NEO & BEE (The upcoming bitcoin 'bank' in Cyprus) just added Andreas Antonopoulos to their advisory board. This video of his Bitcoin Crash Course has been posted before, but it's worth watching again, especially of you're new to Bitcoin!
Sharering (SHR) I believe this one is going to surprise so many. Already generating revenue and doing buybacks every week. Already over 10 000 registered users. Mainnet + app + masternodes and staking before EOY.
I got this stuff from Steve Aitchison, he wrote this review and posted it on Uptrennd. Figured I should put it on here as well since I truly believe this is an incredible moonshot. I'm personally holding SHR myself and am very convinced it will do extremely well. Give a read through it and you will immediatly see why. Enjoy guys. Introduction Imagine for a second the following scenario. You are a 2 car family. One car is used every day going back and forth to work, for shopping, all the little jaunts you and your husband like to go on. Your grown children are at university and come home for the weekends so the other car sits in the driveway all week and doesn’t get used during the week. What a waste of a perfectly good car. You think to yourself we could put that car to good use and actually help to pay for university fees, by renting it out during the week. However, then you think “well it’s only a little Ford Fiesta who’s going to want to rent that.” Well, it turns out a lot of people want to rent it and for a good price: £34 ($40) per day, a possible $800 per month. Peer to peer car sharing has grown massively over the last few years and people are making serious money by letting our vehicles on a daily basis, emulating the Airbnb model. In fact companies like Turo, Getaround and Drivy, which has just been acquired by Getaround for $300 Million, are bringing in serious investors like Toyota, Softbank Vision Fund, Menlo Ventures, and IAC to the tune of over $800 Million. A key difference between rental companies and peer to peer is that they have vastly improved technology with app interfaces that make locating assets and resources, reserving and using them, and making payment convenient and seamless. This, combined with location-specific analytics, allows by-the-minute access to assets and resources (e.g. cars or bicycles) and enables customers to pick up and drop these assets where and when convenient. Car sharing is just one example of an industry that is being disrupted. We have seen, experienced and read about the amazing growth of Airbnb which is now estimated to be valued at $38 Billion. Airbnb has been so successful that companies like booking.com are trying to get in on the act by adopting a similar model when it comes to booking accommodation. There is also the phenomenal rise of bicycle rentals which we see in cities all over the world, not quite the same as peer to peer sharing, but it’s another rental model that is ripe for being disrupted by the new sharing model. With this business model in mind what other areas could it be used in: Transport: Used for the rental of cars, trucks, scooters, trailers, and even heavy vehicles. Delivery Drivers: Facilitate booking and payment for delivery drivers. Agriculture: Garden sharing, seed swap, bee-hive relocation, etc. Finance: Peer to peer lending Food bank, social dining Travel Tours, shared tour groups Real Estate Airbnb, co-housing, co-living, Couchsurfing, shared office space, house swapping. Time: Labour, co-working, freelancing Assets Book swapping, clothes swapping, fractional ownership, freecycling, toy libraries. Transportation Car sharing, ride-sharing, car-pooling, bicycle sharing, delivery company, couriers And so much more! This newly emerging, but highly fragmented sharing industry, is currently worth over $100 billion. It is predicted to grow to at least $335 billion by 2025. As you can see from a few examples above the sharing economy has a lot of room to grow but what it doesn’t have, yet, is a company who can facilitate ALL of the above use cases in one place. That is until now! ShareRing is disrupting the disruptors by bringing everything together in one place and making it easy for you and me to share anything and everything and making it as easy as opening an app on your phone. Business Case The sharing market has exploded over the last several years. This is due, in part, to the digital age we live in, as we now have over 2.82 Billion people with smart phones around the world. It also due to how easy the business model of sharing lends itself to the digital world, and how with the simple installation of an app we can access a plethora of markets to rent almost anything from. Due to this rise of digital platforms and the proliferation of smartphones, revenues coming from sharing economy platforms are only expected to increase. It is estimated to grow to a $335 billion industry in 2025, compared to its $14 billion value in 2014. (PwC UK). The beauty of the sharing economy is that it is a win/win/win situation for the person who wants to rent something for a few days or weeks, the person who is renting out, and the company who facilitates the ease of the transactions between the renter and the person renting out. Typically the renter will save a lot of money whilst renting out someone else’s apartment, car, bicycle, clothes, dog sitting services etc and they can almost be assured of quality due to the social side of the business model with reviews from real people. The person who is renting out can make additional income and will want good reviews and therefore keep the standard of service higher. The company that is facilitating all of this can make a lot of money on transaction fees, as well as from advertising, and partnership deals, and obviously have an exit strategy for possible buyouts. When it comes to looking at the business model, ShareRing fits in to the Commission Based Platform as described in Ritter and Schanz study where they looked at the core difference in difference business models of the sharing economy: Singular Transaction Models, Subscription-Based Models, Commission-Based Platforms and Unlimited Platforms.) Commission Based Platforms are dominated by (at least) triadic relationships amongst providers, intermediaries and consumers with a utility-bound revenue stream. These business models enable their customers to switch between provider and consumer roles by creating and delivering the value proposition. Only a few employees work for the intermediary and the value creation and delivery is externalized. From a consumer perspective, consumers are empowered to collaborate with each other and to design the collaboration terms by negotiating the terms and conditions of the content, creation, distribution and consumption of the value proposition. Depending on the orientation of the value proposition, consumers purchase commodities (Tauschticket, ebay), access commodities in a defined timespan (booking.com, Airbnb) or buy services (uber, turo) from occasional and professional providers found via an intermediary. The intermediary mainly focuses on nurturing a community feeling and reducing exchange insecurity by incorporating rating systems, micro-assurances and standardizations of payment and delivery into the platform. The platform mainly takes commissions for successful matching and executing trade. (Journal of Cleaner Production Volume 213, 10 March 2019, Pages 320-331) The USP of the ShareRing Business Model The USP that ShareRing has is that it brings all of the different forms of sharing together in one app through partnerships and onboarding of users. No other company, to date, is bringing everything together in such a way. However there are other factors that make ShareRing unique, which we will look at. Token Economics SHR is a utility token and will be used to pay for transactions on the network, such as 'new booking', 'add asset', etc. SHR is used by providers to pay for their access to the ShareLedger blockchain, including the addition of assets, renting out of assets, adding attributes, adding smart contracts, and other features. SharePay (SHRP) is used by customers to pay for the rental of assets. Masternodes will also be a main feature of the SHR token. When a transaction fee is incurred, it will be distributed in a way that allows for masternode holders who provide a service to the platform to receive a reward from each transaction. Transaction fees are charged to sharing providers in SHR. The distribution of transaction fees will be as follows: 50% - will be distributed amongst the active masternode holders who host an active node on the blockchain at that point in time (these holders provide a service to the platform). The distribution will be based on a calculation of the Total Amount Staked and the total continuous uptime of the node. 50% - will be provided to ShareRing Ltd (view ShareRing owned masternodes) for various purposes that contribute to working capital and platform growth. Leased Proof of Stake Consensus ShareRing have chosen the Leased Proof-of-Stake protocol as the consensus algorithm for ShareLedger. This choice is based on the practicality and security benefits evident in the Waves platform. It is also much more cost effective than Proof-of-Work (POW), and will not suffer from the current issues Bitcoin and other POW cryptocurrencies are facing such as scalability and electricity consumption. As explained above master nodes will be a main feature but there is the other feature of lightweight nodes. A user with a lightweight node will be able to stake their tokens to a full node of their choosing and participate in reaching consensus. They will also be free to cancel their leasing at any time as there are no contracts or freezing periods. The more tokens that have been staked in a full node, the higher the probability the node will have in producing the next block. Since the reward is given based on the total number of tokens staked in the full node, there will always be a trade-off between the size of the full node and the percentage of the reward. As an average user of the platform, you will not need to have technical knowledge on how to set up a node nor will you have to download the entire blockchain in order to stake your tokens. Only a user who sets up a full node will be required to do this, making it simpler than ever for users to earn a reward for supporting the platform. The return expected for staking is expected to be around 6 - 8% although this has yet to be confirmed. Buybacks ShareRing are currently implementing a series of buybacks which started in the beginning of November: The buyback operation is done at a random time during the week. If there is enough liquidity, SHR tokens will be bought through a single market order at the time of buyback. In case there is not enough liquidity, a limit buy order at last sell order price will be placed on the market, and will remain open until it gets filled. The buyback program was implemented to test the API purchase process for when live transactions occur on ShareLedger The Buyback Program is expected to:
Reduce the supply of ShareTokens available in both public and private markets
Bring New capital and fund inflows into the Shareledger
Substantially magnify value creation for the ShareToken holders
The Token Flow ShareRing will bring in hundreds of merchants to list their rental products, either exclusively or as part of an aggregator system e.g. When you look at the likes of trivago.com they will list the best hotel prices from multiple merchants who are listed on their website. Essentially ShareRing will become part of the aggregator ecosystem and be listed on sites like trivago.com as well as have exclusive agreements with merchants who are listed directly on their app. ShareRing’s USP is that they have everything on one place as well as their OneID module with means buyers can get a hotel, rent a car, rent their ski equipment, book events all through the one app and using the OneID. With that in mind they are going to attract a lot of merchants. This is where it gets exciting so pay attention to this part. When a merchant is part of the ShareRing ecosystem and a buyer rents something from that merchant ShareRing will take a small % commission from that transaction. So say someone books a hotel for $100 for the night, ShareRing might take $0.50 as a commission. What ShareRing will then do is go to one of the exchanges that ShareRing (SHR) is listed on and buy SHR tokens directly using an API system using USDT. Now, the actual commission has not been disclosed yet however if we assume even a 0.25% commission that means for every $100 Million worth of bookings made through the app will net ShareRing $250,000 which means buy backs of $250,000 for the SHR token, which increases the liquidity of SHR on the exchanges. If you think $100 Million of bookings is a lot, booking.com customers book around 1.5 Million rooms per day, if we estimate an average of $50 per room that is $75 million of bookings PER DAY or $2 Billion worth of bookings per month. This revenue coupled with revenue from OneID and eVOA makes ShareRing profitable almost from day one of the app going live. OneID And eVOA Another exciting development from the ShareRing team is the collaboration between ShareRings Self Sovereign Identity protocol and third party providers to bring OneID and eVOA which will utilise OneID With the huge rise in E-commerce and with over 2.82 billion people who now own a smartphone we are entrusting our personal information to more and more centralised entities. These entities are frequently hacked and our information is leaked to outside parties. ShareRing aims to tackle this with their service OneID module. ShareRing’s OneID solution protects users' data by handling Know Your Customer (KYC) information through third parties and ShareRing’s Self Sovereign Identity Protocol. ShareRing does not hold any identifying information anywhere on its servers. It provides the ultimate security for the renter and also the provider, as the Protocol encrypts and stores your data in a secure manner within your device. Essentially, this means that it is near impossible for a hack or data leak to happen, simply because there is no centralized server of data for hackers to exploit. The OneID module is very easy to use. The end-user needs to complete their ID submission only once, with the entire submission process requiring less than two minutes to complete. Once this step has been completed, the customers KYC is destroyed by the 3rd party document verification system and the OneID module allows merchants to verify a customer’s identity via a hashed verification packet, stored on the users device and ShareLedger. This removes the need for merchants to store or see personal information; safeguarding both merchants and users from fraud. To create your ShareRing OneID, simply:
Take a picture of your government ID document
Take a selfie
Confirm and submit your details
This is something I am really excited about for ShareRing and they already have made partnerships for other companies to use this feature which is another income stream for ShareRing. eVOA E-Visa On Arrival allows applicants to apply online and receive a travel authorisation before departure – this eVOA can be shown at dedicated Thailand immigration counters on arrival at major Thailand airports, allowing travellers to pass through in minutes. OneID system is scheduled to become the lynchpin technology in Thailand’s electronic Visa On Arrival (eVOA) system; one of only two companies to partner with Thai authorities to provide this service. The new Visa system eliminates much of the hassle involved in entering the country: This is a strong validation of the OneID system - immigration controls are some of the most scrutinized processes in any branch of government, and if the OneID solution can operate to their standards then it is truly business-ready. As explained by our COO, Rohan Le Page: “We are providing our OneID product for Thailand e-VOA (Visa On Arrival) that allows 5 Million travellers from 20 countries including China and India to complete the visa process on their mobile through our app. This provides a streamlined immigration process that negates the need for an expensive and time-consuming process when you get off the plane. Additionally, fraud is mitigated with several extra layers of security in the back end including our blockchain (ShareLedger) consensus model that makes all data immutable and all but impossible to hack.” Profit Margins on OneID So how does ShareRing make money from OneID and eVOA? With each application for an eVOA using the OneID module ShareRing will make an undisclosed commission. The e-VOA is available to citizens of 21 different countries and is intended for those who will be holidaying in Thailand and not working in the country. This means that each eVOA will last for a period of around 15 days which effectively means that ShareRing will get commission multiple times from each person travelling to one of the 21 countries listed below: Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Cyprus Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan The profits on this alone, according to projections, are worth millions of dollars per year to ShareRing, with a healthy growth of about 35% in raw profit over the next 5 years, ultimately netting the company about $1.5 million profit per quarter. The ShareLedger Blockchain Platform ShareRing will utilize the registered intellectual property from the existing KeazACCESS framework (KEAZ: A car sharing company founded by Tim Bos) as well as improving it the blockchain experience in their team. It will consist of fo the primary elements: SharePay (SHRP) – SharePay is the base currency that will allow users of the ShareRing platform to pay for the use of third party assets. ShareToken (SHR) ShareToken (SHR) is the digital utility token that drives sharing transactions to be written to the ShareRing ledger that is managed by the ShareRing platform. Account – This will be a standard account, which such an account being represented by a 24-byte address. The account will contain 4 general fields: SHRP – SharePay token balance SHR – ShareToken balance ASSETS – linked/owned by the account (see below for definition of an Asset) ATTRIBUTES – Any additional attributes that are associated with this account. These attributes may be updated or added by Sharing Economy providers that utilise the ledger such as ID checks by rental companies. These attributes may be ‘global’ (i.e. used by any sharing providers) or ‘local’ (i.e. used by a specific sharing provider). Assets – An asset represents a tangible real-world or digital asset that is being shared, such as a car, a house, industrial machinery, an e-book, and so on. Smart Contracts – Similar to a number of other blockchain platforms, such as Ethereum and NEO, the ShareLedger blockchain will feature highly customisable smart contracts. These Smart Contracts will allow for decentralised autonomous applications that can be attached to an asset and/or account. Every smart contract will be Turing complete, meaning it will have the ability to implement sophisticated logic to manage the sharing of the assets. The smart contracts will be tested and reviewed by ShareRing in a sandbox as well as audited by reputable third-party code auditors prior to implementation. Proof of Stake Consensus ShareRing have chosen the Leased Proof-of-Stake protocol as the consensus algorithm for ShareLedger. This choice is based on the practicality and security benefits evident in the Waves platform. It is also much more cost effective than Proof-of-Work (POW), and will not suffer from the current issues Bitcoin and other POW cryptocurrencies are facing such as scalability and electricity consumption. The ShareRing App At the heart of the ShareRing project lies the ShareRing app: A universal ‘ShareRing’ app is being developed that will allow anyone to easily see and use any sharing services around them. Each partner will have the option of developing a ‘mini’ app within the ShareRing app that will have functionalities specific to that partner. The app will use geolocation-based services to display the ShareRing services that are nearby Social Media Presence Coming from a social media background I feel this is an extremely important area to look into, especially in the crypto world. ShareRing has done an okay job in growing their social media presence however I feel it could be much better. Here is a look at some of the key stats for their online social media presence: Youtube: 191 Subscribers Instagram: 238 Followers Linkedin: 376 Followers Telegram: 6,525 members (very active) Twitter: 2,216 Followers (Fairly regular updates) Facebook: 1,965 Followers Whilst social media may not be a priority just now I feel there has to be a big presence with image-based platforms and video-based platforms. Youtube and Instagram should be made a priority here as it spans all generations: Other News on ShareRing There is a lot of stuff going on at the moment with ShareRing which is what makes it an exciting prospect. Rather than give information on each of them here are some highlights provided by the ShareRing team.: - ShareRing's revolutionary ID management based module OneID. - Worlds first Blockchain based eVOA in place with major Thai company targeting 5 to 10 million travellers from 20 countries. - 2.6 million International Hotels/ Accommodation coming on to the Platform. Lots more to come! - Partnership with HomeAway - 200,000 Activites, Tours and Events added to the ShareRing App - Multi Global Car Sharing Partnerships - 1 Partner Directly Integrating SHR's OneID consisting of 1.2 million Vehicles across 150 Countries - Luxury Car Brand Sharing Platform purely based on SHR - SHR payment system SHRP available in 10% Taxi Terminals in Australia - SHRP available in 10,000 EFTPOS Terminals Australia wide - White Labelling Services incorporating ShareRings revolutionary OneID - 20 Significant Unannounced Partnerships, more to come! - Major Partners include - - BYD (Largest Electric Car Maker in the World) - DJI (Largest Drone Maker in the World) - Keaz (300 locations around the world) - Yogoo EV Car Sharing - MOBI Alliance Member Overview of Positives and Negatives Negatives Social Media and marketing possibly needs to be ramped up in order to bring more awareness to the project. The roadmap and white paper has not been updated recently for 2019/2020 but this I believe is coming soon. Positives With a low market cap project like ShareRing the risk to reward ratio is very good for retail and institutional investors. Technical analysis of current prices, currently at 31 Satoshi, is also very good with resistance levels at 50, 77 and 114 Satoshi which would be nearing its all time high. Referral program will increase the numbers of users that are currently using the site. If ShareRing can capture even a small % of the overall sharing market then success looks assured. There are 20 new announcements coming up and with Tim Bos looking for more partnerships it seems likely that ShareRing will break ATH prices soon. Great long term hold, in my opinion. Realistic Expectations of ROI Short term (4 weeks - 12 weeks) Short term looks great for ShareRing both from a TA point of view and a fundamental point of view. With lots of news still to come out about ShareRing there is not going to be a shortage of fundamentals to drive the price up. From a TA point of view the next line of resistance stands at around the 50 Satoshi level which would complete a massive cup and handle formation from August 24th of this year. After that we are looking at resistances of 77 and 114 to reach near the all time highs which i expect ShareRing to reach going into 2020. Long term (6 Months - 2 Years) If ShareRing can onboard users and keep on making partnerships at the same rate there will be no stopping it. It’s all about onboarding the users and utilising the most powerful marketing tool ever - word of mouth! When a great app is realised with great and useful functionality then it tends to go viral and I am hoping this happens for ShareRing. With a market cap at the moment of just under $6 Million then I don’t think it’s crazy to talk about 1000% increases in the next 2 years and I really believe that is being extremely conservative, given where we think crypto is heading as a whole.
A quick take on what's happening in Cyprus now (I'm here at the Neo opening event)
Today I attended a very exciting opening event here at Neo & Bee, the company who is making Bitcoin easily accessible and practically useful for the general public in Cyprus. Over the past few weeks, Neo ads have been displayed on many billboards around the country and in television teaser commercials, and the company has been prominently featured in all the major newspapers with front page wrappers yesterday. There were many people present here at the opening event, and the Neo website hit +10,000 unique visitors in a day. With 800k inhabitants, the large majority of the population now knows about this company Neo that can empower them to break away from the banking system that they feel so betrayed by. Many Cypriot journalists outside are writing stories about Bitcoin as we speak. (Interestingly enough, the largest Turkish Bitcoin exchange is also located on Cyprus, in the northern part of the Island.) Many local banks here are facing litigation soon, so they have their own things to worry about. Meanwhile initiatives like Neo are capturing the imagination of the public at large. The central bank here is obviously critical of Bitcoin and Neo, but the rest of the authorities are in contrast very opening and welcoming. The reason is that many officials lost money during the crisis, and have suffered damage from the lies coming from the banking system. Bitcoin is a positive story that people and the authorities can get behind, and in many ways is also an opportunity for the country to keep being relevant in the world of finance. To give an idea of the dire state of the economy here: It's estimated that in the past 12 months, between 5 and 6 billion euro's have been pulled out of the financial system and are now being held as cash-under-the-mattress on the island. So the need for a solution to liberate this (legal) money is huge. Also, I'm being told that in 2013, only 2 companies made notable investments in Cyprus - Neo is one of them. Is Cyprus on its way to become the Hong Kong of Bitcoin? --update-- The picture was taken after the opening event, that explains the lack of of people. I don't own any shares in Neo & Bee at the moment Follow me on twitter @tuurdemeester for more Bitcoin & economy related updates. The next few weeks I'll be in London (Keiser Report), Brussels, Austin TX, Guatemala, and San Francisco. --update 2-- Neo's Bitcoin conference today was attended by executives from Deloitte, FinMin, Pirraeus, C-Cola, B of Cyprus, FBME, MTM mobile, ISPs, ... Excitement was palpable, even from some bankers. Tomorrow to Limasol. --update 3-- The Limasol crowd was equal in quantity, quality, and excitement. Bitcoin has enormous appeal in distressed environments, that much is sure.
My take on what happened with Neo & Bee, after visiting the company in February
Things have taken a dramatic turn for investors and employees with Neo & Bee. The gist of it is that CEO Danny Brewster has disappeared, and with him apparently thousands of bitcoins from investors. If the company is not salvaged, the reputation of Bitcoin on the island of Cyprus will be tainted, and hundreds of bitcoiners will see their investment fail. This is ugly, there's no other way to put it. I hope that my perspective below can help putting some of the pieces together as to what exactly happened. Interactions with Danny and my trip to Cyprus for their branch opening My first contact with Danny Brewster was in june 2013. We had a brief skype call in which he asked me some feedback about his plans for starting a Bitcoin company in Cyprus. I was quite skeptical at the time, because his profile and background in security didn't seem to match with my notion of a tech entrepreneur. I did agree with him that Cyprus was a very interesting location for a Bitcoin venture, and I wished him well. Later last year, in early september, Danny informed me about the prospectus and public offering of Neo & Bee. I didn't pay much attention to this and didn't read the prospectus, as I was in Austin at the time helping out with Cointerra. In november, he contacted me again with the question whether I wanted to speak about Bitcoin at their conference in Cyprus. Originally it was planned for january, later it was pushed back to late february. I booked the flights, and they were reimbursed to me in BTC by Danny. The pieces of information Danny shared every now and then over skype were intriguing. He talked about his connections with the university, meetings with the minister of finance and other high brow people, how he had signed up a chain of 40 stores where Neo & Bee products could be offered, and more. When I arrived in Cyprus in late February, Danny picked me up at the airport. In the kiosk there he showed me how all major newspapers had a 2 page wrapper over the front cover, featuring "Neo" in big letters. On the way to his house (he had invited me to stay at his place) we saw at least four big Neo bilboards flash by. Danny drove a posh Bentley car that he'd imported from the UK. Once arriving at his luxurious but sparsely furnished rental home, I was greeted by his fiancé. At first I was surprised by the affluence he displayed that first day, but that faded when Danny told me he was an early Bitcoin and Litecoin adopter who'd invested thousands of his own coins into the company (since his disappearance, his personal btc wealth became very contested). When Danny and I discussed the MtGox failure the day it made the news, I asked him how many worthless bitcoins he personally had left sitting in the exchange. He answered "365". At another point during my stay, the Bitcoin price fell briefly to below $500, and when I told him about this, he set up a trade to allegedly buy over €80,000 in bitcoins while sitting in his office, taking profit a few hours later when the price had recovered. (I was at the other side of his desk, so I didn't see the actual trade happen.) The evening of the first day, Danny drove me to Neo's headquarters, an impressive four story building in downtown Nicosia. The building was owned by Christos Vlachos, CFO of the University of Nicosia, who I met several times during my stay and who'd made headlines last year by being the first to launch an Masters' degree in Digital Currencies. The bottom floor of the building featured the Neo store, with furnished rooms in the back for staff meetings and sanitation. Next to the store there was a large floor where I saw at least 12 programmers at work, one of whom demonstrated to me a functioning beta version of Neo's teller backend software as well as the e-banking interface. Upstairs on the second floor I found Neo's headquarters, and on two floors above that there were a number of ad agencies, the largest of which had created the ad campaign for Neo. Over the course of the three days I got to talk to about ten of the Neo employees. They struck me as quite professional, and they were obviously passionate about the company and about the prospects for Bitcoin in Cyprus. The impression that I got of the corporate culture was relaxed and open. Danny didn't seem to mind showing me emails or allowing me to be present in the office while he was discussing certain corporate decisions. In a skype message to a friend, I wrote on the 23rd: "I still need to find out whether these guys are casual geniuses, or clever cowboys". After the opening event the next morning—about 120 people attended, and it was widely reported—, we traveled to a hotel/conference centre nearby for the Bitcoin conference. The turnout was impressive: about 200 professionals, many working for multinational corporations, banks, and even government agencies. The next day in Limasol, the same scenario repeated itself. I left for London the following day. How I found out about the problems at Neo & Bee I was not aware of anything amiss with Neo until late last month when one of their investors asked me about the rumors that were circulating. That day I contacted Neo's management, and on sunday march 30th I got to talk to its COO and Compliance Officer (George Papageorgiou and Øystein Aaby). They told me the story as it was published today on reddit. I also emailed CEO Danny later that day, asking him about his version of the facts. Surprisingly, I did get a short response (he also seems to have given Coindesk a short response), though he didn't answer my request for more details and contact info of the lawyers he mentioned. Earlier this month I helped the former management with reaching out to various Bitcoin angels and funds, to see whether Neo & Bee can still be salvaged. The outcome of that process is uncertain. Why I didn't investigate Neo & Bee's financial situation more thoroughly — though I should have On February 23rd I asked Danny for clarification about the company's valuation. He said that Neo had +3,000BTC left from the IPO proceeds. Based on the numbers he told me, I calculated that the total valuation of the company was roughly 56,000 BTC, or $32.3M at the time, $2M of which were the publicly available shares. Despite the 3,000 bitcoins that were allegedly left, this valuation struck me as very high, and so from then on I didn't ask more because I had decided that this company not something I would be interested in as an investment. The next month, on march 17, my attention was caught by the newly published Neo & Bee prospectus and the fact that they had received several inquiries from international parties that wanted to start franchise Neo stores (as per Danny). I decided to buy 250 shares at 0.8 BTC as a first investment just in case the international leg of the company would take off quickly. I disclosed that purchase on twitter. Ironically I made that purchase exactly the day before Danny disappeared. In hindsight I definitely should have done due diligence before writing in such positive terms about Neo & Bee. That is a lesson I will certainly remember. Final thoughts Even though I never had any business relationships with Neo*, I do feel I have failed to take my responsibility as a public commentator seriously enough. To wit, over the past two months I have talked repeatedly and positively about Neo & Bee and the Bitcoin ecosystem in Cyprus. I also visited the company headquarters on February 24th and 25th, and spoke about the experience on various public fora. Though I never recommended anyone to invest in the company, and only did so myself for less than 1 BTC, I can imagine that my enthusiasm for the project, combined with my profile as an economist and investor helped convince a fair amount of people to make an investment or to maintain their trust in the company. I'm very sorry for any losses incurred because of that. The lesson for me going forward, which I already knew but that I have now laser engraved into my brain, is that it is critical doing proper due diligence when making investment decisions. Excitement is never an indicator of viability or proper management. Sure, we all occasionally make an investment decision based on nothing more than a trusted reference. That's fine, as long as we keep these investments very small to manage their inherently high risk. This episode has also reminded me, as I stated in my Buenos Aires talk last december, that investing in Bitcoin the currency is likely the most stable and maybe even the most profitable option going forward, because it avoids the bulk of the third party risks involved with Bitcoin ecosystem investments. Best wishes, Tuur Demeester *My financial interactions with the company were thus: I was reimbursed for my flight with 0.27 BTC, and the compensation for speaking at the two Neo conferences was a surprise gift containing promotional materials including an €80 tablet pc, a writing pad, and a Neo T-shirt. Here's the post I published on reddit during my visit late February: http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1ysbt6/a_quick_take_on_whats_happening_in_cyprus_now_im/
Want to help develop Bitcoin's infrastructure? Neo & Bee, the first Bitcoin Bank and payment processing network is kicking it into high gear
Disclaimer: I have shares in NEOBEE. The securities market was severely depressed recently with closures of the exchanges BTC-TC , BitFunder, and the floor dropping out on mining companies. There isn’t much volume out there, to tell you the truth, but I don’t blame investors, there is nothing out there to invest in, or is there? Besides RentalStarter(which exchange?), and a few financial investment securities, there is only 1 other non-mining related security of interest. NEOBEE - Neo, the first brick and mortar Bitcoin bank in the world, and Bee, the payment system(POS terminals, etc) to compliment it. Neo’s first branch is opening up in Cyprus (if bitcoin can’t take off in Cyrprus of all places, then we have other problems) on Jan 1st 2014. So for the initial investors who have been waiting since September, it’s starting to get really exciting. Timeline Pre-IPVO
1/11/2013 Registered a subsidiary in Kenya for the corporate account to be opened with MPesa. Have also established a direct link with the founder of MPesa that can be utilized should the need arise.
6/11/2013 BitFunder shuts down. Shares are transferred to Havelock and Direct shares.
23/11/2013 Neo takes delivery on the 23rd of this month at the first branch. Then the interior renovations start, on target to have that completed by 1st week of January ready for the soft opening.
31/11/2013 All remaining IPVO shares at .003 will be delisted from Havelock. If you want to directly invest after that point you may still do so through the shareholder's platform that is being developed.
1/12/2013 Websites that shall be online before this date are: The Shareholder's platform (lmb-holdings.com) , Neo's customer facing site (neo.com.cy), Bee's customer facing site (bee.com.cy).
4/12/2014 Neo & Bee are the main sponsors for the Cyprus Investor Show. The largest financial conference in Cyprus. They will speaking there to a lot of companies.
?/12/2013 A top global merchant that is teaming up with Neo is planning their own news release in advance of Neo doing so. They are pushing to get the announcement in the printed WSJ.
31/12/2013 Neo EasyCoin will be online and fully functional by December 31st (Full details will be released this coming week).
1/2/2014 Cover of In Business Magazine (February 2014). Neo has been approached to be on the cover of In Business magazine for their February issue , there is already a buzz around the business world here in Cyprus about the company that is bringing Bitcoin to Cyprus for everyone. The magazine is the largest business publication in Cyprus, the feature will include a multiple page spread on Neo & Bee.
?/2/2014 Hard opening of first Neo branch
Dividends are going to be payed quarterly. The dividends will only be paid on shares sold. Neo will not receive any dividends on their holdings until 0.0035 BTC/Share has been paid on all public shares. If you would like to learn more about NEOBEE, refer to the Bitcointalk thread If you're thinking about investing, Havelock Investments is the place at the moment. Don't invest more than you can afford to lose
'Joined' bitcoin back in Jan this year... visiting Cyprus right now... just discovered Neo & Bee story... quite the saga!
I've only been seriously into Bitcoin for about six months now, ever since my own 'down the rabbit hole' moment that many others have also experienced. I've been learning and reading about all aspects of the space that I could get my hands on and am familiar with most of the stories and key players throughout BTC's short history. Somehow though, I'd never come across this Neo & Bee story until now. I was introducing a Cypriot friend I'm visiting within the startup community to Bitcoin and he told me of this Bitcoin bank scandal that they had a little while back. I did some digging around here on reddit and was amazed at what I found. It really seems like this one could have been the company to tip things in the space if they had delivered on what they had promised. Here's a brief summary of links I found interesting, for anyone else who might be unfamiliar:
I've been looking for any signs of a local bitcoin community during my short stay here and could find none at all. I'll be doing a short intro session with my friend today, who's already pretty excited about the space since I properly explained what Bitcoin really is and how it works. Here's to hoping that the Cypriot bitcoin community can find its way again and get things going in Cyprus. Cheers, from Larnaca ;) p.s. did you find any interesting stories around this in your explorations nathanielpopper?
We are pleased to announce that Neo's flagship branch is scheduled to launch on February 24, 2014. As part of the launch, we will also release the following three products:
Instant-Access BTC Wallet
This wallet will function as a standard Bitcoin wallet which utilizes the multi-signature process. Neo will earn revenue from these accounts through the fees paid when exchanging Euros for Bitcoin. Account holders will receive a Bee card, allowing them to make purchases at retailers around the island of Cyprus, and through existing Bitcoin payment gateways.
This wallet will allow the customer to hold Bitcoins over a predetermined time period in their own wallet with multi-signature functionality. These wallets will enable the customer to execute an exchange back to Euros on the predetermined date for either the original Euro amount or for the value of the Bitcoin that is held in the wallet at the time of the exchange, however the maximum amount of gains the customer will receive will be limited to an agreed level. Neo will derive income from this type of wallet through gains made in the value of Bitcoin over an above the agreed percentage.
This wallet will enable merchants to accept Bitcoin payments from anyone. Merchants will have the ability to determine the exact percentage of revenue they wish to retain as Bitcoins and how much they wish to convert instantly to Euros as settlement. Merchants may accept payments into their bank account through electronic transfer, or collect as cash from one of the Neo branches. Should the merchant choose to access their money through one of our branches, they will have access to those funds within one minute of accepting the payment. We have decided to delay the second branch in Nicosia to ensure the flagship branch opening goes smoothly. The second branch will tentatively launch within the first quarter of 2014.
Bee Payment Network
We have taken delivery of the first batch of POS terminals. We are now finalizing the integration with Neo applications. Bee will not charge transaction fees to merchants. This ensures the lowest barrier to entry. Bee will instead derive income from the rental of POS terminals and monthly fees for online payment gateways. We have been working closely with a number of POS and Stock Management System developers to ensure compatibility and ease of integration with their systems and the Bee network. This will enable thousands of Cypriot and international merchants to easily integrate our terminals with existing infrastructure.
Neo EasyCoin is nearing the completion of beta testing. We are waiting for some locations to go online with different payment service providers. We are also working with other payment service providers in Europe to enable Neo EasyCoin to service additional European countries. Neo EasyCoin will provide service to the United States once we are in possession of a written clarification from FinCEN regarding our business model. Our lawyers are working on this daily. While we are confident in our plan, we also want to ensure long-term stability.
We have received consistent and positive attention from local news outlets, including newspapers, television, magazines and news websites. Here are some examples:
Neo's first advertising campaign is now underway. The first television advertisement will premiere on February 1st. Radio advertisements and a new Neo & Bee website will be launched in support of this campaign. The website will include detailed information about our personal and merchant wallet service offerings.
We continue to make progress in establishing clear regulations for the operation of Bitcoin-based businesses in Cyprus. We have taken the necessary steps to obtain a Cyprus investment firm license, which would enable us to offer time-locked wallets to customers. We will offer these wallets when we open the first branch.
Neo Xchange is a new venture in which Neo will act as a brokerage and trade on a new Bitcoin exchange under development. The Neo Xchange platform will offer trade derivatives and other financial instruments. This requires the platform to be regulated. We are working towards obtaining the required licenses from CySEC to operate this platform. More information will be provided as available. Once this platform has been launched, Neo will have greater ability to hedge the instant-access pegged wallets.
We are now developing our own ATM hardware that will enable customers to have access to all subsidiaries in many countries. This development will enable global expansion. By increasing our footprint in this manner, we can assess the data from these portals to determine optimal locations for expansion of the Neo network of branch locations. The Neo Portals project is being managed by Brad Vaivoda. Brad Vaivoda graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.Sc in mechanical engineering. After beginning his career performing brake rotor design and analysis in Formula 1, he accepted a position aiding orthopedic surgeons during operations whilst working for Zimmer Holdings Inc., a medical device manufacturer in the orthopedic industry. Most recently, Brad was employed by The Boeing Company as a Test & Evaluation Engineer working across Boeing's commercial aircraft product lines. Brad has since turned his focus to Bitcoin and Bitcoin-related ventures. He has considerable experience with bleeding-edge technology and is familiar with working in fast-paced environments.
4/15/14 Video News - China false alarm, Charlie Shrem indicted, Danny Brewster Responds & Gyft loses Walmart
Video: http://www.moneyandtech.com/apr15-news-update/ Here are today's top news stories in Money & Tech: Today's rumored deadline for a China crackdown has resulted in no official word from the People's Bank of China. As promised, BTC China continues to run business as usual, implementing a new deposit voucher system and software that turns any smartphone into a ‘walking bitcoin ATM’, which they are calling the ‘Picasso ATM‘. Picasso users will be able to trade bitcoins for any fiat currency, besides send and receive bitcoins like a normal wallet, meanwhile keeping them stored either on BTC China's exchange or in their secure Picasso wallet. Australia's first bitcoin ATM was unveiled Tuesday morning inside a Westfield mall in central Sydney. The launch comes a week after the National Australia Bank announced it would close vendor accounts involved in bitcoin trade. ATM company ABA Technologies CEO Chris Guzowski remains confident nonetheless, saying "We're very confident that they'll see the prospect of this technology, and we really want to work with them to grow." Following unsuccessful plea talks, prominent bitcoin entrepreneur and former Bitcoin Foundation vice chairman Charlie Shrem, has been formally indicted by a federal grand jury in New York. Shrem faces charges involving allegedly laundering money to users of anonymous online marketplace the Silk Road. His arraignment is expected to take place on April 29th. Neo & Bee CEO Danny Brewster broke his silence on Reddit to address rumors, saying the fraud charges are his greatest concern. Brewster went on to claim that the bitcoins he is holding on behalf of depositors are still safe, and that he has tried to contact the Cyprus Police Criminal Investigation Department for days with no answer, but would be happy to work with them to return those bitcoins to their rightful owners. Mobile gift card provider Gyft announced Monday that it is no longer able to offer customers gift cards for Walmart, and have had to remove them from their list of participating retailers due to circumstances beyond their control. CEO Vinny Lingham reassured that they are doing everything they can to bring Walmart back, encouraging disappointed users to email the US retail giant themselves and quote ”let them know how you feel about it.” Facebook is reportedly just weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to start a service that would let Facebook users store, exchange and pay money to others via the site. The social media company may also be in deal discussions with a few mobile and online international money transfer startups. As a Financial Times source reported, "Facebook wants to become a utility in the developing world, and remittances are a gateway drug to financial inclusion." Since today is also tax day for our US viewers, we will be sharing an interview with Jake Benson, CEO and co-founder of Libra Tax, to help answer your questions about how to file your bitcoin taxes. Find that video here shortly.
Police in Cyprus Reportedly Issue Arrest Warrant For Neo & Bee Chief Danny Brewster
新峰公司的老总最近被警察统计，据说他最近离开国家为他失败的生意寻找投资人，目前正被当局以诈骗罪通缉。 评论：骗子难当，结局大多是身败名裂，倾家荡产，锒铛入狱。 Police in Cyprus Reportedly Issue Arrest Warrant For Neo & Bee Chief Danny Brewster Eric Calouro | April 11, 2014 | 0 Comments Neo & Bee Chief Danny Brewster is apparently wanted by authorities, according to areport on Friday from the Cyprus Mail. Brewster, who recently left the country in search of investors for his failing business is wanted on suspicion of fraud. According to a Cyprus Mail source, Brewster is “a person of interest in an ongoing investigation”. Brewster was assumed to have fled the country and run off with customer money not terribly long ago, but spoke up and said he was actively looking for investors to save the business. Alleged threats against his daughter, he says, kept him out of Cyprus. Brewster’s whereabouts remain unknown. Neo & Bee was designed to be a bitcoin bank of sorts, allowing customers to have interactions with the digital currency at a physical location. With a swanky Nicosia branch and an advertising campaign unlike anything the bitcoinosphere has seen, it’s no surprise the company ran out of money. At this time, the Neo & Bee branch in Nicosia remains closed and employees say they haven’t been paid for the month of March. 本文固定链接: 三个硬币 | http://www.coins3.com/2014-04-12/888/
http://www.moneyandtech.com/apr14-news-update/ Start off your week with today's top news updates in Money & Tech: Chinese exchanges aren't letting the threat of bank closures slow them down. OKCoin and BTC China are both now planning to introduce bitcoin ATMs soon, as they and other exchanges in China adjust their business models and services to work around the central bank's restrictions. Huobi even went so far as to include a warning to the PBOC in its recent statement, saying “If online trading platforms that are following the rules have to stop services, bitcoin transactions will go offline where they will be unmonitored, and will result in even more difficulty regulating.” Digital currency exchange BTC-e was down briefly on Sunday, following a powerful DDoS (or distributed denial of service) attack against its servers. BTC-e was quick to confirm the attack and dispel fears, assuring users that it was just a minor problem, with no security breach, and would be fixed quickly. True to their word, the exchange now appears to be back up and running. Developer Adam Back and Canadian entrepreneur and investor Austin Hill have come up with a way to expand bitcoin’s functionality with "two-way pegging". With this concept, bitcoins could be moved back and forth between the bitcoin block chain and another block chain called a side chain. But they will need the support of the open source community to make changes to the Bitcoin protocol. Some developers are skeptical, but Back and Hill are confident they will have the support they need, and more official plans by mid-May. Blockchain.info has now surpassed the 1.5M mark for downloads of its web wallet, just three months after hitting 1M in January. We spoke with CEO Nicholas Cary, who told us that "The team at Blockchain would like to thank the bitcoin community for its trust and support. We firmly believe that putting users first is the way to go. It is our mission to provide tools and services that build upon bitcoins core strengths and we look forward to building a better world through better money." Beginning on midnight of May 6th, Israel's new cryptocurrency Isracoin will launch into the first of its four phases, with an airdrop of 500 coins to interested businesses, and an ultimate goal of sending 50,000 coins. Iceland attempted something similar last month with the airdrop of their own national altcoin Auroracoin. However, it suffered a 51% attack and the ledger was forked into multiple versions, essentially rendering the cryptocurrency valueless. Cyprus police issued a warrant for the arrest of Neo & Bee CEO Danny Brewster on Friday, formally charging him with fraud in his failure to deliver £70,000 worth of Bitcoins to investors, as well as his employees, many of whom were never paid for March. Money & Tech’s Perianne Boring attended the recent Inside Bitcoins New York conference and we’ll be bringing you her interviews from that event later this week. But in the meantime, enjoy a recap of our previous event coverage from CoinSummit, available here shortly.
Self-proclaimed “bitcoin bank” Neo opened their offices in Nicosia in February, grabbing major media attention in financially fragile Cyprus. The opening coincided with the closure of Mt.Gox, prompting Neo to indefinitely halt commercial services until the price of bitcoin stabilized. Less than a month later, news began to leak that Brewster had left Cyprus with several massive debts ... The world’s first brick-and-mortar bitcoin deposit and financial services portal, Neo, opened the doors to its flagship branch in Cyprus at 10:30am local time today.. Neo is the ‘bank-like ... Who remembers Neo & Bee? Better still, who knows what happened after the 'Bitcoin bank' fell apart in April 2014, and what has happened since? Former CEO Danny Brewster has broken a long silence to tell his side of the story. Also read: Trader Records $20,000 Alleged Theft From Bittrex Account Bitcoin's Great Hope That Wasn't In 2014, Neo & Bee was Bitcoin's great hope. Launching just weeks ... Earlier today, the offices of “bank like” Bitcoin service provider Neo opened in Cyprus.The company provides many of the financial services of a bank, such as savings and business accounts, as well as providing access to funds through a debit card-like system powered by their sister company, Bee.The launch is already being hailed as a milestone in Bitcoin history, providing the major first ... Danny Brewster, CEO of Cyprus-based bitcoin company Neo & Bee, has broken his silence, taking to reddit to address some of the rumours that have been circulating about him of late.
Thanks to Away for sponsoring this video! Go to https://www.awaytravel.com/techquickie and use promo code techquickie to get $20 off your next order! Bitcoin... ChainLink supports Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Hyperledger. As ChainLink is a decentralized network, users can receive the rewards of decentralization, trust, and immutability from using ChainLink oracle. Brizotube Emmanouil Roidi str. Kirzis Center, Block D, 2nd floor, office D25, Agia Zoni, 3031, Limassol, Cyprus. #skopelos #greekislands #sailingdestinationsgreece Loading... LMB Holdings on the NEO and BEE Bitcoin Bank in Cyprus The LTB Network. Loading... Unsubscribe from The LTB Network? Cancel Unsubscribe. Working... Subscribe Subscribed Unsubscribe 6.27K. Loading ... Bitcoin's Perfect Storm Will Drive Big Price Rally as Central Banks Kill Fiat - Duration: 16:46. The Crypto Lark 28,442 views