5 Signs From CES 2019 That Crypto Is Ready For The Mainstream

The Consumer Technology Association’s CES is the biggest trade show in the world and the biggest event hosted in Las Vegas every year. Over 2.7 million net square feet of exhibit floor space is set aside for over 182,000 tech industry professionals to learn the latest trends in consumer technology.

I drove to Las Vegas with a small production team to catch up with the blockchain and cryptocurrency developments at CES 2019. As the winter rolled on (registration was last fall), it became clear through the programming and exhibitors that crypto is a force to be reckoned with this year.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the crypto and blockchain highlights from CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

1. Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets Are Legit Tech

Wallets and exchanges shined throughout CES, with Ledger and Trezor both showing off their offerings. Both are available at major retailers and could be expanding their presence in the market in 2019.

Ledger introduced the Nano X, which is a Bluetooth-enabled hardware wallet and a step up from its popular Nano S, which sold over 1.5 million units as of the end of 2018. The Nano X can hold up to 100 crypto assets, six times more than the previous version. Ledger is also launching the Ledger Live mobile app that supports Nano S and Nano X users.

Meanwhile, I got a hold of a Trezor Model T and bought some Bitcoin to get started in cryptocurrency investing myself. My 2019 resolution is to invest $100 in a new altcoin every month this year. I’ll work on comparing wallets more once I do.

Kevin Love from Bundil, the Shark Tank-funded crypto investment app, was also on hand discussing the benefits of crypto investing.

2. Retailers Are Crypto-Curious

Retail’s biggest pushback against accepting crypto as payment is volatile pricing, but they’re not necessarily against blockchain technology. CES 2019 had a range of informative sessions throughout the week to demystify crypto for merchants.

During “The Great Crypto Debate”, MakerDAO (MKR) President Steven Becker and Bitcoin Foundation’s Brock Pierce participated in a roundtable discussion about the viability of crypto as both currency and technology.

And Pundi X(NPXS) hit CES in a big way, showing off its new blockchain-based phone at CES Unveiled. Called “Function X, ” the phone runs on Android 7.0 and the company plans to released 5000 phones to proof the concept before licensing their tech to other manufacturers.

If you don’t already know Pundi X, it has point-of-sale devices and a crypto wallet, which, when combined with this phone, creates an end-to-end, blockchain-based connection between retailers and customers.

3. Esports, Media, and Marketing Are Decentralizing

Advertising, video games, and media in general are among the leading use-cases of blockchain technology. Tracking creative materials from sounds and images to more complicated work can be frustrating, and it’s hard to know what’s effectively reaching who at the right times.

“Blockchain and Advertising: The Possibilities and Realities” paired CTA’s Jack Cutts with Sara Bruno at Arent Fox, MIT Media Lab’s Michael Casey, and Brian Wong from Kiip to discuss how blockchain technology relieves the biggest pain points for ad agencies, including nearly $20 million lost to ad fraud.

Casey joined more speakers from Nexus, BTC Inc, and Entertainment AI in another talk on how blockchain is remaking the media and entertainment business.

And gaming (especially esports) could be found all over the CES floor, from conferences detailing how developers like Blizzard are adapting to modern digital economies to hardware companies like Nvidia, Razer, and Intel featuring pro gamers at their booths.

4. The Future Is Mobile-First

Blockchain is a fundamental technology in the future IoT environment, and CES 2019 made this very clear. IBM’s Jason Kelley and EY’s Louise Keely were among the participants CBS’s Teena Maddox spoke with about cities around the world dipping their toes in blockchain technology.

From smart cities to supply chain and operations, blockchain technology is working with IoT to create a mobile-first world.

Autonomous cars, flying drones, home entertainment, robot and voice-activated assistants, smart homes, and so much more technology was on display. It’s more clear than ever that we’ll be connected to technology wherever we go.

5. ICOs Are Complicated

We cannot possibly say enough about the shift from ICOs to STOs in 2018 and beyond. If you don’t know why, CES 2019 had a surprisingly poignant 90-minute session called “True Confessions: ICOs, Crypto, Tokens and VCs” with Yahoo Finance/USA Today’s Rob Pegoraro discussing the pitfalls of ICOs with people who lived through them.

Tim Draper (Tezos), Matthew Roszak (Bloq), and Sam Trautwin (Carbon) were among the people discussing their experiences. Draper has by far the most interesting story, and if you’re not familiar with the Tezos soap opera already, click the link above. What’s even more interesting is the lessons learned. None of the speakers are pulling back from crypto – they’re just applying the lessons learned and moving forward.

And that’s what gives me hope for blockchain and cryptocurrency moving toward 2020. Everyone has their hand in it, and the projects have gotten as sophisticated as any other technology at CES this year.

Author: Brian Penny
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Top Airdrops You Should Look Out for in December

Airdropping might conjure up images of huge planes parachuting supplies. However, in the crypto field, this term is the 21st-century equivalent as it involves gifting token holders free additional coins.

It’s no wonder that some think of crypto airdrops as money falling from the sky. Holders of a token (stored in a wallet) are usually eligible for airdrops and receive additional tokens, without any associated fees or costs.

With December just around the corner, here are some of the best airdrops you should check out in the last month of the year:

Storm (STORM) – 07 December 2018

Storm is a very exciting blockchain project that aims to create opportunities for people around the world to earn cryptocurrency rewards by performing gamified micro-tasks. In short, Storm aims to become one of the most important global markets of gamified micro-tasks. The more tasks one completes, the more money he or she can make.

The platform provides a smart contract-powered and protected link between Storm Markers and Storm Players. The Storm Markers offer micro-tasks, and the Storm Players have to execute them. The platform’s token is an ERC-20 crypto token on the Ethereum blockchain and is specifically designed for gamers, game platforms, advertisers, and machine learning companies.

For 2018, the crypto company scheduled four airdrops, or Storm Drops, the last of which takes place on December 7th. The airdrop is for unsold tokens, and it’s meant to encourage wider mass adoption. For more details, make sure to keep an eye on the project’s Blog.

Crypto.com (MCO) – 07 December 2018

Crypto.com Chain is a very interesting native blockchain project that aims to increase the power of cryptocurrencies by helping boost adoption on a global scale. This will enable instant crypto transactions and will allow anyone to pay and be paid in crypto, anywhere in the world.

The Crypto.com Chain has announced on November 20th that for every 1000 MCO held at December 7th. The CRO tokens airdrop targets all MCO holders who have tokens in the Crypto.com app wallet. CRO tokens airdrop for MCO’s holders in Crypto.com Wallet &  Card App.

More information about the Crypto.com Chain CRO token airdrop can be found on the website.

Substratum (SUB), Amplify Airdrop – 15 December 2018

Substratum is an open-source, blockchain-powered network that aims to make the Internet a “free and fair place” by allowing users from all over the world to allocate spare computing resources. Everyone running a Substratum Node gets paid via cryptocurrency each time a specific type of content is served.

All SUB token holders can earn Amplify tokens. Amplify relies on the Substratum product. Substratum token holders will be airdropped almost 60 million AMPX tokens (20 M AMPX tokens per phase). Users have the option to qualify for three airdrops, the first of which will take place on January 15th, 2019.

To be eligible for the airdrop, users must have placed SUB tokens into a non-exchange wallet and held there until the date of the first airdrop on January 15th. The amount of tokens received is based on the amount of SUB you own against the calculated Public Total Supply. For more information, users can check out the following YouTube video.

Darico Ecosystem Coin (DEC), DAREX Snapshot + Airdrop – 27 December

Darico has just launched its third product, DAREX, a hybrid-community-owned digital asset exchange, designed to simplify digital asset trading and investment. According to a recent blog post, the launch will be accompanied by an airdrop which provides all DEC token holders the possibility to receive DECS on a 1:1 ration.

To be eligible, users have to hold their DEC tokens in any Ethereum compatible wallet (not an exchange wallet). On December 27th, DAREX will make a snapshot to determine how much DEC each user owns. On January 10th, 2019, users will receive DECS tokens, which are ERC-20 tokens, as a proof of ownership of your DECS. When the exchange launches, users have to deposit their DECS. The final step involves users getting verified in order to swap their DECS (ERC-20) with the new DECS (ST-20 tokens).

Pundi X (NPXS), Monthly Airdrop – 31 December

Pundi X is a new-age blockchain project that aims to transform the retail business through the implementation of blockchain-based PoS solutions. Pundi X aims to make spending crypto as easy.

Pundi X has a monthly giveaway mechanism whereby tokens are freely “dropped” to a user’s wallet. All the Pundi X token holders are eligible for this monthly giveaway till January 2021. In order to be eligible for the airdrop, users have to hold PXS tokens in a wallet for which they own the private keys.

For more details, users are advised to check out the official blog post from February 15.

WePower (WPR) – 31 December (or earlier)

WePower is a blockchain project with a strong focus on disrupting the renewable energy industry. It aims to developers to raise capital by selling their energy production in the form of tradeable Smart Energy Contracts.

According to the WePower’s roadmap, there will be a December distribution of donated energy to all token holders.

WAX (WAX) – 31 December (or earlier)

WAX, short for Worldwide Asset eXchange, markets itself as being the safest and most convenient way to create, buy, sell, and trade virtual items. This free peer-to-peer trading service is designed to help anyone to trade a wide range of items, from game codes and video game skins to physical items like electronics.

Holders of the original token will receive the new token and keep their existing ERC-20 token.

All token holders should be excited as the company just announced that it would be issuing new custom blockchain tokens in 2018. The end of 2018 will also mark the final version of the token. Hence, holders of the original token will receive the new token, while also having the possibility to keep their existing ERC-20 ones. For more information, users can read the official blog post.

Author: Vladimir Ciobica 
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