The Most Promising Bitcoin Hard Forks (And How to Claim Them)

The Most Promising Bitcoin Hard Forks (And How to Claim Them)

Did you know that you can claim Bitcoin hard forks coin if you owned Bitcoin at the moment of the fork?

Bitcoin, the first and most popular cryptocurrency ever created, has not been free from conflicts within the community. Over the years, many individuals and groups of developers have come up with ideas to make Bitcoin even better. 

But most of these suggestions ended up dividing the community. That’s why over 100 Bitcoin hard forks have taken place since Bitcoin’s creation in 2009. Here’re the top BTC hard forks and how to claim them. 

A Short History of Bitcoin

On October 31, 2008, a whitepaper was published that described the concept of Bitcoin ━ a trustless peer-to-peer system for digital currency to replace traditional money. The paper was published under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, but the author’s identity remains a mystery to this day. Many believe that the name is a pseudonym of one or a team of developers. 

On January 3, 2009, the genesis block (block 0) was mined on the Bitcoin network, and the miner, the unknown Satoshi, was rewarded with 50 bitcoins.

From that point on, Bitcoin (BTC) was mined by other early contributors up to 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer, made the first commercial transaction using cryptocurrency by purchasing two Papa John’s Pizzas for 10,000 BTC. 

Bitcoin has been traded many millions of times since then. The first major transactions were made in black markets. The largest was the Silk Road, an online black marketplace, which traded close to 10 million Bitcoin during its lifetime.

As Bitcoin grew more as a currency on different markets, regulations emerged from many countries. For instance, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) made the news headlines when they adopted these three separate actions and issued new regulations regarding cryptocurrencies.

  • December 2013. The PBC banned financial institutions from using Bitcoin.
  • September 2017. The PBC issued a total ban on Bitcoin use.
  • June 2021. PBC implemented a crackdown against major cryptocurrency miners.

The price of Bitcoin fell by half after each of these events. However, it always found a way to rise again to new astonishing values. This is because many countries and institutions allow cryptocurrency use. Also, as of September 7, 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.

Another aspect of what makes Bitcoin increase in price is the maximum supply. There can only be 21 million BTC. As more investors join the cryptocurrency market, the coin experiences scarcity and the Bitcoin (BTC) price surges as with any supply and demand market. 

Additionally, Bitcoin is more transferable and divisible than gold or another material asset and can be stored more easily. It will cost you a lot to transport gold, as well as the cost of storage in secure facilities. However, investors can store Bitcoin on a USB stick, also known as a cold wallet or hardware wallet.

As Bitcoin gained more popularity, it inspired other developers to create other blockchain platforms, and subsequently, some created Bitcoin hard forks. 

What is a Bitcoin fork?

Many of the cryptocurrencies that exist today use part of Satoshi’s technology. However, many others adapted the Bitcoin blockchain model or tried to improve it.

As more users joined the blockchain, it became increasingly difficult to update the network as no single person or group could decide on unanimous future development.     

To modify the Bitcoin blockchain, all miners must agree on the new rules and what constitutes a valid block on the chain. To change the rules, you must “fork” it to change to indicate that something has changed from the original protocol. These situations are called Bitcoin forking. 

Usually, forks are used to add new features or change some blockchain parameters. The forking process results in the blockchain being divided into two distinct blockchains after a certain point in time. Although there have been many forks since the inception of Bitcoin, only a few are viable projects.

Crypto forks can be either soft or hard forks. The main difference is that soft forks are not a fork that results in a new currency and new branches of the blockchain. Soft forks slightly modify the Bitcoin protocol, but the core Bitcoin blockchain remains the same. Soft forks are backwards compatible, which means that the upgraded chain can successfully share and use data from earlier network versions.

However, during a hard fork, the programming code of the Bitcoin blockchain and its mining processes are upgraded. Once a user has updated their software, it rejects transactions from any older version, creating a new branch to the blockchain. Users who keep the older software can still process transactions. This means that transactions are being processed on two separate chains, and two different currencies result from the hard fork.

This is how various digital currencies, similar names to Bitcoin, have been created. These include Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.

While not many investors know, anyone who owns Bitcoin, during a hard fork, is entitled to the new cryptocurrency. That’s why some consider that there’s an obvious financial incentive to fork Bitcoin’s blockchain and made some investors sceptical of the necessity of these forks.

Since it can be confusing for casual investors to distinguish between these cryptocurrencies, we’ll be going through the top Bitcoin hard forks.

Bitcoin Forks History 

Bitcoin has over 100 forks, but not all projects were further developed, and only a few remain functional today. You can find the complete list of Bitcoin forks on forkdrop.io. We’ll mention the most noteworthy Bitcoin forks here. 

Bitcoin XT

Bitcoin XT fork took place on December 27, 2014.

Bitcoin XT is the first known Bitcoin hard fork. Mike Hearn incorporated some of his ideas into the Bitcoin blockchain and launched Bitcoin XT in late 2014. It is said that Hearn is one of the few to have contacted Satoshi Nakamoto via email. 

Bitcoin XT was designed to allow 24 transactions per second. The previous version of Bitcoin could only handle seven transactions per second. It proposed to increase the block size from 1 megabyte to 8 megabytes.

Initially, Bitcoin XT was a success. In 2015, it had more than 1,000 nodes running the software. But, just a few short months later, investors lost interest, and the project was abandoned. Bitcoin XT has been removed from the internet, and its website is not functional anymore.

Bitcoin Classic (BXC)

Bitcoin Classic fork took place in early 2016.

Jonathan Toomim launched Bitcoin Classic in early 2016 as some community members wanted to see block sizes increase after Bitcoin XT’s decline.  

Bitcoin Classic, like Bitcoin XT, saw a lot of initial interest. In 2016, there were approximately 2,000 nodes in use. The Bitcoin Classic (BXC) fork proposed a smaller block size of 2 MB. 

The BXC coin still exists, but it seems that the community has moved on. The website is no longer live. 

Bitcoin Unlimited 

Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) fork took place on March 11, 2016.

Bitcoin Unlimited has remained a mystery since its initial release in 2016. 

Bitcoin Unlimited is unique because it allows miners to choose the size of their blocks. Nodes and miners can limit the number of blocks they accept up to 16 megabytes. The community behind Bitcoin Unlimited believes in market-driven decision making, emergent consensus, and giving their users choices.

Despite some initial interest, Bitcoin Unlimited has not been widely accepted. Only a few nodes are still online. 

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Bitcoin Cash fork took place on August 1st 2017 (BTC block 478,558).

Pieter Wuille, a Bitcoin Core developer, presented the idea for Segregated Witness (SegWit) in late 2015. SegWit is a project that aims to decrease the size of Bitcoin transactions, thus allowing for more transactions to occur simultaneously. Technically, SegWit is a soft fork. 

In response to SegWit, some Bitcoin developers and users decided to initiate a hard fork to avoid the protocol updates it brought about. Bitcoin Cash was the result of this hard fork. It split off from the main blockchain in August 2017, when Bitcoin Cash wallets rejected Bitcoin transactions and blocks.

Bitcoin Cash allows blocks of eight megabytes and does not accept the SegWit protocol.

Bitcoin Cash remains the most successful Bitcoin hard fork, and it is backed by many in the cryptocurrency community. BCH can be traded on popular exchanges (Binance, Coinbase, Huobi, Gate.io).

BitCore (BTX)

BitCore (BTX) fork took place on April 24, 2017.

BitCore is an unspent transaction output (UTXO) fork of Bitcoin, and it was launched in 2017. BitCore used Bitcoin’s source code to create a new blockchain but updated the core to make the blockchain size smaller (which makes the network easier to scale). BitCore uses the MEGABTX consensus algorithm, which is ASIC-resistant.

Because anyone can become a BitCore miner, it is impossible to centralise mining power. BitCore also has a 10 MB Segwit-enabled block that allows it to handle 17.6 billion transactions per annum or 48 million transactions per hour.

The entire crypto community can mine BTX using PoW and Masternodes.

Bitcoin Gold (BTG)

Bitcoin Gold fork took place on October 23rd 2017 (BTC block 491,407).

Bitcoin Gold is a hard fork that occurred shortly after Bitcoin Cash. The creators implemented this hard fork to restore mining functionality using basic graphics processing unit (GPU) because they felt mining had become too specialised.

The Bitcoin Gold hard fork featured a pre-mining of the Bitcoin Gold crypto. Pre-mining is when the development team creates the coin from the start. In this case, the Bitcoin Gold developers pre-mined 100,000 BTG. Developers said that these pre-mined coins will be used to grow the Bitcoin Gold ecosystem and pay developers.

Bitcoin Diamond (BCD)

Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) fork took place on November 24, 2017 (BTC block 495.966).

Bitcoin Diamond is a fork of the original Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin Diamond was created only two weeks after the Bitcoin Gold fork.

The BCD’s code allows for 100 transactions per second, increasing the block size to 8 megabytes, thus making it more efficient than Bitcoin. While this is an improvement, considering Bitcoin’s seven transactions per second, other cryptocurrencies have much greater transaction throughput, and that’s why some consider Bitcoin Diamond obsolete.

However, the first major Bitcoin hard fork, Bitcoin Cash, can process 116 transactions per second through its increased block size. Although these cryptocurrencies may not be the same, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Diamond are very similar. Some investors wonder if Bitcoin Diamond was a necessary hard fork.

Bitcoin SV (BSV)

Bitcoin SV hard fork took place on November 15th 2018 (BCH block 556,766). It is a fork from the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

Bitcoin SV‘s goal is to realise the original vision and design of Bitcoin as described in Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper. 

BSV is designed to provide stability and scalability while keeping Bitcoin a peer-to-peer electronic money system. It also aims to become a distributed data network that can support enterprise-level advanced blockchain applications.

It has also removed artificial block sizes limits, re-enabled script commands, and other technical capabilities that had been previously disabled or restricted by protocol developers on the BTC blockchain. The network can process thousands of transactions per second while keeping transaction fees low for micropayments. It also offers advanced capabilities like tokens, smart contracts and other use cases.

The block size of Bitcoin SV can go up to 2Gb and can process over 10,000 transactions per second. BSV reached over 50.000 TPS on the testnet.   

BSV is unmatched in its ability to scale on-chain without any restrictions while being closer to the original Bitcoin design than any other blockchain.

Bitcoin Cash ABC (eCash)

Bitcoin Cash ABC fork took place on November 15, 2020 (BCH block 661648).

Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA) is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2020 as a result of a hard fork within the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. This split the original chain into two new ones called “Bitcoin Cash ABC” and “Bitcoin Cash Node.” 

Amaury Sechet is the leader of the Bitcoin Cash ABC developers. They proposed an update to the Bitcoin Cash network. This update included a controversial new “Coinbase Rule,” requiring 8% of all mined Bitcoin Cash to be distributed to BCH ABC to finance protocol development.

Another group, Bitcoin Cash Node from the Bitcoin Cash community, opposed the upgrade. They removed the so-called “miner tax” from their source code.

In July 2021, Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA) was rebranded as eCash (XEC). With this relaunch, the team also announced their plans to integrate the proof-of-stake consensus layer Avalanche, which introduces great improvements to the network.  

Three main improvements are:

  • Scaling transaction throughput to more than 5,000,000 transactions per second
  • Improve the payment experience by reducing transaction finality
  • Protocol extension and fork-free upgrades

The eCash (XEC) rebrand also decreases the coin’s decimal from eight to only two.

Beware of Bitcoin Forks Scams

You should also bear in mind that some Bitcoin forks were created as a scam. Bitcoin Platinum, for instance, was created to lower Bitcoin’s value. Other scams, such as the fake Bitcoin Gold wallet, were created to steal your real funds. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your crypto funds safe and don’t trust everyone you talk to over the internet. 

At the same time, you should be aware that some developers just want to make quick money. While some Bitcoin forks seem to be similar, the primary reason for their creation is more marketing buzz. Many developers are looking for free coins, and Bitcoin forks have become the new ICOs. The team creates the fork only to sell the coins on crypto exchanges as soon as it starts trading.

To reduce your chances of losing any Bitcoin, you have to move your Bitcoin to a new wallet before claiming any coins. 

How to safely claim coins from a fork

Before attempting to claim any Bitcoin fork coins, you should research the new project and the team of developers behind it to establish its legitimacy. They should also provide a clear and accurate roadmap for the project they want to build. 

For instance, a Bitcoin fork coin should implement replay protection, to allow the new network to separate from its original. 

Depending on the specific Bitcoin fork, you might need to perform certain risk actions such as exposing your Bitcoin wallet private keys, installing specific software or validating your identity on centralised crypto exchanges. 

One of the easiest ways to claim Bitcoin fork coins is to use wallets that support them. Note that most wallets don’t support many of the Bitcoin forks simply because the process requires complicated technical developments, which is not feasible for most wallets. This is because most of the Bitcoin forks don’t have a great market value and lack a development team and community. 

Bitcoin forks can have various aspects to consider:

  • Coin ratio. Depending on the Bitcoin fork, the new coins (forked-coins) can be claimed at a specific ratio (It’s mostly a 1:1 ratio, but it can vary).
  • Fork height. The Bitcoin block height at the time that the Bitcoin Fork took place. Bitcoin wallets that received BTC after that date are not eligible for the Bitcoin fork claim.
  • Crypto exchange availability. Minor and less successful Bitcoin fork coins will not be supported by a lot of crypto exchanges. 

Before attempting to claim any Bitcoin fork coins, you should go through these simple (but effective against theft) steps.

Step 1. Move Bitcoin to a new wallet

For all Bitcoin fork claims and any forks in general, users need to provide the wallet’s private keys in which the Bitcoin was held at the time of the Bitcoin fork. You should never share the keys of an active wallet. 

That’s why, for safety reasons, moving the crypto funds to a different crypto wallet should be performed first before revealing the private keys to any third party. By doing this, you eliminate any possibility of having your Bitcoin stolen. 

If you still have a Legacy Bitcoin wallet with addresses beginning with 1, claiming these forks can be a great motivation to move your coins to a SegWit account. This will lower your transaction fees and allow you to use Lightning Network.

Step 2. Export private keys

Firstly, you will need to export your private key from the wallet that was used to hold the Bitcoin funds at the time of the fork. Most wallets are able to export a file containing all the addresses and private keys. However, hardware wallets don’t allow private keys export, and for such cases, you need to enter the seed phrase into specific claiming software. 

Using the seed phrase, you can also use open-source tools such as BIT39 to find a wallet’s pirate keys

You can import only private keys that have funds to save time. 

Step 3. Check Bitcoin wallet address for available claims

Using your Bitcoin wallet address, you can check if your address is entitled to a Bitcoin fork claim on Findmycoins.ninja.

You should save all the claimable wallets’ addresses and private key combinations. 

The Most Promising Bitcoin Hard Forks (And How to Claim Them)

All valid addresses and private key combinations should be recorded in a spreadsheet or text file that allows you to copy, paste, or replace text. The recording format should include a private key followed by the address. 

Each entry should be numbered and the amount of Bitcoin they contain at the time of the first fork. It will be helpful to number each key pair for ordering purposes. It may be useful to note the sizes. You can, for example, use the address with the smaller amount to test the process.

Step 4. Claim the Bitcoin fork coin using a crypto wallet

There are several secure crypto wallets that can help you claim some of the most popular Bitcoin forks, such as:

  • Coinomi. Supports Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin SV (BSV). Find the guide on how to claim Bitcoin forks on their support page.
  • Exodus. Supports Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin SV.
  • BitPie & Bither wallets. These are two distinct mobile app Bitcoin wallets. BitPie is used to claim the coins, and then Bither can be used to sell them. Using the two wallets you can successfully claim Super Bitcoin (SBTC), BTW, BCD, BTF, BTP, BTN, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.

While the BitPie and Bither wallets are the most common solution you can find on the web these days to claim your Bitcoin forks, the wallets do not support BTC fork claiming anymore. We tried this option without any success. 

How to use Coinomi for Bitcoin fork claims

Step 1. Install and create a Coinomi wallet

Firstly, make sure you have the latest version of Coinomi on your mobile device. Afterwards, create a new wallet, and make sure to write down its seed phrase to recover your funds later, in case something happens to the mobile device. You will also be asked to set up a password for this specific wallet and device. 

Step 2. Select the coins you want to add

Before claiming the Bitcoin forks in the Coinomi wallet, you need to select the specific coins as balances in your Coinomi wallet. 

Click on the bottom-right plus sign and select Add coins. Select the Bitcoin forks you will be adding (e.g. Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), BitcoinSV (BSV)). 

Step 3. Claim Bitcoin fork coins

Select the coin you want to claim the Bitcoin fork for, and within that specific wallet, click on the top menu > Sweep wallet. 

You will have to paste or scan the wallet’s private key that had the Bitcoin at the time of the fork. 

After you get all the transaction details (The amount of Bitcoin fork coins you will receive, the value in USD, the transaction fee), review all the details and tap Confirm.

You will then see the updated balance for the Bitcoin fork coins.

Repeat this step for every address with a balance of the forked coin.

How to claim Bitcoin forks using Ymgve’s Fork Claimer

More advanced crypto users that do not want to rely on a specific Bitcoin wallet, can use Ymgve’s script to claim the most Bitcoin forks. This method will require some technical knowledge on the user’s side because you will need to run a Phyton script.

The Ymgve is open-source. It is available on GitHub, along with all the information about how to use the script. Ymgve supports standard P2PKH and Segwit P2SH-P2WPKH addresses.

Using the Ymgve fork claimer script is recommended if you want to claim most forks, although it’s riskier and mistyping any of the commands can result in a loss of funds.  

How do Bitcoin hard forks influence Bitcoin holders?

By the end of 2021, there have been over 100 Bitcoin hard forks, and investors expect to see more soft and hard forks in the years to come. However, out of all the hard forks to date, only a few are still operational.

Long time investors are entitled to claim all of these Bitcoin hard forks. Luckily there are ways to do so, using the wallets described in this article. However, as of the beginning of 2022, no Bitcoin fork has raised more in popularity than the original Bitcoin. 

What Are Metaverse NFTs and How Do They Work?

What Are Metaverse NFTs and How Do They Work?

What is a metaverse NFT? The metaverse has been one of the most awaited online experiences. Now it is now available for users from all around the world through a simple internet connection. 

Here’s what the metaverse brings and how the metaverse NFT tokens can be used. 

What is metaverse technology?

The metaverse is an immersive virtual world, where users have their own avatar and can interact with each other, share experiences and create places and objects similar to real life. A metaverse is likely to build a completely new ecosystem, a massive-multiplayer online game if you will, with an incorporated economy, that enables users to buy and sell items. 

When was the metaverse first mentioned?

In 1992, the SF novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson was the first published piece to mention the term “metaverse”. In the book, humans could interact with software within a 3D space similar to the real world. 

However, the idea of the metaverse exists since the late 1970s. That’s when the internet pioneers talked about the internet as a place to create a bridge between the real and the digital world.

Why is everyone talking about the metaverse?

The Metaverse and Metaverse NFTs are taking over all industries, including crypto, gaming and social media. It has become one of the most used words in 2021, as more platforms are developing and integrating a metaverse experience for their users. 

When Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook will be rebranding and will be called Meta, he described a virtual world that will enhance and step up our online experiences. 

The metaverse can be experienced through a computer, smartphone or a virtual reality (VR) headset. 

Crypto Metaverse Games and Apps

Since the metaverse requires a safe and transparent technology to incorporate all aspects of a virtual world, including a financial environment, the rise of crypto metaverses has started. A metaverse app can be built on top of a programmable blockchain that supports smart contracts, such as Ethereum, Cardano, Solana, Harmony and others. 

A crypto metaverse is all around the economy within the virtual space, which will rely on metaverse NFTs and tokens.

How are crypto metaverse app different from traditional online multiplayer games?

Firstly, the core component of the crypto metaverse apps and NFTs are :

  • Decentralisation. A crypto metaverse is not owned or controlled by a central entity. At least a part of the metaverse is built on the blockchain. Participants can get equity in the metaverse, and the future of the metaverse is in the hands of the users. 
  • User governance. Most crypto metaverses are democratic environments that have a governance token and a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) to enable users to take control of the metaverse and decide on future updates or changes through voting. 
  • Transparent ownership. Crypto metaverses use in-game items, that can be represented through cryptocurrency tokens and metaverse NFTs. Gamers can truly own the assets they buy in a game and anyone can easily check on the blockchain the true owner and value of a metaverse token.
  • Crypto tokens have real-life economic value. Users of a metaverse can easily trade the metaverse NFTs and tokens on DEXs or NFT marketplaces. Some use NFTs for investment purposes while others see them as a means to transfer wealth. 

Several crypto metaverse protocols have been already launched in 2021 and more are announced to be released in the near future. 

Crypto Metaverse Examples

The most popular crypto metaverses apps and are:

  • Decentraland (Ethereum)
  • Cryptovoxels (Ethereum)
  • Axie Infinity (Ethereum)
  • The Sandbox (Ethereum)
  • Alien Worlds ( Ethereum, WAX, and the Binance Smart Chain – BSC)
  • Star Atlas (Solana)
  • Tranquility City (Harmony)

The blockchain network of a crypto metaverse game is one of the most important aspects of the experience, since a congested and hard to scale network may lead to high network fees for transactions and slow speed to confirm and register transactions. 

What is a Metaverse NFT token?

A metaverse non-fungible token (NFT) enables internet users and metaverse participants to truly own the digital assets purchased within the metaverse. 

By owning a metaverse NFT token, the user gets to own a part of the internet and has complete control over it, to trade it, store it and use it. 

A metaverse NFT can by any crypto asset in the metaverse, such as digital objects or land. The ownership of the metaverse NFT is recorded on the blockchain network of that specific metaverse and represents a real value on the decentralised finance (DeFi) market. 

Metaverse NFTs can be traded for digital assets, such as bitcoin (BTC) or ethereum (ETH) on supported NFT marketplaces and decentralised exchanges (DEXs). 

How to Buy Metaverse NFTs

With the great surge in the interest in NFTs and other crypto tokens for the past years, Metaverse NFTs are a great investment opportunity. However, it’s important to check the scarcity of the metaverse NFT that you want to purchase, as well as the brand and community behind it before you make your investment. 

Step 1. Decide on a metaverse

To buy a metaverse NFT you will first need to decide on which metaverse you want to start your digital experience. Some of the most popular crypto metaverses that support NFTs are Decentraland, Star Atlas and Alien Worlds. 

Step 2. Connect your wallet to the metaverse

Metaverse NFTs are traded using a cryptocurrency wallet, such as MetaMask and other wallets supported by WalletConnect. 

Step 3. Explore the metaverse

After you connect your wallet, you will be able to access and experience the metaverse. Users can interact with each other and set a custom avatar for the metaverse.

Step 4. Buy Metaverse NFTs from the marketplace

Metaverses have incorporated NFT marketplaces, where you can buy or sell NFTs, using the crypto metaverse native token. To buy an NFT, you will need to hold the required sum in the wallet you used to connect the metaverse. 

The Metaverse Is Free

Obviously, users can enjoy the metaverse for free, and there’s no requirement to buy a metaverse NFT. 

Now that you know how the metaverse works and how to access the metaverse NFT tokens, we hope you will enjoy this new era of the internet.

Best Way to Earn free Cryptocurrency and Free NFTs

Best Way to Earn free Cryptocurrency and Free NFTs

What is the best way to earn free cryptocurrency and free NFTs? We’ve all heard of airdrops and signup bonuses, as a way to earn cryptocurrency, but none of these methods gives you a significant amount of crypto to actually do something with it. 

After some in-depth research of the current ways to earn free crypto, we can recommend a platform that doesn’t require any initial investment. 

How to earn free cryptocurrency and free NFTs? Continue reading to discover how you, too, can make a monthly income from crypto and start earning. 

Old Strategy to Earn Free Crypto 

Giving away free crypto as a reward for performing an action has been one of the main drivers for adoption at the beginning of the crypto era. 

Some of these methods are still used today, and anyone can use them to get free crypto. What are the old strategies you can still use to earn crypto and bitcoin rewards?

Crypto Giveaways

Just like traditional giveaways, crypto companies will sometimes organise a giveaway for their users to create awareness around their coin. 

Most of these crypto giveaways will have specific rules to follow that may differ from one giveaway to another and in return, participants may earn cryptocurrency. 

An example would be when an exchange when it lists a new coin on its platform. 

That’s when they need more users and publicity to spike up the volume. By organising a giveaway, they ask users to share the news on social media, follow them on their socials, and sign up for a new account. 

The prizes are incredibly enticing for new crypto enthusiasts, but the competition is also high. 

Beware of the many giveaway scams on social media. Most of these scams require participants to send a specific amount of crypto to a given address. Don’t do it. You’ll lose your crypto. 

Crypto Coins Airdrops

Usually, new cryptocurrency projects perform airdrops. 

They give their cryptocurrency to new users in exchange for a small task, such as a share on social media. 

Airdrops allow people to obtain free crypto and to become investors while the company gets free publicity and creates awareness around its product. Airdrops may also help users start learning about crypto and their project. 

Signup Bonus

Platforms such as Coinbase and eToro are offering signup bonuses in crypto for new users. 

The bonus is often received after a specific condition has been fulfilled, such as taking a quiz about a new cryptocurrency or deposing a specific amount of cash in your exchange wallet. 

Note that some platforms ask for ID verification, and then they report back to the fiscal entities. 

Crypto Stacking

Stacking is a way to support the security and operations of a blockchain by locking your funds in for some time and receiving rewards for it. Staking is one of the safest ways to generate a passive income from your crypto funds.  It is much safer than crypto trading, although the rewards may be smaller. 

Some platforms allow users to stack crypto directly from their crypto wallets, such as Trust Wallet. Exchanges also offer the option to stake your tokens by keeping the coins in the exchange wallet. PancakeSwap is famous for this practice.

Users who participate in staking contribute to the consensus mechanism of the blockchain by facilitating the Proof of Stake (PoS). 

Unlike the Proof of Work used by Bitcoin’s blockchain, the PoS algorithm randomly chooses one of the staking participants to validate the next block.

Earn Xfc for Free Using Your Football Knowledge

Earning free crypto is awesome, but you need to signup to many different platforms to collect all the small bonuses.  

What all of the ways mentioned above to get free cryptocurrency have in common is that you only get the bonus once, and after that, you need to trade or perform other actions that require you to spend money. 

In this case, what’s the best way to get free cryptocurrency for an indefinite time?

We found a platform that rewards users with free cryptocurrency for staying active, and it doesn’t require you to spend any money. 

It’s a fantasy football game on blockchain called FootballCoin

Yes, you will need to know a thing or two about football, but you might get lucky anyway. 

The win the game’s cryptocurrency, XFC, you need to create a valuable football squad. 

Unlike real life, fantasy football gets really fun when choosing the lucky combination of 11 players.  

What Is Fantasy Football?

The players from real football games all have collectable football cards in the game. According to their real-life performance, they get a score in the fantasy football game. 

In FootballCoin, more points equal a higher chance of winning XFC prizes in the daily fantasy football contests. 

That’s why you need to be intentional when choosing your team in fantasy football. The better the players play in real life, the better for your fantasy football team. 

Daily Contest in Footballcoin

FootballCoin organises daily contests for the main European football leagues and tournaments. It also features the North American MLS league and the Chinese league CSL. 

Contests in FootballCoin reflect the games played in real life. 

FootballCoin players are called managers. The managers can choose the football players in their fantasy football team based on those playing in real life, in those particular football games.

The contests are free to join and have substantial prices in the game’s cryptocurrency, XFC. 

The game’s mechanics also allow users to create their own contests, for which they can charge a participation fee. These are called private contests and are fun to play within a group of friends passionate about football. 

Play for Free and Win Crypto

One of the best ways to earn bitcoin and free cryptocurrency is by joining a free blockchain game. What sets apart FootballCoin from other blockchain games is the free-to-play feature. 

It’s free to set up an account. And it is free to play. There are free daily contests that anyone can join to win real crypto. 

The free daily contests in FootballCoin are tournaments. There are two kinds of tournaments. The Double Up tournaments reward the first half of the ranking managers. The Top 30% tournaments reward the top 30% of managers. 

After a contest is finished and all, the rankings are calculated according to the scoring system. The players from the contest are rewarded automatically with XFC, depending on their rank in the contest. 

The free cryptocurrency is deposited automatically in your FootballCoin wallet, and you are free to use it however you want. 

You can choose to invest in the game, get more NFT digital assets in the game, or you can simply send it to one of the crypto exchanges that accept XFC and trade it. 

How to Get Free NFTS

By now, most crypto enthusiasts have been talking about and investing in non-fungible tokens and some big names in the industry have talked about acquiring NFT collections. 

It’s important to note that FootballCoin supports non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In fact, its market for football player cards is actually an NFT marketplace. 

NFT marketplaces are where the cards can be traded. In the FootballCoin market, the game’s users are able to freely buy, sell and lease non-fungible tokens and grow their NFT collections. 

Furthermore, the player card tokens can be easily exchanged for another card, for a small fee. In this way, the game guarantees that users will always have cards that can be used in the game. 

Assuming you start right now playing FootballCoin with a new account, you will get free crypto if you join the free daily contests. According to your real football knowledge, you will be able to create better fantasy football teams for free. 

These teams that perform well will allow you to get the game’s crypto, XFC. You can later use that crypto to buy the game’s NFTs. 

In FootballCoin, there are two different kinds of NFTs. 

You can get football player NFT cards, which are usually for more famous players, such as Christiano Ronaldo. Having these cards will eventually help you rank better in the tournaments and earn even more XFC. 

The other kind of NFT is the stadium card. These can be used to create your private contest, and you can earn a passive income from the fees that managers pay to join your contest. 

By definition, NFTs come in limited supply and are often called collectable cards in the game.

While NFTs are a good way to store value and generate more income in FootballCoin, they are not required to play. However, it’s nice to know that you can buy them if you perform well in the free contests without investing your money. 

No Investment Required

FootballCoin doesn’t require any investment to play or to win in the game. 

Unlike the famous mobile games that are pay-to-win, which sell worthless assets, in FootballCoin, you own everything you collect and win. 

The game has many different assets that might help you advance and earn even more crypto, but no investment is required. 

Most players start with nothing, and after a few months, are able to trade or sell their assets for a profit. 

It’s important to point out that regular players get a monthly income from the game without an initial investment. 

Manchester City celebrates Premier League Win with NFT edition

Manchester City celebrates Premier League Win with NFT edition

Manchester City Football Club will launch a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to honor their victory in the English Premier League.

NFTs will appear on the MakersPlace platform on May 24 – the day after the trophy is presented to the team. Part of the proceeds from the sale of non-fungible tokens by Manchester City will go to charity. 

The collection, designed in collaboration with artist John Nordlander, contains four works. One of them – The Champions Medal – can be received by the club’s fans for free by taking part in the drawing.

NFT’s gain more and more popularity among Football fans. 

From the popular FootballCoin game where you can Collect, Trade or Lease Player cards from all major leagues to the NFT release from Brazilian footballer Pele that took place in May on the Ethernity Chain platform.

In June, Bayern Munich player Alfonso Davies will present a collection of non-interchangeable tokens on the Binance platform.

Bitcoin will rise to $ 500,000 – according to Catherine Wood Ark Investment CEO

Bitcoin will rise to $ 500,000 – according to Catherine Wood Ark Investment CEO

Ark Investment CEO Catherine Wood expects Bitcoin to rise to $ 500,000 despite the latest price swings this week. 

Catherine Wood has once again expressed her opinion about bitcoin. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the founder of Ark Investment Management said that bitcoin is now “sold out”, and even during yesterday’s fall, the cryptocurrency may not have reached a minimum yet. 

She describes the current market as emotional and says the bottom is difficult to predict. Meanwhile, Bitcoin has almost completely won back yesterday’s losses. 

During the interview, Wood expressed her opinion on Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s comments on the environmental issues posed by bitcoin miners. The use of solar energy in the mining industry is about to skyrocket, she said. 

Wood also noted that prospects for Bitcoin ETF approvals in the US this year have been boosted by the recent fall in prices. 

“Now that we’ve gone through this correction, the odds are better,” she said. 

Last month, Catherine Wood said that Bitcoin could become the new gold standard as it can increase purchasing power. She also believes that bitcoin will continue to grow and the first trillion in cryptocurrency capitalization is just the first step. 

Earlier, Catherine Wood also warned BTC holders in the United States against converting crypto assets into fiat currency pending tax changes.

Crypto World February 2020: Yemen’s Civil war, New Jersey attempt to crypto, Oil more volatile than crypto

Crypto World February 2020: Yemen’s Civil war, New Jersey attempt to crypto, Oil more volatile than crypto

The entire world is pushed to the edge of their nerves as a global pandemic and civil wars are knocking on its door. What has happened in the Crypto world in February 2020?

New Jersey Lawmaker Wants to Create a Crypto License

A Lawmaker from New Jersey wants to create a crypto license for crypto exchanges. The Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act was introduced by Yvonne Lopez, whose proposal is to provide licences to any service of digital asset trading, storage, purchase, sales, exchange or issuing services. If the bill passes, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance would be responsible with the licences and regulating businesses.

Oil Prices Are Now More Volatile Than Bitcoin

When traditional investors think about Bitcoin, they mostly think about its price volatility.

The volatility is determined by measuring the past prices and is typically measured for a 30-day period, calculating the standard deviation of daily price variations. But volatility only measures the price deviation and not its direction.

The price of oil has been more volatile than the price of Bitcoin.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price’s volatility stood at 105.3% on Feb. 10. The oil price’s volatility hit a 4-month high of 119.6% at the end of January.

Bitcoin’s historical volatility recently dropped to 42.3%, the lowest level since September.

MoneyGram Got Another $11M From Ripple to Use Its Cross-Border Payments Tech

Ripple has paid over $11 million in the past half year to MoneyGram, as a continuation of their partnership. MoneyGram is the first money transfer company which scales the blockchain capabilities usage.

“The Company is compensated by Ripple for developing and bringing liquidity to foreign exchange markets, facilitated by Ripple’s blockchain, and providing a reliable level of foreign exchange trading activity. The Company expects that this partnership, at scale, will reduce our working capital needs and generate additional earnings and cash flows,”

Ripple is closely tied to MoneyGram and own 10% of their stocks.

Revolut Bank Valued at $5.5B in $500M Funding Round

Revolut is a London-based bank and it has raised over $500 million in a Series D funding round.

Revolut offers the option to purchase cryptocurrency to its users and it is valued at over $5.5 billion. Revolut aims to challenge the traditional bank systems, by minimizing the prices on the provides services.

Revolut has raised a total of $836 million in its funding rounds.

New Zealand Plans to Drop ‘Unfavorable’ Sales Tax Treatment of Cryptocurrencies

The Tax authority of New Zealand is considering a change in the crypto space, that would eliminate the current goods and service tax.

The current regulation considers digital currencies as a form of property and it is liable for a 15% tax when the currency is traded. The double taxation issues arise when the income tax is applied.

The New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) suggests eliminating the property tax for cryptocurrencies and keeping the income tax for these assets.

In a policy issues paper made public on Monday, the IRD states:

“Because of their innovative nature, [cryptocurrencies] will often also have different features to … other investment products. This means that some existing tax rules can be difficult to apply, involve very high compliance costs or may provide policy outcomes for some crypto-assets that lead to over-taxation compared to other alternative investment products.”

Ukraine Justice System Employee Caught Mining Crypto at Work

An IT employee of the Judicial Administration in Ukraine has been charged with illegally mining cryptocurrency at his workplace. 

The employee was working in the data system division of the court administrative department and was taking advantage of the equipment and internet bandwidth from his office to mine cryptocurrency from January to May 2018. He has also used servers from his workplace to host external websites.

If he will be found guilty, he faces up to six years in prison and he will not be allowed to work in any governmental agencies.

Yemen’s Civil War Shows the Dangers of Crypto

Yemen is in a state of civil war and is has the biggest humanitarian crisis on its hands. With half of the country being controlled by the Iran-backed Houthi militant group, which have their own crypto, locals are wary of being associated with them and with cryptocurrency.

So far, it appears using bitcoin (BTC) in a war zone may be riskier than cash, especially when illicit actors use cryptocurrency as well as civilians. 

The ongoing civil war in Yemen highlights the contradictions underlying bitcoin adoption: It’s difficult for civilians to acquire cryptocurrency without heavily regulated infrastructure that makes them vulnerable to coercion and surveillance. Such is the case in Yemen, where the Iran-backed Houthi militia controls the northern half of the country and a failing government controls the central bank in the south.

For most people in Yemen, purchasing bitcoin is nearly impossible. Most international companies avoid doing business in Yemen due to concerns over U.S. sanctions, which aren’t comprehensive like the sanctions against Iran but nonetheless raise compliance questions.

Plus, peer-to-peer markets are hampered by both cash shortages and a lack of reliable communications infrastructure. Yemeni-American researcher Ibraham Qatabi at the Center for Constitutional Rights said telecom and electricity companies are owned by governments, both foreign and domestic, depending on the region. There’s no need for a warrant if Big Brother already owns the pipes. Plus, Qatabi said, most international money transfers are monitored by local authorities.

“Everything is monitored. They have everyone’s information,” Qatabi said. “If they want to go after somebody, they’ll have access to those files.”

Hamza Alshargabi, a doctor who worked in Yemen until 2012 and briefly mined ether (ETH) after he immigrated to the U.S., agreed it’s “almost impossible” to get a safe and reliable internet or phone connection in most of Yemen. He said in big cities connectivity is “so expensive that it’s unusable,” so he can’t imagine his sister using bitcoin in Yemen.

As such, some Yemeni civilians and expats are scared to be associated with cryptocurrency, including bitcoin. If protests last year in Iran and Lebanon offered a peek at bitcoin’s limitations, then Yemen is the full picture of bitcoin usage still relying on government infrastructure. 

Coronavirus Is Changing How Crypto Markets Are Trading

The increasing fear of new pandemic is showing the financial markets as stock prices go down. Indexes are going down form the beginning of 2020. Bitcoin’s price has taken a hit and it is trading below $8,000.

One strategy some traders are contemplating to prepare for COVID-19 is not holding volatile cryptocurrency assets unless absolutely needed. That’s what Althena’s OTC desk is doing. “We manage inventory very tight and run a matched book, so the coronavirus hasn’t been a factor,” said Althena’s Leon.

The Bitcoin network overpasses 500 million transactions

The Bitcoin network overpasses 500 million transactions

Bitcoin transactions are over 500 million as of the beginning of February 2020. The number of transactions doubled in 3 years, from 250 million in 2017 to 500 million in 2020.

The Bitcoin network went live on January 3, 2009. Eleven years later, in 2020, the network processes over 500 million transactions.

Since 2017, Satoshi.info, named after the pseudonym of the presumable creator of Bitcoin, started tracking and recording the number of transactions on the Bitcoin network.

The data on Satoshi shows a constant increase in the Bitcoin transactions, year after year. In only 3 years, the volume of Bitcoin transactions has doubled and considering the same growth rate, Bitcoin transactions can exceed 1 billion transactions.

How did the community react to the 500 million milestone?

Now, on to the next 500 million.

What is Libra cryptocurrency and how does Libra influence cryptocurrency mass adoption?

What is Libra cryptocurrency and how does Libra influence cryptocurrency mass adoption?

Facebook, the famous social network behemoth announced on the 20th of June it is developing the already famous Libra cryptocurrency, which will be introduced into the platform starting with 2020. Libra uses blockchain, which is a technology underlying different cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and it was created as a way to facilitate cash transfers across boundaries and serve underbanked populations around the world.

What is Libra a cryptocurrency or a stablecoin?

IT’S FAIR ENOUGH TO SAY THIS USES CRYPTOCURRENCY TECHNOLOGY

  • Matthew Green, an associate professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University

This is sort of a controversial matter. There is also a public ledger, though only some individuals are permitted to mine the coin. It is said that Libra is limited in how the blockchain functions.

Bitcoin is a permissionless system. In order to participate in it, you have to provide proof of work in a competition of solving a complex puzzle, and this will let you add a block to the chain. So, basically, anybody can participate. This is only one of the most important thoughts behind Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 newspaper: bitcoin demands consensus, not trust.

The Libra cryptocurrency, in contrast, is permissioned, meaning just a few trusted entities may keep tabs on the ledger. That makes it like electronic money as opposed to a cryptocurrency.

On the flip side, Libra is delegated to pseudonymous “wallets,”, Transfers are done through public key operations.

Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute stated that the permissioned model implies less computing power is necessary. Bitcoin wastes a whole lot of energy, preventing so-called Sybil attacks where an attacker fills the system with computers that the attacker handles and wreaks havoc.

The conclusion is that there’s not just one definition of “cryptocurrency,”. We shall call Libra a cryptocurrency so that everyone knows what we are talking about, but it does come with some special characteristics.

What is the purpose of Libra?

Basically, Facebook would like to make it easy to move cash around the world since it is to send a text message.

The Business published a White Paper to describe the details. It will not observe the cryptocurrency as an effort to substitute the present financial system, as is Bitcoin’s goal. Instead, it is meant to expand an electronic payment system to under-served populations which don’t now have easy access to conventional financial institutions.

Worldwide, nearly two billion adults”stay beyond their fiscal system with no entry to a conventional lender, although one billion possess a cell phone and almost half a billion have net access,” reads the newspaper.

In the U.S., where buyers have access to a wealth of payment choices, the FDIC quotes that over 8 million families are unbanked.

“For big chunks of the Earth, Libra will be about using a superior kind of payment and wealth preservation,” states Colas. Agents from Libra didn’t respond to CNBC Make It is petition for comment.

Facebook’s strategy to run its digital money presents dangers to the global banking system which should activate a fast response from international policymakers, according to the organisation which represents the world’s central banks.

Even though the transfer of major tech companies like Facebook, Amazon and even Alibaba into monetary services could accelerate transactions and reduce costs, particularly in developing world nations, it may also endanger the stability of a banking system which has just recovered from the wreck of 2008.

Echoing warnings from several technology experts, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) stated that while there were potential benefits to be made, the digital currencies’ adoption beyond the existing financial system could decrease competition and make data privacy problems.

“The aim should be to respond to big techs’ entry into financial services so as to benefit from the gains while limiting the risks,” said Hyun Song Shin, economic advisor and head of research at BIS.

How will Libra work?

Libra is going to be handled by a Swiss-based nonprofit. Contrary to other cryptocurrencies, Libra is going to be endorsed by”actual” government-backed resources from central banks to provide it stability.

Facebook states Libra is going to be made accessible to Messenger and WhatsApp users, that will cash in their regional currency to purchase Libra. The money is going to be held at an electronic wallet named Calibra (more on this below) and may be spent on goods and services at participating merchants, exactly as with any other money.

To withdraw money, users will have the ability to convert their electronic money into legal tender according to a market rate. It will not be so equivalent to if you swap U.S. dollars for euros through a European holiday, for instance.

Presently, Libra isn’t”pegged” into one currency. However, this will allegedly make it less volatile compared to other cryptos.

For all those concerned about safety, Libra obligations won’t be linked to an individual’s Facebook information and will not be utilized for ad targeting.

Can you trust Facebook with your money?

Will Libra help people without a bank account?

The white paper includes some detail about Libra’s design. Nonetheless, there’s very little debate about why people do not have a bank account.

In accordance with that the World Bank data Facebook is mentioning, nearly two-thirds of men and women who do not have bank accounts state it is because they do not have sufficient cash to start one. A third of individuals who do not have bank accounts stated they do not need one. Libra doesn’t fix these issues.

Libra simplifies just the popular reasons people do not have a bank account. Approximately a quarter of respondents said banks’ large and unexpected prices were part of why they did not have balances; the lack of proximity to a bank is a barrier for another 20%.

To utilize Libra, you need to purchase Libra.

Problem is, individuals who don’t use banks don’t have bank accounts and do not have credit cards. They use cash.

The Libra’s whitepaper doesn’t mention anything about how Libra will reduce prices to convert fiat money into Libra currency, which will be a challenge for any user of Libra.

In terms of mobile banking, other challenges arise. For instance, in Nigeria, individuals prefer cash money because they worry that if their mobiles are stolen, their money is gone, also. This is an issue of societal norms, not technology. This, also, isn’t a problem you can resolve through technology. You can find several other, more mundane issues as soon as it comes to mobile banking also, such as the price of getting inactive clients.

Libra doesn’t make it clear why a mobile payments agency such as the one Facebook is suggesting requires cryptocurrency in any way. It feels like a non-starter in lots of the markets in which mobile payments may be needed. And Libra does not cover the principal problem that the documentation says it is.

Concluding from the documentation, Libra is not intended for individuals without a bank account; it is meant for men and women that have cash. Facebook is a company; companies need to create money. As we’ve observed, individuals without a bank account, don’t have money.

Of course, all of this could be a transition towards the mobile digital identity, which is a plausible game.

Facebook is constructing an app for the privileged class. However, Facebook is unlikely to do so for the greater good.

Is Libra legal?

“Before we allow such a giant corporation to begin processing millions to billions of financial transactions, we have to study these issues and ensure we have the tools and guardrails in place to deter terrorists, extremists, and/or enemies from utilizing such a platform to do harm to our nation.” – Emanuel Cleaver, member of the U.S. House of Representatives

Calibra, a subsidiary company of Facebook, and which operates independently from Facebook, enrolled as a money services company with FinCEN.

Broadly, people are discovering new ways to run illegal financial activities, Cleaver stated in the announcement, citing cryptocurrencies along with other brand new marketplaces as tools that these celebrities can accommodate.

“Now that we’re seeing a giant corporation like Facebook—which has already shown an inability to identify and impede these kinds of actors at an acceptable level—creating its own virtual currency called Libra, it cannot be understated the importance of Congress and financial transmitters to be proactive in utilizing the newest and most powerful technologies to ensure the financial system is not being used improperly,” he added.

Will Libra achieve its desired goals?

Whether Libra succeeds, it affirms the inescapable fact that international currency movements in the electronic age is going to be contingent on blockchain-like options that disintermediate the present gatekeepers and challenge the bank-and-sovereign money-dominated version of this 20th century. Additionally, it emphasizes the way we’re moving into an era of electronic assets.

The best cryptocurrency exchanges for beginners (updated 2020)

The best cryptocurrency exchanges for beginners (updated 2020)

Beginner exchanges are exchanges that offer a simple way to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with as little confusing jargon and setup time as possible. Here are 6 cryptocurrency exchanges that are fairly easy to use by a new cryptocurrency investor.

Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the best options for a new crypto investor. Coinbase is the best-known cryptocurrency exchange in the US. It is the simplest and easiest on-ramp for crypto beginners.

Coinbase is the most trusted place for all things crypto.

It allows you to deposit fiat and crypto, offers a small variety of crypto (Bitcoin and Ethereum included) and has never been hacked before! As for security, you can activate the two-factor authentification and it is available in 100+ countries around the world (January 2020).

coinbase best cryptocurrency exchange

As any entity operating with fiat, there will be some fees, especially for deposing fiat. Coinbase Fees vary based on location and amount.

The user interface is intuitive, and the design is clean and simple. You can link up your bank account or pay with a card. There’s also a deep library of guides and explainers for newcomers.

Coinbase has a limited choice of cryptocurrency options to keep things simple. However, they consider the addition of more altcoins.

As for security, Coinbase stores 98% of customer funds in cold storage, in safe deposit boxes and vaults around the world, making it relatively secure. The remaining 2% is insured in case of hacks.

Lastly, there’s a handy mobile app to buy and sell cryptocurrency on the go.

Get started on Coinbase.

ShapeShift

Shapeshift is a crypto-only exchange. You can’t buy cryptocurrency with dollars or euros. You can only trade between cryptocurrencies. However, due to its simplicity, we still recommend it for beginners.

The crypto offer is vast, and you can trade anything for anything and it is available all over the world. Make sure to switch on the two-factor authentification, in case of a future security breach. The exchange rate shown is exactly what you’ll receive, minus only the “miner fee.” There is no exchange fee, or service fee.

Shapeshift best cryptocurrency exchange

ShapeShift allows you to transfer currency between addresses of your choosing, rather than between accounts on its platform. It means ShapeShift doesn’t hold any customer deposits, making it relatively safe.

ShapeShift has been hacked three times, which all occurred in the same month due to internal sabotage. The exchange was extremely transparent in what happened over the hack, with the CEO going so far as to write a blow-by-blow explanation of what exactly happened.

Get started on ShapeShift.

Gemini

Gemini was founded by the Winklevoss Twins. It’s a US-based exchange noted for being a licensed platform (Regulated by NYSDFS). Gemini gained headlines in 2019 by announcing full insurance coverage for funds on its exchange and in custody.

We believe that crypto investors deserve the same protections as investors in other asset classes, so we’ve built a rules-based marketplace with security at its core.

They operate in all U.S. states except Hawaii. Other countries in which they operate are Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and the U.K. Gemini has never been hacked before and the few selected trading pairs are perfect to start your journey as a crypto investor.

gemini best cryptocurrency exchange

Gemini and the Winklevoss Twins pride themselves on being fully compliant and working within existing regulations. As such, there’s a decent amount of safety from fraud and insurance coverage on this exchange. Of course, that comes at a cost: handing over a lot of personal information.

Gemini offers a decent chunk of volume, though few trading pairs compared to other exchanges. Security wise, aside from the standard 2FA, withdrawal address whitelisting is a welcome sight.

The Gemini app is also slick and easy-to-use for beginners.

Get started on Gemini.

Changelly

Changelly is a crypto exchange similar to ShapeShift. It is address-to-address so Changelly never holds your funds. You can exchange crypto to crypto or fiat to crypto. A vast number of trading pairs are available.

Changelly is a cryptocurrency exchange with the most favorable rates and the fairest terms.
Your exchange has never been so smooth.

Changelly accepts users from any country in the world. As well, they will accept payments in any currency, but it will be converted to either the Euro or USD. They have never been hacked before and it supports two-factor authentification. There is a flat fee of 0.25% for each transaction made via the service.

Changelly best cryptocurrency exchange

There’s a simple frontend for buying bitcoin and converting it to whatever cryptocurrency you would like. Much like ShapeShift, Changelly transfers happen between addresses you own, rather than between accounts that the exchange controls.

It’s super fast and efficient. There’s a mobile app too for making transactions on the go.

Get started on Changelly.

Luno

Luno offers a great platform for African and European traders looking to get started. Alongside their exchange, Luno offers a wallet service with a companion mobile app. The exchange has been around since 2013 and has never been hacked, giving it a fairly solid reputation for security.

Luno makes it safe and easy to buy, store and learn about cryptocurrencies. Upgrade your money today.

Luno supports fiat/crypto exchanges on a few selected pair, which will be fairly easy to use by a new crypto enthusiast. They have never been hacked before and the platform supports two-factor authentification. Fees Maker / Taker. Makers fees are a flat 0% and takers fee range from 0.20% to 1.0%.

luno best cryptocurrency exchange

It’s designed to be as simple as possible, including an “instant buy” feature.

Get started on Luno.

Coinmama

Coinmama is a good choice for those looking to buy crypto using a credit card or other fiat sources. Coinmama is a broker so you’re buying directly from the company itself which makes transactions fast.

Trusted by over 1,800,000 people across 188 countries since 2013

However, there are some things to be aware of. Coinmama is “buy only” so you cannot sell cryptocurrencies on the platform. There is also no wallet feature on the exchange, so you need to withdraw directly to a wallet. This is no bad thing as keeping your funds on an exchange is risky, but you will need a wallet set up first.

Unfortunately, Coinmama’s simplicity is offset by the incredibly high fees charged for every transaction. Coinmama’s market rate is based on the XBX + 2%. In addition, there is a commission fee of up to 3.90%.  For credit/debit card transactions, there is an additional 5.00% processing fee. This fee will be added after choosing your method of payment.

Get started on Coinmama.

We hope you have found the best cryptocurrency exchange that works for you. And if you ever decide you are serious about the cryptocurrency world, then remember there are ways to earn free cryptocurrency and Bitcoins.

Learn how to earn free cryptocurrency (without investing or mining)

Learn how to earn free cryptocurrency (without investing or mining)

Yes, you can earn free cryptocurrency and the list of services offering free cryptocurrency is growing. 

Currently, the most popular way for people to get hold of a cryptocurrency (aka electronic money) is to buy it on an exchange with fiat currencies or through mining, but there are other ways you can earn cryptocurrency without getting out your wallet. In this article, you will discover services and platforms to help you earn free cryptocurrency without investing or mining.

How to earn free cryptocurrency?

No matter how you call it, electronic money, cryptocurrency or digital currency is something the entire planet started to be interested in.

While mining cryptocurrency and Bitcoin isn’t the cheapest way to get cryptocurrency, new blockchain platforms have emerged and are ready to help you earn this new electronic money, which is called cryptocurrency.

As Bitcoin makes it more and more on the international news, companies have come up with a different way in which you, can take part in this blockchain world, without investing any fiat money, or mining the cryptocurrency.

Sure, by signing up for any of these apps, you won’t be able to quit your day job anytime soon. But they give you the opportunity to earn money while you practically sleep and they also provide you with valuable experience in the up-and-coming decentralized sharing economy.

Something you shouldn’t miss on is the chance of earning free cryptocurrency! Since you are already online, so why not earn cryptocurrency online?!

Where to find services which help you earn cryptocurrency without investment? Here is what we found so far. (The list of where to get free cryptocurrency is updated regularly).

Crowdholding

A decentralized open innovation platform empowering anyone to earn cryptocurrency,

 Crowdholding is a co-creation platform were you log in, give feedback and earn crypto for it. They have over 70 crypto startups and over 40,000 signups. They have new startups as well as establish coins such as SmartCashDeepOnion and ITF. (All on CoinMarketCap).

It’s free to sign up! How do you earn free crypto? After you sign up, you can give feedback, take part in bounties and airdrops to earn free cryptocurrency without investing.

The stages of Crowdholding, according to their website:

  • Project Creation
    A provider needs feedback to increase their offering so that they establish a project and offers in cryptocurrency.
  • Community Engagement
    The business works directly with the many innovative and enthusiastic stakeholders who are called Crowdholders.
  • Idea Validation
    Important stakeholders, specialists and customers give feedback about the best way best to for development.
  • Reward Distribution
    The audience gets rewarded for their comments together with YUP & ERC20 tokens, while the organization discovers how to improve.

Storm play

Earn anywhere, anytime, from any device

What is Storm?

According to its website, “Storm Token is a premium cryptocurrency reward used to fuel the world’s only blockchain-supported microtask platform.”

Storm Play is an app started in 2017, which pays you Bolt for doing a simple task such as downloading apps, surveys, and quizzes.

Storm (STORM) intends to make a blockchain-based, gamified, micro-task market (Storm Marketplace) that empowers users to earn STORM ERC-20 tokens by completing different tasks.

Micro-tasks in the app have been ‘gamified’ into a reward system that allows you to easily earn tokens for playing games or trying out new products or service.

“Participate in short surveys, try out new products, watch videos, and help finish small tasks to earn rewards in Storm Token, Bitcoin, or Ethereum.”

Some of the tasks, for example, involve achieving goals in games you have to download. Some mobile gamers may find that StormPlay gets them the entertainment factor they need, all while earning cryptocurrency without investment.

Bolt is the in-app currency which you can convert to Bitcoin, Ethereum or Storm coin when you have reached the minimum withdraw limit.

Steemit

Steemit, or as the founders say, ”Come for the rewards. Stay for the community,” is a Reddit-like portal which supports posting content as well as up and down-voting.

Steemit is based on a blockchain that runs on a native coin called STEEM.

Steemit’s developers say that their Blockchain, in contrast to Bitcoin’s proof-of-work, is based upon “proof-of-brain.” That is to say, cryptocurrency is generated by participants creating original content. If you are some sort of content creator, then you definitely have to have an account on Steemit and you can earn cryptocurrency without investing by simply creating the content you are really good at.

This works as follows: A certain pool of STEEM tokens is dedicated to incentivizing content creation and curation. And how exactly these tokens are distributed for specific pieces of content is determined by “crowd wisdom” – the participant community assesses the value of the content and its token reward.

LBRY

LBRY is an open-source and decentralized platform for video content sharing which rewards you for content consumption. Yes, you read that right. Not only are you rewarded for content creation, but for content consumption.

Why is that? Of course, in the long run, the main point of LBRY’s economy will be the remuneration of content creators, namely with tips from content users in the app’s native LBC token (short for LBRY Credit). The app comes with a dedicated LBC wallet. Other ways to obtain LBC’s are contributions to the LBRY project and mining – see here for all the ways of earning LBC.

However, to encourage widespread adoption of the LBRY app, the LBRY team is currently providing in-app rewards for early adopters. They can be earned simply by surfing video channels and watching videos.

SMSChain

SMSChain is a decentralized SMS gateway. It is based upon one of the most classical sharing economy concepts: Take a resource that someone has paid for, but isn’t using, and enable that person to share this resource with others.

These messages mostly consist of standard templates, not individualized content. These templates will be defined in SMSChain nodes, and participants can choose in advance which types of content they wish to permit to go through their SIM card.

SMSChain offers exactly this marketplace, and the marketplace’s currency is their native token SMSTO. You can earn SMSTO simply by signing up for an account on the SMSChain website, and by agreeing to sell your unused SMS capacities.

In the context of SMSChain, you are known as a “miner” – similar to Bitcoin’s concept of mining. However, the mining mechanism in SMSChain is not wasteful proof-of-work, as in other cryptocurrencies, but proof-of-delivery. That means that you do the useful work of delivering SMS in order to earn your SMSTO.

Work/sell items for crypto

The explosion of cryptocurrencies has created a market where you can offer your services and receive remuneration in cryptocurrency.

There are subreddits such as /r/Jobs4Crypto and /r/Jobs4Bitcoins, or you can simply contact ICOs if you have a desirable skill set. Got something to sell? There are also multiple sites where you can sell your unwanted items for cryptocurrency. Some examples are Bitify (a platform similar to eBay) and BazaarBay (a platform that acts like Etsy).

SweatCoin

SweatCoin will help you earn cryptocurrency for simply walking around outside.

SweatCoin might be the app that sounds familiar to you because it’s the easiest to use, and therefore the most popular. SweatCoin pays you in a currency that will eventually be turned into actual cryptocurrency on the blockchain.

Blockchain Games

Blockchain games are taking gaming to a whole new level. And yes, playing games can actually help you earn cryptocurrency without investing. More and more startups and companies are on their way to change their business model and the gaming industry is a big part of it.

You can earn free cryptocurrency by playing arcade games such as Alien Run and collectable fantasy football games like FootballCoin if you are a football enthusiast. Let’s not forget about attention games like Block Stacker. All these games are ready to reward you for your time and attention. And if you get really good at any of them, this could a permanent way of earning free cryptocurrency.

Remember there is an essential difference between blockchain games and crypto games. The two notions mean different things.


These are some of the most in handy and obvious ways in which you too can earn free cryptocurrency without investing. If you have more suggestions, feel free to send them and we will happily add them to the list.

Remember that there is a big cryptocurrency market and it grows at an exponential rate. As always, the firsts ones are the most advantaged players.

Top countries where cryptocurrency is legal

Top countries where cryptocurrency is legal

Bitcoin (BTC) is considered to be the first cryptocurrency to be issued under the term of representing a decentralized blockchain-based digital asset.

Read more on What is Bitcoin?

Although this is the case, and Bitcoin is running over 110 billion dollars in market cap, BTC is still not widely regulated across all countries in the world in the same manner.

Even though many countries marked BTC as a legal entity, there are many parts of the worlds where Bitcoin trading is considered illegal.

usa bitcoin legality

 

United States of America Bitcoin Legality: Yes

Bitcoin got a green light from the United States, as trading this digital asset is not set as illegal by the law. The Securities and Exchange Commission found proof that Bitcoin does not represent a security but rather currency, and FinCEN deemed it as legal.

FinCEN has been following up with Bitcoin on legality matters since 2013, so there are no laws prohibiting the trading of Bitcoin in the United States of America.

european unuion bitcoin legal

The European Union Bitcoin Legality: Yes

The European Union as a whole hasn’t yet issued any specific regulations or laws that would prohibit Bitcoin from being traded within the states that belong to the European Union.

That is how trading Bitcoin is legal in EU, while some countries like Bulgaria, Cyprus, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, and more have issued their own regulations all in favour of the top currency in the market.

australia bitcoin legal

Australia Bitcoin Legality: Yes

Bitcoin is a perfectly legal entity in Australia. That means that all activities regarding Bitcoin are allowed and legal in Australia.

canada bitcoin legal

Canada Bitcoin Legality: Yes

Canada says “Yes” to Bitcoin as far as the law is concerned. According to them, Bitcoin like any other entity that allows trading.

That means that Bitcoin is being regulated the same way as any other investment in Canada. However, this country is concerned about the possibility of money laundering when it comes to using Bitcoin.

That is why all Canadian Bitcoin exchanges have to report their records and suspicious transfers.

The December 2018 G20 Summit Regulations

In early December, each G20 nation signed an acknowledgement of “necessary reform” due to the global economy’s “digitalization.” The document refers to “crypto-assets,” which may be cryptocurrencies. Therein, the G20 agreed to regulate such assets consistent with FATF standards.

“We will regulate crypto-assets for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in line with FATF standards and we will consider other responses as needed.”

The United States has been the first country to take concrete action against the financing of terrorism with its report by the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control. The report discussed two Bitcoin wallet addresses and warned them and the financial community that those who were transacting may be subject to sanctions.

What is the FATF?

According to their website, the FATF acts as a financial police:

“The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Minister of its Member jurisdictions. The objectives of the FATF are able to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. The FATF is, therefore, a ‘policy-making body’ which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.”

 

What Is the Basic Attention Token (BAT)?

What Is the Basic Attention Token (BAT)?

With an ever-increasing struggle for internet users’ attention, more groups are considering innovative ways of using marketing for the benefit of the consumer. BAT (Basic Attention Token) hopes to position itself as the token of the world of digital advertising.

How does BAT work and what problems does it try to solve?

BAT promises to create a transparent network, where those interested in receiving or selling advertising services, are free to do so without the involvement of intermediaries, in a healthy, competitive environment.

what is BAT?

The BAT token is meant to be used to power the Brave network, set up by the developers using the ERC20 technical standard. Brave is a browser service that can also act as a marketplace to be used by those selling or buying advertising.

How does BAT hope to meet its objectives?

The project’s biggest calling card is the involvement of Brendan Eich, BAT’s founder. Eich is best known for his participation in the developing of Mozilla and Firefox, projects he helped co-found. Eich’s reputation alone was enough to garner a lot of attention for BAT.

The other members of the BAT team share an impressive background in the world of services and internet services, having worked for the likes of Yahoo, Evernote, or AOL.

There is another element that works in favour of BAT. It’s the general anti-ad attitude of the vast majority of internet users. BAT promises to offer a revenue system for those targeted by ads. As the name suggests, BAT’s objective is to convince users to provide them with their attention in exchange for BATs. And similarly, advertisers will receive BATs in proportion with the level of attention users provide them.

Competitors and possible drawbacks

BAT was conceived with the ERC20 system in mind. At the time of writing, Ethereum blockchain technology continues to be highly popular in the crypto world. BAT will to remain dependent on Ethereum and subject to be influenced by the possibility of its popularity fluctuating.

The Brave network will also need to fight against several high profile competitors, among them CDX (a representative of alt-media), Bitclave, or AdEx (a company with a similar vision to BAT).

Distribution and roadmap

BAT set an ambitious roadmap, with confidence helped by the company able to raise a large sum of money in the ICO stage ( $35M). Initially, 1 billion tokens, of the total amount of 1.5 billion, were put on sale.

The developers held a further giveaway at the start of 2018. The number of users on the Brave network also increased, with an estimated 5 million downloads at the time of writing. The company also claims to have over 18,000 verified Brave publishers.

Basic Attention Token (BAT)

Conclusion

Yes, there is undoubtedly a real market need for advertisers and their customers to connect without additional interference. There also exists a real need for the consumers to feel they are genuinely rewarded for the amount of attention they decide to invest in various marketing campaigns.

The Brave browser and the accompanying BAT token aim to offer a solution to these issues. Indeed, the hurdles they will need to overcome will be high, and the competitors they face will present a challenge. However, how the project has developed, the level of interest it has garnered from users, promises to make it an exciting prospect for the future.

What is cryptocurrency and why do we need it?

What is cryptocurrency and why do we need it?

cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets.

Cryptocurrencies are a kind of alternative currency and digital currency (of which virtual currency is a subset).

Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems.

The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works through distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain, that serves as a public financial transaction database.

Bitcoin, first released as open-source software in 2009, is generally considered the first decentralized cryptocurrency. Since the release of bitcoin, over 4,000 altcoins (alternative variants of bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies) have been created.

The first cryptocurrencies

The first decentralized cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was created in 2009 by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. It used SHA-256, a cryptographic hash function, as its proof-of-work scheme. In April 2011, Namecoin was created as an attempt at forming a decentralized DNS, which would make internet censorship very difficult. Soon after, in October 2011, Litecoin was released. It was the first successful cryptocurrency to use scrypt as its hash function instead of SHA-256. Another notable cryptocurrency, Peercoin was the first to use a proof-of-work/proof-of-stake hybrid. IOTA was the first cryptocurrency not based on a blockchain, using the Tangle instead.

On 6 August 2014, the UK announced its Treasury had been commissioned to do a study of cryptocurrencies, and what role, if any, they can play in the UK economy. The study was also to report on whether regulation should be considered.

How is a cryptocurrency defined?

According to Jan Lansky, a cryptocurrency is a system that meets six conditions:

  1. The system does not require a central authority, its state is maintained through distributed consensus.
  2. The system keeps an overview of cryptocurrency units and their ownership.
  3. The system defines whether new cryptocurrency units can be created. If new cryptocurrency units can be created, the system defines the circumstances of their origin and how to determine the ownership of these new units.
  4. Ownership of cryptocurrency units can be proved exclusively cryptographically.
  5. The system allows transactions to be performed in which ownership of the cryptographic units is changed. A transaction statement can only be issued by an entity proving the current ownership of these units.
  6. If two different instructions for changing the ownership of the same cryptographic units are simultaneously entered, the system performs at most one of them.

In March 2018, the word ‘cryptocurrency’ was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

What are an altcoin and a crypto token?

Stephanie Yang of The Wall Street Journal defined altcoins as “alternative digital currencies,” while Paul Vigna, also of The Wall Street Journal, described altcoins as alternative versions of bitcoin. Aaron Hankins of the MarketWatch refers to any cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin as altcoins.

A blockchain account can provide functions other than making payments, for example in decentralized applications or smart contracts. In this case, the units or coins are sometimes referred to as crypto tokens.

Cryptocurrency coin altcoins

How are cryptocurrencies designed?

Decentralized cryptocurrency is produced by the entire cryptocurrency system collectively, at a rate which is defined when the system is created and which is publicly known.

In centralized banking and economic systems such as the Federal Reserve System, corporate boards or governments control the supply of currency by printing units of fiat money or demanding additions to digital banking ledgers.

In the case of decentralized cryptocurrency, companies or governments cannot produce new units and have not so far provided backing for other firms, banks or corporate entities which hold asset value measured in it.

The underlying technical system upon which decentralized cryptocurrencies are based was created by the group or individual known as Satoshi Nakamoto.

As of May 2018, over 1,800 cryptocurrency specifications existed.

Within a cryptocurrency system, the safety, integrity and balance of ledgers are maintained by a community of mutually distrustful parties referred to as miners: who use their computers to help validate and timestamp transactions, adding them to the ledger in accordance with a particular timestamping scheme.

Read more about the Distributed Ledger Technology(DLT)

Most cryptocurrencies are designed to gradually decrease the production of that currency, placing a cap on the total amount of that currency that will ever be in circulation. Compared with ordinary currencies held by financial institutions or kept as cash on hand, cryptocurrencies can be more difficult for seizure by law enforcement. This difficulty is derived from leveraging cryptographic technologies.

what is the future of blockchain?

Blockchain and cryptocurrency

The validity of each cryptocurrency’s coins is provided by a blockchain. A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. 

Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”.

For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority.

Blockchains are secure by design and are an example of a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralized consensus has therefore been achieved with a blockchain. Blockchains solve the double-spending problem without the need of a trusted authority or central server, assuming no 51% attack (that has worked against several cryptocurrencies).

Read more on What is Bitcoin and how does Bitcoin work?

Blockchain and Timestamping

Cryptocurrencies use various timestamping schemes to “prove” the validity of transactions added to the blockchain ledger without the need for a trusted third party.

The first timestamping scheme invented was the proof-of-work scheme. The most widely used proof-of-work schemes are based on SHA-256 and scrypt.

Some other hashing algorithms that are used for proof-of-work include CryptoNightBlakeSHA-3, and X11.

The proof-of-stake is a method of securing a cryptocurrency network and achieving distributed consensus by requesting users to show ownership of a certain amount of currency. It is different from proof-of-work systems that run difficult hashing algorithms to validate electronic transactions.

The scheme is largely dependent on the coin, and there’s currently no standard form of it. Some cryptocurrencies use a combined proof-of-work/proof-of-stake scheme.

Cryptocurrency Mining

In cryptocurrency networks, mining is a validation of transactions. For this effort, successful miners obtain new cryptocurrency as a reward.

The reward decreases transaction fees by creating a complementary incentive to contribute to the processing power of the network.

The rate of generating hashes, which validate any transaction, has been increased by the use of specialized machines such as FPGAs and ASICs running complex hashing algorithms like SHA-256 and Scrypt. This arms race for cheaper-yet-efficient machines has been on since the day the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was introduced in 2009.

With more people venturing into the world of virtual currency, generating hashes for this validation has become far more complex over the years, with miners having to invest large sums of money on employing multiple high-performance ASICs. Thus the value of the currency obtained for finding a hash often does not justify the amount of money spent on setting up the machines, the cooling facilities to overcome the enormous amount of heat they produce, and the electricity required to run them.

Some miners pool resources, sharing their processing power over a network to split the reward equally, according to the amount of work they contributed to the probability of finding a block. A “share” is awarded to members of the mining pool who present a valid partial proof-of-work.

As of February 2018, the Chinese Government halted trading of virtual currency, banned initial coin offerings and shut down mining. Some Chinese miners have since relocated to Canada. One company is operating data centres for mining operations at Canadian oil and gas field sites, due to low gas prices.

In June 2018, Hydro Quebec proposed to the provincial government to allocate 500 MW to crypto companies for mining. According to a February 2018 report from Fortune, Iceland has become a haven for cryptocurrency miners in part because of its cheap electricity. Prices are contained because nearly all of the country’s energy comes from renewable sources, prompting more mining companies to consider opening operations in Iceland. The region’s energy company says bitcoin mining is becoming so popular that the country will likely use more electricity to mine coins than power homes in 2018.

In October 2018 Russia becomes home to one of the largest legal mining operations in the world, located in Siberia.

In March 2018, a town in Upstate New York put an 18-month moratorium on all cryptocurrency mining in an effort to preserve natural resources and the “character and direction” of the city.

GPU demand is high for mining cryptocurrency: GPU price rise

GPU demand is high for mining cryptocurrency: GPU price rise

An increase in cryptocurrency mining increased the demand for graphics cards (GPU) in 2017. Popular favourites of cryptocurrency miners such as Nvidia’s GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 graphics cards, as well as AMD’s RX 570 and RX 580 GPUs, doubled or tripled in price – or were out of stock.

 A GTX 1070 Ti which was released at a price of $450 sold for as much as $1100. Another popular card GTX 1060’s 6 GB model was released at an MSRP of $250, sold for almost $500. RX 570 and RX 580 cards from AMD were out of stock for almost a year. Miners regularly buy up the entire stock of new GPU’s as soon as they are available.

Nvidia has asked retailers to do what they can when it comes to selling GPUs to gamers instead of miners. “Gamers come first for Nvidia,” said Boris Böhles, PR manager for Nvidia in the German region.

Cryptocurrency Wallets

An example paper printable bitcoin wallet consisting of one bitcoin address for receiving and the corresponding private key for spending

A cryptocurrency wallet stores the public and private “keys” or “addresses” which can be used to receive or spend the cryptocurrency. With the private key, it is possible to write in the public ledger, effectively spending the associated cryptocurrency. With the public key, it is possible for others to send currency to the wallet.

Blockchain Anonymity

Bitcoin is pseudonymous rather than anonymous in that the cryptocurrency within a wallet is not tied to people, but rather to one or more specific keys (or “addresses”). 

Thereby, bitcoin owners are not identifiable, but all transactions are publicly available in the blockchain. Still, cryptocurrency exchanges are often required by law to collect the personal information of their users.

Additions such as Zerocoin have been suggested, which would allow for true anonymity.

In recent years, anonymizing technologies like zero-knowledge proofs and ring signatures have been employed in the cryptocurrencies Zcash and Monero, respectively. Cryptocurrency anonymizing implementations such as Cloakcoin, Dash, and PIVX use built-in mixing services, also known as tumblers.

The Fungibility of Cryptocurrency 

Most cryptocurrency tokens are fungible and interchangeable. However, unique non-fungible tokens also exist. Such tokens can serve as assets in games like CryptoKitties.

The Economy of cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are used primarily outside existing banking and governmental institutions and are exchanged over the Internet.

Cryptocurrency Transaction fees

Transaction fees for cryptocurrency depend mainly on the supply of network capacity at the time, versus the demand from the currency holder for a faster transaction.

The currency holder can choose a specific transaction fee, while network entities process transactions in order of highest offered fee to lowest. Cryptocurrency exchanges can simplify the process for currency holders by offering priority alternatives and thereby determine which fee will likely cause the transaction to be processed in the requested time.

For ether, transaction fees differ by computational complexity, bandwidth use, and storage needs, while bitcoin transaction fees differ by transaction size and whether the transaction uses SegWit. In September 2018, the median transaction fee for ether corresponded to $0.017, while for bitcoin it corresponded to $0.55.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Cryptocurrency exchanges allow customers to trade cryptocurrencies for other assets, such as conventional fiat money, or to trade between different digital currencies.

Cryptocurrency Atomic swaps

Atomic swaps are a mechanism where one cryptocurrency can be exchanged directly for another cryptocurrency, without the need for a trusted third party such as an exchange.

Cryptocurrency ATMs

Jordan Kelley, the founder of Robocoin, launched the first bitcoin ATM in the United States on 20 February 2014. The kiosk installed in Austin, Texas is similar to bank ATMs but has scanners to read government-issued identification such as a driver’s license or a passport to confirm users’ identities.

 

Cryptocurrency Initial coin offerings (ICO)

Cryptocurrency Initial coin offerings (ICO)

An initial coin offering (ICO) is a controversial means of raising funds for a new cryptocurrency venture. An ICO may be used by startups with the intention of avoiding regulation.

However, securities regulators in many jurisdictions, including in the U.S., and Canada have indicated that if a coin or token is an “investment contract” (e.g., under the Howey test, i.e., an investment of money with a reasonable expectation of profit based significantly on the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others), it is a security and is subject to securities regulation.

In an ICO campaign, a percentage of the cryptocurrency (usually in the form of “tokens”) is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies, often bitcoin or ether.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, four of the 10 biggest proposed initial coin offerings have used Switzerland as a base, where they are frequently registered as non-profit foundations.

The Swiss regulatory agency FINMA stated that it would take a “balanced approach“ to ICO projects and would allow “legitimate innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape and so launch their projects in a way consistent with national laws protecting investors and the integrity of the financial system.”

In response to numerous requests by industry representatives, a legislative ICO working group began to issue legal guidelines in 2018, which are intended to remove uncertainty from cryptocurrency offerings and to establish sustainable business practices.

Cryptocurrency Legality

Cryptocurrency Legality

The legal status of cryptocurrencies varies substantially from country to country and is still undefined or changing in many of them.

While some countries have explicitly allowed their use and trade, others have banned or restricted it. According to the Library of Congress, an “absolute ban” on trading or using cryptocurrencies applies in eight countries: Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. An “implicit ban” applies in another 15 countries, which include Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Lesotho, Lithuania, Macau, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan. In the United States and Canada, state and provincial securities regulators, coordinated through the North American Securities Administrators Association, are investigating “bitcoin scams” and ICOs in 40 jurisdictions.

Various government agencies, departments, and courts have classified bitcoin differently. China Central Bank banned the handling of bitcoins by financial institutions in China in early 2014.

In Russia, though cryptocurrencies are legal, it is illegal to actually purchase goods with any currency other than the Russian ruble. Regulations and bans that apply to bitcoin probably extend to similar cryptocurrency systems.

Cryptocurrencies are a potential tool to evade economic sanctions for example against Russia, Iran, or Venezuela.

In April 2018, Russian and Iranian economic representatives met to discuss how to bypass the global SWIFT system through decentralized blockchain technology. Russia also secretly supported Venezuela with the creation of the petro (El Petro), a national cryptocurrency initiated by the Maduro government to obtain valuable oil revenues by circumventing US sanctions.

In August 2018, the Bank of Thailand announced its plans to create its own cryptocurrency, the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Cryptocurrency Advertising bans

Cryptocurrency Advertising bans

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency advertisements were temporarily banned on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Bing, Snapchat, LinkedIn and MailChimp. Chinese internet platforms Baidu, Tencent, and Weibo have also prohibited bitcoin advertisements. The Japanese platform Line and the Russian platform Yandex have similar prohibitions.

Cryptocurrency U.S. tax status

On 25 March 2014, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruled that bitcoin will be treated as property for tax purposes. This means bitcoin will be subject to capital gains tax. In a paper published by researchers from Oxford and Warwick, it was shown that bitcoin has some characteristics more like the precious metals market than traditional currencies, hence in agreement with the IRS decision even if based on different reasons.

The legal concern of an unregulated global economy

As the popularity of and demand for online currencies has increased since the inception of bitcoin in 2009, so have concerns that such an unregulated person to person global economy that cryptocurrencies offer may become a threat to society. Concerns abound that altcoins may become tools for anonymous web criminals.

Cryptocurrency networks display a lack of regulation that has been criticized as enabling criminals who seek to evade taxes and launder money.

Transactions that occur through the use and exchange of these altcoins are independent of formal banking systems and therefore can make tax evasion simpler for individuals. Since charting taxable income is based upon what a recipient reports to the revenue service, it becomes extremely difficult to account for transactions made using existing cryptocurrencies, a mode of exchange that is complex and difficult to track.

Systems of anonymity that most cryptocurrencies offer can also serve as a simpler means to launder money. Rather than laundering money through an intricate net of financial actors and offshore bank accounts, laundering money through altcoins can be achieved through anonymous transactions.

Cryptocurrency: Loss, theft, and fraud

In February 2014 the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, declared bankruptcy. The company stated that it had lost nearly $473 million of their customers’ bitcoins likely due to theft. This was equivalent to approximately 750,000 bitcoins, or about 7% of all the bitcoins in existence. The price of a bitcoin fell from a high of about $1,160 in December to under $400 in February.

Two members of the Silk Road Task Force—a multi-agency federal task force that carried out the U.S. investigation of Silk Road—seized bitcoins for their own use in the course of the investigation. DEA agent Carl Mark Force IV, who attempted to extort Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht (“Dread Pirate Roberts”), pleaded guilty to money laundering, obstruction of justice, and extortion under colour of official right, and was sentenced to 6.5 years in federal prison. U.S. Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges pleaded guilty to crimes relating to his diversion of $800,000 worth of bitcoins to his personal account during the investigation, and also separately pleaded guilty to money laundering in connection with another cryptocurrency theft; he was sentenced to nearly eight years in federal prison.

Homero Josh Garza, who founded the cryptocurrency startups GAW Miners and ZenMiner in 2014, acknowledged in a plea agreement that the companies were part of a pyramid scheme, and pleaded guilty to wire fraud in 2015.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission separately brought a civil enforcement action against Garza, who was eventually ordered to pay a judgment of $9.1 million plus $700,000 in interest. The SEC’s complaint stated that Garza, through his companies, had fraudulently sold “investment contracts representing shares in the profits they claimed would be generated” from mining.

On 21 November 2017, the Tether cryptocurrency announced they were hacked, losing $31 million in USDT from their primary wallet. The company has ‘tagged’ the stolen currency, hoping to ‘lock’ them in the hacker’s wallet (making them unspendable). Tether indicates that it is building a new core for its primary wallet in response to the attack in order to prevent the stolen coins from being used.

In May 2018, Bitcoin Gold (and two other cryptocurrencies) were hit by a successful 51% hashing attack by an unknown actor, in which exchanges lost estimated $18m. In June 2018, Korean exchange Coinrail was hacked, losing US$37 million worth of altcoin. The fear surrounding the hack was blamed for a $42 billion cryptocurrency market selloff. On 9 July 2018, the exchange Bancor had $23.5 million in cryptocurrency stolen.

The French regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) lists 15 websites of companies that solicit investment in cryptocurrency without being authorised to do so in France.

Cryptocurrency Darknet markets

Cryptocurrency is also used in controversial settings in the form of online black markets, such as Silk Road. The original Silk Road was shut down in October 2013 and there have been two more versions in use since then.

In the year following the initial shutdown of Silk Road, the number of prominent dark markets increased from four to twelve, while the number of drug listings increased from 18,000 to 32,000.

Darknet markets present challenges in regard to legality. Bitcoins and other forms of cryptocurrency used in dark markets are not clearly or legally classified in almost all parts of the world. In the U.S., bitcoins are labelled as “virtual assets”.

This type of ambiguous classification puts pressure on law enforcement agencies around the world to adapt to the shifting drug trade of dark markets.

top 20 cryptopcurrency

How are cryptocurrencies regarded as?

Cryptocurrencies have been compared to Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes and economic bubbles, such as housing market bubbles. Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management stated in 2017 that digital currencies were “nothing but an unfounded fad (or perhaps even a pyramid scheme), based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people will pay for it”, and compared them to the tulip mania (1637), South Sea Bubble (1720), and dot-com bubble (1999).

While cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are managed through advanced encryption techniques, many governments have taken a cautious approach toward them, fearing their lack of central control and the effects they could have on financial security.

Regulators in several countries have warned against cryptocurrency and some have taken concrete regulatory measures to dissuade users. Additionally, many banks do not offer services for cryptocurrencies and can refuse to offer services to virtual-currency companies.

 Gareth Murphy, a senior central banking officer has stated: “widespread use [of cryptocurrency] would also make it more difficult for statistical agencies to gather data on economic activity, which are used by governments to steer the economy”. He cautioned that virtual currencies pose a new challenge to central banks’ control over the important functions of monetary and exchange rate policy.

While traditional financial products have strong consumer protections in place, there is no intermediary with the power to limit consumer losses if bitcoins are lost or stolen.

 One of the features cryptocurrency lacks in comparison to credit cards, for example, is consumer protection against fraud, such as chargebacks.

An enormous amount of energy goes into proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining, although cryptocurrency proponents claim it is important to compare it to the consumption of the traditional financial system.

There are also purely technical elements to consider. For example, technological advancement in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin results in high up-front costs to miners in the form of specialized hardware and software.

Cryptocurrency transactions are normally irreversible after a number of blocks confirm the transaction. Additionally, cryptocurrency can be permanently lost from local storage due to malware or data loss. This can also happen through the destruction of the physical media, effectively removing lost cryptocurrencies forever from their markets.

The cryptocurrency community refers to pre-mining, hidden launches, ICO or extreme rewards for the altcoin founders as a deceptive practice. It can also be used as an inherent part of a cryptocurrency’s design. Pre-mining means the currency is generated by the currency’s founders prior to being released to the public.

Paul Krugman, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences winner does not like bitcoin, has repeated numerous times that it is a bubble that will not last and links it to Tulip mania. American business magnate Warren Buffett thinks that cryptocurrency will come to a bad ending.

In October 2017, BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink called bitcoin an ‘index of money laundering’. “Bitcoin just shows you how much demand for money laundering there is in the world,” he said.

Source wikipedia.org

What is the blockchain technology?

What is the blockchain technology?

The blockchain technology is the brainchild of a person or group of people known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. But since then, it has evolved into something greater, and the main question every single person is asking is: What is Blockchain?

Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin,  the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology.

“Bitcoin is first and foremost a currency; this is one particular application of a blockchain. However, it is far from the only application. To take a past example of a similar situation, e-mail is one particular use of the internet, and for sure helped popularise it, but there are many others.” – Dr Gavin Wood, Ethereum Co-Founder

What is Blockchain Technology?

Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain.

Read to understand how a basic blockchain works How to Run a Blockchain on a Deserted Island with Pen and Paper

Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” – Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)

Why use the blockchain technology?

Blockchain technology is like the internet in that it has a built-in robustness. By storing blocks of information that are identical across its network, the blockchain cannot:

  • Be controlled by any single entity.
  • Has no single point of failure.

Bitcoin was invented in 2008. Since that time, the Bitcoin blockchain has operated without significant disruption. (To date, any of problems associated with Bitcoin have been due to hacking or mismanagement. In other words, these problems come from bad intention and human error, not flaws in the underlying concepts.)

The internet itself has proven to be durable for almost 30 years. It’s a track record that bodes well for blockchain technology as it continues to be developed.

The blockchain network lives in a state of consensus, one that automatically checks in with itself every ten minutes.  A kind of self-auditing ecosystem of a digital value, the network reconciles every transaction that happens in ten-minute intervals. Each group of these transactions is referred to as a “block”. Two important properties result from this:

  • Transparency data is embedded within the network as a whole, by definition it is public.
  • It cannot be corrupted altering any unit of information on the blockchain would mean using a huge amount of computing power to override the entire network.

In theory, this could be possible. In practice, it’s unlikely to happen. Taking control of the system to capture Bitcoins, for instance, would also have the effect of destroying their value.

“Blockchain solves the problem of manipulation. When I speak about it in the West, people say they trust Google, Facebook, or their banks. But the rest of the world doesn’t trust organizations and corporations that much — I mean Africa, India, the Eastern Europe, or Russia. It’s not about the places where people are really rich. Blockchain’s opportunities are the highest in the countries that haven’t reached that level yet.” – Vitalik Buterin, inventor of Ethereum

Blockchain: A network of nodes

These computers, which are part of the blockchain network, are called nodes. Every time a transaction occurs it has to be approved by the nodes, each of whom checks its validity. Once every node has checked a transaction there is a sort of electronic vote, as some nodes may think the transaction is valid and others think it is a fraud.

Each node has a copy of the digital ledger or Blockchain. Each node checks the validity of each transaction. If a majority of nodes say that a transaction is valid then it is written into a block.

What is a Blockchain block?

A block is a container data structure. In the Bitcoin world, a block contains more than 500 transactions on average. The average size of a block seems to be 1MB. A block is composed of a header and a long list of transactions. Let’s start with the header.

what is blockchain blocks

The header contains metadata about a block. There are three different sets of metadata:

  • The previous block hash. Remember that in a blockchain, every block is inherited from the previous block because we use the previous block’s hash to create the new block’s hash. For every block N, we feed it the hash of the block N-1.
  • Mining competition. For a block to be part of the blockchain, it needs to be given a valid hash. This contains the timestamp, the nonce and the difficulty. Mining is another crucial part of the blockchain technology, but it is outside the scope of this article.
  • The third part is a Merkle tree root. This is a data structure to summarize the transactions in the block. And we will leave it at that for now. More on this later.

This dependence of one pair on the previous pair makes it a chain, thus getting its name — Blockchain (a chain of blocks).

The whole family of blocks is the Blockchain. Every node has a copy of the Blockchain. Once a block reaches a certain number of approved transactions then a new block is formed.

The Blockchain updates itself every ten minutes. It does so automatically. No master or central computer instructs the computers to do this.

As soon as the spreadsheet or ledger or registry is updated, it can no longer be changed. Thus, it’s impossible to forge it. You can only add new entries to it. The registry is updated on all computers on the network at the same time.

Blocks in Blockchain are tied to the next block by hashes. If data in one block is modified, hashes need to be recalculated for all the following blocks and since calculating the hash is a very resource intensive operation, it gets practically impossible to do that and hence the network rules out the invalidated block. The calculation of the hash is called mining. Here are some Crypto Mining Business Model Used Worldwide

Bitcoin is the result of mining. 

All the computers on the blockchain network, keep a copy of the full blockchain, so if one block or one complete chain at a particular computer or multiple computers is modified, the whole network tries to compare it with their own copies of the full chain.

The users’ safety when using the blockchain technology

In the case of blockchain technology, private key cryptography provides a powerful ownership tool that fulfils authentication requirements. Possession of a private key is ownership. It also spares a person from having to share more personal information than they would need to for an exchange, leaving them exposed to hackers.

Authentication is not enough. Authorization – having enough money, broadcasting the correct transaction type, etc – needs a distributed, peer-to-peer network as a starting point. A distributed network reduces the risk of centralized corruption or failure.

This distributed network must also be committed to the transaction network’s recordkeeping and security. Authorizing transactions is a result of the entire network applying the rules upon which it was designed (the blockchain’s protocol).

Authentication and authorization supplied in this way allow for interactions in the digital world without relying on (expensive) trust. Today, entrepreneurs in industries around the world have woken up to the implications of this development – unimagined, new and powerful digital relationships are possible. Blockchain technology is often described as the backbone for a transaction layer for the Internet, the foundation of the Internet of Value.

Not all decentralized systems are Blockchain! The Blockchain technology is a particular type of decentralized system that has a unique property. 

In fact, the idea that cryptographic keys and shared ledgers can incentivize users to secure and formalize digital relationships has imaginations running wild. Everyone from governments to IT firms to banks is seeking to build this transaction layer.

Authentication and authorization, vital to digital transactions, are established as a result of the configuration of blockchain technology.

The idea can be applied to any need for a trustworthy system of record.

It is this difference that makes blockchain technology so useful – It represents an innovation in information registration and distribution that eliminates the need for a trusted party to facilitate digital relationships.

Yet, blockchain technology, for all its merits, is not a new technology.

Rather, it is a combination of proven technologies applied in a new way. It was the particular orchestration of three technologies (the Internet, private key cryptography and a protocol governing incentivization) that made bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s idea so useful.

what is the future of blockchain?

 

Is blockchain technology part of the future?

Most significant companies will run business processes on their private blockchains.

  • Private blockchains: Within the next years, major companies will conduct several business processes on their own private, permissioned corporate blockchains. Employees, customers, vendors, and service providers at each company will be able to securely access that company’s private blockchain via strong cryptographically authenticated transactions.
  • Consortia blockchains: Many companies will have started to build bottom-up consortia blockchains with a small number of counterparties in their ecosystem collaborating on a small number of use cases to share trusted source-of-truth infrastructure, supply or value chains.
  • Business use of public blockchains: Some companies will employ public Ethereum with their use cases that employ the same stack of blockchain components that they have purchased or built for their private Ethereum-based implementations.

 

Important points of the blockchain technology:

  1. A Blockchain is a type of diary or spreadsheet containing information about transactions.
  2. Each transaction generates a hash.
  3. A hash is a string of numbers and letters.
  4. Transactions are entered in the order in which they occurred. The order is very important.
  5. The hash depends not only on the transaction but the previous transaction’s hash.
  6. Even a small change in a transaction creates a completely new hash.
  7. The nodes check to make sure a transaction has not been changed by inspecting the hash.
  8. If a transaction is approved by a majority of the nodes then it is written into a block.
  9. Each block refers to the previous block and together make the Blockchain.
  10. A Blockchain is effective as it is spread over many computers, each of which has a copy of the Blockchain.
  11. These computers are called nodes.
  12. The Blockchain updates itself every 10 minutes.

Sources dev.to hackernoon.com blockgeeks.com coindesk.com cointelegraph.com

What is Ethereum? What is it used for?

What is Ethereum? What is it used for?

Heard of Ethereum, however, you don’t have any clue what is Ethereum? Ethereum is a network, with its own token. Ethereum is an open software platform based on blockchain engineering that permits developers to develop and deploy decentralized software.

What’s Ethereum?

In reality, Bitcoin is but one of many hundred software which uses blockchain technologies now.

“[Blockchain] is to Bitcoin, what the internet is to email. A big electronic system, on top of which you can build applications. Currency is just one.” – Sally Davies, FT Technology Reporter

The vital distinction between Bitcoin and Ethereum, is that Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency ledger, a method to keep tabs on electronic currency trades, whereas the Ethereum system is centred on creating and take care of the code for any programming code of a decentralized program.

As ethereum.org states:

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.

On the Ethereum blockchain, miners operate for Ether, the token that fuels the system. Ether can be utilized to cover transactions services and fees within the Ethereum network. The second sort of token utilized on the Ethereum blockchain is GAS. Gas has to be compensated for each and every smart contract implementation and to be set in the blockchain.

What’s a Smart contract at the Ethereum blockchain?

A smart contract is a personal computer code used to ease the exchange of material, cash, assets and whatever of worth. A smart contract is a self-operating computer application which automatically implemented when certain conditions are satisfied on the blockchain. As these are all programmed, there’s absolutely not any chance of fraud, downtime or some other third party hindrance.

ethereum smart contract

While all blockchains can procedure code, Ethereum differs, allowing its developers to make whatever sort of software they wish.

[Ethereum] blockchain has some extraordinary capabilities. One of them is that you can build smart contracts. It’s kind of what it sounds like. It’s a contract that self-executes, and the contract handles the enforcement, the management, performance, and payment” – Don Tapscott

The Ethereum Virtual Machine

Blockchain programs were restricted before the invention of this Ethereum blockchain. The functions provided by Ethereum are supposed to fix and operate any sort of problem. Ethereum Virtual Machine EVM is its own heart invention.

The EVM enables the introduction of blockchain software, which makes this process a lot simpler than before. Practically, rather than developing a new blockchain for every program, Ethereum permits developers of distinct software to utilize only 1 platform.

What can Ethereum be used for?

Ethereum is utilized to deploy decentralized software (Dapp). These programs can serve a specific function to its own users.

It supplies a peer-to-peer digital money system that permitted online bitcoin payments. Decentralized applications are constructed on a blockchain system, which means that they aren’t controlled by any central entity or person.

decentralized entity what is ethereum

Read the Ethereum white paper

A DAO is completely autonomous, a decentralized company without a single leader.

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO)

The code was made to replace the principles and construction of a conventional business, eliminating the need for individuals and concentrated control. A DAO is possessed by everybody who buys clippings, but in lieu of every token equating to equity stocks and possession, tokens act as gifts that provide individuals voting rights.

“A DAO consists of one or more contracts and could be funded by a group of like-minded individuals. It operates completely transparently and completely independently of any human intervention, including its original creators. A DAO will stay on the network as long as it covers its survival costs and provide a useful service to its customer base” – Stephen Tual, Slock.it Founder, former CCO Ethereum.

Ethereum can be being utilized as a platform to establish different cryptocurrencies. Due to the ERC20 token benchmark characterized by the Ethereum Foundation, other programmers can subject their own variations of the token and increase funds with a first coin supplying (ICO). Inside this fundraising plan, the issuers of this token set a sum they would like to increase, provide it in a crowdsale, and get Ether in exchange.

Billions of dollars are increased by ICOs over the Ethereum stage in the previous two decades, and among the very precious cryptocurrencies in the Earth, EOS, is the ERC20 token.

Ethereum has just made a new standard known as the ERC721 token for monitoring unique digital resources. Among the greatest use instances now for these tokens is electronic collectables, since the infrastructure permits people to demonstrate possession of infrequent digital products. Many games are now being constructed using this technology, like the overnight strike CryptoKitties, a sport at which you are able to collect and strain electronic cats.

What are the benefits of Ethereum decentralized Platform?

Since causal applications run on the blockchain they gain from all its attributes.

  • Immutability – A third party cannot make any changes to data.
  • Corruption & tamper proof – Apps are based on a system formed around the principle of consensus, making censorship hopeless.
  • Secure – Without a central point of collapse and procured using cryptography, software are well shielded against hacking attacks and deceptive actions.
  • Zero downtime – Programs never return and may not be changed off.

What is the drawback of decentralized software?

Despite attracting lots of advantages, decentralized software are not faultless. As clever contract code is composed of people, smart contracts are just as good as the men and women who compose them.

If an error in the code becomes tapped, there isn’t any efficient way where an assault or manipulation could be stopped beside acquiring a community consensus and copying the underlying code. This goes contrary to the basis of the blockchain that’s intended to be immutable.

Additionally, any actions taken by a central celebration raises serious questions regarding the decentralized character of a program.

I would like to come up with a program. How can I get Ethereum?

There are a lot of ways that in which you can plug in the Ethereum system, among the simplest ways would be to use its native Mist browser. Mist provides a user-friendly interface & electronic wallet for consumers to exchange & shop Ether in addition to compose, handle, install and utilize intelligent contracts. Like internet browsers provide accessibility and help individuals navigate the web, Mist provides a gateway to the world of decentralized blockchain software.

There’s also the MetaMask browser expansion, which turns Google Chrome to an Ethereum browser. MetaMask enables anyone to run or create decentralized software from their own browser.

As soon as it’s still early days, Mist, MetaMask and also an assortment of different browsers seem set to create blockchain-based applications available to more individuals than ever before. Even people with no technical background can potentially construct blockchain programs. This is a radical jump for blockchain technologies which could bring decentralized software to the mainstream.

what is ethereum

“If you think the internet has affected your life, Ethereum will have that same pervasive influence on our communications, on our entire information infrastructure. It’s going to impact all aspects of our existence

Building the public Ethereum ecosystem:   As scalability and configurable privacy/confidentiality grow on public Ethereum over the next two years, consumers will use their blockchain identity and access point (uPort) to interact with a variety of interesting early stage offerings.

Including crowdfunding platforms (Weifund), group governance tools (Boardroom), music/film/art content registration and utilization platforms (ujo), wisdom markets (Gnosis), and gaming apps (Virtue Poker)”

Joseph Lubin, CEO of Consensys

The Caribbean Is Planning To Go CBDC

The Caribbean Is Planning To Go CBDC

Bankers in the Caribbean are facing difficult times. Like many other small economies, these 35 countries face dollarization, dependence on foreign trade, and remittances.

De-risking, a common banking practice, is also causing serious problems. It is no surprise that the region is taking more interest than ever in digital currency adoption.

Carmelle Cadet is the founder and CEO at Emtech. She is a native Haitian and has worked with central banks in Ghana and Haiti. Her company is also part of the Digital Dollar Project Technical Sandbox Program, which is exploring aspects of the United States central bank digital currency (CBDC). She believes that establishing a functioning CBDC in the Caribbean is “a difficult task.”

Banks in the Caribbean: The Risks

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) lists countries under special surveillance for money laundering and other illegal activities. The so-called grey list was only four, but it seems that the entire region is affected. It is important to do extra research when large international banks offer services like settlement to small local banks in these countries, a process known as correspondent relationships.

International banks are more expensive to do business with if they have done additional due diligence. Banks will often cut ties with banks located in gray-listed countries to avoid paying a higher cost. This is known as de-risking. Many Caribbean countries lost half of their correspondent relationships. This has severe consequences for their economies as well as their societies.

On September 14th, the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee held a hearing entitled “When Banks Leave: The Effects of De-Risking in the Caribbean and Strategies for Ensuring Financial Access.” The hearings were attended by Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, and Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

According to prime minister Mottley, the regional banking services are accessed with difficulty: “We spend weeks, and businesses that come into our region spend weeks and months, just to open a bank account.”

On Sept. 24, Bahamian Prime Minster Philip Davis raised the topic of de-risking before United Nations General Assembly ten days after the Congressional hearings. He asked, “Why are all the countries being targeted small and vulnerable and former colonies of European states?” 

The Bahamas is not currently on the gray list.

Are CBDCs the solution?

The Atlantic Council CBDC tracker shows that three CBDCs were launched within the Caribbean region: Bahamas’ Sand Dollar; Jamaica’s JamDex; and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank DCash. These CBDCs are located in seven of eight member countries.

The council has listed Haiti’s Digital Gourde under development. Cadet stated that Emtech and HaitiPay presented a proof of concept for a CBDC to the Haitian Embassy in Washington, Washington, on May 5.

Cadet was born in Haiti and immigrated to America in her youth. She was an executive at the IBM Blockchain division when the Bahamas requested proposals for the Sand Dollar. In 2019, as Haiti was going through a roadshow to develop its CBDC, Cadet stated, “If the Bahamas can do that, why not Haiti?” Carmelle Cadet quit IBM to start Emtech.

After the Haiti earthquake, the first financial technology companies were established in Haiti. In 2010, technologies that relied on mobile wallets gained the lead. Jean Baden Dubois, governor of the Haitian Central Bank, stated that mobile phone penetration was 60% in 2008 and is likely to rise in 2021.

Emtech proposed that the CBDC would work online, using mobile phone data. Cadet stated that the rollout of a Haitian CBDC would include device distribution through a partnership with a charity organization. She said that emerging economies are known for using telecommunications to support CBDC functions rather than data networks.

Dubois stated that the Haitian Central Bank saw the CBDC as a way to improve policy efficiency and transparency. This would allow the FATF gray-listed country to meet Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing Of Terrorism standards.

Cadet stated that “dollarization undermines central bank mission of stability.” But by using CBDCs to make cross-border payments, the liquidity and visibility of the reserve would be improved.

But not all CBDC emerging markets are the same 

Cadet stated that there are many ways in which CBDC designs are different for emerging markets from those for developed markets. As they strive to settle in real-time, developed markets can afford to slow down, while emerging markets have a greater need for CBDCs.

She said that emerging markets have less baggage, which allows fintech to thrive. While commercial banking is easier in developed markets, the CBDC has more legacy systems that can be integrated.

It is unclear, however, how successful CBDCs are in the Caribbean. 

The Sand Dollar, which was widely considered to be the first CBDC, launched in 2020. In July 2022, there were 30,000 digital wallets and about 845 merchants who accepted them. It is promoted by the Bahamian government regularly.

DCash was introduced in April 2021 but crashed in January, and it was down for almost two months. A spokesperson for Grenada-based conglomerate Geo. F. Huggins & Co., the first company to accept a DCash payment, said during the outage that the CBDC represented a “minimal” portion of its sales.

Cadet stated that her company was in talks with the Haitian Central Bank “to understand the licensing risk” about a year prior to the proof-of-concept presentation. She has been in contact with the bank ever since. According to her, the company is currently waiting for the central bank to issue a request for proposals for vendors.

The Ethereum Merge Is Complete: From PoW to PoS

The Ethereum Merge Is Complete: From PoW to PoS

The upgrade from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain is now completed. What does this mean for the first programmable blockchain? 

On September 15, 2022, after years of development, Ethereum’s developers completed the Merge – the upgrade from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. The PoS network is expected to power a more energy-efficient blockchain while reducing transaction fees and improving scalability. 

Potentially, the payoff could be huge. Ethereum should now use 99.9% less energy. According to one estimate, Ethereum’s energy consumption dropped from 77.77 TWh on September 14 to 0.01 TWh on September 16, 2022. 

The Ethereum Merge Is Complete: From PoW to PoS

The developers of Ethereum claim that the upgrade will bring the network, which houses many cryptocurrency tokens, to a more scalable and secure state. Ethereum’s TVL (Total Value Locked) is at about $30 billion, considering all its DeFi apps – DEXs, lending protocols, NFT marketplaces, and other apps.

The Ethereum Merge was completed at 7 a.m. UTC. However, the price of Ether (ETH) started to slowly decrease, dropping by 12% on the first day after the Merge. Ether’s price started a downtrend, and many investors are bearish.  

PoS Ethereum = no more ETH miners

In 2008, when Bitcoin was created, it introduced the concept of a decentralized ledger –  a single immutable record that computers all over the globe could access and trust without intermediaries.

In 2015, Ethereum was introduced. It expanded on the core concepts of Bitcoin’s blockchain by adding smart contracts. These smart contracts are bits of code that use the blockchain to record data onto its network and trigger automated transactions when certain pre-defined conditions are met. This innovation was key to decentralized financing (DeFi) and NFTs, which were the major catalysts for the recent crypto boom.

On Ethereum’s proof-of-work (PoW) network, crypto miners were responsible for verifying transactions and adding new blocks to the blockchain in exchange for rewards paid in ETH. These blockchain operations required miners to invest in expensive hardware equipment that was capable of solving the required cryptographic puzzles – hence the intensive energy consumption of the network. 

Ethereum miners were often organized in farms, which were actually huge buildings filled with mining equipment, similar to data centers, which were a huge strain on any energy network.  

PoS Ethereum

The new proof-of-stake system for Ethereum, which is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency, completely eliminates mining.

Miners are now replaced by validators. To become an Ethereum Validator, you must stake 32 ETH on the network. This means that maintaining Ethereum’s network security will not rely anymore on an energy-intensive computer network but the value of ETH stakes. It will require a similar level of electricity as any other computer software. 

Proof-of-stake is a system where the staked amount of ETH – and not the energy expended – determines who has control of the network. This makes attacks more costly and self-destructive, according to proof-of-stake boosters. Attackers can have their staked Ethereum slashed or reduced as punishment for trying to harm the network.

However, some are skeptical about the proof-of-stake security. There are no indications that Bitcoin, for example, will ever abandon the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, as it is still seen as the more secure system. 

Now, Ethereum’s security relies on stakers

The upgrade to a PoS blockchain ends the network’s dependence on energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining.

The idea that Ethereum would eventually switch to proof of stake was clear from the beginning. However, the transition was complicated and risky. Many people doubted that it would ever happen.

The complexity of the update was exacerbated by the fact it was one of the most complex open-source software projects in history. It required coordination among dozens of teams as well as volunteers, researchers, and developers.

Tim Beiko, an Ethereum foundation developer, played a crucial role in the coordination of the update. He believed that more investors would become interested in crypto after this monumental milestone in the crypto universe. 

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s creator, suggested that there’s still a long way ahead for the network: “This is the first step in Ethereum’s big journey towards being a very mature system, but there are still steps left to go.” 

One Year of Bitcoin Payments in El Salvador

One Year of Bitcoin Payments in El Salvador

Despite the 60% price drop from last year, El Salvador is celebrating its first Bitcoin anniversary. The good news is that Bitcoin is still a legal tender in El Salvador – and so the experiment continues. 

On September 7, 2021, El Salvador was the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender. Many have criticized the decision, and others have been waiting to see this experiment fail. But so far, the first country to adopt a cryptocurrency as legal tender has managed to survive. 

El Salvador and their pro-Bitcoin president 

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele is a true advocate for Bitcoin. In September 2021, when he adopted the Bitcoin Law, he promised that this Bitcoin adoption as legal tender would help 70% of the local population without access to banking services.

Some of the main arguments for the pro-Bitcoin law were:

  • Foreign investments. The government believed that Bitcoin would attract new investments from crypto companies. 
  • Create new jobs
  • Reduce reliance on the U.S. Dollar

While the economy is still struggling, some are now questioning the country’s economic future, as Bitcoin has lost over 60% in value since it has become a legal tender in El Salvador. 

But let’s take a look at the stats. 

On September 7, 2021, the price of 1 Bitcoin was around $46,100. 

The first Bitcoin purchase by the Salvadoran government was made on Sept. 6, 2021. They bought 200 BTC for $10.36million. That means that the average price paid for 1 BTC was $51,800. This is a stark contrast to current BTC prices, as Bitcoin fell below $19,000 on September 7, 2022. This represents a 68.78% drop in the last year.

One Year of Bitcoin Payments in El Salvador

Data from Nayib Bukele’s portfolio tracker shows that El Salvador’s government is now at loss with all its 10 Bitcoin purchases since adopting it as legal tender. 

The total purchase by the Salvadoran government adds up to 2,381 BTC. Considering the current price, the crypto holdings are now worth over $60 million less than what they originally paid. 

Alejandro Zelaya, El Salvador’s Minister of Finance, previously stated that the country did not experience any losses due to falling prices. This is because they didn’t sell the coins. Unfavorable market conditions, geopolitical issues, and delays by the Salvadoran government have caused it to repeatedly delay its Bitcoin bond project.

Despite plummeting crypto prices and the continued bear market, industry observers began to refer to El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption in a negative light. Others suggested that it might be a failure because the country appears to have had some positive effect on El Salvador’s financial market and economy, including the cost of transactions.

But El Salvador is still advocating for crypto

The overall struggle has put some strains on individuals, and only a few are willing to trade this volatile asset. But there is a great plus to it. People use Bitcoin transactions to send money from abroad to their families in El Salvador. And that’s because BTC blockchain transactions are cheaper than wire transfer fees offered by traditional banks. 

Another great news is that the country is now a holiday spot for Bitcoin supporters from all over the world. The El Salvadorian Bitcoin Law has been a success in terms of tourism and foreign investment. Tourism in El Salvador has increased by 82% in the first half of 2022. Over one million tourists visited the country in 2022.

It seems that the Bitcoin law acted as a marketing campaign on which many countries spend billions of dollars. 

Even more, it seems that Bukele, the president of El Salvador, is one of the most popular presidents in power, with an approval rating of 85%. However, this could also be due to his tough-on-crime policies. 

Unfortunately, many businesses in El Salvador refused to use Bitcoin, and consumers rarely choose it as a payment method. 

The El Salvador Central Reserve Bank reported that Salvadorans living in other countries had sent more than $52 million in remittances between January and May 2022. A 400% increase in Lightning Network transactions in 2022 was also due to the adoption of Bitcoin by the Salvadoran government-backed Chivo wallet. That’s because citizens from abroad use it to make commission-free crypto transfers.

One Year of Bitcoin Payments in El Salvador

It seems that El Salvador is the ideal place to experiment with Lightning applications, as well as to create a trusted ecosystem of proven and interconnected services.

KyberSwap Frontend Exploit, Hacker Stole $265K

KyberSwap Frontend Exploit, Hacker Stole $265K

A malicious Google Tag Manager (GTM) website code allowed a hacker to steal $265,000 of users’ funds. The hack was targeting whales’ wallets. 

On September 1st, 8:24 PM UTC, KyberSwap discovered a bug in its website code which allowed hackers to steal approximately $265,000.

According to the DeFi platform, two “whale” addresses were apparently affected by the attack. KyberSwap announced its intention to all affected users. Kyber claimed it discovered the exploit that allowed hackers to insert fake approvals, allowing them to transfer funds to an address. The attack was detected on Sept. 1, and the threat was “neutralized” within two hours.

What happened to KyperSwap?

KyberSwap was the victim of a website exploit. On Sept 1st,  8:24 PM UTC, they discovered a suspicious element on their front end. In order to further investigate the issue, they decided to shut down the website while the smart contracts and everything related to the blockchain were not disturbed. The issue was a malicious Google Tag Manager (GTM), which allied the attacker to steal users’ funds. 

It seems that the Google Tag Manager was designed to specifically target whale wallets to grant the attacker access to larger funds. After the code was eliminated, the KyberSwap UI was restored and made available for users. The UI was unavailable for just over two hours. Meanwhile, the malicious code was eliminated from the KyberSwap UI, and the hacker’s wallet was identified. 

The KyberSwap announced to its users about the recent bug on the platform’s Twitter account and urged other DeFi protocols to inspect their frontend code to prevent similar attacks. 

This decentralized exchange allows users to trade currencies across different blockchains. The blockchain contracts of KyberSwap were not affected. They have also identified the affected addresses. 

Kyber tweeted, “We have compiled a complete list of confirmed and suspected attacker addresses used during this period, including tracking interactions with centralized exchanges and OpenSea.”

While this attack ranks amongst the lowest losses suffered by the DeFi projects, these thefts add up to millions of dollars that have disappeared from users’ funds. It also makes it very clear to anyone paying attention that DeFi platforms have penetrable UIs that can be exploited by creative hackers. 

KyberSwap is not safe to use, although users are advised to exert caution when doing so. 

A complete list of the confirmed and suspected attackers’ addresses have been made public on their blog. There’s also a complete list of the addresses of the smart contracts related to using KyberSwap.  Additional info about the incident can be found in the same blog – Notice of Exploit of KyberSwap Frontend

Will KyberSwap retrieve the stolen funds?

Blockchain transactions are irreversible, and KyberSwap might not be able to get the funds back, even if they have traced the wallets. The only way to get the stolen funds back is if the hackers decide to transfer them back. 

For that reason, the Kyber protocol has urged the attacker to send the funds back. Not only that, but they are offering a bug bounty of 15% from the stolen funds. 

Here’s the message for the KyberSwap hacker: 

“Hello attacker. We know the addresses you own have received funds from central exchanges, and we can track you down from there. We also know the addresses you own have OpenSea profiles and we can track you through the NFT communities or directly through OpenSea. As the doors of exchanges close upon you, you will not be able to cash out without revealing yourself. As a bug bounty, we are offering you 15% of the funds if you return it and have a conversation with our team. To confirm, send the funds to the following Polygon address: 0x2dc0ba6ba3485edd61f17ffabf4c7a9626001d50” 

ENS’s eth.link Could Be Lost Because There’s Nobody To Renew Its Web Address

ENS’s eth.link Could Be Lost Because There’s Nobody To Renew Its Web Address

Eth.link will be put up for sale on Sept. 5, according to GoDaddy.

The eth.link page domain is about to expire, and the members of the ENS DAO community are forced to replace it. The Web3 sites use decentralized structures like the ENS (Ethereum Name Service), which are similar to the traditional DNS. 

The only person that has access to renew the domain is the former Ethereum developer, Virgil Griffith, who is currently serving a 63-month sentence. He pleaded guilty to helping North Koreans to use cryptocurrencies to circumvent the sanctions. After giving a talk about cryptocurrencies in Pyongyang in April 2019, Virgil Griffith was arrested in November 2019. 

Although the maximum sentence for the crime was 20 years, Griffith’s plea agreement with federal prosecutors reduced the sentence to a range between 63 and 78 months, which is approximately 5 to 6.5 years. Since Griffith is still serving his sentence, the eth.link expired on July 26, and there’s nobody else who can renew it. As of September 6, 2022, the eth.link domain will be available for registration, and anyone can take it. 

What is eth.link?

The eth.link is the EthDNS that serves the .eth community. 

ENS DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), governs the Ethereum Name Service protocol. This is a Web3 version for Domain Name Service providers. ENS is responsible for many.eth domains that have appeared in the Ethereum community. As a way to purchase their own domains, users have purchased .eth name. ENS names can be linked to your wallet address to make it easier to send and receive cryptocurrency (instead of typing out a complex Ethereum address).

The ENS gives DNS information to the distributed authority without conflating ownership and authoritative serving. Using ENS, domain owners have full control of their DNS records. Smart contracts allow ENS to irrevocably assign subdomains of domains to other entities.

So far, the ENSLink was used as the EthDNS, and anyone who used an ENS was able to use it to see the associated ENS records. 

However, instead of showing all the information about how to use the ethDNS, the eth.link will now show an empty page with an expiration banner on top. 

The Executive Director of ENS stated that Virgil Griffith was working with the Ethereum Foundation when ENS was launched, and he was an early contributor to the ENS protocol. However, it’s important to note that ENS is a permissionless protocol, and it can be used by anyone to build decentralized applications (DApps) on top of it. Virgil Griffith used the eth.link traditional domain to build an application that would resolve the ENS domains. The DAO got used to the DApps, and it was using it to fetch information about all ENS names. However, the ENS DAO is now operating another domain (eth.limo) which is now handling the same requests and resolving the ENS domains. 

What is ENS?

ENS or Ethereum Name Service is a distributed naming system that interacts with the Ethereum blockchain and map human-readable domains to blockchain addresses. 

ENS is used as a store for DNS information. It provides the distributed authority of DNS without conflating ownership and authoritative serving of information. By using ENS, the owner of a “.eth” domain has full control over their own DNS records. Effectively, an ENS is doing for the Ethereum blockchain what the DNS is doing for the WWW. 

In the last couple of years, the ENS has seen significant growth. While the first million domains were sold over the course of five years, it only took about four months to surpass the 2 million milestone. 

Dogechain Offers Smart Contract Capabilities to DOGE Owners

Dogechain Offers Smart Contract Capabilities to DOGE Owners

The U.S. government decided to act upon the Ethereum blockchain, and it’s imposing a ban on Tornado Cash, the cryptocurrency tumbler. 

At the beginning of August 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it had banned Tornado Cash, the famous crypto-mixing service. In a move likely to have wide-reaching implications for crypto, all American “persons” are prohibited from interfacing with the open source protocol.

Circle, the issuing entity behind USDC stablecoin, immediately removed 38 addresses from their transaction history that were connected to Tornado. Anecdotal evidence suggests that bans are being enforced by other platforms and companies.

By instating this bad, the Office of Foreign Assets Control has created made it a crime to use Tornado Cash. It is now more difficult to maintain transactional secrecy for Ethereum, the most widely used blockchain. Platforms and individuals need to assess their exposure and take steps toward avoiding regulatory action. However, it’s still unclear whether or not the regulators will enforce such a ban and how blockchain protocols will comply. 

What is Tornado Cash?

Tornado Cash is an open-source project that allows crypto users to hide their transactions histories from the public. It is claimed by the U.S. government that Tornado Cash was used to launder more than $103.8 million through hacks of Nomad Token Bridge and Horizon Harmony Bridge earlier in the summer and was also used by Lazarus Group, a North Korean hacker group. 

The U.S. Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash for its use by Lazarus Group, a North Korean hacker group. Also, it cited the laundering of more than $103.8 million through hacks of Nomad Token Bridge and Horizon Harmony Bridge earlier in the summer.

Since its 2019 launch, Tornado Cash was used to launder more than $7 billion worth of cryptocurrency.

Soon after the U.S. Treasury announcement, the Discord server for that group vanished, and unknown persons also took down the forum on Tornado Cash’s community website. A member of Tornado Cash’s developer group was also taken into custody in the Netherlands by law enforcement.

Who uses Tornado Cash?

Instead of pursuing identifiable bad actors or targeting hackers, the government has placed a ban on the protocol. Elliptic, an analytics firm, claimed it had found $1.5 billion worth of illicit funds through ransomware fraud, hacks, and hacks.

Chainalysis, the blockchain analysis company, released a report that claimed that the use of crypto-mixers hit an all-time high monthly level in April 2022. This was after $51.8 million had been laundered through different platforms.

Tornado is also an important component of the Ethereum money stack. While this wasn’t the only method to anonymize transactions on blockchain, or the only coin tumbler used, it was the most widely used tool. The vast majority of applications supporting ETH will have exposure to the mixing service. Even Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has admitted to having used Tornado Cash before donating money to Ukraine in the spring of 2022.

But a government can’t really ban a blockchain protocol

But as with any smart contract deployed on a blockchain, it can’t be shut down by any authority. Although the use of the Tornado Cash smart contract has been deemed a criminal action, the ruling can’t actually stop anyone from using it or even re-deploying its open-source code on a different blockchain. 

Surely, there have been some reactions to the ban. Some Tornado Cash users have been sending small amounts of crypto to celebrities’ crypto owners. The issue is that anyone who knows your public wallet address (which is not hard to find) can send you transactions, even a transaction from Tornado Cash, and there’s no way to refuse a transaction. In this case, there can be innocent people that might have wallets that can be tied to the banned protocol – but are they really to be blamed?

While some platforms such as Circle and MakerDAO are trying to follow the rules, it is clear that blockchain financial apps can’t exist by following the archaic regulations of governments. 

Tornado Cash Becomes the First Smart Contract Banned by the U.S. Government

Tornado Cash Becomes the First Smart Contract Banned by the U.S. Government

The U.S. government decided to act upon the Ethereum blockchain, and it’s imposing a ban on Tornado Cash, the cryptocurrency tumbler. 

At the beginning of August 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it had banned Tornado Cash, the famous crypto-mixing service. In a move likely to have wide-reaching implications for crypto, all American “persons” are prohibited from interfacing with the open source protocol.

Circle, the issuing entity behind USDC stablecoin, immediately removed 38 addresses from their transaction history that were connected to Tornado. Anecdotal evidence suggests that bans are being enforced by other platforms and companies.

By instating this bad, the Office of Foreign Assets Control has created made it a crime to use Tornado Cash. It is now more difficult to maintain transactional secrecy for Ethereum, the most widely used blockchain. Platforms and individuals need to assess their exposure and take steps toward avoiding regulatory action. However, it’s still unclear whether or not the regulators will enforce such a ban and how blockchain protocols will comply.

What is Tornado Cash?

Tornado Cash is an open-source project that allows crypto users to hide their transactions histories from the public. It is claimed by the U.S. government that Tornado Cash was used to launder more than $103.8 million through hacks of Nomad Token Bridge and Horizon Harmony Bridge earlier in the summer and was also used by Lazarus Group, a North Korean hacker group.

The U.S. Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash for its use by Lazarus Group, a North Korean hacker group. Also, it cited the laundering of more than $103.8 million through hacks of Nomad Token Bridge and Horizon Harmony Bridge earlier in the summer.

Since its 2019 launch, Tornado Cash was used to launder more than $7 billion worth of cryptocurrency.

Soon after the U.S. Treasury announcement, the Discord server for that group vanished, and unknown persons also took down the forum on Tornado Cash’s community website. A member of Tornado Cash’s developer group was also taken into custody in the Netherlands by law enforcement.



Who uses Tornado Cash?

Instead of pursuing identifiable bad actors or targeting hackers, the government has placed a ban on the protocol. Elliptic, an analytics firm, claimed it had found $1.5 billion worth of illicit funds through ransomware fraud, hacks, and hacks.

Chainalysis, the blockchain analysis company, released a report that claimed that the use of crypto-mixers hit an all-time high monthly level in April 2022. This was after $51.8 million had been laundered through different platforms.

Tornado is also an important component of the Ethereum money stack. While this wasn’t the only method to anonymize transactions on blockchain, or the only coin tumbler used, it was the most widely used tool. The vast majority of applications supporting ETH will have exposure to the mixing service. Even Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has admitted to having used Tornado Cash before donating money to Ukraine in the spring of 2022.

But a government can’t really ban a blockchain protocol

But as with any smart contract deployed on a blockchain, it can’t be shut down by any authority. Although the use of the Tornado Cash smart contract has been deemed a criminal action, the ruling can’t actually stop anyone from using it or even re-deploying its open-source code on a different blockchain.

Surely, there have been some reactions to the ban. Some Tornado Cash users have been sending small amounts of crypto to celebrities’ crypto owners. The issue is that anyone who knows your public wallet address (which is not hard to find) can send you transactions, even a transaction from Tornado Cash, and there’s no way to refuse a transaction. In this case, there can be innocent people that might have wallets that can be tied to the banned protocol – but are they really to be blamed?

While some platforms such as Circle and MakerDAO are trying to follow the rules, it is clear that blockchain financial apps can’t exist by following the archaic regulations of governments. 

What Will Happen to Miners After the Ethereum Merge Is Complete

What Will Happen to Miners After the Ethereum Merge Is Complete

Ethereum miners will need to switch course as soon as September, when the network will no longer require miners to validate transactions and create new blocks. They might consider mining other cryptocurrencies or even give up completely. 

After The Merge, the Ethereum miners will no longer be part of the network participants, and they will have to shift their use of the network. The roles of Ethereum miners will now be obsolete, and they are forced to find alternative income streams. 

The sudden change took, in fact, years of research and development, but after The Merge, Ethereum will finally be described as a safer, energy-efficient, and scalable blockchain network. 

After the Ethereum network moved to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism (PoS), it is now that Ethereum miners face a sudden change. Their role effectively ends, and they are forced to look for alternative income streams.

This historical moment for the Ethereum community, known as the “The Merge,” is expected to take place on September 15th, 2022, but might take place even sooner. 

What’s the Ethereum Merge?

The Ethereum Merge is the switch from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. In plain English, a PoS blockchain doesn’t require miners (aka energy-intensive computers) to validate transactions and create new blocks but replies on stakers and validators.  

This will have many benefits, including the elimination of energy-intensive mining. To secure the network, the network will instead use staking.

Over the years, as more applications have been deployed on Ethereum, users have been hit with high transaction fees, low scalability, and even network congestion. But all of these are expected to change in the near future. 

When complete, the Merge will eliminate Ethereum’s high gas fees, improve scalability and security, and provide greater sustainability.

What will happen to Ethereum miners?

Since its creation, Ethereum has relied on GPU (graphics processing unit) rigs to perform the process of Ethereum mining. They are more flexible than the ones used for bitcoin mining, and can be reconfigured to mine other coins more easily. GPUs are used by gamers but can also be used to mine other cryptos such as Ergo, Ravencoin, and Ethereum Classic.

But as Ethereum is being upgraded, all these miners will have to either start mining other coins or give up crypto mining entirely. It’s worth noting that a profitable mining rig costs more than $1,000, and the operation’s success relies on the cost of electricity, which has also gone up dramatically since the beginning of 2022. 

In the past, Ethereum mining was very popular due to its profitability. However, miners will have to switch course and employ their GPUs on other blockchains. While a shift to mining other cryptocurrencies could result in a decrease in profits in the short term, it still represents income for owners of these expensive mining rigs. 

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the switch could be Ethereum Classic (ETC), as some expect many of the Ethereum miners to turn to Ethereum Classic. It’s worth noting that the ETC hashrate has started to rise since July. Some investors might even view Ethereum Classic as a hedge against potential disruptions in Ethereum’s blockchain during the transition from PoW-to-PoS. 

Can Ethereum miners switch to Bitcoin mining? Not really, because the two networks use different mining algorithms. Bitcoin requires ASIC-compatible hardware, which has a higher performance, but it’s also more energy intensive. ETH, on the other hand,  uses a mining algorithm called “Ethash,” which was designed to be ASIC-resistant.

After Ethereum moves to PoS, the most likely outcome is that miners will distribute their rigs among different networks that support GPU mining.

The Renowned Jewelry Brand Tiffany and Co. launched NFT Pendants

The Renowned Jewelry Brand Tiffany and Co. launched NFT Pendants

The world-famous jewelry brand launched its first NFT collection, consisting of diamond-encrusted pendants. These Tiffany NFTs are available for CryptoPunk NFT owners, and the collection is limited to 250 NFTs. 

The necklaces will be available for purchase by CryptoPunk holders in the form of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). These tokens can be used to redeem physical pendants. If the entire collection is sold, Tiffany will make around $12 million, but they can earn potentially more from the resale royalties.

Real product brands enter the NFT space

According to DappRadar data, $25 billion was spent on NFT trading volume in 2021. Comparatively, NFT trading organic volumes volume has increased to $3.7 billion in May 2022, surpassing the amount of the previous year.

Although many companies have entered the space, there are some brand names that attract more attention than others. One such brand is the world-renowned jewelry brand Tiffany and Co. 

In a recent Twitter announcement, Tiffany announced that they would be launching the “NFTiff”, an exclusive digital asst collection for CryptoPunks owners. These special NFTs are said to have been handcrafted by Tiffany’s artisans.

According to Tiffany & Co., the collection of 250 digital passes will be redeemable only by CryptoPunks holders “or the creation of a custom designed pendant and an NFT digital artwork that resembles the final jewelry design.”

Each of these special pendants and their corresponding NFTs will be specifically created to suit the Cryptopunk NFT of the owner. 

What are the conditions of these Tiffany NFTiff? 

  •  Only 250 NFTiffs passes are available for purchase (launching on August 5th, 2022)
  • Each customer may purchase a max of 3 NFTiffs.
  • The price of an NFTiff is 30 ETH.

Related: Best ways to earn free cryptocurrency and free NFTs

How are the Tiffany NFTs related to the CryptoPunks NFTs?

Tiffany’s designers will use each custom CryptoPunk to design a custom pendant for their owner, using their 87 attributes and 159 colors to select the gemstone and enamel color for the pendants. 

Of course, the final product will be unique and inspired by a very specific CryptoPunk NFT, but Tiffany also stated that they would use at least 30 gemstones and/or diamonds for their designs, such as Sapphires, Amethyst, and Spinel. The NFTiff owners will receive the first rendering of their pendants’ designs by October 2022, and they will not be able to participate in the designing process. 

What is the blockchain for the Tiffany NFTs? 

Tiffany is launching its NFTiffs on the Chain protocol, which is making all the necessary technical preparations. Deepak Thapliyal, Chain’s CEO, posted a teaser on Twitter for this upcoming collaboration with Tiffany a week before the grand announcement. 

Other big brands that have launched NFTs 

Digital ownership is attracting more investors than ever, and the metaverse seems like a place where most people want to be. That’s why we can see an increasing number of big-name brands launching their own NFTs. 

Some of these are:

  • Gucci (started a partnership with NFT marketplace SuperRare) 
  • Coca-Cola (they are minting and selling NFTs for charity)
  • Nike (the company bought RTFKT Studios, a Web3 company that creates one-of-a-kind sneakers and digital artifacts)
  • Lamborghini (they sold five beautifully designed images of a Lamborghini Ultimae launching into space above the Earth) 
  • Adidas and Prada launched a joined NFT project  (“Into the Metaverse” collection, which grans owners of Bored Ape Yach Club (BAYC) NFTs physical wearables and other digital perks)

However, not all NFT and crypto enthusiasts are pleased by all these news and big companies joining the space. Some argue that these NFTs are only meant for individuals who “love to flex.” 

Vitalik Buterin at EthCC Paris 2022: The Upcoming ‘Merge’ and ‘Surge’ 

Vitalik Buterin at EthCC Paris 2022: The Upcoming ‘Merge’ and ‘Surge’ 

Ethereum’s co-founder presented the future of Ethereum at the EthCC Paris 2022 conference. 

In July 2022, took place the 5th Paris Community Conference, during which Vitalk Buterin presented the long-term road map for Ethereum

At the developer-focused conference, Buterin spoke about the “Merge,” in which Ethereum will undergo a complete transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS). 

What’s next to come for Ethereum?

Buterin spoke about the Merge’s short-term and long-term outcomes. He stated that the network’s roadmap also includes the “Surge”, which will increase the scalability of rollups through sharding.

According to Buterin’s statements, Ethereum would be much more scalable after the completion of the road map. When everything is complete, Ethereum will be capable of processing 100,000 transactions per minute.

Ethereum’s overall network development will be at 55% completion once the Merge is completed. That means that there is still much work ahead for developers.

Buterin stated that the network’s deep changes would include an update to its monetary policies and token issuance, as well as its security model, transaction inclusion, and its security model.

It is hard to pursue these decentralized goals due to the network’s complexity and rapid changes. He said that everyone had been anticipating these network upgrades for a while.

When Vitalik asked the crowd, “Who wants to cancel proof-of-stake?” – he did not raise a hand.

He joked, “Even though you want to, it’s not going to be canceled.”

Ether has been trading at around $1,500 and up 34% in the last month.

Buterin spoke at last year’s EthCC and stated that Ethereum needed to go beyond decentralized finance (DeFi).

The conference was busiest on Thursday (July 21st), according to many conference attendees. Many said that Buterin’s talk would make Thursday the most memorable day.

What is the “Merge” for Ethereum?

It’s a known fact that the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains use the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm to secure their networks. This allows miners to compete to secure it by solving complicated computational puzzles. However, it has been criticized for its high energy consumption.

But there’s an alternative to that, and it’s called proof-of-stake (PoS). This is a version of the protocol that has been adopted by chains such as Solana or Tezos, and it replaces miners with validators. In the case of Ethereum, the PoS Eth will have validators stake 32 ETH on the Ethereum network, and each one can be randomly selected to add blocks to the chain.

In both of these mechanisms, PoW and PoS, adding blocks to a chain usually grant rewards to the block issuer.

The Ethereum roadmap has been hinting on this upgrade from PoW since 2015, but engineering complexities have caused this shift (Ethereum 2.0) to drag out for several years.

Although the Merge will not reduce Ethereum’s high fees or improve the transaction speeds, it will have an immediate impact on Ethereum’s energy consumption.

As of July 2022, Ethereum’s Sepolia testnet switched to PoS. Goerli will be the third and final public testnet to go through the Merge process. It will take place on Aug. 11. The next Ethereum Foundation All-Core Developers conference will determine the parameters that will trigger the test. These testnet mergers were used as a kind of dress rehearsal for the real thing, and each moved developers one step closer to Ethereum’s mainnet PoS update.

When is the Ethereum merge going to happen?

Tim Beiko, from the Ethereum Foundation, predicted that the Merge could take place around September 19th 2022.

The Merge will see Ethereum move from an energy-intensive proof of work (POW), a consensus mechanism that was brought forward by Bitcoin, to a more efficient proof-of-stake system (PoS). Some PoS proponents believe that switching to other mechanisms will bring security and scaling benefits, in addition to cutting down the network’s energy consumption by 99.95%.

Beiko, an Ethereum protocol engineer, gave his September estimate during a PoS implementers call. Beiko provided a timeline and a date for the Merge, as well as a possible date.

Although he did not offer a hard date for the Merge, but Beiko repeatedly pointed out – on Discord and Twitter – that it is very likely that things will change.