Other Side of Blockchain: How Is the Technology Used Today?

blockchain technology

Today when we hear the word “blockchain” we think about Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The distributed ledger technology as it exists now first appeared in 2009 together with the first cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, as well as the vast majority of digital currencies are based on blockchain. Probably the only exception is the project and the coin called IOTA that is based on Tangle technology and does not include blockchain. Anyway, it soon became clear that cryptocurrencies are just one possible way to apply the distributed ledger technology. Blockchain is actually a new and advanced way to store and exchange information, and if we stick to such a broad definition it will become clear how big is the potential of these technology.

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

  1. What is blockchain technology?
  2. Blockchain and digital currencies
  3. Where is blockchain being applied and what are its prospects?
  4. Conclusion

1. What is blockchain technology?

To put it simply, blockchain is a kind of database, a way of its management. In fact, blockchain comes down to electronic recording of particular information;storage and amendment of this information must be coordinated between independent parties. The method of information storage with the help of blockchain guarantees impossibility of spontaneous information amendments by a user without other users’ concord. Blockchain resembles torrent, both technologies are based on peer to peer principle,where information exchange is carried out directly between equal participants.Every information record is a block. Blocks constitute a chain; so, every other block contains part of information from the previous one. All information of this distributed database stores on  computers of every net user.

2. Blockchain and digital currencies

Nearly all digital currencies are based on the blockchain technology. Cryptocurrency actually exists as a recorded information about transactions just like the real fiat money that we transfer between bank accounts. Digital currencies record, store and change their information using a distributed ledger technology. Many coins are based on the same blockchain. For example such currencies as Namecoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc. are based on bitcoin blockchain. Ethereum blockchain was used to deploy more than 500 other cryptocurrencies, including such popular coins as  Binance Coin and OmniseGo. Some leaders of the cryptocurrency market also used to be based on Ethereum blockchain but later developed or at least started developing their own distributed ledger. These are, for instance, EOS – top-5th digital coin by market capitalization, and TRON. However many cryptocurrencies were not satisfied with what bitcoin and Ethereum could offer and designed their own blockchain. These are Ripple, Zcash, NEO, Dash, Monero, Cardano and others.

So, how blockchain is implemented in cryptocurrencies? A block is a special structure where the information about transactions is recorded. Each block contains the information related to the previous one, so they form a single chain where no one can edit the information on their own discretion. The whole information about what has happened in a decentralized database is recorded into the blocks. Each block includes a header and a list of transactions. Blocks are formed by miners that carry out calculations necessary to find hash. The main function of the distributed ledger is that it ensures cryptographically secured and decentralized storage of the information about transactions.

3. Where is blockchain being applied and what are its prospects?

Blockchain technology is quite cross-functional, because it provides us with the new method of information storage and exchange. In all areas where it is applied, blockchain functions as a universal database that almost cannot be hacked or amended without sanction. However, anyone who has the right can get access to the information. A great interest to blockchain comes from the finance sector.  Traditional banks and fintech startups pay their attention to distributed solutions that blockchain suggests.

Governments treat cryptocurrencies rather negative, but at the same time they realize blockchain potential. Some countries, like Sweden or Arab Emirates, plan switch their register of properties to blockchain.  Estonia develops mechanisms for blockchain-voting at shareholders meetings. Besides,there is e-Residency platform in the country — electronic identification system based on blockchain.

The world’s largest humanitarian organization called World Food Programme uses blockchain to provide refugees with food via existing shops and retail chains instead of directly distributing food or money to buy some.   

Smart contract technology that is realized on Ethereum blockchain is not restricted only to cryptocurrency transactions processing. It is a kind of new method of contractual arrangements where there is no need for lawyers,banks or other mediators.

Today blockchain is already being used for creating distributed cloud storages, where users’ data (including personal data) will be protected by cryptographic means.

4. Conclusion

Anyway, blockchain is definitely an important technology that is likely to increase its impact in the near future. World Economic Forum describes blockchain as a fundamentally new form of computer architecture that brings the opportunities that could be compared to those brought by the development of the Internet in 1990s and smartphones in 2000s. The potential of distributed ledger is obvious for businesses and even state authorities and many of them started applying the technology in a number of areas.

Blockchain appeared 10 years ago, which is actually quite a long time given the speed of scientific and technical progress. However, we can state that the real potential of the technology is being discovered today. Blockchain is actually a new useful way of storing and transferring information, while in the modern society it is perhaps the most important asset.

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Donald Trump’s Ex-Counsel Became an Advisor of a Blockchain Startup

Trump's assistant became an adviser of a blockchain project

Gary Cohn, a former economic policy advisor of the US President Donald Trump, has become an advisor of the project Spring Labs.

The banker worked at the investment and financial holding Goldman Sachs Group for more than 25 years, he served as a President and Chief Operating Officer. In 2017-2018, he was an assistant of the current President of the United States.

I have been very interested in blockchain technology for a number of years, and Spring Labs is developing a network that could have profound implications for the financial services sector, among others,” said Cohn. “I am excited to actively support the Spring Labs team in the development of this important business and network.”

The other Spring Labs advisors are:

  • the former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation of the United States (FDIC), Sheila Bair;
  • Nigel Morris, the co-founder and former [resident of Capital One banking holding company;
  • the chief lawyer of the crypto exchange Coinbase, Brian Brooks.

We remind you:

Ex-Counsel of Trump Predicts the Emergence of a New Global Cryptocurrency

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Bitcoin Investment: Should I Invest in Bitcoins?

Bitcoin currency has already been used as a kind of a fiat money alternative for about 9 years. It is relatively popular all around the world. The first digital currency has made many people go nuts following the impressive ups and dramatic downs of its exchange rate.

Today, in October 2018, the whole cryptocurrency industry is looking forward to observing a new crypto-“miracle”. Search engines are overflowed with all those “How to invest in cryptocurrency?”. And this is not particularly surprising. Traders and different investors who own a significant capital expect cryptocurrency to be a promising investment tool in the long term. And if we talk about cryptocurrency, that basically means Bitcoin. Well, of course, there is a number of altcoins that can be worth making investments, but the first digital currency is definitely the most popular one.  

People still talk about investing in Bitcoin and this topic is interesting for many traders, investors and casual users. So, let’s take a closer look at this issue.

How to invest in Bitcoin

Before making an investment, one should obviously choose the way he or she wants to get some BTC. First of all, it depends on financial capacities. There are indeed many different options to invest in Bitcoin, but we will focus on two main ways that are currently the most popular and probably also the most effective.

Option №1: Taking advantage of the rate differences as a way of BTC investing

You might have already come up with the question, why people are still interested in making investments in Bitcoin when it costs less than $7 thousand per a coin? Well, influencers, opinion leaders, independent experts, and different analysists are confident that we will soon observe another sustainable increase of Bitcoin rate. And that is why many people start thinking about investing in cryptocurrency to make money out of the rate differences.

But what is the way to do that? It is actually pretty simple. All you need is some basics of math. In fact, investors are not really sad about the fall of Bitcoin. Many of them are even happy, especially those who believe that the cryptocurrency has a great future ahead. Today, if a trader purchases a BTC for $6,5 thousand, he or she will manage to make a good profit, in case BTC rate increases. Some really expect it to rise up to $30 thousand, and in this case, it will really be a good bargain. The key point here is whether the rate increases or not, of course.

Option №2: BTC mining

Besides, users can invest the special equipment that is used to mine Bitcoin. You may already know, that each BTC is actually a kind of a reward, given for the performance of certain calculations, necessary to issue new coins. Today these calculations are rather complex and require special high-performance equipment called ASIC-miners. The more users are there in the system, the more difficult are these calculations. This is called Bitcoin difficulty and it ensures that it always takes around 10 minutes to create a new Bitcoin block.

Investing Bitcoin this way means that you can get a certain number of BTC and store it till the rates grow or exchange it for another digital currency like Ethereum.

However, you’d better do not think that these two investment options will bring you fast and easy profit. This is possible only if the cryptocurrency rate increases significantly and in the case of mining, if your equipment has enough performance.

By the way, here is one more option of BTC investing. It`s actually difficult to say that it is a comprehensive way to invest in the cryptocurrency, but, anyway, many people use it today.

Bitcoin faucets

These are special websites, where users can get a reward for making certain easy tasks, usually related to online advertising. These rewards are paid in satoshi. The thing is, that one BTC includes as many as 100 000 000 satoshi, so one satoshi is only 0,00000001 BTC. So it`s actually a tiny piece of the market`s largest cryptocurrency. Investing BTC using Bitcoin faucets is not really effective, as you may never manage to collect at least one single coin.

Is Bitcoin a good investment

Well, if you have already decided to invest in digital currencies then Bitcoin will probably be the best option. Not only this cryptocurrency is a market leader and the most popular digital coin, but also it has relatively good liquidity as compared to other virtual assets. Many cryptocurrency followers believe that Bitcoin has a potential to become the main means of payment in the future. However, there are also those who bet on other digital currencies, as well as those who do not consider virtual coins as an investment option at all.

By far it seems that the question is it worth investing in Bitcoin remains undetermined, so let’s make it a little bit more clear. Bitcoin is relatively anonymous, decentralized and has a limited number of coins available for mining. This is, in fact, why hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrency followers made their decision in favor of BTC.

Anonymity

Investors do not have to disclose their personal data. The information about each transaction is public and everyone can see the address of the cryptocurrency wallets of a sender and a receiver, as well as how many BTC were transferred. However, the information related to owners of cryptocurrency wallets is not disclosed, so the whole system is relatively anonymous.

Decentralization

Bitcoin worth investing, as it has a decentralized management, which means there is no single administrative center. Transactions are carried out directly between users in a peer-to-peer network. However, Bitcoin users still have to pay certain commission fees for transfers of their virtual assets, because every transaction is confirmed and recorded in the blockchain by miners who receive rewards for this. Today small transactions are often not effective at all, as the commission fee is rather big. However, if a transaction is large, the commission fee will be relatively low.

Limited number of coins

Is Bitcoin a safe investment –  “yes” is the answer of many people, who believe that a limited number of Bitcoins to be mined is a strong advantage of the digital currency. It will prevent BTC from inflation.

“Why should i invest in bitcoin?– you may ask. The answer will probably contain both pros and cons. And that`s because Bitcoin has some special features, which are:

  • 24/7 trades, that allow making investments at any time;
  • most indicators have a rather good quality;
  • high volatility;
  • possible positive prospects of cryptocurrencies and, as follows, positive expectations related to Bitcoin investments.

Bitcoin investment trust

The risk remains here almost all the time and no one can guarantee that your money is 100% safe. Here are several examples why it can be rather risky to make investments in the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Yes, Bitcoin still has a decentralized management, however, in a certain way the system is getting more and more centralized. This risk of investing in cryptocurrency is related to the fact that BTC rate starts depending on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Moreover, the significant part of all Bitcoins is owned by those who are engaged in mining or lease out high-performance mining equipment. Making new Bitcoins requires really a lot of computing power and gets more and more expensive. The competition within the system increases and it is almost impossible for casual users to join Bitcoin mining. That is why many people have already switched for other digital currencies that are easier to mine and can be later exchanged for BTC.

In some cases, Bitcoin`s anonymity is also a risk. Anonymous deals can be used for money laundering, as there is no effective state regulation of cryptocurrency transactions.

How to invest in Bitcoin stock

There are special cryptocurrency funds, similar to mutual funds that exist in the world of bonds and stocks. These funds are managed by private parties and it influences the interest rate. For instance, some cryptocurrency funds provide 1-2% per day.

Bitcoin investment strategy

There are two main types of cryptocurrency investment strategy.

The first one: investors buy BTC and sell the cryptocurrency when its rate increases.

The second one: Bitcoin holders trade their digital assets on cryptocurrency exchanges. This strategy is very similar to Forex trading.

Minimum Bitcoin investment

Many people decide to invest in Bitcoin because they hope to get huge profits in the long term. So, even a small investment is considered to be rather promising by many cryptocurrency followers. Eventually, the smaller is an investment – the lower is the risk. But, on the other hand, a really small investment can just be useless. Anyway, how much to invest in Bitcoin remains an open question and everyone has their own opinion.

Who said users can only invest their money? It is also possible to get BTC for free by investing one`s intellectual work. Well, just a bit of BTC, to be honest. Special websites offer users the opportunity to earn satoshi – the smallest fraction of Bitcoin – for the performance of different easy tasks, usually related to advertising. These websites are called Bitcoin faucets.

The main advantage of such an option is that users do not have to invest a single penny to get a piece of BTC, however, the drawback is also rather significant – it will take a really long time to get at least one BTC.

Invest in Bitcoin mining

Mining is actually how new digital currency is issued. Making investments in Bitcoin mining means buying special mining equipment or renting it from different providers. Cloud cryptocurrency mining is also possible. These services lease out their mining equipment for users to rent a particular amount of processing power.

There are some experts who think that cloud mining is actually the best way to invest in Bitcoin, as users don`t have to purchase, set, maintain and update expensive mining equipment.  

Anyway, both traditional and cloud mining still require preliminary investments.

Bitcoin investment sites

Before making investments in Bitcoin, basically, before purchasing it, you should have a cryptocurrency wallet to store your digital assets. Today Bitcoin holders and those who want to join them are lucky to have a large variety of different cryptocurrency wallets. These are, for example, mobile, hardware, online, desktop, cold, and even paper wallets.

If you are planning regular digital currency investment, we recommend having a local hardware wallet. However, it actually depends on what is more convenient for you and what meets all your requirements and there is really a number of options you can choose from. Do not forget to activate your cryptocurrency wallet.  

Usually, Bitcoin is purchased on cryptocurrency exchanges. It is really important to choose the right one, so we recommend taking the following criteria into account:

  • a region, where the exchange is registered;
  • input and output, exchange, transfer options, etc. – basically, what you can do with your funds in a digital wallet;
  • commission fee level;
  • reputation;
  • security level.

This will help you figure out whether is it safe to invest in Bitcoin.

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Top Bitcoin Movies Worth Watching

We bet there is not a person in your circle who has never heard of Bitcoin.  Nowadays, cryptocurrency #1 has become a TV star. Horror films, travel films, and Hollywood thrillers about it are produced. However, few people are aware of the existence of documentaries that illustrate “digital gold” as it is and exhibit its positive and negative sides.

The Coin Shark has collected its own TOP real-life stories about creation of the characteristics of Bitcoin.

1. The Bitcoin Gospel (2015)

The film is dedicated to both technical side of the cryptocurrency and its value in society. It also covers payments with cryptocurrency issue. The film starts with a performance of a Bitcoin evangelist Roger Ver and is basically dedicated to his way in crypto industry. In this film, you will learn how cryptocurrency works, why it is being promoted so much and who else, besides Ver, firmly believes in digital future.

2. Bitcoin: The End Of Money As We Know It (2014)

The documentary shows how much the new cryptocurrency has already influenced and is still influencing the traditional financial systems. Having watched it, you will understand how Bitcoin differs from other currencies and why so many people around the world want to own it.

3. The Rise And Rise Of Bitcoin (2014)

“The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” is a film-history of the world #1 cryptocurrency. It covers all the events that have ever hit the headlines. Those who are closely connected with BTC will tell why Bitcoin volatility is associated with a rollercoaster ride.

4. Magic Money (2017)

This film is created as an answer to the popular questions about Bitcoin. There you will learn about what cryptocurrency is. The idea that the authors convey- Bitcoin is not controlled by financial institutions, but only by the people who use it. The creators in details investigate the origin of BTC and try to predict its future.

5. The Bitcoin Story (2015)

The Bitcoin Story is a collection of myths and rumors about the creation of Bitcoin, the basics of technology, political influence and its impact on the financial system. Also, the authors have created a collection of opinions of venture capitalists on cryptocurrency.

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Pornhub’s “Colleague” SpankChain Got Spanked by Hackers

In our previous article we mentioned a blockchain startup SpankChain providing services for adults. Before they even managed to finish their ICO of BOOTY tokens, the project suffered a major hacker attack.

According to the official blog post of SpankChain, the attack happened on Saturday, but was not noticed until a couple days later. The criminals got hold of Ethereum as well as BOOTY coins. The total losses amounted to over 40 thousand USD.

The ICO is currently frozen, and the SpankChain team is investigating the case.

We remind you:

Crypto Scammers Attack Porn Lovers

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A New Blockchain-Based Project Is Coming for Pornhub

The adult entertainment industry has become a large field for cryptocurrency growth. For instance, a new startup SpankChain is going to provide services of an intimate nature on blockchain for its users.

The platform will consist of:

a crypto wallet

– a special player which will connect the customers and the web camera models

The project will distribute BOOTY tokens during its ICO. The developers promise complete anonymity and low commision fees for all the users.

We remind you:

Not Only Pornhub: Examples of Using Cryptocurrency In the Adult Entertainment Industry

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Cryptocurrency Games: Bitcoin Game Review

Bitcoin Games

Today digital currencies are still rather popular, despite the fact that holders of virtual coins are not really happy with the rates of their crypto assets. Some make forecasts that the market is going to increase again, while others assure that it will not take long for digital currencies to fade away. Anyway, many people are still interested in cryptocurrency and are willing to own some coins. That is why there are a number of services that offer to get digital coins without big investments. And some of them even provide users with the opportunity to make some profit while playing.

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

  1. What are Bitcoin games?
  2. Different kinds of cryptocurrency games
  3. Conclusion

1. What are Bitcoin games?

Today bitcoin games, as well as games with other digital currencies, have been becoming quite popular. Well, the opportunity to get some cryptocurrency while playing games actually sounds pretty tempting. There are not really a lot of cryptocurrency games available today, or it is probably better to say that this market is not yet floated. Anyway, online gamblers are likely to find the one they need. Cryptocurrency games basically include two large industries – online gambling and digital currencies – and these two combined may be rather promising. Statistics show the online gambling market is developing rather fast. It is difficult to say whether it is good in terms of moral aspects, but that is our today’s reality. Eventually, not every game is a bad thing of course.

Source – iGaming Business 

Usually, cryptocurrency games do not ensure super high profits. So, if your aim is to earn some good money, you`d probably better try another option. However, as it often happens, some games and some gamers manage to get certain gains.  

Cryptocurrency games are actually similar to fiat online gaming and gambling. Gamers do particular actions and if they are successful, they win and receive a reward. However, gambling is gambling, so it is really better not to forget that having decided to play a little bit just for fun, one can end up spending all their digital coins.

2. Different kinds of cryptocurrency games

Today one can find a quite large number of different cryptocurrency games. These are, for example, lotteries, where participants make bets, and then some of them win. Here are a few popular Bitcoin lotteries. Let’s start with Lottoland. This lottery is officially registered in Ireland. There are certain restrictions in terms of jurisdictions and users from some countries, including for example the USA, are not allowed to take part. In addition, participants must be over 18. This online service provides also fiat money lottery throughout Europe and in fact, does not specialize only in cryptocurrency. The lottery website states that the service even has the Guinness record for the largest online gambling payouts. The service offers a jackpot of as much as 1000 BTC and even gives the winner an opportunity to choose between receiving this amount of virtual currency on the Bitcoin wallet or getting the equivalent amount of euro. There are also other lotteries – the multi-cryptocurrency game Crypto-Games, FaucetHub micropayment platform that also provides the online lottery, YABTCL.com with its free lottery, etc.

Also, cryptocurrency online casinos are relatively popular. Such services usually offer to play classic roulette, slot machine, blackjack, etc. Spin games like FreeBitco.in offer to win up to several hundred US dollars in BTC equivalent. 16.5 thousand users of this service altogether won almost 160 bitcoins. Yes, the winnings here are relatively small, but still, many crypto enthusiasts will be glad to get even some satoshi without any investments.

There are also arcade cryptocurrency games, for example, the Spells of Genesis. This arcade-strategy is one of the first online games based on the blockchain technology. The gameplay includes battles and economics in a fantasy world. The main asset of the game is BitCrystals coins (BCY). Currently (as of early October 2018) this cryptocurrency costs around $0.08 and is traded mainly on Bittrex, where users exchange it for Bitcoin.

There are even games that involve cryptocurrency trading. For example, Spark Profit players receive rewards for guessing the rate of digital assets and market fluctuations. The service offers the opportunity to receive rewards without investment and without the risk of losing money.

It is interesting that even some existing online games have decided to add popular digital coins to their list of assets. This is how BitQuest appeared – the public server of the popular game Minecraft, where you can find and use real BTC.

3. Conclusion

So, today cryptocurrency games are rather popular among crypto enthusiasts. A wide variety of projects have already been developed – from classic online gambling (casino, roulette, lotteries, spin games) to arcades and financial strategy games. Many traditional online gambling platforms have added cryptocurrencies to the list of their gaming assets.

It is important to make sure that this or that game is really reliable and makes the necessary payments. If the market of digital currencies grows and their popularity increases, then, accordingly, we will observe the development of a cryptocurrency online gambling segment. Though games provide an opportunity to make easy cryptocurrency profits, one should never forget that a game should remain a game, and to go all-in may not work out as it was initially planned.

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