Tag Archives: Cryptocurrency

An Introduction to Cryptoeconomics

An Introduction to Cryptoeconomics

The Concept of Cryptoeconomics

In this guide, you will be introduced to the concept of cryptoeconomics and how it has given birth to an entirely new digital multi-billion dollar industry.

What is Cryptoeconomics?

Cryptoeconomics is a concept as well as a new term and, hence, has no official definition yet. According to Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir, cryptoeconomics is “a formal discipline that studies protocols that govern the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in a decentralized digital economy. Cryptoeconomics is a practical science that focuses on the design and characterization of these protocols.” The Ethereum Wiki defines cryptoeconomics as “the combinations of cryptography, computer networks and game theory which provide secure systems exhibiting some set of economic dis/incentives.”

While the founder of TheControl, Nick Tomaino, explains cryptoeconomics as “the study of economic interaction in adversarial environments. In decentralized P2P systems that do not give control to any third party, one must assume that there will be bad actors looking to disrupt the system. Cryptoeconomic approaches combine cryptography and economics to create robust decentralized P2P networks that thrive over time despite adversaries attempting to disrupt the network.” In simple terms, cryptoeconomics is a new field of study that analyses economic interactions in the decentralized digital economy that was pioneered by bitcoin. It is the foundation on which cryptocurrencies and digital assets are built on.

How Cryptoeconomics Changed Peer-to-Peer Networks

The Bitcoin network was not the first decentralized peer-to-peer network. Before Bitcoin, we had peer-to-peer file sharing platforms such as Morpheus, and Kazaa, where users from across the world would share files with other members of the decentralized peer-to-peer network. However, what these file sharing platforms were missing was an economic incentive. Without economic incentives, there was little reason for users to keep seeding files that take space on their computers so that other users can download them. Aside from the legal aspect of sharing copyrighted material, a lack of economic incentive is what contributed to the demise of the above-mentioned platforms.  

Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, however, managed to create an economic incentive to uphold Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network. He introduced Bitcoin mining rewards for those who used their computing power to secure the blockchain and to process bitcoin transactions. This was the birth of cryptoeconomics. Before bitcoin was created, it was believed that it was impossible to achieve consensus among nodes to develop a decentralized digital currency system due to the Byzantine General’s Problem. However, due to the implementation of the proof-of-work consensus mechanism that allows Bitcoin network participants to receive new bitcoins for enabling the network to function, this previously “unsolvable” challenge was resolved. Today, the Bitcoin network has become an internationally thriving peer-to-peer payment system that has a market value of over $45 billion dollars and a single bitcoin is worth more than a troy ounce of gold.

The Evolution of Cryptoeconomics

Bitcoin was the first technology to implement a rewards system to a cryptographically secured peer-to-peer network. Due to the network’s open-source nature, many other cryptocurrencies followed that were built on top of the technology that Satoshi Nakamoto has created. Many new “altcoins” were merely bitcoin clones while some had new features that improved on their pioneering predecessor. Litecoin, for example, provides faster transaction times than bitcoin while DASH and Monero provide complete transaction anonymity. These cryptocurrencies, however, all use a proof-of-work mechanism similar to that of their predecessor, bitcoin. A new blockchain that has introduced new concepts into the world of cryptoeconomics is the Ethereum Project. Ethereum was developed by Vitalk Buterin and officially released on July 30, 2015. Ethereum differs bitcoin in three key ways, which are also helping to reshape the dynamics of cryptoeconomics.

Proof-of-Stake vs. Proof-of-Work

The bitcoin network uses a proof-of-work consensus mechanism, which means that participants who want to earn rewards through bitcoin mining need to use their computational power to maintain the network by validating and processing transactions. For this work, they receive financial rewards in the form of new bitcoins. However, the proof-of-work mechanism is very inefficient. Not only is it expensive to maintain bitcoin mining hardware, it also requires a substantial amount of energy to keep the bitcoin network running. According to Vice Motherboard, the bitcoin network is projected to consume as much energy as the entire country of Denmark by 2020.

Ethereum, however, is addressing this cryptoeconomic inefficiency by moving towards a proof-of-stake consensus. A proof-of-stake consensus mechanism enables users that hold the cryptocurrency ether, to receive rewards for validating transactions without the need for electricity-intensive mining hardware to be used. Ethereum still runs on proof-of-work but it is expected to switch to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism within the next two years.

Monetary Policy

Bitcoin has a hard coded monetary policy built into its network, which allows for 21 million bitcoins to be created in total and, thereby, limits the supply of bitcoins. Furthermore, the rate at which bitcoin are created halves every four years. Bitcoin miners (those who enable the network by validating and processing transactions) are rewarded with the newly created coins. Ethereum’s monetary policy does not involve a finite number of ether that can ever be created, which could be seen as a negative. However, as Ethereum moves towards proof-of-stake, the holders of ether will be the ones to receive new ether for validating transactions. This is considered a more inclusive way of distributing coins than Bitcoin’s proof-of-work approach, which favour large well-funded centralized mining operations.

Different Script Language

Ethereum also uses a different scripting language than bitcoin, which allows for decentralized applications and smart contracts to be developed on top of its blockchain. This makes Ethereum and much wider applicable blockchain than Bitcoin's and adds entirely new layers to the field of cryptoeconomics.

The Future of Cryptoeconomics

It is hard to predict the future of such a new field of social science. However, the developments in cryptoeconomics in the past decade or so are suggesting that cryptoeconomics has the potential to play a major role in society. Through the use of trustless peer-to-peer payment networks and self-executing smart contracts, intermediaries can be alleviated while payment speed and security can be increased. As technology becomes an increasingly important part of our day-to-day lives it would only make sense for economics to become part of that too.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept Contributor
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Instant Bank Payments Will End Bitcoin Binge: German Central Bank Chief

Instant Bank Payments Will
End Bitcoin Binge:
German Central Bank Chief

Digital Currencies could worsen future financial crises, Wiedmann says.

    

Digital Currencies could potentially worsen financial crises in the future

Jens Wiedmann, the president of Germany’s Bundesbank, has warned that digital currencies could potentially worsen financial crises in the future. He also stated, in his personal opinion, that ‘instant payments’ would put an end to the public interest in digital currencies like bitcoin. Germany’s top central banker was speaking in Frankfurt today in a speech predominantly on the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing (QE) program when he touched on the subject of digital currencies.

Instant Payments to Dampen Bitcoin?

Wiedmann, who is one of the most powerful figures in European and the global economy, claimed that the ongoing digitization of finance is and will remain the most significant challenge faced by central banks. He offered a solution toward taking on popular growing financial technologies like bitcoin and other digital currencies.

In quotes reported by the Financial Times, he stated:

My personal take on this is that central banks should strive to make existing payment systems more efficient and still faster than they already are – instant payment is the buzzword here. I’m pretty confident that this will reduce most citizens’ interest in digital currencies.

‘Digital Currencies Could Worsen Financial Crises’

Wiedmann admitted that central banks are likely to create their own official digital currencies in the future. A move toward digitization which would, according to the central banker, provide citizens with the reassurance that their money would be safe. In doing so, however, Wiedmann claimed that private banks would risk bank runs during times of future crises. A bank run occurs when a large number of customers panic to make withdrawals from financial institutions at the same time. In their attempt to safeguard their cash while losing faith in the institution, the withdrawal en masse from customers could lead to banks losing liquidity and struggle to make their loans, leaving them insolvent.

Wiedmann said:

Allowing the public to hold claims on the central bank might make their liquid assets safer, because a central bank cannot become insolvent. This is a feature which will become relevant especially in times of crisis – when there will be a strong incentive for money holders to switch bank deposits into the official digital currency simply at the push of a button. But what might be a boon for savers in search of safety, might be a bane for banks, as this makes a bank run potentially even easier.

The central banker is a known critic of digitization brought on by financial technologies, questioning the promise of FinTech revolutionizing financial services and infrastructure earlier in March this year. However, he did add that technologies like blockchain ‘could’ have the potential to make financial processes faster, inexpensive, more efficient and convenient. Meanwhile, the Bundesbank has been developing a blockchain-based settlement infrastructure system, based on a concept of the open source www.cryptocoinsnews.com/tag/hyperledger-project/.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept Contributor
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Dubai Announces Digital Blockchain Passport for ‘Borderless’ Airport

Dubai Announces Digital Blockchain Passport for ‘Borderless’ Airport

The Government of Dubai has announced its collaboration

with UK-based blockchain startup ObjectTech to create digital passports for quick and efficient entry at the Dubai International Airport. Working closely with Dubai's Immigration and Visas Department (GDRFA – General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners' Affairs), ObjectTech seeks to create the world's first ‘gate-less border’ through the use of the blockchain and biometric technology. This announcement is in accordance with Dubai's 10x strategy, which is essentially an initiative that aims to ensure all public services are ten years ahead of the rest of the world technologically, thus cementing Dubai's position as the “city of the future.”

Dubai's Blockchain Strategy

The semi-autonomous Emirati city of Dubai has been at the forefront when it comes to creating a conducive environment for business. Through its impressive infrastructure, near-zero taxes and secure political climate, Dubai has been able to transform itself from a small fishing village to a major trade hub globally. Now, the Government of Dubai seeks to make the city the world's first blockchain-powered city by the year 2020. The plan, called Dubai Blockchain Strategy, is spearheaded by the Smart Dubai Office (SDO). The SDO is the governmental agency dedicated to pushing forward innovation in the city. Speaking at the launch of the strategy in March this year, the Director General of The Smart Dubai Office Dr.Aisha Bin Bishr said, “Today’s announcement marks an important step forward in our commitment to delivering Dubai’s Blockchain Strategy announced late last year by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum,

Crown Prince of Dubai."

"We are working towards our goal of making Dubai the first blockchain-powered government in the world by 2020. Collaborating with IBM and ConsenSys will help expedite this process, attaining Smart Dubai’s overall vision of making every-day experiences more safe, seamless, efficient and impactful for all residents and visitors of the city.”

The Dubai Blockchain Strategy seeks to unlock the opportunities that the blockchain presents through the adoption of blockchain technology in public services, being at the forefront of global thought on blockchain technology and, lastly, by helping the blockchain industry grow through its support to blockchain-based startups and business. The city hopes that these three pillars will put it in the lead with regard to the blockchain tech industry.

Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government Establishment added:

“This effort will position Dubai as the pre-eminent blockchain powered government. Smart Dubai looks forward to working closely over the coming months with all government entities to identify and prioritize the services and user experiences that would yield the most impact from the application of blockchain technology. This collaborative effort is crucial to ensuring that the city as a whole is moving in the same direction, taking advantage of synergies, and avoiding duplication of efforts and costs.”

Since this initiative was launched in March, Dubai has been working on its vision of having all government services powered by the blockchain by 2020. The government has also created the Dubai Future Accelerators program which works by pairing leading companies and promising startups with government agencies in order to innovate and create working solutions. In April, after participating in the Dubai Future Accelerator program, blockchain startup Avanza Solutions announced the Dubai government’s plan to utilize its blockchain-based Cipher platform to facilitate citywide payments. This move was seen as the first step in laying the foundation for a blockchain-powered city.

Speaking of the partnership, Bin Bishr said, “I am confident with Avanza’s expertise in payment solutions combined with their Cipher blockchain platform, they will support the Smart Dubai Office with technology that not only bridges current gaps but also becomes a vital piece in Smart Dubai’s roadmap for payment processes in the near future.” Smart Dubai intended to roll out the platform across all of its 38 partner government entities, partner financial institutions, and departments. The Dubai Economic Department has also revealed plans to move its entire business registration and licensing process to the blockchain with industry leaders stating that blockchain technology is gaining traction in the city.

ObjectTech and The Dubai International Airport

The Dubai International Airport is the world's busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic. The Dubai Government is aiming to speed up the processing speed of travelers using ObjectTech’s biometric blockchain-based technology. The partnership was signed after ObjectTech was chosen to participate in the Dubai Future Accelerators program where its technology was deemed workable. In keeping with its 10x initiative, the city aims to create the first border in the world lacking a traditional gate. Instead, travelers are to walk through a short biometric corridor that will ascertain identity, and other pertinent variables, using the traveler’s facial biometric data. The data will be checked against a pre-approved and completely digital passport.

Combining the blockchain’s immutability and the power of biometric identification, the startup hopes to completely eliminate the need for paper passports. “Seamless entry at international airports has been an idea for many years, but it is the advent of the identity trust framework provided by blockchain technology which means for the first time, this is now possible.” the startup explains in their press release. Speaking of the city's commitment to growing and supporting the blockchain industry, ObjectTech CEO Paul Ferris said, "Dubai is really committed to improving the lives of their citizens and visitors through technology, and we’re very excited to be a part of making that a reality." ObjectTech has also revealed that it is working closely with the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) on blockchain technology uniformity regulation. Paul Ferris is currently serving as chair of the identity working group. The startup believes that:

“Standardization is vital for a global identity system which will stand the test of time, and expand our collaborative approach worldwide.”

It remains to be seen how the technology will perform with the large numbers that are processed through the Dubai International Airport. However, if it is a success, then seamless entry in and out of the world’s borders could soon become a reality thanks to blockchain technology.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept Contributor
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Chinese Exchanges to Lessen Bitcoin Fees by Building Lightning-Like Tech

Chinese Exchanges to Lessen Bitcoin Fees by Building Lightning-Like Tech

An insider source told Chinese cryptocurrency news agency

On June 3, an insider source told Chinese cryptocurrency news agency CnLedger that two of the largest Chinese bitcoin exchanges Huobi and OKCoin are currently working on the development of an off-chain payment channel similar to the Lightning network to lower transaction fees.

CnLedger reported:

“Chinese exchanges Huobi and OKCoin are working on building a Lightning Network-like channel, to lower transaction fee and alleviate congestion.”

The utilization of private blockchain networks and off-chain solutions is not a new concept. Popular platforms such as Coinbase and many mobile applications such as BTCC’s Mobi have utilized private blockchains to increase the flexibility of their applications. On March 20, BTCC released a mobile app called Mobi designed to increase liquidity and ease trading for casual traders and users. The app offers a bitcoin debit card service that allows users to purchase items and service from both online and offline merchants. In its official press release, BTCC emphasized that Mobi operates on top of a private blockchain which can be used to send money instantly to 2 billion smartphone users. If the money is sent as a bitcoin transaction, it is first processed within Mobi’s private blockchain network and then broadcasted onto the Bitcoin public blockchain.

“Mobi accounts are linked to users’ mobile numbers; all that is needed to use Mobi is a smartphone. Mobi users can instantly transfer funds to any of the two billion other global smartphone users using Mobi’s private blockchain. Mobi also supports bitcoin transfers on the Bitcoin public blockchain,” explained the BTCC development team. There exist many reasons why companies including Coinbase and Mobi utilize private blockchains, but the major factor is speed and functionality. The presence of an off-chain solution and a private blockchain allows apps to operate on top of a more flexible platform. For instance, Coinbase serves just over seven and a half million users on its platform. In April, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong highlighted that Coinbase stored ten percent of all bitcoins in circulation. The sheer magnitude of bitcoin transactions and trades Coinbase deals with makes it impractical for the platform to process all transactions on-chain. Thus, to deal with the increasing activities, Coinbase stores and processes transactions in a separate ledger.

On non-custodial bitcoin wallet platforms such as Blockchain, only users have access to private keys, and therefore, even if accounts are hacked, hackers cannot gain access to user funds. However, on platforms like Coinbase and other exchanges as seen in the case of Bitfinex, the circumstances are different. In fact, Armstrong encouraged users to log all activities in the event of a breach of an efficient auditing process. “It is critical to have a good audit trail if there ever is an incident. The only thing worse than being hacked, is being hacked but not knowing how it happened,” said Armstrong. CnLedger’s inside source stated that the two Chinese exchanges are working hard to create a Lightning-like payment channel that will likely operate similarly to Coinbase and Mobi’s private blockchains to address increasing demand for bitcoin and trading activities.

“Details are still unknown. But one insider told me that they've been working hard on this. The result will be only one settlement each day,” revealed CnLedger. Some experts including Andrew Keys of Consensus Systems (ConsenSys) recommended networks like the Raiden Network, a high-speed asset transfer platform for Ethereum, to go with the two exchanges’ recent Ethereum integration. The activation of Segregated Witness (SegWit) is expected to drastically improve the infrastructure for two-layer solutions like Lightning and also, the Lightning-like payment channels that are being built by companies like Huobi and OKCoin.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Bought Bitcoin at $700, He’s “Way Up” Now

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Bought Bitcoin at $700, He’s “Way Up” Now

    

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has spoken about his early interest in bitcoin

and an attempt to buy the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency back when it was trading at $70 per coin. He eventually bought it at $700. Speaking on stage at a tech conference in Miami, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak underlined bitcoin’s importance in bringing FinTech’s poster child, blockchain technology, to the mainstream. The tech mogul was asked by a member of the audience about the ‘meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies’ & blockchain technology and their collective potential for transformative change in society.

To this, Wozniak pointed blockchain technology’s core features in security and traceability, underlining them as factors behind every corner of the global banking industry looking into the decentralized innovation. “Bitcoin is the well-known cybercurrency that really bought all of this to our attention,” Wozniak said, in his response that was just as much about educating the audience as it was him praising the technology. Wozniak then spoke about how he tried to acquire bitcoin years ago when the now-soaring cryptocurrency was trading at $70 per coin. Not as an investor, but as an adopter who was looking to own and “play” with it.

He revealed:

I remember getting interested in bitcoin some time ago. It was $70 for a bitcoin. Man, I went online and you had to have a special bank account at a certain bank and I couldn’t buy any bitcoin so I gave up. Eventually I got some of them at the $700 stage and then it went down to $350. Oh my gosh. I didn’t invest, I did it so I could play with bitcoin. How do you buy things and how could you sell things?

He then spoke about looking at websites that would accept bitcoin for payments and mentioned Tiger, presumably Tigerdirect. Since those early days, bitcoin has since come a long way with the likes of Microsoft, Dell, Newegg, Overstock and Rakuten, among a handful of many, to accept the cryptocurrency.

Bitten by the Bitcoin Bug

Long retired from his day job, Wozniak is now a philanthropist and an investor. As an early bitcoiner, he also spoke about looking for establishments – hotels and restaurants – who accepted bitcoin during his travels. “Then I found out when I travel, you could look ahead to a city and find out which hotels, which restaurants accept bitcoin,” he continued, stating that bitcoin is “getting there” as a method of payment. “It’s becoming…it’s getting there…it’s just not there enough to everything you’re used to [buying and selling],” he opined. “It’s getting there.” When reminded that bitcoin is now trading at $3,000, four times the value of when he bought the cryptocurrency,

he said:

I was just playing around to find out how to buy and sell stuff and I didn’t care about the fact that I’d lost a ton of money [when it went down, but he held on] and now I’m way up . *Chuckle*

Bitcoin checked into 2017 by trading at $1,000 on the first day of the year. Six months later this Sunday, the cryptocurrency had tripled to $3,000 to reach a new all-time high. At the time of publishing, bitcoin is trading at around $2,730 on Bitstamp.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept Contributor
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MIT Graduate-led Startup Enigma Unveils Cryptocurrency Investment Platform

MIT Graduate-led Startup Enigma Unveils Cryptocurrency Investment Platform

     California-based blockchain startup Enigma has announced the creation

of a cryptocurrencyinvestment platform that allows developers to start their own digital asset investment funds based on trading strategies that they create themselves. The platform, named Catalyst, enables developers to create investment funds where they have full control of how their digital assets are handled. Developers are free to incorporate whatever variable they see fit into the algorithms that govern their fund.

The platform is the brainchild of Silicon Valley startup Enigma that is led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates. The Enigma team has previously created a different platform that aimed to give users control over their data, who has access to it and, ultimately the ability to sell the data at a profit while retaining their anonymity. Now, the Guy Zyskind-led team has set its sights on cryptocurrency trading. “A lot of people are starting to look into it, and invest in it, but it’s still very much kind of like the Wild West,” says Enigma CEO, Guy Zyskind of the cryptocurrency market. This is the reasoning behind the creation of Catalyst, which seeks to open up and demystify the cryptocurrency market to developers and investors alike.

“We are passionate about the role of cryptocurrencies in defining personal financial freedom. We want to play our part in driving their mainstream adoption. Our vision is to enable developers to build winning investment strategies, a strong track record and attract investment from community investors,” Enigma explained in their announcement. The team defines Catalyst as “a platform that empowers anyone to build their own crypto hedge fund and participate in the coming Renaissance of the financial ecosystem. Catalyst is a playground where developers, quants, and experienced traders can easily build, simulate, and eventually live trade cryptocurrencies using sophisticated programmatic strategies.”

How It Works

“To begin trading, users open payment channels with a chosen liquidity provider, in the currencies they wish to trade. Orders are then submitted to the liquidity provider that a trader chooses, and matched with an online counterparty. Finally, the assets are exchanged atomically by executing a single, cross-chain payment, routed through the liquidity provider,” the Catalyst white paper explains. The platform is designed to ensure that the investors maintain full control and ownership of their assets at all times. The platform also allows for the details of the trading

Algorithms to be kept private:

“The core of Catalyst’s architecture provides a method of performing cross-chain atomic swaps using hashed timelock contracts (HTLCs), operating under the direction of an algorithmic trade manager. This ensures that traders can maintain custody of their assets and privacy of their trading algorithms.”

The team plans to open source their infrastructure which they hope will further enhance and grow both the market and their platform. “We believe an ecosystem of multiple exchanges will further enhance the reliability of the trading infrastructure and liquidity of the underlying payment networks, while simultaneously providing an avenue for scaling beyond the throughput of a single exchange.”

Further to its vision of opening up and growing the cryptocurrency investment market, the Catalyst platform will be able to handle live trading of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s). “One of Catalyst‘s long-term goals is support live-trading of ICO tokens. These tokens are typically managed via an Ethereum smart contract, thus, our implementation plans to be fully compatible with the proposed Raiden Network, which enables off-chain transfers of value between Ethereum smart contracts.” or investment strategies that are able to generate high returns, the team recognizes that developers must have access to all pertinent data and addresses this through the creation of a data bank of sorts within the platform which they believe will make

The process easier:

“Developers will be able to access a large variety of data sources specifically around crypto-assets. These include price data, sentiment data, social networking data, and more. While we plan to curate the initial data sets, it is likely that most data will be generated by the community in return for incentives. Developers can utilize the myriad of data sources that will be made available through our platform to build their models, back-test them according to historical data, as well as put their strategies to the test in a simulated or real trading environment.”

Enigma hopes the platform will be attractive to developers who are interested in creating algorithms for the cryptocurrency market since they do not have to put up the initial capital themselves. “Beyond making development of crypto-trading strategies easy, our goal is to create a marketplace for trading strategies that non-developers can invest in. In this way, developers are not required to obtain capital to fund their algorithms personally. Instead, they can focus on becoming the best algo-traders they can be, while earning management and performance fees from investors that choose to invest in their strategies.”

Though the platform will initially only be available to developers with coding experience, there are plans to incorporate certain tools to allow “regular” people to create their own strategies. “In order to further lower barriers to invest in and increase adoption of crypto-assets, we will offer tools that enables individuals with no coding experience to build, test and master algorithmic trading strategies. This interface would be similar to the visual programming languages, like Scratch developed at MIT, and would provide full-functionality of the Trading SDK and connect to all existing data sources.”

To allow investors to put money into the fund with the best performance, there will be a  “web-based leaderboard ranking of all strategies deployed by developers. These will include standard return and risk metrics, such as ROI, Sharpe ratio, alpha and beta and max drawdown.” The investors have the choice to put their money in the well-performing funds, at a management fee to the fund developers, as is the practice in traditional investment funds.

Catalyst hopes to help both experienced investors and newcomers make smart cryptocurrency trading choices. “This kind of marketplace can benefit both the investors, who now have access to algorithmic trading, as well as the developers, who may lack the capital to fund their strategies personally. To the best of our knowledge, our platform will be the first to make machine-based investing accessible. Regular investors can then invest directly in winning strategies through our system.” “From a vision perspective, we would like to be able to enable the average Joes to be able to invest in these technologies as well,” added Can Kisagun, Chief Product Officer at Enigma.

Why Digital Assets Funds Are Poised to Succeed

With the steep rise in demand for both altcoins and newly issued ICO tokens, a platform such as Catalyst will likely draw investor attention once it goes live.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about
-Bitcoin.

 

Digital Currency Enthusiasts Expect Ethereum to Become Larger than Bitcoin

Digital Currency Enthusiasts Expect Ethereum to Become Larger than Bitcoin

    

Ethereum is closing in on Bitcoin in terms of market capitalization,
 
trading volume and Google Trends. In terms of other key indicators, Ethereum has already surpassed Bitcoin. This has been a longtime coming not only for Ethereum supporters, but, also, for Bitcoiners who have worried about the digital currency’s scaling issues.These flips in key indicators between the two largest cryptographic assets are tracked by a website, Flippening.watch. In the past 24 hours (at the time of writing), there have been 235,604 Ethereum transactions. But, despite wild success as a ‘peer-to-peer electronic cash’ system, there have been only 216,887 Bitcoin transactions. Ethereum’s transaction capabilities have not even been its main feature advertised by proponents. That would be its smart contract and decentralized application functions.

But, ‘the Flippening’ doesn’t stop there. Miners of ether, Ethereum’s native digital token, are enjoying more mining rewards than their bitcoin counterparts. In the last 24 hours, $9,396,000 has been rewarded to ether miners. But, just 5,302,800 has been rewarded to bitcoin miners. Moreover, there are more nodes (30,070) than Bitcoin mining nodes (7,552) as of June 11. Bitcoin’s market capitalization is still larger than Ethereum, which is 66.7% of the former’s. There are more Bitcoin’s being traded than ether, but as ShapeShift announced last week, volume of Bitcoin going into Ethereum was causing slight delays on that platform.

itcoin, despite being at an all-time high, has seen its overall share acrpss the crypto-assets complex shrink in recent months, with Ethereum closing a lot of the gap between the two while trading at all-time highs. Bitcoin has seen its growth stagnate in recent years as discussion about future development has grown heated and created rivalries within the Bitcoin creation community. Ethereum, enjoying the support of large multinational corporations and financial institutions via blockchain consortiums, can today process data faster than Bitcoin. This enables higher volume of lightweight finance pouring through the system and at less expensive rates. Currently, the average Bitcoin transaction costs about $1.50.

While Ethereum theoretically can handle lightweight finance transaction a la Bitcoin, it is proposed and designed to do much more. Smart contracts are meant to fuel decentralized applications known as dApps. Ethereum pledges smart contract and dApp technology will distribute business and legal transactions normally facilitated by banks, public registries and the legal system. Intel, Microsoft and Samsung are experimenting with Ethereum. Meanwhile, large corporations that once accepted Bitcoin on their website, have rescinded acceptance. Bitcoin’s dominance rate might be falling as its utility is falling when compared to other blockchain projects. Further, infighting within its creation community is a source for uncertainty.

While Ethereum is not a bitcoin competitor, the value of Ether is increasing as more people join the Ethereum community at a faster clip than those forming around Bitcoin. Ethereum, which is currently approaching a $30 billion network value, is swiftly closing the gap on Bitcoin’s $50 billion market cap. Assuming things stay on track, Ethereum could surpass Bitcoin’s market capitalization by the year’s end. Although Ethereum proponents will see this as a victory, and some Bitcoin proponents will see this as a failure, the reality is both systems have been very successful.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about
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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,

said:

“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
Please click either Link to Learn more about
-Bitcoin.

 

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
Please click either Link to Learn more about
-Bitcoin.

 

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'.

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