A “Digital Bubble”, That Still Has Not Burst 381

2017 is, indeed, a year of bitcoin. In the passing year the cryptocurrency has not only increased taking along its “younger brothers” – Ethereum and Litecoin. It has also become a hot issue all over the world. Bitcoin has been making people learn more and more about cryptocurrencies even if they have never dealt with this digital economy trend before. An incredible increase and a sharp slump, a “bubble”-label, a widespread use among companies and a total ban in several countries – this is what bitcoin has made many people talk about during this impressive year.

Back to the Future

In January, 2009 the world saw bitcoin for the first time. The founder of this cryptocurrency somebody called Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the first version of bitcoin wallet. It’s been eight years already, however, the public still does not know who stands behind this assumed name. Back then when a thematic forum (today Bitcointalk is its analogue) was created the rate of that cryptocurrency started increasing. The initial small sum of $0,06 turned to $0,5. In the beginning of 2011 the rate reached $1, and it seemed that it was the highest possible peak. Less than in six months bitcoin cost already $10 and in another week $31,91.

2013 was a crucial year in the history of the cryptocurrency. A “bubble” was now almost ten times bigger $300 for a coin. However, yet in October its price “dived” to $109.71. In November, 2013 bitcoin reached its first $1000 mark. Just in one month the cryptocurrency showed what’s what. One year later in the beginning of December the price was around $310.

2015 appeared to be a rather stable year for bitcoin. However, it is difficult to put the words “stability” and “bitcoin” together. The price went up and down reaching at least two times higher mark comparing to the initial cost and finally since December the rate was approximately $350.

Traders noticed first positive tendencies  in 2016 the price became stable reaching $1000. Back then they could hardly expect that bitcoin would incredibly increase by almost 20 times!

Everything for bitcoin

Who could imagine that bitcoin would become so popular and it would be possible to purchase real estate or pay for services with this cryptocurrency? There were also some people ready to sell all their property in order to by a brand new gold.

During the second half of 2017 the digital currency rate experienced  an active increase. Having reached  $2000, bitcoin then increased up to $4000 and thus became the hottest topic of discussions and really valuable asset for its holders. However, something really unbelievable happened this autumn. The “bubble” kept growing day by day reaching $ 8000. The public had opposite opinions: many people stated that bitcoin was something like a roller coaster so its rate would definitely go down; others expected another increase up to $10000. And they were right.

Today experts are ready to make many controversial predictions about bitcoin. Some expect it to cost $100 000, and there are even those who dream about 1 million.

Bitcoin disappointed the crypto community having decreased by almost 30% in December. It reached a record breaking $20 000, and then collapsed to $13 000. Still the cryptocurrency is rather unstable. It is not so easy to predict how bitcoin will close this year and how much it will cost in December, 2018. However, the fact is that this  “bubble” has not burst yet.

The Co-Founder of Apple Announced the Launch of His Own Blockchain-Based Project 214

interview with steve wozniak

Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, took part in an exclusive interview at the conference ChainXchange and talked about his attitude towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general and also shared his plans for the blockchain technology:

I like to keep up with things… Bitcoin caught my attention. It had so many unusual aspects for any technology I had ever heard of. Nobody is really known to be the creator. It doesn’t have any centralized [component]. It’s based on mathematics. There’s a certain number of Bitcoin that can ever exist… Mathematics to me is like nature. It’s much better than human beings… I trust those things of nature more than what man makes up. Man makes up currencies, controls them, issues new US dollars every year; Bitcoin was immune to that.

We want to point out that the famous American inventor, electronic engineer and programmer was not particularly interested in the subject of cryptocurrency in the fall of 2017 and even sold all his Bitcoins. Back then he found that cryptocurrencies only brought “anxiety”, but now, he seems to have learnt more things about the advantage of the blockchain technology:

At first I kept hearing [about blockchain], and I didn’t understand it. It’s not something you understand in a day. You think about it, read more about it and how it works, and then you see how people actually start to use it, through the mining process and also the verification and, aha! It all adds up!” said Wozniak.

After that, the co-founder of Apple made a sensational statement: he himself is going to start working with blockchain. According to him, this will happen “very soon”, the project is likely to be launched in Malta:

I’m involved with, very soon, my first time being involved in a blockchain company. [It’s] called Equi… Our approach is not like a new currency, or something phony where an event will make it go up in value. It’s a share of stock, in a company. This company is doing investment by investors with huge track records in good investments in things like apartment buildings in Dubai. We have one person in our group who has listed out a whole apartment building for Bitcoin… We might be starting up in Malta around the time of their blockchain conference. Some countries are very positive about [blockchain]the same way they were about electric vehicles.

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The Chinese Crypto Rating Welcomes New Coins While EOS Remains #1 227

chinese crypto rating

Taking into account all the crypto novelties, China Electronic Information Industry Development updated its previous ranking of the best digital coins. Some cryptocurrencies managed to keep their position or even climb up, others lost their ground.

The list of the best 5 coins currently looks in the following way

  1. EOS
  2. Ethereum
  3. Komodo
  4. Nebulas
  5. NEO

Ethereum and EOS are keeping their positions, they once more proved to be best in terms of technology, application and innovativeness. The “lucky” coins of the previous rating Lisk and Stellar have both lost 2 positions, whereas Bitcoin has climbed from the 17th to the 10th place. However, the next rating might change the things drastically.

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What Does John McAfee Have to Say About Bitfi, His Future Projects and Crypto in General? 515

interview with john mcafee

John McAfee is a very eccentric but still popular crypto personality. His every action and word instantly draws attention. Thus, we absolutely could not miss an interview that he gave to ETHNews discussing a couple of important issues.

Firstly, McAfee addressed the infamous story with Bitfi which we have thoroughly covered on our news portal. Many people were confused by McAfee’s behavior, thinking that he lied to all of his followers and customers. However, the “accused one” had an explanation for that:

My job is to market this thing [Bitfi]. How better to market it than to create a controversy?

Basically, McAfee admitted that he intentionally started all this drama with Bitfi to attract more attention to his wallet.

The crypto enthusiast also talked about a new big project – his own version of the CoinMarketCap, called McAfee Market Cap, and the further development of a decentralized crypto exchange. Though the program was launched, the developers had to take it down to introduce some upgrades and improvements.

Of course, the topic of possible running for presidency was not left out of the conversation. Here McAfee claimed that he is not interested in being the US President, he only intends to run for the post. According to him:

The act of finding and creating the president – that’s what changes America. So I want to be involved in that.

Overall, McAfee is very satisfied with everything he’s currently doing and the influence that he has on the financial world. He even modestly called himself “one of the premier technologists of this world”. However, only the time will show whether his ambitious plans will come true.

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Blockchain Transactions: How Do They Work and How to Track Them? 833

blockchain transactions

Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, published an article “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in 2008 and introduced a fundamentally new way of exchanging money. From that moment on, the need for a third party, like a bank or other financial institution, simply disappeared. In fact, this has become a new financial revolution.

Today we will talk how blockchain transactions are conducted from a technical point of view, how reliable they are, what features they have and how they can be tracked.

Contents:
(please, click the topic to scroll down to it)

  1. How does blockchain work in general?
  2. How are transactions organized?
  3. What features do blockchain transactions have?
  4. How to test a blockchain transaction?
  5. The reasons why transactions can freeze
  6. Conclusion

1. How does blockchain work in general?

We should start with the fact that Bitcoin is the first ever completely digital currency. Unlike electronic money, it does not exist even as a digital file. It is a huge stream of data about all the transactions that have ever been conducted. Blockchain is presented in the form of a giant accounting book, which is available to all network participants.

Each transaction is not stored separately, the information is placed in the blocks. Different networks have different block sizes, for example, until recently one block in the network of Bitcoin “weighed” 1 MB. But the BitMEX report says that after the introduction of the new SegWit protocol, the average size of one block has increased to 1.06 MB, and some have reached 2 MB.

In order to obtain a new block, there are different mechanisms for consensus. The most widespread ones are:

  • PoW (proof of work). Here, the miners need to solve a complex cryptographic equation. After that, a new block is added, for which the system rewards the finder with a certain number of coins.
  • PoS (proof of stake). This mechanism involves adding a new block to a user who has a certain number of coins. The more coins a user has, the more likely he/she will generate a new block.

Each subsequent block stores information about the previous one. Another important feature of blockchain is its decentralization, since information is simultaneously stored by all participants of the system (miners, master nodes). Thus, after the block is added to blockchain, it can not be changed or deleted.

2. How are blockchain transactions organized?

As it was mentioned above, transactions that are carried out in the network of blockchain do not require the participation of a third party. Let’s see how this happens in practice.

Let’s say you want to transfer 0.5 BTC to another person. Before the system recalculates the wallets’ balances (not transfer, namely, the recalculation), this transaction will fall into the so-called Memory Pool – the operational memory of all the miners connected to the network. After this, the blockchain transaction must be confirmed by at least 6 different miners. They (miners) should check the correctness of the transaction:

  • the amount of commission for each byte of information;
  • the physical possibility of adding a transaction to an existing block (if there is too little space left in the block, the transaction is transferred to the next one that still needs to be found).

After these actions, the data on the operation are permanently entered in the blockchain, and the coins are credited to the wallet of the recipient.

3. What features do blockchain transactions have?

Based on the abovementioned information, it is worth highlighting a number of features that are typical for blockchain transactions:

  • Irreversibility. Since the blockchain system is a decentralized system, it is not possible to affect the data that has already been entered in the register. Therefore, it is impossible to mark the already completed operation.
  • Lack of regulation. Due to the absence of the center from which the system is managed, it is impossible to completely prohibit and shut down cryptocurrencies. To do this, you must destroy all the computers of miners.
  • Anonymity. Each blockchain has its own level of anonymity, but in any case, even in pseudonymous anonymous networks, such as Bitcoin, for example, the names and surnames of users are never used for transactions.
  • Reliability. The network algorithm fixes the balance of all the wallets at the same time, but only a user who has a private key can make a transaction from a particular wallet. Subject to observance of elementary security rules, it is not possible to crack the wallet. You can lose your coins only because of your own fault. For example, if you send them to the wrong wallet, infect your computer or smartphone with a virus or somehow let scammers get private keys.

4. How to test a blockchain transaction?

Transactions in the Bitcoin network can be tracked on the site www.blockchain.info. In order to see information about a particular transaction, you need to go to this site and enter a unique transaction hash in the search bar. Then the system displays the actual information.

In this service you can also see information about a particular wallet:

  • transactions in the history (by dates);
  • the total number of coins that passed through the wallet;
  • the list of all addresses which there have ever been interactions with (incoming or outgoing operations);
  • current balance.

5. The reasons why transactions can freeze

The main problem of Bitcoin and many other coins is the speed of blockchain transactions. As for  BTC, this indicator reaches a mark of 7 operations per second. Previously, when the total number of users was small, this was enough. But now, with the growing popularity of the industry, the “line” for the transaction can turn into tens and even hundreds of thousands of unconfirmed operations. You can view the current list, which is updated in real time, on this service.

Some transactions may even freeze in the Memory Pool for a long period of time (up to 72 hours). What factors affect the speed of transaction confirmation?

  • Total pool load.
  • A very small commission. Miners confirm transactions with a larger commission in the first place.
  • The transaction weight is too big, and it simply does not fit into the almost completely filled block. In this case, it will be automatically transferred to the next one.

6. Conclusion

Cryptocurrencies have made a real revolution in the financial sector, on a scale that we still can not comprehend. The number of blockchain transactions is growing every year. In order for everyone to be able to use Bitcoin at the same time (like Visa, for example), it is necessary to solve the problem with bandwidth.

Blockchain transactions have both their advantages: the absence of intermediaries, small commissions, anonymity, security, and their shortcomings: irreversibility, low throughput.

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Will Bitcoin ETF Soon Be Replaced by ETN? 1021

Bitcoin ETN

The news about the possible Bitcoin ETF has been all over the place recently. Some people support it, some people don’t. Anyway the official decision upon it is delayed until September, and experts believe that it actually won’t be taken until March of 2019.

However, this is not the end for Bitcoin investments. There is another option which is quite similar. More and more companies are now considering running an ETN (exchange traded notes, whereas ETF stands for exchange traded funds).

For example, in Sweden only, the ETN has already outrun the volume of ETFs in the US. According to the experts’ estimates, it might soon be introduced in America bringing investors a more liquid and effective tool to purchase BTC.

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Buterin, Winklevoss and Others: The Future of the Digital Currency World According to Major Crypto Personalities 1472

experts opinions on crypto

The crypto world has entered the new stage of its development, it has always been volatile, but these couple of weeks have been absolutely crazy: coins are jumping up and down, Bitcoin ETF is on its way, blockchain is taking over the world.

No doubt, crypto specialists and financial experts have a lot to say. Today we came up with a compilation of sayings from the stars of the cryptocurrency universe that we found particularly interesting and important.

The CEO of the crypto exchange Gemini, Tyler Winklevoss believes that the acceptance of cryptocurrency in the world as a means of payment equal to fiat will not happen in the next couple of years:

The vast majority of Wall Street firms are still not participating in the cryptocurrency market, which remains primarily a retail-driven market. This will change over time, but it will take time.

Pantera Capital’s CEO is way more optimistic on this issue. He sees great potential in the blockchain technology, and digital coins, according to him, are “superior form of currency.

Ethereum’s founder Vitalik Buterin wants cryptocurrencies to become more user-friendly and common in the everyday life. He also thinks it may become possible only in case the proper regulatory framework for crypto is developed by the state governments.

I want to be able to walk into a convenience store, get a card and pay a small fee to start using Bitcoin Cash,” he said.

The last, but certainly not least, is the CEO of BitMEX, Arthur Hayes, who has some serious doubts concerning Ethereum. According to his calculations, the price of the world’s #2 coin will drop lower than $100.

It is this moment,” he added, “that Ether goes from a 3-digit to a 2-digit shitcoin.

Although we are sure that experts know what they are talking about, the crypto world is way too unpredictable. We can only wait and see whether the abovementioned predictions turn out to be true or not.

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