Evolution of blockchain technology ecosystem

Evolution of blockchain technology ecosystem

Previous blockchain blogpost

Charlie Shrem the first Bitcoin felon went to federal prison in 2015 for 2 years. Upon his release he went about strengthening the ecosystem of blockchain. A real breakthrough came when he created a prepaid Dash debit card. He then joined Intellisys Capital and decided to raise funds in the form of initial coin offering but got cold feet, as he feared the intense scrutiny from the authorities and eventually backed off.

The Bitcoin community in the early days believed that the free flow of capital is a human right. The members were together in its sense of mission, which they considered was righteous. Because the digital currency circumvented central banks, many of its first adopters were libertarians, black marketers and anarchists who wanted to conduct business away from the watchful eye of the government. They were gleeful at Bitcoin’s impending triumph and enraged by any show of malice or incompetence by the big banks and the government.

Leads to collapse

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

A case in point is Charlie Shrem, the founder of Bitinstant, who was the first Bitcoin felon. He squandered the opportunity to make the company a world-beating one by helping drug dealers source funds. Upon his arrest, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the venture capitalists, disavowed Shrem and would go on to scoop up 1% of all the Bitcoins. Depending on each person’s point of view, this fact makes Shrem either a martyr or a criminal who got what he deserved.

Job at Jaxx

After the release from prison, Charlie Shrem was ready to seize any suitable opportunity that came along to get in on the door. That lot fell to a full-time job as the head of business development at Jaxx mainly because the values of the company appealed to him. Shrem is no longer operating for himself but has landed a job at this startup that allows holding separate balances of different digital coins in virtual wallets. It also lets users exchange virtual currencies and digital money with one another all over the world. Anthony Dilorio, an entrepreneur who was also the co-founder of Ethereum, founded Jaxx too. The company wants to expand to China and Shrem will play a crucial role in that process. He is in charge of working with developers and turning relationships into revenue.

Right the wrong

Jaxx

Jaxx

Today, Charlie Shrem is a free man whose world has changed dramatically for the better and is using his skills to strengthen the community. He thinks that if he can build Jaxx, he will be an industry player again like old times. Having helped Bitcoin grow to a giant, he is confident he can tell which ones do not have real promise and which ones have. He expects to see technology where Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum and other networks communicate. For instance, the balance in a Bitcoin wallet could trigger an Ethereum contact and vice versa.

Blockchain digital tokens

Today, many of the blockchain assets are not digital currencies like Dash or Bitcoin. They are tokens. They are different from digital money because they lack a blockchain. Instead, they run on existing blockchains and are built for specific applications, like a marketplace for computation, a blockchain-based advertising platform, or a crowd-sourced prediction market. These days $6.6 billion worth of digital tokens change hands every day, and the numbers are growing.

Initial coin offerings

The creation of digital currencies is through mining, but the production of tokens is through distribution in crowd sales called initial coin offerings. These crowd sales raise funds and give potential investors their first opportunity to grab a piece of the service. A token is a wealth-sharing mechanism where everyone, from hedge funders to consumers, places bets on or take positions in the future of the Internet. Several initial coin offerings have been launched already raising $230 million in 2016, followed by $450 million in 2017.

Digital token business

The tokenization craze constitutes Internet’s second business model, says Carlson-Wee a hedge funder who is backed by Andreessen Horowitz. Take the case of Facebook as a company issuing initial coin offerings as an example. If Facebook had published a token, with its value from the content and connections, then early users would have scooped up a significant amount of those tokens at low prices. Late adopters might have found themselves able to afford just a few. But all who were holders of this digital asset would have been able to participate in the growing success of Facebook. But, of course, this is not the case, and that is not how it works neither is it as easy as that. Only Mark Zuckerberg and company stockholders share the value of Facebook. Most other platforms operate on the same principle where their owners extract value from interactions between users.

Career in blockchain

Careers in Blockchain

Careers in Blockchain

It is the cryptocurrency gold rush era, and associated jobs have soared as its value continues to rise. According to the job site Freelancer, cryptocurrencies have been one of the rapidly growing online jobs. The practice of code-breaking known as cryptography, which is central to cryptocurrency, has also seen an increase in interest on the site. According to Zippia.com, a career website, most cryptocurrency jobs are for developers with tech skills including building full stack applications. Companies are searching en masse for qualified developers, promising substantially high salaries.

Skills worth sharpening

Job candidates who understand initial coin offerings would have an extra competitive edge. It is a method borrowed from the financial sector whereby capital is raised by putting up a new virtual coin for public sales. Knowing how to write smart contracts and a good understanding of Ethereum is another skill worth sharpening.

Awareness of basics

A variety of literature on what Bitcoin is and how it works is readily available online. Interested applicant should read it up to be aware of the basics before applying in the field. But every blockchain-related job does not require a comprehensive grasp of the technology. Most of these companies also hire people in marketing, communications and human resources, just like any other business.

No unified source

Although cryptocurrency jobs are booming, there are no centralized locations to find them. A simple search on Google for initial coin offerings and token sales will bring up some startups in the blockchain space. Looking beyond traditional job-listing sites would help too and is highly recommended. Looking at specific Bitcoin forums can help find job listings in the industry and keep up with what is happening. Being involved in the cryptocurrency community creates more authentic and reliable means of detecting positions and networking.

Coming up next:

The publication of the white paper written by an anonymous hacker who goes by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency felon during and after prison

Cryptocurrency felon during and after prison

Previous blockchain blogpost

Charlie Shrem was among the pioneer public faces of cryptocurrency. He co-founded a startup company in 2011 called BitInstant that was one of the earliest cryptocurrency companies processing a third of all Bitcoin transactions. In 2015, Shrem went to prison for two years for aiding an unlicensed money transmitter acquire Bitcoins to trade in the underground marketplace, where it was used to buy drugs. It was a felony that is the first of its kind in the crypto world.

Charlie Shrem entered prison in 2015 after medicating himself with vodka just before his incarceration. In the federal prison camp in Pennsylvania, Charlie Shrem began frequenting the library. It became Charlie Shrem’s sanctuary where he would stay in for hours and read 137 books.

Value of currency

Shrem found himself mulling over the question of what made money worth anything

Shrem found himself mulling over the question of what made money worth anything


Shrem found himself mulling over the question of what made money worth anything. Luckily, the jail economy provided the answer as the prison had its cash, mainly packets of mackerel. For those prison inmates in Lewisburg, sachets of mackerel were an ideal form of coins. Inmates serving long sentences would use stockpiles of mackerel as a store of value, much like a savings account. Gradually he came to believe that the acceptance of any form of money is mostly a social convention. But it was true that some features could make one currency more suitable than another.

Halfway house life

In 2016, Charlie Shrem was transferred to a halfway house and says that living not merely with embezzlers, drug dealers, and fraudsters, but also with murderers, child molesters, and bank robbers was worse than prison. One of the conditions of residency at the house was gainful employment and making money via Internet did not qualify. Therefore, during his time in the halfway house, Shrem worked as a dishwasher for $8 an hour. 

Life after prison

After serving time in prison, the 27-year old Bitcoin pioneer was looking for a real comeback. It was a time when Bitcoin and other digital currencies were about to explode in epic proportions, and their value had already risen to up to six times its previous price. When he tried to visit an online exchange, one of his old haunts, where he had once played with altcoins, he found that all familiar landmarks had gone. The website no longer existed and even the jargon and terminology had changed drastically. It was humbling for Shrem to realize that the Bitcoin community had changed in his absence. 

Rise from fall

Out of the gates, Bitcoin’s first felon took the same stance with the blockchain industry and set about catching up on everything he missed. He gracefully rose from his fall and found a new mission with a determination. Since his release, he started building the Internet’s future by strengthening the ecosystem of the blockchain. In this newly diverse ecosystem, Shrem has positioned himself to play a significant role not only as a coder but also as a connector. Although, after his comeback, he has fallen once on the wrong side, he claims that he is different now. 

Virtual money rivalry

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies

When Shrem was one of the first in the game, Bitcoin was the only virtual currency. Now that it has given rise to more kinds of digital money, he is embracing the transformation. He agrees with other pioneers that there will be not just one supreme digital currency but instead many because there is a crypto-pluralism taking hold right now. That may make Shrem the perfect poster child, as cryptocurrencies transition from a form of exchange favored by those who reviled any establishment into a rapidly growing mainstream system. The old Shrem and the likes were not above taking advantage of such a situation either. 

Dash debit card

As Dash took off, Shrem decided to get involved and proposed creating a prepaid debit card. The cardholder can load it with coins, convert them into dollars and use it at any company that accepts a Dash debit card. That way hundreds of millions of digital dollars can enter the mainstream economy. Dash-funded debit cards are several, but Shrem’s innovation would be the first to be used in America. Eventually, it allowed users to convert cash into Bitcoins at conventional banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, at hundreds of thousands of locations across Russia, America, and Brazil including 7-Eleven and Walmart. His plan garnered overwhelming support because people within the Dash universe take someone like Shrem very seriously and reputation plays an important role. Its price shot up to $266/- from $50/- and Shrem became a millionaire overnight again. But expecting more than that was foolhardy and he decided that it is better to let each cryptocurrency do what it does best. 

Digital token sales

Having seen that the new frontier was token sales, Charlie Shrem became the technology officer of a startup, Intellisys Capital, that he predicted would revolutionise the investment world. The plan was to raise funds by issuing blockchain digital tokens as initial coin offerings. The issue was that under American law this would undoubtedly be classified as a security. The decision was made by the company to bar British and American citizens from participating in it to avoid legal trouble. But the idea also had other drawbacks as they would have to depend on partners to vet investors for them. Shrem was back in pitch mode and became the face of the venture, touting Intellisys to the public and the press. He described the proof of concept, a waste-management company, as the fund’s first investment. 

Mired with doubts

As the date approached, Shrem had doubts in his mind and began to get cold feet. A person, already convicted of a financial crime once, selling security would bring intense scrutiny. This thought increasingly made him nervous, restless and sleepless for months leading to the sale. Fortunately for Shrem, fate intervened, and he decided to walk away because it was a bomb. It was easier to take a risk and tarnish his reputation than live in constant fear all his life. 

Taking it easy

Charlie

Charlie

The failure of Intellisys cost him, but Charlie Shrem wants to make the right comeback. He had moved with his fiancée to Sarasota and is living with her in a rented pink townhouse. His abundant off-hours, he spends on relaxing on the beach, boating, eating in upmarket restaurants, and Jet Skiing. Today Shrem is more patient and mellower and less arrogant and cocky than in the past.

Coming up next:

Today, many of the blockchain assets are tokens that are distributed as initial coin offerings. It constitutes the Internet’s second business model. Associated jobs have soared as its value has risen. Candidates who understand initial coin offerings, know how to write smart contracts, and have a good understanding of Ethereum would have an extra competitive edge. Interested applicants should read up the online literature on how blockchain works and be aware of the basics before applying in the field.

First felony in the cryptocurrency world

First felony in the cryptocurrency world

Previous blockchain blogpost

Some businesses and companies prefer to stick to their past, but this is not a good marketing strategy. Instead, it is essential to take a progressive approach and look out for the next big thing. That is what happens when companies begin to accept Bitcoin payment that put them in a position for greater success. Embracing the power of this new blockchain technology shows the customers and prospects of a business that it is well ahead of the curve.

Charlie Shrem comes from a predominantly Jewish and Russian neighborhood in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. His father used to work at a jewelry store, and his mother looked after his sisters and him. Awkward and shy, Shrem blossomed when he discovered that he had a passion for computers. Charlie Shrem learned computer programming and started engaging in hacker forums. While in Brooklyn College in 2009, he co-founded a deals site known as Daily Checkout and fell in love with sales.

Earliest Cryptocurrency Company

BitInstant

BitInstant Source: Coindesk

Charlie Shrem, a promoter’s promoter, was among the pioneer public faces of cryptocurrency. Shrem saw value when Bitcoins were worth practically nothing or maybe a few dollars each. Shrem claimed he was among the ten people globally to find out about Bitcoin. By 2011, he was well known in the network of Bitcoin and co-founded a startup company called BitInstant. He became the Chief Executive Officer of Bitinstant that was one of the earliest and most significant cryptocurrency companies processing a third of all Bitcoin transactions. It helped people obtain digital money and transfer it between exchanges.

Partnering for support

Shrem partnered with Gareth Nelson, a Welsh coder, and handled the business end, managing to raise funds from Roger Ver, an angel investor, and from his mom. But one person who refused to invest warned Shrem that BitInstant had no safeguards to protect against money laundering. That was fine with Shrem as a substantial portion of the clientele were users of Silk Road. These people needed to exchange dollars for Bitcoins to buy drugs on the black market. There was a middleman, a plumber in Florida by the name of Robert Faiella who had a business obtaining Bitcoins for these users.

Abetting with crime

Shrem soon found out what Faiella was up to and helped him source money for drug transactions, rather than shutting him down. Shrem’s partner, as well as the cash-processing company of BitInstant, wanted to stop it. But Shrem encouraged Faiella to disguise his identity using a new email address and username. The flow of money went on until Shrem eventually cut him off in 2012 when Faiella pleaded guilty to running an unlicensed money-transmitting business. By the time he went to prison for four years in jail, he had laundered a million dollar through BitInstant.

Vision with swagger

By 2012, Shrem was a young Chief Executive Officer, a motor-mouthed cocky capitalist, and a proud pothead. He had swaggering ambitions as he wanted to turn BitInstant into the Apple of Bitcoin and his company soon would be processing a massive chunk of all Bitcoin transactions. When a payment processor cut all connections with Bitcoin companies under pressure from MasterCard and partner banks, leaving customer funds stranded, it was BitInstant that hacked together a solution to let users withdraw their money.

Bitinstant gaining traction

Bitinstant raised $1.5 million, most of it from Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twin brothers, who had a venture capital firm

The company raised $1.5 million from Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss Source: CNBC

Bitinstant raised $1.5 million, most of it from Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twin brothers, who had a venture capital firm. The company helped them buy their first Bitcoins. Since then they were hooked. After raising funds, the company’s future looked bright, and Bitinstant became an industry barometer because crypto-economy depended on rapid money transfers. In early 2013, during the Cypriot financial crisis, when bank accounts for regular citizens taxed them 6.75%, Bitcoin suddenly became a haven.

Chaotic early days

Charlie Shrem embodied the legally questionable, chaotic early days of cryptocurrency. Two of Shrem’s best friends quit Bitinstant due to a dispute with the investors. Something went out of Shrem with the departure of his two best friends who were his confidants. He seemed distracted, spent the night partying, sleeping in and showing up late to work. Meanwhile, the site was straining under the traffic surge, leading to waves of complaints. A platform upgrade became mired in legal concerns and technical problems. It became clear that Bitinstant had been operating without licenses, and the cost of acquiring them would be prohibitive. Bitinstant that made Shrem a Bitcoin millionaire eventually went bust and shut down in 2013 as it was all too much for everyone concerned to carry on.

Bitcoin foundation speaker

Shrem became an overnight sensation when he featured in a documentary about the new virtual phenomenon. He co-founded the Bitcoin foundation, which was the first nonprofit advocacy organization for the digital currency. He then flew to Argentina on a Bitcoin foundation mission because by then Shrem had become a proselytizer and a speaker at industry conferences. His business was now himself and not BitInstant as he began to charge speaking fees as all the while his life was a whirlwind of deal-making and partying. Everywhere he went he kept telling people that he is rebuilding BitInstant.

Crime caught up

At first, Shrem got away unscathed as he was enjoying his freedom. He took a vacation to Morocco with his girlfriend, Courtney Warner, where he tried opium. In 2014 it caught up with Shrem when he was arrested in Amsterdam as he was returning from a speech.

Arguments for defense

Robert Faiella

Robert Faiella Source: CBC

Shrem argued his case first by advancing the notion that individuals can spend their money the way they want it as long as it is not harmful to anyone else. And second, at the time he was helping Faiella, the government had not decided how to regulate or even classify Bitcoin. If they had not yet determined whether it acknowledged Bitcoin as money, how could that amount to laundering? Shrem did not know whether the law he had violated was just and had wanted to raise these issues but his lawyers advised against it.

Bitcoins buy drugs

In 2015, Charlie Shrem eventually went to federal prison for two years after pleading guilty. He was abetting and aiding an unlicensed money transmitter client, Robert Faiella acquire Bitcoins to trade in the underground marketplace, where it was used to buy drugs. It was a felony that is considered to be the first of its kind in the digital currency world. Although other Bitcoiners had broken the law, Shrem was the first to be imprisoned.

Coming up next:

Charlie Shrem the first Bitcoin felon went to federal prison in 2015 for 2 years. Upon his release he went about strengthening the ecosystem of blockchain. A real breakthrough came when he created a prepaid Dash debit card. He then joined Intellisys Capital and decided to raise funds in the form of initial coin offering but was mired with doubts, as he feared the intense scrutiny from the authorities and eventually backed off.

Accepting Bitcoin is good for business

Accepting Bitcoin is good for business

Previous blockchain blogpost

Blockchain technology represents a seismic shift. It is like that of email and web in the 90s and Facebook and Twitter a decade later. This innovative technology also makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible without centralized authority. But cryptocurrencies are just the tip of the iceberg, much bigger and more essential things lie below the surface. Blockchain technology has the potential to create countless opportunities everywhere. 21.co, a blockchain startup founded by Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, is a compelling case in point.

Some businesses prefer to stick to their past, but this is not a good marketing strategy. Instead, it is essential to take a progressive approach and look out for the next big thing. That is what happens when companies begin to accept Bitcoin that put them in a position for greater success. Embracing the power of this new technology is good for businesses. It shows the customers and prospects of a business that it is well ahead of the curve. Accepting Bitcoin is a marketing strategy that could positively impact the company’s bottom line. With such transactions on the rise, many companies are using Bitcoin to their advantage.

New market segment

There are customers out there that only work with those businesses that accept Bitcoin. The bigger such an audience, the higher chance of making sales, moving past the competition, and boosting profits. Accepting Bitcoin may be a gimmick, but it could give the company an edge over the competitors. Since many are not on board with this technology as yet, it is possible to beat them to it. Hence, companies that use Bitcoin are fortunate enough to generate business from a fresh audience and a new market segment.

Appeals younger generation

Just the same as the conventional form of payment, every one of all ages can use Bitcoin. But it is the younger generation who are most likely to adopt this fast-growing form of payment. Companies that work towards appealing to such a demographic needs to give them something to get excited. One of the many ways is accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for the products or services. It is a differentiating factor that the younger generation look at when purchasing items.

Peace of mind

Data breaches that rock the world may not have impacted many companies. But there is no guarantee of that not happening in the future. In regards to data security, Bitcoin gives peace of mind since it does not store payment information. Or not at least in the way traditional financial sector does. That way, it provides the prospects and customers a higher level of trust in the companies.

Traditional affiliate networks

Bitcoin is going to affect traditional affiliate networks, which may have to reexamine their minimum network fees for the commissionable transaction. Affiliate marketing uses Bitcoin because of the cost-effective manner of rewarding virtually any purchase. It also allows paying in real-time in which case purchase transactions are not reversible.

Impacts variable rates

Bitcoin impacts the prices of those products marketed through the affiliate program. Those who offer automatic services or intangible products may be able to consume the risk of the variable value of Bitcoin. Companies selling tangible products may likely keep their prices in their currency and then convert it on the fly. Merchants may give some extra incentives to affiliates who promote Bitcoin-priced products and also to those affiliates accepting Bitcoins as commissions. Again, it will be easier for merchants to edge potential changes when the value of Bitcoin becomes stable.

Lead generation companies

Lead-gen marketing companies may receive high payouts for hot leads but a fraction of that for cold leads. The first examples are in the Bitcoin space itself whereby the firms refer active users to Bitcoin Exchanges. CoinMate.io is a British based Exchange that serves continental Europe but does not operate in North America and offers a fee for recommended users. On the other side is Coinbase, a leading exchange who pays handsomely to both the referred user and the referring user. Considering Bitcoin can reward almost any transaction, in the future it will adopt a percentage approach and would add premium percentages for referring top-tier customers. As the value of Bitcoin becomes stable, commissions will be expressed more frequently in Bitcoin.

Cheap website traffic

Faucets are a cheap way to get traffic on to a website by rewarding the people who either visit the site or complete specific actions

Faucets are a cheap way to get traffic on to a website by rewarding the people who either visit the site or complete specific actions Source: Steemit

Faucets are a cheap way to get traffic on to a website by rewarding the people who either visit the site or complete specific actions. If an overlap exists between the company’s customers and the users of the Bitcoin faucet, there may be value for the company.

Binary options trade

Satoshi option trading

Satoshi option trading

Bitcoin is very beneficial for binary options because it allows traders to transact business when other markets remain closed. Accepting Bitcoin payments from traders will have many implications on the product itself. The binary options brokers, e gaming, and daily fantasy sports operators accept Bitcoin and convert it into a currency that goes to the customer’s account. However, bearing the risk of receiving Bitcoins, and then having to pay winners a different amount of Bitcoins, requires careful planning, until their value stabilizes.

Decentralised digital currency

Bitcoin is similar to Euro or Dollars or Yen with the difference that Bitcoin is not under the jurisdiction of a bank or a country. This digital currency is not supported by economic drivers and exists only on computers. Like standard money, Bitcoin can be used to buy services and goods from companies who accept it. The details can get complex, but a simple example can explain how it works on a fundamental level.

Illustration with example

Let us assume that an online store sells a bat for $100/- and accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment. If the purchaser pays $100/- today and if the rate drops by 30%, effectively, that bat was sold yesterday for $70/-. If, on the other hand, the rate goes up by 30%, that bat was sold yesterday for $130/-. And that makes good business sense, but the exchange rate is hard to predict on a day-to-day basis. Domino’s Pizza was the first company to take Bitcoin back in 2013. Some companies already take Bitcoin; most notably among them are Dell, Newegg, and Overstock.com.

Establishing Bitcoin functionality

For those websites that already allow Bitcoin payments in the online store, such as Shopify, they have to establish and enable the functionality of a Bitcoin wallet. Otherwise, the more straightforward solution might be a Bitcoin Payment Processor or Gateway such as CoinGate, Stripe, BitPay, or any of the others. If everything else fails, consider changing the website hosts but only as a last resort.

Strategy enhances brand

Merely having a payment method that is Bitcoin-friendly will become the mark of a forward-thinking company. In other words, using blockchain to formalize digital payments between companies can work in one’s favor. From a business point-of-view, not only is this secure but from a marketing perspective, it helps add to the branding. A mass-adoption future where the world would just use Bitcoin instead of paper currencies is a little far-fetched right now, but having a strategy in place will help in the long run to be ahead of the game.

Businesses follow suit

Bitcoins is a celebrity of its own, but their chief value in marketing and digital commerce may be that they introduced blockchains. The technology that makes Bitcoin possible is the aspect that makes it most disruptive giving rise to different kinds of applications. Very soon, companies or banks will be managing blockchain technology because they see the potential in its ability to record transactions permanently and globally with one entry.

Blockchain resembles Internet

The blockchain movement feels like the Internet primarily because both offer decentralized systems, except that Bitcoin is about a rapid transfer of value, and the Internet is about the transmission of information. Consumers can purchase blockchain-generated tokens representing values or products, employing the power of falling and rising token prices in a self-regulating, decentralized blockchain environment. In the most idealized version, a community of developers will be maintaining each blockchain faithfully and owning tokens that would increase in value.

Coming up next:

Charlie Shrem was among the pioneer public faces of cryptocurrency. He co-founded a startup company in 2011 called BitInstant that was one of the earliest cryptocurrency companies processing a third of all Bitcoin transactions. In 2015, Shremwent to prison for two years for aiding an unlicensed money transmitter acquire Bitcoins to trade in the underground marketplace, where it was used to buy drugs. It was a felony that is the first of its kind in the crypto world.

The scope of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

The scope of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

Previous blockchain blogpost

Cryptocurrency is a digital payment maintained by a network of computers that uses cryptography to authenticate transactions. Depending on how investors expect to make money and how they are structured, some cryptocurrencies may count as securities. If traders of these currencies prop up the price and go online to spread gossips, that might count as fraud. It can be hard to determine if a bubble exists. The only way to ensure that they avoid a burst is mass adoption.

The first digital currency was Bitcoin mined by millions of people in different locations around the world. It was Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, who built its decentralized system that anyone could participate in, but no one could own. Although it was open to all, ironically, Bitcoin transactions were supposed to be anonymous. When Bitcoin came into being in 2009, the promise was to be the universal electronic currency that passed around the world in minutes. However, Bitcoin has qualities that make it not only a coin but also a store of value and a network of payments.

Store of value

The exponential jump in the rate of Bitcoin has stoked interest from big banks and even Wall Street. For example, in 2010, using the forum bitcointalk.org, a developer bought two pizzas by paying Bitcoins for the purchase. Fast-forward a few years, and the value of that Bitcoins shot up to 425 million dollars. They are now trading for more than $2,600/- but hardly anything to spend it on.

Network of payments

The software stores a continuously updated ledger that records all Bitcoin transactions. The code sets the scarcity of Bitcoin, and mining introduces new Bitcoins at regular intervals. This form of earning Bitcoins consists of solving the math problems necessary to confirm transactions. Successful solving of those problems using mathematical calculations triggers the creation of more currency.

Limitations of Bitcoins

A civil war is over the future of Bitcoin ever since its launch, and it is already showing strain. Bitcoin’s share of the market cap of all cryptocurrencies fell from 85% to 41%. Its price has soared and not dropped, but many rivals have risen even faster. Moreover, the Bitcoin network can only process seven transactions a second due to code limitations. This quantity is trifling considering that the system aspires to serve the masses. As the load increases, it takes time to confirm transactions, and customers have been at odds. The bickering threatens to condemn Bitcoin to obsolescence or divide the currency into two versions. All in all, although Bitcoin allows the transfer of value, it is slower and more limited in its capacity than some of its latest rivals.

Biggest cryptocurrency competitor

One of the biggest among the competitors of Bitcoin is Darkcoin, a portmanteau of digital cash. Part of the stellar success of Dash is due to Bitcoin’s flaws and limitations. This cryptocurrency emerged following Bitcoin’s rise in price in January 2014. Dash is one of the most popular digital currencies because it promised untraceable transactions. Although it saw plenty of dumping, its creator continued to add new features and refine the software. In 2015 it was rebranded as Dash so that it would not be mistaken for a single-feature coin. Gradually Dash gained legitimacy, and its currency’s total value has grown every year.

Advantages of Dash

A new payment method has to be easier to use, more secure and faster than others to attract customers. Bitcoin and the other digital currencies in the market fail on all these three metrics. Dash has functions and features to address such concerns and weaknesses that most others do not have. Also, Dash offers its users a quick send feature that is as easy as using a credit card. People who hold 1,000 coins and above are required to submit all future projects for a vote. The benefit of such a system is that it is a decentralized network that allows making decisions rapidly, avoiding conflicts such as that of Bitcoin, which has no way to compel anybody to adopt a new version.

The next version of Dash will include features that protect against fraud or theft such as moderated transactions. This function would allow funds to be released only upon the receipt of products, and vault accounts, which can stop an impending withdrawal of funds within 24 hours. The goal is to have a medium of exchange that can facilitate everyday commerce. The one of its kind governance system of Dash is its clearest innovation, one that is impossible to replicate.

Smartest cryptocurrency competitor

Ethereum’s creators have built a network that allows developers to create agreements written into the software. These intelligence contracts can dispense funds and perform functions automatically in response to triggers.

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Emergence of altcoins

Many of the players in the digital currency world, known as altcoins, were exclusively used as vehicles for use-and-discard schemes. An altcoin’s creator would often pour funds into a coin and build hype. Novices would jump in, the price would spike, investors would throw them away, and the amount would plunge downward.

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Bitcoin versus altcoins

People use many of the currencies younger than Bitcoin for much more versatile purposes. That means Bitcoin faces a threat from more nimble competitors such as Litecoin, Zcash, and Monero. On the other hand, just as Bitcoin struggle against the American dollar, new cryptocurrencies face an uphill battle against Bitcoin, which has the most significant user base and the broadest name recognition.

Today, there are many digital currencies in the world worth billions of dollars

Today, there are many digital currencies in the world worth billions of dollars

Total market value

Today, there are many digital currencies in the world worth billions of dollars. In 2017, digital currencies in aggregate had a total market value of approximately $100 billion. Based on market cap, the price of digital currencies can be possibly ten times that of the most significant companies.

Cryptocurrency becoming mainstream

People are using cryptocurrency wallets because retailers are now starting to accept them. Japan’s new legislation in April 2017 and Australia’s in July allows retailers to take Bitcoin as a legal tender. Ten financial institutions have put enough trust in Bitcoin that they use Ripple to send payments in real-time. There is a consensus among 56 companies worldwide on scaling Bitcoin, reaching an agreement on a settlement process.

Driver of innovation

Blockchain will disrupt every business, and digital currencies will drive new company model innovation, accelerating and scaling business outcomes at unprecedented levels. This revolution could be either a bubble or the onset of a financial realignment. Therefore, investors are cautiously bullish on the success of blockchain, which is crypto currency’s groundbreaking technology.

Coming up next:

Blockchain technology represents a seismic shift like that of email and web in the 90s and Facebook and Twitter a decade later.This innovative technology also makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible without centralized authority. But cryptocurrencies are just the tip of the iceberg, much bigger and more essential things lie below the surface. Blockchain technology has the potential to create countless opportunities everywhere. 21.co, a blockchain startup founded by Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, is a compelling case in point.

Creation of value through blockchain technology

Creation of value through blockchain technology

Previous blockchain blogpost:

We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry, as more and more people are engaging in property transactions using Bitcoin. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and the blockchain technology when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, industry insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. Digital money analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency.

Creation of value through blockchain technology

The blockchain is the culmination of all the platforms such as Napster, Skype, and BitTorrent that operate on peer-to-peer networks. It is the infrastructure of the digital currency and is described as an open, shared, and distributed ledger. A process known as cryptography creates digital currencies and additional units of them. It also verifies the transfer of assets and secures the cryptocurrency transactions in the blockchain.

Global peer network

The blockchain is a network that verifies every transaction, which then becomes a new block of data. Blocks are nothing but lists of linked records that keep growing continuously. When this data gets added to the blockchain, the recorded value is available to all the users of the network. This revolutionary technology is maintained simultaneously across millions of computers without any central data storage. In short, blockchain is a spreadsheet that can record verifiable transactions efficiently and permanently.

Value exchange network

Fans and advocates of the technology hail it as an efficient global network of value exchange. A very high level of security within the blockchain technology leaves no room for failure. Part of the efficiency is because of its ability to generate value for the community of keepers. In the real estate industry blockchain enables to store authentic online documents, draw digital smart contracts, and keeps the identities of the parties anonymous.

Authentic online documents

While accepting digital payments in real estate transactions is new, this cannot change the status quo. It can only change if the government used blockchain to store all the data of the industry there. If blockchain can facilitate moving land records to an immutable online ledger, no one could go back and manufacture records out of thin air. A huge benefit of such an initiative would be fraud prevention, which amounts to someone producing false paper documents that look authentic.

Digital smart contracts

If verified and quality data about potential buyers and properties were available on the blockchain, it is possible to draw intelligent treaties. These are legal agreements written in computer code with programmed rules to direct the flows of money. No more sit-downs between escrow agents, lawyers, and brokers to review paper documents. The system would have it all and would run smoothly and quickly, provided the data regarding properties and people in the blockchain is accurate.

Parties remain anonymous

Cryptocurrency payments offer anonymity because they are digital that in some cases require just an email address to acquire them. Blockchain could protect the buyer’s anonymity by allowing interested parties to ask questions without revealing who the person behind it was. The fact that the owners can also remain anonymous is a significant appeal to some in the luxury real estate market.

Bottlenecks of implementation

While all sounds great on paper, for everything to work seamlessly, it still needs a lot of things in place. The first challenge comes down to how to authenticate and qualify the data for the real estate sector. Moreover, there are severe logjams in the real estate industry with the manual dissemination and collection of data. Then there are questions about how to regulate or tax those purchases; how to deal with Bitcoin payments that stay in the native cryptocurrency, versus those that people convert to cash; and who has access to query and search data in the blockchain. Although blockchain and cryptocurrencies are here to stay, that will require stakeholders including real estate attorneys, escrow agents, and brokers to get involved.

Digital wealth creators

Currency

Currency

Nowadays there are smart platforms in the crypto industry that create wealth and value. The platforms allow people to lend Bitcoins and receive daily interest on the investment. But first Bitcoin has to be transferred to an account, and all transactions will have to be with Bitcoin.

Emerging crypto investment

The crypto business and the hype behind blockchain remind us clearly of the tech stock and dotcom manias of the 1990s. It sounds a bit like the early days of the Internet, which blossomed when investors were chasing the most speculative stocks that did not end well. Capital One, a software company, is a case in point that went public at $21/- a share. By the end of the year, the share price surged to $1,000/-, however, five years later it filed for bankruptcy.

Largest Bitcoin exchange

Mt. Gox

Mt. Gox

However great the promises, technology always have one mitigating factor, and that is humans. A few years ago, Mt. Gox, the Bitcoin exchange, built on the blockchain, burned and crashed. When it filed for bankruptcy, a large number of Bitcoins went missing from the accounts because of a problem with its code. Mt. Gox was not the only digital enterprise that went down. There were many others too. But that does not by any means mean that Bitcoin is a bubble waiting to be burst.

Concerns by authorities

As traders and investors have bid up Bitcoin’s price higher and higher, the Securities and Exchange Commission have suspended trading of some firms, most notably The Crypto Company. The Security Exchange Commission authorities cite concerns regarding the adequacy and accuracy of information about compensation paid and plans for insider sales. Lately, it has also taken steps to crack down on potential scams and frauds surrounding digital currencies, especially with initial coin offerings. The sale of a digital token to investors instead of stock is known as initial coin offerings. Several cryptocurrency officials are worried about the industry getting a bad name too. Hence they are willing to cooperate with Security Exchange Commission and other regulators to weed out bad actors.

Hopeful but cautious

There is a promising and emerging trend towards digital payments using blockchain

There is a promising and emerging trend towards digital payments using blockchain

There is a promising and emerging trend towards digital payments using blockchain. But investors need to be cautious and not chase small companies that are trying to ride the wave. Currently, Bitcoin’s adoption rate is about 1%, however with scarcity and demand comes value appreciation. So, as the adoption grows, there is hope that Bitcoin’s value will increase substantially. After all, many of today’s tech companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, survived the dotcom tragedy and are now doing better than before.

Coming up next:

The blockchain is the system behind cryptocurrencies. A basic grasp of how it works will prove to be sufficient for now. But in the future, this knowledge would hardly be enough. The question is how to start, and the answer is first to have an understanding of the fundamentals of blockchain. With the growth of the industry, it is possible to reach mass adoption. Even if it fails, Blockchain is here to stay and is a big game changer.