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Binance And Cardano

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On 2018, Apr 17th Binance announced that Cardano is now available on the platform with two trading pairs, ADA/BNB and ADA/USDT.

Cardano is already picking up the pace and is enjoying a 90% increase over the last two week period.

With staking pools going live over the next few weeks and more updates to Daedalus recently announced, it looks like Cardano’s success is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

The full announcement is available from Binance here.

On the same day, Michael Parsons, Chairman of Cardano Foundation delivered a speech at UK parliament in support of Distributed Futures, an open source research programme to develop vital infrastructure to make Smart Ledgers a success.

Cryptocurrencies are another application of Smart Ledgers (the next big thing in technology!). They are based on a combination of mutual distributed ledgers (aka blockchains) with embedded programming and sensing, thus permitting semi-intelligent, autonomous transactions. Smart Ledgers are touted as a technology for fair play in a globalised world. There are numerous projects building trade systems using this technology with announcements from governments, shipping firms, large IT firms, and the like.

Long Finance’s Distributed Futures research programme recently published the report, “The Economic Impact Of Smart Ledgers On World Trade”, the latest in a series of exciting projects in the programme. The report, features a description of the econometric approach that maps trade frictions that Smart Ledger technology might be able to offset, especially in the realm of non-tariff and bureaucratic barriers to trade.

For a deep dive analysis of Cardano you might enjoy this article.

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Exchanges

The Easy Way To Buy Bitcoin

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When you first buy Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, it can be a very confusing process. There are dozens of options available and an overwhelming amount of information is required to dig through them all. We’ve got a very straightforward approach laid out that is the way all the cool kids do it, to super simply buy some Bitcoin. Literally, it couldn’t be simpler than this. Read on, courageous internet hero!

Other exchanges are available, but we’re not laying out options here. We’re giving you answers, and the answer is to use Coinbase. Simple. It’s the best company in the world for first-time buyers of cryptocurrency, without a doubt. Sign up here and get $10 free.

Coinbase is a San Francisco based company licensed by New York’s Department of Financial Services, to offer Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. It has over 8 million clients and serves over 30 countries including the US, Canada, Australia, Singapore and much of Europe. It accepts PayPal, bank transfers and credit/debit cards.

Before you know it, you’ll have a bitcoin wallet with an address. Easy! If you like, you can even get their mobile app to make things really easy to use your cryptocurrencies, however, you don’t need it. To our next challenge!

Buy Some Bitcoin

Now that we have a Coinbase account set up, we’re able to buy some Bitcoin. Buying, for instance, 0.1 Bitcoin can be done through the Coinbase interface and is no different to buying a table online. Simply enter your card details, buy a small amount, and wait till you can see your balance reflected in your bitcoin wallet. It really could not be simpler. At that point, with some bitcoin sitting in a Coinbase wallet, we could stop. It’s been a long weary journey – but you are now the proud, heroic owner of some Bitcoin. However, we must press on, for we are not out of the woods yet! One final step lies in front of us, with a bonus option for those dealing in larger sums of money. Bravely, we must continue!

Two Factor Authentication

bitcoin image

We must enable something called Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on our Coinbase account. To not do this would be reckless. Luckily, setting it up is easy and Coinbase will mostly guide you through the process. Go into account settings, and follow the guidance there. All this means is that when logging in there are two things at play – the password you use to log in, and then a special code only you have. So if someone manages to steal your password, they can’t just steal all your precious cryptocurrency treasure. With hackers getting more and more sophisticated this is a must have these days, so please please please invest one minute to set this up.

At this point, for most people, the journey is over. You are now the proud owner of a secure Coinbase account that contains some Bitcoin. Or maybe you bought some Ethereum or Litecoin. For as long as Coinbase remains secure and continues to do business, then your Bitcoin will be available to you. Of course, if something catastrophic destroyed Coinbase, then your cryptocurrency investment would be lost. However, holding a small number of coins on an exchange with two-factor authentication enabled is a reasonable approach, all things considered. For the lucky ones, your journey is over and may the force be with you. For those prepared to step once more into the breach…

Hardware Wallets

A hardware wallet will set you back around ~$120 so unless you’re investing at least a few hundred dollars, then they probably aren’t worth it, but nonetheless are an option. For those wanting to take control of their cryptocurrency then a hardware wallet is the answer and for most people, the Ledger Nano S is the perfect option. An alternative is Trezor although they supportfewer cryptocurrencies.

Purchasing a Nano is easy and setting one up once it arrives takes a few minutes and full instructions are provided. Once you’re up and running with your Ledger you’re free to send all your cryptocurrencies from Coinbase to your Ledger, where they will be securely stored. Make sure you enable two-factor authentication on your Ledger as well.

The downside of storing your cryptocurrency on your Ledger, of course, is that your 24-word recovery seed is the key to the kingdom you have built. To lose it risks losing access to your cryptocurrency forever. So make sure you understand how and where you will store it, such that if you lose your Ledger, you’re able to recover.

And that, brave warrior, brings us to the end of our journey. You now have a cryptocurrency investment residing on Coinbase, the world’s most trusted and reliable cryptocurrency exchange to date, or on a hardware wallet which protects your cryptocurrency from everyone but yourself. Stay safe and be sure to check out some of our other articles on the future of blockchain technologies. Until next time, young padawan.

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Raiblocks to Nano and the Bitgrail Hack

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Nano Logo On White Background

With a platform that has tested 7,000 transactions per second, Nano is garnering more and more attention ever since their latest re-branding effort. This project has come a long way since the days of Raiblocks and uses new technology that could disrupt the blockchain industry.

Raiblocks to Nano: A History

In 2014, Colin LeMahieu started working on a Bitcoin alternative that would solve its performance and scalability issues. He envisioned a distributed ledger that was free from the centralization of mining by sharing memory with all transactions on the network, allowing for instantaneous, fee-less transactions. A whitepaper was released in October of 2015, outlining a new way of securing transactions using directed acyclic graph (DAG) technology, which allowed transactions to be updated immediately and asynchronously. This idea took three years to form into a new cryptocurrency known as Raiblocks, which in early 2018 rebranded to Nano.

Nano features

Instead of the traditional blockchain, technology, Nano utilizes a directed acyclic graph (DAG) model for its decentralized ledger, which is known as a ‘block lattice’ as opposed to a ‘blockchain.’ IOTA is another popular cryptocurrency that utilises a DAG. By using a DAG Nano is able to be lightning fast, feeless, able to scale to thousands of transactions per second and all of this while maintaining a very small carbon footprint.

Block Lattice

With the Nano block-lattice, each account has its own blockchain, with only the account owner able to update their chain. To transact on the network, the account owner must provide the computational power to run a transaction, eliminating the need for miners to verify blocks of transactions and the entire network to update the ledger, which in turn creates a system that is instantaneous, extremely efficient and free to transact.

In conjunction with Block Lattice, Nano utilizes a delegate proof-of-stake (dPOS) consensus mechanism to maintain network security. In this dPOS model, each Nano holder has a vote weighted to the amount of Nano held, and stakes their votes to a network node that votes to verify the legitimacy of transactions being conducted.

What is a DAG?

Directed acyclic graph (DAG) technology is an alternative decentralized ledger system that provides more flexibility and speed than traditional blockchains. We cover it in great detail here but we’ll provide a quick explanation here too. Instead of grouping transactions together in blocks, which are then chained together to form a blockchain, a DAG maintains parallel blockchains, one for each private key. When a transaction is made, it only has to be reconciled against the balances of the two accounts involved – the sender and the receiver. The balances and activity of all other accounts on the DAG doesn’t matter, so there’s very little to verify and record – Account A has moved X amount of Nano to Account B. Every already knows the balance of Account A and B, so the nodes on the network have very little work to do, agree the transaction, and it resolves in under a few seconds.

One benefit of this peer-reviewed system is that the cost to transact on a DAG network is negligible, since each transaction is completing confirmation itself and there is no need for outside miners to secure the network. Speed is also improved, as transactions are processed on a micro scale individually, and not on the block level. These two factors make it easy to complete microtransactions on a DAG network, something that the blockchain has yet to realize.

The network effects of DAG are astounding, making it such that the network actually improves in speed and efficiency the more users and transactions come on the network. The more transactions on the network, the more transactions available to verify and secure other transactions, making for an exponentially growing ecosystem. This is in direct opposition to the scaling issues that plague Bitcoin and other blockchains that have a limit to the size of their blocks and amount of transactions that can be processed. Other projects such as IOTA and Byteball also have implemented DAG technology and are seeing increasingly positive feedback as a result.

Side projects

The development of Nano as a cryptocurrency involves partnerships with other projects and added layers of functionality above and beyond its distributed layer. A partnership with social gaming platform Twitch will allow users to tip using Nano. Tests on the network are being done in conjunction with 1upcoin which acts as the payment processor.

Developers are learning how to integrate Nano with e-commerce shops, allowing consumers to pay for goods using the cryptocurrency. Mobile wallet functionality is on the Nano roadmap, with test payments being successfully completed and release scheduled from sometime in 2018.

Bitgrail hack wrecks havoc

Nothing gets cryptocurrency enthusiasts more scared than malicious attacks that display the lack of security in the industry, and this is exactly the case with Bitgrail. After an internal audit, the cryptocurrency exchange noticed unauthorized transactions that led to the loss of 17 million Nano, at the time resulting in a $170 million loss. Theories abound to the nature of this loss, with some believing Bitgrail’s assertion that it was the result of an outside hacker, and other’s questioning if it was the result of internal fraud at Bitgrail.

This loss is made especially important given the lack of liquidity across markets for Nano. The 17 million token loss is represents roughly ~13% of all Nano, which is a high percentage to now be owned by a hacker, or group of hackers. With Bitgrail now filing for bankruptcy it appears the loss was a death sentence for the Italian exchange.

What does the future hold?

Nano is an amazing next generation distributed ledger technology and its innovations in using a DAG over a traditional blockchain are not to be overlooked. We could see other cryptocurrencies adopt similar technology in the future. Traditional blockchain technology has promised cheap, fast transactions for years and largely has failed to deliver. Nano however has created a truly scalable, decentralized platform for transacting globally. Already proving its mission, with a rate of 7,000 transactions per second and absolutely zero fees, Nano is no doubt destined to soon be acknowledged as one of the top cryptocurrencies.

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Coinbase Announces Gear Change Enters Hyperdrive

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It’s been hotly debated which digital assets Coinbase will list, with no shortage of analysis and speculation. Any new assets listed on Coinbase stand to make significant gains as they are now available to the Coinbase user base.

Breaking

At what can only be described as break neck speed since their first announcement of their Digital Asset Framework 4 months ago, Coinbase has broken cover and told us the hugely unsurprising news that they will support ERC20 tokens in the future. That’s right folks. In what might be the slowest manoeuvre since the UK announcing its multi year departure from its neighbours, Coinbase is going to join the ranks of every other exchange on the planet by supporting the well known ERC20 tokens that exist on the Ethereum blockchain.

hyperdrive

The formal announcement sheds no light on which ERC20 tokens Coinbase, or GDAX, is going to add but given their gear change into hyper drive, it can only be a matter of months, perhaps years, until we find out. If global warming doesn’t kill us all first, 2046 is set to be the most exciting year of Coinbase’s history as literally tens of people buy their first ERC20 tokens.

Whether or not Coinbase is using the 0x protocol as we predicted is not yet clear but it seems likely, given the announcement to support ERC20 tokens in general, not any specific ones.

Stayed tuned folks, and try not to blink!

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Discussion

Binance lists Nano without breaking a sweat

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Binance Logo

Nano had a rough start. Early exchanges like Mercatox and Bitgrail had many problems and needed to disable deposits and withdrawals. The last few months have created so much FUD for Nano just because these small exchanges didn’t work for its large demand. All this would be justified, if Nano itself had brought on any of these problems. As Binance has recently demonstrated, there are no issues with Nano, the protocol, or its wallet software.

Binance & Nano

Then Binance came along, and it’s had great success. Deposits, withdrawals, trading, it all works perfectly. It does make you wonder how the early exchanges got so much wrong!

Next generation of exchanges

We’re slowly moving towards a second generation of exchanges that prioritise security, integrity and reliability. Binance has had an amazing year already, but it’s worth emphasising just how seamless the Nano integration has been. Previous exchanges had several teething problems, mostly down to only running one node, but Binance seems to have paved over all those issues without any need for discussion or debate. It’s hard to make things look simple and easy and Binance achieves that well. As the cryptocurrency space continues to grow players like Binance will continue to attract the lions share of business for as long as other people are introducing unnecessary risk into the ecosystem. The Bitgrail hack is a good example of a lot of people getting hurt for no reason at all, and Bitgrail should acknowledge that.

While some criticism was levied at Binance for not listing Raiblocks as it was back then as quickly as was thought appropriate Binance clearly had good reason to wait. With a large hack investigation beginning, along with a complete rebrand, it’s no wonder Binance was moving slowly and carefully. It’s safe to say that Nano wouldn’t be where it is now without the success from Binance.

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Why Two-Factor Authentication is important for Bitcoin

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Two factor authentication
Why aren't you using two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication is essential for investors in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Why aren’t you using Two-Factor Authentication?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are some of the most exciting and important asset classes in this generation. It is a true and rare event that we can participate in the birth of a new asset class. It is evidence that the ability for the common man to able to access the worlds financial markets is becoming increasingly easy. So too, is the ability of people with bad intentions to target your information and privacy.

Why is two-factor authentication important for Bitcoin?

two-factor authentication

For this article, the examples I am going to use for two-factor authorization are Coinbase and LocalBitcoins. Coinbase is perhaps the most well-known, professional and legitimate cryptocurrency and Bitcoin exchange. I use it myself. You can purchase Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. You can also convert those currencies to dollars. LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange to sell your Bitcoin. Even locally.  It’s a sort of Craigslist for buying and selling Bitcoin!

Why should you use two-factor authorization? Beyond the security of keeping things like your e-mail and social network accounts safe, two-factor authorization for your Bitcoin wallet is arguably more important. It’s your money after all! If someone can easily hack your social network password, they can just as easily get access to your Bitcoin wallet. But! If you have two-factor authentication, a hacker can input your real login and password all day and he is still prevented from gaining entry. Let’s look at how to set up two-factor authorization for both of our exchanges.

Setting up Two-Factor Authorization for Localbitcoins

Click on your profile icon in the top right and navigate to the ‘Account security’ link. Mine says, ‘Account security: weak.’ But it soon won’t!

two-factor authentication

This screen will come up and we’ll want to click on ‘Two-Factor Authentication’.

two-factor authentication

Now we’ll be given a screen that tells us that two-factor authentication is currently disabled, so we’ll want to select, ‘Enable two-factor authentication’.

Bitcoin, two-factor authentication

We are then given two options.  The most ideal is the mobile app option. You’ll then be prompted to scan a QR code and then you will input the code.

Bitcoin, two-factor authentication

After all is said and done, our security is no longer weak, but strong!

You can check out Localbitcoins.com here.

Setting up Two-Factor Authorization for Coinbase

From the main menu, select ‘Settings’

Bitcoin, two-factor authentication

Then, from the ‘Settings’ page, select ‘Security’.

Bitcoin, two-factor authentication

Now that you are on the ‘Security’ page,  we can see that we have the first of two options for setting up two-factor authorization. The first is SMS (text message). When you enable this option, you will be prompted to enter a code that will be texted to your phone. There is a limited amount of time that the code is active. If you enter the code incorrectly, you can re-send a code to your phone.

Bitcoin, two-factor authentication Bitcoin, two-factor authentication

The second two-factor authentication is adding an app. The most common and popular app used for this form of authentication is the Google Authenticator. It can be found on the Google Store and is downloaded for free. When you use this app, you will have a limited (but long enough) time to input the code. It automatically generates new codes.

Buying Bitcoin and participating in this new and exciting currency should be safe and protected. One of the great attractions of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is that it provides a level of anonymity and protection. You can buy and sell and keep your transactions private. But there is an inherent danger with this: stolen Bitcoin can be sent as easily as it is bought and the transaction is anonymous. The strongest line of defense for your account is going to be using two-factor authentication. Again, even if a hacker gets your account long and password they won’t have access to your text message and/or your Google Authentication App. Two-factor authentication is the single greatest and easiest way to protect your Bitcoin and your money.

You can check out Coinbase and what they have to offer as an exchange here.

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Exchanges

Coinbase New Assets for 2018

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The most high-profiled cryptocurrency exchange in the industry, Coinbase, lacks only one thing, a selection of coins to trade – or “digital assets”. Coinbase no doubt has one of the simplest and easiest to use systems for relative cryptocurrency newbies. Currently, it supports just 4 of the hundreds of available cryptocurrencies. Even a newbie will quickly find them wishing they had a wider catalog of digital assets to buy, which undoubtedly means a lot people moving away from Coinbase/GDAX to do their trading on other exchanges like Binance, which has a huge selection of digital assets. In order to address this and to stay competitive Coinbase has not only announced that it will be adding new digital assets in the future, but it has also published how it is going to weigh up which digital assets to add.

Formula for new digital assets to Coinbase

Coinbase has an excellent reputation and a business model around being a high integrity player in what is otherwise a relatively dangerous space, with major exchanges being compromised almost every year. In order to preserve the trust that Coinbase has garnered from its users, both current and future, it must have a relatively high bar for listing any new digital asset. To expose its users to a cryptocurrency that turns out to be unsafe or insecure would cost Coinbase dearly. In order to demonstrate it is doing its due diligence properly, Coinbase have published its new Digital Asset Framework for everyone to see. Of course, it goes without saying that any digital asset that does get listed on Coinbase stands to make significant gains as the wide user base of Coinbase now has access to that digital asset. The Digital Asset Framework from Coinbase specifies some requirements for its new digital assets:

  • Decentralized – As in, truly decentralized, a single entity cannot control a majority share of the available supply (ahem, Ripple).
  • A+ team – A highly capable team that can be identified and has a long record of community engagement, transparency and integrity.
  • Proven – The digital asset must be live, on its main net, and provide some utility beyond just being another digital asset. Any asset which is created from a fork, airdrop, or automated token distribution is subject to a separate set of criteria.
  • Open Source – The code must be available to review, the network public, and enable trustless consensus.

Given these factors, there are several coins that have the chance to be added to Coinbase in the future:

Cardano

With such a high standard for academic integrity and technology, Cardano makes for an easy choice based on the amount of research and intelligence put into the project. Its founder, Charles Hoskinson was previously the CEO at Ethereum, bringing with him a strong reputation to this project. There is also a lot of buzz surrounding updates to the Cardano blockchain and its Daedalus Wallet

Nano

With its recent rebrand from Raiblocks, Nano would be exciting for being the first coin on Coinbase to utilize Directed Acyclic Graph technology which could soon become the next iteration of blockchain technology. The project is already running tests of hundreds of transactions per second that dwarf more well-known competitors such as Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Stellar

While Ripple touted a The Ripple fork has taken significant strides to prove its decentralized structure and maintain better technology than its counterpart. It has formed partnerships with banks and financial institutions across the world to build its brand. There is also reason to believe that Stellar is undervalued and should be worth much more than its current market price.

PIVX

A coin that is helping revolutionize blockchain privacy, PIVX is a rising star with great technology and a firm place in the cryptocurrency industry. It’s use of CoinJoin for private transactions instant transactions via SwiftTx give it a solid technological foundation. It’s one of the newer coins on the market, being released under the name Darknet in 2016, but it has quickly made a name for itself.

Monero

The biggest privacy coin on the market, Monero is a cryptocurrency that could have more of an impact than Bitcoin. It has proven it’s ring signature and confidential transactions provide an extremely secure blockchain environment. Add this to a solid development team backing the project and there is a lot of potential upside to Monero being listed on Coinbase. Now that Monero is forking to create MoneroV we may see both these currencies get added in the fullness of time, but likely this hard fork will make Coinbase take a slower approach with this asset, until the dust settles.

0x

This could be the most exciting proposition on the list. If 0x is integrated into Coinbase it will, in theory, allow for the adoption of any ERC20 token through the 0x platform which creates a decentralized exchange for any token on the Ethereum blockchain. The 0x team was even spotted having happy hour drinks at Coinbase. Could this be a sign of things to come?

Forget these coins…

There are several high-profile projects that are not likely to be added to the Coinbase platform for various reasons:

  • Ripple is too centralized to even be considered viable for Coinbase
  • Bitcoin Gold and other forks of Bitcoin only carry the brand name and none of the underlying development team or community
  • Tether is backed by a fiat asset which classes it as a security, which Coinbase is not considering at this time
  • EOS is not yet live on its main net and as such has no proven history of being anything other than an ERC20 token

Ultimately nobody knows what Coinbase will do, but we know the world is waiting with baited breath.

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