Take charge or pay the piper

Your daily newsletter for December 14, 2018
Take charge
If you decide to just go with the flow, you'll end up where the flow goes, which is usually downhill, often leading to a big pile of sludge and a life of unhappiness.
- Sean Covey
Happy weekend, ladies and gents! This month seems to be passing by real quick. We are already in mid December and fast approaching the Christmas break. I can already feel the festive spirit within me. 😂 For those of you who aren't following Coinbase's 12 Days of Coinbase (announcements): Yesterday, Coinbase introduced a new watchlist feature, through which you can 'follow' coins you're interested in, and your dashboard will feature key information about them. It's pretty neat! 👍

Today also happens to be the birthday of the late Don Hewitt. He was an American television news producer and executive, best known for creating the CBS television news magazine "60 Minutes". ⏱️ He would have turned 96 today!

In today's newsletter, we will be covering Binance Labs to launch its new incubator program in 5 new cities, Stablecoin project Basis is shutting down its operations and Hybrid blockchain platform Orbs has raised over $15 million from South Korean internet company Kakao. Today, we will also be covering Waves (WAVES) in our weekly crypto deep dive, so be sure to check that out below!

Please don't forget to answer the polls down below too! It's a great way for us to interact with you, and it's always nice hearing your thoughts. 💭 Happy reading! 📚
Slippery slope 🏂🏽
As we head to the weekend, we welcome another red day for the crypto space as it continues its slow but steady decline. Total market capitalization is down ~$5.4 billion for the day and currently stands at ~$105.3 billion. Most coins are seeing losses in the ~2-7% range. However, notable mover for the third consecutive day is Waves (WAVES), up another ~17% for the day. Since Waves has been making waves 😂🤦‍♂️, we will be going through this coin in this week's crypto deep dive below!

BTC experienced a rapid ~3.5% midday drop from ~$3,420 to ~$3,300. At time of writing, BTC is currently trading at ~$3,315. It continues to remain trading below its 21-day EMA line for the 31st consecutive day - the second longest streak this year, second only to the Jan to mid-Feb bear run.  


Watering the lawn 🌱
In March 2019, Binance Labs will be launching its new incubator programs in 5 new cities - Berlin, Buenos Aires, Lagos, Singapore and Hong Kong. The company is offering 10-week onsite programs for early-stage blockchain projects. This year alone, 8 out of 500 applicants were selected to each receive $500,000 and participate in the inaugural San Francisco incubator. 💰

Ella Zhang, head of Binance Labs, said the goal of this program is to foster a community of builders and high-quality token projects that could eventually see their assets getting listed on the exchange. 😲

The incubation program benefits both parties as Binance is given the first dips on emerging technologies in the space, while project founders can gain access to potential investors and social media promotions. 👍

Closing shop 💸
Basis is shutting down and returning its remaining funds to investors, citing unfavorable regulatory constraints for it’s plight. 😔

Originally called Basecoin, Basis had secured $133 million in funding to build an algorithmic stablecoin, and was often described as the project that used code to maintain its token's price stability, in the same way the U.S. Federal Reserve does for the dollar. 💱

Basis was backed by some strong names in the crypto scene, but also was supported by some venture capital groups.
 Investors included Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures and GV (originally Google Ventures).

Back me up 👐
Hybrid blockchain platform Orbs has raised over $15 million from South Korean app provider Kakao, in the form of139,000 Ethers ($12,371,000) and 892 Bitcoin ($3,017,026). 💰 It will use the funds for further research, and to continue developing its core technology. 👨‍🔬

Orbs is building a public blockchain that it claims to be a "universal" and "scalable" second layer for decentralized applications, but "with the liquidity of a base layer.” 🤔

Kakao's investment represents an extension of the existing partnership between Orbs and Kakao's blockchain subsidiary, Ground X. 🤝 With this round of funding and its current burn rate, Orbs' co-founder Daniel Peled believes that Orbs will be able to operate for another 7 years without additional fundraising. Orbs' mainnet is scheduled to go live in April 2019. 👀

Crypto deep dive: Waves
  • Cryptocurrency: WAVES
  • Market Capitalization Rank: 21nd (~$243 million)
  • Consensus: Proof of Stake (PoS)
The gist of it ⚙️
  • Waves is a blockchain platform in which users can create their own customized tokens, perform crowdfunding campaings and buy/sell/trade tokens. 
  • Founded in 2016 by Russian entrepreneur Alexander Ivanov, the Waves platform launched shortly after a $16 million ICO campaign.
  • Somewhat similar to Ethereum, Waves' mission is to offer the world a shared infrastructure equipped with easy-to-use and highly functional tools that will make blockchain accessible to every person or organization.
Why people love it 😘
  • Waves have been picking up some steam as a viable ICO platform. 
  • The Waves platform is equipped with a decentralized exchange, WAVESDEX, that allows for low fee and fast token/ fiat trading within the Waves platform.
  • Waves has some good partnerships, such as Deloitte, the Russian Central Securities Depository and Burger King (Russia). It also has strong ties with several Russian banks, allowing them to establish necessary and very beneficial fiat gateways so that the platform allows for trading against fiat currencies like the USD and EUR. 
Why people doubt it 🤔
  • The blockchain platform space is already crowded and saturated. It will take much to stand out. 
  • The Waves platform isn't the most user-friendliest of interfaces. It needs to improve on this to increase adoption rates. 

Other news 📰
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will soon be offering its first blockchain engineering course to both its electrical and computer engineering and computer science students. 🎓
  • STO services startup TokenSoft will be launching a regulated broker-dealer so as to offer better services to token issuers and startups. 👍
  • Gaming hardware manufacturer Razer has launched an app, Razer SoftMiner, that offers store credit in return for mining ethereum blocks. 🤑
Poll of the Day
How much do you agree with this statement: "If I were still a college student, I would choose to major in blockchain"💭
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And...do you think that the crypto space needs an educational body that can grant formal accreditation for blockchain knowledge/ expertise? What do you have planned for the weekend? Share with me in the polls! 😆
What you said
"How much do you agree with this statement: "I will never buy the Venezuelan "petro" cryptocurrency" 💭

The average vote was 7.2. I'm surprised this number wasn't higher! 😲

"Why or why not?"

You guys said:

I'm pretty sure that we agree blcokchain is here to stay. I believe Petro as pilot program will get the chance to be use as an alternative on how petroleum traded. - That is an interesting perspective. Although, I would argue that it all happened too hastily. Also, forcibly converting pensioners' monthly sums into the petro is highly suspicious. 🤔
I would buy it because it sounds good. - Hmm, it does actually have a cool name I'll give it that. 😂
Centralised fraud. - What a way to put it. 😂
I don't forsee any need to, now nor in the future! - There certainly are many other asset classes to choose from with better risk reward profiles. Like Bitcoin 😉 
Experiment - It certainly does seem like one, huh? 🤦‍♂️
Because it is backed by a dictator for the most part. Also, because they are forcing people to use it not just as an option. - Yeah, that was unacceptable on their part. It just makes the whole situation look so sus. 
Not with Maduro controlling the country - He sure is one sketchy guy... 👀
It looks extremely shady. CC is all about freedom, and supporting something from such a centralized government like Venezuela's makes no sense to me. - Well said! The whole idea of cryptocurrencies is to grant more autonomy to the user. This whole scene seems to have it all reversed. 🙃
Its Carrbage - 😂
The country couldn't get it's economy fixed before; there's no reason to think Petro will be the solution. - The underlying issues of hyperinflation and corruption are not being resolved, and seems that this house of cards will eventually come crashing down. 💥

"Not related to crypto, but what are some things you do to stay positive?"

You guys said:

Spend time with friends who are usually positive. And spend that time in new surroundings. - Positivity does breed more positivity. ☀️
Get enough sleep. - Less sleep makes most people cranky. Back in the day, I always knew whenever my Dad had a bad night's sleep. 😂
Limit the amount of time spent on the computer. - Something we are all guilty of from time to time I'm afraid. 😔
Think small. Enjoy time - Living in the moment helps! Might give you the breather you need to come back refocused and motivated. 👌
Live and enjoy life and choose to be happy daily! - You're totally right. Happiness is a state of mind and also a choice. Everyone has many reasons to be happy for. 😊
Exercise - Them endorphins work so so good. Nothing beats a good cardio session. 🏃
Listen to positive minds - Positive vibes only. 👍
Realize that I have a lot to be thankful for and that it could always get worse. - Always be grateful, but also always be hungry. 💪
Jogging and eating well (enough vegetables...) - Not many people know this, but cruciferous vegetables like broccolli has high levels of phytochemicals which help to block estrogen production. This translates to better hormone levels and thus better moods. So eat yo veggies! 🥦
Not talking to dull people, learning something everyday and always trying to listen to every opinion. - There's always that uplifting sense of satisfaction whenever you learn something new. I guess it's how we humans are wired - to be innately curious and to strive to keep moving forward. 😬

Thank you all for reading! Catch you back here again on Monday for your daily dose of crypto news! 💙
See you on Monday!
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Class is dismissed, enjoy your weekend! 🍻
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