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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Top 25 Questions and answer About Cryptocurrency

Top 25 Questions and answer About Cryptocurrency
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Cryptocurrencies have now become a buzz word. Despite the resilience that it faced initially, cryptocurrencies have come a long way. There are a total of around 5000 cryptocurrencies circulating in the market. If you plan to make a career in this domain, you need to run through the following questions.
1. What is a cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is transacted on a distributed ledger platform or decentralized platform or Blockchain. Any third party does not govern it, and the transaction takes place between peer-to-peer.
2. When was the first Cryptocurrency introduced?
The first Cryptocurrency or Bitcoin was introduced in the year 2009.
3. Who created Cryptocurrency?
Satoshi Nakamoto gave the first Cryptocurrency. The white paper for the same was given in 2008 and a computer program in 2009.
4. What are the top three cryptocurrencies?
The following are the three cryptocurrencies:
• Bitcoin (BTC) $128bn.
• Ethereum (ETH) $19.4bn.
• XRP (XRP) $8.22bn.
5. Where can you store Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies are stored in a digital wallet, and this is accessible via public and private keys. A public key is the address of your wallet, and the private key is the one that helps you in executing the transaction.
6. Which is the safest wallet for Cryptocurrency?
The most secured wallet for Cryptocurrency is a hardware wallet. It is not connected to the internet, and thus it is free from a hacking attack. It is also known as a cold wallet.
7. From where I can purchase cryptocurrencies?
The easiest way to buy Cryptocurrency is via crypto exchange. You can several crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Bitbuy, CHANGENow, Kraken etc.
8. What are the ten popular crypto exchanges?
The following are the best ten popular crypto exchange:
  1. Coinbase
  2. Binance
  3. FTX
  4. Cex.io
  5. Local Bitcoins
  6. Bitfinex
  7. LocalBitcoins
  8. Bittrex
  9. Coinmama
  10. Kraken
9. What are the key features of Blockchain?
We all know that Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency runs on the Blockchain platform, which gives it some additional features like decentralization, transparency, faster speed, immutability and anonymity.
10. What is AltCoin?
It means Alternative Coin. All the cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are alternative coins. Similar to Bitcoin, AltCoins are not regulated by any bank. The market governs them.
11. Are cryptocurrency sites regulated?
Most cryptocurrency websites are not regulated.
12. How are Cryptocurrency and Blockchain related?
Blockchain platform aids cryptocurrency transactions, which makes use of authentication and encryption techniques. Cryptography enables technology for Cryptocurrency, thus ensuring secure transactions.
13. What is a nonce?
The mining process works on the pattern of validating transactions by solving a mathematical puzzle called proof-of-work. The latter determine a number or nonce along with a cryptographic hash algorithm to produce a hash value lower than a predefined target. The nonce is a random value used to vary the value of hash so that the final hash value meets the hash conditions.
14. How is Cryptocurrency different from other forms of payment?
Cryptocurrency runs on Blockchain technology, which gives it an advantage of immutability, cryptography, and decentralization. All the payments are recorded on the DLT, which is accessible from any part of the world. Moreover, it keeps the identity of the user anonymous.
15. Which is the best Cryptocurrency?
Several cryptocurrencies have surged into the market, and you can choose any of these. The best way to choose the right cryptocurrencies is to look at its market value and assess its performance. Some of the prominent choices are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP etc.
16. What is the worst thing that can happen while using Cryptocurrency?
One of the worst things could be you losing your private keys. These are the passwords that secure your wallet, and once they are lost, you cannot recover them.
17. What is the private key and public key?
Keys secure your cryptocurrency wallet; these are public key and private key. The public key is known to all, like your bank account number, on the hand, the private key is the password which protects your wallet and is only known to you.
18. How much should one invest in Cryptocurrency?
Well, investing in Cryptocurrency is a matter of choice. You can study how the market is performing, and based on the best performing cryptocurrency, you can choose to invest. If you are new to this, then it’s advisable that you must start small.
19. From where can one buy Bitcoin using Fiat currency?
Two of the popular choices that you have are Coinbase and Binance, where you can purchase Cryptocurrency using fiat currency.
20. Are the coins safe on exchanges?
All the exchanges have a high level of security. Besides, these are regularly updated to meet the security requirements, but it’s not advisable to leave your coins on them since they are prone to attack. Instead, you can choose a hard wallet to store your cryptocurrencies, which are considered the safest.
21. What determines the price of cryptocurrencies?
The price of cryptocurrencies is determined by the demand and supply in the market. Besides, how the market is performing also determines the price of cryptocurrencies.
22. What are some of the prominent cryptocurrencies terminologies?
There are jargons which are continuously used by people using cryptocurrencies are:
DYOR: Do Your Own Research
Dapps: Decentralized Applications
Spike: Shapr increase in the price of the Cryptocurrency
Pump: Manipulated increase in the price of a cryptocurrency
Dump: Shapr decline in the price of Cryptocurrency
23. How can I check the value of cryptocurrencies?
Various platforms will give you an update on the price of cryptocurrencies. You can keep a tab on them and check the pricing of cryptocurrencies.
24. What are the advantages of using digital currencies?
There are various advantages like you are saved from double-spending, the transactions are aster and secure. Moreover, digital currencies now have global acceptance.
25. What is the difference between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies?
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies which run on the Blockchain platform and are not governed by any government agencies, while the fiat currencies are the ones which are governed by authorities and government.
Conclusion- This was all the FAQs pertaining to cryptocurrency, for more such information keep coming back to Blockchain Council.
submitted by Blockchain_org to BlockchainStartups [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Bitcoin (BTC)A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.

Bitcoin (BTC)A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that aims to function as a means of exchange that is independent of any central authority. BTC can be transferred electronically in a secure, verifiable, and immutable way.
  • Launched in 2009, BTC is the first virtual currency to solve the double-spending issue by timestamping transactions before broadcasting them to all of the nodes in the Bitcoin network. The Bitcoin Protocol offered a solution to the Byzantine Generals’ Problem with a blockchain network structure, a notion first created by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta in 1991.
  • Bitcoin’s whitepaper was published pseudonymously in 2008 by an individual, or a group, with the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto”, whose underlying identity has still not been verified.
  • The Bitcoin protocol uses an SHA-256d-based Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm to reach network consensus. Its network has a target block time of 10 minutes and a maximum supply of 21 million tokens, with a decaying token emission rate. To prevent fluctuation of the block time, the network’s block difficulty is re-adjusted through an algorithm based on the past 2016 block times.
  • With a block size limit capped at 1 megabyte, the Bitcoin Protocol has supported both the Lightning Network, a second-layer infrastructure for payment channels, and Segregated Witness, a soft-fork to increase the number of transactions on a block, as solutions to network scalability.

https://preview.redd.it/s2gmpmeze3151.png?width=256&format=png&auto=webp&s=9759910dd3c4a15b83f55b827d1899fb2fdd3de1

1. What is Bitcoin (BTC)?

  • Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that aims to function as a means of exchange and is independent of any central authority. Bitcoins are transferred electronically in a secure, verifiable, and immutable way.
  • Network validators, whom are often referred to as miners, participate in the SHA-256d-based Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism to determine the next global state of the blockchain.
  • The Bitcoin protocol has a target block time of 10 minutes, and a maximum supply of 21 million tokens. The only way new bitcoins can be produced is when a block producer generates a new valid block.
  • The protocol has a token emission rate that halves every 210,000 blocks, or approximately every 4 years.
  • Unlike public blockchain infrastructures supporting the development of decentralized applications (Ethereum), the Bitcoin protocol is primarily used only for payments, and has only very limited support for smart contract-like functionalities (Bitcoin “Script” is mostly used to create certain conditions before bitcoins are used to be spent).

2. Bitcoin’s core features

For a more beginner’s introduction to Bitcoin, please visit Binance Academy’s guide to Bitcoin.

Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) model

A UTXO transaction works like cash payment between two parties: Alice gives money to Bob and receives change (i.e., unspent amount). In comparison, blockchains like Ethereum rely on the account model.
https://preview.redd.it/t1j6anf8f3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=33bd141d8f2136a6f32739c8cdc7aae2e04cbc47

Nakamoto consensus

In the Bitcoin network, anyone can join the network and become a bookkeeping service provider i.e., a validator. All validators are allowed in the race to become the block producer for the next block, yet only the first to complete a computationally heavy task will win. This feature is called Proof of Work (PoW).
The probability of any single validator to finish the task first is equal to the percentage of the total network computation power, or hash power, the validator has. For instance, a validator with 5% of the total network computation power will have a 5% chance of completing the task first, and therefore becoming the next block producer.
Since anyone can join the race, competition is prone to increase. In the early days, Bitcoin mining was mostly done by personal computer CPUs.
As of today, Bitcoin validators, or miners, have opted for dedicated and more powerful devices such as machines based on Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (“ASIC”).
Proof of Work secures the network as block producers must have spent resources external to the network (i.e., money to pay electricity), and can provide proof to other participants that they did so.
With various miners competing for block rewards, it becomes difficult for one single malicious party to gain network majority (defined as more than 51% of the network’s hash power in the Nakamoto consensus mechanism). The ability to rearrange transactions via 51% attacks indicates another feature of the Nakamoto consensus: the finality of transactions is only probabilistic.
Once a block is produced, it is then propagated by the block producer to all other validators to check on the validity of all transactions in that block. The block producer will receive rewards in the network’s native currency (i.e., bitcoin) as all validators approve the block and update their ledgers.

The blockchain

Block production

The Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Merkle tree data structure in order to organize hashes of numerous individual transactions into each block. This concept is named after Ralph Merkle, who patented it in 1979.
With the use of a Merkle tree, though each block might contain thousands of transactions, it will have the ability to combine all of their hashes and condense them into one, allowing efficient and secure verification of this group of transactions. This single hash called is a Merkle root, which is stored in the Block Header of a block. The Block Header also stores other meta information of a block, such as a hash of the previous Block Header, which enables blocks to be associated in a chain-like structure (hence the name “blockchain”).
An illustration of block production in the Bitcoin Protocol is demonstrated below.

https://preview.redd.it/m6texxicf3151.png?width=1591&format=png&auto=webp&s=f4253304912ed8370948b9c524e08fef28f1c78d

Block time and mining difficulty

Block time is the period required to create the next block in a network. As mentioned above, the node who solves the computationally intensive task will be allowed to produce the next block. Therefore, block time is directly correlated to the amount of time it takes for a node to find a solution to the task. The Bitcoin protocol sets a target block time of 10 minutes, and attempts to achieve this by introducing a variable named mining difficulty.
Mining difficulty refers to how difficult it is for the node to solve the computationally intensive task. If the network sets a high difficulty for the task, while miners have low computational power, which is often referred to as “hashrate”, it would statistically take longer for the nodes to get an answer for the task. If the difficulty is low, but miners have rather strong computational power, statistically, some nodes will be able to solve the task quickly.
Therefore, the 10 minute target block time is achieved by constantly and automatically adjusting the mining difficulty according to how much computational power there is amongst the nodes. The average block time of the network is evaluated after a certain number of blocks, and if it is greater than the expected block time, the difficulty level will decrease; if it is less than the expected block time, the difficulty level will increase.

What are orphan blocks?

In a PoW blockchain network, if the block time is too low, it would increase the likelihood of nodes producingorphan blocks, for which they would receive no reward. Orphan blocks are produced by nodes who solved the task but did not broadcast their results to the whole network the quickest due to network latency.
It takes time for a message to travel through a network, and it is entirely possible for 2 nodes to complete the task and start to broadcast their results to the network at roughly the same time, while one’s messages are received by all other nodes earlier as the node has low latency.
Imagine there is a network latency of 1 minute and a target block time of 2 minutes. A node could solve the task in around 1 minute but his message would take 1 minute to reach the rest of the nodes that are still working on the solution. While his message travels through the network, all the work done by all other nodes during that 1 minute, even if these nodes also complete the task, would go to waste. In this case, 50% of the computational power contributed to the network is wasted.
The percentage of wasted computational power would proportionally decrease if the mining difficulty were higher, as it would statistically take longer for miners to complete the task. In other words, if the mining difficulty, and therefore targeted block time is low, miners with powerful and often centralized mining facilities would get a higher chance of becoming the block producer, while the participation of weaker miners would become in vain. This introduces possible centralization and weakens the overall security of the network.
However, given a limited amount of transactions that can be stored in a block, making the block time too longwould decrease the number of transactions the network can process per second, negatively affecting network scalability.

3. Bitcoin’s additional features

Segregated Witness (SegWit)

Segregated Witness, often abbreviated as SegWit, is a protocol upgrade proposal that went live in August 2017.
SegWit separates witness signatures from transaction-related data. Witness signatures in legacy Bitcoin blocks often take more than 50% of the block size. By removing witness signatures from the transaction block, this protocol upgrade effectively increases the number of transactions that can be stored in a single block, enabling the network to handle more transactions per second. As a result, SegWit increases the scalability of Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
SegWit also makes transactions cheaper. Since transaction fees are derived from how much data is being processed by the block producer, the more transactions that can be stored in a 1MB block, the cheaper individual transactions become.
https://preview.redd.it/depya70mf3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=a6499aa2131fbf347f8ffd812930b2f7d66be48e
The legacy Bitcoin block has a block size limit of 1 megabyte, and any change on the block size would require a network hard-fork. On August 1st 2017, the first hard-fork occurred, leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash (“BCH”), which introduced an 8 megabyte block size limit.
Conversely, Segregated Witness was a soft-fork: it never changed the transaction block size limit of the network. Instead, it added an extended block with an upper limit of 3 megabytes, which contains solely witness signatures, to the 1 megabyte block that contains only transaction data. This new block type can be processed even by nodes that have not completed the SegWit protocol upgrade.
Furthermore, the separation of witness signatures from transaction data solves the malleability issue with the original Bitcoin protocol. Without Segregated Witness, these signatures could be altered before the block is validated by miners. Indeed, alterations can be done in such a way that if the system does a mathematical check, the signature would still be valid. However, since the values in the signature are changed, the two signatures would create vastly different hash values.
For instance, if a witness signature states “6,” it has a mathematical value of 6, and would create a hash value of 12345. However, if the witness signature were changed to “06”, it would maintain a mathematical value of 6 while creating a (faulty) hash value of 67890.
Since the mathematical values are the same, the altered signature remains a valid signature. This would create a bookkeeping issue, as transactions in Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks are documented with these hash values, or transaction IDs. Effectively, one can alter a transaction ID to a new one, and the new ID can still be valid.
This can create many issues, as illustrated in the below example:
  1. Alice sends Bob 1 BTC, and Bob sends Merchant Carol this 1 BTC for some goods.
  2. Bob sends Carols this 1 BTC, while the transaction from Alice to Bob is not yet validated. Carol sees this incoming transaction of 1 BTC to him, and immediately ships goods to B.
  3. At the moment, the transaction from Alice to Bob is still not confirmed by the network, and Bob can change the witness signature, therefore changing this transaction ID from 12345 to 67890.
  4. Now Carol will not receive his 1 BTC, as the network looks for transaction 12345 to ensure that Bob’s wallet balance is valid.
  5. As this particular transaction ID changed from 12345 to 67890, the transaction from Bob to Carol will fail, and Bob will get his goods while still holding his BTC.
With the Segregated Witness upgrade, such instances can not happen again. This is because the witness signatures are moved outside of the transaction block into an extended block, and altering the witness signature won’t affect the transaction ID.
Since the transaction malleability issue is fixed, Segregated Witness also enables the proper functioning of second-layer scalability solutions on the Bitcoin protocol, such as the Lightning Network.

Lightning Network

Lightning Network is a second-layer micropayment solution for scalability.
Specifically, Lightning Network aims to enable near-instant and low-cost payments between merchants and customers that wish to use bitcoins.
Lightning Network was conceptualized in a whitepaper by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in 2015. Since then, it has been implemented by multiple companies. The most prominent of them include Blockstream, Lightning Labs, and ACINQ.
A list of curated resources relevant to Lightning Network can be found here.
In the Lightning Network, if a customer wishes to transact with a merchant, both of them need to open a payment channel, which operates off the Bitcoin blockchain (i.e., off-chain vs. on-chain). None of the transaction details from this payment channel are recorded on the blockchain, and only when the channel is closed will the end result of both party’s wallet balances be updated to the blockchain. The blockchain only serves as a settlement layer for Lightning transactions.
Since all transactions done via the payment channel are conducted independently of the Nakamoto consensus, both parties involved in transactions do not need to wait for network confirmation on transactions. Instead, transacting parties would pay transaction fees to Bitcoin miners only when they decide to close the channel.
https://preview.redd.it/cy56icarf3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=b239a63c6a87ec6cc1b18ce2cbd0355f8831c3a8
One limitation to the Lightning Network is that it requires a person to be online to receive transactions attributing towards him. Another limitation in user experience could be that one needs to lock up some funds every time he wishes to open a payment channel, and is only able to use that fund within the channel.
However, this does not mean he needs to create new channels every time he wishes to transact with a different person on the Lightning Network. If Alice wants to send money to Carol, but they do not have a payment channel open, they can ask Bob, who has payment channels open to both Alice and Carol, to help make that transaction. Alice will be able to send funds to Bob, and Bob to Carol. Hence, the number of “payment hubs” (i.e., Bob in the previous example) correlates with both the convenience and the usability of the Lightning Network for real-world applications.

Schnorr Signature upgrade proposal

Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (“ECDSA”) signatures are used to sign transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
https://preview.redd.it/hjeqe4l7g3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=8014fb08fe62ac4d91645499bc0c7e1c04c5d7c4
However, many developers now advocate for replacing ECDSA with Schnorr Signature. Once Schnorr Signatures are implemented, multiple parties can collaborate in producing a signature that is valid for the sum of their public keys.
This would primarily be beneficial for network scalability. When multiple addresses were to conduct transactions to a single address, each transaction would require their own signature. With Schnorr Signature, all these signatures would be combined into one. As a result, the network would be able to store more transactions in a single block.
https://preview.redd.it/axg3wayag3151.png?width=1601&format=png&auto=webp&s=93d958fa6b0e623caa82ca71fe457b4daa88c71e
The reduced size in signatures implies a reduced cost on transaction fees. The group of senders can split the transaction fees for that one group signature, instead of paying for one personal signature individually.
Schnorr Signature also improves network privacy and token fungibility. A third-party observer will not be able to detect if a user is sending a multi-signature transaction, since the signature will be in the same format as a single-signature transaction.

4. Economics and supply distribution

The Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Nakamoto consensus, and nodes validate blocks via Proof-of-Work mining. The bitcoin token was not pre-mined, and has a maximum supply of 21 million. The initial reward for a block was 50 BTC per block. Block mining rewards halve every 210,000 blocks. Since the average time for block production on the blockchain is 10 minutes, it implies that the block reward halving events will approximately take place every 4 years.
As of May 12th 2020, the block mining rewards are 6.25 BTC per block. Transaction fees also represent a minor revenue stream for miners.
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The Crypto King Report January 8th: KuCoin Picks 6/6 (Today’s Pick: PURA) NEW ICO Picks (2 New Ones!) BNTY (600%), KCS (500%), DRGN (400%), DBC (150%), ELIX (100%), SNOV (70%), TRX, POWR, ADX (NEO link), ENJ(Wallet), NEO, PAY, ICX, STRAT, XEM, ARDR, and CONFERENCES

The Crypto King Report January 8th: KuCoin Picks 6/6 (Today’s Pick: PURA) NEW ICO Picks (2 New Ones!) BNTY (600%), KCS (500%), DRGN (400%), DBC (150%), ELIX (100%), SNOV (70%), TRX, POWR, ADX (NEO link), ENJ(Wallet), NEO, PAY, ICX, STRAT, XEM, ARDR, and CONFERENCES
I appreciate all my loyal followers! For tips and strategy hours before being posted to the message boards follow on Reddit, Instagram: JaketheCryptoKing and Twitter: JbtheCryptoKing. And now on Discord: https://discord.gg/JfkWfUy (join the group to reach me directly and see posts early!). If the title is a foreign language to you read my Cryto-101 post and let’s go from there: https://redd.it/7m48ne . See posts first in the new Subreddit: TheCryptoKingdom. Remember in trading minutes matter, hours are eternities.
Did you see SNOV yesterday!? We are officially 6/6 on KuCoin picks and as promised I have another one for you guys today! None of the KuCoin picks have even shown signs of pulling back. KCS will continue its dominance as KuCoin is one of the few exchanges accepting new traders (referral link below). Another very positive thing for us KuCoin early entrants is that Binance and Bittrex have suspended allowing new traders. That means guys like you are flocking to alternative exchanges (like KuCoin) to get involved in the crypto world. KuCoin has increased their daily volume every single day for the past 2-week, their twitter eagerly displays this info, and they updated their servers to handle significantly higher trading capacity. More money flowing into altcoins means the market caps will increase accordingly. Look for our moons to continue mooning. Remember moonshots are not to be day traded, they will likely end up on major exchanges which is when they will have their true moon. You could have made 70-100% on DRGN or KCS my first week posting moonshots, but if you held them, you would have made 400%. I have increased my portfolio % in moonshots as they’ve been outperforming all other sectors of crypto. This allows me to HOLD while still finding new moonshots!
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. If you do not diversify and HOLD forever, eventually you will become the hog, and get slaughtered. Traders try to make 10-20% per year, bonds earn 5% on a good year. We are earning 20-200% a day on moon shots daily. I fully support being invested in them, as I am, but this is the riskiest part of the entire crypto world. I would highly recommend removing a % of your profits from your current moonshots and either rotating them into other moonshots you have smaller holdings in, or investing in the 2 below ICOs. This does 2 important things, 1. It locks up your funds for 1 month so you don’t suffer fluctuations in the alt market, and 2. Provides you a discount for a coin that will probably be listed as a moonshot in 2 months because at 4x ICO value it will still be undervalued when compared to the total market!
So now everyone’s favorite part (as it is mine too considering we’ve been making 50% on anything held 24hrs, 100% on anything held 48hrs, and 150%-200% on anything held 72hrs).
Let’s hear it for SNOV, ELIX, DBC, BNTY, DRGN, and KCS. Not only has the moonshot list had huge gains, we have had other 100%ers in the last 10 days. XRP, BNB, NXT (80% if you were late to the party), ENJ, NEO, ICX, and XEM. We have had a very successful week, make sure you don’t forget to tip the dealeresearcheRedditer who is putting in all this effort to share winners with you!
Today’s Moonshot KuCoin Pick: PURA (The early bird gets the worm, get in early!)
Referral link for KuCoin: https://www.kucoin.com/#/?r=1cH1M
PURA is a coin predominantly traded on KuCoin. It is also one of the few that is down a decent % from yesterday with no news to support this drop. With so many alts correcting I suspect PURA will have corrected by the time I finish writing this post, or by late tomorrow afternoon. It’s trading at 4000Satoshis at 9am (as I am writing this), I expect 5500-8000 Satoshis to be approached if not surpassed by the end of day Monday (based on sell walls a spike to just under 8000Satoshis is my best estimate). There are minimal sell walls and this one should be off to the races once a few big buyers are holding. In September PURA updated their systems to have INSTAPAY, PRIVATEPAY, MASTERNODES and FAIRMINING. Unlike the ridiculously slow BTC, ETH and LTC network PURA lets you send coins instantly (seconds literally). This is what makes INSTAPAY so impressive. What about Privatepay? It lets you send the crypto using a private wallet. MASTERNODES allow anyone to mine PURA on their computer creating a larger PURA network. With a wallet already out, a mining platform set up, one of the smallest market caps on KuCoin (98million), and ways to send crypto instantly and privately I expect PURA to rival many of the larger cap coins. If PURA makes it to a larger exchange I see an easy 3x here. If PURA hits $1billion as a market cap which is very achievable within months of arriving at a larger exchange this coin will be a 10xer. Finding coins that can appreciate 10x with an exchange listing and minimal news is a very difficult thing to find. PURA is it. We are 6/6 on the moonshots so far…will we make it 7/7 as of Tuesday?!
SNOV was my pick yesterday and it appreciated nicely. It is still a favorite of mine with room to grow. Yes, we’ve all experienced a nice gain and I always follow my rule, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. However, we have to compare SNOV to other recent moonshots. Anyone who has sold a moonshot to date has lost out as my first 2 picks KCS and DRGN are up the higest %s. This demonstrates that HOLDING is as important as monitoring important times to buy and sell. I’ve added $$ (well BTC) to KuCoin as the opportunities here are much more significant than on Binance and Bittrex with new $$ and traders flowing in and new coins being listed regularly there are endless possibilities. 3 days ago money flooded into BTC as you could see in the BTC price rise. I predicted this 48hrs prior that institutional money would get involved within the next 72hrs, and we had our 20% BTC price climb. What happens immediately following a BTC price climb? The alts respond! I expected SNOV to have overreacted to the BTC climb and was correct. 24hrs prior this coin was trading at 1200Satoshis. SNOV has corrected to the pre BTC price collapse but has yet to excel like the many others located on KuCoin. Sunday’s pick was SNOV, I personally am doubled down by rotating $$ out of stagnant positions in Binance and Bittrex. I am going to continue ride the alt wave all day as SNOV, DRGN, BNTY, ELIX, KCS, and PURA (Today’s Pick!) should all trend north today. I also plan on transferring a decent amount for more KuCoin picks! Diversification is key, but it is important to still HOLD. You can be diversified among moonshots!
Monday’s move is to purchase PURA, set a price target of 60,000-70,000Satoshis over the next 72hr period. Leave a very large % in to allow it the opportunity to continue to moon, but make sure to have some crypto available for tomorrow, if not Tuesday’s next moonshot!
I believe PURA should have the highest return in the next 72hrs when compared to alternatives on KuCoin. However, SNOV should continue to trend north as new traders flock to KuCoin snapping up cheap shares. BNTY should continue its rise as it gets added to a new exchange and provides actual bounties for digital tasks (so cool!). DRGN is not left to die by Disney and is leading the charge to get on Binance (they also have a production deal coming up!). I am extremely bullish on DRGN even at a 400% increase this week. I expect a Disney associated press release in the next few weeks and a new exchange listing. KCS will win because it is one of the few exchanges still accepting new patrons, AND they give 90% of the trade commission back to KCS holders and as referrals. This type of referral and KCS dividend is unheard of in exchange marketplaces. DBC is downright amazing, combining AI and the blockchain. The moonshots have all increased, yes, but a moon is not a 70% increase. HOLD (and accumulate PURA!).
Crypterium and Covesting met their hard caps :/ but the good news is most of you were involved in these ICOs. When an ICO meets its hard cap it is clear there was significant interest and a greater likelihood of mooning immediately after exchange listing. Both the two I am now presenting I expect to reach hard caps in the coming weeks.
ICO 1: KYC Legal: KYC Legal (please use the referral as I make no $ spending countless hours researching these ICOs and coins ) referral: https://bookbuild.kyc.legal/?ref=23734776ffa2051a83eb8bc1
The first I am presenting is a new favorite of mine because of the all so dreaded KYC form. Know Your Customer. If you’ve completed an ICO recently you know the form I’m talking about. The form they give you at the end, after you’ve sent your .5eth but before they will release their tokens. Basically stating you understand this market is unregulated, etc. Well a blockchain token has in essence solved this problem. I HATE KYC forms and if the KYC system was set up in a way in which you wouldn’t have to fill out that form repeatedly for every ICO it would be more convenient for all investors and ICO companies. KYC Legal intends to do just that. According to the founder DR, “This is a simple and quick way to complete client identification procedures, which can then be used to verify the client’s identity during various financial operations (so-called KYC (“know your customer”) requirements that financial institutions and companies working with the money of private individuals use to identify and verify counterparties before starting a financial transaction). This niche is completely untapped and I HATE KYC forms enough to think this is a brilliant idea. They are calling it a “Universal alternative to Personal IDs,” on the block chain. Brilliant concept and there are 2 days left to receive the 38% discount from the final price. A 38% gain prior to token sale completion is significant, imagine what will happen when the hard cap is reached and it hits the first exchange. KYC Legal: https://bookbuild.kyc.legal/?ref=23734776ffa2051a83eb8bc1
ICO 2: HOQU Referral: https://www.hoqu.io/?ref_id=7e8ace30413be0fe224fa60d3e57868f
According to HOQU directly, “HOQU is a decentralized affiliate platform combining the performance-marketing model with blockchain technology. The aim of the project is to create a decentralized ecosystem, which will be used to build CPA services, ranging from affiliate programs to affiliate networks and related products. HOQU integrates advertisers, networks and affiliates into a single platform, significantly reducing the financial costs for all market participants.” Currently we have decentralized markets for advertisers, networks, and affiliates, HOQU intends to combine all 3 into one platform on the blockchain. This satisfies the need to fulfill a niche market. Not to mention their team is exceptionally active posting on twitter and doing shows across the U.S., currently at a crypto convention in Las Vegas. This is an active team (not a scam hiding in Eastern Europe or Asia) with a niche implementable platform. I see this being a true moon candidate following listing on an exchange! Please use my referral, thank you: https://www.hoqu.io/?ref_id=7e8ace30413be0fe224fa60d3e57868f
All below information has been updated on Monday at 1am EST. This will help individuals follow what information has been repeated/edited.
Personally I am using funds that were in BTC, ETH, and LTC to buy new alts. BTC spiked 2 days ago making alts exceptionally cheap! I’d recommend adding funds in FIAT, selling BTC, or selling alts you do not have faith in to reallocate to strong January plays (either on Binance, Bittrex, or KuCoin - My new favorite if you’ve been following our %s).
As expected today was be a big day for ENJ as their wallet and Minecraft plugin debut are approaching quickly! I believe besides moonshots, STRAT and NEO will be the top performers overall in January. NEO has conferences and guaranteed publicity the entire month and STRAT has a new ICO platform.
Make sure to open an account to trade these coins on Binance: https://www.binance.com/?ref=15316928
My 3 favorite conference plays for the next 2 weeks are: WAVES, ARK, and SONM. These 3 are all at events in the next 2 weeks of January (Waves and ARK are at a conference in Miami I will be attending!). The cost of attendance to these conferences start at $1,000 (I will need tips to cover costs !). However, they provide exposure to the top individuals and founders of coins with billions of dollars in market cap. In comparison to other coins speaking at the largest January events WAVES, ARK, and SONM’s price has not appreciated this week in correlation to the others. They are also the smallest market cap coins presenting at these huge conferences. This provides an opportunity to purchase WAVES, ARK, and SONM at an undervalued price. As their conferences in mid-January approach I expect their price to trend north rapidly, peaking on the day of, or day after the conference. These should be focal points if you shy away from moonshots (which you shouldn’t!).
TRX (BUY) Lots of individuals were hating on my Reddit 2 days ago about me calling TRX to recover from .16, here we are back above $.21! The price fell over 30% 2 days ago and has almost completely recovered! TRX has a game coming out this month and I expect it to continue to trend North as one of Binance’s cheapest options with a monetized game on the horizon. I do not know if you played Cryptokitties but it crashed the Ether network. TRX is a much faster and less expensive network to process information on. I expect the game this month to be the second that monetizes gaming through cryptocurrency leading to TRX’s short term success. I’d expect another 100-300% returns leading up to the release of a game on their TRX platform.
STRAT (BUY and HOLD). I have an interesting update!!! STRAT is developing a Breeze wallet with Tumblebit which makes Bitcoin transactions private through the STRAT network. The biggest problems with BTC is its transparency and it’s speed. STRAT will help alleviate the transparency aspects for those who want to conceal how much they send/receive. A wallet that manages to conceal your BTC holdings (makes it similar to privacy coins). STRAT’s money for advertising has been saved with the anticipation of a high volume publicity campaign upon release of their new wallet and ICO platform. Once funds are spent advertising the STRAT ICO platform, their 2 flagships are announced, and their wallet is functional (all happening this month) I expect the price not only to trend north but more than double if not triple. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 100%-300% returns on a fairly safe crypto investment (normally the riskiest coins provide this monthly). Their twitter confirmed the 2 ICOs coming out in the next few weeks, when the official announcement is made we are looking at 100-200% gains.
STRAT is on the cusp of being able to host ICO’s for other companies. This is extremely valuable technology and they’ve announced it will be ready to go this week. Would anyone like to know the going rate of an ICO? 20-40BTC. Per ICO these small companies and their coin holders are making $250k-$600k at the current BTC prices. This is a very big business. They’ve also announced 2 Flagship ICOs that will be available on their STRATIS network in January. The platform to host ICOs goes live this week, and within 2 weeks we find out which ICOs STRAT is hosting, then their wallet and advertising rollout. This should be a very positive 2 weeks for STRAT. As the crypto market continues to expand, the need for new ICO platforms will expand as well. This is my safest, favorite coin for January.
ICX (BUY and HOLD) ICX has had about a 50% run this week and continued to perform yesterday. This is again a good opportunity to buy as I am still very bullish on this coin. The price will trend north until the end of the month where the blast off will occur. The Koreans love this little coin so much it is hosting its first blockchain conference in the tallest building in Seoul at the end of January. This will be enormous exposure for a coin which Koreans are already in love with. Their mainnet although once delayed was promised to be released prior to their January conference. Based on big news and Asian trading volume this should continue to trend North. Asians trade more than Americans. Koreans are the highest volume trading country in Asia, and they happen to love ICX. ICX should continue to trend north leading up to their conference in the end of January. This is an accumulate on dips until the January 25th conference. I am not sure we will see many more dips unless BTC has a run to 25k but continue to accumulate, this should trend north toward $20 by the end of January.
TNB (BUY) has a BETA version of the Android and IOS wallet being released this month. This is one of the few coins that didn’t take a beating yesterday. Being able to take your funds with you is exceptionally important. Having a good looking interface is equally important. TNB looks to accomplish both tasks this month. It is also one of the cheapest coins on Binance, a plus for those looking for cheap coin acquisitions! I like TNB as a cheap Binance coin with truly significant potential.
POWR(BUY), is a semi-finalist in an event coming up on January 9th. This event should provide plenty of exposure for one of the few ICOs supported by a government (Australia). A county that struggles with power grid failure could succeed in implementing the first cryptocurrency related directly to trading power, electricity on the blockchain. I expect a strong 2 weeks from POWR. Expect to see significant returns in the next 72hrs especially if they are not only a semi-finalist but make the finalist list!
ENJ (BUY and HOLD), Did you see yesterday’s gains, almost 30% up from the prior day’s dips!? I hope you listened on this one! Enjin is coming out with a Minecraft Plugin and Digital Wallet for your phone. The coin is a token designed specifically for gaming, a quickly expanding realm for digital currency. With a Minecraft Plugin and Digital Wallet being completed shortly this coin should continue to appreciate. They are also running a promotion giving away free ENJ on the Minecraft platform to get users involved. What could be a better boost to your coin value than a working Minecraft Plugin and a brand new wallet?
ARDR(BUY) Honestly, Bittrex is beginning to frustrate me. I haven’t received my IGNIS and ARDR has been unable to be sold, bought, or transferred in weeks. I recommend moving $ to KuCoin and enjoying these insane %s. However, currently like many of you I have a large holding in ARDR which I still believe strongly in but would like the opportunity to sell if I choose! Their platform successfully launched Jan 1st. All those NXT you’ve been holding for the free IGNIS are used specifically on the ARDR block chain. With a new platform and coins to be used on it this will be a positive week for ARDR with exceptionally high returns correlated with the new platform and IGNIS’s continued appreciation. I believe ARDR and its new network will experience positive publicity and a successful launch of IGNIS. I would continue to buy and hold as the ARDR network gets rolling.
XEM(BUY), They had their pop 2 days ago and has since decreased with the rest of the market! It is time to get XEM on sale prior to their hackathon beginning this week! Each coin has a specific reason for their being undervalued. Catapult, which is version 2.0 of NEM is to be released very soon. Following Catapult is a 4-week hackathon beginning the first week in January. There is nothing better to build awareness and test out their new Catapult network they’ll be releasing this week, then a worldwide hackathon and a new update to their NEM network. XEM will have a pop this week when Catapult goes live, followed by a 4-week awareness rally driven by a worldwide hackathon.
ADX (BUY), has had an impressive run but taken a recent dip. It remains a favorite of mine for multiple reasons. One of my favorite parts about ADX is they have a profitable platform already for coin holders. This is essential for every coin. Without a platform for a functioning coin, the coin is just unique code using up electricity. ADX advertised space on EasyJet boarding passes successfully last month and now is selling over 1 million more advertising spaces. This is a profitable coin with a strong future already occurring. ADX wins because NEO wins, Asian markets enjoy trading even more than the U.S. currently. This trend should continue as ADX continues its trend north. Their next partnership or announcement will lead to the next big pop in price, but as far as a coin goes, this is a safe option with stable returns that has a functioning and profitable platform.
NEO (BUY and HOLD), is an important hold in all portfolios as it is hands down the Asian Ether. NEO has one of the biggest January’s of any coin and is up over 70% since I recommended it originally. NEO has meetups in Dublin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, and London the first two weeks of January. Everyone sees the upcoming calendar and realizes the next 2 months will provide more exposure than any 12-month period in crypto history. NEO is the latest addition to the buy and HOLD list. They end the month of January speaking at 2 of the largest blockchain conferences in the world. This will be one of the strongest plays for January 2018.
PAY (BUY and HOLD I believe they have a strong platform and an upcoming rollout which will allow users to deposit crypto and receive cash at ATMs or use it as a Debit Card. This is an important transition as few enjoy the hassle laden process of transferring back to bank accounts. If you must divest this is one I would divest from.
Some Lovely Followers Requested I Provide Addresses for “Thank You’s and Holiday Cheer” Here are 4 address to help provide my girlfriend with presents so I can spend more time researching! What is 5% of the 200% I earned you this week?
ETH: Address: 0xdef6b4415635d15b0dc50e7039ef73c33e622f22 LTC Address: LiTtwXUMCMmch5oKUXfrXMqXWnG6jLg3qD BTC Address: 1LFLx3cXD1xiqCrupZJKf8p6pR23JRZWtP DASH Address: Xi9637XDyW2Q6wtRyGLsNXbJHj4UZ2M3kN (cheapest way to send!) KCS Address: 0x56d0a5b42a8313c36d8fe7a37ee3ccade7e4e6e1
XMR Deposit Address:44tLjmXrQNrWJ5NBsEj2R77ZBEgDa3fEe9GLpSf2FRmhexPvfYDUAB7EXX1Hdb3aMQ9FLqdJ56yaAhiXoRsceGJCRS3Jxkn XMR Deposit ID: b72e438346259f2828feaec4b04f0a95034b6364853f6f33d2370f57a37a1753
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A Beginners Guide to Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

As cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology become more abundant throughout our society, it’s important to understand the inner workings of this technology, especially if you plan to use cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle. If you’re new to the crypto-sphere, learning about Bitcoin makes it much easier to understand other cryptocurrencies as many other altcoins' technologies are borrowed directly from Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is one of those things that you look into only to discover you have more questions than answers, and right as you’re starting to wrap your head around the technology; you discover the fact that Bitcoin has six other variants (forks), the amount of politics at hand, or that there are over a thousand different cryptocurrencies just as complex if not even more complex than Bitcoin.
We are currently in the infancy of blockchain technology and the effects of this technology will be as profound as the internet. This isn’t something that’s just going to fade away into history as you may have been led to believe. I believe this is something that will become an integral part of our society, eventually embedded within our technology. If you’re a crypto-newbie, be glad that you're relatively early to the industry. I hope this post will put you on the fast-track to understanding Bitcoin, blockchain, and how a large percentage of cryptocurrencies work.

Community Terminology

Altcoin: Short for alternative coin. There are over 1,000 different cryptocurrencies. You’re probably most familiar with Bitcoin. Anything that isn’t Bitcoin is generally referred to as an altcoin.
HODL: Misspelling of hold. Dank meme accidentally started by this dude. Hodlers are much more interested in long term gains rather than playing the risky game of trying to time the market.
TO THE MOON: When a cryptocurrency’s price rapidly increases. A major price spike of over 1,000% can look like it’s blasting off to the moon. Just be sure you’re wearing your seatbelt when it comes crashing down.
FUD: Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt.
FOMO: Fear of missing out.
Bull Run: Financial term used to describe a rising market.
Bear Run: Financial term used to describe a falling market.

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralized digital currency that uses cryptography to secure and ensure validity of transactions within the network. Hence the term crypto-currency. Decentralization is a key aspect of Bitcoin. There is no CEO of Bitcoin or central authoritative government in control of the currency. The currency is ran and operated by the people, for the people. One of the main development teams behind Bitcoin is blockstream.
Bitcoin is a product of blockchain technology. Blockchain is what allows for the security and decentralization of Bitcoin. To understand Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you must understand to some degree, blockchain. This can get extremely technical the further down the rabbit hole you go, and because this is technically a beginners guide, I’m going to try and simplify to the best of my ability and provide resources for further technical reading.

A Brief History

Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of Nakamoto is unknown. The idea of Bitcoin was first introduced in 2008 when Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper - Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Later, in January 2009, Nakamoto announced the Bitcoin software and the Bitcoin network officially began.
I should also mention that the smallest unit of a Bitcoin is called a Satoshi. 1 BTC = 100,000,000 Satoshis. When purchasing Bitcoin, you don’t actually need to purchase an entire coin. Bitcoin is divisible, so you can purchase any amount greater than 1 Satoshi (0.00000001 BTC).

What Is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a distributed ledger, a distributed collection of accounts. What is being accounted for depends on the use-case of the blockchain itself. In the case of Bitcoin, what is being accounted for is financial transactions.
The first block in a blockchain is referred to as the genesis block. A block is an aggregate of data. Blocks are also discovered through a process known as mining (more on this later). Each block is cryptographically signed by the previous block in the chain and visualizing this would look something akin to a chain of blocks, hence the term, blockchain.
For more information regarding blockchain I’ve provided more resouces below:

What is Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin mining is one solution to the double spend problem. Bitcoin mining is how transactions are placed into blocks and added onto the blockchain. This is done to ensure proof of work, where computational power is staked in order to solve what is essentially a puzzle. If you solve the puzzle correctly, you are rewarded Bitcoin in the form of transaction fees, and the predetermined block reward. The Bitcoin given during a block reward is also the only way new Bitcoin can be introduced into the economy. With a halving event occurring roughly every 4 years, it is estimated that the last Bitcoin block will be mined in the year 2,140. (See What is Block Reward below for more info).
Mining is one of those aspects of Bitcoin that can get extremely technical and more complicated the further down the rabbit hole you go. An entire website could be created (and many have) dedicated solely to information regarding Bitcoin mining. The small paragraph above is meant to briefly expose you to the function of mining and the role it plays within the ecosystem. It doesn’t even scratch the surface regarding the topic.

How do you Purchase Bitcoin?

The most popular way to purchase Bitcoin through is through an online exchange where you trade fiat (your national currency) for Bitcoin.
Popular exchanges include:
  • Coinbase
  • Kraken
  • Cex
  • Gemini
There’s tons of different exchanges. Just make sure you find one that supports your national currency.

Volatility

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are EXTREMELY volatile. Swings of 30% or more within a few days is not unheard of. Understand that there is always inherent risks with any investment. Cryptocurrencies especially. Only invest what you’re willing to lose.

Transaction & Network Fees

Transacting on the Bitcoin network is not free. Every purchase or transfer of Bitcoin will cost X amount of BTC depending on how congested the network is. These fees are given to miners as apart of the block reward.
Late 2017 when Bitcoin got up to $20,000USD, the average network fee was ~$50. Currently, at the time of writing this, the average network fee is $1.46. This data is available in real-time on BitInfoCharts.

Security

In this new era of money, there is no central bank or government you can go to in need of assistance. This means the responsibility of your money falls 100% into your hands. That being said, the security regarding your cryptocurrency should be impeccable. The anonymity provided by cryptocurrencies alone makes you a valuable target to hackers and scammers. Below I’ve detailed out best practices regarding securing your cryptocurrency.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication is a second way of authenticating your identity upon signing in to an account. Most cryptocurrency related software/websites will offer or require some form of 2FA. Upon creation of any crypto-related account find the Security section and enable 2FA.

SMS Authentication

The most basic form of 2FA which you are probably most familiar with. This form of authentication sends a text message to your smartphone with a special code that will allow access to your account upon entry. Note that this is not the safest form of 2FA as you may still be vulnerable to what is known as a SIM swap attack. SIM swapping is a social engineering method in which an attacker will call up your phone carrier, impersonating you, in attempt to re-activate your SIM card on his/her device. Once the attacker has access to your SIM card he/she now has access to your text messages which can then be used to access your online accounts. You can prevent this by using an authenticator such as Google Authenticator.

Authenticator

The use of an authenticator is the safest form of 2FA. An authenticator is installed on a seperate device and enabling it requires you input an ever changing six digit code in order to access your account. I recommend using Google Authenticator.
If a website has the option to enable an authenticator, it will give you a QR code and secret key. Use Google Authenticator to scan the QR code. The secret key consists of a random string of numbers and letters. Write this down on a seperate sheet of paper and do not store it on a digital device.
Once Google Authenticator has been enabled, every time you sign into your account, you will have to input a six-digit code that looks similar to this. If you happen to lose or damage the device you have Google Authenticator installed on, you will be locked out of your account UNLESS you have access to the secret key (which you should have written down).

Hardware Wallets

A wallet is what you store Bitcoin and cryptocurrency on. I’ll provide resources on the different type of wallets later but I want to emphasize the use of a hardware wallet (aka cold storage).
Hardware wallets are the safest way of storing cryptocurrency because it allows for your crypto to be kept offline in a physical device. After purchasing crypto via an exchange, I recommend transferring it to cold storage. The most popular hardware wallets include the Ledger Nano S, and Trezor.
Hardware wallets come with a special key so that if it gets lost or damaged, you can recover your crypto. I recommend keeping your recovery key as well as any other sensitive information in a safety deposit box.
I know this all may seem a bit manic, but it is important you take the necessary security precautions in order to ensure the safety & longevity of your cryptocurrency.

Technical Aspects of Bitcoin

TL;DR
  • Address: What you send Bitcoin to.
  • Wallet: Where you store your Bitcoin
  • Max Supply: 21 million
  • Block Time: ~10 minutes
  • Block Size: 1-2 MB
  • Block Reward: BTC reward received from mining.

What is a Bitcoin Address?

A Bitcoin address is what you send Bitcoin to. If you want to receive Bitcoin you’d give someone your Bitcoin address. Think of a Bitcoin address as an email address for money.

What is a Bitcoin Wallet?

As the title implies, a Bitcoin wallet is anything that can store Bitcoin. There are many different types of wallets including paper wallets, software wallets and hardware wallets. It is generally advised NOT to keep cryptocurrency on an exchange, as exchanges are prone to hacks (see Mt. Gox hack).
My preferred method of storing cryptocurrency is using a hardware wallet such as the Ledger Nano S or Trezor. These allow you to keep your crypto offline in physical form and as a result, much more safe from hacks. Paper wallets also allow for this but have less functionality in my opinion.
After I make crypto purchases, I transfer it to my Ledger Nano S and keep that in a safe at home. Hardware wallets also come with a special key so that if it gets lost or damaged, you can recover your crypto. I recommend keeping your recovery key in a safety deposit box.

What is Bitcoins Max Supply?

The max supply of Bitcoin is 21 million. The only way new Bitcoins can be introduced into the economy are through block rewards which are given after successfully mining a block (more on this later).

What is Bitcoins Block Time?

The average time in which blocks are created is called block time. For Bitcoin, the block time is ~10 minutes, meaning, 10 minutes is the minimum amount of time it will take for a Bitcoin transaction to be processed. Note that transactions on the Bitcoin network can take much longer depending on how congested the network is. Having to wait a few hours or even a few days in some instances for a transaction to clear is not unheard of.
Other cryptocurrencies will have different block times. For example, Ethereum has a block time of ~15 seconds.
For more information on how block time works, Prabath Siriwardena has a good block post on this subject which can be found here.

What is Bitcoins Block Size?

There is a limit to how large blocks can be. In the early days of Bitcoin, the block size was 36MB, but in 2010 this was reduced to 1 MB in order to prevent distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), spam, and other malicious use on the blockchain. Nowadays, blocks are routinely in excess of 1MB, with the largest to date being somewhere around 2.1 MB.
There is much debate amongst the community on whether or not to increase Bitcoin’s block size limit to account for ever-increasing network demand. A larger block size would allow for more transactions to be processed. The con argument to this is that decentralization would be at risk as mining would become more centralized. As a result of this debate, on August 1, 2017, Bitcoin underwent a hard-fork and Bitcoin Cash was created which has a block size limit of 8 MB. Note that these are two completely different blockchains and sending Bitcoin to a Bitcoin Cash wallet (or vice versa) will result in a failed transaction.
Update: As of May 15th, 2018 Bitcoin Cash underwent another hard fork and the block size has increased to 32 MB.
On the topic of Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash and which cryptocurrency is better, I’ll let you do your own research and make that decision for yourself. It is good to know that this is a debated topic within the community and example of the politics that manifest within the space. Now if you see community members arguing about this topic, you’ll at least have a bit of background to the issue.

What is Block Reward?

Block reward is the BTC you receive after discovering a block. Blocks are discovered through a process called mining. The only way new BTC can be added to the economy is through block rewards and the block reward is halved every 210,000 blocks (approximately every 4 years). Halving events are done to limit the supply of Bitcoin. At the inception of Bitcoin, the block reward was 50BTC. At the time of writing this, the block reward is 12.5BTC. Halving events will continue to occur until the amount of new Bitcoin introduced into the economy becomes less than 1 Satoshi. This is expected to happen around the year 2,140. All 21 million Bitcoins will have been mined. Once all Bitcoins have been mined, the block reward will only consist of transaction fees.

Technical Aspects Continued

Understanding Nodes

Straight from the Bitcoin.it wiki
Any computer that connects to the Bitcoin network is called a node. Nodes that fully verify all of the rules of Bitcoin are called full nodes.
In other words, full nodes are what verify the Bitcoin blockchain and they play a crucial role in maintaining the decentralized network. Full nodes store the entirety of the blockchain and validate transactions. Anyone can participate in the Bitcoin network and run a full node. Bitcoin.org has information on how to set up a full node. Running a full node also gives you wallet capabilities and the ability to query the blockchain.
For more information on Bitcoin nodes, see Andreas Antonopoulos’s Q&A on the role of nodes.

What is a Fork?

A fork is a divergence in a blockchain. Since Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network, there’s an overall set of rules (protocol) in which participants within the network must abide by. These rules are put in place to form network consensus. Forks occur when implementations must be made to the blockchain or if there is disagreement amongst the network on how consensus should be achieved.

Soft Fork vs Hard Fork

The difference between soft and hard forks lies in compatibility. Soft forks are backwards compatible, hard forks are not. Think of soft forks as software upgrades to the blockchain, whereas hard forks are a software upgrade that warrant a completely new blockchain.
During a soft fork, miners and nodes upgrade their software to support new consensus rules. Nodes that do not upgrade will still accept the new blockchain.
Examples of Bitcoin soft forks include:
A hard fork can be thought of as the creation of a new blockchain that X percentage of the community decides to migrate too. During a hard fork, miners and nodes upgrade their software to support new consensus rules, Nodes that do not upgrade are invalid and cannot accept the new blockchain.
Examples of Bitcoin hard forks include:
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Bitcoin Gold
Note that these are completely different blockchains and independent from the Bitcoin blockchain. If you try to send Bitcoin to one of these blockchains, the transaction will fail.

A Case For Bitcoin in a World of Centralization

Our current financial system is centralized, which means the ledger(s) that operate within this centralized system are subjugated to control, manipulation, fraud, and many other negative aspects that come with this system. There are also pros that come with a centralized system, such as the ability to swiftly make decisions. However, at some point, the cons outweigh the pros, and change is needed. What makes Bitcoin so special as opposed to our current financial system is that Bitcoin allows for the decentralized transfer of money. Not one person owns the Bitcoin network, everybody does. Not one person controls Bitcoin, everybody does. A decentralized system in theory removes much of the baggage that comes with a centralized system. Not to say the Bitcoin network doesn’t have its problems (wink wink it does), and there’s much debate amongst the community as to how to go about solving these issues. But even tiny steps are significant steps in the world of blockchain, and I believe Bitcoin will ultimately help to democratize our financial system, whether or not you believe it is here to stay for good.

Final Conclusions

Well that was a lot of words… Anyways I hope this guide was beneficial, especially to you crypto newbies out there. You may have come into this realm not expecting there to be an abundance of information to learn about. I know I didn’t. Bitcoin is only the tip of the iceberg, but now that you have a fundamental understanding of Bitcoin, learning about other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, and Ethereum will come more naturally.
Feel free to ask questions below! I’m sure either the community or myself would be happy to answer your questions.
Thanks for reading!

Related Links

Guides

Exchanges

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Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20190922(Market index 37 — Fear state)

Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20190922(Market index 37 — Fear state)

https://preview.redd.it/rra4l595mco31.png?width=526&format=png&auto=webp&s=5c8129568754561b537845f97a1898394d6e1c23

I am very sorry for everyone, due to network reasons, delayed update
Facebook Buys Chatbot Startup To Integrate Into Calibra According to a report of Israeli business newspaper the Marker on Sept 19, Facebook has acquired the artificial intelligence-based chat-bot startup Servicefriend for customer service for Calibra, the digital wallet for Facebook’s planned Libra cryptocurrency.
UK Regulators Attempting To Ban Crypto Derivatives, CoinShares Fights Back CoinShares is responding to UK regulators over a potential ban of various crypto products. The London-based digital asset management firm, which provides financial products and services for professional investors, says that UK regulator are “cherry picking” information about cryptocurrencies to cobble together enough ammunition to stop the sale of certain investment products that reference crypto assets.
Huawei Partners WIth Blockchain-Powered Social Media Platform Howdoo Huawei Mobile Services confirmed via its official Twitter handle the partnership with Howdoo, a blockchain-powered social media platform. Howdoo claims that they are huge fans of Huawei devices, and they have been in proactive conversations with Huawei about how they can develop Howdoo to best fit into the Huawei ecosystem, including mobile, Harmony OS, and other exciting innovations. As per the announcement, the Howdoo App will be available next week as a featured App in the Huawei App Gallery
Armenian IT Company Accused Of Illegal Electricity Use To Mine Crypto On Sept. 21, in an announcement from the Armenian National Security Service, the organization accused an IT company of illegally mining cryptocurrencies from inside a hydropower plant. The state agency reported that the IT company had installed cryptocurrency mining equipment inside one of the hydropower plants operating in Armenia and as a result illegally consumed 1.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity — worth more than $150,000, locally — over the course of 1.5 years.

Encrypted project calendar(September 22, 2019)

NPXS/Pundi X: Pundi X (NPXS) PundiX Labs will officially launch the XPOS transaction at the “AkiColle” event in Tokyo on September 22.

Encrypted project calendar(September 23, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: Bakkt, the digital asset platform led by ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and the world’s second largest trading group, will launch a bitcoin physical delivery futures contract on September 23. EOS/EOS: EOS main network is expected to upgrade version 1.8 on September 23 DCDecred: Project leader Jake Yocom-Piatt of Decred (DCR) Decrex will attend the Encryption Community Party in San Francisco on September 23 and will deliver a speech.

Encrypted project calendar(September 24, 2019)

ENG/Enigma: Enigma (ENG) ENG main network token snapshot will end on September 24, the original start time is August 26. LINA (LINA): Lina Review will host the Lina network launch event in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on September 24th and release a 10-year operational strategy. Cappasity (CAPP): Cappasity will showcase its digital signage solutions in luxury stores at the Paris Retail Week from September 24th to 26th.

Encrypted project calendar(September 25, 2019)

MIOTA/IOTA: IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on September 25th at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on the theme of “Building Your Own IoT.” Quant (QNT): The Quant project will participate in a marketing conference in London from September 25th to 26th, which will focus on data technology.

Encrypted project calendar(September 26, 2019)

ADA/Cardano: The Cardano (ADA) Cardano community will host a party in Washington, DC on September 26.

Encrypted project calendar(September 27, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: Cripto Latin Fest will be held in Cordoba, Argentina from September 27th to 29th. Switcheo (SWTH): After a one-year token exchange process, the project team will officially end the SWH→SWTH token exchange process on September 27.

Encrypted project calendar(September 28, 2019)

ADA/Cardano: Cardano (ADA) Cardano (ADA) 2nd Anniversary, Cardinal Foundation, IOHK and EMURGO main members will participate in community celebrations in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on September 28. TOP Network (TOP): The TOP Network team will hold a hackathon in Prague, Czech Republic from September 28th to 29th. Horizen (ZEN): Horizen project BD Rep Vano Narimandize will discuss the current status and development of sidechain technology at the Industry 4.0 Blockchain Summit on September 28.

Encrypted project calendar(September 29, 2019)

GAME/GameCredits: GameCredits (GAME) is expected to perform hard forks on September 29th at block height 2519999

Encrypted project calendar(September 30, 2019)

INS/Insolar: Insolar (INS) will be on September 30th ERD/Elrond: Elrond (ERD) will conduct main network test on September 30th NULS/NULS: The NULS team will plan to beta the ChainBOX in the third quarter. CS/Credits: Credits (CS) will exchange tokens and bug rewards in the third quarter QTUM/Qtum: Quantum Chain (QTUM) is expected to complete lightning network beta in the third quarter XEM/NEM: New World Bank (XEM) will release mobile wallet and computer wallet in the third quarter HC/HyperCash: hypercash (HC) will complete community management agreement in the third quarter

Encrypted project calendar(October 01, 2019)

HT/Huobi Token: The financial base public link jointly created by Firecoin and Nervos is expected to be open source in October. RVN/Ravencoin: Ravencoin (RVN) Ravencoin will perform a hard fork on October 1. ADA/Cardano: Cardano (ADA) plans to hold technical consensus meeting in Amsterdam on October 1st XRC/Bitcoin Rhodium: Bitcoin Rhodium (XRC) will record account balance awards on October 1st PPC/Peercoin: Peercoin (PPC) will perform Peercoin v0.8 (code tang lang) hard fork on October 1st

Encrypted project calendar(October 02, 2019)

BNB/Binance Coin: The 2019 DELTA Summit will be held in Malta from October 2nd to 4th. The DELTA Summit is Malta’s official blockchain and digital innovation campaign. CAPP/Cappasity: The Cappasity (CAPP) London Science and Technology Festival will be held from October 2nd to 3rd, when the Cappasity project will be attended by the Science and Technology Festival.

Encrypted project calendar(October 03, 2019)

ETC/Ethereum Classic: The 2019 Ether Classic (ETC) Summit will be held in Vancouver on October 3–4

Encrypted project calendar(October 05, 2019)

Ontology (ONT): Ony Ji will attend the blockchain event in Japan on October 5th and explain the practical application based on the ontology network.

Encrypted project calendar(October 06, 2019)

SPND/ Spendcoin: Spendcoin (SPND) will be online on October 6th

Encrypted project calendar(October 07, 2019)

GNO/Gnosis: Gnosis (GNO) will discuss the topic “Decentralized Trading Agreement Based on Ethereum” will be held in Osaka, Japan on October 7th. Kyber and Uniswap, Gnosis and Loopring will attend and give speeches.

Encrypted project calendar(October 08, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: The 2nd Global Digital Mining Summit will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from October 8th to 10th.

Since early-July, the Bitcoin price has entered into a drawn-out lull, with there being a clearly tightening trade range that has resulted in Bitcoin’s realized volatility falling into a range of 1.2%/day. Here’s Why Not only is volatility decreasing but so are volumes.out that CME’s BTC futures saw their lowest volumes in four months, implying indirection in this market.
This declining volume in the CME BTC futures market has been echoed over in the spot market. According to CoinMarketCap, cryptocurrency exchanges in aggregate have processed $51 billion worth of trades over the past 24 hours, which is a far cry from the $120+ billion seen during late-June and early-July of this very year. Sure, the data site is known not to be 100% accurate, but the decline in registered crypto volume accentuates the consolidatory period that Bitcoin is in.
But this lull might be about to come to an abrupt end.
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What You Need to Know About Mining Rig Virtual Currency Miners. Whether you want to mine Ethereum, Bitcoin, or another virtual currency from your basement or set up a crypto trading business, the first step is to set yourself up with a crypto mining rig. To make sure that you end up with a souped-up computer that fits your every need, check out ... 21 Inc Bitcoin Hardware. It looks like the 21 Bitcoin Computer began shipping recently, for us$400 apiece. We also got a few extra bits of information from the 21.co website, about some features ... CPU/GPU Bitcoin mining The least-powerful category of Bitcoin mining hardware is a computer. In theory, you can use your computer to mine Bitcoins, but in practice, the whole process is so slow in comparison to current standards that it makes no sense. You can increase your hash rate by adding graphics cards which have graphics processing units (GPU). They are designed for complicated ... You need a powerful computer to do it and the process uses a lot of electricity. It is also quite slow. Each new block takes about ten minutes to get added to the blockchain. This is where Charlie Lee and Litecoin come in. The rules for deciding how Bitcoin mining works are called SHA-256. It was these rules that Charlie Lee wanted to change. The new rules he created are called scrypt. Mining ... "Bitcoin allows you to buy goods, transact money, or use it as a store of value or investment—all of this through your phone or a computer, no banks or offices. Bitcoin has a limited supply, which means that there'll never be more than 21 million bitcoins. You can divide bitcoin into smaller units, called a satoshi, so you don't need to buy one whole bitcoin. You can also work to earn bitcoin." “I have every reason to believe that Binance misappropriated my money for itself. Communication with them continues from November 21, 2018. It has been 18 months already,” These claims came to light through a Russian based crypto media, Forklog, which cited cyber sec firm, Hackcontrol, for the information. The premier report highlights that ... The 21 Bitcoin Computer is produced by 21 Inc, one of the most prominent Bitcoin startups funded by the famous venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.It is also known as the first Bitcoin computer in the world. Given the reputation of its manufacturer and the anticipation and excitement of the Bitcoin community, I decided that it was worthwhile to buy this Bitcoin device and learn more about it. One of the best things about what is Bitcoin mining is that the person who chooses to become a miner doesn’t need to know how to solve the problems or be good at mathematics. They just need Bitcoin mining hardware (a powerful computer) and Bitcoin mining software. As you can see, Bitcoin mining is not that difficult to understand. The findings estimate that Bitcoin’s creator used a single computer to mine an estimated 1 million bitcoin minted in the early days. Sergio Demian Lerner is well known for publishing one of the ... Bitcoin mining has grown into a vast economy over the past few years as large ASIC-powered mining farms process transactions for the $32 billion dollar market.

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Harmony ONE will be a top performing IEO on Binance Launchpad! Binance is the perfect MONEY MACHINE!

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