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Blockchain News

Audius: The Blockchain-Based Music Startup That Just Got Funded ($5.5 Million)



Meet Audius – a community-owned music sharing platform that is planning to change the world, one blockchain at a time.

After announcing its platform which is now described as ‘the blockchain’s answer to Soundcloud’, Audius got funded in its Series A – with $5.5 million as it launches the first ever blockchain-based music sharing protocol.

The announcement revealed that the funding round was led by General Catalyst and Lightspeed, with Pantera Capital, 122West, Ascolta Ventures and Kleiner Perkins all being part of the funding.

The best way to understand Audius is through their own description, in which they state that the platform is ” blockchain-based alternative to SoundCloud to help artists connect directly with fans and monetize their work.”

The developers said that its protocol exists in perpetuity and is owned and controlled by a decentralized community of artists, music lovers as well as developers. As such, the platform is planning to disrupt the traditional music-sharing service model which many criticize for its lack of artist control and transparency.

The founder of Audius, Ranidu Lankage, is a Sri Lankan pop artist known for going platinum at 19 with the hit ‘Oba Magemai’ that brought a new age of Sinhalese pop music. There are many other artists which praise Audius’ new platform. One of them is 3LAU, an artist who is famous for his cryptocurrency knowledge and music.

3LAU shared his thoughts on Audius, stating:

“Artists need decentralized models for music sharing, and a stake in the platforms they contribute content to. Blockchain allows Audius to do this with tokens and decentralized voting-based governance so artists have a say in how the platform evolves. It’s a very elegant model and one which, as an artist, I find immensely attractive.”

This makes Audius the perfect solution for every artist who wants to connect directly with fans and distribute content to them without the involvement of a middleman. Just like SoundCloud, Audius has all the features of the building, nurturing and engaging with fans – only with the blockchain added – which preserves the artist’s account with no risk of a third party shutdown.

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The Market Is Still Dominated By Centralized Exchanges Despite The Increase In DEX

Despite the decentralized crypto exchanges gaining popularity in 2018, their centralized opponents still seem to be controlling the majority of the market and the majority of the global industry trade volumes. In today’s crypto news we are looking into a Cryptocurrency Exchange Annual Report from the research organization TokenInsight to find out more. According to the report, more than 400 global crypto exchanges were compared and it shows that DEX is only a 19 percent piece of the global exchange ecosystem. The trading volume on decentralized crypto exchanges is less than 1 percent of those on centralized ones. Though DEX platforms gained a lot in 2018, the growth was mainly because of the developments in the trading protocols and improved infrastructure but centralized ones are still the favorite among customers. Also, the report notes that centralized platforms have challenges such as opaque trading rules and the problems that come up with it but also the fund storage is not as transparent as the DEX offer. Despite the low adoption DEX rates, most of the exchanges that are based on Ethereum and Eos show significant spikes in transaction volumes especially in Q1 in 2018. During that time, the volumes increased by almost 200 percent where a single day volume exceeded $400 million. After the third quarter of 2018, DEX trading volumes decreased mainly because of the bear market. Even the bear market trend heavily impacted the entire crypto ecosystem, decentralized exchanges seem to be more sensitive than centralized ones.
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Blockchain News

Saudi Arabia And UAE Officially Launched A Pilot Cryptocurrency

Two of the countries in the world with the largest sovereign wealth funds combined joined forces and officially launched their first pilot cryptocurrency and we are reading more about it in our latest blockchain news today. According to the Emirates News Agency, the Saudi-Emirati cryptocurrency is only a part of the initiatives that will be implemented in the near future in both countries. The Executive Committee of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council was founded back in 2016 and announced that the new cryptocurrency will be used only for cross border payments between local banks and central banks. This new cryptocurrency is considered an experiment in order to better understand the blockchain technology and to see how the cross border transactions will work across the two countries. The pilot will show the payment flows between the countries. A short excerpt from the announcements notes:
‘’The virtual currency relies on the use of a distributed database between the central banks and the participating banks from both sides. It seeks to safeguard customer interests, set technology standards and assess cybersecurity risks. The project will also determine the impact of a central currency on monetary policies.’’
The financial institutions in the countries have thoroughly studied the blockchain technology and are hoping to have great benefits. Back in December 2018, UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority recognized ICOs as securities and they also announced to be working on a regulatory framework for 2019. UAE’s Emirates Islamic Bank also tested the blockchain and even started submitting cheques on a blockchain named ‘’Cheque Chain’’ and since it has proven to be successful, the bank registered one million cheques in 2018 in only a month.
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Altcoin News

UN Thinks Bitcoin & Crypto Are “The New Frontiers” In Finance, Focusing On Ripple And IOTa

The year-end report on the global economy by the United Nations is in the cryptocurrency news, particularly because of its focus on crypto and Bitcoin as "the new frontiers" in digital finance. As the UN wrote, crypto and blockchain technology have a massive potential to create new and revolutionary business models that cut red tape as well as increase the efficiency. However, this is not the first time that UN has expressed its interest in digital assets. Before this, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) announced its collaboration with IOTA in order to "explore how the innovative technology behind IOTA which provides a distributed ledger for data management is going to increase the efficiency of UNOPS operations." On top of this, UNOPS is also exploring Ripple's cross-border payment solutions suite, as one report from the Association for Financial Professionals from late 2017 revealed. The new report, however, puts UN's interest for crypto in the focus. Titled “World Economic and Social Survey 2018” it dives in the many benefits of crypto, blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
“Cryptocurrencies represent a new frontier in digital finance and their popularity is growing. The decentralized networks for cryptocurrencies, bitcoin being a well-known example, can keep track of digital transactions. They enable value to be exchanged and can give rise to new business models which would otherwise require significant regulatory and institutional commitments." the report states.
According to the UN, blockchain and crypto have many use cases. As it is explained in the document:
"For example, a value token called ClimateCoin is being considered as a basis for creating a global market for carbon emissions, allowing peer-to-peer exchange of carbon credits and a direct connection with the Internet of Things. It would then be possible for devices to calculate their own carbon emissions and purchase carbon credits to offset those emissions."
The document also focuses on innovation and how it comes from inherent trust, citing that "the innovativeness of this system lies in the way in which the various parts combine to create the trust and guarantees that the traditional financial system derives from institutions and regulation."
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Bitcoin News

“Bitcoin Is The Only Blockchain That May Exist For The Next 100 Years” : Alistair Milne

The popular investor and entrepreneur Alistair Milne coming from the United Kingdom has recently predicted something that went viral in the crypto news today, mainly focusing on Bitcoin's blockchain and its future. According to Milne, the next cryptocurrency bull run will decide which public blockchains will become the leading names of the industry. As he predicted in a Twitter thread, any new price highs for the most dominant cryptocurrency should surpass the ones we saw in 2017.
“The probability that Bitcoin matches its ATH [all-time high] price again and doesn't then continue past it seems very low. Each wave of adoption is an order of magnitude bigger than the last,” Milne wrote in the Twitter thread that he started on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin suffered another drop which took it below $3,500, giving less optimism to traders hoping for a new bull run. The new downturn has led to many accusations from high-profile economics figures. However, Milne continued expressing his optimism and said:
“The next bull run will decide which public blockchains persist for the next 100 years. I believe Bitcoin is currently the *only* sure thing[.]”
Aside from this, Milne also highlighted the interest by institutional investors and labeled Bitcoin's profile as the "gold 2.0" in the next round of adoption.
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