Internet Trends Report 2018: “Exploding” Interest in Crypto

Avi Rosten
  • The annual report which "tells stories of business-related trends" - identified a massive increase in cryptocurrency interest
  • The report also showed that bitcoin was a popular topic at university

Venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s popular annual Internet Trends Report has this year identified an “exploding” interest in cryptocurrency.

Compiled in conjunction with venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Partners and Hillhouse Capital, the 294-page report focuses on “trends around data” to “tell stories of business-related trends.”

Of particular interest, the report showed that academic interest in cryptocurrency hit a new high in 2017 - with a Princeton course on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies ranking in the top 10 most popular university courses for the year.

 

Meeker’s report looked at some interesting stats to illustrate the increase in cryptocurrency interest: data from Coinbase shows their user numbers increasing nearly fourfold between January and December 2017.

coinbase users.png

The chart also shows a particular spike in the frenetic autumn period when bitcoin and other top cryptocurrencies rose rapidly - although the chart fails to include the figures for coinbase membership during December when bitcoin reached its all-time high of $20,000.

Moving into the Mainstream

Coinbase have arguably been instrumental in the penetration of cryptocurrency into the mainstream - in particular for retail investors. One of the few exchanges to offer fiat pairings with top cryptocurrencies, the exchange and wallet provider has name recognition that extends beyond the confines of the crypto-world.

With reports released today confirming that Bittrex are set to offer Bitcoin US Dollar trading on their exchange - recent moves by other exchanges towards offering fiat pairings will no doubt increase this movement towards mainstream recognition.

tZERO Opened Its Doors to Non-Accredited Investors, but Their Options Are Still Limited

Samuel Haig

Last week, tZERO announced that its securities tokens (TZROP) are now available to be traded to non-accredited investors, as per Rule 144 of the Securities Act of 1933.

Despite the launch, the platform offers limited functionality, Overstock's OSTKO security token and TZROP comprising the only markets that are currently available for non-accredited investors to trade. Traders are only able to place limit and market orders to purhcase security tokens using fiat currency, with tZERO's markets open for trade during weekdays between 9:30am and 4:00pm EDT.

Signing up to trade on tZERO requires submitting identifying documentation to the platform, with verification taking several days for the company to complete. As the platform develops and evolves, however, more functionality is to be expected.

TZROP Tokens to Generate Divident for Investors

TZROP were first issued via a private placement during August 2018, and have been tradable among accredited investors since January of this year. The tokens are now exclusively tradable on the PRO Securities alternative trading system (ATS) to investors who hold an account with Dinosaur Financial - a broker-dealer headquartered in New York.

According to a press release, the TZROP token offers investors “direct exposure to tZERO’s revenue growth through its quarterly dividend model,” with tZERO pledging to distribute 10% of its adjusted gross revenue to holders of its security token . Investors can reportedly choose to receive dividends in the form of BTC, ETH, TZROP, or U.S. dollars.

However, the release notes that the distribution of dividends is subject to approval from tZERO’s board of directors, and Delaware law.

Peer-to-Peer Trading of TZROP Tokens Prohibited

TZERO emphasized that peer-to-peer transfers of TZROP have not been authorized, asserting that TZROP holders must exclusively resell tokens “on the PRO Securities' [...] ATS only through a brokerage account established with Dino, a subscriber to the ATS, with clearing and custody provided by Electronic Transaction Clearing, a registered broker-dealer, and Computershare, as transfer agent.”

To comply with the company’s regulatory obligations, tZERO also reserves the right to prohibit tZERO security token holders from moving TZROP from Dinosaur Financial brokerage accounts to personal wallets.

The chief executive officer of tZERO, Saum Noursalehi, stated:

“Following the one-year anniversary of the close of our security token offering, non-accredited investors now have the ability to purchase and trade in our security tokens. Today marks another milestone as we further democratize access to all investors, regardless of net worth, can invest in the business opportunity of a blockchain-based capital market.”

TZERO Receives Patent for ‘TOME’ Technology

On Aug. 6, 2019, tZERO was awarded a patent for a process for recording trading data on a public blockchain, dubbed the “Time Ordered Merkle Epoch (TOME) methodology.”

According to the company’s announcement:

TOME is a base-layer technology that uses digital signatures to record and verify time-series data such as trades, executions and settlements. This technology enables low-latency systems, including traditional matching engines or private blockchain ledgers, to be anchored into immutable public blockchain ledgers.

TZERO plans to incorporate TOME into its product suite, in addition to licensing the technology to other firms.