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.
Snarknado! Have we found the answer to Ethereum’s scaling problem?
According to Buterin, you can actually scale asset transfer transactions on Ethereum by a huge amount, without using layer 2’s that introduce liveness assumptions (eg. channels, plasma), by using
What is Ethereum?
Launched in 2015, Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables the revolutionary function of Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be created without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from any third party. Ethereum has its own native programming language, helping developers to build and publish distributed applications. The potential applications of Ethereum are wide-ranging. Ethereum is the second biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, but unlike Bitcoin, it allows other
Ethereum’s scaling problem
As the Ethereum ecosystem has expanded, it has become evident that there are serious limitations on the ability of the Ethereum blockchain to cope effectively and efficiently under high transaction demand.
This comes down to one simple fact: Ethereum, in its current state, does not – and importantly, cannot – scale.
Indeed, Vitalik Buterin proclaimed in June 2017 that “Ethereum’s scalability sucks.”
Buterin’s honesty highlights what is currently considered by many to be the largest barrier to Ethereum’s mainstream adoption: the inability to scale beyond 15-25 transactions per second.
Ethereum under pressure
Afri Schoedon recently tweeted that they were running Ethereum at capacity, instructing developers to stop deploying
What exactly is zk-Snarks?
The acronym zk-Snarks stands for “Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge,” and refers to a proof construction where one can prove possession of certain information, e.g. a secret key, without revealing that information, and without any interaction between the prover and verifier.
zk-Snarks: the benefits
Layer 2 solution
Despite its nascent form, the technology represents a promising route toward a more functional Ethereum network. Vitalik Buterin estimated that zk-SNARKs could bring the Ethereum network throughput from 15 to 500 transactions per second — an increase of over 30x.
Bitcoin Turns 10: The Rollercoaster Journey So Far!
On 31st October 2018 Bitcoin turns 10! We look back at Bitcoin’s Journey from 2008 until the present day.
Bitcoin: How did it all begin?
On 31 October 2008 a person or group who went by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto published the whitepaper, titled ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to Peer Electronic Cash System’.
Just over a few months later on 3 January 2009, the genesis block was released. This was the starting point for the bitcoin blockchain on its path to becoming a revolutionary network for peer-to-peer transfers of value.
The first physical purchase of goods using Bitcoin
Laszlo Hanyecz is infamous amongst developers for the first physical purchase of goods using bitcoin in 2010. He paid 10,000 Bitcoin for pizza on May 22nd, 2010 just over a year after the first block of bitcoin was mined.
Given that 10,000 bitcoin would be worth more than £55m today, these would be the most expensive pizzas in history!
For some time, many people were spending thousands of bitcoin on insignificant items, even giving them as kudos on some forums.
Lightning Network: possible solution to Bitcoin’s problem of speed & scalability
On February 25th, 2018 Laszlo Hanyecz repeated the transaction – this time paying just a fraction of a Bitcoin due to the gargantuan rise in the price of the first digital currency.
However, this time he used the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a “second layer” payment protocol operating on top of the Bitcoin blockchain to enable instant transactions. The Lightning Network is becoming a popular possible solution to Bitcoin’s problem of speed and scalability.
Bitcoin: a criminal’s best friend?
The majority of Bitcoin users are motivated by privacy concerns or plain curiosity. However, Bitcoin’s anonymity is also a powerful tool for financing crime.
The rapid growth in cryptocurrencies and the anonymity that they provide users has created considerable regulatory challenges, including the use of cryptocurrencies in illegal trade (drugs, hacks
Bitcoin mining uses a lot of energy!
It is well-established established that Bitcoin mining uses a lot of energy.
The bitcoin network is run by miners, computers that maintain the shared transaction ledger called the blockchain. A new study estimates that this process consumes at least 2.6GW of power—almost as much electric power as Ireland consumes. This figure could rise to 7.7GW before the end of 2018—accounting for almost half a percent of the world’s electricity consumption.
However, Bitcoin’s high energy use is a problem that, to some extent, will resolve itself over time. The bitcoin network is programmed to reduce the block reward by 50 percent every four years, with the next halving scheduled to happen in mid-2020. When that happens (assuming a constant bitcoin price) the mining industry’s revenue will fall in half. In equilibrium that should mean that energy use falls by half as well. Energy use should halve again in 2024, 2028, and so forth—though that could be offset by further gains in bitcoin’s price.
Bitcoin turns 10: milestones over the last decade
As Bitcoin turns 10, we look at some of the main milestones reached over the last decade.
October 31, 2008 – The white paper is published
publishes a design paper through a metzdowd.com cryptography mailing
list that describes the Bitcoin currency and solves the problem of
double spending so as to prevent the currency from being copied. January 3, 2009
January 3, 2009 – Genesis Block is mined
Block 0, the genesis block, is established at 18:15:05 GMT. January 12, 2009
January 12, 2009 – First Bitcoin transaction
The first transaction of Bitcoin currency, in block 170, takes place between Satoshi and Hal Finney, a developer and cryptographic activist. October 5, 2009
October 5, 2009 – An exchange rate is established.
Liberty Standard publishes a Bitcoin exchange rate that establishes the
value of a Bitcoin at US$1 = 1,309.03 BTC, using an equation that
includes the cost of electricity to run a computer that generated
Bitcoins. May 22, 2010
May 22, 2010 – 10,000 BTC is spent on pizza!
first, real-world transaction using Bitcoins takes place when a
Jacksonville, Florida programmer, Laszlo Hanyecz, offers to pay 10,000
Bitcoins for a pizza on the Bitcoin Forum. At the time, the exchange
rate put the purchase price for the pizza July 12, 2010
July 12, 2010 – Bitcoin value increases tenfold
Over a five day period beginning on July 12, the exchange value of Bitcoin increases ten times from US$0.008/BTC to US$0.080/BTC.
November 6, 2010 – Market cap exceeds $1 million USD.
by multiplying the number of Bitcoins in circulation by the last trade
on MtGox, the Bitcoin economy exceeds US$1 million. The price on MtGox
reached US$0.50/BTC. January 28, 2011
2011 – The year other cryptocurrencies start to emerge
This is the year the first alternative cryptocurrencies appear. Sometimes known as altcoins, these generally try to improve on the original Bitcoin design by offering greater speed, anonymity or some other advantage. Among the first to emerge were Namecoin and Litecoin. Today, there are over 1,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation with new ones frequently appearing.
January 28, 2011 – 25% of total Bitcoins generated
the generation of Block 105000, 5.25 million Bitcoins have been
generated, totalling more than 25 percent of the projected total of
almost 21 million. February 9, 2011
February 9, 2011 – Bitcoin reaches parity with US dollar
Bitcoin touches US$1.00/BTC at MtGox, reaches parity with the US dollar for the first time. August 20, 2011
March 28, 2013 – Market cap reaches $1 billion.
The total Bitcoin market cap passes US$1 billion. May 2, 2013
May 2, 2013 – First Bitcoin ATM unveiled.
The first Bitcoin ATM in the world is debuted in San Diego, California. November 19, 2013
November 19, 2013 – Bitcoin goes above $1000.
Bitcoin price surges to a record of US$1242 after Senate hearings.
September, 2015 – Bitcoin now a commodity
Bitcoin is a commodity according to The Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
December, 2016 – Bitcoin enjoys end of year price surge
Bitcoin enjoys end of year price surge and hits a three-year high with each one now worth about $900.
January 2, 2017 – Bitcoin Tops $1,000 for first time in 3 years
Bitcoin tops $1,000 for first time in three years as 2017 trading begins.
March 1, 2017 – Value of 1 bitcoin surpassed the spot price of an ounce of gold for the first time.
April 1, 2017 – Bitcoin legal payment in Japan
Japan passed a law to accept bitcoin as a legal payment method.
June 12, 2017 – Bitcoin reaches all time high
Bitcoin reaches an all-time high of $3,000.
August 1, 2017- Bitcoin Cash is born
Bitcoin Cash is born and bitcoin crosses $4000.
August 23, 2017 Segwit activates on Bitcoin.
A huge milestone in the development of Bitcoin.
“The activation of segregated witness is a huge milestone in the development of Bitcoin. A step which enables a literal explosion of cool new features enhancing scalability, fungibility, privacy and usability of our favourite money,” said the hosts of the SegWit activation party.
November 28, 2017 – Bitcoin Hits $10,000
Bitcoin hits $10,000 for the very first time, 10x since starting the year at $1000.
April 2018 – Only 4 million Bitcoin left to mine
There are now 17 million bitcoins in existence only 4 million left to mine.
September 2018 – Bitcoin trading consistently
Since early September 2018 Bitcoin has traded consistently at around $6,500, only ever fluctuating by a few hundred dollars.
This trend has been helped by a lack of destabilising news in the cryptocurrency space, together with broader consensus on how to address some of the technological challenges facing bitcoin.
Bitcoin Turns 10: conclusions
As Bitcoin turns 10, it has had its ups and downs. And since bitcoin’s inception nearly a decade ago, more than 3,000 other cryptocurrencies have emerged. However, of these, only a handful have actually managed to have any significant impact, and none have managed to reach the same heights as bitcoin.
Throughout regulatory pressures, technical difficulties, the cryptocurrency has remained at the forefront of the Blockchain revolution. Will Bitcoin replace fiat currency in another decade? Unlikely. But anything is possible!
Battle of the stablecoins: Tether vs Dai
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:
- Fiat-collateralized – this is the simplest method of creating a
and is used by one of the top stablecoin, stablecoinstoday (Tether). Essentially, fiat-collateralized stablecoinsare backed by a real-world asset. This real-world asset is controlled and owned by a central entity.
- Crypto-collateralized – these are similar in concept to fiat-collateralized
stablecoins, except that crypto-collateralized stablecoinsare backed by another cryptocurrency as opposed to being backed by a real-world asset.
- 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
stablecoinusing 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
Tether vs Dai: what you need to know
Tether: stablecoin pegged to the US Dollar
Tether is the best-known
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
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
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
Dai is a decentralized dollar-pegged
With all of Tether’s problems spawning from the fact it is
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
Tether vs Dai stablecoins:
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
Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH): What’s The Difference?
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
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
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
Another group of developers
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
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.
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.
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
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!
Sidechains: Everything You Need To Know
Sidechains are an emerging technology that allows tokens, coins
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;
Examples Of Sidechains
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.
As mentioned, Bitcoin lacks
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.
Tezos Blockchain Platform Goes Live
Tezos Foundation took to Twitter on Monday 17th September to announce that the
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.
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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