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

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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Bitcoin Cash: Overview, Advantages and Disadvantages, Details of The Hard Forks

In this article we will talk about the most famous bitcoin`s hard fork – the Bitcoin Cash: it`s advantages and disadvantages, forecast for the future, as well as the hard fork, which will happen on November 15, 2018.

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

  1. Briefly about the Bitcoin Cash and comparison with Bitcoin
  2. Disadvantages of Bitcoin Cash
  3. Briefly about the hard fork Bitcoin Cash
  4. Conclusion

1. Briefly about Bitcoin Cash and comparison with Bitcoin

The main popularizer of the “new” coin is Roger Ver. He is quite famous person in crypto world. He was one of the first cryptocurrency investors. Due to increased attention to this industry, he became known as Bitcoin Jesus. But later, Ver decided to actively promote the hard fork (a branch) of the first cryptocurrency – the Bitcoin Cash. The network split occurred on August 1, 2017.

What is the difference between the BTC and the BCH?

  • Increasing of transaction`s speed in several times. The main feature of the new coin is an increased block`s size to 8 MB. On May 15, 2018, developers released the update, after which the block`s size increased to 32 MB. This solution made it possible to record much more transactions in one block, and thereby to increase network bandwidth.
  • Low commissions. Bitcoin Cash has very small commissions $0,05 – $0,010, which is significantly lower than that of the “older brother” $8 – $15.
  • With the current network load, a queue of unconfirmed transactions does not exceed 200 – 250, whereas with the original Bitcoin, this number can reach 7,000 – 10,000.

2. Disadvantages of Bitcoin Cash

Significant disadvantage of this fork is the automatic adjustment of the network`s computing complexity. Unfortunately, it has direct dependence on the speed of extraction of new data. That is, if for a certain amount of time miners get an insufficient number of blocks, then complexity decreases. This pattern works in both directions.

Miners started to use this vulnerability and got BCH in periods of complexity recession, and when the situation changed, they turned to BTC. Such actions led to the network`s destabilization and increased volatility of the BCH rate. This problem has not been solved till this day, but the development team manages to restrain it.

Cryptocurrency investors do not consider Bitcoin Cash as a long-term asset yet. This coin is more used as a speculative tool. For this reason, at the moment BCH has rather vague and uncertain future.

3. Briefly about the hard fork Bitcoin Cash

The hard fork of Bitcoin Cash was on November 15, 2018. After this event, the network received two incompatible consensus protocols BCHABC и BCHSV. The community of coin divided into two parts: on the one hand Roger Ver, and on the other Craig Wright. The outbreak of the conflict is considered to be Bitcoin ABC update, which began to support smart contracts and atomic swaps. In response to this update, Craig Wright offered the community his vision for the future development of the project. He proposed to increase the block`s size up to 128 MB. Such decision was not supported by Roger Ver and his part of miners. Because of this, another coin will now appear in the cryptocurrency world.

This is very good news for BCH holders. The matter is that after hard fork, investors received the same amount of coins of the new network, which complies with their BCH`s balance.

Against this background, the Bitcoin Cash rate grew up by almost 50% only for the first week of November.

Source: https://coinmarketcap.com/

This growth was artificial, therefore, we observed the same rapid rollback before the hard fork.

Source: https://coinmarketcap.com/

4. Conclusion

Bitcoin Cash is a project with rather big ambitions, ultimate goal of which is to push the original Bitcoin from the first place. In fact, BCH has fewer problems with scaling, and also can boast of low transaction commissions. But on the other hand, there is conflict between developers, still unsolved problem of automatic control of complexity, as well as increased volatility. Now it is hard to make long-term forecasts for Bitcoin Cash, as it is not clear yet, which of two networks will be more stable.

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Three Hellish Days for Cryptocurrency: Reasons of The Fall of The Currency and What To Do Next?

The current condition of the cryptocurrency market raises a number of question from traders. For the third day, the industry is either trying to revive Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, or just watching the collapse of the course.

The question of what caused the collapse of the market and what should do those who still have cryptocurrency  – makes world crazy. That is why, The Coin Shark have found answers for all of these questions and analysed per minute history of the fall of currency of Bitcoin.

The Chronology of the fall from 14th to 16th November

Wednesday, November,14 , Bitcoin break another 2018 bottom.  According to data of CoinMarketCap, at 11:34 UTC the rate of the first cryptocurrency behaved stably, being at $6 365.

Nothing foretold troubles, but at 17:19 UTC began unexpected fall, which last till the 19:19 UTC, where the price of BTC remained in half-dead condition at $5 765. Therefore, the capitalisation of the marked fell to $102 billion.

After that, Bitcoin started to resist. In 20:04 UTC the currency show vital signs, increased to $5 858. But still, the end of 14th November was not a happy ending. In 22:48 UTC was settled a new record – $5 568.

Source: https://coinmarketcap.com/

If compare the data with an individual market, then on a Bitstamp the price of the BTC has already dropped to $5 534, and on the Kraken – $5 510. Last two weeks, Bitfinex exchange trade Bitcoin more than $6 000 per each unit.

It turned out, that the 14th of November was still far from the end of BTC fall. According to CoinMarketCap, Thursday, November, 15, at 17:04 UTC, Bitcoin shocked everybody with the course of $5 358. On Bitstamp the first cryptocurrency down to $5 446, and on the Bitfinex – $5 638. At this point, this is the lowest course from the end of October, 2017.

Source: https://coinmarketcap.com/

The condition of the cryptocurrency market for the last year is unstable. It is accompanied by unexpectable highs, as well as painful falls. But not only Bitcoin drop it’s price position on 14th of November. Together with it, into a deep red zone came the major part of other cryptocurrencies. In doing so, the total capitalisation fell by $190 billion.

Source: https://coinmarketcap.com/

At the writing of this article, 16th of November, the condition of the cryptocurrency market is still in critical position – the course of Bitcoin stood at $5 500, and Ethereum backed down the second place in capitalisation Ripple.

Source: https://coinmarketcap.com/

What caused the collapse?

Just think about it, less than 24 hours ago, it was possible to sell the BTC on a thousand dollar higher. Probably, it is impossible to define why “the foundation was cracked” under the cryptocurrency, as for the example it can be done in a regular market. In the digital, the effect is first  seen and only than the reason becomes known.

Reason #1: Contagious effect

On the basis of past, the cause of the fall have psychological nature.
For example, people are massively starting to buy cryptocurrencies or fanatically selling.

Reason #2 : Direct correlation

Each financial currency  pegged to its government, as for the example dollar – to the US economy. Cryptocurrency pegged with the people, which are both buying or selling it.

Reason #3: Global Bitcoin influence

Ironically, but there is a theory, that the general condition of the cryptocurrency is affected by Bitcoin. The value of all digital market is estimated in $182 billion, the $90 billion of which belongs to BTC. The majority of cryptocurrencies  should be transferred especially in Bitcoin, before the sale.
And now imagine, that selling of Bitcoin will start simultaneously several major players of the market. After this, the BTC prices are lowering, and this cause  the panic attacks more than ones: “ Buy everything and as quickly as possible, while the price is low!” – this makes the course to grow.

What should do the owners of cryptocurrency: sell or wait?

It depends on the inner aspects of each owner. Even when the course is rising – it still have cycles of fall.

Who and how will affect the collapse of rate?  

Cryptocurrency is the unstable tool. It’s system decentralised and doesn’t have the management center. Digital currency should strengthen the positions, so it can give the accurate forecast for the future. But, it appeared, that this fall will have no affect on ordinary users.

There is no denying, that in a consequence many crypto-business will close. Cryptocurrency exchange are in the minimum risk area, as in such cases the number of transaction increases.

Most of all, miners and the owners of the mining field will suffer the most. Since, the profitability depends on the price of extracted cryptocurrency. Within recent events, it is clear that mining is unprofitable occupation.

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Crypto Wars: Jihan Wu vs Craig Wright, Who Gets McAfee’s Support?

The infamous hard fork of Bitcoin Cash has created some tension between the major crypto personalities in the industry. It is especially the case with the supporters of the two different BCH protocols.

One of the main “fights” has started between the CEO of Bitmain Jihan Wu and a computer scientist Craig Wright, who have repeatedly gone at each other on the social media, claiming that their vision of Bitcoin’s future is correct. Later on, the “war” was joined by John McAfee who supported Jihan Wu.

Craig Wright did not take long to respond.

Hopefully, the conflict will be settled peacefully, because the crypto industry needs all of the abovementioned people to function properly and develop.

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The Twitter Account of Google Was Hacked to Promote a Scam BTC Giveaway

As we reported about a scam on Twitter yesterday, we had no idea that its organizers would go beyond hacking the accounts of Target and The Body Shop. We remind you:

A Major Twitter Scam Made Target Promote a Bitcoin Giveaway

But they did. They hacked the account of Google. According to the report by The Next Web, one of the official account of Google on Twitter, GSuite, became another victim of the hackers trying to endorse their fake Bitcoin giveaway.


Source: Twitter

The representative of Google stated the following:

This morning an unauthorized promoted tweet was shared from the G Suite account. We removed the tweet and are investigating with Twitter now.”

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A Major Twitter Scam Made Target Promote a Bitcoin Giveaway

Twitter scammers are getting more and more intricate to make their fraud look like it’s not fraud. This time another scam involves a couple of popular brands (and, surprisingly, not Elon Musk).

A couple of unknown crypto criminals started spreading a tweet, encouraging the community to participate in a BTC giveaway. The scammers promised to give out $30 million worth of crypto. The tweet were quickly deleted, but some members of the crypto community managed to capture it.

The most interesting part of this whole scam is that its organizers allegedly hacked account of such popular companies as Target, The Body Shop, AHDB etc. and used them to endorse their endeavour.

There seem to be no other details on the victims of the scam or whether the hackers were caught or not.

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Authorities of the Crimea Are Planning to Launch a Blockchain Cluster

According to the Russian news outlet, there might be a blockchain cluster created in the special economic zone in the Crimea. Such a proposal was put out during the Yalta International Economic Forum that took place in Moscow.

As stated by the representative of Crimea, Georgi Muradov:

Last year we started discussing the blockchain technology and planned the creation of a cluster, a blockchain cluster in the form of a cryptocurrency investment fund.

Such a move towards innovative technologies might be an attempt to avoid sanctions from the West and lure in overseas investments.

We remind you:

Rosfinmonitoring Took Control of Cryptocurrency Turnover in the Russian Federation

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