do trust-minimized computation, in addition to providing data, and the combination of these will enable a much wider realm of products to be built.

The middle ground between highly centralized, feature-rich systems and highly trust-minimized but low-feature blockchain systems is an oracle network.

The first thing that is becoming very popular in the blockchain gaming community is Chainlink’s Verifiable Random Function (VRF). VRF is working for many different blockchain games that already use it in production, and it’s going live on multiple blockchains. Anyone can easily use it on Ethereum to provide random inputs to games. Beyond that, we are finalizing some of our plans around Chainlink Keepers and the ability to maintain a smart contract’s proper operation through a Chainlink Network. This is important, once again, because even DevOps and maintenance of contracts are responsibilities of oracle networks, as these operations need to be trust-minimized. Even beyond that, I think developers can think about, “How do I use the expanded computational capabilities of Chainlink’s adapters to compute more and more advanced things in a trust minimized-way that doesn’t require me to disclose things to blockchains?”

The realm of services the Chainlink Network offers will continue to grow, so if you’re a developer and you want to build cutting-edge, truly world-changing applications, Chainlink is  fundamentally here to help you. The Chainlink Network is here to help the world’s developers make trust-minimized decentralized applications that will be the new way that society interacts around various information. To me, it’s apparent that is where society is headed because of the systemic and continued failure of trust relationships with centralized institutions like social media, other communication systems, and financial systems. Fundamentally, our goal is to accelerate the transition to a truly decentralized and fair economic system.

Buying Opportunity? Investors Sentiment for Bitcoin and Ethereum Turns Short-Term Bearish

The recent adverse price developments for the top two cryptocurrencies by market cap have caused a mood swing among investors. Data shows that the crowd sentiment towards Bitcoin and Ethereum has dropped to extreme negativity as both assets slumped by about 10% in a few days.

Sentiment Towards BTC and ETH to New Lows

Bitcoin and Ethereum went through steep retracements in the past several days. The primary cryptocurrency failed to overcome $60,000 despite initiating several attempts, and the subsequent rejections drove it to a ten-day low of $55,500 yesterday.

ETH’s price performance seemed significantly more bullish. The second-largest digital asset reached a new ATH two days ago at $2,150. However, it also retraced heavily by losing more than $200 in the following 48 hours to a low of $1,940.

Despite recovering some ground since then, these developments have caused a massive mood swing among cryptocurrency investors. Data provided by the analytics company Santiment indicated that the general sentiment toward the two assets has “dropped to extreme negative territory.”

History shows that similar rapid mood changes could actually indicate a short-term market top or bottom. The graph above demonstrates that when the general sentiment was exceptionally high after price increases, as it happened in late January and mid-February, the trend reversed somewhat immediately.

Consequently, Santiment has classified the current negative state as a “bullish opportunity” for buyers.

Fear and Greed Says It’s Not That Bad

The Fear and Greed Index is another metric that could provide the investors’ sentiment towards the cryptocurrency field. It calculates various types of data, including surveys, social media, volatility, and volume, to determine whether the general mood is positive or negative towards Bitcoin.

The final results range between 0 (extreme fear) and 100 (extreme greed). Somewhat expectedly, the index was well in the extreme greed phase in the past few months, as BTC more than doubled its value since January 1st.

With BTC stuck beneath the $60,000 line, the index declined slightly, but it has still remained above 50 – meaning that it’s still in greed territory. This attests that the cryptocurrency space is prone to quick mood changes, which goes hand in hand with the highly volatile nature of all assets.

It’s worth noting that while prices have retraced slightly lately, BTC’s fundamentals have become even more robust. As reported earlier, Bitcoin’s network continues to increase its security as the hash rate marked yet another all-time high record.

Bitcoin Miners Hit Jackpot as Hash Rate Peaks Again

Data from on-chain analytics provider Glassnode has reported that Bitcoin’s average hash rate hit a new all-time high this week, crossing a daily average of 178 exahashes per second for the first time in history.

Bitinfocharts confirms the record high, reporting the current hash rate at 176 EH/s. It topped 150 EH/s twice in February and has remained at these high levels for the past two months, steadily increasing.

Hashrate is often considered as computing ‘horsepower’ for the Bitcoin network and a strong sign of its security. The higher the hashrate, the harder it is to attack the network.

The bullish on-chain metrics were observed by data scientist Rafael Schultze-Kraft [@n3ocortex], who added that mining difficulty has also hit a new all-time high.

1/ A thread on #Bitcoin miner metrics.

First, some fundamentals.

Bitcoin’s average hash rate hit a new ATH yesterday – crossing a daily average of 178 exahash / sec for the first time in history.

Miners keep spinning up machines – hash rate is up only.https://t.co/SEdtQGNsT7pic.twitter.com/vIjVGyH8QC

— Rafael Schultze-Kraft (@n3ocortex) April 6, 2021

Mining Never More Profitable

The analyst noted that Bitcoin miners have been making more than $50 million per day for the past month. He put this into perspective by pointing out that a year ago, this number was around $12 million – so current earnings are a fourfold increase despite the block subsidy being cut in half in May 2020’s halving.

Miners are also now holding on to the new coins they’re minting as the net position has flipped back to green, according to Glassnode. In the run-up to the $40K price level, miners were aggressively selling off to cover their costs, but they’ve now switched back into accumulation mode.

“In fact, the Bitcoin unspent supply (BTC that has never left the original mining addresses), has started to increase again after a quick and sharp drop of around 15k BTC at the beginning of the year. More hodling than spending.”

He added that direct BTC transfers from miner to exchange wallets have been going back down significantly, and even USD-dominated miner to exchange volume has decreased despite a stable price. However, miner activity represents a tiny fraction of BTC trading volumes as a whole.

The analyst concluded that these metrics are very bullish, and miners have little incentive to cash out now or capitulate as many predicted after the halving.

Bitcoin Price Update

At the time of press, Bitcoin was trading down 1% on the day at $56,700, according to Coingecko. It is down at the same time last week by 3.4% but remains within the month-long range bound channel it has formed.

Bitcoin has not dropped below $50K for over a month, which is also a bullish sign that support is holding strong.

Is Regulation the Silver Bullet for Financial Malpractice? / What is Financial Regulation and Does it Matter to DeFi?

The text below is an advertorial article that was not written by Cryptonews.com journalists.

cryptonews

In traditional finance, financial regulation is intended to provide protection, safety and stability for institutions and consumers alike. Organisations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK are tasked with policing the conduct of banks, asset managers and other financial organizations to ensure that strict rules are followed and punishments applied when those rules are broken.

DeFi and cryptocurrency more widely has fallen outside the remit of regulation since Bitcoin was first launched in 2009. For more than a decade digital asset holders and service providers have largely been able to go about their business unfettered by the same rules and regulations that fall on the shoulders of JP Morgan Chase, for example; not least because the rules that are set for traditional financial institutions are extremely difficult to apply to digital assets.

Regulation across TradFi, CeFi and DeFi

As anyone who has ever applied for a credit card, bank loan or mortgage will know, the long-arm of financial regulation places a significant emphasis on data collection and suitability assessment. This requires collecting and storing vaults of customer information, running complex individual credit risk checks and ensuring detailed custody, anti-money laundering and transaction regulations are followed – and while this is achievable for JP Morgan, it is less so for many cryptocurrency organizations.

In the world of CeFi, or centralized finance, we are seeing moves in this direction, with Coinbase – one of the largest CeFi exchanges – in regular discussions with the SEC as it seeks to list on the US stock market. However, in the world of DeFi, regulation is anathema to much of what the ecosystem stands for. Built largely on a decentralized, permissionless system of autonomous smart contracts, many protocols do not have the central management required to carry out regulation. Moreover, many DeFi applications don’t ask users for their information (or “KYC”), which is a key attraction for many DeFi users.

Regulation and the regulated

Governments and public-sector bodies often cite seven specific areas as being major goals of financial regulation: investor protection, consumer protection, financial stability, market efficiency, competition, the prevention of financial crime, and fairness. For end users, investor and consumer protection are the most important and refer to the way in which financial organizations should market investment products and communicate with their customers. Rules in these areas generally call for transparency (especially around potential risks of products and investments) and clear, open communication with customers.

This is, few would dispute, a highly laudable facet of regulation that should protect vulnerable customers. In practice, however, it frequently doesn’t. Aside from the sort of systemic failings the world witnessed in 2008/09, leading to USD 321 billion in fines dished out to major banks such as Barclays for LIBOR rigging, regulation often fails to keep out bad actors. In the UK, the “mini-bond” space has been a hotbed for fraud, with more than 11,000 people losing GBP 236 million in 2019 to a company claiming to offer property-backed savings accounts. These savers – largely inexperienced older people – suffered heavy losses and the scandal led to a widespread overhaul of a space with hundreds of similar cases.

Best practice should span all sectors

Despite its failings, however, regulation is important: many schemes such as the UK’s Financial Compensation Scheme (a fund paid for by banks that will reimburse savers in the event a regulated institution collapses) provide genuine protection for consumers, as do imperatives for clear, transparent disclosure about products and services and treating customers fairly. Most importantly, however, the onorousnes of regulation can also help to keep out some of the worst actors who may not have the conviction or capacity to comply with regulation.

As such, YIELD App seeks to emulate the key tenets of prudential regulation across its entire platform and customer service proposition. We provide clear and consistent public information including a product disclosure statement that details our structure, practices and principles and clearly states the risks associated with digital assets. On our site we also host a comprehensive set of FAQ’s along with a 24-hour customer helpdesk to ensure we can answer any customer queries quickly and accurately. YIELD App also seeks to mirror important system-level financial regulation, including well capitalized treasuries and the prevention of financial crime through level 1 KYC. We have also partnered with Merkle Sciences for chain analysis to ensure we comply with the FATF red flag rules and to adhere to our internal KYC/AML policies.

While DeFi is operating independently today, as one of the fastest growing areas in cryptocurrency DeFi is likely to fall under the scrutiny of regulators in the future: indeed, ita seems impossible that a market of 40 Billion USD that is expanding by the multi-millions every day would not. Therefore, it is essential that any organization truly serious about its long-term future as a DeFi service provider operates under the best practices already established in traditional finance. As highlighted above, regulation itself is no guarantee: it is only as strong as those that implement and comply with it, and you don’t have to be regulated to do so.

Signal Turns Into Noise With MobileCoin Integration
Signal Turns Into Noise With MobileCoin Integration 101
Source: Adobe/natanaelginting

Private messaging app Signal, which is also popular among crypto users, announced they’re launching payments using MobileCoin (MOB). But then things turned sour.

Per the April 6 announcement, this is a beta feature in Signal Beta, available to the United Kingdom folks for testing and feedback purposes. They plan to expand the beta following more feedback.

Privacy-focused payments network MobileCoin, which uses the Stellar (XLM) Consensus Protocol (SCP) to synchronize a ledger, is the first payments protocol for which Signal added support, enabling a MobileCoin wallet to be linked to the messaging app in order to send/receive funds, monitor balance, and review transaction history. It’s currently possible to convert to/from the MOB token on crypto derivatives exchange FTX, with other exchanges coming soon, they added.

Signal does not have access to a user’s balance, full transaction history, or funds, they claimed, while users can transfer their funds “at any time” if they want to change services. Per Business of Apps data, Signal had 40m users in January this year.

But the reaction to this rollout wasn’t entirely positive. Some claimed that Signal is “dabbling in shitcoin pump,” and others added that Signal “has alienated all Bitcoiners” with this move.

just setting up my twttr

— jack (@jack)

Other criticism includes comments that Signal creator Moxie Marlinspike is using Signal to pump his MOB bag. Marlinspike has also been a technical adviser for MobileCoin.

However, he told WIRED that neither he nor Signal own any MOB tokens.

In 2018, the project announced a fundraising round led by Binance Labs for USD 30m denominated in ethereum and bitcoin. Per TechChrunch, the payments network recently raised USD 11.35m in funding across two rounds from Future Ventures and General Catalyst.

Furthermore, Marlinspike is listed as Chief Technology Officer in the MobileCoin whitepaper.

And speaking of the whitepaper, developer Tadge Dryja said that he found a MobileCoin whitepaper, which is reportedly just a copy of the ‘Zero to Monero’ paper with a few changes.

Others made similar allegations, such as Riccardo Spagni, the former lead maintainer of Monero.

just setting up my twttr

— jack (@jack)

BlockTower Capital founder Ari Paul, however, commented that MobileCoin is not a fork of Monero, and that Spagni’s claims can’t be used as proof to the contrary as he’s “an altcoin [developer] criticizing competition.”

This was a part of a longer technical discussion and disagreement over the project’s specifics.

Per Marlinspike himself, “Signal chose to integrate MobileCoin because it has the most seamless user experience on mobile devices, requiring little storage space on the phone and needing only seconds for transactions to be confirmed.”

The market situation caught the eye of analysts and traders, including Eric Wall, the Chief Investment Officer of the crypto hedge fund outfit Arcane Assets, who likened MobileCoin to an inedible footlong sandwich filled with a bunch of random ingredients.

just setting up my twttr

— jack (@jack)

At 14:32 UTC, MOB trades at USD 40 and is down by 38% in a day, erasing almost all its weekly gains. The price is still up by 648% in a month.