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Tezos Foundation Changes Leadership, Tokens Set to Launch in Coming Weeks

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The Tezos ICO raised $232 million last July for the blockchain startup. Seven months later, after progress was delayed due to infighting between the founders, the project’s tokens are finally set to launch “in the next few weeks.”

The Tezos foundation raised funds to develop a new cryptocurrency last July through an initial coin offering (ICO) that generated $232 million. While the ICO remains one of the largest by amount raised, contributors have yet to receive the new cryptocurrency because the project’s release has been delayed by infighting between the project’s founders, Kathleen and Arthur Breitman and Johann Gevers.

Gevers, president of the Tezos Foundation — which was set up to oversee the launch and development of the blockchain project — stepped down from his post Thursday following the disputes with the Breitmans. The two had called for the resignation of the foundation trustee last fall, after accusing him of attempting to embezzle money and acting “as a roadblock to the mission.” The Foundation said in a statement that Gevers had stepped down voluntarily, to “optimally support” the mission and was “committed to the success” of the project.

Ryan Jesperson and Michel Mauny will now join the board of the Tezos Foundation, replacing Gevers as well as Diego Olivier Fernandez Pons. Jesperson, who invested in the Tezos ICO, started an international petition last year to oust Gevers; Earlier this month he set up a rival group, the T2 Foundation, to pursue the launch of the Tezos network. Manuny is also a member of the T2 Foundation.

“With the appointment of the two new members to the Board, the Foundation is preparing itself to assist in the timely launch of the Tezos network,” the Tezos Foundation said in a statement.

Moving Forward

This shakeup in leadership clears the way for Tezos to release the tokens, which will facilitate a blockchain network for smart contracts that aims to rival Ethereum. In fact, the price for pre-launch tokens surged more than 10% after the announcement today. Gerves posted on Twitter “TEZOS ACHIEVES IMPORTANT MILESTONE,” sharing the news of the changes.

“After months of very hard work under extremely difficult conditions, I’m very happy that we’ve achieved a good resolution that optimally serves the interests of the Tezos project and the wider crypto ecosystem,” he said.

Tezos had been looking to a February release date for the coins, a deadline that now seems within reach. Speaking at a UCLA event on February 18th, CEO Kathleen Breitman said the company was planning on “going rogue” and releasing the tezzies (as the tokens are known) “in the next few weeks.”

The resolution of the dispute with Gevers also takes some pressure off the project, which ran into other legal problems as a result of the delays and ongoing battle. Tezos has been deflecting rumors of an investigation into the company by the U.S. SEC, and also has been hit with class action lawsuits alleging securities fraud as a result of the delays.

Now, investors are watching with anticipation to see if Tezos and the new leaders of its governing body can deliver — something which seems closer than ever following these announcements and a reinvigoration of the team. 

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SP8DE Distribution changes

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Editorial

 
Chapter 1

The SP8DE project has begun with a complete lack of external financial support, zero self-funding, and obviously no marketing budget to attract at least some attention of the masses. The world of ICO markets is tough. This market today is a wild west: the one law in existence is that of self-interest, and for most the only shepherd is greed. Every single unit of traffic, every single lead is stretched until the limit by the other ICO projects that are simply too many for this narrow market. Add to this,one of the biggest surges in the aggregate capitalization of cryptocurrency markets that has squeezed the last fresh cash flows out of the ICO domain. The rapidly accelerating tendency of the investment public to invest less in ICOs than ever before seemed like a shining apex at the top of the dusty pile of reasons why not to start SP8DE’s crowdsale.

On the one hand, there was the voice of reason, on the other, long-cherished dream of making the mathematical paradise of pure entropy an objective reality.

The 4 people who comprised the SP8DE team originally had many more concerns to take into account than just the ones mentioned above, such as the necessity of attending to the daily duties on a regular job, guarding the peace and comfort of a pregnant wife and last but not least, desperately hunting for funds to have at least some foundation upon which the young project can be constructed.

But the dream was burning brighter than any of the fire traps; it was like a morning star illuminating the right way. Equipped with faith, they started doing. Just doing what needed to be done – an old-time perfect recipe for success of any venture. The reward came quickly, probably far too quickly: the initial success of collecting over 3000 ETH within two and a half weeks was a surprise for everyone including the team. Currently having over 8800 ETH crowdfunded, who could expect that a project with no community, no funding and no marketing could make it that far this quickly? Money, of course, brings more money. In a blink of an eye those who have denied providing some bare minimal funding being offered terms as favorable as those that a loan shark enjoys were running on a crowd sale to attempt to get their SPXs on the terms no better than anyone’s else.

This was the moment of glory. But, as it turned out, the clouds have just been gathering.

Chapter 2

With the initial success came an ocean of hard work. Making an ICO without a fully packed, physically collocated team of at least 10 to 15 people is a prerequisite for a tough challenge ahead. SP8DE’s team started rapidly expanding to include many support people, technical advisors and specialists in smart contracts and ICO security. The implementation of the jackpot procedure was a tough thing to design and deploy. Conforming to the highest industry standards of security was even tougher.

At this point, the team had to address all the weaknesses in the project design. Some of them were apparent from the beginning, others became apparent only after. Many aspects of the SP8DE platform original design (as well as later improvements) have been inspired by people from one of the (if not the) smartest and united communities in the world: the Silicon Valley, the place where the engine that drives human progress forward is currently cherished, maintained and improved.

So, what is SP8DE? In its core, SP8DE is a platform based on the blockchain technology that serves as a massive random number generator. As always, only the details reveal the essence: these random numbers are cryptographically secure: they can be manipulated by no one unless the adversary takes control over the majority of the network.

What is the underlying blockchain? It is Cardano, a new generation platform that is outstanding in terms of its technical characteristics and elegance of the design.

Is Cardano ready to provide SP8DE with all the required functionality? Unfortunately, not at all. A conservative estimate is that there is almost a 9 month gap between the end of SP8DE ICO and the moment that marks Cardano being ready to accommodate the SP8DE protocol.

But wait.. What will be going on in the meanwhile? Luckily, Cardano and Ethereum (especially Classic) have much in common. This allows us to begin the development efforts as soon as possible simply keeping in mind the eventual necessity to recompile the protocol on Cardano.

This seamless transfer feature that has helped the project staying afloat: the roadmap is dense, its structure and timeline are at least to the closest approximation justified. Furthermore, the development efforts can be focused on the core product.

In the meanwhile, another major impediment had stricken the small boat of a young start-up: the accusations of scam that, traditionally, no project in the crypto space can evade, started to intensify when the results of the first jackpot round were announced. There have been many who questioned the economic model of the SP8DE ICO: ‘giving away sizeable jackpots (nearly 50% of the entire crowdsale) in the native currency, in other words, using the ICO token itself is likely to result in a massive dump on the day of listing’ many have said. The SP8DE team has not remained silent and went on Reddit AMA to protect the dignity of their project. The two major points that serve as the foundation for defending the design of the protocol are that:

  1. The design of the ICO was meant to be like this straight from the beginning. All the details (apart from the tech used for the actual implementation of the jackpot procedure) have been made public on day one of the pre-sale. Anyone who invests funds in a project is imperatively recommended to take the Due Diligence process as serious as possible and surely not to abstain from it. SP8DE’s philosophy is that their platform is here to change the game of chance forever. Turning even the ICO procedure itself into one is an honorable tribute to the gaming world that is now only a memorable relic of the past.
  2. But what are the reasons for making it so extreme? Is there any other rationale behind such strange design choice but some weird phrases and pretentious philosophy? Answering these questions, the SP8DE team stood firm behind their claim that the game theoretical aspects of the ‘dumping game’ on the day of SPX listing imply that the monetary mass of the SPX tokens will simply migrate from short-term speculators and selfish profiteers to the long-term believers in the project, the actual heart of project’s dedicated community. Wait, how does this make any sense at all?According to SP8DE, anyone dumping their jackpot holdings on the day of listing will necessarily get executed at an extremely unfavorable price: basically, the majority of these tokens will be sold virtually for free. But who will be on the other side of the trade? Those who have mental freedom not to follow the crowd, but rather the ones who chose to lead it instead.

When the major storm of bitter critique spread by those who haven’t won the jackpot was over, the battlefield was brutal and entrancing at the same time: AMA subreddit looks like an unfolded script of “War and Peace”, the dynamics in the Telegram group has driven one of SP8DE’s support managers hysterical: she is currently getting medical assistance.

So, can we claim SP8DE is a scam? Is the jackpot procedure outright flawed on the idea level? Are economic incentives misaligned and ill-designed? Or, on the other hand, are those spreading FUD around SP8DE’s social media channels simply seeking revenge for not winning the jackpot, thus becoming rich at the expense of others? Is it a simple lack of Due Diligence or are we witnessing the afterglow of the terminal moments of the ICO market where people stopped caring what to buy and are too lazy to make their homework?

No one can answer these questions right now: there is no clarity. The good news is that we will get to know these answers soon: the life is thrilling on.

Chapter 3

“We will do what no one has done before. Spade is a blockchain-based platform for developing distributed e-gamingapplications. As a team with self-respect, we build a protocol capable of generating fresh unbiased public randomness. As a team with aspirations we have it provably fair and completely decentralized. We think that single points of failure should be perceived as just a relic of the past in any industry, especially in e-gaming.”

This is an extract from SP8DE’s White Paper. Few would argue that this sounds aspiring and igniting some rebellion spirit. While we will certainly only rely on Time to make definitive conclusions about the integrity, fairness and dedication of the SP8DE project, we also cannot deny that it’s truly hard to place statements, such as the one above, without the faith in every word you say.

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Telegram to Crush ICO Record in Second Round of Private Funding

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Telegram has informed investors of a second private pre-sale of its cryptocurrency ICO despite raising $850 million in round one just a month ago.

Telegram May Raise as Much as $1.6 Billion

This week investors received an email from telegram CEO Pavel Durov informing them of a second pre-sale to the much-anticipated TON ICO. Though no exact amount has been determined sources are speculating that it will be around the same as the first round.

If so that would make it a record-smashing $1.6 billion raised before the coin is even offered to public investors dwarfing the previous high water mark set by Tezos at $232 million.

Durov’s way of funding is a change from the normal concept of an ICO as only accredited investors who are invited may purchase the discounted coins. This more closely resembles the traditional venture capital form of fundraising where most (if not all) of the discounted tokens are sold off to private investors before the public round opens.

This second fundraising round comes as Telegram and its proposed TON network are being scrutinized as short on technical details. The Telegram Open Network is to be an Ethereum like eco-system that supports apps, services and a store for both physical and digital goods.

Will the TON be Worth the Cash?

Much of the criticism of the proposed network is based on the company’s own technical white paper. The document describes a suite of blockchain based services including file storage, DNS service, and an ad exchange network with the ability to process millions of transactions per second but with no explanation of how.

Matthew Green, cryptographer and professor at Johns Hopkins University is impressed by some parts of the blockchain projects but finds many of the claims in the white paper unrealistic;

“I’ll be honest, the white paper reads like someone went out on the internet and harvested the most ambitious ideas from a dozen projects and said ‘let’s do all of those but better!’ It feels unachievable, at least at the scale they’re aiming for now.”

For Durov it makes sense to open a second round of private sales since the first was rumored to be well over subscribed and early investors are already flipping their shares for double what they paid in the opening round. How this second round affects the public round that was to open in March, and whether there will be any coins left for the launch is yet to be seen.

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