Last Chance to Claim Your $5 in MANA Tokens for Decentraland

Claim your Decentraland Character and Avatar Today

Hey Coffee&Coin Readers,

A quick reminder that today is the last day you'll be able to claim your free $5 in MANA tokens from our partners at Decentraland.

Decentraland is a virtual world built entirely on the blockchain, where players can own LAND (unique ERC-721 tokens), create custom 3D models that appear in the game, and explore a virtual world.

MANA tokens let users buy land, claim names for their custom avatars, and vote on Decentraland Agora to decide how the virtual world is governed.

We partnered with Decentraland to give our users 200 MANA (~$5) in tokens, which covers the cost of claiming your Avatar name and having 100 MANA left over.

Be sure to check out our Reddit thread for details on how to join the giveaway as Friday, October 4th (today) is the last day to claim your tokens!

Claim Your Tokens

In order to prevent botting, we’ve required people claiming the tokens to have a Reddit account older than 3 months. If you want to claim your tokens, but, don’t have a Reddit account that is old enough feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or Reddit for other ways to prove you aren’t a bot!


PS - Coffee&Coin is not receiving any financial compensation for this offer. Our goal is to promote high-quality blockchain projects with unique discounts and offers to our users. If you like these types of offers let us know by taking part. If you don’t like these types of offers, let us know as well!


Coffee&Coin is a free weekly newsletter published every Monday, bringing you the latest news from the blockchain world.

If you’re reading this on the web be sure to subscribe below to our newsletter and never miss an edition.

Want to follow us?

Coffee&Coin on Reddit
Coffee&Coin on Facebook
@AdamSCochran (Editor) on Twitter

Coffee&Coin - Issue #6 - Dying Unicorns, Rating Councils, and $5 in Free MANA Tokens

September 30th

Giveaway:

Coffee&Coin has partnered with the team at Decentraland to give each user 200 MANA ($5) to help them claim their own free avatar name (which costs 100 MANA) in Decentraland’s virtual world on a blockchain.

Learn how to claim your tokens on our Reddit post >>>

Kik Shoots a Unicorn to Save a Token:

Common readers will know I have no love-loss for Kik/Kin. In the beginning, I was a huge advocate for the Kin token, as it represents a solution that is sorely needed in the industry, and Kik, a $1B+ startup with hundreds of millions of registered users was willing to stake their app on the line for it. [Read the Full Article >>>>]

Coinbase Rating Council:

In a company blog post this week, Coinbase announced they are partnering with Anchorage, Bittrex, Circle, DRW Cumberland, Genesis, Grayscale Investments and Kraken to create a "Crypto Ratings Council" which takes aim at providing a standardized framework for scoring crypto assets, on a scale of 1-5, with how similar they are to a US Security under the Howey Test.

The Crypto Ratings Council (CRC) notes that all analysis is done by independent legal experts and technical experts on their staff, and that none of the scores are endorsed by any US authority like the SEC.

So far the CRC has given high "similar to security" scores to MKR (4.50), POLY (4.50), XRP (4.0), suggesting that these assets are very similar to securities.

The problem with this, is that many of these assets that are very similar to securities such as XRP or MKR are offered by members of the CRC (such as Coinbase and Kraken) to the general public in the US. This means, that these exchanges have either received guidance or have strong enough in-house council belief, that these assets are not a security that they can feel safe in offering them.

If Coinbase, et al, believed in these ratings then they simply wouldn’t be offering some of these assets to the general public. The only thing this stands to do is creating a chilling effect around the industry where small startups and independent developers choose not to work with certain assets due to the risk that it "is similar to a security" and they don’t have Coinbase level lawyers to protect them in those dealings.

Coinbase’s Chief-Legal-Office had touted this idea a few years back at a conference in DC and the idea was met with resistance from the community in fear of creating a centralized cabal of businesses who could abuse ratings to keep out new market entrants.

Its hard to see what value is provided from the CRC, but, its clear to see how it lets these businesses create a new walled garden.


News Roundup:

Kik: The Death of a Unicorn

The following is a web version of the Coffee & Coin weekly newsletter. It’s sent out every Monday at 12 EST by email, and available on the web Tuesdays at 9AM EST.

Sign-up for the email to make sure you don’t miss the latest news! Starting next week, email subscribers will also be eligible for bonus content, contests, and free offers from partners!

Common readers will know I have no love-loss for Kik/Kin.

In the beginning, I was a huge advocate for the Kin token, as it represents a solution that is sorely needed in the industry, and Kik, a $1B+ startup with hundreds of millions of registered users was willing to stake their app on the line for it.

This is part of what lead me to write the 5-part series on “What Critics Fail to Understand About Kin” as well as my series on “What Critics Have Right About Kin.”

Kin as a token, stood a fighting chance, as Kik, who was desperate for monetization, was willing to integrate the token into their own app to be a prime example of the power of the ecosystem and create a base layer of demand/use-cases for the token.

This past week, Kik announced it would be shutting down Kik Messenger, laying off nearly all of its staff in all international offices, and keeping a core team of 19 users to continue to work on their Kin project. Some of their employees/offices are being acquired by another project, and it is unclear what is happening to other intellectual property, but, the messenger app has shut down.

As Kin evolved, those of us close with the community spent two-years watching bold promises turn into poor execution - and each time it was to the same rehtoric. "We got copied and crushed" or "these people are trying to prevent us - you don’t know how hard it is!"

But, that’s the thing when you run any startup - usually you have some people trying to stop you. But with Kin it was different.

No one was stopping them from integrating Kin into Kik - except their own legacy code which they approved the re-write of too late.

No one was stopping their four person dedicated team "rewards engine" team from developing a balanced rewards algo. Instead, after months, they gave us an 'algo' that was simply counting the number of spenders, while four hours of work from the community yielded more insightful proposals.

Kik/Kin was a bloated organization, filled with self-validation and excuses. Community feedback, even feedback that was asked for, was constantly met with arrogant responses "No, we’ve got it right. We’re experts in this." meanwhile, Kin proceeded to launch a forked version of Stellar, with features removed, that some how became slower and constantly unstable.

When it comes to Kik/Kin, I really got to see behind the curtain in a number of ways. While I wasn’t privileged to non-public information, I had good relationships with a number of executives, the Kik staff from living in Waterloo, and had insights from the Waterloo startup community that had watched them grow.

I could sit here and discuss why Kin is worthless without Kik (or why at the very least it is not worth Kin keeping 30% of the token as commission), or timeline the chaos that ensued as the Kin Foundation announced features and partnerships that would never come to fruition, but, instead I wanted to look back at the history of Kik and understand the common denominator of this claim that "Kik’s history is about being copied and crushed"

Kik Timeline of Failed Product Positions:

2013 - Launched click this to share videos https://www.kik.com/blog/announcing-clik/

2013 - Launched first bot Kik bot https://www.kik.com/blog/tip-tuesday-the-kik-bot/

2014 - Launched Kik Browser and claimed that "chat is the new browser" https://www.kik.com/blog/the-kik-browser/ claims developers will be able to tap into Kik API via websites from the Kik browser (similar to web3js concept)

2014 - Bought Relay Gif Messaging, first chat app with deep gif integration. Worked on integrated the product. By 2016 they had scrapped Relay Gif messengers integration and began using Tenor Gif keyboard. The co-founders left Kik.

2014 - Kik raises $38M - Ted boasts in TechCrunch that Kik is "close to profitable" with Kik points, and didn’t need to raise more money than that as they aren’t sure how they’d ever spend it.

2014 - Ted first starts talking about being "The WeChat of the West" and wanting to include payments. He also first mentions Evan "If you talk to me, or to Evan Spiegel at Snapchat, we’ll say the same thing: We want to be the WeChat of the West." https://www.kik.com/blog/the-race-to-become-the-wechat-of-the-west/ - Dropping Evan Spiegel’s name as validation for Kin later became Ted’s favorite pastime.

2014 - Kik introduces promoted posts, the first forrunner to bots.

2014 - Launches Kik points.

2014 - Kik teases the idea of using Kik as a login in apps via their API.

2015 - Kills off Kik points.

2015 - Launches KikKupid bot

April 2015 - keeps promoting Kik browser and integrated sites. Saying chat is the new web. Still not support for devs.

June 2015 - Launches create your own smileys blog post. No actual way to create your own smilies, still have to reach out to Kik and submit art.

August 2015 - Launches "Jam" the music community chat app. https://www.kik.com/blog/introducing-jam-a-music-community-on-kik/

December 2016 - Buys "BlinkStyle" - to integrate the first monetized chat bot. Founders left after one-year, Blynkstyle was not maintained. As of 2019 the integration exists but gives inaccurate results, provides random pictures from google image search, has no price info, has no eCommerce info, it cannot link to a store to purchase the apps and there are no affiliate offers.

Feb 2016 - Launches branded promoted gifs for brands. This is right before deciding to kill off their own gif platform.

Feb 2016 - Launches "Locker" at my.kik.com in the Kik browser to store customized stickers, gifs and content. As of 2019 the locker and sticker shop still exist but you cannot create custom stickers or emojies: https://www.kik.com/blog/introducing-locker-a-way-to-store-and-share-your-smileys-on-kik/

April 2016 - Launches Bot shop with parters from Funny or Die, Riffsy, Sephora, Vine, The Weather Channel, Microsoft Zo, and Yahoo. Begins promoting bots as the main feature. https://www.kik.com/blog/introducing-the-bot-shop/

August 2016 - Kik announces more than 100 featured bots, and 20,000 bots created: https://www.kik.com/blog/kiks-bot-shop-surpasses-100-bots/ discusses how bots will be used for payments and change the way we digitally interact https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/11/kik-already-has-over-6000-bots-reaching-300-million-registered-users/ partners with restaurants and the university of waterloo to manage payments via bots https://business.financialpost.com/technology/battle-of-the-chat-bots-waterloo-based-kik-interactive-has-facebook-in-its-crosshairs

December 2016 - Once again claims chat is the new browser, but, no mention of their browser or developer integration instead it is focusing on chatbots. Claims payments in chat bots are coming soon, and that 2017 will be the "App Store moment" for chatbots https://www.kik.com/blog/chat-is-the-new-browser/

December 2016 - Removes old sticker shop relaunches providing free stickers. No remaining Kik point integrations, just sponsored stickers and Kiks inhouse stickers. As of 2019 no new updates have been added here. All current promoted stickers have been listed for a few years https://www.kik.com/blog/kiks-new-stickers-experience/

March 2017 - Adds Storyz for daily video storyz but only via the Storyz bot. As of 2019 the bot no longer exists. https://www.kik.com/blog/introducing-storyz/

Kik was a messenger app that truly had a first mover advantage in a lot of areas, but, it was also one that frequently cut promised products, failed to have polished integrations, and despite seeming to realize that it was dependent on third-party developer integrations, failed to have any real or useful platform for them.

Each time Kik came forward with a new product, it was large sweeping visions statements of how this would change the web if done correctly - and they were right. The problem was the poor execution.

No one stopped Kik.

They stopped themselves.

To their credit, Ted and his team were some of the most forward thinking people in the space - the problem was always in the execution and thinking they knew best.

The decision to shut down Kik was a shocking one, and one that I think we’ll look back at as yet another botched choice.

Kik Messenger had a loyal fanbase that would have loved to use Kin, and a large enough user pool that it could justify other small developers integrating Kin’s reward system into their own apps.

At this point though, the Kin Foundation will bring nothing to the table except for an unbalanced reward engine, a broken fork of Stellar and an SDK that can’t handle consumer-grade through-put. Which really begs the question of why the team was willing to put Kik, their last real point of value on the chopping block.

Either way, as the blame-game continues to spiral, we see fingers pointed at Facebook’s Libra and the SEC, but, this ship was sinking long before any of this was a concern. Plenty of other cryptos who were feeling the pressure of the SEC managed to deliver products and find non-US exchanges to list them for non-US customers.

What we saw here was not a matter of copy and crush, it was the slow bleed of a unicorn suffering death by a thousand poor-operation decision cuts.


  • Coffee&Coin is a free weekly newsletter published every Monday, bringing you the latest news from the blockchain world.

    If you’re reading this on the web be sure to subscribe below to our newsletter and never miss an edition.

Coffee & Coin - Issue #5: Struggles for Binance and EOS

Sept. 23rd 2019

The following is a web version of the Coffee & Coin weekly newsletter. It’s sent out every Monday at 12 EST by email, and available on the web Tuesdays at 9AM EST.

Sign-up for the email to make sure you don’t miss the latest news! Starting next week, email subscribers will also be eligible for bonus content, contests, and free offers from partners!

The Summaries:

Binance & US Trading:

This past month Binance started to ban the accounts of US (and accidentally Canadian) customers in order to comply with strict US regulation around the trading of securities. Initially, Binance had planned to have their US subsidiary "Binance US" live prior to the shut down, but, for reasons unannounced the rollout has been significantly slower than expected with user registration opening up this past week and deposits being slowly turned on for different coins each day.

But, time delay wasn’t the only woe Binance faced, it also announced that it will be unable to offer services in 12 different US states (Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Vermont and Washington) leaving these users without access to any Binance service.

Users who wish to trade a variety of tokens have had to look elsewhere due to the limited selection offered by Binance US, and other US competitors like Coinbase.

Currently, KuCoin, Beaxy and COSS have been working aggressively to secure US users with additional promotions, token listings and discounts - including offer zero-fee listings for approved projects, right after it came out that Binance is still charging a listing fee of $300,000 USD + 3% of total supply for listing a token.

According to out reach, KuCoin, Beaxy and COSS, which all allow US users on their global platform, have their own native token and offer a wide variety of assets, have all seen a major uptick in the amount of US registration this month, likely due to the similar service offering they have to Binance.

Other US services, that only offered more conservative listings, lacked native tokens, or other services have not seen the same uplift.

EOS Collapsing?

In a scathing report CoinDesk reporter Brady Dale, outlined some of the major challenges facing EOS’ $3B marketcap ecosystem.

After Block.One, the company behind EOS raised more than $4B in their year long ICO, they promised their 'Ethereum Killer' would be the new standard for smart contract based blockchains.

This past year, with declining development, increased infighting and further centralization there have become a number of users concerned about EOS' future potential.

Unlike other chains, EOS is basically an oligarchy run by elected 'Block Producers' (BPs) who earn for validating blocks. This helps to limit costs and accelerate transactions times at the trade-off of centralization. But, it is also the root of a lot of challenges EOS currently faces.

A quick overview of the on-going challenges:

  • Major BP 'EOS Tribe' announced they were leaving EOS to focus on other chains. They feel it is no longer profitable to maintain an EOS node, without involving yourself in 'vote trading' and other dirty politics among EOS whales.

  • Two major groups, one in the West and one in China, fought to launch the official EOS mainnet last year, but, the lack of communication between them left fractured communities who still oppose one another, leaving Western BPs and their voters feeling under represented.

  • At the current time, it is believed that of the 30 eligible BPs, all but 2-3 are located in China. This conclusion came after revelations that major BPs who had listed themselves as being in the US, Korea and Europe, were actually just holding companies for Chinese based firms with servers in China.

  • EOS reward mechanism allows consortiums of BPs to work together to game the top ranks, and therefore get the bulk of the earnings. By gaining this new EOS issuance, they are diluting the marketcap and making it harder for other BPs to compete with them in the future.

  • Top BPs have managed to miss entire rounds of validation (12 blocks) but not get voted out by other BPs due to backroom deals. Creating a slow, laggy and costly network.

  • On Twitter, EOS creator and Block.One CEO, Daniel Larmier is already hinting at his next blockchain project.

EOS stands as the largest blockchain offering of all time, and still leaves a lot of promises undelivered - but, to solve these problems, they’ll need to find ways to align the interests of global BPs, voters, and Block.One to continue to try and correct the path on this sinking ship.


News Round-Up:

Coffee & Coin - Issue #4

September 9th 2019

It was a slow week for news from a lot of teams, due to the shut down for the labor day holiday last week.

We took the time to speak with some of our users about what they like and don’t like about Coffee & Coin so far and have changed up our approach. You can read more about it in our our article here: "New Directions for Coffee & Coin" - now let’s get to your news!

The Summaries:

Ethereum 2.0 Client Lock-in:

One of the largest challenges facing Ethereum 2.0 is ensuring that there is interoperability directly between all major clients, wallets and protocols. Core members of the Ethereum team had advocated for a conference to create a protocol standard to enable all the clients to speak to each other with full interoperability. In the end, major client teams agreed to each send representatives to an "interop lock-in" in Toronto, where the client teams would work together to create and implement a spec, and the lock-in would last until the clients were fully compatible. The full list of goals for the lock-in are published on the Ethereum Github. The teams are already three days into the lockup which started on September 7th and are continuing towards their goals, its been a serious commitment for a lot of smaller teams who sacrificed key players during major events and conferences, like ETHBoston which are normally a great way for small teams to meet potential investors.


Crypto Twitter was eeriely quiet this past week with multiple influencers out at lock-ins, and traveling to/from conferences like ETHBoston and Ethereal Summit in Tel Aviv. But, there is one fun tweet worth mentioning, when Star Trek announced the launch of their ERC-721 collectibles this past week, everyone’s favorite choppy-worded space commander took to Twitter to discuss unexplored frontiers:

News Round-Up:

Loading more posts…