Bitconnect – The Scam among the top 20 crypto currencies

Another prominent coin that followed a similar scheme was Bitconnect. Unlike OneCoin, Bitconnect was a popular coin on Coinmarketcap.com, and in the meantime even made it into the top 20 coins by market capitalization. Bitconnect operated a trading exchange and its own crypto currency. There were horrendous profit promises; once you lent the crypto currency over the platform, you got up to 120 percent profit a year. The minimum profit outlook was 40 percent interest plus 0.25 percent profit on the deposit per day. In addition it spread – who would have thought it – by recommendation marketing. Whoever brought new participants into the system could earn even more.

Right from the start, the Bitconnect system was suspected of being a Ponzi. The intervention of various financial supervisory authorities then brought confirmation. Bitconnect crashed at the beginning of 2018 and in September the last crypto exchange stopped trading the digital currency.

As so often it became dirty for the former operator – his wife was allegedly murdered and today the FBI is investigating him for his business.

Centauri – the community takes over Bitcoin secret

The Centauri (CTX) was a coin that was not publicly tradable at the time, and was particularly popular in German-speaking countries. It was originally the child of another potential snowball system. A Singapore based company called Global Dynamic claimed to make big profits by trading. Anyone who invested at least 1,000 US dollars could participate. In May 2016, Global Dynamic changed not only the company name and headquarters but also the Bitcoin secret payment system tested by onlinebetrug: instead of direct transfer to the bank account, the members of the company, now operating under the name “Alpha-Centauri”, received a crypto currency, the Centauri. This was then transferred by means of an exchanger (with substantial fees) in euro to the own bank account. Stupidly only that the Exchanger was closed after short time and the members remained sitting on their not listed crypto currency.

Nevertheless a large network with over 1,000 acceptance places for the Coin developed. When its most prominent sponsor, Michael Sander, announced in 2017 that he would be devoting himself to other projects from then on, this looked like the deathblow for the digital currency and the members’ investment. The best-known face behind the coin, on the other hand, should be happy today about the juicy profits made at that time.

The coin survives

What happened then, however, distinguishes the coin from other potential scams: The injured parties formed a group that gave the coin a new coat of paint as of February 2018. From the quite large community there were programmers who updated the blockchain – luckily the coin really had one – and brought it up to the current state of the litecoin. They designed a new desktop and a paper wallet and put the private keys into the hands of the owners. Since November, the Centauri Coin has also been tradable on a stock exchange. The active members founded an association called D.I.F. by organising themselves today and working to revive the once large network of points of acceptance. So far they have kept the promises of their roadmap – this is rare even among established digital currencies.

Does the power that always “wants evil and yet creates the good” work here – freely according to Goethe?

Possibly. Because when a coin that was possibly planned from above as a scam becomes a real community project, this is quite remarkable. Of course, it remains to be seen in which direction the Centauri Coin will develop.

What do you consider to be the most important use cases outside of crypto currencies?

The research project identified over 90 industry-specific use cases for the technology. In particular, applications in energy labelling (proof of origin), asset management, change of supplier and in the context of system and network services have proven to be promising.

Many current implementation projects in the context of the energy industry are dealing with the topic of peer-to-peer energy trading. At first glance, this appears to be a very obvious but also visionary use case, which, however, can only be implemented with “support wheels” in the current legal-regulatory framework.

The vision of the news spy is to replace the traditional energy supply company

Its tasks, however, are complex and without safeguarding, for example, balance group loyalty and other legal obligations that prosumers face in P2P trading, a block-chain solution will not be able to replace the news spy and the energy supply company, but will be dependent on its services. The project has also identified synergies between different use cases that make it possible to handle several applications via a common blockchain infrastructure, which in turn does justice to the character of the blockchain as a platform technology.

The use case of energy labelling was demonstrated and tested at the FfE as part of a proof of concept using an Ethereum-based electricity labelling system. In the context of our research, optimization potentials were identified in the existing system with regard to the certification and designation of green electricity. The blockchain technology promises to provide added value here, especially against the background of an increasing integration of volatile renewable energy quantities. Different concepts are conceivable for an implementation.

So do you think cross-chain solutions make sense, for example? Or do you need a completely new concept?

Cross-chain solutions can be a sensible solution for specific applications. Ultimately, it is necessary to take a very specific look at the processes and requirements of a use case and select the appropriate technical solution depending on the design. With the help of standardization, such solutions would be much easier to implement or might not be absolutely necessary.

Are there further research efforts of the FfE?

On the basis of the knowledge from our current research project, we plan to go into an implementation project that we are currently preparing with our partners. On the one hand, we want to show that the technology can provide real added value in some applications, whose synergies on a blockchain platform can play out the strength of the technology, and on the other hand we want to identify practical limitations. This can also include integration into existing IT systems (e.g. SAP) or the iMSys infrastructure.

We see this as a major challenge, since the infrastructure (for good reason) is designed for security and leaves little scope for innovative technologies. This includes technical restrictions such as data integration from the Smart Metering PKI into a block chain, practical restrictions such as billing relevance and the temporal resolution of recorded measured values and legal restrictions, for example with regard to data protection. As scientists, we are of course also interested in the system repercussions of these solutions and the added value for the energy industry.

Labour market study: Germany among the world’s leading Bitcoin formula job providers

The job search engine Adzuna presents a new study on the share of blockchain employees in the international labour market. According to the study, Germany is well positioned when it comes to blockchain jobs: Approximately 0.15 percent of employees in this country work in the industry.

On Tuesday 4 December, BTC-ECHO will report on the status quo of the crypto-related job market. The investigation was conducted by the US job portal Glassdoor. As a result, the authors only examined the blockchain job market on the other side of the Atlantic.

A new study published by BTC-ECHO, however, shows how the block-chain-specific labour market is decided worldwide. In this labour market study, the job search engine Adzuna in cooperation with Robert K├╝fner of nakamo.to has searched a total of 348 million LinkedIn profiles against the background of listed blockchain skills. The results at a glance.

Bitcoin formula ranks third internationally

Only the Netherlands and Austria have more workers employed in Bitcoin formula and distributed systems than Germany in relation to total employment. In each of the two countries, 0.16 percent of employees are employed in Bitcoin formula, crypto currencies and distributed ledger technology (DLT). In Germany, the share of blockchain skilled workers is 0.15 percent and thus only just in third place.

Worth mentioning, however, is the placement of the USA. In terms of DLT, the world’s largest economy is a developing country. There, the accumulated labour force potential is around 151 million, of which only 90,420 are in gainful employment and claim to have DLT knowledge. This corresponds to a share of just 0.06 percent.

Land of milk and honey for skilled workers

According to the study, skilled workers in Germany now have a comparatively easy time finding a job. This is because – purely statistically – there are only 18 potential applicants for each vacancy. This is undercut only by France with 13 and Russia with nine skilled workers per vacant position.

Of a total of 598,370 job advertisements in Germany, exactly 699 are currently aimed at DLT specialists, i.e. 0.12 percent. Only India (0.16 percent) and France (0.15 percent) are slightly above this figure.

Crypto Valley Berlin
The results of the BTC-ECHO study on the state of the German blockchain ecosystem confirm the Adzuna study: Every fifth German blockchain expert comes from Berlin. In addition, 20 percent of the companies looking for blockchain experts are located in the German capital. Berlin is and remains the crypto capital par excellence.

Inja Schneider, Germany manager at Adzuna, summarizes the results as follows:

“The results of our study clearly show that there is also a need for workers in the blockchain sector in Germany. A major advantage for applicants is that Germany has comparatively low competition, as there is no surplus of skilled workers, as is already the case in India and the USA, for example. Those who deal with the topic at an early stage can look forward to the best chances for a job with future prospects”.

On the BTC-ECHO job portal there are also a number of employers who are looking for experts in blockchain and distributed systems. It’s worth taking a look.