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One of the most influential Bitcoin figures and their dramatic journey so far

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An epic battle is currently underway, and it’s for an interesting cause – the future of money! The trigger behind this fight was one of the most extraordinary financial developments of this century, the introduction of digital currencies. For now, bitcoin is reigning supreme among its crypto-peers, thanks to its first-mover advantage. But it may no longer be a smooth sail for this crypto kingpin, as there are clear challengers for bitcoin now, especially, Ripple and Stellar. Ripple was founded in 2011 while Stellar, in July 2014 by Jed McCaleb.

The battle for money is currently underway between governments, the world banking industry, fiat currencies, and decentralized (digital) currencies. The result of this battle would invariably reinvent the very fibre of economy and finance as we know it.

While the result of that battle unfolds, let us turn our attention to another intriguing story that is making waves in the cryptocurrency industry and in Fintech (financial-technology) world. This is the story of one of the most influential Bitcoin figures and their dramatic journey so far. This is the Stellar-Ripple story.

Jed McCaleb

This story may seem like the plotline for the next popular thriller. It has elements of fraud, sex, genius, government raid, betrayal, massive money, as well as international intrigue. Interestingly, the one who helped in the creation of two landmark crypto companies Ripple Labs and Stellar is the same person – Jed McCaleb. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Let’s start from…

 

…The Beginning…

MiSoon Burzlaff

It started with a ‘big-fat-positive’ on a pregnancy test kit in 2008. Two relative strangers, Jed McCaleb, 32, and MiSoon Burzlaff, 30 decided to go ahead with the pregnancy and start a family. In 14 months, they were a family of four, a daughter and son.

But soon, Mr. McCaleb, the dedicated surfer, foremost cryptographer, and genius coder, found the life to be quite stifling in Putnam County, Patterson.

In the meantime, here’s a little backstory about McCaleb: In 2001, McCaleb had co-founded the file-sharing program eDonkey2000 with Sam Yagan that dramatically ended with barely-escaped copyright infringement lawsuits by the RIAA.

Now, around the same time Mr. McCaleb started his family and was feeling constricted, cryptographers known as ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ launched Bitcoin. Mr. McCaleb, the genius that he is, found riveting possibilities for the concept of decentralized currency. This led to the creation of…

..Mt. Gox

Mr. McCaleb was the first to identify the need for a place to trade decentralized currency so that it could thrive. So, he created a Bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox in July 2010. This was actually a major turning point for cryptocurrencies.

In three years, Mt. Gox rose to clear prominence and was handling 70% of bitcoin transactions. Then things literally went downhill. On February 2014, Mt. Gox reported that nearly 850,000 BTCs were missing and possibly stolen. Mt. Gox suspended trading, promptly filed for bankruptcy, and is in the process of liquidating. Till now, only one-fourth of the missing BTCs have been recovered.

To sum up, Mr. McCaleb’s track record till now was the development of two innovative companies that eventually collapsed. But, next came…

…The Ripple Inspiration

Mr. McCaleb was uniquely qualified to clearly understand Bitcoin’s flaws. In 2011, inspiration stuck and Mr. McCaleb decided to create a cryptocurrency immune to the flaws of Bitcoin.

Chris Larsen

He rounded up some of the smartest people for this job. David Schwartz was pulled in as CTO (he later became Chief Cryptographer). Jesse Powell and legendary futurist Arthur Britto were also brought on board. To handle the business responsibilities, the sharp and proven manager, Chris Larsen was roped in as the CEO. The dream team of Ripple Labs was thus born. Ripple’s currency unit is XRPs.

Ripple quickly became the talk of crypto-world and was hailed as the successor to Bitcoin, thanks to its brilliant technologists, astute management, and banking relationships.

Remember the saying, all good things come to pass? Apparently, it still holds true.

Soon, dark clouds began to loom on the personal life of Mr. McCaleb and it started spilling to his company as well. Because next came..

..The End of One Relationship…And The Beginning of A New One

After five long years of crusade across Williamsburg, Patterson, Clinton Street, Costa Rica, and Berkeley, Mr. McCaleb and Ms. Burzlaff finally called it quits. Meanwhile, Ms. Burzlaff had also created a start-up called Bravo Your City while raising the kids.

Jesse Powell

The split went amicable and both remained respectful with each other – at first. Then, Mr. McCaleb became besotted with Joyce Kim, who was introduced by Jesse Powell. Ms. Kim was raising money for her start-up, Simple Honey, co-founded with Eric Nakagawa. Mr. McCaleb was introduced as a potential investor by Jesse Powell.

They were soon dating and things started getting rocky with Ripple because..

…Because…Priorities!

Mr. McCaleb persuaded Ripple Labs to buy his girlfriend’s SimpleHoney in April 2013. By then, SimpleHoney was basically like a wish list-based iPhone app. Ms. Kim tried to call herself as the “Chief Engagement Officer” of Ripple. (The acronym wasn’t accidental). She then started rumours about how Jed was Satoshi and Jed went along with it. Soon, there was a clear difference of opinions stemming in between Ms. Kim and Ripple team.

And it all ended with..

.. The Merger-Attempt, THE Walk-Off, and The Feud

It became increasingly clear that Ms. Kim had no clear place in Ripple lab and was technically as useful as wings on a fish. So what unfolded next was hardly a surprise.

To cut the long story short, by summer of 2013, Ripple Labs were short of two people – Ms. Kim and Mr. McCaleb. Their exit was the farthest from what can be termed graceful. Here are the highlights of this showdown.

Mr. McCaleb first tried to unilaterally broker a deal with Patrick Collison of the fintech golden child, Stripe. There was even a celebratory dinner at El Tepa Taqueria, a cheesy picture, and rumours about $13 million in cash being paid for Ripple Labs. Then, the deal went south for reasons that still remain unknown.

Once the deal fell apart, Mr. McCaleb tried to remove Mr. Larsen as the CEO of Ripple Labs. This proposal was quickly vetoed out by the board with a 5-against-1 vote. However, the board was also clear that they wanted Mr. McCaleb to stay with Ripple Labs and continue the good work.

Mr. McCaleb refused to even consider the option, promptly packed up and disappeared from the scene for months. He officially exited Ripple’s board in March 2014.

Meanwhile, on his personal front, the amicable mood that existed between Mr. McCaleb and Ms. Burzlaff regarding co-parenting their children went out of the window. Ms. Burzlaff placed the blame of Mr. McCaleb leaving their children squarely on Ms. Kim.

Mr. McCaleb’s disappearance lasted almost a year and then, (yep, you guessed it)…another idea for a company occurred to him. Which was…

….The Beginning of Stellar

Mr. McCaleb planned to create yet another distributed consensus-based cryptocurrency using all of Ripple Labs’ code, which was open source. But before announcing his new plans, he decided to unleash a little chaos.

On May 22, 2014, Mr. McCaleb posted on Ripple Labs’ message board, “I plan to start selling all of my remaining XRP beginning in two weeks.  …. So just FYI…. XRP sales incoming.”

The term juvenile doesn’t cut it for describing this stunt. Since Mr. McCaleb held 9 billion XRPs, such massive-scale dumping was sure to hurt his former company and partners.  As Ms. Burzlaff explained, ‘Jeb timed his announcement probably so Ripple tanks and fails right when this new one is announced’.

A short month after that, Stellar was launched.

The Mystery of Stellar

When launching Stellar, Jed McCaleb had a powerful alley – Patrick Collison, the co-founder of Stripe. Mr. Collison is a Stellar board member and advisor. In addition to Mr. McCaleb and Ms. Kim, David Mazieres, an associate professor of computer science at Stanford, is another member of Stellar. He is given the title of ‘Chief Scientist’.

Interestingly, even the physical location of Stellar is still unclear. This is because Mr. McCaleb typically met people for business in Stripe’s offices. The close association between Stellar and Stripe is quite apparent. Yet, Stripe also consciously tries to distance itself from Stellar because of…

.. Wells Fargo

To cut to the chase, Stripe is quite dependent on Wells Fargo, the fourth largest bank in the United States. The bank is well known to be skittish about cryptocurrencies in general.

The backing of Stellar by Stripe is not taken kindly by Wells Fargo, as Mr. McCaleb’s association is seen as a flaming red flag by the bank. Mr. Larsen of Ripple Labs, who had 20+ years of association with Wells Fargo before he joined Ripple, has also experienced this distrust from the bank. The bank flat-out refused to fund him because of Mr. McCaleb.

The way bank sees it, Mr. McCaleb was smack dab in the middle of the Mt. Gox disaster and his friend Mark Karpeles, to whom he sold Mt. Gox, is suspected by the Department of Homeland Security as the mastermind behind Silk Road. Add to it the recent Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations, Wells Fargo is obviously spooked about having to do anything with ANY crypto companies.

Now, it is an interesting predicament for Wells Fargo, as the bank funds Stripe, which, in turn, is possibly funding Stellar. The bank’s anti-crypto stance may impact Stellar, and eventually, Stripe.

Now let us answer the most obvious question…

The Future of Stellar and Ripple

Below are some of the important facts and events associated with Stellar and Ripple that are enough for you to draw your own conclusions about their future.

Post the exit of Mr. McCaleb, Ripple Labs has attempted to gain adult-world legitimacy at the risk of their street cred. Ripple developed deep relationships with banks as well attempted to comply with a plethora of Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. Prominent figures like Gene Sperling, the chief economic advisor to the U.S Presidents, joined Ripple Labs board.

Meanwhile, Stellar retained their libertarianism and reputation of being a rebel and raked in impressive street creds from coder community. Stellar removed the protections in the code of Ripple Labs that was built to accommodate the KYC and anti-laundering needs of its banker partners. Stellar also tried differentiating itself by giving itself a non-profit status. But what all this also means is that Stellar is where drug dealer, terrorist, or hit man would go to do business. Not exactly trust-inspiring for FBI and DOJ.

Now, although it is true that Stellar does originate from the Ripple code, there has been quite a few changes made to the Ripple codebase since the Stellar fork. Ripple Labs also has a big team working non-stop to perfect it, while Stellar has a team of two.

Stellar had already shown vulnerability when Stellar’s validating nodes failed on September 20, and then the December 2 ledger fork of Stellar happened. Although Ripple has been way longer than Stellar and currently has a 10X market cap, it has never forked or had a consensus error till now.

Vitalik Buterin

Although you have now got enough and more hints, here’s the frank opinion about these two cryptos from Vitalik Buterin, CEO of Ethereum, to drive the point home. ‘Stellar is gonna fail IMO. Ripple has a better team, they’re not a parasitic fork and I’m sure Ripple has better connections than stripe does’.

Whether Bitcoin, Ripple, or Stellar will win the fight for future of money is yet to be seen. But the fact remains that Jeb McCaleb is the only one who has been there during the early stages of all three cryptos. So far, he has surfed the calm waves but hasn’t stayed when the weather got really rough.

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Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH): What’s The Difference?

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In this post, we will be looking at the difference between Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency which was created in 2009 by a mysterious entity using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Eight years later on 1st August 2017, a ‘hard fork‘ of Bitcoin (BTC) created Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Two Different Idealogical Camps: Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

There are essentially two different idealogical camps in the the Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH) debate.

It all started as a discussion about how to change Bitcoin. Something was needed to help it cope better with the increasing number of people using the cryptocurrency.

However, after years of debate, two different ideological camps arose with opposing views on how Bitcoin should scale its protocol. The miners wanted Bitcoin to use bigger blocks while the users and developers wanted to implement SegWit, an upgrade that would compress transaction data, so more transactions could fit in each block.

The argument about how to scale Bitcoin has centred around restrictions imposed by the original design of Bitcoin. These limited the way in which transactions were processed and put into the public ledger of transactions, called the blockchain.

The rationale for this was to put the security of the system ahead of functionality which, given the small number of people using Bitcoin in those early days, wasn’t an issue.

The options for lifting this restriction however became a sticking point between different groups of developers and their various supporters. One group, consisting of the Bitcoin core developers, decided on a gradual approach that would first make more space in the ledger by shuffling how things were stored. And then as a second step, increase the size of the “blocks” or groups of transactions that were added to the blockchain (the ledger that records all of Bitcoin’s transactions).

Another group of developers lead by ex-Facebook Developer Amaury Séchet, however, disagreed with this approach. They didn’t believe it would actually go ahead and came up with a different design. This essentially meant diverging from the existing Bitcoin blockchain and creating their own version.

The proposal of the Bitcoin core developers, called SegWit2x, wanted to improve the way Bitcoin worked by saying that signatures could be moved to a separate piece of paper, one that is filed along with the sheet containing the transaction information. Because there is more room on the paper, more transactions can be written down. The other proposal was to set a timeline through which the system would allow two sheets of transactions instead of just one.The developers behind Bitcoin cash didn’t agree with the idea of separating the signatures from the transaction. They thought this was a “hack”.

Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH): Same Goals But Different Directions!

The goals of the two camps were the same, but neither was willing to compromise on how to get there. Therefore, Bitcoin forked into two different currencies, each sharing a common transaction history from before the fork. Bitcoin Cash is the chain supported by the miners who wanted larger blocks, and the regular Bitcoin chain is the one supported by the core developers.

In terms of the practical intents and purposes of most users, there is very little difference. However, it is imperative to understand that Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are now two entirely separate currencies.

SegWit implementation

Supporters of Bitcoin Cash looked at SegWit as being an inadequate solution to the problem of scalability. It was also against what Satoshi had envisioned, especially with off-chain solutions.

Even if the upgrade was done, the pro-Bitcoin Cash (BCH) team felt that the way forward lacked transparency and would undermine the blockchain’s decentralization and democratization.

In short, the difference is that BTC chose to implement SegWit and has the Lightning Network while the BCH community disagreed and pursues on-chain scalability.

Proof-of-Work (PoW) Consensus Algorithm

Both Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)  run on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm. 

A Proof-of-Work (PoW) coin uses miners to confirm transactions on the blockchain. This isn’t the most environment-friendly option, as a large amount of energy-consumption is involved; but it is the most effective, compared to other consensus algorithms like Proof-of-Stake (PoS).

Besides not being environmentally friendly and slow there is also an added risk of a 51% attack on the network.

Key Differences Between Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

One key difference between Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the difference in block size. Bitcoin has a 1MB block size, while Bitcoin Cash originally had an 8MB block size.  In May 2018 Bitcoin Cash initiated a hard fork to increase the size of the BCH block from 8MB to 32 MB. The upgrade also added new OP codes to its codebase.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) protocol allows for more transactions per second which translates to faster payments and lower fees.   However, Bitcoin has much greater security and stability, as there is more mining support and infrastructure behind it.

So what does the future hold for Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH)? Do you think there will be a greater demand for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) than Bitcoin (BTC) in the future? We will have to wait and see!





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Technology

Finally! A Cardano Mobile Wallet!

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The last few weeks have been pretty exciting for us at Planet Blockchain. With Coinbase proposing to list 3 of our top currencies, we’ve been working hard on our own contribution to the cryptocurrency space.

A real pain point for us when using Cardano was having to use Daedalus and sync it with the blockchain. This takes ages and is prone to require restarting Daedalus, and/or your computer! No thank you! Even when you achieve the Nirvana state of a sync’ed Daedalus, you now have to input your 12 secret words, aka your private key, to restore your wallet. If you’re not on a device you own and trust then this is obviously not an option. The owner of the device, or, heaven forbid, website, you enter your 12 secret words into has the ability to take all your funds, if they want to. They might do it instantly, they might do it tomorrow, or they might do it in a years time.

So what’s the solution?

A light wallet, or mobile wallet, where the only information you put into the wallet is your public address, or addresses. There is absolutely no way to take someone’s funds just from their address, which makes this a secure solution to looking up your balance. Many of these solutions exist for popular currencies like Bitcoin. If only there was one for Cardano.

Luckily for you, dear reader, we’ve built one.

Once you’ve set up your wallet through Daedalus, you can copy and paste your addresses into the mobile wallet in order to track your balance(s). Make sure to always protect your back up phrase for your wallet and never share it with anyone. Including us, and any other wallet software.

Check out the app and let us know what you think

                           

We at Planet Blockchain are super excited by Cardano and the cryptocurrency space in general and commit to bringing you the highest integrity information on the topics we care about the most. Thank you for being part of our small community and we hope you enjoy the app. You can read more about it here.

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Analysis

Everything you need to know about HTC Exodus

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HTC introduces blockchain phone – HTC Exodus

As part of what HTC claims is its “effort to expand the blockchain ecosystem,” the company introduced its latest blockchain phone known as the HTC Exodus this week. HTC sees the Exodus as a handset that will let owners keep their data – and blockchain currencies – private and secure on the device rather than in the cloud, where your sensitive information may be easier to extract and tamper with. 
The announcement comes almost one week before the launch of its latest flagship, the HTC U12. Its  bid for elevated smartphone security also comes at a time of peak scrutiny for security and data privacy. However, it is not the first time the concept of a blockchain smartphone has been introduced. In April, Sirin Labs announced that Foxconn will manufacture its blockchain powered smartphone, FINNEY.

HTC ‘s vision for the future of smartphones

“Our vision is to expand the blockchain ecosystem by creating the world’s first phone dedicated to decentralized applications and security,” HTC states on a website dedicated to the new device.

They go on to say “With the release of the HTC Exodus we can now make this a reality… we believe we can help reshape the internet.”

HTC Exodus Design

HTC hasn’t released any official images of what the Exodus will look like. Instead, the company posted a rough sketch of what appears to be the smartphone’s components. Please see below.

HTC Exodus Spec

There aren’t many details when it comes to spec either. What we do know is that the phone will feature a native cryptocurrency wallet. The HTC Exodus will also support decentralized apps through the phone’s hardware, which it claims are more secure than standard apps. The phone is also expected to allow the trading of native crypto coins without any mining fee. According to their website, there are eight major features of HTC Exodus:

  1. Trusted hardware
  2. Tons of protocols
  3. Universal Wallet
  4. Trusted UI
  5. Save your ID and data on phone
  6. DApps on mobile
  7. Phone will act as a node of Ethereum and Bitcoin
  8. Exodus forum for the users

Initially, it will launch with support for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dfinity networks, and Lightning Network, but the company says it will eventually support the entire blockchain ecosystem. HTC plans on creating a native blockchain network with all eExodus phones, in an effort to double and triple the number of nodes of Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Release date of HTC Exodus

No release date or price has been set for HTC Exodus but you can reserve the HTC Exodus phone online.  The company has hinted it might even accept cryptocurrency when the handset does go on sale.

HTC Exodus to run separately from main business

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Analysis

Nano vs Bitcoin Cash

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In this article we will be discussing Nano vs Bitcoin Cash. As people begin to see the flaws of Bitcoin, and invest elsewhere, we see coins like Nano and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)  picking up investment. In this article, we will look at these two cryptocurrencies and evaluate which is the stronger currency of the two.

Nano vs Bitcoin Cash – which cryptocurrency is the leader of the pack?!

What is Nano?

 

Nano has been tipped to become the next Bitcoin. The main reason for its fast growth and success is because of its architecture. Though the cryptocurrency operates by providing a decentralized model of bypassing centralized institutions such as banks, it design utilizes block-lattice architecture and delegated Proof of Stake (PoS).  This eliminates the need for miners, makes the network fast, and lighter.

These unique features and applications mean that Nano is indeed better than Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies that use Proof of Work (PoW) and standard Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus models.

What is Bitcoin Cash?

Bitcoin Cash is a decentralized peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that was developed from the Bitcoin Core. Bitcoin Cash was formed as a hard fork of Bitcoin. In some cases, you will get the cryptocurrency being referred simply as an upgraded/ peeled/ or forked version of Bitcoin core software released in August 2017. A further Bitcoin Cash hard fork took place in May 2018.

We will now evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of Nano vs Bitcoin Cash.

An analysis of Nano vs Bitcoin Cash: advantages & disadvantages

What are the advantages of Nano?

  • No transaction costs
If you have some cash and want to send abroad using the banking system, the chances are that it will be very expensive. Even the cryptos that came earlier such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are still very expensive. For example, the cost of sending cash using Bitcoin network was more than $ 50 in January of 2018. However, Nano has ushered a new dawn in cryptocurrencies where users can make transactions for free. This is one of the benefits drawing a lot of people to the network.
  • Open source & anonymous
One notable thing about cash stored in the bank is that bank account details can easily get leaked to third parties. Worse still, your bank account can easily get frozen if a court battle whirls to your doorstep. However, Nano is an open source and anonymous network that is hidden from third parties.
  • The main network that allows users to own the network
When people use the standard payment services such as PayPal, MasterCard, and banking, they feel passive. Once they make the savings or send cash, they get the sense of accomplishment and move away. Like other cryptocurrencies, Nano helps people to join, use, and own the network. This means that you are part of the network and your vote will be required when consensus is needed.
  • One of the most secure networks
When people join the cryptocurrency network, they are interested in getting the most secure option for their assets. The delegated proof-of-stake model used in the Nano system helps to keep it secure from miners who might have malicious intentions.
The commitment of the Nano development team has also managed to keep the system free from hackers since inception. These considerations have won the Nano the tag of the most secure blockchain in the crypto world.
  • Allows users  to operate with utmost freedom
If you want to send cash abroad on the weekend or at night, the chances are that it will be impossible. Even those that have some mobile activated applications only allow people to send a limited amount of cash. However, Nano cryptocurrency network is different. The crypto network allows users to operate with utmost freedom. Whether it is at weekend, public holiday, or at night, you are sure of being able to use the network.
  • The cryptocurrency value and community has been growing steadily
The effectiveness of a crypto network is partly gauged by its value and community. For Nano, these parameters have been experiencing positive growth in since inception. As the value took an upward trend early in 2018, the crypto community also kept growing. Many people believe that this growth will keep growing and the crypto could become the next Bitcoin.

What are the disadvantages of Nano?

While the benefits associated with Nano are very many and appealing, it is important to appreciate that the network also comes with a lot of risks. Like other cryptocurrencies, users in the Nano network operate anonymously. While this is seen in many ways as an advantage, it is also a great demerit. The anonymity makes it easy for users to fall to scammers. Other risks of operating in the Nano network include.

  • Risk of attack by hackers
Though the Nano network development team has been working extra hard to keep the network safe, and no successful attack has been reported since inception, you cannot be 100% secure.
  • The risk of new and more appealing cryptocurrencies 
The third generation cryptocurrencies such as Nano are mainly aimed at addressing shortcomings noted in the previous networks. For example, Nano targets addressing shortcomings noted in the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks. However, newer and more advanced cryptocurrencies are also likely to emerge in the future and pull down the appeal of Nano. This could lower its value and diminish the trust people have in it.
  • High volatility
Cryptocurrencies such as Nano have demonstrated to be highly volatile. Every time that something related to the crypto industry takes place, Nano and other cryptocurrencies respond immediately. When China announced that it was going to burn ICOs (Initial Coin Offering), Nano value responded by shifting downwards. A similar downward shift was noted when a cryptocurrency exchange was hacked in South Korea towards the end of 2017.
  • The looming regulations
Every country in the globe is working on some form of regulation to help control cryptocurrencies. From China to the United States, the governments are feeling threatened by the cryptocurrencies so much that they want to limit their growth. China has already outlawed ICOs and looks committed to suppressing other crypto related activities. If most countries pass harsh regulations as anticipated, there is a risk that adoption and use of Nano could go down or diminish completely.
  • Direct threat to the banking system
While the first and second generation cryptocurrencies were aimed directly offering an alternative to banks, third generation cryptocurrencies have been working on partnerships. For example, OmiseGO and Ripple provide banks with a platform for enhancing payment as opposed to looking like a direct threat. But Nano architecture aims at replacing the banks especially with its zero transaction fee. This could deny Nano support from such financial institutions as they channel their clients to other friendly networks such as Ripple.

What are the advantages of Bitcoin Cash?

The fast growth of blockchain technologies is an indication of the public acceptance and approval. At first, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were considered disruptive and a threat to the conventional institutions such as banks. But the narrative has changed over time. Today, even governments are starting to appreciate the huge benefits that come with using blockchain technologies. Bitcoin Cash has particularly stood out because of its unique design and fast growing value. Here are the main benefits to anticipate after joining the network.

  • Bitcoin Cash is completely anonymous
The main attraction drawing more users to the BCH network is the high level of privacy. The team behind Bitcoin Cash network targeted enhancing anonymity for all their operations. From traders to individuals, no one wants third parties such as banks to know their personal details. All the transactional info in Bitcoin Cash network are encrypted so that even miners who confirm transactions can only ascertain the amount but not the owners.
  • Payment assured across the globe
If you want to make payment on a weekend, during public holidays, or at night through the bank, it is impossible. Most of these institutions only work between 8 am and 4 pm. However, Bitcoin Cash empowers you to make payments any time of the day or night. Because you have the network right in the wallet or node, sending payment is only a click away. This is the freedom that many have yearned to get for years.
  • The network is owned by users
When you join the Bitcoin Cash network, it becomes yours. That is right. The Bitcoin Cash network is owned by users. You are part of the system and will be involved in making the decisions on the network. Instead of relying on a centralized authority, Bitcoin Cash relies on the consensus of users spread on different nodes in the network.
  • Freedom from third-party seizures
If your cash is in the bank, the risk of getting seized is very high. A case can easily whirlwind into your doorstep and drag you to court. Whether it is a social media or workplace issue, you can easily get involved without necessarily committing a criminal offense. With such risks, the savings in the bank are an easy target by lawyers. However, joining and storing your fund in Bitcoin Cash provides the freedom from third-party seizures. You operate anonymously and at no point will the court freeze your Bitcoin Cash account.
  • The value of Bitcoin Cash continues to grow rapidly
As more cryptocurrencies enter into the fast-growing industry, users want to join those that give them better prospects for growth. Bitcoin Cash is one of them. Though it was only 5 months by close of 2017, it managed to hit top five most valuable cryptocurrencies by then. Its growth has been remarkable with experts in cryptocurrencies indicating that it could easily rival Bitcoin.

What are the disadvantages of Bitcoin Cash?

Just like Bitcoin Cash has numerous benefits, it also comes with a number of risks that users should know of. The hacking in a South Korean exchange at the end of 2017 saw many cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin Cash slump in value. Therefore, no one can be sure of what will happen to Bitcoin Cash in the next few days, months or years. Here are the main disadvantages associated with Bitcoin Cash.

  • The risk of being overtaken by newer cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin Cash was forked from Bitcoin to create a new and more effective cryptocurrency. With new cryptocurrencies joining the industry at a supersonic speed, the risk of Bitcoin Cash getting overtaken by newer and more effective networks is rather high. This could see Bitcoin Cash getting relegated to the back seat as people scramble for the new option.
  • The looming regulation
From the US to China, the topic of cryptocurrencies is a hot potato issue. There is a general feeling that many governments are about to implement laws aimed at punishing cryptocurrencies. For example, Russia and Thailand have cautioned their traders that upcoming laws could make their cryptocurrency related operations illegal. The looming regulations are making a lot of people shy away and could pull down the value of Bitcoin Cash within hours after getting passed into law.
  • The danger of losing Bitcoin Cash
Like other cryptocurrencies, your Bitcoin Cash can also be lost. You could easily lose BCH through hacking of the personal computer, attack on the exchange, or sending to the wrong address. The danger of losing BCH is that they are very difficult to restore. In most of the situations such as sending BCH to the wrong address or getting hacked means that the coins are gone forever.
  • The risk of getting involved in scams
The anonymous nature of Bitcoin Cash has become an instant attraction to fraudsters. Because the transactions are completely encrypted, scammers are sure that they cannot get discovered. This puts users at a risk of getting drawn to scams without knowing. Some scammers often release fake ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and steal from unsuspecting clients. Others might opt to acquire or make fake products and sell through the BCH network. You must be extra careful to only buy and carry transactions with trusted addresses.
  • High volatility
While the fast-rising demand for cryptocurrencies has drawn a lot of people into the industry, the level of volatility is very worrying. Within a very short moment, the value of Bitcoin Cash can plummet and cause huge losses. This has been experienced in other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum during the DAO attack and Bitcoin during the Silk Road Scandal.
  • The Com
Many people have said that the whole idea of Bitcoin Cash was little more than a scam to gain money from the Bitcoin name. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against people who are claiming Bitcoin Cash as being ‘the real bitcoin’, which is marring the currencies reputation.

Nano vs Bitcoin Cash:  evauation & conclusion

In the Nano vs Bitcoin Cash debate, both have their advantages and disadvantages as we have seen. However, overall, Nano seems to have the largest scope for growth. The recent ‘‘Bitgrail hack‘ wasn’t a flaw with the technology of the network – the price dip was purely speculative and emotional.

Many coins have been hit hard by the 2018 ‘bear market’ but it seems in comparison Bitcoin Cash has been hit the hardest.  Newer altcoins are taking over. Furthermore, an article was recently published stating how Bitcoin Cash might be in trouble. Meanwhile,  Nano is among the top coins trading today.

Having evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of the two cryptocurrencies, it would seem in the Nano vs Bitcoin Cash debate, Nano is the stronger cryptocurrency of the two. It is also a hot contender for the most promising cryptocurrency of 2018.

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Proof Of Importance

NEM – What you need to know

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New Economy Movement (NEM) started off with the ambition of making sure digital currency distribution was widespread and fair. It is one of the few altcoins whose concept is to address all the inherent issues affecting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Issues such as scalability, energy consumption, ease of use, incentive to use, consolidation of power by miners and governance are what NEM seeks to address.

NEM: Revolutionary peer to peer crypto platform

Launched in 2015, it brings plenty of exciting new ideas to the blockchain.

As with many cryptocurrencies, NEM developers are pseudonymous and it was started by a Bitcoin Talk forum user called UtopianFutur. The inital design was a fork from NXT, but it swiftly got rebuilt from the ground up on its own source code.

NEM has many unique features such as multisignature accounts, encrypted messaging system, and the Eigentrust++ node reputation system. One of the major advantages is its transaction speed. It is for these reasons it is generally viewed as an evolving solution, replete with an outstanding core blockchain technology. The cryptocurrency that runs on it is called XEM.

NEM is primarily used in Japan, but also elsewhere in the world.

NEM
NEM (cryptocurrency) logo.svg
Denominations
Subunit
0.000001 µXEM (microXEM) – smallest unit
0.001 mXEM (milliXEM) – thousandth unit
Plural XEM
Symbol XEM
Demographics
Date of introduction 2015
User(s) Global
Issuance
Issuer Fixed Decentralized
peer-to-peer consensus
Website NEM
Valuation
Genesis Block Production Fixed 8,999,999,999 XEM total
Block time                     1 minute
Technology                  Blockchain

Proof Of Importance

One of the key aspects of NEM is its unique consensus mechanism of Proof of Importance.  This looks to overcome the problems that can be found in the Proof of Stake model by identifying an account’s overall support of the network. It does this by accounting for three factors: vesting, transaction partners, and number and size of transactions in the last 30 days.

NEM and XEM what's what?

Harvesting

NEM has a feature called harvesting. It doesn’t require any special hardware, you do need to have at least 10,000 vested XEM coins in a single wallet. Anyone running Supernodes and processing transactions get paid by processing the payments for the network. The advantage of harvesting over mining is that it uses a lot less electricity, which means lower transaction fees. This also means that, NEM is much a more energy-efficient cryptocurrency and better than the environment than a coin like Bitcoin (See our post on Bitcoin’s energy usage).

Useage

It’s used in a commercial application, called Mijin in Belgium.
Other than that, NEM is still in the early stages and the only real thing you can do with XEM is transfer between people and wallets; there isn’t yet any tangible things you can buy with it.

Buying and Storing

You’re going to want to download the NEM Nano wallet to your PC or mobile phone, and follow the instructions to set it up.

To purchase XEM, you’re limited to a few exchanges right now. Bittrex allows you to purchase XEM with BTC, USD or ETH.

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Consensus Mechanisms

Proof of Importance

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proof of importance

Proof of Importance is the underlying technology behind NEM which determines who gets to verify transactions. This consensus mechanism is similar to Proof of Stake (PoS) in that it requires a certain amount of cryptocurrency (10,000 XEM in NEMs case) to verify transactions. It differs to PoS in that it solves the issue of a person having more stake being more likely to verify transactions, thus receiving more rewards. In other words, PoS helps the rich get richer, and PoI aims to alleviate that.

 

proof of importance

How does it work?

PoI solves this dilemma by assigning consensus addresses and an importance score. The importance score can be thought of as a reputation score (kind of like Karma on Reddit). A higher score means the network trusts you more to verify transactions.

In PoI, your chance of verifying transactions isn’t entirely dependent on how much you have to stake. Instead,  it’s based on the number and quality of transactions you’ve previously done.

What is a quality transaction?

Well, simply sending yourself a bunch of XEM between addresses isn’t going to do it. You must have sent at least 1000 XEM to addresses holding at least 10,000 XEM staked within the last 30 days.

Benefits

NEM.png

One risk of Proof of Stake is that people simply hoard as many coins as possible and reap the rewards from block creation. This concentrates wealth while discouraging transactions. These transactions are what keeps the network running. PoIs importance score means that hoarding results in a lower score. Spreading XEM around increases the score. Therefore, being an active participant pays better than hoarding.

What keeps it secure?

You may think that it’s pretty easy to hold a few addresses, pass some XEM between them and shoot up your own importance score, however, the algorithm attempts to prevent this. One way in which it does so is by actually lowering the importance score for accounts that transfer out, then receive XEM. Also, making everyday purchases or sending XEM to an exchange won’t affect your importance score.

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