Bitcoin News — Startups

Former Economic Adviser to US President Trump Joins Blockchain Startup Board

Posted by Ana Berman on

A former economic adviser to U.S. Pres. Donald Trump has joined the board of blockchain-related tech company Spring Labs.

Gary Cohn — former chief economic adviser to U.S. Pres. Donald Trump — has joined the board of advisers of blockchain-related tech company Spring Labs, according to a press release published, Oct. 12.

In addition to serving in the Trump administration, Cohn has previously worked as COO of American banking giant Goldman Sachs, and most recently served as a director of the U.S. National Economic Council. In the release, Cohn states that he has been “very interested in blockchain technology for a number of years.”

Working as Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser in 2017–2018, Cohn was responsible for the administration's tax reform, which came into force last December. Moreover, Cohn was oversaw the administration’s international and domestic economic policy agenda.
Chairman and CEO of Spring Labs Adam Jiwan says his company expects Cohn to implement his knowledge of financial markets in the blockchain sphere:

"Gary brings a wealth of experience in understanding the complexities of the global financial markets and an unparalleled network...."

Spring Labs is a U.S.-based tech company that uses blockchain solutions to swap identity and assets information between banks and companies. The company is in the process of building its Spring Protocol, which it claims will “[enable] network participants to exchange valuable information without sharing underlying source data.”  

As Forbes revealed in March, Spring Labs managed to raise $14.7 million in early-stage investment just four months after it was founded.

Spring Labs also managed to attract Brian Brooks — a chief legal officer at crypto exchange Coinbase — to its advisory board. Brooks previously worked as general counsel at the U.S. Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae.

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Former Trump Advisor Gary Cohn Joins Blockchain Startup

Posted by Daniel Palmer on

Gary Cohn, a former chief economic advisor to the U.S. president and Goldman veteran, has just joined a financial data-focused blockchain startup.

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ETC Labs Launches Startup Incubator Pilot as Applications Exceed 100

Posted by William Suberg on

Six projects are currently under the wing of Ethereum Classic incubator entity ETC Labs.

The director of Ethereum Classic’s investment branch ETC Labs revealed in an interview Thursday, Oct. 11, that it will work with as many as 24 startups each year.

Elizabeth Kukko confirmed that six selected projects were currently involved with ETC Labs in a pilot scheme, with the full incubator to launch in Q1 2019.

“The goal of this pilot program is to put the incubator model to work and get feedback from these initial teams before going live,” she explained.

The move comes as Ethereum Classic (ETC) continues to lose its position as the overall cryptocurrency market slump continues.

In June, ETC’s prices jumped 25 percent after U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced it would add the token to its orderbook.

At press time, ETC/USD traded around $9.55, its lowest since May 2017, but the altcoin’s market cap still remains at over $1 billion.

“[We chose] Ethereum Classic because there is a lot of security on the main layer, and it doesn’t really matter what sidechains are used in conjunction to this,” Kukko said when asked about the decision to work off the network.

“Also, the Ethereum Classic space is very competitive, with a lot of good ideas and startups with immense potential for growth.”

To that end, Kukko did not reveal the identity of the projects under supervision, but added that “technical capabilities of the team and their ability to build on the ETC blockchain” were priority requirements for consideration of candidates.

ETC Labs claims to have so far received 120 applications.

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“This Isn’t How We Saw This Going”: Civil’s Token Sale Is Treading Water

Posted by Amy Castor on

“This Isn’t How We Saw This Going”: Civil’s Token Sale Is Treading Water

Despite a flurry of media attention surrounding the project, Civil, an Ethereum-based platform aiming to save journalism, can’t seem to get enough buyers for its token.

The project released a transparency report showing the figures behind its CVL token sale, which ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, October 15, 2018, and the numbers do not look good.

“This isn’t how we saw this going,” Civil founder Matthew Iles wrote on October 10. “We don’t know if it will work.”

The project needs to raise $8 million to meet its “soft cap” goal, but, so far, it has only raised $1.3 million from 680 people since September 18, 2018, when the sale started. The ICO money would have supported grants for Civil newsrooms, as well as original journalistic work. Civil has said in the past it will refund people if it can’t raise enough to meet its goal.

Most of the tokens ($1.1 million worth) were bought by ConsenSys, a blockchain venture studio run by Joseph Lubin, an Ethereum cofounder. ConsenSys purchased the tokens in two separate buys last month, the report said. The venture studio also backed Civil with $5 million in funding in October 2017. ConsenSys is the project’s sole investor to date.

Civil has a fixed supply of 100 million tokens. The project is holding on to 33 million tokens. Some of that will go to employees and advisors who contributed to the project early on. Another 33 million tokens will go to “mission-aligned partners” who joined the network at launch. (The Associated Press and Forbes count among those partners.) And the final 34 million tokens were to be sold to raise money for the project. Civil said it was hoping to close several large buyers in addition to ConsenSys to “go the distance,” but that hasn’t happened.

One of the problems is that Civil is only allowing individuals who actually plan to use the tokens on the platform to participate in the sale. Purchasers have to pass a test before they are allowed to buy CVL, and, according to some reports, the test is really hard to pass, especially for people who are unfamiliar with the crypto space. That means that the average investor is getting left out.

Regulatory action over the past year has also taken most of the air out of the ICO bubble that was so prominent in 2017, when ICOs were raising millions of dollars within minutes.

Iles said that “until the clock strikes midnight on Monday, we are still working nonstop on the goal of making our soft cap of $8 million.” Even if the ICO is a failure, Iles said the project will continue with support from ConsenSys until it can sustain itself “via commercial activity.”

Nevertheless, the project still needs to find a way to distribute its tokens. “There are a number of hoops to jump through to buy CVL and to prove you are not a speculator,” a Civil spokesperson told Bitcoin Magazine. “It’s not easy, and we think it needs to get better…” He went on to add: “What we will need to do is distribute them in a more continuous matter, without being tied to a soft cap or a set deadline.”

Civil said it will publish another update on its CVL sale on October 16, 2018, and plans to launch its initial publishing and governance platform within one week.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Blockchain Finance Startup Clearmatics Raises $12 Million in New Funding

Posted by Ian Allison on

Blockchain finance firm Clearmatics has closed a $12-million Series A funding round led by Route 66 Ventures.

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