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You ever get a little burned out? Us, too. Sometimes, the news is discouraging. Sometimes, it looks as if people are using the tech in ways that don’t really attempt to push the boundaries of what’s possible, or don’t attempt to solve real problems.
There’s a lot of reinvention or reimplementation, without stopping to ask, ‘who has this problem, when was the last time they had it, and how big an issue was it to solve.’
For example, at the height of Bitcoin’s surge last year, Square Cash integrated BTC purchasing. Great, except that even with the high price of crypto, and the moderate adoption of Square Cash, it didn’t move the needle on crypto use or payments. A lot of Square Cash use is person to person, or person to small business. Having BTC in the Cash app wasn’t really solving anyone’s problem in the US, because the US dollar is fairly stable for paying personal debts.
So then we see people working on projects, with a fully developed app, that lets you fund an in-app wallet from an existing exchange and then make person to person payments easily. And it looked pretty slick and functioned as it should. And as I was talking with them, they asked,
One of the things we have been struggling with is that even if we change verbiage - what problem are we really solving?
Which for me is a “holy cow” moment. How would you let yourself develop a fully working application without knowing why you were doing it?
And what they learned was, “people primarily treat crypto as a speculative asset. So they don’t want to send it to anyone; They’re ok to receive it, but not send it out.”
It seems like that could have been learned by asking around, before they started developing a solution.
And that’s what it comes down to for me. Solve real problems, which leads to gaining adoption, and that leads to increased value. If there aren’t real problems, if we don’t make things a smoother, better, more reliable experience, there’s no reason to expect adoption, or expect value to increase.
If we don’t try a little harder, all the uses are going to be incremental, and replace settlement or record-keeping layers. The vast majority of people will never notice. That’s a mundane, boring, future.
Two token sales to watch 👁️
Coinciding with the news from the SEC, there’s a new type of token offering, the STO. What’s the difference? Well, a few things. In an ICO, the startup offers a coin, usually on someone else’s blockchain with a value rate established to something like ETH, and they’d have to manage both their startup and the financial offering of their coin. It makes building your startup exponentially harder, because you have to manage the value of the coin you created in addition to trying to ship your project. This backfires when you don’t manage the coin well, as seen with projects like World Wi-Fi, where buyers of the coin complain regularly about mis-management. Coins in an ICO aren’t shares.
The STO intends to be SEC compliant. Here, you’re still buying a token, but since security tokens are actual financial securities, your tokens are backed by something tangible like the assets, profits, or revenue of the company. All this is to say, we’re going to cover STOs and ICOs as the token sale landscape changes.
Here we go
BrikBit.io is setting up their own chain and token to turn Real Estate on its head. They want to set up a chain that addresses all sides of the Real Estate market, from building, investing, title transparency, all the way to helping people become homeowners. It’s this last part that appeals to me - what can you do to change the landscape for the person who has a job but can’t get a mortgage? The user story cited states, “Bruno is a young clerk living in a medium-sized town. He would like to partake in a Real Estate enterprise to be a future home- owner. His savings are not enough to cover the minimum entry-fee to buy an apartment, and his job contract is not enough of a guarantee to get a mortgage. Thanks to BrikBit, Bruno can purchase his own property one square foot at the time.” This has me interested. Of course, we’d need to read the whitepaper, first.
EndChain.io is making a blockchain for tracking and logitistics. Normal, so far, right? What’s interesting here, and they claim they have patents pending for, is a combined QR and barcode, which allows them to transition to blockchain while using existing scanners and inventory systems in concert. I know, I was talking about pushing the envelope, but with Walmart insisting all produce growers get on board with Walmart’s blockchain implementation to try and prevent losing all the lettuce in an e.coli outbreak, making adoption easier through existing infrastructure seems like a good idea. whitepaper is here.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 😊😠👹
Ohio Businesses Can Now Pay Taxes with Bitcoin
Ohio has just become the first state in the US to accept tax payments in Bitcoin, reports the Wall Street Journal. Starting this Monday, companies that want to settle their tax dues using cryptos can do so following three simple steps. They need to visit OhioCrypto.com, register, and pay. The crypto payment processor BitPay will handle the transfer and conversion to dollars for the tax office.
Ohio has been working to create a tech-friendly hub in the state and attract both blockchain developers and companies for a while now. However, it is not the first state to come up with the crypto tax payment scheme. Other states around the country have considered accepting Bitcoin, but those initiatives died before implementation.
Earlier this year, Arizona had passed a tax bill that would allow citizens to pay their taxes using cryptos. Sadly, in May, after passing the House final reading, the SB 1091 was vetoed by the Governor.
Back in February, Georgia introduced a similar bill to accept cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment for state taxes and licenses. Presently, however, the bill’s status reads “25% progression, died in committee.”
For now, only Ohio businesses are allowed to pay their taxes with cryptos. However, individuals can expect to be allowed to do the same in the near future.
Warning: Trezor One Fakes Flood the Market
Crypto hardware wallet provider Trezor has warned its customers about a new trick up the thieves’ sleeve that allows them to steal cryptos right from the hardware wallet. An imitation of a Trezor One device has hit the market.
In a Medium post, the company informs that the counterfeit device is manufactured by an anonymous vendor and replicates the Trezor One in such detail, it is almost impossible to distinguish the fake from the original.
To tell the two apart, remember to:
● Watch out for deals that offer Trezor One at questionably low prices.