Welcome to the third version of Crypto Roundup, brought to you by HEAT. HEAT ICO is ongoing, with some very unique features. Keep it a secret, so your friends don't bid up the price ;)
We've been critical of Ethereum's hard fork idea since the beginning (don't believe us? Check out the First and Second Crypto Roundups) but even we didn't anticipate the drama that we're seeing unfold with two parallel chains. There is no longer an Ethereum but Ethereums, plural.
And no, the ETC (pre-hard fork chain) isn't some fringe cryptocurrency - it is a multi-million dollar blockchain all by itself. Here's the latest comparison of the price and hashrate of ETC/ETH to give you an idea.
At its peak, the price of ETC was almost 25% of ETH. Poloniex became one of the first major exchanges to list ETC. It got a huge trading volume (the top traded crypto on Poloniex, which is saying a lot), and Poloniex by extension made a lot of money. Good times!
It's a gigantic mess, with issues from relay attacks to Coinbase and other exchanges refusing to accept the non-forked version, ETC, while industry leaders like Barry Silbert pitching strongly for it.
Communication is (Lis)Key
Many a crypto project has been derailed by lack of good communication. The community doesn't feel valued and abandons the project. Lisk has been recently criticized of this, but thankfully, the founders are on it. After a conference-heavy session, seems like Lisk is back on track, talking to the people who most matter - the Lisk community. They answered quite a few questions, from testnet to reward structure of DPoS, and everyone invested in Lisk should read those.
MaidSafe Made Progress
Maidsafe's SAFE network is one of the most ambitious projects in this space, started even before Bitcoin was released. It was launched in 2007 and will soon be a decade old. Some might criticize the project due to a lack of production-ready product. However, 'decentralizing the internet' is hard! There are many challenges, but ultimately it is possible that the SAFE network will be used by developers all over the world to build censorship-resistant applications accessible by everyone on the internet. Like I mentioned, it is very ambitious.
However, they always seem to eek out some progress. This week, they launched their Test 7 network. The client and launcher look more polished, and of course, lots of under-the-hood work as well.
The Ethereum hard-fork has reignited debates on Bitcoin vs. altcoins. We like to think that altcoins have a place, and they help with innovation in different areas. They can exist in parallel with Bitcoin, and provide features that certain users value.
At the same time, we do recognize that lots of cryptocurrencies are not well handled. It would, of course, be unfair to criticize a project's mistakes on 'Bitcoin maximalists'.
The digital assets trend will keep accelerating in the future. Bitcoin is just the first one of these. I would not be surprised if we see an ETF or ETF-like security that is a mix of various digital assets within the next half a decade. There is always a dark-horse of a financial crisis accelerating the trend.
But for ordinary people, why be behind the trend? You can invest in cryptos yourself. Invest in promising projects and ICOs. Invest in companies and teams that share your values. Invest in the future. Invest in HEAT.