Welcome to the February newsletter - it’s been a busy January. Last month saw the mining of the Equibit network’s genesis block, successful internal demos of Equibit Portfolio (our wallet), our move over to Telegram, and a very well received exhibit at the Cantech Investment Conference, among other things.
First some context - In early 2017 we completed a successful ICO when the crypto market looked very different than it does today. The overall amount was small compared to other ICO's so we had to allocate the proceeds only to the most important, mission-critical items. We took the proceeds of that coin sale and focused them on building a brand-new proof-of-work blockchain and set of applications to ultimately disrupt the global capital markets. Our marketing, for the most part, has focused on supporting an imminent product launch - rather than building unsustainable hype. As we approach launch you will see increased marketing and PR efforts - but we are here, with you, for the long term.
While development and focus on strategic partnerships continue, February is all about escalating our marketing and promotional efforts. With the Equibit network near ready for launch, it’s time the world understood the power of a customized blockchain for tokenized securities.
The Equibit blockchain, a fork of Bitcoin, provides a distributed trust system for value exchange, more secure and far easier to use than a system based on smart contracts. This is a network built for scale, and for enterprise.
We’ve moved our community channel over to Telegram. We will be winding our Slack channel down through the end of March and focusing on connecting with our supporters in Telegram, a more secure and crypto-focused platform. Join us there.
We’re partnering with an established and proven marketing/public relations company to ensure that the crypto community at large hears about Equibit Group and EQB.
We’ve received many questions regarding a second public EQB sale. There are still unallocated EQB from the pre-mine so it is our hope that we’ll be able to do a final launch sale by the end of Q1 to coincide with the release of Equibit Core and Equibit Portfolio ensuring the widest possible initial distribution of EQB. We’re currently working with our lawyers on the details and will share more as soon as we are able to.
In line with the ramping up of our marketing efforts, last week the team presented the Equibit network to the attendees of the Cantech Investment Conference in Toronto. The event brought companies, investors and techies by the thousands to downtown Toronto. We received enormous interest from the financial community including investment banks, brokerages, venture capital firms, and retail investors.
CEO Chris Horlacher and CMO Stephen Barnard
Our objective at Cantech was to drive awareness and introduce Equibit Group to the financial community and potential issuing companies. Five members of the team attended and all were kept busy throughout the day - the Equibit Group booth was very popular! Our value proposition resonated well with the attendees, increasing confidence around our upcoming launch.
We’re pleased to announce that Christian Saucier has joined us as our full-time Quality Assurance Director. With extensive enterprise and development experience, Christian will ensure the strength and security of our network. He has over 20 years of experience designing and implementing impactful IT solutions for start-ups and Fortune 100 companies, as well as systems leveraging blockchain as a proof of existence ledger. Christian has an MBA from the University of Georgia and a B.Sc in computer sciences from the University of Sherbrooke - Welcome Christian!
We’ve continued to expand our mining network and have amassed a significant number of GPUs dedicated to EQB. Equibit Group’s growing community features a wide range of miners, from independents to institutions. Committed EQB miners are geographically distributed across the globe, located in Canada, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Nigeria, Australia, and more.
We’re still looking for additional early miners to join us who have dedicated GPU capability, but only have 10 spots left. Contact Chief Blockchain Officer Nathan Wosnack at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our talks continue with several exchanges. We will make announcements regarding where EQB will be traded soon, once all is confirmed.
Our sales funnel continues to grow. In late January the CFO of a TSX Venture listed company reached out to us looking to see how their company could use the Equibit network. In search of new and improved capital markets solutions, he was very impressed. Business development will show continued focus on building a pipeline of partner relationships for launch.
We’re looking to increase our affiliate program, partnering with individuals and companies who have experience and contacts in the crypto space and are interested in making the launch of Equibit as successful as can be. If interested, please contact Nathan Wosnack, above.
In mid-January our development team hosted an internal demo, walking us through Equibit Portfolio. It’s an elegant and sophisticated user experience that we can’t wait to introduce to our community. The software is performing very well, allowing users to easily review market opportunities and buy and sell securities via EQB. At this stage, we're wrapping up the final pieces of the UI.
In the next few days we will be filming a live demo of Portfolio to share with our community - stay tuned!
Equibit Core is complete but, as it turns out, the Bitcoin source code is missing the ability to mine by CPU or GPU. So now we find ourselves working to add these features back into the code so we can all get mining EQB. We want to make cryptocurrency mining as easy as possible and see that this is an area that we can focus future development efforts on. For now, the Core team is 100% focused on getting CPU/GPU mining working and will release precompiled binaries to our group of miners as soon as we've mined the first 100 blocks to confirm we can spend the pre-mine and deliver everyone's EQB.
Atomic swaps have been completed using Equibit Portfolio in Regtest. The UI keeps getting better and the marketing team is gearing up to publish a blog on this industry-leading accomplishment.
We look to launch near the end of Q1. Join us on Telegram for regular updates.
The latest announcement from the SEC regarding cryptocurrencies and ICOs was made on January 24th via The Wall Street Journal. The authors, Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and J. Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, penned the op-ed to warn investors about exercising caution when considering investing in cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The piece also noted that, “this is not a statement against investments in innovation,” and that “[their] task, as market regulators, is to set and enforce rules that foster innovation while promoting market integrity and confidence.”
In late January the SEC also said that “cryptocurrency ETFs are off the table for now,” according to Fortune.
Regulators in Canada have approved its first Blockchain ETF. “The Ontario Securities Commission has approved Canada’s first blockchain exchange-traded fund, which is set to launch on the Toronto Stock Exchange” this week, Coindesk reported. Put forward by Harvest Portfolios, the ETF will invest “in equity securities of issuers exposed, directly or indirectly to the development and implementation of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.”
On January 30th new measures went into effect in South Korea banning anonymous and foreign investors from trading cryptocurrencies through South Korean exchanges. South Korea’s finance minister, Kim Dong-yeon, explained the government does not plan to shut down cryptocurrency trading, according to Reuters. “There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency market,” Kim said. He explained that the government’s immediate focus is to regulate exchanges.
In September South Korea and China both banned initial coin offerings. Reports surfaced in December that South Korea was rethinking the ban. No further confirmation has been made.
Japan’s biggest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU) has announced it will launch its own cryptocurrency. According to reports, the coin will be released by March 2018. “The MUFG coin will have parity with the Japanese yen and will be rolled out to employees of the financial services group first,” according to Investopedia.
Russia & Venezuela
The New York Times reported in early January that “Russian and Venezuelan officials are hoping virtual currencies can help their countries make an end run around American sanctions.”
Also in Russia, on June 26th Bitcoin.com reported that a law for cryptocurrency and ICO regulation has just been drafted. The draft law makes it clear that cryptocurrency trading is supported, as are ICOs, following certain guidelines.
As of March 2018, cryptocurrency trading, ICOs and smart contracts will be legal and tax free in Belarus, according to Bitcoin.com. The decree was signed in December.
Nordea Bank of Northern Europe has banned all employees from owning any cryptocurrencies. The bank is also making efforts to restrict employees “from learning about the crypto space,” as explained by BTCManager.com.
According to Coindesk, India’s finance minister, Arun Jaitley, said last week that “the government does not view cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.” However, he added that “the government will explore [the] use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in [a] digital economy.”
The State of Bitcoin
Crypto newbies have rushed to sell as the charts have seen red recently thanks to a myriad of issues including regulatory concerns, exchange security, and the public legal issues of some projects. This is not the first time Bitcoin has experienced a dramatic fall, and it won’t be the last. To put this in context, in 2017 Bitcoin was up more than 1,500%. With the heights that Bitcoin reached last year, we must expect some down swings.
A few weeks ago cryptocurrencies fell amid news that Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck had lost over $500 million (58 billion yen) as a result of hackers. Reuters called it “one of the world’s biggest cyber heists.”
South Korea’s increased regulatory focus on mid-to-late January put increased pressure on crypto; South Korea is one of the world’s largest markets for trading Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
“Most major U.S. credit card issuers have now banned the use of their cards to buy Bitcoin or other digital currencies,” Fortune reported yesterday. “Bank of America began blocking cryptocurrency purchases on Friday,” and “JPMorgan did the same on Saturday.” Citigroup has also halted crypto purchases, while “Capital One and Discover had already enacted their own bans.”
CEO Chris Horlacher joined BNN host Greg Bonnell to discuss Bitcoin, market volatility and cryptocurrency regulation. Watch the segment here.
Equibit Group Chief Marketing Officer penned a piece for IR Magazine entitled, Transforming Investor Relations with Blockchain.
On the Blog
Blockchain-based capital market applications, like Equibit Group’s, could save issuers millions in listing fees. Equibit Portfolio also gives issuers alternative access to global capital.
Clearing and settlement of trades takes several days to complete. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) can reduce banks’ infrastructure costs with streamlined clearing and settlement and save money for investors by way of eliminated transaction fees. Putting securities on the blockchain is the way forward.
Here are five reasons why a specialized blockchain, like the Equibit blockchain, is better for the capital markets than a smart-contract based system.
We introduce you to our CBO, a Bitcoin OG and devoted supporter of decentralized networks.
Join the daily conversation on Telegram - The Equibit Group Team