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Bitcoin

Bitcoin is basically an anonymous, centralized digital currency. So, theoretically, it was built to be the untraceable version of cash. Not money but cash. The idea of having a digital unhackable and invulnerable decentralized currency got so well liked by people that they started treating it more like a commodity than the currency. Just like gold, People started investing and hodling (the typical term of holding coins till they generate profit) the coins. It soon turned out to be an investment vehicle and the basic idea of it being a digital currency got dragged down the tunnel somewhat.

So, yeah it is basically both a currency and a commodity. Yet untraceable! Sounds like a win-win?

Bitcoin is a secure and decentralized digital currency. It’s also a trad-able financial asset like bonds and stocks. Think if you want to pay or transfer another person a hundred dollar. What you do is you transfer your money to that other person. But in reality, what actually you are doing is asking a third commodity to deduct the cash from your account and transfer it to that person’s account. Bitcoin eliminates this interference of the third or fourth entity. It establishes this direct transfer link between you and the other person.

Unlike other monetary and economic affairs, Bitcoin is not regulated by any financial body or the government entity. Unlike stock market and shares, there is no fundamental rule or practice that can predict or determine the future value of the currency. Due to its incredible price volatile nature, the transactions or investment in the currency can be extremely complicated.

Why Criminals like Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a totally secured and anonymous network. Anybody can come up and make an account and start the transactions. It requires literally no name, address or any else personal information. This encrypted platform generates a unique user ID, wallet IDs to the operator. During the transaction, only that specific ID will be visible and displayed to the viewer.

Due to this feature of the Bitcoin structure, making all the transactions complete anonymously, a lot of criminals were attracted. They used this platform to hide their identity and their transactions to practice illegal and unauthorized dealings.

With the ability to buy or sell anything without your name ever being revealed, a huge set up of the black market started running in around 2011. Silk Bank became an online transaction hub for all these illegal activities using Bitcoin. FBI broke the phenomena resting that these Bitcoins were untraceable. They were traced and Silk Bank was shut down. All the Bitcoins were subsequently acquired by the FBI.

21 Million… Ever!

One of the most amusing and interesting things about Bitcoins is that there are only 21,000 Bitcoins to be mined. Ever!! Yes, the total amount of these bitcoins will never exceed this amount no matter what. These coins are generated through a process called ‘mining’. Around 17 million of these coins have been generated till now. These coins are in circulation around the world balancing the network. This means, only 5 million of these coins are left to be mined to reach the limited threshold.

Generally, there is a new winner every 10 minutes, winning about 12.5 coins every time. This reward of 12.5 coins is halved every year too. So that means, in about 2140 we will be able to mine all these 21 million coins once in for all. Every existing Bitcoin is created using this same method. Anyone can mine these coins, provided with suitable supporting systems.

Merchants and consumers are slowly accepting and becoming comfortable with this digital currency. So, will this sum of 21,000 million enough bearing the collective economy pressure someday?

A bitcoin is divisible up to 8 decimal parts. Being deflationary in nature, if the market rises on a continues basis making its value to trillions, there will be an adequate amount resting with every coin in circulation.

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Bitcoin Goes High When Miners Take a Step to Solve the Scaling Problem of Digital Currency

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Bitcoin miners are intending to support a new upgrade for the Blockchain of Bitcoin which may solve the scaling problem of digital currency. Most of the Bitcoin miners including Bitclub, AntPool, BTC.com, and BitClub have shown their interest to support the Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) 91, through adding a piece of code to every single new block of bitcoins they generated. This block needs 80% support to be “locked in” permanently to the blockchain. This will cause a relief as it stops the blockchain splitting into separate two chains, which would create two different coins effectively. Already 66 % of the last 144 blocks provided signal support for it.

According to Coindesk data, Bitcoin has recovered from a tough 8-weeks low of $1863 on Sunday to about $2329 today.

What is the Problem with Bitcoin?

 

Bitcoin has faced a scaling problem for some time, where the number of the transactions occur on the blockchain at one time are limited to 1MB every 10 minutes. This generates a backlog of the transaction which should process and slow things down.

The Bitcoin community has been looking for the best way to solve this scaling problem. Segregated Witness(SegWit) system is one of the solutions which would increase the transaction speed. But SegWit required about 95% support from the miners. Bitcoin fell about 12% on Sunday because of these concerns. However, Bitcoin miners have to respond to this problem.

What is the Solution of Scaling Problem?

Many members of the Bitcoin community have united on a solution known as BIP148. This may include a “User-activated Soft Fork”, where users of Bitcoin will force the blockchain to split by refusing any block of Bitcoin which didn’t indicate support for SegWit. BIP 148 was coming in action on 1st of August and if a large number of developers didn’t commit on the proposal, the blockchain can split.

Charles Hayter, founder and chief executive of CryptoCompare has explained, However, a large group of miners will continue to mine with Non-SegWit blocks in case of the BIP148. In such case two bitcoins would occur, one in which SegWit is active, and other in which SegWit is not active. This may have terrible results for one of the chains or even both. This could be one of the major factors behind the volatile support for BIP91.

Will Bitcoin Avoid a Fork?

To avoid Fork, miners are giving support behind BIP91, that would present SegWit2X to the blockchain. BIP91 requires only 80% support, rather than 95% and to be ‘locked in’ they would introduce the SegWit system.

The managing editor of The Black Swan Portfolio, Bram de Haas, told CNBC via an email on Tuesday, “BIP91 has a minor edge of adoption which made its implementation less risky and more realistic. Adopting the BIP91 will also decrease the possibility of a fork which many people like”.

Bitcoin will surely avoid a fork now but it’s not much terrible if it does not. Haas expected now the Bitcoin prices to rebound faster and faster.

 

Story Credit: cnbc.com

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Bitcoin Averted a Split – What’s Next?

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The Bitcoin development community is embracing a software upgrade which is known as SegWit. The purpose of SegWit is to increase the transaction capacity of the network and to avoid a split which possible in the cryptocurrency. As Bitcoin averted a split and here is what some proponents have to say about “What’s next for Bitcoin”.

Adam White:

The head of Digital currency exchange ‘GDAX’, Adam White said, we are going to experience a better utility of the network. People can use Bitcoin as a source to transfer money more easily, more cheaply, and more quickly. It’ll attract the new users to the network.

There’ll possibly open blockchains like Bitcoin as we’re going forward, and that will be slow or conservative progression. But there’ll be other blockchains as Ethereum which may move much rapidly and it’ll introduce a larger platform for developers to lead it at the top. According to Adam White, both things will balance each other, not compete.

Elizbeth Stark:

According to the head of startup Lightning Labs, Bitcoin does not have Turning-Complete language as Ethereum, but there are some new amazing factors which will enable to do so when SegWit will implement. She gave few examples as:

  • Small transaction as less than 1 cent, which may replace “ad networks”.
  • Instant-transaction confirmation in milliseconds.
  • Bitcoin can get a lot of its own ICOs.

Matthew Werner:

The head of payments engineering at Coinbase describes that it is a beneficial step for Bitcoin. There were a lot of queries about a Split but reaching a consensus for how to scale the Bitcoin further is obviously a huge step. Allowing things like Lighting Network and activating SegWit will be a great thing. By expanding the block size, we’ll be able to increase the number of users on a network. The element BIP91 came through and it’s a good signal because everyone wants to grow this network further.

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ICO Promotion by John McAfee – How much will it cost?

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Do you know how much it cost to get a crypto influencer for your ICO promotion on social media platforms? Here’s the surprising answer!

ICO (Initial Coin Offering) operators don’t really like to disclose the amount they are spending on marketing, although promoters usually prefer to delay discussions related to prices ’til after they’ve had the chance to make a sales pitch as précised figures are hardly discussed in public. However, John McAfee (cybersecurity pioneer) has spent all his life resisting convention, and now he is operating an ICO marketing service, McAfee Crypto Team.

ico marketing service

Company’s Official Statement

According to the official site of the company, McAfee Crypto team is a full-service ICO promoter as it offers:

  • Whitepaper support
  • Web optimization
  • Marketing
  • Strategic advice

The cost for many of the services is not listed; however, clients will have to pay $105,000 to get McAfee tweet about their ICO, which will be sent to its 811,000 followers, at least few of them will be probably bots.

According to the website:

“John McAfee’s tweets are by far the most influential in the field of cryptocurrency. Few leaders in the Crypto community can come close to Mr McAfee’s reach into the heart of the cryptocurrency investor community.”

Dubious Claims by McAfee Crypto Team

Furthermore, the website makes suspicious claim that this is one of the most inexpensive ways of marketing a cryptocurrency project. The site also claims:

“Given Mr McAfee’s price of $105,000 per tweet, the cost per investor reached is the least costly of any marketing avenue in the Crypto world. Considering only his own followers, the cost per investor reached is $0.13. Considering his reach beyond his own followers, the cost per investor reached is frequently less than a penny. This is orders of magnitude less than any other approach.”

Even with the heavy price tag, the company still claims that so many projects are showing their interest that now the company has to establish a $750 registration fee to stop staff from being dazed with applications. While responding to opponents, McAfee refused to accept that he has sold out and stated:

“They say I sold out ’cause I use my tweets to promote, but the last 200 ICOs that lined up, we rejected 195 and chose 5.”

He added, he promotes only those projects that he believes in as he tweeted:

“I only promote what I believe.”

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Bitcoin and Games – Is Bitcoin making things More Difficult for Gamers?

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As digital currencies are creating momentum between a higher user base and getting fame within the non-virtual world, there are also some unexpected effects. For a supporter of Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, more users of Bitcoin mean a more competitive and a greater market, as well as other examples of brick and mortar stores, are also taking on Bitcoin.

This shows that Bitcoin users can spend their coins without converting it into fiat currency and more easily as time goes on. Furthermore, a higher demand for Bitcoin creates a greater number of potential and Bitcoin miners are hoping to capitalize on the increased interest.

On the other side, some people are feeling negative pressure due to these developments, and one these groups are computer gamers.

Competition in Gaming and Mining Operations:

There is a question, why would Bitcoin fame make thing difficult for gamers? It comes down to basics as hardware costs for gamers are going high as demand for powerful rigs and in some particular graphics cards has driven prices up. It shows that gamers and Bitcoin miners both require some expensive hardware in order to run their operations most effectively.

Some professional and amateur miners have set up a huge number of rigs around the world, everyone working on complicated mathematical problems in order to get Bitcoin as a reward. The mining rigs use particular graphics cards as AMD RX 400/500 series, the increasing interest in mining has flooded the market with demand requests to purchase those cards. Many sellers in the market are out of stock completely, and the cards which are available have high prices.

Why Do Gamers Feel the Pressure?

On the other hand, the gamers use similar graphics cards for a different purpose. Many of the gamers felt the pressure of higher prices on the graphics cards and other different hardware items which they need in gaming.

However, one of the largest manufacturers of graphics cards “ASUS”, recently declared plans to introduce a new series of products with digital currency mining in mind. This may guide to the new generation of graphics cards with different focus dependent on whether the user is going to mine or to game.

As interest in mining is growing day by day, it is questionable that the pressure will abate. But in such situation, maybe gamers will get that their graphics cards are not much expensive any longer.

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Bitcoin vs Litecoin – Which One is Better?

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The hype of cryptocurrencies has increased dramatically over the past few years. Especially after the introduction of Bitcoin, back in 2009.

Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency. The currency has ruled the crypto world undisputedly for many years. Even now, Bitcoin sits on top of the crypto pile. However, it is not the only king in the jungle anymore. The leading cryptocurrency is now facing a growing competition from other cryptocurrencies, Litecoin being one of the closest rivals of Bitcoin.

In this article, we have discussed the major differences between Bitcoin and Litecoin. Hopefully, you will be able to get a good idea about both the cryptocurrencies after reading this.

Litecoin:

Litecoin is one of the many names that received a lot of positive responses from the market.  It was launched in 2011 by its creator Charles Gee – with the aim of becoming the “silver” to Bitcoin’s “gold”. Like Bitcoin, Litecoin is also generated by mining. The motivation behind its creation was to improve upon Bitcoin.

Bitcoin:

In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin as the world’s first cryptocurrency. It has no central authority and anyone can access it from anywhere. Bitcoins are ‘mined’, using computing power in a global network and are used to buy things electronically.

Bitcoin vs Litecoin

What is The Difference Between Bitcoin and Litecoin?

There isn’t just one, but many differences between Bitcoin and Litecoin. The major differences are as follows:

  • There are more litecoins available in the market, i.e. 84 million than bitcoins as Bitcoin will never exceed the limit of 21 million.
  • Due to the limit of bitcoins available, it is of much higher value as compared to Litecoin.
  • Litecoin has a much faster speed of transaction; only 2.5 minutes, unlike Bitcoin which takes around 10 minutes right now.
  • Both employ different algorithms, Bitcoin uses the longstanding SHA-256 algorithm, unlike Litecoin which makes use of a new algorithm known as Scrypt.
  • Another major difference is that Litecoin is a cheaper option for miners than Bitcoin. The former only requires a normal computer and an internet connection to begin mining, whereas the latter requires maximum computing power which is out-of-reach for an everyday user.
  • Bitcoin is relatively slow in confirming transactions, while Litecoin accepts a higher number of transactions due to its higher volume of blocks.

So, What to Choose – Bitcoin or Litecoin?

We know that both the cryptocurrencies have their own set of pros and cons. They even have several resemblances. No doubt, they are both accepted very positively all across the globe. However, the final choice is yours.

Good Luck!

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