Worth Thinking About

The Adventures of Life

Month: October 2018

What Is an ICO in Cryptocurrency?

ICO is short for Initial Coin Offering. When launching a new cryptocurrency or crypto-token, the developers offer investors a limited number of units in exchange for other major crypto coins such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.

ICOs are amazing tools for quickly raining development funds to support new cryptocurrencies. The tokens offered during an ICO can be sold and traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, assuming there is sufficient demand for them.

The Ethereum ICO is one of the most notable successes and the popularity of Initial Coin Offerings is growing as we speak.

A brief history of ICOs

Ripple is likely the first cryptocurrency distributed via an ICO. At the start of 2013, Ripple Labs began to develop the Ripple payment system and generated approximately 100 billion XRP tokens. These were sold through an ICO to fund Ripple’s platform development.

Mastercoin is another cryptocurrency that has sold a few million tokens for Bitcoin during an ICO, also in 2013. Mastercoin aimed to tokenize Bitcoin transactions and execute smart contracts by creating a new layer on top of the existing Bitcoin code.

Of course, there are other cryptocurrencies that have been successfully funded through ICOs. Back in 2016, Lisk gathered approximately $5 million during their Initial Coin Offering.

Nevertheless, Ethereum’s ICO that took place in 2014 is probably the most prominent one so far. During their ICO, the Ethereum Foundation sold ETH for 0.0005 Bitcoin each, raising almost $20 million. With Ethereum harnessing the power of smart contracts, it paved the way for the next generation of Initial Coin Offerings.

Ethereum ICO, a recipe for success

Ethereum’s smart contracts system has implemented the ERC20 protocol standard that sets the core rules for creating other compliant tokens which can be transacted on Ethereum’s blockchain. This allowed others to create their own tokens, compliant with the ERC20 standard that can be traded for ETH directly on Ethereum’s network.

The DAO is a notable example of successfully using Ethereum’s smart contracts. The investment company raised $100 million worth of ETH and the investors received in exchange DAO tokens allowing them to participate in the governance of the platform. Sadly, the DAO failed after it was hacked.

Ethereum’s ICO and their ERC20 protocol have outlined the latest generation of crowdfunding blockchain-based projects via Initial Coin Offerings.

It also made it very easy to invest in other ERC20 tokens. You simply transfer ETH, paste the contract in your wallet and the new tokens will show up in your account so you can use them however you please.

Obviously, not all cryptocurrencies have ERC20 tokens living on Ethereum ‘s network but pretty much any new blockchain-based project can launch an Initial Coin Offering.

The legal state of ICOs

When it comes to the legality of ICOs, it’s a bit of a jungle out there. In theory, tokens are sold as digital goods, not financial assets. Most jurisdictions haven’t regulated ICOs yet so assuming the founders have a seasoned lawyer on their team, the whole process should be paperless.

Even so, some jurisdictions have become aware of ICOs and are already working on regulating them in a similar manner to sales of shares and securities.

Back in December 2017, the U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) classified ICO tokens as securities. In other words, the SEC was preparing to halt ICOs they consider to be misleading investors.

There are some cases in which the token is just a utility token. This means the owner can simply use it to access a certain network or protocol in which case they may not be defined as a financial security. Nevertheless, equity tokens whose purpose is to appreciate in value are quite close to the concept of security. Truth be told, most token purchases are made specifically for investment purposes.

Despite the efforts of regulators, ICOs are still lingering in a grey legal area and until a clearer set of regulations is imposed entrepreneurs will attempt to benefit from Initial Coin Offerings.

It’s also worth mentioning that once regulations reach a final form, the cost and effort required to comply could make ICOs less attractive compared to conventional funding options.

Final words

For now, ICOs remain an amazing way to fund new crypto-related projects and there have been multiple successful ones with more to come.

However, keep in mind everyone is launching ICOs nowadays and many of these projects are scams or lack the solid foundation they need to thrive and make it worth the investment. For this reason, you should definitely do thorough research and investigate the team and background of whatever crypto project you might want to invest in. There are multiple websites out there that list ICOs, we recommend checking this ICO calendar if you’re interested to invest in a crypto project.

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Why You Should Never Drink Cold Water

While a glass of ice water can sound incredibly refreshing, it turns out that there are a number of reasons why drinking cold water can be harmful and warm water is far more beneficial.

 

What cold water does to your body:

Cold water can interfere with a number of healthy bodily processes and actually be detrimental to your well-being in the following ways:

  • Cold water robs you of nutrients: The body’s natural temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When you drink something that is very cold, your body has to spend an exorbitant amount of energy to regulate your core temperature. This takes away from energy that is needed to digest food and absorb nutrients.
  • It may cause a sore throat: Extremely cold water may cause respiratory mucosa to build up, resulting in increased chance of infection causing a sore throat.
  • It can increase your risk of headache: According to a 2001 study, women who had experienced a migraine in the last year were twice as likely to trigger a headache by drinking cold water.

On the flipside, here are some of the amazing health benefits of drinking warm water:

Warm water provides pain relief:

 

Drinking warm or hot water has a soothing effect on the muscles of the abdomen. It can provide relief from menstrual and abdominal cramping, as well as muscle spasms.

Boosts your weight loss:

Instead of cold water, drink warm water to help boost your weight loss.
Instead of cold water, drink warm water to help boost your weight loss.

By drinking a cup of hot water first thing in the morning, you can jump-start your metabolism. Warm water increases body temperature and increases the rate at which your metabolism burns calories.

Prevents premature aging:

 

Drinking warm water helps to flush compounds from the body that can accelerate aging. It also improves skin elasticity by aiding in cellular repair.

Clears nasal and throat congestion:

Hot water is a wonderful natural treatment for colds. It can naturally dissolve phlegm and clear your airways. It not only clears out nasal congestion, but it also soothes sore throat symptoms as well.

Prevents constipation:

Forget cold water, drinking warm water can help prevent constipation.
Forget cold water, drinking warm water can help prevent constipation.

Hot water can help you to maintain bowel movement regularity. Dehydration is a frequent cause of recurring constipation problems. Not to mention that the movement of the bowel slows down as it fills up. The hot water can finish breaking down food remnants and flush them through the intestines.

 

Aids your digestive process:

 

It is believed that drinking cold water during a meal might promote hardening of oils in the food and lead to a fat deposit in the intestine. As mentioned previously, warm water boosts metabolism and aids the digestive process.

 

Detoxifies your body:

The act of drinking hot water naturally raises the temperature of the body. As the body temperature rises it activates the process of sweating, which flushes toxins out of the body through the pores of the skin. The extra hydration also helps the function of the kidneys to flush waste material out of the body, along with toxins.

 

Improves your outlook:

According to Dr. Michael Wald, the director of Nutritional Services at Integrated Medicine and Nutrition in Mount Kisco, New York, consuming hot water activates receptors found in the stomach, esophagus, intestines and mouth. This stimulates pleasure regions of the brain.

 

Maintains balance in the body:

 

Practitioners of Chinese Medicine believe that drinking warm water that is similar to the temperature of the body maintains balance. They believe that extremes of either hot or cold throw off the body’s yin and yang. Imbalances are believed to be responsible for symptoms like chills, depression, thirst, “foggy” thinking, sleepiness, bloating and more.

 

Enhances blood circulation: 

Drinking warm water breaks down fat deposits that are present in the body and blood stream. The warmth increases the flow of blood circulation and promotes the removal of toxins. The increased circulation induces muscle relaxation, which can reduce pain.

 

Try warm lemon water

Rather than cold water, drink warm water with lemon.
Rather than cold water, drink warm water with lemon.

Another way to drink warm water is by adding a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice. This is especially beneficial first thing in the morning. Lemons contain citric acid, magnesium, bioflavonoids, vitamin C, pectin, calcium and limonene, which supercharge our immunity so that the body can fight infection. They also help to lower the activity of free radicals and increase the breaking down of body fat, also known as adipose tissue

So, drink warm water for a more overall healthy lifestyle.

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