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“Maybe we’re not going to use the Bitcoin blockchain,” Byrne said. “Maybe there’s another blockchain we want to integrate with, with higher throughput.”
The “throughput” that Byrne is referring to is really the ability of the Bitcoin network to process large numbers of transactions and upload them to the blockchain without getting bogged down. As numerous spam attacks—or “stress tests,” depending on your outlook—have proven over the last year, the Bitcoin blockchain is pretty easily gummed up. If this happens, that proof of stock ownership might not take 10 minutes to go through, but hours, or even days. Another chain might not have these issues.
Hello! My name is Irina Shevchuk, I am a designer at Platinum where we create best ICO and STO promotion ever! We know how to launch STO in 2019 and will help your project to get in the list of best security tokens 2019! Visit our site to learn more about our up-to-date services! Platinum.fund Well, promoting wasn’t enough for us, so we decided to create the UBAI, the first online university developing practical courses on blockchain. Get familiar with Ethereum, its founding principles and major improvements/limitations upon the initial Bitcoin Blockchain! Did you know that due to the nature of the cryptographic community from which cryptocurrencies have been developed, it is only natural that the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the digital sphere has dwarfed that in the traditional business world? Cryptocurrency adoption has firmly permeated the online gaming sphere with offerings such as Experience points (XP) for purchasing incentives in games and educational content, as well as GameCredits (GAME), which aims to be a universal currency for gamers worldwide and STORM, a kind of Blockchain Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace. In the online gambling space, Funfair (FUN) aims to be the go-to currency for all online gaming, and Edgeless (EDG) supposedly offers a gambling experience with no edge for the house, a project all gamblers would surely welcome and support. Cryptocurrency projects have already provided use cases for conventional businesses and enabled existing commercial operations to improve their performance with the implementation of Blockchain technology. Thus far, Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that has most readily made inroads into the public consciousness. Microsoft, for example, has begun to accept Bitcoin payments in Windows and XBox stores, and Expedia has teamed up with Coinbase to allow Bitcoin to be used to book hotel rooms. Much like Iconomy in the crypto asset management sphere, NapoleonX (NPX), is allowing crypto investors to buy into Decentralized autonomous funds which focus on conventional markets. As we have already covered, one of the main reasons that Blockchain technology is causing so much excitement is because of the great number of ways the technology might be developed and applied in business. The Canadian-Russian boy genius named Vitalik Buterin first envisaged the next stage in Blockchain technology as a scripting language for Bitcoin. But this particular idea failed to reach a consensus with the community. That is what stimulated development of a totally new platform with a more general type of language. Initial development on the Ethereum project began in Spring 2014 with the core team of Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony DiIorio, and Charles Hoskinson, working through the Swiss company EthSuisse. Subsequently, the Ethereum Foundation was created in the run up to the July 2014 crowd sale. Then, the Ethereum project’s currency Ether was distributed to participants who purchased the token with Bitcoin. The initial questions about the security of the project were proven to be warranted after an infamous entity called the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) led to the loss of $50 million of the $150 million dollars raised in the Ethereum crowdsale. The Ethereum Blockchain then underwent a very contentious hard fork resulting in the Ethereum, ETH, we know today being separated from its parent chain, Ethereum Classic, ETC. By the end of 2016, the Ethereum Blockchain had forked twice more resulting in increased DDoS protection, that de-bloated its Blockchain, and thwarted further spam attacks by hackers. The true cost of the financial crisis for the world economy is still being calculated and may never actually be known, but conservative estimates put the cost at approximately $20,000 per America citizen. Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of the most famous and infamous digital currency, sought to create a means of transmitting value that did not require a trusted third party to oversee the transaction or guarantee the value. By using distributed ledger technology on the Blockchain he laid the foundation for a trustless decentralized financial system that did not rely on central banks to mediate transactions. This is a “peer-to-peer version of electronic cash…. sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution”. With no trusted third party, each individual becomes a self-sovereign, one-person-bank, responsible for his or her own transactions and security. The Ether token’s authenticity is guaranteed by its Blockchain, which is a continuously growing list of records connected and secured using cryptography. Like Bitcoin, the Ethereum Network is an open and distributed ledger that records transactions between two people in a confirmable and permanent way. The Ether token is superior to bitcoin in that its blocktime is approximately 15 seconds compared to 10 minutes with Bitcoin. Mining generates new coins at a usually consistent rate, and the average transaction cost in December 2017 was $0.33 compared to $23 for Bitcoin. As alluded to above, Ethereum initially aimed to become both a decentralized internet and a decentralized app store supporting a new kind of app (dapp). In order for the network to function correctly, a novel piece of code “ether” was created in order to pay for the computational power needed to run an application on the Ethereum network. Ether is a digital bearer asset like BTC, and does not need a third party to verify or mediate transactions. “ERC-20 Token: The Ethereum Request for Comment -20 token is standard set of rules used for smart contracts on the Ethereum Blockchain for executing new tokens. It defines a uniform set of rules on how a new token will function within the Ethereum Blockchain. The creation of this token has made it very easy for start-up companies to create their own token within the Ether ecosystem. That was a very significant advancement that caused the 2017 ICO boom in newly issued tokens. Monero: This fork of Bitcoin is focused on privacy and decentralization. It obfuscates the sender and recipient’s addresses, as well as the amount of the transaction. The original Monero (the name is Esperanto for “coin”) author, Nicolas van Saberhagen, sought to make mining rewards more egalitarian as an additional benefit of being part of the Monero ecosystem. The very private nature of the Monero architecture, which mixes sender “ring signatures” with many others, makes the deciphering of the destination and recipient address increasingly difficult. This has made the Monero cryptocurrency the go-to coin for illicit transactions on the Dark web. There is, however, another way to look at this. Although Monero’s intensely private nature and deliberate obfuscation of transaction destinations and sources is undoubtedly used for criminal and corrupt purposes, the exact opposite effect may occur if its privacy characteristics are placed within the context of third world countries where corruption is already rife. In developing countries, it has proven much easier for people to obtain devices with an internet connection than it is for them to open a bank account. With 2 billion people worldwide without a bank account, much of them in Sub-Saharan Africa, privacy coins like Monero could play a key role in distributing aid to the needy without having to deal with any potentially corrupt and inefficient organizations or state institutions standing in between. Ripple: Ripple is well-known as one of the very first big Blockchain projects. In fact, its predecessor, RipplePay dates all the way back to 2004. The modern version of the Ripple payment protocol (conceived by Jared McCaleb and built by Arthur Britto and David Schwartz) enables instant peer-to-peer transfer of money. The protocol and the facility to avoid the banking system, results in drastically reduced fees and transaction times compared to international transfers by conventional banking methods. Ripple is currently known as the cryptocurrency of the financial services industry, with major involvement by Santander, American Express and RBS, amongst many others. Ripple has also teamed up with Moneygram to speed up the process of cross-border payments. Ripple is aiming to send money across national lines “as quickly as information” in the words of its CEO Brad Garlinghouse. The almost laughable inefficiencies and delays in sending money to friends or loved ones in foreign countries is a major pain point for banking customers the world over. Now, with the implementation of Blockchain technology through Ripple’s XRapid initiative in partnership with Moneygram, international transfer times will go from being measured in days to being measured in seconds. NEO: This is often described as the “Chinese Ethereum”. NEO is similar to Ethereum in that it is a Blockchain platform that is designed to be a scalable platform for the construction of decentralized applications. The NEO Blockchain project was founded by Da Hongfei in 2014. Like Ether (ETH) in the Ethereum network, the NEO token is the base asset of the NEO Blockchain. But unlike Ether, it is indivisible, and it accrues a GAS token when stored in a wallet. The GAS token can be used to pay transaction fees on the NEO Blockchain. The NEO cryptocurrency was rebranded from Antshares in 2017, and has started to produce highly successful ICOs on its platform, most notably Ontology (ONT) and RPX which will make use of the NEP-5 token. In the immediate aftermath of rebrand from Antshares, the all-encompassing vision of NEO 2.0 was laid out as follows: “We hope the platform can be used for different front-end scenarios, such as the Digital asset wallet, Forum, Voting, Profile management and Mobile applications. The platform also features an open API that can be used for integration with other systems.” One of the main alterations made to the NEO project was the addition of more up-to-date digital identity management protocols which employed Public Key Infrastructure(PKI)X.509 digital identity standards. NEO’s verification of identity when issuing digital identities includes fingerprint, voice and facial feature authentication methods. IOTA’s code architecture is not in the same mold of Bitcoin or Ethereum, both of which could be described as existing on and making use of a Blockchain to order their transaction history. IOTA, and its token, the MIOTA, are embedded in a code structure called “The Tangle” which is a form of Direct Acyclic Graph data architecture. This particular architecture enables the code to function with no fixed block and each transaction carries its own proof of work. These types of transactions are enabled by “storing the most recent transactions in a fast cache, and by using checkpoints such that older transactions cannot be references. Thus, the system can be made as fast as Bitcoin, or faster”. IOTA’s main use case is for the transmission of information and value between Internet of Things enabled devices, in an automated manner. This project is truly one oriented toward the future, when many more IoT devices will be online, and there is a great need for such devices to communicate and transact without any human intervention. One weak point in DAG code architecture is that much less than a 51% attack is sufficient to compromise the network. It would be theoretically possible to bring about double spending on a DAG network with a 34% attack. TenX (PAY) TenX was founded in 2014 as part of a PayPal incubator program. It sought to bridge the gap between Blockchain assets and everyday commerce, providing an efficient solution for the liquidity problems of many cryptocurrencies. The project will eventually be centered around a debit card that makes use of the COMIT protocol that enables many different Blockchains to interact with one another without having to issue a different token. That could be another milestone event in the crypto ecosystem. The project roadmap presented to investors began with the ICO in July 2017. They famously raised $34 Million in the first 7 minutes. The roadmap will conclude when they obtain their banking license in the middle of 2020. At that point they also aim to issue FIAT tokens fully backed and issued by a government. So far, the TenX project is on course to meet its stated targets. They brought out their highly rated IOS and web apps at the end of 2017. This serves as a fantastic example of how a well-run ICO can help both the investors and the startup streamline the capitalization process to the benefit of all parties involved. Influence upon Traditional Merchants around the world. Due to the inherent volatility of cryptocurrency, the adoption of crypto payment methods by traditional businesses has generally been slower than in the online sphere. Although some major companies have in fact begun to come around to the idea of integrating digital currencies into their methods of accepting payments, the volatility of crypto is still a serious impediment for most. Microsoft has led the way by incorporating Bitcoin payment systems into the Window Store, as well as adding the ability for game players to purchase credit on the Xbox live network with Bitcoin. Overstock began accepting Bitcoin payments on January 9th, 2014, and saw a significant uptick in orders immediately. They received 900 new orders for $126,000 worth of BTC. Electronic retailer NewEgg, and online gaming site Zynga, also now take Bitcoin payments. There are even certain Subway outlets in South America that have started to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment too. On a far smaller scale, Coingate has partnered with Prestashop, to take Europe to the verge of a widescale cryptocurrency payment method. Merchants of any size need only apply for a Coingate account, and then have a crypto payment module installed, in order to accept payment in Bitcoin, BCash, Ether, Litecoin and nearly 50 other cryptocurrencies. The price is locked in immediately at the time of the transaction, which solves the volatility issue, and the whole process can be completed without the merchant having to deal in anything other than Euros. CryptoCredit card projects Monaco and TenX help to bridge the gap between the worlds of fiat and crypto, allowing a card holder to spend their cryptocurrency anywhere in the world. Decentralization & Our Financial World In the Financial World, decentralization would radically alter the roles of, and creation of value by, our modern day ‘too-big-to-fail’ financial institutions. The capping of the supply of most major cryptocurrencies is itself an idea nothing short of revolutionary, in the truest sense of the word. All developed economies are oriented around a Central Bank that, through the system of fractional reserve banking, has power to create loans or investments and accept deposits, but is only required to hold reserves equal to 10% of its total liabilities. This in effect empowers central banks to print money as they see fit, a mechanism which gives central banks massive power in contemporary society. Any move toward decentralized ledgers, and any number of finite decentralized currencies, would upset the balance of power between central banks and the individual in a way that has never occurred before. The role of central banks in the economy, and the traditional means of solving common financial problems by having the central bank manipulate the money supply, for example, would need to be radically rethought. Consider the recently used machinations such as quantitative easing, negative interest rates, etc. These are present-day “solutions” that would no longer be able to be applied to the economic and financial problems they are attempting to solve. If Blockchain technology was meaningfully deployed in the political arena it is conceivable that political corruption and vote-rigging could be severely curtailed or even eradicated. By providing a clear, transparent and incorruptible method of vote recording and counting, voter fraud and election rigging could be eliminated. The political climate could be detoxified and faith could be restored in both fledgling and established democracies. The idea of being able to present a publicly available digital ledger would allow journalists to maintain lists of sources that would be able to be shared between peers without compromising the source’s identity. The possibilities for the application of the Blockchain founding principles are truly revolutionary and just may be the largest leap forward for society since the computerization of the work force or the globalization of trade. The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem Overstock is a large e-commerce company that has successfully adopted a Blockchain solution for its business needs. The Silk Road was one of the most widely known early beneficiaries of the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. Purpose of Cryptocurrencies -Ethereum was developed after the original creator’s suggested changes to Bitcoin were not implemented by the community. -Ethereum is a completely separate cryptocurrency. -DAO Hack & the Ether Token. -Monero, Ripple, NEO, Stellar & Iota. -Microsoft has begun to accept Bitcoin on the Xbox live network store. If there is a wide-scale expansion of the mechanism of asset-tokenization we could see stocks, bonds, synthetic instruments and commodities being brought on-chain in the future. This would allow traditional assets to be easily integrated with smart contracts, and facilitate their interaction. This would cut down transaction times, and even more importantly, dramatically slash legal fees to a fraction of what they are today. It can cost up to $1,000 an hour or more to hire corporate lawyers to preside over a deal, draft contracts, or give advice on the intricacies of high finance. So, the potential savings involved for big businesses, if smart contracts and asset tokenization became the norm, is an amazing thing to think about at this time. The ASX is the first exchange in the world to implement a solution that would change the settlement of equities transactions from two days, to mere minutes. This radically changes how traders on both the buy and sell side, as well as companies, would be able to trade their securities, manage their risk and leverage their positions. Learn more on the role ICO tokens play as a part of Blockchain backed solutions. What is a crypto token? How do security tokens work? How to market an ICO? Follow the link to get more useful information: UBAI.co Contact me via Instagram and Facebook and I’ll consult you about all Platinum services and the UBAI courses: Instagram Facebook
2018 was a wild ride. There were negatives like jaw-dropping swings in the price of Bitcoin and with tokens of thousands of baseless ICOs getting washed out of the system. And there were positives of unprecedented FinTech innovation, the arrival of institutional players, the SEC (and FinCEN) beginning to provide clarity and taking select enforcement actions, and new use cases for blockchain technology. And in 2019? A few of my thoughts and predictions on the larger trends we’ll see include…
The Tokenization of... Everything
STOs (Securities Token Offerings)are currently the hot item that everyone is talking about. And yes, businesses will raise money and issue tokens instead of stock/bond certificates, and we’ll see new types of exchanges rise up to trade these securities. This trend will accelerate, especially given the easier path to liquidity for investors (see #5 below).
But, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Currency will be (and is already being) tokenized. Numerous stablecoins are issued against USD held in trust. This will also happen for EUR, GBP, YEN, SGD, and other currencies. Although the current major use-case for stablecoins is as a general store of digital value, that will start to shift as e-commerce merchants begin to move away from expensive credit cards to adopt stablecoins as a low (or even “no”) fee payment method.
Lending will be tokenized. This is, I think, perhaps, the largest and most disruptive use of blockchain technology. It’s also the one that our current US regulatory regime is least equipped to foster, nurture, and oversee. The current process for making loans and then packaging, securitizing and trading them is horribly kludgy and antiquated. This is also true for distributions of interest, principal, rents, revenue share, dividends and other remittances to lenders and investors, which will use new, highly efficient, blockchain-driven processes.
The storm clouds are already forming, and it’s exasperatingly unnecessary. “Hey buddy, wanna buy some tokens backed by the Brooklyn Bridge?” – some people are issuing tokens purportedly backed by USD, by real estate, by stocks and bonds, and by other assets without depositing the title to those assets with a regulated, audited, qualified third-party trustee. Would a bank make a home or auto loan without holding the title to the asset? Of course not. Would a pawn shop make a loan to someone without holding the jewelry in its safe? Of course not. Yet that’s exactly what some people are doing in the early stages of this space, “Give me money for tokens backed by this asset, which I’m holding… Trust me.” Most issuers are already using trust companies to hold those assets and build trust in the markets. As has been done for decades with ADRs and securitization of real estate loans, which employ custodians to hold underlying assets. But sadly, I think it may take well-publicized losses to wake some regulators (and lawyers, accountants, broker-dealers, advisors, and exchanges) up to the fact that if the assets aren’t held by a qualified trustee, then the potential for fraud is an unmanageable risk.
The SEC and FinCEN will step up their investigations and enforcement actions in the space.
I’m amazed that I continue to have conversations at conferences with otherwise very bright people who seem to have a complete lack of appreciation and at times even a willful disregard for, US rules and regulations. Compliance may be a pain, breaking the rules is far more painful. I agree that there’s quite a bit of gray area that’s yet to be clarified, and that’s what gives entrepreneurs a chance to build unicorns in a formative industry when the major financial firms are too afraid to participate, but some people just continue to do dumb things which are blatant violations of various regulations.
Global exchanges and intermediaries will legally poach business from their US counterparts.
International exchanges and platforms have gathered millions of customers who use their services daily. This forms a powerful base to start funding US asset-backed loans and business capitalization from offshore investors. This is fantastic for investors globally, everywhere except the US. Some examples of how this may play out include: A US business (of any size) wants to raise some capital. It does so using “Reg S”, which permits it to raise money from non-US investors with very few restrictions. Money flows into the company from offshore investors, which is a good thing as the business gets funded and jobs get created. The company doesn’t have to worry about whether those investors are “accredited” or not. The company doesn’t have to make any regulatory filings. And, those offshore investors can list their “stocks” or “bonds” (in the form of tokens) on a non-US exchange and start trading them immediately. Those non-US exchanges can even publish investor research reports on the tokens they trade! A US person wants to buy a house or a car. They do so by getting a loan from an offshore lending platform (which holds title to the home or auto with a US trust company). The offshore lender then tokenizes that real estate (or automobile) loan and sells it on non-US exchanges. And if that’s murky due to US lending regulations? Okay fine, then the offshore lender might perhaps buy the home and enter into a contract where the homeowner rents it and buys it little by little (similar to the model used by Islamic banks). The result is the same, the profits are made by investors globally…everywhere except the US.
The Rise of Infrastructure Businesses
Much ado has been made about custodians, and rightly so. Assets need to be held by a regulated trustee. There is a huge need for fiat on-and-offramps. And many investors will want their tokens held on statement just like they do their stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. But besides trust companies and banks, there are other unicorns in the making… Tokenization of assets requires help with creating smart contracts and managing them. It requires innovative blockchains that provide faster settlement of transactions, good KYC/AML, and tools to handle/reverse criminal acts. It requires front-end servicers to originate a flow of funds by connecting people who need funds with people who have money. It requires settlement mechanisms. It requires secondary trading exchanges, intermediaries and research. It requires debt (and fractionalized ownership) servicing firms. It requires a new breed of legal and accounting representation. And it requires new types of businesses to handle/create/manage things which we cannot yet imagine. Many of these businesses are already in play. Some are pivoting their well-established business models to address this market, including StartEngine, Republic, Overstock, Cohen & Co, PwC, and of course Prime Trust. Others are new firms that have been purpose-built for this new era, including HBUS, TrustToken, tZero, OKEX, KOI, CoinList, Polymath, Harbor, TokenSoft, OTCXN, AlphaPoint, Daollar, BHEX, Bitrue, Carbon, Stably, AnchorCoin, Stronghold, Consensys, and countless others across all types of service providers. 2019 is going to be exciting. I think it’s when the rubber truly starts to meet the road, following the shakeout of the vaporware that accumulated in prior years, which I chalk up as a proof-of-concept for blockchain. I can’t wait for the new year.
And What About Prime Trust?
2018 was a phenomenal year for the company, with record revenue, new clients, new offices, dozens of new employees, and game-changing products. That said, it was also a year in transition as we committed to serving the blockchain industry. Doing this has meant spending millions of dollars on new staff, new technology, new processes, and new operations. We are deftly disrupting traditional trust services in order to create a solid financial-institution foundation for a technology-driven world to build on top of. We have an incredible array of new technology, new customers and new services that are teed up for 2019 (and 2020). It’s going to be fun. We realize we could not have gotten to where we are today without the support of our community, partners, and clients. For this, we truly thank you!
What is FLO? FLO is a cryptocurrency that introduces a worldwide public record for storing information. FLO coins are needed to pay for storage capacity, and coins are issued to reward participants for their work to secure and distribute information. FLO is used to send payments and store data. This encourages building applications because anyone has the ability to write data into FLO. How does FLO work? FLO is a network similar to bitcoin where the open ledger is secured by miners competing to find proof-of-work. FLO has its own ledger, called the FLO blockchain, that can be thought of as a digital public space for storing information.
40 second block generation allows for fast confirmations, but not too fast to cause problems with network synchronisation.
No pre-mine, super-blocks or zero-blocks at the start.
Quick difficulty adjustment should limit insta-mining in the first hours after launch.
A floData can be added to any coin transaction. This can be used to attach a simple message or reference to a transaction, or for any other purpose decided by the coin receiver and sender. floData is currently limited to 1040 characters. Both the GUI and RPC interface have been extended to implement this feature.* The floData field can be seen under the "Transactions" tab when you double click on a a transaction ("Transaction information"). Also available from the terminal by doing "listtransactions".
Note that floData is stored in the block-chain and are therefore public. If you want to send private information in your floData you should encrypt the message using a method agreed upon by the sender and receiver.
floData has minimal impact on the size of the block chain due to small size (relative to the size of a block in the chain) and the fact that it does not take up any extra space when not used in a transaction. Transaction costs (calculated on transaction size) also offset the impact of slightly larger transactions when floData is included.
Block target spacing: 40 seconds Difficulty retargets every blocks Block reward: 100 FLO, halving every 800,000 blocks (about 1 year) Maximum coins: 160 million FLONetwork port: 7312RPC port: 7313
Shutting down or restricting the uses of bank accounts, thereby forbidding clients to buy crypto, is a blatant affront to the rights of civil liberty, manifested, but not limited to, in the rights to private property and free speech (562 points, 262 comments)
I believe Bitcoin Core/Blockstream is now attempting to infiltrate Bitcoin Cash in the same manner that they did with Bitcoin Segwit. They are suddenly befriending Bitcoin Cash. Only in that way can they destroy from within. Do not be fooled. (401 points, 166 comments)
You have $100 worth of BTC. So you purchase an item for $66, but have to pay a $17 fee. Now you have $17 worth of Bitcoin left, but it costs $17 more to move it. So $66 item effectively cost you $100. #Thanks BlockStream (1420 points, 433 comments)
2025 points: kairepaire's comment in As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method
2018 points: vbuterin's comment in "So no worries, Ethereum's long term value is still ~0." -Greg Maxwell, CTO of Blockstream and opponent of allowing Bitcoin to scale as Satoshi had planned.
1215 points: vbuterin's comment in Vitalik Buterin tried to develop Ethereum on top of Bitcoin, but was stalled because the developers made it hard to build on top of Bitcoin. Vitalik only then built Ethereum as a separate currency
1211 points: LiamGaughan's comment in As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method
https://preview.redd.it/7hp45q8q0o221.jpg?width=1853&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8ed85cae40ca7b96a2fc749fc560dd8d26f2e7b0 Terry Fisher, Chief Marketing Officer at BestBitcoinExchange.io speaks of the impact blockchain has on the hospitality sector. It is very basic that one of the most important applications of the blockchain technology, Cryptocurrency, can be used in the hospitality industry as the payment method. There are other applications in the industry as well. For example, the customer can get a complete historical record on the process of making the bottle of wine being purchased, from the growing of grapes to using the cork to seal the bottle. The technology helps customers to know exactly what they eat!
Blockchain is Still a Hot Topic in the Europe
https://preview.redd.it/2iicehyu0o221.jpg?width=1929&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1d6c2c5ff75463a5106b2b12893a57d5aecec6e2 On Tue this week, the southern European states, including France, Italy, Spin, Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain, made a joint declaration to promote the adoption of blockchain with the aim to transform their economies. On the other hand, Ripple, NEM and two other blockchain companies have established a ‘Blockchain for Europe’ Association, as per their press release on Wed this week. The association aims to promote the understanding and proactive regulation of blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies across the European continent.
Good morning. Since it's a holiday today, I can write thoughts earlier.
An interesting discussion on the 1MB transaction limit
At https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=673415.0, gavinandresen has some interesting comments about a proposal to increase the block frequency of bitcoins. In the thread, it is proposed that, instead of increaqsing the block size, the developers should instead change the difficulty so that blocks are generated more frequently. If the difficulty is reduced by a factor of 20, then blocks appear every 30 seconds instead of every 10 minutes. That also means that 20MB of transactions can occur every 10 minutes, with transaction confirmations being less binary than they are now. Currently, if five minutes has passed and you don't have your transaction in a block, then you are no better off than you were five minutes ago. The odds of finding a block in the next time interval are no higher than they were five minutes ago. With a shorter time interval, you might have 3 confirmations of lower strength already. For midsize transactions, this is beneficial because the possibility of your transaction being double-spent lies somewhere between 0 and 1, rather than remaining at exactly 1. However, this runs into problems that are prevalent in many altcoins. Netcoins are an example of an altcoin that has extremely fast block confirmation times. Their difficulty fluctuates wildly. Mining netcoins can produce 20 blocks in ten seconds. We had to disable netcoin mining because even though they are theoretically the most profitable coin, 75% of the blocks were orphaned. Reducing the block time to several blocks per minute turns coins into a free-for-all, where a "confirmation" doesn't mean anything anymore. I disagree with the assertions in that thread that it would be possible to reduce the block confirmation time down to 5 seconds and that everything would be fine. Such frequent confirmations would result in the mining turning into a race like the stock market is now, where you build dedicated fiber lines from you to the stock exchange to shave off 1ms from your ping time. If people think that centralized mining is a problem now, wait until 5-second blocks appear. The only possible way to compete in a 5-second block environment is to have a large pool with gigabit upload bandwidth and a very low ping time, something that costs $10k/month.
A non-fork solution to the limit
An extremely interesting suggestion that Andresen brings up, and which is the first actually viable idea I've heard to resolve the 1MB transaction limit, is to build a "new P2P" pool. The pool would find "share-blocks" every few seconds. When one of the "new P2P" pool's shares exceeds the difficulty of the original 10-minute network, then it is published to the original blockchain. As the "new P2P" pool grows in size and eventually gains 51% of the hashrate, it essentally becomes the new bitcoin network, even though this blockchain is operating on top of the original chain. Eventually, the pool and the original blockchain both become integrated into the same client, so that it appears that there is only one blockchain, when the actual implementation is a convoluted way behind the scenes. As he states, "we can do this without a hard fork." However, Andresen misses that even if the "new P2P" pool is a wild success, each of the 5-second blocks can only be 10KB or so in size. Otherwise, the original blockchain would exceed 1MB every 10 minutes. To address this issue, a missing link of consolidating transactions needs to be developed that can make transactions in the original blockchain become pointers to the pool's blockchain. The way I see the 1MB limit nowadays is as just another engineering problem that needs to be solved. It may be human-created, but it's just as much an impediment to progress at this point as are the laws of physics. Resolving the problem will require the same development process as solving other intractable problems does. You can't change how cancer behaves, so you accept it as a fact of life and then set about figuring out a cure. Similarly, there can't be any hard forks anymore, so the mistakes in the original bitcoin protocol are now as much a problem as the lack of the protocol once was, and it will take innovative ideas to develop something on top of them to solve the problem. The "new P2P" pool idea is a promising solution to the 1MB transaction limit. There are a few engineering challenges that need to be addressed, but any idea that doesn't require a hard fork is one that can keep bitcoin viable for the long-term.
Time running out?
While there is still time left for the bubble cycle to hold, time seems to be running out. If this bubble doesn't peak within one (or two, but that is probably stretching it) weeks of three Thursdays from now, then the predictions of many will have been inaccurate. After a brief rise after the auction, the price is again starting to slide down towards the lower boundary, which should now be rising above $550. A break of the lower boundary, as you may recall, would likely signal the end of the cycle, because that has not happened in the past five years.
"Bitcoins are too difficult" is an excuse
There are still people who believe that bitcoins are too difficult for the average person to hold and spend. I disagree with that viewpoint. As I stated elsewhere, cold storage is pretty easy and the risk, while not 100%, is very low with reasonable precautions. Printing out a wallet at bitaddress.org and putting the paper in a safe deposit box is only vulnerable to theft in the case that some screen-grabbing virus happens to be taking pictures of the screen exactly at the time the wallet is created, sending the images to some server across the Internet, and (most importantly) the hacker knows what he has. Stealing passwords at phishing sites is easy; doing image processing across videos from a botnet is impossible. As to people who say they would not want to print to a printer, are there any bitcoin-stealing printer firmware viruses that even exist? Given that all routers come with default firewalls and (unlike Windows) there is no single printer architecture, how would anyone even go about targeting your printer? There's a difference between theoretical attacks that could happen to someone, someday, and stuff that is actually happening now. As to spending bitcoins, everyone has a cell phone and anyone can understand how to point a camera at a QR code. I propose that the idea that bitcoins are insecure is a product of a few people who post the same story to many forums claiming that they lost hundreds of bitcoins due to some virus, when in reality there are millions of people using bitcoins and about 10 people have ever lost their life savings due to a virus. Some of the stories aren't true, so the number of people who lost bitcoins is even smaller. People figure out elaborate scams and kickbacks and accounting tricks all the time to rip each other off. Most of these scams are so convoluted and pull in so little money that it is more profitable to simply get a job. It is nonsense to suggest that if people could make a significant amount of money by spending bitcoins rather than credit cards, people wouldn't go to great lengths to save cash. The reality is that if retailers started offering discounts to pay in bitcoins, then people would be motivated to figure out how to use bitcoins, even if it was actually difficult to create a wallet. Why doesn't Overstock give a 3% discount instead of donating 3% to foundations - as the 3% discount would both benefit them and do more to further bitcoins than anything else would? When you add credit card fees and losses due to chargeback fraud, most retailers could give a 5% discount without any problem. When Coinbase and Bitpay start convincing merchants to offer such bonuses, then the excuse that "it's too difficult" will go away.
I was asked on Wednesday to write about Toastmasters, an organization dedicated to improving public speaking skills. I attend Toastmaters meetings every other Thursday, which is why I usually do not contribute on Thursdays. Toastmasters is a great organization that is geared towards people who know little about speaking. My belief is that people who know a little more about public speaking can still learn a lot, but the "competent communicator" manuals that Toastmasters provides focus a great deal on fear of public speaking. People who enjoy public speaking, like myself, or at least people who have no fear of it, may find themselves disappointed by how much emphasis Toastmasters places on eliminating fear of speaking. One way that Toastmasters addresses fear of speaking is to provide evaluations. But I am always frustrated at evaluation speeches, because the Toastmasters manuals specify that 90% of evaluation speeches should be focused on positive comments. If I performed poorly, I want to know about it; I'm not worried about hurt feelings. In Toastmasters-sponsored speech contests, they do not announce anyone except the winners, which has made me less likely to participate because I can't gain anything from contests where I don't know who I was better than. Despite these shortcomings, I would still recommend Toastmasters to anyone interested in improving their speaking as there are few alternatives. If anyone knows of a group where feelings and emotions are viewed as less important, please let know as I think there is a need for people who have no fear but could still improve their skills.
[PSA] If your Bitcoin are not ready-to-transact in a wallet whose keys you exclusively control, then you don't control your Bitcoin (625 points, 216 comments)
Why us old-school Bitcoiners argue that Bitcoin Cash should be considered "the real Bitcoin" (585 points, 587 comments)
I think we need an EDA fix before the Nov hardfork (535 points, 346 comments)
Why large blocks: because one man's "coffee purchase transaction" is another man's monthly income (508 points, 104 comments)
There is a word for a "store of value" with no underlying utility, and that word is "collectible" (481 points, 171 comments)
Ripple user comes to defend Ripple, gets hundreds of upvotes, but can't answer the most fundamental question: what prevents inflation? (462 points, 407 comments)
If you don't agree that the mission is to make onchain transactions readily available to ALL people at ALL income levels then you don't understand the whole reason Bitcoin was invented to begin with (449 points, 203 comments)
Shutting down or restricting the uses of bank accounts, thereby forbidding clients to buy crypto, is a blatant affront to the rights of civil liberty, manifested, but not limited to, in the rights to private property and free speech (563 points, 262 comments)
I believe Bitcoin Core/Blockstream is now attempting to infiltrate Bitcoin Cash in the same manner that they did with Bitcoin Segwit. They are suddenly befriending Bitcoin Cash. Only in that way can they destroy from within. Do not be fooled. (405 points, 170 comments)
You have $100 worth of BTC. So you purchase an item for $66, but have to pay a $17 fee. Now you have $17 worth of Bitcoin left, but it costs $17 more to move it. So $66 item effectively cost you $100. #Thanks BlockStream (1427 points, 434 comments)
2028 points: kairepaire's comment in As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method
2019 points: vbuterin's comment in "So no worries, Ethereum's long term value is still ~0." -Greg Maxwell, CTO of Blockstream and opponent of allowing Bitcoin to scale as Satoshi had planned.
1210 points: vbuterin's comment in Vitalik Buterin tried to develop Ethereum on top of Bitcoin, but was stalled because the developers made it hard to build on top of Bitcoin. Vitalik only then built Ethereum as a separate currency
1205 points: LiamGaughan's comment in As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method
Jonathan Johnson serves as CEO of Overstock.com, Inc. and president of Medici Ventures Inc. In these dual roles, Johnson oversees and sets the direction for both Overstock Retail and Medici Ventures, Overstock's subsidiary focused on using blockchain technology to democratize capital, eliminate frictional middlemen and re-humanize commerce. Also announced on Monday’s investor call, Medici Ventures, the blockchain-focused venture arm of Overstock, plans to invest $2 million in a digital identity company. “At this point, we’re in the final stages to make a $2 million investment in a promising digital identity company, ” Johnson said, without naming the company. Overstock issued digital securities to investors in Q2. The mainstream giant touts various areas of crypto involvement, including a blockchain wing known as tZERO. Overstock gave its stock shareholders a new kind of dividend payout in May — a security token under the ticker OSTKO, a slight alteration from its mainstream stock ticker, OSTK. Overstock, also knowns as O.co, from 2013 began to support the cryptocurrency idea and accept Bitcoin as means of payment. The company manages the tZERO exchange , which for many years has been at the blockchain revolution forefront and has been working closely with regulators since 2015. Overstock Stock=Blockchain Overstock currently owns 10 different blockchain companies, and the firm has been accepting payment for its goods in Bitcoin for the past four years.
7/31/14 - The Secret is Stellar, Overstock loves Bitcoin, & Core developer Peter Todd branches out
Growing demand for Bitcoin increased the size of cryptocurrency blockchain. Bitcoins’ blockchain has exceeded 100 GB for the first time on Monday, the 19th of December. Anarchast Ep.381 Jeff interviews founder and CEO of Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne. Topics include: self ownership and voluntaryism, starting Overstock.com, the dotcom bubble and crash, Bitcoin and ... The premium version of this episode also includes why he first decided to open Overstock.com to accept Bitcoin, his views on the future of bitcoin, and what it was like being the most hated man in ... Viacoin, a digital currency platform that facilitates the creation of decentralized 'Bitcoin 2.0' applications on top of its alternative blockchain, has hired Bitcoin core developer Peter Todd as ... Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne talks with CNN's Zain Asher about the potential strengths of bitcoin during a dollar crisis.