Qora, a second-generation cryptocurrency platform, that all but disappeared from sight last year, is poised to make a comeback with what has been touted as a “stunning feature set” and initial promotional support of Crypto Coins Exchange DK Aps (‘CCEDK’), which is based in Denmark. But haven’t we been here before?
Having made a splash last year, Qora, a platform that promised an impressive set of 2.0 features as a social network, faltered and then crashed into obscurity. Launched on 16 May 2014, the then new protocol had been designed to address and solve Bitcoin’s biggest problems whilst adding new features.
A press release from July 2014 disseminated by the organization proclaimed that: “Qora promises to be the best hope for the future of cryptocurrency” and the Qora Community was “poised to gain market share in the current slew of altcoins [i.e. cryptocurrency] as a result of number of innovative features and fast-moving development processes. The statement added: “While most other cryptocurrencies have been built on Bitcoin’s code, Qora was built from the ground up in Java, using native C libraries to perform the most CPU-intensive tasks.” It was noted too that whilst Bitcoin was popular, it has been “mirred in conceptual flaws” that cause its value to fluctuate wildly.
Now however with a new development team, new marketing and further additions to its protocol by implementing a Turing-Complete smart contracts mechanism and a databases management system – empowering the whole infrastructure – Qora provides users many more tools than ordinary payments that a simple wallet can facilitate. “It could be the phoenix of crypto” according to Ronny Boesing, CEO of CCEDK. Well, that’s the hope anyway.
Founded in 2014, CCEDK is a platform upon which buyers and sellers meet and transact their business directly with the new digital currency Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc., with the Danish exchange acting as intermediary between parties. Additionally they offer fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies like BitUSD and Nubits offering users leverage to reduce volatility risk in their trading activities.
Qora is touted as a ‘proof-of-stake’ coin that requires no miners – thereby aligning the interests of coin holders with those who secure the network. Some of the features include trading assets for assets and multi-dividend payments for asset holders.
Boesing explains: “Its development roadmap included an asset exchange for crypto-stocks; aliasing (a way to associate information with strings of characters, which enables all kinds of applications including decentralized DNS registration); decentralized voting; encrypted or plain-text arbitrary messages, and more.” Qora, which has been added to the Danish exchange’s range of currencies, will trade against BTC and three fiat currencies – US dollar, Euro and Chinese Renminbi.
He adds: “The cryptocurrency Qora with their social network and decentralized web is currently having a poll on whether to pursue some sort of integration with Bitshares 2.0, a financial network for cryptocurrency, and their SmartCoins like BitUSD, BitEUR, BitGold and BitSilver to name a few. This could help improve the crypto eco-system and make both Qora and Bitshares benefit from a strong set of features not seen with any other cryptocurrency liaison out there.” To date polling of the Qora community over integration of blockchain blogging into Bitshares shows just over 87% of all votes were in favour of some form of integration.
It had seemed like a promising start for Qora in 2014, but it was beset with problems. Delays open sourcing its code led to a loss of confidence and opened the door for what has been described as a ‘misinformation’ campaign on bitcointalk. Similarities with Nxt, another popular 2.0 platform, led to the rumor that the founder was really BCNext, Nxt’s own anonymous creator, and that the platform hadn’t in fact been built from scratch at all.
Subsequently the community dwindled, development went on hold, and ultimately Qora himself, the visionary developer who had started the project, departed as well. The coin’s market capitalization declined from a high of around US$5 million (c.£3.2m/c.€4.6m) to c.US$100,000 (c.£64,000/c.€92,000) at the end of last year. At that point it was worth just a few ‘Satoshis’, which is so named after Bitcoin reference and protocol software creator Satoshi Nakamoto, and the smallest unit of the Bitcoin currency supported by the block chain – 1/100,000,000 BTC or 0.00000001 BTC each.
The value of the Qora, where every 100m QORA represents one Qora coin, has fluctuated quite significantly over the past year. Having reached a high of 88 Satoshi on 26 May 2014 it fell to a low of just 5 Satoshi by 18 November 2014. And, as of 6 August 2015 it was trading at 14 Satoshi – equivalent to 4 US cents – putting Qora’s market capitalization at US$391,190 (or 1,402 BTC).
Boesing says the remnants of the Qora community were nevertheless “highly loyal” and included some capable developers. The Danish entrepreneur who previously worked in the music business says: “After a period of intense uncertainty about the future, Qora was reinvigorated with a new development team.” Now the platform aims to “decentralize the world” according to a video posted on Youtube this July.
He adds: “Whereas Qora himself had focused on coding to the exclusion of all else, the new release of the platform also encompassed marketing – a key element of any crypto project – as well as further exchange integration and an emphasis on rebuilding the decimated community.”
The new incarnation of Qora includes some interesting features beyond those originally planned, as described here below.
Automated Transactions: A Turing-Complete programming language that provides smart contracts, autonomous scripts running on the blockchain reflecting any kind of data driven logic. Everyone is able to deploy his own script or use existing deployed programs, programs with a variety of purposes such as funds management, digital rights management and algorithms. Also, fully automated business entities can exist and enable managing valuable property.
Atomic Cross-Chain Transfer: A smart contract that allows trading between two blockchains without the need to trust a third party.
Databases Management System: Decentralizes the internet by storing and distributing cryptographically signed data inside the network. It allows public and private cloud data storage in a decentralized way, distributed across many peers with no central servers/corporations involved. Website hosting and decentralized applications like the social network and the blogging platform, are made of this service, introducing an internet powered by people, and a new way for content to be published.
Voting: Qora’s voting process secures with the power of blockchain, the online voting. Decentralizes trust and praises democracy.
With Chancellor George Osborne announcing the start of Britain’s largest ever privatisation through the sale of £2.1 billion (c.US$3.3bn) worth of shares in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) – roughly a 5.4% stake – one wonders why offload this tranche of 630 million shares in the UK bank at a loss amounting to £1bn (c.US$1.57bn). Hardly terrific business losing the taxpayer £1.72 on every share disposed of.
After all the UK government paid about £5.02 a share for the bank when it was rescued and bailed out for a record amount seven years ago for a record £45bn, which compares with the current price of about £3.39 and equates to a 32.5% loss.
It does beg the question though could the sale process have been started prematurely. And, Osborne’s Mansion House speech from June 2013 outlined an objective in sale was obtaining the best value for the British taxpayer. Seems like that’s just gone out the window.
A general view of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) logo outside its headquarters in the City of London, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. The U.K. government says it has sold around 5 percent of taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland for £2.1 billion (US$3.3bn) as it begins to shed a stake acquired at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. Proceeds will be used to pay down national debt. (Photo: AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
The latest disposal will reduce HM Treasury’s (Treasury) overall economic interest in RBS (which includes ordinary shares and B shares) from approximately 78.3% to 72.9%. But UK Financial Investments Limited (UKFI), the quango through which the Treasury owns RBS shares, plans to sell about three-quarters of its holding by the end of the current five-year UK parliament.
But the placement of the £2bn tranche in RBS on Monday (3 August 2015) came as Source, a global investment firm and one of the largest providers of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) in Europe, noted in its latest quarterly ‘Source Sector Selector’ that European banks are benefiting from economic recovery in the Eurozone.
Source highlighted in particular that return on equity (RoE) for the banking sector is now improving but from low levels – being 3.4% in Europe and 8% in the US. Further, banks’ price to book value has normalized in both regions to around 1x after hitting nadirs in 2009 and 2012.
Paul Jackson, Head of Multi-Asset Research at Source, commenting said: “In our view, valuations of banks are cheap when put in an historical context, although they may be considered to have been in a bubble for 10 years of that history.”
Separately, The Herald newspaper in Scotland, reported at the weekend an interesting attempt at the High Court in London last week by the lawyers for RBS to have Fred Goodwin, the former RBS chief executive officer, excluded from the legal case with shareholder action groups over the bank’s £12bn rights issue in April 2008. It was one of the largest in UK corporate history and many retail investors and institutions feel duped by the bank over that massive corporate action.
Having made a splash last year, Qora, a platform that promised an impressive set of 2.0 features as a social network, faltered and then […]