Appsolutely is introducing a new blog segment called Blockchain This Week, our roundup of the latest news regarding blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and how the world adopts these technologies.

 

ICOs surpass VC funding

Just how big was the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) boom of the past few months? Blockchain token sales reached a whopping $729 million in the second quarter of 2017. That’s more than thrice the amount spent on venture capital, at $235 million. Meanwhile, the market cap for all cryptocurrencies expanded 4x to more than $100 billion during the quarter. Figures come from Coindesk’s State of Blockchain report.

China strikes first ICO blow, but cryptos unfazed

It was only a matter of time before regulators weigh in on ICOs. But the cryptocurrency markets mostly showed resilience despite even the most heavy-handed of regulatory approaches. On Monday, Chinese regulators declared ICOs illegal in the country, saying that the fundraising tool may involve financial scams. The bureaucrats are also slated to inspect 60 major ICO platforms. Prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum fell 5% and 12%, respectively, on the day the ban was imposed. But as of Friday, most of the losses have been regained. Bitcoin’s price decreased from $4500 to $4000 post-ban, but bounced back to $4600. Meanwhile, Ethereum’s price fluctuated from $335 to about $270, then back to $330.

Meanwhile, other countries have yet to set a firm stance on cryptocurrency. In some cases, states or provinces within the same country have contrasting policies. For instance, the finance regulator of Quebec in Canada is aiding the token sale of Impak Finance. The regulator waived some of the requirements on securities for the token sale, in effect encouraging ICOs in the process. In contrast, in neighboring Ontario, the regulator was being blamed for Canada’s exclusion from the ICO of messaging app Kik. The CEO of the Canada-made app recently said that weak guidance from the Ontario regulator forced him to exclude Canadian investors from the ICO.

In other news…

Enthusiasm for blockchain has extended to industries as far-flung as marine insurance. Ernst & Young, Microsoft, Maersk, and data security company Guardtime recently formed an alliance to create a blockchain-based marine insurance platform.

Meanwhile, an organization recently showed how cryptocurrency works well even in the aftermath of disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. An group called The International Church of Blerk used cryptocurrency to direct aid to the victims of the hurricane. Here’s the story on how the group did its charitable work.

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