How Apple and Google Marketplaces are Killing Innovation, and How Blockchain can Solve It

The global market in recent years has witnessed a tremendous increase in the number of mobile application downloads. According to the comScore report, the mobile app revenue reached $58 billion in 2016 from $45 billion in 2015. The same report predicts that app revenue will hit a new peak of $77 billion by the end of 2017.

The figures evidently point to the emergence of a new whole industry, the one that belongs to application developers. They study the market, understand its need, determine the solution, and codify it in the form of a user-interactive mobile application.

There are still some challenges, however, related to app distribution. In terms of app marketplaces, developers have only a couple of choices. The app industry today is dominated by the two corporate giants: Apple and Google. They are the ones which decide how apps are built, promoted, or even held. They even hold the power to reject an entire class of apps without providing any concrete reason. More, app developers pay as much as 30% of their total revenue to these marketplaces.

It is true that the app revenue statistics are bullish, but one cannot ignore that they could have been higher if developers were allowed to be innovative. The solution to this issue lies in a complete revamp.

Blockchain for App Distribution?

Blockchain, for a very long time, has been proposed as a go-to solution for app distribution process. Like financial transactions, blockchain could replace centralized app distribution marketplaces with distributed systems with no middlemen whatsoever.

David Shabun, the founder of Spheris blockchain platform

“Blockchain is definitely a way to overcome the prevailing challenges of app distribution,” explains David Shabun, a renowned data architect. “Developers should have every right to create and distribute their apps, and they must not be submitted into paying hefty revenues to third parties. Blockchain eliminates hefty fees and restrictions to create an enjoyable experience for developers.”

Shabun, who has also founded Spheris, a blockchain-based decentralized app distribution platform, believes that blockchain will soon become a norm. Customers will choose decentralized experience while purchasing and leasing apps because the app rates will be lower in absence of commission-hungry centralized marketplaces.

“Open source blockchain Dapps will drive the economy of the future and we see Spheris as an integral part of this vision,” Shabun added.

Spheris will not retain the control over the platform, preserving its ideological stand against centralized business models. The startup, therefore, is opening a fundraiser campaign which will invite anyone who wants to contribute to their platform’s development.

For more information, have a look at public is welcomed to join Spheris team for a chat in Telegram or keep track of their project via Twitter.

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The gospel of blockchain is spreading across all the mainstream industries. While new and emerging startups are building new applications on the top of decentralized ledger technology, the established lot has already decided to spend millions of dollars in researching and developing it in line with their enterprises’ goals.

In the middle of the blockchain-mania is a new startup which demonstrably brings something very unique to the industry. IMMLA, as the startup is titled, proposes to build a decentralized multimodal transportation system.

It is true that even an IT-intensive logistics market is blinkered and clustered by information barriers. This is resulting in a poor annual growth as a whole, for the volumes are record-low, and the tariffs are record-high. IMMLA, on the other hand, is offering a logistic solution that combines the instant setting and contracting of multimodal shipping through the mechanism of the best price the freighters.

NewsBTC’s Editor-in-Chief Gautham N spoke to IMMLA’s founder Mikhail Astakhov in order to bring more clarity about the purpose and implementation of their project. Excerpts from their conversation:

Gautham N: How would you explain IMMLA to a layman?

Mikhail Astakhov: IMMLA is an opportunity to order a transportation of any cargo, including the industrial one, from a stranger on the other end of the world as reliably and simply as ordering pizza delivery from your nearest and most favorite pizza place. You just open the IMMLA app on your mobile device, click and the game is on!

In the event of an unsuccessful completion of cargo transportation, who does bear the losses?

IMMA can act as a service and as a platform. In the first case, all losses are compensated by IMMLA, due to its commission and insurance companies covering its risks. In the second case, the losses of the customer are covered by the insurance company, which he will choose as an insurer of transportation risks. It is assumed that the insurance companies in the IMMLA system will undergo the strictest selection. The rates of insurance companies will be much lower than today’s, as the transparency and reliability of the blockchain technologies implemented in the IMMLA will be extremely reliable in reflecting all insurance events, reducing the costs of proving the events.

Multimodal transport contracts are not regulated at international level. Can blockchain solve this issue?

Indeed, the performance of the contract is governed by the local law of the jurisdiction in which the counterparty is located. At the same time, a smart contract programmatically requires each party to perform its part of the work, regardless of jurisdiction and applicable law. This allows you to enter into the smart contract conditions that are not be regulated by standard legal contracts. For example, in the United States, the carrier will not enter into a contract with payment in rupees, but through a smart contract, it can be done.

It is obvious that at this stage of development, IMMLA-like services based on blockchain will be the main arbiter in disputed situations. But we expect that in the medium term, lawmaking will start adopting the new principles of doing business, including the area of multimodal international transportations.

The ICO market is still an unregulated one. How are the holders of IMMLA tokens protected under the current framework?

One part of the protection is economic principles that are embedded in the smart contract for the issue of tokens. For example, tokens to team members are released only 5 months after the launch of the service. Collected funds are stored on multisig, all transactions from which are visible. Therefore, to the expediency of using the money, at least the local laws of ICO participants on the protection of consumers’ rights are applicable. The second part of the protection is the reputation of our corporate shareholders and advisers. Linked by standard legally binding documents, the consortium, and therefore investors in the ICO, are protected from fraudulent schemes.

Read more about IMMLA’s multimodal transportation system in this whitepaper, or interact with the team directly in their Telegram or Reddit channel.

Cover Image via IMMLA Medium

The Prime-Ex Perpetual project recently announced the launch of its upcoming crowdfunding round. The pre-ICO will begin September 18, 2017, at 17:00 GMT, providing first participants the chance to receive bonus PEX Tokens.

The project has garnered massive response soon after the release of their whitepaper.  The company received 10,000 Facebook likes in the first 18 hours after their announcement.  

Prime-Ex Perpetual proposes to disrupt the real estate sector by simplifying the way homebuilding, home buying and home financing can be executed. It introduces PEX as a blockchain asset to settle real-estate transactions within the synergistic system, as well as to reward PEX holders with dividends.

“Our commitment is to distribute 80% of our profits to all token holders,” the Prime-Ex Perpetual whitepaper reads. “We will also incentivize buyers to pay mortgages using PEX tokens by means of mortgage rate discount, effectively creating demand for PEX on a monthly basis.”

In his conversation with NewsBTC, John Gilbert, CEO, and co-founder of Prime-Ex Perpetual stressed on developing a real estate ecosystem where every participant can benefit, not just the home builders and finance. He mentioned Prime-Ex Perpetual as the only global real estate project where buyers benefit from its success.

“Our home buyers win the most if they pay their mortgages with PEX-Tokens, and they use the savings on their mortgage payment to buy more PEX-Tokens.  They become our PEX-Token holders, and they share proportionally along with other PEX-Token holders in 80% profit distributions.  What other real estate company offers that?  Everybody wins.”

The Prime-Ex Perpetual project’s pre-ICO round appears to be a great opportunity for real estate enthusiasts and investors alike. The company plans to initially issue a total of 750,000 incentives PEX-Tokens. Participants will be given additional bonuses depending on the week of their purchase. Here is an image of the bonus breakdown:

So, for instance, if a participant purchases 1000 PEX during the second week of the Pre-ICO round, they will be paid 1000 x 10% = 1,100 PEX-Tokens, which includes 100 PEX tokens in bonus.

Learn more about Prime-Ex Perpetual at, or follow them on Facebook at

NewsBTC recently had a chance to sit down with ZebPay’s Sandeep Goenka. With a major blockchain conference taking place in Mumbai, it was a good time to meet up. India is quite an intriguing region when it comes to Bitcoin, as there is a strong focus on digital payment solutions already. NewsBTC’s Editor-in-Chief Gautham Narasimhamurthy had a good discussion with Goenka regarding the future of Bitcoin in India.

Considering it is the first time Sandeep Goenka speaks to a Bitcoin news media group, NewsBTC is honored to sit down with him. ZebPay is one of the leading Bitcoin exchanges in India today. When asked about regulatory pressure Goenka got straight to the point. The goal is to bring the industry together and create a common platform in the form of DABFI. This lobby group will help shape the future of both Bitcoin and blockchain in the country over the coming years.

Indian Government Seems Open-minded

Lobbying itself has been pretty successful so far. Goenka state show there is ‘a lot of activity” among government officials these days. Various departments are looking into this matter in an effort to find a common solution. There is still a lot of regulatory uncertainty for the time being, though. Most meetings so far have been rather solid. It seems involved parties have no major issue wrapping their head around the concept of cryptocurrency and blockchain. Moreover, DABFI has given some pointers as to how the illicit use of Bitcoin can be prevented by the government.

Having such an open dialog will be invaluable for all parties. It is important different viewpoints are heard before any decision is made by the people in power. Not stifling innovation is the number one priority for DABFI. So far, the atmosphere is overall positive, but it is impossible to tell what the regulators are actually thinking. Moreover, some recent media reports are rather disconcerting.  We can only hope there will be no knee-jerk reaction from the government.

It is doubtful the Indian government will introduce something on the same level as BitLicense. That will only be done if officials are convinced it is the right decision. For now, that is not the case, according to Goenka, albeit it is still too early to tell. A knee-jerk reaction would certainly be a big loss for India. Self-regulation is also an option worth exploring. An international body of all governments would be the best outcome, although it may not be feasible. Goenka confirms it is positive to see an active interest from India’s government so far. The recommendation for a self-regulating cryptocurrency-related organization has been made, though. Only time will tell if the government decides to pursue this option.

More Currencies are Coming to ZebPay

On the topic of ZebPay, some changes will be coming. The company mainly focuses on making cryptocurrency simple and exciting for all users. New cryptocurrencies will be coming in the future, though. Right now, it is unclear which of the different currencies will be added in the future. Explaining the concept of Bitcoin is already difficult. Taking the time to add more currencies is the right decision for the company right now. Last but not least, ZebPay has no intention to venture into the blockchain world anytime soon.

Image via Tech Circle

[UPDATE1: In a recent announcement, Etherparty has stated that it is moving the ICO date from September 15, 2017, to October 1, 2017.]

Etherparty is a new fintech-related startup that will soon launch its ICO (Initial Coin Offering). It aims at managing smart contracts in an easier and better way even in the case of a user without any knowledge of computer programming.

Etherparty Overview

Etherparty is a contract wizard that removes the complexity of creating and executing smart contracts on any blockchain, allowing users with a zero-knowledge of programming to create self-executing smart contracts for any kind of transaction.

Users will have the chance to choose from a wide range of data-sources, oracles, and clauses from the platform where they can simply use the drag and drop tools to visually manage and construct custom contracts.

EtherParty Security

Etherparty conducts continuous security tests on all the smart contracts on the testnet before they are made available in the template library. This is possible thanks to security experts who fully audit Solidity language code of any custom contract so that are no surprises in store after they are launched on the mainnet.

An “all-in-one” solution

Etherparty aims at being a fully managed solution that handles everything from creating digital agreements on the blockchain to security testing, launching and monitoring tools during the whole process, making it easier even for a user with no prior experience.

These are the potential applications, but they are just a small part of the possibilities allowed by Etherparty.

  • Peer-to-peer escrow contracts
  • Sport Wagering
  • Token creation
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Real Estate and Contractor Agreements

EtherParty ICO

Etherparty is launching its ICO, starting from September 15th, 2017 at 10:00 PDT. Those interested in being part of the revolutionary platform can make use of this opportunity and participate in the crowdsale. 

Currently, the team is working on a mobile app in alpha, enabling end-to-end contracts management based on the Ethereum blockchain.

FUEL is the name of the Etherparty-created ERC20 token that powers the platform.

Total supply: 1 Billion

Token distribution

Etherparty, ICO, crowdsale

Etherparty has decided to hold an ICO in order to build a network of worldwide users who will use FUEL for many contract use cases: from gaming to supply chain, from peer-to-peer contracts to crowdfunding. And, of course, to do so, they need to kickstart the movement. 

There are a lot of exciting things in store and in the coming days, Etherparty will emerge as the DIY smart contracts and DApps platform for everyone irrespective of whether they are professional developers or not.

So that’s another day complete in our bitcoin price trading efforts and – once again – we’ve had a pretty wild ride. We noted in this morning’s coverage that action overnight moved pretty fast and that this meant we didn’t really have time to wait around before jumping into the markets.

Now we have a little more time, we can dwell on things a bit.

Price rose into the late session and – subsequent to the uptick – took a bit of a hit on some consolidation type action. Early morning, however, things broke out once again and the action that we saw told us that the decline may very well be over and that the correction that took place over the last couple of weeks should have come to an end.

That’s the hope, at least.

We can’t guarantee this since much of the action we are seeing right now is rooted in fundamental developments and anything can happen on that side of the equation. We can say that – from a purely technical perspective – however, we expect things to remain pretty solid between now and the close of the week. If we get some upside momentum, great. If not, no big deal.

So let’s get some levels in place for the session this evening. As ever, take a quick look at the chart below before we get started so as to get an idea what’s on and where things stand. It’s a one-minute candlestick chart and it’s got our key range overlaid in red.

As the chart shows, the range we are using for the session this evening comes in as defined by support to the downside at 4628 and resistance to the upside at 4674. If we get a close above resistance, we’ll jump in long towards 4710. Conversely, a close below support will signal a short entry towards 4600.

Charts courtesy of Trading View

London, 7th September 2017 – eToro, the leading global trading and investing platform, is to make five cryptocurrencies available to own directly via its platform, as it seeks to simplify the process of buying cryptos, and help bring the technology into the mainstream.

Joining over 1,200 instruments, including Apple, Microsoft, SNAP and Facebook on the platform, clients will be able to buy the actual underlying asset of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and Ripple. This comes as demand for cryptocurrency trading grew fourfold in just 12 months and as the global market cap for cryptocurrencies exceeds $160 billion. In the last quarter, the business has seen over $1bn of cryptocurrency trades from its clients.

The launch is part of eToro’s wider ambition to simplify cryptocurrency investing and act as an accelerant for the adoption of blockchain technology.

Commenting on the launch, Yoni Assia, co-founder and CEO at eToro, said: “Cryptocurrencies have come of age over the last year, but buying and owning the underlying crypto asset is still very difficult. At eToro, we’ve already simplified the worlds of trading and investing, and now we have an opportunity to use our experience and expertise to simplify cryptocurrencies.

“By using our platform, investors benefit from the peace of mind that comes with our long-track record in the cryptocurrency market.”

Purchasers of the cryptocurrencies will benefit from eToro’s fast verification procedures, security processes and established reputation, alongside a user-friendly platform and access to a community of six million experienced expert traders and investors.

The development towards offering the underlying asset on eToro has been supported by a number of leading names within the cryptocurrency industry.


Founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee said:

“By making Litecoin available on a safe, simple, and secure platform, eToro will help increase the adoption of Litecoin among a wider audience.”

Founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), Barry Silbert said:

“By showing their support for Ethereum Classic, among others, eToro supports our position that digital currency as an asset class has not only arrived but is here to stay.”

In July 2017, eToro launched its Crypto CopyFund trading strategy, which offers investors exposure to six of the most popular cryptocurrencies currently available, including Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and Ripple in one portfolio.

Sensay, a Los Angeles-based tech company that specializes in AI, chatbots and conversation analysis has launched a sale of its new Ethereum-based application token, SENSE with a presale date scheduled on September 9, 2017, and a sale date scheduled for September 27, 2017. SENSE tokens will enable users to earn rewards for the contributions they make to one another conversationally, across Sensay and other applications.

Sensay is an interoperable messaging platform across Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Slack, Kik, Skype, SMS, iMessage and Telegram for matching and routing humans for conversation. The Sensay network has over 20 million Sensay Coins already in circulation among nearly 3 million users, radically increasing digital currency adoption. Taking a bold step toward data openness, Sensay recently announced its newest feature in Peek, allowing anyone to view anonymous conversations on the platform as well as a SENSE bot to simplify the sale process.

Selling the SENSE tokens will enable Sensay to advance product development and to speed the rate of innovation in bridging AI and human conversational data. By widely distributing its SENSE tokens to a global group of participants, Sensay expects to align interests with its users by rewarding them with a coin with immediate value while accelerating developer adoption and network growth.

“We’ve created outstanding networks of humans within Sensay. We are generating unprecedented levels of human conversational data for the developer community, while also providing the possibility of active or passive income to purpose-driven conversations that are already happening within our network”, said Crystal Rose,

said Crystal Rose, co-founder and CEO of Sensay. “SENSE is now the missing bridge in monetization.”

“SENSE is now the missing bridge in monetization.”

Sensay previously closed $6 million in two funding rounds led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Greycroft Partners, Draper Associates, Amplify LA and other investors.

For those interested in participating in the Token Sale, visit and


Sensay is a Los Angeles-based tech company that specializes in AI, chatbots, conversation analysis and messaging. The free platform is available across popular mobile messengers on all operating systems. For more information please visit:

Follow Sensay on Twitter: @sensay

The Sensay and SENSE logos and brand assets are available at

It was to be expected! Few big changes following China’s ICO ban. Although the main focus is on initial coin offerings, exchanges also feel the heat. BitBays, a British-registered company, is shutting down their Bi Bei Wang digital sets exchange in the country. This is only one of the first victims of this new regulation, by the look of things.

It is quite interesting to learn a British company has an asset exchange in China. Although very few people seemingly know of BitBays, their Bi Bei Wang platform has become pretty popular lately. This is mostly due to them trading various digital assets. Unfortunately, the government is cracking down on ICOs, which forces some changes. As a result, Bi Bei Wang will be shut down and services are migrated to MixCoins.

A Pre-emptive Decision by BitBays

Given this new regulation, it is only normal some companies take this course of action. Although this is a preemptive step and not an official requirement by the PBoC, the decision makes a lot of sense. Any blockchain project based out of China can no longer look for investors in the mainland. This also means smaller digital asset exchanges may face struggles along the way. It wouldn’t be surprising if other exchanges of this type pull away from China until the dust settles. After all, users can still trade on the MixCoins platform, which is operated by the same time.

What is peculiar about MixCoins is how they will not serve Chinese customers moving forward. More specifically, they are enforcing that there will be no Chinese clients whatsoever. It is unclear how the company hopes to achieve this right now. For the time being, Chinese users can log in through BitBays and see their funds. All other functionality has been suspended, other than fund withdrawals. There will be a deadline to move funds out, though, which makes time of the essence in this regard.

Last but not least, BitBays is fully compliant with FATCA, FinCEN, and MSB. This pre-emptive decision to halt operations in China is their best course of action. The name BitBays will no longer be used either. It is unclear what will happen to the Bi Bei Wang name in the future. The service may relaunch in the future, although that has not been confirmed at this point. Operating a legal platform in China right now requires a lot of time and funding. For most companies, it may not be worth the effort.

Or how blasphemously Is Bitcoin like Contemporary Art?


“Beginning of a New Era” from the Veena Malik project

Do you remember the first time your eyes opened to the real value of Bitcoin and the self-evident evolution of the mainstream money system? Remember how you wanted to tell everyone about it and how it was attached to a much bigger shift than just currency. Most importantly, how you felt when you bought something real with it and the fear of it being just a hoax transformed into a profound experience? Many in this space have felt the ridicule and arrogance of the ignorant, who you initially told blockchain about. Knowing better, you pushed on, as your world view had already changed.

“Soldier of Fortune” from Art For Crypto.
Much like Kenny from South Park, Bitcoin keeps coming back to life.

I remember the shock I experienced, when a man at a Helsinki gallery told me he would not buy a piece of mine he fell in love with, as it did not match the colours of his couch. It did dawn on me that the first primal reaction of wanting to punch him in the face was inappropriate and attached to awkward social consequences. However the conversation ended swiftly due to me suddenly needing to be elsewhere. I’ll get to why a bit later.

Random couch image


The Pioneers

The pioneers of cryptocurrency and blockchain took a whole bunch of obvious and rather stealthy arrows during the first decade of it. Many lost their reputation and even freedom due to it. The global currency battles are far from over but many of us are now collecting the benefits due to people, who boldly walked through the doors first. The tone of the public conversation has changed a lot since. Innovation has always been met with fierce resistance, as many stand to lose a lot of power because of it. It has always weirded me out how the ones who stand to lose nothing and have everything to gain fight equally as hard.

“Elusive Obvious” from the Artevo series

Often those who do well in life have a higher capacity to perceive value and the potential to go beyond purely exchanging labour and / or materials. They have left behind childish notions of something for nothing and learned what could be called ‘universal laws’. So how is modern art similar to Bitcoin? Put simply, there are many more PayCoins than Bitcoins in this realm. However to lump them all in the same category is similar to saying “I just like my dollars as they are backed by gold.” As to why art is often thought to be like crypto in general, is a more complex matter and people in general are certainly not to be blamed for it. Navigating the art space is as difficult as the blockchain is to most.

Watch a short video about Vesa’s Artevo process

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Arts are still at the bottom of the food chain in our global education system. Sir Ken Robinson illustrates this well in his ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity’ TED talk. This lack of appreciation in the schooling system mixed with fine art having an elite stigma has lead many to resent it. The reason why crypto is often an uphill journey is that similarly our education system fails to tell people how our monetary system functions and what money really is. The tangible power of it, the experience, only shows itself through a value perception shift.

“Lakshmi, The Goddess of Health and Wealth” from Art For Crypto
(Traditional money shower now with Bitcoins)

Now back to why I had that passion, as silly as it might sound, to initially punch that couch guy. After being a professional artist for almost two decades, having fought through a hell of a lot of ridicule, humiliation, poverty and societal conditioning to having created something unique, strong and inspiring to many – someone reducing that value to less than a couch is aggravating. To react to it badly would of course be infantile on my part.

“Flower of Life” from the Veena Malik project

The Significance of Your Environment

When I move house next, knowing the significance of my environment and its influence to my overall state of well-being, the first things going in are the art pieces. The furniture and all the rest of the fillers will come after, as they are of much less importance to how I really feel about life. The comfort of my couch will be there, even if I pick the colour according to what are living and storing value on the walls.

Vesa Kivinen
Visual Artist
London / Helsinki