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So, what’s a decentralized system? In simple words, we can say that a decentralized system works with no servers and each member is permissible to execute transactions. But in the case of the blockchain, each member must have to do some system-tasks as well, such as; storing transactional data.

cryptocurrency Security

Fork: Even a group of members can run an alternate-version of reality, which is called “fork.” The fork works by the similar regulations as the original decentralized system – though it might have a diverse state.

Let’s enlighten you about the hierarchical nature of cryptocurrency security!

First Layer – Tokens and Crypto Coins

  • One of the first and foremost thing in the crypto world is your cryptocurrency security.
  • Whenever you choose a cryptocurrency, you take all the perils and risks related to the protocol.
  • If someone can recognize and utilize protocol flaws, they can compromise the whole network, even including you; it won’t be much important which exchange/wallet you are using.

In the first layer, you can find two different types of currencies which include, the coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash etc.) and all ICO-issued tokens such as; MOBI or EOS.

What is the Difference?

Well, the difference is in the technical features. Each coin is either an independent network protocol or just a copy of some of it. When you research a crypto protocol from a security stance, make sure to find out if it can be centralized.

Let’s take an example!

In the case of Bitcoin, it’s now centralized around four major mining pools which also means that if all of them collaborate, they can possibly compromise the whole network.

Another advice! Whenever you look for proof-of-stake crypto, make sure to have a look at the genesis. This is also quite imperative, as whoever keeps the preliminary and initial stake can vote for transitions, as well as the network will be also trusting those who have higher stakes. If we take an example of NEO, a PoS network of China, which is same as Ethereum, was distributed 50/50 amid its ICO sales and developer community – unlike Ethereum distribution. Also, the NEO token distribution makes sure that no major stakeholder from the exchange platform or the developing side has enough stake to compromise the whole network.

Tokens

  • Now if we talk about tokens, all of them are based on a smart-contract aspect of few of the coins, which means their reliability and security is first based on the parent cryptocurrency – only subsequently on the smart contract’s code that issued it.
  • Mostly, all ICO coins (tokens) are based on Ethereum and just some of them are issued by smart contracts.
  • Also, it is imperative to point out that Ethereum got hacked a few years ago due to the DAO protocol hack – later hard forked and rolled back to the state. This also shows that the founders of Ethereum probably have a time machine as it looks like they have the ability to go back in time – yet again if it’s required.

Second Layer – Exchanges

One thing that everyone must understand about the exchanges is that they are written in custom-code with infrastructure security and has got nothing to do with blockchain. If we talk about an exchange, it is just a standard centralized web service arrayed in a data centre. That’s why whenever we talk about the exchanges, we always mention reliability and trust.

Almost every month we hear news about the data breaches and security events that occur because of exchanges.

Examples

Here are some latest examples!

  1. Back in December 2017, $63 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from NiceHash by hackers.
  2. At the beginning of this year, January 2018, more than $500 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from Coincheck by hackers.
  3. In February 2018, almost $195 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from BitGrail by hackers.

The hype around cryptocurrencies is due to the number of data breaches. Many exchanges have recently started their business – without investing in proper security measures. Simultaneously, if someone steals tokens/crypto coins from an exchange successfully, it’s nearly impossible to do anything about recovering it.

Third Layer – Wallets

Well, the third layer is linked to your personal security in the crypto world and you must’ve heard a lot about it before.

When you select a wallet for cryptocurrencies, you’ll have two options:

  1. Hot Wallet
  2. Cold Wallet

Hot wallet Vs Cold Wallet

  • The hot wallet is just like an account in exchange or in simple words, it is a website-based wallet.
  • In the case of a hot wallet, your tokens/coins are under the control of your wallet provider.

Whereas, a cold wallet can be a hardware, software or just a paper.

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Shopping with Bitcoins 101

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Bitcoin’s volatility is said to be a nightmare for most merchants because the slightest rise or drop in price is critical.

While in the past, finding bitcoin-accepting merchants was similar to “looking for a pin in a haystack” there are now various options for people to choose from. Bitcoin payment processors like BitPay and Coinbase have assisted merchants by taking on the volatility risk in accepting bitcoins. Merchants can incorporate with a bitcoin payment processor and accept payments through these third-party services. The processor receives the bitcoins and sends the merchant their local currency at the end of the day or week. It is up to the merchants if they’d want a certain amount of they pay to be in bitcoins.

Shopping with Bitcoins

This post will show how and what you can buy using bitcoins, along with a list of stores that cover almost all categories and provide those goods and services.

Keep on reading to know what would be your next purchase!

Shopping with Bitcoin

General:

  • Overstock:

Back in 2014, Overstock was the first billion-dollar company to accept Bitcoin. It’s got everything from furniture to clothing, jewelry, and electronics. Overstock can provide bitcoiners with almost all sorts of items.    

  • Gyft:

Gyft is an electronic gift card retailer that started accepting bitcoins in 2013. Bitcoiners can buy gift cards for Amazon, Best Buy, Delta, Home Depot, Whole Foods, and Walmart. Also, Gyft returns 3% back on Bitcoin purchases, making it competitive with credit card reward programs.

  • Rakuten:

This multibillion-dollar company based in Japan added Bitcoin as a payment method for its US costumers in May 2015. Basically, it’s similar to Overstock, providing almost all of the everyday products.

Travel:

  • Cheap Air:

CheapAir is an online travel agency that helps find costumers reasonably priced flights and hotels. They began accepting bitcoins in November 2013 and by July 2014, had processed over $1.5 million worth of Bitcoin transactions.

  • Virgin Galactic:

Virgin Galactic is a space travel company that accepted its first bitcoin payment in 2013. Richard Benson, the company’s CEO, believes that Bitcoin exchange and space will go a long way in the future if they remain to work together.

  • Expedia:

Expedia is one of the world’s largest online travel companies which started accepting bitcoins for hotel bookings back in 2014.

Computers and Electronics:

  • NewEgg:

NewEgg is one of the world’s most popular computer hardware and software store. It accepted its first Bitcoin payment in 2014 and has offered discounts to costumers paying with bitcoins.

  • TigerDirect:

TigerDirect became everyone’s destination to buy computer hardware, printers and TV sets, when it began accepting bitcoins as payment in July 2013.

  • Dell:

Dell began accepting bitcoins, 2 years after the above-mentioned companies.

Decentralized Market Places:

Where to shop with Bitcoin?

  • OpenBazaar:

OpenBazaar is an open source project to create a decentralized network for peer to peer commerce online—using Bitcoin—that has no fees and no restrictions. Instead of buyers and sellers going through a centralized service, OpenBazaar connects them directly. There is no one in the middle, you only reveal personal information that you choose.

Food & Groceries:

  • Fold:

Fold, teaming up with its sister company Card for Coin, helps to pass on discounts from unused gift cards to bitcoin users, since many are willing to sell gift cards for cash. Card for Coin purchases gift cards at a discount and then spends them for users through Fold. Bitcoin is sent to the wallet address displayed in Fold and within seconds a scannable gift card is ready for use. Right now Fold offers a 20% discount at Starbucks and 3% discount at Target with its AirBitz integration.

 Hire Freelancers:

  • Fiverr:

Fiverr is an online marketplace that is used to buy and sell services. Freelancers offer jobs for as little as $5 and contractors are able to pay for services with bitcoins.

Luxury Items:

  • Bitpremier:

Yachts, mansions, premium domain names, sports cars, and antiques are just a few of the expensive items listed on this bitcoin marketplace.

With the increase of Bitcoin price, the hype makes more businesses view Bitcoin as legitimate and something that can help improve profits. More and more e-commerce sites are trying to become a part of the Bitcoin Community and it won’t be long when you’ll be able to purchase all your groceries and other items from any of these sites, without having to go outside.

Enjoy your shopping spree!

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Security Token Organization Overstock’s tZERO stops its work Tonight

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A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, which are connected utilizing cryptography. Blockchains which are readable by the public are thoroughly used by cryptocurrency token. Personal blockchains have actually been proposed for company usage. Some marketing of blockchains has actually been called “snake oil.

Cryptocurrencies token

Each block consists of a cryptocurrencies hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction information (normally represented as a Merkle tree root hash). By design, a blockchain is resistant to adjustment of the info. It is “an open, distributed journal that can tape-record handle between 2 individuals successfully and in a tested and long-lasting method”. For use as a dispersed journal, a blockchain is typically handled by a peer-to-peer network jointly adhering to a treatment for inter-node interaction and verifying brand-new blocks. When tape-recorded, the information in any used block cannot be changed retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which needs an agreement of the network bulk.

Alterations in Blockchain

Though blockchain records are not unalterable, blockchains may be considered protected by design and exhibit a dispersed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. A decentralized agreement has for that reason been declared with a blockchain. We are going to discuss about tZERO which is offers Security Tokens that they stop their work.

tZero Stops its Work

tZERO, a blockchain ancillary of e-commerce retail huge Overstock, announced on Aug. 6 that its Security Token Offering (STO) will pertain to an end Monday night, with no additional extensions.

tZERO said that its STO will close at 11:59 PM EDT, whereas venture capitalist with completely carried out Simple Agreements of Future Equity (SAFEs) need to remit funds to tZERO Wednesday. The start-up will supposedly reveal the outcomes of the STO on Thursday, throughout Overstock’s revenues call. While tZERO originally restricted the maximum number of tokens to $250 million, it is presently uncertain just how much it raised during the round.

Initial Stage of STO Business

The business initially presented the STO in the form of a Preliminary Coin Offering (ICO) in December last year, has actually drawn in strong crypto and conventional institutional interest that apparently led to $100 million devoted to the platform throughout the very first 12 hours.

tZERO’s Analysis

tZERO’s ICO fell under analysis from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), causing Overstock’s share rate to drop. Prior to that, Overstock had actually declared its ICO to be categorized under Regulations D and S instead of as a traditional securities filing. This implied that U.S. people need to be certified financiers to have actually invested in the ICO and that offshore transactions might not include U.S. citizens.

tZERO signed a letter of intent with Beijing-based investment firm GSR Capital for the purchase of $160 million in tZERO Security Tokens at a cost of $10.00 per token. Per the declaration, tZERO also “entered into executed SAFEs in excess of $168 million for Security Tokens, of which over $95 million had been currently funded.”

Conclusion

While Overstock announced its intentions to construct another ICO token trading platform late in 2015, tZERO at first presented the prototype of its security token trading form in April. Developers meant to present a method of trading security

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China Central Bank adviser: “Bitcoin can be an asset, not a currency”

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Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are assets, but calling them currency is a bit exaggeration. The digital coins do not meet the fundamental attributes needed to be classified as currency. These are the words of the Chinese Central Bank adviser, Sheng Songcheng.

The advisor made these comments in an interview with a financial magazine ‘Yicai’ this late Thursday.

The Main Story:

“Bitcoin does not have the fundamental attributes needed to be a currency as it is a string of code generated by complex algorithms… But I do not deny that virtual currencies have technical value and fall under the category of ‘assets’,” he said.

He made these comments after the Chinese Central Bank increased the scrutiny of Bitcoin exchanges in the country earlier this year. The move introduced trading fees and prompted the companies to stop margin lending.

While many governments around the world are still contemplating on how to regulate and classify Bitcoin, the Chinese authorities have already classified Bitcoin as a ‘virtual good’.

Sheng also believes that Bitcoin after being capped in 2140 would make it impossible for it to become a medium of exchange as to become a medium of exchange a currency must meet modern economic development needs which Bitcoin lacks due to it being in an exceedingly small quantity.

He concluded by saying that the fiscal authorities in China should chip away at issuing a central bank virtual currency that it could direct and run properly.

News Credits: CNBC

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Bitcoin Explained

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Bitcoin

Following the uncertainty of the current world and its unstable economy where currencies face great flux every day, a new economy was introduced under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Under the worlds infinite disarray, Bitcoin emerged as a decentralized and a digital cash system with regulated by almost no one.

This peer-to-peer networking system runs through electronic signatures and crypto graphics to generate currency- Bitcoins. Bitcoins are not only a form of currency but also a form of investment for some investors who keep these coins in hopes of an increase in their value and enjoy the opportunity cost.

Mining

Just like normal everyday cash, this currency doesn’t have to be printed and issued by the federals or the central banks. Bitcoins are generated through a process called ‘mining’. These coins are mined out of the system by giving complex and advanced mathematical problems for your computer to solve. The target is to generate a 64-digit number as an answer to that puzzle. When a system solves the given complex algorithm, it obtains a specific fraction of Bitcoins every time.

The bitcoin network automatically sets the difficulty level of the mine to be mine next. On average, there are around 25 Bitcoins mined every 10 minutes. During the process, only a set number of Bitcoins can be mined during a certain period. After every four years, this reward is halved. Currently, it is up to 12.5 Bitcoins for every mathematical problem solved.

Limited Supply

Fiat currencies have an unlimited supply and their value can be easily manipulated anytime by the regulatory bodies. Given its independent nature, Bitcoin has tightly restricted supply controlled by the underlying algorithm of the system. There is a set number of coins that can ever be mined ever. A total number of 21 million bitcoins exist in the system.

Bitcoin at its peak has managed to engage the market by over 2 million dollars. The lowest has been $2. Today the value roughly swifts around $9,000.

No economy supports the sudden fluctuations in the system. Too much too fast will result in the dropping of the value of the currency. Too much too slow will cause the economy to halt. Due to these reasons, Bitcoin has a self-stabilizing system to regulate the economy at the most favorable grounds.

Exchangers allow the holders to transfer and buy or sell these Bitcoin crypto coins among other users. One of the famous platforms is Bitstamp. This allows users to buy Bitcoins in fiat currency and also enables them to sell them to other potential users. Bitstamp enables users to store the coins too as e-wallets. But beware of the hackers, as they can dangerously destabilize these digital economies.

With the gradual growing influence of these cryptocurrencies in the world today, a lot of applications and platforms have shown loyalty to the Bitcoin. Platforms like WikiLeaks and WordPress have started accepting bitcoins as means of their payments and transaction currency.

MintChip

Inspired by the Bitcoin, the Canadian government has launched a similar cryptocurrency named, MintChip. This electronic currency is backed by the government, unlike the Bitcoin.

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