Tag Archives: Cryptocurrency

Oil Giant BP to Test Blockchain Technology With BTL Group

Oil Giant BP to Test Blockchain Technology With BTL Group

Oil giant BP, the world’s eighth-largest energy company by revenue

($222.8 billion), has officially begun collaborating with Canadian blockchain startup BTL Group. After a few months of successful testing, BP, Italian oil and gas company Eni, and major German energy company Wien Energie all plan to enter a six-month production phase with BTL’s Interbit platform built on top of the blockchain. The three companies will utilize the BTL blockchain platform to trade gas and oil in a transparent and secure ledger.

Before the three companies move on to commercialize BTL’s blockchain technology Interbit, blockchain developers and the group of leading energy companies aim to simulate real-life trades at a commercial rate. Trades of billions of dollars worth of gas and oil will be processed on the Interbit blockchain platform in a simulation to evaluate if the blockchain technology is capable of settling millions of data points in short periods of time with enhanced and optimal security measures. Guy Halford-Thompson, the co-founder and CEO of BTL Group, who introduced one of the first bitcoin ATMs to the UK in 2013,


“Having demonstrated the reductions in risk and cost savings that are achievable we now have an opportunity to deliver the first successful blockchain based application to the energy market.”

The BTL Group is the first public blockchain company located in Canada and the UK that is focusing on the development and implementation of blockchain technology targeted towards the finance, energy and gaming sectors. Because a large number of blockchain companies and consortia are already working with leading financial institutions and banks in utilizing the blockchain to reduce transaction costs and overall expenses, developers of BTL are specifically targeting semi-financial markets.

According to Halford-Thompson, the three oil giants are also considering implementing the blockchain in other areas and operations. Relying on the decentralized and transparent nature of blockchain technology, BTL and the group of energy companies are analyzing the blockchain’s potential in reducing costs of alternative operations. For instance, on top of the conventional structure of the blockchain, various technologies such as smart contracts can be utilized to carry out or conduct agreements autonomously. With the utilization of smart contracts as demonstrated by many public blockchain projects such as Ethereum, companies like BP can automate operations that require a high level of manual work. “We are also very excited that the pilot has enabled participating companies to understand the benefits of Interbit better and identify other areas in their organizations where they can apply it,” said Halford-Thompson.

In an interview, EY partner Andrew Woosey also emphasized the importance of the pilot test of BTL’s Interbit blockchain platform led by BP. Over the past two years, the “Big Four” accounting firms including EY, PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG have been heavily involved in the blockchain sector by helping large conglomerates such as BP understand the intricacies of blockchain technology and implement it efficiently. Woosey also stated that that the group of energy companies is focusing on streamlining back office processes autonomously, ultimately to reduce risk and build resilience toward cyber threats.

“Use of such technology can help by streamlining back office processes, leading to reduced risk, better protection against cyber threats and ultimately significant cost savings. Further engineering and organizational effort are needed to achieve these outcomes,” said Woosey. Currently, a large number of energy companies are looking into the blockchain to optimize operations and reduce costs. In an interview, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin revealed that the $92 billion mining, metals, and petroleum corporation BHP Billiton is participating in the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance to develop decentralized applications based on Ethereum.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept Contributor
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IOTA Token has Record Breaking Launch on Bitfinex, Hits $1.5 Billion Market Cap

IOTA Token has Record Breaking Launch on Bitfinex, Hits $1.5 Billion Market Cap


Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex officially launched the IOTA token

At 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time, cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex officially launched the IOTA token, IOT. Tradable in IOT/USD and IOT/BTC pairs, tokens for use with the IOTA network are now publicly accessible through the Bitfinex website. This launch represents a milestone for IOTA as they expand their user base. “Exchange listing is something that has become a hallmark for all crypto projects,” says IOTA founder David Sønstebø in conversation with CCN, “it represents that the technology is ready for the open market and the wider audience.” And looking at the numbers from the launch, it seems the open market was ready for IOTA.

Consumer Anticipation

After Bitfinex’s announcement on June 4, 2017, regarding the listing of IOT, user demand became readily apparent. The staff at Bitfinex found themselves ‘inundated with requests for details,” explained Bitfinex representative Brandon Carps, “We’ve yet to see this many requests for details on a token listing.” These inquiries lead to an unprecedented amount of support tickets created for Bitfinex.

By the Numbers

After going live on Bitfinex, the transaction volume quickly became so massive that the Bitfinex servers briefly went down. “Moments after the IOTA launch,” Brandon shared,  “we were all hands on deck to load balance and ensure IOTA trading was back online and operating as expected.” What kind of volume? Within the first three hours of trading, 4.44 Million Mega IOTA were traded with the IOT/USD pair, an amount that increased by the second. The IOT/BTC trades showed even greater activity, showing 11.67 Million Mega IOTA traded in

The same period.

The first two hours of IOTA trading was more than double the USD volume and ten times greater than the BTC volume of the last token we released, Ripple, over the course of its full trading day.

All of which sees IOT slotting itself straight into the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap. At the time of publishing, the total value of IOT tokens stands above $1.5 billion, peaking beyond the likes of Dash and Monero.

Bitfinex Lists IOT

The team at Bitfinex have been following IOTA’s development closely for the past year. Thanks to the innovative nature of their platform, and the “amount of effort the founders have put into IOTA in just a year’s time relative to the polished product we see today is atypical for something in such an early period of its life,” the IOTA token was an obvious candidate for inclusion on Bitfinex. The relationship is unique for Bitfinex as well, as this is the first token Bitfinex is hosting not listed on any other exchange. In discussing the success of IOT on Bitfinex, David said “I want to congratulate every IOTA member on this success. Now we welcome thousands upon thousands of new people who learn about and get interested in IOTA through this event with open arms. However, we are still considering this the very early days, and are squarely focused on the long term execution and vision of the IOTA project.”

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept Contributor
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Cryptocoin and Blockchain Article Roundup – Feb 21, 2017

Cryptocoin and Blockchain Article Roundup – Feb 21, 2017

Here's an article that ties one idea, the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) in with the more recently popular topic of Blockchain. It really does make sense. The idea of the autonomous business entity won't die. Read some of the latest discussion about it in this article:

Rebranding The DAO: The Contentious Blockchain Concept is Back

Monero, the fifth largest digital currency by market capitalization, still struggles to build a 'white hat' reputation simply because of its advanced privacy feature which hi-brows think attracts 'the wrong crowd'. Read the latest discussion on the issue here:

Drugs, Code and ICOs: Monero's Long Road to Blockchain Respect

Oh goody-goody. California lawmakers want to protect charity raffles from the evils of bitcoin. It's a good thing they're not wasting time repairing dams. Read about it here:

California Lawmakers Consider Barring Bitcoin from Charity Raffles

New algorithm promises to make slow the trend toward centralization of Z-cash miners, thus democratizing the process. Read about it here:

How the Equihash Algorithm Could Democratize Zcash Mining

British Parliamentarians will discuss (or is it "debate"?) key issues about the status of bitcoin, digital currency, and the blockchain as it relates to money creation in English society. The UK government generally is pro-bitcoin but the banking establishment has been rather reticent to embrace it. Read about it here:

Money creation may well be the biggest economic issue of our times.

Could blockchain-related opportunities in one industry result in a talent and brain-drain from one industry to another? Probably not to any significant degree because the technology is creating opportunity almost everywhere. But it is creating some notable movement of some high achievers. Read one such example here:

Blockchain Capital Lures Bitcoin Analyst Away from Wall Street Firm

Well Buckaroos…that's our Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Article 6 Pack for today. Thanks for dropping by. You're also invited to join us over on Markethive where you'll find a vibrant digital community on online entrepreneurs. Our community if free to join and if you're promoting a business, brand, service, or cause online…Markethive has a great blogging system that will give you massive 'Reach'.

Also, if you need a freelance copywriter to help you with your business, contact me…Art Williams. Email here.






Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News Roundup, Feb-17-17

Cryptocurrency & Blockchain News Roundup – Feb. 17, 2017


It's nice to get away from the promotional aspects of the cryptocurrency movement, step back, and take an objective looks. Here are three such views.
The Truth About Bitcoin----------------------------------------------------
Stefan Molyneux looks at the rise of Bitcoin and discusses its history, mining, fees, altcoins, regulatory hypocrisy, worldwide awareness, comparisons to gold, anonymous transactions,…
Bitcoin: What You're Not Being Told----------------------------------------------------
Bitcoin has a fatal design flaw that almost no one is talking about. The current bubble is just the tip of the iceberg. Script and sources:…
The Hidden Dangers of Bitcoin-------------------------------------------------
Bitcoin is a revolutionary decentralized architecture which can be used for an untold number of incredibly valuable services – including the transfer of financial value. As Bitcoin adoption…
The vast majority of people still know little or nothing about cryptocurrency (which includes bitcoin) but those that do know something about it often hear that it's possible to make money by trading it in the same manner as people who trace any other commodity… as if pulling money out of the sky. Here are three videos that explain how it is possible to make money trading cryptocurrency but it's also possible to lose your all your money.  
How I Started Trading Bitcoin & Altcoins - Was it Worth it?

How I Started Trading Bitcoin & Altcoins – Was it Worth it?


Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by. I go into how began trading bitcoin & some of the opportunities I missed prior to the bitcoin bubble. Hope you enjoy – and as always – thanks for watching!
How to trade Bitcoin & Altcoins - Beginner Level

How to trade Bitcoin & Altcoins – Beginner Level


Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by. In this video I go directly into how to make altcoin/bitcoin trades on Bittrex exchange. This video is designed for beginners only. I'm always encouraging…
Can You Make A Minimum Wage Trading Bitcoin?---------------------------------------------------
LAST WEEKS VIDEO: ► https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJcG_0vHC1Y Making a minimum wage trading bitcoin and altcoins isnt simple. SUBSCRIBE TO BTCKYLE (It's Free guys)…
It's almost impossible to deal in cryptocurrency without using an 'exchange'. The process is not extremely difficult but there are some 'hoops' to jump through. Here's a video that lays out the basic process. 
How to Use a Cryptocurrency Exchange
How can you trade one cryptocurrency — like Bitcoin — for any other? It's not actually hard, and it's even a little (or a lot!) of fun. Whether you're looking to dabble, or you're…
Some people will find it encouraging that the UN is saying nice things about bitcoin.---------------------------------------------------------------The UN needs Blockchain to achieve its goals
I recently traveled to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, and was surprised to find blockchain on the minds of many of the leaders convened there. Even those who were not…
The dust has not settled on the ways that cryptocurrency will be related by the government...but it surely will.-------------------------------------------------------------The devil is in the detail: SEC regulation of blockchain...
Blockchain technology has captured the imagination of the financial services industry. Unfortunately, the adoption of the technology is impaired by a lack of clarity from regulators,…
It's possible that cryptocurrency may, directly or indirectly, bring more democracy to China. At the same time, the Indian government has not been acting very hospitable toward bitcoin but nevertheless at lest this one venture capitalist is putting a lot of his money into developing the potentially huge Indian cryptocurrency market.
Chinese Bitcoin Exchange BTCC Stops Withdrawals for a Month -...---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Major Chinese exchange BTCChina has announced the suspension of bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals. In effect, all of China's 'big 3' bitcoin exchanges have now enforced a month-long…
Bitcoin VC Investor Tim Draper Re-Enters Indian Market...

Bitcoin VC Investor Tim Draper Re-Enters Indian Market…


Prominent venture capitalist and prolific tech and bitcoin industry investor Tim Draper is making a return to the Indian market for early stage investing in startups in one of the world's…
Aeady, bitcoin and cryptocurrency has a lot of people thinking. It will, undoubtedly, continue to evolve it is already making a lot of people some money (as an investment) and appears to have some social benefits.
Investment Analyst Pegs Bitcoin Price to Hit $3,678 If SEC...----------------------------------------------------
Emerita Capital, a provider of quantitative analysis for investment assets, believes bitcoin price could hit $3,678 if the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approves the Winklevoss…
How Blockchain Will Evolve In 2017---------------------------------------------------
In the past, blockchain — which is known as a distributed ledger technology for both financial and non-financial transactions — seemed like a mysterious concept that only technologists…
How the blockchain is helping stop the spread of conflict...---------------------------------------------------
Subscribe to WIRED A diamond's past is rarely crystal clear. Knowing a stone's origin can stop fencing and insurance frauds and winnow out synthetic diamonds or those sourced in war…
Asia is where the most activity with bitcoin and cryptocurrency is right now...especially in its mobile aspects.---------------------------------------------------------------Op-Ed: Why Blockchain and Asia are a perfect match
Sending money around the world is slow, expensive and sometimes even unreliable. I have lived out of India, my home country, for more than three decades. Like many expatriates, I…
If bitcoin is to serve the consumer, it will be in popular bitcoin and cryptocurrency apps like these popular ones.--------------------------------------------------------------
If you are a bitcoin enthusiast, there are a few bitcoin apps you need to know about, as they might come in handy. Whether you want to earn a few free satoshis playing games in your free…
The confusion, and debate, continues on the future of altcoins.----------------------------------------------Why altcoins are dying and how to make one in under an hour
When we refer to altcoins we mean alternative cryptocurrencies. Most of these altcoins (99%), utilize the blockchain and are a mere fork of the bitcoin code in one form or another. You do…
Yes, speculators love doing it. Especially when famous entrepreneurs are 'in the play'.----------------------------------------------Bitcoin Price Jumps 6% as Bitcoin ETF Decision Nears
The Bitcoin Exchange Trading Fund application filed by the Winkelvoss twins is nearing its decision date next month on March 11th. As traders are eagerly awaiting the SEC's decision on…
There actually is no real Santa Claus. That's OK, but there are misconceptions about bitcoin too.---------------------------------------------5 Common Misconceptions About Bitcoin
Satoshi Nakamoto's creation is often seen as something it is not, as there are a lot of misconceptions that simply don't want to go away. Sometimes, because some want to smear bitcoin,…
Researchers Claim New System Makes Bitcoin Transactions Harder...----------------------------------------------------
Researchers from North Carolina State University, Boston University, and George Mason University in the U.S. have created a new system that makes it harder to detect bitcoin transactions….
Canada's SecureKey to Build a Blockchain Digital Identity...---------------------------------------------------
Leading identity and authentication provider SecureKey and a Canadian non-profit coalition have been granted funding from a research center within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security…
Germany's Largest Financial Platform Lists Bitcoin as Major...---------------------------------------------------
Finanzen.net, Germany's most popular and largest financial news network and platform, is listing bitcoin amongst other major reserve currencies such as US Dollar, Japanese Yen and Chinese…
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Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News Roundup – Feb.02, 2017


Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News Roundup Feb. 02, 2017

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. Billionaire investor sold off investments in , and Mr. Soros, who…
The time will come when you won't be able to buy a cup of coffee without being traced, warns investment guru Jim Rogers. To control people, governments will increasingly seek to hunt down…
An Arizona legislator wants to amend state law to account for blockchain signatures and smart contracts, public records show. HB 2417, introduced on 6th February, would make a signature…
"When I looked at the dating industry, I saw it was expensive to reach a critical mass of users and open a niche dating site," says Yonatan Ben Shimon in a Skype call from Tel Aviv….
Microsoft (Thailand) has said that 2017 will see five digital technology trends – that includes blockchain tech – driving the country's digital transformation, pushing organization's…
Merely weeks after cautioning residents that bitcoin companies weren't authorized or licensed to operate in the country, India's central bank is reportedly not including bitcoin under the…
Banks in the United Kingdom are turning a deaf ear to bitcoin exchanges, despite the government's pro-blockchain position, according to financial writer Roger Aitken, writing in Forbes….
Thailand's largest bank by revenue, Kasikornbank Pcl, has unveiled that it is planning to introduce a new FinTech platform by the end of the year as it attempts to prevent fee income from…
After nearly two years of experimenting with blockchain, the National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia's central securities depository, believes it now knows what incumbents must do to…
Thanks very much for reading our news roundup. If you're a writer and would like a great platform for getting your content (attributed properly of course!) in front of lots of readers, please join us in Markethive.
Art Williams
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Cryptocurrency Reputation Alert

Cryptocurrency Reputation Alert

I realize that a tool is only as good or bad as the saint or criminal who uses it but the following article makes a good point: When too many of the wrong kind of characters start using something, it sooner than later leads to guilt by association.

The following article points out the dangers to the reputation of bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, from the fact that there are so many gambling sites that use it. I don't gamble but I'm not anti-gambling. Nevertheless, for such a young and (in some ways) vulnerable technology, I think everybody would be wise.

Undoubtedly there are/will be some trickle-down advantages from the exponentially accelerating amount of bitcoin that is flowing into online gambling.

But when you combine the potentially shady and societally disruptive side of cryptocurrency gambling with the equally scary explosion of shady crypto-oriented MLMs popping up all over the place, it's not good for anybody…. except the crooks.

Just like aren't as easy to figure out as most people think they are….neither is something as new and complex as cryptocurrency.

Proceed with utmost caution. We must police ourselves. 

Here's the article I'm referring to (which came, btw, from www.themerkle.com).

Will Bitcoin’s Reputation Suffer due to Online Gambling?


Art Williams
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Do a Vanishing Act With Cryptocurrency

Do A "Vanishing Act" With Cryptocurrency

Maybe not 100% of the people interesting in cryptocurrency are primarily interested in its anonymity feature but a lot of them sure are.

In this video, the founder of HowToVanish.com, (his name might be "Lohengrin" but that sounds rather operatic to me) points out the danger of our data being manipulated, in the course of typical internet commerce and activity,  without our knowledge, against our will, and possibly even to our detriment.

Toward the end of the video, he recommends making all purchases possible with bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency).

I totally agree with him. I'm so sick and tired of seeing and reading about big business and governments treating normal people like databytes.

What’s Going On With Coinbase vs. IRS?

What’s Going on With CoinBase vs. IRS?


Most people doing anything with cryptocurrency or Bitcoin have at least heard of the fracus going on right now between the IRS and the popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.com . For those who might not be familiar with the situation or its significance, this is my summary based on the research I’ve done.

The IRS, as the Pursers of the Dark Side, is most assuredly a not big fan of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Apparently they recently identified 3 tax evaders who didn’t pay what the IRS thinks they should have in taxes. Since 2 of these 3 were Coinbase users, the IRS is stalking Coinbase now.

Note: (Note: “evasion” is illegal but “tax avoidance” is not)

Almost anybody who deals with government agencies or bureaucrats knows that the often don’t distinguish between what they have the legal authority to do vs. what they have the power to do. Frequently they do what they want anyway.

In the case of the IRS and cryptocurrency, the IRS does have some regulations regarding cryptocurrency reporting but they are muddled and unclear. The regulations (as I understand them) give various reporting requirements to cryptocurrency exchanges but rely on the ‘honor system’ (plus the IRS’s confused and complex regulations thus far) for declarations from the individual taxpayer.

In this case, Coinbase contends that it already complies with IRS regulations as they presently exist and further says that the IRS demand is too broad and burdensome and presumes the guilt of the entire Coinbase customer base.

Note: Looking at this IRS behavior it’s easy to see that Irwin Schiff, was right. Irwin was an expert on the US Constitution and US jurisprudence as it relates to the Federal Income Tax and its enforcement. His contention to his dying day was that was that the federal income tax was totally misunderstood by the average citizen and illegally interpreted and enforeced by the IRS… with the connivance of the US court system. He successfully defended himself from the IRS for years and also assisted many of his students in doing so he yet was eventually arrested and tried in an illegal “show trial”, illegally imprisoned, denied proper medical care, and died after over 10 years in prison.

Irwin’s great book, The Federal Mafia, still downloadable for free in PDF form on his website, www.paynoincometax.com, is a guaranteed eye-opener and gives a better understanding why cryptocurrency is surely something which keeps IRS agents, government fat-cats, and the industrial elite awake at night because it is a direct challenge to their control over the affairs of men and nations.

Many observers agree that the IRS will eventually get Coinbase’s records but it might be a short-lived Pyrrhic victory. If the general public continues to learn about and adopt the cryptocurrency and the blockchain, they eventually simply won’t need ‘big government’.  

What has recently rekindled interest in the IRS vs. Coinbase situation is that since the IRS has not thus far been able to intimidate Coinbase into giving up their customer records (because Coinbase knew the law), the IRS is using something it does have the power to do…i.e. Issue a “John Doe Summons”.

A John Doe summons is the type of summons which allows the IRS to force a company to surrender their customer records because the IRS says the suspect somebody (but they don’t know who) within the group is guilty of tax evasion.

Many people interpret the IRSs’ actions as simply a witch-hunt designed to intimidate the general public and virtual currency sellers into the charade of “voluntary compliance” and if the IRS gets away with this tactic with Coinbase, one can only wonder what they might do next.

Note: Irwin Schiff often correctly said that the US tax laws are extortion… not voluntary compliance. Anybody interested in this subject should delve into his excellent and timeless videos on YouTube.

But that what the ongoing saga of the battle between Coinbase and the IRS is about. Now you know. Is it a good idea to be a Coinbase customer right now? IMHO…. Probably not.

Art Williams
Freelance Writer
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A Simple Explanation of Blockchain

A Simple Explanation of “Blockchain”

Sometimes it takes a while to thoroughly understand a new concept. Blockchain is such a term for some people. One of the things that process difficult is the fact that it sounds like something that it isn’t….or it seems so at first.

In the case of blockchain….It’s not actually a ‘block´. Or is it?

And it sure isn’t a ‘chain’. Or is it?

Actually, when the term is explained the way that I’m going to, it is a block and it is a chain. But first, let’s try a definition of blockchain from another angle. An angle of use or utility.

Blockchain is, like many other great technological advances, a tool designed to solve a problem. It was invented to make certain things easier to accomplish and more efficient.  

In the evolution of capitalism, we see that many great inventions and advances were efforts to make something easier… such as these advances in computers and the internet….

  1. The internet made it much easier for specialists to publish.

  2. Blogging made it even easier for everybody else to publish.

  3. WordPress revolutionized blogging and publishing even more.

  4. Google revolutionized information search and retrieval.

  5. Facebook dramatically changed social dynamics (some would argue for the worse).

  6. YouTube revolutionized media creation, entertainment, and distribution.

  7. The ‘cloud’ made it easy to store digital material and eliminated some IT resource problems.

  8. Outsourcing sites like Fiverr, Odesk, et.al. revolutionized outsourcing.

And there are probably other ‘advances’ that could be added to the list too. But the point is that each step forward made something easier that it had been.

So….Blockchain needs to be seen as a tool for making something easier.

But…. making what easier?

Blockchain makes recording transactions (i.e. anything that could be described in finite terms) easier. Currently the most publically topical type of transaction that blockchain is used for is cryptocurrency transactions but it can be used for many other types of transactions too.

The important connecting factor here is that transactions need to be recorded in some way…especially financial transactions and blockchain specifically makes that process easier, faster and more secure. Even to the point of total anonymity.

The unique aspects of a blockchain include the following characteristics:

  • Blockchain is decentralized

  • Blockchain has no central controlling authority

  • Blockchain Is owned, maintained and updated by its component the nodes…i.e. the members.

  • Block is much more efficient and trustworthy.

Note: Not always mentioned by public relations representative of various industries touting blockchain in their operations is the fact that it has great potential for reducing the number of 'humans' on their payrolls.

To summarize thus far…blockchain is an advance in efficiency. Especially in multiple attributes related to saving time and user confidence.

Now…onward to the terminology to which most people cannot attach a mental image.

The term ‘blockchain’ comes from the way that blockchain transactions have been illustrated as being sequentially and carefully been added to one another… somewhat like a chain of connected items, each lending strength to the other, and then packed in a box. The beginning and end of the chain relate to the transaction itself.

It is also enlightening for consumers who think that blockchain only relates to cryptocurrency to realize that many experts in the financial community see blockchain as having other and far greater application to banking. To their minds, most of the bitcoin media buzz misses the point or at least doesn’t mention the full benefits to established financial institutions.

And here’s one more definition:

A member of the audience at the Fintech Week in London in September 2015 ask the panel, “Can you define blockchain in one or two sentences?” Panelist Lee Braine, a computer science PhD in the CTO office of Barclays, responded, “It’s a way of chunking transactions into a batch, called a block, and then a way of hashing them with the previous block block to ensure immutability.”

In final practical summary for the average user of blockchain technology, the more you try to define blockchain the more confusing it seems to get. It’s better to just keep it simple. And then suddenly you realize that you really don’t care about ‘the definition’. You understand that it just works and you just want to use it.

Art Williams
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PoW vs. PoS – What’s The Peoples Choice?

PoW vs. PoS – What’s The People’s Choice?

Because Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is still so new, it’s hard to say conclusively what ‘customers’ actually want. And even if one wanted to venture an opinion (like I will here) it’s still important to remember that blockchain and cryptocurrency is not a totally homogeneous market and there certainly are different niches within the overall market too.

But if you are, or plan to be, a cryptocurrency user one thing you most likely do want is security and speed. That’s where these two terms, Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) may confront you.

When I started hearing those words, it seemed like they were important. Since the definition wasn’t really specified in the context where I heard them, I did some searching. Here’s what I found. I’m not a guru in this stuff but I think this is pretty accurate:

First of all, remember that blockchain is an algorithm (albeit a very unique one). Within and around the Bitcoin algorithm there are peripheral and subset algorithms. Two of those are PoS and PoW. My understanding is that the two never occur simultaneously but every cryptocurrency uses either one or the other.

What Are PoS and PoW Used For?

PoS and PoW have to do, in varying degrees, with the security and speed issues of cryptocurrency. Specifically relating to the security issues, remember that one of the core unique benefits of the blockchain is that the transactions that take place within it are supposedly true and authentic.

How did they get that way?

Because they were verified.

How or by whom?

The transactions were verified by the other people or entities on the blockchain. In the case of PoW, that number of people is fewer because the coins are mined by a relatively small group of people.

In the case of PoS, that number is larger because PoS systems employ a more decentralized/dispersed mining and verification system. It’s more of a communal system while still maintaining the anonymity that cryptocurrency users usually like.

Both processes have been adequate up to now but the reason (as I understand it) that some well-known cryptocurrencies (Ethercoin) are switching from PoW to PoS is because the PoW is less democratic, more centralized (comparatively), much more resource intensive (read “expensive”), and more susceptible to corruption via what is known as a 51% atttack.

Note: In a 51% attack, a person or (more likely) a group of people (in this scenario…miners) taking over the system for their own nefarious purposes.

In a PoS system, the strength of it is not so much the fact that the people who mined the coins are doing the verification but the fact that the people who currently actually posses the coins mutually share the transaction verification process.

In both methods the objective is to ensure an authentic, fast transaction but many users and experts now seem to feel that a PoS system give not only quicker transaction verifications but also is less vulnerable to ‘takeovers’ by 51%’ers.

Note: My understanding is that a 51% attack is, up to the present time, only hypothetically possible. But when you consider the amount of money going into the cryptocurrency environment, you can’t blame decision makers for being cautious.

To state in another way, PoW is strong on trust because the validations come from the people who did/do the mining. PoW is strong on validation because the validations come from massive consensus.

This validation power, as you will see, is also sometimes referred to as “agreement”. But, as I understand it, it means the same thing in most contexts.

One soon-to-be-launched altcoin, MyCryptoCoin (MCC), will use a totally new, very versatile and robust eWallet based on the PoS algorithm. The MCC eWallet will be truly revolutionary because its speed will match current credit card processing times yet it will be far more functional with its interface with multiple payment systems and financial institutions–to include not only cryptocurrency but also fiat currency and institutions.

And… it will offer privacy features that current credit/debit cards do not.

Summary and Recommendation

In my neophyte opinion, the average cryptocurrency user would probably be wise to make sure that whatever cryptocurrency they use is based on a PoS algorithm. As I understand it, PoS systems have faster, safer, and more accurate transactions.


Art Williams
Freelance Copywriter
Case Studies and eMail Copywriting
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