How the Apex Token Fund Democratizes Investing 0 38

Most hedge funds require a minimum investment and involve some kind of substantial lock-up period. That’s to say, if you want to participate, you’ll need deep pockets and a long term vision. We’re not talking penny stocks or flash-in-the-pan token sales here.

Curious, then, that hedge funds should find compatibility in a space that’s seen so much in-and-out investing until now. Not only does cryptocurrency and the blockchain open up investing for all, but it’s democratizing hedge funds as well.

How Does a Hedge Fund Work in a Token Framework?

Hedge funds within a token framework, like the APEX Fund, resolve issues of liquidity and reduce barriers to investing by making use of a FOF (Fund of Funds). This is a type of investment strategy that holds a varied portfolio of investment funds, rather than underlying assets.

The APEX Fund is tokenized by its APEX token, which is an ERC20 token running on the Ethereum blockchain. Investors can gain access to a range of options previously only in the domain of a privileged few, without raising huge sums of capital. And the lock-up period is removed as well.

Says Apex Fund CEO and Managing Partner, Chris Keshian, “Apex Tokens are freely tradable, meaning that you could trade your shares in the fund when the fund launches. There’s no lockup period. This is different from traditional funds where there’s usually a year-long lockup period, at least, on capital that’s invested. With the Apex Token, shares are liquid from day one.”

Leveling the Investor Playing Field

“For the most part,” says Keshian, “hedge funds have a high minimum requirement, at least a million dollars, which precludes most of the average investors from participating in these funds. For us, you can have multiple shares in the hedge fund and include a bunch of smaller investors. The tokenized framework allows the democratization of access to these top hedge funds, as any qualified investor can purchase $APEX tokens.”

What Will Make Apex Stay the Distance?

The cryptocurrency markets are changing and investors looking increasingly to the long term. It’s not the all night party and gigantic gains of 2017 anymore and investors need to be more sensible about their decisions. Says Keshian, “Any investor who wants exposure to this asset class is not going to be actively trading, and they aren’t taking short positions in the space. They probably don’t have the technical expertise or the capacity to do that. As this emerging asset class continues to mature, it is becoming harder for the average investor to realize gains, or appropriately select lucrative investments.”

Investors don’t have to use hedge funds, but they provide diversified exposure and expertise in a tumultuous market. “The alternative to just buying and holding crypto yourself is to invest in something like Apex where you’re just holding one token, and that token provides broad, diversified exposure to the leading trading strategies in the space,” Keshian explains.

“Each of these individual funds is shorting, doing arbitrage strategies, or similar things that still make money in a bear market. This exposure makes a compelling case to use Apex, especially when we’re in a bear market. By holding $APEX tokens, investors effectively have their capital managed by professionals, who are engaged with the crypto market full time.”

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Christina is a technology and business communicator who has worked with high profile ICOs and blockchain influencers to break industry news.

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What is Ripple? 0 1146

ripple

Now you’re down with Bitcoin and Ethereum, if you heard about the Banco Santander announcement about a partnership with Ripple, you may be wondering – what is Ripple? Is it just another cryptocurrency like Bitcoin? And if so, does that mean that one of the world’s largest banks is now accepting payments in cryptocurrency?

No, and definitely not. What’s going on, then? Let’s take a closer look.

Rather than just a digital coin, Ripple is a remittance network, currency exchange and real-time gross settlement system (RTGS). Going back to 2012 when it came out, Ripple (unlike Bitcoin) does not actually use the blockchain system. It uses what is known as a common ledger, which is essentially a network of independent servers that validate transactions constantly.

If you’re thinking, “that sounds a lot like the blockchain,” that’s because it is. Ripple’s shared public database also uses a form of consensus. The majority of the network has to be in agreement on the validity of transactions, to prevent events like a 51% attack.

Unlike Bitcoin though, Ripple doesn’t rely on a proof-of-work (PoW) concept, or the computational power of members of the network. It also isn’t mined.

The token is XRP and its main characteristic–the raison d’etre of Ripple–is that it allows for real time exchange of currency between two parties, whether that be fiat currency, gold, or any other type of currency. Its major claim to fame is that it allows people to avoid wait times, fees, and even exchanges transactions.

How is Ripple Different From Bitcoin?

As mentioned, the technology they rely on is different. Ripple is more targeted to banks and other FSIs (as displayed through the Banco Santander partnership). While Bitcoin was built for the people, Ripple was built for enterprise. Sure, you can buy and trade it peer to peer, but that’s not what this cryptocurrency is all about. It’s to move massive sums of money around safely and practically instantly. That’s what’s getting the banks all excited.

And today, it is still the fastest cryptocurrency for transactions, settling payments in a maximum of four seconds, as compared to Ethereum, which can be a few minutes, and Bitcoin, which can take several hours. Another main difference is that this cryptocurrency is not mined, like Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies. They just settled on 100 billion tokens from the get-go and issued that many coins.

In theory, the 100 billion XRP tokens originally issued are meant to be the only tokens there will ever be. But there is technically nothing to stop Ripple from issuing any more. But, they probably won’t, seeing as the XRP token is completely separate from Ripple’s technology. Banks can send currency in dollars, yen, or pounds, without needing to use XRP at all, making the investment in this token somewhat less attractive. Without doubt, Ripple’s value is the network, not the Ripple coin.

Banks can use its software for fast, international payments (as is the case with Banco Santander) and can ditch the traditional SWIFT method, that is slow and cumbersome.

Is It Volatile as Well?

Yes. Like most cryptocurrencies, the markets are very sensitive to FUD and FOMO. As the price of Bitcoin exploded towards the end of last year, Ethereum doubled and Litecoin blew up, Ripple also experienced a massive price hike, with first time investors looking to purchase cryptocurrency within their price budget. Moreover, a rumor was spread that Coinbase was thinking of listing it on their exchange and that shot the price up further…

Until Coinbase quashed the rumor and the price came crashing back down.

Against an Ideology?

Bitcoin purists have criticized Ripple, because it has owners. It is a centralized network in the middle of a decentralized, idealistic ecosystem. Also, the trusted Unique Node List (UNL) that is supposed to protect Ripple from hackers and threats throws up another issue: while it protects the cryptocurrency, what’s to stop a  government or regulating body from coming in and making a change?

It is certainly an interesting technology and worth keeping on your radar. But, unless you’re working in a large financial institution, you probably don’t need it too much of it in your investment portfolio.

Twitter Gets Tough on @Bitcoin (Again) 0 2259

@Bitcoin Ban

Social media platforms and search engines don’t seem to like digital currency very much. After Google announced the ad ban on any content related to cryptocurrency, ICOs, or exchanges, Twitter promptly followed suit. And its stance against cryptocurrency is turning positively aggressive, as now even the @Bitcoin account has been banned, as well.

While the reasons for banning advertisements may be in the best interests of Twitter users, it’s not clear as to the purpose behind the outright ban on the @Bitcoin handle.

What’s Behind The @Bitcoin Account Ban?

Speculation, speculation, speculation. Is Twitter in league with some mysterious entity driven on flooding the crypto markets with FUD? Is there something underhand happening that the wider public don’t know about? Twitter claims that the @Bitcoin Twitter account, is in “violation of the Twitter rules.” Which could be 101 different things, and this vague statement raises a lot of additional questions.

For an account to get suspended on this social media platform, it has to get a few complaints. And it needs to be reported by several people. Well, the @Bitcoin account has certainly had its fair share of adversaries over the last few months.

A lot of the people against the @Bitcoin handle seem to be Bitcoin fans themselves. The content shared lately by this account seemed to be favoring Bitcoin Cash over the classic Bitcoin. (For those of you who don’t know, there are many purists within the crypto space. They don’t like false claims or misinformation being spread).

Is This a Slippery Slope to Censorship?

Bitcoin is still not illegal in most countries, albeit, traded without the backing of any government so far. However, many countries, especially Japan and South Korea seem to be embracing the digital currency and cryptocurrencies in general, while others like Bolivia and China have banned it.

Twitter making such a drastic move starts to look a little like censorship, especially when Google will no longer display crypto advertisements either.

And while it’s very nice of Twitter to look out for its users’ best interests, its users are, for the most part, adults who can decide for themselves where to invest their money. It remains to be proven that the @Bitcoin account was actually spreading misinformation, as no evidence of this has been submitted, thus far. In fact, it may not have even violated Twitter’s terms of service, so it could be reinstated.

Twitter and Cryptocurrency in General

What has a lot of people wondering is just how aggressive Twitter plans to get on cryptocurrency in general. Because with the way they’re treating @Bitcoin, it is starting to feel an awful lot like using a search engine or social media platform in China or Russia. Preventing advertisements thought to be misleading is one thing. Preventing open discussion about a topic that is not even illegal on social media is another.

And will it lead to regular accounts being shut down should they dare to speculate on the state of digital money? Thanks to the reaction from the crypto community and public at large over this maneuver, it’s likely that Twitter will release some kind of statement at the very least. This is not the first time the @Bitcoin account was suspended from Twitter. And the last time, the account was reinstated pretty fast. Whether that will be the case this time around is not clear.

But as is the case in this lawless community, new developments happen daily to drive the discord and fractionism among parties. We’ve already seen a breakaway from those who prefer Bitcoin Cash over traditional Bitcoin. We’ve seen a split between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. And now we’ll certainly hear of other debates as emotions escalate and contribute to the already bearish crypto markets.

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