Recently launched payment startup UTRUST announced its pre-ICO successfully ended in just 90 minutes helping the company to raise over US$1.5m. This phase precedes the first round of the public ICO scheduled on September 4th with a higher cap set at US$4m.
UTRUSR hopes to implement the world’s first cryptocurrency consumer protections into its platform to offer “the consumer protection buyers take for granted in traditional online purchases, acting as a mediator, resolver of conflicts, enabling the possibility of refunds to mitigate fraud, while shielding the merchant from crypto-market volatility.”
Nuno Correia, CEO of UTRUST, explained the idea: “UTRUST aims to create an infrastructure that provides the benefits of fast, secure, convenient, and inexpensive cryptocurrency transactions alongside the world’s first cryptocurrency payment protections. Our goal is to democratise the world of altcoins and Blockchain technology to ensure that anyone can benefit from instantaneous, transparent and cost-effective transactions, irrespective of where they live and level of education. “
The team plans to use the collected funds for establishing key partnership and building the promised PayPal supportive platform. ICO participants will be able to purchase the native ERC20 compatible UTRUST tokens created on the Ethereum protocol which can be later used for making zero fee payments to the thousands of merchants accepting any cryptocurrency via UTRUST, and be traded against other currencies on supported exchange platforms.
The news comes on the “black Monday” when Chinese government administrations including the People’s Bank of China, China Securities Regulatory Commission, China Banking Regulatory Commission and China Insurance Regulatory Commission issued a joint statement declaring ICOs illegal after several investigations. From this moment they will also castigate legal violations in already completed ICOs prompting individuals or organisations that have completed ICO fundraising to return the funds. Still, it’s unknown how the money will to be paid back to investors.
ICOs, which involve raising funding by creating and selling new crypto tokens, have just seen rapid growth over the past year, raising $1.6 billion across the globe, with China accounting for around $400 million (through 43 to 65 ICO platforms according to different sources). The Chinese authorities suspected that some ICOs can be financial scams and pyramid schemes after a warning from Singapore’s MAS.
“ICOs are vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing risks due to the anonymous nature of the transactions, and the ease with which large sums of monies may be raised in a short period of time,” MAS, Singapore’s central bank, said in an August 1 statement.
The news led Bitcoin’s price to decrease in more than 5 percent on Monday to about $4,376.42 while Ethereum was down more than 12 percent. The Chinese counterpart of Ethereum – NEO experienced the roughest drop losing more than 34 percent of its price.
At the same time China’s Bitcoin mining company Bitmain receives solid investments and now is planning to get into the deep learning arms race producing chips for artificial intelligence to be the world’s largest bitcoin mining organization.
The startup’s newest product – the Sophon is poised to challenge the likes of Google, Nvidia, and AMD in the deep learning techs’ competition. If everything goes as planned, thousands of Bitmain Sophon units could be training neural networks in vast data centers around the world as early as before the year’s end.