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The Age Of The Blockchain: Dawn Of A New Technology Era

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The Age Of The Blockchain: An Introduction

The age of the blockchain has arrived, like a train through the living room wall. While technology companies like Uber can disrupt the hugely entrenched taxi industry we’re currently witnessing the dawn of a new technology era.  It could well be as disruptive as the internet was in the 90s.

When discussing blockchains its important to understand how the blockchain relates to currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. In many ways, we could say that Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin are a lot like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. They are all things that end customers know about, use, enjoy and discuss. In this analogy, blockchain technology is like the internet. Without it, Facebook couldn’t exist, but equally, it’s not required to understand the internet to be able to use Facebook. Which is a good thing! However, those that do understand the underlying technology are the people which are able to build systems which add value to humankind on top of it.

To date, we’ve only really seen the tip of the iceberg of what blockchains can enable and the ways in which they will change all of our lives – whether we’re into cryptocurrencies or not!

In order to look at which industries are likely to be disrupted in the age of the blockchain, it’s important to understand the technologies that cryptocurrencies have brought about.

New Incentive Structures In The Age Of  The Blockchain

One of the biggest benefits of digital currency is in its ability to instantly transfer value across the globe, with no threat of government intervention, high fees, or slow transaction times. This creates an entirely new way to bring incentive consumers and businesses in the digital economy. This is something that Satoshi Nakamoto could never have imagined in the Bitcoin white paper. The ability to bring new incentives to the digital economy has brought streamlined solutions to the content industry.

There is a misalignment in the content industry, with centralised third-party services like YouTube taking a lot of fees from content creators who work hard to produce relevant and engaging content for viewers. Blockchain projects are creating decentralised systems of content that benefits both creators and viewers alike, with incentivisation through native cryptocurrency tokens.

Steem allows content creators to retain almost all of their earnings and users to directly give to content creators. Furthermore, its proof-of-brain consensus mechanism encourages content creation growth among its user base. Tron is a completely decentralised, peer-to-peer content sharing network where content is not censored and obtainable in exchange for digital assets. Digital advertising projects like the Brave Browser with its Basic Attention Token are also set to become a new way of driving advertising dollars via web content.

Smart Contracts In The Age Of The Blockchain

Once the success of cryptocurrency for digital payments was obvious, the next technological innovation, smart contracts, amplified use cases for digital currencies across the board. First created by Nick Szabo in 1994, smart contracts did not become well-known until the growth of Ethereum over the past several years. By being able to program stipulations of payments and other processes between multiple parties, smart contracts give flexibility to the digital currency that was not previously seen, especially when it comes to real estate renting, ownership, and transfer of title.

It might be a surprise to people not in the industry, but the real estate business is riddled with inefficiencies. Land registry databases have historically been suboptimal and transfer of land and/or property hard to track, this is why tests to bring property title transfers to the blockchain are already underway in the United States. RexMLS is using the blockchain to change the landscape of real estate market data which up until this point has been inefficient and siloed.  Atlant is aimed at creating a more seamless real estate investment and rental ecosystem. There is now even a professional association that has formed to bring together industry leaders ready to change real estate through the use of blockchain technology.

Public, Immutable

Due to the open nature of most blockchain implementations, and its immutable quality, we can trust that records have not been tampered with. All records can be traced back to their origin of creation, and it is not possible to manipulate or change any piece of data without that change being seen by everyone on the network, making it possible to solve new and existing problems in new ways.

The past decade has seen a rise in a refugee and immigration crisis that has left millions of people without a recognised form of identity, and in turn, without basic needs such as healthcare, education, and access to banking. This problem is being directly addressed by blockchain technology which is working to develop decentralised identity (DID) systems that are globally recognisable and verified by the use of fingerprint, facial recognition, or other biometric data. A consortium of enterprises are working together to create a solution to this problem, with Microsoft leading the way with a large investment in this space. Identity solutions will also help solve the hacking of centralised data servers storing personal information, such as with the Civic secure identity ecosystem.

Land Registry records in developing countries have suffered in the past. This is because they have been  easily manipulated by those that hold the records. It would be naive to assume that in war-torn countries land isn’t repossessed by whoever is currently occupying it. Families that flee and return home are likely to find other people in control of their land and property. Difficult circumstances arise when someone very wealthy and powerful wants to take ownership of a piece of land owned by someone very poor, who simply does not want to sell. In both of these situations, an immutable, transparent blockchain would help protect the rightful landowners, with no-one having the authority or ability to simply take a piece of land they do not own, no matter who they are able to influence.

The rise of voting fraud and manipulation across the globe has made it an interesting case for the use of blockchain as an immutable ledger to validate voting, ensuring every vote does indeed count. Healthcare is another area in the public sector that stands to benefit from the blockchain, as electronic medical records are maintained on the blockchain ledger and accessible at any time. Much like in the supply chain industry, the blockchain will adapt for helping government’s track goods and tariffs coming into their country. Logistics in port cities where a lot of trade is processed. Even the United States Postal Service (USPS) is exploring ways in which to use the blockchain for improved financial services and identity authentication.

Private, Immutable

Alternatively, corporations and private institutions looking to utilise blockchain technology can do so by implementing private blockchain solutions, that allow for the same distributed ledger technology, while also creating a permission system of accessing blockchain data that is restricted based on the controlling party. Large corporations such as IBM and JP Morgan are currently experimenting with private blockchain solutions.

Problems that plague the supply chain industry, such as theft and damage to merchandise, can easily be solved through the use of private, distributed databases, along with RFID and other product tags integrated with blockchain solutions. VeChain provides a business ecosystem for industries such as luxury goods, agriculture, and food and drug to track and monitor goods throughout the supply chain cycle. WaltonChain aims to decentralise the supply chain by using RFID to track products through every stage of production and distribution where each user of the chain can create a sub chain for their products.

Everledger is a company working on solving the Blood Diamond problem. It is doing this by having a blockchain containing the unique fingerprint of every diamond produced. Consequently, its origins can be verified and guaranteed. As Everledger says, ‘provenance pays’ and they’re convinced this could apply to other high-value items as well like rare collectibles and art.

Market Efficiency

In the digital age, there is a vast amount of resources that go unused every single day. Without a marketplace to price and trade resources, the digital economy has created inefficiencies. These are able to be solved through blockchain solutions. One of the most notable market inefficiencies gets to the heart of one of the most well-known use cases for blockchain technology, data storage.

There is a disconnect between the supply of data storage, with many businesses and individuals not utilising their full internal storage capacity, and the demand of users looking for more storage that comes at a high price. Centralised data storage options like Amazon S3 or Dropbox are available. However, they only exist to generate profits for the owners. All of the value is removed out of the network by the owners of the centralised service.

Projects like Filecoin, Siacoin, and Storj allow for data storage to be commoditised; to be bought and sold via a decentralised network of cloud computing. By providing this automated marketplace anyone is empowered to share their space capacity with the network. They also receive compensation for doing so. This decentralisation of profits is going to have astronomical effects around the world. IUNGO incentivises people to share their internet connection, Ammbr incentivises people to set up internet connections, Golem incentivises people to share their CPU much like they might share their hard drive. The blockchain technologies provide a global marketplace that runs entirely autonomously. Demand is being met for as long as supply is available. A fair price for both parties is negotiated automatically.

Age Of The Blockchain: Dawn Of A New Era

Most of these projects are currently live, offering their decentralised services. Countries are already looking at blockchain technologies around public services like voting. We really are at the dawn of the age of the blockchain. To date, we’ve barely explored the tip of the iceberg. Most of us can’t imagine life without a smartphone now. While its hard to comprehend today, likely we’ll feel the same about blockchain technologies in a few years! The age of the blockchain and the dawn of a new technology era is here to stay. Scream if you want to go faster!

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Battle of the stablecoins: Tether vs Dai

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Stablecoins – aptly named cryptocurrencies designed to be more market-stable and heralded as a way to strengthen the commercial case for blockchains.

In this post, we will evaluate two stablecoins, Tether vs Dai. Called the “holy grail” of cryptocurrency, stablecoins are an exiting proposition for  many businesses who often shy away from the volatility associated with the sector.

What is a stablecoin?

Stablecoins, in their most ideal form, are simply cryptocurrencies with stable value. An optimal cryptocurrency should have the following: price stability, scalability, privacy, and decentralization. A “stablecoin” is a cryptocurrency that is backed by a fiat currency reserve which corresponds with the coins in circulation. Usually, a stable coin is pegged to U.S. dollar but is not tied to a central bank and has low volatility.

This makes the usage of a cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange more viable since the price of a stablecoin should relatively unchanging; being the representation of a known amount of an asset.

Compare this to non-stable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum; these are highly volatile, and on any given day, it is common to see a fluctuation of 10-20%, making the usage of most cryptocurrencies for daily transactions inconvenient at best, or impossible at worst.

The main types of stablecoins

There are various types of stablecoins in the cryptocurrency market, which can be divided into three main categories, as follows:

  1. Fiat-collateralized – this is the simplest method of creating a stablecoin, and is used by one of the top stablecoins today (Tether). Essentially, fiat-collateralized stablecoins are backed by a real-world asset. This real-world asset is controlled and owned by a central entity.
  2. Crypto-collateralized – these are similar in concept to fiat-collateralized stablecoins, except that crypto-collateralized stablecoins are backed by another cryptocurrency as opposed to being backed by a real-world asset.
  3. Non-collateralized (i.e. seigniorage shares) –  the main non-collateralized approach is the seigniorage shares method. The seigniorage shares method uses smart contracts that automatically expand and contract the supply of the non-collateralized stablecoin using algorithms to maintain its value.

Who issues stablecoins?

Stablecoins are issued either by a central authority or a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). A central authority behind a stablecoin is Tether which issues new coins based on the guarantee provided, allowing for more stablecoins to enter in circulation if the reserve increases. The benefit of using a DAO rather than a centralised issuer is that DAOs allow for additional transparency if done in a decentralized manner. Dai is an example of a DAO stablecoin and runs on the Ethereum network.

Tether vs Dai: what you need to know

Tether: stablecoin pegged to the US Dollar

Tether was launched as RealCoin in July 2014 and was rebranded as Tether in November 2014.

Tether is the best-known stablecoin and often the most traded crypto asset after bitcoin. However, it is a highly controversial stablecoin, not because of how it works, but due to questions over whether it’s actually dollar-backed with fiat reserves.  What’s undisputed is that over-reliance on a centralized coin that accounts for $4 billion of daily trade volume is a bad thing.

The concept of Tether is simple, on paper at least. For every tether that exists there is a US dollar, meaning the value of one tether should always match one dollar. This is a centralised IOU model, whereby the central issuer (Tether the company) holds the US dollars on behalf of the users to uphold the value of tether and provide price stability.

But tether has been shrouded in controversy ever since questions were raised about whether Tether had the billions of US dollars in the bank to back up the billions of tether in issue. The company dismissed its first auditors and, although it insists it is fully audited, the evidence produced so far has been unconvincing. There is major doubt that it has the $2.7 billion to match the 2.7 billion tethers in circulation and that the stablecoin is being pumped out with artificial value just to prop up the prices of other cryptocurrencies. Supporting this is the fact that, while exchanging dollars for tether is easy enough, swapping your tether back into dollars is thought to be considerably harder. The company has stated on several occasions that it was unable to convert any tethers into dollars. Although some argue this sets off warning sirens about how much dollar it has in the bank, others say it is because it wants people to exchange their tether into other cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, and then convert that into fiat currency.

Tether is a great example of the highs and lows that the crypto community endures. The idea of injecting crypto power into fiat currency is welcome. However, all of its problems stem from the fact it is centralised. Users have to trust Tether that it has the money it says it does and that it will facilitate the transactions on the network and, so far, Tether is yet to earn its badge of trust.

Dai: decentralised stablecoin built on Ethereum

With the above in mind, competition for Tether is to be encouraged. And it arrived on 18th December 2017, when MakerDAO announced the launch of their Dai stablecoin

Dai is a decentralized dollar-pegged stablecoin from MakerDAO that operates as an ethereum token. The buyer places ethereum in the Maker core smart contract and receives a dollar equivalent of Dai in return. It’s tradable on the likes of Bibox, Ethfinex, IDEX, and Bancor Network.

With all of Tether’s problems spawning from the fact it is centralised this stablecoin could be a game changer. Dai is a decentralised cryptocurrency that is built around Ethereum, a much larger cryptocurrency that is centred on smart contracts to make it stand out from other top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Ethereum is used as collateral to support the price of Dai. The Ethereum is held in a smart contract, which means there is not a need for a central authority to hold it on behalf of the users.

According to MakerDAO,  the age of stability has arrived.  However, Dai is not free from problems. It may be decentralised but the underlying asset that gives Dai its value is nowhere near as stable as the fiat currencies like the dollar.

Tether vs Dai stablecoins: final thoughts

The 3 key characteristics of cryptocurrencies are that they are trustless, immutable, and decentralized.  Tether has done nothing to convince the crypto community that a centralised cryptocurrency is the way forward. If part of cryptocurrencies is shutting the door to so-called opaque and dishonest banks then the very least a centralised cryptocurrency has to do is prove it can be more transparent and do a better job at managing people’s money.

Dai wins points for being decentralized but the foundation it is built on – the thing that gives this stablecoin its stability – is itself not free from volatility.  Its fate is in the hands of Ethereum.

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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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Sidechains: Everything You Need To Know

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Sidechains are an emerging technology that allows tokens, coins and other digital assets from one blockchain to be used in an entirely separate blockchain, securely, and then be moved back to the original blockchain if needed.

How Do Sidechains Work?

A sidechain is a separate blockchain, attached to a parent via a two-way peg. This enabled the interchange slitty of assets between the blockchains. The original, parent blockchain is referred to as the ‘main chain’ and any child blockchains are referred to as ‘sidechains’, however some such as Ardor refers to them as ‘childchains’.

The first step in transferring digital assets, is for a user to transfer their assets (such as coins) to an output address where they are locked and cannot be spent. Once that transaction is completed, a confirmation is sent across the Cains, followed by a brief waiting period for additional security. After that period has expired, an equivalent amount of assets are released on the sidechain, allowing the user to spend them there. The same happens in reverse, when transferring back to the main chain.

What’s The Point

Sidechains allow cryptocurrencies developers to test beta versions of alt coins or software updates on a blockchain before pushing them to the main chain. Things like issuing and tracking share ownership can be tested on sidechains before moving them to main chains. They also allow cryptocurrencies to interact with one another.

Sidechains also allow newer technologies and ideas to be present on older cryptocurrencies. For example, Bitcoin lacks turing-complete smart contract abilities; however side chains can enable that feature. See about Rootstock below.

Examples Of Sidechains

Liquid

Liquid is a commercial sidechain.  If facilitates immediate transfer of funds between exchanges without having to wait for the delay of confirmation in the Bitcoin Blockchain. Liquid is available to users of all participating Bitcoin exchanges.

Rootstock

As mentioned, Bitcoin lacks turing-complete smart contract abilities; however Rootstock is a smart contract platform sidechain with a two-way peg to Bitcoin. This means that effectively Bitcoin minders can participate in the smart contract revolution by reading them with merge-mining.

Conclusion

Sidechains are an exciting new technology in the cryptocurrency space, although they are not without their security concerns. I do think the possibilities of expanding existing currencies like Bitcoin through the addition of new ideas such as smart contracts will aid scalability in the old cryptocurrencies and prolong their live.

As with all cyrptocurrencies, the side chains that succeed will be those that are made to fill a niche, not ones that are used to generate an income and therefore I foresee  side chains with no coin themselves, such as Rootstock, taking off.

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Tezos Blockchain Platform Goes Live

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Tezos Foundation took to Twitter on Monday 17th September to announce that the mainnet is now live.  The Tezos Foundation raised $232 million in July 2017 to build the network and issue a new type of cryptocurrency to its backers in one of the largest-ever initial coin offerings, and launched an initial version of the network one year later after months of delays. 

The announcement marks an important development for one of the most successful ICOs in the past two years:

What is Tezos?

Tezos is a blockchain system designed to govern and upgrade itself through establishing a true digital commonwealth. Tezos facilitates formal verification, a technique which mathematically proves the correctness of the code governing transactions and boosts the security of the most sensitive or financially weighted smart contracts. Stakeholders of the blockchain can vote on protocol amendments to reach social consensus on development proposals.

Tezos is the vision of Arthur Breitman. French-born, Breitman has significant experience working for large corporates like Morgan Stanly and Goldman Sachs. Together with his wife Kathleen, they now manage the cryptocurrency project from a San Francisco office.

Tezos is quite similar to Ethereum and while cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have stuck to their guns, Tezos sees the future of cryptocurrency as an upgradable path to success. As new innovations unfold, Tezos predicts that their blockchain will remain on the cutting edge.

However, the project has had its fair share of controversy from the start including a number of lawsuits. 

Bitfinex announces Tezos listing

Soon after the official mainnet announcement, Bitfinex, the world’s leading digital asset trading platform, which offers state-of-the-art services for digital currency traders and global liquidity providers, also announced the listing of Tezos, to its trading platform. 

The appearance of XTZ trades on Bitfinex was immediately followed by selling activity. A bit later, the exchange confirmed the listing in a tweet:

The newly introduced token listing has a market capitalization of $1.1 billion USD and is firmly positioned among the world’s top 20 coins, representing a significant addition to the Bitfinex trading platform.

“The new listing of Tezos to the Bitfinex trading platform represents a significant milestone, adding yet another top 20 coin to our services. Bitfinex is committed to providing investors with unlimited trading opportunities by offered a growing array of diverse coins. Tezos is an elite token, with a market cap of $1.1 billion, which will provide a new and exciting investment avenue for our users,” said Jean-Louis van der Velde, Chief Executive Officer of Bitfinex.

“Today’s announcement continues the strong wave of activity within the Bitfinex community, as we continue to anticipate the needs and demands of the digital asset community. We look forward to working with Tezos and building upon this latest achievement for Bitfinex,” concluded van der Velde.

Tezos price spike then dip

According to CoinMarketCap, Tezos went from $1.30 on the day before the announcement to $1.66 the day after.

The Bitfinex development has raised hopes of inclusion on more exchanges soon. XTZ supporters believe the sell-off is temporary:

What was supposed to be a celebratory moment for the project and its investors quickly went downhill, as the price collapsed by almost 20 percent, erasing $170 million from its total market cap a little less than an hour after the announcement. This amounts to almost as much as the Tezos Foundation managed to raise in its July 2017 ICO.

However, Bitfinex volumes immediately increased, making up 20% of XTZ trading, according to updated information from Coinmarketcap. As of 7:00 UTC, volumes were above $1.4 million in 24 hours, with more activity anticipated.

The project expects renewed activity and robust price appreciation to make up for the losses. The launch of the crypto ecosystem comes relatively late and will have to prove its consensus solution is better compared to other platforms.

According to Tezos Scan, the network currently seems to be functioning fine, with a new block once every minute.

Update 18/09/2018: 1530

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Nano is changing the world and Venezuela is next

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Cryptocurrencies are saving lives

Thanks to cryptocurrency and kindness, poor families in Venezuela can buy food. First, it was Bitcoin Cash helping feed the poor in Venezuela. And now its the turn of Nano.

The Nano donations were gifted by kind Reddit users to help Venezuelan families buy much-needed food. Venezuela is among the world’s poorest countries even though it has the largest proven oil reserves in the world.   87% of its people live in poverty.  Its population is 32.3 million. That means around 28 million people living in poverty.

This heartwarming tale of kindness, hope and cryptocurrency began when a Reddit user from Venezuela called Hector received a 0.5 Nano donation from another Reddit user. This is equivalent to an entire month’s salary in this poverty stricken South American country.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Nano, it is a cryptocurrency project that focuses on instant and feeless transfers for day-to-day transactions. Nano is based on a different structure to bitcoin called a DAG.  It was designed as a ‘digital currency for the real world’ and this is a perfect example of what the cryptocurrency set out to achieve.

Hector created a thread in /r/nanocurrency called “Got my first 0.5 NANO – venezuelan user” to share his experience about the Nano donations. As a result, more people started to send more Nano donations to his cryptocurrency wallet and it snowballed!

One week later, Hector was able to buy even more food to help others in the wider community. He bought 102 kgs (224 lbs) of food and donated it amongst his friends and neighbours as well as his family.

And only a few days ago he exchanged 61 NANO for 300 kgs of food with a different supplier. As a result, 40 more families benefited from the donations and were able to buy much needed food.

Nano donations life-changing

Hector described the reaction he received when he told people about the Nano donations as “amazing”. What’s even more amazing is the fact that so many of them actually know what cryptocurrencies are. Others were sceptical or indifferent and were only interested in the food. However, when Hector told them about how the Nano donations were helping them buy the food they were overjoyed.

At the time of writing a total of 90,1 NANO has been invested (equivalent to $230 at the time of the investment) in 402 kilograms (884,2 lbs) of food.

Adopt A Family Nano Project

The project launched in /r/nanocurrency is called Adopt a family  It will focus on helping Venezuelan families by means of Nano donations.

It is a fabulous and heartwarming initiative.  So many families are benefiting from the project. Hector hopes hundreds more families will also benefit from it. And in turn, Nano will become more familiar among the Venezuelan population and cryptocurrencies in general.

Long live Nano!

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Coinbase adds new currency

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Ever the trend setter, Coinbase has once again, rocked us with another exciting announcement about its currency listings.

Coinbase announces support for GBP withdrawals & deposits within weeks

The CEO of Coinbase has confirmed that they will be supporting GBP for withdrawals and deposits within the next few weeks. While it might be expected that a new currency coming to Coinbase would result in furious amounts of market activity, it has not.

Are you excited? No, nor were we. But we dug into the details anyway.

Coinbase currently uses Estonian bank LHV to process payments. These are all done in euros. UK users have to withdraw euros from Coinbase using SEPA transfers or via mobile banking apps such as Revolut.

The UK economy is the fifth largest by GDP and 6% of Bitcoin transactions are made in GBP. So, according to Feroz, this opens Coinbase up to the largest market in Europe.  This is a market which can and has been buying cryptocurrency without this GBP withdrawal support already. GBP deposits have been available for a while now, thanks to a partnership with Barclays. However, withdrawals have not been possible before.

In March, Coinbase partnered with Barclays Bank which opened them up to both GBP payments and the Faster Payments Scheme. This is one of the first collaborations where a UK bank has agreed to accept money that was previously held as a cryptocurrency.

As the website currently states, “Coinbase will send your funds as EUR when you make a withdrawal. If your receiving bank account is denominated in GBP, your bank will usually convert EUR to GBP when they receive the funds.”

The CEO confirmed that support for GBP withdrawals and deposits will be rolled out over the next few weeks.  UK users will be able to deposit Sterling and withdraw Sterling out into their bank accounts using faster payments.

In an interview with NewsBTC, he also said that Coinbase Custody has had a ‘lot of interest’ and that they have had to restrict how many investors they can take on.

Feroz was also asked if Coinbase will always support the same coins and tokens on both their consumer products and their institutional products. He made reference to recently-acquired Paradex, an exchange based on the 0x protocol which offers support for ERC20 tokens. Coinbase also said recently that they plan to support ERC20 tokens.

Feroz said: “We will start to take a product-specific view in terms of the regulatory profiles of coins and the service they’re providing and if that allows us to extend it beyond the four coins we have, then that’s what we’ll do. You will see our businesses as they grow, the coins supported will maybe diverge. One example of that is Paradex which today is live in Europe with eight coins.”

Feroz also commented while they are looking for regulatory certainty, it is not getting in the way of adding new tokens. He said Coinbase will ‘continue to look into tokens that aren’t securities and add them in the future.’ Pointing out their new broker-dealer and ATS licences in the US, he said that they will be able to offer tokens that are registered with the SEC.

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