Bitcoin Scams and How to Avoid Them

Bitcoin Scams and How to Avoid Them


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Bitcoin has taken the world by storm, and since its introduction in 2008, it has inevitably faced several controversies. Scammers found a gold mine in the digital currency for many reasons. One of them is the fact that only a few people understand it, which makes it easier to make them believe false promises. Another reason is anonymity – cryptocurrency gives scammers relative ease to cover their tracks. Lastly, a major reason is that it is largely unregulated. Bitcoin chiefly operates outside of the conventions of a financial system; and this worries regulators as it has the potential to be linked to money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, and terrorist funding.

What are the most common bitcoin scams and how do you spot them?

Fake Bitcoin Exchanges. One popular example for these would be South Korea's BitKRX, which posed to be a branch of the country's Korean Exchange (KRX) and claimed to be a platform to exchange and trade bitcoin. Ultimately, it turned out to be fraudulent. There are also those that pretend to be connected with well-known exchanges using apps or fake websites; users are scammed when they log in and their account details are given away. When you are directed to a website, make sure that the URL has “HTTPS” rather than just “HTTP.” Without the letter S, it means that the web traffic has no security and encryption.

Ponzi Scams. Someone promises an incredible return of investment using bitcoin and a lot of people buy in it. Before you know it, someone runs off with all of your money. That's basically how Ponzi schemes work. At first, victims will be made to believe that it actually works – say, the digits in their bank account are increasing. This will also make them talk about its “success” and convince others to join in. Eventually, calls to the customer service are unanswered, there are technical problems with the website, or the money will be remitted late – among several excuses while your money disappears for good. If you see ads that sound like, “double your bitcoin overnight,” they're probably scams. How it usually works is you have to send them your money first before they can double it.

Pyramid Schemes. Scammers use bitcoin as a product in pyramid scams. In these schemes, your low initial investment will be multiplied if you invite more people to sign up. After a lot of people have invested their money, the original scammer walks away with all the money.

Malware. Hackers have long been using malware in order to get a hold of other people's login credentials and account details. Now, it's being used to drain Bitcoin wallets that are connected to the Internet.

How do you avoid falling into these scams?

 

  • If the offer is too good to be true, stay away from it.
  • Be vigilant on social media – legitimate bitcoin traders and brokers can be victims of poser accounts or impersonators.
  • Never conduct financial transactions via direct messages on social media platforms.
  • Do your homework and research on services and platforms you encounter; verify their claims and check their legitimacy or whether they are a registered corporation or not.

Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.

None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.

Original article posted on Hogan Injury website

Syndicated article, by permission, posted on Markethive, by Jeffrey Sloe

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Joseph Lubin: Blockchain Will Permeate Society More Than The Internet

Joseph Lubin: “Blockchain Will Permeate Society More Than The Internet”

He also said Ethereum is "Much Better" than Bitcoin

ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin once again made clear his optimistic but cautious vision of the future of crypto. In an interview for the German news portal T3N, the also co-founder of Etherum expressed that blockchain technologies can redefine the future of technologies towards a more user-friendly orientation.

Web 2.0 vs Blockchain or Web 3.0

According to Lubin’s vision, nowadays the famous Web 2.0 focuses on protecting the interests of content and technology providers. For Lubin, the current business model looks at consumers as mere products. The blockchain technologies represent a revolution as they imply a necessary philosophical change in the business world:

“These Web2 business models are effectively in control, and as you know, they treat us like a product. They try to get a lot of information out about us so they can charge more for the product. And they have found ways to use man’s evolutionary drives so that they can make us dependent on their system, so that they can sell us more often as a product. Blockchain, on the other hand, enables a self-determined, sovereign identity. We can write our identity on blockchain systems and control it from our side of the browser. Identity will become very important in Web 3.”

For Lubin, it is still too early to talk about the possibility of implementing truly influential applications. Blockchain technologies do not yet have the necessary maturity for this type of development; however, he stressed that it is very possible that these advances will occur in a “not so distant future”:

“There are some projects moving in that direction, but it is extremely early in the development of technology. We build thousands of different components, building blocks, tokens, protocols, exchanges, and tools for identity and reputation. At a point in the not so distant future, when these systems are sufficiently scalable, we will be able to build a decentralized social network.”

 

Jose Lubin: The Future Looks Promising, But It Will Take Some Time

Several experts have considered blockchain technologies as the most important technological breakthrough in history since the appearance of the Internet, however for Lubin it is important to note that although it took more than two decades for the Internet to have the level of social influence it has today, blockchain technologies could take longer because of its high level of complexity:

“Blockchain is growing exponentially: There are hundreds of projects that are already practical for people. And they will enable people to build even more things that will be practical again. That’s how the web was developed. It will probably take a little longer because it’s much more complicated. Also because we work with issues like digital money, Blockchain will penetrate society more than the Internet. Everything will be networked in a Web3.0.”

 

ETH is “Much Better” Than BTC

The interview ended with a small comparison between Ethereum and Bitcoin. As expected, the co-founder of Ethereum considers ETH to be a better choice than the “Crypto King.” He also hopes that in the future the value of the token will be similar to that of Bitcoin:

“(ETH) is also cheaper and faster to transport values with it. It’s much better money than Bitcoin. I assume that it will be used much more than money … We expected it to level off at about the same amount as Bitcoin.”

Original article written by Jose Antonio Lanz and posted on Ethereum World News

Article reposted by Jeffrey Sloe

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Paying with Bitcoin: What You Need to Know

Paying with Bitcoin: What You Need to Know


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Cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, continues to rise in popularity despite its value’s volatility recently; and if you are looking to use bitcoin to pay for things, you have to take due diligence in knowing how to do it, where you can spend bitcoins, and what the risks and advantages are.

How do you pay with bitcoin?

First, you need a bitcoin wallet. There are free bitcoin wallets available for smartphones and all major operating systems. Just like with a physical wallet, you must always secure it – this means being careful with online services, putting backup and encryption, and putting just small amounts in it for everyday use.

What are the advantages?

  • Anonymity. Your purchases are discrete with bitcoin, which means they are never associated with your personal identity. In fact, the bitcoin address generated is different for every purchase you make.
  • Low Transaction Fees. Since there is still no government involvement in bitcoin transactions at this point, the costs of transacting are very low.
  • Mobile. Since paying with bitcoin can be done using an app on your mobile phone, you can pay for our purchases anywhere you are as long as you have internet access.
  • No interruptions. Since the bitcoin system is purely peer-to-peer, it is void of involvement of banks, financial institutions, and the government.
  • No Sales Taxes. One major advantage of paying with bitcoin is that no sales taxes are added in your purchases since there are no third parties identify or track them.

What are the risks?

One thing that you need to understand is that bitcoin, no matter how popular it has become at this point, is still experimental. Getting into bitcoin now can mean that you have to deal with the growing pains as it still at the stage in which it is still improving and such improvements may bring about new challenges.

Bitcoin price very volatile. You should look at bitcoin as a high risk asset and you must not keep your savings with bitcoin at this point.

You must adopt good practices in protecting your privacy as bitcoin is not entirely anonymous. Your identity behind the bitcoin address you’re using may be anonymous, but transactions and balances in your address can be seen by anyone.

Bitcoin payments cannot be reversed, so only transact with people you trust and business that have already established their reputation. Beware of scams, fake ICOS, and fraudulent activities.

Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.

None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.

Original article posted on Hogan Injury Website.

Syndicated article, by permission, posted on Markethive, by Jeffrey Sloe

Omega-3s from Fish Linked to Healthier Aging

Omega-3s from Fish Linked to Healthier Aging

22-year study tied higher omega-3 blood levels to better health outcomes

11/01/2018     By Craig Weatherby

Harvard researchers once estimated that the average American’s lack of omega-3 fatty acids from seafood could cause up to 96,000 premature deaths annually in this country.

Out of a dozen dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors, the Harvard team ranked low omega-3 intakes as the sixth most dangerous risk factor for premature death (Danaei G et al. 2009).

In fact, they ranked low omega-3 intake as a bigger risk factor than high intake of trans fatty acids, also known as trans fats. To learn more, see Omega-3 Deficiency May Cause 90,000-Plus Deaths Annually.

Now, the results of an extraordinarily long, reliable study link higher omega-3 blood levels to healthier aging, by reducing the risks for diseases known to cripple or kill people as they grow older.

New study links higher omega-3 blood levels to healthier aging

For the study, Tufts University researchers lead colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh, the universities of Texas, Washington, New Mexico, and Oregon, and more.

The team, led by Heidi Lai of Tufts, looked for any links between blood levels of specific omega-3 fatty acids — three from seafood plus one found only in plants — and healthy aging (Lai HT et al. 2018).

Their analysis was based on blood test and health data gathered from 2,622 adults who’d taken part in the U.S. Cardiovascular Health study from 1992 to 2015.

Among the volunteers — whose average age was 74 years — 63% were women and 11% were from non-white ethnic groups.

At the outset of the original Cardiovascular Health study, the researchers conducting that investigation measured the participants’ blood levels of various omega-3 fats, whose levels were measured again six and 13 years later.

The blood tests measured four different omega-3 fats — EPA, DHA, and DPA from seafood, and ALA from plant foods — whose differences we describe under “Important distinctions among omega-3s”, below.

Based on those measurements, the participants were divided into five groups (quintiles), based on omega-3 levels that ranged from lowest to highest.

After reviewing the participants’ medical records, the researchers found that 89% experienced unhealthy aging over the study period, while 11% experienced healthy aging — which was defined as being free of major chronic diseases and mental or physical dysfunctions.

Comparison of each participants’ omega-3 blood levels to their health status revealed that those with the highest levels of seafood-derived omega-3 EPA were 24% less likely to experience unhealthy aging, compared to those the lowest EPA levels.

In addition, the participants who fell into the top three quintiles of seafood-derived DPA blood levels were 18-21% less likely to experience unhealthy aging.

Surprisingly, neither seafood-derived DHA nor plant-derived ALA were associated with healthier aging.

The authors said that the link between high EPA levels and low risk for unhealthy aging might relate to EPA’s role in regulating blood pressure, heart rate, and inflammation.

However, DHA also plays a key role in regulating inflammation, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, dementia, and other conditions associated with aging — which makes the lack of a link between DHA and healthy aging very surprising.

It’s important to note that this was an observational study, and as such doesn't allow any firm conclusions about a cause-effect relationship between omega-3 levels and health outcomes.

And although the results of the analysis were adjusted to account for the known health effects of various social, economic, and lifestyle factors, some of the observed links between omega-3 levels and health risks might be related to other, unmeasured factors.

That said, the study was unusually long (up to 22 years of monitoring), and relied on blood tests, rather than mere estimates of omega-3 intakes based on diet questionnaires.

When all was said and done, the researchers’ analysis linked higher blood levels of omega-3s from seafood — EPA and DPA — to a lower risk of unhealthy aging.

As they wrote, “These findings … support guidelines [that call] for increased dietary consumption of fish among older adults.”

We’d add that the findings also support higher consumption of fish amongst people of all ages, because it takes decades for diseases to develop, and it makes no sense to wait.

New findings fit with those of prior studies

In addition to the 2009 Harvard study described at the beginning of this article, two similar ones verify the anti-aging benefits of omega-3s from seafood.

Five years ago, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health linked higher omega-3 blood levels to reduced risk of death from any cause — especially deaths from coronary heart disease — in older adults (Mozaffarian D et al. 2013).

That same year, a separate study from the Harvard School of Public Health linked higher blood levels of omega-3 DHA and EPA — but not higher levels of omega-3 ALA or omega-6 fatty acids — to reduced risk for cardiovascular disease (de Oliveira Otto MC et al. 2013).

The findings of that second study undermine persistent advice to replace animal fats like butter and lard with vegetable oils, without making important distinctions among various vegetable oils.

Unfortunately, most of the cheap vegetable oils consumed in the US are very high in omega-6 fatty acids — a fact that explains America’s extremely excessive, hence pro-inflammatory, intake of omega-6 fats.

Rather than corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils, which are very high in omega-6 fats, it’s better to choose oils that are high in monounsaturated oleic acid and/or omega-3 ALA.

The best choices are extra-virgin olive oil, high-oleic sunflower oil, macadamia nut oil, and canola oil (look for non-GMO canola).

Important distinctions among omega-3s

Seafood is the only good source of EPA, DHA and DPA, while considerably smaller amounts of ALA are found in certain plant foods — especially leafy green vegetables, walnuts, and flax seeds or flaxseed oil.

Omega-3 DHA and EPA are both essential to immune function — especially inflammation control — while DHA is essential to brain and eye function and child development.

Our bodies can only convert very small proportions — one to 10% — of dietary ALA into EPA and can only turn small proportions of that EPA into DHA.

That limitation explains why it’s a very good idea to either eat ample amounts of seafood — especially fatty species like salmon and sardines — or take supplemental fish or krill oil.

While ALA is modestly healthful, studies don’t find it nearly as beneficial as DHA or EPA, which are the only omega-3s the human body requires to survive and thrive.

In fact, virtually all dietary ALA that isn’t used to make EPA and DHA gets “burned” as fuel.

Sources

  • Danaei G, Ding EL, Mozaffarian D, Taylor B, Rehm J, Murray CJ, Ezzati M. The preventable causes of death in the United States: comparative risk assessment of dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors. PLoS Med. 2009 Apr 28;6(4):e1000058. Epub 2009 Apr 28.
  • de Oliveira Otto MC, Wu JH, Baylin A, Vaidya D, Rich SS, Tsai MY, Jacobs DR Jr, Mozaffarian D. Circulating and dietary omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and incidence of CVD in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. J Am Heart Assoc. 2013 Dec 18;2(6):e000506. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.113.000506.
  • Lai HT, de Oliveira Otto MC, Lemaitre RN, McKnight B, Song X, King IB, Chaves PH, Odden MC, Newman AB, Siscovick DS, Mozaffarian D. Serial circulating omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and healthy ageing among older adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2018 Oct 17;363:k4067. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k4067. Erratum in: BMJ. 2018 Oct 23;363:k4445.
  • Mozaffarian D, Lemaitre RN, King IB, Song X, Huang H, Sacks FM, Rimm EB, Wang M, Siscovick DS. Plasma phospholipid long-chain ω-3 fatty acids and total and cause-specific mortality in older adults: a cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2013 Apr 2;158(7):515-25. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-158-7-201304020-00003.
  • Zhu Y, Ferrara A, Forman MR. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and healthy ageing. BMJ. 2018 Oct 17;363:k4263. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k4263

Original article posted on Vital Choice's website

Article posted by Jeffrey Sloe

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Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Litigation

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Litigation

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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining more attention as days pass. Aside from the advantages that cryptocurrencies have like anonymity and easy international transactions, people are enticed by the fact that it can become a good investment. Apart from trading bitcoins for cash, you can also use bitcoins to buy gift cards, book flights, and hotels, buy furniture, or even buy real estate properties. Bitcoin purchases are not taxed at the moment since there is no way for third parties to identify, track, or intercept transactions that use bitcoins. Transaction fees are considerably lower as well compared to credit card transactions or services like Paypal.

Although there are many advantages in using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, just like any other investments, you should always be careful with your transactions. Since cryptocurrency is not regulated, many unscrupulous people have taken advantage of this and incidents of fraudulent cryptocurrencies, and other types of scam related to cryptocurrency have happened. One example of this is Prodeum, a cryptocurrency start-up that scammed its investors in just one weekend.

Because of these scams, law firms have now been involved in helping the victims. Cryptocurrency litigation has now become something that some lawyers specialize in. There are a lot of factors to consider when a cryptocurrency dispute arises. Aside from fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO), lawyers could get involved if the cryptocurrency was used to launder money or hide assets; they could also get involved when there is an issue with the company, commercial, or intellectual property laws being violated in relation to cryptocurrency.

Here are some things that you can do as a cryptocurrency user to avoid being scammed:

1. Research. – Just like with any other investments that you will make, research is essential. When investing in an ICO, make sure to read and dissect their white papers to ensure that you’re working with reliable people. Take time to research the people behind the ICO, their whole team, board members, and other investors. It’s vital for you to learn as much as you can about the company before investing so that there will be no unpleasant surprises.

2. Be vigilant. – Cryptocurrency is still primarily bought and sold at exchanges. Because cryptocurrency is something new and the fuss around it is its value, many people get scammed by the promise of unrealistic prices. If an exchange promises incredible discounts or offers that seem too good to be true, it probably is. Another thing that you can do to avoid bitcoin exchange scams is to check the exchange’s URL. If a website’s address starts with HTTPS instead of just HTTP, that means that the traffic is encrypted and therefore has more protection.

3. Only use trusted sources. – Hardware wallet is a physical device that stores your private keys. Hardware wallets offer more protection from hacking since there is no way for hackers to access them when you’re not online. However, hackers have now found a way around that. Some hackers sell hardware wallets that have a backdoor for them to access all your cryptocurrency and the best way to avoid this is only to accept hardware wallets from trusted sources.

In need of expert legal advice? Contact us at Hogan Injury.

None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.

Original article posted on the Hogan Injury Website

Syndicated article, by permission, posted on Markethive, by Jeffrey Sloe

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Ukraine: Economic Development and Trade Ministry Launches State Policy to Legalize Crypto

Ukraine: Economic Development and Trade Ministry Launches State Policy to Legalize Crypto

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry of Ukraine has initiated a “state policy” for the classification and legalization of crypto-related activities, Ukrainian state information and news agency Ukrinform reported Oct. 26.

The Ministry has reportedly issued an official press release stating that its purpose is to “create understandable conditions for conducting activities in the field of virtual assets and virtual currencies," and to usher in “adoption of the concept of a state policy” for crypto.

To this end, it has proposed establishing legal definitions for key terms, including “virtual currency” (“cryptocurrency,”) “virtual assets,” Initial Coin (or Token) Offerings (ICOs or ITOs), cryptocurrency mining, “smart contracts,” and “tokens.”

Ukrinform reports the concept is expected to be implemented in two stages, and will be completed in 2021.

Although Ukraine has not until now regulated crypto, the first signs the country was on track to its legalization surfaced in mid-May, when a member of the parliament, Alexei Mushak, attached a copy of an apparent draft legislation document for crypto to his public Facebook page.

The document outlined that the legislation aims to create a “free and transparent” digital asset market, outlining rules for storing, using, and exchanging crypto, digital tokens, and smart contracts at a state, entity, and individual level.

In mid-September, the country’s parliament proposed a draft bill that, if signed into law, would levy a five percent tax on individuals’ and entities’ crypto holdings. For businesses’ crypto-related profits, it proposed the basic corporate and personal income tax rate of 18 percent.

An alternative bill proposing specific crypto tax exemptions and a slightly different definition of various types of crypto assets was put forward by a Ukrainian legislator in early October.

As of mid-October, a dedicated working group within the Ministry of Finance has reportedly been working to elaborate the framework for crypto taxation.

In parallel, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is considering a state digital currency tied to the local fiat currency, the hryvnia, which would be centralized and remain under government control.

Original article posted on Cointelegraph

Article written by Marie Huillet

Posted on this site by Jeffrey Sloe

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5 Scary Side Effects of a B-12 Deficiency

5 Scary Side Effects of a B-12 Deficiency

B vitamins support normal functions performed by the brain and nervous system, support adrenal function. Vitamin B-12 is also required for critical metabolic processes like DNA synthesis, production of neurotransmitters, energy production and is required for the development of red blood cells.

Vitamin B-12 is found in animal-derived foods such as dairy, eggs, meat, poultry and fish. Diets that limit these foods and/or poor absorption may lead to a Vitamin B-12 deficiency. Prolonged Vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to serious mental[2] and physical symptoms[1], such as:

  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Personality and mood changes
  • Memory Loss
  • Dementia

Although deficiency can present differently for everyone, there are four basic stages:

Stage 1:

This is the earliest stage, so there are no noticeable signs or symptoms of deficiency. However, low levels can be detected through a blood test.

Stage 2:

Low blood levels of B-12 are detectable, and cellular dysfunction begins to set in. Some symptoms may start to be present.

Stage 3:

Neurological, psychological and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as indigestion and discomfort, may be present in this phase. Also, without sufficient levels of Vitamin B-12, methylmalonic acid (MMA) and homocysteine (HCY) build up in the body. An elevated level of HCY in blood is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease[3] and should be monitored by a physician.

Stage 4:

The final and most severe stage of B-12 deficiency can lead to lasting damage[2] to the nervous system.

Getting Enough Vitamin B-12

You can prevent these devastating side effects by including B-rich foods in your diet, supplementing when necessary with high-quality Vitamin B-12 and having your Vitamin B-12 levels checked as part of your annual physical exam.

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vitamin-deficiency-anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355025
  2. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-B12
  3. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0301/p979.html

Original article written by and posted on Trivita.com

Posted by Jeffrey Sloe on Markethive

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What is a Cryptocurrency Crowdsale?

What is a Cryptocurrency Crowdsale?

People are selling mysterious cryptocurrency 'tokens'—but why?

Ideas are cheap. It’s the execution that's valuable. It takes effort and skill to convert an idea into something useful, and both of those things are expensive.

Over the last few years, crowdfunding has emerged as a way to generate the money needed to turn ideas into reality. Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have emerged as ways to crowdsource funding in the form of donations. Now, though, the cryptocurrency world has generated another form of fundraising: the crowdsale.

Crowdselling vs Crowdfunding

Unlike traditional crowdfunding, a crowdsale doesn’t pre-sell a widget or promise to put your name in the credits of a movie. Instead, it sells you something that you might not know what to do with unless you are clued in: a token.

A token is an intrinsic component in a next-generation cryptocurrency 2.0 application. Like bitcoin, it isn’t something that you can physically hold. Instead, it is an electronic record—a kind of digital poker chip—stored on your computer, or mobile device.

Tokens are designed to let you participate in the project that will eventually be launched as a result of the crowdsale. Depending on what service the project offers, the token will serve as a kind of access ticket to that service.

If the project is a software application that lets you find ridesharing partners without the use of a central website, for example, then you might use tokens to pay for your rides. Conversely, if you are the owner of the vehicle and up giving someone a ride, you may be paid tokens by the network. So the tokens are a kind of currency for use within a specific online service.

Why Crowdsales Happen

The crowdsale generally happens before a project has officially launched its service. It is designed to generate funds for the development of the project, helping to pay for software developers, marketing budgets, and all the other things that a startup needs.

It can also be used to measure interest in a particular project. If no one buys the tokens, then the company developing the project might want to reconsider its options.

The really interesting part of a crowdsale is what happens to the tokens later on. In many cases, they will be bought and sold on the open market, gaining their own market value independently of the application that they are used for.

This is another way to encourage early adopters. They may buy tokens because they believe in the potential of a particular online service. If the project becomes as successful as they think, then the tokens might increase in value, turning them a pretty profit later on.

The Legality of Tokens

Therein lies one of the dangers in the crowdsale concept, though. There isn’t yet much accountability. If a company sells a bunch of tokens and then collapses due to bad management—or worse, simply vanishes—what happens to all those poor folks who invested their money?

In the conventional investment world, there are rules governing who can invest in a young startup company. Investors must be accredited, for their own protection. Otherwise, every uneducated, inexperienced investor would be piling their retirement savings into a venture that they were told was a sure bet, only to lose their shirts.

But the rules around crowdsales aren’t yet clear. Regulators have strict rules about issuing financial securities such as shares in a company, for example. There haven’t been many, if any, regulatory investigations of companies engaging in crowdsales.

Crowdsales are still a very new concept, though, with only a few companies having done them. Should tokens be classified as securities, and therefore regulated? The position on this isn’t yet clear, and each case will probably be judged on its own merits.

Crowdsales have been conducted via companies like Swarm, and Koinfy. The same rules apply here as elsewhere, though: understand what you are buying, why you are buying it, and the risk that you are taking in doing so.

Are you buying speculatively? Or are you purchasing tokens simply because you really want to use the application? Are you prepared to accept the loss if the service never launches? Never invest anything that you are not prepared to lose.

Article written by Danny Bradbury

Original article posted on The Balance

Posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Bone Value of Vitamin D Called into Question

Bone Value of Vitamin D Called into Question

Review found no effect, but didn’t address the vitamin’s other benefits

Supplemental vitamin D may not help prevent bone fractures, judging by the results of a new evidence review.

But none of the clinical trials included in the review lasted more than one year and the maximum doses provided weren’t much higher than the rather conservative U.S. RDA.

In addition, some — though not all — studies show that combining vitamin D with calcium does bolster bone strength.

Yet, in sadly predictable fashion, some headlines jumped to the ridiculous conclusion that “it’s time to toss your vitamin D pills”.

Those headlines are misleading because there’s good evidence linking supplemental vitamin D to enhanced heart and metabolic health and reduced risks of death from cancer and other causes.

And next month we expect to see results from “VITAL” clinical trial, which is testing the effects of vitamin D3 and omega-3 fish oil on the risks for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

That trial is exceptionally large (25,000+ participants) and lengthy (eight-year), and the doses being used are reasonably high, so it should provide a better sense of the heart and cancer value of both supplements.

In today’s article, we’ll do three things:

  • Scrutinize the negative conclusions of a recent evidence review.
  • Look at a recent study that boosts the cardiovascular value of vitamin D.
  • Review the evidence that vitamin D can reduce cancer and overall death rates.

Review sees little or no bone-health value from vitamin D pills
Recent, large-scale evidence reviews haven’t seen much effect of vitamin D on bone-mineral density or the risks for falls or fractures.

Likewise, earlier this month, researchers from New Zealand and Scotland reported results from an evidence review that also question the bone-protection value of supplemental vitamin D (Bolland MJ et al. 2018).

Most of the 81 clinical trials studied the effects of relatively modest doses of supplemental vitamin D (not combined with calcium) and lasted one year or less.

More than three quarters of the trials (77%) involved women over the age of 65, and more than two-thirds (68%) of the trials involved vitamin D doses of at least 800 IU.

The new evidence review was led by Mark Bolland, Ph.D., an associate professor of endocrinology at New Zealand’s University of Auckland.

As Bolland said, “Since the last major review of evidence in 2014, more than 30 randomized controlled trials on vitamin D and bone health have been published, nearly doubling the evidence base available. Our meta-analysis finds that vitamin D does not prevent fractures, falls or improve bone mineral density, whether at high or low dose.”

After analyzing the 81 trials, they found little evidence that vitamin D supplements prevent fractures or falls to significant extents, or significantly improve bone mineral density — even when the daily doses provided to participants reached 800 IU or more.

However, 800 IU is not a particularly high daily dose. The conservative U.S. RDA for children and adults is 600 IU, while leading vitamin D researchers recommend taking between 1,000 and 4,000 IU daily.

Specifically, the Kiwi-Scottish team found no clinically significant effect — defined as a 15% reduction in risk or greater — of vitamin D on total fractures, hip fractures, or falls.

Nor did the evidence reviewers found any effect of vitamin D at lower benefit-thresholds: a 7.5% reduction in the risk of falls and a 5% reduction in the risk of any fractures.

The evidence did show small bone-density gains in the lumbar spine, femoral (upper leg bone) "neck", and elsewhere in the body — but again, none of these gains were deemed clinically relevant.

Most of the trials (91%) covered by the review reported that supplementation achieved vitamin D blood levels of 50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL) — which the U.S. IOM considers barely adequate — while only about half reported achieving levels of 75 nmol/L (30 ng/mL) or more, which are generally considered adequate, but not optimal.

Official review saw bone benefit from vitamin D + calcium
A Tufts University team working on behalf of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found significant evidence that — in combination with calcium — supplemental vitamin D can reduce the risk of fractures in people who don’t get enough sun exposure, such as older adults in institutional settings.

As they reported, “Combined vitamin D and calcium supplementation can reduce fracture risk, but the effects may be smaller among community-dwelling older adults than among institutionalized elderly persons.” (Chung M et al. 2011)

Recent study found vitamin D can repair damaged cardiovascular tissue
Earlier this year, Ohio University scientists discovered that vitamin D can help restore damage to the cardiovascular system.

Their study shows that vitamin D3 can significantly restore damage to the cardiovascular system caused by hypertension, diabetes, or atherosclerosis, while also reducing the risk of heart attack.

That conclusion is supported by the findings from several studies. For example, see Vitamin D Heart-Health Link Affirmed, Vitamin D Lack Raises Heart-Death Risk, and Vitamin D Clinical Trial Detects Anti-Diabetes Benefits, which provide links to related reports.

Vitamin D3 is the optimally beneficial form, which the body makes in response to sun exposure, and for which wild salmon are the best food sources, by far (see Wild Salmon Beats Farmed for Vitamin D, Again.) Some supplements and a few plant foods, especially mushrooms, contain a form called vitamin D2, which isn’t as beneficial.

As lead author Dr. Tadeusz Malinski, M.D., said, “Generally, vitamin D3 is associated with the bones. However … many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D3. It doesn't mean that the deficiency caused the heart attack, but it increased the risk of heart attack. We used nano-sensors to see why vitamin D3 can be beneficial, especially for the function and restoration of the cardiovascular system.”

He and his team discovered that vitamin D3 powerfully stimulates production of nitric oxide (NO), which is a major signaling molecule in the regulation of blood flow and the prevention of dangerous arterial clots. They also found that vitamin D3 significantly reduces the level of oxidative stress (from an excess of free radicals) in the cardiovascular system.

Dr. Malinski made an important point: “There are not many, if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular endothelial cells which are already damaged, and vitamin D3 can do it. This is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system. We don't have to develop a new drug. We already have it.”

Because damage to cardiovascular tissues can go unnoticed for long periods of time, it seems wise to maintain abundant blood levels of vitamin D3.

Other reviews tie vitamin D to reduced death and fracture risk
Focusing on the bone-health effects of vitamin D can easily distract attention from the hormone-like nutrient’s broad effects in the body.

Four evidence reviews published from 2007 to 2014 found evidence that supplemental vitamin D may reduce the risk of death from cancer and other causes:

  • “The data suggest that supplementation of vitamin D is effective in preventing overall mortality in a long-term treatment, whereas it is not significantly effective in a treatment duration shorter than 3 years.” (Zheng Y et al. 2013)
  • “Over 2-7 years of duration, vitamin D supplementation (400-1100 IU per day) had little effect on total cancer incidence … but significantly reduced total cancer mortality.” (Keum N et al. 2014)
  • “Intake of ordinary doses of vitamin D supplements seems to be associated with decreases in total mortality rates.” (Autier P et al. 2007)
  • “Evidence from observational studies indicates inverse associations of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D with risks of death due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes. Supplementation with vitamin D3 significantly reduces overall mortality among older adults.” (Chowdhury R et al. 2014)

Given the substantial evidence that vitamin D enhances heart and metabolic health and may reduce the risk of death from cancer and other causes, it doesn’t make sense for media reports — or physicians who should know better — to suggest tossing your vitamin D supplements.

Sources

  • Autier P, Gandini S. Vitamin D supplementation and total mortality: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Sep 10;167(16):1730-7. Review.
  • Bolland MJ, Grey A, Avenell A. Effects of vitamin D supplementation on musculoskeletal health: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and trial sequential analysis. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2018 Oct 4. pii: S2213-8587(18)30265-1. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(18)30265-1.
  • Chowdhury R, Kunutsor S, Vitezova A, Oliver-Williams C, Chowdhury S, Kiefte-de-Jong JC, Khan H, Baena CP, Prabhakaran D, Hoshen MB, Feldman BS, Pan A, Johnson L, Crowe F, Hu FB, Franco OH. Vitamin D and risk of cause specific death: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational cohort and randomised intervention studies. BMJ. 2014 Apr 1;348:g1903. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g1903. Review.
  • Chung M, Lee J, Terasawa T, Lau J, Trikalinos TA. Vitamin D with or without calcium supplementation for prevention of cancer and fractures: an updated meta-analysis for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2011 Dec 20;155(12):827-38. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-155-12-201112200-00005. Review.
  • Keum N, Giovannucci E. Vitamin D supplements and cancer incidence and mortality: a meta-analysis. Br J Cancer. 2014 Aug 26;111(5):976-80. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.294. Epub 2014 Jun 10.
  • Zheng Y, Zhu J, Zhou M, Cui L, Yao W, Liu Y. Meta-analysis of long-term vitamin D supplementation on overall mortality. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 3;8(12):e82109. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082109. eCollection 2013.

Article courtesy of and posted on the Vital Choice website

Article posted by Jeffrey Sloe

Visit MarketHive to learn more: http://markethive.com/jeffreysloe

There’s A Giant White Sewer Rat In Wall Street And It’s Preaching Bitcoin

There’s A Giant White Sewer Rat In Wall Street And It’s Preaching Bitcoin

There’s a really interesting piece of art down in Wall Street that has captured the people’s attention for some time now. It’s a rat, and a really huge one for that matter.

Nelson Saiers And The Rat

This new phenomenon sits across the street right opposite the Federal Reserve building. However, it’s not the giant white inflatable rat that’s been stirring up Wall Street, but rather what it actually represents. The man responsible for the huge rat’s existence on America’s most popular street is one Nelson Saiers. Nelson spent the better part of his life as a hedge fund manager in Wall Street until he stopped trading in 2014. Since then, Nelson has dedicated his time to revealing the ills of the traditional financial system that he believes is way too broken to survive in the long run.

To better put his point across, this man has opted to use art. In fact, he’s not alone in this line of thinking. There have been numerous cases of people using art to speak to the public about the broken system. Often, they leave spectacular pieces of art or paintings on buildings all across cities. Such art has been spotted in a number of the world’s most popular cities – including France’s Paris.

The Federal Reserve Vs Bitcoin

In precise terms, the huge inflatable sewer rat bearing down on the US Federal Reserve building has its body covered with art depicting Bitcoin code, a spectacle that symbolizes Nelson’s perception of a better financial system as opposed to the mainstream centralized system. In his view, a decentralized crypto ecosystem would do much better than the current system that operates under the tight grip of the authorities.

Indeed, the last two decades have seen various artists come out to use their talents to depict the apparent financial inequalities in the current system. One of the most prominent artists in this school of thought is Banksy. In Banksy’s opinion, a rat is a symbol of resilience and freedom, saying that rats exist without permission and have zero attachment to conservative societal standards. Back in 2016, Andreas Antonopoulous referred to Bitcoin as the “sewer rat of currencies.” Andreas is computer scientist. He went on to give the imagery of an injured but dynamic and robust financial system represented by the sewer rat.

Nicknamed “The Warhol of Wall Street,” Nelson’s ambition doesn’t start or end with the giant white inflatable sewer rat bearing down on the Federal Reserve building. This isn’t his first such project. In fact, he plans to remove the rat once its point is home. With such things happening, Bitcoin seems to be gaining more traction in terms of popularity and credibility as the valid alternative to the restrictive traditional financial system. Could such acts cause a Bitcoin bull run?

Article written by Nick James

Article posted on Ethereum World News

Jeffrey Sloe

Visit MarketHive to learn more: http://markethive.com/jeffreysloe

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