Famous Russian Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Specialist Kidnapped in Ukraine 401

On Tuesday, December 26th a blockchain and IT-expert, analyst at EXMO LLP Pavel Lerner was kidnapped in Kyiv.

Lerner stopped responding to phone calls around midday and later in the evening someone from his entourage went to the local police.

According to the announcement, Lerner was kidnapped not far from his office. The programmer was dragged into a Mercedes-Benz Vito car by unknown people in dark clothes and balaclavas, and taken away in an unknown direction.

In Ukraine Pavel Lerner has a number of startups connected with cryptocurrency mining and blockchain technology.

EXMO PR-department says:

“The problem that we face today really exists. We do our best to find Pavel Lerner as soon as possible. The company will be very grateful for any information that would help find Pavel. However, despite everything that has happened, EXMO platform works as usual. It is also worth noting that Pavel`s duties were not connected with access to storages or other user information”.

 

Blockchain Transactions: How Do They Work and How to Track Them? 161

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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Football Fans Will Soon Be Able to Buy Tickets for Games Using Blockchain 668

uefa launches a blockchain app

The UEFA wants the fans to have the smoothest experience ever. Right now, buying tickets for football matches is one of the most problematic areas: tickets are often falsified and stolen, moreover they are very hard to get. That’s why the organization is researching new technologies to fix the problem.

UEFA has recently announced about the testing of blockchain for developing a ticketing app. The app works via bluetooth on electronic devices and will be used when entering the stadiums.

The report said: “Fine-tuning and improvements took place at several test events, and the system was first used for 50% of the tickets distributed to the general public for the 2018 UEFA Europa League final between Atlético and Marseille in Lyon.

The Association will keep on developing its blockchain-based app, and, hopefully, football fans will soon have an opportunity to use it.

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Buterin, Winklevoss and Others: The Future of the Digital Currency World According to Major Crypto Personalities 1211

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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The Former CEO of Paypal: Bitcoin Is Eventually Going to Go A Whole Lot Closer to Zero 707

bitcoin's future is not bright

The ex director of Paypal Bill Harris is known for his scepticism and harsh comments aimed at Bitcoin. He even called it “the greatest scam in the history”. This time CNBC interviewed Harris to find out whether his opinion on the world’s #1 digital coin has changed.

According to the businessman, Bitcoin is supposed to be “instant, free, scalable, efficient, secure, globally accepted and useful”, and it fails to fulfill all of those characteristics. Harris believes that there is “no value” in BTC.

He has also mentioned that there is no need in solving the problem of Bitcoin scalability, because we don’t need Bitcoin at all.

Look how difficult it is to get money from one country across the border to another. It’s slow, it’s expensive, it’s all those things. Agree. You don’t need Bitcoin, you don’t need XRP, you don’t need any of that to solve that problem. What you need is faster networks.

Unlike many of his colleagues, Bill Harris has way more trust in conventional fiat currencies due to their relative stability which cannot be said about Bitcoin.

In conclusion he summed up his thoughts by saying:

Bitcoin makes no revenue, no profitability.

Frankly speaking, the current CEO of Paypal Dan Schulman agrees with Harris on this issue, although Paypal might change its opinion on BTC if it becomes more stable.

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Forbes Published 5 Main Blockchain Tendencies for 2018 784

blockchain trends

Blockchain is one of the most rapidly developing technologies of all times. Its main features (speed and transparency) earned recognition and approval from businesses and companies from all over the world.

Forbes has conducted a research and established 5 major paths that the blockchain is likely to follow this year.

1. Companies actively implement blockchain. For example, we have recently reported about the pilot version of election in Ukraine conducted on blockchain.

2. Implementation of this technology follows a thorough research. With blockchain being fairly new, the more conventional fields that are not related to digital technologies or computer sciences treat it very carefully. For example, the Stanford University created a research center for possible introduction of blockchain in the future.

3. The hype is going to fade. Blockchain has been marketed as a panacea for quite a while. Many people were sure it would help to solve major world problems. However, the results coming from this technology, though being mostly beneficial, are not as phenomenal as everyone thought they would be.

4. New and smaller projects are more likely to implement blockchain since they are more adaptable to changes and upgrades. Huge companies like Amazon find it way more difficult.

5. The personal information on people and other important data will be secured a lot better with the help of blockchain. Scammers never rest, however, blockchain will ensure that they have the hardest time ever hacking and stealing.

Thus, we can definitely see a lot of potential for blockchain. More and more companies choose to implement it. Hopefully, this technology will keep flourishing and bring benefits to those using it.

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Playboy Accused a Crypto Firm of Fraudulence 742

playboy is suing a crypto company

Playboy Enterprises submitted a lawsuit to the court of LA against the Canada-based company Global Blockchain Technologies. The plaintiffs claim that the abovementioned enterprise violated the contract concluded between the companies and refused to liquidate the damages ($4 million).

GBT was supposed to assist Playboy with implementing the blockchain technologies through an intermediary service. The firm, however, denies the accusations. According to The Los Angeles Times, GBT’s representative claimed:

Global believes it has a strong defense to the action and will be vigorously defending same.

We would like to remind that Playboy readers might soon get an opportunity to pay for it in cryptocurrency.

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