Tag Archives: #blockchain

Top Hottest Cryptocurrencies Right Now

Top Hottest Cryptocurrencies Right Now

    

 

The world of cryptocurrency is full of dozens upon dozens of altcoins

all fighting for their market share. Due to the overwhelming amount of coins on the market its hard to decide which coins are worth looking into and which coins are simply scams. Today we feature the top 5 hottest cryptocurrencies on the market RIGHT NOW.

Tether

Launched in late 2014 Tether is a cryptocurrency whose main focus is to keep a stable value. It works just like Bitcoin, but it has 2 major differences. First is the fact that each Tether (USDT) is pegged at $1 USD. If you look at Tether’s price chart you will see that it always has a value of $1. The way the currency accomplishes that is because every Tether is backed by a real US dollar. There is a trade off however for such a stable currency. If you would like to trade tether you need to provide some personal information to pass KYC / AML regulations.

The second difference is that Tether doesn’t have its own blockchain like most cryptocurrencies. Instead, it runs on the Omni Layer, which is a platform built on top of Bitcoin, allowing the issuance of digital tokens such as Tether. In a way, each Tether transaction is a Bitcoin transaction which is made through the Omni Layer. Tether’s market cap is ranked at number 21 and is at $14 million. If you are tired of the volatile crypto market and want to store some coins in a stable crypto asset, definitely look into Tether.

 Dash

Originally released in 2014 as Darkcoin, Dash is a re-brand of the cryptocurrency. It is a privacy centric project which was the first to use the X11 hashing algorithm, first created DarkSend, and also created the Dark Gravity Wave. This may sound like technical jargon but in short the X11 algorithm is just a modification to the SHA-256 mining algorithm that bitcoin uses. DarkSend is a feature which allows for a better obfuscation of transactions allowing for anonymous trade. Finally, the Dark Gravity Wave is a new way to adjust the mining difficulty. Unlike Bitcoin which adjusts its mining difficulty every 2016 blocks, DarkCoin uses the DGW algorithm to adjust it’s difficulty in an exponential fashion making a smoother difficulty adjustment.

In addition to the three above, there are much more features like InstantSend, Masternodes, and PrivateSend. Combine all those features with a dedicated development team and you get Dash. With a 24 hour trading volume of close to $2 million and a market cap of over $100 million Dash is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon. Currently each dash is worth $15 and the price seems to be on an uptrend.

Monero

Just like Dash, Monero is also a privacy centric crypto, launched in 2014 under the name BitMonero. Unlike DarkCoin which used similar codebase to that of Bitcoin, Monero was the first fork off a crypto-note coin – Bytecoin. In short, the main difference between bitcoin and crypto-note based altcoins is that one implementation of the blockchain is much more opaque. To be more precise, one can follow any Bitcoin transaction through it’s blockchain, and one can see which addresses send what amounts. However, the way crypto-note implements it’s blockchain makes it impossible to trace transactions through it. It is only possible to learn the approximate amount of each transaction, but the origin or the precise amount is hidden.

Monero is not just a clone of Bytecoin, the developers were able to find quite a bit of flaws in Bytecoin’s code and were able to improve on it. As with Dash, a strong development team is the key to a coin’s success. Monero is ranked number 5 by market cap which is at a whopping $166 million, and each monero is worth roughly $12. The 24 hour volume is currently close to $3 million and the price is also currently on an uptrend.

 Ethereum / Ethereum Classic

Ethereum is both a currency and a platform. Initially proposed in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, in its simplest form it is a blockchain based application development system, think of it as an IDE, just like Eclipse or Visual Studio, in the cloud. It allows the creation of smart-contracts, which are agreements between two parties that are overseen by a computer program. It uses the Electrum Virtual Machine to allow for the creation of those smart contracts, and requires Gas (short for “Gasoline”) in order to execute those contracts and to prevent spam on the network.

The reason why there are two currencies, Ethereum and Ethereum class is due to the DAO fork in 2016 which caused the split. The DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) was the first real attempt at creating a massive vehicle for autonomous investment capital management, and received close to $50 million in funding in the form of Ether. Unfortunately, it contained a terrible bug which allowed for any user to arbitrarily withdraw any amount of ethereum from the DAO and transfer it to another child DAO. After an anonymous attacker moved over $15 million in ether to the child DAO, the community came to a disagreement when it came time to fix the problem. Some wanted to revert the malicious transactions, while others thought that the rollback was unfair since the whole point of decentralized cryptocurrencies is that you cannot reverse transactions. This was the reason for the 2 forks, Ethereum reverted the theft from the DAO, while Ethereum Classic (ETC) kept rolling along. Ethereum Classic

supporters believe:

“The core value proposition of any blockchain is immutability; valid transactions can never be erased or forgotten. Individuals interacting on Ethereum Classic are governed by this reality; Code is Law.”

Both ETH and ETC have healthy trading markets which are currently at an uptrend. Ethereum’s 24 hour volume is at $12 million and it is ranked number 2 by marketcap at $960 million. Ethereum Classic’s 24 hour volume is at $3 million with a market cap of $124 million.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin needs no introduction, first created 8 years ago it has been the market leader ever since. Bitcoin’s market cap is a whopping $15 billion, more than 15 times its toughest competitor. After reaching an all time high earlier this month and plummeting right after, it seems that the market is recovering once again as prices peak $930. As always the safest cryptocurrency to trade with is Bitcoin as even though price fluctuations may be high, they will never be as high as some of these smaller cryptos. If you are a cryptocurrency enthusiast the above 5 markets are all worth taking a look at, think of them as mutual stocks. They are safe investments compared to what else is out there, however one thing is for certain, out of all the cryptos Bitcoin is a must have in your portfolio. Also make sure to checkout this list for the 6 hilarious cryptocurrencies that are actually worth something.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Top Alternative Cryptocurrencies on the Rise

Top Alternative Cryptocurrencies
on the Rise

In the world of alternative cryptocurrencies,

it is very important to keep a diversified portfolio. Not every coin going up in value has a legitimate use case, and there are quite a few pump-and-dump schemes to be wary of. However, some altcoins are getting a lot of positive attention due to the developers putting in a lot of hard work. Below are some coins which have recently achieved major technological breakthroughs, and are now seeing their value rise as a result.

BlackCoin

Although a lot of people have seemingly forgotten about BlackCoin, the cryptocurrency is still around. One of the main areas of focus for this project has always been to find ways to improve the proof-of-stake protocol. In a recent update, the BlackCoin developers have unveiled their Blackcoin Lore launch, which is a solution paving the way for smart contract potential.

Moreover, this new milestone will also make BlackCoin the first proof-of-stake digital currency to implement key components from Bitcoin Core 0.12. More importantly, this update paves the way for smart contracts on the BlackCoin blockchain moving forward. It will be interesting to see when this dream will be realized, but it is definitely something to look forward to. Additionally,the update allows BlackCoin to benefit from projects such as Blockstack and Joinmarket.

 Maidsafe

A lot of people were caught by surprise when the value of Maidsafecoin suddenly started to explode a few days ago. It seems the most recent development update has something to do with the price momentum, even though none of the updates are “major.” All of this goes to show the Maidsafe concept is inching closer toward finalization, which is good news for anyone looking into using a decentralized internet.

Stratis

It has to be said, the Stratis value has been a bit of a rollercoaster these past few weeks. With the value surging non-stop for nearly a week, it almost started to look like a pump. However, the value corrected quickly and is now seemingly stable around the US$9 mark. A new wallet update was released not too long ago, and it looks like developers are making good progress on the Breeze Wallet too. Moreover, it has been confirmed one can effectively mine PoS blocks inside the Breeze Wallet, which is a major development.

Siacoin

Siacoin has been of great interest to cryptocurrency users and speculators over the past few weeks. The world of decentralized file storage solutions is getting a lot more interesting, to say the least. A lot of users are experimenting with these solutions as a way to earn Siacoin for sharing excess hard disk space with people looking for storage solutions. Sia is one of the projects getting very close to providing actual decentralized file storage solutions to the masses. It is only natural the price of this native token goes up as well.

Ethereum

Although a lot of people would rather not think of Ethereum as an alternative cryptocurrency, it still fits into this category. That being said, the recent value increase of Ether has been nothing short of amazing. The value per ETH surpassed US$365 and seems to maintain that value with relative ease. However, there is still a question of how much of this price point is due to speculation, rather than “actual” value. For a cryptocurrency ecosystem with no supply cap, some people feel Ether is incredibly overvalued. Then again, the token is necessary for people looking to buy into most cryptocurrency ICOs.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Top Things You Can Buy With Bitcoin

Top Things You Can Buy With Bitcoin

Even though the concept of bitcoin continues to baffle quite a few people,

cryptocurrency is becoming a more common payment method month over month. With a growing number of merchants accepting bitcoin, the products and services one can buy with cryptocurrency become more varied. Below are some fine examples of how one can spend bitcoin and gain something valuable in return.

Ordering Food Online

All over the world, the trend of ordering food online has become more prevalent over the years. It makes a lot of sense to buy food online and have it delivered to your doorstep. Various of these platforms around the world accept bitcoin as  a payment method. Takeaway.com is one of the largest platforms to accept bitcoin and they have seen their fair share of success in the process.

Video Games

The video game sector has taken kindly to bitcoin these past few years. Prominent platforms, such as Kinguin, G2A and Steam have all integrated a bitcoin payment option into their platform. For the younger generation who is enthusiastic of bitcoin, this seems like a match made in heaven. Considering how most of these platforms also sell game time and other in-game prepaid cards, using bitcoin as a gamer has never been easier.

Gift Cards

Buying gift cards with bitcoin has become a breeze, albeit most of these efforts are focused on the United States and Canada. A wide range of platforms accepts bitcoin in exchange for either digital or physical gift cards. Gyft, eGifter and Cryptodechange are just  a few examples of places where one can buy a gift card with bitcoin. All of these platforms support a wide variety of online services and retailers, giving bitcoin users access to whatever their heart desires.

 VPN Services

In this day and age of growing surveillance, ensuring one’s internet activity is hidden from prying eyes becomes more important than ever. VPN services are a great way to surf the internet anonymously and at an affordable price. Interestingly enough, the vast majority of VPN service providers accepts bitcoin payments, due to its global appeal. There is a secondary purpose to using bitcoin as a payment option for VPN services. Unlike traditional payment solutions, bitcoin allows users to maintain their privacy during the signup and payment process. For those people who take privacy seriously, paying for a VPN with bitcoin is the ultimate combination.

Travel and Accommodations

More expensive items and services can also be paid with bitcoin these days. Booking a hotel through Expedia, for example, can be paid in bitcoin. Flights can be booked through that site as well, but there is also CheapAir to take into consideration. It is expected more travel operators will start to accept bitcoin payments over the coming years.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Ways to Quickly buy Bitcoin

Ways to Quickly buy Bitcoin

It has to be said, buying bitcoin remains a concept

a lot of people struggle with to this very day. Most exchanges do not make this job any easier, with lengthy verification processes and only being able to use a bank transfer to fund one’s account. Thankfully, there are some quick and convenient ways to buy bitcoin without too much hassle. Keep in mind one may need to pay a slightly higher price in exchange for this convenient service, though.

Credit Card

Although there are not too many services accepting credit card payments, those that do provide a near-instant gateway between traditional finance and bitcoin. Although users will still need to go through a verification process, it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to complete. There will be specific limits for newcomers looking to buy bitcoin with a credit card, though. These limits will be raised as the user generates more volume. Among the exchanges accepting credit – and even debit – card payments are the usual suspects such as CEX, Coinbase, Coinmama, and 247exchange. A few other platforms may offer a similar service, although it is advised users always do their own research first. Using a credit card for bitcoin purchases will invoke a fee that differs from platform to platform, though.

Bitcoin ATM

Users looking to directly exchange cash to bitcoin have a few options at their disposal. Using one of the many bitcoin ATMs around the world is a great solution to instantly buy cryptocurrency, albeit one may have to pay a slight premium fee. Most ATMs charge a 5% or higher surcharge, which is the price one has to pay for the added convenience. It is not difficult to find a bitcoin ATM these days, as there are nearly 1,000 of these devices in operation all over the world. That does not mean one can just go outside and stumble upon one in every region either, though. Rest assured the number of bitcoin ATMs will continue to grow on a global scale as more time elapses. Right now, nearly three bitcoin ATMs are brought online every day of the year.

LocalBitcoins/Peer-to-peer Trading

By far the fastest and most convenient solution to buy bitcoin is by using the LocalBitcoins platform or a wallet application with built-in peer-to-peer trading capabilities. Users can connect with sellers directly and pay using the payment method accepted by the seller. This can be cash, PayPal, bank transfers, or any other method one can think of. The same goes for peer-to-peer trading, a feature found in quite a few mobile bitcoin wallets right now. Peer-to-peer trading provides a lot of conveniences and also a certain sense of security since there are no intermediaries involved in the transaction. Peer-to-peer trades are always subject to a price higher than the current market average.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Top Companies Accepting Bitcoin

Top Companies Accepting Bitcoin

    

Since Bitcoin’s inception 8 years ago many merchants and retailers have warmed up to the currency and use it today. This article will list the 5 best places to spend your Bitcoins.

Dell

Dell started accepting Bitcoin in 2014, it is one of the largest personal computer companies in the US. Dell’s Bitcoin payment option is integrated with Coinbase and it is built right into the checkout page. When you’re ready to make a purchase, add your items to your cart, fill out your shipping details and choose Bitcoin as your payment method. After the order is submitted, you’ll be taken to Coinbase to complete your purchase.

Cheapair

Cheapair is a New York based company founded in 2005. It provides a service similar to Expedia which allows you to book flights and hotels. They first started accepting Bitcoin in 2013 and have never stopped since. Just like with Dell, Cheapair’s bitcoin payment system is integrated straight into their checkout page and is powered by Coinbase.

Overstock

Founded in 1999, Overstock is one of the largest american retailers based out of Utah. It offers a variety of products ranging from home decorations to computer hardware. The checkout process is similar to Cheapair’s and Dell’s and is integrated through Coinbase. When the company first started accepting Bitcoin in September of 2014 it because the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin. In fact, Overstock’s CEO was so intrigued with Bitcoin that he decided to take it a step further by opening up his company’s stock to be publicly traded on the blockchain. As a result, they also became the first publicly traded company to issue stock over the internet.

Steam

Initially released in 2003, Steam is a digital distribution platform which offers a variety of PC games to more than 89 million gamers. It is considered the largest video game distributor owning roughly 75% of the market. It first started accepting Bitcoin in April of 2016 as they partnered with Bitpay. The checkout process is just the same, you simply select the Bitcoin payment option and Bitpays API will take care of the rest. One potential reason that Steam partnered with Bitpay rather than Coinbase is because Steam has a higher focus on international users while the companies above focus on the domestic market. While Coinbase might be one of the more compliant companies in the US, Bitpay has a smoother integration overseas.

eGifter

eGifter is a New York based company founded in 2011, the youngest company on this list. The reason it ranks so high is because it opens up an opportunity to spend Bitcoin and dozen more places. eGifter provides a gift-card buying and sending solutions to users and businesses. You can purchase a gift card for yourself, for a friend, or you can even start a group gift. The best part is that eGifter accepts Bitcoin! Some of the stores that you can purchase gift cards for include: Amazon, Target, eBay, Adidas, Dominos, and much much more.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Former US Defense Official Urges Govt to Incentivize Blockchain Investments

Former US Defense Official Urges Govt to Incentivize Blockchain Investments

 

    

Former Department of Defense official Eric Rosenbach

urged the United States Foreign Relations Committee to incentivize blockchain investments as part of a wider strategy to combat cyberspace threats. Rosenbach, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security during the Obama administration, made this remark during a speech titled “Living in a Glass House: The United States Must Better Defend Against Cyber and Information Attacks.”

Rosenbach’s thesis is that cyber warfare is asymmetric in that “a small nation with an offensive cyber capability can have an outsized effect on a large power” such as the United States. He believes that the high rate of internet access within the United States, along with the open nature of American democracy, renders the nation vulnerable to a cyber attack from a hostile actor such as North Korea. He believes such an attack “is likely to happen within the next year if current trends continue.” He argues the United States must guard itself against cyber attacks by pursuing an aggressive,

tech-based approach.

In sum, the strength of the tech sector and the internet has driven American economic growth and strengthened our democracy for the past two decades. The corollary of this success, though, is that the US is increasingly vulnerable to cyber and information attacks. In order to maintain the “center of gravity” for the United States, we must bolster America’s cybersecurity posture and rethink our strategy for countering foreign information operations.

Specifically, he advised the US government to “incentivize investment in cloud-based security, blockchain-enabled transactions, and quantum computing.” Such technological investments should help secure American against cyber threats.

How Will Governments and Blockchains Coexist?

Many cryptocurrency advocates will bristle at some of Rosenbach’s other security suggestions, including withholding information about cybersecurity vulnerabilities from the public domain. However, as governments begin to realize the possibilities presented by blockchain technology, it is inevitable that they will try to find ways to use it for their own purposes. To this end, the Department of Homeland Security recently awarded grants to blockchain researchers, and just this week the State Department established the Blockchain@State working group.

The first blockchain was designed as a tool for revolutionary decentralization. Governments, by necessity, will look to co-opt the technology and integrate it into centralized frameworks. Only time will tell what role the government will play in blockchain technology’s future, as well as how blockchain technology will affect the nation-state.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Billionaire Novogratz: Ten Percent of my Wealth in Crypto-assets like Bitcoin and Ether

Billionaire Novogratz:
Ten Percent of my Wealth in Crypto-assets like Bitcoin and Ether

Despite the Winklevoss bitcoin ETF's disapproval,

could an investment drive by one billionaire ignite a larger movement of money into cryptocurrrency. Michael Novogratz, estimated to be worth billions, stated at a Harvard Business School Club of New York forum on April 19:

"Ten percent of my net worth is in this space."

Investment Opportunity of a Lifetime?

The cryptocurrency play was the "best investment of my life," Novogratz said, whose exact wealth is not known but has appeared on the Forbes billionaire list in 2008 and is a former hedge fund manager for Fortress Investment Group. During his stint at Fortress, Novogratz stated he had put his personal wealth into bitcoin as early as October 2013, and the firm were looking at the cryptocurrency. It is no surprise that Novogratz picked up ealry on bitcoin, given that Fortress is a macro fund, focusing on macroeconomic fundamentals to make investment decisions.

Bitcoin, which demonstrates a decreasing supply of new bitcoins, has been such a stronger performer against fiat currencies because of a key macroeconomic fundamental; inflation. The bitcoin ecosystem enjoys progressively lower inflation levels as the block reward is reduced over time, whereas inflation for fiat currencies is determined by a variety of factors, including discretionary monetary policy, versus the fixed, rules-based policy of Bitcoin. Consequently, the price of bitcoin has broken many key psychological levels against the US dollar (as well as other major currencies); the $1 handle, the $10 level as well as the $1,000 mark more recently. In 2013, Novogratz justified his long position and said that he sees bitcoin growing as a payment system, especially in developing nations. Later in 2015, Novogratz left Fortress. The macro fund suffered a setback in 2015, losing as much as 17 percent on the year.

Diversification is Imperative for Crypto Investors

At the Harvard Business School Club event, Novogratz told of how people laughed at him when he invested in bitcoin in 2013. He also predicted that the cryptocurrency will head to $2,000 next. But the billionaire is not all-in on bitcoin and suggested to diversify, where you should put money into many cryptocurrencies. For instance, Novogratz also invested in ether early on, when it was less than $1. In the first quarter of 2017, the combined market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies grew from $17.5 billion to $25.2 billion. Decred and Golem were notable outperformers, with percentage value growth in the thousands for Decred (2,410.64 percent). Other altcoins performed strongly, such as ether, Dash, XEM, and Stratis, all boasted growth rates in excess of 100 percent.

Furthermore, the combined altcoin market capitalization saw a more than proportional gain than the entire cryptocurrency market in Q1, growing from around $2 billion to $8.1 billion. Will Novogratz's disclosure invalidate concerns about bitcoin gaining acceptance following the ETF disapproval? People can still invest in cryptocurrencies, but they will have to overcome a knowledge barrier. With potentially astronomical gains, taking the time to seek this knowledge is likely to be worth your while. Perhaps with the billionaire moving his wealth into cryptocurrency, others will pay attention and Novogratz's shift could be a tipping point for the flow of money into this emerging technology, which should precipitate further interest from investors in the future.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Bitcoin, Blockchain Payments Startups Win RemTECH Awards at United Nations

Bitcoin, Blockchain Payments Startups Win RemTECH Awards at United Nations

 

    

Bitcoin and blockchain services

Airpocket, Bitso, Everex, Moneytis and Trulioo have taken home awards at RemTECH, an awards show for the remittance industry. Airpocket won the award for ‘Remittances and Financial Inclusion.’ Bitso won the award for “Pioneering Spirit.” Everex won for ‘Service Originality.’ Moneytis won for “Most Innovative Service” and Trulioo won for its “Potential for Growth.”

Nine blockchain companies received recognition as innovators in remittance technology by the RemTECH awards, which recognizes groups and individuals transforming cross-border exchange. 15 companies overall were nominated, demonstrating the degree to which Bitcoin, and blockchain generally, have transformed the financial technology fabric. The awards show was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The blockchain companies nominated by RemTECH included mostly Bitcoin-using outfits, such as Bitso, Bitex, Cashaa, Digital X, Moneytis, OKlink and Trulioo. It also nominated Everex, the only Ethereum-based project behind ‘Cryptocash’, which sets out to place fiat currencies on the blockchain as a basis for cross-border microfinance services. Remittance firm UAE Exchange earned a mention. The payments solutions company recently led a Series A investment into a blockchain loyalty program developer.

“We are happy to see increased number of blockchain companies alongside many traditional financial technology companies,” Everex CEO Alexi Lane told CCN. “The blockchain companies highlighted demonstrate that the technology behind popular platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum is working today to improve not only global remittances, but other financial services. ”

“Like credit card transactions, blockchain records show how much is spent, so we can apply AI and machine learning to analyze the data and come up with the loan rate to offer the user,” explains Mr. Lane. Other blockchain projects recognized include DigitalX, a mobile bill payments and remittance company, which uses public bitcoin and blockchain technology to create its patent pending technology called AirID and the award-winning Airpocket. Bitex is a global Bitcoin service provider. Bitso, winner of the “Pioneering Spirit” award, is a Mexican bitcoin and ether exchange at the heart of that country’s digital currency economy.

Cashaa is a peer-to-peer market to transfer cash over its blockchain-agnostic platform. “Potential for Growth” winner, Trulioo, offers global identity and verification services, while providing instant electronic identity and address verification. While the winners were announced in New York, the nominees were announced Wednesday in San Francisco at the International Money Transfer and Payment Conference (IMTC USA 2017). The awards show specifically highlights those groups or individuals which improve “transparency, speed, cost and reliability for the companies and end-users that send and receive remittances every day.”

Blockchain allows many different people, who otherwise have no association, to write entries into a distributed data record. The people using a blockchain platform can control how data in such an arrangement is changed and updated. Along with cryptographic keys, such a shared ledger can ensure information is authentic and authorize actions based on this data. (think: digital transaction) Such technology is changing the way people send money across borders. Alongside blockchain startups, payment companies nominated include TransferTo, Azimo, Remit-one, Comply, Advantage, Safaricom, Xoom and EcoCash, Diaspora, STPMEX and WireCash.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Ethereum Basics: A Starter Guide for Entrepreneurs and Investors

Ethereum Basics:
A Starter Guide for Entrepreneurs
and Investors

If you are familiar with the terms “Bitcoin” or “blockchain,”

you’ve probably heard of Ethereum, as it has been one of the most widely covered projects in the media. This primer will provide a basic understanding of its viability and future prospects.

What Is Ethereum and How Does It Work

Ethereum is a decentralized, software platform based on blockchain technology that is layered on the Internet. The network functions as an ecosystem of computers, which facilitates the use of new applications. It utilizes a programming language similar to Javascript, which is what developers use to build Smart Contracts. These “Smart Contracts” are applications that execute pre-programmed commands all while mitigating the likelihood of fraud, downtime, censorship, or third-party tampering. They have myriad applications to support functions like trade settlements and the management of real estate transactions.

This coding language and protocol in these smart contracts as a foundational element of Ethereum possess the intelligence to self-enforce and execute commands without human intervention. They can be utilized for multiple purposes involving such things as title registries, corporate entities, election result tabulations, and untold other applications. For this reason, many believe that these programs could replace lawyers, banks and other third-party intermediaries for many common legal and financial transactions.

Each participating stakeholder in the vast Ethereum system is rewarded for their investment in hardware, electricity and processing power used to help run the network. This reward to “miners” comes in the form of a newly created crypto-token known as ether. Once received, computer owner have a couple of options in terms of the use of the ether. For starters, they can further monetize their work and then exchange the ether for fiat in the form of dollars for example. Or they can sell their ether to decentralized app (dApp) developers who may be seeking it for funding to run their dApps on the Ethereum network.

What Makes Ethereum Unique

Unlike all other blockchain platforms in existence, Ethereum is a “Turing complete” system which allows highly sophisticated programs to be designed to run on it. In a 2015 article in Fast Company Magazine, Ethereum was described as a “global computer” that can deliver applications for enterprises while circumventing “inefficient bureaucracies and the other intermediaries who take a slice of the pie.” Unlike the Bitcoin blockchain which has limitations in terms of its functional potential, mostly tied to its scripting language, Ethereum is more broad and expansive regarding its applied nature. This is largely the result of the fact that its functionality allows for the development of dApps on top of it.

As opposed to the Bitcoin community which is embroiled in a fierce debate over its storage capacity, Ethereum can be easily scaled. This means that Ethereum’s capacity for acquiring a massive user base is beyond limits. As both a digital currency and technology platform that is not as hindered by political or ideological barriers, the reliability of growth and flexibility with Ethereum is greater than most other blockchain-based options thanks to a coherent community. Nevertheless, from a technical standpoint, if Ethereum reaches Bitcoin's level of popularity, it will run into the same scaling problems.

History of Ethereum

The beginning of Ethereum dates back to 2009, with the emergence of Bitcoin as the world’s first ever practical, decentralized solution. Bitcoin and its supportive blockchain ecosystem served as a catalyst and inspiration for Vitalik Buterin.

The journey of Buterin, a Russian-born Canadian in conceiving Ethereum is an interesting one. He cofounded Bitcoin Magazine in September 2011, and then in 2012, he dropped out of the University of Waterloo to trek the world and engage in a number of cryptocurrency projects. After this trip and over two years of examining prevailing blockchain technologies and applications, he wrote a much publicized white paper which was released in November 2013. The purpose of this document was to offer a template and vision about the new Ethereum technology, along with basic principles and potential applications. This was the catalyst for the commencement of the Ethereum Project on January 23, 2014, per Buterin’s announcement on the Bitcointalk forum.

Ether and the Ethereum Foundation

Ethereum’s currency is known as ether (ETH). And as in the case of Bitcoin, it, too, is situated on a blockchain. Ether is the digital currency which fuels the execution of and modification of applications situated on the decentralized Ethereum network. The key driver of this initial funding effort was the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss legal entity created in 2014, to oversee the legal and marketing efforts for the initial crowdfunding campaign. A pre-sale of over 60 million ether was conducted to foster a community of software developers, miners, investors and other stakeholders charged with developing the ecosystem. Ethereum has consistently held the position as the second largest market capitalized cryptocurrency after bitcoin.  

With Ethereum still in its infancy, new digital wallets and exchanges for purchasing and storing ether have been slow in development. Currently, the most prominent, stable and popular options are MyEtherWallet, Kraken, Coinbase, Circle, and Shapeshift.io. While Bitcoin has a hard cap on the total number of coins released into its system, Ethereum utilizes a disinflationary model, which means the rate of inflation will decrease steadily year after year. This model has both positives and drawbacks.

Ethereum Advances

ETH DEV was set up for the sole purpose of overseeing and orchestrating the ever-changing roadmap of Ethereum development. Several Proof-of-Concept versions of the Ethereum software have since been released with ongoing updates provided via the official blog. In 2014 DEVCON-0 hosted developers from throughout the world gathered to explore issues around network security and scalability. This gathering fueled several crucial updates to the software.

Security

As is the case with any emerging, application technology, security is paramount to establishing trust within the entrepreneurial and investor communities. While the core protocol is generally secure and tamper resistant, a well-publicized breach with The DAO – the first Decentralized Autonomous Organization on the Ethereum blockchain struck a cautionary tale in terms of potential vulnerabilities with any new technology. To address any looming concerns, the Ethereum Bounty Program has been in place for a number of months, offering substantial incentives for anyone able to find weaknesses in the software or code methodology.

Future Innovation

The beauty of the platform is that it allows any developer to utilize it to build and publish new, distributed applications. To fuel development on this front, the Ethereum Foundation established a DEVgrants program to identify and fund promising projects. This program was re-started January 2016 after a brief hiatus, for aspiring developers to take advantage of. As a result, growing numbers of developers have migrated to the network, launching new projects and promising application experiments.  

Long-Term Investment and Entrepreneurial Possibilities

The immense potential of Ethereum-related applications has sparked a growing interest among major stakeholders and investors worldwide. Many startups in this space are showing significant interest, and in some cases, receiving silent investments, from VC firms specializing in blockchain-related innovation. Growing numbers of investors are engaged in due diligence and research on the ever expanding number of startups that are employing these Ethereum-based dApps. Many, while cautiously optimistic, are hesitant however to take the leap amid an evolving developer community that is still relatively small and lacks sustained case examples.

For entrepreneurs, Ethereum offers an ocean of possibilities for layering solutions on top of its ecosystem. Despite Bitcoin’s meteoric rise, some see Ethereum as a more robust platform for smart contracts, identity management, and other advanced technology applications; many startups are considering the second most valuable blockchain network because of its ease of use and simple scripting language. For both investors and entrepreneurs, the overall mood is a positive one. However, these potential stakeholders are only now beginning to assess the long-term prospects of Ethereum’s value. Blockchain-centric Ethereum, promises to usher in a new age of technological advancement by taking information and transactions out from under monopolist institutions and creating decentralized mechanisms for the free exchange of goods and services.

Ethereum’s biggest impact may well be found in both traditional economic systems as well as the rapidly emerging sharing economy. Eventually, it is believed that its presence will infiltrate all segments of society tied to advancements in the Internet of Things. As a result, financial and other legacy institutions will experience massive competition forcing them to reexamine the core models that brought them to this point. Through all of this, reduced costs and increases economic activity will harken in a new economy. In the end, the long-term trajectory of Ethereum’s future rise is anyone’s guess. But many in the community would argue that it appears quite favorable based on some early use case successes. Moving forward, Ethereum's progress will be largely predicated on its ability to grow and adapt over time amid what is certain to be many hiccups and missteps along the way.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

ZCash, Ether, and Monero Miners Can Now Use Nvidia Pascal GPUs

ZCash, Ether, and Monero Miners Can Now Use Nvidia Pascal GPUs

The impressive rally in digital currencies

in the past three months has given the cryptocurrency mining industry a boost. Demand for mining equipment is higher than ever as individuals and companies are looking to profit from the increased value of many cryptocurrencies through mining.

As BTCManager reported on June 9, the shares of the semiconductor firm Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have skyrocketed due to a surge in demand for its graphics cards, which cryptocurrency miners are increasingly using to  bring more digital currency into existence. AMD, however, is not the only publicly-traded technology firm that has benefited from the boom in cryptocurrency mining.

Nvidia Pascal GPUs More Efficient Than AMD’s

California-based Nvidia produces graphics processing units (GPUs) that are primarily using in the gaming space. Recently, however, cryptocurrency miners have increasingly started to purchase Nvidia’s GPUs to boost their mining productivity. More specifically, Nvidia’s Pascal-based GPUs.

Nvidia’s Pascal GPUs, such as the GTX 1060 and the GTX 1070, have demonstrated to be more efficient than their counterparts produced by AMD. According to research conducted by RBC Capital Markets Analyst Mitch Steeves, who compared the cryptocurrency mining performance of Nvidia’s GTX 1070 with AMD’s RX 580 GPU for the digital currency ether, Nvidia’s GPU required 33 percent less power consumption and is, therefore, a much more efficient graphics card for mining than the popular RX 580. “If we switch to building a full Data Center environment, electrical costs become increasingly more important (Bitcoin environment), and the older NVIDIA GPUs outperform AMD over the course of a year,” Steeves stated.

Nvidia’s Pascal-Based Mining Hardware

To profit from the crypto mining boom, Nvidia has launched mining hardware built using eight Pascal GP106-100 GPUs, which are being referred to as “mining cards.” The mining hardware is targeted at ether, zcash, and monero miners and aims to maximize the productivity and efficiency of the mining process. The mining equipment uses an Intel Celeron Mobile processor, a 64GB mSATA SSD, 4GB of DDR3 DRAM, and up to 1600W PSU. The power supply unit (PSU) is not included and is listed as optional to allow users to choose what they need for the specific currency they want to mine. Each cryptocurrency has different power requirements when it comes to mining.

For example, to mine Ethereum’s ether, it is recommended to use 1000W PSU, which delivers roughly 200MH/s (+/- 5 percent. To mine zcash, 1050W PSU is recommended, which delivers roughly 2500 Sol/s, while monero mining required around 700W, which delivers roughly 4400 H/s +/- five percent. To run Nvidia’s mining machine, seven six pin 12V power connectors are needed plus eight additional six pin connectors to run the “mining cards.” Furthermore, the system is setup for passive cooling on the GPUs while the enclosure makes use of five inflow and four outflow higher power system fans to keep the system cooled and functional.

Should the impressive rally in cryptocurrencies continue throughout the year, bitcoin mining equipment producers will see their business flourish as more and more individuals are jumping onto the cryptocurrency mining bandwagon in the hope to make a nice profit.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.