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Blockchain Technology and Virtual Reality: A Perfect Combination

Blockchain technology and virtual reality (“VR”) are a great match together as they work hand-in-hand to create an enhanced experience for gamers. Recently, Apple’s app store featured the first blockchain-based augmented reality game, Augmentors. The development of blockchain-based games is helping to bring blockchain technology and cryptocurrency mainstream, and the pace of adoption is accelerating as gaming companies are finding better applications of blockchain tech in gaming.   Merging VR and Blockchain Tech Augmentors allows players to own creatures called Augmentors, which have their own unique characteristics and skills. The game’s founders, Michael Deon and Kyle Haffenden, brought the idea to Shark Tank South Africa in 2016 where they were able to obtain an investor, Vinny Lingham. The game platform, which is based on Bitcoin, allows players to train and trade Augmentors within the game. One thing that makes Augmentors unique is that it relies on cryptocurrency and blockchain tech to create a more authentic VR experience. The game uses an in-game currency called Emeralds that run on the Bitcoin blockchain. Players can earn or purchase Emeralds, which can be exchanged with the cryptocurrency called Databits (DTB) and at a ratio of 1 DTB to 1000 Emeralds.   Blockchain Technology and Virtual Reality: a Match Made in Heaven The gaming industry has come a long way since the 1970s. New technological innovations took us from the coin-operated arcade games of the past to modern MMORPGs complete with their own social and economic systems. Now, we’re looking at increasingly authentic and immersive gaming experiences coming from the marriage of blockchain tech and virtual reality. Virtual reality offers an amazingly realistic gaming experience. VR allows players to feel like they are really experiencing their own virtual world. And just like in the real world, good VR involves social and economic interactions as well as physical sensations. Virtual reality games are moving towards increasingly realistic interactions with the physical world. In the future, VR gaming experiences may allow players to create and maintain virtual assets that have value outside of the gaming experience. Blockchain technology has created a way for gamers to obtain and own assets in a VR experience that are secure. This could lead to a virtual economic system where players can buy, sell, and trade assets among each other in a trustless environment.   Blockchain Tech’s VR Applications are Changing the Player Experience Cryptocurrency and blockchain tech are creating more immersive, and authentic gaming experiences by creating a more realistic virtual space in which players can interact with each other. The first Blockchain-based augmented virtual reality games are already stimulating awareness of blockchain technology’s many potential applications in the gaming industry. Blockchain technology can benefit a variety of games within the industry, but it’s still an emerging field. Block and Chain Game Studios is pleased to be able to offer a platform which supports VR game development for major game engines! To find out more about how Block and Chain Game Studios is improving the blockchain gaming space, join us on social media.   Join The Block & Chain Community! Forums Website Youtube Facebook Instagram Twitter Reddit LinkedIn

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NY Regulators Approve First Blockchain Payment System at Major Bank

New York’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) recently authorized a blockchain-based digital platform for the regulated exchange of funds. The project – dubbed Signet - will be launched by a fully-regulated New York financial institution, the New York Signature Bank. On December 4, NYDFS Superintendent Maria T. Vullo announced that the Department would allow Signature Bank to offer its own virtual payment platform to clients throughout the state. Halo Platform is committed to seeing the expansion of blockchain technology within the financial sector and beyond. While some may find it concerning that big financial institutions are taking this grassroots technology for their own gain, it’s always good to see more people using cryptocurrency and blockchain tech.   Historical Approval Rides on Stipulations After conducting a stringent analysis of the bank’s platform and its investor protection systems, the NYDFS awarded Signature Bank a permit allowing the bank to move forward with the launch and development of its blockchain-based real-time payment system. The final platform will undergo a rigorous inspection by the regulator’s examiners and independent consultants before it goes live to the public, which demonstrates the potential positive impact that effective regulation can have on cryptocurrency markets. The Signet Platform will be jointly developed by Signature Bank and trueDigital Holdings, LLC, a New York-based crypto firm focused on building financial structures around blockchain technology. The blockchain-based system is structured to allow funds to be transferred between two commercial clients from Signature bank in real time. It works by quickly converting U.S. dollars into tokens, or Signets, in a manner that is compliant with Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard. The system utilizes blockchain technology to allow its clients to transfer money at their convenience, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, without any transaction fees. The Signet approval makes history. It is the first blockchain payment system of its kind to have attained regulatory approval in the state of New York. However, approval rides on Signature Bank’s ability to comply with a few conditions, which were designed to ensure that the bank is maintaining robust, up-to-date policies and procedures to minimize user risk and fortify compliance with New York’s strict anti-money laundering and fraud laws.   The Signet Platform is Part of a Bigger Plan The Signet Platform will only be available to Signature Bank customers for the time being, but this early blockchain innovation is part of a much larger plan. The bank is on track to eventually have the capability to connect to with any user without the need of an intermediary. The banking industry is evolving rapidly, and if banks are going to survive the cryptocurrency movement they need to hop on the blockchain track before it’s too late. They’re already facing increasing competition from companies who have been working with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology for years now – including Halo Platform. Halo Platform has built its own blockchain, and it’s lightning-fast. The big banks are seeing some competition from up-and-comers like they never have before, and Halo Platform is right there gunning for them!
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Can Gaming Revive Cryptocurrency Markets?

It’s no secret: the cryptocurrency markets have been struggling.  We saw thefts, frauds, and losses wipe out billions in cryptocurrency last year, and the HODLers are dwindling. But at the same time, the gaming industry is thriving. Cryptocurrency and blockchain tech have unique applications in gaming, and the synergistic relationship between blockchain and gaming may help breath new life into the lagging crypto markets. Blockchain technology in the gaming industry has been booming. Up-and-coming gaming companies are developing new blockchain-based video games every day, and the new online experiences made possible by this groundbreaking technology are nothing short of mind-blowing. Using blockchain tech, players will soon be able to move their creations across a decentralized network securely, trustlessly, and instantaneously. There’s no doubt blockchain and cryptocurrency technology make a strong value case in gaming, but can gaming save the struggling crypto markets?
  Crypto’s Rough Year

After a boom year in 2017, cryptocurrency investors saw demonstrable losses last year. In December 2017, Bitcoin hit an all-time high value of $19,000. As of writing, Bitcoin’s value is about at $4,000 with an overall market capitalization of about $71 billion. No matter how you look at it, this kind of volatility creates a rough environment for any financial instrument, and it has raised serious concerns among cryptocurrency and blockchain tech supporters. The cryptocurrency market may have seen a drop in the past year, but technology is resilient. Crypto may be down, but it’s not out — and as we see more applications of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in secondary markets, a revival may be right around the corner. And with the enormous growth we’ve seen in gaming over the decades, the gaming industry may be the solution to bringing the cryptocurrency market back to stability.
Could Gaming Bring the Next Crypto Boom?

Despite massive losses, cryptocurrency supporters remain hopeful. And many are speculating that the cryptocurrency market may have a lucrative future if blockchain gaming keeps expanding. After all, there’s a natural synergy between blockchain, cryptocurrency, and gaming, and there’s no indication that the growth in this area is slowing down. Gamers are pretty comfortable using tokens for in-game purchases, but the potential for cryptocurrency and blockchain in gaming doesn’t end there. By relying on blockchain ledgers, players can actually own their in-game assets and achievements. From there, they can buy, sell and trade amongst each other in secondary markets, which often spill over into the real-world economy. This is a clear use case for cryptocurrency, which has struggled to find a foothold in mainstream markets. There’s no telling what will happen in the cryptocurrency markets, but it’s nearly certain that gaming will continue its astronomical rise in popularity. This is particularly true as the gaming industry continues to utilize blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Investors and venture capitalist are observing the benefits the gaming industry is experiencing from the utilization of both, which may help facilitate the adoption of the technology by other industries. Considering an investment in the growing blockchain gaming space? Block and Chain Game Studios delivers fun, immersive blockchain-powered gaming experiences for gamers around the world. Investors may contact Block and Chain at bnc@blockandchain.games.

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Netherlands to Implement Cryptocurrency Licensing Program

There is a lot of debate and speculation as to whether or not cryptocurrency should be subjected to regulation. Around the world, nations have tackled the problem in a variety of ways. Most recently, the Netherlands opted to allow cryptocurrency trading to take place within the country on the condition that cryptocurrency firms responsible for a traded coin first obtain a license. The ongoing regulatory development in the cryptocurrency space is beginning to change.   De Nederlandsche Bank to Regulate Crypto Licensure The Dutch legislature passed a law back in June that required the development of a cryptocurrency licensure system, which will come into effect in 2020. Upon the implementation of nationwide crypto regulation, it will also be required of all member countries residing within the EU to follow the crypto regulation laid out in the Netherlands. The details of the new Dutch cryptocurrency licensing process remain vague, but for the time being the De Nederlandsche Bank appears to be the entity responsible for overseeing cryptocurrency licensure. The Bank has shown interest in blockchain technology since 2016, but January 2018 marked a key point in the development of the organization’s position on cryptocurrency. The De Nederlandsche Bank has a concern about how cryptocurrency might still be incapable of working at a global level. However, the bank has continued to work on blockchain and crypto projects. The Dutch bank insists that banning the use of cryptocurrency is not an acceptable solution, but that users should be cautious when dabbling in digital coin currency trade.   Crypto Licenses Require Firms to Follow Key Rules To be awarded a cryptocurrency license, a Dutch firm must fully comply with broad transparency regulations. The crypto firm will need to identify their customers, as well as monitor and report any suspected illicit behavior or unusual transactions. Some issues may arise throughout this process, such as the anonymity of blockchain making it difficult for firms to gather information. However, licensing protocols are designed to mitigate the issues posed by cryptocurrency’s semi-anonymous nature. In the Netherlands, regulators are requiring that crypto firms provide a list of their customers. Only time will tell how effective the regulations will be in eradicating money laundering and fraud, but increasing transparency in volatile cryptocurrency markets will help mitigate some of the natural risks of investing in this market.   Regulation Brings Legitimacy to Crypto Markets Now more than ever, the cryptocurrency markets could benefit from effective regulation. Regulation could provide the crypto market with the stability it needs to bring on major investors and decrease overall market volatility.  Regulation of the crypto market will ensure additional stability and reduce the market’s volatility, making it more attractive to potential investors and users who have thus far held off due to concerns over the unstable market. Cryptocurrency has sparked a valuation debate that is ongoing to this day, but it doesn’t appear as if this groundbreaking technology is going anywhere. Regulators around the world are coming around to the idea of integrating cryptocurrency and blockchain tech into their existing financial systems, and the Netherlands’ new licensing system is an interesting solution to a problem regulators around the world are wrestling with at this very moment.

The Halo Platform understands the importance of legitimizing cryptocurrency around the world. We have a comprehensive compliance program and dedicated staff who ensure adherence to current and new legislation. The Halo Platform and currency are shining examples of crypto done right in the world of emerging legitimacy.
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IBM and Columbia University Launch Accelerators for Blockchain Startups

Columbia University and tech giant IBM recently announced the launch of two new technology accelerator programs focused on blockchain technology. The pair of accelerator programs aims to support both new and existing startups that are currently operating in the blockchain space. The partnership aims to foster innovation within these companies at a scale far beyond their current capacity. The accelerator programs also intend to provide these select startups with many other forms of assistance intended to help cover most of the cost of building a successful blockchain network. This includes access to IBM cloud technology, technical support, assistance in graphic design, and access to Columbia’s collegiate student talent and research community. The establishment of the accelerator programs with the capability to offer blockchain-based startups an opportunity to see their innovations executed to scale. This is a huge step in the right direction for the widespread adoption of blockchain technology. Halo Platform has built its own blockchain, and it’s one of the fastest on the web. We know how much goes in to building a blockchain company, and we’re glad to see researchers and large institutions taking the blockchain as seriously as we do.   Columbia University and IBM Partner Up The Columbia-IBM partnership encompasses two programs. The first program, the IBM Blockchain Accelerator, is an eight-week program that targets later-stage blockchain-based companies throughout the world. This approach focuses on structuring a sustainable business network and customer base. The program will have a virtual presence, but will also be implemented in-person in both New York and San Francisco. The second program, the Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator, is also eight-weeks long. However, it will target idea-stage startup companies with Columbia and other select New York City-based University associations. The program will take place on-site in New York City, and will give participants access to tools and training on how to construct a blockchain startup.   What Will the Accelerator Programs Offer? Columbia and IBM have their sights set on leading the development of blockchain technology by power-leveling blockchain innovation into its next generation. IBM’s cloud space operates a hyper-based ledger blockchain platform with an end-to-end forte, ensuring the total security of its user’s transactions. For Columbia University’s part, the world-class institution will be contributing human capital and the infrastructure available to budding tech entrepreneurs in the university community. Each accelerator program will support ten startup blockchain-based companies. The startups will be provided with access to a network of business mentors, entrepreneurs, blockchain network creators, and world wide access to expertise and resources. For blockchain startups that are a bit more mature than others, the programs offer opportunities to help those startups function at a larger scale and establish a strong network in the business community. Columbia and IBM have stated that their aim is to help blockchain network developers translate their own ideas into something that can be inflated to a larger scale while also remaining sustainable. In doing so, the accelerator programs have the potential to nourish the blockchain industry and its creators. This will encourage new levels of innovation in blockchain technology adoption and serve as a driving force in business productivity throughout a vast majority of industries.  
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The Growing Blockchain Gaming Job Market

By: Samantha Joule Fow Millennials are the largest generation active in the workforce, with about 56 million young people either working or looking for a job in 2017. But there is a notable shift in the working culture between the up-and-coming millennials and the Gen-Xers that still occupy many workplace leadership positions. As a result, many millennials entering the workforce face frustrating communication barriers with employers. They often feel restricted in working environments where they are not afforded creative or intellectual outlets. In order to avoid these issues, more and more millennials are looking at job opportunities in more progressive workplaces, which are commonly found in the tech, gaming, and entertainment space. The gaming industry has become a big business, and more people are aiming for careers in video game development because of how much the market has grown over the years. With blockchain technology continuing to evolve the video game industry, more companies need skilled employees to help develop and test out these games. As a result, blockchain technology has not only impacted the gaming industry but has also created an appealing new job market, particularly for millennials   Growing Up Comfortable with Technology and Risk Millennials grew up alongside technology. They were the first generation to have access to the internet, cellphones, and social media, and they’ve developed a degree of comfort working on digital platforms since they were young. Because they grew up with technology all around them, millennials have become more comfortable using it. Moreover, they are willing to continue to learn as technology evolves. Their natural tech-savviness and curious natures have put millennials ahead of the game in the growing blockchain gaming market. They are becoming the future of technology, aiding in the growth of the growing blockchain gaming space. Altogether, millennials are poised to become the leaders that our increasingly digital economies need, and blockchain tech is creating the opportunities they need to shine. Millennials grew up with the convenience of technology in a time of notable political and social uncertainty. Major world events like the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the global recession of 2008 has caused many of us to question the reliability of the social infrastructures many of us take for granted. This has affected the way millennials view the world as well as their roles in it. Blockchain technology may provide a growing sense of job security to this generation, as it creates a trustless transaction environment that leaves out a third party.   Gaming Will Change Our Future The gaming industry has been growing by leaps and bounds for a generation, and it will only continue to grow and improve as new innovations emerge. However, in order for the next generation of blockchain tech and gaming companies to succeed, they will need skilled workers who can function in our ever-evolving digital markets. Fortunately, as gaming companies continue to grow more and more innovative, they will become increasingly attractive workplaces for younger people entering the job market. And without a doubt, innovation in gaming will revolve around blockchain technology. Blockchain tech is being used in both video games and in the real world, and tech-savvy millennials are going to be an important part in developing mainstream applications of blockchain technology. Video games create a digital world where players have their own communities and ecosystems, but it doesn’t end there. Now, in-game assets and achievements can be bought and sold in the real world, and soon everything in our economies will become more digitized. Blockchain developers are becoming increasingly important, and tech companies are hiring blockchain tech experts as fast as they can. As the gaming industry continues to grow, so will the demand for employees who possess the specialized skills they need to continue to develop games in the age of blockchain technology.
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Atari Modernizes Classics with Blockchain Tech

Atari, which has been around since 1972, is one of the earliest video gaming companies in existence. Well-known for developing legendary games such as Asteroids and Centipede, Atari is responsible for introducing video gaming to the late-bloomers and basement-dwellers that eventually became the first generation supporters of what is now a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry. However, video gamers are always looking for the next best thing, and Atari is looking towards blockchain tech to help it modernize its brand.   Gaming Legend Goes Blockchain Atari has not been shy about joining the cryptocurrency revolution. The company has even created its own cryptocurrency, the Atari Token. But now that Atari has seen some early success in its cryptocurrency and blockchain tech investments, it’s continuing to work this new technology into more and more of its offerings. In fact, Atari is now moving towards greater blockchain adoption by partnering with Animoca Brand to develop blockchain versions of Atari games such as RollerCoaster Tycoon and Goon Squad. Atari has been interested in advancing their games using blockchain technology for some time. Former company chairman Frédéric Chesnais stated that “blockchain technology is all set to take a very important place in our environment and to transform, if not revolutionize, the current economic ecosystem, especially in the areas of the video game industry and online transactions.” The company has decided to partner with Animoca Brands to refurbish two of Atari’s game titles, but more may come if the venture is a success.   Gaming Companies Make Big Moves in Blockchain Tech Atari and Animoca are working hard to launch the next-generation titles of popular franchises, and gamers are hopeful that there will be more to come. The two gaming companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow them to explore other prospects in game development, product advancement, and how to incorporate blockchain technology into player experiences. According to former Atari Group CEO Frédéric Chesnais, both Atari and Animoca are thrilled by the prospects created by this new deal. According to Chesnais, Atari is set to “become a shareholder in one of the most exciting innovators in the world of decentralized gaming,” – the blockchain. The partnership agreement involves Animoca Brands paying Atari $250,000 in exchange for limited game rights. Atari will receive a portion of the revenue once Animoca Brands makes at least $500,000 in gross revenue. The agreement runs through the spring of 2022 and the new version of the games are expected to launch before the end of the year. The partnership between the two companies is more than just recreating the iconic games Atari has in its product line. Even more significant, it contemplates the development of more opportunities that will benefit them both. Atari and other gaming companies are partnering with blockchain tech companies to help bring this exciting technology to the mainstream. With the advancement of blockchain technology, we won’t just see older games such as RollerCoaster Tycoon relaunched with better builds, we’ll see entirely new titles and experiences. The many potential benefits of blockchain technology have been catching the eye of the legendary video game companies left-and-right, and there’s little doubt that we’ll see many exciting new applications of blockchain tech in gaming as progress continues.
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China Eases Tight Grip on Crypto Markets

The People’s Republic of China closely regulates financial products and services within its jurisdiction. Virtual currency represents a stark ideological opposition to this top-down centralized control, and Chinese financial regulators have never taken kindly to them. However, a recent arbitration decision deeming cryptocurrency assets legal property in China is giving advocates hope that the PRC is slowly easing its tight grip on the mainland’s cryptocurrency markets.
Cryptocurrency Earns Legal Recognition in Chinese Courts

The Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA), the branch of China’s court system responsible for resolving disputes in arbitration, recently ruled that Bitcoin assets will be treated as legal property. The case at issue before the SCIA addressed the issue of whether a Chinese investor who invests using cryptocurrency is entitled to the same protection of the nation’s investment laws as an investor using traditional money. An investor filed suit in the SCIA against a person employed to manage around half a million dollars’ worth of Bitcoin assets. The plaintiff, a private investor, brought the case against the asset manager after he allegedly refused to return the Bitcoin assets to the investor after a dispute regarding business strategy. The assets manager, however, argued that there was no legal recourse for the investor to retrieve his funds since they were in the form of cryptocurrency. Because Bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets were not recognized as a form of currency in China, the defendant claimed, there were no ‘funds’ to be returned. After considering the facts of the case, the arbitrator dismissed the defendant’s reasoning. The SCIA ruled that regardless of the fact that China does not recognize cryptocurrency as a form of legal currency, it is not illegal to own. Rather, virtual currency assets are personal property. As such, and like any other personal property, cryptocurrency owners deserve the full protection of Chinese law.
SCIA Ruling Foreshadows Shift in Policy

This landmark ruling may have been passed down from a local arbitration court, but it indicates a larger shift in China’s approach to cryptocurrency. And while some media outlets are claiming that this case ends the nation’s de facto ban on using and trading cryptocurrencies, it’s important to understand that progress in this regard will be gradual. Notably, the SCIA’s ruling does not have any influence on China’s existing financial regulations. However, the precedent set by the SCIA does indicate that Chinese citizens may have grounds to claim their crypto assets as personal property for other legal disputes in the future. This ruling could help boost digital coin activity on the mainland providing investors and consumers with the confidence of knowing that their transactions are protected by the Chinese courts. This case could earmark a turning point in China’s larger policies regarding cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The country’s regulations had previously left very little wiggle room for the use of cryptocurrencies. China’s government has had a notably restrictive stance on cryptocurrency, and this case has significantly changed the tone surrounding fintech policies in the PRC. China’s approach to regulating cryptocurrency has recently begun to soften. Adoption of blockchain technology on the mainland has been soaring, and cryptocurrency would surely follow suit if it were unburdened by financial regulations. While we’re unlikely to see a total reversal of the PRC’s restrictive digital currency regulations, the recent ruling of the SCIA will now allow Chinese citizens interested in cryptocurrency or blockchain technology to explore this new world without fear. And with a growing number of cryptocurrency platforms like Halo Platform offering localized divisions for Chinese markets, there are plenty of fintech innovations for this growing marketplace to explore.
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Venezula’s Economic Crisis: How Can Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Tech Help?

Halo Platform is building the web’s most functional cryptocurrency toolbox in order to bring the benefits of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech to the masses. This is an important service in the growing cryptocurrency markets because blockchain technology can be used to help address some of our most critical social and economic problems. David Hay is a young entrepreneur that is looking to change the world by empowering people through blockchain technology. He believes that cryptocurrency and blockchain tech can address a number of hard realities for people living in third world countries. This includes local problems like a lack of jobs and homes to national issues like a lack of government or economic support. Hay is focusing his work on one particular country at the moment: the economically and politically embattled nation of Venezuela. The Venezuelan people are suffering due to the economic impacts of improperly-managed centralized control, and they may find a solution in decentralized blockchain technology.
  Venezuelan Economic Collapse Leaves Future Uncertain Venezuela is suffered from astonishing hyperinflation due to its government’s frivolous spending and the economy's reliance on oil. Resulting in diminished the worth of the country’s currency, as of writing one Venezuelan Bolivar is equal to just over one U.S. Cent. The hyperinflation in Venezuela’s currency is causing the average weekly wages in the country to tank, and the average wage in the country is now approximately $1.95 per week. As a result, almost half of all Venezuelans wish to leave their country and nearly 10% already have. Even though Venezuela is experiencing economic turmoil, mass poverty, lack of jobs, food shortages, and rioting, the majority of the Venezuelan people aren’t looking for charity. Instead of a handout, they are simply looking for a handhold to pull themselves back up out of the depths of economic chaos. And if Hay is right, this handhold may very well come in the form of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech.
  How Can Cryptocurrency Help? In times of crises, innovation is born – and the citizens of Venezuela desperately need innovation. Cryptocurrency has the potential to create a large network of jobs and increase access to financial services. Because it’s virtual, decentralized and transparent nature, location is no longer an issue and anyone with access to internet is able to safely work with this technology. The citizens of Venezuela need their country’s economy to improve, and blockchain tech offers a suite of economic possibilities to the most vulnerable populations. As a result, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology may be just the silver bullet Venezuela needs to slay its economic monsters. In extreme circumstances like those that are ongoing in Venezuela, people need more than just bare necessities. They need opportunities that give them both a sense of purpose and a way to make money. David Hay and like-minded individuals want to introduce Venezuela’s stifled economy to blockchain technology. Blockchain tech provides an avenue for innovation and access to financial services, which will naturally fuel job growth.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain tech have the potential to change the lives of individuals living in the farthest most regions of the globe. It provides several important economic opportunities to third world countries and other nations affected by economic collapse. Together, we can do something with very meaningful with cryptocurrency – and Halo Platform is here to help make this brighter future a reality!
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Blockchain Tech Powers In-Game Purchases

Blockchain Tech Powers In-Game Purchases   Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are opening up new opportunities across gaming, and that’s true for both players and developers. Currently, one of the problems for small developers is that their costs are escalating and retail prices are declining. This is hurting the industry, since some of the best and most creative games are created by up-and-coming independent game-makers. Blockchain tech can be leveraged to improve the gaming industry and actually earn developers money by facilitating the development of in-game assets and purchases.   In-Game Purchases: A Novel Monetization Strategy Players have been making small transactions within games since the 2000s. One of the first in-game purchases was the horse armor pack that was available for the game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. These type “micro transactions” were known to be used in free-to-play games to purchase items in that helped players advance. Using this type of system benefits players by creating a more rich and authentic in-game experience and video game companies by giving them a new opportunity to monetize. By enabling in-game purchases, developers can extend the longevity and profitability of their games, particularly among die hard followers. This approach is clearly seen within the mobile gaming market, where at one point about 50% of all game revenue across the market came from less than 1% of the players. And despite this apparently niche revenue stream, in-game purchases can be highly lucrative. For example, the game Fortnite doubled its revenue from $126 million in February 2018 to about $223 million in March largely due to rises in in-game purchases.   In-Game Purchases Create Opportunities for Blockchain Tech Integration Block and Chain Game Studios is committed to creating a better gaming industry. This requires meeting the needs of both players and game developers, and integrating blockchain tech into in-game purchases is a perfect example of a win-win approach. Players who choose to participate in the in-game economy can do so as they wish, all the while supplementing the free-to-play components of the game with their paid contributions. Gamers get better games, and developers get the resources they need to make fun and immersive virtual experiences. The gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it’s only continuing to grow. With an increase in the number of young players and developers entering the gaming market, we will see more innovation across the industry. Block and Chain’s system is just one example of a platform that allows developers to build and actually support their projects using blockchain tech to power in-game purchases and digital coin applications. The revenue coming from these in-game purchases will help motivate developers to create more, better games, which will lead to better and better gaming experiences for players. Blockchain technology is finding new applications across the gaming industry, and the tech-savvy players and developers who power this market are much more prone to adopt these exciting new innovations for mainstream use. Block and Chain Game Studios provides in-depth knowledge partners who wants to experience the benefits of blockchain tech in creating in-game economies.   To find out more about partnership opportunities or to join our platform, please contact us at bnc@blockandchain.games.   Join The Block & Chain Community!   Forums Website Youtube Facebook Instagram Twitter Reddit LinkedIn    

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SEC Targets Celebrities and Influencers in Next-Wave of ICO Crackdown

SEC Targets Celebrities and Influencers in Next-Wave of ICO Crackdown By: Samantha Joule Fow   The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced it settled yet another charge in the crypto market enforcement crackdown that it kicked off earlier this year. The charge at issue in the case - a failure to disclose payments received for promoting investments in initial coin offerings (ICOs) – was no real surprise. But what makes this case unique is that it was brought against two well-known celebrities: professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and music producer DJ Khaled.   The SEC Demands Crypto Market Transparency Back in 2017, the SEC declared its policy directive regarding ensuring market transparency in cryptocurrency transactions. Transparency would protect ICO investors and promoters, as fraud has created endemic issues in cryptocurrency markets. Failure to disclose compensation for promotion or other forms of advertisement is a deceptive practice. It can be very easy for consumers to believe that a celebrity endorsement is an authentic recommendation rather than a paid advertisement, and this assumption can impact their purchasing decisions. In order to make sure there is as much clarity as possible in cryptocurrency and other financial markets, financial regulators require disclosure of key information pertaining to celebrity endorsements. As a result, the SEC requires anyone promoting a digital coin or token that qualifies as a security to disclose certain pieces of information pertaining to the paid endorsement. The SEC established that they are actively cracking down on noncompliant ICO projects, and the settlements involving the two celebrities is a clear example of how failure to comply with the SEC’s regulations and standards will be costly to anyone caught up in its dragnet.   SEC Slaps Celebrities With Huge Penalties and Fees After an investigation, the SEC found three separate instances of undisclosed paid endorsements performed by DJ Khaled and Floyd Maryweather Jr. DJ Khaled had failed to disclose promotional payments in the amount of $50,000 from cryptocurrency company Centra Tech, and Mayweather failed to disclose promotional compensation in the amount of nearly $200,000 from two other ICO issuers DJ Khaled and Mayweather agreed to pay disgorgement penalties and interest without admitting or denying liability. Regardless, the celebrities weren’t let off easy. DJ Khaled agreed to pay $50,000 in disgorgement, a $100,000 penalty, and almost $3,000 in interest. Altogether, this was far more than DJ Khaled had accepted in promotional payments. Similarly, Mayweather agreed to pay $300,000 in disgorgement, nearly $15,000 in interest, and a $300,000 penalty - over twice the amount Mayweather accepted in promotional payments. These settlements stand out because they are the first of their kind. The Khaled and Mayweather cases are the SEC’s first enforcement actions involving celebrity endorsements of ICOs. As a result, it’s likely that these cases will be representative of how the SEC will handle ICO violations in the future.      SEC Puts Social Media Influencers On Notice DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather may be the first celebrities to be taken on by the SEC, but rest assured they will not be the last. Earlier this year top SEC officials released a statement foreshadowing a pending ICO crackdown – and clearly, they weren’t kidding. Motivated by its recent settlement with Mayweather and DJ Khaled, the next wave of SEC enforcement actions may very well target social media influencers who have inappropriately promoted ICOs to the general public. For the time being, anyone who has accepted payment for any cryptocurrency-related promotion and failed to properly disclose it should consider themselves on notice from the SEC.   Join The Block & Chain Community! Forums Website Youtube Facebook Instagram Twitter Reddit LinkedIn    

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Special Report Highlights Benefits of Blockchain Tech in Gaming

Special Report Highlights Benefits of Blockchain Tech in Gaming   Blockchain technology is revolutionizing the gaming industry by changing the way the industry runs. Block and Chain Game Studios is passionate about this, and we’re not alone. Others like us, including Singapore-based company Huobi, have been focused on transforming the traditional gaming industry to one that utilizes blockchain tech. And while both Block and Chain Game Studios and Huobi offer gaming products and services that are based on blockchain, they’re also committed to increasing knowledge and use of this incredible technology. In fact, Huobi Research recently wrote a special report detailing the problems with the current gaming industry’s structure and how blockchain technology will revolutionize it.   The Current Problems with the Gaming Industry The Huobi Special Report on blockchain technology discusses the current weakness of the gaming industry before digging into how to solve them. One of the problems the report notes is centralization of the gaming industry. To decentralization advocates, the issues caused by central control in gaming markets should come as no surprise. According to the Huobi Special Report, centralization has created divisions within the industry by stressing developers to produce games that will bring players back. Central authority also prevents players from having the ability to own their in-game assets or negotiate in any way. With blockchain technology these problems can be resolved and possibly lead to the mass adoption of the technology inside and outside of the gaming industry. As Huobi founder and CEO Leon Li Lin stated that “we firmly believe in a decentralized future and the main goal of the Huobi Chain project is to transform a centralized corporation to a decentralized one that’s run by the community.” This is the exact type of thing Block and Chain Game Studios is looking forward to as well.   Improving Games with Blockchain Tech Incorporating blockchain technology into video games will bring a better experience to the gamer, and enterprising game developers are always finding new ways that blockchain can make a positive impact. One benefit of blockchain is that the player’s assets are recorded, stored and managed on a decentralized blockchain network, making the in-game assets more valuable to the players. But Huobi’s interest in blockchain technology has shown just how much the utilization of the technology has spread. The more companies are finding ways to improve the gaming industry, the closer blockchain technology becomes to entering the mainstream. The gaming industry currently has more than 2.3 billion active gamers worldwide and is the gaming market is predicted to reach $137.9 billion in the next year. Most active gamers are millennials who have grown up with technology and most experts believe that they will be more accepting of blockchain integration. Over time, utilization of this technology will transform how games are played. Players will have true ownership of their assets, interactions between virtual worlds will be streamlined, and in-game economies will be more functional than ever the economy within the game. Every day is just another step towards mass adoption of the technology not only with in the gaming industry but also with industries across the economy. Block and Chain Game Studios is right at the cutting edge of the blockchain tech evolution, and we’re glad to see other game makers across the industry also looking to achieve the widespread integration of blockchain technology.
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Self-Regulation in Cryptocurrency Markets – RegTech or Red Herring?

Self-Regulation in Cryptocurrency Markets – RegTech or Red Herring? By: Samantha Joule Fow   Over the past few years, cryptocurrency market stakeholders have largely agreed regarding the need for increased oversight and self-regulation within the virtual currency industry. And while public officials are still scratching their heads, the cryptocurrency and blockchain tech industry is starting to act. This year, we’ve seen the development of self-regulatory organizations within the virtual currency industry. And, while it may not have law enforcement authority, a self-regulated organization not only regulates itself, but also holds some regulatory influence over the larger industry. As Brian Quintenz, Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Trading Futures, explained: “an independent and empowered SRO-like entity could have a meaningful impact on the integrity and credibility of this young marketplace.”   Virtual Commodity Association Forms to Self-Regulate Virtual Currency Markets The Virtual Commodity Association (VCA), conceptualized in part by the Winklevoss twins, is an industry sponsored self-regulatory organization for the domestic virtual currency industry. As Cameron Winklevoss explained, the VCA was conceptualized to “foster financial sound, responsible, and innovative virtual commodity markets through a system of industry standards, sound practices, and oversight that promotes price discovery, efficiency, and transparency.” The VCA is comprised of a number of Executives, including an Executive Director, and an independent Board of Directors, all of whom were supposed to be named by the members at the VCA’s inaugural meeting in September of 2018. During the inaugural meeting, the initial members were tasked with discussing and developing guidelines for membership in the VCA, guidelines for best practices and rules-based marketplaces that would promote fair practices, guidelines for best practices concerning member conflicts of interest, and VCA staffing.   Crypto Industry Group Wields Influence – Or Does it? The Virtual Commodity Association is staffed by people and groups that the digital currency market takes seriously. The initial members of the VCA include, Bitstamp, Inc., bitFlyer USA, Inc., Bittrex, Inc., and Gemini Trust Company, LLC., the latter of which Cameron Winklevoss serves as the co-founder and President. The interim Executive Director of the VCA is Maria Filipakis, who formerly served as the Executive Deputy Superintendent at the New York Department of Financial Services. Notably, she was integral in the drafting and implementation of New York’s regulations pertaining to virtual currency. With such an impressive lineup of supporters, there’s no doubt that the VCA could really throw its weight around today’s cryptocurrency marketplace. However, despite initially promising prospects, little has come of the VCA’s initiatives. In August of 2018, it appeared that the VCA was making leaps and bounds towards the self regulation of the virtual currency marketplace. However, little has been heard from the VCA since August 20th, 2018 when Bitstamp, Inc., bitFlyer USA, Inc., Bittrex, Inc., and Gemini Trust Company, LLC., formerly announced their participation as initial members. The VCA’s official website, virtualcommodities.org, contains little information and the VCA’s twitter account, @VCAdotorg, last issued a tweet on August 20th, 2018. Moreover, it is unclear as to whether the VCA’s inaugural meeting in September 2018 took place as planned. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency has given rise to the field of financial technology – “FinTech” – which led to the spinoff of an entire tech-driven industry focused on regulatory compliance and management technology. This “RegTech” holds promise of a more effective, self-regulating financial marketplace in the future, but for now it appears that early efforts aimed at boosting market function through private controls are flagging. This is leading many experts to the conclusion that self-regulation may not be the next wave in RegTech – rather, it may be just another red herring distracting regulators from imposing stricter market controls. Time will tell…
 

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Innovation in Blockchain Gaming Foreshadows the Expansion of Tokenized Assets

Innovation in Blockchain Gaming Foreshadows the Expansion of Tokenized Assets By: Samantha Joule Fow   The mainstream adoption of blockchain technology is being facilitated by technological innovation within the gaming industry. Block and Chain Game Studios is pushing innovation in the blockchain gaming space, but it’s not alone in its quest to see greater user of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. New gamemakers are popping up all over the place, and they’re generating real excitement in the cryptocurrency and gaming communities alike. This is leading to the innovation of new blockchain gaming experiences while increasing the products and services available in the cryptocurrency and blockchain markets.   Game Developers Look to Blockchain Innovations Game industry veterans are flocking from big companies like Zynga, Ubisoft, Sony, and Microsoft to start-ups in the blockchain gaming space. That’s because there are tons of new and exciting opportunities to be had at the cutting edge of gaming technology, and new innovations in blockchain tech are leading directly into new innovations in blockchain gaming. For example, one up-and-coming indie blockchain gaming developer is working on PC, mobile, and console games that will run on the EOS blockchain, which is giving the Ethereum network some much-needed competition. Blockchain gaming technologies are enabling developers to create games that will feature player owned economies. This means that players will control their own economy through the sales of blockchain-based items, assets, and content created by the players themselves. Using the blockchain to build a democratic in-game economy is just one development made possible through the use of blockchain technology to tokenize game objects. With more and more innovations introduced each day, blockchain technology and tokenized assets are quickly becoming well known among gamers and gaming companies. This is just another step towards the mainstreaming of blockchain technology and the tokenization phenomenon that has followed, which is revolutionizing markets across the world economy.   The Tokenization Phenomenon FinTech is revolutionizing financial markets, and the ongoing wave of digitization in financial products and services completely changing the way people are using, borrowing, and investing money. Tokenization – the widespread digitization of physical or intellectual assets that allows for trading online – has created an entirely new investment vehicle for investors on the cutting-edge of the movement. But of course, this is old news to the gaming community, which has been relying on tokenized assets to power in-game economies for years. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (“MMORPGs”) were one of the most influential gaming innovations of the early twenty-first century, and these complex and immersive in-game worlds nearly always involve economic activities powered by some digital token. These realistic trading platforms in top MMORPGs have earned franchises like World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic millions of subscribers and billions in revenues. Now, the tokenization phenomenon that the gaming industry already knows and loves is moving into real-world financial markets. And with the security and immutability of increasingly-sophisticated blockchain technology, digital assets are only set to become more advanced across both in-game and real-world economies.   Billions of Gamers Can’t be Wrong The gaming industry is thriving worldwide. There are about 2.3 billion active gamers globally, and this figure continues to expand. The global gaming market is estimated to be valued at $137.9 billion by the end of the year, and the widespread deployment of blockchain technology across this large sector of the worldwide entertainment market is only foreshadowing larger mainstream application of cryptocurrency and similar blockchain-based financial technologies. The expansion of blockchain tech in the gaming industry will allow for this crucial new technology to branch out to a variety of industries. Healthcare, banking, insurance, and professional services industries are all working on figuring out ways to move their services to the blockchain. As a result, gaming absolutely has the potential to be catalyst in the larger adoption of fintech worldwide.   Join The Block & Chain Community! Forums Website Youtube Facebook Instagram Twitter Reddit LinkedIn

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Cryptocurrency’s Growing Role in Modern Global Currency Markets

Cryptocurrency’s Growing Role in Modern Global Currency Markets By: Samantha Joule Fow   The annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) and World Bank was held this year took place in Bali Nusa Dua, Indonesia. The event brought together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, and many other professionals in the world of finance and business to discuss and build policy on matters of global concern. However, this year’s meeting was eclipsed by a recent wave of financial market upheaval, and the growing threat it’s mounting against global economic growth. From the trade conflict between the U.S. and China to the near complete collapse of the in the formerly-luxe Venezuelan economy, things aren’t looking too great for global currency markets at the moment. There’s no telling what the ongoing political and economic chaos will bring, and by no means have the cryptocurrency markets themselves been immune. However, financial experts at the recent IMF meeting are murmuring about possible unforeseen impacts – both positive and negative – that cryptocurrency may have on today’s global currency markets.
  Non-Fiat Currency Hedges Against Fluctuations in World Currency Values The International Monetary Fund released a statement during the annual meeting directed at national leaders, urging countries to try and keep their debt under control. The IMF encouraged the implementation of policies that ensure borrowing is performed with due consideration of inflation and sustained economic growth. However, even with worldwide over-borrowing and the ongoing chaos in world trade, the IMF still predicts that economic growth with continue to flourish. And as usual, innovation will be key to driving growth across the world economy even within the cumbersome global currency markets. With international disagreements threatening the financial market, it may be time to look at a global currency standard that is less impacted from the unwise decisions of national political leaders and less likely to be affected in times of market turmoil. In this regard, stable cryptocurrencies can offer a valuable non-fiat global standard for currencies in global trade.
  Finding Stability in Digital Coin Markets To understand the value of cryptocurrency in times of market downturn, it is important to revisit what attracted the world to the notion of a decentralized digital currency in the first place. Cryptocurrency has the potential to be a stable form of a global currency unregulated by the constraints of political decisions. This affords people around the world easy access to the financial services they need, requiring nothing more than access to internet. And while the developing cryptocurrency market is still getting its legs beneath it, digital coins offer enough of a value to survive market dips and turns fueled by speculation and risk. Several policymakers scoff at the idea of cryptocurrency markets stabilizing to the point where they can become a major part of the world trade economy. They argue that it’s impossible for digital coin markets to find stability without external controls. However, others are encouraged by the cryptocoin market’s growing ability to self-regulate.
  Autonomous Currencies Offer Inherent Value The global recession of 2008 taught us all exactly what sort of damage can be done when financial markets fail to serve the purposes for which they were intended. Just as the last decade was marked by a worldwide economic pullback triggered by inappropriate behavior in financial services markets, the next may very well see a similar response to irresponsible trade policies being enacted by today’s world leaders. Improper trade policy decisions don’t just impact currency values and inflation rates, they hurt domestic jobs and businesses. Until we are better able to trust world leaders, cryptocurrency’s inherent autonomy may be its biggest strength rather than its most often-cited weakness.
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Blockchain Tech Breaks Through Console Gaming

Blockchain Tech Breaks Through Console Gaming
Blockchain technology was introduced to the public through Bitcoin, back when the still-unknown Satoshi Nakamoto developed and released this new invention to the internet’s sandbox of technological innovation back in 2008.  And while blockchain technology may have gotten its start in cryptocurrency, it’s becoming a subject of increasing interest among gaming companies. Game developers around the world – including Block and Chain Game Studios - have already starting using blockchain technology in Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (“MMORGs”), casino games, Player Versus Player battle games (“PvP”), but most of the blockchain technology applications in gaming have been isolated to online and mobile experiences. Mobile and online gaming is a growing sector of the gaming market worldwide, but many of us can’t shake our love of the classic console-based gaming experience.  Fortunately for those of us who love the feel of a game controller in our hands, game developers are currently researching ways to incorporate blockchain-tech into console-based games.  
Building New Gaming Experiences on the Blockchain Blockchain technology basically consists of a decentralized ledger that records transactions between two parties without having to go through an intermediary. The benefits of this system were immediately brought to light by cryptocurrencies, which use the blockchain to record transactions in an unforgeable and transparent record. Since this time, however, the applications of blockchain tech have evolved. Today, enterprising tech entrepreneurs are finding new ways to apply blockchain technology, and this includes new innovations in the gaming industry. Companies are researching new ways to incorporate blockchain technology into their gaming systems to create better gaming experiences. While the companies themselves have yet to confirm any rumors, there are murmurs across the industry that Microsoft is planning a new Xbox One console, codename Scarlett, that will rely on blockchain technology. Among a number of speed and efficiency improvements, this potential next-generation Xbox will not require discs. And while Microsoft has the deep pockets many game developers rely on, it’s not the only name in the growing blockchain tech gaming market.
  Competing Companies In Consoles Look to Cut a New Competitive Edge Blockchain technology was launched into the public domain, so big corporations don’t have a stranglehold on this exciting new technology. So while Microsoft is working on Scarlett, another company – Blok Party – is hot on its heels. Blok Party is utilizing blockchain tech to change the way games are played on traditional consoles. The company has created the first blockchain-based console game called Play Table which is powered by the Ethereum blockchain. It is changing the way tabletop games are played by creating a system that allows objects to have an identity, be able to be customized and secure the ownership of the object.        Gaming is a multi-billion dollar business, and the increasing use of blockchain technology across the industry will almost certainly earn up-and-coming game developers a greater competitive edge in a famously cutthroat industry. This is an important step towards democratizing the increasingly-corporate gaming world, but even more importantly it may facilitate the mainstream integration of this exciting new technology across the entertainment industry. If projects like Microsoft’s Scarlett and Blok Party’s Play Table are successful, then gaming may be changed for good. As technology continues to evolve not only will the gaming industry change but also other industries such as financial institutions.
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Island Nations Emerge as Regulatory Leaders in Growing Fintech Markets

Island Nations Emerge as Regulatory Leaders in Growing Fintech Markets By: Samantha Joule Fow   On October 18th, the government of Bermuda announced that it had approved the first ICO project any applicant had submitted under the nation’s new fintech regulatory regime. This represents an important step forward for the expansion of cryptocurrency and blockchain-based financial services in the Caribbean, which has long been valued as a hub of financial activities. And if the growing acceptance of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in the island nations are any indication of the times, we’re sure to see better fintech regulations emerge on the world stage. This is a critical step forward for the mainstreaming of cryptocurrency across the globe, a critical goal for Halo Platform and the rest of the innovators working hard to bring the benefits of financial technology to everyone.
  Blockchain in the Islands Uulala, a U.S. based fintech company, recently became the first company to commence a government-approved ICO in Bermuda. Uulala moved forward with the capital raise after gaining approval from the country’s government regulator. The ICO project took around four months to review, and its approval is conditioned upon the project following Bermuda’s new regulatory framework. Many cryptocurrency advocates are hopeful that Uulala’s success in the Caribbean foreshadows good things for fintech development in the islands. This can bring valuable financial services to populations who lack access to mainstream banking Oscar Garcia, Uulala’s CEO, stated that Uulala is owned predominantly by Latinos and targets Latino users without access to mainstream financial services. It’s possible that this positive social impact weighed in on the ICO approval decision, but by no means is Uulala running a charity. The company has already raised $10 million of its $50 million capital raise goal for its ICO, and it’s hoping to cash in on the untapped financial services markets in rural parts of the Caribbean and Latin America.
  Why Bermuda? Bermuda has been leading the game in the Caribbean blockchain cryptocurrency markets, and the island has taken a bold stance on the mainstreaming of blockchain currency and digital coin trade. The country recently passed a law allowing for accelerated approval of ICO projects and currently has a law in-the-works to facilitate opening even more opportunities for altcoin traders. Garcia emphasized that Uulala was particularly attracted to Bermuda as a strategic location for growing its business. This is due to the nation’s strong reputation as a financial focal point and for its forward-thinking strategies involving blockchain currency and fintech. The blockchain and cryptocurrency markets are still maturing, and they need good incubators to assist help them join the mainstream. However, blockchain currency firms are leery to start operations within countries that have yet to define their fintech regulations clearly.
  In FinTech Regulation, Clarity is Key Countries around the world are beginning to accept the fact that blockchain-powered digital coins are a legitimate currency. Islands, such as Bermuda, have been the driving force behind this movement - but they aren’t alone. Other nations that rely on robust financial services such as Malta, Antigua, and Barbuda are attracting more and more blockchain and cryptocurrency exchange platforms due to their favorable regulatory conditions. One of the most exciting things about the fintech revolution is the fact that it’s cross-jurisdictional. Blockchain technology can provide people with financial services that they desperately need without the interference of international boundaries. However, one of the most significant challenges facing today’s cryptocurrency market is the variation in digital coin regulation across most countries. Countries that maintain clear cut rules and regulations on digital coin exchange, are attracting cryptocoin firms from all over the world. Bermuda’s regulatory advancement represents a huge step in the right direction for the mainstreaming of digital coin and blockchain-based currency.
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The Blockchain Game Alliance

The Blockchain Game Alliance
          Blockchain tech is slowly catching on in the mainstream, and there are lots of people out there who are very curious about this new technology. Online searches pertaining to the blockchain have gone up nearly 250%, and more and more people are becoming informed about this exciting technology.  But there’s one community of people who are particularly plugged in to the tech world and can experience real benefits from the blockchain: online gamers.         Block and Chain Game Studios recognizes that gamers are the perfect group to help others understand the benefits of blockchain technology. But we can’t be alone in reaching such an obvious conclusion – and of course, we aren’t.   Bringing the Blockchain to Gaming There are several benefits that blockchain can offer for gamers. The big ones are fairness and transparency, as blockchain technology eliminates the need for a third party in online transactions. Additionally, blockchain tech offers important benefits for online privacy, authentication, and security. In fact, the blockchain has become such a popular topic among the gaming industry that a group of gaming companies founded the Blockchain Game Alliance earlier this year. The Alliance was announced at the Blockchain Game summit in Lyon, France in September. The Alliance is composed of French gaming giant Ubisoft, as well as a suite of other influential companies like Alto, Gimli, Fig, Ultra, B2Expand, ConsenSys, Everdreamsoft and Enjin. The Alliance is focusing on integrating blockchain tech and creating common practices and standards for blockchain use among gaming companies. According to Nicolas Gilot, co-CEO of Alliance member Ultra, the Blockchain Game Alliance will “democratize blockchain within the gaming industry.” The Alliance will bring together these gaming giants to discuss how to use blockchain tech positively in the gaming industry. Stakeholders are invited to an open meeting by the Alliance to look at studies that show new ways to implement this technology into the development of video games. For example, Ubisoft is working on partnering up with Google to develop a cloud gaming system. New trials and projects conducted by Alliance members – as well as the fresh faces in blockchain gaming - will assist in mainstreaming blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.   Facilitating Tech Adoption Through Gaming The video game industry has always been effective at encouraging the mainstream adoption of new virtual experiences, and it will prove critical in building industry practices and for using blockchain technology in entertainment. As a result, the gaming industry will play an important part in mainstream adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. The formation of the Blockchain Gaming Alliance is a meaningful step in the right direction, but there’s still a far way to go.         The utilization of blockchain technology is becoming more popular throughout the gaming industry, and big gaming companies like Ubisoft are trying to place themselves ahead of the rest of the market. But with influential companies such as Ubisoft, Microsoft and Sony embracing blockchain, how much longer will it before corporations gobble up all of the new opportunities this technology has to offer?
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Coinbase On Track for Government Approval in Japan

Coinbase On Track for Government Approval in Japan by: Samantha Joule Fow   In today’s blockchain currency market, Japan is known as a pro-crypto marketplace. However, this does not mean they have taken a light-handed approach to market regulation across the board. In fact, Japan has some of the most inflexible and stringent rules on digital coin exchanges of any nation that regulates altcoin trading. This has proven to be a particular challenge to cryptocurrency exchanges that hope to operate in Japanese markets.
  Japan’s Sophisticated Crypto Rules Even with stiff regulations in place, Japan is a crypto hub. It’s home to one of the world’s largest markets for blockchain tech and digital coins. Japan leads the world in the use of cryptocurrencies for retail payments, and Bitcoin enjoys status in the nation that puts it nearly on par with fiat currency. But with great freedom comes great responsibility, and Japanese regulators have chosen to place this burden squarely on the shoulders of companies hosting cryptocurrency trading platforms. Currently, there are 16 registered blockchain currency exchanges operating in Japan – and if top crypto exchange Coinbase has its way, there will soon be one more. However, this may prove easier said than done. Japanese regulators’ main concern is the security of the digital coin exchanges that serve the country’s citizens. In fact, the nation has become even more restrictive following recent hacks of popular exchanges Coincheck and Zaif, which caused Japanese investors to lose tens of millions of dollars. These losses have attracted the watchful eye of Japan’s Financial Service Agency (“FSA”), which has not approved any crypto exchange licenses since December 2017.
  Coinbase Seeks to Expand Asian Presence In June 2018, Coinbase announced its intention to expand operations to the Japanese blockchain currency market. The company has established an office in Japan, but before they can start hosting trades they have to earn government approval. This includes a license to operate as a cryptocurrency exchange from the FSA. Coinbase’s decision to start operations in Japan came just after the company opened its first permanent office in New York. Most industry experts are optimistic that the FSA will grant the U.S.-based exchange a license to operate. But this is not to say that Japanese financial regulators are champing at the bit to license another digital currency exchange – far from it. The FSA’s strict and demanding stance on digital currency exchanges would cause just about any cryptocurrency trading platform a few headaches, but it may actually work in Coinbase’s favor. Coinbase has been the poster child for regulatory compliance in the U.S. cryptocurrency market for years. The exchange also has robust security, and nearly all of the assets traded on Coinbase are kept in cold storage. Only about 1% of investor’s funds are stored in insured internet-connected “hot wallets,” which Coinbase maintains for trader convenience.      
  Up-And-Coming Exchanges Break New Ground Coinbase may be one of the first movers in the crypto exchange market, but blockchain and cryptocurrency are industries of innovation. As secure as its current operations may be, Coinbase may soon age out of the regulated crypto exchange market that helped the company break out in the first place. This is largely a result of new technological innovations that other exchanges are embracing, which are making them faster and more secure than ever before possible. For example, Halo Platform offers a decentralized and soon a centralized exchange. The centralized exchange is high-speed and multi-functional, making it particularly well-suited for quick and easy volume transactions. The decentralized exchange site, HaloDEX, operates trustlessly and without a central settlement party. Decentralizing trades like this can make for huge gains in speed, efficiency, and security, so anyone looking for the next up-and-coming altcoin trading platform may want to check them out.
To learn more about the differences between a centralized and decentralized exchange, digital coin investors can access the Halo Platform community at any one of the social platforms listed below. Halo Platform Twitter Reddit Discord Telegram Medium Google+ Steemit Facebook Youtube Instagram Github Scrypto

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Halo Platform Builds Valuable Connections at World Crypto Con

Two weeks ago, we marked a big step forward in building awareness for blockchain and cryptocurrency technology around the world.  World Crypto Con (“WCC”) – a three-day international cryptocurrency conference that took place between October 31 and November 2 – attracted thousands of attendees to the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip. And while there were celebrity events such as WCC’s own Ultra VIP Party, featuring Grammy Award-winning rapper Lil Jon, most of the excitement at the conference was focused on the incredible potential of blockchain and cryptocurrency. There has been a flood of innovation and new enterprises geared toward building a new economy powered by cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. Halo Platform was right there in the midst of it all, eager to learn what the brightest minds in the crypto community have to offer and make valuable business connections for the platform.
  World Crypto Con Hosts Global Crypto Entrepreneurs World Crypto Con definitely lived up to its name, attracting an array of international entrepreneurs to the Aria Resort and Casino. Blockchain innovators rubbed elbows with investors and influencers looking to find out about the hottest new thing in the crypto space. According to Jonathan Keim, CryptoCurrencyWire Communications Director, “Everyone we talked to, from exhibitors to attendees, went home as huge fans of the World Crypto Con brand, and we are looking forward to seeing many of the same people and the friends they will inevitably be bringing at the next event.” Of course, the Halo Platform Team is right on the cutting-edge of blockchain tech, and they were pleased to attend this year’s World Crypto Con. Halo Platform CEO Scott Morrison and Business Development Manager Matthew Dowd participated in various globally-oriented events, made a variety of business connections, and took in the latest industry information from insiders on featured panels. And with 200,000 square feet of venue space featuring presentations, seminars, discussion panels, social events, and vendor exhibits all centered around the latest and greatest in the blockchain and cryptocurrency world.
  Cryptocurrency Grows In Popularity With Every Public Event Plenty of short-sighted individuals have dismissed cryptocurrency as a passing fad, but Halo Platform knows that blockchain tech is here to stay. It will almost certainly evolve over time, taking on new forms and offering new services, but cryptocurrency becomes more popular with each passing day. As more organizations hold events like last week’s World Crypto Con, we’ll be sure to see greater general adoption of cryptocurrency worldwide. Halo Platform is building a place where everyone in the cryptosphere can congregate, organize, strategize, and execute their cryptocurrency activity quickly and easily. It's built to make sure everyone can take advantage of all the great things cryptocurrency and blockchain tech have to offer, which will grow as these incredible technologies continue to gain footing in the mainstream. Join Halo Platform, and experience all of the incredible benefits of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech for yourself.
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Announcement: Halo Platform’s Digital Currency To Be Listed on LAToken

Halo Platform’s Digital Currency To Be Listed on LAToken November 9, 2018 – LATOKEN, a rapidly growing crypto exchange focusing on liquidity for new tokens, will soon be listing Halo Currency. This represents a major step forward for both Halo Platform and its growing family of partners in the cryptocurrency world. LATOKEN is a simple, fast, and secure exchange that allows users to trade crypto and tokenized assets. The rapidly growing cryptocurrency exchange broke into CoinMarketCap’s prestigious Top-50 list in July 2018, and LATOKEN has only continued to grow in popularity from there. Halo Platform is proud to be working with one of the cryptocurrency market’s most popular exchanges, and crypto traders everywhere will soon have access to Halo Currency on the LATOKEN exchange. LATOKEN currently hosts more than $35 million in daily turnover on its crypto exchange. LATOKEN offers more than 250 crypto pairs for trading, but this isn’t all the exchange has to offer. In addition to crypto trading, LATOKEN users can participate in selected Token Sales at the pre-sale and crowdsale stages. The suite of features available on LATOKEN has attracted more than 85,000 registered users to the exchange. Over the next several weeks, LATOKEN will begin accepting deposits on their platform. Trading for HALO will begin shortly thereafter. Keep an eye on our community and social media channels for these announcements. The listing of Halo Currency on the LATOKEN exchange represents a major step forward in the large-scale adoption of Halo Platform’s suite of cryptocurrency-related tools and services.
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Blockchain and Cryptocurrency – Back to the Basics

With so many new users joining the cryptosphere, we wish to provide a refresher on the basics of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. Blockchain technology is said to be more of a game-changer than even artificial intelligence, and it is predicted to transform the global economy in relatively short order. Within the next decade, blockchain and cryptocurrency will become a common part of our financial and technological infrastructure. That means just about everyone – from the most analog-happy traditionalists to tech-savvy revolutionaries – will be using cryptocurrency in just a matter of years. Halo Platform is building a place where anyone can become familiar with how cryptocurrency works and why it’s beneficial for just about everyone. To help achieve this mission, we provide an array of educational content aimed at helping people get to know how the exciting new technology behind digital coins actually works. This includes helpful video tutorials, an informative wiki, topical blog posts and other content aimed at making sure everyone understands what’s going on in the cryptocurrency world.
Blockchain Tech 101 Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have been around long enough now for the general public to have a basic grasp on how they work. The mechanisms of blockchain technology are a series of successive blocks. These blocks are cryptographically linked together through a verification process run by a decentralized network of users. Each individual block is made up of a few components, but for the most part it’s an unchangeable and permanent recording of a transaction that occurred on the blockchain. Each block is added to the chain according to a complex computer algorithm that creates something called a hash. The hash acts as a digital fingerprint, and every block of transactions needs an eligible hash to be verified and added to the blockchain. Because this is such an important part of how blockchains work, most blockchains are programmed to reward users who run the hashing algorithms. This reward-based verification system is typically done through mining.
Cryptocurrency Mining and the Next-Generation In general terms, mining is about calculating the hash value for the newest block being added to the chain. Mining is generally done using a Proof-of-Work (“PoW”) system, which in most cases relies on massive centralized computing power. Using their powerful computers to run hashing algorithms, miners transform outstanding transactions into blocks and add them to the blockchain Mining may have been among the first ways to power a cryptocurrency blockchain, but innovative entrepreneurs are developing faster, more efficient technology. They’re using this technology – such as Halo Platform’s lightning-fast masternodes – to power blockchain transactions at never-before-seen speeds.   Masternode Technology Masternodes are a much faster next-generation technology being used more frequently among the top blockchain tech companies. This may be a direct result of increasing mining difficulty, which is a product of total hashing power. This is what determines how hard it is for miners, in terms of time and power, to find eligible hash for their block and thus reap the rewards. As a result of increasing mining difficulty across cryptocurrency markets, cryptocurrency mining profits are down for 2018. Using consensus-driven masternodes rather than traditional mining speeds up the block production rate. That’s because masternodes facilitate faster transactions and thus can offer a relatively higher rate of return than hardware mining. Top blockchain networks like Halo Platform are taking advantage of this technology by building masternode systems into their blockchain-powered operations. Halo Platform supports the cryptocurrency community with regular educational content. To learn more about this exciting new technology, join our community!   Join Us Halo Platform Twitter Reddit Discord Telegram Medium Google+ Steemit Facebook Youtube Instagram Github Scrypto    

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Educational Video Games - Teaching Tools That Are Starting to Catch On

Gaming has come a long way from the days of Mortal Kombat tournaments held in suburban basements. Now, online gaming is being used both nationally and internationally as an educational resource that truly makes learning fun. Gaming is increasingly used in classrooms, after-school programs, and even as a homeschool resource to help young people learn about academic topics while building confidence in using technology.
  Learning Through Gaming In recent years, gaming has evolved to become more than just an entertaining activity. Gaming has become a learning technology that has the potential to offer numerous educational benefits. In fact, incorporating video games into lesson plans has been shown to improve students’ motivation to learn. This, in turn, increases their willingness and ability to pay attention to their schoolwork, and it promotes heightened engagement and participation with the subject matter being taught. Further, educational gaming can reduce classroom and learning-associated stress by helping children build socialization and comprehension skills in a fun and familiar format.  Instead of viewing learning as work, children come to associate learning and education with entertainment and socialization. This reduces anxiety and increases retention and overall academic performance. New York City’s Institute of Play is a prime example of the benefits of integrating gaming with education. The Institute opened in 2009, and its mission is to help educational facilities and teachers from public, private, and charter schools incorporate gaming into their curriculum. The Institute’s gaming/learning topics span across age groups, from younger children through high schoolers, and include topics as diverse as stranger safety, architecture, math, and ethics. Kids love this approach to education, and the Institute has now helped more than 15,000 teachers and 50 educational institutions, across 15 U.S states and 30 countries. Gaming is also becoming a popular learning tool among parents who believe in homeschool education.  Already a phenomenon among children, parents and home-learning organizations have created curricula that integrate popular sandbox game Minecraft into learning goals. Topics integrated into the Minecraft world include history, literature, reading, writing, math, science, and geography.
  Classroom Gaming Gets Pushback from Traditionalists Of course, the implementation of gaming as a learning tool has its critics. For starters, there are some who believe entertainment has no place in classrooms because it is a distraction, not a supplement, to traditional learning methods. Others fear that we don’t have enough information about the impacts of children’s prolonged use of technology, and adding gaming to education may have negative impacts of which we are net yet aware. As a result, many schools are hesitant to add gaming into their curricula. In fact, integrating gaming into classrooms is often prevented altogether by standardized requirements like the Common Core state standards. But of course, whenever public institutions put up barriers, enterprising entrepreneurs find a way around them. There are many indie gaming companies developing games that specifically address Common Core guidelines, and soon gaming may become a new standard in classrooms around the world.
  Gaming Builds Skills and Abilities Even outside the classroom, gaming promotes problem-solving and teaches strategizing and memorization in a fun and engaging way. Gaming also fosters creativity and content assimilation, and often inspires gamers to form communities around the characters, worlds, and experiences they have become passionate about. This can help gamers build personal abilities, self-esteem, and social skills in an environment where they feel comfortable just being themselves. Block & Chain Game Studios recognizes the power of gaming, and we’re dedicated to building online experiences that engage people and build communities. The talented team of artists, game designers, and developers at Block & Chain Studios are coming up with new ideas every day that are inspired by a strong desire to make the world a better place. By no means are we claiming that video gaming can end global poverty or establish world peace, but it can help people learn the skills and information they need in order to make these things possible in the future. Check out the new gaming experiences that Block & Chain has to offer – you never know, you might learn something! Join The Block & Chain Community! Forums Website Youtube Facebook Instagram Twitter Reddit LinkedIn

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Decentralized Exchanges With Less Downtime Ease Customer Frustration

The past year saw the cryptocoin market grow by leaps and bounds. The number of cryptocurrency investors around the world have grown by unbelievable numbers. And, as one would imagine, this has greatly increased the user base for popular crypto exchange sites. One of the top cryptocurrency exchange websites, Coinbase, saw user growth of more than 800 percent during the calendar year of 2017. However, this substantial increase in cryptocurrency market activity has come with growing pains.         Centralized exchanges are often dragged down by large transactional influxes because their technology is impacted down by high demand, high volume trading. Decentralized exchanges – the latest development in Bitcoin and altcoin trading services – may offer a technological solution to this market-driven problem. That’s because decentralized exchanges operate in a secure and trustless manner, avoiding the time and expense of the manual transaction verification required by centralized exchanges. This next-generation technology may offer a solution to the customer loss and frustration caused by downtime on centralized exchanges.
  As Customer Bases Go Up, Centralized Crypto Exchange Sites Go Down In January of 2017, Coinbase announced that “high volume traffic” was causing ongoing delays in transactions, wire processing, and identity verification. While the Coinbase team was remedying the issues on their exchange site, the Coinbase Reddit forum was riddled with complaints regarding very long delays. Similarly, popular crypto exchange website Kraken shut down its exchange site for maintenance over a 27-hour period at the beginning of this year. This service interruption – the longest downtime period in the exchange site’s history – caused backlash on social media. The massive influx of traffic on the top altcoin trading platforms around the world have strained the backend technology that runs many of the top crypto exchange sites. In fact, many digital coin investors have been suffering from the effects of withdrawal delays and degenerated services. This has led to a great deal of frustration among players in the cryptocurrency markets, as well as meaningful economic loss caused by service interruptions. Some altcoin traders have even threatened to file lawsuits if their exchange websites did not restore operation in a timely fashion. Despite these impacts on the altcoin trading community, centralized exchanges are still making money hand-over-fist. Throughout 2017, Coinbase averaged revenue earnings of $2.74 million per day, or $2,000 per minute if you break it down that far. Other centralized exchanges, including the likes of Binance, CEX.IO, Bitfinex, and Bittrex all halted new client registration at some point due to high demand for services. As a result of these frustrations, many top altcoin investors are looking for a better way to trade.
  Decentralized Exchanges Offer Less Downtime, Better User Experience Centralized exchanges – even the most popular ones – just aren’t always able to accommodate the waves of newcomers coming to the cryptocurrency market. As a result, up-and-coming blockchain and cryptocurrency companies are developing new ways to solve the issues facing the top centralized exchange sites. And Halo Platform, a blockchain and cryptocurrency platform that is building the most versatile and user-friendly cryptocurrency toolbox on the web, is among them. Halo Platform offers a wide array of blockchain and cryptocurrency services. One
of our most exciting new initiatives, the HaloDEX decentralized exchange, will operate trustlessly and without a central settlement party. This means that HaloDEX will offer unique operational benefits, particularly among the top altcoin traders particularly impacted by downtime on centralized exchanges. To find out more about the benefits of HaloDEX and the other services available through Halo Platform, join our community and be on the cutting-edge of the next generation in blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.
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Island Nation Breaks New Ground in Decentralization

When it comes to the blockchain and cryptocurrency revolution, some countries have proven to be more receptive than others. A handful of nations have banned digital coin activities altogether, while others have made moves designed to ensure they take full advantage of this exciting new technological development. Malta, the small island nation in the Mediterranean, definitely falls into the latter group. In fact, the tiny European country has earned itself the prestigious nickname of the Blockchain Island. Regardless of where they’re from, everyone deserves to experience the benefits of decentralization. Governments often push back against anything that takes control away from centralized institutions, but the security advantages of decentralized control are undeniable. Halo Platform is working hard to bring the benefits of decentralization to everyone across the world, and we’re going to make landmark progress with the launch of our decentralized exchange.
  Malta’s Plans for a Decentralized Stock Exchange Malta may be tiny in size, but it’s growing into a giant in the cryptocurrency markets. Most recently, the innovation arm of the Malta Stock Exchange, MSX, announced a partnership with blockchain platforms and top crypto exchanges that was launched with the intention to create the world’s first fully-regulated stock exchange that’s also decentralized. This decision arose in the context of a flurry of new laws focused on facilitating the development of blockchain technology on the island. MSX plans to meld the worlds of digital coins and regulated securities by creating so-called “tokenized securities.” Its vision is to combine the technological benefits of the blockchain and cryptocurrency with the security and protection of regulated equity shares. At least for now, Malta is the first country gearing up for hosting a regulated trading platform for tokenized securities, although more nations are likely to follow suit as the cryptocurrency market continues to grow in popularity. In fact, some are even claiming that our economic future will be shaped by digital currencies and tokens.
  Is Decentralization the Future? For those of us who have been entrenched in the blockchain and cryptocurrency worlds for some time now, Malta’s decision seems like the next logical step in adapting to the technological change that has taken the world’s financial markets by storm. Decentralization offers several benefits over centralized control (although, as Halo Platform wrote in a previous blog, centralization isn’t all bad). Halo Platform has developed one of the few truly trustless decentralized exchanges out there. Many of the operations claim decentralized exchanges actually take a hybrid approach, which requires sacrificing some of the security benefits associated with full decentralization in favor of the efficiency of centralized control. Halo Platform’s decentralized exchange, however, makes no such tradeoff. Halo Platform runs HaloDEX on its own blockchain that it built using an original application program interface (“API”), which makes the exchange scalable, decentralized and lightning fast. We’ve designed HaloDEX to accommodate massive trading volumes and nearly limitless cryptocurrency trading pairs, which is exactly what the growing virtual currency markets need. To find out more about the decentralized exchange and the other exciting offerings from Halo Platform, join our community. Connect with us in social media: Offical Forum - https://community.haloplatform.tech/ Twitter -  https://twitter.com/Halo_Platform Reddit -  https://www.reddit.com/r/HaloPlatform/ Discord -  http://discord.haloplatform.tech/ Telegram - https://t.me/haloplatform Google+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/108336112327687734137 Steemit -  https://steemit.com/@haloplatform Medium -  https://medium.com/@haloplatform Facebook -  https://www.facebook.com/HaloPlatform.tech/ Youtube -  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZqP3U9jFO0XTV6EYNt1dqg Instagram -  https://www.instagram.com/halo_platform/ LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/haloplatform/ Github - https://github.com/haloplatform Block and Chain Game Studios - https://www.blockandchain.games/

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